Start Your Own Lawn Care Business

Lawn Business Success Course

This ebook guide is the definitive source on how to start your own complete lawn care business that you can support yourself or your family on. Most people laugh at the idea of getting rich off of a lawn care business, but you will have the last laugh when you are able to rake in the money hand over fist. People are getting their yards cut every day of the summer and spring; what is to stop you from getting in on the action? And that is not even the best part. Once you build your business to a certain point, you can sell it off for a HUGE paycheck. Some people will pay upwards of several hundred thousand dollars for a good lawn care business. Do not let your own doubts stop you! You can do it! Others have done it and turned a big fortune; you can do the same. There is money to be made in lawns everywhere! More here...

Lawn Compony Secrets Summary

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How to Start a Lawn Care Business

For some people, lawn care is their ultimate ticket to financial freedom. This ebook does not teach you how to make money without working; you have to put in the time in order to get the results. But if you keep at it, you will be able to more than triple your time off and make twice the money that most jobs would ever give you. You will learn how to start your business from scratch even if you know nothing about business, you will learn how to hire on a team and manage the people on the team, and you will learn how to upsell your current services to make even MORE money than you were before. This is not a scummy, get rich quick method; you will learn how to get rich at a normal pace. Anyone telling you you can get rich quickly is trying to fool you; we CAN teach you how to get rich with good, hard work.

How to Start a Lawn Care Business Summary

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Author: Kevin Whiteside
Official Website: www.grasstocash.com
Price: $37.00

The C elegans Paradigm for Host Microbial Associations

In laboratory culture, C. elegans is grown on bacterial lawns. Such property is advantageous for two main reasons firstly, because it provides a convenient route of microbial infection analysis and, secondly, bacterial feeding can be used for the application of RNA interference (RNAi)-based gene silencing. Genome-scale screens using feeding RNAi are now commonplace (Boutros and Ahringer 2008). RNAi has been efficiently used to inhibit gene function and to identify new resistance and susceptibility genes that cannot easily be targeted by using mutagenesis-based approaches. Homologues of genes implicated in defense in other organisms can rapidly be tested in C. elegans by this means (Alper et al. 2007, 2008). Using a combination of genetic strategies, several groups have now been able to establish the roles of transducers that mediate interactions between C. elegans and pathogenic microorganisms. One theme emerging from such approaches is that the innate immune mechanisms of C. elegans...

Botanical Gardens and Arboreta

Such diverse resources and facilities require a skilled staff of workers. The most important consideration in maintaining botanical gardens and arboreta is good plant-care practices. Horticulturists, trained in these practices, spend time on everything from lawn maintenance to systematic prun

Tree Protection in Urban Conditions

The ecological conditions imposed by the urban lifestyle and urban activities, and their specific unfavorable effects strongly influence tree development and the presence and behavior of pathogens affecting them. It is known that some fungi, such as Ganoderma australe or Abortiporus biennis, occur almost exclusively in areas of human habitation or areas influenced by human activity - the so-called synantropic species. Serious damage is done to trees by traffic, incorrect tree maintenance, construction work near trees and deliberate man-made injuries. This includes damage to trunks, tree crowns, branches and roots. As a result, the wood-destroying fungi are very active, since they penetrate into woody plants through those wounds caused by abiotic or biotic agents. For example, Ganoderma resinaceum and Meripilus giganteus are usually found to produce fruit bodies at the base of trunks, which are often damaged when lawns are cut. All mechanical injuries reduce the vitality of woody...

The Concept of Urban Forest Management

This chapter focuses on the management of urban forests and more specifically the management of two major components urban woodland and urban parks. In Chap. i of this book, the concepts of urban forests and urban forestry have been introduced and discussed in detail. As was explained, urban forests constitute an essential component of urban green structures, i.e. networks of urban green areas. One could characterize urban green areas as urban areas of land primarily containing vegetation. Urban forests are those green areas containing trees as major elements, covering all from woodland to parks and individual trees in and near urban areas. Urban woodland includes all types of forest or forest-like vegetation within the urban forest. In this chapter, the term 'woodland' and 'forest' are often used synonymously as referring to this 'forest ecosystem' part of the larger urban forest resource. Urban parks can also contain a considerable number of trees, but elements such as lawns,...

The Rediscovery of Historical Woodland Types

Not only open woodland types but also more closed forest types should be considered when providing a wide variety of forest types for future urban contexts. The references in the countryside of today mainly concern high forest types, developed for timber production or as growing 'wild' for decades through natural processes (Peterken 1996). The urban context, however, calls for a wider range of possibilities. History again can assist by pointing at interesting directions. Examples include landscape terms such as 'wood pasture', 'coppice woodland', 'lund lound', 'holt' (a wood, perhaps single species), 'grove' and 'launde' (woodland, lawn) which can all be found in old British landscape texts (Muir 2000), while corresponding terms have been found in the Germany and the Scandinavian countries (Schama 1995 Wittrock 2001). These probably only provide some insight into the richness of woodland types and aspects that has existed through time. Many of these concepts will be more interesting...

A gene library can be kept in phages

The bacteria are infected by mixing them with the phages. At first bacteria grow on the agar plates to produce a bacterial lawn, and then the phages, which have been priorly propagated in bacteria, are added on top. After incubation, the infected and lysed bacterial colonies appear on the agar plate as clear spots within the bacterial lawn and are called plaques. These plaques contain newly formed phages, which can be multiplied further. It is customary to plate a typical cDNA gene library on about 10 to 20 agar plates of ca. 20 cm diameter. Ideally, each of these plaques contains only one clone. From

Basta Selection on Soil

The major advantage of Basta selection is that it can be performed on plants growing in soil and does not require the use of sterile techniques. Basta (glufosinate ammonium) can be purchased as a herbicide solution from garden supply stores. In the United States, it is sold as Finale by Scotts Company, which has a long-term supply agreement with the manufacturer, AgrEvo. It can also be ordered on-line (http www.biconet. com lawn finale.html). The pure chemical can be ordered in the United States from Crescent Chemical Co. (1-800-877-3225).

Effects of Moisture on Soybean

Drought may affect various physiological and morphological aspects of the soybean plant, which in turn affect nodulation, nitrogen fixation, growth and yield. The effect of drought stress on a plant may depend on various factors including the stage, severity and duration of stress. Although significant levels of osmotic adjustment have been reported in soybean (Likoswe and Lawn, 2008), osmotic adjustment is of little benefit for leaf survival.

Plastic Grass The Artificial Weed

Really a different kind of weed, one which spreads through human activities, and which covers landscapes, choking out native plants and other living organisms. With golf course turf, at least the spreading scourge is alive, photosynthesizing to help soak up the carbon created by all the machines which tend it. Yet AstroTurf is a weed of yet another sort, a horse of immutable green, but different in every other way imaginable from my little friends in the lawn. As a child, I knew artificial turf first in an outdoor setting. The floor of my grandfather's back porch, which overlooked the Ohio River from Cincinnati, was covered with plastic grass. Granddaddy Charlie was a golfer, but lawn treatments were not in his budget a darkened porch where no grass would grow must have seemed the ideal place for a bit of plastic green. He was devoted to a neatly trimmed yard, perhaps because of its beloved view of Coney Island Park, the Ohio River, and the matching hillsides at eye level on the...

