Fall is for Fescue!

Nice Fescue

So Nice it looks fake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a Fescue lawn, now is the time to make things right for next season.  We’ve learned over the years that Fescue takes a beating every summer, so we need to do everything we can now to make sure our yards look incredible later.  Later means this fall, but especially next spring.  Our friends over at Atlantic Mulch posted this list of tips for Fall Fescue Renovations.  We suggest you take a look, and give us a call if you would like us to help you with your Fescue lawn this fall.

Thanks for reading.

Fall Turf Renovations Article

 

It’s That Time Again

The birds are chirping and we’re looking at 80 degrees several times this week. Yep, now is the time to start thinking about a warm season grass. Zeon Zoysia, Emerald Zoysia, TifGrand Bermuda, or Centipede. The list goes on. If you can stand the dormancy of winter, what’s the hold up? Here are just a few of the benefits of installing a warm season lawn.

Emerald Zoysia

1. Reproduces itself: You’ll never have to seed again as all of these grasses reproduce by stolons and rhizomes.
2. Drought Tolerant: These grasses will not die out due to excessive heat or drought (after the establishment period). Keep in mind that they may not look their best without a little water, but as soon as it rains again, they are right back to green.
3. Natural Weed Prevention: The best way to prevent weeds is simply to provide no space for them to establish. A warm season grass, especially zoysia grows so thick that there is hardly room for weeds to take over.
4. Slow Growers: You’ll start mowing later, stop sooner, and mow less frequently throughout as most of these grasses are much slower growing than fescue.
5. Money: All four of the above equal a less expensive maintenance program whether the expense is your wallet or your time. This is of course after the establishment period.

So, what are you waiting for?  Contact us now.

 

Warm Season Grass……We Believe!

I didn’t get into the landscaping field with the idea to become opinionated….it just happened.  It’s hot outside this week…..bloody hot!  I’m not surprised.  It happens every year doesn’t it?   We experience 4 distinct types of weather in North Carolina and most of the US for that matter.  You don’t have to go far to find places that experience only two seasons, and even those two often aren’t that different.  I suppose the best we can do is stay hydrated, enjoy the A/C when we have it, and continue to marvel at the heat as if it’s impossible.  In fact it is impossible, especially for Fescue grass.

 

Ben Installing zoysia

This is Ben installing our favorite, Zeon Zoysia

I’ve realized over the past 4 years that you have to have the absolute perfect site to justify Fescue in the piedmont of North Carolina.  I’m talking about Zone 7b for you nuts who know what that means.  Most people who have a decent fescue lawn and work hard to keep up with it know what I’m talking about.  You have a few spots where there is just enough sun vs. shade that the grass isn’t completely toast by mid-June, but most of the yard is a goner.  Believe me when I tell you, you should give it up today.

If you can afford to spend $1.00 to $1.35 per square foot, or you don’t mind busting your tail for a few weekends, you should install a Bermuda or Zoysia lawn.  Let me spell out the pros and cons in list form below.

Pros:

  1. Never has to be reseeded because it reproduces itself (ie: spreads out and fills in gaps)
  2. Drought Tolerant:  After it’s watered in (most of the 1st growing season) you don’t have to water it unless you want it to look perfect
  3. It’ll be there when you get back: Inevitably, you or someone else at the property is going to spend a year or two or 5 not paying much attention to the grass, but what happens when you decide you want a nice lawn again?  Good news! A warm-season lawn will still be there and all you’ll need is a mower, a little water, and maybe some sort of fertilizer (We recommend compost) to get it back into shape.  You can’t say that for Fescue.
  4. It looks amazing….most warm seasons do anyway.
  5. Slow growing:  Many of the warm season grasses (the zoysias & centipede) can be mowed as few as 10 or 15 times per year.  Compare that to 28 to 32 for Fescue.
  6. Chokes out other weeds:  Most of these grasses will make it difficult for other weeds to grow next to them.  Sure, you’ll have to deal with a few weeds, especially during the establishment period, but nothing like Fescue.
  7. Less water: If you don’t want to have to irrigate, then you don’t.  Don’t misunderstand me either, watering your Warm Season lawn will make it greener, and will make it fill in holes quicker, but if you don’t want to, it will just turn a little grey, shrivel up into survival mode, and waits until the next rain.  A good .25″ or so perks back up and looks good for a few days until it’s hot and dry again.  Or, if you want things ship shape  for the big party, just water for a few days prior to the event, and now you’re lawn is beautiful once again.

Cons:

  1. Goes dormant or turns brown in the winter.  This is hardly a con for most people.  Besides, you can always overseed with Rye if you’re a Nazi about year-round green grass.
  2. #1 is really the only con.  Are you sold yet?

 

A Good Time to Mulch

If you’re thinking about mulching your plant beds, NOW is better than later, unless you want to wait til December!  If you have any amount of deciduous (leaf dropping) trees in your yard, they’ve probably just been completely cleared.  Why not get the most out of your mulch job by placing it now?  If you mulch now, you’ll have 7 months with no leaves covering your beautiful mulch job.  If you mulch it in July, the material will cost more per yard, and you’ll only have 2 or 3 months before your beds are covered with leaves again.  If you still have leaves in your beds, DON’T RAKE THEM OUT.  Those leaves are critical for replacing lost nutrients in your soil.  You can mulch right over those leaves and your beds will look just as great.  Not only that, but you’re plants will thank you for that rich food.  Remember, your typical hardwood mulch doesn’t have nearly the nutritive quality of leaves as they break down.  Contact us if you would like to get a quote on mulching your plant beds!

