Every gardener knows how frustrating it is to deal with weeds. Just as soon as you think you’ve got a handle on them, a new batch comes up in your plant beds requiring your immediate attention to keep them from spreading further. If you love gardening but hate weeds, there are some effective ways for preventing weeds from growing in your yard.
Autumn is here, and that means winter is well on its way. Once the cold weather hits and stays, your plants will lie dormant until the next growing season. Is your yard ready? Maybe you’re unsure of how to prepare, or maybe you just need some new pointers or a refresher. In any case, these tips will help you achieve optimal botanical success for next spring. Here they are:
Keep It Clean-Cut
Keep your grass blades about 2 1/2 inches high. Mice and moles love long grass under the snow, so letting your lawn grow isn’t the best idea to keep critters out of your yard.
Don’t let leaves pile up on your lawn. Leaves block the sunlight your grass needs to be healthy. (For those of you who hate to rake, a mower with a mulch setting and bag attachment makes things much easier.)
To Make It Look Great, Aerate
Aerating your lawn lets water and nutrients get to the grass’ roots. You can rent an aerator from most home stores, and you really only need it for about half a day depending on the size of your yard.
Apply New Seed
Fall is a great time to seed your lawn so it grows in thick and resists weeds. Use a rotary spreader and apply the seed as recommended. After you seed your lawn, give it some water to make sure the seeds start off well.
Fertilize Your Yard
Autumn is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. (Late fall, around Halloween is the optimal time for applying fertilizer.) Your lawn will get the pre-winter boost it needs to get ready for the cold, and help it for when warm weather returns.
The above tips will help your yard get ready for the cold weather ahead. For more information on winterizing your yard, call Olympic Lawn and Landscape at (816) 875-9645 today.
Imagine your perfect lawn. It might have sculpted and pruned landscaping, maybe a it includes a fountain, or maybe you just want a replica of the field at Kauffman Stadium. No matter what your dream lawn looks like in your mind, there’s one thing it definitely does not have: bare spots. Your ideal lawn is lush and green, and it’s something you may actually want to watch grass grow on.
If your actual lawn does have bare spots, you’re in luck. Olympic Lawn and Landscape is here with tips to make your yard look as much like your dream lawn as possible. Pitcher’s mound not included.
1. Identify the problem.
Brown spots can result from mold, fungus or insect damage. If you identify the problem you’ll be able to specialize and target the correct treatment. If your problem is minor, your local lawn and garden center will have the supplies you need. If you’ve got a major problem, you may have to completely remove the damaged areas to repair them.
2. Prepare the area.
If you need to plant new grass or apply sod, you’ll need to dig out the damaged area about four inches deep. Then fill the area with nutrient-rich top soil. You’ll want the soil to be loose, but void of air pockets. When you water the soil, it will naturally compact, and you can also add more soil.
3. Choose your weapon.
The best weapon to fight against bald spots is more grass in the area. You can install sod or plant new grass seed. Either method is great, but they do have their own advantages and disadvantages. Sod is instant and doesn’t require much care other than watering. Planting seeds requires a little TLC daily until the root system is firmly intact.
You deserve your dream lawn, and bald spots should not be an obstacle. No matter how you choose to get rid of bald spots on your lawn, Olympic Lawn and Landscape can help you every step of the way. Call our expert team at (816) 875-9296 today.
For people who love to get out in the yard for a little landscaping therapy, tilling the ground, planting flowers, mowing or even weeding provides a sense of calm for the mind and some physical activity for the body. For those who don’t love yard work, or are too busy or otherwise unable to handle landscape maintenance chores, we’ve put together a list of tips to cut the time and energy you spend working on your lawn and landscaping. (Even those people who love a little yard work can benefit from these.)
How to Lower Your Lawn Maintenance Time and Energy
Arranging Plants and Other Materials
- Use an edging material to keep your grass and plants growing where you want them to grow, and not where you don’t.
- Use paving or stepping stones for walking paths. Your mailman or the pizza delivery guy won’t necessarily take the time and effort to tiptoe through your garden like a ballerina.
- Add a 2-3″ layer of mulch to control weeds and reduce watering.
Preparing Your Planting Beds
- Be sure to address any drainage or erosion issues before planting.
- Remove or kill weeds and grass before you plant.
- While tilling the soil may not be completely necessary, few plants will grow under compacted soil.
Proper Plant Selection
- Use plants that grow to the size you want them to at maturation. Doing so will eliminate the need for constant sheering.
- Consider using trees that don’t drop fruit and also have small leaves so you don’t have to clean up after them all the time.
- Reduce the number of annual plants needed. By reducing annuals, you eliminate the need for re-planting every year.
Always Be Prepared
The number one tip for reducing landscaping maintenance we can give is to have a plan. Whether your plan is a professional one or something you come up with on your own, you can eliminate redundant work. By setting a proper sequence you’ll avoid problems in the future.
