Category Archives: Lawn Care

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.

How to “Winterize” Your Yard

Winterizing your property requires paying careful attention to your lawn. Most households remove autumn leaves from the lawn to prepare for winter. Unraked leaves can suffocate your lawn if left out through the winter. A layer of leaves can prevent healthy lawn growth the following year. The easy way to take care of your lawn is to remove the leaves with a leaf-blower or a rake. Rakes, however, offer the added benefit of removing thatch – dead grass tissue – from your lawn. Raking your lawn yourself can be a tiring and long process. Try hiring a landscaper if you don’t have time to rake the lawn yourself. Landscapers can help prepare your lawn for winter by testing your soil for pH and adding sulfur or lime as needed. It also helps to over-seed the lawn in the fall, preparing it to grow abundantly come warmer weather.

Winterizing Your Pool

Winterizing your pool can be more work than expected. A pool installation or landscape professional can be a big help. A week before closing, you must balance the pH of the water. Then, remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, cleaners, solar blankets, and ladders, clean the pool, lower the water level, drain and winterize the plumbing, and cover the pool. These complicated steps often require the help of a professional. The process for in-ground pools also presents a more significant challenge than above ground pools. Swimming pool installation experts and landscapers can help. Often people that install pools know them best – they can recommend the best maintenance and make sure your pool is in good shape to survive the winter.

Additional Landscaping

Get any landscaping you need done before the winter! You also need to winterize gardens, shrubs, and trees if you want them to survive the winter and continue growing large and healthy come springtime. Spreading mulch, preening shrubs and bushes, protecting bulbs, and removing invasive weeds makes for a healthier garden and yard come spring. In wintertime, it’s often harder to get landscaping services. The ground hardens, making it more difficult to install landscape lighting, retaining walls, fences, or gardens.

Keeping Your Yard Healthy In Philadelphia’s Suburbs

Suburbs of Philly like Montgomery County and Chester County have some of the toughest winters. Persistent freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall can hinder the health of your yard and landscape if not properly cared for. Winterizing your lawn, pools, and the rest of your yard can mitigate the effects of a cruel winter. Listening to good advice from professionals like those at Blue Tree Landscaping is the best thing you can do for your yard and home.

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!

Why Your Yard is Flooding and How to Fix It

When the rain pours, and when the mounds of snow melt, many homeowners may find themselves dealing with a soggy, marshy wasteland instead of a scenic, gathering-friendly backyard.

What’s worse, the neighbor’s yard may be the picture of perfection. What gives? Why is your yard flooding and what can you do to fix it?

Yard Floods and How to Fix Them

Let’s Talk Soil

Clay soil can be the culprit behind a yard that’s less than stellar. Unlike other types of soil, clay won’t absorb as much water, leaving a slushy mess. What can you do? Try adding a thin layer of compost or topsoil to the top of your lawn each year. Over time, it will help provide the cushion of water absorbing soil that your lawn is currently lacking. After you mow, don’t dump those clippings at the curb. Use them instead. Leave a layer of clippings in your yard after you mow to add that extra bit of organic matter — and another topsoil layer. But if it isn’t about clay soil, you might have too much foot traffic running through your yard. You can encourage your kids, friends, and guests to stick to the stone paths and walkways in your yard. You can also aerate your lawn.

On Top of the Hill

The view from the top is great, but if your yard is more towards the bottom of a hill or situated on a slope, water will collect. You do still have options. You can level or regrade your lawn to try to alleviate some of the sloping. If it is a steep hill, look into other drainage systems to help solve your issue.

High Water Table

Some parts of the country have a high water table or a point where the ground can’t hold any more water, resulting in the squishy lawn you may be familiar with. As rain falls and snow melts, the ground can only take so much. While you may be tempted to try to regrade your yard, a high water table might make that solution tricky. You may want to look into a drainage system to deal with the issue head on.

You Can Have the Perfect Lawn

While it can take a bit of work to help your current marshland turn into the backyard oasis of your dreams, it isn’t impossible. You can make it happen even faster by enlisting the help of professionals. Contact Blue Tree Landscaping to get your  yard into shape. From lawns to pools to drainage and fencing, Blue Tree Landscaping is the one-stop-shop for everything you need to care for your yard.

