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Common Areas Maintenance Print E-mail

The Prestonwood Forest Maintenance Association is dedicated to enhancing the community appeal and resident’s enjoyment of the ‘common areas’ within our unique forest community. The ‘common areas’ include the turf and garden areas surrounding the Recreational Facilities (the Clubhouse, Tennis-1 and Tennis-2 Facilities, and Pool-1 and Pool-2 Facilities), around the Entry Monuments (at S.H. 249, Schroeder Road, and Hargrave Road), and the esplanades within Prestonwood Forest.

Year-round landscaping activities include caring for the mature trees, planting new trees, the turf and irrigation system maintenance, and enhancing the garden areas with complimenting plants and seasonal color.

Cul-de-sac ‘Island’ Maintenance
Prestonwood Forest has 20 landscaped ‘islands’ on its cul-de-sac streets. Several are meticulously landscaped and maintained by residents, who prefer to enhance the appeal of their street with desired greenery, ground cover and seasonal color.

The remaining cul-de-sac ‘islands’ are maintained by the Association within the ‘common area’ landscaping services. Because cul-de-sac ‘islands’ are not constructed with electrical power and irrigation systems, landscaping typically consists of mature trees and drought tolerant shrubs.

Contact Us.

Residents with questions or suggestions about the ‘common area’ landscaping - or who are interested in assuming ownership of their street’s cul-de-sac ‘island’ - are encouraged to contact the Maintenance Association, either through the website’s Contact Us feature or by attending the monthly Association Meeting .

Coordinating any changes in cul-de-sac ‘island’ maintenance is extremely important in order to ensure that the Association’s contracted maintenance does not conflict with the resident’s landscaping activities.

 

 
‘Yard of the Month’ Winner Print E-mail
October 2020 Yard of the Month Winner

Congratulations to the Childress Family at 7502 Renmark Lane for recognition as the October 2020 "Yard of the Month" winner. The following are also recognized with October "Honorable Mention" for doing an outstanding job in maintaining their yards in such a way they enhance the overall appearance of our entire community. Congratulations to the Devos Family at 7415 Renmark Lane, the Eagan Family at 14627 Ravenhurst Lane, the Messina Family at 8231 Brinkworth Laneand the Day Family at 8123 Fernbrook Lane.
 
Please be sure to visit the Photo Gallery for photos of all ‘Yard of the Month’ homes, in addition to homes recognized with the monthly ‘Honorable Mention’.
 
The ‘Yard of the Month’ program begins in April and continues through October. Residents may nominate homes for next month’s Yard of the Month recognition, by using the Contact Us email feature, and by directing nominations to the Landscape Director. All Prestonwood Forest residents are encouraged to demonstrate effort in maintaining their property. It is one of the simplest ways to show your neighbors you care.
 
A special shoutout to Natalie Hankla, our August Yard of the Month winner for taking it upon herself to tour our beautiful neighborhood and submit nominations, three of which were selected for September 2020. What a show of neighborhood enthusiasm Natalie! Nominations always welcome.
 
Yard of the Month Guidelines Print E-mail
Yard of the Month

The Prestonwood Forest “Yard of the Month” program is dedicated to improving the quality of living and appearance of our community. We encourage residents to take pride in their homes and neighborhood. In turn, we look to celebrate those who do a superior job in maintaining their yards in such a way that they enhance the overall appeal of the entire community.
 
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Home Landscaping Tips Print E-mail

FALL FLOWERS AND COLOR

After sunny summer days have passed, many plants lose their leaves and cease to bloom. During this time, gardens can become colorless and dreary, unless you plant a selection of seasonal plants. If you want to have a bright, colorful garden in the fall, it is important to select plants native to our area and climate. Understanding our USDA Plant Hardiness Zone will help as a guide when identifying plants that will bloom when many other plants are past their best (the USDA zone for 77070 is “9a).USDA Plant Hardiness Map

Consider flowering plants such as: Dahlias, Sunflowers, Zinnia, Black-eyed Susans, Fall crocus, Anemones, Aster, Clematis, and Sedum 'Autumn Joy' for fall color.

FALL LAWN CARE TIPS AND TREE CARE

 
The worst of the summer heat will have subsided soon. Refreshed by the thought of breathing cooler air, you're poised to roll up your sleeves and do some fall lawn care. But you should read these tips first. The regimen right for your situation will vary, according to whether your lawn is composed of a warm season turf grass or a cool season turf grass. If you are unsure which type comprises your lawn, take a sample to your local county extension.
 
Find Out Your Grass Type
 
Cool-season turf grasses are so called because they thrive in the cool weather usually associated with spring and autumn. Examples are rye grass, the fescues (both "fine" and "tall" kinds), Kentucky blue grass and bent grass.
 
By contrast, warm-season turf grasses grow most actively when the weather is warm, which is why they are the preferred grass types of the South in the U.S. Some of their names even make you think "South," as is the case with Bermuda grass and Saint Augustine grass. Other kinds include zoysia grass and buffalo grass.
 
To be sure, there will be some fall lawn maintenance you'll have to do regardless of the type of grass on your lawn. Let's look at these tasks first:
 
Apply herbicides to broadleaf weeds
 
Correct soil pH: if your lawn is not performing well, have your soil tested. If the soil test should show a need to reduce acidity, apply lime now. If alkalinity needs to be reduced, apply sulfur.
 
Thatch removal: dethatch your lawn, by raking; for bad cases of soil compaction, you may have to employ the technique known as core aeration, for which lawn equipment known as "aerators" can be bought or rented
 
Rake leaves, or use a leaf vacuum, lest the leaves smother your grass over the winter
 
Lawn equipment care: make sure to drain old gas out of lawn mowers after last mowing
 
The nature of the following fall lawn care chores depends on whether it's a cool season or warm season turf grass that you have to care for:
 
Watering during hot, dry spells
 
Fertilization
 
Setting lawn mower height
 
Fall lawn care for cool season grasses includes ensuring that lawns receive enough fall water to carry them through the long winter. Don't think that because the temperatures outside are no longer consistently high, you can totally forget about watering in the autumn. Overall, you won't need to water nearly as much as in summer, but during hot, dry spells in autumn, remember to provide sufficient water.
 
Another fall lawn care tip that applies specifically to the maintenance of cool season grasses is fertilization. Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Or purchase a product that has a low middle number for NPK; for example, Scotts' "WinterGuard" Turf Builder has an NPK of 32-0-10.
 
Conversely, avoid fertilizing a warm season turf grass in the autumn. The latter undergoes a hardening-off process during this time of year to prepare it for winter. Fertilizing warm season grasses in the fall may interfere with that hardening-off process.
 
So what fall lawn care tasks should you be performing for warm season grasses? By overseeding with annual winter ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), homeowners whose lawns are composed of warm season grasses can enjoy a green carpet during the winter, instead of having to look at a brown lawn. But when you buy the seed, be sure to ask for the annual, not the perennial. Annual winter ryegrass will die back when summer's heat returns, turning over the lawn once again to the warm season grasses. This exit is a timely one. The problem with the perennial winter ryegrass is that it doesn't go away, competing with your warm season grasses for sunlight, water and nutrients.
 
Lawns composed of cool season grasses can also profit from overseeding. But in this case, the motivation behind overseeding lawns is not winter cosmetics, but to fix bare patches -- with an eye to next year's lawn.
 
Insect Control Print E-mail

Helpful Landscape Advice

By Prestonwood Forest Neighbor, Chris Kuehl

Listed below are some reasons your yard might be having the summertime blues. Often you can fix these problems on your own saving you 5 times what you will spend by calling a professional. Just remember, whatever you buy, read the directions so you won’t kill anything that might be beneficial to you or your neighbor’s lawn. I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful person this year that really opened my eyes to some things that I had taken for granted such as butterflies and bees. Unfortunately, with using any worm or insect killer there is going to be a trade-off. You can minimize this by doing a little research in advance & closely following directions on the product while avoiding areas that are not impacted.

1. Sod web worms: Several summers ago, we were plagued with Sod web worms on a biblical level. They were everywhere and some people lost their entire lawns almost overnight. It was insane. That was my first year in business and I was just as lost as the "professionals" because most people had never witnessed anything like it before. Summer is also the time of year these nasty things live for. They eat the bottom blade of grass almost to the root. You will start to see “thatch” form. Thatch is dead grass that sits at the bottom of healthy grass. Right above the soil level the pattern you will most likely see circular patterns the size of small plates. These circles will start growing. It will look like someone poisoned your yard. You can also look at the blades of grass and see where they will be cut at the base of the blade close to the soil.

