Precision Lawn Care, Inc. August 2012

Summer Landscaping Tips

Last month we talked about watering you lawn in the summer heat. You can continue to follow the advice we cave you there. You may also be interested in knowing that the State of Georgia has relaxed the rules allowing you more flexibility in your watering habits.

Effective June 1, 2012, you can water your lawn and garden any day from between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. This means you can now run automated irrigation systems, lawn sprinklers or water by hand daily without following the odd/even numbering rules. BUT, outdoor water use for any other purpose, such as power washing or washing cars, is still restricted to the current odd/even watering schedule. Odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses are allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

learn more at Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Now that we have that out of the way we can discuss some other things you need to do as the thermometer rises.

Check Your Irrigation System

Irrigation headCheck your irrigation system weekly for broken or misaligned sprinkler heads and drip emitters, which can be prime water-waste culprits. You may also need to upgrade your irrigation clock. Replace your irrigation system with a "smart clock" and save water and money. Also check rain sensors. A properly tuned irrigation system will automatically shut off when it rains.

For future reference, always develop a landscape plan before designing an irrigation system. Improperly placing the wrong plants in the wrong areas will cost you in the long run. The best money you will ever spend on your new landscape is money paid to an expert who can help to assure that your landscape will remain healthy, fun and efficient for years to come. Even if you are redesigning an existing property don't be afraid to call the experts. It is not necessary to do everything he/she suggests at once. Landscapes properly installed according to a plan even over a period of time can look finished, even when they are not.

While we are talking about planning, think about proper placement of trees. A well-positioned tree can save up to 25 percent of your home's energy for heating and cooling. A single shade tree equals the cooling power of 15 air conditioners -- and it runs for free!

Mulch!

MulchWe cannot stress enough the proper use of mulch in landscape beds, gardens, container pots, around trees and other plants. Used correctly, mulch will reduce soil moisture evaporation, reduce soil temperatures, suppress weed growth and provide many other benefits. Mulch can reduce evaporation of water from the soil by 50 percent, which is a tremendous benefit.

Mulch comes in organic and inorganic forms. Organics are excellent because they break down in time adding humus and nutrients to the soil. Because mulching retains moisture at the base of your plants and shrubs, it will support the growth and development of the plants in the heat of the summer. The layer of mulch should be renewed as needed to maintain a 2- to 4-inch depth. On previously mulched areas apply a 1-inch layer of new material.

Inorganic mulches include rock, plastic, shredded tires and glass. They don't break down, are resistant to floating and blowing, most are resistant to flames and reduce water evaporation from the soil. Rock mulch has become very popular, but use caution before adding it to your landscape. Decomposed granite, crushed stone, lava rock, pebbles, pea gravel and other rock materials absorb heat from the sun and release it into the surrounding areas during the day and night. They actually increase the temperature of the area which increases plant stress and water needs. Inorganic mulches can increase cooling costs if it is near an indoor or outdoor living space.

And take care of yourself!

When working outside in the summer heat, drink plenty of fluids. And if you start to wilt, go sit in the shade until you or the outside temperatures cool off. Then go finish your project.

Might want to take a look at the latest blog posts. The newest is on Japanese Beetles. Remember, If you are on our regular lawn care rotation, you dont need to worry about these pests. We've got you covered! Interesting reading though!


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What? No Legal Holidays in August?

There must not be any holidays in August because it is just too hot to bother with them. A person might think so, but, oddly enough, there have been quite a few days set aside in August that fit the category of "Bizarre." So if you need a reason to do something different in August here are a few suggestions:

ZuchiniWednesday, August 8, 2012 is "Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day" - Finally a solution to the overflowing zucchini plant situation. Any person who has grown zucchini in the past knows that one prolific zucchini plant will produce a seemingly endless supply of long green squash and a row of them might just be enough to end world hunger. So this day was set aside by an unknown gardener to bless his neighbors without feeling guilty about getting rid of a bunch of zucchini at the same time. If you place them in a nice basket with a large bow your neighbor may even feel it was a blessing! Throw in a couple of your favorite recipes (like zucchini bread, or squash casserole), then carefully sneak up on the porch and place the basket in front of the door. Then hit the door bell and hide. If they start shouting obscenities, sneak out the back way, but if they, "Ooooh and Aaaaah" then step out and say "Howdy, I hope you like zucchini." What a great way to meet the new neighbors and reduce the zucchini supply at your house. Two birds with one stone.

Saturday, August 11, 2012 is "Presidential Joke Day" - No kidding. It is not a day to make a joke about the president, it is a day for the president to share one! This one was created, accidentally, by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. He used to do a regular radio broadcast on Saturdays and on this day he thought the microphone was not on as he jokingly said: "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." To his surprise, he was speaking to a live feed! How were they ever going to rectify that one? Well, why not make it official? And that is just what they did. August 11 became "Presidential Joke Day." It was probably the only way they could save face with the country of Russia and still keep a straight face. I don't think any president has ever used that day since, but you never know when it might just come in handy.

KissSaturday, August 25, 2012 is "Kiss and Make Up Day" - How long has it been since you had that fight anyway? August 25 is a great day to end the feud, hang up the holsters, and send flowers to your best friend, family member, or enemy. No one wants to be angry forever. That just takes too much work. C'mon, resolve those issues and get over your differences. It's time to breathe a relaxed breath and get a good night's sleep. OK, everybody: Kiss and Make Up. Now wasn't that easy?

dogSunday, August 26, 2012 is "National Dog Day" - Ever heard of a "Dog Day Afternoon?" Well this is it. National Dog Day has been set aside to honor man's best friend and to rescue dogs from homelessness and abuse. I suppose rescuing a cat or a goat on that day would be good, too, but it is meant to give your dog a bone and pat him on the head and say "thank you" for always being happy to see you, for barking alarm when someone is outside the house, and for leading the blind, or seeking out bombs and drugs, or finding lost children. Where would we be without our dogs? The motto for National Dog Day is "Saving 10,000 Dogs - One Day at a Time." President George W. Bush who is a dog lover, himself, sent a letter to the foundation in support of this holiday. So why not choose this day to rescue a dog from the pound? Go on… isn't he cute? Why not take him home and make the kids and adults at your house smile.


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