Advice for landscaping



As a landscape professional of more than 20 years I have seen some amazing things.

When we get a call and someone is looking for our services I never really know what I am going to look at. A landscape or front walkway, a patio space, koi pond, outdoor kitchen entertaining area it really can be just about anything since we do so many things. But this time of year you can bet I will get to see the landscape at its peak.

May is as spring as it gets. It often seems as though everything that can bloom is in bloom in may.

Lavender is one of my favorites to walk up on. That sent fills the air and you know somewhere in the landscape you are going to get to see the beautiful flower and breath that smell. Wisteria grows wild on the road sides with graceful drooping flowers hanging from the trees. Azaleas are blooming with all of their splendor. Honey locust filling the air with a sweet smell similar to that of honey suckle. It truly is the best time of year to be outside.

So what tips this month I have pondered for the past few weeks. How to plant? How to transplant? How to prune, or what to prune now? It seems I can cover most of these any time of year so what is it that I think could use said. What is the most common Question I get this time of year and what advice can I give today that will help you in the coming months?

Well the most common Question this time of year is typically related to grass or the maintenance there of, so here are some tips to take care of your lawn this early season to help ensure you have a healthy lawn later when it gets hot.

The most common lawn in our area is going to be filled with Fescue and/or blue grass and lucky for us both of these grasses have very similar needs. First and foremost if you have not had a soil test done get it done. There is no reason to fertilize a lawn that does not need it and if you’re having ph issues the needed nutrients cannot get into your lawn anyway.  Go into the lawn with a small hand spade or claw hammer gather 15-20 golf ball size samples of soil from just under the grass mix it up and get it in for testing. Once you have the test back you can set your plan of attack in motion.

While you wait for the soil test check your turf and your mower. Be sure your using clean maintenance equipment in proper working condition. Leaking oil or fuel on your lawn is no good. Check that blades are sharp and deck adjustments are calibrated. Lawns in our area should be cut between 3 and 3.5″ tall. This will help to keep your grass healthy and the weeds at bay. Check your lawn to see if there are any bare areas that need some last minute re seeding or sod and for goodness sakes, use quality material. When it comes to your landscape remember Mother Nature can get downright nasty so buying the cheapest thing you find so you can brag to your buddy about the deal you just got will more than likely turn around to bite you in the tail. There is a HUGE difference in the qualities of materials you can purchase and install in your landscape.

Today just before I came into the office to write this article I had the pleasure of meeting two long time Culpeper residents and walked there incredible landscape with them. I was so impressed with their wisteria and the way they had worked to keep it perfectly perched upon their pergola I had to ask if I could share it with all of my readers. Thankfully they said I could so please enjoy the picture. Wish everyone could have seen it in person.

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