Mother Nature has been playing tricks on Northeast Nebraska this spring, but she may not be the only one confused.
After all, just when should people cut their lawn for the first time? And what about fertilizing - how many times should you fertilize? And then there’s watering . . . that’s another topic full of uncertainty.
Those are all questions Matt and Jeff Schindler of SchinDigs Landcare in Neligh are often asked. But every good question can’t be answered without a question from them.
“What kind of lawn do you want? An average lawn or do you want to keep up with the Jones?” Matt Schindler asked.
Schindler, who has a degree in horticulture/golf course management and is a certified commercial pesticide applicator and integrated pesticide management for fertilizer and weed control, is a walking encyclopedia on lawn care.
“An average lawn should be fertilized three times - in the spring, summer and fall,” Schindler said as he detailed what each timeframe needs for fertilizer. “An exception lawn can need fertilized up to five times a year.”
Every answer from Schindler leads to another question. At least, it does if the other side of the conversation doesn’t have a similarly green thumb.
How do you know when to fertilize, considering the weather constantly changes? What should the ground temperature be? When do you water afterward? How much fertilizer should you put on? When you mow, is there a height that’s best? Is it OK to change heights depending on the moisture?
“Those are all good questions, which is why so many people call us to have us take care of everything,” Schindler said, explaining there is a science to landcare. “Those who do it themselves and have exceptional lawns have some sort of education or background in lawn care. Agronomy is very similar, so those with an agronomy education are very knowledgable.”
Schindler said the best defense against weeds, bugs, diseases, drought, overwatering, etc. is a healthy stance of turf. Both Schindlers are advocates for plugging lawns because it catches water, levels the lawn and improves the turf.
But most of all, they look at the lawns as if they were their own. That’s why, they said, it’s important the only evidence they’ve been there a well mainicured lawn. Customers won’t find clippings, branches or anything out of place.
“We treat our customers’ lawns like they’re our own,” Jeff Schindler said. “We don’t try to treat them well. We do treat them well.”
This marks SchinDigs fifth season in the land care business and the fourth since Jeff Schindler joined his brother with the company. Matt oversees both companies as well as all fertilizer and chemical applications while Jeff manages the landcare side and oversees seven seasonal employees.
The SchinDigs Garden Center on Main Street is in its second season and has seven seasonal employees. Besides a variety of eye-catching upcycling products, the Garden Center has annuals, perennials, house plants, seeds, vegetable plants, supplies, sprays, soils and fertilizer. Custom potting is also available.
“We’re putting all of the pieces together with the landcare and garden center,” Matt Schindler said. “We’ve grown a lot and, hopefully, will continue to grow.”