Ways to Conserve Water With Your Irrigation System

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It takes a lot of water to keep your landscaping looking lush and green all summer long, which can become a challenge as we enter the dry season here in Florida. Using a lot of water during the dry season not only increases your utility bills, but it can also lead to water shortages – especially during a drought.

Reducing the amount of water you use to maintain your garden can help your wallet and your community. And, thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice your beautiful greenery if you want to cut down on your water consumption! There are a few methods you can use to keep your grass green while conserving water:

Adjust Your Irrigation Settings Seasonally

Perhaps the easiest and most effective way to conserve water year-round is to adjust your irrigation settings each season. Doing so will ensure that you aren’t using more water than is necessary. If you aren’t sure how to optimize your irrigation system for the season, a local expert can help you configure the settings properly to set you up for success.

Use Weather and Moisture Sensors

Many new irrigation systems have special features that are designed to decrease your water consumption while keeping your landscape happy and healthy. Two excellent features to look for are weather and moisture sensors, which will automatically adjust the irrigation settings based on how much water is in the environment. It will increase water flow on very hot and dry days and decrease it when it’s more humid or rainy out.

Use Landscape-Based Controllers

From the types of plants and soil that you have to the amount of sun your space gets, there are many factors that impact how much water your landscape needs to thrive. It can be challenging to take all of these factors into consideration when creating your watering schedule, especially during the dry season when it’s harder to calculate just how much water your plants need. That’s where landscape-based controllers can come in handy. These advanced irrigation devices will analyze every aspect of your landscape and choose the optimal way to water it.

Contact the Experts at Grasshoppers

It can be challenging to keep your lawn green and lush, even without the added challenge of water conservation. If you want to keep your grass looking great while cutting back on your water usage, turn to your local experts at Grasshoppers! Our team has proudly served the Orlando FL area for over 19 years, so we have plenty of experience navigating the weather patterns and landscaping needs of this area. To get started, give us a call today!

How to Water Your Florida Lawn

Image of a lawn in Florida - how to water your Florida lawn - Lawn care from Grasshoppers in Orlando FL

Image of a lawn in Florida - how to water your Florida lawn - Lawn care from Grasshoppers in Orlando FLLawn care can be a difficult and daunting task. There are so many different things to consider: the type of grass, the amount of shade, fertilizing schedules, and so on. But there is one thing that all lawns need: water. Knowing how to properly water your lawn will help it grow better and look greener all year round. To help you out, the lawn care experts at Grasshoppers have compiled their top tips on how to water your Florida lawn.

 

Why Watering Your Lawn is Important

Your lawn needs water to grow and stay green, especially in the hot and sunny weather of Florida. A regular watering schedule can encourage your grass to root deeper, which encourages hardier grass and can keep your lawn looking great no matter what time of year it is. Watering your lawn correctly can keep your property looking great while saving you money on lawn maintenance and utilities.

 

How Much Water Does Your Lawn Need?

Generally, most lawns in Florida need about an inch of water every week, but this can vary depending on a few different factors such as the type of grass or amount of shade in your yard. For instance, Bermuda grass does not need as much water as St. Augustine grass because it is more drought-tolerant. Other factors to consider are the area’s climate and time of year. If you need help determining how much water your lawn needs to thrive, a lawn care expert can examine these factors and help you create a great watering schedule.

 

When is the Best Time to Water Your Lawn?

In Florida, the best time to water your lawn is in the early morning to avoid water evaporation. We recommend watering once per week during warmer weather, and once every two weeks once the temperature drops. You will want to water deeply and thoroughly to encourage deep roots and hardier plants. Here are some signs that your lawn needs more water:

  • Grass blades are folded or limp
  • Your footprint remains on the lawn
  • Grass blades are blue-gray in color

 

Lawn Care Experts in Orlando FL

If you don’t have the time or expertise to provide your lawn with the care it needs, don’t worry! The lawn care experts at Grasshoppers in Orlando FL are here to help. We offer both residential and commercial lawn care services, including specialized services for HOA communities. If you need help caring for your lawn, just give us a call today!

How to Garden in Florida With Allergies

Gardening with allergies in Florida - Grasshoppers Landscaping - Orlando FL

Gardening with allergies in Florida - Grasshoppers Landscaping - Orlando FLItchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion can quickly turn a day in the yard into a miserable venture. Gardening when you have allergies can be a real challenge, particularly here in the sunny state of Florida. Fortunately, however, there may be some solutions! By following a few simple steps, you can enjoy time in your garden without worrying about an uncomfortable reaction. Here are our tips for gardening in Florida when you have allergies:

 

Avoid Known Allergens

It goes without saying that you should avoid anything that you know you are allergic to. If possible, remove any allergy-inducing plants from your property, or consider hiring help for those specific areas of the garden. That said, many of us don’t know what exactly we are allergic to, which is where the other tips can come in handy.

 

Plan Ahead With a Pollen Map

Pollen maps monitor the daily pollen count in a given area. A pollen count is the number of grains of pollen in a cubic meter of air, and you can use this number to determine which days are best for gardening. On dry and sunny days with a high pollen count, it may be best to stay indoors and plan your yard work for another time.

 

Wear Protective Gear

Gloves aren’t just there to protect you from slivers or thorns; they can also help shield your skin from coming into contact with allergens. Consider wearing long sleeves, long pants, gloves, a painter’s mask, or some protective glasses. While that may seem like overkill – especially on a hot day – it can protect you from anything that would trigger a reaction. Also, avoid touching your face or eyes while gardening.

 

Pick Allergy-Friendly Plants

Some plants produce more pollen than others. With a little bit of planning, you can fill your garden with plants that are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. To find allergy-friendly plants, you can ask your local experts or follow these tips:

  • Pick female dioecious plants: With dioecious plants, the sex is separated. That means female dioecious plants do not come with pollen-producing male flowers, so they are less likely to aggravate your allergies.
  • Pick perfect-flowered plants: Perfect-flowered plants have both male and female components in the same flower. Because the pollen does not need to travel in the wind to reach the female part of the plant, the pollination is fairly contained.
  • Look at the OPALS rating: The Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS) is an allergy rating system that measures a plant’s potential to cause allergic reactions. This scale considers everything from pollen allergies to contact allergies and can be a good reference point for individuals looking for allergy-safe plants.

 

Avoid Mold Spores

You may not think that you have mold in the garden, but mold spores can hide anywhere – particularly in mulch, compost, and potted plants. Avoiding mulch and compost can prevent you from coming into contact with mold, which could help you avert a reaction. If you still want to mulch or compost in your garden, consider hiring help.

 

Shower Immediately After Gardening

Showering and changing your clothes can help you avoid a reaction after the gardening is over. If you can’t shower right after gardening, at least change your clothes and wash your face and hands to wash away any allergens that could cause irritation later.

 

Consider Taking Allergy Medications

If your allergies are severe, consider consulting your doctor about allergy medications. A non-drowsy antihistamine can prevent allergic reactions, which may make gardening a more pleasant task.

If you have taken all of these steps and still struggle with allergies while gardening, it may be best to limit your exposure to the outdoors. To keep your yard looking great while avoiding allergens, call the landscaping experts at Grasshoppers today! We have proudly served homeowners throughout the greater Orlando FL area for over 19 years, and we are prepared to meet all of your gardening needs. Call us today to get your quote!

5 Tips for Winterizing Your Lawn

how to winterize lawn in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers Landscaping Services

how to winterize lawn in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers Landscaping Services5 Tips for Winterizing Your Lawn

Winters in Florida are unique. Rather than being filled with piles of snow or weeks of rain, we get blue skies and sunshine. Since the winters here are so mild, many people think that they don’t need to prepare their lawn for winter. However, Florida winters are colder than the rest of the year, which can take a toll on plants that are used to hot weather. Despite the sunshine, it’s still important to get your property winter-ready. Here are 5 tips for winterizing your lawn:

 

1. Let Your Grass Grow Taller

Taller grass is able to withstand colder temperatures. Allowing your lawn to grow slightly taller than usual can protect the roots from frost, which may increase your lawn’s ability to endure frigid temperatures.

