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  1. Great Ideas for Father’s Day Gifts

    Gifts to Give Dad on Father’s Day

    Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18th this year, so for those still looking for a gift here are some great suggestions!

    A new grill and utensils to help kick off grilling season.

    Hopefully these gifts will make your dad as happy as this guy:

    Via GIPHY

    Power banks

    These small, portable chargers would be great for the on-the-go dads.

    A hammock, perfect for relaxing days outside.

    Hammocks are great for those nice summer days, and are excellent for the dads who just want to enjoy the outdoors.

    Noise-cancelling headphones

    These are ideal for a busy dad who might need a little time to himself.

    A Fitbit or something similar that tracks fitness

    A fitness tracker would be a flawless gift to give your dad if he is a big fitness buff, or just wants to be healthy.

    Via GIPHY

    A break from mowing the lawn by ordering from PLOWZ & MOWZ

    Save dad the hassle of doing this household chore and order a lawn mow for him by using this app. You can get a free quote in under a minute, all you have to do is answer a couple easy questions about your lawn. You will be able to schedule your lawn mow for as soon as the next day! No contracts are required either! You can also give your dad the gift of never mowing during the summer by scheduling recurring services.

    Leave a comment below telling us what you are getting your dad this year for Father’s Day!

     

     

     


     

     

     

    If you’re in Chicago, check out Wannemaker’s Home and Garden store in Downer’s Grove for grills and more!

     

     

     


    In Atlanta, Austin, Dallas or Denver?

    Have Propane Taxi deliver the propane to your dad’s house!

     

     

     

     

     


    READ MORE >>

    8 Smart Lawn Maintenance Tips

    4 Lawn Care Tips for Extreme Heat

    4 lawn care problems solved

    5 Plants That Repel Mosquitos


     

    Let PLOWZ & MOWZ take care of the lawn mowing while you spend time with your family this Father’s Day!

  2. 4 Helpful Tips for Lawn Care During the Rainy Season

    Tips for Managing Your Lawn When it Rains

    Most of the country has been dealing with a significant amount of rain this spring. Here at PLOWZ & MOWZ, we have had to reschedule a record number of lawn mows due to the weather. Here are some tips to keep your lawn as healthy as possible for a rainier than normal season!

    • Mow more frequently

    More rain means that grass is growing at an increasing speed, which then requires it to be mowed more often.

    via GIPHY

    • If you can, try to fertilize your grass an hour before it rains

    Fertilizer is only effective when it is brought into the root area of the grass. Rain can help do this, which is why it is prime time to fertilize lawns right before it rains.

    • Avoid walking on the lawn

    Grass can be easily damaged when it is walked on, because the blades from the roots can be easily teared which would create a rumpled look. Try to only walk on lawns when it is dry.

    • Mow grass either right before it rains or a couple of days later

    It is best for lawns to be mowed when dry since it is easier to get the correct height on the grass.

     

    Enjoy every dry, sunny day you can! Schedule a MOWZ service today and we’ll take care of the rest!

    MOWZ order button


    It’s rained 41 of the past 67 days in CNY, home of PLOWZ & MOWZ! 

     Want to read more?

    5 Plants That Repel Mosquitos

    Backyard Upkeep

    8 Smart Lawn Maintenance Tips

    Prepare for Memorial Day Weekend!

    4 lawn care problems solved

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  3. Prepare for Memorial Day Weekend!

    How to Have the Perfect Memorial Day

    Memorial Day is right around the corner, so here are some tips that can help you enjoy the holiday that kicks off summer!

    What is Memorial Day?

    Memorial day is a national holiday in America for remembering those who have fallen while serving in the armed forces. The holiday usually falls on the last Monday in May, and it is also known as marking the unofficial start of the summer season.

    When is Memorial Day?

    This year, Memorial Day falls on May 29th.

    How to celebrate Memorial Day

    Here are some fun ideas that will help you have a successful Memorial Day:

    Get in the spirit early in the day by attending your local Memorial Day Parade.

