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Your Lawn Needs a Spring Cleanup: Here's Why

Your Lawn Needs a Spring Cleanup: Here's Why

Spring cleanups provide a host of important services that give your lawn and landscaping a fresh start for the growing season. Once the snow begins to melt, your grass, trees, and plants will come out of winter dormancy and attempt to flourish again.

Without proper maintenance, your lawn may not return to its glory during the season.


Spring Cleanups Typically Include Bed Maintenance, Leaf Removal, Mulch, and Weed Control to Refresh Your Lawn

A lawn in Troutdale after a spring cleanup.

Spring cleanups typically include bed maintenance, leaf removal, mulch, and weed control to refresh your lawn.

Here are just a few tasks included in our spring cleanups:

  • Bed maintenance - Landscape beds will be cleared of debris, leaves, and weeds. Beds will be reshaped and mulch will be laid.
  • Leaf removal - Accumulation of leaves is bad news for lawns and beds. Leaves can choke plants and prevent proper photosynthesis from occurring. Leaf removal clears the landscape of fallen leaves to allow plants and grass to breathe.
  • Mulch - During spring cleanups, fresh mulch will be laid at the proper depth. Mulch provides critical help with water absorption, erosion control, and weed prevention. Mulch also looks great and fills in gaps where grass won’t grow.
  • Weed control - Our crews will hand weed landscape beds during spring cleanups and apply pre-emergent products to prevent weeds from sprouting.

Spring Cleanups Kickstart Your Lawn With Mowing, String Trimming, Blowing, and Edging

Often times,...

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Why Lawn Aeration Is Critical

Why Lawn Aeration Is Critical

Lawn aeration is a service that ultimately results in fuller, healthier grass and plants. Also called lawn restoration, the process revitalizes soil health, encourages healthy growth, and allows water and nutrients to reach roots. This aeration service is important before laying sod or overseeding to ensure the soil is ready for new healthy root systems to be established.

In our part of Oregon, changes in temperature, rainfall, and snow can cause the soil to become compacted, which make it difficult for grass and plants to remain healthy. Over time, soil breaks down and can also lose its vitality. As a result, we recommend this service be done annually in order to maintain ideal growing conditions and to help prevent thatching that blocks light and air from getting to your grass.


Aeration Revitalizes Soil Health

Part of an aerated lawn in Troutdale, OR.

Lawn aerator machines have mechanical spines that poke holes through the soil in even intervals. The process is often called “core aeration.” The result is reduced compaction and a network of holes or channels that allow water, light, and air to reach deep into the soil.

With fertilization and proper watering, the soil will begin to regain its health and helpful microbes begin to reproduce. These microbes can help to fight off unhealthy bacteria, fungus, and mold that can plague your grass. Overall, the soil will be revitalized and brought back to life, leading to stronger, fuller grass and plants.


Lawn Restoration Brings Grass...

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Mulch Madness: Why Your Landscaping Needs Mulch

Mulch Madness: Why Your Landscaping Needs Mulch

As we settle into the spring season in Happy Valley, Troutdale, Gresham, Oregon, and other surrounding areas, it’s time to start thinking about the ways we can work toward making our yards healthy and looking great. Aside from regular lawn mowing and maintenance, there are other tasks that need to be performed.

One of these tasks is to add mulch to your landscaping. Sometimes, this step can get overlooked when planning out a landscape, as it tends to be one of the last steps after creating the beds and planting all of the trees and plants you’ve chosen. However, this is a step that should not be forgotten.

If you already have mulch laid down, then spring is the time to refresh it. Hardwood mulches should be refreshed once a year, while river rock should be refreshed every two years. Keeping your mulch refreshed allows you to reap the maximum benefits from it! Mulch installation is important to the health of your landscaping beds for a few reasons. 


Mulch Installation Prevents Soil Erosion

When we get heavy rains, soil washes away, which can hurt the nutrient balance in your landscaping beds. If you have your lawn treated with fertilizer, then this also washes away the investment you’ve made in the health of your landscape plants.

In the Portland, OR area, we receive about 43 inches of rain a year, which is about 4 inches higher than the national average, according to BestPlaces.net.

By installing groundcovers...

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Are Fertilizers & Herbicides Safe for Kids & Pets?

Are Fertilizers & Herbicides Safe for Kids & Pets?

In order to keep a healthy lawn, it’s key to apply four fertilizer treatments a year. Specially formulated slow-release treatments give your lawn nutrients it needs to grow. While maintaining your lawn, you also need to make sure weed control is a priority by using pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides.

With these fertilizer and herbicide applications comes chemicals and many homeowners have concerns about whether those chemicals are safe for their children and/or pets.

The simple answer? After a time, yes. Immediately after application, however, is a different story. The potential dangers below are easily mitigated by following instructions on the product label or by consulting with a professional crew like J&C Lawn Care to get your lawn treated. 


How Safe Is Fertilizer for Pets?

Homeowners in Happy Valley have some concern for how safe fertilizer is for their pets.

For each season in the region of Happy Valley, Troutdale, and Gresham, OR, your yard should be safely treated with fertilizer. Some homeowners opt to use organic fertilizer, while others choose to use types that contain herbicides. Many contain labels that say to keep pets off the grass for 72 hours, but each fertilizer’s safety varies by type:

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, & Potassium Fertilizers

Most fertilizers contain at least one of these elements. Some contain all three, and each one is beneficial to your lawn in different ways. For example, nitrogen helps a plant in its middle stages of growth, giving the plant more leaves and...

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How to Tell If Your Lawn Is Dead or Just in Its Dormant State

How to Tell If Your Lawn Is Dead or Just in Its Dormant State

Summer in Happy Valley, OR can have detrimental effects on a lawn that can last well into fall and winter, making homeowners wonder if their spring lawn is going to come back at all. Generally, when there is a lack of rain in the summertime it can lead to brown spots from the heat or drought stress on the grass. What does this mean for telling whether your lawn is dead or dormant?

Once your grass has had a chance to receive some rainfall or you have watered it, check your lawn down to the soil level.

Dormant lawns will be brown in the leaves, but the crowns and stalk will be green, and the roots will be a healthy off-white color. Dead lawns will be brown and brittle from the leaves to the roots. This distinct difference can help you determine the next course of action for your lawn. 


What to Do If Your Lawn Is Dead

Laying new grass seed or sod for your dead lawn is the only thing you can do to bring it back. A local landscaping company such as J&C Lawn Care can help you determine the best course of action, depending on your lawn size and amount of dead grass.

Generally, lawns that are more than 50% dead should have new sod laid and lawns with small bare patches can be overseeded in the fall. 


When to Do Aeration & Seeding, & Assessing Why Your Happy Valley, OR Lawn Turned Brown

Take time to schedule aeration and seeding services in the fall, when your lawn should be at its healthiest and is able to...

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When to Stop Watering Your Lawn in Northern Oregon

When to Stop Watering Your Lawn in Northern Oregon

When the autumn weather sets in and temperatures start to drop in areas if Northern Oregon, like Happy Valley, you may be inclined to stop watering your lawn abruptly. It is an easy misunderstanding to believe watering your lawn is just a summer task. During the summer, consistent water helps you maintain a lush, green, and healthy lawn in the hotter months of the year.


Why You Should Change Your Approach to Watering Your Lawn in the Fall

Once cooler weather starts to set in and the leaves start to fall, your approach to watering your lawn has to adjust to make accommodations for these changes. In regions with four distinct seasons, the fall is a critical period of growth for cool season grasses. The temperature drop, shorter days, and slower grass growth allow the lawn optimal daylight hours to soak in sunlight and moisture without the heat of the summer.

Keeping your lawn hydrated during this time is necessary for the roots to get their essential nutrients, before going into winter dormancy.


How the Cold Temperatures Affect the Ground & Root System of Your Lawn

Did you know that winter creates drought-like conditions for your lawn? The cold temperatures that freeze the ground also freeze your lawn's root system. This deprives your roots and lawn of the hydration it craves to maintain its health. Watering up until the freeze will help your roots get as much hydration as possible to last through the winter.


Guidelines for Proper Watering in ...

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Why You Need to Install Mulch During the Winter in Portland, OR

Why You Need to Install Mulch During the Winter in Portland, OR

Spring landscape mulching is a common activity throughout the country for landscaping beds. Mulching during this time adds beautification to your landscape beds, while also providing the added benefits of weed control, moisture retention, and temperature control.

Mulching is one of the most beneficial landscaping practices that both protects and enhances your property. In areas such as Portland, OR winter mulching is necessary for protection against the winter freeze-thaw pattern that occurs.


What happens to the ground in Portland, OR in the winter and how does mulching help?

In the northern regions, winters can be extremely harsh, with fluctuating temperatures that cause the ground to freeze, thaw, and then freeze again repeatedly throughout the cold season. This cycle can damage the roots of your plants.

