Nature Guard Lawn Care Programs
The Nature Guard fertility program is designed specifically for the poor soils of Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts. We use the best elements of both the conventional (chemical) and organic methods of maintaining high quality turf. Our fortified organic program improves the structure, chemistry and biology of the soil. This is done by adding organic matter and highly beneficial soil microorganisms, a concept known as “bio-nutrition”.
In addition to enhancing the soil, the Nature Guard bio-nutrition program feeds the turf with multiple sources of nutrients allowing for quicker green up while the organic elements sustains turf naturally. The result is a healthy, vigorous stand of turf that is resistant to insect, disease and drought, while greatly reducing our carbon footprint and potential nutrient loading to our fragile waterways and aquifers.
Weed and Crabgrass:
We use carefully chosen conventional chemical controls for our clients that would prefer to do this (whenever possible we will choose EPA exempt or reduced risk controls). We have invested in equipment that will allow us to more surgically apply these products where needed. This will allow us to minimize pesticide use while still being able to provide excellent control. We have selected control products that have a high safety profile, and will not persist in the environment or harm unintentional targets. For our clients that would prefer organic controls only we will be happy to do so.
Eight Step Program
Our premium service, eight applications of bio-nutrition applied throughout the season. For each application weeds will be spot treated for control as needed. Timing of the applications are seasonally adjusted – 3 weeks apart during the spring and early summer months and 5 weeks later in the season when growing conditions are most favorable. Grub control is included in the cost of the program. Limestone can be included.
Six Step Program
Six applications of bio-nutrition applied throughout the season. For each application weeds will be spot treated for control as needed. Timing of the applications occurs roughly 5 weeks apart. Grub control and limestone can be included.
Premium Organic Program
The Nature Guard Premium organic lawn program is 100% organic. It meets all NOFA standards. The program is compliant with the new Cape Cod nutrient regulations. All control products are OMRI approved or EPA exempt.
Cape Cod soils are naturally acidic. And thanks to the prevalence of native pine and oak trees the soil is destined to stay that way without inputs designed to counter the effect. That’s what annual applications of lime does. Two annual applications may be required to correct very acidic conditions.
White grubs are generally less of a problem in organic lawns than conventionally treated lawns due to the deep and well developed root system of healthy organic turf. However, in some circumstances grubs can cause a lot of damage in an unprotected lawn.
We offer a very effective and safe option for grub control with our lawn programs. It is used as a curative and applied during the summer before egg laying activity.
Moss appears in lawns that are growing in shady conditions. The best way to rid your lawn of moss it to remove the cause of the shade…trees. Or, remove the lawn and plant shade loving plants or ground cover. Or, when those more permanent solutions are not an option there is a treatment available that will retard the moss and allow the grass to recover.
Plant Health Care Services
(PHC) Trees and shrubs are susceptible to a variety of insect, disease, and health issues. Our Plant Health Care team can perform an assessment of your plants, make appropriate recommendations, and provide treatments as needed.
Annual PHC Program
Our Annual Plant Health Care Program includes a series of property inspections throughout the year, and typically includes applications of horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, and anti-desiccant, with additional selective curative treatments for seasonal pests or disease management.cold temperatures and salt damage. A typical program includes 3 treatments per winter.
Foliar sprays are recommended when a specific insect or disease is known to be present and preventative or curative treatments are required and need to be scheduled in advance for best results.
Horticultural Oil – Spring / Fall – Early Spring:
Many destructive insects can be managed during the dormant season by treating the overwintering pest or eggs on the twigs of the host plant. Fall: This is primary designed for control of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid but can also target other pests.
This preventative treatment is primarily targeted at Black Turpentine Beetle on Pine and in some cases Spruce trees. In cases where the beetle has been present we recommend 2 treatments.
Tree and Shrub Fertilization
May include granular or deep root liquid application depending the specific situation and the desired outcome. Fertilizing is recommended when a plant is struggling because of poor soil conditions or as an aid to help a plant recover. We rarely recommend fertilizing healthy trees and shrubs.
Tick Management Program
Tick-borne diseases have become a serious concern on Cape Cod. Our tick management program includes monthly treatments beginning in April and ending in October. We apply an effective natural based product that will kill ticks on contact and also repel them for weeks after. We treat the areas of your property where ticks are likely to be – tall grass, bushy areas, shrub beds, meadows, etc. This product is also effective for mosquito control.
Mosquito Management Program
Mosquito-borne diseases such as EEE and West Nile Virus are becoming an increasing concern for residents of Cape Cod. Our mosquito management program ranges from June through September and uses the same naturally based product that we use to control ticks. The product kills mosquitoes and their larvae on contact and helps repel them for weeks.
Harsh winter weather can cause serious damage to evergreen trees and shrubs. We treat susceptible plants with a waxy product that will coat the leaves and twigs and provide protection from cold temperatures and salt damage. A typical program includes 3 treatments per winter.
Beneficial Lawn Care Services
A soil driven lawn care program starts with a comprehensive soil test. Your lawn program will be customized utilizing the soil analysis guaranteeing great results.
We recommend annual aeration for all lawns. Aeration is most commonly performed in late summer or early fall.
