Hometown Landscape & Lawn Service
P.O. Box 4727, Silver Spring, MD 20914
21 Jun 2017

Caring for your plants

 

Plant Pests

Pests are more likely to attack a stressed plant than a healthy plant. A few insect pests are normal and not cause for concern but if you get a more severe pest infestation, it means something in your garden or locale has become severely out of balance. Talk to a nursery or garden center professional to help identify exactly which type of pest you are dealing with and how best to treat them. For instance, there are organic pest controls that can help you control them and restore your plants to a healthy state.

Soil Health

Of all the things that contribute to a plant’s health, the soil is the most important. The good news is unlike temperature or precipitation, you can cultivate healthy soil by adding organic matter or fertilizer and trying to avoid disrupting the soil as much as possible (no rototilling!).

Garden Hygiene

You have to invest time and effort to keep your garden healthy and free of disease and pests. It’s as simple as keeping things neat and tidy – removing fallen leaves, pulling weeds, completely removing dead or diseased plants, etc. A little work in the off-season can help keep plants healthy all year round.

What You Plant Matters

First, research what grows best in your area. Start with what you love and then consider what grows best in your zone, and finally, your specific yard, in terms of sun exposure, water usage, etc. Any nursery or garden center professional can help you think through what will thrive in your space.

How Much You Plant Matters

This can be a more complicated question than it seems. If planted too close together, the long-term health of a plant can be compromised. A nursery or garden center professional can help you answer and think through these questions to ensure you have as healthy and viable a garden as possible.

When You Plant Matters

As a general rule, fall and spring are the best seasons in which to plant most types of plants. The conditions and type of your soil are also factors. Read up on the conventional wisdom of planting in your region, your soil type, and your climate.

The moral of the story is a green thumb is kind of a mythical designation. If you want a healthy garden, take the time to do your research and talk to the professionals. Ultimately, you will save time and money and have a garden that brings you joy – maybe even a bounty of fresh produce!

12 Jun 2017

Protecting plants from the heat

Summer is just getting started here in Maryland…but the sun is already at full force.

 

We are expecting record setting heat this week. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your plants happy in the heat.

1. Recognize stress

Many stressed plants look thirsty. Green foliage turns grey and droops; blossoms and leaves fall to the ground in a desperate attempt to save the shrub. A deep watering often brings a plant back, or at least saves it so it’ll bud next year.

But if leaves are crispy, or the plant continues to look parched in the evening, then it’s reached a permanent wilting point: this plant will need to be removed and replaced come Fall.

2. Triage. Stat!

In heat and drought, save what you can in this descending order:

  • Newly planted shrubs and trees, vulnerable and pricey landscaping
  • Perennials: Cut blossoms and stalks, which gives plants a rest and raises chances of returning next year.
  • Established trees and shrubs, at least two years old, which have deep roots.
  • Container plants: Move them onto a porch or under a shade tree.
  • Vegetable gardens
  • Lawns

3. Watering 101

Here’s a watering rule of thumb: Water deep, not often. Water should reach 8 to 12 inches down, creating a well of water for plants and trees to draw upon in high heat. To determine if you’ve reached your mark, press a large screwdriver into the soil: If it meets resistance, keep watering.

Hand-watering with a garden hose and aerator is best. Count to 10 as you water the base of plants. Move and repeat. If you have lots of property to water, then use a sprinkler, but adjust it so it doesn’t waste overspray on driveways and walkways.

Water in the early morning: Not 7 a.m. when you usually roll out of bed, but when the sun rises at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. However, don’t get fixated on watering in the morning. If water restrictions require only evening watering, soak ‘em good and don’t fret about fungus forming on leaves that stay damp throughout the night: A little powdery mildew won’t kill your shrubs, but dehydration will.

4. Mulch is your friend

If you didn’t mulch in spring, do it now. Mulch will keep moisture in the ground and suppress weeds, which compete with landscaping for water. If you haven’t mulched, water thoroughly, then add mulch to a depth of 3 to 4 inches.

 

 

03 Mar 2017

Preparing your landscape for the winter ahead

At Hometown Landscape & Lawn Service we understand that your landscape is an investment. Here are some tips to ensure a happy transition from fall to winter.

Mulch

Mulch is especially important for plants during the fall. Mulch acts like a blanket for your plants’ roots, keeping them warm and protected during the winter. Not only does a layer of mulch protect roots from frost, it also helps to retain moisture during the cold, dry winter.

To mulch your plants, simply spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of your trees and shrubs. It’s best to invest in a quality hardwood mulch.

Remove Dead Plants

If you have any annuals that die out when frost hits, it’s a good idea to take the time to remove them before winter really sets in. Removing dead and dying plants now is a great way to prepare your landscaping for winter, because it tidies up your landscaping for spring. Now, when spring rolls around, you’ll have a nice, neat landscape instead of one that is full of dead plants that need to be removed!

Wrap Delicate Shrubs

Do you ever worry about your shrubs when you’re sitting inside your warm home watching the howling winter winds whip through your garden? Strong winds and heavy snow can leave delicate shrubs looking ragged by spring. You can protect your shrubs by wrapping them in burlap. For smaller plants, cover them with overturned pots or buckets to protect them.

Give us a call! Hometown Landscape & Lawn Service, Inc can help get your landscape ready for the winter!

Call us at 301-490-5577 today!

04 Nov 2016

Should I have my gutters cleaned before Winter?

If you have noticed your gutters are clogged with debris, now may be the best time to have them cleaned! Your gutters serve the purpose of directing water away from your home so that leaks and rot damage do not happen to your roof and foundation. When the gutters become clogged water can pour over the sides or debris can freeze causing cracks to form.

To protect your investment and maintain the integrity of your gutters, a yearly cleaning before the temperatures drop is essential.

If you choose to clean your gutters on your own remember to have someone spot you while on a ladder and never clean them alone!

If you cannot safely clean your gutters on your own, please call Hometown Landscape & Lawn, Inc to schedule a complimentary consultation and quote!

We can be reached at 301-490-5577 or sales@hometownlandscape.com

28 Oct 2016

Snowmageddon 2017?

From the looks of it, this is going to be another rough winter for the DMV. With upwards of 2 feet of snow predicted for the season, now is the time to buy a snow shovel if you don’t already have one!

Snow predictions 2016-2017

If you are one of those people that always waits until the storm to stock up on ice melt, a snow brush for your car, and a shovel to clear your walkways, you might want to think about just getting them now to avoid the headache!

 

21 Oct 2016

Prepping Perennials for the Winter

Fall is upon us and it is time to start prepping your garden to survive the winter. Taking good care of your garden beds in the fall will help them to thrive in the spring and summer.

After the first frost has struck and your foliage begins to yellow off and die, cut back the plants to help them survive the winter. Cutting back the plants helps to keep the water inside the roots instead of feeding to the leaves.

Feed your plants– Fall is a great time to work compost into your flower beds. Compost will break down over the winter, releasing nutrients and improving your soil structure

Mulch– after the ground has frozen, remove old mulch and replace or add hay to help catch and hold snow. This extra layer will help to insulate the bed as well.