Avoid A Dry Yard With Proper Lawn Care

Warmer months are ahead of us! That means it’s time to start preparing your lawns and greenery for heightened temperatures and dry weather. This is best done with a few careful steps taken to ensure that every inch of topography is cared for the proper way. Check out our tips for maintaining a lush, beautiful lawn for the remainder of spring.

The Right Time

It seems obvious enough, but knowing when to water your lawn is an important factor in consistent upkeep. Grass does require a fair amount of water, but not every day. Turning on your sprinkler system for thirty minutes twice a week, instead of a few minutes every day, will benefit the soil and allow for the grass to fully absorb the resources you give it.

The time of day matters as well. It’s best to turn your sprinklers on or water a garden in the early morning, before the heat of the day moves in and evaporates water faster. If that is not possible, try the early evening when any harsh weather conditions may have died down enough for the sprinklers to operate smoothly.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Sometimes the weather can be unpredictable, especially in the months of April and May. If it rains, turn off any automated service your lawn care equipment has and let nature do the work for you. Adjusting to what the day brings will ensure not only that your lawn stays fresh and vibrant, but also that any garden and even potted plants that add to the aesthetic receive proper care as well.

Have the Right Tools

The basis of a beautiful yard literally starts from the ground up. Determine what your grass needs from the soil type and layout of your yard to install an irrigation system that hits every bit of surface area. Drainage is also pivotal in order to achieve the right amount of moisture in the grass and soil, and if your space has lawn ornaments or larger furniture pieces, moving those to get to the area underneath is also important. As much as a beautiful lawn adds to the vision of a lovely home, risking any water damage to the house or backyard accouterments can be avoided with proper precautions. Use what your space has to your advantage!

Contact Blue Tree

It’s not too late to install state-of-the-art equipment in time for summer! Blue Tree will outfit your home with the right landscaping tools and services for any time of year. Our team of professionals can provide information and a quote based on your needs, so contact us with any questions on how to help you get started!

Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts for Small Backyards

Divide Your PlantsSome backyards do not have the luxury of abundant room to personalize, especially in areas that are closer to major cities. This can force homeowners to get creative with their backyards, which can lead to many different positive outcomes. Take a look at some do’s and don’ts to take into consideration before beginning the remodeling process.

Do: Take Company into Account

If your backyard plays host to parties and get-togethers on a frequent basis, a simple aesthetic might be the key to an appealing setting. Tables, chairs, and sufficient walkways are crucial to any successful hosting of an event. Stick to landscaping and decorations that won’t detract from your guest’s experience.

Don’t: Over-Decorate 

Choosing giant features for a tiny space can overwhelm the eye and take up valuable real estate. Often, one or two simple pieces can act as accoutrements to the main components (e.g. a few wall ornaments will match an in-ground pool that takes up most your yard’s foot room). Fountains, statues, and accessories that hold little function can cause clutter. Be conscientious of what you’re working with; less is enough in situations like these.

Do: Choose Functionality

Maximizing surface area can be a key component to expanding any backyard size. Adding a retaining wall can provide multitier opportunities for the gardener in the family, and lighting up the whole space will create an entertainment hub for hosts of every kind. When every inch is cared for, it can greatly increase the enjoyment capacity for everyone.

Don’t: Ignore Your Climate

Whether it’s hot and dry or damp outside, landscaping can suffer if the proper materials are not chosen for a backyard space. This is especially true when children are present; a patio that gets too hot in the summer or lawn components that dominate the space are not conducive to their play or enjoyment.

Do: Contact Blue Tree

It’s time to get started! Blue Tree Landscaping has all the keys to a new and beautiful space that you can be proud of. We offer commercial landscaping services such as lawn care services, pool installation, and beyond for those looking to revitalize any limited backyard. Call us today to explore your options and turn your small backyard into your favorite room in the house!

Why You Need Different Kinds of Soil While Landscaping

6 tips for growing vebetablesAutumn in America can mean many things to Americans. Football season is back. Apple picking is now the go-to weekend activity. And there is still time to plant crops like beets and broccoli. However, there’s more to seasonal gardening than just knowing what types of produce should be harvested at this time of year. The type of soil you plant your crops in matters almost as much as the crops themselves.

Below, we’ll discuss the properties of each kind of soil, and what conditions they’re best utilized in.

Sandy Soil 

Sandy soil behaves quite similarly to the beachy landscapes its name is derived from: it’s dry and gritty to the touch, and, because it is comprised of large particles, it doesn’t retain much water. Moreover, like the sand found on beaches, sandy soil gets heated up rapidly compared to the surrounding environment. While this means sandy soil is far from ideal for summer gardening, this light soil is great for springtime planting.

Silty Soil 

Silty soils is far smoother than sandy soil, and is much less coarse to the touch. This means that, unlike sandy soil, it will hold a far greater quantity of water. When moistened, silty soil will take on an almost soapy texture due to the water it retains. Of course, this water capacity comes at the expense of soil nutrients, and the soil should not be stepped on, as that will affect its aeration. Silty soil is ideal for agricultural uses at all types of the year, given ideal conditions are present.

Clay 

Out of the soils on this list, clay has the smallest sized particles. This means that clay can hold greater volumes of water than the other soils on this list, which makes clay among the densest and heaviest of soil types. Moreover, since it drains more slowly than all other soil types, clay retains nutrients for long stretches of time, which are ideal for plant growth. Clay soil is best used during the fall and spring, as summer weather can make clay very dry and heavy.

Peaty Soil 

Peaty soil, like moss or lichen, is soft to the touch, and is very rich in nutrients and organic material. In fact, much of the peaty soil around today formed during the last 9,000 years, as plants submerged as melting glaciers slowly decomposed. Once drained of excess water, peaty soil is a great growing medium in most climates. However, peaty soil should be avoided during the summer months, as it is highly combustible. Additionally, peaty soil typically contains a high pH, which, while detrimental for some plants to grow, can help regulate diseases in the soil thanks to its acidic composition.

Loam 

The type of soil that gardens and gardeners love is loamy soil. It contains an ideal balance of silt, sand, clay, and humus. Because of its high organic matter content, loam contains a high pH and a high amount of calcium. Loam does a great job of retaining water and plant nutrients, but isn’t difficult to drain, as air moves freely between soil particles down to the roots.

Although loamy soil is the ideal material to work with, don’t despair if you don’t have it in your garden. That’s because soil will always favor one particle’s size over the two others. Then again, there are many ways to condition your soil, and, depending on the unique composition of your land, loam can still yield verdant grassy lawns, delicious vegetables, or bountiful harvests.

If you’d like professional help deciding which soils to use, contact Blue Tree Landscaping for advice. Blue Tree will also assist with picking the right plants for your yard so that you can create a healthy and aesthetically pleasing space.

Fall Lawn Care for Commercial Spaces

img_4311Fall Lawn Care for Commercial Spaces

Proper lawn care is incredibly important for your commercial space, as the way that you present your space says a lot about your business. Your lawn is the first thing that a client, customer, or even an employee will notice when they enter your property. If a commercial lawn has dead grass, an abundance of weeds, and overgrown shrubs, it gives the impression that the business is not a welcoming place. Further, a lawn that isn’t properly cared for might make your clients, customers, and employees feel that they won’t be cared for. Proper lawn care is one of the ways your business can make that great first impression. The following are some ways you can care for your lawn this fall.

Timely Lawn Care is Crucial

If you want a beautiful lawn all year around — so you can continue making that first great impression — then you need to maintain timely lawn care in the fall. This includes raking leaves. When leaves cover the ground and are ignored, the grass is blocked from getting the sunlight and necessary nutrients it needs. This means that come springtime, your grass will be dead. Neglected leaves can also contribute to lawn diseases.

Cut and Water Your Lawn

In addition, continue to cut your grass until the grass frosts. Your grass still grows until then, and longer grass could increase your risk of fungi. This goes for watering your lawn as well (if your weather has been free of rain).

Prep for Winter with Fertilizer

You should still add fertilizer to your lawn in the fall in order to protect your lawn throughout the winter. This will help to protect your grass from disease, root damage, and cold weather so that it will be at its full strength in the spring.

Overseed Your Lawn

Fall is also the best time to overseed your lawn. Overseeding will maintain a dense lawn, which will further protect against possible damage. This is also a good time to overseed your lawn with ryegrass if you want to maintain that first great impression with a green lawn throughout the coming months.

The Question of Landscaping

Once you have your commercial space in great shape, you might be thinking about landscaping. Whether that means taking on a big landscaping project for the first time or giving your space an updated look, contact Blue Tree Landscaping. We’ll give your space the makeover it needs — and maintain it all year round, too.

