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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 11-20 of 33 articles.

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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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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How to Install a Rain Barrel

How to Install a Rain Barrel

1. Choose a rain barrel made with food-grade plastic that holds at least 55 gallons of water. Locate it uphill from the area you’d like to irrigate, near a downspout, and on a hard, flat surface. You can increase the water pressure coming from your rain barrel by elevating it on cinder blocks. To create a cinder-block base, place three 8-by-8-by-16-inch cinderblocks lengthwise (flat surface down, holes pointed out) and arrange them so they form a triangle. Check to make sure the blocks are level and then center the rain barrel on top of the base.

2. Select a front side for your barrel and attach a 3/4-inch spigot about 2 inches from the bottom using a bulkhead fitting. Reach down into the barrel to determine the lowest spot you can position the fitting, and drill a hole in the outside of the barrel. Thread the spigot into the fitting (using a reducer, or bushing, if necessary) so you get a tight, leak-free fit. “Use a spigot with a 3/4-inch male inlet, rather than a 1/2-inch one, because it allows more water to flow through, which is especially important if you plan to hook a soaker hose up to the barrel,” says Lenny Librizzi, who has installed 40 rainwater-harvesting systems for community gardens (including a couple as part of the Organic Gardening WaterWorks project) in his work for the Council on the Environment in New York City.

3. Prevent your rain barrel from overflowing by installing a downspout diverter. This ...

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The "PJM" Rhododendron

The

Rhododendron-Facts

Height: 5 feet

Spread: 5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone: 3b

Group/Class: P.J.M. Series

Description:

A pretty broad-leaf evergreen shrub with showy purple-pink flowers in spring and a compact upright habit, very hardy, interesting fall coloration; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil, use plenty of peat moss when planting

Ornamental Features:rododendron

P.J.M. Rhododendron is covered in stunning clusters of lightly-scented lavender trumpet-shaped flowers with rose overtones at the ends of the branches in mid spring, which emerge from distinctive fuchsia flower buds. It has green foliage. The narrow leaves turn an outstanding purple in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The smooth gray bark is not particularly outstanding.

Landscape Attributes:

P.J.M. Rhododendron is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.Jacobson (3)

P.J.M. Rhododendron is recommended for the following landscape applications; 

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Plant Characteristics:

P.J.M. Rhododendron...

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What does it mean to hire a Landscape Industry Certified contractor?

What does it mean to hire a Landscape Industry Certified contractor?

Hiring a Landscape Certified Contractor: An Olympic-style achievement.

What it actually means to be Landscape Industry Certified- Did you know that 3 of our employees are certified already? And 2 more on their way!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXlGoW99iEE&feature=youtu.be

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Add some life to your winter landscape by attracting wild birds.

Add some life to your winter landscape by attracting wild birds.

Many people enjoy seeing birds in the winter.  It seems to bring LIFE to the otherwise barren landscape.  Attracting birds is not difficult, and in fact can be easier to do in the winter than any other time of year when there are many food choices readily available.  Birds, like humans, have three basic needs to survive the winter: water, food, and shelter.  You can provide these needs through wise choices with your landscaping or with supplemental baths, feeders, and shelters.

Attracting Birds during a Wisconsin Winter

Frigid temperatures, blustery storms and limited food supplies make winter the harshest season for wild birds.  Bird mortality is actually quite high throughout the long winter season. Homeowners who supply the basic needs for birds are quickly rewarded with visual delight as they can observe a diverse flock of nature’s finest feathered friends.  For best results, I advise you to start early in the autumn to prepare your yard for winter so birds can learn it is a safe place long before they are in desperate need.

Water

Birds require water to survive; while they are capable of melting snow and ice, this requires an immense amount of energy.  Furthermore, when we have no snow or ice on the ground, birds need to fly greater distances, sometimes exposing themselves to severe cold and subjecting themselves to other threats.  Supply fresh water and you will readily attract many birds in the winter. To...

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Got Slugs?

Got Slugs?

Hosta growers always seem to have their fair share (or Unfair) share of slugs.  In my years in horticulture, I can’t really think of any other plant that gets “slugged” more than hostas, and last year seemed to be a big year for them!

Slugs are related to snails.  Like snails, they need a damp environment to survive.  Remember how cool and wet last spring (2013) was? Bad for us, but heavenly for slugs- They thrived during a normal season.  Slugs protect themselves from drying out by hiding during the day and feeding at night.  The feeding damage appears on the leaves as large irregular holes, making your plants pretty unattractive.  There are many different methods you may have heard or read about- suggesting control methods. But you’ve “tried them all”, and can’t seem to find one that truly works right?

As more than just your typical landscape company, Beautiful Blooms and their team of trained and educated horticulturalists, has advanced in the green industry focusing on sustainability- therefore- chemical reliance is little to none.  We suggest you start with the basics. themselves from drying out by hiding during the day and feeding at night.

The first thing you do, is clean up your beds and areas around the damaged plants.  Eliminate the daytime hiding places for slugs by removing leaf debris, along with things like bricks, boards, or other damp...

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Watering Trees & Shrubs

Watering Trees & Shrubs

Remember the summer of 2012?  Wisconsin along with much of the nation experienced a severe drought.  If you were a client of Beautiful Blooms, then you may recall an E-Mail we sent out, suggesting that you forgo setting up the sprinkler to water your lawn and focus on saving your trees and shrubs instead.  The reasoning behind this was that you have invested a large amount of time (as in, years!) and money (possibly hundreds or even thousands of dollars) in your mature trees and shrubs and they are not easily replaceable, unlike turf, annuals and perennials.  Your loss would be greater if a 35 ft Autumn Blaze Maple were to die than if your Picasso Geraniums died.  I’m sure many of you followed her advice, but I’m also guessing some of you did not.  And it may be because you simply did not know how to go about it, so let’s address that so the next time we face a drought of that magnitude- and we will- you are prepared to save those trees and larger shrubs!

Irrigation can account for up to 75% of annual municipal water use (according to a study by the University of Utah) and much of it is applied in excess of a plants needs due to over-spray and improper watering techniques.  Proper irrigation encourages deeper root growth which leads to healthier more drought tolerant plants.  Trees take up and use a lot of water when the temperature climbs, the problem is that, they do not show wilt as easily as ...

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Organic Vegetable Gardening

Organic Vegetable Gardening

Picture this:  It’s a beautiful, sunny, summer day, and you’re finally sitting down at the dinner table to enjoy a fresh salad with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, maybe even a few fresh green beans or green onion… and fresh strawberries, raspberries, or apple slices on the side.  The best part?  All of these fruits and vegetables were grown on your own property. 

Whether you have a tiny balcony or patio, or a large back garden, the possibilities and ability to grow your own food is a great project that will reap any rewards! One of the biggest benefits of growing and eating your own food, is that it’s healthy!  The fruits and vegetables you grow at home will be more nutritious and healthy for you than the ones you buy at the grocery store because you cannot get any fresher!  Not to mention, the produce you pick from your garden will probably not be sprayed with pesticides!  Did you know that you are more likely to eat more fruits and veggies if you grow them yourself?  Studies have shown that families who grow their own produce are more than twice as likely to eat the recommended 5 servings of fruit and veggies per day, they also enjoy and appreciate them more! That makes sense doesn’t it?  You stay healthier by being outdoors more often, getting a little exercise, fresh air, gardening… Believe it or not, you can save money on your food bill too!  Produce...

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Bumble Bees in the Garden

Bumble Bees in the Garden

If you are an avid gardener, you know how great it is to have bumble bees in your garden.  Not honey bees, but bumble bees.  Bumble bees are friendlier than honey bees and typically, will not sting unless they are being handled roughly or harmed.  Unlike honey bees, they do not “swarm”, nor do they attack like wasps.  They do not live in hives or make large amounts of honey, but they have equally important roles in the ecosystem.  This is why we need to attract and encourage bumble bees into our yards.

Humans have known the value of bees in agriculture for centuries.  They are the most effective pollinators in the world and an invaluable resource in agriculture technology.   About two-thirds of the world’s crops rely on bees and other pollinators; without them, there would be no fruits or vegetables.  As a society, we are just starting to realize their power in bolstering the health and productivity of the home garden.  Bees are just too important to be ignored.

By creating a more “bee friendly” yard and landscape, it will be easier for you to attract bees and keep them coming back!  Avoid pesticides!  Bumble bees, and other pollinators, respond to insecticides and herbicides commonly used for controlling Japanese beetles and Emerald ash borer.  Even minimal exposure can cause bees to have problems flying, and they can lose their sense of taste.  Planting flowers that...

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