Lime and Moss Control

Spring is approaching, time to prepare! It’s easy to let our minds grow dormant over the cold winter season, which in turn allows us to forget about our lawns and gardens for the moment. But now, as the snow is melting and the weather turns warmer, it’s time to turn our attention back to our yards. Moss will have found an easy time to sneak in over the season, and your soil may be lacking in the calcium it needs to flourish properly, which is why now is a great time to look into spreading garden lime onto your garden and lawns.

Agricultural lime, more commonly known as garden lime, is a soil additive that is created by grinding down limestone, and is very high in calcium. Garden lime’s primary purpose is to assist with high acidity levels found in the soil by increasing the soil’s pH balance. By doing so, it also allows for calcium and magnesium to find access to the plants, which helps them grow and flourish.
Some tips on figuring out whether or not your soil actually needs lime is by conducting a soil pH test, or by paying attention to the other kinds of plants that are growing in the area. Plants such as heather, rhododendrons, and camellias will flourish in soils that have high acidity, whereas legumes will have a much more difficult time growing. By applying lime to your garden soil, it will also increase the work-ability of the soil. However, not only is lime beneficial to your plants and garden, it also can play a major role in revitalizing your lawn after a long winter.

We all know how easy it is to become indifferent towards your lawn over the winter, which also makes it easy for moss to get a head start on you. Thankfully, if moss has completely overtaken your lawn already, early spring is the perfect time to get started on it’s removal!

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Much like the plants that were earlier discussed, moss either thrives, or ceases in certain conditions. When grass is over watered, frequently in the shade, not aerated or de-thatched often enough, this creates the perfect environment for moss to grow and spread like wildfire. There are many tactics to go about moss removal; including aerating, de-thatching, seeding thin areas, and fertilizing – but often times, the most effective strategy is simply to lime the grass. When the acidic soil starts to control the amount of nutrients and calcium that finds it’s way into your grass, it leaves little loopholes for the moss to sneak in. Just as you would with your garden, test the soil’s pH balance to address it’s acidity level. If the pH is below 6, the soil is acidic. Purchase a lime that is calcium-based, and spread it on your lawn twice each growing season for best results.

If winter has managed to get a few steps ahead of you this season, fear not! Early spring is the perfect time to get started on preparing your lawn and garden for your best growing season yet. For questions, quotes, and estimates, please contact Landscape Away and we would be happy to assist you in your Springtime garden endeavors!

Post Storm Tree Care

Post-Storm Tree Care
It’s no secret that the Fraser Valley took a hard-hit with the devastating ice/wind storm. And with all that wind and ice came a whole lot of destruction. We have seen the outcome of our recent winter blast, and it has not been friendly to the trees in the area. That is why we wanted to discuss the importance of having a professional examine those trees, and assess whether they are able to be saved, worth being saved, and how to determine whether or not they are dangerous.

The very first thing that you should be on the lookout for is hazardous trees and branches. Trees that are leaning with roots beginning to pull should be called in about right away, particularly if the tree is angled on a path towards housing, fences, vehicles etc. The second thing to be on the lookout for are the dreaded “widow maker” branches. These branches are detached from the tree, but tangled up in the remaining branches. A simple gust of wind or a shake of the tree can send these branches dangerously crashing down.

Winter Damaged Tree

So, you’ve found a tree on your property that you’re hoping to be able to save… the first step would be to call a professional. Then, there are a series of steps and questions that we explore to determine what trees can be repaired, and what trees need to be removed. For example, trees that have the following characteristics would likely need to be removed:
Trees that have large splits or are missing large branches.
Trees that have more than half of their branches or limbs missing.
Trees that are leaning, or have uplifting roots that are threatening give way.
Trees that have cracks in the main branches.

However, that’s not to say that any tree with broken branches is beyond saving. Often times, smaller, cracked branches and limbs simply require some cleaning up. Stressed and minor damaged trees that have arms missing from them just need some good pruning. Remember to continue feed and water these strained trees, as their chances of recovery is much better with quality nutrients in order to survive and thrive!

The reason why it is so imperative to have a professional called in right away to assess these damages is because people often opt to take matters in to their own hands, and often make the wrong decisions. Whether it be loping off branches that are still viable, removing trees that could still flourish, or dangerously removing branches that they are not equipped to handle… it is always best to call an expert and get their opinion.

We are available and prepared for all quotes, assessments, and tree removals here at Landscape Away, and are happy to help with the post-storm damage here in the Fraser Valley! Call us today!

With winter idly approaching, what you do in your yard during the mellow, fall weather prepares your garden for success in the spring! Here are four of the best, basic tasks that you need to complete before the first frost hits to ensure that your personal oasis will be awaiting you when it comes time for the flowers to bloom.

1. Dethatch that grass!
As thatch is a cumulative layer of bits of dead grass and organic matter that separates the soil and the green grass, de-thatching is the important process of removing this matter before it becomes a problem. Although some thatch in moderation is not necessarily a bad thing, it can eventually become harmful to your lawn as it makes it more difficult for the roots to grab on to the fresh soil. Convex and power rakes may be used in the dethatching process, and can often be rented from your nearest hardware store. It is best to do this work in cooler weather and when the soil is mildly moist, which makes Fall the perfect time!

de thatch

2. Give your lawn the nutrients it needs.
Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is the perfect opportunity to take some proactive steps in your landscaping care. Taking care of your grass in the cool seasons keeps it growing longer and healthier, making it a lot easier for your lawn to have the nutrients that it needs to liven up again in the spring time. Fertilizing your grass now means effortless revival once the snow melts.

 

Pruning

3. Prune, prune, prune.
Fall is one of the best times to correct some of those overgrown bushes. Once the leaves and blooms have fallen off, you can see much more clearly just where either the mistakes of the last pruning sessions were made, or simply where more attention needs to be. In addition, removing dead or broken branches with infections not only allows for a more aesthetically pleasing aspect to your yard, but leads to a healthier plant in the spring with no further rot or disease.

Fall Maintenance Package

Even though the sun is out and the heatwave is finally here, you might be noticing those leaves starting to drop around you. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about booking your fall maintenance package from Landscape Away. Our special fall package includes fall thatching and re-seeding for only $99!

Unsure what thatching is? Thatch is the building up of material that can include things like dead grass, leaves and stems. The removal of thatch involves using a rake or power rake depending on the size of your lawn and pulling the material out from the grass. This is important because a build up of thatch in your yard can prevent growth of grass and can cause your grass to become unhealthy. When thatch is removed it encourages grass to thicken and helps to make it stronger!

 

It's All About The Maintenance

 

Re-seeding is a vital part of helping your worn out lawn return to tip top shape! Re-seeding is just simply spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. As your lawn gets older, thinning is normal, especially if it’s used quite often. Re-seeding helps to encourage growth and thickness with your grass.

If you’d like to read some tips on the re-seeding process check out this quick 5 step program on Reader’s Digest.

You can also find some more information on the thatching process here.

So what are you waiting for it’s time to book your fall package now! Contact us!

With the crazy housing market that is happening throughout the Fraser Valley we’re sure that everyone is thinking about selling their home for the best price. If you’re one of the few that’s decided to take the plunge and put your house up for sale it’s a good idea to think about how landscaping can help to stage the outside of your home and provide you with the best selling price.
landscaping

Potential home buyers will gain their first impression of your home from it’s curb appeal. Landscaping your home can sometimes be overlooked and it’s during selling where landscaping can play a huge part in your asking price. A well maintained and landscaped yard can add at least 10% to the asking price of a home. So it’s important to make sure that your yard is looking good! Some quick tips on fixing up your yard can be found here on HGTV.

When thinking about selling your home, renovations are often the first thought. Maybe I should update the kitchen, or paint the bedrooms? Landscaping should also get the same attention. Maybe I should add some shrubs or cut those large trees down? It’s important that the outside of your home matches the inside, a well maintained home should be taken care of on the outside and the inside. More tips on how to get your yard into selling shape can be found here on Western Living Magazine.

Landscaping for selling your home doesn’t have to be drastic either. A quick once over by our team at Landscape Away will have your yard up to shape in no time. If you’re currently selling and looking to add some value to your home give us a call and get a quote!

Get a quote!

 

If your that home owner that aspires to be the envy of the neighborhood with a beautiful lush green lawn through out the summer months, it is time to get busy! Spring is the time we prepare lawns for the hot months ahead and create lush green lawns for all to admire.

Grass helps keep the earth cool. It’s mother nature’s way of protecting herself against the heat of summer months. It keeps important ground dwelling creatures safe below the roots and here on the west coast where grass grows abundantly it’s important that we continue to care for our lawns.

 

 

 

Gardener mowing the lawn.

 

 

A little further south in California a monetary incentive was offered to remove grass and lawn from yards to reduce water usage. The problem that has arisen from this initiative is that the removal of lawn has actually increased the temperature of the ground and is having a negative effect on the environment. Large trees that relied on that lawn cover to cool it’s roots have suffered and rocks, gravel and decking that has replaced lawns assist in holding heat and also increases the temperatures and alter the eco system.

So even though we often have water restrictions during the high summer months it is important to keep some turf in our yard. If not for the environment, then just simply for a nice place to stretch out on a hot summer day and cool off under a west coast tree.

 

 

 

City of Chilliwack Water Conservation

 

 

 

There are somethings we can do to ensure our lawns are prepared for those hot summer months. Prepping our lawns before hand will help with water absorption, nutrient intake and more giving our lawn the best defense against heat waves.

We tend to over water our lawns, and even during restrictions a properly prepared lawn can continue to thrive if the reduced water is able to reach the roots and be observed along with much needed nutrients.

Aerate

So the first thing we do in the spring is aerate a lawn to ensure that those roots systems are not impacted and air, water and important nutrients are able to reach the source. You can water a compacted lawn all day long, but if the water can’t reach it’s source it will still not thrive. So breaking up those roots systems and allowing for water to be absorbed is our first step.

 

 

Aerating Diagram

 

De-Thatching

Another very important step is de-thatching. Thatch is the light brown layer that builds up between the soil and the green grass. It’s made up of living, dead and decaying organic matter; compressed roots, stems and runners. But when the organic matter between the green grass and the soil builds up faster than it decays, thatch becomes a problem. Making it harder for grass roots to take hold in the soil. Excessive thatch could also become a breeding ground for pests and disease.

 

Seeding Your Lawn

 

Feeding & Seeding

After making sure those roots are ready to absorb water and nutrients it’s time to feed and seed that lawn. With an abundance of products on the market we find the right product for your lawn taking in to consideration it’s placement in proximity to high summer heat, it’s current condition and any nutritional unbalance we observe. After de-thatching we may need to create a cover of topsoil and at that time a good seed cover is a great idea to promote new growth.

 

Spring Package

 

A healthy prepared lawn in the spring often requires little maintenance in the summer. With maximum absorption to the roots those water restrictions will have less of an effect and you can be sure that your lawn is absorbing what it needs to continue to thrive and is your best defense against weeds and unwanted plant growth. With a strong root system in place invasive weeds don’t have a chance.  Be the envy of your neighborhood with a healthy lawn to be proud of.

Spring Lawn packages starting at $125.

Landscape Away