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.
Moss in a lawn can make or break a homeowner's dream of the perfect landscape. It is important to understand what causes the growth of moss and what conditions in your yard are contributing to the problem. Once you are armed with this knowledge, you can create a maintenance plan to tackle the problem head-on. Some causes of moss are simple to fix, and others may require more work and professional assistance. Let’s look at some of the most common causes of moss in lawns.
The condition of your lawn's soil is one of the biggest factors in the determining why moss is growing. For instance, acidic soil creates a perfect environment where moss can grow and thrive while your grass dies. In addition to the acidity, it is essential to ensure that your soil is fertile. You can test for these conditions at home and develop a maintenance plan to treat the soil and create an environment that is conducive to grass growth rather than moss.
Too much water? Too little water? Drainage? Knowing how much water your lawn needs is a critical step in the fight against moss. Too little water causes grass to die, and it then leaves open soil for moss to grow in. Too much water and poor drainage both create soggy soil which is a perfect breeding ground for moss. A straightforward way to ensure you are only watering as much as you need is by using a rain gauge. In addition, watch for areas of pooling which can be an indicator of poor drainage — something you will also want to address.
Many other causes lead to the growth of moss in lawns. Some causes include limited sun exposure, too much foot traffic, animal urine, and mowing grass too far down. All of these factors have the potential of killing your lawn and leaving behind conditions that allow moss to develop and grow continually.
Every lawn is different and is exposed to different household and environmental stresses. Knowing the conditions that promote moss growth allow you to create a plan to fight it. Contact us as Graham Landscape & Design, and we can work together to decide on the best course of action for your lawn. You can give us a call at 541-729-8029 or contact us here. With years of experience in the landscape industry, we can help you have the lawn that you have always dreamed of.
With so many lawn care companies eager to solicit your business, it can be difficult to discern the good from the bad and to identify the right company for your specific needs. Before you hire a company to provide regular lawn care maintenance, there are some important things you will want to consider.
What is their reputation?
Reputation can be one of the more difficult items to determine as it is subjective, but it is still important. You'll want to do your research. What do people say about the company on Google, on Facebook, Yelp, Angie's List, etc.? Have they been featured in any local news coverage or publications? Have friends or neighbors used them and did they have good things to say?
Are they licensed?
In the state of Oregon, all lawn care companies are required to be licensed and registered with the Construction Contractors Board. If a company can't provide you their CCB#, steer clear.
Are they insured?
In addition to being licensed, it is critical that the company care proper insurance. As a homeowner, you don't want to held liable if one of their workers gets injured or if they cause damage to someone else's property. Ask the company the types of coverage they carry and what the policy limits are. At a minimum, they should have general liability and workers' compensation.
What is the company organization?
Is the lawn care company a single person operation or do they have a team to service your property? Is the crew consistent visit to visit, or is there high turnover with new people each time? Who will care for your lawn if someone gets sick, injured, or goes on vacation?
How is their customer service?
During the sales process, how is the communication? Are they easy to talk to? Easy to reach? Responsive to your questions? You'll want to invest in a company with which you can easily communicate. Never is this truer than if an issue arises. You'll want to know you can talk with the company to work things out.
How does their equipment/vehicle appear to be maintained?
While it might seem superficial, how a company cares for its vehicles and equipment can speak volumes for how they take care of everything else. Choose a company that takes pride in their appearance. Chances are they will be better at maintaining the sharpness of their mower blades, keep other equipment in peak operating condition, etc. This matters because better tools paired with skilled workers yields a better-looking yard.
Do they provide a written contract for services?
Make sure the lawn care company can provide you a written contract for services that details the services to be performed, the frequency, and the cost of providing those services. Does it include provisions for unsatisfactory service? How long will the contract last and how will it be renewed? All of these are important details for your contract.
How do they handle pricing?
When it comes to pricing, be sure to get a written quote. Written quotes will enable you to compare companies and to go back to your top selections with additional questions. If a company provides you a guaranteed rate without seeing your lawn first, this can be a red flag.
Can they provide the services you need?
Before reaching out to lawn care maintenance companies to solicit bids, make sure you know what you want and what you can afford. A good company can help create a maintenance plan that's right for your needs, not just a cookie-cutter solution.
Will they be reliable?
Even with the best research, reviews might not be enough. Ask to talk with current customers to get a better sense of the company's reliability. A good company will have no problem providing references.
If you have more questions and would like to speak with our lawn care maintenance team, please contact us online or give us a call at 541-729-8029. Our fully licensed and insured maintenance team services residential and commercial properties in the Eugene, Springfield area, as well as cities in the Willamette Valley.
At the thought of weeding, do you decide you’d rather alphabetize your bookshelf or finally work through and delete the emails mounting in your inbox? Well, what if there was a better way, a way to weed without taking up so much time? Did you know that the landscape design and irrigation system of your garden can help or hinder the growth of weeds? A few tips and some landscape maintenance can go a long way in the fight against pesky weeds.
Mulch is a very helpful tool for reducing the weeds among your plants. When soil is nourished and happy, weeds find somewhere else to grow. Replenish the mulch often so that it remains at about 2 inches deep and dense. More than three inches is too much.
Layer the soil first with newspaper, cardboard, or other biodegradable material, then spread the mulch over the top. This keeps the light away from weed seeds so they do not grow.
This is another factor that can help the spread of weeds. It’s simple, but you may not have given it much thought. The more space between plants, the more surface area that is available for weed seeds to proliferate.
If you’re just starting out, you must be aware of the mature size of the plants. You will need to give them space to grow. In the beginning, you may have to do a bit more maintenance, but it will be worth it later on.
Only Weed When Necessary
That sounds good, right? There are weed seeds all over your garden, but the underlying seeds can remain dormant for long periods. If you churn up too much soil, the seeds will then come to the surface.
Use a sharp tool to localize your digging and target exact areas of soil.
The other part of this tip is to wait until the weed is 3-4 inches tall before taking it out. It is easier to get the whole weed, roots and all, when it has developed a bit longer. With a young weed, part of the root may stay in the soil, which means you’ll have to return to the same weed again later. Double work and effort? No thanks!
Just as your flowers and plants thrive with water, so do weeds! What can you do to streamline your watering? Install an irrigation system.
You can also use a hose and place it around your plants underneath the mulch to keep the soil moist while depriving nearby weeds of nourishment.
For more tips and tricks on keeping weeds at bay, irrigation installation, or irrigation repair, contact us at Graham Landscape & Design, serving Eugene, Springfield, and communities throughout the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
I have been afforded the amazing opportunity to become part of - as all the maintenance team has expressed - "the greatest landscape maintenance company in Lane county." Our team is devoted to fulfilling the needs of our amazing clientele base, seeking to become the preferred choice for landscape Maintenance, residential or commercial in the mid Willamette Valley.
I have always enjoyed working outdoors learning the needs of turf and horticulture. There is great satisfaction in seeing a landscape flourish. Our Clients are terrific! Customizing a maintenance routine to fit their needs is our privilege and priority.
Since joining the team in fall 2015, I could not be happier with Graham Landscape & Design as an employer. They have allowed me to use my imagination and creativity to build our maintenance team and department into the outstanding unit they are. With our professional and knowledgeable team members, we are ready and willing to take on the smallest of projects from residential, large commercial properties and apartment complexes, to even the challenging clean ups that require skill and meticulous attention.
I began my Landscape career in 2000 working for a property management company, eventually becoming a crew overseer. I built my skills through courses in turf, hardscapes, and plant care at local seminars and on the job at high end residential homes, complexes, apartments, commercial buildings, and even cemeteries. Mid way through my career I owned and operated a mid size landscape maintenance company from 2004-2010, where I continued to sharpen my skills.
Since 2004, I have had the great privilege of been involved with a volunteer work that has taken me across the country to clean up storm debris and remove trees off of peoples homes and properties after Hurricane Katrina. With that group I have overseen the installation of new landscapes and other large renovation projects, even having had the privilege of training dozens of volunteers to use their skills on projects of their own.
Outside of work, I spend a good amount of my time volunteering helping others to understand the bible more. I am blessed with an amazing marriage resulting in the joy of raising two wonderful boys. Being an active person I especially enjoy running and roller skating. With the wealth of knowledge and experience I have gained over the years, I feel our maintenance team would be a valuable asset to you and your property or place of residence.
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