Landscaping and Gardening Services in Pismo Beach and SLO County
264 Irish Way, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
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14 Aug 2017

Dangers of Keeping Food, Fruit, etc. on Trees or Vines Too Long

grape pickingDangers of Keeping Fruit and Berries on Trees or Vines Too Long

Leaving overripe fruit on trees and vines doesn’t seem like a big deal. Fruiting trees and vines grow in the wild without anyone picking their fruit, after all. There are big differences between wild fruit trees and vines and the ones growing on your property.

Reasons to Pick Ripe and Overripe Fruit

Besides the delicious pies, jellies and other foods you can make from your own fruit, there’s the simple enjoyment of eating fresh fruit off the tree or vine. (Always make sure that you know what that vine is before you eat the berries. Your landscaper can identify mystery vines and plants.) Fruit that’s a little overripe is perfect for baked desserts. Tree and vine health reasons to harvest on time are:

• Rotting fruit can sicken the tree or vine and reduce healthy production
• Tree disease caused by rotten fruit will spread through your orchard
• Fruit spoiling in the hot sun makes your yard unpleasant
• Leaving citrus fruit on the tree past ideal harvest time makes it vulnerable to an early freeze

Animals and insects pose dangers to trees, vines and your property. Common wildlife issues are:

Raccoons, opossums and rats are attracted to the strong smell of overripe fruit (yes, rats can climb)
• Wildlife can harm your trees or wreck vines trying to reach fruit
• Decaying fruit on the tree or vine can lead to insect infestations
• Fruit flies and wasps and are drawn to mandarin oranges, grapes, berries and anything else sweet
• Vermin in your yard is dangerous to your family and will almost certainly cause problems for close neighbors

Wildlife watchers often leave some fruit on the ground for deer, and birds and bees love berries. Birds can even get tipsy from eating fermented berries, but that isn’t good for them. It’s best to pick berries before they ferment.

Monitoring Fruit Trees and Vines on Your Property

If you only have a few trees or vines around your property, you might like keeping an eye on them yourself. Your landscaper can tell you when to start harvesting. Call your landscaper if you see evidence of insect infestation in fruits or berries or wildlife damage. Landscapers can deal with insect pests. There are various methods of protecting trees, including metal tree collars that deter climbing wildlife and wildlife-safe tree netting.

It’s best to leave installing tree netting to professionals so that you don’t end up accidentally catching birds and small wildlife.

When to Harvest to Avoid Overripe Fruit

Almost every fruit and berry flourishes in Southern California, and they all have a different harvest schedule. Familiarizing yourself with the trees and vines on your property will help you make the most of your harvest and avoid waste.

Things to Remember:
• Picking fruit on time keeps plants healthy
• Overripe fruit attracts vermin
• Every fruit has a different ideal harvest time

To have your edible fruit trees and vines evaluated by a landscaper or to add fruit trees to your property, contact us today.

04 Aug 2017

How to Choose Solar Pathway Lights

Solar Pathway LightsSolar pathway lights can be decorative or functional. They make driveways and walkways safe in the dark and add color and style to your yard or patio. 

The most important thing to remember about solar yard lights is that inexpensive isn’t always a bargain.

Reasons for Adding Solar Pathway Lights to Your Landscaping

When comparing styles of solar lights for your yard, choose the type that’s best for you by identifying your primary need for lighting.

  • You want lighting for safety purposes
  • You love the look of garden lights
  • You need outside lighting and want to keep it green

There’s a style of solar yard lighting to meet everyone’s needs. Now, let’s consider pricing.

How Much Does Solar Pathway Lighting Cost?

Professional installation varies depending on the type and amount of lighting and the terrain of your property.

We recommend consulting your landscaper regarding installing sunken lights and any other permanent lighting, including lights on steps.

You can find novelty lighting in most chain stores. They’re not made to last more than a season and often don’t make it to the end of summer.

They are popular because they are easy to install and kitschy. More than a couple of novelty lights tend to drag down your landscaping.

Novelty solar lights can turn out to be an annoyance because they function one night and won’t light up the next.

Some yard lighting available in stores are tasteful and mimic the look of professional lighting, but can have the same drawbacks as novelty lighting.

Most solar lights contain rechargeable batteries that may be dead out of the box.

It’s frustrating to line your pathway and discover you have one or two dim lights.

It’s not worth your time to pry open cheap battery compartments and find defective components.
Going with higher-end lighting will let you enjoy your yard instead of replacing batteries or returning defective lights.

Maintaining Solar Pathway Lights

Your landscaper will inspect professionally installed lighting and make any necessary repairs.

Seasonal stake-in-the-ground lighting should be stored at the end of summer. If not, they can be damaged by winter storms and ocean winds.

Painted lights may be so faded at the end of summer that they aren’t worth keeping.

When storing solar yard lights, remove the rechargeable batteries. They can leak over the winter.

Permanent lights installed for safety will require cleaning during the fall and winter so that the solar panel and battery can charge and again at the beginning of the season.

Landscaping with Solar Pathway Lights

Decorative lighting shows off your landscaping for after-dark entertaining.

From hanging lanterns to colorful globes, solar lights are the finishing touch for your landscaping.

Standard lights illuminate your colorful flowerbeds. Dual color solar lights cast rotating colored designs on your lawn. You can even choose solar bamboo-style lights.

Things to Remember:

  • Cheap lights are more of a hassle than a bargain
  • Safety lights should be professionally installed
  • Solar lights require maintenance

For solar pathway lighting selection, installation and maintenance, contact us by phone or email today.

 

 

25 Jul 2017

How to Keep Pets from Destroying Indoor Plants [Infographic]

how to keep pets from destroying indoor plants

Cats and dogs will make a mess of your houseplants if they can reach them. In addition to protecting your plants, it’s important to keep pets away from them because many common houseplants are toxic.

  • Hanging baskets in your windows are a good solution for trailing plants like philodendrons, and they’ll get plenty of sun.
  • Indoor plant stands work well if you have a small dog that can’t knock them over.
  • If you have cats, try a plant shelf located away from furniture and appliances.
  • Wall planters are a unique decorative choice. They work especially well for growing herbs in the kitchen.
  • Cats particularly dislike citrus scents. Some pet owners use essential oils to keep cats away from planters and off furniture.
  • To create an enclosed plant stand, paint a sturdy metal birdcage and stand to match your decor. Put small or medium plants inside. Make sure the stand is well braced.
  • Do you have built-in bookcases? Reserve the top shelf for plants.
  • “Cat grass” may satisfy a cat’s urge to chew on plants.
  • If all else fails, designate a “no pets” plant room. A sunny garden room will allow you to overwinter plants from your patio.
  • To keep your pets safe, ask your landscaper about non-toxic houseplants.

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12 Jul 2017

How to Keep Hardscapes Clean

clean hardscapesLike all landscaping and landscaping elements, hardscapes require maintenance. Hardscape maintenance is usually seasonal and consists of cleaning. Seasonal cleaning often reveals small repair issues that can be fixed immediately to save you hassle and money.

What is a Hardscape?

Hardscapes include:

• Patios
• Sidewalks
• Decorative walkways
• Retaining walls
• Driveways
• Dry creek beds
• Decorative fencing
• Pergolas
• Gazebos
• Raised garden beds

Ill-maintained hardscapes make your lawn look shabby and bring down your property’s curb appeal.

How Do Hardscapes Get Dirty?

Mud, salt, mildew and mold are the most common things that spoil the look of your pergola or retaining wall. You may not think of mold and mildew as a problem if you live in a drought-prone area, but if you have a swimming pool or sprinklers, you have dampness. That dampness can cause ugly, unhealthy mold and mildew.

If your yard is dry, summer winds can drive waves of dirt against your white retaining walls. Hard storms leave mud splashed on walls, patios and sidewalks. Storms off the oceans scour stain and paint off your wooden fencing or pergola. Salt is very damaging to some hardscapes.

No matter where you live, sidewalks deteriorate over time. Stone walkways also develop cracks. With regular hardscape cleaning, you can catch damage in the early stages, and repairs will be easier and less expensive.

Cleaning hardscapes is like seasonal yard cleaning. If you let it go, your enjoyment of your landscaping will suffer, and you may end up paying more to fix a big problem than you would have with seasonal cleaning.

How Do You Clean Hardscapes?

Cleaning hardscapes depends on the surface material and whether it’s painted or stained. Every cleaning is a multi-step process.

The first step is to evaluate the surface. Is it an older surface or relatively new? Is it just in need of cleaning, or does it require repair? Sometimes damage can’t be seen until the surface is cleaned.

If your sidewalk or stone pathway needs cleaning, a landscaper will remove weeds and look for cracks. Pressure washing will remove the roots of weeds and brighten the surface, making it look new again.

