Adding Color to the Landscape

We have had an opportunity to design and install a lot of perennial flowers in landscapes recently. It has ranged from adding a few color spots for highlights to large flower beds and borders. We have discovered a whole new group of perennial flowers that rival annuals for their long blooming season.

What’s the big difference between an annual and a perennial? Annuals die when it gets too cold out. Perennials appear to die when the temperatures drops, but they’re actually hibernating. Beneath that dead-looking clump of stems, leaves and blooms are hardy roots that will come back next spring.

We include weed preventer and mulch to our flower installations which eliminates most of the maintenance time and work.

Take Advantage of My Expertise

I spent 23 years designing flower plantings at a 10 acre garden as part of my responsibilities when I was teaching. This experience is available to you to add permanent color to your landscape. Call or email me to make a personal visit to your home. I can:

1. Give you ideas of how and where to incorporate more color into your landscape

2. Suggest specific varieties of flowers which fit your interests and needs

3. Design a new flower border or bed

4. Do a complete installation including planting, fertilization, mulch, and weed preventer.

There is no charge for a 30 minute consultation. So make an appointment right away. Now is a great time to plant these hardy perennial flowers.

Early Spring Lawn Care

We do a lot of lawn fertilization, pest control, moss control renovation and replanting. This year I have noticed a lot of lawns which are not responding to a simple fertilization. Some common problems are acid soil, moss invasion, weed invasion and poor drainage.

Call or email me for a free lawn consultation. We can assess what your lawn needs to make it a uniform green carpet. We will tell you what you need to do or do it for you.

We offer a service which I call the double, triple or quadruple whammy. Based upon our assessment we can apply fertilizer, weed control, moss control and soil acidity modification. Combining all treatments in one visit makes it very economical. We can often treat your lawn for little more than you would pay for the materials.

We also have a new lawn fertilizer which is guaranteed to keep your lawn green all summer with one application. This fertilizer is not available in stores. If your lawn needs help, please give me a call.

Leaf Disease Control

All that beautiful new growth on roses will soon have black spots and mildew if not protected. If we have rainy weather during April and May, ornamental cherries, dogwoods and photinia are also subject to leaf diseases.

Organic gardeners can use lime-sulfur (calcium polysulfide) or Neem oil. Three systemic fungicides are Propiconazole, Myclobutanil, and Tebuconazole. Propiconazole is available in Ferti-lome Systemic Fungicide. Myclobutanil is in Spectracide Immunex Fungicide. Tebuconazole is in

Bayer All-in-One Rose and Flower Care. These 3 systemic fungicides stop disease development in already infected leaves as well as protecting new uninfected leaves. Daconil and Chlorothalonil are also widely available and effective, but are not systemic and therefore protect only new uninfected leaves. In most cases you will have to look at the list of ingredients to find the technical, chemical names.

Roses must have repeat applications all spring and summer to protect from black spot disease. Intervals between applications vary depending on the pesticide. Cherries, dogwoods, and photinia need treatment only during the spring rainy period. I like to use preventative applications on the new, young leaves twice; once in April and again in May. Peach and nectarine trees need one application of lime-sulfur, just as the leaves start to open.

Plant Vegetables from Seeds

In recent years the trend has been to plant vegetables from started plants. That is a fine way to plant many vegetables. However, you can save money and often have just as good or better results planting seeds directly in the ground. Allof the root and most leaf vegetables do best when planted from seed. All of these cold tolerant vegetables can be planted early and will sprout readily in cold soil. Peas sprout easily in cold soil and can be planted early. Wait until May to plant green beans.

Carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, parsnips and onions are often attacked by maggots. Maggots can be prevented by sprinkling a granular insecticide such as sevin over the seed before covering it with soil. I prefer diatomaceous earth, an organic material which works just as well. Root vegetables should be thinned to a spacing of 2 to 4 inches while plants are small.

There is no need to thin leaf lettuce spinach, kale, collards, and Swiss chard. They are best harvested when they are small and tender. I like to plant root and leaf vegetables in 6 to 12 inch wide strips, rather than single rows. You can grow more in a smaller space. My strips are often only a foot or two long which produces enough for two people. I save space to make a second or third planting later.

Tips on wide row planting and succession planting are included in my leaflet “Vegetable Gardening Tips.” This leaflet also contains charts for when, and how much to plant for different family sizes. Send me an email if you would like a copy of this leaflet. Or you can download it yourself from my web site: naturalpruningnw.com. Just click on vegetables under the how to guide and scroll down to “vegetable gardening tips”

Low Maintenance and Reduced Lawn Landscapes

We are experts at creating, modifying and maintaining landscapes to reduce the time and cost of maintenance. Weekly mowing costs are reduced or eliminated when lawns are changed to ground covers or mulched beds. Without lawns, natural landscape design elements are easily incorporated to give a different look and feel to the landscape. Call for a free consultation on how to transform your landscape for reduced maintenance. If you have a lawn free landscape we can often provide monthly maintenance service at a much lower cost than the typical weekly yard care service and provide superior results.