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

Dangerous Landscaping

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02 May 2017

Three Little Landscaping Ideas that Bring Big Results

When you live in an area where drought-tolerant plants are a must, all the lawns start to look alike.

These simple landscaping ideas will make your lawn stand out from your neighbor’s yard. When you try these landscaping tricks, you’ll want to spend all your time in your garden.

Add Planters to Your Garden

landscaping ideasPlanters can keep your lawn colorful and your garden going during the worst droughts. Even if you’re under severe water restrictions, you can still water them. Planters of differing sizes give your garden extra visual appeal. You can also bring your garden onto your patio or to your poolside with containers.

really big planter can overflow with flowers typically used as groundcover, making them a focal point for a change. If you want a container full of color, choose a flower like Purple Owl’s Clover that doesn’t get too tall. You can also create a mini garden in an extra-large planter.

A big ceramic bowl planter looks great with tall native grasses and shorter plants. Asymmetrical design makes your container garden design even more interesting. Don’t put the tall plants in the middle. Place them at the side of the planter and let succulents and trailing greenery fill out the planter.

Do you love fresh herbs? Big planters full of basil and peppermint will look great on your patio and smell divine on hot summer evenings.

Give Plants Support

You don’t have to have a full white picket fence to enjoy the traditional effect. Just one short section of fencing with tall flowers like California Peony leaning through the pickets will brighten your lawn.

If white pickets aren’t your style, try a more California style of fencing. A corner of decorative rail fencing helps shrubs stand up and suits Mission and Southwestern style homes. Redwood or a redwood stain is the perfect touch.

The key to making decorative fencing work is to use it sparingly. Too much will overwhelm your lawn.

Climbing plantings like Clematis need a trellis. Use a traditional trellis to frame your walkway or door. Vines with heavy foliage or flowers and a roof trellis make a shady spot on your lawn or a beautiful entrance to your patio.

Pacific Garden Pathways

You don’t have to have a big garden to add a pathway or two. Pea stones in small or medium sizes are perfect for paths from your back door or patio that wander through your garden. If you’re entertaining, lining your path with torches will ensure your party is successful.

Try edging your path with red volcanic rock for a classic California look. This is a great look if you have Cacti in your garden.

Do you have a large garden? Multiple wandering paths are perfect for relaxing meditative walks. Add a waterfall or pond and bench for the ultimate luxury garden.

Whether it’s picking herbs or sitting by a waterfall watching butterflies in your flowers, your garden should engage you and your guests. To learn more about implementing these landscaping ideas, contact us today.

 

21 Apr 2017

Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Landscaper

It’s vital to check a landscaper’s background before hiring them. Hiring an unlicensed landscaper can lead to delays, poor results and even damage to your property. For peace of mind and a great looking lawn, make sure that your landscaper is licensed and insured.

Landscaping Shouldn’t Be Stressful

Landscaping your property should be enjoyable. You should see changes and improvements from your first appointment. Some warning signs to watch out for are:

• Inability to provide a license and insurance paperworkunlicensed landscaper
• Drastic changes in quotes after starting work
• No thorough consultation
• Delays and canceled appointments
• Poor attitude towards your ideas

If a company doesn’t have a license and there’s a problem with a job, it can be difficult for you to file a complaint. An unlicensed contractor can disappear with your money and leave your job unfinished. Don’t be afraid to ask for verification of your landscaper’s licensing status.

A good landscaper will be on time. Sometimes delays are inevitable. In that case, the workers should contact you. You shouldn’t have to take time off work to wait for someone who can’t be reached by phone.

It’s difficult to give you a quote without seeing your lawn. Your landscaper should offer free consultations and walk your entire property with you. This helps your landscaper get an idea of sun and soil conditions so that you get the lawn and garden you want.

You and your landscaper should be partners. If they display negativity towards what you want, that’s a sign to keep looking.

Landscaping Disasters

An unlicensed landscaper is probably inexperienced. Inexperienced workers may not give you the results you want. They may even cause damage to your grass, existing plants or trees. This can lead to a big expense for you and a lot of stress.

Experienced pros will trace your sprinkler system and check it for damage. An amateur can easily ruin your sprinkler system and disappear, leaving you with a wrecked lawn and a big repair bill. This is why it’s so important that your landscaper be insured.

Lawn chemicals must be used with knowledge and care. Using too much weed killer can kill your flowers or burn your grass. Improperly applied chemicals are dangerous to children and pets.

Weed killers and fertilizers belong in the hands of lawn care professionals. Don’t let an unlicensed landscaper ruin your lawn and kill bees and butterflies with too many chemicals. Make sure that you hire someone with a license and lawn care expertise.

How to Find the Best Landscapers

Start with neighbors and friends. Ask for references. If you’re new to the area, contact the local chamber of commerce to learn about a specific business. You can also get information from the Better Business Bureau.

If you’re in Pismo Beach or anywhere else in San Luis Obispo County, give us a call. We’re a licensed and insured full-service landscaping company. Our professional contractors are courteous and punctual. We offer everything from gardening to irrigation services. You’ll love your lawn and yard when you work with us.

 

31 May 2016

Important Landscaping Terms That Everyone Should Know

landscaping termsUnderstanding basic landscaping terms is important so that there is no miscommunication between you and your landscaper. Understanding landscaping language also helps when you’re reading landscaping articles or planning your lawn before you contact us. We’ve selected some common landscaping terms used by landscapers and included some general landscaping information that all homeowners should know.

Pruning and Related Landscaping Terms

Sap is up or down. Sap rises in the spring. This is basic information but important to consider in the context ofpruning. Pruning should only be done in the fall when the bush or tree’s growth season has ended and the sap is down. Pruning when the sap is up can injure or kill flowering or fruit trees, bushes and roses.

Pruning. Pruning, or cutting back plants, keeps flowering and fruit trees healthy and full. A regularly pruned tree will produce more flowers and fruit, and pruning will avoid the situation of straggly branches hanging too low or into your neighbor’s yard. Prune in the fall. It’s best to let a landscaper determine the best time to prune different trees and bushes. If you prune flowerbeds or overgrown potted plants, wait until the growing season is over. Deadheading is simply cutting off dead blooms and can be done at any time. Deadheading encourages the plant to keep putting out blooms as long as possible.

Turf. Many people think of turf only as artificial grass. Turf, or turf grass, is any grass, and we’re mentioning it in this section with pruning because mowing at the wrong time might be what’s killing your grass or giving you bare spots. Newly planted grass and new grass in the spring should be allowed to grow several inches before you mow for the first time. It’s best to let a landscaper mow a new lawn for the first season. Landscapers know when grass is strong enough to withstand mowing and the correct height to set the blade for different types of grass.

Maintaining Your Lawn

Aeration. Aeration is a critical lawn maintenance procedure that removes debris so that air can get to the roots of your grass and under the surface of the soil. The debris is called lawn thatch and consists of the dead grass that builds up on the dirt over the winter and during the fall. Removing this debris is called dethatching and must be done carefully to avoid injuring the roots of the grass. If you have a well-established lawn with healthy grass, it’s okay to dethatch with a dethatching rake. If you have difficulty keeping your grass alive, landscapers can do your spring and fall dethatching as part of their seasonal cleanup.

Overseeding. One method of improving lawns with thin grass and bare spots is overseeding. We use aspreader to evenly distribute grass seed over your lawn. There’s no need to cover your lawn in straw, because the grass protects the seed. All you need to do is water your lawn. Your landscaper will determine when the new grass is ready to be mowed.

Trenching. Trenching leaves a border between your lawn and flowerbeds. It makes your landscaping more attractive and helps keep weeds out of your flowerbeds. After digging the trench, we use materials like mulch or stone to keep down grass in the trench.

Decorative Lawn Effects

Hardscaping. Hardscaping is a great way to have an impressive, unique lawn if you can’t get grass to grow or if you live in a drought-prone area. We can design a lawn for you with rock gardens, fire pits and walking paths. You can incorporate plants into your hardscaping. We’ll help you pick out the best drought-resistant plants.

Waterscapes. A waterscape can be as small as a fountain or as large as a koi pond. We can use elements already on your property and build a waterscape around them. Waterscapes need cleaning and maintenance throughout the year to keep them functioning and looking their best. Waterscape maintenance is part of our yearly maintenance plan for your lawn.

 

We hope this article answers your questions about common landscaping terms. If you have more questions or would like a free landscaping consultation, please contact us.
05 Oct 2015

Synthetic Turf: Benefits of Using Artificial Turf


Using synthetic turf doesn’t mean that your lawn has to look like a football field or indoor-outdoor carpeting. Today’s synthetic turf is made to look super realistic. It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between it and real grass without walking on it and close visual inspection. Artificial turf is designed to have the color, thickness and texture of a wide variety of grasses. If your yard isn’t grass-friendly due to heavy shade or soil type, or if you live in a drought-prone area, you may want to consider synthetic turf to enhance your lawn or even create a lawn that’s pest-free and easy to maintain.

Benefits of Using Synthetic Turf

Synthetic Turf is Allergy-Free

Lack of grass pollen probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about artificial turf. If you’re allergic to grass pollen and have to wear a mask when mowing, or if you have an allergy sufferer in the family who is unable to enjoy cookouts or spending time around the pool, synthetic turf may be the solution. Small children with allergies can play outside on artificial grass without getting sick. When you have synthetic turf, you also don’t have to worry about allergy-causing weeds in your yard.

Synthetic Turf Doesn’t Require Pesticides

If you spend the spring and summer struggling to keep weeds and crabgrass from taking over your lawn, artificial turf is the solution to your problems. When you have artificial grass, you don’t have to handle dangerous chemicals or worry about your family and pets being exposed to pesticides.

Synthetic Turf Can Fill in Unsightly Areas on Your Lawn

Most people have areas in their yard where grass won’t grow or only grows sparsely. This can be caused by shade trees that block the sun, large tree roots, areas of poor soil or pest or vermin damage. Some homeowners even use artificial grass that matches their natural grass to replace ugly yellowed grass and prevent future damage to the spots that dogs like to visit. Artificial turf is also great for high traffic areas.

Synthetic Turf is great for Play and Pool Areas

Do your kids ruin your grass by playing basketball on it or riding their bikes in the yard? Do you and your friends enjoy backyard volleyball games? All that fun leads to damaged grass, muddy areas in your yard and dirt tracked into your house. Synthetic grass keeps play areas looking good. Artificial turf also makes prevents dirty feet at the pool area and keeps pool water cleaner.

Synthetic Turf Reduces Water Usage

You may live in a drought prone area and be unable to water your lawn due to water restrictions or high water bills. Don’t live with dying grass or a yard that’s mostly dirt. Get a green yard with realistic synthetic grass and enjoy your yard again.

How to Use Artificial Turf Deodorizer

Artificial lawns are a wonderful thing to have. They’ll help you save on both water and maintenance, while staying green and beautiful year round. However, when your pets, the neighbor’s dog or even the neighborhood wildlife do their business on your artificial turf, the result can be a nasty, lingering odor. Fortunately, several artificial turf deodorizers’ work wonders for cleaning up pet odors!

What are Artificial Turf Deodorizers?

The best turf deodorizers are completely organic, non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally friendly. They use natural enzymes to break down the bacteria that cause odors, and they’re highly effective because the enzymes can keep on replicating long after you’ve applied the product to your lawn. Rather than covering the smell, the enzymes actually eliminate the source of the odor.

How do They Work?

Turf deodorizers can be applied one of two ways. The most common method is to use a sprayer that attaches to your garden hose, much like a lawn-fertilizing sprayer. Simply follow the instructions and put the required amount of deodorizer in the sprayer’s bottle, wet your lawn to cool it down, and then turn a dial to apply the deodorizer to your lawn.

You can also apply turf deodorizer with a pump sprayer. As with the garden hose method, put the required amounts of deodorizing concentrate and water in the sprayer, and use it to treat the affected areas of your yard.

Whichever way you choose to apply the deodorizer, make sure you do it during a cool part of the day, or at a time when direct sunlight isn’t hitting your lawn. The heat can cause the deodorizing solution to dry out and become ineffective. Mornings or evenings are the best times to deodorize your artificial lawn.

While many people don’t start using turf deodorizer until after the smell becomes a problem, if you have pets, you should consider using it as a preventive measure. Regular applications are inexpensive, and they’re a great way to keep your lawn looking and smelling as fresh as the day it was installed. Since artificial turf deodorizer costs far less than annual maintenance for real grass, it’s an excellent way to protect your investment.

We’ll help you choose the best synthetic turf for your needs and area. Call or email us for an appointment.

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31 Jul 2015

4 Signs You Need Irrigation Repair

irrigation repairIrrigation systems are very popular today. They keep lawns and landscaping green and looking good automatically. The homeowner no longer has to think about watering the lawn or making time to water the shrubs. The irrigation system takes care of all of this. But, when your irrigation system isn’t working properly, it can cause damage to your lawn and landscape. Here are some signs that you need irrigation repair.

Dry Spots

If you start to notice dry spots in your yard, this could mean there are issues with your system. At first you may think you simply need to set your system to run longer with each watering. However, dry spots could be a sign of a deeper problem. You could have a clogged nozzle on one of your sprinklers. You may also have a broken or damaged pipe somewhere that is not allowing enough water pressure to water a particular part of your landscaping.

Puddles

If there are puddles in your yard near any of the sprinklers, there could be a leak in a sprinkler head or in the sprinkler valve. This can be an expensive waste of water. For this type of irrigation repair, it is best to call a professional landscaper as soon as you notice the problem. Some homeowners would simply cut back on the amount of time or the frequency of their watering. Later they find that this did not solve the problem completely. If you notice puddles forming in certain areas of your yard where they never were before, do some investigating. It may be that you need irrigation repair of some sort. You may have a leak somewhere or a valve may be the issue.

High Water Bills

Even if you are not noticing any differences in your lawn or landscaping that does not mean that you do not need irrigation repair. If your water bill is suddenly out of control, it could be your irrigation system. Once you’ve eliminated running toilets, dripping faucets, and the likely suspects, it might be time to have someone come and look at your irrigation system. Often irrigation repair needs like this go unnoticed until the water bill comes. There could be leaks or other issues that you have not noticed, but that are causing an excessive amount of water use.

Low Water Pressure

You may notice that some of your sprinklers in your irrigation system do not have the water pressure they once had. It is a good idea to inspect your system once per week or so to make sure that the water pressure is staying where it normally is and that there are no issues. If you notice low water pressure in a certain area, this may be a sign that you need to call a landscaper. There may be a leak or a broken pipe that is causing the issue. For those types of problems, it is best to call a professional landscaping company right away.

You should regularly inspect your irrigation system for leaks and issues. If you notice any issues, you can often times isolate those issues by testing each zone separately. Once you realize you need repairs, it is best to call the professionals right away. This will help to eliminate any more damage to the lawn and landscaping. It will also save you money and wasted water. Contact us today as every drop counts in the California drought.

29 Jun 2015

Five Types of Rocks for Landscaping

Landscaping with rocks is a popular landscaping style for all types of lawns, gardens and properties. You can use rocks to accentuate flowers, greenery and shrubs, or rocks can be the focal point of your landscaping. Rocks are great landscaping elements if you’ve been unsuccessful with flowerbeds or if you live in an area that doesn’t get enough rain to maintain a traditional lawn. You can create the appearance of a creek bank with rocks even if you don’t want to, or can’t, use water in your landscaping. Following are brief descriptions of five types of rocks for landscaping to help you develop a plan for your yard.

Rocks for Landscaping

• Pea stones are small rocks available in rounded or natural shapes. They come in white, gray, all shades of brown and natural blues and greens. Pea stones help keep down weeds and are perfect for filling in contained areas like flowerbeds. You can make plants stand out by surrounding them with pea stones. Pea stone walkways are attractive and functional. If you use pea stones to fill in a walkway or to create a path, you’ll need to line the area with landscaping timber, decorative brick or larger stones like boulders to keep the stones from being scattered.

• Shale is a versatile rock. If you want stepping stones, shale is a good choice because it’s rugged and attractive. Shale can be gray, almost blue, brown or a mixture of colors. Shale can be combined with pea stones or other smaller stones to add visual interest to a walkway. Shale is also perfect for retaining walls.

• Creek rock is a good choice if your home is rustic or if you want a “back to nature” atmosphere in your yard. Creek rocks are a mixture of shapes, sizes and colors. You can use creek rock for retaining walls and edging. Creek rock is perfect for a rock garden. The most common use for creek rock is to create a creek bed. Your creek bed can be dry, a stand-alone water element or part of a larger waterscape. A dry creek bed can wind around trees or through a garden, or you can use natural greenery and moss to create a lush appearance.

• Lava rock comes in gray, black and brick red. Dark red is the most popular color for flowerbeds or poolside areas. If you want to make a dramatic statement, use black lava rock in your fire pit.

• Boulders can be functional or they can be focal points in your landscaping. Boulders are excellent for retaining walls and rock gardens. Place plants around a boulder for a simple, understated look or use boulders to define a flowerbed.

We can help you select the best rock for your landscaping project. We use only the highest quality rock so that your landscaping retains its appearance for years. We also maintain your rock landscaping. Contact us for more information about landscaping with rocks and all your other landscaping needs.

