Can my lawn bounce back from the cold winter?

florida winter grassDon’t be alarmed if your lawn is looking rough after this year's brutal winter. Between brutally cold temperatures and drying winds, your turf probably took a beating this year. It will most likely come back alright, but some great care can prevent any future problems, reverse damage and let your grass grow tall and green. 

Once those temperatures stay steady in the cool 70’s, assess how much of your yard has been browned due to frost or cold temperatures. If there are any brown patches, dig up the patches and fertilize the soil and put in new grass seeds or new sod. Cheaper options out of the two would be to place new seeds, as sod could get costly. When the new sod or seeds are put in, make sure to water your grass regularly. Make sure not to over water the grass as they could make it turn brown also. 

When that new grass begins to show, you can begin to mow the lawn. Only take a few inches off the grass as it cutting off too much could be bad for the roots of the grass and damage it. If you’re going to fertilize, the best fertilization to use is a high potassium fertilizer, as it helps the grass grow with the strength and nutrients the roots need. If you’re not getting the green you would like for your lawn; you could try turf colorants. Turf colorants are used for golf courses and are safe for your lawn. Don’t try it with any paint for your local hardware store, because turf colorants are chemically made safe for your grass.

Your lawn can bounce back from the winter that has just passed; it takes a lot of care and work. At the end that green, healthy lawn you will see will let you know that the hard work and effort you put in was worth it. 

Florida deep freeze; will my landscaping survive this harsh winter?

florida winter plantWhile it may be “nothing” compared to our neighbors up north, we Floridians do in fact experience cold weather and even freezes! I know, it’s tough for us to put away the flip-flops, but more importantly, we want to keep our tropical, beautiful, sun-loving plants alive.

So, fellow Floridians here’s how to implement some simple proper planning and care that makes a life or death difference for our landscape plants:

First of all, plan ahead:

Our meteorologists do their best to predict future temperatures within at least a few degrees, give or take. So if they’re telling you a freeze or frost is predicted for your area, do the right thing for your plants and cover all of them with frost blankets so you’ll be prepared ahead of time.

Keeping your plants healthy during cold weather gives them an edge on faster recovery when it warms up. 

Don’t fertilize when it’s cold.

Applying fertilizer encourages new growth, which means newborn baby plants - and newborn baby plants are much more susceptible to damage and injury from the cold. Postpone fertilization until spring or move them to a protected area. 

Cover your plants the right way!

Throwing a cover over the top of your plants is not enough to give them the protection they need. During a hard freeze, your covers should entirely cover the plant all the way to the soil. This way, the ground heat is trapped beneath your plant. You might even want to add an electric light bulb underneath the cover for extra heat. If your cold-sensitive plant is too large to wrap completely, use several layers of newspaper of cloth to wrap the trunk. Remember to remove the covers once the outside temperature rises above freezing. 

If you waited too long, no worries.

If, despite your best efforts, your plants are still damaged by the cold, don’t rush to prune away the damages. Instead, wait for spring. Your cold-injured plants will still sprout below the damage, so you can see exactly where to prune.

Do's and Don'ts of Great Curb Appeal

Nicole Stevens

villages curb appealFirst impressions are so crucial in many different aspects of life. From relationships to jobs, even to home owning, a good first impression is an important one. Imagine any of the times you’ve driven through nice neighborhoods, potentially looking for a new place to rent or even buy. You drive slowly, taking a mental note of the nicer homes and speeding up a bit past the not so nice looking home; ones with overgrown lawns and faded/cracked mailboxes and a for sale sign out front. Would something like this hold an importance to a potential buyer? Absolutely! It’s called curb appeal, and it’s a crucial part in a buyer’s decision to purchase or not. Here are a few tips to make sure your curb appeal is far from appalling.

