Category Archives: Lawn Fertilization & Weed Control

Landscaping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Pavers & Retaining Walls – Garcias Landscaping

While there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a little hard work, the key to your satisfaction and peace of mind is learning how to avoid landscaping mistakes before they happen.

Failure to Plan

Thumbing through gardening magazines or strolling through your local nursery may spark your imagination and enthusiasm but coming home with a carload of plants before deciding where to put them may leave you disappointed with the finished result. In addition to researching the unique requirements and potential growth of each species, it’s important to strive for balance, harmony, and sustainability when considering your design. The team of landscape design experts at The Grounds Guys can help you achieve the look you desire while adding beauty and value to your home.

Neglecting the Front Yard

Many homeowners make the mistake of focusing on the backyard where they spend the majority of their time, to the detriment of the front yard space. In addition to consideration for your view of the yard from your indoor living area, focus on your curb appeal by adding some color and dimension and defining the pathway to your front door.

Bad Pruning Habits

Pruning is a vital component of landscape maintenance, which, when done correctly can encourage and control the growth of your plants. When done incorrectly, however, pruning can cause damage to your plants and cause your landscaping to appear unprofessional and unhealthy.

Cutting Your Grass Too Low

Whether your intention is to mimic the look of your favorite golf course, or to stretch out the amount of time in between mowing, cutting your grass too low can have dire consequences to its health and appearance. When too much of the stalk is removed the grass is unable to properly endure photosynthesis and root growth may be stunted. For best results, aim for a height that matches the variety and species of turf.

Excessive Ornamentation

Decorative items serve a unique function in most outdoor designs, but one of the biggest landscape design mistakes you can make is allowing them to take over your yard. Focus your efforts on creating a more natural and varied decor, incorporating a mixture of shrubs, grasses, flowers, and trees, with just a few strategically placed, high-quality decorations to attract the eye.

Not Using the Correct Irrigation

Adequate levels of moisture are crucial to a healthy lawn and garden, and both overwatering and underwatering can have detrimental effects. A professionally installed irrigation system takes the guesswork out of watering your plants and can be customized to meet the unique requirements of the various plants around your property.

Neglecting to Think About Color

Choose your color palette prior to planting, to ensure the colors work together with each other and the exterior of your home. Too many colors or too much of one color can be overwhelming, while too little may appear boring. Factor in seasonal color variations by researching flowering shrubs and variations in foliage prior to installation.

Spring Landscaping in NJ – The Best Time to Get Started - Landscape  Solutions

Lawn Mowing Tricks No One Ever Told You

When to Start Mowing in the Spring | The Turfgrass Group Inc

Mowing the grass is a pretty straightforward task, but are you unintentionally making the chore harder than it needs to be? Follow these 10 tips from Lowe’s to make mowing the lawn easier for you and more beneficial for your grass.

Sharpen the Blades

At first you may think this tip simply lengthens your to-do list, but sharp blades prevent you from having to make multiple passes. A quick investment of your time at the start of summer can make mowing the lawn easier all season long.

Top Off the Tank

There’s nothing more annoying than running out of fuel mid-mow. Plus, you’re advised not to refuel a hot lawn mower. If you think the tank is running low, remember to top it off before you start the mower next time.

Check the Lawn for Debris

The last thing you need is for a rock, stick or baseball to dull your lawn mower’s freshly sharpened blades. To prevent frustration and potential injury, clear these items from the grass before you start mowing.

Time Your Mowing Just Right

The best time of day to mow is when it’s cool outside, so in the morning or evening. Mowing when it’s cool helps keep moisture in the roots where it’s needed. It also reduces the chance of heat exhaustion.

Still, the evening is preferable to the morning, because this gives the grass 12 hours of darkness to heal before the sun comes up. The grass also tends to be dewy or wet from being watered in the morning, and you shouldn’t mow when the grass is wet for your own personal safety and the health of your grass.

