Your landscaping is one of the show pieces of your home. Naturally you want it to look as good as possible, but ideally you don’t want to have your entire summer consumed by lawn maintenance. If your lawn is difficult to manage, or if you have difficulty with weeds or brown spots, you might need the help of a lawn care company. By helping you implement a number of strategies for caring for your Chicago lawn, you can achieve a healthy-looking lawn and spend less time taking care of it.
When you are hiring a landscaping company there are a couple of things that you want to do before you begin. It’s important that you understand what you’re looking for before you begin. You should be clear about exactly what kinds of strategies you’re open towards, whether it is trying out new fertilizers, implementing an underground irrigation system or allowing the lawn care company to do a total overhaul on the way you manage your yard. You should take stock of your current situation, and determine exactly what problems you want to solve so that when the estimator shows up you can get the most out of him.
You might also want to set a budget for this. Upgrading your lawn can seriously improve the value of your property, so in some ways you can look at it as an investment. Additionally, once you have implemented a new system for taking care of your lawn, you might be freeing yourself up and saving a lot of time. But even if you are looking to the future, you still need to know how much you can afford to spend today. Draft up a budget to prevent yourself from overspending.
When you begin your search for a great lawn care company, try to find a company that is willing to work on a yard of any size. Whether you have a huge backyard that you’re looking to transform into a kind of urban sanctuary or you simply want to make your small yard grow consistently green grass all summer long, the company should be able to help you.
Always make sure to get multiple quotes before you make any final decisions. The more free estimates you get, the more information you can get about the state of your lawn. You can learn a lot just from talking to a contractor about how they would help you improve your yard. You will also get a feel for the type of people that you will be working with. Try to choose a company that demonstrates a sensitivity to your specific needs and seems to be listening to your feedback about what you want to do with your backyard. If you’re looking for landscaping companies in Chicago, you’ve come to the right place. We are a storehouse of local native landscaping information.
Everyone has a passion and mine is creating a beautiful, green product. With utilizing the latest technology in irrigation, we can co-create a water saving beautiful product. A beautiful product is firstly defined by what your wants and needs are. That is where I have created my success. My customer testimonials have always commented on my personable character and how I pay attention to the details demanded in each unique situation. I love to work with people and you will see this evident in my dealings with you. I won’t leave your job until we are both satisfied that the vision that was created has been met.
Answers to common landscape problems in Illinois:
One of the questions we have had a few times over the last few weeks is how to deal with weeds in the flower beds mid-season. So here is some quick advice on how to save some time and be more effective. Spend your time pulling out the big weeds that allow you to get the roots as well.
For bigger weeds that are harder to pull use a simple garden spade to loosen the ground around the weed. Spray smaller and grassy weeds that are hard to get the roots spray them with a weed killer that will dry them up. Rack out all the dried up weeds and spray all remaining weeds.
Make sure to wear gloves but if you don’t have gloves another gardening secret is to rub you nails across a soap bar before you start and wash the soap out when your done!Hope this helps you out and share it with a friend!
Today I want to challenge the norm and ask a question. Does it really make sense to fertilize your lawn during the summer. We all know the deal we want a thick green lawn that makes the neighbors wonder what magic potion we used. So obviously that means we need to fertilize. Have you ever wondered why you get the note saying to hurry up and water your lawn after the application? During the excessive heat of the summer your lawn is going through a lot of stress just trying to stay alive and green.
When you apply a traditional fertilizer it forces your lawn to go into growth mode rather then survival mood. This causes a ton of stress for your lawn thus the higher water requirements. At the same time you also have weeds like crabgrass that love this quick release nitrogen fertilizer and will actively adsorb it quicker than the lawn causing them to thrive. So the educated person has to ask is it really that smart to do this? What are my options?
First you want to take a look at what your lawn really needs. Second think about the results you are looking for. Your lawn wants to have less stress and keep moist. I believe most people want to have a green lawn as long as possible during the summer.
Your lawn is a living thing that will take specific measures to conserve energy, nutrients and moisture when it begins to feel stressed. The Turf-Soother will not only reduce the impact of summer stress on turf it will continue to build a healthy lawn and encourage green growth.
Most of our clients that switch to our organic lawn care program don’t have issues in fact they experience a deeper green color and the lawn starts to thicken. However there is potential problems that can happen when switching to an organic approach.
One of those potential problems is the lawn can actually start to have the adverse affect of looking stressed, brown, and or show signs of a disease like brown spot. Not to worry this is a fix able problem! This comes from the lawn having been on a steady diet of chemical fertilizer and now is no longer capable of producing its own nitrogen.
Your lawn is like a drug addict with out its next fix. Without getting into what chemical fertilizer does to your lawns ability to produce natural nitrogen basically you need to assist your lawn in the transition with an extra boost. We use a slow release organic granular product that will help supplement the program for our clients having trouble in the first year.
More on Weeds
There are other problems with weeds. Weeds love thin lawns with lots of sun that are cut low. When you switch to an organic lawn care program you are no longer blanketing your lawn over and over again with all the chemicals used by traditional lawn care programs. Which means now you have to really take a close look at what your lawn needs to win the battle with weeds. Are you mowing high? Do you have bare spots you need to spot seed? Do you need to thicken up the lawn in the fall. The best defense against weeds is thick grass! You want to win the war; not just the battle. Some great products we use for spot treating weeds are Fiesta and Adios. These are completely safe for your kids and pets but also show great results.
