Garden Crops To Plant in October

Vegetable Garden PhotoFall is all about comfort food, and there’s nothing more rewarding than picking fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables from the garden to prepare a meal with. Knowing what to plant and when ensures a successful, beautiful garden to choose from. With a bit of research and planning ahead, cultivating a bountiful garden can be easy and worth it in the long run. Check out these food favorites, and make sure to add the ones that aren’t already in the yard!

Garlic

The ultimate addition to any bold dish, garlic is best when planted in October. Plant the individual bulbs a couple of inches apart, and keep them in the ground until February at the earliest. Garlic will remain resilient through a frost, but the timing for planting is essential, or else the bulbs will not grow properly. Inspect your garden’s topography and soil to ensure proper planting methods.

Potatoes

In addition to being a holiday staple, potatoes flourish in winter months. Whatever variety you choose to plant, whether it be Irish or russet, exercise the same care and diligence as any cold weather plant. When they’re grown, they can be mashed, roasted, baked, diced and fried, or you can dehydrate them for a later date.

Kale, Lettuce, and Cabbage

These leafy greens are a fast-growing option for any garden. Their common name is “winter lettuce” and any of these will thrive in crisp temperatures. Use them for salads, a healthy addition to stews and soups, or colorful plate garnishes for holiday meals.

Beans

Beans are a hearty option that can go a long way. There are so many options for cultivation, such as October beans, bush beans, contender beans, and more. Pay attention to weather patterns when planting beans; their potential to wither and dry out is higher than some above-ground plant options.

Alternative Options

Other plants that were planted earlier in the season or during the summer months should be ready to harvest in October. Certain cabbages, peas, pears, and apples will be ready to pick and enjoy by this time, and some will continue to sprout later in the month, or even after that.  Brussel sprouts and broccoli are prime for picking now and make delicious, protein-filled dishes that compliment any winter meal.

Blue Tree

Make sure your garden is ready to thrive this season with Blue Tree Landscaping! We are committed to crafting beautiful, functional garden spaces that will compliment any yard, and that will stand up to any weather condition. Call or email us for a free quote today!

Preparing Your Pool For Fall Weather

The seasons are beginning to change, and with nature’s preparation for winter comes leaves and debris that need to be taken care of before it’s too cold and the weather is unpredictable. Any yard with a pool requires extra attention and care for fall, whether that pool is in use or not. Check out these measures to keep in mind for the coming season!

Take toys out

This might seem like an easy one, but once the pool’s temperature gets too low to use, you should clear the pool of any children’s toys or floating accessories so that they don’t sustain any damage. Floating chairs and drink holders should also be removed and stored away. Clean them with dish soap and water before bringing them inside, and be sure to deflate them for optimal storage. That way, they will be fresh and ready to enjoy for next summer’s festivities!

Use a pool cover

For further protection (and a potentially smoother cleanup) consider investing in a plastic cover or tarp for your pool. The full-coverage benefit will shield the water from debris caused by wind and storms and will additionally shield any underwater surfaces as well. This can also provide adequate protection in the summer months during heat spells and summer storms.

Check chemical levels

Everyone’s pool sits at a slightly different chlorine level, so be vigilant about checking yours. All other factors, including the pH and any saltwater materials, should be checked before the weather affects these levels too much. Temperature, sunlight, and animals infiltrating the water’s surfaces all have an effect on the water, but with a bit of surveillance, the pool will remain healthy beyond the fall months.

Pool surfaces

Before snow and leaves coat the ground, ensure that the pool’s foundation and coatings are intact. If any grout or surface tiles are chipping or cracked, replace or repair them in a timely manner before it gets too difficult to do so. Any protective seals put on furniture should be inspected as well, or simply moved out of the way. Stocking up on materials to fix or polish damages done by the weather is not a bad idea either.

When it comes to pool surfaces, trust the experts to take care of any problem that’s too big to handle. At Blue Tree Landscaping, we are committed to helping protect your yard in case of unpredictable weather. Our in-ground pool knowledge will help to ensure its lifespan year-round, so call us for any questions or a free quote today!

