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Our Blog

Use our blog as a resource of information pertaining to lawn and landscape maintenance information and services for your properties.

Showing 21-30 of 67 articles.

What does it take for insects to overwinter?

What does it take for insects to overwinter?

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.

  1. Insects that overwinter below ground (Japanese beetle grubs) might not be affected by a mild winter because soil temperatures tend to be more constant. If the frost layer is deep, the survival rate may be lower.  If the frost line is shallow, there may be more survivors.
     
  2. Temperature is the key to all insect development. Have you seen a slow moving fly a few weeks ago, on a warm winter day? The higher winter temperatures “wake up” and activate the insects such as the common house fly, or woolly bear (caterpillar). They are using up stored fats they depend on to survive until the spring. Without access to food, these active insects could starve to death before food becomes available.
     
  3. Most insects adapt to cold winters by slowly preparing in the fall and staying dormant until the spring. Therefore, large temperature swings can be detrimental to insects… (There was at least one day this winter, from what I remember, where the temperature dropped a total of 50 degrees within just two days!).  We could expect some insect mortality due to cold intolerance when regularly fluctuating from 0-50 degrees.
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Disease During Drought

Disease During Drought

Plant disease-causing fungi are usually inhibited during periods of drought. Most fungi require water to infect and develop. Although drought factors tend to reduce the risk of disease, there are some disease situations that are enhanced.Leaf spotting fungi in the Helminthosporium complex are more severe when the potassium levels are low. The lack of soil moisture due to droughts can affect the availability of these nutrients although there may be adequate levels in the soil. During dew periods and other sporadic moisture periods, nutrient deficient plants can become infected and disease can develop. These leaf-spotting disease fungi can reduce hay quality.
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Working Through Winter

Working Through Winter

!!! We continue to work through the winter with Corrective and Dormant !!!

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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Fall & Winter Perennial Care

Fall & Winter Perennial Care

 

Many perennials are better left standing over the winter than cutting them down. There are several reasons for this. In addition to many of the perennials having attractive foliage and/or seed heads, they offer food resources for birds. Many birds find the seeds of perennials particularly tasty. The stems of perennials also offer a place for some birds to hide during the winter. With some marginally hardy perennials, leaving the stems up for the winter aids in overwintering. The foliage helps to insulate the crowns. Mums seem to benefit a great deal from this practice. Another reason to leave stems stand is that if the perennial is a late riser in the spring, the stems will help to mark the spot and prevent any accidental digging in the area that might harm the underground portions of the plant.

Cutting back perennials in the fall may be something you would want to do especially if you were bothered by foliage diseases. Removing the old foliage would be a positive in this case as it helps to reduce the amount of innoculum present to re-infest next year’s foliage. Removing foliage can also be one of pure aesthetics. Some gardeners like to see standing perennials in the winter and others don’t. When perennials are cut down, do so after they have gone dormant. This is usually after the plants have experienced several hard frosts. Cut the plants down to within 2-3 inches of the crown. Cutting too close can result in winter injury on some perennials due ...
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Fall Tips and Planning

Fall Tips and Planning

Things to do to prepare your plantings for winter–

*  If you have a young tree, protect the trunk with a plastic sleeve or wire guard.  This will protect against deer rubbing their antlers on the trunks and shredding the bark.  
*  Plants that may be favored by deer should be wrapped with a deer net.  The most common are Yews, certain Viburnum, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, young Magnolia trees/shrubs, young Burning shrub, to name a few.
*  Anti-desiccant spray–this is a liquid spray applied to evergreens to help them preserve moisture and protect them from winter wind burn.  
*  Mulching–apply mulch at the base of first year roses and perennials.  Often, you can rake mulch from the surrounding area–new mulch is not necessarily needed.  This helps to moderate soil temperature fluctuations–especially when there is little/no snow on the ground.  
*  Repellent–we are fans of Bobbex.  This is an effective way at deterring deer, rabbits, and voles.  Reapply about every 6 weeks–take advantage of periods of “thaw” to do the reapplication.
*  Deep root fertilization–this can be done a number of ways.  We recommend applying Milorganite (also deters deer) around the base of plants in the fall (now), drenching the soil with compost tea, or having fertilizer and bio-stimulants injected into the soil.  All of these...




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watering Instructions

watering Instructions

CongratulationsYou have just made a significant investment to your yard, and to your life, by installing new plant material. To ensure that investment is productive and successful, you need to nurture it, just like any other investment, making sure you do all you can to help it pay-off.  So, now what?

