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Glen Ellyn Landscaping: Cultivating a Denser Lawn

It’s no secret. We all want the perfect landscaping and lawn for our homes. A great, lush, dense lawn makes a statement, adds value to your home, and becomes an enjoyable outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy year-round. A dense, green, vibrant lawn is certainly achievable, but it will take some effort. A short cut is to enlist the help of Wheaton, Illinois landscaping firm, Schmitt’s Landscape Company. Our Bio-Friendly Blend fertilizer will ensure your grass is nice and thick.

The following is an overview on how Schmitt’s Bio-Friendly Blend fertilizer and some of the more common pelletized compost products can help you reach your goals. Although pellet compost can be a bit pricier than normal compost options, pelletized compost is easier to apply and provides some additional benefits as well.

When parts of your lawn are thinning out more than the hair of Seinfeld TV sitcom character George Costanza’s head, it’s time to take action. Often times, thinning grass and spotty patches can be due to bad soil conditions, poor composition, and poor fertilizing. In some situations, aerating your lawn can help to relieve soil compacting, thus improving growth conditions. Lawns with soil that contains large amounts of clay can become compacted again, causing the soil to become a poor environment for grass roots and the health of your lawn. Sometimes poor soil conditions worsen over time.

In an effort to improve soil conditions, additional steps can be taken, such as adding compost. Composts come in many forms and varieties, which can make selecting the appropriate compost for your situation difficult. These can include both organic and non-organic varieties. For additional help, be sure to contact Schmitt’s Landscape Company.

As you can probably imagine, different types and formulas of compost and fertilizer will have different results for your lawn. In addition, the specific type of grass will also impact what will provide optimum results for a thicker, denser lawn. Soil type also plays an important role. You’ll want to make sure that whichever type of fertilizer or compost will produce the results you are looking for and provide the proper nutrients your lawn needs.

If your green thumb has turned brown, you may want to seek out the help of a professional lawn care and landscaping services company. Schmitt’s Landscape Company of Wheaton, IL has been providing Glen Ellyn landscaping services and comprehensive lawn care and maintenance services for over 35 years! We’ll help you achieve the beautiful, dense, lush lawn you’ve been striving for. You will be amazed at how beautiful your lawn looks after the proper application of a Bio-Friendly Blend of fertilizer or compost.

Wheaton, Illinois Lawn Care: Five Summer Water Saving Tips

As the sweltering summer heat creeps over your Wheaton landscaping, it’s time to start watering! Wilting plants and browning grass are all symptoms of summer that can be preventable with constant watering, but, smart watering is just as effective and can save your wallet. No one likes the fat water bills that are synonymous with summer lawn care and landscaping. Follow along as we point out five tips to keep your lawn looking great, your plants healthy, while not breaking the bank with summer water bills.

Summer Lawn Care Water Saving Tips

1. Choose the Proper Tools – While shopping for sprinklers, watering wands or soaker hoses, pay close attention to water conservation. Ask for help if you’re uncertain which waterers at your local home improvement store conserve water. The goal is to purchase sprinklers and waterers that will provide adequate watering, while preventing over-soaking, waste water runoff and evaporation due to improper watering.

2. Don’t Overwater – Too much water can be deadly for your plants and grass. For most Wheaton, IL lawns, roughly an inch of water per week during the height of the summer season is adequate, and an inch or slightly more for most types of plants and shrubs. Again, overwatering is unhealthy, but also bad for your water bill.

3. Water where it Counts! – Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners tend to waste water on their landscaping and gardens by focusing on the plants’ foliage. Watering your plants’ leaves helps to remove dust and dirt, but does little to help your plants grow strong and healthy. Focus on the roots! When watering shrubs and trees, water deeply and don’t worry about watering too much further than the canopy radius, as most of their roots don’t spread beyond the canopy radius.

4. Bad Mulch, Bad Mulch! – Although mulch is great for retaining moisture and preventing water evaporation; too much mulch can prevent water from reaching your plants’ roots. Two ways to prevent mulch from interfering with your watering are to leave a gap of no mulch around the plant at roughly the same size as the canopy radius, and make sure your mulch layer isn’t too deep.

