That Landscapers HATE to Fix
While more MAY be better in some cases, it’s not better to have more in your landscape. Not spacing out your plants and over-filling them may offer instant gratification for the first year your new plants are in the ground, but in two years, your plants will begin to die because they’re fighting for space and nutrients. This common mistake is a HUGE WASTE of time and money.
HINT: Fill in empty spots with annual flowers until your shrubs mature!
Not Knowing Your Landscape’s Needs
You’ll want to have an idea of what your yard requires and then choose plants that fit those requirements. How much direct sunlight does your yard get daily? Is your soil clay-based, sandy, or rocky? Are there any water restrictions? Are there drainage issues? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make the best choices for your landscape. There is NO REASON not to research and learn more about the plants you are putting in your landscape. Planting shade plants in sun, or sun plants in shade is an inexcusable snafu in any landscape.
Starting Without A Plan
Don’t go to a Garden Center with a “my heart will guide me” mentality. This will lead to over purchasing and a major loss of money. You’ll also run into issues during your landscape install that could’ve been solved by planning ahead.
Not Paying Attention To The Style Of Your House
Your landscape should complement your home and increase your curb appeal! Different landscape styles work better aesthetically, so always use the look and structure of your house when deciding on garden bed shapes (i.e. A farmhouse-style home won’t work with a formal landscape). Unsure where to start?
HINT: Use a garden hose to help aid in the process of figuring out the shape of each bed; lay out the hose on the ground and use it as your guide, it’s soft and can follow the curves of your house, leading to perfect garden bed shapes.
Planting Too Close To Your Home
When planting, you must bear in mind that bushes, trees and plants WILL get bigger! Where you plant them is SO important – typically, leaving a minimum of 1-3 feet between your plants and your house. Ignoring how large a tree or bush will get can lead to walkway, sidewalk and foundation damage – or, even worse, it can rot your siding, allowing moisture and bugs to creep into your home. Not cool.
Relying On Pinterest To Do Your Landscape
It is SO EASY to get excited and jump into a project when you scroll through Pinterest. HOWEVER, you need to keep in mind the time, resources, and money that go into the ‘simple’ photos you see online. While it can be helpful for ideas, you have to get real about where you and your yard are located zone-wise and how much the project will cost overall.
Bat guano, or dung, has a long history of use as a soil enricher. It is obtained from only fruit and insect-feeding species of bats. Bat guano makes an excellent fertilizer; it’s fast-acting, has little odor, and can be worked into the soil prior to planting or during active growth.
What Do They Use Bat Guano For?
There are several uses for bat guano. It can be used as a soil conditioner, enriching the soil and improving drainage and texture, and a suitable fertilizer for plants and lawns, making them healthy and green. It can be used as a natural fungicide and controls nematodes in the soil as well. In addition, bat guano makes an acceptable compost activator, speeding up the decomposition process. With so many uses, why would you not use bat guano?!
How to Use Bat Guano as a Fertilizer
As a fertilizer, bat guano can be used as top dressing or worked into the soil and can be use fresh or dried. Typically, this fertilizer is applied in smaller quantities than other types of manure.
Bat guano provides a high concentration of nutrients to plants and the surrounding soil. According to the NPK of bat guano, its concentration ingredients are 10-3-1. This NPK fertilizer analysis translates to 10 percent nitrogen (N), 3 percent phosphorus (P), and 1 percent potassium or potash (K). The higher nitrogen levels are responsible for fast, green growth. Phosphorus aids with root and flower development while potassium provides for the plant’s overall health.
Note: You may also find bat guano with higher phosphorus ratios, such as 3-10-1. Why? Some types are processed this way. It’s also believed that the diet of some bat species may have an effect. For example, those feeding strictly on insects produce higher nitrogen content, whereas fruit-eating bats result in a high phosphorus guano.
We all know the joy of plants can come at a price, whether it be a plant disease, fungus, or pest. We love growing and caring for our vegetables, shrubs and indoor houseplants, but one snail can ruin a plant in a very short span of time. If you’re not sure if you have a snail problem, or how to fix it, you’re in the right place.
With snails, most of the damage happens at night, when they emerge to feed. They prefer clipping tender, young shoots, but may chew irregular holes through leaves and flowers or feed on soft fruits and the bark of young plants. As they move around, snails leave a slimy trail that dries to a silvery film by morning.
Control of snails is a major problem in all habitats. There are many things that can be done to reduce the potential of a problem occurring. Eliminate (as much as you can), items that are sitting on the ground (as they are possible resting places for these slimy pests) such as boards, boxes, stones, debris, weeds, plants in pots that have runners on the ground or any other items that provide shelter. Reducing hiding places decreases snail survival.
A few options are available to kill the snails. You can treat for snails organically with Diatomaceous Earth or you can also rid yourself of snails chemically. Using a dust or solution that contains spinosad + iron phosphate can lure snails from their hiding spots. Bonide Slug & Bug Killer contains both of these chemicals AND prevents those disgusting slime trails! Just spread the pellets around your garden, landscape, or in your indoor plants and start to enjoy your greenery again!
That’s about how long you have to create a good impression when a buyer first views your home. The moment they pull up, even before the car door opens, they’ve formed an opinion and you had better be sure it’s a good one!
“Because today’s buyers have much more to choose from in the way of inventory, any home for sale must make a positive first impression,” according to the National Association of Realtors.®
But the good news is, you can shape your prospective buyer’s opinion by maximizing your home’s curb appeal – and it’s not going to cost you a fortune. Here are some ideas of how you can quickly improve the appeal of your home so that it doesn’t stagnate on the market and fetches the best possible price. These same ideas work for those of you who just purchased a new home and wish to improve upon your existing curb appeal.
