Posted by & filed under Outdoor Kitchens, Patios.

For many homeowners, summer is the time to take advantage of the great outdoors right in their own backyard. It is a place where family and friends gather to celebrate special times together. Places such as patio kitchens enhance the experience. It can bring a festive air to family dinners or social gatherings when you prepare culinary delights outside during this season that most Canadians enjoy.

Outdoor Patio Kitchen

 

Custom-built patio kitchen centers are the ideal renovation if you love cooking and entertaining while surrounded by the sounds of nature. An outdoor patio kitchen is a great addition to your backyard because it will improve your outdoor living space, create a stylish atmosphere of relaxation, and increase the property value of your home. It is an investment that you’ll be proud to show off to family and friends.

 

Outdoor cooking has come a long way in the past decade. Nowadays, most outdoor grilling centers have become a focal point of the landscape and incorporate the same conveniences as an indoor kitchen. Today you will find such amenities as the grill island, counters, drawers, under counter refrigerators, wet bars, side burners, wood fire ovens, roasting pits, fire pits, patio heaters and wine chillers.

 

Location

You will want the kitchen strategically placed in close proximity to the house, which allows for easy access of utility lines. The grilling center should be located close to the inside kitchen and in direct view of rooms facing the yard. By being adjacent to the interior kitchen, there is less time wasted for transporting food and other outdoor materials, like seasonings, flatware, and dinnerware.

 

Since outdoor grilling usually occurs during the hot summer months and you’ll want the most comfortable cooking environment, plan accordingly for enough sun-shade cover to provide relief from the heat. You can achieve this with shade bars, shade lattice, oversized umbrellas or natural shade from trees. Adding a structure that covers the entire outdoor patio kitchen, dining or lounging area will offer protection from the elements and provide a cooler setting for you and your guests.

 

Privacy is not only a consideration for you, but also for your neighbours, and you’ll want to factor that into the design. This can be achieved by using trees, hedges, shrubbery or privacy fencing. When your kitchen is being designed, consider the way in which the wind will blow the smoke when the grill is in operation. Proximity to windows, doors and balconies that are downwind from the center should be considered since smoke generally blows downwind from the grill. This factor is most commonly found to have the most effect in the kitchen area. Your seating and dining arrangement should be situated away from this area whenever possible.

 

Lighting

Lighting plays an important role in enhancing your kitchen and dining experience. It transforms the property at night and sets the mood while intensifying the natural beauty of your surroundings. Task lighting above the cooking grill is ideal for focused lighting in the work area. Halogen lights can stand up to higher temperatures, ensuring a good visual presentation of the food that you’re preparing. You can also add a ceiling fan with a lighting fixture that helps to deter mosquitoes and brighten up the area. Lighting under the upper cabinets, countertops, and inside lower cabinets provide light for meal preparation while creating a stylish look. Landscape lighting surrounding the dining area, patio and walkways add a visual appeal while keeping your entertainment center safe.

 

The Overall Effect

Your landscape company can design an outdoor patio kitchen area that is both seamless in appearance and functionality. There should be some separation from the entertainment area, but close enough for the cook to interact with guests or overview the action at the pool. In terms of the materials used in planning the outdoor area, your designer will recommend materials that are durable, weatherproof, heat-resistant and easy to clean. When you are considering materials that are best suited for furniture, you should think about teak, redwood or cedar. Stone and concrete is great for countertops and stainless steel is the best choice for all of the appliances.

 

Depending on your budget, costs can vary, but the possibilities are endless. It just takes a plan to produce the outdoor patio kitchen of your dreams. Contact Evergreen Landscapes today for more information on planning, designing and installing your outdoor living sanctuary.

Posted by & filed under Lawn.

With the summer season upon us, you may want to consider hiring a professional lawn maintenance provider, but you don’t know where to start or what to look for in a lawn care company. The decision to hire someone many take time because you want to get the right company for your particular situation. After all, you’ve invested a good deal of money on your home and property and you want to keep that investment in good repair, both for your image and comfort.

a Lawn being mowed

 

Benefits:

By selecting a lawn care provider, you get the benefits of enjoying the hot summer months and avoid the dirty, sweaty and tiring chore of caring for your lawn and landscape. You have few worries whether you lawn and property are faring well because you’ve put them in the capable hands of lawn care professionals. You don’t have to face the same drudgery week after week, mowing, pruning, weeding, mulching and all of the other necessary chores associated with lawn and property care. So, if you want to get out from under the tedious and laborious work of property maintenance, here are some suggestions that you should consider before hiring any lawn maintenance company.

 

Reputation:

This seems like an obvious way to select a good company, but too many people will hire someone strictly on price instead of reputation. One way to find out who is using a potential candidate is to ask around. Who else is using the company in your neighborhood and does the company have a good track record and solid references? Don’t be swayed by all of the flyers hitting your mailbox for cut-rate prices for lawn care because you’ll soon discover that these individuals cannot do the work for cheap prices and disappear very quickly once the season starts up.

 

Knowledge & Experience

Professional lawn care companies are knowledgeable and well-versed in understanding lawns and property landscapes.  You’ll discover quickly that the success of their company is dependent upon them being skilled in their trade and the reason that keeps customers coming back. Their experience in the lawn care industry help customers identify the problems associated with lawns, trees or surrounding property and can spot problems in the earliest stages.  They are experts who can develop a plan for preventative maintenance that will have your landscape looking its best during the entire summer season. Their sound experience can help provide solutions that are specifically designed to meet the lawn care needs of each client. An experienced company can help a customer feel confident that their investment in their service is a worthwhile endeavor.

 

Equipment:

Pros-When you hire a professional lawn care company, you know that they will have the right equipment to get the job done properly. Equally important is that a professional company will take the necessary steps to train their employees on how to use that equipment for providing the best possible results. The staff learns how to identify equipment issues ahead of time so that problems or delays are minimized for the client. Not only will the staff be trained on how to use equipment, the company will thoroughly train their people in lawn care techniques to guarantee that your lawn remains healthy.

Cons-People who operate this type of business as a way to supplement income during the summer months typically do not have the required seasonal equipment. If you hire one of these individuals, chances are good that they will use inferior equipment which produces inferior results and quite possible damage your lawn. Unfortunately, they will lack the expertise and knowledge both for the handling and maintenance of equipment plus being inexperienced in lawn care techniques.

 

Insurance & Licenses

A professional lawn care company will carry the appropriate insurance for their employees and equipment, including property damage coverage in the event of an injury or mishap on your property. This provides everyone with a great deal of peace for mind. Additionally, licences may be required for anyone who applies pesticides and/or fertilizers on your lawn. A license to apply pesticides is worth checking since these chemicals can be dangerous to humans, pets and the environment if not applied correctly.

Overall at the end of the day Evergreen Landscapes will work as hard as we possibly can to surpass all of your expectations. We take great pride in the work we do and we will always be happy to hear the positive reviews from our customers after our job is done. Contact Us today and see for yourself why Evergreen Landscapes is the best pick for your professional lawn maintenance company.

Posted by & filed under Poolscapes.

If you’re like the majority of homeowners, your backyard pool area is your sanctuary. It’s a place where you escape from the outside world and gather with family and friends for fun, quality time and outdoor enjoyment during the hot days of summer. When considering your poolscaping options, you want to achieve three primary goals, beautification, privacy and shade.

Poolscape Backyard

 

Creating a sense of privacy around you pool is an important aspect for you and your family. A well-designed landscape can be inspiring by providing a sense of calm, awe and balance while boosting your spirits and giving you solace. By spending some time to develop a plan, you can complete a landscape that suits your needs so that you have enough time to relax and enjoy your backyard oasis.

 

Landscape Design

There are many ways to formulate a carefully thought out design for your poolscape. You can check out several design layouts on the Internet, read some books or even take some courses if you’re that motivated. You can also opt to hire a professional landscape designer to help you accomplish your poolside landscaping goals. Whichever route you choose, you will want to consider having your personal tastes and style incorporated in the design. A good indicator of your preferred taste and style is the esthetic design of the inside of your home which can be extended to the outside pool area.

