A Homeowner's Guide on How to Read a Fertilizer Label
on Saturday, February 10 2018
As we anticipate the arrival of spring, this magnificent season brings with it a list of outdoor resolutions.   Many of these promises have to do with lawn and garden projects that require a basic knowledge of fertilization.  We use fertilizers in a variety of capacities:  flower containers, vegetable gardens, newly planted ornamentals, and to enhance the lawn are just a few examples.   SOIL NUTRIENTS THAT PLANTS NEED TO GROW To make plants grow faster and healthier, we must supply the elements that the plants need in readily available forms. That is the goal of fertilizer.  Whenever you see a fertilizer product, it will have three numbers prominently listed on the package, usually on the front. These numbers are very important and tell a great deal about what this fertilizer will do. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (N,P,K) are what the numbers refer to. ...
Do This, Not That!
on Monday, June 19 2017
  Don’t let these no-no’s screw up your yard in Gastonia, NC   SCALPING YOUR GRASS Lawn mowing is not just about keeping up appearances: it's about grass health, too. And scalping is a big “no-no”.  You may think that cutting your lawn shorter means less mowing, but that isn’t true. As a matter of fact, it can do serious damage to your grass by eventually leaving bare spots. Certain warm season grasses (bermuda, zoysia, etc.) are expected to be mowed at a shorter height.  Cool season grasses (which is the predominant type of grass for the Piedmont region of North Carolina) such as fescue lawns are purposed to be cut at a taller height. Forget the lawn-mowing myth that says the shorter you mow grass, the less often you'll have to cut it. That misguided concept lays a foundation ...
Happy New Year!
on Thursday, January 19 2017
  Happy New Year, it’s hard to believe that 2017 is already upon us!  The start of a new year is a great time to establish a vision and plan for your Gastonia, NC lawn. Take a moment to think about your lawn. What changes do you want to see in your turf in 2017? Set your expectations depending on the starting condition of your lawn.  If your lawn is ridden with weeds, bare spots, or other eyesores, it could take an entire growing season before you see the change you’re hoping for.  Late winter (late February/early March) is the perfect time to get started:  spring clean-ups, first round of lawn treatments, trimming, and pruning. Lawn care and landscaping is all about timing.  When it comes to your lawn, there's no such thing as fashionably late. Get the most out of your ...
How To Begin Preparing In August For Lawn Aeration and Overseeding
on Saturday, August 13 2016
  Why Aerate It’s that time of year again when fescue lawns need to be aerated and overseeded to recover from the heat and humidity of summer. Our Southern red clay soil is easily compacted.  Annual aeration and overseeding is an investment in your lawn’s health each year. Aeration allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate through the soil and into the root zone.  Here are a few tips that can help prepare your lawn now for September’s schedule for core aeration, fescue overseeding, starter fertilizer, and pellitized lime installations.   Weed Control 4 to 6 weeks in advance, spot treat any remaining summer broadleaf and grassy weeds.  Check the residual time of the post-emergent herbicide as compared to your estimated aeration/seeding date.  You will probably have to use Round-Up on dallisgrass (large clumps of grass that are flat and wide ...
Green Grass, Blue Skies, and Flowers
on Friday, April 22 2016
There is a perfect spring week every year and last week was one of those. Despite canker worms floating through the air along with tumbleweeds of pollen, the landscape in Gastonia was breathtaking.  The sky was blue.  Gardens burst into bloom.  The lawns were green.  Birds chirped.  We enjoyed warm days in the upper 70s.  Spring is truly the season of rejuvenation. We thought you’d like a sample of spring blooms and green grass from a few of our customers across Gastonia, NC.                                                                                        &...
Creating Winter Interest in the Landscape
on Thursday, February 25 2016
Now that the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day are over, take a breath of fresh air.  The weather in Gastonia, NC has been pretty drab over the past two months with lots of gloomy skies and what seems like never ending rain.  While we are anxiously waiting for the arrival of spring in a few weeks, now is a great time to look out your windows and evaluate your landscape.  Consider barren spots where you may want to incorporate winter interest into the landscape for next year.    WHAT EXACTLY CREATES "WINTER INTEREST"? Winter interest can include color, texture, built elements, and birds.  All of these can make attractive contributions to the landscape.   Winter interest plants that radiate color or texture may include: Bulbs that bloom early (crocus and daffodils) Evergreen plants that bloom early (...
The Classic Southern Porch - Curb Appeal on a Budget
on Saturday, April 25 2015
Today’s article is posted by guest blogger Marlis (Joe’s wife). Boston ferns are a classic look for any Southern porch.  Should you choose to hang your ferns, or display them atop a plant stand, the lush green fronds offer unique interest and Southern grace.  Even with the challenge of limited space, the large and flowing foliage of Boston ferns is visible from the street and boosts curb appeal.  If you are a do-it-yourself gardener, most of the big box stores put their Boston ferns on sale during April for roughly $10 and some change.  April is a great time to buy inexpensive plants.  You can stretch the dollar now for gardening to the next level.  I usually wait until after April 15th to purchase my ferns so that the likelihood of our last frost in Gastonia has come and gone. BOSTON ...
Seasonal Color For Fall Landscapes
on Tuesday, October 28 2014
The heat and humidity of summer is gone.  Autumn is in full swing with cooler temperatures and we’re thinking about fall favorites - fresh picked apples, hay rides, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches.  Soon the leaves in Gastonia, NC will change from green to vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow. October is the perfect time to install fall seasonal color in the landscape.  As the bright colors of summer are fading, a new color palette of warm, rich tones of fall can bring beauty and interest to beds and containers.  A small investment now will provide a pop of color for your gardens and patio through May.  Annuals add the finishing touch to a yard and allow you to personalize favorite colors and textures. CHOOSING PLANT SELECTIONS FOR AN ORNAMENTAL BED Driving down the road, it looks kind of boring this fall.&...
Beating The It's Almost Spring Blues
on Monday, March 3 2014
2013 was a rough winter for us in Gastonia, North Carolina.  We experienced the polar vortex, the arctic blast, and thunder snow.  Did a couple of those 60 degree and sunny days get you antsy for the arrival of spring?  Not quite sure what type of landscaping tasks you can do to get a head start?  Divide and conquer.  Let’s put everything into 3 buckets – winter debris, pruning and feeding, and winter damage repair to give you a head start on spring lawn care and landscaping needs. WINTER DEBRIS REMOVAL Let’s start with the most obvious and easiest task on the checklist – cleaning up winter debris.  Even if your last leaf removal on the lawn was in December, you still may have some leaves in the grass.  Beech trees and several varieties of oak trees are late droppers – their ...
Fall Is Coming Soon – Time To Rejuvenate the Lawn !
on Monday, September 16 2013
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX – SEPTEMBER 22, 2013 In the northern hemisphere the autumnal equinox marks the beginning of fall.  This year’s September equinox falls on the 22nd.  We welcome fall for a variety of reasons in Gastonia, NC – vibrant fall foliage, a visit to the North Carolina mountains for breathtaking scenery, the harvest of locally grown apples, and decorating with pumpkins.  Summer is gone and left behind are later sunrises and earlier sunsets.  The shorter days are bringing cooler weather.  Birds and butterflies will migrate south to follow the path of the sun. Fall is the perfect time to rejuvenate our favorite cool season grass - tall fescue.  Fescue is the grass of choice for most homeowners in the piedmont of NC if you want a green lawn year-round.  Our annual turf renewal strategy includes the following steps during the month of September: ...
Step Into Our Garden – Marlis' Favorite Hobbies
on Friday, July 5 2013
Today’s article is posted by guest blogger Marlis (Joe’s wife). CONTAINER HERB GARDENS Growing herbs has been a hobby of mine for about 20 years or so.  I’m no gardening expert or chef, just a southern gal who enjoys the convenience of snipping fresh herbs and cooking.  There is a decent variety of fresh herbs packed in clam shells available in the produce department at many grocery stores.  The only drawback is that they’re pretty pricey, may not always appear to be the freshest, and involves a trip to the grocery store. The main requirement for growing herbs is to choose the best location.  They do best with at least 4 hours of daily sunlight and well drained soil.  Herbs flourish better in the ground where their roots can spread out.  Over the years I have had 3 different ...
Fire Ant Frenzy !
on Friday, June 7 2013
There is a fire ant frenzy popping out of the ground in Gastonia, NC !  During both the first week of May and the first week of June we were drenched with 5 inches of rain.  Heat + rain = fire ant mounds ! INTRODUCTION Fire ants were accidentally imported into Mobile, Alabama about 1930.  Since then, they have spread rapidly into most of the southeastern states and a few western states primarily through commerce.  They are now in most of NC except some of the northern tier counties.  Fire ants have become an increasing problem in Gastonia, NC lawns over the past 5 years.  We have to accept that we will never get rid of them, but they can be managed.  Professional lawn care businesses with a pesticide license have a few additional products available that are not sold in stores.  Fire ants produce mounds that may continue ...
Congratulations Joe !
on Friday, April 26 2013
Congratulations to owner Joe Morrison.  Morrison Lawn & Landscape of Gastonia, NC is featured in the April 2013 issue of “Our Community Entrepreneurs” magazine (published in Charlotte). As a 12 year old boy growing up in Bessemer City, Joe bought a push mower and pulled it with his bicycle.  He earned customers in several hometown neighborhoods and uploads/Lawn_mower.jpga love for working outdoors.  After college and 20 years of working in the chemical industry at FMC Lithium, his humble beginnings came full circle.  At age 40 he launched his own business.  2013 marked Morrison Lawn & Landscape's 12th year in the lawn care and landscaping industry.  The company continues to grow and new services are added this year. Click here to view the magazine article. Morrison Lawn & Landscape provides lawn care maintenance and landscaping service to Gastonia, NC.  For a free consultation for ...
