Start Your Own Lawn Care Business
Mowing the lawn may be the job you love to hate, or you may relish the sweet scent of freshly mown grass. But no matter how you feel about it, it has to be done. Everyone can agree that a mown lawn looks better than the alternative a rangy, overgrown neglected patch. Mowing also has a purely practical side It maintains your lawn's health. Mowing regularly 1 Helps fight weeds Mowing helps prevent weeds from germinating and invading. How Mowed at the right height, lawn grass shades out both weed seeds and seedlings. If weeds begin to grow, mowing chops off their heads, thwarting their drive to grow and mature and spread. Basically, mowing turns grass into a lawn (and not, say, a wildlife preserve for ticks). Read on for some advice on the act of mowing and the basic mowing equipment. i The amount of water More water equals more grass equals more mowing. If you're sick of mowing, cut back on watering. But be careful if you cut back too much, your lawn may show signs of distress or go...
Having too many weeds in a lawn is more than a call to arms it's a wake-up call. Something isn't right if they're winning. On the other hand, you can and, frankly, will have to live with a few. To get rid of the weeds you already have, follow these tips 1 Assess and correct. If your lawn were healthy, you wouldn't have so many weeds, and that's the truth. So what's wrong Are you not watering or feeding enough, which stresses the grass and eventually leads to sparser growth and areas where weeds can sneak in Are you mowing too low, which allows weeds to germinate Go read the earlier basic care sections on watering, fertilizer, and mowing to see what you can figure out. 1 Consider weed-killers. But don't take herbicides lightly, no matter how frustrated and annoyed you are. You have to examine environmental and toxicity and safety issues. You don't want to harm your lawn or other garden plants in the process (or people and pets who may wander out there). Getting the right weed-killer...
Before you do anything, you need to rid your property of all those things that you wouldn't want in a lawn No weeds, no horrible old remnants of a failed lawn, no rocks, no construction debris, no toxic waste, no junk, no cars you plan to fix up, no dead and dying plants, no roots from long-gone plants. Scrape, dig, haul away do what you must. After you've cleared the space for your lawn, make sure you follow the advice in the next few sections. The minute you clear an area, weeds rush in to fill the void. Unless you're prepared to forge ahead quickly, these eager settlers are a problem. But they don't have to be. Consider that if you treat the area for weeds now, before putting in the new lawn, they won't be there when the lawn goes in. Talk about a fresh start You can kill weeds and weed seeds on-site in lots of ways. oj NG Cultivating or tilling the area, although it makes you feel like a gardener, is perhaps the worst thing you can do if you want a weed-free lawn. You're sure to...
Watering is the most misunderstood aspect of lawn care, so pay attention, folks Lawn grasses are not notoriously resilient or deep-rooted, so you can't neglect them in this department. Of course you have to water them often when they're first installed and are getting established up to twice a week, depending on the type of grass and your climate. Established lawns need water whenever they get dry, which likewise depends on temperature, humidity, amount of sunlight, wind, and soil type. The following sections give you some more information on how to water well. Whenever possible, water your lawn in the morning hours, certainly before lunch. At this time, you probably have residual moisture or dew from overnight, and water soaks in better on slightly damp ground. Also, this timing gives the lawn a chance to absorb the drink in the warmth of the sunny day (a drenched lawn at night, especially a humid night, is an invitation to disease). Also as you may remember from long-ago science...
After you have your ground prepared, you're ready to contemplate actual lawn size and shape. Some of the improved area may go to bordering walkways or flowerbeds. You want to allow for edgings. Eventually, you may decide to place a tree or two in the middle. Design is really up to personal preference, and you can apply some of the tips for designing a garden to lawns as well (see Chapter 2). But for now, make sure your lawn has the following qualities i It's out in the open plentiful sunshine is a recipe for lawn success. i It's not in a spot people constantly walk through (to get to a door or a patio). In these areas, installing a paved walk or graveled path would be more practical. Installing walkways before you start your lawn usually works best. i The lawn's not too big it's in scale with your house and the rest of your property. i Its shape is compatible with the surroundings. A strict, straight-edged, geometric lawn is formal is your house's architecture formal, too Perhaps...
