In our last blog post, we provided a checklist of things you can do to keep your landscape healthy and looking nice through winter. One of the items we suggested you should do is to prune your trees (shrubs can be pruned, too). Pruning revives tired plants and helps younger plants establish a good shape. We suggest pruning in winter for a few reasons. The lack of leaves makes seeing what you are doing much easier and in the winter, plants are less likely to 'bleed' as sap is not as active. Cuts will have time to heal over before spring growth begins.
The following are a few tips for how to prune your trees and shrubs so you don't cause damage.
The first thing you want to do when pruning is to remove any damaged or diseased wood. This must go first so you're not wasting time working on areas that won't get better.
Next, you'll want to address any branches that crisscross or rub on other surfaces. Start with removing the least important branches completely or shorten them so they are not intertwined. A good place to cut is down to an outward facing bud. Shortening these branches forces the plant to funnel its energy into the buds that remain, giving you more vigorous growth.
When cutting, make sure you are doing so correctly. Incorrect or 'bad' cuts can result in poor wound recovery and unhealthy plants.
Don’t prune too far away from the bud. More than a finger width is probably too far. Cutting too far away can result in the wood between the cut and the bud below dying, which can affect the health of the bud. If the bud fails to grow, die back can cause the whole stem to die.
Just as you don't want to prune too far away, you don’t want to prune too close to the bud either. If you're on top of the bud, you're too close. Pruning too close to the bud often results in damaging the bud itself and that can jeopardize the bud's ability to grow into a leaf or flower. Pruning too close to the bud can also cause the branch to die back further down the stem.
Be careful of the angle when you prune. If you leave a pointed stub of stem above the bud you risk causing the stem to die back as far as the bud and possibly beyond it. A better option is to keep the cut as straight as possible but a slight angle can be okay if you are trying to redirect the growth of a particular branch.
Make sure any cuts you make have angles that slope in a way that forces water to run off and not pool. If water pools on the cut, your plant is more susceptible to rot.
Pruning can be a challenging project if you've never done it before, or if you have a lot of trees and shrubs to contend with. If you would like help pruning plants around your property, give Graham Landscape & Design a call for a free estimate. 541-729-8029
The old adage of "saving for a rainy day" teaches us the importance of planning ahead for the unexpected so we can handle emergencies when they pop up. Planning for snow removal falls into this same line of thinking. Once winter weather arrives, the threat of snow or severe ice disrupting our daily activities or business is a matter of "when" not "if."
It can be tempting to hire the first person who shows up with a plow, however, it's best to plan ahead so you know you're working with an experienced, licensed and insured professional. Hiring the wrong person (i.e. inexperienced, uninsured, the 'Good Samaritan', etc.) can leave you in worse shape if someone gets injured or if property becomes damaged from snow/ice removal efforts.
Don't get caught unprepared — plan now for who to call to remove snow or ice from your home or business. Besides knowing you're hiring a professional, planning early can put you on the "first to service" list as opposed to those who call at the last minute.
Costs for snow and ice removal are usually determined by the square footage of your property and the types of surfaces that will require service (i.e. parking lots, walkways, service entrances, etc.). A few other important factors in the cost of services include how difficult your property is to navigate, the depth of the snow, the thickness of the ice, and how far out of town your property is located. Our team of professionals can work with you to estimate costs so you can budget ahead of time.
To get an estimate for your property, please visit our sister website Eugene Snow Removal.
Even with careful maintenance, bare spots can still rear their ugly heads in your lawn. If unfamiliar with what to do, bare spots can quickly spread and become costly lawn repairs.
Before beginning any lawn repairs, you need to first determine the source of your problem. Bare spots in your lawn can be the result of heavy foot traffic, drought (or in other words, a lack of watering), disease, chemical burn, and even weed or insect infestation. Determining the cause for your lawn's bare spots will help you in planning a corrective course of action and help you prevent it from continuing.
If heavy foot traffic is the cause for your lawn's bare spots, look for a way to keep traffic off of that area. A nice, long-term solution includes modifying your landscape with the addition of stepping stones, a gravel pathway or a barrier that would reroute traffic and protect that area of your lawn.
If a lack of water is the issue, consulting an irrigation specialist could be helpful. After analysis of your irrigation system, a professional can make recommendations for system adjustments so that all areas of your yard are adequately watered.
If insects or disease are the cause, determine the specific cause. Consulting with a landscape maintenance professional can help with identification and they can make suggestions for the most effective treatment. Most treatments will need to be applied and allowed to work before you can grow new grass. The treatment product instructions will tell you how long to wait before sowing new seed.
The team at Graham Landscape & Design has tremendous experience in remedying a variety of landscape blights, including bare spots, so that you can have a beautiful lawn. If you live in the Eugene-Springfield, Oregon area, give us a call today to get a free evaluation and estimate. 541-729-8029
It's happened to the best of us. Life got busy and before you knew it your yard got out of control. At first, it was no big deal... "I'll take care of those leaves over the weekend, " or "I'll clear out the berry bushes over break." Then more time slipped by and taking care of the yard dropped further and further down the 'to do' list. Sound familiar?
Well, we've got good news for you.
Graham Landscape & Design offers clean-up services for both residential and commercial properties. Clean-up service entails coming to your property and clearing out unwanted brush and debris or cleaning up your plantings and grounds, giving you essentially a blank slate or fresh start. Clean-ups are commonly used for seasonal purposes to clear the leaves, prune or trim trees and shrubs, remove moss and other unwanted invasive plants, etc. They can also be scheduled other times of the year, too, whenever your yard needs a reboot.
Most clean-ups are completed in one visit. Occasionally, larger jobs can take more time, but it's dependent on what you'd like to do with your property. For example, if you need some bushes cleared back so you can see your yard again, that's more than likely a one-day job. However, if you're looking at stripping things away to get a true blank canvas, that could take a few more days.
A member of our team will come to your property and walk through with you what you'd like to have done, ask questions, and offer suggestions so we can best accomplish what you'd like to achieve. This way, you'll get a more accurate estimate and timeline for completion. We can also provide an estimate for ongoing maintenance, so things don't get out of control again.
Clients who use our clean-up services say one of the biggest benefits is the considerable time savings we provide, freeing up your weekend so you can do the things you want to do. Also, our clean-up services let you focus on the fun part of working with your yard (planting and gardening, etc.) and not the labor-intensive removal, chore-like aspects. Also, when we're done, we haul everything away, so you don't have to. What could be better than that?
If a clean-up service or ongoing maintenance sounds like something you could use, please give us a call at 541-729-8029. We're here to help and would love to turn your yard back into a place you can truly enjoy.
If you have a pond in your yard, now is the time to start thinking about how to care for it this summer. The following is a brief checklist of the things you'll want to make sure are in order so you can enjoy your pond all summer long.
Graham Landscape & Design has been designing and installing ponds in landscapes throughout the Willamette Valley since 2010. Give us a call today at 541-729-8029 if you're interested in a pond or other water feature for your yard.
Beyond natural slug treatments, did you know the design of your yard, along with the materials and features used can also help deter the presence of these pests? Here are some great tips to help manage slugs through smart design.
If you'd like help in designing a garden that's slug-unfriendly, let us know. We can help. Give our team a call today at 541-729-8029.
Slugs are in every garden and cause more damage than most other invaders. Commercial slug killers are available, but they can be toxic to birds and other wildlife and tend to be less effective after it rains which is when slugs are the most active. So, what can you do? Here are a few tips for how you can tackle the slugs in your garden, naturally.
Small strips of copper can be placed around flowerpots or raised beds as obstructions for slugs to crawl over. Cut 2″ strips of thin copper and wrap around the lower part of flower pots, like a ribbon. Or set the strips in the soil on edge, making a “fence” for the slugs to climb. Check to make sure no vegetation hangs over the copper, which might provide a ‘bridge’ for the slugs. Copper barriers also work well around wood barrels used as planters.
