Landscaping Blog

What’s the Iciest City in USA and How Do They Treat Their Icy Roads?

icy roads

The coldest temperature recorded in the US was -80 degrees Fahrenheit, in Prospect Creek, Alaska. Yet the most northerly state is not the only cold spot, with freezing temperatures across the country. So how do states deal with these icy blasts?

Combating winter roads efficiently is a matter of life or death. Read on as we discuss the iciest city in the US and how the country deals with icy roads. 

What Is the Coldest City in the US?

Fairbanks, Alaska, is the coldest and iciest city in the US. Situated in the cool northern state it has recorded the lowest temperature of -66 degrees Fahrenheit or -54 celsius.  Its average temperature in the coldest month is -16.9 degrees Fahrenheit or -27 degrees celsius. 

Many of the other cities and towns in Alaska have weather patterns that are dictated by coastal patterns. Fairbanks has the added attraction of winds that blow in from Canada and Siberia. Added to its lack of daylight between November and March and Fairbanks gets some extreme weather conditions. 

How Do They Treat Roads in Alaska?

Surprisingly, not all roads in Alaska have salt placed on them. Particularly around Anchorage, salt is only placed on the roads in certain circumstances. While it is one of the most well-known substances used to cut through snow and ice, there is a reason it is applied sparingly or not at all. 

The Municipality of Anchorage who manages roads in the area found that the broken down snow and ice would then be hauled away to snow dump sites. When this melted it would disperse into storm drains and the ground, causing environmental issues. 

Salt filtering away would end up in local creeks and ecosystems, killing plants and animal life. In response, they switched to sand, housing it in dry places so it did not freeze in the winter. 

Liquid Salt

That does not mean salt is not used at all. The city uses liquid salt, also known as magnesium chloride. It is used to pre-wet dry products, such as sand, to improve their performance. Less material can be used while the performance of the sand is increased. 

You can buy liquid salt from most good hardware or garden stores. Mix it with sand and rock salt then spread it on paths. The liquid will activate the brining process in the salt, hiking up temperatures and increasing the efficiency of the mix. 

North Dakota

North Dakota has four of the top ten coldest cities in the US. This state is the coldest in the continental US between winter and fall. The coldest cities are the following:

  • Grand Forks
  • Williston
  • Fargo
  • Bismarck

The reason for its cold climate is down to geographical placement. It sits at the northern end of the midwest. As the state is very flat and arid, winds can easily whip across it, picking up speed and bringing cold air with them.  

Other Methods of Road Treatment

Other than liquid salt there are several other products used across the US to treat roads. Many local authorities will decide on the level of precipitation and current conditions to decide on the best method and product. 

Rock Salt

Rock salt is the most well-known and widely used product to treat roads across the US. It comes in large chunks, making it easy to lift, transport, and use in the process of salt spreading. 

It works by breaking up the ice and loosening the bond between it and the road or pavement. You can get it almost anywhere and it is much cheaper than other forms of deicer. 

The only downside is that it is extremely corrosive and can rot cars if not removed from their chassis after winter driving. Over application can cause serious environmental damage, as noted in the example from Alaska. It also does not work well at very low temperatures. 

Liquid Brine

Liquid brine is a mix of rock salt and magnesium chloride. It helps break the bond between snow, ice, and the ground. You will usually find it used as a pre-treatment, being applied to pre-empt snowy and icy weather. 

It is relatively inexpensive with few restrictions. However, like rock salt, when very low temperatures arrive it can hamper its effectiveness. 


Premix consists of rock salt and calcium chloride. It is often used in areas that are trying to use less salt for environmental reasons. Premix is also effective in very low temperatures so is good for extreme climates. 

One of the benefits is that it is less harmful to the ecosystem and environment. It is more expensive than other products and needs dry storage to be fit for use. 


Sand is a low-cost material that can increase traction on icy roads. As it does not have any inherent qualities that melt snow or ice, it is often mixed with other products. Without this, it can lose its ability to provide traction quickly. 

One of its drawbacks is that it can clump. This can block drains and waterways, so it must be removed quickly when clearing icy roads

Commercial Property Icy Conditions

While the state deals with major icy roads and highways you still need to keep your business site clear of snow/ice which is a huge slip/fall liability to your operation.  Invest in a team that has your back and keeps your business IN business!  When the winter comes you will be prepared and ready to go. 

If you suffer from snow and ice in the winter months, then let BAM’S Landscaping assist. We can provide commercial snow removal for all your needs. Contact us here for a quote and let us keep you safe this winter. 

Spring Clean Ups: Top Tips and Advice From the Experts

According to surveys that have been done over the years, more than one-third of Americans say that spring is their favorite season. And it isn’t too difficult to figure out why!

The sun starts to stay up for longer stretches of time in the spring. The flowers begin to blossom in the spring. It’s truly one of the best times of the entire year.

Before people run outside and start soaking up everything spring has to offer, though, they need to hold spring clean-ups. It’ll make it possible for them to enjoy the springtime even more than they already do.

Today, we’re going to provide you with some spring clean-up tips from the experts to ensure that you’re able to get your spring yard clean-up done quickly this year. Get all the advice you need on spring clean-ups below.

Start by Removing Any Debris Located in Your Yard

It’s not uncommon at all for those in the Washington, D.C. area to have all kinds of debris scattered around in their yards at the end of the winter season. Winters can be rough in the D.C. area, which is why spring clean-ups should always start with a quick clean-up of any debris in your yard.

There is a pretty good chance that you’re going to have leaves, sticks, branches, and sometimes even garbage scattered around in your yard at the start of spring. You should make it a point to walk around and pick these things up so that you can throw them away.

If you don’t do anything else on this list, this alone will make your yard look 100 times better. It’ll ensure that you don’t have debris littering your lawn in the weeks to come.

Trim Any Trees, Bushes, Etc. That Exist on Your Property

Washington, D.C. winters can really wreak havoc on many of the trees, bushes, etc. in yards. They can make the branches on them brittle and cause them to break once the temperatures begin to get warm again.

With this in mind, you should walk around in your yard at the beginning of your spring clean-up and trim any trees, bushes, etc. that appear to have dying branches on them. It’ll prevent their branches from breaking on you later and filling your lawn with debris again.

It’ll also prevent the thunderstorms that are sure to come in the summer from having an impact on your trees, bushes, etc. You won’t have to worry about their branches breaking off during these storms and doing damage to your home, vehicles, etc.

Clean Out Your Flower Beds and Add Fresh Mulch to Them

Some of the flowers that sit in your flower beds might be starting to bloom right now. But if your flower beds aren’t in the best shape, they might not look as beautiful as they should.

It’ll be important for you to clean out any debris that sits in your flower beds. It’ll also be important for you to think about removing any old mulch that might be in your flower beds.

You’ll be surprised to see how much better your flower beds will look with fresh mulch surrounding your flowers and other plants. This mulch will look great while also ensuring that your flowers and plants get all the nutrients that they need this spring.

Consider Aerating, Overseeding, and Fertilizing Your Lawn

In addition to checking on the condition of your flower beds, you’ll also obviously need to provide your lawn with lots of TLC in the spring. If you want your lawn to look incredible all spring and summer long, it’ll be imperative that you care for it in the spring.

The spring is one of the best times to aerate your lawn. Aerating your lawn will allow it to breathe.

The spring is also one of the best times to overseed your lawn. Overseeding your lawn will get it to grow strong for the foreseeable future.

And if your lawn is in really bad shape, you might want to go as far as to fertilize it in the spring. The right fertilizer can give your lawn a boost and make it as lush as you want it to be.

Begin Cutting Your Lawn on a Regular Basis

Towards the end of spring clean-ups, you can start to cut your lawn. But in the spring, you want to be extra careful about not making any of these silly lawn care mistakes.

In particular, you’ll want to shy away from cutting your lawn too low in the spring. You should try to let your lawn grow a little longer than you might like to beef it up and make it healthier than it is now. 

Hire a Professional Landscaping Company to Assist With Spring Clean-Ups

Some people think that spring clean-ups are a lot of fun and don’t mind tackling them on their own. But others don’t have the time or patience to devote to their landscaping.

If you fall into the second category, you should strongly consider hiring a professional landscaping company to assist you with your spring clean-up landscaping. They can provide the spring clean-up services that you need and make your yard look better than it ever has before.

Clean Up Your Yard This Spring and Make It Look Amazing

If you want to make your yard look great all year long, spring clean-ups will be of the utmost importance. The work that you do on your yard in the spring will affect how it looks during all of the other seasons.

