The Edmonton Real Estate Blog, Market Information, Advise & Opinion
November 12, 2013
More beauty, less beast in your lawn and garden
More Beauty, Less Beast in Your Edmonton Lawn and Garden
A tale as old as time, true as it can be ... insects, weeds and poor fertilization are the beasts that take away from the beauty of plants and flowers in our lawns, gardens and even homes. To maintain a home and landscape your neighbors envy, interiors and exteriors should remain pest-free, and plants should be fed with the proper nutrients to stay healthy all-season-long.
Given the many things to consider when it comes to sustaining a lush landscape, homeowners are seeking new ways to simplify their lawn and garden maintenance techniques.
Trusted brands Amdro and Pennington have developed five quick tips that take the guesswork out of warm weather chores and make any home flourish with "more beauty, less beasts."
1. Decoding soil DNA: The best gauge for fertilization requirements of your landscape is through a soil test. These tests are used to evaluate the condition and levels of nutrients in the soil, especially pH, which determines how well plants are able to draw the nutrients they need from the soil. Home soil test kits are available at most lawn and garden retailers or homeowners can contact their local Department of Agriculture for more information.
2. Fertilizer frequency factors: During periods of drought, it is important not to over-fertilize as this can result in unhealthy or burnt-looking plants. The frequency of fertilization depends on climate, plant type and the fertilizer. A pre-measured, ready-to-use fertilizer, such as the Pennington Smart Feed Sprayer System, ensures efficient feeding, proper nutrition and vigorous plant growth. The benefit: better results with bigger blooms and produce, when compared to unfed plants. The system also saves time, minimizes water usage and removes guesswork.
3. Select the right plants: One of the best defenses against problem insects is a strong, well-maintained plant. When designing your landscape, select plants that are less prone to insect problems. For example, native plants tend to be more pest-resistant, if planted where the sun and soil are right for them.
4. Go on the offensive: While weeds grow year-round, pest activity in many ways correlates with temperature. In general, as temperatures increase, so does insect feeding and insect populations in and around the home. Combat insects and weeds with a simple, versatile tool, such as the Amdro PowerFlex Pest & Weed System. With no mixing, measuring or cleaning required, this all-in-one system allows homeowners to reclaim their properties, both indoors and outdoors.
5. Protect beneficial species: Within every landscape and garden are pest predators that are beneficial to the health of plants - either by feeding on problem pests or by helping with soil aeration and drainage. Examples include earthworms, spiders, ladybugs and praying mantises. Attract beneficial insects to your landscape with plants that provide nectar, pollen and other food sources.
If you got anymore lawn & garden ideas, please let me know.
October 8, 2013
Easy tips for a manicured lawn
Easy Tips for a Manicured Lawn For Your Edmonton Home
The days are getting longer, the grass is growing and yard work season has begun. Many Edmonton homeowners strive to have the best lawn in the neighborhood, but the task ahead can often feel daunting and time-consuming.
Although yard work can be overwhelming at times, the steps to a great-looking lawn are easier than you think. To get started, here are a few tips for giving your Edmonton yard that finished look:
- Keep grass approximately 2 inches in length and only take off 1/3 inch of new growth.
- Alternate the direction you mow each session. If you mow in the same direction every time, the wheels will create a rut in the grass.
- Plant flowers around the yard for a pop of color. Using mulch in flower beds will also add detail to your landscape.
- Use string trimmers around trees, rocks, fences and other obstacles to give your lawn a polished look.
- Use a broom to clean grass clippings and soil from pavement and walkways.
Yard work can feel easier and even enjoyable when using the right lawn care tools for the job. One of the quickest ways to give your lawn a manicured look is using a string trimmer. It can handle everything from cutting down weeds to trimming around trees to cleaning up grass under decks. String trimmers are the most versatile tool every Edmonton homeowner should have in their shed.
Lawn mowers can maneuver around obstacles and larger plants, but it's usually hard to get into tight spaces. A string trimmer can get into places a lawn mower can't reach and really give your lawn that polished look.
A really good gas string trimmer can help make life in the yard that much easier. There's no need to mix oil and gas, and some trimmers can quickly convert into multiple tools with the attachments.
Making your lawn stand out as the beauty of the block will take some work, but the end result will be worth the effort. Your neighbours will be green with envy!
If you have further tips about manicuring your Edmonton lawn, please share below or thru my contact page.
September 17, 2013
Simple solutions to common landscaping issues
Simple Solutions to Common Edmonton Landscaping Issues
There's one in every Edmonton neighborhood - the house with the bright green grass, perfectly trimmed shrubs and flowers in full bloom. As you look at your own lawn, plagued with weeds and sparse patches, you wonder how your neighbor is able to achieve such a beautiful outdoor space. The secret isn't in how much time or money can be invested, but rather taking the right steps at the right time to eliminate lawn and garden problems.
Here are some common landscaping issues and the easy steps any homeowner can take to correct them:
Sparse, brown lawn
If your Edmonton lawn is looking sparse and brown, the likely culprit is thatch. Thatch is the layer of dead grass, leaves and stems that block water and nutrients from reaching the roots. To revive your grass, you need to remove this layer and prime your lawn for strong regrowth.
A dethatcher, also known as a power rake, is the easiest way to get rid of the layer of thatch. Then you'll want to use an aerator to poke small holes in the dirt so that nutrients, air and moisture can get to the roots. These two pieces of equipment are critical for repairing sparse, brown lawn, but purchasing them outright is costly. Consider renting them from your local rental store.
No single method will eliminate all weeds, so the best action really depends on what types of weeds you have. Here are some tips on the most common:
- Dandelion - It's imperative to dig out dandelions before they go to seed. You can also spot treat dandelions with a broadleaf weed killer. If you do this, make sure your product does not kill grass.
- White clover - This weed can spread quickly on undernourished lawn. Combat by watering regularly and applying nitrogen fertilizer. You can also use a broadleaf weed killer for spot treatments.
- Crab grass - If it's early in the season, consider applying a pre-emergence crabgrass herbicide. Because crabgrass thrives on shorter lawns, set your mower to a higher setting, about 2.5 to 3 inches.
Overgrown hedges, shrubs and trees
Meticulously trimmed hedges and trees make a yard look perfectly manicured. The tools of the trade will make the job a breeze, but you don't need to purchase a tree trimmer or chainsaw. You can easily rent those at your local rental store for a fraction of the cost of buying them.
The most important consideration when operating a chain saw or trimmer is safety. When you rent, you get personalized training on the equipment. Tell the rental professional what you want to accomplish and they will help you find the equipment you need to get the job done, while providing you with tips on how to use the equipment and safety.
When you're done trimming and clearing out your area, renting a chipper can make cleanup quick and easy.
Wilting, dead plants
No matter where you live in Edmonton, if your outdoor plants start to wilt or turn brown, it's likely that they need water. Sounds simple enough, but it's also easy for plant novices to overwater - which can kill your plants and flowers just as easily as under watering them.
Start by always watering during the early morning or late evening hours. Watering during peak sun hours will cause most of the water to evaporate and little will reach the plants' roots. Research the recommended watering schedule for your lawn and plants so that you can create a weekly watering schedule. Some plants may only need watering once a week, while others may need it daily. You can also ask your local nursery for planting and watering recommendations in your area.
Nothing is more frustrating than the Edmonton homeowner who spends lots of time on yard work only to wake up one day to a striped lawn. If you have healthy lines of green grass that alternate with yellow or brown stripes, likely the cause is uneven fertilizer application.
The trick to fertilizing evenly with a drop spreader is overlapping wheel tracks by an inch or two. This will help ensure no area gets missed and any potential for stripes is eliminated.
If you have further Edmonton landscaping tips, please share below or thru my contact page.
September 3, 2013
Start with nutrition under the vegetable garden
Start with Nutrition Under Your Edmonton Home Vegetable Garden
Making a vegetable garden is more than just creating a planting bed in the ground and then picking up plants or seeds. Starting with the right soil is key to healthy crops and a beautiful garden environment.
Growing vegetables in a raised bed is the easiest way to create this perfect soil, as it is full of nutrients and the healthy microbes that your plants need to grow. However, raised beds may not be practical for your space. Here are a few easy tips to help you create your own backyard plot:
First, pick a sunny spot in the lawn where the grass is healthiest. This is an excellent indicator that the soil and the location are right for vegetables. Next, aggressively turn the soil with a pitchfork, removing the largest clumps of grass and weeds as you go.
Some of this plant material is important to keep in the soil because it will add nutrients as it naturally composts under the ground. To ensure that the weeds don't continue to grow, cover your plant bed with seven layers of newspaper. This will naturally break down in time with the elements, but until then, it acts as a fantastic weed barrier. Cover the newspaper with three inches of compost or manure rich top soil and then follow that up with two inches of chemical-free mulch. By creating this 'layer cake' on top of the existing soil you are effectively preparing the soil for spring planting. Leave your vegetable plot alone for at least three months, preferably during the rainiest part of spring.
Once the warm weather arrives, it's time to cultivate. Most vegetable roots grow 6 to 8 inches deep and this is how deep you need to turn your soil. The mulch, newspaper and compost are all the amendments you're going to need to grow big and healthy plants. You need to remember to keep this soil clean by staying away from chemical pesticides and toxic insecticides. Change your gas and oil power tools for battery-operated alternatives.
One of the most popular gardening tools for this year is a battery-operated cultivator from Black & Decker, the 20V MAX* Lithium option. Not only is it easy to use, but the company offers a recycling program for the batteries. Since plants act as a sponge, absorbing chemicals and toxins as they grow, keeping batteries out of landfill is a no-brainer. Who wants any of that on the dinner table?
If you have further Edmonton vegetable garden tips, please share below or thru my contact page.
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