Landscaping and Gardening Services in Pismo Beach and SLO County
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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.

 

30 Mar 2017

Toxic Indoor Plants

All parents have been surprised at the things small children will put in their mouths. Every dog owner knows that a dog will eat anything it can reach. Even finicky cats are attracted to greenery. It’s important to know if a houseplant, a bouquet of holiday flowers or garden flowers can make your children or pets seriously ill.

Indoor Greenery that Can Be Dangerous

  • Philodendron
  • Arrowhead
  • Golden Pothos 
  • Dieffenbachia 
  •  Caladium

 

Philodendrons are some of the most common houseplants in the U.S. They’re easy to grow from cuttings and to keep alive in soil and water. Homeowners may keep hanging varieties inside year-round. Larger plants like Fiddle Leaf Philodendron are typically kept on the patio unless the weather goes below freezing. Philodendron has a high level of toxicity to children and pets. 
 
Arrowhead is a handsome potted plant. It has glossy medium green leaves streaked with white. Both the leaves and sap can cause digestive upset and breathing difficulties in cats and dogs.  
 
Dieffenbachia has dramatically colored white and green leaves. Its juice is so toxic that some South American tribes used the juice to make poison arrows. The juice causes skin damage and digestive upset. This plant should not be in a home with children or pets, and you should exercise caution when handling it. 
 
Golden Pothos is another plant with green and white leaves. It’s commonly given as cuttings because it can live in water alone. Do not keep Golden Pothos in a household with pets. It can cause death due to asphyxiation or kidney failure. 
 
Caladium is another dangerous potted plant. It has beautiful heart-shaped leaves with deep red veins. It can cause asphyxia in children and pets and burns to the lips and mouth. 

Hazardous Cut Flowers

  • Calla Lily 
  •  Daffodil 
  •  Hydrangea 
  •  Iris
  •  Gladiolus 
  •  Tulip 


Spring is nearly here, bringing with it holidays that often include cut flower bouquets. Some of the most beautiful and common flowers from the florist or your 
spring garden are toxic. 
 
Vases of flowers pose particular danger to cats because cats love to knock over anything containing water. Cats also habitually rub their faces on things, especially something new. Calla Lily causes choking, drooling and digestive upset in cats and dogs. It should not be brought into a house with pets. 
 
Daffodils can cause severe digestive upset in humans and pets. 
 
Keep Hydrangea out of the house. If ingested, it can cause illness ranging from stomach upset to convulsions and even coma. Be careful touching the plant. Hydrangea can cause skin irritation. 
 
Irises and Gladioli are in the same family and are moderately toxic to dogs and cats. 
 
Tulips can cause digestive upset, dizziness and, in extreme cases, convulsions.

What to Do About Toxic Plants 

In an emergency, call Poison Control: 888-426-4435 for pets and 800-222-1222 for children. 
 
For suggestions about non-toxic houseplants or cut bouquets, contact us. We can suggest many safe options so that you can still enjoy plants in the house. 

 

15 Mar 2017

Toxic Outdoor Plants

You’re probably familiar with toxic outdoor plants like poison ivy and poison oak, but other toxic wild plants may be growing in your own yard. You might even have dangerous plants in your garden.

Toxic Wild Plants

Harmless vines and shrubs are frequently mistaken forpoison ivyandpoison oak.Your landscaper can show you how to identify the toxic plants. It’s not sufficient to cut down poison oak and ivy. They have to be dug up, and that’s a job for a pro. 
 
Pacific Poison Oak may present as a vine or shrub. It has clusters of three leaves that are quite attractive when they turn bright orange and gold. Avoid wild vines, shrubs and groundcover with clusters of three leaves. 
 
Other common toxic wild plants found in California are: 

  • Jimsonweed/Jimson Weed 
  • Castor Bean 
  •  California Buckeye/California Horse Chestnut 

Jimsonweed’s white flowers resemble Moonflower. The green leaves are long with irregular pointed edges, and the fruit is green and covered with spiny thorns. Jimsonweed can be deadly if consumed, especially if by children. 
 
Castor Bean is attractive in late summer and fall when the spiny fruit turns red and the leaves fade to white and pink. The poison ricin is derived from Castor Beans. Call a professional to remove this plant from your property if you have children or pets. 
 
California Buckeye is a small tree with frilly white and pale pink flowers. The seeds contain a toxin much like rat poison and are extremely dangerous to children and dogs. 

