Strange dark green colored circular shaped ring found on my lawn = FAIRY RING DISEASE

With the abundance of rain we have enjoyed over the past few months, you may have noticed a few odd looking circular shaped dark green colored rings (3′ to 10′ +/- in diameter) located across your lawn.  If so, you are not alone.  In all likelihood, the saturated soil below your lawn has initiated a very common fungal based disease called Fairy Ring.

Pacocha - Fairy Ring 1

The first signs of Fairy Ring disease are usually the appearance of dark green colored circles, arcs and/or mushrooms across the lawn’s surface.  Of course, the mushrooms are a reliable sign that an abundance of buried decaying organic material is in the soil (old tree roots, stumps, etc.).  As the fungi break down the excess organic matter in the soil nitrogen is produced giving the lawn located just above/around a healthy dark green color and a decent growth spurt (beyond surrounding non-affected lawn areas).

Pacocha - Fairy Ring 2

If Fairy Ring effected lawn areas prove to be seasonally persistent at your property and grass fails to grow/survive, then you may want to consider removing a 6″-10″ layer of soil located just below the plagued lawn areas, add clean topsoil and plant premium grass seed to repair the specific areas.  There is no guarantee this soil replacement approach will be 100% effective, but may be worth the investment over the long term if your lawn continues to struggle.

Pacocha - Fairy Ring 4

In most cases, just by power raking (mechanical dethatching) the entire lawn in the spring, mowing frequently and providing routine lawn fertilization will increase the vigor/growth rate of the entire lawn and adequately conceal most Fairy Ring outbreaks that may occur over the course of a growing season.

Pacocha - Fairy Ring 3

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn care or lawn repair services needed at your property.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

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Poison Ivy growing on your property? We can help eliminate the problematic vine once and for all!

As summer approaches and we spend greater amounts of timePacocha - Poison Ivy Along Residential Driveway and Down Spout outdoors, be on the lookout for troublesome poison ivy that may be growing on your property.

Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. offers effective poison ivy removal solutions for the greater Chicago and surrounding northwest suburban areas.

Services offered:Pacocha - Poison Ivy Growing Atop the Roof of a Back Yard Shed (3 of 4)

  • On-site poison ivy identification
  • Non-selective targeted liquid herbicide applications
  • Physical poison ivy removal (post non-selective herbicide application only)
  • Off-site disposal of any/all poison ivy vegetation physically removedPacocha - Poison Ivy Growing Through Wood Fence from Neighbors Property
  • Lawn and/or landscape restoration services (post poison ivy removal)

Please be sure to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

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Tree and stump recently removed? Heaping pile of wood chips left atop your lawn? ……….. Repair your lawn now by following these few simple steps!

If you recently had a tree removed from your property and it’s stump ground down, this information may prove beneficial to you.  Please find a few steps listed below that will ensure a successful lawn repair.

1). Be sure that any/all tree stump and large roots (above and below grade) get mechanically ground out via stump grinder.  Usually a stump grinding depth of 12″+/- Pacocha - Tree Stumps Removed 1(below final grade) is adequate to eventually grow grass atop area.

2). Remove any/all wood chips and other woody root material from the area.  Any/all excess wood chips possibly left in the hole (strongly discouraged by the way) will decompose over time and will steal much needed nitrogen from the grass plants.  Excess wood chips and other root material left will also increase the chance of settling in the area.

3). Remove any/all elevated soil and grass that may exist around the previous stump area.  The goal will be to level the entire area (as needed) to a satisfactory degree before new Pacocha - Tree Stump Removed 3grass is planted.  A somewhat flat soil grade is worth the extra effort now to ensure less mower scalping of elevated lawn areas and will eliminate the “pitcher’s mound effect” so often found on sub-par lawn repairs made across previous tree/stump areas.

4). Begin to add soil to fill the hole.  Try to compact the soil (every 2″-4″ added) to slow down short term settling within the area.  Regardless, expect slight soil settling within the area over the first few years.  Additional soil may need to be added to fill in low spaces that form over time.  The majority of soil settling takes place in the first 5 years +/- following a tree/stump removal.Pacocha - Tree Stump Removed 2

5). After additional soil has been added and raked to meet the surrounding grade, plant premium grass seed, apply a granular starter fertilizer and cover with either peat moss or seed germination blanket to complete the repair.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or service requests you may have.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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Oh no…… my lawn has SNOW MOLD!!

Now that the snow has finally melted and warmer temperatures are upon us, many lawns are showing signs of a common fungal disease called snow mold (gray snow mold in particular). Pacocha - Snow Mold 2Snow mold occurs when spring conditions allow warm unfrozen ground that was recently covered by melting snow to activate an existing pathogen.  The issues start when a pathogen is present, spring temperatures are between 30-40 F and the soil/turfgrass is fairly saturated.  Snow mold may be found in lawn areas where drainage and air-movement is poor and especially where snow has been piled and/or is slow to melt. Damage can be as minimal as just a few small circular shaped yellow/matted down lawn areas or more widespread (conditions dependent).  As the lawn dries and warmer weather moves in the disease becomes dormant until the next opportunity arises (late fall/early spring). Pacocha - Snow Mold 1Damaged lawn areas should be repaired by first raking the problematic areas (very important), add a light layer of topsoil (as/if needed), plant a premium disease resistant grass seed blend and finally cover the repaired lawn areas with a light layer of peat moss to complete.  After the lawn repairs have been completed and soil temperatures warm beyond 50 F your lawn will rebuild its lost density and look as if a problem never existed.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn related questions or concerns you may have.  We would be very happy to help!

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Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. – Commercial Snow Removal Services

 

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to learn more about our extremely reliable commercial snow and ice management services.  Thank you for visiting our site!

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Excellent Winter Weather and Snow Accumulation Forecasting Websites

Here are a few fantastic websites that provide very detailed winter weather forecast information so you can prepare well in advance for winter’s worst.

1). Weather Underground 

2). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

3). AccuWeather

4). The Weather Channel

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any snow or ice removal service request you may have for your greater Chicagoland property.

Thank you for visiting!

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A few tips to further improve your next treated wood timber landscape installation project

Even though concrete block seems to be the most commonly used construction material for raised beds and retaining walls in the residential landscape, I personally find wood (treated wood timbers in particular) to be superior in many ways.

For starters, not only is wood a completely renewable resource, but a properly installed treated wood structure (including adequate drainage) will easily last 20-25 years.  In my opinion, a beautifully designed and constructed wood timber planting box, retaining wall, etc. is far more natural in appearance and complementary to adjacent plant material than its concrete counterpart.  I realize that an argument can be made in that concrete block installations are more expensive because they are to be considered “forever” where wood will eventually deteriorate over time.  This point is absolutely correct in that the concrete block itself will likely outlast it’s owner!  Pacocha - Wood Preservative Freshly Applied to Cut Timber EndsHowever, it is my experience that even a professionally installed concrete block wall (with suitable drainage) will eventually shift from long term exposure to seasonal water freeze/thaw cycles, nearby expanding tree root growth, nearby excavation/digging, etc. making it’s segmented formal installation approach somewhat less desirable both visually and structurally when failure finally occurs.  Even though treated wood timbers do not easily lend themselves to curved type/designed landscape installations like segmental block units can, they still get my unabashed vote in the landscape design process whenever possible.

Here are a few tips to extend the life and improve the quality of your next wood timber installation project.

Pacocha - Soil Excavated - Ready for Stone Sub Base– Use properly treated wood timbers rated for direct soil contact according to the American Wood Protection Standard (UC4A – Ground Contact General Use)Pacocha - Ground Contact AWPA U1 UC4A Wood Timber Tag

– Use large dimensioned properly rated/treated wood timbers whenever possible.  By choosing a minimum sized 6″ x 6″ treated wood timber (in lieu of 3″ x 5″, 4″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″ timbers) will be less likely to warp and twist over time.

– Apply a suitable preservative to all end cuts made during the installation process.

– Prevent “always wet” soil conditions below/around wood timber structure by installing suitable drainage improvements wherever necessary.

Pacocha - Applying Wood Preservative to Cut Timber– Use a suitable stone sub-base below initial course of wood timbers to further improve water drainage and to strengthen the overall installation.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for assistance with your next wood timber installation project.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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Recommended Ice Melt Material……… Thunder Melt!

If you are responsible for winter maintenance (ice melting and plowing snow) at a northern Illinois commercial property, I highly recommend taking a look at this particular bulk ice melt material to properly service your property.

It is not very often that a material has a lasting impression on me (bulk deicing salt inPacocha - Stainless Steel V Box Salt Spreader Truck particular), but this this experience is different.  After many years of storing, grinding and even milling down frozen clump-prone untreated rock salt in preparation of spreading eventually, along comes a treated salt product that really surpasses all other bulk ice melt materials we have used to date.  It’s called Thunder Melt and is sold by Conserv FS.  It melts snow and ice very effectively and truly remains granular and machine spreadable no matter the sub-freezing temperature.

