Caring For Your Landscape In Winter

Winter landscaping can seem a tad challenging. In fact, you probably haven’t given much thought to your landscaping in the winter months. Taking care of your yard now can set you up for success in the future. Here are some of our top tips for caring for your yard and garden this winter:

Break out the Fertilizer

Fertilizing your lawn before the weather gets too cold is a great way to set it up for success during the springtime. Summer can deplete a lot of the nutrients from your grass, so fertilizing can reverse this damage and help replenish the roots of your plants. Your lawn will be in full bloom when the weather gets warm again if you decide to fertilize.  

Aerate Your Yard

Aerating your lawn is the process of breaking up soil and dirt to allow oxygen and water to get into it. Aerating your lawn will keep it healthy and thriving. It helps the roots of your plants to grow deep into the lawn, which leads to healthier grass and foliage. The soil in your yard will naturally get compact over time, making it hard for air and water to seep down into the roots of your plants. Aeration will help break this up and reverse it. This will make sure that your plants are well nourished, even during winter.

Clear it Out

Although this tip may seem like common sense, it is important to keep your yard free in the winter time. If you leave things like furniture and toys on your grass during the cold season, it can lead to dead patches when the weather gets warm again. Make sure that your yard is cleaned up and cleared out, especially before the snowy weather begins.

Do Some Last Minute Raking

If you still have leaves in your yard from the fall, break out the rake and get them cleaned up before the first snowfall. Not only will this help you clear out your yard, as mentioned above, but it will also help open up your root system. This is a good way to prepare your yard for seeding and to help with the aeration efforts of your soil.

Don’t Step on the Grass!

Although you are probably used to strolling through your yard at your leisure, stepping on the grass during the winter can be incredibly damaging. When people tread through the snow, they tend to take the same path each time. As you walk through your yard, the snow will become continuously compacted. While one walk through the yard won’t do too much damage, continuing to tread the same paths can make it hard for grass in that area to grow.

Make Sure Your Lawn is Mowed

Speaking of grass, it is incredibly important to keep up with your mowing schedule all the way up until the first snowfall of the winter. Leaving tall grass for winter weather can have devastating effects on your yard. Longer grass will trap in moisture and will stay wet throughout the season.

Evaluate Your Hardscape

While your yard will not be as visually pleasing in the winter time because of the lack of foliage, you can still up your curb appeal by adding and updating hardscaping features to your space. Benches, gazebos, walkways, and other features will still be visible in the winter months and can give your landscape a welcoming vibe. Winter is the perfect time to take on these projects because you will be putting less maintenance into your grass and garden. 

Taking good care of your lawn in winter is half the battle to keeping a successful landscape all year long. Practice these maintenance tips, and contact the experts at Hidden Creek Landscaping for all of your winter landscaping needs. Together, we will make sure that your yard is beautiful and healthy for the new year.

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Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

With the harsh winter weather coming up fast, it is important to take some time to prepare your home for the elements. One preparation that is often overlooked by homeowners is preparing your sprinkler system for the cold weather. Doing so can help avoid damaged valves, seals, and pipes when warmer weather returns. Without proper winterizing, you may be faced with steep costs to repair any damages.

Where to Begin

The most important thing to remember when winterizing your sprinkler system is that any water remaining in it must be blown out. Harsh winter temperatures can cause any water left behind to freeze and expand, resulting in damage to the metal and plastic components of the sprinkler system.

You will need an air compressor to prepare your system. You can rent an air compressor from an equipment rental company, hire a plumber who is qualified to perform this service or contact the company that initially installed the system and have them do it.

What You’ll Need

If you have an air compressor, you should have the following items to winterize your sprinkler system:

  • Safety glasses for eye protection
  • Your sprinkler system user manual in case you have any questions
  • Metal fitting for the airline on the compressor
  • Insulated blanket (if applicable)
  • Stop and waste valve key (if applicable)

The Process

The first step in preparing your sprinkler system for winter is turning off the water supply to the system. Your shut-off valve will be in a valve box, which is typically found in your basement, garage, or another space that will protect it from freezing. Your shut-off valve could also be located up to five feet underground, and you will need a key to turn it off. It should not require much effort to turn your shut-off valve off; however, you do not want to force it and risk damage to the valve. Sprinkler systems that utilize a pump for the operation must be drained and disconnected. If possible, store your sprinkler system pump inside for the winter months. For pumps that are permanently in place, this is where you will need the insulated blanket to protect it from the elements.

