Q: Why choose Alternative Environments over another local pest control company?
A:We are a local company that has been in business for over 20 years. We all live, work, and play in this community. Nearly 95% of our first time customers remain our customers today. We pride ourselves on providing superior customer service.
Q: What areas do we service?
A:Carroll Co., Cobb Co., Douglas Co., Fulton Co, Paulding Co, Austell, Bremen, Carrollton, Dallas, Douglasville, Hiram, Lithia Springs, Marietta, Powder Springs, Tallapoosa, Temple, Villa Rica, Winston, and other Metro Atlanta communities
Q: Who should get aeration and how often should it be done?
A:Every lawn can benefit from core aeration. It is suggested that a lawn be aerated at least every other year, but preferably every year. We core aerate our warm season grasses in the spring and summer and our cool season grass (fescue) in the fall when it is time to oversee the lawn.
Q: Will aerating control thatch?
A:Core aeration brings cores of soil up from below the lawn’s surface. We recommend that these cores be mowed back into the lawn. By allowing these cores to mix back into the lawn surface, the soil adds back microbial agents which are needed to control thatch. This is not an immediate fix for a serious thatch problem, but is the best way to manage a thatch condition.
Q: Why do I have mushrooms?
A:The presence of mushrooms means there is some decaying organic matter present in the soil. Mushrooms are a result of organic matter (old tree roots, wood, etc.) decomposing in the soil. Don’t worry. It won’t hurt your lawn and there is nothing you can do about it. They also indicate that there is plenty of moisture in the soil. Usually the mushrooms appear after a rainfall. Once the soil dries out a little, give it about 3-5 days and the mushrooms will probably go away.
The only way to eliminate the mushroom growth is to remove the organic matter and the surrounding soil. A very big task, indeed. Mushrooms are a sign of life in the soil…and that’s a good thing. Bear with them for a short time and they will disappear. Or, when mushrooms do appear, simply mow them off. And no, there is nothing to do to prevent them.
Q: What are the brown spots in my lawn?
A:Diagnosing the proverbial “brown spot” in a lawn can drive even a seasoned professional crazy. There are just so many things that can cause the lawn to turn brown and die in a spot. One thing you never want to do is apply a control material without knowing exactly what the problems is. If you apply the wrong stuff you may end up causing more problems than you are trying to solve.
So where do you start? Have you been watering correctly? Lack of water will cause lots of yellowing and spots. Plus other problems will become worse if a lawn is not watered correctly. Over-watering can also yellow a lawn and can kill trees and shrubs! What about mowing? If a lawn is mowed too short or not often enough, brown spots can and do appear. Is it a problem from pets? Both dogs and cats can cause spots…even if you don’t own one of your own. If all that has been taken care of, we start to look for diseases or insects. While there are millions of different insects in this world only 5 or 6 will cause damage to a lawn. So it is pretty easy to know what to look for.
Diseases are a little harder to pick out, but again, there are only a relative few that routinely cause damage, so knowing the symptoms and signs can help narrow down the cause. A trained Alternative Environments service technician can come and check out your lawn for free.
The bottom line is this: There are too many different things that may cause a brown spot in a lawn. Take the time needed to properly diagnose the problem before jumping in to start controlling something. You’ll be glad you did.
Q: What do I do about crabgrass?
A:Crabgrass is an annual weedy grass that germinates in the summer and dies with the first frost in the fall. We do a split application of pre-emergent in the spring to prevent early and late germinating crabgrass. Our fescue program is designed for this pre-emergent to run out in the late summer to allow for fescue overseeding in September and October.
Q: How do I control moss in my lawn?
A:Moss can be a real problem and even tougher to control. Start by raking out the existing moss. Moss usually grows in damp areas with poor air circulation.
So control entails first improving drainage (or removing cause of excessive moisture) and improving air circulation, if possible. Prune up low hanging branches and move fences or other obstructions to air movement. Anything to get more sunlight and air will help.
Also, use Core Aeration process to break up the soil. Moss will not do well in loose soils. Moss will not grow on a healthy dense lawn. Be sure you are following good watering, mowing, and fertilization practices to encourage a healthy lawn.
Q: How often should I mow?
A:Your lawn does best if mowed once every week. Long intervals between mowing can damage grass. Also, it’s best to avoid mowing when the lawn is wet or mowing during the hottest part of the day.
Q: How do I make my lawn green?
A:First, start by watering properly. Without proper watering, nothing else you do to the grass will make it turn green. We apply the proper amount of fertilizer over the course of the year. Without some nutrients consistently added through-out the growing season, the grass will fade and become less green than it can be.
Next, depending on your grass type the proper cutting height and a sharp lawn mowing blade will make all the difference. Remember to cut lawn weekly. Put these three practices together in the right combination and a green lawn is actually quite easy.
But remember, once it gets green, there is a maximum level it will be. Once it’s looking good, enjoy it and don’t keep trying to make it greener still. You’ll be putting the lawn into a stress condition, which will eventually cause major problems.
Q: Do I have to water my lawn to make it weed-free?
A:Water, of course, is the key to good results. An inch and a half of water per week is essential. It can come from a combination of rainfall and sprinklers, but if you can’t water properly, absolutely expect to see weeds.
Q: My lawn treatment was done and shortly afterwards it began to rain. Is it still okay? A:If it rains within an hour of one of our treatments, don’t be concerned. All of our treatments do best when watered in. If a heavy downpour immediately follows a treatment, call us without delay and we can decide whether a reapplication is necessary.
Q: When can I walk on my lawn after a treatment?
A:We ask that people and pets stay off the lawn for two hours following an application to allow the products to thoroughly dry. We are required by law to post a sign that states to stay off lawn for 24 hours.
Q: When is my next application?
A:This depends on your grass type and the number of application your lawn type requires. Applications are done January through December.
Q: What guarantees do you provide?
A:The treatments your lawn receives from Alternative Environments do not guarantee perfect results. The outcome depends largely on your mowing and watering routine, the amount of shade and trees present, soil and grass varieties and many other factors. However, if you are not satisfied, we’ll keep working with you until you are.
Q: Do I have to be present during your treatments?
A:There’s no need to be home during a treatment. It takes approximately one minute to treat a thousand square feet of lawn, so we’re only there for a short time, depending on your lawn size.
Q: Will you leave me information about my lawn after each treatment?
A:We leave a lot of written materials that explain what we have done and what you must do to ensure a good looking, healthy lawn. Watering and mowing instructions, plus other information concerning your lawn are also left. We will also provide a sales message for other services we offer at different times of the year.
Q: If the weather is bad will my treatment be pushed back to a later date?
A:Please don’t worry if an application seems to be delayed. Weather plays a big part in when and where we treat. Our materials are blended especially for this climate and your lawn will most definitely be treated within the proper time frame.
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A:We accept cash, AMEX, Discover, Mastercard and Visa.
Q: Do I have to sign a service contract every year?
A:No. There is no service contract. Your service continues from year to year unless you stop the service.
Q: How do you bill me for your services?
A:After each service our bill, along with a return envelope, will be left attached to your front door. You may pay by check, money order, Visa, Master Card or American Express. Payments are due within 30 days of application.