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Landscape Maintenance for Spring

Bloodgood Maple
Spring Landscape Maintenance for Summer Beauty

What is your spring landscape maintenance plan? We all want to get our landscape gardens off on the right roots so we can enjoy a healthy, thriving and vibrant landscape through the spring, summer and fall. Spring landscape maintenance plans start with general plant and bed maintenance, followed by shrub pruning, perennial cutbacks, fertilizing, mulching and edging beds. Garden Design Inc. offers full service Spring Landscape Maintenance and ongoing landscape services for Allentown, Emmaus and the entire Lehigh Valley Landscape companies.

March – April  Landscape Maintenance

Overview:  Plants begin to break dormancy. Work done now sets tone for remainder of season. Good Garden Hygiene will reduce needs for excessive pesticide and herbicide throughout the season

General Plant Maintenance:

  • Cut back and cleanup dead and decayed perennial growth from prior season
  • Prune any dead branching from woody shrubs and small trees
  • Weed removal – winter weeds bittercrest, chickweed dandelion etc.
  • Check for Scale and treat with Horticultural Oil
  • Divide Perennials – where appropriate to fill in and encourage healthier growth.

Infrastructure Maintenance:

  • Exposed lighting wire or irrigation tubing – dig and bury
  • Check lighting systems, replace bulbs as needed, adjust timer as needed
  • Check downspouts and drains for clogs or other issues
  • Inspect hardscapes for heaving – repair lifting or shifting paving
  • Inspect general garden drainage and resolve any washout problems
Landscape Maintenance
Landscape Gardens Allentown

Perennials:

  • Mow Liriope, Epimedium and other appropriate cutback groundcovers
  • Hand groom Fern, Hellebore, Bergenia, Geranium (semi-evergreen perennials)
  • Uncover plant crowns and ‘press down’ from winter heave
  • Cutback and Divide Grasses

Flowering Shrubs:

  • Rejuvenate Pruning – on heavy bloomers – Roses, Spirea, Hydrangea, Weigela
  • Selective Pruning – to Form/Shape larger woody flowering shrubs i.e. Viburnum
  • Reduction Pruning – Reduce 1/3 old wood past seasons i.e. Red Twig Dogwood

Evergreen Shrubs:

  • Rejuvenate Pruning – form oriented shrubs i.e. boxwood and ilex
  • Selective Pruning – Remove dead and damaged wood
  • Disease & Pest – Inspect and treat Scale and psyllid (boxwood)

Trees:

  • Selective Pruning – Remove dead/diseased wood and prune minor to good form
  • Remove reversions, scions and root sucker growth

Fertilizing:

  • Perennials – Fertilize around the crown, not on it
  • Shrubs – fertilize 3-5” around the drip line, not inside or beyond
  • Trees – Fertilize 6-12” around the drip line. Deep plug fertilize every 48”

Mulch:

  • Cut bed edges – Check work order for specification Hand Edge vs. Machine
  • Note prior over mulching and remove/spread out before new mulch
  • Install mulch between plants – do not ever dump onto a plant!
  • Move mulch around plants, never closer than 1” to crown or trunk
  • Never bury crown, trunk or branching in mulch
  • Never over mulch around any plant (2” Maximum)

Techo Bloc Pavers Reviews

Techo Bloc Pavers Reviews
Techo Bloc Borealis Slab

I attended the Techo Bloc contractors showcase 2017 last week. They always put on a great show highlighting new products and techniques. It is a service to the contracting community making us all better professional hardscape contractors in Allentown. With that, lets talk a little Techo Bloc Pavers Reviews. What new pavers are available, new landscape walls, new permeable paving options, and a bit about our favorite Techo Bloc pavers for Allentown Landscape Projects.

Borealis Wall
Techo Bloc Borealis Wall

First, which and how do new Techo Bloc products apply for Emmaus landscaping projects? Or any of our landscape services areas of the Lehigh Valley. The Techo Bloc borealis paver and the borealis wall are products generating positive attention with landscaping clients in Emmaus and Allentown. The Borealis paver and wall line simulate a natural wood appearance. The main benefit is that this line offers a distinctly different look in landscape hardscapes. The Techo Bloc Borealis line can be effectively combined with the Techo Bloc BLU to create dynamic patio hardscapes. The Borealis wall has the look of the old landscape timbers. I am not a fan! I do like the dimensions and creative oportunies that the size of the Borealis Wall offers. But I think the product will become outdated, out of landscape style. It is not a timeless landscape product.

Para Slab
Techo Para Slab

The new Techo Bloc Para Slab collection does introduce a new hardscacpe option with a timeless style. This new patio paving option has contemporary, clean styling. Para Slab is available in both a smooth and a polished finish. Though contemporary, it will still work well for the older homes of an Emmaus landscaping or Allentown Patio project.

Paver Pete of Techo Bloc fame was very excited about the new Ocean Grande Slab. It is an innovative landscape paver product, but I don’t see it working in most Allentown Landscaping or Emmaus Patio projects. The texture of the Ocean Grande Slab is dynamic and eye catching. But it will be outdated before long. Maybe it would work for Urban, Miami or California projects, but not for most Lehigh Valley Landscaping or Allentown Patio projects.

Techo Bloc Pavers Reviews can not discuss all of the options the Allentown Hardscape Company offers. We at Garden Design Inc. are big fans of the Techo Bloc Eva paver for a value oriented option. The new Techo Bloc Valet offers creative patio design options for Emmaus landscaping projects and Allentown Patio companies. The larger Aberdeen and BLU Techo Bloc Patio options create classic landscaping for larger patio projects. For permeable paving in the Lehigh Valley patio, the Techo BLU is out favorite option.

If your interested in more of our thoughts on Techo Bloc Pavers Reviews and the Techo Bloc hardscape products for use in Lehigh Valley landscaping projects, give us a call. We are glad to share our thoughts. There are a number of other lehigh valley landscape contractors who also have opinion about Techo Bloc for landscape patios and landscape walls. Of course, we want you to hire us to build your Allentown Landscaping or Emmaus patio project. But regardless of who you choose to work with for landscape design and landscape contracting in the Lehigh Valley, check out the Techo Bloc product. If you want a neutral summary, talk to John or Jared at AB Natural Stone. They carry Techo Bloc landscaping products and other options.

 

When and How Much Should I be Watering my Plants?

Formal Garden
Tulips and Boxwood Formal Garden

When and how much should I be watering my Plants?
That can be a tough landscape question. Hard to know sometimes, and there is not always a right answer. Varied factors need to be considered. Does the plant require moist or dry conditions? Has it rained or been dry and windy? How long has the plant been established? Confusing, under-watering can look like over-watering. Leaves wilt, wrinkle and turn brown. But, when plants are under-watered, the leaves are dry and crispy. When over-watered, the leaves are soft and loose. Over-watering will eventually lead to root rot and plant death.
The best test for watering needs is to regularly check the soil for moisture. The easiest test is to insert your index finger into the soil near the roots. Put your finger 2″  into the soil. If soil seems damp and moist, should be fine. Check it again the next days. If  soil is dry then water. For trees or larger plant material, check for moisture with a sample using a soil probe. Insert the probe as far as you can into the soil, twist and remove the ‘plug’. Check the soil moisture profile and water accordingly.
Always water deeply at ground level to avoid getting  water on the leaves and flowers. Water deeply and less often. Get that moisture deep into the soil so the roots go searching for it. That builds better plant roots more able to withstand drought. Always best is best to water in the early morning. This lets the water dry off any leaves, lets it soak in and doesn’t leave moist soil overnight when bacteria may grow.
General Watering Instructions
Annuals planted in the ground
Annual flowers are shallow rooted plants. You will need to water more often, every two or three days in hot summer.  It is especially important to water early in the morning to let the plant dry before sun hits the flowers.
Annuals In Pots Of Baskets
These plants also have shallow roots and need more readily available water. Container plants need more frequent watering since the soil is lightweight and there is not a whole lot. Watering is best every day to every other day. If hot and windy , you should check them twice a day because they can dry out quickly. On hanging baskets, you can lift them from the bottom to ‘weigh’. That will give you a good idea of how well watered the plants are by how heavy the pot is.
Annuals
Water annuals around the base, even flooding the bed. Try to avoid overhead watering.  Overhead spray watering could damage flowers and foliage. Use a moisture retaining fertilizer to help keep soil moist. Annuals generally prefer to be on the more watered side as they are a more fleshy and herbaceous plant.
Perennials
Perennial gardens need about 1″-2″ of water a week. That depends on the types of perennials. Native and drought tolerant perennials can go with much less water. IN fact, many perennials prefer dry conditions. Make sure and design your perennial garden with the plants watering needs in mind. A lavender plant that likes it dry would not be happy by a ligularia that likes it wet.
Trees And Shrubs
You will absolutely need to regularly deep water your new shrubs and trees for the first year after planting. This means at least once a week setting the hose on a trickle and letting the ground get deep soaked. Set the hose near the base of the plant and leave it on a slow trickle for about 1 to 3 hours. A drip hose or drip irrigation system can take the place where the new planting is more extensive than can be managed with a hose. Water deeply and less frequently. Watch out for the Autumn mentality when people think plants don’t need water because it is cooler. Autumn can be the driest time of year and w2e see more plants die of neglect in the Autumn than any other time.

Watering your new landscape plantings is an art. It requires getting your hands into the soil to check soil moisture. It requires getting to know your plants and the signs of thirst – wilting and dry leaves. For Allentown Landscaping and Lehigh Valley Landscaping, each summer brings a new weather pattern. What worked for watering your landscape plants last year, may not work next year. Get to know your plants up close and personal.