An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

  • By 7016412154
  • 20 Feb, 2017

When it comes to lawn care, being pro-active can mean the difference between having a healthy lawn or a lawn over-run with weeds. Timing is the most important factor when it comes to the effectiveness of these measures, commonly referred to as pre-emergent treatments. These treatments include a combination of fertilizer and herbicide that promote healthy growth of existing turf while preventing the germination of certain annual weeds, predominately crab grass.

It is crucial that pre-emergent treatments be applied early in the spring season before weeds have a chance to germinate. When soil temperatures exceed 50 – 55 degrees, weeds are able to grow. We recommend getting started with treatments as early as possible to ensure the soil temperature is below that threshold. The final week of February and the beginning of March are great times to start this treatment to maximize effectiveness. 

The benefits of pre-emergent

There are several benefits to applying pre-emergent treatments in the waning months of winter and the beginning of spring. Here are just a few:

  • Preventative measures are more effective: Using pre-emergent is the most effective way to treat annual weeds like crab grass. It is important to note that post-emergent weed treatments are better suited for perennial weeds that have established deep, extensive root systems.
  • Eliminating weeds eliminates competition for nutrients: Weeds are tough and resilient, and once they are established they will drain the available nutrients. Treating for weeds is beneficial to the health of your landscape because it lessens the competition for these nutrients and water.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Don’t run off potential buyers, renters, or customers with an unkempt yard. Preventing weeds not only improves the health of your yard, it also improves the aesthetics. For those of you who pay attention to curb appeal and perceived value of your property, this is a great benefit!

Over-seeding and pre-emergent DO NOT mix

One common pitfall that we see is people over-seeding their lawns and applying pre-emergent treatments. While both of these methods are great ways to improve the quality of your lawn, the two do not mix. Over-seeding is the planting of grass seed directly into existing turf. It's an easy way to fill in bare spots, improve the density of your turf, and enhance your lawn's color. Because pre-emergent is applied to prevent germination of seeds, it will cancel out your over-seeding efforts.

Lawrence Landscape is here to help!

With forecasts predicting nothing but nice weather to come, now is the time to get started on pre-emergent treatments. As you make plans for the coming growing season, keep these facts in mind. If you have any questions or would like more information about our treatment program, contact us today!

Lawrence Landscape - Blog

By 7016412154 05 Oct, 2017

Pruning trees and shrubs is a really important part of keeping them healthy. Removing dead, loose, or infected branches and stems from your plants helps control unwanted pests and insects, encourages proper growth, and improves the safety of your property.

So when is the best time to prune in the Lawrence, KS area? Keeping in mind that light pruning can be done any time and that maintenance for individual species may vary, here are some pruning best practices:

  1. Never prune in the fall. Fall is a wonderful time for doing clean ups around the yard, and with leaves falling off surrounding trees and shrubs you may be tempted to cut back the imperfections you see on your trees and shrubs. Don’t do it. Pruning stimulates new growth, and because fall is a time when plants are preparing to go dormant, this can weaken your plants and make them more susceptible to frost and winter damage.
  2. Prune when things are actually dormant.  Winter is one of the best times to prune trees and shrubs that are not going to flower in the spring. If you have plants that flower mid- to late summer, pruning them in winter is best! A few examples of plants to prune in winter include boxwoods, oak trees, hostas, and burning bushes.
  3. Cut back spring bloomers once their flowers fade. Trees and shrubs that bloom in early spring grow flower buds on wood formed the year before. Pruning early-spring bloomers in the fall will reduce the number of spring blooms dramatically, so prune them when their flowers are gone in the spring! A few examples of plants to prune after bloom include lilacs, redbuds, forsythia, and crabapples.

    There are always exceptions to the pruning rule.

    So we just said not to prune spring bloomers until after they’ve flowered, right? Well, that’s not necessarily true for roses, spirea, and butterfly bushes. For these, best practice would be to prune them before they bloom. So how do you know what to do with each individual plant? Our best answer is, it varies!

    It’s important to remember that pruning guidelines vary based on the type of tree or shrub in question as well as local climates. You wouldn’t read this blog if it went into detail about every kind of tree or shrub and how to prune them.

