Do you think that Spring is the only time to plant native grasses and flowers? If so, you’re not alone—that’s a common misconception. But Olathe landscapers will tell you it’s simply not true. With a little bit of planning and preparation once the calendar flips to Fall, you can start establishing warm season grasses and native wildflowers before it’s time to decorate your Christmas tree.
In fact, with native grasses in particular, dormant season seeding (Fall, in this case) imitates natural reseeding. Once frost sets in, things change a bit: frost seeding (which is the spreading of seed over frozen soil after the first killing frost) results in some natural stratification—which means that the seed and seed coat change enough to enhance germination. There’s also good seed-to-soil contact because of the moisture frost brings.
Even though this can all be done successfully in the Fall and Winter, most germination probably won’t occur until Spring; the exception to this might be some cool season species. This is when working closely with an Olathe or Johnson County landscaping company can be especially beneficial; not only can Olathe landscape architects help you understand which plants are native to the area, but they can also help you determine when and where to plant for the best results. Curious who you’ll work with if you choose us? Learn a bit about us here.
There are disadvantages to seeding during dormant seasons. Seed loss is possible, usually due to decay and consumption by wildlife. Weeds can also be an issue—in fact, the best time to start preventing weeds is when the weather is cooler, before the weeds germinate and start to take root. Smart tip: take the time to mulch well. Not only will doing so hinder weed growth, but it will help the soil retain moisture and provide protection for seeds and soil.
Curious and want to know more about native Kansas plants? The best thing to do is to talk to an Olathe landscape architect or Olathe landscaper. Another great resource is the Kansas Native Plant Society.
What else should you be doing to make the most of these cool Fall days? Prune and trim perennial plants, shrubs, and hedges. Pruning trees can be a monster of a job—and sometimes it’s best left to a professional landscaper. Not sure if you should try it on your own or bring in an Olathe landscaping company? Ask us!
Once you’ve trimmed, make sure to remove clippings, branches, fall leaves, and other debris from your lawn. Why? Anything that covers your grass impedes sunlight, and when the sun’s rays can’t reach your grass, growth can be slowed or even stopped. This all leads to a lawn that looks more lackluster than lush—and might even leave dead or spotty patches in your yard.
Speaking of Mulch…
Mulch looks good, no doubt. But it also serves as a blanket of sorts for the soil and the roots below—and happy roots mean happy plants! Different areas require different mulch strategies; you want beds to have 1-2 inches of mulch, but you don’t want to cover the trunks of shrubs or trees. Once severely cold weather is imminent, tender and early-flowering plants will need extra protection. Consider staking around the plants and covering them with burlap to keep them as protected as possible.
Temperatures are starting to dip ever so slightly here in the Kansas City metro area, which means our thoughts turn to everything warm and cozy: sweaters and blankets, apple cider and pumpkin lattes, just to name a few. Just as this is the perfect time to switch out Spring and Summer décor for Fall colors and accessories in your home, it’s also the prime time to turn your attention to your landscaping areas, such as your lawn and outdoor living areas.
Just because it’s getting colder doesn’t mean it’s time to stay indoors! Take advantage of this time to not only bring some new color to your lawn and garden, but also to plan for the upcoming Winter weather. But first, here’s the trick to bringing all of the following tips together: sit down with a calendar and plan when, what, and how you’ll plant, tend, and maintain your landscaping as the weather grows colder.
How can you take advantage of this cooler weather to make your landscaping shine? Prune and mulch your perennials to be sure they’re as well insulated as possible before colder weather hits. Spend a sunny but cool morning planting bulbs, then make a schedule to feed and water what you’ve planted so each can spend the Winter growing and preparing to burst through thawed ground once Spring hits. Take special care with trees—studies show that trees planted in the Fall are more successful and the cooler weather means less watering and maintenance for you. The little bit of patience you’ll need now will be well rewarded once Spring comes again.
Here in Johnson County, it’s also wise to get a jump on weed control now, rather than waiting until Spring or Summer. Why? K-State Research and Extension Center explains that broadleaf weeds (think dandelions, henbit, and chickweed) germinate in September and October, then overwinter as small plants. You have to look closely to see them—they’re no bigger than a quarter. Taking care of those weeds now means the Spring and Summer proliferation that so often overtakes even the most methodically attended lawns can be stemmed before it starts. Be sure to choose your control method wisely; granular and liquid chemicals both work, but each has distinct advantages and disadvantages.