The next step in the winterizing process is clearing out any water in the backflow device. If your sprinkler system operates on privately owned water, you will want to check the installation plan. Most sprinkler systems typically utilize public water sources and either have a pressure vacuum breaker (PVB) or an atmospheric vacuum breaker (AVB). You will find the AVB located below the valve, and it can be cleared out with the system. In contrast, you cannot use an air compressor to clear out a system with a PVB. For ones with PVBs, you will need to clear out the system first then rotate the test cocks and ball valves a few times. You will then want to position them half-open in order to avoid moisture from building up.

The third step in winterizing your sprinkler system is to actually clear the water out of the system. You will want to clear out all the water in the valves and downstream part of the system. While using the air compressor, it is recommended that you reach a range of 40-80 pounds/square inch. The following are recommendations based on the type of material of your sprinkler system:

  •       50 pounds/square inch maximum for polyethylene pipe
  •       80 pounds/square inch maximum for rigid PVC tubing

In order to find the best volume for your sprinkler system, simply take the gallons per minute and divide by 7.5, which will give you the cubic feet per minute of compressed air needed.

Things to Remember

It is important to note that the size of your air compressor must be considered during this step. Large air compressors should be operated with a regulator to avoid clearing out the water too quickly and causing damage to the sprinkler system. Smaller air compressors can certainly be used for this step; it will just take longer to complete the process.

You will then need to hook up the air compressor to the blowout valve. Turn the compressor to the appropriate psi and begin running it. We recommend that you run the compressor two times for each zone of the sprinkler system.

The final step in the winterization process is to set all the valves on the backflow device to half-open. You will also want to keep the compressor controller plugged in since it is a source of heat to prevent condensation.

You have now successfully prepared your sprinkler system for the winter. Once the spring arrives, you will need to prepare your system for use again. You will need to ensure all valves are closed before re-pressurizing the system. Once the water flow is operational, you can then reopen the valves.

If you have any questions about this, or anything else related to landscaping, give us a call today!

 

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Our Favorite Fall Landscaping Features

Just like many of you, we love fall! The air is crisp, the weather is cool, and the seasons are changing before our eyes. And do you know our absolute favorite part of the season? All of the fall landscaping projects that you can add to your outdoor space! Here are a few of our favorite fall features:

There’s No Place Better to Sit Than a Fire Pit

What’s better than snuggling up by a fire pit while the weather gets cooler? Adding a fire pit to your home will help you spend more time outside and is the perfect way to entertain guests during the fall. What’s better than sharing memories and stories by the light of the fire underneath the stars? If you add a firepit to your home, you are sure to enjoy hours of outdoor entertainment and break up the monotony of staying inside all day due to the cold weather.

Perfect your Patio

A patio is also a great way to entertain in the cool months. If you deck your space out with comfortable seating, lighting, and heating, you will have a brand new area to entertain guests and enjoy your yard. While a patio can be enjoyed all year round, you will absolutely love having this space at your disposal during the autumn months. Grab a bottle of wine and some blankets and enjoy the evening on your patio space.

The More the Merrier

One of the most scenic aspects of this season is the falling and changing leaves and colors. Simply put, the more plants you have the more you get to enjoy the reds, yellows, and oranges that signify fall. Now is the time to add additional foliage to your yard. Adding flowers, trees, and shrubs will make your space beautiful now, and will also help it flourish in the springtime.

Potted Plants

In the spirit of adding more foliage, do not underestimate the power of potted plants. Adding rustic looking pots around the area and filling them with fall-friendly flowers it a great landscaping project. These are easy, DIY projects that can make your space more inviting and can help your colors coordinate properly.

Pumpkin Displays

Pumpkins are a trademark sign of Autumn. Invest in some pumpkins to display both in your front and backyards. Choose varying sizes and craft a display that gives your home a cozy and festive feel. You can mix things up by carving a few with the kids and adding different fall elements like hay and corn to your displays. Pumpkins are a super easy way to get the desired look for the season. You can also add to this effect by adding gords of various shapes and sizes.

Time to Mulch

Mulching can be a pain, but getting it out of the way while its cool will save you hours of hard work in the harsh sunlight. Mulching your yard has another benefit too; it will make all of your plant colors pop! Your plants and shrubs will need a little TLC for the harsh winter that is just around the corner. This will give them the nutrition and sturdy base they need to survive frigid temperatures and cold weather. Your yard will surely thank you as it thrives with this new mulch job.

Let There Be Light

Since the days are growing shorter, you are going to need to compensate by adding additional lighting. Add some soft, inviting light to your front and back porches to help with entertaining. Invest in smaller outdoor lights around your plants to show off your landscaping at night time. Adding lighting around walkways and paths is always a great idea for both safety and aesthetic. The days might be shorter and the nights might be darker, but this additional lighting will give your space a cozy, homey feel.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to fall in love with fall! There are so many outdoor projects and touches that you can add to your space to make it warm, welcoming, and ready for Autumn. If you have ideas for a landscaping feature, don’t forget to consult the experts at Hidden Creek. We will have your space up in running in no time at all!

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Everything You Need to Know About Greenscaping

You’re probably familiar with landscaping but do you know what greenscaping is? Greenscaping deals with all kinds of landscaping practices that protect and preserve the environment’s natural resources while improving the look and appearance of your garden or personal space. Simply put, greenscaping is a form of ‘environmentally-friendly’ landscaping.

Over the years more companies, organizations, and factories have chosen to convert their landscapes into greenscapes in hopes of making their practices holistic and nature-friendly. The practices used for landscaping often have a detrimental effect on the planet’s ecosystem not to forget that these practices can cost a lot of money in the long run.

Importance of Greenscaping:

Have you ever wondered about land usage in the United States? Think of all the malls, retail centers, recreational facilities, resorts, golf courses, amusement parks, public parks, the roads, and the highways in our country. All these places use a ton of resources; concrete, trees, lumber, asphalt, etc. Think about the millions of gallons of water used, the pesticides and chemicals that are exposed in the environment through popular and unsafe landscaping methods. The processes and materials used are both economically and environmentally costly. Greenscaping can eliminate these redundant costs to create beautiful outdoor spaces.

The Four R’s of Greenscaping:

To make the most of greenscaping it is necessary to understand the four R’s of greenscaping. By setting short and long-term goals gradually you can make your practices environment-friendly. Even the tiniest of improvement can have a huge impact. All you need to do is to focus on the four R’s: reduce, reuse, rebuy, recycle.

Reduce:

The first step for greenscaping is to reduce the composition of natural resources. This can be done through a couple of holistic practices that include:

  • Substituting the plant lumber for recovered plastic lumber. By doing so, you are helping conserve plants and trees and natural ecosystems. In addition to this recovered plastic material has a longer life than wood, plastic does not require routine upkeep. This reduces the maintenance and replacement costs.
  • Conserving water through the process of ‘Xeriscaping’. Using native plants that are indigenous to the region’s climate and soil require fewer pesticides and chemicals. Adding compost to the soil improves water absorption, which reduces water requirement.
  • Reducing pesticides by “spot treating”, aka only using them on specific affected areas instead of an entire patch of land. This reduces the number of chemicals released into the environment. Consider using organic and bio-based fertilizers and pesticides.

Using compost as the top layer of the soil can improve water absorption and decrease the use of fertilizers by up to 50%.

Using mulch over the plant’s root zone can reduce moisture evaporation and conserve water. Mulch also prevents the growth of weed.

Reuse:

You would be surprised to know that just how much of the materials can be reused. You can effectively use many items which would otherwise go to waste. Consider the following tips for reusing materials:

  • Create your own mulch through tree clippings and wood chips. This will give you the benefits of mulch and save you the disposal cost.
  • If you plan to remove plant or shrubs from your property then donate those to a local community or shelter.
  • Reclaimed water, gray water, and collected rainwater can all be used as alternative sources of irrigation. This saves water resources and money.

Rebuy:

Rebuying requires making purchases that are more mindful. It means looking for products that fit your needs but also help to protect the environment. A simple change in habits can fix this problem. When purchasing an item look for materials that have been recycled or buy biodegradable materials. Recycled products are more durable than virgin materials and cost much less. Buying recycled material also helps sustain the ecosystem, as less waste is disposed into the ecosystem. There are plenty of environment-friendly brands out there that sell products that are not harmful to the planet. Consider the following tips when you make your next purchase:

  • Compost, when used in the form of blankets and berms, minimizes the risk of soil erosion, and mitigates pollution. Due to its organic natural compost, make an excellent air filter media for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Purchase plastic lumber instead of wood for benches, signs, and other outdoor structures. Plastic lumber is durable and has a low maintenance cost.

Recycle:

The most beneficial habit you can adopt is recycling. By recycling already used materials, you can save resources and money and in certain cases even generate revenue. Consider the following ways to recycle:

  • Trade the leaves, clippings, and trimmings found on your site to a compost manufacturing facility for fresh compost.
  • Recycle old tires from your vehicles and equipment.
  • Use biodiesel and organic lubricants for your working equipment.
  • Use recycled glass for filter media and golf course bunker.

Greenscaping is an effective and sustainable process to upgrade your property. Not only does it benefit the ecosystem but also keeps your finances in check. If you are interested in learning more about ecoscaping or exploring your ecoscape options give us a call today. Your expert landscapers at Hidden Creek can help you make your space eco-friendly in no time at all.

 

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The Top Pool Trends of 2018

A swimming pool is the perfect way to bring fun and luxury to your home. As of late, there are many new trends that you can use to make your pool perfect for your space. Check out these different pool trends that have become increasingly popular this year:

1) Darker Colors

Pools that have darker tiling and darker edges have become very popular recently, and can drastically improve the aesthetic of your area. Dark blue and green flooring has the added advantage of making your pool look deeper than it is, and the colors tend to be more soothing to the eye. If you want your backyard to have a calming vibe, a darker pool is for you.

2) Pool Landscaping

While your pool may look like the center of your outdoor area, the landscaping around your pool can make a huge aesthetic difference. Pool landscaping is one trend that has been making its way into the home decor and landscaping industry because of how beautiful it can make the space look. A few simple planters and along neatly constructed concrete can give your pool a fresh and vibrant feel

3) Pool Ledges

A pool ledge is a shallow part of the pool that protrudes inward from the edge. Pool ledges can give your pool the additional space, and can even be used to place your loungers on a hot sunny day. A pool ledge also works well for children, since it gives them a safe and shallow part of the pool that they can play in. Adding a ledge can give your pool and overall more dynamic look.

4) Infinity Pools

While infinity pools are often associated with luxury resorts and spas,they have become a more common household trend recently.  An infinity pool is designed so that the water line of the pool looks like it is touching the water line of the natural body near it. These pools can make the entire landscape look incredibly scenic and beautiful.

5) Smart Pools

With how much technology is being integrated into our homes, it is no surprise that smart pools have come forth as a trend does this year. Smart pools use a combination of devices to improve their efficiency and make the process of maintaining the pool a lot easier. Smart pools can help you clean your pool, adjust temperature controls, turn on lighting with just the click of a button.  

6) Monochrome Pools

Minimalism and monochrome tones are a classic pooling trend. Sticking to this theme is a great way to give your home an added touch of sophistication. A pool with white or light blue tiling or spa colors tend goes well with this theme in a classy, yet functional way. When trying to achieve the monochrome look, make sure that you don’t add any bright colors, since that can take away from the theme that you are going in for.

7) Elevated Pools

Elevated pools that are made slightly above the ground. This trend is becoming more and more popular for those who want to go in for a unique design that is sure to grab onlookers’ attention. Elevated pools add a nice modern touch to your outdoor area. Innovative placement and structure can give your pool its own unique flare.

8) Compact Pools

Pools don’t always have to span over a large area. Sometimes compact pools can add just as much grandeur to your home. Pools that are smaller are ideal for those who don’t have as much space for a full-scale pool. A smaller pool fits well with a landscape design that has seating areas, a grill to barbeque and any other kind of outdoor essentials.

9) Pool Additions

Things like fountains, water jets and other kinds of pool decor and add-ons can help personalize your pool. Finding additions that match the theme and color scheme of the rest of your home is key. Your landscape designer is the best person to talk to about this since they can give you a creative insight into how you can achieve your desired look.

10) LED Pool Lights

Making your pool look as bright as it can seem to be a big trend in 2018, and LED lights are the perfect way to be able to do so. LED lights are available in an incredibly wide range of colors, giving you lots of creative freedom with the look of your pool area. Using LED pool lights tends to be a lot safer than other kinds of pool lighting. There are several different kinds of LED lights, some of which come with app-based automation that enables you to change the color of the lights, as and when you please.

If you are interested in any of these awesome pool customizations or want to learn more about getting a pool in general, contact your experts at Hidden Creek Landscaping today!

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What is Plantscaping?

One of the latest gardening trends that has become popular in recent years is plantscaping. Plantscaping involves placing potted plants in an indoor area. Although this seems simple, plantscaping involves strategy and offers many benefits.

What is Plantscaping?

Plantscaping is the strategic arrangement of plants in an indoor space. When done correctly, plantscaping can bring beautiful visual appeal to your home. Plantscaping can also be used to spruce up deck and patio areas.

Plantscaping depends on a number of things. What do you want to accomplish with your plants? Do you want a bright, flowery look? Or something more toned down? Plantscaping is a great way to extend your outdoor garden into your home. It can bolster the ambiance of an area. For instance, no air freshener will ever smell as beautiful as a natural lavender plant. For a trendier look without a scent, you can add some succulents to your space.

Benefits of Plantscaping

Having plants inside your home is both visually appealing and offers some practical benefits. Plantscaping in your living area can help to purify your air. There was a famous NASA experiment done in the 1980’s showing that potted plants indoors can help cut down on cancer-causing compounds in the air. The more surface area your plant has, the cleaner your air will be.

Indoor foliage can also help boost your mood and energy.  They can also help you feel more relaxed and at ease in your space. Studies have shown that companies with indoor plants have healthier and happier employees. According to Forbes, offices that have a higher amount of indoor plants showed a boost in cognition and sleep quality. Overall, having plants in your work-space is incredibly beneficial to your mood and productivity.

Effective Plantscaping

Every garden is different and likewise, every indoor plant space will be different. If you are new to plantscaping or gardening, it’s smart to start with plants that don’t require a lot of attention. Spider plants, peace lilies, aloe, and dragon trees are all great starter plants. Once you get the hang of these beginner plants, you can move onto ones that require more complex care.

Evaluate your space. Will your plants be exposed to enough sunlight? Will they have ample room to grow? Are they in danger of being bowled over by kids or pets? Once you know what you are capable of, you can begin setting up your plantscape.

Next, work on your setup. Arrange the plants in a way that adds to the room without becoming an overwhelming presence. Layering your plants can add design and depth to your space. Hang some from the ceiling, leave some on the ground, and place them everywhere in between. This will add a fun and trendy dimensional feel to your living area.

Choose pots for your plants that tie in with your area. If they coordinate with the other decor in your room, the entire space will have a more cohesive look and feel.

Care and Maintenance

To begin, pick a good soil potting mix to home your plants. It is important not to take soil from your yard or garden. This may be filled with insects, fungus, and weeds. Buying soil will ensure that your plants have access to all the minerals and nutrients they need to thrive. Some soils even come with fertilizer built in. Talk to experts at your local gardening center to see what brands they recommend.

To begin, only plant one type of plant per pot. Different plants have different needs and it can be hard to accommodate light and watering schedules when you have too many variations of plants sharing a small space.

