Landscaping in Olathe with Native Plants

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.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cold Season Seeding

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.

Patience is Still a Virtue

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.

It’s Not All Good News

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.

Other Important Cool and Cold Weather Landscaping Tips

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.

 

 

 

 

Winterizing Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen Space

If the colder temperatures crept up and surprised you this past week or so, don’t despair! Instead, use it as a reminder that it’s time to take care of your Olathe outdoor kitchen spaces so they’re all safe once winter really hits and ready to enjoy once Spring comes again.

This is particularly true of outdoor kitchen spaces. If you want to be ready to grill burgers once the weather is more temperate, it’s imperative that you take care of your space and equipment now: make sure it’s cleaned, that water sources are turned off, and that each element is winterized. Keep reading for tips on each.

Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

Water and Winter Pipes Don’t Mix

Have an outdoor sink, refrigerator, or ice maker? Make sure to shut off the water supply to each (if you’re in the planning stages of designing your outdoor kitchen space, consider an indoor shutoff), drain each line, and either unplug or turn off circuit breakers that power these pieces of equipment. Letting water sit in pipes in freezing temperatures can cause pipes to crack or burst. Drain valves should remain open.

When you clean your refrigerator and ice maker, start by removing all contents, trays, and bins. Clean and then carefully wipe the interior to remove all traces of moisture—and don’t cover these appliances. Your intentions might be good, but moisture can build up and cause damage.

Remember to remove sink faucets and store them inside.

Not sure how to properly winterize your outdoor pipes for the winter? We’re here to help! Just give us a call or send a question.

Mind Your Surfaces

If you have stone countertops, be diligent about sealing the surfaces before winter hits to prevent stains, chips, and cracks. Remember that freezing moisture isn’t your friend and can wreak havoc on your Olathe outdoor kitchen.

If you have an outdoor grill, be sure to secure its cover securely. Same is true with sinks. Covers that fit well and are secured help prevent debris from accumulating and settling in drains and pipes; they also help extend the life of your equipment.

Plan Ahead

We know how cold temperatures can plunge in Olathe and the Johnson County area! Make like a grizzly and let your outdoor space hibernate. Moving things around can cause breakage—just think about how brittle everything gets when ice heads our way. The chance of damaging equipment is just too high, so once you have everything in place, leave it be until next Spring.

Have other equipment in your Olathe outdoor kitchen and want to be sure your space is protected well before the elements hit? Curious what an Olathe landscaper can do to improve your outdoor space? We’re here to help and love customizing our solutions to each client’s wishes. Call us at 913-782-1333.

Don’t Drown Them! How to Water Your Plants

Ask any Olathe landscape architect and they’ll tell you – watering your plants properly may be the most important part of keeping them healthy. Surprisingly, it takes a little more than continually giving them water to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

Watering your plants is an art and science. Done properly – you’ll have lush, lovely plants that’ll leave all the neighbors green with envy. If you don’t water your plants properly, you’ll have flat, stubborn shrubbery that fails to live up to its lush potential. And for goodness sake – don’t drown them!

 If you’re ready to keep your plants healthy and happy, here are a few quick tips to ensure you garden stays lavish and well watered:

On a Need Be Basis

Don’t water your plants all the time! You only need to water when your plants need it. If it’s been raining a lot, then stop watering so much. This doesn’t have to be rocket science. Too much water will hurt your plants.

First Things First

You’ll want to always water your plants first thing in the morning. Don’t let your plants sit outside in the sun dehydrated. If you forget to water in the morning, your greens will often look lifeless in the evening.

Tools Matter

Gone are the days of just dumping or spraying water on your plants. If you really want them to grow, then a soaker hose or drip irrigation system will work wonders.

Root Zoning

Always put a lot of focus on the root zone. The leaves don’t need watering. The roots do! You’re wasting water if you wet anything besides the root zone. You can also spread disease by watering the leaves.

Get Deep

Make sure the water gets deep down to the plant’s roots. Certain plants like trees and shrubs can feature roots that are over a foot deep. So you’ll need a plan to ensure water reaches these roots in a timely manner.

Mulch on Mulch on Mulch

You should be mulching everything on your property – from trees to gardens and more. Mulch reduces surface runoff and can slow evaporation that stems from the soil. This means mulch will help plants get more water.

The Olathe Landscape Architects You Need

This article could be alternatively named, “A Beginner’s Guide to Watering Your Plants.” We didn’t go too deep with this piece. We didn’t reach all the way down into our Olathe landscape architects toolbar with this one. We just wanted you to correct a few small mistakes we see happening all too often.

If you’re truly committed to keeping your lawn lush and your garden growing all year long (yes, even in the winter), then get in touch. At Huston Contracting, we specialize in providing the Olathe landscape architect services your lawn needs to succeed.