Getting Ready for Snow: How You Can Prepare

Snowy evergreen

As anyone living in the Nashville area can tell you after the weather middle Tennessee received this week (or anyone who watches Game of Thrones),  winter is coming. It might not last for very long, and there might not be a lot of snowfall, but it will arrive before you know it, leading to a bit of chaos for your home or business and the surrounding roads. It can make keeping up your lawn difficult as well, as snow and salt and ice tend to absorb the pollution from the air and other places, turning into a black and grey slush, instead of the white pristine wonderland from our imagination. Luckily, we here at the Parke Company are used to dealing with everything old Mr. Winter has to throw at us, which is why we are the perfect people to help you through this trying time.  

With that in mind, here are some ways The Parke Company can make your life easier come this winter.

Snow, Let it Go

The main thing the Parke Company can do that will help you out of a bit of a jam is our snow removal services, just one of the many municipal services offered by the company. It is important to remove snow from places that are hindering business, or in some extreme cases, where it is harmful to your health. The longer it sits, the more difficult it becomes to remove. Snow on the road is dangerous for drivers, and it makes it difficult for workers to get to their place of employment – all reasons to get it removed from the roads. Of course, in this climate you also run the risk of the snow melting on places like sidewalks, turning to ice and becoming a potential health hazard or lawsuit waiting to happen. Let the Parke Company ease your mind by removing the snow.

Weighing You Down

Contrary to popular belief, snow actually does have some positive benefits for your lawn. When the snow falls is the perfect time to seed your garden, if you have not done so already. So if there are patchy areas that need tender love and attention, maybe wait for the first snowfall to act as a security blanket, protecting the seedlings from their natural enemy, birds. Of course, the flipside to this is that you risk damaging the blades of grass by stepping on them. The additional weight added by the snow can sometimes damage the entire root system, so it is something best left to the professionals. Extra weight is also why, if you have trees, you should investigate if they need trimming and pruning. The extra weight added by a new snowfall can be disastrous, causing easily avoidable damage.  

A fresh snowfall is one of the best looking things that pops up in nature, but is can lead to a lot of damage and destruction if left unchecked, like when it blocks important roadways or sidewalks, or when it lands on unsuspecting trees. So the first time you see the snowflakes starting to fall, make sure you have the number for the Parke Company handy.

Cold Weather Care for Your Trees

landscaping and irrigation

It might seem a bit odd, but even with the cold weather and all of the leaves on the ground, now is the perfect time to work on the trees and bushes that line your lawn or business’s property. Not only is the cool weather – like the kind that is rapidly approaching the Nashville area – the perfect time to plant a new tree, since it promotes root growth, but the ideal time to get things ready for the harsh realities of the oncoming winter. We here at the Parke Company spend a lot of time getting things ready for winter and planting new trees. In fact, it is one of the busiest times of the year for us because of the small window to get things done and take advantage of the weather while it lasts. To really take advantage of the timing, here are some things you can do to make sure your trees last through the cold weather and come out of their hibernation in the spring looking healthy and hale.

Eating Healthy

Much like yourself, one of the most important things you can do for your trees is to make sure they are eating healthy. While for you that might mean cutting back on greasy burgers and adding more fruits and vegetables, for trees that primarily means mulching. Mulch, in its simplest form, is any organic (and sometimes, inorganic) material laid down on top of the soil as a cover. It helps the soil retain moisture and in most cases adds nutrients. In addition, the mulch acts like a blanket for the tree’s root system, keeping it warm and healthy during the extreme cold months. The nice thing about mulch is that it can be created using the materials you already have at home, namely, leaves. Instead of shipping them away in a leaf bag, save them, add water and let them sit for a couple of weeks. The resulting mixture makes for a wonderfully nutrient-rich drink for the trees. Now is also the time to monitor the water intake of trees, because a winter water drought can be almost as harmful as a summer one. Water them appropriately when the temps are still above freezing and you won’t have to worry about it later on.

A Little Off the Top

This is the perfect time to prune your trees. Pruning and trimming are practices that should be carried out through the entire year, but autumn is the perfect time to do so for several reasons. For one, the trees are dormant in hibernation, making any cutting you do potentially less harmful. For another, you can actually see the structure of the tree, so you will know where to make the cuts. Pruning relieves stress on certain parts of the tree, something that might be exacerbated by snow and ice, so do not neglect it. If you don’t feel comfortable making these kinds of cuts, trimming and pruning are just a couple of the many tree services offered by the professionals here at the Parke Company.

Autumn is coming to a close, but it is not over yet and now is the time to make sure things are in order when it comes to your trees. By ensuring they have a healthy diet and are properly trimmed, you can count on happy and healthy trees, and it never hurts to have a step up on the competition come spring.

All That’s Left are the Leaves

Autumn leaves

It’s that time of the year again in Nashville, when looking out your window leads to images of a ragged-looking lawn covered in the dead and dying, instead of the nice, tidy, and trim emerald grass you are used to seeing. Yes, we are living in the days of autumn, when the leaves are falling in full force, leading to weekends spent cleaning up waste instead of doing literally anything else. This might not be a problem when you have a small area to clean up, but even that can take hours. Now imagine how much time it will take to cover a large area, and that is just dealing with the leaves. There has to be an easier way to makes things look nice! Luckily for you, there is. We here at the Parke Company are professionals at making life easier, because if there is one thing we learned from our youth, it is to “work smarter, not harder.” With that in mind, here are some ways to ease your mind about the amount of yard work the fall season brings.

