Landscaping Blog

7 Tips for Summer Lawn Care Maintenance

lawn care maintenance

Is your lawn looking a little run down? Looking to bring it back to life? In need of some summer lawn care maintenance tips?

You’re in the right place! Below, we’re going to provide you with 7 landscaping tips, helping to give your yard that healthy green look it so deserves. Let’s get into it!

1. Remove Weeds Promptly

Nothing impairs the look of a lawn faster than a weed. Weeds disturb lawn symmetry and generally look pretty ugly in doing so.

Unfortunately, weeds spread quickly. Allowing a single weed to exist could soon result in more weeds sprouting up around it. Soon enough, you’ll be dealing with an entire weed infestation, one that hurts the quality of your grass.

As such, as soon as you see a weed pop up in your yard, you need to pull it out. Rip out the roots and ensure that it’s removed entirely. You could also consider using a weed killer, though you need to make sure to choose one that won’t hurt your grass…and that is approved to use in your local area.

2. Aerate

Grassroots are located fairly far down below the surface of the soil. As such, oxygen can sometimes have trouble reaching them. This is an issue, as grass needs ample oxygen to thrive.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. That solution is aeration. This is the process of removing small chunks of soil; it’s performed with the use of an aerator and works to let oxygen down below the soil’s surface so that it can reach grassroots.

In addition, aeration pulls up new minerals and nutrients, allowing them to feed the grass and help it grow stronger. By aerating your lawn at the beginning of every summer, you can greatly improve the health and quality of your grass, making it as green and as visually appealing as possible.

We recommend performing this service in the Fall at the minimum and Spring and FAll for better effectiveness paired alongside our aeration service.

3. Water It in the AM

If you want your lawn to have the greenest, healthiest look possible, you need to water it regularly. And in the summertime, you should water it in the AM, specifically. In other words, you need to water it in the morning.

Why is it important that you water it in the morning? Because the sun is not at full force yet. As such, the water has a chance to make its way down into the soil without evaporating. Once in place, it can work its magic all day long.  Watering too late at night can promote lawn diseases and fungi due to the excessive moisture remaining on the lawn overnight.

If you water your grass at, say, 1 PM, much of the water will evaporate immediately and can also stress the lawn if it’s really hot out. So, while the grass would still benefit somewhat, its overall benefit would be much reduced.

We recommend watering your grass between 6 AM and 10 AM, with a little leeway on each side. Do this religiously, and your lawn is bound to look great.

*An irrigation or sprinkler system on a timer or weather-based app will due WONDERS to properly water the lawn and garden at the appropriate times of the day AND when it hasn’t been raining much in the area.

4. Sharpen Your Mower Blade

Perhaps the biggest aspect of caring for a lawn is the time to mow it regularly. It doesn’t really matter what type of lawnmower you use (it does but that could be another article). It just has to be cut evenly and often.

And that’s where our next tip comes in: sharpen your mower blade. A dull mower blade will cut through a good majority of the grass it comes across but will leave some grass uncut. This will ultimately leave the yard looking rough and untidy.  Not only do frayed grass blades appear “off” after the cut, it also leaves the turfgrass open to more lawn diseases and/or summer heat stress.

So, how do you sharpen a mower blade? You can start by using this guide. If you’re not interested in sharpening your mower blade, you’ll either need to buy a new lawnmower or hire someone to landscape your yard. If you opt for the latter solution, we can help you.

5. Have Your Soil Tested

If you want the best lawn possible, your soil must contain the right nutrients, not to mention a favorable pH balance. How do you ensure that it does? By having your soil tested.

We recommend testing your soil once a year. Testing is offered by many universities, not to mention a variety of private companies as well. So, contact one of these organizations and go through with the process.  Or call BAMS.

Once you get the results back, you’ll know what you have to do to optimize your soil. You might have to artificially add more nutrients, or you might have to counteract excess lead, or you might have to add extra fertilizer.

6. Fertilize, but carefully..

At the beginning of every summer season, we recommend adding fertilizer to your yard. Doing so will replenish the nutrients in your soil, giving your grass everything it needs to grow.

There are both organic and synthetic fertilizers available, both of which provide benefits. That said, synthetic fertilizers are generally easiest for homeowners to get their hands on.

If you’re unable to fertilize your lawn on your own, call up your local landscaping company. They’ll provide your lawn with all of the nutrients it could ever need. There are many other factors a lawn care provider would consider before a summer fertilizer application and may opt NOT to fertilize in the summer to prevent further stress to the turfgrass when temps are higher for example..

7. Set Your Lawnmower at the Correct Height

The length of your lawn should depend mainly on the type of grass as well a little on the time of the year. If your lawn is too long for a given season, it will struggle to obtain the necessary amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients. If you mow your lawn too short, you risk scalping it, causing both growth damage and, well, an ugly aesthetic.

Unless your lawn is a warm-season lawn (zoysia) your best bet is too aim for the highest push mower setting when it is hot out for most cool-season lawns in the area.  When the temps cool down, the root system begins most of it’s growth so cutting much shorther can be done during Spring/Fall, just be careful cutting to low because it exposes much of the grounds surface to sunlight allowing a weed presence to take hold if not treated on routine basis.

Need Lawn Care Maintenance in Kensington, MD?

Is your lawn looking worse for wear and tear?

Need lawn care maintenance in Kensington, MD?

If so, we here at BAM’S Landscaping are the people to see.

We’re well-versed in lawn care and maintenance and help countless clients to achieve a green and inviting lawn and/or garden.

Whatever your landscaping needs, our team can help. ALL of our TURF programs include a FULL SOIL ANALYSIS!

Contact us today to discuss your needs!

Increasing Home Value With a Professionally Serviced Lawn

increasing home value

Most people focus on bathrooms and kitchens when seeking to add value to their home, and for good reason. A kitchen renovation can yield as high as 20 percent return on investment.

But if you want to sell your home before the buyers even walk through the door, invest in your yard.

Yard renovations conservatively estimate that a lawn improvement project will yield a 150 percent return on investment. This means if you pour $1,000 into your yard, you’ll yield a $1,500 increase in your home value.

