Leaf Mulching: How to Feed Your Lawn for Free (and Do Less Raking!)

Leaf Mulching: How to Feed Your Lawn for Free (and Do Less Raking!)

Tired of raking, bagging, and disposing of autumn leaves? There’s a way to avoid this tiresome task while giving your grass nourishment. Put away the rake, leave your leaves, and shred that colorful carpet. Follow these easy steps for leaf mulching and make a nutritious meal for your lawn at no cost.

Why Mulch?

There are many benefits to leaf mulching. Autumn leaves left on the lawn create a dense carpet that keeps sunlight, air, and nutrients from penetrating the soil. Raking them up is not only time consuming, but wasteful. Not only does leaf mulching save money on fertilizer, it feeds your turf naturally without the use of chemicals.

Leaf mulching is a quicker, easier task to perform than raking. There’s no twisting to rake, bending to bag, and figuring out where to dispose of the fallen leaves. If you have leftover shredded leaves after feeding your lawn, let them protect your landscaping over the winter. Use the leaf leftovers as mulch in the garden or around plants and trees.

The Basics of Leaf Mulching

While there are special mowers or kits on the market for leaf mulching, almost any lawn mower works. Follow these steps:

First, take the grass-catching bag off of a side-discharging lawn mower and set the mowing height at 2.5 to 3 inches. If you want to use the mulch for other areas, leave the bag on. If the leaves that litter the lawn are clumped in one area, use your rake to more evenly distribute them.

Mow the grass in strips. Shredded leaves should be about a half-inch in diameter, no bigger than your thumbnail, to decompose properly. Take another pass with the mower if you need smaller pieces. Make the second pass at right angles to the first strips.

The job is done when at least a half inch of grass shows through the layer of leaf mulch. If the layer is too thick, pass over the grass again with the mower, this time with the grass-catching bag on to collect some of the mulch.

As the leaf pieces decompose, nutrients soak into the soil. Now your yard is ready for winter. Come springtime, expect a healthier lawn!

Call Us

Want to know more about leaf mulching and other healthy lawn-care practices? Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] and let us help you with your seasonal landscaping needs.

Fall Overseeding: Steps to Revive and Refresh Your Lawn

Fall Overseeding: Steps to Revive and Refresh Your Lawn

Is your lawn looking a little lackluster? Thinning grass, dull color, and bare spots are signs that your lawn may need to be overseeded, which is the planting of new grass seed over an already existing lawn. The result is thicker, greener grass and a healthier lawn overall. And, it’s the perfect time of year for it. In fall, the cooler weather and still-warm soil create an ideal environment for seeds to germinate. Follow these steps for fall overseeding and you’ll love the lush lawn you see in spring.

Preparing for Fall Overseeding

Before you spread the seed, it’s also a good idea to repair any existing issues like soil imbalances or poor drainage. Buy a soil testing kit at the garden center or call a lawn-care specialist to test the soil and make sure the pH levels are good. Lime may need to be added to adjust the levels.

In preparation for fall overseeding, the first step is to mow the lawn very short. Next, aerate or dethatch the lawn. Both of these steps give the seeds a better chance of making contact with the soil and allow sunlight to better reach the seeds. A layer of thatch, or even grass clippings, left on the lawn keeps the seeds from reaching the soil, so make sure to remove it. Aeration also loosens up the soil so that water and nutrients reach the seedlings’ roots.

Select the right product. Choose the highest quality seed or seed blend, it’s worth the extra money. The type of seed needs to be compatible with the climate and growing conditions in your area. There are specific seed blends for sunny areas or shaded areas, too.

Overseeding Steps

There are a variety of ways to spread the seed mixture. For smaller areas, using your hands is fine. A drop spreader or rotary spreader works best for larger areas. Follow the directions carefully on the package as to what amount to use.

After spreading the seed, loosely rake over the area to ensure the seeds are in contact with the soil. Give the area a light watering, taking care not to wash the seeds away. Newly overseeded lawns need to be kept moist, so water once or twice a day for the next couple of weeks. Apply a fertilizer to give seedlings the extra nutrients needed.

Call in an Expert

Overseeding is a time-consuming task, especially if you have a big yard. But come springtime, you’ll see that the effort was worth it. Grass is a living thing that ages. If you want your lawn to look great and have a long life, give it the extra care it needs. Or call in a lawn-care expert for fall overseeding and other treatments. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone].

Stop Silverfish from Invading Your Home with These Steps

Stop Silverfish from Invading Your Home with These Steps

Silverfish slither into homes for shelter and food. Once they find plenty to eat and moist living conditions, it’s difficult to get rid of them. If you’re tired of turning on the bathroom light at night and spotting a silvery bug slither across the floor, here’s how to stop silverfish from invading.

What Are Silverfish?

Small, flat, wingless insects, silverfish are named for their quick fish-like movements. The slender bodies are about one-half inch long with bristly legs and long antenna. Many are a silvery gray color, but some are brownish or white. Often found in bathrooms, basements, and underneath sinks, these nocturnal creatures hideout in cracks and crevices during the daytime. They love moisture, and they love leaky pipes.

What Harm Do They Do?

These prehistoric looking pests don’t bite or carry disease. However, they harm your home by eating through materials. Their starchy diets consist of linens, papers, cardboard boxes, wallpaper, and dead skin cells. In the kitchen, they’ll get into flour and other carbohydrates. Silverfish also attract other insects. Spiders and centipedes prey on silverfish. If you’re home is infested, expect other unwelcome guests to show up for dinner.

Stop Silverfish with These Steps

Trap them. Roll up some newspaper and tape up the ends. Wet the middle of the roll and leave it out overnight. In the morning, throw out the roll. You’ll probably also be throwing out silverfish that ate into the moist paper and then stayed inside for shelter. Alternatively, use a glass jar with a small piece of bread to trap them. Wrap masking tape around the jar, so silverfish shimmy up into the jar, but find it too slippery on the inside to get out.

Repel them. Silverfish can’t stand the smell of cedar, cinnamon, cloves, and other spices. Sprinkle around floor boards, or put cedar shavings outside around your house’s foundation. Inside, put cedar shavings in socks or sachets and put them in closets, kitchen cabinets, or other locations pests frequent. Use essential oils like cedar, lavender, or lemon. Dilute the oil in water and spray the solution in cracks and crevices inhabited with silverfish.

Pest-proof your home by cleaning up clutter like piles of papers or cardboard boxes. This not only eliminates a food source, but also hiding places. Vacuum regularly, especially in cracks and crevices to get rid of food crumbs as well as the actual bugs, their nests, and eggs. Then, fill in cracks with caulk. Check pipes under sinks and fix any that leak creating a moist environment these pests love. Silverfish love humidity. Put a dehumidifier in damp areas like basements. Lastly, keep all food in sealed containers.

Kill them using store-bought traps or make your own using boric acid or diatomaceous earth. Sprinkling boric acid around floorboards or crevices kills silverfish and their eggs. Because the substance is slightly toxic, use a mask when applying and keep it away from children and pets. A non-toxic powder, diatomaceous earth kills many creepy crawlers, not just silverfish, but won’t harm humans. Use sparingly near children and pets, though. A chemical pesticide may be necessary for a serious infestation.

We Can Help You Stop Silverfish

Unfortunately, silverfish in your home is a tell-tale sign of moisture issues, such as leaky pipes or mold growth. At the first sign of an infestation, call in an expert. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone] and we’ll stop silverfish and other pests once and for all.