Keep the Grass Long Enough

You may think giving your grass an extreme cut will prolong the time until you need to mow again, but cutting more than one-third of the blade at a time can damage the grass. Plus, longer blades shade the ground, which slows evaporation and helps prevent weeds from sprouting. In this way, more frequent, less extreme cuts result in a healthier lawn and fewer weeds.

Keep Grass Even Longer in the Shade

Longer grass signifies longer roots. Since grass growing under a tree must compete with tree roots for water and nutrients, help the grass stay as healthy as possible by leaving it longer than the grass growing in full sun.

Rethink Your Mowing Schedule

It’s easy to cut the grass on a set weekly schedule, but keep in mind that hot, dry weather slows the growth of cool-season grass. In these conditions, you’ll be happy to hear you can mow less frequently without harming the grass.

Speaking of schedules, check out these cleaning schedules, checklists and charts from Molly Maid, a fellow Neighborly company!

Change Up Your Mowing Pattern

You may fall into the habit of always mowing along the same route, but since grass tends to lean in the direction you mow, you’ll encourage more upward growth and avoid ruts if you switch up the way you mow each time with different mowing patterns.

Skip the Bag

Do you think leaving grass clippings behind looks messy? Maybe so, but this organic fertilizing technique returns nitrogen and other valuable nutrients to the soil. Make sure you shoot grass clippings onto areas you’ve already mowed as a free way to promote a healthier lawn.

Use Caution on Hills

If you have a steep yard, never mow straight up and down. This could make you slip and injure yourself. For easier lawn mowing and a reduced chance of injury, mow from side to side across the hill.

Low Maintenance Lawn Care Services in Minneapolis

Best Time to Water Lawn

Lawn Watering Tips - Green Earth Solutions, Inc - Lawn Care in  Jacksonville, Florida

Like all living things, your lawn needs sunlight, food, and water in order to survive. While factors such as climate and soil conditions may cause variations with regards to the frequency and amount of water that is needed, the best time of day to water your lawn remains the same. Here are some helpful tips to keep your lawn looking its best.

What is the Best Time to Water Your Lawn?

While it is important to provide your lawn with adequate amounts of water, it is equally as important to water at the right time of day to maximize absorption and reduce the likelihood of disease or infestation. For best results, water your lawn in the early part of the day before temperatures or the wind start to pick up. Opt to have your watering completed by 10 a.m. to allow time for the water to penetrate the soil before evaporation can occur.

If you must water later in the day, choose a time between four and six p.m. to allow time for the grass to dry before nightfall, when the absence of sunlight and lower temperatures can result in a lawn that is wet for 12 to 15 hours, contributing to fungal or bacterial diseases.

How Long Should You Water Your Lawn?

Aim for an average of one inch of water per week, divided among two to three watering sessions during hotter weather. Under normal conditions, it takes approximately 30 minutes to deliver one-half inch of water. Slow and steady delivery allows the water to soak deep into the root system, while allowing for proper airflow and drainage.

Watering Requirements for Different Lawn Types

The best time to water lawn varieties depends on a number of factors including which zone you reside in, the season, and the type of grass. Use these guidelines for best results:

Warm-Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses thrive in climates where temperatures are between 80 and 95 degrees and include varieties such as Zoysia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine. Continue to actively water as long as the grass is growing and requires regular mowing, keeping in mind that warm-season grasses may require less water than their counterparts.

Cool-Season Grasses

Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass are ideally found in northern climates with active growth well into the fall season. While evaporation rates may slow in cooler weather, continue to provide between one and one-and-a-half inches of water each week up until the first frost.

Lawn Watering Tips

Don’t overwater. Allow the lawn to dry out in between watering to establish a strong root system, which will kill the weeds and fungi.

Raise your mower height. Cut higher during periods of excessive heat or drought to provide a shade canopy to protect the base of the grass.