Perfect Fall Decorations For The Outdoors

September is here, and that means the leaves are changing and fall is fast approaching. To whoever is not tending to late-year gardens and raking lawns, there is ample opportunity to decorate in celebration of the pending holiday season! Get creative this year with your fall decorations by following some of our tips:

Themed Decorations

This will become more prominent as the year progresses, with holidays coming up and plenty of themed choices for adorning the home. In the early stages of fall, changing leaves are a popular decoration, and fake garlands can be bought at craft stores to put inside or out. Plastic, wicker, or other synthetic materials can make up decorative pumpkins, cornucopias, and other fall squashes to place by a doorstop or an outdoor fireplace.

Animals

Nothing is cuter or more harvest-like than seeing stuffed animals placed around the house! Squirrels, birds, and other creatures are appropriate for the season and will match themed decorations with ease. Be careful to take pets into consideration for this choice, though; try not to get anything too realistic that might fool animals into thinking there’s an intruder in their home or backyard!

Plants

While fake plants can last through the season, there’s an authentic touch to planting beautiful fall foliage that is hard to replace. You can easily research flowers and crops that will stand up to dropping temperatures and any unpredictable weather. The best part is, the benefits of planting fall squashes and flowers can be reaped later in the year when fresh flowers and delicious holiday dishes are enjoyed.

Front Door Ornaments

Blow-up holiday figures on the front lawn do the job, but there is an abundance of alternatives to choose from for the other months. Decorate a wreath of leaves, pine needles, or pine cones and personalize it to match your front door. Placing signs or decorative flags can be a welcoming touch, too.

If none of these options seem appealing, more decorations that can be placed just about anywhere are garlands, candles, lamps, and vases with added touches to match the home. Consult design magazines and home good store attendants for advice and tricks to getting the most out of your space. Above all, enjoy the process of preparing for the fall season! After all, it does only come once a year.0

Contact Blue Tree

While you’re preparing your home for the colder months, we’ll make sure it stands up to the weather! Blue Tree Landscaping specializes in protective services for pools, patios, pergolas, and beyond. If you’re looking to sync your yard to the changing temperatures, ensure that you prepare with the best. Email or call us for a quote today!

Best Fall Plants to Plant For Next Season

When the seasons change for cooler weather, the temperature dips and children go back to school. It’s a beautiful time, and nature reflects that by placing changing leaves and fall flowers out on display for the world. There are several varieties of foliage you can plant on your property to enhance the autumnal experience. Check out some popular options for this year’s harvest below!

Snapdragons

These colorful buds are strong and will stand up to most weather conditions. Planting them in the declining seasons is a viable option, and they can be installed in cooler springtime weather as well. You can water them as normal, and be sure they have some access to sunlight. Their muted colors will also match a cooler winter decor should you choose to bring them inside to liven up your home.

Pansies

Pansies may look delicate, but their short clusters are a striking addition to yards in harsher climates. There is a multitude of colors and combinations to choose from as well. You can plant these alongside a cobblestone path or in window boxes for a bright splash against the drab of winter.

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are a classic choice. Their light fragrance and soft colors make them flexible for both indoor and outdoor aesthetics. However, sweet peas do require a bit more upkeep due to their rarity and ease of growing. Be sure that sweet peas are a true essential for fall flowers in your own garden, as they are a commitment!

Winter Vegetables

Now is also the perfect time to begin planting small crops for the winter. Leafy greens will thrive this time of year and certain squashes and vegetables will be ready to pick soon. You may want to consider consulting a gardening guide to ensure that your choices are acted on in the appropriate time frame.

Wedding Flowers

As the summer wedding season winds down, there are a few transitional options for the perfect fall ceremony. Several lilies and chrysanthemums are coming into bloom, and carnations are always in fashion for any occasion. Tulips and daisies are conventional, dependable options that are available almost everywhere. Ultimately, it comes down to what the bride and groom prefer, but know that there are many plants out there to take into account.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you design the space of your dreams! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we take pride in helping homeowners craft the ideal outdoor landscape, from hardscaping and pool services to design and more. Email or call us to get a quote today!