When you’re considering your design, maintenance is an important aspect because it will determine how many hours per week you want to spend tending to the gardens. For some people it’s a passion, but for others it’s a chore, so this consideration will go a long way in determining the complexity of the design. In the early planning process, your poolscaping budget should be a main topic of discussion. Ideally, it should represent approximately fifteen to twenty percent of the value of your property.

 

Decking

Adding a deck adjacent to your pool can add interest, beauty and visual appeal to your poolside retreat. It can be designed in a variety of shapes, sizes or heights and used for many purposes such as sun tanning, entertainment or a space for cooking and dining. Oversized umbrellas and planters can dress up the deck to create ambiance and style. You can choose from a variety of deck building materials like natural stone, concrete, cement pavers and wood.

 

Rockery & Trees

Poolscaping is more than just focusing on flowers, ground covers and shrubs. Rockery can provide an added dimension for privacy to your pool area. Natural stones provide varying heights and curves that can make the landscape interesting and unique. They can be used for both building or ornamental purposes and make a perfect complement to water for their form, texture and characteristics. When you integrate rocks into your poolscape, you create a dramatic focal point around the pool.

Trees are great additions around the pool and act as a privacy screen, but they should be planted far enough in the back to avoid falling debris into the pool. If you are considering adding trees to the landscape, varieties of conifer, certain species of flowering trees work well in addition to the layered look of planting trees with shrubs. Well-positioned trees can provide privacy, wind protection and an ideal shelter for visiting birds.

 

Structures & Fences

Structures and fencing can create a private oasis and greatly compliment a pool. They’re ideal for providing an architectural feature to the backyard while offering some seclusion for the homeowner. Structures can be designed to maximize the potential of the pool views with relaxation areas. Some of the types of buildings to consider are pergolas, gazebos, pool houses and cabanas.

Fencing around swimming pools is not only mandatory by many municipalities for the purpose of safety for small children, but the right fence is a beautiful backdrop to the gardens and offers a great deal of privacy. To soften the look of fencing you can choose to add luscious flowering vines for a spectacular show of colours.

 

Contact us for all your poolscaping and landscaping needs, and our team of professionals will be ready to help you.

Posted by & filed under Landscaping Design.

Now that summer projects are underway for many homeowners, one of the most attractive additions that can be added to any landscape project is the inclusion of stone steps. Natural stone steps are commonly used by landscaping companies to accommodate any grade changes to the property and add dimension to a project.

A house with Stone Steps

 

They are most often used for entrances for homes, buildings or a nice alternative for elevated patios, grade changes to pool entrances or any walkway that has an incline or walkways up hill. In particular, the steps to your home are the first place that guests draw their initial impression. By using the right design and stone step materials, your home’s exterior look will be greatly enhanced and value to your property will be added.

 

Whenever stairs are a necessity to accommodate any type of movement throughout the property, stone stairs are an environmentally sensible solution because they are functional, durable and aesthetically appealing and decorative. Stone steps are less obtrusive than wooden steps and offer a depth of dimension that cannot be acquired with wood on upland sites.

 

When a well-designed stone step walkway is added to a residential or commercial property, it helps to improve and facilitate the entire look of the outdoor space. Because stones come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, different designs and finishing touches can be chosen to make the possibilities endless depending on the look and feel of the property.

 

There are many types, styles and materials of stone steps that can be integrated into your landscape that is either cut natural stone steps or random natural stone steps. According to the descriptions provided by mineralzonestonesteps they are:

 

Types of Stone Steps:

  • Simple Stone Steps: Simple steps are made by placing large stones placed at varying intervals up an incline. They are set with the treads that are formed by the natural substrate or stone aggregate.
  • Mortared Stone Steps: Mortared steps are most commonly found near carparks or where access for materials is easy. Mortaring step stones is used for extra stability.
  • Pitched Stone Steps: These stones are placed using a longer spacing on gentler slopes. The gap between is pitched with smaller stones.
  • Capping Stone Steps: Capping stone steps are commonly used for staircases, but they can also be used for short steep sections.

 

Styles of Stone Steps: (available in three styles)

  • Sawed Steps: These stone steps are rectangular in their shape and sawed on the top and bottom. They are most often used for front walks and high traffic areas.
  • Split Steps: These are stones that have been hydraulically split into a rectangular shape so that it retains its natural appearance on each surface. They are most prominent in garden paths, front walks and stairways.
  • Quarry Steps: Quarry steps are large pieces of stones set into the ground with a walking surface that is flat, but has an irregular appearance from the top.

