Archive for the ‘Life & Lawns’ Category

3 lawn care strategies to avoid with kids around

According to IBISWorld, an organization of analysts that researches economic, demographic and government data, lawn care is a multi-billion dollar industry. With so many choices available, it can be easy to get caught up in the vast array of products and services designed to help you improve your landscape. But you should keep in mind that an effective lawn care strategy typically values simplicity over technology. From pests to disease, here are three mistakes that you must avoid when you have kids.

1. Treating all pests instead of focusing on the ones you have. Many homeowners make the mistake of attempting the blanket approach when treating a yard for pests. However, Purdue Pesticides Programs encourages you to identify specific pests that are the root of your problem and treat your yard exclusively for them. Using “kill-all” treatments can waste money and time, as some pests require specific pesticides. Plus, it’s a smart idea to keep pesticides to a minimum whenever children are around.

2. Ignoring turf density and focusing on quick growth. Some homeowners place too much emphasis on growing a quick lawn and forget the value of dense turf. Ruth Micelli of Daytona Beach’s Flagler County Cooperative Extension maintains that thick turf is the best weed prevention possible. Not only does properly established turf prevent weeds from getting the direct sunlight weeds require, but it also reduces the area that weeds can expand into. A weed-free lawn means healthier grass for children to run on.

3. Cutting too much and too short. Nothing symbolizes spring and summer lawn care more than a good mowing. However, it is very easy to cut too often or too short for your lawn to recover. The Iowa State University Extension recommends cutting once per week at an average height of 2.5 inches. Cutting just about one-third the length of your grass blades allows for nitrogen-rich clippings to fall and encourage healthy growth. Using this strategy means less need for commercial fertilizer — and less chance children will be exposed to it.

The bottom line is that savvy lawn care strategies can give you a lawn you’ll not only be proud of but also confident is safe for the kids to play on. And the best part is that these tips and tricks mean more money in your pocket at season’s end.

Why lawn care is like working your muscles

It’s a new year, and with that new year, I have made the resolution in my mind to lose a little weight. You guys may not know this, but us lawn guys gain weight during the winter slow season. Anyway, I started doing some different exercises utilizing kettle bells. In addition, I adjusted my nutrient intake (eating) and am making sure to stay well hydrated so my organs function properly.

Your lawn needs to workout, too!

Any of this sound familiar to you? Well, for me, all I can see are parallels to my work in lawn care. Let’s look at some of them.

  1. If you think about working out your muscles, you need to put some pressure or stress on them in order for them to grow. The same goes for the lawn. Pressure, when kept in check, is good for the lawn. Just cutting the lawn puts a bit of stress on it, even if you cut your grass properly. But we know this is a good stress because it stimulates growth both on top and in the root zone, making the lawn thicker just like your muscles.
  2. We feed our bodies healthy nutrients, and the same goes for the grass. If you put solid-quality, slow-releasing nutrients on your lawn in the right proportions and at the right time, your lawn will respond and stay vigorous for the long haul.
  3. Water is the staple of life. You need proper water intake in your body so your liver functions properly. The same goes for the lawn. If you keep it properly irrigated, you will find that everything else will just work out.

So you see that working out and staying healthy is very much the same whether you’re talking about your lawn or your body. Isn’t it great when people notice your hard work and say to you, “Hey man, nice grass?”