Posted by & filed under Happy Hands, lawn care .

Happy Hands, Tulsa, Ok.

At LawnAmerica, we have always been involved in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City communities. Its part of what we do. We believe in giving back to the communities we live and work in. This giving philosophy has been interwoven into the very D.N.A. that makes up our company. Therefore, we give back as much as we can towards causes that improve the lives of people in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Edmond and surrounding communities, and even around the world. Our primary focus is to help children with special needs as well as support education for children of all backgrounds.

Happy Hands Education Center is a Christian early education center for children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have other communication disorders. They provide children full access to language through visual and auditory methods in a uniquely enriched environment. We are proud to have a partnership with Happy Hands that spans almost a decade.

All children love to run, walk, stroll, crawl and just have fun moving. Happy Hands children are no different. Can you imagine reaching the goals you have in your life without the ability to hear or communicate? Can you imagine succeeding in life without literacy? Can you imagine crossing the finish line of life without the support of your friends and family cheering you on? Without the right start to the race, children who are deaf will face overwhelming obstacles that could prevent them from finishing strong. Deafness can cause illiteracy and isolation, but Happy Hands is changing that for these underserved children. At Happy Hands, children receive the language development care they need at the most critical time in their life to be able to run the race of life well in the future!

We love bringing our mascot, Big Jake, out for the children to enjoy at the annual Happy Hands Happy Feet Fun Run where children and staff run for scholarship funds. It’s always fun to cheer the children, parents and teachers on during their race!

Thank you to all of the staff, board members, volunteers, families, children and donors of Happy Hands Education center. Our community is stronger because of you. We appreciate you!

For more information about Happy Hands’ services, or how you can help, visit their website at www.happyhands.org or call them at (918) 893-4800.

Posted by & filed under arbor day, tree care .

The last Friday in April has come to be known as Arbor Day in America.  Originating in 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, J. Sterling Morton helped pave the way for an estimated million trees to be planted that year.  By the 1920’s, most states recognized Arbor Day in some form or fashion and to this day the customary observance of the holiday is to plant a tree.

I have always been fascinated with trees.  Whether they are growing in natural forests, along mountain streams or purposely planted in lawns and landscapes, trees are majestic to behold.   Being under the canopy of trees has the ability to help bring life back into perspective when you feel overwhelmed.  Research has proven that a walk in the woods can lower blood pressure and heart rates.  Trees help with filtering the air of pollutants and help to prevent soil from eroding.  Trees also provide homes for birds, safety for animals, and a complete ecosystem for insects.

I thought I knew a lot about trees and their benefits until one of my friends shared a book with me last fall.  The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.  It’s not often in our blogs that I recommend a book, but this book was truly fascinating.  Mr. Wohlleben pulled from his years of caring for forests in Germany to share his experiences along with research from leading experts to open our understanding of trees; how they live, how they communicate, and how they protect each other.  After reading the book, I came away with an even more profound respect for trees and the value they provide to our planet.  I highly recommend that you grab a copy here.

For other ways to celebrate Arbor Day, not only today but all year round, check out www.arborday.org.  There you will find resources to help identify trees, determine the best types of trees to plant in your area and best practices when planting trees to make sure they live a long and productive life.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.” – old Chinese Proverb

Posted by & filed under tree saplings, weeds .

What’s the deal with all of the baby trees in my lawn?

They look like weeds to me!

Well, technically they are weeds, as a weed is merely a plant growing out of place.

Homeowners expect a lawn that is 100% grass, but mother nature is always working hard to help other plants survive as well.  Trees in the landscape will produce thousands of seeds every year.

Those seeds, with the help of wind, water, and animals will end up spread all over even home lawns.  Some of those seeds will germinate in the spring creating the tree saplings.

Spraying tree saplings is generally not necessary.  In most cases keeping the leaves mowed off early in the year is enough to deplete the energy reserves of the seed, and without leaves to photosynthesize the plant basically starves to death. All plants have growth points, known as meristematic regions. This is where the plant produces the cells to push growth upward. Grasses grow from their crown that is near the soil. This is the only reason they tolerate mowing in the first place. Broadleaf weeds, including trees, grow from the tips of their branches or stems. When these are cut off it causes the plants to struggle and use up quite a bit of energy. That is why they cannot tolerate mowing for very long. You are literally mowing off the part of the plant that has the largest amount of expanding cells and growth hormones.

Spraying can also be detrimental to mature trees if the sapling is a ‘sucker’ coming off of the roots of an established tree rather than from an individual seed.  These ‘suckers’ will absorb the chemical and it will be drawn up into a healthy tree, which no one wants.

While they can be unsightly and even somewhat frustrating to deal with each spring, tree saplings don’t put any pressure on the turf.  So with a few mowings and a little patience, they will fade out on their own.

If you are having issues with weeds other than saplings, be sure to give LawnAmerica a call.  Service calls are always complimentary for our full-program customers.

Posted by & filed under mowing .

Has spring finally arrived?

Based on the winter coat I needed to leave the house this morning, it sure doesn’t feel like it! However, now that we’ve made it through this morning’s cold front, the forecast shows we may finally be sliding into a more spring-like pattern.

We sure need it! This has been one of the longest winters I can remember from recent years!

It’s no surprise that warm season grasses such as bermudagrasses are still showing more dormant turf rather than the green, new growth of spring. This occurs anytime soil temperatures struggle to stay warm enough to allow for the plant to know it is okay to start growing again.

Now that the forecast has moved away from freezing temperatures at night, it is recommended and even encouraged to scalp warm season turf. The practice of scalping removes the dormant vegetation from the lawn, allowing the sun to help raise the soil temperatures, which in turn, helps the grass to turn green and start producing new shoots.

Scalping is one of the few times we recommend that you bag your clippings when mowing, because of the amount of dormant leaves and stems you will be collecting. It is a little more work, but it makes the lawn look better, helps prevent unnecessary thatch build-up, and will keep your neighbors from being annoyed that your clippings are blowing into their lawn.

It is worth noting though, the recommendation to scalp only applies to warm season grasses such as bermudagrass or zoysia. Fescue turf does not need to be scalped and does not tolerate the shorter mowing heights that the warm season turfs do. We recommend fescue be mowed no shorter than 2.5” in the spring, and even higher as we get into the summer and fall months.

For many of us, this will be the first time to fire up our mowers since last fall, so it’s not a bad idea to give yourself a few extra minutes to check that everything is in good working condition. Be sure to check the oil, replace the spark plug and clean out the air filter. It is also a good idea to replace any residual fuel with fresh gasoline. Finally, be sure to either replace or sharpen your blades. Sharp blades provide cleaner cuts, which help prevent unnecessary damage and disease pressure in your turf.

While mowing is not one of the services we offer at LawnAmerica, we strive to help our customers with all of their lawncare needs and can provide you with a referral to a great mowing company. Just call our office at (918)249-5296 and ask for a referral.

Posted by & filed under earthworms, natural fertilizer .

“Why do I have all the small clumps of ‘dirt’ all over my yard?” is just one of the many questions we get during the course of the week.

So we thought we would take few minutes and give you the ‘dirt’ on earthworms and their castings.

Worm castings are the remnants of the digested organic matter produced by earthworms. As they consume the material, they output castings in their path. When it rains they come to the surface, and these piles of castings can be clearly seen where the earthworms have exited the ground.

Although they may be unsightly for a time they are far more beneficial than just a pile of ‘dirt.’

These castings are some of the most nutrient and humus rich natural fertilizer known to man!

As an integral soil and plant amendment, these castings are like a one-a-day vitamin for the soil with all of the nutrients they pack. They also help the soil clump together for better water absorption as well as oxygen and nutrient exchange.

You can actually buy worm castings in bulk for a couple of dollars per pound but its best to do your research first.

Earthworms play a much more prominent part in the soil biology than most people care to know and these are just a few of the benefits. So next time you see the small piles after a rain, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the earthworms saying hello and letting you know they are hard at work making your soil RICH.