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Tips for Commercial Lawn Mower Maintenance

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Once you have your own commercial lawn mower, it can be easy to forget about or avoid maintaining it. However, keeping up with commercial lawn mower maintenance and cleaning does not have to take too long or require much effort. You can greatly improve the quality and life of your commercial lawn mower with these easy steps.

Pay Attention to the Air Filter

The air filter in your commercial mower needs special attention and care as it has an important job. In a properly working mower, it will take in air from the top, push it through the filter, and release air at the bottom. This allows all the dirt and debris sucked in with the air to be deposited at the top of the filter. Without the filer, the dirt will travel through the foam layers of the mower, stopping the mower from functioning properly.

Check and clean the air filter with these methods:

1. Clean the filter by first brushing off the dirt with your hands. Then wash the filter with soap and water – dish soap works best. Dry as best you can with paper towels, and let it air dry in the sun.

2. Re-oil it after cleaning to ensure that the dirt remains trapped in the filter. You can do this by taking a Ziploc bag of oil and submerging the filter in it. Work the oil into the filter by squeezing the outside of the bag. Take the filter out and remove excess oil with a paper towel and place it back inside the lawn mower.

Clean the Underside of the Mower

Every day, you should check and clean the underside of the lawn mower deck – or at least after every use. This is very important to do because this area of the lawn mower gets very dirty quickly. As you mow the grass, dirt and grass clippings stick to the underside of the mower deck. If you don’t clean it regularly, the layers of grass and dirt will accumulate, causing the deck to rust and reducing the quality of air flow.

To clean it without removing the deck from the mower, use a method to lift the mower, like a jack stand or forklift. Then wipe off the dirt and debris with a scraper or putty knife. Avoid scraping too hard. If you routinely clean the deck, it should be easy and painless to clean it.

Sharpen the Blades

If your lawn mower has dull blades, it will tear the grass rather than cut it. When grass is torn, the ends will become jagged and turn brown – even if you are watering your lawn adequately. So, it is important to sharpen the cutting blades at least three times a year.

You can sharpen them yourself using a jack stand to prop the mower on its side. Then remove the spark plug (to prevent the motor from starting) and use a wrench to remove the nut that secures the blade to the mower. Gently remove the blade and sharpen using a file or grindstone. When you are finished, put the blade back on the mower.

Check Tire Pressure

Just like your car’s tires, your mower’s tires will need to be checked too. Because this is the simplest type of commercial lawn mower, it can easily be overlooked. However, you want to make sure to check the tire pressure regularly as lower pressure leads to a more unbalanced cut.

Run the Engine Efficiently

This means to run the engine at right RPMS (revolutions per minute). Every mower has a different optimal RPM, so make sure to check the handbook. Running the mower at the right RPM will drastically improve the cut.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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Treating Fleas and Ticks in Your Yard

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Flea and tick season is upon us, with the warmer weather certainly bringing about these pests to your yard. However, they are not too hard to eliminate from your home! With a few, easy methods, you can get rid of fleas and ticks in your yard before they have the chance to pester your family and your pets.

Trim Your Lawn

Make sure the lawn in your backyard is the right height. If it’s too long, it makes it easier for fleas and ticks to hide and lurk in the tall stalks. By mowing your lawn regularly, you can ensure that your lawn height remains short enough to prevent teas and ticks from hiding in it. However, make sure the grass isn’t too short as you want to attract spiders and ants – a flea’s biggest predators.

Avoid Overwatering

Make sure to water your lawn properly, giving it enough water to thrive but no so much that it remains wet or flooded throughout the day. Fleas and ticks in your yard prefer a moist environment, so too much water will definitely attract these bugs to your yard. Aerating your lawn may also help if you are having a drainage issue.

Clean Up

Like most pests, fleas and ticks thrive in a messy, dirty environment. These types of environments produce a number of different hiding areas for fleas and ticks to lay eggs. Make sure to remove any piles of lumber, bricks or stones. Pick up any trash, discarded pots, gardening items and any other debris around the back yard. When the growing season is over, make sure to clean up your garden and properly stow and tools that will not be used in the near future.

