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Preparing Your Lawn for a Cold Winter

alp-fursch-switzerland-1-1428086-mNow that school has started and fall weather has begun, winter is just around the corner. And that means it is time to prepare your lawn for the cold weather that is on its way.

Many people believe that preparing their lawn is as simple as giving it one last mow and letting winter begin, but there are many more things you can do to keep your lawn in great condition for next spring. Here are a few of the most important elements of lawn maintenance this spring!

Reseed

The summer heat is hard on your lawn, so before entering the next extreme, it is important to repair the damage and reseed. If it is getting close to the cold season in your area, you should choose a seed with a fast germination period so your seeds will begin to sprout before winter hits.

Plant Trees

When you plant trees in the fall, you give them a longer season to establish roots. One of the main difficulties that faces trees throughout the year is the heat of the summer, so fall planting gives your trees a chance to grow stronger before summer.

Start Your Spring Bulbs

Although spring isn’t for several months now, this is the time to begin preparing your beautiful lawn for next year. By selecting the bulbs you want to light up your lawn now, you will be able to ensure a beautiful and colorful spring!

Mulch around Trees and Flower Beds

Make sure to mulch your plants of all kinds before the winter begins. This will help your plants to be as successful and lush as possible come spring.

Getting your lawn ready for spring is an important part of fall preparation, so don’t forget to get started today!

Avoid These Practices to Maintain a Healthy Lawn

The lawn is one of the most abused elements of every yard, and for the most part, it can handle the abuse. But there are a few things that a lawn can simply not take. Understanding how to avoid hurting your lawn can help you make better choices along the way.

Here are a few common activities you should avoid if you want to keep your lawn in top form each year.

Cutting Too Short

When you cut your lawn to short it damages the roots of the blades of grass, this makes your lawn more difficult to maintain and less green throughout the year. You should always aim to leave at least two thirds of the blade in tact so your grass can be as healthy as possible.

grass

Bagging Grass Cuttings

One of the best things you can do for your lawn is mulch, and when you bag your clippings and throw them away, you are missing out on a great opportunity to feed your lawn.

Instead of bagging your clippings, consider leaving them on the lawn to provide nutrients and discourage weed growth.

Cutting While the Grass is Wet

Most things are heavier when they are wet, and grass is no exception. When your lawn is wet it causes the heavier leaves to bend downward which makes for a messier cut.

Although it is best to avoid cutting wet grass whenever possible, sometimes it is necessary. If it rains frequently in your area, you should still cut the grass regularly, but try to aim for drier days.

Keeping your lawn in good order is an important part of maintaining your home and yard so don’t let it fall by the wayside. Check out the WeedPro website for more information.

The Optimal Length to Cut Your Grass

Man at WorkMowing doesn’t just make your lawn look good—it helps it thrive. Just as other garden plants need to be pruned, grass needs to be mowed regularly to help it grow thick and full.

A thick, healthy lawn will be more resistant to drought and weed infestation. Cutting it at an ideal length is important. Grass that is too short will have shallower roots and can easily dry out. Grass that is too long will be shaggy, unseemly, and difficult to mow, in addition to harboring more insects.

Longer Grass Means Deeper Roots

When you keep your lawn at an ideal length, the roots will grow deeper and gather more water. The grass will be thicker, blocking out sunlight that weeds need to take root.

The optimal length you should keep your grass at depends on several factors, including grass type and the season. In general, you should keep your grass on the long side of the recommendations for your grass type. For example, Kentucky Bluegrass is recommended to be .75 inches to 3.5 inches in length—you should try to keep it around 3.5 inches long.

Mower Height

It’s important to measure the height of your mower as the distance between the ground and the blade. Keeping the blades sharp also helps to mow accurately and foster healthy growth.

When and How Often to Mow Your Lawn

If you have a cool-season grass, then peak growing seasons will typically be in the spring and fall. Warm-weather grass grows fastest in the summer.

During the growing season, you should mow your lawn about once every 5 to 7 days. All other times of the year you can mow less frequently and perhaps not at all.

Never cut off more than one third or your lawn at a time. If you’ve let your lawn grow taller than usual, adjust the height of your mower so you don’t cut too much. Then gradually lower the height until you’re back to the recommended length.

For more helpful lawn care tips, such as ideal water practices, check back with our blog frequently.

How Trees Benefit Your Lawn

Tree in the SunDecorating your lawn usually consists of grass, bushes, and flowers. They’re small, simple to plant, and give you almost instant gratification. However, trees can benefit your lawn much more in the long run. Here are a few reasons why you should plant a tree in your lawn.

Home Protection

In the bitter cold of winter and scorching heat of summer, your home needs protection – and not just from blasting the air conditioner or heater. Planting trees around your home can protect it from strong weather. In the summer, you can rely on the shade trees provide for cooler temperatures, and in the winter, trees will prevent cold winds from penetrating your home. Studies have shown that having trees block these severe temperatures can lower your bills by almost 12 percent.