Problems in the Garden 

  • Hydrangea 
  •  Moonflower 
  •  Foxglove 
  •  Wisteria 
  •  Lantana 
  •  Oleander

All parts of Hydrangea are toxic. Symptoms after ingestion range from digestive upset to unconsciousness. It can also cause painful rashes. 
 
Moonflower’s seedpods swell after the flower dies. They turn brown in autumn, split open and drop white seeds. The seeds cause digestive upset in children and pets. 
 
Foxglove looks almost exactly like larkspur: tall, spear-like stems covered with beautiful flowers in all shades of purple. Its deadly toxic white berries turn red and are attractive to children. 
 
Wisteria’s seeds can cause digestive upset, dizziness, slurred speech and loss of consciousness. 
 
Lantana’s blooms consist of many small flowers and are typically orange and yellow or pinkish-purple and yellow. Lantana is usually problematic for animals rather than people. It can cause digestive upset and liver damage 
 
Oleander is a shrub with white or pink flowers and is one of the world’s most deadly plants. One leaf can be fatal to a child. Oleander is also deadly to dogs. 
 
Cats are unlikely to consume any of these plants but may rub their faces on a plant and come into contact with a toxin. 

 

In Case of Emergency 
 
If a child or adult ingests any of the above plants, callPoison Controlat800-222-1222.For pets,call888-426-4435. 
 
Do You Have Toxic Plants on Your Property? 
 
We’re here to help. We will identify and safely remove toxic wild plants anddiscuss your optionsregarding dangerous garden plants. If you decide to have garden plants removed, we’ll help you choose replacements.Contact usfor an appointment. 

 

15 Jun 2016

Gardening Terms You Should Know and Understand

On the surface, gardening and planting seems fairly easy. You put seeds or plants in the ground and wait… but there is a lot more to it than that. And that’s where a professional landscaper, such as those at Evergreen Landscaping, can help you. There are several gardening terms you should know that your landscaper will use. Understanding these gardening terms will help you when you’re planning your garden.

Gardening Terms

  • Annual – an annual is a plant that completes its entire life cycle in one year. It grows, reproduces and dies all in one year.
  • Biennial – this plant lives two years. It grows the first year and reproduces and dies in the second.
  • Compost – this is organic material in various states of decomposition. Gardeners create a compost pile from lawn clippings, leaves, and organic waste material from their homes.
  • Dead-Head – Dead-heading a plant means removing the flowers once they have wilted after blooming. This is done by pinching off the flower below the petals. It can help further growth and also prevent the plant from self-seeding.
  • Direct Sow – this means that seeds can be directly planted into the soil or garden where you want the plant to grow. There is no need to start the plants inside first, for instance.
  • Germination – this is the stage where the seed starts to change. It will start to sprout and your plant will begin its growth. It is helpful to know how many days it will take a certain seed to germinate.
  • Hardiness Zone – this is a term you will hear your landscaper use a lot. The hardiness zone is a geographically-defined zone that will determine what plants will grow well in your area. Your zone is assigned a number from 1-11. You want to use plants that are hardy for your zone for best results.
  • Hardy Perennial – Perennials are plants that live for more than two years. A hardy perennial will usually have a lower zone limit to which it is hardy, and that means it will withstand the weather in that zone year-round without having to be brought inside.
  • Mulch – Mulch takes various forms. It can be well-rotten manure, compost, gravel, or other material that is used to retain moisture in your garden, hold back weed growth and/or improve soil composition. This is usually spread in a thick layer either over seeds or around plants. In areas prone to frost and freezes, it can be used to keep tender plants from experiencing those harsh weather conditions.
  • Pistil – the pistil is the female reproductive portion of the flower of a plant. It is the seed-bearing part of the flower.
  • Pollination – this is the transfer of pollen between plants. Pollination is needed for fruits and vegetables to grow. This can be accomplished via wind, pollinating insects, animals or humans.
  • Rhizome – this is a horizontal stem that grows along the ground or underground. New plants can sprout up along these rhizomes, allowing one specific plant to take over an entire garden bed or area. Many ground cover plants spread via rhizomes.
  • Stamen – this is the male reproductive portion of the flower. It contains the pollen.
  • Pruning – If you are unfamiliar with pruning trees, shrubs and plants, it is best to either have a professional landscaper handle the pruning for you, or at the very least let them explain how to prune each of your trees and shrubs. Pruning is more than just cutting haphazardly. It is a careful and deliberate cutting of certain branches or parts of branches to increase tree health and for aesthetic appeal.

Gardening and landscaping do not have to be a mystery. But it is definitely best to start out with a professional landscaper who can help you to understand these gardening terms, and the many other terms regarding gardening and landscaping.

At Evergreen Landscaping we help you do just that. We’ll get the exact look and feel you want for your property while using the perfect plants for the central coast area.

Contact us today or call 805-773-5395.

01 May 2016

Advice to Make Gardening More Fun and Fruitful [Infographic]

gardening

 

Gardening includes many benefits making it an excellent hobby.  From enhancing property value to growing fresh ingredients for cooking, it’s a great way to spend your time.

Here are some tips to get started on your personal garden!

First Time Gardeners

  • Find plants that are good for beginners.
  • Use organic mulches to keep moisture within the soil by reducing evaporation.
  • Consider asking friends or family for clippings using their existing plants.

Landscape designs

  • Where water is scarce, home gardeners need to change to plants that need little moisture.
  • Lawns can be changed to gravel, wood chips or patio decking.
  • Taking advantage of clippings can help you save in landscape designs and gardening costs.

Excessive Amount of Fruits & Vegetables

  • Don’t let your veggies go to waste. Offer then them to family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Preserve for future use by canning, freezing or dehydrating the surplus.
  • Call the local food bank to see if they except donations.

Need a jump start with your gardening? Contact Evergreen Landscaping for a free consultation.

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30 Sep 2015

Gardening Maintenance During A Drought

You can keep your garden and lawn growing and attractive during a drought. It just takes some simple gardening maintenance changes on your part and the expertise of a professional landscaping service. We can set your sprinkler system to minimize water usage while maximizing benefits of watering. We can also create decorative elements and suggest drought-resistant plants that will keep your yard looking good throughout periods of little rain.

gardening maintenanceGardening Maintenance Tips

Mowing During a Drought

Grass grows at a much slower rate than usual during a drought. Keeping your grass looking neat is important, but it’s also important not to mow too often or cut grass too short. This can scalp the grass and slow growth even more. If you do your own mowing, set your mower blades high and don’t mow below approximately three inches. Cutting grass any lower than that can weaken or kill healthy new grass growth.

To Fertilize or Not to Fertilize?

It’s advisable to forego fertilizing on your own during a drought. Fertilizer can burn dry, drought-stressed grass. Some weeds may flourish during dry periods. Weed and feed products can damage grass too. Watering grass at the proper time of day is more important than fertilizing during a drought. If you decide to use a hose to water small areas or small lawns, water in the evening when the sun is off the grass. This gives the water time to fully soak in before the sun comes up and causes evaporation.

gardening maintenance

Flower and vegetable gardens need fertilizing at the time of planting and plant food during the growing season. Apply fertilizer and plant food carefully, avoiding leaves and blooms, and then water. Plant food and fertilizer can damage wet plants.

What About My New Lawn?

Seeding and sodding a new lawn or reseeding barren areas during a drought is difficult, but not impossible. The type of grass you select will determine whether your new lawn survives. We can help you choose the best drought-resistant grass. Professional planting gives your new grass the best chance at establishing itself and thriving.

Watering During a Drought

If you are under water restrictions, you can make the most of the amount of water you’re allowed by watering in the evening (see above in the section about fertilizing) and ensuring that your sprinkler is set so that all or most of the water hits your lawn and not the sidewalk or street. If you have a large lawn, water a different section every day or as often as permitted.

Find New Ways to Keep Your Yard Attractive During a Drought

We can plant drought-resistant decorative plants in your flowerbeds and around your yard. We also use stone and hardscaping to create focal points that draw the eye away from the grass itself and add curb appeal.

For gardening maintenance assistance for your lawn and garden during a drought, make an appointment with us for a consultation. We’ll help you keep your yard looking great despite drought conditions.

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15 Sep 2015

Best DIY Gardening Sites to Follow

DIY gardening sites can be found on the Internet, and it can be hard to know which ones have trustworthy information. Don’t rely on just one site or blog. It’s important to find sites that provide information or links to gardening blogs or sites devoted to your area. You may want a site written in a way that’s accessible to children and adults so that your kids can look up information by themselves. A garden is a great way to bring the entire family together.

DIY Gardening Sites

Garden.org

As stated on the site, the mission of Garden.org is to put a garden in every school. You can donate to Garden.org’s Youth Garden Grant program. The site is part of The National Gardening Association and is based in Vermont, but the grant program benefits schools all over the United States.

You can benefit from the wealth of information on Garden.org, including plant and weed identification sections, a pest control library and how-to videos. The site provides “green gardening” tips and weekly posts on their Growing Ideas blog.

Smartgardener.com

Smartgardener.com is for gardeners who want to grow their own produce. The site is devoted to helping you plan the best garden for your needs. You can create a Personalized Garden Planner on the site and learn how much to plant so you don’t find yourself giving away tomatoes and zucchini to your family and friends. Your garden planner is customized to your area of the country. In addition to helping you decide what and how much to plant, the garden planner reminds you about tasks necessary to keep your garden at its best from month to month.

Bonnieplants.com

This is the site for you if you want to understand your gardening zone, learn how to deter deer from grazing on your strawberries and find recipes for all that okra you’re going to grow. The site has extensive sections on herb gardening and flower gardening. You can find recipes from basic to gourmet. Imagine impressing your guests with food and drinks prepared from and flavored with your own vegetables and herbs and decorating your table with your own flowers. With the information you find on Bonnieplants.com, you’ll grown a garden that will make you proud.

Gardening.About.com

About.com is the go-to site for information on virtually every subject, from changing your own oil to troubleshooting computer problems. About.com has a full gardening section that covers vegetable and flower gardening and even houseplants. The sections devoted to container and urban gardening are particularly invaluable since so many people live in apartments and want to find a way to use patios and limited space for gardening. There’s even a section for “plant troubleshooting.”

NGB.org

National Garden Bureau is a bit more sophisticated than the other sites mentioned. It covers vegetables, flowers and greenery and has a section devoted to attracting pollinators by creating butterfly gardens and bee gardens.

Use the DIY gardening sites above to plan your perfect garden. If you want to talk to an expert, contact Evergreen Landscaping for a free consultation or call us at 805-773-5395 when you’re ready to start gardening. We’ll help with everything from irrigation to weeding and mulching. We provide year-round gardening and landscaping services.

 

01 Sep 2015

Top 5 Must Have Gardening Tools


Are you starting a garden or landscaping your new lawn?
 Use these five gardening tools for getting started and simple maintenance. Also, all us for jobs like irrigation, tree removal, pruning and any other help you need.

Basic Gardening Tools

Tillers

All gardens, large and small, start with a tiller. Don’t let the word “tiller” fill you with dread. Today’s tillers aren’t the behemoths that your grandfather used. Tillers come in a variety of sizes and styles to meet your gardening needs and your physical abilities.

You need a tiller to start a new garden. Tillers break the ground and make the soil loose and ready for seeds, bulbs and transplanted seedlings to spread their roots. When tilling an area for the first time, be aware that the tiller’s blades. It may strike old tree roots or stones. Always follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions when using your tiller.

You’ll use your tiller at least three times a year. First, to turn over last year’s soil (be careful to avoid areas where you’ve planted bulbs). Second, to turn under dead plants and leaves. Lastly, to prepare soil for fall flowers and bulbs. Keep your tiller maintained all year long so it will be ready to go when you need it.

Shovels

A good shovel is invaluable to every household. Your shovel should have a sturdy wooden handle and a pointed blade. The handle of your shovel’s blade should extend into the wooden handle. This will protect the wooden handle from splitting when you’re doing heavy work. A pointed blade will enable you to break sod and work around plants.

Spades

Your spade should be good quality like your shovel. You’ll use your spade for transplanting seedlings into pots or into the ground. Spades are also used in tending your flowerbed and loosening the dirt around vegetables and flowers.

Pruning Shears

If you only buy one pair of pruning shears choose a heavy-duty pair . A heavy-duty pair that can go from deadheading flowers to clipping small branches and cutting back shrubbery. Keep your pruning shears sharp and oiled. Pruning at the proper time of year will keep your garden and yard looking its best.

Hoses and Nozzles

Not quite being able to reach the far end of your flower garden or vegetable garden with your hose’s spray is frustrating. While a watering can is definitely useful, the best thing for any plant is a good soaking at the base and a shower of water on the leaves. Buy an extra-long hose with a removable nozzle. The nozzle should have settings from light to heavy and not be made entirely of plastic.

These basic gardening tools will help make your gardening experience physically easy. It will also enable you to achieve the garden you’ve always wanted. For the heavy jobs and yearly maintenance, check out our Landscaping Maintenance Services. 

Need more gardening tools suggestions? Contact us today!

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