Step Into Our Garden – Favorite Shrubs for Spring
on Friday, April 12 2013
Each year Morrison Lawn & Landscape would like to tell you about one of our favorite showstoppers that thrive in the Gastonia, NC area.  When choosing a shrub, it is a good idea to think about a few key components: Sun requirements.  There are shade loving shrubs, sun loving shrubs, and those in between.  To encourage the shrub's survival, make sure you know the sun or shade hours of the area you are planting. Deciduous or evergreen.  “Deciduous” means it will lose its leaves, and “evergreen” means it will keep foliage all year. Our blog post today will feature an evergreen shrub with a spring interest of beautiful fringe flowers. Height requirements.  There are shrubs that will grow tall quickly as serve as a privacy hedge, those shrubs that maintain a dwarf height and spread, and those in between.  To ...
Mow Like A Pro This Spring !
on Friday, March 22 2013
As the days get warmer and we’ve made it to early spring, it’s time to get prepared for the mowing season.  Spring lawn care has many of its own challenges……clean-up of winter leaves and tree debris, management of weeds, and dealing with an abundance of rain showers.  Here are 7 mowing tips from Morrison Lawn & Landscape that will help you maintain a healthy and attractive lawn throughout the rainfall in spring and heat of the summer for homeowners in Gastonia, NC.   GIVE YOUR LAWN MOWER A TUNE-UP Drain last season’s gas.  Change the oil and filter.  Sharpen the blades.  Check the tires. STAY SAFE Wear closed-toe shoes and protective eyewear.  Use safety headphones for noise reduction.  Apply sunscreen for UV protection.  Never leave a mower unattended with the engine running.  Always ...
Top 5 Spring Tasks
on Friday, March 8 2013
SPRING EQUINOX – MARCH 20, 2013 In the northern hemisphere the March equinox marks the start of spring and has long been celebrated as a time of nature’s renewal. This year’s March equinox falls on the 20th – less than 2 weeks away.  We welcome spring’s increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flowers and plant life. Mother Nature has teased us this year:  sunny, seventy degree weekends in January followed by thunder snow in February.  Although the temperatures for early March have been chilly, spring is on its way.  It’s time to tackle some maintenance now to get the yard ready before the burst of sudden growth.  Here’s a checklist of early spring lawn care and landscaping tips. 1 - SPRING CLEAN-UP OF LAWN AND ORNAMENTAL BEDS Winter weather means that most lawns have at least one ...
Magnificent Mulch – A Gardener’s Best Friend !
on Friday, March 1 2013
NOW IS THE TIME TO BEAUTIFY AND PROTECT ORNAMENTAL BEDS The most common organic types of mulch are pine needles; pine bark nuggets; and shredded pine, hardwood, and cypress mulch.  Additionally, hardwood mulch is available in dyed colors such as chocolate brown.  If you are one of the many homeowners in the Gastonia, North Carolina area, you may be wondering what are the benefits - in addition to good looks. Mulch helps to keep the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, acting as a moisture control insulator for the root structure of your plants Organic mulch decays over time, adding nutrients to the soil as it breaks down, and helps to maintain an acidic pH for plant growth Mulch provides a weed barrier by eliminating the sunlight needed by most weed seeds to germinate and establish seedlings   SO HOW DO YOU CHOOSE MULCH ...
The Ever-Changing Landscape of Pesticide Regulation
on Friday, February 22 2013
WHAT IS A PESTICIDE AND HOW DOES IT APPLY TO LAWN CARE AND LANDSCAPING ? A pesticide is a chemical used to prevent, destroy, or repel pests. Pests can be insects, animals, weeds, fungi, or microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. Pesticides also are used to kill organisms that can cause diseases. Most pesticides contain chemicals that can be harmful to people, animals, or the environment. For this reason the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates operators who apply pesticides to protect public health and the environment. These are some popular types of pesticides, and their purposes, that Morrison Lawn & Landscape uses on our Gastonia and Bessemer City lawns and landscapes: Fungicides kill fungi, including blights, mildews, molds, and rust.  We typically use fungicides for diseases on shrubs (leaf spot on indian hawthorn) and for diseases on lawns (brown patch disease on the turf). Herbicides kill ...
Crabgrass - Don't Kick the Can Down the Road !
on Friday, February 15 2013
Just one mature crabgrass plant can produce thousands of seeds. Crabgrass seeds have no trouble germinating in the absolute worst of conditions. The rules are pretty simple. Do nothing now and your lawn stands the chance of sprouting this rapidly growing, clumpy, coarse-textured grassy weed. Take preventative action now and crabgrass can be kept in check.