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As the leader in the Green Industry, we provide exceptional landscape services to quality-focused commercial property owners and managers in the Northern Colorado community. We work together as a friendly team who values integrity and provides open, honest communication in every aspect of our work. Everything we do is done to benefit our customers, employees, vendors and the community.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Does your lawn look sick or healthy?




Really hot temps mean stress and disease problems for lawns. If your lawn looks less than lovely, here are some tips to help you diagnose potential problems.

Drought stress
Does the lawn have a bluish cast? Has it turned a straw color in some areas or throughout the lawn? If you push a screwdriver into the soil, is the soil hard, keeping the tool from going very far into the soil? "Yes" answers indicate drought stress.

What to do: If there are patches of dry grass like the one above, check out the sprinkler system for problems that impede water coverage. Drought stress due to high temps and lack of water will turn Kentucky bluegrass a blonde color. If there is no traffic on the lawn--such as kids playing soccer--the grass will recover on its own as temperatures come down.

If the lawn has traffic, increase water to bring it out of dormancy. Avoid applying fertilizers while the grass is dormant as that is too much of a shock. When the grass begins to green up, you can fertilize.

Dollar Spot
Do you look across the lawn and see rounded or oblong spots that look bleached? If so, you may have Dollar Spot. The bad news is that lawnmowers can spread the spores of this disease from one area of the yard to another. The good news is that of all the turf diseases to have, this one is the least serious.
Dollar spot usually develops when the turf is heat and drought stressed and nitrogen deficient. Regular watering and some fertilizer along with regular mowing will usually relieve the problem within a couple weeks.

Necrotic Ring Spot (NRS)
Do you see very large rings or donut-shapes about 6 to 8 inches across that are scattered throughout the lawn? The donut shape looks brown and dead while the hole inside is green.
If this is what you see, you may have NRS--a more serious fungus problem. NRS is a root problem that actually happened in May, but doesn't show up until the intense heat of July/August. Since the roots are dead, there is little you can do for the brown areas now and that is why applying a fungicide this time of year won't help.
The most effective treatment for NRS is an ongoing health program that will build strong roots that are resistant to disease. Provide adequate water without over-watering. This fall, aerate the lawn, top dress with compost and seed with perennial rye.

Melting Out
Does the lawn look very gray and does the grass look collapsed? These are signs of a less common but serious condition known as Melting Out. If you suspect your lawn has this condition, act quickly and consult with a lawn pro.
Melting out typically requires a fungicide applied right away that's followed with adequate watering and fertilizer at the right time. This is a serious turf grass problem that will take considerable care and time for recovery.

Tip of the Week reprinted courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) of which Foothills Landscape Maintenance, LLC is a member. ALCC is the only only professional organization for Colorado's landscape contracting industry statewide. Tip of the Week is copyrighted by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and may be forwarded or copied by its members provided proper credit is given to ALCC

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Flowers--where do they come from?

Judging in progress at 2010 trials.

Petunias, geranium, coleus, impatiens, begonias. They're giving us a good season of color decorating our private porches and patios and public restaurants and malls. But do you know before they all got there, where those flowers came from?

Here's a Colorado-proud moment: many of the flower varieties not only enjoyed by us--but the rest of the country--got their start in Colorado. We've got what it takes to separate the fluff from the hardy: pounding hail, harsh winds, scorching sun, dry climate.

It seems the rest of the country appreciates that if an annual can survive in Colorado and keep on bloomin', it could live darn near anywhere.

Last week green industry pros gathered at one of three Colorado plant trials, this one hosted by local grower Welby Gardens at Country Fair Garden Center in Arvada. Judges evaluated nearly 600 different annuals that were all started underneath 2 acres of greenhouse last January. Catch a glimpse of this flower extravaganza in the photo above.

At the annual CSU plant trials, judges evaluate 1,200 annuals.


Colorado State University hosts another one of the 20+ annual All-American Selection trial gardens. Last year, CSU researchers presented more than 1,200 annuals for evaluation.

The 2010 trials are now underway and open for public view on the campus. If you're delivering a student this year, head over to the east side of the campus after the stuff has been dumped at the dorm. Seeing so many flowers in one place is hard to pass up.

The progression of a flower from development to plant trials to patio takes about 10 years. To become a winner, the new plant must be better than what is already on the market in terms of fragrance, form, disease/pest hardiness and more.

The winners must be the showiest and hardiest to survive the cut. All the other blooms that sat pretty for the judges at the trials have long since gone by the wayside so that we can keep enjoying the best of the best.
And that, Virginia, is where flowers come from.


