Archive for Landscape Maintenance


How Mulch Can Be Applied To Your Garden v1

One very useful and effective approach that gardeners can adopt to promote a healthy garden is mulching. This measure can be utilized in several areas including vegetable gardens and flower beds. The use of mulch can help to eliminate the presence of annoying weeds and helps soil to retain its moisture. Spend less time plucking up weeds, watering gardens and fighting pests when you use this technique.

Mulch For The Perfect Garden

Mulch

When mulching gardens there are two basic types of mulch that can be used and these are organic or inorganic. Organic mulches usually consist of several different,\ materials including chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, wood chips,sawdust and shredded bark and inorganic mulches are mainly comprised of gravel, stones, black plastic, and geotextiles. Both types of mulch can be used to discourage weed growth and improve soil quality but organic mulches gradually improve soil as they decomposes while inorganic mulches don’t.

If people are applying mulch to combat weeds there are two important tips they should consider if it is to be done properly and effectively. The first would be to lay down mulch on soil that is already weeded and the second would be to lay it down thick enough to discourage new weeds from reappearing. The ideal thickness of mulch should range from around 4- 6 inches when laid even though a 2- 3 inch layer normally suffices in shady areas where weed growth is not as prevalent as it is in full sun.

Mulching is also an easy way to keep soil cool and moist in dry conditions and reduces the need to constantly water gardens. It provides protection to plants in harsh cold conditions preventing the freezing and thawing of the soil as the gradual decomposition of materials help to generate minimal heat.

Organic mulch has low nitrogen content and should fertilize soil first with a high-nitrogen product such as blood meal or fish meal to boost nitrogen levels in the soil before applying mulch. Another important thing that gardeners should take care to remember is to keep mulch about an inch away from crowns and stems. This is because wet mulch that rests against the stems of flowers and vegetables can cause them to rot. So be sure that mulch is at the appropriate distance to prevent this from occurring.

To protect and maintain the ideal conditions gardeners should definitely consider mulching as an option it is easy to apply, saves time and encourages a healthy, nurtured, environment throughout any garden.  Contact us for more information.

 

Hardscape Ideas for Lawn Landscapes

In creating gorgeous landscape designs people tend to go above and beyond in seeking to create and achieve the look they want. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to not only enhance but to give an elegant finish to any landscape or outdoor space.

Landscape

Bring Elegance To Your Landscape With These Hardscape Ideas

One very effective technique used to achieve the perfect finish to any landscape is Hardscaping. When speaking about hardscaping it refers to the structural inanimate features used and incorporated into a landscape to add a stylish and sophisticated appearance. These features can include anything from decks and walkways to edging and ornamental features and can be formal or informal depending on the style of your home and surroundings.

Nevertheless it is very important that varying textures be carefully considered as the texture of material/s used when hardscaping usually determines the final appearance of the landscape. Using too much or too little materials can result in a dull or cluttered finished look therefore to prevent any issues after the designed space is completed it would be best to choose no more than two or three textures of hardscape materials for projects.

Selected materials should be able to perfectly blend and complement the exterior structure of the home as well as be visually attractive. Other elements like color and drainage patterns once carefully and selectively used can and should improve the overall appearance of the home and surroundings.

Installing walkways and paths are also common elements incorporated within the hardscaping process and are used to accentuate and designate the areas in which traffic constantly travels. This is usually achieved by utilizing materials such as bricks, pavements, woodchips, flagstones, retaining walls, rocks or concrete blocks.

Different areas of the landscape may require various hardscape elements based on their purpose. For example using shredded tires painted in various colors for areas that children play or frequent. This provides a safe and attractive environment for kids who utilize outdoor surroundings for activities.

For areas used to entertain like dining or sitting areas the addition of a patio or deck accessorized with elegant furniture and decor are ideal ways to enhance and decorate big or empty areas. Water features like small ponds or fountains and ornamental accessories like a bird bath, statues or benches could also be great ideas that help to create a tranquil yet beautiful and characterized, outdoor space.

