Should I mulch or bag?
For a person who has never mowed a lawn in her life, I have watched more YouTube videos about lawn care than I could have ever dreamed. The things you do when writing a blog on the topic of “mulching versus bagging” are surprising.
Should I mulch my lawn?
What are the benefits of mulching your lawn clippings? I asked my 17 year old daughter (another person who has never touched a lawnmower) what she thought the benefits would be . Her reply, “well, there must be some sort of nutrients or vitamins or something that your yard gets from the clippings”. OK, this is starting to make good common sense! Yes, there are nutrients galore in your clippings. According to one expert, one of the most beneficial is water.
So you want to mow it and leave it…
You knew there would be a catch. Mulching your lawn clippings and leaving them to nourish the lawn is a “win-win” situation. However, if you are committed, mowing once a week during this time of year (May through August) is required. Yes, once a week, sometimes every 5 days. Clippings that are allowed to pile up on top of growing lawns encourage the problem of thatch. Final answer, if you can’t commit to once a week, bag it up.
Committed to the mulch?
Mulching is wonderful for your lawn. Mulch once a week and your yard is going to thrive. However, not all lawnmowers are made for mulching. There are two keys to success. The first part of your commitment is to make sure you have the proper equipment. First, a lawnmower that is made for mulching. Second, setting your lawnmower blade to the proper height. Refer to the owners manual for specifics. The end result of a commitment to mulching is a beautiful and healthy lawn.
Whatever happened to “summers off?”
If mowing your lawn once a week give you second thoughts, there is another option. Bagging your lawn clippings isn’t anything to be ashamed of, own this option! If once a week lawn mowing is out of the question, get those clippings off of your lawn. Now that we know better, the “bagging” option is really referring more to the lawnmower’s collection system. Disposing of your clippings responsibly today looks more like using them for compost, not throwing bags of “lawn garbage” in a land fill. There are consequences to leaving your clippings too long.
Looks good, looks good…
If you leave clippings piled up on your lawn all summer while it’s growing like crazy, you are going to have a bigger weed problem in the form of thatch. One positive benefit to bagging your clippings is the satisfying thought of having a totally “clean” lawn. We can all picture a parent or grandparent standing proudly with hands on hips, admiring the freshly mowed and raked lawn! I can’t imagine my extremely detail oriented and lawn obsessed grandmother EVER leaving her lawn clippings out. I can hear her now…
So what did we decide?
Mulching is good for your lawn, but you need a good machine, set to the right blade height and you need to be mowing every 5-7 days. Bagging is not bad, especially if you don’t have the time to mow so frequently or if you don’t have the right equipment. Whatever you decide, you can always contact our licensed lawn techs at Lawn and Pest Solutions for help. If thatch has already gotten the best of you, let us help you get that under control. Call our North Mississippi office, we serve the Memphis area and all over North Mississippi.
Sports Field Management
As a newbie to lawn care terminology, “sports field management” makes me think of not the angry coach who storms the field. I think of the older, more calm “sports manager” who comes out of the dugout to pull the angry guy off the umpire. This older guy is obviously, the “sports field manager”. However, a little knowledge goes a long way, and I have recently learned what sports field management means around here.
All you need is a coach and a tractor
Not that long ago, the management of many smaller school sports fields were the responsibility of the coaches. A lucky coach was one who had a few maintenance guys on a crew to help them out in the summer. It’s not that far fetched to assume that there have been parents, booster clubs, even players who put in hours attempting to keep the field cut and green. However, the level of competition continues to rise.
Best BBQ in town
Today, sports are about more than who won the game. It’s about the nicest stadiums, coolest uniforms, loudest sound system and best looking media guides. Hey, we even judge you on your BBQ nachos around here. What team doesn’t want all of that? In addition to looking good in, around, and on the field, the field itself needs to look good!
OK, it’s more than just good looks.
