The Best Types of Mulch to Use in Your Garden

The Best Types of Mulch to Use in Your Garden

Mulch is used to keep the soil moist, control weeds, maintain a cool environment, prevent frost heaving in the winter, and make the garden bed more pleasant. Mulches that are organic also aid in the structure of the soil, drainage, and nutrient-holding capacity as they decompose.

Types of Organic Mulch 

Mulch that is not manufactured from an inorganic substance will decompose and need to be replenished, but it will also improve the structure and organic content of your soil. The more dry and woody the mulch, the slower it decomposes and the fewer nutrients it delivers to the soil. Some organic mulch includes:

  • Bark, Shredded or Chipped
  • Pine Needles
  • Grass Clippings
  • Newspaper
  • Shredded Leaves
  • Straw

Knowing the source of mulch is essential, since it may contain viable weed seeds or chemicals. The last thing you want to do is spread a mulch that will begin sprouting and add to your workload – or contaminate your plants with chemicals.

Bark mulches are best utilized around trees, shrubs, and garden beds, while grass clippings are ideal for weeding control. Shredded leaves are nature’s favorite mulch and can be used in anyplace since it is free of charge as a form of mulch. Straw and salt hay are popular mulches for vegetable gardens

Types of Synthetic and Inorganic Mulch 

Mulches made of synthetic or inorganic materials do a fantastic job of retaining moisture and suppressing weeds. They don’t provide any nutrients to the soil, but they don’t decay quickly or need to be replaced as often as organic mulches. Some synthetic mulch includes:

  • Black Plastic
  • Landscape Fabric
  • Stone/Gravel

Around foundation plantings and other shrubs and trees, plastic and landscape fabric are excellent alternatives. Plastic, on the other hand, becomes extremely hot in the summer and, besides suffocating weed seeds, it can also destroy all of the soil’s beneficial properties. Gravel and stone mulches are excellent for Mediterranean herb gardens and rain gardens where drainage is required or when plants require a little more heat.

Which mulch you choose depends on the function and aesthetic you are looking for. At Legarden Designs, we can help you create one! We also provide seasonal reviews and yearly walkthroughs. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer!

How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?

How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?

The greatest amount of time you will spend on your lawn’s upkeep is when you mow it. Mowing your yard at the correct height may help to create an attractive appearance for your house and promote grass growth.

Mowing frequency is determined by a variety of factors. These include rainfall amounts, soil type, grass type, fertilizer use, and how much time you have to complete the work. Here are some general recommendations to assist you in determining the best mowing schedule for your lawn.

Types of Turf 

Turf is a term for living green plants that are typically collected together as a single entity, known as your lawn. Depending on grass type, weather, and amount of shade, turf may grow at various rates.

Cool-season grasses 

Fescues, bluegrasses, and ryegrasses are all cool-season grasses that develop vigorously in the spring and fall seasons and must be cut more frequently when rainfall amounts are greater. During the early spring months, mowing on the high side of your grass type’s optimum height may aid in the control of broadleaf weeds.

Warm-season grasses 

Warm-season grasses are common in the south and the southwestern United States, with hot summers and mild winters. Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Buffalo grasses flourish during the summer heat but do not overwinter as well as cool-season grasses. When it rains frequently as it does in many areas of the country, these grasses will demand more frequent cutting.

Shade grasses 

Grasses thrive when they have enough sunshine. This makes it tough to grow grass in heavy shadow. Shade-grown lawn mixtures are available at most garden supply stores, but germination is light-dependent, making it difficult to maintain a shade lawn looking decent. It might be worth considering mowing on the high side and less often in these regions.

New lawn 

If you’re growing a new lawn, keep it mowed at the same time as an established lawn when it’s actively developing. It’s okay to begin trimming new grass once it has reached the optimal height for its species, however cutting too soon might harm the young tender leaves.

Ready to improve your landscaping this season? Our garden services at Legarden Designs handles every element of the process – from the initial design consultation through the project’s completion. We also provide seasonal reviews and yearly walkthroughs. Contact us today!

Avoid These Top 5 Landscaping Errors

Avoid These Top 5 Landscaping Errors

Are you interested in planting and starting a garden, but you don’t know where to begin? Oftentimes, learning what not to do is a great first step. Here are 5 landscaping errors you should avoid:

Avoid Ground Covers That Can Overrun Your Yard

Ground covers are low-growing plants that are meant to cover ground in your garden that would otherwise be occupied by weeds. Many homeowners have discovered too late, for example, that English ivy has a propensity to grow uncontrollably. Ground covers that thrive in shade are among the worst offenders.

