This past growing season was a bit challenging. We had ample rain to start the year and cool temperatures, and ample rain and cool temperatures to finish the year. In the middle was a hot and dry spell.

The hot and dry spell in the middle caused a flash drought for the area when it came to plants. The grass and the landscape plants had plenty of water to start, and they got used to that. But right around the Fourth of July, that changed for everything. However, that dry spell did not last, and we were right back into having more than enough rain. The year will end with above average precipitation for the area.

Grubs were also on the increase it seemed again this year. Grandville specifically was a hot spot for grub activity. If we saw evidence on your lawn, we did contact you. But with all of the rain, the damage could be masked a little bit, and there could still be a population that is unnoticed up to this point.

The rain and the dry, and grubs were the two big items of note for the 2019 growing season. Each year brings new challenges, and every year we work with what we are dealt.

As we wrap of the 2019 growing season, I want to thank all of our customers for a wonderful 2019 and we are looking forward to working for you again in 2020.

We would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I know that it this coming Thursday, but it is good to be thankful more than just one day a year. It should be an ongoing process to reflect on all of the good that is in our lives.

At Harkes Landscape, we want to thank all of our customers and vendors for another wonderful growing season. We are looking forward to working with you again this coming growing season. And we are grateful that even though the growing season is ending, there is a time of snow that lies ahead.

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I came across an interesting mum the other day. It was a beautiful plant with a nice lavender color…except for one flower, that one flower was half lavender, half yellow. But what caused the yellow in an otherwise lavender plant?

Without having testing done on the plant, it is hard to give an exact cause. But it most likely is because of a genetic mutation in the one flower and it partially reverted back to a parent color. That is my best guess as to what would cause this to happen. Even though I do not have an answer, it is still and interesting flower none the less. So I thought that I would share it.

As we come into late September, it is starting to look more and more like fall. We are starting to see more fall color in the trees.

Fall is a transition season for many of us. We go from relaxing in the summer to life getting busy again as kids are back in school, church programs start again, fall sports, and much more. The same is true for trees as they are getting ready to overwinter.

Even though some of us may not want summer to be over, that is what the case is as we are heading into fall. It is just a part of living in West Michigan, the changing seasons.

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This is a re-post from last year, but I thought that it would be a good fit into the series about proper watering.
This post is the fourth part in a four part series about watering your lawn and landscape.

Improper sprinkler height

An underground sprinkler that is sticking too high out of the ground.

Underground sprinklers can be quite a help in the summer when we get into a dry spell. But occasionally those sprinklers do break, and they will need to be replaced. When replacing a sprinkler head, it is best to make sure that it is at the correct height out of the ground.

Sprinklers can too often be installed too high above the ground or too low in ground. Many times when a sprinkler is installed too low, it goes unnoticed until it breaks again. If the sprinkler is too high above the ground it is easy to notice. The main reason it is so easily noticed is because it is a tripping hazard. Or it is noticed that it is too high because it gets broken by a lawn mower quite regularly.

The correct height for a sprinkler head is to have the top of sprinkler head just above the soil surface. No more than a quarter of an inch above the ground level. This lowers the tripping hazard, and a lawn mower can go past it without causing any damage.

When you can see the sprinkler head sticking out of the ground it is too high. If the sprinkler head is too high, the next step would be to adjust the riser, or re-dig the funny pipe, and reset the sprinkler to the correct height. If neither of these are possible, then a specialty shorter sprinkler may be needed for that spot for the sprinkler to be installed at the correct height. Having the sprinkler at the correct height will help to save you from having to repair that sprinkler head as often. Like the saying goes, “if you are going to do something, do it right the first time”.