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What to Plant in Your Garden This Spring


What to Plant in Your Garden This Spring

Gardening can be fickle this time of year, when the weather is still unpredictable. While most summer foods can be planted in months to come, there are still a few early spring favorites that will bloom with the season and provide green thumbs a chance to tend to their gardens early. The best part: these picks grow quickly, allowing for optimal use and care. Check out some of the best plants and produce to add to your garden for late spring!

Spinach, Lettuce, and Kale

These three leafy favorites have a quick turn-around in their respective growing seasons. Spinach is tough, and planting it close together can yield a bountiful supply of leaves for salads. Lettuce needs a bit more room to reach its proper size, especially when you are curating whole heads, but it can be picked and utilized at several stages of growing. Kale is the unsung hero of quantity in the garden; the smaller leaves can macerate in as little as three to four weeks, with big leaves taking less than two months.

Other Vegetables

Beets are a choice veggie to plant this time of the year due to their versatility. Turnips, onions, and asparagus are also savory options for planting, and the mild quality of soil at this time leaves several other food choices open to consider adding to your space. Frosts usually taper out around this time of year, and knowing what will flourish after the initial cold is helpful when planting vegetables.

Flowers

Often, flowers planted in close proximity to edible plants can assist the growing process and give your garden a pleasing appearance. Daffodils and tulips are classic choices and are easy to come by. Annuals have minimal upkeep and will bloom every year, and cornflowers, poppies, and sweet peas are beautiful plants that will give your yard dependable beauty time after time.

Herbs

Not all herbs are suited for spring planting, but several will outlast the weather and thrive in summer-time. Chives, mint, thyme, and tarragon are all perennials that will yield results well into the year. Rosemary and sage are also popular options that do well when the soil is heating up in warmer months. Conducting research on the best soil types for herbs is an important step to successfully growing them, so do your reading before planting!

Contact Blue Tree

Increase your garden’s potential with Blue Tree! Our services can help upgrade the landscaping in and around your garden, install proper soil, and equip your yard with stylish fencing and accessories that are sure to please. Let us help you build the garden of your dreams, and contact us with questions and inquiries today!

Landscaping for Modern vs. Traditionally Styled Homes

Decorate Your PatioYou want a landscaping design that compliments the style of your home and makes it a more inviting place for your family and guests — but you don’t want your design to be so “busy” or minimal that it’s distracting. The following are some ideas to consider when choosing a design for your yard, no matter what your home’s style is.

Landscaping for a Modern Home

With a modern home design — think informal with mixed materials, floor-to-ceiling windows, and an eye-catching shape — you can get away with more unique flowers, shrubs, and trees for your yard. You’ll also be able to use certain hardscaping materials, such as concrete or certain rock tiles that might not look as appealing when paired with a more traditional home.

Depending on your home’s materials and color scheme (inside and outside), you might choose a more minimal landscaping design, or else one that’s as quirky and vibrant as your home is. Nonetheless, when it comes to landscaping designs for modern homes, less is usually more. Don’t overload the yard with exotic or unique plants, or too many focal points. Have the backyard, for example, be focused around an outdoor living space.

Landscaping for a Traditional Home

A more traditional home — think of a formal design that may be more symmetrical and rectangular, made of brick or stone, with a gable roof or a front porch — will call for a more uniform design that is neither minimalist nor maximalist, but somewhere in between. You’ll want to stick with hardscaping materials (for walkways and patios) that are similar to the house’s materials (if only in color), and plants that are more common to your home’s region.

For your backyard, a traditional home usually calls for a more “traditional” pool shape, such as Grecian or Roman, but you could also do an oval or kidney shape. You could also add a waterfall or decorative rocks and plants to frame the pool. However, like with a modern home, you’ll want to make your outdoor living space your main focal point.

It’s Time to Take the Next Step

Choosing the right landscaping design for your yard doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you have some landscaping ideas in mind already, or are looking for someone to help you brainstorm, contact Blue Tree Landscaping to get started on your landscaping project today. Blue Tree will help you with all of your landscaping, hardscaping, and lawn care needs. They’ll help you to realize your vision for your yard, and maintain it all year round, too.

How to Use Contrasting Colors in your Landscape

Blue Tree Landscaping TipsHow to Use Contrasting Colors in Your Landscape

When brainstorming landscaping ideas for your yard, it’s important that your yard is both functional and aesthetically appealing. You want your yard to be functional in that you can enjoy activities like grilling and swimming, but you also want your yard to be enjoyable and inviting. Thus, if you really want to make your yard’s landscaping “pop,” consider using elements of color theory in your landscaping.

What Are Contrasting Colors?

