Beware The Spotted LanternflyAs we take steps to prepare our yard for spring and protect our plants from pests and disease, we should all be considerate of the fact that there is a new threat out there. This new threat comes from an insect called the spotted lanternfly. The spotted lanternfly was first discovered in the U.S. in 2014 right here in Pennsylvania and has since spread to 26 counties. What Does a Lanternfly Look Like? The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect native to China that feeds on the sap of grapevines, apple trees, pines, and other species. It’s not a fly or a moth at all but a planthopper that moves from plant to plant. It is about one inch long and a half-inch wide. Its front wings are grey with black spots while its back wings are red and black with black spots. Its head and legs are black, and it has a yellow abdomen with black bands across it. What Kind of Damage Can Lanternflies Cause? Lanternflies move in swarms like hungry locusts. When they move, they swarm the air, and it makes being outside unbearable. They can cover a tree from top to bottom and cause considerable damage to not only trees but over 70 different plants, including oak trees, hops, apples, and peaches. Both adult and nymph lanternflies can cause damage to plants when they feed by sucking sap from stems and leaves with their mouthparts. This can affect photosynthesis and cause the plant to decline or even die. That’s not all. As the spotted lanternfly feeds, it excretes a waste called honeydew. Honeydew is a sugary substance that is attractive to wasps, ants, and other insects. It can also be a host to sooty mold, which is harmless but can cause the tree to look dirty and unhealthy. If not controlled, the spotted lanternfly could cost the agricultural business in Pennsylvania billions of dollars in lost revenue. How To Control The Spotted Lanternfly? Adult lanternflies lay their eggs in the fall in mud coverings, which can contain anywhere from 30-50 eggs. The eggs are laid on surfaces such as rocks, trees, sides of houses, and decks. From early fall to late spring, be on the lookout for these egg casings. You can scrape off the eggs with a knife and place them directly into alcohol to kill them. The nymphs are active from April through early November. Using a sticky band around the tree can help control spotted lanternflies as they climb up the tree to feed. These traps should be replaced every one or two weeks. Spotted lanternflies are attracted to the tree of heaven, a native Chinese species that they feed on before laying eggs. These high-risk trees should be removed or thinned out to protect other plants and prevent the insects from spreading. To ensure these bugs don’t come back, keep a few of these trees around to use as bait by spraying them for insecticides. Remember to report all lanternfly sightings to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at (1-888-422-3359.) Call The Pest Specialists At Showcase Lawn Works To protect your yard from damaging and annoying pests, the pros at Showcase Lawn Works have what you need. From dormant oil sprays to perimeter pest control, we have the skills and the experience to keep you and your yard safe from bugs. If you want to ensure your Pennsylvania lawn has the best spring possible, then it’s time to invest in our custom lawn care program to ensure your grass gets the care it needs. Give us a call at 800-503-3426 or contact us here for more information. Keep up with our helpful monthly blog for more tips and tricks from the industry experts. Request A Quote
Proper Mowing and Maintenance for Pennsylvania Lawns This SpringDuring the spring, it’s necessary to provide your lawn with proper care and maintenance. This ensures that the grass and greenery continue to grow and stay healthy throughout the growing season. By following proper mowing techniques and best practices for lawn maintenance, you give the lawn a sturdy foundation from which to grow. Here are a few of the best tips for proper mowing and maintenance for your Pennsylvania lawn this spring.
Mowing HeightThe most consistent lawn care task all year is mowing. Without proper mowing, the turf grows out of control, resulting in an ugly and unhealthy lawn. Improper mowing practices lead to pest infestations, lawn diseases, and fungal growth. The first thing to keep in mind is mowing height. The ideal mowing height for your lawn depends on a number of things, including grass type and weather conditions. As your grass grows, it creates more surface area to absorb sunlight and perform photosynthesis. This means that as the grass grows, it’s the ability to generate and store energy increases as well. For fine fescues and Kentucky bluegrass, the ideal mowing height is between 1.5-2 inches while ryegrass and tall fescues need to be cut around 2-3 inches in height. These grasses can’t provide enough energy if they are cut too short, so maintaining an adequate height is essential to the health of the lawn. During the spring, when the weather is wet, and the grass is growing fast, it’s essential to mow frequently. However, during the heat and drought-like conditions of summer, when grass growth slows down, and water retention becomes more important, infrequent mowing and longer grass is a health-boost to the lawn.
