Our Tree and Shrub Manager states that we are seeing signs of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar active in our area, not to be confused with bagworms or webworms. They build “tent” like nest in the crotches of the trees where they feed. These caterpillars are leaf chewers, and while they can defoliate a tree when the population is high, rarely is this feeding fatal and a healthy tree will push out new growth.
The Eastern Tent Caterpillars emerge and feed early-mid spring and then move on in their lifecycle, while the tents remain until they weather away.
They mainly feed on Maples, Cherries, Plums, and Apples. Virginia Green controls them by spraying susceptible trees with horticultural oil during Tree and Shrub applications. The oil smothers and kills the eggs. Cultural control is as simple as breaking open the nest, it provides access for the caterpillar’s natural predators.
If you would like a quote for our Tree and Shrub program, please contact our office.
We are proud to offer our customers top quality lawn care services. A great lawn isn’t only for your home. Are you a business owner looking to keep your property appearing it’s best at all times? Do you want your property to reflect the quality and personality of your business? Our goal is to make things greener not only in residential neighborhoods but in commercial areas as well.
Satisfaction is guaranteed with our quality commercial lawn care program. Accelerate your business traffic by catching your customer’s, and potential customer’s eyes with an attractive and lush commercial lawn. We understand the values of operating a business which is why we try to use those same principles when it comes to commercial lawn care.
From basic weed control to aeration and seeding, we take a proactive approach and can design a lawn care program just for you. With our lawn management services and detailed instructions after each application, we will help maintain the property and keep your business looking great helping to attract ideal consumers.
Our commercial lawn care program can also include tree and shrub care. We carefully inspect and treat ornamental trees and shrubs for insects, disease and weather damage, providing the necessary fertilizer and care to ensure healthy blooms and vigorous growth. Our practice of Integrated Pest Management and deep root fertilization means your trees and shrubs are protected against damaging insects and properly fed for growth and color.
Spring is around the corner! Call our office today and schedule an estimate so we can get your commercial property Virginia Green!
The mild temperatures and moderate rainfall makes tall fescue thrive during the spring. We aerate and seed during the fall to repair any areas and help with soil compaction to provide better pore space allowing your lawn to breathe more.
Come spring in our climate, tall fescue is in its second growing season for new plants and numerous seasons for fescue plants that are well established. This also means it’s generating new growth like crazy!!
Spring mowing may often be needed every five days. It is important to not only keep your mower maintained but keep a sharp blade. Often times new mower blades are not sharpened perfect for safety reasons. The easiest way I find to sharpen my blade is a bench grinder. There are many kits you can buy at your hardware store to help you with sharpening and leveling.
What I find easiest for me is to use the bench grinder to sharpen. To level I simply hammer a nail halfway into something upward and flat and place the center of the blade where it would screw into the mower on the nail. If it sits at a 9 and 3 o’clock level I know it’s good. If one side sits lower than the other that means I need to take a little more off that side to even it out.
The importance to having sharp blades goes beyond aesthetics. When the blade is dull it stresses the plant which also makes it more susceptible to disease. When your blade is dull it makes your mowing have a white appearance and the tip is torn. How often you need to sharpen depends on the size of your lawn and how often you mow. A rule of thumb would be to monitor the up close and far away appearance. If it looks like clean even cut you will know. The pictures included is of the same lawn up close and from a distance.
Calling all pet owners! It’s time for our Annual Precious Pets Contest! Every Spring we look forward to seeing your pets spending time outdoors and enjoying your beautiful lawns. It’s now time to show them off.
As many of you know, pets are a big part of our Virginia Green family. With this in mind, we want to give back to you and those animals who have not yet found their forever families. Share a PUBLIC picture of your pet enjoying your yard on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for you chance to win a $100 PetSmart gift card. The four pet pictures with the most likes, win! For every entry we receive, we will donate $10 to the Richmond SPCA. Be sure to follow all of the rules below. We don’t want to miss any of your pet pictures or videos.
- Post a picture or video of your pet enjoying your lawn to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
- Include #PreciousPets in your post description.
- Make sure to properly tag Virginia Green Lawn Care in your post. This tag differs across Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Be sure to include the right one for where you are posting. These are included below.
Facebook = @VirginiaGreenLawnCare
Twitter = @Virginia_Green
Instagram = @virginiagreenlawncare
- Make sure your post is listed as public. On Facebook, click the drop down to mark your picture as public before you post. On Twitter & Instagram, your account will need to be public.
