Lawn & Landscape Blog | A+ Lawn & Landscape
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6 Critical Spring Tasks for the Health of your Lawn & Landscape

6 Critical Spring Tasks for the Health of your Lawn & Landscape

After your lawn and landscape emerge from winter dormancy, they will need some tending. They've just been through several months of cold weather and more than likely sat under snow for a while.

To get your grass and plants adequately prepared for the growing season in central Iowa areas such as West Des Moines, Des Moines, Ankeny, and nearby areas, there are several tasks that need to be done. Learn more about these tasks.

Spring Essential Tasks For a Healthy Lawn and Landscape

It's important to start your lawn and landscape maintenance in early spring so that the grass and plants will get into a routine and will grow properly throughout the growing season. Here are six of those critical tasks:

  1. Get the first round of fertilizer and pre-emergent weed control treatments. The first application of fertilizer and weed control sets your lawn up for success. It helps to strengthen your grass and fight off common weeds such as crabgrass that take away nutrients from your lawn.
  2. Schedule your lawn maintenance or Sharp-N-Lube services. Routine mowing is vital to your lawn's health. We provide lawn maintenance, or if you prefer the DIY route, we offer Sharp-N-Lube services where we inspect your mower and clean it for you.
  3. Clean up all yard debris such as sticks and leaves on your lawn or landscaping. A spring yard cleanup ensures your grass and landscaping will be in tip-top shape. Too much yard debris can block them from obtaining key...
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How to Prepare Your Landscaping for Winter

How to Prepare Your Landscaping for Winter

Even though your lawn and landscape plants don’t tend to grow during the fall, this season is the optimal time to start preparing your property for the upcoming winter. Fall aeration, seeding, and fertilization will give your lawn a strong foundation for the winter, and fall yard cleanups will tidy up your landscape before the cold weather hits.

Contrary to popular belief, fall is when your lawn and landscape should receive the most maintenance and attention so it may return strong and healthy after winter dormancy. Here is how to prepare your landscaping for the winter in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and nearby areas.

Aerate & Overseed Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn breaks up dry, compacted soil, allowing nutrients, light, water, and air to penetrate deeply into your soil and down to your lawn’s roots. Providing greater access to your grass’ roots is vital to making sure it receives proper nutrition before entering dormancy. For the greatest effect, fertilize and seed just after aerating your lawn in the fall. The seed you lay down in fall will have time to sink deep down into your soil and take root to create a thick, lush lawn in the springtime.

Fertilize Your Lawn

Fall fertilization is key to ensuring your turf is prepared for the winter season. Providing your lawn with a mid- to late fall application of fertilizer provides it with essential nutrients to feed and sustain it through the harsh winter. These...

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The Importance of Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

The Importance of Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

Your sprinkler system is an intricate network of valves, pipes, fittings, and other crucial parts. When not prepared properly for the cold winter, the icy weather can cause serious damage to the entire system. Water that is not blown out of your sprinkler system can cause your pipes, sprinkler heads, and manifold to crack and burst, resulting in very costly repairs and replacement.

Winterization is critical for keeping your irrigation system safe throughout the cold months of the year. If you live in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas, here is why it is crucial to winterize your sprinkler system before the freeze sets in.

Frozen Water Causes Cracked Pipes & Burst Lines

After using your irrigation system, water remains inside your pipes. If you fail to blow out your pipes, then any remaining water in them will freeze. With no room for the freezing water to expand, your pipes will crack and burst in large sections. Frozen pipes are very costly and difficult to repair or replace because they are entirely underground. Fixing broken irrigation pipes requires digging and repiping the entire system. The key to avoiding this damage and a costly repair is to drain as much water from the lines as possible before they freeze and burst.

Winterizing Protects Your Sprinkler Head From Irreparable Damage

Water can, and often does, get trapped inside the sprinkler heads themselves. When this water freezes it expands and the...

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3 Reasons Your Residential Property Needs Snow Removal Services

3 Reasons Your Residential Property Needs Snow Removal Services

When winter weather hits and the snow begins to fall, it can present a very pretty picture—until you realize you have to now walk outside to your car and try not to slip or fall on icy sidewalks, walkways, or driveways.

There are many reasons to consider scheduling snow removal services for your home in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and surrounding central Iowa areas. Safety is a big one, but there are others as well.

1. Winter Weather Typically Lasts from November to April

In our area of central Iowa, we can see snowfall for almost half of the year, starting in November and ending sometime around April. That means there will be many mornings where you walk out to see snowy or icy walkways at your home. Scheduling routine snow removal services means that you don’t have to worry about potential obstacles in getting to your car in the morning before heading to work.

It also means there’s less danger of you being exposed to the cold weather. When you’re outside in the cold for long periods of time, only using a shovel to clear your walkways, driveways, and more, then you have a danger of developing hypothermia.

2. Reduce Health Risks, Slips, & Falls on Your Property Due to Icy or Snowy Weather

Proper snow shoveling in West Des Moines, IA.

According to the National Safety Council, snow removal and snow shoveling account for thousands of injuries and around 100 deaths each year. When people who are not used to the physical toll of shoveling snow get out ...

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How Fall Fertilizer Treatments Benefit Your Lawn

How Fall Fertilizer Treatments Benefit Your Lawn

Fertilization is very important to a strong, healthy lawn. While most people focus on fertilizing their lawn in the spring and summer, many are surprised to learn that fall is actually the best and most important time of year to fertilize your lawn.

Fall fertilizer treatments strengthen your lawn’s foundation by providing it with fuel to survive the cold winter months. This boost in nutrition helps sustain your lawn and encourages faster recovery after dormancy. Here is how fall fertilizer treatments benefit your lawn in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas.

Fall’s Cooler Temperatures Help Your Lawn Absorb Nutrients

Fall fertilizer helps grass absorb better nutrients, like this grass in West Des Moines, IA.

Fall is the by far the most important time of year to fertilize your lawn. Fertilizing in spring and summer promotes growth and renewal, but fall fertilization provides your lawn with all the nutrients it needs to survive the winter. Along with cooler temperatures, autumn brings more moisture which is needed for optimum nutrient absorption. More nutrient absorption is paramount to sustaining your lawn throughout the winter and ensuring it has the energy reserves needed to return strong and vibrant in the spring.

Fertilizing in Fall Prepares Your Lawn for the Winter

Fall fertilizer, also known as winterizer, does not encourage growth like its spring and summer counterparts, but rather provides food for your lawn’s dormancy cycle. Winterizer provides food and nutrients for your lawn so ...

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3 Reasons Leaves Have to Be Removed from Lawns

3 Reasons Leaves Have to Be Removed from Lawns

Many homeowners enjoy the look of fall leaves decorating their lawn. Warm autumn colors add to the ambiance and help get everyone in the mood for the season. While these leaves may be beautiful and seem harmless on your lawn, they actually pose serious dangers to your lawn and all who walk across it.

Allowing a blanket of leaves to accumulate on your lawn kills your grass, promotes diseases, and houses dangerous pests. Here are three reasons why leaves need to be removed from your lawn in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas.

Leaf Clutter Suffocates Your Lawn

Leaf blower removing fall leaves from yard in Des Moines.

Your lawn needs access to sunlight, water, air, and nutrients to grow strong and healthy. When you allow leaves to accumulate on top of your lawn, this thick blanket suffocates your lawn and blocks sunlight, water, and air from reaching through. Without proper sunlight, your grass can’t go through photosynthesis and absorb nutrients from your soil. Removing leaves and keeping your yard clear of debris and clutter will ensure your lawn has access to all the nutrition it needs to stay strong and healthy.

Wet Leaves Promote Diseases & Fungal Growth

Leaf clutter can pose serious health problems for your lawn, plants, and your loved ones. Damp, rotting leaves create a wet blanket that traps moisture underneath, creating the perfect environment for fungi and mold to cultivate. Mold is not only harmful to your lawn and landscape but is also a hazard to...

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Why Your Lawn Needs Aeration & Overseeding in the Fall

Why Your Lawn Needs Aeration & Overseeding in the Fall

Routine lawn care is the key to a healthy, beautiful lawn. Certain services, such as aeration and overseeding, are highly beneficial and when applied during the fall, help prepare your lawn for the upcoming winter months. Aeration provides grass roots with greater access to nutrients they need to last the winter and grow strong and healthy when the spring returns.

Here is why your lawn needs aeration and overseeding in the fall in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas.

Lawn aeration machine preparing lawn for winter in West Des Moines.

Increases Your Lawn’s Health & Prepares it for the Winter

Aerating and overseeding your lawn in the fall promotes its health and prepares it for the upcoming winter months. In order for your lawn to survive the harsh winter and return full and strong in the spring, it needs to be at its best, and aeration and overseeding ensure your lawn has the necessary nutrients and seeds needed to do just that.

