Kansas City Landscaping and Lawn Care Ideas


Archive for October, 2008

Leaves falling on Kansas City Lawns

A gift has been bequeathed to you. As part of this gift, each homeowner in City will be given over 200 pounds of this miracle product –guaranteed to revitalize your soil, allow it to store more moisture, improve soil structure and provide high grade . The gift will fall from above and scatter itself over your . Many of your neighbors will even freely share with you – some even purposely blowing this gift into your yard.

If you haven’t yet figured it out, this gift is the from .

Leaves in Overland Park Lawn

The sad thing is hundreds of people will throw this gift out. Collect it, bag it and put it on the curb.

Instead of raking and bagging those bulky , save yourself some time and put them to good use as a natural mulch and soil amendment from your .

I suggest two ways of utilizing this gift for your based on your personality type. To determine your personality type, consider the cast of the popular TV sitcom Friends’. If your personality type mirrors the character of Monica, you are Type A. If you are more closely aligned with Joey, then you are type B. If you do not know what the show Friends is, you can assume you are Type A.

The Monica Personalities

Since you are very concerned with every detail of your , the best way for you to use your is by regularly mowing your with the bag attached. Use a mower with a bag attachment to quickly gather your and shred them into mulch. This will vacuum and clean your as well as shred the at the same time. These shredded are more valuable than gold for all the in your . They can be piled in vegetable gardens to be tilled in later or they can be added as mulch in perennial gardens. Then spread these up to 12" deep in your gardens. Mulching with conserves moisture, controls weeds and grasses, protects against extreme heat and cold, and prevents soil erosion. Additionally, they can be composted in a compost pile to be used later.

The Joey Personalities

As a Type B personality you are focused on long term results of your . You are willing to deal with a little bit of shredded leaf clutter on the knowing that in the long run your will look better and be healthier. Mow your with a mulching mower regularly. The mulching mower will shred the into fine particles which will filter down through the blades of onto your where they will disappear and benefit the soil. With regular mulch mowing, many homeowners would never have to rake their as an acre of can recycle the of 60 .

Either of these methods is paramount to the old standby of raking and trashing your . By raking and trashing you are adding immense amounts of waste to our landfills and depriving your of necessary nutrients and organic matter. But more importantly, at least to all of us TYPE B’s in the world; it is a whole lot less work! There is only one reason I can see where raking is ever necessary. If you have small children, it is imperative that you rake the largest pile of you can possibly assemble in the middle of the yard. Then, spend at least 3 hours jumping in and redistributing them all over your yard before mowing them by one of the methods mentioned above.

Enjoy the gifts that fall from the sky this autumn and make sure you fully utilize them to make your more healthy and lush.

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Seeding Kansas City’s Lawns

is still burning strong and we surely have several weeks left of stifling heat in City. Many of the in the city are showing the stresses of surviving yet another brutal of heat and dryness. If your no longer looks thick and healthy or has more weeds than , it is time to renovate. Renovating your involves removing all unwanted weeds and types and then reseeding with improved varieties of your choice of . Timing is critical for successfully renovating your – late enough to avoid the worst of the heat yet early enough to allow ample time for growth before the freezing weather arrives


In City, the first week of September is usually the ideal time to seed. 


To seed your properly requires a broad knowledge of , several different pieces of specialized equipment and a large commitment of time.  For these reasons, I suggest that homeowners contact a qualified professional who specializes in growing quality .  Although cost is a consideration, when you look at the time, supplies and rental fees you might quickly realize that using a pro will pay off. Every year, I am disheartened by the dozens of calls I get in late fall from homeowners who have spent hundreds of dollars and lots of hard work seeding their with poor results. I have to tell these customers that we have missed the ideal time for seeding and the repair will require considerable extra time and cost without the guarantee of superior results.


Of all the care tasks needed each year, I strongly believe that seeding is the most important one to be done by a professional.


