Stone Creek Landscaping

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.

The sun is out, at least for today, and it has everyone thinking of Spring! With those thoughts might come the question of what flowers should I plant in March? While there are many out there to choose from, here are two of our favorites we found in gardenguides.com.

Dahlia

“Dahlias (Dahlia) can be planted in March once the chance of frost has passed and the ground has begun to warm up. Dahlias grow best in sunny conditions with moist, well-drained soil. Excessive moisture should be avoided since this can result in root rot. Once established, dahlias grow easily with a minimum amount of care, reaching between 20 and 30 inches in height. Dahlias begin to bloom at the end of July and continue to produce flowers until the first frost. Along with white, dahlias bloom in a variety of warm-colored flowers, including red, yellow, pink and orange. To promote larger flowers, all side buds should be removed during the plant’s flowering season. Dahlias will bloom continuously if all dead flowers are promptly detached.”

Zinnia

“Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) can be planted in March once the air has warmed and all danger of frost has ended. Blooming begins in the summer and continues into the fall until the arrival of the first frost. Zinnias produce a varied selection of brightly colored flowers, including yellow, orange, red, rose, pink and purple. Zinnias flourish in at least six full hours of sun per day, although in extremely hot areas, a few hours of shade in the afternoon is preferable. While zinnias are relatively hardy and can tolerate most soil conditions, they grow best in moist, well-drained soil, according to the website National Garden Bureau. When watering, it is best to wet only the roots and keep the foliage as dry as possible, as zinnias are susceptible to fungal diseases. Zinnias live up to a week once cut, and their longevity, as well as attractive stems, makes them an ideal fresh flower choice.”

Time to Clean up the Roses

March is also a great time to clean up your garden, including your roses. according to Better Homes & Gardens. Clean up rose beds, removing any fallen leaves from last season. Refresh mulch around roses. Feed plants with a slow-release rose fertilizer. As new leaves emerge, start weekly sprays for black spot. Double-check irrigation systems to ensure all is working fine.

And if you need help deciding which flowers are right for your yard, call the experts 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.

 

With the frigid temperatures outside, the last thing on your mind might be gardening. However, there are actually some things you can do this month to prepare your garden for the spring.

Start Spring Planting*

Roses. Get roses in the ground now so they’ll be established before hot weather arrives. Choose bare-root roses for all but the warmest parts of the South. In the warmest areas, select container-grown plants.

Veggies. Plant potatoes, onions, lettuce, and spinach in all but northernmost areas. In northern areas of the South, wait a few weeks.

Trees. Add trees to your landscape this month. Select trees that are compatible with your soil type. Consult your extension service or a knowledgeable local garden retailer. Plant bare-root trees unless you garden in the warmer reaches of the region. Container-grown trees are a better option for the warmer areas.

Bedding plants. Set out cool-season annuals in cooler areas. Because cool-season annuals tolerate frost, they can be planted in areas where temperatures may drop. Lobelia, pansy, dianthus, and snapdragon are all good options.

Perennials. Create pots of spring-blooming perennials to stage an instant show in your garden. Candidates include Louisiana phlox, daylily, columbine, or purple coneflower.

Choose What to Prune*

Roses. When all danger of frost is past, prune roses. Cut any canes that are diseased, damaged, or dead. Remember to place cuts about one-quarter inch above an outward-facing bud.

Trees. Many trees can be pruned now. Wait to prune spring-flowering trees until after they flower. For fruit trees, contact the cooperative extension office to learn how to prune to enhance fruit yield. Choose early summer to prune maples or birches; if pruned now, these trees bleed sap profusely. Also hold off on pruning oaks and walnuts until early summer to avoid wilt disease.

Shrubs. Give shrubs a late winter shape-up. Prune branches to reduce height or direct growth. Thin the twiggy growth from the interior of shrubs. Prune spring-blooming shrubs after flowering. This includes Peegee hydrangea, kerria, rhododendron, Clethra, and weigela.

*Source for tips: Better Homes & Gardens

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!

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.

 

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.

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

 

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!