Tag Archives: Landscape

Slow Release vs. Quick Release Fertilizer.

         Fertilizers can be confusing sometimes, especially when it comes to the type to use. Many varieties exist, and if you’re just getting into turf maintenance, then by now you’ve probably heard of slow release fertilizers and quick release fertilizers. In truth, neither one is “better” than the other because it all depends on the condition of your lawn. In fact, the nutrients in both types of fertilizers are the same. The question is, “which fertilizer is better for my turf now?”

         Ideally of course you will want a well established and well nourished lawn. If this is the case with your lawn, your best bet is typically a slow-release fertilizer because it encourages even growth and lasts up to two months longer than quicker release fertilizers. In short, your grass’s root system continues to be fed over a longer period of time; it doesn’t need a fast burst of nutrition since it has been healthy and well fed up to the point of the next application. Additionally, already having strong turf combined with a slow release fertilizer greatly reduces the chances of your lawn developing disease, and the green up will last longer as well. Keep in mind, however, that the green up may take longer.

         Alternatively, if your lawn is new or if you have only recently begun taking care of it, a quick release fertilizer may be your best bet because it needs nutrients now. Think about it like this:  If you’re starving, you need food soon, and if you’re not, you can wait and enjoy your meal. A quick boost will help stimulate growth and, depending on the situation, help your turf grow out of a disease (keep an eye out soon for an entry on fungicide when it comes to the topic of disease). On the flip side, if you’re going to use a quick release fertilizer, keep in mind that it is much easier to burn your lawn if you apply too much of it. And while the green up is more immediate if applied properly, it also peaks early and will last only half the time as a slow release fertilizer will. Continual usage of quick release fertilizer will also make your yard more susceptible to disease.

         In the end, each lawn is different and has its own needs, and sometimes it can be difficult or confusing to know exactly what your lawn needs . A lawn care professional can spend the time needed to evaluate your lawn and give it the nutrition it needs so that it remains healthy and green until the winter months arrive. Lightning Landscape and Irrigation is always happy to assist you in this. Call today at 913-441-3900 and have a licensed chemical applicator from Lightning to give your lawn the care and attention it deserves.  

Creating and updating Landscape Beds

Nothing beats beautiful landscaping when it comes to curb appeal. 

When looking at your landscaping it can be daunting trying to tackle the task of renovating or installing new landscape beds. 

If you don’t already have beds you will need to decide on the shape and placement of them in your landscape. Curves and straight lines both look great, it just depends on your preference. There is nothing wrong with placing beds up against a fence, home, or along the sidewalk, but don’t be afraid to also create an island bed. This can create character and appeal in your landscaping. 

What colors do you want to go with?

 Creating a consistent scheme with your color allows your eyes to easily scan across your yard. We want to avoid a jarring juxtaposition in the landscape. Pick several colors and find some plants in varying shades of these colors. However, it’s always nice to have a few main focal points or specimen plants that draw your attention. 

Variation of heights and textures.

 Include upright and sprawling plants to help create a variation in your landscape. Keep in mind when planting that you will need to arrange your plants from shortest in the front to tallest in the back. This will ensure that you are able to see all your plants that you have in. 

Tip: When planting and designing make sure you’ve done so based on how big your plants will be when fully grown to ensure room for growth and spread. 

Plant for all the seasons. 

As we discussed in a previous blog you can have flowers all the way from spring to fall if you plan accordingly. Review the times that different plants bloom and use different blooming seasons throughout your landscape to ensure you have color as much and as long as possible.

Tip: Our plant guide can show what time of year plants will bloom.

Sun exposure

When choosing plants, take into account their sunlight requirements. Understanding light patterns is more about identifying microclimates in our beds and choosing the right plants for each one. Temperatures in the Kansas City metro increase as the number of hours of sunlight increases, however shade conditions are generally ten to fifteen degrees cooler and more humid. Through evolution, plants adapted to certain conditions that fostered their growth. We have the challenge of replicating these conditions as close as possible if we want to maximize our return on these plants

An oasis right in your own yard.

Research has showed that spending time outdoors is good for us. Spending time outside can help increase our mood, replenish our energy, and enhance creativity. With Lightning’s help you can have an outdoor oasis of your very own.

With all this being said the most important part to landscape design is how happy you feel when you’re there. Great landscaping adds value to your home, but it also needs to show your style for it to be your personal outdoor oasis. It is more important to create a space you love than follow trends. Give us a call to let us help create the landscape of your dreams. 

Springtime Tips and Tricks

As we transition from Winter into Spring here are a few quick tips to get things going.

Prune back dead or damaged trees or shrubs to the live stems where they have been damaged by cold, snow, and wind. Overgrown evergreens should be cut back to a branch for which you want to encourage growth. During this time of year, it is also a good idea to prune perennials.  

Get your patio or deck ready for the upcoming season by washing it down. This can take years off the look of your patio and rejuvenate your interest in spending more time there.

Make certain that your gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves and debris. By blocking gutters and downspouts with leaves and debris, rainwater may not drain properly. Overflowing gutters can cause water damage both to the interior and exterior of your home. 

Make sure you remove all leaves and dead foliage from your lawn and beds, as they can smother your plants and cause disease. You can also pull up last year’s annuals if you haven’t already done so.

The coming weeks are the best time for fertilizing and laying down pre-emergent to green up your lawn and prevent weeds. Deep roots that form in spring help to improve the turf’s vigor during the summer when it is hot and dry. If you have questions on pre-emergent stay tuned for next weeks blog where we will provide some in-depth information regarding it.

Plan how you will use your outdoor space this upcoming season. How are you going to utilize your landscape? Do you want a new patio, outdoor fireplace, or a refresh of your landscaping?

Is a project on your to-do list, do you need help with a Spring Clean-up, or installing fresh mulch? We can help! Give us a call at 913-441-3900 or contact us on our website. We’re ready to shock you with how great your landscape can look.