    Do your research. Ask for help!

    If you have questions about how and when to prune your particular trees and shrubs, your best bet is to reach out to a professional ! Our team is full of plant lovers and horticulturalists, and we’re always happy to help answer your questions.

    Want to take the hassle out of pruning your trees and shrubs and have someone do it for you? We can help with that too! Contact us today and let our team of professionals take care of your landscape maintenance.

     


    By 7016412154 05 Oct, 2017

    Happy fall! Alongside Halloween costumes and holiday parties, your irrigation system should be at the top of your priority list. Really! We are working on scheduling winterizations, so be patient and we will be in your area soon. In the meantime, here are some things you can do yourself to maintain the system during the winter weather.

    You can begin to take steps on your own to winterize your system. We strongly recommend hiring a professional, but if you’re in a pinch, these tips will help you out.

     Deactivate Programs and Timers

    If your irrigation system , like most, is equipped with programmable timers and other settings, these will need to be deactivated for the duration of winter to avoid complications. How exactly you go about this may differ somewhat, depending on the model and age of your irrigation system. For most systems, simply placing it in the “off” mode setting will take care of things.

    However, if these options are not available, or your system is not equipped with timer/programming options, you will need to kill power to your irrigation system and shut it off completely. Do be aware that if you do use a programmable system, cutting power will reset and remove all your programming and information. We suggest waiting for a professional if you have a high-tech system.

    PLEASE NOTE : it is important to leave your controller plugged in so that the remote access will still function. If you have questions , just give us a shout .

    Insulate Exposed Pipes and Valves

    Exposed irrigation lines are at a very serious risk of breaking or cracking if temperatures drop too low, which is a very real threat here in Topeka with the kind of winters we encounter. You can use insulating pipe foam tubes, which is readily available in many hardware stores, to protect your pipes. If your backflow device is above ground, be certain to cover it with a towel or blanket if temperatures are forecast to drop below 35 degrees. Try to cover up the entire thing as best as you can.

    In the future, it would be best to consider having a landscaping professional bury any exposed pipes if possible, as it removes much of the risk of needing to re-insulate when your insulation materials wear out.

    Shut Off Water To The System

    If you know where the water shut-off for just your sprinkler system is and are comfortable shutting it off, you can do that at any time you are not using the system and it is recommended if/when the weather is forecasted to have temperatures below 35 degrees.

    Drain Irrigation Pipes

    Any remaining water in your pipes absolutely must be removed to the fullest extent possible to prevent the risk of frozen or burst pipes. The job can be handled a few ways, including automatic and manual drain valves, or by a forced-air removal. However, this job can be very dangerous if mishandled, so we would strongly recommend (if not outright insist) that you have this done by a professional trained in draining irrigation lines.

    Contact Lawrence Landscape for Your Irrigation System Winterization!

    The Lawrence Landscape team is always happy to help, and we plan on doing a lot of winterization this season. We are currently working on scheduling winterizations, so if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us

     


    By 7016412154 08 Sep, 2017

    Fall truly is one of the loveliest times of year – the leaves are vibrant with color, the weather is changing from sweltering to crisp, and we are settling into a season of comfort. Fall also happens to be one of the most important times to keep up with lawn and landscape maintenance. Lawrence Landscape is here to help you keep up with these tasks so your lawn and landscape beds will be ready to thrive when spring rolls around. Our fall clean up services are available until the first snow fall, so reach out to us today to get started!

    What should fall cleanups include?

    • Aeration.Whether your lawn is in seemingly good health or in obvious need of care, core aeration is an important aspect of routine lawn maintenance, and fall is a great time to do this! Aeration also pairs nicely with over-seeding, so take advantage of the temperate fall weather while it’s here! Learn more about aeration here .
    • Leaf removal.Your yard needs a good amount of air and sunlight to maintain good health, so be sure to get the fallen leaves off your lawn. If you (like most people) dread this seasonal task, keep in mind that we offer leaf removal and will happily do it for you! We will bag and haul away leaves and debris, and we offer one-time cleanup or regular maintenance, whichever you prefer. The leaves are already falling, so get in touch today!
    • Trim up limbs and branches.Diseased or old and brittle branches often don’t survive the winter, instead breaking off and falling onto your lawn. This can be dangerous for residents, and pose a potential risk to your home as well (especially roofs!). Be sure you handle dead branches before a chill sets in, and if the job is too big or too dangerous for you, our experts can always help!
    • Do some mulching.Young greenery is at quite a bit of risk for the first couple winters they encounter. Laying down a fresh bed of mulch before the chill of winter sets in can insulate them against the cold, and to fight off soil erosion and water runoff problems throughout the season.
    • A “last time” mow.When you’re sure your grass has finished growing for the year, give it one last good mow. This helps to keep your landscape free of catching fallen leaves, and makes the cleanup as the season progresses far easier. It also helps mitigate the risk of disease taking root in fall and contaminating your grass’ roots.

    The Benefits of Fall Cleanups:

    • Keep your yard looking nice.The landscaping around your home is important to you, and you want your investment to look nice year-round. Doing upkeep in the fall will help make sure your lawn doesn’t have dead patches and that your beds are ready to flourish when spring returns.
    • Lessen your workload next spring.Sure, snow will eventually cover up leaves and debris, but it won’t remove them for you. All of that debris will still be there waiting for you next spring and if it has been sitting on your lawn all winter, dead spots can be expected.
    • Eliminate the potential for harboring unwanted plant diseases.Fallen leaves and yard debris breed different bacteria and mold that are hard on plants. In addition, this debris can also contain and protect fungus spores and bacteria that can be harmful and potentially fatal to plants. Keeping your landscape and lawn clean will help maintain the quality of your yard for next year.
    • Reduce the potential for harboring wintering insects and pests.Many kinds of invasive insects spend their winter underground and in the shelter of fallen leaves and debris that have collected at the base of plants. These piles of leaves and debris create a nice, warm place for them to hide, so doing fall clean ups helps slim down the chance of keeping unwanted pests around for next year.

     How do you get started?

    Getting started with fall clean ups is easy! Get in touch with us and we can talk more about what you’re looking for specifically. We’ll do all the yard work so you can spend your time doing more of the things that you love.

    By 7016412154 08 Sep, 2017

    For many of us, fall is the time we start thinking about a major change in weather. The days get shorter, the leaves start to fall from the trees, and all those vibrant spring and summer hues turn to shades of brown, orange, and red. This is about the time many of our customers ask us, “is it truethat fall is a great time to plant things like trees and shrubs?” The answer is yes!

    Why Fall Is a Great Time to Plant Trees and Shrubs in Kansas

    Fall is not the only time to plant trees and shrubs, but it is truly one of the best. Planting during this season allows plants to establish strong root systems before winter settles in. Here are a few of the environmental conditions that make this possible:

    • Warm soil temperatures:When summer turns to fall, the soil is warm and still in great condition for growing young tree roots. The warm soil helps plants adapt better to their new growing conditions; therefore, the majority of root growth for plants happens in late summer, early fall.
    • Ideal air temperature and water requirements:Compared to summer, fall’s mild weather and increased rainfall benefits young trees by helping them adapt quickly to their new growing conditions. While we can experience less rainfall in the fall than in the spring, this is actually a good thing! As we get closer to the winter months, plants will require less water because they will go dormant. They move water and nutrients down to their root zone to further concentrate on root development going into winter. Nevertheless, water applications are weather dependent, and new plantings may occasionally need to be hand watered at times if there’s not enough precipitation throughout the winter months.
    • Less room for insects and diseases:As air temperatures decrease, insects and diseases that target and feed on plant material will become less active. This is due to colder temperatures that are less favored for movement and development than in warmer temperatures. Also, some insects and diseases are nearing the end of their life cycle while others are preparing to overwinter; therefore, young trees planted in the cool fall weather are less likely to be attacked by insects and diseases before winter hits.

    Let’s get started!

    By planting in the fall, young trees and shrubs are able to create a more adapted root system before the chilly conditions of the winter months hit. These healthy root systems will allow the plants to thrive next spring, and help them further endure the humidity, wind, and heat of the next summer.

    Are you interested in new trees and shrubs to further enhance the curb appeal and outdoor living spaces of your home? Our team of experienced professionals can help you get a quick start to the upcoming growing season! Contact us today!

