How To Care For Your Holiday Poinsettias

holiday poinsettias

Over 34 million poinsettias are sold each year making it the highest-selling flowering plant in the United States accounting for upwards of $144 million in revenue. For the curious out there, Easter Lilies are in a distant second place with $22 million dollars in sales. Let’s face it—the holidays just aren’t the same without these beauties strategically placed in our homes and communities.

Many holiday enthusiasts are confused, however, about the best way to care for their holiday Poinsettias. The idea that poinsettias are hard to care for is a myth. You can add these festive beauties to your holiday décor, and if you keep them protected and well-watered, you’re likely to tap into their beauty for years to follow.

Here’s how to keep your poinsettias looking great through the holiday season.

Poinsettia Tips and Tricks To Make The Season Bright

Types of Poinsettias – Poinsettias are not popular because of flowers as much as their leaves. The poinsettias leaves are most commonly red, which is the most popular color. It can also be found in vaious shades of white and pink, including salmon, apricot, yellow, cream and pure white. New poinsettia color varieties are introduced yearly, and some are even enhanced by dyes.

Choosing the Right Poinsettia – Pay attention to where the poinsettias are located in the store or nursery you are shopping at. If they are near the door and your area has been cold lately, they might have already been damaged by the cold temps.

Next, check out the soil. It should be neither soaked nor dry. Also, check out the state of the leaves, choosing one with leaves that are not showing signs of wilting. Finally, be sure to keep your poinsettia protected from the elements during its transport home.

Indoors Vs. Outdoor Poinsettias – Whether your holiday plants can be kept outside depends on where you live and how your winter is going. Poinsettias can handle temps in the range of 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If they are exposed to extreme drops in temperature, they will first wilt and in most cases die. For best results, keep your poinsettia in a warm room and mist it daily.

Watering Your Poinsettias – It’s hands-down, the most commonly asked poinsettia question: How often do you water a poinsettia? And the answer is not complicated—if the soil is dry to touch or some of the leaves are beginning to droop, your holiday plant needs water. An important and often overlooked poinsettia care tip is that you should never let your poinsettia sit in standing water. Be sure to drain the bottom after watering.

Lighting – Your poinsettia will need limited daylight with no more than ten hours daily. Keep them in a dark space after 5 p.m. until early hours of the morning for 8-10 weeks starting in early October.

Longevity of Poinsettias – A common question poinsettia fans ask is if their poinsettia will re-bloom next year. The answer is yes. The chances are good that your holiday plants will re-bloom next year, but with a caveat, you have to do the work to keep them healthy. Keep these tips in mind and you may have poinsettias for many years to come. When cared for properly, poinsettias usually will outlast your desire to keep them!

The History Behind Poinsettias

The poinsettia plant is native to Central America where it was used by the Aztecs for decorative and medicinal purposes. Contrary to popular belief, it is not poisonous. The Aztecs also considered the red color a symbol of purity and incorporated Poinsettias into religious ceremonies. In Mexico and Guatemala, the poinsettia is referred to as the “Flower of the Holy Night.” Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, an American botanist, introduced the plant in 1828.

As the holidays near, the finishing touches on your home décor might require a few poinsettias. They even make a wonderful host or hostess gift if you are visiting friends and family this holiday!

Our Spring Green team is here to help you throughout the holidays and all year-round, whatever your lawn, tree and/or pest care needs may be.

How to Protect Your Home from Insects This Winter

When we think of bug problems, we often think of summer with its mosquitos, ticks, fleas, ants and bees, but winter insect control is needed too. Keeping your home free of insects during cold weather is almost more important than during warmer months because your time is spent primarily indoors when things get frosty outside.

Learn about common winter pests and how you can stay bug-free throughout the chilly season.

