3 Benefits of Lawn Aeration in Spring

Aerating a lawn in springtime in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers Landscaping

With spring in full swing, it’s the perfect time of year to begin preparing your lawn for warm weather. It can be difficult to maintain lush and green grass through the harsh summer sun, but there are a few lawn care techniques you can use to ensure your grass is as healthy and hardy as possible.

One of the most effective tactics for encouraging stronger grass is called lawn aeration, which is the process of driving small holes into the soil to allow water and nutrients to better reach the grassroots. Though lawn aeration is a quick and simple process, it can lead to significant and long-lasting results. Here are just 3 of the benefits of aerating your lawn in spring:

Stronger, Healthier Grass

The first and most obvious benefit of lawn aeration is that it encourages very beautiful, healthy, and durable lawn. This process loosens up the soil and allows nutrients, moisture, and oxygen to feed the roots. So, if your grass is fragile, supple, or easily dehydrated, aeration will encourage stronger growth while preparing your lawn for hot summer weather.

Better Drainage

Lawn aeration helps break up the soil, which can reduce compaction and allow water to seep into your lawn rather than rest on top of it. This can reduce erosion problems, muddy patches, or unsightly puddles while also ensuring your grass is getting all the water it needs. Aeration is a great way to prevent lawn dehydration, which is particularly useful before a dry summer.

Reduced Lawn Thatch

Lawn thatch is a layer of dead plant matter that rests between the grass and the soil. While a little bit of thatch may not be harmful, a thick layer of buildup can cause a variety of problems such as poor drainage and uneven mowing. Aerating your lawn can help penetrate the layer of thatch to encourage decomposition while keeping your grass in great shape.

Why Aerate Your Lawn in Spring?

Though lawn aeration can be effective at any point in the growing season, spring is one of the best times of year to complete this task. That’s because the soil is typically soft from rain, making the process much easier and more effective. The constant spring rain will also ensure your lawn doesn’t dry out afterward, which will encourage fast and strong growth.

Your Local Lawn Aeration Experts

It can be intimidating to aerate your lawn for the first time – after all, poking holes in your grass can lead to damage if done incorrectly. However, you don’t have to navigate it all alone! The landscaping experts at Grasshoppers in Orlando FL are always happy to answer your questions, and we provide great lawn maintenance services to ensure your property is always looking as beautiful as possible. Just give us a call to consult with an expert 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!

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.

The Importance of Professional Landscape Maintenance

Exterior of beautiful Florida home. Grasshoppers serving Orlando FL talks about the Importance of Professional Landscape Maintenance.

Exterior of beautiful Florida home. Grasshoppers serving Orlando FL talks about the Importance of Professional Landscape Maintenance.If you have a beautifully-created landscape design on your property, it’s important that it be maintained. You don’t want all that effort and money to go to waste. Professional landscape maintenance is the best way to ensure your landscaping stays vibrant and healthy all year long.

1. Keeps Plants Healthy

Different climates and seasons may affect your landscape plants. Depending on where you live and what plants you have, some may need increasing watering or occasional protection from rain or heat. Landscaping contractors are knowledgeable about native plants and keep up with the weather patterns. They’ll adapt their services to cater to your landscaping. Additionally, different plants require different amounts of fertilizer and soil conditions in order to thrive. From watering and fertilizing to pruning and trimming, professional landscapers will ensure all of your plant species continue to grow and look perfect.

2. Provides Weed Control

Weeds not only look unpleasant, but they also take away water, nutrients, and sunlight away from your landscaping plants, affecting how they flourish. Without regular maintenance, weeds will eventually take over your property and ruin your landscape design.

3. Comes with Irrigation Maintenance

Irrigation is a part of landscape maintenance. Pipes and sprinklers can break, causing your plants to become underwatered or overwatered. Sprinkler heads also need occasional cleaning or require pressure changes. And if you live in an area with harsher winters, your sprinklers will need to be blown out. When you work with a professional landscaping company, your entire irrigation system is taken care of, from watering to repairs.

4. Helps the Environment

Maintaining your landscaping also helps the environment. Your shrubs, plants, and trees play an important role in cleaning the air around you and your yard also serves as a natural filtration to local waterways so it’s important to keep your yard healthy and flourishing.

5. Pest Control

Pests like beetles, grubs, chinch bugs, and aphids are known to destroy yards and plants. Landscaping contractors are experienced in lawn pests. They know how to identify if you have a pest problem and they’ll effectively treat lawns for pests without harming your plants.

Your landscaping is the central focus of your property and it should create curb appeal all year long. To help protect the investment you’ve made on your property and keep your landscape design looking beautiful, we recommend you work with an experienced landscaping company, like Grasshoppers. Our professional landscape maintenance services will keep your yard looking its best and keep you stress-free!