Tips From the Pros

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Just because it is winter, doesn’t mean that you should stop caring for your lawn. Some people spend all spring and summer perfectly manicuring their grass only to completely forgo any care during the colder months, don’t make that mistake. There are three tips we give concerning lawncare in the winter—they are as follows.

FERTILIZE 

Fertilize fescue lawns in February with one pound of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. Fescue grass is a huge draw as a cool season grass because it is relatively low maintenance. It requires less watering, mowing and fertilizer as a whole, making it cost efficient and environmentally friendly. That being said,you should not neglect your fescue grass just because it doesn’t always require the same amount of care as other, more temperamental grasses. Our recommendation of Nitrogen as fertilizer is a once a year treatment to help keep your fescue grass healthy. Additionally, you can use the process of over-seeding your fescue grass in early spring to help repair areas that have started to thin.


WEED 

Make sure you’re keeping an eye out for cool season weeds. Some of these weeds include Chickweed, Hairy Bittercress and Henbit. If you spot any of these varieties of weeds on your lawn you can remove them by pulling or through the use of a broadleaf herbicide. There are some ways you can identify these weeds in your lawn. The first is to become familiar with different types of weeds that flourish in the Western North Carolina weather.Chickweed is typically is common in new lawns. Henbit and Hairy Bittercress are both weeds that love moist soil, so melting snow is the perfect environment for them to grow healthily. The most important thing to remember when it comes to winter weeds is that information is the best ammunition. Being knowledgeable about how to identify each weed and the best way to treat it is all even the best green thumb can do.


MAINTAIN

During the winter, make sure you don’t forget about all of your trusty gardening equipment that has been so reliable throughout the warmer months of the year. The winter is a great time to replace or repair worn equipment such as your lawn mower blade. This is the one time of the year when you can focus on getting the blade sharpened or replaced if it is damaged. That same tip goes for all of your lawn equipment. Make sure your Weed Eater and Leaf Blower are still functioning. The winter is the perfect time to reevaluate the quality of your equipment so you aren’t out of luck when the spring rolls in.

People assume that winter weather causes all plants to die, but don’t fool yourself. There are plenty of things that you can do to nurture your plants so that come springtime they are refreshed and ready to grow and bloom again. Freezes can affect plant life and in some cases might cause the plant to prematurely die, but follow a few of our quick tips to ensure your garden or flower bed comes back stronger than ever when we hit the warmer months.

Smaller garden

Shear back your Liriope tomake room for new spring growth. Cutting back your Liriope is important so that when the spring comes it doesn’t overrun your garden. Cutting back in the winter allows the plant to lay dormant for a few months and grow fresh in the spring. Additionally, cutting back your Liriope rids the plant of dying leaves.

Make sure you are taking care of your more temperamental plants such as your bulbs. These types of plants are unable to withstand the winter temperatures and must be treated with care and brought indoors for the winter months. If you are pulling your bulbs out of the ground to store them make sure you pat off any excess dirt, but do not wash with water as that could cause the bulb to ultimately rot. When storing your bulbs you will want to find a cool, dry environment such as a closet or a basement and an easy storage container is a cardboard box, as you don’t want anything like a plastic bag that could trap moisture around your bulbs and cause them to rot. If your bulbs are already bloomed they can add a nice splash of color in your home during the dreary winter months.

Cut back your ornament grass six to eight inches divide large clumps and replace. Your ornamental grass can be cut back in the late winter or very early spring, as soon as temperatures stay consistently above freezing. This is something that can be kept in mind throughout the winter, as it will not be a pressing gardening need until the weather starts to warm up, but it’s never too soon to start planning! A method to cut the grass is called clumping. When you clump large sections of your ornamental grass you tie a rope or bungee cord around the clump of grass before cutting off the dead foliage.

Smaller bulbs


Barefoot roses should be planted after the last hard frost in your area. Since we are in the mountains that might be a little bit later as the weather isn’t always predictable. The availability to buy barefoot roses, however, spans from the fall through the winter, so the buying period might end before the last frost comes. If you wanted to plan ahead for an upcoming rose garden, you can store your barefoot roses in moist soil.

It’s important to cut back flowering vines in the later winter because that is when the plant is dormant. You will want to cut the oldest stems to six inches in length because then the renewal process can begin.

All of these tips are meant to help your garden survive the winter and prepare for the spring. Most plants enter a sort of dormancy during the cold winter months, but the proper care of these plants ensures a beautiful and bright spring!

What is it about the draw of the campfire?  I can sit for hours just watching the flames dance and dart while feeling the stress of the day drain away.  Seems that although that has been the case for folks for tens of thousands of years, the good ole fire pit is really making a comeback in the landscaping around the Asheville and Hendersonville areas.  And who can blame us... our pleasant afternoons and evenings make a small fire enjoyable througout the summer. Not to mention how nice it is to knock the chill off of the spring and fall evenings.  Are you thinking about adding a fire pit to your stone patio or outdoor landscaping?  Consider these tips:

Make sure the fire pit will be at least 10 feet from any flammable structure like your home or wooden deck.

Make sure that your fire pit is not near any overhangs like low hanging limbs or a covered deck.

Make sure your fire pit is at least 6 inches deep.

Make sure your fire pit is at least 24" wide and long to keep embers contained.

Or better yet, make it easy on yourself and let TPS Landscaping design and build a fire pit for you!

 

Now that the weather has turned from spring to summer-like, more of us are spending time outdoors relaxing, reading and grilling.  We are often asked about the benefits of a natural stone patio vs a paver patio, and vice versa.  This month, we'll go over the reasons why natural stone can be the better choice for your patio.  

Stone Patios have Natural Beauty

Every piece of natural stone is unique. As such, using natural stone for your patio is guarantees you a unique look a feel to your outdoor space.  Choosing colors and textures that are complimentary with those in your home or landscaping ties in the beauty so that your patio becomes a natural transition between your indoor living space and your exterior landscaping.  Natural stone can add an element of elegance to your landscaping.

Natural stone means minimal maintenance and repair

The natural rock and stone that we will use in your patio is already millions of years old.  So it's a pretty good bet that the next few hundred years aren't going to change it very much.  Likewise, you don't have to worry about signs of aging or fading over time.  As long as your natural stone patio is installed correctly, using the proper amount of base and packing, you don't have to worry about shifiting or the surface becoming uneven with frost/freezing.

The feel of natural stone

It's hard to resist taking your shoes off and feeling the diference of natural stone.  Although pavers have their place, there is just something about the texture and feel of natural stone that the pavers just can't match.

 

Landscaping with boulders is a great way to create accents, provide natural seating and draw natural elements from the area into your landscaping. Late winter is the perfect time to start laying out your landscaping plans so you can enjoy the space all summer and fall.