Answering Your Top Questions About Winter Pest Control

  • What winter insects should I be worried about? The type of bugs to worry about during the winter months can vary from region to region. Here are some that are annoying just anywhere you hang your hat. The most common winter bugs are Indian Meal Moths and Carpet Beetles. Indian Meal Moths are found in kitchens and pantries. They’re especially attracted to grain and cereal products. Carpet Beetles seek food sources like silk, leather, wool, fur and hair. Carpet Beetles are commonly found in carpets, furniture, pillows, blankets and clothing.
  • What can I do to prevent a bug problem this winter? In all areas of pest control, prevention is the best strategy. A few simple steps can help you avoid a winter insect problem entirely:
    • Fill in cracks – Let’s face it—over time, cracks in the foundation of your home happen. Those cracks create portals for bugs to make the crossover into your home. This simple step can create a defense against unwanted visitors.
    • Clean up debris – Keeping the outdoor area of your home tidy may become less of a priority during winter with more indoor gatherings, but ensure to make time to clean up flower beds or anything covering your lawn. Winter insects find breeding grounds in your lawn’s debris, then make the easy trip into your home.
    • De-fruit your fruit trees – Most of the bounty from your fruit-bearing trees was consumed over the summer or fall months, but if not, that fruit could be attracting insects that can easily make an entrance into your home. Clean up the fruit from your trees to keep the pests away this winter.
    • Use window screens and seal doors – Cracking the windows during winter to let some cool airflow through is a common practice, especially when the heater is operating at full blast. Feel safe to air your home out as needed by ensuring you’re protected with window screens to keep out unwanted guests. It’s also an easy fix to check doors that need to be sealed. These do-it-yourself efforts can keep your home free from annoying bugs all year round.
    • Check shipped packages and shoes at the door – ‘Tis the season to get lots of packages at the door, but don’t let your delivered packages bring additional baggage from the outdoors. It’s also a good idea to institute a “boots off” policy to avoid the possibility of winter insects entering your home on footwear.

By following a simple list of do-it-yourself tasks, you may be able to help mitigate a bug problem. However, insects can still infest your home during the cold months of winter. To ensure you’re taking all precautions, learn about our pest control services and schedule an appointment today.

Fall Maintenance: Winterizing Your Lawn and Landscape

As fall gradually gives way to winter, it’s time to focus on winterizing your lawn and landscape. Properly winterizing your lawn and equipment is essential for long-lasting tools and a greener, fuller yard next year.

Follow these six steps before the winter hits to extend the life and efficiency of your lawn equipment, better prepare your yard for a harsh winter season and limit your likeliness of weeds next spring when the growing season resumes.

How to winterize your lawn and landscape

1. Provide complete fall maintenance for your lawn

In preparation for winter, your lawn’s root system continues to grow during the fall season. Just as growth above the ground requires proper nourishment, so does the growth beneath the surface. Late fall fertilization will help your lawn improve root growth and build up its strength to endure the upcoming winter months. Nutrients will also be stored by the root system to provide for a quicker “green-up” the following spring.

There may still be a few weeds that can be controlled in the fall, too. If you gradually lower your mowing height toward the very end of the season, you will reduce the tan or brown portion of the grass blades and the chances for diseases, such as snow mold.

2. Properly winterizing your lawn mower

After you have cut grass for the last time, run the engine out of gas so that it’s empty. This is particularly easy if your mower has an inline fuel valve between the tank and the engine.

Whether you do it yourself or take the mower to a local shop, this is also a good time to change the oil and complete any other standard maintenance tasks that your mower requires, such as blade sharpening. Whichever way you choose to get it done, be sure to comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Although you won’t need to do this in the fall or winter, be sure to treat your gasoline with a fuel stabilizer when it’s time to refill the gas can again in the spring. Today’s blended fuels tend to separate over time, which can cause a variety of problems in small engines. After you add treated gasoline to your mower’s tank, be sure to start and run it to circulate the treated gas throughout the engine.

3. Prepare your smaller lawn equipment

Gas-powered trimmers and blowers have smaller engines than lawn mowers, which makes them even more susceptible to problems related to separation, varnish build-up, and other “old fuel” issues. Any fuel left in their tanks should be treated and run through the engine. All lawn equipment should be cleaned and maintained per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

4. Give your lawn and garden hand tools some TLC

Shovels, trowels, garden hoses and such should be cleaned off before you store them for the winter. Use a wire brush to remove caked-on soil and rust and then wipe them down with some motor oil to keep them from rusting again. Unless the handle is varnished wood, it is also a good idea to smooth off any rough spots with sandpaper and wipe them with linseed oil. This will help prevent the wood from drying out and splitting. To maintain garden hoses, disconnect and drain them before storing them indoors.

