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Composting Services in St. Louis

“Fall” Into Composting…

greenFall is the perfect time to compost in addition to aerating, seeding, and fertilizing.

Composting is nature’s way of recycling. For thousands of year, ecosystems have survived and thrived by self-producing compost from spent plant material. Compost contains essential nutrients and moisture that help plants and lawns grow by:

  • Improving the structure, drainage and water –holding capacity of soil
  • Encouraging deep-rooting
  • Helping to suppress plant disease, and
  • Reducing erosion

West County Gardens has been operating a recycling facility for all the waste we collect for over 15 years at our 4.5 acre location on Midland near Lindbergh.

All yard waste material is brought into our facility and separated. Plastic pots are donated to a local recycler. Brick, stone, concrete, and dirty soil are used as ‘fill material’. Brush, logs, and chipper chips are run through a Tub Grinder (blender) once a year creating a compost material. It is piled and sits for 12-18 months. After that time, it is then turned, replied and sits again for another 12-18 months. Finally, it is turned one last time and moved to our outgoing compost bin to be used as soil amendment.

West County Gardens is doing our best on a daily basis to maximize the recycling effort and reduce the amount of trash and debris dumped in landfills.

Check out this page to see the advantages of using Black Gold Compost.

If you are interested in our composting service, please do not hesitate to contact us at (314) 423-9244. We are happy to assist you with any of your landscaping needs.

Happy recycling to all of you…

THE TIME IS NOW TO AERATE, FERTILIZE, AND SEED FOR A HEALTHIER LAWN!

THE TIME IS NOW TO AERATE, FERTILIZE, AND SEED FOR A HEALTHIER LAWN!

Aeration has many benefits for your lawn and is one of the most important cultural practices that you can possibly do for you lawn. Core aeration is the most common form of aeration that we do for lawns.

The benefits include:

  • Improvement of drainage
  • Increases air, water, and nutrients to the roots
  • Helps relieve soil compaction
  • Stimulates new growth
  • Decreases thatch build up
  • During drought conditions, aeration helps water reach thirsty roots
  • Creates a better environment for overseeding
  • Increases the effectiveness of applied fertilizers

What time of the year is best to aerate? Fall is the best time because it can be combined with seeding. You can aerate in the Spring but it would need to be done before pre-emergent is applied for crabgrass.

Experts say you should have at least 9 holes per square foot and in some clay soils 18 holes per square foot. In order to accomplish this, you may have to make several passes with a drum style aerator. If you have a mechanical or reciprocating aerator, you can pull enough cores in one pass to be sufficient. I don’t think you can aerate your lawn too much in the fall. The more cores you pull, the better. You can turn a lawn into nothing but cores and it will recover and be better than before in a couple weeks. The cores dissolve over the course of a few weeks with watering and rainfall. I recommend mowing after aeration to also help break up the cores. The soil that is pulled during this aeration process will also help reduce thatch.

When should I seed? Seeding is best to do at the same time as aeration (as mentioned above). The reason for this is after aeration the seed that falls into the holes (Fescue or Rye grass primarily) can germinate and help fill in the bare areas. For large bare areas in your lawn, we recommend using a slit seeder with a seed box or broadcast the seed using a power rake that has solid knives to cut slices through the thatch into the soil. This will further open up the thatch and allow the seed to fall in the slits and up in rows.

Once the bare areas in your lawn are seeded, you will need to keep it moist by watering so that the seed can germinate. This can take 7-21 days depending on the type of seed you use.

In conjunction with aeration and seeding, now is the time to apply a fall fertilizer to help your lawn start to recover from the summer heat and disease activity.

If you need assistance with aeration, seeding, or fertilizing, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (314) 423-9244. We look forward to showing you a beautiful lawn in the Spring by preparing in the Fall.

Rhizoctonia (Brown Patch) diseases of turfgrass

The Perfect Storm

Due to the recent weather conditions including excessive rainfall, night time temperatures above 70, daytime temperatures in the 80’s -90’s, with high humidity and poor air movement, the St. Louis region has been set up for the perfect storm. Starting late, the week of June 15, 2015, you probably have noticed some irregular brown patches developing in your lawns.

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The primary fungus activity is known as:

Common Name: Brown Patch
Scientific Name: Rhizoctonia Solani

The symptoms of brown patch vary according to mowing height. In landscape situations, turf mowed at 3” or more, brown patch appears as rough circular patches that are brown, tan, or yellow in color and range from 6” to several feet in diameter. The affected leaves typically remain upright, and lesions are evident on the leaves that are tan in color and irregular in shape with a dark brown border. When the leaves are wet or humidity is high, small amounts of gray cottony growth, called mycelium, may be seen growing amongst affected leaves. The disease can appear in Bluegrass, Fescue, Ryegrass and Bentgrass.

Short term infection from Brown Patch will normally not kill the turf that is affected. It will damage the leaves but if the conditions change it may not kill the entire plant. When the soil dries out, temperatures drop below 70 degrees at night, the humidity drops and air movement improves the disease will normally become inactive and not cause further damage. The turf will grow out of the condition. A prolonged infection due to the conditions above can cause more serious damage.

CULTURAL CONTROLS

Don’t overwater, let the soil begin to dry out, mow the lawn on a regular schedule. It is better to let the turf get a little lean right now by not fertilizing. If you are doing grub control you can go ahead and apply the grub control because you are normally applying 1/2# nitrogen slow release fertilizer with your grub control products. Do not fertilize right now unless you have to. The long range weather forecast beginning Saturday 6/27/15 – Wednesday 7/1/15 with temperatures in the 60’s at night may help slow the disease activity somewhat. Remember the turf will have to grow out of the condition. It normally takes 20-30 days for grass plants to produce new leaves. If weather conditions return so will the disease activity.

LAWN TREATMENTS

You can apply a fungicide application to the lawn, it will take at least 3 applications on 10 day intervals to help control the disease. If the environmental conditions continue you will need to re-apply the fungicide. It will not cause the browning in the lawn to change immediately. The damage to the leaves will need to grow out for the turf to recover.
Applying fungicide is not a 100% guarantee you will not get the disease in your lawn. I would recommend that you discuss with your customers or if you are taking care of your lawn yourself then consider the costs vs benefits of a fungicide application. We normally only apply fungicide to high-value turf such as Athletic fields, golf courses and high end properties. If you need help with your cultural, lawn program or fungicides, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (314) 423-9244.

There are other disease active right now due to our environmental conditions.

Dollar spot is active and will normally stop and recover after the environmental conditions have changed and we can apply fertilizer to the turf. The same fungicides would be used for Dollar Spot as Brown Patch.

Pythium is prevalent primarily on Ryegrass and Bentgrass and will normally stop and turf will recover after the environmental conditions have changed. A special fungicide would be needed to help control Pythium.

(This information is courtesy of Scott’s Power Equipment newsletter.)

St. Louis Watering Schedule for Summer 2015

St. Louis Watering Schedule for Summer 2015

St. Louis Watering ScheduleSo far 2015, has been quite different from last year’s drought. We’ve had cooler than normal temperatures in July. Even though the temperatures aren’t as high as we are used to for Missouri, it is best to still water your turf and plants.

We recommend watering three (3) times a week at least. Plant should be watered in the evening and turf should be watered in the early morning. Preferrably around 1:00 a.m.

If you have any questions about your lawn or plants, please contact Andy at (314) 423-9244.

Thanks and happy watering!

If you or someone you know is looking for help with your flower bed maintenance, Spring bed mulching, composting, or leaf removal the professionals at West County Gardens can help. They specialize in spraying & feeding of shrubs and trees, turf fertilization, lawn mowing, turf maintenance! Call West County Gardens today at (314) 423-9244 or email them at westcountygardens@yahoo.com to see what bed maintenance program works best for you.

 

 

 

 

Custom Fire Pits in St. Louis MO

• 8” wide Fond du lac wall stone 2”- 3” and 4” to 5” thick

• Fond du lac Flagstone, bench seat

• Custom built Fond du lac wall stone fire pit with fire brick lining- 38” dia.

• Rosetta Stone-Grand Flagstone- Color: Cedar Valley – patio surface

• Seasoned hardened brick pavers – border

• Techniseal – Sand-lock grout, ( paver joints)

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Custom Fire Pits in St. Louis MO

There are many options and designs available. Your fire pit can be round or square, dry stacked, or mortared like the pictures below just to name a few. Fireplaces can be any height, width, and length using standard brick or stone materials.

If you can dream it, we can create it.

Please call West County Gardens today at (314) 423-9244 to schedule a free estimate.

Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend

West County Gardens has been undergoing some changes in the past few months. Improvements as we’d like to say. J

April was a sad month as we said goodbye to a long time employee, Charlie Waite after 23 years of sales. We are pleased to announce that Charlie is doing well and living in Minnesota with his dogs and girlfriend.

If you have any landscape needs or questions, please contact our staff at (314) 423-9244.

Thanks for choosing West County Gardens!

Bed Maintenance in St. Louis

Bed Maintenance in St. Louis: Record Snow Fall

bed maintenance in St. LouisOn Sunday, March 24, 2013 the St. Louis area was hit with a big snow storm. Pretty ironic considering the calendar says it’s Spring. While everyone was hoping for beautiful, warmer weather, we were plowing snow.

Last year the area experienced an early Spring and this year it seems that Spring is pushed back. Sometimes that is not a bad thing in the landscaping industry.

In case you are wondering, the snow storm was considered to be a record setter. We haven’t had this much snow since 1980. Here are the totals for this storm:

Lambert Airport             12.6”

Mount Olive, Illinois    16.2”

Godfrey, Illinois            15.3”

Hazelwood, MO            14”

O’Fallon, MO                 14”

St. Charles, MO             13.3”

Hardin, Illinois             14”

Valley Park, MO            9.8”

University City, MO      8.8”

Clarksville, MO              13”

When this snow melts, we will be continuing our efforts to perform bed maintenance. Now is the time that we start sending out our bed maintenance crews to make our customer’s look great again. Some customer’s are visited annually (once a year), semi-annually (twice a year), monthly, or even every other month. Whatever the program you have signed up for, we will be coming soon. Keep your eyes out for us.

If you or someone you know is looking for help with your flower bed maintenance, Spring bed mulching, composting, or leaf removal the professionals at West County Gardens can help. They specialize in spraying & feeding of shrubs and trees, turf fertilization, lawn mowing, turf maintenance! Call West County Gardens today at (314) 423-9244 or email them at westcountygardens@yahoo.com to see what bed maintenance program works best for you.

Outdoor Living Rooms in St. Louis

Outdoor Living Rooms in St. Louis Whether you are having a dinner party, barbequing with friends, watching the big game, or just enjoying some playtime with your kids or grandkids, when it comes to bringing the good life outdoors, outdoor living rooms are a great choice to add to your home.

Bed Maintenance in St. Louis

Bed Maintenance is set to start back up again in St. Louis

Fall and Winter isn’t quite over and Spring is right around the corner. Now is the time that we start sending out our bed maintenance crews to make our customer’s look great again. Some customer’s are visited annually (once a year), semi-annually (twice a year), monthly, or even every other month. Whatever the program you have signed up for, we will be coming soon. Keep your eyes out for us.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about our bed maintenance program, please call if you have any questions or would like a proposal to clean your beds at (314) 423-9244.

Thank you for choosing West County Gardens.

Deer Creek Watershed Alliance Program in St. Louis

West County Gardens, Inc. is now an approved contractor for the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance program.

In regards to the RainScape Rebate Program (aka Rain Garden), we can assist homeowner’s who live in the following municipalities:

• Brentwood
• Clayton
• Creve Coeur
• Des Peres
• Frontenac
• Kirkwood
• Ladue
• Maplewood
• Olivette
• Richmond Heights
• Rock Hill
• University City
• Warson Woods
• Webster Groves

For more information and FAQ’s on the RainScape Rebate Program, please visit www.deercreekalliance.org.

Invasive and/or native plants are suggested for Rain Gardens. You can find plants by visiting www.grownative.org.

Excerpts from deercreekalliance.org

Watersheds Explained

Everyone Lives in a Watershed

A watershed is an area of land where stormwater runoff will ultimately drain to a particular stream, river, wetland or other body of water. As individuals, our actions have a direct impact on the quality of our water resources. Stormwater runoff occurs when rain falls or snow melts and flows over the surface of the ground in the watershed. Hard surfaces like rooftops, driveways, sidewalks and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.

The Problem with Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff can pick up soil, trash, fertilizers, chemicals and other debris, and carry it into a storm sewer, which transports it directly to a lake, stream, river or wetland in your watershed. Anything that enters a storm sewer goes untreated into the same waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking water. The way you take care of your home and yard impacts water quality.

Did you know that if yard waste, such as leaves, grass clippings, weeds, prunings, brush, and small twigs that are naturally found around the home, are disposed of along a creek or in the storm drain it can impact the water quality?

Yard waste decaying in creeks and rivers decomposes in a process that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic life can’t survive in water with low oxygen. As yard waste decomposes, plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are also released. These nutrients promote the excessive growth of algae in the water. As the water becomes polluted, it does not support aquatic life and becomes a health hazard.

Erosion

Leaves and woody debris naturally accumulate in streams and creeks, however, when you collect and dispose of yard waste along creek banks, the added yard waste covers the ground and keeps out the natural vegetation that helps to stabilize the bank. This practice leads to increased erosion and sedimentation that clouds creek water and destroys habitat for aquatic life. Improper disposal of yard waste increases the accumulation of debris which in turn can lead to blockages that inhibit proper drainage. Although it is common for some homeowners to dispose of yard waste along creek banks, it is not good practice.

Please let us know how we can assist you in this process. If you or some one you know is looking for stormwater runoff or erosion in St. Louis, garden maintenance, winter clean up or landscape maintenance please give the landscape contractors at West County Gardens a call at (314) 423-9244. Along with the other residential landscaping services, we also specialize in gardening services, yard maintenance, planting beds, landscaping bushes and shrubs, and estate maintenance. We will be happy to give you a quote and see how we can work you into our schedule.