Olympic Lawn and Landscaping is proud to offer quality lawn and landscaping services to the Kansas City area. For more information about reducing the time you spend doing yard work, or for help with a professional plan of action, call us at (816) 875-9296 today.
Grasshoppers tend to take over our gardens in the summer time and they’ll eat just about anything. If they’re becoming an issue, robber flies could be your answer. Robber flies attack and feed on grasshoppers, so add plants that attract robber flies such as marigolds and sunflowers.
These look similar to big, green caterpillars but have a distinctive “horn”. It doesn’t take many of these to eat up the leaves on your tomato plants, so grab them and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. You don’t have to worry about them stinging or biting.
These beetles are relatively large and are a nightmare for your rose bushes. You may see them elsewhere in the garden, but roses are their favorite. Spray them with an insecticidal soap to stop them.
Leaf miners are small worms that burrow tunnels through the leaves. This causes leaves to look as if someone drew squiggly lines with a white crayon all over the leaves. These don’t cause much damage except for in the worse cases. Simply pluck any affected leaves.
Don’t be confused by the name, this pest is actually a caterpillar. They also feed in spring by attaching the leaves of fruit trees and creating large holes. To rid winter moths, apply sticky traps around your fruit trees.
You’ll typically see slugs on cool, rainy days and nights. It’s hard to control slugs too because they lay several eggs at a time (3-40). A trick to help rid slugs is with beer. They will seek a hide out when the sun comes out, so leave a partially filled beer can pushed into the soil. Depending how big your garden, you may want to do a few to make sure you knockout several slugs.
Powdery mildew isn’t exactly a pest problem, but it is a very common plant disease. This disease makes your plants look as though they have been sprinkled with gray or white powder. Powdery mildew causes leaves to experience spotting and eventually will turn yellow and die. This mostly affects fruit trees and roses. Prune out the affected leaves and hose down your plants with a forceful spray of water.
Common lawn patterns include striping, checkerboard, circle pattern and waves. Cutting these patterns into your lawn can be a simple way to bring interest and curb appeal to your grass.
For a professional looking lawn, try these lawn striping tips:
For a straight pattern
Begin by mowing the entire perimeter of your lawn 2 or 3 times around. Next, mow your first “stripe” down the widest point in your lawn to be your line of sight. Complete by continuing to align straight stripes paralleled to the first one.
For a checkerboard pattern
Similar to the striping pattern, cut the perimeter 2 or 3 times to begin. Next, you’ll mow your first stripe and align stripes with the original. Then, create a second line of sight going at a 90 degree angle against the others. Align stripes again for a checkerboard appearance.
After mowing the perimeter, start in one corner of the lawn and mow by facing towards the center. Be sure your angles are consistent when going diagonally.
-In preparation, remove any rocks, fallen branches and sticks, debris or toys from your lawn. Also be sure to wear sturdy shoes that are properly tied.
-Always be sure the blade is sharp enough so no damage is done to the grass.
-Overlap slightly (6 inches) each time you change directions after completing a line
-When turning your mower, try to do so off of the lawn as not to damage it. The driveway or sidewalks are great to turn on.
For lawn care services and lawn mowing, Olympic Lawn & Landscape are your lawn care experts! Call us today at 816-875-9296.
Dollar spot is a lawn disease caused by fungal pathogens and causes your lawn to spot in clusters. While it doesn’t affect the roots of the grass, it certainly causes an unattractive browning on the tissues of the grass.
This disease typically occurs in early summer and can be identified by round, tan spots in clusters in the lawn. The cause comes from extended dew periods that helps mycelial grow and become more active. This disease can then be spread by infected blades while mowing your lawn or doing other types of lawn care.
In order to avoid Dollar Spot disease in your lawn, water your lawn early in the morning so you’re not contributing to longer dew periods. You also want to keep your soil rich in nitrogen by applying fertilizer regularly during mid-summer.
Lawn rust is also caused by a lack of nitrogen in the soil and typically occurs during late summer or early fall. This can be identified by an over all yellow or brown color in your lawn and gives off a dusty, rust residue.
A lack of nitrogen in the soil can occur when your lawn hasn’t been watered deeply or frequently enough. It can also occur if you’re cutting your lawn too short.
To rid or avoid lawn rust, mow less often or with a higher blade height. Also be sure to mow your lawn weekly with about an inch of water.
Powdering mildew typically occurs in the shady areas of your lawn and can occur all season long. Powdery mildew is easy to detect because of its powdery look that creates a felt-like surface on blades of grass.
This disease thrives on cool temperatures and low sunlight, hence its location in the shady areas of your lawn.
To solve this lawn issue, prune your trees and try to minimize their coverage of your grass. If it’s not possible to control the shade in your lawn, chemical control techniques may be necessary to eliminate powdery mildew and prevent it from returning.