Keep reading to learn about how hiring a professional lawn care service leads to an increasing home value.

Lawn Care Services

If you really want to see your property value increase, hire a professional lawn care service. The pros know their business. They can evaluate our yard and see immediately what they need to do to bring it to its peak shape.

Lawncare services also offer services that most homeowners cannot or generally do not want to do.

Aerating

The lawn care pros aerate your lawn by running a device with spikes over your yard. These spikes will poke holes in the soil and allow moisture to penetrate it better as well as air, fertilizer, and organic material.

You could certainly attempt to aerate your lawn on your own, but the pros have the tools and the manpower to do it more efficiently.

Seeding

Many lawn care companies seed your lawn at no cost, but rather include it in a total package. The pros have the tools that will spread the seed evenly. They also understand how to treat those hard-to-grow areas so that you have grass on your entire lawn.

Fertilizer

The professionals understand what fertilizer will work best for your lawn and environment. Every community has different needs. The pros will know if they should use fast-release synthetic, slow-release organic, or slow-release synthetic fertilizer.

And like seeding, professional lawn care companies have the tools and skills to apply the fertilizer efficiently.

Checking and Maintaining Soil Acidity

Professional lawn maintenance companies understand how soil acidity affects plant growth. Perhaps you’ve had a hard time getting plants, a garden, or just grass to grow in certain areas of your lawn. If the pH is too high or too low, then you need to adjust the acid content of your yard.

A professional crew can improve your property value by fixing the soil and coercing plants to grow once again.

Weed and Pest Control

Do you know the difference between pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides? Few people do, but professional lawn maintenance companies understand what herbicides and pesticides work best.

The pros can also identify the pests that may be secretly destroying your lawn. They can tell the difference between a grub causing lawn death and a mole causing lawn death. Best of all, they know how to manage those pests effectively.

Additionally, lawn care maintenance professionals understand how to care for your lawn in specific seasons. They know when to prepare your lawn for spring and summer and how to protect it in the fall and winter. When your professional or personal life is amping up, you don’t have to worry about taking care of your yard because you have someone else doing the work.

Instead, you can focus on life, whether it’s making improvements on the inside of the house to increase its value or just making money with your own work.

Home Improvement Made Easy

You don’t have to rip out carpet or install shiplap to raise your property value. You need only spend the money on a lawn maintenance company to see your property value go up.

You also will reap the benefits of a beautiful lawn while you’re living in your current home. You can look out and see the beautiful lawn and garden. You will be tempted to see what else you can do outside to increase your value.

Tread carefully with this thought. Some yard improvements yield higher returns of investment than others. Here are small changes you can make that will automatically improve your property value:

  • Outdoor lighting: Outdoor lighting can create a beautiful impact for little investment cost. Look at solar lights that will recharge during the day and shine bright at night.
  • Trees or shrubs: The right trees and shrubs can frame your home and create a beautiful yard. Stay away from fruit trees as they require more maintenance and attract bugs.
  • Front yard plants: Buyers see your front yard first, so pay special attention to the landscaping in this area. Pick low-cost plants that require little maintenance.

Make sure you keep your yard dry as well. A yard with standing water will attract mosquitos and subsequently bats. No one wants either of those swarming in their yards.

The right yard will look beautiful, provide a perfect surface for a family, and ultimately add value to a home. You want a lawn that will improve the look and feel of your property, add a touch of relaxation appeal, and create a safe area for kids to play.

This type of yard will increase the value of your home and have buyers itching to pay more than what you’re asking.

Lawncare and Increasing Home Value

Are you thinking about selling your home? Look into hiring an excellent lawn maintenance company. They will do the work that creates curb appeal and will increase your property value. They can aerate and fertilize not to mention decrease the pest and weed count significantly.

We can help you out. Our company has been serving customers since 2004 when the founder serviced lawns in high school. Since that time, we’ve grown into the premier lawn care and landscaping provider in the Montgomery County region.

We seek to satisfy customers first and foremost by caring well for their lawn. Furthermore, we take pride in the long-term relationships we’ve built and continue to build with our customers.

Contact us for a free quote today. We’d love to take care of your yard.

7 Summer Lawn Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

lawn maintenance

Every homeowner wants a beautiful lawn. We admire the lawns of others; sometimes we wonder why theirs is so much lusher and alive than ours. The thing about lawns is they don’t and won’t become impressive and perfect on their own. They need to be maintained. That’s where you come in. If you want the most glorious lawn on the block, you’re going to have to know a bit about lawn maintenance.

You might think that you already know everything you need to know about lawn maintenance, but if your lawn doesn’t look like you want it to yet, then you may benefit from some extra guidance.

If your goal this year is to achieve the lawn of your dreams, read on. In this informative post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about maintaining your lawn this summer from beginning to end.

The Basics of Summer Lawn Care

As soon as the last snow melts, it’s time to start thinking about your lawn. Your lawn is dormant all winter while the weather is cold, but once it starts to get warmer outside, your lawn is excited to come back to life. It’s up to you to know what to do to encourage this.

Of course, established, healthy grass will grow without much help from you – but if you want a lawn that you can really be proud of, there are many things you can do to help it along.

What to Do in the Spring

In the springtime, you should take a long, hard look at your lawn. First, consider hiring a company to do a spring clean-up to help you clear and prepare it for the new year.

Even before your lawn starts to bounce back from the winter, you may be able to identify patchy areas that may need a round or two of grass seed. If the areas are bare, you can either aerate and loosen the dirt with a rake or shovel, or do that and put some new topsoil over it. Plant some seeds and cover them with some netting so the birds don’t carry them away.

Springtime is also a great time of year to fertilize your lawn (Fall is best). When you feed your lawn with fertilizer early in the season, it will help to push out the root system in the turfgrass and provide for a quicker greenup. This will help prepare it for withstanding the hot days of the summer as well.  Unless you have a warm-season grass type like Zoysia, you will want to lay off the summer fertilizations completely to prevent stressing the lawn further during the hotter months.

As temps begin to rise into the summer months move your lawnmower blades higher (3-4″ for most cool-season is a good range). You may have to mow more often than if you set them low, but by allowing your grass to grow tall, you are encouraging each blade to grow longer roots as it reaches for water below. This will keep your grass stronger and thicker all year.

Also, rather than collecting your grass clippings, leave them on the lawn. As they break down, they’ll fertilize the rest of the grass.

What to Do in the Summer

If you’ve followed all of the above tips, you’ve already given your lawn a great head start in the springtime, and by June it should be looking great.

However, you’re not done yet. To keep your lawn looking lush and healthy, you’ll need to continue with ongoing lawn maintenance.

Of all the lawn maintenance tips out there, the most important is adequate watering. Summers are hot. We need water to survive this type of weather, and so do our lawns. Several days without rain can stress out your lawn if you’re not careful.

It’s hard to know how much water is the right amount when it comes to yard care by just looking at your lawn. The best way to gauge it is by using a trowel or screwdriver to see how deeply the water penetrates. For the best results, you’ll want to make sure the water is going at least four to six inches into the ground each time you water. Use a timer and see how long it takes to achieve this goal. Then you’ll know for the future.

Some people water their lawns in the morning and some people do so in the evening. Although either option is beneficial, experts say that watering in the morning is preferable. If you water when the weather is still cool, your grass will be able to absorb that water before much evaporates. When you water at night, the grass may struggle to stay warm when the nighttime temperature drops.  Excessive moisture left on the turfgrass overnight can also foster lawn diseases that may do damage so we prefer to water in the early AM before high temps.

Also, you can fertilize your lawn again after waiting six to eight weeks after your initial application. It may be tempting to fertilize more often but don’t. Over-fertilization can burn your grass and it can actually deplete the natural nutrients in the soil.  It’s also important to follow your local Moco laws on proper application and how much nitrogen is allowed per application and per season.  When in doubt, don’t fertilize at all in the summer-time.

All summer long, be vigilant against weeds. Keep an eye out for them and remove them before they get too big. When you neglect weeds, they can take over a corner of your lawn faster than you can believe.  Borders of flower beds are also a great place for turfgrass weeds to germinate and jump back into your lawn area.

Lawn Maintenance Isn’t Easy

All of the above lawn maintenance tips are quite simple and if you apply each and every one of them to your lawn this summer, you’ll see a great improvement that will impress both your family and your neighbors.

However, lawn maintenance isn’t always as easy as it sounds. If you try all of the above and you still aren’t getting the results you hope for, it might be time to call a lawn maintenance company to give you a hand. Any professional lawn maintenance service will be able to use their vast experience to evaluate your lawn and to create a plan of action to make it the very best lawn it can be.

If you’re looking for help with your lawn in Montgomery County, Maryland, please give us a call today. We’re here to help and we can’t wait to meet you and see your lawn.

What to Look For When Hiring a Lawn and Landscaping Company

landscaping company

Are you looking for a way to freshen up the landscaping that surrounds your home? Are you a commercial property owner that wants to liven up the landscaping to impress tenants? If so, then you need to find the right landscaping company for the job.

Professional lawn care can benefit you in many ways. It can help bolster the value of your property, give your home/business a fresh look, and even boost the eco-friendliness of your landscaping setup.

See below for an in-depth guide that helps you to remember what to look for when hiring a landscaping company. Use these factors during your search.

1. Look for a Solid Reputation

If you’re going to invest the money into a landscaping company, you want to make sure you’re getting the highest return on your investment possible.

A big part of that is hiring someone with a history of success. The company’s reputation can tell you a lot about what you should expect when you hire them. The key here is to look for solid customer service and high-quality results.

What better way to do that than by asking previous clients themselves? There are a few different ways that you can do that, but we recommend either reading online reviews, browsing through client testimonials on their website, or asking the landscaping company for client references.

The easiest way to read online reviews is by Googling the landscaping service you’re considering and reading through the ratings and reviews that pop up. Pay special attention to the comments that they left behind and ask yourself a few questions along the way.

Does the customer seem happy with the service? What was the turnaround time on their landscaping project? What kind of landscaping project did they request? Are they recurring clients? If so, how long have they used the service?

2. Find Strong Communication

Ideally, the landscaping service that you hire today will be the same one that you use for years down the line. You can set up a routine for them to come by, touch up your property, and keep it looking fresh year-round.

To find a business relationship that will last, you need to find one with strong communication skills. That way, you’re comfortable reaching out to them for any needs or questions. More importantly, they’ll keep you in the loop on their service, when the project will be finished, etc.

You can gauge a landscaping company’s communication skills on the initial call. Reach out to them and inquire about their services. While you’re on the phone, be sure to ask them any questions that you have about their process, services, turnaround time, and so on.

Pay special attention to how they respond. Do they take the time to answer your questions? Are they trying to rush you off the phone? Are they answering your questions in terms that you can understand? Do they use industry jargon that you aren’t familiar with.

Professional landscaping is all about keeping an open ear to the client and giving them the results they want. Make sure you find that!

3. Find the Right Price

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your savings account to hire the right landscaping company for your needs. If a landscaping company is truly focused on making their customers happy, then they’ll offer various services that can fit into your budget.

But let’s get one thing straight: don’t confuse “budget-friendly” with “cheap”. If you go looking for the cheapest lawn care service out there, you’ll be sabotaging the results of your project.

Instead, you want to find a landscaping service that gives you the highest ROI. Do they offer seeding services to fill those grassy spots? Do they have weed control services? Do they offer snow removal and plowing during the winter months?

There are several landscaping companies in Lower Montgomery County, but BAM’s Landscaping offers you the most bang for your buck.

4. Look for Services You Need

We just alluded to this one in the previous point, but does the landscaping company you’re looking at actually offer the services you need?

They can have a 5-star rating and 25 years of experience, but if they don’t offer the service that you need, they’re no use to you.

That’s why we at BAM’s Landscaping offer a plethora of services for our customers. We offer things such as:

  • Lawn Maintenance
  • Aeration and Seeding
  • Fertilization and Weed Control
  • Irrigation
  • Commercial Snow Removal and Plowing
  • Gutter Cleaning
  • Spring and Fall Clean-Ups
  • Mulch and Seasonal Color

5. Double-Check for Insurance

When hiring a legitimate landscaping business, you want to make sure that they have all their proper business insurance coverages in place.

While you might not think it, landscaping can be quite risky. There are several injuries or types of damage that could occur on your property while the service is being performed.

If the landscaping company you hired doesn’t have insurance in place, you might be held liable for the costs.

Make sure the landscaping service has things like business liability insurance and umbrella insurance to cover their potential mistakes. This offers protection for their company, their workers, and their clients (you).

Hire the Right Landscaping Company for Your Needs

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on what to look for while you search for a landscaping company, be sure to hire the right one for your needs today.

Be sure to read this article for more information on whether you need lawn maintenance or turfgrass maintenance for your property.

To get started, please feel free to visit this page to receive a free quote. We will be happy to assist you further.

Lawn Maintenance vs Turfgrass Management. Which Do I Need?

Lawn Maintenance

In 2017, the average amount that a household spends on gardening activities and lawn care rose to $503. It is no wonder that the forecasted growth of the United States landscaping market is at 4.5%.

Are you also among those looking for landscaping services? Don’t know whether you need lawn maintaining or turfgrass maintenance?

Then this article is for you. Keep reading to find out the difference between lawn maintenance and turfgrass maintenance.

What is Lawn Maintenance?

The grass in residential landscapes is what we call “lawn.” Lawn maintenance refers to the process of cleaning and manicuring your outdoor property.

Lawn maintenance requires you to water the lawn, mow it and aerate. You also need to fertilize and keep the lawn free of weeds and pests. You also have to follow a lawn maintenance schedule to ensure that your lawn is healthy and vibrant.

Benefits of Getting a Lawn Maintenance Service

There are eight major components to lawn maintenance. It’s a lot of hard work compared to getting lawn Maintenance. Here are some of the benefits of getting a lawn maintenance service in Bam’s Landscaping.

It Saves You Valuable Time

Maintaining your lawn includes regular watering and mowing of the area. You also have to fertilize the lawn on time and control weeds and pest growth. This process takes up a lot of your time and has a schedule to follow.

When you get a lawn maintenance service, you won’t have to squish lawn care into your schedule. Landscaping experts will tend to your lawn and ensure it’s lush and green.

Hiring professional lawn care maintenance from Bam’s Landscaping will free you from a busy schedule. Instead of spending hours tending your lawn, you can relax and enjoy some time to yourself.

Quality Work

Another advantage of getting a lawn maintenance service from professionals is that you’ll work with experts. The employees have a deep understanding of irrigation, soil, and grass types. They are also trained in best practices in lawn care.

The employees know the best methods to enhance your lawn. They’ll also know how to resolve pest issues. Equipped with the best gardening equipment, you can be certain that they’ll do a good job.

They Go Beyond to Maintain Your Lawn

Hiring a professional lawn maintenance company will give you access to more landscaping services. These services include seasonal lawn cleanup, pruning, and mulching. You can also avail of weeding, sodding and other gardening services.

Benefits of Turfgrass

You can see turfgrass on recreational parks, athletic fields, golf courses, and some residential areas. Turfgrass refers to the type of grass that grows thick compared to other grass types.

Turfgrass Reduces Runoff

Did you know that turf grasses can slow down the speed of flowing water? This allows the soil to absorb more of the water.

This means, there would only be a few water runoffs when you water the turf grasses. This also means that there would be less runoff water to carry off the soil.

The turf also has a fibrous root system that allows it to hold the soil together. This prevents the rain and wind from carrying it off.

Turfgrass Replenishes Air

As it happens, airborne allergens and specks of dust get trapped by turfgrass. It also prevents the growth of weeds which in turn will reduce pollen production. This means that you’ll be inhaling fresh air instead of pollen-filled air.

Other benefits of turfgrass include:

  • Dust and mud control
  • Helps protect environment
  • Helps in fire prevention
  • It reduces sun glare
  • It helps with stabilizing slopes lope
  • Helps with heat reduction
  • Reduces noise
  • Helps in the protection of underground utility services
  • Help reduce greenhouse gasses
  • Turfgrass is soft
  • Turs are safe surfaces for recreation activities
  • Turfs are low cost
  • Improves the beauty of the premise
  • Turfs help increase your property value

These make turfgrass much more tempting of an option, but it does come with a cost. Turf and turfgrass management stands to be the main hurdle with this option.

Turfgrass Management

Turfgrass management refers to how experts maintain turfgrass surfaces. The service includes trimming, pest control, and other general maintenance for turf.

Getting a turf and turf grass management service is vital in keeping a beautiful green turf. This in turn will improve the appearance of your property. Let’s discuss the other benefits of getting a turfgrass management service in the section below.

Benefits of Getting Turfgrass Management Service

To keep your turfgrass healthy, you must maintain them to help curb the beauty of your property. When you hire opt to get a turfgrass management service, you’ll be saving yourself time. Instead of maintaining the turfs yourself, experts will do it for you.

As you use experts, you can be sure that their work is top-quality. You won’t have to worry about keeping track of the maintenance schedule as that’s part of their services too.

What Should You Get?

Having learned the difference between turfgrass and lawn maintenance, what do you need? The general rule is to choose according to the type of grass.

Bentgrass, Ryegrass, Tall and Fine Fescue are types of turfgrass species. Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermuda grass, and hybrid Bermuda grass are also turf grasses. If your property has these, then you need turfgrass maintenance.

You should opt for Turf maintenance for properties like sports areas and business establishments. Recreational parks also and even airports need turfgrass maintenance. If you’re looking to maintain your residential outdoor property, then opt for lawn maintenance.

Lawn Maintenance Company in Montgomery County

Giving your lawn a new look is only half of the job. You need to maintain your lawn to give the new get-up justice.

Do you live in the Montgomery Country area and don’t know where to get a lawn maintenance service? We got your back. Bam’s Landscaping has the highest customer satisfaction rating in the area.

Get top-quality work by expert employees with experience and training in landscape services. What’s more. they have a $2 million worth of insurance policy that protects your property.

