How to Maintain Your Driveway This Winter

Although curb appeal is important to all homeowners, sometimes, exterior home maintenance in the wintertime can seem like an impossible task. Keeping up with shoveling snow, regularly de-icing surfaces, and other tasks can be overwhelming. If you break big things, such as maintaining your driveway, down into smaller tasks, however, they suddenly seem much less daunting.Check out these five steps you can take to keep your driveway in good repair all winter long, from the professionals at Lola’s Landscape! 

Remove debris immediately 

When you notice debris in your driveway, you should get rid of it right away. There are a couple of reasons for this. Paper, such as newspapers and retail advertisements, can clog snow blowers and cause people to slip if they are not removed. Twigs and branches, on the other hand, are also fall hazards and can damage vehicles if they accidentally get run over.

Use ice melt products sparingly 

While you might be tempted to use ice melt products on your driveway frequently, it is best to use them as sparingly as possible. Salt-based solutions, in particular, can have adverse effects on asphalt driveways. If you want to avoid pockmarks and crumbling on the surface of your driveway, make sure you buy a calcium chloride-based product if you have to use one. 

Have your garage door inspected  

Your garage door plays an important role in whether or not you can effectively use your driveway during the winter months. If it malfunctions, you are unlikely to be able to use your garage and might have to leave your family’s vehicles sitting on your driveway for the entire season. This extra weight can actually cause the asphalt to shift and crack. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have your garage door inspected at the end of autumn.

Shovel before driving 

Driving over snow can pack it down, which makes it much harder to remove. If you have to scrape snow with your shovel to clear it, you run the risk of damaging your driveway in the process. Thus, it is always smart to shovel your drive prior to driving on any snow that has fallen on it. 

Have necessary repairs completed 

In some cases, homeowners find themselves tempted to put off driveway repairs. It is, however, wise to have any necessary repairs done before winter weather arrives. The longer problems, such as cracks, are allowed to persist, the more expensive it will ultimately be to have them fixed. 

The very best way to keep your driveway in exceptional condition in cold weather is to hire a professional snow removal team to handle maintenance for you. An expert crew will know what tools and chemicals are safest for your driveway and will efficiently remove any snow and ice. For snow and ice removal around the Franklin, MA area & beyond, contact Lola’s Landscape today! 

Do I Need Professional Snow Removal Services For My Commercial Property?

Commercial property owners must always remain on their toes to make sure their property is safe for residents & business owners. For those in the New England area, this involves snow & ice removal in the winter months. Proper snow & ice removal is crucial to ensuring safe driving & no pedestrian injuries. Hiring the right professional for the job will alleviate a significant amount of stress during the snowy weather.

Snow Plowing & Removal

The first order of business for commercial snow removal is to clear the parking area with a heavy-duty plow. Although snowblowers can sometimes be used for perimeters or entire residential properties, plows are the best option for efficient snow removal on a large scale such as a commercial parking lot. Navigating a truck and plow can be a harder task than it appears. Hiring an experienced professional is the best way to make sure that your property is not damaged in the snow removal process. 

Safe Walkways & Stairs

Ice not only affects drivers in the cold weather – It can be just as dangerous for pedestrians. It is your responsibility as a property owner to make sure that all precautions possible are taken to eliminate the risk of injury. One of the most dangerous spots when snow and ice hit is a property’s outdoor stairs. Along with this, walkways are high traffic areas that can also see ice buildup. Stairs and walkways must be cleared of snow and also salted or sanded to prevent & melt ice buildup.

Proper Placement of Snow

If piles of snow are not placed properly around a large parking lot, drainage issues & parking inconveniences are bound to arise. A snow removal professional will be able to create snowbanks where they will least disrupt regular activity around the property. The snowbanks will also be located away from the building & its structures to prevent issues with flooding. Eliminating the risk for damage to any structures truly makes expert snow removal an investment in protecting your property.

If you haven’t hired a snow removal professional for your commercial property yet, it’s time! For properties around the Franklin, MA area, contact Lola’s Landscape today at 774-248-4584.

5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

family having fun during fall

It’s the best time of year for fall fanatics! Preparing for fall is such a drastic change from spring and summer that many see it as a breath of fresh air after the hot summer months. With many favorites that everyone can identify, it’s fun to see fall home projects start popping up in your neighborhood. Preparing for fall is actually fairly easy, and there are a ton of ways to make sure you’re all ready by the time cool weather is here to stay and fall is well underway!

Clear Out the Gutters

As the weather starts to get cooler, it’s common for leaves to start falling, pointing to the start of the fall season. If the leaves don’t get removed, they can clog gutters and lead to serious roof damage. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with water coming into the house, it’s likely that panels are damaged. Take a look, and you might notice the gutters are too full of fall leaves.

