Winter pruning

Winter pruning is something that can keep your landscape healthy. Is winter pruning a good idea for shrubs and trees? Before you start clipping, remember that it is important to make sure you are pruning the right plants at the right time! 

According to Mississippi State University Extension Agent, Gina Wills, you should prune a plant after its’ “feature has passed”. This just means that after the plant has flowered or the berries have faded. This calendar of pruning chores is very helpful for Southern homeowners.

Seven days, four seasons.

It’s an old joke, but it’s true. In the South you can go to breakfast in your flip-flops today and make snow cream for breakfast tomorrow. We have a “temperate” climate, which just means that our temperatures span greatly throughout the year. In temperate climates, plants go into dormancy.

Naptime for you, dormancy for your plants.

In the winter, our plants go into a state of dormancy. To many, it appears that everything is “dead”, but they are really all just resting for the winter. Like hibernation in animals, plants in dormancy are preparing their insides for freezing weather and lack of water and nutrients.

Pruning tips:

Prune evergreen shrubs in the winter while they are in dormancy.

Wait until your flowering shrubs or trees bloom, then you can prune them after their blooms fade.

If it’s time to prune your trees (once every three years), hire a professional tree trimmer.

Be sure to remove your clippings in the event that they have disease or insect issues (don’t spread those around!)

There aren’t very many rules or tips for winter pruning, just follow the guides above and when in doubt, look it up! If you are ever unsure, feel free to give us a call at Lawn and Pest Solutions. Our plant health expert can work with you on specific plants and treatments. 

Our trained and licensed lawn technicians are always willing to listen to your concerns and advise you on ways to improve your landscape. Contact our office and let us schedule a visit! We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas with outstanding lawn and pest control.

Mulch in January

Adding mulch in January may sound a little out of season, but this is the best time to mulch! If this seems to be “too much” for winter, when you really just want to hibernate, keep reading.

Benefits of mulch (at any time of the year)

Maybe it’s not the thought of mulching in “winter”, maybe it’s the thought of “why mulch at all” that has stalled you. These are our top three reasons you should consider mulch (at any time of year):

Mulch reduces evaporation of moisture

Mulch moderates the temperature of your soil

Mulch helps control weeds

Why mulch in January?

Mulch keeps your ground/soil temperature at a steady temperature. This keeps your plants in a state of dormancy (resting, not dead). Why do you want to keep your plants in a state of dormancy? 

Our crazy Southern winters…

One day you are wearing flip flops, the next day it snows. Not uncommon for this area, right? Those brief warm spells can trigger your plants to sprout up way earlier than they should. This causes trouble when a week later, it freezes. This is why you want to keep the temperature of the soil cold throughout the dormancy season. 

Do you want to go to a new level of mulch learning?

For those who really want to explore more about the benefits of mulching in January, click this link to learn about “frost heaving”.

Tips for mulching in January

Remove weeds before mulching 

Apply mulch 2-4 inches thick, this may seem like a lot, but remember it will settle into the ground over time

Don’t make “mulch volcanoes” around trees

At this time of year, there aren’t many things a homeowner can do around the yard. As always, we like to remind our customers that having a beautiful and healthy lawn is a year round job. Your landscape is an investment and it adds to the value of your property.

A simple task like mulching in January is something that will pay off for the rest of the year. If you have questions about mulching or any other concerns with lawn care, give us at call at Lawn and Pest Solutions. Our licensed lawn technicians serve Tennessee and the North Mississippi area. We would love to help you with the beautification of your lawn. 

Prep your lawn for spring now

Less than two weeks from Christmas, the last thing you want to think about is how to prep your lawn for spring, right? Well, the year round process of lawn care is truly that, year round. Just remember all of the time you spent this spring and summer to have a beautiful lawn. Don’t let that hard work go to waste!

Now that winter is here, there are things you can do to prep your lawn for spring. Your winter work will ensure a healthy lawn once spring arrives. Here are some things you can do to prep your lawn for spring:

Remove heavy limbs from your lawn.

Heavy piles of anything cause compacted lawns, patchiness and dead grass. Those piles also make great hiding places for rodents and pests waiting to get into your home.

Rake the last of the leaves.

Don’t just rake the leaves, remove the leaves. Piles of anything are not healthy for any lawn.

Aerate!

Aerate before the ground becomes frozen. Breaking through “thatch” is what allows air, water and nutrients to get down into the roots of your lawn. Whether using plugs or spikes to poke down through thatch, this process increases airflow and helps with drainage.

Water the lawn.

Cold air and wind can dehydrate your grass. Give your lawn a deep watering if it needs it, but don’t water when the temperature is below 40 degrees.

Get rid of the weeds.

Brown lawns aren’t dead, they are dormant. Dormant lawns are asleep. Don’t let weeds take over just because your lawn doesn’t look pretty. Now is the time to apply pre-emergent weed killer.

Mow the grass, one more time.

As long as the grass is dry, mow it one last time. Make this last cut to be a little shorter than summer cuts. This helps to keep rodents away, especially voles.

If you have any energy left…

Winter is a great time for mower repair. Clean, repair, replace parts, and sharpen blades.

This spring, you will be glad you prepped your lawn.

Lawn care is a year-round job. Even in the winter, you are prepping for spring. A little bit of work and prep year-round will result in a healthier lawn come spring. 

Call us if you have any questions or concerns. Our year-round Lawn360 program provides aerating and pre-emergent treatments for your lawn.  Lawn and Pest Solutions provides licensed lawn technicians who know exactly how to help your lawn. 

Fall Leaves

The streets and lawns are covered in fall leaves and most people are dreading the answer to, “what do I do with the fall leaves in my lawn?” Probably because most of us already know the answer. You need to deal with the fall leaves in your lawn. You have options…

Mulch your leaves

Fall leaves are a great source of organic matter for your lawn. Ideally, you should mulch your leaves on a regular basis throughout the fall. Mowing your lawn with a mulching mower is a great way to get the most benefit from the leaves. A mulching mower chops up leaves that give your lawn air, water and nutrients over the winter and spring months. If you have been mulching your fall leaves, your lawn will thank you properly this spring.

What if my leaves are wet?

This isn’t going to be easy. If your leaves are wet, you need to rake them up. If you don’t, the wet leaves will smother the grass blades underneath. A covering of wet leaves will keep the sun from warming up your lawn this spring. The longer your lawn stays cold, the longer it takes to wake up (and to turn green).

My lawn sleeps?

Dormancy just means your lawn has gone to sleep. It does this in the cold winter months. You can tell a lawn is dormant when it turns brown, that because it is conserving water and nutrients. It isn’t dead, it’s dormant.

One more option…

You can use some of your fall leaves for flower bed coverage. A thin layer of leaf coverage is good for your flower bed. Leaves can act as a natural mulch and can protect your flower beds from weeds. Just be careful to not let those leaves get too thick.

Whatever you decide to do with your fall leaves, do it soon! 

When you are still searching for answers about lawn care and services, know that we at Lawn and Pest Solutions are always here for you. We service the Memphis, TN and North Mississippi areas with lawn treatment and pest services for lawns, homes and businesses. Our licensed technicians are available to consult with you about how we can best serve you. 

Fall plant health care

Why bother with fall plant care? Pool owners “close the pool” for winter. Boat owners don’t leave their precious investments floating in cold waters all winter. If an ice storm is coming, we move our new cars in garages. Just like boats and cars, our landscapes are an investment.

What’s the use?

If you don’t believe in fall plant health care, think about this. All of the time and money you have spent on planting, nurturing, watering and fertilizing shouldn’t be wasted. The money and time you have spent shouldn’t go to waste over the fall and winter. 

You won’t regret it

By protecting your landscape with fall plant health care, when spring arrives, you will be proud of your healthy and well protected lawn. At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we offer a plant health care program that focuses on keeping your landscape and shrubs insect and disease free.

How does the LPS Plant Health Care program work?

If you join our Plant Health Care program, an expert will visit your lawn six times per year. The pro will examine all of your plants, make notes and leave a written report at each visit. You will receive a copy of the notes and they will also go on file. 

The pro will then treat your plants specifically based on what is happening with your plants and what they need. Most programs include a pre-mixed spray that is applied to all of the plants, no matter what they need at that time. 

A program tailored to the specific needs of your lawn.

You can spend a lot of time and money guessing what is wrong with our landscape and even trying to fix it yourself. With our plant health care plan, you can spend less money and save lots of time by leaving it up to a professional. Contact our office today to protect your investment. Our licensed and trained technicians serve the North Mississippi and Memphis areas.

Why spray my lawn in the fall?

You may ask yourself, why spray my lawn in the fall? Cool weather and even cooler temps coming should indicate that it’s time to take a break! Remember, proper lawn care is a year round job.

Timing is Everything.

Timing is everything when it comes to good lawn care. It is a commitment that involves planning and attention to detail. Don’t wait until spring to get your lawn looking good. It is important to spray your lawn in the fall with a pre-emergent treatment.

Pre-emergent stops the growth process of weed seeds. It does not kill weed seeds. Imagine pre-emergent as a thin barrier between your soil and the weed seeds below. For it to work, it needs to be in your soil at not only the right time, but when the temperature is right. 

When IS the right time?

Apply a pre-emergent at just the time when weeds begin to sprout. It is necessary for weeds to hit the barrier created by the treatment. Even with the most thorough treatment, there are always some weeds that won’t be harmed by the treatment. This is why a year-round plan is the only plan that really works. 

Let us do the timing for you.

If all of this timing and spraying at “just the right moment” (plus waiting for the perfect temperature) stresses you out, we can help. Lawn 360 is our premium, year-round, scheduled lawn service. Our treatments are tested and proven to give you a healthy, green lawn. 

