Partner with a professional: eases the project process

By Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation
Kansas City Gardener

March provides the best opportunity to order the annuals you want to have ready for installation this spring. How do you know what you want or need? Ask yourself a few simple questions and consider a few tried and true suggestions. Before long, you’ll have your order ready, ensuring the best pick of plants you’ll want when it’s time to create a beautiful display.

Take Stock

Look at your canvas. Does the sun bake your yard or do you have problems with too much shade? Notice windy, dry or even wet boggy areas. Do you need to add soil amendments before planting? The microclimate your plants will grow in will help you narrow the options of the types of annuals you can use as you begin to “paint” your garden picture.

Select Theme and Color

Decide the theme of your artwork and the colors you will use in your palette. Are you looking to brighten a dark corner of your garden? Do you want to help cool a hot sitting garden? Do you want to add depth to a yard or draw it in closer as you look out a picture window? Choosing the right plant sizes, colors and varieties can perform all of these effects to your delight.

Color Suggestions

To make a stronger impact in the garden, think about using complimentary colors when deciding which flowers to plant. This website address shows a color wheel and the differences between simple harmony adjacent colors with little contrast compared to simple complementary colors with strong contrast. In addition, you can browse samples of 2-color, 3-color, 4-color, 5-color and 6-color harmony. Using a web resource to view color options can help you make color choices and gives professionals a place to start when ordering the color varieties of plants you want. Also, if your theme calls for the use of the color blue, remember to create a nice solid backdrop for these plants to help show them off, as the eye has trouble focusing on blue in an array of color.

Installation Tips

Use plants of different heights to provide a layering affect in the garden. Depending on the size of the plants you install (2 1/4″ cell, 4″ pot, 6″ pot), use caution when installing, as it is very easy to over plant. Most people tend to install more flowers when they use smaller plants because they want to see faster results. Remember though, if you don’t give the flowers enough room to reach their intended size, they have a tendency to get leggy and not look as healthy as properly spaced flowers.

Added Benefits

You also can select plants to serve other purposes than just garden fillers. Some plants could be herbs for cooking or scented geraniums as mosquito repellent.

Potted Annuals

Perhaps you have some old pottery, baskets, mailboxes, or even a watering pail you adore. Using annuals to fill these containers will add eye-catching flare, and you can recycle some of your favorite objects. When planting flowerpots use accent foliage plants such as tropical hibiscus, caladiums or elephant ears. Think about planting smaller plants of different varieties and shades together in a pot rather than using just one large plant. Don’t forget to add trailing vines to soften the edge of the pot.

Buying Annuals

After you make these decisions, write down your ideas and begin your hunt for the plants you want. You can use a landscape designer to help put your thoughts into action. The designer can help you select plantings and arrangements. They also have access to a wide variety of wholesale growers who often have more selection than your local garden center. Either way, you’ll want to take action and start early to find the best size and selection.

Maintenance

We all strive for the elusive maintenance-free garden, however every garden will require some upkeep to look good all summer long. Maintenance of your flower garden is an important aspect to keep in mind. If you do not have the proper amount of time to spend in your garden, make sure to install low-maintenance plants. You’ll also need to allow time for weeding unwanted undergrowth from your displays. In addition, some plants require more work such as deadheading to remove old flowers, fertilizing, staking and frequent watering. Consider adding special zones to your automatic sprinkler system to provide the water as needed to your annuals or perhaps adjust your current zones to allow for the introduction of these new plantings. If adjusting your sprinkler system sounds great but is beyond the scope of what you can do yourself, call a professional to assist. The art of putting the water where and when you need it will protect your landscape investment and save you time and trouble down the road.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps you want beautiful annual displays around your home and potted plants on your decks and verandas, but don’t wish to do what’s required. Contact a professional at any stage of your garden planning. Contractors will work with you to meet your needs ranging from preparing your soil (the hard work) to completing the entire process. By leaning on a team of professionals, you will educate them about your yard and the landscape goals you have in mind. In return, they can come to your aid when you need to spruce up your yard just before a party or when you take a summer vacation or an extended trip and need daily or weekly service. By developing a relationship with a professional you trust, you will meet your landscape goals over the long run and avoid possible mistakes in layout design or plant selections.

Make the Most of Your Landscaping During Cold Winter Months

It’s that time of year where trees have lost their leaves and flowers stop growing. But that doesn’t mean our gardens still can’t be beautiful!  Here are a few tips to make sure you still love your garden no matter what season it is.

  1. Many decorative trees, such as dogwoods, have visually pleasing bark and texture.  So even without their leaves, they will still beautify your yard.
  2. Use your hardscape to create focal points in your yard. Lighting and deciduous elements will enhance your landscaping all year around.
  3. Trees such as crabapples and holly bushes still have berries even when it gets cold. These kinds of plants will add an elegant color against white snow.
  4. Evergreens make excellent decorative trees even in the winter. They are available in colors other than green, such as yellow and blue, and they keep their color year around.
  5. Use summer containers such as window boxes and hanging baskets. Fill these with rhododendrons and Japanese andromeda to add the perfect touch of color.

With a little ingenuity your outdoor garden can be a stunning canvas no matter what the season. Call the experts at Heinen Landscape year around to assist with your landscaping needs.

Awaken your sleeping garden

By Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation
Kansas City Gardener

While it’s a little too early to begin planting annuals, April offers a great time to prepare our landscapes for new plantings and fresh growth. For starters, we can begin pruning damaged trees and shrubs, clean away debris, have soil tested and analyzed, apply a preemergent, add soil amendments and complete the process by adding a healthy dose of mulch.

Over the winter, the weight of ice and snow may have damaged plant material. If left unattended these plants, trees and shrubs could become diseased, die, or may give you unwanted growth resulting in a plant that is distorted. Pruning these damaged branches will rejuvenate the plant.

Take time to identify the types of shrubs and trees under your care. We’ve all seen trees and shrubs pruned the wrong way. We notice these very quickly. If unsure about the type of plant material in your yard or where to make the cuts, contact a landscape professional.

Other forms of pruning include heading back shrubs to retain size and compactness. You can also rejuvenate some plants by cutting them all the way down to the ground and removing the older canes on multi-stem shrubs. The goal on most plant material should be to keep the inside open to let sunlight penetrate to the middle and invigorate new growth.

Pay special attention to flowering shrubs. Flowering shrubs like forsythia and others need pruning just after they have bloomed to spur new growth and to keep the size of the plant at a manageable level. You will lose a majority of the flowers next season if you prune too late after blooming.

Next, clean the debris clogging your beds. Removing debris can prevent the spread of some plant diseases. For example, if rose plants had black spots last season that caused the leaves to fall off, these dead and diseased leaves need to be removed. Otherwise, you risk re-infecting your plants with the same disease this year.

After pruning and cleaning away debris, you can easily see any weeds needing pulling. You may also want to add a preemergent to your beds. Preemergent herbicides prevent germinating weeds and broadleaf weeds from establishing. These herbicides control annual grass weeds by inhibiting cell division in the young root system. However, preemergents do not kill already established weeds. Contact your local garden center or landscape contractor to learn more about the kinds of preemergent chemicals available and how to use and apply them.

Before planting, think about your soil composition. Plants receive six essential macronutrients from the soil. For a nominal fee, the Kansas State University Soil Testing Laboratory can perform soil tests and analysis to estimate the nutrient-supplying power of your soil. Contact the Johnson County K-State Research & Extension Office in Olathe to learn more at (913) 764-6300. Allow two to three weeks to process your lawn/garden soil samples. Once analyzed, you will know more about what to add to your soil to give your plants the best possible environment.

While waiting for your sample results, use the time to incorporate compost mixture into your soil. Avoid adding compost high in fresh or green woody particles because this will lead to a depletion of nitrogen due to the microbes using it to help break down the woody particles. Now’s also a good time to add a tree and shrub fertilizer to help boost the new spring growth and flowering. Be sure to read your labels to find the amounts you need to use.

Also be sure your compost comes from a reputable source and arrives fully decomposed. Steer clear of compost comprised of grass clippings because the clippings often have persistent lawn chemicals that would not benefit your garden. Once you have completed these tasks and incorporated amendments into your garden beds you should be ready to plant your spring annuals.

Only a few more weeks and the plants will be green and displaying their color pallets of flowers for you to enjoy. In the meantime, adding a fresh layer of mulch will help to retard weed growth and retain moisture in the beds.

 

Planning outdoor living space: core design concepts to consider

By Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation
Kansas City Gardener

The core basis for a good design of your outdoor living space usually consists of a hard surface area that includes of a mix of elements. The kind of mix depends upon how you wish to use your space. Whether for entertaining, a place for children to play, sports, leisure or utility, the appropriate surface for your application will come from many choices such as decks, patios and walkways. In addition, retaining walls, stairways, playgrounds, hammock/bench areas, pools, ponds and fire pits increase your hardscape design options.

From the utility aspect, the hard surfaces you choose will primarily facilitate foot traffic going from patio doors, walkout basements, garage doors, etc. Take a look at where all the natural paths exist. Try not to impede them or try to encourage them to follow the route you would like for them to take, rather look at the natural flow. This will help in planning your design and avoid the creation of muddy footpaths.

Also look at the space you will need for your furnishings and the use of them. For example, if you plan to have a table with six chairs, be sure to allow room for easy passage and comfortable access around the chairs, especially when they are in use. This will help you determine the complete size and configuration of your patio surface. You may choose to place items such as grills further away from the house, after you examine the affects of the heat and smoke on the usability of the adjacent areas.

Whatever you decide you need in your design, you can then influence the shape, texture, and coloration of each element to tie the landscape and the architecture of the residence or building together. The shape may be curvilinear or freeform to produce a more relaxed and natural configuration or may be rectilinear or angular to accentuate a more formal design. In any case, keep in mind the design of the building structure and the theme that it generally produces.

Next, look where you can incorporate landscape beds into the patio areas to help soften sharp corners. You may also use trees and arbors to create shady areas for trellises hosting clematis or climbing roses.

Interesting elevations play a role in design. You can choose to place your patios at different heights to create various “rooms” or areas lending interest and intrigue to your outdoor space. In doing so, you will likely need to add stairs to provide access. The stairs as well as overhead canopies such as trees provide great options for night lighting. Once lit, the lights in trees for example ultimately reflect back down to the patio, yet in a much softer way creating a special mood and ambience.

Should you decide to elevate your patios from the soil surface, keep in mind that it is strongly recommended to use decay-resistant treated lumber materials for the structural members. Once popular CCA treated lumber has fallen out of favor because of the dangerous chemical properties in the treatment process. In place of this, several new products are now on the market, one of which is ACQ, similar in appearance to CCA but less toxic. Overall, decay-resistant treated lumber tends to corrode metals, a key thing to note when considering the use of nails, screws, and joist hangers for your project.

An extensive array of surface building materials exists. You may choose from blended composite materials in addition to South American hardwoods and the overly used cedar. You’ll want to take time to examine the newer materials on the market as they offer many benefits such as reduced maintenance over traditional materials.

In addition, brick, flagstone and pavers offer relatively durable and maintenance free surfaces for patio and walkway areas on ground level or installed above or below areas adjacent to retaining walls. However, these products cost more to install than concrete surfaces.

The process of creating a design brings excitement and anticipation. All the issues for consideration in the process are too many to list here. Consulting a professional will help. You can aid a designer in creating your own living space by noting other residences you have enjoyed, clipping pictures from periodicals showing items that please you, and by ultimately looking at your home from perspectives you may have not considered.

The landscape design/build process

By Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation
Kansas City Gardener

You want a new landscape design.  Where do you start?  You need a plan.  Where do you turn for help?  Lets take a closer look at the process.

Many options exist:  1) hire independent professionals to help you with each phase of the design and installation process, 2) hire a firm that can handle both the design and installation or 3) develop a hybrid solution.

Perhaps you’ve seen information about companies offering design and/or installation services.  In the industry, companies that do both landscape designs and installations refer to themselves as “design/build” firms.  However, designing and building landscapes require two distinctly different skill sets and incorporate two different industries – architects/designers and contractors.

Landscape Designers/Architects

Landscaping design reflects style and artistic talent.  Styles of design vary, such as formal, English garden and colonial to name a few.  In addition, the education and exposure of the individual designer also greatly affects their style.

Keep in mind ten different designers can look at the same property and come up with ten different landscape plans.  So before selecting a designer or a design/build firm, examine their portfolio.  Make sure they have the expertise on the style you desire.

Budget also influences the types of materials and plants specified in a design.  You will want to share this information to ensure you receive a design you can afford to install and maintain.

Ultimately, be sure to select a designer you are compatible with and who understands your lifestyle goals.  You’ll want someone who will listen to your ideas and will take what you are saying about who you are, your home and how you use your outdoor space and will incorporate this information into their plan.

By hiring an architect/designer, you should receive the services of someone who does not have a vested interest in the products or materials used or the method of installation.  Thus, you should receive the best design possible for a price.  On the downside, you will have to pay for this service and sometimes the components of the design may not be the best method of construction from the cost standpoint.