 

Materials for Making Stone Steps:

  • Granite Steps: Granite steps are immensely popular because they convey a completely new look to the surroundings. However, these stone steps can be very slippery, so you will find them often used in commercial establishments like hotels, offices and monuments. Limestone Steps: Limestone is an ideal stone step because it has a very fine grained surface texture. They are very hard, durable and impervious to any atmospheric condition.
  • Sandstone Steps: Not only are sandstone steps weather proof, they can be easily cut, polished, sawed and molded. They come in a variety of colours and offer a rugged natural look.

 

Whichever type, style or material you decide to use, stone steps create an impressive landscape and the options are endless.  Evergreen Landscapes can use cast products or natural slabs that are indigenous to Oakville and beyond. For more details contact us as we can create impressive added features to your landscape that will take your breath away.

Posted by & filed under Lawn.

Dandelion weed

Now that the lawn growing season is in its prime, the proliferation of those pesky weeds are also developing at a rapid rate. They’re the scourge of homeowners everywhere because they almost seem to appear out of nowhere.  Most homeowners can only dream about a weed free lawn like those that are seen at championship golf courses. In fact, when you consider how tenacious these pesky invaders are with just one dandelion plant making up to 15,000 seeds, it’s a wonder that any of us can win the battle. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to eliminate weeds in your yard.
 
How you attack the intruders will depend upon which weeds you have in your lawn since no single product, weeding technique or lawn care can work against of all of them at one time. Weeds that show up in the lawn fall under three broad categories.

  • Unwanted grasses like crabgrass
  • Grass-like plants (sedges like nut-sedge)
  • Broadleaf plants like dandelion.

Some of the weeds are annuals that complete their life cycle in one season and these weeds will reproduce from seeds.  The perennials can live for several years while spreading underground and more difficult to control and eradicate.

 

Proper Lawn Care:

When you have a lawn that is stressed, it’s a prime target for weeds to take over, so proper lawn care is the best defense you can have against weed infestations. By taking a few simple steps like giving your lawn a deep watering infrequently, you help your lawn to compete for deeper root growth.
 
Each grass type has an ideal cutting height for good health and strong growth, but for weed control set your lawn mower higher, usually one of the two highest settings. This higher cut helps the grass to grow thick to shade out weeds and their seeds, which makes it harder for them to grow. Proper lawn feeding is essential to help your lawn thicken up.
 
A lawn fertilizer, like Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food, aids the grass by filling in bare spots where weeds might grow and makes the area less welcoming to them. Longer grass also helps to prevent weeds by keeping it cooler and retarding weed seed germination. If you don’t know what type of grass you have, stop by a lawn care center with a sample to find out. Another strategy is to mow your grass when it needs it. Depending on the weather conditions in your region and the season, you might be mowing every week or two, then again, it can be every four or five days.

 

Prevention and Treatment:

Using a herbicide should your last resort, but this may be required when you have tried everything else and nothing works on a particular weed or your lawn is taken over by the invasion. If you use a herbicide, read the label carefully for your lawn type, the weeds you’ve got and when it works within a certain temperature range. According to This Old House, herbicides fall into three major categories: click here.

 

Preemergence herbicides: These products kill germinating seeds before seedlings break through the soil with crabgrass being a primary target. Preemergence herbicides are generally synthetic, but there are natural, nontoxic Preemergence herbicides made from corn gluten that are safer.

 

Postemergence herbicides: These products kill existing weeds that are actively growing. These herbicides come in two types, contact and systemic. Contact herbicides will kill only the part of the plant they touch while systemic herbicides circulate inside the plant and kill the whole thing.

 

Most broadleaf herbicides are systemic and selective to kill broadleaf weeds only, but they will not kill weedy grasses. Glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup and similar products, is a systemic, nonselective herbicide that kills broadleaf weeds and weedy grasses. However, it also kills turf and other desirable plants, so it should only be used when you want to kill an entire section of lawn and replant it.

