Tag Archives: Garden

Fall into a cleaner, healthier yard this autumn!

The time has come once again for fall cleanups! Last year due to an early snowfall we couldn’t get to all the fall clean ups scheduled. They’re predicting an even worse winter this year, so give us a call to make sure your yard gets the care it needs to weather the season!!!

 

What goes in to a fall clean up? While it’s important to removed leaf fall to maintain a proper ph in your soil, it’s more than just leaves! Now is the time to plant spring bulbs, remove dead limbs and trim branches that might fall and cause damage to your property in an especially heavy winter storm. Last year we received almost 40 inches of snow from Storm Nemo alone, so it’s important to show your yard some preventive care before the season hits. We offer a range of services, including mulch installation, leaf removal, as well as bulb planting and limb trimming. Give us a call and set up an appointment for a free estimate for services unique to your own needs.

We at Algiere’s love our customers, and we love our fellow local businesses. With that in mind, we’re offering a special coupon for 25 dollars off 3 hours of service, but you can only pick up these special coupons at the Norwichtown People’s Bank location. Come on down, get a deal on your fall cleanup needs!

Water Management

 

In the summer time, when we can have days and days of extreme heat, it’s very important to maintain water supplies for your lawn and garden. What can you do when water supplies are low or the rain is refusing to fall? There are lots of DIY projects you can do to keep your landscaping happy and healthy.

Water Barrel

Rain barrels are an easy fix, you can find rain barrel kits at Lowes or Home Depot or make them on your own using plans on Youtube or the DIY network. Plan for the summer all year long, using fifty five barrels to store plenty of water for the dry months, just make sure to include drainage holes near the top for overflow.

Another great way to control your water needs is to use container gardening. Planting in containers will limit the amount of water you need. Containers don’t need to be expensive either, you can get creative and use discarded building supplies, like gutters, which are very popular right now.

Gutter Garden

Summer time is vacation time, but don’t feel like you have to stay at home to water the plants. Fill 2 liter soda bottles or wine bottles with water and revert them into the ground nearby where you need water most. Your plants will soak up what they need leaving you to enjoy your free time and the gorgeous weather!

Wine bottle Water

Don’t have time to do it yourself? Give us a call at Algiere’s! We’ll put a plan together for you and help you keep up a routine of water management all year long.

 

For directions on how to build the heavy duty rain barrel above, check out this website:

http://rethinksurvival.com/how-to-create-a-heavy-duty-275-gallon-rain-barrel/

For a how to guide to build a self watering veggie table, click here:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Self-Watering-Veggie-Table/?ALLSTEPS

Focal Points Made Easy

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Last time we discussed different styles of gardens, and mentioned details such as fountains, sculpture, and shrubbery. While these elements look great in the background, sometimes you want something special to catch the eye that ties all of your landscaping plans together. This is the focal point, and choosing one can be easy when you have an experienced landscaper like Algiere’s to help.

The important thing is to keep everything in perspective. What is your budget like? Is your priority something large, or do you want to spread the money around? Do you prefer a plant or architectural focal point? How much time do you have for maintenance, do you want something that requires a lot of work, or would you prefer something more low maintenance? Consider your style of house and any elements you already have. You don’t want to clash or have anything stick out inappropriately.

 

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It might seem overwhelming, but a good landscaper will sit you down and ask the right questions to get the answers. For example, we might ask if you prefer lilies or daisies. It might seem simple, but the answer tells us a lot about you and your sense of style. Lilies are a more formal flower, while daisies take center stage in a more cottage style of gardening. We will show you pictures of different kinds of plantings and styles of gardens. We can accommodate anyone, whether traditional or more eclectic and funky. Just give us a call!

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Pictures for this week’s blog were taken in the Abbey Gardens in Culross, Scotland. The modern sculptures are by the British artist Julia Francis. For more information on her work, you can email her at julia@themercatgallery.com or visit her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/JFSculptures. 

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Composting, Good for You, Good for the Earth

English: Composting

English: Composting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

365/66 California Compost

365/66 California Compost (Photo credit: mjmonty)

 

 

 

So, Earth Day has come and gone. Over a month later, you’ve helped clean up the shore line, pulled invasive species at the local park, and attended a fundraiser for fracking awareness.

 

You’re feeling pretty good about things, and then you get home. The garbage is piled high, and you’ve got newspapers and scraps of old computer paper just lying around the office. You wonder, how can I clean up my mess, and help make Earth Day every day at the same time?

 

The answer, my friend, is composting.

 

Many people think compost is hard, but the key is to maintain a good mix of the green, (like grass), with the brown, (ashes, coffee grounds, etc.) Grass will provide the nitrogen, and the brown items will provide the carbon. A little of each, well mixed, will break down more quickly and provide the best blend of nutrients for your soil.

