Archive for Summer


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.

Go Native, Save Water: Xeriscape Gardening

Go Native, Save Water: Xeriscape Gardening DK Landscaping Santa Rosa CAThe information age has brought with it a flood a varying techniques in the fields of landscaping, gardening and ecological design. In keeping with the sustainable nature of the best of them, xeriscape gardening is defined by its optimal use of a minimal amount of water. This approach to gardening has been developed in the arid regions in the world, chiefly in the American mid-west, as a natural response to the climate. Xeriscape is most effective when the need for supplemental irrigation is eliminated and the design of the garden promotes symbiotic relationships that provide benefits. Environmental conservancy is xeriscape gardening’s top priority, but aesthetic design has received as much consideration. At its best, xeriscape becomes a melding of both utility and beauty.

The Principles of Xeriscape

As conceived by Denver Water, xeriscape gardening’s most revered proponent, these seven guiding principles provide the foundation for all considerations within the field. Each principle holds an entire discipline within itself, which means that there is always more to learn and improve upon in this field.

  • Planning and Design are the cornerstones of effective gardening, which requires careful attention to your specific environment.
  • Soil Management is about knowing what nutrients your selected plants need and what nutrients are available in the soil. Composting is a great way to reinvigorate malnourished soil.
  • Plant Selection is an integral part of xeriscape gardening. Thousands of species exist in arid conditions, each with benefits and beauty to offer.
  • Turf Minimalism is crucial because the water needs of most grass lawns makes them impractical for dry climates.
  • Diligent Irrigation may be the reason you’re interested in xeriscape gardening to begin with. Water is an invaluable resource and appropriate use of it is essential to environmental conservancy.
  • Mulch can be composed of several materials such as leaves, wood chips, pine needles and bark. It is spread over the surface of the soil to help with water retention, fertility, prevention of erosion, and reduction of weed growth.
  • Maintenance in the form of weed pulling, mulching, and general upkeep should be combined with constant observation to check if your garden layout is working to its full potential.

The Benefits of Xeriscape

  • Reduced Water Consumption is both the key aspect of xeriscape gardening and a great benefit of it. It means using less water and making better use of it. Not only will this save you money, but you will be helping your community and environment as well. Re-appropriating rainwater can help you prevent evaporation and runoff, and your garden’s layout can be optimized for better use of it.
  • Less Maintenance is required from a xeriscape garden. Much less fertilizer is used, which helps urban runoff pollution, lawn mowing becomes nigh unnecessary, and simple irrigation systems can handle all of your watering needs.
  • Pest Control is an added benefit of a really well thought out garden layout. Certain xeriscape friendly plants ward off insects, while prickly cacti do the same for intrusive mammals. Plant selection also enables you to create a sanctuary for desirable birds and insects.
  • Property Values Rise when you drought-proof the terrain around your home. Likewise, the design opportunities available to xeriscape can make for some exquisite gardens.

There are an abundance of tips and tricks available for do-it-yourself xeriscape gardening, but expert consideration reaps the true benefits of the art form. Xeriscape specialists develop an uncanny ability to read an environment and discern its possibilities. With a little help, and dedication to the sustainability principles of xeriscape you could be looking at a lower water and power bill, a productive and efficient garden, and a beautiful area in which to relax.

What’s Bugging You? Five Mosquito-Free Garden Plants

Summertime is the hardest time to control mosquitoes. Whether you are relaxing in your garden or near a pool, nothing is more frustrating than to have a mosquito buzzing in your ear. Spraying chemicals is one general solution most people go for, but it’s not necessarily the most safest option. To naturally prevent mosquitoes from crashing your outdoor festivities, here are some aromatic plants that can be easily grown in pots around your outdoor hangout space, or in a border around your patio.

Lemongrass This plant  has a fresh lemony fragrance that is appealing to most people, but that mosquitoes absolutely hate. It is the main source of many commercial repellents and repellent lanterns, torches or candles.

Lemongrass can be grown by seed but it’s a lengthy process. If the planting area is a garden or patio, grow this grass behind small shrubs & flowers. Otherwise plant along seating areas or walkways. Better is to grow them in pots which can be brought indoors as the plant is sensitive to cold temperatures.

The quickest way to grow lemongrass is by purchasing a mature bundle of it through any preferred produce spot, Asian store or grocery store.

 

 

Marigold Commonly grown as ornamental border plants, marigolds are hardy annual plants which have a distinctive smell which mosquitoes, and some gardeners, find particularly offensive. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents.

Potted marigolds can be positioned near entrances to your home and any common mosquito entry points, such as open windows. The smell may deter mosquitoes from going past this barrier. While marigolds can be used as border plants around the patio, we do not advise putting marigolds on the patio table since the bright blooms may attract wasps.

Besides repelling mosquitoes, marigolds repel insects which prey on tomato plants, so you may want to plant a few marigolds in your tomato bed for added protection.

 

Ageratum Also known as Flossflowers, Ageratum emits a smell which mosquitos find particularly offensive. Ageratum secretes coumarin, which is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents.

Ageratum is a low-lying annual ornamental plant which reaches heights of 8 – 18”, and is easily recognized by its blue flowers, although there are varieties with pink, white and violet blooms.

