Our power shears work really hard from mid-season pruning to fall, when cedar pruning begins. The days are busy and it's very tempting to pack up and go home; or just return your power shears to your garage. But I suggest taking the time to lubricate your blades after every use.
Lubrication is especially important on rainy days. Take your professional lubricant and spray your blades liberally. WD40 might be OK if nothing else is available but it doesn't last as long.
The blades will be cleaned and they will run better next time you use them. I recommend the Stihl lubricant because it also does some cleaning at the same time. So get a bottle from your nearest dealer and keep it handy.
Yes, I know, life is busy and weeding isn't exactly sexy. But it has to get done. When I visit a site and see huge "trophy" weeds, I know that there hasn't been much action there recently.
Huge weeds detract from the beauty of your garden and once you let them mature you run the risk of allowing the weeds to flower and produce seeds. And weed seeds in your garden is not something you want.
So, even if you don't have much time for weeding, at least pick up the huge weeds or call me and I will help you.
Your garden should look beautiful and healthy. Huge weeds detract from the presentation we want so fight them!
Depending on the size of your garden, mid-season pruning can keep you very busy for weeks. But as you shear various shrubs don't go too crazy by shredding ornamental grasses into forced shapes.
Yes, shrubs and laurel hedges must be kept from overwhelming your property but ornamental grasses look great. Don't touch them. Let them grow well into late fall when they look their best.
I did some pruning this week and I left all of the ornamental grasses alone. This created a very -for me, anyway- pleasing effect. The untouched grasses look nice and soft.
I have no objections to stepping stones and pea gravel but always consider maintenance work in your design. I shook my head when I got to this front entrance because there is no way for me to safely line-trim the gravel/grass border. It's asking for trouble with windows nearby.
There must be some sort of barrier between the grass and gravel. So, please consider maintenance work issues when you're designing your garden.
I love working in the landscape on sunny June days when there is lots of colour around. It's always nice to see what people plant in their gardens and, if I don't know a plant, I look it up later.
What's your favourite June plant?
Not all landscape upgrades have to be huge, costly undertakings. Sometimes you can pull off simple and fairly inexpensive upgrades. One recent example involved replacing tired looking rock crush with 1 1/4" river rock.
One half a yard of river rock costs around $30 plus delivery and labour.
The owner was very happy with the new look just a few days away from welcoming long weekend visitors.
This past week I got to observe a new female worker mowing and trying extremely hard to put beautiful laser lines into her lawn. Sure, she didn't set any speed records but she mowed safely and her lines were fine. Gold star!
Something like ten minutes later another worker, having finished his mowing, returned to his truck and took the shortest route in. He went right across the girl's beautiful laser lines, thus committing a classic lawn care mistake.
What's the big deal? Line crossing ruins the presentation. And if you think it's too harsh, I have a true story for you. Some years back one worker crossed his own mow lines at a residential tower. One owner looked down on the lawn in horror and called the company's office to complain.
So, definitely hustle when you mow but exit your lawns with care. Don't cut across your lines. Take the extra seconds and go around the perimeter.
Landscapes should be watered regularly; and watering is mandatory for newly installed landscapes. There is nothing more frustrating than installing new plants and lawns only to see them suffer, or worse, die due to lack of moisture.
To establish properly, new lawns and plants require proper watering. And when the owners take the time to water everything should work out well.
Consider the picture below. The lawn and cedar hedge (Thuja occidentalis) are new; when I first visited this unit, there was no lawn, just two stumps. That was last year.
I'm very happy with the way things look.
I love blade edging because it gives all hard and soft edges a clean line; much better than anything a line trimmer could do. But as you bury the metal blade into your edges, you inevitably kick up dirt which collects in the blade cover. Then, later it falls out in a black soil ball and becomes noticeable.
When you do your clean-up blow, you must sweat the details. One of them is eliminating the black soil ball from your lawn by either blowing it away or better yet, picking it up.
Leaving it on your freshly cut lawn is not an option.
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLT