Common Turf Problems and Solutions

Jeff Farrington | Account Manager
Posted 4/14/2021

Turfgrass in Minnesota is dominated by cool season grasses including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall Fescue, fine fescue, and some less common varieties. A significant benefit of turf is that it is relatively care-free, especially in situations where it can be kept healthy.  However, in less-than-ideal situations, problems can occur. In this post, a few common problems and solutions are explored.

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Seed Test Plots: Finding a Better Method

Brian Davis | Account Manager
Posted 4/13/2020

Minnesota winters present a number of challenges to our landscapes. Salt usage, deep snow piles, and the freeze/thaw cycle all contribute to one of these challenges called ‘winterkill’. Winterkill is used as a general term to describe grass (ie. turf grass, hereby referred to as “grass”) that has died over the winter, possibly due to the causes described above. Living in our climate, winterkill is an unfortunate and inevitable problem that we must tackle each spring to some degree. Over the years, Horticulture Services has tried a number of different methods for winterkill grass repairs, with the two main methods being sod and grass seeding.

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We Can’t Work, Now What?

Jeff Wilson | General Manager
Posted 4/2/2020

On Wednesday, March 25, Minnesota Governor Walz announced the “Stay at Home MN” Executive order in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. At that time it appeared that landscape maintenance was exempt from the order as an essential industry and we would be able to start our work on our job sites Monday, May 30. As a leadership staff we began strategizing safe practices for our staff to be able to work safely. Unexpectedly on Friday, March 27, the Governor’s office released some specific clarifications that said we were not exempt from the order. This left us all pressing pause on our plans for the next two weeks.

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Reflections on 30 Years: An Interview With The Guy That’s Been Here The Longest

Jeff Wilson | General Manager
Posted 12/6/2019

The following interview was conducted by General Manager Jeff Wilson with long time employee Chris Angus in November of 2019. Chris is the company’s longest tenured employee, having his 25th full-time employment anniversary in 2019. Chris has worked in almost every division of the company over the past 25 years (he claims that he has never done irrigation), and has gained vast experience in the industry. Chris presently is IPM division lead which means that he oversees all pesticide, and fertilizer applications, as well as supervising the detail crews. In the interview when Chris references Syd, he is referencing Horticulture Services founder Syd Stephan. He also refers to the leadership transition as Jeff stepped into the General Manager role in 2012 as Syd stepped away from the day to day management, He also references the ownership transition that took place when Syd sold the company to his daughter Cathy and her husband Trent in 2014.

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Reflections on 30 Years in Business: How We Got Here

Jeff Wilson | General Manager
Posted 10/16/2019

It’s not unusual to be asked about our history as we introduce our company to a homeowners association board of directors. I often start with the beginning, much of which can be found here at our website. But there is more to the history, how we tried, succeeded, changed course and discovered our identity as an organization along the way.

The story starts begins with our Founder Syd Stephan providing horticultural consulting to a couple key clients at the beginning. One being the developer of the master planned Wedgewood development in Woodbury (still a customer of Horticulture Services to this day), and the other being a commercial property manager, which managed large properties in Maple Grove, Minnesota and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Syd advised Wedgewood about plants and techniques that would be successful in the Minnesota climate and Woodbury soil. At the same time he was also helping the commercial property management company strategize how the landscape at their newly constructed properties should be maintained in a horticulturally appropriate way while providing the most curb appeal and sustainability.

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Reflections on 30 Years in Business: What I Learned From Our founder

Jeff Wilson | General Manager
Posted 09/05/2019

Despite what the title says, I can’t actually reflect on the full 30 years, but I can reflect on 25+. There were a few employees before me, but no too many. Only our founder Syd Stephan goes back to the beginning. You see in those early days Syd was a one man show, doing some basic landscaping services and consulting out of the back of his Oldsmobile station wagon. (Click here to learn more about those early years).

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lawn care showing a man dethatching his lawn

The Myth of Dethatching

Syd Stephan | Founder | Horticulturist
Posted 09/26/2017

Every year, thousands of gallons of fuel are burned and tons of debris are added to compost sites because of an unnecessary process called lawn dethatching. Dethatching, also called “power raking”, is generally done for one of two reasons: In spring, in an attempt to clean up a messy looking lawn just after the snow has melted, or, in the fall, to reduce the thatch layer present in the turf.

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Ornamental grass

Why Cutoff Perennials?

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 10/13/2017

Along with cooling Minnesota temperatures and fading sunlight, fall brings special maintenance tasks for perennials. One of these tasks is the removal of foliage by cutting off the plant at ground level. This is recommended for aesthetic purposes as well as for the health and longevity of the plant.

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Team Working

The Importance of Mulching

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 08/18/2017

Why do we bother mulching around trees, shrubs, and perennials? It is often expensive, has to be frequently re-applied, and doesn’t even totally stop weeds. Do we only use it because it looks pretty? While it may look nice, the real purpose behind applying organic mulch is not merely aesthetic, nor is it solely weed prevention. Mulching around plants creates one of the best environments for growing in our urban soils.

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What is IPM?

Jake Louwsma CLP | Sales and Marketing Manager
Posted 05/30/2017

Have you ever heard the term “IPM” in the context of landscape maintenance and wondered what it means?  IPM is a term that’s thrown around quite a bit but isn’t often defined; leaving people confused, and sometimes too self-conscious to ask what it means.  By the end of this blog post, you should have a basic idea of what is meant by the term “IPM”.

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