This service is designed to “reboot” an existing lawn that is not performing well. Lawn renovation includes: aeration (sometimes double aeration). Overseeding with the proper seed mix for the site, top dress with 3/8” – ½” of compost. We can perform renovation on sections of a lawn or the entire lawn as needed.
When selecting plants for a new landscape installation it is most important to install the right plant in the right location for optimum success. The same is true for grass seed. There can be many reasons a lawn is not performing well but very often all that is needed is planting the right type of seed in the right location to get a great looking lawn.
Sometimes additional treatments and applications are needed that are outside a typical lawn care program. Sometimes these are the result of a soil test or are based on something your lawn technician discovered while performing a service.
We design, install and maintain irrigation systems of all kinds.
Irrigation Start Up
Your system may be turned on any time after the threat of freezing temperatures has passed. We typically begin in early May. We will turn on the water, check for leaks, power up the controller and replace the backup battery. Run and test all zones. Set the controller for early season performance. Repairs and parts are not included in the cost of the startup however; the technician will perform minor repairs while on the site for minimal additional cost. You will be advised if a costly repair is required or there is a need to return to make repairs.
Irrigation System Monitoring
Following the startup your controller is set up for early season water requirements. Because moisture requirements for both turf and plants vary with the season, it is recommended that your system be checked and adjusted over a course five visits spanning every three weeks during the June to September period to ensure optimum performance.
Your system must be winterized before freezing temperatures occur. We typically begin these in early October. We will shut off water at the source and back drain. Blow out the system with compressed air. Unplug controller and remove backup battery.
*The technician will need access to your basement and controller so you will receive a notice asking you to call the office to schedule your system startup and winterization.
This includes several monthly applications of a non-selective weed product. We have discontinued the use of the chemical Glyphosate (Roundup) and will be only using safer and natural non-selective herbicides.
A typical program has a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 treatments per year (late April – early October). A weed management program can be combined with manual weeding (landscape service visits) to manage all weeds on your property.
Landscape Service Visits
Manual weeding and / or flower care / perennial care is performed during landscape service visits. This service can be scheduled as needed throughout the season. A full program includes 10 service visits.
Lawn Mowing Service
Includes mowing the turf at a height of 3”, weed whacking around borders as needed, blowing off patio/deck/porch/driveway and other paved spaces as needed every seven days. Weekly mowing is required for proper maintenance of high quality turf particularly if the turf is irrigated.
The same service as weekly mowing but occurring every other week. A bi weekly mowing schedule is recommended for lawns that aren’t necessarily irrigated or are slow growing.
Field or meadows need only be mowed as needed or desired by the customer. We can mow this type of area on whatever schedule you desire.
Weekly mowing customers can choose to have their lawn mowed or skip a scheduled mowing during the heat of the summer. If grass is allowed to get longer than normal we will charge extra for the additional time needed, including one way travel time.
During hot dry weather our crew will not mow your lawn if it does not need it but we may still blow off the hard surfaces and police the yard for debris. You will be charged for the time taken to perform this service.
It is important to maintain 2”-3” of mulch in plant beds. Mulch will protect the roots of your valued landscape plants from drought in the summer and reduce damage from extreme cold in the winter, add organic matter to the root zone as the mulch decomposes, helps to reduce weed infestation and it looks great.
Every landscape is different and depending on the specific plants within your landscape we schedule pruning one to three times per year. Our pruning philosophy is based on plant physiology and utilizes proper pruning methods and practices. We strive to keep the natural shape of the plant while maintaining the desired size within the landscape setting. This approach requires a high level of skill and may cost more initially. However, the long term value is that the plants will thrive, look better and last longer. Listed prices are an estimate. The actual price will be dependant on site conditions at the time of the pruning visit.
Spring flowering ornamental trees and shrubs should be pruned shortly after they finish blooming and before flower bud development occurs. Privet hedges are typically sheared three time during the season and are sheared for the first time during this period.
Needled evergreens and other nonflowering plants are best pruned at this time. We wait to prune these plants after the growth has completed for the season and the pruned shrub will maintain its look until next year.
Summer flowering plants are pruned at this time.
When ornamental trees and shrub become too big or overgrown for the location the decision has to be made whether to remove and replace or is the plant a good candidate for renovation? Renovation involves a major reduction in the size of the plant which may be undertaken over a few years. Late fall through early spring is a good time to perform this work.
Spring And Fall Cleanups
We begin spring cleanups whenever the snow and ice melts and the weather becomes reasonable for working. This is typically in mid-March. A simple spring clean will include raking and cleaning all landscaped areas and removing the debris from site.
Edge planting beds, Prune ornamental tree and shrubs and dividing and transplanting of perennials.
In general leaves begin falling in mid-October and finish falling in early December. This extended leaf drop often requires one to two mini-cleanups take place during November to keep your property looking good.The final fall clean up includes raking and cleaning all landscaped areas, blow off decks, patios and paved surfaces and remove all resulting debris.
Cutback perennials, roses and shape hydrangea plants and dividing and transplanting of perennials.
Edging of planting beds is often done as a part of the spring cleanup but can be done any time of year. We run a hand help power edger at a depth of 2-3” along the existing border between the turf and planting bed. The excess debris generated is then removed. An effort is made to create smooth lines as the situation dictates.
Deep Edging – We can create deep edges (4”) if desired for extra cost.