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    5 Helpful Summer Landscaping Tips

    Now that they hustle and bustle of spring has slowed down we can relax and enjoy our yard…well almost.  Here are a few summer tips to keep in mind to keep your landscape looking it’s best!

    1. Now that you’ll be out there mowing the lawn, be on the lookout for turf problems.  Here are 3 of the most common ones to look out for:

    Red Thread: If you notice a pinkish-reddish tinge to areas of your lawn you more than likely have read thread.  The reddish color is actually a fungus on the grass blade.  Although it is pretty harmless it can be unsightly.  A fertilizer application will quickly remedy this disease by pushing out new growth in your lawn.

    Dollar Spot: Named for it’s silver dollar sized “spots” it leaves on the turf as it grows.  It occurs after prolonged wet spells on nitrogen deficient grasses.   Controlled irrigation times and a fertilizer application should do the trick!

    Brown Patch: Brown patch is one of the more common diseases in the lawn when it is hot and humid.  It appears as a roughly circular shape that is tan to brown in color. They range in size from 6 inches to several feet in diameter.  Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers and reduce irrigation in affected areas.  There are chemical preventives if necessary.

    2. As the temperatures rise in summer and the grass begins to slow it’s growth be sure to raise your mower blades and reduce your number of mowings.  You want to prevent stress to the lawn, making it more resilient to heat and drought.  In extreme temperatures and drought scenarios most lawns will go dormant (the turf in our area is a cool season grass), no point in mowing and cutting grass that isn’t actually growing.  Instead of focusing on the lawn you can now focus on other areas of the landscape.

    3. Now that your spring shrubs have completed blooming, early summer is the best time to prune them.  Don’t wait til fall, otherwise you’ll end up cutting off those spring flowers for the following season.

    4. So you never completed that to do list from spring, as in edging and mulching.  Well these tasks are not spring only or fall only, they can be completed all season.  Be sure to mulch your plants as it helps to retain much needed moisture during those hot summer months.  It also helps to keep the weeds down, we don’t need weeds competing for the same life giving water and nutrients.  You want to give your plants the best chance of survival.  Edging will help keep the mulch within the planting beds.  As a bonus it also looks nice and manicured!

    5.  Lastly inspect your landscape for potential problems.  Be on the lookout for things that don’t look right, such as: spots on leaves or curling leaves, browning needles or needle drop, etc.  If it doesn’t look right it probably means it’s not healthy.  Tackle the issues head on before it’s too late.  Disease problems? call your local landscape professional. Drought problems?  Turn up your irrigation or get out those sprinklers!  Insect problems?  Know which ones are good and bad, treat the problems as necessary.

    Now sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy the fruits of your labor, or contact us and let us do the work for you!


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    You can’t beat the heat, but these plants sure can!

    Soaring temperatures are no fun for any living thing. Perennials are easy to grow no nonsense plants, that’s if you plant the right plant in the right spot!

    Here’s our top 5 perennials that will beat the heat of summer!

    Achillea ‘Moonshine’

    achillea moonshine

    Echinacea ‘Fatal Attraction’

    echinacea fatal attraction

    Nepeta ‘Little Titch’

    nepeta little titch (3)

    Perovskia atriciplifolia ‘Little Spire’

    perovskia little spire

    Stachys ‘Pink Cotton Candy’

    stachys pink cotton candy (3)

    Still don’t know what to put where? Then give us a call and our Architects and Designers will create the perfect garden for you!








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    The dog days of summer…

    August is typically the hottest and driest month of summer.  So even though the Midwest has had a pretty mild summer thus far don’t forget to water your landscape.

    It’s not necessary to water lawns and plants every day. As a general rule, more plants are killed through over-watering than under-watering.

    Established trees, shrubs, and perennials need approximately 1 inch of water each week. An easy way to determine if your landscape has been getting enough water is by investing in a rain gauge.  Mother Nature is the best provider of water to your lawn but she doesn’t always comply with our wishes.  When we are getting less than an inch of rain a week (or none in some cases) then it’s time to supplement additional moisture.

    Water deeply and thoroughly, not daily. Frequent, shallow watering causes plants to produce shallow roots that cannot survive the heat and dry conditions of mid-summer months. Watering deeply and infrequently causes plant roots to grow deeply into the soil in search of the water, resulting in deeply rooted, more drought resistant plants.

    The optimal time for watering is in the morning, this allows the turf grass to dry out before night time avoiding possible disease problems.  Also be aware of plants that are prone to fungal diseases, such as roses and lilacs and try to avoid overhead watering.

    By taking the proper steps to maintaining your landscape you’ll be helping your plants to grow more vigorously, thereby creating a strong plant that will survive our Midwest winters!


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    It’s time for a haircut! Well for your plants at least.

    Summer pruning and deadheading is a repetitive job but it is something we need to do to ensure that plants continue to flower all season long and will add healthy new growth next year. It allows the plant to slow its growth down by reducing the surface area of the leaves therefore slowing down the amount of food produced and sent to the roots. Pruning in summer is also a great time for corrective purpose.

    Basic Pruning practices:

    1. Remove any dead or diseased wood. Although it is more difficult to see the outline of a tree in leaf, it should be easier once you have removed any unhealthy stems.
    2. Take out stems that are growing toward the center of the tree. Be wary of pruning large branches that will heal slowly.
    3. Remove any crossing branches to prevent them from rubbing against each other and causing wounds that may result in serious damage
    4. Prune out weak stems that did not produce flowers or that have few leaves, and rub out shoots forming on the lower trunk.
    5. Keep the tree in shape by reducing the length of wayward side stems and excessive new growth by cutting them back by about one-third.

    Hedges grow rapidly in summer. The heavy shearing of hedges that exposes too much of the interior wood and the tender interior leaves, will cause scorching from the hot summer sun. Sunburn then kills the wood and leaves, resulting in a half-dead, scraggly hedge. It is best to shear hedges lightly and frequently in summer.

    Perhaps the most labor-intensive plants to prune in the garden are the perennials. Perennials are not maintenance-free as most new gardeners might think. Most perennial plants, especially the flowering ones, not only need to be cut back entirely at some point before or after the growing season, they need regular pruning, shearing or deadheading.

    Pruning generally creates a healthier, more robust and attractive plant.


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    The start of a long weekend…

    For most people this weekend signifies the official start of summer!

    The weather looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend to enjoy the outdoors. And summer means…pools!

    A swimming pool can be the social centerpiece for the season with your friends and family. A pool doesn’t just have to be surrounded by a concrete pad. Design your backyard retreat to be an extension of your home. Using natural stone, colorful annual displays and creative landscaping will help to soften the harsh lines of swimming pool equipment and welcoming your guests to enjoy the environment.

    A private get away.

    Living outdoors.

    The sounds of nature.

    A welcome respite.

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