PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Spring"

Lawn soil

Is Your Lawn Pickled?

May 25, 2016

Worried about thatch? If you're fertilizing PRFCTly, you don't have to be.

Thatch is a naturally occurring layer of decaying material that accumulates in soil. A ½" layer of thatch is healthy. It acts as insulation for soil and roots and a cushion for your kids' knees when they fall on the grass.

Thatch build-up is not caused by the presence of grass clippings. In fact, having organic material like grass clippings on your lawn feeds the same microbes that remove excess thatch from your soil.

Problems occur when soil is pickled by the salts and acids in chemical fertilizers and pesticides, preventing the natural composting process from taking place. Material builds up, resulting in a thick layer of thatch that attracts pests and creates conditions for fungus to spread.

Instead, prevent thatch build-up by fertilizing your lawn with natural fertilizers like compost tea and, of course, grass clippings.

bee dandelion

This spring has been a bumper year for dandelions on the East End. Before you mow them down or grab your spade to uproot them, did you know…?

• Dandelion flowers are an important source of pollen during the spring months when bees and butterflies emerge from hibernation and few other flowers are available.

• Dandelions are natural aerators. Their roots push through compacted soil and leave mineral-rich organic material behind when they die.

• Dandelions indicate a lack of calcium in the soil. Their tap roots can pull calcium and other minerals from deep in the soil, making dandelion leaves a healthy addition to your lawn and your diet.

• The best way to prevent dandelions from popping up in your lawn is to mow high (3.5-4") and reseed bare patches in the fall. Tall, thick grass leaves little room for sun-loving dandelions to take root. If dandelions keep sprouting, the safest way to remove them is by hand. Water the area to loosen the soil and use a dandelion digger or flathead screwdriver to remove the plant’s long taproot. Pulling dandelions before they go to seed will help prevent them from spreading in your landscape

• Dandelion puffs are a blast! Have you ever met a child who didn't agree? They’re also one of the few food sources available to pollinators in early spring. If bees and butterflies love them, why can’t we?

root flare mature tree

Many of you will be celebrating Arbor Day this week by planting trees in your yards, parks, or elsewhere in your community. We could not be happier! But before you pick up your shovel, please take a moment to locate the root flare of the tree you are planting.

“What’s the root flare?,” you may ask.

The root flare is where the roots of the tree begin to spread out from the trunk. You should be able to locate this flare even in young trees in nursery containers, but you may have to brush away some soil to find it.

Once you find it, do not bury the root flare when planting the tree.

Why? Covering the flare will bury and destroy bark that the tree relies on for oxygen and protection from diseases. And roots that are buried too deeply often grow upward in search of the proper mixture of water, nutrients, and oxygen. Roots growing in the wrong direction can eventually wrap around the tree, strangling the trunk as it grows.

Placing material against the tree’s trunk can also cause the bark to rot and leave the tree susceptible to infection.

Show your trees how much you love them this Arbor Day. Plant them properly and you'll be enjoying their company for decades to come.

Create mulch rings around your trees, not volcanoes.

mosquito

They buzz. They bite. They suck, literally.

Mosquitos are they last pests you want swooping in while you’re trying to relax in your backyard on a summer evening. So, make sure they don't see your lawn as an open invitation.

The most effective way to control mosquitos is to get them before they grow into bloodsucking adults. Overwatering your lawn and landscape encourages water to gather, and subsequently encourages mosquitos to breed. Target their breeding grounds by eliminating that source of standing water.


Refrain from broadcast pesticide sprays for mosquitos. These sprays are short lasting, kill pollinators, and are harmful to children and pets.

Our advice: Water seldom, water deep. That method will provide your landscape with the moisture it needs during the summer months, while discouraging mosquitos from calling your backyard home

mole

If you have ever had moles, you know they can make quite a mess.

Though they provide some benefits such as aerating compact soil and eating grubs; this year we have seen a population spike that has us saying enough with the moles already!

Fortunately, there are toxin-free methods that can help:

Break Out Your Stomping Shoes: Stepping on mole tunnels to collapse them may be the simplest way of solving the problem. After repeatedly having their tunnels flattened moles will move to a less frustrating place to live.

Go Shopping: Another toxin-free option to keep moles away is to use castor oil-based repellents are available in stores.

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