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If you have walked into your local grocery store, chances are you were greeted by mums. They go with fall like … well like, pumpkin everything! They look great at the front door, in flower beds, and even in your home. But how can we keep those fall flowers looking great?

Southern Living shared some great tips regarding mums and we want to share them with you today:

Tip 1
When night temps drop (mid-September), buy plants as they start to break bud. You’ll maximize bloom time. To find the color and type of flower you’re after, check plant tags and cross-reference with already opened blooms. Garden centers usually group like selections together.

Tip 2
For impact, sport no more colors than are on your team’s jersey. You will stretch your dollars by choosing darker shades such as bronze and burgundy. They look better longer; spent flowers are less noticeable. The same is true for mums with double, as opposed to single, daisy-like blooms.

mumsTip 3
What you see is what you get: Buy the bigger plant. Once buds start to open, you’re pretty much guaranteed flowers―no matter where you display them. They’ll be happiest in sun, but if you’re planning to compost them once the show is over, it’s fine to bend this rule.

Tip 4
Keep flowers coming by watering and pinching. Soil should be moist, but never wet. Check daily while weather is warm, every other day when it’s cooler. Fertilizing is not necessary. Remove faded blooms to encourage even more buds to open and you’ll have color through October.

If plants dry out, submerge in a bucket of water, or jab a sharp pencil into the soil several times and then water.

Put these tips to use, and your mums should look beautiful throughout the fall season. For more great gardening and lawn maintenance tips, visit Stone Creek Landscaping for all of your landscaping needs.

During the fall months there is a lot that can be done in one’s yard. From lawn care to planting vegetables and flowers, September can be quiet the busy yard month.

Lawn Care

September and October are excellent times to reseed and repair lawns. According to Better Homes & Gardens, “you’ll need to water daily until the seed has sprouted and established. Wait to plant grass seed until October in warmer regions when there are cooler temperatures and rain.”

Vegetable Planting

It is also a great time to plant veggies: In the Middle, Lower, and Coastal South, now is the time to plant your fall vegetables. Set out transplants of lettuce, collards, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and arugula. Southern Living reminds that if you are planting on a budget, sow seeds of lettuce, arugula, collards, beets, and radishes. They also offer a great tip of even planting these veggies in pots if you find yourself with no room.

Caring for flowers

Better Homes & Gardens also suggests, “when annuals — especially petunias — or perennials get leggy or scraggly, cut them back by one-third or more. It will not only make them look neater, but it also will often encourage a fresh flush of growth and/or bloom. Continue to fertilize containers containing annuals and perennials. Halt fertilizing of perennials. It will only encourage them to grow throughout the winter when they need to rest for best overall health.”

Need help preparing your lawn this fall? Call the experts at Stone Creek Landscaping. We are here to assist with all of your lawn and landscaping needs.

Fall is in the air. Well it’s kinda in the air as the temperatures are a tad bit lower. It’s not time to break out the sweaters, but there is college football this weekend! So yes, fall will soon arrive, and with it comes the planting of beautiful fall flowers.

Better Homes & Gardens knows everyone will plant the typical southern flowers … mums, pansies, violas, cabbages and kale, but they have some not so common suggestions as well. Here are a few of their favorites:

Purple-leaf wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Coloratus’) is a low-growing groundcover with purple-red fall foliage.  Learn more about wintercreeper.

Loropetalum chinense ‘Razzleberri’ has burgundy foliage year-round with occasional shocking-pink, spidery flowers.

Rockspray (Cotoneaster horizontalis) produces glossy green leaves that turn red in fall along with bright red berries.  Learn more about cotoneaster.

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’) contributes brilliant red-purple fall foliage on arching branches.  Learn more about Virginia sweetspire.

Encore azaleas (Rhododendron hybrids) are a surefire hit. ‘Autumn Embers’, for example, features reddish-orange blooms that combine well with nature’s autumn cloak.

Stone Creek Landscaping is here to help you with all of your fall planting. From flowers, to shrubs or even a complete landscaping overhaul, call us today for an estimate. Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

Come on, you know we have all had one. The neighbor that might not cut their yard each week? The neighbor who thinks the more yard art the better? Yes, chances are we have all either lived by one or have had one in our neighborhood. So what is a good neighbor to do?

We found some excellent tips on Gardenrant.com. We love the tips the author gives for “perfect privacy screening.”

Permission

The author, Susan Harris, lives in a townhouse and faced many rules and restrictions. However, after some planning and investigating, she came up with the perfect screen.

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“It was allowed by the rules because rather than an imposing 6′ tall screen, it’s just 3′ high and mounted 3′ off the ground, so it screens just where it’s really needed. With the shrubs growing beneath it, I don’t even notice the open bottom,” she writes.

“The view above from my house shows ‘Ogon’ spireas and an oakleaf hydrangea, with Bignonia capreolata in bloom. The vine is so vigorous I bet it’ll cover most of the screen by next summer.”

She goes on to explain her plant choices:

“Luckily there’s room on the other side of the screen to plant the new trees seen in this view from the interior sidewalk. On the left is a ‘Rising Sun’ redbud and on the far right, a Japanese maple. (Weirdly, its cool tricolor leaves – green, white and pink – quickly changed to all green. Oh, well.)”

If you find yourself in a situation like this one, try out the author’s great tips. Not ready to go it alone? The call us at Stone Creek for all of your landscaping needs. Pro Tip: Fall is coming and it’s time for preparation for the cooler months. Come back here for more tips and suggestions to make your yard just as wonderful in the fall!

 

Whether we like it or not, August is happening … next week! What does that mean for your yard? Actually, not a great deal, but there are some tips to get you through the last weeks of summer. Here are some of our favorites:

Maintenance

    • Water, water, water! Early morning is the best time to water – target plants directly, and water deeply. Avoid getting leaves wet in the hot sun, and avoid soaking containers during the hottest part of the day – both of these can burn plants.
    • Continue mowing.
    • If you have Bermuda grass, reseed areas that have thinned down from the heat. This is your last chance to overseed, as warm-season grasses require heat to grow.
    • Keep close watch on your birdbath, water features, and hummingbird feeder – take steps to correct or avoid mold, stagnation, and mosquito larvae.
    • Continue weeding, to reduce competition for water and nutrients.
    • Beware of powdery mildew, which is caused by moisture and humidity. Help prevent mildew by watering in the cool of the morning, when roots can absorb water but excess will evaporate as the day warms. Also avoid overhead sprinkling in mildew-prone areas. Do not compost leaves that are mildewed.
    • When the temperature is over 85 degrees, avoid chemical applications such as fertilizer, fungicide, or insecticide.
    • Add compost and mulch to keep your garden cool and to prepare for fall planting.
    • Deal with late-season pests – such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites – with a spray of water from the hose.
    • Treat diseased plants, and remove diseased foliage before leaves drop.
    • Prune back vigorous climbers such as wisteria, and train them around trellises while the growth is soft.

And should your yard, or you, need a hand, call the professionals at Stone Creek Landscaping! We are here to help you all year long.

The thermostat says 92, but with the humidity it feels more like 102. The heat is dangerous to us, but it can be just as harmful to your grass. To help maintain your grass during the brutal summer heat, we have some tips for you.

Do not cut your grass too short

One common mistake we can make is cutting a lawn too short. “If a lawn is cut too short, it reduces the plants’ ability to produce energy for growth. When cut at the proper height, however, grass develops stronger roots that support more vigorous plants that are more tolerant of stress. Keep in mind that different varieties of grass have different growth habits that directly relate to mowing heights. For example, cool season grass and warm season grass types require somewhat different maintenance techniques. Research which cutting height is right for your lawn.”

What is the correct height to cut my grass?

“When deciding on the correct height to cut your grass, it is important to also remember the “one-third” rule: never remove more than one-third of the grass height at one time. By doing so, the lawn is kept cooler because less plant tissue is removed. In fact, cool season grass types actually benefit in the heat of the summer by setting the blade higher. If a lawn is normally cut at 2.5 inches, for example, increasing it to 3 inches in the heat of summer will come with many benefits.”

Water your grass in the morning hours

Always remember to set your sprinklers to water your lawn in the morning hours, never in the heat of the day. And although it is important to water your lawn during, do not over water. Lawns actually only need one-inch of water per week, including rainfall.

Don’t bag those grass clippings

“Return clippings to the lawn by using a mulching mower. Clippings are actually beneficial to the lawn, as they act as a slow-release fertilizer for the plant as they decompose. It is important to aim the clippings away from streets, storm drains, and bodies of water.”

“When near bodies of water, do bag the clippings within one or two mower widths of the water’s edge to reduce pollution of streams and lakes from the nutrients released from decomposing leaf tissue.”

For more information on lawn care, call the professionals at Stone Creek Landscaping to answer all of your questions.

Source: yardcare.com

Summer in the South means heat, and not all flowers can withstand the direct sun. If you are still looking for a few more summer flowers* in your yard, might we suggest:

Marigolds

“These gold-, copper-, and brass-colored flowers are popular, because they’re super easy to care for and will keep your garden looking bright and happy all summer long.”

Daylillies

Sometimes called the perfect perennial, this multi-flowered stems (called scapes) grows in all types of soil, with very little care required. Low maintenance is something we can all get behind!

Phlox

“Flowering fields of wild phlox inspired the so-called “Pink Moon,” so it’s no surprise the low-growing plant acts as a great ground-cover.”

Asters (pictured above)

“The star-like blooms add splashes of purple, pink, and violet toward the end of summer.”

Hydrangeas

“From late spring to early autumn, this stunning flower is bound to steal the show in your garden. Fun fact: Their color varies based on the aluminum ions in the soil.”

Need more ideas for summer flowers? Visit Stone Creek Landscaping. We are your complete landscape solution. Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

 

*Source GoodHousekeeping.com

 

Summer is here and the Georgia temperatures have begun to feel a lot more like Florida. This heat is having an impact on yards across the state, especially the grass we grow in our lawns. There are so many choices to make when deciding on which grass to seed our yard with in such a warm climate. How can one decide?
According to Pennington.com, in our area and even the Gulf Coast, Bahiagrass and Centipede grass are common. These grasses are extremely drought and heat tolerant, and they stand up to the region’s climate and water restrictions.

“Bahiagrass provides homeowners in the Deep South and Coastal regions with low-maintenance, all-purpose lawns. More coarse than any cool-season grass, Bahiagrass has good disease- and pest-resistant qualities, establishes easily and offers outstanding drought and heat tolerance. Sun-loving Pennington Pensacola Bahiagrass is perfect for the Southern Coastal Plain and Gulf Coast. Lower growing and low-maintenance Pennington Argentine Bahiagrasswins favor from Florida through the Texas coast, as it teams finer texture, improved density and deeper color with durability and drought resistance.”

Another popular grass is the centipede grass which earns praise for its low and slow growth, medium texture and its medium- to light-green color. This low-maintenance, warm-season grass “out competes weeds and tolerates nutrient-poor soil, so less mowing and less fertilizer are needed.”

Pennington also explains that centipede grasses, prefer full sun but tolerate more shade than Bermudagrass. “Centipede grasses also lack a true dormant period, so they stay green nearly year-round except in extremely cold conditions. Centipede’s low growth helps it tolerate drought well, and its denseness helps it endure foot traffic.”

For more great grass tips, visit our site, Stone Creek Landscaping. We are your complete landscape solution. Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

Creative Planter Ideas

Looking for a fresh idea for your front door, porch or deck? How about a colorful planter? Beautiful planters can bring life to an area, and this is how simple the project can be for you and your family to complete.

Step One

Grab some of your empty water bottles. We enjoy refreshing Fontis Water, so we are filling our planter with those bottles. Make sure the caps are on empty bottlesand place them in the bottom of the planter. A container this large does not need that much dirt. The used bottles make the perfect filler.

 

Step 2

Add your soil. According to finegardening.com, the soil in your containers should be a good mix. “One of the most important things a potting soil needs to do is provide roots access to air by letting water drain away from them. In the ground, the soil is usually deep enough to let excess water drain beyond root zones. In pots, however, water tends to accumulate at the bottom, despite drainage holes.

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Step Three

Select the best plants for your container and plant. Remember to take into account the amount of sun your flowers will receive. Is it a shady spot? Full sun? This will determine which flowers you should select. We chose yellow Zinnia, pink Hibiscus and Blood Leaf Purple Lady.

flowers

 

 

 

 

 

Step Four

Enjoy your beautiful planter all summer long! For more great landscape tips, visit our site, Stone Creek Landscaping. We are your complete landscape solution. Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

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Are you thinking it’s time for a change in your yard? Tired of the same flower beds and shrubs? Perhaps it’s time for a new landscape plan; a plan that can be created by you or a professional service.

If you select the route of doing it yourself there are some important tips you should follow. HGTV.com has a great list of recommendations and here are a few of our favorites:

Plan for equipment access: “At some point in the life of your home, you will be faced with a project or repair that requires some loud, monstrous machine to get into your backyard. Plan for it in advance, or be faced with having to tear out some of your precious plantings.”

Add movement: “A landscape without movement is like a painting. Paintings are fine for hanging on a wall, but a garden needs movement to add life and interest. No garden is complete without some ornamental grasses to sway in the breeze. Add flowers to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and several berry producers for the birds.”

