Stay Sharp: How To Keep Your Lawn Mower Blade Working Its Best

lawn mower
Have you ever pondered the sharpness of your lawn mower? If so, you are not alone in your consideration of the sharpness of your mower. You can follow all the mowing tips and mowing best practices available for consumption, but with a dull blade, you won’t get too far. The pros at Spring-Green, your neighborhood lawn care professionals, are here with the tips you need to keep your mower blade sharp and your lawn looking sharp!

Guide To Keeping Your Lawn Mower Blades Sharp

Does a sharp mower blade really matter?

Compare the sharpness of your lawn mower blade to your razor. Your goals of a clean-shaven face would fall flat without a sharp blade, wouldn’t they? An old or dull lawn mower blade can leave your lawn looking less than amazing as well as cause damage to your grass.

If your lawn mower blades are dull and/or damaged, it can actually create long-term issues with your lawn. The dull cut can leave a torn grass blade becomes distressed and more susceptible to pests and diseases. As we work so hard to keep our lawn looking great all summer, the state of our lawn mower can actually undo all that hard work if not maintained properly.

How do I sharpen my mower blade?

Lawn mowers have a few options to sharpen lawn mower blades, ranging from a bench grinder, hand file, rotary tool or angle grinder. Your lawn mower blades can also be sharpened with a drill and sharpening stone designed for sharpening dull lawn mower blades. While every lawn mower make and model is unique, here are some guidelines to removing the blades before sharpening:

  • Some mowers allow you to sharpen the blades without removing them, which saves a lot of time.
  • Taking the blade off, however, does allow you to do a more thorough job and avoid damaging any other part of the mower.
  • Take safety precautions like disconnecting your lawn mower’s ignition wire from the spark plug or removing the battery pack before getting started. Also, drain the gas tank, so there is no chance of a fuel spill while you are sharpening the mower blades.
  • Once you have the mower blades removed, take advantage of this opportunity to clean your mower scraping away any debris that’s hard to reach when the mower is intact.
  • Once you’ve sharpened the mower’s blades, be sure to the blade using a lawn mower blade balancer. This step is important as a lawn mower blade that is out of balances can damage the motor and stress the mower.

How often should mower blades be sharpened?

A commonly-asked question is how often, “Should I sharpen my mower blades?” The answer is it depends. Factors such as the type of mower you use, the age of that mower and the condition of your mower can impact the frequency. Your sharpening frequency will also be impacted by how often you mow and how large the space you are mowing is.

A good rule of thumb would be to sharpen if you notice the grass is not cleanly cut or is uneven. Another good frame of reference is to sharpen your mower after every 20 to 25 hours of use. This could be once a year for small, personal mowers or once a quarter for those who mow large areas more frequently.

How much should I expect to spend on sharpening my mower blades?

Some good news…it doesn’t cost a lot of money to keep your mower blades sharp! If you are a do-it-yourself type, you need to invest in the cost of the sharpener or drill bit which will typically be in the ballpark of $20. Of course, you may have to factor in the value of your time, if you want to get an accurate cost.

If you choose to have a local garden shop do it for you, it will cost a bit more (most likely) but will save you time. For those of you doing the math, if you pay someone to sharpen your blade twice during the lawn mowing season, you’ll likely pay enough to cover the cost of the sharpening tool that you could use to do it yourself for years to come.

A routine check of your lawn mower’s blades is essential to keeping your lawn looking good, feeling healthy and keeping your lawn mower working at optimal levels. Sharpening your lawn mower blades is easy to do yourself or have a local professional assist you.

The professionals at Spring-Green are here to provide you tips for proper lawn mowing. Being locally owned and operated, Spring-Green is able to truly understand the lawn care needs of your area so we can create the best value and most personalized yard care programs for you!

Contact your neighborhood Spring-Green lawn care professional today.

All The Tips To Keep Your Lawn Hydrated This Summer

lawn watering tips

Watering the lawn is not rocket science, but it sometimes feels like there’s a hidden formula to watering the lawn that only few among us know. Add to that the deluge of summer rains, droughts and/or water restrictions and homeowners are left wishing for winter.

Wait, what, no – we love summer, but just want to keep our lawn looking hydrated until the temperatures begin to drop. So, of course, cherish the hot and sultry days of summer and enjoy a lush, green lawn that has the perfect amount of hydration with no stress or confusion! July is SMART Irrigation month, so it’s the perfect time of year to gather up all the tips to keep our lawns watered and happy.

All Your Lawn Watering Tips In One Easy Guide

  1. Best Time of Day to Water Your Lawn. Much of the complexity of lawn watering stems from myths, fallacies and rumors spread by the well-meaning homeowners among us who probably heard things from their parents, friends or, dare we say it, the internet! Let’s dispel the myths and prove (or disprove) the rumors about when to water your lawn once and for all. Here’s your answer: it depends.

    As a general rule of thumb, that you can adjust based on where you live, the best time of day to water your lawn is when temperatures are at their lowest and even better if there is dew on the lawn. So, that probably translates into before the sun’s up and before the temps start to climb in the early part of the day or later in the day when the sun is down, and temps begin to lower.
  2. Optimal Lawn Watering Frequency. Next up on the most popular lawn watering tip list is watering frequency. Of course, this answer does depend on a myriad of variables, but here are some watering guidelines you can follow to keep your lawn hydrated and looking great this summer. As a rule of thumb, two to three times per week is a good frequency for watering your lawn.

    However, if you have had a pattern of rain or a drought, this frequency might need to be adjusted. Also, keep in mind that watering your lawn regularly creates a shallow root system that allows your lawn to be more resilient during weather fluctuations as well as more resistant to resistant to disease.
  3. Length Of Time To Water. So, how long should I leave my sprinklers on? An obvious next question. Don’t worry, we’ve got that one fielded as well. Be sure to calculate your local precipitation levels, but in general, you’ll keep your lawn healthy with approximately one inch of water per week. This will vary depending on your lawn size, but could for an average lawn it might translate into three ten minute sessions per week.
  4. Tips For The Hose Versus Sprinkler. If the lawn you are caring for is very small, a hose might do the trick, but for most homeowners, the sprinkler is more effective and more convenient. By installing sprinklers that are turned on by a timer, you won’t run the risk of forgetting to water and can even set them to come on at times that you might be sleeping or otherwise busy.
  5. Lawn Watering Tips During Drought. Water shortages and drought are more common than ever before. It’s important to follow your municipality’s guidelines for water usage, but trying to keep your lawn healthy at the same time can be challenging.

In some cases, your only option may be to let your grass go dormant. But in it’s possible you can choose types of grasses that can survive tough conditions like Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, St Augustine grass, buffalo grass, Bahia grass and Fescues.

Understanding how to water your lawn effectively can be challenging, but if you follow a few rules of thumb, your lawn should be looking green and lush all summer long. Of course, the best way to keep your lawn green and lush is the find the perfect amount of hydration to keep it moist, improve the quality of the soil and retain some of the moisture even when the temps heat up.

Spring-Green, your neighborhood lawn care professionals, is here to help with all your irrigation and maintenance needs. Take the guesswork out of lawn watering with the help of the pros at Spring-Green. Get a FREE QUOTE today!

Seedheads Developing on Cool Season Grasses

Some customers get worried when they see little seedheads covering their lawns, usually starting around the middle of May when sunlight reaches 12 hours a day. It is a natural process of the grass to produce seed, and fertilizing and proper mowing practices will help keep the lawn healthy.

The seedheads are forming on tiny stalks that the grass plant sends up. Depending on its abundance, the seedheads can make the lawn look pale. Once the stalks are mowed, which don’t cut as easily as grass blades, they may shred and give the lawn an almost white appearance.

Seedhead development usually occurs on cool season grasses such as Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue during this time of year. Annual bluegrass (Poa Annua) produce seedheads earlier in the spring and sometimes in the fall.

seedheads

Tips For Lawns Forming Seedheads

Continue mowing at 2½ to 3 inches, but you may have to mow more often. Be sure to keep a sharp mower blade and mow high. It is not recommended to mow short or lower the mower blade to remove or reduce seedheads. It takes extra energy to produce them so your lawn may look a little pale for a couple of weeks, but it will recover. The old seed stalks will break off and will decompose into the lawn.

Unless the seedheads can ripen for about 4 months, the seed will not germinate in the lawn or, if you compost your clippings, in your compost pile. Be sure to continue your fertilization program and provide an inch of water per week as we move into the warm summer months.

Keep in mind that seedhead development is a natural process, but with proper lawn care practices you can minimize their impact. If you have any questions, contact your local neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green.

Are Spring-Green Lawn Care Services Safe for Pets?

pets lawn care safety

A general concern that comes up every year is if the pesticides we use are safe for pets and children. The majority of the pesticide products Spring-Green uses are considered “General Use” and can be purchased and used by homeowners.

Spring-Green will post every treated lawn and leave instructions to stay off the lawn until the application has dried. While the drying time is influenced by weather, in most cases, keeping pets and children off the treated area for 2 hours after the application is a good practice and recommended. After the drying time, your pets and kids can enjoy the yard!

Always check the invoice left at the time of the application for any other specific information.

Protecting Pollinators

We appreciate your concern for bees and that dandelions are a food source of bees. For the majority of lawns that we service, dandelions or other flowering weeds that may be food for bees, are usually not found in large numbers. For those that are present, we will apply a weed control application on a spot treatment basis.

A great way to support pollinators is by adding diverse flowering plants in your yard that bloom from early spring to late fall. You can also make your own hummingbird nectar by mixing 1 part sugar with 4 parts water, and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold present.

There are a certain number of lawns that do have an extensive weed problem when they begin our service and this situation requires that the entire lawn to be treated. There are an abundance of flowering weeds in parks, vacant lots, commercial sites and residential lawns that provide food for bees and other pollinators.

The weed control products that we use are labelled for residential use by the US EPA and we adhere to those label directions. When properly applied by licensed and trained applicators, they pose no unreasonable risk to the environment.

Spring-Green Lawn Care Has Over 40 Years of Experience

Spring-Green has over 40 years of experience in applying pesticides. We require appropriate protective equipment when making applications to lawns and/or landscapes and all our Field Service Professionals are trained and appropriately licensed to apply these pesticides.

Each pesticide we use is registered for use on residential properties by the Environmental Protection Agency. The registration process can take up to 10 years to complete and may cost $100 million or more before it is available for residential use. Additionally, each pesticide must be reviewed once every 15 years. The EPA considers the effects these products have on pets, humans and the environment during the initial registration process and during each review process.

In summary, the products that Spring-Green uses are registered for use on residential properties as determined by the US EPA and when applied based on label requirements by a licensed and trained applicator, pose no unreasonable risk to humans, pets or to the environment. Spring-Green offers the highest quality service in an environmentally responsible manner. Spring-Green also offers an Organic-Based Fertilizer program that introduces organic materials into your soil.

If you have any additional questions, contact your local neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green or submit your question to our lawn care expert on the left side bar.

Happy National Lawn Care Month – We’ve Got All The Tips!

national lawn care month

It’s April. It’s spring. The temps are rising, the birds are chirping and it’s National Lawn Care Month! At Spring-Green, we love April for all these reasons, and we want to spread our love of the lawn with you with some fun facts and interesting tips to celebrate.

In Honor of National Lawn Care Month: 3 Ways Our Lawns Make Our Lives Better

1. They protect us from ticks, mosquitoes, fleas and fire ants. A lawn treated with safe and environmentally-friendly pest control products will protect your family’s health. If left untreated, we could be exposed to the diseases and discomfort that these pests can cause, such as:

  • Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other diseases can be transmitted via tick bites.
  • West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Chikungunya and the Zika virus are all linked to mosquito bites from infected mosquitoes.
  • Anemia-causing tapeworms, as well as murine typhus, have been traced to flea bites.
  • Life-threatening allergic reactions, more than just a painful nuisance, are linked to fire ant bites.

2. They make us happier. Our lives are enriched by having green spaces around us, and the science backs up this assertion. In fact, a study put out by Housley and Wolf showed that just by looking (even through a window) out at plants, trees and green lawn, we can reduce our stress levels and lower our blood pressure – not to mention the endless hours of fun the kids have playing tag on hot summer evenings! A green environment has also been shown to improve focus and memory. Greener neighborhoods also tend to have lower crime rates. Coincidence, we think not.

3. They make us healthier. Keeping your lawn properly mowed can keep us healthier by reducing the effects of seasonal allergies. The pollen in grasses is produced at the tips of the top of the blades. By keeping your lawn maintained at a height of about two inches, you’ll help the allergy sufferers in your family avoid the pollen that makes them miserable. Just a few of many reasons, we celebrate National Lawn Care Month.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Lawn Care This National Lawn Care Month (And All Year Long):

Do mow often, but don’t mow too short.
Do use fertilizer to control weeds, but don’t use harsh chemicals.
Do stick to a watering schedule. Don’t overwater.
Do cut your lawn at the right time of day, but don’t cut it if it’s wet.
Do adjust your lawn care plans based on the season. Don’t forget about clearing away debris, leaves and branches regularly.
Do learn what things make sense for you to do yourself. Don’t hesitate to bring in an experienced lawn care professional to help you with your lawn care.

While National Lawn Care Month is top of mind in April of every year, it’s top of our minds here at Spring-Green all year long. We understand just how important, and sometimes challenging, it can be to have and maintain a lawn care regimen. That’s why we’re here.

In fact, for over 20 years, we’ve been perfecting ways to help home and business owners enjoy beautiful lawns with no stress and no worry about what to do and what not to do. Our experienced professionals are up-to-date on the latest lawn care techniques, dedicated to providing the very best in customer service and standing by to meet your needs.

Contact your Spring-Green lawn professional today!

Weed And Feed 101 – Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know

weed and feed

Like many things in life timing matters. If you want a healthy, vibrant lawn year-round, it’s just as important to understand what it needs as well as to understand when it needs it. A foundational link to your lawn’s health is providing protection from the weeds that can threaten its very existence. Weed killers, weed and feed and the timing of it all, however, can be mystifying to homeowners seeking answers.

Not to worry though, you’ve got a neighborhood lawn expert at your disposal! Spring-Green has the basics of weed killer best practices, timing recommendations and more. Before you go out to administer any weed and feed, check out this primer on the when, what, where, how and why…well, we know the why, right?

Common Weed And Feed Questions Deboned

What is weed and feed? Weed and feed is an interchangeable, universal name given to a wide variety of lawn chemicals that have the purpose of strengthening the lawn by killing weeds. It generally improves your lawn’s ability to absorb water and food and adds necessary nutrients which promote healthy growth.

A healthy lawn, in turn, discourages weed propagation, enabling the use of a reduced amount of the product over time. There are many types of weed and feed that we will drill down on for further learnings.

What is the “weed” in my weed and feed? The weed component is comprised of herbicides (typically Dicamba, 2, 4-D and/or MCPP). These chemicals are designed to squelch dandelions, dollarweed and the most common green leafy weeds.

What makes up the “feed” in my weed and feed? The “feed” is a fertilizer. Typically, it is a combo of nitrogen, phosphorous and/or potassium. The blends vary, but all are designed to help your lawn flourish.

How does weed and feed work? Granules are applied to and absorbed by the leaves of the weed but doesn’t kill regular grass (unless too much is applied). In addition to the granular form, liquid forms are available that can be applied with a sprayer.

What is pre-emergent weed and feed? Pre-emergent weed and feed, as the name implies, targets weeds before they appear. Pre-emergent weed and feed does not control existing weeds. Annual applications over the target area for best results. Water in your pre-emergent weed and feed to activate the herbicide and create a barrier against weeds before they grow.

What is post-emergent weed and feed? Post-emergent weed and feed is the most common form for ridding weeds from lawns. When you already have weeds, the post-emergent weed and feed varietal is in order. Using a mixture of chemicals, they kill the weed and keep it from growing back.

How do seasons impact my weed and feed strategy? To be effective with your weed and feed strategy, you need to get the timing right. As a rule of thumb, time the application of weed and feed with the fertilization of the lawn during the last week of March or early April.

Keeping weeds out of your lawn can often be a chronic struggle that requires a strategy that is comprehensive and continuous. Understanding when to use pre-emergent weed and feed versus post-emergent as well as getting the timing right can be the winning combination to help you reach the finish line.

Whether it’s weeds or routine upkeep you’re in need of, Spring-Green is America’s go-to for neighborhood lawns and landscapes care since 1977. We are locally owned and operated and take our commitment to our community seriously.

Contact your nearest neighborhood Spring-Green lawn care professional today.