  • DO make sure you keep your lawn neat and clean! An unkempt lawn is an indication of laziness in how the home looks, so it can leave potential buyers wondering how bad the inside might look compared to the tall grass outside. This includes trimming any hedges that may grow alongside the home/property.
  • DON’T crowd your front yard area. This includes any lawn ornaments that could obstruct the view of the front door (or just look plain tacky) and flower assortment, specifically annuals. If you desire a floral presentation in the front yard, consider planting perennials as they last much longer and add color and beauty to the yard.
  • DO shine some light on the situation! If you have a driveway or partial sidewalk leading up to the front door, a few small solar lights to stake in the floor will help light the way when walking from vehicles to the front door in the evening.
  • DON’T make your front door a mystery. Your front door should stand out and be obvious that is the main entry way into the home. The entrance in the home should be a warming invitation and not a guessing game between a side or back door to the home.
  • DO keep an up to date mailbox. Or at least a sturdy, clean one. A broken, bent, warp or paint chipped mailbox is another indication of laziness in the upkeep of the exterior of the home. Upgrade the mailbox to one that’s weather resistant, and closes securely.
  • DON’T go too “out there” with the paint job. Everyone always remembers the random brightly colored house in the middle of a neutrally painted neighborhood, but it’s not always a potential buyer’s cup of tea. It provides a shock effect anddefinitely grabs the attention of lookers, but it is rare you will find someone in the market for a bright pink home. Stay within the pattern of the neighbors, neutral colors are safest – grays and beiges being most popular.
  • DO take the extra step and power/pressure wash the driveway/surrounding sidewalk and possibly the exterior of the home (professional help may be required with that last part). It will show the home is well taken care of and that the curb appeal extends all the way to, well, the curb itself!

Source

How do I prevent a chinch bug invasion from my neighbor’s yard?

chinch bugTo chinch bugs, your lawn is dinner. 

You’ve done everything right. Watered your lawn regularly. Fed your lawn when you’re supposed to. Now and then, you discover you have what appears to be drought damage. If you have St. Augustine or zoysia grass, you definitely may be entertaining an entire troop of chinch bugs. These nasty, pesky little critters  suck your grass blades dry. Then, to take a step further, they inject a poison that kills the grass. Chinch bugs can kill patches of your lawn or the entire thing - and get them under control in your yard is one thing, but what happens if your neighbor’s lawn has an infestation too?

The short answer? Prevention is key.

As with any lawn issue, whether pests, weed or disease, a healthy, strong lawn offers better resistance to withstand pressure from pests. Following a rigorous lawn care schedule helps ensure you’re taking every measure available to keep your lawn at its best - including:

  • Mowing your grass to about 2 to 2 ½ inches in length
  • Applying fertilizer with proper timing and in proper amounts, using caution to avoid over-fertilization
  • Properly irrigating lawns in times of drought and avoiding improper watering or overwatering, which can weaken your lawn.
  • Manage thatch - Thatch is a buildup of dead grass, living grass and various other organic matter that creates a perfect environment for chinch bugs to feed and live.
  • If chinch bugs are consistently problematic year after year, preventative chinch bug pesticide should be applied in early spring befortoe eggs hatching. May is an optimal target month, but contact a professional for more accurate dates to apply preventative pesticides and keep a chinch bug free lawn all year long.

Keeping Your Landscaping Looking Beautiful...Even With Florida Summer Downpours

florida summer rainOftentimes, the primary difference between minimizing storm damage and sustaining a complete loss to landscape trees, gardens and flower beds comes down to how well your landscape is managed. 

During the Florida storm season, unpredictable summer downpours and even severe thunderstorms sometimes seemingly come out of nowhere. Maintaining a green thumb all year long on your landscape will profoundly enhance its chances of survival. Plants that are properly fertilized and pruned on a regular basis have the best rate of survival from high winds, rains, and even drought conditions.

A few key tips to keep in mind during this summer’s storm season are:

  1. Properly maintain and prune trees to enable them to withstand heavy gusts of wind.
  2. Prune low-hanging branches and remove weak or dead limbs.
  3. Inspect the base of the tree for fungal growth - which could be a sign that the tree has rot or decay, indicating severe weakness.
  4. Trees that are heavily weighted on one side more than the other need to be balanced, especially if the heavier side is opposite the prevalent winds.
  5. Remove any limbs that encroach upon a structure.
  6. When choosing plants and trees, remember to choose wind resistant breeds first. (these include conifers, palms and dicots like crape myrtles, live oaks, southern magnolias, bald cypress, some hollies and various sand live oaks).