Environmental Benefits

Trees are seen as sustainable gardening because they benefit the environment by filtering air and water. One tree can convert 330 pounds of carbon dioxide to oxygen – enough oxygen for four people. They can also remove pollution. The USDA found that trees in New York City removed more than 1,800 metric tons of pollution from the air.

Mental Benefits

Did you know that having trees around can help you on a psychological level as well? They have been known to reduce stress, especially for big city residents, who say they are much calmer and happier around trees. Even having just one tree can help relax your mind – but imagine how relaxed you could be with two trees and a hammock hung between them!

Once you’ve planted your trees, protect them and the rest of your lawn with the specialized services Weed-Pro has to offer. Visit their website to find out more about bug control, lawn care, root feeding, and more.

Keeping Your Lawn Green: Ideal Watering Practices

Having a green lawn can make a great first impression on new neighbors, and enhances curb appeal for family parties and prospective buyers, but keeping your lawn in good shape can be a difficult task.

One of the most important aspects of proper lawn care is simply knowing when to water your lawn.  This post will help you understand the best times to water your grass so you can keep your yard green and healthy every day!

How often to Water

The first part of the process is to understand how often you should be watering your grass.  Although it may be tempting to water for a short amount of time every day, it is a better idea to simply water your lawn deeply two or three times a week.

This will ensure that the roots get the water they need, instead of superficially watering the surface daily.

When to Water

Next, you need to know when watering is most effective.  Early in the morning is generally the best bet because the hot sun won’t be around to suck up all of the moisture. You will also be giving your lawn enough time to dry throughout the day.

A wet lawn all night long can lead to difficulties with mold and fungus which grows easily in a wet dark environment.  Watering in the evening leads to much more fungus, and watering in the middle of the day is ineffective because it doesn’t give the water the opportunity to penetrate the soil.

Knowing how and when to water your lawn is an important part of lawn care, and the experts at Weedpro are here to help you succeed.  Call us today to get your lawn in top form!

Earthworms: Your Natural Gardening Assistants

In the world of gardening, there are a variety of environmental factors you need to be aware of; many of them are to your advantage, while others can make your harvests more difficult.  Insects and other invertebrates can be extremely detrimental to your plants, but the earthworm is an important part of every successful garden.

Earthworms play a major role in successful gardening. Here are a few of the main advantages earthworm rich soil has for your home garden, as well as a few tips on how to keep these invertebrate gardeners around.

Soil Structure

One of the biggest benefits provided by the earth worm is that it alters the actual structure of the soil it occupies.  As earthworms burrow, they create stable paths that can hold up when you water and actually help your plants to get hydrated.

These pathways also create a better means of drainage so the root systems in your garden aren’t over watered in a heavy rainstorm, or when you forget to shut off your hose.  This simple, and effortless (for you), method of draining can keep your plants in good shape all season long.

Nutrients

But beyond the structure of the soil, earthworms also help to introduce many essential nutrients into your soil.  As these worms feed on various debris, leaves, grass, and soil, they introduce nutrient dense materials back into the ground.Maintaining your Lawn and Garden

This means that the refuse your earthworms produce is actually more concentrated in nutrients than the soil is on its own.  As your plants’ roots are exposed to nutrient rich soil, the entire plant is able to grow more effectively.  Effective root systems lead to good hydration and ultimately better fruit production.

The combination of improved soil structure and increased nutrition leads to productive plants and more successful gardens.

Inviting Earthworms in

Although earthworms are naturally drawn to certain conditions, there are some things you can do to encourage worms to cultivate your soil.  Here are a few of the best methods to invite earthworms into your garden and encourage them to stay:

  1. Make Your Soil Enticing.  Earthworms have some pretty developed tastes.  They thrive on leaf litter, mulch, and even kitchen scraps.  So, if you want your worms to hang around, it is important to give them what they need.  It may be tempting to clean up the fallen leaves in your garden, but give it some time, and the worms will do it for you.
  2. Go Organic.  The organic boom has merit, keeping your soil organic will actually encourage earthworms to hang around.  These worms prefer nitrogen rich soil, but synthetic nitrogen found in non-organic soils can frighten your worms away.
  3. Avoid Digging.  When you plant your garden at the beginning of the season, digging is important.  But from then on, you should try to avoid digging whenever possible to keep your earthworms safe and motivated.

Your garden should flourish this season, and earthworms are here to help! Follow these quick tips to keep your worms satisfied and your garden blooming.

Photo Credit: Hans

Understanding the Different Kinds of Grass

Growing a lush, beautiful lawn isn’t magic. It starts with gathering a little knowledge on the different kinds of grass and which ones grow best in your area.

Warm and cool season grasses

There are thousands of different kinds of grass, but most species can be separated into two basic categories: warm season and cool season.

Warm season grasses are better for areas with mild winters and hot, humid winters. Types of warm season grass include:Lawn Care

  • Bahiagrass
  • Blue Gramagrass
  • Buffalograss
  • Centipedegrass
  • Bermudagrass

Cold season grasses prefer hot and dry summers, and they can survive frigid and snowy winters. Different types include:

  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Canada Bluegrass
  • Creeping Bentgrass
  • Fine Fescues
  • Wheatgrass

Cold Season Mixtures and blends

It’s usually recommended to buy cool season grasses in a mixture or blend. Having different species or cultivars in the same lawn will make it more resistant to disease and insects. Many mixtures and blends are specifically formulated for to thrive in different conditions, such as heavy foot traffic or lots of shade.

Warm season grasses, on the other hand, are usually better if you plant a single species, because they are typically more vigorous, making it difficult for other grasses to compete.

Know what grass grows best in your area

The climate you live in determines the kind of grass you should buy. Nobody knows what grows best in your community better than the people who live in your community, so ask around at a garden center or talk to your local lawn care specialist. They’ll have plenty of recommendations on what seeds to buy, what sod to buy, and how to grow a great lawn specific to your climate.

Photo Credit: LoggaWiggler

4 Amazing Plants That Are Natural Bug Repellants

Nobody likes putting up with bugs, but you don’t want to start spraying pesticides everywhere, either.

If you’re looking for an organic way to rid your home and garden of annoying bugs and insects, these 6 plants can help repel pests and make your house and garden more beautiful in the process. They act as natural bug repellants, and when planted around the garden, near outside seating areas, or in pots in the house, they help keep the creepy crawlers away.

LavenderOrganic Pesticides

The smell of lavender is pleasant and calming, but it has the added benefit of repelling mosquitos and gnats. Plant it close to windows and doors to keep these pests from flying inside.

Citronella

Citronella is a common ingredient in bug-repelling candles, and it works in plant-form as well. It’s great at keeping flying insects away in particular.

Feverfew

The pretty feverfew flower will brighten up any garden, and it has many of the same bug-repelling properties as lavender and citronella. In fact, these three plants work even better when they’re planted in close proximity to each other.

Pyrethrum Chrysanthemum

If your garden is prone to aphids, ants, mites, leafhoppers, harlequin bugs, ticks, etc., plant some pyrethrum chrysanthemum in with the other plants. It truly is a miracle bug repellant, keeping many different kinds of insects away.

Try these 4 plants as part of your overall organic lawn care strategy. You’ll be amazed at how well they keep bugs away, and how great they look in your home and garden!

Postrunner: Hans

The Importance of Soil Testing

When you are trying to grow an immaculate lawn or garden, the first place to look is at the soil. Many people will simply look at how dark or soft it is and figure it is fertile soil. It is important to know what is in your soil before you start planting as it can save you from problems in the future. Here are some things you should be checking when you test your soil.

Nutrient Content

If you see a lot of organic matter in your soil, there is a good chance that there will also be a lot of nutrients as well. When you test the soil, you will be able to find out if there is an excess of nitrogen or if there is enough phosphorus in the soil to keep your grass healthy and green throughout the summer.

Alkaline levelsSoil Testing

Checking your soil acidity is paramount! If you don’t do this, you may find that your grass is dying because you are either way below the preferred pH level or way above. The pH level can also directly affect how many nutrients are available in the soil. Maintaining the right balance for your plants is the best way to start!

How to Test your Soil

Testing your soil is simple. All you need to do is get a tube for sampling and dig in about 4-6 inches. You then get about a pint of the inner soil and let it dry out before sending it to your local extension office. For a $10 fee, you can have the soil tested in the lab and receive an extensive report of what the soil is like.

Make sure you start your lawn and garden right by knowing your soil before you jump headlong into problems. It will save you time and money in the end!

Photo Credit: bschwehn

How to Treat Grubs

There is nothing more discouraging than to see your lawn and garden ripped to shreds by grub infestation.  Grubs are basically the larvae of beetles and what they feed on is the root systems of your lawn and other plants. This can kill your lawn fast if not addressed quickly. Here is what you can do!

The Right TreatmentTime to Take Care of Your Lawn

Don’t wait until the grub can be too big to start using a good treatment. It is best to attack when they are newly hatched. The best time to use treatment is around June or July when they start coming out.

Prepping the Lawn

To allow the treatment to reach the source of the problem, it is best to do it right after you mow your lawn. This will allow easier and more direct access to the larvae. The next thing you should remember is to make sure that you apply the treatment after watering thoroughly after the treatment so that it can soak into the homes of the larvae.

The right treatment at the right place and time can be extremely effective when dealing with pesky grub. Make sure that you are preparing adequately in order to make the treatment as effective as possible.

While it may seem impossible to deal with all of the grub in your garden, if you apply these steps the right way, you will be well on your way to fully eradicating the problem. Make sure you are using the right treatment and following these steps to treat your lawn.

Photo Credit: vivoad,