Archive for Landscape Design


Kinds and Uses of Fertilizer

Are you a gardening enthusiast or local farmer? Well if you are you most likely do all in your power to create and maintain a healthy environment for your blooms or crops. There are some cases though that crops or plants don’t grow to their full potential and one of the main reasons for this is poor soil quality. There are a few techniques that can be applied to rectify the issue of poor soil quality one of which is the use of fertilizer.

Fertilizer

Fertilizers In Detail

Fertilizer can come in several forms and is an excellent way to enrich your soil and promote plant growth. Before using fertilizer with your plants or crops it would be a good idea to educate yourself on the different types of fertilizers and why they are used. It would also be best to read labels to ensure that applications are accurately made when using fertilizer. Here is a list of some of the most commonly used fertilizers in gardens or on farms. These include:

  • Organic Fertilizer – These consist of naturally bio-degradable materials and mostly come in the form of animal manure but others can also contain compost, seaweed, peat moss, mineral deposits and other ingredients from nature. This type of fertilizer is great for gardens and crops as it not only restores the overall soil quality but improves the long term health of soil.
  • Inorganic Fertilizer – Again this type of fertilizer can come in several forms including liquid, powdered or granular form. These fertilizers are generally used to treat industrial fields as they are cheaper and produced on a large scale. They also allow plants to carry nutrients from the soil easily since they are not as bulky as organic fertilizers.
  • Chemical Nitrogenous Fertilizer – This type of fertilizer usually comes in granular form and has a high content of nitrogen. Once applied to the soil it is converted to ammonia and dissolves when it rains where the nutrients then travel through the ground and into the plant’s roots.
  • Phosphate Fertilizer – This is mainly applied to soils that are acidic and is contained in both organic and synthetic forms. This type is usually applied during the sowing season.
  • Potassium fertilizer – This is normally utilized to help improve plants thriving in sandy soil. It works to increase the potassium content where it’s inadequate. Potassium fertilizer can come in the form of sulfate of potash and muriate of potash. Sulfate of potash is made by treating potassium chloride with magnesium sulfate and muriate of potash uses a crystallized form of potash to fertilize plants which is absorbed at the surface level of the ground.

Now that persons are a bit more educated on the different types of fertilizers and their uses they should easily be able to determine how and what type of fertilizer they should use to achieve the best results with their plants or crops.  Contact us for more information.

 

 

 

Ideas On How To Save Water For Gardening

Gardening is a recreational activity for many Californians.  Creating and maintaining a lovely garden is the dream of every gardener. With seasonal plants, exotic varieties and breathtaking blooms nurturing and maintaining a garden can sometimes be pretty challenging task.

There are several activities and responsibilities that need to be considered and employed in order for a garden to be properly maintained and nurtured. One of these main responsibilities would most definitely include the provision of water to trees, plants and flowers.

Gardening

Successful Gardening

When it comes to supplying a garden with water most people have the perception that all is well so long as plants and flowers get watered however this may not exactly be true as there are many factors that can affect the way trees, plants and flowers receive water.

Since this is the case  trees, plants and flowers can be affected in such a way that they don’t obtain sufficient nourishment to grow or bloom as they should. Even though this may be so giving trees, plants or flowers an excessive supply of water can be harmful to them and costly for you.

So in order to eliminate most of the issues that are encountered in gardens as it relates to watering plants incorrectly here are a few insightful tips that gardeners could utilize to reduce costs and water usage in gardens.

One very resourceful way to reduce the amount of water used in gardens is to attend and maintain soil. Adding mulch and organic matter to soil are both excellent ways to reduce the excessive use of water in gardens. They both help to improve water retention and soil structure so that plants don’t constantly need to be watered.

Disproportionately watering gardens tends to not only be a wasteful practice but also causes gardeners to do more work than is actually necessary. So to rectify this issue simply check to see if plants, trees or flowers do or do not require water.

To do this gardeners should take a spade and push it deep into the soil if it’s damp things are ok but if it’s dry then it’s definitely time to water. It is important to remember if you have clay soil it might feel damp whether it’s irrigated or not and sandy soil can feel dry even if it contains water. So in these cases gardeners should watch plants for when they start to show signs of water stress.

Knowing the best time to water plants is extremely important and by utilizing certain tools and techniques such as automated irrigation, sprinkler systems, watering cans or hoses water can not only be adequately supplied to plants at the required time but their use can minimize the amount of time spent and the amount of water used watering gardens.

In addition another way to supply water to plants and reduce usage would be to collect rain water. Place an empty receptacle at the end of drains to collect rain water whenever there is a shower of rain.

With this method people could reduce the usage of water in their gardens by 50% helping them to save money and at the same time still being able to care for their gardens.

These helpful tips can easily help gardeners to save time and money but most importantly it can help them to save a very, precious resource. Contact us for more information.

Preserve The Ecosystem With Gorgeous Landscape Designs

Over time scientists, environmentalists and activists have all pleaded with persons around the globe to take responsible measures when it comes to the safety and preservation of our environment. You can create landscape designs that enhance your surroundings and that are environmentally friendly as well.

Ecofriendly Landscape Designs

Landscape Designs

In order to achieve this persons around the world must take action by positively inspiring others to take care of their surroundings along with improving environmental aspects of society, nature and its resources. If these positive actions are consistently promoted and executed even to the tiniest degree they result in a major impact on the environment.

Having a wholesome and positive impact on the environment can be achieved in many ways some of which include recycling and reusing products and properly disposing of garbage and hazardous waste.

Another dynamic and eco-friendly solution would be for persons to preserve ecosystems by using impressive landscape designs. The birds, butterflies, squirrels and many other small creatures all call our gardens or outside surroundings their homes.

These delightful creatures astonish, entertain and offer us a tranquil ambience in and around our homes and surroundings. The individual role of each creature also plays a vital role to the environment and our ecosystem so it is very important that we help to attract and preserve all the elements that influence and affect their habitats.

One suggestion that has proven to be very effective as it relates to preserving the ecosystem would be to grow plants that attract wildlife. By planting the right flowers, trees, shrubs and vines in our gardens and backyards we will be helping to nurture and protect the ecosystems that exists all around our homes and communities.

Using plants and trees that occur naturally in the area you live provides an excellent source of food for birds, insects and other wildlife. Nectar, seeds and tasty fruits are all on the menu however pollen and nectar are among the most common food sources for insects and small birds so by utilizing pollen rich plants like wildflowers and other old fashioned varieties along with annuals and perennials we offer food, nectar and pollen to birds and insects throughout the growing season.

It may not seem like it but by planting a variety of trees and plants we also offer much needed shelter and protection to wildlife to rear their young and hide from predators. Utilizing tips like letting a part of your lawn grown wild to offer sanctuary to ground nesting bees or allowing a dead, hollowed, tree to stand to create nooks for birds and butterflies.

Bird baths, nesting boxes and small ponds all help to promote and increase the wildlife population around us which results in thriving ecosystems. Having readily access to water is very crucial to wildlife survival so again by installing a water gardens or a catch basins for rain can certainly help to provide a constant stream of water for wildlife in our surroundings.

In order to make this a reality as well as to get and stay on a path that encourages the preservation of the environment and it’s many ecosystems the goal would be for each individual to take responsibility and perform positive acts daily that ultimately improve, enhance and protect the environment as a whole.  Contact us for more information.

Have A Narrow Walkway? Try These Gardening Tips

There are quite a few gardeners out there who have an extensive knowledge of plants and landscaping in which they use to come up with some very impressive and unique ideas for their gardens. However there are still many amateur gardeners or homeowners out there who love to beautify their properties and are excited about doing new things but lack gardening knowledge.

Try These Gardening Ideas

Gardening

This might be just what you are looking for as this article offers some pretty insightful and dynamic tips that people can utilize to create gorgeous landscape designs while adding ambience and character to their surroundings.

Before focusing on choice of plants a great idea might be to add an outstanding feature to accessorize the garden and surrounding areas of the home. Installing an ornamental gate at the entrance of your walkway is a great start. This will immediately make the walkway feel more private for you and still feel inviting to visitors.