The sports field is more than just a green patch of grass or “turf”. The field of play should be healthy, thriving and safe! A safe field is not too wet, not too dry, it has the correct density so as not to cause injuries to players. A lush and thriving field can be used quickly after rain. No one has time to forfeit or reschedule games because of a waterlogged field! So what does it take to have a healthy sports field?
Three steps to a thriving and beautiful field of play
There are three key “ingredients” to reviving, building or even dreaming of a healthy field of play. Verticutting, aeration and topdressing are key to good sports field health. Verticutting allows your turf to breathe easy, absorb nutrients and soak in moisture. Aeration perforates the soil to allow water, air and nutrients in. Top dressing applies sand or a soil mixture after aeration. These three steps conducted by our licensed technicians at Lawn and Pest Solutions can give you a winning field . Contact us here at Lawn and Pest Solutions. We are located in North Mississippi and service areas from the Memphis area and south. Our expanding sports field management services could be just what your team needs for a winning season.
Aeration for lawns
Leave it to me to compare lawn care and skin care (and just a tad bit of art history), but it just had to be done. This week our blog topic is aeration of the lawn. Recently we have been promoting aeration with our new sports field service, but today we are focusing on aeration of our lawns.
What is lawn aeration?
Aeration is a process where, to put it simply, holes are poked in your lawn. The holes in the top surface allow for “the good stuff” to get down into the roots. “Good stuff” includes water, nutrients, and fertilizer. Aeration makes everything healthy.
Do I need to aerate?
The layer of dead grass (thatch) that builds up on your lawn can rob your grass of necessary rain and nutrients. Aeration can break up and get through thatch which has compacted over time. Aeration can improve the health and beauty of your lawn significantly.
So what does this have to do with skin care?
A few years ago, it became a trend among celebrities to micro needle or derma roll their faces. A derma rolling tool looks scary to say the least, like an old manual lawnmower covered with tiny needles. You roll this scary tool all over your face to “aerate” your skin. After rolling, you indulge your skin with every kind of magical potion you can get your hands on. As crazy as it sounds, the users swear by the process. What’s the difference in the two? Your lawn and your face are both are being aerated!
Do I need a professional to aerate my lawn?
One actual Google result about lawn aeration is “can I use a pitchfork to aerate my lawn?”. Well. How much time do you have on your hands? OK, the answer is yes, you can get out your pitchfork if you have a lot of time, a lot more energy, and hopefully, a really tiny yard.
(As promised, here’s one for the painters)
As an avid lover of art history, I can’t just let the pitchfork moment pass without giving you a chance to “aerate” your brain with one little reference to “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. Just in case you ever need a fine arts reference to pitchforks by American artists, you can thank me later.
Not ready to get out the pitchfork today?
An easier solution would be to call a lawn professional like Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS and let one of our licensed technicians take care of you (no pitchforks will be needed). You can contact us here to have one of our nice folks give you a quote on a lawn aeration service. We can make the Lawn and Pest Difference in your lawn today!
Somebody’s watching me
It was probably a spider watching Rockwell, don’t you think?
Do you think you have a spider problem? What makes a spider a spider? Here are some numbers to help you know what it is that may be watching you.
A spider has: 8 legs, 2 body regions, 0 wings, 0 antennae, 3 OR 4 pair of eyes. Yes, that’s 6-8 eyes staring at you from that dark little corner in your closet.
How do spiders get in your house?
Oh, just about any old way you can imagine. He boldly marches in your home looking for food, warmth, a drink. He loves living in that fancy pair of shoes you only wear once a year. He sleeps in your winter coat pockets, relaxes in the box of old baby clothes in the basement, and terrorizes the other bugs in your pantry. He may have entered while traveling on a plant you brought in for the winter. Perhaps he was lounging on that firewood you hauled in. He’s living with you, he’s not paying rent and this is a problem.
How do you get spiders out of your house?