The One-Third RuleThe most important rule for proper mowing is the one-third rule. The one-third rule means never to cut more than one-third of the entire height of your grass. Cutting anything more than one-third of the blade of grass often results in scalping the lawn. This is extremely damaging to the turf and leaves it vulnerable to pests, weeds, and diseases. Not only that, but the excess clippings quickly smother the grass and create an unhealthy layer of thatch in the lawn.
Maintaining Your EquipmentFinally, it’s important to maintain your mowing equipment throughout the year properly. Not only does this protect the grass, but it also protects you by ensuring you are mowing the lawn as efficiently and safely as possible. Dull mower blades are a quick and easy way to damage your grass and encourage diseases, fungi, and the overall decline in lawn health. Keep the mower blades sharp to avoid tearing the blades of grass. Getting a clean and even cut is less stressful to the grass and is much easier to recover from. It’s also important to ensure the mower is properly cleaned. This prevents the spread of diseases and fungi to other parts of the lawn.
Spring Lawn Maintenance
Trimming and Pruning Your Trees and ShrubsThe grass isn’t the only thing in your lawn that needs to be properly maintained throughout the spring. Your trees and shrubs could use a little upkeep as well. Before the leaves grow back in, take a look at the overall shape and structure of your trees. Identify any unnecessary, dead, or diseased branches and trim them away. Encourage fast growth for new interior branches by pruning away some of the exterior branches. With proper maintenance, you can create healthy, growing conditions for your ornamental trees and shrubs. The result of proper tree and shrub maintenance is thicker, fuller plants, and a more robust landscape.
Sprinkler System MaintenanceNow is the time of year to ensure your sprinkler system is up and running. Winterizing the sprinkler system is an essential part of fall lawn maintenance for Pennsylvania lawns. That means in the spring; we need to start the sprinkler system up again. When starting up your sprinkler system in the spring, it’s important to do it slowly. Go zone by zone and pay careful attention to any inefficiencies or damage done to the lines or sprinkler heads. By doing this early in the spring, you give yourself enough time to make any repairs or adjustments before the heat of summer is upon us.
Trust Your Lawn Care to the Experts at Showcase Lawn WorksProper mowing and maintenance help give the lawn a healthy foundation to grow from, but there’s, even more, you can do to ensure a healthy and beautiful yard this year. With a lawn care program along with tree and shrub care services from Showcase Lawn Works, your lawn will look better than ever. Give your greenery the missing piece it needs by calling the experts at Showcase Lawn Works. Give us a call today at (717) 354-3226 or send us a quick message here. Keep up with all of the latest trends and tips for lawn care, tree care, and pest control by following our blog and be sure to follow us on Facebook for deals and information. Request A Quote
Spring Lawn Care in Pennsylvania: The First Step to a Healthy LawnWith spring upon us, we can use this time as a brand new slate for your lawn care. Spring lawn care is the first step to a healthy lawn this year. With proper timing and the right strategy, you can give your lawn the best opportunity to thrive. Here are a few things to add to your spring lawn care list.
Do Some Spring Clean-Up Around the LawnKeeping the lawn clean is an easy way to benefit your lawn. Lawn debris piles up throughout the winter. Whether it’s leftover leaves from the fall or broken branches from the winter winds, lawn debris is a problem. This litter provides the best environment for lawn diseases and fungi to fester. They’re also great hiding places for opportunistic pests. The bottom line is a cleaner lawn is a healthier lawn. Remove any and all debris from the lawn, giving the grass unobstructed access to sunlight and air. Go over the lawn with a rake to loosen up any excess thatch and break up any matted-down grass. Raking the lawn gives the grass easier access to airflow, allowing it to dry out quickly and avoid lawn diseases and fungi.