5. Get your snowblower ready

Was your snowblower serviced before it was put away last spring? Check it out now rather than waiting until the first substantial snowfall before attempting to start it. Besides the engine, inspect common wear parts, such as blades, clutch and belt. Are all the nuts and bolts still in place and properly torqued? The idea is to have your machine ready to go when you need it. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

6. Mark edges and boundaries

Snow has a way of masking where the grass begins along your driveway, sidewalks and curb lines. Adding markers to the edge of your property allows you to see where shoveling and snow blowing should begin and end in order to avoid damaging your lawn. Adding reflective markers along the street line of your property may help road plow operators avoid your lawn.

 

As always, never hesitate to call Spring Green whenever you have questions or concerns about caring for your lawn and landscape. Our team of experts is available before, during and after each growing season.

Fall Pruning Tips: How and When to Prune Trees

 

Keeping up with your yard work on a yearly basis is key to a beautiful lawn and landscape. And knowing when to perform those tasks is even more essential to the health of your yard.

One task that homeowners need to perform annually is pruning trees. Pruning trees not only improves plant health and overall aesthetics but also reduces the amount of dead or brittle branches, enriches tree structure and manages fruit or flower production.

Take advantage of the cool fall weather this season to prune your trees. Before you begin pruning, here are questions to ask yourself.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pruning Trees

Before you start thinking about when to prune trees, making sure you have the right tools for whatever job you’re doing is essential! If you plan to just prune back a few smaller branches or cut back a few perennial plants, a good pair of by-pass pruning shears will do the trick. If you plan to prune branches that are between ½ to 3 inches in diameter, then a pair of loppers is needed. Anything larger than 3 inches should be pruned with a good, sharp pruning saw.

What are you trying to accomplish?

Knowing exactly what you’re trying to accomplish before you begin is a step that should not be overlooked. Are you trying to control the size or shape? Are you pruning to remove limbs that are growing too low or pose a safety concern? Have a game plan ready to go that outlines what trees you need to tackle in your yard and what you want them to look like in the end.

Do you have the right tools?

After all, you can’t prune trees without the proper tools.

If you plan to cut back a few perennial plants or smaller tree branches, use a quality pair of by-pass pruning shears. Branches that are between ½ to 3 inches in diameter will require a pair of loppers. Anything larger than 3 inches needs a sharp pruning saw.

What will you do with the yard waste?

Depending on where you live, there may be a brush pick-up service that will haul away branches and other brush. This may come at an extra charge or be included in your monthly expenses. There may also be a set timeframe on when you can have them removed. Some cities may have rules and regulations homeowners must follow when using waste services, so be sure to research yard waste removal in your city before beginning.

How to Prune Trees

Most of the pruning you do will help the tree grow healthier and maintain a better form. First, look for branches that are crossing each other or are growing into the middle of the tree. Second, find dead branches and twigs. These are the types of branches you will want to remove first.

When making the cut, do not cut in the middle of the branch. Prune just above a growth point, like near a bud, stem or branch. The cut should be made at a 30-to-45-degree angle. Be sure not to cut too much on an angle, too high or directly on top of the bud. The end of the branch will not produce new growth, and eventually, it will die, leaving it open for invasion of wood-decaying organisms.

What if my tree needs major pruning?

If your trees need major pruning, or you are unsure of what needs to be pruned, contact a licensed arborist to assist.

What other ways can I keep my lawn and landscape healthy?

Aside from yearly pruning, it’s important to fertilize your trees and shrubs to provide essential nutrients and protect them from disease-causing insects. At Spring Green, we want to help your lawn look and feel its best so that you can enjoy your yard without worry. Contact us today to learn about the services in your area.

The Only Fall Lawn Care Checklist You’ll Need

When summer comes to a screeching halt, you’ll need to know how to care for your lawn this fall. Spring-Green, with decades of lawn expertise under their belt, put together the only fall Lawn care checklist you need.

Why is Fall Lawn Care so important? That’s a common question homeowners ask us here at Spring-Green. We know it seems like a lot of work before the long, cold winter, but fall lawn care is extremely important, and here’s why. The process for a beautiful, green and lush summer lawn begins in the fall. Autumn is one of the most critical times to execute a lawn care regimen to ensure next summer’s enjoyment of your outside living space.

Before your lawn goes dormant for the winter, you’ll want to follow Spring-Green’s handy checklist to make sure you have a healthy and inviting lawn year-round.

