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4 Organic Gardening Techniques to Try

More and more people have become interested in organic gardening. The organic gardener works with nature to create a healthy garden. It takes time and patience to do this, but the rewards of being a good steward of the garden is worth it. Here are four organic gardening techniques:

Make Your Own Compost

Compost is organic matter that has been broken down to be useful to the soil and the plants and so is an important component of any organic garden. Planet Natural explains that there are many ways to make a good compost pile, but it should have a good amount of dry and green plant material to create a carbon/nitrogen ratio of about 30 to 1. The pile should not be exposed to direct sunlight, which kills the bacteria that break down the material.

After the ingredients have been added, the compost should be kept moist, but never soggy. Turn it every two to seven days to make sure it’s well aerated. Things not to put into a compost pile include the manure of meat-eating animals, wood ash, meat, fat, soil or plants that are diseased or infested.

Scare Away Pests Naturally

An organic gardener might feel a bit sorry for the predators and pests that are an inevitable part of gardening. They too need to make a living. But another role of the gardener is to make sure that they make a living elsewhere, but naturally. You can introduce a predator to control the population of a certain pest, such as introducing ladybugs to feast upon aphids or attracting birds to eat caterpillars. doTERRA recommends, you can also use certain essential oils to create natural and effective pest-control sprays.

Encourage Earthworms

Encouraging earthworms to populate your garden is one of the best things you can do to keep it healthy. Earthworms aerate the soil, help it retain water and keep it friable. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm suggests that you make sure you are adding the right type of worms to your garden. Super Red Night Crawlers are best for aerating and fertilizing gardens. They also break up hard soils and balance soil that is too acidic or alkaline. They add natural compost to the soil through their droppings.

Plant the Right Plants Together

Pots 2 Plots reports that many plants have allies, companions, and incompatibles, and it is important to know which is which. Allies repel insects or support the growth of another plant. Companions can live together even though they don’t particularly help each other, and incompatibles should not be planted together. Sometimes, there are added benefits. Planting basil near cherry tomatoes can act as a flavor additive.

Despite its reputation, organic gardening is neither more expensive nor more difficult than other types of gardening. At the end of the growing season, you and your family can enjoy healthy produce that you know was grown in concert with nature.

For help in taming your garden or yard, redesigning trouble areas, or just maintaining the level of beauty you desire, let GreenWise Grounds Care help!

Our Pricing

Here at GreenWise, we understand that pricing can be an important part of your decision in selecting a service provider and we want to make sure we are both open and transparent about our pricing structure. It’s not common in our industry for companies to share this information but we believe that by making our costs, expenses, and pricing structure transparent we will earn the trust of you; our valued clients, employees, and the community alike. We have nothing to hide and want to give our clients ALL the information they need to determine if we are the right fit for their landscaping project or maintenance.
 
Having said that, WE MAY NOT BE THE BEST FIT for all homeowners in the community and that’s okay. If a potential client is looking for pricing discounts, bartering, or price-matching then GreenWise is not the right service for them. We have standardized pricing on all of the services we perform that we’ve spent several years formulating. We know exactly what we need to earn in order to create a sustainable business model that can serve our clients far into the future. We will NOT be the lowest price in town, but we are also not the most expensive. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our efficiency within the company in order to remain competitive and provide our clients the best price and value possible.
 
 We will always be more expensive than an uninsured, unlicensed landscaper that isn’t registered with the state, doesn’t pay sales tax, or pays their employees under the table. What if one of their employees gets hurt on your property? You could be liable. Not to mention under-the-table employees tend to be less reliable which translates into unreliable service. Lastly, an unlicensed company not paying sales tax or charging enough money to sustain themselves will eventually go out of business and you will be left trying to find another service company, maybe even mid-season.
 
 There is a lot of overhead we must pay to make sure that we can serve our clients quickly, safely and effectively. Unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, general liability insurance, and payroll taxes are just a few of the added costs that we incur to make sure we are here to serve you for years to come. We have implemented the highest grade software system for our crews, office, and team members to communicate, schedule jobs, estimate jobs, communicate with clients, and ensure that we keep your billing information and credit card transactions safe and encrypted.
 
 The compensation and benefits we offer our team are 20-30% higher than you might find elsewhere in this industry. Why does this matter to you? We don’t have the massive turnover issues that many other companies in this industry face. We want you to become familiar with your crew, you will see the same staff on your property season after season. Not new team members every week trying to learn your property and your preferences. We are building GreenWise to go the distance, we want to be your landscaping and maintenance provider well into the future, and to do this we need to retain our team members and pay them a fair salary.
 
 We hope this answers your questions. We look forward to doing business with you and showing you what we like to call the “GreenWise Difference”.
 
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email us at info@greenwisegroundscare.com

Don’t Bag Those Clippings

You’ve probably heard the age old question: “Should I bag my lawn clippings or leave them on the lawn?” In most cases, the answer is pretty simple: Leave the lawn clippings on the lawn! By leaving the clippings not only will you save time and energy, but you will also be returning valuable nutrients to the lawn.

 

Grass Clippings act as fertilizer

On of the most important things you need to do to your lawn is to feed it regularly, grass clippings contain the same beneficial nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium nutrients that lawn fertilizer does. In fact, lawn clippings can provide up to one-third of the annual nutrients your lawn requires.

 

Less Work for You

In addition to adding the nutrients back into the your soil, leaving the clippings will reduce your mowing time and save you the hassle of emptying the bagger and having to dispose of the clippings.

 

Some easy guidelines to follow

Here are a few things you can do to help your grass stay strong and looking good. Be sure to routinely sharpen your mower blades and mow regularly at the recommended cutting height for your type of grass. Don’t mow when the grass is wet. If the grass is so tall that mowing at your normal cutting height will remove more than one-third of the length, you should raise the height of your mower. You can mow your yard once at the raised cutting height, and then mow it again in a different direction at the normal height. You can avoid a growth surge by using a slow-release fertilizer.

 

It won’t create a thatch problem

Contrary to what you may have heard, leaving lawn clippings on the lawn will not cause a thatch problem. Thatch is a layer of partially decomposed grass between the soil and living grass. Grass clippings are primarily water, so as long as you are mowing frequently at the right height, the grass clippings will break down and disappear rapidly.

 

There may be exceptions: when Bagging is Okay?

There are some circumstances when bagging your grass clippings may be warranted. If you see any signs of lawn disease, you may want to bag the clippings to avoid the spead of any fungus. Grass clippings may also be collected for use in a compost piles or to be used as beneficial mulch. Many people bag their grass clippings for aesthetic purposes or to keep the clippings from being tracked through the house. In most cases, simply following these mowing guidelines will avoid any clumps that detract from your lawn’s appearance and will keep the grass clippings small enough to filter down into the lawn.

10 Easy Tips for a Healthy Lawn

Having a healthy and green lawn can make a big difference in the looks of your property. It will increase your curb appeal and is more visually pleasing to enjoy during the spring and summer months. Here are ten easy tips for taking better care of your lawn.

 

  1. Clean Up Debris
    Gently rake any leaves that were left behind from last fall as well as any areas that have been weighed down by rain and snow to lift the grass back up.
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  3. Dethatch and Aerate your Lawn
    Dethatching and aerating your lawn will allow vital air and nutrients to get to the roots of the grass. Aeration will also loosen up compact soil and break through your lawn’s thatch layer allowing it to breathe and grow.
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  5. Seeding your Lawn
    Seeding or over seeding your lawn by using a premium high quality seed. You can re-pply yearly or even multiple times per year if needed in areas where you have bare spots or heavy traffic where your lawn is thinning out.
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  7. Sharp Mower Blades
    A sharp mower blade will produce a cleaner cut which will help the grass blade heal quickly after it is mowed to prevent any lawn diseases. Dull mower blades tear the grass and leave jagged edges exposing the grass to diseases. GreenWise crews sharpen their mower blades daily to give your lawn the best cut possible.
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  9. Trim and Edge your Lawn
    Trimming your lawn with a gas trimmer and power edger will help to tidy up your lawn’s edges giving it a cleaner, more finished look. Trimming and edging of all concrete areas will be performed as part of your lawn care service.
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  11. Fertilize your Lawn and Be Patient
    Generally you’ll want to apply fertilizer in the fall. Take care not to put excess amounts of fertilizer on your lawn. You’ll need to be patient and wait for your lawn to become green and healthy. Using too much fertilizer will burn your lawn and leave you with a bigger problem to deal with. Using an organic lawn food may be slower acting than regular synthetic fertilizer, but you will benefit with a healthier lawn.
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  13. Weed Treatment
    For a weed-free lawn it’s best to prevent weeds by applying a pre-emergent herbicide early on in the season to tackle weeds before they sprout. If it’s too late, you can try using a post-emergent herbicide that is designed to kill growing weeds.
     
  14. Water your Lawn
    Water your lawn regularly or install an irrigation system if you don’t have time to water with a hose and sprinklers. Try to maintain consistent moisture in the soil of your lawn rather than over watering for long periods of time. Your lawn only needs approximately 1-2 inches of water per week-depending to survive.
     
  15. Check for Insect Damage
    If you notice yellow spots in your lawn around mid-summer, you probably have an insect issue. You can treat your lawn with many natural pesticides or you can purchase chemical insecticides at your local big box store store.
     
  16. Let GreenWise take care of your Lawn
    Our easiest and most important tip is to let GreenWise Grounds Care handle all of your lawn care needs. We’ll take care of everything for you. Request a free online quote today!

 
Just follow these simple tips and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, greener lawn.

Spring Lawn Care Guidelines

It’s an Ohio tradition: shortly after the first warm sunny day of spring arrives, folks are anxious to get out and begin working in their lawns and gardens.

 

Our enthusiasm for yard work appears to rise with the temperature. This year, we think, I’m planning to fertilize my grass. This year, I’m planning to get eliminate that creeping Charlie. This year, I’m planning to seed those bare patches.

 

Unfortunately, the most effective time to do most of the items that improve our lawns is from August to October. Fortunately there are some steps you’ll be able to take now to get your yard in great shape.

 

First, hold off on the exhausting raking. Spring turf is very tender, and you don’t want to tear it out by the roots. Don’t rake if the impressions of your shoes stay on the turf once you’ve walked on it. Use a bouncy, light-weight rake to get rid of the remains of last year’s leaves however you’ll want to keep off the lawn until it’s dry.

 

If your yard is rough, bumpy and also the site of hard use by children or dogs, you should consider aerating. While the most effective time for aeration is in the fall, spring aeration — paired with a repeat in fall — will really help an abused yard. Many weeds, as well as annoying prostrate knotweed, thrive in hard-packed soil and might begin to take over your lawn causing the grass to suffer.

 

Don’t bother stomping around the yard with those silly shoe spikes that some mail order catalogs sell. Aeration is removing plugs of soil from the ground so nutrients and water can more easily reach grass roots — is best completed with a core aerator, a machine that appears a little like a snowblower. Aerators pull about 3″ long plugs of soil from the lawn.

 

To make it easier for the machine’s prongs to penetrate the yard, provide the grass a thorough watering or wait until it’s been soaked by a decent rain. The aerator should be run a minimum of 2 or 3 times over a yard in numerous directions. If you think it looks just awful, you’ve done a decent job. Lawns recover very quickly from aeration, with the soil plugs all disappearing in about ten days.

 

Commercial aerators tend to be massive machines that are troublesome to transport and very powerful. Instead of renting a bulky aeroator and lugging it home consider having your lawn added to our aeration schedule.

 

Aeration additionally helps lawns absorb plant food, and minimizes runoff of both nutrients and water. While Ohio suggests fertilizing low-maintenance lawns in August and October, you’ll be able to fertilize in may and June, as well. keep in mind that leaving finely cut grass clippings on the yard through the summer acts as a nitrogen fertilizer so don’t bag your grass clippings.

 

For homeowners with weed issues, a weed-and-feed or a fertilizer with crab-grass preventative may be applied in spring. Crab grass, an annual weed, begins to germinate once night soil temperatures reach 58 degrees, according to Ohio University that typically happens in the middle of April.

 

Since few folks actually take the temperature of our soil, an easier way to remember is to use crab grass pre-emergent once you see lilacs beginning to bud. Only use weed preventers wherever you’ve had a problem before, and keep in mind that crab grass could sprout earlier close to sidewalks and driveways as a result of the heat.

 

It seems logical that spring would be the most effective time to plant grass seed, however that’s another job that’s best done in August and September. That’s a result of weed seeds germinating principally within the spring, meaning there’s less competition for grass seed that is planted as fall approaches. However now could be a good time to lay sod if you’re ready to keep it watered through the hot summer months.

 

As for killing weeds, perennials like dandelions and creeping Charlie are easier to dispatch once the weather cools in late summer and also the plants are directing their energy to their roots. However you’ll be able to rake out lots of creeping Charlie within the spring — watch the grass! — and dig dandelions.

 

Mow frequently, and remember to leave those clippings on the yard, aerate and fertilize as you wish.