At Charlestown Landscaping, we can assist you in resolving these common landscaping issues. With our expertise, we offer professional results with our commercial lawn care, snow removal, and landscaping services.

What Are Some Common Landscaping Problems Seen on Commercial Properties?  

As a commercial property owner, you want your space to stand out in the neighborhood. A great landscape takes hard work and time. However, there are times when a few landscaping issues can get away from you. Like most property managers, you are busy with other matters. You have to wear many hats to keep the property running efficiently. Unfortunately, landscaping can fall to the bottom of the to-do list.

After a while, these small issues can lead to more significant problems. Your irrigation system could turn on at the wrong times. Tree branches might hang over public spaces and snag pedestrians. You could have unexpected puddles on your property after heavy rains. While these problems might seem significant, they can be easily fixed with the help of a professional landscaping company. Here is a look at the most common landscaping issues seen on a typical commercial property.

Poor Drainage

Drainage issues are common problems in any type of landscape. You need water to keep your plants and lawn healthy, but there should be proper drainage to stop water from pooling around your property. While drainage might not seem like a huge problem, it is not something that you should ignore. If your shoes are squishing throughout your outdoor spaces, you need to address your drainage issues.

For the most part, the issue is related to faulty downspouts. These gutters can drain on your walkways and create issues. If you don’t handle these problems before winter, that extra water will drip on the sidewalk and cause an icy surface. In turn, that is a serious slip and fall hazard for your customers, tenants, or employees.

These landscaping drainage issues can show up throughout your property. When you see puddles in the lawn or parking lot, you need a professional team to help find the best solutions to fix these problems.

Faulty Irrigation System

When you install an irrigation system, you rely on it to work at the proper time. However, some of these systems are not programmed correctly, and they could turn on during inappropriate moments. For example, an irrigation system might be spraying at full blast during the middle of a rainstorm. If you have metered water usage, then you are wasting water and money.

You can improve your irrigation with a smart irrigation system. These systems have rain sensors that shut off the system when it is raining. They can also turn off if the system lines break in your yard. A smart irrigation system does all the hard work so that you can concentrate on other issues.

Timing Issues

The proper timing plays a vital role in keeping your landscaping looking healthy. For example, an irrigation system provides the right amount of water to your plants, flowers, trees, and grass. If you don’t water at the right time, your outdoor space can go from lush and green to brown and crispy.

If you own a commercial property, you probably water at night when everyone has left for the day. However, many plants need an early morning watering schedule to avoid diseases that lead to root rot or dropping leaves. These early morning watering schedules allow the water to reach the roots without the evening sun or strong winds dispersing the droplets in the air.

Timing is also essential when scheduling services for your commercial landscape. If you space out your services too far apart, you are left with an outdoor space that looks messy and overgrown. You want the help of a professional company to determine the best time to mow the grass, trim the hedges, and plant flowers.

Limited Tree Pruning

While you might think that landscaping is just about the mowing, it is more complicated than that. Your bushes and trees are a big part of your property. However, many property owners skip pruning these natural elements to save some money.

Pruning is an essential step in the life of a tree or bush. When you prune, you can keep the tree healthy and stable. If you skip pruning at these critical stages, you might have a tree that looks misshapen and prone to diseases. In the most severe cases, you can lose the tree. If you have to remove the tree, those services are expensive. You can avoid all those unnecessary costs with the right pruning schedule. You can always talk to a professional commercial landscaping company to determine the proper plan for your trees and bushes. They will know when it is the right time to trim your specific tree species.

Inadequate Snow Removal

When it snows, all that fluffy white stuff has to go somewhere on your property. Before you start shoveling, you need to plan for adequate snow storage. If there is nowhere to place the snow, it can block off parts of your parking lot and add more money to your snow removal costs. You might even have property damage if the snow is stacked or pushed into the wrong spaces. When that happens, your landscaping can experience some damage.

If you are looking to prevent these issues, you need to have a snow removal plan before winter rolls into your area. You can even install rolled curbs to prevent those plow trucks from pushing snow onto your landscape. With a little prevention, you will avoid snow removal problems that lead to high costs down the road.

We Have the Solutions for Your Landscaping Problems

At Charlestown Landscaping, we can assist you in resolving these common landscaping issues. With our expertise, we offer professional results with our commercial lawn care, snow removal, and landscaping services. Our team helps you keep your property maintained so that you don’t have to worry about it. You can sit back and relax as we tackle those tough landscaping jobs. With our services, you will never have to deal with these common commercial landscaping issues. If you want to learn more about our services, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

How a Seasonal Snow Contract Saves You Time and Money

How a Seasonal Snow Contract Saves You Time and Money

For property managers, wintertime can be a challenge. You will have to deal with snow and ice removal throughout the season. If you don’t address these issues, it can leave your business liable for injuries and accidents. For those who want to avoid these hassles, you should consider hiring a professional snow removal team. There are several types of contracts for snow removal. It is important to understand the difference between these plans. Once you have done your research, you can decide if a seasonal contract is the best choice for you.

Basic Contract Types

For many property owners, there are three types of snow removal contracts: time and materials, per occurrence, and seasonal. If you are looking to save money, it can be hard to choose the right one for your business. Many property owners choose the seasonal contract. This specific contract can provide you with the best return on your investment.

While these three different contracts might seem the same, they are fundamentally different in several ways. A time and materials contract will charge you a different price based on the materials and equipment used on your property. For example, if the storm produced several inches of ice, you will be charged for the excess deicing materials used at that time.

With a per occurrence contract, the same price is charged to your property no matter what materials and equipment were provided. If there is a big snowstorm, you will be charged the same amount as if there were only a couple inches of snow on the ground.

Finally, the seasonal contract will cost the same price year after year. No matter the resources provided or the number of storms, you will be charged at the same price. You can lock in these rates for three to five years.

Differences in Contracts

On the surface, the time and materials contract seems like a great deal. You don’t have to pay for services or materials that were not used on your property. However, there can be some issues with these contracts. If the contractor puts down too much salt on the driveway, you pay for all that excess salt. These accidents can lead to extra charges on your bill, and they often result in disputes with the company. In any winter season, you have to worry about the lack of predictability with the weather. Even with an accurate forecast, you never know how much you will have to pay with a time and materials contract.

If you are looking to remove the unpredictability from your contract, then a per occurrence may be a good choice. In the agreement, you can figure out how much the snow removal services will cost for the year. For the most part, these prices are static, but they get raised for severe weather events, such as blizzards. For many commercial businesses, they choose this type of contract.

However, you should not overlook the seasonal snow contract. In many places, these contracts are relatively new, but they are gaining popularity across the country. With these contracts, the prices stay the same year after year. You also don’t have to worry about a rebidding process for snow removal. These contracts allow you to rely on the same excellent snow removal services for several years.

Choose a Seasonal Snow Contract

A seasonal snow contract is also called a flat rate snow removal service. It works in a way similar to a landscaping contract. Many landscaping companies also offer these contracts as part of their services. The typical seasonal snow removal agreement will run from November to March, and many of them are valid for three to five years.

As much as you would like a lifetime contract, you will not find that option with these companies. Snowstorms are very unpredictable, and they can vary from one year to the next. You could have a snow-free first year, and then experience a significant snowstorm for the remaining years. With these contracts, the terms are long enough to average out the prices and allow a fair exchange for the service provider and property manager.

How Do Seasonal Snow Contracts Work?

As you can already tell, these contracts will clear snow from your property when you need it. You are locked into a set rate for a few years. All snow removal companies will monitor the weather. When the snow starts to fall, the crews will be out at your site to keep the spaces clear from snow. With ice storms, you can expect the teams to use deicing products to keep your sidewalks and lots safe from accidents.

Many companies know how to use their materials to keep your costs down. When you sign these contracts, a supervisor will come to your property to scout those primary areas that need the most attention. Most companies will also know your plowing preferences and budget to help keep your costs in check.

As a property manager, you want to get the best deal for your budget. With a seasonal snow removal contract, you have some budgeting predictability. You never have to worry about over-budget costs, surpluses, or contract negotiations for a few years. A seasonal contract will help you save time. There is no need to deal with the bidding processes of the past.

With the best snow removal contractors, you need to get a contract signed before the start of the winter season. Many companies already fill up with clients by November. You never want to wait too long to secure a snow removal contract for your property.

Get Reliable Snow Removal

If you want a safe and reliable company for your snow removal needs, you can count on Charlestown Landscaping. Our teams are ready to handle the heaviest snowstorms, and we will stay on your property until the job is completed. We have several options for your next snow removal contract. You can give us a call at the office or fill out the contact form for more information.

How Long Does It Take New Grass To Grow?

How Long Does It Take New Grass To Grow?

When you see those bare spots in your yard, you want to cover them up as soon as possible. Before you start, you will want to know when the grass seed will take off and grow in your lawn. For many people, they want quick results with little effort. However, it is not always that simple to get a lush lawn for your home or business. Many factors can affect the growth rate of your grass. Here are a few tips that you need to know about the growing rate of grass.

