We hope all of you made it through the rains and floods unscathed.  We were lucky, but we know our neighbors in Elmhurst, Oak Brook and Des Plaines are still reeling from the record-breaking rainfall.Backyard Flood 4-18-13  Lord knows we needed the rain as we were still languishing in a moderate drought, although I’m pretty sure we didn’t need it all at once.

The rains and moderate temps have given way to mowing season.  Never mind that pesky blanket of snow we all woke up to Saturday morning.  That was truly an unbelievable and unsettling site, although it too eked into the earth, bringing greener grasses, budding trees, blooming Daffodils and glowing Forsythia.  Welcome, Spring.  Welcome.

As you begin to see Sweeney’s crews back in action, we wanted to share some new technologies we will be trying out this year, and how it might affect you and your landscape.

Soil Sampler

By sampling the soil, we can learn exactly what your grass and plants need.  Soil testing is essential in determining the levels of nutrients, pH and other factors that affect your soil’s ability to support plants.  A good soil sample will help Sweeney’s and you ascertain what actions need to be taken.

Soil Moisture & Light Meter

This awesome little gadget allows us to instantly check moisture and light levels in your soil and landscape.  For moisture testing, the probe is pushed down near the roots.  For light testing (i.e. how much light it falling onto a plant), the meter is held amongst the leaves of the plant.

Plant Stress Detection Glasses

No, I am not making this up, and it’s rather exciting!  The specially designed NASA glasses will help us identify plant stress or disease 2 to 10 days before it’s visible to the naked eye!  It will also allow Sweeney’s to take preventative measures against drought, disease and poor nutrition.  Wonder how it works?  The glasses block out the green colors reflected from chlorophyll found in healthy vegetation, making them look black or gray.  Any off-colors caused by drought, disease or poor nutrition stand out as glowing red, coral or a pinkish color against the dark background.  The glasses allow problems to be seen from far way and allows more time to react and treat the problems.  Truly a proactive approach! 

We are constantly looking for ways to improve and innovate.  Be on the look out for these cutting-edge technologies throughout the season.  Of course, technology will never replace the passion and rapport we have with our customers, but we do hope, along with open lines of communication, newsletters, alerts and this very blog, that we can work together on creating your ideal landscape with a maintenance plan specified for your needs. 

“Every great advance in Science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.”

-John Dewey

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney