HUGE snowstorm! Are you ready?

Writtey by Elisa on Thursday, December 11th, 2014 at 3:09 pm. Posted in fix generator, fix snowblower, generator maintenance, generator repair, lawn mower repair, lawn mower winterization, snow blower maintentance, snow blower repair

Are you ready for that HUGE snowstorm that is coming! They say 50% of Maryland will more than likely be out of power and we should expect record snowfalls. Whew, good thing you have that generator, your toilet paper and milk and a snow blower. You are the king of prepared! Or are you?

If you have not had your generator and or snow blower serviced this year then you are truly not prepared for a snow storm. Snow blowers and Generators need their carburetors serviced regularly or they will not start.

Why Service My Snowblower?

When the snow starts falling fast, your snowblower has to work when you need it. A snow blower has MANY moving parts that need to be checked and lubricated to ensure that they work when you need them too.

A quick, expert snowblower maintenance service can help ensure that you can fire your snowblower up with confidence every time – even in the most extreme conditions.

snowblower

WHAT WE DO FOR SNOWBLOWER MAINTENANCE:

  • Check ignition system, carburetor, throttle and choke controls.
  • Clean engine cooling fins. Change oil.
  • Check manual starter and electric starter if so equipped.
  • Lubricate moving parts; pivot points, cables, auger shaft, and drive plate zerk.
  • Lubricate, inspect and adjust drive belts and/or chains as applicable.
  • Check Sheer Bolts/Pins and Inspect Condition
  • Test overall operation of equipment and ensure that all safety features are fully operational at the time of service.

Why service my generator?

When the power goes out, your generator has to work when you need it. Electrical generators need to be maintained properly and operated safely. A dirty fuel system will cause a generator to run poorly or not at all. Generators produce carbon monoxide, a deadly gas, and can also be dangerous because they produce powerful voltage and use flammable fuels. Maintaining your portable generator and operating it according to the manufacturer’s instructions can help to mitigate some of the safety risks.

How Often?

It’s a good idea to have a professional service your portable generator and snow blower once a year. It’s also important to check your product manual for the manufacturer’s advice on maintenance you may need to perform between your yearly service.

Lucky for you, KW Landscaping INC has an expert mechanic ready to service your outdoor power equipment. He can even winterize your lawn mower so that in the spring it will be ready to start mowing again. KW Landscaping INC offers pick-up and delivery of your equipment. Email KW Landscaping INC for more information and to schedule your service.

generator

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.

 

 

 

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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

Do I need a Retaining Wall in my yard?

Writtey by Elisa on Thursday, November 20th, 2014 at 11:24 pm. Posted in Landscape construction, natural stone Retaining wall, outdoor patio stairs, Patio Construction, remodeling, retaining wall, retaining walls, stone Firepit Construction

Retaining Wall with Patio and Firepit

Many Maryland homeowners have yards that they cannot utilize due to steep slopes or uneven grades.  Some problems may also be due to washed out or eroded areas that just cannot support new plantings or grass. Retaining walls are a great way to correct those issues and create a whole new usable outdoor space. There are many types and styles of retaining walls that can be constructed to meet the homeowner’s needs.

A retaining wall is a stabilizing structure used to hold sloping ground in place and to prevent the erosion and the movement of soil. It must be substantial and sturdy enough to accommodate and redistribute the lateral pressure caused by sloping ground. It is normally designed with weep holes, which allow collected ground water to escape. This releases the additional pressure created by accumulated water and helps keep the wall stable.

Retaining walls can be a creative way to support new soils used to level a backyard area or hold back an area that is excavated out to create a patio or driveway extension. Retaining walls can also have dual or multiple uses. These walls work great for creating extra seating around patios or incorporate landscape features such as fire pits or built-in outdoor grills.  Low walls can also create unique borders for an elevated landscape area or garden.   Elevated patios that are built using a retaining wall system can develop into a stunning multi-level patio system with different elevations to create several different outdoor rooms all within one landscape.