What to know about prepping my lawn for the fall

Rake: Autumn leaves can be pretty and a highlight of the season, but they can wreak havoc on your lawn. Raking and blowing leaves off your lawn is a top priority for any fall lawn care checklist because they can cause problems such as:

  • Preventing your lawn from getting the sunlight and oxygen that it needs to thrive
  • Creating a moist, damp environment that attracts disease, as well as bugs and rodents

With all these unpleasant side effects, the pretty leaves are best removed as soon as possible. An alternative to completely removing the leaves is to mulch them. You can leverage a mulching mower to chop up the leaves and use them as compost for your grass.

Fall Aeration: Scheduling core aeration during your lawn’s growing season in the fall will set you up for success in the spring. Aeration process removes pieces or plugs of soil and deposits them onto the surface of the lawn, which will eventually decompose. Fall core aeration provides plentiful benefits, like:

  • Reducing the incidence of soil compaction
  • Nourishing and encouraging deep and healthy lawn roots
  • Removing thatch layers that can prevent issues
  • Alleviating or eliminating stress caused by summer drought conditions
  • Reducing weeds, thus decreasing or diminishing insect or disease issues
  • Making conditions right for better intake of fertilizers and control products
  • Stimulating new grass growth

Seed: Seed is the secret to having a lush and green (not to mention healthy) lawn next summer. Your fall seeding and feeding effort will bring a bevy of benefits to your lawn year-round, such as:

  • Cultivating the soil making it more likely for the grass seeds to grow
  • Reducing the risk of diseases, weeds or insects infesting your lawn

Fall Lawn Fertilization: Fertilizing your lawn is also a critical part of any fall lawn care checklist. Fertilization not only offers nutrients for your lawn to store and use in the winter but also helps it thrive in the dormant period. Follow these best practices when fertilizing your lawn:

  • Fall fertilizing is best for cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and perennial ryegrass, as well as for warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass and zoysia grass
  • Two applications of fall fertilizer are recommended—one right after Labor Day and the other after your last mow of the season
  • Choose the right fertilizer for your lawn
    • In northern areas, choose a quick-release fertilizer with a lot of nitrogen for late fall
    • In the south or west, use a fertilizer high in water-insoluble nitrogen

Fall Weed Control: No fall lawn care checklist would be complete without a mention of weeding. It’s that annoying task that can’t be avoided. Eliminating weeds is important to your lawn’s overall health year-round but especially as you prep it for colder temperatures and dormant periods.

Mowing: Mowing is not just summer’s chore. It’s important to mow your lawn before the winter, as well as get your mower maintained. Here’s what our fall lawn care checklist suggests:

  • Toward the end of autumn, mow your lawn more closely (Tip: Never cut more than one-third of the lawn all at once; it should be a gradual process)
  • Pay special attention to your grass’s height for prolonged lawn health

This fall lawn care checklist is a perfect way to get you started with setting up your lawn for success this autumn and beyond. When you need help with your lawn care, Spring-Green is here to help. We can assist you with all your lawn care needs, including:

  • Lawn Care—From weed control, disease treatment and aeration to maintenance and much more.
  • Pest Control Services—From mosquitoes and fleas to ticks and more.
  • Tree & Shrub Services—From trimming to disease treatment and more.

Contact your neighborhood Spring-Green professional today to get things started.

Fall Core Aeration and Seeding Tips

The season of pumpkin spice lattes and long sleeves is almost here. Yes, it’s almost fall. Your lawn has dealt with a hot summer that brought conditions that are often stressful. The good news is that cooler fall weather can create an optimal growing scenario for your lawn—if you follow these best practices for fall core aeration and seeding, that is. Be sure to adhere to Spring-Green’s tips to ensure your lawn is poised to thrive during the cold months ahead and all year round.  

Why aerating and seeding are important:
The steps of aeration and seeding are annual jobs that make a huge impact on the overall and long-term health of your lawn. Doing both of these routines in the fall will help you end your lawn’s growing season on a high note and set the stage for success for the thaw that comes in the spring. In other words, plant the seeds for a future of lush and green lawns.

Everything You Need To Know About Fall Core Aeration and Seeding

What is fall core aeration? Core aeration is one of the most important things you can do to create a healthy lawn. Core aeration mechanically removes small slivers of soil from the lawn with a special machine (an aeration machine). The process leaves small bits of soil and thatch on the surface of the lawn so they can seep back and create a healthier overall setting for your grass to become thick, green and lush.

How does core aeration work? Core aeration for your lawn leaves small plugs on top of the lawn that decompose and fill in the holes, usually in a week or two. The machine known as an aeration machine penetrates small holes approximately two to three inches in depth.

