Thursday, September 12, 2019

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


Summer is winding down in the Treasure Valley and it 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 and protect against weeds and insects as well as any other stressors 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 17 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.  
Phone:  208-884-8986
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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Keeping weeds out of your gravel in Boise, Nampa, Eagle, and Meridian, Idaho


Having a gravel sidewalk, pathway, or driveway can add a lot of rustic charm to your home and is definitely more economical than other hardscape options such as pavers, asphalt, or concrete.  Gravel is not only more budget friendly but is also more environmentally friendly than many hardscape options because it allows for drainage.  But the one drawback that gravel has is that it can also become overgrown with weeds.

To avoid weeds in gravel there are a few steps you can take before you put gravel in.  It’s a good idea to turn the soil and check for and remove any weeds or plant life that is visible.  You can then put down some protective mulch or a fabric weed barrier before you lay the gravel.  A weed suppressant material is generally very effective in stopping weeds from growing but over time, especially with heavy use, the fabric can become damaged and small punctures form, allowing weeds to come through.  Airborne weeds can also grow on top of the fabric. 

Another option before laying your gravel is to “brine” the pathway with salt or a mixture of salt and vinegar.  The only downside to this organic method of weed control is that it can negatively impact grass and gardens nearby.  There are also preemergent herbicides that can stop weeds from germinating.

The thicker the gravel the less likely weeds will be able to break their way through.  It is recommended that you use a 3 to 5 inch layer of gravel to prevent weed growth.  Make sure that your gravel areas stay dry and that you are not allowing irrigation water to run on the gravel.  Water will facilitate weed growth.

If your gravel area is already in place and weeds are starting to become a problem there are some options.  If the area is relatively small you can pull the weeds by hand.  If you have a weed barrier in place, you may need to use a special tool such as a corkscrew or long bladed trowel to pull long rooted weeds out with minimal damage to the barrier.  Raking your gravel regularly can also help remove surface weeds.

As a full service lawn care and landscaping company, Organic Solutions, Inc., can help you prevent weeds before installing gravel or we can help you tackle the problem grass and weeds that are encroaching on your existing gravel pathways or driveways.  To speak to a professional about your particular concerns and to receive a free estimate, contact us today! 

Phone:  208-884-8986



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Thursday, August 8, 2019

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 will soon be 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 contact us through our website, www.idahoorganicsolutions.com.

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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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