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How to Keep Your Garden Alive While Traveling

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If you have spent the great deal of time, money, and care to tend to your garden, the idea of traveling can be a source of stress. If you’re traveling for a long period of time, it may be just one more thing you have to make sure is properly taken care of, in addition to a number of other things (e.g. pets, mail, newspaper, children, bills, etc.). For more information on professional lawn service in Los Angeles, consult Lawnscape for a wide family of seasonal tips and lawn care service to ensure the grass is always greener on your lawn.

Below are some tips for keeping your beloved garden alive while you are away.

Water Well Right Before You Leave

This one seems obvious, but if you are only leaving for a few days or up to a week, an easy way to ensure that your plants will survive the time that you are away is to make sure that you water all of your plants well before you leave. This should hold most plants over until you return and then water them again when you get back.

Add Mulch

By adding mulch to your garden bed, you can help keep your plants hydrated. Mulched plans lose up to 25% less water than plants without mulch. By adding mulch, and making sure to not add so much that the crown of the plant is buried, you can help keep the soil cool and moist longer.

Get a Water Timer

There are timers that you can use with your regular garden sprinkler. Using a timer, you can ensure that your garden gets watered for a certain period of time on certain days. You may wish to test out the timed sprinkler system to ensure that you properly set it up. Also, depending on the layout of your garden, you may require more than one sprinkler and/or some connector hoses. This tip works well with the next tip, which is…

Bring Flowering Containers to the Water

If you have potted plants or planting containers, by bringing the flowering containers all together where they can be watered, you can better ensure that all of your plants get properly watered while you are away. Even if you don’t have a sprinkler system, this tip may still be helpful if you are having someone come by to water your plants for you and making it easier for them to tend to your plants and ensure that no plant goes unwatered.

Hire Someone to Help

Last, but not least, find someone that you can hire to help you tend to your garden while you are away. If you are worried about your garden getting the TLC that you know it needs, be very specific on the frequency they need to come by and what exactly you need them to do. Write detailed instructions for them, if necessary. You may have other needs at your home that need attention, so you may be able to hire or ask someone you know (neighbor, friend, or relative) to help you while you are away.

Think Long-Term from the Start

It is helpful to think long-term or “big picture” about your lifestyle as you begin to set out to plant your garden. If you know that you may be away often, you may wish to rethink either the kinds of plants you will have in your garden or what kind of irrigation systems you may want to have built while you’re designing your garden. There are options for weather resistant plants or watering systems that will make traveling and being away a much easier, stress-free experience.

Lawn Service in Los Angeles

Lawnscape Systems has been serving the landscaping needs of residents throughout Southern California for over 35 years. Whether you are just starting to design your own garden or are in need of professional lawn service in Los Angeles to help keep your plants alive all year long, please contact us today at 1-800-225-LAWN or contact us online for your free, no-obligation estimate!

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Preparing Your Lawn for Winter

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When winter finally hits, it’s important to make sure your lawn doesn’t suffer irreparable damage. Harsh weather conditions such as snow, ice, and frost can harm the integrity of your lawn and make professional lawn care seem like an uphill battle. Read on to discover a few ways to protect your lawn and grass and avoid dealing with any adverse, long-term effects.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Never wait for winter to arrive before taking the necessary steps to protect your lawn because, unfortunately, the damage will have already taken place. It is best to prepare your lawn for winter during the autumn season. This will ensure your lawn is in good condition before the first freeze hits and your lawn goes dormant for the winter season. You can take steps to protect your lawn in a number of ways. Clear your lawn of any debris including excess leaves, mulch, lawn equipment, gardening tools, and toys. Raking leaves away will help to avoid wet spots from appearing which can harbor mold and moss.

When your lawn finally goes dormant for the winter season, you will want to keep it clear and deter others from stepping on it as this can corrupt the grass’ integrity and cause injury. Replace any unhealthy grass plants and reseed your lawn before the weather gets too cold in order to fill any patches that may have appeared. Aerating your lawn in the fall also allows nutrients, oxygen, and water to reach soil and permit cold weather seeds the chance to sprout.