 

2. Don’t Fertilize Past September

It’s a good idea to apply a fertilizer treatment in early fall so your lawn has a boost of nutrients before entering winter. However, fertilizing in cold weather could cause your lawn to grow when it should be dormant. This could cause your grass to become sensitive to the cold, which may cause significant damage.

 

3. Water Your Lawn Less

When cold weather hits, your lawn will go dormant. That means the lawn will stop growing as much, and it may turn a brownish color to conserve nutrients. This is a natural process and does not mean your lawn is dying. However, dormant lawns don’t need as much water to survive, so it is best to cut down your irrigation schedule to once every week or two. If you see footprints in your lawn, water a little more frequently.

 

4. Overseed to Keep Green

Overseeding is the process of adding more grass seed to your lawn without mixing them into the soil. This allows fresh grass to fill out your lawn, which creates a thicker and greener appearance. Overseeding during the winter months can keep your lawn looking green even if the grass is dormant and turning brown.

 

5. Use Turf Colorants

Turf colorants are another great way to keep your lawn looking green, even as the grass goes dormant for the winter. Turf colorants are specifically designed to be a safe and environmentally-friendly option for covering up any browned areas or blemishes in your lawn.

Lawn Winterization Experts in Orlando FL

Keeping your lawn looking great through the winter can be a challenge, especially as the grass goes dormant and turns brown. If you want to keep your lawn looking great year-round but aren’t sure where to start, call the experts at Grasshoppers in Orlando FL today! Our skilled lawn specialists have the knowledge and experience to keep your grass looking green and healthy no matter the time of year. Just contact us today to get a quote!

Winter Tips for Your Florida Landscape

How to prepare your landscape for winter in Orlando Florida - Grasshoppers

How to prepare your Florida landscape for winter - Grasshoppers landscaping service in Orlando FLWinter Tips For Your Florida Landscape

Since Florida winters get mild temperatures instead of piles of snow, it may seem unnecessary to prepare your landscape for winter. However, many of our tropical plants thrive in high temperatures, which means they may struggle in the colder winter months. Thankfully, with a little bit of preparation, you can keep your property in great shape through the cold season. Here are our top winter tips for your Florida landscape:

 

Put Down Mulch

Mulch is an incredibly effective way to protect your landscape from cold weather. Not only can mulch help sustain soil moisture and inhibit weeds, but it can also insulate heat to keep your plants from freezing. By layering your garden beds with 3-4 inches of mulch or pine straw, you can keep your plants healthy through the winter.

 

Prune Your Trees and Bushes

Late fall or early winter is a great time to prune your trees, shrubs, and bushes. Doing so allows you to clear pathways while removing any dead or vulnerable branches. Winter weather means that your plants will have fewer resources to stay healthy, so selectively trimming your trees can help keep them strong through the cold.

 

Water Newly Planted Trees

Newly planted trees require plenty of water to develop strong and healthy roots. Even if the tree looks dormant in winter, it is still working to establish its root system. Since Florida doesn’t get much rain in the winter, we recommend watering newly planted trees to ensure they have the resources needed to develop sturdy roots.

 

Fertilize Your Lawn

In Florida, grass typically goes dormant during the winter months. While dormant, your lawn won’t grow as fast or take in as many nutrients. That’s why it’s crucial that your lawn is in good shape before cold weather hits. One way to give your lawn a boost for winter is to apply a lawn fertilizer treatment in early fall. Fertilizer is filled with nutrients that can help your grass withstand the winter chill.

 

Cover Less Hardy Plants with Fabric

Fabric can help insulate your vulnerable plants and protect them from harsh winter frosts. We recommend using fabric rather than other materials such as plastic, which may form condensation and freeze over. Fabric does not run the risk of collecting condensation, which means that it is more effective in protecting your plants from the cold.

 

Be Cautious with Holiday Decorations

If you plan to set up electric holiday decorations, don’t forget to keep your landscape safe! Things like hot light bulbs or loose electrical wires – especially laid out over lawns – can damage your plants and even become a safety hazard for anyone on your property. Be sure to carefully set up your holiday decorations, and if you work with a landscaping company, let them know where you’ve placed your decorations.

 

Experts in Winter Landscape Maintenance

If you want to keep your landscape looking immaculate throughout winter, turn to the professionals at Grasshoppers! Our landscaping specialists are highly skilled in preparing your property for colder weather, and they can help you build a personalized maintenance plan that will keep your yard looking great all year. No property is too big or too small – and we even provide services designed for HOA properties! If you want help winterizing your Florida landscape, call us today to schedule an appointment.

How to Protect Your Yard From a Hurricane

Pruning branches in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers talks about how to protect your yard from a hurricane.

How to Protect Your Yard From a Hurricane

Pruning branches in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers talks about  how to protect your yard from a hurricane.

Though the Florida weather is picture-perfect most of the year, it can take a turn for the worst during hurricane season. These severe tropical storms can cause major damage to your yard, especially if you haven’t taken the proper precautions. But, protecting your garden from a hurricane begins well before you receive a storm warning. Here are some ways you can prepare your yard for a hurricane:

Early Planning

The way you set up and maintain your yard plays a large role in how ready your yard will be for a hurricane. Some of the best ways to keep your garden storm-ready include:

  • Choose the right plants. Not all plants are equipped to handle strong winds or heavy rains. Choosing trees and shrubbery that are known to withstand hurricane conditions is the first step in preparing for these storms. Trees such as the yaupon, Southern magnolia, or cabbage palm are some popular choices. If you aren’t sure how to choose hardy plants, it may be useful to call a professional landscaper for help.
  • Regularly prune your trees and shrubs. Having a regular pruning schedule can help keep your plants strong and well-prepared for harsh weather. Pruning encourages an even shape and a dominant trunk, while also removing overly long branches or damaged areas. Additionally, air can travel through well-pruned trees and shrubs better.
  • Get rid of diseased or unstable plants. Trees or shrubs that aren’t strong enough to stay in the soil may become projectiles in heavy winds. Removing unstable plants can prevent them from flying around your yard when a hurricane hits.
  • Store potentially hazardous tools or chemicals indoors. If you have gardening tools or chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers lying around your yard, it’s a good idea to store those items inside. That way, you don’t run the risk of a spill or dangerous projectile.

Last-Minute Preparations

Even if you’ve perfectly planned out and maintained your yard, there are still a few things you should take care of once you receive a storm warning. Here’s a list of ways to prepare your yard once you know a storm is on its way:

  • Clear out your yard. Things like dead branches, children’s toys, and small tools can become hazardous in high winds. Removing these can keep your home and yard safe.
  • Reinforce trees and plants. You can reinforce your small trees and shrubs by tying them to a sturdy stick placed deep in the ground. Be sure to leave some wiggle room, though – the plants are likely to shake quite a bit with the high winds.
  • Bring potted plants indoors. Potted plants may topple or fly around in a hurricane, so it is best to bring them into your garage or shed until the storm passes.
  • Harvest any fruits or vegetables. The hurricane will likely strip your plants of all fruit or vegetables, so it may be a good idea to harvest anything you want to keep before the storm rolls in.
  • Shut off your water valves. It’s easier for trees and plants to uproot in wet soil. Turning off your water valves and irrigation system can help keep your plants in place.

Between careful planning, regular maintenance, and last-minute preparations, it can feel like a full-time job to protect your yard from a hurricane. Calling a landscaping professional, like those at Grasshoppers, can help you keep your home and garden safe from nasty storms.

With over 20 years of serving the Orlando FL area, our expert landscapers can help you at any stage in protecting your yard from a hurricane. We also provide hurricane cleanup services to keep your yard in great condition, even after a storm passes through. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation!

The Importance of Landscape Design

grasshopper landscape design

grasshopper landscape design

 

The Importance of Landscape Design

Your yard is more than just a place to play or unwind at the end of a long day, it’s also an ecosystem. Sunny areas, shaded areas, and slopes of the land all have different needs and should be taken into consideration before a landscape design is installed. 