What are the benefits of core aeration? There are many benefits of core aeration, including:

  • Reducing the incidence of soil compaction
  • Nourishing and encouraging deep and healthy lawn roots
  • Removing thatch layers that can prevent issues
  • Alleviating or eliminating stress caused by summer drought conditions
  • Reducing weeds, thus decreasing or diminishing insect or disease issues
  • Making conditions right for better intake of fertilizers and control products
  • Stimulating new grass growth

What is overseeding? The name implies something that is negative, but quite to the contrary, overseeding is a good practice for most lawns. Here’s what you need to know.

In the last days of summer into the early fall, it is time to overseed your lawn—especially if you reside in the Northern parts of the country. Summer takes a toll on cool-season grasses like:

  • Bluegrass
  • Perennial ryegrass
  • Fine fescues
  • Fall fescue

As your grasses may become thin and weak from the scorching summer temperatures, they become more susceptible to disease and insect destruction. All cool-season lawns will benefit from overseeding in the fall.

There is a technique to successful overseeding, and yes, it is more than just spreading seeds around your lawn. The core aeration works hand in hand with the seeding effort to ensure that the seeds have a chance to germinate and survive. In addition, the process requires a regular watering regimen to seal in the success.

Spring-Green, your neighborhood lawn care specialist since 1977, is here for you as you prep your lawn for fall and, of course, all year ‘round. We are experts in all kinds of grasses and can help prescribe the perfect recipe for keeping your lawn healthy no matter what the seasons bring. Our expert team is standing by to help answer all of your questions. Reach out for a list of quality lawn care services, such as:

  • Year-round lawn care
  • Pest control
  • Tree and shrub care
  • And much more

Contact your neighborhood lawn care specialist today.

How To Tell If Your Summer Lawn is dehydrated (and what to do about it).

Large Patch

In the heat of the summer, your lawn can suffer from dehydration under the sun’s oppressive glare. Not every brown spot, however, is dehydration. Knowing when your lawn is truly suffering from a lack of hydration and how to address the issue when it rears its ugly head is the challenge for many homeowners during the drier parts of the year when there is excessive sunlight and also when there are water restrictions in place. Your neighborhood lawn experts at Spring-Green are to help! We’ve compiled this mini-guide to help you: 

  • Tell if your grass is over or under-hydrated 
  • Gain an understanding of how to get your lawn back into shape if it has become dehydrated 
  • Learn watering best practices for your type of lawn 
  • And more! 

Of course, if you are not the DIY type or if you need to call in a group of pros to help you solve your lawn problems (or just take care of routine maintenance), Spring-Green is always just a phone call away. 

Everything You Need To Know About Your Dehydrated Lawn: 

  • Preventing lawn dehydration. The exception is the grass that is dehydrated due to irrigation problems that are limiting the water in a specific area. Always check that it is properly hydrated first. 
    • The Tug Test – The tug test as it is called is where dead blades are put more easily because they have lost their rooting.  
    • Patterns And Patches – Patchy spots of dormant and dead grass spread throughout the yard can be an indicator of dehydration as well. 
  • Knowing the signs of dehydration. Understanding the signs of dehydration is key to prevention. Here are a few to keep a close eye out for: 
    • Visible Footprints – Footprints should go away very shortly after the imprint is made. If you begin to notice that they don’t, it could be a sign of lawn dehydration.  
    • Soil Gaps – When your lawn experiences dehydration, the soil shrinks. If there’s a gap, your lawn is experiencing heat stress, indicating it is in need of water. 
    • Bed Edge Dryness – The edges around your landscape beds can serve as a great drought indicator. If you notice drying “light” colored soil on the edges, it is a clear indication of dehydration.  
    • Screwdriver Test – An easy way to determine push a six-inch screwdriver into your lawn and see if it goes in easily or not. The easy it goes in, the more your lawn is hydrated. If the opposite is true, it may be a sign of dehydration.  
  • What to do if your lawn is dehydrated. If you have read the signs and know your lawn is suffering from dehydration, you have some work to do. The good news is you can (possibly) reverse things. Here are some ideas on how to take care of your lawn’s dehydration: 
    • Rake up the dead grass up clearing space for the soil. 
    • Spread seed. 
    • Apply fertilizer to get things off to a good start. 
    • Water and mulch. 
    • Ensure proper sunlight and water.   

Spring-Green is here to help if your lawn is showing signs of distress such as dehydration. We have been America’s go-to lawn specialist since 1977! Our professional team of lawn care experts can help with everything from routine maintenance to hydration issues to complete landscaping projects. We are standing by to assist you with your lawn care needs today.  

Contact Spring-Green for a free consultation. 

Prepare your Shrubs and Trees for the End of Summer with Ease

 

Before the fall temperatures move in, it is essential to prep and prepare your shrubs for the end of summer. While warm seasons can bring a lot of health for shrubs and trees, the heat of the summer months can require extra attention for most plants. From summer storms, pests, and potential diseases, your shrubs and trees can require more extensive care and prep for the end of summer care and the seasonal transitions.  

Throughout history, droughts have destroyed many plants ahead of the fall transformation and plants going dormant or dying for the changing season. Shrub and tree care are crucial when ensuring they survive the harsh heat and potential droughts associated with the hot summer months. Spring Green is here to provide you with our end-of-summer care checklist to help you navigate your end-of-summer care for all of your plants and shrubs. Let’s explore an easy and simple 4 step checklist to prepare your plants and shrubs for the end of summer. 

Prune and protect your shrubs and trees 

Pruning your trees, shrubs, and plants is an essential part of their care. Doing this step will keep your plants, shrubs, and trees healthy and flourishing throughout the summer months. Here are a few tips to keep your shrubs and trees pruned with ease: 

  • Trim trees and shrubs of dead or broken limbs and branches, especially if there has been damage from summer storms. 
  • Ensure you prune your flowering plants from dead blooms and leaves to promote regrowth. 
  • Keep an eye on your shrubs and trees trimmed in the event of damage from the summer heat, pests, and plant diseases.  

Taking the time to remove dead or dying plants plus pruning and trimming your still-living plants for the end of summer care can help promote regrowth. Ideally, both annuals and perennials will still have some growth for the end of the summer season until at least the first frost of the Fall/Winter season moves in for the year.   

Proper irrigation without compromising water conservation In the heat of the summer, water is your best friend and especially so for all of your plants. Irrigation is a big key to tree, shrub, and even overall plant and lawn survival during the dry summer air. Different shrubs and trees will have extra watering and irrigation needs based on their age, plant species, planted location, and soil types. For example, more established plants may only require infrequent watering practices than newer and younger plants, requiring more irrigation. During the summer heat, you may also need to increase your direct watering or manufactured irrigation practices as rainfall may be minimal. 

It is important to remember that your irrigation efforts will differ depending on the conservation requirements of your area. In more desert-like parts of the United States, your irrigation efforts may be limited on both rainfall opportunities and water conservation limitations in using manufactured irrigation systems. In other areas, you may have freer conservation when rainfall is much more limited. The key to proper irrigation is to utilize the water resources effectively without compromising any water conservation requirements. 

Aim to effectively protect the roots of your shrubs and trees. Protecting your trees and shrubs is not only an external job but also an internal task. Trees and shrubs that have strong roots tend to survive even the harshest heat indexes. How you aim to feed and protect the roots of your shrubs and trees does matter. In the heat of the summer, you may still want to fertilize, but most experts recommend scaling back on fertilization activities in heatwaves. Fertilization efforts can ward off plant diseases, but over-fertilization can create more significant problems for your plants. The reason for this is because the goal of fertilization for your trees and shrubs is to add more nutrients to them, but in heatwaves and drier summer air, this can not yield many results for your plants.  

As you limit your fertilization efforts, there are other ways you can protect the roots of your trees and shrubs from the dry summer heat. Mulching is one way that you can protect your bases from the excess sunlight and drier summer air. Mulching is a highly effective and easy way to protect the roots of your new and established plants. One method to effectively mulch your trees, shrubs, and plants is to lay down at least a 3-inch thick layer of wood mulch on the ground underneath your trees and shrubs. Ensure you expand out the mulch to extend around the length of any branches on your shrubs or trees. Mulch holds a multi-purpose use for any garden, but ideally, it is used to help the soil retain water and regulate ground temperature. Another bonus of mulching is that it protects your tree and shrubs because it can hide debris from your plants. 

The end of the summer does not have to be the end of the growth of your trees and shrubs for the season. If you take these three main steps to take care of your trees and shrubs as the end of summer continues, you will ensure your trees and shrubs can withstand the dry end of summer heat. Since 1977, Spring-Green has been around to help you with all of your end-of-summer and year-round lawn care necessities.  

Contact us today to get started on lawn care services to meet your everyday needs. 

Tips To Fix Your Lawn During A Summer Drought

It’s almost inevitable. Summer arrives with scorching temps and lots of rain. But then the rain doesn’t always stay and drought conditions kick in. Lawn care becomes more complicated in an instant. Drought is more of a problem than ever before and worse in specific areas of the United States than others. Statistics estimate that 53 million people are living in drought-affected areas worldwide. More than 93 percent of the land area in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico is in some level of drought while 69 percent of Utah is in severe drought, as is 61 percent of Colorado. California, parts of Florida, and other areas of the United States also experience regular drought periods throughout the year and especially in summer.   

Keeping a healthy lawn during the dry or drought period is not easy. There are ways, however, to keep the summer drought woes at bay. Spring-Green, your neighborhood lawn care specialists since 1977, has the tips you need to work through the drought and keep your lawn in good shape all summer long.  

How To Deal Your Lawn During A Summer Drought:  

What to do before the drought starts –   

  • Create a water collection system – Rain barrels can be amazing and easy to install water collection systems and help combat the impact of droughts. For every inch of rain, you can gain approximately 500 gallons of water. Be sure you research your state’s laws about rainwater collection – some states have specific restrictions about rainwater collection and use.  
  • Install an irrigation system – A watering system can save water as well as money by allowing you to control the timing and amount of water used to hydrate your lawn.  
  • Choose grass wisely. Did you know that certain grass types are better for drought-prone areas? Zoysiagrass, buffalo grass, and fescue are the best grasses for drought conditions. Grasses that are native to the area are also the best considerations to deal with the local weather and drought conditions.    
  • Soil quality matters tooSoil testing can support how your lawn grows and thrives with or without the presence of drought conditions. In the event of a drought, it begins to matter even more. Soil support can help your grass thrive all summer long.   

What to do while the drought is in full effect –   

  • Limit foot traffic. Compacted soil is never a good idea on lawns and especially bad during a drought. Rope off or otherwise protect vulnerable areas especially when hydration is an issue. You should keep a close eye out for areas that look trampled or show footprints.   
  • Watch the weather. Don’t let the drought sneak up on you. Keep a close eye on local conditions and track drought conditions.  
  • Watch for signs. Keeping a close watch for signs of stress and disease is imperative to ushering your lawn through the dry season. Signs may look like thinning and browning as lack of water and excessive heat wreak havoc on the plant’s photosynthesis making your lawn unable to store carbohydrates. You may notice your grass wilting or darkening in color. Also, footprints will remain visible after walking on the lawn.   
  • Fertilize in moderation. Fertilizing can be great but there is a tipping point. Don’t try to offset the problems caused by drought by adding more and more fertilizer. This will burn your lawn.  
  • Mow at a higher setting. It’s a common mistake that buzz-cut-loving homeowners make. Cutting the grass too low can cause unneeded stress on your lawn during drought periods. Your mower should be set to around three inches. Keeping the grass a bit taller will help it to shade its fragile root systems and keep the soil moister by reducing evaporation from the sun.   

 If you live in an area where drought is getting worse and staying around longer, you may have to consider a few alternative solutions. Sustaining a lush, healthy lawn can be a challenge or impossibility in your geographical region. Here are some options to consider if you are faced with year-round drought conditions.  

  • Downsizing your Lawn – It may be worthwhile to reconsider just how much lawn you have if drought is an ongoing issue. With the increase in drought and water shortages, many homeowners are downsizing their green to support conservation, comply with local regulations and reduce the heavy lifting, not to mention lower the costs of having a lush green lawn in areas where it is hard to maintain. If a lawn is still desired for children or pets or even aesthetics there is no need to eliminate it, just make the area smaller and easier to manage.  
  • Artificial grass is trending – Artificial grass is not everyone’s aesthetic preference, but in some cases, it’s the most practical option. Desert environments undergoing water restrictions hardly merit an argument for a lawn and a little patch of artificial turf can be all that is needed for a pet or sitting area. Maintenance is easy and many varieties of artificial turf get remarkably close to looking like the real thing.  
  • Move toward drought-tolerant grass – Some grasses are better at dealing with drought conditions than others naturally. These drought-tolerant traits can help you fight the battle against drought and still have the full lawn you seek.  

