Fall Yard Clean-Up

Fall can be a great time to get some yard cleanup done to help protect your landscape from insects and disease and prepare your lawn and garden for a healthy start next spring. Watch the video for some tips.

Simple Ideas for Front Yard Landscaping

When it comes to landscaping, every space will be unique and will thus be a little bit different from the next. Get tips on landscaping for beauty and functionality with help from a horticulturist and landscape designer in this free video series.

child-friendly gardening

Create a Child-Friendly Garden & Teach Children Garden Safety

Small children (4 to 10 year olds) want to know ‘the whys’ and ‘how comes’ of everything. Their minds are like little sponges that absorb everything they can take in and process. This is an ideal age for adult gardeners to start teaching children everything there is to know about gardening. Planting a seed of gardening knowledge and respect in a child’s small mind hopefully will, help them bloom into an expert master gardener.

Safety Issues

gardening tools

The first and most important thing an adult gardener can do to have a child-friendly garden is to teach a child about gardening is safety. There are many dangers associated with gardening and this should be the number one priority of an adult when passing on gardening knowledge to a child. Gardening tools, with their sharp edges need to be locked up. Just placing them out of reach is not a good option, as children will find things to stand on in order to reach them, such as using that plastic bucket you use in the garden. Adult gardeners need to teach children that these tools are not toys. A good way to introduce small children (under 6 years of age) to gardening tools is by getting them their own set of toy gardening tools, and demonstrating how to use them the proper way in an area of the garden where they can do no damage.

Another safety concern is fertilizers and pesticides, which should also be locked up, even organic brands. Under no circumstances should young children be around or allowed to handle any gardening chemicals. Age 12 or older (depends on the maturity and gardening knowledge of the child) is about the right time to instruct them on the proper use of chemicals, stressing caution, and proper handling techniques.

Small children demonstrate what they see, in that if they see you pick up a tomato from the garden, wipe it off, and take a bite (do not do this), they will too. Small children may not know the difference between an eatable vegetable and plant, and place the wrong thing in their mouths. Instruct children that under no circumstances are they to eat anything from the garden, unless they show it to you first. I somewhat avoid this issue by never planting anything in my garden that might be considered dangerous if touched or swallowed.

With small children around, plants need to be kid-friendly. If possible, avoid adding plants that have thorns or prickly leaves to your garden and make sure children wear adequate footwear in the garden at all times.

What can Children do in the Garden?

child-friendly garden

Many things. I have mixed feelings about giving a small child their own area for a garden in that if it does not do well, the child will be disappointed. On the opposite side, if the child helps you in your garden, there is a chance that your garden will not do well. I have found the best solution is to give them an end of a row near the edge of a garden that has been made child-friendly. Example – you have three rows of beans. Mark off one to two feet of one row with fabric strips tied to paint sticks, and tell the child this is their area. If the area appears to be not doing well, you can always dig up the plants and move the sticks, and more than likely the small child will not know the sticks have been moved. This may be deceitful, but it does not really hurt anyone.

Small children can also, with the help of an adult, plant seeds, water the garden, and pull weeds. They can pick ripe vegetables, wash them, and even help prepare them for eating.



Gutter Covers – Do I Need Them?

Gutter Covers – Do I Need Them

Cleaning your gutters out is one of the most unpleasant yardwork jobs you can imagine. Avoiding this is a top priority to many, especially if there are one or more large trees around your home!

Gutter Covers can help with the issue of frequent gutter cleaning because they keep debris from getting into the gutter itself. But, who are they really meant for? Installing gutter covers isn’t necessary for every home, although it can be useful for many people. Are you one of those people or not?

If you live in a wide open area or an area without a lot of rainfall than there is little need for you to invest in gutter covers for your home. The main obstacles for clean and efficient gutters are leaves from trees or bushes, bird’s nests and other animal nests, and clumped up dirt.

Many open areas are not exposed to a lot of these gutter clogging elements, and areas with low rainfall may not push all of this stuff into the gutters in the first place.

However, anyone living in a yard with trees close to the home (within 30 – 50 feet), frequent bird nest situations in your gutters, other critters living on or around your home that might climb in the gutters, or a higher than average amount of dirt or dust than gutter covers might be a good idea for you. These covers can help to keep your main home gutters clear and functional by blocking the debris and animals from entering while allowing water to flow freely through.

Benefits of Gutter Covers

Below are listed the main benefits of installing gutter covers. There are a few different types of gutter covers to consider, and each one has its own merits and uses. This list of benefits covers the general use of gutter covers as a whole, not one specific type or another.

  • Keep large leaves and debris out of your gutters
  • Less frequent need to clean out your gutters
  • Easier gutter cleaning when necessary
  • Able to be added to your existing home, no new gutters necessary
  • Avoid some early issues with gutter damage

Disadvantages of Using Gutter Covers

Nothing is without its flaws. Gutter covers do have some disadvantages, most of which are summed up here:

  • Can block heavy water flow
  • Some types are expensive to buy and install
  • Small seeds and dirt can still get into the gutters in most cases


It’s not every home that needs to install gutter covers around the edges of the roof. Mainly any home dealing with frequent seasonal or year-round clogged gutters. Gutters that are clogged too often can become damaged over time as water builds up and causes rust and damage more quickly than it should.

Likewise, if you want to avoid cleaning out gutters on your own than gutter covers also make sense for you. There is still some small maintenance required to clean the covers, but it’s far easier than cleaning actual gutters and will save you the cost of more frequent professional calls for cleaning your gutters.

Overall, it can be a good investment for people dealing with the right issues and the savings on professional gutter cleaning (not to mention time spent by home-owners cleaning gutters) can be paid back within a few short years.






Should you hire a landscaper?

Having an idea in mind and implementing it are two different things. Unless you are an expert landscaper, implementing your yard design ideas might be next to impossible. You should definitely hire a landscaper if you want your ideal designs or any other design to be implemented and be admired by other people.

There is no need to mess up your beautiful home by trying DIY landscaping that you have no idea how it should be done. If a landscape design is complicated and requires a skill that you do not have, it is wise to use the expertise and experience of an expert.

Experienced landscape experts have the knowledge and skill needed to implement even the most difficult landscape plans. It is also good to hire a landscape expert because they will certainly help you make good decisions that involve techniques that you do not understand.

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How to choose a landscaper

  • Money is the main factor that prevents people from hiring landscapers in the first place. You should discuss your budget with your preferred landscape company before they start work. A good budget should be able to cover all the expenses for the stipulated period that the project is expected to take.
  • Apart from the budget, other things that should be agreeable by both parties are the terms of service. Do you agree to their terms and do they agree to your terms? You should clearly state what you expect them to do and what you do not expect them to do as well. They should meet your budget goals within the stipulated period.
  • The safety of your property. Landscaping might include moving of heavy machines that might affect your plants and even building. You should know what measures they have set to ensure the safety of your property and even their machines. A good company should be fully bonded and insured in case of any eventuality.
  • Which specific specialist do you need and do they have that specialist? There is a great difference between a landscaper, landscape architect, and landscaper designer. If you need someone to do your normal maintenance, then you should hire a landscaper. If you need someone to come up with a blueprint or improve on an existing one, then you should hire a landscape designer. And if you totally have no clue on what landscape you need, then you should hire an architect.

Landscaping is not a walk in the park; even if you are hiring a professional to do it .You should be focused and clear on what you want. If you have an idea of what you want, thebetter, but if you do not know what you want, then you should be very careful and hire the best experts in order to get the best results.





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