Start Planning Your Lawn Maintenance

PrepareforLandscapeMaintenanceFlickrseantoyer

Winter is the perfect time to start planning your lawn maintenance for the upcoming year. It allows you to do at least SOME sort of gardening activity even when the weather outside is frightfully cold. You can get your tools sharpened and cleaned so they are ready to go. It also allows you to properly budget your time and money.

Assess Your Needs

There are tasks that need to be done every year to keep your lawn healthy and happy. Aerating your lawn allows water, nutrients and air to reach the roots easier. Fertilization provides essential elements for your grass to grow lush and green. Mowing will keep the lawn at a uniform level. When the weather gets hot, you will need to water your lawn to help it survive through drier conditions. You may also want to consider reseeding or placing sod if you have bare spots.

Reserve Your Company

If you are hiring a professional, call them early in the year. Schedules start to fill up and you may have trouble finding a quality landscaping company. You don’t want to settle for second best when it comes to your lawn! 

Grab your calendar today and start planning. Your lawn will thank you.

Image by seanhobson under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Aeration and Seeding

This is the BEST TIME to give your lawn a chance to thicken up!!!!

You’ve heard me ranting about Fall Lawn Care for years….so here it comes again.  Following a summer of heat, mowing and foot traffic, lawn soils may become compacted and end up in desperate need of help during the fall.  Aeration can provide just the pick me up that your lawn needs.  

Core Aeration Machine

Core Aeration Machine

Your lawn should be aerated regularly – as often as once every year.  Ideally, your soil should be made up of 50% solids, 25% water and 25% air.  When it becomes compacted, there is little room for the air or water.  So if you know you have a dense heavy soil like clay, or you  can see water pooling up or running off the lawn, chances are that you need aeration.

Aeration also reduces the amount of thatch buildup on your lawn by helping it to decompose more quickly.  Thatch is the dead material that builds up between the blades of grass on your lawn and the soil.  When thatch accumulates to more than 1/2″, it causes problems.  

The best time to aerate is when the grass is actively growing.  Fall is best for cool season grasses because turf roots grow more in the fall than any other time of year.  

Right after aeration is an idea time to overseed your lawn.   With the soil opened up the seed can make good soil contact which is critical for seeding success.  With still-warm soil and cooler fall weather, new seedlings can germinate and get established during this root-building period of the year.  Starter fertilizer and plenty of water (when it doesn’t rain) will speed up establishment for a much thicker lawn next season.

Aeration works with fall fertilization and watering to thicken the lawn and build up good food reserves in the roots through the fall months.  So plan on aeration for a healthier lawn this fall and thicker, greener turf next year!

Spring Feeding: Yes or No?

“Do my trees and shrubs really need to be fertilized?” We hear this question time and time again from our customers, and the answer is a resounding “yes!”

Construction activities when homes are built lead to soil that is heavily compacted, poorly aerated and poorly drained – not the best conditions for tree and shrub growth. Consider too that in their natural forest habitat, trees and shrubs have a constant supply of nutrientsimages-75 from decomposing layers of leaves and other organic matter on the forest floor. But in our lawns and landscapes, we regularly rake away leaves and other organic matter before it has a chance to decompose.

What Fertilizer Does

Fertilizer ensures that your trees and shrubs have the essential nutrients they need for healthy growth: nitro- gen, phosphorus and potassium. When they’re fertilized regularly, your trees and shrubs will exhibit deeper color, denser growth and better blooming. Plus, they’ll have an improved ability to fight off insects and disease. Fertilization also helps roots to branch out and grow in size, making it easier for your trees and shrubs to survive drought and other stresses.

What if They’re Not Fertilized?

Without fertilization, your trees and shrubs won’t be able to reach their true potential. And over time, they may begin to show signs of nutrient deficiency, including:

• Poor leaf color

• Reduced leaf size

• Premature fall coloration and leaf drop

• Reduced twig and branch growth

• An overall reduction in tree growth and vigor

By having your trees and shrubs fertilized regularly, you’ll be rewarded with healthier, more beautiful trees and shrubs that you can enjoy for many years to come.

Can Your Lawn Take the Heat?

Summer will be here soon, and it can be brutal on your lawn. But summer hardiness can be improved this year and in the years ahead. Here are some things to think about throughout the rest of the growing season:

Mowing: As temperatures increase, you should gradually raise your mowing height by 25% to 50%. Also, you should remove no more than 1⁄3 of the grass blade at a time. This will keep the soil shaded and encourage deeper roots. When summer heat starts to subside, you can gradually lower the mowing height again.

Watering: Water your lawn deeply and infrequently, since light, frequent waterings encourage shallow roots that can’t sustain grass plants. Your lawn needs from 1″ to 1.5″ lawn-hostasof water per week from rainfall or sprinkling, and you should soak the soil to a depth of 6″ each time. Early morning is the best time to water.

Core Aeration and Fertilization in the Fall: Core aeration opens up the soil, breaks
 up thatch and improves the flow of air, water and nutrients to the roots. By having your lawn fertilized after aeration, your turf will be less susceptible to disease while exhibiting improved recovery from the stresses of summer heat and drought. Fall fertilization will also lead to fewer summer weed problems and better fall-to-spring color.

Plant Health Care

The most common reason homeowners and business mangers call in a tree or lawn expert is because they are concerned something is wrong with their plants. Tree decline, insects,  power rakedisease attack and the weather often works against us. Sometimes a simple solution is available. For others, a more complex program is needed. Sometimes, when a problem has gone on too long, the plants may be lost.

These types of situations led to the development of Plant Health Care programs. Basically, PHC programs are designed to maintain or improve the health of your plants using the most cost-effective and environmentally sensitive practices and treatments available. They operate by monitoring your landscape. This may be as simple as an annual walk-through or as involved as monthly visits. It depends on the complexity and diversity of your landscape. Often monitoring is done in conjunction with your tree care and lawn care programs; while regular preventive and curative applications are being made, other aspects of your property are checked for healthy growth.

When problems beyond the scope of your regular programs arise, your professional will devise solutions and work with you to implement them.

The main point is to work with professionals who are trained and interested in helping keep your property in top condition- people who know how to spot and identify problems or potential problems and how to communicate effectively with you, the owner. Here at Emil Yedowitz Landscaping, we are devoted to finding the best plan for helping you to maintain a healthy landscape.

Early- Spring Essentials: Get a Jump on the Season Ahead!

Welcome back! We’ve had a tough winter these past few months with all of the snowstorms, but birds are starting to chirp each morning… what does this mean? Spring is almost here! As temperatures rise and the snow melts away, it is time to prepare for the season ahead! The harsh weather has taken quite a toll on our plants, lawn and trees and its important to keep these simple spring essentials in mind as the season approaches!

Pruning: Many structural problems in ornamentals can be corrected right away before images-134plants begin to leaf out, with corrective pruning. Any winter-damaged wood can be pruned away. Very heavy wood can be removed, improving air circulation and plant shape. Overlapping and rubbing branches should be dealt with in order to eliminate this area as a possible site for insects and disease to invade the plants.

Clean Up: Leaves and debris should be blown or raked and removed from lawn areas, as well as shrub and flower beds.

Mulching: A spring application of mulch will help to prevent weeds, conserve moisture in the soil and keep soil temperatures cooler as the weather heats up. By including pre-Unknown-14emergent under the mulch it will help to control weeds throughout the season. Mulching should be a uniform thickness on the planting beds, and be sure to avoid piling mulch especially deep, or “coning” around the trunks of trees.

By just arranging for these three things, you’ll have made a great start to a better looking property!

The “Must-do’s” of Fall

       It’s about that time where all those beautiful leaves are resting on your lawn. Should you leave them there? No! It is important that leaves are raked up from your lawn in order to keep it healthy. If you do not, it is possible that mold can grow under those leaves, similar to snow mold. This mold will suffocate and damage your turf. Sure signs of mold are white or grey spots growing throughout your lawn. In addition, thick layers of leaves can also prohibit the growth of your lawn by suffocating it and depriving it of the necessary sunlight needed for growth.

