Alex’s Lawn and Turf Blog

Lawn care tips from the experts

Spring Update

May 27th, 2015

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend – as wet as it was. With all the rain (and because of the holiday) our crews are a couple days behind, but we’re pushing to get caught up.

Just a quick update on the services happening now, and the services that will be coming up for our commercial customers (and for the residential customers that are signed up):

- As the lilacs are finishing blooming, we will be starting our bush trimming next week. Julio has been with Alex’s Lawn and Turf for over 11 years, and is our shrub trimming specialist. Look for him to be out trimming up shrubs in the next couple weeks. If there are any specific areas of concern, or shrubs that need attention/need to be left untouched, give the office a call or shoot me an e-mail so we can make a note of it!

- With all the rain we’ve been getting (which is of course a good thing for lawns), I’m sure many of you are seeing weeds pop up in the landscape beds. It’s supposed to be pretty toasty today and tomorrow, so we can expect the weeds to be just as happy as the rest of the plants. Our crews have started their weed control spraying in the landscape beds to reign in the vigorous spring weeds. We do stagger the crews spraying schedule so they’re not spraying all of their properties one week, and none of them the next week – so if you haven’t been sprayed yet, expect it to be done this week or next week, and on a regular basis for the rest of the summer after that.

As always, we encourage you to keep an eye out for areas of concern and let us know! I am always out doing site inspections, but you look at your property every day and are sure to see things before I do.

Thank you very much from all of us here at Alex’s Lawn and Turf!

Talk to you soon,
Jake
Operations Manager and Horticultural Specialist
Alex’s Lawn and Turf

Punxsutawney Phil was spot on!

March 10th, 2015

So far so good for the Groundhog! With the weather trending warmer and the sun more prevalent, Spring may have arrived right on time. Your lawn and garden spots are on your mind. Give us a call if you need help from our professional staff.

When can I trim my trees and shrubs?

February 27th, 2015

Spring is approaching, and along with the promise of green leaves and colorful landscapes come the pests that love to make our green leaves turn brown. One of the more prominent problems in our area is Oak Wilt.

Oak Wilt is a fungal disease that spreads through root grafts and by beetles that carry the spores. One of the best means of prevention is to prevent wounds to oak trees during the “High-Risk” season (April, May, June). The ideal time to prune oak trees is November through March.

Late winter and early spring is a great time to prune most plants in general. Pruning trees or shrubs just before entering winter (when they will be dormant all winter, and will not heal) leaves an open wound which can lead to desiccation damage and winter kill (usually tip die-back). The great thing about late winter/early spring pruning is that the plants will soon be emerging from dormancy and will recover quickly as they put on their early spring growth, and it is generally too cool for most pests and diseases to be a problem yet.

Give us a call if you would like us to take care of your shrub trimming needs!

Preparing Your Lawn and Landscape for Winter

August 20th, 2014

Hello,

It may seem awful to think about the months of snow and cold ahead of us - especially when it seems like we just escaped the rainy days of spring! But here at Alex’s, we always look ahead to the sunny days and green lawns! That’s why I am going to talk about what you can do right now to make sure your lawn and landscape starts off next summer as strong and healthy as it can.

Winter is a taxing time for shrubs and trees in our climate. Cold temperatures damage the extremities of the plants, and desiccating winds pull water out of the trees (especially evergreens), causing winter burn and tip die-back. Sun exposure can cause sun scald, which occurs when the sun shines on the bark, causing it to warm, then when the sun sets (or even goes behind a cloud) the temperature of the bark suddenly drops.

To prevent sun scald, wrap the bark of young trees and plants with a tree wrap, the popular grow tubes, or just a light material that will reflect warming light away from the plant.

Preventing die-back and winterburn is more complex, as there are many aspects of a northern winter that can cause these problems. However, there are also many things we can do to ease them. First: watering. In the winter, the ground is frozen, and the roots cannot take up any water, but plants can certainly lose water to the transpiration that occurs from the cold winds. The best way to prepare them for winter is to make sure they are getting thoroughly watered into the fall (ideally until both soil and are temperatures are below 50 degrees). This will ensure that the plant has as much moisture as it can as it enters dormancy.

Second, there are a couple things to AVOID doing too late in the fall - namely pruning and fertilizing. Winterburn and die-back occur most often on young, succulent growth, and late pruning and fertilizing encourage growth, and can sometimes even “confuse” a plant by overriding its triggers that are telling it to go into dormancy. Pruning too late in the fall - when the plant has stopped active growth - often means the plant will not callus over, leaving an open wound all winter that is susceptible to desiccation.

This is not to say that applying a fall fertilizer is a bad idea! Applying a fertilizer in early fall can be very helpful by encouraging the right kind of growth (namely root growth), or by giving the plant a lot of nutrients to take up and store. In the fall, for example, grass benefits greatly from a fall fertilizer, as the blades slow their growth in the cool air, but the roots continue to grow in the warm soil. During this time, the fertilizer helps prepare each little grass plant by giving it the nutrients it needs to burst back to life as soon as the winter has passed.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you better prepare your lawn and landscape for the coming season, please give us a call, or send us an e-mail!

Have a good day,
Jake

Spring Weed Control

April 22nd, 2014

Winter has been trying to hang on to Minnesota for the last couple weeks. Summer has been elbowing its way in, but not without a few blasts of snow. We at Alex’s are all cautiously optimistic that spring is finally here, and we are on our way to a much anticipated summer.

Of course with the warming air comes the greening of the grass, followed closely by the weeds. The best way to prevent weeds from disrupting your lawn is to do a little preventative maintenance. Early to mid-spring is generally the best time to put down pre-emergent herbicides, as the soil temperature is best for the herbicides to work, but the weeds have not yet germinated. Because pre-emergent herbicides act to disrupt weed seed germination, they are most effective at controlling annual weeds (such as crabgrass).

In the Twin Cities region, May 5th-May 20th is the ideal time to apply pre-emergent weed controls. This is also a great time to apply a spring fertilizer, to replenish nutrients your lawn needs to start the summer season with healthy, vigorous growth that will, in turn, be more competitive against weeds.

Alex’s Lawn and Turf offers several fertilization and weed control plans designed to keep your lawn green, healthy, and happy. If you would be interested in learning more, feel free to call the office! We would love to hear from you.

Enjoy this beautiful spring weather,
Jake

Areas of Service

Circle Pines, Blaine, Mounds View, North Oaks, Lino Lakes, Hugo, White Bear Lake, Vadnais Heights, Arden Hills, New Brighton, St. Anthony, Shoreview, Roseville, Little Canada, Maplewood, Lake Elmo, Woodbury, Grant, Mahtomedi, Oakdale, Hugo, Stillwater