Mowing Down the Competition

When it comes to dealing with leaves, the gold standard has always been the simple, humble rake, and while there are some positives to raking, like the amount of time you get to spend outside, breathing the fresh cool air, it can be a real pain. Plus you have to bag the leaves up afterwards, and you end up spilling a lot of them on the ground and need to do the whole thing all over again (although we here at the Parke Company are happy to remove the leaf bags for you). There is a better way however, and that is to use a mower. Now I know that sounds like it would make more of a mess, but if you get a mower with a mulch bag on it, you can save the mulch and use it again as a nutrient-rich additive when it comes time to plant things in the spring.

Getting High

The important thing to remember when mowing with a mulch bag is to make sure the blades are not too low to the ground. At this point in the year the grass has stopped growing, so cutting it too close to the ground can cause irreparable damage to the grass underneath. Set the blades on the mower to the highest setting so you know you’re only going to mow up the leaves. If you are concerned about the risks, you might want to look into the landscaping services offered by the Parke Company, although you should do it quickly, as this is a busy time of the year for us.

We understand that raking leaves, either into those heavy duty bags or into a big pile for jumping into, is one of those time-honored fall traditions. We are big believers in honoring traditions, but this is one of those times when you need to think about what is best for you and your lawn. Mowing and mulching is definitely the more efficient option, but raking is not bad either, as it still gets the leaves up and away.

Let’s Get Festive: Decorating Tips for the Holidays

home Christmas lights at night

October is the beginning of the holiday season. You have Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving, and then right on into Christmas and New Year’s, to say nothing of all of the little extra family gatherings that exist along the way. While it’s nice to decorate for the seasons, and a little bit of holiday cheer can be just the thing to take your lawn to the next level, it can also wreak havoc on the health of your plants and grass. Keeping everything nice and healthy is something that we here at the Parke Company believe is crucial, not just because a healthy lawn is something that will make you happy, but also because you have spent so much time working on it all year, why stop now? With that in mind, here are some tips to make your yard look holiday-appropriate, while also maintaining the proper level of care for the green and the growing.

Light and Fluffy

Possibly the most important thing you can do to make sure your lawn is not damaged is taking a look at the weight of any decorations you set out. The heavier they are, the more damaging it will be to the grass underneath it. If (and possibly when) it snows, this issue will be compounded even further because there is no way for the grass to get any air and it will die, leaving large, ugly yellow patches come spring. So, while the Nativity scene probably looks nice, it might be better suited somewhere else than the front yard.

If you do want to keep the statutes and other decorations up, try for something lighter. This also goes for the trees. Hanging anything heavy from them, or anything that has the potential to get icy and heavier – such as a string of Christmas lights – can put too much stress on the tree, leading to potential damage. Preparing for this by trimming the tree and checking for branch stability first is a must.

Light it Up

Something else to think about is the lighting. Using a lot of lighting, such as string lights or LED projectors, might look nice but they can be a drain on your energy bill. Plus you run the risk of an electrical fire, especially if it is a traditionally dry Nashville fall, where everything is brittle and ready to blaze up at a given moment. One way to avoid this is to check the connections on any lighting you use to make sure it’s safe. Of course, if your lawn is properly watered on a regular basis, like through the use of irrigation, that also helps minimize the damage.

The holiday season is a great way to try some new landscaping design techniques, but it can also be an easy time to forget what makes for the best lawns: a healthy and conscientious approach. Remember to keep the health of your lawn in mind when decorating this holiday season, as it will pay great dividends come spring.

Cleaning Things Up: Easy Tips to Make Your Lawn Look Better

colorful flowers in yard

While the weather is nice, you might be taking advantage of it by spending more time outside. Not necessarily doing yard work and the like, but just resting easy and appreciating what you have. Of course, you might be on the opposite side of the equation, which finds you inside looking at everyone else’s wonderfully manicured and generally better looking yard. You might be experiencing a sense of regret, or maybe the desire to do better next season. Luckily for you, making the lawn look nicer is a very easy thing to do, and taking a nice looking lawn to the next level (both metaphorically and in some cases literally) is something that the professionals here at the Parke Company are skilled in. We are happy to share our knowledge of ways to make everything look a little bit neater and nicer, and hope that you think of us the next time you have landscaping design work available.

With that in mind, here are a couple of things that you can do to make your yard look amazing.

Managing the Numbers

One of the easiest ways to make things look nicer is to plant the same kind of flowers in greater numbers. This goes against the school of thought that says you need to mix several different types of flowers together for visual variety, and while there is some truth to that, having a lot of one type of flower makes for a better punch. Think about the field of poppies scene from The Wizard of Oz. It makes things look bigger and bolder. If you then apply this principle on a larger scale, by alternating large swathes of the same flowers or plants across your lawn, things are going to look pretty great. You don’t even have to employ the exact same plants; if you want to change things a bit, make sure you are repeating something. People like repetition. It is just one of those things that stands out to the human eye, so take advantage of it. If you are concerned about the late season and planting new plants, worry not – the Parke Company has access to a lot of plants, including perennials, that will still grow.

Clean it Up

One of the easiest things one can do is to make sure everything looks neat. Do you have trees, or large patches of bushes? Trim them. Cut them to different sizes to give the eye new levels to look at. A well groomed bush is something everyone likes to see. This advice can be applied to the rest of your lawn too. Leaves are falling, so make sure you are raking the lawn on a regular basis, and either use them to make a healthy, nutrient-rich mulch to then apply to the grass, or bag them up and use a leaf removal service. The point is, putting in just a little bit of effort will make a world of difference.

If the idea of some yard work is enough to make your throat close up, then maybe you should think about using a service. The Parke Company is skilled in a lot of areas, including tree services, landscaping design, maintenance, and more. We are happy to help in any way we can, and everything will look amazing when we are done with it.