Do It Yourself Lawn Care Worth It? Factors To Keep in Mind For the DIY Landscaper

lawn care professional

It’s safe to state that spring has finally arrived through much of the United States. The temperatures are on the rise, lawns are waking up from dormancy, trees and shrubs are leafing out and many of these plants are also producing flowers and the tulips, daffodils and other spring bulbs are blooming. It is also the time of year when advertisements for lawn care fertilizers and other control products are seen in the mail, newspapers and online.

If you use a professional lawn care service like Spring-Green to care for your lawn, you may start comparing the price you pay for that service to the prices advertised for different lawn care products and think it may be cheaper to do care for your lawn on your own. Caring for your lawn on your own can appear to be much less expensive than contracting with a professional company, but there are other important aspects of caring for your lawn that should be taken into consideration.

DIY Lawn Care Factors To Keep In Mind

• What products to apply?
• When to apply each product?
• What pest you are trying to control?
• Why each product should be applied?
• What is the size of the area being treated?
• How each product is applied?
• How much of each product to purchase?
• What equipment is needed to apply each product?

It is important to highlight a few of these points. Do you know how big your lawn is in square feet? Most products are applied as a set amount per 1,000 square feet. This can be in pounds or ounces per 1,000 square feet. If you don’t know the size of the area being treated you could either be adding too much product, which can lead to possible lawn damage, or not enough product, which can reduce the effectiveness of the product.

The second critical factor is knowing what type of weed you are treating, what products can and cannot be used on that plant and at what rate. This is especially true when it comes to different species of turfgrasses. The nutritional requirements for Bermuda grass is much higher than that of Centipede grass. In fact, too much fertilizer on a Centipede lawn could result in permanent lawn damage.

Timing in Lawn Care Maintenance

Timing is important.Fertilizing warm season grasses too late in the fall can lead to an increase in winter injury. On cool season turfgrasses, applying too high a rate of fertilizer during periods of stress may result in a decrease in performance and possibly an increase in disease activity.

You cannot effectively control grubs and pests without being able to identify the pest and know what part of its life cycle is the most damaging and at what stage control measures should take place. In regards to insects, does it have a complete or incomplete life cycle? When controlling weeds, are you trying to control a broadleaf weed or grass-like weed. Even lawn diseases have a life cycle, so you need to know if the disease is currently active.

You also must know what product is labelled to control that pest. Just because it’s an insect, it doesn’t mean that all insect control products are effective in controlling that bug. When controlling weeds, you need to know whether you should use a pre-emergent or post emergent product. You need to know if you should use a selective or a non-selective weed control product. For diseases, you need to know if you should apply a preventative or curative product.

There are several RTU or Ready-To-Use products on the market to control weeds, insects or diseases. Many times, these are the same products that the professional companies use, but are mixed in very small quantities, relative to the size of the container. If you are planning to spray an entire lawn for broadleaf weeds, a 16-ounce container is not going to be sufficient in size.

Why Hire Spring-Green Lawn Care?

At a minimum, if you plan to purchase the basic lawn care equipment to fertilize your lawn, spray weeds and control diseases and insects on ornamental shrubs, it will cost about $110.00 for a spreader, two 1-gallon sprayers and a hose end sprayer. After buying all the equipment, you still have to buy the fertilizers and control products.

The biggest advantage you have in doing your own lawn care is that you can pick the day to do the work, providing that it isn’t too hot, too cold, too wet or too windy. It may seem that it is cheaper to do the work yourself, but if you start adding up all the costs, including your time to do the work and the inconvenience factor, hiring a professional lawn care company like Spring-Green makes the most sense! Contact us to get started on your lawn care service this season!

Winter Turf Damage: Cold Temperatures Affected Southern Lawns

Winter Grass Damage

Blog Post Provided From Roland Freund, Spring-Green Franchise Owner of Spring, Texas

This past winter will be remembered as an unusually cold one in the South region, and landscapes are now telling the story.
Homeowners are busy trying to replace dead plants and repair lawn areas. Since Eastern Redbuds are blooming, there is a very good chance the freezing cold weather is behind us.

Lawn Care companies and the Extension Offices have been inundated with phone calls regarding dead areas in lawns. Everyone is quick to blame someone, but the truth of the matter is that no one had control over the weather and the amount of winter kill to lawns.
Based on my observations in different communities, most of the damage occurred to turf in open areas with no protection from frosts or low temperatures.

Lawn areas beneath a tree canopy, between buildings or next to water bodies fared much better because they got some protection from the cold. One lawn may be damaged and the one next door may be fine.

