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If you’re trying to get your lawn in shape, but have lots of weeds, or moss or some other problem, the following steps will help you get started.

Topsoil and Compost Problems for 2019

This year there are some considerations that aren’t typical. Since we’ve had a lot more rain than normal over the past year, we have very wet and clumpy topsoil. This is not only true for lumbrjake.com, but for all topsoil and compost providers in the mid-Atlantic.

The clumpy topsoil problem is not too much of a problem for professional landscapers. but it often presents quite a challenge for a home do-it-yourselfer. When the topsoil is really clumpy, it is very difficult to spread. As such, homeowners may find it difficult to get the material spread evenly. Professional landscapers have two things going for them… First, they have man power. When the topsoil needs to be broken down and raked even, it helps to have an entire crew. Second, they have the right tools. Using soil spreaders can help, but they can become easily clogged. Having a commercial grade soil spreader can really help.

This spring you can expect your topsoil delivery to be a bit moist and clumpy, so be prepared to deal with it.

With the topsoil issue aside, here are the steps you need to take to get your lawn growing great this year.

  1. De-Thatch your lawn. Thatch is the woven, un-decomposed grass and weed build up at the very top surface of your lawn. You may want to rent a power dethatcher for this. It’s usually around $50 for a few hours and you can bang out the job much quicker than with a hand rake.
  2. Add your topsoil/orgrow/compost. A good idea is to top dress the yard before over seeding. Lumberjake.com has several options depending on your needs. If you’re not sure what you need, give the Garden Center a call. Spread your top dressing across the yard in a thin layer – usually 1-2″. If you have depressions or low areas, you can fill them to level things out.  Order Topsoil or Orgrow Here.
  3. Choose a seed that will match the growing conditions. It’s important to use a shade seed or a high sun seed to help your lawn grow best.
  4. Water. When you first plant, you’ll want to water once or twice a day as directed on your chosen seed bag.

These steps should help you grow a beautiful lawn this summer. Order your top dressing today!

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Keeping your yard and landscaping beautiful is part of Summer. Saturdays spent mowing and trimming are a way of life for many northern Virginia homeowners. We all want beautiful surroundings, but there are a few things that even the most conscientious home owners consistently get wrong! It all starts with some myths about how and when to take care of your landscaping. There are a few things that are easy fixes, and that can make big improvements. Take note of these changes and start implementing them now…

Don’t Cut Your Grass Too Short

Grass is Too Short – Avoid Patches and Brown Spots!

It might seem like cutting your grass nice and tight will make it look better and make for less maintenance, but it is exactly the opposite! If you keep your grass very short, it can do quite a lot of harm to your lawn in a few different ways. First, the short grass means that the delicate roots can be left exposed to intense summer heat. That intensity can harm the roots and cause patchy growth.

Second, the problem is compounded because short grass makes it much easier for weeds to take hold and grow. Very short grass does exactly the opposite of what most homeowners want!

The best practice is to keep your grass mid-length which is typically around 3 or 4 inches of blade length. For most lawnmowers, that’s the middle wheel setting, or perhaps one setting longer than middle. This will keep your grass the perfect length to be as healthy as possible through the summer.

Watering Your Lawn At The Wrong Time

Ever feel water out of a hose that’s been left in the sun? The water comes out HOT. The sun has very intense energy and can heat water up very quickly. Some people believe that by watering during the heat of the day, the plants and grass are getting a nice feeding of sun and water, but that is not the case. Watering during the day can lead to a couple of problems, both are terrible for your lawn and garden. First, the water can evaporate very quickly, so while it may seem like your giving plenty of water to your grass, the roots never absorb as much as you think. Second, the water sitting on grass during the high heat of mid day can also have a burning effect. The best time to water is in the cooler mornings or evenings, when the plants can fully absorb the nourishing hydration.

Choose Your Summer Plantings Wisely

When you head over to the Gateway Garden Center to pick some new plants for your front beds or your garden, take the extra time to read the care and feeding labels or to ask an experienced staff member. Some plants just don’t like to be planted in mid summer. It’s much better to add new landscaping with plants that thrive at that time of year. There are also little tips and tricks for various plants. For example, Climatis is a beautiful climbing plant that many homeowners plant below a trellis, or at the base of a mailbox or lamppost. But Climatis likes shady feet. Putting this plant in the ground with its lower stems exposed to full sun may not be the best option. In summery, take care to check what you are planting and where you are planting it – summer may not be the best option for planting some varieties.

Landscaping can be fun and is a regular part of summer life for people in northern Virginia. Just take care to follow these simple, yet often overlooked, steps for better landscape maintenance.

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