Over time your soil becomes compacted due to foot traffic and weather, inhibiting the flow of nutrients to your lawn’s roots. When your grass doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy, it weakens and becomes more susceptible to pests, diseases, and the harsh winter weather. A healthy lawn can withstand the cold and elements much better than a weak, nutrient-deficient lawn. Provided with proper aeration and overseeding, your lawn will return in the spring thick, green, and healthy.

Helps Seeds Germinate When Spring ...

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Why You Need to Keep Your Lawn Mowed & Landscaping Trimmed

Why You Need to Keep Your Lawn Mowed & Landscaping Trimmed

When you invest your money and time into your lawn and landscape, it’s important to do everything you can to keep that investment well-maintained. Mowing your lawn and trimming your landscape is part of keeping it maintained and offers several benefits.

Routine mowing and trimming keep your lawn and landscape looking nice, keeps it healthy, and helps save you time and money by preventing issues later on. Here are some reasons why you need to keep your lawn mowed and landscape trimmed in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding central Iowa areas.

A Trimmed & Mowed Lawn & Landscape Adds Curb Appeal

A beautiful landscape and lawn adds curb appeal and increases your home’s property, but only if it’s healthy and well-maintained. Regular maintenance such as trimming and mowing keeps your lawn and landscape looking nice and healthy. Even if you don’t have any plans to sell your home, your lawn and landscape (particularly your front yard) is the first thing visitors notice. A home with a messy, unkempt lawn or landscape detracts from your home’s curb appeal and value. Routine trimming keeps your plants at a manageable size and provides beautiful accenting without detracting from your home’s appeal.

A mowed lawn keeps your yard level and prevents overgrown grass and weeds from taking over the rest of your landscape and creating an unattractive mess.

Regular mowing and trimming keep your lawn ...

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Why We Recommend Soil Testing for Our Customers

Why We Recommend Soil Testing for Our Customers

In order to have healthy, productive plants, you must start with fertile, healthy soil. Good soil retains water, releases nutrients for plants and grass, and drains well. Your garden’s soil must contain adequate nutrients, optimum pH, and organic matter to be healthy and fertile. Oftentimes guessing means too little or too much fertilizer, resulting in unhealthy plants and threatening water sources.

A soil test is necessary for determining what exactly is in your soil, and aids lawn care companies in tailoring their lawn care services to better match the exact needs of your plants. Here are some reasons we recommend soil testing for homes in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding central Iowa areas.

What Is Soil Testing & How Does it Work?

Soil tests provide a detailed analysis of your soil’s pH and the most important nutrients needed for soil: phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and iron. A soil test will tell you what nutrients your lawn and plants need to grow, and will recommend the type and amount of fertilizer to add to your soil.

For a soil test, several collections of soil are taken from approximately six inches deep, and from several different spots on your lawn. These soil samples can then be tested at home, by a professional like A+ Lawn & Landscape, or taken to a laboratory for further analysis.

Testing Your Soil Helps You Better Understand Your Lawn Care Needs

New plants are growing in the soil of this yard in Ankeny, IA.

Knowing your...

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How Custom Landscape Lighting Enhances Your Central Iowa Home

How Custom Landscape Lighting Enhances Your Central Iowa Home

Custom outdoor lighting is a great way to enhance the beauty of your home. Adding tasteful lighting to landscape beds, walkways, driveways, and other areas of your property highlights your home's best features while adding extra safety and security by illuminating dark areas of your property.

Here are some ways custom outdoor lighting can enhance your home in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas.

Outdoor Lighting Adds Value & Functionality to Your Home

This yard in West Des Moines, IA has a custom landscape lighting system.

A home with proper outdoor lighting is much more than just a beautiful sight to behold in a neighborhood. Proper outdoor lighting can increase the value of your home and add functionality. On average, custom landscape lighting can increase your home's value by 20 percent. If you install energy-efficient LED bulbs, this lighting can save you even more money.

Adding a to a home's curb appeal always increases the property's value, and the same is true for custom landscape lighting. Outdoor lighting enhances your home by highlighting the decor and other areas of interest while complementing its style. Fixtures and lighting are available in many styles and finishes to enhance the look and feel of your outdoor living areas.

Outdoor lighting adds functionality to your outdoor living areas. Without proper lighting, certain areas inside your home become less functional, and the same is true for outdoor living spaces. Without light, these areas become...

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