.If you think about your lawn as a neighborhood, weeds are the new neighbors that no one likes. They play loud music, their dog barks constantly, and they don't bother keeping their house in good condition. Neighbors like this can not only be annoying, they can also cause property values to plummet. Weeds are very similar. They look terrible and can cause major damage to your lawn. Today we take a look at a few ways that weeds can ruin your lawn and exactly what you can do to keep this from happening.
Why Are Weeds So Terrible?
Well for starters, they take up precious space in your yard that grass and other plants need to grow. Let's go back to the neighborhood analogy. There is only so much space in your neighborhood to build housing. Suddenly, a developer moves in and starts putting up new condominiums. Things would get very crowded in your neighborhood very quickly. Weeds can also steal precious food from your plants, leaving them more susceptible to disease and insect invasion. Your plants need light, water, and nutrients like nitrogen and potassium to grow. Weeds love to steal these nutrients from healthy plants to use for themselves.
Some weeds are also parasites. These weeds not only compete with healthy plants for real estate and nutrients, they also attach themselves to the stems or roots of them. This, in turn, leaves them vulnerable to disease and insect infestation. Certain weeds can also wreak havoc on humans. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 23 million Americans suffer from ragweed allergies. Anyone unfortunate enough to have these allergies can tell you just how awful having weeds in their yard can be.
What Can I Do?
You put a lot of work into your yard and garden. You deserve to have an outdoor space that is free of weeds. Fortunately, there are a few basic steps you can take to make this a reality. First and foremost, it is important to eliminate any bare soil. Soil devoid of any plant life offers weed seeds the perfect place to grow without interference. Spread a decent amount of mulch over any space where nothing is growing to discourage weed growth and consider planting new grass and/or plants in this space. It is also recommended that you cover any crops you have growing sometime in the fall. This will protect your soil in the winter and spring and prevent any new weeds from taking root.
If it's too late and weeds have made their home in your lawn and garden, all is not lost. Mowing your grass on a routine basis can keep new weeds from popping up. You can also alter your watering schedule depending on your yard's needs. Watering grass less often but with more water will make it stronger and less susceptible to invading weeds.
You can also hire a lawn care professional to help you with those nasty weeds. We here at Aventura Nursery and Landscaping would be more than happy to rid your yard and garden of any invasive weeds. Give us a call today at 352-799-3200 and let us know how we can help you.
No gardener wants to deal with invasive pests that may inhabit their yard. This is especially true with garden pests in Central Florida, as we certainly have our fair share. No matter how big or how small, pests can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy lawn and/or garden. In an effort to help you keep your garden free of any unwanted critters, today we take a look at the best way to get rid of some of the most common pests.
Just look at this little guy...how cute is he? Well, cuteness factor aside, he can do some major damage to your lawn. If you notice small mounds of soil dotting your yard, chances are you have a mole. The mounds are created when moles dig up dirt in search of grubs and insects. Most moles can be driven away by saturating the holes they make with a castor oil mixture. Simply mix four tablespoons of a vegetable-based detergent with twelve ounces of castor oil, put the mixture in a spray bottle, and spray liberally where the creatures are digging. This method won't do any permanent damage to your furry friends, only cause them to get an upset tummy and seek a more desirable location.
The Chinch Bug
Now on to the not so cute critters. Did you know that the various Augustine grasses are the most popular in Florida? As it turns out, in addition to being popular with Floridians, they are also popular with chinch bugs. If you've got Augustine grass in your yard, you need to be on the lookout for chinch bugs. These pests can leave ugly, dry, brown spots on your otherwise beautiful lawn. Chinch bugs can be kept at bay by properly aerating your lawn. If it's too late for preventative maintenance and you notice an infestation however, you will need a lawn care professional to get rid of them for good.
The Japanese Beetle
The Japanese Beetle, aka Popillia japonica is about as attractive as a bug can get. With a combo green/gold shell, they are easy to spot after they have infested your garden. Adult Japanese Beetles feast on both the fruit and the leaves of various plants. They do so in swarms which means that damage to your garden can happen very quickly and be very severe. Japanese Beetle grubs can eat the roots of your grass and cause brown spots to appear.
The easiest way to get rid of adult Japanese Beetles is simply to pick them off of your plants by hand and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. I highly recommend using a pair of thick gardening gloves when doing so if you're at all skittish about touching them. For grubs, the solution is a bit trickier. A useful product for getting rid of grubs is milky spore. This is a natural bacteria that kills grubs and causes them to decompose. After decomposition, the leftover material creates new spores in the ground which in turn kill additional grubs. That's what I call a win-win!
If you need help getting rid of any of the pests mentioned above, give Aventura Nursery & Landscaping a call today at (352) 799-3200. We are ready and waiting to help you keep your lawn and/or garden pest free!
Maybe it's because you care about your neighbors and your neighborhood. Maybe you got roped into it because no one else would volunteer. Whatever the reason may be, if you find yourself in charge of your neighborhood's HOA you will have your work cut out for you. Dealing with city and/or county officials, neighbor disputes, and vendors will all be necessary in your role. While we can't provide guidance on dealing with bureaucracy or feuding neighbors, we can provide you with a few tips on hiring the best HOA landscape contractor you can. Let's take a look at some of the methods you can use to keep costs down and appearances up.
The most common complaints that HOA facility managers have about their landscape vendors are that they do not communicate well or provide proactive advice for their clients. A landscaping company in Central Florida may "mow and blow" reliably but not do anything else to provide value to the client. Before hiring a vendor for your landscaping needs, ask them about their communication methods. Do they check on their clients periodically? Do they make suggestions about what types of plants and flowers would look and do the best in the area?
It is also a must for any landscaping company to have an enhanced hiring process in place. This will ensure a stable and reliable workforce that can really get to know what your HOA's landscaping needs are and the challenges you may face. A good crew will provide frequent advice on how service and appearance can be improved.
Asked and Answered
Ask any potential landscaping company for your HOA what "value added" services they provide. Will the company be able to provide tree removal services or fixes to the HOA's irrigation systems should the need arise? The last thing you want to do is get involved with a myriad of different companies for your various landscaping needs.
It is also a good idea to ask any company you are considering for referrals. Take the time to call and speak with these referrals and ask them what they think about the company. How is the company's customer service? How do they handle disputes and/or disagreements? Are there any areas that they need to improve in? These are all important questions to ask before you make your final decision to hire.
The Time Has Come
You've asked the right questions and received the right answers. You've found a landscaping company that can perform the work you need at a reasonable price. Before you sign any kind of contract, make your requirements and expectations known. Tell them if you expect correspondence and with what frequency. Tell them that you expect their employees to provide suggestions on how they can improve your HOA's landscape. Making your demands clear in the beginning is the best way to avoid conflict and hassle down the road.
We here at Aventura Nursery & Landscaping can work with you to provide the best possible service at the best possible price for your HOA's landscaping needs. Give us a call today at (352) 799-3200 and give us the opportunity to make your HOA look its best!