I was honored to be the featured guest on a recent episode of the Hampton Roads Show. We talked about the advantages of having a water feature, from quiet moments in the garden to the practical elements of owning one, including what upkeep looks like for the average homeowner.
I personally love having an ecosystem pond (no surprise there!), so sharing my passion for this type of backyard installation was a joy. The best part was watching the host, Chris Reckling,, come to a new understand about all the advantages of water features.
View the video below to hear our chat, and let me know if I was a natural on camera...or not! 😆
Spring: my favorite time of year! I love seeing the new buds, blooms and bustling wildlife activity. Here are a few tips for getting your yard in shape- and keeping it there throughout the summer and fall.
Winter annuals (weeds) rarely get out of hand. However, pesky spring and summer invaders are a completely different story. Crab grass, henbit, chickweed, dandelions, pusley, and broadleaf plantain all seem to run rampant if nothing is done. There are many pre-emergent products on the market, one of the more popular being Preen. Preen works well, and won't harm any perennials or sensitive plants.
I strongly encourage clients and friends not to use a weed barrier or fabric, unless they are laying out stone or gravel. As the mulch breaks down on top of the fabric, it creates a perfect haven for the weeds to germinate in the mulch. Fabric can also keep the mulch from building healthy soil as it breaks down. Instead, apply a pre-emergent a few times a year to keep the weeds from even germinating.
2) Hard Pruning
Hard pruning is best done just before spring breaks through the winter. It’s a perfect time to shape your plants, and also remove gangly branches or obvious winter kill. Ornamental trees should follow the "no crossing, touching, or rubbing" rule. Late winter is also a great time to cut back overgrown shrubs. We will frequently take holly bushes down from 48" to just 12" and let them regrow.
As residents of Coastal Virginia, we are used to storms and flooding. I’m sure many of us remember Hurricane Isabel in 2003; the weeks without power, countless fallen trees, damaged homes and crushed vehicles.
I am thankful Hurricane Isaias was quick moving and has done comparatively little damage. However, as we all know, even a quick moving storm can leave us with plenty of cleanup to do. There will be some trees that need to come out, torn up yards, and definitely plenty of scattered debris.
If you live in Hampton Roads and need some help finding the best yard care company, I've compiled a list of resources to get your yard back in shape after a tropical storm or hurricane.
If you're like me, it's been almost impossible the past few weeks to open the news, read an email, or even have a conversation without being reminded of the coronavirus. Now that the World Health Organization has officially labeled the outbreak as a pandemic, it's looking like COVID-19 will continue to dominate the news for the near future. As you strive to stay healthy and deal with these uncertain times, here are a few tips for keeping busy around your home and yard- just in case you find yourself unable (or unwilling!) to leave your house for a bit.
Spring is in the air! It's time to plant grass!
Actually, it's not.
[Did you hear the sound of that record scratching?!]
To clarify- you can definitely plant grass in the spring, but you may not get the long term results you're hoping for. The best time to plant cool season grasses (fescue) in the fall. The cooler temperatures we have during the fall months allow the grass to germinate, establish, and build strong roots through the winter.
When grass seed is planted in the spring, however, your new lawn can’t catch a break before the summer heat kicks in. The grass seed will look great and fill in well, but because the roots aren't fully established, the heat will stress the new fescue plants. The density of the grass will then fall off during the summer, and patchy areas can form, requiring more seed.
Growing a lawn takes time, so don't give up when you don't see immediate results. If you're starting from scratch, be ready for it to take 18-24 months to fully establish. If you already have some existing healthy turf, expect about a year to get it built up. Here are some ways to ensure that when springtime comes, your yard is looking its best.
What are they?
Bagworms are actually a type of moth. They create a very distinct spindle-shaped bag which resembles a small pine cone. Bagworm eggs will overwinter in these bags attached to branches by a silk thread. There can be well over 500 eggs inside a single bag! So what factors cause bagworms to show up in your landscaping, and how can you get rid of bagworms for good? We have a few suggestions...
Are you struggling with what to plant in your pond, pondless waterfall, or fountain? The right plants can take an ordinary water feature and make it simply extraordinary. They can take a basic water feature and turn it into an oasis!
The best part? The benefits of adding plants go beyond simple aesthetics. The right plants can keep your water crystal clear by absorbing excess nutrients in the water.
It's a common question: when should I stop planting trees or bushes? Can I continue planting in my yard or garden during the winter? Our answer is simple: as long as the ground isn't frozen, you can plant what you want!
A few tips and tricks for planting during the winter months:
🚫 Do not use fertilizer, which can encourage top growth.
💦 Make sure to water your plants enough (about one inch of precipitation each week).
🌱 Do not aggressively agitate the roots.
💧 Adding mulch around the new plant will keep heat and moisture in.
Watch the video for more advice on planting in the winter!
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There are four different types of salt you can use to remove ice and snow from your driveway in the winter or during a snowstorm. Not all of them are equal! Here are the types of salt and the best choice to de-ice your driveway.
1) - Urea salt is not as effective as other de-icers, but it is safe for your pets. Unfortunately, urea is the most expensive type of driveway salt and is only good down to 15 degrees.
2) - Calcium Chloride has the best cold tolerance (down to -25°!) and is ideal for colder climates.
3) - Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) is the safest salt to apply to concrete since it is no more corrosive than tap water, and is often blended with other materials to increase its effectiveness. CMA will not cause damage to your driveway. Its cold tolerance is about 23 degrees.
4) - Rock Salt has a lot of benefits! It can be bought in bulk and is very cost effective. Although it can be used on either asphalt or concrete, it is highly corrosive. The cold tolerance of rock salt is about 22°.
When using any ice melt, put a coating down BEFORE the snow storm comes so the ice and snow cannot adhere to the surface of your driveway. Before re-applying your de-icer, scrape away any excess snow or ice to help save on the cost of your driveway salt.
For more tips on how to save money during the winter season, advice on how to prevent messy salt tracked in to your home or business, and more, watch the video below.
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About Easton Outdoors
We started out as the neighborhood lawn boys – a group of high school friends trying to make some pocket change. It soon became more. We realized how much we enjoyed landscaping. Over the years, we've transformed hundreds of properties, beautified countless landscapes, and made many homeowners proud. This has become our passion!