Standing water due to drainage issues can kill your grass and cause serious foundational issues, making it important to be aware of what causes drainage issues before they turn into a larger problem. This article will review five common landscape drainage problems to be aware of so that you can stop problems in their tracks and save money.
Even though the process of watering your grass might seem simple on the surface, it’s pretty complex. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could very quickly kill your grass by watering it too much or not enough. If you’re inexperienced with this task or just want a few tips, read this list of smart and effective ways to water your lawn.
Pay Attention to the Weather
When it comes to watering your yard, knowing what kind of rainfall you’ve received or how much is coming is vital. Most lawns need about one to one-and-a-half inches of water every week. This amount usually seeps down about six to eight inches, covering all the roots in that area.
If the expected rainfall is in the one to two-inch range, you won’t have to worry about watering that week. Doing so might drown your lawn. While grass is resilient, it’s best not to push it to its limits since Mother Nature will do that from time to time. If you’re in a drought, you might need to overwater a bit to ensure the grass’s health during that time.
Don’t Water Everything Equally
Many people believe that all parts of their yard should receive equal water—this isn’t the case. Some areas need more, while others require much less. If a particular spot in your yard gets a lot of sunlight throughout the day, it’ll need more water since most of it will evaporate. On the other hand, shaded regions will need much less water since the sun won’t be able to cause as much evaporation in those areas.
Water Early in the Morning
Even though many people joke about how early dads will wake up in the morning to work on their yards, there’s an actual reason for it when it comes to watering. When you water in the morning, then throughout the day, the water will either soak deep into the dirt or evaporate away. If these actions don’t happen, harmful fungi might start to grow on your grass. That’s why you should never water your yard late into the evening.
Don’t Start Slacking in the Fall
Obviously, spring and summer are vital seasons for watering. Spring is when the grass begins growing again, and summer is when it gets hot and sometimes too dry. Once it cools back down in the fall, many people stop watering their yards.
This is not a good idea. Fall is when your yard recovers from the hotter months of the year and needs water to do that. Also, if you fertilize your lawn during this time, your grass will need enough water to help that soak in. Until the ground freezes for the winter, you need to keep up with your watering habits.
Use the Right Sprinklers
When it comes to playing it smart and finding efficient ways to water your lawn, using the correct type of sprinkler is a good place to start. Each type waters the ground around it in different ways. Impact sprinklers are the most versatile because they can cover a circular area from anywhere between 40° to 360°. Even though they can reach far on their own, if you want to increase that distance, you can attach it to most standard tripods.
While they can cover a large area, a rotary sprinkler might be a good option if you have a smaller section of your yard. They cover a lot of the ground close to the source. However, the best choice for large open areas is usually an oscillating sprinkler. They cover a rectangular space with water, which tends to fall much more lightly on the ground since the water gets shot straight into the air.
Water Lightly in Certain Areas
Speaking of which, we haven’t covered the water’s intensity yet. It should be evident that you don’t want to use the jet setting of your hose nozzle to water the grass. Doing so could uproot the grass and cut holes through the dirt. Instead, you’ll want to sprinkle it lightly. This is especially the case in patches where you’ve planted new grass. Anything more than a mist could kill your grass before it even begins to sprout.
Check the Soil While Watering
One of the most challenging parts about watering your lawn is determining how much water you’ve delivered to your grass. You can’t look and tell how much there is. Luckily, a neat trick shows you how much water an area has received. You can set out some pie pans or a few tuna cans in the section you’re currently watering. Once they have about an inch or so of water in them, you can move on to the next area.
The only downside to this method is that it doesn’t account for different types of soils and their densities. Some dirt doesn’t absorb water as well as others, so you’ll need to check yourself to see how deep the water has sunk. Do this by sticking a shovel into the ground and pulling the dirt away to see the layers of soil. If the water has gone about three to four inches down into the earth, you should be okay to move to the next section of your yard.