5. Moisture Test Anyone? – Confused if you’re overwatering or under watering your lawn, plants and garden? An easy way to determine if you’re doing too much or too little is to conduct a moisture test of your soil. A moisture test can save you some green in hefty water bills.

Water conservation is not only great for the environment, but eliminating overwatering of your lawn, landscape, plants, trees and shrubs during the hot Wheaton summers will cut down on your water bill. Adequate watering will keep your lawn looking vibrant and green without wasting water. The above five money saving tips for watering during the summer are a great starter, but if you need help, give Schmitt’s Landscape Company a call! We’re a local Wheaton landscaping company that has been serving the Wheaton, Aurora, North Aurora, Glen Ellyn, Batavia and Naperville communities for over 35 years!

Wild Violets: A Harbinger of Death for your Wheaton Lawn?

Although Wild Violets are beautiful purple flowers and can be quite pretty, they can also be stubborn little monsters that can take over your lawn. Wild Violets can be a serious annoyance and quite difficult to eradicate once they’ve made inroads on your property. In this article, we’ll give you some healthy advice in prevention and eradication of Wild Violets; the pretty little outlaws of your yard.

Wild Violets are hearty little beasties and can grow in most parts of the world, which is why it is not uncommon to find them in Wheaton, Aurora, and North Aurora, Glenn Ellyn, Naperville and other neighboring suburbs. Interesting tid-bit of information, the Violet was adopted as the state flower of Illinois in 1908.

The root systems of Wild Violets spread far and their leaves are very waxy, which is why they can resist many common weed killers on the market, and making them more difficult to get rid of. As Wild Violets march on in your yard, expanding their presence, they compete for resources with your grass and kill off healthy lawns.

Wild Violets are easy to spot and you need to be proactive in removing or killing them early. The following are a few tips on what you can do to eliminate them from your lawn.

Manual Labor – Time to get out the hand trowel and get your hands and knees dirty! Dig up the Wild Violets by hand and be sure to dig deep so that you remove the entire root system of the plants so that they don’t come back.

Lock and Load – Pile on weed killer to kill those little buggers before they spread. Again, because of their waxy nature, it can be difficult to kill Wild Violets with weed killer. So, you’ll need a lot of it and a tough one at that!

Reseed your Grass – After removing the Wild Violet overgrowth, be sure to reseed your lawn with more grass seed, water and fertilize as needed to bring back a healthy lawn. This will help prevent another infestation and keep your yard looking great!

Be prepared this summer and don’t wait for Wild Violets to become a problem in your lawn. If you need help, we’re always a phone call away!

Getting Rid of Grass Clumps!

As summer starts to turn up the heat, you may begin to see clumps of grass forming in your yard. This is a good indicator that something is not right. In this article, we’ll review how and why unsightly clumps of grass form in your yard and what can be done to eliminate the problem. Let’s take a quick look at common types of grass before diving into how to control clumping.

Tall Fescue Grass and Kentucky Blue Grass

Tall Fescue Grass is a common sight in Illinois and is one of the more popular types of grass. Beyond lawns, Fescue grows along roads and other places in the wild. Fescue is hearty, grows well in the Chicago suburbs, doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, and is very reliable.
Kentucky Blue Grass is also a common type of grass used in lawns, for business properties, in school yards, sports fields and more. During its peak season, Kentucky Blue Grass can sometimes turn a bluish hue; hence its name Kentucky Blue Grass. Unfortunately, during peak season, Kentucky Blue is somewhat temperamental and can be affected by diseases or drought.

Controlling Grass Clumps

Tall Fescue Grass is what is known as a “bunch” grass, which refers to how new blades of grass, called “Tillers” grow. A Tiller is a new blade of grass that grows from the base of the original plant. A single plant can produce dozens of Tillers, which gives the appearance of large clumps of grass.

It is sometimes hard to control the clumps, because there is a very large root system involved. Spot treatment using herbicide containing glyphosate can help eradicate grass clumps. Another option is to do some manual pulling to thin out the grass clumps. Again, keep in mind the root system can be large, so work to remove some of the deeply embedded roots and not just the top blades.

