September is my favorite weather month. It has cooler nights, deep blue skies, and a nice breeze. If it does get hot, it cools off by dinner time. The first two weeks of October extend the feeling.
The Autumnal Equinox signals transition. Snow contracts going out while it’s still warm out feels strange. We send one out to anyone who has gotten the service in the past. We have expanded our capacity this year in an effort to make the time we spend doing the routes shorter. If you aren’t on the list, we do have a few spots open, call or email the office to get on because it will fill up fast.
Maintenance is changing over to fall leaf removal procedures at the end of October and the install crews are in high gear. This is the best time of year to put plants in the ground because their physiology is helping us: they’re done growing and done flowering. All they are doing now is preparing for the winter. You can steal a whole growing season by planting in the fall. We can plant shrubs through October, trees through November and sod all the way until the ground freezes.
SITE INSPECTION REPORTS
Eric, our landscape designer, is making his way to each full service client to complete his site inspections. This report gives us the opportunity to provide you a few suggestions for where some improvements could be made. Trends Eric has noticed so far are: paver patios that need repair/resanding and bare spots in the landscape that could use some perennials to fill things in. Eric will leave you a copy of the report and then a price for the work will follow in an email.
During the fall we, in chronological order: core aerate, seed, install mums, perennials, bulbs, shrubs, trees, sod, remove leaves, finish up the hardscapes, and finally after the leaves are all down, we clean gutters.
For our Full Service Maintenance Clients:
-SPOT SEEDING has been done, you've likely seen the blue pellets (PHOTO BELOW). This service is intended to repair any damage that has been done by our mowers and small dead spots. This is a service we include as part of your full service contract and is not something most companies do for their clients. Please be sure to GENTLY water it in since we have had little rain. Be gentle, you don't want to rinse the seeds away.
-FALL LEAF REMOVAL - Tentative start date of October 22nd. WHEN FALL LEAF REMOVAL STARTS IN OCTOBER YOUR SERVICE DAY WILL CHANGE. Removing leaves from the properties is much more labor intensive and will take our crews longer to get through the routes. Not only do we mow during this visit, but we blow leaves out of the beds and off the turf as well. We do our best to get through every 10 days,however, when the major "leaf drop" happens, it can take us closer to 14 days. We get through the route 3 times, usually with the last visit happening the week after Thanksgiving.
For our Full Service Maintenance Clients & Fertilization Clients:
-Fertilization Application #4 has been applied. This application is granular that encourages root growth and will give the grass a nice green color through the fall.
A NOTE ABOUT OUR BUSINESS MODEL
We are a high-end maintenance company that does design and install work for current clients; we do not chase every large project that comes our way. While we might highlight some of our bigger install jobs, our weekly maintenance customer remains our focus. People will say ‘don’t forget about the small customer when doing the big projects’ but with our business model, the small customer IS our focus. This also means that when you do have a bigger project, we would expect to bid on it since we have an established relationship. Our maintenance is award winning but so is our design and install work. Very few companies in the area can make the same claim. And yes, the photo shows where our next award is going to be displayed.
The hot summer really did a number on the plants. The conditions were perfect for the fungus and other pathogens that attack them; Powdery Mildew (see photo below) is everywhere and the Brown Patch Fungus in the grass was horrible. Conditions have changed so you should see some improvement in the grass but the flowers and shrubs are done for the year. The problems that effected the plants are seasonal and will not have any long term effects. If the conditions are repeated next year then the issues will come back but if not, they won’t.
From the Office
Gretchen’s Office Hours: 9:00am to 2:30pm, Monday-Friday