Today is my kid’s last day of school? How??? Also, Help! haha. Summer is officially here! You’ve probably noticed that lawns don’t love the summer. They turn brown, some almost white, as they try to hang on during the oppressive heat. West Coast lawns are planted with cool season grasses meaning…they prefer cooler temperatures. Under 22 degrees. This is why lawns look their best in May and September. In August, they don’t care how they look, they are just trying to survive. Which is why you need to treat your lawns with care this summer. And always. Btw, if you ignored your lawns this spring (didn’t fertilize, water or maintain them properly) your lawn is about to have its grass kicked ūüėČ ¬†Regardless of its current state,¬†there are some important things everyone needs to do to keep their lawns growing healthy throughout the summer.

1. Mowing. Only mow in the early morning or early evening. Mowing in the heat of the day is a recipe for shock and awwww what, why is my green lawn suddenly brown?? Mowing your lawn with dull blades will create this same shock to your lawn. Have the boys at Highway Rentals¬†or your local place sharpen them for you. Mowing your lawn short at any time is a recipe for shock, awwww and what??? where did those weeds come from?? If we currently mow for you, we take these things into consideration and we have got you covered. By the way, we can mow for you ūüôā We’d love to mow for you! Especially this summer when you go away. Email us!¬†

 

2. Weed control. Weeds come every year at this time so you shouldn’t be surprised. Like a cold, they are a natural result of an imbalance or deficiency in your lawn and are there for a reason. I actually wrote an award winning (my words) article on weeds recently. Btw, all of my articles can be found under the blog section of our website.¬† Anyways, you probably don’t care why you have weeds, you care how not to have them. Well, I have a solution! Don’t live on the West Coast! ūüôā Also, I’ve been testing a new Eco weed killer in my own backyard and I’m pleased to announce that it actually works. It is harmless to you, your pets and your grass too or I wouldn’t recommend it! You may have already seen it, its called Weed B Gone. You may have already tried it too and were disappointed. It’s because you didn’t use it properly, silly. ūüôā ¬†Based on my trials, here’s how Weed B Gone must be used in order to actually be effective. Btw, my backyard was FULL of moss, buttercup and dandelions 2 months ago. We just bought our house ok, no judging…haha. This spring, I used the exact same methods as I use on client’s lawns PLUS Weed B Gone and now… my backyard looks like a park. It really does. We walk barefoot all the time on our velvety carpet.
Note: ¬†Weed Be Gone ONLY works an a healthy, growing lawn. If your lawn is half dead and weed ridden, don’t bother. You need a lawn replacement. That said, if your lawn is healthy yet has weeds, Weed B Gone is a good solution. Follow these steps and you should experience some good success.
Step 1 – Spray your weeds on a non rainy day, the day before you mow. You want your weeds as big as possible! Spraying right after you mow is pointless.
Step 2 – Make sure the product sticks to the weeds. It is 0% effective in the soil. Aim and shoot carefully.
Step 3 – Do this 2-3 weeks in a row.
At Lush, we don’t spray weeds for many reasons but are always happy to recommend good, eco-friendly solutions!

 

3. Watering. Water restrictions aside, every summer customers exclaim proudly, “I don’t water my lawn.” ‘Yeah I know’, is my reply, as I glance at their lawn -haha. For some, their decision is a cash savings, for others, it’s an eco decision. Regardless of why you don’t water your lawn, you need to water your lawn. Grass is a plant. Do you take the summer off from watering your garden? I highly doubt it. If you’re against watering grass, replace the grass with gravel. Or plants. Why continue to grow something you don’t care for? A lawn needs to be watered 1-2 x weekly for 40 min each time to continue to grow healthy in the summer. People also say, “Nah, it’s fine, my lawn will come back in the fall.” It sure will! Along with weeds, crab grass and fungal diseases which you then will end up spraying with toxic chemicals -very un-eco. Not watering may seem eco but the results are not. Best to water. And definitely best to follow your local watering restrictions lest your nosy neighbour decides to rat you out.

 

4. Summer Fertilizing. Nope.

 

5. Summer Aerating. Are you serious.

 

6. Summer Seeding. Why.
A healthy lawn can have numerous ecological, environment, financial, emotional and psychological benefits. These summer tips will help protect your investment.
If you want your own piece of velvet to walk on, email us! We can make it happen ūüôā
Have a great summer everyone!

 

Every June without fail, our email and phones will light up with frantic messages from customers wondering what to do about their annual weed invasion. The first thing we do is calmly remind them that this happens every year, annually in fact, and to not worry too much about it. The second thing we do is remind them that weeds are actually beneficial in many ways not the least of which is their pure motives. They really are just trying to help. Weeds are opportunist plants that detect deficiencies in your soil and then work to correct those deficiencies. Sure they get a kick back but not before giving you important information first (assuming you haven’t already ¬†shot or beheaded the messenger)… I know, your skeptical. You see a weed and your itchy trigger finger starts twitching. But hear me out first….
 

Let’s¬†say your lawn has a dandelion. Its name is Richard btw. Conventional wisdom says you should behead Richard and Round-Up all his friends for a mass execution. Kinda harsh but in your defence, Richard is a known trespasser so… But what if Richard was there for a reason? Wouldn’t it be kinda rude and even irresponsible to shoot him before first hearing him out? I would think so. The good news is many people have started to listen to Richard and have started to get the message.. “Your soil is currently low in calcium and quite compacted. I recommend a future application of lime, core aeration and some topdressing would be great too. Feel free to pull me out and put grass seed back in my place. Just make sure to get all of me or I’ll be back!” I know, who knew dandelions were so eloquent? Not only is Richard eloquent he’s hellla popular. (thanks to my teenage daughter for inspiring that hip sentence) Richard has this one cutie named Buttercup who is super well connected. If you listen closely, Buttercup will tell you (in a sultry voice for some reason), “I love shady, poorly drained, compacted soil.” Buttercup isn’t as sweet as Richard but you should definitely hear her out and make the corrections. Same goes with Clover. Don’t let her daintiness fool you. She may be small but she comes in huge numbers and can overtake your lawn by the time you get back from vacation. By the way, she would tell you that your lawn needs to be top-dressed with a compost rich soil and fertilized with a natural fertilizer. Note: Harry the horsetail is tough as nails and has been around for thousands of years thus he will be impervious to any of your clever methods of eradication. Basically he’s here to stay so we suggest you get to know him. Sure, you can pull him out. But like those bad guys from the Matrix, he’ll pop up again.
 

Ok…now that I’ve named some of your weeds, I bet you’re feeling a bit bad. haha. Don’t beat yourself up too much, we’ve all killed Richard and friends at some point but the takeaway from this is simple.. weeds are not meant to be feared! They are meant to be named..:) and noticed, listened to and sure, once you’ve received the message, they are more than happy to be sacrificed in the name of healthy soil, but listen to them first! Healthy soil has always been their end game. And if you want a lush lawn, it must be yours! Stay away from toxic weed killers (use Weed B Gone if you just have to spray, its eco approved and we have found in our trials it works very well under strict conditions) Ultimately though, your weed problem has ALWAYS been a soil problem. So listen and act accordingly. If you’d rather not, reach out to us! We’d love to work with you. Just don’t ask us to spray.
 

What….Was…That?!?!!? Ok sure, we can handle some “quaint” snow on say…Dec 24th/25th or even the exact moment we fall in love but beyond that, us Islanders have a pretty low snow tolerance…which is why this past week was snow good. ūüėČ ¬†Yes the snow started off kinda pretty and, ok, even I found myself ooooing and awing, but multiple traffic accidents, school cancellations, tree deaths and ruined hairstyles later, it was just too much. Like many of you, I spent the week clearing driveways, walkways and entire parking lots by hand which is why I got a kick out of the above picture. ¬†As I write this, I’m sitting in my cozy coffee shop¬†¬†and it looks like we’ve finally beaten this thing which is why I can finally reflect on the week that was Snowmageddon. But what’s all of this mean for your lawn? Well…it’s not great.

First off, it’s important to realize that all grass on Vancouver Island is cool season grass so from a temperature point of view, your lawns can handle the snow. (This is why your lawn stays green in the winter and turns brown in the summer.) The larger concern is the amount of snow we received at once and the implications of how fast it will inevitably melt. ¬†Here’s the fall out you need to be prepared for…(every lawn is unique and some are healthier then others so you may not experience all of these things but if you do, at least now you’ll be prepared!)

 

1. Soil Compaction:  Most of you have several feet of snow currently piled on your lawn. As you know from shovelling, the snow is not light. The weight is compacting your soil and will result in trapped nutrients/air/water. When your lawn wakes up this spring, it may not be able to access what it needs to grow and it will show its dissatisfaction with a thin, pale complexion. Weeds will appear and quickly take advantage of this vulnerable situation. A spring aeration and natural fertilizer application will be essential in releasing and activating these trapped nutrients.

 

2. Water Logging:¬† As I write this, the snow is melting as quickly as it came resulting in massive ¬† ¬† amounts of water washing over and through your lawn (taking nutrients and organic matter with it). If your lawn didn’t already have poor drainage, it does now. It can’t possibly hold all that water. Be prepared for your lawn to be very slimy or even disappear in places. Depending on the quality of your soil and the health of your lawn, it may eventually recover as it dries out later in the spring but more likely than not you are going to need topdressing and reseeding this spring along with the aeration. If your lawn takes unreasonably long to drain this is a cue that you have an underlying drainage problem that must be fixed before you even attempt to get your lawn lush again. I realize this is starting to sound like a sales pitch and that is not my intent. ¬†I’m just wanting you to be prepared and have a plan. I’ll definitely be doing the same to my own lawns.

 

3. Salt Damage:¬† Many Municipalities (and homeowners) still salt their roadways, walkways and driveways even though there are great lawn friendly alternatives, including sand and eco-traction. The problem with salt is it inevitably ends up all over your lawn and garden burning everything in sight, similar to over-fertilizing. Those brown/dead patches will be the tell tale sign that you didn’t go easy on the salt this winter. Depending on the damage, you may have to power-rake¬†out¬†the dead sections as well as aerate, top-dress and seed. In other words, you may need a mini lawn renovation.¬†If you are one of the lucky ones already signed up for one of our popular Lawn Care Programs, you will be receiving all of these things as part of your program! Lucky you ūüôā

 

4. Fungal disease (snow mold):¬† Watch out for a weird abnormal colour appearing on your lawn next month. Pink and grey are the most common colours indicating your lawn has a fungal infection. The disease is seldom fatal although always un-nerving to the unprepared. The solution is the same as above…raking out the affected sections and topdressing/reseeding.

Beyond these four things, many of you may also be dealing with broken trees, damaged shrubs and a huge amount of debris on your lawn as a result of the snow storm. Best to remove the debris asap as well as call in an expert to take a look at your plants.

While we can’t always predict the weather, we can reasonably predict the result of it on our lawns. With greater knowledge, we can be more prepared and less anxious this season. See you on the lawns!

 

 

If you haven’t seen¬†National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you’re missing out.¬†¬†I’ve probably watched it every Christmas for 20 years and have continued the tradition with my own kids. ¬†There are many classic scenes but few exceed the fun of watching Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase) attempt to install 20,000 Christmas lights on his house. He succeeds (spoiler), kinda. As inept as Clark is as an installer, his passion for Christmas lighting equals ours which is why I started this popular program in the first place.

When I started our Holiday Lighting Program¬†in¬†2010 it was founded on these core values…

  1. Passion for Christmas must always guide the process
  2. The bulbs must only be the highest quality grade LED.
  3. The service must encompass a program including design, set up, installation, takedown and storage.
  4. The work must be completed by passionate, fully insured professionals with an eye for detail.
  5. Customer satisfaction is paramount.

It is our adherence to these values that has been the secret to our program’s exponential growth as we now install Christmas lights for clients in Qualicum, Nanaimo, Cedar, Ladysmith, Chemainus, Crofton, Duncan, Maple Bay, Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Victoria and Oak Bay. ¬†Every customer receives a guarantee that should even 1 bulb fail to light we will make it right. We’re still waiting for that bulb to fail:) ¬†Most recently our lights caught the attention of Hollywood and will be featured in an upcoming Christmas¬†film¬†due to be released next month. ¬†Talk about a cool experience! We have also partnered¬†with the Downtown Victoria Business Association¬†using our lights to beautify Victoria’s alleyways.

If you love Christmas as much as we do, let us enlighten you further… *nice one John :). We have multiple colour options for your home, business, shrubs and trees. Bottom line, you own everything including a full warranty for 3 years as long as you stick with the program.

We highly recommend¬†connecting¬†with us soon…we’re booking up quickly for 2016.

Talk to you soon!

John
Christmas Lighting by the ProsPro Christmas Lighting - Happy Lush Clients