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September 15, 2018 0 Comments

How Effective Are OTC Grub Control Products?

Dealing with grubs in your lawn? You might be tempted to reach for an over-the-counter grub control product, but you should read this before you do. Jay-Lan Lawn Care has many years of experience helping Siouxland homeowners with lawn pest control, and we’re about to share some of that experience with you: the wrong remedy, applied at the wrong time, is going to waste your scarce time and hard-earned money.

What Are Grubs, Anyway?

For the uninitiated, grubs are small beetle larvae that look like worms. What you’re seeing right now (if you’re reading this late in summer) are the offspring of beetles that started off as last season’s grubs. You don’t always see them, but you’ll see the damage they leave behind (like patches of dead grass).

Misconceptions About Grub Control

If you’re using grub treatments and finding that they’re not solving the problem, it helps to address some of the misconceptions surrounding grub control. Here are a few reasons your grub control measures might not be working.

Wrong Chemicals

Over-the-counter grub remedies can be effective, provided they’re timed and used properly. One common issue is people using a granular formula and assuming their work is done. It’s not, necessarily. Dry product needs to be wet in order to be ingested. If it hasn’t rained or if you haven’t watered, dry chemicals simply won’t work.

Poor Timing

Grubs are voracious little critters, but the time during which they feed is short — August and September — so if you’re too early or too late, anything you do will be less effective. Chemicals should be applied before mid-August, but not too long before, and won’t be nearly as effective if applied too late.

Poor Lawn Maintenance

A lawn that’s not thick and dense — whether it’s choked by weeds or has extensive pest damage — tends to breed further problems. Taking care of your lawn year ‘round means fewer problems, whereas simply addressing problems as they arise can end up being like an unending game of whack-a-mole (did we mention we take care of mole control, too?).

Grubs May Not Be the Issue

If you’ve got bees in your attic and the exterminator insists on treating your basement for termites, those bees aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Similarly, we’ve seen homeowners apply grub killer to things that turned out to be everything from pet urine stains to fungi or sun damage. Make sure you’re solving the right problem!

The Right Way to Control Grubs

Understanding the grub’s lifecycle is key to grub control. As we’ve already seen, there are many misconceptions homeowners have about controlling lawn pests generally, and grubs in specific. Because a holistic approach works best, we recommend grub control as part of a comprehensive lawn treatment program.

When you contact Jay-Lan Lawn Care, we will assess your lawn and your goals. We’ll also get you started on a program that keeps your lawn healthy and thriving year ‘round. That means fewer trips to the big box home store or garden center, and it also means knowing that the money you spend on lawn care will be put to its best use instead of being wasted. Call us today!

August 30, 2018 0 Comments

5 Tips to Keep Grubs from Destroying Your Lawn

As a homeowner, it’s likely that you’ve spent time and money maintaining your yard and landscaping. Thus, you’ll want to ensure you’re able to enjoy it without dealing with any pests. If you have, or suspect you might have, a grub infestation, how can you deal with it? Following these simple steps, and calling Jay-Lan Lawn Care for insect control, can solve your grub problem.

How Do I Know if My Lawn Has Grubs?

Grubs are beetle larvae.If you’ve ever cooked a pot of elbow macaroni, you’ve got a good idea of what they look like. They have a ravenous appetite, and their favorite food is the root system of your grass. You may not necessarily see the grubs directly, but you can tell the damage they’ve left behind if you see large areas of your lawn that look damaged, as if it was burnt by the sun.

How Do I Deal With Grubs?

If you think you have grubs, what can you do to bring the problem under control?

Finding Grubs

Unlike the beetles they grow into, grubs are harder to spot. They’re feeding below the surface of the soil. Sometimes digging up a dead-looking patch of lawn will reveal grubs, but not always. If you dig in the wrong spot, you may find that they’ve already moved on to greener pastures (and when you dig matters, since grubs don’t stay grubs forever).

Rule Out Other Causes

There are a few other common lawn issues that cause patches of dead or burnt-looking grass. Improper watering, certain molds and fungi, and animal waste — whether from your pets or other animals that might be camped out in your yard — might also be to blame. Solving the problem starts with making sure you’re solving the right problem; otherwise, your time, effort, and money will be wasted.

Get Your Timing Right

Some pesticides work on contact. Grub pesticides, by contrast, need to be ingested, which means that they need to be put down when grubs are feeding (between July and September). Put down the wrong pesticide and you kill off beneficial insects like ladybugs and bees; put it down at the wrong time and you’ll simply trade your grub infestation for a beetle infestation.

Get Help with Pest Control

There are many variables at work here, as you’ve probably figured out by now. If you want the job done right the first time, your best bet is to call for professional pest control. From grubs to moles and a host of other unwelcome critters, Jay-Lan Lawn Care can help you get the problem under control.

Maintain Your Lawn Year ‘Round

There’s one more consideration, and it’s one we can also help with: many lawn problems, from pests to weeds, thrive in lawns that haven’t been properly maintained. A dense and well-maintained lawn chokes out weeds and isn’t nearly as hospitable to pests. When you call, be sure to ask about our Siouxland lawn care programs that can treat and prevent many common lawn issues.

August 15, 2018 0 Comments

Lawn Care and Your Home Value

You might be surprised to learn that your lawn care has a direct impact on your home value. Before you tune us out — after all, JayLan Lawn Care is a Siouxland lawn care company — don’t take our word for it. Ask a realtor. That’s what the Washington Post did not too long ago, and what Jill Chodorov Kaminsky found when she researched the question just might surprise you. Let’s get to the root of this, shall we?

Why Lawn Care Matters

When you’re selling your home, you and your realtor are matchmakers. You want your home to make a great first impression on potential buyers.

Lawn Care and Curb Appeal

That’s because the first impression — what realtors and countless home buying shows refer to as “curb appeal” — makes a big difference in how your home is perceived. Home buyers can’t always articulate what made them choose one property over another. They’ll tell you they just knew, but often as not it’s the details. A well-kept lawn and garden signals that you’ve likely kept up on other important details, like home maintenance and cleanliness.

Return of Investment on Lawn Care and Landscaping

So where should you invest your lawn care dollars? How much should you invest? And after all that, can you put a dollar amount on what you’ll get out of it?

Let’s start with how much to budget. The article cited above suggests ten percent of your home’s value. Theoretically, if you’re listing a home in Hinton, that’d mean ten percent of about 195,000 dollars, or $19,500. Most of us don’t have that much to invest in lawn care and landscaping, so figure out what you can afford. Just bear in mind that you might be splitting that into multiple categories, including hardscaping, purchasing plants, seeding, weed eradication, and more.

How you spend is just as important as what you spend. When Kaminsky spoke to one local nursery owner about what to do when you’re on a budget, he suggested “adding color with annuals, perennials, or seasonal flowering shrubs; mulching; edging; removing weeds; and getting the grass as green and full as possible,” going on to say that “Those are the quick and inexpensive fixes.”

And what will you get out of your money? Most home improvement projects, after all, don’t necessarily add to your home value. Landscaping may be the exception here. Kaminsky spoke to John Gidding, a host of multiple HGTV shows, about what homeowners might expect as an ROI for their lawncare and landscaping investment. He cited 150 percent as a common estimate, but went on to say he’d place the value much higher. Even if you can’t put a definitive dollar figure on it, if it helps your home sell faster, it’s money well spent.

It’s axiomatic that real estate is all about location, location, and location. But curb appeal is also a very important part of the equation. Besides making sure your home is in a good state of repair and looks sharp, you also want to make sure you’ve given that jewel a nice setting. That, in turn, means making sure your landscaping is on point, which starts with a lawn care program from Jay-Lan Lawn Care. If your lawn is gorgeous, we’ll make sure it stays that way. If it needs help to restore it to health, including fertilizer application and weed control, we’ll help you make it the envy of the neighborhood. Call us today!

July 30, 2018 0 Comments

How Your Dog May Be Ruining Your Lawn

We love our dogs. They’re entertaining, affectionate, and endearingly goofy. Practically any dog owner will tell you that the best part of their day is coming home to eager eyes and a wagging tail. Their antics make our day. What do they do to our lawns? Not so much. Courtesy of Jay-Lan Lawn Care, here are three ways your dog may be ruining your lawn, and how to deal with each.

Dog Poop

Dog poop isn’t just annoying to step in or run over with a lawnmower. It can also be dangerous. One gram can harbor up to 23 billion bacteria, including parvo, salmonella, giardia, and e. Coli, as well as other parasites like worms. Insects, animals, rain, and wind can all help spread these contaminants, and — in some cases — potentially infect your dog, your kids, and you with serious diseases.

If that sounds worrisome, it should be. The EPA even considers dog droppings a hazardous substance, and we haven’t even gotten to the damage they’ll do to your grass. If your dog is the issue, prompt pickup and disposal of their droppings is important to prevent damage to the grass and the possibility of infection. Training your dog to use a designated area to relieve himself can be another solution, since (like a cat’s litter box) it’s easier to keep the area clean and… uncluttered.

Dog Urine

Two of the ingredients of dog urine are water, which plants need to survive, and nitrogen, which is a key component of most fertilizers. But too much of a good thing can be ruinous. The burnt-looking patches left behind by dog urine are the result of higher concentrations of nitrogen and ammonia. Dilution is one solution — just soaking the area with water can bring the chemicals back down to levels your lawn can handle. The other solution, as with corralling dog poop, is to set aside an area of the lawn that’s your pooch’s potty.

Digging

Dogs love to dig, with some breeds — like Huskies — prone to being halfway to Tibet if you turn your back for just a few seconds. Even if you’ve trained your dog to stick to certain areas of the yard when it comes time to heed nature’s call, digging is a hard habit to break.

There are a few different reasons dogs dig. Boredom is high on the list, and the easiest way to deal with that is to make sure your pooch gets plenty of playtime. A similar approach to waste issues can also work with digging — set aside an area where it’s “allowed,” and let your dog go to town. But there’s another cause of digging that might need outside help: rodents. Dogs’ sense of hearing and smell are much more sensitive than ours, and if you’ve got a rabbit burrowing near your veggie garden, or moles making themselves at home in your grass, your dog may think she’s found a new game. Call Jay-Lan Lawn Care if you suspect you may need help with mole control as part of a comprehensive lawn care program.

Training your dog to keep a better lawn is often as simple as time, patience, and positive reinforcement. A calm voice, some treats, and plenty of belly rubs will work wonders. For the rest — whether you’re over-seeding after Sparky tears up the grass, or need lawn chemicals to deal with common pests — contact Jay-Lan Lawn Care from anywhere in the Siouxland area.

July 15, 2018 0 Comments

Choosing the Right Fertilizer for Your Lawn or Garden

Like the people who walk on it daily, your lawn needs more than just water to survive. And just like you, your lawn appreciates a balanced diet. And as the Christian Science Monitor notes, your lawn will let you know if it’s malnourished. So how can you tell if you’re feeding your lawn properly, and how do you go about choosing the right fertilizer? Good questions. Jay-Lan Lawn Care has answers.

Is Your Soil Starving?

First, it’s a good idea to assess whether you’re overdue for fertilizer. Look for these common signs:

  • Weed Growth: Some weeds can grow under nearly any circumstances, but you’d be surprised how many of them can be crowded out by a thick, healthy lawn. If you’re seeing more weeds than normal, your soil health may be suffering.
  • Brown Grass: If you didn’t eat right, you wouldn’t look right either. Your grass will appear discolored rather than a vibrant green.
  • Other Plants Seem Dull: Late blooms, dull or nonexistent flowers, or die-offs of annuals and perennials can all indicate that your soil needs some TLC.
  • Time: Changes of the season can also be a good time to fertilize. Your grass hibernates, after all, and when it “wakes,” it’s pretty hungry. Feed it well in spring, and maintain it throughout the summer and fall, and you’ll have fewer bald patches, fewer weeds, and a lot more green.

Why is Fertilizer Necessary?

Think of your soil somewhat like a pantry or fridge. Just because you’ve stocked up doesn’t mean you won’t run out of food sooner or later. Just like your pantry, your soil will become depleted over time by whatever’s planted there, whether it’s grass, arborvitae, or your prized tomatoes. It’s important to replenish those nutrients.

Choosing Your Fertilizer

Fertilizer has three main components, each denoted by a letter and a number. The letters are NPK, which stand for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (K is for Kalium, the Latin word for Potassium). Each performs a different function. Nitrogen is a growth accelerant, phosphorous strengthens roots and beautifies flowers, and potassium is a growth enhancer and regulator.

There are fourteen other compounds and elements that contribute to healthy plant life, but those are the three most important.

The numbers, meantime, start at zero and go up from there. Each fertilizer will have different proportions of each nutrient. If we’re feeding ourselves, we think in terms of a balanced diet. That said, it’s a different story for grass and garden plants. Different grasses may call for different ratios, and those ratios may also vary by time of year.

Lawn Care Service Near Sioux City

If it sounds like choosing the right fertilizer is complicated, it is — at least if you want to do the job right. Many homeowners in the Siouxland area call Jay-Lan Lawn Care for precisely that reason. Our lawn care program considers your entire landscape, taking care of fertilizing, weed control, lawn pest control, and much more. It’s a much easier way to get a green lawn, especially if you don’t have a particularly green thumb. Why not call us today and see how we can help you?

Crabgrass
June 30, 2018 0 Comments

Getting Rid of Crabgrass for Good

If your childhood was anything like ours, you probably spent many hot spring and summer days in the dirt. Not playing, mind you. Weeding. Those weeds were everywhere, even — or sometimes especially — in the places we just weeded last week. And now that we’re grown up, we think to ourselves, “I still have to deal with this stuff?” If you call Jay-Lan Lawn Care, weeds like crabgrass can be a distant memory.

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May 30, 2018 0 Comments

Common Lawn Pests to Watch Out For

If insects give you the heebie jeebies, you probably don’t want to see the list of common pests Iowa State University has compiled, or this longer list from Rodale. And if photos make you shiver, you certainly wouldn’t want to see these all-too-common pests up close and personal in your grass or infesting your vegetable garden (much less step on them while out walking barefoot). If you’re one of the countless homeowners dealing with common lawn pests, you’ll want to know what to look out for, and how to deal with them once you find them. Jay-Lan Lawn Care can help.

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April 30, 2018 0 Comments

Choosing the Right Lawn Care Service Provider

People look for Sioux City lawn care for many different reasons. Some have the reverse Midas touch with anything green and really need the help. Others are confused by the steps and timing needed, or find that they have the knowledge but other things they’d rather do with their precious time. So if you’re looking for a leg (or a green thumb) up, how do you pick the right lawn care service provider? You start with Jay-Lan Lawn Care.

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It's time to seed! September is the time to renovate and repair your lawnSuperior Seeding Services
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