Proudly Serving the Chicagoland Community for Over 40 Years!

Protecting Your Family From Insects

Bugs, bugs, bugs! Summer is here and with the season comes bugs! Not only can insects become really annoying – who likes getting large red welts from pesky mosquitoes while trying to enjoy an evening on the patio – but some bugs can cause serious health issues to you, your family and your pets.

Keep in mind that insects do play an important role in the ecosystem of your yard and landscaping. The following are a few tips for making your outdoor space more tolerable.

● Ticks and Fleas – These tiny blood suckers are quite common in the Chicago suburbs and spread diseases to you and pets. In particular, Lyme disease is spread by Deer Ticks and others. It’s a good idea to keep your lawn short and prevent areas of lots of overgrowth where fleas and ticks are sure to lurk.

● Mosquitoes – Yuck! There’s nothing that can ruin a night outside quicker than these suckers. To help eliminate areas where mosquitoes breed, make sure your lawn has proper water drainage and eliminate standing water. Make sure any water features you may have has moving water, or, for ponds and other outdoor features, be sure to add some fish, such as Koi, that will eat mosquito larvae or routinely add agents to the water that will prevent breeding. Bug zappers, garden torches, citronella candles and garlic can help keep mosquitoes away from your outdoor living space.

● Spiders and Ants – Although not dangerous, besides the Brown Recluse that lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, spiders and ants can be unsightly and problematic. For spiders, be sure to keep areas of overgrowth to a minimum and eliminate debris or other piles, such as wood piles, away from your home. Spiders love debris piles. Ants are quite common as well, especially near walkways, stone paths, brick patios and sandboxes. Routine cleaning and ant killer application goes a long way to keeping them at bay.

Be sure to call a professional pest care company if you have a severe infestation, especially when it comes to wasps and bees. Don’t try to tackle a problem that you can’t handle or put yourself in danger.

And remember, simple prevention steps and routine maintenance of your lawn and landscaping will go a long way to keeping bugs out, keeping you and your family safe, and making your outdoor living space a heck of a lot more enjoyable!

Barnyard Grass and Weed Prevention

As we roll into summer, the hot temperatures and less rain can cause some lawns to thin out – creating the perfect environment for weeds to grow like crazy. Barnyard grass is a fairly common intruder and can be difficult to eliminate; so it is best to proactively work to prevent growth from the get go.

So what is Barnyard Grass and how does it grow? Good question! Barnyard Grass is a weed that is classified as a summer annual and is sometimes confused with Crabgrass. Barnyard Grass loves dry temperatures and grows quite well in the heat. Its stems are hairless and very thin, and when it matures, Barnyard Grass produces seeds that grow from the top part of the stem and can reach three inches high.

If your lawn thins out in the summer, bald spots can form and Barnyard Grass has an opportunity to move in. Barnyard Grass seeds can lay dormant for quite some time and when they finally get the exposure they need from the sun, they will start growing and crowding out the rest of your lawn.

Three Tips For Preventing Barnyard Grass:

1. Create a plan for fertilizing your lawn and keeping it well fed during every season of the year. This will allow your lawn become healthy and thick, and helping to prevent an opportunity for dormant weed seeds to start growing.

2. A watering and mowing schedule must also be planned ahead of time, as your consistent schedule will also help to keep your lawn rich and bald patch free. Maintaining a healthy height for your lawn will also help prevent weed infestation. A good rule of thumb is to keep your lawn shorter than four inches tall. Also remember to not over cut your lawn, as too short can cause stress and reduce your grass’ ability to grow properly.

3. We can also provide you with some expert recommendations on weed control options and killers that are effective, and safe for you, your family, pets and the environment.

At the root of it all, proper lawn care and routine maintenance is key to preventing weed growth in your lawn. Simple steps towards prevention will go a long way in keeping your lawn looking great, healthy and beautiful. As always, we’re more than happy to discuss what options are available to you and what would be best for your situation.

A Review of Lawn Care Services Pricing

Price isn’t everything when it comes to maintaining your lawn. There are quite a few factors that are used to price lawn care maintenance services and we’ll review a handful of tips for you to use when talking to landscaping and lawn care maintenance companies.

The following are a few things you should consider when evaluating lawn care pricing.

1. Compare total price and also per-application price. It is not uncommon for lawn care service providers to give you an application quote and a total price for several applications. Often, lawn care providers will offer a discount for several applications; which can be a great deal for you, the homeowner.

2. Know your lawn. Lawn care pricing is in part based on the size of your lawn, so knowing the size of your lot and grass can help you understand your lawn care maintenance provider’s pricing. A few basic calculations will help you understand the size of your lawn and any competent lawn care provider will also walk through the details of their services with you and provide further explanation, if necessary.

3. The specific needs of your lawn will also factor into pricing. Each situation can be unique in the types of work to be done, such as fertilizing, mowing, cleanup and aerating. Individual plants also require different types of care and nutrients, so it is a good idea to discuss these things with your lawn care provider to better understand your situation and the pricing of services needed.

When pricing out lawn care services, be frank and candid with landscaping companies and ask for more details if you don’t understand the services they’re recommending. And of course, we’re always more than happy to meet with you, review your situation and provide you with quality lawn care and landscaping services. Give us a call today!

Seven Ways to Save Money on Your Landscaping

Maintaining the quality and beauty of your home’s landscaping doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg! The following eight tips will help you save a little cash while also keeping your plants, lawn, trees and shrubs looking their best.

Things you can do to save money on maintaining your landscape:

1. Research as much as you can – Horticulturists at the College of DuPage, the Morton Arboretum, and of course the pros at Schmitt’s Landscape are great resources for advice, recommendations and guidance in plant selection, placement and maintenance.

2. Trust your intuition – Some unscrupulous garden supply stores may try to persuade you into making unnecessary investments in equipment and supplies. Again, knowledge from tip one, above, can go a long way.

3. Shop around – When hiring a landscaping company, price can often be a good indicator of quality. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” tends to be true. However, when it comes to purchasing supplies from the big box stores, be sure to shop around and compare prices.

4. Buy in bulk – Whenever possible, try to buy items such as seeds, mulch, fertilizer, and other landscaping supplies in bulk. This can help you save a lot of money and time.

5. New versus Used – You don’t always have to buy new! Garage sales are a great place to find used tools, shovels and other equipment priced significantly less than new and lawnmower repair shops are an option for buying used mowers, edgers and more.

6. Consider Plant Selection – Choosing the right variety of grass and plants for your landscape, soil and light conditions can help you to save money through less irrigation, fertilization and maintenance. We can certainly help you with determining the right mix of plants for your situation and desired look.

7. Save Seeds – Saving seeds from your flowers year after year, reduces your need to purchase new plants and seeds each season.

Your time and money spent on your landscaping can slowly add up over the years. These seven tips are a great starter on some of the little steps you can take to save money on the care and maintenance of your landscaping.