Because your plants are indoors, they will need more care than outdoor plants. Giving them fertilizer is a great way to ensure that all of their needs are met. Deadheading (aka trimming off dead parts of the plant) is also an important way to keep your plants healthy.

Beware of Pests

Even though your plants are indoors, there are some pests to be aware of to keep your plants safe and healthy. Mites, mealybugs, and scale are all things that can threaten the health of your plants. The key to success here is preventative care. Groom your plants regularly and keep an eye out for any threatening-looking growth or activity in the pot. It is also important to not overwater your plants and to be aware of their exposure to moisture. Too moist of an environment can lead to rot and eventually kill your plants.

Overall, plantscaping is a great way to boost your health and to benefit your space. Plants help keep you healthy and happy and can give your home a trendy and fresh new feel. Bringing plants into your home offers many benefits. If you are interested in plantscaping and have any questions, contact our experts at Hidden Creek today.

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Steps For Effective Landscape Planning

The success of any landscaping project depends on design and preparation. Thoughtful and professional planning of your landscaping will help you to create your dream backyard.

Formulating a Plan

A landscape design is first sketched on graph paper or drawn up with a CAD software program. Without the assistance of an experienced professional, creating a landscape-design plan can be somewhat intimidating for homeowners.

First, a scaled map is created to show where the property boundaries are in relation to the home. It is critical for the dimensions and placement of structures to be precisely represented to create an accurate depiction.

Studying the Property

When creating a landscape design, the entire property must be looked at as one cohesive unit. A landscape designer will know how to factor in everything from the trees and shrubs to the walkways and lighting.

You need to account for all parts of the home and yard, including patios, decks, gazebos, and pools. Design your walkways to be both aesthetically pleasing as well as safe to walk on during both day and night time. Once you have an accurate illustration of your yard, other characteristics of your property, you can add in types of vegetation and natural areas to the plan.

Creating Purpose

Once you have a thorough understanding of what you have to work with on your property you can start to think about what landscaping design features you want to incorporate. A properly landscaped yard should have something for the whole family. This may include adding flower, herb or vegetable gardens and areas for entertaining or relaxing, a play area for the kids, a pet-exercise area or spaces for hobbies and equipment repair.

Plants and Materials

Once you have a general idea of how you want your yard to be laid out you will need to choose the right plants and materials for your space. Choosing plants that are native to specific growing zones will allow them to survive and flourish while minimizing maintenance.

You will need to decide on the types of trees, shrubs, and flowers as well as materials for patios, decks and walkways, privacy screens and noise barriers. In some places, plants can also serve as structures. For example, a row or two of some type of evergreen shrub, hedge or bush can act as both a noise barrier and privacy screen.

Hiring a landscape designer will help you make these decisions and avoid common mistakes. For example, one common mistake many people make while landscaping is placing plants or trees to close together. This constricts plant growth.  

Bringing It Together

After you have determined the primary uses for your yard you can begin the process of organizing and laying out the design on paper. The house, garages, outbuilding and any other relevant structural details should be added to your design first. 

Any areas of your yard that are in public view should be given special consideration, including setting up sheltered areas for storing refuse, lawn maintenance equipment, and other miscellaneous outdoor supplies. Finally, add driveways, walkways, and entrances for patios and other main areas. Each of these basic, but important, features plays a vital role in creating an attractive and functional landscape design.

Climate and Terrain

Rainfall, wind, topography and temperature variations in the area should all be considered while you design your property. Consult a professional landscape for specific recommendations. 

Because soil heavily impacts vegetation, it is important to have a professional soil test done to determine what plants are best suited for your soil type. Topography, including slopes and variations in elevation, will affect the drainage of your property and should be factored into your decision as well. 

Sun-Shade Patterns

Daily sun and shade patterns on your property can help you map out where to plant trees in your yard. Additionally, the angles of your house, garages, sheds and other outdoor structures can help to highlight or downplay qualities of your home and yard.

Night Gardens

A night garden is a great way to add both romance and mystery to your yard. The proper selection of plants is crucial to create the perfect night garden. When in doubt, choose low-maintenance species that thrive in the moonlight. 

