Category Archives: Lawn Management

Green Money Saving Lawn and Landscape Tips

A well planned landscape can save you lots of money. A lousy one can cost you lots of money.

Whether you hire a landscaper to install your lawn and landscape, or do it yourself, there are some things you should give close attention to aside from the standard design principles commonly followed today. These tips will help to “green” your lawn and landscape, and keep some green in your wallet.

Soil type and irrigation

What could be more green than saving one of our most important natural resources; water? If you have a heavy clay soil, and you want to grow almost any of our common lawn grasses, you should be certain that the soil is amended properly, or top soil added.

If this is not done, you will be at constant odds with mother nature and your pocketbook when the heat of summer arrives. The best practice for lawn grass irrigation is to water deeply, and infrequently, but if you have hard clay soils, and nothing else to absorb and hold the water for the plants, you will have to water more often, using less water each time to achieve similar results. If you attempt to water deeply on clay soils, the result will be excess runoff. When watering more frequently to avoid runoff, you will still need to have the same amount of water, but it will have to be broken up into several smaller increments. Either way, the water used is less efficient. You will lose water to runoff, or evaporation, neither of which is desirable, and in some places, it is even considered criminal!

To avoid this problem, you need to start before the landscape and lawn are installed, or renovated.

Make sure that there is sufficient top soil to become an adequate root zone for your lawn grasses and landscape beds. Plan your irrigation layout carefully to avoid having tree watering or bed watering on the same station with lawn watering. Each of these will require differing amounts of water, and you could end up drowning one type of plant while allowing the others to die of thirst! Be certain that your landscape beds are not built in a basin, and that they have good surface drainage, otherwise the plants being used could suffocate from excessive watering. Be sure to clump your plantings according to water needs and water use. Landscaping is more than just making a drawing, and choosing plants, it involves the proper placement of the plants to achieve the best combination of growing conditions.

Plant and bed placement tips

This tip will help you to save money, and “green” up your homes pest control program: When designing landscape beds, leave yourself a foot or more of space between the plants and the home. Do the same with bark mulch. That extra foot of space between your walls and plants can mean the difference between a full blown insect insurgency, and a healthy symbiotic relation between the great outdoors and the insect and mold free comfort of your indoor living space.

Pests use plants and bark mulch as a covered highway onto and into your home. The further you can keep these 2 elements from your exterior walls the better. You would probably be surprised at the difference just a few inches of space can make when it comes to insects. Instead of using the mulch between the plants and the foundation, try digging a trench, and adding coarse sand with pebbles on top. Tunneling insects like termites will find the sand and pebbles impossible to make a tunnel without having it cave in behind them. Other types of insects will see the space as being a cover-less dead end, and  and you will save yourself a lot of money on pest treatments in the long run.

Mowing Options Chemical Mowing

Mowing Options Chemical Mowing

Land Management Mowing options chemical mowing

Mowing can be a chore, 10 acres of mowing can take a lot of your valuable time, or a lot of money to hire someone to do it for you.

There are alternatives to mowing, even options that might make you a little extra spending cash. This option will cost money, but it will cost a lot less than the mowing option, and leave wildlife in place, while giving your watch and your wallet a little relief. That option is chemical mowing, and before you decide to reject it outright because of environmental concerns, you should read the rest of this page.

What is chemical mowing and trimming?

Chemical mowing and trimming are the terms used to describe the process of treating weeds and weedy grasses with a chemical to inhibit growth. Mowing chemically retards the growth of the plant, while still allowing it to provide erosion protection.

Many fence rows are adjacent to highway right of ways, and killing the grasses present may not be a good option, but suppressing the growth will save hours of backbreaking labor.

A proper treatment, with proper chemicals at the proper time, can virtually eliminate mowing and trimming for an entire growing season with as few as two treatments per year. Comparing this to the cost of mowing and trimming such areas, it is a real bargain.

Chemical mowing and the environment

A very good argument can also be made, that chemical mowing of pasture type areas has environmental advantages over mechanical mowing. There is less debris in the runoff to clog drainage, and less harm to wildlife living in such areas. Chemical mowing does not destroy the cover used by wildlife, it merely slows it down, ground nesting birds, and small mammals and reptiles living in the area can carry on as though nothing had happened, instead of being chopped to bits by a mower.

Chemical mowing products

Preventive growth regulators

The first class of chemicals is “pgr’s” these are preventive growth regulators. Most of these work by miniaturizing the plant, and can produce some amazing results both in growth rate, and lawn quality. What is the downside? These chemicals normally reduce wear tolerance, and are pretty expensive.

Systemic herbicides

The second class is systemic herbicide, used in lighter than normal dosages. salts of glyphosate are a good example. Most 41% glyphosate products are labeled for this use, and instructions on the proper methods and mixtures are included.

Chemical mowing and yellowing

One thing that you should be prepared for if you choose to use chemical mowing, is the fact that there will be some yellowing of the treated grasses. Usually the amount of yellowing that you are prepared to put up with will help you to determine the amount of time that the treatment will be of benefit. The yellowing can be overcome by fertilization.

Chemical mowing: Other uses:

If you are not comfortable with treating an entire lawn, or pasture, you can still use this process to chemically trim around walks, the edges of buildings and around such items as posts, fences, and trees. A light dose of a growth regulator around the base of a tree can help avoid such things as “Mower or trimmer blight” caused by the destructive forces of trimmer string or mower decks contacting the tree and taking off bark.

Chemical vegetation control in highway right of ways, should only be practiced by properly licensed individuals or companies.

See also: Chemical Trimming and Land Management Mowing Alternatives For Large Acreage