Should I invest in plant health care?

Living in North Mississippi and the Memphis area, it’s not unusual to wake up on April 21 and find that your landscape has suffered yet another freeze. For those who remembered the night before, maybe some shrubs and plants were covered in burlap or with garbage bags or tablecloths or just anything that could be grabbed before bedtime. For most, we all woke up with our fingers crossed that whatever happened last night wouldn’t kill our plants!

We have all filled our carts at the home improvement stores with spring plants and had sticker shock when the total is announced. Some of us have invested much, much more in professional landscaping services that rival the cost of a new car. Why do we spend so much money on shrubs, flowering trees, plants for our yard and then drop the ball? It’s like building a pool and then never putting in chemicals or cleaning it out! Or buying a car but never changing the oil or tires. 

Protecting your landscape is protecting your investment. 

When you invest in a plant health care program, you are allowing a professional to examine your plants, determine what is best for them, and then treating and nurturing them to get the most out of your investment.

What do I get with a plant health care program?

At Lawn and Pest Solutions, a plant health care program includes the following:

  • 6 visits per year from a licensed lawn technician with advanced knowledge of plant health care. 
  • At each visit your plants will be fertilized.
  • At each visit your plants will be monitored for insects, diseases and will be treated for what is found.
  • At each visit you will receive a written report from the technician which tells you what he observed, what he did and what you need to know to keep up the treatment process.

Why replace plants from year to year because they are unhealthy?

The money you spend on a plant health care program will eventually save you from replacing diseased or dying/dead plants. Nurturing your plants and making them the healthiest they can be will help them to become stable and mature in your lawn. An expert eye can detect a problem in your plants before it spreads to others. A healthy lawn and plant landscape will be strong enough to endure April 21 freezes and August 21 droughts. Let Lawn and Pest Solutions take care of your plants and lawn. Contact our office to learn more about our plant health care program. We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas. 

How to prepare your lawn mower for spring

It is time to get the mower ready! We have had plenty of rain and now plenty of sun is on the way. The mower may be looking a little rusty and dusty, who knows what has been thrown on top? Looks like a good weekend project has suddenly developed….

First things first.

This is an easy list to follow for preparing your mower.

Are the blades sharp? This is important. Dull blades make your grass weak. Weak grass is not good at fighting disease or pests.

Is the oil fresh? If you oil is from last season, drain it and replace with new.

Did you check the air filter? Experts say we should do this every season. If you have a washable filter, soak it in warm, soapy water. If it’s made of cardboard or paper, just pop in a new one. 

Lubricate all moving parts!

Do you need a new fuel filter? Fuel filters can’t be cleaned because they can easily be damaged, so just buy a new one.

Get a new spark plug! These are inexpensive, no need to clean or reuse old ones.

Replace the belt or battery if needed.

Check your fuel! If you have left fuel in your mower for more than 30 days, go ahead and drain it and fill with fresh fuel. 

Here is a link to a YouTube video to help you get that mower started if you are having trouble. 

And for those of us need a little more help….

While Lawn and Pest Solutions is not in the business of mowing lawns, we want to help you have the healthiest lawn you can and having the proper equipment is very important to achieving a beautiful lawn. Getting your lawn mower ready for spring is one step you can take at home. If you need more help on getting a beautiful lawn, we have a staff of professional lawn technicians. Lawn and Pest Solutions can help you, just contact us today.

Lawn and Pest Solutions serves Memphis and North Mississippi region with knowledgeable and licensed lawn and pest technicians. Our techs are friendly, dependable and trustworthy employees who will go to great lengths to provide you with the best service.

How much should I water my lawn?

Have you ever read an online recipe that seems simple and easy? Then you read the comments and before you know it, the “suggestions” make you order a pizza instead? This is what happens if you read too many articles on “How much should I water my lawn?”

Do I have to?

Well, it depends. Our common grasses in the South (Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bermuda and Centipede) have deep root systems. A deep root system typically allows our lawns to withstand drought. If you have an established, healthy lawn, you don’t really have to water. These types of lawns can go dormant and survive for weeks without water. They will turn brown, but once water (rain) returns, they will recover! 

How do I know when my lawn needs a drink?

