Happy New Year! – 2014 is officially here and we wish you and your families a very healthy and happy New Year. As always, we look forward to providing our clients with outstanding lawn and landscaping services this year…and beyond!
Think Spring? – You may have noticed that the New Year has brought some ice and a lot of cold air to Maryland and the DC metro area. Although lawns and gardening usually aren’t the first things that come to mind during the winter months, this season offers an ideal time for homeowners in Maryland to think about their landscapes and thumb through gardening books and seed catalogs for inspiration. So, curl up on a cold and snowy day with a warm beverage and peruse the latest gardening catalogs. Thinking and planning ahead can make your dreams for your lawn, landscape and garden easier to fulfill once spring arrives.
Oh, Deer! –
If you’re like most people in the Washington, DC and Metro areas, from Bethesda to Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown, you’re seeing record numbers of white tail deer. With cold and snowy weather, there’s less food in natural areas for all of these deer to feed on and you can bet they’ll view your (and your neighbor’s) landscapes as a promising buffet.
Heavy browsing from deer can substantially harm and disfigure many landscape plants and if deer browsing is a problem in your yard, consider putting up deer fencing, deer netting or using repellents to minimize damage. Click here to for help in considering deer repellents.
AS A REMINDER:
Snow and Ice – Although snow and ice can look pretty from inside our warm homes in Maryland, they can also cause catastrophic damage to our landscapes. Here are some simple rules for protecting your lawn and landscaping:
1) Do not try to shake ice or snow off of your plants, gently brushing snow from plants can help, but being too aggressive can snap and break brittle branches. It is often better to let plants recover naturally as the snow and ice melt.
Tying up sensitive shrubs such as boxwood prior to snow and ice events can help to protect them from being crushed by wet, heavy snow.
2) Be very careful when using ice melting products around your landscape. Some products are safer than others, but all must be used with caution and the use labels must be read and understood prior use.
Avoid using ice melting products that contain fertilizers such as Nitrogen or Phosphorus because those products are inferior for melting ice and they cause runoff pollution into the Chesapeake Bay. For that reason, the use of fertilizers to melt ice is prohibited by Maryland State Law.
The best and safest products for melting ice around your landscape are:
Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)
Magnesium Chloride (MgCl)
Calcium Chloride (CaCl)
Potassium Chloride (KCl)
Avoid Sodium Chloride if at all possible (NaCl), basically table salt. Although it is the cheapest product, it will damage your lawn, perennials, shrubs and trees, as well as concrete and steel.
Always read and follow directions for using these products!