Spring Weed PreventionNext, we need to get control of the weeds. Weeds are some of the most persistent and damaging threats to the lawn all year long. They sap the resources and nutrients from the soil in your lawn, making it more difficult for the grass to get everything it needs. These ugly plants cause nothing but stress and damage to the lawn, making it easier for pests, diseases, and fungi to take advantage. That’s why weed control needs to be part of your spring lawn care. Spring weed control begins before the weeds have even sprouted. Pre-emergent herbicides create a barrier in your soil, preventing weed seeds from sprouting. While it doesn’t work for 100% of the weeds, pre-emergent weed control dramatically reduces the number of weeds invading your lawn this spring. Spring weed control gives the grass easier access to everything it needs, ensuring your lawn starts the year healthy. By getting control of the weeds now, you set yourself for a much easier time in the summer and fall. For consistent control throughout the year, find weed control services near you.
- Shepherd’s Purse
- Common Chickweed
Pennsylvania Weeds to Watch for:
Set Up Your Sprinkler SystemThe next thing that your lawn is going to need this spring is water. Giving the lawn a consistent irrigation schedule allows the lawn to grow in strong, lush, and green. A sprinkler system is the best way to give your lawn the water it needs, when it needs it. Here in Pennsylvania, we have to winterize the sprinkler system in the fall to avoid damage from the cold of winter. After the last frost of the year, start up your sprinkler system one zone at a time. Monitor for consistent and even watering and check for any damage sustained over the winter. Once your sprinkler system is started up, set the schedule. Make sure you only water in the early morning because the excess water needs time to dry. If you water too late in the day and the grass doesn’t have time to dry before night, then you’re just asking for a lawn disease of fungal infection.
Spring Mosquito PreventionThe mosquitoes are coming. We all hate it, but that’s the reality of spring: the mosquitoes return. It seems like these nasty pests get worse every year, spreading diseases like West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. Including a mosquito prevention strategy in your spring lawn care is the best way to get control early. The best thing to do for mosquito prevention this spring is to attack them where they breed. Mosquitoes lay their eggs wherever they find standing water. In seven days, those eggs hatch and develop into adults. Early and consistent care can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in your lawn now and in the future. Walk around the lawn, looking for anything that can hold water. By dumping out any standing water that you find, you reduce the number of places where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. This results in fewer future mosquitoes. You can boost these efforts by investing in mosquito control services near you.
Showcase Lawn Works can Help With Your Spring Lawn CareIf you want to ensure your Pennsylvania lawn has the best spring possible, then it’s time to invest in lawn care services near you. Here at Showcase Lawn Works, we have the experience, expertise, and custom lawn care programs to ensure every lawn gets the care it needs. Trust your spring lawn care and mosquito control to the pros at Showcase Lawn Works. Give us a call at 800-503-3426 or contact us here for more information. Keep up with our helpful monthly blog for more tips and tricks from the industry experts. Request A Quote
Common Causes of Winter Kill in Pennsylvania LawnsDuring the harsh, cold winter here in Pennsylvania, our lawn is tested. The cold temperatures, heavy snow and ice, and dry winds all take their toll on the grass. Between the weather, pests, and disease, your lawn could be at risk of winter kill. Anything that causes damage or death to the lawn during the winter is considered winter kill. This makes monitoring and preventing winter kill more difficult. However, if you know the common causes of winter kill in Pennsylvania lawns, then you’ll know exactly what to watch for.
Snow MoldSnow mold is one of the common causes of winter kill, but you’ll have to wait until the snow starts to melt to find out if your lawn has it. This cold fungus quietly creeps through your matted grass and excess thatch beneath the snow. It’s much worse if the snow falls before the ground freezes. Snow mold is made worse by long grass, piles of leaves or debris, and heavy piles of snow throughout the winter. When the snow starts to melt in the spring, watch for the web-like, fuzzy fungus growing in irregularly shaped patches of soaked grass. Gray snow mold is white or gray in color whereas pink snow mold is more red, pink, or copper-colored. For snow mold, the only option is prevention and control. Keeping your lawn healthy and maintained throughout the year is essential to preventing snow mold. Finish out the fall with strategic maintenance to ensure your lawn is as healthy as possible before going dormant. Aerate the lawn in the fall to break up thatch and reduce pooling water. Remove the fall lawn debris, leaves, and grass clippings before the snow starts. If you find snow mold in your lawn, use a rake to break up the mold and thatch in that area. By improving the airflow in your grass, you can dry out the mold and prevent further damage.