How to Keep Your Yard Alive Until Winter

We’re in the thick of summer when the air is hottest and driest. Around this time, lawns and foliage can start to look withered and brown, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are several measures you can take to preserve the integrity and beauty of your yard. Check out these tips on keeping the back and front yards looking fresh until the holidays, and finishing out the warmer months with a clean, polished space.

Sprinklers

Make sure the sprinkler system isn’t suffering along with the grass and plants. Check the equipment and water levels for the home to ensure that everything is in perfect working order, and make replacements as needed. If something is outdated or rusty, be sure to make changes immediately, so the weather doesn’t wreak havoc on expensive equipment.

Tend to All Surfaces 

The ground may be covered with leaves and snow in the months ahead, but that does not have to damage a patio or poolside surface. Seal the surface with protective shellacs or sealants, or strip existing coverage and replace it with new materials. It may be best to hold off on replacing any hardscaping materials until after the unpredictable, cooler weather subsides; spring might be best for projects that require a longer commitment for completion.

Sod or Plants 

If the greenery is beyond help, seek other solutions. Unrolling a new lawn over stripped ground provides a new foundation for an aesthetic yard. Keep in mind, though, that sod is a costlier option that should be considered early in the season.

Flowers or potted plants are other options that prove to be cost-efficient, especially if they’re artificial. When the weather turns frigid, the plants can be brought inside and stored for the next season’s enjoyment. Choose to replicate local flowers, or get creative and pick tropical options for a splash of color!

Adjust Décor 

It’s possible to enjoy the outdoors in the colder months if your space is equipped for it! Snag weather-resistant cushions that will stand up to harsher weather and bring any delicate adornments inside to protect them. A fire pit can be a comfortable entertainment choice for larger groups that want to enjoy the crisp late-year weather, and sturdy light fixtures will illuminate the space in all types of weather.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you polish your space! Our team of experts is happy to give you a quote on repair services, landscaping changes, and more. We are committed to helping you get the most out of your yard year-round, so contact us to get started!

Repair Summer Damages To Your Yard

As we transition into the warmest times of the summer, the sun is beating down upon all outside surfaces. It can be difficult to maintain the condition of outdoor furniture, plants, and even hardscape details when the weather is so unforgiving. Don’t let your outdoor investments go to seed; here are some tips on upkeep for your yard’s accouterments that will help to preserve them year round!

Replace Furniture

This does not necessarily mean replacing the whole setup. If cushions or delicate furniture is left out in the sun for extended periods of time, it can sustain unsightly tears and faded colors. Visit a local seamstress to tend to tears, or consider cushion covers that will not only disguise damages but allow the freedom of redesigning current pieces to fit the season.

Tend To Foliage

The sight of dry, wilted plans can be a sad one! Do some research on the best options for the changing season, and whether to add to already existing ones or remove some completely. Regardless of replacing flowers or planting winter vegetables, any small change will have gardens and landscapes looking fresh.

Check the Pool

Summer is by no means consistent in terms of weather, and a pool can see the brunt of Mother Nature’s actions. Skimming the pool’s surface to remove dirt and debris is only the start of it. If the tiles or ceramic coating are chipped and cracking, drain the pool to perform necessary repairs. Be sure to notice the surface surrounding the pool as well; any cement or tile work that looks faded and cracked should be tended to immediately, for safety reasons.

Clean Up

Sometimes, all a space needs is a good cleaning. Pull any weeds or animal excrement that may be settling in the corners of the yard. For a deeper clean, invest in a power washer to get the dirt off the sides of the house and any patio or hard surface that needs a good scrub. Look at fences too, and see if vines or dirt can be removed for a cleaner look. Now is not the best time to replace sod or large lawn surfaces, but it is possible to keep current ones looking polished until next year’s replacement.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you clean up your space! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we pride ourselves on providing quality maintenance and upgrade services for homes of all shapes and sizes. Contact us today to get a quote on how to get your yard in the best shape it’s ever been in!

