Tag Archives: getready

Summer Watering Practices – Plants, Flowers, and Bushes

You have invested in a new Landscape that you helped design and the last thing you need is to have your plants wilt and die.  We trust that your landscaper has taken into account your soil type, the hours your plants are in the sun-light, shading issues from the house and other plants, and has provided a selection of seasonal plants that will give you year round pleasure.

Swan Creek takes great pride in providing our client’s with eye pleasing year round landscapes along with a watering program to keep them healthy that is custom designed to your particular landscape.

Summer Watering Practices – Keeping your plants safely watered is just a little bit tricky when considering all of the events you have to take into consideration around the state of Maryland.

The Weather Issue? – Key to watering your plants is to check daily the weather forecast, the related rain fall predictions, daytime and nighttime temperatures and to make sure that the forecast happened as predicted.  Watering the night before a heavy rain might cause an over watering condition which can be as bad as under watering.  Temperatures also play a key role in your watering program.  If the temperatures are in the 70’s watering once a week might be fine.  If the temperatures are in the 80’s watering twice a week might be best.  And, if the temperatures are in the 90’s you might want to be watering every other day.  If there is any questions about the need to water it is always best to check the ground around the plants neck and foliage area for moisture content.  If dry – water! If wet – wait a while!  Another tip: pay attention to the long-range forecast and make note of upcoming weather conditions on your calendar or I-Phone.

The How Much Issue? – Most gardening experts, and Swan Creek Landscaping, suggest that for plants to be healthy and growing they need to have the soil moist down about 1/2”. As with other watering issues check around the plants with your fingers…do they need water?

The When Issue? – The best time to water your plants and your yard is in the early to mid-morning hours.  This allows the plants to “quench their thirst” during the peak temperatures of the day and also allows the plants to breath which will discourage humid soil round the plants that could cause mold and mildew issues from too much watering.

The Application Issue? – Do not open up the spray nozzle and beat your plants to death with too much pressure and way too much water.  Be kind and gentle with the watering by softly and evenly spreading the water around the base of the plant. Try to avoid watering down the leaves of the plants which could cause the plants to take on a disease or mold.  Having a long-handled sprinkler nozzle that you can reach into and around the base of the plant is best.  The use of a watering system, trickle system or soaker hoses really can be the best investment you make for keeping your landscape, plants, flowers and lawn in beautiful shape.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their Landscape needs, including watering tips to keep you landscape looking great.  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 (patios, walkways, driveways, pool decks and outdoor living spaces) 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 enjoy and appreciate.

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

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Privacy landscaping can make you and your neighbors happy!!!

Some time you just want to be by yourself or you just don’t want to hear your next door neighbor on their cell phone.  You just want to relax with some quite time with no interference or you really want to sit out in the warm sun without the neighbor’s basketball bouncing through the patio and over-top of the grill.  The answer just might be a phone call way and just around the corner.

Garden PictureLandscaping Your Yard for Privacy

Designing a landscaping that creates a soft, quite, natural, privacy barrier can change the whole dynamics and enjoyment of your outdoor living space.  There are many ways to address privacy barriers other than building an eight foot tall fence.

Softscapes – One of the best ways to landscape for privacy is the addition of trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers designed in such a way that the line-of-sight is deterred and the normal day to day sounds of our neighbors and local traffic are muffled.  Layering the plants allows for the larger plants to be designed on the outside of your yard creating a taller barrier and providing a place to nestle in the lower bushier plants to the inside for more subtle noises.

cole patio firepitHardscapes – Designing decks and patios for privacy is another way to soften the neighborhood noises and allow for more privacy.  The addition of Pergola and Trellises will not be able to hide the entire yard, but it will allow for private areas for your and your guest.

Decorative Walls – One of the best ways to add privacy is to use Decorative Walls.  They can be used around the slops of the yard to create new living spaces or gardens.  You can also add an attractive addition to your patio or pool area that could include decorative fencing on the top edge for maximum privacy.

Water Features – This is a unique way to design a new outdoor living space that is peaceful and relaxing, but it will also mask the noises of the neighborhood.  The addition of a fountain or waterfall will also muffle the sounds from the air conditioner, street traffic and conversations from your neighbors.  There is just something about the sound of a water feature that is relaxing and soothing to the ear.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself in providing privacy landscape options for our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  Our Design Group will create a unique outdoor living space that will meet your privacy needs, while providing a unique outdoor living space.  In addition, our Service Group performs yard maintenance, mowing, plantings, landscaping, patios, pruning and gardening on a contract basis.  Pick-up the phone and call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look of your property with privacy solutions that will enhance the appearance of your home and value.

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

Tips on Watering your Maryland lawn green during the “dog days” of summer….

Maryland is blessed with a great climate that allows our residents to be outdoors three quarters of the year.  But, keeping your landscape and specifically your lawn green during the hot days of August can be a challenge.  But Swan Creek has some ideas, suggestions and tips.

Dog PictureThe very best solution is to have an irrigation system which can be the greatest way to keep a Maryland lawn nourished and cooled off. Your yard needs water on a regular bases and the best way to get it is with some type of Sprinkling System (in-ground or above ground). It is the best defense against the “dog days” of summer that can bring brown spots and can even kill parts of your yard.  It also allows the yard to soak up needed water and nutrients while allowing the excess water to be evaporate by the sun.

Watering Tips:
• Best time to water you lawn is between 4:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. in the morning
• Do not water in the hottest part of the day…the water will evaporate before being absorbed
• Do not saturate your lawn with water…this can cause a breeding ground for mold and disease
• Avoid watering by hand…it is inconsistent and will not spread evenly around the yard
• Most lawns require about 1” to 2” inches of water per week depending on soil and grass type
• Avoid watering by hand with a hose and spray nozzle because of the inconsistency in spraying
• Use of an inexpensive sprinkler supplied by a water hose and placed around the yard can also be most effective. Make sure you take note of time in each area so as not to over water
• Keep your mowing height at 3” or greater. Tall grass can best absorb the water, while helping to eliminate stress on the plants
• Buy a good mulching bade for your mower and stop bagging you clippings. The blade will cut the grass into finer pieces and allow it to drop back into the lawn for added food and nutrients
• Keep your fertilizer in the bag during the hot months unless you have a sprinkler system. You can quickly burn out the yard if applied at the wrong time. Consult your nursery
• Planting shade Tree Picturetrees around your property might also give your lawn some relieve from the heat and can even offer shaded areas for your outdoor living spaces

Remember, with all lawn care Mother Nature is always in charge. But, seed companies are constantly coming out with new grasses and some recent introductions to the market are slow growing grasses, grasses that need a minimum amount of water, and grasses you do not even need to be mowed.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. provides lawn, grass and watering tips to our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  Our Maintenance Group will inspect your yard to determine your watering needs and then make recommendations for proper care of your entire yard and landscape.  In addition, our Maintenance Service Group performs yard maintenance of all types including: mowing, plantings, pruning, landscaping, and spring/fall clean-ups on a contract basis.  Please call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look of your property with yard maintenance that will enhance the appearance of your home along with the value.

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

Vacation time is coming up so prepare your lawn for your few days off!

Most everyone takes a little time off to go to the beach, amusement park, or to visit grandma.  Your yard is not so lucky, it cannot take any time off, but if you prepare it before you departure you won’t have any surprises when you come home.

For short periods away your lawn will take care of itself. Just make sure you:
Tractor Mowing• Mow the day before you leave so the growth will not be that great upon your return
• Water – If you have a Watering System make sure it continues to water while you’re gone
• Water – No Watering System make sure you give it a good drink the day before you leave
• Mow the first thing upon your return and get back on a normal mowing schedule

For longer periods away your lawn will have to be prepared for your absence.  Just make sure you:
Mowing Grass• Mow your yard a notch lower than normal to allow enough time for little more growth
• Water – If you have a Watering System make sure it is set to work while you’re gone
• Water – No Watering System make sure you deep water to  ensure some moisture is present
• When you return raise the mower level 2 notches to limit the amount you cut off…most professionals say you should not remove more than one-third of the growth at any one time

When you are going to be gone for long periods of time you may want to have your landscaper come in and keep the grounds looking good.  Having your landscaper, a neighbor or a family member come around at different times on a regular basis every day to offer some type of security so drive-byes do not think the house is empty.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. provides lawn care services for our Cecil and Harford County clients’. Our Maintenance Group performs yard maintenance of all types including: mowing, plantings, pruning, landscaping, and spring/fall clean-ups on a contract basis. In addition to our maintenance service Swan Creek also performs Landscape and Hardscape services that include: Gardens, General Landscaping and Hardscapes including retaining walls, walkways, driveways, pool decks, patios and outdoor living spaces.  Please call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look of your property with Landscaping Programs that will enhance the appearance of your home along with the value.

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

Edging the Lawn….Why, When, and How!

Lawn maintenance is an ongoing project for every landscape and depending on the time of year is constantly changing.  Edging your lawn is an important maintenance item in keeping your yard looking neat, clean, and healthy that provides sharp, defined lines that says “I care about the look of my landscape” and it shows.

There are several issues to address in creating a planned schedule for how often you need to be edging.

1-Grass1. Do you fertilize? In the spring of the year everyone is out  spreading fertilizer to make sure the yard is green and healthy.  Well, that does work, but it also makes the grass grow faster.  Often times it seems like the grass is growing faster around the edge of your driveway and walkways.  Well that very well might be the case since often times excess fertilizer that lands on the driveway and walkways is swept into the yard with most of it landing along the edge and that grass grows fast!

2. Timing is everything!  You will surely want to edge your yard in the spring since debris, clippings and the freezing and thawing from the winter months has fill in the edge area along driveway and walkways.  And, since you fertilized your grass it will have a “spring” growth cycle which will require your frequent attention.  You should look over the areas to be edged every time you mow the grass to see if it needs edged.  During the summer months you might go several mowing’s before you need to edge, depending on how wet or dry it has been.

3. Tips to make it edging easier (somewhat) – The type of edging equipment (manual, electric, or gas-powered) you have really does not matter as far as the process is concerned.  With edging machines you should place the blade so it rest in the grass along the edge of the hard surface with the wheels or guide against the hard surface…ideally the edger should be at a 90° degree angle.

You now need to create a small trench like area by moving the edger between the hard surface and the soft surface of the yard. You will probably have to move the edger back and forth if the ground is firm. If you have curves and turns in your driveway or walkways not to worry the edging tools will move right along the surface.

Depending on the edging equipment you have there are some other options.  You could use a spade shovel or a step on edging spade to dig around the edge of your hard surfaces.  This can be time consuming and will take a lot of effort on your part, but will result in a nice deep edge around your drive and walkways.

WeedeatingYou might also have a string trimmer that has optional settings and/or attached wheels that can be used for edging along with the normal trimming.  Often times this type of equipment work fine and gives you clean, neat edges quickly and without much effort.

Of course, when your done edging you will have to sweep up the debris, which can be used in your small planting pots or clean off the surfaces with a power blower which leaves a nice, clean surface.

4. Safety is always important! Lawn maintenance and the use of power equipment does pose some risks of flying debris that should always be addressed.  Always use eye, ear, leg, arm, foot and hand safety protective gear to ensure you avoid the dangers of flying objects that can hurt, really hurt!

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their Landscape needs, including complete lawn maintenance that includes edging. 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 (patios, walkways, driveways, pool decks and outdoor living spaces) 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 enjoy and appreciate.

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

Is it time to add a retaining wall to your property?

The hills, slopes and sharp grades around Cecil and Harford Counties can create some, if not many, challenges for creating and maintaining a beautiful landscape.  You can have rainwater runoff that can create erosion problems, there can be safe walking issues around the slippery slopes in your yard and then there’s the mowing and maintenance issues on the side hills and slopes.  The answer for many is to install a retaining wall(s).

Bull Dog PictureThe benefits for adding retaining walls around your Maryland property are numerous and include:
• Safety Issues: Drainage and walking issues will be eliminated by  leveling the playing field
• Home Value: Walls change the appearance, beauty, and curb appeal of your landscape
• Lower Maintenance: Wall systems will last for years with little or no maintenance
• Unique Gardens: By terracing you can create pleasing landscape and garden areas
• Seating Areas: Through unique designs you can create seating and resting places
• Flat Areas: Building a wall can create a small or large flat area for guest parking or a play area

What type of wall options are available?  Landscaping companies offer many different material options for retaining walls that include: Wood, Railroad Ties, Concrete Blocks, Limestone, Flagstone, Brick, Travertine, Poured Concrete, Field Stone and many others.

Please Take Note: Retaining Wall installation is not a simple DIY project.  Poor construction of walls can be dangerous and expensive. We do recommend that you use a qualified construction or landscape company that has the engineering, design and construction talents that will ensure the quality and safety of your wall(s) and who use materials that match the needs of your property and project.

Swan Creek Landscaping generally recommends only a couple of material choices for Retaining Walls for a whole lot of reason that include: pre-construction preparation, construction cost, ease of installation, manufacturers engineering expertise, long-term maintenance, appearance, and project cost.

IMG_0219We too use Limestone, Flagstone, Brick and Field Stone, and some other pre-qualified products.  But, Techo-Bloc Landscape Products are our products of choice and a look onto their website will quickly show you why.  They are the foremost manufacture of concrete pavers, slabs and wall materials with multiple product lines, sizes, shapes and colors that will meet the approval of the most discriminating client.  Key to our choosing them is their engineering expertise that is offered on every project we do to ensure our client’s receive the very best Retaining Walls, Driveways, Patios and Walkways available in the industry today.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself in providing uniquely designed and engineered Retaining Walls for our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  From design, thru construction, we provide distinctive outdoor living spaces that we can also maintain year round.  Services include your yard maintenance, mowing, plantings, landscaping, patios and gardens.  Pick-up the phone and call us to learn more about how we can change the look of your property with Retaining Walls that will change the appearance of your home and change your ability to safely use your outdoor living spaces.

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

Your beautiful landscape can come alive at night by adding lighting….

Why not have your landscape and outdoor living space come a live at night?  Thus, expanding the usable time you spend enjoying your Maryland summers.  Then consider using landscape lighting features.  But first you need to develop a “lighting plan” prior to buying the fixtures and jumping into the installation process.  Key questions that needs answers include:
•   Where do you want your lights
•   Do you want them focused on key landscape features
•   What type of fixtures do you want
•   What type of fixtures do you need
•   Do you want up lighting
•   Do you want down lighting
•   Are you paths properly lit
•   What is the extent of you lighting needs
•   What type of budget do you have
•   Do you want the project completed in stages
•   Areas where you can install lighting include:
o   Decks, Porches, Play Areas
o   Patios, Paths, Pool Decks
o   Trees, Buildings, Yards
o   Walkways, Driveways, Entrances
o   And many more depending on personal needs!

IMG_3595As you might expect each area requires slightly different lights. Porches or deck lights are likely to be tall, sort of like lamp post, in order to give a fuller area of light.  On the other side, lights for paths and driveways will be much shorter and close to the ground.  Lighting for your landscape and trees is another entirely different type of lighting system.

Up-lighting vs. Down-lighting                                                                               Up-lighting and Down-lighting are the way to go if you really want your landscaping features to stand out.
• Up-lighting is located on ground facing upward to shine on key landscape elements
• Down-lighting is usually mounted high up in the trees or on the sides of buildings that shine down

IMG_3826When you combine the two, you can turn your yard into the talk of the town.  Not only does this create an attractive landscape, but can change dramatically the security of your home.  Intruders do not focus on homes that are will lit that could contain security cameras.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. can integrate high quality, low-voltage landscape lighting systems smoothly with the rest of your yard’s landscape design, highlighting key elements for our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  From design, thru construction, till the dark of night turns on your lighting system, we provide uniquely designed outdoor lighting.  We can also maintain your entire property year round, including your yard maintenance, mowing, plantings, and landscape.  Pick-up the phone and call us to learn more about how we can unique lighting systems that will add beauty and security to your entire property.

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