Like diatomaceous earth, slugs will avoid the abrasive surface of lava rock. Lava rock can be used as a barrier around plantings but should be left mostly above soil level. Otherwise, dirt or vegetation soon forms a bridge for slugs to cross.
Rove beetles are very good at eating slug eggs and baby slugs. You can encourage these beetles by creating homes for them by turning a plastic box upside down over a pile of straw with a small pile of rocks inside to hide in or a pile of rocks under some overhanging plants.
If you have access to seaweed, it’s well worth the effort to gather some. Seaweed is a good soil amendment for the garden and a natural repellent for slugs. Mulch with seaweed around the base of plants or perimeter of planter bed. Pile it on 3″ to 4″ thick – when it dries, it will shrink to just an inch or so deep. Seaweed is salty, and slugs avoid salt. Push the seaweed away from plant stems, so it’s not in direct contact. During hot weather, seaweed will dry and become very rough which also deters the slugs.
Slugs are attracted to beer. Set a small amount of beer in a wide shallow jar buried in the soil up to its neck. Slugs will crawl in and drown. Take the jar lid and prop it up with a small stick so rain won’t dilute the beer. Leave space for slugs to enter the trap.
Far and away the best course of action against slugs in your garden is a simple adjustment in the watering schedule. Slugs are most active at night and are most efficient in damp conditions. Avoid watering your garden in the evening if you have a slug problem. Water in the morning – the surface soil will be dry by evening. Studies show this can reduce slug damage by 80%.
If you suffer from slugs destroying the plants in your yard or garden, we can help. Our skilled maintenance team can work with you on a plan for preserving your plants and managing pests. Give us a call today: 541-729-8029
If you're like most people, irrigation is not something you really think about. Chances are, the irrigation system you have on your property was installed by the previous owner and you've never had to deal with it, or you've installed a system but then took the 'set it and forget it' approach. Both situations put you in company with the vast majority of people we work with and that's okay.
But what you might not realize is that much like how lawns need maintenance, so do irrigation systems. A neglected system needing repairs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, so maintenance is important. The following are a few tips to help you keep your irrigation system flowing smoothly.
Working with irrigation systems doesn't typically fall into everyone's wheelhouse or skillset. The good news is that there are professionals who can help with both maintenance and repairs.
In the Eugene-Springfield area, Graham Landscape & Design works with small residential irrigation systems as well as large commercial irrigation systems. Our team of experts can work with you to assess your needs and develop a plan that makes sense for your objectives and budget. Give us a call at 541-729-8029 to schedule a consult today.
Weeds. They are the bain of every beautiful lawn and flowerbed. You know what we're talking about. You spend a great deal of time to plan, plant, and cultivate a beautiful yard and then BAM! You spot weeds. Never just one, but little clusters here and there. They're everywhere! So, what are you going to do?
Tips for dealing with weeds in your yard:
While these tips can help manage the weed situation in your yard, know that despite your best efforts, the weeds will keep coming back. Weed control is just that — control, not eliminate. Keeping weeds at bay requires ongoing monitoring and treatment. If that level of commitment or use of time sounds unappealing, consider hiring a landscaper who offers maintenance services. Together, you can discuss the priorities for your yard, how and when you want services, and come to an agreement that works for your budget.
If you live in the Eugene-Springfield area, Graham Landscape & Design can help control the weeds in your lawn, and so much more. Please give us a call for a no-obligation quote today. 541-729-8029.
Correct pruning is a landscape practice that can enhance the health, vigor, and aesthetics of your yard's trees and shrubs. While you should prune some plants and trees at other times of the year, there are distinct advantages to pruning in the winter.
So, which plants should you prune in the winter? Here is a short list of plants that appreciate a good trim in late winter.
What should you NOT prune in the winter? Here is a list of plants that prefer to be pruned in late spring or summer.
If you would like some help with your winter yard maintenance, including pruning, please give us a call at 541-729-8029, and we'll schedule an appointment that works for you.
Check here to see what we've been up to!