Lawns Affected By Cold Weather

There are lots of variables that affect cold hardiness such as the type of lawn and variety, soils, mowing height, etc. Also, new lawns installed after late August or later did not fare well, because the lawns did not have sufficient time to establish.

According to University of Florida turfgrass specialist Bryan Unruh, winter injury is a very complex and poorly understood phenomenon in turf. It is not only related to low temperature but also to fertilization rate (individual applications and seasonal quantities), state of hydration at the time of low temperatures and perhaps most important is the number of times that it greens and re-greens throughout the winter.

Warm temperatures are often followed by cold, creating a roller coaster of temperature fluctuations. As a result, the stored carbohydrates in lawns dwindle and are depleted when spring rolls around. Based on this information, it would be difficult to blame any one thing for the damage we experienced this year.

Repairing Your Lawn From the Winter

If you have dead areas in the lawn, it’s time to move on and repair them. If the dead areas are small, gently rake out the damaged turf so the surrounding lawn can fill in the gaps. If the areas are large, use a garden rake to remove the dead material; then loosen and level the existing soil.

Depending on the type of grass, replace with sod, plugs, or seed. St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Improved Bermuda lawns can be planted as sod and/or plugs. Common Bermuda can also be grown from seed. Plugs, sod, and seed are readily available at sod nurseries or garden centers.
Don’t mix different grasses in the same lawn, because the growing requirements are not the same. Also, try to match the variety with what you currently have unless you are dissatisfied with the existing lawn. For example, Floratam, Delmar, Palmetto, Bitterblue, Captiva, Seville,and Classic are all St. Augustine grass varieties.

If you are unable to match the variety, make your own plugs by cutting out sections with a shovel or a special steel plugger. Plugs are typically spaced 6 to 12 inches apart but can be spaced closer so the bare areas will fill in quicker to reduce weed problems. Store-bought plugs will establish sooner because they have a more developed root system.

Seed or Sod Your Lawn

Seeds should be applied evenly, lightly raked into the soil and/or covered with a thin layer of topsoil, and then rolled to ensure seed to soil contact. Cover the seeded area with a thin layer of mulch to prevent seedlings from drying out. Watering is the next critical stage to the success of the new sod, plugs or seed. Keep the area moist by applying small quantities of water several times each day for about two weeks. Do not turn the sprinkler on and let it run constantly as this keeps the area too wet, promotes disease problems, and wastes water.

After the seedlings emerge or the sod starts to grow and take root, reduce the irrigation frequency but increase the amount. Once established, and the grass is actively growing, apply 1 inch water/week when you run the irrigation system to encourage a deep root system.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Spring-Green.

Life Cycle of Winter Annual Weeds In Your Lawn and Landscape

winter annual weeds

In the world of weeds, there are three different life cycles – annual, biennial and perennial. Annuals only live for one growing period, biennials live for two years and perennials live for more than two years. Among these life cycles, there is also a distinct as to when the initial germination takes place. The common thought is that all weeds germinate in the spring, but many of them germinate in the fall, such as Dandelions, Henbit and Shepard’s Purse. These life cycles are referred to as winter germinating weeds.

Winter Annual Weeds In Your Landscape

Winter annual weeds are often the first ones seen in the spring. The germination process usually begins in the fall and the plants persist over the winter in a vegetative state. They can survive freezing temperatures and be ready to start growing again once the weather begins to warm up in the spring.

As the weather warms up, the plant will begin to bolt, or send up a flower stalk or stem as their life cycle continues. This is the time that the plant produces seeds to perpetuate the species. By that time, the weather has usually started to get warmer, which signals to the winter annuals that their life cycle has come to an end.

It is important to remember that when a plant produces flowers, it also is creating seeds and those seeds will be present in the lawn to germinate the following fall and the whole process will start again. Applying weed control products in the spring is important, but it is equally important to treat a lawn for weeds in the fall as well.

Common First Winter Annual Weeds of Spring

Henbit

Henbit is a member of the mint family and has square stems with opposite leaves. It has pink to purple flowers and usually grows about 6 inches high in the Midwest. The plant has circular or rounded leaves with rounded teeth on the leaf edge or margin.