     

    By 7016412154 08 Sep, 2017

    Summer can be tough on your yard. The high temperatures, diminished rainfall, and that slip-n-slide the kids just HAD to have can leave unsightly patches and bare spots in your grass. Even if you don’t see signs of wear and tear, keeping your lawn healthy means making sure the grass is able to propagate, compete with weeds, and deal with other types of environmental stress. Overseeding is a quick, inexpensive way to keep your lawn lush and healthy, and fall is the best time to do it!

    For best results, overseed in the fall

    Many people assume that lawn care is less important in the fall than in the spring. That is simply not true! Fall is actually the best time to overseed because the temperate days and cooler nights provide ideal conditions for seed germination. These conditions allow the seeds to thrive because they retain moisture better.

    We caution against overseeding in the spring because that is typically when pre-emergent treatments should be applied for weed prevention. Pre-emergent is designed to stop seed germination and will counteract even the best overseed attempts.

    Things to consider

    Before you start overseeding your yard, there are several things to consider:

    • Understand the benefit of aeration.One way to be highly effective is to apply seed directly to the lawn after aerating. Aeration holes provide an excellent seed bed!
    • Get the right kind of seed.The right seed for you will vary based on local climate and your yard’s level of use. Do you need cool season or warm season seed? Is your yard high-use with intense maintenance needs or purely aesthetic with low maintenance needs? There are even drought resistant varieties out there if you need it!
    • You get what you pay for.The cheapest alternative isn’t always the best one. Cheap seed can result in generic and poor performing grass. We’re not saying you have to buy the most expensive stuff on the shelf, but quality is linked to price in this instance!
    • Get help if you want it.Aerating and overseeding yards isn’t everyone’s idea of an afternoon well-spent. Our team of lawn care experts is here to help! We have all the right tools and the expertise to get the job done efficiently and correctly.

    Start planning now

    Take a look around your yard. If you are noticing signs of wear and know that you want to overseed this fall, start planning for it now. Grab the right tools for the job or let us do it for you! Contact us today and we’ll keep that lawn healthy and vibrant!

     

    By 7016412154 18 Aug, 2017

    The epitome of contentment, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are one of the greatest landscaping additions out there! Fire features allow you to enjoy your outdoor living space well beyond the warm evenings of summer by providing warmth, ambiance, and a place for entertainment and relaxation. With so many styles and options to choose from, we’re here to help you navigate the road to the perfect fire feature for your style and budget.

    First Choice: Fire Pit or Fireplace

    To be clear, there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing whether you want a fire pit or a fireplace. The decision comes down to a matter of personal preference and budget. Both options will provide you with the warmth and light of a fire, both will provide relaxation and entertainment value, and both have similar selections for building materials and burning options. Here a few of the major differences between the two:

    • Fire Pits:
      • Accessible from all sides, giving you 360˚ of fire-side enjoyment
      • Gret for small and large social gatherings
      • Provide a rustic, campfire setting
      • Won't block the view of your natural surroundings
    • Fireplaces:
      • Accessible from the front only, offering 180˚ of fire-side enjoyment
      • Ideal for small, quiet gatherings
      • Provide a romantic, intimate setting
      • Provide a focal point other than your natural surroundings

    Second Choice: Modular vs. Mortared

    Once you’ve decided on the type of fire feature you want, you next need to decide what materials are best suited to your style and budget. Modular designs are cost-effective and offer simplicity without sacrificing elegance. If you want to go a completely custom route, a mortared fire feature may be right for you. When natural stone is mortared together, it combines to produce stunning results. Mortared fire features are best suited for those who want something totally unique and have the budget to accommodate that.

    Third Choice: Gas vs. Wood Burning

    The last thing you need to decide on is whether you want your fire feature to be wood or gas burning. Wood-burning fire features offer a rustic, traditional setting and give you the sounds and smells of a crackling fire. This option has a lower cost for installation, but it will require a bit of work on your part to get your fire started. Gas-burning fire features are generally cleaner and more convenient. This option is also easy to light and doesn’t produce ash and debris.