Restore Lost Nutrients

As the weather cools down, it is important to replace any lost nutrients that may have been depleted during the summer months. Put aside time to fertilize and apply mulch to your lawn to offer it a chance to flourish once again. A simple way to apply mulch is by utilizing fallen leaves which tend to gather in autumn. Simply shred them by running over them with a lawn mower.

Mow Your Lawn

Another important aspect of lawn care during the winter is to mow your lawn regularly. Keep your grass shorter than you normally would to ensure that rodents such as moles and gophers do not make a home there and ruin your lawn. Keep in mind that your grass will also be growing more slowly as it lies dormant in the winter time. Avoid mowing your grass too short all at once as this can shock the grass, damaging it greatly. Instead, slowly and gradually cut your grass shorter each time. Beginning in the fall, mow your lawn regularly, lowering your mower blade slightly each time.

Weed Control

Although beige, dormant grass tends to be unappealing to most, it can be helpful for a number of reasons. The main reason is that weeds tend to sprout green. This makes them quite easy to identify and then get rid of. It is paramount that you do not pull the weeds by hand as removing their roots will be fairly difficult during the winter. Instead, employ help from a grass-friendly herbicide treatment to kill any weeds that pop up and also protect the grass.

Lawn Care Service in Southern California

For those who love their lawns, but find lawn care to be difficult and tedious, it’s a great idea to seek professional help from a lawn care service in southern California. This will ensure that your lawn looks its best, year-round, with very little effort on your part. Lawn care experts are knowledgeable on how to care for lawns in all kinds of weather. For more seasonal lawn care tips, contact the Lawnscape experts today.

About Lawnscape Systems: For nearly 40 years, Lawnscape Systems has been the top lawn Care service in southern California. Born and bred in Los Angeles, Lawnscape are the preferred experts on Southern California’s turfgrass.

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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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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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Watering Your Lawn on Hot Days

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Summer is arriving quickly and with it will come the high temperatures that can be so damaging for our beautiful landscaping. The damage from summer heat can feel especially frustrating if you’ve been taking extra care with your lawn all spring and have just now finally managed to recover your lawn from the chilly winter weather. Fortunately, the deadly problems associated with high temperatures, like discoloration, brown spots, fungus, disease, and pests can be avoided with proper lawn care. Let’s take a look at how to go about watering your lawn on hot days.

Mow Your Lawn the Right Way

You may want to cut your turf short so that you don’t have to push the mower around under the hot summer sun as often, but mowing too short and too much at once can cause serious damage to your lawn (as can a dull mower blade), making it sensitive to browning and disease. A good general rule to follow is to never cut more than a third of the length of your turf grass at once, so if your lawn looks best at two inches, mow when your turf is about three inches long.

It can also be tempting to try to get up early and mow before the heat of the day kicks in, but your lawn will thank you if you sleep in. When your lawn is still wet from morning dew it is more likely to suffer from uneven cuts and the resulting damage, and watering damp grass can also make it easier for disease to spread around your lawn. Instead, mow in the evening once it’s getting dark to give moisture a chance to reach the roots before cutting and to allow your lawn several hours in the cool darkness to heal from the mowing before facing hot, sunny weather again.

Water Your Turf Carefully

Speaking of drought, correct watering practices are just as important as correct mowing. An irrigation system is ideal for providing turf with the necessary inch or so of water per week, but you can still keep your lawn healthy and hydrated without one. What’s more important is watering at the right time of day. Some people say that watering during the hottest part of the day can be damaging to your lawn. While this isn’t true, watering your lawn on a hot day during the afternoon is less effective because much of the water will evaporate before it can reach the roots of your turf grass. Instead water in the morning, between 3 am and 9 am, to allow moisture to absorb into the soil before temperatures rise.

