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Nasty Lawn Pests to Keep an Eye Out For

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While you may think that your beautiful backyard is a complete safe zone, you might be mistaken. In a space that seems as innocent as a rose garden, there are risks that you take every time you step outside because of the pests you expose yourself to. These are a few pests and bugs that can be, at best, a total nuisance and, at worst, harmful to you and your family.

Ground Rules

First, there are some basic rules that you should follow. These basic ground rules will help prevent any unfortunate situations:

• First, carefully inspect your work are before gardening. Look for any insects in sight that may cause an issue in the future.

• Before you start gardening, make sure you apply bug repellent to any exposed areas of skin.

• While you’re gardening, wear a hat and gloves to protect from bugs and especially ticks, who love to hide in hard to find areas.

Ants

While it’s true some ants can be beneficial to your garden, by performing important jobs like aerating the soil and pollinating flowers, they can be a huge problem if you discover their nest in your yard. If you disturb their nest, they will quickly turn on you and your garden. Even the innocent black ants can be harmful if you are allergic – they have small stingers that can be an uncomfortable when they sting you. Much more harmful is the carpenter ant. Not only can they sting you, they can tunnel through wood and cause damage to your home. Their bite is particularly nasty, as they inject a type of acid in the skin. The worst type of ant is the fire ant. They are extremely territorial and aggressive, and their venomous bites can leave a painful and burning welt.

Bees, Yellow Jackets, Wasps and Hornets

While they usually keep to themselves, if provoked, these flying pests are not so great for humans. Most people have been stung by now, and know whether or not they might have allergic reaction. Each year, 50-100 people die from a wasp or bee sting due to an allergic reaction. So, if you know you are allergic, make sure to have epinephrine injection kit on hand when gardening. If not, then you might just have to accept that they are going to be there.

Ticks

There are not many benefits to having a tick around. Ticks are pests that can carry harmful diseases. The most common disease they can carry is Lyme disease, but they can also carry typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, anaplasmosis and other types of infection. If you do notice a tick on yourself, clean the area with alcohol first, and carefully remove all of the tick with tweezers. Clean the area again with alcohol and then wash with soap and water.

Insect and Lawn Care Service Southern California

For insect treatment, perimeter pest control and the premier lawn care service in southern California, choose Lawnscape. We take pride in helping to keep your backyard clean and relatively free of pests. We have been serving Southern California since 1979. Our professional lawn care service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike.

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Identifying Common Lawn Weeds

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When planting your garden in your backyard, the last thing you want is to see a bunch of weeds crop up. These unsightly and invasive plants can ruin the beautiful flowers you worked so hard to grow. In the guide below, we’ll list and describe some common lawn weeds you might see, what they reveal about your lawn’s health and how you can control them.

Dandelion

Chances are, you have probably seen this type of weed before. It is a familiar face in the spring and fall, and has a long thin stem with a yellow flower. Because the weed grows long taproots, the best way to get rid of them is to dig by hand, ensuring that you get at least 2 inches of taproot. Your best defense against this weed is a thick, healthy lawn to prevent the dandelions’ wind-born seeds from taking root. You can also spot-spray dandelions with an herbicide that doesn’t kill grass to ensure that they stop growing.

Crabgrass

Just about as popular as dandelions, crabgrass can also show up frequently on your lawn. It gets its name from the way its leaves form a tight, crab-like circle. This weed will crop up annually, and in weak or bare areas of your lawn. Both over-watering or under-watering will encourage its growth; and the same goes for constantly mowing the grass too short. Prevention is the key to getting rid of it. Treat this type of weed in the spring with a pre-emergence herbicide, and you can keep the seeds from sprouting.

Ground Ivy

This type of weed, also called creepy Charlie, likes shady and wet areas of the grass – however, it can still grow in sunny areas. This perennial plant is tough to beat because of its aggressive nature, but there are certain herbicides that are effective. Be sure to read the instructions carefully on the package of your chosen herbicide. And once the ground ivy is killed and removed, make sure to establish grass in that spot quickly to prevent it from returning.

White/Dutch Clover

This weed used to be a common ingredient in lawn seed blends. However, this perennial weed is now seen as the “bad guy” in most lawns. If your soil is poor and low in nitrogen, then you will most likely see this plant. An effective way o get rid of Dutch clovers is to bring up the soil fertility. You can also apply broadleaf herbicide to get rid of it, but you’ll usually need to make several seasonal applications to fully get rid of it.

Chickweed

If your lawn is thin and experiences poor drainage, then you’ll most likely see chickweed. It prefers shady, moist soil with higher fertility. The best way to eradicate this weed is to pull each plant. You can also use an herbicide to prevent the seeds from germinating in spring and fall. Another trick to kill this weed is to step on the stems and slightly crush them. Then sprinkle lawn fertilizer on the broken plants; the nitrogen will kill the chickweed.

Annual Bluegrass

Like the name suggests, this type of weed is an annual weed. When the soil drains poorly and the lawn is scalped, you will most likely see these weeds. A pre-emergent herbicide application before the summer can prevent seed germination. In the future, consider aerating and adding compost to your soil to improve the drainage.

To help get your lawn in the best shape and get rid of common lawn weeds, Lawnscape provides the expertise you need for a yard you can be proud of. We have been serving Southern California for over 30 years, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike.

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Summer Lawn Watering Guide

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To keep your lawn green and healthy, you have to know when and how much to keep it hydrated. That can depend on a variety of factors, like regional climate, grass type, sunlight and more. And with the heat of the summer, it may be more difficult to figure out an optimal watering schedule. Here are our best tips for summer lawn care:

General Tips

• Generally, most lawns need to be watered twice a day, in the morning and night. Your lawn may need more or less watering, so do not be afraid to play around with the frequency. With hot summer days, you may need to water more frequently.

• Water your lawn early in the morning and in the evening. You want to water your lawn during these times, as opposed to when the sun is up, so that the water does not evaporate. If you water your lawn when the sun is up, the water will just be wasted.

• Many (almost all) cities have water restrictions. Take note of the water limits in our city so that you are not breaking any laws.

• Pay attention to the weather. If it is raining, you do not need to water your lawn that day. Besides wasting water, your lawn may become overwatered.

• Watering your lawn is high up on the list of wasteful water activities, so make sure you are just using the amount of water that you need. Take time to observe your lawn as it is being watered, noting where the water ends up. If a good portion ends up on concrete walkways, curbs or the driveway, make sure to adjust.

• Look at your lawn after watering, and take note of any areas where you see puddling of water or places where the water was instantly absorbed. Clay soils, where you would see a puddle of water, cannot easily absorb water. Sandy soils, on the other hand, absorb water very quickly and may need more frequent watering. You can also test you soil with a kit. Take note of what kind of soil you have, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Best Products/Methods for Summer Lawn Care

There are many products out there aimed to help you water your lawn. Here are some of the better ones:

Hose end sprinkler: This type of sprinkler is best for small to medium sized lawn areas. Like its name suggests, it attaches to the end of your hose and helps to evenly disperse the water throughout your lawn. It sits above the ground, and sprays the water in an even pattern .This is a manual sprinkler, so you might want to set an alarm for yourself to turn on and off the sprinkler.

In-ground sprinkler: This is designed to be an in-ground type of irrigation system that delivers water very efficiently. To maximize power, opt for a low-volume, low-angle in-ground sprinkler system. Then, make sure to adjust the angle and placement of the sprinklers so that the water is sprayed on the lawn, covering every inch. Watch the type of spray coming out of the sprinkler too. If it is a mist or fog coming out, then the pressure may be too high.

Rotary nozzle: Also called stream sprays and rotators, rotary nozzles deliver water to your lawn in a slow and even stream. This type of sprinkler is perfect for slopes and anywhere you want deliberate, slow water delivery. Rotary nozzles are designed to work with low water pressure, and will not work as well with high water pressure.

Irrigation timer: Including a programmable timer for your lawn irrigation set up is a great idea, and will save you time and resources. With today’s technology, these timers are becoming more and more “smart,” and some can even set watering schedules based on your climate and rainfall.

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

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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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lawn during summer time, summer garden tips

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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