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FAQ

One of the many ways we serve our clients is as a trusted resource when they have questions. Here are just a few of the questions we often hear. Please contact us if your question isn’t answered here or if you’d like more information about any of these topics.

Chemicals
No. We will do the application, leave an invoice with watering instructions, and a flag in the yard indicating we have been there. We can call if you have a locked gate, dog, or just want to be notified by phone the day before your treatment.
Pre-emergent applications are put down to help prevent many weeds from sprouting, including crabgrass. It remains active throughout the spring and most of the summer months when the weeds begin to germinate.
If granular fertilizer is used, it is almost always safe to go onto the lawn, though we recommend that you wear shoes until you’ve had a chance to water or until it rains. If liquid weed control is used, you should allow the chemical to dry on the grass before children and pets are allowed on it. Drying time will vary with weather conditions. To be completely safe, wait 24 hours, then water.
No. Just as the pre-emergent stops weeds from growing, it will also halt the growth of grass seed. An alternative may be to plant seed very early and then, as the grass grows to a regular mowing height, mow the grass three times, after which, a pre-emergent can be applied.
Rain is beneficial following a fertilizer, crabgrass, or insect control application. If it rains following a broad leaf weed application (for dandelions, etc.), give the product one to two weeks. If at this time the weeds do not die, give us a call and we’ll come back to re-apply the weed control.

Watering
Nebraskans primarily use Kentucky Bluegrass, so in general, most cool season grasses need about .5 to 1 inch in the cooler months. In the hotter months, you should increase to watering 1 to 2 inches per session. We recommend that you water your lawn 2-3 times per week in the summer, for about an hour each section. Many factors such as the soil and weather play role in the lawn’s water needs.
Water infrequently, but when you do water, make sure the water goes deep into the ground so that water penetrates to the roots. Exceptions to this general rule would be for lawns that have new seed or sod. Otherwise, please avoid frequent, light watering.
If you have a choice, watering in the morning is best. Midday is tough because evaporation, and watering at night increases the chances of some diseases.
To help conserve water, mow your lawn at a higher setting, water in the morning, limit traffic over the lawn, improve turf rooting (by aerating) and avoid watering concrete areas.
No. Watering enhances and spreads out the application. However, if a liquid application is applied, please wait until the application is fully dry before watering.

Mowing
Please do not mow your lawn too short, particularly for cool season grasses such as Kentucky Blue Grass. If you mow the grass higher, it usually provides for a deeper root system, looks better, and is less likely to be invaded by weeds. The recommended mowing height for Kentucky Bluegrass is 2.5 – 3.5 inches.
Don’t cut any more than one third of the blade at any time. Any more than that can cause major problems and encourage more weeds, diseases, etc.
When mowing only a third or less with each cutting, you can safely mulch. The mulched grass will quickly decompose. As a result, nutrients and water from the leaf blade will go back into the soil. Bagging is helpful when the grass is really tall or when there are a lot of leaves on the lawn.
A dull blade can encourage diseases. A sharpened blade makes a clean-cut and keeps the yard healthy and always looking its best.

General
Aeration has numerous benefits, including less water run-off or standing water, loosened compacted soil, such as Nebraska clay, and increased availability of water and nutrients, enhanced oxygen levels in the soil, encouraging root growth and enhancing the activity of thatch-decomposing organisms, increased drought tolerance and improved overall health of your lawn as well as benefit prior to seeding because the seeds deposit into the aeration holes.
Grubs are actually the larval stage of a variety of different kinds of beetles, including May and June bugs and voracious Japanese beetles. Adult beetles lay their eggs in the soil in mid- to late summer. As the eggs hatch, they develop into the white-wormish looking larvae. As the larvae grow, they work their way down to the root zone of your lawn where they eat the roots. Grub control is largely a matter of timing so that they can be controlled in their early stages of development and before they go deep into the soil and go dormant for the winter.
Fall is a perfect time to plant, as long as the ground is workable we can install shrubs, trees, etc. The only thing that will prevent us from planting is if the ground is frozen and unworkable. The past few years we have been able to plant well into December. At the end of fall the plants will go dormant whether they are planted in the ground or still in their pot at the nursery. In their dormant stage there will not be any growth until spring comes around when they are active again. It is still important to water newly installed plants during their dormant stage to make sure they survive through the winter. Also a good layer of mulch will help insulate the soil and root system of the plant preventing the roots from freezing and drying out.
No. Moles mainly feed on earthworms. However, they do also feed on grubs and may interact together. Unfortunately, getting rid of grubs does not necessarily mean you will get rid of moles.
There are many options. Call today, and we will go over how we can help you get rid of the moles.

Design/Build
Design/build construction provides a single source of accountability from design, to estimate, to construction/installation, to billing. Enhanced communication throughout the entire project for revisions or any other customer concerns. Faster project completion with one source for design, bidding, scheduling, and installation.
A strong majority of plants we offer have a one year warranty. If any installed tree, shrub, perennial, etc. has received sufficient watering and care and still dies within a year of installation, that specific plant will be replaced with no charge to the customer.

Mulch
Applying mulch to planting areas provides a number of benefits. It prevents moisture loss for the plants’ root systems allowing the soil to stay moist and retain nutrients, earthworms, and other beneficial contributors that promote the plant’s health. Wood mulch gradually decomposes releasing renewable nutrients into the soil for the plants to feed on. It helps control soil temperature, keep the soil cool during the summer and insulating to retain heat during the winter. Mulch helps reduce weed growth, as a part of nature weeds will still grow over time but the loosely laying mulch makes removing weeds easy. Mulch also improves the appearance of the landscape beds making the color of the plants really pop and stand out. Keep a 2.5 to 3 inch base and make sure there isn’t excess mulch collected around the crown of trees and shrubs that can cause choking and drying out the plant.
No. Mulch contributes to a stable, moist environment that is good for trees, shrubs, and insects which unfortunately includes termites. Termites live in large social colonies and travel through burrowed tunnels that can reach 300 feet from their colony to collect wood and other cellulose to return to the other members of the colony. The soil conditions under mulch are favorable for termites to search for food as well as other insects; however termites do not feed on the mulch itself. A study done at the Structural IPM Program at the University of Maryland fed termites a steady diet of varying mulches to compare to a diet of white birch, their results found that not only did the termites prefer the diet of white birch of any of the mulches but their likelihood of survivorship was significantly lower under the diet of mulch. Studies in the field found an equal frequency of termite exploration under mulches, gravel/river rock, and exposed soil. So mulch itself does not attract termites directly. If you do have termites present contact an exterminator.
Applying river rock provides a few benefits, but is not as beneficial as mulch. River rock controls weed growth when installed with landscape fabric initially and is low maintenance since it doesn’t have to be replaced as often as mulch since it doesn’t decompose. Since river rock doesn’t decompose it does not provide renewable nutrients to feed the plants which subsequently may require extra fertilization. Must keep river rock areas clean of leaf and other plant debris, otherwise weeds will begins to grow between the landscape fabric and gravel. The large gaps between river rock provides more space for weeds to grow and the weight of the river rock makes removing the weeds a tougher task than compared to mulch. River rock is a thermal mass, on sunny hot days river rock will absorb and radiate heat raising the ambient temperature in the area of the landscape beds which can be detrimental to certain plants. During this heating and releasing process river rock can cause the underlying soil to evaporate moisture at a quicker rate increasing the likelihood for the plants’ to dehydrate and require more frequent watering. River rock does not provide any insulation during the winter which can cause the root system to freeze. We almost never recommend the use of river rock.
Landscape fabric helps prevent weeds from growing in landscape beds, but over time does more harm than good. Ideal soil for plants is cool, moist, and loose, its filled with nutrients and water that provide a habitat for earthworm and other insects burrow through which helps aerate the soil and promotes the health of the plants. Landscape fabric gradually dehydrates the underlying soil making it hard, dusty, difficult to dig new holes, and loss of organic matter causing earthworms and other beneficial insects to leave the area. Weeds can still grow on top of the landscape fabric when leaves and other plant debris get lodged in between the cracks of mulch or river rock that is covering the landscape fabric.
We recommend boulder or concrete block retaining walls and do not recommend timber retaining walls at all. Timber walls are susceptible to termite and fungi attack and will eventually rot losing its structural integrity. Boulder retaining walls are a great choice for a natural aesthetic. Their sheer weight makes them a great gravity retaining wall as they do not require a footing below the frost line or compacted base which helps reduce cost. Small cracks between the tight fitting boulders allows for water to seep through as a natural drainage system to prevent any erosion and soil runoff. Concrete block retaining walls are great for tight spaces and for a more controlled aesthetic. The block construction sits on a compacted gravel base which prevents any uneven settlement and helps drain water deep into the soil. Concrete blocks for retaining walls come in a large variety of shape, sizes, texture, and colors to fit any aesthetic. Both boulder and concrete retaining wall systems have a much longer lifetime than timbers as they do not rot or decompose, are not susceptible to termites and other insects, have a greater structural integrity so they will not shift over time, and are more flexible for design and installation when it comes to gradual clean curves or building tall walls.
We recommend pavers over any concrete slab. Concrete will inevitably crack due to heavy loads, uneven settlement, or expansions and contraction from changing season in the weather. Patching cracks in concrete is a temporary fixed as the slab will continue to break apart, often times right along the “fixed” crack, which only fills a split area which results in the slab losing its flat surface. Patching also dries a different color than the existing slab creating an unappealing aesthetic. Stamped concrete is often dyed to give it an attractive color when first installed, which is hard to match when patching creating ugly scars in the stamped surface. Paver patios avoid cracking because it is built out of individual units that will give with pressure allowing more play in any movement such as expansion and contraction due to season change. A leveling base of sand on top compacted gravel actually increases the paver’s structural capacity over time. If an area of the patio of individual paver does become damaged each unit can be replaced without disrupting the entire patio, which also makes paver patios very easy to make additions or revisions to.

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