Give us a call today! 251.945.5157

Exceeding Expectations Since 1984

Landscape Design, Installation and Maintenance

Krob Landscape Blog

rss


Kenley Sweet
Kenley Sweet
Kenley Sweet's Blog

5 Simple Tips to Maintain Your Lawn
Specify Alternate Text

As a homeowner, you want your home and yard to look great from all angles. Nothing screams curb appeal like a healthy lawn full of thick, green grass. While maintaining the perfect lawn may seem like a job for the pros, a few simple tricks can help you get - and keep - a lush lawn year-round. Here are 5 simple tips to maintain your lawn.

 

Feed Your Lawn

 

Like any organism, lawns need proper nutrients to thrive. For a healthy, green lawn that makes you the talk of the neighborhood, apply a quality fertilizer at least 4-5 times per year. It takes six to eight weeks for nutrients to take hold, so be sure to apply your fertilizer at regular intervals.

 

A good tip is to avoid fertilizing dormant grass. Wait until after a period of heavy rainfall when your grass has had a chance to revive before applying fertilizer. The best results (and least effort) come from a slow-release fertilizer that keeps your lawn fed for weeks at a time.

 

Overseed Your Lawn

 

Applying new seeds to an existing lawn, a process known as overseeding keeps it thick, healthy and free of those troubling bare spots. While many homeowners only reseed when the lawn looks spotty, yearly overseeding keeps your lawn from thinning and helps it stay green and healthy during the winter.

 

The key to overseeding is timing. To combat thinning, seeding is best done during the spring and early summer when they enter active growth. To improve your lawn’s appearance during the winter, overseed during the early fall.

 

Before overseeding, you’ll need to prepare your lawn. Cut the grass at a low setting and rake the soil to remove compaction or thatch and prepare it for seeding. Be sure to choose a quality grass that’s appropriate for our southern climate, and use a professional seed spreader from your local home improvement store to ensure an even layer.

 

Mow Properly

 

The average homeowners mow their lawn over 30 times per year. But the way you mow your lawn is just as important as how often!

 

The key is to never scalp your lawn. While it’s tempting to cut the grass as short as possible to reduce how often you mow, cutting your lawn too short contributes to thatch and shocks the delicate blades and systems underneath. Only mow the top ⅓ of your lawn and aim to mow when the grass reaches a length of 3 inches. One simple way to do this is to simply cut with your mower blade on the highest possible setting.

 

Another mowing tip is to alternate your mowing lines at 45-90 degree angles each time you mow. This will help prevent compaction and thatch issues that come from repeated cuttings.

 

Finally, be sure to keep your lawnmower blades sharp. Dull blades chop at grass rather than cutting it cleanly, making it more susceptible to disease and decay.

 

Aerate Your Lawn

 

That beautifully maintained lawn provides a great space for kids and pets to play, but all of that walking across your grass can lead to compaction. Aerating your lawn removes compacted pockets of soil, giving healthy grass more room to breathe and grow. It also allows fertilizers and weed killers to penetrate deeper into the soil, improving their efficiency.

 

Aerators can be rented from most local home improvement stores and are easy to use. They essentially poke holes about 3 inches deep, removing hardened and compacted areas of soil. For smaller lawns, there are also handheld aerators that are less expensive (but more time consuming). The best time to aerate your lawn is during the fall when soil temperatures have cooled.

 

Water Deeply and Less Often

 

Many homeowners turn on their sprinklers for a few minutes every day, assuming their grass needs as much water as possible. While a healthy lawn does need an appropriate amount of water to thrive, a few sessions of watering deeply is much more beneficial than daily sprinkles.

 

Ideally, your grass needs 1 to 2 inches of water once per week. Giving your grass a healthy dose of water less frequently will encourage deeper root growth and keep it moist and green during periods of drought. If you aren’t sure what your sprinkler output is, place a few shallow pans across your lawn and time how long it takes to fill all of them to 1 inch. This will also show if your sprinklers are watering evenly.

 

The best time to water your lawn is in the morning. The cooler temperatures during the morning hours cut down on evaporation and let your grass soak in as much water as possible. It also gives your lawn ample time to dry during the day, and lawns that stay wet overnight are more prone to fungus.

 

Need help staying on top of your lawn maintenance? Giving you a healthy, vibrant lawn is our specialty! From nutrient control to regular mowing and more, we can give you a well-maintained lawn without the work. Call us today!


How to Turn Your Grass Clippings and Leaves Into A Great Garden Mulch
Specify Alternate Text

You’ve just finished mowing your lawn and your mower bag is full. What will you do with the clippings and leaves inside? If you’re like many homeowners, you’ll empty them into trash bags and haul them to the curb for pick-up. But by doing so, you’re essentially throwing away hundreds of dollars every year!

                                 

Organic materials like grass clippings and leaves make an excellent mulch for your flower beds, lawn, and other naturalized areas. They decompose quickly, contain nutrients that feed your soil and plants, and they look more attractive than most store-bought mulches. Best of all, they’re completely free!

 

So, before you empty that bag into the trash, read on to find out how to save yourself tons of time and money by using your grass clippings and leaves as an organic mulch.

 

The Benefits of Organic Mulch

 

Organic mulch made of leaves and/or grass clippings includes the same benefits as more expensive store-bought mulches. It retains your soil moisture, blocks light to prevent weed growth, and improves your plant life. But using organic materials to mulch your yard also has benefits you can’t buy from a store! They include:

 

Save Money. Store-bought mulches can be expensive, but the grass clippings and leaves in your yard are free! You’ll also save the cost of having those bags picked up from the curb.

 

Save Time. Raking and bagging leaves and clippings can take hours, if not days. With a bagged mulching mower, you’ll cut your time in half and save yourself some back pain.

 

Natural Fertilizer. Grass clippings contain an excessive amount of potassium and nitrogen, making it a natural fertilizer for your lawn and plants.

 

Long-Lasting. Leaves and grass oxidize and decay slowly. That means your plants will have a long-lasting fuel source to get them through the upcoming season.

 

Eco-friendly. Recycling organic matter into mulch keeps it out of the landfills and creates a healthier environment for all.

 

Tips to Use Grass Clippings and Leaves as Mulch

 

Leaves and grass clippings can be used easily and effectively to mulch your lawn and your flower beds. There are a few other tips you can follow when using organic mulch from your yard in order to get the best effect:

 

  • We strongly suggest using a mulching mower to mulch grass clippings and leaves. These types of mowers use a specialized blade to cut the clippings and leaves several times, chopping them more finely than a regular mower.

 

  • Be sure to lower your blade setting when running over dense areas of leaves or overgrown grass to chop them into the smallest pieces possible. Ideally, clippings should be no more than an inch in length.

 

  • To mulch your lawn, simply remove your mower bag and leave your grass clippings and chopped leaves where they land.

 

  • To mulch your beds and other natural areas, spread your mulched leaves and grass clippings from your mower bag into your flower beds and other natural areas in thin, even layers.

 

  • When using fresh grass clippings as mulch, keep your layers under ¼ inch. This will allow the clippings to decompose before they rot, turn slimy, or smell. Leaves or dried grass clippings can be spread more thickly.

 

Using leaves and grass clippings as an organic mulch is a great way to care for your lawn efficiently and affordably. If you need help caring for your lawn or finding the right mulch for your landscape, we can help! Our expert landscapers can handle everything from lawn maintenance to nutrient control and more. Contact us today!


5 Common Pests That May Be Destroying Your Alabama Lawn
Specify Alternate Text

Bugs are a part of life - especially in the warm heat of South Alabama. We work to keep them out of our homes, but keeping them out of our lawns is harder. After all - that’s where they live, right?

 

There are a few pests in Alabama that dig in and destroy your lush, green grass - and they’re more common than you think. If your lawn is drooping, dry, or even dying, you could have a serious infestation that needs treatment. Read on to learn about 5 common pests that may be destroying your lawn - and what to do about it. 

 

Spittle Bugs

 

When you look at your grass, do you see thin red lines down the middle of the blades? Are there large patches of foam at the base? If so, you may have a spittlebug problem.

 

Spittlebugs are common pests in lawns that have Bermuda or centipede grass. These small insects resemble leafhoppers -- they’re about ⅓ inch long, with tented wings in a V-shape. Those big foamy patches on your grass protect the babies from pesticides and predators until they reach adulthood. That’s when they use their piercing mouths to feed on a range of plants, from grass to ornamental perennials. 

 

Heavy infestations are rare, but they do happen - and they can cause yellow, curling, or dead patches of grass in your lawn. Keep a regular mowing and de-thatching schedule to encourage a healthy lawn. Spittlebugs thrive in wet, humid conditions, so avoid over-watering your grass. If seen, remove spittlebugs by hand or spray them with a powerful stream of water - that foamy coat protects young spittlebugs from pesticides.

 

Mole Crickets

 

Those crickets chirping outside of your window aren’t just keeping you awake - they may be destroying your lawn, too.

 

Mole crickets live underground for most of the year, but they come out in droves during the spring and fall to mate and wreak havoc on Alabama lawns. These noisy pests dig tunnels underneath your grass, destroying the shallow roots. They also eat turf, including the shoots and roots.

 

There are a few ways to tell if you have mole crickets before they damage your yard. Small tunnels on the lawn, patches of dry or dead grass, or a host of predators digging for grubs all indicate a mole cricket infestation. If you still aren’t sure, try pouring soapy dishwater on a 4’ square foot of your lawn. If you have crickets, they should float to the top for air.

 

The problem is that by the time most of their damage can be seen - typically in mid to late summer - mole crickets have retreated underground until the fall, so proactive treatment is essential. A targeted pesticide during late winter - early spring is the best way to treat a mole cricket problem.

 

Fire Ants

 

If you live in South Alabama, you’ve surely felt that intense stinging that comes from a fire ant bite. Though the name comes from their distinctive red color, it’s a pretty fair description of their fiery bite, too.

 

Fire ants aren’t just a nuisance to your family - they can also cause real damage to your yard. Ants don’t eat your grass like other pests, but they amass large colonies on your lawn that can damage the root system and smother healthy grass. If you have several large fire ant beds on your lawn, you can bet they’re disrupting the delicate balance beneath.

 

The best way to combat fire ants is with a targeted pesticide spray over your entire lawn.

 

Chinch Bugs

 

Chinch bugs love to feed on the warm summer grasses in Baldwin County, especially varieties of St. Augustine grass. These tiny lawn-dwellers are only ⅙’ long - smaller than your pinky nail - but they can inflict damage on your lawn.

 

Chinch bugs are multi-taskers. They use their pointed mouths to suck nutrients from your grass while injecting it with poison at the same time. Both the adults and the larvae feed on turf and they’re most active during the mid-summer months. They often cluster together in sunny areas to feed on grass and lay eggs.

 

Chinch bugs wipe out a lawn quickly. If you have a chinch bug infestation, your lawn may turn yellow, then brown, then begin to die in large patches during the summer. Pesticides are the best form of attack against chinch bugs, so be sure to call your exterminator if you think you have an infestation. Regular mowing and dethatching - especially if you have St. Augustine grass - is a good way to protect your lawn from chinch bugs.

 

Grubs

 

If you’ve ever seen a lawn grub, your first response was probably something like “oh, yuck!”.

 

Grubs are the larval form of a variety of scarab beetles like Japanese beetles, June “bugs”, or European chafers. These tiny pests are white, often oozy, and curl into c-shaped balls in the open air. Buried in the soil, they feast on grassroots and organic matter, causing large sections of your lawn to die.

 

A long, cyclical life cycle makes lawn grubs a problem year-round. Around August, beetles emerge from the soil to feed on your plant life and lay eggs. Once the eggs hatch in October, grubs begin feeding on your lawn. They hunker down during the winter but awaken in the spring to feed on your grass and turn into beetles, starting the cycle again.

 

To determine if you have a grub problem, keep an eye on your lawn in the spring. If sections of it don’t turn green, you may have grubs underneath. Lift a section of your turf - if it rolls up like a carpet or the grass doesn’t have roots, you probably have a grub infestation. You may also notice birds, raccoons and armadillos digging in your yard.

 

Grubs are most vulnerable when they’re young, so pesticides work best in late summer or early fall. A professional lawn service company like Krob Landscape can treat your grub problem and use prevention products to keep your lawn grub-free throughout the year.

 

No matter what type of pest is destroying your lawn, the best way to handle it is by contacting a professional. At Krob Landscape, our professional lawn specialists are trained in diagnosing and treating insect damage with the industry’s best pest control products. If you have an Alabama pest wreaking havoc on your lawn, contact us today!


Lawn Care, Lawn Maintenance, Landscaping - What’s the Difference?
Specify Alternate Text

So much goes into maintaining your yard. From mowing your grass to trimming your trees to planting new flower beds, keeping your outdoor spaces healthy and beautiful can be a full-time job. Many property owners turn to professionals for help. But with so many companies available, it can be hard to know which to choose!

 

It’s not always enough to know what you need. Some lawn companies call themselves lawn care specialists. Others market as lawn maintenance companies, while still others provide services in landscaping. To muddy the waters even further, many of them provide the same services! You know you need help with your lawn, so what’s the difference? We’re here to make it clear. Read on to learn about the differences between lawn care, lawn maintenance, and landscaping.

 

Lawn Care

 

As the name suggests, lawn care involves taking steps to improve and maintain a property’s lawn. Lawn care companies specialize in creating lush, green grass that is attractive, healthy and resistant to drought or disease. In this way, you can think of lawn care as caring for a property’s lawn without dramatically changing its structure or design. In fact, one of the defining features of lawn care is that you are caring for a lawn or turf that is already there.

