Spring Landscaping in Omaha, NE – 2018
Now that spring has arrived and we’re delighting in the nice weather that comes along with it, there’s no better time to get on top of lawn care, landscaping, and various projects that need to be done on a residential or commercial property. To get yours looking its very best, and to get the most use and enjoyment out of it this year, there’s likely a multitude of things that are, or should be, on your agenda at this point.
Cleaning up debris, performing the necessary lawn treatments, servicing the irrigation system, planting and mulching, installation of new landscape features, power washing and painting, various property repairs, putting in a new deck or patio, making improvements to your outdoor living and entertaining space(s)…there’s a lot going on right about now, and plans being made for the duration of the spring, summer, and even fall already.
Busy season has arrived, indeed. When the first string of a few nice days with no snow cover hit, you can bet that your lawn care professional or landscaper of choice is being inundated with phone calls from that time forward. The same holds true for anything related to grounds maintenance or exterior construction/renovation. If you’re not one to plan ahead or have this in place well before that time, all is not lost, but you’re going to need to get on it relatively soon to ensure you can secure a spot on the schedule this year.
Whether enlisting the help of a professional or doing it yourself, the most important task any homeowner or property manager can do in preparing the lawn and landscape for spring is clearing the leaves and debris. A lawn coming out of dormancy needs a chance to dry and allow the frost to leave the ground. The crown of the grass plant needs sunlight to warm the roots and begin the process of photosynthesis, where nutrients are captured by the roots and moved through the plant, allowing it to grow and take on the rich green color. Landscapes should also be cleared of leaves and debris for the same reason. By getting that out of the way early on, it will be much easier to get started with lawn treatments, planting, and other projects that might need to happen in a timely manner.
If your lawn hasn’t been aerated recently, now would be a great time for that service as well. Aeration opens a small hole in the ground allowing the roots to breathe and spread more evenly through heavy clay and compacted soil. It also allows moisture and lawn treatments to better reach the roots.
Next, expanding on the application of lawn treatments, Jordan Nun with Fox Liquid Fertilizer Service emphasizes, “Applying a timely spring pre-emergent herbicide is the number one key to a beautiful lawn all summer long. This ensures you don’t have unsightly crabgrass and foxtail weeds, and it is always easier to prevent these weeds than to get rid of them after they’re up.
So when exactly should a pre-emergent be applied and how many fertilizer treatments are needed? It should be applied and watered into the soil prior to 55º soil temperatures. In Lincoln, that’s about mid-April. As far as fertilizing frequency goes, it really depends on the type of fertilizer you’re using. Be careful not to over-fertilize your lawn, especially in the spring; it can actually weaken the root system. At Fox Liquid Fertilizer Service, we use a specially-formulated nitrogen with a stabilizer, which keeps the fertilizer available in the soil for an extended period of time. Because of that, for those who utilize our services, we usually only recommend three fertilizer applications a year! Helping our customers achieve the greenest lawns possible with the fewest applications possible is our main objective. This is great for business owners and families alike because it saves on fewer applications and is less disruptive to everything else that’s going on around the house or with daily operations. Generally, while their specific needs will vary, business clients and homeowners want the same thing–green grass and no weeds! As we progress through the spring and into summer, with the new growth that’s happening, pay close attention to anything that looks out of the norm. One example might be noticing the signs of fungus or grub damage, which will typically look like large areas of brown patches, possibly loose patches of grass, or small brown spots all over the lawn. If you think your lawn has a fungus or grub damage, which is typically seen between the end of June to early September, stop watering and call a professional immediately! There are countless types of lawn diseases and they are often reversible but require different treatments. Get a free consultation and find out what’s going on!”
He also notes, “Lush green lawns are functional, beautiful, help prevent erosion and stand as a point of pride for many homeowners. That being said, take a close look at how you are utilizing the green space on your property. Consider planting a pollinator garden, which is a designated area in your landscape where you plant a variety of native flowers and grasses that attract and feed pollinators such as butterflies and honeybees.
Nebraska has some beautiful native plants that were designed by nature to live in our region. Get creative this spring by planting more native plants on your property. Often, they require less water and grow much better in our soils! We like to get our plants through the Nebraska Arboretum, and their Spring Affair event in Lincoln April 27-28 is a great time to check out their selection.
Also, we’ve covered weed control in your lawn, but for your landscaped areas, the best weed barrier is about 3” of mulch. No more or less, and no plastic needed!
For future reference, surprisingly, September is the best time to fertilize your lawn and generally fall is the easiest time to kill broadleaf weeds. Finally, aerating was previously mentioned, and it’s by far the best thing you can do for your lawn in the spring or fall.”
Along with a regular schedule of treatments, mowing, and watering, keeping the bare spots at bay and overseeding will help tremendously with keeping your lawn healthy, lush and vibrantly green. When doing that, perhaps consider introducing a newer variety of grass seed. The weather conditions are different each year, which in turn puts stress on certain types of grasses that struggle to adapt. The newer grass seed is specifically designed to best handle the current conditions, so they’ll have a better chance of withstanding them and thriving. Just like technology and devices like our phones have gotten smarter, so has the engineering of grass seed and other ag-based products!
For the do-it-yourselfers, you can find an excellent selection of lawn seed, fertilizer, weed control and pest control products at Northwest Feed & Grain in Omaha.
Aside from the essentials we’ve covered, this time of year people are always looking for ways to enhance the curb appeal of their properties. Some are preparing to list their homes for sale and others just want to give new life to their lawns and landscapes. The same holds true with storefronts and commercial properties, where image is incredibly important. These properties are responsible for making an impression on visitors and passersby, good or bad – oftentimes, the pivotal first impression.
In most cases the answer is as simple as clearing the area of all leaves and debris, trimming the shrubbery and pruning the trees, adding a fresh layer of mulch and maybe a little over-seeding of the lawn. Depending on the condition of the property, it may require clearing the landscape of old and overgrown shrubbery and replacing them with new plants with more curb appeal. For commercial properties with parking lots and walkways, there may be a need for repairs of potholes, fresh asphalt or concrete, or a fresh paint job of the stall outlines. Beyond that, structures on the property such as fences or outbuildings might benefit from a fresh coat of paint. It could even be time to repaint your home or commercial building.
For the residential and commercial projects that require painting, staining and refinishing, or even just a thorough power washing, you can trust Gerst Painting Inc. to get the job done to the highest standards.
Specifically for homeowners, Casey Hansen with Gerst Painting Inc. advises, “Most homes need to be repainted every 7-10 years, depending on weather conditions and materials. It’s best not to wait until there are lots of visible areas of peeling paint as this can lead to more costly preparation, repairs and possible wood/siding replacement.
Now that the weather is nice, walk around the entire house and look for signs that the paint has reached the end of its useful life. You’ll want to be on the lookout for cracked, bubbling, and peeling paint; any loose, separated, missing, or hardened caulking; or for fading and chalking paint, since paint breaks down over time from exposure to sun and the elements, leaving a chalk-like residue.”
While some projects are definitely best left to the professionals, there are plenty of others you can tackle on your own if that’s your thing. For any special tools or equipment required for your DIY projects that you don’t have handy in your garage or shed, keep Honeyman Rent-All in mind as a resource. They truly have everything you could possibly need to complete your project without having to invest an arm and a leg to buy something that won’t get regular use, particularly with respect to large equipment. In addition to their extensive inventory, Honeyman Rent-All even has trained staff on-hand six days a week to assist customers in selecting the right tool to complete their jobs successfully.
As you embark on this year’s spring landscaping projects, keep in mind that it’s not too late to bring on a professional to help if needed. Whether you hope to completely transform your property or encounter a problem and aren’t sure of the best solution, a little expertise goes a long way. That being the case, since many of our local professionals have an extensive amount of knowledge and experience to offer, just imagine the possibilities!