Winter can be described as a season of greetings, joy, and hope. Whenever it comes to dealing with your landscape during this time of year, it can be quite daunting. However, there are ways to achieve a beautiful landscape with effort and a little creativity.
They can add color, liveliness, and accents to your home. Wreathes are versatile because you can choose from so many different types. They can be extremely over the top or simple. There are seasonal wreaths, floral wreaths, Christmas wreaths, and you can even make a wreath yourself. Similarly to fake topiaries, artificial wreathes can be re-used to give that same accent in future years.
Lights can be wrapped around trees, columns, lamp posts, mailboxes, and bushes. They can be suspended from parts of your home and come in a variety of different colors. You can have hanging lights, simple fairy lights, or colorful Christmas lights. Simple lanterns can also give your porch or landscape a glow and draw attention in.
Even though most plants may feel the harsh consequences of the colder weather there are some plants that still thrive during the colder months. Some examples include camellias, evergreens, and winter jasmine.
Faux-plants can be a creative way to liven up your landscape. Since most living plants can be damaged during the harsh cold, fake plants are a perfect idea to add to your home. Additionally, they can be re-used in future winter months, and keep the same appeal. Some topiary types include traditional topiary and trained ivy topiary.
Festive Picket Signs
They can be easily made or bought. Like most of the other things that you can add to your home, they are versatile. You could have picket signs depicting snowflakes, pinecones, holiday characters, or sayings.
While you're adding to your landscape in other ways, why not take another creative liberty like redecorating your mailbox? Some ideas include spray painting the mailbox, adding antlers, adding faux foliage, adding pine cones, adding lights, and adding ribbons. Another idea is to renovate your mailbox to make it look entirely new.
Birdhouses and Feeders
Birdhouses can add colorful and ornate accents to a drab landscape. Not only that but they can give sustenance and a home for the birds that surround where you live. Bird feeders can be made with strings of fruit, berries, and nuts. That food will bring possible additional wildlife around your home.
In the winter, weed control is more apparent than in summer. Why? Your lawn is dormant in winter and typically brownish. Winter weeds grow big and green in the winter and stick out like a sore thumb. These weeds then drop their seeds and spread and get worse each year.
Controlling these weeds now will keep your lawn looking nice and uniform all winter long. This will also keep these weeds from establishing themselves before spring.
First thing you need to do is identify the type of weed. Some are easy, like clover, some are not. If you are not sure what it is, take a picture and post on a landscaping forum. Google also has an image search that sometimes works, sometimes not.
All hardware stores sell selective herbicides. Check the label for your type of weed. Make sure it is safe to apply over your type of grass and go for it. This will greatly reduce the number of weeds in your lawn and you can no stay indoors on the upcoming cold days.
Before you even buy your first light, make a plan. I know, it seems far more fun to just buy some and hang them, but you will save yourself plenty of time and money if you take a little bit of time to plan. Grab a notepad, a pencil, and a tape measure. Sketch out the areas of your home where you want to add lights and decorations. Add some symbols for what type of lights you want where. Now measure those areas, yes, all of them. Also measure the distance to the nearest electrical outlet for your extension cord(s).
Calculate Power Wattage for Christmas Lights
If you are planning on going big, and I mean National Lampoon big, you will need to make sure your outlets can handle to wattage your lights will be using. If you pull too many watts, your breaker will flip and it won't be very bright. If you have this problem, there are some choices. LED lights use a whole lot less power, but they cost more. You could have an electrician add another outlet with its own fuse. You could also run a long extension cord to a different outdoor outlet if it is on a different fuse.
General rule for maximum number of strands to connect:
LED can connect up to 25.
Incandescent can connect between 3 to 6.
Math to Calculate Wattage
Wattage of the bulb x Number of sockets / 115 = Total Amps
It is time for landscape cleanup as the temperatures start to rise. Below is a ten item check list to get done before spring. With these landscaping items complete, you will be well on your way to having a great looking lawn and landscape.
Top 10 Ways To Cleanup Your Landscape For Spring
Professional Landscape Cleanup
GreenSeasons will have your lawn and landscape looking amazing, just give use a call. We provide landscape cleanup services in the greater Baton Rouge, greater New Orleans, Slidell, Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Baker, Zachary, Hammond and Covington areas. If you need your landscaping cleaned up, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some additional advice, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
Most take a complete hiatus from their yard in the cold months. It is a great time to stay inside and stay warm. There are a few things you should pick a warm day to go out and take care of to make your lawn and landscape look much better when spring rolls around.
The best time to trim most trees is in the winter. They won't have nearly as many issues from heat, insects and fungus in the winter as they would in the spring or summer. Pruning trees also encourages better growth on existing branches when it warms up.
Cutback Winter Damage on Plants
Tropical plants look very brown in the winter. Remove the dead parts so the tropical plants can start anew in the spring.
Fertilize and Apply Pre-Emergent
Do not use nitrogen rich fertilizer in the winter. Use a potassium rich fertilizer fertilizer instead. Additionally, include a pre-emergent that will target the weeds that pop up in spring. Treating them now with a pre-emergent will prevent the weeds from ever sprouting and being seen.
Mulch and Install New Trees
Mulch your landscape beds once all the leaves have fallen. It will keep your landscaping looking fresh when everything else appears drab. Also, planting a tree now will give it time to adjust to the climate more easily than being planted when it is hot. This will help to ensure it has time to take root and grow.
GreenSeasons is a top class professional landscaper. We provide landscape services in the greater Baton Rouge, greater New Orleans, Slidell, Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Baker, Zachary, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like landscaping work at your home, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice on landscaping, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
It is cold, overcast and usually wet. As you look outside you see your end of fall chore piling up... leaf pickup. Well good news for all, here are some ways to make your life easier when it comes to leaf removal.
Lawn Leaf Removal
Lawn leaf removal is really simple. Use your lawn mower with a mulching kit and simply mow your lawn. If you have a bag mower, empty it and mow over the pile a few times. The leaves in both scenarios will become really small and blend into the grass.
If you are completely set on removing your leaves, use a tarp. Lay a tarp down and blow you leaves onto it. The tarp will make the leaves easier to transport to a burn pile, to place in bags/cans, or to drag to your composting pile.
Why mulch leaves?
Leaves and pine needles contain macro and micro nutrients your trees have absorbed all year and no longer need for the winter. If you were to remove your leaves completely, you would remove also remove the nutrition from your soil. By mulching, you get to feed the soil, beneficial insects and micro-organisms for free. The decomposing leaves will also lower you soil pH which is great for plants like azaleas, gardenias and camellias. The other major perk is there is no need to fill dozens of bags with leaves.
Landscape Bed Leaf Removal
The easiest way to get leaves out of your garden beds is to blow them out with a blower and mulch them in the yard with your mower. Try to return some of the mulch back to the beds so the bedding soil stays rich with nutrition for your shrubs and flower. An easier way to take care of leaves in your bed is to just leave them there. If you have pine needles, there is your natural and free mulch. If you have have an unsightly variety of leaf, now would be a great time to mulch right on top of the leaves. The leaves will still break down and act as soil conditioner.
Professional Debris Removal
GreenSeasons offers professional debris removal for you. We provide landscaping, lawn care and pest control services in the Greater Baton Rouge, Greater New Orleans, Slidell, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like any of these services, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
Winter is when very few people think about their yard and garden, yet it is when major problems can occur. Here are a few ways to keep your lawn and garden looking good until the next growing season. Read this to for how else to winterize in fall.
Install Winter Flowers
If you haven't done so yet, rip out those poor looking summer annuals and replace them with some fresh winter annuals. Pansies, violas, snapdragons and ornamental kale will add some color to a drab landscape in the winter months.
Mulch Your Garden
Mulching your landscape will help retain moisture and heat for your plants during the hard winter months. It will also reduce the number of weeds that start growing between your plants. Additionally, mulching will help your garden keep a crisp and fresh look during the winter.
Water Your Trees
Evergreen trees especially, but also deciduous trees, still need water in winter. Please make sure they are well hydrated by watering your trees before the first big freeze of the year. This will help to keep them nice and healthy during the winter so they will look great next spring.
Winterize Your Irrigation System
This is important in areas where the temperature really drops. Failure to winterize your irrigation system will lead to the water in it expanding and breaking pipes and gauges. Winterizing in southern Louisiana is usually as simple and turning off your irrigation water main and draining the back flow regulator.
Save Your Potted Plants
Bring in your prized plant for the winter. It will make life for you a lot easier. If you cannot bring it inside, be ready for many nights of using landscape blankets and possibly heat lamps. If you cannot save your plants, wash the pots and store them in your garage.
Grow Rye Grass
Adding rye grass will lessen your soil's compaction and reduce potential weeds. Also, it looks really good to have one of the only green lawns during winter.
Professional Landscape Services
GreenSeasons will perform any of these services for you. We provide landscaping, lawn care and pest control services in the Greater Baton Rouge, Greater New Orleans, Slidell, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like any of these services, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
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.
During the few cold winter months we have, we usually rush to get from warm building to warm car without even thinking about the landscaping. Its not as if we aren't interested in the exteriors of our homes and offices this time of year. The time, effort and expense of Christmas decorations every year are a testament to it. The added color brings with it a bit of happiness to both you and others. With a little knowledge and landscaping, you can bring a smile to the faces of those who visit your home all winter long, year after year.
Camellias are a staple of a traditional landscape in south Louisiana. They provide excellent color in the winter and are generally an attractive looking shrub all year. They come in different heights and flowering periods, though they all flower in the winter. Camellia sasanqua and Camellia japonica are sure fire bets for great performing plants.
These Bottlebrush shrubs can give your home both some added color and a slightly exotic feel as the flowers are unique in this area. They are easy to maintain and can be planted in a hedge row or by they selves. There are also varieties of Bottlebrush trees that could really stand out in your landscaping.
Pyracantha is usually planted along a structure and climbs up it. They produce the red berries shown above to provide an accent of color to your home. Sometimes described a climbing holly, they can be a great addition to a barren exterior wall or fence of your home.
There are more varieties of roses than I can keep up with. Your best bet is to go to your local nursery and ask the horticulturist which variety is best for both the area you intend to plant the shrub, the care you are able to give the it and the time of year you want it to bloom.
Loropetalums have both colorful foliage and a flowering period. Many people keep these plants pruned to the size of a small shrub which is unfortunate. These plants naturally expand and should be planted to grow more like a small tree than a shrub. This will allow the plant to really show off its color and you won't be driven mad by all the extra pruning you would have to do otherwise.
Holly bushes produce showy red berries. They are usually a sign that the holidays are near. Holly bushes are hardy plants that are fairly easy to maintain. They require pruning only a few times a year and any pest they attract are easy to both identify and get remove.
Most varieties of Azaleas bloom in late winter or early spring. They usually flower all at once in a large display of color. Generally their blooms are pink, red or white. There are varieties, such as the encore, that bloom throughout the year, although their number of blooms aren't as full. Azaleas are some of the easiest plants to grow and maintain in south Louisiana.
What Flowers to Plant for Fall and Winter?
I get this question this time of year, every year, since I've been in the landscaping industry. Most people do not seem to think there are many choices for what they can use to liven up their home for the winter months. As you can see below, that assumption is a far cry from reality. The plants listed below should perform well in Southern Louisiana from late fall through early spring. These flowers are a great way to transform your home's exterior into an warm and inviting place for family and friends during the upcoming holidays.
Cool Season Flowers
Low growing flowers, about six inches tallPetunia, Pansy, Cabbage, Cyclamen, Kale, Alyssum, Dwarf Snapdragon, Phlox, Primrose
Medium Height Flowers, about one foot
Snapdragon, Dianthus, California Poppy, Bluebonnet, Dusty Miller, Candytuft, Dwarf Nicotiana
Tall varieties of Snapdragon, Sage, Delphinium, Sweet Peas, Larkspur, Hollyhock, Statice, Toadflax