Tailgating Games Part II – Ladder Ball

We’re back for the second part of our Lawn Tailgating Games series! If you haven’t been watching college football yet this season, you’ve missed a few big ones. But that doesn’t even start to count for the fun times you could have had tailgating! Last time we talked about two classics Corn Hole and KanJam with simple rules, but this time we’re going to go a bit more in-depth in a classic – Ladder Ball! While this isn’t the hardest game, it has a few more rules than corn hole, but we know it’s worth learning!

Ladder Ball TailgatingSetting up – To start, set the ladder and take 5 paces (or fifteen feet) to set your throwing line. Distribute three bolas (see picture) to each player and flip a coin to decide who will throw first.

Scoring – Points are scored by landing or wrapping your bolas on a step of the ladder. Each step on the ladder is worth a different amount of points. The top step is worth 3, middle 2, and bottom 1. Players can score an additional bonus of 1 point by wrapping all 3 of their bolas on the same step or by hanging one bola on each of the three ladders steps during one throwing round. For example, if a player lands all three bolas on the top step, they will receive 10 points (3+3+3+1=10). This is the most amount of points that can be scored within one round.

Winning – The first player to receive 21 points is the winner! Note that the player must get exactly 21 points, they cannot go over. If they go over within a turn, their point total is canceled for that round and they will have to try again on the next turn.

We hope you and your friends have another great week of eating great food, tailgating on your lawn and watching football this weekend. Here’s to you being the top player in Ladder Ball this week!

To Bag or Not to Bag

There are two main ways you can choose to mow your lawn: bagging all the clippings or taking off the bag and letting the grass clippings lay on top of your grass. There are good and bad sides to both methods, and our team at Terra Bites Lawn Service is here to help you make your decision.


Bag your grass

Bagging your Grass

If your final goal is to produce a perfectly manicured lawn with straight edges, and no debris on top, this is the method for you. Bagging will take a little longer since you’ll have to start and stop your mower. (Don’t forget to always be safe and turn your mower completely off before taking the bag out.) However, once you are finished mowing your lawn and edging the sides, it will look perfect. Maybe even Facebook worthy!  

Not Bagging your Grass

If you are looking for a way to have cheap (free) fertilizer for your lawn, then not bagging your lawn may be your best option. This way is also faster! When lawn mowers first came around, they didn’t have bags so the clippings would start decomposing immediately to give back to the grass they came from. It makes for a healthier yard! That said, make sure your grass clippings are no longer than 1 inch and are not wet. If they are longer than an inch they could block the grass from the sun, and if it’s still wet the clumps will bunch together and block out certain areas of the lawn.

No matter which way you choose, make sure you’re keeping your lawn healthy with detailed maintenance. And if lawn maintenance isn’t for you, we may have what you’re looking for! Here’s to a healthy lawn!

Tailgating Games for Your Yard

Football season is almost upon us, and to most of us that means it’s time to break out our favorite tailgating games for your lawn. Grab your gameday shirts, koozies, and sunglasses and head to the real field this season — your lawn. Here are two of our favorites!

Tailgating Games Corn HoleCorn Hole – If you haven’t played corn hole, this must be your first season of tailgating, but we can’t even start to make a tailgate games list without including the favorite. Grab your boards and set them approximately 27 feet apart. There are many different methods of scoring, but here is the most popular:

  • 1 point for a bean bag on the board
  • 3 points for a bean bag going in the hole

The difference of the two players shooting scores will give you the aggregate score from this round, and you play until a team hits 21.

Kan Jam – Kan Jam started up north and is slowly making it’s way down south as a very popular tailgating game. With two teams of two, each player tries to throw the frisbee close to the can to earn points. Points are scored as follows:

  • 1 point for making your teammates throw hit the can
  • 2 points for a frisbee throw that hits the can on its own
  • 3 points for making the frisbee into the can (your teammate can hit it in)
  • You Win if the frisbee goes into the small slot in the can

Tailgating games are always a highlight of gamedays in the south, and we hope you make it out to enjoy some of your own this season. If you’re inviting friends over, make sure your lawn is looking its best. Give us a call if you need help!

 

What the Mulch?

       Looking at the best yards in your neighborhood, you may notice a few things that stand out. Maybe they have an elegant fountain surround by bushes, or perhaps an incredible design highlighted by trees. But there is one thing every great lawn design has. Mulch. Mulch is the background color that makes your lawn or garden pop. But wait, which kind of mulch is best for my yard? The answer may not be as straightforward as we’d like, but there are some key differences that you should always keep in mind.

