With the promise of spring comes the focus on spring planting for your farm. The delay of spring weather means the delay of spring planting. This can be a problem for many farms with a limited amount of equipment and manpower, and lots of fields to plant.
This spring holds promise of recovery from the drought we experienced last year. The winter snow on the fields will help with the moisture content in the soil. With a strategic spring planting plan, we can start to recover from the dry summer of 2012.
The National Weather Service has declared that the drought has ended over Southern Wisconsin. Here is the outlook for the spring of 2013 from the National Weather Service Forecast Office as of March 2013:
“.PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK…VERY COLD TEMPERATURES EARLY THIS SPRING ARE EXPECTED TO WARM TO NEAR NORMAL OR POSSIBLY SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL BY LATE APRIL OR MAY. THERE ARE SLIGHTLY HIGHER PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION TO CONTINUE THIS SPRING”
This is great news for farms and crops in Rock County Wisconsin!
What does this mean for your spring planting? Most likely it will mean long days and nights, dodging the raindrops, trying to stay out of the mud. This season, more than most, will be the time to call for help.
The forecast indicates that we may have a warm, wet spring. This is perfect for seed germination and a great start for the crops. The sooner you can get that seed in the ground the more you can take advantage of the quick start the weather will provide.
If you need help with any of your farm services give us a call. We provide services for:
• Crop planting – Soy beans, corn, rye, wheat • Tilling • Ripping • Field Finishing • Cultivating • Erosion Control • Dredging • Harvesting • Bailing • Stalk chopping • Discing
We have the equipment, manpower and experience to help you with your spring crop planting. At Joe Rebout’s Complete Lawn Care and Snow Removal, we do more than just commercial and residential lawn care. We also offer Farm Services.
Give us a call at 608-373-0769 to discuss your spring planting needs and how we can help you to a great start to the season. Timing for planting your crops this year will be the key to your success. With much of the country still in a drought situation, productivity in the Southern Wisconsin Farming Region will have a big impact on the markets.
The spring of 2013 has been a long time coming, but it will get here. Are you ready for your spring cleanup and spring lawn maintenance? When spring arrives it will warm up fast and will make us forget about the long winter we have endured. We know spring is just around the corner… the crocus is peeking up through the snow giving us a glimpse of springtime in Rock County, Wisconsin.
What does this mean for your spring lawn care? Whether you are looking for commercial lawn care or residential lawn care, you will be facing the same challenges this year. Recovery from last year’s drought will take some extra planning and specific lawn maintenance geared to drought lawn recovery.
Usually when the Forsythia bushes blooms, you would put down a pre-emergent for crab grass control. If you do that this year, you will not be able to plant grass seed to recover your lawn. Remember a pre-emergent does not allow the grass seed to germinate, be it crab grass or Kentucky Blue grass. You will need a different strategy this year. In fact, it may take a couple of years to recover your lawn.
Your lawn is probably depleted of its nutrients. Last summer it was difficult to fertilize as it was hot, dry and the fertilizer was not effective. Most spring fertilizers have a pre-emergent in them. If you are planning on reseeding or over-seeding your lawn, you will want to make sure that the fertilizer you use does not have any pre-emergent such as Halts in it.
Spring is the time when the roots of your lawn should be your priority. A good root structure developed in the spring will help your lawn survive the summer. The fertilizer you choose should be geared toward root development. The first number in the fertilizer is for nitrogen (N). With a new lawn or an over-seeded lawn, this number should be lower. The new grass and seedlings are not ready to handle the top growth that would be stimulated with an influx of nitrogen. The middle number of the fertilizer is for Phosphorous (P). This is the main nutrient that helps with root growth. You will want to see a bigger number in this nutrient. The third number in the fertilizer is Potassium (k). This nutrient helps with cell structure, food manufacturing process, and disease resistance. This is also a good nutrient for a new or recovering lawn. If the first number on the bag is high and the other two are very low, you may see instant green, but it will fade fast and actually do damage to your lawn.
Next, this would be the best time to plug aerate your lawn. This breaks up the soil and allows the water to sink down in. The hot dry weather did a lot of damage and compaction to the soil last summer. It is very important to break up that hard damaged soil. At the same time, you should over-seed the lawn that is mildly damaged. The grass seed will fall into the holes created by the aeration and will start to grow. Your lawn will come in fuller and greener with the growth of the new grass intermingled with the surviving grass. It may take a couple of years and more than one application of over-seeding to completely restore your lawn or commercial landscape.
If your lawn has large areas that have been destroyed due to the drought, you may want to consider lawn restoration in those areas.
