Irrigation Winterizing

Irrigation Winterizing

Irrigation Winterizing

Now is the time to signup for "easy scheduling" irrigation winterizing. We have made it very easy for you to schedule this service around your busy schedule. Our irrigation techs do great work and will make sure your system is blown out properly, so you do not have to worry about problems in the spring that may otherwise occur. We can help you in the spring with your startup too. Scheduling that is just as easy. If you are ever in need of any repairs to your system, we can help you with those as well. Our techs are honest, competent, and very reliable. You will be 100% satisfied with their work, I guarantee it. 

 

Simply email Cole to get your blowout scheduled right away.

Residential Irrigation Winterizing starting at $75.00...starting October 2nd

Email: cole@markslawnserviceinc.com

Why is my lawn going to seed?

Why is my lawn going to seed?

Have you ever wondered why your lawn looks like this?

                                   

                                   

Kentucky Bluegrass goes to seed...

May - June

Kentucky Bluegrass (Latinized as Poa Pratensis) is one of the most abundant turf-grasses in the United States. While bluegrass isn’t native to North America, we’ve taken it and made it our own.

It’s one of the most popular grass varietals due to two major factors – that it tolerates cold weather really well and that it grows via rhizomes. “Rhizomes!” you say. Yup, rhizomes. Rhizomes visually resemble roots but play a much different role. Kentucky Bluegrass send their rhizomes through the soil parallel to the surface, and every so often will generate a “node”, from which sprouts up new grass. Many other grasses require seed to germinate new grass, but Kentucky Bluegrass can spread and thicken by either seed or their rhizomes.

Each year about this time...(May - June), the soil starts to warm up to a point where Kentucky Bluegrass seed would germinate. Reports vary to exactly what the soil temperature needs to be to germinate seed, but 50-70 degrees is the window, with 60-65 seeming to be the most popular. Since seed would successfully germinate, Kentucky Bluegrass naturally produces it, thus the weedy appearance.

With proper germination conditions, germination takes 7-10 days. Once ground temps exceed 70-80 degrees, germination drops off significantly, if not completely. In our proverbial neck-of-the-woods, Kentucky Bluegrass only goes to seed once a year. So while your lawn may appear to be infested with weeds, you now know it isn’t. 


Please click on learn more below to see a related YouTube video...

Keep Geese OFF Your Lawn?

Keep Geese OFF Your Lawn?

Do you have a Canadian Geese problem? Here are a few helpful tips you can try to deter them from your lawn. Geese can be very problematic to your lawn and its overall health and appearance. 

Geese Lawn Damage

Do Canada geese eat grass?

Canada geese are primarily herbivores, although they sometimes eat small insects and fish. Their diet includes green vegetation and grains. The Canada goose eats a variety of grasses when on land. It feeds by grasping a blade of grass with the bill, then tearing it with a jerk of the head. Kentucky bluegrass is a favored food of geese, it should not be planted near newly constructed or renovated ponds.


Tips...

Floating White Swan Decoy

Floating White Swan Decoy

The White Swan is a perfect addition. Use for decor or to deter Canada Geese more economically and without all the costs, hazards, and time required when spraying repellents. White Swans are very territorial, making it great to help keep geese away!

In nature, Mute swans aggressively protect their young from Canada Geese, making this swan an effective deterrent as part of an overall repellent strategy. Head and neck can be adjusted for a realistic look. This plastic decoy may be free floated, or secured in the water with string or decoy weights. It may also be secured on shore with two steel anchoring stakes (included). Decoy should be moved periodically to increase effectiveness and used with other deterrent methods.

White Swan Decoy will help deter Canada Geese from landing in your pond or water garden.  In nature, White Swans are very territorial and will fight off most intruders who venture into their area.  Geese will not want to confront an angry White Swan and most times will choose another body of water to land in. 


Wire Fence

Install Wire
If unwanted Canada geese are lingering near your pond, you can install wire to deter the geese. According to Audubon, stringing one row 6 inches off the ground by the water's edge, and another 6 inches above the water three feet into the pond, can keep geese away from their popular water spots on your property.


Flagging


Dogs / Coyote

Dog / Coyote decoys are another technique used to control the geese.  The dog decoys are designed to make the area less attractive to geese, causing them to land elsewhere.  The dogs represent a natural predator to the geese and when they blow in the wind, they appear to be moving.  This method is simple, cost effective, environmentally sound, non-lethal, and requires minimal effort on the part of the owner.


Shoreline Vegetation 

Don't give them shelter

      Geese feel safe from predators where there are open sight lines, so they can see predators coming, and where they can easily escape onto open water.

      • Use dense tall plantings along shorelines to make a barrier between the food and the water.  
      • Add variety to landscaping with clumps of taller plantings where predators could hide. 

      Away With Geese

      The success of our geese control product is based around a simple concept: At night, geese sleep in or near water areas where they feel secure from predators. Placing a unit into these secure areas makes the geese anxious and they will no longer consider the area “safe” and will simply move to another suitable habitat within a few days.

      If the geese feel insecure in an area at night, they won’t be back during the day, either. Geese, by necessity, have to be efficient. They tend to stay close to their secure areas during daylight hours in order to minimize the distance they travel each day. Away With Geese is effective in deterring the geese, so that they find a different nighttime home far enough away to discourage daily commutes back to your lawn. Simply put, it is how to get rid of geese efficiently and effectively.