Once this is done establishing a focal point in the garden or surroundings would be the next step. Using an attractive tree, bird bath or bench brimmed with brightly colored plants can serve to draw the eye beyond the walkway while enhancing the appearance of the entire garden.

If the walkway or pavement needs repair it would be best to ensure that this is done in the initial stages. You should not wait until after you’ve planted the flanking beds mainly because this is exactly where you or your contractor will need to tread while working on the path or pavement. So to avoid the destruction of garden beds make sure you do any necessary repairs before proceeding to that stage.

Once you have secured and established the basic groundwork for your garden you want to make sure you choose the correct plants trees and flowers. If you reside in an urban area the best plants to use are low-growing perennials. Besides their beautiful shades most of them die in the winter or can be cut to the ground. This makes it easier for gardeners when dealing with the snow as well and when it’s time to regrow the next growing season.

  • The Ajuga, lysimachia, and creeping phlox species all spread like a carpet and Ajuga reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’ has burgundy-bronze leaves that supply color to surroundings long after its deep-blue flower spikes fade in late spring.
  • The Lysimachia nummularia  species possesses a delicate, looking foliage that covers ground quickly and softens the edges of a path.

To add more color and variety consider using the Phlox stolonifera species which is popular for the graceful flower clusters it sends up on 8-inch stems in late spring. The wild form is usually bluish but there are also blue, white, and pink varieties.

To give an added touch to your paths or walkways using slightly taller plants would be best. They won’t bend into the way of people using the walkway and at the same time they add a contrasting feature to the surroundings. Be sure though to avoid using plants more than 8 inches tall to prevent overgrowth in the walkway along with overshadowing other features within the garden.

Ensuring that a safe and nurturing environment is maintained throughout, gardens and surroundings should be the priority of every gardener. If in difficulty or you may be lost in some areas hiring a professional would be the best course of action, but if you are just looking for tips to improve and enhance there are a network of informative and effective tips available online that give tremendous insight into how those ideas can be achieved. Contact us for more information.

Spring Landscaping Ideas For The Perfect Garden

Landscaping during spring can give you a luxurious and glamorous looking garden. Spring is classified as one of four temporal seasons experienced here on our planet which occurs just after the winter and just before the summer. When most people refer to spring or ‘springtime’, to them it becomes synonymous with ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.

Nevertheless due to the cold conditions brought on by the winter season it is highly likely that most plants, trees and shrubs will suffer substantial damage during the early part of the year. If you have a garden in and around your surrounding property protecting your plants from any damage or destruction should always be a major concern.

Landscaping

Landscaping Your Property During Spring

Since the springtime is seen as a time of rebirth and regrowth there are some additional tips that gardeners can employ to ensure that they maintain a safe and nurturing environment throughout their gardens.

Due to the harsh, cold, conditions of winter debris inevitably accumulates in grass and on lawns. Since lawns require no more than  ½ an inch of buildup gardeners should rake away any excess debris from their grass or lawns. This also helps to control thatch on the lawn and offers an opportunity to look for matted areas. Raking will also allow the lawn a chance to breathe again.

Over time lawns can become compacted especially with a lot of traffic or excess debris so to help with this it is highly recommended that gardeners aerate lawns in order to avoid this. If you are not sure how to aerate your lawn you can always contact a professional landscaping service to come and assist with this.

Apart from some lawns having excess debris some can be found to have a lot of patches and bare areas. Overseeding is one method gardeners can utilize and refers to the applications of seeds to fill bare or patchy spaces in lawns . Although this alternative is generally recommended for the fall season it can be done in the spring if absolutely necessary.

If you have a sprinkler system the springtime would be the ideal time to inspect it for any damages and if any to perform repairs. However if all is well and no issues are detected this would also be the perfect time to have your system reactivated.

The spring is also a good time to apply some pre-emergent weed control to plants. This serves significantly control weeds in gardens as well as to act as a barrier against future weed seedlings. Gardeners should always keep in mind that this should be done before applying any organic fertilizers and to ensure effective weed control applications should be done on a continued basis in and through the summer.

Mulching is another effective system that gardeners ought to practice during spring as it offers several benefits to existing or emerging flowers, plants and trees in gardens. Placing mulch in flowerbeds and around plants and trees helps them retain moisture during the early spring months. It also helps to reduce the temperature of plant roots and insulates them in event of an unexpected freeze during the spring.

It is only natural that all gardeners, landscapers and farmers alike all want their gardens or crops to thrive and be protected so by utilizing a network of useful informative and effective tips available online or by hiring professional services those goals can ultimately be achieved.  Contact us for more information.

Winter Lawn Care Is Essential

Winter lawn care is no less as important as summer lawn care and maintenance.   Your winter lawn care to-do list wouldn’t include activities such as trimming, weeding and watering however, care is important if you want your lawn to maintain its healthiness during the upcoming months. Depending on the location of your home you will have to determine the best plants to grow and maintenance methods to use in order to achieve this. If your lawn has weeds to spot-treat you can comply with these winter lawn care techniques.

Winter Lawn Care Techniques

winter lawn care

  • Firstly, it is important to continue trimming your lawn even during the winter season.  Note however, that there are several winter weeds that can’t endure frequent trimming and can die.
  • Place a bag attachment onto your mower when trimming in order to capture seeds and prevent germination.  In addition consider administering pre-emergent herbicide in the fall.
  • Stop walking on your frozen lawn! Continuous walking or driving over a frozen lawn can kill its turfgrass crowns, which can create spring bare spots.
  • If you can’t get all the autumn leaves eliminated before snowfall then not to worry as there is a solution for this.  If the soil is damp, level it out carefully, as grass can pull up effortlessly.  If you leave leaves on the grass during winter it can kill turf crowns.  Moreover, they can lead to snow mold which can devastate your entire lawn.

Other Important Facts

Beware of vole trails that can be present in your lawn after snow fall. These mouse-like small creatures can be in both rural and suburban lawns.  An abundant covering of snow on your lawn supply voles with the cover needed to devour grass roots in open lawn. this helps them to remain hidden from predators.  As the snow liquefies their superficial runways become visible along the lawn veneer. The runways look like a tunnel without a top and soon as the snow softens you should trim your grass to prevent these critters from inhabiting your lawn.

If your lawn is wholesome you can leave out the grass seed.  Another way to tackle the intrusion of voles is to obtain an outdoor cat. Contact us for more information and to inquire about our lawn care services.

Winter Landscaping – Its Actually Great For Your Lawn

During the latter time of the year, when the winter months begin to creep in, the outdoors transition into a dull and inhospitable place. All the activity then shifts to the indoors, however, for garden and lawn lovers alike, this is the ideal time to prep your lawns and gardens for the upcoming growing season. These are five easy tips you can consider, to keep your gardens and lawns in good shape during winter. Improve your winter landscaping techniques today!

Winter Landscaping Tips

Winter-landscaping-Its-Actually-Great-For-Your-Lawn-DK-Landscaping-CA

Pruning and trimming is a popular garden practice. This helps to shape, improve and maintain the general health of plants and trees. During the dormant, winter months carrying out these practices, tend to be fairly, popular and is encouraged,as during this time of dormancy, the vast majority of hedges, shrubs and trees, including evergreens and deciduous trees, can be pruned or trimmed, without causing damage to the plant or tree.

Heavy snowfall and high winds, usually come with the seasonal winter storms.Therefore it is recommended, that prior to this time, all high or decayed branches, be pruned or entirely removed. If or when stormy conditions occur, these decayed  branches or dead trees can quickly transform into falling hazards, that pose serious threats of injury. With that said, not everyone may be confident enough to carry out pruning or trimming effectively. So we recommend, consulting a local, insured, tree removal service, who will handle all your trimming and pruning needs in a safe, professional and effective manner.

During the fall, leading into winter leaves are constantly falling, covering your garden or lawn from end to end with immense amounts of leaves. Cleaning and maintaining your lawns or gardens at this time, certainly proves to be a daunting task but is also very important. This practice allows your garden beds and lawns, to receive the adequate amounts of sunlight required, for the optimal growth of plants as well as lush healthy lawns.