Contrasting colors, or complimentary colors, are the colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. Each pair includes one primary color and one secondary color. The three main pairs are as follows: green and red, violet and yellow, and orange and blue. The various colors, and their effects on people, have been studied extensively. Blue and green are considered “cool,” relaxing colors, whereas red and yellow are “warm,” passionate colors. Violet, however, can be a “cool” color or a “warm” color, depending on how it’s used.

How to Use Contrasting Colors in Landscaping

Contrasting colors, when paired together, offer a natural focal point for your yard. If you want to use contrasting colors as a focal point, consider pairing violet and yellow flowers together, perhaps near an outdoor living space, front walkway, or garden. Color theory experts consider contrasting color combinations to be most effective if used in unequal proportions. Therefore, don’t feel like you have to split your yard equally between violet flowers and yellow flowers. Try, for example, an abundance of violet flowers with some yellow flowers mixed in. You can use this method for non-contrasting colors as well, too.

While pairing red and green plants together might bring back memories of Christmas decorations, it won’t come off as a seasonal design unless you’re using seasonal plants like pine trees and poinsettias. Think of red roses, tulips, or carnations paired with a green lawn or green foliage — they will draw attention to your yard in a more subtle way than a combination of blue and orange or violet and yellow.

Further, consider using contrasting colors when decorating your yard. If you want to add an outdoor living area during your landscaping project, try using contrasting furniture or accessories with your plants. For example, you could place a violet chair (or a violet pillow on a neutral-colored chair) next to yellow tulips.

It’s Time to Get Started

If you’re ready to get started on your landscaping project, contact Blue Tree Landscaping. They’ll handle all of your landscaping needs, in addition to hardscaping, lawn care, and routine maintenance.

Everything You Should Know About Planting in the Fall

Everything You Should Know About Planting in the Fall

Early fall is a great time to add new plants to your yard or garden. You’ll want to plan out what you’re going to plant long before your area will experience an intense frost so that your plants have time to root. The fall offers a great climate for your plants to grow, in addition to a more pleasant environment for you to work in. The following are all of the items you should plant this season.

Plant Vegetables in Your Garden

There are many vegetables that should be planted during cooler weather, such as different types of lettuce, salad greens like kale or spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes, and cauliflower. Most of these vegetables should be planted as early in the fall as possible, or even in the late summer. So, make sure to check the seed packet before starting. Types of garlic and onion, for example, can be planted in the fall to be harvested in the spring or summer. This is also a great time to plant many types of herbs, like basil.

Plant Flowers for Spring

Now is the best time to plant flowers that will bloom in the spring. Unlike planting in the spring, when the ground is still cold from the winter, planting in the fall allows the flowers to root while the ground is still warm. Perennial flowers, like tulips, black-eyed Susans, pansies, peonies, and daffodils, are all great choices to plant now. This is also a good time to plant roses. Come springtime, you will have a beautiful array of flowers in your yard.

Plant Trees and Shrubs

It is also beneficial for trees and shrubs to take root while the ground is still warm. Trees and shrubs with fall colors — such as deep reds, oranges, and yellows — would be a great addition to your yard. Try planting a Japanese maple tree in your front yard to spruce up your landscaping. This is also a good time to plant larger trees, such as various types of maple or pine trees.

Make Your Yard Stand Out

Landscaping is a key component to making your yard stand out. Combined with hardscaping, landscaping your yard helps you to make the most of your outdoor space. Contact Blue Tree Landscaping to transform your yard into the manicured lawn you’ve been dreaming of. Whether you have an idea in mind or need help brainstorming, Blue Tree will help you every step of the way.

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.

Find Your Ideal Front Walkway

hardscaping-09How to Find and Create Your Ideal Front Walkway

We all use some sort of pathway to enter our homes, whether that involves an existing walkway or cutting through the yard to get inside. Hardscaping your yard, in addition to landscaping, will not only increase your home’s curb appeal, but also make your home a more inviting place for you and your guests.

Functional Hardscaping is Key

The term hardscaping refers to the “hard,” non-living materials used to create and define your outdoor space. This includes walkways, patios, and decks. Hardscaping helps you to appreciate and enjoy your outdoor space, in addition to making that space easier to navigate. This is crucial for a walkway. The walkway should be both visually appealing and functional. Your walkway should follow the natural pathway you or your guests might use to enter your home. The walkway might connect the sidewalk or street to your front door, or it might connect your driveway to the front door. It all depends on your needs.

Consider Your Space

Once you have an idea in mind of where your walkway should be, you should next consider the space you have to work with. A walkway should compliment your home, your outdoor space, and your landscaping. Factors to consider include the size and shape of your lawn and home, the materials and style of the home, any existing trees or plants that you want to keep, and any places where you might want to add large plants. When deciding the shape, width, and placement of your walkway, always keep the above factors in mind.

Design and Materials

Your pathway should be wide enough for one or two people to walk on it comfortably. Walkways that meet this requirement generally range from 3 to 5 feet wide, depending on the size of your home. A larger home, or a home with two front doors, will call for a larger walkway. As for the shape of your walkway, it could be either straight or curved. However, you don’t want the walkway to involve too many curves — more than one or two curves might tempt you and your guests to stray from the walkway, making it functionally useless. As for the material for your walkway, consider the style of your home. Stone and brick are both popular and versatile walkway materials, but a brick walkway would not necessarily compliment a “modern” home.

The Next Step

Blue Tree Landscaping will help you to actualize the transformation of your outdoor space. Contact Blue Tree for all of your hardscaping, landscaping, and lawn care needs. Whether you have specific ideas in mind or need help brainstorming, designing, and creating your space, Blue Tree is here to help during every step.

Home Landscaping Ideas Kids Will Love

sumlandkidsloveWhen it comes to landscaping, we often focus on things like curb appeal, and forget to consider one important element: the kids. If there are children in your home, you’ll need to keep them in mind when designing your home landscape. With these great tips, you won’t need to sacrifice style for inclusivity:

Home Landscaping Ideas Kids Love

Chalkboard Fun

Chalk isn’t just for sidewalks. Add an element of eye-catching art with a chalkboard addition to your fencing. You are no longer locked into basic black either. From red to blue, there’s an array of chalkboard paint colors available to complement any landscape style. Simply paint a piece of backer board, and add it to your fence. Then, let the chalk drawing fun begin.

Swings

Kids need a place to relax. Swings can provide both a restful spot, and a fun addition to your yard. Purchase a hammock swing, a hanging bowl chair, or even an old-fashioned tire swing. As your kids get older, what may have started out as a children’s plaything will quickly turn into a favorite spot to read, or spend time with friends.

A Day at the Beach

When you can’t make it to the beach, you can still get that sun-kissed feeling at home. Consider integrating a spacious sandbox in your landscape design. Top it with an awning so the kids can build, and play while staying protected from the sun’s rays. Just remember to cover it with a tarp when it’s not in use.

Tree house Fun

A tree house is what you make of it. Whether it’s in an actual tree, or works as a playhouse on the ground, kids can’t resist the appeal of a secret space that’s all their own. Use hardscaping materials that are already found in your backyard landscape to tie it into your overall design.

Musical Fence

Turn that barren spot of fencing into a toddler’s dream come true. Add colorful xylophones. Dig out your battered cake pans or bowls, and add in the pots you no longer need. Then leave wooden spoons or other metal utensils so the kids can drum away on these hanging objects. It’s music to the ears of any creative noisemaker.

Landscaping for the Kids

Don’t forget your children’s needs when working on your landscaping projects. Consult the experts so you can get your yard in tip-top shape for the season, and beyond.

Blue Tree Landscaping is the one-stop shop for everything lawn. From design to maintenance and planning, including pool installation and repair, you can trust in Blue Tree.

 

4 Ways to Keep Your Lawn and Pet Happy

4 ways to keep your lawn and pet happyAward-winning roses? Prize-winning plants? Whatever your yard has, you’ll want to keep destructive pooches out of the way! Here are a few pet friendly landscaping tips that can help:

 

Good Dog, Great Yard

Set a Barrier

A physical barrier is a useful way to distance your pets from delicate plants, or other recent additions. Hardscaping elements, like fencing, walls, or edging can help discourage your pet, while still looking attractive in the process. You may also turn to non-toxic plants, like thick hedges or shrubs, to make shortcuts impossible. Set down pathways where your pet tends to roam to avoid further damage.

Fruits of Your Labor

Do you have a pet that won’t stay away from the garden? While low fencing is always an option, there are other possibilities. Use hedges or shrubs to create a natural border. You can keep birds and pets away from the fruits and vegetables with bird netting. For a truly pesky pet, consider spraying bitter apple or orange on your plants to help discourage any tastings.

Doggone Diggers

Dogs dig for multiple reasons: to de-stress, relieve boredom, or even bury their valuables. To make sure this habit doesn’t harm your garden, include a dense, narrow planting near the fenceline. Do frequent checks to make sure your pet hasn’t started up again. For dogs that need to be able to dig, set aside a portion of the yard for a sandbox or gravel pit. Reward your dog for digging in this area, and keep it consistent. This way, you can avoid having a bunch of holes in your lawn!

Keeping it Green

Help reduce the number of brown spots in your yard by setting aside a bathroom area. Train your pooch to use specific portions of the yard. Add in fencing to conveniently hide the area, or try a patch of gravel. It can easily be hosed off, and is a favorite material for many dogs. Include a “marking spot” for male dogs to discourage any unwanted watering on your plants.

Crafting a Pet Friendly Yard

These tips will help keep your pets healthy and happy, while ensuring your lawn stays in top shape. For a yard that truly wows, call Blue Tree Landscaping, the one-stop-shop for everything yard, garden, and pool.

 

From design, to planning and maintenance, no job is too big or too small. Call the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping today to learn more.

Summer Landscaping Dont’s: What Not to Do to Your Yard This Summer

Summer MaintenanceBirds are singing, the pool is almost ready to open, and you’ve been busy cleaning up the yard. But, before you add in new plants or drag out the mower again, you might want to take a look at these common summer landscaping mistakes:

Common Summer Landscape Flops

Cutting Too Low

Mowing is a time-suck, but cutting your grass too short to buy yourself time isn’t a good idea. Bare spots are quickly revealed, making it easy for weeds, insects, and even diseases to move into your lawn. With more sun exposure, your lawn will require more TLC, as it needs more water to keep up with the summer heat.

Lackluster Roses

Roses are a popular flower for a reason. If your roses keep missing the mark, it’s time to take a closer look. Are you pruning after the first frost? Did you plant them in an area that matches each breed’s required amount of sun? Do they have room to grow? If not, it could be time for a re-plant.

Mulch Mounds

We’ve mentioned mulch volcanoes before, but this still bears repeating. While it may seem like everyone is placing large mounds of mulch around their plants, this doesn’t mean they’re making the right choice. No tree needs a foot-tall mound of mulch. Keep it flat and balanced so you can prevent weeds without any unnecessary waste.

Unwelcome Guests

Invasive plants can quickly take over your yard and garden, edging out native plants, and even destroying food sources for the local wildlife. Bamboo is one example of a plant that’s better left out of your landscape. You can add other invasive plant species, like English Ivy, Garlic Mustard, Japanese Honeysuckle, and Oriental Bittersweet to the list of plants to avoid.

Haphazard Design

You may have noticed a few areas here and there that could use a little perking up. Before digging in the dirt, make a plan as to where you want to place new plants. Keep shorter plants front and center, and taller plants toward the back. Figure out what plant fits where, and draw it all out. Don’t forget to add labels. This way, if something doesn’t “take,” you can easily experiment with a different plant next year.

Summer Landscape, Redefined

When mowing, weeding, planting, and planning threaten to take over your weekend, it’s time to send in the professionals. Call Blue Tree Landscaping today. As the one-stop-shop for everything lawn, garden, and pool, Blue Tree can take your project head on, from planning to design and maintenance.

How Outdoor Landscaping Can Add Value to Your Home

How Outdoor Landscaping Can Add Value to Your HomeExperts agree that landscaping not only adds instant curb appeal to your home, but also increases the value of your property by a whopping 20%. If your home’s outdoor landscape is typically more of an afterthought, consider making a change. Whipping your yard into shape now can help you achieve maximum benefits later.

How Outdoor Landscaping Adds Value

The Outdoor Advantage

By adding outdoor rooms, you can merge the functionality of the indoors with the natural beauty of the outdoors, significantly doubling your living space in the process. Use like materials to help capture that home feeling. Hardscaping elements can help establish an easy flow, and increase the value of your home to future buyers.

Shady Spaces

If you aren’t planning to sell your home in the near future, planting a shade tree now will help you reap the benefits in more ways than one later on. Not only can a perfectly placed tree add that special something to your yard, but it can also reduce your cooling costs by 40%.

Native Plants

Which plants and flowers are indigenous to the Philly area? Consider these plant types first. The general rule is that plants that are particular to the area will require less maintenance, and be better able to resist the weather conditions and local pests of the Philly region. Furthermore, these plants will add value to your home without draining your budget or requiring constant care.

Shed a Little Light

Lighting will not only provide future home buyers with a feeling of security and safety, but when lights are placed just right, it will also create a welcoming ambience. Highlight the key features of your yard and garden with well-placed lighting structures. Install light fixtures that shine right to your front door. Potential buyers won’t be able to resist.

Good Fences, Great Neighbors

Sturdy, well-maintained fences can increase your property value. Skip the chain link fence and do something a little different. Opt for a fence that’s different from the rest of the homes on your block, while still being tasteful. It will make even a small yard seem more spacious, while providing some needed privacy.

Form and Function

Backyard construction projects are a great way to begin adding value to your home. If these projects seem too overwhelming, turn to the experienced professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping.

 

Blue Tree Landscaping is your one-stop-shop for everything lawn, from planning to design to maintenance. Call Blue Tree Landscaping and add value to your home today!