Picture and stories about my Daily Landscaping activities in communities west of Boston, Massachusetts.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The mowing crew is now off of the regular weekly mowing schedule and are slowing down to do leaf clean up before they mow. This slows the crew crew done to a 2 week schedule and soon it will be down to a every 3 week schedule as the leaf drop will intensify the amount of work to be done. It's that time of the year when the lawns also start to slow down in their growth due to the cooler temps.
I had to take these 2 pictures at this property in Wellesley. The pic on the right is of the "Cinnamon Mums" that we planted in the wooden planters on the back patio. The one on the left is of the same Mum, it just has the Japanese Red Maple behind it. I envy the homeowner as she gets to look out onto this, from the picture window in her kitchen. The mums are a a hardy flower and can handle the much cooler nights. All of the annuals will freeze in these temps so they will be removed as we go to each property from now on. the perennials will be cut back almost to the ground, as their energy has gone back into the root ( bulbs) for the winter.
Today I have to go up to the John Deere/Lesco fertilizer store in Marlboro to pick up 8, 50 pound bags of Park and Athletic grass seed to do an over seeding at the 2 soccer fields at Olin College. The seed mix is good for this area as it is for the most part in the sun all day and by over seeding it the soccer players will put i into the turf with their spikes. This should be up and growing in a few days as the turf is still warm enough for the seed to germinate. The field is a bit on the wet side so we are hoping the seed does not rot before germinating.
I also picked up 8, 50 pound bags of a Pellitized, Gypsum and Lime combo for one property in Needham. The front lawn is a tuff one, as it is on a ledge and a hill which causes the lawn to heat up during the summer hot season and it also dries out quickly, because it is on a slope. the back lawn is almost all in the shade under pine trees, so it is a bit acidic.
I used the combination before at one home in Medfield quite a few years ago and the results were just unbelievable. The lawn went from yellowish and lifeless to a deep green and then over time became very healthy and a vigorous grower. what a change, hopefully this application will have the same effect. It's late in the year so we may not see any improvement until next season.
It appears that Fall is coming to us early this year. For the past month the trees have had a very yellow, dull, lifeless appearance and just look like they will be coming down early.
Because of the very wet spring season we had this year there is a "bumper crop" of pine cones and acorns. I have never seen acorns this large before.
Soon we will be removing the leaves from the lawn area's of most of our properties, the leaves in the beds can stay until final cleanup, if we make it that far into the season. It is important that there are no leaves on the lawn as this will kill the lawn area over the winter.
Guillerme and I will be spending a couple of days at the shop getting our dump trucks ready for the leaf vac's. We will be extending the height of the dump truck beds, in order for us to put a lot of leaves into them. It will take us about 6 hours per truck and after that we will do oil changes and tune up the 2 leaf vac's we have. ( which do not weigh that much )
Today, I started the last application of lawn fertilizer, that we do in the season. The leaves are coming down and we have to get it on the lawns before all of the leaves are down and ready to be picked up.
I am using a fertilizer from LESCO, 13-0-6, which means that there is 13% Nitrogen, 6% Potash and the rest is lime. This is a fertilizer lime mix, that we have been using the last few seasons. It saves us time as we used to apply the fertilizer and then apply the lime. now it is just one application for both.
Guillerme is helping me out today and will be helping me out again when I go to Olin College to fertilize their campus and soccer fields. the rest of the time I will be going "solo" as Guillerme is needed on the other crew to help out.
Rain is forecast for tomorrow and again this weekend, with this weekend having a "Nor Easter". that is when the winds come in from the North and East over the ocean. This produces a lot of wind and chilly temps.
This time it should take me over a week to do all of the lawns and the college. Going "solo", slows the process down and this will be the last time I see some of the properties this season.
I noticed these flowers when the guys were mowing and weed whacking. Most of the flowers have faded, so it was a surprise to find these guys. The pansy is next to the driveway, and must have planted itself, the warm pavement must be keeping it warm enough to survive. the blue flower was planted in an area next to the driveway also, again it must be the warmth of the driveway pavement that is keeping it in bloom.
It seems like the season is coming to a very quick end this year. For the past month the leaves have been yellowish and faded. Now that the colors are coming out, they too are not as bright as usual. It seems to be cooling off much earlier than the past few years, when we had extended growing seasons. Oh well, it all seems to average out over the long term, maybe it was all due to the cool and wet season we had this year.