This plant will thrive in full or partial sun and does not require rich soil. It is often displayed in rock gardens where low-lying plants are favored.

Although the leaves of Ageratum can be crushed to increase the emitted odor, it is not advisable to rub the crushed leaves directly on the skin.

 

Rosemary This herb is awesome for cooking, but did you know that it’s great for repelling mosquitoes, too?

Rosemary likes a Mediterranean climate, so it thrives in well draining soil and full sunlight. It’s easy to grow and doesn’t require much water. If you live in a warm climate, your rosemary will even survive the winter. If you live in a climate where the winter dips below 30 degrees F, plant your rosemary in pots so that you can bring it indoors during the winter.

Rosemary is technically a shrub and can get quite large, so trim it frequently.

 

Mint Why it is mosquitoes don’t like the refreshing, delicious scent of mint?  It gives off a strong incense-like odor which confuses mosquitoes by masking the smell of its usual hosts.

Mint is a very hardy plant that grows rapidly in the ground or in pots. You can pick mint leaves and rub them on your skin as a mosquito repellent, or just include the plants in your landscape.

Mint leaves can be dried and used to make herbal tea. Its flowers will also attract bees and butterflies to your garden.

As a bonus, mint is also great for cooking and makes refreshing summer cocktails.

 

As you can see, these are just a sample of a few different plants out there that can help to keep bugs away! For more information and a list of plants that repel pesky mosquitoes contact DK Landscaping (707) 280-3632. So the next time you reach for the chemical bug spray, take a minute and think again, and choose something more natural!

 

 


Backyard Beauty On A Budget

Want to build the garden of your dreams, but don’t want to shell out your hard-earned dough? Creating a low-maintenance yard on a budget has its challenges, but there are many ways to meet them. Good planning, a little gardening knowledge, creativity and a willingness to think outside the window-box are all you need to make your yard an enjoyable oasis for family and visitors alike without breaking the bank. DK Landscaping is here to you a less-expensive way to make your yard a better place!

DEFINE YOUR SPACES
Clearly defining the space you need whether it be,  dining area, cooking area, shady lounging area, play area can make a great impact on your yard. Doing this can be as inexpensive as repositioning the furniture and accessories you already have. You may also want to build or buy a storage shed to keep kids’ toys out of sight when not in use.

 

BUY TREES
If you have to spend money on the landscape spend it first on trees. you should always put trees in your landscape before anything else. It is worth a little extra money to get a good landscape tree. There are a lot of trash trees that will send up suckers, leave huge messes on your lawn, require hours of pruning, and die just as your landscape matures. For shade trees, named hybrid maples, oaks, and sycamores are almost always a safe bet. Avoid birches, most elms, poplars, and some ashes which grow fast, but are ultimately short-lived.

 

THINK VERTICALLY
If your backyard features a large, flat lawn, add some dimension by positioning boulders (available at landscaping supply stores) throughout the space. You might choose to arrange them individually or cluster a few together. Don’t be afraid to cut into the lawn to accommodate them and leave some space around for planting colorful perennials or small shrubs.

 

BUY PERENNIALS
As tempting as all those beautiful annuals are on the nursery shelves, think ahead. Every year you will need to replace them, as they die. This is one of the quickest ways to burn through a landscape budget. If you are willing to start annuals from seed (or any other plant for that matter) go for it! Just don’t buy them in a pot (or pony packs, or flats). Perennials on the other hand get bigger and more attractive year after year. A single $2, 4″ potted perennial can be a 8-foot mound of color within three years. The annual will be about the same size as the pot and will have cost three times as much. 
TIP:  Buy in the fall when perennials are on sale. Trees, shrubs and perennials are the bones of any garden. Unfortunately, they cost an arm and a leg at the beginning of spring and summer. Everyone thinks that you have to plant these at the beginning of the season. The reality is that they can also be planted in the fall when temperatures are cooler. The best part is that trees, shrubs and perennials go on sale at the end of the season, from anywhere between 5o to 75 percent off their regular price.

 

Freecycle and Craigslist
Check out Freecycle and Craigslist to find all manner of garden goodies. Everything from plant divisions to garden tools, pots, containers and even garden furniture often for deals during spring and summer.

You can easily start many plants from seed, get free divisions and cuttings from generous neighbors to help you save cash when planting your own garden. Hardscape goods are really expensive, but you can easily source them from other gardeners who are undergoing remodeling projects. Buying trees, shrubs and perennials at the right time of the year will earn you the biggest savings when landscaping your yard. Use these frugal gardening tips to help you easily landscape your yard into the verdant paradise of your dreams. If you’re interested in learning more about landscaping, consider contacting DK Landscaping for a free consultation (707) 280-3632. Serving the greater Sonoma County areas.

 

Why Choose a Professional Landscaper

Now that summer is in full swing, you might be thinking about hiring a professional landscaper to maintain your lawn. Everyone loves having a manicured lawn and weed-free garden full of blooming plants and pretty flowers, but let’s face it! Achieving that look often means spending hours into your yard and garden maintenance. And others, may just lack that green thumb needed to make their gardens thrive. That’s where the professionals of a landscape maintenance company come in. A landscape maintenance service takes care of the lawn, the gardens, the trees, the fountains and patios. If it’s in your yard, there’s a good chance a maintenance service company can build it, mow it, rake it and help it grow.

