FAQ

Why do you mulch the grass?

The grass clippings are valuable to the lawn. When the clippings decompose, they are turned into nutrients that the grass plants use to grow. In addition, mulching a yard helps to keep the landscape beds cleaner compared to side-discharging them.

Why is my grass thin underneath my trees?

Grass that grows underneath a tree is at a disadvantage. The tree is going to shade the grass, reducing the amount of sunlight that the grass receives (which is vital for any plant to create its food). The tree and the grass are also competing for the same nutrients and moisture that are in the soil. All of this causes the grass to thin-out. Other causes are moisture staying on the grass for too long after rain or irrigation, which will increase fungal infection risk; tree roots growing along the surface creating competition for space with grass roots.

What happens if it rains on a day that my yard is to be mowed?

If rain happens, we will get to your lawn as soon as we can. There are many factors that will determine when we will be back on schedule, however, we try to make it as quickly as possible.

How much should I water my lawn?

The typical lawn needs approximately one inch of water per week. This can be through rainwater, or by an irrigation method, either underground sprinklers or through a hose and sprinkler. During weeks of hot dry weather, more than one inch may be needed to maintain turf vigor.

Over-watering a can have negative effects though. Over-watering stops air from getting to the roots, which harms the plant.

When should I water my lawn?

The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning. In the early morning, there will be less evaporation, generally lower winds speeds, and the grass will not stay wet for an extended period of time. Having the grass wet for too long can increase the possibility of a fungal infection.

Is Harkes Landscape Management, LLC licensed for pesticide applications?

Harkes Landscape Management, LLC is licensed through the State of Michigan to apply pesticides to lawn, landscape, and right-of-way areas. Part of the licensing requirement is to also be insured for pesticide applications, which we are.

Do you use phosphorus-free fertilizers?

All of our fertilizers that we use for established lawns are phosphorus-free. The State of Michigan has banned the use of phosphorus in fertilizer with some exceptions. New lawns, and when a soil test proves low phosphorus levels, then fertilizers with phosphorus can be used. However, Michigan soil generally has adequate amounts of phosphorus. Phosphorus is a major cause of water pollution, which is part of the reason behind the ban.

If I have moles in my yard, does it mean that I have grubs?

No, not necessarily. Moles do eat grubs, but their main food source is earthworms. Harkes Landscape Management, LLC offers services to help to control mole activity.

Why does dog urine damage my yard?

Dog urine, just like any urine, has urea in it (after it is broken down from ammonia). Urea is CO(NH2)2. The N (nitrogen) will break off and join with other nitrogen to create N2. N2 is the same nitrogen that is put on through fertilizer. The high concentrations of N2 kill the grass off by nitrogen poisoning which creates the dead spot. The dark green ring around the dead spot is caused by less concentrated amounts of nitrogen, below poisoning levels, which greens up those grass plants to a dark green color.

What does aeration do for my lawn?

Aeration helps to relieve compaction of the soil. If the soil is too compacted, roots of the grass have difficulty growing, and there will not be enough available air for the root system. In addition, aerating helps to break down the thatch layer.

Do I need to be present for you to maintain my property?

No, as long as we have access to all the areas we will be servicing. This means leaving gates unlocked and having the landscape accessible during scheduled visits. There are a few services that may need you to be present for, or at least leave more access to certain areas. These could include sprinkler winterizations, where we need access to the underground sprinkler controller (many times in the garage), and to the vacuum breaker drain (many times in the basement), or after certain pesticide applications where watering needs to be done immediately.

Seasonal vs. Per-Time snow plowing?

There are benefits to both options. In a winter season with higher than average number of plows, the seasonal customer will walk away ahead as compared to a per-time customer. In addition, the seasonal price is a set price, this means you know exactly how much to budget for a season of snow plowing. On the other hand, a winter season with lower than average number of plows the per-time customer will walk away ahead as compared to a seasonal customer. However, we recommend that you stick with one or the other. There is an average, and you need some winters to be above average and some below average to get an average.