Once you have planned and designed the outdoor space that you wish to have the only thing left to do is to fill in your garden and lawn areas with the desired plants, trees or grass and proceed from there. Furthermore the addition of outdoor and garden lights will not only enhance and give ambiance to the outdoor area but provide a sense of safety and security when using outdoor spaces at night.

The concept of hardscaping really isn’t difficult to execute so long as planning is carefully and accurately done. It really gives an extra edge to outdoor spaces and surroundings while being an excellent expression of your unique taste and style.  Contact us for more information.

 

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.

How To Winterize Your Drip Irrigation System

Leaving a drip irrigation system in its natural state during the winter is a mistake. Be proactive and winterize your drip irrigation system with the methods outlined below. These winterization methods will safeguard your drip irrigation system, protecting your investment as well as your property. If you fail to properly winterize your drip irrigation system, the system’s valves, plastic fittings, poly pipe, filters, PVC pipe or layflat hoses might burst as a result of water freezing inside. Even the main water lines can be damaged if you fail to winterize. It will take an hour or less to winterize your system. Here is how to do it.

A Helpful Preventative Measure for Drip Irrigation Systems

One of the best ways to prevent freezing in your drip irrigation system is to install automatic drain valves. Position them at the lowest possible point within the system. Drain valves allow water within the line to drain out. Some experts also recommend running chlorine (2 PPM) into the system and flushing it out thoroughly for a comprehensive clean ahead of the winter.

The First Step

Begin by turning off the main water supply to the drip irrigation system. Do this the day before freezing weather arrives. Make sure that there is no water in the backflow device, filter, valves, drip hose, sprinklers, pipe and pressure regulator. Run the controller/timer through its regular watering cycle. This allows each valve to open. Water pressure is relieved from the valves as well as the main line. Let the lines drain.

If the spring-loaded drain valves toward the system’s end are not properly installed, the main line might not fully drain. In some instances, the ground is not completely flat or the drain valve is positioned toward the bottom of the system. If you have any doubt as to whether the main line is drained, make use of air pressure to fully flush out the system.

Drip Tubing/Micro Tubing

Start out by disconnecting the drip tubing with the filter assembly’s swivel adapter. Wrap this piece to the filter assembly so grime doesn’t reach the drip tubing. If your drip tubing is above ground, open each end to permit the draining of water. Lift the hose a couple feet at a time so water can drain out. Once the water drains, close the drip tubing ends.

Irrigation Valve Assemblies

If your system makes use of AC valves with a pressure regulator and filter or battery operated controllers, consider storing them inside a warm area during the cold months of the year. If you can easily remove the full assembly from the pipe, you can store this assembly unit all the way from the pressure regulator to the controller indoors for the winter. If separating the valve assembly or filter assembly is not feasible, loosen or remove the valve bonnet to ensure the water from the upper portion of the diaphragm and filter cap can drain.

How to Proceed Through the Duration of the Winter

Leave the system in the “off” position and fully drained throughout the duration of the winter. If you decide to water your plants, yard or other items on your property, use your hose. In most instances, there is ample moisture within the ground to sustain your greenery until spring.

We’re Here to Help With Everything Irrigation-Related

If you have any questions about how to winterize your drip irrigation system, reach out to our landscape maintenance company. We specialize in irrigation and water saving landscape design. Put your faith in our irrigation experts and we will improve the beauty, integrity and utility of your property. Contact us the experts for more information.

Different Kinds of Irrigation Systems

If you are a farmer, gardener or even a landscaper you probably know how important it is to have an irrigation system installed to supply your plants, gardens or crops with water. Most irrigation systems are used during dry seasons when rainfall is scarce but since there are several types of irrigation it would be important for persons to identify which type would best serve their needs.

irrigation

Lets Look At irrigation Systems

Irrigation techniques may differ in several ways but the basic concept of the system is that water is obtained from a source and is distributed to plants or crops. Generally the aim of the system is to equally and uniformly distribute specific amounts of water to each plant or crop.