Bayberries Cashews And Corkwood

Ihree species in two genera bear the common name sumac. The winged, or shining, sumac (Rhus copatUna) is the most widespread of the three and is found throughout the state, w ith the exception of the Keys, It is a fast-growing species that volunteers readily in a variety of circumstances, including suburban lawns and woodlands. It is most often recognized by the dense* conspicuous, terminal clusters of dark red fruit that matures in laic summer and early fall The plant is also an important wildlife food for a variety of animals. The fruits are consumed by a host of bird species, the leaves are savored by white tailed deer, and the bark and branchlets are eaten by rabbits It b most easily distinguished by its compound leaf with a winged rachis and its leaflets numbering more than nine,

Cotinus obovatus C atnericanus

A choice native species thai occurs in limestone soils. In the wild, it is often a large shrub rather than a tree, but most cultivated specimens are small trees. J he habit is oval to rounded, with a dense crown. The gray-black bark develops a fish-scale constitution that is particularly noticeable In the winter landscape, I he rich blue-green, to i' tn -long, oval leaves torn magnificent yellow, orange, redh and reddish purple in fall, with no two trees exactly alike In latt, a single tree may display all these colors. Slakes an excellent small lawn tree and offers pos* sibilities for street and urban planting in dry soils. No serious insect or disease problems. Should become more commonly used in gardens as people discover its many virtues. Grow* 20 lo 30 ft. high, variable spread. Zones 4 to 8. Tennessee to Alabama, west to the Edwards Plateau of Texas.

Environmental Chemicals

Environmental chemicals include, but are not limited to, prescription, over-the-counter, and illegal drugs cigarette smoke solvents alcohol pesticides herbicides and food additives (see Table 9-1 on page 107). One needs only to visit a suburban neighborhood or home to observe the extent to which potentially toxic chemicals permeate people's lives. One finds lush green and weed-free lawns well-fertilized and pest-free gardens, which are the result of using herbicides and pesticides. There are also sparkling homes with the fresh scent of clean,'' thanks to the advent of cleaners, grout and tile mildew retardants. And there are shiny vinyl floors still off-gassing in the summer sun and pervasive deodorizing chemicals. These are but a small sample of the total and daily exposure that people in the Western world endure from childhood throughout life. Time spent away from home means additional exposures in classrooms, offices, grocery stores, and cars.

Physical Chemical Barriers and Evasion Behavior

Primary defense in nematodes is provided by the multi-layered cuticle, which offers a superb physical barrier against external aggressions. Secondly, they are equipped not only with a muscular grinder that breaks down bacteria but also with an intestine which generates an environment hostile to microbial colonization. A complete transcript inventory of the C. elegans intestine reveals an arsenal of secretory proteins with roles in bacterial digestion (lysozymes, saposins, lipases, lectins and proteases), detoxification and stress responses (thaumatin-like, ABC transporters) (McGhee et al. 2007). Furthermore, the worm has a sophisticated chemosensory system, which enables it to sense different bacteria and to learn how to discriminate between innocuous and pathogenic microbes (reviews by Schulenburg and Boehnisch 2008 Zhang 2008). For an organism that lives in decaying matter and feeds on microorganisms, an efficient pathogen avoidance behavior appears to be one of the best strategies...

Impact Of Irrigation Management And Land Configuration On Yield Of Chickpea

Likoswe, A.A. and Lawn, R.J. (2008) Response to terminal water deficit stress of cowpea, pigeonpea, and soybean in pure stand and in competition. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 59, 27-37. Troedson, R.J., Lawn, R.J., Byth, D.E. and Wilson, G.L. (1989) Response of field-grown soybean to saturated soil culture. 1. Patterns of biomass and nitrogen accumulation. Field Crops Research 21, 171-187.

Lousewort wood betony

Ecology Numerous annuals occur in open, well-lit areas such as fields, lawns, and roadsides. In contrast, very few annuals occur on the forest floor of deciduous forests. One of the interesting exceptions is fringed phacelia, an annual that germinates in the fall, produces a rosette of overwintering leaves, and then flowers, fruits, and dies the following spring or summer. Given that annuals must start each year from seed, they are likely to be handicapped by small size when competing with older and larger perennials for resources such as light, soil moisture, and nutrients. More so than perennials, annuals depend on frequent establishment of new individuals from seed. A thick layer of leaves, freezing temperatures, and seasonal droughts are just a few of the obstacles that limit seedling establishment on the forest floor. An additional constraint is that annuals have just one growing season to reproduce, thereby increasing the risk of reproductive failure. The ecological...