Pine Bark is a great choice for mulch!

Pine Straw

       Pine straw is readily available (especially here in Georgia), natural looking, and holds itself together when rain storms hit. They break down a little slower than other organic mulches, and are naturally acidic which helps plants that prefer acidic soil!  

Pine Bark
       Pine bark or pine bark nuggets are also very common. This may be because of how easy it is to lay them down. Unlike pine needles, which takes experience to make them look tidy, pine bark lays down easily and can be molded around many types of plants. However, during rain storms water can easily pick up and move these nuggets. This may be a great choice, but they do require upkeep over their lifetime.

Rubber

       The biggest positive for rubber mulch is that it outlasts every other type of mulch by a long shot. However, since it doesn’t break down, the soil never gains any extra nutrients, and rubber can leave a smell for a few months after it is laid down.

       No matter which mulch you pick, it is just the background noise and your lawn always needs its own maintenance. Don’t forget to get out there every week or give our team a call and they’ll take care of it for you!

How can I stop my dog from ruining my new lawn?

We get questions like this all the time: “How can I stop my dog ruining my new lawn?”

It’s a common question because we all have our beloved dog that we consider a part of the family. But what happens when their “business” ruins your lawn? The staff at Terra Bites Lawn Care knows that these tips will help any pooch-parent. Take a look: dog

There is some debate about girl dogs vs. boy dogs and one’s urine being worse than the other but there is no research of that being true.

The grass burns occur because the grass can not process all of urine at once. If you dilute the urine with water it will give the grass time to recover. However, we don’t have time or patience to wait for our own dogs to eliminate.

Pet urine that hurts grass is nitrogen. Because dogs, who are carnivores, eat high levels of protein, their bodies break it down and excrete it in their urine as nitrogen. While nitrogen is an essential component of healthy grass, too much of it may be lethal to your lawn.

How to Stop Yellow Spots in a Lawn from Dog Urine?

One solution to help stop dogs from leaving yellow spots in the yard is to use dog vitamins and supplements to change the composition of the dog’s urine. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet.

Still having issues with those yellow spots in your lawn? Give the Terra Bites experts a call at 706-389-LAWN (5296).

Aeration Explained

It’s important to remember that a healthy lawn starts with the lawn’s soil. If you do not have healthy soil, enriched with nutrients and water, then your lawn will (eventually) fail. At Terra Bites Lawn Service, located in Braselton, GA, we are serious about soil. And not just any soil… your soil! Aeration is one of the ways we like to give your lawn the attention it deserves.

What is Lawn Aeration?

Lawn aeration involves removing plugs of grass and soil so adequate air, water, nutrients can “seep” into the ground and reach plant roots. When you aerate your lawn, you’re essentially punching holes in the ground so it can “air out.”

The process is completed using a machine called an aerator that perforates the lawn and pulls up plugs of turf. These cores are left on the lawn to decompose—they return beneficial nutrients to your property.

If you look at a turf plug pulled out of the ground during the aeration process, you’ll see the green grass blades, thatch layer, roots and soil.

aeration

How often should you aerate your lawn and when is the best time?

Once a year correlating with the grass’s growing season. This depends on the type of grass you have. The best time of year is during the growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. We can help you identify the type of grass you have and make recommendations on when we feel is a best time to aerate.

Have questions and concerns about your lawn? The professionals at Terra Bites would love to help! Give us a call at 706-389-LAWN (5296) or fill out our contact form.

Keep Your Family Safe From Chiggers With Terra Bites

Bites on footIf you just moved to Georgia from the west or far north United States, you may have never heard of a chigger. Because chiggers tend to live in warmer climates, if you just moved, you may be surprised when you go out in your yard and feel a bite like you have never felt before. Chiggers are juvenile mites, members of the arachnid family (the same family as spiders and ticks) and despite their size, have a bite way worse than their bark. 

What makes a chigger so bothersome is after it bites a human, it injects its digestive enzymes into the skin after about 1-3 hours, causes symptoms and signs to begin. Symptoms include:

  • Pronounced itching
  • Area redness, flatteness, or a raised area and may resemble a blister
  • The itch is due to the presence of the stylostome and usually is most intense within 1-2 days after the bite, but can last up to two weeks

Although many think the chigger itself burrows into skin and remains there, this is a myth, so applying nail polish or alcohol to suffocate the chigger will not do much good. The best solution is prevention, meaning keep your lawn manicured, and weeds controlled with Terra Bites Lawn Service.

We understand that life gets busy, and you may not have the time or energy to keep up with mowing, edging, and other general lawn care. Hiring a lawn care company like Terra Bites is a great way to eliminate a chigger’s ideal home. We will be sure to keep up with the maintenance of your lawn, even when you are out of town, on vacation, or just get busy. With our basic service, we visit your lawn twenty times throughout the year, which equates to every other week during the primary growing season. We also offer weed control, eliminating another breeding ground for these tiny pests.

Keep your family safe, and bite-free with help from Terra Bites Lawn Service!

Beat The Heat And Save Some Dough While You’re At It!

It is definitely summer here in Georgia and at Terra Bites Lawn Service LLC, we know how important it is to keep your lawn looking beautiful year-round. We also know that means keeping your other plants, not just your grass, looking good too, and we would like to offer some tips on how to keep your plants hydrated without breaking the bank this summer.

Thermostat Pick Hardy Plants

If you have not planted them yet, try choosing plants that like the heat and do not require much water. Not only will your plants be happier, but so will you and your budget for not having to water them constantly.

Reuse Water

Have you boiled anything recently? Instead of throwing the cooled water you used to boil your veggies away, put it to good use and water your outdoor plants! Cleaning your fish tank? Reuse the water! The water is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous, which helps your plants.

Watch The Weather Forecast

It happens every time you get your car washed and water your garden, right? The next day, it inevitably rains. If you are trying to conserve water, be very mindful of the weather forecast, and if there is a good chance of rain, skip watering that day.

Invest In A Moisture Meter

These handy tools are readily available and provide an accurate account of what your soil has and what it needs. We suggest putting them in each different plant area, as different plants require different amounts of moisture.

For all of your lawn care needs, call the experts in the industry; contact Terra Bites Lawn Service LLC!

Fireworks Safety Tips

White Firework

This year is flying by! Can you believe Independence Day is Monday? With the legalization of fireworks in Georgia, we know many of our customers will want to get outdoors and light up the sky this Fourth of July, but here at Terra Bites LLC, we  want to remind you of a few fireworks safety tips to lessen your chances of injuring your property, yourself, or others.

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks- you always want to be sure you are following the rules, but still having a great time
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • An adult should supervise all firework activities, and know what to do in case of emergency.
  • Do not operate fireworks while intoxicated
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket anywhere on your person.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • Report illegal explosives, to your local fire or police department.

Tips from our friends at the National Council On Fireworks Safety

However you’re spending this holiday, we hope you have a great one! Don’t forget to pick up firework debris to prevent harm to your lawn.

3 Misconceptions About Watering Your Lawn

Did you know June 23rd was National Hydration Day? If you are like many, you may be concerned that your lawn is getting dehydrated in the summer heat, but properly watering your lawn takes more than just putting a sprinkler on it whenever the idea hits. There are several misconceptions about watering your lawn, and here at Terra Bites Lawn Care, LLC, we would like to clear some of them up. Sprinkler on lawn

Common Misconception #1: The water from my hose is too warm

According to horticulturalist Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD, you will never be able to scorch your grass due to your water being too warm. If you choose to wait until dusk, you are just prolonging your grass’s suffering, as well as encouraging fungal development.

Common Misconception #2: Leaving footprints in grass is a sign it is adequately watered

This is actually the exact opposite of what it means! The test to see if your grass is under drought stress is to walk across it and see if you leave footprints. If you do, it needs more water. Other signs your grass needs water are if the blades start to wilt or curl, and if it turns bluish-gray, instead of green.

Common Misconception #3: The best time to water my lawn is the evening, when the sun starts to set

For optimal saturation and minimal fungal development, the best time to water your lawn is early morning. This will give your grass time to absorb the water, but allow the sun’s rays to evaporate excess to avoid fungus. If your grass is under drought stress midday, do not be afraid to water it! Water your lawn when it is thirsty, and it will stay beautiful all summer long!

With Terra Bites’ lawn service packages, you will not have to worry about underwatering or overwatering. We will take care of everything for you, making your summer stress-free and relaxing. Contact us today for more information.