Posted by & filed under lawn care .

It seems every year that more and more people are getting into the lawn care or lawn maintenance business. Figuring out whom to trust, and why, becomes harder with each new company that enters the marketplace.

It is a fear many of us will experience. You have just handed a check to someone you have briefly met in exchange for services at your home or business. Sure, their online reviews were great, but can you really trust that they will provide you with the pleasant experience or product they claim?

Thankfully, NALP, the National Association of Landscape Professionals has a new designation to help combat these fears when selecting a landscape, lawn care, irrigation or interior landscape professional; the Landscape Industry Accredited Company designation.

LawnAmerica is proud to be the only company in Oklahoma and among the first seven professional companies in the United States to earn the Landscape Industry Accredited Company designation.

So what does that mean for YOU?

It means we are committed to the necessary training, education, safety, and ethics that are required to provide the highest level of care for your property. It means that we are committed to raising the standard of professionalism in the green industry.  It means you can trust that we will always do what is best for you, for your lawn, and for the environment.

Why should you check for the NALP company accreditation when looking for a professional lawn care service?

NALP accredited companies are:

  • Committed to Customer Service Excellence

While online reviews are a great place to start separating the great from the not so great companies, NALP took things a step further, completing an in-depth satisfaction survey and requesting details on how LawnAmerica cares for customers. For us, customer service is so important that we made it our mission statement; “to please our customers so much that they’ll tell others about us.” We know that to do this, we need to go above and beyond the ordinary to exceed expectations, and that simply satisfying customers through basic or minimal experiences has no place in our company. We are grateful to continuously receive compliments from customers on our lawn care service, but it’s the compliments we receive regarding the quality of our employees and their attention to detail, care for the customer, and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to exceed their expectations that we value the most.

Knowledgeable

To earn accreditation, professional lawn care companies must have at least 10% of their staff Landscape Industry Certified. Certification is administered and maintained by the University of Georgia and gives employees comprehensive knowledge on proper care of warm and cool season grasses.  Rigorous written and in-person tests are overseen by the National Association of Landscape Professionals to ensure certified techs are up to speed.

  • Safe

Safety is paramount to a successful lawn care company. Each accredited company must participate in a nationally recognized safety program. It demonstrates a commitment to the safety of our customers and employees on each job site.

  • Ethical & In Compliance

Prior to earning the NALP accreditation, companies must prove their ethical client relations and business practices. The National Association of Landscape Professionals verifies that we provide clear client communications and ethical operating procedures. They also verify we maintain proper insurance coverage and warranty policies. This ensures that each Landscape Accredited Company complies with state, local, and federal statutes and licensing requirements, all providing you peace of mind and comfort.

Do you want to learn more about LawnAmerica’s core lawn care and enhancement services? Visit our website here or give us a call 918-249-5296 or 405-562-4300.

Posted by & filed under mosquitoes, pet care .

Mosquitoes.

The insect that everyone loves to hate, and the ultimate party crashers.

Every time we want to be outside enjoying our beautiful lawn, mosquitoes end up crashing the party, annoying and biting us and our loved ones.  It isn’t just us humans that they are after though; they will zero in on our pets too causing issues such as heartworms in our four-legged friends.

Heartworms, according to an article published by the FDA, are caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis.  These worms are carried by mosquitoes and under the right conditions can cause infections primarily in dogs, but also in cats and ferrets. Left undiagnosed or untreated, these parasitic worms will mature, reproduce and move into the heart and lungs of our pets causing sickness or even death.

Thankfully, there are multiple ways to help prevent the spread of heartworms to our furry friends.

  • Since mosquitoes are most active around dawn and dusk, limit outdoor exposure for both yourself and your pets during these times.
  • Use of preventative treatments for pets is recommended. Products like Heartgard or K9 Advantix help to repel mosquitoes as well as fleas and ticks.  Consult your local veterinarian for the best product for your pets.
  • Eliminate all standing water from your lawn. Replace the water in birdbaths frequently, and don’t forget to keep your gutters clean.
  • Use a professional service, like our BuzzOff! Mosquito Control Program, to help kill existing mosquito populations and interrupt the life cycle of the mosquito.