Another resourceful and efficient tip one can utilize in effort to prep your garden for the upcoming growing season, is getting a head start planting your garden beds. One can begin by  pruning all shrubs, trees and perennials.Secondly, clear and remove all leaves and other debris from beds.  Afterward, define the edges of beds by hard edging and creating a perimeter pass along the edge, with a lawn mower. Once these steps are completed you can then begin to install your bulbs for spring.

Protecting plants from any damage or destruction, has always been a major concern for most gardeners,with the harsh,winter weather being no exception. A clever tip that has proven effective, to equip gardeners for this extreme period, is the use of mulch. Mulch is used to retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, suppress weed growth, serves as an aesthetic and most importantly, acts as a shield against the unfavourable, winter, conditions. Planting beds should be mulched at a depth of 1.5 – 2 inches, to ensure plant roots remain the right temperature as well as to offer the right amount of protection from any potential damage.

Ensuring that you maintain a safe and nurturing environment throughout your garden, should be a priority of every gardener, especially throughout the winter season. This would include tying up loose branches of evergreens and boxwoods,turning off and covering all water spigots, storing away any remaining, organic, chemicals and making sure that irrigation systems are properly winterized. With that said, please remember not to use a broom or shovel while removing snow from branches as they will be frozen, fragile and could easily sustain damage. If in doubt this winter season contact DK Landscaping for more information.

Time To Mulch

There are various kinds of organic mulches used in garden maintenance.  They act as fertilizers giving your soil the nutrients and conditions needed for sustainable growth. The State of California has policies in place that govern the production of mulch.  Take a look at the various kinds of mulches that are highly recommended:

Types Of Mulches

Newspaper is becoming more widespread as mulch.  Shredded newspaper has been used to maintain a damp environment for plants during shipping. This technique has been used on land as well. The way this all works is because layers of newspaper have excellent water retaining capabilities.  They also help to control weeds and manage soil temperatures. This is an excellent benefit.

Shredded Leaves can be utilized as mulch any and everywhere in your garden.  This is one of the most natural forms of mulch. Many gardens have flourished by using this technique.

Grass Clippings is used in the isolated areas of your garden where you want to restrain weeds.  Grass clippings also are prone to mass down the water causing it not to pass through.

As part of your gardening maintenance plan you should utilize a mulching mower and leave back the clippings on the lawn to supply added fertility to your soil.  Nonetheless, if you place your grass clippings in bags do not discard of them, unless you have utilized weed killer or some other pesticide on your lawn. You should also know that synthetic lawn care items can be harmful to some flowers, so you may not want to use them in your garden.  Grass clippings that are not treated should be placed in your compost bin or utilize as mulch for open areas are not yet planted.

Some gardeners hate to see leaves in their garden, and that’s a fact.  Leaves really aren’t suitable for a formal garden.  But if you cover your garden with the leaf mulch it tend to fusion into the garden in no time. This way you can still have the beauty of your garden untarnished while giving it the advantages of having mulch added.

During rainy times, unshredded leaves may mass together and fight off the water. If the leaves are too wet to shred, they can still be used. If you are considering implementing this gardening improvement technique then seek an expert gardening service. Contact us the gardening experts for more sound advice and gardening maintenance.

How to Transplant Shrubs in Summer

The best times of year to transplant trees and shrubs are spring and fall; however, certain situations may make it necessary to move your plants outside of those seasons. For example, you may want to take your shrubs with you if you are moving or you may have to move the plant because of the weather.

