How To Start and Maintain a Home Garden

Everyone has a green thumb, you just have to find it, and spring is the perfect time to discover – or re-discover yours. Not only does a home garden add flare to any lawn, depending on what you grow, but it can also provide healthy and tasty fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re starting from scratch or need a few freshers on how to get started, here are a few steps to getting your home garden going.

Before Planting

Scout a Location

Choosing a location that supports proper plant growth will ensure the longevity and durability of your garden. Most flowers and vegetables need direct sunlight, so try to avoid areas that receive shade at any time of day. If possible, putting your garden behind a large structure will help shelter it from the wind.

Prepare Your Plot

Once you’ve chosen your land, it’s time to get it ready for planting. Pull all weeds and existing vegetation down to the root. Doing so can help to avoid regrowth. If you are removing grass, it’s best to hire a trained specialist who can safely use a sod cutter. Although optional, we highly recommend sending your soil to be tested. Doing this can give you insight into the levels of certain matters, such as clay, sand, silt, and toxic substances.

Plant The Seeds

If you are planting seeds directly into the ground, carefully read the package to assure you sow the seed at the proper depth. It’s easiest for beginners to plant in designated rows to assure equal seed spacing and fewer weeds. Rows are usually spaced about a foot apart. However, your package can give you a more specific measurement. A helpful tip, plan to sow a few extra seeds, as many will not germinate.



Most plants require about an inch of water per week during the growing season. This likely won’t come from rain alone, so it is important to ensure you are taking the initiative to water your plants as needed. One easy way to tell if your plants need more water is by sticking a finger two inches deep into the soil. If your plants feel dry at the bottom, the plants need water. Don’t have time to water daily? A lawn care specialist can install an irrigation system that will keep your plants watered on a timed schedule automatically.


As you may have already picked out, maintaining a beautiful and healthy garden takes a lot of weeding. Especially in the spring, weeds can easily overgrow your garden if you are not diligent about pulling them.


Covering the soil with a thin layer of rocks, woodchips, or other organic material, reduces the opportunity for stray weeds to spout through. As mulch decays, it can provide nutrients for plants and insects, just like compost.

Don’t have enough time for weeding or mulching? No problem. HTA Companies is happy to help. Give us a call to start cultivating a flourishing garden today.

Common Spring Pests in Michigan

Summer is right around the corner, and that means backyard barbecues, bonfires, gardening, and unfortunately, the re-emergence of insects and other pests. Luckily, once you know how to correctly identify common pests, you can take steps to remove them. Here are a few common spring pests in Michigan to look out for.


Possibly the most infamous backyard insect, mosquitoes aren’t just pesky. They can carry dangerous diseases such as the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and both are dangerous to humans and animals. A mosquito infestation is easily identifiable by frequent bites. But, did you know mosquitos populate in areas of standing water and shade? Mosquito problems can easily be remedied by a professional pesticide application.


Although usually harmless to humans, moles can undo months of hard yard work overnight. Check your lawn for raised ridges in a zig-zag pattern, dead grass in a specific path, holes, and spongy patches. The fastest way to get rid of moles is by setting up bait and traps, which can be done easily by a pest control specialist.


Not only do grubs feed directly on grass, but they also feed on insects that are beneficial to a healthy lawn, like earthworms. These double-trouble insects can be identified by patches of thin grass that get bigger over time. Since grass isn’t usually in peak condition after the snow melts, people often suspect they have grubs in the spring. The only way to know for sure is by scouting for them on your lawn. Peel back a square foot of grass (preferably dead, if possible.), if you count more than ten grubs per square foot, you have a grub infestation, which will need to be treated by a professional. Even better, prevent them before they happen and hire a lawn care specialist to apply preventative treatment in the spring.

Flea & Ticks

Ticks do more than just thin out your lawn. If they attach to humans or pets, they can cause serious illnesses, like Lyme disease. Frequently finding ticks in your socks, pants, or pet’s fur is a good indicator you have a tick problem. If you still aren’t sure, cut a five-inch swatch of fabric or a white sheet, and attach it to a long pole. Drag the fabric around the edges of your lawn, and if you have ticks, they will transfer to the fabric. A lawn care specialist can treat this by applying insect control to areas highly trafficked by people and pets.

These are just a few common spring pests in Michigan to watch out for. Fortunately, you can leave it to HTA companies to apply preventative or treatment measures for all of the issues listed above. Give us a call today to guarantee a backyard full of summer fun – and nothing else.

Winter Lawn Care Tips for a Healthy Yard Come Spring

It’s the most nerve wracking time of the year. What will my lawn look like after this winter? Oftentimes, we neglect or don’t know to do those little things around the yard before the brutally cold winter months swoop in and we only leave the house when absolutely necessary. Whether you need a refresher or a yardwork 101 course, here are four winter lawn care tips for lawn confidence come spring.

Don’t Let Holiday Decorations Linger

Not only will your neighbors thank you for removing your light-up reindeer in a timely manner – your lawn will too. Heavy seasonal decorations, such as figurines and large inflatables, can leave patches of damage on your grass. Although you can’t see the destruction underneath the snow, you will wish you’d acted sooner come April.

Cut the Grass Slightly Shorter Before the Snow Falls

Right before the first freeze of the year, you should cut your grass to the shortest height it has been all season, about 2.5 inches high. This will prevent snow mold, a lawn disease that infects, and eventually kills grass as temperatures rise. Don’t cut it any shorter, however, or the grass won’t be able to photosynthesize and carry nutrients to the roots.

Aerate and Seed Your Lawn

Fall is the perfect time to aerate, since the air is cool but the soil temperature is still warm. Start with aerating, the process of creating small holes throughout your yard, which allows air, water, and nutrients to flow freely through the soil. Then, spread a generous amount of seeds over the area. This small investment during the fall, will reward you with a lush green lawn come spring.

Hire a Professional

There’s no worse feeling than the snow finally melting, just to reveal where a careless driver mangled your lawn months before. By carefully choosing a reliable plowing service, you can rest assured your lawn will be untouched come spring. What are some indicators of a dependable snow removal service? Good reviews from verified customers, proper certification from the ASCA, and at least a few years of experience. At HTA Companies, we have over 35 years of experience under our belts.

These four winter lawn care tips for lawn confidence come spring are fairly easy for any homeowner to do, but if you want to plan on doing things the right way this spring, give us a call today!


Winter Resilient Property

The Key To Building a Resilient Property

Good things take time, and maintaining a flourishing property is no exception. There are steps you can take to make sure your property is ready for the next season, no matter the one you’re currently experiencing.

Keep your pavement clear of snow and ice

Leaving ice and snow on your driveway can be damaging to more than just your car. Especially in Michigan winters, since they can be finicky, snow left on pavement will begin to melt, seep into the cracks, and refreeze, causing shifting and deepening of existing rifts. Your driveway or parking lot should be plowed frequently during the winter so it can be in utmost shape come summer. 

Repair any damage come spring

Once you’ve invested in keeping your parking lot or driveway clear for the winter, maintain this condition in the spring. Maintenance includes filling any new cracks that may have formed during the winter. Once that’s complete, you should power wash the pavement, and finish with a thorough sweeping to remove debris and trash. 

Winterize your irrigation system

It’s important to remember to winterize your irrigation system annually to keep it functional year-round. Prepare for the winter by draining and shutting off the irrigation system one week before the first freeze, at the very latest. Don’t already have a well-functioning irrigation system? HTA companies is happy to help you design, install, and winterize yours. 

Lawn maintenance

A property is only as resilient as its lawn, so to reflect the hard work you put in all year, maintain a stunning, envious lawn. You can achieve this by frequent mowing and trimming, leaf removal, tree and shrub care, fertilizing, and watering. 

The above may sound like a lot of work, but your property is worth the investment. Also, we’re happy to help. Set up a consultation today and help your property reach its full potential. 

Tips for Selecting a Snow and Ice Management Company

It can be difficult to know what to look for when hiring a snow and ice management company. The process can almost seem daunting if you aren’t sure of what you need. There are a few important factors to consider to assure you get the highest quality and most reliable service. Here are some helpful tips for selecting a snow and ice management company.

Check Certifications

First and foremost, check to make sure that the snow and ice management company you choose is certified. They should have qualifications from the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) and Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA). Also, do your research on the company. Check out reviews on social media, YELP, Google, etc.

Plan Ahead

Although it may be tempting to avoid thinking about frigid winter weather until it’s here, if you wait too long, the best snow services may not be able to accommodate you. Make a conscious effort to begin researching snow and ice management companies months before the first snowfall to ensure proper care over the winter months.

Set a Budget

Since Michigan winters can be unpredictable, it can be difficult for some to set a budget for snow and ice removal services. Pricing and payment plans vary per management company and per client. Here are some questions to consider when budgeting for snow removal: Do you want to pay per inch and potentially go over budget in a heavy winter? Do you want one fixed-rate price and potentially lose out in a light winter? The answer to these questions varies based on location, site size, and flexibility. Talk through them with yourself or your team until you are content with your plan.

Ability To Serve

During unpredictable weather, it is important to assure the company you choose is able to serve you – even in the more severe conditions. To do this, first, check to make sure the equipment the company has is of the size and strength to maintain your property. Consider any specific features your site may have and what is needed to clear them. It is also important that the company can reach you with these tools in a timely manner. The closer the company is to your site, the better. Finally, carefully read customer reviews across multiple platforms, looking closely at reliability concerns.

Risk Management

Inclement weather conditions call for heightened safety concerns, which is why the company you choose must have proper liability insurance coverage. Confirm that those working on your property have the proper skill set and knowledge to get the job done.

We hope these tips for selecting a snow and ice removal company are helpful, and if you still need some help, give us a call. We’d love to help you keep your property and customers safe.

Common Snow Removal Mistakes: How To Avoid Them

For Michiganders, snowfall is just a part of winter. Sometimes we deal with a few inches, and sometimes we get a few feet of snow. Regardless of how much snow we get throughout the winter, it’s important to ensure walkways, stairs, and other pathways into your business are clear and safe. While snow removal may seem pretty simple, there are actually techniques to shoveling which leave your property as safe as possible. In fact, there are a few common mistakes to avoid when removing snow that you should take into consideration this winter.

Don’t Delay Removal

One of the biggest mistakes people make during winter is leaving the snow to pile up and then going out to remove it. The more snow that accumulates, the harder it will be to move or remove it. If you shovel more frequently or hire a service to come in and do it for you, you are making your life easier and putting less strain on your body.

Improper Techniques

Another common pitfall we see during the winter months is people don’t really know the proper way to shovel snow. The lifting and tossing method we knew as a kid is a quick way to overexert yourself and leads to sore and tired muscles. Instead, try pushing the snow across the pavement until it is out of the way. Give enough room on walkways, parking lots, etc., to walk and get in and out of vehicles. By doing this, you are allowing more room to move, which leads to fewer falls.

Snow removal can be a tedious project to take on. But if you take the correct steps to remove the snow safely, you will keep your property, customers, and employees safe this winter, no matter how much snowfalls. It is also a good idea to hire a professional snow removal company to protect your business investment. When you work with a professional snow removal company, like HTA Companies, you not only get clear parking lots and sidewalks, you gain peace of mind knowing your business, customers, and employees are safe.