Once your commercial lot is cleared after a snowfall you may think that you are done, right? Maybe, maybe not. What kind of an answer is that you ask? Well, it really depends on a number of factors.
There are many circumstances that can change the conditions in your lot.
1.) What is the temperature and is it melting the snow during the day and freezing at night?
If you have this condition, your lot can become a skating rink as the temperature goes below the freezing mark. If you have employees or customers using your lot, the black ice that may be present is a great risk to you.
2.) Is the wind blowing and drifting snow back into your lot once it is cleared.
The drifting conditions that may be happening in your commercial parking lot, may happen all the time, or may just be due to the direction of the wind on a particular day.
3.) Has there been any dusting of snow that may have turned into ice as drivers have driven over them.
Many snow storms are followed by smaller snow showers that may just give a dusting of snow. Occasionally the weather conditions and the timing of the snow is just right to allow this snow to be driven on and instead of melting, it may actually turn into a slippery, dangerous ice patch.
4.) Has the snow turned to rain, then ice with dropping temperatures.
Many times this condition ends up with very little actual snow accumulation, but may present a very dangerous situation in your commercial parking lot.
There is more to managing snow removal in commercial parking lots, than just removing snow. Ice control can be a larger issue, especially in southern Wisconsin. The Janesville, Beloit area tends to be on the edge of many winter storms. Many storms start as rain and end in ice or snow.
Salting lots should be part of your discussion with your commercial snow removal company. When do they salt? Who is responsible for notification? Is there someone on site that is responsible for that decision? How is your snow removal company to monitor the lot?
These are important considerations and you should understand what your commercial snow plowing contract includes and what it does not. The most important consideration should be the safety of your employees and customers.
November in the Midwest is time to clean up your landscape and gardens and get ready for winter. Most of the trees have dropped their leaves and it is time to clear them off your lawn. Leaves that are left on the landscape can cause damage to the grass and other vegetation. Mold and bugs can take up residence in leaves that are left on your lawn.
In addition to the critters that love the shelter of the leaves, they will also prevent your grass from getting the last of the sun in the fall and the first life giving rays in the spring. This will slow down or prevent your lawn from getting the sun and water that it needs to healthy start in the springtime.
Clean up of your landscape should also be underway in November. Pruning of trees and bushes is recommended at this time of year. Bugs and organisms that may move into the wounds created by pruning are at a minimum in the fall. If you are pruning a flowering tree, you should know if they set the buds in the fall or the spring. If they set in the fall, then this would not be a good time to trim those plants. A professional landscaper will know what can and what can’t be pruned in the fall.
Your flower and vegetable gardens should be cleaned up as well. Many plants such as lilies, roses, sage and other perennials should be trimmed and prepared for winter. Some plants will die back to the crown and the dead foliage should be removed to prevent disease and fungus to develop. Roses should be prepared depending on what type they are. Shrub roses and hybrid tea roses have different winter care needs and must be managed appropriately.
Fall in the Midwest is a beautiful time of year. If you would rather enjoy the fun the fall can offer instead of doing all of the fall clean up yourself, then call your landscape professional to get the job done.
Many people may think that planting tulips, daffodils and other springtime flowers is done in the spring. It would make sense, but you would be sorely disappointed with the results. Tulips require a sustained cold dormant period in order to flower.
Spring flowers that need this type of cold dormant period are:
• Winter Aconite
• Snow Drops
• Grape Hyacinths
You may find these in the springtime in pots at your local nursery, but that is only because they were refrigerated and forced to bloom. This is not practical in a landscape but is nice for some indoor color in the spring.
Planting bulbs for a landscape should be done with some forethought. There are many different types of spring flowers. Many of them bloom at different times. Planning what is best for your landscape situation and when and how long you want the blooms to last, takes some homework.
Knowing the bloom times and the full grown height along with the color scheme you want is critical in having a springtime garden that will be a delight.
Businesses know that their landscape is many times the first impression that their customers have of their business. Real estate agents know how important that curb appeal is for a home owner to sell a home. Spring bulbs can start that beautiful impression early. Correctly planned, you can have color in your landscape from March until November using spring bulbs as your start.
Planting spring bulbs isn’t the most enjoyable of the gardening tasks. It is usually cold out and the bulbs need to be planted deeply. This is a gardening task that you may want to have a professional landscaper help you with. The professional landscaper has the tools and the know how to get this job done quickly and done right.
If you are looking to plant tulips and other spring bulbs that will bring color and life to your spring landscape, call your professional landscaper to talk about the possibilities for your
It’s fall in Wisconsin. Such a great time of year! The weather is perfect for working outdoors and getting your landscape ready for winter. But fall is also the time that you need to contract your snowing plowing for your commercial lots. If you wait until the snow falls, you may be surprised at how unavailable reputable snow plowing companies are at that time.
Commercial snow removal is serious business and must be a priority in any Wisconsin business’s operating budget. You may just assume that your company that took care of you last year will do so again at the same cost. This is not a safe business practice.
Each year you should be checking the market. Your snow removal company may have had changes. They may be out of business or increased their costs. Putting your snow plowing contract out for quotes each year will assure that you are aware of what the market will be in the current year and will help you understand that challenges this season.
Since the removal of snow is completed with trucks, the price of gas is a great factor in the equation of the snow removal contract. Does the company you contract your commercial snow removal with have a set price or are they at the mercy of the market?
Does your snow removal company have the proper insurance? This is something that you should check each year. Have your commercial snow removal company give you a current certificate of insurance each year. Be sure that you look at it to make sure you are comfortable with the coverage. This should include worker’s comp insurance. If your snow removal company does not carry worker’s comp, you could end up paying the premium on your insurance. You don’t need that surprise at insurance audit time!
If you haven’t contracted or put your snow contract out for quote recently, you may want to consider getting busy! Fall is on the late side of commercial snow removal contracting. Old man winter doesn’t wait for you to find a convenient time in your schedule. He will decide when he will blow in whether you are ready or not.
Give Joe Rebout’s Complete Lawn Care and Snow Removal a call at 608-373-0769 to quote your commercial snow removal needs.
Why is tree trimming recommended in the fall? There are a couple of reasons for this.
When the leaves have fallen off from the trees it is easier to actually see the tree structure. Correctly choosing those branches to prune and those to keep can make a big difference in the growth and development of the tree. Trimming your tree when it is full of leaves may end up making a decision that may not follow the true structure of the tree.
Next are the bugs. The wound you make on your trees and bushes are invitations for bugs to make a new home. If your tree is weak due to other environmental stresses then bugs may be the last the last straw. In the fall, the frost has taken care of most of the bugs. Trimming your trees now will limit the amount of bugs that are around and your tree has time to heal the wounded area before the bugs come out next spring.
Finally, consider the life cycle of your tree. In the spring, the sap is flowing up into the branches and giving life to the tree. In the summer time the sap is running throughout the tree. Water is moving up from the root systems to bring nutrients to the branches and leaves. In the fall, the sap is still within the tree and may seep out of the wound, but not to the degree that would be present in the spring. The sap however, will not attract the insects if there are none to attract.
Your tree has a better chance of recovery when it is pruned in the fall. With all of the environmental stresses put upon your trees during the year, why give it more to deal with? Trimming your trees from late fall into early winter will give you the best change for better growth in the spring.
Call your landscape professional for an assessment of your tree trimming needs.
Fall is time for cleaning up your gardens, getting your trees trimmed up and getting your lawn ready for the winter. With the hot, dry summer that Janesville experience it is very important to go into the winter with your plants and lawn in the best condition you can. Many plants were stressed and will require some TLC this fall to survive the tough Wisconsin winter.
Things to do for your fall clean up.
Clearing out your gardens. Whether you have vegetable or flower gardens, it is important to get the old, dead plant matter out of the garden. Leaving this over the winter can cause fungus or disease to remain in your garden over the winter. This may cause major trouble in the spring for your new plants.
Trimming trees. Fall is the perfect time to trim trees. When the bug population dies down and there is still time for tree to recover from the trim cut is the best time. This fall it is even more important as many trees lost branches to the drought. Leaving dead or dying branches on your trees or bushes will invite rot into your plant. This will further stress your plant and may result in loss of the tree.
Lawn fertilization. The summer has wreaked havoc on our lawns. The weeds are more plentiful than grass. This fall is the best time to fertilize and get those grass roots stronger. A strong root will encourage better growth in the spring.
Lawn aeration. Breaking up the compacted soil and getting oxygen back in will help keep those grass roots strong. Aeration also helps the soil to accept rain and melting snow in the spring. Rain will be more likely to run off compacted soil and won’t sink in as well.
Dethatching your lawn: Getting the dead grass out is important to the health of your lawn. Not only is this a place where bugs can thrive, it will hinder the growth of new grass in the spring. Get the thatch out of your lawn in the fall and you will give your lawn a jump start in the spring.
Planting spring bulbs: What is more beautiful in spring in Wisconsin than a garden full of tulips and daffodils? Planting fresh bulbs in the fall will refresh and make your garden beautiful in the spring.
