02.28.11

Fertilize Indoor Plants

Posted in Uncategorized, Winter Landscape at 3:04 PM by Administrator

Given the icy conditions of today, I recommend staying in your house and fertilizing your indoor plants.  We are at the time of the year when you can start to provide your indoor plants with the last dosage of dormant season fertilization.  If you are using water soluable fertilizations such as Schultz or Cactus Juice, just follow their directions and take into account the size of your plants.

02.25.11

Starting Seeds Indoors

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:40 AM by Administrator

A nice rainy Friday, during school vacation week no less, is a perfect day to start getting ready for Spring.  Today is a great day to plant seeds for some of the cold weather tolerant plants such as broccoli, onions and lettuce.  If you are more adventuresome,  this is the day to plant the seeds to your slow growing annuals such as petunias and snapdragon. 

Plant the seeds in a soilless mixture as ‘regular’ soil will not allow for the seeds to germinate as easily.  Regular soil is too heavy, but a soilless mix will have components that retain moisture while also allowing drainage.  The seeds can be planted in a store bought tray or try planting them in several yogurt containers.  In a couple of weeks you should start to see the emergence of growth and the plants will need plenty of light.  Ideally, the seeds are located in a south facing room or under extra fluorescent light as they grow.

Good luck and enjoy.

02.24.11

Bird Feeders in the Winter Landscape

Posted in Uncategorized, Winter Landscape at 9:50 AM by Administrator

Every morning I fill our wooden bird feeder, prior to having my breakfast, with sunflower seeds.  As I have my breakfast, I can see the birds (usually cardinals and blue jays) enjoying their breakfast as well.  By having the bird feeder right next to a Viburnum, the branches of the Viburnum offer the birds all the protection they want.  If the bird feeder was by itself, I don’t believe there would be as many birds using the feeder.  Always try to have the feeder in a location where there is a plant for the birds to sit to wait for their turn at the feeder and the branches ensure their safety from cats.

02.22.11

Natural Stone Look to Pavers

Posted in Masonry, Pavers, Uncategorized at 8:06 PM by Administrator

I spent a portion of the day looking at the pavers offered by Unilock (a competing brand to Techo-Bloc) in an effort to determine if some of my clients’ would be better served with a Unilock product.  I believe the Unilock Richcliff paver looks like natural cut flagstone and has a similar appearance as the Techo Inca and Monticello pavers.  This product, along with a few of the others, will warrant further attention and may have the exact color and sizes that will meet my client’s goals.

Attached is a picture from Unilock that showcases this paver.

Photo provided by Unilock

02.21.11

Wilt-Pruf and Rhododendrons

Posted in Uncategorized, Winter Landscape at 8:32 AM by Administrator

Most parts of your rhododendrons and your azaleas and hollies are probably covered by snow.  Snow serves as a very good insulator and will protect your plants.  But, some of the foliage of these plants are now exposed to the winter winds and are at risk of drying out.  If they dry out, you may lose the flower for this year and the branch may dieback as it does not have sufficient moisture in that part of the plant.  You may consider applying Wilt-Pruf on the foliage of your broadleaf evergreens, read the label on Wilt-Pruf for the specific plants that their product is safe on, during a period of the day when the temperature is above 36 degrees and it is not windy.  Wilt-pruf will conserve moisture in the plants and you may have better blooms and not as much dieback.

02.19.11

Reward for Keeping Up with Your Landscaping

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:56 PM by Administrator

We are current with all of our landscaping efforts, thus rewarded ourselves with a nice dinner out.  Shoveling and pruning are current.  We recently had an excellent dinner at Bonta restaurant in South Hampton, NH.  Bonta’s is not cheap ($170 for 2 people), but they serve excellent food and have a nice atmosphere.  Some of the menu items were Braised Rabbit as an appetizer and Lamb Shank as an entree.  We look forward to going back for another dinner.

02.17.11

Limestone for a Fireplace

Posted in Masonry at 12:10 PM by Administrator

I hope this fling of warm weather parlays into an early Spring.  We picked up our custom cut limestone.  We also picked up a bag of Heat Stop mortar as it made specifically to withstand the temperatures of a fire.  Tomorrow we will install the stone and the fireplace will be complete.

02.15.11

Planters and Window Boxes

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:17 AM by Administrator

Thanks to today’s cold wind, I recommend planning your Spring planters and window boxes.  You may get a jump start on Spring, by ‘planting’ cut greens and pine cones in an all weather planter tomorrow.  Given the warm-up that is forecasted, I recommend picking up some of the greens that blow off the trees today and plant them in a planter to make a nice, inexpensive arrangement.  By adding some color and flair to the outside of your house, you will be able to see that Spring is just around the corner.

02.14.11

Pruning of a Crab Apple Tree

Posted in Pruning, Uncategorized at 4:54 PM by Administrator

We took advantage of today’s warm weather and made 2nd year pruning cuts on a Crab Apple Tree which had outgrown its space.  Last year, we reduced the height of the tree by more than 6′ and removed all crossing and dangerous branches.  This year, we reduced the height somewhat and decreased the width by more than 6′.  The width needed to be decreased, because the shrubs around the tree were suffering from too much shade.

02.11.11

Paver Patio – How much base is needed?

Posted in Pavers, Uncategorized at 9:27 AM by Administrator

A traditional patio built with concrete pavers is not built to support vehicular traffic, thus the stone base does not need to be as deep as a patio that is going to have vehicular traffic drive on it.  A ‘normal’ patio built in this area (the soil is likely to be similar whether you live in Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Ipswich, Lynnfield, Newbury or another town in this region) will usually have a stone base of approximately 6″.  The stone base that we recommend is 3/4″ of crushed gravel with ‘no’ fines (some fines will be in the mix, but not much).  If your soil is mainly clay (holds water), then we recommend excavating until you get below the clay surface or to a depth of 10-12″.  The additional depth of the base will allow for water to collect and move beneath your patio.

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