Tag Archives: healthy lawn

Getting Your Yard and Garden Ready For Winter

Fall has just arrived and winter is right around the corner. There are several things to do outside in the yard and in the garden to prepare for winter. Some things are a must; others will make next years gardening easier or more productive. Doing these things now will save money and valuable time in the spring.

Here is a check list to follow:

Water evergreens, trees and perennials before the ground freezes. This step is often overlooked and many home owners assume the plants, trees and shrubs will receive water from the snow that falls. This isn’t always the case so be safe rather than sorry and water heavily before winter sets in.

Mulch after the ground freezes to prevent heaving. Heaving is what happens when the ground freezes then thaws, then freezes again. This isn’t good for the plants and shrubs but wait until the ground is frozen before adding mulch around perennials and trees.

Disconnect and drain the garden hose, coil it up and place in the cellar, garage or storage building for the winter.

Being in a new home community, you may have new landscaping.  Protect any newly planted or young trees with burlap to protect from harsh winds and damaging snow. Also if you live in an area frequented by deer you might want to protect young trees with a fence to keep the deer from eating the bark and killing the tree.

Add a couple of inches of straw or hay to the strawberry and asparagus beds. Remember to pull this back in the spring when the temperatures start to rise.

Prune grape vines in the winter. Wait until the temps are down to freezing and winter is here. There is so much to do in the spring and this is one job that can be done now, just don’t do it until the winter freeze has set in.

Evergreens can take a beating during winter months. Protect evergreens with an anti-desiccant spray like Wilt-pruf, to seal in moisture. Give a second coat half way through winter for extra protection. Another option is to wrap the evergreens in burlap, especially in severe winter climates.

Bring outdoor containers indoors for the winter. Some outdoor containers can withstand the winter temperatures and the freezing and thawing. Others crack and break. This is another time an ounce of prevention can save you money.

Clean, sharpen and oil the garden tools. There is an old saying, “Take care of your tools and they will take care of you.” Wash and oil all the tools you use in the garden. Take this opportunity to sharpen any tools that need sharpening. Store them in a safe place where they will be ready to go to work, come spring.

If you are considering a new home in West Michigan, check out Sable’s website for new energy efficient homes.

Help your lawn beat the heat

Dry, hot weather negatively impacting local lawns.

The continued hot, dry weather we are experiencing is taking its toll on area lawns.  Using a summer fertilizer will promote the health of your turf by providing necessary nutrients along with weed and insect control.  It’s helpful to continue with a regularly scheduled application and following the provided dry weather tips.

During dry weather, professional lawn care is more important than ever

It’s important that you adhere to a regularly scheduled program.  A delayed or skipped application will deprive your lawn of essential care it needs during this stressful time.  At TruGreen, we’re working to ensure that your lawn survives this weather, here’s how.

  • Fertilizer. We will adjust your fertilization program to accomodate current weather conditions and make sure your lawn is receiving the right amount of nutrients, at the right time.  As moisture levels improve, your lawn will recover more quickly if properly fertilized
  • Weed Control. During hot, dry conditions, weeds are often more visible because their deep root system allows them to survive longer than your grass.  Using a weed control fertilizer will help prevent this and may require several applications as directed.
  • Insect Control. Damage from some insects, such as sod webworm and chinch bug, is more severe in dry weather because the lawn is growing at a slower rate or not at all.  This makes your lawn less able to recover from their damaging effects.  Because insect damage can be hidden by or mimic drought conditions, you may want to consult with a local grass specialist.
  • Consultation. Your specialist will evaluate your lawn’s condition and determine its needs at each visit.  He/she is also available to answer questions to take the guesswork out of caring for your lawn.

Dry weather tips

WATERING - Watering is critical to the health of your lawn especially during times such as these.  It is important that you follow one of the two watering plans listed below.  Your choice will depend on local watering restrictions and/or your expectations for your lawn.  Once you pick one of these plans – stick with it.  If you alternate between the two or fail to water correctly, it could result in damage to your turf.

Plan 1.   To maintain a green, healthy lawn

  • Apply 1 inch of water to all areas of your lawn once or twice a week.  To measure, set a container that is at least one inch tall (such as a tuna can) in the sprinkler’s pattern.  Move the sprinkler only after the water reaches the one inch mark, not before.
  • If you have an automatic irrigation system, follow this procedure to determine the correct time to set each station.
  • Please pay special attention to sunny and high use areas, and along curbs, sidewalks, and slopes.  They require more water than other parts of your lawn.

Plan 2. To protect your lawn from permanent damage

  • If watering restrictions or bans do not allow weekly watering, or if you choose    not to water regularly, a light watering or rainfall of one half inch every two weeks will minimize permanent damage to your lawn.  This should supply just enough moisture to keep the grass plants alive without greening up the lawn.

MOWING – Mow only if the grass is growing.

  • Mow in the evening to reduce stress on your lawn.  Mowing wilted grass during the hot part of the day can cause additional damage to the lawn.
  • Make sure the mower blade is sharp and set to its highest setting.

USING YOUR LAWN – If possible, minimize the use of a severely wilted or brown lawn to reduce damage to the already weakened grass plants.