Best Landscaping Tips for Homeowners

There are a number of landscaping tips on the market in blogs, magazines and books to satisfy homeowners and landscapers and online there is a vast quantity of “how to” information readily available. In my numerous years of landscaping and gardening experience I have determined that in the wide range of tips offered there are only a few universal ones that should be used as staples and that apply to everyone. All projects are indeed different; however, some have common items and follow universal principles of landscape design. Landscapers should take their time and consider their end goal and what tips work best to suite their unique needs.

 

A great tip that applies to most landscapers is making a yard look great through-out all the seasons. This is harder than most think as winter has a way of making yards look bleak. This is why it is important to learn about different plants and trees that remain beautiful all year round. This will give homeowners a beautiful yard all year. If you plant only annuals or summer plants then come the winter months your yard will look baron like the arctic.

 

Do your research and look online and in local greenhouses to find the right plants. You will be looking for plants that can thrive in climates all year round. For some people that live in warm climates all year round this is still an item of importance because you will still want plants that will do well in your climate. Even though a plant may thrive in a warm climate it may wither and die if it gets too much heat or too little shade. Plants that will do well in all climates will still look their best in certain seasons but you can make sure that your yard is a mixture of plants that look their best at different times. Your garden can be like an orchestra playing beautiful colors at different times cued to the seasonal change.

 

The best place to find plants in your local greenhouse, garden center or garden supply company. To landscape gardens effectively ask the experts for advice and led their experience and knowledge guide you in your shopping. They will assist you in selecting the best trees and plants for you, based on your needs. Be honest with the staff and let them know if you have little time to focus on your garden because that may make a difference in the type of plants they recommend. A Google search or some online research will be good supplementary knowledge to help you make sure you pick the right plants and that you maintain them well. There are also many books in the library to assist you in your landscaping and gardening efforts. When you are starting out landscaping books are great assets to gaining knowledge quickly.

 

Remember to layer your planting beds too. This will balance your yard and give it a visual harmony in its design. Repeat the layers throughout your yard to give it a walk by appeal that is memorable. These are fundamental tips to get you started and well on your way to having a beautiful yard and being the envy of your neighbors.

 

There are many great landscaping books available to help landscapers and gardeners learn tips and tricks to maintaining a beautiful property lush with gardens, plants, trees and other outdoor decor. These tips will assist both hobbyists and professionals in growing there skills but there is always more to learn and luckily there is a great deal of information on this subject. Be the envy of your neighborhood with a well landscaped property and beautiful garden by developing your green skills.

Gardening Tips for Beginners: Ten Steps to Success

Gardening Tip #1: Build on a Good Foundation.

First, you must check the nitrogen and carbon levels in your soil. You want to start with a good foundation to your spring gardening season, and these tips will help. If you have very bad soil, I highly advise that you start with a square foot garden. You can either build a wood box or buy plastic ones from gardeners, which is what I did. You can then add fresh top soil from the store and add mulched and composted leaves. This is the best way to start.

 

Gardening Tip #2: Ensure Good Drainage.

When you have the square foot garden set up, you must ensure that the drainage is good, otherwise your plants will not survive and your gardening career will be miserable. Be positive that you provide just as much water as the plant needs, and you will know this amount through your gardening experience.

 

Gardening Tip #3: Provide Lots of Sunlight.

All plant life is totally dependent on the sun. without enough sunlight, the garden will never be strong and probably never sprout. This is absolutely crucial. However, you must ensure that the plants that are in the sun are able to withstand it. All this information is on the back of every seed packet. The square foot garden location should be carefully located according to drainage and sunlight location.

 

Gardening Tip #4: Make Variety.

For a successful garden, add a lot of variety to your garden. This will help with pests and the soil quality. If you vary the different plants, the insects will tend to not come back due to the uninsurability of what will be in the garden. Also, it is generally known that all farmers rotate their crops for better soil. All gardeners should do just the same!

 

Gardening Tip #5: Plant at the Proper Time.

This may seem obvious, but it is critical. If you plant the plants too soon, they will be frozen by the frost of early spring and all the work will be for nothing. If too late, they will not be able to gather strength before the sun beats down on them and withers them, or a fall frost eliminates them. Always check the seed packets for this information.

