Posted by & filed under Gardens, Lawn.

Sunflower in the Heat
A lot of people want to figure out how to protect their plants during heat waves so that way they can keep them from dying. Evergreen Landscapes has a few ideas that you can use to keep your Burlington or Oakville garden protected and healthy.

The Benefits of Mulch

First of all, you want to make sure you protect the soil surface that surrounds your plants since the extreme heat will soak up a lot of the moisture from the ground surface which can ruin your garden. You’ll want to do this by adding mulch. This serves as a multi-purpose idea. First of all, mulch can protect the top soil from direct sunlight which can soak up a lot of the moisture. Secondly, the mulch can reduce the amount of moisture that’s in the soil from the sunlight. Different mulch types can help with heat waves. Some colours of the mulch like light mulches can help reflect the light which seems to help prevent from the sunlight absorbing the moisture. You can use grass clippings for vegetable gardens and small flower gardens to help fertilize your garden. You can use bark mulch for your shrubbery which also help from weeds growing in your garden.

Timing of Watering your Garden is Critical

If you know you you’re going to have a heat wave the next day it is important to water your garden in the morning. This way the ground is able to soak up the water before the sun and the heat are able to absorb the water and send it to the roots of the plants. This also helps prevent from your leaves from heat scalding.  Some plants will need to be watered a second time, especially if they are new nursery beds or seedlings. During the heat, plants need the proper watering. You can use soaker hoses to give water to the plants constantly but preferably you would want to hand water your garden to give your garden the right amount of water needed. Since you also water in the morning it can help against fungal disease and well as slugs from ruining your garden.

Keep Plants Cool in the Shade

You want to have a lot of shade for your garden if your garden is at least protected from the sun for a part of the day it helps keep the moisture inside your garden which gives the plants a lot more time to soak up the water. You can also create your own shade for you plants are you can even get shade cloths for them.

If you have moved some of your other plants into a new area the heat wave would hit the hardest on them because they haven’t taken root into the new ground around them so they won’t be able to absorb the moisture to its maximum. So try planting them into the shade of other taller plants so the sun effects them less. This way the sun won’t affect them as much, and also plant them by plants that you will be removing soon so that way when they do take root you will be removing the older plant and they will start getting the proper sunlight that they need.

Another tip would keep your grass a bit longer to around 3” which will cast longer shadows into your garden which will also help you maintain moisture. You don’t want to add fertilizers into your grass since when it’s warm outside its hard for the grass to absorb the nutrients it needs so you want to wait till it cools down.

Hamilton Heatwaves and your Garden

Make sure you follow these tips when taking care of your lawn and garden. Heat waves are short enough that you don’t have to worry about your gardens too much but the longer heat waves are more of a challenge.  With these helpful tips you should be able to keep your garden healthy.

 

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscaping Design, Lawn.

Like all timeless masterpieces, beautiful landscapes are not built in a day. To achieve the backyard landscape of your dreams, you must first create a concept plan that carefully lays out the features you want in your landscape. Each landscape plan should be created custom so that the overall design meets the unique functional and aesthetic appeal you are looking for.

Before you dive into a landscape project here are three main considerations you should contemplate. Ultimately an effective landscape design will involve figuring out the functionality you are looking for in an outdoor space, what environmental factors will influence your design and what style you are going for. Once you have a greater understanding of your goals and the natural landscape you are working with, you will be able to create the perfect outdoor living space. Planning ahead will help create unity between your indoor and outside spaces and reflect your personality & lifestyle.

Landscape Design services

Functionality

The first step to creating your own personal oasis is deciding what you want out of your landscape. The options are endless, but you need to prioritize what kind of activities you envision yourself and your family doing outside. Depending on your space and budget you might be able to create a space that has it all, but in most cases, you must prioritize what you want out of your backyard. Some common backyard goals include privacy, entertaining, relaxing, and growing your own garden. These different goals will help you figure out what kind of items you want to incorporate in your design.

The Crowd

Another key factor is who you are catering your outdoor space too. Whether you are catering your design to an adult audience, children or even your pets, you must consider who will be spending time in your space. If you have small children, safety becomes a main priority and the landscape must minimize and eliminate all dangerous situations adventurous youngsters might get into. Meaning if you plan on having a pool, a gate that prevents children from entering the pool themselves is a crucial backyard aspect to include. If you plan on having an older adult crowd, you may want to include a larger deck so that you have an area to entertain your guests. Overall the people who will be spending the most time will carry some weight when planning a backyard layout.

Making the Commitment

When tackling a landscaping project you must also designate how much you would like to invest in your landscape. Be realistic and find designs that are within your price point. Doing projects yourself sometimes feels like the most economical way of landscaping, but without proper knowledge, you could face pricier future problems. Discussing your landscaping plans with a professional is always a valuable way of helping bring your ideas to life and avoid future anguish.

One often overlooked aspect of landscape design is maintenance. When deciding your dream backyard layout you should consider how much time you plan to invest in the upkeep of your property. Maintenance level should be dependent on your abilities and time you can invest in caring your landscape. If you do not love gardening or don’t have the time in your schedule for maintenance consider a landscape that has minimal upkeep. You want to enjoy your backyard not add it to the exhausting list of chores, so pick a landscape that is consistent with your level of dedication.

Your Environment & Climate

It is great to dream big, but keep in mind that you have to work with the environment and space that your backyard offers. Tropical plants and palm trees are lovely, but not realistic for our long & cold Ontario winters. Pick plants and flowers that are suited to your individual climate so you can extend your landscape’s beauty. It is usually best to do to some research or discuss with a professional about which plants are best for your location.

If you plan on adding trees to your landscape you need to account for the room needed for the tree roots as they expand. As trees grow larger their roots could possibly destroy your pipelines, which will leave you with a costly bill. Locating your utility lines before starting your project will help you pick the perfect spot for your new tree addition.

Before you plant anything you also need to check your soil to see if it is draining properly. A good way to tell if your soil has proper drainage is to dig a hole about a foot deep and fill the hole with water. If the hole drains completely within a day or two then your soil is ideal to plant anything. If you find that your soil is not draining efficiently you will need to take measures to create proper circulation. These factors will play a key role in how well your greenery grows, which is the most important aspect of any landscape.

Get Inspired!

Thanks to social media sites like Pinterest is now super easy to find several different landscaping styles and ideas. Looking online at all the different pictures can help you visualize what kind of details you would like to include in your landscape design and give you a clearer vision of how to go about your project. Do you want a formal landscape layout where everything looks extremely neat and put together or would you prefer a natural formed landscape that resembles your own personal forest? These decisions correlate to the required maintenance level. Formal designs require more upkeep to remain clean cut whereas naturally formed layouts look best when a little wild. Landscaping has endless design possibilities, whether you are going for modern, rustic or even just accessorizing with zombie gnomes, find a landscape that truly showcases your personality and lifestyle.

 

Posted by & filed under Lawn.

Green Grass

Have you ever wondered why year after year your neighbour’s lawn is lusciously green while yours is always dry and dull? The key to having a beautifully green lawn is the simple process of aeration.

According to the Professional Lawn Care Association, aerating your lawn is the most beneficial maintenance activity you can do for your lawn, so what are you waiting for? To reap the benefits of aeration it is highly recommended to aerate your lawn once or twice a year during the spring and fall seasons when the soil is moist. Ideal aeration conditions will help you capitalize on the benefits that aeration will have on your lawn. Avoid aeration during a drought because the added holes will just evaporate the remainder of the water that is trapped in the soil. You also want to avoid extremely damp soil because it is impossible to puncture mud. Use your judgement and pick balanced soil conditions to aerate your lawn.

There are two main types of aeration, spike and plug aeration. The spike aeration tool creates holes into the ground with a fork, whereas the plug aeration machine actually removes cores from the soil. The plug aeration tool is more effective because spike methods can often cause unwanted compaction surrounding the newly created holes. Plug aeration actually damages roots which stimulates the grass to grow faster.

When choosing an aeration tool it is ideal for the machine to make soil plugs that are approximately 2-3 inches deep and .5-.75 inches wide to efficiently reach the roots below. Also the holes should be spaced to be about 2-3 inches apart covering the entire lawn. It is also highly suggested to go over the entire lawn twice to ensure that you achieve the perfect aeration conditions. Also don’t fret, the unattractive holes will disappear in a week or two when the lawn takes advantage of the newly created space.

Aeration breaks up the top four inches of soil that commonly gets extremely dry and compact. The tough top layer is known as thatch which can be full of decomposed animals, which will encourage mold, mildew and disease if you do not break it up. Aeration eliminates thatch and facilitates healthy decomposition which intern brings minerals back into the soil.

Thatch blocks the ability for your lawn to receive the nourishment it needs to fully flourish. The tiny aerated holes fix this fundamental problem and helps deliver nutrition to your grass. Like the name suggests aeration allows air to get to each blade of grass which encourages quicker root growth. The extra room that aeration creates also allows roots to expand, which intern makes the grass roots stronger and able to withstand harsher weather conditions.

Grass is similar to humans because if the main artery to food is blocked, it will be unable to properly grow. The perforations unplug the soils arteries which heightens your grasses ability to absorb water and nutrients which are vital ingredients needed for a healthy green lawn. If you use any type fertilizer, the aeration holes will improve the fertilizers effectiveness because the holes give a direct route to the roots.

Aeration is a very simply process that will have a huge impact on the appearance of your lawn. Aeration will improve the overall health of your lawn, making it denser, more resistant to droughts, and green. There is no secret trick to having the best lawn in the neighbourhood, call Evergreen Landscapes today and let our professionals help you enjoy a perfectly cultivated lawn today.

Posted by & filed under Water Features.

Backyard water features are a calming element that enhances your outdoor experience. Waterfalls in particular are becoming increasingly popular because they can be built with many different materials and styles. Our team of professionals will work with you to design the perfect waterfall to compliment your unique outdoor setting. Whether your waterfall trickles into a pool or a pond, your custom waterfall is sure to relax and captivate your guests.

Backyard waterfall into the pool.

Pool Waterfalls

Bring a piece of paradise into your backyard with a customized pool waterfall. Waterfalls that flow into your pool are extremely soothing and help turn your backyard into a relaxing retreat. You have many different style options for pool waterfalls and landscape designers are constantly coming up with new innovative concepts. To create a grand impression, choose a waterfall that flows over large rocks into your pool. If you prefer a more minimalistic look, small water curtain waterfalls would be perfect for your outdoor setting. Explore your waterfall options to choose the perfect water feature for your unique backyard. Once you pick the type of waterfall you also have the ability to choose the speed and arch of the water. These options provide numerous ways of incorporating a water feature into your pool to create a unique backyard focal point. Another advantage to pool waterfalls is that they improve water circulation which helps eliminate murkiness and ensures that pool chemicals are evenly distributed. The improved circulation will help you achieve the ideal pH level. This often overlooked benefits makes the tedious task of maintaining a pool a little easier.

Enhance your waterfall by adding complimentary LED lights that showcase the beauty of your water feature from dusk to dawn. LED lights have many different colour settings and newer systems even feature an option that allows you to correlate your lights to your music. LED Lights are great for entertaining because they provide a captivating backdrop for your guests during late night get-togethers.

Pond Waterfalls

Pond waterfalls are another great option because they are very therapeutic and turn your backyard into your very own personal retreat. For an effective waterfall surround your pond with greenery. The mix of plants and flowers add to your landscape and heighten your natural setting. It is very important to keep in mind the types of plants and flowers you choose because many plants cannot survive in extremely damp conditions. Two common pond flowers are Canna and Black Gamecock Iris’ because both types of flower blossom in very sunny wet environments. Orange Canna’s and black Gamecock Irises are a popular flower combination because they complement one another and provide a brilliant colour contrast. Another tip to keep in mind while choosing plants and flowers is their bloom time. By picking plants the will bloom for a longer period you are extending the beauty of your backyard water feature.

Aside from the therapeutic benefits, waterfalls increase water circulation which prevents algae growth. By slowing algae build up you are ultimately making your pond lower maintenance because the cleaning requirements will be reduced. The water circulation also creates high oxygen water levels which will help maintain a healthy ecosystem. The oxygenated water is ideal for the growth of your plants and fish that live in your pond.

The possibilities with backyard waterfalls are endless. Create a stunning, low maintenance waterfall today and obtain the numerous benefits these very simple backyard accessories provide. Enjoy the mesmerizing sounds of cascading water, tranquil plant movement and relaxation from the privacy of your own oasis. Explore your options today and find the perfect water feature for your backyard.

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

Water is the single most important nutrient that your gardens need to keep them beautiful and healthy. However, when it comes to watering, there are no hard or fast rules. If you water too much, the roots suffocate or rot. If you water too little, the roots dry up and die. Most of your decisions are judgment calls because it depends on the plant, time of day, amount of rainfall you get and time of year. How often you water also depends on the type of soil that you have, such as clay or sand.

Soil Type:

Clay soil presents a bit more of a watering challenge because it has an electrical charge that draws water away from plant roots. There is little room for channels that allow an exchange of gases with the air above the ground and it can drain more slowly. You can determine how well the soil is draining by digging a two inch hole in various parts of the property and see how long it takes to recede. In order to deeply water clay soil, you may have to water, then wait a couple of hours and water again.
 
In contrast, sandy soil drains water more quickly. You can tell if you have sandy soil if the ground seldom puddles, even after a heavy rainfall. If the soil is too sandy, water may leach out too quickly and the nutrients are lost. A sandy soil will replace the water with air more quickly and hence, the reason why sandy soils dry out faster than clay soils. Although sandy soils need more water, more fertilizer, more amending and more mulch, they are much easier to work with and many plants prefer this type of soil.
 

