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

Showing 51-60 of 66 articles.

Organics–Did you know that BBLD…?

Organics–Did you know that BBLD…?

Weed that can be found in %targetarea1%%.Did you know that since 2009, Beautiful Blooms has been using OMRI approved organic pesticides to care for plants in your landscape and since the spring of 2012 the only synthetic pesticide we use in the care of your landscape perennials and shrub beds is Roundup®?  It’s true!

In early spring of 2012, I took our inventory of synthetic pesticides to the local hazardous waste processing facility and we have not looked back since.  I have to say…it felt really good to do that, that day.

In June of 2013 we used up our last bag of synthetic fertilizer for landscape beds and when Mary Beth asked if she should order more I said “Nope, we’ve got that covered with organics now”.  What I was referring to was using compost tea with various organic additives.  We have a compost tea brewer and we brew 20-80 gallons of tea per week for use on all of the properties we care for.  The results are tremendous.  We see an improved perennial in just a few days or weeks, shrubs react a little more slowly and typically show their improved health the following year after applications have begun.  Remember—compost tea is a soil treatment and healing our soils after years/decades of degradation through the use of conventional chemical use take a little bit of time.

At this time, the only synthetic pesticides that we use in the care for ANY landscape is for the treatment of pests or diseases on trees and broad leaf...

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Watering your new plants

Watering your new plants

Congratulations! You 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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Kindred Spirit Tells About Fall Lawn Care

Kindred Spirit Tells About Fall Lawn Care

Fall: My Favorite Season & Great Grass Growing Weather

—Mike Harrington

Fall is my favorite time of the entire year. Cooler nights and decreasing daytime temperatures are a big factor in my enjoyment of this season. I love being outside on fall evenings because you can feel the temperature changes every night. Rainfall events also happen more frequently during the fall as compared to the normal July and August weather and I thoroughly enjoy storms. Turf-grass has been a passion for me for over 2 decades now. I am not sure it is fair to compare myself to turf-grass as kindred spirits, but just as I love the weather and the season, so does turf-grass.

The heat and humidity have dropped allowing turf-grass to thrive in cooler temperatures. The rainfall helps to keep the grass growing and it definitely aids in germination of any new seed that has been planted. These conditions make the fall the best time of year to try and repair a lawn that has been damaged from neglect, overuse, or just summer stress. The first step in lawn repair and recovery is aeration.

Aeration is best performed in the fall because it helps stressed turf to recover from the summer’s heat and humidity. It opens up the soil allowing better nutrient and moisture uptake. Aeration relieves compaction that forms from use of the lawn. It also helps to relieve the hardpan areas that might develop from the long periods of time with a lack of moisture. Not only does aeration benefit the...

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Rehab for Your Lawn

Rehab for Your Lawn

Is your lawn chemical dependent?  For over half a century, the normal and accepted way to maintain a home lawn was to apply fertilizer, pesticides, water, and regularly mow it….and collect the clippings of course.  In the past decade this mantra has been evolving.

Two items on this list seem to be easily understood and adapted by the majority of the public.  
First to go was collecting your clippings.

This seemed to be perhaps the most painless step in converting the general public to a more earth friendly way of caring for their lawn—in part because the municipalities stopped collecting most green waste.

Depending on the part of the country you live in, watering restrictions can be severe.  Here in Wisconsin we typically only see restrictions during extended periods with little to no rain.  Even these restrictions are quite mild—usually every other day watering is allowed.  Compare that with west Texas where outdoor watering is limited to 2 hours per MONTH.

Maintaining a tightly manicured lawn requires a lot of inputs.  Can we have our cake and eat it too?  That is really the question.  Most people are not willing to give up all of their lawn space, and it is justifiably useful to a degree.  If you have pets, children, or simply enjoy being outside in your yard lawn is a necessary part of your landscape.  To decrease the amount of synthetic fertilizer and pesticides applied to your...

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Spring Bulb Planting Tips

Spring Bulb Planting Tips

Flowers that have been planted within the landscape bed of a Brookfield, Elm Grove homeowner.Flower bulbs are easy to plant and easy to care for. Here is general information that applies to all spring-flowering bulbs.  Spring-flowering bulbs MUST be planted in fall when soil temperatures are between 40-55 degrees F.  I prefer to plant as late in the season as possible because it gives the critters that much less time to dig them up before the ground freezes.  Once the ground freezes, the bulbs are safely locked into a vault of frozen soil until spring when they will abound with beautiful colors.  Just remember, spring flowering bulbs MUST be planted before the onset of winter. Choosing a Site There are two key considerations when choosing a site for bulbs.

Wauwatosa landscape bed with flowers grown successfully from bulbs.

1. Sunlight

Most bulbs need ample sunshine to bloom well next spring and to store up the energy required to flower in future springs. Many bulbs–including crocuses and bluebells–can be planted beneath deciduous trees; these bulbs  are able to satisfy most of their light needs before the trees leaf out. (See each item we offer for specific light requirements.)

2. Drainage

All bulbs need good drainage; never plant bulbs where water collects. The drainage of heavy clay soils may be improved by digging in organic matter such as compost or composted manure. How to Plant There are two principal ways of planting bulbs.

3. Planting a bed

Excavate the area to be planted and loosen the soil in the bottom. Set the bulbs in the bed, following the spacing recommendations...

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Why Are My Shoes Turning Orange?

Why Are My Shoes Turning Orange?