In some cases it might be necessary to take a few steps back to take a leap forward. If the lawn had lots of weeds to begin with or shows lots of weed growth due to thin turf you might need to do what we call a rescue treatment. With a rescue treatment we are going to use a traditional chemical weed control to knock out the weeds with the goal of maintaining a chemical and weed free lawn moving forward.
This article is partly about how you can save money and get better results from managing the watering your lawn, as that information is central to your overall landscaping plan.
- Water only when it has not rained and your lawn needs it.-Rain is a great source of water for your lawn. So always keep in mind to water only when your lawn needs it
Water deeply once a week not a little everyday.
- Your lawn only needs about an inch of water once a week to stay healthy. Giving your lawn an inch of water in one setting will cause your roots to go deeper into the soil. Deep roots help keep your lawn thick,healthy and from competing with weeds.3. Always try to water your lawn in the early morning or evening.
- Watering in the early morning is the best time to water because any left over water will be evaporated into the soil. After noon is the worst time to water because most of your water will be evaporated. Evening is the second best time to water the lawn with the only issue being the water can stay in the lawn over night which could lead to disease.
Problems with Ivy
Recently I was talking to one of our clients Sarah about her ground ivy. Sarah bought a new house last year and like most older homes in the south Chicago area it has ground ivy everywhere! Ground ivy has its perks, for instants it can fill areas your unsure what to do with and cover that tough to mow hill side. Ivy is one of those things that can take over before you know it.
In Sarah’s case the ivy is starting to grow into the lawn and up the wall. Sarah was talking about how she wants to have a modern look to her landscape rather then all the ivy. As most of us she has tried to remove it. We decided to deal with it in a few ways. Leaving the ivy in the back but edging it with a trimmer to keep it from coming into the lawn. You can also trim over the top of the ivy to keep it looking even.
Removal of Ivy
With the ivy around the house we have decided to remove it to install a more modern landscape. When it comes to the removal of ground ivy you will hear all kinds of things but I only speak from experience of what we know works from trial and error.
First you want to start by removing the vines if you do it right with a spade shovel you can almost get it to roll up like carpet. You want to start with the spade going in a back and forth motion under the ivy well rolling the ivy forward Chopping out as many roots as possible.
Stick with me here we are almost there! Next we want to chop out remaining roots. Cover the area with round up. Do not get this on your lawn .
Once you have done this I would advise adding several inches of fresh top soil over the area.Keeping the ivy out: Nothing works better to keep out ivy then thick grass. Seeding over the new top soil with quality grass seed will work great and be easy to maintain. I recommend covering your new grass seed with leaf compost and watering three times a day till the seed has grown three inches.
In Sarahs case we will also be installing some new plants and watching the area carefully.
Using a dull mower blade will shred the tips of the blades of grass as opposed to making a clean cut even cut. This can immediately cause the color of the lawn to decrease in quality and make the lawn extremely vulnerable to disease. Sometimes it makes sense to pick a couple of blades of grass and look closely at them. If the tips are shredded and brown you have a problem. Envision millions of blades of grass with brown tips! Naturally, the over all color of the lawn as a whole will be affected negatively. Almost one hundred percent of the time you will find leaf spot on a lawn that has been mowed with a dull mower blade.
If you mow you own lawn you should sharpen your blade a few times a season or if you have a mowing company you should make sure they have a regular sharpening process they follow to insure a clean cut!
We did a video recently for our clients about the different kinds of fertilizers. So we wanted to share some of this information. You might find it interesting to learn that there are approximately 50 million acres of grass in the United States. Approximately 21 million of those acres are in our front and back yards. In the united states we use an estimated 80 million pounds of pesticides and 70 million pounds of chemical fertilizer in our lawns each year. This leaves us to ask a question. What are we putting in our lawns? Which brings us to the point of this blog! Below is a quick video or you can read on for a little deeper look.You have your traditional chemical based fertilizers which have various pros and cons.
Advantages of Chemical fertilizer is they can be produced vary fast and generally are very effective.
The Disadvantages are they require much more water or they can burn up your lawn,they increase acidity in the soil, and don’t actually add anything of long term benefit to the soil. These chemicals are generally made as a byproduct of oil and mining; potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous. Synthetic fertilizers contain nitrates derived from ammonia.
Now that leaves us with natural and organic fertilizers. The different options used here are products like bio-solids sewer sludge” which can be very effective but if your like me im not really sure I want that on my lawn! You also have companies that use animal products in various ways as a fertilizer. Other options are compost teas and natural fertilizers.
Natural granular fertilizers is where organics can get a bad rep because most companies simple did a product swap for organic material vs looking at soil biology. These products can just site on the lawn and take forever to break down. In order for these to be effective you have to address what the soil needs and have microorganism to break it down. So make sure you check into which products are being used.
Some other options your seeing more of now days are organic based which have both chemical and products like bio-solids or animal products.