Benefits of Using Hidden Creek’s Architectural Design Experts

At Hidden Creek, we only work with the most skilled professionals, including our architectural design experts. Everyone at Hidden Creek has professionalism and experience that can help you with your home improvement project, whether that’s designing an outdoor kitchen or installing the deck of your dreams.

We’re proud of our architectural design team that can help you make your home upgrades a success. Every one of our architects can help bring your project from start to completion, including beautiful architectural details and stunning design choices. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of working with Hidden Creek’s team of architectural design experts.

Your Projects Will Look Better

First and foremost, the greatest benefit of working with the architectural design team at Hidden Creek Landscaping is the beauty of our finished projects. Our team is made up of experts who know how to create a breathtaking exterior design that considers the natural features in your landscape.

Our experts have an eye for design that others don’t. At Hidden Creek, we specifically employ architectural design experts who meet our standards for landscape and exterior design. Each one of our team has been carefully vetted for their artistic and design abilities.

You can see for yourself what we’re talking about. Take a look at our portfolio to get a sense of how our architects work to make your property the shining star of your neighborhood.

You’ll Improve Your Home’s Value

Working with professionals improves your home’s value. If you’re planning to sell your home sometime soon or in the near future, performing a home improvement that can make your home more beautiful and more functional can make your home more appealing to buyers. Depending on the project that you undertake, you may also be able to sell your home for more money.

Which projects have the highest value?

If you’re planning to sell your home sometime soon and would like to boost your home’s value, talk to your architectural design expert to get an opinion about what could be done to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Architectural Design Experts Make Designs that Are Practical And Beautiful

Hidden Creek architects are known for creating designs that are a stunning combination of beautiful and functional. Landscaping isn’t just about looks, it’s also about making your landscaping work for you. Our architectural experts know how to make your outside spaces a place where you want to spend time, and where others will want to spend time with you.

Our design experts will start their work with you by asking questions about your project and your goals. Only after these initial consultations will your architect be able to put together a design that you’ll love to look at and love to use. Our experts approach design problems in ways that are creative. You’ll find that your Hidden Creek expert will devise designs that you never thought of – designs that make unique use of your space.

Our Experts Combine Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Indoor spaces recreated outdoors are a popular trend right now. Our architectural design experts are highly experienced in creating outdoor kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, and more – all in your backyard.

Not every architectural design expert knows how to do this as expertly as the professionals with Hidden Creek. We know what these skills mean to homeowners, and we only work with professionals who can deliver what today’s homeowners are seeking.

You can see this for yourself with a glance at our online portfolio, where you can browse pictures of outdoor kitchens, beautiful decks, and more. We’re serious about offering what homeowners want for themselves and their properties.

Ready to Get Started With Your Design? Call Today

The experts at Hidden Creek are here to make your home improvement project a success. We provide landscaping, hardscaping, and more for your Ohio home. Whether you’re seeking a simple but elegant landscaping installation, or you’d like to create an all-new living space in your backyard, our architectural design experts can help.

Get started with your project today. Call for an initial consultation to discuss your project goals and what you hope to accomplish with your outdoor remodel. Once you’ve signed a contract and understand our process, our architects will draft plans and designs for you to approve.

We’ve streamlined the process to make it easy for you. You’ll be able to provide feedback directly to our designers, who will work with you to create the outdoor space that you want. It’s easy and professional. You’ll love the end results. To find out more about how you can get started working with Hidden Creek Landscaping, call us today.

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Outdoor Features That Can Increase The Value Of Your Home

Outdoor ActivitiesWhen it comes to the value of your home, outdoor space can affect the value almost as much as (if not more so) than indoor space. It’s the outdoor space that visitors see first when they arrive at your house. It’s the outdoor space where you spend your time entertaining and playing.

Whether you’re trying to sell your home soon, or simply seeking a way to improve your quality of life, there are many things you can do to your outdoor space that will add to its value.

At Hidden Creek, we can help improve your home’s landscaping and hardscaping to help you achieve your home improvement goals. We provide design and outdoor construction services to beautify residential homes in and around Hilliard Ohio. Read on to learn about the many home improvements and upgrades that can make all the difference.

Hardscape and Masonry

Hardscaping creates structure in your front yard and back. Hardscaping can take many forms, including patios, decks, pathways, and more. Before installing beautiful landscaping, first, install hardscaping. It’s best to work with an experienced hardscape designer to get this work done.

Deck or Patio

Decks and patios provide a place to lounge, play, and visit with friends and family. Decks are elevated for a slight view, while patios sit fully on the ground. Covered patios provide more all-weather outdoor entertaining options, while decks have a particular aesthetic beauty that appeals to many homeowners. Which one is right for you? Have your hardscaping contractor create a design based on your preferences.

Water Features and Fire Features

Water features are serene and provide pleasing sounds as well as beauty. They’re an excellent addition to any garden, eating space or stone patio. They can attract birds, and help create an ambiance that most people enjoy when they’re lounging outside.

Fire features, meanwhile, provide a gathering space where people can spend time warming their hands and bodies. On a dark night, they’re a sight to behold, creating an intimate atmosphere where people can spend time enjoying one another’s company. Fire features can take many forms including a fire pit, fireplace, and more.

When you’re trying to decide between a water feature and a fire feature, ask yourself: do you want to stare into the flame or listen to the sound of a babbling brook? You decide.

