How to prepare your lawn for weed control all year
Now is the time to apply pre-emergent products for the control of crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail and other summer annual weeds. Barefoot & Associates is celebrating 32 years of excellence in 2020 and you can count on us for delivering great results by using quality products by properly trained professionals. No matter what type of turf you may have, we have specialized custom lawn care programs with specific applications for each turf type. This method ensures we don’t damage any turf but deliver superior results for your specific type of turf.
For homeowners in Raleigh, Cary, and throughout the Triangle, lawn drainage is a problem that just won’t go away. Thanks to our area’s hilly landscape, homes are at a higher risk of having issues with standing water. On top of that, the Piedmont region of North Carolina (which includes the Triangle) gets around 45 inches of rain per year. Compared to the national average of 39 inches, that means that homes not only can’t handle the water but get more water than most of the United States.
While finding reputable help can get frustrating, there are companies in the Triangle who are specially trained and skilled at efficiently solving lawn drainage problems and thereby banishing standing water.
The Triangle Topography: Hilly Homes & Poor Drainage
When buying a home, you often don’t consider what happens when the weather isn’t grand. After all, you’re probably focused on enjoying sunny days with friends and family there–not in the middle of a torrential rainstorm. There isn’t a thing wrong with that, but before you sign on the dotted line to purchase the property, be sure you explore the home’s property elevation and proximity to water. Without the appropriate grading and exit strategy for the rain that falls on your property, you can quickly find yourself in over your head.
Standing water may seem like nothing to worry about, but some of the unfortunate side effects of poor lawn drainage include these pesky yard pests:
Mosquitoes: Standing water is known to be a breeding ground for mosquito larvae. Even a small puddle can help bring enough mosquitoes around to bother you and your neighbors if it becomes a permanent fixture of the land.
Root rot: Some plants can handle flood conditions, but most grasses, trees, shrubs, and flowers will experience root rot and suffocate from oversaturation. Years of hard work and landscapes can be undone quickly by a strong storm.
Fungal invasion: Fungus lives and flourishes off of moisture. If your property gets standing water, it can become one big fungus farm. Mold and mildew spores could land and create colonies that could quickly spread to your home.
Flooding of your home: Depending on the kind of lawn drainage problems occurring on your property, your home may be in line for damage, too. When water directs towards–rather than away from–the house with poor grading, flooding of a crawlspace or basement becomes inevitable.
Inability to enjoy the land: Remember those sunny day daydreams in the new home? If you have standing water, even once the rain clouds have cleared, you may be left with a wet and swampy yard that will be difficult to enjoy in the sunshine.
Solving Standing Water Problems
Thankfully, there are solutions to fix poor lawn drainage, even in hilly areas like Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill. There are a few strategies homeowners and lawn care experts employ to deal with these issues:
Grading: This is among the most crucial ways to repair poorly executed lawn drainage. If your land leads towards the house or a low lying area with poor drainage, there will be problems. Experts will revisit the land’s topography to ensure any downward slopes are pointed away from a home’s foundation, thereby allowing all moisture to move through your property without places to settle.
Surface Absorption Rates: As you may have guessed, once the water is moving away from the primary structures, the next thing to figure out is what surface will help that water on its way? Initially, you may think that impervious surfaces–like hard dirt and concrete–are the solution to the problem when realistically, you will want a property that can absorb a lot of liquid without becoming flooded. Assess those harder surfaces strategically to figure out how they fit into the improved drainage of the property.
Gutters: While grading is essential to clear rain flow, don’t overlook your home’s gutter systems. They should work with you, and not against you, as an effective tool to push rainwater away from the home and closer to the proper runoff system. Additionally, employing rain gardens and dry creek beds can prevent these runoff plans from becoming eyesores.
Barefoot & Associates: Lawn Drainage Experts
Lawn drainage problems can quickly become a complicated task involving specialized equipment and some serious planning. Don’t trust your lawn drainage problem with a novice–count on Barefoot & Associates to help fix the problem. We service the greater Triangle area, working in Apex, Cary, Garner, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Johnston County, Wake County, Wake Forest and the surrounding areas. Give us a call the moment you notice drainage problems at (919) 934-3554, and we’ll get a team and a plan in motion immediately.
Every season presents new challenges for maintaining a beautiful lawn. Spring brings a lot of moisture and Summer brings heat. But these months are also when warm-season grasses thrive. As a transition zone, North Carolina has both warm and cool-season grass. If your lawn has warm-season grasses, they can be choked out by weeds that also thrive in this season.
Now is the time to begin applications of spring and summer pre-emergent products for the control of crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail, and other summer annual weeds. In the Triangle area of North Carolina, we generally see crabgrass germination when the average daily soil temperature reaches and maintains 55 degrees and goosegrass at 60 degrees. This has been a fairly mild winter, and we have seen above average warm days which is causing the soil temperature to rise.