We all love our dogs, and I have been told there are apparently people who even like cats. Regardless of species, we want to make sure they are all well taken care of and live a long, healthy life.  Helping eliminate mosquitoes is just one way that we can ensure our pets are happy and healthy.

For more information and a few more tips check out this blog from the Pet Health Network.  You can also give us a call.  We are always happy to discuss dogs….I mean services.

Posted by & filed under azaleas .

Everyone has their favorite spring flowers.  For some, it is the daffodil that pops up signaling the start of spring.  For others, it is the tulip that is in the background of so many Easter photos, but for me, its always been the azalea.  Technically, azaleas are evergreen shrubs, but the burst of colorful blooms they provide every spring makes them a special sight to behold.  I especially love the older and more mature varieties that can be found in established parks and neighborhoods throughout our beautiful state.

Although still a shrub, azaleas require a little more effort and care than other evergreens such as boxwoods or holly bushes. Here’s what you need to know to give them that extra T.L.C.:

  • Azaleas prefer a more acidic soil to perform well.

This can be accomplished by mixing in peat moss, pecan shells, or a combination of the two at the base of the plant.  Keeping the pH low will help prevent the leaves from turning yellow and the plant from looking sick.

  • Be sure to fertilize azaleas after the blooms fall off.

We recommend a balanced fertilizer like the 18-10-10 that we use in our Azalea Program.  In addition to the slow-release and organic fertilizers, we include granular sulfur in this enhancement service to help lower the pH which keeps the plant looking healthy. We also include a systemic insecticide to help with the control of aphids and lace bugs.

One common mistake to avoid is fertilizing azaleas too late in the season.  Fertilizer applications in the fall will actually push the blooms out too early, stealing the potential for the flowers to bloom the following spring.  You can confidently fertilize as soon as the blooms are spent, but we don’t recommend acting later than July 1st.

  • Pruning is also vitally important.             

Make sure you prune azaleas as soon as the blooms are gone.  New buds for next spring start forming as early as July, so if you wait too late to give your azaleas a trim, you risk cutting off all of its potential blooms for next season.

Hand trimming generally provides better results and keeps azaleas looking more natural.  Some homeowners try to shape azaleas like boxwoods, but in doing so, inadvertently limit the number of blooms the plant can produce.  Azaleas are naturally a little gangly in appearance, and hand-pruning individual branches helps to maintain that natural look.

Azaleas can be a little extra work, but when your property is the envy of the neighborhood next spring, you’ll be glad you invested into preparing them accordingly.

For more information on how to care for your azaleas, to inquire about our tree and shrub enhancement service, or to request help from the experts at LawnAmerica, give us a call at 918-249-5296 or 405-562-4300.

Posted by & filed under lawn care, nutgrass .

This blog was originally posted a couple of years ago, but Brad Johnson did such a good job explaining everything, we decided to leave it alone and present it again.

The reason they call it Nutgrass is not because it drives homeowners and lawn care operators nuts trying to control it, but rather the little nutlets in the soil from which it germinates. Nutgrass is actually a sedge and not a true grass. The main species we deal with in Tulsa and Oklahoma City is Yellow Nutsedge. Purple Nutsedge and Green Kylinga are other species we see in certain areas. Sedges love to grow in moist soil conditions, and we certainly have had our share of that lately. Yellow Nutsedge has tall triangular stems, with narrow light green blades. After mowing, it is hard to notice. However it grows about twice as fast as your turf, so a few days after mowing, it’s sticking up tall and scraggly looking. If left un-mowed for over a week, it can produce a spikelet seedhead, which is even more obnoxious looking! Each nutsedge plant produces hundreds of nutlets underground, which spread out along underground roots. This is one reason why it has exploded in populating many lawns in Oklahoma lawns and other areas. There are thousands of nutlets in a typical lawn just waiting to produce nutsedge plants. Once established in a lawn, it often forms larger areas of plants clumped together. Since it is a sedge, conventional pre-emergent herbicides do not stop it from germinating. It will come up starting in April, and continues to grow and take over lawns on into late summer.