One way to get rid of this new resident is by allowing his mate to handle this matter and let “nature run her course.” Since spiders feed on insects including other spiders, many times the female spider will make a snack of her mate. That may be an option, but logistically it will only help with 50% of your problem. Thankfully, there are more effective solutions.
Here are few things YOU can do to make your home less inviting to spiders:
-Spiders don’t like to be disturbed. Before bringing seasonal decor inside, shake out items like Easter baskets, spring decor, swimsuits, beach toys. These dark and quiet spaces have made a lovely home for your spider friends.
-Inspect anything that has been sitting on the ground outside before you bring it in. Mail, deliveries and bags of groceries sitting in the driveway for a moment are all easy modes of transportation to a spider looking to enter your home.
-Seal up cracks and crevices, damaged window screens, cracks in your siding, look around seasonally for points of entry.
If you feel like maybe the spiders have already claimed their turf in your own home, it is probably time to call one of our trained, certified technicians. While spiders are definitely not the worst “pests” to invade your home, you don’t have to live with them.
We can help.
Walking through cobwebs, wondering “is this a spider bite?” or arguing over who gets to step on the next one could be a thing of the past in your home. To get a situation like an infestation of spiders under control, Lawn and Pest Solutions of New Albany, MS can come in and use applications tailored specifically to spiders, just contact us!
Fire ants, football and the art of pest control
In our part of the country, fire ants are so prevelant and have such a reputation that in North Mississippi, we named a football team after them. If that doesn’t impress you, check out this video on YouTube, where artists pour molten aluminum down a fire ant colony? We can all appreciate the beauty of nature and the artistry of the folks who came up with this idea. It’s truly amazing to see the intricacies and expansiveness of what is happening right under our lawns with fire ants!
Maybe it’s a Southern thing….
The impressive fire ants are very organized and hard working pests, but they also sting us, our children and our pets. Maybe that’s why the naming of the Tupelo Fire Ants Indoor Football team was so genius! Most Southerners have a horror story involving a bare foot stuck in a fire ant mound. Many of us watched our dads attempt to pour concoctions of powders, liquids and even gasoline down into the mounds. Anything to rid our yards of the ugly piles of hardened dirt.
They don’t bite, they sting!
Of course, there’s a better way to deal with these pests. Their safe and effective Fire Ant 360 program won’t poison your dog or burn up your grass and you won’t have to worry about your children running into the house screaming in pain because of fire ant stings!
We can get rid of these pests
Lawn & Pest Solutions has the technology and expertise to provide season-long control. Our fire ant control treatments target the queen, not just the mound. Our program is very efficient, just two strategically timed bait applications will typically wipe out 95% of your fire ants. We will visit two more times per year just to assess the effectiveness or apply more bait if needed at no extra charge. Give us a call or click here and we will send out a licensed technician to address your issues!
Do I have termites?
If you find yourself wondering “do I have termites”, googling images of termites, or you just know you have evidence of termites inside your home, don’t put off calling a professional. If you don’t see evidence of termites in your home, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I know, that’s scary. Often, you don’t know you have termites until they have caused extensive damage.
Don’t miss this.
Here’s one other really important piece of information…termite damage is RARELY covered by your homeowner’s insurance. It is considered preventable through proper home maintenance. This means you have to do your part, and termite treatment is not a do it yourself project.
Ok, I have termites. What’s next?
Did you know termite treatments are regulated by your state? That’s pretty serious. Here are three steps to properly treat for termites and protect your home against further damage:
- An interior AND exterior inspection of your home.
- A full treatment (this can be a liquid application that is trenched and injected into the soil around your foundation, or a bait station application around the perimeter of your home.
- Issuance of a termite contract (this includes type of application, products used, a diagram of the structure treated, cost for the initial treatment AND ongoing annual inspections).
Did you catch that?
An annual inspection inside AND outside your home. Are you sure that your current termite technicians are inspecting inside your home once a year? We will do that.