Many erosion and drainage issues can also be solved with a retaining wall system. These systems can be used to reduce the slope and help develop a sustainable growing environment. Some of the walls can also be constructed to channel, divert, or collect storm water. After the water is controlled, the walls will direct the flow of the run-off and work with support systems like catch basins, or county storm water collection ponds.

Winter is almost here but KW Landscaping is still working hard to make your backyard the space of your dreams. KW Landscaping will be taking on new outdoor construction projects, such as retaining walls, patios, fire pits and decks, to create your outdoor paradise. Email KW Landscaping for more information or a custom quote.

Retaining Wall with stone steps

Build it right the first time – why you need flashing when building a deck or patio.

Writtey by Elisa on Friday, October 31st, 2014 at 7:03 pm. Posted in flashing, front porch renovation, Landscape construction, Landscape Maintenance, remodeling, wood rot

Many homeowners and contractors have pulled off an aging outdoor deck to discover siding, sheathing and framing that’s rotting away underneath. More often than not, a major contributor is worn or missing flashing. Without flashing, there’s nothing to prevent water from seeping behind the ledger board that connects deck framing to the house. The same can be said for the ledger board and flashing installation for patios as well. Over time, trapped water leads to decay, not only in wood building materials, but even in metal fasteners that hold the deck together. The result is never good, and often expensive and time-consuming to repair.

So what is flashing? It’s a thin layer of waterproof material that keeps water from getting into places it doesn’t belong. (Caulk is fine for filling small gaps around windows and doors, but it shouldn’t be confused with flashing.)

no flashing and rot
KW Landscaping discovered no flashing and rot behind the old steps of this home 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

remove rotten wood
Removed all the rotten wood, down to insulation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can count on one thing; water flows unerringly towards the ground. As water travels, flashing carries it safely over the any crevices, cracks and gaps in the building’s exterior.

If it’s going to work, flashing must be installed so no seams face uphill. It’s usually layered with other building materials. The upper edge of flashing, for instance, is protected by house wrap or tarpaper, not installed over it.

replacing rotted wood
Replaced the wood with pressure treated lumber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

installing flashing
Installed aluminum flashing, two layers for better protection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you wonder whether flashing has been installed the way it’s supposed to be, follow a drop of rain water as it moves down the side of your house. It should be carried from surface to surface all the way down, never encountering an open seam or an upturned lip that blocks its progress.

flashing installed
Started putting things back together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to the deck, a strip of flashing is brought down the wall of the house and over the top of the ledger (the piece of dimensional lumber attached to the house at the edge of the deck). This all-important water barrier should extend up the wall at least 4 in.

KW Landscaping will always use flashing when completing your deck or patio to ensure a level of quality that you can rely on for years to come. Email KW Landscaping with any questions or to schedule an estimate.

front porch remodel
Finished product. Rot is removed and flashing has been properly installed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Perennial Transplanting and Dividing

Writtey by Elisa on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 1:54 pm. Posted in fall landscaping service, fall transplanting, garden landscaping, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, perennial dividing, perennial transplanting

Fall is the perfect time of year for sprucing up your perennial garden by dividing and transplanting.  The heat of summer has passed, the chances of rain have returned and there is still plenty of time for plants to recover from being moved before the ground freezes. The rule of thumb for deciding which perennials to transplant or divide is based on bloom time.  Late summer and fall bloomers are suited for moving in the spring while spring and early summer flowering perennials can be transplanted in fall. Many perennials perform their best as younger or recently rejuvenated plants, so a good rule of thumb is to divide perennials every few years to keep them at their healthiest.

dividing perennials

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are signs that can tell you it’s time to divide your perennials. When all the growth appears on the outer edges, its time to divide. When it doesn’t bloom as well as it used to and or the blooms are smaller than usual, its time to divide. These indicators are symptoms of overcrowded roots. Transplanting can also be a good solution when you have the desire to change the look of your garden or if you’ve discovered that the perennial needs a different growing environment. An additional reason for dividing perennials is to increase the number of plants that you have in your garden or to share your perennials with family and friends. Whether transplanting or dividing you should give the plants about 6 weeks before the first hard freeze occurs in your garden so they can be settled in to their new home and ready for winter. One important task that KW Landscaping always does when it transplants and divides is backfill with fresh aged compost to insure a happy plant in its new home.

