We see it so often driving down the road; some poor homeowner that’s left for work has their own geyser in their front yard from a broken sprinkler head.
Unfortunately that broken sprinkler head can lead to several problems: increased water bills, dead grass, weeds, disease and the list can go on!
So before spring rolls around and you get caught with your own national monument, you should have your Irrigation System inspected by a professional. Make sure they check your:
- Timer box – is it set correctly for the type of sprinklers you have, watering restrictions and the amount of water your landscape needs?
- Zone pressure – is there enough pressure to each zone to ensure water is covering the entire zone?
- Sprinkler head type – do you have the right sprinkler heads for the type of watering your landscape needs?
- Rain sensor – is your rain sensor working properly? Do you have one installed?
- Zone coverage – are your sprinklers covering the entire zone? Are they misdirected? Do you need risers installed?
Don’t stop there though!
Irrigation systems require ongoing maintenance and should be maintained and monitored more than once a year.
Leave Old Faithful where she lies!
Not Sure Where To Start?
As the warm weather arrives and our grass starts growing rapidly again, it’s important to make sure you’re mowing smart.
Mowing plays a critical role in the health of your landscape and if done incorrectly, can leave your lawn exposed to weeds, insects and diseases. Here are a few mowing tips that will help ensure that your mowing is adding to the health and beauty of your landscape.
Tips To Mowing Smart:
- Mow Frequently: You should mow at least once per week during the warmer months and once every 10 – 14 days during the cooler months.
- Mow at the Proper Height: Different grasses require different mowing heights that vary from 1-4″. Mowing too low will cause the grass to turn brown and possibly take weeks to recover.
- Use a Sharp Blade: A dull blade will “rip” the grass rather than make a clean cut. This leaves the grass exposed to disease and the ripped tips will turn brown leaving your lawn unsightly.
- Avoid Mowing Wet Grass: Wet clippings can clog your mower, reducing its efficiency to effectively cut your grass.
- Leave Clippings, If Possible: Grass clippings return vital nutrients to your landscape.
For more tips like these from our professionals, or to find out how our GreenUP Landscape Service can make your lawn beautiful, schedule a Free Landscape Inspection or call Massey’s GreenUP Landscape Services at 1-888-2MASSEY (262-7739).
If your irrigation system isn’t functioning properly, it could be costing you money, harming your landscape and wasting one of our most precious resources.
Proper irrigation is critical to the health of your lawn and landscape. Under-watering can impact the roots of your grass and shrubs, leading to increased chinch bug activity. Over-watering encourages fungus and disease such as brown patch and root rot, as well as uncontrollable weeds such as crabgrass and sedge.
Since our irrigation systems typically run in the early morning, you may not know there is something wrong with your system until the damage has already been done. Be sure to check your irrigation system monthly to ensure sprinklers are working properly and providing the right coverage.
A properly functioning irrigation system should provide head-to-head coverage for your lawn and landscape. For a detailed demonstration on what this looks like, check out our short video on The Importance of Checking and Adjusting Your Irrigation System.
Five Signs You Need Sprinkler Repair Services
If you notice any of the following signs in your lawn, you need an irrigation maintenance and sprinkler repair service before it’s too late:
- A dull, bluish-gray coloring to your grass
- Foot tracks that appear to be embedded in the grass
- Leaf blades that are wilted and folded in half
- Dry, crumbly soil around the roots of your grass
- Brown areas within the lawn
More importantly, proper irrigation helps our environment through water conservation and can help save you money. Misdirected sprinklers can waste our precious water supply and add unnecessary cost to your water bill.
Even during the cooler months, it’s important to understand the care your lawn needs.
Moisture needs are greatly reduced in the winter, but your landscape will still need irrigation in the absence of rainfall. Typically, applying 1/2″ to 3/4″ of water once a week will suffice from December through February.
Landscape Diseases and Weeds
The two primary turf problems during the winter months are brown patch fungus and winter annual broadleaf weeds. Both of these problems can be greatly affected by excessive soil moisture.
- Brown patch fungus is a disease that causes turf damage in circular patterns. Dying grass blades on the outside border of the pattern are usually vibrant yellow toorange. Fungicide applications will suppress the advancement of the disease
and the turf will recover, but they will not “cure” the problem. New areas of activity can occur anytime weather conditions are conducive.
- Winter annual broadleaf weeds are weeds that emerge when the weather is cool. These weeds die naturally in the spring. Winter
annual weeds tend to be more of a problem than summer annual weeds because the turf does not compete with the weeds as well in the winter as it does in the summer.
Mowing your lawn is still necessary in the winter months. Mowing is necessary anytime the grass is 1/3″ higher than the height of your mower blade. In other words, if you are mowing your lawn at 3.5″ and the grass grows to a height of about 4.5″ , it’s time to mow. Mowing is a cultural practice that can greatly influence the health of your lawn.
For help keeping your landscape healthy and green all year long, contact Massey Services GreenUP for a free, detailed inspection.
Everybody loves a lush, green and healthy looking lawn, but growing and maintaining a beautiful landscape requires constant care and attention.
At Massey Services, we continuously work on eliminating or minimizing the number and types of weeds that you may commonly find in your landscape. Our focus is on growing the thickest lawn possible because the best defense against weeds is a thick, dense turf. So how do we do it? Below are just a few of the proactive steps we take to ensure you have a healthy, beautiful lawn year-round.
Steps To Maintaining A Healthy Lawn:
- Choose the Proper Type of Grass: We’ll first identify the species and variety of turf grass presently growing in your landscape. Some varieties do best in semi-shaded areas while others need full sun areas to survive. This is important because a grass poorly suited for shady locations will be thin and susceptible to chronic weed infestation.
- Managing the Health of your Soil: Using soil pH testing and our years of experience in managing soils, we apply a customized fertilization program that balances the need for high lawn quality and color while maintaining the healthiest root system possible. The end result is a thick, green and healthy lawn.
- Recommendations for Proper Mowing: Different grass species have different mowing height requirements. When your lawn is mowed too low, the grass will become less able to promote growth. A scalped or closely mowed lawn will allow weed seedlings to receive the light and space required to root in your lawn. It’s important to mow with a sharp blade and often enough to not remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single mowing.
- Watering Only as Needed: Many weed problems that develop in your lawn are symptomatic of over-watering or another irrigation problem. As a general rule, you should water deeply (3/4 to 1 inch of water per session), but infrequently (no more than twice a week in most cases).
- Controlling Pests: By reducing the amount of insects and diseases active in your property we will reduce the number of thin turf areas where grass weeds can develop.
- Stopping Weed Seeds Before They Germinate: We’ll apply pre-emergent herbicides in the spring and fall to manage weed seeds before they germinate. While good turf management practices and pre-emergent herbicides are an effective way to manage many types of weeds, they cannot guarantee that weeds will never develop in your lawn. Once a weed is established, there are four ways to eliminate it:
- Wait for it to die of old age
- Crowd it out with a thick lawn
- Mechanically remove it by hoeing/hand pulling
- Treat it with a post-emergent weed control product (part of your GreenUP Landscape Services program)
Now, let the Experts of Massey’s GreenUP Landscape Services make your Lawn the Best on the Block
We know no two landscapes are alike. That’s why before we develop a customized program or provide you with a price, we perform a detailed landscape analysis to understand exactly the type of care your landscape needs. Once our landscape analysis is complete – we develop a customized program for YOUR landscape to ensure it remains healthy and beautiful.
Contact us today for a free landscape inspection!
Pests can be very annoying but at the same time, some of them can be very beneficial for us.
There are a variety of bugs that can particularly be good for a healthy garden. These beneficial bugs actually keep destructive bugs away from your fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Beneficial bugs are categorized into three groups:
The praying mantis (mantids) is one of your garden’s best friends. These bugs only eat other insects including many that may attack plants in your garden. In addition to mantids, spiders and centipedes also feast on garden insects. Mantids will catch and eat flies as soon as they land on a plant. Spiders simply wait until files, moths and other flying insects get caught in their webs before they begin snacking. Centipedes typically attack garden insects on or near the ground.
Certain wasps and flies will fly up to and land on garden damaging caterpillars. Once they land, they lay their eggs on the caterpillar and fly away. These eggs will then hatch and the larvae begin to feed on the caterpillar until it dies.
Honeybees are the primary pollinators in our crops and gardens but there are a number of other bees, wasps, flies, beetles and butterflies that also like to feed on nectar or pollen. When they feed they spread pollen from male flowers to female flowers and as a result, provide a wide variety of food that we are able to enjoy.
Attracting Beneficial Bugs
A number of different perennials, including pollen and nectar-producing plants such as
fennel, daisies, dill, clover, cabbage, sunflowers, goldenrod, catnip and yarrow can be planted to attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Having a variety of these plants helps to maintain a ready source of pollinators to aid in pollinating any fruit that you may be growing.
Proper mowing and watering dramatically impact the health of your lawn. Give your lawn and landscape the right attention with the following tips:
- Mow frequently. Don’t remove more than 1/3rd of the leaf blade height in any single mowing. Mow at least once per week during the growing season.
- Mow high. During the heat of the summer, you should mow your lawn at the highest recommended cutting height to help grass retain water.
- Water deeply and infrequently. Our Florida sands dry out quickly so set your sprinkler system to run twice per week to deliver ¾ inch of water per zone. Clay soils may not need to be watered as frequently. Check your local extension service for recommendations or contact us for a free inspection.
Look for signs indicating your lawn is too dry:
- A dull bluish-gray coloring to your grass
- Foot tracks that seem to remain in the grass
- Leaf blades that are folded in half or wilted.
The key to a healthy landscape during dry periods is a balance of proper irrigation and proper maintenance. Either too little or too much irrigation can lead to an increase in weed, pest and diseases. For help keeping your landscape healthy and green all year long, contact Massey Services GreenUP for a free, detailed inspection.