Make exceptions. Pay close attention to moisture levels around large trees where the water requirements may be higher, and water sloped areas more slowly to allow time for proper absorption.

Check the soil. Use a screwdriver to check the soil during your first watering to determine how long it takes for the water to reach a depth of six inches, and set your sprinkler system accordingly.

How Long to Water Your Lawn (2021) - This Old House

Proper watering is the most important element to maintain healthy plants. It is most favorable to the plant to water in the morning hours. If this is not possible, sometime in the evening hours after 5 p.m. is the next best time. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure the survival of your investment. 

Trees: Soak the root ball of shade and ornamental trees by placing the hose on one side of the tree, about 6” from the trunk. Turn on the hose so that it’s a slow trickle, with just a pencil-thin water stream coming out. Let the hose sit there for about 20 minutes. After that time, move the hose to the opposite side of the tree and let it sit there for another 20 minutes. Do this 2-3 times per week under normal, 70 – 80 degree days, and more often during hotter and drier days.

Shrubs: Soak root ball for 30 seconds to a minute on all sides of the plant, every day for 2 weeks during hot, dry conditions. Cut back to every other day for the following 2 weeks, or during cool or wet periods.

Perennials: Water for 15-45 seconds every day for 2 weeks during hot, dry conditions, or as often as is necessary. During extremely hot, dry conditions watering may be required twice daily. However, under normal conditions once per day is sufficient.

Fertilizing

All plants were fertilized with a slow-release fertilizer upon installation. All fertilizing for trees, shrubs, and perennials should be done in the spring with a slow-release, granular fertilizer. Although it is not necessary for the plant’s survival if it hasn’t been experiencing stressful conditions, it is beneficial until the plant’s root system has become well-established. All annuals should be sprayed with a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer every three weeks during the growing season.

Pruning

Shrubs and trees will require little to no pruning for the first few growing seasons. However, once pruning becomes necessary, it is recommended to have a professional maintenance company do all trimming and pruning since each species has different pruning requirements. Most perennials should be cut back to 1-2” from the ground in the fall once they have started to die back. Grasses can be cut back to 2-3” from the ground in either late fall/early winter or early spring before the new growth starts to come up.

Thistle: How To Combat It In Your Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN Landscaping

Thistle in your Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN Landscaping

“I have a problem with Thistle in my landscape beds at our lake house in Syracuse, IN.  How do I get rid of them?”  —  Lake Wawasee Client of WLM, Inc.

Canadian Thistle is an invasive weed reaching 2-5 feet in height that is difficult to eradicate because it is a perennial, in addition to being a prolific seed producer.  The seeds can survive for more than 20 years and germinate quickly when conditions are just right in Warsaw, IN  and Syracuse, IN.  This plant also has an extensive underground root system that will germinate more weeds.

It’s a cool season perennial and actively grows in the spring and fall in the Warsaw, Syracuse, Culver, Ft. Wayne, Winona Lake, Leesburg, and Columbia City areas.  Growth slows during hot weather like we have during our summers.  Flowers are generally produced in early to mid June with seeds fully developed by early July in the Warsaw, IN areas.  The timing can vary each year depending on growing conditions.  As we have seen here in the Warsaw, IN area, landscapes woke up later than most years even though we had a very mild winter for the second year in a row.

Controlling Thistle:  A key to controlling Thistle in your Warsaw, IN landscaping is to treat early before it has a chance to produce seeds and develop a large network of rhizomes under the ground.  If you lack the time to take more aggressive  action in summer, then make sure to cut off the flowers before they seed.  Mowing and repeated cutting of the plants will prevent the production of seeds and slowly starve the plant, but will not likely kill them.  The extensive root system means that you will need to dig out the roots for a LONG period of time as they will quickly start to come back and make more.