Here are a few ideas to help you get the most out of your lawn-watering, reducing waste and saving on your water bill 1 Watch don't walk away or leave on errands If the lawn gets soaked and runoff starts, you can intervene right away. Keep busy in other parts of your yard and check back for runoff every 15 minutes or so. il Yank out weeds and other encroaching plants. Weeds suck water away from the lawn.
Colony or mat, making a living carpet in your garden. Groundcovers can be real problem-solvers, growing where nothing else will (including lawn grass) and sprucing up otherwise undistinguished or difficult-to-landscape areas. Height is generally under a foot or so, but more important to you is whether the plant can do the job you ask provide good-looking coverage of its appointed spot.
In-ground water gardens, of course, look more natural and thus are the best choice when you want to integrate a water garden into a lawn or garden. After the liner of your choice is in the ground, you can attractively edge it in stone or brick and some landscaping (picture some lush hostas or irises, or even simply some drooping ferns). The end result becomes an enchanting garden focal point or destination, and it can look like it's always been there See Figure 17-2 for a nice plan for an in-ground water garden.
First, you need to know when not to fertilize your lawn. For example, don't bother in the winter or off-season. Let a sleeping (or dormant) lawn lie. And don't feed in especially hot weather. Grass plants respond to the stress of blazingly hot days by slowing down their growth, and a jolt of fertilizer during this time isn't a good thing. That pretty much leaves spring and fall. You may also feed during the summer months, depending on the weather and the type of grass.
Viruses reproduce only within host cells so bacteriophages must be cultured in bacterial cells. To do so, phages and bacteria are mixed together and plated on solid medium in a petri plate. A high concentration of bacteria is used so that the colonies grow into one another and produce a continuous layer of bacteria, or lawn, on the agar. An individual phage infects a single bacterial cell and goes through its lytic cycle. Many new phages are released from the lysed cell and infect additional cells the cycle is then repeated. The bacteria grow on solid medium so the diffusion of the phages is restricted and only nearby cells are infected. After several rounds of phage reproduction, a clear patch of lysed cells (a plaque) appears on the plate ( FIGURE 8.24). Each plaque represents a single phage that multiplied and lysed many cells. Plating a known volume of a dilute solution of phages on a bacterial lawn and counting the number of plaques that appear can be used to determine the...
Grass clippings make great fertilizer, according to Cyane Gresham, compost specialist at the Rodale Institute Experimental Farm in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Cyane says that it's a crime to waste grass clippings by bagging them up for disposal with household trash because they're such a terrific organic source of nitrogen and other nutrients. Grass clippings should never leave your property. They are too valuable as a mulch and fertilizer for the lawn, gardens, and landscape,'' Cyane explains.
I Try a dress rehearsal Lay out the lines of your proposed garden in advance with a hose, outdoor electrical cord, rope, or even chalk or flour. Set potted plants or lawn chairs or whatever here and there within its bounds as stand-ins (these items should match the perennials in terms of mature height and bulk, not the size of the plants you buy) stand back and assess. Tinker with the plan until you're satisfied, and then sketch it on paper so you can remember it on planting day.
If you're shopping and you don't yet know what you want in your lawn, browse the grasses available, looking for one that appeals to you and seems like a match for your growing conditions. If you're really at sea, call a land-scaper or lawn-service company and have someone come over to view the intended site and discuss your options. If you don't know what you have in your existing lawn and you want the new grass to blend in properly, do this simple step In about late spring or early summer, when the grass is thriving, dig up a representative chunk and take it to your local garden center, Cooperative Extension Service, a good land-scaper, or even a lawn-service company representative. These professionals know or can point you to someone who can identify the grass. Please note that grass comes in many varieties and their relatives hundreds, in some cases. The differences may be pretty subtle. Don't worry, though. Some grass varieties perform better than others in any given area, and the...