At LawnAmerica, we have used a unique product named Echelon for the past few years for customers on our very best 6 and 7-Step Showcase Care Program. Echelon is a unique, and somewhat expensive product (as most new chemistries are), which is a combination of Barricade pre-emergent for crabgrass and Dismiss Herbicide for nutgrass control. It’s the Dismiss that will not only control nutgrass that is up and growing, but will actually kill the nutlets in the ground also. Plus, Dismiss will control many summer broadleaf weeds, such as dandelion, oxalis, spurge, and others. We have timed this special blanket treatment of Echelon to be applied from early May through late June, when Nutgrass is up and growing, along with other summer annual weeds. We also mix a small amount of our Soilbuilder Organic Soil Amendment into the mix, giving these lawns a slightly deeper green color response.  After an Echelon treatment, these lawns are pretty clean and free of nutgrass and other weeds. Plus, the extra Barricade pre-emergent herbicide applied with this helps prolong your crabgrass control longer into the summer.  We also have seen that with this product being applied annually, there is a decrease in the number of nutlets in the soil, leading to less pressure from new Nutgrass germinating.

If you have experienced a bad nutgrass problem, as many customers have, this new product really works well!  If you are not currently on our 6 or 7-Step Program,  you can still upgrade to this service level if you contact us now. We can apply Echelon up until late June and obtain good results.

Posted by & filed under bermudagrass, lawn care .

After spending almost 20 years in lawn care, you come to realize that there is rarely anything new under the sun.  While every season presents its own unique set of challenges, you can always count on weather to impact how quickly nature wakes up, lawns start to look good,weeds begin to germinate and our infamous Oklahoma wind. For a growing number of homeowners with bermudagrass lawns, you can unfortunately count on signs of Spring Dead Spot too.

Spring Dead Spot is a disease that primarily affects bermudagrass lawns, though not all bermudagrass lawns are impacted.  Spring Dead Spot, or SDS, is relatively easy to identify due to the mostly circular or arc-shaped patches of dead turf that become visible each spring as the healthy turf starts greening up. In some cases, it almost looks like crop circles.

The severity of the damage is dependent upon a variety of factors which include the type of bermudagrass , it’s cold-tolerance, the severity of winter, and application of late-season fertilizer. Colder temps and prolonged time periods below freezing are more commonly understood forms of damage, but late-season fertilizer applications can also be problematic because too much nitrogen, too late in the season, is shown to increase the severity of damage evident the following spring.

SDS can be challenging to prevent because fungi will begin attacking bermudagrass in the fall, long before the “crop circle” patches beginning showing up in the spring.  The lack of visual proof of turf damage in fall, can make it a bit of a challenge to convince homeowners to adjust their watering and fertilizing habits for the season, and even more difficult to visually prove the need for pre-emptive fungicide applications. However, multiple studies have shown that you’ll have the best overall lawn care results by alterning your cultural practices for each season.

This is precisely why we at LawnAmerica time our last fertilization application for the year to hit in August through early September.  Our goal is for warm season turf to go into dormancy a little bit lean to help prevent unnecessary damage.  We also offer a fungicide program specifically for SDS based on the recommendations of OSU.  Using a product called Velista, we time two fungicide applications, spaced 30 days apart starting in mid- to late September.  The fungicide applications do not prevent all spots from showing the following spring, but from our experience, it does lessen the number of spots, and gives the damaged areas the ability to recover faster.  If you’d like more information or a price quote, please give us a call.

Unfortunately, Spring Dead Spot is not an easy fix.  Once turf is infected, it can take as many as 7-10 years to completely cycle out of the lawn.  With a combination of improved cultural practices and the addition of appropriately timed fungicide applications, you can, however, manage it and help your lawn perform better each year.

You can learn more about SDS and OSU for treatment and lawn recovery recommendations here.