Support Your Local Monarchs

Writtey by Elisa on Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 at 4:20 pm. Posted in Butterfly garden, garden, garden landscaping, Native Maryland Garden, organic garden, Theme Landscaping

Monarch

Monarch Butterflies have begun to return to our gardens again this year. Monarchs require Milkweed for their caterpillars.  As a matter of fact, Monarch caterpillars can only feed on Milkweeds and nothing else. The adult Butterflies, however, need nectar all summer long.

According to National Geographic, Fewer monarch butterflies are crossing North America to winter in Mexico, and the biggest culprit seems to be the disappearance of milkweed in the United States. The trend is particularly troubling because monarchs have long been considered both an indicator of our ecological health and a representative of pollinator populations.

When planting for Monarchs, mix Milkweed with lots of flowering nectar plants (as well as grasses) that will bloom from early in the summer (when Monarchs first arrive) through the fall.

This will have several advantages including the following:

  • Provide nectar for the Monarchs, along with many butterflies and pollinators, when the Milkweed are not flowering. Each species of Milkweed only flowers for about a month.  The adult Monarchs need nectar from the time they arrive until they leave.
  • Create a sustainable ecosystem in your home garden.
  • Support not only the struggling Monarch, but many species of Butterflies, Beetles, Moths, Birds, Snakes, Turtles, and Mammals…etc.
  • Create a beautiful butterfly garden for your enjoyment.

 

What kind of Milkweed should you plant? Plant Milkweeds native to your area and adapted to your soil and sun conditions. Monarchs can use ALL of them. There are about 75 species of Milkweed found in North America. There are a lot to choose from. You can find out what species are native to your area at the Biota of North America Program (http://bonap.net/NAPA/TaxonMaps/Genus/County/Asclepias ).

Maryland Milkweed

 

Email KW Landscaping for more information and to inquire about integrating monarch attracting milkweed into your summer garden.

 

Perfecting your Seasonal Summer Planters

Writtey by Elisa on Friday, June 5th, 2015 at 1:28 pm. Posted in Container Gardens, flower garden, garden landscaping, organic garden, professional planters, Summer Garden, Summer Planters

Summer Planter Arrangement June is the perfect time to fill your planters with beautiful arrangements to brighten your home all summer long. Garden and home stores are overflowing with plants and pots in every shape, color and size imaginable so it can be hard to decide what design you want. Here are a few tips to consider when planning your planters:

1)    Consider all colors and textures – A well balanced arrangement doesn’t rely solely on one or two colors but incorporates accent colors in both the flower and the foliage. You should also consider texture, combining sharp shiny reeds with soft furry leaves can create eye-catching drama and balance. Try combining an arrangement of Pennisetum rubrum (red fountain grass), Ipomea (sweet potato vine), Calibrachoa (million bells), Begonia Dragonwing and Ageratum for a variety of colors, textures and growth habits. Summer Planter

2)    Balance foliage and flowers – the foliage to flower ratio is critical. The positioning of foliage to frame and also create movement will dramatically increase the aesthetic success of your planter.

3)    Shade or sun – Consider where you plan to place your planter. If your planter will have the bright shade of the morning sun, this will open up more options than deep shade spaces. Study the area in which you want to plant, then purchase your plants accordingly. If you love planting container gardens but don’t know where to start send KW Landscaping an email and they can provide beautiful arrangements for your summer planters.

Maryland Summer Planter

Bring your Garden to Life as Summer Approaches

Writtey by Elisa on Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 2:18 pm. Posted in flower garden, garden, garden landscaping, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, organic garden, Summer Garden

Flowers always make a home seem more welcoming. Adorn your entrance with assorted annuals to keep color year long. Petunias, Salvia, Geraniums, Ageratums, Begonia are all great additions to consider in addition to others. If you have a small space between your house and the street, try putting a low fence in front. It gives the illusion that your house is farther from the street than it really is, and it also makes for a great space for planting flowers and vines.

