Category Archives: Articles

Articles

Bifen XTS

Bugs in the lawn and home are never any fun.  If you have ever wanted to try a professional grade product, take a look at Bifen XTS.  It’s easy to apply as long as you have equipment to spray a liquid.  A hand sprayer or backpack sprayer will work but it is hard to calibrate them sometimes.  We suggest the XTS version over the IT version due to it’s make up.  The XTS is in an oil base and mixes in water much easier.  The IT is a lot thicker and will sink to the bottom of your spray bottle if your not carful.  When you read the label, there is a wide range of insects that are covered by Bifen making it a staple in most pro’s trucks!

lawn care

Sharpen Your Mower Blades

This subject will never get old!  It’s something that is such a simple task yet is over looked.  Most people should sharpen their blades at least 3-4 times a year.  When your blades are sharp the mower does a better job of mulching, it cuts the grass instead of tearing it and is just overall healthier for the lawn.  Watch the video and see what we mean!

 

mulch, matthews landscape

Changing Mow Directions

How you mow matters…actually matters a lot!  When you mow your lawn the same direction every week you will start to develop ruts or tracks in your lawn.  This happens when the weight of the mower travels the same path every week.  Before long you will start to notice actual grooves in the yard.  This can easily be prevented by changing the direction you mow each week.  Mow at different angles, go from front to back, side to side or any other pattern you can come up with.  In the long run you wont regret it!  If you are starting to see some effects of tracking, consider using a aerator on the lawn to break down the top layer and help give it a head start.

Bag Worms on Hawthorns

So we have been doing this for a while now and are seeing something for the first time. Bag Worms are a bug that are fairly common to be seen growing on Juniper Trees and other cypress type plants. More recently we have been seeing a species of bag worms growing on Indian Hawthorns. As you can see in the video, they physically eat the leaves away to the point that almost all of the foliage dies and falls off. The plants is still alive but it has no more leaves. It happens very fast and cant be ignored. This is also a good example of why we say getting on a preventive plan in a good idea.

mosquito

Mosquito Eggs

Did you know a mosquito could pay up to 300 eggs in an area the size of a water bottle cap?  It’s true!  The amount of area needed would blow your mind.  This is one of the main reasons we always say it is important to remove any standing or stagnant water from your yard.  It is also why using a quality insecticide is so important.  The bugs will carry the product to the water where they are laying eggs and infect the entire batch of new mosquitos getting ready to hatch.  Watch the video and see more about what we mean.

 

agapanthus

Agapanthus is about to Bloom!

Have you looked at your agapanthus lately? It’s almost time for them to bloom! This is truly a sign that summer is here. They make a great addition to any landscape and provide a very unique look and color as well. Also referred to as “Lilly of the Nile”, they come in 3 different colors, purple, blue and white. They are very hardy and can come back from even some of the colder temperatures like this last winter. There isn’t much maintenance involved with them either. Let us know if you have any questions about this great plant and how to incorporate them into your existing flower beds!

mulch, matthews landscape

Weed Eaters vs Fences

 

Some battles are as old as lawn maintenance it’s self…Weed Eaters vs Fences! I wish I could say there was an easy way to deal with this but there is not. Regardless of how careful you are, when it comes to trimming against fences there is going to be some line damage to the wood. There are a few “unsightly” alternatives but Im not in love with any of them.  We have seen people use brick pavers to line the fence.  This could get costly and also can look pretty random.  Some people even will use the metal edging for outlining your landscape beds against the fence.  Again, not very sightly.  The one that seems to make the most sense would be attaching a extra piece of wood to the base of the fence.  There is still going to be some damage to even this piece however the thicker wood will last much longer than the thiner fence boards.  Ultimately, unless you have small animals that will escape, have the fence stop just short of the ground is the best answer to fixing this problem in our opinion.  Hope all this helps!

Hydrangeas and Soil pH

Not many plants get more traditional or southern than Hydrangeas.  They provide your landscape with very large and beautiful blooms for several months during the summer.  What you might not know however is why some plants bloom a different color than others.  It all has to do with the soil pH the plant is growing in.  When a plant is growing in an acidic soil where the pH is around 5.5 or lower  you will get blue blooms.  When you get a more basic pH of 6.5 or higher you will get pink blooms.  It is also not uncommon to see blooms with shades of Purple when you get pH’s in the middle.  You can actually change the color of your plants bloom by altering this pH.  Im sure you have heard about putting old rusty nails or other metal at the base of the plants.  As it rust the water will bleed into the soil and alter the pH and change the color of the blooms.  Also, remember to make sure these plants get plenty of shade.  They don’t like the afternoon sun very much and will wilt and get droopy.  Hope this helps!!!

Valve Box Covers

If you have a sprinkler system then you see some of these in your yard. Better yet, I bet you have chopped a few up with the lawn mower or had the dog eat one or two! The are valve covers and are a part of your sprinkler system. The green lid is a top for the total valve box that protects the valve underground. They are very important and you need to make sure they are clear and easy to find. The valve box keeps dirt and other debris from covering the valve up. This matters most when you go to perform maintenance on your sprinkler system. If they are covered up and start to have issues it could get pretty costly trying to use a locator to find them all. We buy ours at Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply on Lynbrook Ave. Hope this helps!

 

Using Good Fuel

Most people only ever use the cheapest gas possible for their lawn equipment.  Something to consider this year is the life of your mower.  Did you know something as simple as using the high octane or ethanol free fuel will help your mower to not only run better but last longer. Look at it as a cheap insurance policy to make sure your equipment lasts longer or need fewer repairs.  Fewer repairs and longer life means money saved!  Also, when it comes to your 2 cycle fuel, use a product like TruFuel50 that has cleaners, stabilizers and ethanol free fuel. You wont regret your decision!