Lawn Care Blog

Spring clean ups are around the corner.

With this mild winter we have been having, spring is right around the corner. People often ask what is involved in a spring clean up, we always say it depends on what was completed in the fall. If a fall clean up was completed then a spring clean up will consist of picking up sticks, leaves, and anything else that winter has brought to your lawn and landscape. If a fall clean up was put off then your spring clean up of your lawn and landscape will be much more complex. The spring clean up will be removing leaves from landscape beds, picking up sticks from the lawn, cutting down annuals, and trimming shrubs. We at Platinum Landscape Management recommend completing both a spring and fall clean up in order to keep your lawn and landscape looking its best year round. If you are interested in a spring clean up call us today at 616-881-9605. 

Snow Shoveling Tips

Snow shoveling is a common theme among Michigan residents. Whether its a sidewalk, steps or maybe even a whole Ada driveway, there can be hidden dangers. Below are six tips for keeping safe this season. 

  1. Snow shoveling happens a lot at night since in Michigan winters have less than 12 hours of sunlight, which presents a danger if you are near traffic. Consider adding a small reflective strip to your shovel or snow blower to help you be seen in the dark. 
  2. Shoveling snow can take a toll on your body, snow can be wet and heavy. Try and keep up with snow by shoveling often. Using a shovel that is ergonomic is another good idea. Snow showers that are lake effect from Lake Michigan can be extremely heavy. Try using a pusher snow shovel that moves snow along the ground rather than lifting it. If you are looking for a snow pusher try one the many offered here
  3. Shoveling snow from your property is a workout, ensure your snow removal is injury free by keeping your muscles warm by stretching. Stretching can prevent muscle fatigue and injury free.
  4. Slipping on snow and ice is a common occurrence, which can lead to a fall like this. To prevent this from happening make sure you wear good winter shoes with traction.
  5. Making sure you layer your clothes to protect your self against the elements. Dressing in layers allows you to remove layers as you warm up from shoveling or pushing snow.
  6. The last and more important part of snow shoveling is to stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated ensures you will be able to shovel snow all winter long.

If you follow these tips you'll be able to keep shoveling this Michigan winter off your driveway and walkways. Maybe these tips sound like too much work, we would be happy to take care of all your snow plowing needs. Give us a call today at 616-881-9605 for a free estimate. 

Fall Clean Ups Are Coming!

It's that time of year again! Leaves are changing, nights are becoming cooler, and the days are shorter. All this means that fall clean ups are on the fore front of our minds. When fall clean ups are thought of, we think of blowing leaves off the lawn. There are two reasons to remove leaves off your lawn, the first being aesthetic. Lawns look much better when they are still green with no leaves covering it. The second more important reason behind removing leaves from your lawn with a fall clean up is leaves can kill the grass by choking out the grass as the leaves pile onto the grass. This leaves your lawn looking spotty with dead spots and no one wants to see a lawn full of holes, when the leaves are cleaned up. 

When cleaning up your lawn with a fall clean up, another good area to pay attention to is your landscape. Cleaning the leaves away from your landscape prevents mold from developing in the landscaping beds as well as discourages small animals from nesting near your home. Trimming your shrubs and trees in your lawn and landscaping is also important in the fall as it provides a great start to your landscape in the spring. 

How often should I water my lawn?

We get this question a lot as the grass starts to dry out as the spring rains lead into warm summer days. A general rule of thumb is to water your lawn with 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. A great way to check if your lawn is receiving enough water is with a moisture probe, which you can find at any local hardware store. Godwin in Ada, Michigan has them stocked for you or Kingsland Ace Hardware in Cascade Michigan. There are different factors that influence irrigation frequency.

First being grass type

Different grasses require different amounts of water.

What we have in Michigan is mostly bluegrass, which goes dormant during drought and revives when rainfall starts again.

Another option would be tall fescue which has a deep root system and the highest drought tolerance of any cool season grass types

Second being Soil Type

Different soils absorb and retain moisture differently

Sandy: absorbs water quickly and needs less water more frequently

Loamy: Absorbs water evenly, without puddling or runoff

Clay: Absorbs water slowly and can cause runoff when water is applied to quickly to the lawn

Third being the lawns age:

A newly planted lawn will need more water than an established lawn. When watering a new lawn it is especially important to keep constant moisture to remain healthy and green. 

Grass Seedheads

Grass seedheads are starting to sprout up over all over Ada, Michigan and are appearing in big numbers this week. This a perfectly common occurrence that happens every May across Michigan. The most common turf grasses found in lawns produce seedheads including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and of course Poa annua or better known as annual bluegrass. The seedheads not only make the appearance of lawns look terrible but the seed stalks are tough to mow. One thing that we do at Platinum Landscape Management is have sharp blades to ensure we can mow these seed stalks. While it may seem better to cut your lawn lower, the seed heads can be at every height and cutting your lawn at a low height can damage the grass.

The turf may start to look stemy and lose density. This is completely natural for your lawn. The lawn will come back stronger once the seed head production is completed. Your grass is giving every bit of energy to producing seed heads, once this process is complete the grass will look great once again. 

Why is the grass greener on the neighbor's lawn?

Why is the neighbors lawn greener than mine? 

If you live in Ada, Cascade, Grand Rapids, or Kentwood, you are probably experiencing problems with your lawn due to droughts, cold weather, and a whole host of other reasons. Do you look over at your neighbor's lawn and wonder why their grass is much greener than yours? You are probably thinking that it should not be because both of your lawns are getting the same climate and you both water your lawns routinely. So, why can't you maintain a green lawn? There are actually several factors that could be causing your lawn to be not as vibrant. Once you understand these reasons, you can resolve these issue and be back to having green grass this year. 

What you're doing and not doing:

Mowing to low or high

Cutting your lawn slowly stuns the development of growth, restricting how well they soak up water as well as nutrients from the dirt your lawn grows in. Always cut your lawn at a height between 3 and 4 inches high by utilizing height selection of your lawn mower.

Neglecting your dirt's troubles

Your dirt could hurting your lawn. Adding nutrients to it in order to assist your lawn's coloring and appearance. Aerating every year if you notice any compressed dirt or thatch. 

Allowing your doggy family members have free regime

Dog pee will certainly burn your lawn, inducing staining or perhaps hairless spots unless you wash if from water immediately. Train your canine to get accustomed to not peeing on your yard or in a low profile area. 

What they're doing

Reusing leaves that diminish their trees

Leaves make fantastic grass fertilizer, just simply shred them with your mower. Just make sure they are smaller than a penny. 

Feeding on an arranged nutrients

Healthy and balanced lawns come from healthy and balanced dirt, so providing your yard with lots of growth-driving nitrogen is a must.

Watering your lawn weekly, not daily

You want the lawn to need mowing and grow healthy so you want to water it daily. Rather than immersing your lawn daily consider watering it every other day. By maintaining a weekly watering schedule your grass will turn into that ball park look that your neighbors have.

Or...

Just give us a call and we can take care of all those issues to provide you with a beautiful lawn with no work. Our office phone number is 616-881-9605

How can you save money on lawn care?

With spring here and summer closing in on the West Michigan area, many people are turning a eye towards their Ada Yard. With great reason too, as the weather warms up it means family BBQ's on their patios, backyard games in their freshly mowed lawn and fun in the sun. The worry comes from the small fortune and time needed to make your lawn look it's best. There are three simple tips that you can follow to create a beautiful Ada lawn and enjoy your landscape. 

Grass Seeding:

The idea of grass seeding your lawn might seem pointless, especially when "perfectly fine grass" is already growing. While it may be "perfectly fine grass", there are a few reasons to reseed your yard. Think about how long ago the grass was planted. If it has been years, there is a possibility the species of grass may be weak due to disease and more dependent on watering. Not to mention, reseeding can put an end to those unsightly brown spots as well as those bald areas.

Watering and Fertilizing:

Deciding on the prime time to water your yard is more important than you may realize. For example, water during the day and most of the water simply evaporates off your lawn, while watering at night can lead to fungus, disease, and a sick lawn. Interesting enough, the best time to water your lawn is dawn, between four and eight am. Just as important is when to fertilize your lawn. Generally, feeding your lawn a slow release fertilizer about every five to six weeks is optimal for proper lawn growth.

Ideal Length:

Most people believe that mowing their lawn short means that they will have to mow less often and have a healthier lawn with fewer weeds. The truth, is the shorter you cut your lawn the more problems you will have with your lawn. Taller grass needs less water and tends to grow in thicker, effectively choking out weeds. The reasoning behind this is taller grass shields the roots, allowing for a longer root system and ensuring water soaks deeper into the ground. Ironically, cutting your lawn shorter doesn't mean you will mow your lawn less often. Grass will grow at the same pace no matter the length. 

