Tips for Spring!

Spring is the air!  After an unusually mild winter (8th warmest since records have been kept), weather forecasters predict that the Twin Cities will enjoy a very early spring.  If you love to garden and landscape yourself, here are a few tips to get ready for spring:

1.  Clean-up and prepare for spring:  Pick up all of the dead branches, leaves and debris that may have fallen onto the lawn during the late fall or winter.  Be sure to check the garden beds.  Make note of any areas which may require additional attention.    Dethatching the lawn may also be necessary.  

2.  According to the University of Minnesota Extension, early spring is the time to cut back ornamental grasses.  Although many ornamental grasses add beauty during the winter months, much of their appeal has faded, as winter snows and cold temperatures as grass stems are down.  Warm season grasses become completely dormant during the winter.  Experts suggest that gardeners gather these grasses in bunches (and tie them to make them more manageable, as low to the ground as possible and cut them as low as possible.  Doing so allows the grass buds (which are at the root-shoot junction of the plant), which are often buried or partially buried in the soil, to emerge.  Because warm weather grasses are slow to grow and green up, cutting them back in the next few weeks will be fine.

Cold weather grasses, however, will start to grow as soon as the weather warms.   Make these your first priority, as once they are cut back, the growing can begin!

According to the U of M, you can't cut "too low."  You can use your mower, a hedge trimmer or hand pruners toget the job done.   The "rule of thumb" for ornamental grasses is:  "If it's brown, cut it down."  

3.  Plant and feed:  If you are planning on planting new grass or installing sod in the spring, *do not* apply any pre-emergent agent in the early spring treatment.   If you plan on waiting until the fall, a crabgrass barrier pre-emergent plus fertilizer is recommended.  

4.  Test your soil:  Different plants need different nutrients.  Pick up a couple of soil test kits from your gardening center (or Home Depot, Lowes or your hardware store), and test the soil to determine what deficiencies the soil may have.  

5.  Sharpen you mower blades and set them high.  After mowing, cool-season grasses should be 2 1/2 - 4 inches high, while warm season grasses can be cut around 1 inch.  

If you are not a seasoned gardener or have little time (or interest) to dedicate to your lawn, now is also the time to have a landscaping company come to your home to look over your property to see if a qualified landscaper can bring beauty and value to your yard and garden at a reasonable cost.  

All estimates should be free, and a knowledgeable person (not just a salesperson) should come (in person) to your home to discuss your needs and your vision for your outdoor living space.  

Please give Green Lakes Landscaping, Inc. a call at (952) 460-0509.  We bring a lifetime of experience, a passion for beauty and an unparalleled work-ethic to every job.   We are a newly incorporated business (with more than 30 years experience), fully insured and provide workman's comp. coverage to our employees.    We pride ourselves in providing personalized service and premium results.  

Our services include:

- Spring and Fall Clean ups
- Lawn Maintenance
- Dethatching and aeration
- Seeding, Reseeding and Sod
- Lawn and Garden Fertilization
- Weed Control
- Plant, Shrub, Hedge Planting and Replanting
- Pruning
- Seasonal Color
- Outdoor Living Spaces
- French Drains
- Borders, Raised Beds and Planters
- Commercial Landscaping
- New Construction Landscaping
- Realtor "ready for market" preparation
- Special Event Preparation

Please call us at (952) 460-0509 to schedule your free, onsite, estimate.  
We look forward to becoming your landscaping company.  

We look forward to hearing from you!

Eileen Piper, CFO

Copy of The Value of Landscaping

There's a familiar expression that "your home is your castle."   Landscaping is the first thing that you see each and every time you approach your home and its also the first thing that neighbors and visitors see.   If you are considering selling your home, the landscaping is also the buyer's first introduction to your home.  Creating a yard that is visually pleasing and inviting is another way of saying:  "We warmly welcome you!"  

Whether your home is a large one with land stretching out in every direction (and ornate gardens, elaborate patios and mature trees), or a small home with modest and manageable yard, the truth is that your landscaping can be a big part of enjoying your home.  When a beautiful and healthy combination of flowers, bushes and trees are properly placed and then paired with manageable upkeep or an excellent maintenance company, a homeowner should expect that the landscaping will beautify, customize and allow the yard and garden to reflect taste, values and lifestyle.  

Hiring professionals to do some or all the "heavy lifting" is yet another way to enjoy your castle and its landscaping!   Life is busy and demanding; some people love doing the planning and hard work it takes to create and maintain a beautiful, customized yard.  For those who have other priorities, the answer is a highly qualified and experienced landscaper who brings specialized knowledge of native plants, expertise in care and feeding, proper fertilization (time(s), amounts and techniques), and a solid understanding of managing weeds and pests in the yard.   

An excellent landscaper with ample experience in installing and maintaining more complex landscaping designs can work with your existing landscaping to remove old or unhealthy plants and move those that could themselves benefit from a "change of scenery"  or enhance beauty in a new way when placed in a different part of the yard.  Of course, expect your landscaper to work with you on your priorities.  Rome was not built in a day; enhancing your home's landscaping may be a process that stretches over time.  

For larger projects or major changes to your landscape you may wish to work with a professional landscape designer.  Designers have different styles, so finding one that meshes with your style and personality is essential to working together toward the common goal of creating beautiful outdoor living spaces.  Some designers work independently, meeting with clients to review the landscape as a whole,  discussing the budget and the priorities before designing and drafting a "master plan" that can be installed by the landscaping company of your choice, with (or without) oversight by the designer.  

Other designers are employed by an "end to end" design firm; they perform all of the same functions except with the expectation that the plan will be implemented (i.e., all components purchased through and installed) by the design firm company.   In this situation, the designer may be compensated in part by sales commissions or year-end sales bonuses - the more they sell to you, the more money they earn on a project.  Hiring an independent designer helps you avoid that inherent conflict of interest.  

Whether you choose to do the work yourself, hire a landscaper, an independent landscape designer or an all-inclusive landscape design and installation firm,  in the long run, great landscaping can substantially increase home value, especially over time.  Improving design, condition and plant placement also has the immediate result of helping you enjoy the home that you are in; when you enjoy your lawn, garden and landscaping, coming home each day and spending time outside with family and friends during the beautiful days of spring, summer and fall is a real pleasure.