Save Water Where You Can
So far, we’ve entirely focused on your lawn’s health, but to be smart about your watering, you need to save water wherever you can. Many of the previously mentioned methods will help you save on the water bill, but limiting the amount you’re outputting is the best way to do this.
If you’re watering by hand, try using lighter settings on your nozzle to slow down the amount of water that comes out. If you primarily use sprinklers, be sure to use impact and rotary types. These expel the least amount of water when in use. Be sure also to turn them off as soon as possible.
Install an Irrigation System
In the end, though, there’s no method of watering that’s easier or more consistent than an irrigation system. With one of these setups, you can control how often your water your grass and how long the system will run with the press of a button. This will save you time and money since you’ll never forget about leaving the water running outside again.
If you’re looking for a landscaping company in Baton Rouge that can install one of these systems for you, Hernandez Lawnscape is here to help. After we install your irrigation system, we can do much more for your yard, so take the time to check out the other services we provide.
One of the most often forgotten parts of maintaining your lawn is fertilizing it. Even if you remember, there’s still a right and wrong time to do it. Depending on the type of grass you have, this will also change when you should do this task. This can make things confusing, which is why we’re here today. We want to go over the best times of the year to fertilize your grass.
Best Time for Cool-Season Grass
If your lawn contains perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, or tall and fine fescues, you’ll need to follow the rules for cool-season grass fertilization. These types are most common in northern states. The ideal temperatures to fertilize them are anywhere from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. That means you can do it in the spring, fall, or both.
When fertilizing in the early spring, you should only use a light amount of fertilizer. However, in the fall, you can fertilize more heavily. This is because you want to ensure your grass has the strength needed to survive the winter.
Best Time for Warm-Season Grass
For those of you that live down south and have either Bermuda, St. Augustine, or centipede grass, you’ll need to adhere to the guidelines for warm-season grasses. For this type, early summer is typically the best time of year to fertilize your lawn. That’s because you need to make sure the temperature is between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even with this information, fertilizing your grass just right is a tricky process. If you do too little, it won’t work properly. Too much, and you might kill your lawn. That’s why it’s best to hire a professional. If you require lawn maintenance in Baton Rouge, you’ll want to call Hernandez Lawnscape!
The Time You Should Never Do It
Whether you hire a professional or do it independently, you should never fertilize in the winter. Just because there’s no snow on the ground doesn’t mean your grass is still growing. Once the temperatures drop close to freezing, your grass will go dormant for the season. Fertilizing it at this point will be completely ineffective.
If you live far enough south, your grass won’t be dormant for the whole winter, but since you need to wait for hotter temperatures anyway, fertilizing this time of year isn’t a good idea. The bottom line here is that you never fertilize during the winter.
One thing that many homeowners tend to neglect in their yards is pruning. Not pruning altogether is almost as bad as pruning your trees and bushes ineffectively, as this could end up damaging them. Fortunately, Hernandez Lawnscape is here to offer you pruning services in Baton Rouge, LA.
However, you’ll still need to know when to give us a call to come out and trim your plants. That’s why we’re listing out the top reasons for pruning your trees and shrubs. That way, we can help make sure your yard always looks its best.
Improve Quality of Plant Health
One of the most important reasons for pruning is to improve the health of a dying plant. If you ever notice a section of a plant is injured or diseased, you must take care of the damaged branches as soon as possible. Failing to prune the unhealthy branches in time can lead to the entire tree or bush dying before its time.
Affect Growth Rate
Even if your plant is healthy, pruning can still help improve its overall growth. Making strategic cuts on developing branches can cause a plant to grow even more in a particular area. This can lead to longer, stronger branches, or it could cause a flower or fruit to grow in its place, depending on the type of plant you prune.
Unfortunately, this is a precise process. Trimming the wrong areas can damage or even kill the plant, which is why you need professionals to help with this type of pruning.
Let In More Sunlight
One of the biggest problems with letting your trees and bushes grow freely is that they can cover other nearby plants that don’t stand as tall. Being blocked out from sunlight will quickly kill these plants. Regularly pruning your larger plants will help keep the smaller ones from suddenly dying on you.
Create More Room
Of course, even if you don’t have to worry about keeping your smaller plants alive, there’s a good chance that your trees and shrubs will eventually get in your way. Whether it’s the pathway to your front door or a narrow passage that you need to mow through, these plants can quickly cover areas you need to reach. Pruning on a regular schedule will keep this problem from occurring.
The final reason to prune your trees and bushes properly is simply for aesthetic purposes. Unkempt plants don’t look nearly as good as regularly pruned ones. A good example of this is privacy hedges. Hedges that you don’t prune will lose their perfect shape quickly.
If you want to take pruning to a higher level, you can shape your bushes into recognizable objects. Obviously, this will be much harder to upkeep, but if you go through with it, the results will speak for themselves.
Once you own your own home, there’s so much to do to truly make it yours. However, one area that people overlook too often is the backyard. There’s so much you can do with this space, and not enough people take the time to fully utilize what they have. If creating your own backyard oasis sounds like something you want to do, these tips will help you get a head start on the project.
Create a Game Plan Before Starting
We’re sure you’ve already begun brainstorming some ideas you want to implement for your backyard, but you need to start putting them down on paper. A game plan on what you want to change in your backyard will make the process much easier. This step will ensure that you don’t forget anything important and that you have the budget to back it up.
If you can afford to make all your planned changes, that’s not a problem. This backyard makeover doesn’t have to happen all at once. You can tackle it in parts to help spread out the costs. Just make sure you plan it out correctly so that you have what you need to make these modifications.
Build or Update Your Patio or Deck
No matter what plans you have in mind, all great backyards start with a quality patio or deck. This is the main entryway to your yard, so you can’t skimp out on it. Even if you already have one of these, there’s a good chance it can use an update.
Most patios are concrete, while old decks tend to use cheaper woods. These two materials don’t last long and can take away from your outdoor space’s aesthetic. Usually, starting from scratch is the best way to make an outstanding deck or patio.
Spruce Up the Greenery
Of course, once you move past the entrance to the yard, you’ll have a lot of greenery to deal with. Most of it will be grass, but you may also have some bushes and trees. If not, adding a few of these backyard essentials can spice things up.
If you want to take it a step further, adding a flower grove or a garden for fresh fruits or vegetables will add a lot of character to your yard. Plus, with the latter option, you will have a new source of food that transforms your backyard oasis into something functional and gorgeous.
Be Sure To Have a “Fun” Feature
Now, it’s time to pick out your backyard’s “fun” feature. This will be the aspect of your backyard that encourages people to come over and enjoy your oasis with you. You can add a fully equipped grill and some outdoor games, or, if you have kids, outdoor pools and swing sets will go a long way as well. Regardless of what you pick, this element will be the item that ties your whole backyard together, making it the focal piece of your property. Choose a feature that inspires you to spend hours enjoying your outdoor space.
Put Up Outdoor Lighting
What good is the fun factor, though, if you have to pack everything up when the sun goes down? Outdoor lighting is a must in any backyard you plan on spending time in. You’ll likely have a couple of porch lights already, but you’ll need much more than that to light up your whole yard.
Smaller lights along pathways are fantastic if there are multiple spots to go to throughout your yard. Fully lighting all your primary areas is a must as well. For large yards, this amount of lighting won’t be easy to do on your own. That’s why you should check out the options we offer for landscape lighting in Baton Rouge, LA. We are pros at setting up intricate lighting systems, so we’ll have no problem helping you with your yard.
Don’t Forget About Privacy Features
One aspect many people forget to consider when creating their backyard oasis is privacy. That’s why we have a tip dedicated to this point. Taking a swim in your brand-new pool might not feel as relaxing if you feel like your neighbors are watching you. Remember to install some high fences or tall hedge bushes. Some strategically placed trees can also do the job of keeping your backyard oasis to yourself.
Add Some Outdoor Furniture
While all our previous suggestions are vital, none of them matter much if there’s nowhere for people to sit and enjoy your hard work. Outdoor furniture is a must if you plan on spending any amount of time outside. There’s nothing better than relaxing on a comfy outdoor chair and taking in what Mother Nature has to offer.
If you ever plan on holding cookouts in your new and improved backyard, you’ll also need a table or two. Your guests will want a place to set their food down to eat it. Simply having a table where everyone can gather to chat or play a game is never a bad idea either.
Use Weatherproof Materials When Possible
Regardless of the furniture you buy or upgrades you make, you’ll want to ensure that it all uses weatherproof materials. Something that can last for years indoors might not make it through a summer of blistering heat or constant spring rainfall.
Items like cushions for chairs or wood used on a deck could break down in no time if you buy the wrong stuff. Even something as resilient as metal can deteriorate if you don’t buy rust-resistant furniture. You’ll need to consider all the weather conditions your area experiences each year before making any purchases.
Set Up a Plan for Maintaining Your Yard
Even after you’ve fully completed crafting your backyard oasis, you’ll never finish perfecting it. Yards require maintenance. At the very least, you’ll need to keep up with mowing the grass and trimming your other plants, but that’s not even close to the end of it.
If you ever need assistance with maintaining your backyard, Hernandez Lawnscape can help with that too. We do more than outdoor lighting—we also handle general landscaping and the installation of outdoor maintenance systems. If you’re working to create your own backyard oasis, feel free to reach out to our team of professionals to learn how we can help.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to keep your grass alive. Don’t worry, though—your lawn can always make a comeback. There are two primary ways for you to turn things around for your grass. They are overseeding and slit seeding. Both methods can be quite effective, but they don’t work the same way. That’s why we’re here to cover the main differences between overseeding and slit seeding.
When dealing with a dying lawn, many people simply spread some new seeds and hope they start growing. This isn’t very effective because grass seeds need to be deep in the ground to germinate. That’s why overseeding is the better strategy. The more seeds you throw out, the better the chances are that enough of them will start to grow.
However, if you don’t have a way to force the seeds into the earth, this method still isn’t the best choice. That’s why people typically combine overseeding with aeration, which is the process of pulling plugs of dirt out of the ground to ventilate it. When you overseed after this procedure, the seeds fall into the newly created holes, making them more likely to get deep enough to germinate properly.
The other option, slit seeding, is similar but streamlines the process a bit. Instead of creating holes that you spread seeds into after, this method uses a device that slices open the soil while directly dropping the seeds into the slits.
Even though this process is much more efficient, it takes much longer to implement fully, which is why many people go for the previous option. However, slit seeding is a much better choice for lawns that aren’t doing too well since it guarantees that the seeds get where they need to be to germinate.
What You Can Do for Your Grass
Now that you know the key differences between slit seeding and overseeding, it’s time to decide which one you want to go with for your lawn. Regardless of which one you pick, though, you need to put in the work to ensure that the seeds get enough water to start growing. While you could go outside and water the grass every day, a better option might be to install an irrigation system that will water your lawn automatically.
If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, we can help make it happen. Here at Hernandez Lawnscape, we help many homeowners and businesses with lawn irrigation systems in Baton Rouge, LA. Even after your seeds take hold, these systems will be useful for keeping a healthy lawn for many years to come, preventing you from needing to reseed again in the future.
Whether you have a garden that you’ve been working on or a grove of trees and bushes that you’d like to keep in good condition, several things could go wrong in these areas. Fortunately, mulch is a good “one size fits all” solution. If you’re wondering how that could be, we’re sure this list of the top benefits of adding mulch to your lawn will show you.
It Controls Weeds
Nobody likes weeds in their yard, but they’re even worse if they end up in your garden. Many weed killers exist on the market, but mulch is an excellent option if you want to try a more natural alternative.
Unfortunately, it won’t kill the weeds directly, but since it blocks sunlight from reaching the soil, it’ll stop new ones from growing. That also means that you’ll need to clear the mulch anytime you put in a new plant, but once it begins to sprout, you can push the mulch back in place.
It Helps Retain Moisture
Since mulch blocks out a lot of the direct sunlight, this will also help the ground it covers retain more water. Even after a good thunderstorm, the sun can evaporate much of the water that hasn’t thoroughly soaked into the soil. Mulch helps prevent that from happening.
Of course, you could end up drowning your plants a bit after heavy rainfall. That’s why installing a yard drainage system is a good idea, especially if you live in Baton Rouge, LA, since we get a lot of rain down here.
It Can Deter Certain Pests
Let’s start this point by clarifying that mulch won’t stop birds or rabbits. If those are the pests you’re dealing with, you’ll need to find a different solution. However, many bugs such as beetles and cockroaches don’t enjoy the scents of certain types of mulch, like those made from cedar and cypress. Before buying some bags of mulch for yourself, read into which kinds of bugs they help deter or ask a store associate for some assistance.
It Protects Against Extreme Temperatures
As previously mentioned, mulch can block out a lot of the sunlight that would typically reach the topsoil of your yard or garden. That means it’ll be easier to regulate the temperature of the ground by using it. It’s possible for your garden to get too hot, which can be detrimental to certain plants, so the mulch will make it easier for them to thrive.
This also works in colder situations. Mulch is very good at preventing frost, and if it’s layered well enough, it can even stop the occasional freeze. This will give your plants a little more time to thrive before the coming winter.
It Looks Good
Our final benefit for adding mulch to sections of your yard is more of a personal one, but it’s hard to deny that a well-mulched yard looks great. Mulch helps add color and uniformity to your groves of trees and gardens full of flowers and vegetables. Plus, it doesn’t die like grass, so it’ll look good all year.
When it comes to yardwork, making sure your lawn is healthy and well-kept is easy. Gardening, on the other hand, is much more challenging. Most plants need meticulous care to thrive, so you need to ensure you know what you’re doing.
However, things can go wrong at any point in a plant’s lifecycle, which can catch even the best gardeners off guard. Regardless of what you’re trying to grow, here are some general gardening problems you might run into and how to fix them.
No Initial Growth
The first problem that any gardener will potentially run into is not having any plants at all. Just because you put the seeds into the ground doesn’t mean there’s a guarantee that something will come up. Most commonly, plants fail to grow because of overwatering, especially if you’re new to it. Too much water can rot the seeds before they even have a chance to grow. However, even when that happens, a few of them will probably survive.
If nothing comes up at all, there’s a good chance that your seeds were expired. Whether you bought them from a store or used them from a previous garden, plant seeds become much less effective after a year or two. No matter which of these issues you’re dealing with, buying new seeds and replanting them is your best course of action. Also, be sure not to overwater them if you accidentally did that before.
Signs of Wilting
Once the plants start to pop out of the ground, the next issue you will have to deal with is wilting. Wilting can occur if you overwater your plants, but it can also happen if you don’t water them enough. Watering a garden is a delicate balance that takes some time to learn how to do. That’s why this problem is more common for beginners.
Fortunately, learning how to fix it on your own is easy. If a plant is wilting and the dirt is very damp, you overwatered it. If it’s dry, you didn’t water it enough. If you don’t want to figure out the perfect amount through trial and error, online videos can quickly teach you the basics of watering.
Weak Stems and Lack of Growth
Even if your plants aren’t wilting, there’s a chance that they still might look weak or stop growing altogether. When these things happen, it typically means that the plant isn’t getting enough nutrients. Plants get nutrients through sun exposure and the soil. If your plants aren’t receiving around six to eight hours of sunlight a day, this is likely the source of the issue. Removing the items blocking their sun exposure or moving them to a better location will remedy the problem.
If the soil is the source of the problem, it will be harder to fix but not impossible. If it’s feasible, you can try removing your generic dirt and putting in some more nutrient-rich soil. If that’s not possible, buying some fertilizer is a great alternative. Just make sure it’s not too nitrogen rich because too much nitrogen can cause a similar problem.
If none of these things seem to fix the issue, it could just come down to the fact that your plants are too close to each other. Like animals, plants must share their food; if their neighbors are nearby, there won’t be enough to go around. Replanting them in a more spread-out fashion should help with this issue.
Unfortunately, plants aren’t immune to different types of diseases. While there are numerous kinds to worry about, a good thing to note is that most of them occur in damp or humid climates, so making an effort to remove excess moisture will ward off many of them. Smaller diseases such as black spots and other spot-related issues only spread through water, so making sure that those leaves remain dry will cause them to go away. If you want to remove it more quickly, you can prune the infected branches.
Problems such as powdery mildew, blight, and damping-off must be taken much more seriously, though. These can spread through the air, so you’ll want to remove infected branches immediately. In some cases, removal of the entire plant might be necessary. Regardless of the disease, you need to make sure that you thoroughly disinfect your gardening equipment after dealing with the contaminated plant.
Many animals in the wild will find your plants to be a tasty treat. Rabbits are a common culprit. They’ll eat just about anything, so if they’re prominent in your area, you’ll want to put up some wire fencing with gaps smaller than an inch apart. Birds can also be quite destructive in the early stages of a plant’s life. They love to eat seeds out of the ground and can sometimes pull up newly developed plants as well. There are bird netting options that you can buy to keep them out.
However, neither of these will stop troublesome insects. There are so many that can fatally damage your plants, but aphids and Japanese beetles are some of the worst. Fortunately, neem oil works well for keeping both of these off your plants, and it’s a natural option. However, there are still plenty of store-bought options that will safely protect your garden.
Brown or “Burnt” Leaves
Finally, if the leaves on your plants start turning brown or look like they’ve been burnt, that’s usually a clear sign of either over-fertilization or potential chemical burns from a harmful insecticide. Either way, you always need to be careful with the number of additional chemicals you add to your plants. Even if they’re safe to use, too many of them can lead to irreparable damage.
Obviously, all these gardening problems and how to fix them are a lot to take in, especially for those new to gardening. Luckily, no one said you had to do it alone, and Hernandez Lawnscape is here to help. We offer all kinds of yard maintenance in Baton Rouge, LA. From lawn care to flower bed weed control, we do it all.
Plus, if you feel like your biggest struggle is watering, we can help with that too. We can install an irrigation system to help water your garden more often or a drainage system if you tend to overwater. No matter what it is that you struggle with, we’re here to help.
When the time comes for people to sell their homes, one of the first questions they ask is, “How can I increase the value of my house?” There are obviously plenty of ways to do such a thing, but many homeowners tend to overlook the power of a well-maintained landscaping.
We have been servicing clients in Baton Rouge, LA and surrounding communities, offering professional landscaping & landscape maintenance services at affordable prices to the community for a long time now. If we have learned anything, it’s that offering our customers the best in customer service is as important as the lawn care services we offer. Hernandez Lawnscape believes that every customer deserves a professional experience to ensure our clients are extremely satisfied with our work. Now we are improving out site to make it easier than ever to find and request the services you may need.
At Hernandez Lawnscape, your satisfaction is our highest priority. We want our clients to be 100% satisfied with every project and service that offer.
To ensure this level of satisfaction, we offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are ever not 100% Satisfied with our work, simply contact us and we will make it right Free of Charge. That’s how sure we are that you will love the work we do.
Our Service Area
Hernandez Lawnscape services Denham Springs, Baton Rouge, and the Surrounding Areas. Unsure if we service your area? Give us a call and speak with one of our expert staff. They will be glad to check your address, and if you are in our area, schedule service for any of your lawn care needs!