Tag Archives: barrington lawncare

Heidelberg Farms aims to provide you with organic and sustainable solutions so you can keep your yard looking its best, and so this week we are going to help you mow like a pro. One of the key components in a healthy yard is having beautiful and healthy grass. Many people believe grass care is a basic concept. However, there are a lot of indicators that can distinguish a healthy yard from a yard needing some tender, loving care. We have compiled a list to help you ‘mow like a pro’ so you can have a yard that your neighbors envy.

Mow like a pro

Before you start mowing, make sure your mower blades are sharp. Dull blades can potentially lead to grass diseases and lawn discoloration. Dull blades can also pull the grass plant up instead of cutting the grass. This can make your lawn look patchy and uneven. Professionals recommend that you sharpen the lawn mower blades a few times each year and we recommend that you set your blades at 3 inches high.[wysija_form id=”2″]

The next tip to mow like a pro is to take on the mowing in a slow and steady pace. Haste can make it so the blades do not trim evenly, which leave you with clumps of grass and other debris. Moving too quickly can also lead to crooked lines. To mow the straightest lines possible, slow down and do not pay attention to the area near the blade. Focus your vision about ten feet in front of the mower. By doing this you will be able to notice when you start to veer off course.

Grass tends to lean and grow towards the direction it is cut. To assist your grass in growing straight, alternate the direction that you mow. Try to create perpendicular lines based off of your previous mowing route.

Most new mowers have the capability to mulch. Use this to your advantage. Mulching the grass clippings will put nutrients back into the soil. Your added bonus is there is no additional clean up, such as bagging.Chemical Fertilizers

Finally, do not cut more than a third of the grass blade off. Trimming back the grass blade too much can affect root development. However, things such as time of year, sunlight levels, and moisture amounts can all affect the ideal mowing height and the time it takes grass to recover from being overly trimmed.

Have questions about how to mow like a pro or need help with your yard? Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919.


As you probably know by now, Heidelberg Farms loves the fall and leaf color changes, which is why we wanted to talk about why you sometimes see what is often referred to as “green islands.”

The term refers to leaves that have not changed all the way, as they feature completely green spots. Why is that? Well, it has something to do with moth larvae on leaves. More specifically, it has to do with bacteria living on their bodies. According to researchers, bacteria interacts with leaf tissues and affect the production of cytokinins, which ultimately produces green islands.

How it works
When trees are preparing to go dormant for the winter, the leaves begin to shut down production of cytokinin, which eventually leads to color changes. However, bacteria help to increase the production of cytokinin. What this means is that the tissues around the larvae possess more photosynthetic life.

Photosynthetic life equals more food for the larvae, and so what we have is a symbiotic relationship between the larvae and bacteria. They both benefit—and the result are those green islands you sometimes see on leaves deep into autumn.

The takeaway from green islands

In looking at the relationship between bacteria and larvae, it is important to consider the larger implications regarding plant, grass and tree biology in general. Nothing we do to care for our lawns and gardens is done within a vacuum. Everything affects everything else, and so when we use chemicals to treat the earth, we are destroying a balance between plants, grasses, trees and our environment.

The larvae needs the bacteria, which needs the moth just like we need healthy soil to produce healthy food for our families. Next time you see a green island, remember what it means. It means nature is working as intended.

Have questions about anything or need help cleaning up this fall, call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919. [wysija_form id=”2″]

Small in size but with a large population, Holland is a nation with intensively farmed cropland, which led to a 6-year experiment with the results published just last month in the journal Nature Plants.

Healthy soilIn this experiment, Martijn Bezemer, a biologist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology Netherlands, began to inoculate degraded soils with dirt from healthy ecosystems. The idea was similar to what doctors do when treating intestinal problems by transplanting gut microbes from a healthy individual into a sick patient.

The results from the experiment revealed that small soil inoculations from grassland/heathland could help determine which plants would thrive in the future. What the experiment also confirmed is that the soil is not just a lifeless pile of earth. It is full of symbiotic fungi in plant roots, which help plants extract vital nutrients. Other microbes break down decaying plants and animals and replenish the materials used by the plants.

One person’s soil may not be another

Other research has recently revealed, though, that microbial populations are actually hyper-local with soil varying wildly from location to location and at different elevations at the same mountain, for example. This is a development in our understanding no one could have anticipated.

In fact, Noah Fierer, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder has been quoted as saying, “Yet 80 percent of the soil microbes in Central Park are still undescribed. There’s a lot of diversity to reckon with.”

What this means is that two different ecosystems, even if they are close to one another, could have vastly different microbes in their soil. Plants could survive a drought because of the unique mix of symbiotic microbes in the dirt around it. Plant that same plant in the wrong soil and it just might die.

Other findings

In Bezemer’s experiment, he found that the transplanted soil also prevented weeds and other non-desired plants from overtaking the new system before native species could take hold. Another result was that it was discovered that just small amounts of healthy soil could get a system reoriented onto a new path. For the experiment to work, the old topsoil had to be removed, too, which researchers say is because it ensure that existing microbes do not compete with the ones in the transplanted soil.

Soil is life

While concerns remain that to revive an ecosystem might require an incredibly large amount of soil, recent experiments in microbiology are quite clear in their findings. Complex and fully alive (and still quite mysterious to scientists), soil is critically important for ecosystem health.