A GardenWise Idea

You know that really large lawn area you have? Lose some of it! One alternative is to add garden interest with flagstone stepping stones and a plant vignette for color and texture. Above is a small portion of one of my projects; creeping Jenny with Japanese Rhodeq and white Mazas between stepping stones. A bonus is the 100’s of gallons of water and dollars you’ll save by not watering a larger grass area.

Grass, Gas or . . . Nobody Rides for Free

Maintaing Grass During a Heat Wave

Here at Garden Wise, we’re all about reducing lawn areas by half. Not eliminating lawns, but reducing them. It’s a great way to make your landscape more “green” and productive. Maintaining the remaining turf in your landscape at the height of the summer heat is crucial to the life of your lawn. Keep your grass longer in length in the blazing heat by raising the cutting height of your lawnmower an additional 1-2 inches. This will help your grass survive drought and heat as tall grass will shade the soil, reduce weeds and the effects of evaporation.

Water your lawn areas in the morning before the heat sets in, and if your grass is dry, Do Not Mow Your Turf until after it’s been watered, or until after it rains. Mowing a dry lawn will further stress the grass and expose it to the drying effects of the hot summer sun.

June Gardening Checklist

Hurry, Summer is Coming!  

It has been cold, warm, and wet this spring, which will be great for the summer But it’s made for a difficult time in trying to start and finish the usual spring garden chores. Here is a June list, a few days early.

Eliminating at least half of your lawn is a great green garden step, but if you’ve decided to keep your lawn areas, take care of them! Mowing and feeding your lawn areas is important for the continued health of the lawn. It will encourage the lawn to grow portfolio-landscapes_r1_c1_f4thick and green and help to keep it weed free. Mowing will  prevent seeds from forming on the grass or any weeds you may be cultivating, thus keeping them from spreading to other parts of the lawn. It is recommended to fertilize your established lawn several times through the season, but especially important in the spring. Choose a fertilizer that is suited for the type of grass you have and select slow-release, granular complete fertilizers for established lawns – they deliver a consistent supply of nutrients during the lawn’s fastest growth times. Fertilize at least one more time during the growing season, and apply a winter formula in early fall if one is recommended for your lawn  type. Don’t worry if you forget, research says that once a year, whenever you remember, is actually fine for established turf.

You say you don’t have weeds in your lawn?  You are a lucky gardener! For those of us who do, there are weed formulas that you can apply in the early summer months if you missed the April deadline. Again it is important to know what type of weeds you have and choose the most appropriate formula accordingly. Be advised if you are top seeding areas; you have to be very specific that you apply weed control that won’t affect the grass seed. As we try to be as eco-friendly as possible, we recommend you try natural formulas and products first.

As the early showers start to slow down, be sure to water your entire garden regularly. Although it doesn’t seem so, it is time to get all the warm weather vegetables in the ground. The soil temperature is warm enough and the cool nights aren’t going to be a problem for most plants. Be careful about working the soil when it is too wet though. After a good rain wait until the soil easily flows through your fingers before you get in and dig around. 

portfolio-landscapes_r1_c1_f5Many of you have asked about drought resistant flowers for planters and boxes. Planters  need to be watered once or even twice a day during the heat of summer. We have some suggestions for you if you are using annuals; begonia, salvia, marigolds, gazania, gallardia, portulaca and zinnias among others, all will tolerate drier conditions. They all come in many colors and sizes to choose. If you pair them with perennials  the list is endless. Here are only a few  of the many suggestions for perennials: dianthus, echinacea, helichrysum, lavandula, perovskia, rudbeckia, sedum and thyme. Be adventurous and combine different sizes, shapes and colors of foliage and flowers  to make a big impact.

Enjoy your garden; and always plan ahead for each changing season!