Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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, May 26, 2017

Safe lawn care practices for the health of your children in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Idaho.

Whether we like it or not, at some point, your lawn will be invaded by some sort of weed or pest.  In most cases, these issues can be controlled by the use of pesticides and weed killers.  There are many over-the-counter products available but with these products also comes safety and health concerns, especially if they are applied incorrectly.

One of the concerns many people have, and rightfully so, is the effect of pesticide use on their children.  Children often play outside on the lawn and are more prone to putting their hands in their mouths.  Because children are smaller than adults and are still developing their brain, liver, and immune systems, they are at increased risk of the effects of pesticides. 

At Organic Solutions! Inc., we understand these concerns and that is why we use the safest products available and have certified spray technicians who have been educated on the best ways to protect the natural environment, themselves, their clients, and their client's family – especially their children – against harmful chemicals.

We encourage you to make sure that you make sure that any lawn care company that you hire is properly licensed to handle and apply pesticides and weed killers safely.  If you would like to find an experienced certified lawn care company begin by asking your neighbors, friends, and co-workers for the names of companies they have used and trust.  Do research on companies in your area that have programs tailored to your specific needs and that use organic products when possible.   You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they are a reliable company without complaints.

With a little education and research you can find the right professionals to keep the pests away and give your kids a safe place to play.  

You can find more great information on our Facebook page and on our website:

If you would like to contact us regarding our products and our lawn care programs, please call, 208-884-8986, or email,

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Aphid infestation information and treatment in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Idaho.

If you begin to notice that your plants or trees have little holes like something took a bite out of them or that the leaves are beginning to yellow and have an ugly black sticky substance on them?  It could mean that you have Aphids.  On careful inspection, you might even see a dense group of these little insects feeding on the leaves or stems of your plants.
Aphids are small, soft bodied insects that come in various colors – black yellow, red, green, brown, or pink.  They are pear shaped with long legs and antennae.  Typically they are wingless, but some species have developed wings in order to travel to find food sources. Aphids reproduce many times throughout the year and often without the need for a mate.  In warm weather aphids can develop from a newborn into a reproducing adult within a week. 
Aphids suck the sap and plant juice out of leaves and stems which causes curling and discoloration.  Because the aphids can’t fully digest all the sugars they excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which is a food source for ants.  The honeydew can cause a black sooty mold to grow which discolors your plants and makes them look dirty.
Aphids have natural predators such as lady bugs but in the case of large populations it may be necessary to have the trees or plants treated.  At Organic Solutions! Inc., we have the expertise to know how to treat aphid outbreaks as well as timing specific treatments that can prevent future outbreaks.

If you have problems with aphids and would like us to help you determine a course of action, give us a call, 208-884-8986, or email us,
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Friday, May 19, 2017

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.

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.  And keep checking our blog for more great information on caring for your lawn.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tips for Mowing your lawn in Boise, Eagle, Nampa, and Meridian, Idaho

Proper mowing techniques are critical to the success or failure of your lawn.  A correctly mowed lawn will be healthier which means it will tolerate drought conditions better and thick enough to crowd out weeds.  An incorrectly mowed grass will be stressed, more prone to weeds, and struggle to survive. 
Because of the importance of proper technique, we have compiled some tips to help you master the art of mowing and create the best conditions for a beautiful healthy lawn.
Before you mow:
Familiarize yourself with the operation of your particular mower.  Carefully read the operator’s manual, noting any warnings and heeding any recommendations for care and maintenance. 
Make sure that you are wearing the proper clothing including closed-toed shoes with good traction. 
Walk through the area to be mowed and remove any objects such as tools toys, and rocks that could be hazardous to mow over.
Make sure that any children in the area are supervised while you mow and never give children a “ride” on a riding mower.
Sharpen your mower blades a few times during the mowing season to get best results.  A dull blade will tear the grass rather than cut it cleanly and torn grass is more susceptible to pests and disease.
Adjust the mower height for the type of grass that you have, for example a cool season grass such as a bluegrass should be cut to 2 ½  to 3 ½ inches.  It’s also a good rule to remember is to never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length and any one time.  Repeated close mowing can damage the lawn. Avoid scalping grass – which is cutting it too short.  A sparse lawn lets in sunlight which boosts weed seedling growth and increases the likelihood of a weed infestation.  Also repeatedly cutting the lawn short leads to a poorly developed root system which makes your lawn more vulnerable to heat and drought conditions. 
Mowing tips:
Make sure the grass is dry and try to avoid mowing the in the heat of the day or too late in the evening.
Use the higher speed only for transporting the mower to the area to be mowed.  Use medium mower speeds for mowing open areas and low speeds for trimming and turning corners.
If you want straight stripes on a lawn begin by mowing a straight line down the middle and then mow on either side.  You will mow straighter if you focus ahead about 10ft. rather than looking down at the wheels.
Each run of the mower should slightly overlap the previous one.
Change the mowing pattern each time you mow, alternating the pattern will help your grass grow upright and will also help avoid ugly ruts. 
Mow in a forward motion, whether using a walker or rider mower.
Discharge clippings towards the area that has already been cut.  There are benefits to discharging the clippings rather than bagging them.  “Grasscycling” is the term for letting the clippings lie in the lawn after cutting.  The advantage to grasscycling besides saving time and money is that the grass clippings can provide up to 25% of the fertilization needs of your lawn.  Having a mulcher attachment can cut the clippings into smaller pieces that decompose more quickly.  If you do bag your clippings, consider composting them.
If your mowing blades get clogged make sure to turn off the mower before investigating.  Mower blades move at around 200 miles per hour.  Never stick your hand inside the mower to fix a clog.  Use a stick or a tool to reach inside and to remove any clogs. Anything more than a minor clog, take your mower to a trained mechanic or dealer.
Consistent mowing with the proper techniques will yield a beautiful well-manicured healthy lawn.  If you struggle to find the time and energy to maintain your lawn, consider the benefits of having an experienced lawn mowing service.  Organic Solutions! Inc., has been mowing lawns for over 17 years.  We have the right equipment and the right team to professionally mow, edge, and trim your outdoor space.