T1’s Halloween Garden wins first place at the NC State Fair!

Heddou's Shanty, First Place NC State Fair Garden

Heddou's Shanty

Back in March when we first drew the Halloween theme for the 2010 NC State Fair Garden Competition, I was  a little skeptical.  I couldn’t quite imagine where this theme could take us.  Luckily, the guy spearheading the project design was Bryson Trexler, our on staff Horticulturalist and Landscape Designer.  From a voodoo potman named Heddou Marco (framed up with rebar and dressed with black landscaping pots) to tribal skulls with Tongue ferns coming out of the mouth, he really conceived a tremendous outcome right from the beginning.  As things began to shape up in the week prior to the fair, it went from just a fun publicity project, to a competition that we might actually win.  And win we did by scoring 96 out of 100 to edge the 12 time champions by one point.  It was a great project and a lot of fun.  Check the gallery for additional photos, and let us know if you’d like a spooky scary hideaway right in your own backyard!

T1 on the blogosphere…..

blogospherePete Kusterer, a world renown business blogger touches on the idea of curb appeal and how that plays with the our youthful zeal.  His thoughts bring an insight into T1 Earthcare that even it’s founder may not have perceived. Check it out here

Fun in the snow….not for all

Greetings SledGod!

Greetings SledGod!

In central North Carolina, everyone loves a good snow.  Well, almost everyone.  While carting my mother up to the local Kinko’s a few days ago. I noticed several other landscaping companies out spreading salt and shoveling ice.  I thought to myself that this could be me one day, but quickly vanquished the horrifying thought.  As a young boy, I grew up at our local RDU International airport slinging bags and mail in the cryptic underbellies of DC-9’s and 737’s.  This was an exciting time for a 15 year old kid, but I  remember my father’s disgust of constantly having to fill in for employees who wouldn’t show up for work.  His least favorite thing was de-icing airplanes.  When Raleigh would receive a rare snow or ice-storm, there was no time to play with the kids as he was off to the airport before the sun would rise.  I suppose it’s like that for some landscapers as well.

For now, T1 Earthcare will enjoy it’s snow days. It’s going to take some serious money, to get a Raleigh landscaper into the snow removal biz.  It’s tough to put a price on “not sledding”.

Enjoy the weather folks!

Fall…..Creation…..Landscape

 

beautiful fall landscape

beautiful fall landscape

Welcome Fall to Raleigh, NC! There’s nothing like the cool breeze and the smell of leaves blowing in the air to remind us of the beauty of creation. The cycle of life that we see in the landscape is incredible. The trees are starting to look bare, but we know that the spring will come and renew all of those bare branches and that everything will surge back to life again come March and April.

Landscaping to me is a re-ordering of that which has already been ordered. Something seems to have placed this world here, but it seems that it was left in progress, as if someone is supposed to carry on the work that “is” this world.

Humans for some reason have this innate desire to take the world as it is and make it something different. Most of the time, this is a good thing. In the world of landscape, we have the ability to order water, rocks, and plants to create something beautiful. It is a great honor and a whole lot of fun. As a project completes and you stand back and admire that which has been accomplished, it brings an ancient phrase to mind.

”and it was good.”

Go re-order something in your landscape today! If you don’t have a landscape, borrow your neighbors!

Pre-Emergence Time

spreader1

The weather is beautiful in Raleigh, NC today.  It’s March 10th and for anyone who cares anything about their yard, this is an exciting time.  We’re breaking out the mowers for the first time and the smell of freshly cut grass and 2-cycle engines is intoxicating.  It means that summer is on it’s way and pretty soon, you will no longer have to look into your neighbor’s houses from your back deck.  I know this is very exciting, but let’s talk about one of the key things you should be thinking about now that we’re almost half way through March.

Pre-Emergence herbicides are the lawn care professional’s secret to getting a good jump on the weeds-to-be that quietly lurk as little seedlings on or just below the ground.  It’s important to remember that pre-emergence herbicides stop the germination of almost anything, but they don’t do much for weeds that are already established.  This is also why this type of herbicide does not affect your grass at this time of the year.  Your grass is of course already established, even if it’s Bermuda or Zoysia and still lying dormant.  A very important note: If you are going to attempt to sow seed in a warm-season grass this spring, DO NOT APPLY pre-emergence herbicides to your lawn this Spring.  If you try to sow seed within X amount of time (usually about 45 days or so) of the application of pre-emergence; guess what?  Those seeds will not be emerging either.

It’s also important to realize that Pre-Emergence is usually applied with a rotary spreader in granular form along with a fertilizer application.  Check with a local professional or consult T1 Earthcare’s Grass Program section of this site by clicking here.  Also, please consult the manufacturer’s label on your product in order to better understand what you are actually applying.  When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to contact a professional.  Thanks for reading!

Freedom!

Imagine driving home from work with your kids in the back seat screaming their head off!  It’s early fall and you arrive home to a world of task lists yearning for check marks.  You know there are dishes in the sink, laundry in the dryer and your spouse is running late.  Someone is about to lose their mind!  Your kids run ahead of you into the house and you stop on the porch to breath a sigh of relief.  The sun is just now setting down the street and you suddenly notice something is different.  Your Tall Fescue Grass is standing proud and evenly clipped at 4.0 inches.  There isn’t a leaf on it despite the large oak tree standing in glory 100 feet above your piece of the earth.  The green is deep, and yet soft as if it were inviting you to lay down and forget the world.  Amidst the chaos and clutter of today and without your lifting of even a finger, your landscape maintenance has simply happened.  It just went off, as if it were built into the very cogs of your life.