Removing whatever is growing in a spot (whether weeds or wild plants or old lawn, or whatever) creates open ground which, like a good gardener, you should improve prior to planting (see Chapter 4). So you do everything you're supposed to do, and then what happens A crust forms. Water may puddle and seedlings may strain to poke through. You need to gently break it up, and that's where cultivating tools come in.
Understanding how plants are named Examining flowering plants Checking out trees, vines, and shrubs Managing your lawn making your yard colorful with flowers, picking out just the right tree, or aspiring to have the most gorgeous roses on the block chances are that you care most about the plants. Sure, gardening can also involve landscaping and lawn care (see the chapters in Part III of this book), or being able to grow your own food (Part IV), or just having a great excuse to play in the dirt (Part V), but for most people, the plants make everything worthwhile.
Figuring out the details about watering can be kind of a juggling act, but you can at least avoid the extremes. Gardeners know of some classic, telltale signs that an established lawn is crying out for water. Don't let it get to the point of a crisis. Here are the signs that your lawn is a bit parched 1 When you walk on it or somebody rides a bike over it, the lawn grass shows the marks that is, it doesn't bounce back.
Some of the incidents in which members of my family lost control of themselves were exciting to a young boy. I remember the time when an inebriated aunt cavorted on our front lawn in the nude during the wee hours ofthe morning. On another occasion, a great aunt was sitting in a rocking chair by a burning fireplace and disposed of herself by rocking into the fire. For the most part, however, when a family member started behaving irrationally, it was due either to old demon Rum, frustration and anger, or a combination of these. In such a state the person would yell, break things, run around the house, and eventually doze off. I knew enough to stay out of the way when someone was in such a fix, and things soon returned to normal.
Making comparisons across types of behavior can also provide information. I might learn more about my neighbor if I asked him not only to water my plants, but also to check my mail, to mow my lawn, to put my garbage out, or to walk my dog. If my neighbor complies with all these requests, I might conclude from his absolute consistency across types of behavior that he will do me any kind of favor.
Burrowing moles are perhaps best known to humans for their tunnels, which are the bane of gardeners and farmers, as well as homeowners who desire a perfect lawn. Few realize that mole activities help turn over and aerate the soil, or that they feed on a considerable quantity of harmful insects, particularly beetle larvae and slugs.
To supplement the E. coli-based assay targets, encapsulation of actinomy-cetes has been used in the plate assay format to produce zones of clearing on lawns of fungal spores. We have used lawns of other prokaryotes in the plate format including Staphylococcus aureus, various engineered E. coli strains, En-terococcus faecalis, Sarcina aurantica, and Bacillus subtilis. In addition, engineered mammalian cell lines were also used in the plate assay format in this way. The macrodroplets can be used to screen clones or chemical libraries against a range of lawns from enzymes to insects and almost anything in between.
If your lovely green lawn develops brown or yellow rings or patches that die out, brown patch may be the culprit. A variety of Rhizoctonia fungi causes this disease,- some species thrive in cool weather, while others affect grasses in warm weather. If brown patch plagues your lawn, fight back with this formula from John Dromgoole, owner of Garden-Ville in Austin, Texas. Follow up with John's suggestions for correcting water and fertilizer problems or the disease will return.
Whether it's rust on your roses or powdery mildew on your pumpkins, the ugly symptoms and disappointing crops caused by plant diseases have no doubt resulted in suffering for you (or rather, your plants). All kinds of plants, from mighty oaks to dainty annual flowers, are susceptible to the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that cause plant diseases. But that doesn't mean that you're doomed to diseased plants. You have lots of solutions, from disease-prevention planting plans to homemade remedies that can help you keep your vegetables, flowers, lawn, trees, and shrubs healthy.
Weed trimmers and weed whackers can do a lot of different things around your yard and garden They can cut grass (especially in tricky, hard-to-reach spots like under a fence and along edges and borders) and trim weeds and light brush (for info on lawn care, check out Chapter 10).