Our Lawn 360 plan includes 7 treatment stages that include pre-emergent  AND post-emergent treatments. In addition to those visits, we fertilize your lawn multiple times a year. Every time we visit your lawn, our licensed technicians will spot spray for weeds. The benefits of spraying your lawn in the fall will pay off when you are enjoying your lawn year-round.

Contact our office today to learn more and sign up for our Lawn 360 program. 

Leopard print lawn

Leopard print lawns, are your eyes deceiving you? After the first frost of the season, you may notice that your lawn seems to have a leopard print like pattern. Parts of the lawn will have turned brown overnight from the frost, some parts won’t. This causes the “frost leopard print” effect that may cause a little panic. 

What determines a “frost” in the weather?

Frost forms when the temperature of the grass surface cools to a temperature that is below freezing, and is colder than the dewpoint of the air.  The thickest coating of frost typically occurs when temperatures are closer to 32 degrees, because colder air cannot hold as much moisture.

Dormant versus Dead

Once we have cooler weather in the fall and eventually have a frost, our lawns go into a state of being dormant. When the brown appears in patches with frost leopard print, some may think their lawn has a disease. Your lawn is not dead, it is dormant

Remember that dormancy just means that your lawn is resting for the winter. It is saving all of the nutrients and energy it needs for the upcoming spring. As a result, the grass will turn brown. Your grass will continue to hibernate until temperatures reach a consistent low in the 60’s.

Protect the fragile

Our warm season grasses here in the South are not in danger of frost. However, there are precautions that you can take to ensure a healthy lawn in the spring. 

Following a heavy frost, stay off your lawn until the frost dissipates. Until then, the blades of grass can be brittle and frozen. Walking or driving equipment across these frozen blades of grass can break them. There’s no need to stress your lawn like that!

Other precautions to follow:

  • Tender plants need to be protected from the frost, particularly any of your summer blooming plants that you may be attempting to keep through the winter.  
  • Allow your grass to grow a little bit taller as the temperatures drop. The extra leaf blades can have an insulating effect for your grass and its’ root system.

Take a deep breath of air.

As the weather gets colder, your soil will naturally harden and become compacted. Compacted soil chokes your lawn’s root system, making it difficult to draw nutrients from the soil. High foot traffic, new sod, and standing water are just a few problems that can lead to compacted soil.

Now is the perfect time for aeration. Aeration is one key element of our Lawn 360 program at Lawn and Pest Solutions. When you take a peek to “check out the damage” of our first frost this year, you can take a deep breath and know that your leopard-spotted lawn isn’t dying.

Lawn 360 is a year round program

At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we don’t think about your lawn one season at a time. Our certified lawn technicians want you to get the most out of your lawn. Our lawn care professionals work with you to create a plan that sets your grass up for a healthy winter and a more vibrant spring.

In addition to aeration for the winter, our techs can give you other pointers to get your yard through every extreme season of our wild and crazy South! Contact us today to learn more about the Lawn 360 program at Lawn and Pest Solutions. We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas. 

What are good bugs and why do we need them?

What are good bugs and why do we need them? For people who really have issues with bugs, it’s hard to believe that there are “good bugs”. Most of the time, even with “bad bugs” you can usually find at least one redeeming quality. Good bugs are protecting our gardens, crops, and lawns. 

Not all bugs are bad.

Do a little research before you kill the one thing that may be saving your tomatoes! This says it all, “Some insects are destructive and should be controlled, but of the more than 1.5 million known insect species in the world, more than 97 percent are beneficial to gardens, or simply benign”. Don’t go stomping and spraying everything that crawls and flies.

A quick checklist before you stomp and spray:

  • Is the bug eating your plants, grass, garden?
  • Does the eating appear to be doing damage to the plant?
  • Is there one bug or is there an infestation ? 

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these, you may have a “bad bug”. In our region of the South, bugs that are considered to be “bad bugs” include chinch bugs and white grubs. These insects attack our lawns and cause damage there. An infestation of pests like army worms is something many of us are way too familiar with this season.

Insects that we are probably more familiar with are those that attack people (rather than lawns) like fire ants, wasps and ticks.

Examples of good bugs…

  • Lady bugs are generally considered to be helpful insects. When ladybugs or lady beetles are found on a crape myrtle, they typically have laid hundreds of eggs right in middle of the aphids. As soon as the eggs hatch, Lady bugs begin feasting on the aphids. Ladybugs can rescue a crape myrtle and even a crop from aphids when the timing is right! 
  • The larvae of Green Lacewing eat aphids and other insects that destroy our lawns. Brachonid Wasps lay eggs on the very destructive Tomato Horn Worm. When their eggs hatch, they eat the horn worm. 

There are good bugs and we do need them. Good bugs are abundant, bad bugs get all of the attention. Let us help you get rid of the bad bugs and we will leave the good ones alone.

Our licensed professionals know good bugs versus bad bugs and are glad to come to evaluate your situation. Our company offers bed bug exterminator treatment! We are ready to help you out. You can spot our trucks all over North Mississippi and in the Memphis, TN area. Learn more about “The Lawn and Pest Difference”.