August is a maintenance month for landscapers and gardeners. It is time to ensure your landscape is well-watered, weed-free, and looking good heading into fall. Below are a few of our August landscaping tips.
Plant Fall Perennials
Are you looking for more colors to carry you into the fall? Plant your fall perennials to keep your garden looking fresh. Chrysanthemums, sedums, Japanese anemones, and echinaceas are excellent choices.
Many herbs should be harvested this month to use during the coming year. Although most herbs are fresh and fragrant for many months, they often hit their peak in late summer. Harvest in the early morning after the dew dries but before the day heats up. Herbs can be dried or frozen or incorporated into recipes.
Both annual and perennial weeds will start producing seeds now. If left unchecked, these can become extremely difficult to eliminate. The best time to weed is right after rain when the soil is still moist. If there is no rainfall, water your garden the night before you start weeding. You can pull weeds by hand or use a hoe. Just be sure to remove the entire plant including the roots.
Continue to deadhead annuals for more blooms. Consider adding a few more annuals to make it until fall.
Container gardens will require fertilizer this month. One handful of fertilizer is equivalent to one tablespoon. Containers may need extra watering to look their best on hot days.
Be sure to keep evergreen trees and shrubs hydrated along with young trees and other plants. Sections of lawns that border driveways and sidewalks may need more water due to the added heat of concrete. Make appropriate adjustments to your irrigation system depending on the weather during the month.
While midsummer is marked by long evenings, BBQs, and time spent outdoors, it’s also a critical time to check up on tree health after a season of intense winter distress. The consequences of a prolonged cold season can be quite serious and aren’t always recognized from the ground unless you know what to look for.
Greg Irwin, Frontier’s ISA-Certified Tree Service Manager, shares: “After an abnormally long winter and short spring, we’re observing excessive rapid growth and full flushing of foliage on many trees. Our top recommendation for most situations is to have trees trimmed for thinning and perform crown reduction for weight issues, structure and balance.”
Winter Distress: What to Look For
Trees That Look Abnormally Full
In years when winter is unusually cold, long, and intense, trees’ dormancy periods are extended – sometimes as much as a month to six weeks longer than average. When the severe winter is followed by a short spring, the result is a near “shock mode” of explosive foliage.
Look over your trees during or just after a rainfall. Do you notice them hanging atypically low, sagging down further than normal? This heavy bowing is likely the result of extra weight from an excess of foliage.
Trees Encroaching Heavily on Other Trees & Shrubs
Are you observing significant encroachment of your trees on other trees and shrubs, even if you had them pruned last year? Clearance issues are common as branches hang low over houses, driveways, and sidewalks.
Bending, Bowing, and Breaks: What’s At Stake
While cabling and bracing can offer partial solutions, the increase in foliage after a prolonged winter puts even small limbs at risk of breaking due to extra weight, on almost any tree species. While larger limbs won’t break, they may bow out so far that they can’t be cabled and will have to be removed.
For large tree sections or limbs that were previously compromised or had beginnings of decay, rapid growth and the resulting excess weight can increase the stress on poor attachments tenfold. Healthy trees are at risk, too, as the weight alone can cause breakage for many ornamental varieties.
Birch trees are particularly susceptible due to their growth habits. If bowed limbs are not straightened up and cabled promptly, they may fail entirely.
Hidden Issues in Healthy-Looking Trees
While bowing and sagging are easy to identify from the outside, other problems remain hidden and can catch you with troubling surprises later.
When a short spring and warm summer follow an extended winter, the speed of new growth can do quite a number on your trees from the inside out. As the growing season progresses, an abundance of internal suckers can create an environment that seriously affects the health of your tree overall.
Additionally, an exponential increase in new leaves means that autumn cleanup is going to be markedly more work than a more typical year as the litter layer dies and falls off. While this isn’t hazardous, a good pruning treatment is smart. Left unchecked, the amount of leaf drop can be doubled in volume, which means twice as much work to clean up later on.
