18 Sep 2019

Fall Maintenance Guarantees Healthy Spring Lawns

What’s the key to a healthy lawn in the spring when the ground thaws and landscape comes back to life? It’s continued maintenance in the fall! While many homeowners focus on the leaves during the season change, it’s important to prep your lawn for Michigan’s notorious winter. Here are some tips on getting ahead and achieving a beautiful lawn come spring-time:

  • Pull weeds: This is not exclusive to fall and important all year round, but it can lead to less weeds in the spring when growth begins again.
  • Overseed and fertilize: Seed dead or bare spots and overseed your entire lawn to get dense, plush grass that is vibrant in color. Additionally, fertilizer should be laid mid-September for cold-winter climates and mid-October for mild-winter climates.
  • Continue Cutting Your Grass: It’s important to keep it at 2 to 2.5 inches tall, as more than 3 inches will cause it to mat, and lead to winter lawn disease problems such as snow mold. If you cut shorter than 2 inches, you’ll limit the ability to make and store food for growth in the spring and encourage weed growth.
  • Rake and Remove Debris: Raking and removing your leaves in the yard may seem like common sense, but it’s important to understand the damage it can cause to your yard. Aside from a healthier lawn, built up leaves that are left to freeze and unfreeze can leave room for bacteria to grow and release forms of phosphate and nitrates.
  • Prune Plants: Cut most perennials back close to the ground.

While this won’t guarantee a lush, green lawn when winter ends, following this guide will help you achieve the best lawn on the block and save time, money, and energy come spring. Of course, you can always contact Serene Landscape Group and take part in one of our lawncare programs. We are here to help!

These tips originally appeared in “A Seasonal Guide: Fall Lawn and Landscape Care” on www.loveyourlandscape.org. You can read the full article here.

03 Jul 2019

It’s Not Too Late to Get Your Yard into Top Shape!

 

Now is the height of lawn care and landscape maintenance season. While summer is generally the peak time for upkeep in your yard and growth for plants, it’s important to get ahead of maintenance early and practice it regularly throughout the summer and into the fall.

When you skip out on spring clean up, it can leave your yard in a disastrous state, leaving zero room for new growth, allowing fungi to thrive, and making your landscape the eyesore on the street.

While skipping out on spring clean up can cause serious damage to your yard, Serene Landscape Group can reverse that damage through disaster relief. Below are the following services we provide to turn your yard with time to spare before summer ends:

  • Lawn care and fertilization: Promoting growth in your lawn after a harsh Michigan winter and continued neglect can be difficult. Serene Landscape Group is a full-service lawn care company. We not only provide quality mowing but also treatments and fertilization that are catered to each individual client’s needs.
  • Landscape maintenance: We can provide complete care for all of your landscape needs. From the cleanup of landscape beds, tree, and shrub care programs, gardening, and weeding, we can bring life back to your yard and even install some new additions.
  • Gutter and window cleaning: This is a part of your landscape and home that people tend to neglect the most. Adventure Window Cleaning, a division of Serene, is our window and gutter cleaning company. We service both commercial and residential clients throughout southeast Michigan.

Continuing that maintenance throughout the summer and into the fall will keep the necessary labor and cost minimal. Summer may almost be halfway over, but it’s not too late for our trusted professionals to get and keep your landscape in top shape. Contact us today to get started!

16 Aug 2018

How You Can Help Save the Honey Bees

Why Are Honey Bees So Important?

A decrease in the honey bee population means a decrease in the number of plants pollinated, which, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is about 75% of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts in the United States. This means that 70 of the top 100 human food crops would become scarce. Without the work that honey bees do, humans would not only lose many fresh foods but also many meat and dairy products as well. This is because without the crops that honey bees pollinate, livestock would starve. In summation, the entirety of humans’ diet relies upon the wellbeing of honey bees.

In addition to a drastic increase in food scarcity, a decrease in the population of honey bees would also lead to a large reduction in the Earth’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Honey bees are a keystone species to many habitats, such as “tropical forests, savannah woodlands, and temperate deciduous forests”. These habitats attract other insects and small animals, which in turn draw in larger animals, thus creating larger, more complex and beautiful ecosystems. Without these tiny pollinators, these habitats would collapse.

Honey Bee

What Can You Do to Help the Honey Bees?

There are many ways to help the honey bees!

  • Plant bee-friendly flowers in your lawn or garden. Examples of perennial flowers that are good for bees are: Agastache, Allium, Asters, Bee Balm, Catmint, Cone Flower, Coreopsis, Hardy Hibiscus, Joe Pye Weed, False Sunflower, Lavender, Poppy, Sedum, Tall Phlox, and Turtlehead. Examples of annual flowers include: Ageratum, Clover, Dahlias, Gaillardia, Gladiolus, Nasturtium, Pentas, Petunias, Sweet Alyssum, Salvia, Sunflower, Verbena, and Zinnia. Honey bees are also very fond of fruit, vegetables, and herbs like: Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Garlic, Pumpkins, Squashes, Peppers, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary. Flowering bushes such as Honeysuckle, Butterfly Bush, Sweet Pepperbush, and Viburnum. A simple Google search will also help you find bee-friendly plants that suit your lawn or garden!
  • Make bee-friendly choices in your lawn or garden. Here are some key tips: Avoid hybrid flowers, which may be sterile and have little or no nectar or pollen, skip the double flowers, which lack pollen, make sure you’ll have blooms for bees year round, plant flowers in patches – bees like to focus on one flower type at a time, and leave an undisturbed plot for ground-nesting bees.
  • Avoid using too much fertilizer and pesticides. Research shows that neonicotinoid pesticides linger in the nectar and pollen of flowers, where bees are most likely to come into contact with them. These treatments weaken bee immune systems and make them more susceptible to disease and infestation by pests. If you do decide to use chemicals, follow the instructions carefully on the package. People should apply chemicals early in the morning when bees and other pollinators aren’t around. Also, do not use chemicals while the plants are flowering and don’t spray them in other places where pollinators may land.
  • Create a bee bath. A fun activity that can also help save the bees is creating a bee bath. Fill a shallow bird bath or a small dish or bowl with clean water, and arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they poke out of the water. Bees will land on the stones and pebbles to drink the water as they take a break from foraging and pollinating.
  • Don’t panic if you see a swarm of honey bees on your property. Swarming is a natural process that occurs when colonies of honey bees have outgrown their hive. If you see a swarm, contact a beekeeper’s association; many bee-conscious groups will collect swarms to keep or relocate them to a safer new home. Honeybees in a swarm are very gentle and present very little danger, but can be made aggressive if disturbed or sprayed with water. Just leave them alone and wait for help to arrive.
  1. Jorgenson, P. (2015, September 25). Why Are Bees Important? 33 Reasons to Care About Saving the Bees. Retrieved from http://www.lifebasicsorganics.com/blog/why-are-bees-important  
  2. 5 Ways Bees are Important to the Environment. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.pthomeandgarden.com/5-ways-bees-are-important-to-the-environment/
  3. English Gardens. (2018). Pollinator Friendly Plants. Retrieved from https://www.englishgardens.com/pollinator-friendly-plants
  4. The Honey Bee Conservancy. (2018). How to save the bees – easy ways to help the bees today. Retrieved from https://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/how-to-save-the-bees/
  5. Help Honey Bees. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.planetbee.org/save-honeybees/
  6. Rossman, S. (2017, June 23). Honeybees are in trouble. Here’s how you can help. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/23/honeybees-trouble-heres-how-you-can-help/419062001/
13 Aug 2018

What is this White Stuff on my Plants?

Lately we have gotten quite a few calls about a white substance on a wide range of plants. This white substance is called powdery mildew and our recent weather conditions have created the perfect environment for this fungus to thrive. Powdery mildew thrives in hot and humid weather, especially if the weather conditions persist for more than 3 days in a row.
powdery mildew on plant leaf
Powdery Mildew
  • What does it look like and how do I know if I have it?

Your plant will have a white powdery substance on the top of the leaf. The leaves may also start to curl and twist in affected areas.

  • What plants commonly get powdery mildew?

This fungus is one of the most widespread and common diseases in plants. Some of the more common infected plants are Roses, Lilacs, Bee Balm, Serviceberry, Crabapples, and Burning bushes.

  • Are my plants dying?

No, this is purely aesthetic and only grows on the surface of the plant. Powdery mildew does not infect the tissue and is not killing the plant. With that being said, the plant my drop its leaves early if it fully covered.

  • How do I get rid of it?

Trim the areas of the plant that are affected by the powdery mildew and remove the debris from the area (do not compost this debris). Do not use overhead watering. Place the hose at the base of the plant instead when watering. There are also multiple chemical sprays that can be purchased at home improvement or garden centers that will help resolve the problem as well. For a more naturalistic approach, baking soda mixed in water may help solve the problem as well.

01 Jul 2018

Help Your Plants Beat the Heat this Summer!

The summer sun has come out full-force recently! High temperatures can reek havoc on your plants and yard without some additional care. Check out these tips to keep your plants healthy and happy in these high temperatures.

  • Watering- Keep soil evenly moist in order to protect your plants root systems and provide moisture. Use an irrigation system or drip hose to keep the top 4 inches of soil damp. Using drip hoses or an irrigation system can help keep your plants happy and you free from watering multiple times a day.
  • Mulch- Beyond being decorative, mulch provides many benefits for your garden bed. In the summer, a thick mulch dually protects from the sun AND helps the soil retain moisture and nutrients.
  • Weeding- Weeds compete with your plants for moisture and nutrients in soil. High temperatures also dry out soil, leaving it hard and robbing it of even more nutrients. Give your plants a leg up by removing as much of the competition you can and keep your beds weeded.

Shade delicate flowers and vegetables against direct sunlight- A shade shield could be all your garden needs to beat the sun’s concentrated summer heat. A protective shade should be 3 to 4 feet away from the plants to allow for airflow. Using PVC, you can create a flexible structure to hold your shade in place that can later be removed when the temperature cools down.