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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!

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!

Four Tips for a Weed Free Lawn

Maintaining a beautiful Naperville landscape is no easy job, but it can sure be rewarding! To ensure you have a happy, healthy, beautiful lawn, you need to eliminate weeds. The less weeds you have, the better, and ultimately, your goal should be no weeds at all.

The following five tips will help you create a weed-free lawn that your neighbors envy. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to get rid of weeds in your lawn once and for all!

Tips For Ending Weed Problems In Your Naperville Landscape

1. Weeds don’t like well fed lawns – If you can manage to have a healthy and thick lawn, it will help crowd out weeds, making it hard for them to grow. Adding nutrients and regular fertilizing helps grass grow and chokes out weeds.

2. Keep your grass tall – Besides having a thick lawn, if you allow it to grow a little more than normal, it will also help to reduce weeds. Taller grass helps to prevent weeds from getting enough sun. Keeping your grass a little longer, can also help to prevent lawn diseases, such as fungus, and can prevent some insects from breeding.

3. Strike early in spring – Naperville landscaping requires early weeding to prevent spreading later on. Early preparation will get you ahead of the curve, before the weeds’ seeds spread.

4. Aerate in the fall – Aerating your lawn (also known as lawn core aeration) go a long way towards improving your soil and lawn. The aeration process creates thousands of small holes in through your grass and into your soil; enabling your grass’ roots to spread and continue growing. We recommended you perform lawn aeration during fall because it enables your lawn to recover before the following spring and summer, looking better than ever before!

Every lawn is different. Call in the pros from Schmitt’s Landscape Company for guidance in understanding the specifics of what your lawn needs to be lush and lovely. The above Naperville lawn care maintenance tips are a few simple ways for you to eliminate pesky weeds once and for all!
Sure, maintaining your lawn takes a bit of elbow grease, research and patience, but the results are well worth it!

Choosing a Lawn Mower

Your grass and lawn is most likely a fairly dominant feature of your landscaping. Most Illinois suburbs further from Chicago have larger home plots that are not surprisingly, mostly grass. In this article, we’ll talk about how to select a decent lawn mower for your needs. We’ll focus on lawn mowers and talk about tractors at a later time.

First consider the size of your property, lawn and geography. Powered mowers are great for larger yards.

Then consider power sources. Gas and electric lawn mowers are fairly popular. Many gas powered mowers are quite sturdy and will last many, many years of dutiful service. Electrics can also be a great choice if your lawn is a smaller – and they’re a great choice if you are concerned about the environment due to electric mowers not producing carbon emissions. Bother are fairly inexpensive to fuel.

What is your budget? You certainly don’t have to get all of the bells and whistles many pricing out a new lawn mower. There are plenty of mowers that are sold at very reasonable prices, are quality-built and won’t bust your budget. Also consider that you don’t have to buy new.
What type of lawn mower do you need? There are a myriad of choices, including: cylinder lawn mowers, hover mowers, rotary electric lawn mowers, drum mowers, self-propelled lawn mowers and ride-on mowers. Each type has pros and cons. All will get the job done; it just depends on what is best-suited for your situation.

Selecting the right lawn mower will ensure your grass looks great and is a long-term investment. If you need help determining the best lawn mower for your yard, be sure to email us or give us a call. We’re always more than happy to help.