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02 May 2017

Some Favorite Summertime Places to Relax

After spending so much time indoors during the winter and the fall, and with spring being beautiful but still a little cold and wet; thank heaven for the summer. Now is the time to step outdoors and make the most of the clement weather that comeswith the summer. It’s off with the winter warmers and shower macs, and on with the summer clothes you have been longing to wear. During the summer there are many more things that you can do, and many more places that you can go. Here are some of the all-time favorites that people everywhere enjoy year after year.

The Park

A visit to the park is a great idea in the summer. You can go on your own, take the dog, or make it a family day out. It is possible to find a quiet spot, take out a book and read, or walk your dog while enjoying the colors and smells of summer. If you chose to take your family, a park will have the facilities to keep them entertained for hours, be it through games or the playground. There will even be the bonus of food and drink to buy.

The Beach

This is classic summertime destination, and a favorite for families all over the world. Every summer families pile into their vehicle alongside buckets and spades, canoes and snorkeling gear. Most people enjoy the beach for the unique atmosphere it has. You can relax lying back on the sand, you can play with your friends andfamily, and of course you can take a dip. When you picture people strolling along a beach hand in hand paddling in the waves, it can only make you smile.

The Garden

After the work you have put into your garden in the spring, making the lawn lush and green, pruning the shrubs and bushes, planting flowers and cleaning the patio; it is now time to enjoy it. There is something magical about a garden in the summer, especially your own. This is your creation, something you have nurtured like a child. To be able to sit and relax in it now that most of the hard work is done is a pleasure. A cold drink and a chair are all you need to enjoy it. You can sit and listen to the birds chirping while enjoying the perfume of your favorite plant and thesun beating down on you. Obviously, while relaxing you will spot a little bit of maintenance or lawn care that needs doing, but that is the beauty of a garden; it’s alive and growing all the time.

These are some favorite summer places, and though they are not exclusive to the summer season; I feel they are best enjoyed then. There are so many others, like theme or water parks, summer camps or mountains, that people will have their particular favorites too. It is noticeable that the summer has an added bonus to the weather, a lot of the activities and places you visit are free. Another reason to enjoy the season.

02 May 2017

How To Maintain The Perfect Lawn This Fall

Fall is the perfect time to rejuvenate your lawn and put in the hard work that will make it look beautiful next Spring. There is much more to fall lawn care than simply raking up the leaves, though, and you’ll need to follow specific steps to achieve luscious, strong and healthy grass. Thankfully, with a little planning, this needn’t cost a whole lot of money as long as you are willing to put in the labor!

Fall Clean Up

While many gardeners consider aeration first, few consider the impact that fallen leaves have on the strength and health of grass roots. Of course, your lawn needs to be aerated in order for oxygen to effectively reach the grass roots but fallen leaves inhibit this process. Leaves not only block off the underlying soil but cause too much water to flood the grass roots when it rains. If the grass’ roots are submersed in water, they are being deprived of the air they need to grow. You should therefore use a technique called power-racking to remove the dead leaves from your lawn and remove the thatch and debris too. Leave your lawn as clear as possible to maintain the health of your grass.

Deep Core Aeration

Hiring an aeration machine if you don’t already own one is the perfect way to ensure that your lawn looks stunning next year. For optimum results your lawn should be aerated in the spring and well as the fall as this gives it the best chance of developing strong root systems. Following aeration, you should apply compost and then over-seed to address weak areas. Here is where planning comes in handy because there is nothing better for your lawn than compost made from earlier grass cuttings. If you form a habit over the summer of composting your cuttings you will have the perfect way to fertilize your lawn for no additional cost.

Over-Seed Your Lawn

Following aeration and fertilization, you must over-seed your lawn with disease and insect resistant grasses. Before taking this step, it’s worth noting that fertilizer made from cold-pressed seaweed has become increasingly popular of late. Seaweed is a widely recognized organic fertilizer and contains over 60 minerals and elements. Gardeners are turning to either commercially available seaweed liquid or fresh seaweed that they dig into the lawn after aeration. For the organically-minded gardener, over-seeding is a good way of combating weeds without resorting to additional weed killers as the seed will block sunlight from germinating weed seeds.

Test And Address Your Lawn’s Health

The final step of maintain the perfect lawn this fall is to check the Ph levels of the soil. You can buy lawn testing kits to check the health of the soil and add pelletized limestone if it’s too acidic. Chicken-manure is another excellent organic source of nutrient-rich fertilizer for your lawn.

Pay For A Fall Cleanup Service

The fall is one of the hardest times to look after a lawn and there are many critical steps that lay the groundwork for the following year. The simplest route to perfect maintenance is to pay for a lawn cleanup service from a local landscaping or lawn care firm. Expect a good service to include all of the above steps.

02 May 2017

4 Awesome Ways A Winter Clean Up Will Save Your Lawn!

The winter clean up packages you see offered by some landscaping firms are far more than simply snow removal. They actually help save your lawn and get it ready to look wonderful when it starts to flourish again next spring. Here are four ways that you can give your lawn the attention it deserves without spoiling the grass.

Forget Raking Up The Leaves!

Instead of raking, bagging up or blowing away the leaves from your lawn this year, try mulching them instead. The final time you cut your lawn this Fall before the season changes, you can simply mow your lawn without the box on and let the mulched leaves lay on the grass. This actually helps vital nutrients reach the soil and will help break down the layer of thatch that forms on the top of your grass over winter.

Aerate In The Last Week Of Fall

You’ll want to wait until the final moment to aerate as Fall is the best time of the year to appreciate your lawn. You will have been busy tending to it over the summer and can finally stand back and appreciate the fruits of your labor. Fall is the best time of the year to aerate your lawn as it gets rid of twisted root systems and compacted soil that would otherwise see the grass die over winter. If you don’t want to buy or rent a proper aerator, a gardening firm will offer this service as part of their Fall or Winter package. The plugs of earth that the aerator pulls out help air to reach down into the soil and nourish the roots of your grass. The plugs of soil help break down the thatch and keep your soil healthy over the winter.

The Importance Of Fertilization

It’s essential to give your lawn more fertilizer as winter starts. While potassium will help your grass to resist disease and retain water, phosphorus will promote root growth and nitrogen will help the grass keep its color over the winter months. A professional gardening firm will be able to advise you as to the best type of slow-release fertilizer that let’s your lawn stay healthy over the winter. With the right fertilization you can save the color and thickness of your lawn and prevent weeds from taking over by next Spring. If your grass is strong and healthy, there will be less chance of weeds taking root in your soil.

Eco-Products For Snow Melt

Snow clearance and snow control are essential parts of your winter clean up and most landscaping packages offer these services. Whether you need your lawn cleared or even your roof, most companies will offer a range of schedules; either one-off or monthly and some firms will even come when you’re away on holiday if you set this up in advance. There’s no point to snow clearance if it ruins your grass, though, and the snow-melt products that some firms and homeowners use actually harm the grass. Therefore, buying only environmentally-friendly products to prevent areas such as your path or driveway from icing over is the best way to save your lawn this winter. If you do hire a gardening firm to do this for you, ensure that they offer eco-products as part of their package. Eco products will help keep areas of your garden free from snow without damaging your grass.

02 May 2017

How To Keep Your Front Steps And Pathways Free Of Snow This Winter

during the cold winter months. Tripping and falling can ruin your enjoyment of what should be a magical time of the year. With presents wrapped and lights on your tree, the last thing you want is to injure yourself when you leave home. Here we are going to discuss four ways that you can keep your steps and pathway free from snow and ice this winter.

Option #1: Hire A Snow Removal Service

Do you rely on a lawn care firm or property service to look after your garden during the Spring, Summer and Fall? If so, they likely offer a winter snow-removal service. Most such firms offer a paid monthly service that keeps your front door steps, garden paths, driveway and any other steps on your property clear of snow. Expect to pay at least $200 per month for this service as it guarantees removal of snow within 12 hours of it falling, giving you peace of mind. The exact price will depend on the size of the area you want to have cleared and you should expect to pay extra for grit or ice melt products.

Option #2: Use Ice Melt Products

This is perhaps the cheapest option as you are shoveling away heavy snow yourself and using the ice melt product to prevent ice build-up. If you are physically up to the task of have friends, family members or neighbors to help you, buy ice melt products from any hardware store and simply sprinkle on the steps, path or driveway you want to stay clear of snow. Look for environmentally friendly products if you have pets or are concerned about accidentally getting snow melt chemicals onto your lawn, shrubbery or flowerbed.

Option #3: Use Snow-Melting Mats

You can buy electric heating mats that are fitted on your steps, walkway and any pathway you need to be stay safe and snow-free. You can buy larger walkway mats usually around 20” by 60” and smaller stair mats that lay on the top of your steps that are 10” by 30”. These mats link together and you use a power unit and cable extenders to connect them to a 120V grounded mains outlet. These mats interconnect so you’ll need to buy enough to cover your steps properly. These mats are waterproof and are left outside all winter.

Option #4: A Hybrid Solution

Realistically, there’s unlikely to be one magic bullet solution to preventing every step and pathway in your garden from icing over all winter. Each of the three solutions listed above have limitations even if cost isn’t a factor. The best all round solution could be to use different solutions at different times. Buy a stand-alone electric door mat for your front step, use ice melt on large areas where you need access such as your driveway, and rely on snow clearance firms for one-off clean ups after heavy snow falls.

02 May 2017

5 Ways To Prepare Your Lawn For Winter

Grass becomes dormant over the winter months so fall is the best time to lay the groundwork for a beautiful lawn next spring. Here are five great tips to help get your lawn ready for winter so that when spring rolls around your grass will be strong and healthy with a luscious shine.

#1. Aeration

Most gardeners only aerate at the start of spring but a mid-fall aeration is also a great idea. By mid-fall grass is barely growing anyway and the soil will be highly compacted from a summer of mowing. Aeration breaks up the compacted soil and helps air get down to the roots. If you don’t own an aerator, rent one from your local supplier and give your lawn the best possible start to the cold winter months.

#2. Grass Cycling

This is a term for cutting the grass and letting the clippings lay on the lawn instead of bagging them. If you have a lawn care firm tend to your garden already, the chances are this is exactly what they do. Grass cycling is an established way of letting the nutrients from cut grass be absorbed into the soil. Most gardeners simply use their standard lawn mower with the box removed but you can invest in a special mulching lawn mower to make the process more efficient. A mulching mower will not leave clumps of grass on your lawn where they may smother the grass. If you use a regular mower, make sure you remove any clumps when you are finished.

#3. Slow-Release Fertilizer

The best way to prepare your grass for the winter months is to use a slow-release fertilizer. This gives the soil of your lawn nutrients during the cold months when the grass is dormant. Although the grass will not grow during these months, the fertilizer helps ensure that the soil is ready come next spring. As soon as the grass begins to grow, the soil will be able to provide a supportive growing environment.

#4. Pay For A Fall Clean Up

Even if you prefer to do your own gardening, there is still plenty of scope to improve what you are doing. A quick, one-off visit from a local landscaping firm in Edmonton might be just what you need to take your gardening to the next level. You will receive helpful tips on areas you hadn’t considered such as over-seeding or raking and will receive detailed tips on how to care for your lawn in the Spring such as the right height to cut your grass at. This may be more cost effective than hiring your own aerator if you find a firm that will aerate your lawn as part of the service.

#5. Careful With The Ice-Melt!

The final piece of advice is to look after your lawn when winter comes. Many homeowners like to use ice-melt products to help ensure their paths and driveways stay snow and ice-free. Products such as these can be highly damaging to the grass and may leave you with discolored or bald patched in the spring.

02 May 2017

Maintaining The Perfect Lush Lawn In Fall

To start with, well cared for and maintained lawns are very welcoming to any type of a home. In fact they form a perfect natural welcoming mat for your home. However, so as to be this perfect and thereby welcoming, a lot of care and maintenance work has to be done. In simple terms, maintaining healthy plants and green grass in any lawn or yard is something of a paramount importance to a conscientious homeowner.

Do I get expert help or do it myself?

A homeowner may decide to undertake the lawn care and maintenance tasks him or her self; however, due to most people’s busy lifestyle nowadays, it is better to leave the whole task to professional lawn care and maintenance service providers. These experts will properly take care and maintain the lawn for you as you go on with other important day to day living undertakings.

The best season to care and maintain the lawn

Autumn is normally a cool season, meaning that lawn care and maintenance becomes quite an enjoyable task for all involved. Proper weeding, feeding, mowing, watering and even trimming assures a weed-free, lush and green yard in the coming season. However, it is good to note that September is the right time to focus your attention on cool-season grasses while early October is best for warm season grasses, for example those found in the south. As it is, seeding, fertilizer applications, feeding and weeding efforts are boosted by the warm temperatures during the day time and the cool, moist nights of the autumn.

Achieving maximum benefits

To achieve maximum benefits for a year-round results, fall yard or lawn care and maintenance requires a number of different tasks. Here is a brief summary of some of these.

1. Aerating the soil

Aerating the soil is a task that needs to be done around two weeks prior to the year’s final fertilizer application or 5-6 weeks before the first frost. This task very important lawn care and maintenance task should be done using the right type of an aerator. The best are the types that have hollow tines as they are able to remove huge plugs of soil. The remaining soil plugs can be diminished by mowing over them.

2. Seeding the grass

The fall season is the best time of the year to repair an old or establish a new lawn. Seeding must be completed just before the cold weather season. However, before the seeding, rake all the spots making sure they stay moist until the grass has grown in.

3. Watering the yard

Even in cool weather, it is essential to go on watering an old or a newly established lawn until the ground becomes really cold or begins to freeze. The continuous watering of the lawn allows for the grass to establish firmer root base.

4. Feeding and weeding the lawn

Lawns that get late season fertilizers are often the first to flourish in the coming season. Fertilizing in this case need to be done well before the grass has turned brown. Your local agricultural department can help assess the soil in your lawn and recommend the right nutrients that require to be added. Add lime onto the soil so as to help improve it and provide additional valuable nutrients to it.

The weeds should be manually uprooted or spot treated with the right herbicides to try and control them after the feeding process.

02 May 2017

Could Your Spring Lawn Cleanup Help You Lose Weight? Your 3-Week Gardening Workout Plan

According to Time, losing weight was not only the most popular New Year’s Resolution of 2014, it was also the most commonly broken resolution. Research shows that a staggering 60 percent of gym memberships aren’t even used and that by mid-February levels of gym attendance are usually back to normal. The great news is that your garden provides a fun, interesting workout all of its own. Having laid dormant over winter, serious work is needed in the spring time. Here are three essential spring cleanup activities that your lawn is crying out for. We’ll show you how to create a beautiful lawn and a new, trimmer you.

Week #1. Raking

Power raking removes dead grass so the soil can breathe and the grass can grow more efficiently. Almost all lawn care and landscaping companies offer power-raking services with a gas-powered machine. For your springtime lawn cleanup, forgo the machine and stick to manual raking instead. By raking your lawn, you can replicate the work of the machine and get a week’s worth of free, gut-busting workouts. We suggest turning the project into a form of interval training. Rake your lawn in lengthwise strips and rest for a few minutes at each end. As raking a lawn thoroughly could take 30 to 40 minutes, rake your lawn thrice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will give you your first week’s worth of exercise.

Week #2. Cut And Trim Your Lawn

For the second week you will need a mower and shears to edge out your lawn. Perhaps your friends, family or neighbours have an old, manual, push-mower. That would provide the best workout as the effort of pushing it would burn the most calories. If not, any standard mower will get you out, walking, pushing and lifting the grass cuttings. You’ll have a blast while improving your lawn. Try cutting the lawn on a high setting on Monday, trimming the edges with shears on Wednesday and cutting the lawn again at a lower setting on Friday.

Deep Core Aeration

According to the Canadian Gardening Magazine, aeration is an essential part of any springtime lawn clean up. As with power raking, all professional firms offer aeration. Most firms use gas-powered aeration machines that look like giant lawn mowers. They dig into your lawn and pull out ‘plugs’ of earth. If you’ve never seen a freshly aerated lawn before, it looks like hundreds of hotdog-shaped plugs of earth lying on a lawn peppered with holes. You can save money by buying a cheap pair of aeration shoes for around $10. These look like plastic soles with hollow spikes underneath. You wear them over your shoes and simply walk around your lawn. As you walk, you are aerating your lawn. As with the raking, we recommend treating it like interval training. Walk in one lengthwise line at a time, resting between. As the spikes dig in, aeration shoes are hard-going meaning that you burn calories by the bucketful. Three aeration sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday complete your three-week fat-burning lawn cleanup.

Conclusion

Following this course for three weeks is a healthy way to increase your activity levels while helping maintain your lawn. According to a leading landscaping firm in Edmonton, every lawn benefits from a spring clean up and will look beautiful during the summer as a result.

02 May 2017

How To Take The Stress Out Of Your Spring Lawn Clean Up

Are you planning to give your lawn a spring clean up? Giving your lawn a one-off clean up at the start of spring is the gardening equivalent of giving your home a spring clean. Your lawn’s grass will have been dormant over the winter months so your lawn needs extra care and attention come spring. Here are four top tips for lowering the stress of cleaning up your lawn this spring.

Tip #1. Use Leaf Vacuum Mulchers

Your spring clean up will be far easier if you completed work such as aeration in the fall and got your lawn ready for winter. Fall in an ideal time to aerate your lawn and prepare it for winter. In spring, you can expect to have lots of twigs, leaves and other debris on your lawn. Cleaning this mess off your lawn is sure to send your stress levels though the roof. Why not rent or buy hand-held electric blower-vacuum-mulchers or self-powered gas-engine machines to help? Your local hardware store or hire center will have a huge range of options whatever your budget or size of lawn. Hand-held mulchers can be set to either blow leaves and debris off your lawn, or suck them in and produce mulch. This mulch can be used to fertilize your lawn and reduce your dependence on fertilizer. Larger gas-powered mulchers will be required to deal with twigs and small branches. Both devices will save you having to rake leaves off your lawn and will dramatically reduce your stress levels.

Tip #2. Use A Chipper Shredder

Many gardeners find that they have old or dead branches to deal with in the spring time as there are always casualties over the harsh winter months. Dealing with branches can be a real headache. Why not buy or rent a chipper shredder to deal with them? Electric chipper shredders usually cannot deal with branches over an inch in diameter. You will need a gas-powered chipper shredder to deal with braches. Your lawn clean up will go much smoother. Simply toss branches into the hopper of a chipper shredder and all you’ll be left with is free mulch.

Tip #3. Deep Core Aeration

Deep core aeration is a critical part of a lawn clean-up routine. Most Canadian gardeners only aerate in the fall but the Canadian Gardening Magazine points out that lawns benefit from spring aeration too. Gas-powered aeration machines dig into your lawn and pull out ‘plugs’ of earth. This helps air reach down to the grass roots and promotes growth.

Tip #4. Try Hydroseeding

If your lawn required re-seeding, dry seeding is sure to spike your stress levels. You could buy or rent a hydroseeding machine, or hire a Calgary erosion control company to do the work for you. Hydroseeding is the best way to lower your stress levels this spring. It is cheaper than traditional dry seeding for covering large lawns and is a quick way of reseeding an entire lawn.

Conclusion

Finding the right firm to handle your lawn’s spring clean up can make the entire process almost stress-free. Follow these four tips to ensure that you are heading in the right direction. What do you think of our tips? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section below!

02 May 2017

Five Ways to Spruce up Your Lawn Ready for Summer

The summer will provide you with the perfect weather to spend time outdoors with friends and family. There are a few things that you can do in order to have your yard looking perfect for those summer months. This article provides five simple tips that will help you to spruce up your lawn ready for summer.

Mowing

An overgrown lawn will look very unsightly, and it will show that you are not caring properly for your lawn. In the summer months the lawn area will require regular mowing to keep it healthy and looking well manicured. You can hire a landscaping specialist to cut the grass on a one-off or weekly basis. They are also available to mow your lawn when you are going away on vacation. A freshly mowed lawn will do wonders for the appearance of your property.

Hedges

You can make your yard look tidier by trimming the hedges on your property. Overgrown hedges will look messy and they can also take up some much needed space in your yard or block areas such as the driveway. You can trim your hedges so that the surfaces are flat, alternatively you can have them pruned into fun or unusual shapes for something a little different.

Flower Bed Maintenance

Flower beds will need regular maintenance to keep them free of weeds. Just a few hours of maintenance every week can make all the difference to your flower beds. You may also want to plant some established flowering plants into the flower beds to bring some extra color into the area. Flowers will also help to attract more wildlife and bees into your grounds.

Hanging Baskets

A quick and easy way to add some extra style to your home is to use two hanging baskets either side of the entrance to your home. You can purchase ready made hanging baskets, alternatively you can create them yourself from scratch. Choose fragrant plants, such as jasmine and honeysuckle, to add a lovely fragrance to the air too. Empty hanging baskets can be purchased from most garden centres or from online retailers.

Borders

Another quick way to spruce up your yard is to make sure that all the borders are neatly maintained. You can have them looking neater by using special border trimmers, or by manually neatening them with a spade. You can also line your border with bricks or stones to create a lovely feature in your garden.

If you want to save yourself the hassle and the stress of performing garden maintenance yourself, then you can always hire a specialist landscaper to comeplete the gardening jobs for you. They can be hired on a one-off basis, or you can employ them on a regular basis so that they can complete frequent cuts, trims and maintenance to keep your lawn and yard looking perfect all year round. A landscaping specialist will be able to listen to your requirements in order to recommend the best services for your needs. Good luck.