Frequently Asked Questions

 

Services:

- PPLM uses both methods of application at different points in our program, and we always let you know which it is with each service. Based on the season and the products included in the service, PPLM is able to utilize either application method based on what will be most effective.
- Absolutely! It is PPLM’s policy to always let all of our clients know when an application is scheduled. Based on your preferred method of contact, we are able to call, email, or text you the day before a treatment. We also contact you a week ahead of aeration and seeding to give you additional time to prep your yard for service.
- The cost of your program is largely dependent upon the size and layout of your property’s lawn. Fertilizer rates are based on product costs and the time it will take an applicator to service a lawn, which is why we provide personalized, up to date pricing after our sales team has done a full in person evaluation of your unique property.
- You do not need to be present for any of our services. However, PPLM’s office always lets you know the scheduled date of service, and our applicator always knocks on your door when he arrives for a treatment in case you are home. If you aren’t home, our crews are well trained to be respectful of your property no matter what and will leave behind information about the application and any personalized recommendations.
- Fertilizer is any substance that is added to soil to improve its ability to support healthy plant life. In RVA, our soil is not naturally rich enough in the nutrients and structure desirable to support an attractive lawn, so fertilizer acts as a supplement to improve your turf’s health, appearance, and longevity.
- PPLM applies a complex and balanced fertilizer program that encompasses several unique and cutting edge products with each service. Everything PPLM uses meets industry and government regulations and is tested thoroughly to ensure its efficacy. With each service, we give you information on the details of the fertilizer being used so that you can know how it’s benefiting your lawn.
- While there are a few treatments that we recommend staying off of until they dry, our fertilizer program is generally safer for kids and pets than those available with some other companies due to our organically based treatments. Our applicators will always let you know the recommended period of time to let a treatment settle before entering the yard again when a service is performed.
- Our standard fertilizer program involves seven services applied approximately 4-8 weeks apart depending on the season. PPLM roughly has two spring applications, two summer applications, two fall applications (one of which is lime), and one winter application, but the timing of these treatments can vary year to year depending on the weather and temperature changes.
- Our applications involve organically based products and/or professional grade weed control, and these materials often involve some sort of odor. Once it rains or you run your irrigation system, any smell will go away. In the meantime, the subtle farm fragrance is a good indication that we successfully performed a Picture Perfect service!
- Your treatments are always performed by a trained and licensed member of PPLM’s family and team. Before the day of service, our office can let you know the name of the applicator visiting your property, and they will always sign their name on your informational brochure for service so that you know who was there if you weren’t home.
- Definitely! Our applicators always ring the doorbell when they arrive to check if you’re home and have any questions. Every member of our team is knowledgeable about our treatments and possible issues on your property. Any questions you have that they can’t answer will be forwarded to our office, and another PPLM team member will reach out to you promptly.
- PPLM fertilizes all lawn areas that are specified by the homeowner. Whether you just need the front yard maintained or want every inch of turf cared for, our team catalogues the desired treatment areas and property lines to ensure that your coverage is exact.
- At this time, PPLM does not generally provide tree and shrub fertilizer or other treatments. However, if you notice an issue with a tree or shrub in your landscaping that may be disease or pest related, a member of our team can gladly make suggestions as to possible causes and solutions.
- The majority of PPLM’s clients live in Chesterfield County and Richmond, but we also service as far North as Short Pump, down through Colonial Heights, North Dinwiddie, Prince George, Quinton, and up into Mechanicsville. If you want a Picture Perfect lawn, we will do our best to reach you!
- Our fertilizer program fully encompasses your lawn’s nutritional needs throughout the year, so any fertilizer that you put down in addition to our program may do more harm than good. If you have your own products that you’re interested in using, we strongly encourage you to speak with a PPLM team member, and we will gladly advise you on the most effective timing and rate based on what our program is already covering.
- Agricultural lime is a common additive in fertilizer programs that calcium based. Lime is one of the most important parts of turf management because it is the primary way to address soil acidity and calcium or magnesium deficiencies, all of which can have a heavy influence on your lawn’s health and appearance.
- Depending on the service, there are some PPLM fertilizer applications that are best to water in within 24 hours of the treatment to help the product break down and enter the soil faster. Our office will let you know during a call ahead if this will be the case, and our applicator will remind you in person and/or on your informational brochure left behind during the service.
- For most properties, PPLM uses a lightweight spreader/sprayer riding machine. These machines are able to be calibrated with both a set speed and product distribution rate; this ensures accurate and even application rates on your property and greatly reduces the risk of human error. For very small or oversaturated properties, our team always carries a push spreader to make sure we can still perform your service completely.
- The amount of time we recommend letting your lawn rest after a treatment before entering it again varies between services, but is rarely more than a few hours. Our applicator will always let you know when you can enter the yard again, but we encourage you to contact our office if you aren’t sure.
- Right now, PPLM specializes in the maintenance of cool season lawns, primarily turf type tall fescue. As more and more people in our area consider adopting warm season grass, we are beginning to explore effective maintenance of these lawns as well, so let us know if it’s a change that you’re interested in exploring!
- Honestly, this depends on where your lawn already is when you sign up. We work with clients who are starting with bare dirt just as often as clients who have fresh sod or have been maintained well by another company for years. Soil fertility and turf development are natural processes, and nature takes time, even with PPLM’s help. We always request that you try a full year of service with us to really see the progress that a year round program is able to provide.
- Not at all! Like with any service, a huge part of professionalism is efficiency. PPLM invests in state of the art equipment and experienced, well trained applicators, both of which are able to apply treatments as productively as possible. The important factor isn’t the amount of time spent on a property but rather the proper method of application and the success of the fertilizer products.
- Fertilizer, which can be a broad list of nutrients and compounds that improve your soil’s fertility, is applied at a specific rate as a liquid or as small solid granules. The product then gradually breaks down and disperses into your soil, where it is then either directly absorbed by the roots of the grass or continues to change the overall composition and quality of the soil.
- PPLM guarantees that we will never falsely state a service was performed if it actually wasn’t. Most of our fertilizer is liquid or a dark, neutral color, so you are unlikely to be able to actually see it within the grass. We will always leave an informational brochure on your door at the end of a treatment so that you know it was performed successfully. If for some reason the brochure isn’t there, you may be able to smell the product that was used or see where the grass is pressed down in lines from the tires of our equipment. If there is any doubt, please call our office to find out whether or not your service was performed in full.
- Unfortunately, just like we need to eat and drink every day to stay alive, your lawn needs constant access to proper nutrition to stay beautiful and healthy. While you are likely to see progress in your lawn within a year of fertilization service, the turf will begin to decline if applications are halted no matter how long they’ve been performed. Your lawn is best maintained with consistent, continual service.
- For 95% of the properties that we maintain, our riding equipment is actually the perfect size due to its ability to be calibrated so accurately. Unless your yard is inaccessible, oversaturated, or only a couple thousand square feet, the equipment we use is going to provide you with Picture Perfect results.
- Because it’s the right thing to do! Every granular service will have some fertilizer landing on streets, driveways, or sidewalks. Because it’s not nestled in the lawn, these granules of fertilizer are at high risk of running off when it rains, which means they will go down the gutter and into our waterways. Fertilizer is a dangerous pollutant to these sensitive environments, so PPLM is proud to do our part to follow protocol and reduce our environmental impact.
- PPLM uses professional quality soil probes to collect cores of soil from an even range of your lawn areas. These cores are limited to a specific range of depth that is most impactful to turfgrass. Cores are taken evenly across all serviced lawn areas and mixed together to get an accurate analysis of the property as a whole.
Read our Blog Post Here.
- Of course! Soil evaluations are not just for our benefit, but for yours as well. Once the results of the evaluation are returned to us from the lab, the head of our fertilizer division will email them directly to you with a detailed interpretation and personalized recommendations for possible corrective applications.
Read our Blog Post Here.
- We generally collect soil samples in the beginning of the year before the first round of fertilizer. This is the point at which the nutrient levels in your soil are most at rest and therefore provide the most accurate data for the overall quality of your soil.
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- Usually, we expect a 2-4 week turn around from the time we collect a soil sample to the time that our team is able to email you the results of the soil evaluation. If it’s been longer than a month and you haven’t received your results, please contact our office in case there was a problem delivering your email.
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- Your soil sample is always taken by a trained member of the PPLM fertilization division to make sure that it is handled by someone who is familiar with your property and the needs of a soil evaluation. Upon arrival, the team member visiting your property will ring your doorbell to let you know that they are walking your yard and to see if you have any questions.
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- We get most of our soil samples analyzed at Waypoint Analytical in Richmond. They have been providing very detailed and thorough soil evaluations to PPLM and other agriculture professionals in the area for years, and we appreciate having a great relationship with their team to make sure our clients are delivered accurate results.
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- PPLM soil evaluations are looking at the general composition and nutrient levels of the soil in your yard. The main factors we evaluate are the pH of the soil (its acidity), the organic matter present, and nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. When appropriate, we also evaluate certain micronutrients to paint a more detailed picture of your soil quality.
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- Once PPLM receives a batch of soil evaluation results, each one is analyzed and interpreted by Brandyn, the head of our fertilization division and one of PPLM’s owners. Brandyn has spent years learning how the balance of the nutrients and qualities we analyze impact the actual health and appearance of the lawn. Brandyn then personally emails each client’s results with an explanation of what they show and any recommendations for corrective treatments.
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- A yearly soil evaluation is very useful when it comes to monitoring the progress of your soil nutrients that directly impact the health and appearance of your lawn. This quantitative information not only sheds greater light for us on what parts of the puzzle might be missing in your soil’s composition, but it also gives us the chance to better customize your fertilizer program, provides data that we can pool together to understand the soil of RVA as a whole better, and even clues you yourself in to what’s involved in the care of your lawn.
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- While some of the recommendations we make for additional or stronger treatments based on soil deficiencies are an extra cost, these extra services are completely optional and are not an “upsell” or marketing ploy. Our balanced and effective fertilization program will correct any soil deficiencies your soil evaluation may show, but because the standard program has all nutrients at a maintenance level, it is likely that this correction will be very gradual. We offer corrective treatments for clients who want to accelerate this process and make a jump in nutrient levels or pH in one season that would otherwise take several.
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- We know lawn care is a significant financial investment, and PPLM always wants to be sure that we can help you achieve the best results possible for your budget. If the corrective treatments will be too costly this year, our team will discuss the pros and cons of DIY options with you or will give you a realistic idea of what we can expect if the corrective treatments are declined. Progress will be made in your lawn with or without the corrective treatments; they will just make it happen a bit more quickly.
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- If you have a Picture Perfect Program, your soil sample is built into your monthly rate. If you have selected stand alone services with our fertilizer program, you may still ask for a soil sample with PPLM, but it will be an extra charge of $25.
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- A corrective treatment is an extra strength fertilizer or application that is either added into your program for the year as an extra visit or replaces one of your standard applications with a product that will be better for your lawn’s needs. Corrective treatments are recommended by PPLM when there is a deficiency in your soil such as low pH, insufficient nutrients, or an imbalance between nutrients. Corrective treatments accelerate the fertilization process to target your lawn’s unique needs and get results faster.
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- Soil pH is a surprisingly complex and fickle science that is only one piece of the whole puzzle, but even a 0.1 change is very significant. If literally no change has been seen, there could be several reasons. Corrective products with a high pH like lime are applied heavily to counteract the soil acidity, but lime is very slow to disperse into the soil and may not have fully kicked in by the time your next soil sample is taken. Additionally, external factors like decaying leaves, tree roots, fertilizer, and run off all contribute to the acidity of your soil, so it is possible that even the corrective treatments have only stabilized that acidic input. Either way, it is a fairly common result since it is a process that can take several seasons. PPLM will always reevaluate, look at the big picture, and make the appropriate recommendations season to season.
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- Soil evaluations are a very complex and variable science. It is very common to see big improvements in the data one year and little to no improvement the next for a variety of reasons. If you’ve had PPLM for more than one season, we take give greater consideration to not just your soil sample results but also to the appearance and health of your lawn to discern if progress is being made under the radar.
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- Corrective treatments do not automatically renew the same way your normal fertilizer program does. They may not be in your budget next year and they may not even be necessary if they were effective in fully correcting the original issue. Just as we update your soil sample each year, we will update you with an evaluation and appropriate recommendations. If more corrective treatments are suggested, we will still wait for your approval before pursuing them.
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- Just like any other geological force, soil composition is a very slow moving process where discernible change is concerned. It’s very normal for the desired progress to take several seasons, and there are always other factors like a season’s weather that directly impact your lawn’s condition in addition to the soil nutrients. PPLM considers the whole picture in customizing your program to bring the greatest success to your lawn, but patience is an unfortunate necessity where any natural process is concerned.
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- A low pH is indicative of acidity. Generally, the ideal pH for fescue is in the range of 6.2-6.7, which is slightly acidic. A lot of outside forces contribute acidic input to your soil throughout the year like rain, decaying leaves, run off, tree roots, fertilizer, and more. Since soil resultantly tends toward acidity, it’s very normal to see a low pH. Soil that is too acidic can cause serious problems for your lawn’s health, so it’s an important thing to monitor regularly.
Read our Blog Post Here.
- Pre-emergent weed control is any herbicide product that prevents the successful germination of weed seeds before they mature into a visible plant. Weed seeds can lie dormant in your soil for years before germinating, so pre-emergents help control the weeds like crabgrass and other common weeds before they become a problem.
