OWNERS BLOG - Great Care Lawn Service

Great Care For Great Customers

logo2 Google + Facebook Twitter youtube Customer Login image001 Capture

Owners Blog

Welcome to our blog

 

We hope this blog gives you great information on how to care for your lawn. Please scroll through our archives for content, or call and ask us any questions,

 

Thanks, we hope you enjoy!

By Andy Hendriks, Jan 26 2016 08:48PM

Job opening: Lawn Care Technician

Description: Great Care technicians are trained and professional. You will be required to care for our customer's lawns, applying fertilizer and pesticides safely. A friendly attitude is needed to provide great service. This is a specialized job but experience is not needed. We have a training program that not only makes you an expert in lawn care, but also in marketing and operations. We want highly motivated people that are willing to learn all aspects of the company.

Required skills: Must be healthy and in good shape. You need a driver's license and good driving record. Also need a strong work ethic and the ability to learn.

Compensation: Base pay starts at $14/hour. Commission and sales opportunites are available. Quick promotion - qualified technicians become branch managers.

We work as an efficient team and very much look forward to meeting our next teammate. Email your resume to us and keep in touch

By Andy Hendriks, Jan 26 2016 02:15PM

Posted on August 25, 2015 by Andy Hendriks

Image result for aerating

It is now fall, or it is quickly approaching, and as the weather cools your lawn is prime to recover from the stressful summer months. July and August are traumatic for the lawn by providing plenty of heat and sunlight, and very little water. This environment will push your lawn into dormancy to protect itself. And any weak parts in the lawn will more than likely die off, or become overwhelmed with weeds during this time. As the last heat wave passes by, it is a great time to handle these areas and to aerate the lawn to help strengthen it for the following summer.

A core aeration is one of the greatest things you can do for you lawn. This is a process that will take cork sized plugs out of the ground. It is a natural and organic way to care for your lawn, and will create a greater environment for the roots and grass to grow. It is recommended to do in the fall when the weeds are dying off and the lawn is now growing again as the weather provides plenty of moisture. Let’s go over the benefits of the aeration, and some ways to do it.

The benefits are great and numerous, listed below, that will help your lawn be able to withstand the stress of the summer for next year. Here are some of the benefits;Image result for aerating

Turns over and loosens soil

Reduces compaction

Increases water and nutrient intake

Reduces thatch layer

Provides greater tolerance to stress

The best method to use in my opinion, is to use a core aerator and go over every squareImage result for aerating inch of the lawn. You could go in two different directions to further the benefit, but doing the lawn once is fine. The machine should be in good shape with fresh tines to make sure you take good plugs out. If you have the option, do the lawn when it is a little wet. And also make sure the lawn is cut prior to aerating. You can lower the mower deck in the fall to shorten the grass. This will increase the depth of the plugs and also let the plugs sit harmlessly on the top of the grass for a week or two while they break back down. Great, great annual practice to get into.

Another option is to use the tow behind aerator. This attachment hooks to the back of your tractor and also takes out plugs. This type of aerator is much light and does not take Image result for aeratingdeep lugs. If this is your method, weigh down the aerator with concrete blocks or sand bags or something. The tractor setup will probably miss large chunks of the lawn, mainly the corners. Or you can continually try to back the thing up.

Spike aerations are also a method used. There are a variety of ways to do this, from quad tines or spike machines, or just strapping shoes to your feet that have long spikes on them and walk around. Image result for aeratingThis method is better than nothing and provides benefits to the lawn, so it is worthwhile. But it doesn’t compare to taking plugs out of the ground. It is quite common on golf courses, especially greens and even fairways.

You can purchase a used tow behind attachment for your tractor for cheap money. It is only needed once a year (typically don’t aerate in the spring –> opens the door for crabgrass), and even if done twice a year or if friends and family borrow it, it should last quite a long time. It is not the most effective method, but it works well and will help your lawn. We recommend to stay away from spike aerations for your personal lawn as the impact of the process isn’t quite the same.

A great way to go about aerating the lawn is to talk to your neighbors and plan a day where you pitch in and rent a machine. Ideally, the lawn should be a little bit wet, but the timing may be tough, so no biggie. It should cost less than $100 for a day and will be able to handle 10,000 sqft in less than an hour. It will take a few passes to get used to it, but don’t worry about handling one. Be careful and take your time.

Image result for warning

One warning – the aerator, of course, digs in the ground to take the plugs out. Mark all irrigation heads and boxes, and any wires that are close to the surface. The invisible dog fence will absolutely get hit, so mark it before and and give it a wide birth.

By Andy Hendriks, Jan 26 2016 02:14PM

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Andy Hendriks

It was a balmy 50 plus degree today, but the winter is pretty much here. While the weather is still fairly warm and there is no snow on the ground, you still have time to get the final touches done on the lawn.

The lawn needs to be ‘put to rest’ for the winter months. This includes the final mow and a good clean up of the lawn and property. All of the leaves need to be taken away from the lawn and landscape, dragged into the woods or taken off site. I like to get the bulk of the leaves with a tarp. Then take a blower to the shrubs and get all the leaves into the lawn. Once all of the loose debris is blow onto the lawn, I run the mower over it once to mulch everything. This is done with the deck fairly high. The second time around the blades are lowered and I bag everything, and get it off the lawn.

When the large majority of the leaves, debris and grass are cleaned up, take a leaf blower and get everything else up. This process takes a little bit of time, but get the blower down into the grass and blow everything out. A good raking will do as well, be requires a lot more work. All of the little twigs and leaves that may be ‘stuck’ will get loosened and removed, preventing any damage over the winter months.

Raking the leaves, clearing out the beds, double cutting the lawn and then doing a fine cleaning with the blower or rake is quite the job. So, give yourself a few days, even over a few weekends to get this done.

If there is a lot of leaves left in the lawn, or if the grass is too long, there will be some damage to the lawn. Dead spots or fungus will be left for you to deal with in the spring time.

Mower maintenance is very important so clean that up and put the mower ‘to rest’ as well prior to storing it for the winter.

We hope this information helps and also stresses the importance of late season care for your lawn. Following these guidelines will give your lawn a great chance to survive the next few months of cold weather and will rebound quickly in the spring. Thanks for following!

By Andy Hendriks, Sep 17 2015 07:00PM

In this post we are going to talk about the different types of grass seed. It is very important to choose the right match for your specific environment and also for when you are putting the seed down.

There are basically 3 different types of grass seed that you will see in lawns up here in New England. (Bentgrass is a fourth type which we won’t address here. It is primarily used on golf courses and not a good grass to have on your property). The types available are:

-Kentucky Bluegrass

-Fescue

-Ryegrass

Many bags of store seed you will purchase will be a blend of these, either all three types or perhaps just two.

The differences between the three types are germination period, traffic tolerance and whether they will grow in the sun or shade. The color is another difference but this is hardly a choice. Everyone wants a deep rich lawn, but you cannot choose a grass seed based on color. It has to fit the actual living environment and not just a great looking picture. So, let’s go through each type and identify which one is best for you.

Kentucky Bluegrass is a cool season grass and is often considered the king of grasses. ItImage result for kentucky bluegrass has a great looking, rich green color. It goes dormant in the summer months which makes it grow really well in the sun. Bluegrass continues to grow and expand as it is cut, so it naturally fills in the bare spots. It is often used on athletic fields and and golf courses because of the color and ability to withstand full sun. It tends to be more expensive and requires several weeks to germinate so it needs to be planted early in the fall.

Fescue is the second type of seed you will come across in the cooler seasons. There are different kinds of fescues but generally speaking, they do well in both sun and shade. The tall fescue has a deep root system and

requires less water and fertilizer, so it does well in the sun. The finefescue tolerates dry and shady conditions, but do not do well with alot of traffic. The fescue type will also fill in bare spots as it is cut, just like the bluegrass. When purchasing a shady blend there should be a higher percentage of fescue.

Ryegrass is a third type. It has a quick germination period, especially the annual ryegrass. It comes up quick but also dies with the first frost. A perennial type will also come in pretty quick and comes back every year. A ryegrass will not fill in the bare areas and basically grow vertical and stay where it is. They don’t have the underground roots that expand. The ryegrass is also tolerant to many insects as well, like chinchbugs.

A blend of seed is typically what you will looking for. The front label will tell you sun, shade or both. But turn the bag over and read the label to see the mix of seed that is in there. Some of the newer products have a coating or additional products in there that is not seed. I typically recommend staying away from those because there is less seed in the bag, and more ‘filler’, including weeds. They are designed to make it easier for the homeowner to care for because it requires less water. But you will pay more for less seed.

So look at the label and a good mix will be close to 100% grass seed. Take a look at the two labels below.

A sun blend will have a good amount of kentucky bluegrass, while a shade mix will have a lot of the fine fescue. Even with the shade mix though, it still needs sun to finish the photosynthesis process. If you are trying to seed an area that never sees the sun, than you will have to come up with a different game plan, perhaps mulch or some type of ground cover.

The label on top is a Scott’s product, take a look at the bottom of the label and see the watersmart coating. Over half of that bag is not even grass seed. The label below is a lesco product that is pure grass seed, close to 100%. It requires more attention and more watering, but you will more grass popping up in a couple weeks.

RSS Feed

Web feed