Let's be clear: we don't install outdoor kitchens. We don't do gutters, or fencing, or maid services. We don't moonlight as handymen and offer every home service under the sun.
We offer LANDSCAPING services. Aerating, thatching, and yard repair. Spring clean-ups. Fall clean-ups. Edging, planting, pruning, and special projects. We can help with curb appeal and preparing to list your home on the real estate market. We can install raised garden beds, gravel walkways, and flagstone patios.
Why the distinction? We're very good at what we do and we love doing it! Experience the difference yourself when you hire us!
WHAT IS AERATION?
Aerating is the process of punching holes into your lawn to allow the soil to absorb water, air, fertilizers, and other nutrients. The root system of your grass, which in healthy conditions resides in your soil, is then exposed to these nutrients and your grass will flourish. Some basic root facts:
Smith Lawn Services uses a "core aerator" to perform our Aerating services (this is the industry-preferred method, as opposed to "spiking", which is easier and less expensive, but it is also less effective and provides only short-term benefits).
Our coring method removes plugs, 3-inch deep chunks of earth, 3 inches apart. These plugs are then left on the turf to decompose and replenish the soil with the removed nutrients. We then overseed to promote new grass growth.
WHEN SHOULD IT HAPPEN?
Aeration is an integral part of your overall lawn care program, just as important as mowing, watering, and fertilizing. It should be incorporated with regular yard maintenance, or the benefits of aerating are of little value. There are no real indicators that will tell you when your lawn needs to be aerated, but don't leave out this important aspect of total lawn care. Time and maintenance will tell if you need to replant your yard... or not.
On a regular basis, aeration depends on your soil:
CAN I AERATE THE LAWN MYSELF?
It is generally recommended to have a professional aerate your lawn. Many factors influence the success of the aeration program. Doing it yourself without fully understanding all of these factors could render your own aeration efforts ineffective, or worse, could do more damage to your lawn. Smith Lawn Services offers Aeration services that are very affordable - often, less than the cost of renting a machine.
WHAT IS THATCH?
At the base of your grass blades is your turf, a layer of earth that serves as the surface of your lawn. Beneath this, sandwiched between your turf and the soil is thatch, a tightly knit accumulation of dead but un-decomposed organic debris. Thatch is a normal part of your lawn. It's natural function is to conserve water, insulate the grass from fluctuating temperatures, and increase your turf's resilience. The "right" amount of thatch is less than 1/2 inch.
Too much - more than 1/2 inch - is harmful to your lawn. It will become a waterproof carpet over the soil, preventing the soil from getting enough moisture. The roots of the grass then grow in the thatch layer (because there is insufficient water in the soil) and these shallow root systems decrease the turf's defense against insects, diseases, temperature extremes and drought.
Although you cannot see the actual thatch layer (because it is below the turf), the undesirable symptoms of too much thatch are plainly visible: browning, thinning, ailing grass that cannot endure hot weather, cold weather, or water shortages.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Smith Lawn Services offers a Thatching service that removes excess thatch from lawns with a dethatcher (sort of like a vertical mower). This causes some tearing to your yard and may take a few weeks to regain a healthy appearance. Don't have your lawn thatched right before a Bar-B-Q party or croquet tournament!
However, this service provides an invaluable benefit to your grass and the result will be a healthier, more resilient lawn. There are "seasons" for removing thatch: if done at the wrong time of year, your grass may suffer more damage due to exposure to temperature extremes or draught. The best times to have your thatch removed are late April/May and September/early October (depending on weather).
While our Thatching service can certainly be a stand-alone project, we strongly recommend aerating at the same time. Aerating will ensure that your soil regains the water and nutrients it needs to restore your lawn.
HOW CAN I PREVENT THATCH BUILD-UP?
Contrary to popular misconception, grass clippings do not contribute to thatch build-up. In fact, fine clippings (when your grass is mowed on a regular basis and the clippings are not too long) act as a natural fertilizer that minimizes thatch and adds to the vitality of your lawn.
So what causes excessive thatch? Many things, including poor aeration, soil composition, rotten leaves and yard waste sitting on your grass. Even excessive pesticides and herbicides can aid in the acceleration of thatch build-up, because they drive away earthworms, your soil's natural aerators.
To prevent thatch, make sure your lawn is mowed regularly; remove fallen leaves promptly; aerate at least once a year to help air, moisture, and nutrients reach the soil; and when watering, make sure to saturate the soil completely to encourage the roots to grow downward rather than up towards the turf.
When that time of year comes around when flower buds are poking through and the lawn is growing again, our Spring Clean-Up service prepares your yard for the season ahead. Your specific situation is unique: our service will tailor to your needs.
Our Fall Clean-Up services specifically include removing dead leaves, and making sure your yard is ready for winter. We'll do any pruning that needs to be done - this is the last opportunity to do it before next year. Again, your specific situation is unique: our service will tailor to your needs.
LEAF AND DEBRIS REMOVAL
For that pile of rubbish you've been meaning to take to the dump or the growing heap of yard waste that needs to be composted, our Hauling service is the perfect solution. For a fixed fee based on the size of your pile, we'll haul it all away so you won't have to worry about it. Why not come home and do something else? Don't rent a truck and spend all weekend getting rid of it! Our Hauling service is an affordable alternative - less than the cost of renting a truck and paying waste disposal fees! Plus, you can feel good that your debris is being recycled: most of the debris we pick up gets recycled here at our location.
PLANTING AND PRUNING
Pruning back your favorite rhododendron or cleaning up overgrown shrubs can present a challenge to even the most adept green thumbs. Many disasters wait: pruning at the wrong time of year can be disastrous; trimming the wrong part of a branch can kill the rest of it; etc. Flowering shrubs present a particularly challenging task, as many (such as Hydrangeas) will not flower the next year on branches that have been pruned this year.
One of our strong suits is pruning, and we're very comfortable navigating through the perilous maze. We know how much to cut back to give the plant a healthy rejuvenation. We also know how much is too much. We know the right time to do it, and how to do it for a wide variety of species. We're also careful: if we aren't sure, we consult other experts in the industry and make sure we've done our research before continuing. This up-front commitment to our customers' plants is the reason so many of them ask us to prune their gardens.
There are many reasons to apply bark to your gardens. Besides the fragrant smell and "finished" look, bark helps with weed control, provides a sheltering layer to your soil to help retain moisture for your plant roots, and insulates against temperate extremes. There are many types of bark: fine, medium, and large, and each type produces a different eye-pleasing look.
Most people apply bark in the Spring, for a look that can last through the season. Once a month, a gentle raking over of the bark makes it look freshly applied. If you are preparing to sell your home, we strongly suggest a bark application before putting your house on the market. No matter what condition the rest of your yard is in, bark in the gardens helps promote a healthy, taken-care-of look.
Generally, bark needs to be applied once a year, because it tends to mottle and disintegrate during our consistent rainfall in the colder months.
Occasionally, we are asked to apply a steer product instead of bark. We just ask our customers to remember that this is a manure spread - while it does indeed look darker longer, there is an accompanying smell that lasts almost as long.
Some of our customers enjoy the natural, grown-over look of their lawn. Others care for a cleaner, crisp edge to the edges of their lawn. If you are one of the latter, our Edging service is an affordable way to add an extra touch to the fine lines of your lawn. For edges that have grown over, such as around gardens, sidewalks, etc., we cut down into the lawn, vertically, to create a crisp edge. We then remove the shaggy extras that we cut off, resulting in a bold, beautiful finishing touch for your yard. For most customers, Edging needs to be done infrequently, so long as the lines are maintained properly during regular maintenance.
PREPARING THE YARD FOR THE REAL ESTATE MARKET
If you're preparing to sell your home, consider how important it is to make the right first impression to your prospective buyers. The yard and the surrounding property is sometimes more prominent in the eye of the buyer than the house itself.
Smith Lawn Services offers an affordable service for these occasions. The tasks involved in this type of project are all about making the yard appear taken care of. The prospective buyers will see gardens with no weeds, bushes and shrubs that have been pruned and shaped and tended to. The edges of the yard are crisp and clean. The grass looks healthy and vibrant. "What a nice yard," they will say.
Let us help prepare your home for the real estate market. Call us today and find out how we can make your yard present a great first impression. This is one of our target specialties and we’re confident you’ll be very happy with the results!
This service is designed to take care of the thin spots in your yard, or after aerating or thatching. We use top-grade seed specifically formulated for our climate that will blend naturally and beautifully with your existing lawn.
You know in your mind what you want done. You just don't have the time, the patience, the strength, or whatever it takes to do it yourself. Tell us what you want done.
Flagstone walkways and patios, rock and gravel installations, playchip installations for playground areas, converting grassy areas to gardens or vice versa, installing privacy trees and hedges... whatever you're dreaming up.
We've done many various special projects for our customers. We'll listen to you - make sure we thoroughly understand what you want. And then we'll do it. Our first priority is taking care of our customers - so if there's something you need done, let us know and we'll see if we can help.