Shrub Pruning Basics for a Beautiful Yard

simply green leaf header

Suburban brick house with shrubs and trees along walkwayIt’s summer in Georgia, the season of iced tea on the front porch, kids playing in sprinklers, and backyard cookouts with friends and neighbors. However, early summer is also the time of year to trim many of your shrubs! At Simply Green Lawn Care, we’re the experts in Atlanta lawn care and landscaping, helping Atlanta homeowners cultivate a beautiful environment. Check out our tips on how to prune shrubs, or give us a call so you can get back to enjoying your summer!

Professional Landscaper Tips for Shrub Pruning

  • Get the right equipment – Lopping shears or hedge shears are good for most cuts, although you will want a pruning saw for branches more than 1.5” in diameter. Don’t forget to have your pruning tools sharpened at the end of the season by a professional before oiling and storing for the winter.
  • Understand how shrubs grow – In order to properly shape the plants in your yard, you should know why they grow the way they do and how your cuts affect them. Each branch or twig has a terminal bud which produces a hormone that controls the growth of the lateral buds along the side of the branch. If you cut off the terminal bud, shoots will start to grow from the lateral buds. The most abundant new growth will occur within 8 inches of the pruning cut you’ve made.
  • Say no to stubs – Pruning to the trunk of the tree or shrub, a lateral branch, or a lateral bud releases hormones that allow the tree to quickly heal the “wound” created by pruning. If you just hack off a branch anywhere, you will leave a stub that is not only unsightly, but also makes the plant vulnerable to pests or disease.

For more information about how to prune shrubs and trees, visit the UGA Extension page Pruning Ornamental Plants in the Landscape. Or you can reach out to us for a consultation and estimate by filling out our contact form!

How to Achieve a Picture-Perfect Lawn

simply green leaf header

Lawn Irrigation SystemSummer is nearly here, and the Georgia heat can be rough on your lawn. Thankfully, it’s still possible to get that picture-perfect yard. Here are some lawn care tips to get the perfect yard:

  • Mow Correctly – Mowing correctly is of the utmost importance. Make sure you use a nice, sharp blade and cut no more than 1/3 of the height of your grass. You also want to change directions while cutting to create a more even lawn surface.
  • Properly Time Your Fertilizer and Weed Control – It’s not enough to simply fertilize and apply weed killer. You need to apply the right products at the appropriate times. For example, May through August is the perfect time to use a Bio-Stimulant with a micro-package, as this will help your lawn survive the hot summer. This is also the time you’ll want to apply weed control for summer weeds.
  • Core Aeration – Core Aeration is especially important due to our Georgia clay. Core aeration breaks up thatch buildup and allows air, water, and nutrients to get down to your lawn’s roots.
  • Fire Ant Control – We have a fire ant problem in Georgia. Not only are ant mounds unsightly, but they can literally be a real pain. Fire ant bites can even be dangerous to pets and small children. Our fire ant protection also protects against mole crickets, fleas, and ticks!
  • Use Hydretain – This one will also help you save money on your water bill. Hydretain helps your lawn store water and can reduce the need to water by up to 50%.

Achieving the perfect Georgia lawn can be tough, but we’re here to help! Our Atlanta lawn care services include all of the above care and more. Contact us at 770-923-0387 today to get on track to make your lawn as healthy and beautiful as it can be!

Give Your Lawn Some Love During National Garden Month!

simply green leaf header

 Closeup of green grassApril is National Garden Month, and while you may think of planting flowers, your lawn is an integral part of your garden. If you have a warm-season lawn and want to breath new life into it this month, consider core aeration to spring into the growing season!

Core Aeration

The best time to aerate your lawn is spring and early summer. So now is the perfect time to schedule your lawn core aeration. But what is core aeration? A core aerator is a machine that creates ½ to ¾ inch holes in your yard. These holes help break up and control thatch buildup and allows air to reach your lawn’s roots.

After aeration your lawn’s soil will be looser, allowing for more water and nutrients to get to the roots. This will enhance root growth and help decompose thatch, improving your lawn’s health and tolerance to drought. The aeration hole will eventually be covered up by new grass growth as new shoots are produced.

Here in Atlanta, core aeration is especially important due to the high concentration of Georgia clay in the soil and because of our long hot summers. Core aeration also helps fight moss growth, which is very common in our area. Soil compaction leads to poor drainage, resulting in many Altanta lawns becoming havens for moss.

To get the most of your lawn, contact our lawn care and landscaping experts. We can help will all your Atlanta residential lawn care and commercial needs (including Atlanta core aeration)! And don’t forget to check out our specials.

How to Prepare Your Lawn for Spring

simply green leaf header

Pink peony bloomingPunxsutawney Phil has decreed an early spring, so it’s time to get your lawn ready! The flowering trees are already putting on their spring show and we’re noticing the first dusting of pollen, so check out these spring lawn tips to prepare your lawn for the growing season here in Atlanta.

