Tag Archives: Lawncare

Random Horticultural Things I’m Either Loving or Loathing, and a Few I Haven’t Quite Decided On

Here’s an interesting article by Scott Beuerlein for Garden Rant.

For whatever they are worth, here are some stray observations that have rattled around in my noggin lately when I’ve had too much time to think.

Let’s start positive! Why not? Here’s something I’ve been loving—the Fashionably Early series of Phlox. They’re some kind of hybrid. I don’t know the parentage. I wish I did, but it’s probably one of those things where one could possibly “know too much.” I’m thinking that if I were to find out, someone would have to kill me. Possibly Hans Hansen, who bred this series, but maybe not. I would think it’s way more important for Walter’s to keep him in the field and away from the rough stuff, so it makes more sense that there would be another among them who makes the call to the “guy who knows guys” that would set my offing in motion.

Continue reading

Groundhogs In My Garden!

Here’s an informative article on garden intruders by Susan Harris for Garden Rant.

I suppose most suburban gardeners have some mammals to deal with in their garden – squirrels, rabbits and deer being the top nuisances in my area, so far. That is, until this fat-and-happy groundhog took up residence under my neighbor’s shed, and we think it has a mate, too. (We’re not sure – they all look the same to us.)

Continue reading

The Historical Reason We Associate Apple Pie With The Fourth Of July

Here’s an interesting article on the historical signifance of Apple pie and Independence Day by Emily VanSchmus for Better Homes & Gardens.

A recipe for apple pie was included in the very first American cookbook in 1796.

For many of us, there’s nothing more American than eating a slice of homemade apple pie while watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July. But have you ever wondered why we associate the fruit-filled pastry with the birth of our country? It turns out, apple pie was one of the first desserts to be made in America, and there’s a pretty interesting story about why the colonists began baking it. The patriotic origins of the classic dessert date back to the 1600s, when the colonists first arrived in America, long before the first Independence Day.

Continue reading

13 Things To Know Before You Build A Fence

Here’s an informative article on what to know before building a fence by Sheryl Geerts for Better Homes & Gardens.

A fence can improve your home’s curb appeal, provide security, increase privacy, and offer protection from the elements. But before you start building a fence, there are a few things you should know first. Here are our top tips for planning, designing, and building a fence for your home.

Continue reading

8 Landscaping Ideas For Maximizing Your Curb Appeal

Here’s a good article on ideas for increasing curb appeal by Kelly Roberson for Better Homes & Gardens.

These tips will help you make your front yard more welcoming while improving the value of your home. Plus, you might even get compliments from neighbors passing by.

Landscaping for curb appeal is at the top of many gardeners’ to-do list. Maximizing your yard’s attributes and minimizing its problems to create a beautiful street-side view doesn’t have to be difficult, daunting, or expensive. And there can be some amazing pay-offs, like increasing the value of your home; according to the National Association of Realtors, houses with high curb appeal usually sell for an average of 7% more than similar homes without the same landscaping. No matter your style or plant preferences, these tips will help transform your front yard into a beautiful, attractive space without breaking the bank or tearing up your entire property.

Continue reading

How To Maintain Backyard Oasis That’s Safe From Pets, And Safe for Pets

Here’s an informative article on backyards and your pets by Borst Landscape and Design.

Are Lawn Fertilizers Safe for Pets?

According to veterinarians, most fertilizers are generally pretty benign in terms of pet safety. In fact, most lawn fertilizers contain natural elements, like nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus that are generally non-toxic. If your dog eats some grass that fertilizer right after fertilizer was applied, it rarely leads to serious poisoning. However, if your dog gets into the bag of fertilizer and starts to eat it directly, health problems ranging from gastrointestinal distress to tremors and seizures can result, so be sure to keep fertilizer products away from your pets. Experts recommend that when you fertilize as part of your lawn maintenance routine, be sure to water the product of the leaves. After doing this, it is safe for pets to return.

Continue reading

Deck vs. Patio Paver?

Here’s an informative article on deck vs. patio paver by the staff at Hidden Creek Landscape.

The decision for the right design for your outdoor living space can be a tricky one. Two worthy opponents vying for your attention are decks and patios.

Both are good choices, but which will work best for you? How will either hold up in the often-harsh Ohio winters?

In this article, we’ll give you a deep dive into decks and paver patios so you’ll be armed with the right information to make the best decision for you.

Continue reading

Practical Lawn Care Tips For Summer

Here’s a good article on lawn care tips for summer by the staff at Hidden Creek Landscape.

When summer arrives, many homeowners look for tips on how to care for their lawns. Fortunately, most grasses are surprisingly resilient, despite their delicate appearance and structure. Therefore, when proper lawn care methods are used, property owners can keep their landscapes looking lush and beautiful even during hot weather.

Obviously, all lawns should be watered on a regular basis when temperatures are warm. However, there are many other summer tips that can also be used to ensure a beautiful lawn is maintained.

Aerate. Homeowners should buy or rent an aerator, which is a device used to punch holes in a yard or lawn. This creates a direct line through which moisture and nutrients can reach the lawn’s root system. Aerating once a month is recommended by most lawn experts.

Fertilize. Following approximately 14 days of watering, a broadcast spreader should be used to apply a balanced fertilizer. However, homeowners should avoid high nitrogen fertilizers, as these could have a detrimental effect on the lawn if extended heat waves occur during summer.

Eliminating Lawn Traffic. It is always a good idea to keep lawn traffic to a minimum. This is because the weight of such activity compacts the soil, which in turn makes it difficult for the grass to absorb moisture.

Weeds. Killing weeds is an essential step in keeping grass beautiful and strong. When weeds are eliminated, more nutrients and moisture are made available to the grass. As the healthy lawn thickens, it will grow stronger and eventually begin to crowd out the weeds on its own.

Chinch Bugs. It is important to stay on the lookout for chinch bugs, which typically appear in the front yard near sidewalks and driveways. If a spreading area of dead, dry grass is noticed, the entire front yard should be treated with an insecticide specifically made for chinch bugs.

Sharpen Mower Blades. It is also wise to regularly sharpen mower blades. This is because the cleaner the cut, the less stress put on the grass during mowing. Keeping an attractive lawn during hot, sunny weather can be a challenging endeavor, but with the tips outlined above and the services of a professional lawn care company when necessary, virtually any individual can maintain a beautiful property.

When Should I Plant Grass Seed in My Yard?

Here’s an informative article on when to plant grass seed by Hidden Creek Landscaping.

Few things beat the feeling of cool grass underneath our bare feet. When it comes to starting a lawn from scratch, though, the best time to plant grass seeds in Ohio is late summer to early fall – mid-August to early October.

In this issue, the landscaping experts with Hidden Creek Landscaping will talk more about the process of planting grass seed, how to select the right type and how long it will take for your grass seeds to grow.

Continue reading

Advice on When to Prune Shrubs – Mostly Wrong?

Here’s an informative article on pruning shrubs by Susan Harris for Garden Rant.

In a recent post I mentioned hiring an expert to teach my coop to prune their (damn) shrubs and linked to the pruning instruction that resulted. The shocker to me and most gardeners, I’m betting, is this bit of advice from the professional pruners:

she told us that euonymus can be hand-pruned any time of the year, and that almost all shrubs can be, too.

But-but-but doesn’t EVERYONE tell us to prune flowering shrubs soon after they’ve bloomed, to avoid removing the next year’s blooms? For example, typical advice for azaleas is that “If you prune azaleas after the beginning of July, you may not get any flowers on the bush next year.”

Yes, shearing would remove most or all of next year’s buds if done too late, but shearing azaleas is not advised, anyway.

The expert we hired, from a 29-year-old company whose sole job is to prune shrubs, told us that hand-pruning – for a more natural look, better plant health, and less maintenance – can be done any time the temperatures are above freezing, for all but a few plants.

What a revelation! I’d questioned the narrow timing window for pruning myself. “Hmm,” I said to myself, “if I’m just removing branches and flowers where I don’t want them, what’s the harm?” Or as our expert’s boss told me on the phone, instead of 450 blooms you may have just 420, but they’re where you want them and they’re displayed on a better looking plant. She added that here in the Azalea Belt of the Mid-Atlantic, “If we had to prune all the azaleas within a month after blooming, I’d have to hire 3 times the staff!”

Looks like another case of over-generalization in advising about plants, which may just be my pet rant.

Our expert’s general advice on timing?

When lecturing to garden clubs I always start by saying “the best time to hand prune your shrubs is…when you have time.” Our pruning techniques can be used any time of year (except for 5 shrubs) and they will still bloom beautifully on well shaped visually pleasing shrubs.

If you have the time and find it easy to remember to prune each shrub after it flowers that’s a good strategy too.  As long as you are hand pruning and not shearing, timing is what you want and need it to be.

So what ARE the five shrubs that can’t be pruned just anytime? The very few that should only be pruned in winter are roses, wisteria, buddleia, caryopteris and (sub-shrub) Russian sage.