If you aren’t able to do spring clean-ups, we can help you out! Our landscaping experts can deliver all of the services that you need to bring your lawn back to life this spring.

Would you like to get more information on our spring clean-up services? Contact us today to see how we can help you with your yard this spring.

A Quick Guide to the Different Types of Ice Melt

types of ice melt

While it may often seem much longer, the cold season in Washington DC lasts an average of 3.1 months. Anyone who has experienced a DC winter will know the chaos the cold weather can bring. So how do you keep your home or business running?

One way is with the correct products and tools. Read on as we discuss the types of ice melt you need to stock up on this winter.

What Is Ice Melt?

Ice melt is an application used to combat snow and icy weather conditions. It can also be applied before or after the formation of these. This allows a much safer environment to walk and drive across.

The concept is that the ice melt lowers the freezing point of water. Less ice forms and it can break the bond between ice and the ground, making it easier to remove. Although they all have the same principle, they can often work in different ways, serve different purposes, and have different outcomes.

How to Use Ice Melt

The best way to apply ice melt is to preempt the weather conditions. Apply a layer before the advent of snow or ice, then cover after the formation has occurred. If you are using strong products you may want to add an abrasive like sand, to reduce the amount of salt on surfaces.

To prevent lasting environmental damage, scoop away the ice melt, salt and abrasives as soon as the ice melts. This prevents it from harming plants, soil, or pets.

Types of Ice Melt

There are several different types of ice melt you should consider. The type you choose will depend on if you are using them commercially or residentially and how severe your winter conditions are.

Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride is a very affordable ice melt. It provides traction and helps keep surfaces dry, so is ideal for driveways. Like most melts, it lowers the freezing point of water.

Also known as common rock salt, it only has one downside. Sodium chloride can be corrosive, damages wood, plants, and even corrodes the underside of some vehicles. Removing it after use is essential.

One way to minimize its downside is to buy sodium chloride liquid brine. This is made of 3/4 parts water and 1/4 salt. It uses less salt, minimizes damage, and is cheaper to buy.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is a slow-acting ice melt and needs to be applied in larger amounts. It is easy to clean up.

The substance works using an exothermic reaction. During this process, it gives off heat, which is effective in colder climates. Though more pricey, it is less damaging to the environment and is considered by many to be more pet-friendly.

Calcium Chloride

For lower temperatures, calcium chloride is the most effective solution. It soaks in moisture to form a liquid solution. This lowers the water freezing point and causes heat, making the ice melt.

Calcium chloride is cheaper than sodium but more expensive than other ice melts. It is very good for use on concrete surfaces. The downside is that the heat causes burn damage, so it should be avoided if you have pets, children or are worried about the environmental impact.

Sodium Acetate

Sodium acetate is fully biodegradable. It also contains no chlorides and as a result, is an environmentally friendly option. As it does not cause corrosion to metals, it is the choice of melt for airport runways.

This ice melt also lasts a lot longer, so you don’t need to reapply it as much. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive choice.

Potassium Chloride

Potassium chloride is seldom used for melting ice anymore. While it does work, it is not as effective as other products. You will find it is also more expensive and harmful to the environment.

Glycol Based Ice Melts

Ice melts can often contain two types of glycol. These are ethylene and propylene.

The former is a very effective ice melt. It can reduce the freezing point of water to almost minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is poisonous to living organisms and is mainly kept for de-icing airplanes.

Propylene glycol is not harmful to plants, animals, or humans. It takes the form of liquid and is often mixed with something to give traction as a result. This has tended to replace ethylene as it is just as good, if not better, at reducing the freezing point of water.

Mixing with Sand

Many people choose to mix sand with their ice melt. Course sand provides a much rougher surface, giving grip to the surface. It also means in lighter circumstances you can use less icer, so you won’t suffer the damaging effects of some melts so much.

Pet and Child Safety

Ice melt products have the potential to be very harmful, when ingested or even if they are touched. Always ensure children and pets are kept well away from them both either when in use or in storage.

Residue and brine left behind can also cause problems. Make sure children’s hands are rinsed thoroughly, as are the paws of pets. You should even check the ingredients of products that claim to be safe for pets, as what works for one pet may not be suitable for another.

Getting Assistance

Now you know the types of ice melt, you can stock up on the one right for your property. When cold weather comes, you don’t need to do it all yourself. Consider getting some help to clear your drive and pathways.

One way you can prepare is with commercial snow removal. Bams Landscaping has a number of services to help you come winter or summer. Contact us here to discuss your needs.

How to Choose the Best Weed Control Service

weed control service

Weeds can grow several inches in 24 hours, and they will take over if you don’t hire a weed control service. Great service will eliminate the weeds in your yard and keep them under control so that your yard is always looking its best.

Are you in search of the best service for the weeds in your yard? Let’s see exactly what makes a good weed service and how you can find the best one near you.

Choosing The Best Weed Control Service

You could easily do a quick search for weed control services near me and choose the first one that pops up. But, that is not how many of us would choose to find service providers that will maintain our homes.

Conducting a bit of research before hiring a weed control service will show you the best options in your area with reliable service, environmentally friendly products and will provide you with the results that you desire.

Their Coverage Area

Coverage area means that companies will usually only provide service to customers within a certain range from their office. This could get limited to a certain county, town, or amount of miles from their business location.

Companies design their coverage area with the idea that that need to be able to make it to their appointments on time without spreading themselves too thin. A coverage area also helps to provide boundaries that ensure they do not step on other companies’ feet.

Make Sure That They’re Licensed And Insured

Unfortunately, some weed control services out there that are not legit. They might not have insurance, a license to practice, or even be a registered business.

These companies are not the ones that you want to do business with. What would happen if you let an uninsured company do work for you and something went wrong? You would be responsible for the damages caused to your property.

A reputable company will have its license number displayed on its website and its company vehicles. And, any company that gets registered with the state and has a license number must have insurance to protect both themselves and their customers.

Fast, Friendly, And Reliable

You might not ever come directly face to face with the people who kill the weeds in your yard. But, wouldn’t you feel better knowing that the weed control services are friendly and reliable?

A reliable weed control service comes when they get scheduled, do the work that was agreed upon, and are respectful to your property while honoring your contract with them.

If the job is done properly you will be more likely to recommend the company to your neighbors and friends in the area. As we know, word of mouth is always the best form of advertisement.

Services Provided

Services provided by a weed control company may be limited to weed control only. If you are looking to bundle services with another lawn care or landscaping service, you will have to do some research to see what the company offers.

Ask your landscaping service if they also handle weed control to save yourself some time. Having a company that can take care of all of your lawn, landscaping, and weed control needs is the ultimate score.

Remember that if you are in search of weed control services for a commercial property double-check that that particular company can accommodate you, as not all services cover commercial properties.

What Chemicals Will Be Used?

Do you closely monitor the chemical products that are used within your home? For those that like to be aware of everything that is used in or near their home, a weed control service should be investigated before making an appointment.

Of course, it will take something with a decent amount of strength to kill those weeds. But, at the same time, we want to know that the rest of our landscape, our pets, our kids, and the environment isn’t going to suffer because we wanted our weeds gone.

Sprays and powders used on weeds should be used sparingly and in conjunction with trimming and pulling them for the most efficient weed control.

Experience And Knowledge

Just about anyone can come through your yard spraying weed killer all over the place. But, it takes a certain level of education about weeds, how they grow, and pesticides to get the job done properly.

We can even buy weed killers and do the job on our own. Right?

However, the average person does not know all the ins and outs of weed control. This service requires training and knowledge of the field before getting to work.

Comparing Costs

Though cost probably won’t be the deciding factor for many people, it can still come into play when weighing the pros and cons of choosing a weed control agency.

A fair-priced service says a lot about the company. Rather than having an overpriced weed control service, fair prices show that a company respects its customers and values their patronage.

Checking Customer Reviews And Ratings

One guaranteed way to get a direct insight into what a company is like and the quality of their services provided is to check out their current online customer reviews. Unless a company is brand new they will most likely have been rated by at least one customer on Google or another site.

Businesses can not pay to remove ratings so you will get to see both the good and the bad ratings. Take both with a grain of salt, and only use it as a guide as not every bad rating will reflect the true character of a business.

Weeding Out The Bad Companies

After just a few quick questions, you can see which weed control service near you is licensed and insured, reliable, and provides the services that you are looking for. Should you have any questions about BAM’s Landscaping of Kensington and what we can do for your yard, contact us and we would be happy to discuss the details of the job with you.

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.