Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 4/15/2018

For some people, caring for the lawn is a tedious, but necessary chore. For others, it’s a quiet way to enjoy the outdoors on the weekends.

Regardless of your feelings on lawn care, it’s important if you want your grass to look green throughout the warm months.

There’s a lot more to lawn care, however, than simply mowing and pulling weeds. In this article, we’re going to focus on one factor in particular: soil quality.

How can you ensure your grass remains well-fed and watered during those hot summer months? The answer is underground, in your yard’s topsoil.

Read on for tips on caring for your soil.

Salvaging your soil

Most people don’t have the time or money to remove their entire lawn and start from scratch with seeding or turf. So, how can you begin to help your soil now?

There are several ways to improve soil quality to encourage grass growth. Let’s start with the consistency.

Regardless of whether your soil is more sand, silt, or clay-based it can become compacted throughout the years. Compacted soil makes it difficult for roots to take hold and to reach vital nutrients.

Furthermore, when soil compacts it often builds a layer of debris on the top called thatch. A small amount of thatch isn’t a bad thing. It can help build your grass’s resiliency to impact, namely the feet of your pets or children when they’re playing in the yard. However, if you have too much thatch, it can create barriers to new growth.

There are two ways to manage thatch effectively: remove and prevention. To prevent the buildup of thatch, avoid mixing too much fertilizer and clippings into your lawn. While clippings and fertilizer are both useful ways to improve the quality of your soil and protect your grass, too much can be suffocating to the lawn.

Removing thatch is more difficult than prevention, but you can achieve it will a vertical mower, as well as by raking and collecting trimmings when necessary.

Why acidity matters

In the same way that we need proper nutrients to maintain or health, grass needs the right fertilizer and pH level to grow. Acidity levels range from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic (things like battery acid, lemon juice, and vinegar are all acidic), and 14 being the most alkaline (things like lye and ammonia).

A good pH for grass varies depending on the type of grass you have in your lawn, but a base level would be 6.5 or slightly acidic.

To test your soil pH, you can purchase a kit online or you can send a sample to a lab and they will report back to you. Once you know the pH of your soil, you can find the right type of fertilizer.

Fertilizing

Choosing a fertilizer can seem difficult, but there are a few main things you’re looking for. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are the three main nutrients required by most plant life, and they are the top three ingredients in most fertilizer. There are, however several “micronutrients” that grasses need as well. These include copper, iron, boron, and zinc.

Follow the instructions on the formula you choose. Over-fertilizing your soil can cause harm. You might notice that the tips of the soil like “burnt” or that the blades turn yellowish. This is a good sign that you’re applying too much fertilizer.




Tags: lawn care   soil   yard soil  
Categories: Lawn Care   soil   yard soil  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/28/2016

As summer comes to a close, it’s time to begin thinking about a fall clean up. Fall clean ups are a vital component in ensuring a healthy, beautiful yard. I’m sure some of you are wondering, “What exactly is a fall clean up?” Well, a fall clean up is the fall maintenance that preps your lawn and landscaping for the winter. A fall clean up should take place after the leaves have fallen, which will vary depending on where you live. Here are a couple things you should consider as part of your fall clean up: Lawn & Yard: Begin by raking and cleaning up all leaves, debris and small branches. Next would be to mow, preferably with a mulching mower, which will also suck up any dead grass and leaves that you may have missed when raking. You may want to consider de-thatching the lawn and again raking up any dead grass that wasn’t sucked up by the mower. Aeration is also an important step to take to have healthy grass in the spring. And to top it all off, use a fall fertilizer to protect your lawn from the harsh winter months. Bushes & Flowers: Be sure to prune any dead or infested branches from trees or bushes so that they will be healthy to grow in the spring. Cut back perennials after the first frost, leaving a couple of inches above ground to protect it. And now’s the time to plant any flowers/bushes that are safe to be planted in the fall, making sure they are planted a few inches deep. This will leave you with less work for you in the spring and a better bloom. Remove unwanted weeds with the hope that they will not come back up in the spring. In addition to your landscaping, you should also check your gutters after the leaves have fallen. Clearing debris out your gutters and flushing them with the hose will ensure that they are not clogged, which will in turn save your home from potential water damage that occurs due to clogged gutters. Power washing your deck and patio is also a good idea. It will wash away the debris from the summer and from the falling leaves. Fall clean ups are no easy feat. If you’re not up for the task consult a local landscaping company. In any event, a fall clean up will only help make the spring clean up a little easier.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 2/14/2016

One of the most forgotten tips for increasing a home's resale value is to look into installing an irrigation system.  So many people have their property professionally landscaped without realizing how much the selling price of their home will increase by installing a sprinkler system as well. After completing major landscape projects, or improving your lawn by planting grass seed, or laying sod, installing a sprinkler system ensures all your hard work is sustainable.  Along with routine maintenance and regular fertilizing, consistent watering is essential to maintain all of your shrubs, flower gardens and lawn.  Irrigation systems also help homeowners save time and money when it comes to watering all of these areas. Sprinkler systems really are a great investment. When installed by a professional contractor, the installation is a minimally invasive process. It is possible to install a sprinkler system yourself, however, it is best to go with a professional irrigation system technician when setting up a system for the very first time. Home irrigation systems are installed below the sod and under the gardens to evenly disburse water throughout your yard.   The water is carried from the water source, through the pipe system, and out through sprinkler heads that pop up through the ground.  The even distribution of water will give you much greener grass and provide a better level of care for your gardens. Regular sprinkler maintenance is a big part of making sure that your system will continue to work properly. Hiring a professional water irrigation company to inspect your system annually will ensure the lines and sprinkler heads remain in top working condition.  You can prevent floods from occurring on your lawn or other malfunctions by staying diligent to a care and maintenance program. The increase in value that an irrigation system adds to a home stems from the ease and efficiency it provides in maintaining the upkeep of your yard.  Sprinkler systems can be set to come on automatically at the appropriate time of day.  When setup correctly an irrigation system will provide excellent results while using the most efficient amount of water.  




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Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 6/2/2013

Everyone loves a green and gorgeous lawn. When it is time to either start or fix your lawn you have lots of decisions to make. One major option to consider is if you should choose seed or sod?  There are a few factors you will want to consider before making the choice. There are advantages and disadvantages to both seed and sod. Here are some of the advantages of grass seed: -less expensive than sod - installs much quicker -may be more viable option in shady areas -seed blends may be better for difficult to grow areas Here are some of the disadvantages of grass seed: -seed cannot be used immediately -requires attention while growing -can develop weeds and patchy bare areas -can be difficult to grow in areas where erosion is a problem -can only be planted at certain times of the year Here are some of the advantages of sod: -usable lawn much quicker -few if any weeds -no risk of erosion -wider range of appropriate planting times Here are some of the disadvantages of sod: -more expensive to buy and install -must be ordered through a local sod farm or professional landscaper -can be difficult to grow in very shady areas. Proper preparation and care is important whether you choose grass seed or sod. If you are unsure the best option for your yard consult a professional landscaper.  




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