Category Archives: Landscaping Tips

Get Your Children Involved in Your Vegetable Garden

Growing a Vegetable Garden

Spending quality time with family is enjoyable at any age, especially when children are young and curious! One project that guarantees hard work, valuable lessons, and plenty of dirt is a backyard garden. Here are some tips for getting the kids involved in growing a vegetable garden.

Let Them Pick The Plants

Make the shopping trip for seeds a group activity. Let the little ones choose a few of the seed packets for planting, or let them choose the whole garden. If there’s a food they enjoy eating already, such as pizza, offer suggestions for toppings that can go on it, such as mushrooms or basil. This will expand their horizons and allow for creativity before the planting process begins.

Install The Garden Together

It’s almost guaranteed that getting down on hands and knees in the dirt is something that kids enjoy! Let them help ready the soil for planting, and place the seeds in the ground to watch them grow. This is an excellent bonding activity, and a great way to spend a few afternoons together when the weather allows for it. Plus, it serves as a great workout!

As an additional activity, create homemade plant markers to label plants with. Blank markers are available online, or go one step further and take to Pinterest for unique ideas. This will showcase your children’s efforts while the fruits and vegetables are sprouting, and help to curb the impatience of waiting for the fruits and vegetables to grow.

Give Them Tools

A full-sized shovel may be too much for a small child to handle. Consider investing in a set of child-sized tools, such as rakes and shovels, for your next outdoor session. Oftentimes, they will work as well as adult-sized tools, and the pride in using their own materials will be that much more fun for your child!

Assign Chores

Give everyone their own role in tending to the fruits and vegetables. Delegating activities such as watering, weeding, and checking for bugs are all important daily tasks that will keep the garden’s foliage healthy throughout the seasons. In addition, this serves as a lesson in responsibility, especially when parents get involved and tackle some of the more difficult tasks right alongside them.

Call Blue Tree

We can help you get your yard ready for the garden of your dreams! From clearing the landscape to designing the area and installing the beds, our garden landscape services will help you with every step of the process. Contact us today to get started!

How to Get Your Yard Ready for the First Spring Barbecue

Backyard barbecues are a classic warm-weather activity. With the introduction of spring, it’s time to prepare for this year’s schedule of get-togethers. Here’s a checklist of actions to take to make sure your yard is cookout ready!

Clear the Area

Starting with a clutter-free area is an important step in getting your yard ready. Clear away chipped-off roofing materials, paint, and other debris to maintain a clean appearance, and take care of any damaged furniture with canvas treatments and repairs. For the ground, taking a power washer to the surface and its cracks will remove hard-to-reach dirt and leftover remains of winter storms.

Harsh winter weather can also take a toll on plants and foliage. Strip away excess dead materials by weeding or ripping up old sod. Raking leaves and branches before treating the grass will aid the process, and depending on the type and amount of sod, it may need to be ripped up completely. Ultimately this will prevent any unwanted winter scraps from blowing into the grill, as well as provide the preferred aesthetic for cookouts and get-togethers.

Replant As Needed

Take a couple of days to beautify the space surrounding the grill. Replace and replant flowers and outdoor decorations, and don’t forget the grass; tending to a lawn may be a hefty task, but the payoff of a gorgeous, healthy lawn is worth the effort. This is also an excellent opportunity to upgrade your landscaping layout if desired.

Prepare the Grill

Grills that sat through the winter should be cleaned and treated for any damage sustained. Check the grease trap, the hose, the grate, and all other surfaces that were exposed to winter weather. A new propane tank might be necessary as well, but before the cooking starts, fire up the grill for a test run. This will guarantee that the systems are in working order for the meals to come.

Don’t forget to prep for the barbecue itself as well! Use a grill cleaner to ensure the lid and external surfaces are free of rust and oil and clean the surrounding prep area’s surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner. Even investing in high-quality utensils, such as tongs and skewers, will complement the hardware and allow the grill to perform throughout many cookout seasons.

Contact Blue Tree

The first barbecue of spring is approaching! We want to help you prepare your yard for barbecues, parties, and beyond. Contact us for hardscaping needs for your grill or patio today.

Get Your Yard Ready – It’s Spring!

Yellow and red tulips

Spring is here! That means that it’s time to revamp your yard from its protective winter state to the lively green landscape it was before the cold hit. Here are some of our tips to making sure your yard is ready.