Material details for your review:

  • Cut application rate by 25%-30%
  • Safe surface faster and lasts longer with less product used
  • Resistant to wind and bounce
  • Non-caking and does not clump or clog application equipment
  • Delivered in semi truck loads of 22-24 tons (only)
  • More effective at lower temperatures than straight sodium chloride
  • Formulated with patented corrosion inhibitor
  • Sold and delivered by Conserv FS

Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc.Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for all your snow and ice management related needs.  Thank you for taking the time to visit our site.  Have a great day!

 

 

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Improved Snow Management Services: Provide unobstructed on-site areas to adequately accommodate snow plowed piles

Whenever visiting a new prospective snow and ice management property, one of the first things we quickly notice is if there are any plants, fences, sprinkler heads and/or any other obstructions located within anticipated plowed snow stacking areas.

Pacocha - Skid Steer Loader with Containment Plow

Plentiful OPEN and UNOBSTRUCTED snow piling areas usually translate into maximum snow clearing efficiency and reduced cost of overall service.

Here are a few important details that if implemented, will further improve the quality of snow and ice management services currently performed at your property.

  • Prepare a formal plan with your snow removal service provider that indicates acceptable on-site locations where any/all plowed snow can be staged.
  • Avoid (or relocate) delicate ornamental fencing and non-critical signage located adjacent to plowed drives, roads, parking lot and sidewalk areas (if possible).Pacocha - Entry Snow Drift Removal
  • Ensure irrigation system components (heads, risers, etc.) are installed properly below the soil surface to avoid shovel, snow blower or snow plow contact/damage.
  • If plants must be installed within the 4′ wide (or less) areas surrounding snow plowed or ice melt treated surfaces, be sure to choose salt tolerant/hardy/sturdy plant varieties that can tolerate winter related stress.
  • Be sure to install snow marker stakes (at least 2′-4′ tall) along the edges of inconspicuous parking lot and sidewalk areas targeted for snow removal.
  • If possible, place mobile garbage containers/dumpsters in an area that will not interfere with planned snow piling, stacking or staging areas.
  • If property has limited parking spaces available (overall), be sure to use traffic cones or other temporary markers to ensure no vehicles park within specified parking stall spaces needed for snow staging/piling.

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Please remember that when hiring a qualified contractor to clear snow and ice from your site, it is very beneficial (for the property owner and contractor alike) if adequate open space is made readily available for shoveled, pushed or plowed snow.

Please contact our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for any snow and ice removal services needed at your northwest suburban Chicago area property.

Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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A fruit bearing perennial TOXIC WEED that has many unique uses dating back hundreds of years!!

One day a client asked if I would stop by his property to look at a few small projects he needed taken care of.  So during my property visit I noticed a very striking plant.  The client indicated that he did not plant it and asked me if I knew what it was.  I just shook my head and said I could not identify the plant off hand.  The plant had grown quite nicely in a small bed space just behind his house to a height of about 5′ tall, had beautiful deep red-purple colored stems and awesome long strands of berries.  I took a few pictures and performed a Google Image search later that evening.  It turned out that the mysterious plant was called Pokeweed and has a very long detailed history.

Pacocha - Pokeweed 3

I was amazed that this perennial “weed” had grown to be such a beautiful mature plant.

What really interested me besides the very unique color and berries produced by Pokeweed was that all parts of the plant itself are considered toxic and not recommended for human, pet and/or livestock consumption.  However, pokeweed berries and it’s dried roots have been used in herbal remedies, for red food coloring and even to make ink and dye.

Pokeweed Facts and Folklore:

  •  The common name ‘pokeweed’ originates from the Native American word for ‘blood’, referring to the red dye that can be made from the fruit (however, the color is difficult to fix). Some of the other common names, such as ‘inkberry’ and ‘inkweed’, refer to this use.Pacocha - Pokeweed 1
  • Juice from pokeweed berries was once used to ‘improve’ the color of cheap red wine.
  • Supporters of President James Polk wore pokeweed twigs instead of campaign buttons during the 1845 campaign.
  • Medical researchers have isolated a protein (pokeweed antiviral protein or PAP) from pokeweed that is being used to try to inhibit the replication of the HIV virus in human cells.
  • Roots, leaves and berries of common pokeweed were used medicinally by Native Americans and early settlers to treat a variety of conditions from hemorrhoids to headaches.
  • The young shoots and leaves of pokeweed have been eaten as greens (‘poke sallet’), boiled with the water changed several times prior to consumption. The taste is described as similar to that of asparagus or spinach. Berries have been used to make pie. However, ingestion of any part of common pokeweed cannot be recommended
  • Pacocha - Pokeweed 2

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions, comments or ideas on how we can be of further assistance to you.  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and have a great day!

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