Plants:

Different types of plants require varying amounts of water, but as a general rule, flowering plants need about one inch per week. Annuals that are planted in the beds will need extra water as they become established, but after they are growing and flowering, the one inch rule applies.
 
Plants in a landscaped gardenSince annuals tend to have shallow root systems, and they spend almost their entire life blooming repeatedly, they need extra care. That, of course, depends on how the soil is draining and how much competition for water they are receiving from nearby plants. First thing in the morning is usually the best time to water garden plants so that the plants have time to dry off. If that isn’t possible, water in the early evening. Also, slower watering is more efficient. You should apply water directly to the soil instead of over the plants to avoid the spread of disease.
 

Flowering plants in containers will need more water since they will dry out more quickly than those planted in the ground. If the soil feels dry two to three inches below the surface, it’s time to water again since they too have a shallow root system. Containers generally need water every day. Add mulch to the container to help retain the moisture.
 

Trees & Shrubs:

Trees and shrubs have a deeper, more extensive root system and different water requirements. Trees and shrubs need moist (not thoroughly wet) soil in order to grow well, resist insects, reduce winter injury or produce flowers and fruit. The soil surrounding the plant’s “root zone” serves as a storage tank from which the plant draws moisture and nutrients. Most trees and shrubs shed rain water to the “drip line,” much like an umbrella. The most active water absorption area is at the drip line and beyond. This is where you should water. Most of the roots spread 1 ½ to 4 times as wide as the plant’s canopy. If trees are in the lawn, water them separately from the grass.
 

Even for an experienced gardener, knowing when and how much to water a garden can be a challenge. With a bit of knowledge, good climate that cooperates and the right watering techniques, your garden, trees and shrubs will look healthy and vibrant all season long.

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

Mulch can make all the difference in your landscaping design and greatly enhance the look of garden plantings. Most professional landscapers finish their work with garden mulch. It acts as a porous membrane, which easily absorbs water while it simultaneously reduces evaporation from the soil. Since the top layer of soil can bake in the sun, mulch prevents the top soil from becoming a hard crust which stops moisture from soaking down through the soil. Spreading mulch over your garden is the best way to save time and energy. It holds the soil’s moisture, so you don’t have to water as often.

Organic mulch suppresses the number of weeds that take hold by up to seventy-five percent.  It’s a gardener’s best friend because you don’t have to spend so many hours clearing your garden. Mulch prevents sunlight from reaching the seeds in the soil and it effectively smothers them from germinating.  Additionally, as the material breaks down over time, it releases nutrients into the oil since mulch contains essential minerals and other important components to nurture garden plants.This process improves your soil’s structure and fertility while feeding visible (earthworms) and invisible organisms (microorganisms) that keep your garden blooming and healthy.

Earthworms do a great job of aerating your garden. They provide drainage and nutrition by ingesting, grinding, and digesting large quantities of soil. Their excretions are richer in nutrients than the surrounding soil. By adding mulch to your garden, you’ll develop a healthy workforce.

Like earthworms, microorganisms ensure your plant’s health and development through the symbiotic relationships with plants roots. They decompose plant residues into a simpler structure that’s needed by your plants, while synthesizing plant hormones to make soil minerals available. When you place mulch on top of your soil, you create a virtual feast because organic mulches serve as food for many microorganisms in the soil. Mulch also helps keep the soil temperature constant, so this keeps the activity of the microorganisms at an even rate.

Mulch in garden benefits

An early spring application of mulch can extend the gardening season. Many plant varieties like a cooler soil at the start of spring and mulch provides protection from rising temperatures. For plants that love to be bundled in warmth during the hot summer months, mulch helps to keep the heat contained. It also protects the roots from light frosts that can kill tender annual plants and insulates perennial plants roots from destructive winter temperatures.

There are many types of mulches on the market, but shredded pine mulch is one of the most popular mulches used in landscape plantings. It’s often used by many landscapers due to its appearance, serviceability and affordable price. The reddish brown mulch darkens to a chestnut colour over time and it has a pine fresh aroma.

Shredded pine mulch is made from 100% tree bark and the bark is often shredded two or three times and contains a great deal of nutrition. The bark mulch is slightly acidic, so when it decomposes it helps to create the right soil pH for plants to receive nutrients. Because mulch alters the structure of the soil, it usually increases root growth. Shredded pine bark mulch’s small size makes it easy to apply in tight spaces, such as newly sprouting flower beds and vegetable gardens with tender shoots that are closely packed together.

The recommended mulching depth is to 2 to 2.5 inches. At this depth, most mulch will accommodate the primary objectives of weed control, soil moisture conservation and temperature modification. Mulch depths of less than 2 inches may not satisfy this objective. When reapplying mulch over an existing base, bring the total depth up to 2 to 2.5 inches.