7 Tips on Late Summer & Early Autumn Lawn Care

It’s the late summer season. Autumn is just around the corner. The weather has started cooling, summer barbecues have started dwindling. The school will be starting up soon. With so many things on the horizon, lawn care is probably the last thing on your mind. In fact, like a lot of homeowners, you probably think that this is the perfect time to let your lawn be. Your grass is growing much slower. Plus, it’s going to be dormant during winter anyway. Well, if you want to enjoy a beautiful lawn come spring, you’ll need to care for your turf during late summer and early autumn. The cool and moist weather during this transition between seasons will ensure that you grow thick, green, healthy grass to celebrate the end of winter. Below are 7 lawn care tips that will make all your neighbors think that the grass truly is greener on the other side.

#1: Keep on mowing

Don’t store your mower in the garage just yet. Your grass won’t stop growing until winter when it starts to frost over. So, you should continue to mow your lawn until it stops growing. Keep the height between 2 ½ and 3 inches in length because it allows the sunlight to reach the base of the grass. If you go shorter than this, you’ll hurt the root system which can directly impact its ability to endure the cold and dry weather of winter. If you let the grass grow too long, there’s a chance that it will mat and cause fungi to grow.

keep mowing

#2: Water as needed

While autumn brings about more rain and dew, there still won’t be enough to ensure that your grass is well-hydrated in preparation for winter. It will need at least an inch of water per week to stay healthy. Experts recommend using a rain gauge, so you can keep track of how much water your grass is getting. Watering your lawn can be done using a sprinkler or irrigation system. You can use the same system to water your trees if you have them. Just make sure to prep and repair your irrigation system for winter by the end of October, so that you don’t end up with any frozen pipes.

#3: Remove the leaves

There’s more to raking leaves than just keeping your yard neat and presentable. It’s important to clean up your yard because it doesn’t do anything good for your grass. If you want a healthy lawn, you need to make sure that your grass doesn’t get suffocated by leaves. When leaves are left on top of the grass, not only do they block sunlight, they also trap moisture which can breed fungi which leaves you with a damp, decaying lawn come spring. Don’t wait until you have a decent amount of leaves to rake. Remove the leaves as often as possible. Rake or blow it away. You can even chop it with your lawnmower, making them into soil-enhancing mulch.

remove leaves

#4: Loosen the soil

Over time, soil can become compacted and possibly covered in thatch which is a thick layer of dead and living plant material. When this happens, oxygen, water, and nutrients aren’t able to reach the soil. That’s where aeration comes in.

Aerating the soil means making sure that you remove any compaction in the soil that is blocking oxygen, water, and precious nutrients from getting to the roots of the grass. Core aeration can be done using a manual tool or a machine.

#5: Add fertilizer

Once the soil is aerated, it’s time for fertilization. Fertilizing the soil at this time ensures that it will sink deeper into the soil where it is needed. More importantly, it ensures that the plant is able to absorb all the essential nutrients it requires before winter comes. Some of those nutrients will be used to grow deep roots while a portion of the nutrients will be stored in reserve to give it a healthy start when spring comes around.

soil

#6: Fill in the bald spots

Once lawn aeration and fertilization are done, it’s seeding time. Overseeding your current turf is important for two reasons. First, it fills in any bald spots on your lawn. And second, it protects your lawn against weeds. Take note that this can be a very challenging task to undertake. You can’t just throw seeds around and expect them to grow. You need to make sure that the seeds come into contact with the soil so that they germinate. If you want to thoroughly cover your entire lawn, experts recommend power seeding.

#7: Stay on schedule

It’s important that you stay on top of things as you perform these tasks. They need to be done in the right order and at the right time to produce the best lawn possible. Otherwise, all your effort will be wasted. For example, if you seed the lawn too late, the seedlings won’t be established enough to survive the cold. If you fertilize too late, the roots won’t be able to take in all the nutrients in the soil. If you aerate the soil while the weather is still too hot, it won’t be as effective. Simply put, a tight lawn care schedule must be followed. Tree care professionals use arborist software to plan and track their work. You might want to consider using something similar to make sure you stay on schedule.

If you think you’ll still have a problem staying on schedule, then don’t be afraid to get some professional help. Tree service and lawn care company can easily take care of everything that your lawn and surrounding vegetation are ready for the upcoming winter.

Landscaping With Mulch: The Ultimate Guide to Mulching

Your garden is bound to love mulch! This material is incredibly popular for a lot of reasons. It’s low-maintenance and it allows for a lot of different landscaping options. You can use it to easily sculpt your yard, pot plants and even create borders out of it. It acts as protection for plants and even discourages weeds. So you can see why most landscape gardeners swear by landscaping with mulch whether they are in warmer or colder climates.

How to Make Mulch

Mulch can be made out of a lot of different materials but we always recommend using organic mulches. You can also make your own. Mulches can be made from shredded, unwanted garden materials and even waste from previous years, ready for when the best time to mulch rolls around the following year.

Garden mulches that can be used include composts, leaves, wood chips, and perhaps the most popular in some parts of the world, bark from trees.

Mulch

Types of Mulch for Landscaping

Let’s go through some of the best types of mulch for landscaping.

Landscaping Fabric

Landscaping fabric is one of the best mulches for landscaping if you are looking for long-term use and to suppress potential weeds! If you are making mulch then this isn’t an easy option, but store-bought landscaping fabric can be a good choice.

Cocoa Chips

Cocoa chips are actually the hulls from the beans and they are very flexible. They have negative sides too, they’re not suitable for gardens with pets as they can make them very ill or even be fatal to dogs. Also, they decompose quickly and they are a bit on the expensive side.