Pathways

Pathways have utility as well as beauty. They add a dynamic quality to any front- or backyard, by leading the eye and body around the space. Pathways can also prevent an impromptu path from being beaten into the ground in common areas where you and your family members walk.

Pathways can be made from stone or mulch. Work with your landscaping and hardscaping designer to pick a pathway material that’s best for you.

Retaining Wall

Retaining walls can create holding places for soil, which can then become garden beds. Retaining walls also add structure to backyards and can flatten sloped ground, creating more usable space. They need to be installed by an experienced contractor with the skills to ensure proper construction, as an improperly built retaining wall may fail.

Landscaping

Landscaping consists of the living plants that grow up around your hardscaping. Once the hardscaping is in place, landscaping can be installed. Your landscaper can make recommendations for types of plants that can be potted on your property based on the amount of light, quality of the soil, and more.

Garden Beds

Garden beds can be used to grow shrubs, flowers, or even vegetables. It takes ongoing maintenance throughout the growing season to keep your flowers and shrubs in good condition, especially as they’re becoming established. Perennial plants that are already established need far less care. Talk to your landscaper about installing perennial plants if this is important to you.

For best results with your garden beds, fertilize regularly throughout the growing season, and water your plants according to their preferences. It helps to keep flowers and shrubs with like watering preferences together.

Another way to keep your flower beds looking their best is to mulch the surrounding ground. This gives the soil a uniform appearance and also helps contain moisture and cool the roots, to promote healthy plant growth.

Work with your landscaper to choose flowers with colors that coordinate with your hardscaping, house and surroundings. Some properties benefit from multi-colored flowers while other properties do best with a limited palette.

Potted Plants

Potted plants can brighten spaces like decks and patios that might otherwise be devoid of landscaping. Potted plants require a regular watering schedule, as the soil in potted plants can dry out quickly. Mulching can help keep the roots cool and can help prevent water from evaporating from the soil.

Your landscaper can suggest the best plants for pots on your property. These plants should be well-suited to a pot and should also be coordinated with the colors in the surrounding environment.

Ready to Upgrade Your Hardscaping or Landscaping? Contact Hidden Creek

At Hidden Creek, we provide the best quality landscaping and hardscaping for homeowners in and around Hilliard, Ohio. What you do to your property matters, and how you keep your yard can make a big impact on your home’s value. Work with the best!

To find out more about how we can help improve the value of your home, call us today to make an appointment for a consultation.

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The Best Perennial Plants For Ohio Weather

The weather is warming. The threat of frost will soon be behind us. Here in Ohio, we’re all preparing for a beautiful growing season. Whether you’re preparing your own garden beds for planting or you’re working with a professional, it’s important to pick the right plants for your property. Ohio is a state with four beautiful seasons, including very hot summers and very cold winters. Our USDA growing zones are 5a and 5b, depending on your location. This means it takes the right type of perennials to grow on your property. The plants you choose must tolerate very cold winters indeed.

Given all that, you might be surprised to find out there are actually many choices available to you. Ohio’s natural beauty shows through in its flora and fauna. Below are some of the best perennials that you can plant in your Ohio landscaping.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

The cardinal flower is known for its shocking red spikes with trumpet-shaped blossoms. The long, slender flowers are difficult for many insects to navigate, so it’s the hummingbirds that ultimately help fertilize these plants. That means you can attract many hummingbirds with these gorgeous, three- to four-feet tall perennials.

They’re moderately deer resistant, will thrive in full sun to partial shade, with morning sun and afternoon shade being best. Cardinal plants also require only a moderate amount of watering. Because cardinal plants are native to Ohio, they require little supplemental watering once established, though you’ll get the best results by watering them regularly throughout the growing season.

Gayfeather, or Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

Bearing funny, shaggy flowers poised on tall spikes, gayfeather is one of the most noticeable plants to appear in the garden. It attracts bees, moths, butterflies and hummingbirds for an ongoing show throughout the summer. Plant this flower in full sun and maintain an average amount of moisture in the soil around the flower. gayfeathers are prominent, growing between two and five feet tall in good conditions.

If your soil is poor (and your landscaper will be able to let you know if this is the case), the gayfeather is a good plant for you, as it is moderately tolerant of poor soil as well as Ohio’s heat and humidity. This is an excellent plant to place in pots near your front door, assuming your front door is regularly exposed to bright sun. You’ll certainly attract attention to your home with these beautiful plants!

Black-Eyed Susan

Everyone loves black-eyed Susans. This easy to grow perennial flowers appear in gardens around the country, but they’re native to Ohio, which makes them perfectly well suited for garden beds throughout the state. You can find this flower growing in the wild throughout forests, fields, along interstates and roadsides, and in prairie land.

Black-eyed Susans prefer full sun and moderately dry soil. They’re quite deer resistant, and grow to be an average of two to three feet tall. They produce blooms throughout the summer, though dead-heading will help. This is a good plant if you’re not always consistent with your watering. Black-eyed Susans are also an excellent candidate for poor soil. Do not plant Black-eyed Susans if you have clay-like or poorly drained soil.

Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)

Blue flag Irises are striking in their beauty. Despite their name, their coloring falls on the line between blue and violet, with some flowers appearing much more violet than true blue. These hardy plants are able to survive in most home gardens without much care. You can find blue flags in wet meadows, along streams, and near swamps. …which is all to say that blue flag prefers moist soil. If your soil doesn’t drain well or is clay-like, this could be a good flower to plant on your property.