 

Gardening Tip #6: Jump Start Transplants.

Make positively sure that you buy good and healthy transplants. It is much wiser to spend more money for quality plants that will return a hundredfold in produce to your work. Make sure as well to give the transplants a lot of water, or they will not survive to thrive. However, the growing season is not as long as many people may think, so you have to get the plants into the ground at the proper time, and they will hit the ground running!

 

Gardening Tip #7: Resist Over-planting.

As a beginning gardener, it is best to just start small. As you perfect all the methods of growing and harvesting different kinds of produce, you will then be able to plant more of what you like.

 

Gardening Tip #8: Provide Plenty of Nutrients.

After you have planted the seeds and they are thriving, you must make sure that you continue to provide them with nutrients. Depending on the plants you are cultivating, fish emulsion and blood meal are good things to add to the soil. Furthermore, all types of compost such as leaves, kitchen scraps, and other nitrogen rich composts will make your garden flourish. Of course, remember the rule of moderation.

 

Gardening Tip #9: Detect Pests Early.

As your plants are getting bigger and better, always check for the signs of pests on the plant. Are the leaves holed and chewed? Is the plant dying because of some disease? if so, as a good gardener, you must take the steps to defend your plants. If you are being attacked by deer and rodents, you can put a net or radio out near the garden to distract and scare the pests, and bloodmeal will deter the deer. As for all diseases, there are organic formulas at the store that can help with them.

 

Gardening Tip #10: Stop Weeds Before They Start.

This is imperative. It is critical when gardening the old fashioned way, because I did not take care of them and they took over the garden in no time. Just a little care every day, saves hours and days of hard and unnecessary labor. Also, some natural prevention of corn gluten meal and a natural herbicide of vinegar may really ease your task of clearing the weeds.

 

I hope these gardening tips helped! I will be implementing them in my gardening as well. May these gardening tips ever be part of your gardening arsenal!

 

 

The Best Reasons To Get Professional Lawn Care Services

Whether conspicuously right out front or concealed in the backyard, almost every house has a lawn. Well maintained lawns usually serve to landscape a home and add to its value. It is no surprise that some homeowners spend a lot of time, effort and money on lawn care. While some homeowners opt to have professional services take care of their lawns, others prefer to do it themselves. If you want to create and take care of your lawn but do not know where to begin, here are some of the basic things to consider first.

Healthy Soil, Healthy Lawn

One of the most important things to take care of is the foundation for the lawn. To grow a great lawn, you need to have healthy, fertile soil. You can perform a soil test using available do it yourself kits you can buy from the store. This test will allow you to determine how your soil is and what else you need to do to improve it. Lawn care begins right from the very first step.

 

Grass Types and Planting

The type of grass that is best for your lawn depends on your geographic location. Are you living in a hot or tropical area? Do you often experience rains where you live? Do you live where there is not much sunlight? After considering this and deciding on a type of grass, you can start to loosen up or aerate the soil using a rake and plant the grass seeds. For proper lawn care, make sure to spread the seeds evenly and cover them with a layer of soil so that they are nestled in the earth’s nutrients.

 

Watering and Fertilizing

A thick, green, luscious lawn can be your pride and the envy of your neighbors. To grow this kind of lawn, you need to make use of proper fertilizers that give nutrients to the soil. The nutrients are absorbed by the plants, allowing them to grow rich and well. Make sure to do your research and use the best fertilizer and the proper fertilizing method. Lawn care does not just end with the fertilizer; you need to water your lawn regularly with the proper amount.

 

Regular Maintenance

After all the careful preparations you have made for your lawn, you need to maintain it regularly. Depending on the type of grass, you can set a date on when you need to mow the lawn. Keep the grass anywhere from two to three inches all year round. If you go shorter than two inches, your lawn can be at risk for heat intolerance and drought as well as insects, weeds and diseases. With proper and regular lawn care, you and your lawn can be free from such problems.

 

Why Go Through So Much for a Lawn?

A lawn does not just serve to beautify your surroundings. There are so many benefits that you and the world enjoy when you properly take care of your lawn. Lawns prevent soil erosion, provide oxygen and fight off pollution. They also trap dust particles and can absorb sound. If you think that lawns are just for aesthetics, think again. If you want to keep your surroundings pollution free, then start by giving proper lawn care.

Top 3 Factors to Consider While Choosing a Lawn Care Service

Choosing a lawn care provider to keep your lawn green and healthy is as important a decision as choosing any other service to help you care for your home. Lawn care is vital to keeping your home beautiful, because anyone who visits your home will see your lawn and know if you are caring for your yard properly. Whether you have just a front yard lawn, only a backyard lawn, or both a front yard lawn and a backyard lawn, a good lawn company will provide you with the care you need on your own terms. While choosing a lawn care service, consider these three factors: price, reputation, and customer service.

 

Lawn Care at a Good Value

Different service providers will charge very different rates. Some of these rates will be expensive, while others may be surprisingly cheap. If a rate is too expensive, that provider may not be the best choice for you and your budget. If, on the other hand, the rate a provider charges seems too cheap, it may be because the quality of service that company provides is only worth the amount of money they charge-which isn’t much. Research different rates for lawn care services around your area, and choose one that isn’t too expensive but also isn’t too cheap. This way, you are more likely to get quality work that you can afford on a regular basis.

 

Look for a Good Reputation

It is always good to get services from a company that has a good reputation, whether you need lawn mowing or landscaping for your home. Look up companies you are considering on a review site online, and see what past customers have to say about their experience with the company’s service quality. If you have family, friends, or colleagues who have hired a company, ask them which lawn service they chose and why. You may even want to ask some of your neighbors who cares for their lawn, because it is likely that if you are looking for a lawn service, other people in your neighborhood get their lawn done by a professional lawn business as well.

 

Exceptional Customer Service

Last but not least, you should choose a lawn care that provides you with good customer service. This means that the company will have someone available to answer important questions when you call to find out more about the company. A good lawn company may even send someone over to your home to look at your lawn and talk with you about the kind of lawn services you want or need. Any great company will go above and beyond to delight their customer.

 

 

Taking Control of Your Yard With Proper Garden Lawncare

As a responsible homeowner, it is important that you take proper garden lawncare. This is especially true if you plan to grow your own plants in the garden. You have to remember that your new garden will need your attention all the time. You have to truly take care of your lawn and keep it beautiful at all times.

While gardening is a hobby for some people, there are a number of people who professionally cater to it. Although it is hard to believe, there are also several who are just addicted to the art of gardening. If you classify yourself as one of the people mentioned above, you will really need to know how to be able to properly care for your garden. Whether you are growing a garden of fruits, vegetables, flowers, or a landscape, it is a must that you know how you can properly take care of your garden.

If you have an outdoor garden and you need tips for proper garden lawncare, it is necessary that you follow significant parts of gardening. This includes tasks such as choosing the right tools, location, soil, irrigation, fertilizer use and many more.

As for the basic tools, you will need a rake, hoe, shovel, garden stakes, and a water hose or a sprinkler system. Just like your garden, these tools need your utmost care and attention. You have to make sure they are in proper working condition so you can enjoy a continuous pleasant experience with the upkeep of your garden.

In order to make sure that your tools are in pristine condition, you have to make sure you clean them after each use. You need to wash them thoroughly after each job and apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on your tools’ sharp edges. The reason for this is so they can be protected against rust. As for storage, look for an area where there is no moisture.

If you really want to have a proper garden lawncare experience, you have to remember that it starts with proper planning. This means you will need to plan out your garden on where you would like your plants to be placed. Aside from that, you have to decide which part of the lawn has the best area for direct sunlight. Your plants need to be exposed to the sun at a minimum of six hours per day. Another thing you have to consider is drainage.

If you’ve never had any experience with garden lawncare, you might want to start with growing plants that are easy to cultivate. These plants include carrots, lettuce and tomatoes. By focusing first on these plants, you will be able to identify if you really have a green thumb or not. After that, you can start considering whether or not you will be able to grow a bigger variety of plants. The first practice will also let you know and have a bit of experience on what you need to do as a responsible yard owner.

For more garden lawncare tips, visit my website.

Professional Lawn Care Tips

The sun, the surf, the year round warm temperatures…we get it all in the Tampa Bay area where I live and usually on the hottest days of the year is when I find myself mowing and edging and trimming my grass and hedges. Its also about this time when I am thinking about hiring a professional lawn care company to take all this work away from me.

 

So the question is: DIY or hire a professional lawn care provider

Some people think that taking care of a lawn is simple. Well yes its not rocket science but there is a little more to it than just mowing the lawn.

DIY’ers need to know many things about caring for their lawns such as: what type of sod or grass should be planted in your area? What type of fertilizer should be used, how often should it be applied, should you use commercial brands or organic fertilizers?

 

Why should you get a soil analysis of your soil? How to you get a soil analysis performed to tell you what nutrients are present in your soil and even what nutrients should be present.

How exactly should you mow the lawn, should you cut it short or leave it long? What tools are needed to take care of your lawn once its mature? How do you take care of a newly seeded or sodded lawn?

How often should you water your lawn and how much water should you give it?

Yes there is more to lawn care than just mowing the grass.

So the question is do you want to make the commitment to spend the time and effort to learn how to take care of your lawn properly and then actually do the work of caring for your lawn or should you spend the money to hire a professional lawn care provider?

 

Consider the time you will need to do the research in order to understand how to properly take care of your lawn.

  • Things such as soil science: the different types of fertilizers the soil and lawn will need and why.
  • The types of lawn weeds and how to effectively remove then and keep them away Wat areas the different types of turfgrasses grow in and what type is best suited for your area, etc.
  • Then there is the actual doing the work..the mowing, trimming, edging, carting off the debris to the compost pile, etc.

 

And then consider that this is usually all done during the hottest times of the year, usually twice a week like I do in Florida!

While some people need to do the work themselves to save money especially during these hard hitting economic times but for me its the great sense of accomplishment I get knowing I did all the work myself when I look out my window and see my great looking lawn. The old pioneer spirit I guess!

 

Still others find hiring a professional lawn care provider is simply the prudent thing to do for themselves. Perhaps the hands on approach is not their style or they don’t do things well with their hands or its that they are just too busy.

When hiring professionals to handle their lawn care needs many people look for the cheapest offer. This isn’t usually in their best interest. The cheapest guy may have just lost a job last week at the local burger joint and has borrowed a lawn mower, then put out fliers to land some lawn care jobs. Do you really want this guy taking care of your lawn. Due diligence is required here to find a lawn care professional that will be trustworthy and experienced. Ask for references and go look at their work. Ask the homeowner if they are happy with their provider.

 

Now during these trying economic times, negotiation is key. Remember everyone is looking for new customers and the lawn care business is very competitive especially in year round warm climates like Florida. Most providers will want to sign you up for a year or a season contract. Just make sure you are getting all their services in writing and get yourself a good price.

 

Lawn care companies are very competitive and it would be in your own best interest to be an informed consumer before you take on negotiating with a lawn care company. Wouldn’t it be great if you could go to a site that would give you the best information about lawn care. Well there is such a site. There is such a site. It is Lawn Care Tampa. Being an educated consumer will net you the best deal or even if you just want more information on DIY Lawn Care that’s why I recommend you go to [http://www.lawncaretampa.net]

Why Organic Lawn Care Services Are Better For Your Lawn

The intoxicating scent of freshly mowed grass tickled my nostrils as I proudly looked at my lush green lawn. A flush of happiness soothed my body and mind because I knew the sight I was staring at was the result of organic fertilizers and absolutely no lawn pesticides. I felt confident that I had overcome challenges and was now performing a new, better way of lawn care. A method of lawn maintenance that was saving money on my water bill, keeping neighbor children and pets safe, and protecting the environment while still having a beautiful healthy lawn that made my jealous neighbors wonder why they haven’t made the switch to organic lawn care yet.

The debate continues whether lawn pesticides are harmful to young children, pets, and the environment. It isn’t much of a debate these days with numerous new studies coming out providing evidence that many of the materials that were and still are being used in “traditional” lawn care will cause cancer and other health problems while harming our environment. My goal of this article isn’t to scare homeowners into using safer products or to provide statistics and scientific research on if lawn pesticides are bad. My goal is to educate, and let folks know that there is a better way of maintaining a lawn through the use of organic materials and inform them why it is beneficial for them to make the switch. Hopefully with the help of this education, consumers will start demanding that companies such as Scott’s begin to put more of their large R&D budgets toward safer and more natural products that are as effective as the chemicals we have been blasting our lawns with for years.

