Lawn Care In Reno: The Do’s And Don’ts You Ought To Observe This Fall

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Posted by Julien Stern | Posted in landscaping | Posted on 18-11-2016

Fall has finally arrived! The wind whistles your name as the nostalgic foliage refreshes your memories and the cool weather cradles you to relax. It is indeed that time of year again when we deserve to indulge in the relaxing ambiance of our own homes, specifically in the comforting setting of our front or back yard.

Seeing a green, luscious and colorful landscaping just puts everything into perspective, right? Starting every morning with a cup of coffee, the vibrant rays of the sun, tranquil chill and a breath of fresh air as the leaf changes colors and falls on the ground, is probably the fantasy that we all have. I admit, I do have the similar reverie and I bet you do too.

Now, in as much as you dream to have a sight of an amazing lawn and landscape, you have to do our part in order to achieve best results. The climate in every city or state is not the same all the time because there are factors affecting it, just like in Reno. Besides, lush landscapes are an import the arid climate in Reno.

Moreover, one of the most crucial parts of a successful landscaping project is the lawn maintenance. The tender, love, and care you give your lawn during fall are different than any other seasons, which is why you have to be aware of the proper lawn care. Here are the do’s and don’ts worth considering this fall.

 

  1. Don’t Forget To Rake

During fall, tree shed its leaves and foliage can be seen almost everywhere in your lawn. Given this, you should not forget to keep raking your lawn as often as possible. Why? The carpet of colorful leaves is not as appealing as it looks when it fatally knocks out the grass below.

It also blocks the sunlight and nourishment that your grass requires in order to thrive. Also, ignoring to remove leaves can lead to a soggy mat and smother your grass.

Raking lifts the grass, clears it of any sun-blocking leaves or other matter, and prepares it to grow. After raking the leaves, you can make a compost which is an excellent fertilizer for your garden and lawn.

 

  1. Don’t Use Fertilizers Mixed With Poison

Oh yes, if poison can kill humans, it could also be lethal to plants growing in your garden or even the grass in your lawn. Therefore, don’t resolve to use fertilizers with poison content at any cost. Application of this chemical will result in the burning of your lawn.

 

Plus, the poison will be absorbed through the roots of the plants to the leaves and it will kill it. It could also cause the weakening of the plants which is in contrast to its original purpose. Always aim for organic fertilizers to ensure that its safe and supplementary for your garden’s overall growth.

 

  1. Avoid Using Commercial Pesticides Or Insecticides

In your yard’s lifetime, the presence of annoying critters is inevitable. These pests feed on the leaves, stems, and roots of your garden plants or grass which leads to their death. Now, in leading with this, first, you have to determine the problem and provide a solution that will target it.

Using pesticides or insecticide have been the most common solution, however, you have to check the content before you purchase it. There are pesticides and insecticide with strong chemical content which frays grass and kills plants, but not the pesky critters. There are natural ways to deal with critters that are worth trying.

 

  1. Don’t Ignore Lawn Mower Maintenance

Oh yes, one of the most important tasks involved in proper lawn care is mowing the lawn. Cutting the grass at an ideal 3-inch height should be your aim when mowing. When you do this task, most certainly dull blades are not good because it can aggravate lawn care problems and opportunity for diseases and pests to take over. Hence, you should pay attention to your lawn mower maintenance. Here are the tips to help you:

 

  • Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades
  • Change The Air Filter
  • Change The Oil Regularly
  • Change The Spark Plug
  • Add Fuel Treatment and Stabilizer

 

  1. Get A Soil Test

Before you start reseeding your lawn or digging to grow shrubs, perennials or any other plants, you have to test your soil. Results of the soil test can help you determine the pH level and nutrient content, and will tell you what to do in order to apply the right soil amendments. Through this, you’ll know what type of soil you have and how much organic material your soil contains.

In Reno, the best time to do a soil test is in late fall just before the soil freezes or in early spring before the growing season. For this, you can collect soil samples first then send it to a lab for testing. Or, you can prefer the Do-It-Yourself Soil test kits, however, the former is more accurate. A collection of 10-15 samples with a depth of 2-12 inches and taken from different locations throughout the growing area.

Once it’s done, you need to submit soil samples, completed sample submission forms, and appropriate payment to the Reno County Extension Office then the lab may recommend doses of fertilizer or soil amendments suitable for your area. Results are usually mailed after two weeks although it may vary depending on the time of year and the number of samples the lab requires to analyze.

 

  1. Tend To Bald Spots

Bald spots are very unappealing and no matter how beautiful your lawn is, it always sticks out. These patches on the lawn may indicate bug infestations, seasonal dryness, mowing damage, pet waste, grass diseases, and killer weeds. So, before you try to solve it, make sure to be certain of the underlying cause.

 

One of the simplest and most effective ways to deal with bald spots is over seeding the lawn. Before that, you have to do these task first:

  • Rake the soil
  • Remove any leaves or debris in the turf
  • Cast the seeds over the turf
  • Spread about a half an inch of compost or topsoil on the lawn

After doing these, you can over-seed your Bermuda grass-filled lawn this fall with perennial rye grass which is ideal for the fairly cold weather in Reno. Perennial rye grass can thrive through the fall and winter and go back successfully in spring and over-seeding your lawn with it can promote a continuous green lawn. When the weather turns warm next spring, you can reseed your lawn with Bermuda grass or Zoysia grass.

Moreover, a fine fescue and a Kentucky bluegrass blend is also a great choice for fall, however, you may need to put a little extra effort on its maintenance.

  1. Fertilize Your Soil

The fall season is the ideal time to start planting and tending to your lawn to prepare them for the spring and thrive in winter. It is one of the secrets of a dense lawn which is a good protection against weeds.

When choosing your lawn fertilizer, pick the ones with high-nitrogen content as well phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. Fertilizers with potassium stimulate root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance, and cold resistance.

The aerating of soil is also an important thing to do and you have to do this before spreading fertilizer to your soil. As an alternative, you can make your own compost out of organic matters in your kitchen as well as the grass clippings.

Adding organic matter to your soil can increase your soil’s ability to hold on to the nutrients until your plants are ready to use them. The more organic matter you put into it, the better. In Reno, when you apply compost or any other organic materials of the kind, you can add up to one-quarter inch of compost on top of the grass. Rake or water it in and it’s best to do it after you aerate the soil.

 

  1. Water Your Lawn And Garden

An essential thing to do in order to keep your lawn healthy is through proper watering techniques. Watering depends on the climate in your area and during fall, your lawn will most likely not need as much water in autumn as it would during other seasons. However, it should be stopped in early fall.

You may anticipate precipitation in winter, however, it may not be enough to sustain the requirements your lawn needs. In connection with this, you may have to check your irrigation system early in the season and you may water twice a week and during the rest of the season, it may drop to once a week. You have to do this in order to ensure that evergreen shrubs and trees thrive throughout the dormant season.Your local water company or community will keep you posted on this, so, you don’t have to worry.

In case you didn’t know, landscape experts in Reno suggest fall that is the time to cut back on watering your lawn and during the late season, sprinkler systems should be turned off completely, which gives room got the turf to go dormant for the winter. Follow suggested procedures by Truckee Meadows on how to properly shut down sprinklers during fall in order to avoid any pitfalls.

 

Doing all these tips will guarantee a successful lawn care which will result to an excellent landscaping. Remember, the dense, green and healthy lawn is a crucial part of the entire landscaping project and it is one of the first things that home buyers look at when they check a property. Hence, if you’re planning to add curb appeal to your home and place it on the market, then it’s all the more reason to pay attention to it.

More importantly, your assessment of your capabilities is important. Why? It’s because DIY can help you save money but if you think you’re not fit to do these tasks then it’s the time to ask assistance from local contractors. This will ensure that you’ll get the best value for your landscaping in Reno and you’ll be able to make your dream a reality. Say hello to a new and refreshing view!