Drain Lawn Care Equipment of Fluids

Don’t put away your mower or weed whacker without draining it of the fuel needed to keep it running. Any leftover fuel can damage the equipment and give you problems come spring when it’s time to get things back out again.

Prepare for Winter, Even if it Seems Early

It’s not necessarily going to snow in October but getting ready now means you’re prepared for anything that winter might throw your way. Plus, you’re likely making room by storing things from summer, so take some initiative and stock up on salt, as well as fuel for the snowblower.

Fertilize for Fall

Grass goes through something fierce during the fall and winter. Taking time to fertilize now will make a difference when things thaw out after winter and spring show a lawn that’s weathered the weather. Taking time to fertilize now gives your grass the strength it needs to handle snow, freezing temps, and even the random heat rushes we get late in September and into October sometimes.

Check Your HVAC Now Before Issues Pop Up Later

As you transition from air conditioning to heating sooner than later, make sure to get your HVAC serviced. This could be as simple as something being replaced or renewed, and really not cause much of a headache. It helps to be proactive here because when temps start dropping hard, you don’t want to be left without heat.

5 Tips for Overseeding

Man working at a garden

Fall is right around the corner which means now is the time to start thinking about making improvements to your lawn. Many homeowners think spring is the time to spread grass seed and make other outdoor improvements, but it turns out that’s a common misconception. Overseeding in the fall gives the seeds time to take root, increasing their chances of survival into the next year. These 5 tips can be used to improve your overseeding success even more!

Pace the Lawn

Pacing your lawn is the quickest and easiest way to measure it. One pace is roughly 3 feet. Count your paces across the length and width of your lawn, then multiply the values to find the total area. Now that you know how big the lawn is, you’ll know how much grass seed you need to purchase.

Cut the Grass

Before you can begin overseeding, you’ll need to cut the grass already in your lawn. Mow the grass shorter than you normally would to give the seeds you spread the best chance of properly rooting. Any areas of the lawn that don’t have grass to cut should be roughed up so the seeds have loosened dirt to grow into.

Spreading the Seed

Now that your lawn is ready for the grass seed, you can begin the spreading and planting process. Purchase a spinning seed spreader. A hand-cranked spinner is sufficient for most lawns. Cover the lawn with grass seed, focusing primarily on bare or thin areas of grass. You can spread additional seeds by hand if there’s an area you really want to target.

Keep it Moist

You’ll need to regularly water your new grass seeds to encourage growth. The ground should be moist, but not too wet. If the ground becomes dry or baked at any point, the seeds will not be able to grow. Pay close attention to the weather predictions for the first week or so after planting. You should notice growth around 5-7 days after overseeding. If you aren’t noticing growth, increase the amount of water you’re using.

Cutting the New Grass

You should let your new grass grow to a height of 3-4 inches before you begin to cut it. When you do cut it, don’t cut it as short as you cut the rest of your well-established lawn.

Overseeding your lawn is a great way to improve the external appearance of your home. The process will take some patience and dedication to water your new seeds, but all of your hard work is bound to pay off!

Lola’s Landscape

We proudly serve the Norfolk County in Massachusetts for all their lawn care needs. Our team is highly knowledgeable and highly experienced in all areas of landscaping. Contact us now or visit our website to learn more about our services!

Summer Pest Control Tips

Nothing puts a halt to summer fun like swarming mosquitos around a swimming pool or a line of ants marching across an outdoor picnic. Keep the critters at bay with the following pest control tips:

For the Home

  • One of the first lines of defense for your home is checking for entryways. Repair holes in window screens, caulk gaps around windows and doors and make sure your thresholds are flush with the door slab to keep pests from sneaking in underneath.
  • Coffee grounds make an excellent deterrent since most insects can’t stand the scent. Sprinkle it around the perimeter of your home to keep pests from finding their way inside.
  • Keep your kitchen clean and tidy to avoid attracting ants, cockroaches, and other indoor nuisances. Take the garbage out regularly, wipe down the countertops, sweep the floor, and always keep food out of sight.
  • Carefully inspect hotel rooms and vacation rentals to avoid a bedbug infestation. Pull back the bedsheets and mattress cover and check for excrement and/or small bloodstains, which can signal bedbugs. Treat immediately to avoid bringing these pests back to your home.
  • If there are toys that belong outside, then keep them outside and vice versa with inside toys.

For the Yard

  • Mosquitos are attracted to standing water, so inspect your yard often for culprits, like leaks around the A/C unit and drain pipes. Get rid of stagnant water in flowerpots, buckets, and all toys and furniture kept outside.
  • A well-maintained yard will keep it from becoming a breeding ground for pests like snakes and mice. Trim trees and bushes beside the house, do away with weeds and overgrowth and clear any debris since this is where snakes tend to hide while looking for rodents.
  • Don’t toss the meat into your outside trash bin until the day before or day of garbage pickup. The combination of summer heat and rotting meat will bring many unwanted pests into your yard.
  • Store firewood away from your home to keep termites from entering. The minimum distance is five feet, but you’ll decrease your chance of termite infestation even more if you store it farther away and preferably in a metal rack off the ground.

