When the owner of this front bed called me to come help him with weeding, the bed was showing weeds but it wasn't yet horrific. I grabbed a bucket and a four-pronged cultivator and went to work. You must uproot your weeds with tools and then remove them. Hand picking is heroic but it's slow and it doesn't guarantee complete removal. When you leave weed roots, the weeds just bounce back.
One great upside to cultivating is that your bed looks fresh and fluffy. Cultivation can expose weed seeds to sunlight but if you cultivate your beds regularly -as I will for this client- the weeds have no hope.
I suggest only hand picking huge trophy weeds or weeds poking out of groundcover.
A few weeks later, I'm extremely happy with the way this bed looks. I only found a few weeds and they won't get far.
You can read my latest blog post on weeding here.
Recently a client of mine complained about his tired front garden beds. They were all full of weeds and difficult to cultivate because of exposed landscape fabric. So I got to work on this easy garden upgrade.
Step one involved the dreaded weeding session. I used a bucket and cultivators: one was a Dutch hoe for up-rooting stubborn weeds and one was a four-pronger for deeper cultivation.
Step two involved soil installation. We brought in 2 yards of lawn and garden mix and it was exactly the right amount! The soil will settle but the plants will be happier, weeding should be easier and the client comes home to nice, dark and clean beds where the eye notices the flowers, not weeds.
All it took was about three hours of labour and the cost of soil plus delivery. Remember, not all garden upgrades need to cost a fortune. You can do a lot with some weeding and fresh soil.
It's been very rainy on the West Coast until last week or so and it looked like we'd miss summer altogether. But now we're finally seeing some color in the landscape and it feels like summer. Enjoy the gallery and share your own photos.
I love to fight against dead space in landscapes. Usually open spaces just attract weeds or unwanted debris. So, why not plant something?
Below are a few examples. One is an empty box I filled up with Berberis thunbergii; and another where boxwoods filled up two open beds. Both places look much better with plants in them.
You should also fight any dead spaces in your gardens. Instead of fighting weeds that will inevitably move in, why not plant something that you will enjoy looking at? Give it a try.
Now that everything is flushed out in mid-May, it will soon be time to do some mid-season pruning. Especially if there are obstruction issues. Some people also realize they have less light reaching their homes with trees and shrubs nicely flushed out.
Use sharp shears and make sure your clean-ups match the pruning.
As always, Green First! Landscaping is here to help you. Just text 604-562-3736 anytime.
Yesterday I got to plant Amstel Begonias, supervised by the site gardener who has been tending to her landscape for the past twenty years. Let's see how she does it.
1. Use a trowel to dig a hole. My trowel totally fit the site: it sports a soft cork handle and thumb rest. It retails for $15.
2. Throw in some bone meal. Personally, I think this might be overkill for annual plants but why not? Bone meal is an organic fertilizer.
3. Water the hole. It takes time but it makes sense. Help the plant with some water in the hole.
4. Install the Begonia. It sounds simple but the low green foliage is supposed to face the walkway and street. See, you learn something new every day.
Adding annuals to your garden gives you instant colour, assuming you can handle the cost every season.
People generally don't like weeding so that's why you can hire Green First! Landscaping to help you. It's important not to let weeds flower and produce seeds.
The owner of the house below clearly left his Western bittercress mature too far as some would shoot out seeds when touched. And that's a problem.
It took me roughly 30 minutes to weed and cultivate the side of the house. And now the owner's wife doesn't have to be mad at him for not weeding. I was happy to do it.
When you want new lawn you can top-dress your lawn and overseed or you can spend a bit more money and install new sod. But there is a third option, if you can get by the nasty initial look.
Hydroseeding is super quick and you should have a new lawn in 10-14 days depending on weather and site conditions.
The spray includes: seed and wood fibres with fertilizer and glue. It looks a bit freaky but it's more effective than simple overseeding and much faster than new sod.
I admit I wasn't sold the first few times I saw hydroseeding done on large sites but it works. Last year we did a large boulevard section and the lawn turned out great.
So, remember, there is a third option when you want a new lawn. Consider hydroseeding.
Planting your favourite plants is awesome but always consider how much space you have for the plant's mature size. Take a look at the picture below of Fatsia japonica plants.
I like the plants because they flower in winter but look at the location between a garage and home access. Fatsia grow to 1-3m (9') so eventually this will be a headache requiring maintenance pruning.
Before planting, consider the mature size of your plants to make sure you have enough room for them in your garden.
I'm excited about the addition of two new pages on greenfirst.ca. Both pages were on my mind for a while but there wasn't much extra time for it. Until now. Self-isolation allows for page development.
The first new page lists common spring tasks we perform on the West Coast and the list won't change much; possibly the picture gallery will.
Also new is a page dedicated to frequently asked questions. Some questions repeat so much, it makes sense to list the answers on a dedicated page. I suspect this page, too, won't change much; it will just grow from the current eleven questions.
Feel free to submit your own questions!
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLHT