30 Jan 2018
Barefoot Associates - Lawn Drainage

Lawn Drainage: The Triangle’s Topography & Hilly Homes

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.

17 Aug 2016

Time To Start Fall Overseeding Of Fescue

lawn care image barefoot and associates
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 info@barefootandassociates.com

20 Oct 2015
Using leaves as mulch

The Benefits of Using Leaves as Mulch

Why Leaves?

Using leaves as mulch on Raleigh lawns makes sense on so many levels:

  • It is completely free if the leaves come from your own lawn
  • You don’t have to worry about transporting anything to or from your lawn
  • Leaves have important trace minerals that the tree pulled from your soil and can be recycled back in
  • They decompose quickly and don’t grow fungus as readily
  • Leaves prevent evaporation, keeping better soil moisture

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.

Those in Apex, Cary, Garner, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Johnston County, Wake County, Wake Forest or the surrounding areas, can rely on Barefoot and Associates as local experts in mulching and fertilization.

20 Oct 2015
Ask the Expert: The Perfect Length for a Lawn

Ask the Expert: The Perfect Length for a Lawn

Barefoot and Associates is a local expert for those in Apex, Cary, Garner, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Johnston County, Wake County, Wake Forest or the surrounding areas, who are seeking answers on all lawn care questions. Every week we are asked a wide variety of questions from customers and others in the area. We are confident that if you have a question, we will be able to answer it to your satisfaction.

One of our most common questions: 

What is the proper length to mow one’s lawn?

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.

28 Nov 2011

Matt, Smithfield NC

Back in December, I started writing you an email … and then got distracted and it fell by the wayside. In general, I was going to ask you if you had been by the house lately, because … WOW! I have to tell you, man, it is hard to imagine the yard could possibly have looked any better. I mean, the yard looked awesome even in the heart of the summer, even though I know the heat was stressing it out. And I know that the cooler season is better for it, but still – she’s looking good, man.

So, I just wanted to say thanks, really, to you and your entire team. I am 100% satisfied with the service your team provided last year. Even as the hard freezes we have had finally start to take their toll on the yard, it still is the best in the neighborhood. I gotta tell you – I probably get 2 or 3 “inquiries” a year from people wanting to take care of the yard … last guy asked who took care of my yard, I told him, and he asked “you happy with them?” … I instantly replied “hell, yes … have you SEEN my yard?? Why wouldn’t I be??”Thought you would enjoy that. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks. One day I will bite the bullet and get rid of that crappy Bermuda, and then it will all be good! – Matt, Smithfield NC

07 Oct 2010

FESCUE OVERSEEDING

We are currently working very hard to catch up from last week where all the heavy rains kept us from working. We are seeing new seedling germination in bare spots where wasn’t before the rains. We will be coming back by in the next week or two to touch up any spots slow to germinate and fill in. We are doing a great job of detaching and removing allot of dead turf and thatch of which we are vacuum mowing to remove debris. Our process is more elaborate than most companies in the fact we do dethatch, vacuum mow, aerate and apply lime and starter fertilizer along within seeding. We also use penn-mulch, a type of hydro-seeding product that is clean and you don’t get the weed seed from wheat straw which most companies use. Penn-mulch is expensive though costing nearly $20/bag. If you have any questions regarding our service, please call the office at 919-934-3554