Trees provide shade and beauty for both your lawn and home. A well planted and positioned shade tree will become symbolic of the great times you've had outside your home. On the other hand, a poorly positioned shade tree will seem to become the bane of your home. Most problems with shade trees are when they are planted too close to your home. These problems will not be immediately obvious since shade trees take quite a while to grow.
Shade Tree Site Plan
Shade trees are the marathon of garden planning. It will take about twenty years before your tree is fully grown, sometimes longer. Make certain to know the maximum height and width before you plant. This will also affect what you can grow beneath the tree including types of grass, shrubs, flowers and ornamental trees.
Plan for the branches
A poorly planned tree will have branches that need to be repeated cut back to so they will not damage a home. Also, tree branches that hang over your pool will keep the sun from reaching it and also drop leaves into your pool causing you to spend more time cleaning. Trees branches can also block your view. This seems obvious, but most forget how large a tree will get.
Plan for the trunk
I used to worry about a very old water oak falling on my first home daily. If the tree will grow too tall, don't plant it close enough to your home or car if a strong hurricane were to knock it down.
Plan for the roots
Some trees have large root systems. The roots can damage driveways and foundations. These roots can also have an effect on irrigation and utility lines. Cypress trees produce knees which can damage your lawn mower and walkways. Additionally, some trees are very sensitive to the amount of water they have near their roots. While cypress trees may be able to live in the wettest of soil conditions, maples will normally need well drained soils to thrive.
Shade Tree Soil Test
There are trees which adapt to a wide range of soil acidity. Unfortunately, there are also a lot that do not. Either get a soil testing kit from the hardware store or have a soil test done at a LSU Ag center. If you know your plants well enough, you can tell what type of soil you have based on how the current plants perform. Soil test are not too pricey so I would recommend using one before investing the time and money into shade trees.
Talk with your local nursery to see which plants are best suited to your garden's pH levels. Some trees that are more pH dependent are Live Oaks, Pecan, Bald Cypress, Sycamore, American Beech, Ginkgo, Hickory and Sweet Gum. A few pH adaptable trees are the southern Sugar Maple, White Ash, Green Ash and Crape Myrtles. Before you begin to dig in Louisiana always call 811 for LA One Call to come and test for utilities. Its free and could save you a lot of time, money and maybe your life.
I was recently at an event in Dallas when I came across giant Jenga. As it turns out, giant Jenga is a great way to pass the time at any outdoor event such as family gatherings, a night in with friends, barbecues, seafood boils or tailgating. On my trip home, I thought it would be great to have a set of this around for when I had people ready and willing to play. Since it isn't very complicated, I decided to build one and share with you how to make one also.
Playing Jenga is simple. Stack 54 blocks in alternating rows of three at 90 degree angles. Remove one piece of wood from any completed level and stack it on the top level. You You must complete a level with three blocks before going up. If the stack falls on your turn, you lose. Click here for official Jenga Rules.
DIY Giant Jenga Materials
DIY Giant Jenga Guide
Put on your safety glasses, gloves and dust mask. Use the sandpaper to smooth out any noticeable rough areas on the boards. Measure and mark 10.5 inch lengths of the 2x4 until you run out of room on each. Each 2x4 should make eleven blocks with an extra block that will not be used. Mark an "X" on the final piece to show it is too short in case it gets mixed in with the other blocks.
Cut each of the marked spots at 90 degree cuts. Continue to cut the boards until all the marks have been cut. If you feel confident or have suitable equipment, you can cut multiple boards at a time. Remember to place the extra piece from each cut aside so it does not get mixed into the Jenga pieces.
Use the sandpaper on the edges to remove any splintering or rough edges. Rough spots will cause a lot of frustration while playing. Be sure to wear your dust mask, gloves and eye protection. This Jenga set is not weather proof so be sure to store it indoors. Sealing or painting the wood will cause it to stick so it is not a good idea. Be sure to play Jenga on a sturdy raised surface. A great idea would be to build a box with handles to hold the Jenga set that could also be used as a table to play on top.
Giant Jenga is really is a lot of fun and I would recommend bringing it to your next tailgate party. Giant Jenga sets also make great gifts for birthdays or holidays. If you want to give your set a little color, paint only the cut ends. Enjoy your new game that you made!
GreenSeasons does not typically craft this type of thing, but we thought it was interesting and wanted to share. We like the idea bringing you and those close to you together for something fun.
If you are looking for landscaping, lawn maintenance of pest control service in the Baton Rouge or New Orleans area, just click here and we will give you a call. If you would simply like some advice or just want to chat, please contact us.
We get asked very often about Louisiana super plants. What are they? Where to get Louisiana super plants? When to plant them? Where to plant them? Below all of these questions will be answered.
What is a Louisiana Super Plant?
What is a Louisiana super plant? These are plants which are strong enough to handle Louisiana's climate and pretty enough for you to want them in your landscape. Candidates for the super plant program undergo two strenuous years of testing in both north and south Louisiana. They also have to be easy to grow and distribute for nurseries. They are almost always marked with the Louisiana super plants logo shown to the left.
Louisiana Super Plants List
This is a list of the current Louisiana Super Plants. New plants are added twice a year so we will try to update this list when new plants are added. If you are interested in any of the plants, click on the name to follow a link to the LSU Agcenter page for each plant. There is information on planting, sun tolerance, and planting advice.
Where to Buy Louisiana Super Plants
Most nurseries will carry at least one or two Louisiana super plants. Click on this Louisiana super plant nursery list for names, locations, and phone numbers for all registered Louisiana super plant suppliers in the state. It would be best to call before you go to make sure they have the plants in stock since they have been known to sell out.
GreenSeasons is always proud to offer Louisiana super plants in any of our landscape designs. If you are looking for a landscape plan that focuses on using Louisiana super plants, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some landscaping advice with Louisiana super plants, please contact us.
Mums are a very popular choice for fall color in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and throughout South Louisiana. Mums have a large array of colors to choose from to brighten up dull areas in your garden landscape. There are two ways to have mums in your landscape and that would be to either plant them as a perennial or to buy mums every year as an annual. Buying them is as easy as going to any store with plants, but planting them and having your mums come back every year seems to give gardeners some trouble. We will go through some steps for mum success.
Caring for Mums
Location is important since it determines the amount of light your mum will receive. Mums should have eight hours of sunlight every day. Most varieties of mums can get by with a minimum of five hours, but would look much better with additional hours of sunlight. Also, if you have a choice, morning sunlight would be better if they are only getting around five hours.
Mums should be watered whenever you see signs of wilting or dry soil. Watering this way will average about three times per week in the absence of rain. A layer of mulch, even in a planter or pot, will help to keep your mums healthy. Do not water excessively since mums can get root rot and that would defeat the purpose of putting extra time into watering them.
Since mums flowering is so brief, they may not need additional fertilizer if they are in good soil. If you find they need a little something more, try a fertilizer with a higher rate of phosphorus (the middle number in the N-P-K numbering on all bags of fertilizer).
How to Grow Mums in Louisiana
A lot of people will tell you to plant your potted mums in late October before the first frost of the year. The next time you hear this you can firmly tell them they are wrong. If you plant your mums in October, they rarely have enough time to develop their roots to survive the winter. You will have a much higher chance of success if you keep them potted during the first few frosty days and nights of the year. Move them inside during frosty nights until all of the blooms and leaves have fallen off. This shows the mum has gone dormant.
At this point you will want to plant the mum in the ground. Till the soil a good six inches deep to loosen it up and mix soil that drains well. Plant mums eighteen inches and two feet apart. Add mulch, leaves or garden debris up and over the base of the plant to prevent freezing. In late January or early February, prune the tops of the mums to under one and a half feet. Begin watering mums in early spring as they start getting their new growth and color. Apply some slow release fertilizer, 20-10-20, when the mums start to grow to ensure they take off. Your mums should be established then and will return for many years to add color to your home landscape.
Alternatively, you could leave them in pots in a climate controlled environment until the following spring if you have the room. That would also mean having what would look like a bunch of sticks in a pot with soil in your home for months and most people would not care to look at that for so long.