Landscaping Blog

Salt Brine: Why It’s Better for the Environment Than Using Salt

For many areas, the winter months mean several things: shorter days, warmer clothing, and snow accumulation. 

With the arrival of snow comes the problems it brings with it. How do you clear it off of roadways and sidewalks so vehicles and bicyclists can travel safely? How do you prevent injuries from people falling and slipping on icy walkways?

The fix that comes to mind when most people think about melting ice off roads is rock salt. Sure, rock salt is effective. But is it really the best option?

A newer solution that’s gaining popularity is salt brine, a liquid salt mixture. Salt brine is put down before a snowstorm comes instead of afterward, making it more preventative than reactive. 

With rock salt, it takes four times more salt to melt snow and ice once it’s already there than to prevent ice build-up with brine. More importantly, rock salt is much more damaging to the environment. 

To learn about why salt brine is a more eco-friendly alternative to rock salt when it comes to getting rid of snow and ice, keep reading!

1. Brine Helps Eliminate Salt Runoff

One of the biggest reasons why road salt is so detrimental to the environment is because it doesn’t actually stay in place. 

It gets sprinkled onto the road and bounces around, soaking into the soil or nearby water sources. Once the snow and ice start melting, the issue worsens with the rock salt ending up in lakes, rivers, and even well water.

This means that salting the roads with regular road salt can result in harming local ecosystems. The salt runoff can hurt crops, kill fish and other aquatic life, and even create dead zones in bodies of water.

Salt brine, on the other hand, is applied in an even, liquid form. This means it’s much less likely to stray from the area where it’s sprayed. Even if the brine does wash away, it contains much less salt than regular road salt, so it causes less damage to its surroundings. 

With a current major focus on protecting the environment and reducing people’s negative impact on it, salt brine is a clear winner when it comes to lessening the environmental impact of salting roads. 

2. It Causes Less Damage to Infrastructure

If you live somewhere where snow and ice are frequent visitors during the colder months, you’re likely used to seeing large cracks in the concrete and asphalt. While there are many contributors to this type of damage, road salt is a major one.

Pouring rock salt on the roads every time it snows does help get rid of the icy conditions, but it also slowly gets rid of the road itself. The harsh chemicals eat away at the roadways every winter, leaving cracks and crevices behind.

You’ve also likely seen the effects rock salt has on your car.

As you drive along, the salt-splattered slush kicks back up onto your vehicle, leaving chemicals all over your car’s exterior. Over time, this salt can lead to rust and corrosion. 

Using road salt to clear away snow and ice quickens the deterioration of roads, vehicles, and even nearby buildings, while using brine melts the ice without the intense negative effects. 

3. It’s Safer for Wildlife and Pets

Not only can rock salt harm trees and greenery, but it can negatively affect pets and other animals too.

Wildlife, such as birds, tends to try to eat the grains of salt found on the streets and often die as a result. If you salt your sidewalk or take your pet on a walk, the salt can stick to their paws and fur. This puts them at risk of ingesting it later on. 

With salt brine applied to roads instead of rock salt, there’s less of a risk for animals. Since the brine is a liquid mixture, there aren’t clumps of salt that can be eaten, and it’s much less potent.

The brine also sticks to the road immediately, instead of being more mobile like granular salt, making it an even better choice.

4. Salt Brine Is More Cost-Effective

It makes sense that road salt costs at least twice as much as salt brine.

Brine consists of 23% salt, with the rest of it being water. With road salt prices rising, having a solution that requires much less salt and is still super effective and environmentally friendly is a huge plus.

Salt brine isn’t only more cost-effective because it doesn’t use as much salt. It also doesn’t disperse or wash away quite as easily, making it less wasteful than road salt. 

Since salt brine is a proactive fix to snow and ice, it can be applied to roads up to 48 hours ahead of wintry weather.

This means that road crews have more time to prepare the roads, and the brine can start working on preventing ice build-up as soon as it’s sprayed down.

Need to Get Rid of Snow or Ice? We Can Help

More and more states are choosing environmentally friendly road salt alternatives like brine to keep their roads safe during the winter. 

Not only does brine prevent icy conditions while road salt mainly treats it, brine is also more effective in colder temperatures and coats roadways in a more even manner.

Convinced that salt brine is the better alternative? We agree.

If you need some help when it comes to removing snow and ice so that your roads, parking lots, or walkways are safe to use during the winter, BAM’s Landscaping is here to assist you. We can help with all your needs. 

Contact us with any questions or request a free snow/ice management quote to find out how we can best help. 