Shredded Bark

The bark is arguably the best type of mulch for many yards. It is easy to obtain, and bigger bark chips tend to last for a long time meaning your landscape is protected. Shredded bark is available pretty much everywhere that sells landscaping equipment, too. The downside is that it can move around and isn’t great for use on slopes.

Compost

Compost can be a breeding ground for weeds, but it is also very good for plants and can improve the quality of the soil. For those who are really looking to make their gardens flourish with beautiful plants, compost is definitely worth recommending. You can also either make it yourself or buy it for free, making it one of the best mulches for landscaping on a budget.

compost

Stones

People who are landscaping with mulch often choose stones as they will never break down. They can also help with irrigation and in some cases, suppress weeds. Stones can be a pain if you ever want to move them out of your yard, but in the majority of cases, they look good and can suit all sorts of climates.

Plastic

Landscaping plastic is more functional than it is fun. It won’t break down, which can lead to more maintenance, and it doesn’t easily allow for water through the soil. It’s good for use to protect plants in cold climates and for those who are growing things in their garden.

mulching

Choosing the Right Type of Mulch

Choosing the right type of mulch for landscaping depends on a few different things that are specific to your own space, as we explore below. Landscaping with mulch isn’t just as simple as choosing your favorite.

Location

The actual location in which you are looking to apply mulch makes a big impact upon the decision you will make. The size will dictate the cost of your materials, and other factors such as whether there are slopes or hills, and even whether the area sees a lot of sunlight, will come into your decision-making process.

Weather

Will the weather where you live to make your mulch erode too quickly? Is it cold, but you need to protect plants that are used to warmer climates? Finding the right mulch can make all the difference to this and even prevent the weather from having an adverse impact on your landscaping. If you opt for a mulch that breaks down quickly, extreme weather might make this happen with even more speed.

Soil Type

What is the soil like where you are? Are you looking to grow things or just block out an area? If you live in an area where the soil can be a little bit unforgiving then you might be able to give certain produce a helping hand by choosing the right mulch for landscaping, and compost will almost always help with soil quality.

soil

 

Plant Type

The type of plants you are looking to mulch around plays a part, too. If weeds can be terminal to the plants then you might consider something like plastic or landscaping fabric to give that extra layer of protection.

When is the Best Time to Mulch?

Mulch in the fall, or in the winter, or sometimes in the early spring, for the best results. Mulch can help your plants through the colder months and also give a layer of protection when it starts to get warmer and weeds to start to thrive.

Obviously, mulching depends on the location you are in, but if you are getting ready for a cold snap then it could be time to put down some mulch to warm things up and protect the roots of your plants so that the winter doesn’t cause them to wither and die.

Please feel free to reach out to Cacti Landscapes if you have any questions about landscaping, we are happy to answer your questions. You can contact Cacti Landscape through our website by clicking here.

Is Lawn Care Service Worth the Money

Mowing and treating your lawn isn’t as easy as you think, and you’ll probably already know this if you have ever tried to do it yourself. There are many things to consider, such as moss, thatch, weeds, treatments, feeding, mowing, drainage, and it can be a difficult task to keep up to if you are not entirely sure what you’re doing. So, what you think is lawn care service worth money? Yes because sometimes it’s just better to call in the professionals.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Professional Lawn Care Services?

If you have made it to this page, then it is likely that you are asking yourself the question ‘are lawn care services worth it?’ We understand that many of you may be thinking that you could save yourself the money by just taking care of your lawn yourself, but that’s not always the case.

Here we have compiled a list of reasons to hire lawn care services to make that decision a little easier for you:

is lawn care service worth it

Lawn Care Services Will Provide Quality Work

Let’s be honest, unless you are a professional gardener yourself, it’s highly likely you don’t have the expert knowledge needed to care for a lawn properly.

When it comes to DIY lawn care vs. professional there is usually no comparison. For a lawn care professional, it is their job to know how to care for your lawn. They are experienced and carry out the work on a regular basis. This means that they are much more efficient, know which products work, and ultimately they do a better job in a smaller amount of time.

It Will Help To Save Your Time

Lawns require constant upkeep and can take up a lot of your time. Maintaining your garden can become like a second job, and I’m sure you’d rather spend your time off work relaxing and doing the things you enjoy.

If you don’t know what you are doing, you will also have to spend time researching, to find out what products are best and what steps you need to take.

A professional already has this knowledge and can straight to work on making your garden look its best, leaving you with more time to enjoy it!

They Will Provide Consistent Care

Let’s face it, it can be difficult to keep up to something when the rest of our lives are so busy with work, family and friends, and other commitments. Some weeks are just going to be too busy for you to tend to your lawn.

Taking care of a lawn can be a physically exhausting job. For those who have illnesses or mobility issues, some weeks, the task will be too much to face.

Lawns can get out of hand if they are not maintained properly, leading to increased effort in the following weeks. Is lawn service worth the money? Yes, because hiring a professional lawn service will ensure that your lawn is cared for in a more consistent and efficient manner.

lawn care services

You, Will, Avoid Accidental Damage

You may think that doing your lawn yourself will save money, but taking care of your lawn without the proper knowledge can lead to accidental damage that will cost you more to repair.

In many cases of lawn DIY, people waste money on the wrong products or make mistakes, which eventually leads to a deterioration of the lawn. This damage will need a professional and take a lot of time and effort to recover.

Experts know how to avoid these errors and can upkeep your lawn at a low cost, saving you money in the long term.

It Will Increase the Value of Your Property

When it comes to selling your house, the appearance of your lawn and garden area can be a big selling point, especially if your lawn is at the font of your house, welcoming the potential buyers. First impressions count, and a neat and tidy front lawn can make all the difference when it comes to boosting the likeability of your property, as well as the price.

