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Posted By Kevin Denley

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Plants grow and die. We need to watch what is going on in our landscapes and take action as needed.

We can not be afraid of change but rather embrace it realizing the potential to grow our gardens and experience them anew.

If a plant should die or become too retched that it must be pulled - Look around first at what you have. Can another plant that may have out grown its space be transplanted? Is this a good time to reduce the size of the bed? Can a large stone or a grouping fill the space?

I had a Japanese Maple loose half of its branches to a heavy snow fall. Instead of tossing it I transplanted it up against a large stone angled in such a way as to hide the scar of the missing branches. This created a small story of a tree growing up the side of a mountain.

I then populated the surroundings with other stone a Hosta pulled from another location added some Ivy to the mix a Liriope also scavenged. I added some moss to the rock and petunias as color. More plants soon joined and became players in the story.

Today the story needs to change again. The supporting players have become to big and need to be rearranged. The Hosta and the Liriope pulled out from under the maple's branches. The Ornamental Grasses need to be split as they are taking over the story. And the Holly needs some attention.

But this is part of the ever changing story of the landscape and a welcome one. As we grow in experience through living our own lives our stories change. We meet new people move to other homes begin families and nurture them towards their own discoveries and adventures.

We must at least provide a little of that care to our landscapes or they will reflect exactly how much we do.

If you would like our help please fill out our free estimate request form or call:

301-980-9005

 
Posted By Kevin Denley

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Fertilizer Business Licenses are Required by Professionals under the law going into effect October 1, 2013. Seneca Gardens obtained its license and is in compliance with the regulations effecting everyone from farmers, municipalities, counties, commercial applicators, and home owners.

The new law is designed to protect the Chesapeake Bay from excess nutrients that contribute to explosive algae growth that rob the waters of oxygen. Algae block sunlight from reaching Bay grasses, robbing the water of their oxygen production through photosynthesis. With out that oxygen, or the plants that produce it, the Aquatic Life is dying off in large numbers.

We need to be responsible with our use of fertilizers both as a company and as a homeowner. By following the regulations of the State Law and the recommendations of the Maryland State University we can enjoy a healthy Chesapeake Bay.

And someday I can take my 22 foot sailboat out onto clear Bay waters of the Upper Chesapeake with the hope of an overnight stay, after a relaxing swim and then dinner of fresh caught healthy fish.


If you would like our help please fill out our free estimate request form or call:

301-980-9005

 
Posted By Kevin Denley

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My Ornamental Grasses provide my landscape with a sense of grandeur over Winter. I use them as a barrier, screen and wind break through out most of the year.

In the winter they contrast nicely with a denuded Japanese maple and the conical shapes of evergreens. Their large volumes provide interest in an otherwise drab winter setting.

Ornamental grasses take full shape at the end of spring and only turn brown once the first freeze arrives and the grasses go dormant.

To often I see people cutting back these beauties at the end of Fall. This is a waste as the grasses maintain their form through out Winter and need very little maintenance until Spring.

Spring is when the grasses are cut back so that they can begin their new growth and provide the fabulous interest to the landscape.

Many a Winter on milder days with the wind gently blowing through the grasses their hypnotic movement and the rustling of their many leaves provide memories of warmer times on quite beaches.


If you would like our help please fill out our free estimate request form or call:

301-980-9005

 
Posted By Kevin Denley

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When it comes to Fall there are a lot of preparations that must be accomplished to maintain the health and appearance of your outdoor spaces.

First remove all the leaves from the lawn. If you leave the leaves on the grass over winter it could very well kill the grass. And Trying to remove them in the spring will be that much more difficult as they will be wet and matted down.

Next remove all the weeds from the beds as well as dead foliage from perennials. Remove any left over mulch from Spring as you will be adding about an inch of mulch for over Winter. If your beds have natural edges these need to be freshened up with a square edging spade or mechanical edger.

Next plant any Spring bulbs and Mums or Pansies. Pansies planted in fall will over Winter well and bloom again in the Spring. Finish with a thin layer of newspaper (optional) and 1" of shredded hardwood mulch.

Gather your debris and leaves and add them to your compost pile. Prune any dead or diseased branches from trees and give all your trees a good last watering. And now would be a good time to empty any rain barrels and disconnect them from downspouts for Winter. Also shallow water features should be emptied and the pumps turned off and stored for winter.


If you would like our help with a Fall Cleanup please fill out our free estimate request form or call:

301-980-9005

 
Posted By Kevin Denley

Aeration core

September is the preferred time of relieving compaction and allowing air to enter the soil and help break up the thatch layer. By Aerating and seeding in the early Fall we provide time for the new grasses to mature. We also take advantage of cooler temperatures and the end of Summer drought.
By removing cores of earth the surrounding root system is allowed to grow outwards into looser soil. These roots will continue to grow through Winter if the ground is not frozen. September aeration penetrates the thatch layer that may have arisen during the Summer allowing water to enter deeper into the earth feeding roots and carrying organic materials to the microbes.
By giving the grass time to grow after aerating and seeding in September when Spring arrives those grasses will perk up and even provide them a good chance of being fully mature by the time Summer rolls around.

Call us at 301-980-9005 to schedule Aeration and Seeding this fall.

Or fill out our Estimate Form.

 
Posted By Kevin Denley

Snake

When your lawn gets tall enough to hide pests, snakes will arrive.

Will mowing keep out snakes?

Yes. Snakes hate mowers. They slither away from them as fast as they can. Keeping your grass mowed leaves them little to hide in. Mowing keeps out their prey: rodents, bugs, and rabbits.
But if the snakes are are not fast enough then Sashimi!!!not Sushi is what you get. Sushi requires vinegared rice and thats not what we get here.

If you find yourself with a large portion of Snake Shashimi after mowing - You need to mow more often or -

Call us at 301-980-9005 to schedule for Mowing.

Or fill out our Estimate Form.

 
Posted By Kevin Denley

Purple Nutsedge is the most "common" member of the Nutsedge family in the Southeast. Yellow Nutsedge and Green Kyllinga are two other Nutsedge found in the South, though not as frequently. Nutsedge is a very difficult weed to control. They are perennial, grassy weeds and spread aggressively through their seeds, rhizomes (under creeping stems), or nuts (tubers). The underground "nuts" can lie dormant for several years, requiring an active vigil over previously treated areas.

Small "invasions" can be effectively combated by digging out the offending Nutsedge. There is also a product available called "Manage" that can suppress Nutsedge in situations with large populations. This product applied in late Spring or early Summer will selectively control the Nutsedge after it has emerged from dormancy. In bad infestations a follow-up treatment of "Manage" may be needed later in summer for controlling potential re-growth.

If you would like our help please fill out our free estimate request form or call:

301-980-9005

 
Posted By Kevin Denley
Over-Seeding is broadcasting about a pound of seed per thousand square feet onto an already established lawn.

Golf courses over-seed in the Spring and Fall. You need only over-seed in the Fall to replace any grasses that have died over the year.

Nature does its own over-seeding at the end of summer when the grasses drop their seed. However your lawn is cut regularly so that the grasses do not go to seed. You must perform this renewal for your lawn or it will slowly depopulate.

Over seeding when done in conjuction with Aeration gives you the best results.

...For more Lawn Tips
 
Posted By Kevin Denley
Most lawn care companies do not offer dethatching. Dethatching is time consuming and can produce as much as two pick-up truck loads of thatch. The method of collecting the thatch involves hand held rakes and tarps a labor intensive exercise.


Thatch as defined by Dr. James B. Beard is “a tightly intermingled layer of dead and living stems and roots that develops between the zone of green vegetation and the soil surface.”

To remove thatch from a lawn requires a dethatcher or power rake, depending on the thickness of the thatch, between 2 - 5 passes with the machine and raking up the removed thatch between passes.

The cost of having dethatching done by a company can run between $65- $145 per 1000 sq ft. depending on the thickness of the thatch.
So if you had a moderate amount of thatch in a 5000 sq ft lawn your cost would be around $500.

If that seems like a lot, well it is. One thing you can do to help is to Aerate every fall which will help air and water to penetrate the thatch making things easier for microbes to decompose the thatch.  Another tip water heavily and deeply once a week - Watering frequently promotes surface root growth building up your thatch layer.

A normal amount of thatch  between 1/8" - 1/4" is preferred - Anything more should be removed as it is not letting water air and nutrients penetrate into the soil.

If you feel your lawn needs dethatching you can rent a dethatcher and do the work yourself or call on the professionals.  In Montgomery County MD Seneca Gardens can help.
 

 

 
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