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How Your Vegetable Garden Can Keep Its Cool During A Heat Wave

By July 4th we have had several weeks of a heat wave. We now face waves of scorching temperatures in July and August that will threaten our vegetable gardens.

Here are the Top 3 Do’s and Don’ts to help your veggies keep their cool and beat the heat.

Top 3 Do’s

          1. Provide Filtered Shade

Vegetable Garden

During a heat wave, too much sun threatens the health of our vegetables.

Provide your vegetables filtered shade using shade cloth (from your garden center) and temporary stakes or bamboo to cover your vegetables.  This lets plenty of light in but protects the vegetables from the scorching sun.

       2. Water Properly

During a heat wave, when and how you water is important to plant health.  The Top 3 Watering Tips are:

  1. Water early in the morning or in the early evening: This allows the plant to absorb more moisture when the sun is not evaporating it.  Avoid late evening or night watering as this often leads to disease.
  2. Water Deeply: Water to at least 6 inches to develop deeper and stronger roots.  This helps the plants resist heat stress during the remainder of the summer.
  3. Use Automatic Drip Irrigation: The advantage of automated drip irrigation is the plant roots will receive more consistent moisture than manual watering, or waiting for you to come home to water, or with spray heads.  Spray heads lose too much water to evaporation, and run off from the yard and concrete areas.

        3. Keep Your Water

Keeping water in the plants root zone means healthier and better vegetables.  The best ways to do this are by adding mulch and a new patented technology named Moisture Manager.  Mulch helps is slowing evaporation and controlling weeds that will suck up water.  Moisture Manager uses tiny granules of a new, patented wetting agent attracts water molecules out of the air and surface areas to deliver moisture to your lawn’s root system for 3 months.

Results

Flowers with Moisture Manager Without Moisture Manager

Flowers with Moisture Manager                              Without Moisture Manager

Top 3 Don’ts

  1. Don’t transplant or re-pot: This adds more stress to the current heat stress. Transplant when temperatures are cooler.
  2. Don’t prune off wilted growth: This wilted growth provide shade to leaves below. Let the plant recover from heat stress and prune on a cooler day if the wilted growth needs trimming.
  3. Don’t fertilize vegetables during a heat wave: Dry edible plants can take up too much fertilizer which can cause leaves to burn and even die.

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Imagine a Beautiful Yard…and the Time to Enjoy It!

Imagine a Beautiful Yard…and the Time to Enjoy It!Is your yard like Grandma’s?

Back in Grandma’s day, lawns or landscapes were more like a window dressing around a building. They had a token tree or two, a few evergreen shrubs, maybe some perennials for color out front and a small flower bed for marigolds.

But today’s landscape is not your grandmother’s yard. Today, we require more of our landscapes than ever before. 

Do you now expect more than just one pop of color, more shade to cut the AC bill in the summer and a livable area with outdoor ambiance where you cook, eat and entertain?  Do you want more curb appeal and increased property value? Are low maintenance and lower water costs also on the list?

Even more important today, do you also want your landscape to clean the air, deal with the heat islands in cities, purify water as it moves through the soil, mitigate storm water, grow healthy veggies, attract pollinators and repel the deer that want to chew up our petunias?

That’s a tall order for a yard that once just sat still, looked kind of nice and had to be mowed once a week.

So what’s on your wish list for this year’s gardening season?

Here are a six ideas to get you thinking:

  1. ID the worst eyesore in the yard and put it at the top of the to-do list.
  2. Decide what you want to see when you’re sitting on the patio. Is it more color, another tree or just a bigger, nicer patio?
  3. Could you change just one thing that would require less maintenance? For example, is there a shrub you hate to prune because it has thorns? How about replacing it with a colorful and lower maintenance plant?
  4. Is it too dark in the areas where you would like to expand outdoor living? Would it be more usable if there was outdoor lighting?
  5. Can you find a placefor the fire feature that is now on your outdoor living wish list
  6. Also, walk across the street and look at your house from the neighbor’s perspective. This is how they see your yard every day. Rate the curb appeal. If it reminds you of grandma’s place, think about a facelift.