Is a lawn care service worth the money? Yes, because people are more willing to pay a premium for a house when they are impressed by its well-kept features. In effect, it is paying for itself.

is lawn care service worth it

How Much Does a Typical Lawn Service Cost?

Now that you know the benefits of hiring professional lawn maintenance, you may be wondering how much it could set you back.

The average cost of a biweekly (every two weeks) mow and treatment will be in the region of $30-$80 dollars, based on a lawn size of 3,000-8,000 sq ft.
This will, of course, depend upon the size and state of your lawn. If you have a much larger area for the services to mow and treat, then it will obviously take more time and product and will result in a higher cost accordingly.

If your lawn is in a state that needs a lot of attention and treatment, then the first few weeks are likely to cost more, but the prices will reduce as the lawn becomes easier to upkeep.
Many companies will give you a free quote if you let them know the size of your lawn and what services you require, so it’s definitely worth asking as you have nothing to lose!

So in response to the question ‘is it worth paying for lawn care?’, the answer is definitely yes. There are plenty of reasons to hire lawn care services that outweigh the reasons not to.

If the reason is to save money, the likelihood is that you will spend way more doing it yourself, wasting your well-earnt money on useless products and all the machinery, not to mention you might be missing out on that increased house value!

What Type of Grass You Should Plant For Your Lawn

Selecting the right types of lawn grass is crucial if you want to have a nice looking garden. It really does make all the difference between an average looking garden and one that stands out amongst the rest.
Unbeknownst to some people, but the type of grass you have in your lawn has a big say in whether you stay in a constant struggle to manage your lawn and keep your grass soft and clean, or if you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of an easy-to-manage turf. The key is to have smooth and soft grasses with as little effort as possible.
However, with the wide range of choices available, it can be hard to determine the best grass seed types for your garden. In this article, we discuss a few factors that you can focus on while deciding what type of grass you should plant.

The Area Matters When Deciding the Type of Grass

Perhaps the most crucial factor in determining the right type of grass for your lawn is your region of residence. For instance, if you live in an area with moderate summers and intense winters (such as the Northern US or Canada), you should consider grass types suited for the colder seasons. The main options would include Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass.

On the other hand, Southern regions, with moderate winters and intense summers, have the perfect climate for warm-season grass types. For such a district, the best grass types would be zoysiagrass, Augustine grass, centipedegrass, and Bermuda grass.

Certain regions have intense winters and summers – also called ‘transition zones.’ Determining the best grass seed types for such areas can be a challenge since warm-season grasses might not be able to stay soft during winters, while cool-season types will not be able to handle the high temperatures during summer months. The use of tall fescue grass type is common in such zones since they can exhibit a sufficient amount of endurance to heat and cold, allowing them to remain green for almost the entire year. Other grass choices for the Transition Zone would be Kentucky Bluegrass, zoysiagrass, and Bermudagrass.

Shade

Types of Grass Based on Seasonality

To determine the types of lawn grass, you should first have to examine the year-round weather and conditions in the region where you live. That will help you decide what type of grass should you plant. You need to understand if you are more suited to cool-season grasses or warm-season ones.

Cool- Season Grasses

  • Fine-Leaf Fescue

It is a bunching and perennial turf grass. They give lawns more adaptability to shade and drought. The unique thing about this particular type of grass is that it stays green all year long.

  • Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial Ryegrass have got its second name (“nursing grass”) because of its ability  to protect other grasses. it provides shade and germinate quickly. Besides, it maintenance a lush appearance, and many people use this grass for golf cross fairways and baseball fields.

  • Tall Fescue

This is a bunch-type grass and it differs from the others for its  unique growing style.  It has the highest heat and traffic. Tall Fescue is well adapted to wet soils and in shaded sites

Warm-Season Grasses

  • Zoysiagrass

This belongs to the type of the drought-tolerant grasses. It is an ideal turf lawn solutions. Zoysia grows slowly, that’s the reason that most of the time plugs and sod are used.

  • Bermudagrass

Bermuda is a popular warm-season grass. If you want to plant a beautiful and durable grass lawn, then this type will become a great choice. It makes a good turf, it is drought-resistant and grows on many soils.

  • Centipedegrass

This type can produce weed-free, dense, and attractive turf. The speed of growth of this grass is slow and it can grow in poor soils. Centipedegrass is mostly popular in the Southern part of the United States.

Maintaining Your Lawn

Another essential thing is lawn maintenance. You need to consider if there is a consistent supply of fertilizer and water for your lawn – it can often be hard for yards situated in out-of-the-way spots to get nurtured regularly. If your garden is placed in such an area, the buffalo-grass type would be the ideal choice. Another decent option for low-maintenance sites would be the Fine-leaf fescues. Lawns located in low-input regions situated in the South East, often go with the centipedegrass.

In conclusion, before you begin to seed or sod your lawn, you need to carefully determine the best options, depending upon your location and lawn type. The factors you should consider are: location, access to fertilizers and water, the extent of shade in your lawn, and the predicted wear and tear that your yard might undergo. It can be hard to decide which type of grass is best for your lawn, primarily because of the vast varieties and the subtle differences between each. We hope that this article will prove to be effective in leading you to your ideal grass type.

Please feel free to reach out to Cacti Landscapes if you have any questions about landscaping, we are happy to answer your questions. You can contact Cacti Landscape through our website by clicking here.

