A+ Lawn Care

Mowing your lawn may seem like one of the most mundane and mindless chores you have to perform as a homeowner. When the grass starts getting too high, you drag out the lawn mower, power it up, and chop away at your unkempt lawn, probably thinking that is all that needs to be done. However, in executing this chore without much thought, you may not be aware that you could actually be doing a lot of harm to your lawn. Turns out there are a lot of things to know, including what time of the day is best for mowing, what the settings on your mower should be, and how often to mow. Read this two-part blog to learn how to mow for success! First and foremost, we need to make sure your lawn mower is functioning properly and has the correct settings. It is important to maintain your mower so it is in perfect working order. If you are not sure how to go about this, check online to see if you can find lawn mower maintenance/repair businesses. Not only is maintaining your lawn mower good for the machine itself, but it is also beneficial to your lawn, especially when considering the sharpness of the mower blades. If you think about when you have tried to cut something with a dull pair of scissors, you probably remember that the cut was not very precise. It may have even been more difficult to cut through the material. If you continued to use the dull scissors, you were probably left with an uneven piece that may have even been ruined because of the bad shape of the scissors. The same concept should be applied to your mowing your lawn. When you cut the grass, you want to make sure the blades are able to make a sharp, precise cut. Having dull blades will actually pull at the grass, hurting the grass in the end. Once you are sure your mower is ready for takeoff, check the settings. Many people will be tempted to set the mower so it cuts the grass very low. This is not the best way to mow. The false belief is that by cutting the grass short, you will extend the amount of time between mows. Cutting the plant down to the root in all actuality will cause the grass to grow faster because the grass has to work harder and faster to bring sustenance to the roots by turning sunlight into sugar (also known as photosynthesis). The other downside of causing the grass to work harder is that it will weaken the grass. So instead of having a strong, durable, healthy lawn, you will be creating a weak, brittle, and discolored plant. By making sure your lawn mower is set to “high,” you will be able to attain a beautifully fresh-cut lawn that won’t require an immediate mowing due to rapid growth. Mowing should take place once a week, ideally; however lawn care specialists recommend bi-weekly mows if your lawn has a lot of weed growth. These are the first steps to ensuring a positive and healthy mowing experience for your lawn. Check back to read more about the best time of day to mow, as well as what to do with the clippings.

December 3, 2017

Making Your Landscape Beautiful

Have you been thinking about ways to bring some personality to your landscape? There are simple ways to spruce up your garden area by planting colorful trees and shrubs, but if you are looking to really go the distance in improving the overall aesthetic and financial value of your landscape, consider adding a hexagonal gazebo! Gazebos are becoming more and more sought after with homeowners looking to add an outdoor living space that is not only visually pleasing, but functional as well. Imagine having a place to retreat to after a hard day’s work or on the weekends where you can escape the rat race and soak up the fragrant aromas of surrounding flowers, the serene sounds of birds chirping or perhaps a nearby babbling brook, and take in the vibrant colors that make up your landscape. In addition to having this place to enjoy as your own personal retreat, a hexagonal gazebo would also make a great place to entertain friends and family without having to crowd everyone into a living or dining room. Can you picture it? If you still are not convinced this might be the right choice for you, keep reading! We are positive you will rethink your landscape design and will want to add this great structure to your property! The great thing about hexagonal gazebos is that they are simple. Gazebos themselves are quite traditional, but they also add flair to your landscape. Each landscape requires something that will make it unique, and hexagonal gazebos are just the structure to help you achieve that! In addition to having an exceptional landscape layout, you will also increase the financial value of your property if you ever decide to sell. A beautiful gazebo might just be what a potential buyer wants in order to invest in a new home. In the meantime, you get to enjoy a paradise in your very own backyard. While hexagonal gazebos are in fact hexagonal, they do not have to be a cookie cutter model. In fact, landscaping professionals can help you design a gazebo that will complement your garden and meet all your expectations. You can make the structure your own with the addition of benches, railings, and perhaps even a skylight to enjoy evenings out in the garden. If you want a gazebo you can enjoy even on a rainy day, there is also the option of a canopy top, roofing shingles, or an ornamental cupola. The roofing shingles, if implemented, can be the same shingles used on your home’s roof so you can have matching structures. Another way to accentuate the gazebo and your entire garden area is by adding a lighting system inside and outside the gazebo. Another way to personalize your gazebo is by adding seasonal plants to bring even more color and texture to your landscape. Can you imagine enjoying your morning coffee surrounded by bursts of color and the tranquil sounds of your very own Garden of Eden? If you have a beautiful garden, do not waste it by just enjoying it from afar. A hexagonal gazebo is the perfect structure to allow yourself to be immersed in your landscape. Call your local landscaping professional today so you will not miss another cool summer night enjoying the sights and sounds of your garden.