Contact us for a free estimate:
Phone:  208-884-8986
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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Cost of having a Professional looking lawn in Boise, Nampa, Eagle, Meridian, Idaho

There are many reasons to consider hiring a professional lawn company to mow your lawn weekly.  And there is no doubt that professional grade equipment results in a professional looking lawn.  Today we are going to focus on the cost of owning and maintaining the equipment necessary to achieving a professional looking lawn.

Here is a list of some of the equipment needed and a mid-range price for such equipment:

  • Professional mid-range zero turn 54” mower:  $2995.00

  • Gas powered string trimmer/bush cutter: $195.00

  • Electric 22” hedge trimmer: $45.00

  • Gas Powered refurbished 22” hedge trimmer:  $135.00

  • Broadcast Fertilizer and seed spreader:  $60.00

  • Hand held gas powered blower:  $150.00 

The list above only includes the equipment necessary to prune shrubs, mow, trim, and blow off the cuttings.  You still need the usual assortment of garden tools such as shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows and various hand tools.  This could easily add up to another $1000.00.

Once you add up the cost of all the equipment you then need to figure in the cost of maintaining that equipment (i.e. sharpening blades, oil changes, mechanical work) as well as the gas and power to run it. 

Besides the cost of owning and maintaining the equipment.  There is the cost of time and energy that it takes to care for your lawn on a consistent basis. Consider the ways you envision spending time in the yard such as playing with your kids or grandkids, cooking on the grill to share a meal with friends and family, or just relaxing in the shade with a good book.  Are you giving up the things you would enjoy doing in your yard because it takes up so much of your time to care for it.

When you consider all the costs involved, the monetary as well as the personal costs, it might be time to look into a professional lawn care company.  At Organic Solutions! Inc., we have the top grade equipment and the experienced team to give you a professionally manicured lawn week after week throughout the growing season!

Contact us for a free estimate!

Phone:  208-884-8986

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Advantages of Professional Lawn Mowing in Boise, Nampa, Eagle, Meridian, Idaho

Consistent lawn care isn’t just for the obvious benefits of curb appeal.  Consistent lawn mowing is also important for the health of your lawn.  Your lawn, like any living organism, flourishes in the right conditions and responds negatively to change or adversity.  We know that with busy schedules it is often challenging to provide the time and energy that regular consistent care requires. 

Some people with limited time are tempted to skip mowing their lawn on a weekly basis, or cutting their lawns super short to give them more time in-between mowing.  This may seem harmless, but cutting the grass too low can damage the grass as well as allow weeds to take root.  On the other hand, skipping a mowing and allowing your grass to grow tall also causes damage and you can end up with a stressed and shaggy looking lawn rather than that nice dense emerald green grass you desire.

If keeping your grass consistently mowed is an issue, you might consider having a professional lawn care company take care of the weekly mowing for you.  Some of the advantages of hiring a lawn care company include:

  • Time Savings– It can take up to 3 hours or more a week to care for the average lawn.  That is time you could spend doing something else.