Another common watering misconception is that you should water a little bit every day, but this type of watering pattern doesn’t allow enough moisture to reach turf’s roots. Instead, water deeply, for about half an hour, three or four times a week to ensure that the moisture can really absorb into the soil and roots. Be careful not to over water, however, as this can encourage the development of diseases and pests.

Be Gentle on Your Turf

Just like you need to avoid damaging your lawn when you mow, you also need to be careful about damaging your turf through cultivation practices or the application of lawn care products. Fertilizing may seem like a great way to provide your turf with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy in the oppressive heat, but in reality, fertilizing only encourages growth, causing plants to expend extra energy and causing further stress to your grass. Similarly, hold off on aggressive cultivation strategies like aerification and dethatching that can damage your lawn when it’s at a reduced ability to heal until the fall or spring when your lawn is at its healthiest.

Stay on Top of Lawn Care All Year

Prevention is always better than response, so don’t slack on lawn care while the weather is cooler. Keeping your lawn healthy throughout the year ensures that your lawn is in healthier condition when summer starts, making it much more hardy and able to survive scalding temperatures. Luckily for you, we have plenty of resources to provide you with the information to keep your lawn in top shape all year long. Don’t forget to browse our Seasonal Tips page for updated information as each new season arrives.

Hire a Professional Lawn Care Service

If you are struggling with watering your lawn on hot days and keeping your lawn healthy during the Summer months Lawnscape Systems, Inc. can help. Lawnscape Systems a leader in Southern California lawn care, offering a variety of lawn care programs and services with something for every lawn caregiver. Contact Lawnscape Systems today to keep your lawn in the best health possible all year long.

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How to Maintain Seasonal Lawn Care

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It can be easy to fall into a routine when it comes to your lawn care. However, your lawn changes throughout the year, so the way you care for it must change to match. This not only keeps your lawn healthy, but also beautiful and in top condition for your enjoyment all year long. Let’s find out how you can get started with seasonal lawn care.

Spring

The best way to start your spring lawn maintenance is with a soil test. A thorough soil test should check for soil pH (neutral soil, with a pH of about 6.5, is best for growing turf grass) and phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium salt (potash) levels. If levels are good, you don’t need to waste time and money applying lime and if not you won’t waste on soil amendments that will be ineffective until the pH is balanced. If you have good soil, all you need to do is apply nitrogen fertilizer. Remember to sweep or blow excess product onto grass from walks and driveways to prevent these chemicals from ending up in water sources.

Next, help your lawn recover from its dormant winter state by mowing, edging, and dethatching. Till or aerate your soil to improve drainage. Finally, get ahead of potential weed problems. Soil amendments are a great start, but you can also apply products like weed and feed fertilizers and pre-emergent herbicides. You should also use effective weeding strategies on weeds as soon as weeds crop up to avoid growing weed problems and lawn damage.

Summer

Summer heat can be drying and damaging to lawns everywhere, but especially so in Southern California, but the way you water can massively impact the effectiveness of your efforts. Water early in the morning, before 9 am or late in the evening after temperatures have dropped to allow more water to be absorbed into the soil instead of evaporating. It’s also more effective to water for half an hour every other day than to water daily for a few minutes, as this allows the water to reach the lawn’s roots.

Take the opportunity to stay out of the heat by letting your grass grow longer between mows. Longer grass shades and protects the soil, keeping it hydrated and promoting the retention of nutrients.

However, a healthy lawn can attract pests and encourage the growth of fungus and diseases, especially if the lawn has excess moisture, so keep a careful eye out for these problems so that you can quickly nip these problems in the bud. For severe pest problems, professional intervention may be the best option.

Fall

Fall is the ideal time to help your lawn recover from summer damage and begin protecting your lawn before winter arrives. Reseed any damaged spots and, if you have heat resistant turf, consider over-seeding your lawn to help increase survival during winter. Aerate before seeding to help new turf put down roots and improve resistance to winter damage. Fertilizing after aerating add extra nutrients to your soil and allow these nutrients to further penetrate the soil, helping your turf to survive the winter. Start to cut grass shorter than usual. Short grass will survive the winter better, but cutting too short too quickly can be harmful to plants, so do this gradually.

Weeds can be easy to miss during the fall as they grow slower, they can be hidden by fallen leaves, and lawn caregivers become less careful. Be sure to keep up your weed prevention routine to avoid weakening your lawn before cold weather begins.

Winter

Southern California winters may be pretty mild, but our turf still becomes dormant during the cold, so it’s still necessary to practice seasonal lawn care to ensure a healthy and beautiful lawn. Applying a layer of mulch can protect the nutrients in the soil during the cooler months. Winter slows the growth of grass, so be careful not to over mow.

You may also want to take advantage of the almost inevitable browning of your lawn with weed control. Weeds are hardier than standard turf grasses, so while your lawn becomes discolored, they tend to stand out in the same bright green they always are. Be careful to use a targeted herbicide or an herbicide shield. Even though your grass is dormant, it can still be damaged by herbicides.

Professional Lawn Care Services

If you’re not sure where to start your seasonal lawn care, a professional lawn care service like Lawnscape might be the right choice for you. Since we started in 1979, Lawnscape Systems, Inc. has been one of southern California’s leaders in lawn care. Lawnscape offers something for virtually every homeowner, and because we only use high quality and EPA certified products, you never have to worry about what products are being applied to your lawn and garden. No matter what you want from a lawn care professional, don’t wait to act. Contact Lawnscape Systems right away to keep your lawn in top shape year-round.

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Watering Your Lawn: How Much is Too Much?

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Watering your lawn is a delicate balance. Too little and the grass turns brown and dies, too much and you drown the grass and leach nutrients out of the soil. Striking that balance can be difficult, and failing to do so can leave you with a less than stellar lawn. One of the most common pitfalls isn’t underwatering however, its overwatering. Over-watering also has more severe consequences in the short term, and causes problems that are more difficult to correct.

Overwatering Kills Plant Roots

Oversaturating soil has many negative effects for plants rooted in that soil, particularly shallow-rooted plants such as turf grasses. The soil under your grass is largely porous, and those pores are typically filled with air. Excessive water pushes out this air and can lead to suffocation of grass roots, which weakens the plant and cuts off its nutrient-gathering ability. This leads to dead spots, brown grass, and sparse or patchy lawns.

Overwatering Wastes Money and Resources

Watering your lawn too much also wastes money and drives up your water bill, while simultaneously wasting valuable natural resources. Ground-water, particularly in areas that are prone to drought, is a limited resource that needs to be jealously shepherded in order to maintain sufficient water supplies for more vital operations. This is especially true in places like Southern California that tend to deal with summertime droughts and a lack of groundwater availability. Wasting this groundwater can exacerbate drought conditions and contributes to water shortages.

Too much water also pulls important nutrients out of the soil and washes them away. This can lead to dry soil that can’t support plant life, which makes for something of a perfect storm of erosion potential that can end with your topsoil getting washed away.

Overwatering Leads to Nitrate Pollution and Over Fertilization

An often-overlooked consequence of too much water in a yard is the risk of nitrate pollution. Nitrates, essential nutrients for plant development, are heavily present in fertilizer. This is excellent for getting your grass to grow, but it can also lead to nitrate pollution of groundwater resources, particularly nearby lakes and rivers. It’s important to carefully control the amount of water a heavily-fertilized lawn gets to avoid this nitrate pollution of local groundwater. The same goes for lawns that have been heavily sprayed with weed killers or other pesticides and herbicides.

You will also be spending much more on fertilizer if you’re overwatering your lawn, and may find that you’re not getting the results you expected. This is in large part because overwatering will carry all of those valuable nutrients away. This leads to more fertilizing, which leads to more groundwater pollution, and starts a vicious cycle that ends with tainted groundwater and a lawn that’s just as dead as when you started.