    Parades are the best way to start any day. Your local newspaper should have the details of what time and where the parade starts. Check to see when your local parade is >>

    If you’re having a cookout, plan the menu in advance and include staples like hot dogs, potato salad, and corn on the cob.

    Nothing says happy summer than the first cookout of the season! Plan your menu out and buy all the ingredients a couple of days in advance so you don’t have to deal with the last minute shoppers.

     

    Make things patriotic by buying American-themed decorations.

    You can also make your own! Paint mason jars red, white, and blue and put American flags in them, or cut out big stars out of colored construction paper and hang them up.

    If you’re having a cookout make sure you have a backup plan in case it rains. 

    Bring the party indoors, or buy some canopies to provide dry spots to your guests.

    Pay your respects to those who have fallen by visiting a cemetery for veterans.

    This day is all about honoring those who have fought for our country, and you can pay your respects by stopping by a cemetery and placing American flags by the fallen.

    Help support the families of these heroes by visiting TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). >>

    While you’re preparing for a great weekend, let our local, insured professionals mow for you! >>

     

    Why lawn mow before Memorial Day? Because you can have a beautiful, maintained  lawn for all of your guests and neighbors to admire!  

    Look in your local paper to see if there are any Memorial Day Events going on near you.

     

    There are usually town BBQs or post-parade activities for everyone to enjoy!

    Eliminate one chore by using the PLOWZ & MOWZ app and have your lawn mowed for you!

    The reason why you should use PLOWZ & MOWZ for lawn mow is that you will be free to enjoy the fun festivities of the national holiday without worrying about your lawn. You can get a free quote in under 60 seconds by using the app. Once you answer some simple questions about your lawn, you can schedule a mow for as soon as the next day! There are no contracts to be signed, and you can even set up recurring services to have your lawn cut every seven, ten, or fifteen days.

  4. Backyard Upkeep

    Trying to keep your backyard looking beautiful?

    Do you have a weed problem?
    You can pour boiling water over your weeds to get rid of them without harming the soil. There are a lot of ways to completely kill an areas plant and vegetation but boiling water seems to be a very effective way to just get rid of weeds in an isolated area.

    Do you want to get rid of anything growing in concrete cracks?
    There are methods of killing vegetation in areas but its important to use these methods in only areas that you have no interest in growing in the future. So if you have cracks in your concrete or spaces between paving stones in your backyard that you don’t want anything growing, this tip may be for you. Sprinkling some salt in cracks can kill and prevent the growth of vegetation in the future.

    Are you looking for an easy way to keep weeds away?
    If you kill some weeds in an area and you plan to use a non living ground cover like gravel or some other decorative solution, you can use cheap trash bags or newspaper to prevent weeds from growing back. This easy solution is cheaper and easier then a weed spray you may have to reapply throughout the summer.

    Do you have some unwanted pets or animals coming in to your yard?
    Some people recommend using plastic forks to prevent animals from using your garden or yard as their litter box. An even nicer approach could be to gather some pinecones and spread them around areas you want to keep off limits to some of your neighbor’s pets.

    Looking for a way to use something you have in your home as a natural insect repellant?
    Although people love the smell of coffee, there are a few experts that say sprinkling coffee grounds in your garden can keep insects away. (Also, coffee grounds can act as a fertilizer that is totally natural!)

    Have your clay pots seen better days?
    Have you ever used vinegar to clean off anything in your kitchen? Turns out, vinegar can actually be used for many different cleaning uses. First try to rub off any dirt you can with a brush or towel. Then put them in a tub of 25% vinegar and 75% water. Soak for 30 minutes to an hour and see how much cleaner they are. Try washing off any extra dirt and if you need to you can soak it in the vinegar bath a little longer. Once you’re done with the vinegar bath, you need to soak them in water to get rid of any access vinegar still on the pots. For the final clean, you can use some soap and water.

    Do you want to upkeep your backyard but are looking for ways to save a few bucks?
    There are many ways to make your yard beautiful while saving some money along the way. First, whenever you are looking to buy something new, look around your yard or home to see if you could reuse something in a unique way. You can use a used milk jug as a watering pot for example. Also, a lot of tools and yard equipment can make a big dent in your wallet. Look for end of summer/fall sales for the following year. Stores are always making room for new seasonal items so it may be a good idea to invest a little bit early to stay ahead of future seasons. A few items that come to mind can range from salt, shovels, snow blowers, lawnmowers, and planting pots.

    Landscaping Hacks Guide: 35 Tips + Ideas For Your Yard

    7 Awesome Lawn and Garden Hacks for Your Yard

  5. Winter’s ‘Coolest’ Snow Sculptures

    Winter’s ‘coolest’ snow sculptures

    Those fresh snow piles that accumulate on the sides of a driveway after a snow plow? Think of them as a snow plower’s gift to you—a kind of medium that will get your artistic juices flowing.

    Snow sculpting isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s time intensive, the project scope is generally large, and it requires those who are unafraid of facing brutal winter conditions. But when a PLOWZ delivers you a professionally plowed driveway and the additional benefit of freshly churned powder for sculpting, it’s hard to simply sip coffee from inside a warm home and ignore it. So strap on some snow pants, a hat, and some ski goggles, and use our list of winter’s coolest snow sculptures as inspiration.

    This 22ft tall work of art took a total of 350 hours to build. See a time lapse video of the project here:

     

     

    Not quite to scale, but our forefather’s look just as presidential carved from snow.

     

    Fire and ice – this creation had to be inspired by the late Robert Frost. There’s no denying this sculpture is hot.

    A Peanut’s classic. Snoopy is all of us when a PLOWZ comes to clear our driveway and we get to stay in bed.

    And of course, for the traditionalist in all of us – the classic snowman. Your work can only get better from here.

  6. Not All Heroes Wear Capes

    Not all heroes wear capes. Some plow, and some mow.

     

    1.) Four Kentucky kids banded together to make their community a better-mowed place. Free of charge, a team of young lawn enthusiasts goes door to door offering their lawn services to neighbors and community members. Travis Wilson, 15, was originally given the task of mowing his own front yard for free as punishment, but by the time his mom had returned from work, he had mowed eight surrounding lawns.

    Travis’ enthusiasm for his project was contagious, and his mowing team grew to include three more teens. The community is rallying around them, and though the boys won’t accept cash for their services, there is a GoFundMe set up to send the young mowers to Disney World.

    FULL STORY: http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/07/ky-teens-mow-lawns-for-free/

     

    2.) Picking up a stranded mother in labor during a storm is possibly one of the biggest snow emergencies a plow driver could imagine. That’s exactly what happened when Hugh and Stephanie Dawson’s truck broke down on a highway in the middle of a snowstorm. The couple was headed to the deliver their baby, already slowed by the weather, and Stephanie knew they wouldn’t make it to their hospital of choice about 40 minutes away. Then, to make matters worse, the Dawson’s truck suddenly died. Hugh immediately jumped out of the truck to wave down a snowplow headed in the opposite direction. The driver diverted from his route and quickly drove the couple to the nearest hospital. A healthy baby boy named Brayden Dawson was born shortly after their arrival, thanks to the quick response of a plow driver.

    FULL STORY: http://pilotonline.com/news/local/weather/snow-plow-driver-rescues-pregnant-woman-during-laborious-journey-to/article_7116c766-b27d-56e8-bf59-58aec11209d4.html

     

    3.) One 17 year old found that the perfect way to say “thank you” is with a lawn mower. A Minnesota deputy came home after work to find his lawn freshly cut, and a note from a mystery mower. The note, as signed by 17 year old Brett from Bemidji, explained that he wanted to show the deputy appreciation for his service to the community. The note read, “If it is OK with you, I would like to mow your lawn for you because your job is hard enough.” Brett recommends that the deputy spends the time it would have taken to mow to do something he loves instead. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office posted the letter on their Facebook page with the caption, “We love those we serve.”

