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

Don't forget to find and follow us on Facebook!

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.

Don't forget to find and follow us on Facebook!

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

Don't forget to find and follow us on Facebook! 


Thursday, May 31, 2018

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


As the weather warms up and sprinkler systems are being 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. 

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, call us today, 208-884-8986.


Don't forget to find and follow us Facebook!

Friday, May 18, 2018

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 prevent billbug problems in your lawn give us a call to find out about our lawn care programs and let the experts take the guesswork out of diagnosing and caring for your lawn.  We can be reached by phone, 208-884-8986, or through email, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com.
Don't forget to find and follow us on Facebook!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Patience and Persistence result in a healthy and beautiful yard in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa Idaho.


Hal Borland wrote, "Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience.  Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence."

Patience and persistence are qualities that many of us struggle with in our culture today.   We have become unaccustomed to waiting in a world of fast food, express lanes, and high speed internet.  Many frustrated homeowners don’t realize that attaining that perfect emerald green lawn takes a lot more than regular mowing but a lot of patience and persistence as well.

Having a beautiful lawn requires persistent dedication as well as a whole lot of effort.  Not only is consistent mowing and trimming a must, it also take regular fertilizations and the ability to troubleshoot and treat each problem as it arises.

Often time homeowners in an effort to beautify their lawns will resort to quick release fertilizers that may contain harmful chemicals as well as can contribute to even more problems for your grass if over watered.  They may not realize that there are organic options available that are safer for the environment as well as for their family and pets. 

For homeowners who are looking for a “green” alternative, organic fertilizers, with a little patience, can actually outperform the more toxic options over the long run.  Organic fertilizer is made up of living organisms that over time will naturally aerate your lawn and prevent having to manually aerate. It also releases nutrients at a slower pace and over a longer period of time than synthetic fertilizers which improves the health and quality of the grass.

A lawn care system that incorporates organic fertilizer may take longer to see results because they work by actually building up the health of the soil.  Having healthy soil full of good nutrients will help your lawn grow stronger and denser so that it can naturally fight off weeds and diseases.  But this natural approach may take time and patience to achieve, depending on how unhealthy your lawn was to begin with.

If you would like to have a beautiful lawn that is also safe for you and those you love, consider the long term benefits of an organic lawn care system.  At Organic Solutions! Inc., we pride ourselves on eco-friendly products, friendly and consistent service, and the persistence to help you achieve the lawn of your dreams.

Contact us today for a free estimate.  We can be reached by phone, 208-884-8986, by email, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com, or through our website, www.idahoorganicsolutions.com.

Don't forget to find and follow us on Facebook!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Landscaping problem areas beneath the trees in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa, Idaho


One of the common complaints we hear in the lawn care and landscaping business in the Boise, Idaho area is the difficulty of growing grass underneath the trees.  This has a lot to do with the type of grass, the amount of shade, and the condition of the soil as well as the root system.  There are some grasses that do better than others, at Organic Solutions, Inc., we can help you find a grass that will work for your particular situation or if you are tired of trying to mow or trim underneath your tree(s), there are some alternatives to grass or bare ground that make an attractive solution.


One option is to find a groundcover to replace the grass under your tree.  You have to be careful when choosing a groundcover, making sure that it does well in the shade and soil conditions.  You also need to consider how aggressive the ground cover is and if you need to contain it in a formal garden bed. 

Using plants and/or mulch around the base of a tree can benefit the tree if done correctly and be pleasing to the eye as well.  If you decide to mulch you should not go deeper than 2-3 inches and make sure that the mulch does not actually touch the base of the tree.

Mulching or using a ground cover are easy options but maybe not as interesting as adding plants and flowers.  If you decide that you want to a focal point around the base of your tree by adding plantings, there are some things to consider.

One should always be cautious about planting around mature trees to avoid damage to the root system.  Some trees are more sensitive to root and soil disturbance than others.  For example a beech or a dogwood is less tolerant than a poplar or a crabapple.  You many need to do some research on your particular tree before you decide what to plant and how.

You may need to trim the lower branches before planting, not only to make it easier to work in that area but also to provide more sunlight, even shade tolerant plants need some sunlight. 

One of the mistakes many people make when deciding to plant a garden beneath a tree is to build up the soil and make a raised bed.  This change in soil depth can be detrimental to a tree.  It is better to disturb the soil only where you are planting. 

When considering the type of plant or flower, make sure that it won’t grow too tall or spread out too much.  It is recommended that you purchase the smallest size of the plant you are choosing so that you only need a small hole to plant it in.  This makes it easier to tuck the plants in between the roots. 

You will most likely have to sever some small roots to plant but if the root is larger than 1 ½ inches in diameter it is best to leave it and dig beside it.  To avoid damaging the trunk, plant at least 12 inches away.  You can fill the hole in with some organic matter.  After you have installed the plants, water the entire area to allow for settling.  Then you can spread mulch over the area if you would like, no more than 3 inches deep. 

Once your chosen plants are in the ground they will need some care as they will be competing with the tree for nutrients and water.  You will need to water weekly unless you have a lot of rain and you may need to spot water if the tree seems to be absorbing all the moisture.  You should avoid fertilizer the first year so that the roots of the new plantings will develop, especially if you have chosen perennials. 

Adding compost or other organic matter such as manure can help replenish the nutrients and help the soil retain moisture better.  Make sure to keep the depth of the organic matter under 3 inches.

Planting with these cautions in mind, you will soon have a shade garden that is beautiful to behold as well as beneficial to the tree.


If you would like to meet with one of our experienced team member's to talk about shade friendly turf or landscaping options for your mature trees, please contact us.  We can be reached by phone, 208-884-8986, or by email, organicsolutionsinc@outlook.com.
You can also contact us through our website:  www.idahoorganicsolutions.com.



Don't forget to find and follow us Facebook!