9-1-17… How about this Gem for a late summer/fall blooming native perennial… Boneset… Eupatorium perfoliatum

Writtey by flowerbeds on Friday, September 1st, 2017 at 8:52 pm. Posted in Uncategorized

This is one of a few very important flowering plants for the bees and other pollinators at this time of year… so please think twice about cutting it down or removing it as it definitely serves a purpose… this native gets about 3-5’ tall and loves full sun to part shade. The pure white slightly aromatic flowers are eye catchers in a late summer landscape. This plant acquired its name for the belief that it would help in setting and healing your bones. The dried leaves have also been used to make boneset tea, believed to be effective in treating colds, coughs, and constipation.

7-21-17… Native Plant To Highlight… Short Toothed Mountain Mint… Pycnanthemum muticum

Writtey by flowerbeds on Friday, July 21st, 2017 at 9:43 pm. Posted in Uncategorized

This is one of my summer flowering favorites that brings a mountain of pollinators and beneficial insects to your garden… This plant spreads at a slow rate unlike other mints, so don’t be afraid that it will take over your garden. This gem gets about 30” tall and supports itself nicely sporting silvery green leaves and tiny pink flowers. Full sun is desired but will tolerate partial shade, though I haven’t tried planting it in full shade yet. When in bloom, this mountain mint delivers a nice aroma and is a MAGNET for butterflies, beneficial wasps and flies and of course bees. No garden is complete without a little bit of mountain mint.

While walking in my own garden today, I noticed my milkweed was in bloom, both the orange butterfly weed and the pink swamp milkweed. Milkweed is the primary nectar source for the glorious Monarch Butterfly. Milkweed is another essential plant for every garden.

If you are interested in adding any of these plants to your garden, feel free to reach out to KW and we will get them planted in your landscape.

7-14-17… Your Summer Lawn…

Writtey by flowerbeds on Friday, July 14th, 2017 at 8:59 pm. Posted in Uncategorized

The Summer heat and lack of rain has reached us and your cool season turf grasses (fescues, blue and rye grasses) are taking a beating during this time. Here are a few tips to keep your lawn in the best shape possible during this summer stress. The first thing to consider is mowing. You want to mow the grass TALL, the crews at KW started mowing the lawns at 4” last week, up from 3.5” the week before and for the most of June. This allows for the grass blades to produce more carbohydrates which fuels the plant functions, it provides a greater surface area for photosynthesis to occur and it keeps the roots cool as taller leaf blades shade the soil from the hot sun. Mowing your lawn short in the summer will encourage weed seeds to germinate while discouraging your turf grass to thrive, NOT a good idea. The second practice is frequency of watering. Cool season grasses require about 1” of water per week to keep them actively growing, BUT, it is the best practice to water just 1-2 times per week, heavily to achieve that 1”. Watering everyday is detrimental to turf grass during the summer drought period because it encourages shallow roots, which dry out much faster than deep roots. Watering heavily causes the water to go deep into the soil and will encourage the roots to do the same. The last thing to consider is fertilization. Stay away from HEAVY doses of fertilizers especially with large amounts of Nitrogen in them. This will only feed the weeds and not the grass. Heck, who wants to feed weeds. KW’s summer fertilizations contain beneficial microbial biology to create a living soil that the turf grass can feed off of as it needs too.

In review, mow tall, water heavy but infrequently and avoid heavy doses of fertilizers.

Mulch Much?

Writtey by Elisa on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 4:19 pm. Posted in Uncategorized

organic mulch

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, the application of organic mulch is an important service to consider adding to your annual agreement.

The best time-saving measure a gardener can take is applying mulch. This goes for every garden site, from vegetable gardens to flower beds and, in the fall, I even suggest mulching your lawn with compost. Mulched gardens are healthier, more weed free, and more drought-resistant then unmulched gardens, so you’ll spend less time watering, weeding, and fighting pest problems.

There are two basic kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic. Organic mulches include formerly living material such as chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, compost, wood chips, shredded bark, sawdust, pine needles, and even paper. Inorganic mulches include gravel, stones, black plastic, and geotextiles (landscape fabrics).

Both types discourage weeds, but organic mulches also improve the soil as they decompose adding beneficial nutrients. Inorganic mulches don’t break down and enrich the soil, but under certain circumstances they’re the mulch of choice. For example, black plastic warms the soil and radiates heat during the night, keeping heat-loving vegetables such as eggplant and tomatoes cozy and vigorous.

Using Organic Mulches

There are two cardinal rules for using organic mulches to combat weeds. First, be sure to lay the mulch down on soil that is already weeded. Secondly, lay down a thick enough layer to discourage new weeds from coming up through it, but do not spread the mulch too thick around plants as that will cause other issues.

Wood chips and bark mulch are the most common mulches. You can purchase bags of decorative wood chips or shredded bark from a local garden center to mulch your flower garden and shrub borders. A more inexpensive source of wood chips might be your tree-care company or the utility company. They may be willing to sell you a truckload of chips at a nominal price. Many community yard waste collection sites offer chipped yard debris or composted grass clippings and fall leaves to residents for free (or for a small fee).

Shredded leaves are great for woodland gardens. If you have trees on your property, shredding the fallen leaves creates a nutrient-rich mulch for free. You can use a leaf-shredding machine, but you don’t really need a special machine to shred leaves—a lawn mower with a bagger will collect leaves and cut them into the perfect size for mulching.

Please beware of using wood chips and brush dump mulches. These two can be full of plant pathogens or insect infestations. Trees and bushes often die because of a insects or diseases. When these are chipped up or ground into shredded mulch, the issues do not go away. Composting this material will not get rid of these issues either. If you use these chips or mulches, you may just introduce a huge problem into your landscape. Ask what the source of the mulch is before you buy and avoid brush dump mulches. My strong suggestion to get a quality product is to purchase bagged mulch, it is much easier and faster to spread as well.

Grass clippings are another readily available mulch, although it’s a great idea to return at least some of your grass clippings directly to the lawn as a natural fertilizer. It’s fine to collect grass clippings occasionally to use as mulch, and the nitrogen-rich clippings are an especially good choice for mulching vegetable gardens. Your vegetables will thank you for the nitrogen boost! But think twice about doing this trick if your lawn is chemically treated, those chemicals will make their way to the food you want to eat.

If you have enough compost, it’s fine to use it as a mulch. It will definitely enrich your soil and make your plants happy, but keep in mind that when any kind of mulch is dry, it’s not a hospitable place for plant roots. So you may want to reserve your compost to spread as a thin layer around plants and top it with another mulch, such as chopped leaves. That way the compost will stay moist and biologically active, which will provide maximum benefit for your plants.

Pine needles: Pine needles are a trim-looking mulch for garden beds. They allow water to pass through easily and they break down slowly. Despite what you may have heard, using pine-needle mulch will not make your soil significantly more acid. If you would like pine needles as your mulch, KW can source these and spread it as we do for a few clients.

KW Landscaping’s mulch service includes an application of an Organic weed & feed and edging of the beds and trees. An Organically dyed BROWN cedar mulch will be used. The benefits of Cedar mulch include slower decomposition (allowing the mulch to last longer) and natural insect resistance. This service is typically performed in the Spring. Fall or an early Winter mulching is available upon request. This mulch is free of insects and diseases unlike local brush dump mulch used by others.

Please email KW Landscaping with any questions you may have or to receive a quote for your home or business.

cedar mulch landscaping

 

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.

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