Hometown Landscape & Lawn Service
P.O. Box 4727, Silver Spring, MD 20914
04 Aug 2017

Planting a vegetable garden in August

August is a fabulous month in the vegetable garden for many of us. The summer crops are overwhelming us with their productivity (hopefully!) and the crops we sowed last month are coming along beautifully. But August need not be a time only to harvest the mid-season crops. You can still plant in August. For many northern gardeners, the focus now will be on planting fast-maturing cool season crops that will mature in a few weeks for fall harvest.

It is also a time to plan what you will grow for winter gardening, if you happen to a gardener who will extend the season with row tunnels or will be using a greenhouse. Southern gardeners, though they are still dealing with high temperatures in August, can start looking forward to some relief in fall, as well.

If all the space in your garden has been planted already, now might be the time to clear out some of the early season crops that have faded to make space for some August plantings. If you do, pay some attention to the nutritional needs of what you are planning to plant–and add soil amendments as needed. Some of the early crops may have depleted the soil of key nutrients, which may need to be replaced before the second round of crops.

Or you can defy the heat of August and dig in some new garden space for this round of late summer planting–you will certainly appreciate the additional space next spring.

Finally, some gardeners might choose container-friendly vegetables for this round of August planting. Containers have many advantages, such as being able to move them around to take advantage of sunlight patterns that may change as the fall progresses.

21 Jul 2017

Dormant Grass?

Reasons for Dormancy

Cool-season grasses go dormant to protect themselves during long, hot periods when they do not have enough water to remain in an active growth phase. Warm-season grasses go dormant in cold weather, when they die back naturally. In both cases, the grasses’ crowns remain alive, and, in hot situations, water may revive the grasses.  Don’t worry: Dormancy is a natural, built-in protection mechanism, and your grass probably will return when the weather cools in fall.

Dead Grass

Dead grass is hard to detect, especially during hot summer months, when grass often becomes dormant as a response to heat and accompanying drier soil, and during winter months, when grass becomes dormant as a response to cold temperatures. One of the best ways to detect whether or not grass is dead in hot summer months is to keep watering it. Keeping grass green with irrigation can help highlight brown areas that might be dead. In winter, when grass is dormant because of cold weather, determining whether or not grass is dead can be more difficult, and you may have to wait until spring to see if it comes out of dormancy.

Dormant Grass

Dormant grass often looks exactly like dead grass, but one measure helps to ensure that dormancy doesn’t equal death. In a low-water situation, grass becomes dormant as a natural response to protect its crowns from which grass blades grow. The dormancy can look like death, but unlike death, the grass still needs a minimum amount of water to get through a hot, dry period without dying. You may not know whether the grass is dead or dormant, however, until it becomes green again in fall or spring.

Solution for Dormancy

Changes in weather often bring grass out of dormancy naturally. If grass is a cool-season variety, it turns green with fall’s lower temperatures and increases in water. Warm-season grass varieties liven up when temperatures rise. If you want your lawn to remain green year-round, plant a mixture of grass seeds so that a cool-season variety and a warm-season variety take each other’s place as weather changes. Increasing irrigation may keep cool-season grass from going dormant, but not much can be done otherwise.

14 Jul 2017

Summer Lawn Care

Image result for lawn


• Mowing the Lawn

A healthy lawn does not necessarily mean that it has to be short. When cutting into your lawn, the blades need to be set as high as possible. The length of grass, preferably high, provides numerous amounts of benefits towards keeping the soil healthy and productive.

Tall blades of grass are able to obtain more light during peak sun hours and, in turn, will use this energy to produce and provide more nutrients to the roots and surrounding soil. Taller blades will also provide shade that allows for the soil surrounding each blade of grass to maintain moisture throughout the dry heat of most summer days.

• Grass Clippings

The waste produced in regards to your mowing should not be considered waste. The clippings that you produce during your mowing time should be redistributed across the lawn.

There are certain mowers that do not collect clippings in bags but rather just cut and allow for the shredded lawn to fall back into the grass and the soil. These cut blades of grass will be able to supply the soil with an added supply of nutrients as well as additional shade to further along the growth of a healthy lawn.

• Fertilization

Fertilizing at both the beginning of the spring season as well as at the end of the fall season is vital to your grass maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Most organic fertilizers used in the spring allow for the soil to be kick started with an abundance of nutrients to inhibit growth at a more rapid pace. On the opposite side of the spectrum, most winterizing fertilizers allow for the soil to capture nutrients and store there to maintain a healthy landscape during the harsh snow and inclement weather of the winter.

• Seeding

Any patches of lawn that do not seem to grow properly needs to be seeded accordingly. Patience is the key in this situation because some homeowners tend to seed barren lawn patches more than once which in turn will cause the soil to be overworked.

Seeding once and maintaining a proper water schedule on those parts will show some improvements in the days and weeks to come.

• Weeding

Weeds are a nuisance to any lawn across the country. There has to be a conscious effort to walk your lawn on an every other day basis to find any instance of weeds and remove as soon as possible. This will allow you to catch newly formed weeds before they have a chance to grow roots and stake a claim in the soil of your lawn.

• Watering

Hydration is essential to the growth and nutrition of your lawn. The entire landscape surrounding your home needs to have at least an inch of water on a weekly basis. This inch of water can come from rain or can come from manual irrigation through your water hose.

