Welcome to Spring 2017
I would like to thank you; my customers for your business in 2016. I do not take your patronage for granted…it truly is very much appreciated. I am looking forward to taking care of your lawn and landscapes again this year and beyond.
The weather that we experienced last year was actually pretty normal for our area. The biggest issue was the one extremely hot, dry period from early July through the middle of September. During that period, there were some lawns and landscapes that suffered quite a bit of damage and needed to be repaired. Most lawns, however, did respond well once the rain and cooler weather returned and only needed minor repairs.
Having said that, you may want to invest in an underground sprinkler system this season…and for good reason. It eliminates the guess work as to when to water, and certainly makes it more convenient for you to properly water your lawn by not having to pull and move hoses and sprinklers everywhere around the lawn. But most importantly, if it is set up properly, it will save you money in the long run. With the new technology out now it is not uncommon to save anywhere from 25% to 50% over the older systems in place now. By reducing water consumption, you not only reduce your water usage but also your sewer bill.
If you have an irrigation system, make sure your contractor has your system functioning properly and ready to run by the end of April. Once set up, you can turn the system off until such time that it is needed. If you were contemplating having an underground irrigation system installed, please contact me and I can give you the names of companies that I have used in the past.
Starting now and beyond, we all need to do our part. Water conservation should be a part of our lives. Not only is it environmentally sound, but also cost effective.
Now that spring is right around the corner, there are things that you should be doing to get your lawn ready for the season. Listed below are items that need to be done to ensure your lawn and landscape look their best coming into spring.
Check over your lawn mower completely. Make sure that you have the proper height set. Do not rely on the settings on the mower. Make sure the mower is level, use a ruler and measure to the bottom of the deck. You will then need to add ¼’, since the blade sits up that far in the deck. This is your “true cutting height”. Adjust your settings accordingly to achieve the proper cutting height. Also, the mower blade should be sharpened, or a new one installed if it has been damaged. Make sure to change the oil and spark plug as well.
Your lawn should have a spring cleanup done. This should include raking where needed to loosen matted down turf, remove embedded leaves, twigs, acorns, and other debris from the winter. A leaf rake works well for this. I don’t recommend using a heavy garden rake as this can cause damage or even remove the turf from the soil. If you can’t or don’t want to do this, please let me know so that I can recommend someone to take care of this for you.
When doing your spring cleanup, and for the first 2 to 3 mowings, your cutting height should be at 3 inches and you should be bagging the clippings. This will ensure that you are picking up as much debris left over from winter. As the season gets under way, and the grass begins to grow, you need to be cutting at a height no shorter than 4 inches in the spring and fall and 4.5” during the summer. You should also be mulching your clippings as long as you don’t leave clumps of grass all over as this will damage or kill the turf.
Pruning of over grown shrubs or trees should be done soon if they were not pruned last fall. Roses should be cut back now, as should most evergreens. This way they can take full advantage of the Spring growth period. Flowering shrubs such as Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Forsythia, should be pruned within a month after blooming. These shrubs begin to set buds for next season soon after blooming.
Take a visual inspection of your trees. If they need pruning, now is the time to have that done before they leaf out. You should contact an arborist soon before they get booked up if your trees need to be pruned.
Be sure to clean out debris from your shrub beds. If you are adding new mulch, you should either breakup the old mulch, or remove it if there is more than 3 inches present. When mulching, you should apply approximately 2 to 3 inches at the most. Excess mulch, particularly if applied right against the stem or trunk of landscape plants, leads to conditions that are favorable for disease and insect activity.
If you need to hire a new lawn mowing, landscaping or sprinkler system company or if you have any questions regarding how you should prepare your lawn and landscape for the upcoming season, please call or email me I work with a variety of companies that I can recommend to you.