Check here for important information on lawn care and landscaping in Columbia, IL and the nearby areas!
We would like to announce our new website has been launched! We are very excited about new and existing customers being able to find us online, learn about our services and get in contact with us.
Part of our new website is a blog that we'll be utilizing to provide you with lawn care tips, reminders and other great lawn and landscaping information. We encourage you to join in and comment on our posts with your questions, opinions and requests.
Since we just launched the website, there are many things we'll be adding into the future. When you see or talk to us, let us know what you think! Your feedback is important as we strive to offer the best lawn service possible.
Aerating can help you maintain a healthy lawn when done properly once a year. The act of pushing tine bars into the soil with a special machine allows air and moisture in, improving conditions for roots, plants, and grass. Depending on the type of lawn you have, you can choose solid or hollow tine aeration. Maximize the benefits of aeration by following these guidelines.
Whichever type of aeration you choose, you will be helping your lawn in the following ways:
Aeration is typically done toward the end of the year when you’re ready to reseed. Once you determine what type of soil you have, you can choose the appropriate form of aeration.
Solid-tine aeration punches holes in the ground and removes the cores of soil from the lawn. If you have hard, clay soil, this is the most beneficial type of aeration. It’s easier to break through tough soil during solid-tine aeration. Plus, leaving the hard clay soil cores could make your lawn uneven and create more thatch, so it’s better if these cores are removed.
When holes are punched, and the cores are left on your lawn, this is hollow-tine aeration. Soft and sandy soils benefit...
Dog owners know all too well that their pups love to pee. When outside, they leave their mark on just about anything and everything, especially if it smells like another dog. If you have a dog, then you probably also have dog urine damage on your lawn. These brown spots are left by nitrogen-rich urine. While a small amount shouldn’t hurt your lawn, the amount collected over time can do some damage. If your dog has a certain spot to make daily deposits, these are most likely where you’ll start to see the grass turn brown.
There are ways to prevent your grass from getting burned by Spot’s bathroom breaks. Some options require more attention to your dog’s diet and daily habits:
Other options focus more on the lawn itself:
Soil problems don’t just affect your soil. The soil in your lawn and gardens can influence the health of the plants you grow. Ensure the health of your soil by performing regular tests. There are a number of soil testing kits available at garden supply stores and nurseries, but believe it or not, there are some reliable tests you can perform yourself using your own two hands, household products, or garden tools. Read on to learn more.
Your soil’s pH levels indicate its acidity and alkalinity measurements. Test it by taking two soil samples and mixing them with water to make a muddy mixture. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to one sample, 1/2 cup of water to the second sample, and blend. Then add 1/2 cup of baking soda. If the first sample starts to fizz, your soil is alkaline. Should the second sample have a similar bubbly reaction, it’s acidic. If there’s no reaction at all, your soil is probably neutral.
Test your soil’s drainage by digging a 1′ deep hole and saturate it with water, leaving it overnight. The next morning, fill it again and monitor the length of time it takes to drain. The water level should lower by 1″ to 3″ per hour. Your soil has poor drainage if the water drains faster than 3″ per hour or less than 1″ per hour.
This test determines your soil composition. Take a handful of moist soil and squeeze it.
Late season nitrogen fertilization has been practiced by professionals for some time, but new evidence shows the wisdom of this technique. Late season nitrogen fertilization, sometimes referred to as fall fertilization, has been utilized by turf managers for years. This type of fertility program involves the application of much of the season’s nitrogen during the late season months of September through December.
Late season fertilization has become popular because many of the agronomic and aesthetic advantages attributed to its use supposedly are not realized when spring and/or summer fertilization are practiced. Purported advantages of the late season concept include: better fall and winter color; earlier spring green-up; increased grass shoot density; improved fall, winter, and spring root growth; and enhanced storage of energy reserves (carbohydrates) within the turf plant.
Choosing a Fall Fertilizer analysis similar to a 32-0-10 is your best bet. Be looking for a high number in the front of the analysis and apply when temperatures will stay consistently cooler during the day and at night in the months of September through December.
