Planning improves the value of landscape care...Proper maintenance addresses the need for changes or improvements.
Before purchasing grounds care services, take a look at any ways in which the needs of your property are likely to change during the coming year. Also, consider any improvements you might want to make. Here are some things you may want to consider before finalizing a maintenance agreement:
If new construction is planned on your property, will damage or disruption to the existing landscape be repaired? If yours is an older landscape, does the agreement include a plan for the gradual rejuvenation of your property? Will particular problems from last season be corrected during the year ahead?
Timing is critical...Be sure that these time-sensitive issues are addressed in your agreement:
Will your grass be mowed regularly (at least once per week) to maintain lawn health and beauty? Will beds be cleaned up and edged on a regular basis? Will ornamentals be pruned and shaped when necessary? Is a schedule of fertilization and weed, insect and disease controls included to promote ongoing lawn, tree and shrub health?
Other items that may need to be addressed:
Maintaining your property in top form while delivering the best value requires careful planning and ongoing cooperation. Working together, we can minimize unforeseen surprises.
While you plan...Bear in mind that your landscape will be another year older too. As your plantings mature, their maintenance needs change. Your program of care should not remain static, but rather attempt to reflect the current requirements of your property. Equipment, material and labor considerations will also have an impact on your program and its cost. All of these areas require and deserve your careful consideration.
Diseases are a serious and persistent threat...In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about diseases attacking our lawns, trees and shrubs. However, when conditions favor the spread of disease, damage can and will occur quickly to host plants. Considering the investment you’ve made in your landscape, a regular program of inspection and preventative treatment is advised to help your plantings stand up to any potential diseases.
Fungus is the biggest cause of disease...Fungus disease symptoms include: powdery residue; fluffy mold growth; dark, pinpoint-sized spots; or slimy pustules on plant leaves or grass blades.
Bacteria, viruses and nematodes are also to blame...Bacteria may cause a range of symptoms similar to those caused by fungi. They often produce a slimy residue on affected plant parts.
Nematodes are colorless roundworms that damage plants by feeding on roots, leaves, flowers or stems. If nematodes are feeding on plant roots, the plant may grow poorly, or the roots may be stunted, browned or have many swellings (root knots). Nematodes cause brown patches on leaves when feeding on them.
Viruses may cause many symptoms, including: color changes such as yellow rings; irregular patches or spots; growth changes such as curled or twisted leaves; or stunted plants or fruit.
Controlling disease...In addition to chemically treating infected plants, we’ll use the following disease prevention practices:
Responsible disease control...Since plants may fail to thrive and decline or even die for many reasons, it is essential to determine the cause of the problem before proceeding with control measures. It would be wasteful and futile to spray a fungicide for a problem caused by insect feeding, air pollution or some other non-fungal cause. We’re trained to identify most common causes of trouble so that we can identify the most effective form of treatment possible.
Traffic control affects property appearance...Have you been noticing a lot of “off-road” use, or pedestrian and vehicle traffic, on your property? If so, you could be facing four basic problems: 1) turfgrass wear, 2) soil compaction, 3) soil displacement, and 4) soil removal or divots. Of these, turfgrass wear and soil compaction are the most common results of excessive traffic.
How traffic turns beautiful turf into hard-pan trails of bare soil Any continued, direct pressure on turf tends to crush the leaves, stems and crowns of the grass plants. This damage is increased by the scuffing and tearing action that accompanies particularly heavy traffic.
The mechanical pressure of applied traffic also results in soil compaction. Compaction is the pressing together of soil particles into a more dense soil mass. This configuration of the soil severely restricts air and water movement. Even though compaction takes place within only two or three inches of the soil surface, it can adversely affect turfgrass performance and recovery potential.
Taking control of traffic by creating patterns that please...Walkways are the simplest form of traffic control, and varying the width of walks creates interest. Gentle curves and subtle changes in direction will direct traffic and also help create a more attractive and interesting landscape. The use of ornamental plants, hedges and shrubs to redirect traffic can also help while they enhance the natural beauty of your property.
Vehicle traffic control sometimes requires stronger measures. For example, it can take a large boulder or substantial barricade to communicate effectively with the drivers of semi tractor-trailers.
Efforts to maintain an attractive appearance on any heavily used property must deal with traffic control to be successful. No turf can absorb continuous intensive traffic and remain healthy.
Consider a different surface...When confronted with an area where the traffic flow is so intensive and continuous as to make it impossible to maintain turf, alternate wear-tolerant surfaces should be installed. Depending on the location and surrounding landscape, these can include concrete, composition rubber, asphalt, wood chips, pine needles, sand, fine stone, brick or gravel. The alternate surface should be capable of tolerating the anticipated traffic, have a minimum maintenance requirement, and complement and unify other aspects of the landscape.
Planning for lawn repairs...All lawns need some repair from time to time to ensure continued, healthy growth. And the first step in creating a lawn repair plan is to survey your turf. We’ll definitely want to take action if we notice any of the following problems:
What steps can we take?...Lawn repair takes many forms. Depending on the condition of your turfgrass, we may recommend one of the following:
Core aeration: Core aeration, or removing plugs of soil from your lawn, will hasten thatch decay, encourage roots to grow thicker and deeper, and create more room for air, water and fertilizer to penetrate the soil.
Core aeration with overseeding: Combining core aeration with overseeding can thicken up a thin lawn, or add a more hardy, drought-resistant variety of grass to your property.
Slice seeding: Slice seeding deposits seed directly into the soil rather than spreading it out over the thatch layer (where it may not get a chance to sprout). This results in excellent germination rates and thicker growth.
Sod removal and replacement: If your lawn has severe grub damage or extremely heavy thatch, all existing turf may need to be removed, followed by reseeding or resodding.
Remember, the condition of your lawn directly affects your property’s curb appeal. Keeping your lawn thick, green and healthy will enhance the beauty and overall value of your property. With regular inspections and maintenance, we can help your turf look its very best.
Consider an automatic irrigation system for improved lawn health...With an automatic irrigation system, you can rest assured that your turf is getting the right amounts of water at the right times. An automatic irrigation system is probably less costly than you might imagine, and the beautiful, more healthy lawn it can help to produce will justify the money you spend having it installed and maintained. Depending on the size and irrigation requirements of your property, automatic systems can be custom-designed to match your budget and needs.