Ways to Conserve Water With Your Irrigation System

Image of conserving water with your irrigation system in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers Landscaping

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!

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!

Why Does Your Lawn Have Dead Patches?

Brown patches in grass in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers

Patches of dead grass in Orlando FL - GrasshoppersHave you been struggling year after year to keep your lawn in tip-top condition? Here at Grasshopper, we know how frustrating it is when unforeseen and inconspicuous conditions cause our lawns to slowly wither away before us. There are multiple reasons why your lawn might be developing scattered dead patches, so it’s important to be aware of all of the potential contributors in order to protect your yard properly. Read on for insight and advice from Grasshoppers’ lawn care team!

Top Reasons for Dead Patches in Grass

The same weather conditions that allow for fruitful plant growth around Orlando FL also create opportunities for pests, fungus, and more. If you are dealing with patches of dead grass on your lawn, it is probably for one of the following reasons:

  • Fungus: Fungal growth will usually occur in a lawn after an extended period of rainy weather. If you find dead patches in shaded areas of your lawn after a storm, fungus is a likely culprit. You can identify established fungal outbreaks by the rings of dead grass that they leave around a small recovered area.
  • Grubs: Grubs are beetle larvae that feed on the roots of many kinds of grasses here in Florida. Their damage will show up in small scattered spots that eventually conglomerate into large patches of dead grass.
  • Wear from people and pets: A lawn that sees too much human or dog activity is sure to develop dead patches. If you have a dog that you let out on your lawn every day, your dead patches might have been caused by urine burns or toys that were left out.
  • Thatch: Thatch is an accumulation of dead and decaying plant material that develops above the surface when grass is not watered properly. Grass roots will begin to develop in the thatch, but the material won’t hold enough moisture to sustain long-term growth, so the new grass will die and appear brown and withered.

How to Get Rid of Brown Patches in Your Lawn

It’s difficult to revive dead grass without an accurate assessment of the issue behind the decay. This is why we recommend diligent lawn care strategies to our customers. Staying on top of the health of your lawn is the best preventative measure that you can take. However, we understand wanting to quickly restore your lawn.

Raking away any thatch or dead grass that you find in your lawn can allow your grass more access to the nutrients it needs to survive. Paired with the use of certain store-bought lawn care products, it is possible to restore your lawn to full health on your own. But how can you be sure you’re making the right assessment?

Lawn Care Experts in Orlando FL

At Grasshoppers, our team of lawn care technicians have years of experience diagnosing lawn care issues and quickly restoring customers’ lawns using the latest lawn care technology. Don’t wait until your lawn is beyond repair to get a professional opinion and detailed care. Give us a call today to get started!

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!

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 Prevent Plant Diseases in Winter

Powdery mildew on a cucumber plant. Grasshoppers talks about ways to prevent plant diseases this winter in Orlando FL.

Powdery mildew on a cucumber plant. Grasshoppers talks about ways to prevent plant diseases this winter in Orlando FL.

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can all cause diseases in your plants. These diseases aren’t much of a problem during cold winters, but if you live in a warm climate like Florida where you have mild winters, you’ll want to take action. Plant diseases can cause significant damage to your landscaping.

Common Plant Diseases

  • Armillaria Root Rot: Armillaria root rot also called mushroom root rot infects the root of a plant, causing it to wilt and eventually die. Armillaria root rot can continue to live in the soil, so if you’re going to replant in the same area, consider finding a plant that is resistant to the fungi. Armillaria root rot attacks:
    • Loquats
    • Azaleas
    • Ligustrum
    • Oak trees
    • Hickory trees
    • And more
  • Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is a serious fungal disease. It causes plants to become distorted and stunted. It can attack a variety of plants including:
    • Rose bushes
    • Sycamores
    • Crapemyrtles
    • Squash
  • Sabal Palm Disease: Sabal Palm Disease also called, lethal bronzing is transmitted by a tiny winged pest called the American palm cixiid. This disease causes a palm’s leaves to turn brown and eventually die. Sabal palm disease is often difficult to diagnose because it shares similar characteristics as a tree that’s been over-fertilized. If you believe your palm has this disease contact your local landscaper or arborist. They may be able to save it with oxytetracycline injections.

Prevent Plant Diseases with Good Practices

Oftentimes people wait until their plants are already sick and/or dying when they decide to take action and by then it’s too late. The best way to cure a plant disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Below are some good practices to help keep your plant disease-free.

  • Remove leaves and debris from your lawn to prevent mold growth
  • Continue mowing your grass through the winter until it has stopped growing
  • Prune trees and shrubs during the dormant season. Pruning during the growing season causes sap to flow which attracts insects like bark beetles.
  • Winterize sensitive plants like roses and young trees with thin bark. Tender plants can be seriously damaged in the winter, putting them at risk for a secondary infection like canker fungi.
  • Keep an eye on stressed plants and water them to promote healthy root growth.

Keeping your lawn and plants well-fed, watered, and cared for is your best defense against plant diseases. When a plant is stressed, it is more vulnerable to diseases and is more likely to be affected by lawn pests.

At Grasshoppers, we understand these steps may be a lot which is why you may want to consider hiring a professional landscaper for your property. In addition to being knowledgeable about the plants native to Florida, we’re also familiar with plant diseases, including how to prevent them and treat them.

Summer Lawn Care Tips

Beautifully landscaped lawn. Grasshoppers serving Orlando FL & Longwood FL talks about summer lawn care tips.

Beautifully landscaped lawn. Grasshoppers serving Orlando FL & Longwood FL talks about summer lawn care tips.Summers are wonderful in Florida, but if you live here, you know it can be a challenging time to keep your lawn lush and green. Hot temperatures may stress out your lawn and weeds may flourish. Learn how to help your lawn thrive this summer with our summer lawn care tips.

Mow Regularly

Keep your lawnmower blades sharp and mow regularly. While you may be tempted to drop down your mower blade, so you don’t have to mow as much, don’t do it. This is not like the hair on your head. Cutting no more than ⅓ of the grass blade at a time will keep your lawn healthier and help prevent weed seeds from germinating.

Don’t Fertilize

Another lawn temptation is fertilizer. Fertilizer helps provide your grass with the nutrients it needs to grow. But fertilizing during the hot summer months can cause your lawn to burn and actually kill it. Instead, save it for the fall and spring seasons. If you have flower beds or vegetable gardens, ignore this summer lawn care tip.

Another tip, pull weeds as necessary. Weeds are not only unattractive but they also steal nutrients away from your grass and plants.

Water Well

Lawn watering is especially important in Florida because we have a warm, humid climate. Timing is also key. You’ll want to water between midnight and 9 a.m. for the most efficient watering. Water your lawn during the sun’s peak hours, and it will evaporate so quickly. You’ll end up just wasting more time and money in the long run.

Eliminate Lawn Pests

You may begin to see grubs in the summer as they start hatching. These tiny white insects are one of the most lawn-damaging pests. They burrow right beneath the surface of your soil and feed on grassroots, eventually killing your grass. If the damage is severe, you can use a lawn insecticide or hire a professional that’s experienced in lawn care pests.

Maintaining your yard is a year-round commitment. In fact, people spend on average around 70 hours a year on yard work. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your commercial property, feel free to give us a call. We’re commercial landscaping professionals and we know everything from irrigation and flower beds to hardscaping and lawn pest control.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Landscaping Company for Your HOA

Beautifully landscaped lawn. Grasshoppers talks about the benefits of hiring a landscaping company for HOA properties in Orlando FL.

Beautifully landscaped lawn. Grasshoppers talks about the benefits of hiring a landscaping company for HOA properties in Orlando FL.A well-kept landscape not only looks good, but it creates conformity, adds property value, and encourages homebuyers. If you’re part of a homeowner’s association board, you’ll want to consider hiring a professional landscaping company to provide your maintenance services. They’ll provide consistency and help cut down costs. Below are some more benefits of hiring a professional for your HOA landscape maintenance.

Landscaping Expertise

Professional landscapers don’t just cut lawns and prune shrubs. They are highly knowledgeable about all things related to landscaping. They know all about plants and trees native to your region including when they bloom, how much water they need, and where to plant them. Think about the cost it would add if a poorly chosen tree was planted near your hardscape and it uprooted a pathway or water feature.

Reliable

When you partner with a landscaping firm for your HOA properties, you no longer have to worry about when the grass will be cut or the trees pruned. Landscapers will work with you and develop a schedule, taking added stress off of you.

Bulk Cost Savings

Landscaping contractors purchase supplies and plants at discounted rates, helping lower costs for your HOA.

Improved Landscape Management

Some plants, despite your best efforts, may die. If a plant, tree or shrub needs to be replaced your landscape contractor will purchase new plants at a discounted cost and replace it, often with a guarantee in place.

No Equipment to Worry About

You don’t have to purchase landscaping equipment like commercial mowers, loppers, and edgers. And you don’t have to store or maintain them.

Reduced Liability

Landscape companies are insured and understand all environmental and safety regulations set in place. This helps reduce any liabilities on the board’s behalf.

Other perks: Irrigation, fertilization, weed control, Pest Management

Some landscape companies, like Grasshoppers are full-service. In addition to lawn and plant care, they also handle your irrigation, fertilize your lawn, provide weed control, and even provide pest control on your properties.

If you’re in charge of an HOA, you have a lot on your plate, with landscape maintenance being one of the top priorities. When you work with a landscape company, you can focus on what you do best and provide residents with a great living experience. If you have any questions about HOA landscape maintenance services feel free to contact us!