Hire a Lawn Care Professional Today

Lawn care allows your property to look the best it can be. Learn the difference between lawn and turfgrass management to know what you need for your property. Get the right service and see how beautiful your lawn can be today!

Looking to hire a professional in lawn maintenance? Contact us now and get access to top-quality services this instant. Let our professionals handle your landscaping needs today!

How To Test Soil pH in Your Yard (and Why)

how to test soil ph

Are you planning to spruce up your lawn? Are you wondering which types of plants to grow to boost your property’s curb appeal? Then you need to take your landscaping efforts seriously.

Landscaping is one of the most effective ways of increasing your home’s value. You can beat a similar home’s value from anywhere between 5.5% and 12.7%.

However, you don’t just go for any type of plant you want to see in your garden. You should first test your soil’s pH level to ensure a robust lawn.

The question now is how to test soil pH? Hiring top-notch professional lawn services are great. Understanding soil testing gives you more leverage in caring for your yard.

If you have no idea how to go about soil pH testing, continue reading for a comprehensive guide.

How to Test Soil pH with a Kit

If you have no idea how to test soil pH properly, you can start by investing in a testing kit. Thankfully, you can find these kits on Amazon and other online sources. Ideally, you want to conduct a pH test before you establish your lawn.

If you already have one, you shouldn’t skip the test. A soil test kit usually comes with testing tubes and chemical reaction capsules. You will also need some distilled water and a small amount of soil sample from your lawn.

The purpose of the test kit and soil testing is to measure the nutrients currently in your lawn. This is integral to the success of your lawn care. Different kinds of plants have varying nutritional requirements, which soil tests can determine.

Moreover, it measures the pH value or the level of acidity your soil has. This is essential in determining what type of fertilizer your soil may need. You can also find the needed soil amendments for the soil to remain healthy.

As for the specific types of kits, there are many. The most common is the test tube chemical kit. You will have to add the components mentioned earlier to get color-coded results.

However, you need to prepare your soil solution a full day in advance. Another option is the mail-in kit, where you can send a labeled soil to a laboratory for testing.

Testing Without a Kit: The Way of the Strips

Alternatively, you can perform a soil pH test using soil strips or kitchen supplies. By using any of these options, you also reduce the cost of testing soil.

Let’s take a look at the soil strips or kitchen supplies methods and how you can conduct one.

Through Soil Strips

First, get your hand shovel and dig around four to six inches below your lawn’s surface. This is where you will get your soil sample.

Next, transfer about one to three teaspoons of your soil sample in a clean glass. Make sure to remove all the small stones, sticks, and other debris.  Thereafter, pour distilled water into the glass.

You want to fill the glass with distilled water until it reaches the same level as the sample. From there, stir and swirl the glass. You want to do this vigorously to agitate the soil.

Let the solution rest for about 30 minutes before pouring the sample through a coffee filter. From the filter, you want the soil solution to go into a separate clean glass. After pouring the soil solution, dip the pH test strip into the glass.

From there, you can compare the color of the strip with the chart that comes with the test strip packaging.

Through Your Kitchen Supplies

The second method you can try is through your kitchen supplies. In this method, you need to prepare the same materials except for the coffee filter and pH testing strip. Moreover, you will need some vinegar, baking soda, and a liquid measuring cup.

Begin by digging a soil sample. Like with the soil strip method, you want to dig about four to six inches deep into your yard’s soil. Remove any rocks and debris to break up any clumps and clusters when testing.

Take your clean glass or clear container and transfer the water and soil. You will need about one cup of soil. As for the water, you want to put the right amount to turn the soil into mud.

Next, slowly add half a cup of vinegar into the container and stir lightly. Observe how the vinegar reacts with the mud.

If it bubbles, foams, or fizzles, it means you have alkaline soil. If the mud didn’t foam or bubble, repeat the process using another container. However, instead of vinegar, you want to add ½ cup of baking soda into the mixture.

Stir lightly and see if it foams or bubbles. If it does, it means your soil is acidic.

The Benefits of Testing Soil pH

The importance of getting a normal soil pH reading is to check the value of fertilization. Checking your soil also helps you determine weed control and growth. This will contribute to the growth, aesthetic, and sustainability of your yard.

For starters, you will know the kinds of nutrients your soil offers. You will know if your plants are getting the right amounts of nutrients or not. Generally, most plants flourish if your soil’s pH levels are between 6.0 and 6.5

By determining your soil’s pH levels, you can also manage the effects of soil acidity. You can also avoid over-fertilization of your plants. As a result, you are also reducing the possible environmental effects.

Give Your Yard the Proper Care It Deserves

By learning how to test soil pH, your plants will become healthier, increasing your yard’s appeal. However, learning how to test soil is only one of the key aspects you need to cover. There will be other challenges that you’ll have to overcome to keep your yard in excellent shape.

Thankfully, we have the tools and expertise to help you do so. Connect with us today and request a free quote. Let’s give your yard the proper care and attention it deserves.

How to Reduce Slip and Fall Liabilities to Your Commercial Building by Hiring a Snow and Ice Company

slip and fall

According to statistics, the average cost of a slip and fall accident in the workplace is $20,000. The cost to defend a slip and fall liability claim is $50,000.

These numbers show that whether you have insurance or not, it’s a good idea to do everything you can to prevent the risk of slips and falls around your premises.

Snow and ice can be a big culprit behind slip and fall accidents. As soon as the ground gets slick and icy, the risk of slips and falls increases sharply.

Keeping your commercial property free from snow and ice is a tough task, especially if you don’t have the right equipment and know-how.

Fortunately, you can significantly reduce slip and fall liabilities by hiring a snow and ice company to care for your commercial property.

Are you curious to know how to outsource snow and ice removal and prevent slip and fall accidents? If the answer’s yes, continue reading for a comprehensive guide on how a snow and ice removal company and keep your employees and customers safe from accidents.

The Impact of Slip and Fall Liabilities

While slips and falls may sound like minor things, slip and fall liabilities can be very serious.

Data from the CDC shows that slips and falls can be dangerous and costly. Their stats state that one in five slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries such as blows to the head and broken bones.

What’s more, falls are the most common cause of brain injuries, and 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. In fact, over 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year thanks to a fall injury.

