Elk are Migrating to the Valley, Leaves are Falling and the Days are Cooling Off; It's Time for Us to Start Winterizing Your Home and Property.

October 1, 2016

 

 

GIE/Wildlife Fencing/Winterizing Irrigation Systems/Fall Noxious Weed Control/Fall Lawn Maintenance/Fall Gardening Services/Flower of the Month

 

GIE (Green Industry Equipment) Expo in Kentucky this October 20-21st. 

 

At the end of the month, Lee and Jay will be attending the GIE trade show.  It is the largest convention for equipment used in the lawn/garden/landscape/light construction industry and it gives the guys the opportunity to stay up-to-date on the products and equipment we use every day.

Wildlife Fencing

 

Two main reasons we put wildlife fencing around your trees/shrubs is to prevent:

  1. damage caused by hungry wildlife

  2. damage caused by mating behavior

The damage caused by wildlife can kill trees and shrubs and is especially harmful to the new, soft, young trees/shrubs recently planted.

 

We are fortunate to live in a region that is more heavily populated with Elk than any other part of North America.  In the fall, we see more signs of the Elk out and about as they migrate from higher altitudes down to the valley where they live during the winter months.  Many of the Elk migrate towards the National Elk Refuge for food but some will settle for the meal provided by the Aspens in your yard.  For this reason, we put up wildlife fencing to protect Aspens and other trees from damage by the Elk.  In fact, Aspen groves have started to decline in some areas of the region because of over-consumption.  Why Aspen trees? Grass is the first choice of food for the Elk but once they start to lose that source the second best option is the nutritional bark of Aspen trees, especially the soft bark of new, young trees. Wildlife fencing also protects your trees from behavior displayed by Elk during their breeding season September-October. Bull Elk will rub trees, some shrubs, and the ground with their antlers to attract cows and intimidate other bull Elk.  This behavior can cause extensive damage to your trees/shrubs and creates another reason for the wildlife fencing. 

 

Deer, moose and other wildlife outside of the deer family will also cause similar damage to the trees and shrubs in your yard.  For example, porcupines are drawn to  the bark of spruce trees during the winter months.

Winterizing Irrigation Systems

 

When do sprinkler systems get shut-off?

  • Before temperatures at night are reaching below freezing

  • When your landscape’s need for water starts to decrease--This is usually signaled by cooler temperatures, shorter days, and plant dormancy.

Is it OK to shut-off the sprinkler system earlier than the suggested time period?

 

No, turning off an irrigation system too early will deprive plants of water. Getting enough water is especially important for trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials that are newly planted and haven’t yet established themselves.

 

What does it mean to “winterize” the irrigation system?

 

Before frost gets a chance to reach below to the depths of the piping of your irrigation system, we come to your house to drain the water from its pipes.  We use the Blowout Method which uses compressed air to “blow out” the water and ensure trapped water has escaped the system.  Performing this method and other techniques professionally, minimizes the risk of freeze damage.

Fall Noxious Weed Control

 

Noxious Weed Control is still relevant in fall and is one of the best times to spray these perennials. Why? At this time of the year, noxious weeds such as Canada Thistle, are moving carbohydrates away from it's leaves and other upper parts down to it's roots for winter storage.  When the weeds are sprayed with herbicides, the herbicides flow in the same direction as the carbohydrates and in the fall, this means herbicides are headed directly to the root system.  Being able to target the root system directly achieves a  more efficient kill, however it’s important to keep it mind that some noxious weeds will need additional treatments of herbicides even if sprayed during the fall.

(Image: Canada Thistle Credit: Flickr)

 

If you see noxious weeds around or near your property call or message us today.

Gardening

 

Fall Cut-Back We cut-back perennials right before/after a killing frost which occurs sometime in late September-October.  We cut the plants back leaving some debris to cover the plant from late-fall to early-spring.  There are a number of reasons why it’s important to cut-back and remove most of the plant’s new growth before the winter months:

  • Prevents the harboring of disease pathogens

  • Prevents unwanted insect eggs from being harbored over the winter

  • Efficient and quicker clean-up of flower beds in the spring.

 

 

Planting Spring Bulbs  Spring bulbs need to experience a cold, dormant period before blooming in the spring and so; we plant bulbs in the fall.  The bulbs we plant include: Tulips, Daffodils, Alliums, and Muscari.

 

Image: A single Allium. These tall, spring-blooming bulbs stay looking great from spring into summer.

 

 

 

Lawn Maintenance

 

Fall Clean-Up

 

Is it necessary to clean the leaves that have fallen into your yard?

 

Yes, at the most your yard should have 10-20%  on-ground, leaf coverage because excessive leaf matter left on your lawn over the winter season is bad for the following reasons:

  • Smothers grass which could inhibit growth in the spring

  • Promotes snow mold diseases

  • Could lead to more extensive turf damage caused by voles and mice

 

 

A thick layer of leaves can also cause similar problems in your flower beds and so, the gardening crew and lawn crew work together to clean the leaves out of your beds and yard.

Flower of the Month
 

Black-Eyed Susan

 

Black-Eyed Susan is native to North America, blooms summer-fall and according to one tale, this perennial (which also grows as an annual and biennial) is named after an English colonist cited in a romantic, Old English poem with another English colonist named Sweet William (also a flower).  Legend recommends seeding common Black-Eyed Susan together with wild Sweet William and supposedly they will bloom together at the same time.  In 1918, Black-Eyed Susan was named the state flower of Maryland and according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this flower symbolizes Justice.

 

 

 

 

 

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