Spring-Green specializes in lawn care in all conditions. For your home or your business, we can help you maintain the investment you’ve made in your lawn as well as help you amplify your enjoyment of your outdoor living space. During the hot, dry summer months, we are here to help you offset the impact of drought (and of course, all the other conditions year-round). Contact one of our professional team members in your area today to get started.  

Contact Spring-Green. 

What Are Some Summer Gardening Tips?

Every year when summer finally arrives it feels like we’ve waited forever for the long sunny days, time off from school, vacations, and gatherings by the pool. Don’t forget about the blooming beauty of our gardens. Summer gardening can seem overwhelming to some newbies who want all the beauty but don’t have the experience. Not to worry, Spring-Green, your neighborhood’s top choice of lawn care specialist since 1977, has all the summer gardening tips you need. Whether you are an experienced gardener, or your experience level is “green,” this guide will help you enjoy a stunning garden this summer. Let’s get started, shall we?  

Your Guide To A Glorious Summer Garden  

Watering is essential for keeping your summer garden thriving during the hot, dry season. Of course, there is a tipping point and overwatering can lead to damage to your plants. Overwatering can lead to increased crabgrass, disease, and shallow rooting. We won’t even talk about the skyrocketing of your water bill or wasting a valuable resource part of things. To avoid overwatering, follow these best practices:  

  • The step on it test. Just because the temps are high and the summer days are hot doesn’t mean your grass needs watering. A good rule of thumb is to step on your lawn and see if it springs back. If so, it does not require hydration. If not, you’ll need to get the sprinklers or hoses ready. You can also utilize a soil moisture sensor which can show you the amount of moisture at the plant’s roots and help you determine when your lawn truly does need watering.  
  • Cut it less. Is that music to your ears? Less lawn mowing the better, right? Well, no not really. We are simply suggesting you raise your lawnmower blade to keep longer grass blades that help to promote deeper root growth, resulting in a drought-resistant lawn, lowered rates of evaporation, and (bonus) fewer weeds.  
  • Timing matters. When you water your lawn is extremely important to its success. For example, watering in the early morning is a good time to prevent evaporation. Also, rainfall ebbs and flows during the summer months, so be sure to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.    

Keeping pests at bay is critical to your summer garden’s success. One essential to your healthy garden this is summer is to focus on keeping the pests away, Depending on your region of the world, these pests could range from squirrels and rabbits to centipedes and birds. There are many environmentally-friendly options for keeping your variety of pests away and you can also explore beneficial insects that eat pests. For example, ladybugs and their larvae eat aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, and mites. Other beneficial bugs include spiders, centipedes, ground beetles, dragonflies, and big-eyed bugs.  

Weeding is like showing love to your summer garden. Weeds grow in the summer too, unfortunately. Mulching early is an effective way to avoid a weed takeover of your summer garden. If you add a layer of cardboard or newspaper below your mulch, you get added benefits such as weed control at a low cost and a more natural alternative to landscaping cloth – both of which eventually break down into the ecosystem. Of course, when weeds do rear their ugly heads, pulling them out while they are young will help keep them away.   

More tips and best practices for your amazing summer garden.  

  • Harvest – If you have plants that bring your fruits and vegetables, be sure to harvest them regularly. The more you do, the more the plant will produce. The best time to harvest is in the morning, so enjoy the bounty from your garden as much as possible (and as frequently as possible).   
  • Mulch – Mulch offers more than just weed control. It also helps to keep moisture from evaporating, translating into less frequent watering. It can also offer the benefit of keeping the soil from getting too hot during the summer months.    
  • Fertilize – For a healthy and thriving summer garden, you should be fertilizing monthly. You’ll need to determine your soil’s needs and choose the right fertilizer that is safe for your plants and ecosystem.  
  • Clear – Raking and clearing away leaves is an important step to keeping disease away. Be sure to do this regularly to keep the harmful diseases away from your plants and shrubs.   
  • Compost. An indoor composter is an excellent way to support your summer garden. You simply place all the trimmings from the garden and the kitchen into your compost pile or an indoor composter and use this “waste” for the nutrition of your garden.   

Spring-Green has been America’s neighborhood lawn care specialist since 1977 and is standing by to help you with your summer gardening goals. Just a phone call away, our team of pros can be ready to support your big projects, help you with maintaining your beautiful lawn and garden, or help you if problems arise.   

Contact Spring-Green today.