- Post-emergent weed control is any herbicide product that kills weeds after they have developed and are growing above the surface. PPLM uses selective herbicides for post-emergent weed control that are safe to be applied on fescue and will only kill the targeted weeds. Post-emergent weed control is applied to control standard broadleaf weeds.
- Different types of weed control are applied at different points in the season depending on the weather and other applications going into the lawn. The greatest focus of weed control is in the spring, when pre- and post-emergent herbicides are applied to the lawn as a whole. In the summer, weeds that have broken through are spot treated as needed. No weed control is applied in the fall to prevent any possible disruption to seeding, but occasionally as needed spot treatments are done again at the very end of the year.
- PPLM’s standard weed control program covers most broadleaf weeds and crabgrass. Weeds like dandelions, clover, wild onions, henbit, chickweed, speedwell, buttonweed, oxalis, and plantains are a handful of examples of common broadleaf weeds in our area that are covered in our program. While there are a few that our program and the programs of other providers don’t cover, we have ancillary treatments available for every weed you could develop.
- Your property’s weed control is being applied by a trained and licensed member of PPLM’s fertilization team. Our weed control products are hand selected by our company’s owners each season for their efficacy and are safely applied at a set rate with calibrated equipment that ensures even and accurate coverage for your lawn.
- PPLM greatly appreciates when any questions or concerns that you have about the weed growth in your lawn are brought to our attention. You are always welcome to call our office at (804) 530-2540 to speak with a member of our team or email us at info@pictureperfectlawn.net. Additionally, our applicators always leave behind their personal business card with their cell phone number and email address on it so that if you weren’t able to speak with them during your most recent service, you are able to contact them directly and speak with them about what you’re seeing.
- There are a few weeds that are not controlled by standard pre- and post-emergent weed control due to their biology. These difficult weeds include wild violets, nutsedge, poa annua, bermuda grass, and kyllinga as well as some perennial grassy weeds. Each one has its own susceptibility to different herbicides that can be built into your program based on your priorities and budget, and PPLM will always tailor your recommended services to be effective for your unique property. If you have weeds that are not covered in our standard program, just contact our office or your applicator to discuss treatment options.
- Nutsedge, also called nut grass, is a fairly common warm season perennial weed that requires specific targeted herbicide treatments to control. Nutsedge looks like a grass, but is noticeable for its extremely quick rate of growth and a color that is a lighter green than healthy fescue. Nutsedge is unique because of the “nutlets” that grow on the base of its roots; it is from these nutlets that a new plant sprouts each year, making it nearly impossible to eradicate by simply hand pulling it. PPLM offers nutsedge treatments at stand alone or monthly rates for customers who would like it controlled and aren’t comfortable with DIY options.
- Bermuda interesting as a weed in our area because in states further South, it is actually desired as a lawn of choice; this is why typical weed killers do not target bermuda. Bermuda grass is a warm season turf the same way that fescue is a cool season turf, so it is at its strongest during the summer but goes dormant and turns a light brown color during the winter. Bermuda also spreads laterally, so it can creep into a lawn and take over if left unchecked. While some homeowners don’t mind having bermuda mixed in with their fescue, many in RVA absolutely hate it, so PPLM offers targeted bermuda treatments as well as lawn renovations to address this difficult weed.
- Wild violets are a broadleaf weed that is perennial, develops a long tap root, and is surprisingly aggressive and resistant to most common herbicides. Wild violets are a bit odd because they will on occasion die off with a standard weed control application in the spring depending on their maturity, but for the most part they will bounce back and remain an unwanted presence in a lawn. PPLM does offer supplementary treatments for wild violets at an affordable extra cost, and we hope to build it into our standard program soon as selective herbicides for the control of wild violets become more effective and affordable.
- Poa annua, also known as annual bluegrass, is a low growing grassy weed that develops in the winter. Aside from standing out against fescue with a different appearance and disrupting the uniformity of a lawn, poa annua is undesirable because it can compete with fescue seedlings as they try to mature after fall seeding, increasing the risk of thin or bare spots in the spring and summer of the following season. Because poa annua dies off on its own in the spring, there is not a great need to treat it with herbicide when it appears. Instead, the best method of control is to prevent it with high quality seeding in the fall, since it is a very common contaminate in fescue seed. PPLM uses seed that is clean of annual bluegrass and other weeds, so very few of our long term clients see pronounced development of poa annua.
- Kyllinga is an odd looking perennial weed in the sedge family that develops in the summer. Kyllinga looks like a grass with a thin blade and dense growth pattern, but it is discernible with a spiky looking seedhead at the base of its leaves. Kyllinga is less common than some of the other difficult weeds, but it can be very aggressive in how thickly it develops in a lawn. Because of its close relation to nutsedge, it is treated similarly and can be covered with ancillary applications.
- The weeds that are common in RVA each have their own preferences for ideal growing conditions. These factors can range from whether an area is shady or sunny to the wetness of the lawn to the balance of nutrients in the soil. As a result, certain weeds in certain parts of a property can be a good indicator of the conditions with which your fescue may be struggling. In general, the most common places in a lawn that weeds are going to develop are in areas where the fescue is thin or bare, most commonly at the edges of the lawn like against the road, driveway, or treeline.
- Unless your property is in a completely controlled environment like some sort of outer space laboratory, there is no such thing as a weed free lawn. All lawns are open environments, which means that there are constantly weed seeds coming into your property from the air, animals, or underground. Be wary of any company that promises you “weed free” when the reality is “mostly weed free.” PPLM guarantees that you will see improvement in your weed to fescue ratio each year so long as it is being cared for properly.
- PPLM’s pre- and post-emergent weed control are a very strong foundation for covering most weeds you will see in your lawn, so you do not need to apply your own weed control on top of ours unless you are electing to pursue DIY treatment of difficult weeds like nutsedge or bermuda that are not covered in our program. The biggest thing you can do as a homeowner to reduce the risk of weed development is to mow weekly at a high setting and make sure that your lawn is receiving an even inch and a half of water each week with a properly timed irrigation system.
- The quality of seed being applied each season and the rate at which it is being applied is a crucial factor when trying to control the weeds in a lawn. Unless fescue seed is of a high quality like that used by PPLM, there is a good chance that it is contaminated by a certain amount of weed seed. Even a bag that is marked as being 0.01% weed will have hundreds to thousands of weed seeds being put into your lawn despite this seemingly miniscule percentage. Additionally, seed that is put down too light or too thick will result in thin or bare areas next season. Unless we can guarantee that your seeding was done properly with high quality certified seed, we cannot guarantee what will grow the next season.
- A very common occurrence is seeding a sudden development with weeds in the last few months of the year. This part of the season is when weed control is halted to avoid negatively impacting your fall seeding service, so weeds begin to break through and aren’t being killed with each visit like they are earlier in the year. In addition to this, core aeration by its nature greatly stirs up your soil several inches deep, bringing deeply buried dormant weed seeds to the surface where they are then watered nicely just like your fescue seed. These newly unearthed weed seeds are just as happy to germinate and grow as your new grass is, but weed control will be applied again soon once your lawn has developed enough for it to be safe.
- Our weed control program is strictly applied to lawn areas like our fertilizer is, so your flower beds are not going to see the same reduction of weeds after our visits as your lawn will. If you receive our mulch services, there is an option for pre-emergent weed control to be added to the beds with that service. Otherwise, we recommend regularly performing your own bed weeding during the growing season based on what works best for you; we’re always happy to give advice and recommendations if you have questions about the best methods for this.
- Aeration is a process, usually mechanical, that is meant to loosen a lawn’s soil. The purpose is to allow for water, nutrients, and grass roots to move more freely through the soil, all of which is key to the health of your lawn as a whole. Core aeration achieves this by removing thumb or cork sized cores of soil from the earth about three to five inches deep. Core aeration is usually performed at the same time as seeding and lime treatments because it allows for a portion of the seed or lime to settle deeper into the soil and activate more quickly.
- Where as core aeration is the most common method of aerating a property and is a mechanical process, liquid aeration yields the same soil loosening results on a chemical level. This is done with a product that uses bio-stimulants to drive root development and highly oxidizing material to increase the activity of topsoil. While a basic amount of this product is built in as part of one of PPLM’s fertilizer applications, it can be used as an alternative to core aeration. Good candidates for liquid aeration over core aeration are properties that have shallow irrigation pipes, hold too much water during aeration and seeding season to be mechanically aerated, or have relatively fresh sod that is too new to be safely core aerated.
- While there are some lawns that seem to magically stay thick and healthy without being seeded for several years, the vast majority of lawns do need seeding every year to maintain a healthy population of fescue turf. Fescue does not spread laterally across the lawn. As a result, the grass you have is the grass you have unless you overseed to get a fresh generation filling in for any turf that’s died off since the last seeding. Skipped seedings usually result in increasingly thin and irregular lawns which opens the door for weeds and other issues.
- If you have to pick between the two for budget reasons, or if we’re just talking hypotheticals, PPLM generally views seeding to be the more important of the two services based on bare necessities. That being said, aeration and seeding are two sides of the same coin when it comes to beneficial fall services that greatly increase your lawn’s success the following season.
- PPLM uses a triple blended turf type tall fescue seed that is certified blue tag. Turf type tall fescue is the species of grass being used and is the most popular grass for lawns in the RVA area. Triple blended means that the seed is a mix of several different varieties which increases your lawn’s resistance to disease and gives you better germination success. Blue tag seed is tested by independent universities to guarantee some of the highest rates of germination as well as a guarantee that the seed is 100% free of any weed contamination.
- Yes! Seed quality really is that important. If you’re investing in a fertilization program and/or care enough about your lawn to be spending hundreds of dollars or more on aeration and seeding, making sure that your seed has high rates of germination and is clean of any weed contamination will make all the difference in the success of your results next season. Using cheap seed is often a leading factor when a lawn continues to struggle, so we strongly advise against settling for anything of less than high quality.
- PPLM invests in high quality equipment for everything that we do. For aeration, we use state of the art riding aerators for most areas and reserve smaller walk behind areas for tight or inaccessible parts of the yard. As a result, higher quality cores are achieved at a higher concentration, maximizing on the efficacy of the service. We also use our riding spreader for the seeding service and reserve the push spreader for tight or inaccessible parts of the yard. This machine is calibrated and kept at a set speed so that your seed is put down evenly at an ideal rate across your property. By using equipment that can be more finely calibrated and requires less man handling, our service has a great reduction of human error.
- You can get just an aeration or just a seeding with PPLM if you’re seeking a la carte services. While our Picture Perfect Programs cover both aeration and seeding as part of your monthly rate, we do offer aeration and seeding a la carte either together or separately if it’s more convenient for you or you’re just wanting to work with us for a one time service in the fall. We also offer these options in the spring, though we don’t always recommend it at that time of year.
- Your aeration and seeding services are performed by trained members of the PPLM team. We never subcontract these services to other groups because we want to make sure your service is performed correctly by the same team members that are taking care of your property for fertilizer and other services. Our office always calls you prior to service, and a member of our team always knocks on your door prior to arrival to let you know that they’re there.
- No, that is not what overseeding means. Overseeding is the process of applying seed “over” the surface of an area; you are seeding over the lawn. This is in contrast to methods like plug seeding or hydroseeding. Overseeding definitely does not mean that you need to seed to excess or seed again yourself over the seeding that your lawn care provider applies. Too much seed results in overcrowded turf which chokes out and kills whole areas of newly developing grass and increases the risk of fungal disease next season.
- Don’t worry about the aeration cores left behind after a service. These are just plugs of soil, so as you water your new seed and we get a bit of rain, they will break back down and return to the yard like they were never there. Trying to remove them from the yard is virtually impossible, and all you end up doing is removing dirt that has fertilizer nutrients in it and will be useful to still be present. Save yourself the trouble and leave the cores to return to you soil!
- We often hear from clients that there are concerns about whether or not the whole yard was aerated as thoroughly as PPLM does with a double core aeration. Oftentimes, because we are doing overlapping passes with the aerator to achieve the double aeration, the wheels of the machine cross over an area that has already been aerated and cover the holes that were made. This does not change the efficacy of the service, but does make it appear like the whole yard wasn’t aerated. Additionally, there is always a chance that there are tight little corners in your yard that the machine simply won’t reach. This is okay; not every square inch of your yard has to be aerated for the service to serve its purpose. The most important thing is that most of the lawn is aerated thoroughly and then seeded well.
- Nope! Not every square inch of your yard has to be aerated for the service to serve its purpose. The most important thing is that most of the lawn is aerated thoroughly and then seeded well. In fact, you generally don’t have to aerate at all for seed to still grow with comparable success. We have seen seed germinate and develop in flowerbeds, on gravel driveways, and even on concrete sidewalks, and none of those places ever get aerated. Aeration is important for preventing soil compaction, but all seed needs to grow is water and sunlight.
- You can lay down some straw over your seed if you really want to, but this is not a service that PPLM offers and it is not something that we recommend most of the time. Straw usually carries some amount of weed seed, so your investment in a clean, weed free seeding service is undone when you put straw on top of it. Straw is really only useful if we are seeding over a steeply graded part of the yard that does not have any adult growth already existing to anchor the seed on its own. Please contact our office before putting straw down to discuss your plans with us and make sure it’s something we recommend for your specific situation.
- PPLM performs aeration and seeding services in the fall. We usually start this service just after Labor Day and continue through October or early November. The exact time frame changes each season though because each year brings different temperatures and weather. Rather than going by a calendar, PPLM goes by the air and soil temperatures that are going to be ideal seeding conditions for successful germination. While it’s not recommended, spring aeration and seeding is available as well for certain situations.
- Because you’ve chosen an established and professional company for your service by working with PPLM, we unfortunately do not have the flexibility to allow clients to pick their service date for aeration and seeding. That being said, we are always happy for you to let us know if there are dates that will not work for your aeration and seeding to be done based on other projects being done on the property or similar obstacles. Any conflicts that could impact your service success will be given every consideration possible when scheduling your service.
- For aeration and seeding, our office will personally call and email you a full week prior to the scheduled date of your service. We give you this much notice so that any questions you have can be answered and so that you have time to make sure your yard is ready for service. We will then give you a second call and email the day before the service to confirm that the date hasn’t changed and to make sure that everything is ready to go.
- While it’s great if you’re home for a service so that you can talk to our crew in case you have any questions or concerns for them, you do not have to be home for the service to be performed unless your presence is needed for the service to be completed properly (such as to keep outdoor pets inside or if your irrigation system needs to be flagged and we cannot access your controls from outside). If you aren’t home for a service, we will leave you a service brochure and watering instructions for your seed as well as a business card in case you need to contact us with any follow up questions.
- There are several things to do prior to your aeration and seeding service to make sure it is as effective as possible. First and foremost, be sure to flag your irrigation system and any other shallow, underground structures that will need to be avoided with the core aerator. Sprinkler heads, valve boxes, and electric dog fences are the most common obstacles that need to be marked. Additionally, it is a good idea to gradually mow your lawn lower prior to service. We recommend having the lawn around three inches tall at the time of aeration and seeding as opposed to the normal four or so inches. Finally, this is a good time to adjust your irrigation system timers to the recommended frequency for seeding germination.
- If you aren’t able to flag your own irrigation system, PPLM’s team can flag it for you as an additional service. Based on your number of zones, the cost for us to flag your irrigation can range from $50-$200. We try to give you as much notice as possible of when your service is scheduled so that you have time to flag the system, and we are happy to walk you through how to flag your system to help you be able to do so yourself. If we flag your irrigation system for you, we must be able to have access to your irrigation control box when we get to your house; if it is inside your garage or basement, please be sure you will be home or make arrangements for someone to be able to let our crew in.
- PPLM’s fertilization clients receive a starter fertilizer with the “Round Four” application that is performed just before aeration and seeding. This gives the treatment time to break down in the soil so it is ready to go as soon as your seed begins to germinate. For new PPLM clients who are starting their relationship with us with aeration and seeding, we do offer a starter fertilizer option that is done at the same time as the service. If interested, be sure to speak with your PPLM sales representative to discuss options and make sure you’re covered.
- Once your seed is put down, proper watering is key to its successful germination. The rule of thumb with watering seed is higher frequency at a lower duration. Instead of watering half an inch every other day like your normally would in the summer, water just long enough to moisten the seed and do so three times a day. The purpose is to keep your seed from drying out; dry seed doesn’t germinate well, but overwatered seed can flood off or rot. This watering routine should be maintained for at least a few weeks after the seed begins to germinate, which can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
- First, you should follow the regulations set on how often and how much you water. Unfortunately, there may be years in which aeration and seeding season falls during a period of drought. To maximize on the water you are able to put down, we suggest watering more frequently for a shorter period of time per event during the day to keep your seed as damp as possible when the sun is highest. We will always adjust our seeding aftercare instructions to reflect what is appropriate for the weather each season.
- When new grass seed is applied to your lawn, it is vital to give it enough time to germinate and develop before even walking on it, let alone mowing it. Baby grass is very fragile and can be easily torn and killed by the wheels and blades of a mower. We recommend waiting until the NEW grass in your lawn has reached a height of several inches before mowing it. This can happen as quickly as within a few weeks, or it may not happen at all before the lawn goes dormant for the winter. Each yard and season is different, but we provide you with aftercare instructions to make sure you’re covered with the knowledge you need for success.
- Immediately after seeding, we encourage you to stay off the grass to the best of your ability for as long as possible. The less traffic on the new seed and baby grass, the greater success it will have of developing well. Fall is not the time to cut through the yard to get the paper or run to the car! This is all, of course, within reason. While it would be great to have an undisturbed lawn after seeding, this isn’t always possible, especially in the backyard, and especially if there are dogs and kids to consider. This is usually a big reason that backyards are tougher for thick lawn development. If it’s a concern to you, we are always happy to brainstorm ideas with you on how to minimize damage to the lawn as much as possible.
- Before aeration and seeding, it’s very important to properly prep your yard for the service. Aeration is the only service of the year that involves breaking the surface of your lawn’s soil, which means that underground structures come into play as a risk for accidental damage. Before your service is scheduled, we give you instructions on how to properly flag any underground structures like irrigation heads or underground dog fences so that our team can avoid them with the equipment. It’s also important to make sure that your yard is properly watered leading up to the service and that the lawn is mowed at a lower height, usually around three inches tall.
- For most situations we see in which clients request more seed because it’s not all germinating, it’s actually a need for patience, not more seed. Seed germination and grass development take time, and it’s actually not until spring that you really get a good idea of whether or not a seeding was successful. That being said, there are situations where seed can be disturbed and need to be applied again in some areas. If you would like extra seed, we can gladly provide you with a small bag of our same high quality seed at an additional cost.
- PPLM does everything in our power to give you the notice and resources you need to make a decision about when your aeration and seeding service is performed, but just like you, we cannot predict the weather and do not reapply seed. If you are concerned about weather risks when we let you know the service is scheduled, we will gladly discuss the situation with you and reschedule if you decide that is best. Luckily, we have found that 95% of the time, normal rainfall does not flood seed that is applied to an existing lawn. The only areas to be concerned with are ones that are already bare or on a steep slope, but we try to weigh that with you before your service.
- It is heartbreaking for us to see a successful seeding crash and burn like this, but it does happen sometimes if the seed is not cared for properly. If this happens to you, we always send out a representative to identify the cause and discuss solutions and outlook with you in person. For the most part, the widespread death of baby grass like this come back to one factor: improper watering. Little to no watering often results in heat stress which is a death sentence to fragile baby grass. Too much water can drown your baby grass or lead to rot or fungus, all of which can be devastating as well. Seeding is a large investment for your lawn, and it’s important to care for that investment properly.
- Not everyone needs it, and it’s expensive.
- When your lawn is rounded up and later seeded to start fresh.
- Roughly May-August
- Juvenile beetles that eat the roots of your grass
- Brown, black, or red.
- Usually spring, sometimes fall.
- Double shredded dyed hardwood mulch.
- About two inches thick.
- Double Shredded Hardwood
- For services like fertilizer, aeration/seeding, and mosquito treatments, our office calls you a day or so ahead of time to let you know when we’re coming. For standard maintenance services like mowing, leaf clean up, pruning, or mulch, we usually don’t give notice, but try to schedule services consistently and predictably when the weather allows. Our best recommendation for locked gates is for you to use a combination lock that our crew has the number for. This way, you don’t have to worry about whether or not we’ll be able to get through the gate, and our team will make sure to lock it back once they leave.
- Could be disease, heat stress, dormancy, or it was a weed.
- We do not recommend it.

Program Related:

- Set combinations of service billed monthly.
- Fertilizer, aeration, seeding stand alone, everything else a program.
- Monthly rate, set services, better coverage.

Billing, Scheduling, & Sales:

- 10% off fertilizer program only before January by check.
- All credit/debit cards; check if prepay or in advance.
- Email unless otherwise requested.
- Yes, our system is PCI compliant.
- It’s pushed back to the next serviceable business day.
- Fertilizer or aeration/seeding, yes.
- Your request or overdue invoice.
- It depends on which services you are receiving. We try to route our crews to be the most efficient as possible.
- Not at all! PPLM is glad to provide free estimates for any of our services in which you might be interested. Our estimates are also provided in person by an appointed representative to make sure that all of your questions are answered.
- All PPLM estimates are provided by a trained member of our sales team who will continue to assist you and check in with you once you become a PPLM client. Our sales people are also our account representatives, so you know that they will provide you with the best service from start to finish.
- We will come to your property and measure with a measuring wheel and/or by satellite.
- There is always someone from PPLM available in our office during business hours which are Monday-Friday 8-5 except during the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The best way to reach someone and get directed to the best PPLM team member to assist you is by calling our office at (804) 530-2540 or emailing info@pictureperfectlawn.net. You can also send us a form message through our website if you’re interested in an estimate or through your client portal if you’re already a PPLM client.
- We are all over social media and we love our followers! Please like and subscribe to us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. On any social media page, just search “Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance.” We’re the page that uses excessive pink and talks way too much about grass!
- We do! We are active every day on social media between our YouTube channel and our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. We use these sites to share great information on current events in local lawns. We also email our clients monthly newsletters and important alerts about risks we’re seeing in the field.
- We would hate for you to miss out on the valuable information we send out with our newsletters, but you do have the option to unsubscribe from generic emails that go out to all of our clients. However, you will still receive invoices and personal points of communication from our office through email, so it is important to make sure we’re not being sent to spam.

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Get Your Free Lawn Care Estimate: Call (804) 530-2540 or Click FREE ESTIMATE
Get Your Free Lawn Care Estimate:
Call (804) 530-2540 or
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