mulching

Fire Yourself! Hire A Professional!

womanmoneyWelcome back to the Wonderful World of Weed Man!  This week, we finish up our ‘The Grass IS Greener Over There!’ series.  It has been a great journey.  The first of many!  We wanted to finish up the series by discussing the hiring of a professional lawn care company.

If you feel that you would like better results with your lawn, or just don’t have enough time to take care of it yourself, a professional can help.  Before you hire a company there is a check list of questions you should answer to see which company would be best for you.  We of course humbly submit our Weed Man hat into the ring.  We previously posted 10 Reasons to Choose Weed Man, for just a FEW of the MYRIAD of reasons why Weed Man is the best company.  But of course, you must decide this for yourself.

Questions you should be asking when considering hiring a professional lawn care company

What are the Pros?

A Pro Will Make the Complex Simple – It makes sense to have an expert help you on your lawn.  If you do it yourself, you have to ask:

  • What do you put down?
  • Which product is best for my lawn?
  • Do I need a license for a specific product?
  • Is a product that requires a license a better option for my lawn?
  • How much do I put down?
  • Where should I NOT put product down?
  • How do I calibrate the spreader or sprayer so I don’t put too much down?

It can quickly get confusing and one can see how easily it would be to make a costly mistake.  A licensed expert will help simplify matters and do the work for you!

Regular Service – We run into many customers who previously took care of the lawn, and found that they would miss needed applications.  They did not have enough time, or just didn’t realize the lawn needed a regular application program.  With a company you will receive all the needed treatments for your lawn within a consistent program

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A Healthier Lawn – a
professional service will help you achieve a level of health and beauty in your lawn you may not have thought possible.  I know from personal experience that my lawn surprises me year after year when it keeps improving.
Slow, subtle improvements show up in my lawn making it easier to maintain and more resistant to problems.  Not only is it healthier, it just looks better.

 

 

Professional Knowledge and Experience – This is HUGE!

I want to stop right here so I can stand up on my soapbox for a moment:

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You’d be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable person about lawns than someone who visits multiple lawns every day.  Day in and day out – week in and week out – month in and month out – year after year.  It takes experience and knowledge to understand how your lawn lives/dies.  That experience and knowledge can go to work for you!  Lawn technicians are vital to help diagnose issues when they occur and help prevent them in the first place.

The alternative?  Well, most DIY’s are subject to the confusing maze of misinformation on the interwebs!  Hopefully you stumbled upon a knowledgeable website such as ours.

If you are unsure of the information on the internet, you can go visit a local retailer who may or may not specialize in your lawn.  We often hear commercials for local establishments who tell you to dig up a piece of your lawn and bring it in to their store to diagnose the problem.  They mean well, and can definitely offer products to help you with your lawn.  However, the disconnect occurs when the retail establishment offers products without the necessary knowledge/experience.  This type of interaction is great for the retailer but poor for the homeowner.

Think about it:  You now have a pothole in your lawn, you brought a damaged area of your lawn into a young retail professional who may or may not really know anything about lawns.  (Are they licensed?  How many lawns have they treated professionally or personally?)  They don’t treat lawns for a living!  They do however sell things for a living!  You may end up buying a product for a damaged area in your lawn that possibly would have been resolved with a change in watering.

Had you had a professional come and look at the lawn in its environment and context you would get a correct diagnosis without the potholes, and the extra cost for a product that many times is not needed.  Not to mention the time you spent digging the hole, driving to the store, disposing of the dug up sod, cleaning of your vehicle, and application of the product (needed or not).  If you insist on digging your lawn up to seek professional lawn advice from the dog food salesman, then I have a real estate proposition to tell you about….

I will pause again to now step down from my soapbox.  I appreciate the patience while I displayed a little more candor and sarcasm than usual. 

The advantages of a professional lawn care service can go on and on, but let us continue to other questions you need to answer when considering hiring a professional service.

What are the Cons?

There really are only a few disadvantages to hiring a professional lawn care company:

Cost – some might consider a professional service to be expensive.  However, in our experience, if you do a full program by yourself, many find that the cost is similar to having a professional service do it for you.  Usually the gap in value comes when a homeowner takes care of the lawn themselves and only does one or two applications a year.

Timeliness – With some professional services you may not have perfectly timed applications or come out as quickly as you need them to.  At Weed Man Boise, we work really hard to visit existing customers’ lawns within 2 business days when they call regarding a reapplication, next application, or just need an inspection.

DIY – Some homeowners just really enjoy working on their lawn.  We can’t fault you there.  We suggest let us help you with the heavy lifting and you can focus on the more enjoyable aspects!

What type of company should I look for?

Reputable – Are they registered with the BBB?  Are they on Angie’s List?  Are they associated with organizations that promote professionalism and environmental responsibility?  Do they offer a guarantee?  Will they be around in the future?  Look for online reviews.  Take a look at their social media.  A reputable company should have a good history and a good amount of reviews.

Licensed and Insured – Does the company have technicians who are licensed to apply products on the lawn?  An applicators license is required in the State of Idaho for a professional company to apply pesticides on your lawn.  If they do not have a licensed technician, I would run the other way.

Do They Partner with Me? –  A good company will help you with suggestions on mowing and watering.  To have a great lawn, it does take a partnership between the homeowner and the lawn care company.  As a homeowner, you see your lawn every day, and have more involvement with watering and mowing.  Your company should help educate on best practices.

If you have considered or are currently considering hiring a professional lawn care service, our hope is this article will help direct you in making the right decision.  Consider firing yourself, and hiring a lawn care company.  Better yet, hire Weed Man!   For further information visit www.weedmanboise.com or call 208-888-9911.

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Mulch Much?

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Welcome back to the Wonderful World of Weed Man!  We are nearing the end of our ‘The Grass IS Greener Over There!’ series.  We have journeyed through the instrumental practices of a healthy and beautiful lawn and have a few remaining stops.  This week’s adventure stop will help answer the question of mulching or bagging the lawn clippings!  Unbeknownst to the average homeowner there is a raging debate within the industry regarding this topic.  OK!, perhaps it really isn’t raging, nor is there a real debate – I just wanted to create some drama to capture your interest!  Let us move forward with a little less ‘creative license’ on our subject.

Mulch or Bag?  While the question is not overly complicated, it definitely can be too simplified in reasoning what to choose.  Before I was educated on the topic, I would choose based on how lazy I felt.  Unfortunately, I was doing myself a disservice by thinking it was that simple.

Mulch – what is it?  As it pertains to your lawn, simply stated, it consists of grass clippings from the mowed lawn.  The cut blades can be sliced into fine pieces that fall easily onto the top surface of the soil.  Soil microorganism will help break the mulch down and reintroduce nutrients back into the soil.

Don’t grass clippings cause thatch buildup? No – It’s a common misconception that thatch is just grass clippings that do not get broken down in the lawn.  Thatch is actually a matting of stems and roots that form just below the surface of the lawn.  For more info on thatch, our last blog article touches on the subject when we wrote about aeration.

Do I need a mulching mower?  Not necessarily.  A mulching mower will help break the grass blade down into smaller pieces than a regular mower. Mulching mowers are specifically designed to limit grass clumps in the lawn.  Nevertheless, a regular mower will do the trick as well, if you mow often enough, or are only cutting a small amount at a time.

So when should I mulch?

  • When you want to provide extra nutrients back into the soil. Some experts will tell you that if you mulch all year, it is equivalent to an extra application of fertilizer on the lawn.
  • Increase organic matter in your soil
  • Save time and effort! When you mulch you don’t have to spend extra time collecting and disposing of clippings.
  • If you prefer not to add to landfills with grass that can be easily broken down naturally in your own lawn.

When should I bag clippings?

  • When you prefer the look of a ‘clean’ lawn. Typically mulching, when done properly, will not leave much of a visible footprint.  Whatever is left behind breaks down fairly quickly though.  Grass is 85% water, it won’t take much for it to dry up and disappear.
  • Bag, when your lawn is overrun with weeds. You don’t want to run the risk of putting more weed seeds down into your lawn.
  • Bag your lawn when the grass is wet or too long, as it won’t break down quickly and will leave piles of grass or clumps on the lawn. This will also make it difficult for existing grass to grow, breath, or get sunshine.
  • Bag if you want to start a compost pile that can be used in other areas of your garden.

If you are like me, there are appropriate times to bag and appropriate times to mulch.  I really like to bag my lawn during the seasons that I want to add mulch to my garden areas.  Sometimes it’s just quicker to mulch the lawn if I need to get it done before an incoming rainstorm!   Bagging during the fall is also a great way to cleanup leaves in your lawn with minimal effort.  I also like to bag my lawn clippings, when my lovely wife tells me to!

Really whether you bag or mulch, the choice is up to you.  Doing one practice over the other will not cause death and destruction to your lawn.  If you have a preference and it is working for you, great!  Now you may have further reason to stick with it, or consider changing your particular practice.  Either way, in the immortal words of G.I.JOE, ‘now you know, and knowing is half the battle.’

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The Grass IS Greener Over There!

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Welcome to the wonderful world of Weed Man!  I’m Brian and I will be your guide!  We started this blog to help inform and educate our customers so they will get the most out of their lawns.  Whether you are a Weed Man customer or not, you are welcome here, and we hope you gain something by your visits.  This week I would like to overview where we are headed in the near future – lawn care tips!

It happens…you work hard on your lawn.  You spend countless hours and untold amounts of money to get the results you want to no avail.  Your neighbors lawn looks amazing and you just can’t seem to match the deep green lawn that he has.  On the other hand your other neighbor has a black thumb with a degree in growing weeds…that like to invade your lawn.

Just before you give in and give up let us offer some advice!  Sure you could hire a professional – Weed Man Boise, in particular.  We would love that!  Nevertheless, even Weed Man customers are given the expectation that achieving and maintaining a great lawn is really a partnership.  So whether you take the professional lawn guide approach or DIY approach we would like to help you have an amazing lawn.

Over the next weeks, we will be detailing how you can have an AMAZING lawn your neighbors will be joyously talking about.  (They may talk anyways, but lets be honest, nobody wants to be the black thumb homeowner who specializes in weeds.)

We have 11 tips for lawn care that every homeowner should be aware of:

  1. Mower Startup
  2. Fertilization
  3. Sprinkler Startup/Maintenance
  4. Over seeding/Lawn Repair
  5. Weed Control
  6. Watering Practices
  7. Mowing to the Season
  8. Bug Care
  9. Aerating
  10. Mulching
  11. Hire Weed Man!
  12. Addendum: I did everything you said, MY Grass ISN’T Greener Over HERE!

Each tip will have a separate posting unpacking the details of how to take advantage of each practice.  Please check back often to get updated!  We would also love to hear from you about any lawn care questions or subjects you would like discussed.  Feel free to leave a comment below and we will incorporate it in our 11 tips!