November 3, 2017

Landscaping 101

When you decide to decorate your landscape with trees and shrubs, there are upsides and downsides. The upside is that your property will have color and texture, and will actually have increased value. The downside is that in order to maintain the beauty and financial worth, those trees and shrubs have to be meticulously attended to on a regular basis. The problem with that is that many homeowners are not confident about their pruning abilities, nor should they be unless they have extensive experience with this particular task. Improper pruning can have serious consequences for the tree or shrub, which is why we highly recommend allowing your landscaping technician to handle the task. However, there are some tips we can offer those of you who just have some minor pruning to undertake. With the right tools and the right techniques, you can help keep your trees and shrubs in perfect health and shape, and in turn, keep your landscape looking spectacular all season long. Okay, yes, pruning CAN be kind of frightening if you do not know what you are doing. But just as with everything else, the better you will get. You may want to start small – perhaps practice your pruning technique on a small indoor tree or even a more resilient outdoor shrub. The idea is to train on a plant that will not suffer greatly if you overdo it, which can easily happen. A properly pruned plant is a healthy plant, so you want to learn as much as you can about the art form. So what is the purpose of pruning? Of course there is the aesthetic appeal. You want your trees and shrubs to look nice and complement your landscape and overall property. However, pruning has several beneficial effects on the plant itself. When you prune your plant, the flow of water and nutrients throughout the plant’s vascular system is greatly improved. It also allows thriving areas of the plant to receive the most moisture and sustenance while those areas of the plant that are not performing very well are removed, no longer taking away from the healthy parts of the plant. It is impossible to articulate different methods because each plant is unique and the approach is also unique. But what we can recommend is that you employ the best tools for the job. Landscaping experts stress the importance of not utilizing cheap tools. While they may be more expensive, high quality pruning shears, loppers, saws, and hand pruners are an advantage and should be considered an investment in the overall well-being of your landscape. Tools that are sturdier are going to stay sharp for an extended amount of time, and will also deliver a more precise and healthy cut. Higher quality pruners and shears will also last for an extended amount of time, so the higher price you pay may seem a lot initially, but you will not have to keep replacing the pruners and shears. Now that you have high quality tools, make sure to keep them sharp. The sharper a pruning tool, the less stress your hands and arms will undergo when trying to cut through thicker branches. A sharpened tool will also deliver a healthier cut. While pruning is advantageous to a plant, it is still a small trauma from which the tree or shrub must heal. If you think about a cut on our own skin, one that is “clean” will heal better than if the cut were caused by something jagged and rusty. There would be an increased risk of infection and it would probably result in an unappealing scar. The same thinking goes for a tree or shrub. The cleaner the cut, the faster the plant will heal, and the less likely there will be any scarring. Last but not least, keep your pruning tools clean. As with any tool, you want to make sure it is free from debris and gunk. However, it is also important to clean the blades prior to starting on another tree or shrub. Again, using ourselves as an example, if a surgeon is going to operate on a different patient, he will not use the same tools because they can spread disease and bacteria. The same thinking applies with pruning tools because each tree or shrub has its own unique make up of bacteria. In addition, if the plant has a disease you are not aware of, you can transmit that disease to another ornamental by using sheers that have not been properly cleansed. Landscape technicians recommend wiping the blades with rubbing alcohol to eliminate any bacteria. You will also want to make sure you clean them well before putting them away after your pruning is complete.

October 4, 2017