October 2019 Post
October Optical Sensations
Now I think we can all agree that it has been a long, hot summer this year; with that unexpected 3 weeks of drought rolling in at the end of September. But luckily for us, it appears as though fall is finally starting to grace us with her much appreciated presence.
With all the incredible colors coming in and the leaves starting to rustle and fall, now is the time to start thinking of the best ways to utilize and appreciate your great outdoor area! Now weather we’re talking about roasting marshmallows over a fire pit with your family on a warm fall evening while listening to the cicadas call or simply showing off your gorgeous garden and making the whole neighborhood jealous is up to you to decide.
One thing you may not know is that the chillier weather does not necessarily mean that all flowers are going to lay dormant, there is actually a long list of blooms that thrive in the fall. Such as chinese bellflowers, celosia, goldenrod, iberis, chrysanthemums, and pansies just to name a few. Not just flowers though, turfgrass, spring-blooming bulbs, cool-season vegetables, perennials, trees, and shrubs can all be effectively planted in the fall. Because the soil is still warm from summer it allows the roots to grow at a healthy rate until the soil freezes over in the winter.
The good news is that whatever you choose to do, we will be right by your side to make sure it is a giant success! Seeds of Change has a wonderful team of landscaping and hardscaping designers standing by to answer any questions you may have about how to achieve the most beautiful property around!
We wish you the most beautiful Autumn season, filled with family, love, and happiness!
September 2019 Post
Remember September Aeration
So what is aeration and why is it so important?
Aeration is the process in which several small holes are punctured into the compacted soil which allows for the water, air, and nutrients to get deeper down into the earth. This procedure is most successful when paired with fertilizer, new seed, and lime, which helps to balance the PH levels in the soil. This helps the roots of the current and new grass to grow stronger and will guarantee a lush, green yard for the next season. Fall is the best time to think about aeration and over seeding. This timing allows for the new seed to start to grow in the healthy environment which you have just provided without being overpowered by the intense heat of the mid-summer sun.
Most yards would benefit from being aerated, but you should definitely give it a go if yours is heavily used, such as families that spend a lot of time outside. Also, it is a great thing to look into if your grass was established by sod originally. The soil that comes with the sod is often finer than the soil previously on the property and the layering of the two can cause drainage problems which can lead to heavy compaction and poor root development. Aeration breaks up that tough soil and helps it all blend together which allows the water to make its way through, being much more evenly distributed.
Call us today to schedule your Fall aeration service!
August 2019 Post
August may feel as though fall is starting to roll in. Halloween and fall decor as far as the eye can see. But the truth of the matter is that here in Tennessee, it’s almost just as hot in August as it was in July. So continuing to water your lawn and apply fertilizer is the right move here for a healthy lawn. This is also majorly important because most trees and shrubs are now setting flower and fruit buds for next season and you want those to stay nurtured, as a lack of water now will actually reduce the coming seasons crop. Using mulch as a cover is a smart move as well since it helps to conserve moisture as well as keeping the ground cooler.
Now, let’s talk about late season planting options. There are actually a large variety of choices for this month. This is the time to grow your pansies, beets, carrots, spinach, turnips, lettuce, cabbage, and Swiss chard seed in a sturdy, good quality pot. After the seedlings develop leaves it will be okay to transplant them into individual pots. To care for them you will need to feed them with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Miracle Grow. They also make water-soluble fertilizers specifically for your sprinkler so it can be one less thing to worry about remembering. By late September or early October they should be ready to be transplanted into the garden.
We wish you all happy growing!
July 2019 Post
Time for flowers and fireworks!
Brown patch disease presents itself as brown and yellow spots that appear on your lawn and can be anywhere from 6 inches to several feet in diameter. It can be a very big issue in the mid to late summer season. Especially when the weather is hot and sticky as it is most likely to rear its ugly head when the weather is 80 degrees or above and not dropping lower than 70 degrees at night.
While there are several different types of conditions that cause dry, dead grass patches to appear in your otherwise lovely lawn during the summer, this one is especially common among tall fescue and other cool-season grasses. It comes from a fungus called rhizoctonia that can be present in the soil of your grass for quite some time before popping up during the summer. The main causes of this disease include excessive nitrogen, which can come from using to much fertilizer, and also from overwatering.
The best ways to avoid brown patch is to water in the morning allowing your plants the entire day to soak it up in the sunshine instead of molding by being still being wet at nightfall. Aerating your lawn will also help improve circulation which will keep your lawn nice and healthy. If you are struggling with brown patches already you may want to have a fungicide applied which can help the grass get rid of the rhizoctonia.
June 2019 Post
Summer is finally here!
Now that we are full throttle in the midst of the summer season, let’s discuss how to keep your gardens looking their absolute best. You will want to prioritize your gardening to the early morning or early evening while the sun is up but it won’t be as humid. Newer plants will require more water than your other blooms at this time of year as they are still developing into strong plants. Compost is also a great option for some extra needed nutrition in the heat. Plants will grow much slower if they are nutrient deficient.
