7 Tips for Spring Mulching

Applying mulch around your house landscape beds, around your trees, and throughout your flower gardens provides a neat, clean, eye-pleasing appearance to your landscape and also helps hold moisture in the ground and around the plants.  The following are 7 tips for your consideration that can save you some time and anguish:

IMG_01861. Buying Inorganic Mulch (man-made mulch) – This a ground covering product called mulch, but is really some other unnatural type of material: plastic, rubber, or other synthetic products.  Make sure you know what you are buying.
2. Buying Organic Mulch – This is a natural ground cover product that breaks down over time and works into your soils, making them richer.   Organic examples include wood bark & chips, fine needles, peat moss, processed wood pallets.
3. Let your nose be your guide – Scoop up a hand full of the mulch and see how it smells.   Is the odor too strong for placement around your home or does it have a sour smell?  Do not buy sour-smelling Mulch.
4. Is the mulch animal friendly? – During the processing of the mulch some added chemicals, coloring dies, or other agents that could cause harm to your family or pets if digested.  Check out the chemicals.
5. Previously mulched surfaces – If you are applying new mulch over last year’s existing mulch, take time to break it up with a rake or cultivator and work it into the ground.
6. Before applying the Mulch – Take an environmentally friendly “home defense pest spray” which is safe around humans and animals and spray around the foundation of your house to add a protective barrier against ants, termites and other insects.
7. Spreading the Mulch – Several tips:IMG_0220
• For best results, spread in the early spring (not on frozen ground)
• If there has been no rain and the ground is dry, water the area
• Feed your plants before spreading the mulch
• Save your time and energy by getting down on your knees and    spreading it with your hands (gloves needed) evenly around the plants, about 3” inches thick, but not up against the plants neck. Smooth the surface out with your hands.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their flowering, mulching and spring clean-up needs, with helpful hints and tips.  From design, to construction, to maintaining your property year round, we will provide you with a landscaping experience that will exceed your expectations.  When considering your Landscape, Hardscape or Lawn Maintenance needs, please give us a call for a free consultation on how we can turn your visions and our experience into an outdoor living experience you and your family will appreciate.
Phone – 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

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Springtime means Gardening Time – Flowers

Come March everyone is looking forward to spring and to getting out of the house and into their outdoor living space. First thing we think of is flowers. Flowers surely make us feel good and positively changes the appearance of our landscapes, bringing new smells to our gardens and homes.

IMG_2958What kind of flowers do you want to plant that will make you feel good, give you pride in the accomplishment, and the self-satisfaction of the growing process? It all depends on the soil type, locations of the plantings, the colors and smells you desire, and the amount of money you have to spend.

There are more than 400,000+ different types of flowering plants and the list is growing. We have put together a rather short list of our favorites. I mention this because you may want to research some very different type plants that specifically address your wants and create great interest by your other gardener friends. Our list includes:
Flowers• Daffodils – A tough plant with a soft look that resist most garden pests
• Forsythia – A deciduous yellow flowered plant that can grow from 2’ to 12’ feet
• Snapdragons – A long stemmed flower with clusters of small colorful blooms
• Amaryllis – Popular bulb plant with large lily-like blooms and long, thick stems
• Star of Bethlehem – A spring flower with long grassy leaves and star-shaped blooms
• Azaleas – A flowering plant with thick clusters of pink or white blooms
• Lilies – A fragrant flower with large, bell-shaped blooms or curled open petals
• Marigold – An aromatic flowering plant with large orange or yellow blooms
• Tulips – A popular bulb plant with colorful, cup-shaped blooms in Flowers 3many colors
• Orchid – A diverse flower family prized for their appearance. Many colors available
• Pansies – From the violet family, with soft velvety petals, in several popular
• Sunflowers – A thick-stemmed flower with large, sun-shaped yellow blooms colors
• Zinnias – A small multi-pedaled flower like a daisies and comes in many colors
• Spray Rose – A small rose of many colors consisting of multiple blooms per stem
• Lisianthus – A small rose-like multi-colored flower with multiple blooms per stem

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their flowering needs, helpful hints and questions. From design, to construction, to maintaining your property year round, we will provide you with a landscaping experience that will exceed your expectations. When considering your Landscape, Hardscape or Lawn Maintenance needs, please give us a call for a free consultation on how we can turn your visions and our experience into an outdoor living experience you and your family will appreciate.

Phone – 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

10 – Easy steps to change your curb appeal

image_4Check out the home décor books, look over the garden magazines, and watch HGTV to learn about the many ways to change the look of your house and make it more appealing from the curb.  Many projects are expensive and can involve major time commitments and construction expertise to pull off, and you have limited resources. Adding curb appeal does not have to be expensive nor a major project.

Here are some quick and easy steps you can take to bring a new look to your home and landscape while adhering to a reasonable budget and time allotment:

1. Shutters can make the biggest difference in the appearance of your house.  Adding new ones or painting the old ones a new color is easy and inexpensive.
2. Lighting is a really inexpensive way to make a major change to your home.  Well placed, low voltage lighting is easy to install along with being a fun project.
3. White Picket Fencing is a project you can do with only a few hours of work.  You don’t need to fence the whole yard; fence just across the front walk or across your beds.
4. Front Door of any house is the focal point. If you have a great one, change the color.  If you need a new one, buy one that jumps out at you, that will be noticed.
5. Vines that grow on the walls of your house, on the corner of your garage, or up and over your pergola will not only add color but lots of curb and eye appeal.
6. Window Boxes will add new life to the front of your house.  Make your own or buy them from the garden center and install yourself. They look great!
7. Tree additions can make a big appearance difference.  A reasonably-sized tree placed on the corner of your house can change the look of your property quickly.
8. Mail Boxes can be an eye sore or a thing of beauty.  New ones are fully assembled, quick to install, and add a new dimension to the front of your house.
9. Accessories are another quick, easy, and within your budget way to make your house sparkle.  Think brass door knockers, door handles, door bells, and coach lights.
10. Walkways can dull, crack, or need a face lift over time.  A new brick or stone side walk can really change the look of a house.  Work with your landscaper on size, timing of the project, and materials.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps home owners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties look at new, economical ideas for a spring spruce up of your home while enhancing your curb appeal. From design, to construction, to maintaining your property year round, we will provide you with a landscaping experience that will exceed your expectations.  When considering your Landscape, Hardscape or Lawn Maintenance needs, please give us a call for a free consultation on how we can turn your visions and our experience into an outdoor living experience you and your family will appreciate.

Phone – 410.378.8668                                                                                          Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

 

5 – Landscaping tips for a March clean-up

IMG_0220Are you ready for spring?  At Swan Creek Landscaping we are ready, really ready!  We have completed maintenance on all of our equipment over the winter and now it is time to start getting our clients’ yards in shape for the summer.  Often times we are asked, “What do I need to do to get my yard in top shape for the summer and the start of ‘living outdoors’ again?”  Here are some quick tips for cleaning up your yard and your plantings:

1. First, do some pruning of the damaged and dead branches of your trees, shrubs, bushes and other perennial plants.  Using pruning clippers and a small yard hand saw, trim away the plants damaged parts and even some of the “overgrowth” to allow for the plant to breath and gather additional sun light.

2. Carefully clean up around the plants by raking out the leaves and dead foliage; often times this requires reaching in with your hands (don’t forget the gloves) and carefully remove the debris.

3. If you are planning on planting some spring bulbs, now is the time to spread some fertilizer, but read the label on the back of the package to ensure you do not over fertilize; sometimes this can do more harm than good.

4. Check to see if you have areas of damage to your lawn.  Grass does not start growing as early as some of your plants and bulbs. You might want to take a soil sample to check the pH and mineral levels, which will tell you if you need to add minerals and/or fertilizer to the damaged areas.  Most lawn and garden stores have an inexpensive pH test kit.

5. Now is the time to spray off or at least brush off and clean up your hardscape surfaces. Because you may have used salt, calcium, or other preventive slip-free minerals on walkways, sidewalks, and patio, you need to clean them. If the conditions are right, power washing the surfaces might bring the surfaces back to a “like new” look.

Take time to do some March clean-up. You will be amazed at how your landscape looks when spring really arrives.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps home owners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with their Hardscape and Landscape clean ups to ensure our client’s truly get that head-start on creating the curb appeal they are looking for and expect.  From design, to construction, to maintaining your property year round, we will provide you with a landscaping experience that will exceed your expectations.  When considering your Landscaping, Hardscape or Spring Maintenance needs, please give us a call for a free consultation on how we can turn your visions into an outdoor living experience that you and your family will appreciate.
Phone – 410.378.8668
Website:  http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com