Stone Creek Landscaping

This weekend is the day we celebrate Dad! Have you bought your dad his gift yet? Stumped on an idea? Let us help you with some great yard gift ideas!

Digital Hose Timer

  • Digital Hose Timer – “Digital hose timers are amazing! All your dad needs to do is set up the watering interval and the duration of how long to water his garden. And voilà, he no longer has to worry about whether or not he watered the garden! He could also it hook up to a drip irrigation system to make watering containers or the garden even easier.”

Rain Barrel

  • Rain barrels are a great gift for your conservation savvy dad. Some rain barrels are made from a food grade drum, which means it produces safe water for all your plants. There are numerous other types, so be sure and Google to find the best one for your dad.

Bug-a-Salt Gun

  • This might be one of our favorites! This gadget shoots salt pellets to put bugs in their place, and get them off our food! We might have to buy one of these ourselves.

Personalized Garden Tools

  • “If you think regular garden tools are too impersonal, you can get your Dad something really special instead. All About Impressions makes personalized garden tools with engraved handles. This set comes with a hand trowel and a cultivator, the perfect tools for any traditional garden bed or even container gardens.”
  • “These tools have steel heads with a hardwood handle that is laser engraved with your special message. Personalize it with your dad’s name, an inside joke, or just messages of love and appreciation.”

And of course you can alway give him lawn service year round from 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.

We offer a full service maintenance program that will protect and keep your property looking its best.  From deadheading flowers, trimming shrubs, removing debris, and keeping grass well manicured, we are clearly committed to you and your investment.

Summer temperatures have arrived, and it’s not even truly summer. In our last post we discussed taking care of your lawn in the heat, and this week we are following up with other tips for making the most of your yard in June.

Watering

According to SouthernLiving.com, June continues to be an important much to pay attention to watering. Give special attention to containers, planters and hanging baskets as they will dry out much faster in warmer temperatures. They recommend watering plants at dawn and dusk to reduce water loss from evaporation. As you add to your garden, you will need to water them more than established areas.

Indoor Plants

“Place houseplants outside in a shady location to enjoy the fresh air and rejuvenate. Water regularly, and feed with an all-purpose (20-20-20) water-soluble fertilizer to encourage growth.”

Mulch

“Apply extra pine straw or shredded bark mulch around newly planted trees and shrubs to better transition these plants into your garden. The extra mulch will reduce water loss and heat stress to the new roots.”

Stone Creek Landscaping

Need an extra hand with your yard in the summer heat? Let us handle it for you. Stone Creek Landscaping is 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.

We offer a full service maintenance program that will protect and keep your property looking its best. From deadheading flowers, trimming shrubs, removing debris, and keeping grass well manicured, we are clearly committed to you and your investment.

With summer like temperatures approaching this weekend, it’s never too early to start thinking about lawn care during the extreme summer heat.

Don’t Cut it Too Short

One common mistake made is cutting a lawn too short. According to Yard Care by Toro, “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.”

Water

The best way to beat the heat is by watering. A good recommendation is one inch of water per week. This amount helps to keep turf grass healthy. And remember once you start watering, don’t stop. Less frequent, deeper waterings are better than frequent shallow ones. Watering for longer periods of time less often will promote deeper roots, greater drought tolerance and less maintenance. Water your lawn in the morning when it is cool to allow more water to soak into the ground rather than evaporate. Avoid watering in the evening to prevent fungus and disease.*

Do Not Bag Grass Clippings

Yard Care also suggests returning clippings to the lawn by using a mulching mower. Clippings are actually beneficial to the lawn, because 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.

Stone Creek Landscaping

Don’t have time to take care of your lawn? Let us handle it for you. Stone Creek Landscaping 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.

We offer a full service maintenance program that will protect and keep your property looking its best.  From deadheading flowers, trimming shrubs, removing debris, and keeping grass well manicured, we are clearly committed to you and your investment.

 

*Source Gertens.com

 

Lawn maintenance can be an overwhelming project to some. If you are one of those our first tip is call us! However, if you are looking for preventative measures you can take on your own, here are some tips from the University of Georgia’s Extension Office.