Blue flag prefers partial shade to shade and grows to be two or three feet in height. You can plant this flower to attract bees, hummingbirds, birds and butterflies.

Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

There are few plants more lovely than columbine. With delicate two-colored blossoms and dark green foliage, columbines are one of the loveliest flowers in the forest. These flowers prefer shade to partial shade and average to dry soil. Once they’re established, they can multiply quickly. They’re also deer resistant. Columbine usually grows no larger than two and a half feet tall, and can attract hummingbirds.

These flowers are so delicate that many homeowners choose to plant them in the company of other flowers for variety and coverage. Columbine is a spring blooming plant that doesn’t produce blossoms until its second year, if started from seed.

Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Obedient plant produces tubular flowers from spears that look similar to snapdragons. They attract hummingbirds and bees and grow best in full sun and average to moist soil. They’re about three or four feet tall, and resistant to deer. Once established, Obedient plants spread quickly.

Why are they called obedient plants? Because when you push on the flowers, they will temporarily remain in place as if on a hinge. The flowers will eventually return to their original position. Obedient plants are also called false dragonhead, because of their resemblance to dragonhead flowers.

Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis)

If you like wild peas, then you’ll love wild lupine. This fragrant flower thrives in full- to partial sun, and in average to dry soil. Wild lupine attracts beneficial pollinators like hummingbirds and birds. Standing at just one to two feet tall, it’s modest in stature but makes a big impression in the garden.

Ready to Plant Your Garden? Contact Hidden Creek to Get Started

You don’t have to have a green thumb or all the time in the world to enjoy a beautiful garden in Ohio. Hidden Creek can help you get started with your Ohio landscape. To get started with your landscaping project this summer, call us today to make an appointment and discuss your needs.

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Fun Family Activities for Your Outdoor Space

Outdoor living spaces are great for summer barbecues, backyard football and slip-n-slides, but many other creative ways exist to enjoy your lawn and landscape.

From yard games to outdoor kitchen features to relaxing landscape additions, these activities are an ideal way to get the whole family to spend some quality time together outside.

Lawn Games
Lawn games are an excellent way to entertain family and friends, and you have many creative options for small patio games or large lawn activities.

Supersized Games
Some of the most popular outdoor games are giant versions of indoor games. And why not? These games are classics for a reason.
Lawn Dominoes

These fun, larger-than-life domino tiles are fun for kids and adults alike. You can purchase lawn domino sets, or make your own from 2-by-6-inch wood and some paint.

Lawn Dominoes
These fun, larger-than-life domino tiles are fun for kids and adults alike. You can purchase lawn domino sets, or make your own from 2-by-6-inch wood and some paint.

Lawn Dice
Like most lawn games, these dice are giant versions of their indoor counterparts. Lawn dice can be used in a myriad of games, but the most common is Yahtzee. Buy a set or make your own, and have fun with this laid-back lawn/patio game.

Lawn Jenga
Yes, this is just a giant Jenga set. But who doesn’t love building a toppling tower while standing on a ladder? Buy giant Jenga sets or make your own from two-by-fours, and be prepared for hours of gravity-defying fun.

Lawn Checkers/Chess
These supersized strategy games can be played on a patterned carpet, a wooden board or a patterned section built into a deck or patio. Use one of the many options in materials to make your oversized chess and checker pieces, but for a tried-and-true DIYer, this is a fun weekend project.

Lawn Connect-4
Yes, even this classic battle of the minds is available in giant form. This game is perfect for patio play, and the larger size makes it a perfect team game. This game is available in plastic or wood.


Traditional Lawn Games

These family favorites have passed the test of time, and each provides hours of outdoor fun for families and friends.


Cornhole

This outdoor game is basically an adult version of a bean-bag toss. The best thing about this game is that you can move the boards closer together or further apart, depending on the age of the players.

Horseshoes
Horseshoes is an easy game to add to your outdoor entertainment collection, and it could even become a permanent backyard fixture. You can pack and store portable games or create a horseshoe pit with sand, rebar and real horseshoes.

How ever you decide to play, this game is a winner with kids and adults alike.

Darts
Play one of the two outdoor versions of this game: lawn darts or traditional darts. In lawn darts, you have to toss an object onto a target to make points. Traditional darts is a more relaxed game that can be played on the deck or patio, and it’s a more mature form of entertainment.

Badminton/Volleyball
Both of these sports require a net and a fair amount of youthful energy. Badminton is a relaxed racquet game that involves passing a small birdie back and forth over the net. Volleyball is an intense game that can incorporate more players, and it requires a larger playing area. Either way, these two games help active kids burn off some energy.

Putt-Putt Golf
Portable putt-putt golf is available, but this game could become a permanent fixture in your backyard. Whether you want to install a small putting green or an entire 18-hole mini golf course, all you need is some Astroturf, a lot of wood, several tools, a fair amount of woodworking experience, and an imagination (yes, it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it).

Outdoor Living Features
Outdoor activities aren’t limited to games. Incorporate cooking, eating and relaxing into your outdoor space to expand your living area and enjoy time outside with loved ones.

Fire Pit
What outdoor living space is complete without a fire pit? You can incorporate a fire pit into a deck or patio or create an entire outdoor space around a chimney. Create a welcoming outdoor space with benches or hanging chairs, so you can relax by the fire with loved ones.

Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be, as long as you have a way to grill a decent hot dog.

Purchase pre-made kitchen units, or create your own area with outdoor appliances. Outdoor kitchens are complex, so contact a local landscape designer if you want to install or upgrade your outdoor cooking space.

Mini Bar
What living space is complete without a mini bar? This is a perfect addition to an outdoor kitchen or near the fire pit for adult hangouts. You can also incorporate your herb garden into the outdoor kitchen/bar area for fresh seasoning and drink flavorings.

Hot Tub
Yes, a hot tub is a common outdoor feature, but for good reason. Hot tubs are an excellent way to relax and enjoy your outdoor space, especially after a long day of lawn games and grilling.
A hot tub should be installed by a professional, but don’t pass up the opportunity to dress it up with landscape features. A landscape designer can create an outdoor oasis for your hot tub to create the perfect relaxation area.

Swings
No, not playsets (although that’s also a great outdoor activity). We’re talking about hanging chairs and porch swings. Spruce up your outdoor space with hanging chairs or swings instead of benches or stools. Hang them from a sturdy pergola covered in a blooming vine. Hanging seating is an elegant way to create a relaxing outdoor space that easily integrates into the landscape.

Part of enjoying your landscape is finding ways to interact with your outdoor space. Outdoor games and living features help incorporate your lawn and landscape into your everyday life.

Contact us for more information about creating the perfect outdoor living space.

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Make a Splash! Benefits of Having an Inground Pool

One of the most luxurious and versatile ways to enjoy your landscape is to install an inground pool. Pools provide an excellent way for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors, and they add an elegant element to your outdoor space.

Are you considering installing an inground pool? Contact your local landscape designer to incorporate your pool into your existing landscape design.

Pools Promote Family Time

One of the most popular reasons to install a pool is to create a family-friendly outdoor environment.

Pools can be designed to accommodate a wide range of age groups. Shallow pool areas provide a refreshing spot for babies and toddlers, while a traditional swimming pool is best for older children and adults.

Incorporate a hot tub into your swimming pool for a relaxing seating area or spruce up the pool area with underwater LED lighting. The options to upgrade your swimming area are endless, which allow you to tailor your pool design to specific audiences.

Pools Increase Home Value

According to HGTV, a pool can increase your home’s value by five to eight percent, depending on the location.

They also found that not having a pool in a neighborhood where pools are common may decrease the value of your home.

The determining factor for improving your home’s value was a well-maintained, aesthetic pool area. Attractive pool tiles, walkways and a landscaped backdrop all improve the overall value of your home.

Pools Promote Fitness

According to the CDC, water-based exercises are an excellent way to improve your physical health without putting too much strain on your joints.

This is especially good news for people suffering from diseases causing joint pain. Water-based exercises may help alleviate some symptoms and provide a way to improve overall health in a low-impact environment.

Swimming is an obvious water-based workout, but the options don’t end there. Water aerobics and resistance training may help build muscle and improve flexibility, giving your body a total workout.

Pools Build Community

Pools attract parties, which is good news for extroverts and socialites. Nothing brings people together in the heat of summer like a cool, refreshing swim.

Whether you’re entertaining families, children’s sports teams, church groups or a few adult friends, a pool is an excellent hangout spot.

Create an entertainment area in your backyard by incorporating the pool into other outdoor living spaces. Patios, outdoor kitchens, water features and other outdoor improvements can create a welcoming environment in your yard for any social gathering.

Pools Are Relaxing

Of course, if you would rather use your yard as a private oasis, a pool can be a secluded, relaxing hideaway.

Going for a swim can help reduce stress, as well as provide a great workout. Lounging in or near the pool can help calm your mind as you take a break from devices and the hustle and bustle of society.

A well-landscaped pool area can reduce stress by providing an aesthetic green space.

Green spaces are known to:

  • Restore mental energy
  • Inspire learning and creativity
  • Encourage physical activity
  • Improve emotional and social health
  • Reduce symptoms of ADD
  • Improve cognitive function
  • Improve symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Improve sleep habits
  • Improve immune system

A pool can help encourage outdoor time and add another layer of relaxation and stress relief in addition to the many health benefits of spending time in a green space.

Pools Provide Aquatic Therapy

In addition to promoting relaxation and physical activity, pools can provide a source of physical therapy for some people suffering from disabilities.

The water pressure on a person’s body has been found to be especially calming to people who are diagnosed with autism. Research shows the even pressure from being underwater has the same calming effect as a weighted blanket and can help autistic people reduce stress and focus on other activities.

Water therapy is also a great way for people with degenerative disorders to get physical activity without putting strain on joints or bones. It’s also a relaxing experience that can help relieve stress and improve mental health.

Of course, aquatic therapy is also beneficial for people suffering from injuries that make traditional exercises painful or dangerous. Recovering from torn ligaments, broken bones, or other traumatic injuries can be easier in a pool where the exercises are low-impact and there is a much lower risk of getting re-injured.

If you wish to install a pool for aquatic therapy, contact your doctor about the best design for your need, and work with a trained professional for workout routines.

Pools provide a refreshing hangout spot, and they can take your entertainment game to the next level. They also help improve physical and mental health, as well as improve the value of your home.

For more information on installing a pool, contact us today.

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The Best Time to Fertilize Landscapes, Lawns, & Gardens

Fertilizing is an important part of lawn and landscape maintenance, but applying fertilizer at the wrong time can do more damage to a plant than leaving it alone.

What’s a gardener to do?

When to fertilize depends on your climate, soil, plant, and variety. In general, established plants should be fertilized in the spring and/or fall, while seedlings, annuals, and container plants may need consistent applications throughout the growing season.

Ready to fertilize?

Not so fast.

First, let’s go over a few basics:

  • Annual compost applications are sufficient for most established plants.
  • Slow-release fertilizers promote healthy, sustainable growth, while quick-release fertilizers can burn roots.
  • Under-fertilizing is always better than over-fertilizing.
  • Fertilizer is not medicine for sick plants; check for pests, diseases, drought stress, overwatering, and other problems before you use fertilizer.
  • Our recommendations are for general-purpose fertilizers. Nutrient-specific amendments, like chelated iron, can be applied whenever you have a confirmed deficiency.
  • Nutrient imbalance can be caused by soils that are too acidic or alkaline for the plant. Do a pH test to make sure your plants are able to use the existing nutrients in the soil.

Now, let’s get started.

Best Time to Fertilize: Lawns

Turfgrasses are split into two major categories: cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses.
Cool-season grasses grow more in the spring and fall, and may go dormant during hot, dry summers.
Warm-season grasses break dormancy later, and grow more during the summer.
Fertilize cool-season grasses late in the summer to early fall. This gives the lawn nutrients to recover from summer stress, as well as helping the roots prepare to store energy for the winter.
Fertilize warm-season grasses once in the spring after the first few mowing sessions, and again six to eight weeks before the first frost in the fall. This gives the lawn a boost when it breaks dormancy, and helps the roots prepare for winter dormancy.
For more tips on maintaining a lush, green lawn, see 7 Ways to Make Your Grass Greener.

Best Time to Fertilize: Established Trees & Landscapes

Newly-transplanted and established trees rarely need fertilizer. Most trees will have sufficient fertilizer from lawn applications, and the extensive root systems allow trees to access nutrients deep below the surface.
Newly-transplanted trees and shrubs should not be fertilized, because nitrogen will force them to grow new leaves when it should be focused on repairing the root system. Instead, add a few handfuls of compost into the ground when you transplant.
Established trees and shrubs should only be fertilized in early spring when soil tests indicate a deficiency. Annual compost applications are more beneficial to the plant and will help maintain adequate nutrient levels.

Best Time to Fertilize: Fruit Trees

Fruit trees have a burst of new branches, leaves, and flowers in the spring, followed by weeks or months of fruit development.
The ideal time to fertilize fruit trees is in early to mid-spring before bud break. This gives trees a burst of energy for green growth and blooming.
Keep in mind, established fruit trees may not need fertilizer.

Best Time to Fertilize: Vegetables

Most vegetables are annuals, so you don’t have to time your fertilizer applications to coincide with dormancy.
Instead, vegetables should be fertilized according to their overall health, with more or less time between applications depending on the soil quality.
Fertilize vegetables in sandy soil at the beginning of the season and every 3-4 weeks throughout the growing season if the plants begin to lose color or vigor. If plants are lush and green, avoid fertilizing or you may burn the roots.
Fertilize vegetables in clay soil at the beginning of the season and every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season if the plants begin to lose color or vigor. Clay soils may also cause root rot, so make sure you are irrigating correctly before you try to correct growth problems with fertilizer.

Best Time to Fertilize: Annuals

Annuals are meant to bring a temporary pop of color to an established landscape or flower bed.
Fertilize annuals at the beginning of the season before planting, and every 6-8 weeks during the growing season as needed. Annuals are meant to be showy and colorful, so it’s important to fertilize if the plants begin to show signs of nitrogen deficiency, like yellow (chlorotic) leaves.

Best Time to Fertilize: Container Plants

Container plants are permanently restricted to a planter, container, or pot. These plants are watered more frequently than in-ground plants, which leaches nutrients out of the potting mix.
Fertilize container plants every 2-8 weeks, depending on the species and time of year. Flowering and fruiting plants will need consistent fertilization to support blooms and fruit set, while vegetative plants may be able to go 3-4 months without fertilization.
Even plants with a slow-release fertilizer in the soil mix will eventually require fertilization. Research your plant’s nutrient requirements and fertilize accordingly.

Best Time to Fertilize: Seedlings

Seedlings are in temporary containers while they grow large enough for transplant. In order to prevent damping off and other pathogens that attack seedlings, most seed-starting mixes are sterile, which means they have no nutritional value for the plants.
Fertilize seedlings once they have one set of true leaves. This is when the plant has used up the nutrients from the endosperm within the seed, and when the roots will start looking for nutrients in the soil. Seedlings grow very quickly, so it is important to start fertilizing as soon as the first pair of seedling leaves emerge in order to keep up with this growth.

For truly stunning landscapes, you need a reliable irrigation schedule, mowing schedule, and maintenance schedule. Hidden Creek Landscaping INC. provides professional landscape services for commercial and residential areas. Contact us today for more information.

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5 Best Grass Species for Ohio

A well-manicured lawn is the fundamental building block of curb appeal. High-quality lawns create a clean backdrop for colorful landscapes and lawn décor (and it may even increase the value of your home).

There are many factors that go into creating a lush, green lawn, but the first step is picking a grass species that thrives in the cooler climates of Ohio.

