Spring Lawn Over Seeding

Spring is the perfect time to over seed your tall fescue lawn.  This also applies to the “mixed” lawns that a lot of folks have.  These are the lawns that have a variety of different grasses in them.  This is a fairly simple procedure that starts with cutting the lawns lower than normal and applying the same type of lawn seed that best match’s your existing lawn.  If you’re not sure what type it is, just dig out a small piece and bring it in to ask the lawn and garden specialist where you plan on buying your seed.  Next you will need to apply the seed to your existing lawn in a drop spreader.  If you don’t own one you could probably buy one at the same store you bought the seed or most rental companies could rent you one.  If the seed is applied over any dirt areas it would be a good idea to buy a bag or two of seed topper to cover the seed in those areas.  This will help keep it from washing/blowing away or birds eating it.  Now make sure to water every day for 10 minutes for approximately the next three weeks and of course do not cut the lawn during that time.  After the three week period is up you will be ready to cut the lawn again.  Remember to keep you mower blade sharp and to cut the lawn up at a higher mower setting.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano, Ca.  If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.

Retaining Wall Options

If you have slopes on your property and are experiencing soil erosion toward the bottom, or would just like the look of  a small retaining wall, you may want to consider using 6″ by 6″ pressure treated landscape timbers.  The timbers are less expensive and easier to install than a masonry wall plus it adds a nice wood effect to the yard.  When building these small walls a footing is not necessary.  Simply level the soil and lay your first course.  The timbers come in 8′ lengths and can be stacked to achieve the height required.  A #5 steel rebar cut to fit thru the height of the wall and enough to go approximately 18″ into the ground is used to secure the wall.  Drill three to four holes per timber that are big enough to fit the #5 rebar thru.  Then drive the rebar thru the holes and into the ground with a steel mallet until the rebar is flush with the top of the highest timber.  This application is much easier to do if you have a second person helping as the timbers are a bit heavy.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano, Ca.  If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.

Irrigation System

Now that spring is officially here it’s a good time to evaluate your irrigation system.  I would suggest checking each valve individually thru the timer.  By doing it this way you can make sure the timer is turning the valve on and off properly.  After you turn an individual station on, go out and look for any leaks either in the pvc pipe or in the sprinkler head itself.  If the sprinkler head is not spraying in the area it should be, adjust it while the water is running so you can make sure it’s spraying where you want it to.  If the sprinkler is not spraying correctly it may have some form of debris in it.  If this is the case turn the water off and remove the nozzle, which is the top part of the sprinkler.  Many sprinklers have a screen under the nozzle and you will want to remove that as well.  Flush out both the screen and nozzle with water and blow thru the nozzle to make sure it’s clear of debris.  Then turn the valve on just long enough to flush any debris out of the sprinkler head.  Put the screen and nozzle back into the sprinkler making sure that the nozzle is pointing in the proper direction of spray.  Check the system one more time making sure your sprinklers are all spraying properly.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano, Ca.  If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.

Mulching

Early spring is a good time to mulch your planter areas. Covering the soil with a mulch helps keep the spring and summer weeds out, helps keep the soil moist after watering and as it breaks down it ads nutrients into the soil.  I would recommend a ground or shredded wood mulch and spread it around the plants at 1″ to 2″ thick, making sure to cover all the soil in each planter area.  Small redwood chips spread in the same fashion will also give you the same effect and will have a pleasant redwood/forest fragrance.  Another benefit of the mulching is that by keeping the soil moist below the mulch you can decrease your irrigation time and save money on your water bill.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano Ca. If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.

New Yard Lay Out

With winter coming to an end, if you have been considering re modeling your yard(s), this is a perfect time to get with a landscape architect or designer to put a new lay out together.  Because this process can take some time to finalize, it’s good to do it in the winter so that when it is completed you still have some time to select a landscape contractor and hopefully start the project no later than early spring.  Larger projects can take several months to install so by starting in late winter or early spring, you will still have several months of warm weather to enjoy your new lay out once it is completed.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. If you would like more information about this topic please call(949) 616-6381.

Trimming and Thinning Out

Late winter is a perfect time to do any trimming or thinning out of plants.  As plants continue to grow year after year they can sometimes crowd or over take other plants that don’t grow as aggressively. By trimming them back and thinning them out you can get them back to a manageable size and allow the smaller plants around them to thrive.  This also gives you an opportunity to remove the dead branch’s that are no longer benefitting the plant.  By doing this trimming process in late winter you will get the benefit of the new growth that will come in the spring.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano, Ca.  If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.

Fertilization

Lawn, shrub and tree fertilization is very important to the health of your plant material.  Healthy material is less susceptible to disease and will ward off insects better that unhealthy material.  A proper fertilization schedule would be one time per season.  Unless you have a very large property a hand held broadcaster is all you will need to apply the fertilizer.  For shrubs that are not planted close together or that are in a container, simply sprinkle some fertilizer by hand around the base of the plant.  I would suggest using an organic fertilizer as this will not percolate through the soil and contaminate the ground water like the chemical fertilizers do.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano Ca. If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.

LED Lighting

If you have a low voltage lighting system in your yard, and are interested in reducing your monthly electric bill to run it, you may want to consider changing the current bulbs with LED bulbs.  The procedure is not difficult to do and it will reduce the cost to power the system by up to 85%, not to mention the LED bulbs last a lot longer than standard incandescent bulbs.  The LED bulbs are more expensive to purchase but should pay for themselves within a year or so depending on how long the lights are ran.  If the bulb change out is more than you wish to take on, a qualified landscape contractor with low voltage LED lighting system experience will be able to help you with the installation.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano, Ca.  If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.

Fence Maintenance

If you have fencing on your property, whether it’s wood ,vinyl, chain link or any other, a good rule of thumb would be to check them annually.  Late summer is the best time to do this inspection as it’s before the fall and winter winds.  A sound examination would be to first check all the posts and make sure they are all still securely set in their concrete footings.  Next check the overall frame work and make sure all the connections are tight.  Finally check the fence boards, or wire mesh if you have chain link, and make sure they are secured to the frame work.  If you have wood you will also want to look out for signs of termites eating away the wood.

If you experience problems in any of those areas it is wise to repair them as soon as possible or hire a landscape contractor to make the necessary repairs.  If a heavy wind finds a weak link in the fence, it will blow it over and many times take other sections of fence with it.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano, California.  If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.

 

Rain Check Device

It appears that El Nino is here with its wet weather and a lot more rain forecasted thru the winter.  A great way to save running to your irrigation timer(s) to turn it off every time it rains is to have a Rain Check device installed.  This is a small device that is mounted outside and wired into your timer.  When it gets wet it automatically shuts off the timer and then in a couple days will allow the timer to operate under its previously set program.  This not only saves you the time turning the timer on and off through out the winter but it saves you a considerable amount of money as well.  Watering already wet or saturated soil or watering during a rain storm just sends your hard earned money running down the gutter.  With water continually going up in price I would determine that a Rain Check device would pay for itself with in two to three years, depending on the amount of rain experienced.

Sunny Hills Landscape Inc. is a landscape contractor located in San Juan Capistrano, Ca.  If you would like more information about this topic please call (949) 616-6381.