Crown HydrationThe king of the common causes of winter kill is crown hydration. This disastrous form of winter lawn damage is especially common in the winter when the temperatures rise above freezing for a while and then drop back below freezing. This extreme temperature change has a terrible effect on the grass. The warmer temperatures wake the grass up, causing it to start absorbing water and storing it in the crown. When the temperatures drop back below freezing, the water in the crown freezes and expands, destroying the plant cells and killing the grass. Crown hydration is not to be taken lightly. The only option when it comes to crown hydration is active prevention during the rest of the year. Keep your lawn healthy by meeting all of its seasonal needs in the spring, summer, and fall, so the grass can go into the winter as healthy and hardy as possible. Healthy lawns are much better at standing up to the tough conditions of winter.
Winter DesiccationWinter desiccation is another common cause of winter kill that is a direct result of tough winter weather conditions. This form of winter lawn damage can only happen to grass, trees, and shrubs that are not covered by snow. The ground must also be frozen for winter desiccation to happen. The lack of snow cover leaves your grass exposed to the dry winter wind. As the wind rips the moisture out of the leaves, the plant needs to replace it. Because the ground is frozen, the grass can’t replace the lost moisture via absorption through the roots. In the end, the affected grass shrivels up and dies from extreme dehydration. Like crown hydration, the only way to control winter desiccation is through year-round prevention. A lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works allows you to ensure your lawn’s needs are being taken care of all year.
Vole DamageFinally, there is vole damage. These tiny, hungry rodents remain active all winter, feasting on your grass and roots below the snow. When the snow melts in the spring, you’ll see tiny trails of stripped and chewed grass. This network of intersecting runways is an ugly eyesore but rarely results in much more damage. However, a vole can kill an entire tree over the course of winter. If the vole has easy access to the trunk of a tree, it can chew a strip of the bark away. If it removes the strip all the way around the tree, then it cuts the roots off from the rest of the plant, causing it to die of dehydration. This is called tree girdling. To prevent vole damage and tree girdling in the winter, there are a few things you can do. First, trim away low branches from trees and shrubs, especially the ones close to the ground. This removes a vole hiding place. Next, continue mowing your grass until it finally stops growing. Again, this removes a hiding place for the voles. Finally, make sure the base of your trees and shrubs are protected. By wrapping them or keeping mulch from piling up against the trunk, you can protect your trees from hungry voles.
Prevent Winter Kill With Year-Round Services From Showcase Lawn WorksNot only do the experts at Showcase Lawn Works know the common causes of winter kill, but we also know how to prevent it throughout the year. With a consistent lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works, you can be sure that your lawn is getting everything it needs to stay healthy all year. A healthy lawn is the best defense against winter kill causing threats. To find out how to get started, call us at 717-354-3226 or request a FREE estimate here. To be the first to hear about our news and deals, follow us on Facebook. Check out our helpful blog for all the best tips on tree care, lawn care, pest control, and more! Request A Quote
3 Best Lawn Care Goals to Make for the New YearThe New Year is all about making goals. So, this year, let’s focus on the lawn. Keeping your lawn healthy ensures your lawn stays beautiful throughout the year. Here are the 3 best lawn care goals to make in 2020 and how to achieve them.
Get On a Lawn Fertilizer ScheduleIf a lawn doesn’t have the nutrients it needs, it’s health will decline over the year and it’ll be open to a medley of lawn problems. Malnourished lawns are prone to lawn diseases, fungi, pests, and weeds. The best way to ensure your lawn stays healthy all year is by getting on a lawn fertilization schedule. Our Pennsylvania lawns have very different needs, depending on the season. By giving your lawn the right fertilizer in the right season, you can set your lawn up to thrive this year. Start with a spring fertilizer to help the lawn wake up after the long winter. Follow that up in the summer with fertilizer that helps the lawn deal with the summer stress brought on by high temperatures and drought conditions. In the fall, give your lawn a fertilizer that boosts root growth to help the lawn stockpile nutrients and strengthen itself before the winter. The best way to make sure your lawn gets what it needs when it needs it is by investing in a lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works.