15% OFF All Jobs

Offer Valid Only If Job Given At Time Of Estimate. $3500 Job Minimum Required. Offer Must Be Presented At Time Of Estimate. Job must be completed by 5/31/18.
We offer estimates at your home or in our landscape nursery & hardscape showroom. Please setup an appointment and come down to our nursery with pictures of your landscaping and a copy of your plot plan. If you receive an estimate at our landscape nursery & hardscape showroom and it is necessary to visit your home to confirm estimate details, you still are eligible to receive and discounts & special offers as long as at home estimate confirmation is done the same day or the following day.
Offer expires 05/31/18

15% OFF All Nursery Materials

Offer Must Be Presented At Time Of Purchase.
Cannot be combined with any other offer.
Offer expires 05/31/18

What Your Neighbors Are Saying About Mansfield Landscaping

Recently had Mansfield Landscaping add some shrubs, rock etc., and must say they did an excellent job. The crew was very polite and professional. We would recommend Mansfield for any landscaping project regardless of the size. Will definitely use Mansfield for any future landscaping projects. Thanks,Steve!

John & Linda Smith

I first used Mansfield Landscaping a year ago after seeing the unique design work Steve Mansfield did at a neighbor's house. The tree specimens used were more impressive than those typically found in our village and this was the result of Mansfield having a massive inventory and variety of trees, shrubs, and other landscaping materials at his huge nursery in Yalaha-about 30 minutes from The Villages and right next door to the famous Yalaha Bakery. After getting over my initial reservations about Steve's quirky personality, I was thrilled to discover the genuine Steve-a truly unusual individual; a caring and considerate character who gives personal service and attention to his clients! My first job turned out so well that I recently used him and his hard-working crew again to re-landscape an entire house, including the fabrication of a magnificent water fall and stream. While there are many companies doing business in The Villages, Steve's knowledge of the landscaping profession combined with competitive pricing and his emphasis on making his clients happy and satisfied is proven by accepting no money until the job is completely finished. Steve "cranks" out the best landscape design and implementation in The Villages.

Kidzdds (www.talkofthevillages.com)

Steve did a fantastic job. I enjoyed the relationship with Steve. I spent two or three hours at his nursery talking to him.

My home is for sale and Steve has certainly improved it's curb appeal both front and back. He's very innovative. His suggestions have worked wonders!

Alfie (www.talkofthevillages.com)

Such great, friendly and hard-working guys who kept me updated on what they were doing and why. I have now had my first SUPER experience with a landscaper and it was MANSFIELD LANDSCAPING!!! Thanks so much!!

Anonymous (The Villages)

I wanted to take a minute to personally thank you for the great job you and your staff did on my back yard at my house. Everything turned out so beautiful. Every time I call you, I receive great, on time service at a fair price. You cannot ask for anything more than that.

Thanks again for having your staff stop by and put out the colorful annuals, just in time for Stephanies wedding. It really added that finishing touch to my already beautiful yard. Thanks for everything.

Mark Sullivan (Orlando)

We would like to thank you and the crew of Mansfield Landscaping for the fine work done at our home. As with the previous work you have done for us, we were extremely pleased. It is unfortunate that it is so difficult to find people these days who take pride and ownership in their work and can be relied upon to do a job well. The Mansfield Landscaping crew was professional, dependable and timely. The hard work you and your crew gave to the project is commendable. The trees, plants and design you suggested have added beauty to our home.

If you ever need recommendations, feel free to use us as a reference.

Steve and Brandee Sullivan (Orlando)

We could not believe Steve told us if we did not like the job, he would take it out with no extra cost to us. How could we go wrong? Our landscaping has added tremendous value to our home. You owe it to your yard to call Steve.

The Griffins (The Villages, Mallory Square)