Types of irrigation used include high or micro flow irrigation, sub-irrigation, in-ground irrigation, localized irrigation and even automatic irrigation systems. They are all utilized to best suit their specific purpose however the two, most, commonly, used systems are the high flow or micro flow irrigation systems.

With these two main types of irrigation systems one releases water with a high flow and the other distributes water with a low flow or a drip. The high flowing system operates so that water spreads heavily across the surface of the specified area, in order to wet and infiltrate into the soil and the low flowing system functions so that water falls in a dripping fashion and is delivered directly at the position of roots.

The high flowing system is mostly used when irrigating agricultural land. Here water levels that originate from the irrigation source and are used to flood or control the level of water in each distinct field. The flooding system is controlled by dikes which are slopes that help to regulate water levels. This form of irrigation is mostly seen with the cultivation of rice.

The low flowing or drip irrigation system as we know obtains water from a source and transports and delivers it to plants through emitters, mini rotors, micro sprays or drip lines in a dripping fashion where water goes directly to roots.This method has been seen as the most, water-efficient, method, of irrigation as it utilizes less water and once managed properly minimizes evaporation and runoff.

Since drip irrigation systems are the more domestic and commonly used system here are a few tips that can assist persons with operating and maintaining them so that they function as efficiently as possible.

For this type drip lines are most recommended and should be used for continuous rooting as they have flexible tubing containing tiny, water, flow, regulators, for evenly spaced water distribution.

Micro sprays and mini rotors clog easily, and should be regularly maintained. Monthly investigations should be conducted and if necessary repairs or replacements done to ensure there are no irregularities within the system.

Laying out emitters individually can also prove to be an efficient practice as this delivers water exactly where the plant needs. It reduces the amount of weeds produced and eliminates excess, irrelevant water. Persons also need to make sure that their drip system includes pressure reducers and filters as these ensure water is measured accurately and delivered at the specified rate.

Remember that these systems must be designed to prevent runoff, low head drainage and overspray. For more information on irrigation contact us.

Winter Plants – Part 1

Nature provides numerous varieties of  winter plants that flourish in cold temperatures. There are winter plants that will flourish even in snowfall and there are others that can mirror their vibrant colors from the icicles hanging from your home.

winter plants

Winter Plants For A Breath Taking Scenery

One of the well-liked winter plants is the Camellia.  This evergreen flourish from fall to early spring.  With its brightly colored rose like flowers this plant provides a breathtaking difference to a sombre winter scenery.  Camellia should be sowed in an area that have some sun but not too much

The winter-berry which is related to the holly and loses its leaves in fall is a great plant to have this time of year.  You and your loved ones can enjoy the  vibrant red berries that come into their own.  The berries attract the birds during this time which is a sight to see and the birds will be happy for your blessings as well.  You must plant the seeds during the fall in a small frame, then you can transplant them to fertile damp soil in the spring.  However it is a slow growing winter plant, with its germination taking about 2 to 3 years.

Paper Maple has ringlets of copper colored bark flaking off all over and this constructs a pleasurable image both on the plant and while the leaves lay on the ground in all their splendor.  During fall the green leaves change into a fascinating cinnamon shade and the plant grows in sunlight perfectly.

Red Twig Dogwood is an old-time golden boy as the color of the plant is sustained all year round.   The boldness of the plant’s color relies on the sunlight it obtains. This is another incredible addition to consider in your garden during winter.

Firethorn is lasting and it has an appealing view all year.  It has little bunches of glistening white flowers in spring and vibrant shiny green leaves the rest of the year.  The little pea like berries can be either orange or yellow in color and these can survive until long after fall is over.  The seeds should be sowed in the fall in a cold frame then transplanted to properly drained fertile earth in the spring.

If you want the best in lawn maintenance and advice contact us as DK landscaping.  Our team of experts will help you give your garden the nutrients and the proper care it needs to survive and remain lush.