Landscape Design for All Four Seasons

Three Reasons Hydroseeding Makes It Easier To Grow Or Repair Your Lawn

Whether you are putting in a new lawn or repairing worn patches on an existing one, you might give hydroseeding a try. Originally designed for large volume commercial use, the seed mixture is catching on in the residential market. Below is a brief description of hydroseeding and three reasons why you might consider it for your reseeding needs. What is Hydroseeding? Hydroseeding is the application of lawn seed using a spray delivery system The seeds are mixed with fertilizer and a mulch usually made of wood chips or cellulose fibers. Most brands color the mixture green, which helps you see where you’ve applied the solution. On large jobs, such as seeding a golf course or to restoring a burned out area, the mulch is usually stored in large tankers and delivered using high pressure hoses. For residential use, the mixture is stored in portable containers that have the delivery system attached.  All you need to do is provide the water source. Three Reasons to Consider Hydroseeding Easy Application The lawn area must still be prepared by aerating the soil, usually with a rototiller, and then smoothing out the area until it is flat and even. Then it’s a matter of hooking up the sprayer and covering the space. If you are reseeding parts of an existing lawn that has worn spots, the affected areas should be similarly prepared before spraying. That bright green dye lets you know if you’ve “missed a spot.” Lawns Grow in Faster Hydro-seeded lawns tend to grow faster and more evenly than dry-seeded ones. In some cases the seeds germinate within three to five days. Birds don’t seem to like the mulch mixture so you won’t have them eating the seeds. Your lawn will come in more evenly. Make sure the mulch gets plenty of water, especially during the first couple of weeks. Manufacturers recommend watering at least two or three times a day during that period and then once a or twice a day for the next two weeks. Don’t over-water; puddles slow down the germination process. Great for Intricate Landscaping Layouts Hydroseeding makes it easier to create a lawn in areas with intricate layouts. For example, you may have an abundance of flowers in your yard, either in one big patch or in several smaller ones. You want your lawn to cover the empty spaces. Hydroseeding makes it easier to direct the seed where […]

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Want Autumn To Shine In Your Backyard? 3 Plants To Think About Growing

Just about everyone has a favorite season, or at the very least, they prefer one over the others. If you are in love with autumn and everything that encompasses this season, you may want to showcase it by transforming your property’s landscape into a beautiful sight all throughout fall. It requires careful planning and execution to create such a landscape as so many plants have unique needs and qualities. Hitting every level is ideal with short flowers, medium-sized bushes, and tall trees. Brandywine As an autumn lover, you probably love all of the reds, oranges, and yellows that come out at this time. Unfortunately, you may be disappointed if you are not getting these colors in your own backyard. To get started with shrubs that will give you that deep red you love, you should grow Brandywine. The bush does not require much maintenance, as it naturally deters deer, which is helpful for areas prone to them. At up to six feet in height, you can expect some nice coverage in your yard from this plant alone. Helenium If you want to complement the Brandywine perfectly, you must look at the Helenium. This particular plant will showcase beautiful flowers that have a wide range of colors which are the main autumn ones. It’s randomness in terms of color will give you an extra something to look forward to every fall. It will reach adulthood a little shorter than the Brandywine, so you do not have to worry about drowning the plant. The other great thing about this plant is that it is resistant to numerous problems, making it easy to grow. Having a reliable plant that you know will bloom during fall can provide you with some relief. Sugar Maple Trees are certainly a long-term obligation, but you can get results right away by looking for grown trees. These may come in a variety of heights and will cost more the taller they are, but the benefit is that you get to enjoy their lovely colors almost immediately and avoid a tough process of growing from seed. The Sugar maple is an excellent choice for fall colors once again due to its variety of colors it puts on display. Its transition from yellow to orange to red will beautify your yard with its leaves all season long. Growing these three plants together will yield great results for enjoying the season […]

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3 Great Materials For Hardscaping

When landscaping, it can be difficult to create a unique and beautiful yard. One way to add a great deal of contrast and color to a yard is by utilizing what is called hardscape. Hardscaping refers to landscaping with hard materials. This article is going to outline three different materials to use when hardscaping, but will also delve into how to use these specific materials. Hardscaping can be used to create retaining walls, walkways, stairs, that can break up lawn, or can be used to xeriscape.  Stone  One of the best things about stone is there are so many different varieties of stone available. No matter what color of stone you want to work with, you will be able to find the perfect color. When laying flat stone for a walkway or patio you will need to be sure that they lay nearly perfectly flat. This is best accomplished by using sand, and shifting the stone back and forth gently until the stone will no longer shift when weight is applied to the top. Other type of stone and rock can be used to create anything from simple walkways, to decorative mounds. If you want to build a retaining wall from stone, you will need to be sure you do not need an engineer.  Wood The variety of wood make it a fantastic hardscape surface to work with. Just as with stone there are many different types of wood that work great for hardscaping. The possibilities are many when working with wood, and creating a beautiful patio, terrace, or spa oasis are all very real possibilities. Picking the right wood may be one of the most important parts of hardscaping with wood, but redwood, cedar, and cypress are great lumber to use when landscaping. One very important aspect of wood is that it needs to be coated so that it is insect and weather resistant.  Brick One material that often gets overlooked when hardscaping is brick. There are many different varieties of brick, and each will offer different colors and textures. The fact that different textures are available makes utilizing brick very nice. If you are building in a wet climate a rough texture might be the way to go so it will not be slick when wet. Much like when using stone, using brick requires things to be level, and often straight. Utilize sand to keep your surface flat, […]

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Plants That Help Deter Pests

It’s finally warm again and all you want to do is go outside and enjoy the fresh air! Then, you take a step outside and you’re reminded of all the pests that come with the beautiful weather. There are things you can do to keep these pests away naturally. There are a wide variety of plants that deter many pests. Here are just a few of them. Marigolds These vibrant little flowers pack a powerful scent that mosquitoes loathe. They are great in flowerbeds or in containers. If you have roses, consider planting marigolds around your roses as they also repel aphids, which can destroy your beautiful roses. Some gardeners swear that planting marigolds in your garden will help keep rabbits out of your veggies. Alliums This round flower with dozens of little purple flowers does more than just look beautiful. It also deters many pests, especially those you find in a vegetable garden such as carrot flies, slugs, and aphids. Be mindful when you plant them because alliums can grow up to six feet tall. Lavender This herb with beautiful lavender flowers smells like heaven to people, but many different pests don’t agree. You can plant them in containers around your house as well as containers in your house to repel mosquitoes and flies. Just make sure if you keep them in your house to keep them near a sunny window as well as give them plenty of sufficient airflow. You can also use clippings of dried lavender in your drawers to repel moths. Catnip This plant, known to make cats happy and a little crazy, has an extreme scent. Many insects, such as mosquitoes, don’t like the strong smell of catnip. Plant them near your porches and outdoor sitting areas to help repel unwanted bugs. Basil Yet another plant that deters mosquitoes and flies is basil. This herb is also great for cooking, as well as making your salad even more delicious. Fresh basil can also be used to make a great insect repellent. Petunias This showy flower is a favorite for hanging baskets and containers. They have beautiful blooms that come in a wide variety of color. Many people don’t realize that they also deter insects such as aphids, beetles, and tomato hornworms. They are easy to grow and don’t require much maintenance. Pinch off old blooms often to encourage new blooms. So don’t avoid going outside […]

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3 Tips For Creating The Perfect Backyard Landscape That Your Dog Can Enjoy Too

Most people focus on the making their front yard look spectacular for curb appeal reasons. However, what about the backyard? Some will focus on designing it for themselves, while others will put someone else’s needs in front of their own, such as a four-legged furry friend. However, there’s really no reason that you can’t think about yourself and your dog. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your own interests in mind while also designing a dog-friendly landscape: 1. Put Yourself in Your Dog’s Shoes…or Paws. In order to create a backyard that your dog is going to truly enjoy, you need to know what tendencies that you dog typically has. What does your dog like to do? Does he enjoy digging? If so, then you are probably going to want to avoid intricate gardens and planting your favorite exotic flower. Otherwise, you will just get frustrated when he decides to dig them up. Does he like roll around and soak up the sun? If so, you may want to consider creating a shaded lounging area for him on the deck or close the fence for him. This area should be comfortable, padded and protected from the sun by a tarp or umbrella. 2. Install a Water Feature. Since your dog is going to be spending a lot of time outdoors during the summertime, you are going to want to make sure he has a place to cool off and has access to fresh water. While you could put a small kiddie pool in the backyard for him to play you, you could consider adding a visually-appealing water feature in the backyard so that you could kill two birds with one stone. Your dog will be able to enjoy a good splash whenever he likes, but you will also be able to experience a serene landscape. 3. Lay Down a Gravel or Mulch Pathway. Because dogs can wreak havoc on an all-grass backyard, you may want to consider breaking it up with some pathways. Plus, dogs love to patrol and prowl around, so they’ll love that you thought about adding pathways for them. Keep in mind that these pathways should be made out of shredded wood chips, hardwood mulch, flat rocks or smooth pea pebbles, as all of these materials tend to be relatively easy on your pup’s paws. You want to make sure that you don’t […]

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5 Tips For Creating A Backyard Oasis

When you imagine a beautiful resort in a tropical destination, you probably think about lush foliage, exotic flowers, and greenery as far as the eye can see. There is a reason that most people think the tropics are paradise, and with a little bit of effort and planning you can bring the beauty of a tropical island to your own backyard. Use the following landscaping tips to create an oasis in your yard that you can enjoy all year long: Plant in Layers One of the keys to a lush, jungle-like look is creating layers of plants of different sizes. For example, plant several low ground covering plants in the same area as taller shrubs, and then add a few tropical trees; this will create a wall of greenery in different shades and textures for visual appeal. Choose Your Plants Wisely The climate you live in will play a large role in what types of plants will work best in your tropical backyard. If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, its not a good idea to waste your money on buying tropical plants that need year round warmth and humidity in order to thrive. Luckily, there are many plants that look similar to plants found in the tropics that can survive in more temperate environments. Consider planting elephant ears, philodendrons, hostas for a tropical look. Utilize Vines Flowering vines add a great pop of color and can look great growing around a column or on a backyard fence. Vines typically do well with a lot of sun, so try to plant your vines in areas where they will get as much direct sunlight as possible. Consider planting bougainvilleas, passion flower, or golden trumpet– these vines are plentiful in the tropics, but they are typically hardy enough to survive in moderate climates.  Add Beautiful Flowering Plants Tropical flowers are very visually appealing and come in a variety of different colors. Some great choices for backyard landscaping include flowering maple, canna, angel’s trumpet, and bromeliad. If you live in a mild climate you may opt to place the plants in the ground, but in areas with harsher weather it is better to plant them in containers to help control the temperature of the soil. Include a Water Feature Whether it’s a beautiful white sand beach or a bubbling jungle stream, water is a major part of a […]

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How To Grow A Rental Home Garden That You Can Take To Your New Home

Growing a garden can be a rewarding way to have fresh flowers, herbs, and even vegetables, but it may not seem like an option if you live in a rental home. Even if you only intend on living in the home for a year or two, you can still create your own garden with a few creative adjustments. For a garden that will grow well in a rental and transplant easily into your next home, consider some of the following tips. Grow Herbs in Windowsills If you are just beginning to get interested in gardening, it is a good idea to start with herbs since they are easy to grow and require little maintenance. Lemongrass, parsley, mint, and basil are all good choices for beginners. An easy way to grow herbs while living in a rental—especially in a place with limited square footage or lacking outdoor space is through planting herbs in windowsills. This will help take advantage of the space you have in the rental and allow you to grow any herb you like without issues. Create Raised Garden Beds If you are lucky enough to have a large yard to work with, you can even try gardening with raised garden beds. While some garden beds are permanent landscape features, these raised ones are typically very easy to move if you have access to a truck. Choosing a size that is manageable and will not weigh too much can help you move it to any home in the future. Pick Versatile Plants Since you cannot predict where you will be living after the current rental, it is a smart idea to choose plants that can do well in different climates. With versatile plants, you can bring it to your next home without worries. Plant in Containers The easiest way to keep plants portable is with gardening containers. Not only will the containers make it easy to move the plants to any future rental, but you can get creative in the kinds of containers you choose for a truly unique style in the rental. Choose Slow-Growth Trees For renters who have access to a backyard, trees may even be an option. If your landlord is comfortable with you treating the property as you like while renting, you can try slow-growing trees such as a Balsam fir, Rocky Mountain juniper, or a Mugo pine. Due to their slow growth cycle, you […]

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If You’re A New Homeowner In California, You Need To Know About Sudden Death Oak Syndrome

