When to Stop Mowing for Fall

lawn-mower-1593890_1280As the warm weather winds down and the cooler temperatures take over, it’s time to start getting your lawn and garden ready for the winter. At some point, you’ll want to give your lawn one last mow for the year. Keep these fall lawn care tips in mind as you prepare for the months ahead:

Clean Your Lawn

You’ll want to wait until most of the leaves are done falling from the trees before doing the final mow of the season. Be sure to clean up your lawn by raking and bagging up piles leaves. Once the lawn is clear, you can cut the grass.

Use a Mulching Mower

A lawn mower with mulching blades is especially helpful in the fall. It will help to take care of whatever last leaves have settled on the lawn. Consider using this type of mower for the best results throughout the year.

The Right Length

You don’t want to cut your grass too short, but you don’t want to leave it too long, either. When left long, the grass can become diseased over the winter. The moisture, snow, and low temperatures during the winter months could kill grass that’s too long. However, you don’t want to trim it down too much. Once you see that it’s stopped growing, usually at the end of October or in November, you’ll want to mow it to a low height. Just be careful not to leave it bald in any areas.

These fall tips are important to know when preparing your lawn and garden for the winter. Your landscape design for the spring will be much easier to execute when you have a good starting point. By mowing your grass properly at the end of the fall, you’ll ensure that you have a healthy lawn to work with next spring.

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Landscape Master Planning: It’s All About Teamwork

1885_Scioto_Point-8When you have outdoor living space then you need to get creative if you’re going to maximise on its aesthetic value. Many times owners find it difficult to remodel as ideas aren’t always forthcoming. Landscape master planning is the creative and decisive use of the outdoors in order to bring the maximum benefit to the homeowner. The only stumbling block to contend with is finding an experienced landscape architect to convert your tastes and bare intentions into something tangible and worthwhile.

Landscape planning requires detailed planning. Factoring in things like privacy, entertainment, maintenance, drainage, and functionality isn’t easy but, with a plan, nothing is impossible. Ordinarily, it all begins with a site inspection to enable the architect to take note of existing features, most of which include the amount of sunlight, elevation, hardscape (permanent fixtures), the location of utilities as well as the general lay of the land. In most cases, your landscape planner will -on his own accord- proceed to conceptualize the overview and initial layout. However, it is customary to have a sit-down and discuss the client’s vision with the aim of drawing up a feasibility study.

A landscape architect normally employs environmental consultants, developers, engineers, regular architects, public agencies, and lawyers when executing their tasks. This ensures that everything is above board –compliance with municipal regulations- and handled by the best persons for the job.It is crucial to understand that, ideally, landscape planning isn’t a jigsaw puzzle where everything just fits into place miraculously. A huge part of the design process revolves around working with a preliminary design and finding ingenious ways to work with what’s on the ground. It’s about grinding alternatives and working out solutions that best suit the current and future uses of space. But overall, it’s largely about timing.

It is crucial to understand that, ideally, landscape planning isn’t a jigsaw puzzle where everything just fits into place miraculously. A huge part of the design process revolves around working with a preliminary design and finding ingenious ways to work with what’s on the ground. It’s about grinding alternatives and working out solutions that best suit the current and future uses of space. But overall, it’s largely about timing.

Contact us for any questions you may have or planning needs!

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Keeping Your Plants Safe During Colder Nights

Colder PlantsIf the weather gets a bit too cold at night during the transition months and your plants are too sensitive to the cold, you may need to help your landscape to survive. A bit of extra plant care will help certain planting withstand the rigors of the cold. Below are some landscape tips that can be used to help with gardening when the nights get cold:

Carry Potted Plants Indoors

Temporarily removing your plants from the low temperatures is an easy solution to keeping them safe when the nights get too cold. Hanging baskets and potted plants can be brought indoors. Even moving them to the sun room or garage will help to keep them safe as the temperature will increase by at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, you should decorate the interior of your home with your plants. They will get the necessary without causing clutter.

Cover Your Plants

To solve the gardening issue of keeping plants warm during cold nights, a tarp, drop cloth or old blanket can be thrown over vulnerable plants. If your plants need protection from a few cold nights, an old blanket could provide adequate protection. To avoid damage, choose the covering and spread it out carefully so the leaves or branches are not touched by the cover. This could require the use of some stakes to prop it up. This technique works best to safeguard against frost since the covering will not significantly increase the temperature.

Add a Layer of Mulch

Applying a layer of mulch will help with insulation and keep moisture and heat in the soil. It safeguards the root systems of the plants against cold temperatures. A good choice is mulch made of pine straw or wheat. This is because it is excellent at trapping heat and is easy to remove once it is no longer needed.

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How to Plan for Commercial Landscaping

Commercial LandscapeInstalling landscaping around your commercial property can add value, function and visual appeal. Adding design elements like flowers, trees, pavers and boulders assist in creating an environment that can be relished for decades to come. Below are guidelines on how to plan for commercial landscaping:

Phase One — Establishing a Budget

Preparing your commercial landscaping budget should be done cautiously and should include thorough planning and setting realistic goals. To avoid certain pitfalls, create a solid budget that incorporates everything that is needed now but will also address your long-term objectives.

Phase Two — Meeting with the Landscape Designer

This phase involves meeting with a reputable landscape professional to discuss budget and customize a plan for the project. During the initial consultation, you should learn that commercial landscaping can be carried out in phases. For example, you could start at the front of the property and the sides and back can be added at a later date.

The consultation should also include a discussion about plant selection. This should include color preferences, likes and dislikes and options for screening and shading. Ensure that you clearly highlight what you need to have done and explain how you want the different areas to function.

With a clear understanding of your needs, the lawn care professional will draw up a blueprint plan and present it to you. This gives you another opportunity to interact with the landscape designer. You will be able to add or subtract elements of the design and ensure you are satisfied with the overall plan.

Phase Three — Installation

The phase involves the actual installation. You would have already discussed the time frame for completion of the project. Therefore, you can inform staff and customers about any disruption in regular operations. The installation should be done to the exact design specifications to ensure you will get what was agreed upon.

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Summer Colors for Your Home

shutterstock_217424809New coats of exterior colors provide the perfect opportunity to give your curb appeal a boost this summer.  This also extends the life of the exterior of the home and enhances the overall look of the property.  The main things to consider when looking for summer colors are light, location, scale and architecture.

Bear in mind that exterior colors are typically applied to the siding, roof and trim of the home.  This makes for a long-term investment when compared to wall paint and accessories.  Thankfully, with a bit of color knowledge, you can choose the perfect color scheme to highlight the architectural style of your home and reflect your personal design preference.
As a part of your preparation to select exterior colors, you should tour neighborhoods and take note of the colors that appeal to your design aesthetics.  Pay close attention to homes with an architectural style similar to that of your home.
For homes with brick or stone siding, choose a minimum of two colors for the exterior.  Choose three colors for homes in which the siding paint will be the main color.  The additional colors will be a complementary trim color and an accent color for shutters, doors and decorative trim.
It is also important to factor in the size of your home.  Based on its’ proportions, you could opt to tone down or emphasize certain features.  Lighter colors are typically used to visually expand the home or one of its features; darker colors visually shrink them.  Neutral colors allow certain features to fade into the background, while bright colors bring attention to them.
You can find color scheme inspirations in color forecasts; they are typically presented with coordinating color ideas.  We can help you design, build and maintain your home. Contact us today!
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4 Tips to Get Your Backyard Ready for Summer Parties

Backyard PartyThe hot days and nights of summer are the perfect times to throw outdoor parties. However, it is necessary to get your patio in top condition. Here are five tips that will help.

1. Lighting is Essential

When you want to entertain on your patio in the evening, lighting is essential. There are simple types of lights to install that will add wonderful ambiance and utility to the space. String lighting, spotlights or solar lanterns will offer a touch of class and elegance.

2. Think Green

Greenery is a great addition around any patio. If you do not like the idea of large bushes and trees that need to be maintained, it may be a smarter idea to scatter small planter boxes around your yard. Small containers can be filled with colorful flowers that enhance the space. A good tip is to fill planters with a lightweight soil mixture. This encourages good drainage so that you maintain healthy plants.

3. Consider a Sheltered Space

In Ohio, the weather is unpredictable. Summer is known for sunshine and heat along with rain and humidity. If you are hosting an afternoon barbecue or similar event, your guests may want to have a place that is away from the warmth. You may wish to consider installing an awning or pergola over part of your patio. This could come in handy when an unexpected rainstorm pops up as well.

4. Outside Drink Station

No outdoor party is complete without a bar. It keeps people from constantly running inside of the house for drinks. The ideal bar will include a refrigerator to keep things cool and store ice, also containing a shelf to hold glasses will keep things compact and organized.

If you want to get your patio and backyard ready for summer, meet with the our experts to plan your perfect outdoor space.

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Essential Tips for Gardening In The Heat Of The Summer

Lawn care and gardening in the heat of summer Hidden Creek Landscaping July 2017Summer lawn care can be tougher to manage than other times of the year. The high temperatures can take a toll on your lawn and plants, leaving grass looking dry and yellowed, not to mention wilted flowers. Here are some tips for gardening during the heat of summer:

Water often

Keep grass green and flowers well watered during hot stretches. Check the forecast frequently to see if rain is expected. If it isn’t, be sure to water your lawn and plants in the early morning. It’s best to water in the mornings rather than the evenings. Try to avoid watering during the peak of the afternoon heat, since it will be harder for the lawn and plants to absorb the moisture.

Choose the right plants and the locations

When planting shrubs, flowers, and vegetables and herbs, it’s important to choose the right areas of your property. Consider the amount of sun that each area receives during the day. Aim for morning sunshine and afternoon shade for vegetable gardens. Check the requirements for each plant specifically. Some require full sun, while others need just a few hours.

Stay on top of weeding

Believe it or not, some weeds actually thrive in the sun and heat. In the evenings, you’ll want to check over your flower beds and keep up with weed removal. Try to pull them out by the root. Use a weed killer when necessary to tackle tough weeds.
Heat and humidity can cause stress for your lawn and garden. Proper care and upkeep throughout the summer months are critical to maintaining the beauty of your property. If you want a landscaping design that will look great throughout the summer without a lot of effort, consider working with a design-build firm. At Hidden Creek Landscaping, we will be able to come up with the best plan for your property, ensuring ideal care for every season.

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Simple Ways To Refresh Your Patio

Simple Ways To Refresh Your Patio Hidden Creek Landscaping July 2017A backyard patio can be the perfect place for summer entertaining. It’s a great spot to relax, entertain, and just enjoy the outdoors right at home. Here are some simple ideas for homeowners to spruce up the patio this summer:

Power wash & paint

Don’t underestimate the power of a good cleaning. Use a power washer to scrub your patio and remove built up dirt. You may be perfectly pleased with the refreshed look or you may decide to take it a step further and give the patio a whole new look. You can paint a concrete patio to give it style. Choose a neutral color or go for something bold. Painting can give a great fresh look to your outdoor living space.

Add landscaping

Beautify the area surrounding the patio with landscaping. Consider adding attractive elements like flowers, shrubs, a rock garden, and even a fountain next to the patio. Use potted plants to add lush greenery and vibrant flowers. Even if you’re working with a small space, simple changes to your landscaping design can instantly enhance the entire area.

Functional furnishings

An empty, bare patio certainly isn’t very inviting. Make it comfortable and stylish with high quality outdoor furnishings. An outdoor sofa or sectional are ideal for creating a relaxing place to sit and unwind. Add a dining table to enjoy meals outside and to host get-togethers with friends and family. Don’t crowd the entire patio with furniture, but be selective about which items you want. Transform the space into a cozy spot to spend time.

Refresh your patio with just a few of these simple changes. Clean it, paint it, add landscaping, and set up some comfortable furniture. You’ll quickly create an outdoor living space that you’ll love and use throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons. For help with this, contact Hidden Creek Landscaping today.

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The Best Herbs To Grow In Your Yard This Summer

The Best Herbs to Grow In Your Garden Hidden Creek Landscaping June 2017Summer is a great time for home owners to host social gatherings with friends and family. Having a backyard setting that includes a garden with homegrown herbs can only add to the joy of eating a meal with your loved ones. Time as a family is enhanced by snipping off the herbs you grew, adding them to your meals and enjoying that garden-fresh flavor.

Whether you are using a design-build contractor or creating a garden on your own, the following are some of the best herbs to grow in your yard this summer:

Basil

You can grow basil in the ground or in containers. The leaves of this great culinary herb have a warm, spicy flavor. It can be used in sauces, soups, omelets and salads. Basil is also a great base for pesto and is a remarkable seasoning for poultry, meat and fish.

Rosemary

Rosemary will produce a fantastic flavor, whether it is used fresh or dried. It is a fine complement to red meat, lamb, fish, filet mignon, shellfish and other meat and poultry dishes. This herb also provides exceptional flavoring for potato dishes and vegetables, like onions and carrots. If planted in a pot, it can be moved inside when the weather cools down. The herb tends to dry out between watering and prefers its own space.

Parsley

Parsley requires plenty of space, a little shade and good soil. In late fall, the herb can be potted and moved inside. For a fantastic flavor, the leaves can be mixed into soups, salads, stews, omelets and casseroles. In addition, parsley can be served fresh as garnish with fish, meat and various onion dishes.

These are just a few of the best herbs you can grow in your backyard this summer. They are the perfect additions to both daily and special-occasion meals. If you need assistance constructing your garden, contact Hidden Creek Landscaping today.

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Irrigation Systems: The Key To A Summer Backyard

Irrigation Systems for Summer Hidden Creek Landscaping June 2017Getting your yard looking like a million bucks doesn’t cost that much. In fact, with minimal effort and regular application, you can maintain a pristine landscape. There’s no disputing, however, that the task of watering can be quite demanding, both physically, and financially. Like us, plants require water. Without it they wilt and loose their natural splendor. Irrigation is man’s century old solution to all those hurdles. Simply turn the valve and everything takes care of itself.

In terms of cost, setting up an irrigation system is expensive. On the flip-side, however, it’s only a once off cost and you’re set for many years.

Drill A Borehole: Say Goodbye To Municipal Water

Municipal water, though easily accessible, is generally expensive to say the least, and it’s unreliable at times. So what is your best option? Do yourself a favor and drill a borehole! This allows you to have a constant supply of free, clean water, which is a wise move now that drought is a perennial problem in most parts of the world. With your borehole drilled and the piping connected to the mains, installing your irrigation system remains.

 
Lawn Maintenance: Let Out The Sprinklers!

Invest in an automated sprinkler system. As for your flower beds, there are vertical sprayers that can be mounted at strategic positions amongst the flowers. Again, turn the tap and your yard will be engulfed in a cool mist that is is also perfect for any nearby vegetation. It’s really about taking plant care seriously. The other option homeowners have is drip irrigation. Preferable for fruit trees, vegetable gardens and bushes, drip irrigation is sustainable in the dry months when every drop counts.

Yes, irrigation systems are hefty to install, but you’ll certainly have the freedom to express your landscaping ideas without limitation. Consult with Hidden Creek Landscaping to design an irrigation system best fit for your yard.

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