Learn About the Germination Process

The germination process is the timeframe from when you plant grass seed to the time it sprouts in your lawn. If you want to achieve a luscious green blanket, then you will have to wait. The general germination time for grass seed is between 5 to 30 days. However, there are many factors to take into consideration, such as the weather and type of grass seed.

You need to know that not all seeds will sprout at the same time. In some cases, you might have a mixture of seed varieties that will have different growing characteristics. Before you plant, you should know how these seeds will behave in your yard.

As you can tell, the germination time will vary from one grass species to another. In general, you can expect grass seeds to grow according to certain germination times, such as:

  • Bentgrass: Between 10 to 14 days
  • Bermuda grass: Between 10 to 30 days
  • Buffalo grass: Between 14 to 30 days
  • Centipede grass: Between 14 to 21 days
  • Fescue: Between 7 to 14 days
  • Kentucky bluegrass: Between 14 to 30 days
  • Rough bluegrass: Between 7 to 10 days
  • Ryegrass: Between 5 to 10 days

If you are waiting for your grass seeds to show some signs of life and nothing is happening, you may have to look at your growing procedures. There might be other factors causing your seed germination to fail.

Contributors to Germination

Water and soil temperature are the two biggest factors for grass germination. It can be difficult to know your soil temperature without testing it. This factor will determine the type of grass that you should plant for your climate. For starters, you will have to see whether you have a cool-season or warm-season variety of grass. You can find cool-season grasses in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and Northern parts of the United States. Warm-season grasses are often found in the Southwest and Southern States.

Cool-season grass grows best when the temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These grass varieties include bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass. On the opposite end, warm-season grasses love temperatures between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. These grasses germinate slower than their cool-season counterparts. These warm-season grasses include Bermuda, zoysia, buffalo, and bahiagrass.

If you want your seeds to germinate, you need to add the right amount of water to your newly seeded lawn. With too little water, your seeds will dry out. By adding too much water, those new seeds can rot. In both cases, the seeds will not germinate, and you will be left with a bare lawn.

For the best results, you want to have enough water to keep the top two inches of the soil moist. Before you seed the lawn, you need to water the area. If you notice a pool of water, then you are watering too much. You can skip a day of watering until the ground dries up.

Growing grass is not a complicated process, but you need to know what you are doing. If you are lost about the process, you need to contact the lawn professionals at Charlestown Landscaping.

Avoid Some Common Mistakes

You need some dedication when growing that perfect lawn. Some pitfalls can affect your grass growing performance. You can grow grass in an existing lawn or a new bed. Whatever you choose, you need to avoid some mistakes that can harm your new grass seeds.

For many people, they do not choose the right species of grass for their lawns. Before you plant, you need to find the best varieties that will grow in your climate. If you fail to do this, then you could be out some money and time. For example, you might expect to grow luscious Bermuda grass, but that variety can only grow in certain climates. The United States is divided into planting zones. You need to find the zone for your area and choose the right grass for your lawn. By doing this step, you can avoid planting the wrong grass species in your yard.

You also need to be aware of your selected product’s seeding recommendation. Many people believe that more seeds will mean more grass in your lawn. However, when you add more grass seeds than recommended, they will all be fighting for water and other nutrients to grow. You also need to till the soil to protect the grass seed from drying out. This process will help improve the seeds’ chances of germinating in your soil.

If you have an established lawn, you can add cast grass seed into the lawn without much work. An established lawn will protect those new seeds with its grass blades. Finally, you want to seed your lawn at the right time. You cannot just throw out the seed when you feel like it. You need to know the type of grass that you want to plant. Cool-season grasses need to be planted in the late summer to early fall. Warm-season grasses should be seeded in the early spring to early summer.

With these few tips, you can have a lush and green lawn for your yard. If you want some expert help, make sure to contact the team at Charlestown Landscaping. Our landscaping professionals will help you choose the best grass variety for your home’s lawn and take out the guesswork of yard maintenance.

If you want to schedule a consultation, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

Best Lawn Grass Seeds For Pennsylvania

Best Lawn Grass Seeds For Pennsylvania

If your lawn looks a little sparse, you might want to think about planting some grass seeds. However, there are many varieties on the market, and some cannot handle the climate of Pennsylvania. You want to choose a type that is easy to grow and provides you with some added color to your lawn.

When to Plant Seeds?

