Atkins Companies: Turf and Tree, Pest Control and Building Services and Products are celebrating 90 years of serving Central Missouri. It is because of you that one family owned business has lasted these 90 years!
- Atkins is proud to announce the launch of our new website! Feel free to take a look at www.atkinsinc.com. Check out our wide range of services and also be sure to check out the “Our Team” page so you can put faces and names to our dedicated employees who make it their mission to provide YOU with exceptional customer service.
- Keep an eye out for the 2016 Atkins Prepay offer for Grounds and Pest Management and save $$$$, coming in December.
- Fall is here and winter is near! See what Shaun Henry recommends to prepare for Old Man Winter!
Winter is upon us….All too soon some might say. However much I enjoy the holiday season and the cooler weather, I can’t say that I’m a fan of the snow. Especially with as much snow as we’ve had the past few years!! As we settle into our winter routines of trying to stay inside to enjoy the warmth of our homes and offices, we often forget about our lawn and landscape plants. Here are some things that we spend time thinking about and doing this time of year at Atkins:
Fall colors are certainly beautiful, but once the leaves start to fall from our trees they can become quite a nuisance with their cluttering up our landscape beds, smothering our lawns and sometimes covering an otherwise safe walkway. If mowing over your leaves doesn’t do enough to chop up, mulch and disperse them you may need to try to get the leaf litter cleaned up this fall/winter. However the organic matter from decomposing leaves can be beneficial to your soil, lawn, garden and landscape, here are a few reasons why in some instances you may want to remove them: Leaf litter can harbor overwintering insect and fungal diseases that can become active again the next season and feed on your turf and landscape plants. If you look close enough you can find insect egg masses and/or fungal spores on the fallen leaves, dead stems and even fruit from the trees above. As the leaves get rained or snowed on they tend to mat down over our turf, blocking sunlight and ultimately smothering it. Finally – cleaning up the leaves can be a great annual family fun event at your house so make a day of it and enjoy!! If you’re lucky, you’ll only have to do it once.
Pruning and clean-up!!
Every plant is different, but if you have some landscape trees and shrubs needing to be pruned, the winter is the time to do it. If you haven’t done it yet, now would also be time to cut back your perennial flowers, removing their dead foliage for the winter months. After a good freeze most landscape plants will have “hardened off” and will tolerate pruning a lot better. You can prune to control size and shape of your trees and shrubs at this time. You should also be removing any dead, damaged or disease infected plant material so that it does not interfere with the success of your plant next season. You can also help to “rejuvenate” certain plants by cutting them way, way back. Do your research for specific plants, though!! Some can be cut back nearly to the ground while others will not tolerate that aggressive pruning. Training your trees to grow away from your house and roof may be what you need to focus on or maybe you just need to shear your juniper hedge again to keep its uniform shape. Please remember that a sharp pruning tool is a safe tool and regardless of what you are pruning, be sure to do the research and be sure to visualize what your tree or shrub might look like without that stem that you are about to cut. There are no take-backs!!
Yes – Snow. Sorry to bring it up, but the last few winters have been brutal when it comes to snowfall, or at least that’s how I remember it from a Commercial Snow and Ice Management perspective. If you’re out there snow blowing or shoveling your walks and drive, please be careful. There are a number of slips and fall related injuries related to these snow removal tasks. I personally slip on a set of ice traction cleats over my boots when I’m out working on slick surfaces. You can find these at most any hardware or boot store in town and worth every penny if you’ve ever had your feet slide out from underneath you as you happily walk down the sidewalk or across a parking lot. Hopefully it’s not just me!! After safely clearing your snow you may need to consider using an ice melt product to help reduce re-freeze potential and increase traction for you, your family and your vehicle. There are numerous products out there, so you again will have to do some research to find what best works for you. The traditional rock salt can help, but only works down to about 0 degrees while other materials out there will handle temps clear down to -25. Be careful, as any of these ice melt products have corrosive properties to some degree which can damage hard surfaces and in some cases your lawn and landscape plants if applied incorrectly. Again, do some research on your material of choice and please be careful out there!!
Wildlife continues to move indoors for the winter and often you will find mice and voles have found a way into your home. Mouse traps and bait have come a long way over the years with people looking for new and better ways to control and remove these rodents from our homes and businesses. As temperatures cool, mice will move indoors in search of food and shelter. There likely isn’t a house out there that doesn’t have a mouse coming and going at some point in the year. And winter seems to be the most likely that you will have an issue. They can squeeze through a hole about as small as a pencil eraser and they are notorious for finding those small cracks and crevices that we all have to make their way inside. Aside from actually seeing the critters scurrying around the house you might notice droppings or chewed on foods or dry goods and materials. Listen for squeaks and/or scratching noises, especially after dark, to know whether or not you have an intruder. The good news is that you can reclaim your home by plugging holes and using traps or no-kill bait boxes to control them. If mice make you squeamish, you might consider hiring a professional! It’s also a good idea to remove food from the kitchen counter or anywhere that they might easily access too. Good luck defending your home from these pesky critters this winter!!
Give us a call as we can help YOU with that!