With the bee population at an all time low and their major importance in our ecosystem, now is the time to be planting varying varieties of colorful blooms that offer them pollen. Planting in large groups will make it larger for the pollinators to find your home. Just remember that they are peaceful creatures and are much more afraid of you than you are of them! Having multiple colorful plants is also an attractor for different types of butterflies. Milkweed is also an excellent option for attracting butterflies. In fact, it is the Monarch’s primary food source.
May 2019 Post
May your garden be full of life!
Let’s talk about feeding your plants. During the late Spring/early Summer season your trees and shrubs are working very hard. Blooming new flowers, leaves and seeds is a big job. So they will need extra attention and care; plant food being a large part of this. It is especially important to fertilize when you notice your plant's leaves to be pale or turning a yellow color. Also, feeding your new flowering trees and shrubs will encourage even more blooms next year!
Aphids, Spring Cankerworm, Katydids, and Tent Caterpillar eggs. These are only some of the ornamental trees and shrubs biggest pests during this time of year. Pests such as these can ruin your favorite piece of plant life by feeding on them and extracting the necessary nutrients and sap causing your greenery to appear wilted and unhealthy. Around this time of year it is always wise to get your garden set up with some insecticides. But not to worry, our friends over at Lawn Dr. would be delighted to help you with that, ensuring a lovely, healthy garden this season!
April 2019 Post
We know it is a very tempting to get out into your yard as soon as the sunshine comes back. However, it is much healthier for your soil and grass if you wait until the earth is dry and firm. Once the ground is ready, you can give your lawn the attention it deserves. To encourage grass growth and discourage pests and diseases, gently rake to rid your lawn of the leaves and separate the grass shoots allowing them to grow better.
From here you will want to water your grass. At least 1” per week is standard in order to keep your yard growing strong. Do not start mowing your lawn until it is 2” or taller, grass does best when you cut no more than a third of the blade’s length at a time.
Now once you have mowed your grass two or three times, it will be time to think about aeration. Aeration is typically a very helpful tool when the dirt is to compact to allow for healthy growth. The process of aeration involves puncturing the packed soil which leave small holes to allow nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeper and robust throughout the season.
March 2019 Post
March outside and check your soil!
March is a perfect time to perform a soil test. This should give you an idea about your soil's nutrient make up and pH levels. Having this information should help you to determine if your new plants will be able to thrive in that environment or not. The soil pH level is important because it affects the availability of nutrients in the soil. Plants often do best if the soil's pH level is between a 6-7.5 on the 0-14 point scale. Between 6-7.5 is when the most nutrients are available for your garden. If your testing reveals the earth to be to anywhere between 7.5-14 that means you are dealing with alkaline dirt, which can be addressed using a few different products, including elemental sulfur, aluminum sulfate, iron sulfate, acidifying nitrogen, and organic mulches. However, if you realize that you are encountering the opposite problem and your pH levels land more between 0-6, they can be raised by incorporating limestone, hydrated lime, or wood ash into the ground. Keeping up with the nutrition of your topsoil will give your yard a much better chance of flourishing this year!
February 2019 Post
Spring is just around the corner!
You know what that means, right? Time to start thinking about the beautiful lawn you want to have this year! Here are a few tips to a yard that will have all of your neighbors jealous.
In order to have a healthy yard this Spring and Summer, you will need to start with pre-emergent herbicides, which are chemicals that prevent the undesired weeds such as crabgrass, clovers, and ragweed from growing in your lawn. They do not prevent the germination of the seed, but help control it so that it will not sprout. Due to the way these herbicides work, the timing of the application is the most important aspect of weed prevention. Typically it is recommended to go ahead with your pre-emergent care in the couple of months prior to spring time, i.e February, March, and April. If the weed has already sprouted and is visible, pre-emergent herbicides will not help solve the weed problem.
Continue protecting tender container plants from freezing temperatures, spring may be on the horizon, but it is still to cold for new plants to survive on their own. In addition, remember not to drive or walk on frozen grass. The grass is will break and be damaged when it warms up again.
Don’t forget to water your plants even during the winter. The cold air removes moisture from plants faster than they can absorb it, newly planted trees and shrubs are especially vulnerable and need extra attention and care.
Avoid using salt on frozen driveways and sidewalks this year. Salt does a serious amount of damage to your lawn. Because salt is water soluble that means when it comes into contact with water, ice or snow in this case, it breaks down into its two main components, sodium and chloride. Neither are good for your lawn and often cause brown patches to occur. This is because plants need very little sodium and in this case it becomes heavily present in the soil, essentially causing the plant to become dehydrated and die. Instead, try using sand, organic kitty litter, or sawdust. All of which are safe to use on your yard and will have a similar ice melting effect.
Remember that we are only a phone call away if you would like help!