Keep Your Lawn Stress-Free With Weed ControlThe next of our 3 best lawn care goals for the new year is to stay persistent with your weed control. Keeping weeds from invading and taking over your lawn is a tough job that never seems to end. Unfortunately, it’s essential to keep the weeds out of your lawn. Weeds rob the soil of the vital nutrients, damaging your grass. They also force the grass to compete for water, space, and sunlight. In the end, weeds hurt the overall health of your lawn and leave it open to pests, disease, and fungi.
- Shepherd’s Purse
- Annual Bluegrass
Common Weeds in Pennsylvania Lawns
Aerate Your LawnFinally, one of the best lawn care goals to make in 2020 is to aerate your lawn. Throughout the year, our lawns get worn out. Heavy traffic from playing, mowing, and entertaining result in hard, compacted soil. If you start to notice water run-off or pooling water in your lawn, then it’s likely that you have soil compaction. Luckily, aeration can take care of it. Aeration is the lawn service where an aerator is used to pull out small cores of compacted soil throughout your entire lawn. The service looks like it would hurt the lawn, leaving it full of little holes, but it’s actually one of the best services to do. By pulling out the cores of compacted soil, you’re freeing up the roots to grow deep and spread out. It also opens the soil up, allowing water and nutrients to reach down to the roots. Aeration is a once-per-year service that you shouldn’t skip.
Showcase Lawn Works Can Help With Your 2020 Lawn Care GoalsDon’t let your lawn suffer this year, set your lawn care goals for 2020 and let us help you follow through. The experts here at Showcase Lawn Works have the experience and services necessary to boost the health of your lawn. Invest in a lawn care program this year and get signed up for your aeration service as soon as possible. If you’re ready to get started, then call us at (717) 354-3226 or get your FREE estimate here. If you’re looking for more helpful tips on lawn care pest control, and more, then head over to our blog. Follow us on Facebook so you can get the latest scoop on our offerings and news. Request A Quote
Give the Gift of a Green 2020 With a Lawn Care Program From Showcase Lawn WorksThis holiday season, let’s focus on the future. You can help someone special set their year up for success and relaxation. With a lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works, you’ll be giving the gift of a green 2020. Here are a few reasons why a lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works is the greenest gift of the year.
A 6-Step Lawn Care ScheduleOne of the most important components of lawn care is having a consistent schedule of regular applications. When choosing the lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works, you’ll get just that. Our comprehensive lawn care program includes 6 perfectly-timed applications throughout the year. Every 4-6 weeks, one of our lawn experts will come out and treat the lawn. By keeping the lawn on a consistent schedule, we’ll be able to take care of the lawn’s seasonal needs. As a result, we’ll be building a healthy foundation for the lawn to encourage strong growth and beautiful color.
Personalized Organic-Based FertilizingEvery lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works begins with an initial soil pH test. From here, we’re able to determine the essential needs of the individual lawn. Because of this, we’re able to use our special, organic-based fertilizer to directly target those needs. Ultimately, regular treatments help promote fast and strong root growth. This foundational strength will help improve the look of the lawn while keeping it at optimal health throughout the year. A healthy lawn with all of its needs met will help prevent problems like insect infestations, lawn disease, and even weeds.
Our Weed-Free GuaranteeWeed control is one of the most important components of an effective lawn care program. That’s why we put a central focus on establishing a weed-free lawn here at Showcase Lawn Works. With consistent weed control throughout all of our applications, weeds won’t be able to find an easy opportunity to invade the lawn. Pre-emergent weed control in the spring prevents weeds from sprouting, providing a weed-free start to the year. Regular crabgrass control keeps this opportunistic weed out of the lawn, freeing the grass from stressful competition. Broadleaf weed control helps manage and eliminate broadleaf weeds like dandelions. In the end, our weed-free guarantee ensures complete satisfaction. If satisfaction is not met, we’ll come out between the scheduled applications and to correct the issue.
Showcase Lawn Works Can Help You Give the Gift of a Green 2020You can give someone special the gift of a green 2020 with the help of Showcase Lawn Works. Our 6-Step Lawn Care Program will provide tailored feeding and weed control on a consistent schedule. Ultimately, the lawn will be stronger, healthier, and greener. Call the professionals at Showcase Lawn Works at 717-354-3226 or get started here. Check our blog for industry tips for lawn care, pest control, tree & shrub care, and more. Follow us on Facebook for the latest holiday deals and news. Request A Quote
Fall Pest Prevention: Keep the Pests Away This Holiday SeasonKeeping your home pest-free isn’t just a spring and summertime chore. The fall is an important time for pests like ants, crickets, spiders, and cockroaches. As temperatures plunge, pests look for a warm winter home to hole up in. Here are a few fall pest prevention tips to keep pests from invading your home this holiday season.
Seal Your HomeThe first step in fall pest prevention is turning your home in a virtual Fort Knox. If you can manage to reduce the population of incoming pests, it’ll make your interior pest control that much easier. Here are a few tips for sealing your home and preventing a fall pest infestation.
Check Your FoundationWhen it comes to sealing off your home, the best place to start is at the foundation. In the fall, it’s a good idea to walk around your foundation, checking for any spots that may be vulnerable to a pest invasion. A few key places include spots where plumbing or electrical lines enter the home. Check for cracks and gaps around your foundation, sealing everything up before pests like spiders, ants, termites, and centipedes find their way in.
Check Your Windows and DoorsThe next step in sealing off your home is to focus on your windows and doors. By now, I’m sure you’ve started to notice bugs like the multicolored Asian lady beetle, brown marmorated stink bug, or boxelder bug starting to collect near your windows and doors. Unless you want them to make their way inside, you’ll want to ensure your windows and doors are sealed tight. Keep opportunistic pests out of your home by properly sealing your windows and doors. Check for gaps or cracks around your windows and doors, sealing them with caulk when necessary. Check for any damage to your screens and either repair or replace them. These measures will help seal your home and reduce the population of pests getting inside.
Check Your Roof and GuttersThe last step in sealing off your home is checking your roof and gutters. Look around for any damaged shingles where daring pests may try to get it. Look for any gaps or holes while you’re up there too and make any repairs as necessary. While you’re up there, clean out those gutters. A clogged gutter is a favorite place for mosquitoes to lay their last eggs of the year to overwinter until spring. Clean out your gutters to make your spring and summer mosquito control that much easier.
Make Your Home InhospitableNow that your home is sealed off from the oncoming pest invasion, it’s time to clear out the rabble that is already inside. You can effectively reduce the population of pests in your home with just a couple of strategies. Cleaning up and properly storing your food along with reducing any excess water or moisture around your home is enough to decimate the number of pests in your home.
Clean Up Your FoodAnts and cockroaches are two of the most annoying pests infesting our homes this fall and winter, and they love living off our leftovers. They can be found marching across kitchen floors or scurrying behind that cereal box in your pantry. If you can reduce the amount of food waste around your home, you’ll be able to starve these opportunistic pests out. Check the areas in your home where you and your family are regularly eating. Look around your kitchen, in the pantry and cupboards, for any easy opportunities for hungry insects. Clean up any crumbs or spills and make sure your leftovers are properly sealed in tight-fitting containers. Remove your trash every day and keep it in a sealed container far from any entrances. If you have pets, make sure you pick up their food at the end of every day and keep it stored.
Watch for Excess WaterFinally, it’s time to turn your home into a desert. Pests are usually able to go several days (or even weeks) without food, but they all need a regular supply of water. If you can reduce the amount of free water in your home, you’ll be able to drastically reduce the number of current and future pests in your home. The key spots to check are the kitchen, bathroom, basement, attic, and crawlspace. Make sure you check under sinks and repair any leaky pipes. Pests like cockroaches, centipedes, and millipedes love damp areas like the basement. Using a dehumidifier in damp areas will help you manage the moisture and reduce the pest population.
Call the Pros at Showcase Lawn WorksThese tips are going to help you manage pest populations in and around your home, but it is still a good idea to call in the professionals. Here at Showcase Lawn Works, we have a perimeter pest control service that creates a protective barrier against fall pest invasions. Keep ants, spiders, crickets, and more out of your home by calling in the pros. For more information, give us a call at (717) 354-3226 or contact us here. Make sure you check us out on Facebook to see the latest deals, tips, and news from the pros. Request A Quote
Fall Lawn Aeration: Give Your Lawn a Healthy Boost Before the WinterHere in Pennsylvania, our summers can be pretty stressful to our lawns. Drought conditions, high heat, soil compaction, and increased traffic from backyard gatherings and weekly mowing take their toll on our grass. The good news is there’s a way to give your lawn a healthy boost this fall and set it up for success next spring, lawn aeration.