  • Cost Efficient – Your time is valuable and you also don’t have to spend your time and money on all the equipment and materials needed to care for your yard.

  • Exceptional Equipment – Having the best equipment for mowing, edging, and trimming can be expensive to buy let alone maintain.  Lawn care professionals have the ability to invest in the equipment needed to do the job right.

  • Minimizing exposure to allergens – for those who struggle with allergies, mowing and caring for their grass can be difficult or even dangerous.  Having a lawn care company take care of your grass means you won’t have to deal with the itchy eyes, runny nose, or other issues caused by grass pollens.

At Organic Solutions! Inc., we have over 15 years’ experience and the knowledge to handle all the needs of your lawn, whether your property is commercial or residential, large or small. Let us take the stress and hassle out of keeping up a well maintained healthy lawn, give us a call, 208-884-8986, for a free estimate.
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lawn Games to make the most of your outdoor space in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa Idaho

Do you or your family need a break from computer screens, TV, and social media?  Want to unplug for a while?  With the days getting warmer and the nights getting shorter consider outdoor lawn games as a family friendly way to enjoy some fresh air and have some fun.  Lawn games are a great way to get the family moving and can provide many teachable moments as well as create lasting memories.  

You don’t need to have a special occasion in order to enjoy lawn games with your family.  But when hosting events such as family reunions and summer bbq’s , lawn games provide a great source of entertainment for all ages.  In fact, Lawn games are even becoming a popular trend for summer weddings.

Here is a list of some tried and true lawn games that are fun for every age:

Croquet:  This game is still a favorite among the generations.  You do need to have a croquet set which includes plastic or wooden balls, hoops (often called wickets) and a mallet.  The game involves hitting the balls through the hoops which are embedded in the lawn with the mallet. There are several variations of the game that can be played with differing scoring systems, order of shots, and layout.

Horseshoes:  This old fashioned game can be played by 2 individuals or 2 teams.  Players alternate turns tossing horseshoes at a stake (Typically two stakes set in the ground 40’ apart).  If the horseshoe goes around the stake, it is a ringer and nets three points.  If no ringers are thrown, the closest horseshoe to the stake gets one point.  The first person or team to 21 wins.

Corn Hole:  This unique games involves two people or sets of teams tossing bean bags onto a slanted board with a hole in the middle.  One point is given for every bag that lands on the board and three points for a bag in the hole.  The team with the most points is awarded the difference between their points and the other teams points.  For example if Team A gets 5 points and the other team 3, team A is awarded 2 points for that round.  The object of the game is to reach 21 points before the other team does. 

Some other great yard games include:  Badminton, Ring Toss, and Bocce Ball.

If you are looking for some fun yard games for the younger generation that doesn’t need any special equipment consider these old fashioned favorites:

Mother May I:  One child is chosen to be the “mother”, “father” or “captain”.  The other children stand at a distance in a line.  Each child takes a turn asking the mother if they may make certain movement (i.e. “Mother may I take three bunny hops?”)  If the child forgets to say, “Mother may I”, they must return to the starting line.  The “mother” either says, “Yes, you may”, or “No, you may not but you may…instead”.  The first person to reah the mother wins and becomes the mother for the next round.

Simon Says:  One child is designated “Simon” and stands in front of the rest of the group of children.  Simon issues commands for the players to follow such as, “Simon says touch your nose”.  The children must follow only commands preceded by the phrase, “Simon says.”  If Simon says, “Pat your belly”, any players who follow that direction is out of the game.  The winner is the last person still in play.

Red Light, Green Light:  One child is designated to be the “stop light” and stands at a distance from the other children, who are in a line.  When the stop light says, “Green light”, everyone moves forward.  When the stop light says “Red Light”, the children must stop immediately or return to the starting point.  The first child to reach the stop light becomes the stop light for the next round.

Some other fun games for kids include:  Red Rover, Sly Fox, Leap Frog, Duck Duck Goose, and various versions of tag.

Lawn games are a great way to get out and play on the lawn rather than just look at it.  At Organic Solutions! Inc., we understand your concern for environmentally safe lawn care.  It is our priority to give you both a beautiful lawn and a safe, friendly environment for you, your family, and your pets to play on.

If you would like an estimate on our lawn care fertilization programs, please contact us.  We can be reached by phone, 208-884-8986, or by email,

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Benefits of Installing an Automatic Sprinkler System in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa Idaho

Summer is fast approaching and with it the long hot days we typically see in the Boise, Idaho area.  Those high temperatures can be very stressful on your lawn and finding the time to water can be even more stressful for those of us with busy lifestyles. 
One of the best investments you can make is a professionally installed sprinkler system.  Not only will an automatic sprinkler system help you maintain a beautiful landscape but it is the most efficient and convenient way to ensure that your yard receives the proper amount of watering, without over-or under-watering.
Some of the benefits of an automatic sprinkler system include:
Convenience:  Set a timer and the system does the work for you.  You don’t even have to be home for your lawn to get the water it needs.
Aesthetics and safety:  A garden hose stretched across the lawn isn’t pleasing to the eye and can be a tripping hazard.
Optimal Timing:  It is recommended that you water your lawn in the early morning for maximum results as well as for the health of your lawn.  Most people would rather not have to get up early just turn on their sprinklers.
Cost Effective:  You will actually save money on your water bills because a sprinkler system waters just the right amount and with efficiency.
Environmentally Friendly:  Sprinkler systems are more efficient and typically use less water overall than manual systems, which is better for the environment.
A properly designed and professionally installed sprinkler system can not only increase the value of your property but it gives you as the homeowner more time to do the things you really want to do without having to spend the time and energy it takes to keep your lawns and gardens on a consistent and measured watering schedule.
At Organic Solutions! Inc., we can help you carefully design a sprinkler system that will provide maximum coverage to your lawn and gardens as well as benefit the environment.  Every property is unique and we will work with you to create a system that fits into your budget as well as your long term goals for your property. 

Contact us by email,, or by phone, 208-884-8986,to set up a no-obligation meeting with one of our team members to discuss the water needs of your property.
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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Preventing and Repairing lawn damage caused by dogs in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa Idaho

It’s spring time in Idaho and the grass is starting to recover from a very hard winter.  If you have some brown or dead spots in the yard and you have pets, there may be a correlation.  Dogs have a tendency to damage lawns because of the concentration of nitrogen in their waste and because of the wear caused by their traffic patterns.

Dogs have a tendency to create ruts in the lawn through their repeated traffic patterns.   They may like to run up and down the borders of the yard, especially if there are people or dogs on the other side of a fence that they can bark or chase after.  Dogs are also creatures of habit and tend to walk the same path to and from the house. The bigger your dog, the more noticeable these traffic patterns can be. 

One of the problems with trying to fix the damage caused by pet traffic patterns is that if the behavior isn’t changed, they will just eventually wear down any new grass as well.  You can try ways to change their behavior of repeatedly tracking through the same areas of the grass which may be easier said than done.  Some pet owners have made changes in their landscaping that either aids in changing their behavior such as invisible fence collars or have accommodated the dogs behavior and simply added landscaping such as planned pathways for the dog's use or hedges and fences that screen off the areas that they like to patrol.

The most common damage that dogs cause to grass is lawn burn.  Diagnosing Lawn burn is easier when the grass is green and actively growing.  You will note somewhat round brown or dead looking spots that can be a few inches to a foot or more wide depending on the dogs size and routine.  Occasionally there will be a green ring of taller grass growing around the perimeter of the dead spot because the nitrogen concentration is acting more like a fertilizer around the edges where the waste concentrations are less damaging.

It’s important to note that a stressed lawn will show more damage than a healthy lawn.  When a lawn is stressed from disease or drought the roots will absorb more of the urine and thus too much nitrogen.  

There are many ways to decrease the damage from your dogs.   You can spray water over the spot where they have eliminated their waste to water it down.  This means you have to be extra diligent in watching your dog when they are “taking care of business”.  You could encourage your pet to drink more water which would dilute the urine.  You can also do some research on pet supplements and dog food that are formulated to decrease the strength of the nitrogen output.

It is possible to train your dog to only relieve themselves in a certain section of the lawn with the understanding that you are sacrificing a little lawn for the sake of the pet you love.  Some people have even trained their pets to use a small section of gravel rather than the grass.  You could also choose to take your dog on walks so that they can relieve themselves elsewhere.  If you choose this option, please respect your neighbors’ yards and always carry a bag to collect and remove waste.

If you do have lawn burn there are some steps you can take to repair the damage.  For an instant fix try laying sod over the damaged area, making sure that the sod is the same mix of grass as the current grass.  You can also reseed your lawn but this needs to be done in the appropriate seasons depending on the grass type you have and the area you live in.  If you want more information, check out our April 21, 2017 blog post on Overseeding.  Keep in mind that any fix might be temporary if your dog continues with the same behaviors.

We know that most people will choose their pet over a perfect lawn.  But there are steps you can take to achieve a beautiful healthy lawn as well as enjoy your pets.  if you would like assistance on changing your landscape or repairing you lawn, give us a call for a free estimate, 208-884-8986.

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