Building Your Landscape

Likewise, on the contractor side, many different talents, capabilities and cost structures exist with each type of construction work.  Interview the individual or design/build firm you want to hire, talk to some of their references and look at some of the projects they have installed.  Do you like what you see and hear?

Three common factors affect the work of all contractors:  cost, quality and service.  Some questions to consider:

Cost – Will they bill separately for the design from the installation?  Will it be hourly or a percentage of the project?

Quality – Are the design specifications complete?  If there is a deficiency, who will pay for the error/omission?

Service – Will the company be able to provide all plans, documentation, samples and licenses/permits to complete the process start to finish?  How about on time and on budget?  Also, how much of the work, if any, must the contractor subcontract?

Design/Build Firms

By putting both of these professions together, design/build firms offer one stop shopping.  The communication process flows from designer to installer because you are dealing with one firm that rallies the expertise of each of their departments to deliver you the best possible project.

You may want to hire a “design/build” firm to avoid conflicts between architects and contractors.  Doing so controls your overall costs and will also generally allow you to save on design fees.

However, design/build firms do have a vested interest.  So, you will want to make sure the individual who designs your project is not influenced too heavily by the capabilities of the construction company for which he or she works.

To avoid this conflict, you may choose to hire a design/build firm and pay for your landscape design separate from the installation.  In this case, you would decide on your landscape design and then secure independent bids, which would include a bid from the design/build firm who created your landscape design.

Often a design/build firm will suggest this alternative as a way to offer both an independent design and installation process.  Some situations may lend themselves to paying for the design independently of the installation.

However, if you have a good working relationship with the design/build firm, you may feel perfectly comfortable having them handle the entire project thereby eliminating any gray areas between the trades and minimizing any miscommunication about your project.

Sound lawn sprinkler strategies: protect your landscape investment

By Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation
Kansas City Gardener

We had scheduled to write about the landscape design/build process this month. However, I decided based upon the amount of positive feedback we received after our April article on “Sprinkler Systems and Hiring a Professional Contractor” that subject warranted a follow up article.

So, now that you have turned on your automatic sprinkler system or have just been trained about the new system you had installed, how are things working? Are your plants growing and thriving, as you would expect?

Protecting Your Investment

Installing an automatic sprinkler system protects your landscape investment. This is the primary reason for installing a system.

Different plants and turf grass have vastly different watering requirements. You’ll want to make sure zones separate the different types of plant materials. For example, turf in full sun may require, by its exposure and type of soil, watering three times per week. On the other hand, shrub beds on the north side of your home in the shade may only require watering one time per week. You’ll want to make sure you have compatible areas or zones programmed for the kind of turf or plant material in each zone.

Water Cost

Ultimately, water cost is an issue – you want to protect the environment, conserve this natural resource and protect your checkbook. In my April article, I mentioned a reputable contractor with expertise in installing and repairing irrigation systems will do a number of key things to determine your needs and to develop the right sprinkler system for you. One of those things includes: designing a system to achieve “matched precipitation” in each zone.

Now what exactly is matched precipitation? Matched precipitation means each sprinkler head in a zone “matches” the other ones in the zone and puts down the same amount of water in all areas of the zone.

Having “matched” precipitation provides a way to ensure you will achieve your watering goals, conserve this natural resource and avoid wasteful, costly water bills. For example, if you desire to water no more than one inch of water per week in a zone, you will have confidence you can meet that goal.

Flexible and Adjustable Programming

Many landscapes installed in Kansas and Missouri have more native type plant material indigenous to the area and thus have more relaxed watering requirements than plant material such as roses, azaleas and rhododendrons. I recommend you divide your sprinkler system zones to have control over each of these different types of plant materials. Newer technology in sprinkler controllers allow for multiple programs and down to the minute programming to help you control the amount of water usage.

Repairs

If you had a system installed, be sure to receive a visual drawing (also known as an “as built”). This drawing will save you cost for future repairs.

If you have to call an irrigation contractor to make adjustments or repairs you can typically expect to pay a service call fee, an hourly rate for labor and for any parts used to make the necessary repairs. To keep expenses to a minimum, hire an experienced contractor and show them your “as built”. You’ll save money in the amount of time it will require to diagnose the problem and make the repair and the as built will help the contractor quickly gain experience with your system.

Water drainage, erosion and sediment solutions

By Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation
Kansas City Gardener

April showers bring May flowers and, for some of us, the welcome rain may also bring a soggy yard, foundation problems, and an early death to our prized trees, shrubs and grass.   In our area, we generally expect water to dissipate within 48 hours.   That’s the standard.  Beyond a 2-day dry out, standing pools and puddles of water indicate a drainage problem.