Landscaping Ideas for Summer

If you are looking for some garden landscaping ideas, you have come to the right place. For most of us, our garden is a sanctuary, our mini slice of paradise to unwind after a busy day. When the summer comes around, we will all inevitably start spending much more time in our garden. So why not make it as pleasant as possible?
With that being said, here are some summer landscape projects for you to take on that won’t break the bank (or your back), let’s get into it.

Time for Some Lawn Maintenance

Nothing looks worse than an unkempt lawn. If you have left your lawn to fall into neglect, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to get started on some lawn maintenance. First things first, you need to take out your lawnmower and get to work mowing all of your overgrown grass that’s overstayed its welcome.

During the summer, it’s important to keep on top of your lawn by mowing it regularly. While there is no perfect height recommended for your lawn, it’s often recommended that you should never cut more than ⅓ of the grass height at any one time. This is to protect your lawn and keep it as healthy as possible. Keep on top of this with bi-weekly mowing.

Prepare Your Soil

If you want to add some colorful flowers to your garden, then you need to prepare your soil. The soil is the storehouse for all the nutrients and microbes that your plants absorb, so you need to make sure it’s as healthy as possible.

First, you will want to test the pH level of your soil to make sure it’s fertile and ready to take on new plants. You should aim for somewhere between 6 and 7 on the pH scale. Secondly, add some organic matter such as compost, manure, or fallen leaves to help with the retention of nutrients—lastly, time to add some mulch. Simply spread the mulch out over your soil and let it decompose naturally. This will help the soil to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

Conduct Some Weed Control

Before you start working on any extravagant garden landscape ideas, make sure you conduct some weed control and get rid of these pesky garden invaders. There are numerous ways to get rid of weeds, ranging from sprinkling baking soda or salt on them to applying ready-made weed killer. Choose your weapon and whack those weeds.

Weed Control

 

Prune the Plants

Time for a bit of basic plant care. If you want your garden to really stand out in the summer, then you need to make sure your plants are all looking tip-top. Identify which branches you need to keep and which ones you should remove and get to work on them.

Before you start clipping your plants, make sure you check which plants need pruning in the summer and which don’t. In early summer, you should generally be looking to prune spring-flowering shrubs and evergreen shrubs, while you should prune flowers in the middle to late summer.

Water the Plants

Another basic part of plant care watering, shock horror! Although this may seem elementary, you will be surprised how many people overlook the need for watering plants. It’s important especially if you live in a climate that doesn’t see much rainfall.

Make sure your plants are getting plenty of water by adding regular watering to your daily routine or invest in a sprinkler system. Don’t forget, some plants need more attention than others, so do your research beforehand.

Grow Vegetables

If you’re looking for some new garden landscape ideas, then why not look into growing your own vegetables? Not only do they look great, but you can’t reap what you harvest and enjoy them as part of a tasty dinner. There’s nothing better than knowing that the food you’re eating was grown in your own backyard thanks to your tender love and care.

If you’re serious about growing your own vegetables, then you need to be prepared to give them plenty of attention. It’s crucial to implement a schedule to care for them each and every day if you want to grow healthy, tasty vegetables.

Grow vegetables

 

Wrap Up

Landscape design ideas often get overcomplicated and can lead to spending thousands of dollars on extravagant garden designs each year. Sometimes, simplicity is best. Take care of the basics and look after your garden by conducting regular lawn maintenance. Carry out daily plant care, and keep the weeds out of sight. If you do all that, you’ll have a garden your neighbors envy in no time.

How to Prepare Soil for Planting

It’s come to that time of year again when we begin to prepare our gardens for the summer, making sure we give our plants a healthy environment in which to flourish. One of the most critical areas of plant care is how we maintain our soil each year because healthy soil will support healthy plant development.
When it comes to preparing the soil for planting, garden beds, and pots, we can follow these easy steps to make sure it is in the best condition.

Testing the Soil

Plants require certain minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium to grow. Different varieties of plants can require different levels of minerals, so if choosing to purchase fertilizer or bags of planting soil, it may be a good idea to check the label to see which type of plants they best promote.

You can test your soil to determine the levels of minerals that are present either by sending a sample to a company that will test the soil for a reasonably low cost, or there is also the option of buying home testing kits which will promptly give you the results for the main essential minerals.

Most home kits will also offer a test for the pH level of your soil. Soil for garden plants should ideally have a pH level of around 6.5-6.8, although a small number of plants prefer slightly acidic. Powdered limestone can be used to alter soils leaning to the acidic side of the scale, whereas sulfur and sawdust are substances that may be used for more alkaline soils.

If you do find your pH balance needs correcting, please be patient as it may take a few seasons to adjust. However, with the regular addition of compost, it should be easy to upkeep.

Prepare Soil

Soil Types

Loamy soil, which is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay, is considered to be the most suitable soil for plant growth because it has good water drainage and is packed with nutrients.
Most soils, however, will tend to be one of the three and need the help of an organic matter such as compost to convert it into the acceptable planting soil.

Sandy soil is usually not dense enough to retain moisture. When rubbed through the fingers, it will feel gritty and consist of large particles. Nutrients quickly drain away along with any water, and so it is advisable to add 3-4 inches of compost to ensure your plants can feed and then two inches each year after.

Silty soil feels smooth to the touch and is the most fertile of the three types. It is, however, compactable and will require an inch of compost each year in order to improve its drainage.

Clay soils will feel crumbly and harsh while dry and silky when wet. It is best to work in two to three inches of compost before adding another inch or two to the top, repeating this last step each year. Due to its density, clay soil desperately requires the help of organic matter in order to promote microbial life and improve its drainage.

If you find that your soil falls into the silt or clay category, then it may be a good idea to use this soil for garden beds, which are raised. This reduces the chances of it becoming too compacted through foot traffic, as well as improving the drainage.

