Best Lawn Care Tips

Lawn care and maintenance

Healthy Lawn and Garden

How to Care for your Lawn

Believe it or not, your lawn is one huge plant. Though it will never fit inside your home, it still requires the care that you would give to your most loved houseplant. However, if you happen to be one of those who let their houseplants gather dusts in the window, your lawn will probably show the same type of neglect. Hopefully, this is not the case because your lawn only requires a bit of attention to stay attractive.

Keeping your lawn looking attractive is not nearly as difficult as you might imagine. By following a few simple lawn care tips, your lawn can remain healthy and looking good throughout the year.

A vibrant lawn makes a superb compliment for flowerbeds and creates a striking emerald center of attention in winter when colors are secreted. There are various types of grasses for differing climate conditions; however, all laws benefit from regular mowing and watering, and feeding attention in the spring and autumn.


A crucial factor in maintaining a healthy lawn is mowing at the correct height. It’s the same as pruning your indoor or outdoor plants at a certain time of growth. Grass blades should be maintained at a height of three to four inches. Allowing grass to grow taller will leave the root system and base of the blades starving for sunlight, which will affect your lawn’s long-term health. Similarly, cutting more than one-third of the grass blades when mowing will result in plant shock and wilting.

Grass should be mowed when it is growing, provided the ground is not too wet or slippery to walk on. In springtime, mow once a week with blades at their highest setting and slowly lower them as growth speeds up. If you are an eco-friendly enthusiasts, collect the clippings for compost, or use a mulching-mower that leaves the grass cut into fine bits, thus returning nourishment to your lawn.

Rake up thick areas of clippings, which can cause damage to the turf. During summer months, a good quality lawn may require cutting twice a week, as growth slows down, once a week should do. There are three main ingredients for maintaining a healthy lawn.


Watering and lawn care

Hunter Sprinkler System

During the year, your lawn requires different water requirements. In colder months, grass growth slows down, requiring less water. Over watering your lawn, will enrich fungus growth and devastate turf. An over abundance of water also triggers weed growth, and washes out natural resources in the soil. During the warmer months when grass is in full growth mode, your lawn frequently needs watering three or four times a week. Denying your lawn sufficient moisture leads to dead patches, burned areas, and wilting.

New lawns should be watered every day during dry spells, until it has matured. A sign that a lawns require watering is when they lose their bounce when walked on. Decrease water evaporation by utilizing sprinklers early morning or at night.


It is important to know the frequency of application and type of fertilizer your lawn needs.  The quantity of fertilizer required to keep up your lawn health depends on how rich the underlying soil is. Leaving the clippings on your lawn will enhance the soil nutrients. Apply liquid or granular lawn fertilizer at minimum once per year. Spring and early summer feeds are filled with nitrogen to increase leaf growth. Products for use in early autumn are lower in nitrogen but potent with potassium to support grass roots in winter.

Remember not to overfeed; it can lead to scrawny growth and fungal problems. If necessary, rent a calibrated-spreader for bigger lawns, and water if there is no rain within a few days after feeding.

Call us for our 42 Point FREE Comprehensive Lawn and Garden Evaluation.

How to Make Compost – Part 2

Santa Barbarara Landscaper Bruce Koehler

Bruce Koehler - President, Down to Earth Landscapes Inc

The Composting Process – Part 2

With a little know-how, anyone can make compost from home. Simply gather the right ingredients and nature will do the rest for you. Compost does not have to be made in a special place. You can simply collect your ingredients in one place and cover them with a polythene bag or can use a bin or other form of container, which can be bought from your local nursery, or you can build your own.

Where Do You Make Your Compost?

You want to select a location that is sunny with some shade during the day.  You want the composting material directly on soil or grass, not on concrete of other hardscape surface. Also, locate your composting area away from any flowing water such as a creek or river.
The bin or container you select should have a lid or cover and be easily accessible. It is often insulated.

Recommended Compost Ingredients

General Guidelines

If it was once living, it will compost. However, you should avoid meat, dairy and cooked food. They can attract rodents and other wildlife and should not be home-composted.

Why is Compost Important? – Part 1

Santa Barbara Landscaping company

Down to Earth Landscapes Inc in Santa Barbara

Why Compost and What are it’s Benefits?

Do you know about 40% of your garbage can’s contents are useful? Yes, many of the food scraps and yard clippings being disposed of can actually be useful for your backyard garden. You should recycle your kitchen waste along with your cut lawn and fallen leaves to make your own compost. You’re soil’s best friend.

What is Compost?

It is often said that “compost is gold for the garden”. Compost refers to the end product resulting from the decomposition of once living organic matter. When these living organisms die, they decompose and depending on various environmental factors, can form compost. Examples of organic matter around your home that can be used to make compost include straw, grass clippings, leaves, tree branches, certain animal manure, kitchen scraps, and so on.

It is true that over time all organic matter will eventually decompose but with your participation and under proper conditions, organic material can decompose more quickly and form compost to be used in your garden sooner

Please note that compost is not high in nutrients, (N-P-K) and is known more to condition the soil.  Since compost is most valuable as a soil conditioner, it can improve the soil structure, making it firmer to hold plants, can suppress soil borne diseases, attracts beneficial insects such as earthworms, and helps maintain optimum soil moisture and necessary microbial activity.

What is “Composting”.

As we said previously, composting is the natural process of turning organic matter into a more usable organic soil amendment called “compost”. This is nature’s own way of recycling decomposed organic material using microorganisms, nitrogen, carbon, moisture and oxygen.

But for serious gardeners, the composting process is managed to achieve the end result within a shorter time. To be successful, the gardener mixes various types of organic matter (greens and browns) in proper proportions with bacteria and other agents to form the proper consistency and dark color compost is known for. That is why within horticultural circles compost is frequently called “black gold”.
[Read more…]

Santa Barbara Landscaping Contractor Offering Free 42-Point Lawn & Garden Evaluation

Santa Barbara, CA (PR.COM) February 28, 2013

santa barbara landscape contractor

42 Point Lawn and Garden Evaluation

A well-respected Santa Barbara landscaping contractor Down to Earth Landscapes Inc. has just announced that they’re now offering  a FREE Comprehensive 42-point Lawn & Garden Evaluation. This comprehensive evaluation is designed to ensure that Santa Barbara area residents and businesses will have a healthy and safe landscape environment. The evaluation  covers all areas of the outdoor property including irrigation systems, lighting, drainage, soil conditions and planted materials.

For home and business owners located in the Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, the maintenance of lawn and garden areas is often neglected and compromises the  health and beauty of the property. Weather changes that take place throughout the year  often require special seasonal care to protect lawns and plants against these changes. This type of protection is achieved when you have the support of a qualified landscaping professional who understand the best methods for lawn, garden and plant care.
[Read more…]

Santa Barbara Landscaping Company Offers Water-Wise Sprinkers and Irrigation Systems

Hunter Sprinkler systems

Down to Earth Landscapes Inc. Press Release

Santa Barbara, CA, December 13, 2012 –(– Leading Santa Barbara landscaping specialists Down to Earth Landscapes Inc. has recently announced the addition of a new highly-demanded service to their list of landscape service solutions. The company will now be offering installation services for water-saving sprinklers and irrigation systems, which are designed to allow the modern homeowner to minimize their home water costs while still maintaining the look of the property.

In the last decade, the city of Santa Barbara has suffered many long-term droughts. As a result of these droughts, local legislators have placed restrictions on the amount of water that residents can use within their homes. This means that local area residents must now be proactive about securing cost-effective products that help to limit their water usage. This is where Down to Earth Landscapes Inc. can help.

The company now installs advanced water-efficient sprinkler systems. The company’s systems are engineered precisely to provide the right amount of water in order to help homeowners eliminate the water runoff that is a major cause excessive water usage on their property. The water conservation specialists at Down to Earth Landscapes Inc. are up to date on local water conservation regulations, so they are prepared to help homeowners conform to the latest rules set by authorities.

In addition to offering their new water-efficient irrigation systems to their clients in Santa Barbara, the landscaping company is also a valuable source of information on how to reduce water-usage over the long-term. Down to Earth Landscapes has created a list of guidelines to help clients achieve water-use efficiency. They recommend that clients use an automatic moisture sensor to determine when lawns need watering and the installation of a rain shut-off device to override the sprinkler system when it begins to rain.

To request an estimate and discover how cost-effective Down to Earth Landscapes Inc.’s services are, homeowners can visit the company’s website at and book an appointment with one of their water-wise irrigation and sprinkler experts.

Santa Barbara Autumn Lawn Care Checklist

Fall Lawn Care Tips

In our previous blog, we talked about how autumn is the perfect time to create a checklist for “winterizing” your Santa Barbara gardens. As a part of your landscape maintenance education, it is important to know about lawn care during the autumn season.

Dethatching the Lawn 

Santa Barbara Autumn Lawn tips

Thanks to Glenn Hardebeck, Agronomist, Purdue University for the photo

This is often called lawn thinning. De-thatching refers to a process of removing dead grass in a lawn. A certain amount of thatch protects the roots, but excessive amounts negatively affect the health of the lawn. This is necessary because dethatching encourages the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the lawn. Regular dethatching forces buds to grow near the base of the grass stems, preventing the grass plants from being dead underneath and only green on top. Thatching frees new grass shoots to grow in thick and lush. Think of it as a body cleanse for your lawn. It balances the lawn’s chemistry. There are a couple of ways to do it.

9 Easy Autumn Lawn and Garden Care Tips for Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Autumn Landscaping Checklist

Santa Barbara Landscape company

Autumn Trees in Santa Barbara

Autumn is here.  What can you do to prepare your garden for the seasons ahead? Any experienced gardener or landscaper knows that each season offers challenges and opportunities.  In Santa Barbara, Fall is often the warmest time of the year. Some say it feels more like summer than actual summertime. This weather is unique because while the days are often extremely warm, they give way to nights that cool off these warm days.

October often boasts high-pressure systems, a weather pattern that is a key ingredient for these hot, dry days punctuated by warm Santa Ana winds. The short days and cool nights put less stress on the plant material, and this dry time of the year encourages perennials to go to sleep for the winter.
[Read more…]

5 Secrets to Growing a Beautiful and Healthy Low Maintenance Garden

santa barbara low maintenance landscapes

Growing Low Maintenance  Gardens in Santa Barbara

We will end our Four Part series on low maintenance gardens with tips on planting.

You might be aware that many factors are necessary for planting a successful low maintenance garden. These basic ingredients are the same no matter where on the planet your garden is located. The planting wisdom we are about to share below is universally accepted. However, there are distinctions specific to Santa Barbara landscaping.
[Read more…]

Efficient Low Maintenance Garden Irrigation and Sprinkler Systems

Hunter sprinkler systems in santa barbara

When it comes to keeping gardens low maintenance, an automated irrigation system is essential.  Installing an automated sprinkler system ensures that your landscape will get just the right amount of water, reducing wasted run-off, while reducing your landscape maintenance efforts.
[Read more…]

Using Soil Amendments to Create a Low Maintenance Garden in Santa Barbara

soil prep and healthy plantsThis week begins a series of blogs that will spotlight methods for creating a low maintenance garden. This week’s topic is “How to Use Soil Amendments to Create a Low Maintenance Garden”.

These blogs will provide you with a few tips on how to transform your garden into one that essentially takes care of itself. Who knows, you may be closer to “going low maintenance” than you think!

Soil Amendment and Low Maintenance

In an earlier blog dated March 14, 2012 we discussed the importance of amending soil. Proper soil preparation and amendment  is the starting point for having a healthy landscape. As a matter of fact, the quality of soil also directly impacts the maintenance required in your yard’s landscape because well amended and prepared soil keeps plant material healthy and strong and the result is a low maintenance garden  that will require fewer instances of fungicide, fertilization and dry soil.
[Read more…]

 | Home | About Us | Who We Serve | Landscaping Services | Our Method | Project Gallery | DTEL University | Bruce's Blog | Sitemap
Copyright © 20ll Down to Earth Landscapes Inc.
226 Uhlan Ct. Santa Barbara, Ca. 93103 Ph: 805-765-2553
Website Built and Maintained by WSI