      The unit automatically operates at night and produces a solar-powered amber beam of light directed at goose eye-level in a 360° radius. It recharges itself each day and has an effective area of 3.5 acres. All of our products are 100% guaranteed effective, so let us help you say, Away With Geese for good!


      I hope this info was helpful, and I wish you the best of luck taking care of your geese problem. 

      Thanks!

      Sod vs. Seed?

      Sod vs. Seed?

      Sod or seed...which is better to use?  Here is some helpful information to help you decide...


      Sod

      Benefits of Sod

      Reduces Heat

      On a hot summer day, a lawn will be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt or rock, and 15 degrees cooler than bare soil. In the heat of the summer, the front lawn of 8 houses has the same cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning. 2,500 square feet of grass absorbs carbon dioxide and releases enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe.

      • Reduces greenhouse gases, absorbs carbon dioxide
      • Much cooler that rock, concrete, asphalt and artificial turf
      • Releases oxygen and cools the air

      Why Sod?

      Sodding is the fastest and easiest way to establish a lawn. We spend a year growing seed into sod so when it comes to your home, it has reached maturity. With proper care, your newly sodded yard will be ready for use in 3 weeks. The average size yard can be installed in a few hours at a modest cost. Although seeding initially costs less, many costs recur due to erosion, reseeding, over-seeding, and watering. Seed can take 2 to 3 weeks to germinate. Newly seeded lawns take a great deal of time and nurturing to establish into mature, healthy lawn and cannot be used for months.

      • Sod is easy to work with and can be used in two to four weeks
      • Sod can be installed anytime the ground is not frozen
      • Sod uses less water to established than seed
      • Seed can take 2 to 3 weeks to germinate

      Adds Value to Your Home

      A well landscaped yard will add 15% to 20% to the value of your home.  Clean & soft, grass is the safest playing surface for children, kids and pets. Relax or romp, nothing beats grass for an outdoor surface.

      Erosion & Filtration

      Because sod is fully mature the day it is installed, it immediately controls erosion. Sod can be installed on steep hills and is used on slopes for stabilization. Turf-grass lawns filter dirt and dust from your environment and eliminate mud. A lawn absorbs carbon dioxide & releases oxygen keeping the air clean & fresh around your home. A lawn also filters & muffles noise.

      • Filters dirt & dust from your home
      • Muffles noise from your home

       

      New Sod Care

       

      First 2 Weeks

      The key to establishing new sod is to keep it properly watered for the first month. Immediately after installing sod, water thoroughly making it spongy to the step. The new sod should be kept thoroughly wet to a depth of 4" to 6" and watered 3 to 5 times a day during the first 7 to 14 days depending on the season. Lift a corner of the sod to determine the depth of moisture. In the first week, it is very important to keep the new sod damp. During this time stay off the sod so it can take root and you do not sink in and leave depressions from your foot steps. During hot weather, sprinklers should run several times a day so the new sod never dries out. If allowed to dry out, the sod will shrink, brown, and can die. The roots of your new sod will penetrate the soil faster and root down sooner if properly watered. At the end of week 2, dry up the yard enough so you can mow.

      Weeks 3 & 4

      The following 2 weeks are used to transition from frequent daily watering to fewer cycles per day and increase the number of days between watering. During week 3, reduce watering to 1-3 times per day and skip a day between watering if the new sod is not drying out. By week 4, water 1 to 2 times every other day. After week 4, your new yard should be ready to go 2 to 3 days between watering. Water your lawn in the evening or early morning when less evaporation occurs. To reduce run-off on hills and promote deep root growth, reduce watering times in half. One hour later, run the irrigation cycle again and apply the rest of the water. This allows the water to soak into heavy soils.

      Rest of the Season

      Your new lawn will need more water the first growing season and especially the first 6 months. As roots grow deeper over the course of a year, it will need less water. If your lawn looks dry, it probably needs watering. The key to new sod care during this time is deep watering less frequently. This will help the roots grow down and develop a deep root system that uses less water. It is ok after the first two months to stress your lawn a little. This means let your yard dry out a bit and when you see signs of stress starting to appear, make sure to water. This will also allow you to fine tune the sprinkler system and adjust heads for proper coverage and change nozzles for more or less water in certain spots.

      Mow if Grass exceeds 3.5"

      Your new lawn should be mowed at the end of week 2 or if you lawn exceeds 3 1/2" tall. Back off on the watering so the turf is dry to the touch and firm enough to walk on without sinking in. If your new lawn reaches over 3 1/2", mow off a third of the length even if it has not been two weeks. Do not cut shorter than 2" for the first few times you mow. Exercise caution the first time you mow so you do not damage or pull up the sod. If some of the sod does move around, don’t worry. Just put it back in place and it will grow in.


      Seed

      If you had to pick between establishing your new lawn with sod or grass seed,which would you choose? Sod has the obvious advantage of being “instant,” but seed has some advantages you may not know about. Here are the three biggest advantages to plant grass seed instead of using sod to establish a new lawn:

      1. Less expensive. 
      2. More choices. 
      3. Less labor intensive.

      What’s involved in seeding a lawn? You buy the appropriate amount of seed from a professional supplier. You prepare the soil appropriately, and you spread half the seed on the lawn width-wise, and half of the seed lengthwise. There’s more to it than that, of course, but with some background research it can certainly be done by one person in the space of an afternoon. And with all the money you saved by buying grass seed, you could choose to have professional do the seeding for you.

      New Seed Care

      How Often Should You Water New Grass Seed?

      Correct watering will give you a lush new lawn.

      Growing a new lawn from seed isn't rocket science, but it does require extra care and attention to result in lush grass. As they grow and their roots burrow into the soil, new grass seeds require lots of water to become established and dehydration may result in a sickly, unsightly lawn. You will also need to protect the seeds from hungry birds and foot traffic.

      Before Seeding

      Proper watering should begin just before you seed a lawn, creating moist, inviting growing conditions. A few days before spreading the seeds, water the area to be planted to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, recommends University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. When you do this, add a little a compost to the soil to make it richer and more hospitable. Allow the area to dry completely before adding seeds.

      Just After Seeding

      After sowing the grass seeds, they will need frequent watering on an as-needed basis. Keep the top 2 inches of soil moist, but not sopping wet. Water whenever the soil is becoming dry. Feel the soil to see if it's moist or dry. If the soil gets too dry, the germination process will stop. When watering, do not water so much that it pools on the soil's surface.

      Continuing Care

      As the grass seeds germinate and develop roots, continue regular watering to help them become well established. Over the next month, check the seed bed regularly and water it lightly whenever it is dry, much like in the period right after seeding. During dry spells, check the new lawn more often, as it will need more water. Pay particular attention to shady patches of the lawn, as they need watering less often than sun-soaked areas.

      After Establishment

      When the grass seeds are established, their water needs lessen. Generally, give the lawn about 1 inch of water a week, delivered in one or two sessions. Doing so helps the roots of the grass grow deep into the ground and makes the lawn more tolerant of drought. Try to water in the early morning to avoid excessive evaporation, but avoid watering at night, as it will sit too long, increasing the risk of fungal disease.

      Encap Lawn Starter Pro

      ENCAP's Lawn Starter™ Pro is a granular mulch that can be applied with any spreader. The granules are made from recycled paper and contain ENCAP's proprietary blend of soil stabilizing polymers. The polymers are designed to improve soil conditions and keep seed, soil and fertilizer right where you put them, even after it rains. The polymers also help to condition the soil by creating micro channels that help to get water and nutrients into the root zone. This improves germination and overall seed establishment. All of this in a product that is clean and easy to use. ENCAP's Lawn Starter™ Pro is fast and easy to apply with no cleanup saving you time, money and labor. Lawn Starter™ Pro is the earth -friendly choice of landscape professionals.

      Over-seeding 

      Overseeding a lawn can help improve its overall health and appearance. Simply explained, lawn over-seeding is a process of spreading grass seed over the already existing turf. Generally, over seeding is best for larger areas where the turf is thin, but not bare. Smaller areas that are thin or infested with weeds can be spot seeded. 

       

      The benefits of over-seeding a lawn include: 

      • Filling in areas of turf damaged by summer stress, diseases or insects
      • Thickening and increasing the density of thin lawns
      • Improving the lawn’s appearance
      • Enhancing the lawn’s ability to fight insects and diseases

        Lawn over-seeding is good for lawns that suffer from drought stress, insect or disease damage, or that show other evidences of decline, such as bare patches. Over-seeding a lawn with newer, improved types of turf-grass is often the best way to thicken the lawn and improve its health and appearance. The new turf-grass is better able to resist damage from drought, turf-grass diseases and lawn damaging insects.

        Lawn over-seeding can be effective by itself, but it is often combined with lawn aeration. After a lawn aerator pulls cores of soil from the lawn, the seed is then applied using a rotary or drop seeder. For even coverage, the seed is divided into equal lots and each lot is spread in different directions.

        There’s a good reason for combining over-seeding with aeration. The holes created by the aeration process allow good seed-to-soil contact. This adds seed germination. Once the seed germinates, the seedlings must be kept moist with light frequent watering until they are established. 

        In general, lawn over-seeding is most beneficial to cool-season grasses like fescue, ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass. But certain types of warm-season grasses can benefit from over-seeding, too, especially in the winter when they go dormant.

         

        Advantages and Disadvantages 

        Seeding

        Advantages

        • Larger selection of species available. Different mixes of species and blends of different cultivars are available for specific management practices, sun or shade, disease resistance, and soil type.
        • Turf develops in the environment in which it will live.
        • Lower initial cost than sodding.

        Disadvantages

        • Timing of establishment critical. Best time is September. April - May is also a good time, but weed seeds germinate in greater numbers in spring.
        • Longer time period to get a dense lawn.
        • May require reseeding due to poor germination in some areas or wash outs from heavy rain or irrigation.
        • Weeds can be a problem until lawn is fully established.
        • Initial watering is critical.

        Sodding

        Advantages

        • "Instant lawn".
        • May be walked on soon after planting.
        • Dust, mud and erosion are quickly reduced.
        • May be planted anytime during the growing season as long as adequate water is available.
        • Basically weed-free.

        Disadvantages

        • Higher initial cost.
        • Choice of species is very limited.
        • Not produced in shaded environment.
        • Large volume of water needed initially.
        • Sod may shrink and weeds may invade especially if the sod is not properly installed. Do not stretch sod. Stagger seams similar to brick-laying.
        • Speed of rooting varies with season. Spring and fall are optimal.

        Whether seeding or sodding, initial soil preparation is crucial. If possible get a soil test first so any amendments can be added. Add compost especially to clay soils. Large quantities of compost are available at the Landscape Recycling Center on east University in Urbana. Rough grading and fine grading is crucial for both seeding and sodding. Control perennial weeds first. Don't assume tilling or covering with sod will kill perennial weeds such as creeping Charlie, bindweed or quackgrass. An initial application of a non-selective herbicide of glyphosate sold as Round up™ may be helpful. Wait until weeds are brown before seeding or sodding. Be sure to read and follow all label directions.

        Tips for successful lawn seeding

        • Purchase quality seed.
        • Rake, roll lightly, then mulch lightly.
        • Top ½ inch of soil should be kept moist until seeds germinate. First watering will be lightly and frequently. Keep in mind germination rates: Kentucky bluegrass 10-30 days and perennial ryegrass 3-10 days. Once the seedlings have emerged, watering should be deeply and less frequently.

        Once the seedlings are growing:

        • At 2-inch height, fertilize at ½ rate.
        • Mow when 3-4.5 inch height down to 2-3 inch height.
        • Limit heavy traffic for first year.
        • Wait until after 3 mowings for postemergent herbicide application if needed.

        Tips for successful sodding

        • Choose fresh, healthy sod with a thin soil layer.
        • Choose sod grown on soils similar to that of planting site if possible.
        • Lightly roll after installation.
        • Water thoroughly.

        Post-Planting Care of Sod

        • Sod should root in about 14 days.
        • Fertilize using the regular recommended fertilization schedule.
        • Mow using the "1/3 rule". Do not remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at one time. Gradually mow down to 2-2.5 inch height.
        • After proper rooting, core aeration can encourage deeper rooting.

         

         

        Broadleaf Weed Control

        Broadleaf Weed Control

        Now is the time to sign up for broadleaf weed control. We have a very effective program that will eliminate common broadleaf weeds in your lawn. We spray 2 times per season....(May - June) and again (August - Sept.). We also offer special treatments to kill any stubborn weeds such as crabgrass, creeping charlie, thistle, and more. We use a liquid application, which is much more effective than your typical granular weed and feed. It's worth paying a little more to get the results you're looking for. Many homeowners question the safety of using liquid herbicides in their lawn, because of pets and children. As long as they stay off the lawn until dry, they should be fine. It usually takes about 1-3 hours to fully dry. We leave a flag in the yard after each application. We also recommend fertilizing in the spring with a crabgrass pre-emergent to help prevent crabgrass from germinating. This is best when applied before the lilacs bloom. If you're not satisfied with who you pay now to control your weeds, please visit our website to signup for our herbicide program today. You will be 100% satisfied with our program. 

        Common Broadleaf weeds

        Crabgrass

        Managing Crabgrass in Home Lawns

        Crabgrass is a light green, weedy grass that can appear in summer.

        Crabgrass and other annual grassy weeds are common problems in home lawns that can be treated through chemical and nonchemical methods. Proper lawn care practices to encourage a dense stand of vigorous grass are the best way to prevent weeds from invading. For example, mowing height can have a big impact. Lawns mowed higher (over 2½ inches) tend to have less problems with annual grasses such as crabgrass.

        Close-mowed lawns tend to open up, allowing weeds like crabgrass to invade. Light, frequent watering also favors crabgrass. Crabgrass often invades areas seeded in late spring because of bare soil, frequent watering, and the onset of hot weather - all ideal for its growth.

        Herbicides (weed killers) are also available to manage annual weeds. Preemergence herbicides prevent annual grassy weeds such as crabgrass from emerging. The timing of applying herbicides is important, as the control product should be applied before the crabgrass emerges from the soil. Crabgrass will germinate when soil temperatures are greater than 55 to 60F° for 7-10 consecutive days, and continues until soils reach 95F°. Other annual grasses germinate as soils get warmer than 60 degrees.

        For MN, April to early May is the suggested time for applying a pre-emergence crabgrass herbicide. If the spring is cold, delay applications to the end of the recommended window of application. 

        Quackgrass

        Quackgrass is a relatively common weed recognizable by it's stalky, thick stems and wide blades of grass attached, also known as devils grass, quickgrass, and knot grass. Unfortunately, it is one of the most difficult weeds to get rid of.

        Creeping Charlie

        Identifying Creeping Charlie Weed

        Creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is often called ground ivy due to its appearance and growth habits. Creeping charlie weed is a green vine whose leaves are round with scalloped edges. Creeping charlie has a small purple flower. Creeping charlie plant is most easily identified by its growth habit. It is a vine that grows close to the ground and will form a mat-like ground cover if allowed to. The vines have nodes at each of the places where leaves grow and these nodes will form roots if they come in contact with the soil. This is part of the reason that creeping charlie weed is so frustrating, as you cannot simply pull it up. Every rooted node can turn into a new plant if left behind.

