Articles

Spring Forward

As Spring approaches and we have some really nice warm days we start thinking of what we are going to do this spring and summer. We start imagining things like playing with the kids on warm days, taking the dog for a walk and not freezing, watching the kids play with their neighborhood friends blowing dandelions.

WAIT, did you say Dandelions?! That means that your or your neighbors lawn has weeds! Hang on, stop daydreaming. Before you get to that point it is time for one of the most important lawn treatments of the year; pre emergent weed control.

We want you to enjoy your surroundings and like your skin we recognize and want to pause to say it’s important to treat it right so you can enjoy your Spring, Summer and Fall. Before we all Spring Forward it’s time to get down a good pre emergent to help block those summer time weeds. It may seem weird to put down something now when it is still cool out to help stop weeds that you normally see in the summer. Did you know that weed seeds actually start germinating when the soil gets to a certain temperature? It’s getting there!

I was doing an estimate earlier this week and when I mentioned that we would put down a pre-emergent for summer weeds the potential customer said “I already have weeds, so I guess the pre-emergent won’t do me any good.” The weeds that she had in her lawn were winter weeds. The pre-emergent that I was refering to putting down was for summer weeds. I know it gets confusing, summer weeds, winter weeds, what to put down when, how much to use, etc. That’s what we are here for.

Whether you need someone to just do it for you, or you are a do it yourselfer we are happy to help you out. The BIGGEST thing to remember with most lawn applications is that timing is critical! If you are applying something a day or a week late you are wasting your time and money. If you are putting too much pre-emergent out you can be polluting the environment and possibly be blocking your grass seed from germinating in the fall. Read the labels, calibrate your equipment and apply at the right time. In our area we have a lot of different types of grasses. Make sure the product you are using is safe for your type of grass.

Leap Frog Landcare is an organic based lawn, tree & shrub care company serving the Triangle area of NC, including Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Morrisville and Raleigh.

Yard Pest Control

Mosquito Treatments

Reclaim Your Yard with our natural or organic mosquito treatments. One of our licensed technicians will come out to your home and treat your property with a barrier spray that will kill adult mosquitoes on contact and as other mosquitoes enter your property and land on your shrubs and trees the residue will kill them too. We also use repellents that help to keep them away.

Our most commonly used barrier spray is a derivative of Chrysanthemum plants. The same basic ingredient in this product can be found in a variety of household products, including shampoos to treat head lice on children. It’s also the same active ingredient that is found in flea and tick shampoo for pets.

While our mosquito sprays are safe we do recommend staying out of the treated area for 30 minutes after treatment.

The natural based product will help control mosquitoes for 2-3 weeks. Most clients choose to have the treatments done about every 3 weeks. If you want very strong control of the mosquitoes then I would recommend every 2 weeks. We can treat up to 1/3 of an acre for $50 per treatment.

Our organic program is great too, but this product does wear off a little faster and will last up to 2 weeks. It is compliant with the National Organics Program (NOP). This spray is safe to use around ponds and creeks as well. We can treat up to 1/3 of an acre for $65 per treatment with the organic product.

We also do Special Event treatments!! We will come out 1-3 days before your special event and treat the area with either our natural or organic spray. Your guests will appreciate being able to hang out without feeling like they are about to be carried away by mosquitoes. 1 time sprays are available starting at $65 for the natural product for 1/3 of an acre, or $85 for the organic spray for 1/3 of an acre.

We can treat larger properties as well and will be happy to give quotes based on the size of the property.

Neighborhood discount!! If you and your neighbors are determined to have a great time outside together then you can bundle together and enjoy savings too. 3 neighbors together will qualify you all for a great discount!

Anytime when mosquitoes are active is a great time to start this program. However, you will get the best results by starting the program in early spring. This is because we will be able to keep the mosquito population low which means there aren’t as many reproducing. Mosquitoes reproduce about every 17 days, so the population can build quickly if left alone. Weather conditions are always adjusting, but for a normal spring we recommend starting in Mid March to April and continuing treatments up until October 1st.

Tick treatments

We also provide tick treatments. There are several options for control of ticks. We recommend scheduling an appointment where we can come out and assess the area that needs to be treated. This will include asking you several questions about your needs, areas on the property that may have more tick presence, as well as questions regarding where wildlife move through your property.

As someone that grew up in the country and has had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever twice, I have to admit I enjoy killing ticks!

Flea treatments

Fleas can be pretty controlled by using the same products that are in the Mosquito treatment program.

January Tree Tips

Having lived in the Cary/Apex/Holly Springs area of North Carolina for the past 30 years I always think of 2 things when people talk about tree care. Big trees and small trees! We have some massive trees in this area and we have some trees that are considered Ornamentals which are meant to stay smaller and add a great accent to your landscape.

