AuthorCliff Broadleaf

Mulching in the Rain

Always looking for advantages for lawn care in Denver, I’ve decided to use this odd spell of rain here in Colorado by doing some mulching. Mulch is a natural sponge, and by laying it now, I am ensuring it will soak up water to its fullest. All the rain has absolutely brought my lawn to its greenest and fullest, but I know Denver lawn care requires a lot of long term thinking. While it may be rainy now, I now the summer sun will soon bring with it dry conditions, and possible sun damage. Mulching now should take care of this. It will soak up water my lawn can later use to keep itself hydrated.

My wife was interested in dyed mulch, and bringing extra some color to our lawn. I have to admit, some of them looked pretty nice. There was orange mulch and red mulch that looked particularly interesting. However, because the mulches are dyed they do not soak up water as easily, and are made to be more decorative.

In the end I decided to go with an organic lawn and bought recycled mulch. From there it just took some investigation into where to buy mulch in bulk. Buying mulch in bulk meant spending more, but ultimately saving money in the long run, as it usually is with buying things it bulk. After looking over some bulk mulch prices, I bought the mulch, and even got bulk mulch delivery thrown in, and started doing my lawn mulching.

It wasn’t amazing working out in the rain laying the mulch, but I managed to find some nice weather between the storms to get out in the yard and get the work done. I have to say, even with the brown recycled mulch, the lawn has more color. I know how tricky Denver lawn care can be, and I am very glad to have gotten this done, and to know I have put down some great protection for my lawn as summer approaches.

If anyone else has some great summer Denver lawn care tips, I would love to hear them!

Getting Rid of That Pesky Yellow Spot

Denver lawn care is quite the adventure. The constantly changing weather here in Denver, not to mention the intense sun and arid conditions, means it is difficult to really know what to expect when it comes to lawn care in Denver. I recently did some early spring watering and lawn care, and I saw my grass rejuvenated. Here in Denver we’ve also had about a week’s worth of early May rain and snow (it is not uncommon to get snow in Denver in May). With all this my whole lawn is looking very lush and dark green and healthy. The only problem is there is one yellow patch in my backyard I cannot seem to get rid of, and it’s been vexing for the past week or two.

During my spring Denver yard maintenance, I used the revive soil treatment, as well as a healthy amount of yard fertilizer. The lawn revive and the fertilizer definitely showed results, with my lawn growing very lush. These treatments should have taken care of the yellow patch, as well, but clearly they were not doing the trick. Since I know Denver lawn care is strange, I decided to delve deeper.

It seems the problem may not have been as simple as the grass not getting enough nutrients, but could have been damaged by some sort of chemical, or I don’t know what. The solution seemed to be to tear up the yellow patch and replant new grass. So, being a do it yourself kind of guy, I went out and pulled up the yellow spot. I then put down fresh soil, yard fertilizer and compost (now I’m kind of happy my wife insists on composting). I have a friend who did his own sod instillation in Colorado Springs and it didn’t sound too difficult so I laid some local bought Denver sod and made sure to keep up with my sod watering. After that it was just a simple matter of reseeding. Apparently I should see growth in eight to ten days, which sounds good to me.

Has anyone else doing Denver lawn care had trouble with yellow spots? How did you fix them?

Denver Aeration Tips

Aeration is generally used to combat soil compaction. For lawn care in Denver, this is especially important as soil is impacted by our climate and poor soil conditions. The rough and strange winters we have can be difficult on soil, either drying it out on the sunny days or over-watering it when it snows. In the end, winter damage effects soil compaction a great deal, and aeration is the perfect way to fix the damage done, especially as lawns here in Denver have difficulty recovering from their winter dormancy.

This means the best time for aeration is early spring, as your lawn moves out of winter dormancy and works towards rebuilding itself. Aeration is the process of excavating small holes in your lawn, allowing air and water to reach the roots of your grass and loosening up the soil, creating a healthier lawn. It is recommended one uses a lawn aeration service. However, the author can understand the desire to do things yourself. If you are looking to aerate your lawn yourself, there are a few things to remember.

First, you need to make sure you get the right tool. There are both spike and plug aerators on the market. You absolutely want to go with the plug aerator, as spike aerators can cause more damage to your lawn, increasing soil compaction rather than eliminating it. Once you have the right tool, make sure your lawn is damp before beginning. Dry lawns make for difficult aerating. It is ideal to begin aerating the day after it rains (which is rare here in Denver) or the day after watering your lawn. While aerating, make sure you go over your lawn a few times, as most aerators only cover a small portion of the lawn as you go by, and may need a couple passes to get the entire lawn. Following the aeration there will be excavated plugs of soil. It is best to let these dry and then flatten them out. The easiest way to do this is with your lawn mower next time you cut the grass.

Now that you’ve finished it is good to look at lawn fertilizers and treatment. With your lawn aerated, products like fertilizers and revive lawn treatment will have much better access to your grass’ roots, complimenting basic watering with rich minerals guaranteed to help your grass grow greener. While most think of only aerating lawns in the spring and fall, lawn care in Denver is quite different thanks to our dry climate and strong sun. A second aeration in mid-summer is a must to keep your lawn green and healthy all the way through fall.

Is Weed and Feed Killing my Lawn?

For years, I have been using Weed and Feed for lawncare fertilizer and weed control. I always thought it was a great way to reduce the amount of work to do in my yard, but I’ve recently found Weed and Feed is actually a terrible lawn treatment.

I have begun looking into eco-friendly lawn care techniques. While Weed and Feed is certainly cheap and easy, and cheap is my wife’s favorite word, it’s not really great for the environment. Maintaining organic lawns is practically impossible using Weed and Feed because of its extreme over-use of herbicides. It makes your lawn toxic. Its chemicals are linked to numerous health problems. I definitely don’t want my dogs walking around in that muck. Weed and Feed just fails to live up to going green and keeping up an eco-friendly lawn.

And it’s bad for your grass, too. Denver lawn care is my passion and I love my lawn, and God knows I don’t want to damage it, but unfortunately, using Weed and Feed, I have been for years. Weed and Feed kills off not just weeds but natural fungi and bacteria necessary to keep your lawn healthy. When it comes to weed control, there are just healthier ways to go about it.

Honestly, it may be best just to get out my weeding garden tools and pull them up myself. It’s hard work, but sometimes that’s what it takes to have a healthy lawn.

Talking prevention, having a well-watered and fertilized lawn is often enough to keep weeds away. A fertilized lawn keeps the space in the soil tight so that weeds cannot grow through. If you want to use product to keep your lawn healthy, I’ve recently discovered Revive grass treatments. Rather than coating your lawn with dangerous herbicides, the Revive treatment gives your grass minerals to help it grow lusher, once again pushing out weeds. It’s definitely something I’m looking into to keep a greener yard.

Basically, as a Denver lawn care enthusiast, I’m a bit embarrassed I did not realize how dangerous Weed and Feed is until now, but I will definitely be working to make my lawn healthier and more eco-friendly to make up for it. Does anyone have any good eco-tips for organic lawn care?

Easter Fertilizing

easter lawn care denverLawn care in Denver has been my dad’s passion since 1974. Every year, my dad has insisted on fertilizing the lawn four times a year. He kept track of this by fertilizing on four major holidays: Labor Day, Memorial Day, Halloween, and Easter. It is one of the best lawn care tips I know, and one I’ve tried to keep going at my own house. With Easter coming up this week (wow, this year flew by, didn’t it?), I’m getting ready to get out there and begin some spring fertilization. The best part about picking Easter is it really means I get my early spring fertilizing out of the way quickly.

Early spring fertilization is important, especially for lawn care in Denver, because as your grass recovers from winter lawn damage, an environment perfect for the intrusion of weeds is created. Fertilizing early increases soil quality, creating a denser soil that prevents weeds from growing. A weak area where grass has died or grown yellow allows weeds to breed. It is important to get these spots healthy as soon as possible in early spring. However, while it might be tantalizing to jump the gun, it is equally important that you fertilize while your lawn is actively growing, which means waiting until earl spring, making Easter the perfect signpost.

It is also important to remember that many grasses prefer cooler weather, and early spring fertilization will ensure they grow strong while it is still relatively cool out, so that they endure during the hot days of summer, this is especially important for lawn care in Denver with our incredibly intense sun, until they can begin growing in full in fall once more. Fertilizing every Easter, as I’ve learned from my father, is absolutely essential to having a beautiful lawn throughout the spring, summer, and even fall months. It is perhaps one of the most important early spring lawn care tips I know.

Does anyone else have any lawn care Denver tips for the spring?

There are Mushrooms in my Yard

Well, thisFH11MAR_BACHEA_09 is new. It has been a damp wintery start to spring, which is nothing new. With the nice weather finally back I’ve been back out in my yard, and I’ve found patches of mushrooms scattered about. I don’t necessarily have anything against mushrooms, but I don’t really like them interrupting my beautiful lawn. So I’m left wondering how to get rid of mushrooms.

Doing some research, I learned that mushrooms grow from decaying items, such as old mulch, and the decay becomes more rapid with moisture. The growth cycle of mushrooms is rather quick, this explains why all the snow caused the sprouting of mushrooms in grass in my yard. Mushrooms, I learned, also grow in yards using sod landscaping. To keep mushrooms from appearing in the first place, there are a few easy tips. The first is to ensure not to over-water your lawn. Monthly watering should be enough, though if things appears yellow, it might be better to up the watering cycle or search for a professional water service. Aeration also helps to keep fungi out. The air movement tends to keep fungi from properly forming. Nitrogen fertilizer will help as well because it will speed up the decomposition of organic matter, not giving the mushrooms enough time to grow.

As for how to get rid of mushrooms that are already there, there are a few tricks. Like with weed removal, it sometimes comes down to just removing them as they pop up as quickly and often as possible. It also helps to clean up the fungus’s source of food. This mean picking up pet waste, disposing of rotting mulch, and tree stump removal. Some may wish to resort to fungicides, however, you should be reminded that the mushroom itself won’t respond, and you need to get the fungicide at the fungus’s roots.

What have you all discovered? How have you managed to get rid of mushrooms in your yard? What types of lawn mushrooms have you found?

Hiring Professionals

After getting trampled with snow the past couple weeks, it looks like sunny days have returned to Denver. As the snow melts, and I can finally see some green grass poking out from the white again, I’ve been growing worried about how the past few weeks’ deluge has affected my lawn. Naturally, as a proud home-owner, I like to take care of my lawn myself. It’s a relaxing activity on weekends, helps get me out of the house and away from the wife, but some things I worry I cannot do on my own, especially as winter ends and spring comes around.

One of the many problems I’ve noticed has been yellowing of the grass around the walkways and driveway. Because of the snow we’ve used a lot of salt to keep the walk and driveways from icing over. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized that some anti-ice salts can be damaging to the lawn, hence the yellowing. I’ve since learned there are safer methods for snow removal, including salts that use calcium rather than actual salt, which will come in handy, as the actual last snows in Denver don’t come around until April or May. For now, it looks like I’m going to need some professionals to come in and help me to figure out to fix the damage already done.

Due to not using the sprinkler system all winter, I am also worried about any damage done there. Theoretically I could do it myself, but the irrigation system in my house is complicated and I wouldn’t want to screw it up. Professionals would be a great help in this area as they can come in, determine if there is any damage, and pin-point it much faster than I could. I am interested in whether anyone else has done irrigation maintenance on their own, or if hiring a professional is truly the best course of action?

Getting My Lawn Ready for Spring

January in Colorado can be a little strange when it comes to weather. But the nice spring-like days are reminding me I have to start getting my lawn ready for when real spring rolls around. It is very easy to let the lawn go during the winter. I have been trying to keep up, but during the winter I just do not spend as much time out in my lawn, and it is easy to miss the problems that arise. So, on my own, I have started to compile a list of things I need to do to get my lawn ready for when spring rolls around.

The first thing I need to do is just get back out in the yard and walk around. Having been removed, many problems can have arisen, and just being back out there gets me back into connection with my lawn, and I begin to understand the problems. One common problem, and one I’ve noticed even just looking out the window, is the overflow from the garden beds. Soil from the garden has fallen out into the lawn. The problem here is that the soil will not give the grass a chance to get the proper air and water it needs. There is also a problem with debris. There are some leaves in the lawn, and some fallen branches, and for my grass to thrive, I need to clean those up as well.

Beyond that, and this is something I will be working with Mountain High Tree to maintain, is fertilizing. I already found a great deal Mountain High offers to help revivify the lawn through treatments, and since it’s a great deal, my wife is totally on board. While I am excited to get out and get my lawn ready, I know this is the last step, and needs to wait until later in the year. Still, next weekend I will be out cleaning up the yard so it is ready for the coming of spring.

January Spring

One of my favorite things about living in Denver has to be the January springs we get. I am originally from Massachusetts, and there once winter comes, it clouds up for about six months and either rains or snows at least every other day, The cold, because of the humidity, gets into your bones, and never fully leaves. There is no real way to enjoy being outdoors in the winter back east. Denver’s climate, however, means I can be outdoors most of the winter and still enjoy it. Even when it snows, it is usually sunny and nice the very next day,

So it has been great that this year has started off with quite a few days well over the forties. Out in my backyard I have a nice bench and a couple chairs and I love to sit out and enjoy the sunshine, and even being here for about 15 years now, I still dread the winters from my memories of Massachusetts this time of the year. Which brings me back to the point, it’s so nice to have the type of beautiful winter days we have here in Denver that allow me to sit outside and enjoy the lawn I love so much.

Just not sitting inside all day during winter days is such a blessing. I remember the feeling of being cooped up, and I still get it on snowy days here, but then the sun comes out and I feel free. I guess that is why I am so passionate about my lawn, it gives me a nice quiet place to sit and enjoy being outside, without the hassle of leaving the house. It’s just so nice having so many more days here in Colorado to enjoy my lawn, compared to back east. I truly enjoy our January springs.

Early Bird

I am not made of money, as my wife constantly likes to remind me. While looking for the best landscaping companies to help us spruce up our lawn, I was not exactly thinking of budget, but more along the lines of quality. I think with picking Mountain High tree I definitely found the quality, but my wife is unsure we will properly be able to afford their services. While I constantly reassure her it is fine. We can afford to do this, she is always looking for a deal. Luckily, for me and the lawn, she found one.

She found out Mountain High Tree has an Early Bird Special, which means we would get a free treatment in the spring if we sign up now. While returning customers get a free revive program, since we are just signing up we will get a free fertilization. Anything free lights my wife’s ear on fire, so instead of pushing back on our decision to bring in some experts, she is now pushing me to sign up as quickly as possible.

While we have plenty of time to get the special, I figure I better call them now while my wife and I are still in agreement, because who knows how she will feel next week. Or even tomorrow. It will be nice to have someone else fertilizing the grass this year, rather than spending my weekends out doing it myself. The deal also includes help with crabgrass and weed control. I love getting out on working on my lawn, don’t get me wrong. It will just be nice to get some of the early work done and by professions. I figure after they are gone, I can go out and get back to my do it yourself passions. And, if we really like them, hopefully we can bring them back in if more problems arise.

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