What Barefoot offers for warm season annual weed control Barefoot & Associates has served the Triangle area since 1988 and has been trusted by more and more of its residents as we’ve proved the quality of our work. Just looking at our gallery will give you an idea of what the lawns and landscapes we tend look like.
For weed control, pre-emergent herbicides are what we recommend if you want to prevent the problem before it sprouts. These products prevent seeds from germinating. It is best to apply these in the spring before germination has occurred.
As the summer progresses, weed control remains important. Post-emergent herbicides are one way of removing weeds that have already sprouted. We have a number of tools and tactics at our disposal to rid your lawn of hard to kill weeds.
Call us today to learn more! When it comes to lawn care, one of the only things more irritating than weeds is being required to sign a maintenance contract. Barefoot & Associates does not require this from our customers. Instead, we bill only as each service is performed. This makes it easy for you to stop service with us if you aren’t satisfied. We are able to operate this way because we are confident in our work.
As we approach the end of August and the 1st of September, now is the time to begin preparations for fall overseeding in the Triangle area of North Carolina. If you have any weeds, broadleaf, crabgrass or sedges, now is the time to eradicate weeds prior to overseeding. This has been a relatively bad year for fescue lawns, severe heat stress and some drought conditions has left many fescue lawns in poor condition. A good fall renovation plan with core aeration, applications of necessary amendments and seeding with a quality fescue blend will ensure a nice looking fescue lawn again soon. Call your local turf service experts here at Barefoot & Associates to get your lawn scheduled for renovation services now. We can be reached at (919)-934-3554 or anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brown patch disease is a very common problem for property owners across the country and right here in the Triangle area. North Carolina experiences a lot of it because of our hot, humid summers. When temperatures rise, the fungus Rhizoctonia solani finds fertile ground for growth. The disease begins to develop when night temperatures exceed 60°F, but is most severe when low and high temperatures are above 70°F and 90°F, respectively.
The fungus is especially aggressive when the air is humid or if the lawn is damp at night. The brown fungus can infect turfgrass that has been continuously wet for 10 to 12 hours. Poor soil drainage, lack of air movement, shade, cloudy weather, dew, over-watering, and watering in the late afternoon can increase the likelihood of the disease affecting the area.
You may be able to catch and treat the growth of brown patch disease early if you see brown spotting on grass blades. When these spots connect to turn entire blades brown, and then entire patches of grass brown, it’s likely caused by this fungus. There will also be a darker edge to the brown patch that surrounds the dead and brown grass. If you have concerns about brown patch disease and live in Apex, Cary, Garner, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Johnston County, Wake County, Wake Forest or the surrounding areas, give Barefoot and Associates a call.
LAWN TIP: DO NOT water at night or late evening! Leaving the lawn damp at night will encourage fungal growth.
It is common practice among lawn experts to shred their leaves and use them as a mulch. That is because many of these benefits cannot be said of whole leaves. So, what additional benefit comes from shredding the leaves before using them as mulch?
Why Shred Leaves? Actually, there are many reasons shredded leaves make much better mulch than full leaves. For one, full leaves block in so much air and water that it can suffocate the lawn’s growth. The excess moisture cannot evaporate and fungi form. There is also a possibility of matting as they bunch together. Whole leaves do not disintegrate as quickly, either, so they cannot improve lawn fertility as readily.
For best results, gather your leaves and find a way to shred them as finely as possible. There are leaf mulching machines that are specifically designed for the job, but others use their lawn mowers and leaf blowers. Overall, finely shredded leaves are a perfect mulch for around flower beds and trees because of the low cost, convenience, and effectiveness they provide.
North Carolina is in a transitional zone between northern areas that use more cool-season grasses and southern areas that rely more on warm-season grasses. This means property owners use a wide variety of turfgrasses with different recommended lengths. Each of these grass types does have a “healthiest” length for cutting, however. Cutting below that length can be damaging to the lawn, exposing it to heat and disease. After finding the recommended length for your particular species of grass, it is best to err on the longer side of that number when you mow. During hotter months this is especially true. In cooler months it is not as harmful to cut in the lower end of the recommended length.
Grasses that are kept shorter (between ¼ inch and an inch) include bent grass and bermuda grass. The middle range (one to two inches) include zoysia, centipede, and St. Augustine. Longer grasses that should stay above two inches include tall fescue, buffalo grass, and bahia grass.
If you’re unsure what grass makes the most sense for your lawn, or how to best care for it, give us a call.
North Carolina is a quickly growing state. You likely have many new neighbors moving in, and, as the saying goes, “Good fences make good neighbors.” With that in mind, we will discuss 10 great ideas for how you can landscape your property lines. For many of these ideas, you should make sure to discuss them with your neighbors so the border between your properties is satisfactory to both of you. Boundary disputes with neighbors are always best to avoid.
