Stop Raking, Start Mulching. Here’s Why: 

Every autumn, we break out the rakes, garbage bags and tarps. But did you know that raking leaves can actually hurt your lawn and the ecosystem?  

It’s true. Plants, including grass, require nutrients from the soil to grow. As leaves decompose, they release nutrients back into the soil. By removing the leaves every fall, you are denying your soil those necessary ingredients. Additionally, small critters such as butterflies and beetles use fall foliage as winter nesting grounds. If you let the leaves rest as they land, however, they can create a thick barrier that smothers your grass. So, what to do? Save yourself the trouble of raking and mulch instead! Your lawn (and your lower back) will thank you. 

  Mulching is simply a process of shredding the leaves into smaller pieces, so the break-down process happens even faster. It is a simple and straightforward way that you can create a healthier and more ecofriendly green space while still preparing your lawn for winter and spring.  

The most common approach to mulching is with a lawn mower. There are many varieties of mulching blades and mowers available, but any type of mower and blade can chop the leaves up for you. For thick layers of leaves, you may want to make multiple passes or try spreading the leaves out into a thinner, more even layer.  

Begin by setting the blade to its highest setting. Next, remove the bag from the mower. Now you are ready to begin mulching! Simply pass the mower over the lawn as if you were cutting the grass. You want the leaves shredded to roughly the size of a dime, which may require a second pass. If you have accumulated more than 6 inches of leaves it will be more difficult to mulch with this method. To avoid that, consider mulching a few times throughout the autumn season. 

After mulching, the leaf fragments should be small enough to settle down into the soil. You will now be able to see mostly grass – it may even look as if you have raked! If your leaves are concentrated in one area, you can always re-attach your mower bag, fill it with mulched leaves and then spread that over garden beds or add it to your compost. 

We hope you try this new method of fall clean-up. It is sure to enhance your soil and ecosystem while saving you time and effort! 

‘Tis the season to winterize sprinklers!

Irrigation Blow Outs

Why it’s important:

When water freezes, it expands. Expanding water can put undue pressure on your irrigation system which can lead to cracking or damaged pipes and sprinkler heads. Damaged or leaking underground pipes are expensive to repair as they require excavating, replacement and then ground cover restoration. Broken sprinkler heads may cause water to pool around your home, driveway, or sidewalks which can cause further damage or safety hazards.  

 Avoid those unnecessary issues by winterizing before the first hard freeze! It is recommended that you have a trusted professional blow-out the sprinklers before the temperatures fall to or below 28 degrees Fahrenheit.  

How it works:  

The irrigation system is hooked up to an air compressor which blows all the water out of the lines. There are safety risks involved and this process must be carefully conducted so that there is no damage to the sprinkler system.  Most lawn care companies offer this service. Call to get your fall blow-out scheduled today!

Asphalt Vocabulary


A mixture of aggregates (crushed rock, sand, or gravel), binder and filler, used to build and maintain roads and parking areas.  This is made with petroleum so pricing is driven by fuel costs.

Asphalt Overlay:  

A patch placed on top of existing asphalt where some cracking or potholing has occurred. Usually used when the asphalt is only wearing out in patches. 

Chip Seal

Spraying hot tar down on existing asphalt then applying chipped rock on top. This layer is then rolled with a rubber tire roller to pack it into the tar. This adds a layer of rock over the asphalt, giving it extended life. Used for roads and high traffic areas.


A mixture of stone or gravel, sand, cement, and water, that can be spread or poured into molds. Concrete is not made of the same materials or cared for in the same manner as asphalt.  


A protective coating applied to asphalt-based pavements which provides protection from water, oil, and sun damage. Sealcoating is a preventative measure to protect your asphalt from deteriorating and is recommended every 2-3 years.  Also referred to as blacktop sealant.

Slurry Seal:  

A thin coating which fills in cracks and surface imperfections to create a uniform color and texture and prevents water damage which causes pavement degradation. Slurry seal contains larger aggregates than sealcoat, so it is usually a slightly thicker coating. Typically used for residential streets with low to moderate distress and narrow crack widths. This is not typically used in Missoula.


Traffic paint applied to a parking lot to define traffic flow, parking spaces and more. 


Covering a surface with asphalt or concrete to form a firm, level surface. 

Infrared Asphalt Repair:  

A technique to repair asphalt using an infrared heater to warm the damaged asphalt to a malleable state. Then, new asphalt is added and the two combine seamlessly to form a new layer of asphalt fitted perfectly to the surrounding road covering.  This eliminates having a seam where water is allowed to penetrate and ultimately cause the asphalt to fail.