Landscaping & Trees

How to Pick the Right Tree for Your Garden

Landscaping & Trees A beautiful garden seems incomplete without at least a few trees. A garden isn’t so beautiful when the wrong trees are planted. In this post we will discuss the challenges involved with selecting the right trees, and how to plan and maintain the tree of choice.

Landscaping Concern

Trees are interesting, love property assets that could either bring you quite a significant return on investment, or it could cost you dearly for a number of troubles it does to your garden.

Before deciding on which tree/plantation to grow in your garden based on aesthetic considerations, do some homework on their rooting system as well as their water and nutrient requirements.

Bamboo

Bamboo for one is a very invasive species where the roots can readily penetrate residential foundations and piping systems. It is advised to plant bamboo far away from your home and carefully monitor its growth if planted in soil. Alternatively, durable pots should be used for any landscape design that is close to the property.

Having said that, a carefully designed bamboo patch makes a tremendous natural screen wall to maximise the privacy on your property.  Many landscaping designs also incorporate the use of sand and pebbles to add an accent of serenity to your garden.

Bamboo Wall

Pine and Spruce

Not all trees would live in perfect harmony with your lawn. Have you seen someone’s yard with tall trees and ugly brown patches of soil right below it? It is a very common sight in the Pacific West Coast. There are ways to work around this issue to charm up your garden. Let’s first address why grasses turn brown under these evergreens.

It is a general misconception that the needles from pine and spruce trees are too acidic for healthy grass growth. Numerous researches have proven this claim false by confirming the pH of pine needles to be near neutral.

What is causing the retrieve of lawn around these trees has to do with nutrient and water supply. Pine and Spruce’s trees require a significant amount of water, and they can easily sap away the moisture from the lawn close to them. The accumulative layers of fallen needles with the added blockage of sunlight from the tree shades creates a perfect environment for fungal and bacterial growth, a perfect killing zone for a lawn.

If these are the type of trees you are planning to invest, plant a rounded circle and cover them with coarse rocks. Aesthetically, the needles would fall through the cracks easier this way, making the scene more pleasing to the eye. Trim and prune your tree accordingly annually, so it does not outgrow the planned radius of your landscape design.

Safety and Forecasting

When buying and planting a tree, know the vigour and the growth rate of your tree. This is especially important when a power line runs across your property. The last thing you want to do is having to top the grown trees, which is in a way a slow death sentence to the tree.

Do leave enough space around your shed, vegetable garden and deck to avoid potential crowding from the tree.

Maintenance

There will come a time when your tree has grown in enough size where pruning and trimming are evident. It is highly encouraged that homeowners do some online research before picking up the trimmer or chainsaw to start hacking away your precious vegetations.

In the powerline scenario mentioned earlier, it might easy to conclude that topping the tree is the best solution for safety. However, when a tree is topped, or horizontally cut of all its branches, the tree goes into a state of shock as it no longer has sufficient foliage to provide the nutrients for the tree.

This forces the tree to rapidly grow out new shoots to try and compensate for the loss of energy production. These new shoots will go up fast and furious, while stressing and reducing the health of the tree significantly. This downward spiral creates many problems as infections could start to set in from the declining tree health. The tree might be required to be topped again in a year or two given the rapid growth of the new branches.

When in doubt, consult a professional tree service company for the best pruning strategy. Winter time is perfect as one can have a clear view of how the tree is performing. Pruning after the plant has gone into dormancy also ensures that no new shoots are produced after the pruning.

This practice is in place in the vineyards as well. There is a lot of garden work that can be done during the winter months.

Moisture

Some homeowners choose to water their trees daily, some every few days. Some species are more so than others. The rule of thumb is, get in the habit of applying thorough watering deep into the grounds every so often during the warmer months to promote root development.

Surface watering does not allow moisture to trickle deep into the grounds. When watering occasionally but thoroughly, moisture is retained deep in the soil which promotes better rooting network to develop. This can be a life saver during the hotter summer months.

The real trick is winter. In some parts of the continent, winter drought is an issue a the tree struggle to retain enough moisture from the freezing environment. A good trick homeowners can employ to mulch around the plant.

Mulching not only locks in more moisture around three, but at the same time serves as an insulator against the cold. Do not mulch too close to the trunk however, as the pest can become a concern.

Now that we covered the planning and maintenance side of things, what are some top tree picks for home gardens?

The List of Awesome Garden Trees

Impressive Garden Tree, weeping Cherry

  1. Crab Apples
  2. Maples
  3. Redbuds
  4. Weeping Cherries
  5. Sorrel
  6. Spruce
  7. Honey Locust
  8. Citrus Trees

 

Video speaks louder than words, so we’re going to give credits to the English Gardening Magazine for a video on how to pick the right tree:

 

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PROTECTING YOUR LAWN FROM BUGS ATTACK

dont-let-your-lawn There is a very old saying that prevention is better than cure, which applies well in almost every stream of our lives, also when we are talking about preventing our beautiful lawn from the damage of pest and bugs attack. Pests and Bugs that can cause huge damage to the lawn or green grass includes the Caterpillars, Cutworms, Army worms, grubs, lawn moths and other insects.  


Generally, watering the grass on regular basis, removing the old and dead leaves and thatch, etc helps in keeping the grass fit. This strengthens it further to fight the chinch bugs as they cannot lay eggs without the thatch cover. Lawn bugs can also be prevented with the use of pest controlling chemicals. Use of pest controllers like insecticides and pesticides help the growth of pest in lawn.


