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2013-06-26 13.01.55The most important factors in maintaining a lawn are, 1. cutting frequency, 2. cutting height, and 3. sharpness of your lawnmower blades. If any of these is off, it will damage your lawn. Cutting too short is probably the number one mistake that do-it-yourselfers make on their own lawns. It is also the most frequent request we hear from our lawn care customers.

Cutting too short doesn’t allow the root system to grow. Short on top means short roots. Short roots means your lawn is weak, and will burn out after the first heat wave. Much like a tree, the taller your grass grows, the bigger the root system and the better able your grass is to support itself. In a drought, a lawn with longer roots will be able to extract moisture from lower points in the ground and survive longer.

Cutting too short makes it easier for weeds to gain a foothold in your lawn. A lawn that is allowed to grow a bit longer will develop what is known as a pre-emergent layer. When you cut grass too short, you break this layer, allowing weed seeds to germinate and take over your yard.

Cutting too short generates too many clippings, which in time will build a layer of harmful thatch into your lawn. The fallen clippings are slow to break down, basically becoming a layer of dead grass (thatch). The thatch will then become matted against the ground in your lawn, preventing the lawn from being able to breathe and absorb moisture. You will get thatch if you either cut too short or cut too infrequently. This is like throwing huge piles of clippings into your lawn.

The final reason – if you keep your lawn cropped high, the grass will thicken and fill into that space. It’s a lot like trimming a shrub. If you trim a shrub with enough regularity, instead of becoming taller, the shrub grows fuller – it is the plant growing within itself. As far as lawns, follow this method and yours will be thicker, which is exactly what you want.

How short is too short?

The ideal cutting height for any lawn in zone 6 is 3 ¾ to 4 inches. There is never a need to go any shorter. In fact: you never want to cut more than ¾ of the total length of the grass blade because it’s harmful to the grass itself as a plant. You basically only want to cut the top half of a blade of grass, ever.

My personal opinion: grass that’s a little bit taller feels softer under your feet. A lawn that’s scalped feels prickly and less like a carpet.

Need expert lawn care in Hunterdon County, NJ? Contact Mike at 4 Seasons Lawn Care for a quote today: call 908 783 5733 or email mikehyde@4seasonslawns.com

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Before: broken-down grape arbor requiring removal.

Before: broken-down grape arbor requiring removal.

Patio also requiring us to break it down and remove.

Patio also requiring us to break it down and remove.

In the process of removing the patio.

In the process of removing the patio.

Grape arbor being rebuilt

Grape arbor being rebuilt

Garden beds built, filled and installed.

Garden beds built, filled and installed.

Still time for an "after" photo before the sun goes down!

Still time for an “after” photo before the sun goes down!

New grape arbor - ah, that's better!

New grape arbor – ah, that’s better!

 

Give Mike a call to discuss raised garden bed design and installation today: 908 783 5733. For ideas, check out our other website – http://gardenbedsnj.com.

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A little late, but here’s a photo of the 4 Seasons Lawn Care uniform on Halloween 2013!

clowns

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edge

Remove existing landscaping. Remove excess mulch. Dig a fresh edge along walkway.

holes

Dig holes for new shrubs, and cover the whole bed with landscaping fabric. Then cut the fabric away to reveal the holes beneath.

Make a mud-hole! Partially fill the hole with a combination of native topsoil and compost. Soak and mix with shovel until it has the consistency of mixed concrete.

Install shrubs and cover beds with 4″ of root or hardwood mulch.

Voila!

Do you live in Hunterdon County, NJ and need a basic landscaping install? Call 4 Seasons Lawn Care at 908 783 5733. Ask for Mike Hyde! Or, email mikehyde@4seasonslawns.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

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I got a call over the weekend from a new customer of mine who had some water removal and cleanup to deal with after this weekend’s torrential rain storms. I was away from the Whitehouse area at the time, and it was pretty late, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to accommodate.

However, I did want Flemington/Whitehouse etc. residents to know that 4 Seasons Lawn Care can assist with removal of downed tree limbs and other outdoor debris. Give us a call at 908 783 5733 and ask for Mike Hyde. Or, email mikehyde@4seasonslawns.com.

Of course, it’s always better to be prepared ahead of time rather than after the fact… but here’s a good article “for next time” on what to do before the flood hits!

http://www.newhopepa.com/Flood/cleanup0706.htm

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from 4 Seasons Lawn Care

Young trees should be pruned in such a way that encourages strong structural development. Good, strong tree branches intersect at wide angles. The angle where two branches meet should be about 45 degrees or maybe even a little more than that. This is a good angle and it should be left alone to structurally support the tree’s growth.

A weak union of two branches looks like a narrow V-shape. Cracks frequently form in such corners. This type of weak branch intersection should be trimmed away. You want to trim at the place where these two branches meet.

Use a sharp cutting tool to trim away small branches to ensure a clean break with no tears.

Trim away dead and diseased branches first. If you must trim living tissue, find the “collar” that grows at the base of the branch and cut just above this line. You do not want to damage the branch collar. Make your cut parallel to the ridge of bark lines that run vertically down the tree. It’s like trimming away the left arm of a letter Y. Leave a stub of the arm and slice along the grain. Do not cut to the quick.

4 Seasons Lawn Care Offers Tree Trimming Service

Serving Flemington, Whitehouse, Whitehouse Station, Readington, Lebanon, and Raritan; Hunterdon County, NJ.

Contact mikehyde@4seasonslawns.com or call Mike at 908 783 5733 for a free estimate today!

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Dear Mike,

Just wanted to write and say how much I appreciated the work you did in my yard this past spring.

I had those bald patches on my lawn thanks to the dogs taking target practice, and a garden patch that needed a few fresh truckloads of good soil.

You showed up bright and early with your lime dispensing machine and a big smile, and proceeded to “doggie-proof” my lawn as well as put down a layer of seed to get it nice and green for the season.

I also really would not have been able to garden this year if it weren’t for your handy dirt delivery service. As a final touch, you prettied up my rose beds and side borders with some nice mulch. My yard looked great all summer and I have you to thank for that! Looking forward to next spring’s plantings already. 🙂 Thanks again and have a Merry Christmas!

– DG, Phillipsburg, NJ

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4 Seasons Lawn Care appreciates your honest feedback regarding the service we provide. Please let us know what you liked about how we work, as well as what we can do better for you.

Submit your letters and photos via email to mikehyde@4seasonslawns.com.

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