Category : Turf Care

Home/Archive by Category Turf Care

Fall Clean-up for Vermont’s abundant foliage

Fall gently drifts down to us here in the Champlain Valley–the days get shorter, the nights get cooler, the mornings get foggy, and we begin to see a blaze of color, first slowly then surely creep down the mountains and brighten our short sunny afternoons with hues of red, orange, and yellow.  One last hurrah before the cold grayness of winter sets in from November till April.

Now is the time to make preparations for fall clean-up service for your property.  Your weekend time should be spent out enjoying the last sunny days of autumn not laboring over a leaf rake and a tarp trying to win the war against the fall foliage.  At S & D Landscapes we are well equipped to efficiently remove leaves from your lawn and landscape.  We have a collection of leaf blowers, bagging systems, leaf plows, and a truck loader that can make very swift work of the largest volumes of leaves.  Leaf removal is included in our seasonal maintenance programs and we schedule several visits for each property depending on the tree/leaf cover anticipated on the property.  We do have some slots for clients who would just have us do a fall clean-up, but we give first priority to our regular seasonal contracts and we would be happy to sign you up for 2015 landscape maintenance services and we can include the remainder of 2014 services including fall clean-up.

Fall clean-up 3013 piles out for pickup



Our fall clean-up services include blowing/removing all leaves from the landscape beds and the lawn areas.  We also remove leaves from driveways, decks, walkways, and patios.  The property is left spotlessly clean for every fall clean-up visit on the off chance that snow will cut our season short.  Heavy leaf debris on lawns can cause some smothering damage and later spring green up if left untended.  Leaf litter makes a great mulch for perennials but only hinders clean-up efforts in the spring.  We encourage regular mulching so that leaves can be removed from the planting beds in the fall.  We cut back all perennials except perennial grasses and remove all the spent tops.  The lawns will be mowed as needed and the final cut will be between 2.5″ and 3″.  We have a truckloader and can swiftly remove our piles from the curblines.  If accessible and appropriate we can also blow leaves into woods areas as well.  All of our leaves are composted and recycled back into landscaping and gardening projects.

Don’t let leaves be a hassle this fall–let S & D Landscapes be your one stop landscape maintenance solution–including fall clean-up.  After leaf clean-up comes winter……and we switch from leaf blowing to snowblowing.

Continue Reading

Fall is for Planting

September has come in warm in northern Vermont, but the forecast shows cooling and fall rains perfect conditions for planting.  Most people see Labor day as the official end of summer and the beginning of winter and they push back their landscaping plans till the following spring.  Let’s not be too hasty.  Fall is perhaps the best time to establish a new lawn or landscape.  Typical Vermont fall days include cooling temperatures, consistent rainfall, and heavy morning dew.  These ideal conditions allow new plants and grass easy establishment before winter’s cold and spring cool temperatures help complete establishment before the onslaught of the following summer’s heat and drought stress.  What are good fall planting tasks?  Let’s divide this into three major planting types–landscaping trees, shrubs, and perennials, lawns and turf, and fall and spring seasonal color. Landscaping trees, shrubs, and perennials: There are many trees, shrubs, and perennials that provide awesome fall interest either through late season flowers, gentle waving seed heads, or brilliant fall foliage colors.  Perhaps your landscape is in need of some late season pizzazz. and now is the time when we can see what is missing and see exactly how we can improve the late season color.  Nurseries also have an opportunity to dig field grown materials again in the fall when the weather cools.  That flowering tree you had your eye on in the spring, intended to plant in the summer but it was sold out will become an option again–don’t miss a tremendous spring flowering display for another season.  There is still also ample time in the fall for planting the landscape of your dreams–start the 2015 season off enjoying your new landscape not on a waiting list by preemptively  installing your landscape in the fall of 2014. Lawns and turf: Fall is the best season to for planting a new lawn or rejuvenating an existing lawn.  If your existing turf is tired from the summer heat and drought but still has over 70% density we suggest a fall aeration and overseeding as well as a fertilization application.  If your lawn has poor density and tons of weeds we can thoroughly renovate and install sod.  You can see a new lawn we installed last October here.  When spring comes you are out playing kickball with your kids on dense, well established turf.  We use the highest quality sod direct from Green Thumb Farms, and we have specialty equipment for renovating lawns and creating an ideal root-zone for fantastic lawn quality. Seasonal Color: Fall offers many colors–reds, oranges, and yellows and we at S & D can enhance these warm tones with a planting of fall mums–bright colors to enjoy during the cooler autumn days before the onslaught of winter.  Mums are available as mass plantings in landscape beds or as a switch over in container plantings.  Beyond mums there are many other fall annuals that can be mixed and matched to create a vibrant celebration of these autumnal days.  In anticipation of spring 2015 there is a window for planting bulbs–tulips, daffodils, gladiolas, hyacinths in the later fall and we can provide this service as well. Fall brings a ton of opportunity for planting and enhancement both to add color now and in the future.  We would love to setup a meeting with you to discuss how S & D Landscapes can partner with you to bring you the most value from your landscaping investment.

Turf Aeration and Overseeding: Fall Work for the Vermont Lawn

August 7th and almost 8:30 PM and the last of the daylight is fading.  The days are getting shorter and fall will soon be here.  Not to despair—there a quite a few days of good weather remaining for all of us to enjoy our summertime activities.  Now is a great time to improve your lawn.  As we head into cooler weather lawns are bouncing back from the summer heat and it is the perfect time for you to seize that momentum and get the lawn setup for better performance through the winter and in seasons to come.

The best way to get the lawn performing in the late summer/early fall is core aeration and overseeding.  Core aeration is a process where a machine is run over the lawn and a series of tines poke holes and pull out small cores of soil.  Typically these holes are about 2” to 3” deep and are the thickness of an index finger.  These channels into the root zone of the lawn allow better air and water penetration to the roots of the plants.  Additional air and water helps with the growth of new roots, healthier crowns, and a reduction of thatch due to improved aerobic decomposition.  These holes into the soil also allow for more efficient uptake of fertilizer and provide good soil contact for new seed.  Late summer and fall is the best time to perform this service—the weather is cooler and the cool season turf that we have in northern Vermont is actively growing.  Fall typically brings regular rains as well as heavier morning dew which provides ample water and moisture for optimal germination and establishment.  The new grass will have the remainder of the fall and the following spring to establish before it must survive the heat and drought stresses of summer.  Seeding rates vary depending on the variety of turf.  We suggest a tall fescue blend for Vermont lawns and tall fescue gets overseeded at a rate of ~8 lbs of grass seed per thousand square feet of turf.

Fall is also the best time to fertilize the lawn for cool season turf types.  The grass is resuming active growth after some summer dormancy and it is looking to store up nutrients for the winter.  Fertilizing now helps restore any summer damaged areas and helps with faster spring green-up.  There is a state imposed limit to fertilization and we cannot apply fertilizer after October 15th.

Perennial turf weeds also begin making preparations for winter and begin moving sugars down into their root systems for storage.  The last cooler days of the season are ideal for spraying these tough perennial weeds—lawn ivy, dandelions, plantains, and violets and getting complete kill.  The same mechanisms that move the sugars down into the roots for storage also move the herbicides completely through the plant providing complete elimination.  Spraying these weeds in the spring or summer generally just stunts the weed and allows the weed to make a comeback.  Fall is the best time to get control of your lawn weeds with minimal herbicide input.

There is no one “silver bullet” when it comes to developing a healthy, dense turf.  Rather it is the consistent practice of solid cultural practices—mowing, trimming, fertilizing, weed control, aeration, and irrigating—that produces excellent results.  Our Essex, Vermont based landscaping company seeks to be a one source management solution for all of your landscaping needs.  We schedule and coordinate all maintenance services—spring clean-up, fertilization, pre-emergents, mulching, mowing, trimming, gardening, pruning, weed control, and fall clean-ups to deliver you the finest landscape management experience in our market.  We would love to talk to you about managing your lawn and landscape.  Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Continue Reading