January is a great time of the year to inspect your trees. It may seem odd to inspect the trees while the leaves are off, but that is the best time to see throughout the tree without leaves blocking your sight. Now, it may be tough to see way up in the big trees and you may need the help of an arborist to identify what is safe and what should be pruned off. A good arborist will be able to identify dead or decayed branches that need to be pruned off because they will not have buds on the ends of the small limbs. You see it is actually the beginning of the new leaves that are coming on the trees in the fall that causes the leaves to drop at that time. As spring gets closer the buds continue to grow. Anytime is a good time to prune out dead or decayed branches. However, you have to be careful of when you prune out the live branches. With the mild winters that we have here in the triangle area of NC January is a great time to prune live branches. It gives the tree a little time to heal over those areas before the spring sap rises. In a way it is like we get a scab after we’ve had a cut. This allows the sap to run right past where that limb was when it starts rising in the spring. If you have ever seen a ton of sap running out of a spot on a tree where a limb was cut off it is because that area wasn’t able to heal over before the sap started running.

A good rule of thumb to consider when pruning is to remove any dead, diseased or crossover branches. Crossover branches are branches that cross over each other and rub. This rubbing will normally lead to a weak area in one of the branches and make it more susceptible to disease, insects or possibly snapping.

The most critical thing to remember when you are pruning trees is to make proper cuts or hire someone that is knowledgeable about pruning, preferably a Certified Arborist. Its hard to explain in a few words how to make a proper cut, but the thing we can tell you not to do with trees is to cut the tops off of them, (this goes for the same with Crape Myrtles!!) Topping of trees is one of the most harmful things that you can do to them. A lot of trees, especially Crape Myrtles can survive, but it weakens them and makes them more susceptible to disease and insect damage each time it is done. Just because your neighbors top their Crape Myrtles doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do!

Leap Frog Landcare is an organic based lawn, tree & shrub care company serving the Triangle area of NC, including Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Morrisville and Raleigh. We do have a Certified Arborist on Staff.

Lawn care tips for January

We are in the heart of winter right now in Cary, NC and that can mean a lot of different things around here! Some days it can be cold and you feel like you are going to freeze and then you wait a couple of days and it feels like spring with temps in the 60’s. There’s an old saying around here that says if you don’t like the weather in North Carolina just hang around a few days and it will change. How true that is. With the ups and downs of the weather it leaves a lot of people wondering what should I do in my yard this time of year?

For most folks January is a big time for planning and new goals. It’s the same with your lawn. Just remember the 5 P’s for your lawn and for you personally. The 5 P’s are Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance! If you are going to come up with a plan for your lawn one of the 1st things you should do is to get a soil analysis done. You can take a sample of your soil and send it in to the NC Dept of Agriculture and they will do a free analysis of your soil. That analysis will help determine how much fertilizer, lime and other nutrients are needed.

Another big thing to remember this time of year is to try your best NOT to walk on grass that has frost on it. When a lawn is frosted, the grass blades are literally frozen, therefore causing the grass to lose its elasticity. Walking or mowing the lawn while it has frost on it will actually break the grass blade and damage it. With colder weather the grass grows much slower, so it takes a while for it to recover and you may end up with brown shoe prints through your lawn until spring.

Next week we will post some pruning tips to make sure your trees & shrubs are ready for that new spring growth that will be coming!!

Leap Frog Landcare is an organic based lawn, tree & shrub care company serving the Triangle area of NC, including Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Morrisville and Raleigh.

It’s Gloomy Scale Time

It’s Gloomy Scale time!!! I have an odd admiration for that little bug that is wreaking havoc on Maple trees. Oh, I know most folks are thinking since we do treatments for Gloomy Scale that I’m excited about it because I make money off of it. No, it’s not that. Although I sure do appreciate the fact that I can make money doing it.

You see, I’ve told a lot of folks that Gloomy Scale is the little bug that put me in business. Well, rolling back the clock to about 8 years ago, what really happened is that one day I was working with a Certified Arborist. We were talking about some ways we could work together. At the time I was the Business Manager for a really good tree company that was great at removals but didn’t really do that much regarding tree health except for proper pruning. We were looking for ways to start helping people protect one of the best assets on the property which is their trees. The Certified Arborist showed me what Gloomy Scale was and at first I thought he was trying to trick me. He found little white and black dots on a tree and said this is a parasite that sucks the sugar out of the sap of Maple trees and when they multiply each female can reproduce up to 500 more!!! He told me that if a tree has only 50 females of this tiny, little bug that when each of them reproduce 500 more then that tree now has 25,000 or more Gloomy Scale that are all drinking from the tree. They keep populating the tree until it is just covered one scale on top of the other and it makes the tree trunk and limbs turn black and eventually as the infestation turns severe the tree can’t force enough sap past them to get all the way out to the ends of the limbs. So, at that point the tree starts dying from the ends of the limbs back causing a slow, ugly death. Once he showed me a few other trees and how bad they looked it was like someone turned on a light switch in my head!! This little parasite was multiplying like crazy all over the area, very few people knew about it and it was attacking one of my favorite trees!!! Wow, it became game on!!! I got really interested in tree & plant health care. I just started devouring all the info I could on the subject and that is what lead me in to starting my own business. So, each year when it becomes the appropriate time to do treatments on trees infected with Gloomy Scale I reflect back on the little bitty dot on a tree that has now led to me being in business for myself and also teaching people about how to make their landscapes healthier.