Our Expert's Blog

Looking for yard and garden tips, landscape designs, home improvement how-to's, and other information on maintaining your home inside and out? Check out the ProGrass Home and Landscape Experts' Blogs. Our team of ProGrass home and landscape experts offer accurate, timely information and give you an opportunity to join in the discussion!

Steve Varga

Steve is the Chief Horticulturist for the landscape improvement division of ProGrass. He has been helping gardeners with all aspects of landscape care and development since 1984.


 

Latest Posts

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Posted: Feb 3, 2016

Custom-built cabinets from our own company cabinet shop, are made locally from solid woods like cherry, oak, alder, and maple. Our cabinets will have finished wood interiors as well, rather than the more commonly used white melamine particle board.

The advantage of having our own cabinet shop is that we can custom create any style with any wood or finish you desire. This allows us to customize every aspect of your...

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Posted: Feb 2, 2016

My wife and I have lived in our home for 20 years and have raised 2 boys. While we always were careful to prevent damage to my kitchen, life just happens. I have calculated that over a 20 year span, we have cooked 6000 dinners, 7000 breakfasts and ran the dishwasher over 9000 times. All this in addition to being the central point for a family of 4 for 20 years of living. This winter, my wife and I gave ourselves the gift of a new kitchen. We love our home and have no immediate plans to move but also want to keep the house up to date.

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Posted: Jan 8, 2016

Kitchen Remodel - Countertops

Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom is a complicated project and choosing the right counter tops is an important part of the planning process. Both natural and engineered materials are durable and easy to maintain. They can also be cut into various shapes and sizes and come in beautiful colors and patterns that will add a stunning component to your new kitchen or bathroom.

...

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Posted: Jan 8, 2016

For close to 40 years ProGrass has been helping home and property owners improve their outdoor surroundings, but did you know we can help improve your indoors as well? We take a simple approach to home remodeling by listening to your needs and working within your budget. And while some remodelers utilize templates or package ideas, we will look for a custom solution that will improve your home’s storage, workspace, lighting, traffic patterns and efficiency.  

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Posted: Dec 10, 2015
Tree and Shrub Treatment

Other than your lawn, trees and shrubs have the highest visibility around your home and they deserve more attention, especially when pests are around. Did you know during an average season, over 20 pests can cause damage to your landscape plants? And, to actually remove and replace a simple 12 foot tree can cost around $700?  Trees are worth protecting and will keep your yard looking fresh. New and healthy...

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Posted: Dec 9, 2015

 What is that stuff? 

Lichen on Trees

Some people call it moss while others call it the weird peely stuff on the branches of their trees and shrubs. Lichen is the happy relationship between a fungus and algae.

Is it bad? Not really. The reason we have so much in the NW is due to our good air quality. Lichen can’t survive under conditions of heavy pollution and will grow on almost any...

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Posted: Dec 6, 2015

One of the most common questions I am asked involve how tall or large will a certain plant grow to? Most people think plants stop growing at some point; they don't. All plants continue to grow and don't stop until they die. So all trees, shrubs and ground covers need pruning at some point.

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Posted: Nov 10, 2015
New Fence Installation

Fence Facts - Did you know?
  • After 15 years most posts will be rotten below the soil line.
  • After 5 years most slats and boards will be dried, cracked and moss covered if not regularly treated.
  • Most fences were not installed properly in the first place so may not last as long as they should.
  • Most fences and gates were installed without any...


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Posted: Nov 9, 2015

 ProGrass is Portland Timbers Official Grasskeeper

When the Portland Timbers needed the best care for their brand new intensely used practice field, they came to us. As natural grass sports fields go, this field is special. It is built entirely on a deep sand base with drain lines throughout the root zone. The benefit of this...

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Posted: Oct 22, 2015

Last month we met with a homeowner who was not concerned with some visible dry rot. He said it was only a little patch and he would worry about that next year. Well, putting 
this kind of thing off is a rotten idea. There is never a small patch of dry rot. By the time you see it, it most likely has spread throughout the wood below the surface. It is very similar to damage from termites and carpenter ants. This damage seldom breaks the surface, but when it does, you better take quick action. 

What is dry...

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Posted: Oct 22, 2015

Making a list of priorities is often difficult when it comes to those necessary home improvements. Whether they are a dream kitchen, the perfect bathroom or just an upgrade to bring you back from 1978, ProGrass Home Services can be your trusted guide. Even if you have gone through the process before, you may have taken a few wrong turns or had some letdowns due to poor...

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Posted: Sep 14, 2015

ProGrass can renovate and renew your lawn in an affordable, thorough process in only 5 steps.

5 Complete Steps of Lawn Renovation:

  1. Your existing lawn is mowed very short, in order to make the next steps more effective.
  2. Next, your lawn is aerated in two different directions, removing thousands of...

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Posted: Sep 14, 2015

Lawn replacement from ProGrass is fast, affordable and gives you a beautiful, lush new lawn you’ll love coming home to. 

Lawn Replacement From ProGrass Features 6 Complete Steps:

  1. The old lawn area is treated to eliminate any existing weeds and foreign grasses so they will not affect the new lawn.
  2. The old lawn is stripped off and the soil is aerated to relieve compaction. Read on >

Posted: Aug 3, 2015

Your landscape does not need to have tumbleweeds blowing around to be water efficient. The key elements are using water to its maximum and having a successful planting by grouping plants with similar moisture and exposure demands.

Mixing plants that need lots of water with those that don’t, will require that some plants be over watered to allow the thirsty plants to survive. This problem can waste up to 30% of water in planting beds.

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Posted: Aug 3, 2015
Turf Ryegrass
Turf Ryegrass

Every few decades, popular turf grass types undergo a big change. Here in the Northwest, perennial ryegrass became the standard in the 80’s. Prior to that bluegrass was popular, and in the 50’s, bentgrass was popular. These changes came about as needs...

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Posted: Aug 3, 2015

The term efficient can take on many meanings. The main way to save water and be sure water is being used properly is with proper adjustment and fine-tuning. This, along with upgrading to new equipment, will provide even water distribution and most importantly, provide the correct amount of water.

Sprinkler System Efficiency

Over the past few years, many new types of...

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Posted: Jul 22, 2015
Sprinkler Installation
  • Water after sunset or before sunrise.
  • Don’t water during the heat of the day.
  • To make up for water loss in hot weather, use your controller’s manual start function to add an additional one time watering cycle. 
Do this on a cooler/wind-free 
day if possible.
  • Invest in a self-adjusting smart 
controller.

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Posted: Jul 22, 2015

If your lawn turns brown or if plants wilt or turn brown, they need more water. During dry weather the ONLY thing that will cause wilting or browning is lack of water or in some cases, heat stress.

Watering Grass in Summer
Lawns in full sun will need 1.5 inches of water each week. The only way to know how much you are applying is to measure it. This can be done by simply placing a shallow tray in the lawn area. After a watering cycle check to be sure you have...

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Posted: Jul 22, 2015

Did you know that our summer turf grass fertilizer is specially blended to improve the lawn’s tolerance of hot and dry summer conditions? It will also help with its return in the fall as it begins to rain again. While this summer’s heat did start early, it is important to remember that dry summer conditions are normal and that in nature, grass will often turn brown during the summer and green again as rain returns.

Summer Yard Fertilizer

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Posted: May 11, 2015

 Inside the Kitchen Remodel

ProGrass has been a local service choice for close to 40 years. Our skills in helping home and property owners improve their outdoor surroundings is well known. Now we can help you indoors as well. We take a simple approach to home remodeling. We listen to your needs, work with your budget,...

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Posted: Apr 15, 2015

When plants have had a hard life, it may be time for a spa treatment. You know the feeling: dry skin, thinning foliage, lack of energy. Don’t let this get you down; there is an answer. It’s called rejuvenation pruning. This type of very selective pruning will look harsh and a bit startling when done, but the results will be great.

Photo of Shrubs

 The problem starts with the fact that most shrub type plants will naturally become tree like. In addition, those plants...

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Posted: Apr 15, 2015
Photo of Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sarcococca is a great plant for shady cool areas. Many landscapes have dark areas that just never look lush. Most plants need plenty of sun to grow and bloom, not so for this plant. Even in areas that never get direct sun, Sarcococca will thrive and bloom. It is also resistant to most diseases that effect many plants in shady areas. 

This is a spreading plant that will, after a few years, fill in open areas. It will grow up to 12-18 inches tall...

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Posted: Mar 9, 2015

Photo of Dry Rot

We were recently at a customer's home for an unrelated repair and found extensive dry rot.  A piece of inexpensive flashing caused the extensive dry rot you see here.  If you suspect you have dry rot, or just want to make sure your home is safeguarded against it, learn more from the information below and give us a call.  We would be happy to schedule a home inspection.

'Dry rot' is the decay of wood caused by the fungus Serpula lacrymans.  Ironically, the...

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Posted: Mar 9, 2015

Keep an eye out for Crane Fly damage.  Over the next few months, this insect will be causing lots of problems.  This lawn pest has two distinct looks.  During the summer it can be identified as a giant mosquito, while during the winter/spring it is a plump, gray, leathery worm (larva) which is also the stage at which they cause the most damage. While identifying the actual larva isn’t particularly important, your main duty is to identify the damage.  During the evening, Crane fly larva will come up and feed on the blades before eating the grass all the way to the crown.  The lawn does...

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Posted: Mar 9, 2015

A deck or patio will usually be at the heart of your activities and inactivity. Relaxing with friends and family, having a cocktail after a long day, some much needed ME time, firing up the BBQ for a nice dinner or taking a peaceful summertime nap in your hammock are all easier to accomplish and more enjoyable with a patio or deck.

Photo of Deck

If you are considering enlarging, replacing or creating a patio or deck, here are some things to consider.

  • Is the area level or...

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