Ohio is evenly split between USDA zones 5 and 6, which makes it the ideal environment for cool-season grasses. Cool-season grasses have a bunching growth habit and have active growth periods during the spring and fall. The best grass species for Ohio are:

  • Tall Fescue
  • Fine Fescue
  • Perennial Rye
  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Bentgrass

So, which one is best for your lawn?
Let’s find out.

1. Tall Fescue

Tall fescue is a coarse, dense turf grass with long blades.
This species is tolerant of poor soil, poor drainage, drought, and light shade.
Tall Fescue: Basic Care

Tall fescue is a durable turf grass, but it still requires consistent maintenance:

  • Durability: Moderate-High
  • Mowing Height: 3.5”-4”
  • Irrigation Needs: 1”-1.25” per week
  • Fertilizer Needs: 3-5lbs of nitrogen per 1,000sq’
  • Common Pests/Diseases: billbug, fall armyworm, white grubs

Plant tall fescue in late summer through early fall so the roots have time to establish before winter.

2. Fine Fescue

Fine fescues are divided into three lawn-quality turf grasses:

  • Creeping Red Fescue
  • Chewings Fescue
  • Hard Fescue

These grasses are usually blended with tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass to form a shade-tolerant, cool-season turf mix.

Fine Fescue: Basic Care

Fine fescues have a soft texture and deep green color. They are the most shade-tolerant cool-season grasses, and they require less water and fertilizer than almost any other cool-season turf species.

  • Durability: Moderate-High
  • Mowing Height: 1”-3”
  • Irrigation Needs: .5”-1” per week
  • Fertilizer Needs: 3-5lbs of nitrogen per 1,000sq’
  • Common Pests/Diseases: billbug, fall armyworm, white grubs

Plant fine fescue in late summer through early fall so the roots have time to establish before winter.

3. Perennial Rye

Perennial rye germinates faster than other cool-season grasses, but it is slow to spread. The most common use for perennial rye is as part of a blend with more vigorous species, like Kentucky bluegrass.

Recent advances with perennial rye have made it more tolerant of drought and foot traffic. Perennial rye is more tolerant of alkaline soils than fescues or bluegrass, which makes it a popular choice for homeowners with high pH soils.

Perennial Rye: Basic Care

Perennial rye is generally part of a cool-season blend, but it can also be used as a stand-alone turf, although it can be high-maintenance and may go dormant without proper care.

  • Durability: Moderate-High
  • Mowing Height: 1.5”-2.5”
  • Irrigation Needs: 1.25”-1.5” per week
  • Fertilizer Needs: 2-4lbs of nitrogen per 1,000sq’
  • Common Pests/Diseases: thrips, grubs, sod webworms, brown patch, dollar spot

Plant perennial rye in early spring or early fall. Fall is best so the roots can become established before winter.

4. Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most popular turf grasses in Ohio.

Kentucky bluegrass has a deep blue-green color and a soft, sturdy texture. Although Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season grass, it has a warm-season growth habit. Rhizomes spread underground to create a thick sod that fills in quickly and holds up to heavy foot traffic.

This grass is often mixed with perennial rye and fescue to give the turf more durability. However, Kentucky bluegrass is only slightly shade tolerant, and it takes three times longer to germinate than perennial rye. The roots are more shallow than other turf species, so it is more sensitive to drought and fertilizer deficiencies.

4. Kentucky Bluegrass: Basic Care

Kentucky bluegrass can be a high-maintenance turf, but the deep emerald color and soft carpet texture are worth the extra water.

  • Durability: Moderate-High
  • Mowing Height: 2.5”-3”
  • Irrigation Needs: 1.25”-2.5” per week
  • Fertilizer Needs: 3-6lbs of nitrogen per 1,000sq’
  • Common Pests/Diseases: grubs

Plant Kentucky bluegrass in early fall so the roots have time to establish before winter.

5. Bentgrass

Bentgrass is a specialty turf grass that is mostly used on golf courses.
This grass is an extremely low-growing, mat-forming turf that requires consistent maintenance. This discourages most homeowners from attempting to use it in their lawns. However, it creates a manicured, luxurious image, which makes it an attractive option in some areas.

For a more lawn-friendly bentgrass, try varieties bred for residential purposes. They are a little taller and require less maintenance.

Note: Bentgrass can become invasive in lawns and is a common weed in lawns with a fescue/bluegrass blend. Do not use bentgrass as a blend with other grasses.
Bentgrass: Basic Care

Bentgrass is the most high-maintenance grass on our list, but if you love lawn care, this may be the turf for you.

  • Durability: High
  • Mowing Height: .5”-.75”
  • Irrigation Needs: 1.25”-2” per week
  • Fertilizer Needs: 2-5lbs of nitrogen per 1,000sq’
  • Common Pests/Diseases: sod webworms, grubs, cutworms, dollar spot, brown patch

Plant bentgrass in early fall so the roots have time to establish before winter.

Want a show-stopping lawn, but not sure where to start? We offer year-round lawn and landscape maintenance. Contact us today for more information.

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How to Keep Weeds Out of Your Garden

One of the questions we hear the most from gardeners is “how do I keep weeds out of my garden?” No one likes pulling weeds and would rather spend their time enjoying their garden rather than maintaining it!

Colorful garden with brick pathThere are some simple steps you can take to minimize the impact of weeds, take care of them safely if they show up, but most importantly to keep them out in the first place. Not every yard is the same, though, so a consultation with a gardening expert from Hidden Creek Landscaping would be a good place to start.

What are some good ways to take care of weeds in my garden?

A quick surf of the internet will return many tips and many pieces of advice on how to best control weeds in your garden. But which are the right ones, the ones that will do the job right? We’ll examine a few here.

Are homemade weed killer sprays effective?

Recipes for homemade weed killers abound on the internet. Many begin with a vinegar base and then add in all kinds of things like lemon juice, dishwashing detergent, borax, salt, bleach, and so on. They may market themselves as natural or organic, often as an alternative to chemical solutions.

Unfortunately, like most folk remedies, they aren’t a sure bet. While they may kill off some weeds by making them wither and turn brown, they don’t get rid of the weeds for good. More likely than not, they’ll be back in a week or two.

It’s also important to remember that the health of your soil is paramount to great gardening, and saturating it with salt and vinegar may not be the best idea

How about commercial weed killers? Are they safe?

There are many commercial weed killers out there that heavily market their effectiveness. Many gardeners shy away from them because of fear that they may contaminate the soil. However, they can be effective if used properly.

It’s often best to consider them a last resort for weeds that can’t be dug out or for invasive species. It’s critical that you follow all directions and not overuse them, since adding any chemical to your soil will change the balance.

Ok, so how do I prevent weeds in my garden in the first place?

This is the real question that should be asked! If you can succeed at preventing weeds in the first place, you are well on the way to avoiding the question of whether or not to use herbicides as weed control.

The problem most gardeners face is that all the work they do to properly prepare their soil means that the great work they’ve done to help their flowers flourish works just as well on weeds. A good step is to mitigate the ways weed seeds get into your garden to start with.

Does mulch matter?

One of the easiest ways to prevent weeds from getting into your garden is by using good, shredded wood mulch. Shredded mulch has greater density than wood chips, so do a better job of keeping the weeds out of your soil.

Placing a thick layer of mulch around your plants also reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the weed seeds in the soil. One good tip along the same lines is to put down a thick layer of newspapers around the plants that you then put the mulch on top of.

What about landscape fabric?

While landscape fabric has its uses, weed prevention in the garden isn’t one of them. While it keeps down any existing weeds that you place it on top of, it creates a clean palette for new weeds up above.

The dirt, debris, and leaves that accumulate on top of the fabric are just what new weeds are looking for. Plus, the roots of the weeds will grow down into the fabric, making them more difficult to remove. In general, landscape fabric is best used to mitigate weeds along paths and walkways, but are poor preventers of weeds in the long run.

Are there any good tricks to keep weeds out of vegetable gardens?

A good trick to keep weeds out of your vegetable gardens is to use grass and leaf clippings to keep them in check. They perform a similar function as mulch by keeping sunlight away from seeds in the soil. It’s also a great way to get rid of your yard waste!

Grass and leaf clippings provide much-needed nutrients to the soil. Using landscape edging around your garden beds will help keep grass and weeds from infiltrating the vegetable garden.

How do I know what the best strategies are for my garden?

We are here to help! Give us a call at Hidden Creek Landscaping for some expert advice. We’ve been helping homeowners keep their weeds at bay for years, and are considered one of the region’s top residential landscaping companies. We’d love to help you make your garden the best on the block!

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7 Ways to Make Your Grass Greener

There is nothing better than looking out the window of your home and seeing a lush lawn with bright and healthy green grass. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert gardener to have the best-looking lawn on the block!

Stately home with lush and green lawnThe truth is that all you need is the proper mover and some pro tips that will help you make your grass greener. Regular maintenance is always the key. One of our expert landscapers can guide you through the steps needed to make sure your lawn is always in top-notch shape.

What are some things I can do to make my grass greener?

First and foremost, know that a perfect, green lawn takes dedication, consistency, and a ton of work. You’ll need to make sure the grass is mowed at the right height, properly fertilized, and water to exact specifications.

The right plan will help you know how to spray, fertilize, and properly cut your grass. Below are some great ways to get started on the right track.

1. Use composite waste to create a greener lawn

Composite waste is simply the biodegradable kitchen scraps you probably just throw in the trash. Put it to better use! Process it and add it to the soil to act as a fertilizer, encouraging healthy growth of your grass.

You can add the composite all over your yard for an even look, or as patches to take care of specific areas. Make sure that you water your lawn thoroughly after putting down the composite.

2. Treat your soil right!

Understanding the makeup of your soil will ensure that you give it the right nutrients to get the right you want. One example of a soil treatment that is highly effective is cornmeal. Not only is cornmeal a natural herbicide, but it also provides needed fertilizer and controls pests.

Another great treatment is Mycorrhizal fungi, which helps the roots of your grass attach properly to the ground and attract the right organic nutrients straight into the root.

3. Give your grass the right cut

One of the easiest mistakes to make when it comes to lawn care is incorrectly cutting your grass. Learning how to properly mow is critical in making your grass greener. A trim lawn that is kept at a steady height is key to giving your lawn the perfect look.

Proper trimming creates healthy growth and roots. The right way to cut is dependent on the kind of grass you have since different types have different optimal heights. Knowing what you’re working with is the first step to take in making your plan.

4. Recycling works!

Everyone knows that recycling is a good thing, but have you ever heard of grass-cycling? It turns out that one of the best fertilizers for grass is the grass itself. By leaving the clippings in the grass they feed the roots.