Treat your pets with preventative medication

One of the best ways to prevent ticks and fleas is to treat your pets with preventative flea and tick medicine. These pests can easily hitch a ride on your dog or cat from an outside area and bring them into your home. The cost of these preventative medications easily pay off by saving your home from the invaders.

Clean the Pet Area

As mentioned before, fleas and ticks can easily enter your home and backyard by your pets. Regularly clean everything in your pet’s areas, like the dog’s bed and kennel, wiping down surfaces and vacuuming floors. Remember that flea larvae remain with 50 feet of your pet’s hangout areas, so make sure to clean the surrounding areas. And if you suspect that your pet has fleas or ticks, immediately clean their area after you treat them.

Protect Your Home

You can create a barrier around your home to protect it from fleas and ticks with a perimeter treatment. A perimeter treat is usually an insecticide specifically designed to create a barrier, stopping pests before they get into your home. They can be used on solid surfaces, like brick and concrete, as well as on soil and plant material.

Use Cedar

Did you know that cedar mulch can effectively repel fleas and ticks? It’s a great natural and chemical free way to combat these bugs. You can use it border pet areas and along the edge of your property to create a barrier.

Invite Predators

Fleas and ticks in your yard have natural predators, like spiders and other larger insects. You should make your backyard more appealing to these predators by incorporating their favorite plants in your yard and keeping your lawn height at a good level.

Keep Out Wildlife

Depending on where you live, gophers, squirrels, rabbits, rodents, deer and other wildlife may be sneaking onto your property. In addition to other annoyances these pests can cause, they can also bring fleas and ticks into your yard. Make sure you are taking action to repel these creatures as well.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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How to Aerate Your Lawn

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You don’t need to be a gardening expert to know that aerating your lawn is important. And because there are many different ways to aerate your lawn, you don’t need to be an expert to perform this important task either. There are many approachable, DIY methods for people of any skill level.

The Best Method

There is a bit more to aerating the lawn than just punching holes into the ground. There’s a right way to aerate your lawn, and there is definitely a wrong way. Let’s start with the right way: actually removing the soil cores when punching holes into your lawn is the best method. If you just punch the holes but do not remove the soil core, then you will just be compacting soil that is already compacted. Removing the punched out soil will actually allow air to reach into the soil.

Find Your Tools

There are a few different options for tools, either motorized or manual. For small lawns, a manual aerator works best and will produce better results than a motorized aerating tool. You can find tools like this at your local gardening or home improvement store, which usually require foot-power to punch holes in the ground and extract the soil cores. There are spikes that you put on your shoes so that all you have to do is simply walk around your yard. However, those do not remove the soil core.

You can use an automated aerator for bigger areas. They have a circle shaped drum in the front or back that is filled with hollow spikes or cylinders. You can either buy or rent these machines, although renting might be the smarter option. Remember, this is a huge, heavy piece of equipment. When picking it up, bring at least 2 people and have a full, empty truck bed to load it on. You can even consider partnering with neighbors to all chip in for renting one. And make sure to make you reservation early if renting during the busier times – spring and fall weekends.

You can also find an ionized soil conditioner at your local gardening or hardware store to help aerate your lawn. This solution is used on your lawn to help break up the clay and soil particles and helps microorganisms grow to foster healthy soil and digest waste.

If doing it yourself is not something you want to manage, you can always hire a local lawn service to do the job for you.

Aerating Tips

• Go around your lawn and note any places that have sprinklers, shallow irrigation lines, septic lines and buried utilities. Mark them with a flag so that you don’t aerate in that area.

• Leave the soil cores in place after you aerate to decompose. These contain valuable microorganisms to help digest lawn thatch. To help break them up, you can mow over them or lightly rake them.

• After aerating, water your lawn a few extra times. This is especially important when it’s hot or dry outside.

• If the soil is lightly compacted, you probably only need to aerate one time over, following the usual mowing pattern.

• If the soil is very compacted or hasn’t been aerated in the last year, aerate twice, once in the direction of your mowing pattern and again at an angle to the first. You want to aim for 20 to 40 holes per square foot.

