Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Natural Pest Control Idea for Your Landscape

Posted on December 30th, 2013 by
gardening

Source: Flickr

For most people, green gardening means no pesticides. However, without them it is easy to see your garden become infested and any food crops eaten by bugs. If you can’t kill them with pesticides, one green method is to divert them with trap cropping.

Trap cropping needs lots of careful planning, which is an important part of your early garden design and landscape maintenance plan. The basic concept is simple: give pests an alternate food source than your food-bearing plants. One example of trap cropping is planting black oil sunflowers to protect your tomatoes from leaf-footed bugs. Likewise, amaranth is a trap crop to protect your cumbers from cucumber beetles.

Trap crops are usually planted on the garden’s perimeter or sometimes interspersed between rows. Another factor of trap cropping is finding a plant which also attracts insect predators like birds, bats or spiders. That way, not only pests gravitate towards the trap crop but hungry predators as well.

Trap cropping can be very tricky and if done wrong can draw pests into your garden which weren’t there before. Be sure to call the experts at Outdoor Expression and let us help you plan an effective green pest control plan.

Use Vines for Privacy or to Cover Unsightly Yard Objects

Posted on December 26th, 2013 by
landscape maintenance

Source: Flickr

Vines can do a lot for the privacy of a yard or the look of a landscape. As you prepare your landscape maintenance plan this year, include creative uses for versatile climbing and spreading vines.

Vines have the unique ability to grow on many different surfaces. For example, the clematis twists its tendrils around supports like chain-link fences. This makes them excellent for hiding unsightly areas while providing seclusion and beauty.

Many vines have fragrant blossoms, inviting an array of hummingbirds and butterflies. They can be planted in just the right space to create living barriers, especially in narrow or tight places. Well-placed perennials, like the trumpet vine, can also soften an area.

Other vines, like the popular green ivy, send aerial roots that can cling to rough surfaces such as exterior walls, camouflaging unsightly areas. Trailing varieties like the cascading wisteria vine accentuate entryways.

Vines can be trained to climb a pergola, trellis, lattice or archway. Covering old tree stumps or decorating a mailbox post can be accomplished with proper pruning and careful staking.

Leave every detail to our professional Outdoor Expressions team for all your landscape maintenance needs.  We are dedicated to making your outdoor space a place to remember.

Why It's Important to Remove Leaves From a Landscape

Posted on December 23rd, 2013 by
landscaping tips

Source: Flickr

Falling leaves make an unsightly mess throughout much of the autumn season, so homeowners usually make the effort to have them removed. At the end of the season, however, they may not realize that it is especially important to remove leaves from on top of a landscape because they can impede the flow of air and nutrients to the soil underneath.

Raking leaves is the usual method for maintaining a leaf-free yard. The leaves – a valuable source of nutrients – are often bagged and sent to the nearest landfill where they take decades to decompose and add no real value back to the environment. The are superior alternatives.

For example, the use of a mulching mower offers several, distinct advantages over simple raking. A mulching mower essentially disintegrates the leaves on a lawn. The remaining material will feed the lawn over the winter and does not block the entrance of water or air. In addition, it adds an insulating layer that protects the roots of plants, shrubs and trees.

For more information about landscape maintenance, contact us by calling 888-210-1116. Outdoor Expressions – Making your outdoor space a place to remember.

Take Care of the Birds in Your Landscape This Winter

Posted on December 20th, 2013 by
winter gardening tips

Source: Flickr

Most gardeners understand that there is a lot of effort that goes into maintaining the plants of a garden during the winter months. What many don’t realize is that the fauna – especially the birds – also require a little help to make it through the harshest months.

Here are some tips on what to give our avian friends so that they will arrive in great numbers and variety next spring:

  • Food – Birdseed is a good choice, of course, but also suet, a high-calorie food, will help the birds in your yard get through the nastiest weather.
  • Water – Birds can have difficulty finding water during freezing weather, so be sure to refresh your any water in your yard on a daily basis. This means breaking any surface ice so that the water underneath is exposed.
  • Shelter – This is not a huge problem for most birds who have already prepared for the winter, but a few extra bird houses wouldn’t hurt.

For more winter gardening tips, visit us at Outdoor Expressions – Making your outdoor space a place to remember.

It's Time to Clean Up! December Landscaping Tips for Georgia

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by
landscaping tips

Source: Flickr

It’s tempting to breathe a sigh of relief in winter thinking your time dealing with your landscaping is pretty much over till spring. While it’s true there is less to do, there’s still plenty of landscape maintenance which can be and should be done. Here’s a list of tasks which should be done as winter sets in.

  • Branches: Trim any which are broken or diseased which could break off in a storm.
  • Mulching: While good for keeping moisture in during the spring and summer, mulch insulates the soil in autumn and winter and so prevents heat loss and damage to plant root system. It is important to mulch bare areas where you have perennials growing.
  • Plant Pruning: Similar to trees, your perennial herbs and other garden plants need to have dead foliage removed. However wait till March or April to fully prune back these plants.
  • Leaf Rake-Up: It is important to get fallen leaves off your grass. Leaves can smother even dormant grass if left too long. Compost the leaves or use them as a mulch in your raised garden bins.

For more tips on landscape maintenance, call the experts at Outdoor Expressions and let them help you get your garden through the winter.

Consider Using Frost Blankets for Your Plants This Winter

Posted on December 2nd, 2013 by
winter gardening tips

Source: Morguefile

Winter is here, and that means it’s time to protect your plants. Your business landscaping represents a significant investment. You’ll want to ensure it will be healthy come spring. Here are some commercial winter gardening tips from Outdoor Expressions.

Plants that Need Protection

Though Georgia has comparatively mild winters, the temperature does drop below freezing, and that can harm delicate plant bulbs such as peonies. Frost blankets help keep them safe from frost while allowing them to get water and air.

Proper Use of Frost Blankets

In order to work, frost blankets need to be placed over delicate plants well in advance of when frost is expected.  Don’t have a full-time landscaping crew? Not to worry. We offer a full range of landscaping services and can help you get your plants protected without taking time from your busy schedule.

Need more information on how to protect your plants from frost? Have any other concerns or need any other winter gardening tips? Contact us today. With our help, nothing will be easier than making your outdoor space a place to remember.