KW Landscaping knows their plants. Allow us to help you reorganize and restore your garden this fall. Please email us with any questions and to schedule a consultation.

transplanting perennials

KW Landscaping is beginning their Fall tree hugging treatment

Writtey by Elisa on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 2:35 pm. Posted in deep root feeding, fall landscaping service, Landscape Maintenance, lawn care, tree fertilizing

Have you fed your trees this year? KW Landscaping is beginning their Fall tree hugging treatment, Deep Root Feeding. This treatment is best done in the fall while the soil is still warm and the nights are cool which allows the tree to build its root structure. By fertilizing in the fall, some of the nutrients will have a chance to be absorbed by the roots and will already be in the ground when the roots resume functioning in the spring.

Trees are often planted in poor quality soil. Deep Root Feeding (DRF) adds nutrients to the soil that the tree needs to be the healthiest tree possible. In natural forest environments, soil nutrients are constantly replenished by decaying organic matter from leaves and needles, but sometimes even they need a boost. In urban settings, we surround our trees with concrete or grass, which limits the amount of essential nutrients available to sustain a healthy tree. By limiting and removing the organic matter, we are stopping nature’s natural supply of food to our trees.

deep root feeding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawn fertilizers you may apply don’t make it to the roots of the tree because they are absorbed by grass roots. Deep Root Feeding injects water and nutrients into the soil, directly into your tree’s root zone. The root zone is typically no deeper than 12 inches, and is where the tree absorbs most of the nutrients. To feed a tree, we place a specialized probe 8 to 12 inches into the soil, injecting organic nutrients into the soil. The probe is then spun at each injection point to make sure nutrients are spread to all the roots. We continue inserting the probe and injecting organic nutrients every two feet in a circle pattern around the drip line of the tree and a few spots inside the drip line to hit those inner roots, offering the tree nutrients that it needs to grow.

KW Landscaping uses an organic fertilizer specifically blended for trees. Besides containing nitrogen, potash, and iron, the blend also contains seaweed which enhances the rapid development of a healthy root system. KW’s blend also contains over 15 species of Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizae and Mycorrhizae Helper Bacteria that trees need for increased feeder root mass, longevity and mobilization of nutrients.

Email KW Landscaping to learn more and schedule your Trees’ Fall Deep Root Feeding Treatment.

fertilizing tree roots

Fall Lawn Renovation – It’s not too Late – Schedule Now

Writtey by Elisa on Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 7:37 pm. Posted in aerating service, fall landscaping service, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, lawn care, maryland aeration, maryland fall lawn care, overseeding, topdressing

It’s not too late to book your Fall Lawn Renovation with KW Landscaping but time is running out. September 2nd  – September 26th 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. KW Landscaping would be happy to try to accommodate your home’s lawn but please contact us now to get this scheduled.

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.

Aerating, topdressing and 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.
  •  An even compost coating will help to maintain a rich green lawn color through the winter because of the organic matter in the compost

Contact KW Landscaping for more information and to schedule your service.

healthy lawn

KW Landscaping’s Fall Lawn Renovation season has officially begun

Writtey by Elisa on Saturday, September 6th, 2014 at 12:03 am. Posted in aerating service, fall landscaping service, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, lawn care, maryland aeration, maryland fall lawn care, overseeding, topdressing

KW Landscaping’s Fall Lawn Renovation season has officially begun but it’s not too late to book your service.  September 2nd  – September 26th 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. Here is an overview of this renovating lawn service:

 

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.

 

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. 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.

 

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.

MD fall lawn care

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