As with other projects, make the list, prioritize it, and develop a plan. 

Do you want this “DONE FOR ME” or is this too complicated?

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a quote.

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We are confident we can please you, too, give us the opportunity.

Click BestYard.com, or call 720-851-7550 to schedule your services.

Tune-Up Your Sprinkler System this Summer

Tune-up Your Sprinkler System this Summer

Small Changes could make Big Improvements!

The sun and heat in the summer season could create hassles for your lawn in the form of certain disease and brown spots.

Have you noticed that your sprinkler is performing much below par this summer as compared to its efficiency at the time of installation? Perhaps, newly broken pipes or clogged heads could also be the reason behind its poor performance. Even if the sprinkler system is working well with basic fall and spring maintenance, it is wise to check it monthly to adjust to changes as your landscape matures or for slight malfunctions.

The Top 4 Sprinkler Problems:

BestYard.com sees while taking care of sprinkler systems in Aurora, Parker, Castle Rock, and Highlands Ranch are listed below along with ways to fix the problem.

  • Flowers or shrubs hide the heads – At the time of installation of sprinkler system, it is likely that the shrubs and flowers were of lesser height. However, you need to keep a check on their growth and make sure to cut them back to prevent the heads from malfunctioning. As a second option, you could move the heads from some selected areas if cutting the shrubs poses a setback to the design of your garden. As a third option, you might need to raise sprinkler heads to spray over the current plantings.
  • Crooked Heads – Thawing and freezing cycle of the winter season affects the positioning of the sprinkler heads. Specifically, ground heave of the winter can cause misalignment of spray heads. In such cases, it is wise to straighten the heads so they are perpendicular to the ground. This could enhance the performance of the sprinkler head coverage.
  • Too low Heads – Was your sprinkler system installed at the time of initial lawn installation? If so, as the lawn grows over the years the sprinkler heads may be too low to spray over the grass or shrubs to provide proper coverage. The solution is to raise the heads so they provide sprinkler head to head coverage.
  • Tuning, Malfunctions and Tuning – Several problems could lead to brown spots in your garden, such as:
    • Broken lines and valves
    • Clogged or damaged heads
    • Malfunctioning solenoids
    • Controllers not adjusted for summer conditions

Correct these minor problems to ensure that your lawn gets proper water coverage during hot summer conditions.

Does your lawn also face one or more of these issues?  Do you find fixing your sprinkler system too complicated? If yes, then our certified irrigation experts are always there to fix the issues and gear up your lawn to face the conditions of hot summer.

To request a quote, click “DO IT FOR ME

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Or call us at 720-851-7550. We will schedule your services accordingly.

Are Brown Patches in Your Yard Due To Chinch Bugs?

Here is some educational information to help you diagnose your lawn. Mites and chinch bugs can cause considerable damage to your lawn if left undiagnosed and not treated in 3 weeks or less.

Have you seen any chinch bugs lately?

We are seeing an infestation!
These tiny insects live in lawn grasses above the soil,
feeding on lawns by sucking out the vital juices of the grass plant.

Chinch Bugs in lawn

Your Lawn Is At Risk

When chinch bug eggs hatch and the young begin feeding, small patches of brown grass start to appear. If a homeowner ignores the problem or mistakes it for drought, the patches will continue to grow. Chinch bugs can devastate an entire lawn in as little as three weeks if no control methods are taken.

Signs of Potential Chinch Bug Damage:

  • Dry patches that do not improve with lawn watering
  • Damage on sunny hillsides
  • Scurrying insects among grass blades

We are seeing the worst infestation of active mites and chinch bugs in 27 years.

About every fifth client is calling in complaining about huge brown spots in their yard.

It’s due to the extremely dry winter and lack of heavy moisture this spring.

garden area

Life Cycle

To control an insect population we must understand its habits and its life cycle. Chinch bugs survive the winter as adults seeking shelter from the cold and snow under shrubs, hedges and leaf litter. In the latter part of the spring they come out of hiding and venture into the lawn. Here they will mate and the females will seek a hot dry location in which to lay their eggs (usually a south-facing, sloping hillside). Chinch bugs like hot dry locations.