Because of this, if a business is faced with slip and fall liabilities, this can be incredibly costly. In some cases, the liability could even force closure or bankruptcy. In best-case scenarios, you may still lose a significant amount of revenue to defending a slip and fall liability case.

To avoid this, it’s important that you learn how to prevent slip and fall accidents. One of the most impactful ways to reduce slip and fall accidents is to conduct thorough snow management come wintertime. And the easiest way to do this is by hiring a snow and ice removal company.

What Snow and Ice Removal Companies Do

Snow and ice removal companies specialize in keeping commercial properties free from snow.

If you hire a snow company, they will begin their services by evaluating your property. During this, they will map out the area and document any obstructions that may be invisible once the snow has fallen. These include things like hydrants, curbs, and ramps.

When they remove snow and ice, this information will prevent them from damaging any unseen objects.

Once this is done, the snow and ice company will then work out a salt application program for your property using finely calibrated equipment. To do this, they will take precise measurements of things like dew points and asphalt temperatures.

This is a crucial step, as it determines exactly how much salt they need to apply. Applying too little salt can be ineffective. Applying too much can cause numerous problems. Such as increase rust on vehicles and disrupted groundwater sources.

When winter strikes in earnest, the snow removal company will then carry out thorough weather monitoring. If they are worth their salt, they will keep you notified of upcoming snowfall.

A good snow company will also ensure they are on hand to immediately clear away banked-up snow and any ice that’s forming. This ensures that your business premises stay snow- and ice-free. Which in turn effectively reduces slip and fall liabilities.

How Snow and Ice Removal Companies Reduce Slip and Fall Accidents

If you have a reliable snow and ice removal company on hand, they will make it their job to ensure that your commercial property is safe at all times. Unless there is a blizzard on the go, you can rest easy knowing that snow and ice aren’t building up on your commercial premises.

Prompt snow removal means less moisture on the ground, and it also prevents ice build-up. Snow companies that use advanced weather monitoring technology know exactly when snow is coming. This means they can pre-empt snow build-up and remove it asap.

All of this can go a long way to preventing slip and fall liabilities. If you choose to DIY snow removal on your commercial property, you might not be able to be as thorough. Things like staff shortages and lack of equipment and expertise can prevent you from being able to keep your property free from snow and ice.

Benefits of Hiring a Snow Company

One of the primary benefits of hiring a snow and ice company is reducing slip and fall liabilities. They increase safety levels on your property and ensure that people don’t get injured unnecessarily.

Besides this, they also pose several other benefits.

For one, a snow and ice company allows you to manage snowfall without diverting resources and staff from regular operations. You also won’t have to invest in snow removal equipment or supplies.

What’s more, a snow company will also ensure that nothing on your commercial property gets broken, thanks to their diligent mapping process. In contrast, a hired hand might easily hit a fire hydrant by accident while clearing snow.

Lastly, a reliable and professional ice and snow company will also keep you up updated on weather events so that you and your staff can be prepared and at-the-ready.

Reduce Slip and Fall Liabilities With a Professional Snow and Ice Company

If you are wondering how to prevent slip and fall accidents on your commercial property, a snow company is the answer. Hiring a snow and ice company is a sure-fire way to reduce slip and fall liabilities.

Need snow removal services you can count on?

At Bams Landscaping, we specialize in reliable, professional snow and ice removal that goes above and beyond your expectations. We carry out thorough mapping and analysis of your property to ensure effective salt treatments and safe, damage-free snow removal.

What’s more, we monitor the weather continuously and track our vehicles via GPS to ensure that one of our units is right around the corner as soon as you need us. We are available 24/7 during the snow season to ensure your property stays snow- and ice-free around the clock.

Contact us today to keep your commercial property free of snow and reduce slip and fall liabilities.

A Complete Guide to the Benefits of Fertilization and Weed Control

fertilization and weed control

Does it surprise you that of the 250,000 worldwide plant species, only 3 percent bear the title “weeds”? These plants that we try to eradicate aren’t always inherently bad. They add organic matter and help stabilize the soil.

Humans can eat many weeds and even make wine from them. They also create food and shelter for wildlife.

While this is all true, most lawns don’t benefit from allowing weeds to grow. Thus, it’s key to provide regular fertilization and weed control for lawn maintenance. Having a professional lawn service ensures that you’ll have a beautiful and healthy lawn.

Continue reading to learn about the importance of fertilization and weed control.

Montgomery County, Maryland Pesticide Law

This County Pesticide Law was passed in October 2015. It disallows the use of specific pesticides in designated areas. This includes playgrounds, mulched recreation areas, private lawns, and childcare facilities.

The majority of synthetic pesticides are included in this restriction. It promotes organic or minimum-risk pesticide lawn care practices that avoid using chemicals.

Benefits of Organic Lawn Care

Did you know that lawns comprise about 2 percent of all American land? Yet, they represent America’s most irrigated crop. They also create large water contamination areas.

The term, “organic lawn care”, describes practices that avoid synthetic pesticides and chemicals. Instead, lawn maintenance uses organic methods including compost and many different kinds of soil amendments. This approach results in strong, healthy, and resilient soils.

Fertilization and Weed Control

While following organic lawn care practices may be the law, it’s also a good choice. You are doing your part to promote a healthier environment.

Organic Lawn Fertilization

There are many benefits of fertilization with organic products. Compost, manure, and wood, charcoal, kelp, and other elements are all used as natural fertilizers. Organic fertilizers slowly release important nutrients into the soil.

These nutrients include potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous, microorganisms, as well as CARBON. Beneficial bacteria in the soil break down these nutrients over time. This creates an ongoing bioavailable supply of nutrients for the grass to absorb and use.

As bacteria break down, they release several gases. Examples include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen, and hydrogen sulfide. These gases aerate the soil and make it healthier.

The neutral to basic pH of manure also supports the growth of microbes. An increased presence of microbes decreases the undesired proliferation of saprophytic fungi.

Soil amendments enhance soil water retention. This helps prevent the loss of minerals due to water run-off.