English garden in summer with furniture

If you find it necessary to move a plant during the warmest part of the year, you will need to take certain steps to ensure its health. Here are some tips on how to move shrubs in the summer without harming them:

  1. Choose the Right Location
    Transplantation represents a dramatic change and a plant will have to adapt to its new environment slowly in order to survive. This means that you will have to keep factors like sunlight, soil drainage and soil pH in mind when choosing a new location.
  2. Dig an Appropriate Hole
    You will need to dig a hole that is approximately twice as large as the shrub’s root system. The additional space allows the roots to grow into the new site comfortably.
  3. Carefully Remove the Shrub
    Work carefully to avoid damaging the root system when uprooting shrubs. You will want to take as much of it as you can. You will also want to move some of the soil from the old location to the new one. You can place larger shrubs on a tarp and drag them to the new location along with some of the soil.
  4. Add Adequate Water to the New Hole
    You will want to wet the hole thoroughly before placing the shrub into it but avoid oversaturating it as this can cause the shrub’s roots to rot.
  5. Place Shrub in the New Hole
    Along with the shrub, place some of the soil from the old location into the hole as well as some potting soil. Pat the soil down around the base to ensure that the shrub stays upright. You can add watering stakes to the ground so that the shrub can water at root level but this is not essential. Be careful to avoid damage to the roots when installing the watering stakes.

The quality of your landscaping plays a major role in your ability to enjoy your yard and in your property value. If you need help with moving shrubs or with any other aspect of landscape maintenance, contact us today. Our experienced landscaping crews know how to move your shrubs and trees quickly and without damaging them.

Plant Trees and Shrubs That Add Interest to a Garden in Winter

Tons of homeowners run down to their local nursery to pick up shrubs and small trees for their garden design. You can actually find some great deals by purchasing cold-hardy plants, shrubs and trees out of season, so to speak, prior to the thermometer dropping in September and October.

The problem is that these same homeowners don’t exactly know what to do with their cold-hardy plants and shrubs or whether they can set to work planting them in late fall and early winter or if they have to wait until the weather warms up in spring to put on their gardener’s hat.

Beautiful view with coorful trees and shrubs. English garden in spring. Landscape gardening.

How to Deal with Cold-Hardy Trees, Plants and Shrubs

What you may not know is that a variety of shrubs, plants, perennials, and trees can survive and even thrive in – what the USDA terms – the coldest planting zones in the country.

So, the question no doubt on the minds of everyone in these more frigid hardiness zones is whether to keep your trees and shrubs in pots throughout the cooler months or whether you can get started in late fall.

The answer’s that you can choose to do either, but you can definitely set to work right now, start planting in the late fall, and beautify your garden and outdoor decor throughout the winter and into the verdant spring months. Evergreen shrubs and hawthorn are two popular options.

What you still want to do, though, is manage your expectations and perhaps set your sights lower than a veritable Garden of Eden springing up in the crisp winter months. Here’s how to get started:

  • Follow Nature’s Lead

You would be very hard-pressed to find potted plants, much less artificial ones, growing wild out in nature.

Taken that to its logical extension, your plants and shrubs will typically be healthier and happier by being put into the ground than staying in a plastic pot in your garage throughout the winter season.

  • What Should I Plant?

Evergreen garden shrubs are but one example of resilient shrubs that can really add another dimension to your garden and front lawn during the winter without causing too much heartache in terms of worry or added energy you have to expend to make it happen.

Both conifer trees and evergreen shrubs can make it through winter in one piece, and the needle-leaf style of evergreen shrubs are normally considered more robust in cold-hardy climates.

Yew and Juniper are two kinds of evergreen garden shrubs that are resilient, tolerant to cold temperatures and drought conditions, yet really benefit from developing their root networks early in the fall (if you’re thinking about planting these early) as opposed to waiting until early-to-mid spring.

Deciduous trees like the Japanese Maple, eucalyptus, birch or hawthorn tree can even demonstrate fruit growth in the winter, which really adds a splash of color and interesting contrast against the icicles and powdery, white winter snow.

  • Going About It the Right Way

Year-round plants, shrubs and trees don’t actually need the extra shot in the arm that less hardy flora might.

There’s no need to use a crazy amount of fertilizer or growth agents in the late fall to get the most out of these trees and shrubs throughout the winter.

Still, realize that many of these flora grow upwards and their root networks are delicate at this early stage. Try not to move around or prune these shrubs early in their development.

Much and a little water in the fall are probably all these plants need to avoid desiccation and thrive for you year-round. Contact us today for more tips or help in getting started.