Step by Step

Step by Step: How to install a simple fire pit

November 29, 2018By
Steel ring of fire pit (illustration: David Preiss)

Fire pits continue to be popular as more homeowners strive to create an outdoor oasis in their own backyards. But before installing a fire pit, there are several factors for contractors, as well as their clients, to consider. The most common types of fire pits are wood burning, natural gas and propane. Wood-burning fire pits are less expensive to design... read more

Step by Step: How to manage shady lawn areas

October 16, 2018By
Irrigation sprayhead (illustration: David Preiss)

While shade trees are an important and prominent feature in many landscapes, they can be very competitive with turf, causing problems that can lead to the turf’s decline. Trees compete with grasses for light, water and nutrients. Additionally, air flow under trees is usually restricted, increasing humidity and disease pressure. In response, the turfgrass stand density decreases as turfgrass plants... read more

Step by Step: Profit from organic lawn care

September 10, 2018By
Step-by-Step: Offering organic lawn care (illustration: David Preiss)

Offering organic turf care services can be a profitable addition to a lawn care business. To meet the increased interest in organic services, lawn care operators (LCOs) may want to consider offering a comprehensive organic lawn care program that will satisfy customers’ needs and establish their company as an organic option in their area. Learning the science behind organic methods... read more

Step by Step: How to properly mark utilities before digging

August 23, 2018By
Hands dialing 811 (illustration: David Preiss)

Data shows that an underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decides to dig without first calling 811, the number for contractors and homeowners to call before digging to prevent unintentional contact with these lines. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer... read more

Step by Step: How to perform rejuvenation pruning

July 18, 2018By
winter pruning. Illustration: David Preiss

Deciduous shrubs require maintenance pruning to keep them healthy and in scale with their surroundings. Two techniques—extensive and gradual rejuvenation— are used to restore old, overgrown shrubs that are otherwise healthy. After rejuvenation pruning, a shrub regrows from its roots, becoming a compact, youthful plant with maximum bloom. This method is preferred for many flowering shrubs because it’s quick and... read more

Step by Step: How to perform stump grinding

June 18, 2018By
Illustration: David Preiss

Cutting down a tree is only the first part of a professional tree removal service. The leftover stump can cause problems long after the tree is gone, so stump grinding services are necessary to grind the stump, remove the debris and return the area to its natural state. By stump grinding, contractors remove the core and kill the base of... read more