Raking: Keeping up with raking as the leaves fall from the trees is sometimes hard to do, but so important. Your lawn still needs the rain and sun to stay healthy until the cold weather comes. If you have a layer of leaves on your lawn, it will struggle that much more to survive.
If you want to enjoy the fall and still get your fall clean up done, give Joe Rebout’s Complete Lawn Care and Snow Removal LLC a call at (608) 373-0769. We can make your fall chores easy!
Fall is the perfect time to restore your lawn. The weather has cooled down and there is still enough time to get your new seeds started. The summer can be brutal on the new sprouts. Spring can be wet and difficult to get the work done. Fall is really the ideal time to restore your lawn.
Lawns that have been damaged by drought can take quite a while to restore. You may notice that there are parts of your lawn that have been totally destroyed and may have parts that are patchy. You may also notice that once the rain began again, the patches started turning green again, but not with grass, with weeds. What is the best way to restore your lawn after the drought?
The first thing that will help your lawn is to get that dead thatch out. That dead grass is not going to miraculously come to life. Dead grass is dead. Get it out! All that dead grass will do is attract insects that love to live in that thatch. This is not good for your lawn.
Now is the decision you need to make. Do you want to totally reseed your lawn? Unless you have the time and money to do this properly, you will not likely want to do this. If you have wanted to put in an irrigation system and sod, that will be an expensive venture, but one that would be well worth the effort. Fall is the perfect time to do this. It will give your sod enough time to set roots and enough moisture in the spring to really get a good start. However, if you are like most home owners or commercial enterprises, you don’t want to rip out everything and start over.
So what do you do? We recommend that you plug aerate your lawn and overseed with new grass seed. This breaks up your soil and allows water and air to the roots of the grass that did survive the drought. The hot, dry summer has resulted in your soil to become compacted and hard. The rain that we do get cannot easily soak into the soil. Plug aeration pulls little sections of soil out and lets the rain in.
As you are pulling these little plugs out of your soil to let the nutrients in, what better time than now to put new seed down? These seeds fall into the holes left by the aeration. As the soil plugs break up and fill the holes back in with soil that is now crumbled into wonderfully oxygenated soil, the seeds will be covered naturally. These new seeds will sprout into your existing grass and give new life to your lawn.
With a treatment of fertilizer after the sprouts are big enough to avoid fertilizer burn, will give your lawn restoration a kick. This needs to be timed just right. Too early and you could damage your new grass sprouts. Too late and your grass won’t have enough time to turn the fertilizer into energy to survive the winter.
Depending on how badly damaged your lawn is after the drought you may repeat this process in the spring. Your fall lawn restoration will have had time to get started and grow in. With another lawn aeration and overseeding new grass seed in the spring, you will be able to see your lawn recover from the damage of the drought.
Many trees have experienced an extreme amount of stress during the summer of 2012. The drought has had a great impact on the health of the trees in Janesville, Beloit and surrounding areas. This drought has been the final blow to many of the already weaken trees.
Here are a couple of tips for tree management.
1.) Make sure that your trees get at least one inch of water per week for the rest of the season. If Mother Nature doesn’t provide it with rain, then you will need to water. If the rain cooperates for the rest of the season, then you may not have to water.
2.) Check your tree for insect infestation. If your tree has been stressed too far and is weak, then you may have insects doing further damage. There are some treatments that you can use to get pesticides into your tree to protect from further damage if it has not gone too far. If you have an Ash tree, check for Emerald Ash Borer. This menacing insect has been found in the Rock County area. If your tree has been infested, you must remove the tree and dispose of the wood properly. This should be done by a professional who knows the proper procedure. Here is a link to with the State of Wisconsin for further information on the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
3.) DO NOT TRIM your dead branches off until after the first frost. You must eventually get them trimmed, but this is really an opportunity for the bugs to get into the tree. It is best to wait until the bugs are at a low population to trim your branches off.
4.) Cut down the tree that is past the point of return, or nearly so. Even if the tree is still hanging on, but barely, it will probably not survive. The weak limbs can become a risk for coming down during a storm. Also weak trees are an invitation for bugs to take up residence and destroy them even further. If the tree is one that is something you really don’t want to put effort into saving, it is best to cut down and replant. If you do want to save your tree, you may want to consider consulting a certified arborist to see what it would take to save the tree if at all possible.
The drought of 2012 has been substantial and has impacted many aspects of your landscape. Call a professional like Joe Rebout’s Complete Lawn Care and Snow Removal to restore your landscape after the drought.