Treat Your Lawn

Grassy lawns require the most attention in the winter recovery process. Between fertilizing, aerating the soil, checking the pH, and reseeding, the process can be a lengthy one. In order to ensure your specific landscaping is receiving the correct care, consult an expert on the proper products and tools for your lawn, or for a recommendation if the sod needs replanting.

Pruning and Weeding

Winter weather can leave behind dead leaves, fallen branches, and various damage from heavy snowfall. Clearing away the leftover cold weather debris will give you a clean slate for new flowers and designs. Consider starting a compost pile to create a sustainable place for the remains, if one is not already present in your home; this will benefit the health of the yard, and the environment as a whole.

Plant New Flowers and Vines

Some flowers can last all year long, even through harsh winter weather. Prune the areas that need it, and if necessary, replant those flowers if damaged. For those that pulled their perennials before snowfall, plant some tulips, daisies, or your favorite springtime varietals around your landscape. This is an excellent opportunity to get creative, so don’t be afraid to choose vivid colors or bold petals for your garden or walkway.

Another option to establish in your yard is vines. Choose flowering vines for a burst of color, or leafy ones for an earthy appeal. Plant these early in the season, so they can grow up the side of your home or an aesthetic grate placed for support.

Bring Out The Furniture

If any of your outdoor furniture pieces or decorations were moved inside, it’s time to bring them out of hiding! If cushions or curtains are machine-washable, clean the material and apply a protective spray, to shield them from any remaining weather spurts going into summer. Furniture left outdoors during winter may have sustained some damage, so use an outdoor furniture cleaning spray to polish surfaces that need it.

Call Blue Tree

Let us help you get your yard spring ready! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we can assist with landscaping and lawn care needs for every type of home. Call or send us a message to get a head start today!

How to Treat Your Lawn After Snow Melts

The weather will be warming up soon, and this means that the green, lush landscape will be returning soon! Taking preventive measures to keep your lawn intact before winter is a smart move, but treating it after the snow melts is another step to take into consideration. Check out our tips for restoring your lawn to its healthy state post-snowfall!

Wait For Thawing

Do not start lawn care immediately after you see the first signs of snow melting. Taking an aggressive approach to removing damaged sections of your landscape could result in patches of lawn being torn away or flowers being uprooted, due to the root systems not having enough time to recover. Wait for every area of your lawn to thaw completely before starting the process.

It is important to wait on watering your lawn as well. Despite its powdery, sticky texture, the melted-down snow will linger in the roots, and over watering could damage the surface. Hold off until the lawn is close to being dry.

Weed, Remove, and Repair

There’s a good chance that natural debris accumulated during snowfall. Take a rake to the grass and the bases of plants and bushes, to clear away leaves and remnants of fallen branches. If necessary, pull patches of weeds that were missed before the first snowfall, to make room for any potential replanting.

Salt, animals, and other external forces can also do a number on your lawn, and holes can reveal themselves after the snow is cleared away. To patch them, mix new soil with compost or sand to fill up the holes, allowing for roots to catch on fresh ground and regenerate the lawn. Double-check what type of soil your lawn has to purchase the correct filling materials.

Check for Snow Mold

Snow mold occurs when a thick blanket of snow falls on susceptible grasses before it has the chance to freeze. It is characterized by gray or pink spots that linger after the snow has melted. Sweep the affected areas with a coarser broom or rake to loosen the affected areas, and if necessary, replace damaged spots with new sod.

Fertilize

Lastly, be sure to fortify your lawn for the spring and summer months by fertilizing after the snow has thawed. There are special brands of fertilizer that will aid the pH and chemical levels after a snowfall, so consult a specialist to determine what is right for your landscape. Your grass will thank you!

Contact Blue Tree

Need extra help bringing your lawn back to a healthy state? At Blue Tree Landscaping, we offer a variety of turf care services, from aeration to fertilizing and much more. Contact our team of experts to get a quote today!

Don’t Let Heavy Snow Damage Your Pool Cover

Winter can be harsh on homes, plants, and cars alike, but what about pools? The cover of your pool can take a beating, especially with the weight of snow as a threat to its structure. To avoid damage, here are our tips for managing heavy snow on your pool cover until warmer weather arrives.

