(c) John NybergYay, spring is finally in the air! How do we know? Besides the milder temps, there are buds on trees, daffodils blooming, and the birds are singing away. And with this season change comes a few lawn care needs.

crabgrass 1Weed control is a very important part of keeping a lawn green, lush, and healthy. Now is the perfect time to treat for some of those annoying weeds before they establish themselves in your lawn. Crabgrass is best treated with an herbicide mid-March before it starts to grow. Once the weed has developed, however, herbicide will have much less effect on it.

tea roseDo you have repeat-blooming roses such as floribunda and hybrid tea roses? This is a good time to prune them, just as the buds break dormancy. It’s best to prune once-flowering roses after the bloom.

Bermuda grassIs your lawn a warm season grass (Bermuda and Zoysia)? If you overseeded it for the winter, now is the time for an application of nitrogen. If you did not overseed your warm weather grass, or have Centipede or St. Augustine grasses, do not apply any fertilizer.

white grubIf you have found that your lawn is suffering from a white grub problem, you should start the cycle of treatment now. A good weapon against them is bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, but it does take a little time to build up in the soil.

sprinkler headBecause irrigation systems will be started up soon, now is an excellent time to inspect them for any issues and then make the appropriate repairs and upgrades. If you set your irrigation times, you may want to just go over your manual to make sure you remember how to do it. If you have your landscaping company or someone else turn your system on, give them a call to schedule a quick inspection and to discuss what your system’s clock will be set for.

Have any lawn care questions? Give us a holler on our facebook page or via twitter.

Halloween logo 2014With trick-or-treaters gearing up for the big day, there are things you should do besides making sure you have enough candy to give. We’ve created a short checklist for you to help make sure your yard is safe for the ghoulish visitors. Take a quick look, it only takes a few minutes to make your home Halloween safe.

  • Make sure all outdoor lighting is working and areas are well lit.
  • Clear the walkway of any plant growth or branches that could trip someone up.
  • Make sure your decorations won’t hinder easy access to your front door.
  • If you have an irrigation system, make sure no heads are stuck up creating a tripping hazard.
  • Make sure all hoses and any gardening tools are properly put away.
  • Keep pets safely indoors and away from strange and curious little hands.
  • Give your property a once-over to make sure the trick-or-treaters will be safe.

If you complete this checklist, all the princesses, cowboys, witches, ninja turtles, robots, heroines, and other costumed kids will enjoy a happy and injury-free Halloween when visiting your house.

One other quick hint: if you are not giving out candy, or plan to have a small stash of candy alternatives for those with food allergies, put a teal pumpkin outside your door to help families recognize that you are the perfect house to visit if they have children with allergies.

The-Teal-Pumpkin-Project-2

Attention people of the Triangle, NC area!
U think u got a nasty yard?! Overgrown, things dead or dying, no grass, do u give it nicknames like my death valley or the Abyss?
Are u proud of it? Well u should be by now- let’s see that bad boy on our facebook page!

Then promote that puppy to all your friends, get the most likes by May 31st.

The somewhat lucky winner gets a free landscape makeover from yours truly and some brief humiliation.

Go to our Facebook page now and enter- Good Luck!

Fontaine Ugly Yard Contest

As Winter sets in on our landscapes, color and interest can disappear from the scene. During long periods of cold weather, gardening becomes a spectator sport, a time for contemplation. Gardeners gaze out across the lawn longing for signs of life. But winter should not be a season of discontent.

On the contrary, winter can be the perfect time to enhance and improve on your existing landscape. Various hardscape products are available for the creation of intriguing outdoor living spaces with patios, walkways, and retaining walls which blend in naturally with the landscape and enhance the home’s character and function.

Fontaine Landscaping installs outdoor fireplaces and grilling stations customized to meet your needs. There are numerous evergreen and deciduous plants that can make a winter landscape picturesque and more colorful. Liven up the landscape at night. Low voltage outdoor lighting easily creates outlines and shadows of skeletal branches, creative placement can create unique up light and moonlight effects, and over all lighting is able to provide night time safety for the family and guests.

Call now for special winter savings on Hardscaping and Lighting products. Visit us online at http://www.fontainelandscaping.com/ or call a Fontaine Landscaping associate for a free written quote at (919) 380-8286.

Curb appeal is the impression one gets of the property and from the surrounding landscape.

One of the most common questions that people ask us is, “Does it pay to invest in landscape improvements?” A study conducted by the National Arborist Association concluded that landscape features account for 20% of the total property value. Money magazine conducted research on the return on investment (ROI) of home improvements. The ROI of a kitchen is 75-125%, the bathroom is 20-120%, the pool is 20-50% and the landscape is 100-200%. The ROI for landscaping is huge, suggesting that you may potentially double your investment.

INCREASING CURB APPEAL: starts with the five simply strategies below to give your property an appealing look and increased functionality.

1. COLOR UP
A lush, thick, healthy lawn helps make a great impression. Follow a good lawn care program of balanced fertilizers and make sure to core aerate, and look out for lawn diseases. Think of deleting certain areas of grass that routinely do not grow well. Add new curves in the bed/grass edge for less string trimming needs and easier mowing. Add vibrant pockets of colors to the landscape with hardy annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Research new improved dwarf woody plant varieties if space is limited, such as ‘Pixie’ Loropetalum and ‘Blue Chip’ Butterfly bush.

2. LIFT UP
Restorative or maintenance pruning of shrubs and ornamentals around the house revives the appearance of the home by creating balance between plants and buildings. Correct pruning keeps the house from looking swallowed up by foundation plantings and brings back the scale needed. Removal of outdated or overgrown material is also a good idea, replacing it with smaller plant types or making it into a lawn area.

3. OPEN UP
Selective pruning will restore the healthy look of the canopy and establish an airy feel. This method also provides a natural look to the landscape. It will also allow more light to filter in through trees and improve air circulation. Thinning out cleans up wooded areas, and makes properties feel larger and more open.

4. CLEAN UP
Removing hazardous limbs, pine cones, dead shrubs, fallen branches and remaining tree stumps produces a clean, well cared for look to the property.

5. MULCH UP
Weed the beds and redefine your plant bed line for a crisp new edge. Fresh mulch creates a fresh finish for landscapes. Organic mulches and new dyed mulches for longer lasting color will help retain moisture, insolate the soil temperatures and compliment the plantings and lawn. Be sure not to pile mulch onto the base of the plants and maintain a 3” layer of mulch of both the old and new combined.

Call now for special winter savings on various services and products. Visit us online at http://www.fontainelandscaping.com/ or call a Fontaine Landscaping associate for a free written quote at (919) 380-8286.