Rust fungus has set into the lawn of this Brookfield, Elm Grove commercial property owner.Not surprising…our weather conditions have been prime for rust fungus to form on lawns this year.  Most commonly, rust is noticed during periods of slow growth.  Our lawns typically go dormant during the summer months due to the lack of rain and also heat.  This summer is the first in a very long time that we have had regular rain fall through the entire summer months and also cool temperatures.  For the most part, non-irrigated lawns have kept their lovely green color all season.  Though, the rate of growth has slowed down.

Rust is noticed during periods of slow growth because the rust is not being physically removed by regular mowing at a fast rate as it would be if the lawn were growing rapidly.  Therefore, the rust has an opportunity to proliferate on the slower growing blade of grass.

Once conditions are right for the grass to begin growing more rapidly, the rust ‘problem’ will mitigate itself without any additional inputs.  Conditions can be related to weather or nutrients.

Some may advise that an application of fertilizer will take care of the rust problem.  And while it is true that applying fertilizer will probably increase the rate of growth, applying fertilizer may not be the appropriate thing to do.  If the soil is holding enough nutrients already, then these additional nutrients may just runoff and pollute our environment.  Also, given that it is the middle of summer and weather...

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Diseases on Lawns 2013

Diseases on Lawns 2013

Disease seen in some lawns

Earlier this week, we were called to a home in Pewaukee because of some suspicious looking dead patches.  At first, we thought it was an overspray of roundup.  Once we saw the area in person we soon realized that it was a fungal disease.

How can we tell the difference?  With a fungal disease there are various distinct markings on the leaf blades and also if inspected early in the day we can often see mycelium (fuzzy stuff).  Each sort of plant disease has very distinct characteristics in how they look either to the naked eye, or under a microscope.

What should be done?  On a residential lawn, usually nothing.  As soon as conditions change, the disease progression will stop.  The damage is often very minor and the lawn will recover just fine on its own.  One of the reasons why the damage is minor is because your lawn is created from several types of grass.  Often a disease only attacks one type and the others are unscathed.

In other scenarios, such as a golf course, where there are monocultures of grasses planted, pristine conditions are demanded and because of the way the turf is maintained overall, the application of a fungicide may be necessary to halt its progression. 

For a home lawn situation however, it is not prudent to apply fungicides for a problem that is really quite temporary, likely to pass with a change in weather, and not cause significant damage.  If there is...

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Aftershocks of 2012 Drought

Aftershocks of 2012 Drought

2012 Drought = Dead or stressed plants

Yep, we are certainly seeing the effects of the drought last year.  Established and new plants alike, many are dead or severely stressed this year.

Obviously, if it is a dead plant—it needs to be replaced.  Have you noticed a dead plant that we have not talked to you about?  Please shoot us an e-mail so we can get this replacement on our list.

Seemingly healthy plants last summer have begun to show signs of stress this year.  Most noted on shrubs and trees.  Signs to be aware of include dieback, prolific flowering or seed production (more than normal), increased number of basal shoots (suckers), off color or early fall color on leaves.  To reverse the damage done from the drought it is important to pamper your stressed plants.

Three main ways to do this includes monitoring moisture, fertilizer needs, and good pruning practices.  For shrubs, I feel that stressed plants will need to be pampered for about 2 years.  Trees may not even be showing all of the long term affects of such a severe drought, therefore I recommend pampering ALL trees for the next 5 years.  I encourage you to contact us with any concerns you have about the long term health of your trees, or contact our preferred certified arborist Dave at M&M Tree Service directly at 414-355-3420.

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Rain, Rain, & More RAIN!

Rain, Rain, & More RAIN!

What about all this rain!?

Too little, too much….either can be devastating!  There is NOTHING we can do to control the weather but we can react to the effects that it has on our landscapes.  To do this most effectively and efficiently requires a partnership between you and Beautiful Blooms.  Please be observant when enjoying your landscapes and pass any notes/concerns on to us—we will respond as best that we are able to.

Things to observe, specifically—

  • yellowing of lower leaves (a sign of too much water)
  • spots on leaves (possible disease)
  • white fuzzy stuff on plants or the lawn (probably active fungus)
  • long lasting puddles (drainage issue)
  • issues with downspouts
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Blades are Sharpened!

Blades are Sharpened!

Pruning and Shrub Shaping

The spring flowering shrubs and Yew shrubs are ready for a trim!  We began shaping and trimming last week and will continue working through all properties until complete….and then we’ll start all over again.  J  For the entire month of July, there is extra time added to all of our regular maintenance visits to accommodate the additional work.

The delayed spring weather, ample amounts of rain and periodic HOT days have caused nature to be slightly off kilter this year.  My general assessment right now is that the normal sequence/progression of spring (forsythia bloom!) and early summer (shrub roses in full bloom!) that spans the time from about April 15-June 1st was shifted and consolidated to May 9-June 20th.  In addition to the natural progression of spring was the great emergence of 2013—first tree leaves fully emerged on May 19th (about 3 weeks later than normal) and just 4 weeks later the shrubs are in need of trimming.  Normally, there is a 6 week or more time frame between first full leaf emergence and trimming/shaping.  Yikes!

Normally, we begin trimming shrubs the first week of June.  By the first week of June most spring flowering shrubs have nearly completed their flowering, not this year though, the delayed spring also delayed flowering on many shrubs.  Unfortunately—at the same time leaf/shoot growth was/is in full swing.  For example, while lilacs...

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