Maintaining the Right Amount of Water

All of this raises the question of how exactly a homeowner should gauge the right amount of water for their lawn. Well, as a general rule, your lawn needs about 1.5 inches of water every week to stay healthy. To gauge this, simply run your irrigation system and measure the output of the system by placing a few straight-sided containers out to see how much water each area of your lawn is getting.

If you want to get more precise, real-time measurements, which can be particularly useful if you have problems getting your lawn healthy, you can invest in a series of soil sensors that will automatically update you on the state of the moisture levels in the soil. This lets you achieve the ideal amount of water for your lawn, without over or underwatering.

Getting Professional Help with Your Lawn

Lawnscape Systems, Inc. has been the premier choice for lawn care in Southern LA since 1979. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of lawn care and maintenance, contact Lawnscape today to see how we can help keep your landscaping healthy and beautiful. We can help ensure your lawn stays healthy and green year-round, without any worries of over or under watering.

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Best Lawn Care Tips

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Working with wheelbarrow  in the garden

With spring rapidly approaching, many homeowners have begun to think about spring cleaning. While maintenance jobs and a deep clean of the inside of your home are common as the days get warmer, few people think to take advantage of the warming weather to thoroughly clean and maintain their lawns and gardens as well. However, taking the time to clean and maintain your lawn during the spring and fall, when the weather is more mild and comfortable, saves time and energy during the summer and winter, when being outside can be miserable. So how can you clean up your lawn?

Remove Debris

First things first: clear any debris in your lawn or garden. Use a leaf blower to clear roofs and gutters, then mulch leaves using a lawn mower or rake them onto a tarp for easy removal. Wind, rain, and other weather events can tear up your trees. Pick up any sticks or fallen branches that the weather has left behind. You can move them to somewhere they won’t be a problem, chop them up for firewood, or use a wood chipper to turn it to mulch for your lawn or composting. Then pick up any other debris, such as animal waste, pinecones or straw, rocks, sticks, and toys, tools, and other household goods.

Smart Weed Elimination

Ideally you should deal with weeds as soon as you see them, but that’s not always practical. If you’re like many homeowners and have let weeds build up, now is the time to deal with them. It can be tempting to deal with weeds by using a generous amount of herbicide, but you won’t be doing your landscaping any favors by overdoing it. Pull weeds or use other elimination methods before using herbicide. If you must use herbicide, use as little as you can and be sure to protect non-target plants with a spray collar. Never spray on a windy day.

Trim and Reshape Plants

Before you start, make sure all your tools are sharp. Trim any ornamental grasses. Prune back any bushes or shrubs. Reshape them, but also don’t forget to remove flower buds as needed to make sure they don’t bloom early. Carry a five-gallon bucket to deposit your clippings and trimmings so they don’t get left on the ground, making more of a mess. Cut back or remove branches from trees as needed. This is a great time to mow your lawn, but it’s also a great time to maintain your mower. Sharpen and clean your mower blades, and check to ensure that your mower belts are free of cracks and wear.

Consider Composting

While cleaning and maintaining your lawn, you’ll accumulate a lot of plant waste, like leaves and plant trimmings. A great way to remove this waste while getting extra benefit for your lawn is to compost it. Use a wood chipper or your lawn mower to break the plant waste down to small pieces, then place it into a compost bin where they can heat up and break down. Later, you can use this compost to fertilize your decorative plants.

Engage in Prevention

Spring and fall are also perfect times to prevent weeds and animal pests. This will make cleaning and maintaining your lawn in the future much easier. Mulch and landscape fabric can be used for gardens. Animal pest prevention depends on your specific problems, but common pest prevention strategies include pest proof fencing and planting pest proof plants.

Professional Lawn Care Services

Cleaning and maintaining a lawn can be incredibly rewarding. It’s a great feeling to see the improvements to your lawn and know that you are responsible for them. For many people, it can also therapeutic and relaxing. However, it also takes time and effort we don’t all have. In these situations, a professional lawn care service may be the solution.

Since we started in 1979, Lawnscape Systems, Inc. has been one of southern California’s leaders in lawn care. Between our two landscape programs and wide variety of additional lawn services, Lawnscape offers something for virtually every homeowner, whether you want to wash your hands of lawn maintenance and care entirely or just want a little bit of help, and because we only use high quality and EPA certified products, you never have to worry about what products are being applied to your lawn and garden. Contact Lawnscape Systems right away to get your lawn in the best shape ever.

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Watering Your Lawn the Right Way

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No facet of lawn maintenance is as hotly debated or as often misunderstood as proper watering practices. Conflicting information and the vast differences in how you should water based on where you live can make watering your lawn properly an extremely daunting prospect. We’re going to change that.

We want to make watering, the most important aspect of lawn maintenance, a little more straightforward and simplified. There are a few simple things you can do to put together a plan to keep your lawn watered and healthy, without running afoul of any of the pitfalls of lawn maintenance (overwatering, underwatering, too much erosion, etc). We can also help you water your lawn in the most efficient way, which should help keep you in compliance with any local watering restrictions, particularly if you’re in an area like Southern California, that is frequently plagued by drought conditions.

Making Sure Your Lawn Gets Enough Water

Keeping a lawn green requires a lot of water, there’s no way around it. On average, most lawns require somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 to 1.5 inches of water every week to stay thick and vibrant. Some notable exceptions are areas that stay in shade, which need less water, and hilly or sloped areas, which should be watered in short bursts in order to allow the soil to absorb enough water without becoming saturated, or worse, start to erode.

There is an element of experimentation to watering shady or hilly areas, so don’t be afraid to play around with the way you water your lawn. You might find that shaded areas need dramatically less water than areas that receive frequent sunlight. Then again, you may find that areas that receive less sun need just as much water. With hilly or sloped areas, you’ll want to avoid washing soil down the slope, or letting water pool at the bottom. This all depends on the amount of water your soil can absorb before it becomes saturated and can’t absorb any more.

Water the Right Amount for Your Soil Type

Finding the perfect watering schedule for your soil type is another area that requires some experimentation and tinkering. For example, if you see a lot of standing water every time you water your lawn, and you aren’t over watering, it’s quite likely you have a soil that has a high clay content. Soil with a large amount of clay can’t absorb water quickly, so you’ll want to water in short, repetitive bursts. Thankfully, clay-based soils also don’t let go of water very readily, so you won’t have to water as much or as often to keep your lawn healthy. The water is much more likely to be retained by the clay than it is to seep away or evaporate in arid conditions.

Obviously, clay-heavy soil is just one possible option for what you might have underneath your lawn. For more detailed watering regimens, you’ll want to have your soil tested to get a better idea of its exact makeup, and then change you watering plans accordingly.

Gauging How Much Water Your Lawn Is Getting

Of course, all of this is a bit of a moot point if you have no way of gauging how much water your lawn is actually receiving from your irrigation system. To really nail down the amount of water your lawn is getting, it’s a good idea to test your system before you commit to a watering plan.

Start by rounding up a number of straight sided containers at least a couple of inches deep. You can use coffee mugs, Tupperware, or even empty soda cans with the tops sliced off can work well. You’ll need one for every 5 square yards or so of lawn you want to cover. This can mean your whole lawn, if you have a buried sprinkler system, or it can be just a small area if you are looking to use a hose-end sprinkler or other mobile system that will be moved around the yard.

Set your containers out, and try to get the most even coverage you can. Run your irrigation system for twenty minutes. When that’s done, go to each container and measure the amount of water in each, taking special note of any that have a much higher or much lower amount. Add up the total depth of water in each container, and then divide that number by the number of containers. Then, multiply the result by three to get the amount of water your system puts out per hour. You can then adjust your watering schedule and patterns accordingly.

Professional Lawn Care

Lawnscape Systems, Inc. has been the premier choice for lawn care in Southern LA since 1979. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of taking care of your lawn, contact Lawnscape today to see how we can help keep your landscaping healthy and beautiful.

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