Rescuing Your Trees From Winter Distress: What To Do Next
Call Frontier Tree Service to schedule services for your trees. Our highly-trained ISA-Certified arborists will expertly evaluate your situation and make the very best recommendation for the health and safety of trees around your home or business.
ISA certified arborist, Greg Irwin
“For the 2017 season, our top recommendation for most situations is to have trees trimmed for thinning, as well as perform crown reduction for weight issues, structure and balance.” – Greg Irwin, ISA-Certified Arborist and Frontier Tree Services Manager.
Frontier Tree Services include:
- Ornamental pruning
- Tree, shrub, and stump removal
- Cabling and Bracing
- Risk Assessment
- Diagnosis & Treatment
- 24/7 Emergency Tree Services
Call (360) 574-4125 or send us an email to arrange a consultation today.
Learn more about proper tree care by visiting the Frontier Landscaping blog.
Dry creek beds provide attractive, functional relief, especially if your landscape is plagued by standing water. In the wet PNW, drainage problems are a common headache. Do any of these sound familiar?
- Flooded flower beds
- Pooling water below a deck
- Swampy places in the lawn
- Puddles around a foundation
Leaving drainage issues unaddressed has serious consequences, from dead lawn and plants to costly repairs and decreased property value.
The Good News
Frontier Landscaping has years of experience designing and implementing features that effectively carry water away from problem areas. Dry creek beds are star performers, particularly in sloped terrain. They work twice as hard for a landscape by running water from Point A to B, and standing alone as an attractive feature in drier months of the year.
“Even property owners with no landscape drainage issues may choose to install a dry creek bed due to the elements of natural beauty in the way they look.”
Controlling Water Flow
Dry creek beds are an excellent choice for addressing places in the landscape that are hard-hit by heavy rains. While a flat place in the yard may benefit more from a simple lawn drain, gradients and hillsides need the water capacity and speed that a dry creek bed can provide during extreme conditions. Effectively redirecting the flow of water saves you from ongoing erosion and long-term damage.
When property owners are looking for a greener way to landscape, dry creek beds play an exciting role. Different-sized rocks, boulders, and choice plantings give eye-pleasing texture to outdoor spaces, but require much less water than an expanse of lawn. While bark dust alone can look flat, a dry creek bed introduces definition and contrast. It’s aesthetically pleasing and earth-friendly — a winning combination.
Dry Creek Beds for Natural Beauty
We regularly install dry creek beds to add natural beauty to a landscape. Expertly balancing a few key ingredients (a natural shape, native plantings, multiple sizes of stone) brings a natural, organic flow to an area. The results are breathtaking in any season, wet or dry.
No two landscapes are exactly alike, and the solution that works for one may not work for another. While dry creek beds are particularly suited to slopes and hillsides, they aren’t usually the best choice for flat ground.
Other elements, like French drains, catch basins, and lawn drains also have a part to play — and that’s just the beginning. Frontier’s installation team has years of experience solving drainage problems for local property owners.
French drain pipe (L), installed as a garden path (R).
French drains are a functional solution for flat terrain and less water. They often have a part to play in designing an overall solution for moving water in a landscape. Read more about them here.
Ranging in size from 6 to 24 inches, catch basins can be square or circular. These grated drains are typically placed alongside a driveway or in a low or sloped spot in the yard or hardscaping, like a patio. This is a straightforward fix for diverting water away from wet spots. A blend of rocks around it allows the catch basin to blend in with the landscape.
From basic to beautiful, there are many combinations of elements we can put to work that provide an effective long-term solution for landscape drainage issues in your landscape.
Ready to learn how can we help you solve your standing water problems? Call (360) 574-8979 or email us for a consultation. We’ll work with you to protect your landscape with the right landscape drainage solutions to meet your needs.
Find more inspiration for dry creek beds and landscape design by visiting us on Houzz!