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5 Benefits of Transitioning to Organic Lawn Care

As winter comes to a close and spring is about to begin, the time is about to arrive for us to get started on warm weather lawn care.  As you consider your lawn care for the coming year, you may be considering organic options.

Before you get started on this year’s lawn care, it is important that you understand the benefits of the transition to organic lawn care.  The experts at Weedpro are here to help.

Here is a list of the 5 most intriguing benefits of organic lawn care to help your transition go a little bit more smoothly.

1. It’s Non-Toxicbench-1376654-m

This may seem a bit obvious, but the number one benefit of organic lawn care is the lack of toxicity.  This means that anyone on your lawn will be safe from harm, and that both your lawn and your guests will be well taken care of.

Organic lawn care will make your yard a safe place for your pets and children while still giving your lawn top-notch care.

2. It Will Remove the Need for Pest Control

In an organic and natural environment, it is almost never necessary to invest in pest control.  A natural environment is conducive to better management of an ecosystem that is self-sustaining and maintaining.

The balance provided by organic lawn care usually completely removes the need for pest control.

3. Costs Will Decrease over Time

Although high costs are often a major deterrent for potential organic customers, with organic lawn care, you can count on your costs decreasing over time.  Though the initial cost may be high, the lack of need for pesticides will greatly decrease your long-term costs.

4. Enriched Soil

An organic lawn care system is sure to increase the quality of your soil and enrich it with nutrients that will aid your lawn.  Because there are no chemicals in organic lawn care products, they can improve the quality of your soil without introducing any negative effects.

5. It’s a Greener Alternative

Not only are organic lawn care practices good for your own lawn, they are also beneficial to the environment at large.  If we were to rely solely on organic lawn care, we would consume far fewer fossil fuels in creating lawn care products.

As spring is around the corner, now is the time to switch to organic products.  Contact Weedpro today for more information on making the switch.organic lawn care banner

 

Does Your Soil Need a Boost?

January is a great month to take stock of our lives and set goals for the year. It’s also a great time to examine your soil’s makeup and take steps to make sure you have a beautiful garden and lawn in 2015!

Whether or not you are a beginner or well-seasoned gardener, follow these steps to find out if your soil needs a boost this year:

Step 1: Do a Visual Inspection

You can tell a lot about soil just by looking at it. For example, soil that is supporting healthy vegetation (whether it’s your lawn or a patch of weeds) is probably fairly healthy. On the other hand, if there isn’t much growing in your soil, or if what is growing has shriveling and brown leaves, then it’s going to need some boosting.

Other indicators of your soil’s health include:flowers_3

  • Earthworms. These critters are vital to your soil’s ecosystem, and are a good sign of soil health.
  • Soil color. Darker soil contains more organic matter, and yellow or gray soil can be a sign of drainage problems.
  • Soil texture. You don’t want your soil to be too sandy or too thick and sticky. A happy medium between the two is ideal.

Step 2: Check Water Drainage

Your garden or lawn needs adequate water drainage to thrive. Check for any areas where water pools after heavy rainfall. To test your soil’s drainage more accurately, follow these instructions from Cornell University’s Dept. of Horticulture:

  1. Dig a hole in the soil about one foot deep and fill it with water
  2. Let it drain and immediately refill it with water again. Measure the depth with a ruler
  3. After 15 minutes, measure the water again
  4. Multiply the difference by 4

The number you come up with is your “drainage per hour.” It should be between 1 and 6 inches per hour to be considered proper drainage.

Step 3: Test Your Soil

Your soil’s pH level and nutrient makeup need to be well balanced for your garden or lawn to thrive. There are two ways you can test your soil: by purchasing a do-it-yourself kit, or by hiring a gardening or lawn professional to do it for you.

You can find a do-it-yourself kit at your local garden center. Of course, you can also contact your local WeedPro specialist for a free lawn analysis in 2015!

Learn to Properly Identify Weeds

Winter and early spring are the best times to start cracking down on weeds in your lawn and garden. This is because many weeds sprout much earlier than other plants, and they grow much faster. By getting a head start on weed control, you’ll make your weeding that much easier in the spring, summer and fall.

