It`s time to go and take in the many beautiful fireworks displays that are found throughout the area. Pull out the barbeque and invite the family over for the holiday weekend. I wanted to take a different turn for my blog this month and give a brief history of the 4th of July.
I know a lot of us know the facts but it`s always important to remember our country`s history as we live in the Great United States of America. July 4th has been a federal holiday since 1941. The holiday actually dates back to the 18th century and the American Revolution that went from 1775-1783. On June 7th, 1776, Continental Congress met at the Virginia Delegate where Richard Henry Lee introduced the idea of independence from Great Britain. Congress postponed the vote on the idea and assigned a 5 man committee to draft up a formal statement. On July 2nd of that year, Continental Congress voted on Lee`s measure and with a unanimous vote favored independence from Great Britain. This was going to be the original date of Independence Day but Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776.
A few fun facts of 4th of July are, the Liberty Bell was not officially rung until July 8th, 1776, for the official reading of the Declaration of Independence. New York City has one of the biggest fireworks display with more than 75,000 lbs. of pyrotechnics.
Over the last couple of days we have seen an abundance of rain, which has helped yards around St. Louis with the seasonably hot weather we have had over the past month or so. Hot humid weather can actually bring harm to lawns when the rain finally clears. These factors are definite ingredients for Brown patch to pop up in St. Louis area lawns.
When temperature tends to be hot during the day and warm at night these are ideal conditions for this disease to grow. Brown patch comes from a plant pathogen fungus called “Rhizoctonia solina.” Property owners will tend to think the lawn needs to be fed or needs a watering. This is not the case as this will feed the lawn pathogen. Lawns will start to have brown lesions in the center or on top of the grass blade. Proper identification is key as the problem can spread quickly to other areas of the lawn. Once a fungus is apparent in the lawn it is ideal to bag the clippings and dispose of them to help prevent spreading the disease even further. There are treatments for this disease. We can treat your yard of this disease, and identify other problems in your lawn.
Mulch has many benefits in the gardens as helping plants out and adding the attractiveness your garden may lack. Spring is the time when you may apply a new layer of mulch or turn over the old stuff to bring back the color. Mulch does have its minor maintenance details that some do over look sometimes.
Mulch can help the soil to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This helps when you have bulbs planted in the ground. Moisture can be conserved in the ground during times of drought benefiting plants by keeping it moist. Mulch also helps aid in weed control around the garden. But don`t forget that weeds pretty much can`t be stopped. Maintenance is the key. Depending on the quantity of mulch that you may need it comes in bagged product and in bulk form too. Try to stay away from the discount bags of mulch sold by the big box stored as this is just ground up freight pallets. Some pallets may contain chemicals in the wood that can change the soil. To figure out how much mulch you may need just remember to get the length and width of each bed and multiply them together. Then add everything up to get your square footage. A good thick layer of 2-3 inches is usually ideal for any situation. Too much mulch can actually affect how much air and moisture get to the soil.
Maintenance does come along with mulch as does everything else. A good raking every couple of months can help to keep the mulch loose and maintain its color. Mulch actually will pack down and settle over time. This is a good invitation for the artillery fungus mushroom that can shoot black spores after a while and are very hard to clean from surfaces. A good tool to use in the garden for turning mulch is the garden weasel with its removal able tines. Organic wood mulch usually keeps its color for 12 months then will need to be replenished. Color mulch usually last anywhere from 12-18 months. It`s a good idea to till up the soil a little before laying new mulch as this will aerate the ground.
Well it`s been a pretty dry winter so far in St. Louis. I know we are only in the middle of winter right now but beat the cabin fever and get out and enjoy the mild weather while it`s here. A couple of winter forecasts didn`t call for a January Thaw but apparently they were wrong. Get out and enjoy doing a little work in the yard like raking up the leaves or start planning that future spring garden.
St. Louis also has a lot to offer when things warm up around here in the winter. Forest Park has the St. Louis History museum which has art that endures from different cultures and times. A new favorite that came around last Cardinals season was Ball Park Village. Even when the Cardinals aren`t in season this new attraction is still in full swing. Which different restaurants and stores for all to enjoy. It also features a Cardinals museum that covers all the great pastimes of St. Louis baseball. I went down there with some friends recently and can say the food is great. Plus it gets you in the baseball spirit being that close to the stadium even in the middle of winter. Ted Drewes is still open during the winter for those who dare to enjoy an ice cream in the colder temperatures.
Whatever you plan beat the cabin fever and enjoy all of what St. Louis has to offer.
September is a great time to inspect the lawn from the stress of the summer heat and address any problems that may need to be redone. Fall is a great time to over seed or completely overhaul your lawn with the cooler temperatures and more rainfall.
If the lawn has enter dormancy from the heat, it is a good idea to water for a couple of hours a day to bring the lawn back from its slumber. The recent storms we are having will also help to accomplish this. If there are just a couple of bare areas, this can be redone with spot seeding or over seeding the entire yard. Over seeding is the process of laying new seed into the turf to improve its density and fill in the gaps. Aerating along with over seeding will help the lawn to looks its best in the spring. This will give the new seed a place to thrive.
If you yard has a barren look to it, this may be a sign that it`s time to start over from fresh. September is a great time to spray the yard to completely kill it off and be ready for fall renovation. Completely reseeding or sodding will give you the extra step to a fresh green lawn. We highly suggest a soil test to see how the ground looks before new seed is applied. The university of Missouri extension offices offer this service along with many nurseries in the area.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking for commercial lawn care for your business or properties in the St. Louis area. The one main thing to remember is can the company handle the work load if it`s a good size property from lawn care all the way to snow removal in the winter months. There are a lot of good lawn care companies out there to handle your needs. We are here to give you a helping hand.