  • Remove Debris – Start your spring yard prep by getting rid of winter debris. An accumulation of fallen limbs, dead leaves, and yard waste can attract pests, foster fungi growth, and keep your grass from getting enough sun.
  • Core Aeration – Aeration is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it allow airflow to your lawn’s roots, but it also reduces soil compaction.
  • Reseed – This one is simple. If there are any thin or damaged areas of your lawn, you’ll probably need to reseed. When seeding, make sure to select the right grass for your lawn.
  • Fertilize – Depending on your lawn’s soil composition and overall health, fertilization might be needed.
  • Prune – Prune trees and shrubs that are choking out your lawn. If areas of your lawn are in constant shadow, the offending plants may need to be pruned back.
  • Get Help from the Professionals – If you want to make sure your lawn gets the very best care, then contact the professionals!

Looking for an Atlanta lawn care company to take these chores off your to-do list? Simply Green is here to help with Atlanta landscaping and lawn care services to help you cultivate a beautiful, healthy yard – and give you back the time and energy to enjoy it!

How to Love Your Lawn

simply green leaf header

Green grass in a heart shapeIt is February, and that means love is in the air! So why not give your lawn a little extra love and care with these lawn maintenance tips?

  1. Let it breathe! Make sure your lawn is designed in such a way so that your trees, shrubs, and other plants don’t choke out the light or restrict air flow to your lawn. If areas of your lawn are in constant shade, it might be time to prune shrubs and trees so that enough light gets to your grass. Without proper light and air flow, moisture can get trapped, leading to fungi and disease taking hold and damaging your grass.
  2. No really, it needs airflow! Without regular mowing, irrigation, and fertilization, your lawn is unlikely to thrive. Excess thatch restricts water infiltration and can create shallow roots. Shallow-rooted turf is more susceptible to diseases and damage from insects. Thatch accumulation can also lead to excess nitrogen. If your lawn feels spongy or soft, you probably have more than half an inch of thatch and this means your lawn will probably require dethatching.
  3. Finally, contact us! Our core aeration allows your lawn to breathe properly. We also offer fescue aeration and seeding, fire ant control services, and Hydretain to help with water infiltration. No matter if you’re looking for commercial lawn care services or residential lawn care services, Simply Green Lawn Care is here to help.

Check out our specials and then call us at 770-923-0387 today to schedule your Atlanta lawn care.

How to Choose the Best Grass for Your Lawn

simply green leaf header

While it’s still cold and wintry here in Atlanta, now is a good time to start planning any upgrades you’d like to make to your landscaping. One of the best ways to ensure your lawn looks its best is to choose the appropriate type of grass for your yard.

Pros and Cons of Georgia Turfgrasses

  • Perennial Ryegrass – Rye has a fine to medium leaf texture and a medium shoot density. It thrives in a wide range of soils but performs best in moist fertile soil. It establishes itself quickly, but has a poor to fair recuperative ability. It tolerates cold well, but does poorly in high heat.  Overall, it has a medium level of maintenance required.
  • Bermuda – Bermudagrass has a fine to medium leaf texture and a high shoot density. It does well in a wide range of soil types, but it preferes fertile soil. It establishes itself quickly and has an excellent recuperative ability. It does very well in hot weather but poorly in cold temperatures. It tends towards a medium amount of maintenance required.
  • Fescue – Fescue has a coarse to medium leaf texture and lower shoot density. It thrives in a wide range of soils. It is fairly fast to establish itself and has a good wear resistance. It does very well in hot weather and performs fairly in cool weather, so it’s generally an excellent grass for Atlanta weather and requires a low to medium amount of effort to stay healthy.

Of course, selecting the proper grass is only the first step. It’s equally important that your new grass is properly cared for. Overseeding, core aeration, water management, and weed control and fertilization are just as important.
Whether you’re looking to improve your lawn with a Georgia turfgrass or you’re looking for Atlanta lawn care services, contact us at 770-923-0387 for all your lawn care needs!

Prevent Fire Ants in Your Yard

simply green leaf header

Unfortunately, Georgia is the home of 3 different types of fire ants: Solenopsis invicta Buren (red imported fire ant), Solenopsis richteri Forel (black imported fire ant), and a hybrid species. All 3 species can cause a major disturbance in your yard and have painful stings that can trigger serious medical issues in their victims.

Regardless of the species, Simply Green can help you will all your Atlanta fire ant control needs!

Closeup of fire antFire Ant Treatment and Prevention

At Simply Green, we utilize TopChoice Fire Ant Control to kill fire ants fast and to prevent their spread. TopChoice is a granular insecticide only available to pest control professionals.

