Having a great landscape design in Oak Grove 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.
What should You Avoid When Landscaping in Oak Grove Durham NC?
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.
Let Your Landscaping Company Transform Your Ordinary Yard Into An Edible Yard
Summer can be one of the toughest times of the year for lawns, especially when we live in one of the warmer climates. While Summer is a time of thriving for many lawns, likewise it is also a time for less well looked after turf to suffer many different problems that can lead to stress and poor health. With a few simple lawn care practices we should be able to greatly improve all lawns as they navigate their way through the warmest months of the year.
Best Practice Lawn Watering
Watering is of course the most important aspect of turf health in Summer. Correct lawn watering practices will enable a lawn to send down roots much deeper into the soil profile, past the evaporation level of the very top of the soil, which as a result will make our turf more heat and drought tolerant.
We can slowly train our turf to create a deep root system by only ever watering the lawn once it's showing signs of leaf wilt, and then giving the lawn a deep drink of water at that time. This is an easy method to grow a deep root system for all turf.
Fertilize Lawns In The Spring
A home lawn which is healthy before Summer arrives is a far better solution to achieve a healthy Summer lawn, than if we were to wait until Summer arrives and then trying to create a healthy lawn. The same is true of Winter lawn care.
Fertilization of turf should be done prior to the onset of the two harshest seasons, Summer and Winter. So we want to be sure we have fertilized with a high quality fertilizer prior to the onset of Summer so that the lawn is in its peak health as the heat arrives.
The Importance Of Correct Summer Lawn Mowing
Loss of moisture in soils is responsible for the majority of turf problems in the Summer. As already discussed, we can greatly improve this situation by watering correctly to promote deep root growth, but we can also help the soil further by reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation in the Summer sun.
While a strong healthy lawn growing in full sunlight can be cut short, for most lawns which are less than perfect, their greatest health benefit in Summer can come about by increasing the lawn mowing height. This increase in the length of the lawn leaf then shades and insulates the soil against further moisture loss, resulting in less heat stress for the lawn.
This same principle of insulating the soil against moisture loss can be further added upon by mulch mowing the lawn. Whereby the lawn cuttings are recycled back into the lawn, rather than being collected and thrown away. Recycling lawn clippings not only insulates the lawn soil against moisture loss, but they are an incredible source of nutrients to feed back to the lawn instead of relying on the expense and hassle of having to use so many lawn fertilizers.
Lawn Weed And Pest Control
Some treatments for lawn pests and weeds can be harsh on the lawn, especially those that are applied by the homeowner and not by a turf professional.
Avoid treating for weeds or pests using chemical pesticides on the hottest days of Summer, instead wait for milder days to do any such spraying, or better yet, try to treat for pests and weeds in Spring, before Summer arrives.
One of the most important aspects of landscape design, and this definitely applies to small spaces, is creating a front entrance that is inviting and curb appeal that is attractive and adds value to a home. Even if your front entrance is small, you can have a beautiful front entrance. Even if you have no front yard - your curb appeal can be maximized with careful planning and thought. You can easily use what small space you have to create a large impact on how the façade of your home feels and looks. An inviting and beautiful front to a home will increase neighborhood pride in ownership. It'll add literal desirability to your home which adds value, important if you're selling it. And most importantly, a small, beautiful front space will bring you home each day with a smile. Here are three simple tips on how to create maximum appeal with your small front yard and space.
Use vines! Vines are a small space's best friend. In typical design, it's easy to add impressive dimension by layering objects based on size, and this is especially important when it comes to landscaping the front yard. Taller objects are behind shorter ones, which creates dimension and can make an area appear larger than it already is by taking advantage of vertical space when horizontal space is limited. In an area that may not fit large trees and shrubs that add vertical elements to a front yard, vines can be substituted and can have the same effect. Use trellises that are specially designed to support vines of size, or sink trellises into the ground or in pots to support smaller vines. We love Clematis because of its beautiful and long-lived flowering. Place vines in the rear of your design, along walls and porch columns. Train them to grow around doorways. Allow them to take up as much height as they can, which will add a large visual element to your small entrance.
Pots, pots, pots! Another way to add size to small spaces follows the same principle as adding vines, but instead with pots! Pots are made in all sizes- from very large, to tiny. Use varying sizes of pots to create visual depth in an area that doesn't have a lot of actual depth. Place larger pots behind smaller ones in groups, and don't be afraid to fill them with perennials that you often see in large landscapes. Many perennials will live just fine in pots. Grasses are a wonderful choice in pots and do well in pot culture. There are many sizes of grasses, and they are all excellent choices depending on the size of the pot. Try layering medium pots among a display with this lovely Acorus Ogon Grass. It's bright yellow variegation will brighten up a small space without much work. The 'Chip' series of butterfly bush is another great perennial for pot culture, and their small size makes them ideal for small spaces. 'Blue Chip' will play well with the Ogon grass in a pot display in full or partial sun. Layer in pots of annuals too- often found in pretty, ready to display pots for purchase.
Opt for smaller ornamental versions of the big things. One simple example - Japanese maples. Even if you have limited ground space, there's likely a cultivar of these amazing small trees that will be able to grace your front area. Some of these trees can even be grown in large pots - which is essential if you live in an area where it may get too cold to keep most Japanese maple cultivars outside year-round. We love the Japanese Butterfly Tree, which tops out at a small 10 feet in height and sports lovely color in foliage all year-long. You can trim Japanese maples to take on that open, gnarled, and layered characteristic that we all picture well-kept Japanese maples as, or you can allow this cultivar to grow and fill out as it pleases for a lovely, balanced look. It's small and unobtrusive size will make it perfect for most all small spaces, and will easily add a pop of color where you need it most.
For more ideas on adding small size plants to your small yard, check out our Small Size Plants. We hope these three ideas help you create a big impact in your small front yard space. Build a beautiful front yard with these three ideas and you'll soon have the front façade of your dreams- even if it is tiny!