Enjoy your garden from Spring to Fall. A great thing about gardening in Maryland is that we get treated get a long season to enjoy colorful annual flowers. Consider adding these annuals/bulbs/tropicals to your garden and containers;

Spring: tulips, daffodils, crocus, primrose
Summer: lantana, new guninea impatiens, zinnia, coleus, hibiscus, verbena, canna lily
Fall: pansy, violas, aster (perennial), mum

KW Landscaping specializes in making your gardens bloom with color and variety all season long. Consider adding the following enhancing services to your home or business.

ENHANCING SERVICES

SUMMER & FALL COLOR PLANTINGS: Our service includes removal and disposal of prior season’s annuals and the installation of new annuals. The summer planting is in May and the fall planting is in September.

COLOR PLANTING FEEDINGS: Our service includes FIVE feedings for you summer and fall color. This Organic feeding will encourage larger plants with more colorful blooms. Service is provided April, June, July, August & October.

BULB INSTALLATION: Our service includes the planting of our custom bulb collection in the fall for a spring bloom display.

To add Color services to your landscape management program please email info@kwlandscaping.com for more information and a quote.

Organic Turf Management Practices for your Home or Business

Writtey by Elisa on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 1:14 pm. Posted in Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, lawn care, organic garden, organic landscaping, organic lawn, organic lawn care, organic turf management

KW Landscaping is proudly NOFA certified. What this means is that we adhere to their guidelines and recommendations when landscaping your home or business. We also have completed 30 hours of coursework and attend yearly trainings to maintain our certification status. When it comes to organic lawn care, NOFA sets the standards for our industry. When considering what to include in your yearly maintenance landscape agreement, it’s important to consider some of NOFA’s best practices when it comes to organic lawncare.

When preparing your yard for a beautiful organic lawn you will want to have your soil tested. If you want your property to look its best, to save money, and to protect the environment even more, do an easy soil test before you apply anything at all. A soil testing lab will be help you figure out how much of which fertilizers and nutrients to apply for optimum results.

For a healthy lawn you will want to Mow high at a height of approximately 3″-4″. You also will want to leave grass clippings on your lawn and water infrequently, if at all. You should also encourage a bit of white clover, fertilize with compost and overseed bares spots in the fall and early spring.

Good turf management (infrequent but deep watering, moderate fertilization, soil amendments based on soil tests, mowing high at 3″-4″, and a diversity of grass and plant species) will result in a vigorous turf with a deep extensive root system that can tolerate relatively high grub densities without damage. Nature itself often can keep grub populations in check through the checks and balances of weather conditions and predator-prey cycles.

KW Landscaping offers and strongly recommends their ORGANIC TURF ENHANCING PROGRAM: yes this program is 100% Organic: This program is designed to grow a green, thick, lush lawn that is safe for you, your children, your beloved pets and my technicians. The turf will be fertilized monthly, March-October, ensuring a constant food supply. The turf will be overseeded in the fall. Overseeding is the best form of weed control because it creates competition that weeds cannot handle. The crew will spread 8lbs of seed per 1000sqft, this is double what University of Maryland recommends. Also in the fall, the lawn will be Aerated. Aeration ensures greater seed to soil contact which increases seed germination. The turf will be topdressed with compost in the fall too. Your soil is a living ecosystem and the compost provides organic matter which soil microbes feed on. Compost is black gold that insures the results of this program and you can never have too much. The soil will be amended with adequate nutrients to balance the soil chemistry for your particular lawn. A soil test will be conducted to know exactly what your soil needs because a soil deficient of those needs will not be a place grass will want to grow. Weeds are messengers telling us what is deficient in the soil or what problems your soil may have and most times we just “shoot the messenger.” You cannot IGNORE the underlying problem. This program will address those issues, creating an environment that grass will want to grow in. For example, crabgrass loves compacted and calcium poor soils, so if you relieve the compaction and increase your calcium levels, the soil will be a less desirable place for crabgrass to grow. This program uses science and science takes time. The lawn and soil ecosystem will get better and better over time.

For more information or to get a lawn maintenance quote please email info@kwlandscaping.com

Organic Turf Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference: http://www.organiclandcare.net/

Bed Management for your Home or Business Landscape

Writtey by Elisa on Thursday, February 26th, 2015 at 5:13 pm. Posted in garden, garden landscaping, landscape bed management, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, organic garden

KW Landscaping is currently in the process of renewing all of our landscape management agreements for our clients. The services vary depending on the individual client’s desires and needs however, bed management is an important service to consider adding to your annual agreement.

KW Landscaping’s Bed Management service includes weeding & cleaning of all beds and pruning of shrubs, perennials, and ground covers for a manicured look all season long. During our SPRING CLEAN-UP in mid to late March, the ornamental grasses, liriope, butterfly bushes are cut back to allow for this seasons growth. Roses will also be pruned to remove any dead growth that occurred from this cold winter. During the growing season (April-October), the crews will visit the property every two weeks (for some properties weekly), to continue to keep the weeds pulled and plants properly pruned at the right time. The spent rose blooms will be deadheaded as well to promote repeat blooming, this is most commonly needed with the ever popular Knockout Rose. After all the leaf cleanup is complete, the crew returns for FINAL CLEAN-UP and cuts back the perennials to give your property a manicured look for the winter. Service runs March through the end of the season.

This service is essential to enjoy your landscape and not to be a servant to it each weekend. Let our crews keep your landscape well groomed all the time by hiring KW Landscaping to provide our Bed Management service. Please email KW Landscaping for more information or to schedule a time for a free estimate.

landscaping and bed management

Choosing the right Mowing Service

Writtey by Elisa on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:30 pm. Posted in Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, lawn care, organic garden, Uncategorized

KW Landscaping is currently in the process of renewing all of our landscape management agreements for our clients. The services vary depending on the individual client’s desires and needs however mowing is a mainstay of our landscape management offerings. While it may seem like a straight forward service, there are some factors to consider when hiring a landscaping company to care for your property. Here are items to consider.

  •      Decide what you want from a service. Most offer some sort of fertilizing, mulching, leaf removal, aerating, mowing, and small tree and shrub maintenance; Do you need more?
  •  Inquire about the company’s philosophy and methods. Do they use slow release organic fertilizers? (That’s good). Do they routinely spray for pests or problems that you haven’t experienced? (That may be bad.) Do they check you soil before recommending a fertilization program? (Another good sign.)
  •  Talk to neighbors who use the landscape service. This is a good way to determine which services operate in your area and to get that homeowner’s recommendations.
  •  Request a lawn inspection and a free estimate of service costs from the company. Beware of companies that quote guaranteed annual prices without having seen your lawn.

beautiful Maryland lawn

 

  • Ask about prices and what services are included. Some companies require a yearly contact; others work on verbal agreements that can be discontinued by the customer at any time. Find out what happens if you have a problem between applications. Will there be a charge for these service calls?

 

  •  Check to see if you can save money by paying an annual fee up front. This method is more convenient than paying after each treatment. Some companies offer monthly installments to make their services budget friendly.
  •  Understand what services the company is proposing to provide before work starts. Find out what treatments are included, approximately when they will be applied, and what results can be expected.
  •  Find out what is guaranteed. Some will assure performance, and others will refund your money if the work is unsatisfactory.
  •  Make sure the service is licensed to apply lawn-care products as required by your state.
  •  Check with your local Better Business Bureau to find more information on a specific lawn-care company’s service record.

KW Landscaping’s mowing service includes edging, trimming, blowing and picking up any sticks or trash. The lawn will be mowed at varying heights throughout the season to promote a healthy stand of grass and compete with weeds. The heights will be lower in the spring and fall to encourage tillering (branching) and higher in the summer to deal with summer stress. Service runs April through October. Email KW Landscaping for a custom quote.