Synthetic fertilizers can wash away groundwater with rain or over-watering. This chemical-laden water moves to rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans if not properly applied by homeowners or gets applied near drains and such.

Eutrophication of these bodies of water results from excess nutrient richness. Dense plant life overgrowth results. The water’s oxygen becomes depleted causing the animal life to die.

Since soil amendments prevents nutrient and mineral loss, it protects the environment. Using organic soil amendments saves fish, birds, and other wildlife from misaapplications and such.

Chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides can cause health problems for people and animals. Organic lawn care doesn’t lead to any harmful effects.

All of this results in the lawn’s immune system becoming stronger to can fight pests and diseases. It also has stronger roots, ground vitality, and improved growth of grass.

Importance of Weed Control Services

Social pressure has long been a motivator for removing weeds from your lawn. Yet, this is not an easy task. They quickly take root and grow prolifically across everything.

This is why weed management is so important for a healthy lawn. The weed battle involves regular mowing to prevent the production of seeds. The lawn needs the right amount of fertilization as well to ensure that you don’t promote weed growth.

While weeds are unattractive, they can also compete for ground space. They use up the nutrients from the soil. Weeds will also attach to your plant’s roots and suck out their nutrients. Weeds can literally choke the life out of your desired plants and grass.

We are all busy and it’s hard to find time to “weed” your yard. Some people believe it’s best to let the weeds grow and then spend one big effort removing them. This logic is actually flawed.

When weeds flourish, they make seeds that spread on the wind. These seeds quickly take root and the cycle repeats exponentially. Thus, waiting creates bigger problems.

Weeds are best kept under control through continuous attention. Quick removal limits the growth of the roots and the undesired plant. Removing them before they make seeds reduces the spread.

Proper weeding saves you money. If you’ve bought plants for your yard recently, you know that this represents a big expense. Weeds can destroy lawns and gardens leading to large replacement costs.

Benefits of Using a Lawn Service

According to a recent study, 79 percent of Americans rated the lawn as a big part of deciding to buy or rent a home. Also, 77 percent of participants said they spend time in their yards at least once a month.

If you’re trying to decide about hiring a lawn service, consider the following advantages. Many people don’t understand how to properly care for their lawn.

Yard work is strenuous, and homeowners may lack the fitness needed. Regular lawn maintenance is time-consuming and many people are too busy.

Hiring a professional can save you money in the long term. They use and maintain their own equipment.

Many companies include the products used in the service price. By keeping your lawn in top shape, you won’t have the expense of replacing dead grass.

Are You Looking for Lawn Care Services in Montgomery County, MD?

If a nice-looking lawn is important to you, then optimal fertilization and weed control is the key. BAM’s Landscaping offers premier lawn care and landscaping in the Montgomery County area. We strive to provide the best customer experience you can find.

Our team works to build a great, long-term relationship with each customer. We use the best products and services and adhere to organic standards. BAM also offers lawn maintenance and commercial snow and ice management.

We salute our military customers with a 10 percent discount. You’ll also receive a 15 percent discount on your next project when you refer a friend. Request a free landscaping quote today.

The Value of Snow and Ice Removal Services for Commercial Properties

ice removal

Montgomery County gets an average of 21 inches of snow per year. While this is below the national average, it’s still enough to impact commercial properties if it’s not cleared.  This also does not include numerous ice events (mixed precip, freezing rain, etc.)

Snowfall that’s left unattended affects customer access and can cause costly property damage by cracking paving, tarmac, and sidewalks.

Dealing with snow on your own as a business is a hefty, and expensive, chore. Fortunately, there is an easy way to ensure proper winter maintenance for your commercial property.

Enter professional snow and ice removal.

There are several benefits to engaging snow and ice removal services if you own, rent, or run a commercial property. Read on to find out what these are and make an informed decision as to whether you need to contract with a snow removal service.

Enhanced Safety for Staff and Customers

One of the primary benefits of snow and ice removal services is they ensure maximum safety for your staff and customers.

Although snowfall can turn town into a winter wonderland, once it hardens, it also creates a surefire recipe for slips and falls.

If you engage snow and ice removal services, they will take care of the exterior areas of your commercial property and reduce the danger of slips and falls.

Now only will they remove snow before it has a chance to harden, but they will also treat high traffic areas with salt to guard against ice formation. Good snow removal services continually monitor the weather to ensure they keep your property ice- and snow-free at all times.

Reduced Liability Risk for Slip and Fall Accidents

Snow and ice removal services not only keep you, your customers, and your employees safe from slips and falls—they also keep you safe from legal action.

According to statistics, slips and falls is the leading cause of non-fatal injury across almost all age groups. Slips and falls increase dramatically in winter, thanks to slick surfaces, and the fact that most people are rushing from cold outside areas to warm buildings or back into their vehicles.

If a customer slips and falls in your parking lot, you may well end up facing a hefty claim. Hiring snow and ice removal services reduces the chance of this.

Professional Salt Application

Did you know that applying too much salt can damage asphalt surfaces? Besides this, overapplication of salt can also harm vehicles, disrupt groundwater sources, and render surrounding soil overly saline.

We mentioned above that snow and ice removal services will treat the exterior areas of your commercial property with salt. Besides relieving you of this job, they will also do it more safely.

There is no standard amount for salt application. The right amount depends on a number of factors, such as dew points and asphalt temperatures. Professional snow and ice removal services have equipment they can finely calibrate based on readings taken from your property.

These readings will indicate how much salt needs to be used, and their calibrated machinery will be able to apply just the right amount.

Better Snow Preparedness

Another valuable advantage of snow and ice removal services is they make it their job to continually monitor the weather conditions. Through weather tracking and ongoing updates, a snow and ice removal company will ensure that your property has the best snow preparedness possible.

They will make sure they are near at hand when you need them, they will keep you informed on weather that’s on the way, and what measures to start taking.

Commercial Properties Can Remain Open No Matter the Weather

Have you ever had to shut your business’s doors because of snow and ice? If so, then you know how much revenue this can cost you.

Although this is unavoidable in some cases, here in Montgomery County, businesses can stay open most days in winter, providing they have a comprehensive snow and ice removal plan in place. If you hire a snow and ice removal service, you’ll be assured of more open days of business.