Irrigation is one of the most important factors in maintaining our lawns. Irrigation systems should be reset seasonally to reflect the water requirements of different grasses based on the time of year. Proper winter irrigation is just as important as that of any other season.
How frequently should you water?
Irrigation frequency varies based on the type of grass, rainfall amounts, soil type, shade presence, geographical location and season. Failure to adjust for seasonal changes usually leads to overwatering. Overwatering increases disease susceptibility and thatch buildup and leads to a shorter root system, which reduces the turf’s stress tolerance and ability to survive with less water. Overwatering also promotes the growth of certain weed species such as dollarweed and sedge.
In the winter months, St. Augustine grass with 6-inch roots can go without irrigation for as many as 10-28 days. University of Florida IFAS Extension recommends watering lawns on an “as-needed” basis, which can be determined by looking for the following signs:
- Leaf blades that are folded in half lengthwise to conserve water
- Grass that begins to have a blue-gray tint
- Footprints or tire tracks that remain visible on the grass
Not all parts of your lawn have the same irrigation needs. Grass that grows in the shade will require much less irrigation. Sandy soils can require more frequent irrigation.
Check with your local Water Management District to learn about any watering restrictions in your area.
How much should you water?
The amount of water applied does not vary seasonally. Efficient watering wets only the turfgrass root zone and does not saturate the soil or allow water to run off. When grass begins to show stress symptoms, ½ to ¾ inch of water should be applied.
When should you water?
The best time for lawn irrigation is early morning. During the day, excess evaporation can waste water. Watering in the evening extends the time the lawn is wet from dew and can lead to disease.
It’s important to check your irrigation system regularly to make sure it is operating properly and providing uniform coverage. Contact the experts at Massey Services for a free inspection and recommendations on an irrigation maintenance program that’s right for you.
Proper landscape care and healthy landscapes help our environment. Fertile green spaces reduce pollutants and dust in the air, minimize heat buildup, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and minimize water pollution.
Massey Services promotes sustainable lawn and landscape practices in our communities and offers the following water and lake friendly tips for homeowners:
- Homeowners are encouraged to follow guidelines from the University of Florida’s Florida Yards and Neighborhood program for strategies on proper design, installation and maintenance for healthy landscapes that use minimal water, fertilizer and pesticides.
- Massey Services has been using phosphorus-free fertilizers for nearly 20 years. Phosphorus-free lawn fertilizers have now become common in lawn and garden centers and are readily available for homeowner use. We recommend phosphorus-free fertilizers with a minimum of 50 percent slow-release nitrogen for a healthier more sustained feeding for your lawn.
- Homeowners should always read and follow label directions for proper fertilizer usage. Applying fertilizer at rates greater than what the plant can utilize serves no beneficial purpose.
- Hard surfaces such as concrete driveways, sidewalks and roadways act as funnels into the storm sewers that lead to waterways. Fertilizer and organic debris from these hard surfaces should be removed and deposited into turf areas where the turf can utilize the nutrients. If not removed, this debris can reach waterways, which feeds algae and can create algae blooms.
- Turfgrass areas have the ability to capture tons of organic debris such as leaf litter. Mow the debris into the turf with a mulching mower and the leaf litter virtually disappears. Leaf litter can provide valuable nutrients to the turf.
- Utilize a water smart irrigation program – smart technologies like advanced sensors which measure factors such as temperature, humidity, wind and rainfall accurately monitor the amount of moisture in the soil which help prevents wasted water.
- Homeowners, at a minimum, should maintain an irrigation system equipped with a rain shutoff device. Irrigating at a time when rainfall has been sufficient is a waste of precious natural resources.
- Use targeted and timely weed control applications. Many weed control materials used after weeds have emerged will kill weeds through contact. Be targeted in your use of weed control applications as no benefit is gained by applying these types of materials to areas that do not have weeds.
If you would like to learn more about our lake friendly landscape care, contact the experts at Massey Services today and schedule a free landscape analysis.
Fall temperatures are finally making their way to our Southern regions. While summer annual weeds will begin to die, perennial weeds, like dollarweed, continue to be an issue.
With the rainy season behind us, you may think additional watering is needed, but dollarweed thrives in wet conditions that may be caused by overwatering. It’s important to have a professional that can help control your landscape weeds and prescribe proper irrigation. The professionals at Massey Services will ensure your lawn is receiving the correct amount of water and can help to control any winter weeds that may begin to invade your lawn and landscape, like winter annual broadleaf weeds.
Winter annual broadleaf weeds thrive in the cool temperatures. While these weeds die naturally when it warms up, they are problematic during the winter creating competition for the turf you want on your lawn.
This is the last month to apply a pre-emergence herbicide in order for it to be effective before the winter annual weeds sprout. A thick healthy lawn maintained through proper nutrition and proper watering and mowing is important. Please contact the experts at Massey Services for a free landscape inspection. They’ll build a a customized plan to keep your lawn and landscape looking its very best year-round and to help prevent winter weeds.