We are still in the middle of some extremely hot weather, but with school starting soon and football season around the corner, August often seems to fly by. So Southern Scape Landscaping is encouraging everyone to start planning for those September landscape projects in North Alabama. Fall will be here before we know it, and after this hot summer, it can’t get here soon enough! And it is best to be prepared.
Landscape and Garden Planning for September in Alabama
Shrubs—Study your landscape to determine plant needs. Check early varieties of camellias. You may want to replace those damaged in spring by late freezes. After fall growth is completed, spray all shrubs with a fungicide.
Lawns—Plant seed of winter grasses where situation prevents planting permanent grasses. Winter seeds will appear soon. Stop fertilization three weeks before frost.
Roses—Protect fall crops blossoms from aphids and thrips. Always take measures to keep plants healthy.
Annuals and Perennials—This is your last chance for planting perennials and biennials. Old clumps of perennials may be divided. Plant peonies.
Bulbs—Spring-flowering bulbs may be planted in late September in North Alabama.
Miscellaneous—Clean up infestations of insects on azaleas, camellias, boxwoods, gardenias, hollies, etc. If oil spray is needed, don’t use in freezing weather. Build compost bin or box; leaves will be falling soon. Move houseplants indoors.
Vegetable Seed—Plant hardy vegetables and root crops.
Vegetable Plants—Plant cabbage, collards, cauliflower, celery, Brussels sprouts, and onion sets.
Fruits and Nuts—Start plans for future selection and plantings. Take soil test for new planting areas. Fertilize established strawberry plantings.
Southern Scape is here to help with all of your Huntsville landscaping needs!
The Truth About Properly Watering Your Lawn and Landscaping from Your Huntsville Landscaping Experts
The Truth About Properly Watering Your Lawn and Landscaping
Myth 1: If it rains, the drought will be over.
Fact: While the recent rainfalls help, they won’t necessarily end the drought. The ground is so dry it acts like a sponge, absorbing rain and preventing crucial runoff into streams and lakes. It’s going to take steady rainfall over a sustained period of time to catch up. Heavy rains over a short period of time won’t solve the problem.
Myth 2: Watering daily is the only way to maintain a healthy, green lawn, especially during the summer.
Fact: We recommend watering your lawn deeply and infrequently to promote a strong root system. A total of one inch a week is enough for our area. Over-watering is just as bad for landscapes and can cause wasteful (and harmful) run-off. Call us if you are interested in speaking to an irrigation company or are interested in installing a sprinkler system.
Myth 3: The best sprinklers shoot high, fine sprays, which mist your landscape without wasting water.
Fact: Just the opposite. The best sprinklers throw large drops of water low to the ground rather than misty sprays that allow water to evaporate quickly. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, you’ll really impress your neighbors by replacing your timer with an evapotranspiration (ET) controller. These smart controllers monitor information about soil moisture, rain, wind and evaporation so your system only waters when it’s truly needed. Traditional timers require manual adjustments every time the weather changes. ET controllers use real-time data from local weather stations to make adjustments automatically and can reduce water use by about 30 percent.
Myth 4: Keep your lawn short. Shorter grass uses less water, so you don’t need to water as much.
Fact: Let your grass grow. Raise your lawnmower blade to a height of at least 3 inches. A taller lawn will help shade your soil so it requires less water. When you let your grass grow taller, its roots grow deeper, and you’ll have a healthier lawn. If you need help with landscape or lawn maintenance, for your home or business, give us a call. We are a Huntsville landscaping company, but we work all across the country providing the best work you can imagine.
1) Water your lawn deeply and infrequently to promote a strong root system. An inch a week is all you need.
2) Operate your in-ground sprinkler system manually—don’t use the timer. Check sprinkler systems frequently for directional aim and broken heads to prevent watering driveways, sidewalks and streets.
3) Use plenty of mulch in your beds—especially during a drought. Consult an expert at your local nursery or home improvement store on the optimal amount and type of mulch needed in your area.
4) Choose “water-wise” plants like lantana and Mexican sage. Ask your local nursery or landscape professional for advice.
5) Raise your lawnmower blade and cut grass to a height of at least 3 inches—this shades the soil, which reduces evaporation and allows roots to grow deeper.
6) Use soaker hoses instead of sprinklers to water trees, shrubs and beds more efficiently.
It may not seem like much, but every time you practice one of these easy tips, you’re not only using water more efficiently and wisely, you’re helping make water supplies last for your community.
4 Simple Tips for Effective Summer Lawn Care
With summer in full swing, everyone is mowing their yards and we wanted to provide you with some great tips to keep your lawn in the best shape and make it look like it was done by a professional lawn service.
Summer Lawn Care Tip #1: Mow
How and when you mow your lawn is a critical component of Summer lawn maintenance.
• Mower Height
A mowing height between 2.5 to 3 inches is best for most of the season when mowing fescue grasses, except during summer stresses when the lawn mowing height should be raised one-half inch to mow at 3 to 3.5 inches. Raising the mowing height provides more insulation from summer heat and reduces water loss from your soil. Bermuda and Zoysia should be cut weekly as low as possible without scalping it.
• Grass Length
Be sure not to let your grass grow too long, because removing more than one-third of the total leaf blade height at one time could stress your lawn. Keeping your lawn mower blades sharp helps to protect the grass from lawn diseases. A dull mower blade shreds or tears the tips of the grass, leaving the grass vulnerable to lawn disease.
• Grass Clippings
Many homeowners are confused about what to do with their grass clippings. Mulching and returning your clippings to the lawn returns nutrients and does not contribute to thatch. The only times it makes sense to collect clippings would be if you had a severe disease and you did not want to further contaminate the lawn, or if the leaf clippings are too long.
• Mow Wet? Or Wait?
If you have the dilemma of deciding whether it’s better to cut the grass when it’s wet or let it get too tall, it’s better to cut it when it’s wet. Although this can create some clumping with your clippings, it’s better to get the grass cut, and remove the clippings rather than letting the grass get too tall. Do not mow a wet lawn if you have lawn disease in order to minimize the spread of many diseases including red thread, dollar spot, patch disease or other lawn fungus diseases.
Summer Lawn Care Tip #2: Irrigate
Like mowing, watering your lawn may sound easy enough, but many homeowners are unsure about the best frequency and amount of watering is required as a part of their total summer lawn care program. The amount of water your lawn requires can vary depending on weather conditions, soil drainage and the amount of sun or shade in your landscape. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that your summer lawn receives approximately one inch of water per week. You may use a rain gauge or a container to determine how much water you need to supplement any rainfall. If you don’t have the time, or are often out of town, landscape irrigation may be the right option for you.
Summer Lawn Care Tip #3: Identify and Treat Lawn Diseases
A professional lawn care service can survey your landscape to spot any dangers for early lawn disease and to identify the best types of weed control products or other lawn care treatments to ensure a healthy, green lawn throughout the summer.
The most common types of summer lawn diseases are dollar spot (Bermuda), brown spot (Fescue), and Zoysia patch. Patch disease is another common type of summer lawn disease, but the infection doesn’t become obvious until the plants go into stress, so preventive treatment as a part of your lawn care program is important.
Summer Lawn Care Tip #4: Control Weeds
An important component of a summer lawn care program is weed control. Quality weed control starts with an inspection of your turf in order to spot unwanted growth early on. There are two basic types of lawn treatment for weed control in your landscape: pre-emergence weed control treatments and post-emergence treatments. Your lawn specialist will develop a program that addresses your personal preferences and integrates carefully targeted treatments for weeds such as crabgrass and other problems in your lawn.
Landscaping Huntsville is our specialty, contact us to schedule a FREE consultation or just to ask us a question!
Tips to properly water plants and lawns to avoid wasting water and to keep your landscape at optimum health!
Follow the advice of the best Huntsville Landscaping Company, and don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions or needs.
Water properly to promote plant health and avoid runoff, the tips are easy and easy to remember.
- Check soil moisture before watering. This will prevent over-watering, and might save you wasted time.
- Water plants during the early morning rather than during the heat of the day or in windy weather. Avoid watering in the evening because it often will not allow enough time for your lawn to dry before nightfall. And a moist lawn at night will promote fungus growth that is not good for your lawn.
- Use drip irrigation and soaker hoses to deliver water only where needed.
- Use mulches on the soil surface to conserve moisture, control weeds, and maintain a uniform soil temperature. Mulch has many uses and values, it is not just to beautify your planters, though it definitely does that as well.
- Discourage root and crown diseases by watering established trees and shrubs at their drip line. Watering trees
and shrubs at their trunks is just wasting water, and can endanger your trees and shrubs!
Irrigation Scheduling, when to water your plants, trees and shrubs.
The amount and frequency of water needed varies greatly, depending on plant species and soil conditions.
- Newly planted trees and shrubs need more frequent watering for up to two growing seasons until they become well rooted.
Once established, plants can be weaned to tolerate less frequent watering. Proper weaning develops deep roots and helps plants better tolerate drought.
- Water established trees, shrubs, and ground covers deeply but infrequently. In the absence of rain, most trees and shrubs
benefit from a once-a-month thorough watering.
- Normal lawn watering is not a substitute for the thorough watering required by the deeper roots of trees and shrubs.
Those are some simple tips that will make a big difference in maintaining your Huntsville landscaping. No matter your need, Southern Scape can help. We handle any and all residential and commercial landscaping projects. Let us show you why we have been featured in local and national publications for our work. Call us now for a FREE consultation.
Huntsville Landscaping Could Use More Mosquito Repellent Plants
With such a mild winter in North Alabama, we are sure to have an abundance of pests flying around this summer. Did you know some common plants that grow well in Huntsville and North Alabama can do a lot to help naturally repel mosquitoes, spiders and other pests? Any time you can keep the mosquitoes away naturally, it is safer for you and your family. Take some time to add the plants listed below to your gardens and flower beds and you might help avoid insect bites and could potentially avoid the West Nile virus or heartworms for your pets.
1 ) Lemon Thyme – Here is one of your best bets when it comes to plants that repel mosquitoes. It has 62% of the repellency of DEET which is the most common compound used in commercial insect repellents.
2 ) Catnip –This herb repels both the mosquito and the cockroach. If fact it has roughly ten times more mosquito repellency than DEET.
3 ) Citronella Grass – Citronella Grass is the source of the well known Citronella oil that is used in a number of commercial insect repellent products.
4 ) Marigolds – To get the mosquito repelling properties that you are looking for from your marigolds they must be the African or French variety.
5 ) Basil – This herb is not only wonderful to cook with but it is a repellent of mosquitoes and flies.
6 ) Sage – This herb repels flies, moths and beetles as well.
7 ) Rosemary – It is commonly known to repel fleas and mosquitoes.
8 ) Geraniums –It is also commonly called the mosquito plant and is sold as a repellent. One problem with this geranium is that it is poisonous so it is not recommended for those with pets or young kids.
If you would rather not get in the garden yourself, give Southern Scape a call and we can do the work for you and spruce up your landscaping. And if you don’t want to do either, just wear some light colored clothes and avoid being outside during the hours around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are out in abundance.
Do you have any tips to repel or eliminate mosquitoes from your yard? Let us know in the comments below!
‘5 Tips to Increase the Value of Your Home by 15%.’
With the Spring Tour of Homes continuing this weekend in Huntsville, AL and with so many people putting their homes on the market in the Spring, we wanted to offer some tips to spruce up your property and increase its value. Landscaping is one of very few home improvements that will actually allow you to get all of your investment back and more. With the proper planning, and the right improvements, you can easily double or even triple your investment in your landscape when you are ready to sell. And if you don’t plan to sell, a well maintained landscape will make living in your home an even greater joy. There are a lot of great Huntsville Landscaping Companies that can help in your efforts, but we of course, would love to be your choice.
Decorative, yes, but your home’s landscape also matters for financial reasons, as well. The right landscape can increase a home’s value by 15%, according to the Association of Landscape Contractors of America. Most people think that “landscape” simply means plants. But consider the many other elements outside of your home: decks or patios, walkways, outdoor entertainment spaces, outdoor kitchens, parking areas, fences, and hardscapes–all contribute to the way your home presents itself to the world. If any of these elements are chosen without proper care, they can create a variety of problems, from lessening your home’s curb appeal to releasing toxic chemicals, increasing the likelihood of flooding and polluting the environment.
Exterior improvements are one proven way to enhance your home’s curb appeal. In addition to decks and patios, well-planned and colorful landscaping can offer added attraction value.
Here are 5 basic tips on ways to wisely invest in landscaping improvements:
■Plush Lawns: Perhaps the most value-added feature of a home’s curb appeal is a plush, well-manicured lawn. Find out what variety of grass grows best in your area. Be sure to adequately fertilize, and water your lawn regularly.
■Seasonal Colors: Be sure to plant a number of perennial plants and flowers. Add short-lived flowers each Spring for additional color.
■Trees and Shrubs: Well-placed trees and shrubs can make a huge difference in the allure of a home’s exterior. Check with your local nursery or give us a call to determine which trees grow best in your area and climate.
■Consult with a Landscaping Designer: A worthwhile investment is to utilize the services of a Landscape Designer. A professional designer can provide a well-conceived master plan that is custom to your property. You can elect to have the actual landscaping improvements performed by contractors, or simply do it yourself.
■Pavers and Stepping Stones: Another great feature used in landscaping are pavers and stepping stones. Design a walkway through your yard or garden using slate stones or colorful pavers. Add a small bench to create a quiet retreat for reading.
Welcome to our new website! Over the coming months, we will be be posting news, tips and insights here in our blog for our customers, friends and family.
Please leave comments or questions below, we will do our best to answer any questions you have about landscaping. If you have specific topics that you would like us to write about, please suggest those in the comments as well.
And please remember to call Southern Scape with any and all questions about Huntsville Landscaping.
Check again soon!