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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 WaterTaking good care of your lawn by watering at the right times

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,

Keeping Your Kids Safe with Organic Lawn Care

Making sure that your kids are safe and sound is a top priority in everything you do, so keeping your lawn safe for your children shouldn’t be an exception.  By taking care of your lawn and garden organically you can maximize your kids safety and satisfaction.

What Is Organic Lawn Care?

Taking care of your lawn by minimizing pesticides and maximizing the greenness of your lawn, you can truly go organic.  Organic lawns avoid chemical pesticides, genetic modification, and radiation. All of these elements can help remove damaging pests, but they are also dangerous for you and your family.

How to Go Organic?Child Playing on an Organically cared for Lawn

To go organic, all you really need to do is be more careful about the kinds of things you trust on your lawn.  Instead of using dangerous pesticides to deal with a weed problem, you can try other methods like weed whacking and mowing instead.

There are also some chemical free pesticides available that can be used to improve your lawn without being hazardous to your children and others.

Benefits of Organic Methods

At first, organic lawn care may seem a bit more difficult and perhaps time consuming than its chemically based alternative, but with a little elbow grease you will be amazed at the results you encounter.  Your lawn will be greener, more naturally sustainable, and safer for you and your family.

Try the Organic Way

When it comes down to it, you have a lot to gain, and nothing to use with organic methods.  So try it out today and feel more comfortable with the safety of your lawn.

Useful Landscaping Tips

Ever wonder how you can take care of your yard in a way that will keep it healthy and beautiful at the same time? Well, this article will help you to do just that.

Here are some useful landscaping tips that will help you create a beautiful display while also taking care of your yard:

Grass

Though going on safari is fun, you don’t want to make your neighbors, friends, and kids go on safari through the tall grass everyday just to get to your house. Keep your yard trimmed and maintained by mowing your lawn once-a-week, more or less depending on where you live and how quickly your grass grows. If you live in a dry/hot area than you will also need to worry about keeping your grass looking lush, green, and alive along with trimmed and maintained. Remember to water your lawn but be careful you do not overwater, overwatering grass/plants and drowning them is actually one of the leading problems of greenery especially in dry areas where people think they need to water multiple times every day.

Outdoor LightingOutdoor Lighting

Accent your yard, highlight waterfalls and other spots of your garden/yard, and illuminate your house at night by adding some outdoor lighting. This helps with nighttime navigation, like getting from the car/curb to the front door, and it will also help make your house look more appealing to neighbors or potential buyers at night.

Shade Trees

Did you know you can actually decrease the temperature of your house by utilizing shade trees? Add shade trees to your yard to reduce the glare of the sun and to help keep your lawn green and moist.

Color

If all you have in your yard is trees, grass, and bushes then the only color in your yard is green. Green is a very nice color, but sometimes it can be fun and interesting to change things up and to add color to your lush green lawn. Increase your yard appeal and increase the numbers of color in your lawn by adding flowers. Flowers that come back every year are the best kinds because it means less work for you.

Pruning/Weeding

Planting your grass, trees, flowers, and bushes and installing outdoor lighting is just the beginning when it comes to the maintenance of a nice lawn. Keep your lawn looking nice by getting the clippers out and trimming those overgrown hedges or clipping the overstretching tree limbs, it is actually a better idea to let professional handle the large tree limbs. You will also need to focus on weeding around and near your more delicate plants like your small bushes, shrubbery, and flowers.

Mulch/Wood Chips

You can use mulch to cover up any mistakes or unsightly spots in your garden/front lawn. You could also use wood chips for this purpose. Make the yard look nice by adding wood chips around your bushes, shrubs, and trees. Wood chips also help to ward off those nasty weeds.

Photo Credit: hqcelo

Protecting Your Trees and Shrubs

Immaculate landscaping begins and ends with good maintenance. Flowers add color and variety, while trees and shrubs give yards shape and form. Because trees and shrubs are perennials, they have their own set of unique challenges for landscapers to deal with. Here are some tips for maintaining your trees and shrubs.

Make a spring inspection

When your trees and shrubs come out of dormancy, it can be a real eye-opener. You can easily check for damages and problems with a simple spring inspection. Here are some of the things that you should be looking for:

  • Winter burn—drying out
  • Discoloration
  • Uneven blossoming

Fertilization

If you go out into a forest, you will notice that trees don’t have the pedicured look that they do around homes. If you look down, Trees and Shrubsyou will also notice that there is a lot of organic material surrounding the tree. This not only increases the soils ability to hold water, but it also gives the trees vital nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Trees that are in a groomed landscape have competition from grass and other shrubs and often don’t get the nutrients from their own leaves. If you want to maintain a healthy green shrub or tree, you should fertilize regularly with high nitrogen fertilizer.

Proper pruning

Why prune? It’s important to prune dead branches because they can decrease healthy blooming and new growth of branches. It can also be a danger for people and buildings on the ground. Here is what you need to prune

  • Dead branches
  • Water sprouts
  • Suckers

Pruning should only be done during dormant season (fall) and you should be careful to follow the right techniques that won’t damage your tree or shrubs.

It is easy to feel like your trees and shrubs are strong enough to take care of themselves, but there are some things that you need to do to keep them healthy. One thing is for sure, your trees will be coming back stronger every winter if you follow these tips, so make sure you give your landscape a boost by taking care of your trees and shrubs the right way!

Photo Credit: D_Quixote

How to Deal With Pests the Organic Way

When it comes to a pest infestation, there’s no one, cure-all way to take care of the problem. Most organic gardeners arrive at their methods through a great deal of trial and error, and what works for one bug won’t work for a different species.

Keeping that in mind, there’s no better way to deal with pests than through organic means. A chemical pesticide may give you immediate results, but you risk poisoning the plants you intended to protect, and you could easily throw your lawn or garden’s balance out of whack. If you’re looking for long-term results, it’s all about organic gardening.

Developing an organic pest control strategyOrganically Take Care of Pests with  Predators

Getting rid of pesky bugs doesn’t always involve spraying some questionable substance all over your garden. Here are a few alternate methods that have proven beneficial for many gardeners:

  • Row Covers: Provides a protective barrier for your plants. White, translucent covers will keep bugs out while letting up to 80% of sunlight in.
  • Chickens and ducks: Want to get rid of bugs? Introduce a few predators into the mix. Chickens and ducks are effective at gobbling down slugs, Japanese beetles, and many other types of insects.
  • Plant flowers and herbs to attract beneficial insects: Not all insects are bad for your garden. Ladybeetles and hoverflies are known to feast on aphids, and you can attract these beneficial insects by planting zinnias, calendula, and other flowers and herbs among your vegetables.
  • Beneficial Nematodes: microscopic organisms that are natural predators of pests.

Organic sprays

If you’ve got an infestation, then you can still target specific insects with organic pesticides. Some options, which you can find at your local garden center, include:

  • Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT): a bacterial spray that infects certain insects, causing them to stop feeding and eventually die.
  • Soap sprays: dissolves the skin of your targeted insects. Be sure to get a soap spray that is specifically formulated as an insecticide.
  • Oil sprays: designed to suffocate pests.

Keep your soil in balance

The best way to avoid an infestation in the first place is to make sure your soil has a good pH balance with plenty of nutrients and beneficial micro-organisms. The best way to find out if your soil is well balanced is to get a lawn analysis.

Check out our past blog posts to learn more about organic fertilizers and organic lawn care!

Photo Credit: Cristina_2