    Get Ready to Cozy Up by the Fire, Just in Time for Fall

    With your decisions made and your heart set on your brand new fire feature, it’s time to get started on design and construction. Here at Lawrence Landscape, our team of design experts and craftsmen can turn your dream into a reality. Ready for a fire pit or fireplace installation handled by seasoned master craftsmen and a top-notch design team in Lawrence? Contact Lawrence Landscape online today!

    By 7016412154 17 Aug, 2017
    [image source: The Lawn Institute]
    By 7016412154 17 Aug, 2017

    Over the past several decades, technology has made our lives easier in ways we couldn’t have fully realized before it was created. In fact, not long ago, the idea of a “smart-home” sounded like a concept taken straight from a science fiction novel. Yet, here we are today with smart technology plugged into a growing number of homes. Walk into any big-box electronic store and you’ll find an array of devices that allow you to use your smartphone or tablet to control things around your home, like your thermostat, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, internal and external security cameras, and even the locks on your doors.

    The continuous technological revolution has made equipment like those listed above more accessible and affordable for normal folks like you and me. So, as landscapers and innovators, we got to wondering what role smart technology plays in what we do for you, our tech-savvy clients!

    Smart Technology Meets Irrigation

    One area in which smart technology intersects with our business is irrigation. While many major irrigation product manufacturers are considering this technology, we personally have had great experiences with Hunter® and their HydrawiseTM system. Let’s look at how it works!

    When your controller is installed, we input information about your landscape into the system, for example the soil composition, slope, exposure to sun or shade, etc. Next, you let your controller communicate with your network utilizing your WiFi connection. The genius part about all this is that your WiFi is connected to a physical location, and the internet has weather data for that location. This is fantasticbecause it enables a cool feature called predictive watering. Predictive watering allows your system to automatically adjust based on local weather patterns. THIS IS HUGE! This allows for water conservation without taking the time to look up the weather, go change your controller, find out the weather changed, go back and change it again … you know the drill. We live in Kansas! Hunter® has a neat tool on their website that allows you to calculate how much water you could conserve with HydrawiseTM, albeit an estimate. Try it for yourself by clicking here .

    Another popular feature is that you can download the Hydrawise app to your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to control your system anytime you want, from anyplace that you are! The app is equipped with tons of neat features that enable you to save time and money when it comes to watering your lawn and landscape.

    Smart Technology Meets Outdoor Lighting

    Another point where smart technology intersects with landscaping is outdoor lighting. Our team has experience with Unique Lighting Systems® and their Light LogicTM cloud-based control systems. We love that these systems provide a way to automate and control outdoor lighting conveniently from your phone or tablet. Light LogicTM has their own list of unique features that include wireless controls for up to four scenes, easy retrofitting into existing lighting installations, and astronomical timing which automatically adjusts dusk and dawn times based on your location.

    Transition From “Home” To “Smart Home”

    If you love what you’ve been reading and want to learn more about smart technology for your home, irrigation systems, and outdoor lighting controls, the team here at Lawrence Landscape is here to help! Contact us today to get started on your transition from home to smart home.

    By 7016412154 05 Jul, 2017

    Everyone wants the outside of their home to look beautiful and inviting, but not everyone has the time or patience to deal with landscapes that demand a lot of attention. Let’s face it, we all have a long list of responsibilities that make it difficult to keep up with what’s going on in the yard. Low-maintenance landscapes are a great alternative to demanding ones, but the truth is that low maintenance does not mean no maintenance. Anyone who tells you differently is lying.

    Low maintenance landscapes are attainable through well-planned design. By incorporating outdoor living spaces, plants that are well-suited for the local climate, and materials that help maximize hydration, you can achieve a low maintenance landscape.

    Thomas Rainer nailed it when he said, “Instead of low maintenance landscapes, we need high investment landscapes. High investment landscapes have engaged owners who make smart decisions about the kinds of treatments that will last over time.” (link to the full article by clicking here )

    Create Outdoor Living Spaces

    One very effective way to reduce the amount of maintenance your landscape requires is to incorporate more hardscape elements. Patios, shade structures, fire pits, and decks are all great ways to reduce areas that require maintenance, while also creating functional space that you and your family can enjoy together.