• Immediately following aerating, you can fertilize and seed your lawn. for soil that was heavily compacted, consider using a layer of compost that is a quarter inch thick.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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10 Best Warm Weather Plants that Thrive in the Summer

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The best part of gardening and growing your own plants is seeing the flowers bloom and plants thrive. When summer comes around though, some of your favorite plants may not be up to the warm weather.

We all know that cacti and succulents do amazingly well in the hot weather because of their makeup. However, there are more warm weather plants than just these to add to your garden. For some variety and color, try one of these warm weather plants and flowers:

1. Asters: These tough perennials are sure to brighten up your garden in the summer. They come in colors like lavender, pink and white, and they look like daisies. If you take care of them diligently, you should see them bloom throughout the summer into the fall. The best varieties are A. cordifolius “Cape Cod,” A. c. “Little Carlow” and A. novi-belgii “Melody.”

2. Dhalias: These flowers are beautiful and bloom in a range of colors. They grow from tuberous roots, and come in pink, coral, red, orange and yellow shades. Just make sure to give them light shade if you are in a particularly hot climate.

3. Gaura: G. lindheimeris, or commonly known as Guaras, are unique flowers to add a point of visual interest to your yard or garden. They form white flowers on top of tall spike-like stems and are between 2 ½ to 4 feet tall. Try the Siskiyou Pink version for a 2 foot tall stem with rosy pink flowers. Or try the Whirling Butterflies variety for a 3 foot stem with white flowers on top.

4. Purple Fountain Grass: This type of grass looks great in most yards and gardens, and it really stands up to the heat. It has feathery, rose colored plumes that fade into beige on the way down. They sit on clumps of reddish brown foliage. This grass is a nice way to break up your flowers and add a nice flow to your garden.

5. Penstemon: With lots of small, trumpet shaped flowers growing on a single, green stalk, this plant should make a great addition to your yard for the summer. They come in a variety of vibrant shades, like deep purple, scarlet, pink and white.

6. California Poppy: Scientifically known as Eschscholzia Californica, this plant is the official flower of California for good reason. First, it thrives in dry, non-rich soil. Second, it comes in a variety of beautiful colors: red, pink, orange, yellow, and cream. It grows between 6 and 15 inches tall, and is best when directly sown – it does not take to transplanting well. For coninious bloom, remove any dead flowers.

7. Lantana: This flower blooms annually during the summer and grows to be between 1 to 6 feet tall. It comes in many different colors: red, pink, orange, cream, lilac, purple, white and bi-colors. Two things to know about these flowers: they need to be planted in non-rich soil and in areas where temps stay above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Petunia: These bright and cheerful looking flowers do well in dry climates, with little rain or humidity. They grow in bright colors, and are between 6 and 24 inches tall. To get them to bloom all season, continuously remove any dead flowers.

9. Portulaca: Rose moss is a small flowering plant, clocking in at about 4-8 inches. It comes in red, magenta, pink, salmon, orange, yellow, and white. It loves dry heat, so it will not do well in humid climates.

10. Tagetes: These flowers are a variety of marigolds, and can grow anywhere between 6 inches and 4 feet tall. They come in warm, autumn colors like maroon, orange, yellow, and cream. For the best results, grow from a seed in non-rich soil and deadhead continuously.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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How to Re-Mulch Your Yard the Right Way this Summer

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Wheelbarrow full of compost on green lawn in garden.

Keeping your garden in the best shape possible is hard, rewarding work. And there is one secret that most gardeners know to keep their garden in the best health: re-mulching. The benefits of learning how to re-mulch your yard periodically are huge, and can help keep your plants happy and thriving.

Why Re-Mulch

There are a few major benefits of re-mulching your garden:

• The biggest benefit is cleaning out the old mulch and bringing in fresh mulch. You want to make sure that the mulch in your garden is fresh, and this process helps clean out the dead pieces.
• Re-mulching also allows more air, moisture and nutrients to get to the plants and their roots. During the re-mulching process, you turn over the old mulch and remove the worn down pieces, which helps get more of the air, moisture and nutrients get distributed throughout your garden.

How to Re-Mulch Your Yard

Before you start re-mulching, make sure that there is less than 3 inches of mulch on your garden already – mulch that is over three inches deep is not effective and does more harm than good. You also should turn the old mulch using a pitchfork, metal rake or garden weasel. This will allow it to air out, and allow water and nutrients to reach the plants.

Once the existing mulch is mixed up, then lay a light top layer of fresh mulch on top. A light layer of one inch is all that is needed, and, again, never apply over three inches. You want to avoid covering perennials and leave between three-six inches between trees and shrubs and mulch. When you reach the edge of your lawn, make sure the level of mulch is same as the level of your lawn.

Do’s and don’ts of Mulching

When laying mulch down in your garden, you want to make sure to do it the right way so that you can reap all the benefits. Here are some dos and don’ts for mulching:

Do use it as a decorative element: While mulching can help create a healthy garden, it also has aesthetic value. Choose a color and texture that will fit well into the design of your garden.
Do look at your entire landscape: When designing your landscape, make sure that vegetation covers your entire space, and avoid a space with all the vegetation in one section. In other words, make sure there is a good balance of mulch and plants.
Do clean it: This is where re-mulching comes in. When you are re-mulching, make sure to remove and clean up any mulch that is too old, and replace it with new mulch.
Do try different types of mulch: Different types of mulch work better with different types of plants. Bark mulches are best for trees and shrubs, and grass clippings are great at suppressing weeds. If you think that the type of mulch you are using isn’t working well, don’t be afraid to mix it up.
Don’t forget bare soil: There are many environmental benefits to mulching. When there are exposed areas of soil in your garden or yard, erosion and sediment runoff will occur. Mulching can help combat this.
Don’t overdo it: When you use over three inches of mulch, the benefits disappear. Thick layers can suffocate plants, and moisture will not be able to penetrate down to the plants. Plants will die very slowly from over-mulching, meaning you might not catch your mistake in time to save them. To keep your plant healthy, use only a three-inch layer.
Don’t ignore the trees: Make sure to protect the trunk of the tree with mulch. This will create a protected area for the tree to grow better.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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Warm Weather Watering Tips

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You’ve worked hard on your garden all year, carefully planting the seeds and dutifully tending to them as they grow. When warm weather rolls around, you want to do everything you can to protect them from the heat. The best way to guard your garden from the hot weather is to water them the right way. There are certain Summer gardening tips and guidelines to follow so that your plants can thrive in the warm weather.

Watering Schedule

Put your plants on a watering schedule. Set reminders for yourself to water the plants or program your sprinklers to go off at a certain time to make sure that you don’t forget. The best times to water your garden is in the early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t out. If you water during the day, most of the water will end be being evaporated from the sun, which is why it’s best to water at other times.

Water Strategically

One of the most important Summer gardening tips is to make sure that enough water is going down to the root of the plant. This is critical because the water needs to get away from the hot surface and the water needs to encourage deeper rooting for the plants.

To make sure that water is going deep enough when using a sprinkler, there is a simple test you can do. Take a small cup or container and place it in your garden or around your plants. After the sprinklers have gone off, see how much water was collected in the cup. There needs to be at least an inch of water to ensure that the roots are getting enough moisture. If watering your plants by hand, make sure that the water absorbs into the soil and that you are not just water the leaves/vegetation. Use a nozzle that creates a gentle, rain-like watering for your plants.

It’s important that the water stay in the ground too, and not just evaporate. Organic mulch, like wheat straw, ground bark and pine needles, can help provide a barrier between the hot sun and the wet soil. Just spread a 2-3-inch layer out and around your plants. With the mulch, you may even find that you have to water less.

Indicator Plants

An indicator plant in your yard or garden is the plant that is the first to wilt. You can watch this plant closely to see if your plants need more water. In general, more leafy plants, like a squash or cucumber plant, will be good indicator plants for your garden. However, in the heat of the summer, these plants may always wilt in the middle of the day. They should return normal, though, in the cooler evening hours.

No Wet Leaves

Many plant diseases need 2 things to survive: moisture and heat. Since you can’t do anything about the hot weather, make sure that you keep the leaves and vegetation of plants as dry as possible. If you water the plants yourself, this will be easier. However, if you water your plants with a sprinkler, make sure to water in the early morning so the plants have time to dry off before the heat of the day.

Heat Tolerant Plants

To set your garden or yard up for success, it may be best to just plant things that grow well in the heat. Depending on where you live and what the climate is, these plants and vegetables should grow well in the heat of the summer:

• Beans
• Tomatoes
• Eggplant
• Peppers
• Cucumbers
• Summer squash and zucchini
• Melons
• Okra
• Swiss chard
• Watermelon
• Succulents
• Cacti

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn. For more lawn care information and Summer gardening tips, contact us today!

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Spotting and Removing Garden Mushrooms

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removing garden mushrooms

Imagine looking out at your beautiful garden or lawn in your backyard. The green grass, tall trees and colorful flowers or vegetable plants make for a pretty picture. You worked hard to make it look beautiful, and your plants are thriving. Then, however, you spot some unwelcome visitors that have cropped up: mushrooms!

Whether it be because mushrooms might be toxic to pets or they look visually displeasing, most people will want to remove these fungi. There are some easy ways of removing garden mushrooms in your yard, and can be done in just a few hours or less.

The Main Methods

1. Prevention: Ideal conditions for mushrooms to grow are damp, dark environments. If there is too much moisture and not enough sunlight, mushrooms can easily grow and invade your lawn or garden. To prevent this, make sure that your yard can get plenty of sunlight. To combat the moisture, make sure that your yard has an effective draining system and do not over water. Also, make sure there is no dead or decaying plant debris, as the mushrooms could be growing off of that.
2. Vinegar: Vinegar is a great option to use when making your own fungicide. In a spray bottle, add one part white vinegar to 4 parts water. Shake it up and spray directly on the mushrooms. Acetic acid is an active ingredient in vinegar and is very effective at removing garden mushrooms. However, be careful when using this method as this DIY fungicide can also kill your plants and grass. Make sure to only spray on mushrooms and avoid spraying on a windy day.
3. Fungicide: A ready-made fungicide could also work to kill off the mushrooms in your backyard, and they are available at most gardening and home improvement shops. Make sure to follow the directions carefully on the bottle.
4. Removing: Perhaps the easiest method, you can always just pick them with your hands or a tool to remove the mushrooms. If using your hands, make sure to use gardening gloves for your protection. Remember to remove the entire mushroom, including the root.

Consider This Before Removing Garden Mushrooms

Before getting rid of these fungi, know that they could be beneficial. If your lawn or garden has an excess amount of dead plant matter and debris, mushrooms could be cropping up to help clear that stuff out. They are especially good at degrading the dead plant matter in your garden, and can even be a warning sign that your lawn or garden has too much debris. They also distribute your lawn with nutrients in their process of breaking down the debris.

Different Types of Mushrooms

There are a few different types of mushrooms you could be seeing in your lawn. Some are harmless, and some are toxic:

Horse mushrooms: The caps of the mushrooms are white with a yellow tinge to it. They grow to be about 12 cm high and 3 cm wide. These mushrooms are not toxic.
Meadow Mushroom: The caps of these fungi are also white, but the gill, the inner side of the cap, is a dark brown color. These are also not toxic to you or your pets.
Death Angel: As the name suggests, these mushrooms are toxic. The caps and the gills are both white, so watch out for these ones.

Whatever your reason is for removing mushrooms from your lawn and garden, know that it can easily be done in a few hours or less with these simple tips. Remember to regularly check your yard for decaying plant matter or debris and make sure your yard gets plenty of sunlight to prevent fungi from invading your lawn.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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Creative Ideas for Shade in the Backyard

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With summer right around the corner, we will definitely be spending more time outdoors. Your backyard is fair game for get-togethers, barbecues, pool parties and relaxing with your family. However, nothing ruins the outdoors quite like too much sun, so having shade in the backyard is a must.

If you don’t already have shade in your backyard, it’s easy to shield areas from the sun. Creating shade in your backyard can completely change the look and feel of your yard, and make it a better place to entertain guests and spend your time. Consider these creative ways to add shade in the backyard.

Fabric and Tarps

By draping fabric or tarps you can create a restful, aesthetically pleasing space. Depending on what type of structures you have in place already in your backyard, you will have to get creative with how you drape the fabric. If you have a pergola or slatted ceiling, for example, it could be as simple as laying a tarp across the structure. If you have a deck, you can anchor the fabric to the deck railings to create a canopy. Make sure you choose a fade resistant and water resistant fabric or tarp specifically made for the outdoors.

Umbrellas

Perhaps the easiest way to create shade, a patio umbrella can make a great addition to your yard. They are available at most hardware and home decor stores, and you can match them to patio furniture to help keep dining outdoors cooler and more enjoyable. Drinks and appetizers in your backyard never sounded better!

Umbrellas are also mobile, meaning that they can move with you wherever you go. Whether you’re hanging out by the pool or tending to your backyard garden, an umbrella has you covered.

Pergola

A pergola is another great way to help create shade in the backyyard. It can help filter out sunlight and provide an architectural point of interest in your yard. There a ton of options depending on your style and budget and are available at most home décor stores. There are even DIY tutorials so that you can make your own.

Since a pergola doesn’t provide a completely shaded area, you can always use a tarp or fabric draped across the top to completely cover your space, as mentioned above. A pergola gives you more freedom when it comes to creating shade, allowing partial sun to warm you up on cooler days and the option to create total shade to cool you down on warmer days.

Natural Shade

This vine has a mythical look that can make a beautiful addition to your backyard. You can train the vine to grow and cover a free standing structure or a pergola to create an oasis of shade. Wisteria is a high climbing vine that droops in clusters of lilac flowers. It blooms in the spring, but the vines and leaves can provide shade year-round. It needs to be planted in fertile soil with full access to sunlight and can be trained to grow along a structure. Because wisteria can grow quickly, it is best to plant it in an area without other plants as it may overtake their area.

Trees are another great source of shade for your backyard. They are naturally cooling, and can provide a nice focal point if your yard is bare. You should choose a fast-growing tree that is suited for your area. Since trees can last a long time, you want to make sure you choose the right kind for your climate and one that fits your style. Rather than just going to a nursery to pick out a tree on the spot, take some time and research different kinds of trees that will do well in your yard.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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7 Must-Have Gardening Tools

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must have gardening tools to have a beautiful backyard

As the weather warms up, spending time in your garden will become a more frequent habit. Planting seeds, watering the flowers, observing the buzzing bees and hummingbirds and watching your plants grow tall and strong are all things to look forward too. To make gardening easier, more effective and even more enjoyable, consider some of the best gardening tools available:

1. Hand Rank

One of the handiest and best gardening tools you can have, a hand rake has many uses. It can be used to loosen up the soil, bringing much needed air and moisture to lower layers of the soil. To make sure that your hand rake lasts for a long time, consider buying one that is made of stainless steel or aluminum.

2. Trowel

This handy tool is a shovel with a pointy end and is perfect for breaking up the dirt and digging up holes. Look for a trowel that will last long and has a comfortable handle. Since you’ll be using this to dig, a comfy handle is important.

3. Shears

A lot of cutting and pruning is needed to make plants grow. A sturdy set of shears will make the process so much easier. You can use them for pruning overgrown plants, deadheading (removing dead flowers), edging bushes and shrubs and so much more. Ideally, you should have several pairs of shears in different sizes. You should have bigger ones for cutting the big plants and smaller ones for cutting the delicate plants. When you’re at the store, ask if you can try out a few pairs to see how well they cut and how they feel on your hands. Choosing the perfect pair can make pruning and cutting a more enjoyable process.

4. Gloves

Protecting your hands is really important when tending to your garden. A durable, well-made pair of gloves can be among your best gardening tools, protecting your hands from all kinds of things – dirt, fertilizers, thorns, thistles and more. And if you are allergic to certain plants or fertilizers, these can save your hands from getting irritated and keep them confortable while handling these things.

5. Shovel

Different than a trowel, a shovel is also a necessary tool for your garden. Shovels are good for digging and lifting heavier things, like gravel and hard, packed dirt. And like a trowel, you want to look for a comfortable one that will last you awhile.

6. Plant Sensor

An EasyBloom Plant Sensor is a perfect tool for novice gardeners and experienced gardeners alike. It is basically a stake that you stick in the ground of your garden. You leave this tool in the ground for a few days so that it can collect data. It then looks at how much sun your plants are getting and how much water your plants are receiving. After those few days, take the stake out of the ground and find the USB drive part of the tool. Stick that in your computer to see the data and even get recommendation about how to improve your garden.

7. Gardening Apron

This tool may seem like a non-necessity but trust us when we say that it actually is needed. When gardening, you have a lot of tools and equipment that you need to carry around. In any gardening session, you will probably use many tools. Instead of trying to juggle them all at once or setting the tools on the ground for you to trip on, you could put them in your handy apron. Look for a sturdy, well-made apron with big pockets. Any gardening store or home improvement store should have good options. You can even make your own if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. They service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Their fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn

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Top Plants That Thrive in Clay

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It’s no secret that planting in clay soil can be difficult – the clay becomes solid when dry and slippery when wet. When you are working with clay soil, you have two options: 1) Try to change the composition of the soil or 2) find plants that can thrive in this type of soil. Changing the soil composition is a long process that requires a lot of consistent hard work. Finding the top plants that thrive in clay, on the other hand, is easy.
There are actually many plants and flowers that do surprisingly well in clay. Try growing a garden with these adaptable plants:

Asters are daisy-like flowers that do amazingly well when planted in clay. They are very adaptable, usually bloom in autumn and grow 2-5 feet tall. Plus they come in a variety of colors, lavender, pink, white and more. Fun fact: they get their name from the Latin word for “stars.”

Goldenrod plants, in the Crown of Rays variety, are less than 2 feet tall, bloom in the late summer and have spiky yellow flowers. Other types of Goldenrods grow well in clay, but can grow up to 5 feet tall.

Russian Sage thrives in dry, hot conditions. In fact, this flowering plant does so well that some consider it to be an invasive species. Its lavender flowers and silver gray leaves make it a visually stunning addition to your garden.

Daylily flowers can grow in all types of conditions, making them great to plant in clay soil. They bloom several times throughout summer and come in a number of colors.

Little Bluestem is a North American prairie grass that can withstand long periods of drought with roots that burrow deep within the soil. It usually has blue/green foliage that turns crimson in autumn.

Fountain Grass is very low maintenance ornamental grass. The “Hameln” variety is shorter than other kinds, growing to about 2-2½ feet tall.

Ironweed is a tough perennial flower that can withstand drought and the summer heat. Its flowers are a pinkish purple color and even attract butterflies.

Canna can bring a tropical, dramatic vibe to your garden with its lush, colorful flowers and green foliage. It grows between 2 to 6 feet tall and can grow in poorly drained soils, like clay.

Black Eye Susan flowers can add a sunny, bright feeling to your garden. The most commonly grown variety is “Goldstrum” and is a bright, gold color.

Perennial Geraniums bloom in spring and can grow in full sun to part shade. They will continue to bloom throughout the summer, bringing lots of color and life to your garden.

Coral Bells, named for their small bell-shaped flowers, come in a variety of colors from silver to peach to deep purple. To see bright pink flowers set against silvery foliage, try the “Paris” coral bells.

Blazing Star is an interesting-looking plant: the small, densely clustered flower heads are feathery and colorful on long slender stems. Because they tend to look like feathers, the plant is sometimes called gayfeather.

Bee Balm can attract hummingbirds to your garden, and it is resistant to deer and rabbits. Its colorful flowers are red, pink, lavender and purple.

Sea Holly can add texture to your garden with its clusters of blue flowers and jagged leaves. This plant is also resistant to deer and rabbits.

Purple Coneflower attracts birds and butterflies to your garden with its colorful flowers. It needs a lot of sun to grow and comes in colors like red, burgundy and pink.

Coreopsis is a flowering plant perfect for covering the ground. It loves the sun and blooms in the summer.

As evidenced above by all these types of plants, clay soil is not death sentence to your garden. Plant a few of these top plants that thrive in clay and watch them grow into a medley of colorful plants!
Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. They service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Their fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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