For those of us without a “green thumb”, growing flowers in outdoor plant beds can be intimidating. In practice, however, it can be a lot easier than you’d imagine if you know tricks that professionals use. Start with a small bed and see how easy it can be!
A well-kept yard and tasteful landscape increases the value of your home and provides a relaxing space to interact with friends and family. A well-maintained landscape around the office buildings and commercial establishments provides a favorable impression to your customers and the community.
With increasing frequency, homeowners and business managers are hiring professional lawn and landscape experts to save time, take away the guesswork, and enhance their investment.
How to hire a landscape professional you might ask? Here are 6 tips on doing so.
As the air cools and summer fades, piles of colored leaves start to fall from trees. Your lawn beckons attention before the snow covers it with a blanket of white. Some lawn projects can be simple like raking on a regular basis or mowing with a vacuum bag style tractor system. Raking, or specifically a lack of leaves allows your lawn to capture more sunlight as the deciduous trees lose their green canopy. Increased sunlight can really help shaded and weak areas capture additional energy to help prepare for the winter. In some cases, this vital time period could be a month or more of growing before slowing to the point of near dormancy with the onset of freezing weather. Any leaves left on the lawn can cause a mulching action by inhibiting sunlight from reaching the leaf blades below. Don’t allow piles of leaves to sit for weeks on end, or the grass underneath will suffer the consequences possibly even leading to damage. Keeping your lawn clean in the fall can really improve the chances of winter survival and minimize damage.
Turf that is left covered with leaves or lots of pine needles face a lack of air, light, and often succumb to ice damage in a weakened state. As simple as raking or leaf removal is, it is very important to all lawns as they approach winter.
Autumn is also a great time harden your lawn off for winter. A wonderful mowing height during the growing season is 3? as a standard. Your mowing height can be lowered as October fades into November. Drop ...
Fall is the best time to overseed a lawn or repair thin or bare areas. The cool nights and mild, shorter days provide the ideal conditions for seed germination. Seed is better able to retain moisture in these conditions and seedlings will thrive without the extreme heat that occurs in the summer months. When seeding your lawn, the two important items to remember are to make sure and establish a seed-to-soil contact and to water the new seedlings regularly.
Establishing a seed-to-soil contact is very important. While simply throwing grass seed out on top of the ground may work, it is vital to work up the area being seeded first. A simple hard rake can be used to scuff up the area and break the ground. Once this is performed, spread the new grass seed on top and rake it in again. A tiller can also be used to break the ground but is not necessary. Lastly, if you core aerate your lawn in the Fall, the plugs that are being pulled out of the ground makes a hole for any new seedlings to fall into. This also establishes seed-to-soil contact.
The last, very important item, to remember after seeding is to water thoroughly. By keeping the seedlings moist, you will ensure seed germination in approximately 14 days. I recommend watering lightly, every day, for 2 weeks. You can then wean the new seedling off of this schedule by watering every other day and even longer stretches in between watering’s after 1 month. Remember, a lawn needs 1” of water per week for established lawns.
Brown Patch is a turf type disease that is running rampant in lawns throughout Southern Illinois this year. What appears to be circular, or even irregular shaped, browning spots in your lawn is probably really a fungus that has developed in your turf. It is caused from over-saturation of turf areas and high night-time temperatures and humidity. The 5 days of constant rain from tropical storm “Bill” this mid June, gave lawns the ugly look of these browning spots.
Products such as fungicides can be applied and help to stop the spreading of the fungus, but often time it is too late. The fungus can literally start and thrive over night and is hard to control unless you are applying a fungicide as a preventative. Re-application of the fungicide should be applied at a 7-28 day interval, but it is important to always read the product label and follow the instructions as every product is different.
Items to remember and to help prevent this outbreak are to water only early in the morning and keep your turf cut a reasonable height. It may take weeks for the damaged turf to recover. Greening of new or existing turf to fill back in the dead looking spots may take time. Many of lawns will need to be core aerated and overseeded in the Fall to help thicken the turf back up.
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