Clean Up and Maintenance

Take a few quick trips outside to brush the snow off the pool cover surface. If the weight on top can be reduced, there is less chance of long-term damage or collapse. However, take care not to clear all of the snow. Weight on the pool cover will prevent wind and debris from damaging it or pushing it down below the water’s surface. Leave about an inch behind to keep it in place.

While outside, check the chemical levels. While there is less chance of evaporation in the wintertime, adding too many chemicals can damage the cover – and the pool – if it isn’t monitored. Adjust accordingly, to make the grand reopening of your pool clean and efficient for the spring!

Use A Snow Removal Tool

Your cover pump might remove excess water, but for fresh flakes, a different tactic is needed. If a heavier cleanup is needed, try an ice scraper or an apparatus with a foam or rubber head, to be gentle to the cover itself. This investment will provide peace of mind year after year, no matter the severity of the weather.

Invest in a Cover Pump

Get a machine to do the work for you! A pool cover pump is attached with wire and removes the water both from the surface of the cover and underneath it, regulating the pool’s water levels. This is especially useful for snow; when snow seeps underneath the pool cover and melts, it can disturb the water levels and the carefully laid-out surface that is protecting the system. Cover pumps are available online and wherever pool supplies are sold.

Consider Replacing Your Cover

For both above-ground and in-ground pools, the average lifespan of a high-quality cover can stretch to ten years or more! your pool cover is a few years old or sustained some rough seasons in the past, it might be time to replace it. There is a wide range of special pool covers that are geared toward handling the tribulations of winter weather. Don’t forget the tubes and weights to hold it down!

Trust Blue Tree

We don’t just install pools, we help maintain them! Our team of experts can guide you in choosing and installing the right means to protecting your pool cover this winter. Contact us for more information today!

How To Keep Heavy Snowfall From Damaging Bushes

Snow is notorious for causing damage throughout the winter months. The weight of frozen water on home structures, delicate trees, and exterior paint and decorations is almost expected. As far as the plants and flowers, they are in significant danger of suffering under the weight of snow. Here are a few things to keep in mind before the heavy snowfalls roll around!

Make Sure Bushes Are Strong

Before the snow starts coming down, treat both the roots and branches of bushes to ensure they are healthy enough to support any extra weight. Mulch, fertilizer, and any snow treatment materials should be applied in a timely manner before the temperatures drop too low. Not only will they be fortified against outside forces, but their health will stay intact for you enjoy during the next season.

Watch The Roof

If the bushes are situated under the roof, snow and icicles can slide off the foundation of the house and crush any plants below it. When it comes time to handle the snowfall on the ground, take a few minutes to remove snow from the roof or overhang in small increments. Do this after clearing the ground; in the event that something breaks loose, the bushes underneath will not have the added weight of the loose fragments to add to it.

Keep Up With Maintenance

If it is safe to do so, go out in regular intervals to remove snow from the bushes. If left to pile up too long, the snow can compound and be too heavy for the foundation of the branches to handle. Use your hands or a broom to gently sweep snow off the tops of bushes or hedges. or even a light aerosol spray canister to get into smaller areas.

Deposit Snow Elsewhere

Try not to dump excess snow on foliage or bushes in your yard. What may look like a small amount could contain rocks, branches, or large shards of ice that may weigh the area down. Instead, place the snow on the sidewalk or asphalt, if the area allows for it. Even pushing it to the middle of a lawn into an organized pile will minimize the area affected by the weight, and piling it up out of harm’s way will aid in the health of your bushes.

Contact Blue Tree

We can help you gear up for any level of snowfall! With Blue Tree, we’ll help you plan and execute the perfect layout for your yard that will sustain little damage in the winter months. Contact us for a quote today!

Liven up your Yard this Winter with Evergreen Plants

Greenery for Your YardWinter is here! Soon, plants and greenery will either be buried in snow or will have lost their leaves for the winter. Luckily, there are several plant varietals that can stand up to chilly weather, while providing your outdoor space with a healthy, lively appearance in spite of the temperature outside. See our top choices for implementing evergreen plants that will stand up to gardening’s toughest season.

Boxwood shrubs

Boxwoods are excellent winter plants, provided that they receive proper care before the temperature drops too low. Be sure to treat them with proper weather-resistant materials, such as anti desiccants or plant guards, before it gets too cold to do so. Water your boxwood shrubs thoroughly before the cold freezes any sensitive roots or stems, and if the shrubs are not in sunlight, consider moving them so they receive maximum exposure. Shrubs love sunlight and giving them enough vitamin D in the winter will allow them to bounce back and flourish when spring returns.

Nandina

As a vibrant choice, plant nandina between traditional darker shrubs for a pop of color. Most breeds come in shades of red and ruby and are one of the toughest forms of fall foliage to stand up to frigid temperatures. Take extra care in pruning them; if left untamed, some nandina plants can grow to heights of five feet or more!

Spruces

As the classic Christmas tree, the spruce is both resilient and gorgeous for wintertime topiary options. Plant a few in the ground for a festive look that will last throughout the years, or place smaller ones in potted plants for easy transporting. Plus, you can shape them with ease, for an added personal touch.

Cypress trees

Cypress is a popular choice for households, and with their size and stamina, they will last throughout the winter. Line your yard with them for creative fencing and a forestry feel that will complement the snow and sleet of winter. Invest in mulch for their health and appearance, and enjoy them in the springtime too.

As a bonus to accent your evergreen plants, consider planting some winter berries. This seasonal choice won’t boast leaves, but the pop of color will brighten the duller grays and browns that are prominent in winter landscapes. Pick them and display them on a dining table or in a wreath, or let them grow outdoors for the quintessential “winter wonderland” look! There are several species of winter berries such as Little Goblin and Berry Poppins, so choose one that matches your decor.

Blue Tree Landscaping, Inc.

We can help you dress your yard for winter! Contact one of our landscaping experts at Blue Tree Landscaping, and we’ll be involved with the process from start to finish. Winter is here, so call today!

Show Off Amazing Landscaping with Proper Lighting

You’ve worked hard on your outdoor space, and now it’s time to show it off! Light fixtures are crucial to tying any landscaping together, for both functional and aesthetic purposes. Here are some of our tips for creating a safe, attractive space with lights in all areas.

Safety First

First and foremost, proper lighting should be a safety feature for outdoor spaces. For security reasons, choose base lighting that is motion-activated, especially for front yards or backyards with open space. If there are any aspects of the yard that require manpower, such as a grill or sound system, ensure that there is a light fixture nearby to operate those smoothly.

Most importantly, pools and hot tubs demand lighting to keep swimmers safe, especially small children. If possible, install light inside the pool itself, if the pool is in the ground. For outdoor pools, clip-on underwater lights are available at most hardware stores and are easy to install.

Light the Path

If your yard has a walkway, consider placing outdoor pathway lighting alongside the area. Individual lights placed as ‘spotlights’ will do the trick, but there are opportunities to personalize this touch. Above-ground lanterns are a pretty detail that goes one step further than traditional LED floodlights, and if the yard calls for it, tiki torches are fun and festive for landscapes that have a tropical touch.

Emphasize Details

Beyond walkways, landscaping that deserves recognition falls into several categories, including plants and decorations. Use the same lanterns and ground lights to illuminate gardens and larger clusters of plants. Fountains and statues will benefit from a couple of spotlights as well, especially while entertaining.

Accessorize

Now that the basics are taken care of, add personal touches for added effect. Tabletop lanterns and candles to highlight seating areas are easy to operate and store in the colder months and are cost-efficient to maintain. If an overhang has a sturdy foundation, hanging light fixtures are both trendy and functional, and string lights through trees and latticework on outdoor features are always in style.

While shopping for lighting, home improvement stores offer excellent selections for all types of lighting, from permanent fixtures to temporary accessories. They also provide batteries and replacement bulbs for said lighting and offer seasonal accouterments to match the seasons. Don’t rule out major retailers in other industries; sometimes, a supermarket or other lifestyle shopping outlet could have the perfect piece for accenting your landscaping!

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you choose lighting that works. At Blue Tree, we’re involved in the landscaping process from start to finish, including installing those personal touches throughout the entire space. Contact us for questions and quotes today!

 

Create A Professional Landscape For Your Business

First impressions are everything — especially for businesses. A well-maintained front exterior showcases professionalism that won’t go unnoticed. Not only will an attractive building and landscape make your business look good, but it is also a prime marketing opportunity. Current and prospective customers alike will appreciate your beautiful landscape, no matter your industry.