Protect Your Pets From The Pool

Keeping our kids safe and out of harm’s way around a swimming pool seems like a given, but what about our pets? Some of our furry companions cannot swim, or prefer not to engage in water. To eliminate any worries, here are some ways to take precaution against them sneaking in for an unsupervised swim.

Fence Them Out

The natural choice for keeping pets away is installing a fence that will stop them from walking into the pool and its surrounding area. Choose a fence that will cater to the pet’s size; a wrought-iron fence works well for larger dogs, but smaller animals such as cats, turtles, and various farm animals might need a more solid means of protection. Build the posts close together or with a thick material to optimize safety.

Wire Mesh or Wood

Wrap wire encasing around any existing fence to add a layer of protection for smaller animals. The design could be as simple as chicken wire, or a sleeker design from a home improvement store. Not only will this stop small pets from getting in, but creatures such as possums, squirrels, and rabbits will have a harder time entering the pool.

If the fence has yet to be built, consider a solid wood or plastic fence to surround the pool. The height can depend on the space available, and a simple latching system will make it easy to enter and exit throughout the day. The cost might be more in the long run, but in the winter months, that stable fence will hold up against harsher weather.

Add A Retaining Wall

For backyards with a hill, animals can climb up and around a ground fence and enter the pool area. By protecting the back of the pool with a sturdy foundation, animals of any size will have a harder time infiltrating that area. An additional fence can be built on top of this wall, to further protect against pests to the yard. Retaining walls can be customized to add to the aesthetic of the yard as well. You might consider tile work or stones that will stack and create a textured, unique surface to back the pool. Make it your own!

Contact Blue Tree

Let Blue Tree Landscaping help keep your four (or two) legged friends safe this summer! We specialize in hardscaping and preventative structures that will serve as functional, beautiful additions to any pool. Our team cares about your pets and your yard in tandem: contact us for a quote on your fence pool, or your next home improvement project!

How To Turn Your Yard Into An Island Getaway

It’s vacation time! While that might mean jetting off to a tropical excursion for some, others might not have the same plans for such an exotic getaway. Luckily, there are fun (and easy) ways to turn your yard into the ultimate staycation spot!

Tiki Torches

These festive decorations are easy to come by. Outdoor furniture outlets, home goods stores, and even home improvement places will all have the woven straw decorations that turn any yard into the perfect luau! Stick them into the ground around a pool deck or the path leading into the house, and set them ablaze after the sun goes down to keep the party going well into the night.

Lanterns

There are many options for hanging light fixtures that add another pleasing touch to any decor. Paper lanterns in a litany of colors are fun for parties, and permanent lanterns with cool, soft lighting are growing in popularity. Grab some mini tabletop lanterns for your next entertainment event, or take it a step further and get free-standing light structures that can be placed anywhere outside. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Tropical Plants

Since the summer months are short-lived, not everyone has the time to plant extravagant flowers that won’t last the year. Consider potted plants which can be relocated to different areas or even synthetic flowers that can be stored until next year’s heat wave. For beautiful, tropical choices, we recommend flowers with substantial roots and leaves, such as the Bird of Paradise flower.

Fabrics

Consider colorful pillows, seat covers, or tablecloths to spice up the decor. While it can get pricey to purchase seasonal, trendy furniture items and their accessories, covering existing decorations is a cost-efficient way to change it up. Aim for simplicity! In the summer, white and cream-colored cushions are stylish, and pops of color can be added in a variety of ways.

Music

No vacation is complete without the perfect playlist! Hook up speakers to an overhang or gazebo post to set the mood, no matter the occasion. As for the tunes, use services such as Spotify or Pandora to compile a list of soothing music that will boost the vacation feel for anyone listening.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you revitalize your space for the summer! Our team of experts at Blue Tree Landscaping is dedicated to providing quality landscaping, pool, and even decorative services to help any backyard thrive. Contact us to get a quote, and don’t wait any longer to treat yourself to some summer festivities!

How to Replace an In Ground Pool

For some folks, a pool is not the ideal backyard staple. The upkeep can be a hassle, and too costly at that, and removing it can open the doors to several other backyard options. Explore other options for a backyard that can easily cover a filled in, in-ground pool!

Pool Demolition

The most common route of replacing a pool is filling it in with other materials. Start by draining the water or, if possible, relocating it to a different source to recycle it. Then find additional materials to fill it with. Dirt, rubble, and cement are the normal means of filling in a pool. Make sure any systems associated with it, such as pumps and solar panels, are disassembled or off completely.

There are several methods of filling a pool, and consulting a technician on the proper techniques for doing so can have several benefits. Professional advice can determine the pool’s capacity to be filled, as well as any additional services that need to be performed. As always, obtain permission or services from city officials before performing any steps in the process.

Sport Court

The foundation for a multi-sport court is prime after filling in a pool; the surface area is wide enough so that it will be safe and sturdy. Enjoy tennis, basketball, badminton, and more on synthetic tile or other court materials. This is a wonderful, year-round entertainment option for kids and parents alike!

A Patio

If the foundation is laid with care, then it can take the weight of a wood or cement nation with trimmings to match. Make sure that the backyard surface is flat enough to establish a solid surface for tables, chairs, pool tables, or entertainment sets that will enhance the new space. Whether it be an extension of an existing nation or a new one, check the surface for any give before proceeding.

Grass

For those looking for a more simple terrain, grass or artificial sod is an aesthetic option that leaves room for flexibility in future projects. Keep in mind the time of installation though; weather can affect the success of setting soil, and pets can tear up the installments to the point of replacing it sooner than needed. A new lawn has so many perks, and it will help the yard stay cool in the hot summer months.

Contact Blue Tree

Start a new foundation with Blue Tree! Our expert services can revitalize your backyard to create a space that looks completely different from any previous ones. Contact us for a quote or advice on the best path to take to get the backyard you need, and want!

Protect Your Feet from Hot Outdoor Surfaces

We all have reasons to celebrate the coming of summer, but dancing across the scorching ground is not a comfortable way to do so. The sun beats down and cooks the ground, heating tiles, and cement to unbearable temperatures. While throwing on shoes fixes that issue, there are other useful measures to shield the ground from the sun:

Install an Overhang

This can be as intricate or simple as you like. Permanent fixtures will provide shade and protection for every season, which includes snow, rain, wind, and general debris that can harm the ground underfoot. For a yard that is naturally more protected from the elements, there are more temporary installments that will do the job. Retractable, tent-like coverings are a viable, interchangeable option that will provide stylish shade. This opens up more avenues for entertaining, decorating, and lighting your yard in a myriad of ways, so use the new addition as a creative outlet as well as means of protection.

Use Proper Accessories

Some areas are too small to warrant an entire overhang or installable shade apparatus. There is a freedom that comes with mobile accessories for a yard. Cover your yard with large umbrellas or shaded furniture, such as free-standing chairs and swings with built-in shade. The shade will shift with the sun’s position, cooling the ground and the inhabitants close by. In addition to overhead shade, standing fans are a worthy investment, for both indoor and outdoor use. This is another affordable route: put your summer materials into storage for the colder months and use them for years to come.

Change Materials

Most backyard walkways are wooden or made of tile or cement that cook in the sun. The other method to take in renovating your surface is to remove it completely. If the ground is simply not working, replace it with grass, sod, or surfaces that are not heat-retaining. It can provide a unique aesthetic to the yard, and if it offers a low maintenance upkeep, it can actually save money in the long run. Any surface that requires minimal watering or grooming can be a positive addition to the yard, so consider alternative options to traditional underfoot.

Contact Blue Tree

Let the experts help you keep cool in the summer heat! Blue Tree Landscaping has a team of hardscaping professionals that specialize in patio installations and upgrades for any home. We have decades of experience to offer, and ideas and tactics to install the best surfaces underfoot. Contact us to get a quote today!