Water

An essential part of plant care is ensuring that your plants have good access to water. An ideal soil for plant pots is one that ensures the water can drain effectively, while not completely.

The soil should be around 25% water, and we can achieve this by following the steps above to generate the correct soil texture. Watering the soil once a week should suffice in keeping it damp, but for outdoor soils, this should be adjusted according to the weather.

watering soil

Fertilize

It is essential to fertilize soil when key nutrients are absent. Plants absorb the nutrients from the soil, leaving it less fertile and so they need to be replenished each year. When deciding how to fertilize soil there are different options to choose from.

Synthetic fertilizers, although fast at delivering nutrients, are bad for the environment and can be detrimental to your soil by killing off valuable microorganisms, so you may want to consider organic. There is also the option of dry or liquid fertilizers. Liquid fertilizers work faster at delivering nutrients, while dry is slower but longer-lasting.

Many brands of planting soil come pre-mixed with fertilizer, making them an ideal no-fuss method of filling pots and planters.

Mulch

Mulch is the layer of protection we add to the top of the soil to protect it from extreme temperatures. It reduces the loss of water and can also help to reduce weeds.

Organic mulch, such as grass clippings bark or hay, will break down over time, adding nutrients to the soil.

Over time they will need to be replenished. In comparison, pebbles or other in-organic materials are just as good at insulating. They will not need to be replenished, but keep in mind that they do not contribute to the nutrient quality of your soil.

planting soil

Final Word

So now you have the knowledge to get prepared! Ensure that your soil is full of nutrients and has the right consistency for water drainage and healthy root development if not try to improve the quality of the soil. That way you can expect to enjoy the benefits of your labor right throughout the summer!

Tips to Prepare Your Landscape For Spring: Yard Clean Up Checklist

Can you finally see spring coming around the corner? Springtime can be a joyful time of year and it is also prime time to prepare for the season ahead. This article focuses on how you can get in just before spring and get your landscape ready for those sunny days. Think of this as getting a headstart on the gardening before the spring and summer seasons arrive and you want to spend more time outdoors! Our top spring yard clean up checklist can be found below!

Spring Yard Clean Up Checklist

Start Maintenance and Cleanup

I know, it’s probably not the job you get excited about. When spring is approaching, that means winter has well and truly had its impact. Wherever you live, in whichever climate zones, the chances are conditions are different over the winter. This means you will have to clear away the debris left.

Sweep away the leaves, get rid of deadheads on plants and tree shrubs and start weeding the garden. Weeds are hardy and they will have grown even through colder months. Get rid of them. Pre-spring is a good time for yard cleanup. Anything that has died or becomes tired over the winter can be cleared out ready for your spring landscaping ideas.

Spring Yard Clean Up Checklist

Prepare Your Soil

There are lots of things you can do to get your soil ready for spring, when you may want to plant more. You can test it to check the PH levels and quality of the soil. If it is healthy soil then you can just use a little fertilizer and you should be ready to go!

If your soil is struggling a bit, add some compost or manure. You can clear out remains of old plants or crops and try your best to bring more vibrancy and nutrients to the soil using products such as plant feeds and fertilizers.

Prepare Soil

Fertilize Lawn

The lawn may have stagnated in the winter (or if it is warmer where you are, it may have overgrown). Firstly, you can mow the lawn. Secondly, you should fertilize the lawn. There are lawn feed products designed specifically for this kind of fertilization, and these are slow release so they can last into the spring.

Fertilize Lawn

Refresh Mulching

Mulch can be used in plant beds to help irrigation and the release of nutrients into the plants, it can even prevent weeds. But like anything in your yard, it might need a top-up or rotation. You should use this period of time as an opportunity to clean up and refresh your mulch. You can add more to the beds in your garden ready to plant more in the spring (you might already be planting seeds or bulbs). Mulch can get dried out or disturbed, you may simply need to add some here and there.

Pruning

Pruning is important but you need to get in there before the spring. Find dead heads rather than take away any buds that may be coming in the upcoming spring. This item is the one on our spring yard clean up checklist you need to be most careful with. Make sure you don’t go too far with your landscaping tips for spring and prune away this year’s flowers.

It will be obvious in some cases that some pruning is required. Trees, shrubs and more can get out of control and you might need to prune them back. In some fast-growing plants, you might even want to prune all the way back so that they are a fraction of the size.

Yard clean up checklist: pruning

Control Weed

Weeds are the bane of the life of a gardener. Weed control is very hard, and if you have a lot of weeds it can take its toll on your spring landscaping ideas.

The ground is likely to be softer and moister naturally at this time, meaning it will be easier to pull out weeds. Be sure to get the roots or they might come back even worse. Unfortunately, other than following basic lawn and garden control tips, there’s not a great deal that can be done about weeds and weeding might be a constant part of your spring landscape maintenance. Being proactive before they have the chance to take over can be the best way to go about your landscaping.

Yard clean up checklist: weed control

 

Check Your Irrigation System

Test and check your irrigation system, especially if you have sprinklers. Whatever method you use to properly irrigate your lawn and your bedding and plants should be thoroughly checked. If it involves pipes, these may have become damaged over the winter, as they can freeze, or the temperature can cause them to expand and contract.

This isn’t the most fun of the landscaping tips for spring but it is essential. Make sure that all areas are getting the moisture they need, and will desperately need when the weather gets warmer.

Our clean up checklist for spring is universal, these are tips to help you to ensure you’ve covered all the bases. However, your landscape might be a bit different. Think about where you live, what the temperature has been like and which of last year’s plants can be gotten rid of. If you have landscaping ideas for spring then you will have an idea of areas you need to clear before spring, ready for your landscape to flourish in the season ahead.