If you’ve just moved to California and you’ve bought a home, you need to learn as much as you can about a plague that has been affecting oak trees in the area since 1997: sudden oak death. This disease is primarily limited to the West Coast, with heavy concentrations of outbreak in California and Oregon. It can cause seemingly healthy oaks to suddenly die. Understanding what causes this disease, its warning signs, and treatments can help keep you from falling victim to this problem. Cause Of Sudden Oak Death Sudden oak death is caused by a fungus called Phytophthora ramorum. This fungus is highly voracious and has spread to trees and plants all over California. Some estimates claim that over one million oak trees have been killed by this serious infestation. And while it does infect other plants, it rarely causes serious damage or death in them. Unfortunately, that means it’s possible for infected plants near your oak to spread the fungus while remaining relatively healthy. In fact, as these plants grow in your yard, they may spread sudden oak death to other oak trees in your yard without warning. Warning Signs Of Sudden Oak Death The symptoms of sudden oak death are primarily visual: you should be able to spot cankers on the bark of your tree if you it is infected. They will quickly spread throughout your oak and will grow in size. Then they spread down to affect the core of your tree, which causes its death. The fungus that causes sudden oak death can spread to a variety of plants, so it is important to understand how it differs in look from plant to plant. Generally in oaks, the cankers will be dark or cause a discoloration, such as red or orange bark. Precautions When Visiting Infected Trees When you are visiting or trimming trees you think are infected, it’s important to avoid accidentally spreading the fungus to other trees. This will only speed up the process and potentially cost you even more trees. Make sure to follow these guidelines whenever inspecting or trimming oak trees that are infected: Wear protective boots before entering the site and clean them of all soil, needles, and plant debris Disinfect boots after you are done by soaking them in a bucket filled with an anti-fungal cleaner Remove all needles and debris from clothing Check all areas of your cloth […]

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How To Save Money Doing Your Own Landscaping

If you’re looking to get a head start on your spring landscaping, you might be able to save a lot of money if you do it yourself. It can cost hundreds and in some cases, thousands of dollars to have a professional landscaping company plant grass and specialty plants. Some landscaping tools can be pricey, so it’s important to find the best deals on items that you may only use once or twice a year. Here are some projects you may be able to tackle yourself and how you can save money doing it. Build A Retaining Wall If you’ve had a problem with erosion around the perimeter of your house, you need to find a way to stop dirt from pulling away every time it rains. One way to control the flow of water and dirt is by building a retaining wall. A retaining wall supports and raises soil while creating an even slope to help deter excessive water pooling. Walls can be made from stone, brick or metal. To add grass or mulch around the inside or perimeter of the wall, you may need a hydroseeder or bark blower to help simplify the process. Hydroseeding is method of distributing a slurry of seed and mulch, typically via a motorized device to distribute grass seed. The result is a seed combination that retains water to promote proper growth. Purchasing used models or renting a unit can help save costs on the project. Revamp Old Flower Beds If you’re tired of weeding and working your flower beds every spring and throughout the summer months, consider creating a professional flower bed. Tearing out the old bed, adding weed blocker and creating a professional edge is something you can do in just a few days. Polish off the look by adding mulch to the finished landscape arrangement. A bark blower or wood chipper is a cheap and eco-friendly option compared to buying bagged mulch. The bark blower easily blows wood chips into your garden beds, and this eliminates strenuous shoveling and lifting. Check your local classifieds for a bark blower or contact your local garden equipment rental store and ask if they have any used bark blowers for sale at a discounted rate. Clear Out An Overgrown Area If you have a lot of trees and overgrown brush around your property, your first thought may be to eliminate it and plant grass […]

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Are You Finished Softscaping Your Yard? It Is Now Time For Hardscaping

If you are all finished softscaping your yard, such as planting flower gardens, trees, and shrubs, you need to hardscape your yard to finish everything. up. Hardscaping can be used to complement your softscaping, which results in a beautiful landscaped yard. Pathway You could add a pathway that leads to your flower garden, or along the front of your home that leads you to your front door. Make the pathway using concrete pavers or flagstone. You can use concrete pavers in a straight line, or curve them along the path, and you can make them any width that you want. You can use concrete pavers that look like brick or natural stone, and they come in a variety of colors, such as brown, tan, green, and red. There are concrete pavers that are textured to prevent slips when they become wet. Flagstone is thin and flat so it is easy to work with. Flagstone is a natural stone so no two are exactly the same, even though you can find them in similar colors to put together, such as tans and browns. You can also find colors like white, gold, blue, orange, red, and even pink. Mix colors together to make unique pathway. Wood Picket Fence A wood picket fence either painted white or left to be natural wood looks nice along your front yard. You may have height limits set by your city codes so make sure you check these before you install your fence. If you want the traditional wood look, you can use a redwood or cedar picket fence.  If you want something that stands out, paint the picket fence white. It makes the perfect background for trailing roses, and many other flowers. You could put decorated posts behind the fence. Just make sure the posts are taller than the fence. There are also vinyl picket fences that are low in maintenance. You will never need to paint it every few years, as you would likely have to with a wood fence. If you do not like white, you can find vinyl fences in a variety of colors. Set the fence a few feet back from the sidewalk and you can plant flowers in front of it. Hire a landscaper, such as Michael’s Landscape Design, to help you with your hardscaping. They can also tell you many other things you can put in your yard, such as a […]

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