From aquatic environments and athletic fields to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape. Our exacting standards do not have room for a 'one size fits all' approach to your turf and tree healthcare. If your lawn is less green than it could be or your shrubs have been infected with bagworm, we will address those specific issues with you and examine the rest of your property for any potential problems.
When it comes to Aquatic management, larger ornamental ponds, and farm ponds, phragmites eradication is our specialty! Vegetation management, algae control and shading along with obtaining proper permits through the Maryland Dept. of Environment are services SPS can provide when contracted to manage your water ways. Anytime a chemical treatment is to or in any body of water a permit must be obtained through "Maryland Dept. of Environment".
An affective Algae Control Program should be teamed up with a vegetation control program. In the past we have worked with "Barley Straw" as a natural control for algae and found it ineffective. Our primary control product for algae prevention is coppercarbonate or trade name "Cutrine". Monthly treatments of Cutrine combined with shades will keep ponds clean of algae bloom. One word of caution, coppercarbonate is toxic to catfish and koi .
Resident Candian Geese Control
Algae, duckweed, watermeal, Phragmites, cattails and our newest aquatic challenge; resident Canadian geese. Scientific is licensed to control all of the above and many more aquatic nightmares. The focus this time is the Federally protected Canada Goose. I am not referring to the geese that migrate thousands of miles each year in the instinctive "V" pattern and briefly stop by water features for food and rest. No, we all love when those birds are heading North because we know Summer is coming. It is the Resident Geese, we are challenged with controlling. This new generation of geese have become lazy and are perfectly content staying in one location all year. Swimming on our ponds, attacking humans during spring nesting, honking, eating our well manicured lawns and then leaving the mess. It is the mess that will max out your tolerance to these rude birds. Geese are herbivores, and they love closely mowed green grass on flat surfaces (remember, resident geese are lazy so they do not like hills). The average 12 lb. goose eats 4 lbs of grass per day and excretes 3 lbs. of waste. That is one hungry little bird. Now, the problem is these birds live in flocks and many times these flocks number in the 100's. Did you just get a quick image of the mess I referred to earlier? Now, what can we do? One solution is to make the grass unpalatable for our evolved resident geese. Timed applications of USDA Organic repellents have proven successful in controlling the resident goose population. The flock will feed (and excrete waste) in areas that are not treated (hopefully move out all together if the aquatic site is small). These repellents provide a humane solution to a rapidly growing problem. SPS is successfully applying goose repellent on institutional and residential lawns and welcomes the opportunity to help clean up yours.
This tall (10' 12') wispy grass is a non-native species that grows on the banks of water ways and in damp areas. To some the sight of this wispy grass and its large plumed seed head blowing in the breeze, is esthetically pleasing, however, if it's growing on your property, you know what a nightmare it can be. Its' extensive rhizomatous root system makes this invasive species very aggressive and difficult to kill. To be effective, herbicide applications must be made in the fall after up-ward growth has stopped and the seed head is set, allowing the herbicide to move downward into the complex root system. For maximum affect treatments should be made between mid-August and late-October before frost.
Shades & Dyes
When sunlight penetrates a pond surface it encourages plant growth. Plant growth is what harbors algae. The use of shading agents and dyes increases reflection and the ability of sunlight to penetrate the ponds' surface. The dye SPS uses darkens the water and gives an enhanced natural presentation, unlike some products that look artificial right from your local put-put course!
Undesirable vegetation is a ponds primary source of algae problems. This vegetation may be sub-merged growth (below the surface), emergent (growing from the bottom & visible on the surface) or surface (floating). Different control strategies are required for each instance. Quite often floating plants such as duckweed and watermeal are misdiagnosed as algae problems. In all cases, proper identification of your vegetation is crucial for a successful control program.
Athletic Fields - Natural Turf
Natural turf athletic fields require specialized attention to keep them safe and playable. A standard "lawncare" approach to maintaining natural athletic surfaces is a recipe for disaster. SPS's approach to athletic maintenance is to develop a strategy for keeping your natural grass surface thick and uniform so it plays well and the soil profile loose and well drained reducing risk of personal injuries and rainouts. When SPS manages your facility, we take it personally. We will monitor watering schedules and mowing and advise if adjustments are needed. Additionally, we will visit your facility at least once a week during the growing season just to make sure all is well! P.S. Our personnel are as familiar with warm season Bermuda Grass as they are with cool season grasses!
Aeration / Top Dressing
Aeration is the most important process in keeping a natural turf field responsive and playable. Thatch management, good drainage and deep rooted grass plants are all results of a comprehensive aeration program. Deep-tine aeration is the first step to having a well drained field. Our VERTIDRAIN deep tine aerator has the ability to penetrate the soil up to 16" deep. Its patented kicking action shatters the soil down deep to help reduce compaction and improve drainage. Surface aeration is managed using a JOHN DEERE AEROCORE to aggressively open the soil and reduce thatch by removing 34" cylinders of soil up to 4" deep. The resultant core debris is broken up via dragging and working the topsoil back into the surface. We highly recommend taking advantage of the open surface from aeration to top-dress with sand and dragging the surface thoroughly to work to sand into the soil profile. It is important to use only clean washed sand that meets USGA standards. This sand is uniformly applied with a TYCROP top-dresser. Sps Is a "Certified Redexim Charterhouse Contractor" for Verti-drain Aeration.
Custom Spraying and Fertilization
Disease management, weed, grass insect control and nutrient management are all processes that should be left to a professional. The accuracy of our computerized application equipment will give you peace of mind knowing that pesticides will be applied to your facility precisely at label recommendations for maximum effect. We can custom design an annual program, work "on call" or apply your pesticides for you. Additional custom applications include plant growth regulators (PGR) specialized nutrients and drainage/soil enhancers. Turf nutrition starts with soil testing, making it possible for us to formulate an effective nutrient program. The basic nitrogen source for all of our programs is POLYON fertilizer. The unique action of Polyon makes it possible for us to apply a full years' worth of Nitrogen with a single application. That means fewer applications, uniform color throughout the season with no flushes of growth and fewer chances of application setbacks. Deficiencies in Phosphorus, Potassium and pH levels are addressed on an as needed basis. When you call, we respond. In most cases we will be on your property in 24 hours or less to meet your needs.
Grading / Sodding / Goal Repair
All natural turf facilities sustain normal use injury every season. Fields should be kept safe and playable by rehabbing face-off and goal mouths after each season. This is a simple process of stripping the existing surface, verifying grade to avoid puddeling and re-installing new sod. Eventually, no matter how much maintenance is performed, your playing surface will need to be replaced. Like an inner tube in a tire, after too many patches it becomes ineffective! SPS has all of the tools needed to give your field a face-lift. Our Rotadairon Soil Conditioner is the must have tool for tilling under an existing field and preparing it for fine grading and big roll sod installation. We only use "big roll" sod on our sod installations no matter if they are 500 sq. ft. or 50,000 sq. ft. Big roll sod is delivered to us in rolls that are 42" wide and 120' long (420 sq. ft.) versus palletized sod which is typically cut in strips containing 9 sq. ft. Fewer seams help the sod to grow in much faster and provides a smooth, uniform playing surface. Whether it's repairing a goal or replacing an entire field, SPS has the expertise and equipment to provide tilling, fine grading, soil amendments and sod installation on your facility!
There's more to athletic fields then just grass! Proper infield maintenance on baseball/softball diamonds is paramount! Ball reaction, drainage and good footing are considerations when formulating an infield maintenance schedule. We fine grade our infields to assure proper movement of water from the playing surface. We then apply only the finest clay based mix using a top-dresser to assure a uniform layer which reduces the risk of "bird baths" in the play area. Regular rolling and careful dragging is a must throughout the season. The two major wear areas on a diamond are the batter's box and pitcher's mound. We build the entire mound from our special infield clay mix to wear, then inlay clay bricks to specification in the kick and landing area. These clay bricks are inlayed into the batter's / catcher's boxes to insure good footing and eliminate the wear of "digging in". A properly built and maintained infield, using quality products, will reduce rainouts and provide a safe uniform surface for many years.
Natural Turf Services
Listed below is all of the services that we can provide for "Natural Grass" Athletic Fields: Preventive spray programs for disease; Undesirable grass & weed control; Rotodairon tilling; Top-dressing/soil amendments; Polyon fertilization programs; Soil testing; Over (slice) seeding; Big roll sodding & goal repair; Infield dressing & maintenance; Pitching mound & home base building; Verti-drain deep tine aeration; Aerocore aeration; Standard core aeration; Rolling; Fine grading; Insect control.
Maintentance Steps for Synthetic Fields
We recommend 3 steps to maintain your synthetic fields and can provide other services if needed.
Playing surfaces should be brushed using a factory approve drag type brush every 1-4 weeks. This interval is dictated by the type and frequency of use. Example: a grade school using it for phys-ed and recess (light weight feet) requires a brush grooming once a month. A college field used for men's football along with several other sports and practice needs weekly attention. Brushing in precise patterns should be avoided and special attention to infill levels should be given to the center of the field and around goals and face-off areas. When infill depths diminish, excessive wear will occur, shortening the life of carpet fibers.
Just like natural turf, your infill field can become compacted affecting drainage and playability. Infill fields start showing symptoms of compaction after 3-4 years without proper maintenance. Our specially designed "spring tooth harrow" will loosen, agitate and level the crumb rubber infill. The depth of penetration into the infill layer is closely monitored not to compromise the base layer of sand. We recommend this process be performed once per calendar year.
Our final maintenance procedure is a topical sweeping and debris removal. Our "Verti-Top" synthetic turf cleaning machine has spring tines that reach into the rubber infill and work foreign matter to the surface which is then sweep into the machine via a rotary broom. Once the debris is brought into the Verti-top it is then separated from the crumb rubber which is returned to the field. Finally, a high powered magnet passes over the surface to extract any foreign metal objects that may remain in the field. A trailing brush then sweeps over the surface to leave a clean, smooth, loose surface. When a topical cleaning (sweeping) is needed for debris such as leaves, pine needles, seeds or grass clippings an abbreviated version of this cleaning can be done at a lower cost! The entire Verti-Top is outfitted with a vacuum system to keep dust and contaminates from returning to the field. We recommend this cleaning be done at least quarterly or on an as needed basis.
This program can save you thousands of dollars in landscape plantings. There's no escaping them! If you live anywhere near open space or reservoirs, you can bet there is a population of white tail deer near you. During winter months when their food source is limited they'll seek out lush landscapes and devour them. In the spring it seems as though they know exactly when you put those fresh new annuals in the ground and in the fall they strip the bark off young trees during rut season. All of this loss and damage can be prevented when you sign up for our "Deer Repellent Program"! With monthly applications of our organic based solutions that are targeted for the prime pickings that deer go after.
We make applications twelve (12) months out of the year. When you sign up for six (6) or more consecutive monthly treatments we will make additional treatments throughout the month "FREE" if feeding damage occurs. (Feeding damage can occur on new plants added since last application, new growth/blossoms since last application or from being sprayed repeatedly with your sprinkler system) Programs with fewer than six (6) treatments do not carry any warranty. Throughout the year we rotate the use of 3-4 different products to avoid deer resistance. Our program will help keep deer from feeding on your plants, however, it won't keep deer off of your property. Beware! As deer travel they transport the deadly "DEER TICK" which spreads LYME DISEASE. We can fog your property and wood lines where deer travel during the prime tick breeding seasons of spring and fall to keep your family and pets safe from the deer ticks' LYME DISEASE.
Lawn care is easy with our weed and feed program. We can make it grow, but you get to mow!
Crucial Cultural Tools
The key to a healthly thick lawn with reduced pesticide applications is to implement good cultural practices. This includes: Maintaining a mow height of 2 12" -3" removing no more then 50% of new growth; Sharpen mower blade once a month; Maintain moisture levels equivalent to 1" of rainfall per week; Core aerate at least 1-2 times per season; Broadcast or slice seed annually to replace lost grass plants and fill thin areas. SPS provides you guidance with mowing and watering and makes recommendations for aeration and seeding services. We are equipped to handle any size project from 2,000 sq. ft. to 200 acres. Our core areators range from 18" wide to 84" wide. We even have equipment that can get into a dry hard lawn! Same goes for seeding, we have slit seeders from 24" to 60" wide.
Grubs and Insects
Our professional licensed diagnosticians inspect and evaluate your turf to determine the need for insecticides for grubs or other insects. Accurate identification of these problems is crucial. If you are seeing brown spots in your lawn in fall it is very possible you have a grub problem. You can count on our degreed "Agri- Licensed" representatives to make the proper choice for your property. These pesticides are not applied wholesale unless there is evidence of, or a known need for their use avoiding needless applications to your landscape environment. When you contract for preventive grub control, it comes with a season-long guarantee! If active grubs are found in your turf, we'll kill them FREE! UP-DATE: We are now offering as an option, Dupont's "ACELEPREN" for season long grub control. Acelepren is new chemistry that has no environmental impact. It is so safe that the EPA doesn't require a signal word such as Caution!
Nutrient Management & Soil Testing
Our entire service area lies within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed keeping us aware of aware of nutrient management. Our basic program contains basic needs. Soil tests are performed on all turf properties (required by MD state law) to determine any additional needs. Soil samples are extracted from your lawn, sealed in special containers and sent out to an independent lab for a professional analysis. When test results show the need for adjustments in Phosphorus, Potassium or pH, we then make recommendations to resolve those deficiencies. The POLYON fertilizer in our programs is so efficient and effective that we actually apply 30% less nitrogen then conventional programs with results that rival anyone in the market. We have special software that allows us to custom design fertilizer blends that best suit our current climatic conditions. Nitrogen release is calibrated on a weekly basis in the amounts and times that grass plants will be efficiently utilized, therefore, there is little to no loss or run-off potential of nitrogen.
Our Promise and Guarantee
When you sign up for our "Weed and Feed / Basic 3" lawn program SPS guarantees to control crabgrass and broadleaf weeds in your lawn for the entire season. Preventive grub treatments carry a season long control guarantee as well. (If you fail to approve recommended renovation and seeding work and your lawn has constant weed and crabgrass problems due to a poor stand of grass, we can not honor our guarantee after twelve months of service.)
Turf Disease Control
Given the right set of circumstances turf disease could pop up on your lawn. Our plant health care representatives are trained to properly indentify common turf disease. They can make recommendations for correcting problems as well analize situations that may require preventative measures. The phase "an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure", holds true for turf diseases. To effectively manage turf disease in your lawn it must be done preventatively. Fungicide treatments are optional, but available!
Basic 1-2-3 Weed & Feed
That's right , it's as easy as 1,2,3, to have a healthy, good looking lawn. As the first company to apply POLYON fertilizer in the area, it's unique characteristics make it possible to provide sufficient nutrition to your lawn for the entire year with just 2 granular treatments.
Your early spring POLYON fertilization will slowly release nitrogen when grass plants can best utilize it into late summer.
A herbicide is incorporated into this fertilzer that will prevent the germination of Crabgrass and Goosegrass. We avoid appying crabgrass preventer on shady lawns.
In late spring, when broadleaf weed activity peaks, we return to apply herbicide controls.
Weeds are a recurrent problem, so we utilize IPM and only treat where the weeds are active, however, should broadleaf weeds reoccur, notify our office for free weeds treatments throughout the summer. We won't blanket your lawn with needless herbicides.
Then the stress of summer nears it's end once again
we scout your lawn for weeds and apply POLYON fertilizer that will feed your lawn all fall, plus, give it a jump start next spring, assuring you will have the greenest lawn on the block!
Our Promise and Guarantee
When you sign up for our "Weed and Feed / Basic 3" lawn program SPS guarantees to control crabgrass and broadleaf weeds in your lawn for the entire season. All you need do is pick up the phone and call our office when you see unwanted broadleaf weeds, or suspect crabgrass in your lawn! Preventive grub treatments carry a season long control guarantee as well! f you fail to approve recommended renovation and seeding work and your lawn has constant weed and crabgrass problems due to a poor stand of grass, we can not honor our guarantee after your second season of service.
Listed below are other services provided by SPS.
Previously reducing mole populations had limited success. We now use a product the eleminates them and is safe! The product, Talpirid, is presented on a bait that mimics the looks, feel and shape of an earth worm, the favorite food of moles. Accurate placement in ther tunnel network and followup treatments have resulted in elimination of active moles. Unfortunately, in time they can re-infest if conditions are favorable. A key step in controlling those conditions is to make sure you don't have a heavy population of grubs in your lawn and beds. Moles love grubs too. Although can't say we will permanently rid your property of moles, but , we can keep them from tunneling all over your lawn and doing extensive damage. When they come back we need to come back.
Shrub & Tree Care
Landscape plantings, trees and shrubs, add significant value to your home. Our geographic area hosts numerous insect pests and diseases that can be fatal to plants when not monitored and controlled. SPS's ornamental plant protection program addresses nutrition, insect control and winter protection.
Preventive Disease Treatments
Leaf and stem disease are only treatable with preventative applications of fungicides. Proper diagnosis of a disease problem is crucial. When treatable* disease problems are identified, we schedule a series of applications that are applicable to your particular problem. One treatment is not enough! Depending on the control product to be used and disease problem, we recommend repetitive treatments from 2 6 times per season. While most disease we see in our landscape have suggested treatments by various fungicide manufactuers, we find that they are not always as successful as we would like when used in a "real life" situation. In many cases, we recommend trying the preventive routines for several years and if satisfactory results aren't achived, to discontinue the applications.
Shade Tree / High Pressure Applications
When foliar applications are required, SPS has the equipment to get the job done, no matter the size of the tree. Whether it's scale insects, aphids, caterpillars, mites or fungi on your oak, hemlock, elm, maple, ash, hickory, etc., we can diagnose the problem and perform recommended sprays on trees up to a height of 100'.
