Pergolas, covered patios and outdoor rooms can extend your outdoor living area and provide shade and protection from other weather elements. Vista Landscaping builds pergolas, covered patios, arbors and outdoor kitchens in the Greater New Orleans area, Metairie, Kenner, Covington and MandevilleRead more
Here are some tips to keep your yard alive and happy, despite the scorching heat.
1.) Water in the early morning (ideal time) or in the evening when the sun is not as hot and the winds are calm. This will decrease the chance of water being lost to evaporation. If you do water later in the evening, be aware that wet foliage may lead to fungus or mildew, making plants unsightly and threatening their health. Be ready to control diseases if you irrigate at night.
2.) Water only the roots and drip line of plants - not the foliage. Watering the foliage may result in sun scald during the heat of the day. The drip line of the plant is the area directly below the outermost reaches of the branches.
3.) Water new plantings more frequently to get their roots established. You should water lightly but more often. Water mature plantings more thoroughly but less frequently. You want to get the water deep into the soil to encourage roots to grow deeper. Shallow watering keeps roots close to the surface leaving plants susceptible to drying out more frequently.
4.) Do not over-water your plants. Since plants need oxygen in the soil to grow, excessive water can cause root rot since it is unable to absorb moisture. Symptoms of stress are similar to when a plant is too dry: wilting, yellowing, leaf drop. To determine whether the stressed plant is over or under-watered, dig down around the base of the plant after it has been 24 hours since the plant was watered. If the soil is soggy you are overwatering. If it is cracked and dry, you need to water more.
5.) In watering your lawn, run your sprinklers until you get water runoff, then stop them. Per watering, you want the soil to be wet 4-6 inches deep per watering. Use a spade or shovel to see how deeply the water has penetrated the soil. If it hasn’t reached this level, water again after the runoff water has absorbed and water until it reaches this depth.
BEST ADVICE: Irrigation Systems are Lifesavers for Plants (and People)
It is difficult to accurately predict your lawn and garden’s watering needs. Factors such as sun exposure and soil composition can affect how much you should water plants. A properly installed irrigation system can help you with this. Irrigation systems help plants because they make sure that the plants get their needed water intake. Everyday. They help people since they take care of our plants for us - even during the extreme heat of a Louisiana summer and even when we are on vacation.
Call Vista Landscaping (504) 292-9022 if you would like to discuss the installation of an irrigation system in your residential or commercial landscape.
Your backyard pool area can become a vacation-like oasis with well-planned landscaping. Whether we are installing a new pool, renovating an existing or just sprucing up landscaping around your pool, we advise customers to consider these things:
Real grass requires regular trimmings and fertilizer to maintain. Since grass clippings and chemicals are not what you want in or around your pool, synthetic or artificial turf can be an ideal choice for your pool area.
Synthetic turf not only looks vibrant year-round, but it also eliminates the mud, grass clippings, chemicals and maintenance work that comes with real grass. Its cushioned surface and gritty silica sand infill make for a slip-resistant poolside surface.
In selecting plants and trees for your pool, you want ones that will add visual interest and perhaps privacy to your yard. Since you do not want to worry about cleaning leaves and other debris from your pool, we recommend evergreen plants since they stay green all year and don’t shed a lot of leaves. They are also great for privacy. Some of the plants we recommend include: juniper, queen palm, papyrus, day lily, hibiscus, apaganthus
Pool patio hardscaping can bring beauty and safety to pool areas. We typically recommend and install materials such as pavers and natural stone. These materials are durable, not slippery and easily be removed and replaced if necessary.
We often build gazebos, arbors, pergolas and other shade structures near pool areas to provide a nice place to get out of the sun. In planting trees to create shade areas, we keep in mind placement and type of tree to avoid planting trees that will shed debris into the pool or cause damage to the pool with their roots.
Do you want a green lawn year round?
Are your pets causing problems with your yard?
Does Your Yard Have Shady Areas Where it Is Difficult to Grow Grass?
If so, artificial grass may be your perfect solution.
It may seem odd for a landscaping company to be encouraging customers to install artificial grass. But, we believe the most successful landscapes are created when the right plants and materials are placed in the right places. Sometimes, certain landscape conditions bring conditions that are not ideal for planting live plants or grass.
Turf grass is a “green” solution - both in looks and environmentally. Not only does it cut down on maintenance, but turf grass offers other benefits that a typical lawn does not.
Some great uses of turf grass:
Shady areas where grass is difficult to grow.
Pet friendly yards. If your pet is constantly tearing up your yard or bringing their dirty paws inside your house, artificial turf can be an excellent option.
Commercial business areas wanting a nice green look all year round
Hot, dry areas that need constant watering in the heat of the summer
High traffic areas from kids, pets, vehicles.
Swimming pool areas to avoid the mess of grass.
Putting greens that can customized with chipping areas
Vista Landscaping has installed artificial turf for many customers. Contact us today to discuss whether or not turf grass may be an good option for your landscaping needs (504) 292-9022.
Many irrigation systems have pressurized lines, meaning there is constant water in the lines. The top part, or the brass part, is most vulnerable to freezes since it is where water goes through and where water actually sits.
To prepare you irrigation system for freezing temperatures, follow the steps below:
Locate the backflow of your irrigation system. Most residential backflow devices have two shut-off valves. These are typically covered in blue rubber and are located before and after the actual backflow device. Your backflow should have the valve handles in-line with the piping when it is on. You should turn the handles perpendicular to the pipe to stop the flow of water.
In turning both valves , you will keep water from entering the device.
Next, remove the caps off other check cocks (if they are still there).
Initially the groove for the screwdriver is perpendicular to the piping (this means they are closed).
You need to open them by turning with a screwdriver.
When you open the check cock (note that the screw is in line with the top check cock) some water may flow out.
Releasing this water that was in the backflow device is important. If allowed to stay in there, the water may expand when it freezes and crack the device. When both are opened, the water is drained.
NOTE: If the water doesn’t stop running out after a couple minutes, you probably haven’t turned off the water to the device (shown how to do in the beginning of this article).
*** REMEMBER to turn your valves and system back on when freeze is over.
To turn on your system do everything listed in reverse order.
CONTACT VISTA LANDSCAPING WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.
With freeze warnings in effect over the next week, you can do several things to protect your yard and plants before the freezing temperatures arrive. Also listed below are things you do after temperatures rise again to ensure that your plants hang around for a while longer.
BEFORE A FREEZE
Remember to mulch the soil around plants and shrubs. Mulching protects the roots of plants and helps to minimize heat loss. Mulch can also help retain soil moisture.
Plant parts that touch plastic during a freeze likely will be damaged. This is why you should cover exposed plants with a blanket first and then with plastic. Make sure coverings drape to the ground. Anchor them with rocks, bricks or soil to keep wind out and allow heat retention. Remember to remove these protective coverings from the plant canopy after cold temperatures have passed
If it is not going to rain before the freezing temperatures arrive, you should water plants thoroughly. This is because moist ground stays warmer than dry ground. Watering the night before the freeze arrives will insulate the root structure of the grass and plants, decreasing the potential for cold injury.
AFTER A FROST OR FREEZE
Check the water needs of plants after a freeze. Water that is still in the soil may be frozen and unavailable to the roots and plants can dry out. To make sure a plant is getting its needed water, apply water to thaw the soil and the ice. It is best to water in the afternoon or evening the day after a freeze so plants have had a chance to slowly raise their temperature.
After a freeze, soft-stemmed, non-woody plants such as impatiens, cannas, elephant ears, agapanthus, amaryllis, begonias, philodendron and gingers may be pruned back to living tissue. This pruning is optional but does help keep your winter garden looking neat. Damaged tissue that is oozy, slimy and foul-smelling should be removed. The decaying tissue is unhealthy for the plant.
Generally, it's a good idea to delay hard pruning of woody plants such as hibiscus until new growth appears in late winter or early spring. Pruning plants now can make them more vulnerable during cold temperatures. Also, in the spring, the damage from cold temperatures will be more obvious so you can more easily remove the damaged parts of the plants.
To determine if the wood of a plant has been injured by the cold weather check the layer directly under the bark by carefully scratching through the bark layer. Undamaged plants will show a green layer, while injured plants will show a brown or black layer. Prune the plant’s wood below the discoloration.
In cases of really sever cold weather and when temperatures fall below 20 degrees, the less hard hardy plants many not make it, regardless of your precautions. Even more hard plants may be injured from extreme temperatures. These freezing temperatures could be an opportunity to remove the plants that don't survive and to start anew when warmer temperatures arrive!
As Tropical Storm Nate makes its way to the Gulf Coast this weekend, these tips can ensure your landscape is taken care of before and after the storm.
BEFORE THE STORM
1.) Trees: Look for any large dead branches in the trees. Remove them, especially if they pose a threat to the house.
2.) New trees: If you have newly staked trees or have just removed the stakes from young trees planted within the past one to three years, make sure they are securely staked to prevent them from blowing over. Drive the stakes deeply and securely into the ground.
3.) Gutters: Clear gutters of leaves, branches and other debris so heavy rain water can get away from your house and landscape.
4.) Irrigation: Make sure your sprinkler system is in the off mode.
5.) Swimming Pools: If you have a pool, DO NO drain it. You may think rainwater can cause the pool to overflow and therefore flood your home. But the water actually acts as a weight. Draining the pool could cause it to pop out of the ground if it is empty.
5.) Extras: Bring all container plants, hanging baskets, tools, lawn and porch furniture, toys, wind chimes, flags, grills and other things that could be destructive with strong wind gusts.