    FULL STORY: http://www.fox13news.com/trending/175294134-story

     

  7. 4 lawn care problems solved

    Lawn doctor, yard shrink, grass therapist – whatever the name, we’re here to help!

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    A man’s best friend, yes, but not always a lawn’s best friend. Small brown patches of grass can be caused by… how do we say it… a pooch mistaking your grass for a fire hydrant. If your dog or neighbor’s dog favors the same area day after day, characteristic dead grass patches will occur. Typically a bit of nitrogen is good for grass, but at higher levels it can cause the lawn to burn.

    Solution:

    The fix? Either saturate and dilute the spot with water and let it recover, or break out the dog treats and train Fido to use a less visible bathroom.

     

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    We’ve all seen a green lawn that suffers from a bad case of the brown chickenpox. If this is your yard, and fast-appearing, fast-spreading dead spots are the symptoms, the diagnosis might be a fungus disease. Some similar turf issues can be credited to bacteria, but fungi most often takes the cake. Spores, produced by the fungi, are always part of your lawn’s soil, but when they sense any weakness, they head straight for the turf.

    Solution:

    The best bet for a lawn cure is to detect early, as the different types of fungus disease are easier to differentiate. Then you can adjust cultural practices like watering, fertilizing, and aerating. But, as always, preventative care is the most important. Maintain a healthy lawn all year round. MOWZ wants to be part of the solution.

     

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    This is one shady problem…literally. Grass has a hard time growing properly in shade covered areas. Moss, however, likes the dark. Moss alone won’t kill your grass, but its growing conditions can stop your lawn from looking its best.

    Solution:

    Acidic soil may be a reason for moss and thin grass, but if your soil’s pH is okay (see here for testing pH), let the sun shine by pruning trees or shrubs away. If shade is inevitable, try some perennials or a shade-loving groundcover like hosta, dichondra, vinca, or star jasmine.

     

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    A recent invasion of flying beetles around your yard and corresponding brown spots may point towards some creepy crawly lawn grubs. These are white, wormy critters in their larvae stage, eventually molting into flying, hard-shelled adults. Now is the perfect time to take action as summer draws to an end. These grubs usually do their worst to unsuspecting lawns in the fall, as they eat your grass from the roots up.

    Solution:

    To be sure the grubs are really the bad guys, dig up a slice of dirt near a brown patch and see if you can catch them eating in action. Depending on health of the lawn, 10+ larvae per square foot is a common measure to begin treatment. To prevent, you could attempt to pick the beetles off by hand as the first trailblazers arrive in the late summer. The best time for this is early mornings, when the beetles are slowest. The grubs thrive in moist soil, so if they’re a problem, let your lawn dry thoroughly between waterings. Replace shallow waterings with deep, infrequent ones to discourage beetles from thinking your lawn is the perfect place to raise kids.

     

    Problem:

    An unruly yard.

    Solution: 

    A MOWZ on demand lawn mowing service.

    MOWZ order button

    Sources
    http://www.planetnatural.co/organic-lawn-care-101/problems/
    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20401911_20811137,00.html
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/05/how-to-fix-the-5-most-common-lawn-problems/index.html

  8. 5 Tips to Make Your Lawn the Envy of the Neighborhood

    Tired of keeping up with the Jones’? Get out in front with a beautiful lawn. Here are 5 tips to help you achieve that lush green lawn you’ve always dreamt about them! (Once your lawn is the envy of the neighborhood, maintain in with the help of the MOWZ app!)

    1. A pH check

    For the greenest lawn, you need to find that “perfect pH”. Either use a soil test kit, or take a tablespoon-sized sample of soil from three different areas in your lawn and bring them to a garden center service to determine the pH level for you. The ideal number is somewhere between 6 and 7.2. A high pH often requires more iron sulphate or sulfur, while pelletized lime stone can aid a low pH. Your local garden center can recommend the boosters you need for a greener lawn.

     

    2. Scheduled water breaks

    Often, consistency is key. Try to water your lawn at the same time each morning. This is the time of day where water is least likely to evaporate in the heat, and winds aren’t as strong. Note that your grass only needs one inch of water per week, including rainfall. Use the tuna can trick found in our last blog. For the greenest results, stick a spade or shovel 4-6 inches into the soil to see if the water has reached that ideal depth.

     

    3. Ammonia in action

    Get your grass’s engine running with an ammonia boost. Ammonia, nitrogen in liquid form, is known to stimulate green foliage. Mix together a cup of ammonia and a cup of Epsom salts with five gallons of water, and spread it over your lawn. The combination of the nitrogen source and the magnesium sulfate from the Epson salts will react to produce thicker and greener grass. Hose down your lawn after the solution is distributed to ensure it reaches the roots.

     

    4. Aerate in autumn

    Lawn maintenance is really a year-long project, and for the greenest, lushest grass, stay with seasonal care. When fall approaches, it’s good practice to aerate your lawn. Aeration can reduce runoff by permitting better drainage within the soil, and repeating for several seasons can improve your grass type and leave your lawn more protected against droughts. The process of aeration includes cutting hundreds of small holes in your yard to loosen the soil, which allows the roots to better soak up air, nutrients, and water.

     

    5. Done at dormant

    If your emerald grass has gone brown, it’s not necessarily dead, just dormant. Proceed with caution before applying weed killer or fertilizer to the lawn in the summer. If done incorrectly, a heat-stressed lawn may burn under the conditions. If you haul your sprinkler system to and from browned areas of grass, the inconsistency of dormancy can be unhealthy. Remember to follow a watering schedule as closely as you can, as well as the importance of fertilizing in the fall.

     

    If all else fails

    You can achieve the green of your dreams with lawn paint! This idea is growing in popularity, especially in areas affected by droughts. Seek out a non-phytotoxic pigment based treatment to spray your yard, and, as they say, fake it ‘til you make it!

     

    Sources

    http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Green-Grass

    http://time.com/money/2951475/greening-up-the-grass/

    http://www.familyhandyman.com/landscaping/lawn-care/how-to-grow-greener-grass/view-all

     

  9. 4 Lawn Care Tips for Extreme Heat

    Beat the Heat! Temperatures have been skewing on the warmer side during these past summer months, and now thanks to the heat bowl that’s formed over parts of the U.S., they will continue to skyrocket. Heat bowls occur when moisture and high temps collide, and urban areas and much of the Midwest are facing the brunt of it. If you tend a lawn in this area, or if you’re just feeling the heat this summer, here is how you can protect it.

    1. Forget Fertilization

    Fertilization rarely receives a negative connotation, but think twice before over-fertilizing in extreme heat. Grass growing with the help of fertilizer mid-summer can appear tender and weak as the lawn consumes more than it can yield in the heat. If you overfeed your grass, as it grows, extra energy is required for it to flourish in hot conditions, further stressing your lawn. Excess fertilizer plus excess sun exposure can also lead to scorched spots in your yard.

    2. Minimize Traffic

    If all the neighbors come to your yard for summer socializing, the popular path may show signs of wear, especially as heat intensifies. Foot traffic on dry grass beats down the blades, preventing them from springing back. For dry, brittle lawns, consider laying stepping stones or even staking a “Keep off the Grass!” warning sign.

    3. Water Right

    Contrary to popular belief, you can overwater your lawn, even when temps are ranging in the 90s or above. If the soil in your yard remains constantly wet, the grass roots are unable to take in a sufficient amount of oxygen, leaving them weakened to disease. A rule to remember is “water deeply and infrequently.” You do not need to put out the sprinkler every day, even in high heat. A lawn only needs 1 inch of water per week, counting that week’s rainfall. A great, DIY way to gauge this is to place empty tuna cans (or measuring cups) in your yard at varying ranges away from your sprinkler. Check for an even distribution of approximately 1 inch of water, and you’ll know when to turn off the hose.

    4. Bugs of Both Kind

    Both insects and disease can be more prevalent during hot summer episodes. If a lawn is heat-stressed, common insect infestations include chinch bugs, sod webworms, armyworms, fire ants, and fleas. Fungal disease like mildew and brown patch can occur. To combat, keep nighttime watering to a minimum, and in severe cases, apply a fungicide on a mild summer day when the extreme weather has passed.

     

    MOWZ Can Take the Heat! Use the MOWZ app today because we know that maintaining year-round health of your lawn is important. Great care will prepare your grass for sweltering summers, all the way from the roots to the tips of the blades. Start now, by ordering a MOWZ app. We’ll do the mowing while you watch from your kitchen window, sipping a cool drink.

     

    http://yardcare.toro.com/maintain/how-to-maintain-the-grass-in-extreme-heat/

    http://www.todayshomeowner.com/summer-lawn-care-guide/

     

  10. A Quick Guide To Common Lawn Diseases

    Like every other living thing, lawns can get diseases. They sometimes arise and can cause untold devastation when lawns are stressed and the conditions are right. Most of these diseases occur in the summer, during extended periods of hot, humid conditions. Even the healthiest of lawns may struggle to thrive.

    In this article, we will highlight the most common lawn diseases and their causes.

     

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    Brown Patch

    Brown Patch: Mostly found in tall fescue and ryegrass, brown patches affect many cool season grasses and some species of warm season grasses. Brown patches are notable for their distinctive “smoke rings” that are sometimes visible on the outer edges. Brown patches occur during extended periods of heat and humidity, especially when nighttime temperatures remain above 68 F. Poor air circulation, overwatering, over fertilizing and lawn compactions can also make them worse.

     

    Dollar Spot

    Dollar Spot

    Dollar Spot: One of the most common lawn diseases, the dollar spots gets its name from the distinct pattern of dead circular patches about the size of a silver dollar. They can occur when moisture is present during the warm day/cool night patterns of spring and fall. Excessive thatch, poor drainage, overwatering and low soil fertility can all aid in bringing on dollar spots.

     

    Powdery Mildew

    Powdery Mildew

    Powdery Mildew: Often found on Kentucky bluegrass lawns located in shady areas with limited air movement, powdery mildew looks like a white dust covering the grass blades. Although it can yellow the turf over time, powdery mildew is not likely to cause widespread damage to a lawn. Extended cloudiness can bring on powdery mildew but if the problem is not weather related, conditions may need to be altered for a healthy lawn. Shade tolerant grass species are not likely to attract powdery mildew and pruning or thinning trees can improve air circulation and sunlight to the area.

     

    Fairy Ring

    Fairy Ring

    Fairy Ring: Fairy rings can present themselves as dark circles or partial circles on the lawn, and they may or may not grow mushrooms. There are many stories about digging out fairy rings but the widespread nature of the fungal spores leads to limited success trying to dig the rings up. Maintaining a lush green lawn can blend in the darker color and regular mowing can help control the presence of mushrooms.

     

    Snow Mold

    Snow Mold

    Snow Mold: Prolonged snow cover in the spring can lead to grey snow mold or pink snow mold, especially if the ground is not quite frozen. It can also occur on over fertilized lawns and under leaves left over from the fall. Snow mold damage is largely superficial and temporary; the best way to deal with it is to rake it out to help the area dry. New growth will begin and soon the damage will be gone.

     

    Red Thread

    Red Thread

    Red Thread: A common and relatively harmless lawn disease, red thread usually appears when the lawn is due for fertilizing. Chances are if red thread is present, it’s time to fertilize the lawn. Red thread is noticeable by its distinctive red hairs amongst the turf giving it a pinkish/red appearance from a distance.

    Being aware of these diseases and take care of your lawn to avoid them!