Lawn & Landscape Blog | A+ Lawn & Landscape
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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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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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How Mulch Helps Your Landscaping

How Mulch Helps Your Landscaping

Adding landscaping to your residential or commercial property in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and other central Iowa areas such as Johnston and Waukee has many benefits. It increases your curb appeal, it gives off a better impression to guests and customers, and it can provide a good return on investment.

One easy way to protect your landscaping investment is to install ground cover within your landscaping beds after your plants have been installed. At A+ Lawn & Landscape, we provide mulch ground covers to help your landscaping and soil stay healthy and protected. Here are some reasons why mulch helps your landscape beds, besides the aesthetics of a perfectly finished and polished look.

Mulch Helps to Insulate the Soil, Retain Moisture

Mulch helps the soil in this West Des Moines landscaping bed retain moisture.

One of the biggest benefits of using mulch in your landscaping is that it helps to keep your soil insulated from extreme temperature changes. In the greater Des Moines area that includes West Des Moines and Ankeny, our average low temperature in January tends to be about 13°, while we see highs in July at about 86°. When temperatures fluctuate and the soil is unprotected, it can harm the health of your plants.

Mulch also works to keep the roots of your landscape plants protected. The roots are what determine when plants come out of winter dormancy. If they detect warmth too early and come out of dormancy when there’s still a chance for frosts, they could be damaged.

Moisture retention ...

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Why You Should Shop at a Local Garden Center

Why You Should Shop at a Local Garden Center

There are many options for homeowners looking for gardening supplies, seeds, plants, and soil. Large box stores have taken over a huge portion of the market, which has hurt local businesses and left many home gardeners disappointed with wilted plants and mass-produced products.

There are many solid reasons why you should shop at a local garden center, including knowledgeable staff, locally grown plants, and a larger selection of native plants. The added bonus is that by patronizing a local garden center, you are supporting a locally owned and operated business.

Knowledgeable Garden Center Staff Is Ready for Questions & to Offer Advice

One primary difference between big box stores and local garden centers is the staff. Many of the big corporate chains have employees who work in multiple departments, or simply fill whatever positions are available. Sure, you may find a great employee with real gardening knowledge at a national chain, but nothing compares to a dedicated local garden center staff member.

For example, the staff at our Des Moines area garden center know the region, climate, and local growing conditions and have experience with planting and growing. We are available for questions and actually love what we do! You simply can’t find that level of service at a chain. Come pay us a visit!

Whether it’s advice regarding what will grow best in your beds, how large a plant will mature to, and what type of pruning is best—we...

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Mistakes You Can Make When Maintaining Your Landscaping

Mistakes You Can Make When Maintaining Your Landscaping

For the untrained landscaper, simple mistakes can be made when maintaining your current landscaping aesthetic. Most mistakes can be found in the way plants are cared for on your property, your ground covering for your landscaping beds, and irregular fertilization and weed control.

Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of the proper techniques used to maintain a healthy and thriving yard. Avoid making these mistakes when you are caring for your landscaping or consider hiring a professional, such as A+ Lawn & Landscape, to handle your grounds upkeep for you in and around Des Moines, West Des Moines, and Ankeny.

Mistake #1: Improper Pruning/Trimming

Improperly trimmed plants in West Des Moines look unruly.

Plant health is extremely important, however, it is very fragile. Trimming or pruning at the wrong time or in the wrong way can result in a plant that is quickly and easily susceptible to disease, insect infestation, and decay. 

Failing to Prune a Flowering Shrub

Failing to prune flowering shrubs or trees at the right time can cause you to remove the buds that produce the blooms. Pruning a spring flowering shrub or tree should be done immediately following the bloom, however, summer flower and fruit-bearing plants and trees should be pruned in early fall.

Topping and Lion's Tailing

Chopping off the top of the plant (topping) or removing too many lower branches (Lion's tailing) create an aesthetically unpleasing look while also leaving the tree or shrub vulnerable with a weakened branch ...

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Spring Fever?

Spring Fever?






One of our favorite passages by Mark Twain that we shared with customers from West Des Moines.

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Five Landscaping Tips to Help Sell Your Home

Five Landscaping Tips to Help Sell Your Home

Property in Des Moines that has benefited from the landscaping tips and services we have provided.Are you thinking of selling your home this spring? Spring is the best time to sell your home. With warmer weather, longer days, and the need to get settled in before school starts again in the fall, home buying surges in the spring - usually peaking around June - and everyone sees your home from the outside first

We've all seen them. Potential home buyers, driving by slowly, peering through their car windows. They are looking at properties contemplating on whether or not to follow up with an appointment or attend an open house. Are you making the impression you want?

By addressing and stepping up your curb appeal, you have the opportunity to influence how potential buyers feel about your home - even before they step inside. While many people spend time decluttering and staging the inside of their homes, nothing says neglect like an overgrown, unattended landscape.

Did you know studies show that you can add as much as 10% value to your home by taking time to seriously address your curb appeal?


That's why it's important to plan ahead. The best time to start cleaning up your yard is at least one month before you plan to show your home. This way, you give yourself enough time to make sure everything looks just right. You don't want to give the impression that you put things together at the last minute.  

If you're ready to step up your curb appeal, the following five tips will help you ...

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