What exactly is a lawn and landscape spring cleanup anyway?

A seasonal spring cleanup is a one-time property visit to prepare your lawn and landscape for the up and coming growing season.

Normally our spring cleanup service includes the removal and off-site disposal of any landscape related surface debris, windblown trash, fallen twigs, etc. that may have accumulated over winter in plant beds, atop paved surfaces and across all lawn areas.  We will also cultivate the soil or wood mulch covering within specified plant beds, cut back various perennial plants, perform initial lawn mowing, all pavement will be mechanically edged and blown clean to complete.  It is also very common to perform mechanical lawn dethatching, core aeration and lawn fertilization in addition to a spring cleanup.

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A few proven ways to rebuild lawn density

Lawn renovation is the process of rebuilding your lawn’s density by mechanical and manual means.  To begin we normally core aerate all lawn areas to relieve soil compaction and allow for improved air-water-nutrient flow to the existing lawn’s root system.  After all lawn areas have been aerated, we will mechanically slit-seed across all existing thin/stressed lawn areas.  Mechanical slit-seeding is the process of planting site specific premium grass seed directly into the soil by slicing through a weakened stand of turf grass.  This service ensures great seed to soil contact which translates into excellent germination rates.  After all existing lawn areas have been mechanically slit-seeded, we will apply a granular seed starter fertilizer that is especially high in phosphorus to all lawn areas to further enhance the seed germination process.  Next we will repair all remaining completely bare (little or no grass) areas by delivering and installing additional top soil (1/2”- 1”), plant premium grass seed and install seed germination blanket or peat moss covering to complete the bare area repairs.  The absolute best time (in my opinion) to perform these services will be from mid-August through September.  Actually, it is only during this time of the growing season that we have optimum seed growing conditions (warm soil temperatures, less weed competition, little chance of frost or freezing temperatures, adequate natural rainfall and cooling temperatures).   The spring season will be the next best time of the year to renovate a lawn, especially for lawns partially covered by shade tree canopies.  It is only in the spring season that trees have not yet fully grown their leaves and greater seed germination/plant vigor can be derived from this short term abundant sun light.  Lawn renovation services in addition to properly scheduled mechanical maintenance, lawn fertilization, weed control and insect management will greatly enhance any failing stand of turf grass over a short period of time.

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Planting a new lawn by seed vs. sod

My professional opinion on the use of sod is that I will recommend it only when absolutely necessary. The reason we like growing a lawn from seed over sod is that we can choose the best blend of turf grass seed for the specific site/conditions at hand. Please keep in mind that most commercially grown Kentucky Bluegrass blend sod is meant to be installed in areas that have 70% + sun exposure throughout a given day. One important factor rarely exposed by most sod resellers. When the choice is made to grow a new lawn by seed you will need to intentionally “over prepare” the soil and nurture the seed for optimum germination and deep root establishment to ensure great long term results. Sod on the other hand can be simply laid on a “sub-par” soil surface and kept alive as long as there is adequate and routine irrigation available. Other factors that can easily stress poorly rooted sod are everyday foot traffic, pet waste, intense heat, insect activity, minimal watering, excessive watering, fungus, sub-par mechanical maintenance, etc. Even though seed will take a growing season or two to fully establish and reach the density levels you are looking for, you will have great long term results with lower maintenance costs thereafter. Sod on the other hand will look great instantly and usually require a greater initial financial investment, but will also continue to cost more over time to maintain (rebuild fading sod density due to limited initial grass variety selection, avoiding constant fungal related threats, continual need to break through dense thatch layer, etc.). The average sodded lawn retains a non-native soil layer that routinely causes poor air/water/nutrient flow to the lawn’s root zone below. In many cases we are forced to break down this “soil barrier” by performing multiple core aerations, mechanical slit-seeding, power raking/dethatching, etc. each and every growing season to maintain acceptable turf density.

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How may I help you?

Thank you for taking the time to review my lawn, landscape and snow management related writings.  My promise is to share relevant experiences, observations and practices used to produce the very best lawn, landscape and snow related service outcome possible.  My name is Joe Pacocha and I began Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. in 1993.  We perform professional seasonal property maintenance, renovation and installation services across the north side of Chicago and surrounding northwest suburbs.  We continually strive to earn the respect and trust of our customers by exceeding their expectations.  It is in our client’s complete satisfaction that we derive our passion to continue learning and generate increased value within all services that we perform.  How may I help you?

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