Category Archives: Landscaper

How To Maintain Your Yard In The Hot Summer Heat

In the throes of summer heat, going outside to work on the yard is a chore that most want to avoid. With a bit of planning, though, less time can be spent sweating over your space, in favor of enjoying the fruits of your labor! Here are our tips for performing maintenance that will last through hot weather.

Create a Watering Schedule

Watering in the middle of the day will cause the water to evaporate, robbing foliage of essential hydration. Plan on watering early in the morning or later in the evening, after the heat of the day has subsided. If a sprinkler system is in place, set the timer to go off at optimal periods. Not only will it take the guesswork out of knowing when to water, but it removes the risk of over watering plants and grass, saving on water bills!

Know When To Mow – And Fertilize

There are benefits to lawn upkeep in the hotter months, besides enjoying barefoot strolls across the grass! The longer the blanket of grass is, the better protection the lawn has in the unrelenting summer temperatures. Not only is the immediate surface of the lawn protected, but the soil underneath will have a welcome shield from direct sunlight. Keep the length of the blades longer, but stick to a consistent mowing schedule all the same.

Contrary to popular belief, fertilizing can do more damage to a lawn in the summer months. The nutrients will produce a new crop of grass, which will have a hard time surviving in the heat. Save the treatments for the colder months following summer, when new sod can flourish, and take care of existing grass to the best of your ability.

Protect Outdoor Furniture

Faded, sun-damaged furniture is no picnic to look at, much less to use and enjoy. Consider investing in furniture covers for when the sun is beating down on more permanent fixtures, such as pool tables and grills. Covering furniture is essential to protecting the temperature as well, especially for metal or heat-retaining stone, which will save your skin when it’s time to wander outdoors.

For lighter pieces, simply move them in the shade or indoors. Be sure to remove cushions and smaller plants from direct sunlight. That way, the color won’t be washed out of fabric fibers or plants, keeping them attractive and fresh into the next year.

Call Blue Tree

Blue Tree Landscaping knows how to beat the heat! Let us assist you in planning the upkeep of your yard from the beginning of summer and beyond. Call or email us to get started today!

How to Make Your Next Landscaping Project Affordable

Undertaking a brand-new landscaping project can be a daunting prospect when all the materials and labor are taken into account, not to mention the pressure of knowing what you want before it all begins! Luckily, there are many paths to take when saving money on landscaping projects. Check out some of our favorite methods for affordable outdoor renovations.

Plan Ahead

One factor about landscaping projects that is often overlooked is the time factor. Start thinking about what the project will require a few months in advance, so there are no surprises or headaches later on. Choose a season with mild, predictable weather that won’t delay progress to complete the project, and acquire materials such as tools and bulk items at a pace that won’t break your budget.

Drive around your neighborhood and look at what each house presents. If one neighbor has a flower arrangement you enjoy, ask them how they executed it, and if another neighbor has a healthy-looking lawn, inquire about the service they used to install it. This will not only aid in project planning but will encourage creativity for your own space.

Pick Long-Lasting Materials

One major setback many landscaping projects face is the tearing out of dying, weed-ridden plants and constantly replacing them. Take inventory of your yard. Are some flowers failing in the heat, while others are flourishing? What plants look dry and withered, and which ones are holding their integrity year after year? Plus, is your furniture faded from too much sun exposure?

Choose materials that are not only appropriate for the time of year but will regenerate and flourish in next year’s season. Consider grass that can be regrown with simple upkeep and fertilizer, or perennials and low-maintenance annuals that won’t break the bank. For the holding units and accessories, try durable pots, window boxes, and even furniture that won’t take the brunt of the sunshine and need replacing every couple of years.

Shop Secondhand Tools

Lacking the tools to complete the project? Chances are, someone else has what the job requires at a fraction of the cost. Ask around the neighborhood for short-term loans on gardening tools or equipment that can perform hefty tasks, like lawn mowers and larger hand tools. This community mindset will not only save your budget, but the materials will be coming from a trusted source.

Jump online and check out what other products people are selling as well. Craigslist and eBay are prime contenders for this category of purchases. Take heed with this option though; not all online sales are what they seem, so look for tools marked “new” or “gently used” before buying. Plus, selling off your own landscaping materials generates cash back for other necessities.

Call Blue Tree

Let us help you save from the get-go! At Blue Tree Landscaping, our team of experts will help plan the most affordable project for your personal space, from start to finish. Contact us for a quote today!

Transform Your Backyard Into A Coveted Sports Venue

Few things are more enjoyable than getting friends and family together to engage in friendly competition, especially in your own backyard. No matter the size or shape, any backyard can be transformed to house sports equipment, setups, and courts to satisfy even the most gung-ho sports fanatics. Here are some ideas to create the next go-to sports center for everyone to enjoy!

Invest in a Sport Court

Multi-sport courts are both trendy and low-maintenance. Outdoor sports tiles are easy to clean and arrange, and several companies boast notable safety approval reports. Plus, they can house several sport accessory forms, such as basketball hoops, tennis nets, and more. Choose a generic surface or customize your own!

Plenty of Open Space

This is the classic, fail-safe route for optimal backyard fun. A simple expanse of well-maintained lawn can play host to dozens of outdoor sporting activities. Set up a volleyball net, croquet wickets, soccer goals, and so much more! The versatility of a spacious backyard will please all age groups, and make your yard a versatile spot for games of all types.

Water Sports and Accessories

Pools can be excellent venues for outdoor sports. Sporting good stores and pool supply shops offer poolside basketball hoops and nets that stretch over the entire body of water, creating a makeshift court in minutes. For those with lakefront property, try a floating trampoline or water skis to amp up the activities even further! Even water polo balls and beach balls serve as tools in a variety of outdoor sports and are sold almost everywhere.

Professional Entertainment

If the backyard is too small for traditional sports, make it a premium viewing spot! Invest in a television that will take center stage in your outdoor space, to watch the big game for every season. A prime sound system will enhance the space, immersing guests in a court side experience, and comfortable outdoor couches and chairs will beat plastic stadium seats any day.

No space at all? No problem! Tabletop tennis, pool tables, and darts are popular toys that can go both indoors and outdoors, and are durable and require little maintenance. Choose an air hockey table to create an arcade-like atmosphere or a rod hockey game for a nostalgic feel. Combine any of these with a sporty backyard to create the ultimate entertainment area.

Blue Tree Landscaping

Game on! Here at Blue Tree, we recognize the importance of a functional, fun backyard and want to help yours be the best it can be. Our team of experts will help design and implement the best surfaces and accessories for the space allowed. Call or email us to get started today!

Reasons Your Outdoor Pool Needs A Fence

When a yard has an outdoor pool, a fence might seem like a great option to help add some decor to the space. However, any enclosure like a fence can serve an important functional purpose beyond just looks, and stand as one of the focal points of the pool. If your outdoor pool doesn’t have one already, here are a few reasons why it could benefit from a fence, from the obvious to the fun:

Safety

First and foremost, a fence is an excellent safety measure for a variety of household inhabitants. Smaller children will be kept safe by being blocked off from the open water if the fence is secure enough, and pets that run the risk of slipping into the pool area will be shut out as well. If the design is solid, even larger forces such as debris from storms, or flyaway cushions from the furniture surrounding the pool, will be contained and blocked as well. Ensure that the material you choose to build your fence can stand up to most circumstances, and the worry of accidents or damage will be eliminated. It’s not a wise choice to make the investment if the fence can’t keep toddlers at bay.

Keeps unwelcome visitors out

Depending on the terrain of your yard, small creatures can wander near the pool of their own volition. This is out of the pool owner’s control, of course, so to save the risk of them falling in or damaging any of the surrounding equipment or surfaces, consider a fence that reaches the ground to minimize the intrusion of unwanted animals. This way, anything that enters the pool will be at your discretion, eliminating the worry of unwanted guests or endangering the creatures in question.

Boosts backyard style

Beyond the functionality of a fence, make a statement with yours! Choose from a variety of materials and styles to match your outdoor pool’s unique look and feel, from wooden to wrought-iron and beyond. A fence also serves as a prime decorating piece for parties, when the style allows for it. String lights through the slots of a thinner fence, or tie balloons to the posts to add a festive touch to any occasion. By protecting against inclement weather, a fence around an outdoor pool will accentuate every feature that brings the yard together, and maintain its many other uses as well.

Blue Tree

Let us help install the perfect fence to suit your pool! At Blue Tree Landscaping, our team of experts has ample experience implementing proper outdoor fencing that will create purpose and style that will last for years to come. Contact us for a quote to get started!