Herbicide Treatment:  We have found with our Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN customers that treating thistle with herbicide works really well along with repeat Landscape Maintenance Visits.  Fall is probably the best time to treat thistle with herbicide if you own a house in Warsaw, Syracuse, Winona Lake, Culver, Ft. Wayne or Columbia City.  Another good time to treat is in the spring.  There are selective herbicide options but we warn that spraying these chemicals without experience can cause other landscaping issues like killing other desirable plant material.  Spraying thistle in your landscaping will also require several treatments over a long period of time and we have found that homeowners in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN just don’t have the time and forget to spray on a regular schedule.

A healthy and well maintained lawn and landscaping in Warsaw and Syracuse will promote dense turf and healthy plants that will compete with these weeds.

April Is National Lawn Care Month. Get Your Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN Lawn Ready!

WLM, Inc. is celebrating National Lawn Care Month in Warsaw & Syracuse

It’s April in Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN and it’s time to think about your lawn fertilization needs.  Is your lawn full of weeds and crabgrass?  Is your grass just not as green as you would like it to be?  We can help.

Here are some facts about lawns that people find interesting:

  • Lawns trap more than 12 million tons of dust and dirt annually.
  • Turfgrass, like that found in your Warsaw & Syracuse lawns, is much cooler than asphalt or concrete and acts as an air conditioner for surrounding areas.  Your Warsaw lawn could be 22 degrees cooler that your driveway.
  • Healthy grass has many miles of roots that hold your soil and filter rain water.
  • A 50×50 ft. lawn in Warsaw, IN or Syracuse, IN releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing carbon dioxide and other nitrates.
  • People in Warsaw, IN find stress relief and healing when interacting with nature or even just viewing nature on a computer screen.

Time To Get Your Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN Lawn Ready For Summer

Want Your Lawn To Look Like This in 2017?  If you live in Warsaw, Winona Lake or Syracuse then we can help you achieve the lawn of your dreams.

WLM, Inc. offers Lawn Fertilization Programs to hundreds of homeowners in Warsaw, Syracuse, Winona Lake, Leesburg, and surrounding Lakes.  We are having some tremendous results with our Organic Based Lawn Fertilization Programs.

Give us a season and watch the results of our program.  The products we use on your lawn are not only “top shelf” fertilizers, but we have a great Technician that truly cares about how your lawn looks.  Applying lawn fertilizers is not all the same and neither are the products.

Fall Fertilization Is Most Important For Your Warsaw & Syracuse Lawn

The final application of the season is the most important if you want to have a nice looking lawn next spring for your Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN lawns.  The winterizer application is a quick release fertilizer that is designed to be absorbed quickly into the root system of the plant so that it has plenty of food next spring when the lawn wakes up.  Why is this so important?  Weeds in your lawn wake up earlier than your grass or lawn.  If the weeds wake up sooner and start germinating and growing before the lawn and become stronger, they will begin to take over the healthy lawn and create problems for your grass.  When your lawn is weak, disease and weeds will begin to take over.  There isn’t an instant gratification after applying the final round of fertilizer like instant greening of the lawn, but it is vitally important for your lawns in Warsaw, Syracuse, Winona Lake, Ft. Wayne, Columbia City, Culver, and North Webster.

You Don't Want This In Your Warsaw, In Lawn.

You Don’t Want This In Your Warsaw, In Lawn.

Weed Watch: Featured Weed That Could Be In Your Lawn

black-medicBlack Medic is a low trailing annual weed that is commonly found in lawns that have experienced stress from compacted soils. It resembles clover and is often misdiagnosed in a lawn. It has bright yellow flowers and tree leaflets with the center leaflet on a separate petiole.

Controlling Black Medic in your Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN lawn is best done when the plant is young and growing. The plant germinates in temperatures between 50 F and 75 F which is late spring and early summer for our norther Indiana areas. Of course the best method of control is to have a Lawn Fertilization Company help with your applications throughout the season.

WLM, Inc. can help with all your lawn fertilization needs in Warsaw, Syracuse, Leesburg, North Webster, Culver, Ft. Wayne, and Columbia City.