 

Irrigation System check

Cacti Has Been Highlighted As one of the Best Landscapers in Las Vegas

For the second year running, we have received the accolade of  “The Best Landscapers in Las Vegas”. Expertise.com recognized the excellent level of service that Cacti delivers to its customers, day in day out. 

Cacti Landscapes is a tropical, traditional, and desert landscaping company for home and business owners in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. The president and CEO Bret Utter has always prioritized service as one of the key foundations of this business. In fact, he started the company back in 2002 from noticing a serious lack of proper service from the other landscaping companies within the local industry.

From this point, the company has gone from strength to strength, and awards like this from Expertise.com give credence to that.

We offer a wide range of services for our residential and commercial customers, including the designing and installation of unique landscapes as well as a whole host of extra services that go above and beyond the expectations for a landscaping company.

Some of the services that we offer include:

From Strength to Strength

Since we were founded in 2002, Cacti Landscapes Inc. grew from a company that had 2 employees and 1 truck to a workforce of 25 employees and 25 trucks to service their wide range of clients.

In that entire time (17 years), we have never received one single complaint with the contractor’s board. We currently service all areas of the Las Vegas Valley, including Summerlin, Aliante, Mountains Edge, Southern Highlands, Anthem and many other areas.

The owner, Brett Utter admits that his own service may not be the cheapest, but you won’t find service anywhere near as good as theirs for the same price point.

High-quality customer service, highly skilled workers, and honest work are what we find important in our job.

How to Improve the Quality of Your Soil

Are you struggling to grow things in your garden? Worried about the soil quality on your property? It’s really easy to forget that many things make an impact on the soil characteristics in your area, and certain crops you can plant may even make an impact on the soil for the next season.

In this article, we’re focusing on soil quality and how you can fertilize garden conditions to ensure good soil quality. Healthy soil can have a huge amount of benefits and lead to a flourishing garden, whereas the poor quality of soil can mean that you struggle to grow anything at all.

Soil Texture And Structure

The texture and structure of soil can be tough to change. If you have dry clay style soil then it can be tough to make it more porous, or if there is sand in the soil it can be hard to get it to keep water in long enough for the roots of plants to take it in. Some people are totally unaware that soil has a structure and texture. What it is made out of depends on where you are in the world, the environment, what has previously been planted there and much more.

The benefits of soil being excellent quality are clear for your backyard. You can grow fruit and vegetables, improve plants and flowers growing and much more. Luckily there are things you can do to make the soil flourish, and keeping healthy soil will benefit your home for many years to come.

How to Improve the Quality of Your Soil

 

Soil Building Strategy

Building the soil quality is a long term task, but you can make changes to the soil in order to improve it. This is called a soil building strategy, rules you can stick to and methods you can use to improve the soil. So, how do we go about it? What should your soil building strategy look like?

Build Organic Matter

Organic matter is the healthiest thing for your soil. It can help plants with nutrients that tend to get soaked up by the microorganisms that sit in the soil. Adding organic matter and building this up within soil, specifically in areas such as plant beds where you want to plant things, can be the best way to improve the quality of the soil. It doesn’t have to be difficult, either.

Organic matter and waste products remain can bind with clay and sand types of soil to improve drainage and make sure the soil stays wet for longer, allowing the roots to get the nutrition they need to grow.

Adding organic matter can be as simple as adding some compost that you have bought, or manure that you have sourced, these can fertilize garden soil easily. You can get your hands on these from nurseries pretty much anywhere, they’re truly garden essentials so not difficult to find.

You can also get treatments and soil conditioners to create good soil for growing in your yard. These are designed for specific types of soil and can vastly improve the quality. You can target the type of soil you have (whether it is full of sand or otherwise).

How to Improve the Quality of Your Soil

 

Soil Management

Building soils that are suitable for your gardening is fantastic, and organic garden soil is the key to growing some excellent crops. However, it won’t mean much if you don’t know how to manage the soil to maintain healthy soil quality.

Soil management can be simple or complex. On a big scale such as farming, this is a huge job, but in your backyard, it doesn’t have to be too difficult or time-consuming. You should try and till the soil if you can, but one thing you can do is crop rotation. If you plant vegetables and fruit then plant them in different places each season so you don’t end up always planting the same things, this can have a negative effect on the quality of the soil. Varying the dying organic matter goes a long way when improving soil quality.

Soil and plant treatments being used regularly, even things as simple as nursery bought plant foods, can make a huge difference and form part of your soil maintenance.

How to Improve the Quality of Your Soil

 

Cover Crop

This is a clever and ages-old way of improving soil quality. A cover crop is something to keep the soil active and growing. These can be planted with the purpose of managing the fertility and quality of the soil without ever intending to be harvested. If you have lots of crops in an area then when they die they become organic matter within the soil and this can then become the basis for future crops. Having cover crops can stop issues like soil erosion, and manage pests and diseases as well as create a good diversity within the yard.

Common Lawn Problems and Solutions

If your garden has any sort of lawn then you should prioritize keeping it looking healthy and vibrant. Lawn problems can be a nightmare to deal with, they are sometimes difficult to get rid of and let’s face it, they look bad. The rest of your garden can look amazing, but if you have dry grass, patchy grass or other lawn problems then it is likely that this is what people will notice. For a vibrant lawn, we’ve listed some common issues and their solutions, so you can get to the root of the problem and get rid of it!

Inadequate watering

The simplest of the issues is the first we are dealing with. Inadequate watering. This is very simple and easy to fix. You’d be amazed how much this can cause issues, however, and how common it is. Many of the dry grass issues can stem from not watering thoroughly or not allowing your grass to get water. Sometimes, people forget that the grass needs water as well.