Festive Winter Garden Containers

Writtey by Elisa on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 5:34 pm. Posted in Christmas Decorating, Container Gardens, garden, garden landscaping, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, organic garden, organic winter containters, professional planters, Winter gardening, Winter Landscaping

Its’ official, your summer planters are goners this year. But why not adorn your containers with a beautiful winter arrangement to enjoy now through the spring? KW Landscaping is currently creating beautiful custom winter garden containers and would love to provide a custom winter arrangement for your home. Here are some ideas for inspiration or create a completely original look, either way, it’s a great idea keep your garden containers festive this winter season. Please email KW Landscaping for more information.

winter garden container
Spikes and Berries: Cardinal dogwood spikes tower about a Fraser fir and winter berry holly pairing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Spikes and Berries: Cardinal dogwood spikes tower about a Fraser fir and winter berry holly pairing.

winter window box planter
Simple Beauty: Containers don’t need to be complicated to be beautiful. White pine branches spilling out of a window box are simple yet elegant with a fresh coat of snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

winter container ideas

winter garden urns
Warm, Earthy Colors: Earthy colors brighten these urns and what’s inside them. This arrangement uses common materials, such as yellowtwig dogwood, red winterberries and the greens of Norway pines, incense cedars and boxwoods, plus unexpected touches: Southern magnolia leaves and kuwa pods (available at crafts supply stores). Try groupings for impact. If one container is good, two or more are better. Urns flanking a door or sidewalk entry add a formal note. On the lawn, patio or porch, group containers with similar shapes or colors in different sizes for a bigger impression. Keep materials similar, but don’t worry about matching exactly. Add white lights to give long winter nights some sparkle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

winter garden containers

Christmas landscaping decoration
Add Lights: One easy idea for creating a holiday container is to take an already-potted tree and wrap it in lights. Giving it a skirt of evergreen boughs adds extra festive flair.

 

 

 

s

Winter Holiday garden containers
Illuminate your Holiday: Try adding winter garden containers to enhance your outdoor holiday decorations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

references: www.midwestliving.com www.bhg.com

Why Topdress with Compost?

Writtey by Elisa on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 1:09 am. Posted in fall landscaping service, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, lawn care, maryland fall lawn care, organic garden, topdressing

September is right around the corner and KW Landscaping INC will be kicking off our fall lawn renovation season (September 2nd – September 26th). This is the ideal time to help your lawn recover from summer. Aerating, overseeding and topdressing with compost are all important lawn chores to be done in September. Contact KW to get your lawn scheduled.

WHAT IS TOPDRESSING?

Topdressing is the direct application of a layer of compost and/or other organic matter onto grass. The thickness of this layer varies according to need but KW Landscaping generally applies a thickness of approximately 1/4 inch.

Why Topdress with Compost?

Topdressing your lawn with compost offers several advantages over other fertilizing and grass- maintenance methods.

Fertilization
Compost is the only slow-releasing soil amendment containing all of the necessary nutrients to maintain balanced levels of vital nutrients such as nitrogen, iron, copper and phosphorus.

Soil Structure
Soil structure is critical when growing strong, healthy, green grass. As an integral part of the soil-air-water-grass relationship, a well-structured soil will better retain water and fertilizing elements. Compost improves the structure of every type of soil—whether silt, sand, or clay. The intake of compost allows soil to be more porous with better drainage, while furthering the transfer of gases and the development of new roots.

Microbial Activity
Microbial activity is particularly important for growing and maintaining healthy grass. Excessive use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers weaken the microbial activity, in addition to acidifying the soil. The application of compost stimulates microbial activity in the soil and balances the levels of nutrients.

Thatch Decomposition
The microorganisms present in compost will transform the thatch (the layer of dead plant material in the grass) into an organic matter that will be absorbed by the lawn.

Neutral pH
The organic matter contained in compost (around 60 percent) acts as a reserve, holding micronutrients until they are needed by the plants, and allowing a more balanced pH level.
In summary, the beneficial results of compost topdressing make it the first step in a professional, complete, and ecologically responsible lawn care maintenance program. Topdressing with compost corrects several problems at their source and allows for healthy soil and grass. KW Landscaping’s topdressing machines allows for an even coat atop the lawn versus the wheel barrow and shovel method of application which will not produce an even coating. The compost application will help to maintain a rich green lawn color through the winter because of the organic matter in the compost. September is the best time for the Maryland region to get your lawn healthy. The soil temperatures are still really warm which allow the grass seed to germinate faster. The days are cooler which is the preferable growing conditions for Maryland cool season grasses. Contact KW Landscaping for more information and to schedule your service.

topdressing

Why should you overseed your lawn?

Writtey by Elisa on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 10:12 pm. Posted in fall landscaping service, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, lawn care, maryland fall lawn care, organic garden, overseeding

As we approach the end of summer KW Landscaping INC will be kicking off our fall lawn renovation season (September 2nd – September 26th). This is the ideal time to help your lawn recover from summer. Aerating, overseeding and topdressing with compost are all important lawn chores to be done in September. Contact KW to get your lawn scheduled.

Why should you overseed your lawn?

The weather can be tough on lawns. Lack of water, too much heat and traffic, and other problems can make it look worn and thin. You can bring it back to life by overseeding. Overseeding is one of the most important tasks involved in growing a healthy, lush lawn. While fertilizing your lawn is important, grass plants slow down their rates of reproduction after a few years. Over time, lawns that have not been overseeded will grow thin and unhealthy, making it much easier for weeds to overtake the lawn. Since a blade of grass lives only an average of 45 to 60 days, production of new tillers must continually outpace the dieback of older leaves. Young grass will produce tillers faster than older grass. Therefore, one of the most important secrets to maintaining a healthy, thick lawn is to make sure your grass is young. The practice of overseeding lawns is the easiest way of Keeping grass young.

When is the Right Time for Overseeding Lawns?

Overseeding lawns consisting of Cool season grasses should be done in September. There are many reasons for this. With fall germination, the young grass will have two or three months to become better established before temperatures drop too low and growth stops. Next spring, the young plants will have another few months to develop deeper roots before the summer heat sets in. This is the primary reason, but there are also other reasons for overseeding lawns in the fall. Below are a few:

  •  Overseeding lawns in fall reduces or eliminates competition from summer weedy grasses, such as crabgrass and other weeds.
  •  Soil temperatures are still warm in the fall, which is necessary for seed germination, while the cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth.
  •  Rain amounts and soil moisture is generally better in the fall.
  •  Overseeding lawns in the fall gives the grass a head start. The roots have become established before winter, which greatly reduces crop loss should you have a hot, dry spring.

Two things that KW does different than other service providers when it comes to overseeding;

The crews will use blends of seed for sunny areas and blends of seed for Shady areas; not the same seed for both Sun and Shade as all seed is not created equal. Seed produced for Sunny Areas will thin in shady areas and Seed produced for Shady areas will burn in Sunny Areas. Feel confidant that KW will use the right seed for your yards environment. If you have a sunny front yard and a shady backyard, you will get two different types of seed.

The amount of seed we use is double what is recommended by University of Maryland (Go Terps!!!). They recommend 4lbs per thousand square feet, while I have seen advertisements from others only using 3lbs per thousand. KW’s Crews use 8lbs per thousand square feet to sow a thicker lawn.

September is the best time for the Maryland region to get your lawn healthy. The soil temperatures are still really warm which allow the grass seed to germinate faster. The days are cooler which is the preferable growing conditions for Maryland cool season grasses and not weeds like crabgrass. Contact KW Landscaping for more information and to schedule your service.

healthy lawn

Why Aerate Your Lawn?

Writtey by Elisa on Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 4:31 pm. Posted in aerating service, fall landscaping service, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, lawn care, maryland aeration, maryland fall lawn care, organic garden

In 2 short weeks, KW Landscaping INC will kick off our fall lawn renovation season (September 2nd – September 26th). This is the ideal time to help your lawn recover from summer. Aerating, overseeding and topdressing with compost are all important lawn chores to be done in September. Contact KW to get your lawn scheduled.

Why should you aerate your lawn?

Aerating your lawn reduces soil compaction for better root growth and air/water/nutrient absorption.  Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Excessive lawn thatch buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements. Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. In short, aeration makes your lawn greener and happier.

September is the best time for the Maryland region to get your lawn healthy. The soil temperatures are still really warm which allow the grass seed to germinate faster. The days are cooler which is the preferable growing conditions for Maryland cool season grasses and not weeds like crabgrass. Contact KW Landscaping for more information and to schedule your service.

Here is a great illustration that shows the benefits of aeration.

aeration service diagram

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