Lawn Aeration: What is it?Lawn aeration, also known as core aeration, is a lawn care service where a core aerator is used to pull up plugs of soil throughout your lawn, redistributing them across the lawn. So, how do you know if your lawn needs to be aerated? Here are a few signs that your lawn needs to be aerated.
Signs that your lawn needs to be aerated:
- Spongy grass: Check to see if your lawn feels soft or spongy underfoot. If it does, then it’s time to consider lawn aeration.
- Pooling water: Watch for pooling water, large puddles, or water runoff after a rainstorm.
- Excess thatch: If the layer of thatch at the base of your grass is thicker than a half an inch, then it’s time for aeration.
- Compacted soil: Using a screwdriver, check your lawn for compacted soil. If it’s difficult to drive the screwdriver into the soil, then your soil is compacted.
What are some of the benefits of lawn aeration?Soil compaction and excessive thatch are two of the biggest lawn problems that aeration addresses. Thatch is the layer of organic matter, like grass clippings, that settles at the base of your grass. This barrier, if too thick, can block water, air, and nutrients from getting down to the soil and root system. A general rule of thumb is to keep your thatch at less than a half an inch thick. Any more than this and your grass will start to suffer. Lawn aeration relieves your grass of excess thatch, among other benefits.
Additional benefits of lawn aeration include:
- Reduces compacted soil: Cores of compacted soil are pulled from the lawn, allowing grass roots to spread out and grow deeper.
- Reduces excess thatch: Aeration relieves your lawn of excess thatch, allowing your grass easy access to air, water, and nutrients.
- Access to water, air, and nutrients: Relieving soil compaction and reducing thatch build-up allows your grass easier access to air, water, and fertilizer.
- Stronger root system: With less soil compaction, your grass roots will have more space to spread out. This results in deeper root systems and healthier grass.
When’s the best time to aerate your lawn?Lawn aeration is a service that can be done once a year. This service should only ever be done during the growing season for your grass. Doing it during the growing season means your lawn will have time to spread out and grow after the plugs of compacted soil and thatch are removed. Here in Pennsylvania, most of our lawns are made up of cool-season grasses. The growing season for cool-season grass is in the spring and fall so it’s best to aim for late summer or early fall to aerate your lawn. Core aeration in the fall will help strengthen your grass roots in preparation for the frigid winter. This will set your lawn up for success, next spring.
Before your lawn aeration service:Fall is the best time for lawn aeration, but it’s important to prepare your lawn for the service. Make sure to mark any areas near electric dog fences and mark your sprinkler heads as well. This helps your lawn care technicians navigate your lawn safely, without causing any accidental damage. It’s also a good idea to make sure the soil is moist before your aeration service. Watering the lawn a couple of days before the service will make sure the tines from the aerator can easily penetrate the soil.
Call in the professionals.Want to ensure your lawn is healthy going into the winter? Contact the professionals at Showcase Lawn Works about our lawn aeration services. It’s also a good idea to invest in a yearly lawn care program to ensure your lawn is getting the care and nutrients it needs when it needs them. Give us a call at 717-354-3226 or contact us here. Request A Quote
Protect Your Home From Pest This FallWe all hate seeing pests inside our home. In the fall it seems that there are even more pests trying to get inside. This is because fall is the time of year where insects seek out warm places to overwinter and lay eggs. To prevent your home from being a bug refuge over the winter follow these tips to protect your home from fall pests.
Keep Tree Branches From Your HouseRodents and squirrels will be looking for places to sleep this winter and your cozy home is better than any tree or frozen hole in the ground. If you have trees with branches that are close to or hang over your house they could be used as bridges for squirrels to gain entry. Trim back branches to eliminate this possible entryway.
Move Firewood OutsideThere’s nothing like a warm fire to sit around in the winter but did you know that firewood you have stacked up can contain insects that can infest your home. Left outside, insects like crickets, ants, termites, centipedes, and many others make their home in old dead wood. When you bring that wood indoors it’s like a Trojan horse. Only bring wood inside that you intend to burn immediately and store it outside at least 20 feet from your home to discourage wandering insects.