A young mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) playing dead on the lawn of the Olympic Penninsula, Washington, USA. (Photo by Janis Burger. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.) A young mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) playing dead on the lawn of the Olympic Penninsula, Washington, USA. (Photo by Janis Burger. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
Large numbers of macrodroplets of near uniform size and shape are routinely made. In manipulating these macrodroplets, a number of labor-saving devices are constantly being devised, and we explore the role of automation in this area. Macrodroplets are essentially storage spheres for any secondary metabolites that the encapsulated organism should produce. Currently, each clone is screened against a single target and extended to screen each against a number of targets by the use of robotics to move plates of macrodroplets on and off different lawns simultaneously. In this way a set of macrodroplets (between 96 and 384) is lifted from the incubation plate, placed on an assay lawn, and allowed to stand for between 5 and 15 minutes to allow a portion of any secondary metabolites to diffuse out. This process can be repeated a number of times but is limited by the amount of secondary metabolite present in the macrodroplet. In practice this can be done for three lawns at most.
Unless you have a very large garden, sprinkler heads that you attach to garden hoses are usually better suited for lawns than gardens. If you decide to use one, make sure the sprinkler covers the entire garden area evenly and doesn't water things you don't want watered, like your lawn furniture or windows.
They are vegetarian and eat the roots, shoots, and stems of various grasses. They cut the grass stems at the base with their powerful incisors, and then while sitting in an upright position, they manipulate the grass stem or other foodstuff with their front paws while pushing it into the mouth and chopping it into small pieces with the incisors. Grasses are their principal food, including elephant grass, Pennisetum pur-pureum, and buffalo or guinea grass, Panicum maximum. They consume the soft parts of the grasses and shrubs, and the drier sections and leaves are often discarded. They can become severe agricultural pests in some areas where crops, such as peanuts, maize, sorghum, wheat, cassava, and sugar cane grow in close proximity to their habitat. They are very fond of kikuyu grass and will raid lawns. They scratch the soil aside to expose vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes or, in certain grasses, to expose the succulent underground stems or roots. Fermentation of food...
So your garden is all planted, the lawn is mowed, everything is landscaped to your satisfaction, and now you're itching for something else to do to your yard. Don't fret you still have plenty of ways to make your yard even better and to help you enjoy it even more (preferably while sipping a cool lemonade). This chapter contains some fun ideas you can consider.
Whether you're starting with a new lawn or trying to improve an already-existing lawn, the grass is the real point and makes all the difference in the world. Unfortunately, having great grass isn't simply a matter of going to the store and buying grass seed. You can choose from many types of grass seed, and the type you need depends on the climate you live in, the amount of light your yard receives, and whether you have any texture, color, and height preferences for your lawn. Some people like slow-growing grasses so they don't have to mow quite as often. Other people insist on having Kentucky bluegrass in their yards regardless of whether they actually live in Kentucky. I cover many of the options available to you in the next few sections. Some people even choose to have a lawn without grass. You can get out of planting grass by using clover or low-growing groundcovers like thyme or, in shady areas, moss. For more information on groundcovers, hop on over to Chapter 12.
Excessive nutrients The source may be runoff from your adjacent garden or lawn, or perhaps you're overfertilizing your water garden plants. Cut back on the fertilizer and or create diversion and drainage channels to keep runoff away. Keep yellowing and fading plant parts trimmed off (don't let them break down in the water). Also, make sure leaves and other lawn debris doesn't end up in the water.