 

Anything that has been living is good to add to a compost pile, but avoid pet droppings or meat scraps, as these will attract unwanted pests. The great thing about this rule is, this includes paper products! Just be sure to shred any newspapers or junk mail up really well before you add them.

 

See? You get to clean up your house, AND provide a nutrient rich soil for your vegetables and flowers. Everyone wins!

 

Need help getting started? Not sure what to plant after you lay your compost, or how? Give Algiere’s a call, we are here to help with all of your spring gardening and landscaping needs!

 

Cold Crops, What to Plant When Spring is Late

Potatoes come to Europe.

Potatoes can be planted, even in the cold!

 

 

 

 

 

For springs like these, people come to us moaning about the short growing season. What can they do? What should they plant when a spring is this slow in showing up?

 

Let us introduce you to some great cold crops you can plant, even when the temperature is close to freezing. Think root vegetables, like onions and potatoes, though you should only use seed potatoes to get your plants started. Some leafy vegetables as well, like lettuce and arugula, can be planted in temperatures as low as 40 degrees.

 

Want to get started but fear the temperatures dropping even further, or a possible late season snow? No problem, cover your plants, making tents out of empty milk jugs, cut to accommodate your seedlings’ size. You can also attempt to raise the temperature of your soil using plastic covers.

 

Whatever the weather, you can enjoy gardening, and Algiere’s is available to you year round for all of your gardening and landscaping needs!

 

Time to Get Your Seeds Started!

Sunflower seedlings, just three days after ger...

Time to get those seedlings sprouting!

 

 

 

Spring is beginning to warm up, and it’s time to get your seeds started. Before you start, be sure to keep a record of what you’ve planted, and the progress they’ve made, this will help you next year to remember what works, and how long you will need for each seedling. Make sure to store your seeds in a cool dry place, in small plastic containers. To make sure that your seeds are still viable, take a few and soak them in cool water. If they sink, they’re still plantable, if they float, they’re technically “dead” and won’t sprout.

 

Use plastic containers instead of clay for planting, they will keep moisture better. You can recycle old yogurt containers or other plastic tubs, just make sure you poke holes in the bottoms of them for drainage. Make sure you don’t overcrowd your seeds, tamp them down to make sure that there is contact between your seeds and the moist soil or potting mix that you use, and cover them lightly with more soil.

 

You can maintain air and moisture quality in a few ways. Use a small fan to keep the air circulating, spread some finely ground stone or grit over the potting mix, and cover the containers with plastic. Check your containers daily, and use a spray bottle to add moisture when needed. Keep your seeds warm, between 65 and 75 degrees, by placing them near a heater or using a heating mat. Want to recycle even further? Ben’s dad makes his own heating pads for plants using old waterbed mattresses!

 

Once your seeds germinate, you can remove the plastic covering. Make sure to rotate your pots daily so that the stems grow uniformly, and gently brush them with your palm to encourage strong stems. Once the leaves begin to emerge, it will be time to feed your seedlings weekly with watered down fertilizer.

 

At this time you should also begin hardening your plants by placing them outside in the sunlight for a few hours in the morning, gradually adding more hours until your plants are acclimated enough to the outside temperatures to be planted.

 

Good luck, and if you need any assistance with your plants this spring, give Algiere’s a call!

 

 

 

Organic Grub Control Made Easy

Milky Spore Japanese beetle killer, Tukwila Go...

Milky Spore Japanese beetle killer, (Photo credit: photophonic)

The time has come once again to take on the grub population in your yard. In addition to methods like planting more shade trees and shade tolerant grasses, it’s also important to apply some form of grub control. There are a couple of great organic methods available.

Milky Spore is a disease which only affects white grubs. You can buy it as an organic grub control powder that will not pose a risk to animals, children, and beneficial insects in your lawn. It’s also safe to use around waterways.  After initial applications of three to four times a year for three years, it can last up to twenty years, and is guaranteed for ten. You apply Milky Spore in one teaspoon increments every four feet, a ten ounce box will treat 2500 sq feet, and a forty ounce box will treat 10,000 sq feet. It’s safe for the environment and less invasive, but will only kill one type of grub.

Another great organic option is the humble nematode. These mighty microscopic worms will feast on grubs, cut worms, and over 200 other soil dwelling and wood boring pests, without bothering you or your lawn. There are a few nematode products on the market now, including the Nemaglobe and Dr. Pye’s Scanmask, both available at Amazon.com and many local hardware stores. If you can’t find them in a store near you, be sure to ask!

Another benefit of grub control is you’re effectively taking away the food source of other pests, like moles, without having to apply stronger chemicals that might also harm your pets. The most important thing to remember, whatever you use, is to apply your grub control product now. Most grubs hatch in late August or September, and begin feasting on the roots of your lawn at that time, so it’s best to be applying your grub control product as soon as possible. Give Algiere’s Landscaping a call to set up an appointment today!