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Posts Tagged: spring

Do your trees need a blanket?

trees need a blanket

Were you one of the many people who planted new trees during the pandemic? If you’ve got a young tree with thin bark, you should consider wrapping it for the winter.

  • Why wrap a tree?

Colorado’s big temperature swings can cause frost cracks or split bark. Our sunny winter days can cause sunscald on tree bark that is left exposed after leaves fall. Using a tree wrap can protect the vulnerable bark of young trees against the harsh Colorado climate. Trees like linden, maple, fruit trees and honey locust often have thin bark and may need protection.

Even if your tree has suffered damage from the season’s first frost, wrapping now could prevent further damage. Remove the tree wrap in April or early spring or when the threat of freeze has passed.

  • What to use for tree wrap?

You can find tree wrap, often made of paper, at garden centers. It is not recommended that you crochet or knit a tree wrap from yarn. Not only is it time-consuming and costly, but it could also harm the tree. Wrap the trunk up to the first branches.

For evergreens like arborvitae that might suffer damage or split, you might consider burlap wrap to protect them.

  • Consult a professional

The best way to ensure proper winter tree care is to consult with an arborist or landscape professional who can help you make the right tree care decisions based on experience and by assessing the current conditions.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Did you plant bulbs yet?

plant bulbs

If you haven’t planted bulbs yet for next spring, there may still be time. Planting now gives them time to develop roots before the ground freezes. It’s an easy project as long as you know a few things to do – and not do – when planting.

Do:

  • Choose a location that is well-drained and gets plenty of sun.
  • Plan your planting around bloom time. Daffodils and crocuses will appear early in the season, while tulips will come along later. Check with your bulb seller to learn the expected bloom times for each variety.
  • Mix it up with more than just tulips and daffodils. Consider early-blooming snowdrops (Galanthus), which produce small white flowers that hang like bells and spread easily. Also consider late-blooming giant allium (pictured above), an ornamental onion that features purple flowers atop tall stalks.
  • Water your bulbs right after you plant them. This will help them settle into the soil and establish roots.

Do not:

  • Use the time-consuming method of spacing bulbs and planting them one at a time in rows. If a bulb does not bloom, you’ll end up with “holes” in your display. Try grouping them in pockets of 10-12 bulbs for a burst of color next spring. Dig a hole or trench 3 times deeper than the bulb height.
  • Plant all bulbs the same way. Large bulbs such as tulips and daffodils should be spaced 6 inches apart, so you’ll need about 5 bulbs per square foot. Space smaller bulbs such as crocus and grape hyacinth or miniature daffodils about 4 inches apart. You will need 8 small bulbs per square foot of garden area for those.
  • Forget to fertilize and top-dress. Help your bulbs establish roots with a fertilizer high in phosphorous used when planting. Then top dress the beds with shredded wood mulch or mulched leaves.

Talk with a landscape or garden center professional about the right care for the specific bulb varieties you choose. Then wait patiently for spring, when your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful blooms.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Care for your trees

Care for your trees
  • It takes a little effort to help your landscape ease into the fall and winter. Hopefully you’ve already winterized your irrigation system or scheduled your sprinkler blowout. If not, take a minute today to get it done or get on a professional’s calendar before they book up. Then, turn your focus to preparing trees for winter.
  • Ideally, you should try to prune your trees when they have gone dormant. Pruning shade trees helps them better handle the snowfall and strong winds of winter storms—especially if you have dead or damaged branches hanging around from previous storms. Take care of them before they become a hazard to people or property.
  • Once your trees have gone dormant, it’s a good time to prune suckers and water sprouts. For branches that you can’t easily reach from the ground, ask for help. If you don’t have proper safety gear to protect yourself or can’t prune while standing with both feet on the ground, it’s time to call in a pro. Tree pros have the equipment and the expertise to do the job properly.
  • One exception: Do not prune any spring-flowering trees, shrubs or perennials just yet—late winter or early spring is best for plants like fruit trees or lilacs.
  • Keep in mind that you are preparing your trees for winter, but that doesn’t mean you can completely stop caring for them when the cold sets in. They still need moisture. If the temperatures are above freezing, you can—and should—safely water your trees and shrubs.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Stay out later

Stay out later
  • Imagine yourself relaxing on the terrace with a mug of tea or apple cider as you enjoy the cooler nights of autumn in Colorado. But fumbling in the dark with a mug of hot liquid is not a good idea. And candles or torches can be a hazard in our fire-prone state.
  • Despite continuing warm temperatures, shorter days can limit the time we spend outdoors this fall. One way to extend the time outdoors is with landscape lighting. It’s an investment in safety and curb appeal, and it can add to your enjoyment of your outdoor living space.
  • Pathway lights make it possible to navigate your landscape safely. Patio lighting can make your yard attractive and cozy past sundown. Plus, technological advances like LED bulbs and quality solar-powered fixtures have made landscape lighting more efficient than ever.
  • Talk with a landscape professional about the right lighting to enhance your landscape and improve your time outdoors this fall.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Get ready for fall

Get ready for fall

It’s a good time to put in some work to help your landscape stay healthy as it heads into dormancy for the winter. It’s still warm, but autumn begins next week and we look forward to cooler days ahead. A little care now will help make your lawn hardier so that it will return next spring as vibrant as ever.

Here are some steps to consider. Be sure to talk with a landscape professional about which of these steps are important for your landscape:

  • Adjust the sprinkler timer to water less. Daylight hours are growing shorter, overnight temps are getting cooler and day-time temps will become more moderate. Don’t stop watering altogether but do adjust watering frequency and length. Make changes according to the temperature—not by the date. Keep in mind that if you add any new plants this fall, those will be the exception as they are still becoming established.
  • Zap weeds. Here’s your last chance this year to take care of weeds. The weeds you eliminate this fall are weeds you won’t see at the start of next season.
  • Apply a final application of fertilizer. Using the same fertilizer formulation you used earlier this season is fine. But if you need to buy more fertilizer, look for one high in nitrogen and potassium which are good for healthy roots.
  • Core aerate the lawn before winterizing the sprinkler system. Aeration pulls plugs of soil and sod out of the lawn and these holes open the soil so that roots can take in maximum moisture during the winter.
  • Get expert help if you have had fungus or other turf disease or insect problems this summer. Have problems properly diagnosed so you know what to do now and possibly into next spring to get things under control for good.

Contact your landscape professional to help you get your landscape ready to be tucked in for winter. If you have an irrigation system, schedule your winterization service now, before schedules are booked up.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Time for a color change

Time for a color change

Last week we talked about planting now for next spring. If you want some seasonal color now, try a fall-themed container garden. You can make your own decorative creation with traditional containers: a ceramic planter, a window box, or a hanging pot. Or get creative and upcycle things you’ve got in the garage, like an old wheelbarrow, metal bucket or tire. You can even repurpose a football or football helmet into an interesting centerpiece for your outdoor table.

Before you plant

  • Clean out previously used containers by removing summer-flowering annuals and debris.
  • If adding a new container to your home, make sure it has proper drainage.
  • Prepare the soil. Consider adding some compost to help retain moisture.
  • Add a time-release fertilizer.

Recommendations for adding autumn color

  • Ornamental cabbage and kale are good choices, as they do well in fall temperatures and provide interesting foliage. They make great combos with blooming plants in containers.
  • Pansies make it easy to add color. Pansies are available in many colors, so they can fit just about any color scheme you have in mind. Think orange and blue for containers to celebrate the home team in football or a combo in the colors of your local high school or college. You can even find orange and black pansies to complement your Halloween décor.
  • Bring on the chrysanthemums. Mums are an easy way to add fall color. Several containers in the same or different colors grouped together provide mounds of colorful impact and take little time. Group mums in large baskets or repurpose a bench to give them some height and place them in a row. Galvanized buckets and oval bins are also great for grouping plants as one large mass of color.

Too busy for DIY?

If you don’t have the time to create a custom container garden for your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some seasonal color. Consult a landscape professional about container garden services. Or visit your local garden center for pre-made containers you can simply bring home and put into place.

It’s still hot out there, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get a head start on creating containers with warm autumn colors. In Colorado, hot-cider-sipping weather could be just around the corner.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Prep for hail

Late spring is hail season in Colorado. It’s good to know what precautions you can take ahead of time and what you can do for plants after hail has dealt its blows.

Minimize damage if you can

  • Be prepared by placing buckets or old planting pots close to the garden so you can grab them quickly to cover plants when a storm rolls in, or set them in place before you go to bed if you expect a storm overnight.
  • Put heavy container plants that are beyond the patio or porch roof on wheeled bases so they can easily be moved under cover.
  • Have copper soap or a similar copper fungicide on hand to spray on plants right after the damage. It keeps fungus from getting into the open wounds. Just like you put antiseptic on a cut finger, you need to apply it ASAP—within minutes or a few hours after the storm for the best effect.

Hail-damaged veggies and annuals

When plants are shredded by hail, do remedial work. You should prune off shredded leaves and broken stems on most plants. Here are some specifics:

  • Flowering annuals with no remaining foliage will probably not recover and should be replanted. If there is some foliage left on petunias, they may survive. When they are damaged early in the season, there is time for them to recover so it’s worth trying to nurse them back to health.
  • Early vegetable root crops such as carrots left without foliage won’t recover. They need green leaves to produce energy to grow.
  • Leafy vegetables may recover, but if you see no signs of new growth after a week or so, replant.

How to trim back damaged plants

  • Keep as many of the remaining leaves as possible. If half or more of the leaf is intact, keep it at least a little while so it can create energy for the plant.
  • Remove branches, leaves and stems that are broken or badly shredded.
  • If the top of a plant is shredded—for example, a tomato plant—clip the plant down to where there are healthy leaves.
  • Spray the cuts or broken places as soon as possible with a copper product. Copper, commonly found in fungicides, will help keep diseases from entering the plants. Caution: read the label before applying any product on veggies.
  • Wait to fertilize for a week or so when the plant shows signs of new growth. Use a liquid or granular fertilizer.
  • Minimize stress on the plants by watering consistently and evenly without over- or under-watering.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Need spring color right now

spring

After recent snows gave them a dose of moisture, and with temperatures heating up along the Front Range, early spring bulbs are popping up in landscapes and giving us a hint of the color to come. Crocuses, hyacinths, even some daffodils, and tulips can be spotted in gardens and flower beds.

The warm days might inspire you to add some color to your landscape. However, keep in mind that April in Colorado could still bring us heavy snowfall or even a freeze. Wait at least six weeks to plant most annuals.

If you must plant flowers soon, consider cool-hardy pansies.

  • When purchasing, check with garden center staff that the flowers are ready to plant. Pansies should be hardened off before putting them in the ground. If they have been kept outdoors at the garden center, they are probably hardened off and ready to plant.
  • Pansies that have not yet been hardened off need some protected outside time to get used to the outdoors. They need to adjust to night-time temps more than they need sunshine. Keep them outside on the patio in a protected area for about five nights before planting. If there is a frost or hard freeze, bring them indoors.

Once planted, pansies are frost hardy but will be seriously damaged by a hard freeze. If temps fall below 28 degrees, protect the plants from freeze damage like you would annuals in the early fall. Cover them with household items like sheets, blankets or towels – not plastic.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

 

Get ready for the growing season

Itching to get out and work in the yard? Planting time really is just around the corner. While you wait until the threat of freeze is over, there are plenty of ways to prepare for the growing season.

To be effective and efficient in the yard, you need the right tools and tools in good condition. Take stock of the shovels, rakes, weeding tools and pruners that are stashed in the garage or shed.

Do DIY repairs and schedule services for the tasks you won’t do yourself:

  • On metal surfaces of shovels and other tools, remove rust with steel wool and apply WD-40.
  • Replace broken handles on shovels and rakes.
  • Sharpen blades on pruners and also the lawnmower.
  • Schedule the spring tune-up for the lawnmower. You’ll want it to be ready to roll and not waiting in line when it’s time for the first mow of the season.
  • Schedule spring lawn aeration and sprinkler system activation now, as schedules fill up quickly.

Finally, resist the urge to plant too early. Colorado could still see a freeze in the next six weeks, so be patient in order to give your new plants the best chance at thriving in your landscape.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

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