        How to Kill Creeping Charlie Plant

        The first thing to understand when working to get rid of creeping charlie plant is that it, like most lawn weeds, thrive best in an unhealthy lawn. Be sure to use proper mowing, watering and fertilizing practices when caring for your lawn. While creeping charlie weed is considered a broad-leaf weed, it is not affected by all broad-leaf spectrum herbicides. The only weed killers that are successful at killing creeping charlie are weed killers that contain dicamba. Even dicamba is only successful if applied several times at the right time. In order to kill creeping charlie, you must apply dicamba based herbicide to your lawn in early fall when creeping charlie plant is growing most actively, which will leave it weakened enough so that it will have a difficult time surviving the winter. You can also apply in the late spring to early summer, but late spring to early summer applications will stall rather than eradicate creeping charlie in your lawn. Also, only apply dicamba herbicide 3 days after mowing and do not mow for 3 days after applying it. This will allow the creeping charlie to grow more leaves, which will cause it to take in more herbicide and then will allow time for the herbicide to work through the plant’s system.

        Thistle

        Thistle control

        Thistles are often troublesome weeds in Minnesota gardens and lawns. The first step to proper thistle control is their identification. Biennial thistles can be controlled by digging and cultivation; this is more difficult with perennial thistles because they spread by creeping underground stems (rhizomes). The most effective way to remove perennial thistles is through the use of herbicides. Broad-leaf herbicides containing 2,4-D and MCPP can control thistles in lawns. In gardens, it may be best to spot treat thistles with a non-selective herbicide containing glyphosate, such as Round-up.

        Herbicides must be applied when weeds are actively growing and air temperatures are roughly 60° to 85° F. The best times to control weeds are in the fall (September through mid-October) or spring (late April through mid-June). Always read and follow all pesticide label directions carefully.

        Weekly Lawn Mowing

        Weekly Lawn Mowing

        Now is the time to sign up for weekly mowing. We show up every week on the same day and at the same time like clockwork...weather permitting. We sharpen and balance our blades weekly to give your lawn a healthy clean cut. Our dedicated crew leaders and lawn care techs are eager to start mowing and would be happy to mow your lawn this season. All crews pay close attention to detail and blow all clippings off the hard surfaces and out of the landscape beds. 

        Weekly Mowing

        Weekly mowing consists of picking up all the trash in the lawn and landscape beds; mowing at an appropriate height to prevent any scalping or clumping - usually around 3-3.5 inches depending on the lawn; trimming around all the trees, edging and curb lines; blowing all the grass clippings back into the lawn for a nice clean look and pulling any weeds in the landscape beds. Roundup can be applied to all weeds on the property as needed.


        sharpVdull.jpg

        Sharp Vs. Dull Mower Blade

        Balanced Mower Blade

        Our mower blades are balanced every time we sharpen our blades. This helps to provide a nice clean even cut. 

        How much to cut off? 

        Cutting off one-third of the grass blade

        No more than one-third of the grass blades should be cut at a time. Cutting off one-third of the blade at a time removes just enough to keep your lawn healthy and not too much to stunt the growth.

        What happens if you cut more?

        If you neglect your lawn for a few weeks during its active growth period and it gets too high, you will impair the root growth if you cut more than one-third of the blade to reach the recommended height. Growth will slow as the grass puts its resources into the leaf tips to help them recover. Also, repeatedly cutting too much or mowing too short will leave your lawn susceptible to weed invasions, diseases, and an overall thin stand. It can also result in an excess of thatch developing.

        For instances where the grass has grown too tall (vacations, mower mechanical problems, prolonged rainy periods), it is advisable to mow the lawn more frequently than usual until the lawn reaches the desired height. Never take off more than one-third of the blade at a time.

        Need Mulch?

        Need Mulch?

        Mulch Top-dressing

        Now is the perfect time to top-dress all your mulch beds and trees. It is a good idea to apply a weed preventative first to help prevent weeds from germinating for up to 6 months.

        Please fill out a Landscape Questionnaire today to get started. 
        Visit our website and simply click on Request Bid and Landscape & Design.

        LINK:
        https://www.markslawnserviceinc.com/landscaping-design/


        Why Mulch? 7 Benefits of Mulching

        1. Controls Weeds
        Through the use of mulch you can limit the amount of weeds that spring up in the open spaces of your landscape garden. The mulch acts as a barrier, limiting the amount of sunlight that can find its way to the weeds.

        2. Retains Moisture
        Organic mulches absorb water. Organic and non-organic varieties both cover the soil and limit evaporation. Retaining moisture, especially during hot, dry seasons can not only help out your plants, but it can also help out your water bill.

        3. Prevents Soil Erosion
        Mulching not only keeps existing water trapped in the soil, it also keeps rain water from washing away your soil. It does this by breaking the fall of the water and therefore lessening the force when the water impacts the ground.

        4. Maintains Soil Nutrients
        Not only does mulch keep soil nutrients from being washed away with the rain, but it also can release nutrients into the soil if you are using an organic material. This happens as the organic material slowly decomposes on top of the soil.

        5. Controls Pests
        Using certain types of mulch, such as cedar bark, can deter certain pests due to the fact that the cedar bark has natural oils that act as insect repellent. To reap the full benefits, be sure to find a mulch that is very fragrant, as it will have the greatest affect on insects. But be warned, some mulches can encourage insects to flock to your garden and sometimes your house, so be sure to research which type of mulch will best suit your needs.

        TIP: When adding mulch to your garden beds, avoid piling mulch up against the trunk or stems of plants. This can lead to insect and disease issues. Using too deep a layer of mulch can also be a problem - generally, 2-4 inches of mulch is recommended for most plants.

        6. Encourages Earthworms to Move In
        Using organic material for mulching can encourage earthworms to occupy your garden soil. And as any good gardener will tell you, earthworms help improve soil structure and nutrient cycling.

        7. Polishes up your Garden
        Mulch can give a garden a finished look by filling in the empty spaces while being one of the easiest fillers to maintain. Grass, ground-covers and other fillers may take extensive care, such as mowing and watering, as well as competing for resources with your garden plants. mulch is easy to care for and never competes with your other plants.

        TIP: Mulching around trees not only promotes a healthy growing environment, but it also helps to keep maintenance equipment such as weed whips far from the trunk of the tree.


        Irrigation Startup

        Irrigation Startup

        IRRIGATION STARTUP


        It is time to start thinking about starting up your irrigation system. It has never been easier to schedule an appointment that works for your busy schedule. We have a great system in place that allows you to choose a time slot that works for you. Our dedicated service techs are ready to go and eager to help you this spring.


        IRRIGATION RELATED REVIEW
        (houzz) 5 stars * * * * *

        The biggest thing about Mark's Lawn, is I trust they are going to do the work I need and not try to sell me on what I don't need. 
        I have only met & worked with the Irrigation Team - they are on time, professional, courteous and clean up after themselves. They work in a timely manner.

        Paula


        Spring is here!

        Spring is here!

        Spring is here and it's time to start thinking about your lawn and landscaping needs. Here are a few services to consider this Spring and why they are so beneficial to your lawn.

        Visit our website today to signup for these services and more.

        website: markslawnserviceinc.com

        Spring Cleanup / De-thatching

        Why should I de-thatch?

        Benefits of De-thatching...

        Thatch, in your lawn, is no more than a layer of dead grass – or plant material – that includes roots, grass and leaves, which lay on the surface of the soil. While some may consider it a “compost” material, it is actually a decomposing plant material that can suffocate your lawn. To ensure a healthy lawn after a long and cold winter, it is important to expose the soil to warmth and sunlight. The best way to do this is to de-thatch your lawn. De-thatching provides many benefits, including:

        Healthy Root Growth in Your Grass...

        If you have a build up of thatch, healthy root growth is nearly impossible. If the roots aren’t healthy, your grass will never become full, green and thick. By de-thatching, you are able to help circulate air deep down into the roots, and providing necessary carbon dioxide. Not only does this stimulate existing roots, but also encourages new root growth.

        Making Fertilizer Work for Your Lawn...

        If there is a thatch build up on your lawn, applied fertilizers cannot properly blend with the soil. De-thatching ensures that your fertilizers are able to work effectively, and spread properly across
        your lawn and throughout the soil.

        Effective Draining...

        Again, thatch is essentially a barrier between the soil and anything healthy that needs to come in contact with it. While moisture is necessary for proper lawn growth, it can become a damaging factor when it’s unable to penetrate the soil and make its way to the roots. With a healthy lawn, the moisture remains on the surface for a short time, eventually draining into the soil and to the root system. If thatch is present, however, water remains at the surface for a longer period of time, and saturates the plant system. De-thatching will ensure that water drains properly, while also nurturing your lawn.

        Aeration

        What is aeration, and why should I aerate my lawn?

        Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.
        The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements.

        Should You Be Aerating Your Lawn?

        One of the most common questions from homeowners is how to determine if they should be aerating their lawn. Your lawn is probably a good candidate for aeration if it:

        -Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.

        -Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.

        -Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.

        -Was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported sod, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.

        When to Aerate Your Lawn

        The best time for aeration is during the growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. Ideally, aerate the lawn with cool season grass in the early spring or fall.

        Core aeration can help make your lawn healthier and reduce its maintenance requirements through these means:

        -Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere.
        -Enhanced soil water uptake.
        -Improved fertilizer uptake and use.
        -Reduced water runoff and puddling.
        -Stronger turf-grass roots.
        -Reduced soil compaction.

        Fertilizing

        Why should I fertilize my lawn?

        There are several reasons why you would need to fertilize your lawn. Over time, many lawns will leech nutrients out of their soil. Most nutrients for your lawn are water-soluble. Over time, whether through rain or irrigation, the water will carry these nutrients out of your lawn. This will leave your lawn nutrient deficient, which will leave you with an unhealthy lawn susceptible to disease. In some instances, the soil that the grass is growing in does not have the naturally occurring nutrients that turf needs to grow. If this is the case, fertilizer will be needed in order to maintain a healthy lawn. It is best to fertilize with a crabgrass pre-emergent in the early spring to help reduce the germination of crabgrass during the growing season. If crabgrass does germinate, you can request to have that eliminated by adding a chemical called drive into our 2nd herbicide application in July/August.

        Spring is just around the corner...

        Visit our website and click on (BID REQUESTS) to submit your online bid request today.

        Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about your lawn and landscaping needs.  At Mark’s Lawn Service, Inc. we highly value your business.  We look forward to providing you with professional, reliable, high-quality lawn and landscaping services for the 2015 season. 


        • Click on (GET TO KNOW YOUR LAWN) for some helpful information on why all of the services we provide are beneficial to your lawn.

        Spring Services...

        • SPRING CLEANUP
          • De-thatch entire yard and suck up all of the dead grass and dispose it.
          • Core Aeration
          • Fertilize with a pre-emergent for crabgrass.
            • Professional Grade "Slow Release" Granular
          • Pick up branches trash debris etc...

        • IRRIGATION SYSTEM START UP
          • RPZ Testing Available

        • MONTHLY IRRIGATION INSPECTION "Sign Up Now"
          • Includes the following:
            • Checking correct irrigation timer operation
            • Valves coming on by clock
            • Unclogging heads if necessary (possibly replace filter)
            • Adjustments of spray patterns
            • Checking for line breaks
            • Checking for proper irrigation coverage
            • Replacement of clock back up battery
            • Seasonal Clock adjustments ( Start times, zone run times, watering days, etc)
            • Rain Sensor operation
          • Benefits of a Monthly inspection.
            • Saves on water consumption
            • Prevents costly repairs
            • Maintains the best water coverage
            • Makes sure the rain sensor is working properly
            • Watering times are adjusted to the current weather conditions



        • TOP-DRESS MULCH BEDS
        
          • Dyed Mulch

          • Western Red Cedar, Cypress

        • Spring is the right time to PRUNE EVERGREEN SHRUBS AND TREES...    


          • Junipers
          • Yews
          • Spruce
          • Arborvitaes
          • Cypress

        
        • CORRECTIVE PRUNING


        • LANDSCAPING | design & installation
          • Make sure to request a bid for landscaping ASAP, so we can schedule it right away. *Our schedule fills up quickly.
          • Free estimates
          • Landscape Design...prices vary.

        If you have any landscaping needs, please use the link below to fill out our Landscaping Questionnaire.


        or visit our website...
        Website Link: www.markslawnserviceinc.com

        Hardscape Projects


        WE LOVE HARDSCAPES...

        Our landscape team really enjoys hardscapes. Here at Mark's Lawn Service we do it right. Each and every project is built to last. Let us help you with your hardscape projects...whether it be a paver patio, paver driveway, retaining wall, or anything hardscape. We would be happy to help you. Fill out a landscape questionnaire today.


        IT’S SIMPLE…
         [CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW]










        SNOW REMOVAL SIDEWALK CREW MEMBERS WANTED


        PLEASE JOIN OUR TEAM...

        "always looking for strong, hard working, and reliable people"
         
        Are you looking for the next seasonal employment opportunity? Well look no further because Mark's Lawn Service, Inc. has seasonal opportunities available as a Sidewalk Crew Member. As a Sidewalk Crew Member you will be responsible for shoveling, snowplowing and deicing sidewalks and pathways for large town home properties and retail customers. ALL EQUIPMENT AND TOOLS WILL BE PROVIDED!!! We may also need additional Bobcat Operators and Plow Truck Drivers, so please let us know if you have any experience in those positions.

        Must have reliable transportation to the job site. Gas reimbursement is available. Must be in good physical condition and be able to work outdoors for long periods of time (12+ hours).

        The position is a seasonal position - "on-call". We text you when to come in. We have many openings available, so hurry up and apply today.  Join the best snow removal company in the Twin Cities. We pay competitive wages and we always pay on-time!  "WEEKLY"

        We offer...
        Direct Deposit | Debit Cash Cards | Checks - mailed directly to your address.
        During a snow/sleet event, we normally work from 4 a.m. - 4 p.m. and sometimes later. Come when you can and work as long as you can.

        Please fill out our online application at www.marklawnserviceinc.com
        (Click on Job Opportunities. )

        or

        Feel free to text me @ 612-419-7580 | Text your Name and "Sidewalk Crew Member"
        I will reply right away and we can set up an interview.

        Compensation | $15.00 - $20.00 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications.
        Benefits Available | Medical, Dental, Life Insurance, 401K
        Friend Referrals | Refer a friend to join our team and receive $50.00 bonus.

        Please spread the word.

        Thanks,
        Cole Jensen
        Mark's Lawn Service, Inc.





        Landscaping by Mark's Lawn Service, Inc. 2013

         
         
         

        Check out a few projects we worked on in 2013

         
         

        Landscape Restoration

         
        BEFORE
         
        AFTER
         
         AFTER
         
         

        Landscape Restoration

        Phase 1 & 2
         
        2012 - 2013
         
        Landscape Design
         
         
        BEFORE
         
        AFTER

        AFTER
         
        AFTER
         
         AFTER
         
         DURING

        AFTER
         
         AFTER
         
         
         

        Backyard Landscaping

        New deck, paver patio, fire pit, retaining wall, drain tile, and landscaping. 
         
        Landscape Design / Option 1
        Selected Option
         
         Landscape Design / Option 2
         
         
        BEFORE

        DURING
         
         DURING

         DURING
         
        DURING
         
        DURING
         
        DURING
         
         DURING

        DURING
         
        DURING

         DURING
         
        AFTER

        AFTER
         
        AFTER
         
         
         

        Drain Tile

         
        DURING
         
         DURING
         
         AFTER
         
        AFTER
         
         AFTER

         

         

        Landscaping Before & After's

         

         

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
        Annuals

         
         
        More to come...
         
