How to Prepare Your Yard for Spring

When it comes to preparing your yard for spring, there are a few things you should do to ensure that healthy looking lawn will come back.  If you neglect spring lawn care, it could affect your lawn for the rest of the year.

First, the biggest task is to rake your yard.  This is to remove all the thatch that can choke out new grass.  Thatch build up that is more than ½ inch is considered excessive.  Also, raking in spring will remove all the dead grass blades that died over the winter, which will become thatch.  There may also be some spots that look like matted patches.  New grass may have a tough time penetrating these areas, but raking will take care of this as well.

Next, you will want to fertilize and apply pre-emergent herbicides.  Many experts recommend a lighter fertilizing in spring and a heavier one in fall, which benefits “cool-season grasses” better.  If you fertilized in fall, there’s a chance your lawn is still “digesting” that when spring rolls around.  Pre-emergent herbicides should go hand in hand with fertilizing.  These herbicides address weeds, such as crabgrass, before the seedlings emerge.  It’s a lot easier to prevent weeds before they start than it is to try to kill them once they’ve started taking over.

Another thing you can do to help your lawn is overseed.  Sometimes your lawn will have some bare spots, whether it be from a dog or traffic, where grass seed is needed to fill those areas.  When you overseed, you should apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer.  Five weeks after the grass germinates, apply a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer.  However, if you decide to overseed in spring, be careful.  Most pre-emergent herbicides with also prevent grass seed from growing.  And if you don’t put down a pre-emergent herbicide, the grass seed will have a tough time competing with crabgrass.  Overseeding can be done in spring but will most likely be more effective in fall.

This may seem like a lot of work to some people, but the green grass that you will enjoy for the rest of the season will be worth it.

Thinking About Starting a Vegetable Garden?

Tips and Advice to Help You Succeed

Vegetable gardens can be a wonderful place to relax, enjoy some sun, and maybe get a little exercise.  Do not be intimidated if you’ve never planted a vegetable garden before.  Vegetables are easy to grow, especially if you follow these steps for first-timers.

First, choose a location in full sun for your garden, which means six or more hours of direct sun in the summer.  Fruiting vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes need the sun’s energy to grow.  If you don’t have this much sunlight, try to grow only leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach.

Your location also needs soil that is well-drained.  If water sits in the soil for too long after rains, the roots will not be able to breath.  If grass or most weeds grow well, the soil is probably well drained.  If you’re not sure, you can dig a small hole, fill it with water, and measure with a ruler how far the water level drops.  Slower than one inch per hour is too slow.  If this is an issue, build raised beds or choose a different location.

A good tip is to start small.  Too much garden may start to feel like work.  A ten by ten-foot plot of land can raise plenty of vegetables.  You can increase the size of your garden with your experience and enthusiasm.

Fencing your garden is usually a necessity.  Besides keeping out rabbits and other hungry animals, a fence can define your garden visually.  Poultry netting is effective and inexpensive.  Bend the bottom foot of fencing to the outside of the garden to lay right on top of the ground to keep animals from burrowing under your fence.  A two- or three-foot-high fence should be adequate unless deer are a threat, in which case you will need a fence that is five or more feet high.

Your garden doesn’t have to stand alone in the landscape.  Pickets and arbors with climbing vegetables can add character and beauty to your garden.  Also, you can soften the fence line with the planting of shrubs, even tying it into your landscape.  Your garden can look great at the same time of serving its purpose.

There are also great ways to get more from your garden with limited space.  Instead of planting in rows, plant in wide, three to four feet beds.  Also, let vegetables grow up instead of on the ground.  Peas, beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes all can be trained to grow up poles, trellises, or fences.  Anther tip is to use time to your advantage, by planting vegetables that start late after the ones that finish early.

The last tip you need to follow is the maintenance.  Pay attention to watering and fertilizing.  Fertilizers can be used, but the best tip is to use organic fertilizers, such as compost.  This will give the vegetables nutrients and benefit the microbes in the soil – that chemical fertilizers can have a negative impact on.  Also, weed regularly and frequently.  Weeds compete with the nutrients that your vegetables need and are easier to kill when they are small and haven’t spread too many seeds.

For future success of your garden, clean up old plants when they are finished or at the end of the season.  Also, move plants around the garden so that they only grow in the same place every three years.

There you go.  These are some useful tips to follow if you are thinking about starting a vegetable garden.  So, grab a shovel and enjoy a beautiful vegetable garden this summer!

Source: Los Angeles Wood and Composite Decks Construction – Danny Deck Inc., CA.

Spear’s Landscape working with Michele Tafoya and KQRS

We have exciting news!

Michele Tafoya

Over the next few months, Spear’s Landscaping and Michele Tafoya, longtime NFL sideline reporter on NBC’s Sunday Night Football and co-host of the KQ Morning show on KQRS, will join forces on air and in the backyard.