 

Common lawn care services include seeding, fertilizing, performing pest control, aeration, and others. For this reason, lawn care specialists need to be highly experienced and, depending on your state, licensed to apply chemicals. Krob Landscape provides expert service in lawn care including weed and pest control as well as nutrient/water management.

 

Lawn Maintenance

 

The difference between lawn maintenance and lawn care is subtle, yet important. Lawn maintenance also involves improving and caring for an existing yard, but it includes services to maintain the entire landscape year-round (rather than just the turf). These often include things like mowing, trimming, edging and weed eating.

 

Somewhat confusingly, many lawn maintenance companies include lawn care services. It makes sense - a well-maintained exterior includes an attractive and healthy lawn, so maintenance companies often take care of both. For example, Krob Landscape provides total lawn packages that include turf management as well as full-scale lawn maintenance.

 

Landscaping

 

Unlike lawn care or lawn maintenance, landscaping involves the creation of new outdoor spaces through construction, planting, and design. Landscapers focus on creating outdoor designs that complement, improve, and functionalize your home’s exterior. There are two main categories of landscaping: softscaping and hardscaping.

 

Softscaping involves the live elements of your landscape - plants, shrubs, trees, grass, and other vegetation. Landscapers use these components to create vibrant outdoor areas full of color and life. Seasonal planting, flower bed designs, and the addition of trees or shrubs are common examples of softscaping.

 

In contrast, hardscaping uses man-made materials to improve the look and function of your home’s yard. Walkways, patios, retaining walls, driveways, and boulders are commonly used in hardscaping a property. Hardscaping can be done to up your curb appeal, create outdoor spaces for entertaining or relaxation, or improve the use and function of an area.

 

Although softscaping and hardscaping are different, both are necessary to create a well-rounded landscape, and most landscaping companies offer both. Krob Landscape offers a full range of landscaping services to design and create a pleasing outdoor space you can enjoy for years to come.

 

Ultimately, which lawn company you choose is up to you. Whether you need lawn care, lawn maintenance, or full landscaping services, knowing what is provided by each will help you make a decision to fit your needs.

 

No matter what your lawn needs, Krob Landscape can help! Our expert staff can assist you with turf care, lawn maintenance, landscaping, and more. Visit our services page for more info and contact us today!


Everything You Need to Know About French Drains
Specify Alternate Text

Do you find yourself with a soggy yard after a hard rain? Even worse, do those first drops make you run for the shop vac to dry out a flooded basement or garage? If so, you have a drainage problem, and a french drain may be the solution. But before you start picturing croissants and funny mustaches, read on to find out everything you need to know about french drains.

 

What Is A French Drain?

 

A french drain isn't French at all. It was invented by an American named Henry French in 1859 when he noticed that farmland was destroyed by too much standing water. It's primarily used to redirect surface water and groundwater away from an area. This prevents flooding, runoff, and pooling water from damaging your yard or home. It can also distribute water (like for a septic system) or relieve ground pressure behind a retaining wall.

 

The concept is relatively simple. It's done by digging a trench and inserting a perforated pipe along the bottom. Gravel is spread over the top to filter water down, and the pipe then guides it to a better outlet. There are two main types of french drains. Shallow Drains are dug approximately two feet from the surface and are best for fixing excessive surface water in your yard. Deep Drains are dug much deeper and placed around the perimeter of your home to help keep your basement or cellar dry during heavy rain. You can also install a french drain in the interior of your home.

 

Do I need a french drain?

 

If you need a french drain, there are virtually no other solutions that will fix the problem. Only you can decide if you need a drainage solution. But a french drain may be needed if:

 

  • Your yard is sticky and spongy after rain or has a permanent damp spot
  • Your basement or garage is wet after a heavy rain
  • Your driveway is constantly washed-out
  • You have a mold or mildew problem in the lower levels of your home

 

Can I Install My Own French Drain?

 

Hardware stores and intense DIYers will tell you that you can install a french drain yourself. But letting a professional do the work is always the best option for drainage solutions. A professional will have the tools and knowledge to find the right angle and depth, place the drain in the right place, and do the dirty work. And when properly installed, french drains can last for decades without needing maintenance.

 

Krob Landscaping can give you a perfect french drain to solve your flooding problems - while saving you the back pain that comes from hours of trench digging.

 

Rain cleans the air, fills rivers and streams, allows plants to grow - it's a beautiful resource that we can't live without. But it can be hard to see the beauty in it if all that water is turning your home and yard into a swamp. If you think you may need a french drain, contact us for an evaluation! We can provide a variety of draining solutions to help keep your home and yard dry even in the strongest storms.


251.945.5157 | baldwin County | mobile County | Florida Panhandle