Happy Spring Everyone! It’s here! Now is the time!
So many things need to be addressed early in spring to prevent more work later.
Weed Control We recommend two products for all homeowners: Preen for preventing weeds from germinating; and, Roundup for killing any weeds that do grow.
Using a landscape bed pre-emergence like “Preen” or “Miracle-Grow Weed Prevent” (Preen is sold in 20 lbs containers for $27 at Sam’s/Costco – this will usually last one residential home 3 applications or one whole season!) will keep new weed seeds from germinating. You may already have weeds growing in those beds. You can take care of those with Roundup (yes, I used the “R” word! That ridiculous lawsuit has to be felonious – I’ve been in the industry 26 years and know of ZERO people that have had issues – these are guys that use this product 5 days a week, 8 hrs/day). Be careful to spray those weeds in early morning when there isn’t much wind and make sure over-spray doesn’t go into lawn or on nearby bushes. The amazing thing about Roundup is that it has no residual – it doesn’t stay in the soil contaminating nearby streams and waterways. Within 24 hours of spraying, the chemical has broken down and is gone (like cannot be detected by chemical analysis). We recommend you use “Ready-to-use Roundup” because you won’t have to mix a tankful and decide what to do with the balance of the tank. You’ll want to catch those weeds when they are just about the size of your fingernail to prevent them from blossoming and seeding themselves.
Lawn Now is the most crucial application: the lawn fertilizer and pre-emergence. This product feeds your lawn and prevents crabgrass, goose-grass and fox-tail until late August (we want the product to wear off then so we can do seeding in Sept if needed). Put that product down heavy to make sure you get good coverage on the preventative weed control.
Now is also a great time to tackle those moles. Moles are like squirrels and they move from neighbor’s lawn (or wooded areas) into your lawn. Lowe’s sells a bait that works great. It’s called “Tomcat” and is about $20 for 10 baits. You just put on some rubber gloves and put the bait into the tunnel which is about 1 finger-length below the surface–jam your finger into the tunnel and you’ll feel the hollow tunnel, then place one bait and cover the finger-hole. Moles run those tunnels all day long and it won’t be long until they find your treats (this product is also safe for dogs/cats).
Landscape Now is the time to do your spring cleanup–trim back all roses to 12-18″ and cut perennials and hydrangeas to 6″. Clean the leaves out of the beds and put down that first application of Preen. (You’ll need another round of application on 5/15 and 7/15 to finish out the year).
This is the last chance to dormant prune your overgrown bushes! Burning bushes are a favorite bush that grows too large and they get 6′ x 6′ when your landscape would look better with them 3′ x 3′ (not to mention they are so much easier to trim when they are small). Many homeowners talk to us about removing the overgrown bushes and we recommend they just trim them to whatever size they desire while they are dormant. What is dormant pruning? Any bush that loses it’s leaves in the winter can be pruned to any size and it will pop-back with no issues right away. They will often stay the smaller size long enough that you can skip pruning them completely throughout the hot season and then just chop them back again next winter. You might also like to use your battery-powered sawzall to get this done – we love power tools!!!!
Drainage It’s always important to take a walk around your home looking at the soil level around your foundation to make sure the ground is sloping away and the gutters are dumping the water into areas that flow away from the home. This past week, I’ve seen 3 homes where the gutter at the corner of the driveway was allowing water to flow under the driveway because there was not sufficient soil next to the driveway to push the water away. We see gutters that dump into landscape areas that are completely surrounded by concrete so the water has no place to wash. We recommend those gutters be buried into 4″ solid ADS pipe and run out into the lawn away from the house.
If the water gets under the sidewalk or the driveway, it immediately starts causing the soil under those surfaces to settle and then your driveway or walkway is not supported. Over time, this can create a large cavity under your driveway or walkway that will cause those concrete pads to settle. If this occurs, we find out where the water is coming from, fix that and then recommend mud-jacking. Mud-jacking is a service we offer that raises sections of concrete that are structurally sound but have settled or have voids under them. The mud-jacking is done using a limestone slurry that is less likely to settle than mud. It’s a fantastic service that also fills those voids allowing water to get in your basement.
As always, you know where to find us, if you need help with any of your projects. All of us at American Lawn and Landscape wish you and all your loved ones a wonderful Spring season!
Dan Hacker, CEO & President of American Lawn and Landscape