         
         

         
         






        

        Spring is just around the corner...

        Visit our website and click on Bid Requests to submit your online bid request today.

        Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about your lawn and landscaping needs.  At Mark’s Lawn Service, Inc. we highly value your business.  We look forward to providing you with professional, reliable, high-quality lawn and landscaping services for the 2014 season. 

        • Click on Get to know your lawn for some helpful information on why all of the services we provide are beneficial to your lawn.
         

        Here are a few services we provide in the spring.

        • Spring Cleanup
          • De-thatch entire yard and suck up all of the dead grass and dispose it.
          • Core Aeration
          • Fertilize with a pre-emergent for crabgrass.
            • Professional Grade "Slow Release" Granular
          • Pick up branches trash debris etc...

        • Irrigation System Start Up
          • RPZ Testing Available

        • Monthly Irrigation Inspection "Sign Up Now"
          • Includes the following:
            • Checking correct irrigation timer operation
            • Valves coming on by clock
            • Unclogging heads if necessary (possibly replace filter)
            • Adjustments of spray patterns
            • Checking for line breaks
            • Checking for proper irrigation coverage
            • Replacement of clock back up battery
            • Seasonal Clock adjustments ( Start times, zone run times, watering days, etc)
            • Rain Sensor operation
          • Benefits of a Monthly inspection.
            • Saves on water consumption
            • Prevents costly repairs
            • Maintains the best water coverage
            • Makes sure the rain sensor is working properly
            • Watering times are adjusted to the current weather conditions


        • Top Dress Mulch Beds
        
          • Dyed Mulch
            • Red, Orange, Forest Brown, Dark Cocoa Brown

          • Western Red Cedar, Cypress

        • Prune Evergreen Shrubs      
          • Junipers
          • Yews
          • Spruce
          • Arborvitaes
          • Cypress
         
         
        
        • Corrective Pruning

        • Landscaping Projects
          • Make sure to request a bid for landscaping ASAP, so we can schedule it right away. *Our schedule fills up quickly.
          • Free estimates
          • Landscape Design...prices vary.
           


        Website Link: www.markslawnserviceinc.com

        Introducing ASAP Bid...

        Need a bid for ANY other projects ASAP? 
        We can help!
        CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW
         
         
        FREE CONTRACTOR REFERRALS
         
        Created by Cole Jensen @ Mark's Lawn Service, Inc. for your convenience.

        HELP WANTED / Snow Removal 2013-2014


         
        We are currently looking for hard working, reliable people for the following positions. 
         
        • Bobcat Operator / Snow Removal  $15.00 - $20.00 Per Hour / 2 Years Experience Required
        • Pickup Plow / Snow Removal  $15.00 - $20.00 Per Hour / 2 Years Experience Required
        • Sidewalk Shoveler / $15.00 Per Hour / Snowfalls 2"+ / bonus for people that show up every time.
         
        • You will need to be dependable and here ever time it snows, including holidays.
        • Summer work available / Lawn Maintenance, Landscaping, & Irrigation, if things go well through the winter.
         Please visit our website to fill out an online job application. Click on Job Opportunities.

        4-23-13 Snow Storm

        Estimated Snowfall Totals

        ANDOVER (ANOKA MN)
        4 "

        MAPLE GROVE (HENNEPIN MN)
        3.5 "

        PLYMOUTH (HENNEPIN MN)
        4 "

        EDINA (HENNEPIN MN)
        4.5 "

        GOLDEN VALLEY (HENNEPIN MN)
        4 "

        MINNEAPOLIS (HENNEPIN MN)
        3.8"

        MEASURED AT THE MSP AIRPORT.

        This years snow total in the Twin Cities to date is 66"

        Last years snow total in the Twin Cities was 22.3"

        Average snowfall in the Twin Cities is 45.3"
         
         
        This snow is ridiculous. At least it melted quickly.
         
        Click on this link to see the latest forecast for the Maple Grove area.





        Thanks and have a nice day!
         
        Cole Jensen
        Landscape Design Specialist
        Mark's Lawn Service, Inc.

        4-19-13 Snow Storm

        Estimated Snowfall Totals

        ANDOVER (ANOKA MN)
        10 "

        MAPLE GROVE (HENNEPIN MN)
        8.5 "

        PLYMOUTH (HENNEPIN MN)
        10 "

        EDINA (HENNEPIN MN)
        7.3 "

        GOLDEN VALLEY (HENNEPIN MN)
        8 "

        MINNEAPOLIS (HENNEPIN MN)
        7"

        MEASURED AT THE MSP AIRPORT.

        This years snow total in the Twin Cities to date is 62.2"

        Last years snow total in the Twin Cities was 22.3"

        Average snowfall in the Twin Cities is 45.3"
         
         
        As you can see this was posted late. I am very busy trying to get ready for spring and summer. I really don't even want to talk about snow at this point. Hopefully spring comes soon. 
         
        Click on this link to see the latest forecast for the Maple Grove area.





        Thanks and have a nice day!
         
        Cole Jensen
        Landscape Design Specialist
        Mark's Lawn Service, Inc.