End of Summer Maintenance for Your Yard

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Yard Maintenance for the End of the Summer

When summer is at a close, it can be tempting to sit on the patio and enjoy the last bit of the season. But don’t stop now. There’s still yard work to tackle in order to ensure the very best start to the season the next year.

 Path Maintenance

All those walkways and footpaths have received a lot of use this year. Keep them going the next year, and avoid a winter spill, with a bit of maintenance now. Look over any bricks, pavers, and stones for cracks or slips. Adjust the paths as necessary, replacing any broken pieces.

 Lawn Care

It’s not over yet. Keep mowing and maintaining your grass to help it stay healthy. For the last mowing or two of the year, be sure to drop the mower blade. This way, more sunlight can get through, ensuring a healthier lawn. While you’re at it, this is a great time to aerate your yard. Aeration allows water, oxygen, and fertilizer easier access to your lawn’s roots.

 Problem Areas

Is the grass patchy in one area? Does your lawn need fertilizer? Assess the condition of your yard now and deal with it accordingly. Determine your grass type to decide on the optimal time to fertilize it. Plant grass seed to fix any sketchy areas so it has time to take root before snow hits.

 Playtime is Over

As the weather starts to cool down, put away any unused children’s toys. Store them indoors, or outdoors in specially made bins built to withstand the elements. Grab the rakes, shovels, and any other landscaping tools lying around the yard. Instead of just shoving them in the garage until next year, clean them up, polish them off, and make sure you get the dirt off of them to avoid wintertime erosion. Get rid of anything that won’t survive another season, and add it to your list of things needed for next year so you won’t forget (and take advantage of season’s end sales while you’re at it).

 Rake It Up

Piles of leaves in the yard may be fun to jump in, but they don’t do anything for your landscape. To avoid suffocating your grass, and any plants or flowers in the area, be sure to quickly rake up and remove any falling leaves before they become a wet, soggy problem.

 Avoid procrastinating over your late summer yard maintenance. With just a bit of work, you can ensure a beautiful, lush lawn for the next season. Send in the professionals for a spotless yard without the work. Call Blue Tree Landscaping, the one-stop-shop for everything lawn care (and pools), to get your yard in great shape tomorrow.

4 Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Healthy This Summer

IMG_4425Summer is for running through sprinklers, playing endless games of tag, and catching fireflies. But, all of that wear and tear can be hard on a lawn. So, what can you do to keep it looking, and feeling, its best all season long? Follow these steps for green, lush grass that’s comfortable underfoot, and ready for whatever the summer season throws your way.

Healthy Summer Lawns

Know the Lawn

What sort of lawn do you have? Is your grass a “cool season” grass, like Fescue or Bluegrass, or “warm season” grass, like Zoysia or Bermuda? Cool season grasses prefer temperatures in the 60s, while “warm season” grasses grow best in the 70s. But, in Montgomery County, summer can hit hard. When temperatures fall outside these ranges, grass may brown, dry out, or even lie dormant. Watering it won’t bring it back! You’ll have to be patient, and wait for the cooler temperatures of the fall to arrive. Next year, prevent this dormant state by watering your lawn often, and deeply, to foster roots that can handle any drought.

Water the Lawn

You know your lawn needs watering, but you may not realize that the best time to water your grass is in the morning, when you can help prevent fungal growth, and evaporation. Healthy summer lawns need an inch of water a week, and even more when higher temperatures kick in.

Mow the Lawn

If your lawn hasn’t gotten a good rain lately, set the lawnmower blade up a few notches. Shoot for 3” or 4” high blades to help prevent new weeds from forming. Ensure that your mower blades are kept sharp to avoid damaging the grass. It will help keep your grass from drying out too quickly, while also protecting the roots. A good rule of thumb is to cut no more than 1/3 of a blade of grass each time you mow.

Aerate the Lawn

Give your lawn’s roots the oxygen they need by aerating your lawn this summer. To properly aerate your lawn, simply remove small plugs of soil. Doing so will give your grass’s roots more room to grow. Once you finish aerating your lawn, you can also apply weed killer to the open holes.

Improve Your Lawn Savvy

Knowing how to mow, water, and fertilize your lawn goes a long way toward helping your yard stay healthy during the summer months. Keep your lawn in the best possible shape all season long by turning to the landscaping professionals.

Blue Tree Landscaping is a one-stop-shop for everything lawn (and even pool!). Call Blue Tree Landscaping today, and get your yard in tip-top shape!