DIY Snow and Ice Removal Is Expensive

Another reason why many businesses choose to hire snow and ice removal services is that doing it yourself is pretty expensive.

To start off with, you will need to buy snow shovels, salt, picks, and more. When the snow falls, you’ll also need to hire staff to clear it. All these costs rack up, and you’ll still need to be in charge of managing the snow removal.

Safer Snow Removal

Besides saving you money, snow and ice removal services can also save you in repairs.

A good snow and ice removal service will evaluate your property before winter hits. They will take detailed notes of obstructions that may be invisible when covered by a blanket of snow. These include things like hydrants, ramps, curbs, etc.

When they come to clear snow away, they’ll have exact info on where these elements are, thereby avoiding accidental damage. With DIY snow removal, you won’t have this. Instead, a hired snow removal hand could hit a hydrant at any point, causing more disruption and expense.

Do You Need Snow and Ice Removal Services?

Snow and ice removal is an important part of running a business if you live in an area like Montgomery Country. Doing it yourself is costly and less reliable.

Are you wondering where you can hire a snow and ice removal service? If yes, Bam’s Landscaping offers premium snow removal services.

We understand that you need immediate intervention to keep your business running when snow is falling thick and fast. That’s why we monitor the weather and track our vehicles via GPS. As soon as you need us, we’ll make sure we’re only a few blocks away.

Besides this, we are also available 24/7 during snow season.

Want to learn more about Bam’s snow and ice removal services? Call us today.

7 Facts About Snow Management You Should Know as a Business Owner

Snow Management

The holidays are approaching, many of us are decorating for Christmas early, and we’re all figuring out how to manage family get-togethers a little differently this year. In fact, this holiday season will be unlike any we’ve seen in living memory. But if there’s one thing that will remain the same this winter, it’s snow.

Dealing with snow management is one of the biggest responsibilities for commercial property owners in the winter. Read on to discover some important facts about snow management for this winter.

1. Your Sidewalks Have to Be Clear

When you start making your snow management plan, one of the major things you’ll need to plan for is how you’ll keep your sidewalks clear.

Snowy or icy sidewalks can make it difficult and dangerous for your employees and customers to make it into your store. Not only do you want to keep these people safe, but you also want to avoid any potential liability lawsuits that could come as a result of those injuries.

Make sure you use ice melt on your sidewalks and salt them throughout the winter. You may also want to put down additional traction leading into your building, as well as make a plan to regularly clear your sidewalks of any snow. It’s also a good idea to salt parking lots around your building to keep drivers from skidding on icy pavement.

2. Your Roof Is Your First Line of Defense

Before the first real snow sets in, you need to take some time to inspect your roof. Having a good, sturdy roof will be the key to avoiding serious snow damage this winter. Missing shingles, damaged tar paper, and small leaks can turn into a huge problem as snow sits on your roof for months on end.

Make arrangements to inspect your roof or have it inspected early in the fall. This will give you time to make any needed repairs before the first snow sets in, compounding the problems there.

Don’t forget to include your eaves and gutters in this inspection. They’ll be crucial for directing melting snow in the springtime.

3. You Need an Emergency Plan

No matter how well prepared you are for snow management, there’s still a good chance that your property will have to weather a storm this winter. Blizzards can be devastating, and you don’t want to be trying to figure out a plan for your building once the snow starts falling. Instead, you need to make an emergency plan ahead of time and stockpile any supplies you may need.

Make a plan for how you’ll keep essential operations running if you wind up losing power for a few days. If you have a gas heater, set up a backup plan for if the heat fails, too. And gather supplies like water, blankets, flashlights, shelf-stable food, and other essentials in case the worst happens.

4. States Regulate Snow Management

When you start making your snow management plan, it’s important to check your state laws regarding snow removal. For instance, some states have limits about how high snow mounds can legally be. You don’t want to create a snow management plan only to discover that it doesn’t fall within the bounds of the law.

Snow mounds will likely be one of your state’s biggest concerns when it comes to legal regulations. You need to make sure they’re located appropriately (more on that in a moment) and that they don’t pose a danger to anyone. If you have any questions, reach out to your local government for help.

5. Surroundings Matter

Before you start removing snow, it’s important to take a look at where that snow is going to go. It can be easy to pile the snow the first place you can find that isn’t the sidewalk, your roof, or the parking lot. But this can cause trouble for both you and your customers as winter wears on.

Make sure your snow mound isn’t located somewhere where it will block any drivers’ views, especially of pedestrians. They need to be far enough from driving and parking spaces that they don’t pose any threat to drivers. And you should always, always double-check where the snow is going to go before you start running a snowplow.

6. You Need a Snow Mound Area

One of the simpler ways to make sure your snow always goes to an appropriate area is to designate a snow mound area. You can use this spot all winter long, provided your mound doesn’t get large enough to surpass legal limits. It’s a good idea to also designate a backup snow mound area just in case you get more snow than you’re expecting.

Make sure your snow mound area is out of the way of drivers and pedestrians. It should also be far enough away from your building that it won’t risk leaking water into your foundation or basement when the snow starts melting. Designate this area with flags or cones so it’s easy to find again when the next storm comes through.

7. Good Insurance Is Key

Preparing your building for snow is certainly an important part of the snow management process, but you also need to protect your finances. If your building does suffer damage from snow or ice, you don’t want to be left holding that bill. Make sure your insurance policy covers snow and ice damage in addition to the usual coverage.

You may also want to make sure your snow and ice policy covers associated risks and damage. For instance, a particularly cold day or night may cause a pipe to burst, deluging your building with ice. Your insurance policy should help you cover these cold-related damages, too.

Arrange Your Snow Management

If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, arranging for snow management is a critical part of keeping your building in good shape. Make sure your property is in good shape before winter sets in, and make a plan for where all that snow is going to go. It’s also important to have an emergency plan in place in case things go badly.

If you’d like help with your snow management this winter, check out the rest of our site at Bam’s Landscaping. We provide residential and commercial landscaping in Montgomery County with a more approachable and community-oriented business. Get a free quote today and set yourself up for an easy winter.