Plants that release scent during the night, called “noctiflora,” are some of the best choices for night gardens. Light-colored flowers and foliage that show up well in the dark are also great choices.

Lighting

A garden’s layout can have a big impact on how the light falls on and illuminates the plants. If natural lighting can’t be used for some reason, you can achieve the desired effect with landscaping lights. 

The three main types of landscape lighting include downward, upward and cross lighting.

Downward lighting adds a feeling of class and is a fashionable choice for casting light from above. Upward lighting works well for illuminating the sides of structures, such as walls and pillars, from the ground, adding depth to an otherwise boring scene. Cross lighting is designed to cast light a specific point from both sides, above and/or below.

Multi-colored lighting will allow you to express yourself, mix things up and make the landscape features truly pop at night. A well-lit multicolored path can also be a stunning feature for a night garden.

When you decide to landscape your backyard, it is important to craft a meticulous landscaping plan. If you would like to redesign your backyard, call the experts at Hidden Creek Landscaping. Together, we can create a backyard that’s perfect for you and your whole family.

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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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5 Landscaping Tips For First Time Homeowners

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 4.37.36 PMMany first time homeowners are eager to transform the interior and exterior look of their new property. Focusing on the Here are 5 landscaping tips for new homeowners to keep in mind:

Repair the lawn. If your lawn isn’t in the greatest shape, spend some time fixing it first. Buy the right type of grass seed for your region and repair the bare spots. Focus on fixing the problem areas to give your lawn a neat, uniform look. Fill in the bare patches with seed and fix any uneven areas before planting anything.

Plan first. Having an entire outdoor area to design for both beauty and functional purposes is exciting. The best way to achieve exactly what you want is to create a plan. Sketch out your yard and put the design down on paper before purchasing anything. Think about what you want, including garden areas, walkways, and patio or seating areas, and include them in the design sketch.

Add color. There are many ways to add color to your yard. From annuals and perennials to flowering shrubs and bushes to lawn decor, you can bring your lawn to life with colors and textures throughout the year. Just be sure to read the care instructions for all plants before putting them in the ground, since shade and daylight are important to proper growth.

Don’t over-water. One of the biggest mistakes new homeowners can make when caring for their lawn and garden is over-watering. Be sure to follow the care guides for each plant and grass seed. Too much water can actually drown the seeds and kill plants.

Take your time. Keep in mind that a beautiful landscape design takes time and effort. You may not be able to achieve everything you want in the first year. Be patient, take your time, and think about what you really want to see in your yard.

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February Landscaping Tips For You

shutterstock_529463221When the landscape is blanketed with snow and frigid temperatures are constant, typically the only thoughts homeowners have of spring is wishing for warmer temperatures. However, besides mentally escaping the cold, these landscaping tips for February will help you to get your yard ready for the growing season of spring:

Apply Pre-Emergents. Controlling weeds before you see them is the best method of control. In warmer climates, weeds actually start to germinate in February. If left unattended, the weeds will rapidly invade your landscape. Applying a pre-emergent now and following up with a post-emergent application nearer to spring will keep weeds like dandelions at bay.

Apply Fertilizers. Applying a slow-release fertilizer provides your landscape with the right volume of nutrients at the appropriate time. Typically, around 50 percent of the active nitrogen and nutrients are released right when the fertilizer is applied. Depending on how it was formulated, the rest of it will be discharged over the next month or two when more nitrogen is needed to promote optimal growth.

Remove Plants, Shrubs and Grasses Damaged During Winter. You may need to do some pre-spring cleaning to get rid of any winter damage that has been done to your plants, shrubs and grasses. Before the start of the new growth, it is important to trim away any dead matter. Depending on the type of plant, you might need to remove all of the top parts. Getting rid of the wind-whipped or weathered matter enables new growth and a better chance for the plant to flourish when the temperatures get warmer.

You should never allow your landscape to sit idle all throughout the off-season; this will affect how it functions in the spring and beyond. With general preparedness and the help of these February landscaping tips, you can get your yard ready for a bold entry into the next season.

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