Thursday, September 13, 2018

Treating the Turf Disease Powdery Mildew in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Idaho.



Because of the nice dry climate we have in Southern Idaho we do not have as many issues with turf diseases as other regions.  Usually when disease is a problem in a lawn it is because of improper fertilization or irrigation practices.  One of the turf diseases we do encounter occasionally is Powdery Mildew. 

Powdery Mildew mostly effects bluegrasses and fescues in areas that have received excessive shade or poor air circulation.  The mildew fungus is found on the surface of grass leaves and resembles a white powdery substance. The fungus causes the affected areas to turn yellow and cause lower leaves to die.  Typically we see this disease in the spring or fall when temperatures range in the 60’s and low 70’s. 

If Powdery Mildew is present consider first managing any sources of shade.  You may need to trim trees and bushes to minimize shade and improve air circulation.  Make sure that you implement deep and infrequent watering.  Keep a higher mowing height and fertilize to promote a healthier root system to withstand the disease.  Overseeding the area with a shade tolerant grass can also help. 

If the conditions can’t be improved it might be worth considering an alternate ground cover that is better suited to shade or you may also choose to control Powdery mildew by having a professional lawn care service apply a fungicide to the affected area. 

At Organic Solutions! Inc., we can help diagnose and treat turf diseases such as Powdery Mildew.  If you would like to meet with one of our expert team members to discuss any issues you are having with your turf and go over the options for treatment, please contact us! 

Phone: 208-884-8986



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Friday, August 31, 2018

Why late summer fertilization is critical to your grass in Boise, Nampa, Eagle, and Meridian, Idaho



August is coming to an end and the summer days are dwindling down.   If you live in the Treasure Valley this is an excellent time to fertilize your lawn.  The summer heat has been stressful for your turf leaving it vulnerable to weeds and insects.  Feeding your lawn now in the late summer has many advantages.

The first advantage for fertilizing in the late summer is that it will strengthen it to protect against weeds and insects as well as any other stresses such as foot traffic.  The second advantage to a late summer fertilization is that the cooler weather will produce new root growth and the nutrients from the fertilizer will help to feed the growth which will decrease the stress as it tries to recover and re-grow from the damage caused by the high summer temperatures

Proper fertilization and weed control will not only improve the color, growth, and health of your lawn; it will also help your lawn be in the best possible shape to survive the coming winter. 

At Organic Solutions! Inc., we have been in the lawn care business for over 18 years and are experts in the unique needs of your Treasure Valley turf.  If you would like an estimate on our lawn care programs, please contact us.  We can be reached by email, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com, or by phone, 208-884-8986.  You can also reach us through our website, www.idahoorganicsolutions.com.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August preparations you can do for a healthy lawn and landscape in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, and Nampa, Idaho


It’s August in the Treasure Valley and kids are heading back to school.  As the summer begins to wind down it’s a good time to do some lawn and landscape preparation as well.  This month is a great time to evaluate your landscape and determine what steps will be needed to have a healthy yard next year.

Here are some ideas of how you can use this month to have a healthier lawn and landscape:

Fertilize – Applying fertilizer towards the end of summer will go a long way to helping your lawn grow in the Spring.  At this time of year your lawn is lacking nitrogen as well as some other important nutrients.  Fertilizing with an organic fertilizer will supply your lawn with the nutrients it needs to continue to grow well as the weather cools down.

Prune – removing dead branches and trimming up the shrubs and small trees on your yard will not only help your landscape look clean and neat but it will also prevent dead material from accumulating on your lawn and plants.  If debris builds up, it will smother any grass or vegetation and make it hard for them to grow.

Irrigate – Even though the weather is cooling down, temperatures are still high enough that it is important to ensure that your plants and lawn are getting enough water.  Early mornings are the best time to water.

Weed – As soon as you notice a weed, pull it.  If you don’t get to them right way they will go to seed.  Weeds spread quickly and if you want to prevent your lawn or garden beds from having lots of weeds next year, it is important to take care of them now.

Overseed – If you need to sow new grass, the middle of August to mid-September is the perfect time in our region.  New grass seed can be applied to bare spots or areas that are thin or dying so that it has time to germinate and establish roots before winter sets in.  Make sure that your new grass is receiving plenty of water during this critical time.

Practice Deadheading – Removing the dead or faded flowers from annuals, roses, or perennials will help maintain their appearance as well improve their performance.  Removing the deadheads will also help them to continue to bloom through the fall.

August isn’t the time to slack off when it comes to your Idaho landscape.  The more you can do now to prepare your lawn and gardens for winter the happier you will be with your landscape in the Spring.

At Organic Solutions! Inc., we can take the hassle out of your lawn care and landscaping preparations.  If you would like an estimate on our services, please give us a call, 208-884-8986, or email us, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com.  You can also reach us through our website, www.idahoorganicsolutions.com.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

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


Mosquitoes 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 neuro-invasive and infect the brain causing seizures and paralysis and in rare cases even death.  Because of the risks it important to limit exposure to mosquitoes 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 mosquitoes 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 mosquitos

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, contact us for a free estimate, by phone, 208-884-8986, by email, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com, or through our website, www.idahoorganicsolutions.com.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

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


Due to increasing temperatures, June and July are usually the months 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.  It is recommended that you water deeply but infrequently and early morning hours are the best.

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, July 6, 2018

Tips for keeping your lawn healthy in the summer heat in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Idaho Landscape.



The heat is on is the Treasure Valley and people’s lawns are showing signs of stress.  We have provided some tips below to help you keep your lawn healthy in this hot weather.

Water – One of the mistakes we see is that people tend to either overwater or underwater their lawns.  Remember that turf grasses actually do better if managed on the dry side rather than wet.  If you overwater and your grass is constantly wet your grass roots will become deprived of oxygen and become more susceptible to disease.  Less frequent but longer periods of watering will promote deeper roots that will help your lawn weather the heat.  One of inch of water per week is recommended for healthy grass.  And remember that if you are watering, it is best to do it the morning between 6 am and 10 am to avoid as much evaporation as possible and give the lawn time to dry out before nightfall.

Mowing – It’s important to keep your blades sharp, a clean cut will heal faster than grass that is damaged by dull blades.  Remember that longer is better in the summer heat.  If you normally cut your grass to 2.5 inches, raise the height to 3 inches.  This will help the lawn stay cooler and develop stronger roots to withstand the stress of the heat.  If possible, return clippings to the lawn by using a mower that mulches rather than bags the cut grass.  The clippings will actually act as a fertilizer as they decompose. 

Fertilization/Weed Control – In the heat of summer fertilization and weed control should be limited by need because of the heat.  If your lawn has issues with insects or weeds treatment will definitely benefit it.  If your lawn has been properly treated in the spring and fall it will tolerate the heat more easily.  Season long care of you lawn that includes fertilization and weed control will produce a healthy lawn that is able to withstand the stress of extreme heat.  If you lawn is stressed from the heat and dry make sure you limit activity.  When you walk on a dry lawn you can actually damage it and it won’t spring back like a well-watered lawn.

If your lawn still doesn’t seem to be thriving in the heat even with healthy practices (watering, mowing, and fertilization/weed control) it may be time to consider overseeding.  Fall is the best time to seed your lawn and there are many seed varieties available to fit the conditions of your lawn, whether your property gets lots of sun or shade, has high traffic, or sandy soil.  Picking the right seed is important in order to meet the conditions of the lawn as well as match the existing turf.

At Organic Solutions! We have been in the business of helping people in Boise, Idaho and surrounding areas keep their lawns healthy since 2000.  If you need help with weekly mowing, sprinkler repair, or weed control/fertilization, give us a call for a free estimate on our services, 208-884-8986.

You can also reach us through our website:  www.idahoorganicsolutions.com, or by email:  organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

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.

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 lawncare fertilization programs, give us a call, 208-884-8986. 
You can also reach us by email, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com
or through our website, www.idahoorganicsolutions.com

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