The World Is Flat Caring for Your Lawn Chapter 10 Growing a Perfect Lawn 193 In the Beginning Getting Ready to Make a Lawn from Scratch 193 Preparing your yard for a Designing the Growing lawns from Your own turf Growing lawns from Watering a Thirsty Mowing the Lawn, Cutting the Grass, and Otherwise Giving Preventing lawn Treating already-weedy How Do I Remove the Weeds from the Lawn without
And release bacteriophage, then a convenient method of cloning is to grow a continuous layer of susceptible bacteria and then cover the culture with a thin layer of dilute bacteriophage suspension. Individual bacteriophage will infect cells, leading to continual cycles of bacteriophage growth and cell lysis until visible holes in the bacterial lawn, called bacteriophage plaques, are observed. Individual colonies or plaques are selected for further study by picking, literally by sampling with a sterile toothpick or other sharp object, and then reinnoculated, respectively, into a permissive growth medium or strain.
Nature is even more indicative of human activities. In public parks, for example, paths indicate where people regularly walk or drive. Because more solid surfaces are less likely to show signs of wear, the natural emergence of traces on lawns or topsoil may be used to determine the position of the paths, but only after the park has been used for some length of time. This unobtrusive method allows the variation of not only the route but also the width of
These semi-aquatic and fossorial moles live in damp- or soggy-soiled meadows or forests near water sources, such as marshes, swamps, streams, and lakes. Occasionally they will reside beneath lawns that are near water. This species typically lives in areas unsuitable for lawns, gardens, or farms, so is not usually known as a pest.
Although it has webbed feet and its species name is aquaticus, this mole shuns aquatic habitats, opting instead for the moist, sandy or loamy soils of forests and fields, as well as lawns, and other cultivated areas. This is a solitary, fossorial mole, making shallow tunnels for foraging and deeper tunnels up to 2.5 ft (0.8 m) underground for winter denning. The shallow tunnels are evident as trails, or mole runs, of loose dirt across the forest floor or a lawn. This mole also makes small molehills, which are piles of dirt pushed out of the tunnels and onto the surface. Moles are a pest species to many gardeners who lose crops to their foraging, and to homeowners who find their impeccably groomed lawns irregularly patterned by mole trails.
As with calculating the amount of fertilizer to spread, you need to know the square footage of your lawn. (So spend a moment to figure that out you know, length x width, or the radius squared x pi. If you can't remember this elementary-school math, get a smart kid to help you bill it as a practical lesson By the way, if you know your yard size in acres, 1 acre equals 43,560 square feet.) Then consult the bag of seed to find out how much is recommended, or check out Table 10-3. Don't plan to overdo it excessive seed only makes a weaker lawn The seedlings are all fighting for limited soil space, nutrients, and light.
1 Cyclone spreader This hand seeder is relatively cheap and easy to use. Dump in the seed and then trot along the seedbed, turning the handle as you go. The seed sprays out in a semi-circular pattern. Obviously, this method isn't very practical for larger lawns, but it's just fine for modest-size ones. 1 Rotary spreader A wheeled or handheld spinning spreader (also known as a broadcast or centrifugal spreader) is perfect for bigger lawns. You just fill it up and walk along slowly, pushing it at an even pace. No matter how you spread the seed, start by applying two side-by-side header strips at the bottom and top of the lawn first to provide turning space (see Figure 10-2). The header strips should run along the short edges of a rectangular lawn. If your lawn is round, oval, or irregular in shape, just do the perimeter (see Figure 10-3). Your own turf Growing lawns from sod The real advantage of using sod is that it's fast It also smothers weed seeds. After being laid down, it's not as...
Decays quickly, so you have to replenish it often if you use weed killers on your lawn or nitrogen-heavy fertilizer, it may adversely affect other parts of the garden can turn slimy if you apply more than an inch or so at a time if the grass went to seed before you cut it, the grass seeds can germinate in your garden beds (yikes )
The reason you can get weeds in and around your lawn is the same reason your lawn grows there it's open and it's sunny. Even if you're a wonderful lawn steward, totally eradicating these pesky invaders is nearly impossible. But as in other parts of your yard and gardens, you can work things out so you still enjoy and feel proud of the plants you planted. The main thing to understand here is that although lawn grass is a perennial, many lawn weeds are not they're annuals. This information can color your battle forewarned is forearmed Common lawn weeds include dandelion, plantain, crabgrass, dock, English daisy, ground ivy, moss, henbit, oxalis, and yellow nutsedge.
