Lawn Care Checklist for North Carolina

North Carolina has a temperate climate throughout most of the year, which means a longer growing season than other areas of the country. It also means that the state’s lawns need different types of care throughout the year. Use this checklist to make sure you are staying on top of your lawn care duties and can continue to enjoy a beautiful and healthy landscape.

Winter Lawn Chores

Even during January and February, North Carolin can experience warm days. Take advantage of this weather to mow your dormant grass. This will help to mulch up and remove leaves, pine needles and other organic debris. 

You will also want to start spotting winder weeds that may have set up camp. Treating them now can make sure they don’t take over your lawn once the weather starts to warm up.

Spring Lawn Tasks

Get your soil tested. Spring is the perfect time to add lime or fertilizer as needed. However, you won’t know how much of what to add without a better understanding of the acidity of your soil. Investing in a quick and easy soil test can give you some valuable information that will help you create and maintain a lush, well-fed lawn.  

During spring, the grass will come back to life and require periodic mowing. For the first few mowings, be sure to avoid cutting the grass too short. You only want to take off about the top third. 

Summer Lawn Care

During the summer, your lawn will be growing fast and furious. This means that you will probably end up mowing about once a week. You can also encourage and support lawn health with regular fertilization. Just be sure that you are providing your grass type with the right amount of nitrogen-based fertilizers. Adding too much fertilizer can end up burning your lawn, so always follow product instructions carefully. 

Hot summer temperatures and high humidity can also be hard on grasses. To help them survive periods of drought, raise the cutting height of your lawnmower to help slow down the process of evaporation.

Fall Lawn Care Checklist

Fall lawn care tasks will help set your lawn up for success next spring. Around October, you want to start aerating and overseeding the lawn. You can also apply a slow-release fertilizer that will continue to feed the grass throughout the winter months. By the time spring rolls around, your lawn will come back fuller and healthier than before.  

For more lawn care tips or expert help with all your regular landscape tasks and maintenance needs, contact JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care. We serve businesses and homeowners throughout the triangle area.  

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Best Plants to Plant During the Fall in Raleigh

Typically, we think of spring as a time of regrowth and a good time to plant and expand your garden. However, you don’t have to wait until March or April to start planting and enjoy the colors and textures of a beautiful landscape. There are some great plants that are perfect to plant in Raleigh in the fall and will make your winter garden more interesting.

Dogwood

The dogwood is already a popular shrub throughout North Carolina. There are many different species to choose from and a lot of them come with distinctive bark, which can add color to your garden. Plant them in the fall to enjoy the red and yellow hues of the bark and by spring they will be loaded with fragrant blooms. 

Viburnum

These woody shrubs produce flowers in the spring, but they are full of color throughout the year. During the fall, they display beautiful fall foliage colors and by winter they will be covered in blue berries. Expect your viburnum to reach a height of 6’ to 8’ feet when it has fully matured.

Holly

Holly provides the classic Christmas color contrast of deep glossy green leaves against red berries. These hardy trees put on a great show throughout the year and their berries will be around well into the winter months. 

Sarcococca

Sarcococca is a unique box shrub that actually waits until mid-winter to flower. Planting a few during the fall will mean that you get to enjoy small, fragrant white flowers once the rest of the garden has gone dormant. 

Winter Jasmine

This flowering plant also blooms during the winter and can be trained to climb up a trellis, making it a great addition to certain architectural features around your landscape. Healthy winter jasmine will yield star-shaped yellow flowers and grow to a height of up to 15’. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your fall and winter garden and enjoy beautiful plants throughout the year. For additional help with your Raleigh area fall planting plans, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care.

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When Should I Put Winter Fertilizer On My Lawn?

Many people assume that spring is the best time to lay down new grass seed and fertilizer. The return of warm weather brings other plants, trees, and shrubs back to life, so it only seems to make sense that this would be the best time to encourage new lawn growth with fertilizer, however, this isn’t the case. Keep reading to learn more about the ideal time to fertilize your lawn. 

Why You Should Fertilize during Late Fall

By late fall, any lawn growth above the surface has stopped, but that doesn’t mean that your lawn has gone completely dormant. There is still plenty of activity happening underground. Your lawn still needs air, water, and nutrients during the long winter months. In fact, adding fertilizer and preparing your lawn to weather the winter will help it come back stronger and thicker in the spring. 

When it comes to fertilizing your lawn for the winter, timing is everything. You want to apply fertilizer after your lawn has stopped growing and before the first snow of the season. Basically, as soon as you store your lawnmower away for the winter, it is time to apply some nitrogen-rich fertilizer that will continue to supply the roots with the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy. Nourishing the root system and helping it to become thicker will result in a lush lawn once growth resumes above ground.    

Call the Professionals

While it may seem counterintuitive to apply fertilizer in the late fall, this is actually the ideal window of opportunity to give your lawn the boost it needs to come back fuller and thicker in spring. If you need help choosing the right fertilizer and preparing your lawn with aeration techniques, contact JT’s Landscaping today. We have years of experience helping home and business owners throughout Raleigh and the Triangle enjoy beautiful and healthy landscapes. 

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How to Prepare Your Lawn for Winter

The winter months provide a break from contrast lawn maintenance, but that doesn’t mean you want to completely ignore your yard. Before the cold really sets in, you will want to take certain steps to prepare your lawn for winter. Investing some time during the fall will ensure that your lawn returns healthier than ever in the spring. Follow these tips for a better lawn.

1. Do the Final Mow

For the last mow of the season, you will want to cut the grass down to 1”-1.5”. This will make aeration easier and allow you to identify any areas that may need extra compost and seed.

2. Remove Leaves and Organic Debris

Raking up leaves and pine needles throughout the fall can feel like an endless chore, but it is an important part of preparing your lawn. A thick layer of leaves can prevent air from reaching the roots. In addition, leaves can accumulate moisture, which provides the perfect home for both pests and disease. If the leaves aren’t too thick or wet, you can simply use your lawnmower to mulch them up into smaller pieces, which can then provide your lawn with nutrients.

3. Aerate and Fertilize Your Lawn

Before the Triangle area experiences the first frost of the year, you will want to aerate and fertilize your lawn. Aeration not only breaks up any compaction that has occurred, but it also allows air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots. Adding the right fertilizer once you have aerated provided roots with the opportunity to absorb and store nutrients over the winter. As soon as the weather turns warm and the grass begins to grow again, it will have everything it needs to create a dense root structure and grow back thicker than ever.

4. Overseed

When you combine overseeding with aeration and fertilizing, you improve your chances of creating a thicker lawn. A push spreader is the best way to consistently deliver seeds. Be sure to overlap slightly as you make passes across the lawn. 

5. Reduce Foot Traffic

Once the grass has gone dormant, it is more susceptible to damage. If you continue to walk the same path across your lawn, you can damage the grass and create bare spots come spring.

Following these five steps will protect your lawn throughout the winter months and ensure that you have a healthier landscape next spring. If you would like professional help preparing your lawn for winter, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping. Our team of highly trained experts has years of experience helping homeowners throughout the Triangle enjoy healthier and more beautiful landscapes. 

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7 Fall Cleanup Services for Retail Center and Office Parks

Fall is here and it is time to turn your attention to your landscape. Spending some time cleaning up debris and preparing your grass, trees, flower beds and irrigation systems for the winter can help ensure a beautiful and healthy landscape once spring arrives. Taking advantage of fall cleanup services can help you make a great first impression with customers and visitors who come to your retail center or office park. Here are the top 7 commercial landscape services we recommend during the fall:

1. Leaf Cleanup

While fall foliage can be beautiful, once the leaves have fallen and are covering your turf, it is time to take action and search for some fall cleanup services. Not only do dead leaves make your property look unkempt, the leaves are bad news for your grass. The leaves will prevent air and nutrients from reaching the lawn while also collecting moisture that will attract insects and plant diseases. That is why leaf removal should be at the top of your list for fall landscape services.

2. Aerating and Seeding

One fall cleanup service you should consider is aerating and seeding. Mowing your lawn and even just walking on it can cause the soil to compact, which makes it difficult for water and nutrients to get to the roots. Aeration works by removing plugs of soil from the lawn and creating clear pathways to roots. When aeration is followed by overseeding, your lawn will grow back stronger and fuller in the spring.

3. Fertilizing

It may sound counterintuitive to fertilize your grass right as it is beginning to go dormant for the winter. Keep in mind that while your grass won’t be growing, the roots are still developing and need nutrients. Fertilizing in the fall will help create a deep and healthy root system that will result in a thick lawn once growth resumes in the fall.

4. Pruning

Now is the time to cut back overgrown or dead trees and bushes. With the leaves gone, you will be able to see what needs to be trimmed. Pruning not only creates a tidy landscape, it also supports plant health.

5. Take Care of Perennials

Now that the bloom is off your perennials, your flower beds are probably full of deteriorating stalks. You can cut them back all the way to the ground, which will help prevent disease, improve the look of your landscape and help the flowers come back next year. This is a necessary fall cleanup service you should complete to keep your lawn looking great.

6. Mowing

For the final mow of the season, you will want to cut the grass shorter than you may usually cut it. Shorter grass will help prevent moisture from accumulating and spreading disease. It will also make leaf removal a lot easier.

7. Winterize Your Irrigation System

During the warm North Carolina summers, your irrigation system plays a key role in providing the right amount of moisture. Once the weather turns cold, you want to protect your system so that you don’t have to worry about making costly repairs. It is important to remove all the water from the system to prevent any freezing and take other steps to winterize the system.

Leave your fall cleanup tasks to the experts. Call JT’s Landscaping to schedule a consultation and set up a fall cleanup schedule that will protect your retail location or office center landscape and make sure that it looks better than ever next spring.

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What are the Benefits of Aerating and Seeding?

As summer begins to wane, it is time to start planning for your spring lawn and landscape. Investing some time in preparing your lawn will go a long way to ensure that it comes back fuller, lusher, and healthier than ever before. One of the most effective ways to support your lawn is through aerating and seeding. 

Over time, your lawn’s soil can become compacted. This is especially true if you have pets and kids running around, but it can also happen with regular use and mowing. Compacted soil tends to create a shallow root system and makes it difficult for water, air, and other essential nutrients to reach the grass. 

How Aeration Works

Aeration creates holes and loosens the soil, which makes it easier for the roots to absorb all the nutrients they need. This helps to create a deeper and thicker roots system and a more dense lawn. Aeration also makes it easier for a seed to properly germinate and fill in any bald or thin patches on the lawn. aeration

Seeding Your Lawn

Once the lawn has been aerated, it should be overseeded. Basically, this means generously spreading seed across the entire lawn and not just bare areas. Overseeding will help to create a thicker and stronger lawn that will help to keep weeds at bay and resist insects and other types of turf damage. Repeating this process on a yearly basis will ensure that your lawn continues to improve.

Aerating and seeding are simple ways you can support your lawn health, repair any damage that may have occurred over the summer, and enjoy a lush and beautiful lawn in the spring. For professional help with year-round lawn care and maintenance, contact the experts at JT’s Landscaping. We have years of experience serving homeowners and businesses throughout the Triangle.

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What is the Best Time to Aerate and Seed Your Lawn?

North Carolina summers are characterized by scorching temps, high humidity, and almost daily rains. This kind of weather can be tough lawns. Fortunately, you can breathe new life into your lawn with the right aerating and seeding plan so that it grows back healthier and more lush than ever in the spring. Take advantage of cooler temperatures and warm soil conditioning during the fall to repair your lawn.

Advantages of Fall Aeration and Seeding

Many people assume that spring is the best time to seed a lawn in preparation for the summer. While spring is full of new growth, this creates competition for space and other resources. Other plants and weeds can make it difficult for new grass to thrive. In addition, if the lawn hasn’t had enough time to establish a deep and healthy root system before temperatures become too hot, you will end up with a lawn full of weeds instead of grass.  

During the fall months, the nights are much cooler while the soil remains warm, which helps to create ideal conditions for grass growth. At the same time, many plants are going into hibernation for the winter, so new grass doesn’t have as much competition for essential nutrients. Aerating and overseeding during the fall will help create a lush and healthy lawn that is more resistant to both pests and weeds.

Why is Aeration Important?

Aeration is a simple process that involves creating small holes in the soil so that water, air, and nutrients are better able to reach the grass’s roots. Over time, is it easy for your landscape’s soil to be compacted. Everything from pets and kids playing to regular mowing can lead to compacted soil that will kill the grass and create bare spots. Aeration is a vital component of lawn care that helps to loosen the soil for optimal growth conditions.

There are two types of aerators to choose from: a spike aerator and a plug aerator. Spike aerators can be as simple as spiked plates that can be strapped onto the bottom of your shoes. All you have to do is walk around your yard to aerate your lawn. Plug aerators remove more soil and are usually gas powered, self-propelled machines. If you don’t want to invest in this equipment, you can always rent an aerator from your local hardware store. While spike aerators are helpful, most lawn care specialists will recommend a plug aerator as the most effective option.

Overseeding Best Practices

When it comes to overseeding your lawn, preparation is key. Start by mowing the lawn and aerating the soil. Also, be sure to choose the right type of grass-based on how much sun your yard gets, what type of soil you have, and other conditions. Once you spread the seed, be sure to follow up with fertilizer and regular watering. Putting the time in during the late summer and early fall to repair your lawn will help you enjoy a lush and beautiful landscape once spring arrives.

If your lawn is looking a little worse for the wear, fall aeration and overseeding can help to fill in patches and create a full and thick lawn. For more information about lawn care or to get professional help with your fall lawn care projects, contact the experienced team at JT’s Landscaping.

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Common Raleigh Landscaping Services

Raleigh, North Carolina enjoys a temperate climate with short winters, which means residents get to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year. The weather also provides a great environment for lawns, plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs to thrive. For busy residents, keeping up with the maintenance and completing landscape improvement projects can be a lot. Fortunately, Raleigh landscaping services can help manage these tasks for an affordable price.

Landscape Design

Landscape design services can help you get the most out of your landscape and expand your outdoor living spaces. Whether you want to add a patio, install an outdoor kitchen or build retaining walls, an experienced landscape designer can create a plan that offers the best in form and function while also meeting your budgetary needs. The possibilities are practically limitless.

Landscape Maintenance

One of the most common Raleigh landscaping services is maintenance. This goes beyond simply mowing the lawn and can include weeding flower beds, pruning shrubs, and trees and fertilizing the entire landscape. The right maintenance program will help your entire landscape thrive and look beautiful all year long. Learn more about the maintenance we offer Raleigh lawns!

Irrigation Systems

Hot summers can include periods of drought that are a real challenge to Raleigh landscapes. An efficient and environmentally friendly irrigation system can deliver the right amount of water to where it is needed most and keep the entire landscape healthy. It is a great way to protect your landscape investment without causing unnecessary water waste.

Landscape Lighting

Lighting is the perfect way to highlight plants and architectural elements while also improving safety and making your landscape functional well past sunset. There is a wide range of lighting products and solutions that can be installed along walkways, around pool areas, and just about anywhere else. Landscape lighting is an easy and affordable way to elevate your landscape.

Landscape Construction

Once you have a design plan in place, you may want professional help with your landscape construction projects. Taking advantage of this Raleigh landscaping service will ensure that the job is done correctly the first time and provide you with warranties on both the products and the craftsmanship.

Landscaping services encompass a lot more than just lawn mowing. You can get help with maintaining every part of your landscape including flowers, landscape lighting, water features, and much more. You can also use these services to transform your landscape into your dream yard that helps you fully enjoy your outdoor living space. For more information on common Raleigh landscaping services and how they can help you save time and money while creating a beautiful and functional landscape, contact JT’s Landscaping today.

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5 Things to Know Before Installing an Irrigation System

Before you tackle any home improvement project, it is important to do your research so that you can make informed decisions and understand exactly what you are getting in to. If you have been considering installing an irrigation system in your yard, here are few important things to consider before you take the plunge.

Different Types of Sprinkler Heads

There are a wide range of sprinkler heads that are used in irrigation systems. Choosing the right combination of sprinkler heads will depend on the size of your lawn, how much sun certain areas receive, whether you are watering grass, shrubs or flowers and many other factors. While there is no need to become an expert in all the various options, it is important to have some general knowledge so that you can ask the right questions when you are shopping around for the best irrigation system installation company.

You May Need a Building Permit

Even though irrigation systems are installed underground, they still require a decent amount of plumbing and wiring. Your city may require that you get a permit or meet other regulations before you can begin installing your system. A reputable contractor will be aware of these issues and take care of any permits, but it is still a good idea to ask questions and double-check that they have practiced due diligence.

Different Types of Irrigation Systems

There are two main types of irrigation systems: pump and metered water. A pump system draws in water from a nearby pond or lake and distributes it to your landscape. If you have access to a water source, you won’t have to pay for additional water usage. With a metered system, water is delivered through your city’s utility department. This means that you will see an increase in your monthly water bill, but for many homeowners, a metered system is the only option.

Cost of an Irrigation System

Many homeowners are hesitant to install an irrigation system because they don’t want to deal with the monthly utility bills. However, it is important to remember that an irrigation system will actually work to protect your landscape and the money you have already invested in installing plants and turf. In addition, a well designed irrigation system will strategically deliver water for an approach that is much more efficient than hand watering with a hose. In the long run, an irrigation system will deliver an excellent return on investment.

Excavating Your Yard

Keep in mind that installing an irrigation system will require a certain amount of excavation. Fortunately, there are special machines and plows that can be used to dig trenches and minimize damage. In addition, the right landscaping and installation company will make sure that any disturbed turf is replaced so that your lawn and landscape will return to normal as soon as possible.

Installing an irrigation system can be complicated and you want to make sure the job gets done right the first time. That is why the success of your installation project often comes down to hiring the right company. Be sure to take the time to research different companies and learn more about irrigation systems so that you are armed with information. Feel free to call the experts at JT’s Landscaping to get answers to all your questions and schedule a free consultation.

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Lawn Care Tips for Repairing Winter Damage

Spring is here and it is time to give lawn some extra love and care. Spending some time during the spring repairing winter damage can set you up for a lush and beautiful lawn throughout the summer. Follow these tips to repair damage from winter weather and prepare your landscape for outdoor living.

Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn involves punching small holes into the soil. This can be done using a manual tool or with larger machines that remove a plug of soil at certain intervals. Over the winter, your soil becomes more compact, which makes it difficult to absorb water and allow for the transfer of essential gases and nutrients. Aeration loosens the soil, allows water and fertilizer to get to the roots and provides space for oxygen and carbon dioxide to do to work nourishing your lawn. As a result, your lawn will grow a thicker, healthier root system.

Dethatch the Grass

The term thatch refers to a layer of dead grass that forms between the root system and the new green lawn growth. If this layer becomes too thick, it can suffocate your lawn and prevent it from thriving. Aeration can help break up thatch, but it is also a good idea to use a rake to dethatch your lawn. While a traditional leaf rake can be used, there are actual dethatching rakes that feature tough tines that are more widely spaces. Breaking up and removing thatch will help prevent insects and disease from setting up shop and will allow both the root system and new growth to get the nutrients they need.

Plant New Lawn Seed

If you spent the fall battling bald spots in your lawn, spring is the time to fill in rough patches with new seed. While you will want to plant early, you also want to wait until temperature are consistently reaching 60 to 75 degrees during the day. This will ensure that the soil temperature is warm enough to promote growth.

Celebrate spring and getting your landscape ready for summer with these tips for repairing lawn damage. All it takes is one afternoon to complete a few chores to make sure that your lawn will be lush and healthy. If you want more expert advice or help executing your spring lawn care plan, call JT’s Landscaping of Raleigh.   

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