 

Weed-and-feed: These productscombine fertilizer and herbicides that will do two jobs at once, but the labor saving promises might backfire if the recommended time for weed control doesn’t coincide with the best time for fertilizing.
 
Whichever herbicide you decide to use in the war against weeds, follow the label directions carefully to get the best results and address the causes of the weeds to prevent new ones from growing. Take care of your lawn and apply herbicides only when needed if other methods have not provided the desired results.
 
Need some more help with keeping those pesky weeds away for good and answering any of your lawn care questions? Contact Us today and we’ll be happy to help!

Posted by & filed under Lawn.

Electric Lawn Mower

Before you get your heart set on a new lawn mower, think about your investment for a few days before you purchase one. Consider what kind of mower is best for your particular lawn because it is not always the most expensive mower that will do the job for your particular requirements. When shopping for a new mower, most homeowners look at price, brand and features and even the manufacturer’s name has an influencing factor in their decision making process. Most important however, is the size and shape of your topography that should influence what type of mower suits you best. All lawn mowers have advantages and disadvantages, and these should be weighed according to your needs and budget.

 

There are many features that you want to consider when choosing a lawnmower, but start by thinking about the size of your lawn. According to lawn care experts, the general rule of thumb is that the bigger your lawn, the bigger your mower should be to accommodate the property. One way of thinking about size is to consider a tennis court. If your lawn is about half that size of the court, it’s considered to be a small lawn. If your lawn is about the size of the court, it’s considered a medium-sized lawn. If it’s larger than the court, it’s considered a large lawn. Once you’ve settled on the size of the lawn, you can begin to consider what type of lawn mower to choose for your situation.
When you begin to shop around, you’ll notice that there are many different types of lawnmowers, but fundamentally, almost all lawnmowers fit into two categories; the rotary mowers and the cylinder mowers.

 

Rotary push lawn mower

 

Rotary push lawn mowers are the most common type on the market and there’s a greater variety of rotary models to choose among. Rotary lawnmowers work quite simply by rapidly spinning a blade to cut grass and it spins horizontally from east to west. It uses a sucking and tearing action to cut the grass with one blade that rotates extremely fast. There are some that are manually powered, but most always motorized in some way. The rotary lawn mower’s design is simple and adapts very well to small engines that are gas or electric powered.

 

Rotary lawn mowers are powerful, heavy, and well adapted to a wide variety of grass conditions, including lawns with weeds and dandelions. The rotary lawn mower is quite heavy to push, but usually come with motorized wheels. The self-propelled rotary lawn mowers have one very high speed rotating blade underneath. The blade ‘chops’ the grass on impact due to its very high speed.

 

Most rotary mowers have the grass box behind with a few having an integral grass box. These mowers work best on a medium to high cut. They’re generally a better choice for large lawns, as well as long, overgrown and unruly grass. Most have wheels, but there are also hover lawnmowers available which float on air to make mowing lawns with slopes and uneven areas easier. In addition, you can get variations on rotary mowers, such as ride on mowers or tractor mowers, which are just larger ride on versions.

 

Cylinder push lawn mower

 

The cylinder (reel) mower comes in many varieties and they can be either manual or motorized using electric or gas as their power source. The mower has vertical wheels that brush up and cuts the grass in a very neat and even cut. A cylinder lawn mower has five to twelve exposed blades at the front of the mower. The blades rotate the trappings and slice the grass blades against a fixed bottom plate like a pair of scissors. The more blades there are on the equipment, the better the cut. This type of mower is normally quiet and relatively cheap.

 

The cylinder mower works best on a low or short cut and not ideal for cutting long grass. If you cannot keep your grass low, this will mean frequent mowing, usually twice a week. The downside to this type of cutting system is that, although the cut is superior to a rotary mower, the blades of a cylinder mower need periodic and exact adjustment to maintain the quality of cut. This service must be done precisely or it will cause the mower to chew the grass that produces an exceptionally poor cut.

 

Are you ready to improve your landscape? If you’re in need of more information on how to choose the right lawn mower, or lawn care in general, contact us. Evergreen is here to help you with all your lawn needs.

Posted by & filed under Landscape Construction, Landscaping Design, Lawn.

Front Yard grass

Now that the growing season has begun, homeowners may consider rolling their lawns. A lawn roller is a device that consists of a large tube with a mounted handle unit for pushing or pulling. Some people believe that taking the time to roll out a grass lawn every spring is an essential part of proper lawn maintenance. Alternatively, others consider rolling a lawn is a great idea in theory, although it is unnecessary and often quite damaging in practice. So who is right? Here are a few lawn rolling tips.

The Pros

Lawn rolling can be helpful for a spring lawn maintenance schedule if you are trying to remove minor bumps or smooth out uneven lawn sections. If you are trying to level out an uneven lawn, you’ll need to add soil first to any hollows before rolling. If you want to keep your lawn level for the longer term, you can add an annual light top dressing each spring as a fantastic treatment to prevent minor cracks or dips in the lawn. This top dressing helps to keep your lawn level and maintains a good quality soil texture. This method is perfect for having a nice even lawn to walk on plus ensuring your mowing job is safer and easier.

 

Lawn rolling can also be used for the single purpose of preparing a bare area for planting. Another acceptable garden practice for lawn rolling is when a new seedbed is being established. In this case, a light roller is used to ensure the seed is firmly in contact with the soil to increase the germination. Although rolling isn’t really necessary for this purpose since you can rake in the seed to make contact with the soil, it will not cause much harm either. Additionally, rolling can be used when a sod lawn is laid down. The rolling will help the sod lawn take root into the ground that will encourage the roots to grow deeper into the dirt underneath.

 

The Cons

The biggest obstacle and complaint that is suggested by lawn care experts is that lawn rollers compact the soil and squash all the soil particles together. This method creates its own set of problems because the air spaces necessary for good root growth are eliminated. The result of compacting the soil means that water can’t penetrate the soil because it is too pressed down and there are no holes for the water to move into, which causes run off.

 

The water never penetrates deep into the soil to get at the roots for providing moisture. It has a tough time penetrating the top compacted layer, and therefore, does not easily move between the layers of varying soil types. The run off takes any nutrients along with it and gets washed down the sewer. Rolling eliminates the necessary aeration that is required for a lawn to grow healthy and lush. Because of this compacted top surface layer, lawn rolling puts tremendous stress on the lawn first thing in the spring when the lawn is in its major growing period.

 

When you think of a golf green, you think of perfectly manicured lawns that are smooth and pristine; however, it’s not the same as lawn rolling your home lawn. Unlike your lawn that sits on a mixture of soil types that are easily compacted, golf greens sit on a special sand base chosen for its ability not to compact.

 

The soils of golf greens and your lawn can’t be compared, so the lawn rolling practices will be different. Even with the special sand base, the greens are rolled several times a week and regularly “cored” to allow for expansion of the soil and the introduction of water and air.

 

Putting greens are intensively managed grass surfaces that are fed, watered and treated for disease regularly. The rigorous management of the green is geared to making the golf ball roll better by having a firmer surface and treading a fine line between optimum grass health and playing surface.

 

Your Choice

Although there are pros and cons as to whether you should or should not roll your lawn, a lawn roller can be used in a variety of ways to create and maintain an even lawn. However, the final decision is always yours to make and we’re here to help.

Posted by & filed under Landscaping Design, Lawn.

Until you own a home with a lawn to grow and maintain, you probably never considered all the different types of grasses on the market and various climates that contribute to its rich growth and well-being. Now that the growing season has taken off, you might be wondering the biggest trick to picking the correct grass type for you to have the perfect lawn.

Grass Landscape Phtot
 

Homeowners seem obsessed with their lawns and developing a healthy, green lawn has become an indicator of someone who knows how to garden. Just consider the amount of lawn care products that you can find at any retail home garden center and you know how much we invest in our lawns. However, achieving a great lawn takes time and doesn’t occur overnight. It is accomplished by someone doing a bit of planning before putting in, or re-establishing, a lawn because they pay attention to a few details in order for the grass to do well.
 

If the grass around your home is looking poorly and not living up to your expectations, don’t fret because there are numerous things that you can do to create the perfect lawn. The first thing you must do in selecting a species for your lawn is to identify your region and climate. Canadian lawns consist mostly of cool season turf-grass because the lawns have their main growth periods in the spring and fall.

 

Cool season grasses are capable of thriving in places with cooler climates, but as we all know, they require a lot of water to maintain their appearance in hot summer temperatures. Lawns can also have a mix of different grass species that are beneficial for tolerating a range of growing conditions. These mixtures can help to make the lawn less vulnerable from pest damage spreading to the whole lawn rather than just using a single grass species. Once you have selected a species for your particular region, you can now narrow down the best grass seed type based on your specific requirements and what you want to do with your lawn. As an example, will your lawn be used for a kids play area and pets running on it or simply for good looks around your garden areas?

 

Here are some of the best cool season grasses to grow this season for a great looking lawn.
 
• Bentgrass was originally cultivated for use on golf course greens. Its main advantage is that it tolerates extremely close mowing. However, if not mowed regularly, it takes on a shaggy appearance.

• Kentucky Bluegrass is perhaps the most well-known cool-season lawn grass in North America. It is most commonly used for homes, parks and sports fields. It can be blended with other complementary species to provide the best lawn appearance and versatility.

• Rough Bluegrass is a fine-textured turf-grass capable of withstanding a considerable amount of shade if sufficient moisture is present. It is sometimes combined with Kentucky Bluegrass because of its shade tolerance.

• Fescue comes in a number of different fescue grass seed varieties. There are two categories of fescue lawns. One is turf-type tall fescue and the other is fine fescue. Both blends of seed are suitable to grow lawns and recognized for their good appearance and versatility.

• Perennial Ryegrass seed is a quick-growing, cool-season bunch grass used across North America for home lawns, athletic fields and golf courses. Common perennial ryegrass germinates quickly for an almost instant lawn. It can be used as a temporary ground cover while the slower growing bluegrass species takes hold.
 
Before you seed, your lawn requires a good spring cleanup to produce a healthy summer lawn since winter can alter soil pH, compact the soil, and create conditions friendly to weeds and disease. To start the year off right, it’s crucial that you properly clean, fertilize and mow your yard early in the season. For additional information contact

Posted by & filed under Lawn.

In the mad rush to get a head start on getting your lawn ready for the new season, many people overlook the need for aerating their lawns. Basic lawn practices like fertilizing, proper mowing and watering contribute to a beautiful lawn, but aeration can be a vital element to ensure that nutrients reach the soil beneath your grass.

aldershot backyard

As the sod ages over time, the soil beneath the grass can become compacted. This compression prevents air and water from penetrating the lawn to feed it. The lawn ends up with little or no small pockets of air held in the soil. This compacted lawn thatch makes it difficult for grass roots to absorb the water and nutrients it needs to stay healthy and lush. Without open spaces for the water and nutrients to get into the soil, the lawn will deteriorate before long, making it more susceptible to weeds, invasion of insects and disease. Aeration can reverse this negative trend on your lawn because it allows air and water to penetrate built-up grass or lawn thatch.

What is Aeration:

In technical terms, aeration is a naturally occurring process that is performed for the exchange of air between the soil and surrounding atmosphere. In simpler terms, aeration involves mechanically perforating the soil and removing small cores (or plugs) of soil to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the root zone of the grass. This process allows the roots to grow more deeply to produce a stronger and more vigorous lawn. The plugs of soil are deposited to the surface where they will work their way back into the soil over the course of a month. In the lawn care industry, this procedure is also call core aeration, soil cultivation, coring, spiking or slicing.

 

Should You Aerate Your Lawn:

The most common question among homeowners is how to determine whether their lawn is a good candidate for aeration. Here are some tips.

  • If your lawn get heavy use, such as children and pets routinely running around the yard. These activities contribute to soil compaction.
  • If your lawn was created as part of a newly constructed home. Often, grass is established on subsoil and compacted by construction traffic, leaving the topsoil stripped or buried.
  • If your lawn has a dried out and spongy feel to it. This is an indicator that you may have an excessive thatch problem. Use a shovel and remove a 4 inch slice of the lawn. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
  • If your lawn was established using sod that leaves a soil layering of finer texture over the existing courser soil. This finer layer disrupts the drainage, leads to compacted conditions and causes poor root development. Aerating will break up the layering and allow water to flow more freely to reach the roots.

 

When You Should Aerate:

The best time to aerate is during the growing season in early summer or early autumn, when the lawn is growing most actively. These times are best because the grass can easily heal by filling in any open areas after the plugs have been removed. Ideally, you should aerate the lawn with a cool season grass selection in the early spring or fall and warm season grass in the late spring.

 

Aeration Equipment:

There are two different basic types of aeration equipment that will determine the effectiveness of the treatment, a spike aerator and a plug aerator. A spike aerator is simply poking holes into the ground while a plug aerator removes a core of grass and soil. Most turfs will respond optimally when the core hole perforations are made close and deep, such as 2-3 inches deep and 0.5-0.5 inches in diameter with 2-3 inches apart. Aeration equipment with hollow tines removes soil cores while other types open tines and divots the soil surface. The equipment also varies in tine size up to ¾ inch diameter and in depth of penetration up to 4 inches, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.

 

Make It Beautiful:

Aerating your lawn is a practical and beneficial practice for achieving a beautiful lawn. It is an integral part of your lawn care regime such as proper fertilizing, mowing and watering.

Posted by & filed under Landscaping Design, Lawn.

The most common question that is asked by property owners regarding an underperforming lawn or creating a new lawn is whether to use seed or sod. When deciding which route to choose, there are three important considerations to make regarding establishment methods, turf-grass selection, site preparation and new lawn care. However, the major difference between the two methods is the time necessary for developing a mature lawn.
 
Sod
 
Having sod laid down on your property is basically installing a mature turf that has been cared for by a professional nursery establishment. However, in most cases the consumer is limited in the varieties of sod available. Seeding, on the other hand, involves a comparable process that is used to establish sod that can be accomplished by a professional or homeowner. Since there are so many of variables involved in seeding, homeowners may find it difficult to successfully establish a whole new lawn on their own and decide to call in a professional to do the work.
 
Regardless whether you’ve decided to seed or sod, you’ll want to consider the initial soil preparation by getting the soil tested first so any adjustments can be made before you start. Finding out the characteristics of the soil is an important aspect of the process, but one often neglected. If you initiate a good site preparation, maintenance will be simplified and a healthy turf will be guaranteed.
 
The soil with a mostly sandy loam is the best type for growing turf (like one you would find in Ancaster). This soil is predominately sand with some sludge and clay. If your soil is mostly clay, adding organic compost, such as 2 to 3 cubic yards of peat moss will open up a soil to air, improve the texture and provide moisture holding capabilities. Adding black earth is not the preferred adjustment since it often consists of silt and clay and therefore compacts down too easily. If your prospective site requires a large amount of fill, good quality topsoil that consists of less than 20 percent clay with no herbicides can be used to augment the area. Any soil ingredient that is used should be thoroughly worked into the existing soil. Once the site is prepared, it is now ready for seed or sod.
 
For a fair comparison, here are the advantages and disadvantages to using either seed or sod.

Seeding:

Advantages

• Larger selection of grass types and varieties available.
• Different blends of species and cultivars are available, such as sun or shade, disease resistance and soil type.
• Turf develops best in its natural environment-where it will live.
• Less initial cost than sodding.
• Initially develops a stronger root system.

Disadvantages

• Timing is critical to establish best results. Seeding is limited to mainly spring and early fall.
• More weeds will occur in the springtime.
• Takes a longer period of time for initial establishment of a dense lawn.
• Reseeding may be required due to poor germination, wash outs or irrigation.
• Consistent initial watering is critical for the young seedlings.

Sodding:

Advantages

• You get an instant lawn within a day.
• You can walk on it soon after it has been laid in place.
• Significant reduction in the amount of dust, mud and erosion occurring.
• No time limitation-may be put in place at any time of the growing season.
• Inherently weed-free since grown and treated in controlled environment.
• Less watering if adequate rainfall during the growing season.
• Good for slopes or inclines.

Disadvantages

• The initial cost is higher.
• Fewer choices of the different species and management practices.
• Choice is not produced to be shade tolerant.
• If adequate natural rainfall does not occur, substantial watering required for root establishment.
• Sod may shrink if not properly install and weeds may develop.