Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Make Your Roses a Knock Out!
The Knock Out Rose has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years and for good reason! The shrub doesn’t require much care and still puts on one of the best shows in the landscape having a blooming cycle of every 5-6 weeks throughout the year to the first hard frost. This particular shrub can be left alone and expected to grow to about 3-4’ tall and 3-4’ wide. There are also a wide range of colors from the light pink color of The Blushing Knock Out Rose to the rich red of The Knock Out Rose and even the yellow Sunny Knock Out Rose.
With that being said, the Knock Out series of roses reaches their maximum performance with an early spring pruning to help promote new growth. Take the following steps to help you Knock Out reach its full potential:
Prune in the spring: Always prune the Knock Out Rose in the spring just as you start to see new shoots growing from the cane.
Have the right equipment: Knock Out Roses still have thorns so make sure you are wearing gloves and maybe even a long sleeve shirt. Also have a set of lopping shear for the larger canes and a set of hand shears for the smaller canes and the touch up work.
Have a plan: The rule of thumb is that the shrub will almost triple its size once pruned back. So if you want a 3’ shrub prune it all the way back to 1’. 
Plan to leave 3-5 canes coming up from the base once you are done and select the greener canes which are the younger canes. Take out the older canes all the way to the base. Prune back the younger canes to desired height. Finally, prune off any extra branches off the selected canes.
When you are done you will have a pathetic looking shrub will 4-6 short sticks poking into the air but don’t worry. Once the shrub starts to really take off it will fill in and grow up to be a fantastic addition to you landscape and pay you back for all your hard work with lot of color!
Of course if the whole process seems a little daunting or you have more roses than you can shake a pair of loppers at give us a call and we can lend a hand.
Posted on 03/26/2013 8:14 AM by Joe Lyon
Wednesday, 6 March 2013
Crabby Days Ahead...
It may seem like Jack Frost is trying to hang on to your landscape with his long, icy tentacles but don’t let the chill fool you. Spring is right around the corner and with it, a menace that homeowners fight every year, crabgrass.
Crabgrass is one of the most invasive weeds that we encounter in Kansas. It makes sense when you realize that a single plant can produce between 100,000 and 200,000 seeds. With this proliferation, it is virtually impossible to completely prevent crabgrass throughout the growing season. That being said, there are several things you can do to limit the amount of crabgrass in your lawn come July and August.
Maintaining a healthy stand of grass is critical in limiting crabgrass.  Crabgrass finds its way into a lawn many times because the grass is thin or patchy.  Regular watering and a fertilization program are important in keeping weeds to a minimum.  Grass that is thick and lush acts much like a car cover on that classic Mustang in your garage, keeping your lawn running like a clean, green machine.
A crabgrass preventer is a great way to keep grassy weeds at bay.  Getting that first application on before April 15 (or before the Redbuds bloom), is necessary as crabgrass begins to emerge at that time.  
We typically apply a split rate application in March/April and then again in May.  The reason for this is to get the benefit of extended control throughout what is usually a hot, stressful summer on many lawns in Kansas.
Most preventers on the market are designed to last for two to four months, and for good reason.  Crabgrass preventers usually keep all grass varieties from germinating, because they can’t distinguish between the good fescue or bluegrass and the weedy grasses. They typically break down as we get to the latter part of the summer.  This allows us to come in and overseed lawns that have taken a beating in the fall. 
Posted on 03/06/2013 7:20 AM by Justin Weller
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