What we can do to help you
Lawn & Pest Solutions provides both liquid treatments and bait station treatments. Our liquid applications are performed using Termidor®, and our bait station applications utilize the Sentricon System®. Sentricon is only available to Certified Sentricon Specialists who have been trained in the proper installation and inspection techniques for this system. Click here for information on our Termite 360 program. Both of our termite treatment methods are backed by a contract that clearly states all of our pricing and what you can expect.
Have more questions? Reach out to us on our contact page. At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we are serious about pests including termites. We would love to have one of our certified technicians stop by your home and give you an estimate or just answer questions for you.
Does yard work count as “PE” for homeschooling?
Of course, yard work counts as physical education! Sheltering in place has taken a toll on most of us who are homeschooling children or just have restless teens and/or adults in the house. Here are several activities that will not only take the energy level down a notch, but will help your lawn in the long run.
Get off the sofa and mow the lawn!
Before you know it, your lawn will be dry enough to get out the mower. This is a great time to teach those sofa dwelling children and teens how to mow. Take a moment before you crank it up to click on the link to a blog we posted last year on “The Art of Scalping”. It never hurts to refresh your memory!
Here are more outdoor activities that definitely qualify as physical education and will have your lawn looking gorgeous by the time we can all get out and about! Here are some tips to get the children, teens and other household members moving:
- Be careful not to prune spring or summer flowering shrubs or you will cut off blooms
- Prune low hanging limbs from trees in your yard, this makes mowing easier, it improves your landscape and it gives the grass around your tree every opportunity to get sunlight it needs
- If remulching your flower beds to keep weed growth down, don’t allow it to get too thick next to the foundation of your home, this can become a superhighway for termites!
- Look for standing water in old flower pots, wheelbarrows, birdbaths, that old tire from your lawn mower. It only takes a teaspoon of water for mosquitoes to lay eggs, dump it out!
- Do something to prevent weeds in your flower beds and lawn. If you don’t know what to do or you don’t want to do it, Lawn 360 is for you! Contact the Lawn and Pest professionals at Lawn and Pest Solutions.
There won’t be a test, but let’s review. Yes, yard work counts as physical education while homeschooling your children. So get them off the sofa, teach them how the lawn mower works and give them an A+.
Family activities while sheltering in place
Indoor and outdoor projects to ready your home for spring
While sheltering in place, here are some family activities that can help prep your yard and home for spring! Many of us are on a bit of a “lockdown” right now and have some free time around the house. Some of us even have some “extra hands” with lots of energy! Let’s put these housemates to work! Now is the time to get some indoor and outdoor projects completed so we are ready to enjoy a beautiful spring!
Clean spaces help keep pests away
- Clean out your kitchen pantry, throw away old flour, rice and grains. These can be a breeding ground for pantry pests such as Indian meal moth (also known as weevil, pantry or grain moth). Clean up any spills and broken containers as the residue from these can attract mice, ants and roaches.
- Deep clean kitchen baseboards, cabinets, drawers for the same reasons as above, this can reduce pest attraction.
- Move pet food to sealed containers
- Clean out your recycling bin as it is filled. Cardboard and paper will harbor roaches while plastic bottles and aluminum cans will attract ants. Make sure you rinse out food containers before recycling!
- While your recycling bins are empty, clean them out with ammonia or bleach
- It is time to clean out your storage room that you’ve been throwing everything in! Mice, roaches, rats, squirrels all love a junk room.
- If you want to read more about cleaning up and cleaning out, here’s a link to one of our previous blogs on cleaning out gutters.
Now that you’ve cleaned up, it’s a great time to get a pest analysis and preventive treatment from one of our certified technicians. P360 is more affordable than you might think, just click here to get a quote. While we at Lawn and Pest Solutions are certainly in the business of taking care of your pest problems, the best results are when we work together as a team. So keep those family activities going while sheltering in place and call us when you need us!