Watering – not enough or too much – is the most important step in establishing new plants. Beautiful Blooms will always “water-in” all the plant material they install for you. However, once we leave the property, you become responsible for seeing that adequate moisture is supplied. Knowing when and how much to water – and conversely, when not to water – can be tricky, so we offer these guidelines.

Perennials: It is recommended that you water 3 times-a-week, for the first 3 weeks whether is rains or not. After 3 weeks, water once-a-week, unless there is at least ½ inch of rainfall during that week. If natural rainfall is not sufficient, then supplemental, regular watering is needed. Remember that plants dry out faster in windy, unprotected areas, as well as on slopes.  Also, pay close attention to plants placed under a roof overhang; they will need slightly more water since the soil in that area tends to be drier as it does not receive any rain.

Small shrubs: You should use a hose at a slow trickle for 10-20 minutes per shrub to thoroughly saturate the root zone. You will want to keep the water at the ...

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Make Your Property Less Attractive to Ticks and their Hosts!

Make Your Property Less Attractive to Ticks and their Hosts!

The ticks are back and they’re bad! Wisconsin is considered to be at high risk statewide for Lyme disease! This month especially has been known to be an exceptionally bad time all across the country for ticks. Luckily for you there are steps to take to ward off ticks and their hosts.

Here are some options to make your property less attractive to ticks and their hosts:

  • Keep grass mowed.
  • Remove leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of the lawn.
  • Discourage rodent activity.
  • Move firewood piles and bird feeders away from the house.
  • Keep pets out of the woods to reduce ticks brought back home.
  • Use plantings that don’t attract deer or exclude deer through various types of fencing.
  • Move children’s swing sets and sandboxes away from the woodland edge and place them on a wood chip or mulch foundation.
  • Trim tree branches and shrubs around the lawn edge to let in more sunlight.

Here are some links for more information on Ticks and Lyme disease:

http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2012/06/tick.htm

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Pruning Care for Ornamental Shade Trees

Pruning Care for Ornamental Shade Trees

Tree pruning is recommended for all ornamental/shade trees that are cultivated for landscape purposes every 3-7 years, depending on the species. Of course if there is damage from a storm, disease, or other situation,  then we recommend pruning to remove the damaged/dead wood immediately so the tree can properly recover.

The reason why trees in a landscape setting should be pruned on a routine basis is to ensure the health of the tree. It is far easier to remove a problem when the branch affected is small then wait until the problem spreads to a larger part of the tree, or the branch continues to grow and the later removal results in a misshapen tree that is no longer nice to look at.

 

Proper pruning can help take care of the following issues with branches:

  • Crossing
  • Broken
  • Diseases
  • Crowding

The removal of these problems allows for the tree to continue growing in a manner that is sustainable…therefore living a longer and healthier life.

To say that a tree that is regularly cared for/pruned will have no problems is as unreasonable as saying a person who goes to a doctor for an annual exam will never become ill. However, similarly to seeing a doctor regularly, proper maintenance of your trees by a professional arborist can help to keep your trees healthy.

The primary reason why pruning is recommended for trees is to maintain and improve its health, or address a known issue.  Though it is not the primary reason when done...

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The Best Planting Tip I've Ever Received

The Best Planting Tip I've Ever Received

This spring my wife and I started to convert the expanse of lawn around our newly purchased ranch house into gardens.  While we focus on renovating the insides of the house, the focus for our garden is its infrastructure and bones.  To that end, we’ve been smothering several hundred square feet of lawn under cardboard, newspapers, and compost; planting young shrubs to create screens; carefully carving specimens out of overgrown trees; and generally preparing the soil for future garden spaces.  Last week we installed several hundred perennials and grasses on the side of our house.  During that planting, I remembered the best planting advice I’ve ever received.

 
This advice came to me by way of a representative from Monrovia Nursery.  Monrovia is one of the sleeker national nurseries with big ad budgets and relentless branding strategies.  While I’m typically turned-off by glossy national nurseries and their patented plants, I must admit that Monrovia knows their stuff when it comes to installing plants.
 
The advice focused on techniques of installing container plants.  The big problem with container plants is that they get root bound.  Roots naturally grow out and down (mostly out) away from the plant.  When the roots of a plant in a pot reaches the wall of a pot, it has nowhere to go and will begin circling the perimeter of a pot over and over again.  Almost any gardener who has...
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Vision, Mission, Core Values

Vision, Mission, Core Values

Vision:

To gain the reputation within our community as the leading environmentally conscious landcare company.

Mission:

To nurture lasting relationships with each client and provide exceptional property management while supporting environmental principles, thereby allowing our clients to ‘appreciate’ their property in more ways than one.

Core Values:

Safety
Relationship
Quality
Teamwork
Profitability

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