5 Things to Look For When Hiring a Landscaping and Lawn Company

bams lawn company - bamslandscaping

For most people, owning a home is their biggest dream. But the dream comes with the responsibility of maintaining a natural environment around the home. Landscaping and lawn care is the only way of creating an oasis for your tiny courtyard or a sprawling estate.

Landscaping does not only beautifies your space but also increases your home’s value. Let’s be honest: landscaping and lawn care are not tasks for everyone. Therefore, for a significant transformation of your outdoor space, you must hire a landscaping and lawn company.

A landscaping business has a pool of experts who get the job correctly done for the first time. Furthermore, a landscaping company can get creative with your outdoor space. In addition, hiring a landscaping and lawn care company will save you time and money.

But the key to quality outdoor transformation is hiring a reputable landscaping and lawn company. With so many landscaping and lawn companies out there, how do you choose the best?

Continue reading this article and discover five things to look for when hiring a landscaping and lawn company.

  1. The Reputation of the Landscaping and Lawn Company

It’s quite common to find people who focus only on the cost before hiring a landscaping company. This leads to hiring a landscaping company offering cheap and unreliable services. For this reason, you must focus on the reputation of the company.

Reading online reviews can inform you about the competence of the landscaping company. A landscaping company with positive reviews is likely to offer reliable services. However, be warned, some companies include fake reviews on their site.

Seeking recommendations from friends and relatives can prevent you from falling for such companies. Friends can’t mislead you into choosing the wrong landscape services.

Does the recommended landscaping company have any awards indicated on their site?

If yes, then it’s worth giving them a try.

  1. Insurance and License

During a landscaping or lawn care process, there are chances of injuries arising. If the contractor carrying out the landscaping doesn’t have insurance, you will be liable for damages. To avoid such a burden, you must ensure the landscaping company you are about to hire has insurance.

Before any landscaping business can offer services, it must acquire a license from the local government. During the license application process, the local government ensures the landscaping company has met all the required standards for operations. Therefore, by hiring a licensed landscaping and lawn company, you are assured of quality and reliable services.

But be warned! Not all landscaping companies have genuine licenses. Some are in the industry illegally, with their main aim being to make profits.

For this reason, visit the website of the local government to validate the license of the landscaping and lawn company.

  1. Maintenance Program and Warranty

Reputable landscapers always take pride in their work. They always offer quality and reliable services intending to maintain a good reputation. Hence they will be more than willing to provide a warranty for their work.

Therefore, before hiring landscaping services, inquire about the kind of warranty the company offers. But be keen, some companies might promise to provide a warranty only to disappear immediately after the payment. To avoid such a scenario, have the warranty in writing to make it enforceable.

A mistake most people make is focusing on the initial landscaping process and forget about maintenance. If the lawn is not well maintained is likely to die soon. Thus, before hiring a landscape service, ensure the company offers regular lawn maintenance services.

  1. Experience and Knowledge

If you have attractive Azalea bushes in your yard, do you know they are never sheared nor pruned? Of course, you expect your landscaping and lawn company to know this. But if the company is made up of nonprofessionals whose aim is making a profit, they likely don’t know.

Leaving your lawn under the care of such a company would be flashing your money down the drain. Therefore, before hiring a landscaping service, ensure it’s up to the task. To assess the reputation of the landscaping company, inquire a proof of their past projects.

A landscaping and lawn company that takes pride in its work will always take pictures and videos. By assessing such photographs and videos, you can determine the competency of the company. Apart from past projects, you should check on the experience of the team behind the projects.

Landscaping and lawn companies with qualified experts are not afraid to include their names and contacts on the company’s website. Prepare some questions and engage with one of the experts to test their understanding of landscaping projects.

  1. Cost

The last thing you would want is to be given an inflated bill at the end of the landscaping project. This is likely to happen if the landscaping cost is not correctly laid for you. Thus, before allowing a landscaping and lawn company to begin working on your yard, inquire about their pricing strategy.

This will save you from becoming a victim of hidden costs. However, some landscaping companies will offer a quote over the phone. This should be a point of concern.

A landscaping company focusing on creating the best landscaping design for you will first survey the yard before making a quote.

At the end of the landscaping project, a landscaping company should account for every dollar charged on the project.

Hire a Landscaping and Lawn Company Today

A beautifully landscaped lawn increases the appearance of your home and increases your home’s value. Working with a reputable landscaping and lawn company is the only way to achieve your desired beautiful lawn.

Are you looking for landscaping services in Montgomery County and the surrounding areas? At Balm’s Landscaping, we got you covered. We believe complete customer satisfaction is always a top priority for all tasks that we take on.

We take pride in building excellent long-term relationships with all customers and strive to bring them the best services and products.

Contact us today to book an appointment.