Create a Standout Vegetable Garden This Season

Vegetable Garden PhotoIt’s time to get back outside and tend to the garden! As the weather heats up, the window to plant a diverse array of fruits, vegetables, and gorgeous foliage is here. This season, take a different approach to the neat, traditional rows of veggies that people plant every year and make your vegetable garden stand out! We’ve got a few tips to help get you thinking about how to achieve a great-looking garden this year:

Read up on plant placement

Some plants thrive in the proximity of certain other kinds, while others simply grow as expected. This is due to the amount of watering and nutrients required for each specific plant breed. For example, tomatoes do well when placed next to peppers and carrots, while zucchini works best alongside corn and beans. Flowers are a prime piece of this equation too, providing splashes of color and playing supporting roles for other plants, so consider adding some well-placed blooms to your crop setup.

Depending on what you choose to showcase, do research on how much space your ideas will need. It can be best to step away from traditional rows for this — instead, think about planting in bunches. That way, the uniform nature of a traditional garden will take a backseat to a more casual layout that can be beneficial the health of the plants.

Choose unique fruits and vegetables

Step outside the box with your options. Not only will your garden boast an enviable color scheme, but the variety will provide nutritional benefits when they ripen for picking; the garden’s results will bring a healthy mix of culinary delights to the table. Consider the terrain in your yard, as well as the weather, and go wild with new plants! The variations in color, size, and height of the plants will make your garden the envy of the neighborhood, as well as on a plate when it’s time to enjoy the fruits (or, in this case, veggies) of your labor.

Decorate!

Get colorful! While your diverse array of vegetation is growing, put some vibrant markers in the ground to differentiate the different plants. Flowers can line the outside of the garden, as well as take up spots within it, and accent pieces will complete the look and can be changed with the seasons. Place a bench next to garden beds to relax on and take a look at your work, or install a birdbath so welcome animals can enjoy it as well. As long as the integrity of the garden itself isn’t compromised by the additions, there are many opportunities to get creative here.

Let Blue Tree help

We’ll help you cultivate the garden of your dreams! From the foundation to the dinner table, Blue Tree Landscaping can assist in creating everything you need to plant successful crops this year. Contact our team to get started today!

Does your landscaping company do site visits?

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have a yard — or some other outdoor space — in need of landscaping work. You’re unsure who to call because, well, nothing looks worse than bad landscaping work.

The question then arises: Will a landscaping company do a site visit before signing a contract?

The short answer is “yes.” But note that there are a few other steps to take before arranging a site visit with a landscaping company. Keep reading to learn about those steps and what you need to know before signing a contract to make your landscaping beautiful.

Initial Contact

Well, a relationship has to start somewhere, doesn’t it? The first thing to do is call your local landscaping company. From there, you’ll get an idea of their expertise, prices, and general attitude. Everyone has worked with someone they haven’t liked, so best to see if this company will be a good fit from the start. Additionally, the company will be able to get an idea of what kind of work you’re looking for, and will also be able to take notes on your unique situation to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Meet Your Account Manager 

After first contact, your dream landscaping project will be passed on to an account manager. From there, you will discuss the project and reaffirm that your expectations of the project are in line with their notes from the initial conversation. As we all know, things change and it is always better to err on the side of caution. After everything is finalized, you two will arrange for a site visit.

Site Visit

Okay — we’ve made it to the site visit. But that doesn’t mean the project ends there. Similar to the initial contact and meeting your account manager, the site visit will again reaffirm that the company knows what you’re looking for in regards to landscaping work. They’ll take measurements, note specifications, and develop a project proposal for you both to go over.

Scheduling 

Now you’ve met the company, done a site visit, and seen the proposal. Now is the big moment to decide if you want to sign the contract. By this point, having completed an exciting — albeit rigorous — verification process, you should be happy with the plan. A good landscaping company will make sure you feel comfortable, well-informed, and prepared for the project ahead.

Don’t Hesitate to Call0

Whether you’ve got a massive landscaping project, or one that can be finished in a few days, don’t hesitate to give your local landscaping company a call! A good landscaping company will work with you at every step leading up to the project to make sure you’re getting what you need — before you sign off.

Three Benefits of Having a Retaining Wall (Besides the Look)

If you think installing a retaining wall in your yard will only make your landscaping look great, think again! While a retaining wall can indeed provide a great aesthetic to your lawn, there is also a number of other material benefits to having that tasteful wall in your yard.

