Precision Lawn Care, Inc. May 2013

May Landscape tips.

May FlowersApril showers bring May flowers. This year this may actually happen. The last few years April has been dry. The Atlanta area is experiencing one of the coolest and wettest Springs in years. There is a threat for a freeze, and even frost, in mid-May in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. And the Georgia drought has finally been broken according to the United States drought monitor. This season finally brought some much needed rain to our area, but the problem was it came all at once. Some areas in Georgia saw 15-20 inches in one month!!!

You may want to look at the March and April newsletters in our Newsletter Archives for things to do this time of year. The same general advice is on target, especially this year since the weather has been so cool. Remember that bagging grass clippings is just like throwing away fertilizer. Unless it clumps up badly, just leave it on your lawn. And please MOW HIGH to choke out weeds.

*Not only does your lawn get hungry, it also needs to breathe. Too much thatch can turn a healthy lawn into hay! If you haven't called us about aeration maybe you haven't been convinced. Check out the May 2011 newsletter for more information, then call us.

Azalia*If you are taking care of your own pruning remember to hold off on pruning those spring flowering shrubs that bloom on last year's growth such as Lilac, Forsythia, Quince, Magnolia, Azalea, Mock Orange, Weigela, etc. These should all be pruned after they finish blooming, usually in late spring or early summer. Evergreens such as Arborvitae, Junipers and Yews should be trimmed after they flush their new growth. This should be done in late May or early June. Do not trim evergreens after July. As always, remove any dead or broken material.

*It's time to divide your perennials and maybe plant some new ones. Perennial flowers are wonderful for your planting beds, but they bloom for only so long. You may have perennials blooming in your bed in May, then nothing until July. Incorporating annuals into a do-it-yourself landscaping plan will "plug the gaps," giving you continuous color in the yard.

*Reset automatic timers on outdoor lighting and irrigation systems now that Daylight Savings Time has begun. Check outdoor lighting fixtures for damage, replacing bulbs as necessary

Irrigation Filkters

*Inspect irrigation filter screens for damage. Clean the filter screens by opening the end of the filter and running water through briefly. Soak the screens in a 50/50 water and vinegar solution if there is mineral buildup. Flush the irrigation lines. Find the end cap and briefly run the system to flush out debris. You also want to check valve boxes for debris buildup or muddy conditions indicating poor drainage.

 

As the weather does get warmer you will be looking for plants that can take summer heat. These include salvia, torenia, wax begonia, coleus, & ornamental pepper. You can also plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary. Harmful insects become more and more active as the weather warms. Keep an eye out for thrips, scale, and mites on ornamental plants. You might want to read or re-read blogs in our Pest Control Category at http://www.precisionlawncareinc.com/blog/?cat=7

Of course, if you are one of our valued Precision Lawn Care customers, we'll have this covered for you. When you see your neighbor toiling over his landscape this month, tell him to call us. If he signs up, we will buy your lunch! (we will give you a $25 restaurant certificate)

 


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Summertime for Kids

last dayWhile the calendar indicates that the first day of summer starts in the third week of June, for children and their parents summer starts on the last day of school. It's countdown time and they're ready for blast-off. Are you ready, Moms and Dads? If you don't already have the next two and a half months of your child's life mapped out with fun and enriching activities scheduled, it's perfectly O.K. You can take a step-by-step approach using the process of elimination to choose the best options for the kids and he entire family.

 

Step 1 - Research
Using the internet, newspapers, and local magazines, find out which local camps are being held and when. Asking family and friends for recommendations is a great idea, especially if they have first hand accounts of camps that meet your standards of safety, cleanliness, staffing, and activities. Come up with a combination of private camps, specialty camps that focus on your child's favorite sport or talent, church programs and/or Vacation Bible School if you're so inclined, events sponsored by colleges or universities, and camps sponsored by the local parks and recreation department. Don't forget the summer reading program at the public library.

Step 2 - Get Feedback
Involve the children in selecting which programs interest them. You'll learn about their growing interests and individual tastes. They will be excited to take part in planning their summer vacation and will attend camp more willingly if they actually chose it for themselves. Contact any family members that you planned on visiting over the summer to see which week or weekend would be the best time for you to come. Check with your employer to see if any professional conferences or special events such as the company picnic are scheduled.

Step 3 - Hire Out Your Teen
HireOlder kids can stay busy doing odd jobs for friends, family and neighbors, so make sure that you contact everyone you know to remind them that they can have a young helper during the summer for yard work, pet care, babysitting, or an extra pair of hands at their place of business. Ask the directors of the summer camp programs for the younger children if your teenager can assist as a student counselor. Whether it's a paid position or not, your teen will surely benefit from the work experience.

Step 4 - Coordinate
Now it's time to get out the calendar and block out the designated times for the major activities. For weeks when nothing is scheduled, plan at least one play date or day trip to one of many local attractions so that the kids have something to look forward to. Because summer vacation is a great time for children to learn the value of hard work, be sure to include some home economics lessons like cooking, laundry, and deep thorough cleaning that they don't have time to do during the school year.

Step 5 - Schedule Family Time
Family timeDon't forget that when you have your children all to yourselves during the summer, it's a special time to bond with them and create memories that last the rest of their lives. Kids don't need a spectacular adventure to just relax with their parents and share what's on their minds. As they get older, leading their own lives in a social circle outside of the family, it might take some creativity on the parents' part to draw them out and find out what they're thinking, but we all know that it's well worth the effort. Make sure you spend as much time with your children of all age groups as possible in the summer months, before the rat race starts again.


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