Due to some upcoming rain for the next 2 days I had to take Fabio and Guillerme out on a mowing route to help out the other crew. We had to get the complete route done for the week today so both crews were in action.
Fabio is on the Stander 52 inch mower while Guillerme is using the weed whacker to do some late season trimming. The season is winding down and there is not that much left to weed whack but we want the walks and driveways to look nice and neat.
The pictures are of a property in Southborough, that is in direct sun for most of the day and the lawn just keeps growing like crazy. Luckily Fabio gets it done with one pass of the mower, usually it takes 2 passes.
Today, I went with Guillerme to fertilize over seed and spray broad leaf weeds at college we take care of.
Guillerme was going to go and re-visit areas that we had just sprayed for broad leaf weeds a week ago and spray again. Sometimes the broad leaf, especially the ground ivy and clover need a couple of applications to knock them out. He went around on foot with a back pack sprayer and re-sprayed. There are 2 soccer fields, covering one large playing area and while Guillerme was off doing his spraying I used the Permagreen power spreader. It is a lot easier to use the power spreader when you have a large area to cover. I have to apply 500 pounds of fertilizer to both soccer fields and after that over seed 350 pounds of Lesco "Park and Athletic" grass seed.
The year is winding down, as far as growing grass from seed and this was the last chance to get some grass up and going before the cold weather sets in. The Park and Athletic has a good mix of 33% Perennial Rye grass, 33% Kentucky Bluegrass and 33% Red Fescue. Its a little chilly for the bluegrass, so we are hoping for some warm sunny days to heat up the turf area. The Rye grass and Fescue like the cooler weather so there will be no problem with them. the blue grass will come up and the rest will be in the ground ready to go come those warm spring days next year.
Guillerme and I had to return to this property in Southborough to day to trim and fluff it up for an Open house on Sunday. We had been there early in the spring for the same reason. From what I can get from Rob, is that the house was supposedly sold and then the financing fell apart, so now the home is back on the market.
For the past 6 weeks the property had no maintenance at all from us including cutting the lawn. Guillerme did the shearing with a power trimmer and I did all of the hand clipping and we both weeded as needed. you can see Guillerme in the back of the house next to the water fountain, ready to go to work.
The other day when I was at this property, in Wellesley I noticed a brown dead area of lawn. I went to investigate and after pulling up some of the dead turf I found the dreaded grubs. We have not seen any damage caused by grubs on our properties for many years now that we have been using a product from Bayer named Merit.
I notified Rob, who notified the head grounds keeper and it was decided that I would come back and spread Dursban over the entire back yard. Dursban is a quick kill product that needs to be watered in right after the application. We have had great success with it.
After that project I went with Guillerme to the home used by the President of Olin college. The presidents wife really enjoys her flower gardens and wanted to have us transplant and plant some new bushes she had purchased. She also wanted us to pull all of the weeds in her annual and perennial gardens. It is very enjoyable to come here and work because the owner really enjoys her gardens and it makes her happy when we show up. She knows it will look just beautiful after we leave, and that is a good thing.
Guillerme and I went to a property in Needham, ( pic on bottom ) because the owner wanted us to get ride of the Nut sedge growing in his lawn. This happens every year and the owner just loves having a beautiful lawn. The week before I went over by myself to spray the broad leaf weeds. This lawn is usually the best one we take care off. It is because the owner is very much involved in the maintenance of it.
After we took care of the Nut sedge, we went over to another home in Wellesley, ( pic on top ) to finish up some work I had started a few weeks ago. Guillerme weeded a rubble rock hill and then sprayed Round Up on what was left over. I finished trimming the trees that were overgrown by the tennis court, finished trimming a weeping cherry, that I did not finish when we came to trim this year, because a mother cardinal had a nest in it. Guillerme also used the weed whacker to clear out an area that had become overgrown with weeds.
I am a divorced dad, with one son in college and one daughter, who is married and has my 3 wonderful grandchildren. I live in Grafton, Massachusetts. I have been Landscaping for the past 17 seasons with one company and have spent 3 seasons with 1 other landscape company, here in Massachusetts.
I do all phases of the landscape work at this company, from construction, installation, maintenance, trimming and have a Massachusetts Pesticide License.
I can be reached at: