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.

Is it time to reseed your Bermuda grass?

In our Southern region, Bermuda grass is a popular choice for lawns. Bermuda grass loves full sun, it thrives in our heat and it is very tolerant to drought and traffic. However, Bermuda grass does have nutritional requirements and is what we might call “high maintenance”. If your Bermuda grass looking a little thin, you may think it is time to reseed.

Why is my bermudagrass thin?

Bermudagrass goes dormant over the winter and honestly can look a little rough this time of year. But, as the temperature warms, the grass breaks dormancy and its rhizomes and stolons start producing a lot of new growth. It is important to have a fertility plan in place so your bermudagrass receives the proper nutrients at the correct time. Our Lawn 360 program for lawns answers this problem!

 Is it time to reseed?

The best time to reseed Bermuda grass is in the spring, but established bermudagrass lawn rarely need to be reseeded. As I already said, warm temperatures and a good fertility program make all the difference for this type of grass. Aeration early in the growing season is another tool to help bermudagrass thrive. Soil can become compacted over time, and aeration relieves this stress.

How can I keep my Bermuda grass strong?

There are several things you can do as a homeowner to help your Bermuda grass stay healthy. Remember that a healthy lawn can fight off weeds, drought and disease better than a weak lawn. 

  • Mow it at a lower height 
  • Water it after you mow
  • Make sure it gets fertilized 
  • See that your lawn is aerated
  • Get rid of weeds

Healthy bodies and healthy lawns. What?

If you think about lawns the way you think about your own body, this all makes a lot of sense. A healthy lawn is strong, free of weeds, and gets plenty of air and water and nutrients. When that healthy lawn is attacked by disease, weeds, drought or insects it has a much better chance of surviving and thriving. When we were all preparing for COVID, remember the people with healthy bodies who took the right vitamins? Those people had a better chance of recovering. 

It is time.

Give our office a call and let one of our professionals come by and evaluate your lawn. We can help you determine whether or not you need to reseed or overseed, and we also have the services to fertilize, aerate, and apply the right sprays to keep weeds from emerging or from coming back. Let us help you get your lawn into the best shape ever! Our Lawn and Pest Solutions Lawn Technicians serve the Memphis, Tennessee and Mississippi areas. You can message our office 24 hours a day just by visiting our website. Our techs are friendly, trustworthy and dependable. Read our Google reviews to see how pleased our customers are with our services.

Memphis pest control

Three tips to keeping your Memphis home pest free

Hello, Memphis! Lawn and Pest Solutions is here to help you prevent pests from ever entering your home. We are specialists in pest control and are here for you if it’s “too late” and they have already invaded. Maybe you have tried DIY pest control and are ready for the pros.

Whether you are in Memphis, Germantown or Collierville, keeping your home free of pests is what we like to think of as a team effort. While we can, will and DO go into homes every day to rid them of pests, half of the battle is in prevention. Here are four things YOU can do to help fight the fight.

Clean up debris outside your home.

Piles of twigs and leaves make wonderful homes for pests. Get those piles bagged up and remove them from your property. While you are at it, any fallen branches or limbs that are leaning against your home need to go. Think of branches that touch your home as “ladders” that squirrels, mice, etc. can use to access your roof, attic, cracks in the home. Don’t make it any easier for them to get in!

2. Seal up your home.

Walk around outside and look closely for cracks and crevices where tiny mice and more could squeeze in. You aren’t looking for open doors and windows (though that does invite pests…) , look for the smallest openings around windows, under doors, gaps between the roof and home. Remember the pests we are looking for are usually small and can wiggle into the tiniest spaces. Now, seal it up! If pests can’t get in, most of your problem is solved!

3. Clean up your home (especially your kitchen).

This seems so obvious and so easy. But keeping the inside of your home free of food and water to tempt pests is a never ending “tidying up” process. Things that are a “must do” include: 

  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight.
  • Don’t leave pet food out overnight. (Be sure stored pet food is kept in an airtight container)
  • Check your pantry to be sure that all food is sealed. Look at boxes of cereal and crackers, are those bags opened inside? Easy to access cookies and dry pastas and such are easy feeding sources for pests.

These three “small” tasks are things that you can do regularly in and outside of your home to help fight the war against pests. Our licensed pest technicians will spray outside and inside your home on their initial visit. This visit includes a thorough inspection inside and out, and if they can help close up those entry points for pests, they will. Our techs will also advise you on anything else you can do to help prevent pests. After the initial spraying, all follow up visits are done outside of your home (this means you don’t have to be there after the first visit).  

Whether you are fighting roaches, ants, millipedes, or any other pests in your home, we are here for you. You can contact our office any day or time by leaving a message on our website. At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we call it #thelpsdifference. You can read our reviews on Google to see just how happy our customers are with our fantastic customer service and results. Follow us on Facebook and on Instagram to learn more about our company and our professional and friendly technicians.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are a part of our Southern structure. They are the one “pest” we can all agree upon as being the grossest, most vigilant and equalizing of all. It seems that no matter who you are, where you live, or how clean your kitchen is…one roach will send the whole household up onto the couch. 

Growing up in Mississippi, it’s not unusual to have stories of cockroaches in some shape or form. In my creative household, they even invaded our nightmares. For years, my little sister had a recurring dream about a “peach colored flying roach”. Around small towns, everyone knows who “has roaches” and that’s not a kept secret. Everyone agrees, cockroaches are just the worst. This episode of “Infested” on Animal Planet is dedicated to a roach infestation.

Whether focusing on their extreme ability to reproduce or the terrible smell they emit, there is nothing good about cockroaches. This quote from an article in the BBC about the smells of cockroaches stirred up memories of cleaning out an old college apartment for me. 

“The reason why smashed cockroaches smell like a clogged truck stop toilet that’s been fermenting in 90-degree heat is because they store nitrogenous waste – uric acid, specifically – in their fat for recycling.”

So what are you going to do about cockroaches?

Seeing a cockroach SHOULD make you want to call the exterminator. Species of roach, conducive conditions, what to apply, and many other factors can make roach control frustrating. DIY treatments can drive roaches to hide deeper.  A professional knows the best course of treatment and is educated on the varieties of roaches. 

Rely on our licensed pest professionals to provide relief from roaches, ants, spiders and more. Our Pest 360 program is our most popular solution to your pest control needs.

We will launch a personal attack on the roaches who are hiding under your baseboards, fridge, stove, dishwasher. Our people have the right tools and insecticides that are targeted to the specific type of roaches for your area. 

Contact our office today to begin your war against roaches, ants, termites, spiders and more. We serve Mississippi and Tennessee. 

Benefits of Hiring a Pest Professional

One walk down the pesticide aisle of a home improvement store is enough for me to know I need to hire a pest professional. So many bags of chemicals and containers of liquids. The smell of the aisle alone is enough to let me know, “I don’t know what I am doing here”. Have you ever tried reading the instructions on pesticides? I am always reminded that I am not a chemist or a baker. I don’t do “recipes”. 

What’s that smell?

A do it yourself insecticide program should bring up a lot of uncertainties. Is this the right formula? Is is safe for my pet? What will happen if my children touch/eat this? Where do I spray? If I only have to spray it once a year, what the heck is IN this stuff? And this one is for me, where is that sprayer and how do I get this smelly stuff inside of it? So hiring a pest professional sounds like an obvious YES.

I don’t change my own oil, rotate my tires, unclog my toilets or rewire my lamps. 

Why would I think I can fend off an infestation of roaches? Hiring a pest professional gives peace of mind. A pest professional undergoes continual training to maintain certification. In addition to that, at Lawn and Pest Solutions, our pest professionals have additional standards to maintain. They know when to spray, what to spray and where to spray.

Our licensed pest professionals at Lawn and Pest Solutions are more than guys with sprayers who know where to spray. These are things you can expect from us:

  • We apply pesticides that are specific to the area you live and that apply to the specific problems you have.
  • We look for points of entry and help you exclude them.
  • We broom down cobwebs and wasps nests outside so they don’t set up camp outside your home. 
  • We know “what’s coming” ….for instance, we know ants are more active in wet weather. Our techs are proactive. We like to prevent pest problems, not just solve them. 
  • Our techs have seen it all. They know where to look, what to look under, what signs to look for when solving pest mysteries. 

Hiring a pest professional, it’s a no-brainer.

At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we are here to solve your problems. You don’t have to be a DIY pest guy, you can just call us with your pest problems and questions. You don’t have to learn how to spray your pantry safely by watching YouTube videos. You don’t have to become a stay at home chemist to mix up your own roach spray. You can feel confident in our trained pest professionals that they know what they are doing and they know when to do it. Don’t worry or waste any more money and time trying to do it on your own. We are here for you. Call our office today to have peace of mind and know that this is not the year the roaches are going to rule your kitchen. 

Should you remulch your flower beds?

We have had some nice weather for a bit, and before winter strikes again, our Southern selves are already asking, “should I go ahead and mulch my flower beds? It only takes a couple of days of sunshine for some of us to break out the shorts and the shovels. 

Why should you remulch your flower beds? 

Mulching for the first time or the remulching for the fifth time allows air, water and nutrients to get to roots while also protecting the plants. We have featured mulching in several blogs before, like this one about mulching or bagging.

When should you remulch your flower beds?

According to Gary Bachman at Mississippi State Extension Service, anytime. Fresh mulch always makes your landscaping look nice and it can really be done anytime of year. However, most of us start thinking about adding mulch or remulching in the middle of spring or towards the end of spring. One thing to remember is that if you mulch too early, your mulch might keep the soil colder or frozen longer. Try waiting until the last freeze is over to allow the soil to warm up. It won’t be long!