You can be as simplistic or high tech about getting enough water to your grass as you want to be. Check your sprinklers as it could be a great way to do things, but if not, you can just keep an eye on rainfall and manually water the grass if there is none.

Lawn diseases

There are some fairly common lawn diseases out there. Some are fungi, some cause rings or dry patches. Lawn repair, in this case, can be as simple as finding the right product. There are “patch repair” products to allow you to kill off the disease, and these can be bought from nurseries.

The important thing is to work out which disease you have. If you have a red tinge to the grass you might have “Red Thread”. This occurs with a lack of nitrogen. You can buy lawn treatments and nutrient products to fix these issues. Establish what disease your lawn might have and find the right product to apply to your grass to treat it.

 

Pests

Pests can include grubs in lawns and some types of insects. Pesticides can be used to treat these issues. You can find generic pesticides and even ones that are safe to use and don’t have negative impacts on the environment.

If grubs in lawns are the issue you can use trichlorfon or carbaryl. You need to use rubber gloves and irrigate the lawn before applying, this will kill off grubs and larvae.

Only use pest control products that are good for your lawn!

Pet damage

Pets can enhance our lives but they can be a pain to deal with, especially when it comes to lawn care. Dogs and cats can both enjoy digging in your grass, and their urine can also kill the grass. The urea in the urine is actually a type of nitrogen, and it isn’t bad for the grass in small amounts, but urine isn’t a small amount.

You may be able to train your dog to go in one place. Alternatively, make sure that after your dog has been you apply water, this can help dilute the urea. It’s not an ideal method. Taking your dog for regular long walks can be a good way to avoid the issue.

If it’s the neighbor’s cats, there are products you can buy to try and stop them from coming into the yard.

Compacted Soil

Compacted soil is when the soil isn’t porous enough, and the air doesn’t get in. Treatments are simple, you need to aerate the soil. You can do this with machinery, but the simplest way is to treat the lawn with a rolling aerator which will simply create loads of holes in the soil to bring air into the compacted area.

Heavy Thatch

An aerator can also be used to treat heavy thatch. This is when the layers of dead grass build-up and weave in with the healthy grass. You can get attachments for your aerator, and rolling these over will help to get some of the thatch out of the grass you have. A little won’t be a problem, but too much can start to kill the grass and damage the soil.

Grub Damage

Grub damage doesn’t have an easy fix, but looking after your lawn and properly maintaining it will help the lawn recover. To get rid of grubs, some pest companies use predatory nematodes. This will reduce the number of grubs in your garden, but won’t fix the damage.

Regular watering, fertilizing and raking and aeration will be key to healthy roots and improving the quality of the grass overall. All lawns have grubs, and they can be an issue for anyone, but they can become a lot to handle.

Patchy grass

Patchy grass can be caused by pretty much any of the issues above. The key is to learn how to fix it. Fertilizing the grass could help, and you may even need to put some grass seed in the patchy areas to stimulate growth once more.

The key is to prevent the patchy grass and make sure it doesn’t occur again. This comes from good lawn repair and lawn maintenance just as much as it does any sort of grass treatment.

Underground Obstructions

If you have underground obstructions such as drainpipes, this can interfere with some of the roots of the grass. It is unlikely that this will cause major issues with your lawn, but it does mean you have to properly maintain the lawn to ensure that no issues and patching in these areas occur. It can happen faster due to the interference with the roots.

Whatever the lawn problems you are dealing with, the key is to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Following tips to maintain healthy soil and a healthy lawn can stop a lot of these problems from ever happening in the first place. Your lawn problem probably isn’t uncommon, and there will be something you can do to treat it!

Using Rocks in Your Landscape

Landscaping gives a huge amount of possibilities, wherever in the world you plan to do it. We are covering landscaping with rocks in this article. Rocks are a popular way to improve your gardening or landscaping. The options that rocks provide can give you a decorative look, and in certain parts of the world, rocks are more efficient for use in your landscaping design.

In this article, we’re looking at landscaping ideas with rocks. Whether you are looking to give ideas to your Las Vegas Landscapers or you want to try your hand at landscaping yourself.

Advantages of Landscaping with Rocks

Rocks may not help the plants in your garden to grow, but they have a lot of other benefits when compared to mulch and other materials you might be thinking of using for landscaping. Mulch degenerates and decomposes so it will need to be replaced every couple of years. If you are landscaping with rocks they might cost more upfront, but they will last so much longer.

advantages of rock over mulch

There are some other benefits including the fact they’re not flammable. If you live somewhere you can get wildfires then you might want to think about landscaping with rocks to stop fires from growing.

Decorating with Rocks

Rocks also give a whole load more options for landscaping. They are rigid and unlike mulch, you can use them to create some interesting patterns and even separate areas of the yard. They can be used as building blocks. You can also create amazing and interesting patterns with rocks, knowing that they will last for many years and you don’t have to worry about them degenerating over time.

Whether you want to create a ‘stepping stone’ look or an organic feel to make beds for planters, you can do so with rocks. They are incredibly versatile.

Using Centerpieces

You can use rocks to create a centerpiece in a flower bed or planter. This is a low-maintenance way to create an interesting look, plus you can experiment with types of rocks. In hot backyards, rocks can look great, and the fact they don’t dry out in the sun can be a big benefit to using rocks as a centerpiece. There are so many landscaping ideas with rocks if you start to look at images.