Shephard’s Purse

Shepherd’s Purse grows 3 to 18 inches tall and forms a rosette that is like a dandelion. The main difference between the two plants, besides the obvious of a Dandelion being a perennial and Shepherd’s Purse being an annual, is the shape and direction of the lobs on the leaves. The lobs on a Dandelion point back to the center of the rosette while the lobs of Shepard’s Purse point straight out from the mid vein. The seedpods are heart shaped and contain hundreds of seeds.

Common Chickweed

Chickweed has a shallow fibrous root which grows best in moist, cool shaded areas. It has small white flowers with 5 petals that are split almost to the base. The leaves are bright green and are about ½ inch long, smooth and sharply pointed.

Prickly Lettuce

The distinguishing feature of this weed is the deeply lobed leaves with a prominent row of spines on the underside of the mid vein.

Catchweed Bedstraw

This weed also has square stems with short hooks on the stems. It grows best moist shady areas. The hooked spines cling to just about everything and are difficult to remove. And it was used as a filling for mattresses.

There’s a lot more types of winter annual weeds. These weeds may be growing in your lawn now, but remember, they actually starting growing last fall. They will die when the weather turns warmer, but they will leave behind hundreds of seeds, ready to germinate again next fall. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local Spring-Green!

How to Get Your Lawn and Landscape Ready For Spring

get lawn and landscape ready for spring

If you live in the southern part of the U.S., you may have already started getting your lawn and landscape in shape for the coming spring. For those that live in the more northern parts of the U.S., you are most likely wishing that it will start to get warmer so that the snow will melt and you can see your lawn, but there are still things that you can do to start getting your landscape in shape for the coming year.

I conduct regional training programs across the U.S. at this time of year to help set the pace for the coming year. Besides sales and customer service topics, I also include sessions on technical topics as well as application and product safety. I start in the southern sections of the U.S. where we have franchise locations and slowly work my way north. In the southern sections, the primary work that is being completed is spreading mulch in landscape beds, selective pruning of trees along with controlling winter weeds and applying products to prevent annual grasses from germinating as the weather warms up.

About the only outdoor work that can be completed in the northern areas is selective pruning of trees. Winter is a great time to remove branches that may be crossing other branches or ones that are broken or misshapen. Up to now, snow fall has been far less than normal, so there is a good deal of tree pruning going on at this time of year. If you are pruning a spring flowering tree like a magnolia or crabapple, be careful of how much you prune off as it will reduce the number of flowers that will display this coming spring.

How to Get Lawn and Landscape Equipment Ready For Spring

Regardless of where you live, winter is a great time to get lawn mowers and other power equipment ready for the spring. If you are using a 4-cycle engine that requires oil, winter is a good time to remove the old oil and add fresh oil for the coming season. Change the spark plug if it hasn’t been changed for a couple of years. Clean the underside of the mower deck and clean and/or replace the air filter. It is also a great time to sharpen the mower blade. If you are not mechanically inclined, many hardware stores and small engine repair shops offer tune-up specials during the winter.

Many gas-powered line trimmers and blowers use gas and oil mixture so an oil change is not necessary, but cleaning and/or replacing the air filter is a good practice as is replacing the spark plug. If you use battery-powered line trimmers or blowers, there is not much maintenance that has to be completed on these items outside of cleaning them if they have become dirty.

Although gardening tools should have been cleaned and wiped down with oil before storing for the winter, sometimes this task gets forgotten. Using a stiff wire brush to clean off shovels, hoes, rakes or other metal gardening tools before things get busy again this spring. After cleaning off soil and any possible rust, either wipe the metal parts with oil are spray them with an oil-based lubricant.

Spring Gardening Ideas

This is also the time to start exploring different gardening ideas for the coming year. Think back and what you planted to determine what grew well and what sort of fizzled out and died. Seed catalogs are often abundant now, but not everyone has these publications delivered to their homes. Fortunately, the internet is a tremendous source for all types of advice for gardening. It is best to stick with recommendations for accredited sources such as university extension services or well-known brands such as Burpee or Proven Winners, just to name two.

The weather will get warmer, trees and shrubs will start to bud out and produce flowers and spring bulbs will surface to fill may landscapes with glorious colors. Gardening does require patience, so relax, explore landscape ideas online and before you know it spring will be upon us. Now is also a good time to start thinking about a lawn care service. Contact us to plan for the greener, thicker lawn you’ve been wanting!