Even though there are numerous pest repellents available on the market today, there are certain situations that require a professional. Do your homework, and if the task seems too overwhelming or complex, don’t be afraid to hire a pest control service. Regardless, whether you choose to seek a professional or do it all on your own, you’re ensuring a pest-free environment for yourself and your family – and that’s what matters most!

Top 5 Summer Lawn Care Tips

dog and child playing outdoor

Lawn care takes up to about 70 hours per household during the three hot summer months. If you’re going to put forth the effort to take care of your lawn and make sure it looks presentable, why not do it the right way? Below are a few mistakes most homeowners make when it comes to their yards and the tips we’ve come up with to help you avoid them!

Timing is Key

Watering your lawn in the summer is the most important thing you can do, but remember watering is more effective in the morning than any other time of the day. John Deere experts say any time before 10 A.M. is ideal when watering your lawn. This will prevent your grass from being wet for too long, but the bulk of the moisture also won’t just evaporate, maximizing the amount of water your lawn gets. Grass left wet overnight promotes fungal growth, in turn killing your lawn.

Don’t Over-Mow

One of the biggest mistakes people make in the summer is over-mowing their lawn. Many people unwittingly cut their grass far too short: every time you mow, you should only cut about ⅓ of the grass length. While cutting it short means, you don’t have to mow as often. You’re killing your grass so it won’t be green and luscious anymore. Cutting more grass can cause a build-up of clippings that take longer to decompose and stunt grass growth. Allowing your grass to grow longer promotes healthy growth, for greener, denser grass, and a better-looking lawn.

Mix It Up

Instead of mowing in the same up-and-down, back-and-forth pattern every time, switch it up! Go diagonally, crosshatch, anything you can come up with. The wear-and-tear of mowing the same way every time is detrimental to grass health. From the weight of the mower to the accumulation excess of clippings, mixing up the way you mow will be very beneficial to your grass.

Keep Your Blades Sharp

Like shaving, a dull blade can be very harmful. Dull blades cut the grass unevenly, unlike a sharp blade that creates even, clean cuts. This creates potential entryways for disease or fungus to enter the blades of grass and infect your lawn. Manufacturers of lawnmowers suggest sharpening their blades after about 10 hours of use for the most effective cutting. It is essential to use the sharpest blades you can while maintaining care of your lawn in the summer.

Solve Next Season’s Issues Now

While you may not realize it, your grass goes through cycles just as the seasons do and all of your hard work now may not show results until the next season, if not the following year. So, prepare your summer lawn for the seasons to come as well as for the later summer. Many summer pests come out at the end of the summer season like chinch bugs, mole crickets, and ants, which are all more likely to come out with the hotter climates. Every homeowner has their way of dealing with pests in their lawns; whether it’s chemicals or natural solutions, it’s essential to take care of these issues sooner rather than later. Brown spots, thinning grass, and chewed blades are all signs of pests in your lawn, and that means it’s time to take care of these issues.

Tips To Keep Your Lawn Fresh

freshly mowed lawn

Every homeowner dreams of a lush green lawn, but keeping your lawn in tip-top shape 365 days out of the year can be a big job. Here are a few tips on how to keep your lawn looking fresh all year long.

Fertilizer: Fertilizing your lawn a few times a year can go a long way. It’s good to fertilize once in the spring, then again in midsummer with a food blend higher in nitrogen than other elements. Fertilizing too much can mean too much growth, by reducing the amount of fertilizer you can save time and energy.  It is best to fertilize after mowing and when the grass is dry to help it stick to the blades

Take Care of your Lawn Mower: Mowing your lawn regularly is important to keep it looking full and lush all year long. In order to do so, you need to keep your lawn mower in good condition. Make sure to drain gasoline and oil from your lawnmower when you are done using it. Any gasoline that stays in the tank for over a year can gum up your carburetor.

Watering: It is best to water your lawn in the early hours of the morning. This gives the lawn an opportunity to dry before nightfall when many types of fungus are most active. This is also usually a non-peak time for water supply. It is better to water well a couple of times a week than lightly daily. Deep soaking encourages deep roots growth while light watering encourages roots to stay close to the surface of the soil making your lawn susceptible to heat and drought.

Repair Brown Spots: Many times your pets can cause unwanted brown spots on your lawns. There is a high nitrogen content in pet urine which causes it to burn the grass. It is best to water these areas well within 8 hours to help dilute the high nitrogen levels. If these spots go untreated then you will need to repair them to help get your green grass back.