Taking Nothing for Granted: “When you live in a place for a while, you tend to accept existing features as obstacles, sometimes without completely noticing them. Rather than designing around the overgrown shrubbery, established trees, or worn-out deck, consider removing them. You may discover new possibilities, such as a sunny spot for a vegetable garden or rose bed.”

And if these ideas all seem overwhelming to you, call us and we will help create the yard that best fits your needs. Stone Creek Landscaping is here for all or your landscaping jobs. No yard is too small or too large!

Mulch can be a beautiful addition to your flower beds, but what kind should you use and should you use any at all? There are so many types to choose from that one’s head begins to spin when walking the aisles of the local Home Depot. There is shredded bark, pine bark chips and even compost. How are we supposed to know which one is the best for our landscaping plan?

Advantages

According to Better Homes & Gardens,there are many advantages to adding mulch to your gardens. “In the summer, mulch helps the soil hold moisture so you don’t have to water your garden as often. In the hot sun, soil also tends to dry out faster and harden. Mulch will help with this by protecting the soil from direct sunlight.”

Did you know mulch can also prevent weeds from creeping up in your beautiful flower beds? The addition of mulch blocks light from openings in the soil, therefore thwarting weed germination.

Types of Mulch

Now comes the hard part, deciding which type of mulch you need! There is shredded bark, straw, pine or cedar bark chips, compost and even stones and river rock.

Here are the differences as described in Better Homes & Gardens:

Shredded bark is one of the most common and least expensive types of mulch. It comes from a variety of sources, including cedar trees. Shredded bark is one of the best mulch types to use on slopes and it breaks down relatively slowly.

Straw mulch has a beautiful golden color that looks great in the garden. It’s also a bit slower to break down than leaves or grass clippings.

Compost looks like soil, except it’s darker, so it really sets off plants well. This mulch material breaks down quickly but adds to your soil structure the fastest. Plus, it’s inexpensive; you can create your own rich compost for free.

These bark nuggets are slower to break down than shredded bark, but they don’t stay in place as well. They’re not a good mulch choice for slopes or other areas where they may be washed away by heavy rain.

Stone and river rock don’t break down in the landscape because they’re inorganic materials, however they don’t need to be reapplied every year. It is important to remember they don’t improve your soil over time. Take caution when using stone as a mulch—stones tend to get really hot. Stones are often used as mulch in cactus and rock gardens.

Of course if you are unsure about the best mulch for your yard, call Edward at Stone Creek Landscaping and let him help you design a dream yard. Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

 

Spring is in the air, well okay it’s getting there! Just forget the cool temps and think warmth and planting! Yes, it’s time to think about waking that winter yard up and getting your spring plants in the ground.

If you were able to catch the Atlanta Home Show a few weeks ago, you probably saw incredible landscape designs, filled with lush greenery and beautiful flowers. You might think that is not possible in your yard, but it is! There are tips everywhere in regards to preparing your yard for spring planting, but here are five of our favorites*.

Five Tips

  1. Time to clean the garden – Now is the time to remove all the debris like leaves, and even possibly leftover snow. Get rid of weeds, all the way to the roots to make sure they won’t grow back.
  2. Revitalize the soil – Most likely your soul is dry after winter, this means it’s time to add moisture. Recommendations include adding organic material like compost or manure. It might also be a good idea to add more fertilizer to increase the health of the soil and increase the life of your plants.
  3. Trim up the existing plants – Any plants left over from the winter will need to be pruned so they’ll grow anew in the spring. Make sure to wait until mid-April or May in case there’s an unexpected freeze. Blooming plants should be pruned after they bloom to avoid cutting off future flowers. Summer plants should be pruned in early spring.
  4. Add the mulch – Yes spring means it’s time to add mulch to your flower beds and garden. One to three inches of mulch helps to prevent weeds and diseases. It also keeps the moisture in the garden and maintains the temperature. The rule of thumb is to keep the mulch a few inches from the plant stems to prevent roots from rotting.
  5. Then it’s time to plant shrubs and flowers – The garden is in good shape, so now it’s time to plant. Some recommendations for good spring plants include:
    • Pansies
    • Snapdragons
    • Vegetables like lettuce, peas and arugula
    • Redbuds
    • Transplanting tomato plants from indoor pots to outside
    • Lilacs
    • Tulips

    It is a good idea to lean towards planting more perennials rather than annuals, because annuals have to be replaced every year. This means you’re making an investment in plants that will die every year and require replacement. Perennials, on the other hand, last for two to three years and usually survive winter frosts.

Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help. Call us today at 404-647-4297, and let us help you create the yard of your dreams.

*source huffingtonpost.com