All posts by Garrett Matthews

mulch, matthews landscape

Cut Your Grass Taller

As it warms up there are several things to keep in mind for your grass. Outstanding of feeding and watering it correctly, how you mow it is important as well.  When it is hot outside you actually want to cut your grass taller for several reasons.  First you don’t want to expose the root system and have it get stressed out from the heat.  Taller grass will offer protection to the root systems as well as shade from the heat.  If the roots are healthy then the grass will grow thicker leading to a better overall lawn.  Hope this helps! 

Dog Pee and Dead Grass

Where does your dog pee at?  Well if you pay close attention you may be able to tell by looking for the dead spots in your yard.  Dog urine is very high in ammonia which can kill your grass.  It tends to be especially bad in larger breads.  If your dog goes in the same spot over and over you can actually kill the grass in that area.  We commonly see this off the edges of patios or out of the front door.  People will let the dog out and they will run to the edge and do their things.  After some time you will see the grass start to thin out then die.  You can help this by making them go in different areas if possible.  Another way is to hose the area down after they get done.  If your sprinkler system is working well enough it can also dilute it down and fix the issues.  Hope this helps!

MPR nozzle

How Long To Water

It’s summer and we want to keep the grass green so what do you do?  Possibly one of the most asked questions this time of the year, “How long do I run my sprinkler system?”  There are several factors that go into answering this question.  What kind of heads do you have, how much grass is in the area, is it on a hill, has it been raining, etc.  The biggest thing to remember is don’t water everyday for short periods of time.  Water long and deep. 

Chinch Bugs vs Droughts

With it getting hot 2 things are going to happen.  Chinch bugs are about to become active and yards are about to get dry.  It’s important to know the difference between the two because the can easily be confused and look very similar.  It’s not uncommon for people to think their grass is dry and needs more water.  They turn the sprinklers up higher only to find the issue doesn’t get any better.  It’s not until the large parts of the grass die off that they realize it is actually chinch bugs and they need an insecticide, not more water!  Hope this helps!

3 Tips For Your Lawn

As it warms up we have 3 tips for lawn to make things better.  

1:  Make sure you are cutting your grass higher than normal.  As the grass gets taller it will also get thicker.  Thicker grass leads to healthier grass and better roots.  The taller grass also offers additional shade and protection to the roots as well.  

2:  Water for longer.  You are better off watering the grass fewer times a week but for longer periods of time.  An example would be some people tend to water their grass everyday for 10 minutes.  You would be better off watering 2 times a week for 30 minutes each provided there is no run off.  Watering longer allows for a better soak into the ground. 

3:  Water early in the morning.  When you water early in the morning the wind tends to be less so you get less waste or loss.  It also allows the water to sit on the ground and soak in.  When you water during the day you will lose some to evaporation over soaking in.   

Sago Babies

Have you ever noticed your sago palms having babies!  If you stop and pay close attention you will notice that coming off the main trunk of your main sago are new palms forming.  This is why over time your once normal looking palm now is exploding!  It’s safe to “pop” them off using a shovel in most cases.  Take a look and see what we mean!

Sprinklers In The Wind

How to water your lawn is a super important topic.  We go over time and again about using the right products but making sure you are watering correctly is a huge part as well.  Not only is the time of day important but knowing the conditions outside needs to be considered.  If you are running your system when there is a lot of wind outside you will not get an effective usage of your water.  Typically when spray heads are running they mist and spray the water out.  It doesn’t take much wind to move the water “off target” and it is not effective.  We often talk about running your sprinkler system early in the morning before the sun comes up so it doesn’t evaporate but also because this is usually when the wind is the least amount.  Hope this helps! 

Taking Soil Samples

What is a soil sample and how do you get one? Sometimes despite your best efforts, you lawn may simply be missing some of it’s key nutrients needed to grow strong, green and healthy. Much like you body if you aren’t healthy you can’t perform like you want to. Some key points to remember are take a sample in more than one spot of the lawn and mix the dirt together. This will give you a more actuate look of the entire lawn. Also there is no need in digging super deep. You are mainly concerned about the fist 3-4 inches where the root system is. Don’t forget to make sure your equipment is clean as well when you take a sample. Finally, box up the dirt and put it in the per addressed box then mail to LSU. Watch the video to see an example of how to perform this test.

Termite Treatments

Termite Treatments:  Bait Stations vs Liquid Applications

Termite season is officially here and several people will have to deal with this issue.  When you start to get estimates you need to also consider how your home will be treated and what products will be used.  Generally speaking you have one of two choices:  bait stations or liquid applications.  We install and only recommend bait stations for several reasons but here are some basic facts so you can make your own decision.  Bait stations are installed approximately every 10-15 feet all the way around your home.  Inside of the station is a product that is designed to attract termites to the station vs your house.  Once they start feeding on the bait it is carried back to the colony to be shared with the other termites.  Since all the termites feed on the bait it will cause the entire colony to collapse and die.  With liquid you spray a barrier around the base of the house.  The termites are not attracted to it rather if they come into contact with the barrier it will kill them.  If there are gaps in the coverage then you could have an issue where termites get to the house and start to feed.  The theory is that you are only killing termites that come close to the house only.  Another issue we see with liquid treatments is you can not see the product once it is applied.  This means it starts to deteriorate over time you will not know.  You are also at the mercy of the applicator trusting that they did in fact apply the correct amount of product.  With bait stations you can at any time see if the bait is being fed on and know if there are active termites in the area.  If the bait starts to break down you will also visually be able to see this and get it replaced.  All of the stations are pre filled with the specific amount of product needed so there is no guessing if the right amount was applied.  For us we go back to the first and main point we made.  Termites are attracted to the bait stations and they will lead to the collapse of the entire colony.  We hope this helps make you more informed.  If you have any questions feel free to let us know!

Sunk Pump Drain

 

With all the rain we get in our area it can cause serious problems for homes.  One of the biggest hurdles people often face is where to take the water.  Several yards do not have enough slope of fall to drain the water away and off their property.  Typically french drains and catch basin collect the water and they carry it away in an underground pipe.  When the area is too flat or you don’t have the needed slope to carry it away you may need to consider using a pump.  What you can do is install the drainage system like normal and have all of the water directed to the lowest spot on the property to be collected.  Then you bury a 55 gallon drum or some other large collection tub.  Inside of the drum is an electric pump with a hard pipe leading to the street or some other area you want the water to go to.  All of the water dumps into the drum and is then pumped away.  It is a very effective way to get rid of water and fix all of your drainage issues when there are problems with the grade.  Most people want to add dirt and try to alter the grade of their lawn when they have drainage issues.  It is often cheaper and more effective to just install a drain.  Hope this helps!