Want to update your organization’s landscape? Keep reading to explore the steps to take as you make plans.

Remember Less is More

Keep in mind that the aesthetic of your chosen landscape should suit your particular business. Unless your company sells tropical flowers, a subtler approach to foliage and details will probably be better-received than overly garish and colorful options. The uniformity of planters and square-cut shrubs suggest order and are a neat and tidy choice.

Add Special Touches

If an occasion calls for enhanced features, go for it! One fun idea is to match the colors of flowers and wall designs to your company logo. Consult a gardener for color schemes and plant bunches that will suit the aesthetic of the space. Comfortable contemporary furniture, such as outdoor hammocks or couches, is sure to please. You can also add other tasteful touches: Consider pretty pathway made from pavers, weather-resistant artwork, or an attractive plaque that offers information about your company’s history.

Take Proper Care

If the front of a building boasts drooping, withering plants, that doesn’t exactly create a reassuring environment for anyone who enters. Stay vigilant with maintenance, and consider hiring gardeners or groundskeepers for year-round upkeep. Swapping out flowers and plants for the appropriate varieties is a cost-effective way to ensure your landscape flourishes, no matter the weather. Also, be sure to clear any debris from parking areas, walkways, or sidewalks. After all, clutter does not offer customers the desired introduction to your business.

Make It Functional

Besides appearance, offer a place for clients and employees alike to relax. Provide shady spots with comfortable seating to make lunch breaks and phone calls a pleasurable experience. Consider accessories to achieve that effect as well, such as umbrellas or an awning. Don’t forget to add a personal touch to the landscape. Stamp your logo on the backs of chairs, benches, or even the on the ground in a noticeable spot to showcase your company’s uniqueness.

Call Blue Tree

How you portray your profession is at your discretion —so let our business help your business! Our team at Blue Tree Landscaping takes pride in providing expert opinions to anyone looking to improve their landscape, no matter the size or style. Contact us today to get started.

Create A Stunning Patio The Neighbors Will Envy

Whether you’re hosting a cozy family gathering or a party with all your friends, the patio is the place to be. But when you want to entertain, a dated, neglected, or poorly designed outdoor space can put a damper on your fun.

Revamping the patio is a great way to create a comfortable outdoor haven that can even increase your home value. Read on to discover how you can create the patio of your dreams (and maybe even your neighbor’s dreams!) and become the envy of the block.

Add a  Fireplace

This common indoor feature is right at home outdoors. In fact, an outdoor fireplace is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for almost every season. Set the mood for a romantic evening with a loved one or a fun night with the kids roasting marshmallows. If a permanent fixture isn’t an option, a portable fire pit is an excellent alternative. You can store it and use it for years to come.

Layer Your Lighting

No patio is complete without the right mood lighting, and a layered scheme is an excellent way to create an outdoor space that shines (literally!). You have plenty of options: Freestanding gas lamps offer functional illumination with a touch of glamor. Fans with attached light fixtures brighten the space and provide a comfortable breeze. White string lights add a delightful twinkle. The sky’s the limit!

Add Stylish Accessories

Not used to decorating outdoor spaces? Think outside the box! The kitchen isn’t the only room in the house that can boast statement-making accent walls: Tile or textured materials, such as stone and brick, enhance the patio space without taking up valuable real estate. To lend natural beauty and a splash of color, add hanging planters or an ivy wall.

If your patio is protected from the elements, you can even hang artwork, set out throw pillows, and incorporate other accents. Attach a glass-free window pane to achieve a rustic look, or hang metal wall art to match the furniture for an industrial-chic vibe. Swap out accessories to instantly refresh the space for different seasons and holiday.

Incorporate a Theme

Finally, it’s important to find your personal style and have fun with the patio! Travel lovers can imbue a cozy French restaurant feel or laid-back Spanish siesta elements. If you have a pool, opt for a nautical theme that’s fun in and out of the water. Follow a design path that suits your tastes, and the patio is sure to become your favorite spot to spend time.

Trust Blue Tree

Let us help you elevate your patio game! We specialize in landscaping and hardscaping for every type of patio and enjoy customizing spaces to fit all types of homeowners. Contact our crew to get started today!