Avoid Rushing Into Using Mulch

Mulch is a simple and effective method to improve the look of your yard. However, making mistakes while selecting mulch and using it in your garden may have severe consequences, ranging from causing plant damage to requiring you to do additional labor. A good choice for use around many plants might be a bad fit for certain others, and tiny pebbles in mulch can be even more harmful.

Avoid Pruning Until The Recommended Date 

Some backyard gardeners consider themselves meticulous when it comes to wielding their pruning shears outside and “keeping up” with their bushes, trimming them more arbitrarily than rationally. They then ask, “Why didn’t my flowering quince bloom this year?” It’s possible that the time you trimmed it has something to do with it. Make an effort to learn when to prune shrubs correctly.

Avoid Only Thinking About One Season

Shrubs can complement your driveway, especially during the flower season. Keep in mind that seasonal changes must be considered at all times. A suitable planting for May might become a blunder next February owing to weather conditions or other factors. A shrub planted too near to the road may be damaged by a snow plow with little effort.

Avoid Trying To Do It Yourself

Always be sure to accurately evaluate your skills before beginning any hardscaping projects. Discretion is key and sometimes it’s simply best to call in the professionals. If your entire landscape needs an overhaul and you don’t have the knowledge or inclination to do it yourself, perhaps you should consider bringing in the experts.

Our garden services at Legarden Designs handles every element of the process – from the initial design consultation through the project’s completion. We also provide seasonal reviews and yearly walkthroughs. Contact us today!

Which Plants to Use for a Pet-Friendly Garden

Which Plants to Use for a Pet-Friendly Garden

Not all pets are affected in the same way if they get into poisonous and noxious plants. A day lily, for example, may not harm a dog; however, a curious cat might experience vomiting, kidney failure, or even death if they consume the common garden plant.

There are several lovely ornamental flowers that are non-toxic to both dogs and cats, so feel free to use them in your landscape and house without hesitation. Here’s what you should plant in a pet-friendly garden.

Zinnia

If you have a no-nonsense list of hard-performing annual flowers, add zinnias to it. You may rest assured that your pets are not poisoned by zinnias. Mildew problems can also be reduced by giving zinnias full sunshine and ample spacing.

African Violet

The African violet has been a popular houseplant for centuries, and new cultivars will provide you with a reason to rediscover the plant’s benefits. Plants that like the same temperatures as us have ruffled flowers and picotee blooms. The fuzzy leaves do not contain any hazardous compounds known to harm cats or dogs.

Peruvian Lily

For cat owners, many lily species are difficult to cultivate. The Peruvian lily, on the other hand, is a non-toxic option for both cats and dogs. This flower may be seen in professional floral arrangements as it lasts long and is brightly colored.

Areca Palm

If your cat is tempted to swat and bite the fancy fronds of an areca palm, you won’t have to worry about stomach upset spoiling your pet’s evening. This houseplant, also known as the butterfly palm, is native to Madagascar and thrives in warm temperatures and high humidity. They don’t need much water or light, however the areca palm does a fantastic job purifying the air.

Nasturtiums

When it comes to persistent plant-eating pets, sometimes the ideal option is to pick a plant that was specifically designed to be eaten. The pungent, hot leaves and flowers of nasturtiums won’t entice most dogs, but if they care to taste them, they will receive a nutritional bonus in the form of vitamins A and C. Nasturtiums thrive in full sun with average soil and spring and early summer temperatures.

Our garden services at Legarden Designs handles every element of the process – from the initial design consultation through the project’s completion. We also provide seasonal reviews and yearly walkthroughs. Contact us today for a beautiful garden design!

How to Build An Outdoor Waterfall

How to Build An Outdoor Waterfall

In planning an outdoor waterfall, you must consider two things: the pool into which the water falls and the waterfall’s cascading form. You’ll utilize a pump in the pond to keep water recirculating from the pond to your waterfall’s top, where it will plunge back down to the pond.

Waterfalls can be found in a variety of forms and sizes, and provide an ideal focal point. When considering your design alternatives, the most important factor to consider is how to make the waterfall tall enough.

If you don’t already have a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet near the location of your pond and waterfall, install one before digging for an outdoor waterfall. To ensure that your excavation for an outdoor waterfall and pond does not damage any underground utility lines, call the Dig Safe phone number.

Building Your Waterfall

Dig the Pond 

Remove the dirt from around your liner’s intended location. To make shoveling easier, flip the pond liner over on the ground, upside-down, where you want it to be and draw a circle around it.

Using a carpenter’s level, make sure the depth and diameter of your waterfall pond’s hole are comparable to those for your preformed liner. Place the preformed liner in the hole for the waterfall pond. Check to see if it’s flat by laying a carpenter’s level on top of it (front to back, as well as left to right).

Build the Waterfall 

When the pond is finished, one of your two structures will be done. Now it’s time to shift your attention to a more fascinating structure: the waterfall design. And that necessitates looking at the pebbles you’ll be using again.

The most crucial rocks are the spillway rocks, which are the ones directly above where the water will flow. The spillway rocks should be as smooth as possible. They also need to have sharp, square edges. Water will run more smoothly over such edges.

After laying your first course of rocks in the front, cover them with a sheet of black plastic that is 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. The plastic serves the same purpose: namely, to catch more water than the rocks alone could and funnel it into the pond.

Lay the Rocks and Work With the Tubing 

Thread your tubing through the rocks. It’s standard practice to stagger the seams when constructing rock walls. Of course, because these will be very tiny rock walls, this is not a structural issue. Still, if only for the sake of appearance, try to stagger them.

After the first row of rocks in the front, lay a long flat rock across them all. Because this rock’s purpose is to create an overhang, it’s a key component in your cascade design. You’ll use it as a shelf to set your first spillway stone so that the spillway stone extends further beyond the pond.

Place one or more capstones over the end of the tubing and bend it downward toward the pond. The waterfall’s spout, in other words, will find refuge here. As you size up the end of the tubing that will become the spout on the surface of the second spillway rock, you may now better determine its location. Again, pull to lengthen or shorten your tube as needed.

Fill the Pond 

You’ve finished preparing the pond for its water. Test the pump’s flow and check for any leaks using the cord from the pump. You’ll need to make several adjustments before you get it right. The goal is to have the waterfall as close to the middle of the pond as feasible, allowing you on both ends of your natural rock waterfall and minimizing water loss from splashing.

Our garden services at Legarden Designs handles every element of the process – from the initial design consultation through the project’s completion. We also provide seasonal reviews and yearly walkthroughs. Contact us today!

Start Your Own Zen Garden With These Tips

Start Your Own Zen Garden With These Tips

Do you appreciate nature and enjoy interpreting the world symbolically? You’re probably a great fit for a Zen garden! Low-maintenance landscaping enthusiasts, on the other hand, should think twice before building one. Zen gardens might appear to be simple, but they can be time consuming. Here’s what you need to know before you start:

What Is a Zen Garden?

Zen gardens were originally crafted by Buddhist monks in ancient Japan (with some Chinese influence). Since their parts represent aspects of nature, they are often referred to as “miniature landscapes.”

The expanse of white gravel raked to create ripples represents ocean waves, and the tall, thin boulders sticking up vertically represent mountains. Shorter, verdant vegetation may be cultivated on or around the “islands” to suggest island plants, while architectural plants can be used as accents.

Tools and Supplies

  • White gravel
  • Rocks in a variety of sizes and shapes
  • Steel garden rake
  • Wooden Zen rake
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Tape measure
  • String, string level, and stakes
  • Tamper
  • Landscape fabric
  • Edging stones

How to Make a Zen Garden 

  1. Remove anything that is sticking up out of the ground, such as plants, weeds, and pebbles. Also remove the top layer of existing soil from the selected area.
  2. Check for level by pounding stakes into the ground end-to-end (both lengthwise and widthwise within your rectangle), strung between them, and using your string level.
  3. Rake out uneven spots, tamp down the soil, and run stone edging around the space. This edging will retain the white gravel.
  4. Make holes for the rocks you’ll be using to represent mountains and/or islands. It’s a matter of personal preference, but avoid using symmetrical patterns, circles, and straight lines if possible. Also make holes for any trees you intend to plant.
  5. Install the rocks and plants in their holes. A significant portion of those tall, thin rocks (which represent mountains) should be hidden. They will appear more natural if you insert them like this at the end of the iceberg.
  6. Lay landscape fabric over the soil, making cuts to accommodate rocks and plants.
  7. Lay thin layers of white gravel on top of the existing surface. Using a hoe, spread it out. Shape ripples or circles in it with the wooden Zen rake. Maintain these forms by raking them back into the gravel with a Zen-garden rake after they’ve been disturbed by the components.

Our garden services at Legarden Designs handles every element of the process – from the initial design consultation through the project’s completion. We also provide seasonal reviews and yearly walkthroughs. Contact us today!