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6 Tips For Preparing Garden Beds For Mulch.

6 Tips For Preparing Garden Beds For Mulch.

Mulch is a very useful product when used in your shrub, annual, or flower beds. It retains moisture for plant roots, blocks weed growth, and is just plain better looking than dirt. Properly preparing your beds for Mulch Installation ensures the best outcome for weed management and the cleanest looking final product.     1. Pruning As part of a complete bed cleanup and mulch project, you should always get your shrubs and trees nice and tidy for the growing season. Pruning as the initial part of the process is important because the clippings will become a mess that will hamper your efforts at later steps. All plants have different pruning requirements and recommendations. For example, Hydrangeas should be cut down to no more than 2-3 leaf buds, and second-year deadwood should be completely removed. Make sure to research the pruning style for your particular plants before causing damage.     2. Weeding As last season’s mulch has undoubtedly broken down over winter, weeds have inevitably taken over your garden oasis. This step is the most crucial in the Mulching process. Removing established broadleaf weeds as far as the root as possible will give your new mulch its best chance to do its thing. Hand Weeding: Most surface-dwelling annual grasses and ground cover weeds can be pretty easily removed by hand. Weeding Tool: Metal tools such as a weeding spade can help to create more force to remove deeply rooted perennial weeds such as dandelions and crabgrass. Weed Whacking: In large open areas very saturated with taller weeds, using a gas-powered trimmer can make quicker work of removing unwanted...
Spring Yard Prep: Experts Weigh in on Getting Your Yard Summer-Ready

Spring Yard Prep: Experts Weigh in on Getting Your Yard Summer-Ready

   With summer right around the corner, we’re looking forward to warm weather, backyard BBQs, and afternoons spent relaxing on the patio with a great book. But it’s hard to relax if your outdoor space isn’t properly prepared. You may have gotten away with neglecting your yard all winter, but with sunny days ahead of us, it’s time to get on your spring yard prep and give it the attention it deserves. From lawn care basics to landscaping and aesthetics, there’s a lot that goes into creating a beautiful outdoor space for you and your guests to enjoy this summer. To better understand what you actually need to do this spring to prepare your yard, we asked lawn experts and landscapers for their best tips, tricks, and advice on maintaining a beautiful and healthy yard.   You should be raking your lawn in the spring It’s just as important to rake your lawn in the spring as it is in the fall. Bolton Lawn Care says, “If you didn’t clean up leaves from your lawn in the fall, it’s imperative to clean them up in the spring. Leaves, if left on the lawn, will kill any grass you try to grow, and are a breeding ground for pests and lawn funguses.”    Since “grass is king for summertime gatherings,” as Green Team says, you’ll want to begin your spring yard prep by raking thoroughly to remove any thatch build up and to identify any potential areas of your lawn that may need special attention or treatments, such as overseeding.  Lawn mowing tips: mowing your lawn just right Mowing...
Spring Lawn Pest Control Spotlight: The Early Bloomer, Common Chickweed.

Spring Lawn Pest Control Spotlight: The Early Bloomer, Common Chickweed.

  For most, the thought of Spring conjures “Disney-Like” images of sunsets and flocking birds. For the pest control worker, these images are horribly obscured with the matted weeds and and slimy grubs.  Spring is the season when everything comes alive, especially the unwanted pests of the lawn. Here we will talk about one of the earliest weeds to show up in early Spring, the Common Chickweed.   General Description Chickweed is commonly described as a “winter annual”, due to it’s ability to thrive, and even flower, during the cold Winter temperatures. In normal conditions this plant will flower 4-5 weeks after emergence in Spring.  These flowers will bloom from Spring until Fall, and can not be suppressed with simple mowing. It reproduces by seed spread during summer.  It’s growth pattern is low, prostrate in patches.  It grows best along sidewalks, bed edges, and curbs. The most distinctive characteristic of Chckweed is the pattern of its flower petals.  There are 5 flower petals, with deep notches that give it the false appearance of having 10 separate petals.  Also, it’s leaves are particularly shiny compared to other plants.  Although the leaves of it’s cousin, Mouse Ear Chickweed, are hairy.   Control & Treatment As a reminder, Chickweed is a very hardy annual that spreads by seed.  By far the most effective control of chickweed is a thorough pre-emergent strategy.  This pre-emergent strategy would include applications in November and April to beat any seed possible germination.  Cultural practices that promote Chickweed growth include moist, poor draining soil and heavily shaded turf. Proper water management, shade plant selection, and proper mowing will...
Lawn Care vs. Landscaping: What’s The Difference?

Lawn Care vs. Landscaping: What’s The Difference?

  Some people may not know the difference between a landscaper and a lawn care professional, and that is probably because most people use the two terms interchangeably. In fact, when dealing with lawn care services and landscaping services, most companies offer both. So are there companies that offer just lawn care services? Sure. There are companies that just offer services that would fall under one of the three categories: lawn care, lawn maintenance, and landscaping. You can think about lawn care as improving on the existing yard without dramatically changing its layout or structure. A lawn care company will fertilize, replace sod, perform pest control, and seed. They do other things, but these are just a few examples. A lawn maintenance company also takes care of the existing yard, but by mowing, trimming, and weed eating. To muddy the waters even further, most lawn care companies perform both sets of services. So should lawn care include lawn maintenance and vice versa? The best person to answer that question is you. If your company falls strictly under lawn care, then you have a lawn care company. If you only mow, trim, and weed eat, then consider yourself a lawn maintenance company. Landscaping, on the other hand, can be characterized by the transformation of an outdoor space either by planting, construction, or rearranging. If you fall into this category, then you have probably planted hundreds of plants, shrubs, and/or trees, while knowing the common and Latin names of them all. Most professions within landscaping require at the very least, ample experience within the green industry. Some even require an array of...
The Quickest Way to Revive Your Lawn After Winter | Green Team Lawn Care

The Quickest Way to Revive Your Lawn After Winter | Green Team Lawn Care

The Great American Lawn. To some, it’s a manicured masterpiece the equal of anything found at the finest golf course. See our top 10 tips for a perfect lawn. To others, it’s simply a soft, green spot for the kids to play on. However, if your turf isn’t looking so great, there’s no better time than spring to start improving it.   Dry Up Snow Mold One thing to look for after winter is snow mold, a cold-season fungus that causes gray-colored circles or patches where there had been snow. If you see snow mold, rake the lawn to loosen matted grass and allow the grass to dry out. You may need to overseed the area to encourage grass to fill in.   Get rid of leftover deicing salt Also, if you live where winters are cold, grass near sidewalks and driveways may suffer damage from deicing salt. You can apply a thin layer of pelletized or granular gypsum—a naturally occurring mineral used as a soil conditioner—to replace the salt with calcium and sulfur. Water thoroughly. To minimize damage in the future, consider using sand or cat litter instead of salt.   Remove thatch and aerate Spring is the time for a good, stiff raking to remove thatch—a dead layer of debris that slowly builds up at the base of grass. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to aerate. You can get together with the neighbors and rent a gas-powered unit for the day. Or aerate by hand with a manual core aerator. This loosens up the ground, allowing oxygen and water to better penetrate to the roots.  ...