6.) Vegetables. If you have anything growing in the garden now, harvest all that you before the storm. High winds and flood water will ruin most of the vegetables that remain.
AFTER THE STORM
7.) Trees: As soon as possible, straighten, reset and stake any small trees or tall shrubs that may have been blown over by the storm, especially if there are exposed roots. , If there are any exposed root systems, prevent them from drying out by covering the exposed roots with soil, moist burlap sacks, or moist sphagnum moss.
8.) Branches: Remove any broken branches that are still attached; don’t yank it since it may strip the bark. Resist the urge to over prune. If there is a crack or split evident where a major limb meets the trunk and the crack goes into the trunk, it is best to remove the limb. Be safe and don't do it all yourself.
9. ) Soil: When high amounts of rainfall have occurred, roots may drown or rot if the ground stays saturated for an extended amount of time. If that happens, Remove all mulch from around shrubs and beds for a few weeks after any flooding until the soil has a chance to dry out, and then replace it.
Father’s Day is this Sunday. For the wonderful fathers in our lives, we have put together a short list of last minute gift ideas for those of you wanting to go beyond the usual gifts of neckties, socks or coffee mugs.
1. Lawn Maintenance or Clean-Up
Of course, we think this is one of the best things you can give to all the hard-working fathers. Giving them the gift of lawn care is really giving them more time to do what they really want to do. What can be a better gift than giving dad his evenings and weekends to do what he wants to do?
Vista Landscaping can create a custom maintenance program that is is economical, effective and long-lasting.
If dad's yard needs some attention and care, give him the gift of “Yard Clean-Up”. Vista will come out to his yard do the lawn mowing, edging, pruning, trimming, weed clean-up and re-mulching.
Contact Vista or email us if you would like to learn more about this gift idea.
2.) Offshore Fishing Adventure
Give dad the gift of fishing with the best! Fish with Vista’s favorite Captains at Mexican Gulf Fishing Company (MGFC). Fishing with these guys is a guaranteed fishing trip of a lifetime. You can buy MGFC eGift Cards online and print them right away, with no shipping charges! eGift Cards can be redeemed when you make an offshore charter reservation online or by phone. A gift card purchase is good for one year from the date of purchase. Gift cards can be used with any of their captains, for charter trips of up to six passengers.
Click here to learn more about buying a gift card for the chance to have a once in lifetime fishing trip with Mexican Gulf Fishing Company.
3.) Man Crates
A "Man Crate" is full of all of the things men love and comes in a sturdy crate he has to actually open with a crow bar. No ribbons, no fancy wrapping paper – just a a crow bar and a crate. Man Crate offers 96 different Father's Day gift options, including a our favorite “Whiskey Appreciation” Crate and the “Bacon Crate”. Visit www.mancrates.com
Just as your home needs fixing up and updating to keep it fresh and appealing, your landscape needs regular attention and upgrades. Your landscape may need a complete refresh or just a quick pick-me-up if it includes any of the following:
- Overgrown or underperforming shrubs
- Sparse or dead areas of growth in the turf or shrubbery
- Trees needing significant pruning
- Your landscape does not complement your home or your vision of what it should be.
Here are 4 ways that can make impressive updates to your landscape:
1.) Clean It Up
When plants and trees are not frequently tended to, they can make a landscape appear neglected and uninviting. Overgrown trees and shrubs can shrink the very size of your landscape and make your house look smaller. Trimming back and cleaning out areas can make significant.
2.) Add Landscaping Lighting
A small, yet impactful solution to updating your yard is outdoor lighting. Not only can it enhance your landscape's appeal, but it can also add safety to your home. More than just shining a direct light on a tree or walkway, Vista Landscaping can create ambiance with lights to highlight your yard's best features and to hide its eyesores.
3.) Update Your Driveway or Walkway
Updating a driveway or walkway can make a significant update on your landscape, especially if your driveway is outdated or starting to crack. A new stone or paver walkway can freshen up an area and make your home more inviting.
4.) Add Year Round Color
One great thing about living in the South is that we get to have colorful flowers and leaves year-round. Planting shrubs that bloom during different seasons can guarantee year round color. Plant a combination of these plants to ensure color every season:
Seasonal Flower Guide
Spring: azalea, daffodil, forsythia mandevilla, dogwood, wisteria, bearded iris
Summer: hydrangea, daylily, gardenia, crinum, lantana, crepe myrtle, impatiens, zinnia
Fall: , aster, sugar maple, beautyberry, ginger lily sasanqua camellia, holly, autumn crocus
Winter: winterberry, Colorado blue spruce, amaryllis, Lenten rose, rosemary, saucer magnolia, flowering quince
Are you considering a landscape renovation for your home? Enlist the help of Vista Landscaping's expert team. We have years of experience with landscape renovation projects of all sizes and complexity. Let us help you bring your landscaping project to life. Call (504) 292-9022 now to schedule a consultation.