Tag Archives: landscscapes

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

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Repairing Bare Spots in the lawn and bringing them back to life!

Everyone experiences bare spots around their lawn from time to time.  Some are from diseases, some from animals, some from dogs relieving themselves, some from kids playing in the yard and some just from general yard damage.  There are ways to fix these damaged bare spots, it just takes a little time and tender care.

Some tips to consider:
Grass 31.    Watering alone will not fix most bare spots.  It will fix brown spots caused from your dog relieving itself by neutralizing high nitrogen from the pee.
2.    Thin and browning spots can be caused by drought or lack of water, so applying some water might just bring back the grass, as long as there is some grass.
3.    For outright bare spots, rough up the area with a rake or hand cultivator.  Lay down some seed, selected to match the grass you have in the yard. Your Lawn & Garden Store can advise you in this area.  One type of seed that is often recommended is Scotts Turf Builder E-Z Seed which is said to grow grass anywhere.  It has both seed and fertilizer, and you only have to water and keep the area moist to eliminate the bare spot.
4.    One other consideration might be to buy some sod from your Lawn & Garden Store or the local Nursery.  Again, rough up the area, remove just enough dirt to allow for the sod base to fit snuggly into the space, level with the rest of the yard, tamp it down snuggly with your feet and water.  You should water for several days until it takes root and can live on its own.
5.    Watering you bare spots is of course necessary to let the new grass take hold and fill in.  But don’t forget about the rest of the yard. Making sure your yard is receiving the right amount of water is best tested by just pushing your finger into the ground area and seeing if it is moist.  This will always help to keep your yard healthy and green.

Bull Dog PictureSwan Creek Landscaping, Inc. is pleased to offer grass growing tips and advice along with other landscaping and lawn solutions to our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  In addition to our lawn and property Maintenance Services Swan Creek also performs Landscape and Hardscape services that include: Gardens, General Landscaping and Hardscapes that include retaining walls, walkways, driveways, pool decks, patios and outdoor living spaces…both large and small.  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

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

Unique Patios come in all sizes and shapes to meet your needs….

The item that Landscaping Contractors are most called to design, build, and maintain are Patios. Why patios? Well for several reasons:
1. They are usually the first upgrade made to a new home
2. They can be created in all sizes and shapes to change your existing home appearance
3. They can be the first and most important start to an expandable outdoor living space
4. They can change the appearance of your yard design quickly
5. They are extremely customizable utilizing the homeowners needs, wants and desires

How do you customize the design of your patio into a unique space that enhances the appearance of your home, yard and outdoor living space?IMG_0186

The first step would be to contact your Landscaping Contractor to guide you through the process. Swan Creek Landscaping is the leading expert for designing patios that are unique and have the long-lasting appearance you want.

What is the right way to plan a custom designed patio?
There is no real right or wrong way to design a patio. Everything goes and yes, there is a chance you can make a mistake. The good news is that the right landscape contractor will notice a problem, point it out and offer solutions and related alternatives. Your current landscape may present some restrictions that will need to be considered before you develop a creative design. Ask these questions:Cole patio firepit pavers techobloc
1. What is the topography of the yard? Do you have hills and slopes? This being the case, the size of your patio may be somewhat restricted. The cost associated with leveling the yard and smoothing things out can be expensive and time consuming, requiring equipment and labor hours.
2. Check to see if there are any restriction, ordinances, or homeowners’ association regulations that must be considered before you start. Sometimes the size of the patio, its features (fire pits, pizza ovens, etc.), electrical regulations, and plumbing codes may need city, county or homeowners’ association approvals before proceeding. Or, you can call on Swan Creek Landscaping who will take care of the bureaucracy for you.
3. What features do you want to incorporate into your patio? Make sure you have your wish list of needs and wants. Talk with the family members, neighbors, and friends about the features they have and what they would suggest.

IMG_0219Designing your Stunning Outdoor Patio
The centerpiece of your backyard will be your Patio. The design options are endless. But if you want something really outside of the box, you need to call Swan Creek Landscaping. Some of the most popular features include:
• Tiers Spaces that can be used for multi-use levels
• Attractive outdoor lighting and fencing accents
• Updating of the landscape with mulch, new plantings and flower pots
• Fire Pits and Wall Seating that are naturally unified into the patio
• Outdoor Kitchens that include Pizza Ovens, Beverage Coolers, and Barbeque Centers

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself in providing unique Patios for our Cecil and Harford County clients. From design, to construction, until the dark of night turns on the lighting system, we provide uniquely designed outdoor spaces that we can also maintain year round, including your yard, plantings, and landscape. Pick-up the phone and call us to learn more.
Phone: 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

April Showers bring May Grasses

IMG_2958Springtime is here and April showers are filling our earth with water.  You and your family can’t wait to be outside again soaking up the great Maryland weather and sunshine.  But April rains are causing flooding in your yard and may expose your yard to mold and diseases.  After the winter months, one key aspect of preparing your lawn for usage all summer and into the fall is Aeration.  The benefits of Core Aeration and the related Over-seeding of your lawn in the spring and/or in the fall are many.  Helping to eliminate surface flooding in your yard and enhancing healthy grass growth are just two:

1.   Aeration will reduces soil compaction.  Just as you wouldn’t try to plant a flower in concrete, a rock-hard lawn will hinder your ability to have great grass growth and may not allow your yard to absorb the April showers.  Factors that contribute to compaction ofyour lawn are foot traffic, heat, and a lack of water.

2.   Aeration reduces thatch.  Thatch is made up of grass stems and 1-Grassroots that accumulate faster than they can break down and can hinder healthy grass growth.

3.   Aeration allows access to the root system.  By digging down into the soil and pulling out soil plugs, you will be allowing moisture, air, and plant food to soak into the soil right down to the root zone where they are absorbed.Aerator

4.   Aeration enhances seeding and germination.  Once you open the soil by Aeration, you will want to follow-up with over-seeding.  Seeds germinate easily in aerator holes as the holes provide them a place to hide and touch open soil.  Over-seeding introduces new grass seed to fill in bare and/or thin spots as well as thickening up the existing grasses.

5.   Aeration and Over-seeding will loosen the soil to relieve the compaction, allowing it to breathe and help reduce the germination of weeds.  Aeration and Over-seeding will immediately allow the April showers to penetrate the soil and improve your lawn’s current appearance.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with Aeration and Over-seeding services that will enhance the look of your lawn while meeting all of their other landscaping needs.  These helpful hints and questions are just one way we serve our clients.  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

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

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