Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2012 Year of the Missing Winter + Coping with an Early Spring

Do you recall? Back on Feb. 2 groundhog General Beauregard Lee predicted and early spring. He was right on target. 
This year it seems that winter forgot to put in an appearance. Mild Fall temperatures blended into Spring and the whole season is so early that it is throwing metro-Atlanta landscapes off a little. Now is a great time to phone your Crabapple LandscapExpert Rep to discuss major league spring training of the properties you manage.  
  • There was no snowfall this year and only 3 nights in the 20s or teens 
  • Planting and transplanting trees and shrubs continued every month (October, November, December, January, February, March) 
  • Daffodil bulbs planted as late as the end of January grew great roots quickly and are already blooming
  • Now all the flowers are blooming at once and overlapping their seasons. Camellias at the same times as roses; daffodils and dahlias, flowering cherries and summer annuals all at once
  • Likewise, pines, hardwoods and flowering trees, along with pollen from grasses, are all coming into bloom at once, creating a perfect storm for pollen sufferers.
  • Weeds got an early start in turf and landscape beds (and some never died off from last fall)
  • Fungus and mold growth got a good start in the warm, rainy winter
  • Insects wintered over more easily so populations are bigger than normal
  • Winter pruning is blending into spring (crape myrtles, grasses, groundcovers)
  • Turf scalping is already in demand
  • Fertilization to strengthen new growth is early
  • Pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides are suggested for lawns and plant beds all at once
  • Additional pesticide treatments may be advisable for ornamental shrubs and trees
  • In some instances irrigation is already needed, and systems will need to be checked and turned on properly  

We are rolling up our sleeves to provide our clients with the best landscape maintenance services available. Your Crabapple LandscapExperts are here to advise you and recommend the landscape maintenance services are needed to keep the landscape looking great! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Curb Appeal: Crabapple Earns an A+ from Atlanta BBB

 Property managers and Homeowners Association Reps have a great lawncare option with Crabapple LandscapExperts serving all of metro-Atlanta. Crabapple has been in business 20 years and has earned an A+ on a scale of A+ to F from the Atlanta Better Business Bureau for our professional landscape services. Before hiring a firm to straighten out edging or prune trees, become an educated consumer by consulting with a Crabapple Rep to determine what services will best highlight the properties you manage, rendering them more attractive and boosting your curb appeal.

Choosing The Best Landscape Services 

Some lawn maintenance companies just mow the lawn, while others specialize in beautiful seasonal color beds, installation of ornamental shrubs or tree pruning. Crabapple LandscapExperts does all that and much more.

First, each property under our care is evaluated and then provided with a tailor-made plan.  
  • Crabapple offers basic packages of year-round maintenance that include turf mowing, fertilizing, trimming, edging and weed control of any variety of lawn that grows in metro-Atlanta. Our lawn care Techs can even use varied mowing patterns to draw attention to a focal point of your choice. 
  • Our Seasonal Color Team plants brilliantly colorful annuals to accent your properties. 
  • Crabapple enlists highly trained Arborists to help with your questions and who can repair, restore to health, or remove challenging trees. 
  • Irrigation is an important aspect of our maintenance, and our Irrigation Specialists keep your system in top shape, trouble free and delivering the optimum amount of water during dry periods. 
  • While lawn maintenance is a relatively simple science, outdoor pest and disease control requires more skill and certification by our LandscapExperts Team. 
  • Naturally, seasonal clean-up and mulching services are available. Crabapple recycles all green materials in our composting facility at HQ.
  • A drainage plan for your properties, erosion control and maintenance of water detention ponds, along with waterfowl disbursement is yet another aspect of Crabapple’s services.  
 Checklist for Prospective Property Managers or HOAs
Interviewing the property manager and understanding their goals, along with an evaluation of the needs of the particular lawn, trees, woody ornamentals and flowering plants on the property, helps us to know what options to suggest. A few of the questions in our evaluation of prospective properties include: 

  • Type of Turf? 
  • Factors that influence when and how often to provide mowing, mulching, fertilizing and pruning? 
  • Integrated Pest Management Services to determine whether cultural controls or a pesticide is needed 
  • Preferred types of weed control? Georgia certified pest controls are safe for children and pets.

Our LandscapExperts Team is insured, licensed and bonded to set your mind at ease, and our 20 years of award-winning performance and credentials make Crabapple the best property care option in metro-Atlanta.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What is the Best Cutting Height for Fescue Turf?

Fescue lawns are one of the most popular grass types in metro-Atlanta, due to the ease of establishment (by seed or sod) and especially due to its bright green color throughout winter when warm-season turfs are dormant and tan. Late winter and spring is often the most beautiful time of year for the well-cared for fescue lawns owned by Crabapple’s clients.  

Old-fashioned perennial bunch-type fescue grows rapidly during spring and fall, and due to its clumping style of growth, may require pre-emergent herbicide to stop weedsNewer turf-type hard fescues developed and monitored by researchers at UGA and other land grant colleges are:
  • more carpet-like, 
  • improved disease resistance, 
  • improved shade, heat and drought tolerance, 
  • handsome dark medium green color. 

This season’s green lawns set off to perfection the brilliant pansies and snapdragons now blooming in adjacent flower beds
Late winter and spring mowing by CrabappleLandscapExperts is carefully calibrated to insure that the green top growth balances the hidden roots of the grass. We use rotary mowers with sharp blades to cleanly slice through the grass leaves without tearing. We mow the properties you manage often enough so that we never stress the lawn by scalping, removing only 1/3 of the length of the grass leaf at a time. The LandscapExperts know that mowing too low can cause fescue grass to thin out. At the same time, we inspect lawns under our care, checking for changes in color, health and density.  

Because Atlanta is near the southernmost limit for fescue, this type of turf can become stressed if mowed incorrectly, so it’s good to rely on our expertise. Two to three inches of height (depending on physical and climate conditions) creates an even-textured finish and a smooth, velvety surface that sets off landscapes and architecture while hiding uneven grading. To discuss your lawn with a CrabappleLandscapExpert, phone 770-740-9739. 

Photo Credit Brian Cross and Mooseys Country Garden

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Leaves of Grass: Fertilizing Fescue Lawns

Leaves of Grass: Benefits of a Beautiful Green Lawn

A green lawn is a valuable asset to any landscape, framing the architecture and providing a restful green oasis for inhabitants. Landscape plantings, including lawn areas around homes and workplaces, have a positive impact on inhabitants. A healthy, maintained lawn area creates an inviting view for passers-by and provides a pleasing, natural backdrop for other landscape elements.

Even the uniform lawn surface provides a sense of coherence and harmony to the entire landscape scene. This peaceful setting contributes to a feeling of well being and a decrease in emotional tension

Did you know? Restful green lawn areas can reduce:
+ noise levels
+ hot summer temperatures (evapo-transpiration of moisture through the leaves)
+ Carbon dioxide (while increasing Oxygen levels)
+ air conditioning costs
+ glare and light reflection
+ particulate pollution in the air  
Of the two major categories of turf available in Georgia (warm season and cool season) Fescue grass is a cool season grass that remains green all year and looks best in the fall, winter and spring. Fescue becomes stressed during hot weather. Crabapple LandscapExperts maintain a detailed calendar to ensure that our clients with Fescue lawns receive the best possible service precisely when needed.  Best practices include an application of fertilizer in early Spring (February or March) that continues Fescue’s strong growth up to the hot days of summer. 
Crabapple LandscapExperts recommend improved turf-type Fescue varieties with finer blades and deeper, more vigorous root systems. As a rule, they are more disease and drought resistant, tolerating shade and temperature extremes better than some of the older Fescue varieties.
We carefully select fertilizer to best enhance foliar growth, creating a strong, lush, green Fescue lawn. The LandscapExperts determine the amount of fertilizer by careful soil testing. When indicated, lime is added on a late summer schedule to balance the acid/basic soil reaction and make sure the Fescue turf efficiently uses recommended fertilizer. 
Photo credits Crabapple LandscapExperts and