Clean Up The Outside of Your HomePests are attracted to damp, dark areas such as mulch, leaf piles, standing water, and grass clippings. Make sure you follow proper lawn maintenance techniques to keep debris out of your yard and especially away from the foundation of your house.
Seal Doors and WindowsInsects can wiggle their little bodies through any tiny crack or gap so inspect and repair any cracks in windows and doors and make sure your screens are intact. Use screen meshes that are at least 200 holes per square inch for maximum protection. Caulk cracks and gaps on the exterior of your home that pests could squeeze through. Inspect the foundation for cracks and check the roof for missing shingles and gaps where utility lines enter the house.
Replace Your LightsKeeping your outdoor light on is an open invitation for insects. If you are letting out a dog or expecting a visitor you could also be letting in mosquitos, moths, and other pests. But don’t worry, you don’t have to leave everyone in the dark. Switch out your bulbs with bug lights. Bug lights give off a different wavelength of light that insects are not attracted to. This way you can protect your home and keep it lit up at the same time.
Move Garbage Out And Store Food ProperlyInsects have an acute sense of smell and if you have dirty dishes, garbage, or food sitting out it will only encourage fall pests to gain entry to your house. Store your garbage in the garage when necessary and store all open food such as cereals and sweets in plastic storage containers.
Get A Pest Control BarrierAt Showcase Lawn Works we have been serving the folks of New Holland, Pennsylvania for nearly 20 years. With over a century of combined experience, we know how to deal with pests. We can keep your home protected this fall with our perimeter pest control barrier that will stop any insect dead in their tracks. Just call (717) 354-3226 or leave us a message. Request A Quote
Pennsylvania Tree Care TipsTrees are vital and often overlooked features of your yard. All you do is plant them and they seemingly take care of themselves. While trees are relatively low maintenance plants, they do still require some attention; that’s a small price to pay for a plant that can live for generations and provide you and your family with shade, beauty, and fresh air. Keep your trees healthy and safe by following these helpful tree care tips.
Choose the Right TreeIf you are planning on planting some new trees in your yard this year, you should first consider the soil type and amount of light the tree will receive. You also need to ask yourself what the purpose of the tree will be. Is it going to be a shade tree or purely a decorative piece? Check out these fast-growing trees to see which trees will do best in your yard.
Choosing the Right PlaceRemember, trees are permanent, so pick a spot where the tree can grow into. Make sure you know how big the tree can get and plan accordingly. Don’t plant your trees:
- Under or near utility lines
- Close to foundations
- Near sidewalks
- Close to other buildings
Deep Root FertilizationKeeping your trees healthy and strong is important for ensuring they're around for a long time. The best way to do that is with deep root fertilization.
What is deep root fertilization?Deep root fertilization is a process by which a liquid fertilizer is injected under high pressure down into the roots of the tree. Everything the tree needs is sent right where it is needed and does not wash off or get absorbed by other plants like traditional fertilizers.
Winter Burn ProtectionWinter burn is a common problem that faces evergreens. Symptoms start to appear as snow melts and spring temperatures rise. You will notice the foliage starting to brown at the tips of branches and progressing inward. Affected foliage starts to drop in spring and continues through mid-summer. In extreme cases, the entire tree can brown and die.
What causes winter burn?Winter burn is associated with dehydration. As trees go through photosynthesis they release moisture through transpiration, sort of like sweat. Just like us, trees need to replace that lost water, but in the winter that can be hard to do. Trees with shallow root systems can have a hard time extracting frozen water from the ground and a warmer than usual fall that prevents the tree from going dormant when it should, can leave the tree unprepared for freezing temperatures.
Trees face a lot of problems throughout the year but none are more threatening to the wellbeing of the tree than diseases and pests. Here in Pennsylvania, we are familiar with the infamous elm bark beetle and the emerald ash borer that are responsible for destroying the elm and ash populations in our state. But these aren’t the only troublesome pests that destroy our trees.
Common Pennsylvania tree pests include:
- Tent worms
- Japanese beetles
- Gypsie moths
- Asian longhorn beetles