The adult female will lay approximately 250 eggs in the lawn. In about 3 weeks time the eggs begin to hatch and the young chinch bugs (nymphs) begin feeding. Two or more generations can mature each season. The eggs are laid very close together so that when the eggs hatch and the young begin feeding, small patches of small grass begin to appear. If a homeowner ignores the problem or is unaware of it the patches get bigger as the insect matures and seeks food further afield. Chinch bugs can totally ruin a lawn in 3 weeks if no control methods are taken.

Control

If you see suspicious brown patches starting to appear in the lawn DON’T HESITATE.

Call us at 720-851-7550!

  • If you do have chinch bugs we can protect your investment in your property by promptly treating the problem.

If your brown patches are due to lack of water we can advise you on correct watering procedures.

Click “DO IT FOR ME!” to get a FREE Quote

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Still Brown Patches in Your Yard?

Mites and chinch bugs can cause considerable damage to your lawn if left undiagnosed and not treated in 3 weeks or less. Here is some educational information to help you diagnose your lawn.

Mites

Grass mite differs considerably in appearance from the other turf-damaging mites. It is smaller and lighter in color. During most of the season, it is green; the young stages are a paler color. During periods when the mites run out of food or environmental conditions are unfavorable, they may temporarily turn bright red.

mites

Dead grass takes on a brownish-yellow color and the blades are stiff. Under favorable conditions, severe injury can progress rapidly. Almost all serious injury by grass mites are related to winter drought stress.  South-facing hills with sun exposure are typical areas where turf damage can be expected.

garden maintenance

Chinch Bugs

These tiny insects live in lawn grasses above the soil, feeding on lawns by sucking out the vital juices of the grass plant.

Chinch bugs are also lethal due to their tiny size, only about ⅕” in length. Due to their diminutive size, you may not even know you have an infestation until the damage is already done.

The best place to look for these insects are on the stems of your live grass, near the soil surface. After you sit and watch closely, you’ll be able to spot them crawling around.

These tiny creatures can cause big damage!

chinch bugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about Chinch Bugs by viewing this videos.

What can we do for you?

If you observe the early signs of injury or significant numbers of insects in your lawn, give us a call at

Our professionals that provide insect control service trained to identify the insect, its life cycle, and the level of infestation. Based on the infestation and type of insect, our insect control professional will decide the best solution for a given problem.

Our employees trained to diagnose insect damage carry fact sheets, which can tell owners more about pests, such as mites, chinch bugs, and white grubs. Our consultation is free; you can call for any type of insect problem, we will diagnose the problem and set up the proper program.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

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Grass Brown? It Could Be Lawn Mites or Chinch Bugs!

Grass Brown

We are seeing the worst infestation of active mites and chinch bugs in 27 years.

About every fifth client is calling in complaining about huge brown spots in their yard.

It’s due to the extremely dry winter and lack of heavy moisture this spring.

Signs of Potential Mite or Chinch Bug Damage

  • Dry patches that do not improve with lawn watering
  • Damage on sunny hillsides
  • Scurrying insects among grass blades

Diagnosis

A quick way to determine if brown patches are much more than winter kill is to go to where the grass is half green and half straw or brown colored and remove a clump of grass and sprinkle it on a white piece of paper. If all you see is grass, you could have a fungus. But if you see little dark specks, it might be mites or chinch bugs.

Your Lawn May Be at Risk

When mites or chinch bug eggs hatch and the young begin feeding, small patches of brown grass start to appear. If a homeowner ignores the problem or mistakes it for drought, the patches will continue to grow. Mites or chinch bugs can devastate an entire lawn in as little as three weeks if no control methods are taken.

If you see suspicious brown patches starting to appear in the lawn DON’T HESITATE.

Call us at 720-851-7550!

  • If you do have mites or chinch bugs we can protect your investment in your property by promptly treating the problem.

If your brown patches are due to lack of water we can advise you on correct watering procedures.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a quote.

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Water Saving Tips for Your Lawn & Garden

Cut Your Watering Bill up to 50% with BestYard.com’s Moisture Manager Program!

  • Are you upset at the high costs of watering your yard?
  • Do you want to reduce your watering cost?
  • Are you concerned that drought conditions will damage your yard?
  • Do you still want to have a beautiful, lush green healthy lawn?

How Does it Work?

Tiny granules of a new, patented wetting agent attracts water molecules out of the air and surface areas to deliver moisture to your lawn’s root system for 3 months.

Results

Lawn Drought Stress Test in July
Lawn Drought Stress Test in July
Left – treated with Moisture Manager
Right – not treated
Flowers with Moisture Manager Without Moisture Manager
Flowers with Moisture Manager                                              Without Moisture Manager  

Is it Expensive? 

This treatment is comparable to the cost of a regular fertilizer application, and is dependent on the square footage of your lawn. It lasts up to 3 months, is comparable in cost to a regular fertilizer application.

Is It Safe For My Family & Pets?

Yes.  They can be on the yard immediately after application.

Lawn Benefits include:

  • Increase water penetration in root zone.
  • Reduce Water Bills 20% to 50% by increasing irrigation efficiency.
  • Less Lawn Disease.
  • Improved Lawn Color.
  • Maximizes Your Fertilizer & Control absorption in the soil and roots.
  • Reduces runoff on sloped areas so low areas aren’t wet and high areas aren’t dry.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO WATER YOUR LAWN?

DID YOU KNOW?

When you water your lawn, you’re paying a fee for water, and a fee for storm water in Aurora and Centennial / North Douglas County Water & Sanitation Districts.

BestYard.com has researched the cost that that your municipality charges you for your residential water and storm water fee.  The rates are per 1,000 gallons, then per gallon.


Aurora Per 1,000 gallons Per gallon
20,001-40,000 gal. $9.69 $0.000969
40,001 gal. + $11.24 $0.001124
Parker Water & Sanitation    
6,000 – 20,000 gal. $4.25 $0.000425
20,001 + gal. $8.77 $0.00877

 

  • Centennial Water & North Douglas County Water & Sanitation District

Usage of Budget – (Your residential water budget is set each year)

  • Up to 100%                                                           $6.49                                                   $0.000649
  • 100 to 120%                                                          $7.68                                                   $0.000768
  • 120 to 140%                                                          $10.06                                                 $0.001006
  • 140% and over                                                     $13.64                                                  $0.001364

BestYard.com developed the worksheet below to help you calculate you spend on watering and the potential saving from using new water saving technology Moisture Manager.

Just use the “Sample Calculation” as a guide, then “Enter You Data Here”

As a Guide:

  • The time is the addition of all the program run times on your sprinkler clock
    • Be sure to count the total time if you water 2 or more times per day
  • Most sprinkler zones use about 17 gallons per minute
  • Use the gallons from last year’s water bill to determine your rate per gallon
  • Your sprinkler clock settings will tell you the number of days per month you water
Sample Calculation  
Enter the average time you water per day in minutes (8 zones x 20 minutes/zone) 160
Times
Average Gallons Per Minute of Water Your Sprinklers Use: 17
Equals
Total Gallons of Water Used to Run Sprinklers: 2720
Times
Your Average Water & Storm Water Rate Per Gallon $0.00877
Equals
$$$ Cost To Run Sprinklers Once $23.85
Times
Number of Days in a Month You Water: 13
Equals
$$$
Your MONTHLY Watering Costs:
$310
Average Monthly Savings with Moisture Manager
At 30% Savings $ 93
At 50% Savings $ 155
Enter Your Data Here  
Enter the average time you water per day in minutes

Times
Average Gallons Per Minute of Water Your Sprinklers Use:
Equals
Total Gallons of Water Used to Run Sprinklers:
Times
Your Average Water & Storm Water Rate Per Gallon
Equals
$$$ Cost To Run Sprinklers Once
Times
Number of Days in a Month You Water:
Equals
$$$
Your MONTHLY Watering Costs:
Average Monthly Savings with Moisture Manager
At 30% Savings
At 50% Savings

Do you want this “DONE FOR ME” or is this too complicated?

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a quote.
 dO-IT-FOR-ME1
Moisture Manager Service in Douglas and Arapahoe counties including:

  • Aurora
  • Parker
  • Castle Rock
  • Highlands Ranch
  • Lone Tree
  • Castle Pines
  • Englewood
  • Centennial
  • Greenwood Village

Value of Good Landscaping?

Environmental Impact

Good landscaping with healthy lawns and green spaces are a great benefit to our environment. A thick healthy turf helps trap pollutants and dust from the air. A healthy landscape helps lower temperatures in urban areas, and it even reduces erosion of soil into our waterways.

These are just a few of the environmental benefits that green landscapes provide.

  • Cooling

Climate is controlled at ground level by turf grasses as they COOL temperatures appreciably, thus working as exterior “air conditioners”. Eight average front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning while the average home size air conditioning unit produces only 3 to 4 tons of cooling capacity. A well-maintained lawn and landscape keeps your home cooler on hot days by reducing ground level temperatures by 30 to 40 degrees over bare soil and 50 to 70 degrees over paved surfaces like streets and driveways.

  • Cleaning

Properly maintained landscapes with shrubs, plants and lawns are environmental heroes. Dust and smoke particles from the atmosphere are trapped by turf, which helps keep the air cleaner. Because of their filtering capability, plants prevent soil erosion, filter contaminants from rainwater, and absorb dust and soot. Groundwater is enhanced in two ways by a dense turf. Turfgrasses increase infiltration of water and also clean the water as it passes so that underground water supplies are recharged for use by us all.

  • Reducing Noise

Landscaping can reduce noise by up to 50 percent. Quiet, grassed areas affect people’s moods, thus creating feelings of serenity, privacy, thoughtfulness, happiness or sadness depending on our association with their use…home lawn, roadside rest area, city park, golf course or memorial park.

  • Increasing Air Quality

Oxygen generation by turf grasses has a major impact in making our environment habitable and healthy. A 50′ x 50′ lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four.

  • Preventing Erosion

Erosion of soil by water is highly controlled by grasses as they intercept raindrops before they disturb the soil (and slow flowing water so that it drops larger soil particles collected). A healthy 10,000-sq. ft. lawn (about the size of an average suburban lot) can absorb more than 6,000 gallons of rainwater without noticeable runoff. As over watering is a much bigger problem than under watering, automatic irrigation systems, where possible, should be considered for the most efficient watering rates.

Lifestyle Benefits of Green Spaces

  • Healing

Good landscaping is therapeutic and improves quality of life. Millions of Americans spend countless hours enjoying their yards and tending to their flowers and gardens. Studies illustrate that hospital patients whose rooms overlook landscapes recover faster and require less pain medication than those lying in a sterile urban environment. Yearly cycles of nature produce changes in the color of lawns, which are among the first areas to green up in the spring. This brings a lift to human spirits and links urban inhabitants with a symbol of the countryside and its heritage.

  • Preventing Injury

Sports playing surfaces are made safer when grassed with sure footing and cushioning sod that adds to the quality of play. Volleyball, badminton, croquet, bocce and other games are enjoyed by young and old on grassed areas. No other surface material feels as good on bare feet or is as good for playing games and even turning somersaults.

Economic Benefits of Green Spaces

Not only can a well-maintained landscape add up to 15 percent to a property’s value, but landscaping can accelerate the sale by as much as six weeks when selling a home.  We understand that your biggest asset needs to be protected and that is why at BestYard.com we treat your home as if it were our own.

If you follow these suggestions carefully, you will always have a green, envy inducing lawn.

Do you want this “DONE FOR ME” or is this too complicated?

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a quote.

Simple Tips to Check the Efficiency of Your Sprinkler System

Efficient-Sprinklers2Minor Adjustments Can Make Major Improvements!

Perhaps you have noticed that your sprinkler just doesn’t seem to be working as effectively as it did when you installed it. Or, you are concerned about high water bills this coming season.

The following is a quick list of the 6 most common problems BestYard.com sees when inspecting sprinkler systems and simple ways we can help you solve them:

  • Heads Too Low – If you installed your system the same time you planted your lawn, it will only take a few years for the turf to mature to a point that the sprinkler heads won’t be able to reach above the mow height.  This keeps the sprinklers from reaching the distances they need to cover the turf evenly.  Bringing the heads up to grade and cutting the turf back from around the heads are simple but effective ways to solve this issue.
  • Heads Under Shrubs or Flowers – When you originally installed the system, chances are the flowers and shrubs were smaller.  Keeping an eye on flower and shrub growth and cutting back overgrowth will keep the heads from being obstructed.  Alternatively, if cutting back shrub growth sacrifices your garden design, the heads can easily be moved away from the problem areas and back to the turf.  In some cases you may just need to raise the head to reach above the current plantings.
  • Crooked Heads – The freezing and thawing cycle of our winters wreaks havoc on sprinkler head positioning. The smaller spray heads are particular susceptible to becoming crooked due to the winter ground heave. Nothing will improve the effectiveness of your sprinkler more quickly than straightening the heads and keeping them perpendicular to the ground.
  • Minor Malfunctions and Tuning – Clogged or damaged heads, broken lines and valves, and controllers not re-set for hot summer conditions can cause brown spots in your lawn.  Repairing these will get your lawn the proper water coverage for hot summer conditions.
  • New Intelligent Controllers– New clock controllers are WiFI enabled with the ability to react to real-time weather data specific to one’s own geographic location to adapt its watering schedule. This reduces over watering when you had recent rain and increases watering just enough in times of drought.
  • New Technology Nozzles, Drip Lines, and Flow Meters.  New technology nozzles reduce “misting” that result in water evaporation before it reaches your lawn. New Drip Lines deliver water most efficiently to trees, shrubs, and plants than older spray head technology. Flow meters alert you to a broken line or head so repair can be made immediately vs. days or weeks later.

A properly tuned and maintained system using new intelligent controller, more water efficient nozzles and drip lines, and flow meters can cut your watering bill up to 40% over older, traditional systems.

If your lawn has any of these issues, our certified irrigation experts can fix them and prepare your lawn for our hot summer conditions.

Do you want this “DONE FOR ME” or is this too complicated?

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a quote.

Calculating how much time your sprinkling takes to water Your Lawn adequately

Most of the people know that their lawn needs one inch of water every week, however, what most do not know is: for how long they have to run the sprinklers to have that one inch of water in their lawn? That is what we will discuss in this blog.

The first thing that you need to know is the precipitation equation that is used to tell how much water a sprinkling system provides to a lawn; following is the precipitation equation.

img

As you can see, you can calculate the precipitation rate (inches per hour) by multiplying 96.3, which is a constant, by the Gallons Per Minute (GPM) applied to the area, then it is divided by the spacing between the two rows of sprinklers.

So what is sprinkler spacing?

Sprinkler System are installed following a scheme, known as head-to-head spacing, in which the sprinkler heads are placed in an order, where the spray from a head reaches the heads next to it. The space between two sprinkler head is the sprinkler spacing; you can measure it using a measuring tape, if you do not know what it is in your system. Or any sprinkler repair professional can help you with that.

Following is an example of spacing:

image 2

How to calculate Gallons per Minute?

To know how much water a head emits, check the sprinkler head, as the manufacturers provide this information on it.

The equation gives you all the information you need when it comes to water needs of a region, and for how long you have to run your sprinkler system. However, that is not everything; other factor that you need to know is the rainfall in your area, you have to regulate the amount of water your lawn needs based on the rainfall. If this seems too much to you, in Castle Rock Sprinkler Repair professional are available who can help you with the calculation, hire one.

Do you want this “DONE FOR ME” or is this too complicated?

Click “DO IT FOR ME”to request a quote.

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6 Secrets to a Lush, Green Lawn!