The Importance of Parking Lot Care

First impressions can set the momentum for entire interactions, and parking lots function in much of the same way. Depending on weather conditions, traffic, and the age of your lot, customer impressions of your company could be affected without taking the proper precautions. At HTA Companies, we provide the services you need to make the first interaction with your customer the best it can be. Here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about protecting your parking lot.


Michigan is notorious for extreme changes in weather between winter and summer. Fall and spring are practically rumors. One thing you want your parking lot to be ready for is mutable weather conditions. Extreme cold is the culprit of the potholes and cracks you see on your way to work and when you’re searching for a parking space. Sometimes you find more holes than pavement. The snow and ice find ways to squeeze into the cracks and push the pavement apart. It creates a less-than-enjoyable commute for you and your customers. Slow-melting snow can turn into ice and cause potential harm or delays for anyone that works with your company. It’s dangerous to leave the job of safety to the weather. HTA Companies has a team of professionals who provide proactive parking lot care so that you don’t have to worry about inconsistent weather patterns. HTA Companies will handle everything from paving to snow removal and infrared paving repair!


The traffic you receive on a day-to-day basis can wear and rapidly age your property. Just like wearing shoes around the house, the dirt and grime you bring with you can find their way into areas where they can cause damage from erosion and peeling. Regular maintenance and cleaning are needed to keep your pavement healthy for longer. Traffic can cause direct damage based on its weight too. Connect with our HTA Companies experts to discover what specifics you need to keep your property protected. The cost of a total parking lot rebuild would be expensive compared to the cost of regular care.

Lot age

Over time, your parking lot will age on its own, no matter how well it’s maintained. Contraction and expansion are natural disruptors when it comes to asphalt and concrete. The ground shifts and moves in response to changing weather conditions, but your pavement, a solid block, battles the movements. After a while, the stress and wear from the flexing ground create cracks in the concrete. Poor compaction from less-than-professional paving jobs can also cause deterioration from rain, snow, and traffic, rapidly aging your lot on its own. If the lot isn’t holding together well on its own, it won’t hold together through weather or friction from traffic. 

HTA Companies can take care of your parking lot all year round with professional paving and regular maintenance to ensure great first impressions and safety for you and your customers.

The Environmental Factors of Landscaping

There are many things to consider when landscaping and lawn care come into play. The process can even feel daunting at times. However, HTA Companies aims to make the entire process easy for you. We work to create your desired space while maintaining responsible practices to keep the environment healthy. Whether it’s smart irrigation design to save water, careful tree removal or regular lawn care, HTA Companies know the environmental factors of landscaping.

Smart Irrigation

We’ve all done it. Left the sprinkler on the lawn too long and over-watered the grass, also wasting money. For this reason, HTA Companies offer the installation of smart irrigation systems. Smart irrigation is a system that allows you to save water and gives you control of your irrigation system while away from home. A smart system should manage your precious water resources without overuse and changing the survivability of nature nearby. There are a few things to consider when designing your smart irrigation system. Some of those concerns include the water pressure, the needs of plants and turf, your soil type, the drainage and runoff, and many other factors. It’s important to get this system correct to protect your lawn and plant life from damage.

Careful Tree Services

Our tree and shrub care services are provided by the best of the best. They’ll always recommend exactly what you need and why you should consider it. We’re all about maintaining the best health for your trees and shrubs. We handle everything from pest control and plant diagnostics to pruning and trimming to keep your lawn and trees healthy. Containing and solving the natural threats that occur within your property can benefit and create a safe barrier for the plant species around you. Good root structures from larger trees also make a huge difference in the sturdiness of the soil on your lawn. Above all, we want your plants and lawns to live as long as possible with the best care that’s available and that care comes from our highly trained landscape professionals, horticulturists, and certified arborists.

Avoid Soil Erosion & Runoff

We always consider the effects of the work we do. This way, we never overdo what’s needed, which is why we refuse to do lazy work that may harm the environment. Extra pesticides and chemicals in your lawn can contribute to a terrible pH in runoff coming from your yard and into the surrounding bodies of water. Similarly, carelessly removing large trees and root structures can contribute to the erosion of the soil on your lawn. HTA Companies is a team of experts that take the care and treatment of your yard into great consideration and will always treat it as if it were their own.

parking lot with red truck pulling lawn maintenance trailer and man cutting grass in background

What It Takes To Bring a Vision to Life

HTA companies is a landscaping company that has always understood the importance of careful work and planning when it comes to their projects. From the initial hiring process to the finished product, we make sure we are working with the right talent to determine the best solutions and create and maintain the most beautiful properties around the Lansing area. Every step of the way, we make sure we know what we’re doing and how we’re going to do it. Our team knows what it takes to bring a vision to life. From tools like our 3D modeling and our Red Truck team to our persistence and dedication to the craft, we know what it takes to bring a vision to life at HTA Companies.

3D Modeling

Plenty of problems can develop in the planning stage for big projects and we, just like anyone involved, hope to avoid as many of these problems as possible. One way we’ve completed projects without issue is through clear communication and a near-exact 3D representation of our plan. Our 3D design software makes it easy to visualize potential changes. You may walk through your future landscape in a highly interactive environment, gaining insight on how you would feel about the development before the changes have even started. 3D modeling makes sure everyone is on the same page with precise knowledge on the future final product.

Our Red Truck Team 

To us, a red truck isn’t just a vehicle that transports our tools and team members. The HTA Companies red trucks remain a promise to deliver talent, experience, and teamwork to every assignment. Once our trucks arrive, you can guarantee that you are getting a team of devoted individuals who want to see your property come to life. With years of knowledge and experience and our Red Truck Team, HTA Companies can handle it all.


We don’t give up. Without persistence, our team would never have made it this far. Our drive to push through is what allows us to complete projects like the Japanese garden on the Lansing Community College campus. Our persistence also allows us to help create your dream property.

Give us a call today!

Honest Answers To Your Landscape Questions

When we meet with a customer for their first consultation, they have a few good questions for our team. And, rightfully so! Always ask your contractors all of the questions you have for them or the project. As a team that values good communication and customer service, we thought it would be helpful to compile a list of commonly asked landscape questions with in-depth, honest answers.

How many years have you been in business?

With more than 25 years of experience, we are always working to attract the right talent, build relationships, and create and maintain beautiful properties around Lansing. We enjoy what we do because we are in the business of helping people. Think of us as partners to help you create and maintain the landscape of your dreams.

We value our customers and tribute our success to them and our hard work.

What makes HTA Companies the most qualified for the job?

Our team is composed of designers, artists, hard workers, and problem solvers with an arsenal of experience, materials, and talent to bring your ideas to life. Do not be afraid to ask for examples of our work, and we are happy to show you. We have created a reputation we are proud of here at HTA Companies. We value talent and experience at HTA Companies, and we have done all we can to build our company’s reputation off word of mouth recommendations.

Can you explain the 3D design process?

Most people find it hard to visualize a finished project from a layout on a piece of paper. So our team found a way to help you better understand our plans by offering to create your landscape design. Our 3D design option allows the client to get a correct vision of what the plan is for their landscape. You can see the landscape in different seasons and times of the day, and with added landscape lighting effects, you can also see at night.

What can I expect when working with HTA Companies?

Simply put, open communication and a proactive team. We value open communication with our customers and appreciate any feedback. We believe communication is a two-way street to exchange ideas and information. Our team goes above and beyond to provide information and details on your projects to bring your vision to life.

Do you subcontract work out?

This is actually a very important question to ask. All our services are provided in house by our dedicated team to eliminate outside contractors, added delays, and excuses. We provide services for all of your landscaping and maintenance needs.

HTA Companies is a company that prides itself on happy customers. At this time, every trade is booked and juggling challenging schedules on top of the above difficulties already. To learn more about HTA Companies, please check out our resources section on our website.