5 Ingenious Little Tricks To Achieve The Best Results For Your Landscaping in Reno This Fall

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Posted by Julien Stern | Posted in landscaping | Posted on 09-11-2016

Listen to the whistling wind and nostalgic chill in the air – it’s definitely autumn! The leaves are changing colors, trees start to shed its leaves, kids are going back to school, the NBA season has started and people are unpacking their sweaters from their closets. Indeed, fall brings changes to the weather as well as to activities people do. During fall, most of us just want to take a break and relax – relieve ourselves from the stress of the previous months. On the other hand, some may even want to spend time with friends or family, hiking and camping in the famous Lake Tahoe in Reno. Nature truly is a sanctuary.

 

Furthermore, in as much as fall brings changes to the weather, it’s also an ideal time to make renovations or updates to your landscaping. This season is a great time to prepare your lawn and garden for the next growing season or in spring. There are countless landscaping ideas for fall to choose from, you only have to select the best ones that fit your budget. Here are five ingenious little tricks to help inspire you for your landscaping in Reno this fall.

 

  1. Spread Mulch

Spreading mulch in fall plays a crucial role in plant health more than you can imagine. It is a simple and effective way to ensure the health of your landscape especially when the grass is dormant. It is beneficial because it protects plant roots from extreme temperatures and helps retain moisture in the winter season. Also, mulching is potent in suppressing weeds and keeps the soil around your plants’ roots warm in fall. In as much as you have prepared your soil for the season, you have to pay attention to adding mulch. Here are tips for you to follow:

  • Determine the size of the area that you want to cover.
  • Choose what type of mulch you want to use: wood chips, shredded bark, sawdust, cocoa hull mulch, and straw mulch.
  • Spread 2 to 3 inches of fresh mulch evenly across the landscape beds using the back side of a hard metal rake or using your hands.

Remember, the limited supply of water in the desert in Northern Nevada, especially Reno, means that landscapes must be water efficient. Meaning, adding mulch can help keep moderate soil temperatures, keeping them from swinging between extremes of heat and cold which is great for your lawn’s health.

Note: Buying mulch in bulk can help you save money and the trips to the store.

 

  1. Use Color To Your Advantage

Adding pops of color to your landscaping is a great way to make your yard or garden look more appealing. Fall is essentially a good time to plant because the soil temperature is still warm and encourages faster root growth. Autumn colors are in a wonderful assortment of bronzes, golds, reds, and purple to landscapes. Plant some fall perennials for bursts of rich, bright colors in flower beds and along walkways. Here are some plants that worth planting this fall:

  • Perennials: Autumn Joy sedum, dwarf plumbago, chrysanthemums, California fuschia, asters, and ornamental grasses.
  • Shrubs: Four-wing saltbush, Little leaf mahogany, Winterfat, Dorr sage, Rugosa rose, Pygmy pea shrub, Fernbush, and Silver buffaloberry.
  • Trees: Amur maple, Rocky Mountain maple, Incense-cedar, Common hackberry, and Goldenraintree.
  • Flowers: Gaillardia species, Linum perenne (perennial flax), Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian or Jupiter’s Beard), Sedum species, and Portulaca grandiflora (Moss Rose).

Note: In choosing the plants, flowers or shrubs to plant, make sure to consider the climate and your soil type. Pick the plants that thrive in Reno soil this fall.

