Use our blog as a resource of information pertaining to landscaping, hardscaping, and other topics pertinent to the care and aesthetics of your property.
Mulching is an important part to the landscaping, and one of the most beneficial and easiest steps. There are many reasons to mulch around your plants. The first is to retain moisture. Mulch helps to slowly release water into the soil as you water. This allows for greater soil infiltration. This results in even soil moisture levels and a healthier root system. The mulch also helps the soil to keep the water that it does absorb by reducing the amount of moisture evaporating into the air. All in all this makes it easier for you because it reduces the amount of water needed to be applied.
Mulching helps to regulate the temperature of the soil surrounding your plants. It keeps soil cool in the summer, as much as 30 degrees cooler than the air temperature compared to bare soil or soil covered with stone. It also acts as a natural insulator in the winter. It allows for a slower freezing and more uniform temperature to make for less drastic temperature changes and prolongs the plant life.
Mulch can come in many forms. They can be organic or inorganic materials. Organic materials are ones in which they used to be a living plant form (i.e. bark nuggets, shredded wood chips, pine needles, and hay or straw). Inorganic materials include anything that would be considered man made. The natural or organic materials are best because they naturally decompose to add nutrients to the soil beneath. These nutrients are carried deep into the root systems by earthworms. These earthworms also ...
How many times have you said “learn from your mistakes.” Well, that is exactly what Nick Christians, a research at Iowa State University did. His mistake was spilling corn gluten meal (CGM) while working in the research fields. He was using the CGM as an ingredient in fertilizer. He noticed that in the spot where he spilled the CGM, no seed would germinate. Aha! He learned from his mistake that CGM is not only a great source of nitrogen for plants but may also work as a pre-emergent weed seed control!
Corn gluten meal is a fine powder that is a byproduct of the corn milling process. Traditionally it had always been used as a supplement in hog feed. There is a natural protein in CGM that is a good nutrient for lawns and gardens and also an effective at suppressing new weed growth. Although we cannot refer to CGM as Organic because it is not made from organically grown corn, it is non-toxic and safe.
How does corn gluten meal work? The Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (N-P-K) ratio of corn gluten is 10-1-0, or 10% nitrogen by weight. The reason why it is a natural weed suppressant when applied at 20 pounds per 1000 square feet is because as soon as the seed germinates, the tender root is dried out. Combined, these qualities make CGM an ideal weed and feed product.
Does corn gluten meal hurt my plants? When applied at the recommend rate of 20lbs/1000 square feet, CGM only works by inhibiting root formation at the time of germination, it does not harm ...
Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2nd, each year in the United States and Canada. For a nice welcomed break during the winter, on this day the groundhog awakens from his nap and goes outside to see if he can see his shadow. It is believed my many that if the groundhog sees his shadow that there will then be six more weeks of winter. If this is so, he then retrieves back into his den and goes back to sleep. If he is not able to see his shadow, the groundhog remains outside to play and people celebrate believing that spring is just around the corner.
As the Germans settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, they brought this tradition with them. The tradition was based on Candlemas, which is the day that is the midpoint between winter and spring.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has been chosen as the site for the annual Groundhog day event. Thousands of people come to the town of Punsxutawney on Groundhog Day for this day of celebration.
Although already a well known day, Groundhog Day received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Roger Rininger as the groundhog.
Before I started working with Beautiful Blooms, I had never really paid attention to frost, I just knew that my lavender plants would get fussy after a harsh winter. During the beginning of spring, we typically start an hour later than we would during the summer. The crews come in on time, load up their trucks, and are eager to head out to fulfill their tasks for the day. One morning, after our daily “morning meeting”, Loriena gave a little lecture on frost. She explained to the crew why it’s important to stay off our client’s grass until the sun has come up and melted the frost. She explained how frost can form and how to avoid damaging lawns and other plant material. Continue Reading…
Post to blog article on website: The temperature can be perfect for frost, she explained, but if it’s overcast and windy, frost either won’t occur or it will be light. But this doesn’t mean the grass cannot freeze, or form ice. It is important to keep off grass that has a heavy frost, especially when the height is kept short.
Here’s the easiest way I can describe why it’s best to keep off frozen lawns. When you walk on frost or frozen grass, you can literally break the grass blades. It is no different than if you dropped a full glass of water on a hard floor. The glass breaks and all the contents leak out. In the case of turf we break the cell membranes which causes internal damage to the plant. This typically results in...
Does a warmer winter mean more pests to manage during spring and summer? Actually, there are a few other factors to consider before concluding this theory.
Pruning deciduous plants while there are no leaves on the plant allows us to see the complete framework of the plant and do a thorough job of pruning. We will work through the winter season to do this work. The cost for pruning a shrub or ornamental tree is far less than the cost of replacing an overgrown tree or shrub in the future–pruning is a necessary task in the maintenance of an ornamental landscape and should be done every 1-5 years depending on the plant species. Corrective pruning or rejuvenation pruning is just that–it is to correct mismanaged plants or to reinvigorate them by removing a substantial amount of growth. This drastic measure may be needed initially, but not as an ongoing part of a sustainable landscape management program. Contact us for a full property review (free)– Be aware of anything that needs attention!
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