Wooden fencing – The white picket fence is a classic look, but there are many other wooden fencing options, as well.
Chain-link fencing – This is not as aesthetically pleasing, but it is still a very popular option due to its price and strength.
Stone wall – Stone is perhaps the oldest building material. It has a timeless quality of style and permanence. Stone walls can be a bit pricy, but they’re well worth it.
Vegetable garden – Many people are getting back into vegetable gardening. It’s a fun hobby, and raised beds are a great way to line your property line.
Flower garden – Having a well-maintained flower garden along your property boundary is not something your neighbor is likely to complain about. They are beautiful, classy, colorful, and fun to care for.
A path or driveway – Long driveways make good property markers, especially out in the country. A stone or brick path can also run the length of a property line.
Structures – A shed can be a good marker of the precise corner of a property. It will create a line of sight in both directions where the edge can be easily seen. Gazebos and pergolas are other structures that may work, depending on the context.
Hedges – A tall hedge is an excellent way to create a natural barrier between properties. They take some upkeep and trimming, but are sturdy and there are many varieties of shrub or bush that can be used.
Ornamental grasses – Similarly, certain tall grasses create a natural look. These are not as sturdy as a hedge, but they provide a unique and elegant look.
Tree line – Trees are not usually as efficient in forming a wall, like a hedge might be, but they are often used to show the property boundary. Having a line of identical trees evenly spaced is an impressive statement.
If you’d like to give your property lines a new look, contact us today and we can find the right option for you!
Grass, and most other plants, thrive in sunlight. They use it to get a lot of their energy, so if they are not placed in a well-sunned area, they may suffer. If grass has an average of four to six hours of sunlight a day, that is enough to survive. What if you have an area of your property that cannot provide that, though? Fortunately, there are other options for Triangle-area property owners.
One possibility is simply to plant a more tolerant strand of grass in that part of the property. Grasses that are known for being able to do a bit better in the shade include:
As it turns out, turfgrass is not the only possible ground cover. Certain other plants can be used as ground cover and are much more tolerant of not receiving direct sunlight. Ajuga, pachysandra, golden star, and sweet woodruff are all good options, among many others.
Vegetables like green peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers that grow from a blossom do not do well in the shade. Root vegetables do a little better, but still do not thrive. Leafy greens, though, like spinach and salad greens, actually prefer growing in more shaded areas. Consider planting a vegetable garden in the shade using these plants.
Consult Barefoot and Associates
When in doubt, consult the experts, though. Flowers, vegetables, alternative ground cover, and shade-tolerant grasses are only some of the possibilities – we can find the best option to fit your needs. If you live in Apex, Cary, Garner, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Johnston County, Wake County, Wake Forest or the surrounding areas, give Barefoot and Associates to discuss your options for growing plants in a shady area.
Crabgrass is a nemesis of lawn lovers everywhere, including here in the Raleigh area. It’s scientific name, Digitaria is a warm, seasonal plant that grows annually that many people consider a weed. The reason behind the name “Crabgrass” comes from its characteristic of sharing a common and shallow root system that appears to be spread out like a crab across the lawn.
How does Crabgrass emerge? When the weather warms, the soil in the earth gradually warms as well. This is when crabgrass starts to grow. Once the temperature of the atmosphere reaches around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, Crabgrass seeds left by plants prior begin to grow; the seeds that never germinated the year before now begin to do so. These germinating plants quickly grow and emerge onto the exterior surface. Crabgrass plants create thousands of seeds every year to be left in the ground to produce more Crabgrass the following year. However, come fall, Crabgrass stops producing seeds and the cold weather kills off the rest of that year’s plants.
How to eliminate Crabgrass from your lawn The best way to eliminate Crabgrass is to focus on preventing it from emerging at all. Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied to kill the soon-to-germinate Crabgrass seeds before they ever have a chance to sprout. In addition, it is best to maintain a healthy, full lawn as a defense to Crabgrass.
For example, if you water your lawn less frequently and more deeply, the shallow root system of the Crabgrass will not be able to use this resource. Though, your turfgrass will. Another method of Crabgrass prevention is to mow your lawn a little longer than normal so that the Crabgrass does not receive the direct sunlight it needs in order to produce more plants the following year.
Barefoot and Associates can eliminate your Crabgrass invasion In reality, winning the war against Crabgrass is a difficult task. The timing for laying down pre-emergent herbicide, for example, has to be very precise. You can do this by taking soil temperatures, followed by applying the herbicide at just the right moment. Barefoot and Associates have the Crabgrass prevention process down to a science. Call us at 919-934-3554 if you’re in Apex, Cary, Garner, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Johnston County, Wake County, Wake Forest or the surrounding areas and are interested in our help on dealing with the aggravating problem of Crabgrass, once and for all.