 

The first thing I would suggest is to adjust your mentality to what a perfect lawn looks like. Residential lawns are never going to look like the fairway at your local country club. The sooner you realize this, the better. A couple of dandelions showing their yellow heads is not the end of the world. It is actually natural and common even on the most expensive lawn program out there. I’m not saying your lawn can’t look similar to that fairway, but weeds come and go. That’s nature. Work with it and not against it.

 

The second thing I would suggest is adjust your cultural practices such as mowing and watering techniques. Without practicing these two things properly, your lawn will continue to fight nature instead of working with it.

Mowing your lawn to short lengths like your country club fairway is not beneficial or correct. Those fairways are usually bentgrass and the correct mowing height is under an inch. Most residential lawns in the Midwest and the northern part of the U.S. are blue/rye/fescue cool season grass mixes. These types of grasses should be mowed at 3-4 inches after being cut. If they are mowed down to lengths below this you will exponentially create an environment that is more prone to crabgrass, broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, and a shallow root system that can’t fight off drought, insects, and disease very well.

 

Watering your lawn everyday is not smart and your root system will hate you for it. The roots of the grass want to dive deep into the ground to search for minerals and water. By watering everyday you are keeping those roots close to the surface and creating a weak root system more prone to stresses. The proper way to water if you need to, is to provide the grass with water when it needs it. Every lawn is different, but I usually suggest watering every 4-7 days for about 1-1.5 hours per spot. You want to water deeply and infrequently to train your roots to dive deep into the ground.

Now let us get into the fun stuff. How can switching to an organic lawn maintenance program save you money? This is what everyone wants to know these days with the economy struggling. Well, the main reason you can save money through a more natural program is because you are actually improving your soil structure instead of just juicing the lawn up with unsustainable top growth through synthetic fertilizers. How does this occur? A lawn is only as good as its base, the soil. You can grow grass on concrete, but it would cost a lot of money, cause you plenty of headaches, and it would be silly since growing grass in 6-10 inches of quality soil is much easier and less expensive. So let’s address the issue of how to develop a high quality soil first and then I will explain how this can save you money.

 

Get your soil tested. This can be done by a local professional lawn service provider, yourself, or your local county extension office. Getting your soil tested is not only smart, but also the right thing to do. The results will provide you with what the soil needs, so you can save money putting only the necessary materials down. Once you have this information, you can then develop a fertilization plan around what the soil is deficient in. There are many organic fertilizers out there that provide many of the same nutrients as chemical fertilizers. The way they work is slightly different, but the result of feeding the grass plant the necessary nutrients is the same. Chemical fertilizers feed the grass plant mainly through the tips of the grass, while organic fertilizers feed the grass plant from the soil up. Organic fertilizers feed the soil life, which in turn feed the grass plant. So how does using organic fertilizers save you money? With organic fertilizers you are actually improving the soil structure with the organic matter while also feeding the grass. This combination of benefits is why organic fertilizers are superior to chemical fertilizers and how in the long run it ultimately will reduce your water bill by providing a much improved soil structure with deeper roots. It seems so simple because it is.

Improving the soil biology aspect of organic lawn care is a little more complicated, but how this reduces your need for lawn pesticides to control fungi and insects is pretty simple. Improving your soil biology instead of depleting it will create an environment that allows nature to fight off pests that harm your lawn. Feed the good guys down there, so they can fight off the bad guys and eliminate your need for insecticides and fungicides. Again, this means less money you have to spend to keep your lawn the envy of the neighborhood. That sounds good right?

