It’s been an eventful year! If your commercial property or homeowners’ association needs a boost in landscape services, please invite us to bid. We’re now bidding for 2022 services and in some cases, can take over to finish out 2021. If you are interested, please fill out the form on this page, call (208) 288-5589, or email us at email@example.com.
FINALLY! After a record-setting July, temps are cooling down. The transition from summer to fall can be tricky for sprinkler programming. This week (as of 8/17), we’ve begun reducing sprinkler programs by 35%-50%.
- Watering up to 4 days/week: 2 on, 1 off, 2 on, 2 off (day before & day of mowing)
- Rotors on split cycles of 13-20 min (26-40 min/night)
- Pop-up sprays on split cycles of 6-10 min (12-20 min/night)
- Drip on split cycles 15-22 min (30-44 min/night)
These guidelines apply to many landscapes but not all. It may be necessary to program for more or less water based on your site’s unique conditions.
Why are some of these times on the high side? Parts of the Treasure Valley will lose pressurized irrigation water by early September & we have no idea what the weather will be after that. We want to keep the ground well-hydrated until then.
When will our Sprinkler Techs make programming changes for full-service commercial clients? We started on Tue, Aug 17th. Most clients have biweekly sprinkler maintenance so we expect to be through all controllers by 8/31.
What happens if it gets hot again? While it’s possible to see minor dry spots where coverage is lacking, the longer, cooler nights will offset warm days. We think this programming will be fine.
What happens if it gets cold & rainy? As with all programming, we do our best to anticipate what the weather will do in the weeks ahead. It’s possible we’ll cut programming even more if conditions require it.
Other questions? Please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WELCOME TO HEAT DOME!
It’s been a summer unlike any other. Extreme heat, drought, labor shortages, supply chain interruptions, you name it. The combined effects are noticeable.
- Broadleaf weeds – your lawn might be weedier than normal. Sorry about that. Putting it simply, weeds love heat but herbicides do not. Herbicides cannot be safely or legally applied when temps exceed 85 degrees. Sometimes we have to tolerate a few weeds until conditions are more favorable for spraying. As that happens, we will spray broadleaf weeds for our lawn care clients. Thank you for understanding!
- Grassy weeds – crabgrass & nutsedge are rampant. If you didn’t get crabgrass pre-emergent in the spring, you’re out of luck. If you did, it offers 70%-90% control. Some breakthrough is expected. Nutsedge is popping up a lot, too. It loves heat & waterlogged soil. Nutsedge isn’t technically a grass or a broadleaf, it is its own plant that requires a special herbicide. This isn’t covered in our lawn programs but can be sprayed upon request. Note that two or three treatments might be needed.
- Bugs – billbugs are covered in some program & have not been bad this year. We’re seeing sod webworm & chinch bugs in some cases, neither of which are in our programs. Why? Because they don’t occur as frequently as billbugs & they require different types of insecticides to control. We can treat them upon request.
How do you (our awesome client) & we (the lawn care experts) team up to conquer these issues?
It starts with water. Rule of thumb: soil should be moist 6″-8″ deep but not saturated. The only way to know is to use a core soil probe or shovel. Below is a simple sprinkler programming guide when temperatures are in the 90s or higher.
- Pop-up sprays on turf: 5-6 nights per week, 2 cycles per night, 10-12 min per cycle (maybe 100-144 min/week)
- Rotors on turf: 5-6 nights per week, 2 cycles per night, 20-23 min per cycle (maybe 200-276 min/week)
NOTE: these are starting points & you should adjust your program based on the coverage, water pressure, soil type, & water restrictions.
Good mowing practices. Lawns should be mowed weekly to approximately 3″-3.5″. Cutting too much off can create openings for weeds, crabgrass, & destructive insects to enter. We recommend mulching, which leaves clippings on the soil to decompose.
Sticking with the lawn care program. While we cannot spray in extreme heat, we can apply fertilizer because of the slow-release products we use. This gives your lawn a boost & helps it stand up better to tough conditions.
Perspective. No one likes weeds or crabgrass or bugs in lawns, especially us! Within the parameters of our lawn programs & as conditions allow, we will do our best to address issues that may have arisen this summer. But if you’re a customer who just isn’t happy with these things, we fully understand. Let us know & we’ll work with you on a solution.
Can’t stay hot forever, right??!
Though this article doesn’t mention us, we installed bocce ball courts & a challenging little putting green near The Grove in Downtown Boise. We did the project in summer 2020 on behalf of Oppenheimer Companies, which has been one of favorite clients for over 30 years.
After a surprisingly snowy February, your landscape is ready to wake up & meet the sun. Good preparation in the spring makes for easy maintenance the rest of the year.
- Start with a thorough spring cleanup. Cut down spent perennials & ornamental grasses. Rake out old leaves & debris. Pull or spray weeds in beds. You can also trim the trees & shrubs, though some may grow back quickly in the spring. Depending on the landscape, we sometimes wait until after “spring flush” to trim fast-growing shrubs.
- Lower the mower to put a clean cut on the lawn. 1.5″-2.5″ is good.
- Grass, trees, & shrubs have used up their reserves for the winter. Give ’em some fertilizer to get them off to a strong start.
- Aerate the lawn! This is an underutilized service in the Treasure Valley, where most lawns sit about hard clay soil. Aerating punctures through the thatch layer & into the soil to create pockets for root development & water infiltration. Beware of shallow sprinkler lines & heads. Sprinkler lines “should” be buried well below the 4″ aerator tine but some installers aren’t a thorough as we are.
- Apply pre-emergent herbicides. This is a MUST if you want to stay ahead of weeds through the year. While these products don’t prevent all weeds or control those already emerged, they are an essential tool for keeping weed pressure low. If you’re a DIY’er, read product labels closely as you generally cannot use the same products on grass that you might in shrub beds.
- Aphids may already be camping on the buds of your ash, roses, & other plants. Suppress them before they start feeding & rapidly spreading. Dormant oil spray & systemic treatments are two excellent option. The former is a highly-refined horticultural oil that smothers insect eggs so they don’t hatch. It’s sprayed directly onto the trunk & lower branches. Best to do this before mid-April or so. Systemic treatments, such as root drenches or cambium injections, are translocated into the leaf tissue so when aphids tap in, it will be their last supper. These treatments are effective AND among the safest methods of control.
- If your sprinkler system uses city water, it should be safe to activate it by late March. If nights are still below freezing, just pause or turn off the controller so you don’t have slippery sidewalks or icy plants.
We don’t know what kind of yard Ben Franklin had in Pennsylvania but when he said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” it could have easily applied to landscaping!
While the pandemic put the kibosh on Boise’s 4th of July fireworks show, Mother Nature has been putting on a show of her own. Flowers throughout Downtown Boise are S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G! Yes, it’s all-caps stunning.
Don a mask, hit your favorite coffee shop, & enjoy a morning stroll among the several hundred flower planters that dot our downtown sidewalks. Enjoy!