Monthly Archives: June 2014

4 Tips for Starting and Maintaining a Vegetable Garden

Growing a Vegetable Garden

Backyard vegetable gardens are exceedingly popular among homeowners. Some new gardeners are looking for a way to grow healthy food for their families, some are looking to spend less on produce, and others still are looking for a rewarding hobby. Whatever your reason for starting a vegetable garden is, though, you most likely want to know how to get the most out of your time and efforts. Here are some tips for growing healthy and thriving vegetable plants in our region.  With a little thought and planning, you can be on your way!

Choose the right space

It’s well known that gardens need plenty of sunlight, but equally important is that they’re placed in an area with plenty of drainage. An excess of water in soil can prevent your vegetables from growing and is as bad for plants as too little water is. Make sure you don’t place your garden on a patch of ground that’s lower than its surrounding regions, as rainwater could collect in your garden and create soil that’s too watery for plant-growth.

Use all of your space

Many gardeners’ first instinct is that it’s best to plant in rows: it’s orderly and seems to utilize the space well. However, you’ll actually get more growth out of your vegetable garden if you stagger your plants rather than placing them right next to each other. Starting at the edge of your garden area, set down one plant. Then, place the next slightly above your first plant and to the side, and the next slightly below your second plant and to the side. If you keep planting in this triangular formation, your vegetables will actually have more room to grow.

Strengthen your soil

Plants glean many essential micronutrients and macronutrients from water they absorb through the soil. Thus, in order for your plants to thrive, your soil should be rich in nutrients. A great way to improve upon the quality of your soil and give your vegetables what they need to fully flourish is to add compost to your garden. Compost is available at a number of retailers, but it’s best to make your own if you have the time and resources.

Consider using raised beds

If you’re new to growing vegetables or don’t have a lot of time to invest in your garden, you may want to consider using raised planting beds. These are easy to make with a few planks of wood, or you can buy them at a garden store. Raised beds allow you to more easily maintain nutrient-rich soil, as you can fill them with your own customized soil mixtures.

Finally, don’t forget to fence in your garden to keep pets and other animals out!

4 Reasons to Add a Swimming Pool to Your Property

Inground Pool PhotoWith summer here and the temperatures rising, the pool seems like a great idea for keeping cool, beating the heat, and having some fun. Instead of spending money on the town pool or a big family vacation, consider adding an inground pool, or a swimming pool, to your home. Here are four reasons why an inground swimming pool would be a great addition to your house and your property:

1. It’ll Add Value to the Property. Everyone wants a house with an inground swimming pool. According to the National Association of Realtors, an inground pool that’s well maintained can add on average about eight percent to your home’s value. An above ground pool, on the other hand, detracts about two percent on average from your home’s worth. Often times, having an inground swimming pool can make the difference between a house that sells quickly and a house that stays on the market for extended periods of time.

2. It’s Good for Your Health. Swimming laps is a great way to get exercise. Swimming tends to be very gentle on your body, more so than any other form of exercise. It’s also great for those recovering from joint injuries. Most people can exercise with less effort and for longer stretches of time in the water than on land. If you have your own pool, you can go swimming whenever you’d like and in the comforts of your own home.

3. It Can Save You Money. People tend to think that a pool is really expensive, hard to finance, and hard to maintain. This is generally not the case. Over time, a pool is often less expensive than a big family vacation or other family entertainment options and will last longer, too.

4. It’s Great for Entertaining. When the temperatures rise, everyone wants to find a way to beat the heat. In Bucks County, the average high during July or August can be 86 or 87 degrees. A swimming pool is a great way to bring the neighborhood or the family together for a party, a holiday, or just for a nice get-together. It’s also a great way to keep an eye on your kids, since they will be in your own backyard, where you can watch them in plain sight. A swimming pool also serves as a great opportunity to host an end-of-the-school-year party for your kids and their friends.

If you are thinking about adding an inground pool to your outdoor space, call us!  We’ll be happy to discuss design and landscaping options that fit your needs.

Mindscaping: The Landscape We Live In

Pruning in Skippack, PAWe are influenced by the landscaping we live in.

From an early age, we form relationships with the settings of our day-to-day lives — whether it be the days spent playing and dreaming on our own front lawns, or admiring our neighbors’ illuminating pools next door. As children, we feel that each yard seems to have a personality intricately reflective of the people that live there — many chairs and a wide patio mean a warm, social family that loves to host; a small garden surrounded by lush trees brings to mind a quiet couple carefully turning soil over in their hands and plucking tomatoes for their lunch spread. And our own lawns, of course, say everything about who we are.

As such, we are influenced by each particular house’s landscape — not necessarily the patches of grass or collections of flowerpots, but rather the total effect of each house’s outdoor space. This often does include grass and flora, but also planter beds and trees and walkways and patios. For many, this will include an inground swimming pool; for others, it will include multiple planter boxes and space for a persimmon tree, to indulge your passion for gardening.

There are countless elements to improve the aura of your outdoor space aesthetically and functionally. Unfortunately, you might not have the time or ability to create the layout that you want, or the extra hours for upkeep. Luckily, we can help.   Blue Tree Landscaping sets out to take care of all your yard needs. We cover a range of services, spanning from lawn care and hardscape, to yard (re)design and pool installation. From a total overhaul of your front or backyard, to just the small touch ups, Blue Tree makes your outdoor space a better environment for those memories.

When we are young, we don’t identify the landscaping factors that inspire us, influence us, and stick with us many years later. We only experienced their lasting effect. Blue Tree works to enhance that effortless-seeming effect in your own yard — they want to help create an outdoor space for you to remember.