And this is why having a schedule matters: if you plant grass seed in the cooler Fall months, you shouldn’t treat your lawn with herbicide until those seedlings have been mowed two-three times. Taking a few minutes to think about coming weather conditions and how you’d like your landscaping to look once the snow melts.
Want to know more about prepping your lawn for cold weather? Have questions about what an Olathe landscaping company can do for you now and through the year? We welcome questions and would love to hear what you think. Send us a question or give us a call—we’re here to help!
Your Olathe landscaping is so much more than some grass and a few shrubs. In fact, the greenery is only one part of an amazing landscape. There’s just so much to it once you really dive in.
At Huston Contracting, we get questions all the time about how to make landscaping improvements with bad weather, what changes to make in the winter, and so much more.
4 Fun Ways to Spruce Things Up – Without the Lawn!
So, we put our landscaping minds together and came up with a short list of ways to improve your landscaping that have absolutely nothing to do with your lawn. Here are four of our favorites:
One of the best ways to make the most of your landscape? Add an outdoor kitchen to your home. Outdoor kitchens have been all the rage as of late. Why? Because they look absolutely fantastic when done properly and they’re functional.
With a full-scale outdoor kitchen, you’ll be able to cook, clean, and eat meals outdoors while entertaining guests. That’s a huge value to any home and landscape. If you’re looking to make a big landscape change in 2018, an outdoor kitchen might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
We may be biased here at Huston Contracting, but we’re huge fans of water features. There’s not much that can completely change the face of your landscape without working with green spaces. Water features are one of the few elements that can do that and so much more.
Koi ponds, pondless waterfalls, and natural creek beds are all stunning ways to alter your Olathe landscape without touching the lawn. While these aren’t quick fixes and require professional help, there’s no doubt your landscape will be upgraded once complete.
One of the best ways to make your outdoor spaces a place to gather and spend time with family and friends? Add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. There’s just something about fire that brings people together.
Whether wood burning or gas, your new outdoor fireplace will change your whole landscape. While fire pits look fantastic as a standalone piece, many add outdoor fireplaces to their outdoor kitchen for added benefit.
Sometimes you need to add some concrete to your landscape. It could be to create a patio or a sitting area. Maybe you want to create a walkway from your outdoor kitchen to your koi pond. It all depends on your needs.
No matter how you utilize it, concrete is another great way to change your landscape without much worry about the lawn.
If you’re looking to make Olathe landscaping improvements before the grass turns green, get in touch with Huston Contracting. Here at Huston, our professionals specialize in creating your dream landscape – no matter what that may be!
The first frost is right around the corner. The weather has took a turn. It’s getting colder. Fall is in full-swing, and winter isn’t far behind. For most people, this means hot chocolate and a little heat coming from the fireplace.
But you’re not most people. You’re a landscaper. You’re glistening green lawn is always on your mind. You want to have the best Olathe landscaping in the area. So you know that waiting until spring isn’t going to happen.
You need some winter landscaping tips to tide you over. Luckily, we’re Olathe landscaping addicts, too. It’s what we do best here at Huston Contracting.
With that in mind, we’ve detailed a few Olathe landscaping tips and tricks for those with a “green thumb” that don’t mind a little cold weather.
Let’s dive in:
Your fountains, ponds, and waterfalls don’t have to go lifeless in the winter months. When the rest of your landscape is lifeless, your water fixtures can provide needed movement.
Just grab a de-icer, an aerator, and water heater. Your ponds and waterfalls will be able to keep running year around. The continuous moving water will be an eye-catcher in the winter months when other landscaping elements don’t draw much attention.
You can plant flowers and plants that bloom around the wintertime, too. Not every plant around your landscaping needs to bloom in the spring.
Add some Blue Holly, Winter Hazel, or Camellia to your landscaping. These plants will bloom in the winter months, which ensures a little color around your lawn while it’s cold outside. Certain red berries also bloom in the cold and can look stunning in the snow.
What is hardscaping around your lawn? These are items like benches, chairs, garden fixtures, and outdoor kitchens. While plants often don’t grow in the winter, you can make any fixtures upgrades needed during this time.
Another benefit of upgrading fixtures in the winter? You can focus on focal points without all that lush greenery in the way. Many times, this will help homeowners find the ideal focal point for their landscape when the plants come back to life.
There’s a reason Christmas lights have gained popularity over the years. Because lighting allows us to add beauty and coloring to the landscape in the winter time.