 

10 Jun 2015

Transplanting Trees the Right Way

Transplanting treesTransplanting trees is a gift to the future. But, according to The Arbor Day Foundation, planting a tree the right way can as much as double both the tree’s life span and its ultimate size. Clearly, there is a lot to be said for doing a good job when it comes to tree planting. Here are some considerations worth knowing about before you getting started.

Transplanting trees to consider

  • Rules: It is important to consider zoning laws and home owner association regulations, especially when planting trees in urban areas.
    Utilities: Underground utilities are another concern to check out thoroughly before you start, because trees require a deep, well prepared planting hole that can interfere with buried lines at planting, or in the future.
  • Goals: Are you planting for shade, privacy, beauty, or maybe all these things? Consider what you hope for from your tree planting effort. Most trees have lifespans of 20 years or more, and some grow to very large sizes. Keep all these things in mind as you plan your tree planting. The outcome will be more successful, and also improve the value of your home.
  • Species: Whether a tree is deciduous and loses its leaves in winter, or evergreen, keeping them all year round is another important consideration when transplanting a tree. There are pros and cons to both, and in the end, it comes down to personal preference. Some species also require more maintenance, clean-up, or have susceptibility to plant diseases that may be common in your area. All of these are good points to keep in mind as you consider what species to plant.
  • Water: All trees will need some water and tending. Some require much more than others, and knowing the tree’s requirements in advance is important, especially in drought conditions. Keeping a good layer of mulch around the base of the tree is another important way to the most of the water you give your new tree.
  • Maintenance: Getting the right amount of water at the best time can be one of the hardest parts of maintaining trees and other landscape plantings. Watering is especially important in naturally arid areas and during drought conditions. The best way of solving this problem is installation of timer controlled irrigation that delivers the exact volume of water the tree needs at the best time of day – or even at night!
  • Planting: A tree planting hole needs to be three times the size of the tree root ball. Whether the transplant is bare root, burlap covered, or in a container affects how you need to handle it before planting. The soil below the root ball should stay firm, and after filling soil in around the tree, a watering basin should be formed with soil around the base of the plant.

Consider Hiring a Professional

Transplanting trees properly involves some complex considerations as well as hard work. Professional landscaping contractors have the local knowledge, experience, and equipment for making your tree planting goals a success. Contact us today for your landscaping needs.

29 Dec 2014

What You Need to Know to Grow a Lemon Tree

There’s nothing better than fresh lemons to use for cooking or even just to make an ice-cold glass of lemonade. Fortunately, the Central Coast region is one of the few lucky places in the United States where you can grow your own lemons without a lot of fuss. With a little bit of knowledge, you can have fresh lemons right from your own backyard!

Cold Hardiness Zones

Before you select a lemon tree from a local nursery, you’ll need to learn a little bit about USDA cold hardiness zones. These are temperature zones established by the USDA that show the lowest winter temperatures of a region, and they’re what you’ll use to find lemon trees that will thrive in your area. The Central Coast region is mostly rated for hardiness zones 8b, 9a and 9b, which see yearly low temperatures of 15 degrees, 20 degrees and 25 degrees respectively. However, there are a few isolated places that are rated for cold hardiness zone 10a, which means yearly low temperatures of 30 degrees.

Most lemon trees will grow without protection against the cold in zones that are rated for 9b and higher. If you’re in zone 8b or 9a, you’ll need to look for a particularly cold-hardy variety, or you’ll have to plant your lemon tree in an area that is well protected from frost, such as on a southern-facing slope or near a building.

Caring for a Lemon Tree

Lemon trees can grow in most types of soil, but they prefer a soil that is well drained and slightly acidic – a soil pH that ranges between 5.5 and 6.5 is perfect. They’ll also need a spot that gets full sun, and if you want to plant more than one, make sure they’re spaced approximately 12 feet apart. You can expect to harvest your first lemons three to six years after you’ve planted your seedling.

Make sure to keep the ground around the base of your lemon tree mulched, and starting 12 inches away from the tree’s trunk, put down a layer of compost that is four to six inches deep. You can prune your lemon tree in the spring, once the danger of a frost has passed. When the lemons ripen, you can leave them on the tree for several weeks, only picking them as you need them.

Plant a lemon tree, and you’ll have all the fresh lemons you can eat! These plants also turn into pretty little trees and shrubs that look great in any landscape.