Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How To Choose A Lawn Care Company

I thought it was a good time to re-post this for those making lawn care decisions.  

Recently, someone asked me how one goes about choosing a lawn care company. 
My head started really spinning as this is very important for homeowners that are flooded with all sorts of options that all state they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Here are a few ideas that are important to verify with companies you are choosing from:

  • Fertilizer--verify if the company uses a slow release, granular fertilizer for all of their fertilizer applications, only a couple of applications, or not at all.  
    • Note, even if companies state they are using slow release fertilizers, they are not all equal.  For example, Weed Man Lawn Care uses only a 65% slow release fertilizer.  This lasts 7-10 weeks per application vs some that state they use a slow release fertilizer but don't mention that it is only say 15% and only lasts 3-5 weeks.
  • Environmental Care--it is important to ensure that the company is doing their part to minimize the environmental footprint and enhance your turf quality
    • Using slow release fertilizer all but eliminates any movement in the soil
      • It also will help thicken the turf and reduce runoff compared to a malnourished lawn
    • Using weed control to spot treat weeds only, if possible (using combo products for "weed and feed" usually over apply weed control that is not necessary)
    • Make sure the company clears off all driveway and sidewalks of fertilizer
  • Customer Service--make sure the companies you consider give free service calls within a 48 hour window
    • There will be times when weeds pop between visits and you might want your company to re-apply and it should be free of charge
    • Make sure they have a willingness to meet with you if necessary to address any concerns
    • check into the background of the owners of the company to see how they are qualified to run the business
      • At Weed Man, the owners have degrees in Soil Science and Agronomy and one is an ex-golf course superintendent
    • Many companies over promise and under deliver.  Be leery if companies promise control of things like quack grass or tall fescue
I hope these tips help you make educated decision with your lawn care needs this season.
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Time to Control Your Weeds

I thought this was a great time to discuss a few things that are pertinent this time of year in regards to your home environment and weed control.  As you can see the weeds are really popping and during the day you are seeing that steady 'yellow' color on your drive to work or in your lawn.

Over the next 4-6 weeks will be the best time to start your weed control for the season.  One of the questions I consistently get asked every spring is, "Can you guys control creeping charlie and violets? We can never get that under control ourselves or using a service."

Well, let me give you some good news, they are manageable to control!  These tougher weeds grow with rhizomes (learn more here) that make it difficult to control.  However, the right approach is using the right products.   Proper fertilization with a very slow release fertilizer and continuing to spot treat the plants throughout the entire course of the season should suppress these difficult weeds quite well.  For example, at Weed Man we are able to guarantee control of 85%+ of creeping charlie and violets and 99%+ of the rest of the weeds by the end of the first season.

Click Here for more info on difficult to control weeds.