    Play Up Perennials and Native Plants

    Properly-cared-for perennials will come back year after year, so integrating them into your landscape may reduce the amount of time spent replanting things. Some perennials can be fairly high maintenance, but there are several that are not. Some of our favorite low maintenance perennials include day lilies, coneflowers, black-eyed susan, and autumn joy sedum.

    Native plants are already adapted to the local environment, so they naturally require less maintenance and water once they are established. They also have the added benefit of providing shelter to native species in the area. We really enjoy native ornamental grasses like switchgrass, maiden grass, and feather reed grass.

    Utilize Different Kinds of Mulch

    Adding mulch to your landscape beds is a great low maintenance approach because it helps with moisture retention and minimization of weeds. If you use an organic mulch (mulch made of materials like bark, wood chips, etc.), it will naturally decompose over time. This decomposition will improve the fertility of the soil and you’ll only need to topdress it once a year. If you use an inorganic mulch, like gravel or stone, you will rarely have to topdress because it doesn’t decompose; however, you will likely need to water a little bit more due to those materials retaining heat and lacking the ability to retain moisture.

    Lawrence Landscape Can Help with Your Low-Maintenance Landscape

    Our team of landscape specialists is here to help you achieve your goals of a low maintenance landscape. We are here to help with:

    1. Construction of outdoor living spaces
    2. Design and installation of plant material
    3. Irrigation and seasonal adjustments
    4. Year-long lawn and landscape treatments

    Contact us today and schedule a time with one of our landscape designers. We’ll review your goals together and develop a plan that is tailored to your unique style!

    By 7016412154 03 Jul, 2017

    Finding ideas for the perfect patio design is an exciting adventure into your personal tastes. Like any part of your Kansas landscape, your patio is a reflection of what makes your home unique. It is an extension of your personality, likes, and what you feel passionate about. At Lawrence Landscape, our expert design and landscaping team would love nothing more than the opportunity to assist you in building the Kansas patio of your dreams.

    Basic Decisions: Choosing Your Patio Material

    The best place to start with your patio ideas is what kind of material to use. Whether it’s made of cobblestone, brick, or concrete pavers, your patio material will set the tone of your yard:

     

    • Clay brick. A long-standing classic, brick has been a favorite in Kansas patios for both contemporary and traditional designs. Brick can be used to create sophisticated, distinguished patios, or it can be configured to accommodate more rustic looks.
    • Pavers. The king of versatility, pavers can come in natural stone, concrete, and can even be made to simulate the appearance of brick. This option is great for unique design and simplistic bases alike.
    • Stamped concrete. Concrete is an inexpensive, no-nonsense material. Modern concrete can be colored and stamped to resemble a riverbed, bricks, and even natural stone. Concrete can be poured into endless designs and shapes, making for a true “blank canvas” choice.
    • Natural stone. Stone such as flagstone can make for a very appealing, durable option that is sure to last for generations. Earthy and unique, flagstone can be a bit more costly, but the result is absolutely gorgeous.

    Finding Ideas for Your Dream Patio Layout

    The layout of your patio should play to your home’s strengths, or be used to make up for aspects you may be lacking. Ask yourself these questions:

    • What are you using your patio for?
    • How close to your home do you want it?
    • How much space do you have to work with?

    At a loss of where to go with your design? Try these patio ideas:

    • Home-hugging. If you’re working with limited yard space, but you dream of a large patio for your home, consider creating an L design that wraps around two exterior walls.
    • Treat it like a retreat. Take advantage of your patio’s country appeal and create a small patio space away from the home. This mini-getaway can be a great way to relax.
    • Create a dining space. Outdoor kitchens and dining areas have become an excellent and popular option as of late. These are a great choice for smaller homes, where residents may want a more open option.
    • Make it roomy. If your design is for a large patio space, avoid creating a single slab. Consider breaking the space up into multiple “rooms,” as this allows unique design decisions and makes the patio more inviting.

    Transform Your Patio Ideas into Reality with Lawrence Landscape

    Our team has all of the skill and experience you need to refine your dreams into something tangible. Contact us today  to learn more about what patio ideas we have to offer.

    More Posts
    Share by: