Having a great landscape design in Hope Valley West Durham NC can make or break your home’s curb appeal. But having a home with curb appeal doesn’t have to be the end game. For many homeowners, having a yard that looks picture worthy is more than a goal, it is a passion. However, for those who want the beautiful yard but possess minimal knowledge of how to achieve that look, it can be an intimidating challenge.
Fortunately, having a gorgeous yard does not require a degree in horticulture, but is does mean either doing a lot of homework or either bringing someone in to do the work for you. If you opt to do the work yourself and lean as you go, then having some helpful hints from pros both around the country, and especially in your region, can be a big help. To get you started, here are some landscaping tips from the pros.
Don’t just get stuck on a beautiful yard for a specific season. Think about what your yard will look like from January through December, then plant accordingly and think with yard maintenance in mind. With this thought, be sure to include a variety of shrubs and trees that will remain green all year long.
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A beautiful, well-maintained lawn is the pride of most neighborhoods. The way your grass looks depends on the way that you take care of it. There is some basic things that you can do to help keep your grass healthy and beautiful. Mowing, watering, feeding, aerating and scarifying are all important steps to follow for basic lawn care. The well cared for lawn can also add value to your home if you are trying to sell. Curb appeal is very important to homeowners so read on to help learn the basics of lawn care.
When mowing your lawn the most important thing to remember is the height of the grass. You should never cut more than one-third of the height of the grass blades. Make sure to always leave the grass clippings on the yard because this will provide fertilizer for your grass. You should be mowing your lawn at least once a week but an ideal situation would be mowing more than once a week. Keep your mower blade sharp and never mow in the same direction. You should also never mow your lawn when it is wet. Wet mowing will cause clumps of clippings and that can breed bacteria. Choose your type of mower by the size of lawn you have. A small lawn that can be done in half an hour or less is best done with a walking mower. Larger lawns will require a ride-on mower.
Watering your grass is important to keep the grass healthy and looking beautiful. When you water your grass it should be done early in the day. Avoid watering your grass too frequently. When the yard is watered be sure that it is done so there is a good soaking so it will not have to be done for a while. Watch the weather and if it is going to rain then you don't need to do any watering.
Lawn feed is another important part of maintenance to keep your lawn looking beautiful and make it the envy of the neighborhood. Before feeding your soil you should have it tested to see which nutrients that is missing from the structure of it and what you need to be adding. In the spring you should be adding a spring/summer fertilizer. This is a lawn feed that is high in nitrogen and is low in phosphates. In the autumn you will use a lawn feed that has low nitrogen and high phosphates. There is also a mixture of fine sand, ammonium and iron sulfate that can be put on your yard to prevent the growth of weeds and moss. The sand is usually applied in the late spring.
Aerating is usually done with a piece of equipment known as an aerator. The lawn aerator is run over the grass the same way as a mower but instead of cutting the grass this piece of equipment actually pulls out plugs of dirt and grass. Aerating will help your grass build a better root system and will help with compacted soil and thatch grass. An aerator is a good investment for the care of your yard and to help your grass look healthy. Leave the soil plugs on the grass so that they can provide fertilization as they decompose. Aerating can also be done by wearing cleats onto your lawn and just walking around.
Scarifying is like exfoliation for your yard. You are going to take away all the bad stuff and get down to the nice, new, healthy grass. Scarifying your yard is removing the dead material from your grass. You can do this by using a rake but a scarifier can reach further than the rake and can remove more waste. The scarifier reaches between the grass blades and removes the decaying matter without damaging the blades of grass. Using the scarifier is as easy as using a rake. Before you start scarifying you need to remove any living weed, fungus or invasive plants. You also need to kill any moss that is growing in the lawn. Autumn is the best time to do the scarifying because the soil is moist and warm. The reason that this needs to be done is because the dead and decaying debris that is laying on the grass will eventually smother it and kill it out. Using the scarifier will keep your grass healthy and disease free.
Your lawn is the first thing that a visitor to your home will see. This is the first impression that they get of you so it is up to you to make it a good one. It may take an investment of some time to make this first impression a good one but it will be worth it. A well-maintained lawn shows that you care about your surroundings.
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Summer Watering Tip
Your lawn should receive around 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week during the hottest months of summer. We suggest deep watering down to the soil depth of at least 6 inches.
Too light of a watering will merely damped the grass, which is of little benefit. In some cases a light watering can actually harm your lawn.
Just about everyone has seen your typical scorched, yellow, summer lawn...they can be quite an eyesore. Below we will go over a method to help prevent this. As with anything else, it will require a little bit of experimentation to adapt the amount of watering to your needs.
Here is a good way to determine how long to water your lawn and keep your property looking green in the hot summer months:
Place an empty can or bucket on your lawn and measure how long it takes to apply 1 to 1.5 inches of water, depending on your individual watering needs.
This is an accurate way of measuring how long it will take to properly water your landscape during the blistering hot months. The deeper watering will allow your grass to stay moist and protected, rather than wither in hot, dry dirt.
As always, a little experimentation is required for each individual landscape, however it gives you a more visually representation of how much water is being used.
Also remember that hot temperatures increase the likelihood of 'burning' the lawn if fertilizer applied, so do so preferably in the Spring or Fall instead.
When you're ready to have someone take over your lawn care for you, it's important to know what you're getting into. That requires doing a little bit of research. You may know what you want but do you have any idea what a lawn care service provides? Do they trim the hedges, and mow the lawn, do they take care of the fertilizing, and do they do the edging? What comes in your yard maintenance deal? In most cases this is going to depend upon what type of package you choose. We'll go over three different types of packages that are available for your yard care needs.
This is the lowest package, offering what is considered the most needed services. So what does this include? First mowing, it's the thing everyone dreads spending their Saturday morning doing, so in the basic lawn care package, you'll be able to skip the Saturday ritual in favor of sleeping in, or reading the comic strip. It will keep the home owners association at bay and the neighbors happy without you having to give up the weekend. Next in line in this lawn care basics is blowing away the mess from the paths. You won't have to worry when it rains about slipping in the muck of soaked leaves because the lawn maintenance crew will have cleared them away. Twice a month they're going to straighten up the edges of your lawn to keep it looking neat and tidy. Then five times during the course of the year they'll make sure your lawn stays healthy by taking care of the fertilization for you, and during the winter they'll care for the lawn with lime. Lastly, they'll take care of the broadleaf weeds, the peskiest of the turf weeds. So even at the lowest end of the scale, having lawn maintenance can save you time and stress.
Then there are special services. For instance, if you really enjoy your gardening but can't quite keep up with the mess it provides you can get a special service that covers just that. This type of service will help with the less rewarding parts of yard maintenance, such as weeding those flower beds. If you love your flowers but hate the hassle of getting down and pulling all those weeds, then this is the type of service you're looking for. They will also take care of the trimming, making sure your perennials are taken care of. Then they'll clean up the flower beds. So when you upgrade to this type of lawn service you get everything that the basic package has, as well as all these specialized services.
Finally, you get the whole kit and caboodle you get the basic and garden services mentioned above as well as, pruning, of shrubs after they bloom, of hedges when they need it, generally a few times a year. As the weather turns cold, the trees will need pruning as well, and just to put the cherry on top, they'll take away your holiday tree, just make sure to leave the tinsel off. This covers the basics of what your lawn service should be providing; also, there are sometimes special services available, for instance if you're pretty sure your yard is headed downhill you could look into one time only services.