Economic and Ecologic Importance

Many of the most important plant species grown for human consumption are in the grass family, which includes rice, corn (maize), wheat, rye, barley, teff, millet, and other species. Many species of the grass family are also grown for animal consumption or as lawn grasses examples include timothy, fescue, and bluegrass. Another group of great economic importance is the palm family, which includes coconuts, dates, and the oil palm. In addition to these foods, the palm family provides construction materials for housing, thatching, and a variety of tools and implements in many parts of the world. The largest family of monocots, in terms of number of species, is the orchid family. Although orchids are widely grown as ornamentals, only one species, the vanilla orchid, is grown as a food plant. The flavoring agent vanilla is extracted from the podlike fruits of this species.

Olives Tallow Wood And Spindle Trees

The oilier four genera in the olive family include the fringe tree (Chionanthus), the devilwoods (Osmanthus)f and the privets (Forestiera and Ligustrum). Of these, the little fringe tree (C, virginicus) is probably the most striking and best known representative. especially when in flower. In early spring this handsome tree puts out masses of fragrant, pendulous flowers, each with four linear, creamy white petals that dangle in the breeze. This striking inflorescence has earned the tree several of its common names, not the least descriptive of which include old-man s-beard and grandsie-gray-beard. The fringe tree is well known across most of the eastern United States and is often used to decorate southern lawns.

Development of Leaves

In many monocots, cells near the base of the leaf continue to divide throughout the life of the leaf, forming an intercalary meristem. When you cut the grass of your lawn, cells in the intercalary meristem are induced to divide, producing more leaf tissue toward the leaf tip.

Avoid Monocultures

Planting a wide variety of plants is another way to foil pests and diseases by encouraging diversity. Conventional lawns, a type of monoculture, are a good example. Planting a mixture of lawn grasses (especially disease-resistant ones) will help prevent diseases from sweeping through your lawn, because some plants will be susceptible and others won't. Replacing some of your lawn areas with a variety of tough groundcovers will also increase the overall diversity of the home landscape. It's an excellent alternative for sites on which lawn grasses won't naturally thrive.

Herbicides

Herbicides are chemicals that kill plants. Herbicides are widely used in modern agriculture to control weeds, reduce competition, and increase productivity of crop plants. They are also used by homeowners to control lawn weeds and by turf grass managers, foresters, and other professionals. Herbicides are used not only on land, but also in lakes, rivers, and other aquatic environments to control aquatic weeds.

Quo Vadis

As we scale down to molecular size and rate constants in pursuit of ever more detailed understanding, so we can also scale up to the biosphere and ask whether our insights stand up in the real world. Thus, it has been very exciting, and satisfying, to see the extent to which remote sensing devices can assess changes in photo-synthetic efficiency and NPQ in canopies. A Laser Induced Fluorescence Transient (LIFT) apparatus, based on the Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometer (Kolber et al., 1998) used so effectively in our Chlamydomonas experiments, now can resolve the different NPQ kinetics ofpsbS mutants in Arabidopsis to2sata range of 10 m and beyond (Kolber et al., 2005). When suitably housed, it also reports the different diel patterns of photosyn-thetic electron transport rates in tropical forest canopy. Fluorescence imaging methods have yet to be scaled up to the canopy, but the photosynthetic reflectance index (PRI, Gamon et al., 1997), a remotely sensible index of DES, can be...

WmmiJr

In the Leaves and stems strands of latex are evident when a leaf is torn apart. A rounded to broad-spreading tree of rather uniform outline at maturity. The 3- to 6-in.-long, lustrous dark green leaves do not color in fail. Tolerant of a wide range of soils and pH. At one time considered a possibility ftJT street and urban use, but ihis tree never jumped the hurdle. Nice for lawns, parks, golf courses, or commercial grounds. Grows 44) to 60 ft. high and wide. Zones -1 to 7. Chill*,

Buddleia

Buddleias thrive in rich, loamy soil in full sun. They are remarkably free of insect and disease problems. Japanese beetles have been known to attack them, but rarely severely. Handpicking or inoculating your lawn with milky disease spores will usually suffice stronger control methods can endanger the butterflies that these plants attract.

Decomposers

Decomposers are the choppers, shredders, plowers, and dissolvers of the biological world. They break down tree leaves, dead flowers, grass blades, old logs in forests, and plant roots into small parts, and, finally, into carbon dioxide, water, and numerous basic chemical compounds in soils, water bodies, and sediments. Organisms involved in decomposition vary from earthworms that drag leaves into their burrows, chew up parts of the leaves, and pass them through their guts to microscopic bacteria that make the final breakdown of fragments into basic chemicals. Some decomposers are specialized and act most effectively on only, for example, oak leaves or maple seeds. Others decompose parts of many plant or animal remains that fall on the soil or into a stream or lake. Most decomposers are often not visible, but in some lawn areas, especially under deciduous trees, we can see little volcano-like earthworm mounds. Mushrooms in our gardens and forests are the visible parts of fungi that are...

Weed Control

In larger-scale organic cultivation, the use of plastic mulch is common, since its spreading is mechanized at present for strawberry and cucumber cultivation. Plastic mulch can decrease the labor cost of weed control by 70 to 80 and produces a 114 increase in fresh plant weight (Galambosi and Szebeni-Galambosi, 1992). Cleaning rows between plastic mulch rows could be easily mechanized as well using regular lawnmowers. The heat accumulation in the soil under the plastic mulch in cooler areas is an additional advantage of this method. In warmer climates, use

Hawkweed

In Greenville, Hannah greeted us outside her house with Ellie on her hip and invited us in. It was hot out, and we talked a while inside, letting the girls play and get to know one another. When her husband came home, we all caught up on each other's news. One notable difference between their lives and mine is that their suburb is a lot newer than ours. The yard, they both told me, was frustrating them, with poor drainage, fire ants, and a lot of weeds. Because the talk I was in Greenville to deliver was on environmentally friendly lawn care, I was really interested in taking a look. There, in my friend's yard, I got my first up-close view of what passes for landscaping among modern builders. My friends are not the herbicide types, but they were unquestionably irritated with their lawn, with its tall flowering weeds and flattened prostrate spurge crowding out the grass. In addition, I was there for the first significant rains in weeks, and within minutes of the first raindrop the...

Quercus palustris

Ftutti marine, this species was the most commonly planted shade and street tree Pin Oak has consumer recognition, and it is also one of the easiest oaks to grow and transplant, which contributes to its popularity* The habit is strongly pyramidal, usually with a central leader. The lower branches are pendulous the middle are horizontal and the upper branches are upright. The lustrous dark green leaves turn russet-red to red in tall Tin Oak requires acid solh for best performance. Chlorosis is common throughout the M id west on plants In calcareous soils. One major maintenance problem is that the lower branches hang down iinti must be removed to facilitate vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Use for street and lawn plantings. C trows 60 to 70 ft. high. 25 to 40 ft. wide, Zones 4 to 7. Massachusetts to Wisconsin, south to llelawarr and Arkansas.

Turf Management

Lawn care managers often work as supervisors, consultants, or technicians for professional lawn care franchises. Many start their own company. Responsibilities can include mowing, fertilization, pest control, renovation, sales, and evaluation of home lawns. College graduates normally start as technicians or managers. Lawn care is the largest sector of the turf industry. Homeowners in the United States spend about 15 billion on their lawns and landscape each year.