With TopChoice, we can fight fire ants any time of year. Fire ants tend to be most active in moist, cool weather, but TopChoice works any time of year. During the dry seasons, its granules will physically help prevent the spread of ants (due to the difficulty of moving through the insecticide). When wet, TopChoice bonds to the soil itself. Then in rainy weather, ants will be brought to the surface where they’ll come in contact with the “warehoused” insecticide.

TopChoice is also long lasting, with the ability to prevent the establishment of new colonies for up to a year. It also works on mole crickets (4 months), nuisance ants (3 months), and ticks and fleas ( 1 month).

Make sure your home and business are protected from fire ants. Contact us at 770-923-0387 for all your Atlanta lawn care service needs, including fire ant treatment!

Caring for Your Lawn in Freezing Temperatures

simply green leaf header

Your lawn is a living organism, and just like all living things, it goes through cycles. Low winter temperatures ranging down below freezing require a new lawn care routine. Check out some tips for caring for your lawn during the winter:

  • Don’t Mow – Don’t mow your lawn after the first frost. During freezing temperatures,  grass becomes dormant. Cutting dormant grass will traumatize and damage your lawn.
  • Mulch Early – Adding a thin layer of mulch before it’s too cold is a great way to help protect your lawn. The mulch helps to trap heat during the cold winter months.
  • Be gentle – Your lawn is extra delicate during periods of dormancy. Try to avoid walking on it, and be sure to have your kids, pets, and other members of the household walk on designated walkways whenever possible. Make sure your walkways are clear to help encourage traffic from not stepping on your lawn.
  • Check your drainage – The danger of snow and ice isn’t just freezing. Even after ice has melted, that moisture can stay behind and create waterlogged conditions that foster disease and pests.
  • Keep an eye out for invaders – Weeds are notoriously hardy. In many cases, weeds are hardier than your grass, so freezing conditions can allow opportunistic weeds to gain ground in your Atlanta lawn while your grass is unable to compete

Good luck with your winter lawn, and be sure to contact us at 770-923-0387 for all of your commercial and  residential Atlanta lawn care services needs this spring. And don’t forget to check out our our specials!

What to Expect When Your Warm-Season Lawn Goes Dormant

simply green leaf header

Tiger StripesWith the cold weather here to stay, you might start to notice the frigid temperatures affecting your grass. So, what exactly does it mean for your lawn when it goes dormant? First things first, there’s no need to worry. If you’re in the Atlanta area, let Simply Green Lawn Care give you the inside scoop into how to care for your dormant lawn.

Tiger Striping and Browning

When the weather turns cold, your grass will go dormant. This essentially means it’ll stop growing but it is still living. Eventually, the entire lawn will turn brown. But first, you might see what we call tiger striping. This is when sections of grass turn brown while others are still green. This is a very normal part of the process and is nothing to get concerned about.

Avoid Heavy Traffic

Dormant lawns can handle some traffic and will even tolerate being walked on in a moderate amount. But just remember that the heavier the traffic is on your lawn during dormancy, the longer it will take for the bright, vibrant green to come back when the weather warms back up.

Don’t Stop Caring for Your Lawn

If your grass needs to be cut, keep cutting it. You want to make sure you don’t cut it too short so it can properly insulate itself during cold spells, though. A lawn care professional like Simply Green can keep an eye on things and let you know when the time is right for a cut, especially after the use of pre-emergent or fertilizer, which change the needs of your grass.

To find out more, give us a call today. We’d be happy to come out and see what’s going on in your yard!

What Should I do with Fall Leaves?

simply green leaf header

Close-up of yellow fall leavesFall is finally here! But with the respite from hot Georgia weather comes piles of fall leaves. Depending on how many trees you have in your yard, this can be a real problem. How can you get rid of fall leaves? Read on to find out!

  • Compost – Composting is a wonderfully environmentally friendly way to get rid of leaves. A good compost requires both carbon (or “brown”) ingredients along with green ones. Dried leaves make a great carbon for composting. Shredding the leaves will make them compost quicker, but this step generally isn’t necessary.
  • Insulation – Leaves can make great insulation for plants. Encircle your fragile plant with wire fencing (chicken wire works great) and fill the space with dry leaves. This can also work with container plants.
  • Mulch – Dried leaves can also make a great mulch (just make sure you’re mulching the right way). The easiest way to mulch your yard with leaves is by running the lawn mower over the leaves and spreading out the leaf clippings. Please note that this only works with relatively small amounts of leaves. Too many leaf clippings can block sunlight from reaching your grass, resulting in damage to your lawn.
  • Family Fun – Okay, it may not be the #1 choice for your lawn, but while you’re raking up those leaves for compost or mulch, take a moment to play in the pile. After all, a pristine lawn is the perfect space to have fun with your family this fall!

When caring for your lawn, Simply Green strive to exceed your expectations every time. For professional Atlanta lawn care services, contact us at 770-923-0387 today!