Pressure washing is the go-to cleaning method for retaining walls and patios. Depending on the structure, wood can be scrubbed with a brush designed for outdoor cleaning or pressure washed. If you want your wood fence to look new without the expense of replacing it, pressure washing and restaining is the ideal solution.

The above also applies to decks. For the best-looking deck in the neighborhood, have yours pressure washed at the end of winter, and restain it if necessary.

If your landscaper finds problems like cracks or mold growth with your hardscapes, ask about moving your sprinklers.

Things to Remember:
• Mold and mildew can grow in any environment
• Cleaning can reveal minor damage before it becomes serious
Seasonal cleaning makes wood last longer
• Your landscaper knows the best cleaning methods for different hardscapes

Contact us today to arrange seasonal cleaning for your property.

05 Jul 2017

Landscaping Problems and Do’s and Don’ts – When to Call a Professional

The DIY lifestyle can be satisfying, but some jobs or repairs should only be done by pros. Calling a professional to fix a DIY project results in extra expense to you. You or your family could also be injured if you don’t have the experience or equipment needed for your project.

sprinkler systemInstalling and Repairing Sprinkler Systems

Anything that involves extensive digging in your yard is a job for a landscaper. It can be extremely dangerous if you hit a gas line. The city, county or municipality can also fine you if you cause a gas leak. An experienced landscaper will find your gas line and avoid it.

Maintaining and repairing irrigation systems is also tricky. DIY repairs often result in additional damage. We install, repair and perform seasonal maintenance on sprinkler systems and other water elements.

Retaining Wallsretaining walls

Cracks or damage to brick or concrete retaining walls should have professional attention to avoid further deterioration or collapse.

Piled-stone retaining walls may seem simple enough, but they have to have a proper foundation. If a child or large dog pushes over your DIY retaining wall, the results could be disastrous. Let us build a retaining wall for you so you can rest assured that it’s safe.

Pallet Ideas For GardeningPallet Gardening

Pallet retaining walls are very trendy. They’re popular for raised flowerbeds and small gardens. Imagine putting in all the work of building your garden foundation, planting the garden and having it collapse. Upcycling wood is a great idea, but it has to be treated to resist insect infestation and water damage that can weaken it.

Let your landscaper build a raised garden (also called a built-up garden) for you. You can have the satisfaction of planting your own vegetables or flowers while knowing your work won’t be wasted by an unstable foundation.

Water Elementswater elements

When you live in a drought-prone area, a fountain or creek stone with trickling water is a treasure. Installing a water element involves substantial digging and connecting to a water source. To avoid damage to water lines or irrigation systems, let your landscaper install your water element. Professional installation also ensures that your fountain or waterfall doesn’t waste water.

Building a pond takes special equipment. Ponds must be lined and require cleaning and maintenance. Let us install and maintain your pond so you can enjoy it instead of handling chemicals and cleaning it.

lawn chemicalsLawn Chemicals

Does your lawn need fertilizer? Do you need pesticide for your flowers? Only a landscaper can tell for sure.

Unnecessary or improperly applied lawn fertilizer can burn healthy grass. You may only need dethatching and overseeding. Endangered butterflies in their caterpillar stage may have made holes in the leaves of native California plants. Hold off on chemicals until you consult a professional.

Things to Remember:

  • DIY can actually cost you more than hiring a landscaper
  • Sprinkler systems last longer and perform better when installed by a pro
  • Water elements require professional installation and maintenance
  • Using chemicals may result in the opposite of what you intended

Evergreen Landscaping is just a phone call away to keep you and your family safe. Contact us a 805-773-5395 when you need a professional landscaper.

28 Jun 2017

Lawn Decorations Do’s and Dont’s [Infographic]

lawn decorations do and donts

Everyone knows bad lawn decor when they see it.

Do you have any of these “don’ts” lurking in your yard?

Birds of a Feather
Don’t: Flocks of flamingos take the attention off your landscaping.
Do: A birdbath and feeder makes everyone happy.

No Outdoor Plumbing
Don’t: Yes, an old toilet has the characteristics of a great planter, but it’s just plain tacky.
Do: If you want a novelty planter, try an old wheelbarrow with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage.

Check Your Rear
Don’t: Wooden grandmas with their bloomers showing aren’t stylish.
Do: An elegant piece of statuary can be a beautiful part of your landscaping.

•Keep On Trucking
Don’t: Old tires will deteriorate and spoil your lawn.
Do: Ask your landscaper about building an attractive raised flowerbed.

Gnome You Didn’t
Don’t: Some lawn gnomes can be as frightening as creepy clowns.
Do: Gazing balls are popular, and classier than staring gnomes.

Apostrophes Are Possessive
Don’t: Name signs like “The Jones’s” are all too common displays of grammatical errors.
Do: Skip the sign altogether. It can be dangerous to advertise your name to passers-by.

Holiday Fusion
Don’t: Red, white and blue bunting doesn’t flatter reindeer.
Do: Take holiday decorations down before they lose that special seasonal vibe.

For the best-decorated and landscaped lawn on the block, contact Evergreen Landscaping at (805) 773-5395.

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21 Jun 2017

Outdoor Gardening You Can Do With Your Kids

Gardening with ChildrenDo you want to pass your love of gardening on to your children or grandchildren? Gardening with kids is a great way to get them offline, outside and give them a lifelong, productive hobby.

Kids and Gardening: Getting Started

It’s easiest to get your children or grandchildren started gardening when they’re around age five. Kindergarten-age children are old enough to remember the difference between weeds and plants that you actually want. They’re also very curious about everything around them and love “helping” you.

It can take some prodding to interest older children in gardening. Online farming games are very popular. If your older child is playing a farming game, present gardening to them as the real-life version. Give them their own plot of your garden or flowerbed. When they start to see seedlings coming up or flower buds appearing, they may find real life gardening more fun than a game.

Kids and Gardening: Tools You’ll Need

Real, sturdy gardening tools scaled down for children are available in dollar stores. One thing all young children love is playing in the dirt. Give your child a shovel so she can help you with your spring flowerbed. Your plants may not be spaced perfectly, but your child will feel a sense of accomplishment.

Another thing young children love is water. Your child will love having his own watering can. Watering plants gives you an opportunity to talk to your children about the importance of caring for plants while not wasting water.

Older children can learn to use pruning shears under your supervision. Kids can help you deadhead flowering bushes. You may feel safer letting your child use blunt scissors and then move up to a small pair of pruning shears as they get older.

With a small rake, your child can help you clean out flowerbeds in the spring. If you have a rock garden, let your child work with you and learn to keep it neat.

Kids and Gardening: Choosing Plants

Before you take your child into your garden, make sure the plants they’ll be exposed to aren’t toxic. Your landscaper can suggest non-toxic, child-friendly plants.

Choose plants that germinate soon after planting so kids won’t lose interest. Sunflowers are a great choice. Their seedlings pop up in about a week, and the “mammoth” varieties can top out at five feet tall.

Sunflowers are drought-resistant and make a classic border for a vegetable garden. If you want your child to love fresh vegetables and herbs, get them involved in growing their own food.

Tomatoes and basil are a perfect combination for a kitchen garden. Basil grows quickly, and you and your child can harvest it almost daily. A tomato plant’s life cycle is interesting, and the fruit, paired with fresh basil, can help your child develop a taste for vegetables.

A landscaper can prepare flowerbeds and vegetable plots for you and help you choose plants kids will enjoy.

Things to Remember:

  • Keep it fun and entertaining
  • Give kids tools made for small hands
  • Make sure seeds and plants are non-toxic
  • You should have fun too

Contact us today and we’ll get your yard in shape so you can start gardening with your kids.

 

06 Jun 2017

I Just Moved In and My Yard is a Total Disaster!

Yard DisasterYou’ve just bought a house with zero curb appeal. Maybe you loved the house so much you overlooked the lawn. Maybe you got a good price because the property is a disaster. Now you have a great house with an awful lawn. Under the overgrown hedges, dying grass and out of control wild plants, there’s a good lawn that you can restore.

Restoring a Lawn Takes Time

Lawn neglect is usually the result of the previous homeowner being unable to keep up with the property due to age or infirmity. When homeowners don’t use a full-service landscaper, large properties get out of hand.

Completely restoring your lawn will take about a year. Landscaping work is done seasonally. You can’t prune your flowering trees in the spring. That has to wait until fall. Overseeding your lawn and removing unwanted plants will make an immediate difference.

Planning a Lawn Makeover

No one wants to live with an ugly lawn for a year. With proper landscaping and temporary solutions, you don’t have to.

An initial consultation should include walking your property with your landscaper and making a seasonal lawn repair plan. Things to include in your plan are:

  • Grass care
  • Cutting back overgrowth
  • Installing/repairing irrigation systems
  • Tree inventory
  • Planning your new lawn
  • Planting in-season plants and trees
  • Adding water elements and hardscapes

Seeing changes right away will make you feel better about your lawn and give you ideas about what you’d like to do next.

Getting Started

Removing unwanted landscaping elements gives a yard an immediate lift and clears the way for your landscaper to start work.

Install or make sprinkler system repairs and any other repairs that involve digging up the yard. Then have your soil pH tested. The soil’s pH tells your landscaper what your lawn needs in terms of fertilizer.

Hard-packed soil needs aeration so that the roots of your grass can breathe. This is done before overseeding. When you overseed your lawn, you seed it all and then go over thin spots again when your new grass starts to grow.

Inventorying Trees

Dead or dying trees need to be marked for removal. This must be done in the spring or summer when foliage begins to appear and your landscaper can assess the trees’ health. The landscaper will mark other trees for pruning at the appropriate time.

Your New Lawn

Now it’s time for the fun part: designing your dream lawn. There are many more drought-tolerant plants available besides succulents, cacti and wild grasses. You can have a flower garden, fruit trees or a rock garden.

Don’t forget decor like water elements. They need to go in before your plants. Hardscaping includes everything from creek rock to retaining walls.

Potted plants will give your yard color and can be planted after all the essential tasks are accomplished.

Things to Remember:

  • Fully restoring a lawn doesn’t happen overnight
  • Potted plants and annuals are excellent temporary solutions
  • You need a full-service landscaper to repair a lawn disaster

We’ve turned wrecked properties into showplaces. Contact us today to get started on your beautiful new lawn.

23 May 2017

Dangerous Landscaping [Infographic]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From amateur landscaping to upcycling carried too far, dangerous landscaping requires professional assistance.

Pallets

People are grabbing pallets and using them for walkways, fencing and even aboveground pools. Stop right there. Unfinished or unmaintained pallets will attract damaging insects and eventually rot, posing a danger to your family.

What is This Plant?

Some of the most attractive landscaping plants are toxic to humans and pets. Before you buy that plant on sale or take a cutting from your friend, make sure you know what it is.

But It’s Rustic

You can’t spell “rustic” without “rust.” Leave it in the field unless you want a Family Tetanus Shot Day.

There’s a Mailbox in Here Somewhere

Flowers around your mailbox are great until you or your mail carrier gets stung. Choose something attractive that doesn’t grow out of control.

Rocky Road

Uneven, amateur pathways are dangerous. Call a pro for hardscaping.

Don’t Get Burned

The leaves of some landscaping plants contain flammable oils. Again, make sure you know what you’re planting close to your house.

They Were There First

Got destructive wildlife? A landscaper can help with solutions that allow everyone to live in harmony.

Don’t Get Burned, Part Two

Fire pits are enjoyable when you’re entertaining or just relaxing, but they have to have a wide stone or brick base for safety.

When you need help with landscaping dangers, Evergreen Landscaping is just a phone call away.

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04 May 2017

Plants and Gardens that Attract Bees and Butterflies [Infographic]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plants and Gardens that Attract Bees and Butterflies
Pollinators are dying off at an alarming rate, but you can help them by planting a bee and butterfly garden.

What Are Pollinators?

Pollinators include both insects and birds, including:

• All species of bees
• Butterflies
• Moths
• Wasps
• Birds

Birds carry pollen when they forage flowering shrubs for berries. Hummingbirds are important pollinators. Wasps eat pest insects and get pollen on themselves in the process.

What Are the Elements of a Pollinator Garden?

Start with a variety of plants to appeal to all pollinators. Different insects prefer certain colors, so plant a colorful garden. Hummingbirds need flowers that accommodate their long beaks.

Recommended native California flowers are:

• Hollyleaf Cherry (Pale Swallowtail butterfly)
• Coffee Berry (songbirds, bees and butterflies)
• California Aster (birds and butterflies)
• California Buttercup (native bees)
• Kotolo Milkweed (Monarch butterfly)
• Laurel Sumac (bees, butterflies and birds)
• Purple Owl’s Clover (Bay Checkerspot butterfly)
• Elegant Clarkia (hummingbirds and bees)
• Greenbark Ceanothus (native bees)
• Texas Paintbrush (hummingbirds and butterflies)

These are all drought-tolerant flowers and shrubs.

Pollinator gardens need a birdbath and a butterfly puddle. A butterfly puddle is a sunken puddle with pebbles or colorful stones for insects to perch on while they drink.

We’re ready to help you create your butterfly garden, from plants to water elements.