6 Common Lawn Care Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

lawn care mistakes and how to avoid them

Is your grass full of dry spots or overrun with weeds? Do none of your regular lawn care efforts seem to help?

If so, you’re not alone. That is, these issues are probably due to some extremely common lawn care mistakes.

For example, it’s possible that you’re watering too much or not enough. And when was the last time you sharpened your lawnmower blade? Improper lawn care also accounts for your out-of-control weeds and pests.

But here’s the good news. We’re going to teach you how to avoid these mistakes with the following guide.

It covers how/when to water lawns, how short to cut your grass, weed/pest control tips, and more! Correct the mistakes that are ruining your lawn by reading this guide.

1. Cutting With a Dull Blade

Aside from watering mistakes, cutting with a dull blade is the most common lawn care blunder people make. Many people just don’t bother keeping their blade sharp or replacing it when necessary. But here’s why it’s important.

It’s easy for the grass to heal from a clean cut made by a sharp blade. But ripping the grass with a dull blade leaves jagged cuts that harm your grass a lot more. When you think about it, this is the same way that our skin works.

In any case, grass that’s torn by a dull blade takes longer to recover. In fact, it will still be trying to do so the next time you assault it with your dull mower.

Grass in this weakened state is more susceptible to diseases and weed infestations. It also won’t look as green or healthy.

Sharpening should be done twice every lawnmowing season. When the blade is irreparable or is getting too short, replace it.

2. Cutting Too Short

Another common issue is cutting your grass too short. The above-ground part of the grass is what takes in the sunlight and converts it into food energy.

When you cut your grass too short, you’re basically minimizing its food supply. Your starved grass will be too weak to compete with weeds and other lawn invaders.

There should be a way to adjust the height of your mower blade. Set it to 3 inches to avoid scalping your grass.

Also, hills/contours in your lawn may cause scalping as well. If you notice this, adjust your blade to a higher setting when you mow these spots.

3. Mowing Without Ear Protection

There’s a very real risk of hearing damage if you mow your lawn without ear protection. Wear earplugs or use sound-blocking headphones/earbuds.

Be careful, though, about listening to music while you do this. If the peripherals you use don’t block sound well enough, you’ll turn the music up to cover it. And listening to extra-loud music for an hour can damage your hearing just as easily as your lawnmower motor.

4. Watering Mistakes

It’s common sense not to underwater your lawn. That is, if you see that your lawn has dry patches, you probably adjust the sprinklers so they run longer.

But it also matters what time of day you water. If you water in the afternoon when the sun is hottest, a lot of the water evaporates before your grass can drink it. That’s why early morning waterings are best.

And, sometimes, your lawn problems are due to overwatering. Pests called sod webworms and weeds will thrive when your lawn is overly moist. These will destroy your grass and take over your lawn.

You want to water deeply but not every day. Three times a week is good.

Your lawn should get a total of 1.5 inches of water weekly, including rain. You can strew flat-bottomed containers around your lawn to measure how many inches of water it gets.

5. Neglecting Lawn Tidiness

Leaving a bunch of children’s toys and other junk on your lawn will take its toll on your grass. This is especially true of large objects like plastic kiddie pools.

Namely, if the objects compact the grass underneath and/or block the sunlight, the grass starts dying. After only a few days of this, the grass beneath the object may be permanently destroyed.

If you have kids that tend to leave things on your lawn, consider an outdoor toy chest to make cleanup easier. Or, if patio furniture is the issue, get some outdoor flooring installed to have a permanent place for your furniture.

Also, your pets’ bowel movements are harmful to grass, too. Remove these every day.

6. Doing It Yourself

Furthermore, if you follow all the tips on this list and you still get no results, recruit a professional lawn care service. They will apply effective solutions and end your lawn’s suffering.

How to Avoid Lawn Care Mistakes

Now that you know, don’t make these lawn care mistakes again. Keep this guide bookmarked and follow these tips to avoid lawn problems. Also, if you know someone else who’s struggling with lawn issues, please share this guide with them.

Better yet, let the yard experts here at BAM’s Landscaping tackle your lawn issues for you. Go here for a free quote on our lawn care services.

7 Tips for Summer Lawn Care Maintenance

7 Tips for Summer Lawn Care Maintenance
7 Tips for Summer 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, but 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 as 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 to 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 its growth so cutting much shorther can be done during Spring/Fall, just be careful cutting too low because it exposes much of the ground surface to sunlight allowing a weed presence to take hold if not treated on a 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 Professional Lawn Service

Professional Lawn Service

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 increased home value.

Lawn Care Services

If you 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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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

Lawn and 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 vs Turfgrass Management

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)

Test Soil pH in Your Yard

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

Reduce Slip and Fall Liabilities

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? Slip and Fall Liabilities 

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.