For more information on keeping your lawn healthy this season, call Olympic Lawn & Landscape today!
Take a few minutes to follow these 10 steps to sharpen your mower’s blade for a cleaner cut:
1. Disconnect the spark plug wire in order to prevent the lawn mower from accidentally starting.
2. Drain out all of the gas from the mower.
3. Tip the mower so its lying on it side. Clamp a piece of wood to the deck to keep the blade from moving.
4. Use a socket or wrench to remove the blade from the mower(If it’s too tight, spray on some lubricant.)
5. Place the blade in a vice to make sharpening easier.
6. Begin sharpening the blade by running a metal file along the edge. Keep the file at a 40 to 45 degree angle against the blade. (To be sure, check manufacturer information for the exact angle.)
7. Continue moving the file in short, smooth strokes in the direction of the cutting edge. Count the same number of strokes on each side of the blade to keep it balanced.
8. If there is extensive damage to the blade, use a bench grinder to sharpen the blade. Move the blade in a back and forth motion against the wheel of the grinder.
9. Use a balancer to ensure the balance of the blade. If you don’t own a balancer, place the blade on a wooden dowel to see if it lies flat. If it tilts, file the side that doesn’t tilt up until it is able to lie flat.
10. Clean off old grass clippings under the mower before attaching the blade. Then, reinstall the blade carefully and securely.
For more information on lawn care and keeping your lawn healthy, contact your local experts at Olympic Lawn & Landscape today at 816-875-9296.
The problem with restoring these areas may be that the dead grass isn’t decaying fast enough for your grass to grow back naturally. Below are some steps you can take to restore those areas of your lawn.
First, with the help of a rake or perhaps a shovel, remove the dead grass as much as possible. When doing so, only remove the top part of the soil and avoid digging too deep in order to reuse the soil. Go ahead and dispose that dead grass.
Next, spread grass seed across the area. If you’re unsure of the type of grass in your lawn, you can typically take a sample of the grass to your local hardware store where it can be matched. It may also be helpful to purchase dirt if the area is large.
Sprinkle the area with the seed thoroughly on the formerly dead area. If the area is no larger than 6 inches, feel free to sprinkle the seed until you can no longer see the dirt.
Next, spread the dirt evenly across the top, but not too thick. About half an inch of dirt will be plenty. Once this is done, it’s time to water the grass. Don’t overdo it so that the dirt and seeds are washed away, but be sure the area gets plenty of water.
Depending on the end-of-summer climate, I recommend you water the area twice each day. If the area does not completely dry in between, then only water the areas once each day.
Be sure to keep away that will damage the growth of the new grass such as lawn furniture or pets. After a few weeks you should be able to notice some green sprouts on your lawn.
For more information about restoring dead spots in your lawn or maintaining its beauty, contact your local experts at Olympic Lawn and Landscape at 816-875-9296.
A perfect lawn is one that meets the owner’s aesthetic value and style at the same time conforming to the environmental requirements of the user. However, establishing or maintaining a perfect lawn that serves best your purpose requires you to perform various tasks. Those who have been able to keep beautiful lawns especially in golf courses attribute their success to adhering to the secrets behind a perfect lawn which include:
Mowing the lawn
Frequent cutting of your grass makes it grow thick and hence leaving no space for weeds to grow. However, cutting the grass in a lawn too short is likely to raise the maintenance costs as it requires more water and herbicides. The mowing height depends on the species of grass used, although we generally recommend cutting a third of the height of the grass. Consider the following facts when undertaking this task on the lawn:
· The blades of the mower used should be sharp enough to prevent grass from damage caused by blunt blades which makes it vulnerable to diseases
· Mowing during wet seasons is likely to reduce soil aeration and make the roots unable to breath which could lead to dead patches in the lawn
Irrigating the lawn
One of the common problems that occur with a majority of homeowners is over watering the lawn.
This promotes development of weak shallow roots and of course, wastes a lot of water. A sprinkler works best for people who have no in-ground system of irrigation and this activity should be conducted in a controlled manner. Watering should be done early in the morning, as carrying out this task at night may encourage the buildup of diseases.
Distribute the fertilizer on the grass evenly to promote uniform growth using hand held fertilizer spreader for your lawn. The organic fertilizers tend to work slowly as they take more time to break down and dissolve in the soil. The synthetic fertilizer is more effective and in most cases costs less as compared to the natural one. The choice on the type to use is dependent on the users’ preference, though they should stick to the type that they first use as mixing the natural and synthetic fertilizers gives impacts negatively on your lawn.
Growing thick grass on your land is the ultimate control method for both weeds and pests. Herbicides are usually applicable when other methods have failed and they can be used to control weeds and even prevent their seeds from germinating.
For more information about lawn care or the best way to maintain your landscape, contact Olympic Lawn & Landscape today at 816-875-9296.