Spring Forward

Lawn Care Tips – Spring Time


As Spring approaches and we have some really nice warm days we start thinking of what we are going to do this spring and summer. We start imagining things like playing with the kids on warm days, taking the dog for a walk and not freezing, watching the kids play with their neighborhood friends blowing dandelions.

WAIT, did you say Dandelions?! That means that your or your neighbors lawn has weeds! Hang on, stop daydreaming. Before you get to that point it is time for one of the most important lawn treatments of the year; pre-emergent weed control.

We want you to enjoy your surroundings and like your skin we recognize and want to pause to say it’s important to treat it right so you can enjoy your Spring, Summer and Fall. Before we all Spring Forward it’s time to get down a good pre-emergent to help block those summer time weeds. It may seem weird to put down something now when it is still cool out to help stop weeds that you normally see in the summer. Did you know that weed seeds actually start germinating when the soil gets to a certain temperature? It’s getting there!

I was doing an estimate earlier this week and when I mentioned that we would put down a pre-emergent for summer weeds the potential customer said “I already have weeds, so I guess the pre-emergent won’t do me any good.” The weeds that she had in her lawn were winter weeds. The pre-emergent that I was referring to putting down was for summer weeds. I know it gets confusing, summer weeds, winter weeds, what to put down when, how much to use, etc. That’s what we are here for.

Whether you need someone to just do it for you, or you are a do it yourselfer we are happy to help you out. The BIGGEST thing to remember with most lawn applications is that timing is critical! If you are applying something a day or a week late you are wasting your time and money. If you are putting too much pre-emergent out you can be polluting the environment and possibly be blocking your grass seed from germinating in the fall. Read the labels, calibrate your equipment and apply at the right time. In our area we have a lot of different types of grasses. Make sure the product you are using is safe for your type of grass.

LeapFrog Landcare is an organic based lawn, tree & shrub care company serving the Triangle area of NC, including Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Morrisville and Raleigh.

Lawn care tips for January

We are in the heart of winter right now in Cary, NC and that can mean a lot of different things around here! Some days it can be cold and you feel like you are going to freeze and then you wait a couple of days and it feels like spring with temps in the 60’s. There’s an old saying around here that says if you don’t like the weather in North Carolina just hang around a few days and it will change. How true that is. With the ups and downs of the weather it leaves a lot of people wondering what should I do in my yard this time of year?

For most folks January is a big time for planning and new goals. It’s the same with your lawn. Just remember the 5 P’s for your lawn and for you personally. The 5 P’s are Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance! If you are going to come up with a plan for your lawn one of the 1st things you should do is to get a soil analysis done. You can take a sample of your soil and send it in to the NC Dept of Agriculture and they will do a free analysis of your soil. That analysis will help determine how much fertilizer, lime and other nutrients are needed.

Another big thing to remember this time of year is to try your best NOT to walk on grass that has frost on it. When a lawn is frosted, the grass blades are literally frozen, therefore causing the grass to lose its elasticity. Walking or mowing the lawn while it has frost on it will actually break the grass blade and damage it. With colder weather the grass grows much slower, so it takes a while for it to recover and you may end up with brown shoe prints through your lawn until spring.

Next week we will post some pruning tips to make sure your trees & shrubs are ready for that new spring growth that will be coming!!

Leap Frog Landcare is an organic based lawn, tree & shrub care company serving the Triangle area of NC, including Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Morrisville and Raleigh.

It’s Gloomy Scale Time

It’s Gloomy Scale time!!! I have an odd admiration for that little bug that is wreaking havoc on Maple trees. Oh, I know most folks are thinking since we do treatments for Gloomy Scale that I’m excited about it because I make money off of it. No, it’s not that. Although I sure do appreciate the fact that I can make money doing it.

You see, I’ve told a lot of folks that Gloomy Scale is the little bug that put me in business. Well, rolling back the clock to about 8 years ago, what really happened is that one day I was working with a Certified Arborist. We were talking about some ways we could work together. At the time I was the Business Manager for a really good tree company that was great at removals but didn’t really do that much regarding tree health except for proper pruning. We were looking for ways to start helping people protect one of the best assets on the property which is their trees. The Certified Arborist showed me what Gloomy Scale was and at first I thought he was trying to trick me. He found little white and black dots on a tree and said this is a parasite that sucks the sugar out of the sap of Maple trees and when they multiply each female can reproduce up to 500 more!!! He told me that if a tree has only 50 females of this tiny, little bug that when each of them reproduce 500 more then that tree now has 25,000 or more Gloomy Scale that are all drinking from the tree. They keep populating the tree until it is just covered one scale on top of the other and it makes the tree trunk and limbs turn black and eventually as the infestation turns severe the tree can’t force enough sap past them to get all the way out to the ends of the limbs. So, at that point the tree starts dying from the ends of the limbs back causing a slow, ugly death. Once he showed me a few other trees and how bad they looked it was like someone turned on a light switch in my head!! This little parasite was multiplying like crazy all over the area, very few people knew about it and it was attacking one of my favorite trees!!! Wow, it became game on!!! I got really interested in tree & plant health care. I just started devouring all the info I could on the subject and that is what lead me in to starting my own business. So, each year when it becomes the appropriate time to do treatments on trees infected with Gloomy Scale I reflect back on the little bitty dot on a tree that has now led to me being in business for myself and also teaching people about how to make their landscapes healthier.