Tag Archives: Shade Structure

Garden Tools – What do I need?

They say you can tell the age of the gardener by the size and number of their tools.  How many tools do you really need to be able to work safely around your house tending to your landscape?  Well, that depends on how deeply involved you want to be in maintaining your landscape and gardens. Is pulling a few weeds and planting a few bulbs in the spring as much as you want to do outdoors or do you enjoy the outdoors and satisfaction you receive by getting fully involved in the maintenance of your landscape?

Having long been a person who thoroughly enjoys yard and garden maintenance, I can recommend some of the tools for the passive gardener or the investment in tools required for the weekend warrior.

Tools & MoreThe passive gardener will need:
• Garden Gloves, Knee Pads, Wide Brim Hat, and Safety Glasses
• Small Hand Cultivator & Rake, Yard Rake, Leaf Rake, and Spade
• Hand Pruner, Small Bucket, Collapsible Water Hose, and Spray Nozzle

The weekend warrior who really enjoys the challenge of maintaining a landscape or garden will need:
More Tools• Garden Gloves, Knee Pads, Wide Brim Hat, Work Boots, and Safety Glasses
• Spade, Flat Nosed Shovel, Leaf Rake, Garden Rake, Hoe, Pitch Fork, and Wheel Barrel
• 5 Gallon Bucket, Garden Hose, Hose Reel, Spray Nozzle, and Large Mulching Bucket
• Walk Behind Lawn Mower and/or Lawn Tractor (depending on size of the yard)
• Trash Container, Weed Eater, Hand Trim Saw, and Large & Small Pruner

When using all types of tools, the key word is SAFETY!  Use the right tool for the job.  Don’t force the tool or us them as pry bars.  Clean your tools up after use. Have a safe place to store the tools. And we always recommend the use of SAFETY GLASSES.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps home owners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their landscaping 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

 

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Are your flowers wilting? Why?

Flowers and plants are going to wilt now and then. Knowing why they are wilting and how to address the wilting is key to a quick recovery. So, what can go wrong?

1. Verticillium wilting is a common infection which comes from the soil and enters the roots causing wilting and yellowing foliage. When this happens, you will have to renovate the soil and replant.
2. Once you cut flowers they will start to wilt; there is no way to escape this fact. Cutting flowers from its vascular system allows air bubbles to form on the cut area. The air bubbles will not allow water Flowers 2to enter the stems. To extend the life of cut flowers, cut the stems off under water and then place them in the vase.
3. Transplanting plants can cause a shock to their systems. This often occurs when you transplant flowers in hot weather and/or in full sunlight. It can also happen when the plant is placed in a new growing environment. To help avoid this problem your can:
• Plant early in the morning
• Avoid full sunlight plantings
• Avoid excessive high temperatures
• Be careful handling the roots
• Always provide a little fertilizer
• Make sure they have water regularly
4. Water, in the correct amounts, is key to a healthy plant. Too much water or too little will both cause wilting. The soil should feel moist, not muddy or dripping with water.
5. The lighting conditions could be wrong. Do you have plants that require no sunlight in an area where the sunlight is excessive or do you have plants that need sunlight in a shaded area? The solution is to check your plants lighting needs (do a little research online) and move the plants to a correct lighting environment.

1-Garden PictureWhen purchasing plants, check with the nursery or garden center so that they can direct you to the right planting conditions and related plant needs. Most plants you purchase will have a little plastic tab stuck in the pot with general planting information.

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

Your plants need protection from the wind & rain….

Maryland is known for its long summers with high heat, high humidity, and often time’s severe thunderstorms. Because your plants also recognize the weather conditions and need protection from the most severe conditions, it is important to plan for some natural protection barriers. With only a few minor changes to your garden and beds, you can make sure that your plants are protected from any unnecessary stress the weather might bring.

Tips for Protection

High Winds can cause extreme stress on the root system and may even uproot some of your plants. The best way to protect your plants is to anticipate the wind damage and build a barrier or wind Flowers 3break that reduces the wind velocity to a reasonable level. When building your barrier keep in mind that you do not want to make a solid barrier by using solid materials like bricks, wall blocks, or wood. This type of barrier can cause the winds to act in strange ways, causing downdrafts, updrafts and vortex wind conditions. The best way to protect you plants is with hedges or picket fences.

Excessive Rain can harm your plants in several ways, including rotting. It is important to know the water needs for the different plants in your garden because some are just fine with large amounts of water, while others are going to die. Protection of the neck of the plant is particularly important. Protect it by covering it up will help ensure you are reducing the risk of water damage. Another way to help with excessive water is to have a built-in grade pitch to your house, garden, or plantings so the water is encouraged to move away to drain into the yard area.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. can help in accessing the need for wind and water protection barriers. Home owners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties can rely on our “outdoor maintenance” swancreeklandscaping trucksprograms to access your total landscape needs. From design, to construction, to maintaining your property year round, we will provide you with a landscaping expertise that will exceed your expectations. When considering your landscaping needs, please give us a call for a free consultation on how we can turn your ideas and visions into an outdoor living experience you will use for years and never forget!
Phone – 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

Hints to preventing lawn fungus…..

All lawns have their ups and downs, just like their owners. For part of the year your lawn can look just great but all at once have a fungus. Why? Who knows! But there are some steps you can take to help prevent fungus.

1.  Recognize that your lawn has a fungus
Fungus comes in many different colors: Red, Gray, and Pink. If you notice these colors coming into your lawn, sure enough you have a fungus. How the fungus acts and develops can depend on your soil, the type of grass you have, the weather conditions and your own lawn care habits.
2.  What can you do to prevent fungus?
You can take some preventive steps by using a fertilizer that contains a systemic fungicide that is absorbed into the grass. For best results, spread the fertilizer in the spring and also in the fall.
3.  Nitrogen can feed your fungus
Too much nitrogen applied to your grass and plants can be an aid to a good dose of fungus. Know how much fertilizer you are putting down. Read the bag for the content information: 12 – 12 – 12 means you are putting down 12% Nitrogen, 12% Phosphorous and 12% Potassium. Talk to your garden center for more information. You might also want to take a soil sample to and have it tested to help you and the nursery to understand your fertilizer needs.
4.  Water at the right time of day
Water your lawn in the morning to ensure some evaporation. When you water at night, there is very little evaporation, thus aiding the start of both fungus and mold
5.  Yard maintenance counts
Periodic year maintenance is key to a good-looking landscape and yard. Some tips include:
• Pick-up of the leaves, sticks and other debris from the yard
• Prune your shrubs, plants, and trees allowing for new growth                 and to let the sunlight in
• Keep the blades of your mower and pruning equipment sharp
• Yard aeration on an annual basis to loosen up the soil and allow            it to breath
• Develop a lawn feed-and-watering schedule to ensure a healthy          root system

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself in providing unique design/build Outdoor Living Spaces to the Cecil and Harford counties that enhance the value of our clients’ homes and businesses. From design, thru construction, till the dark of night turns on the lighting system, we provide living spaces that will meet and exceed your expectations. And we are not done when the project is complete. We can continue by maintaining that outdoor space and the remainder of your entire property with lawn maintenance that will keep it beautiful year round. Contact us to learn more about how you we can help you to make the right landscape investment while enhancing the value of your home.
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