SPS's awareness of our environmental impact plays a major role in the structuring of its' services. We constantly search out new products and procedures that will lessen our impact on the environment. Many of our shade tree sprays/foliar applications are being replaced with truck injections or drenches and/or soil drenches that will move insecticides directly into the plant material we are treating, with controls that will last the entire season. When these drenches and injections are integrated into our preventive programs, the amount of pesticide we spray topically in future applications is greatly reduced.
Deep Root Tree Fertilization
Whether your trees are defoliated, looking weak, or are actually looking pretty good, you should consider Deep Root Fertilization.
Even if you feel things are looking okay, preventive maintenance via fertilization is important.
A healthy tree can fight off disease and insects attacks. A healthy tree has better odds of survival during severe wet and drought periods. A healthy tree is a happy tree! We know that it is important to fertilize weak or sick trees, but, what about your healthy trees? Keep your healthy trees healthy! The ideal time for Deep Root Fertilization of your trees is in the fall.
The fertilizer formulation we use is a custom blend.
The main fertilizer is blended to our specifications, specifically for Scientific Plant Service, Inc. We then add to that, additional essential nutrients, trace minerals, stabilizers and root enhancement products. Our custom designed injection probes are equipped with digital meters to assure the proper amount of solution is applied to your tree.
Our special blend contains
12-24-24 fertilizer containing slow release Nitrogen from Nutralene & Humates; Chelated iron with Manganese and Nitrogen; Flowable Sulfur to neutralize soil conditions and help move nutrients; Natural Mychorrhizae to enhance root growth development and function.
Because of the longevity of our custom blend, we recommend this feeding be done every other year.
Other companies using lesser products want you to treat every year and sometimes twice a year. Our special fertilizer will keep your trees healthy and save you money when scheduled bi-annually!
Landscape plantings, trees and shrubs, add significant value to your home. Our geographic area hosts numerous insect pests and diseases that can be fatal to plants when not monitored and controlled. Listed below are the treatments we will perform for your ornamental landscape plantings. SPS's comprehensive ornamental plant protection program addresses nutrition, insect control and winter protection.
Shrub Bed Fertilization
In the Spring we topically apply a complete, slow release granular fertilizer to to all bedded plants and ground covers. Iron is applied to plants showing chlorotic conditions and lime is applied where a more neutral soil is desired. Clients who whish to suppress weed growth in their beds can have us apply pre-emergence herbicides at this time.
Often thought as the cure-all for insect problems, we apply a Dormant Oil based spray to do just that. We throughly cover all plants susceptible to scale and insect attack to mother over-wintering insects and egg masses to prevent and reduce insect populations during the growing season.
Preventive Insecticide Drench
Our technicians inspect your plants and apply special insectides to the trunks and base of plants that will control certain insects for the entire season. This treatment is an integral part of a "plant protection" program that facilitates fewer foliar sprays into your landscape environment.
Ipm Inspections / Sprays
Two Intergrated Pest Management inspections are scheduled during the Spring/Summer period to coincide with known insect activity. During these trips our trained technicians will inspect your plants that are susceptible to insect attack and treat only those that require treatment. This practice helps us keep your preventive program environmentally sound by elliminating needless foliar applications.
Cold winter winds suck moisture from broadleaf evergreens such as azalea, holly, boxwood, rhododendron, etc. We apply a synthetic polymer to coat the leaves of susceptible plants, enhancing their naturally existing polymer, to reduce water loss and winter burn. When approved by your nurseryman, these polymers can help protect new plantings and reduce their demand for water.
Yes, It's that four letter word, S-N-O-W!
Commercial Snow Management
Like our lawn and tree care services, we take Snow Management Services Seriously. When you contract SPS to manage your property* for winter weather events our jobs starts in November. Every piece of equipment is gone over from head to toe to assure SPS is ready to manage your property without any short comings. We monitor and treat with ice melt products when slippery conditions arise as well as push away those 24" snow falls around the clock so your business can open on time. We are ready and equipped to handle ANY amount of snow. Our fleet includes thirteen truck mounted plows, four John Deere tractor front-end loaders, snow blowers from 7' 66 hp tractor mount to 52" utility tractor mounted to walk-behind side walk blowers. Sorry, we only contract commercial properties!
disclaimer:pricing and availability subject to change.
We maintain the health of your lawn, trees, shrubs & aquatics, with state-of-the-art techniques and products. Recommendations are made relevant for your landscape plantings and their current needs. Also care and installation of athletic fields.