Posted by & filed under fertilization .

Spring has finally arrived in Tulsa with trees, shrubs, and lawns coming out of dormancy after a somewhat mild winter. As the weather continues to warm up along with our beneficial rain in April, it’s important to start preparing your landscape. Today I want to talk about four spring landscaping tips for Oklahoma homeowners.

Fertilize your Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn this time of year helps give your lawn the nutrients it needs as it is coming out of winter dormancy. Not only will fertilizing your lawn give you the healthy green color we all want, it will also help to thicken up the turf which will in turn naturally choke out weeds. Keep in mind though, not all fertilizers are created equal.

Mowing

Proper mowing is one of the most important cultural practices of taking care of your lawn.  It helps to remove any dying vegetation of weeds that may have been sprayed this spring. It is also a good idea to remove the dormant vegetation of bermudagrass lawns after the last freeze potential.  In Oklahoma, you are usually safe to “scalp” your lawn after April 15th, but it does vary from season to season. For cool season grasses like Fescue, this is prime growing season so it isn’t unusual to have to mow twice a week or more.  Unlike warm season grasses, scalping is not recommended for Fescue, but rather a mowing height at 2.5-4 inches tall will provide the best-looking lawn.  Just make sure the blades on your mower are sharp.  Dull blades rip the grass and leaves the grass damaged and more susceptible to diseases.

Replant and Replace Trees and Shrubs

Now is a good time to also replant new trees and shrubs, replacing ones that are either dead or just not doing well. I planted a new Japanese Maple where my Redbud was, and it looks great. I’ll prune back dead growth on certain shrubs, so that new growth can come in and grow. This will help keep your landscape looking more polished once summer arrives.

Check your Irrigation System

Another important part of Spring is making sure that your lawn is getting the proper amount of water.  Thankfully we are getting our fair share of help from Mother Nature, but it is Oklahoma and we all know that weather conditions can turn on dime.  That’s why it is important to check your sprinkler system.  Verify that there aren’t any leaks and that all of the heads are working properly.  In some cases, your shrubs may need to be trimmed to allow proper coverage or the height of the sprinkler heads may need to be adjusted.  If you are uncomfortable with doing it yourself, there are plenty of reputable companies available to help.  We have a few listed on our website under our page.

Now that spring is here, it’s a great time to get your landscape ready for the warmer weather ahead. Just keep these four tips in mind to ensure your landscape is looking its best. If you ever have a problem or concern regarding your landscape, give us a call!

Posted by & filed under Environmental benefits, lawn care, Organic fertilzer .

earthdayHappy Earth Day, a celebration of this earth we live on. It’s an amazing place, this planet, created by God for us to live on and enjoy. Too bad we humans seem to mess it up at times.

For most homeowners in the Oklahoma area, our part of the earth we’re most responsible for is our home lawn and landscape. A well-cared for lawn not only looks good, it also adds value to our homes and provides real environmental benefits to urban cities such as the Tulsa or Oklahoma City area. A healthy green lawn and landscaping will cool our cities, lessening the heat trapping effect of concrete. The air temperature over grass can be up to 30 degrees cooler than the air over a blacktop driveway or parking lot. Lawns and landscapes help buffer sound pollution, trap dirt, and prevent soil erosion, all of which help make our cities more livable. A small 50×50 foot lawn area will supply enough oxygen generation for a family of four, while absorbing harmful carbon dioxide and other gasses. Lawns in our county can store up to 37 billion tons of carbon, lessening the impact of global warming on the atmosphere.

According to a recent Harris Poll, most homeowners love their lawns, with over 88% of Americans saying that having a nice lawn and landscape is important. A well cared for lawn and landscape has solid economic value, adding up to 15% to the value of a home most experts agree. Add the aesthetic and psychological benefits of enjoying a nice-looking lawn, and it just makes sense to do what we can to appreciate and care for our lawns and landscapes.

The products and the processes that professionals such as LawnAmerica use to provide the results of a healthy green lawn are safe and pose very little risk to people, pets, and the environment. It’s important to follow label instructions, and practice Integrated Pest Management, which basically means treating for weeds and pests only if there is a problem that justifies that treatment. Using organic-based and slow-release fertilizers at the proper times and using correct rates is important. And cultural practices such as proper mowing and irrigation also go a long way towards growing a healthy lawn in conjunction with environmentally responsible application of fertilizers and weed-control products.

For more information on the benefits and care of lawns, visit www.loveyourlandscape.org or www.thelawninstitute.org.

 

Posted by & filed under fertilizer .

Fertilizer is fertilizer, right? Well, not exactly.

It’s true that most fertilizers contain a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P and K), but that’s where the similarities end.

While phosphorus and potassium are important and have their place, today we are going to focus on nitrogen, because let’s face it, when we think about applying fertilizer we’re looking for a greener lawn.