First and foremost is to make sure the company is licensed and insured to protect its customers. Make sure they are licensed by the Dept. of Agriculture to spray herbicides if you plan on using a weed control program. A lot of people don`t realize you have to be commercially licensed in the State of Missouri just to spray round-up for a fee. A good workmen`s compensation should be available per request if someone is working on your property. This gives you the peace of mind as the customer that you’re covered if something happens on your property.
Are all the commercial lawn services offered that you are interested in having done when looking for the right company? Remember to ask for what is offered and have an idea of what services you will need to have done before asking for estimates. Do you require monthly bed maintenance from all the weeds that are growing or is the snow a problem in the winter from people walking on your walkways? Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have when looking for commercial lawn care. We can help small business owners with smaller properties and assist those when looking for the bigger properties.
During the last heavy rain we had over the weekend, it made me realize how many people don`t clean there gutters. You could hear the neighbors gushing over with water. This gave me the idea to do a blog on it. The gutter system is your homes outer shell to get the water away from the home. This also includes your roof and foundation included in the outer shell. Clogged up gutters can harm the home`s outer shell causing moisture to seep in to the home. This is never fun to deal with when you have a mildew smelling basement.
It only takes a monthly check to see how your gutters appear, I do understand some people don`t have ladders or cannot get up on the roof anymore. If the gutters are clogged during the check it`s time to clean them out. This only takes a couple of good steps to achieve this. A good ladder, a garden hose or gas powered blower, good pair of gloves, a small bucket or trash bag. We never recommend or suggest working from on top of the roof but safely on the ladder. A lot of St. Louis homes have steep pitch roofs which can be a hazard. Once the ladder is placed properly against the home, climb up and hose out or blow out the gutters in small sections. Moving the ladder when necessary as to not over reach the ladder itself. If the gutter is majorly clogged, this is where the gloves and small bucket come in handy from dislodging the gunk with your hands and placing it in the bucket not creating a big mess below to clean up later.
I hope these few easy steps can help homeowners help keep the gutter system flowing freely directing the water away from the home. If any assistance is ever needed, we provide a gutter cleaning service that can help.
Spring is starting to pop it`s head in finally after the long, cold winter that we endured here in St. Louis in many years. It`s time to get back out and make our neighbor`s jealous of your yard. Our long waited vacation from lawn care is over. It only takes a few things to get started this year.
First and foremost is to make sure your mower is ready for the mowing season. If it was properly winterized this shouldn`t be a problem. A cloggy carburetor can make starting the mower a real headache. A tune-up at the start of every year is a good thing to do. It is a matter of changing the spark plug, a fresh oil change, and don`t forget your mower likes to breath too and would love a clean air filter. Sharpening the blade too at this time will give your yard the clean cut it loves.
Let`s get into getting the yard cleaned up next by removing what the winter left behind like the leaves and twigs in the lawn. Lawn bags can help with this project but keep in mind these things aren`t the sturdiest and will rip easily if loaded down. Take a walk around the yard and look for any bare spots are area that need to be addressed. Some of us may have to wait on this task as warm season grasses like zoysia won`t be turning green until May as the temperature warms up.
A good pre-emergent can help to keep the pesky crab grass from taking over your yard this year. Try to have your application down before April 15th as this is when the temperatures stay around 55 Deg. and allows crab grass to germinate. A lot of fertilizers come with pre-emergent mixed in with them which feeds the lawn and prevents the germination of crab grass at the same time. Try not to fertilize Zoysia and Bermuda grasses till May as it is still dormant at this time as mentioned earlier. Plus it may lead to early top growth on the lawn too plus only feeding the weeds at the same time. If you need any help with your spring lawn care let us know and will gladly answer any questions.
I have a lot of clients ask me, “What is natural green lawn care?” With all the environmental concerns of chemicals being used in yards and getting into water systems. A lot of people are switching over to organic (natural) lawn care without the use of any chemicals to produce a green yard. A lot of steps can be taken to accomplish this and become a person with “A Green Thumb.”
Years ago, lawn managers and operators had not extent for the use of any chemicals on managing turf grasses. With a lot of people having the increase for higher quality lawns is when the practice of using chemicals came into play. Natural lawn care depends on a healthy soil with good amounts of organic matter and a large population of active soil organisms. This can be achieved with organic fertilizers that help feed the existing organisms in your lawn. A good natural fertilizer to use that can be found at most home and garden stores is Milogranite. It as a natural fertilizer made from microbes in waste water. Anyone can use it as they say it’s, “Goof Proof.” It is good for lawns, plants and anything that grows. Good mowing practices are another key thing in natural lawn care. They say to never cut more than 1/3” on the leaf blade per mowing. Each type of grass has its own cutting heights and intervals. Another good thing to know is what the watering interval is for your yard. I have provided a chart for your reference.
Approximate lawn water requirements:
Lawn Type Green Turf* Dormant Turf**
inches of water per week inches of water per week
Perennial ryegrass 1.5 1.0
Kentucky Bluegrass 1.2 0.7
Tall fescue 0.8 0.5
Zoysia or bermuda 0.5 0.2
Buffalograss 0.5 0.2
* Lawn remains green and growing.
**. Lawn may turn brown but will not die.
These are just a number of things that can help you to achieve that green, healthy lawn “Naturally”