So why isn’t everyone doing organic lawn care instead of “traditional” lawn care? The main obstacle holding the movement back is the absence of a selective organic weed control. This is where the adjustment of your mindset comes into play. Don’t let this scare you though. Your organic lawn doesn’t have to be a plot of weeds with some grass surrounding it. There are ways around this, but sometimes it takes a little patience, adjusting your mowing height, a little seed, and even possibly some extra work. Uh oh, did I just lose some of you with that “extra work” comment? I hope not, but don’t worry it isn’t that much extra work. Following this statement that may seem a bit hypocritical, I will provide you with some tips that will keep your lawn weed free without using lawn chemicals. First though, let me state that some lawns may need an application or two of spot treatments of a selective broadleaf herbicide before the grass can start to naturally crowd out the weeds. This doesn’t have to be done, but often times can satisfy the more impatient homeowner looking for a more weed free lawn quicker. Many religiously organic lawn gurus will curse me for stating that, and honestly I hate stating it, but on some occasions it may be needed to avoid drastic lawn renovations that completely kill the lawn and then you would have to start over. If you do use spot treatments of herbicides, make sure to only use them where they are needed and follow the instructions that the label provides because these pesticides can cause harm to humans and animals. Use the proper safety equipment and please make sure to keep your children and pets off the lawn for 24 hours after the application if possible. That is a last resort technique and should only be used after testing out the following tips to reduce and eliminate the weeds in a safer more natural manner.

 

So what are these safer methods of controlling weeds? The first and most important tip I can give anyone trying to control their weeds naturally is to mow high. A thick lawn will have less weeds and this type of lawn is developed by mowing properly. Remember the mowing tips stated earlier? Follow these and it will help drastically to reduce the number of weeds that thrive in your lawn. Another tip is fill in any bare/thin areas with new grass seed in September or October for cool season lawns. These two tips will help you develop a thick lawn that can “crowd out” the weeds. Even a thick lawn will have some weeds though, so what can you do then? Hand pull or use a device that makes manual weed pulling easy. Make sure you get the entire root of the weed and don’t get discouraged when the weeds keep popping up. If you keep at them, they will lose their energy eventually and die off. The main thing with weeds is to stay determined and remove them before they have a chance to seed. If the weeds seed, the vicious cycle of perennial and annual weeds will continue. Sometimes this might mean collecting the clippings while mowing your lawn to avoid spreading the weed seeds over the lawn. This is the only time I would suggest bagging your clippings because those clippings provide extra organic matter and recycles the same nutrients you provide with the fertilizer being applied. This is just another way of saving money because if you collect those clippings when it isn’t necessary you will have to put down more fertilizer.

 

Organic lawn care is the new, better way of maintaining your lawn. There are a plenty of reasons that places like Harvard University are now caring for their property organically. Saving money is one reason, but helping the environment and providing a safer place for children and pets are other reasons. Provinces all over Canada are banning the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides. Places like child care centers, schools, and places where animals habitat are beginning to use organic lawn care because of the previously stated reasons. So why not become one the thousands joining the organic lawn care family daily? Soon, you too can smell the scent of freshly cut grass like myself while having the peace of mind that you are doing something good for the planet. Oh yeah, and you can save some money so you can enjoy that gorgeous healthy lawn of yours.

 

I am the Owner of PureLawn Organic Lawn Care. PureLawn is a lawn care service provider that maintains Dayton and Cincinnati lawns in an environmentally responsible manner. While working for a traditional chemical lawn care company in high school and into my summers while attending The University of Dayton I saw a huge amount of unnecessary lawn pesticides being applied. I thought there has to be a better way, so after graduating from U.D. with a business degree, I began PureLawn. I was ahead of my time with this type of lawn service and now enjoy a very healthy growth annually with the happiness to know we were doing this before “being green” was cool.

 

I love the smell of freshly mowed grass. If you drive through a neighborhood during the spring, you might smell the perfect aroma of a mowed lawn or the strong distinct smell of lawn pesticides being applied. My mission and goal with PureLawn, is to make sure in the future that kids and homeowners will have the priviledge of smelling the beautiful smell of freshly cut kentucky bluegrass instead of the toxic scent of pesticides.

Our PureGreen Program offers a pesticide free approach to lawn care using vegetable byproduct based fertilizers. I am proud to say that our customers are our best way of advertising. I’m ecstatic to inform customers to allow their children and pets to roll around on the grass right after our technician leaves. We don’t have to put a chemical flag down that the other companies do per the law because our materials are that healthy and safe.

Please go to http://www.mypurelawn.com for more information.