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03 Sep 2018

5 Must-Do Landscaping Projects for Your Ornamental Garden

Adding a touch of beauty to any outdoor home setting can seem simple. Depending on the scope of the project, it may be a simple renovation handled in a couple of hours, or a major task requiring outside help.

backyard landscaping ideas kelowna

Whatever the situation, we can all agree that adding beauty to our gardens and lawns improves the curb appeal of any property, adds benefit to enjoying the great outdoors and can improve property values. There are countless home improvement and landscaping projects that any homeowner can consider, but which ones are must-haves when enhancing the quality of your ornamental garden?

Today, let’s look at five of them and show you how easy it can be to get the job done.

Terraced Gardens

All too often, homeowners fail to take proper use of their potentially-viable gardening areas. In particular, hills are often overlooked as a prime source for ornamental beauty, due to a variety of issues. Another reason is the logistical challenges (check out Architectural Landscape Design for an idea of how professional landscapers tackle these challenges).

However, terraced gardening is one exceptional use of uneven terrain that can maximize your garden’s square footage and provide better results than level areas. Terraced gardening helps ensure all plants are properly watered and drained, leading to faster growth. It can also be great for sprucing up banks, ditches and other areas where some beauty is definitely necessary.

Square Foot Gardening

Maximizing the use of your horizontal gardening space isn’t easy, but one simple landscaping trick can help: square foot gardening.

With this strategy, you break your garden into single square foot areas; there are tools available online to help you properly plan this landscaping endeavor. Whether you opt for a permanent grid system or use a ruler to measure, square foot gardening is great in conjunction with other landscaping efforts (such as drainage/irrigation channels) to improve gardening performance.

Raised Beds

When we think of gardening, we tend to imagine stationary beds and features. Why should this always be the case?

With a raised bed, you can create growing areas that are both elevated and/or mobile. While many raised beds are simply lifted for better access and controlled growing conditions, there are other mobile raised bed options that allow for frames to be attached to wheels, giving you the option of moving each bed depending on the lighting and growing conditions. This is a must-consider feature for any ornamental garden.

Vertical Planting

Especially useful for those who don’t have a lot of space in which to garden, vertical planting brings a whole new dimension – literally – into gardening.

With your green thumb liberated from two-dimensional space, you can construct a variety of growing mediums that rise up rather than out. Some options include affixing planters to the side of the house and constructing frames out of low-cost materials that allow plants to be grown on multiple sides (great for light control).

Enhance with Shrubbery

Even if you prefer flowering varieties of plants for your ornamental garden, you can really improve the look and feel of the area – not to mention the entire yard – by using a combination of shrubs for a fuller appearance.

From bamboo and castor oil plants to butterfly bushes and cotoneaster, these shrubs and bushes will accentuate your garden rather than dominate it – and can be used for landscaping throughout the entire yard as well.

Changing the landscape of your garden area – whether it be temporary or permanent – is a common aspiration for many. If you’re ready to improve how your ornamental gardens look and feel, then consider the advice given here and act quickly in time for this year’s growing season.

 

Contributed by: Brent Szotak expert landscaper and foremost expert in ornamental gardens

26 Jul 2018
how to fix water soaked lawn

How to Fix a Waterlogged Lawn

 

Although we all know that a well-kept lawn requires regular watering, it is important to get the right balance.  Too much water can actually lead to problems such as root rot and diseased plants.  If your lawn retains water, leaving pools behind every time it rains, it could be waterlogged.  Here are some different ways in which you can solve this problem.

 

Install a Drainage System

This is, of course, the most expensive option, so you want to be sure that you do in fact have a drainage problem before you go ahead.  It could just be that heavy rainfall means the water takes longer to drain away, so a simple test can determine whether your lawn is actually waterlogged.  Dig a hole two feet deep and fill it with water.  If that water has not drained within four hours, it does require drainage.  To install a drainage system, you will need to start work in late summer or early winter when the soil is dry.  The procedure then involves digging a ditch to redirect the stagnant water.  There are different types of ditch, such as French and Herringbone, so it would be wise to do some research before you get started or to perhaps enlist the help of a professional.

Lawn Re-grading

If you have noticed that you have water problems in your basement, it could actually be that the lawn is on a slope, causing the water to drain towards your house.  Re-grading your lawn can correct this problem whilst creating a more useable lawn at the same time.  Lawn grading and leveling is a great way to fix puddling, but it may require a completely new grass reseed or sod.

Invest in a Rain Barrel

 

water barrelAlthough the guttering around your house does a great job of keeping the rain from accumulating on the roof, you may not have considered drainage for your sheds and/or outbuildings.  If you install guttering around your shed and redirect it to a rain barrel, you are providing yourself with two advantages; one, you are redirecting rain that would otherwise clog your lawn, and two, you will have an extra water supply during the drier seasons.

Choose the Right Plants

Believe it or not, but the plants growing in your garden can have an impact on the way your lawn drains itself.  Plants like those from the hydrangea species can actually help to regulate wet soil whereas fuchsias and geraniums are better suited to white clay soil gardens.  Rodgersia pinnata is another must-have plant for a garden with poor drainage, and most forms of Iris sibirica thrive in moisture.  Investing in the right plants is also a good idea if all your best efforts to remedy a waterlogged lawn have failed.  Opting for a bog garden aesthetic may be the only way to go.

Dealing with a waterlogged garden need not be a life-long problem.  Some of these methods could be the perfect solution for your lawn.

 

Contributed by: Bret Szotak, foremost expert in landscaping and irrigation.

02 Jul 2018
rock-patio with outdoor furniture

5 Backyard Ideas to Improve Your Outdoor Space

Who doesn’t love spending some quality time with family in the beautiful greenery of a backyard? Having the chance to admire a beautiful garden through a window or a sliding glass door is an option that not many people have. If you’re among those fortunate few, don’t waste your opportunity for a beautiful view by – leaving your patio unkempt or abandoned, full of all kinds of grasses growing wild over rotting furniture and rusty pipes. A nicely furnished backyard is a wonderful place to spend some time with your children… if it doesn’t look like a junkyard, at least.

Even if you worked hard to buy a house large enough to fit a nice patio or a beautiful, lush garden, finding the right time to take care of it properly can be difficult if you have a busy schedule. Don’t hire a gardener though: there’s a lot you can do to make your garden look better on your own, and we can assure you that doing it is a self-rewarding experience on its own.

Buying new backyard furniture can often be a bit expensive as well, if you want quality. Companies that sell patio furniture sometimes ask fairly steep prices, even for the most basic wooden bench or garden edging, as it is often regarded as some form of “luxury”. However building your own furniture is much simpler than you can imagine, and DIY (do-it-yourself) is also a great way to involve your loved ones in a family activity everybody is going to enjoy. In this guide, we will provide you with a few simple tips on how to build some simple ideas that you can accomplish in a weekend.

1. Build a Comfortable Outdoor Kitchen

A great backyard isn’t something many people have, but it is definitely something many people would love to have. For this reason, if you enjoy the luck of having a nice garden, you can be sure that a lot of friends would love to spend some time in it if given the opportunity. And nothing speaks more of fun and friendship like a nice backyard barbecue!

Enjoying a beer with friends, and sitting on a plastic chair while you smell the smoke of freshly roasted meat is a great way to spend a weekend, an outdoor kitchen is a much better way to enjoy your backyard. The good thing about this idea, is that you can always ask your friends to help you out with building the necessary furniture. It’s in their best interest, after all: they’re going to enjoy your backyard for an indefinite amount of time.

Buy some river rocks and use them to decorate a concrete or marble countertop you will use for food prep. Add a fancy grill and a closed storage, and you’ve  got everything you need to get your outdoor cooking station going. If you got more time (and money) at your disposal, you can also add a refrigerator and sink, and a separate side burner.

2. Create Cozy Shady Spots

Imagine how much charm can be added to your deck and patios with just a few umbrellas, pergolas and retractable awnings. Adding some shade here and there will allow your exhausted guests to take a break when they’re done with helping you build your outdoor kitchen. And it’s also a great way to spend your lazy afternoons enjoying a soft drink or cocktail. Just look out for the most colorful ones, and match their colors to your backyard furniture to make it look even more stylish.

3. Build a simple wooden gazebo

A simple DIY gazebo is a great way to add a “luxurious villa” feeling to your backyard. If it’s large enough it can provide a rightful new room (albeit a small one) in your garden where you can sit down, change your clothes before diving into your pool or just relax yourself while enjoying your own garden view. Many prefabricated gazebos can be bought for cheap on eBay or Amazon, and with the right tools it’s fairly simple to assemble and install them, even if you’re alone.

4. Carefully place outdoor lighting

How much cozier your patio could became by just adding a few lighting sconces to it? A couple of properly placed porch lights to illuminate your house’s entrance can create the perfect intimate atmosphere. Choosing the right wall-mounted downlights and low-voltage lights can make your garden look much more hospitable, especially in the evening. You can also drape overhead spaces with string lights to add some fun to your nicer garden spots.

5. Build Your Own Trellis

Building your own trellis is incredibly easy and cheap: all you need is lumber, a hammer, and some nails. Decorate it with a nice collection of miniature plants, bonsais, or flowerpots to add a playful charm to your backyard.

These are just a few ideas to make your backyard look nicer and feel cozier. But feel free to use your own imagination and creativity to invent new unique solutions.

 

Contributed by: Brent Szotak foremost expert in backyard design and landscaping

16 May 2018
Backyard fun

4 Ways to Improve Your Backyard’s Fun Quotient and Beauty for the Summer

It can get a bit too hot on certain days, but if you live in North America, chances are that you generally look forward to the summer months more than the cold winters. Barbecues and pool parties are already starting in some sections of the continent, and in about a month’s time, they will be in full swing. On that note, here are five ways in which you can improve your backyard both visually and functionally for an upcoming, fun-filled summer.

Put in a HotTub

There’s just something about relaxing in a hot tub outdoors during the summer that’s extremely liberating, and if you have not experienced it yet, it is highly recommended that you do. With the help of Simpletoilet.Com, you will be able to find a hot tub that perfectly fits your needs and sets in beautifully with the overall décor of your garden and yard. To make it all the more special and give yourselves a bit of natural privacy, place the tub in a way that the branches of your trees form a natural shade over the top of the tub.

backyard-fun

Build a Treehouse

If you have children in the house, build them a treehouse and they will love it. It’s a private place for them far from the watchful eyes of the adults that almost all kids will cherish. The climbing will also help them build strength and coordination, while the added coolness of having your own treehouse might just help them up their social game. As an added bonus, treehouses can also increase the aesthetic value of your outdoor landscape when done right.

Add a Birdbath in the Garden

Adding a birdbath is quite a simple step but this little thing brings in multiple advantages with it. Not only does a well-placed and beautiful birdbath improve your garden’s aesthetics, but it has some serious benefits as well. Their droppings enrich the earth and the birds themselves aerate your garden soil while eating a large number of the harmful pests that can ruin your hard work in a matter of days. Besides, seeing beautiful birds coming and bathing in the birdbath amongst flowers while chirping away is probably the most ideal garden scene ever imagined.

Grow Flowers that Bloom in the Summer

Flower bed-planting-kelowna

Depending on the exact location we are talking about, the species of plants will differ because not all flowers can take the extreme heat in Florida or the harsher conditions in Texas. Nevertheless, pentas, plumbago, moonflower, hibiscus, blanket flower, verbena and king’s mantle are all good choices as they can usually take the heat and fare particularly well during summer months, as long as other conditions are met as well.

The idea is to improve your yard’s look and feel, without compromising one or the other, and these four ideas fulfill those requirements perfectly. Feel free to add some of your own and make the list longer, but just make sure that your garden doesn’t look over cluttered.

 

Contributed by: Oci Landscaping and Irrigation, experts in backyard design and function.

26 Apr 2018

5 Ways Lawn Care and Landscaping Pros Can Increase Your Home’s Value

 

Lawn care and landscaping are great for the environment and have been shown to boost your health. What’s more, they are efficient methods of increasing the value of your home

 

Whether you are considering selling your property in the future or you want to keep it in your family, a great-looking yard can boost your kerb appeal and tremendously increase your property’s value. And with the help and insights of a professional lawn care company, a healthy, great-looking lawn and landscape is within reach.

 

Here are five ways that experts in lawn care and landscaping can boost your home’s appeal and value:

1. They use the right tools

Not all yards are easy to work with. Some will require the use of special tools to make them look perfect. While you can rent tools to prune or remove trees and shrubs, it is always less stressful to leave this job in the hands of the experts. By investing in professional hedge trimming and pruning services, the job can be done in no time.

 

Remember that these professionals are equipped to handle various landscaping situations. They will visit your home and assess the situation, taking note of what tools are needed and how much time is required to perform things that are important before installation commences. In turn, this will make the job simpler and faster for property owners.

2. They have years of experience

The knowledge and experience of these professionals are the most valuable assets they bring to your landscaping project. With their years of experience, they can tell you whether you need to change your plan or not.

 

In fact, they may completely disagree with your plan, depending on the location of your home, the amount of sunlight your yard receives daily, and the availability of the land you have. They know exactly what will work and what will not in a particular setting. They also know what type of grass best suits your area and lifestyle.

 

Besides, it is not always about what you want, but about what works best to increase the value and appeal of your home when other people see it for the first time.

adding-curb-appeal-from-landscaping

3. Professional quality work is guaranteed

You would not allow, for example, just anyone to renovate your kitchen or install your digital TV antenna, so why let someone inexperienced work in your yard? Professional quality work must always be superior. Remember that your landscaping will only look best with the experts’ ability to provide high-quality work.

4. They can execute your landscaping design vision

Knowing that you won’t be responsible for the work and maintenance on your yard is what makes it more likely for you to choose a landscaping design that will complement your home rather than one that is easy to care for.

 

Time is a valuable asset. With professional help, you won’t forgo things that are most important to you just to keep your yard well-maintained. This job will be happily accomplished for you by lawn care and landscaping pros so you can enjoy the benefits of perfect kerb appeal without compromising or losing anything in the process.

5. They perform scheduled maintenance

Another way in which lawn care and landscaping pros can boost your curb appeal and home’s value is with scheduled maintenance. It will be a lot easier to maintain a yard when a professional is doing it on your behalf. Remember that these professionals are equipped to deal with any issues and to repair any damage. Also, they know exactly when your yard needs work.

 

It is easy for you to lose track of time and forget to maintain shrubs or water plants. And this can quickly cause your yard to become a bit overgrown or lifeless. Experts in lawn care and landscaping will ensure that none of these will happen.

 

Of all the improvements to increase the value of your property, lawn care and landscaping often come with the best benefits. Also, these offers the highest return on investment. But for this to be done properly and to get the most for your money, you have to hire the best professional lawn care and landscaping company.

17 Mar 2018
hardscape-living-space-kelowna

How To Build a Landscape You Will Love

If a fabulous landscaped property is your dream, but not your reality, then take these steps to build a landscape you’ll love.

First, bring in the professionals. A professional landscaper will have the education and experience to work with you in creating a backyard oasis to make the neighbours jealous.

backyard-patio

Beautiful Decks and Patios in Kelowna

Just like the couch in your living room, much of your landscaping will be designed around the biggest element of the space. In this case, that design element is any deck or patio that our space includes. If you do not have a deck or patio, but wish to have one in your backyard oasis, a great landscaper can build you one, or put you in touch with a professional company who can.

When determining what design of deck or patio will fit your space, also consider any walkways. When building a landscape, you will want your space to flow and considering where their walkways will be and how they will flow, is essential. Also, these pathways will create natural areas within the larger space, lending to smaller landscaping areas creating that one large landscaping area. A landscaper will also be able to lay out all the options for pathways that might include interlocking brick and stamped concrete to name a few.

Sometimes, while trying to plan out a great design space, a bad foundation can get in the way. If drainage is poor because of grading, your dream of a beautiful backyard space might be put on the rails. Retaining walls and a little grading will go along way in preparing your space for greater things.

Adding Water Features to your Backyard

A pool isn’t part of everyone’s backyard oasis, but that doesn’t mean water can’t play a great part in the design of your space. Ponds, streams and fountains, all add serenity and a feel to your design space that can’t be replicated.

Boulders and rock gardens add and fill a space, giving it an earthy feel and can play a big part in hiding or filling awkward spaces within a design. Stonework can define a space, separate a space and can even provide seating. Some rocks are even used as diving boards.

Planting the Right Trees and Plants for your Backyard

Adding colour to anything will bring it to life. Plant life will no doubt be the belle of the ball for your outdoor space and will play a significant role in the design. A professional landscaper will be able to introduce you to a plethora of plant life to suit your design, your budget, and your lifestyle.

The icing on the cake for any outdoor design is lighting. Once all other elements are in place for your design, your landscaper will be able to best place lighting in your outdoor space, giving it the beauty it deserves, even in the evening.

OCI Landscaping , can help you bring your backyard oasis to life. From hardscaping to decks and patios, we are ready to serve you in the Kelowna area.

 

Contributed by: OCI Landscaping

OCI Landscaping and Irrigation

928 Arbor View Drive
Kelowna, BC.
V1W-5B5

Phone: 778.214.2352
info@ocilandscaping.com
www.ocilandscaping.com

23 Oct 2017
rainwater collection ideas

Rainwater harvesting methods: Passive Collection Methods

 

 

Collecting rainwater and making good use of it, is a great way to support the green movement and a way to make our homes more sustainable. By catching the rainwater and storing it for future use we make sure our property and homes are safe. Whether you decide to use the captured water in or outside your home, it is a great way to make your home water efficient.water-conservation

 

There are two types of systems you can use to harvest rainwater, one being the active harvesting methods and the other the passive harvesting method. When you wish to use your collected rainwater inside your house for flushing the toilet or even for drinking (after the proper distillation of course), then an active harvesting method is the best approach and a good investment. If you are new to rainwater harvesting and you are looking for an inexpensive method then the passive collection method may be a better solution.

 

The passive harvesting system does not need any mechanical methods during the collections or distribution of the rainwater. No pumps, required filters or electricity are needed in order for this method to run effectively. It is simply a method that allows you to capture the rainwater and store it until you need it for your land. The design is simple, it can be built easily and it does not require a lot of investment. Passive systems are low maintenance and are able to function well in most landscapes.

Here are 4 methods how to harvest rainwater passively:

The rainwater from these systems is for outside use in rural and urban areas of all sizes. If you do however wish to make use of the rainwater in your home then a filtration and pumping system needs to be installed. If you wish to drink your harvest water from time to time without big installations, then a small water filter can be bought to make sure the water are clean before drinking.

– The Dry System:

This system is designed using pipes running directly from the gutter into the tank. These pipes stay “dry” after the rain as they do not keep water inside them. In order for this system to function properly, the gutter and pipes need to be higher than the storage tank. This is a very simple system that can be installed when you have a simple roof layout and no obstacles that will get in the way of the piping route. The water collected has a lower chance of being contaminated and water is considered higher in quality because water is never left standing still in the system.

– The Wet System:

In this system the pipes are located underground, running from the gutter and out into the harvesting tank. This is convenient in a case where the tanks are not directly next to the home or building. The pipes of the wet system often have water held inside, the pressure that pushes the water up and out into the tank stops when the rain stops. Water staying in one place for a while might get contaminated, but this can be solved by using ground water diverter, that will improve the water quality. This system looks more orderly as the piping is all underground and in case of obstacles on the route of the tank, this system can be easily adjusted to a more preferable route.

– Barrel:

advantages-of-rain-water-havestingWhen using a barrel as a harvesting method, then the barrel needs to be placed directly under the downspout of the gutter, directing the rainfall on the roof directly into the barrel. Gutting out the pipes makes this the least complicated and cheapest system. When it comes to watering your garden or for other activities outside that need water, the water can easily be taken from the valve at the end of the barrels. Using a hose or a drip irrigation system on the valve is also possible. These barrels are made easily and simple to set up. In the summer time to avoid mosquitos or other insects landing in your water, a lid can be used on the barrel and in winter times when freezing occurs it would be good to not use the system during that time to prevent freezing and cracking of the barrel. Make sure you use the proper barrel size as they can overflow when they get full.

– Green Roof

When replacing your old roof for a green roof, you are adding some green loveliness to your home as well as harvesting rainwater. In this way, you have plants on your roof that take advantages of the rainfall immediately. This method may be a bit more complex as the under roof needs to be protected by a liner and you still need to make use of a drainage system for the extra runoff. The best option is to divert the runoff water into a barrel. Not only are you using the water where it falls, but this is a great way to make use of all the space on your property and add some insulation to your home.

Helping along the water harvesting process in the garden:

When you are planting plants and trees you should make sure to place them correctly to manage the rainwater correctly. There are various techniques that can help you do this. One way is to shape your garden surface with soil and margins in such a way that can slow down runoff. Create paths, patios and planting areas that can be merged to direct the runoff to the right area. When choosing plants, you should opt for native ones that have a big water capacity in their roots which helps to minimize rainwater running off into the street.

Capturing rainwater is a great way to make sure you have healthy drinking water and it will save you money over time. Harvesting rainwater should be encouraged in homes throughout the world as it has major benefits towards the earth’s ecosystems. If this might seem like an overwhelming project to take on, then at least consider starting off small and simple. The simplest rainwater harvesting method would make a big difference on your water bill and will be a big encouragement for taking the water harvesting system a step further.

Posted by: OCI Landscaping and Irrigation

OCI Landscaping and Irrigation

928 Arbor View Drive
Kelowna, BC.
V1W-5B5

Phone: 778.214.2352
info@ocilandscaping.com
www.ocilandscaping.com

23 Oct 2017
tree-shrub-fertilizing-kelowna

Why Your Trees and Shrubs Need Fertilizer

Get excited folks, the holiday season is right around the corner. And with less than two months to go before Christmas Day, I would wager that a fair number of Canadians are already starting to plan out their Christmas tree designs and decorations. What a time to be alive!

While I’m all for a little early planning, I’m also here to tell you that there is a different kind of tree that needs your attention just as much as those festive evergreens; the ones that are already on your property!

Like anything else on your lawn, your trees and shrubs need proper nourishment and attention to flourish. In the wild, trees and shrubs instinctually grow where they have the best chance of success, often in areas with direct exposure to sunlight and less outright competition.

Unfortunately, the trees and shrubs on your property don’t have the same advantage as their wilder siblings, as they are often forced to share space with your grass, flowers, and other assorted plants. This makes applying tree fertilizer to them a much more critical task than people might think.

Here are the reasons for why your trees and shrubs need fertilizer, too. 

Tree and Shrub Care

Trees and shrubs require a mixture of 13 different nutrients for proper growth and development. Some of those nutrients, like water and oxygen, are naturally plentiful and easy to find. Others, not so much.

Luckily for you, OCI Landscaping has a deep-root feeding program called DeepFeed, created to nourish your soil and minimize natural and man-made stress around your trees and shrubs. The fertilizer is injected directly into the soil, as close to the root zone as possible,  and in multiple locations under and around each plant, giving your trees the nutrients they need to grow vibrant leaves and a full canopy.

While the best time to fertilize trees and shrubs is in the Spring and Fall, it is still okay to nourish your leafy friends in November or December, depending on your weather and the amount of leaves on your lawn. Just like your lawn in late Fall, trees and shrubs will continue to take in the vital nutrients that they need as long as the ground isn’t frozen.

Importance of Proper Tree Feeding

tree-shrub-fertilizer-best-practice

A healthy tree is a happy tree; but without proper nutrients they can become more susceptible to pests, diseases, insects, and bad weather. These can result in reduced branch growth, premature fall colours, and dropping leaves, making your once regal tree an eye sore for the whole neighborhood if not cared for properly.

Don’t let this happen. Providing proper nutrients to your trees and shrubs helps protect the plant and also accelerate their growth and potential. Fertilize your trees to make sure they look bold and beautiful on your lawn.

 

Contributed by: Brent Szotak professional landscaper and foremost expert on green things

OCI Landscaping and Irrigation

928 Arbor View Drive
Kelowna, BC.
V1W-5B5

Phone: 778.214.2352
info@ocilandscaping.com
www.ocilandscaping.com

16 Aug 2017
fall-yard-cleanup

Fundamental Fall Lawn Care Services

Autumn is just around the corner, and it just so happens to be an ideal time of year for lawn care!

Repairing Summer damage and preparing for Winter are best done in the Fall. Plus, giving your lawn a little extra love during September, October, and November will help set you up for success in Spring. So do your fall yard cleanup properly for maximum benefit.

Here are our top 8 Fall lawn care services.

Core Aeration

Fall is the ideal time for your annual core aeration, since the weather is cooler and the grass is actively growing.

When your lawn is aerated, a machine mechanically removes small cores of soil and thatch from the lawn, which are left on the surface to be reincorporated.

Aerating your lawn in Fall will help reduce soil compaction, control thatch, reduce insect & disease pressures, reduce summer drought damage, and make irrigation more efficient.

Overseeding

If you have bare areas in your lawn, Fall is the ideal time to sort it out.

Overseeding is recommended for home lawns at least once a year, and since the soil and air temperatures are still warm and rainfall is common, Fall is the perfect time to do it.

Overseeding assists by filling in and thickening up thin, weak, or damaged areas in a lawn. It’s a great way to introduce new grass species that require less water, less fertilizer, and resist insect & disease pressures.

Topdressing

Topdressing is a great way to add more organic matter to your lawn before Winter. If your lawn is lacking in nutrients, it will help rejuvenate tired grass and improve the condition of your soil.

Topdressing with a quality, weed-free organic mulch helps reduce water usage, increases your lawn’s ability to fight disease, and improves the results of your fertilizer program.

For even better compost infiltration, combine topdressing with your annual core aeration.

 

organic-topdressing-kelowna

Winterizer Fertilizer

One of the most important things you can do for your lawn is to provide it with the nutrients it needs to grow healthy.

Fertilizing in Fall with a custom ‘winterizer’ blend ensures good Winter hardiness and survival. It also helps prolong the lawn’s dark green colour and provide an early Spring green-up.

Lime

When soil becomes too acidic, the nutrients your grass needs to thrive become unavailable, resulting in unhealthy turf. The optimal soil pH for your lawn is between 6.5 and 7.5

Enhanced Calcitic Lime neutralizes acidic soil pH conditions, giving your lawn a better chance at taking up the plant essential nutrients it needs to outcompete weeds, lawn diseases, and insect infestations.

Fall is the ideal time for an annual lime application, since the lawn is actively growing.

 

fall-turf-lawn-care

Grub Control

Since white grub larvae begin to aggressively feed in the Fall, protecting your lawn should be in your best interests. Signs of damage typically begin to show in Fall, either from grubs feeding on the grass, which will start to turn brown, or from other animals digging into the lawn in search of grubs.

Damage from the beetle starts in the Fall and continues through Spring, until the beetle matures and escapes from the lawn.

Depending on provincial regulations, there are a number of grub control techniques to manage them. Other ways to assist in preventing the beetle from devastating your lawn is to keep it as healthy as possible. Regular maintenance and fertilizing is essential to maintaining your lawn’s health.

white-grubs-in-lawn-kelowna

Tree & Shrub Fertilization

Fertilizing your trees & shrubs helps to protect their beauty and promote their growth.

Our 2-visit Deep Feed service nourishes and feeds the soil around your trees & shrubs, creating a robust and healthy rooting environment which helps minimize man made and natural stresses.

 

fall-tree-shrub-fertilizer

Irrigation Blowout

For those that have an irrigation system, Fall is the time to start thinking about the off-season.

Professional sprinkler winterization prevents freeze-ups and costly repairs next Spring. Generally, it includes shutting off the main water valve, opening drain valves, and inspecting all sprinklers to ensure all the water has been discharged.

 

kelowna-irrigation blowout

No matter what your goals are for your lawn this Fall, our lawn care technicians will provide advice on how to get your lawn and landscape looking lush, as well as offering expert recommendations on our range of beneficial services.

Talk to the yard experts at OCI Landscaping and Irrigation to learn more about any of these Fall lawn care services, as well as other ecology friendly lawn care services catered for your yard.

OCI Landscaping and Irrigation

928 Arbor View Drive
Kelowna, BC.
V1W-5B5

Phone: 778.214.2352
info@ocilandscaping.com
www.ocilandscaping.com

11 May 2017
landscaping shady areas

What to grow and how to landscape shady spaces

 

An abundance of large trees аnd shady аrеаѕ in уоur уаrd саn bе a сhаllеngе to the сrеаtіvе landscaper, rаthеr than an оbѕtасlе tо gооd gаrdеnіng. Shаdу places thаt provide сооl, rеfrеѕhіng аrеаѕ оf bеаutу durіng ѕummеr’ѕ heat аlѕо саn contribute соlоr аnd interest tо thе landscape thrоughоut the growing ѕеаѕоn.

Gаrdеnіng in thе ѕhаdе doesn’t hаvе tо bе frustrating. Some plants wіll tolerate rеlаtіvеlу low light, аnd a few асtuаllу thrive іn it. Yоu can сhооѕе frоm аn аrrау оf flоwеrіng annuals, реrеnnіаlѕ, bulbs, аnd wооdlаnd рlаntѕ fоr соlоr. Many grоundсоvеrѕ do wеll іn рrоblеm аrеаѕ. In light ѕhаdе you mіght even be аblе to grоw a fеw hеrbѕ оr leafy vеgеtаblеѕ. Thе trісk іѕ to knоw whісh рlаntѕ are mоѕt likely tо ѕuссееd аnd thеn to gіvе thеm thе kіnd оf саrе thаt wіll іmрrоvе thеіr сhаnсеѕ. Yоu also hаvе to be wіllіng to еxреrіmеnt a bіt tо fіnd whісh рlаntѕ grоw best іn your раrtісulаr lосаlе.

landscaping-shady-areas

Fіrѕt, аѕѕеѕѕ how much light thе рlаntѕ will actually receive. Dеnѕеlу ѕhаdеd аrеаѕ bеnеаth large trееѕ оr undеr thе оvеrhаng of a buіldіng рrеѕеnt mоrе problems than dо ѕіtuаtіоnѕ оf раrtіаl or light ѕhаdе. Although partially or lіghtlу ѕhаdеd аrеаѕ rесеіvе direct ѕunlіght for оnlу a ѕmаll роrtіоn оf thе dау, light іntеnѕіtу іѕ ѕtіll ԛuіtе bright. There аrе numerous plant сhоісеѕ you can mаkе іn thеѕе lосаtіоnѕ, thоugh bу no mеаnѕ as mаnу as аrе роѕѕіblе wіth five оr more hоurѕ оf direct, full ѕunlіght.

Light іѕ not thе оnlу mаjоr соnсеrn when gаrdеnіng in shady areas. Frеԛuеntlу, іnаdеԛuаtе mоіѕturе can bе a рrоblеm. Thе thісk саnору of a large trее or thе оvеrhаng of a hоuѕе wіll асt as аn umbrеllа, deflecting rаіnfаll away frоm thе grоund dіrесtlу beneath іt. Wоrѕе уеt, trееѕ and ѕhrubѕ wіll соmреtе with smaller plants fоr еvеrу drор of moisture thаt rеасhеѕ thе ground. It іѕ vіtаl thаt рlаntѕ growing in the shade of lаrgе trееѕ and shrubs, or sheltered bу уоur hоmе or garage, be watered rеgulаrlу еvеn durіng times оf ѕееmіnglу аdеԛuаtе rаіnfаll.

Soil fеrtіlіtу аlѕо can be a ѕоurсе оf trоublе. Trееѕ аnd shrubs fill thе ѕоіl wіth fееdеr rооtѕ that greedily uѕе up nutrients as rеаdіlу as thеу аrе applied. It often ѕееmѕ that thе more уоu water аnd fеrtіlіzе, thе mоrе rооtѕ wіth whісh you hаvе tо соntеnd. Yеt аdеԛuаtе fertility іѕ an аbѕоlutе must for аll уоur plants bесаuѕе wіthоut it thеу аrе bоund tо bе small аnd thеіr grоwth wіll bе wеаk. In mоѕt саѕеѕ a spring аррlісаtіоn оf a balanced fеrtіlіzеr, followed bу оnе or twо аррlісаtіоnѕ аѕ the ѕеаѕоn рrоgrеѕѕеѕ, wіll hеlр уоur ѕhаdе рlаntѕ survive the соmреtіtіоn оf trее аnd shrub roots. If rооt competition іѕ a serious problem, planting in containers above grоund is a viable аltеrnаtіvе. Cоntаіnеrѕ should be rерlаntеd еасh ѕрrіng with annuals, ѕіnсе bulbs оr реrеnnіаlѕ cannot bе еxресtеd to ѕurvіvе wіntеr’ѕ соld.

Wіth fеw еxсерtіоnѕ ѕhаdе-tоlеrаnt рlаntѕ will do best in wеll-drаіnеd, rеlаtіvеlу fеrtіlе ѕоіl. Bоth ѕаndу ѕоіlѕ and hеаvу, clay lіkе ѕоіlѕ wіll bеnеfіt frоm the incorporation of оrgаnіс mаttеr ѕuсh as реаt mоѕѕ, compost, оr well-rotted manure. Suсh mаtеrіаlѕ аrе раrtісulаrlу hеlрful іn аrеаѕ оf hаrd, соmрасtеd ѕоіlѕ.

Annuаlѕ

Whісh рlаntѕ wіll be the ѕhоwіеѕt іn a ѕhаdу ѕіtuаtіоn? If you’re lооkіng fоr a соntіnuоuѕ display оf соlоr frоm late spring till frost, аnnuаlѕ wіll wоrk wеll except іn dеnѕе ѕhаdе. Flоwеrіng аnnuаlѕ do nоt blооm wеll іn heavy ѕhаdе; thеу аll blоѕѕоm mоrе рrоfuѕеlу аѕ lіght іѕ increased. Sоmе аnnuаlѕ, hоwеvеr, do better in lіght ѕhаdе than іn full ѕun, whісh mау fаdе соlоrѕ or саuѕе wіltіng thе mоmеnt thеrе іѕ аnу moisture ѕtrеѕѕ.

It doesn’t make sense tо direct ѕееd аnnuаlѕ for a ѕhаdу gаrdеn іn оur climate. By thе time thеу ассumulаtе enough fооd rеѕеrvеѕ tо blооm attractively, the grоwіng ѕеаѕоn іѕ almost оvеr. Plаntѕ саn bе ѕtаrtеd іndооrѕ from seed, but many rеԛuіrе several months’ grоwth under fluоrеѕсеnt lіghtѕ before thеу reach a desirable ѕіzе for рlаntіng outdoors. Plants grown fоr any lеngth оf tіmе on a brіght windowsill are іnеvіtаblу ѕtrеtсhеd оut аnd slow tо flower.

Bulbѕ

Sрrіng flоwеrіng bulbѕ саn bе planted in dеер ѕhаdе provided you trеаt thеm аѕ аnnuаlѕ, рlаntіng nеw bulbѕ еасh fаll аnd then digging them uр аnd dіѕсаrdіng thеm оnсе they’ve blооmеd. The bulbѕ you buу аlrеаdу have miniature flоwеrѕ inside. All thаt’ѕ nееdеd іѕ a соld wіntеr in thе grоund for thоѕе flоwеr buds to еmеrgе іn ѕрrіng. In оrdеr tо rереаt thе performance thе following уеаr, thоugh, thе lеаvеѕ muѕt rесеіvе full ѕunlіght for most оf the day untіl thеу die bасk nаturаllу. This builds uр food rеѕеrvеѕ fоr the next blооmіng cycle. Wіthоut еnоugh ѕunlіght, уоu’ll gеt leaves еасh year but nо flоwеrѕ.

Some ѕрrіng bulbs ѕuсh аѕ сrосuѕ, ѕсіllаѕ, ѕnоwdrорѕ, аnd ѕресіеѕ tulірѕ blооm and рrоduсе lеаvеѕ еаrlу enough, bеfоrе thе trееѕ lеаf оut, so thаt thеу rесеіvе adequate аmоuntѕ оf ѕun tо blоѕѕоm аnnuаllу іn a lіghtlу ѕhаdеd аrеа. Daffodils nаturаlіzе bеаutіfullу іn аn ореn wооdеd аrеа. Thе tubеrоuѕ begonia is another bulbоuѕ рlаnt that grоwѕ wеll іn lіght ѕhаdе, since its dеlісаtе blоѕѕоmѕ саnnоt ѕtаnd full ѕunlіght. Tubеrоuѕ bеgоnіаѕ аrе vеrу tender, thоugh, аnd muѕt bе stored іndооrѕ over the winter and not ѕеt out until frоѕt danger hаѕ passed.

Herbs аnd vеgеtаblеѕ

Some hеrbѕ, particularly thоѕе in thе mіnt fаmіlу, ѕееm tо dо quite wеll in a ѕhаdеd area, thоugh thеу рrеfеr light rather than hеаvу shade. Thеіr rеԛuіrеmеntѕ аlѕо іnсludе аdеԛuаtе moisture and rеlаtіvеlу fеrtіlе soil, which rules оut locations where trее rооt соmреtіtіоn wоuld be a рrоblеm.

Vеgеtаblеѕ аll dо bеѕt іn brіght sunlight from еаrlу morning tо nіghtfаll, but a fеw оf thе lеаfіеr tуреѕ саn be trіеd іn lіght or раrtіаl ѕhаdе. Thеѕе іnсludе рlаntѕ that are grown for grееnѕ rаthеr thаn fоr fruіtѕ оr rооtѕ. Vеgеtаblеѕ ѕuсh аѕ lеаf lеttuсе, ѕріnасh, Swіѕѕ chard, kаlе, muѕtаrd grееnѕ, аnd bееt greens will be thinner lеаvеd аnd less robust whеn grоwn in light ѕhаdе rather thаn full ѕunlіght, but they wіll be tаѕtу еvеn though their grоwth іѕ nоt luxurіоuѕ.

A fіnаl ѕuggеѕtіоn fоr mаkіng uѕе оf thе shady gаrdеn соnсеrnѕ рuttіng houseplants оut fоr the ѕummеr. Nеаrlу all іndооr fоlіаgе рlаntѕ wіll bеnеfіt frоm оutdооr grоwіng соndіtіоnѕ if they are protected from thе hоt mіddау ѕun, in such locations as a ѕроt under a trее оr оn thе north ѕіdе оf a house. Pots may bе ѕunk into thе soil tо соnѕеrvе moisture, but with frequent watering thеу аlѕо соuld bе ѕеt rіght on thе soil ѕurfасе, an іdеаl way to make uѕе оf thоѕе shade areas thаt аrе соmрасtеd wіth trее roots.

No dоubt уоu’ll choose a combination оf dіffеrеnt tуреѕ оf plants to create thе еffесtѕ уоu desire in the ѕhаdу areas оf уоur уаrd.

 

Contributed by: Brent Szotak from OCI landscaping and irrigation, foremost expert in landscaping design and maintenance.

 

OCI Landscaping and Irrigation
928 Arbor View Drive
Kelowna, BC.
V1W-5B5

Phone: 778.214.2352
info@ocilandscaping.com
www.ocilandscaping.com