DK Landscaping provides you some of the few benefits of hiring a landscape maintenance service:

  • A landscape maintenance service can save you time! By using commercial-grade equipment, it can dramatically reduce the time it takes to mow and perform other maintenance tasks. Most landscape companies will have multiple employees working on your yard at the same time, allowing them to tackle several projects at once and complete them in a fraction of the time.
  • A landscape maintenance service employs professionals who know not only how to mow your lawn and weed your garden, but to also make sure your plants are healthy. They can create sustainable landscapes that not only enhance the beauty of your home but are friendly to the surrounding environment.
  • A landscape maintenance service will ensure that your yard will be maintained regularly whether you are home or not. Homeowners tend to overlook their lawn and garden especially in the summer months, in favor of recreation and leisure activities.
  • Many landscapers go beyond mowing grass and taking care of gardens. Some of these services include pool cleaning, building decks, installing pavers, patios, mulching, tree pruning/removal and building home irrigation systems.
  • A landscape maintenance service will save a homeowner the expense of purchasing the various tools and equipment necessary for lawn and garden maintenance, tools and equipment that include lawnmowers, weeders, edgers, fertilizer, grass seed, leaf blowers, and shovels.
  • And last, but not least, if you are a new homeowner and you’re just getting started, a landscape maintenance company will help you design the yard of your dreams.

Choosing the right Landscape Maintenance Service

Get references! Don’t waste time looking through the yellow pages, radio/TV ads, or mailer discounts when your best source is your neighbors and/or friends.  Ask them how much they pay, what kind of jobs the service handles and if they’re satisfied with the results. If you don’t have neighbors that use professionals, you can check with local nurseries and garden supply stores. These businesses often keep lists of professional landscape maintenance service contractors.

When interviewing landscape maintenance services, ask questions! Check out the company’s qualifications and references. Reputable landscape companies are proud of the work they perform and will be happy to show you.

Finally, know the work you want to have done and know what your budget is. This will allow the company to determine its best price quote. It’s also a good idea to get quotes from several companies if possible.

It’s important to make sure you can trust the people that are going to be on your property. Consider this both for safety and reliability. You want to know that the job is going to get done when the provider says it will get done. Make sure the owner/crew manager is easy to communicate with, reliable, and trustworthy.

Hiring a landscape maintenance service will cost you money, but the convenience and curb appeal will enhance not only your yard but your quality of life and give you peace of mind that it will get done right!

 

 

 

Enjoy the Summer with These Summer Lawn Care Do’s and Don’ts

 

Ahhhh!  Graduations, summer break, road trips, swimming, and backyard barbeques… these are all of the sign that summer is finally here! Summer is the perfect time to start planning to get your landscaping looking pristine. It not only helps to increase the value of your home  but also something to be really proud of when you look out your kitchen window.

Whether you are looking to spruce up your landscaping, getting your lawn lush green again, showing it off at your next backyard barbeque or simply enjoying it barefoot, DK Landscaping provides you do’s and don’ts as a guide to your lawn looking it’s best this summer.

 

Tip #1 – Do Feed Your Lawn

Fertilizing is one of the best lawn maintenance choices you can make. But over-fertilizing or misapplying it can have some ugly effects on your lawn. The nitrogen in fertilizer can burn your lawn, and when temperatures soar, the likelihood of burning goes up. You’ll know you’ve done this when the grass turns brown To prevent damage, go for a slow-release fertilizer with a lower nitrogen content than usual and follow the directions carefully.

 

Tip # – Do Mow Regularly

Mow regularly. This could range from once a week to twice a week depending on the growth rate and desired height. Cut your grass using the highest setting, and reduce it as the summer progresses. This will result in the number of weeds decreasing, as well as cause more water retention.

 

Tip #2 – Do Keep Lawn Hydrated

The most common summer lawn care mistakes is not watering your lawn inadequately. The best time to water your lawn in the morning… before the sun rises. Watering your lawn between 10 AM and 6 PM, will evaporate your water due to the heat and sun! Watering your lawn right after the sun sets will leave your grass moist overnight and promotes fungal growth. DK Landscaping recommends setting your sprinklers so they automatically deliver water in the morning and check the location of each sprinkler and make sure it’s watering your grass, and not the sidewalk or driveway!

Tip #5 – Don’t Smother Your Lawn

Grass is a resilient plant but let’s face it, pets and kids are hard on grass and the pitter patter of tiny feet can really ruin a grass plant’s day. We recommend to mow tall. If you mow the grass at least a half inch to a full inch taller than is normally recommended for your variety, the grass will be healthier and resist the stress better. Also, as much as slip and slide is fun for your kids, it’s he worst thing for your lawn by smothering it with plastic.

 

Tip #6 – Don’t Forget to Enjoy

Even with the work you have to do, don’t forget to take a break and relax. Grab a refreshing drink and enjoy the beauty of your lawn!