Nitrogen is the nutrient most responsible for the green color that is so important to homeowners.  But not all nitrogen sources in fertilizer are made equal or provide the same level of performance.

There are quick release, slow release, controlled release and even stabilized nitrogen products.

Many companies will stick mainly with the quick release products like urea, primarily because it’s a less expensive alternative to the various slow release products. Urea usually releases all of the available nitrogen to the plant and is gone over the course of two-four weeks.

At LawnAmerica though we take a different approach.  We still utilize urea, but as a component of a more balanced nitrogen source.  Our current blend of fertilizer, 36-1-3 contains 70% controlled, slow and stabilized
release nitrogen and only 30% quick release nitrogen.

Our fertilizer is custom blended just for us (much of it right here in Oklahoma) utilizing products like Polyon and Duration CR, which are controlled release nitrogen sources designed to last 12 weeks or longer.  We also utilize UFLEXX and UMAXX, which are stabilized nitrogen fertilizers.  Basically, that means they are less likely to be volatized into the atmosphere. This allows more time for the product to be properly absorbed into the soil where it can be utilized by the plant.  XCU is another slow release nitrogen, which achieves longer release times through polymer-coated sulfur coated urea.

The combination of these products allows us to apply fertilizers now as many of the warm season grasses are coming out of dormancy. We still have plenty of nitrogen in reserve in the soil to maintain a healthy green color, without creating an unnecessary surge of growth over the coming months.

It does cost more to be able to use the advanced nitrogen sources, but in our opinion it is the right thing to do.

There is one other thing that makes our fertilizer better than most.

Our people!

When you partner with LawnAmerica to take care of your lawn, you not only get the best products available on the market, you get the best staff as well.   Contact us today to make sure you are giving your lawn the best!

Posted by & filed under Flowers, Landscaping, Mites, Tree and Shrub Care, Uncategorized .

Sick Roses

One little flower on my sick Knockout Rose

Mites……little microscopic critters which serve no purpose whatsoever, other than to cause landscapers, turf managers, and homeowners to despair. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a big increase in mite damage to bermudagrass lawns from the Bermudagrass Stunt Mite. This nasty little critter is over-populating lawns in Oklahoma and causing what looks like drought symptoms with thin, yellowing and browning turf areas. And the challenge is that there are really not any great ways to effectively control the mite.

Now Rose bushes in Oklahoma and other areas of the country are being attacked and even killed by the Rose Rosette Virus, which is spread by the tiny eriophyrid mites from plant to plant. “The disease alters the growth habits and form of the rose,” said Steve Huddleston, senior horticulturalist for the Dallas Arboretum, which has had no roses since 2015. “It results in a phenomenon called witch’s broom, where the ends of the branches get shortened and twisted close together like a broom.” The Tulsa Rose Garden has been devastated in recent years, with about two-thirds of the garden’s 3,000 roses killed by the virus so far, and gardeners expect to lose more this summer. Even if plants can survive, they are weakened and more susceptible to other problems which could kill the Roses. In my case, two large plants were affected last year, and after some pruning, not much is left.

There is not much one can do to prevent Rose Rosette Virus, other than removing and destroying infected plants. Applying a dormant oil monthly may help somewhat with controlling mites. Planting Roses with other shrubs spaced in between them may help cut back on infection by separating the plants.

For more complete information on Rose Rossete Disease, CLICK HERE for a good fact sheet.from Oklahoma State University.

Posted by & filed under bermudagrass, General, lawn care, post-emergent, pre-emergent, seed, Uncategorized .

Tree SaplingsLawns are actually not natural. They are nice, healthy, and add tremendous environmental benefits to the urban environment. Mother Nature however is always trying to do her thing, which is attempting to eventually grow a forest in your lawn. That’s what these little tree saplings are that always pop up in Oklahoma lawns in spring. Many homeowners think they are weeds, and technically they are, as a weed is simply a plant growing out of place. Homeowners want lawns, with only turf such as bermudagrass growing and no weeds, or tree saplings.

These tree saplings are simply little trees germinating from seeds that blew into the soil last year, or planted by squirrels and such in the case of acorns from oak trees. Maples, elm, hackberry, and oaks are notorious seed producers. So if you or your neighbors have these, you’ll probably have tree saplings in your lawn every spring. Pre-emergents applied earlier don’t do anything to prevent tree saplings from germinating, so they will just come up anyway. It’s really impractical to spray these with a post-emergent herbicide, as they will die out as soon as the lawn is mowed. So they will simply go away soon with mowing, and they don’t put any pressure on the turf at all.

If the lawn was not mowed and you allowed Mother Nature to run her course, then eventually you’d have a forest in your lawn. But that’s not going to happen, as you’d receive a citation from the city well before that would come about! So we recommend to just mow them down, as lawns need mowing now anyway.