Grasslands

Grasslands are often an important element of urban parks and woodlands, and therefore specific attention is given to them here. Even lawns are often essential elements. However, lawns that are not frequently used, apart from the edges along paths, should be replaced by meadows. These are mown once or - in case of heavily fertilized soils - twice a year during summer and a third time around October. A properly managed meadow flowers, apart from a short period after mowing, almost continuously from spring to autumn (Ash et al. 1992). As hay or freshly cut grass is removed, the regeneration niche and ultimately the coexistence of many plant species is assured (cf. Grime et al. 1988). To reach greater amenity values naturalized - originally non-native - plant species may be used (often geophytes, e.g., Narcissus spp., Camassia spp., Crocus spp.). Excellent examples include the meadows of Great Dixter in Sussex, England (Hobhouse 1997). In order to replace species poor grassland on...

Forestry

By deer, mice, or other forest dwellers, and competing vegetation (like weeds in a garden) must be controlled so the new trees can grow. Where the land is not too hilly or steep, trees can be planted from a plowlike machine pulled behind a tractor. In mountainous areas workers plant trees by hand using special hoes or shovels. In some forests, especially those of pines and other conifers, foresters often thin out some trees after a few years to leave more growing space for desired trees. And, on certain types of soils that are not so fertile, foresters may add fertilizers to improve tree growth (just as one might fertilize a lawn or garden).

Clover

With snow, any weeds lower than the mower blade become invisible for a time. We cut the dead goldenrod and other field weeds to ground level after they turn brown, so for a time our snowy lawn seems to go a bit farther down the hill. Our backyard isn't quite steep enough for good sledding. We have friends nearby whose yards slope down toward the house instead of away from it, and they must erect straw-bale barriers to prevent their children from sledding dangerously fast into their own houses. In between snows, anything greenish is welcome, and at this time of year I care only if the plant is perennial, with leaves waiting for the first warm days (or nights) to emerge from dormancy. I no longer care whether the plant is on my personal list of favorites. This is not a beautiful time of year in the Northeast. Before the buds burst, before the green lawn revives, we see lots of brown and grey, lots of mud. This is a good time to reseed the bare patches a frost seeding, when seed is...

Epilogue

I've seen rabbits out and about, but none has fallen victim to our crocuses this spring. The chicks are still too small to loose in the yard, so they are housed in a cage in the garage. For now, they stay warm under a brooder bulb that I found, complete with a picture of a yellow chick on the box, at the warehouse-style home and garden retailer in the mall near our suburb. Is the presence of this bulb in that store a relic of nearby farms, recently built over, or is it an indicator that my strange love of chickens is shared more widely than I thought I dug up another patch of lawn in the backyard to expand our vegetable garden and was overjoyed to find some fat white grubs, because the chicks love them. This winter I've made friends with a local beekeeper and with other weed-friendly gardeners, some of whom also have young children. I have started to feel less alone in my affection toward our weedy lawn now that the township has declared one soccer field pesticide free, now that I...

Giant chickweed

Taxonomy A genus of about 120 species centered in Asia but nearly worldwide in distribution, with 7 species in the mountains and piedmont. Common chickweed (S. media), an introduced, weedy species commonly found in lawns and gardens, is similar but has smaller leaves and flowers and weaker stems.

Spring

Herbert, Diana Balmori, and Gordon T. Geballe. Redesigning the American lawn A search for environmental harmony. 2nd ed. New Haven, CT Yale University Press, 2001. Haeg, Fritz. Edible estates Attack on the front lawn. New York Metropolis Books, 2008. Jenkins, Virginia Scott. The lawn History of an American obsession. Washington, DC Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994.