 

  1. Take Good Care Of Your Lawn

One of the most relevant tasks that you have to think about is lawn maintenance. Fall is the perfect season to develop a lusher, greener, healthier lawn which adds astounding ambiance to your home. Keeping your turf healthy this fall will ensure that your grass will thrive through its dormant season. Lawn maintenance can be achieved by following these six tips and tricks:

  • Rake the leaves. Fallen leaves block direct sunlight and traps moisture which can cause the turf underneath to die, hence, it’s important to rake the leaves as often as possible.
  • Monitor Watering. If your lawn isn’t getting at least an inch of water a week, then install a simple rain gauge to keep the grass roots well hydrated especially now that the winter is coming.
  • Aerate the soil. By loosening the soil, your lawn will have the best chance to receive the nutrients and water it needs to grow healthy all throughout the fall and winter season.
  • Add fertilizer. Fall is the ideal time to fertilize your soil in order for your grass to get all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, thrive the entire fall season and come back beautifully in spring. A balanced fertilizer will also help your lawn develop stronger roots and store nutrients over the winter period.
  • Reseed your lawn. Spruce up your lawn by reseeding it to fill in bald or thin spots and contribute to a dense and healthy turf next summer. In reseeding your lawn, the excellent choice would be Perennial Rye grass. This grass type has high drought tolerance and grows very well in Reno soil.
  • Mow your lawn. Give your lawn one or a couple more cuts until it stops growing in early winter. Almost all of the grasses in the Truckee Meadows are classified as cool season grasses which grows taller and faster than warm season grasses. Hence, you have to keep track of the height in order to determine when and how often do you have to mow your lawn. Keep it at an ideal 2½- to 3-inch height to avoid snow mold, diseases or infection.

 

  1. Do Some Lighting

Thus fall, your landscaping could use some outdoor lighting. Brighten up your yard and give space for work or play after the sun goes down especially that the holiday is just around the corner. Your landscape could certainly use a little bit of illumination this all and you can do so by installing low-voltage landscape lighting in walkways, water features, or benches. You could also add lanterns and other illuminating lights as you desire. If you wish to highlight a single item in your garden like a statue, gazing ball or fountain, you should consider using a few landscape lighting fixtures with lower intensity bulbs. The installation of lighting for your landscaping should be left to the professionals because it requires expertise in electrical wiring and stuff.

Here are few outdoor landscape lighting ideas:

  • On stairs
  • Staggered along walkways
  • In plant beds to light up your home
  • Inside columns
  • Under sitting walls

In order to avoid any municipal violation, it’s safer to use LED lights. It can help you save money, it’s efficient and has longer lifetime compared to other lighting such as halogen. Plus, use of search lights or animated lights are highly prohibited in any district in Reno.

  1. Include Edible Vegetable or Fruit Garden

Landscaping is not just about aesthetics, you can make use of it to grow a variety of vegetable or fruits! It’s going to be a unique addition to your garden. Imagine, you can now grow organic and fresh produce which are the perfect ingredients to any sumptuous dish. Plus, once it blooms or bears fruits, it’ll certainly add color to your landscape. You can plant various vegetables and fruits such as:

  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Turnip
  • Cherries

If you only have a small area to spare for your vegetable garden, it’s not necessary to acquire extra plot of land. Many vegetables and fruits lend themselves well to container gardening. You have a lot of option for containers such as flower pots, pails, buckets, wire baskets, bushel baskets, wooden boxes, etc. For example, you have an extra large salad (24-30″) container, you can use it to plant tomatoes – no need to spend. The size of your container shall depend on the size of the vegetable or fruit that you will plant. Arrange them in an organized and well-designed manner and it’ll certainly be incredible.

Note: You must learn more about the fall gardening guide and the fruits or vegetables that flourish in Reno in order to make sure that you’ll have the best harvest next year.

 

Fall is a magnificent time to show off the rich colors of your landscape as well as the beauty of it. These five little tricks that we’ve mentioned are just guidelines for you to follow or consider in your landscaping and by following it, you’ll certainly be on the right track. Bear in mind that before doing any of these, you should already have a well-designed landscaping design and plan – be smart and wise. To make your landscaping in Reno dream a reality, hire a professional and experienced landscape contractor to assist you every step of the way. Pick the one that you deem perfect for the job and don’t fall for scams.

Celebrate the festivity of this season thru your landscaping and indulge in the beauty of it when it’s done! Besides, the holiday season is rapidly approaching, invite friends to dinner or have a little family gathering and set up your newly renovated yard. Surely, it’s going to be a blast!