- Eliminate Weeds
Kill them, pull them, dig them – whatever method you choose is up to you, but get them out of your flower beds, sidewalks, driveways, and paths.
- Prune or Trim existing plants and trees
Overgrown beds hide the beauty of your home. Trim back overgrown shrubs, prune branches from trees, thin out overgrown areas in your flower beds. If you are unsure how to properly trim or prune your shrubs and trees look on the internet for advice. Neaten up any overgrown beds.
- Plant Rye Grass (if selling in the fall / winter)
Make your yard stand out by having a bright, cheery, green lawn all through the fall and winter. It is simple and inexpensive to over-seed your existing lawn with rye grass. Just make sure you have not applied a pre-emergent to your lawn – it will prevent the rye seed from germinating.
- Apply Pre-Emergent
If you are not going to over-seed with rye grass then apply a pre-emergent on your lawn. This will prevent any cool season weed seeds from germinating and growing into weeds. Your lawn won’t be green, but it won’t have weeds either.
- Freshen Mulch
Spread a thin coat of mulch in your existing flower beds and it will make the bed look much cleaner and new.
- Replace Dead Plants
If you have dead plants in existing landscapes then replace them with healthy plants. Dead plants give the appearance of neglect and a potential buyer will wonder what else hasn’t been tended to other than just the plants.
- Create an instant garden
Container gardens add a welcoming feel and colorful appeal to any home exterior — quickly and affordably. You can buy ready-made containers or create your own with your favorite plants.
A staggered, asymmetrical arrangement of 3 to 5 pots creates a dynamic setting or flank both sides of the door with single matching pots. Choose bold colors to add the “wow” to the neutral color of most homes. The current trend is to combine several different type of plants into your pots designs – small shrubs, ornamental grasses along with an area for seasonal color. The best part is you can take them with you if you are selling your home.
- Add Outdoor Fountain to cover road noise
If you happen to be on a busy street and road noise is an issue in your outdoor seating area you can minimize it with the sounds of falling water from a water feature. Offered in a variety of sizes and styles (ornate, contemporary, earthy) let the burbling sounds of falling water take the place of the sound of cars rushing by. Place fountains on level ground in optimum hearing and sight vantage points.
- Add Seasonal Annual Color to Existing Beds
Colorful annuals planted in groupings can make a statement that is easily seen from the road. These pops of color brighten up the yard and can help draw attention to them and away from another area of the yard that you might want to de-emphasize.
- Create a new planting bed
Add contrast and color to your home with a new planting bed. Prime spots are at the front corners of the yard, along driveways or walkways, and immediately in front of the house. When creating a new bed, choose features that will frame your home rather than obscure it. Take advantage of our “Plant by Number” design program – we design it and you plant it. Best of all it’s free.
- Outdoor Lighting
Low-voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal while also providing safety and security. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees or the house or can illuminate a walking path. If you aren’t able to use lights that require wiring, install solar fixtures (but understand that their light levels are not as bright or as reliable).
It’s easy to do – planting small plants too close together. It’s hard to believe that 12” plant will be 4-5’ tall and wide within a few years. You might try pruning to maintain them for a while, but that gets really tiring and the plant doesn’t look right when it isn’t allowed to grow to its preferred size.
We all want instant gratification so here’s some tips on how to create a fuller looking landscape while waiting on your shrubs to reach maturity:
- Plant small annual flowers in groupings of 3s to fill gaps between your shrubs and edge of the bed. This will also add a pop of color to your landscape.
- Plant small annual flowers in front of your shrubs to form a colorful border.
- Use liriope as accent plants – either as a border or in groupings.
- Plant larger annuals (coleus, penta, dusty miller) which can grow to 1’ tall and wide in the bed to take up empty space.
- Mulch your bed, besides helping retain moisture and block out weeds it gives the bed a finished look.
When setting out your plants in your flowerbed read the plant tag and plan on the plant reaching the largest size. We have a long growing season and most plants will reach their full maturity size in our area.
Choose plants that will not require frequent pruning to “fit” into your space. There are so many different species of plants in all textures and sizes to choose from. Make sure and ask questions when choosing your plants.
A word of caution – the plant tag gives general information about the plant. The same tag is used nationally and the plant can perform differently depending upon the climate of the area. Not all plants like our Texas summer heat but this will not be listed on the plant tag. Again, ask questions if you are unsure if a plant is right for a specific area.
To summarize – make sure to measure when planting your shrubs and plan for their growth. Use the tips to make the bed look fuller until the shrubs mature. Ask questions and ask for help when making your plant choices. Follow these steps and you will have a beautiful landscape you can enjoy for years to come.
Ever wish you could have planters like those in trendy magazines full of beautiful plants for each season. You see them on decks, porches, patios, by the front door, or poolside. Not everyone has the time or know-how needed to create containers that will last, but now you don’t have to. Grab & Go containers from The Home & Garden Center are the answer.
What is a Grab & Go container? It’s a pre-planted container in various size and price ranges enabling you to grab it and go with it to your home where you can either use it “as is” or drop the pot into your favorite container. Either way, it gives you instant, professionally designed and planted containers like those magazine photos.
Custom Grab & Go containers are available also. Choose the plants and container yourself or give us a color pallet and leave the rest to us.
We are planting spring and summer Grab & Go containers daily to keep up with the demand.