 

Using Mulch Properly isn't hard but requires care

Mulch is a material familiar to most homes in Ada, and for good reason: It has practical benefits, such as maintaining soil temperature and conserving water, as well as its visual potential- mulch can create an aesthetically pleasing landscape. 

Mulch is a great product, yet there is no one ultimate mulch, so there are a number of factors to consider when selecting a type of mulch and how much to use in your Ada home. 

First let's start with depth:

Depending on what type of plants are being mulched, the amount needed varies. Roses need just around two inches while pine trees need closer to three or four inches. No plant or tree should have more than four inches of mulch, more than four inches can lead to the plant's suffocating and becoming dehydrated, eventually leading to the plants death. 

A layer of at least one inch needs to be applied in order to effectively prevent weeds from growing. Drainage can also play a large factor in the amount of mulch needed, If an area drains poorly, mulch should be no more than two inches. 

The biggest mistake we see as a Lawn Care and Landscaping company is the "mulch volcano". Mulch volcano's are where plants and trees have a large amount of mulch around the base of them. This can create a habitat that rodents and fungi will thank you for, all while killing the tree by storing heat and starving the roots of oxygen. Mulch should be kept away from the base of the tree.

Next we will take a look at types of materials for mulch:

Mulches can be broken down in to two groups: Organic and Inorganic. Organic mulches tend to decompose and improve the soil. The gold standard for mulch is the one that is making the greatest contribution to the soil. That is going to be compost, but the compost needs to be made from premium ingredients.

 Bark chunks, wood chips and pine needles are longer-lasting organic mulch choices. These choices resist compaction and being blown away by the wind. All these options are also readily available in Ada and Grand Rapids. 

Inorganic materials such as gravel, rock, rubber mulch, and landscaping fabric typically are considered a permanent part of the landscape and don't need to be replaced like organic materials but they do no improve the soil. 

Lastly we will look at applying mulch:

Once you have determine the correct amount and type of mulch for your Ada landscape, it's time to get dirty and apply it. Applying mulch requires that the beds be weed free to maintain its beauty for as long as possible. Spreading the material evenly and replenishing the mulch as needed. If this sounds like a lot of work you can always contact Platinum Landscape Management at 616-881-9605 and we can take care of all your needs. 

Sod or Seed! Which is best for a new lawn?

Whether we are installing a brand new lawn or redoing a brown, patchy, and weed filled lawn. The decision must be made on installing sod or starting a lawn with grass seed. Both options have pro's and con's, we will cover both sides of this decision to help your decision making process. 

Installing Sod:

Pro's: Fast, Beautiful, Weed Free, Mud and Dust Control Immediately 

Con's: Expensive, Large Water Volume Needed, Sod May Shrink If Not Installed Correctly

Installing Grass Seed:

Pro's: Cost Effective, Larger Selection of Species 

Con's: Seasonal Installation Period, Reseeding Maybe Required Depending On Weather, Watering Is Critical 

While both options do have pro's and con's, we recommend both options depending on the property. Give us a call today at 616-881-9605 to let us help you make your important decisions on your lawn.

The Environmental Benefits of Lawn Care

Having a beautiful lawn comes with many benefits. It's a point of pride for people... it frames your home and landscape. Besides being a point of pride, there are many environmental benefits to lawn care as well. You always hear about the negative impacts of having a lawn. "One hour of gas-powered lawn mowing produces as much pollution as four hours of driving a car," a National geographic article explains. We don't deny it, a perfect lawn isn't perfect for the environment. However, many of a lawn's negative effects can be avoided or mitigated with proper lawn care.  Some of the positive effects of having a green lawn

  1. Prevents soil erosion and stabilizes dust 

  2. Absorbs rainwater and prevents runoff 

  3. Cleans the air by trapping dust

  4. Improves and restores soil 

Some of those positive effects are multiplied by a number of things that most professional lawn care companies such as Platinum Landscape Management, do while cutting your lawn. 

  • We mow the grass with sharp blades and mow higher to prevent burning the grass.

  • Set your irrigation to water deeply not often

  • Choose a grass type suited to climate, shade, and traffic

At Platinum Landscape Management, we do what is best for your lawn and the environment.