Welcome to the Customer Resource Center
Our Customer Resource Center is here to provide you with additional information you may need to know. As always, if you have any questions, please give us a call. We are always here to help.
What To Expect This Spring:
Spring has finally sprung! Lawns, shrubs and insects all over Florida are collectively rejoicing in happiness. For it’s that time of year again when rain and sunshine are plentiful and temperatures are perfect for growing and reproducing. Lawns, shrubs, trees and plants of all sorts will soon start to sprout new growth and grace us with their beautiful greenery, sweet floral scents and colorful blooms. Insects, awoken from their winter hibernation, will also partake in these seasonal celebrations and begin to seek out new and adventurous locations for food and safe shelter.
This is a very busy time of year for homeowners as well. In order to assist your lawn and plants with their spring time transitions, you will need to follow certain guidelines that will ensure the success of your landscape. These spring time tasks such as watering adequately, laying new sod if needed, pruning back any plants, mowing at a certain height to ensure proper grass rooting, treating the inside of the home to prevent pests, checking for proper irrigation coverage and even being on the lookout for any termite swarms can seem quite daunting! But it’s o.k. We’re here to help you. We have provided an easy to follow list below of things every homeowner should know and consider as spring time moves in. And as always, if you need help, just give us a call and one of our knowledgeable and friendly service consultants or technicians will be on their way to save the day! Remember, we’re only a phone call away if you need us.
Something to remember is that proper mowing is one of the key elements in a healthy turf. Photosynthesis is hindered every time your lawn is mowed. Through photosynthesis, leaves feed the root system by converting sunlight into an energy source. This means that the more leaf blade or the taller your lawn, the healthier the root system will be.
Here are some key tips for mowing properly and keeping your lawn green and healthy:
- Mowing a lawn too short weakens the root system and allows weeds togerminate much easier. By keeping your lawn tall and thick, roots will be choked out.
- Grass should never be mowed more than 1/3 of its leaf surface. In other words, if you are mowing at 3 ½” of height, you should mow once it reaches 4 ½”.
- St. Augustine should be mowed at 3 ½”.
- Seville St. Augustine and Zoysia should be mowed at 2 ½”.
- A simple test is to use your index finger. After mowing, touch the soil with the tip of your finger and the leaf blades should be at least to your knuckle. The more leaf blade that remains after mowing, the greener your lawn will appear to the human eye.
- A thick, vigorous, growing lawn should be mowed once a week.
- Sharp blades are important for a green lawn. A sharp blade will cut smooth and heal much faster. A dull blade will chop at the leaf, resulting in a brown tip.
Lawn Treatment, Plant Pruning and Resodding:
Since spring is the start of the growing season for grass and many plants, now would be a great time (other than Fall) to think about resodding any areas that have been damaged or are not growing. Temperatures are still cool enough to lay new sod yet warm enough to promote new growth. St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Bermuda grass are all types of lawns that will fare well during this season. Early spring is the start of the growing season for heat-loving turf grass species, including zoysia grass, Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass. Now is also a great time to have your lawns treated with a spring fertilizer that will push hibernating lawns out of dormancy and help with nourishment. By treating your lawn now and taking the proper precautions for its health, your lawn will flourish all spring and throughout the summer.
- Inspect your lawn for any bare spots. These spots may need to be re-sodded. Be sure to plant the correct type of grass in those areas. If the bare spot is in a shaded area be sure to plant shade tolerant grass such as St. Augustine Seville. If the bare spots are in a sunny area, lay sod that is drought tolerant such as Bahia or Floratam.
- Remove all the dead grass, dead leaves, branches, twigs and other debris leftover from the previous growing season and the winter in between. This process is called “dethatching.”
- Now is a great time to prune all shrubs. Be sure to take off any dead branches, leaves and stems. It’s ok to cut aggressively as the plant will fill back in quickly. Pruning your shrubs promotes new growth.
- Lawns and shrubs are coming out of hibernation. A good fertilization will be needed to push them out of winter dormancy. If you do not know how or what type of products to use, it would be wise to call a professional to treat both the lawn and shrubbery. As over fertilizing can burn the lawn and plants and in some cases, cause irreversible damage.
- Having a pre-emergent herbicide applied to your lawn will also control weed growth throughout the season.
The first step to achieving a green healthy lawn is having a properly functioning irrigation system. It is important that your entire lawn receives adequate water with even coverage throughout. It only takes 3 days of your lawn in drought to see damage for 3 months so response time is crucial. Irrigation systems can be complex and it may be nearly impossible to detect to the untrained eye whether or not your lawn is getting even coverage. This is why we offer a FREE 7 point irrigation analysis. Our service consultants and technicians are trained to detect any imperfections with your system and will be able to fix any issues. We have listed steps below to assist you in checking that your irrigation system is running smoothly.