Mulching keeps the ground frozen by blocking out the sunlight and helps keep temperatures below ground consistent. This prevents your plants from growing during a warm spell that may happen during the winter. Mulching also helps keep moisture underground, so consistent watering until the first frost is imperative to help the roots of your plants stay hydrated throughout the winter.


The Best & Most Common Materials for Winter Mulching

There are a number of materials available for your winter mulching needs in Portland, OR. It is important to remember that aesthetics are not important in the dead of winter--you are simply looking to mulch for...

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Pre-Emergent Weed Control is More Effective in the Fall vs. the Spring

Pre-Emergent Weed Control is More Effective in the Fall vs. the Spring

The fall season is the best time to get your lawn in its best form for the following spring. The temperature and weather conditions in autumn are perfect for restoring your lawn back to its full potential, including 100% grass cover, soil restoration, and making your lawn more wear tolerant.

The three most important tasks you can do for your lawn include:

  1. Late Season Fertilization
  2. Aerating
  3. Weed Control

Getting a handle on your weed control during the fall can make a huge difference in the kind of lawn you get in the spring. Pre-emergent weed control can have a tremendous impact if used to treat your lawn earlier rather than wait for winter to be over.

Weed control will be most successful in the fall if you follow a regimented lawn care program that includes proper fertilization, mowing, irrigation, pest control, and weed control.


Common Winter Annual Weeds

Did you know there are winter annual weeds that germinate in late summer through early fall and then grow throughout the winter months into early spring? These weeds, if not treated right away, will have a negative impact on your spring lawn.

Some of the most common types of winter annual weeds are

  • Henbit
  • Chickweed
  • Corn Speedwell
  • Lawn Burrweed
  • Dandelion, however, this weed is also a spring/summer annual

Treating your winter annuals in fall vs. spring allows the pre-emergent herbicides to kill the weeds before they set seed in the spring when daytime temperatures begin...

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Portland, OR Homeowners Need These 4 Lawn Care Services in Late Fall

Portland, OR Homeowners Need These 4 Lawn Care Services in Late Fall

How much you put into your fall lawn care services will set the bar for the kind of lawn and landscaping your property will have in the spring. When it comes to caring for your property in fall, there is a checklist for homeowners in Happy Valley, OR. These four major late fall lawn care services are imperative to the health and maintenance of your property.


1. Remove leaves and debris from your property.

One of the most important aspects of fall turf care is removing leaves and debris from your lawn and landscaping. A few scattered leaves may be okay to leave, but layers of leaves, or other debris, will create a breeding ground of disease, insects, mold, and fungus.

Additionally, leaves suffocate the plants and grass on your property. They block the natural process of photosynthesis, which is vital for the survival of plant life. Using a service, such as J&C Lawn Care, will ensure the leaves are properly gathered and disposed of.


2. Trim the small trees, bushes, shrubs, and hedges of your landscaping beds.

Now is the time to get your landscaping beds in good shape! During the late fall, trimming dead limbs off your small trees, bushes, shrubs, and hedges is essential to protecting your plants from damage. It also allows the trunk time to heal over the winter.

Cutting back perennials is also important. It helps the plant store more energy in the roots and allows your plants to grow strong in the springtime. When J&C Lawn Care provides your lawn care...

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Fall Leaf Removal - The Benefits for Your Lawn Throughout Winter & Into Spring

Fall Leaf Removal - The Benefits for Your Lawn Throughout Winter & Into Spring

Autumn is a beautiful time for colors and one of the greatest assets to your yard is having large, beautiful trees to watch the changing of the leaves. However, once those leaves change color, they inevitably fall to the ground, which causes a covering of leaves on your lawn.

  • Leaves have a tendency to smother the lawn by creating a layer that blocks sunlight and nutrients from reaching the grass and the root system.
  • A build-up of leaves on the ground promotes the growth of various lawn diseases such as snow mold and brown patch.
  • Leaves remaining on the lawn can invite unwanted pests that will consume the roots of your grass.

Removing the leaves from your yard before your turfgrass reaches its dormancy period allows it time to soak up extra nutrients before the winter. Without these nutrients to help rejuvenate your cool season grasses, you could be looking at a damaged turf come springtime!

If leaves are covering more than 10-20% of your lawn, there is a greater risk of damage to your grass from disease or lack of nutrients.


Methods of Leaf Removal

Hire a professional landscaping company like J&C Lawn Care to come and remove all the leaves from your property. We use rakes and blowers to remove leaves by collecting them on a giant tarp and hauling them away.

Another option for yards that do not have a leaf covering that is too thick, is to use a lawn mower or a mulching mower to break them up over the ground. Breaking the leaves up into tiny pieces ...

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