First, you want to make sure you properly prepare the soil for successful turf grass establishment. It is recommended that you take soil samples to determine proper lime and nutrient requirements.

Next, make sure you are planting a turf grass that is good for your climate. For advice, visit www.GeorgiaTurf.com, the University of Georgia’s turfgrass website.

It is highly recommended that you purchase your sod or sprigs from a reputable producer.

Purchasing tip:

“Before planting, consider the time of year and the remaining length of the growing season. With adequate moisture and time, most turfgrasses will recover from the shock of harvest, transport and planting.”

Always maintain the recommended mowing height and be sure to follow proper irrigation practices.

Mowing tip:

“Mow turfgrasses often enough so that not more than 30 percent (1/3) of the leaf blade is removed in a single mowing. If more plant material is removed, the grass can become stressed and more susceptible to disease causing organisms and insects.”

These are only a few tips that can be found on the UGA website. And for a complete lawn care service, call us at Stone Creek Landscaping at 404-647-4297.

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.

We offer a full service maintenance program that will protect and keep your property looking its best.  From deadheading flowers, trimming shrubs, removing debris, and keeping grass well manicured, we are clearly committed to you and your investment.

Whether you live in the north or the south, maintaining a nice yard in the winter months is still a priority. Here are a few tips we found from Better Homes & Gardens that will help you enjoy your yard throughout the coldest of seasons.

Bark

Yes, deciduous trees lose their leaves in wintertime, leaving their branches and trunks in view. However, that can be a good thing, Barbara Pierson, nursery manager at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut, says, “if you have any interesting ornamental trees that have really visually distinctive bark, which will end up adding winter interest.”

Berries

Many trees and shrubs have berries they maintain during fall and winter, and those can provide food for birds throughout the winter. Holly with berries is also a lovely addition to any yard in the winter.

Evergreens

Evergreens are great in a winter landscape for many reasons, including color. Evergreens are not just green; they’re available in yellow, such as Gold Thread false cypress, and blues, including dwarf blue spruce, and all colors in between.

Use Summertime Containers

Window boxes, hanging baskets, winter-hardy containers: All are indispensable for winter landscaping. Miniature dwarf Alberta spruce and broadleaf evergreens, such as Japanese Andromeda, holly and rhododendron, are perfect for wintertime, but they all have to be watered during dry periods. You don’t have to spend money on plants, Pierson says. “Fill containers with evergreen boughs of different textures and colors and interesting twigs,” she says, “anything with color in it.”

Not a fan of working in the cold? Let Stone Creek Landscaping maintain your yard even during the winter months.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree … what do we do with you now?

Yes, many of us are currently taking down the decorations and would like to do something with our live tree rather than throw it to the curb for the garbage pickup. If you are one of those individuals here are some great ideas from the Arbor Day Foundation:

Mulch

The most common use for your tree is to make mulch or compost out of it. Whether it’s with the woodchips or needles, mulch is a great way to keep your yard trees healthy and moist during the cold winter season. Pine needles are full of nutrients that enhance the PH of your soil if its more alkaline and allow your soil to breathe without becoming dense and compacted.

Fish Feeder

When trees are submerged in water they become a thriving reserve for fish to congregate in. The weight of the tree acts as an anchor, and as time passes algae starts to form on the tree, feeding fish while protecting them from predators. Check with local officials and see if you can drop your tree in a nearby lake or pond.

Ash Your Garden

After you’ve burned the wood from your tree, gather the ashes and spread them on your garden. Wood ash contains potassium and lime (among other nutrients), which help plants thrive, or mix the ashes into a compost. The ashes are also useful in keeping insects away. Don’t confuse wood ash with coal ash, coal ash does not offer the same benefits.

Use as Freshners

If the needles on your tree are still green, strip the tree and store the needles in paper bags or sachets to use as fresheners. The needles will retain their scent and freshen your home year-round.

We love these ideas and hope you find them useful too! Happy New Year from Stone Creek Landscaping!

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

 

 

 

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.

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