Learn to identify your garden plants and grass type first

There are literally thousands of weeds that can pop up in your lawn and garden. It’s not necessary to be able to identify weeds individually—you only need to know which plants you want growing where, and which plants you don’t. It’s really as simple as that. Once you can easily identify the plants in your garden (for example, what string beans look like when they begin to sprout), then you can get to work removing everything else that doesn’t belong.

There are several clues that can help you identify weeds. If you planted your garden in tidy rows, then the plants will grow in tidy rows. Everything else is a weed. If your lawn’s grass is still dormant from winter, but a few plants are starting to sprout up in random spots, then you’ve just identified the weeds.

As long as you are familiar with your lawn’s grass type and what it’s supposed to look like, then you can tell where weeds have started to take hold. While almost anyone can tell what a dandelion looks like, other weeds might be more difficult to identify. By taking a closer look, the differences between weeds and your regular grass will start to emerge.

Weeds will typically fall into 3 categories:

  • Woody Weeds: identifiable by their woody stems and shrub-like appearance.
  • Grasslike Weeds: longer leaves, parallel veins, and typically without any flowers (that you can notice)
  • Broadleaf Weeds: often produce flowers, and usually have broad leaves

When to go hunting weeds

As noted above, winter is an ideal time to start keeping a lookout for leaves. Some species of weeds can even stay active under a blanket of snow, and by the time you’ve started planting in the spring the weeds may have already started reproducing.dandelion-1424104-m

The absolute best time to get rid of weeds is when they are young and before they’ve begun to reproduce. Weeds are hardy plants that can spread like wildfire.

Identifying weeds is the easy part—actually getting control over the weeds in your lawn and garden is a whole other animal.

If you find yourself losing control of the weeds in your lawn, contact WeedPro today!

5 Handy Tips to Keep Your Lawn Mower Safe During the Winter Months

MowerWith winter fast approaching, it is time to put your summer supplies away, clean and cover the power tools, and sweep up your workspace and garage in preparation for the upcoming cold months. However, one of the tools in your yard upkeep arsenal is going to need a little more work to be ready for winter and that tool is your lawn mower.

Here are 5 tips on how to keep your lawn mower safe, clean, and functional during the cold winter months:

1.     Drain

When prepping your lawn mower for the long, cold winter months you must first drain the fuel. The tank needs to be completely dry. Drain or siphon the gas from the tank then start the mower to empty it of any of the remaining gas. You should also disconnect and drain the fuel lines.

2.     Fuel

If you have a nearly full tank of gas in your lawn mower and you don’t want to drain it there is another way to go. The main “don’t” is never to store your lawn mower with a partially full fuel tank, either run it out of fuel or add a stabilizer to a full tank. Add stabilizer (fuel preserver) to your full tank then run the mower for a few minutes so that the stabilizer circulates throughout the entire tank.

3.     Clean

Make sure you give your lawn mower a good cleaning before winter strikes. You can do this by removing and sharpening the blade. You can also oil the blade before reinstalling it. Using a wire brush you can turn your lawn mower over to clean the underside of the deck. Always remember to remove the spark plug lead wire from the plug before you go about doing any maintenance like hosing off leaves, grass, mud, and other debris.

4.     Inspect and Change

As you are cleaning your lawn mower you should be inspecting all the pieces and making note of the things you need to change out or replace. Clean or replace the air filter and change the mower’s oil.

5.     Store

Store your mower as far away from other chemicals, fertilizers, and cleaners as possible. Make sure your mower is stored in a dry place away from water heaters, furnaces, and pilot lights.

Plan Ahead For Winter with These 5 Lawn Saving Tips

With the winter months practically upon us, it’s good to remind ourselves that our lawns still need some attention during the colder weather. By preparing your lawn for winter, you’re also preparing it to thrive again in the spring.

Generally speaking, the warm-season grasses we use here in Georgia require less winter maintenance than our cool-season neighbors up north—but the cooler weather still presents us with an opportunity to prepare for winter.

Keep Mowing Until Your Grass Stops Growing

The cooler weather means your warm-season grass will go dormant, and you can eventually stop mowing it. But until it stops growing, keep mowing.

Rake Leaves or Shred Them for MulchSummer

If you allow leaves to remain on your grass more than a few days, they can turn into a wet mat that blocks out sunlight and air, promoting fungal growth.

You can put those leaves to work for you, as well, by turning them into mulch. Shred them using a mulching mower and leave them on your lawn—the extra organic matter will help feed your grass come spring.

Remove Thatch

Thatch is different from mulch—it’s the un-decayed matter (twigs, stems, leaves, etc.) that accumulates between the soil and the tips of the grass. It can keep air, water, and nutrients from reaching your grass’s roots.

A good stiff rake or thatching rake will be effective at removing thatch.

Fertilize

A little extra fertilization can help make sure your lawn doesn’t go brown in the winter. Fall fertilizers high in nitrogen and potassium can give your warm-season grass the boost it needs to stay green through the cold.

For advice on the types of organic fertilizers that would be effective on your specific species of grass, consult a lawn care professional.

Fight Weeds

Fall is the perfect time to fight weeds, because they will be absorbing as much energy as possible to prepare for winter. You can use this to your advantage by introducing a “weed eliminator” into the mix, which the weeds will immediately drink up.

Get a Free Lawn Analysis

Effective lawn care is a year-long endeavor—get your free lawn analysis from WeedPro today!

Tackling Your Lawn’s Dry Patches

There is something pristine about a fresh green lawn, but just one spot of dryness or a yellow patch can ruin the curb appeal. Your lawn is the first thing visitors and neighbors will see as they arrive at your home, and that means it is an important aspect to making a good impression.

A green lawn gives the impression that you make your yard a priority; it also creates a friendly and inviting atmosphere. Cultivating a perfectly green yard, free of dry patches will ensure that your lawn is important to the maintenance of your home.

Understanding the causes of dry patches can help you make the best decisions as you strive to maintain your lawn, and treat any dry patches that may appear.

Causes of and Solutions for Dry Patches

There are a few main causes of dry patches, some of the most prevalent that you should consider are:

Infestation:

An insect infestation can lead to dry patches; these patches will start small, and begin to grow quickly over time. These patches need to be taken care of as soon as possible before they have a chance to grow too large. The best method to take care of infestation is to remove the dry grass, water, fertilize, and seed.

Seasonal Dryness:

This occurs both in the winter and summer months as intense weather hits it. Seasonal dryness is best served with fertilization in the spring, higher grass cutting, and sufficient watering.

Wastegoose_2:

If your pet is frequently depositing waste in your yard, this can lead to dry and yellowed patches. To combat these patches, you should take care of waste promptly, and water regularly.

Keeping your grass green despite these challenges may seem difficult, but with these tips a green, dry patch free lawn is well within your grasp.

Make your lawn a priority today, and begin taking care of any dry patches that may appear throughout the year. If you have any questions or concerns as you care for your lawn, contact the experts at WeedPro today!

Will Snow Damage my Lawn and Garden?

Before winter comes, every homeowner wants to protect their lawn and garden from freezing. Here are a few tips to ensure that your grass and plants will stay aswinter yard care healthy as possible.

How to Protect your Lawn

Snow may be covering your lawn, but that doesn’t mean it’s damaging it. What really damages your lawn is the salt that comes into contact with it when you try to
melt the snow. Instead of salt, using sand or clay-based kitty litter on your driveway will prevent any salt run-off into your grass.

In addition, the grass in your lawn is more easily damaged when there is heavy foot traffic. Stay off the grass and the snow will stay light and melt much faster. At the first sign of a thaw, scatter grass seed on the soil surface. Even if more snow falls, the seed will be firmly in place by the time spring comes around.

Snow in Gardens

For the most part, snow does not do any severe damage to your garden in the winter. It can actually provide much needed insulation to dry plants. However, heavier snowfall and ice will cause damage if not treated with proper care.

In order to avoid getting snow on particular plants, you can cover them with netting. If you can, use the netting to tie plants into the shape of a cone, that way any snow will fall off of it. If you choose not to cover your plants, snowfall can gently be removed by using a broom to sweep upwards on the plant.

Whatever you do, do not use a snowplow around plants, as it will damage them. Attempting to remove any ice is also a mistake, as branches with ice on them will most likely break off.

In terms of rehabilitating plants after winter, it is advised to water any evergreen plants you have during the first thaw, as the cold will have frozen their roots. This causes dehydration, and without water these plants will die.

When there’s heavy snowfall, it can be difficult to maintain your lawn and garden but you can be fully prepared for spring if you follow these tips. Visit the website here to see what services we can offer you.

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.