Keep reading to learn about some of the other benefits that come with adding a retaining wall to your landscaping.

Protection, Protection, Protection

First things first: let’s discuss just what a retaining is and does. A retaining wall is primarily a protective structure that is often used around soil in landscaping. No matter how great and fancy a retaining wall can look and be, its use is first and foremost for protection. Protection from what exactly? Well, a few things. Say there is a huge rainstorm that causes flooding in your yard, or a steep slope that constantly allows rainwater or spilled soil to spoil other items around your lawn. You don’t want to wake up after a storm to find those flowers you worked so hard on buried in mud. A retaining wall will keep everything in one place, and will also reduce runoff from flood water. It will also keep your soil safe from erosion, so your landscaping can stay looking great with as little maintenance possible.

The Other Aesthetic of Retaining Walls

We mentioned that a well-designed retaining wall can be decorative, but that doesn’t always refer only to the wall itself. If you’re like many homeowners, the look of a well-maintained yard doesn’t necessarily mean your yard itself is perfect. In other words, you might have mechanical equipment or pipes, a tree stump, or other areas that may be difficult to remediate and are best left unseen from the public eye. A retaining wall can provide you with some much-needed cover for problem areas like these, without having to pay for expensive remediations. So, if you have any unsightly elements in your yard, now you know how to conceal them in a way that keeps your yard looking great.

Adds to Home Value

Isn’t this the best section on the list? Along with a nice look, space-saving aesthetic, and superior protection for your yard, a retaining wall can also seriously improve the value of your home. This is especially true for well-maintained retaining walls. Don’t take that as a challenge — retaining walls are made from natural materials that are sturdy and are meant to hold up during the harshest weather conditions. That means less time and money on repairs, and less stress!

Don’t Hesitate to Call

Whether you’re looking for a retaining wall that promises supreme yard protection during harsh storms, a way to hide some unpleasant lawn blemishes, or just something to wow friends and family, don’t hesitate to call your local landscaping company about establishing a retaining wall on your property. Your yard and home will thank you!

How to Prepare Your Yard Before Moving Out

Landscape Edging OptionsWell, it’s finally happening. You’ve got everything packed, the house is clean, the kids are in the car. But wait — what about the yard? No one mentioned what to do about the yard, but you don’t want miss out on this crucial aspect of your home’s upkeep before leaving it for good.

This article details a few quick and necessary ways to make sure your yard looks great before leaving. You’ll be thankful for the lack of headaches and complaints.

Lawn Appeal 

Some neighborhoods or homeowners associations have ordinances that tell residents that their lawns must be kept tidy or to certain specifications. Even if there isn’t, most people love a well-maintained and lush green lawn. But beware — the fact that what you can see on the surface looks nice doesn’t necessarily mean everything is healthy under those blades of grass. So, before leaving, make sure to check for weeds, uprooting damage from trees or other plants, signs of pests, and any other changes that have taken place in the lawn since you moved in.

Sculpting Your Landscape

Like a gorgeous yard, many people also love a nice view of landscaping to complement their home. If left uncared for, however, the beauty of your landscaping can quickly turn ugly. That’s why it’s important to examine your landscaping before saying goodbye to your home and yard for good. Make sure none of the elements of your landscaping, such as rocks or asphalt chips, are sprinkled around the yard. Check for a rake, a pair of shears or other lawn items, which can easily be forgotten in the hustle-and-bustle of moving. Trim any overgrown bushes and trees, and remove any obvious weeds. And hey, why not take the opportunity to plant a few flowers? Make the last memory of your beloved former home a beautiful one.

Keep Your Pool Cool 

Whether above ground or in-ground, everyone loves a nice dip in the pool on a hot summer day. This includes the new owners of the home, too! Like your lawn and landscape, a pool left unmaintained can significantly reduce its value in terms of price and enjoyability. Common problems for a pool can be soil and/or concrete erosion, algae growth, plumbing leaks, and other foundational problems. Any of these can be a real headache. Give a good look at your pool, whether above ground or in-ground, before leaving.

Don’t Hesitate to Call

While some problems can be quickly spot-checked before you leave, others may require more involved work. If there’s a problem with your lawn, landscape, pool, or all three, don’t hesitate to call your local landscaping company. You’ll leave your home in excellent shape, and the next owners will thank you.

How to Avoid Basement Water Damage

The Perfect Garden SolutionFortunately for you, there are ways to prevent this from becoming a reality by taking the right precautions. Keep reading to learn a few quick and easy ways to avoid water damage in your basement — and the huge bill you might otherwise face as a result.

Start From Above 

While it might seem obvious, gravity is a key factor in water’s ability to damage a home. So, to protect the basement below, look to the roof above. One common factor leading to water damage in a basement is clogged gutters and downspouts. A gutter or downspout, which can become clogged by leaves, shingles, or other debris, can cause water to overflow and fall to the ground below. That water doesn’t just disappear — it floods the soil. This can not only end up flooding your basement, but it can also hurt the foundation of your entire home as well.

It’s also worth noting that to avoid these issues, it is important to replace any missing shingles and to keep your downspouts pointed 5-10″ away from the house. This will keep water at a safer distance from your home and reduce the risk of problems.

Keep It Flawless 

Another major factor that can contribute to water damage in your basement the state of the home’s foundation. Cracks in the foundation represent additional risks, whether they’re major or small, hairline divisions. Scarily enough, you might not easily notice cracks in the event that they do form. Rainwater — especially during floods — has the potential to seep through these cracks, resulting in damage to the foundation of your home. Even worse, years-long neglect of these cracks can make major repairs to your home necessary, translating into a major home repair bill.

The Ultimate Basement Guard 

Do you live in a storm-heavy area with lots of rain? If so, installing a sump pump can be a great way to avoid potential damage from water-drenched soil. This device collects hazardous rainwater from the soil and natural waterways, keeping it out of your home. This collected water is then transferred to storm drains or dry-water wells, which will prevent re-entry into your home. Often a sump pump is connected to your home’s electrical system. Because of this, if you do live in a storm-heavy area, it’s advisable to connect your sump pump to a backup generator. You certainly want the sump pump to work, even if the power is out.

While some of these issues can be self-assessed, it’s important to know when you need to call in a landscaping or plumbing expert. As indicated above, waiting too long can allow additional problems to occur, leading to increased costs when the problem is ultimately addressed. Don’t hesitate to call your local service expert today — you don’t want to end up wet and with a major repair bill to boot.

Keep Your Lawn Damage-Free This Winter

Winter Fun: Snow FortsKeep Your Lawn Damage-Free This Winter

Cold, harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on many outdoor surfaces. But the vast expanse of a lawn is particularly susceptible to damage if not treated properly. Even if you missed the boat on pre-winter preparations, you can still take steps to maintain the appearance and health of your grass before even more frigid weather rolls around. Here are some ideas for keeping your lawn looking great all year long, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

Don’t Stop Normal Lawn Care

As counterproductive as it might sound, keeping up with scheduled maintenance practices can help retain your lawn’s health. Watering and mowing will help keep your lawn in great shape through the cool season, and keeping your grass relatively short will deter burrowing animals, such as mice. The good news? You can mow less often during winter.

Invest in Winter Fertilizer

Although it may sound unconventional, seasonal fertilizer is a great way to save the surface of your yard. If you can, spread fertilizer before the first frost (so the materials don’t mingle with the moisture and cause further issues) or wait until the ground is dry enough to do so. There are several brands available at major outdoor home improvement stores, so talk to an expert to see which product will work best for your lawn.

Plant a Different Grass

If you need some sort of foliage, look into a more resilient seed to plant. Different grass breeds, such as ryegrass and its varieties, can stand up to harsher weather while still providing the desired aesthetic. The texture will withstand frost and snow, keeping the soil underneath relatively healthy for the spring’s more delicate grasses. If no grass is needed, consider an alternative surface such as rocks, tile or even a new patio addition. There is room to be creative here!

Consider Stripping It

One plus to starting over with a brand-new lawn in the spring is saving the effort of preserving it during the winter. If the grass is starting to look brown and withered, getting rid of it entirely is a low-maintenance option for the cold months. When the weather improves in the spring, lay down new sod and enjoy the fresh, beautiful surface!

Contact Blue Tree

Need extra assistance with your cold weather lawn care? Let Blue Tree Landscaping help with that. Our landscapers can provide quotes and advice on the best upkeep of your grass, lawn or yard surface. We look forward to helping you maintain your home’s beautiful outdoor surfaces, so call or email us today for a quote.