However in the cases if the bugs are still invading your lawn, following methods can be proceeded to get your grass rid of them.


In case the bug invading your lawn is a caterpillar, you need to understand the fact that these don’t do any damage to the lawn unless and until they are too many in number. This can be tested by performing drench test. In this test you need to mix two spoon of salt in 2 gallon of water and put the mixture on a square patch of your lawn. The land needs to be watched for 10-15 minutes to be able to count the number of caterpillars that appears up. If the count increases fifteen, it is a serious problem and the grass needs to be treated for the caterpillars.


Another culprit that preys on the roots of your grass and generates brown patches is the white grub worm.  The reason that can led to the grass to have patches many include dog urine, uneven or irregular watering or maintenance, over use of chemicals like pesticides and insecticides. Just like the caterpillar test one can also test for white grub worms. You just need to dig around the roots and wait for the grubs to come out. If the count is more than six, it is a serious issue and needs treatment.


Another type of bugs called the chinch bugs is very harmful for the grass as they may cause big patches of 2-3 feet in diameter. These bugs grow in number with the scarcity of water resources. Hence a chinch bug affected lawn should be watered regularly and treated as soon as possible. Proper maintenance, removal of thatch and regularity in watering of the grass can help reducing the chances of your lawn getting affected by chinch bugs.


None of these prevention measures can be taken as guaranteed protection against the bugs attack. It is advisable to keep regular maintenance and watering of the lawn to reduce the danger to minimum.

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Lawn Care Essentials during the Winter Season

lawn-service Any garden is incomplete without its flowing green lawn. The efforts put in for maintaining a lawn gets reflected in the way it looks. There are no doubts in the fact that a lawn needs to be taken care whole year around. And winter season is one of the crucial seasons for taking essential lawn care measures. Where winter season needs the maximum lawn care, with almost negligible activity on the ground, the use of fertilizers and other soil enriching products is easier as well as effective in this season. So here are few lawn care tips to take care of your dear lawn in chilly winter winds.

Lawns are usually damaged by pests and insects taking shelter in the grass during winters. However, by lowering the blades of the lawn mowers and reducing the size of the grass, the winter pest attack can be reduced to minimum. This helps in preserving the quality of the grass until the spring season is back and the grass flourished again.

As mentioned above, it is the best season to feed your lawn soil with the best of fertilizers and other essentials, in the very launch of the winters. This will help the grass to retain its texture and strength by the start of the spring and stay harmless from the affects of chilly winters.

Regular care is very important during the winter season. This includes removing all the broken and fallen branches or leaves from the ground that can hamper the growth and nourishment of the grass. It is also advisable to remove any kind of article such as furniture, swings etc sitting on the grass as the grass can get easily destroyed in the winters.

In order to fight back the chilly winds the grass loses its strength and cannot bear the weight of people walking on it. So in case of your lawn in an area that gets snow in winters, it’s essential to clear the pathways that goes from the lawns to not to encourage people walking on it.  

Another important thing that needs attention in the area that gets snow in the winter season is the content of salt in the snow. In case the snow is salty, it is a Big No No to let that salty water spread on the lawn as salt is a big enemy of lush green grass. Measures taken to prevent the snow staying on the grass for longer can actually increase the lifespan of your grass.

Lawn care is though simple and easy, it requires daily time and commitment. As they say, Prevention is better than cure, It is better to prevent your lawn from getting damaged in the winter season than working hard to cure it after the damage has occurred!

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COFFEE FOR YOUR LAWN

86485233_xs A hot cup of coffee is just what you need to get your day started. Sometimes just the aroma of coffee is enough to refresh a tired body to get to normal in minutes. Just like it does refreshes our mind and revive our body strength, coffee is also a very healthy and natural option for our lawn turf.


Though most of us are aware of the fact that coffee is used in the lawn soil and is good for it, very less people are aware of the fact that it is not the caffeine in the coffee which is helpful but the traces of phosphorous, nitrogen and other minerals that makes it a good choice for lawn soil. Now it makes sense, isn’t it?


Now how does it work better than the chemical fertilizers?  The traces of molecules of nitrogen, phosphorous and minerals in coffee break out at rather slower pace than it does in the chemical fertilizers that does it at once.  The slower absorption of minerals in solid ultimately led to stronger turf with natural enrichments. On the other hand chemical fertilizers are artificially bombarded with nutrients and as soon as they are sprayed in the soil, they break at once. Most of these nutrients in the fertilizers are not fully absorbed by the soil. Surely they are quicker but not as long lasting as the natural coffee grounds.


Earthworms are always known be farmer’s best friend as they go to and fro in the soil, eat the grounds and ultimately aerate the soil making it rich in good nutrients and ultimately improving the growth of the plant and grass. Now how to invite the worms to your garden to help? Call them over a coffee. Yes you read it right! Earthworms love coffee like us and adding coffee to soil ultimately led to amazing results.


The process can be carried forward by making holes in a bucket and putting the coffee grounds in it and moving around the whole garden. A little efforts to seep the coffee in with soil is required by human hands, rest is all effectively carried out by our worm friends.


Anyone can save their own coffee grounds or can get a small coffee shop to arrange them for you. Big coffee houses like Starbucks also sells the grounds to the customers willing to strengthen their lawn grass. The coffee treatment is recommended once, every month.


Coffee does wonders to our lawns as well as our mornings!

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