Precision Lawn Care, Inc. January 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! 

cold

The champagne bottles have popped, the sirens have wailed, the bells have rung, and the fireworks have exploded! The New Year is upon us. And all of us at Precision Lawn Care wish you and yours a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

The weather outside reminds us of an old song by John Mercer and Margaret Whiting, Baby It's Cold Outside (1944). Unfortunately, that's all your lawn and landscape knows. So, while it's cold outside let's think of some things you can do for your property.

 

  • Your dormant lawn is easily damaged during cold weather. Abuse can severely damage the crown of the plant, killing your grass. Reduce heavy traffic on dormant lawns.
  • Germination of winter annual weeds is occurring at this time of year. They can be seen emerging from the turf canopy. They can be effectively controlled by spot treating the weed when it is relatively young. These weeds can be unsightly during the winter but they usually die when the weather gets warmer. However, the warm weather brings about its own type of weeds. Plan now for summer weeds or call us soon!
  • Now is the time to think about making lawn maintenance easier. Eliminate the hard to mow spaces like acute angles in beds and borders. Consider combining single trees or shrubs into a large planting connected with ground cover
  • Be sure to keep plants watered even in winter. It's cold, but it is often dry, so remember that frozen water is better than none at all. But if you get water on walks and driveways and need to use salt to melt ice, spread it carefully to avoid damage to nearby shrubs.
  • Pruning Do NOT prune if temperatures are at or below freezing! The wood of many plants will crack under these conditions. When pruning large limbs, always undercut first. This means to cut from the bottom up, one-third of the way through the limb, and then finish by cutting from the top. The undercut keeps the limb from splitting and breaking off, which could damage the trunk and become an entryway for insects and diseases. Do not cut flush to the trunk; the collar or enlarged base of a branch produces hormones that help heal wounds.
  • Clean them, sharpen them, lubricate your gardening tools. You'll then be ready for gardening season the minute the soil is warm enough to plant.
  • Be sure to have some type of protection such as blankets or bubble wrap on hand to protect planters in case of a drop in temperatures. Drain constructed fountains if you haven't already. It's better to be safe than sorry. If you have a pond or waterfall, there is no need to drain it or shut it off. It's best to let it run all year.
  • house plants
  • Turn and prune house plants regularly to keep them shapely pinching back new growth to promote bushy plants. Be sure to check indoor plants closely for insect infestations and quarantine gift plants until you are sure they are not harboring any pests.
  • Most houses are too dry for house plants during winter months. Increase humidity for your plants by placing on trays lined with pebbles and filled with water to within one half inch of the base of the pot. House plants with large leaves and smooth foliage will benefit by washing leaves periodically to remove dust and grime, helping keep the leaf pores open.
  • Feed the birds regularly and see that they have water. Birds like suet, fruit, nuts, and bread crumbs as well as bird seed.
To accomplish great things,
We must not only act,
But also dream,
Not only plan but also believe,
Best wishes for New Year 2014

Resolutions:

How do you like this play on words regarding New Year’s resolutions:they go in one year and out the other.By the time you read this, maybe half of all resolutions made may have been abandoned already. At least people have good intentions to change and improve themselves, right? Some folks adapt mottoes, like “Make it Clean in 2014” or “Live the Dream,” “Change Your Scene” or anything else positive that rhymes with “teen.” That way there’s a general theme that they can work with rather than specific goals, so maybe they’ll feel more of a sense of accomplishment by attaching some relevance to anything that they did between now and the end of December this year.

Studies have shown that setting attainable short term goals and describing the steps required to reach your desired results are usually effective. It’s possible to fulfill your goals when you go about achieving them in a realistic fashion, rather than making a resolution without fully committing to all of the details required to back it up. Let’s look at how this can be done with the top three goals that people set for themselves at the beginning of each year: losing weight, quitting smoking, and saving more money.

lose weight 1.)Losing Weight The basic principles to apply here are to eat less and to move more. There are several tools that help successful people trim their bodies down to a smaller size, including ones to track everything that goes into their mouths. They use free apps and websites like sparkpeople.com. Portion control and trading out dense and fatty foods for water-filled and fiber-rich foods (more fruits and vegetables, even in the form of soups and smoothies) works wonders. Also, they make sure to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to keep the calories burning with fun activities they enjoy doing. The buddy system with accountability partners keeps them motivated.

stop smoking2.)Kicking the Nicotine Habit – Now that government-sponsored campaigns and advertisements for gum, patches and prescription medications to help people quit smoking cigarettes have taken the stigma away from the bravado of quitting cold turkey, many smokers are researching which cessation programs will be best for them. Certain employers and insurance companies are offering incentives to employees and clients who become smoke-free. Each individual has different needs, both physical and psychological, when it comes to smoking or chewing tobacco, but help is just a phone call or a few clicks of a computer mouse away. Getting starting is the first step, following through is the second, third, fourth, and so on.

save3.)Saving Money From storing loose change in a jar (the old fashioned way) to “rounding up” at the cash register when using our debit card from certain banks, or having a certain amount from our paycheck deposited directly into or savings account with each paycheck before we miss it, there are many ways to save money for ourselves. We can always take a brutally honest look at our expenses and cut out non-essentials and luxuries that we can live without. Do we have to go to Starbucks every day? Do we watch all of those premium cable channels on TV? Could we hand wash some of those items with care rather than take them to the dry cleaners? Could we sell some of the things taking up space in the attic or garage and add the proceeds to our savings account?

These few ideas may get you started. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year and hope that you will accomplish everything that you set your mind to doing in 2014. Don’t we all love a fresh start?