If you are only seeing a few clumps, that’s great because you only have a few areas to focus on! A few hours of manual pulling or application of an herbicide product and you’re in the clear. If you yard is full of clumps, it’s probably a good time to call in the professionals, such as Schmitt’s! We’ll help you identify the proper solution to your lawn problems and get what you need done right!

Should You Hire a Lawn Care Service Provider?

As summer rolls around and your outside landscaping and lawn care to do list grows, it’s a good idea to find some help before becoming overwhelmed. The longer you wait; some of the fairly mundane routine tasks can become a troublesome mess to deal with. And nobody likes headaches! The following is an overview of the benefits to hiring a lawn car service provider.

Pros

Save Time – There is no doubt that hiring a lawn care service provider will save you tons of time; time you can enjoy with your family or doing the things you really enjoy. Schmitt’s will work with you to develop a schedule for routine maintenance, keeping your yard and property looking great and functional too!

Costs are Probably Less than you think – Routine maintenance and mowing doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg and can actually save you money in the long run by keeping your plants, trees, shrubs and lawn healthy. Improper care can cost you in lost plants and a lawn that needs replacement.

Better Results – Schmitt’s has 35 years of experience and a dedicated team of specialists that know the best methods of care for all aspects of your landscaping and lawn. We can certainly help your property look its best year round.

Safety – Professionals have the right tools, equipment and knowledge of fertilizers to keep you, your family and your pets healthy.

Cons

Choosing a Provider – Although it might seem daunting at first, choosing a lawn care provider really isn’t too difficult. At Schmitt’s, we’re always more than happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have and review your unique situation before providing an assessment and estimate.

Narrowing down what you Need – We like to work with our customers to determine what needs to be done and what kind of schedule you should expect. As part of this process, we’ll work with you to identify what should be completed and when.

Fertilizing – Many customers prefer to avoid potentially dangerous and unnatural chemicals when it comes to fertilizing their lawns. At Schmitt’s Landscape Company, we use a great bio-blended fertilizer that is safe for you, your family and your pets.

Hopefully the above pros and cons help you understand that hiring a lawn care service provider is a good idea. Although there might be some difficult decisions to make, the end results and the labor that you save are well worth it. Give us a call today! We’d love to get to know you and learn more about your situation and how we can help.

Preventing Heartworm in Your Pets with Proper Lawn Care

Heartworm can kill your dog or cat and make their life miserable. Summer is the best time for any dog owner to play fetch and romp around in the backyard with Fido, but you need to be wary of Heartworm and what you can do to prevent your pets from becoming ill.

What is Heartworm?

Heartworms are needle thin worms, or parasites, that once your pet becomes infected, live in the blood stream of your cat or dog. They continue to breed while in your pet’s blood and infest inner organs, especially within the lungs and heart from which they get their name. As the worms grow and reproduce, they prevent proper blood flow; can cause blood clots, cause organ failure and death.

Heartworm is typically transmitted by other parasites that feed on your pets’ blood, such as mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. If one of these insects fed on an infected animal that has heartworm, your pet can become infected if bit by the same insects.
How does lawn care enter the equation? Well, there are a few things you can do to keep mosquitoes, ticks and fleas out of your yard and thereby reducing the potential for Heartworm to be transmitted to your pets.

1. Make sure your lawn is mowed appropriately, properly and consistently. A tidy lawn can prevent mosquitoes, ticks and fleas from having a party in your yard.

2. Reduce and eliminate any landscaping features or water drainage problems that create standing water. Mosquitoes breed in standing water.

3. Reduce any areas of overgrowth where fleas and ticks like to hang out and will quickly hitch a ride on Fido’s back when traipsing through heavy brush, tall weeds or uncut grass.

Early diagnosis of Heartworm infection can be difficult, as symptoms usually aren’t easily recognized. Routine vet health checks that include a blood test to detect Heartworms are the most effective way to diagnose the condition. Be sure to keep up with preventative medication, such as monthly Heartguard chewables.

Pets may start to feel tired, eat less and lose weight when they are infected; but even these symptoms are slow to appear.

Be careful and take good care of your pets by maintaining a happy and healthy lawn!

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.