2. Chinch bugs: They thrive on heat and your yard and love St. Augustine Grass. They will usually start in the driest, hottest part of your lawn. Remember the sections that normally are the hottest in your yard are next to concrete, curbs, sidewalks, driveways. These areas soak in the heat and retain it throughout the day making the soil and vegetation super smoking hot and dry. These bugs love that, they suck the remaining juice out of the blade of grass while injecting a chemical that causes your grass to turn brown and die.

3. Grub worms: Summer is a little too hot for these guys. They usually start their damage in early fall. They start eating roots of grass stocking up for their winter hibernation. That being said, the grub worm is not the usual summertime lawn predator, but don't rule them completely out.

4. Armyworms are grayish brown caterpillars that can grow to 1-1/4 inches. Fall armyworms have a cream-colored upside-down “Y” on the fronts of their head capsules. ... Small, young (early instar) larvae feed at the base of grass plants turn the tips of grass white from feeding.

--Enough with the nasty insects. Let’s talk mowing practices. The following items are some things to not do-

1. Dull blades: Keep your blades sharp. If you or your lawn service mow your lawn and your grass blades have tears at the top of the blades, more than likely the blade is dull. Look at your grass and inspect for torn or jagged edges. Summer is the most common time when disease and fungus can also enter through the damaged grass blades. Your grass is already stressed to the max from the summertime heat.

2. Watering after dark: A lot of people water at night because they think it is healthier for the grass. In all honesty it is not. Lawn disease loves those who water at night. A safe time to water is a couple of hours before dawn at the most or just wait until dawn. By watering at dawn, you will get good saturation and the sun will not burn the water away before getting to the roots. Also, don't water in the heat of the day either. When you do this condensation will occur too fast and before the roots are properly saturated. Also, by watering during the heat of the day you can burn your plants and grass as the water droplets work like a magnifying glass. The sun hits the water droplets and heat up and before you know it you have cooked your grass.

3. Soil compaction: You would not drive your car through your lawn or park it on your grass at night (well, some might) so beware of heavy lawn machinery. Most of these zero turn riding lawnmowers you see cutting residential lawns weigh between 550 lbs. to 1500 lbs. Now add a grown human to that and you have an up to a 1600 - 1700-pound machine going back and forth through your lawn every week. It’s even worse for your lawn’s soil when you have saturated soil and one of these machines is rutting up your lawn. Have you ever walked through mud and you see the mud/soil disperse and shoot out the sides of your shoe? Well this is no different then what one of these mowers is doing except now you are a 500+ pounds heavier. You might not see the grass and root damage right away but believe me it is occurring and it's just a matter of time until the damage is permanent. If changing mowers is not an option, you can have your yard guys change the pattern they mow every other week. Instead of them driving the same path every week, get them to change it up and go an opposite direction. This will decrease soil compaction as well reduce the depth of the ruts they are putting in your lawn.

--The last two things I want to mention that can have ill effects on your lawn are bad irrigation and dormancy.

1. Irrigation: When is the last time you watched your irrigation system cycle through all of its zones? If you don't know how to manually cycle through your system, get on YouTube and type in your brand, model, number of your unit and hit video. More than likely there is a video that can help. Otherwise you can do an Internet search on the same & an owner’s manual is likely to be found. Take 20 minutes and start at zone 1 and watch each head come up as you move through the zones. Watch to make sure each head is hitting your lawn/flowerbeds or even overlapping a little. If it’s not reaching something make note of it. Remember that rotors need a longer operating time than spray heads as they are covering a lot more area and must go back and forth while a spray head is releasing water constantly and in the same area without moving. For example, set your time for a spray head for 10 minutes 3- 4 days a week, while your rotor heads need 15 to 18 minutes, 3- 4 days a week.

2. Dormancy: Your grass might be going into dormancy. Your grass is kind of like a human body. If it feels over stressed it will shut down. if it’s too hot, not getting enough water, diseased, cold, its natural defense is to turn itself off to prevent destruction. It wants to live and be happy just like anything else that is alive.

One last thing, landscaping/yard work is one of the hottest, hardest activities you can do in the sun. You are sweating buckets. Stay hydrated, wear your bug spray and sunscreen. Take breaks.