       How else should you prepare your lawn for the current and upcoming weather you ask? Try taking some of these tips:

  • Wondering what to do with those leaves after raking them from your lawn? Consider working them into your garden soil or adding them to your compost pile!
  •  If rainfall is scarce, remember that your lawn will benefit from extra watering this fall. 1″ to 1 1⁄2 ” per week will be very helpful.
  • It’s a good idea to add a layer of mulch to your landscape plantings after the first hard freeze. This will help to keep the soil temperature more consistent through winter for extended root growth.

    Lawn Mold

  • Keep that mower handy! Mowing should continue until your grass has stopped growing for the season.
  • If you have a water garden, you can keep leaves out of it this fall by covering it with netting.

 

Just by following these few steps your lawn will be sure to thank you with another year of green, lush grass!

A Great Start for New Grass

Whether you’ve had your lawn overseeded, or have opted for a more extensive lawn renovation, proper care after planting is critical to giving your grass the best chances for success. Your newly seeded lawn will benefit from the following this fall:

  • Enough water to keep the top inch of soil moist at all times. Light watering once a day is recommended. Once seedlings appear, you’ll need to keep watering, but not as often (once or twice a week should do the trick).
  • Limited foot traffic. Try to avoid walking on newly seeded areas until the new grass has been established.
  • A balanced starter fertilizer should be applied up to six weeks after the seeding.
  • Mowing at a normal height (removing no more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time) once the new grass is 4” tall.

With a little tender loving care, you’ll be enjoying your beautiful new turf in no time!

“Is Dinner Ready Yet?”

You Can’t Blame your Lawn, Trees and Shrubs for Asking!

It’s hard to overstate how important it is to fertilize your lawn, trees and shrubs, especially during the fall. Most of the plants in your landscape will soon be shifting into dormancy, with top growth slowing down or stopping altogether. Underground, however, they’ll still be very active.

In order to prepare for new growth in the spring, your lawn, trees and shrubs must build new roots and fatten them up with nutrients. You can improve this process by making sure they get a heavy dose of fertilizer in the fall. The stronger and healthier the roots become as a result of proper fall fertilization, the better growth you can expect next year.

Some of the benefits you can expect from fall lawn fertilization include:

  • Grass blades that stay greener and roots that grow later into the season.
  • Better recovery from the stresses of summer heat and drought.
  • Increased ability to hold water, which helps grass plants withstand the drying and browning effects of winter winds.
  • Improves resistance to some cool-weather fungus diseases due to better overall plant health.
  • Thicker green-up in the spring.

By having your trees and shrubs fertilized this fall, you can expect:

  • Improved flowering.
  • Stronger resistance to insects and disease.
  • Better winter color in evergreens.
  • Healthier, denser foliage.
  • An increase in root mass and root branching.

Remember, fall fertilization of your lawn, trees and shrubs will have a direct effect on the performance of your plants throughout next year’s growing season. It’s an essential part of protecting and improving your valuable landscape investment.

Grass Clippings Are Too Valuable to Toss Out

It can be tempting to bag and dispose of grass clippings, especially if it’s been a long time since your lawn was last mowed. After all, clumps of cut grass sitting on your lawn are unattractive, and they can smother the grass underneath if they aren’t removed.

Mowing more often, on the other hand, creates a free source of nutrients that can and should be left behind to decompose in your lawn. The trick is to follow the “1/3 Rule,” mowing often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is removed with each cutting. It’s also important to mow only when the grass is dry, and to use a sharp mower blade.

The clippings left behind will fall down between the blades left standing, returning valuable nutrients to the soil as they decompose. This practice is known as “grasscycling,” and it can provide your lawn with up to 15% of the nutrients it needs for healthy growth.

Not only is grasscycling a great way to improve your lawn’s fertility, but it helps to reduce the amount of yard waste sent to landfills as well.  Grasscycling is becoming much more common, and that’s a good thing considering that one lawn can generate roughly 300 pounds of clippings per 1,000 square feet each year. Imagine what would happen to our landfills if nobody bothered to grasscycle!

Grasscycling also cuts down on the time it takes to mow, since bagging and disposal of clippings are eliminated. In the long run, this beneficial practice leads to a healthier, greener lawn that requires less fertilizer and effort to maintain.