Here’s some good news…

You don’t have to remove the old mulch! Experts say we should leave last years’ mulch and allow it to break down into the soil. Now that’s the kind of advice I like to hear! Here are some easy tips about mulching from HGTV that are mostly aesthetic in nature.

Mulch. Mulch. Mulch.

If you say mulch enough, it starts to sound really weird. Here is where the word “mulch” comes from. Mulch is an added bonus to most landscapes. Mulch protects your plants and gardens while making everything look a little nicer in the process. Lawn and Pest is part of the protection you can add to your lawn and landscape. Your landscape is an investment and we are here to help you protect your investment. Contact our office here and we can send a licensed lawn technician to you ASAP. We serve Mississippi and Tennessee homes and businesses and would be glad to help you. 

The Art of Scalping

“The art of scalping” seems a little dramatic for what is really just a good “haircut” for your lawn at the end of winter. Some may remember learning about scalping in history class. Others may have learned that scalping involves an expensive ticket to a big event bought from a less than scrupulous character outside the venue.

Ticket scalping is a prevalent undercover activity that has strong ties to the upcoming Super Bowl this Sunday. NFL coaches and players are even known to get involved. Yard scalping on the other hand, is a good thing. 

What IS scalping my lawn?

Scalping your lawn just means that at the end of winter, you lower the blade on your mower and give your grass a really good cut. It won’t look pretty, but it serves a great purpose. Just think of it like good skin care. You are removing all of the tough, dead “skin” that has built up over the cold winter. Scalping is preparing your lawn for the spring sun and new growth that is lurking just under the soil. 

Scalping is a reboot for your lawn

When you mow down low, just one inch from the ground, you are removing the accumulation of winter that can cause thatch. Once you have mowed down to the stalk more light can get to your grass. More light on your grass means warmer soil. All of this adds up to stronger grass that turns green earlier. Your healthy lawn is just waiting underneath!

Should I scalp my lawn now?

Timing is everything with lawn scalping. Wait until the last of the sub-freezing temperatures to pass. If you scalp too early, your tender grass stems will be exposed to extreme cold. The best time for scalping in our region is middle to late February. 

Again, timing is critical. Don’t wait too late to scalp. If you wait too late and your grass has already started growing, scalping will only cause your grass stress. Stressed out grass means slower growing grass.

What types of grasses need scalping?

Scalping works best on warm-season grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia. Never scalp Centipede, St. Augustine, or cool-season grasses like fescue.

Quick tips for scalping your lawn:

Sharpen the blades on your lawnmower, dull blades damages grass and exposes it to diseases

Scalp when your lawn is pretty dry, mud covered grass stems don’t get enough sunlight

Bag up your clippings from scalping, debris left on your lawn is basically an undoing of the scalping

Don’t forget to use the clippings in your compost pile

As we say here almost every week, having a beautiful lawn is a year round job and we are here to help. Your lawn is part of the investment of your home and we can help you keep that part of your investment looking its’ best. Our certified lawn technicians serve Mississippi and Tennessee. You can easily spot our uniformed employees in their white Lawn and Pest Solutions trucks. Contact us here to get a quote on your lawn, you can text, email or call us just by clicking this link

Crape murder

You don’t have to watch Netflix to observe this heinous crime. On trees.

Crape murder is quite a dramatic statement, isn’t it? It does capture the attention of gardeners and homeowners across the South. And it’s time again. Late January and early February signal aspiring Paul Bunyan’s across the South to gather their weapons.

Before you go chopping away on your crape myrtle trees…

I can’t mention Paul Bunyan and walk away…this link explores whether he was a real man. Whether Paul Bunyan was real or not, he did have a way with chopping down trees, and that’s what we are all here for today. The pruning of our treasured Crape Myrtle trees across the South. 

Crape murder is the practice of pruning your crape myrtle back on the main trunks, often to the same location each year, and often to a height of 4 to 5 feet. The misconception is the tree will produce more new growth the following spring and summer. Many believe this result in more bloom, but it really just means more shoots. Weak shoots that will be weak and will place stress on the tree.

Why do crape myrtle trees need so much pruning?

Many times, crape myrtle trees need severe pruning because they are planted in improper locations. Reminding us of the importance of a good landscaping plan! But if your trees are in need of pruning, don’t commit crape murder, but follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t prune far down onto the main trunks
  • Don’t cut out large sections
  • Remove branches that cross one another
  •  Remove seed pods from last year
  • Allow your crape myrtle to look like a tree
  •  Your crape myrtle should look like an umbrella from a distance
  • If your Crape Myrtle is too tall, you can prune it back down to a more appropriate height, but not every year!

While Lawn and Pest Solutions does not offer a pruning service, we want to help you maintain a beautiful lawn. We have licensed technicians ready to assist you with all of your lawn and pest control needs. We serve Mississippi and Tennessee and are always available to take your calls, texts or messages. You can contact us here for a quote. If the mention of Paul Bunyan has you sentimental, check out these statue locations