Posts Tagged lawn care

Keeping Your Landscape Green

Around this time of year is where we finally get to see some scattered showers once in a while – like in Agoura Hills, Children feet in green grassWoodland Hills, and Malibu. But, in between those showers, what is the best tactic for keeping everything green and happy?

1. Schedule your sprinklers.  Keep your sprinklers on a consistent schedule until rain becomes more regular.  Water your lawn deeply, every few days, in order to keep the roots growing deeper into the soil.  Right now, all we can count on when it comes to rain is inconsistent, shallow watering.

Another factor in this is that it’s still pretty warm out, so keep your watering schedule in the early morning.

2. Reseed.  It’s a little late in the year for reseeding, but you can try it and see what pops up.  A better idea is to decide weather you want to reseed next year, or if you want to get a whole new landscape installed.

3. Compost. Any areas where you think grass or other plants didn’t grow healthily last year are great areas to lay down compost this time of year.

4. As hard as it is this time of year, try to keep people and decorations off your lawn as much as possible.  One easy way to keep people from hurting your lawn is to have clear, well-lit paths or walkways.  This will direct people to walk where you want them in the predominantly dark hours of the day.

5. Maintain your mowing patterns.  Keep mowing consistently to keep your grass looking spiffy.

6. Leave some of your clippings behind.  This is a really easy way to compost your lawn.  Do a little “maintenance mowing” (meaning, don’t wait a really long time between mowings) and leave the short grass clippings on top of your lawn.

7. Try to keep your pets off the grass.  This is a hard one, but dog urine can cause yellow spots in your lawn.  If they have no other place to go to the bathroom, just make sure to spray the area they peed on afterwards with lots of water.  The pee itself is actually a great fertilizer, it’s just in such a concentrated form that it will “burn” your grass.  If you disperse the urine, the grass may even benefit from it.

Here’s to a green, lovely landscape for the holidays!

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Keeping Your Yard Looking Nice

I just did a large project of cleaning up my yard.  I have the pool sparkling, all the weeds are pulled, the cement around the pool is cleaned and swept.  My yard looks awesome.  Yours can too!  Here are some simple actions you can do to your existing yard space which can get it looking great:

– Clean up.  This is a pretty simple one – but can be the hardest thing to do.  After all, the origin of dirt is the great outdoors – which is where your yard is.  But the simple action of pulling out weeds, pruning dead growth off your plants, keeping your grass mowed and bushes trimmed, getting your pool or water feature cleaned, and pressure washing or repainting your hardscape can really make your yard the place you want to be.

– Now that your yard is neat and clean, try brightening it up with simple things like new flowers and bright pots – or more complicated things like a water feature.

– Consider revamping or installing new light features.  Summer nights are perfect for outdoor gatherings, or just sitting and enjoying.  Make sure your favorite parts of your yard are well-lit so you can enjoy them at any time.

Put in a “relaxation station”.  This can be as simple as gathering some yard furniture around a table or putting out some lounging chairs – or can be more complicated like getting a firepit installed, or getting a permanent barbecue structure.

– No matter what kind of yard situation you have – all hardscape, all lawn, half and half, mostly garden space, etc – make sure to put bright clusters of flowers in various parts of your yard.  They add beauty to your outdoor space and – depending on the flower – can attract fun insects like butterflies and bumble bees, or pretty birds for you to enjoy.

Here’s to a bright yard and a brighter summer!

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Conserving Water II

There are many ways to conserve water, as I listed in the previous article.  Here are some more ideas:

– Compost, compost, compost.  While you never want to overuse compost, using compost over the top of your existing soil, or digging it in a bit can help your soil retain water.  Try to use an organic compost, as this will add structure to your soil.

– Don’t cut your grass so short.  Leaving your grass a bit long.  The idea is to leave at least two-thirds of the leaf surface alive and uncut.  The reasoning behind this is that your grass needs the extra leaf space to be healthy and reproduce.  It may seem counterintuitive – because clearly that’s more leaf to water – but your lawn has to have a healthy above-ground layer for the below-ground layer to remain healthy as well.  And it’s the below-ground layer that digs deep for water.

Additionally, when mowing, leave a layer of grass clippings on your lawn.  Only do this if they aren’t too long and bulky.  You don’t want piles of clippings on your lawn.

– Try using a soaker hose instead of overhead watering.  The soaker hose will feed water directly to the roots, so there will be minimal waste when watering.  You can even get a soaker system installed in place of sprinklers.

– Section off particularly thirsty plants.  Some plants, like tomatoes or roses, need watering every day or they won’t produce in our hot climate.  Instead of planting these with other plants that could do with less water, put them in their own separate section of the yard or containers.  You can also give them their own sprinkler system.  This way they get their own water, when they need it, without sharing with the rest of your more drought tolerant plants.

Here’s to a year of low water bills and flourishing landscapes!

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Healthy, Happy Lawns

It’s a great time of year to really keep your lawn happy and healthy to show off when October 31st rolls around.

Here are some ideas as to how to do this:

– Keep deep watering your lawn. This allows your lawn’s roots to go deeper as well as seek richer soil and more water sources during this dry fall season.

Water in the wee hours of the morning. This prevents root rot, and makes sure the water soaks into the ground before it has time to evaporate.

– Cover up any open patches of dirt. If you have sections of your yard on which grass simply won’t grow, cover them up with compost, wood chips or hardy plants.

– Overseed and feed your lawn. This lets your lawn regenerate with healthy new sprouts, along with keeping the older, deep-rooted lawn fed and happy.

– Watch for water run off. If your lawn is sloped or irregular, it’s a good idea to see where the water is going. Consult with your local landscaper about sorting out any water run off problems.

– Try to keep decorations and people off your lawn. You can do this by hanging neat Halloween decorations on trees or stringing them between lamps or other tall objects. Additionally, you can make sure your paths are well-lit to light the way for children and their parents as they come to your home to seek treats.

Here’s to a fun and colorful Autumn!

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Seasonal Landscaping

I was driving down Candy Cane Lane and it struck me that some people really enjoy decorating their yards for holidays year round. This means you really have to keep in mind what sort of landscaping would be appropriate. If you have waves of lawn, poking holes in it to put up seasonal decorations might be detrimental and frustrating as, as soon as each plug grows back, you’re just going to want to stick something else in there.

In looking at well decorated homes, I was saddened that most people were in fact completely destroying their lawns. I tend to see this around Halloween too, with fun decorations smashing and poking holes the an otherwise well tended lawn.

If you really enjoy decorating for each season, a hard-scape and small, well designed gardens are most likely your best bet. Additionally, you want clean, even and well-lit paths. Finally, some shrubs or trees would benefit you so you may decorate with lights and/or hanging other fun things in the branches.

You can even set up your landscape to cater to your desire to put up fun decorations, but including sufficient outlets on exterior walls, putting things which need holes dug in dirt – and later filling the hole created with flowers, and you can even have hooks and things installed so that you may put your fun and festive decorations up more easily – and make them less likely to be blown about by the wind.

As a final note, even if you don’t go all out and decorate for each season, a bit of hardscaping can go a long way to fun, festive outdoor activities. It’s pretty cold and wet right now, but on a dry day you can enjoy the cooler temperatures by having an impromptu outdoor barbecue, or chatting around a fire pit. Additionally, if you’re like me, you might like a covered porch, where you can go outside no matter the weather and enjoy the outdoors.

So, here’s hoping you enjoy this blustery season!

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Keeping Your Lawn Alive

Driving down the street by my Southern California home, I constantly see  dried out lawns that will not survive the summer.  I also see a ton of preventable water runoff, which, during this drought, can get you a ticket.

So, how to achieve that illusive middle ground – the green summer lawn without the extra water runoff? 

It’s a pretty tricky proposition.  Here are some tips and tricks to keeping your lawn looking decent throughout the year.

– Before installing your lawn and sprinkler system, find out what your options are from your landscaper.  You could ensure the grading of your property promotes water conservation, make sure the sprinkler system you install has rain sensors, low pressure valves, etc.  A sprinkler system which waters the roots of your plants often reduces the water needed and is usually a more effective method of watering.  You can also discuss what time of the day (usually the wee morning hours) are best to water your lawn.

– Ensure your lawn and other plants are properly mulched.  This can be done with leaves and grass clippings.   The mulch will protect the soil from direct and drying sunlight. 

– Don’t overfertilize. It’s nice to have the vibrant green grass, but most fertilizers require you water them into the soil. So, it’s okay to let your lawn “dull” a little and save on the water.

– Set the mower at two inches.  This will reduce water use during hot weather.

– Water the turf one a week with about 2.5 centimeters of water.   This may not stop your grass from turning a little brown, but it should ensure it lives to see another fall.

Check out this link for helpful hints for maintaining your lawn.

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