- Get your friends to vote for your pet by liking, sharing, or commenting on your #PreciousPets picture.
The Precious Pets contest will end on May 18th with the winner announced Monday, May 21st. Virginia Green employees and their families are not eligible to win. Winners must live within the Virginia Green Lawn Care service areas.
Make sure to find us on Facebook at Virginia Green Lawn Care, follow us on Instagram @Virginiagreenlawncare and follow us on Twitter @Virginia_Green. The more likes and shares your pet gets, the more chances to win!
An early taste of spring this year was unwelcome news to those that suffer from seasonal allergies as pollen counts increased earlier and impacts may be felt for a longer period of time this season. The warmer winter could alter the timing of the peak of allergy season, triggering symptoms for allergy sufferers sooner than normal. According to meteorologists, the warm air that arrived in late February provided early growing opportunities for plants, which is causing the pollen season to be about 10-20 days ahead of normal in some areas.
Tree pollen peaks in the spring and, along with grass pollen in the summer and weed pollen in the fall, is one of the main types of allergens. Allergens tend to flourish on hot and breezy days, while damp and rainy weather tends to clear the pollen from the air.
Here are some tips to help keep allergies at bay this spring:
- Shower at NIGHT: This may help you get a better night sleep after washing all of the pollen away from your skin and hair. It prevents you from getting pollen on your bedsheets and pillows. When you wash your bedsheets, make sure you wash them in hot water.
- Avoid being outside in the morning: Pollen counts are higher between 5am and 10am.
- Keep indoor air clean: Close house and car windows when pollen counts are high. Use air conditioning in the car and at home to filter the pollen out of the air.
- Dress appropriately: Wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses can keep pollen out of eyes. While limiting outdoor exposure is best, you may need to wear a mask if being outside is unavoidable and symptoms are severe.
If you have always been an allergy sufferer there’s really no way to completely avoid it, but taking some precaution just might make you feel a little better!
Daffodils and tulips have begun poking their heads through the ground, cherry blossoms are in full bloom, temperatures are warming up and of course, your Virginia Green lawn is looking fabulous! This can only mean one thing – Easter is just around the corner!
Did you know that 120 million pounds of Easter candy are purchased annually? Over 90 million chocolate bunnies are made each year and over 16 billion jelly beans. What’s that? You’ve got a belly ache? Slow down! Seventy six percent of Americans say chocolate bunnies should be eaten ears first! This is serious folks, what’s your take?
Having an Easter egg hunt this weekend on your Virginia Green lawn? Going to the mall to visit the Easter Bunny? Dressing up in your Easter outfits and going to church? No matter what you and your family are doing this weekend, Virginia Green wants to wish you a Happy Easter! We hope that you are able to get out and enjoy your Virginia Green lawns!
Boxwoods have been used in American landscapes since colonial times. They are found in a lot of the older neighborhoods of Richmond, Charlottesville and Williamsburg and are being found in some of the newer ones.
Boxwoods are beautiful shrubs which add texture and form to the landscape. Often used as a hedge, they can form a good screen against unsightly views. Like most shrubs, Boxwoods need a cleaning out of dead or crossed branches that can restrict healthy growth.
Our technicians often get asked by clients questions about pruning their trees and shrubs such as boxwoods. They can be pruned at any time of the year, but, for plant health, it’s best to avoid shearing in the fall. The new growth that appears after trimming boxwoods may not have enough time to harden off before frost or freezing temperatures.
Pruning can be done with hand or electric shears and hand pruners. Hand shears and pruners are recommended over electric ones. Plant age should be taken into account when deciding to prune too. Young plants benefit from frequent prunings. The best time to prune young shrubs is during the first few years. This will encourage branching which will result in denser growth and defined shape, but don’t over do it.
Excessive shearing can produce dense growth on the outside of the boxwood that will prevent sunlight from penetrating the center of the plant, leaving the branches bare. Pocket pruning, opening holes in the plant or thinning out can allow light into the plant and new growth. Severely pruning boxwoods can kill them.
Pruning boxwoods too early in the winter in central Virginia, especially before temperatures drop well below freezing can lead to dieback and the need to prune again. A rule of thumb is to prune around Saint Patrick’s Day or later to avoid cold temperature injury to your plants. Typically during the growing season, the only pruning to boxwoods should only be light tip pruning for cosmetic reasons.
Proper pruning of boxwoods can help your plants to look and be healthy for many years. They can have occasional insect and disease problems too, so contact your Virginia Green Lawn Care technician for a free estimate in helping you maintain your boxwoods.
Small trees and shrubs are fertilized to stimulate growth and maintain vigor. Most soils not disturbed by construction have plenty of nutrients to help with plant growth. The factors causing most tree and shrub problems are not nutritional but heavy clay soils, poor drainage and incorrect planting.
Since most urban environments have been disturbed by construction, and the natural cycling of nutrients is disrupted by leaf removal, there is a need to add nutrients back to the soil for tree and shrub use. The best time to add nutrients back into the soil is when the trees and shrubs are in their dormant period. January though March is an ideal time to apply the fertilizer into the root zone.
For newer trees and shrubs fertilizers help promote new growth. For older trees and shrubs it helps provide a rich stable environment for them to maintain long term health. Fertilizing trees and shrubs while helping to maintain the plants vigor, also helps keep them healthier in order to protect them from disease and insects. A healthier tree or shrub is more often a better plant.
So fertilizing your trees and shrubs is one way in keeping your landscape growing and looking healthy. If your plants are not looking as great as you would want them to be, call us today for a free tree and shrub estimate.
Can you believe it is already time for some lawns to be mowed? To ensure that you have a successful and headache free mowing season, spring preventative maintenance of your lawn mower is the single most important aspect of your preparation. Preventative maintenance of your mower is very easy and will help to insure that your mower performs headache free this mowing season.
There are 4 very easy tasks that every homeowner can and SHOULD preform before cranking up their mower in the spring. Preferably, these tasks are taken care of in the winter before we even think about mowing the lawn this spring.
Changing the oil
Our mowers are just like our vehicles. They need occasional oil changes as well. Dirt and other impurities will contaminate your engines oil over the course of a mowing season. Changing the oil in the mower will insure that the engine will run smoothly for the next few months. Make sure to read your owner’s manual on how to safely change and dispose of the old oil.
Replacing or cleaning the air filter
If the filter in your mower is an accordion-style paper type, just removing it and blowing out the debris with an air hose will suffice. When paper filters become too clogged with debris it is time to replace them. If the filter is foam, wash it in a water and detergent solution, let it dry, and apply a few drops of oil to it. Sometimes, you may need to replace a foam filter, but most of the time a thorough cleaning will do. Again, always refer to your owner’s manual with questions.
Replacing the spark plug
Again, read the owner’s manual on how to perform this task safely. Most of the time all you need is a spark plug wrench and a new plug and you’re good to go. A new plug will help to insure that the mower starts up quickly and efficiently when you turn the key or pull the cord.
Sharpening or replacing your mower blade
Even though this needs to happen before your first mowing of the season, I’ve been known to sharpen or replace my blade up to 3 times a year. Some people with larger lawns could possibly be more. Once you witness the first signs of a dull blade, sharpen or replace it immediately. A sharp blade insures a clean cut to the turf. A dull blade can lead to “tearing” of the turf. This can open the plant up to outbreaks of disease.
Before removing the blade, be sure to detach the spark plug wire to prevent the mower from accidentally starting. Always be extremely cautious when attempting to remove the blade of your mower. Sharpening of the blade can be done with a metal file, sharpening stone, or a motorized grinder. If you need to purchase a new blade, make sure it is sharpened before attaching it to your mower. NOT ALL NEW MOWER BLADES COME SHAREPENED.
These are 4 tasks that each and every homeowner can perform on their own very quickly one winter afternoon. All these tasks are vital to the longevity of your lawn mower. Remember to read your owner’s manual before performing any of these tasks and only perform if you feel comfortable in doing so.
We want to announce this year’s first Lawn of the Month Winners for January!
First we have the Jones family from Mechanicsville. They are currently on the premium program and started with Virginia Green last year. For January, their lawn is really showing a beautiful dark green carpet.
Next, we have the Everly family of Chesterfield. After receiving aeration and overseeding last fall, their lawn is really starting to shine. New growth and weed free really makes a lawn look good.
Last but not least, we have the Machich family in Henrico. They are starting their second year with Virginia Green. They are currently on our Premium program and their lawn is looking outstanding starting off 2018!
With the cold weather in January, we did not receive as many submissions as normal. Make sure that you are submitting each month. Each winner receives $75 credit to future applications and their technician is rewarded as well. We want to have multiple winners in each market! If your lawn is looking good and you are proud to show it off, make sure you are submitting a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered to win.
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