Flower or Plant Beds with Rocks

Rocks can be used to separate different areas in the garden. It is definitely worth using rocks to separate out the different areas of the garden, it gives an interesting look with less of a “man-made” feel to it. It’s also a resourceful way to use rocks for landscaping.

using rocks in landscaping

You can use rocks to create edging or bedding areas to plant things, to separate trees or just about anything else! You could even create a vegetable patch cordoned off with some rocks.

Rock Constructions in Gardens and Ponds

One of the great things about how hardy rocks are is that you can use them in conjunction with water. I love the inventive look of rocks in ponds to create a trickle-down effect, a bit like a mini waterfall. You can also use them to create a decorative center for your pond or as edging around the pond itself. Why not create a path around the pond and lead the way with rocks or stepping stones?

Types of Rocks Used in Landscaping

Rocks occur pretty much everywhere in the world as a natural phenomenon, so there is no point in getting them shipped halfway around the world. Unless you are creating a specific look, go for locally sourced rocks. If you are decorating your garden or looking to get into landscaping in Las Vegas, look for landscaping with rocks in Las Vegas. What is available locally?

Wherever you are in the world you will find that landscaping with rocks isn’t too difficult to come by. There are stores where you can buy them but don’t forget that these rocks also occur naturally, you may have some in your land already.

Pebbles, stones, and rocks can all be used for different looks. You can even look at gravel to fill large areas. Don’t forget, this is an excellent route to a maintenance-free yard.

Rocks and stones can sometimes be turned into stepping stones in order to allow for specific use as a pathway. Also, you can often buy rocks sorted into specific sizes and designs which can give a much more uniform look to your garden.

It’s easy to see why rocks are commonly used in landscaping. They’re simple and relatively easy to use to create either temporary or permanent designs in your yard. Rocks also need virtually no maintenance and can withstand all weather. Whatever type of landscaping you are involved in, rocks should create a key part of your list of tricks.

Best Ways to Prepare Your Backyard for Winter

As wintertime approaches you might want to start to think about how you can keep your home and backyard in the best condition even as the weather takes a turn for the worse. There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for the winter. Some of them are designed to keep the home in good condition and ensure that when the spring rolls around your home hasn’t suffered.

There is a lot of lawn and garden care that can be necessary, from cutting the grass before winter to preparing perennials for winter. We’ve addressed loads of the ways you can prep gardens for winter in this guide to landscaping maintenance through the winter months.

Clean Pavers

The paving slabs in your yard can be susceptible to the conditions in the winter. The mud can be a big issue! As the wet and snowy environment creates mud and dirt it will likely get left on the pavers. Clean these with pressure washers for the easiest process.

Lawn Care

Yes, the lawn still needs your attention through the winter. Go through your normal lawn care routines and utilize lawn feed even in times when it gets cold. This will mean a far better lawn in the future, and you won’t be trying to salvage some sort of garden the following year.

Mowing

You need to make sure you still mow through the winter, otherwise when the spring rolls around the condition of your yard is likely to suffer. Weeds and other unwanted additions can be more of an issue if you don’t mow the lawn from time to time through the winter.

Luckily, if you’re in an area where there isn’t as much sunlight, the lawn will probably grow far slower in these cold months so you may not have to do this job as regularly. Cutting grass before winter is not the most attractive job, it may well be very cold out there, but you’ll be delighted that you did.

Aeration

Strictly speaking, aeration doesn’t have to take place in the wintertime. However, aerating the turf involves plugs in the soil, and these don’t feel good to walk over. This means that it’s worth doing in the fall or start of winter because you won’t be walking on the turf as much. Manual aerators can be bought online and these are a lot of work, but you can get power tools for this job, too.

Fertilization

This is another job you’ll be glad you did before the winter. Knowing when to winterize lawns can be tough, but the earlier you can get to it in the winter, the better. The turf needs to be kept as strong as possible through the winter months. Fertilizing is quite a tough job and you should make sure that when you are looking into preparing the lawn for winter you should make sure you are using the right fertilizer for the zone and area in which you live.

Perennial Weed Control

It is important to think about preparing perennials for winter as well. Luckily, perennials will come back year upon year and this means you don’t have to worry a huge amount about the need to buy new plants each year. It’s far better for your bank balance and for the environment to keep plants alive.

There are ways you can ensure weed control and pest control are carried out through winter, and it doesn’t take too much work. Weed them before the winter season and use an organic herbicide as there are perennial weeds too that can keep cropping up through the winter. To properly prep your garden for winter, surround shrubs and perennials with mesh and wiring to stop pests being able to get at them.

Landscape Lighting

Make sure your lighting is plentiful for the winter, especially if you plan to still spend time out in the yard through the winter. It will be likely to get a lot darker in your yard, and with fewer hours of sunlight, you should try and make sure your solar lights are excellent quality, and even supplement them with a few non-solar options.

Furniture

As well as lawn and garden care, you need to think about the other item in your yard. It would be terrible to ignore this and then your furniture gets damaged.

Furniture should be covered through the winter, or stored away, especially if it is made out of materials that are likely to be susceptible to winter conditions. Strong woods may be okay, but generally, a lot of rattan and wicker backyard furniture will be damaged by rain and snow, and fabrics definitely can be! Put these in a place where they are sheltered, whether that means a garage or storage unit.

Pool Heater

If you are lucky enough to own a pool, with a pool heater, it is important that you prepare it for the winter otherwise it can get damaged. A process of “winterizing” means covering up the heater and making sure it is protected from extreme temperatures or freezing water.

Conclusion

If you are looking to prep a garden for winter then our guide will help you a lot. It’s vital that you consider the elements and the weather that you are likely to experience. If you live in Canada, your winter is going to be very different from if you live in Vegas, and preparing for winter could be a different prospect entirely.