Tafoya, Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, entertains fans across the nation on TV and radio. Spears Landscaping, featured four times on popular HGTV shows Landscape Smart and Curb Appeal, creates upscale, residential outdoor living spaces that leave neighbors envious.

So, you might be wondering how these two leaders, in very different industries, are coming together, right? While Michele Tafoya does her magic on the radio, creating ads for us, we will be planning, designing, and creating the outdoor living space of Michelle’s dreams.

For updates on the progress of Michele’s outdoor landscaping project, tune into the KQ Morning show, and check our Spear’s Landscaping blog.

New Landscape Project?

Why To Choose Pavers Over Concrete for a Patio

Paver Band - Eden Prairie Landscape Design

 

Many of us in the Twin Cities metro live in clay soils.  This means that the soil retains water and come spring, is more prone to heave.  Yes concrete is cheaper in the short term, but heaving means those unsightly cracks and uneven areas on your concrete patio.  Because pavers are segmented, your patio will not crack as concrete would.  Also, when installed, a geotextile fabric under the base that the pavers sit on acts as a blanket so when the soil moves, the whole patio moves with it, and then settles back as one.  This keeps your patio at one level, as opposed to “lips” that can form with concrete.

Let’s also not forget the aesthetic advantage pavers bring.  The endless number of combinations of types, colors, textures, as well as inlays or banding of pavers can create a patio that will truly be unique and fit the function and look that you desire.  And the compliments you will receive about your paver patio from Spear’s Landscape will surely bring a smile to your face.

So before you jump at the fact that concrete is cheaper from the beginning, think about the long term advantages.  If your concrete cracks and heaves, the cost to replace it will be greater than the cost of pavers would be in the first place.  Also, the longevity and aesthetic value pavers have over concrete should make pavers an essential part of any new landscape patio or walkway.

 

Time to Start Thinking About Your Landscape

Spring is here!

The warmer temperatures means people want to go outside after the cold winter.  And there’s nothing better than to spend your time outdoors in a landscape that you can truly enjoy.  Whether it’s a simple fire pit patio to elegant outdoor kitchens and living areas, your landscape can extend the comforts of your home into the outdoors.  These are places where you can relax with friends and family and enjoy throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

Give us a call today so we can help transform your yard into a beautiful place that everyone will want to be!

 

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2014 Contractor of the Year

Belgard World Class Awards

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Spear’s Landscape is proud to announce that we are Belgard’s 2014 Contractor of the Year!

Belgard is a nationwide leader in the development and supply of hardscape materials.  These materials include pavers, retaining wall block, fireplaces, brick ovens, and outdoor kitchen elements.  It is an honor to be recognized for all the hard work our team has put in throughout the years.  From the creative design and sales team to the knowledgeable foremen and installers, countless hours have been spent transforming our customers’ yards into outdoor living spaces that exceeded their dreams.  Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to the success of our company and we look forward to providing more amazing projects for our customers to enjoy with family and friends for years to come!

 

 

It’s Not Too Early To Think About Next Year’s Project

Next spring may seem far away, but it’s not too early to start planning your landscape project for next year.  Whether you are thinking about a small planting project or an extensive hardscape project with an outdoor kitchen and patios, planning ahead will ensure that your project will exceed your expectations!

There are many benefits to planning over the winter.  The first one is that we can get you on the list so that you will be one of the first projects installed in the spring – allowing you to enjoy it throughout the summer.  Another benefit is being able to lock in this year’s pricing, as prices go up year by year.  And finally, the time over winter can be spent planning every detail of your project.  Our 3D design capabilities allow you to see your project and make any changes necessary to make sure you get everything you want and more!

Give us a call today or visit our website to see some of our work!

outdoor kitchen design minneapolis

Winter Problems with Decks and Patios

Heaving Decks and Patios

This winter was especially cold, which caused the frost line to go deeper than most winters before.  Patios, decks, and other outdoor structures may have moved as a result of heaving.  This happens when moisture in the ground freezes and expands, which forces the ground to move.  If footings aren’t deep enough or there are drainage problems, your deck or patio could move and create problems.  There is help if this has happened to you.  Spear’s Landscape can fix your existing deck or patio so that it won’t happen again.  Grading or installing drains may also be installed to keep water away from where it may be harmful to your landscape.  Winter is hard enough, so don’t let it impair your favorite outdoor area for the summer.  Call us today if you would like help with your patio, deck, or other outdoor structures!

 

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Spring Water Problems

With the snow starting to melt, it’s hard not to notice all the water standing around.  And if your yard isn’t properly graded and landscaped, this water can cause problems and possibly find its way into your home.  A new landscape from Spear’s can make sure your property has the proper drainage (for more information, check out Allscapes WA).  Grading can make sure that water stays away from any foundations and can channel water to run off in an efficient manner.  Rain gardens and plantings can be used to catch water as well, so that the actual run off amounts are drastically reduced.  Drains can also be installed to channel water away, while staying out of sight.  If you have water problems on your property, we can easily fix them so you won’t have to worry about water again!

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