Tip of the Week reprinted courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) of which Foothills Landscape Maintenance, LLC is a member. ALCC is the only only professional organization for Colorado's landscape contracting industry statewide. Tip of the Week is copyrighted by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and may be forwarded or copied by its members provided proper credit is given to ALCC

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Get Picking! It's payback time in the Garden!



For the best flavor and texture, pick veggies in their prime.

All those hours of composting, planting, weeding and watering the veggie garden are now paying us back with tomatoes, broccoli, corn, cukes, squash, beans and more. But when do we pick this great harvest?

Timing is everything. The time to pick is when flavor and texture are in their prime--which is, after all, a compelling reason to grow your own in the first place. Vine ripened, full-flavored tomatoes picked 10 minutes before they're plopped in the salad are always better than ones from the store.
Pick right before eating/cooking if you can. But most important, pay attention to each veggie's own character that tells us when it's best for picking. Here are some tips to help you pick veggies in their prime.
Cut, don't yank. In general, clean cuts with scissors or hand pruners are best when removing veggies from plants.
Beans (Snap): Pick before the seeds bulge through the pod. They should snap easily into two. Check daily as it doesn't take long for beans to go from tender to tough.
Dried Beans: To get dried beans, leave beans on the plant until the pods turn brown. Harvest when beans rattle in the pod. Remove beans from the pod and put in the freezer 3 to 4 hours to kill any insects or larvae that might be on them. Store beans in a dry, cool container.
Broccoli: Pick and eat broccoli before the flower heads bloom, so check unopened flower buds frequently. Don't expect Colorado garden-grown broccoli to grow as large as the heads from the market as our climate generally produces smaller broccoli.
Carrots: Because carrots are underground, it's obviously harder to tell when to harvest. The tops may show at soil level depending on the variety and that will give a hint of the size. If tops don't show, dig up a carrot with a lot of foliage to check crop development. Mature carrots can be harvested right away or they can be left in the ground to harvest later.
Corn: About 3 weeks after silks form, they will turn dry and brown. Pull back the husk a bit to see if the kernels are filled all the way to the tip of the plant. If they are nice and tender when you take a thumbnail to them, they should squirt milk letting you know it's time to pick.
Cucumber: Because they grow quickly in the August heat, cukes need to be checked daily and harvested young. When to pick will vary by variety, but fruits should be firm. Over-ripe cucumbers can be very bitter or pithy, even before they start to turn yellow.
Squash: Pick all varieties when young and check the plants often. Skins should be tender enough to poke a fingernail through. Use scissors or pruners to harvest.
Tomatoes: Harvest them when fully colored all the way to the top of the fruit and slightly soft to the touch. Gently twist and pull tomatoes from the vine.
Herbs: Cut herbs and use some while they are fresh and let the rest dry for use later. Cutting the plant back will allow it to bush up again.
Late season reminders:
Keep the garden mulched. August brings hot, dry weather, so keep mulching the garden with straw, wood mulch or grass clippings to retain soil moisture. Also keep mulch away from seedlings and the base of plants.
Plant in September. Even if you didn't plant a garden earlier, you can still get the soil ready to plant a cool season crop with lettuce, carrots, onions, garlic and spices like saffron crocus.

Tip of the Week reprinted courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) of which Foothills Landscape Maintenance, LLC is a member. ALCC is the only only professional organization for Colorado's landscape contracting industry statewide. Tip of the Week is copyrighted by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and may be forwarded or copied by its members provided proper credit is given to ALCC

Friday, August 6, 2010

Keep planting, it's only August!



We may be on the down side of the growing season, but now is a great time to add plants that give long lasting value to your landscape.

There are a few good reasons why August is a good time to stay active in the landscape. Some perennials aren't even available from the nurseries until late summer. If you want those plants, you have to wait until about now to buy them.


Garden centers and nurseries will also start end-of-season sales during the next few weeks. Those bargains can bring even more value for your landscape dollar.

Around early August is also when we start thinking about autumn being around the corner and the need to show fall color in the yard. And the most compelling reason of all to stay involved in the landscape is that the more we plant this season, the more plants we'll have to enjoy this time next year. Factor in that perennials are planted once and enjoyed for years to come and you have landscape value you can't afford to pass up.

The showy pink plant above is one you may be seeing in landscapes right about now. Disco Belle Hibiscus is one of the plants that blooms mid-season-about the time we're over the petunias and missing the Columbine and ready for a fresh face in the garden.

Tip of the Week reprinted courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) of which Foothills Landscape Maintenance, LLC is a member. ALCC is the only only professional organization for Colorado's landscape contracting industry statewide. Tip of the Week is copyrighted by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and may be forwarded or copied by its members provided proper credit is given to ALCC