Not only does it help improve the soil ph levels and textures, but it also provides essential nutrients for the healthy growth of grass. It will both benefit your lawn and save you time that would be spent cleaning it up.

5. Keep the watering regular

It’s commonsense that grass needs the appropriate amount of water to thrive, but to make it truly shine you’ll want to make sure that it is watered regularly. But not too much! By having a smaller, regular watering cycle, you allow the water to more thoroughly seep into the soil instead of running off.

When you over-water, you fill the lawn with water, causing the good nutrients to run away and drive off helpers like worms, who work hard behind the scenes to keep your grass healthy!

6. Give it some air. Aeration, that is!

A healthy lawn loves free air circulation. When the soil is compacted, it creates a firm obstacle to fertilizer and proper water absorption. Depending on the type of soil and age of the lawn, it may need to be manually opened up.

An aerating machine or handheld tool does the job perfectly, opening up small holes that allow insects and air to pass through. Annual aeration is a great way to keep your grass healthy year after year.

7. Treat your lawn right!

Weeds not only make your lawn look unsightly, but they also make it unhealthy! You’ll want to put a weed control system in place so that the grass isn’t competing with weeds for water and nutrients.

A good feed and weed system gets rid of the unwanted plants while providing the fertilizer to make your grass look great.

What’s the best way to get started making my grass greener?

The best way to start is to consult with the pros! Give us a call at Hidden Creek Landscaping to see how our lawn maintenance specialists can get you on the right track to a better-looking lawn.

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Irrigation Maintenance

If you’ve gone through the expense and effort of installing an irrigation system in your yard, it only makes sense to keep it in proper working order! By taking proper care of your irrigation system you’ll save money on your water bills and make sure that it is performing properly and as expected.

Beautiful green landscape with hills and verdant treesTo get the best return on your investment in an irrigation system, you’ll want to create a maintenance plan that keeps your system operating optimally.

Hidden Creek Landscaping irrigation experts are on hand to help you create a maintenance program that not only keeps your yard looking great but also makes the best use of your irrigation system.

What are some best practices when it comes to irrigation maintenance?

The first step in establishing a maintenance program for your irrigation system is to determine the watering schedule that is best for your yard in different seasons. The needs of your lawn and landscape are different in the spring than in the middle of July.

Seasonal adjustments

When the seasons change and temperatures drop in the fall, watering needs likely change again. Likewise, a shady part of your lawn has different needs than the sunny side. By adjusting for different seasons and in different zones, you’ll optimize your system to best meet the needs of your landscaping.

Why waste water with leaks and misdirection?

Changes in the schedule as the seasons change present a perfect opportunity to make sure that your system hasn’t developed issues. You could be wasting significant amounts of money if there are:

  • leaks
  • broken lines
  • misdirected sprinkler lines

If one part of your lawn is covered in puddles and another is completely dry, you have a sure sign that there is leakage or another problem. A quick inspection can tell you where the issue is and allow you to make the necessary repairs.

What are some routine maintenance items I should perform?

There are some key and easy routine maintenance tasks you can perform regularly to make sure that your irrigation system is running in peak condition. A monthly inspection could reveal damaged or clogged sprinkler heads that, left unchecked, could cause significant damage or waste down the road.

Water your flowers, not your asphalt!

Making sure that there is no sprinkler run-off will keep you from watering your driveway instead of your flower beds. Adjusting your sprinkler heads as plants and your lawn grows will make sure that the system is doing what it was meant to do – irrigating your landscaping.

Reducing sprinkler run-off saves you money by preventing water waste but also helps to prevent sending pollutants into the storm drain system. The same is true when it comes to blocked or obstructed lawn sprinklers. Your car doesn’t need to be watered, but your lawn does. Readjust the heads regularly to make sure they are watering the right thing.

Pressure problems

If the pressure is too high, you could be creating high pressure misting. This occurs when the water turns into tiny droplets in the air that can be carried by the wind away from the spot that it’s intended to be watering. Installing a pressure device will help you regulate water pressure and prevent this common problem.

Only water when necessary

Likewise, installing a rain/freeze sensor will save you both water and money. There is no need to water your landscaping if it’s already raining, and watering when the temperature drops below freezing could cause damage to your plants. By installing a rain/freeze sensor you can optimize your system to prevent these occurrences.

Take advantage of the terrain

Finally, make sure that your irrigation system is set to take advantage of the features of your yard. If your sprinkler is set on a slope or you have clay soils, change your irrigation system to cycle and soak.

It takes water much longer to seep deep into the soil if it is on a slope or the soil is heavy clay. The general rule of thumb in these cases is to have your system set to 7-minute intervals to make sure that water has time to get to the right places before running off. Cycling on and off in this manner makes sure that your lawn is getting the proper amount of moisture.

I’m interested in installing or optimizing my irrigation system, what should I do?

Make the best call you’ll make all year! The Central Ohio weather patterns can be difficult to predict, but the irrigation management pros at Hidden Creek Landscaping know exactly how to install them in the right way to function perfectly in our climate.

We specialize in automated irrigation systems that are designed to enhance your landscaping and lawn that could be struggling in the Ohio weather. By using an automated system, you’ll save both time and water, saving you money and allowing you to make better use of your yard.

Give us a call today to see how we can help you with your irrigation maintenance and installation needs!

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