5 Weekend Projects to Increase the Value of your Home

replica of house with money

The work week can get insanely busy. There’s no limit to what work might ask of you, and worst of all, when you finally get home, your energy is likely on empty. For most homeowners, the best time to get a project done is going to be the weekend but given the short amount of time available on Saturday and Sunday, its best to plan to maximize that time as efficiently as possible. Here are 5-weekend projects that increase the value of your home in the most noticeable way possible.

Landscaping

Nothing says more about your home than the look of the outside. A messy landscaping job can likely point to a messy interior, and that’s a major turn off should you ever decide to try and sell the home. Adding mulch and some plants around a mailbox could even be enough to increase the perspective value of your home, and larger projects only provide a larger return on investments.

Renovate the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most highly noticeable changes that you can make to a home. The countertops alone could help boost the value of your home by a few thousand dollars. Not to mention, when selling a home, it is a huge buyer’s hotspot to check and see what condition the kitchen is in. Make the improvements now, for your sake, and the possibility of a sale in the future.

Make it Energy Efficient

Your home is likely losing value due to outdated heating and cooling tools. Not only could the actual system need an update, but the various things that keep cool and hot air in the house like windows and installation might need a tune-up too. A consultation could point you in the right direction and get your value up exponentially.

Have a Flexible Floor Plan

A flexible floor plan allows you to make any room in the house whatever you may want it to be. That ability to choose the layout is a big improvement over feeling like each room is already determined for you. If you ever choose to sell this could be a huge factor.

Update Technology

This one is just as much for you as it is your home. Updating things to provide a smart home technology experience is a great way to make home life easier. A Nest thermostat or Philips Hue lighting system could really make it feel like you are living in the future.

These changes make your home’s value skyrocket, and they’re easy to knock out in a weekend!

Importance of Dethatching

gardener taking care of the lawn

Spring is almost over, time to schedule a time for our fall lawn care services before the slots fill up! One of the most important lawn care services that we provide is dethatching and your lawn will appreciate it!

Dethatching

What is dethatching? Dethatching is the process of removing dead grass, leaves and other debris from your lawn; we usually combine this service with our fall cleanup services.

This pile of dead material can really do some damage to the roots and soil of your grass; it blocks out the sun and rainwater, making your soil weak and vulnerable. When your soil is weak, it is susceptible to insects and diseases, which can cause some serious damage to your grass and soil.

When we remove the dead debris from your lawn, your soil can absorb all the rainwater and sunlight it needs to survive!

Why Lola’s Landscaping?

We offer our dethatching services in both the fall and spring; during the spring we have an intense seven-step program to help your lawn rejuvenate after a long winter. In the fall it is important to get rid of those wet leaves, sticks and dead grass from your soil!

For more information or to schedule a time to schedule our lawn care services, please give Lola’s Landscape a call at 774-248-7584.

Pest Proofing Your Home This Spring

miniature people with tools

Every year, people struggle to keep invaders out of their homes. We’re talking about unwanted pests that infest households everywhere. Before calling in an exterminator, do some quick and easy prevention methods without spending some big bucks on some exterminator.

Roof

Checking the roof of your home may consume a huge amount of your time but take the time to carefully check every inch of it. Quickly address any potential entrances for pests such as loose shingles or some parts of your roof may be pulling away from the mainframe. In addition to this, examine all vents and the entire roof for gaps that could be easy access to pests.

Attic

Attics are usually the favorite place for mice, squirrels, or raccoons to invade. If you do find them in there, make sure you set up a trap then seal off the entrances.

Bedroom

The bedroom is one of the most used areas in your household. Make sure you regularly wash everything such as the bedding, curtains, and mattress covers. Be on the lookout for bugs on your mattress, headboard, or bedframe when replacing your sheets.

Porch

Pests can thrive from dead or damaged leaves stuck in your porch. If you have pots, check them and make sure you water them to flush out the insects out before bringing them inside. Also, make sure to scrub the entire pot before bringing it inside as spiders sometimes lay eggs on the bottom of pots. Best way to make sure your porch or lawn is clean is by hiring professionals!

Windows

Windows can also be easy access for pests to get inside your home. Make sure that you check all the screens for damages and immediately fix any openings to keep out all the pests such as mosquitos, stinkbugs, etc.

Walls

It is important to check the walls of your home as it may not only be access to pests but also a sign of a much larger problem, such as a damaged foundation. If you see any damages or any visible mud tunnels, have a professional fix it immediately.

Floors

Make it a point to check your floor every time you clean and vacuum your home. Vacuum every floor surface and inspect the underside of furniture for pests that can easily make their way to and from your carpet.