Keep reading to learn more about the importance of landscape design. 

Curb Appeal

The right landscape design should complement your building’s exterior features and enhance the outdoor space. With a uniform and tidy landscape design, visitors will be impressed. 

Environmental Impact

A proper landscape design can help conserve water, reduce nutrient pollution in stormwater, and reduce chemical inputs. It should also have proper drainage solutions. 

Cost Savings

When a landscape design incorporates native plants that are suited for the soil type, rainfall, and other conditions, they will require less maintenance later. Efficient irrigation, appropriate fertilizing, and mulch can add to cost savings. 

Reduce Air Pollutants

Plants naturally absorb harmful chemicals and pollutants by purifying the air. Adding various amounts of plants and foliage into your landscape design allows you to embrace nature and improve your air quality. 

Landscape Design in Central Florida

If you run a business or HOA in Central Florida and are looking for a landscaping company that can provide you with a stunning landscape design, turn to Grasshoppers. Our landscaping contractors will plant the right flowers, grass, and trees for your property and help you care for them all year round. Contact us today to get started on your landscaping project! 

HOA Summer Landscaping Tasks

Choosing a landscaping company for your HOA. Grasshoppers, serving Orlando FL explains how to choose a landscaping company for your HOA.Warm weather throughout Central Florida is a beloved time to play outside, grill, and explore your own “backyard.” It’s also a great time to have your HOA management company start preparing the neighborhood for the hotter season ahead.

This will ensure the landscaping features are ready for the change in temperature and humidity and that they maintain a consistent look throughout the neighborhood.

When you work with a landscaping company, you get unrivaled knowledge of trees, plants, and grass. They know which plants are native to the area, which can withstand the temperatures, and which work well together.

1. Plant Native Plants

The climate is unique in Florida. When choosing plants for your landscape, go with ones that are native to the area and that can tolerate the weather patterns. This will make landscaping maintenance easier and allow those plants to thrive in the summer.

2. Check the Sprinkler System

Proper hydration is important for your lawn and plants. Overwatering and underwatering can both harm them. Ensure your sprinkler system is working properly and set the watering schedule to the morning. This allows water to be absorbed deeper into the ground, rather than be evaporated quickly by the sun.

3. Clean Up Hardscapes

If vegetation has taken over your paths and retaining walls, now is a great time to cut them back. Overgrown vegetation is not only unsightly but it also provides harborages for pests.

4. Remove/Kill Weeds

The longer you wait to pull weeds, the more likely they’ll spread their seeds throughout your property, leading to a bigger weed problem. You can pull weeds out by hand with a garden knife, cultivator, or hoe or you can use an herbicide.

5. Mow Your Grass On a High Setting

A common misconception we hear is that short grass is a sign that it’s healthy. But, it’s actually better for your grass to keep it pretty high. We recommend not mowing your grass shorter than 4 inches. This will protect the soil, keep it hydrated, and help limit weed growth. Plus, the roots will already be stressed from the summer heat.

6. Treat for Lawn Pests

Grubs, billbugs, cutworms, and many other insects can ruin a lawn, quickly. You need to stop them at the first sign of damage. Investing in lawn pest control is often the best way to eliminate these issues and prevent them in the first place.

7. Test Soil

Your lawn’s pH levels can impact its growth. Make sure it’s healthy by testing the pH of your soil. This can also be helpful in determining a treatment plan to ensure it absorbs the fertilizers you apply.

HOA Landscaping Contractors in Orlando FL

Plants and lawns thrive in the summer, but they’re also prone to pest infestations, drought, and rot so they need some extra attention this time of year. To make sure your HOA property stays beautiful and consistent all year round, turn to Grasshoppers. Our landscaping team specializes in HOA landscaping maintenance, everything from lawn care to hardscaping. Contact us today to see why so many HOAs have trusted us!

Choosing a landscaping company for your HOA

HOA Landscaping

Choosing a landscaping company for your HOA. Grasshoppers, serving Orlando FL explains how to choose a landscaping company for your HOA.The right landscaping can help boost property values and keep your HOA community satisfied, but it’s often tough without the help of the right HOA landscaping company. This is why we at Grasshoppers are offering tips as we approach summer.

Unrivaled Plant Knowledge

When you work with a landscaping company, you get unrivaled knowledge of trees, plants, and grass. They know which plants are native to the area, which can withstand the temperatures, and which work well together.

Hardscaping Design

Hardscaping involves strategically placing gravel, bricks, and pebbles among greenery. Think retaining walls, walkways, firepits, and stone seating areas. Other options include ponds and water features. Combining plant life with hardscaping will add depth and layers to your landscape as well as boost its overall visual appeal.

Landscaping Plans

HOA landscaping contractors understand that HOAs have limited budgets. They not only stick to the budget, but they also work from a plan. If your community is focusing on mostly upkeep, they’ll provide year-round maintenance. If you regularly change out flower beds as the seasons change, they’ll design and install your flower beds as well.

Irrigation Services

Lawn care is more complex than it may seem. Landscaping contractors also take into account irrigation, fertilizer, weed control, and pest control for lawns. They’ll monitor for signs of disease or damage and treat them accordingly before they impact the entire yard.

HOA Landscaping Services

A well-sculpted and manicured lawn allows you to be proud of your community and it leaves a good impression. Hiring a professional landscaping company to care for it will save you time, give you peace of mind, and boost your curb appeal.

If you run a homeowner’s association (HOA), you know how strict the requirements are for the community. When you want to make sure your community is taken care of, contact the team at Grasshoppers. We proudly provide HOA landscaping services throughout the Orlando FL area. Contact us today to request an estimate and see how we can help your HOA community thrive!

Spring Cleaning your Florida Landscape

Person pruning branches. Grasshoppers, serving Orlando FL explains how to spring clean your Florida landscape.

Perennials in landscape. Grasshoppers, serving Orlando FL explains how to spring clean your Florida landscape.Spring means new beginnings, renewal, and growth–a great time to prepare your landscaping for planting. While we only experience mild winters in the Orlando area, it’s important to prime your landscape for summer. But what should you focus on? We at Grasshoppers are offering some outdoor spring cleaning tips below.

1. Prune

Some plants benefit from being pruned in spring, while others benefit from being pruned in fall. Prune dead, diseased, and damaged foliage.

2. Cut Back Perennials

Perennials are plants that regrow each spring. If they’ve started to take over your landscape, you’ll want to give them a trim to allow for growth. Don’t be afraid to trim them down to the base.

3. Remove Fallen Branches & Debris

After pruning and trimming is complete, take time to remove branches and debris. Dead foliage can block growth. Removing it from your landscape will not only help tidy it up but also promote growth once the temperature warms up.

4. Replace Damaged Plants

After removing dead flora, you can replace them with new plants for the season. Do your research and make sure you’re choosing plants that are appropriate for the area you’ll be planting them in–whether in the sun or shade.

5. Mulch

Next, it’s time to apply mulch. Mulch helps keep your plants cool and moist, which is especially important in our Central Florida climate. Plus, it looks great and keeps weeds at bay. It’s a good idea to remove your old mulch before applying new mulch because too much of it can attract pests. Also, keep the depth of your mulch to 2 to 3 inches.

6. Check Sprinkler System

Spring is also a good time to ensure your sprinkler system is working properly. Check your rain shut-off device and make sure it works correctly. Then, turn on your sprinklers and walk through each zone, checking that filters and emitters aren’t clogged. This is also a good time to calibrate your sprinkler system to ensure each zone is getting an adequate amount of water.

Licensed Landscapers in Orlando FL

Spring cleaning your landscape is a great way to boost your curb appeal and make a positive impression. If you’re seeking a commercial landscaping company to handle your spring cleaning, turn to Grasshoppers. We proudly serve businesses and HOA communities throughout the greater Orlando Florida area. We offer tree care, lawn care, landscape design, flower bed installation, irrigation services, and more. Give us a call today for your personalized quote!