White clover

Habitat range Disturbed areas, including lawns, roadsides, and fields. Common. Widespread in temperate regions. Ecology White clover is the common clover in lawns and pastures. It can grow in a wide range of climatic conditions, ranging from sea level to the high mountains. It flourishes in full sunlight and declines as plant cover increases. A shallow, fibrous root system makes it vulnerable to hot, dry conditions. Bees actively visit the flowers, and within 2 weeks of pollination, the seeds ripen. Most seeds lack dormancy and germinate right away, but they require disturbance of the existing vegetation for successful seedling establishment. The movement of livestock and wildlife species spreads the seeds (passing intact through animals' digestive tracts or becoming entangled in their body hairs) as does lawn and farm equipment and other human activities. Vegetative reproduction (from stolons rooting at the nodes) plays a primary role in local spread, whereas reproduction by seed is...

Common Ragweed

Ragweed is more often found by a roadside than in a lawn. Certainly, ragweed would happily grow in any bare patch of lawn, if given half a chance and a month without mowing. In most areas, in September, as Emily approaches her harvest-time birthday, ragweed is releasing pollen if you aren't allergic to grass pollen in spring, ragweed pollen is the next plant likely to make you miserable.

Plantain

Plantain is a common yard weed, one of those that grows low and seems to pop up flower heads as soon as the mower passes. It indicates soil that is a bit compacted and not quite nutrient balanced. It also lacks an attractive flower, and its rosette of leaves at ground level hampers efforts to establish grass or other small seeded plants around it. However, in function if not beauty, it has some redeeming qualities, not least of which is that it can draw children down to the lawn and encourage them to look closer. any of these plants, and I didn't learn scientific names until I studied plant taxonomy in college or weed science in grad school. Since I didn't think of the plantain head as a flower, I wouldn't even have known how to look it up in a flower identification book. I knew these plants only for their uses to me, and most of these uses wouldn't have translated into anything a grownup would write a book about. They are all considered weeds in turf, and are all on the enemy list of...

Thistle

Since fall, I have watched the little prickly rosettes of thistle leaves sprouting in the lawn near our front flower bed. In February, through several snow thaws, I step past these little patches of spiny green, consider finding a spade to dig them out, but always put it off. A few leaves, not a stem in sight the baby thistle seems so harmless that it hardly seems worth going to search through the garden tools for such a tiny weed. At this time of year, it isn't even growing. For at least four months now, I have consistently put off the decision do I let the thistle live, or not I ended up asking permission to use an herbicide, and even then removal wasn't painless. A week after spraying, I went in with gloves and long sleeves and started pulling. I was uneasy with the whole process, even with the management's blessing, and I wanted the thistle gone before death was complete and obvious. So when a dad dropping his son off for soccer practice stopped to talk to me, I was certain I was...

Compost

Can be applied at any time of year without danger of burning plants. Compost can be included in potting soil, spread on lawns, worked into garden beds, side-dressed around trees and perennials, and added to transplant holes. Compost is often used to stimulate growth of new vegetation on land that has been strip-mined or badly eroded. Compost tea can give growing plants a quick boost, and is known to suppress certain plant diseases because of its beneficial microorganisms. Organic farmers rely on compost to build soil fertility and recycle nutrients. see also Agricul-Organic Fertilizer Soil, Chemistry of Soil, Physical Char-

Crape Myrtle

The crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indie a) is predominantly an ornamental landscape plant that has found wide use in gardens and lawns across much of Florida and the southeastern United States, as well as in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it is particularly well known as a roadside plant, and its beautiful white, pink, red, or purple flowers are often used to add an attractive border to many southern highways, It is native to Asia but has become established in Florida, particularly near the sites of old homesteads, along fcncerows, or in old fields.

Crabgrass

The school routine is well established now, and the temperatures outdoors no longer remind us of summer's end but of winter beginning. For months, we have watched tall, rangy masses of green rising at the back edge of our lawn, and now these awkward stalks are blooming butter-yellow feathery goldenrod, clean white fuzzy boneset, deep early morning pink tufts of joe-pye weed, and my favorite, bright purple ironweed. If I have managed to save any yarrow from the mower, it flowers now though I enjoy its feathery leaves, flowers or none. The suspense begins in watching the crabgrass (Digitaria san-guinalis) die back with the first frost. Have my efforts at seeding perennial grass succeeded Is the clover still alive under there If crabgrass looked green all year, we'd cultivate it, but when it dies, I get a chance to see the price I pay for my lack of lawn service. I regard it a small price a couple of pounds of organic lawn seed every fall, sprinkled among the dying crabgrass, will soon...

Maackia amurensis

Unheralded and unknown except in the gardens at a fortunate few. No singular quality sets this small tree apart, hut the sum of its features contributes to a pleasing landscape presence, A dapper, round-headed tree of uniform proportions in youth and at maturity, Ne* foliage is ducted with grayish pubescence that yields to rich green. The leaves are composed of five to seven leaflets, each 1 'rt to V S In, long. Fall color is virtually nonexistent and the leaves die off green. Dull white, pealike flowers appear in 4- to < vin -long racemes (sometimes panicles) in June or July. 1 heir fragrance could he likened to that oj new mown alfalfa. 1 he shiny, amber-colored hark peels with age Into loose flakes and curls When backlighted by the setting sun, the bark has the color ol a rich brown ale. Performs liest in loose, acid or alkaline, well-drained soils An excellent small tree lor streets, planters, Lawns, and patios Grows 20 to JO ft. high and wide Zones -i to 7. Northeastern China.

Violets

When I was small, my parents often told me how, around the time I was born, they had renounced the customary lawn care service because they just didn't know what those guys were spraying. Later, when I was in high school, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my parents noted that three of the four women at their corner intersection had received this diagnosis, and all had used a lawn service at some point. (The remaining one hadn't lived there long.) Although my parents had no research to back up their suspicions, a 2007 study showed that breast cancer has a statistical association with use of a lawn service. Along with my parents' suspicion about the spray's danger, my dad both showed me and told me how they enjoyed violets and clover growing in their lawn. My parents remain my inspiration as lawn revolutionaries simply for valuing lawn weeds at the critical period of my childhood contact with the lawn. More than twenty years later, when I was working as an agricultural...

Prostrate Spurge

Accompanying the hawkweed in my friends' suburban Greenville lawn grew an entirely different sort of weed, flat and green. Prostrate spurge is hawkweed's opposite a plant that grows close to the ground, with a flower so dull and inconspicuous that even with a magnifying glass it could be of interest only to a botanist. It actually doesn't even really require mowing. Prostrate spurge is a summer annual, which means its primary drawback in the lawn is its disappearance during the cold season. If you don't look closely, it looks dark green and pretty all summer, and when seeds set and frost sets in you've got a brown patch. Spurge grows in the strangest places, sometimes seemingly without soil. Anything that grows in the compacted, poor soil of a brand-new lawn deserves a bit of respect for its tenacity. But prostrate spurge (Euphorbia maculate) is the weed you'll find first between the cracks in your sidewalk, where you didn't realize there was enough soil to support a single root. I...

Multiflora Rose

In many other ways, including our lack of a minivan and the fact that our household has no TV, we are not quite normal for our suburb. One fact about us, however, makes us fit in perfectly with a silent majority the property around our home has a very healthy population of weeds. Although a scattering of houses on our street bear small flags either warning of or advertising some form of herbi-cidal spring lawn service, our own yard bespeaks years of pesticide-free lawn care. Dandelions and clover, plantain and spurge call our yard home and refuge. Perhaps the only way in which I don't fit in with the majority of weed-harboring property owners is that I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. Perhaps my husband and I come to the idea of micromanaging a woodland naturally. His parents, incredible gardeners, left the hardscrabble rural Missouri subsistence farms of their youth and now live a life of servitude to their five-acre yard in Kentucky. This yard is perhaps half lawn, with the...

Caring For Your Lawn

Caring For Your Lawn

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