The main keys to remember when it comes to manual hydration are to water as early as possible as well as not to over-saturate your lawn.

All watering must be done in the early morning hours so that the soil can absorb all moisture before any sun and or heat has a chance to dry it up. The watering must be measured, through the use of a coffee can as an example, to make sure that you do not over water the lawn and cause the soil to become infertile due to too much moisture.

07 Jul 2017

Why choose Hometown for dumpster rentals?

Truck delivering dumpsterLet’s face it: home renovations, do-it-yourself projects, landscaping work and construction projects are anything but glamorous. When you want to simplify your work- hire a dependable contractor.

Dumpster Sizes To Fit Every Job

Hometown Landscape serves the DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas with 20 and 30 yard dumpster sizes. These are perfect for both residential and commercial usage.



A Trusted Local Business That Aims To Please

Going with small local businesses is a smart idea because big companies just can’t compete when it comes to providing communities with genuine, face-to-face customer service. Hometown is Committed to exceeding customer expectations.

Quick, Convenient and Easy Roll Off Dumpster Services

When you rent a roll off dumpster from Hometown Landscape, you get to decide exactly where and when your dumpster is placed. Depending on the dumpster size, to make your big project easier, they can place the roll off dumpster exactly where you want it.

For more information or to rent a dumpster today, contact us at 301-490-5577 or email sales@hometownlandscape.com

21 Jun 2017

Caring for your plants


Plant Pests

Pests are more likely to attack a stressed plant than a healthy plant. A few insect pests are normal and not cause for concern but if you get a more severe pest infestation, it means something in your garden or locale has become severely out of balance. Talk to a nursery or garden center professional to help identify exactly which type of pest you are dealing with and how best to treat them. For instance, there are organic pest controls that can help you control them and restore your plants to a healthy state.

Soil Health

Of all the things that contribute to a plant’s health, the soil is the most important. The good news is unlike temperature or precipitation, you can cultivate healthy soil by adding organic matter or fertilizer and trying to avoid disrupting the soil as much as possible (no rototilling!).

Garden Hygiene

You have to invest time and effort to keep your garden healthy and free of disease and pests. It’s as simple as keeping things neat and tidy – removing fallen leaves, pulling weeds, completely removing dead or diseased plants, etc. A little work in the off-season can help keep plants healthy all year round.

What You Plant Matters

First, research what grows best in your area. Start with what you love and then consider what grows best in your zone, and finally, your specific yard, in terms of sun exposure, water usage, etc. Any nursery or garden center professional can help you think through what will thrive in your space.

How Much You Plant Matters

This can be a more complicated question than it seems. If planted too close together, the long-term health of a plant can be compromised. A nursery or garden center professional can help you answer and think through these questions to ensure you have as healthy and viable a garden as possible.

When You Plant Matters

As a general rule, fall and spring are the best seasons in which to plant most types of plants. The conditions and type of your soil are also factors. Read up on the conventional wisdom of planting in your region, your soil type, and your climate.

The moral of the story is a green thumb is kind of a mythical designation. If you want a healthy garden, take the time to do your research and talk to the professionals. Ultimately, you will save time and money and have a garden that brings you joy – maybe even a bounty of fresh produce!

12 Jun 2017

Protecting plants from the heat

Summer is just getting started here in Maryland…but the sun is already at full force.


We are expecting record setting heat this week. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your plants happy in the heat.

1. Recognize stress

Many stressed plants look thirsty. Green foliage turns grey and droops; blossoms and leaves fall to the ground in a desperate attempt to save the shrub. A deep watering often brings a plant back, or at least saves it so it’ll bud next year.

But if leaves are crispy, or the plant continues to look parched in the evening, then it’s reached a permanent wilting point: this plant will need to be removed and replaced come Fall.

2. Triage. Stat!

In heat and drought, save what you can in this descending order:

  • Newly planted shrubs and trees, vulnerable and pricey landscaping
  • Perennials: Cut blossoms and stalks, which gives plants a rest and raises chances of returning next year.
  • Established trees and shrubs, at least two years old, which have deep roots.
  • Container plants: Move them onto a porch or under a shade tree.
  • Vegetable gardens
  • Lawns

3. Watering 101

Here’s a watering rule of thumb: Water deep, not often. Water should reach 8 to 12 inches down, creating a well of water for plants and trees to draw upon in high heat. To determine if you’ve reached your mark, press a large screwdriver into the soil: If it meets resistance, keep watering.

Hand-watering with a garden hose and aerator is best. Count to 10 as you water the base of plants. Move and repeat. If you have lots of property to water, then use a sprinkler, but adjust it so it doesn’t waste overspray on driveways and walkways.

Water in the early morning: Not 7 a.m. when you usually roll out of bed, but when the sun rises at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. However, don’t get fixated on watering in the morning. If water restrictions require only evening watering, soak ‘em good and don’t fret about fungus forming on leaves that stay damp throughout the night: A little powdery mildew won’t kill your shrubs, but dehydration will.

4. Mulch is your friend

If you didn’t mulch in spring, do it now. Mulch will keep moisture in the ground and suppress weeds, which compete with landscaping for water. If you haven’t mulched, water thoroughly, then add mulch to a depth of 3 to 4 inches.