On the flip side, when water drainage happens too rapidly erosion and sediment shifts result.  This also produces undesirable outcomes.  Valuable topsoil may move from where you want and need it.  The result – your landscape investment will wash down the sewer if not adequately protected by proper grading and water run off systems.

Hiring a landscape and irrigation contractor that understands drainage, erosion and sediment issues will save you time, frustration and heartache. A professional will show you ways to solve your concerns.  In the end, you’ll protect your investment, enhance the beauty of your landscape and improve the usability of your yard.

Water comes from two primary sources:  natural precipitation in some form and water artificially supplied by irrigation.  A portion of this water seeps into or percolates down through the soil to provide moisture for plant life.  Any additional water becomes excess.

When excess water causes a problem, look for the source – all sources.  In addition to the two primary sources of water, excess water may be coming from properties adjacent to you.  Raising or lowering the soil elevation, by creating berms or swales, can create diversions and channels to redirect flow.  Landscape features like dry creek beds with river rock, perennials, shrubs and trees may also provide a way to channel the water.

Next, look at your own property and see how water moves along paved surfaces, patios and even roof structures.  When you add up the square footage and where the total area discharges, you begin to get an idea of the amount of water you need to manage. Remember, water will travel faster, and thereby drain more quickly, from a hard surface such as a roof or patio, than from a shrub bed or turf areas.

A key item to consider – do you have a good positive flow of water away from your foundation?  Through the addition of soil and possibly gutter extensions, you can move water away from your foundation.  However, if you have wood siding, soil will need to be at least six inches from it because of wood decay or termites.

If these methods do not correct the problem, drain tile may be necessary.  This would involve the installation of various types of piping and inlets.  Consult your drainage contractor to review the types and sizes available.

Overall, the correction of drainage issues can sometimes be a progressive approach.  Follow the steps, and look at all the possible methods, because it will ultimately save you money and give you the best solution.

Time for an Irrigation System

By Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation

Kansas City Gardener

So you want to do more with your time this spring and summer than drag your hose around or worry about the amount of water (or lack of water) your precious plants, shrubs and trees will get? Or perhaps you already have a sprinkler system and need a professional to inspect, repair or adjust your system for optimum performance. A few tips will help you make an educated decision when hiring a professional landscape and irrigation contractor. A reputable contractor with expertise in installing and repairing irrigation systems will do a number of key things to determine your needs and to develop the right sprinkler system for you.

  • Take time to check the water pressure (static and working pressure) at the site.
  • Measure the space you want irrigated and determine the total square footage of water coverage.
  • Check the volume of water your meter and service line will provide and can handle.
  • Ask about how you use your property and about special needs.
  • Understand the different water requirements of flowers versus shrubs, grass versus trees.
  • Notice how the sun will affect your water needs and incorporate this knowledge into your plan.
  • Listen to your concerns and address them.
  • Listen to your plans for the future and incorporate them into the system.
  • Ask about your water conservation views and recommend a flow meter to help conserve water.
  • Make recommendations for zones based upon the water needs of your plants, shrubs and trees.
  • Design a system to achieve “matched precipitation” in each zone.
  • Think about how the system will adjust to your lifestyle over the next five, ten or 20 years.
  • Take time to explain their proposal and answer your questions to your satisfaction.
  • Have underground utilities marked and located before installation.
  • Pull the proper permits before beginning.
  • Present a visual drawing (“gas built”) to you of the system upon completion.

Pick a contractor that will grow with your needs and will service what they install. Contractors who listened to you during your initial meeting will have made helpful recommendations. You’ll thank them for the forethought they incorporated into your system because a little more thought on their part about the products and design they recommend will save you time, repairs and service later.

Avoid firms that just install sprinkler systems and do not service them. Anybody can have a truck and slap a sign on it and say they are knowledgeable about installing irrigation systems. But how do you know you are dealing with a reputable company? Ask for references, to see their contractor’s license and proof of insurance.

In addition, if the scope of your project requires a building permit, be sure the contractor pulls one. Some municipalities will require a permit for a sprinkler system installation. To obtain a permit this often requires the contractor to have a valid contractor’s license and proof of insurance. In addition, some municipalities will require the contractor to be bonded.

Even if you do hire a firm that just installs be sure you receive an “as built” plan indicating the location of pipe, wiring and key components. Should a service call be needed later, you will have the “as built” to show the new contractor.

