Broadleaf Weeds; What Are They and How Do Herbicides Kill Them?

Ground Ivy Broadleaf Weeds; What Are They and How Do Herbicides Kill Them?

What Are Broadleaf Weeds?

Broadleaf weeds are weeds like Plantains, Chickweed, Clover, Ground Ivy, and Dandelions. They are a classification of weeds that are not grasslike, and are therefor more susceptible to a different set of chemicals than lawn grass is.  They can be perennial or annual, and treated to removal by hand, with tilling, selective spray of an herbicide, or a broadcast chemical.

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How Much Lawn Thatch is Too Much?

grass How Much Lawn Thatch is Too Much?

Thatch is not a bad thing.  Too much thatch is too much of a good thing!

Thatch can be comprised of decomposing lawn clippings and leaves, and old dead growth at the crown of the plants. Thatch in amounts less than a half inch is healthy in a lawn, and can act as an insulating mulch in warm weather, and a feeding ground for microrganisms and worms.  It’s once the thatch becomes deeper than that when the previous list of positive outcomes will work against you.

In deeply thatched lawns grass will die back, and the layers actually inhibit rain and irrigation water from reaching the soil line.  Organisms, diseases, and pests can flourish into unhealthy numbers and damage your entire lawn unless the area is de-thatched with either a thaching rake, or though core aeration.

Over-thatching most often occurs in lawns that are over-treated with chemical fertilizers, mowed irregularly, and those that are older and more established. Some thicker types of grass are also prone to thatching, like Zoysia grass and Kentucky Bluegrass. Some signs of a deeply thatched lawn are lawns that give you a springy or cushioned step when you walk on them, an increase in diseases taking over large areas, and dieback.

To amend a thatching issue take a cavex rake to the lawn in the spring to remove the excess, or core aerate the lawn to promote air and water circulation.

Photo Courtesy of: Zevotron

Effective Methods for Controlling Canadian Geese

Canada Goose Effective Methods for Controlling Canadian Geese

I’ve been involved with managing a humane goose control program on an 100 acre property for about 8 years now, and here are my suggestions for what works A-Z, from simple homemade deterrents to canine control methods.

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How To Choose a Lawn Service

Pepperdine University How To Choose a Lawn Service

Photo Courtesy of: PC – My Shots@Photography

Being in the “green business,” I get a lot of questions from friends and family about the pros and cons of lawn services over a Do-It-Yourself program. There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained in building your lawn up yourself, and for many people (myself included), puttering around in the yard is both an enjoyable hobby and a stress reliever. For those of you considering a lawn service for the next chapter in your life I would like to share with you my “insiders perspective” about what the strengths and weaknesses of the lawn care industry are, and give you some pointers on things to look for when choosing one for yourself. I will preface this post by saying that I am not employed by any lawn care service, and have no interest in recommending any one service by name. If you are considering a lawn service I want to give you the right questions to ask to help you find a company that will save you time, money, and environmental impact, all while building a beautiful and healthy lawn.

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Mute Swans As Canada Goose Control

Hansel 768x1024 Mute Swans As Canada Goose Control

Canadian Geese are a nuisance across much of North America, where flocks of several hundred at a time may take up residence in public space and create major waste problems.  While the Canada Goose is a welcome native species in North America, they have been naturalizing in parts of Europe where they are not native. In the United States where they have been protected for decades their numbers have boomed enormously, and can cause problems for businesses that rely on large areas of open turf as part of their business model.  From golf courses, to retirement communities, Canadian Geese can cause major problems if their numbers are not modified, and controlled, and the pound of poop per day that they produce can be a public health hazard.

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What Grass Should I Plant In My Region?

lawngrasszonemap What Grass Should I Plant In My Region?Unsure what grass to plant in your area of the United States?  The type of seed you select does matter, and knowing which choice to make can make a huge difference in the success of your lawn over the course of several seasons.

The folks over at Hancock Seed Company have great resources, and maps of all the regions of the USA, and can match your specific area with the best grass.  Find your best turf seed, or a list of grasses that will thrive in your area.  Follow the link above and get a better idea of what will work in your yard!

Irises For Water Gardens

IMG 2624 Irises For Water Gardens

Irises are the perfect water garden plants for the novice pond owner, and thrive to the point of over abundance in almost any water garden!  Here is a list of some of my favorite Irises for water gardens, all of these are great places to begin when filling a pond.

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Native To Know: Cardinal Flower, Lobelia Cardinalis

Cardinal Flower1 Native To Know: Cardinal Flower, Lobelia Cardinalis

Photo Courtesy of: BigDan

The Cardinal Flower is a bright, brassy North American native plant that grows up to 3 or 4 feet tall, and sports spiked torches of blood red blossoms!  In the last several years this Lobelia has gained popularity in garden centers, and home landscaping, but it’s use around the house can go much farther than just as the back row of a wildflower bed.

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Red Horse Chestnut, Aesculus carnea ‘Fort McNair’

IMG 2577 1024x768 Red Horse Chestnut, Aesculus carnea ‘Fort McNair’

This Red Horse Chestnut is a tree that would not necessarily have occurred in nature, but this gorgeous cultivar brings together the best of both of it’s parents, the Buckeye, and the Horse Chestnut.

Buckeye and Horse Chestnut trees are in the same family, and they both share a similar leaf pattern and flower type, but with the cross from the Buckeye Asculus pavia, and the Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum, a bright 5-8 inch pink or red flower is produced with trademark yellow throats.  I particularly like this flowering variety because the flowers have such a tropical look to them, and because the ‘Fort McNair’ variety was created nearby in DC!

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How To Grow A Holly Hedge Full Of Berries

IMG 2570 1024x614 How To Grow A Holly Hedge Full Of Berries

Hollies are standard garden fair, but to plant the healthiest hedge possible you need to mix in two types of plants.

Most plants have flowers with either male and female parts, or produce male and female flowers on the same plant, in order to fertilize themselves and produce fruit. Hollies have  an unusual reproduction style in the world of botany, and individual plants are either completely male or completely female. When Hollies reproduce, both the male and female plants produce flowers, and the males pollinate the females with the help of the wind or insects.  The females contain the seeds to be fertilized, so they produce the only fruit. For a hedge to produce berries, both males and females of the same species must be present in close proximity to each other to complete pollination and trigger fruit production in the female.  This type of reproduction is called Dioecy, and occurs in only a very few types of plants. Hollies, Date Palms, and Willows are some of the few examples of it.

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