Here are some tips to ensure that your lawn is being watered properly is working properly:
- Check each zone on your Irrigation System to be sure that all heads are working properly and that there is head to head coverage.
- Check for proper rotation and adjustments of sprinkler heads.
- Check and clean filters on poorly performing / clogged sprinklers.
- Reprogram your timer to run for two times a week. Be sure to check your neighborhoods watering guidelines before doing this. If you are part of an HOA they will also have this information.
- Be sure to check that your rain sensor is functioning properly. This is required by Florida Statute 373.62 and will save water by forcing your irrigation system to shut off or not come on when it is raining or has rained.
- Each zone in your lawn should be receiving ¾” of water each time. You can check this by placing an empty tuna can in each zone during the duration of the watering time. The can should be filled with water once watering has stopped.
Warmer spring temperatures cause an influx of insects to emerge. Some insects such as ladybugs and mosquitos, have been in hibernation while others, such as roaches, bees and some ants dug themselves deeper into soil and tiny niches to keep themselves warm during the winter season. Spring is the time when homeowners will start to see increasing insect activity outdoors and in. Now would be a great time to have a professional come out and treat the inside of your home as well as your lawn to prevent any infestations from happening or damage in the lawn. We have provided an informative list below of things to be on the lookout for.
CHINCH BUGS - Lawn pests such as sod web worms, chinch bugs, ants of all sorts and caterpillars will start to emerge. Be on the lookout for patches of grass that look like they were mowed over. These low patches of grass are commonly caused by chinch bugs. If left untreated chinch bugs can totally destroy a once healthy lawn.
ANTS – Ant populations, such as ghost ants, pyramid ants, acrobat ants, pharaoh ants and especially red ants, will be on the rise. Watch out for ant piles being constructed in your lawn and cracks of driveways. Some ant bites can be extremely painful and cumbersome. If you notice any mounds in your lawn or driveway please call a professional to treat the mounds immediately.
ACROBAT ANTS - Prune back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching your home. Acrobat ants, which are tiny and black, are known to use branches and shrubs as highways to crossover. Acrobat ants can find their way into your home through tiny crevices and cracks, doorjambs and even skylights. They usually travel in groups and you may notice a trail of ants in your home, usually heading towards a food source. Acrobat ants like moisture which is why you may notice them more often in your kitchens and bathrooms or in areas where a leak has occurred.
PAMLETTO BUGS - Palmetto bugs are back! Palmetto bugs, also known as the American Cockroach, are large, flying roaches that normally live outdoors under mulch beds and in plants, such as the palmetto. They prefer moist and damp areas. However, they will come inside your home to seek out water and food. It’s important to keep sinks clear of dishes and put any pet food away at night to prevent these bugs from coming inside of your home. If you are seeing an influx of these palmetto bugs inside or around the outside of your home it may be necessary to have your home and the outside perimeter of your home as well as shrub beds, treated for the insect.
FLEAS AND TICKS - Later in the spring season, fleas and ticks will start to emerge and can become an extreme problem for homeowners with pets. Once on a pet, fleas and ticks can travel inside your home and cause a complete infestation which can be hard to treat. It’s important to have a professional treat your lawn now to prevent for any flea and tick infestations in your lawn.
BEES AND WASPS - As the flowers begin to bloom, bees and wasps will also become more prominent. Look out for mud dauber nests above doorways and in the eaves of your home. Do not irritate any nests found on your property. Please call a professional to come and knock down any nests and perform any necessary treatment to prevent any future bees or wasps from nesting.
Last but not least….TERMITES! Warmer temperatures cause termite activity to flourish. If you notice any swarms of termites, inside or outside of the home, you must call a professional as soon as possible as swarms are signs of termite infestation. Termite damage can completely destroy a home and cause thousands of dollars of destruction. Call a professional to have a termite inspection and to prevent your home from becoming a victim of termite destruction.
Spring time is the favorite season of many residents here in Florida. With perfect temperatures, warm breezes and sunny days it’s no wonder that many of us anticipate the arrival of spring all year long. Heron is here to help keep your home pest free and your lawn beautiful and without issues. Call us to schedule a free inspection or to ask any further questions that you may have. We’re always happy to help.
Look in our Additional Resources http://www.heronpest.com/customer-tips/additional-resources/ to see descriptions of some key issues you may be experiencing this season.