Overall, pick the contractor you feel most comfortable in doing business. Enjoy the process of learning about your new system and evaluating bids. Good contractors will welcome a competitive bid environment that allows them to answer your questions and show you the benefits and features of the system they have designed with you in mind.

Following installation, you’ll want to take about 15 minutes with your contractor to familiarize yourself with the control box and the features of your system. Most irrigation systems today are very flexible. You’ll enjoy the variety of controls and monitoring systems now at your fingertips.

Put your sprinkler system to bed: preventive maintenance saves money

By Dave Heinen of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation
Kansas City Gardener

Since recordings began in 1961, most of Kansas and Missouri have experienced the fall season’s first frost – the point when the temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below – in October. This year will likely be no different with the average date of the first frost falling between October 10 and 15 for the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. By the time you read this article, I hope you have already arranged to have your sprinkler system properly shut down. If not, may this article serve as a helpful reminder.

Every sprinkler system must be “shut down” and water drained from pipes before the ground freezes. Some homeowners elect to service their sprinkler system themselves. Others prefer to leave this maintenance to a professional irrigation specialist. Bottom line – should you leave water in the pipes or in the equipment of your system and this water sits there over winter, your pipes will likely break when the water turns to ice. Come spring, you will find a broken system, you won’t know where to look for the break and will need to call a professional to first identify the break and then fix it. These avoidable repairs can be costly.

In addition, fall offers the best opportunity to do a complete check of your sprinkler system as you close it down because the system can be easily viewed in its complete operation. Now, let’s review the two types of systems and how each are prepared for winter.

The first type, manual or hand-operated systems, have drain valves located along mainlines and automatic drain valves located on lateral lines. If your system was installed with this older type of technology, you will need to know where all the manual drains are located so they can be opened and allow any water in the lines to drain. However, as homes change owners from time to time, the knowledge of where the drains are located often is lost.

If you are a new owner of a manual system without this expertise, you will need to create a new “as built” of where your pipes, valves and sprinkler heads are located. If you do not have an original drawing of your system, a professional can recreate one for you. However, expect to pay a nominal fee for this drawing. For speedy and accurate service at the lowest possible cost, irrigation professionals rely on homeowners to keep accurate records of this information.

With manual systems, you’ll also want to know if each of your drainage valves were actually installed at their lowest points. If not, not all of the water will drain. This creates a risk for water freezing and pipes breaking. Again, a professional can check this for you and inspect your system when conducting a sprinkler shut down.

The second method of winterization entails the use of an air compressor, connected to the mainline via a quick-coupling connection. Most modern systems accommodate this type of shut down, as it solves several problems.

  1. There is no need to record the location of manual valves buried in the yard or beds,
  2. Drains do not need to be installed at low points, ensuring system line drainage, and
  3. The system actually has the water and air blown out through the heads, giving a visual inspection of the operation of the system.

Without a doubt, make sure your system is a ‘blow out’ system or is converted to one. Should you need to convert your manual system, this will generally cost less than $200.

Blowing out an irrigation system provides preventative maintenance. When a service technician winterizes your system through this method, you can make sure all is clean and in proper operation before it is put to winter rest. You also receive the benefit of a guarantee that your lines would not hold water causing freeze damage.

Fall Lawn Care Tips

As days shorten and temperatures descend, it becomes time to implement fall lawn maintenance to prepare your home for the upcoming winter, when your lawn goes dormant.

Fall Lawn Care Tips
Fertilizing is essential during the fall months. Fertilization of your lawn can provide an additional nutrient boost to be stored and used during the dormancy period. Throughout the winter, roots will keep growing and utilize these stored nutrients until the spring.

Seeding increases turf density. It improves the overall appearance and health of your yard. Seeding in fall can also help the yard recover from heavy use during the summer and has an effect on the way the lawn will look during the upcoming spring. The best natural defense against insect and weed damage is a dense lawn.

2035 W 59th, front from NEFall is also a good time to aerate your lawn. Lawn aeration fights grass compaction from summer traffic and promotes uptake of oxygen and nutrients.

When leaves start falling, blow or rake the yard clean once per week at minimum. Making sure your yard is free of leaves not only improves appearance, but influences the health of your yard. Leaves block out sunlight, which your lawn needs in the fall as it stores up food for winter dormancy.

Fall is also a good time to contact Heinen to apply grub control and treat your lawn for other potential pests. Waiting for spring to arrive before this treatment can lead to negative implications on your turf. Call Heinen for a free Lawn Evaluation and discover what could be hiding in your lawn.