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Many will use beautiful poinsettias for their indoor holiday decorations. Their vibrant colors and gorgeous leaves make a beautiful statement in any home. However, their care can be slightly different from other house plants. 

The Spruce.com offers some great tips on keeping your poinsettias alive and thriving throughout the holiday season. Here are some of their top recommendations:

When You First Bring Your Poinsettia Home 

Light – Place it near a sunny window. South, east or west facing windows are preferable to a north facing window. Poinsettias are tropicals and will appreciate as much direct sunlight as you can provide.

Heat – To keep the poinsettia in bloom as long as possible, maintain a temperature of 65 – 75 degrees F. during the day. Dropping the temperature to about 60 degrees F. at night will not hurt the plant. However, cold drafts or allowing the leaves to touch a cold window can injure the leaves and cause premature leaf drop. If you’ve ever seen a leggy poinsettia in bloom, with only a couple of sad looking leaves hanging on, it was probably exposed to temperatures that were too cool or to extreme shifts in temperature.

Water – Water the plant whenever the surface feels dry to the touch. Water until it drains out the bottom, but do not let the plant sit in water. Wilting is another common cause of leaf drop. A wilted plant can be revived and salvaged, but it will take another season to improve its appearance.

Humidity – Lack of humidity during dry seasons, in particular winter, is an ongoing houseplant problem. If your home tends to be dry and your poinsettia is in direct light, you will find yourself watering frequently, possibly every day.

For more great gardening tips for your indoor and outdoor plants, follow along at Stone Creek Landscaping. 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. 

 

 

‘Tis the season for mistletoe, holly and yes, Christmas trees. And if you are a live tree lover, you know it takes more than plugging in the lights to keep your tree fresh and smelling good throughout the month. We too were interested in learning the best tips of making our tree last, so we turned to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Check out some of their top suggestions and even witty tips passed down throughout the years:

CARING FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE

  • When you bring your tree home, saw a couple of inches off the bottom of the trunk before setting in water. When trees are cut, pitch oozes out and seals the pores. By sawing off the base, you will open up the pores, and the tree will be able to absorb water.
  • Watering is critical. A freshly cut tree can consume a gallon of water in 24 hours!
  • Fill the tree stand with water and keep it filled.
  • Never let the water level go below the tree’s base.
  • Indoors, keep the tree away from heating ducts or other heat sources. In fact, the lower the temperature, the better the tree will do.
  • One old Vermonter we knew always packed his tree stand with well-watered soil and planted the tree in the mixture. The soil should be kept wet.
  • Some people add aspirin or sugar to the water; we can’t say whether either helps. Again, water is the vital element.

Not sure which tree to buy? The top-selling Christmas trees, as reported by growers across the United States, are the Scotch pine, Douglas fir, white pine, and balsam fir.

Shoppers Tip: If there are a great deal of needles around all the trees on the lot, you might want to think about shopping elsewhere.

Although we can’t take of your Christmas tree inside, we can take care of your lawn outside. For more information about how we can create your dream lawn, visit us at StoneCreekGA.com.

 

Halloween is a time to trick or treat, dress up and carve pumpkins. However, what should one do with that pumpkin once Halloween has come to an end? We found some great ideas from PumpkinPatchesandMore.org. A few of include:

 

  • Put it in the compost heap – it will make good fertilizer
  • Bury it in the garden – it will decay quickly and enrich the soil
  • Wash, dry and save the seeds to plant next year (they will grow!)
  • Wash and roast the seeds – they make good eating.
  • Dump it in the trash, if you haven’t got a garden

Being in the landscape business, we also love this idea of a pumpkin planter.

A Pumpkin Planter

This is a great use for a carved or un-carved pumpkin – anything that adds a little natural beapumpkin-planter-2uty to the yard is a win to us. Head down to your local nursery, pick up some annuals, and use your pumpkin as the planter! It will be a festive decoration for a few days, and then you can plant the whole thing right in the backyard. The pumpkin will naturally compost and provide fertilizer for your plant. If your pumpkin is un-carved, cut off the top and remove the seeds, guts and flesh from inside. Set them aside and save for later (if you have a carved pumpkin, skip this step). Simply pack some potting soil into your pumpkin until it is about one-third full. You may need to do some extra packing to keep the soil from falling out of your jack-o-lantern’s face. Place your plant into the pumpkin, and fill it out with more potting soil. You can dig a small hole and plant the whole thing right away, or leave it on the porch for a few days for decoration. Depending on where you call home, it may be a little chilly for planting. But if you haven’t seen your first frost, give this one a whirl.*

And did you also know …

“Pumpkins are great for much more than carving! Pumpkins provide 53% of our vitamin A, 20% of our vitamin C, and 564 mg. of potassium.  So if you never got around to carving that pumpkin, you might want to cook your pumpkin!

The name pumpkin originated from “pepon” – the Greek word for “large melon.” Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine. American colonists sliced off pumpkin tips; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of our  pumpkin pie, although it is recorded that they also used pumpkins as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.”**

*Source: RedRiverMiner.com

**Source PumpkinPatchesandMore.org

 

 

 

In the South the temperatures are beginning to fall, and so are the leaves.

During this time, it is really important that you remove those leaves as quickly as possible. A thick layer of leaves will suffocate your lawn, not allowing adequate amounts of air, nutrients, and sunlight to reach your grass.

According to Spruce.com, raking the foliage truly is not just for tidiness, but also for lawn health. Here are 5 reasons you have probably heard about removing leaves, and guess what? The claims are all true!

1.That lawns, too, have to “breathe.” – True

2. The lawn will be smothered in a thick layer of unshredded leaves is left on top of them over the winter. – True

3. That such a layer can invite pests and diseases and can cause serious problems like snow mold and brown patch. – True

4. That such a layer forms a barrier that blocks water, nutrients, and a healthy air flow from getting down to the root system of your grass. – True

5. That, if the leaves are matted down, they can even keep new grass blades from emerging next spring. – True

So, if you find yourself with extra time this weekend, you just might want to tackle this project. If not, you can always call us at Stone Creek Landscaping, your full service lawn maintenance and landscapers!

 

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.

IMG_8336

“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.