Blog - Landscaping

Planting trees and bushes and installing flower beds on your landscape is all fun and games until you catch sight of a dreaded sight – a slimy snail or slug. In most gardens, this icky insect is ubiquitous. Your first instinct may be to run inside and get your salt shaker to bring a hard death to this particular insect, but before you do, let us learn about this insect, whether or not it is a threat to your landscape, and how to go about eliminating it if it is a threat. First, what is the difference between a snail and a slug? A snail is easily identifiable by its protective shell, and to the layman, that is about all the difference between the two. Both snails and slugs are mollusks and have antennae and eyes, as well as a stretchable body which leaves behind a slimy trail. This slime is a vital part of a snail or slug’s existence, since they need to remain moist in order to live. This substance also aids in their ability to transport themselves. So, are they a threat to your garden beds? The short answer is – YES! These insects can wreak havoc on your landscape, especially if you have fruit plants or trees, including tomatoes, strawberries, peach trees, etc. However, even if you do not have these specific types of plants in your landscape, you may still experience snails or slugs sliming their way up a garden fence or wall located near your plants, especially when the weather becomes cooler in temperature. One reason slugs and snails can become a huge problem is because they multiply quickly. These insects are hermaphrodites, which means they can reproduce all on their own. A snail or slug can lay close to 500 eggs in just one season (and by the way, these insects have a life expectancy of about four years, so you definitely want to nip this problem in the bud!) However, if you have your landscape treated prior to or during the warmer months, you can easily combat this prospective snail or slug infestation. So how do you get rid of these mollusks? Well, there is the old salt trick. However, landscaping experts actually discourage this method of elimination because while the snail or slug will surely shrivel up and die, the chemical makeup of the soil in your landscape will also be altered, which can create even more problems. One solution to eliminating these bugs without employing chemicals is beer. Apparently just like humans, they find the smell of beer appealing. They will slime their way into the hopped up mixture and drown. However, the best route is prevention. There are a couple of ways to go here. First, you can switch out those plants that lure snails and slugs in the first place and replace them with plants that are not has alluring to snails or slugs. If you are committed to keeping fruit plants in your garden, you can look into setting baits and traps previous to the warm climate season. If you are not sure where to find these garden-eating culprits, check inside your or perhaps a backyard shed. These insects hibernate during cooler temperatures and will often seek refuge inside your home, preferably in a dark, damp area such as a basement. Some of these traps actually employ electricity which is an advantage if you are opposed to using chemicals to stop any infestations. There are also pesticides that can be employed. However, sometimes pesticides do not always do the trick and use of them can also harm insects that are beneficial to your landscape, or can also harm family pets or even children who might wander into the garden. If you are not sure which route is best for your landscape, call your local landscaping expert and receive professional advice you can count on!

August 8, 2017

Landscaping "How To"

If you are not a property owner, when you see deer it is probably followed by some aaahs and oohs. However, if you are a property owner and you see a deer, it might be more likely that the sight is followed with an annoyed grunt while wondering what these animals are about to do to your landscape. Unfortunately as more and more land is developed, deer are having a hard time finding places to graze that do not overlap with where we humans live. Deer are basically harmless creatures, but they can destroy flower beds and other garden areas while trying to satiate their insatiable appetites. While some people are happy to have these majestic guests on their property, even putting out hay and corn to encourage revisits, others find them not only annoying, but costly as well since they will have to replant or replace the areas that have been eaten. If you happen to fall into the latter category, do not despair – there is help available! Here is some advice from landscaping experts on how to protect your garden beds and deter the reappearance of deer. Stonecrops a garden selection not often known about without attracting deer to come and feast without abandon. The plant itself is extremely vibrant, sprouting orange, red, yellow, or pink flowers. In addition to not being on the menu for deer, stonecrops is also frequently implemented in many stone gardens, since the flowers offer contrasting colors against the gray colors of the stones. So with stonecrops, you are killing two birds with one stone figuratively speaking, of course by planting something that will not appeal to deer, causing them to carry on to another property, and will also enliven your overall landscape with an abundance of color. Another plant that is helpful at keeping not only deer, but other nuisance animals away as well is the prickly pear cactus. This plant essentially offers the same advantages of having a barbed-wire fence around your landscape. However, instead of having an ugly and awkward-looking fence, you have a beautiful plant doing the same job, as it grows magnificent yellow flowers that will catch the eye of any passer-by. Most animals are not looking to get jabbed or stuck, so they take great measures to avoid the prickly pear cactus; and if they do get jabbed or stuck, you can be assured that they will not be returning any time soon. but also will offer a great splash of color to your properly is lambs ears. Deer have an extreme dislike for the taste and texture of this particular plant, so you are guaranteed that it will never be eaten by this particular animal. This plant grows as tall spikes with light purple flowers growing at the top. The foliage has a silver-ish hue, which pairs perfectly with the purple flowers. The foliage also has a very velvety feel to it, which is why deer find this plant unappetizing. Chances are these plants will do the trick in deterring deer from using your landscape as a buffet. The other positive is that your property will be filled with vibrant color that will add to its overall financial and aesthetic value. For more suggestions, check with your local landscaping expert.

July 9, 2017

The Finest Watering Solutions for Superior Lawn Care

One of the fundamentals of achieving a lush lawn is optimal watering. Lack of water can lead to bald patches, browning, and even more weeds in the grass. However, excess watering too can cause problems such as weak grass roots, presence of too many weeds, and formation of mildew. Apart from the quantity and frequency of watering, you also need to ensure that the lawn is watered at the right time to avoid mildew formation. The best time for watering a lawn is at dawn. The lawn should be watered before the day gets hot, but leaving plenty of time for the excess water on the blades to be dried by the sun. This will make sure that there is a reduced risk of mildew formation, even as most of the water is absorbed by the soil. The frequency of watering a lawn is determined by the season and weather conditions. In the hot months you might need to water the lawn twice a week, while in spring and fall it is sufficient to water the lawn once a week. You need to examine the soil to see if it is dry before watering the lawn. For instance, in a humid week, or when it has rained, you can skip or delay watering if the soil is still damp. Frequent watering will harm the lawn as the root will not grow deep. Moreover, weeds are more likely to grow under such conditions. Each time you water your lawn you should aim to make certain that about one inch of water falls all over the lawn. This can be measured by installing sprinklers and also small measuring containers to check that one inch of water has fallen all over the lawn. If the water starts running off before you have completed watering it to the one inch level, you need to stop and wait for the water to be absorbed before continuing. You might also need to add mulch to the soil to increase its capability to retain water. By watering the lawn sufficiently, you will be able to reduce the frequency of watering, ensuring deeper root formation, healthier grass, less weeds, and less mildew formation. The most efficient way of watering your lawn is to install sprinklers with timers. Once the sprinklers have been set up, you need to check how long it takes to water the lawn with one inch of water and set the timer accordingly. After that you can switch on the sprinkler in the early mornings the day after you find that the soil in the lawn has become dry. As with other plants, watering is a vital part of lawn care. However, you need to be aware of and follow the correct watering methods to ensure that the lawn flourishes without weeds, insects, and mildew. By spacing the frequency of watering appropriately you will help the grass develop stronger and deeper roots.

June 9, 2017