How to Choose the Best Grass for Your Lawn

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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!

Get the Most Out of Your Sprinkler System

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Sprinkler spraying water on plantsYour sprinkler system is a crucial part of your landscaping. A properly installed (and maintained) sprinkler system allows you to conveniently irrigate your grass, shrubbery, and trees. Keep your sprinkler system in good shape with these sprinkler system tips from Simply Green Lawn Care.

  • Regular Sprinkler Maintenance – Regularly check to make sure all sprinkler heads are unblocked and are pointed in the proper directions. Also, always be on the lookout for soggy areas of your yard, as this could be a sign of a broken line or leak. You certainly don’t want to pay for extra water that’s only going to damage your plants and lawn.
  • Prep for the Cold Season – It’s important to prepare your system for cold weather. Freezing lines can easily burst in the winter months, resulting in costly repairs. Avoid this by emptying your system and turning it off during winter months when not in use.
  • Don’t Overwater – Overwatering is a waste of money, and it can damage your plants and errode your yard. In addition to being mindful of how much you’re using your sprinkler system, you also need to keep your gutters and downspouts clean. If your gutters are obstructed, overflow from your roof (combined with regular watering) can result in an overwatered lawn. Hydretain is also a huge help with preventing overwatering.
  • Use Hydretain! Hydretain is a new kind of soil treatment. With Hydretain, landscape watering requirements can be reduced by up to 50%, all while decreasing fungus and disease. Hydretain absorbs and stores water, making your watering more efficient.

Call us at 770-923-0387 for more information about Hydretain, to schedule a water management treatment, or for any other Atlanta lawn care services!

Mulching the Right Way

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Close-up of wood chip mulchMulching is important. Proper mulching can help fight weeds and reduce soil erosion. Mulching is also important for the health of many plants. Mulch helps preserve soil moisture, keeps plant cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and can even lead to better aerated soil.

However, if laid incorrectly mulch can damage your plants. Here’s are three tips to correctly use mulch:

  1. Use the right amount. Different plants need different conditions to thrive. Often three inches is required for best results, but this entirely depends on your plants. New beds should have between two and four inches of mulch. However, perennials often only need one or two inches, while most annuals do best with around one inch.
  2. Avoid mulch build-ups. Too much mulch at the base of plants may cause bark decay. It’s important to not use so much mulch that your plants rot. Build-ups can also accidentally create homes for rodents, snakes, and other pests. It’s very important to make sure you don’t over mulch your area.
  3. Consider mulch additives. During the spring and fall months, it might be a good idea to add a pre-emergence herbicide to your mulch. This step can help reduce summer and winter weeds from overtaking your beds.

As you can see, there are a lot of important things to consider when mulching. Knowing how to use mulch (and getting it right the first time) is imperative for the health of your plants. If you want help keeping your Atlanta residential or commercial lawn healthy and looking great all year, then contact us today at 770-923-0387.

5 Low-Maintenance Plants to Beautify Your Landscape

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Pink Crape Myrtle flowers in bloomLooking for low-maintenance plants to beautify your Atlanta landscaping? Thankfully, our warm weather provides ideal conditions for lots of good Georgia landscaping plants. Here are a few of our favorite easy to care for plants that thrive in Georgia:

  1. Crape Myrtle – Crape Myrtles are known for their beautiful and long-lasting summer flowers. Flower colors range from white to a deep purple or red. Plus, various species of crape myrtles make for great shrub borders, screens, or even container plants.
  2. Japanese Maple – This small tree, also known as Acer Palmatum, can grow to around 15-20 feet tall, with a nice, broad spread of roughly 10-15 feet wide. Japanese maples are known for their beautiful green and red foliage.
  3. Hydrangea – This shrub produces large, elegant globes of flowers. These blue to purple flowers bloom during summer and spring months, adding beautiful pops of color to your landscaping.
  4. Witch Hazel – These shrubs feature abundant flowers. The flowers themselves range in color from blue to lavender, bright pink to rose, as well as a cool white. Sometimes, these colors can all bloom at the same time, even from the same plant, since the petals’ color is determined by soil pH!
  5. Camellia – This compact, evergreen shrub sports white to red shades that can bloom from fall to spring. Camellias require little effort to thrive and make excellent container plants.

Of course, not all plants are easy to maintain, and even the lowest maintenance plants can require professional care from time to time. If you’re ready to get your Atlanta lawn looking great, or if your plants and shrubs need a little extra attention, then contact Simply Green Lawn Care. We offer plant health care and tree services to keep your landscaping healthy and looking great all year!

5 Natural Bug-Repellent Plants to Grow in Your Yard

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purple petunias in bloomWe all know how much of a hassle mosquitoes can be here in Georgia. Thankfully, there are some great plants and flowers that mosquitoes hate. Here are 5 natural bug-repellent plants to grow in your backyard or garden:

  • Lavender – Lavender repels just about every bug except for bees. Plus it has the added benefit of smelling wonderful! You can also dry some clippings from your lavender plant to hang inside to keep away moths and other indoor pests.
  • Petunias – Petunias are a great way to add some color to your yard while repelling pests. Their flowers have a slight licorice scent that aphids, hornworms, and squash bugs hate.
  • Garlic – It tastes delicious and bugs hate it! This is a great plant to add to a garden to keep mosquitoes and other insects away.
  • Basil – Mosquitoes and flies hate the smell of basil. This makes it a great plant to add to an herb garden. It can also do well in a container, so it can be a nice aromatic addition to a porch or seating area. And of course, it tastes great too!
  • Lemon Balm – Lemon balm has a citrusy lemon scent with a hint of mint. Mosquitoes hate lemon balm but butterflies and bees love it! This plant can spread like a weed, so keep this one in a pot to avoid it taking over your yard.

If you’re looking for Atlanta lawn care or landscaping then contact Simply Green Lawn Care today at 770-923-0387 or request a free estimate and lawn analysis!

Rescue Your Fescue With This Pro Lawn Care Tip

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autumn leaves on grassThey don’t call it “Hotlanta” for nothing! Those blazing hot summer days have done a number on most of the fescue lawns in the Atlanta area, but as fall draws closer, you can take steps to prepare for a lush lawn next year.

So what’s the secret to a healthy, thriving fescue lawn next spring? The answer has two parts: core aeration and over-seeding.

Core Aeration

Core aeration helps oxygen get to the roots of your existing fescue lawn and reduces the soil and thatch compaction that can develop over time. This alone is reason enough to call us to schedule your core aeration for September, but aeration is even better when accompanied by another important fall lawn service:

Fescue Overseeding

By timing the overseeding of your lawn with an aeration treatment, you’ll maximize the amount of soil the seeds are exposed to, ensuring more take root and sprout into healthy, full grass next season. Overseeding will help your lawn recover from the natural thinning of hot, dry summer weather and ensure your lawn looks great next year.

Increasing the density of your turf is not only aesthetic, it also improves the health and hardiness of your lawn, helping it to withstand pests or diseases in the future.

We take pride in providing you with the best quality lawn care in Atlanta, with lawn services that not only give you a better-looking yard but also improve the health of your lawn. Call or contact us today to schedule your lawn aeration and overseeding this fall!