However, there are other ways to add lighting than Christmas lights. Think about using different lights around your lawn to highlight certain aspects of your landscaping. This can add an impressive focal point to your lawn when done properly.
Finally, you can plan and prepare for the spring. There’s only so much you can do in the winter. As spring rolls around, you’ll have more landscaping opportunities. So take some time to think about your lawn and how you want it to look.
Next, get in touch with our team here at Huston Contracting. We’ll listen to your landscaping idea, offer suggestions, and see if we can help you create the Olathe landscape of your dreams in the coming months!
Olathe landscaping isn’t rocket science. If you can avoid a few big mistakes, your lawn will look greener than it ever has before.
Take a few precautions, and you’ll be well on your way to having the nicest lawn on the block. Now, before we dive into the details. You need to remember one thing. You must have a plan.
Your landscape is your home’s first impression. Without a solid plan, your home will look sloppy and unprofessional. Before you go planning out a design without the help of a professional Olathe landscape artist, let’s look at a few things you don’t want to do:
While planting new trees throughout your landscape can add a lot of value to your home, you need to careful. You don’t want to plant the wrong type of tree in the wrong area.
Don’t plant trees too close to your home. Make sure to continually prune the branches. Focus on planting hardwood trees instead of fast-growing trees. These trees will grow and raise the value of your home.
Many rookie landscapers make the mistake of planting a non-native plant or three in the wrong type of soil on their property. This ensures the plants don’t grow properly and often lends a hand to a sluggish looking landscape.
If you’re flexible, always choose native plants for your yard. Olathe landscaping can be simplified with this one step. Native plants will coexist with nature and grow quicker in the native soil. They’ll also require less maintenance.
When selecting maintenance materials for your landscaping efforts, the first thing you should consider is maintenance. While the look is important, you don’t want to be dealing with these items all the time.
Try to use things like gravel, stone, composite blocks, and other durable materials instead of woods.
One thing I see Olathe landscapers doing all the time is cluttering things up. You want to avoid clutter. Be selective. Don’t go overboard. Less is often more. A good Olathe landscape designer can often assist in these manners.
You never want to plant things at the wrong time of the year. Certain plants need tons of sun. Others need a lot of rain. Some need both.
If you’re in Olathe and looking for some assistance on a landscaping project, get in touch. Here at Huston Contracting, we strive to provide residents of this great city the best construction, landscaping, and design services.
While fall is here and winter will be arriving soon, it’s still a good idea to give a little love to your landscaping. You can’t afford to ignore your greens and goods before the first frost of the season. If you do, then spring won’t be pretty for your lawn.
Here are a few quick ideas from your Olathe landscape architect:
Flowers in Front
If you’ve ignored the front of your landscaping in order to create an oasis in your backyard, you’re not the only one. However, fall provides the perfect time to turn things around. Planting flowers in front will yield stunning results as spring rolls in. Greeting your guests with an array of flowers in front is a great idea.
Keep Em’ Hidden
Many outdoor structures don’t add much value to a landscape. Items like sheds, garages, hoses, and workspaces can be an eyesore. Hide them! Build a stunning display of plants and flowers around your outdoor structures and you’ll find your landscaping takes a turn for the better.
Plan For Future
Before you undertake a landscaping project, it’s important you consider the future. Plants and flowers grow. You need to anticipate their growth and plant accordingly. Think about future growth around your porch, patio, entryways, and gates. If you don’t, you’ll be forced to trim or cut some of your precious plants.
Focal Point Focus
Whenever you undertake a new landscaping project, the focal point of your yard should come to mind. Often, the focal point is a statue or a large tree. However, flowers, retaining walls, and more can also make stunning focal points in your landscape.
Grab a Tarp
Before you start any large landscaping project in Olathe, make sure you buy a big tarp. You can use the tarp to cover plants while coming home from the nursery. You can also throw debris and shrubs on it while gardening. If digging a hole, throw the dirt on the tarp instead of your grass.
When planting, you should always use starter fertilizer. You give your new plants a big boost by feeding them with some starter fertilizer. If you combine this fertilizer with great planting technique, your landscape is sure to look stunning.
Garden tools can be cheap, but they can also be costly. If you plan to have a stunning landscape, you’re better off spending a little more on your tools upfront. If you skimp on garden tools, expect to buy new ones more often than you’d like. Most find they actually save money in the long run by purchasing expensive tools.