When you hire a care company, you will want to check their license, insurance and references to make sure you are working with a professional.  Then ask them about their seeding process.  The highest quality will come from a professional who includes all of the following steps:


  • Soil Test - imperative to start by fixing and soil chemistry problems (4 weeks prior)
  • Spray Herbicide - important to control weeds prior to seeding (4 weeks prior)
  • Spray with Growth Regulator - slows down growth of existing so it does not compete with new (2 weeks prior)
  • seed - prepared by first aerating and then followed with a slit seeder that will slice precise grooves into the soil creating ideal areas for seed to grow
  • Starter and Rooting stimulant - applied to the soil to provide nutrients to emerging seedlings



Now, the professional’s work is done and it’s time to care for your newly planted .  You will need to moisten the ground daily for two weeks to promote germination and then to pamper the young seedlings.  As the grows stronger, you will begin to establish a regular schedule of deep, thorough watering.  Proper watering is essential to your success and it involves quite a commitment – however, it is the last step to the lush, healthy you envisioned when you started the renovation process. Soon you will be walking barefoot through your enjoying the thick green carpet, underfoot.


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Soil Testing

Stop worrying about your and start worrying about your dirt. As a professional manager, I am actually fairly uninterested in . I spend all of my time managing soil. I know that by creating fertile soil, my customers will have the nicest in town.


Managing dirt is a complex task that even people with degrees in Soil Science will admit having more to learn. Volumes of books and scientific articles have been written on the subject and I would never be able to disclose everything you would need to know in this article. However, I do hope to reveal enough information to convey the importance of soil to you in growing quality .


There are three important factors to consider when evaluating your soil: Soil Texture, Nutrients and Chemistry. Each of these factors needs to be evaluated independently and actions taken to create the ideal growing environment for your .




Soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay. The percentage of each element determines the type of soil your has. Ideal soil is composed of 40% sand, 40% clay and 20% silt. In City, the ideal soil texture is usually nothing but a dream as we have a much higher percentage of clay. However, this can be improved. First, you have to determine your soil makeup. This requires getting your hands dirty. Take a handful of dirt and roll the soil in your hand until it’s about the size of a golf ball. Then, gently squeeze the soil between your thumb and index finger. Sand feels gritty, silt feels more like talcum powder and clay feels slippery. Now squeeze the ball in your hand. If it crumbles, it has a well-balanced texture. If it holds its shape, it has a fair amount of clay. And if you can roll it into a snake, it has more clay than you want. This method can only act as an indicator. A soil test performed by a qualified laboratory will give you more accurate and scientific results. However, if your soil has too much clay, you will need to alleviate the problem with aeration and topdressing or completely renovating the area and adding organic matter.




Soil holds nutrients which are then used by the to grow thick and lush. Evaluating the nutrient status of your soil is an important step in developing a quality . The best way to find out what your soil needs to nourish healthy is to have it tested by a professional laboratory. This can either be done by our local extension office or at a private lab.


Any fertilizing done by a homeowner or professional without a soil test is a shot in the dark at best. Short term results can be gained. However, you will not get the long term results desired by most homeowners. Additionally, you will be wasting nutrients as you dump excess nutrients on your just to assure all your bases are covered. A soil test will cost you less than $20 and will give you benefits many times that. A good soil test will give you quantities of Organic Matter, Available Phosphorus, Exchangeable Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron and Soluble Salts. Based on these results, a knowledgeable professional will be able to create a nutrition program for your .




In addition to soil nutrition and texture, a good soil test will also provide you with information about the chemistry of your soil. The process of transferring the nutrients into soil requires a complex chain of chemical reactions that can only happen if several elements are in balance. The most important of these is pH. In City, our soils tend to be alkaline and need to be amended with Lime to provide an ideal growing environment. How lime and other chemicals react with the soil requires knowledge of cation exchange sites, particle attractions and base saturations. All of these come into play just to grow the you like to look at from your window.


This month, when you see your neighbors playing in the dirt making muddy snakes and dirty golf balls, you will know they are on their way to having a beautiful .

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