Along with choosing the right seeds, you need to know when to plant them. For the Pennsylvania area, grass seeds should be planted between August 15 and October 1. There are some benefits to planting during this time. In the late summer and early fall, the soil is still warm as the air temperatures are cooler. During this season, your grass seeds will not be scorched by hot temperatures. They also will benefit from the late summer rainstorms. All these elements provide the perfect environment for seed germination. Once you have reached that stage, the grass can fully establish itself in the springtime or early summer. However, you will have to watch out for weeds that can quickly overgrow a yard.

Another benefit of planting in the late summer or early fall season is that the grass seed will produce a denser and thicker lawn. In most places, lawns seeded during the Labor Day holiday will fill in by winter and produce a dense turf by the following spring. By choosing the right time to seed your yard, you can enjoy a lush and green lawn for all those outdoor activities.

Choose the Right Seeds

Before choosing your grass seed, you need to consider several things for your lawn, including the amount of traffic on your turf. For example, if you have a high-traffic area, there are grass varieties that can thrive better than others under that stress.

You also need to think about the amount of shade and sun that the entire yard receives during the day. The Kentucky bluegrass loves sunny areas, while fescues thrive in shady conditions. You should also think about the soil’s drainage, acidity, and fertility. These factors can help you to make the right decision and avoid any hassles when the lawn fails to thrive.

If you are wondering about your particular lawn, you can quickly run a soil test on the ground. Many of these kits are available at your local garden center or through your neighborhood lawn care provider. Once you get the results, you can rule out some species or amend the soil to suit the type of grass seed that you want to plant. With the area’s hardiness zone in mind, you need to pick the best grass seed for your lawn.

What Is the Best Grass Seed?

What Is the Best Grass Seed?

There are several popular grass seed choices in Pennsylvania, including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and fine fescue.

Kentucky Bluegrass

You will find Kentucky bluegrass in the state’s northern regions, and it is one of the most adaptable grasses to plant. This grass will give you the best quality for turf with its delicate texture. In addition to that, it can fill in those damaged areas without any need to reseed. Pennsylvania can experience some brutal winters, and this grass is one of the most winter-hardy of all species. You will want to plant Kentucky bluegrass in full sunlight, but it can be grown in slightly shady areas too.

How long does grass seed take to grow? This variety needs one to three months to germinate, depending on your site’s conditions. Due to its texture, many people use Kentucky bluegrass for athletic fields. You can seed or sod this variety for some great results in your yard.

Perennial Ryegrass

Most of the perennial ryegrass in the state is blended with Kentucky bluegrass. The ryegrass works to fill in the areas as the bluegrass starts to establish itself. Like the bluegrass, ryegrass also has a fine texture with good drought tolerance. However, it is not cold-tolerant like other grass varieties.

Tall Fescue

If you are looking for a coarser grass with low maintenance, then you might want to think about seeding with tall fescue. This variety can handle all types of soils, including low-nutrients. It can manage diseases and insects, and it is pretty much maintenance-free. Tall fescue can germinate and establish rapidly like the ryegrass. It also has a high resistance to wear and tear due to the deep root system. With the deep roots, tall fescues can tolerate droughts without the need for extra irrigation.

However, tall fescue isn’t winter-hardy, and it can die if you plant too late into the autumn season. With that, the well-developed tall fescue lawns can survive most cold Pennsylvania winters. While they are low-maintenance, you need to know that tall fescue can overgrow and will require frequent mowing, especially during warm summers. You want only to cut about one-third of the grass to prevent any scalping of the lawn.

Fine Fescue

Fine fescue is fine-leaved turf grass. It is suited for low soil moisture, low fertility, shade, and soils with low pH levels. These grasses can be planted in sandy soil with good drainage. If you are thinking about planting fine fescue, you might want to add some sand as you prepare to seed the lawn. Fine fescues also do not thrive in conditions with grass fertilizer, poor drainage, or infrequent irrigation. All those conditions can lead to weak grass establishment. However, if you properly manage fine fescue, these grasses will be an attractive turf for your yard. Fine fescue is usually mixed with other varieties, including those cool-season turf grasses for shady lawns.

If you are in the Pennsylvania area, you can find the right variety of grass seeds for your lawn. Make sure to find a seed that will thrive in your yard and handle the conditions of the soil. Whether you need subtle-textured leaves or a dense grass, you will find the best variety for your lawn.

If you want to know more about grass seeds, make sure to fill out the contact form.

The Best Time to Plant Grass in Pennsylvania

The Best Time to Plant Grass in Pennsylvania

Everyone wants to have a lush lawn for their yard, but it can be challenging to obtain. You need more than sun and water to achieve green grass. Those who have beautiful lawns know that the right fertilizer, grass seed, and aeration techniques make the difference. Another critical factor is the time of year that the grass seed is planted. However, the type of grass seed and the time to plant can vary from species to species. Here are a few things to know about planting your grass seed at the right time.

Types of Grasses

Most grasses are divided into two categories: cool-weather and warm-weather grasses. Cool-weather grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, rye, and fescue. Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia are all warm-weather grasses. These grasses grow better in certain climates. For the cool-weather grasses, they can thrive in chilly summers and winters, while warm-weather grasses grow better in places with warmer summers and winters.

If you do plant grass seeds in an inhospitable environment, you will have to do some extra work to maintain the lawn. Some of this work might include reseeding the entire yard.

U.S. Grass Climates

If that didn’t complicate matters enough, the United States National Arboretum has divided the country into four different climate zones. They include cool/humid, cool/arid, warm/humid, and warm/arid regions. These turf zones can help you to choose the right grass seed for your location. Most of Pennsylvania is located in the cool/humid zone, with the southern portion of the state in a transitional region.

Fall for Cool Season Grasses

Fall for Cool Season Grasses

These cool-season grasses grow best in the cool temperatures of the late summer and early autumn seasons. They can flourish throughout the northern climate, including the transition zone, where the warm and cool regions overlap.

Fall is the best time to plant cool-season grasses. In autumn, the soil is still warm enough from the summer sun. With a combination of moderate day temperatures, warm soil, and cool evenings, the grass seeds will germinate faster and establish those new grass seeds.

The best soil temperatures for cool-season grass are between 50°F and 65°F, and the daytime air temperature ranges from 60°F to 75°F. If you want to make sure you have the right temperature, a soil thermometer can help take out any guesswork.

For most people, you need to plant cool-season grass seeds at least 45 days before the first frost. Once the air and soil temperatures drop, the grass seeds have less favorable levels for growth. When planted at this time, your grass will enjoy a full season of fall, along with a second cool growing season in the spring.

These newly planted seeds require consistent soil moisture, and the fall season can be beneficial for their growth. Fall also brings more precipitation, which can lessen the chances of drying out the seeds.

If you cannot plant in the fall, then the spring is another good time. You want the soil and the air temperatures to warm back up. However, you need to watch out for late snowstorms and spring rains, which can keep the soil wet and cold. During this season, the grass has less time to settle in before the high temperatures of the summer.

Spring Planting for Warm Grasses

Warm-season grasses thrive during the warmer temperatures of late spring and early summer. You can find these grasses in the southern and western regions, including the transition zone’s southern area.

Warm-season grasses germinate when the soil reaches 65°F to 70°F in temperature. By planting in the late spring and early summer, these grasses can enjoy the warm earth and seasonal rains, which can help keep moisture during the germination and establishment processes.

You want to wait until the danger of frost has passed and the soil starts to warm up. Wet and cold soil can lead to rotting seeds, poor germination, and disease. If you wait until the fall season, you need to plant the grass seed at least 90 days before the first fall cold front. This timeframe will give the seeds enough time to establish before the harsh winter.

Many of the seedlings will go dormant when the temperatures drop to near 55°F. The late-seeded grasses are also unable to prepare for harsh conditions. Warm-season grass seed gets a boost from the warmth of summer and a full season of active growth before the winter dormancy. However, there is one exception for spring seeding. Perennial ryegrass can be added for a temporary color for the winter. If you want to add some more green, then you need to seed in the fall season.

Whether you choose to grow warm or cool-season grasses, you need to sow during the natural peak period for the seed to provide the best chances of germination and establishment. With this timing in mind, you can get your seed off to a good start for a healthy and prosperous lawn.

When to Plant in Pennsylvania?

Bluegrasses, ryegrasses, and fescues can all grow in Pennsylvania. This state’s cool summer, high humidity, and cold winters create challenging conditions for lawn grasses.

Pennsylvania has a climate more favorable for cool-season grasses. Bluegrass and fescue thrive in the warm days and cool nights of the spring and fall, while warm-season grasses might struggle with the heat of the summer. Many summer grasses are not recommended for the Pennsylvania area.

The best time to plant your grass seeds in Pennsylvania is in the late summer and early fall. You want to plant no later than October. When you follow this schedule, your grass will benefit from two cool growing cycles in the fall and spring before the scorching summer heat settles into the area.

Whether you have a warm-season or cool-season grass, make sure to choose the right time to plant. By doing this, you can increase your chances of growing a healthy and green lawn.

If you want to know more about lawn care, make sure to fill out the contact form.