After a rainy season in the South, it seems like we will never need to water our lawn. Just remember, July is coming! But there are ways to know when your lawn needs “a drink”. If your lawn looks a little gray or dull, water it! If you walk across your lawn and your footprints stay sunken, give it a drink!

When do I water my lawn?

Get up and get going, water your lawn before 10:00 a.m. when it is cooler.  You need this calm time of day to let the water soak in before it evaporates with sun and wind later. Maybe you like to come home from work and water as you unwind. Try to get watering done before 6:00 p.m. so the blades of grass can dry before dark. 

Let’s keep it simple this time.

If your lawn gets 1” to 1.5” of water in a week per week, your lawn will be fine. Whether the water comes from a good rainfall or a really high tech system, it all counts the same. If you are watering, it is really best if you can divide your waterings into two per week. 

Maybe you aren’t into “simple”

If dragging out the old green hose and spraying your yard is too old fashioned, there are plenty of options. Old fashioned sprinklers are still around, but today you have “smart” options that allow you to program your watering systems. You can even water your lawn from your smart phone if you want to show off at the baseball game. Some smart systems are even linked to the local weather systems info and will water at the most perfect moments. 

Did this information send you to the watering hole?

Hopefully not. If you are really into it, there are so many articles with more information, You can become a lawn scientist or a lawn watering mathematician, but like a simple recipe, why ruin it? Start with a healthy lawn, and we at Lawn and Pest Solutions can get you to that point. Keep your lawn healthy with some simple watering tips above. Do a little research, get a little help. Give us a call. We can send a licensed lawn technician over, get you a quote and have you watering that lush green lawn in no time at all. We serve the areas from Memphis to all over North Mississippi. 

Good news, the murder rate of crape myrtles is declining

No longer victims to “crape murder”, North Mississippi crape myrtles are thriving more than ever!

Kudos to the person who first coined the term “crape murder”…it worked. Today, I drove around my beautiful small town in North Mississippi looking for photo opportunities of crape murder. As small towns and gossip go,  I knew better than to post a picture of my neighbor’s lawn (yikes, they really committed a heinous crime). So, I changed my search for a public property, one where the crape myrtles have been hacked off by chainsaws and look like scary stumps with big knots at the top. To my surprise, people have been listening! Our crape myrtles along the main street area are in lovely condition for this time of year. The canopies of crape myrtles in our parks have been lovingly and appropriately trimmed. Even those in neighborhoods throughout town look like they are going to blossom out and be strong for the season. Though there were plenty of knotted, gnarled and shrunken “victims”, it looks like people are getting the message!

Am I a murderer?

Many crape murders are committted by cutting back on the main trunks, on the same location every year and often to a height of around 4-5’.  Yes, some of these practices will lead to many new shoots and lots of blossoms, but these new shoots will be very weak. The weak shoots can’t support the heavy blooms and they will droop and weep from the strain. Each year, as the pruning occurs in the same spots, knots will develop on the trunks.  These knots are not only unattractive, but they also contribute to weakness in our trees. This is crape murder.

I don’t want to be a murderer!

First of all, timing is everything! WHEN you prune your crepe myrtle is of utmost importance! In North Mississippi, the ideal time to prune is late January through February. You can still make corrective pruning as late as March or April, though.  If you missed your chance already this year, just mark your calendar for next year, and make notes….

Repeat after me, “it’s a tree, not a bush”

Don’t prune far down onto the main trunks; allow your crape myrtle to look like a tree. Ideally, your crape myrtle should look like an umbrella from a distance. 

Don’t cut out large sections, just remove branches that cross one another. If there are seed pods from last year, remove those, too! If your tree is too tall, you can prune it back down to a more appropriate height, but don’t do this every year. 

Ok, I want to plant a crape myrtle…

If you are considering planting crape myrtles, consult with a professional, or at the very least, do a little research first. Here are a few big ideas:

Where you plant your crape myrtle will either contribute to the successful life or the untimely death of your beautiful ornamental tree. 

Crape myrtles need lots of sun but not a lot of water to live in our area. 

Pruning and long-term care is just as important to the lifespan of a crape myrtle. 

 For more reading on crape murder,proper care and planting*, read this great article in Southern Living.

While Lawn and Pest Solutions does not offer a pruning service, we want to help you maintain a beautiful lawn. We have customers all over North Mississippi and our licensed technicians are ready to assist you. You can contact us here for a quote.