Friday, July 12, 2019

Debunking 5 Common Lawn Care Myths in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Idaho.


At Organic Solutions! Inc., our goal is not only to provide great service, but also to educate.  We want to empower people with the knowledge they need to practice good, environmentally sound methods of lawn care.  Often that means that we need to dispel some common myths that are persistently circulated. Today we thought we would debunk the following 5 lawn care myths:

Myth 1:  Mow Seeds back into your Lawn to reseed
Many think that if they let their turfgrass develop seed heads and then mow them off that they will germinate and grow.  The reality is that seed heads need to mature for several months on the stem of the grass in order to germinate.  It doesn’t hurt to mow the seed heads into the grass but they will not grow and thicken your existing turf.  It is much healthier for your lawn to mow consistently and occasionally add the appropriate grass seed (overseed).

Myth 2:  Leaving grass clippings on your lawn increases thatch
It was once widely believed that grass clippings left on the lawn contributed to thatch.  But studies have shown that thatch is primarily composed of stolons, stems, roots, and rhizomes.  Grass clippings are mostly water and decompose rapidly, returning nutrients to your lawn. Leaving the grass clippings on the lawn can actually increase the effectiveness of applied fertilizers as well.

Myth 3:  Wear spiked shoes to aerate your lawn
Despite infomercial claims regarding special spiked shoes that aerate while you walk or claims that wearing your golf shoe spikes while mowing will reduce compaction there is no truth in these claims.  Research shows that little impact would be made through this method and aeration is actually rarely needed if proper organic fertilization is occurring.

Myth 4:  Cut your grass short to reduce mowing
You may save a few days between mowing if you cut your grass short but you may be doing more damage than good.  When grass is cut too short it allows the sun to reach through to weed seeds and cause them to germinate and grow.  Also, shorter grass tends to have a shallow root system which makes it more susceptible to drought.  In general you should never cut off more than a third of the grass height per mow and your grass should be between 2 ½ inches to 3 ½ inches tall.

Myth 5:  Water daily for a healthy lawn
More turf is damaged due to overwatering than underwatering.  Infrequent, thorough, deep watering is better than daily or frequent short watering cycles.  When you water too frequently the grass does not develop the deep roots it needs to be healthy and will be more susceptible to drought, weeds, and disease.  For more information on proper watering see our website: www.idahoorganicsolutions.com

At Organic Solutions! Inc., it is our goal to educate as well as provide the best possible service.  If you would like an estimate on our lawn mowing and lawn care fertilization programs, give us a call, 208-884-8986, or email, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com.  And keep checking our blog for more great information on caring for your lawn.

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Tips on preventing mosquitoes in your in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Idaho Landscape.


Mosquitos aren’t just a nuisance they can be carriers of some very serious diseases.  In Idaho we have had several confirmed cases of people being infected with the West Nile Virus.  West Nile can cause serious illness in people of any age but those over the age of 50 or who have underlying medical conditions are especially at risk.  West Nile symptoms can be very serious and painful and last for days to months.  West Nile can also be neuroinvasive and infect the brain causing seizures and paralysis and in rare cases even death.  Because of the risks it important to limit exposure to mosquitos and do all that you can to keep your property from being a mosquito breeding ground.

If you are planning to be outside when and where mosquitos are active (generally they are most active between dusk and dawn) make sure to wear repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus which are all EPA-approved repellents.  It is also recommended that you wear clothing that covers up your skin and to cover baby strollers with mosquito netting.

To prevent mosquitoes from ruining an evening get together on the patio, you can place a simple box fan nearby to blow mosquitoes away from you and your guests.  They are unable to fly against strong wind currents.  To prevent mosquitoes from coming inside, make sure that you have screens on your windows and doors and repair when torn.

The best thing that you can do to prevent mosquito bites is to do all that you can to prevent mosquitoes from hatching on your property.  Mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in standing water, especially water that has collected dead leaves, grass clippings, or any organic material. They will not lay eggs in water if it is too clean.  The amount of water that they will lay their eggs in can be as small as a bottle cap.  With this in mind here are some common objects and places that produce mosquitoes:

Rain Gutters – when rain gutters are clogged with leaves they can hold standing water as well.

Swimming pools – swimming pools of all sizes need to be kept clean and covered when not in use.  Pool covers can also be breeding sites for mosquitoes, so make sure they are fastened tight.

Tires – if you are storing tires, put them in the shed or garage so that they don’t fill with water.  Any tire swings should have a hold drilled in the bottom to allow water to escape. 

Garbage Cans – like tires, keep them inside or drill a hole in the bottom.

Flower Pots – Even small drain dishes on a flower pot can hold enough water to produce hundreds of mosquitoes

Tarps – Always keep tarps tight on boats, RV’s, or other items so that they don’t have depressions that can fill with water.

Boats - If you boat isn’t covered, turn it upside down so that it won’t collect water or remove the plug in the bottom of the boat so that it can drain.

Vegetation – Overgrown vegetation can also contribute to mosquito breeding.  Yards with well-trimmed lawns and vegetation have fewer places for mosquitoes to hide and breed. 

Bird Baths/Dog Bowls/Troughs – any outside water containers should be emptied frequently and filled with fresh clean water.

Irrigation – Do not over-irrigate your lawn and landscape not only can it lead to tremendous hatch offs of mosquitoes it can also contribute to other fungal and plant diseases.

As the weather warms up the mosquitoes will reproduce more rapidly.  If you suspect that there are potential mosquito production areas on or near your property call your local mosquito abatement district for recommendations. 

At Organic Solutions! Inc., we want you and your family to have a safe and happy summer.  We can help you have a well-manicured and healthy landscape.  If you need help with lawn mowing, trimming, pruning, or weeding, give us a call for a free estimate, 208-884-8986.



Thursday, June 20, 2019

Common Causes of Brown Spots and Patches in your Lawn in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Idaho.


June is usually the month where people start to notice that they have brown, bare, or dead patches in their lawn.  Diagnosing the cause of such spots can sometimes be elusive but we have assembled the following most common causes of lawn damage and demise:

Billbug - In Idaho one of the most common but misdiagnosed issues that people have with their lawn is the damage done by billbugs and their larvae.  The problem is that the damage that billbugs cause isn’t seen until mid to late summer and people often associate the patchy brown spots in their lawn with disease or summer dryness rather than the work of this very resilient creature.

Irrigation Issues – Most frequently browning of the lawn is caused by inadequate watering.  If only a certain section of lawn is turning brown it may be that you need to repair or adjust your sprinklers.  Overwatering can also cause brown patches in the lawn.  Proper irrigation practices are very important for the health of your lawn.  Our website has important information on how to determine how much water your lawn needs.

Pet Damage – Lawn burn is caused by the urine of pets, typically dogs.  Dog urine has a lot of nitrogen in it.  Concentrated nitrogen will typically leave a round brown or dead looking spot in the lawn.  To combat lawn burn you can water down the areas after the dog urinates to dilute or you can train your dog to do their “business” in a less visible part of your yard.  You can also do some research on pet supplements and dog food that are formulated to decrease the strength of the nitrogen output.

Overfertilizing – Too much fertilizer can cause lawn burn so care is needed to avoid over spraying.  If you have spilled fertilizer on your lawn, water immediately to dilute.  Fertilization applications require knowledge of when and how much to apply in order to achieve the best results and not do more harm than good.

Improper Mowing – Lawn scalping can occur when you mow your grass too short.  Mowing with a dull blade can injure your lawn by tearing the grass rather than cutting it cleanly. And if you allow your grass to grow too long through inconsistent mowing the crowns of the lawn grow to a higher level and then when you do mow you damage the crowns which can cause that area of the grass to die off. 

Fungal Disease – Fungi typically create round patches of brown grass that continue to grow or multiply with new spots forming.  A good fungicide treatment is required to rid your lawn of this problem.

These are just a few of the common issues associated with dead, patchy, or discolored grass.  At Organic Solutions! Inc., we can provide the solutions you need for your lawns problems.  If you would like to receive an expert diagnosis and treatment plan from one of our experienced team members, please contact us!

Phone:  208-884-8986



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Friday, June 7, 2019

Giving the gift of professional lawn care in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa Idaho.



Having a healthy green lawn takes time and energy on a weekly basis from April to October.  Between the weekly mowing  and the seasonal fertilization applications, it can be a little overwhelming. There may be some people in your life who struggle to maintain their lawn either because of age, physical limitations, or because of their busy schedule.

As people age, they naturally slow down and many elderly people come to a place where caring for their lawn is no longer advisable.  This can be especially true in the heat of summer when the dangers of sunburn, dehydration and sunstroke is so high. 

It is also a possibility that one person in the household may be acting as a caregiver to their elderly or disabled spouse, parent, or other family member.  Caregivers often find themselves short on time and running on empty as they try to take care of day to day responsibilities.  Having to maintain the lawn as well can often be more than they can handle.

Often those who fall into the above categories live on limited incomes or are besieged by medical bills and cannot afford to hire a professional lawn care company to do the work for them. 

If you would like to give the gift of lawn care services to a parent, friend, or neighbor who needs it, contact us for a free estimate.  It may be the best gift they ever received.

Phone:  208-884-8986



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Thursday, May 23, 2019

The best way to water your lawn in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa Idaho.


As the weather begins to warm up in the Treasure Valley and the irrigation water is turned on, the question is asked:  How often and how long should I water my lawn?

How often a lawn needs water depends on a variety of factors such as soil type, sunlight (heat), grass type, and climate.  But on average a typical lawn needs 1 to 2 inches of water a week to stay healthy, lush, and green.  And in order to grow the deep roots necessary for a truly healthy lawn, watering deeper and less often, rather than short shallow daily watering is best.

If you water your lawn once or twice a day at short intervals your grass will develop a shallow root system.  Shallow roots dry out faster and weaken the health of your grass.  It is recommended that you only water 2-3 times a week to develop strong healthy roots.

If you are only watering a couple of times a week, you will need to determine how long each watering should be.  The best way to determine this is to measure the output on your particular water system.  One way to do this is to get a container or a can and place it in the yard and let the sprinklers run until you have ½ inch of water.  With most automatic sprinklers this should take about 30 minutes.  This means that watering 3 times a week for 30 minutes will get you to recommended 1 ½ inches of water.  Although in the hottest parts of the summer, you may need to add an additional day of watering to account for evaporation and the stress of the heat on the lawn.

Once you’ve determined how long each watering should be, next is determining what time of day you should water. Watering during the coolest part of the day will decrease evaporation as well as your overall water usage.  You can water late in the evening but early morning is the best time because if the lawn remains wet overnight it is more susceptible to molds and fungi.

Having an in ground sprinkler system with a timer is the best way to ensure that your lawn is watered consistently and you can alter the length of time for different zones depending on the conditions.  Grass that is in the shade will need less water than the lawn that is exposed to the sun all day.  But if your grass is growing in the shade of a tree, it may need more water because it is competing with the tree roots for the available moisture.

Often people will set their timer in the spring and never give it another glance.  The reality is that you need to review and adjust your timings on a monthly basis based on the climate.  For instance July and August in the Boise, Idaho area are typically very hot and your lawn will need to be watered much more than in April or May when the weather is more mild and typically there is more rainfall. 

For more detailed information on programming your sprinkler system, check out our website:  https://www.idahoorganicsolutions.com/sprinklers/

One more caution if you are programming a sprinkler system, take the time to watch where the water actually goes.  If you are seeing water on sidewalks and driveways, adjust the sprinkler heads to spray where it is needed.  Watering effectively and efficiently will help conserve water and help our environment by avoiding needless evaporation and run-off. 

Watering your grass week after week can be physically draining, and if you're like many people, you'd probably rather spend your time doing something more leisurely. A sprinkler system from Organic Solutions! Inc can help alleviate the burden of lawn maintenance, and when you work with us, you'll have plenty of options from which to choose.

Sprinkler Installation

Sprinkler Repair

Sprinkler Adjustments

Sprinkler Start-ups

Sprinkler Winterization and Blow-outs

Preserve your lawn and improve the value of your home with a sprinkler system from Organic Solutions! Inc. For more information or to request a FREE estimate, contact us today!

Phone:  208-884-8986



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Friday, May 10, 2019

Preventing and Treating Billbug damage in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa Idaho.


In Idaho one of the most common but misdiagnosed issues that people have with their lawn is the damage done by billbugs and their larvae.  The problem is that the damage that billbugs cause isn’t seen until mid to late summer and people often associate the patchy brown spots in their lawn with disease or summer dryness rather than the work of this very resilient creature.

Adult billbug beetles are one of the most difficult pests to control because of their armor-type body which makes it more difficult for insecticides to be absorbed.  They tend to winter on or near lawns that were infested the previous year.  The adult billbugs are active in the spring but most of the visible damage that occurs to the lawn happens after their larvae, known as grubs, are hatched.  Billbug grubs feed on grass roots and stems and cause extensive damage that causes dead brown patches in your lawn.
To determine if you have billbug activity in areas that appear drought stressed or patches of yellow or brown, grab the grass plants by the stem and give them a slight tug.  If there is billbug activity the grass will come up easily and you will most likely find small grains of sand-like material at the base.  This material, or frass as it is known, is the droppings from the insects. 
The earlier you can treat for billbug infestation the more damage you can prevent.  At Organic Solutions! Inc., we apply billbug control in the late spring before the grubs are able to hatch.  We also apply organic fertilizer which helps to reduce the likelihood of billbug infestation.   Keeping your lawn properly irrigated and fertilized will also help it recover from billbug grub damage.
If you would like to schedule a billbug treatment or have one of our experts come out and diagnose your lawn issues, please give us a call, 208-884-8986.
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Friday, April 12, 2019

Creating a clean edge for your lawn in Boise, Nampa, Eagle, and Meridian, Idaho


When it comes to aesthetics and design, well-defined lines create a finished look and when it comes to your landscape, edging is an important part of creating a beautifully manicured appearance.  Besides enhancing the appearance of your outdoor space, edging will help prevent grass from invading your flowerbeds.

Here are some tips for creating a crisp looking edge in your yard:


Outline your edge – This step is only necessary if you are creating a new bed.  With a garden hose or rope, mark your desired lines.  Remember that curved lines are more natural and are easier to maintain than straight lines. 

Cut your edge – Using a spade, half-moon edger or other tool designed for edging, refresh your existing edge.  For new edges, Cut straight down between the lawn and garden bed about 6”.  Then make another cut at a 45 degree angle toward the garden bed and away from the lawn until the two cuts meet.

Remove Turf – You can easily remove the loosened turf by hand.  If you have a compost pile, flip the turf chunks upside down and they will naturally die and become excellent mulch – if you place the grass right side up in the pile it could root and grow rather than decompose.

Create a trench – as you remove the turf, shaking off excess soil, you can mound the soil uphill towards the garden bed.  This trench is important for water to drain and soil to fall into as well creating a nice clean look.

Hone the Edge – for extra clean lines, use hand shears and cut any remaining grass blades along the vertical edge.  You can also do this step a couple of times during the season to keep your edges looking neat and manicured or use your trimmer each time you mow. 

Mulch the Bed – The final step is to add mulch to your edge as well as the garden beds.  Garden beds needs about 2 to 3 inches of mulch which will help keep in moisture and suppress weeds. 

Besides the traditional trench edge, you can also use decorative edging such as bricks, stones, and fencing material or more permanent edging such as metal rails, concrete curbing or mortared bricks and stones.  Finding materials that complement your existing home and landscape will enhance the overall effect and beauty of your outdoor spaces.  

At Organic Solutions! Inc., we can help you create a professional looking edge to your landscape as well as give you a healthy, dense, and green grass.  If you would like an estimate on any of our lawn care or landscaping services, give us a call, 208-884-8986, or email us, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com


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