Use them on the lawn or for watering flowerbeds and shrubs they're less effective under trees because they fling water up into the branches, where it's neither needed nor especially appreciated. You may have to run the water on low or get a heavier model if it tends to flip over on its side or upside down, a common problem. 1 Oscillating sprinkler You have to set or assign these sprinklers their job, which can be a full-yard swing from left to right and back again, or a half-swing to the left or right, or just a held, stationary position. Oscillating sprinklers are marvelous for watering lawns and broad plantings. Splurge on the more expensive units they last much longer and offer a greater range of settings that can make your watering more accurate and efficient. Compared to a whirlybird sprinkler, oscillating sprinklers tend to lose a lot of water to evaporation. 1 Tractor (traveling) sprinkler The tractor sprinkler is a little more hightech, at least for a homeowner. The small...
Making a new lawn or adding grass to an old one Watering and fertilizing your yard Cutting the grass Giving your lawn some fresh air Battling weeds J h, to run and play, or nap, or wiggle your bare toes on a lush and perfect W greensward it may seem like an unattainable dream, but good news A fine-looking lawn is perfectly doable and within your reach if you approach the project gradually, doing the right thing month to month and year to year. Lawns consist of many different small plants, often different varieties of grasses almost like a miniature stand of corn (they are related ). So growing grass is like raising a crop or a specialty garden of turf grass. Extensive lawn care is beyond the scope of this book, so if you want more information than what I present here, I highly recommend picking up Lawn Care For Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc.). It's worth it to put a lot of effort into your lawn, because a good lawn makes everything else look good, and a gorgeous, well-kept lawn sets...
Lawns grow well and look splendid on fairly level ground. Seeing to the gradient before planting, of course, is best. You want your lawn to slope slightly, away from your house. Otherwise, both rainfall and zealous watering can lead to a wet basement and a weakened foundation. Work when the ground is moist (dry soil resists grading) and use a shovel, a rake, and even a carpenter's level. It doesn't have to be perfect, but do the best job you can.
Mnemosyne has been applied to several problems associated with ADFs, including the Boolean even-n-parity problems, the Lawnmower problem and the Multiplexer. In all cases, the average performance of the system increased as the number of library iterations increased. More importantly however, the performance on unseen, more difficult problems, increased as well, indicating that the library was able to find generalized functionality. As this chapter concentrates on the library activity for the even-n-parity and multiplexer problems we first present their performances.
But many enlightened gardeners take a more holistic approach. They say that a weed is just a plant out of place. And, in fact, one person's weed may be another person's flower or even salad green. While one gardener struggles to eliminate violets from a lawn, another will cultivate them in the flower bed, and still others may enjoy their foliage and flowers in salads. That's not to say that every weed has a good side. Or that we have to learn to live with them. In fact, you can have a weed-free lawn and garden without resorting to dangerous chemicals or spending hours on the back-breaking labor of hoeing or chopping or pulling weeds.
Kelp meal is the single product that Bill Wolf uses most to fertilize plants because it is such a complete source of the minerals that plants need. He advises applying 10 pounds of kelp per 1,000 square feet for fruit crops, vegetables, lawns, or ornamentals. Adding 1 teaspoon of kelp meal to the potting soil in a 6-inch pot will keep container plants looking their best.
American robins and people The American robin is a very common and easily recognized bird, often seen pulling earthworms up from lawns and gardens. It is significant to North American people as a popular sign of spring, and was once hunted for meat in the southern United States.
Natural beds don't need any kind of edging, but you do need to remove the sod if you're turning part of the lawn into a garden. It is best to remove the sod with a sod knife (a special tool that can be rented) or a spade. For larger jobs, you can rent a sod cutter, which is a machine that penetrates the soil about three inches deep and cuts off the roots of the sod. It can then be rolled up and removed. For smaller jobs, you can rent a manual sod cutter or you can use a spade.
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