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7 Must-Have Gardening Tools

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must have gardening tools to have a beautiful backyard

As the weather warms up, spending time in your garden will become a more frequent habit. Planting seeds, watering the flowers, observing the buzzing bees and hummingbirds and watching your plants grow tall and strong are all things to look forward too. To make gardening easier, more effective and even more enjoyable, consider some of the best gardening tools available:

1. Hand Rank

One of the handiest and best gardening tools you can have, a hand rake has many uses. It can be used to loosen up the soil, bringing much needed air and moisture to lower layers of the soil. To make sure that your hand rake lasts for a long time, consider buying one that is made of stainless steel or aluminum.

2. Trowel

This handy tool is a shovel with a pointy end and is perfect for breaking up the dirt and digging up holes. Look for a trowel that will last long and has a comfortable handle. Since you’ll be using this to dig, a comfy handle is important.

3. Shears

A lot of cutting and pruning is needed to make plants grow. A sturdy set of shears will make the process so much easier. You can use them for pruning overgrown plants, deadheading (removing dead flowers), edging bushes and shrubs and so much more. Ideally, you should have several pairs of shears in different sizes. You should have bigger ones for cutting the big plants and smaller ones for cutting the delicate plants. When you’re at the store, ask if you can try out a few pairs to see how well they cut and how they feel on your hands. Choosing the perfect pair can make pruning and cutting a more enjoyable process.

4. Gloves

Protecting your hands is really important when tending to your garden. A durable, well-made pair of gloves can be among your best gardening tools, protecting your hands from all kinds of things – dirt, fertilizers, thorns, thistles and more. And if you are allergic to certain plants or fertilizers, these can save your hands from getting irritated and keep them confortable while handling these things.

5. Shovel

Different than a trowel, a shovel is also a necessary tool for your garden. Shovels are good for digging and lifting heavier things, like gravel and hard, packed dirt. And like a trowel, you want to look for a comfortable one that will last you awhile.

6. Plant Sensor

An EasyBloom Plant Sensor is a perfect tool for novice gardeners and experienced gardeners alike. It is basically a stake that you stick in the ground of your garden. You leave this tool in the ground for a few days so that it can collect data. It then looks at how much sun your plants are getting and how much water your plants are receiving. After those few days, take the stake out of the ground and find the USB drive part of the tool. Stick that in your computer to see the data and even get recommendation about how to improve your garden.

7. Gardening Apron

This tool may seem like a non-necessity but trust us when we say that it actually is needed. When gardening, you have a lot of tools and equipment that you need to carry around. In any gardening session, you will probably use many tools. Instead of trying to juggle them all at once or setting the tools on the ground for you to trip on, you could put them in your handy apron. Look for a sturdy, well-made apron with big pockets. Any gardening store or home improvement store should have good options. You can even make your own if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. They service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Their fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn

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Top Plants That Thrive in Clay

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It’s no secret that planting in clay soil can be difficult – the clay becomes solid when dry and slippery when wet. When you are working with clay soil, you have two options: 1) Try to change the composition of the soil or 2) find plants that can thrive in this type of soil. Changing the soil composition is a long process that requires a lot of consistent hard work. Finding the top plants that thrive in clay, on the other hand, is easy.
There are actually many plants and flowers that do surprisingly well in clay. Try growing a garden with these adaptable plants:

Asters are daisy-like flowers that do amazingly well when planted in clay. They are very adaptable, usually bloom in autumn and grow 2-5 feet tall. Plus they come in a variety of colors, lavender, pink, white and more. Fun fact: they get their name from the Latin word for “stars.”

Goldenrod plants, in the Crown of Rays variety, are less than 2 feet tall, bloom in the late summer and have spiky yellow flowers. Other types of Goldenrods grow well in clay, but can grow up to 5 feet tall.

Russian Sage thrives in dry, hot conditions. In fact, this flowering plant does so well that some consider it to be an invasive species. Its lavender flowers and silver gray leaves make it a visually stunning addition to your garden.

Daylily flowers can grow in all types of conditions, making them great to plant in clay soil. They bloom several times throughout summer and come in a number of colors.

Little Bluestem is a North American prairie grass that can withstand long periods of drought with roots that burrow deep within the soil. It usually has blue/green foliage that turns crimson in autumn.

Fountain Grass is very low maintenance ornamental grass. The “Hameln” variety is shorter than other kinds, growing to about 2-2½ feet tall.

Ironweed is a tough perennial flower that can withstand drought and the summer heat. Its flowers are a pinkish purple color and even attract butterflies.

Canna can bring a tropical, dramatic vibe to your garden with its lush, colorful flowers and green foliage. It grows between 2 to 6 feet tall and can grow in poorly drained soils, like clay.

Black Eye Susan flowers can add a sunny, bright feeling to your garden. The most commonly grown variety is “Goldstrum” and is a bright, gold color.

Perennial Geraniums bloom in spring and can grow in full sun to part shade. They will continue to bloom throughout the summer, bringing lots of color and life to your garden.

Coral Bells, named for their small bell-shaped flowers, come in a variety of colors from silver to peach to deep purple. To see bright pink flowers set against silvery foliage, try the “Paris” coral bells.

Blazing Star is an interesting-looking plant: the small, densely clustered flower heads are feathery and colorful on long slender stems. Because they tend to look like feathers, the plant is sometimes called gayfeather.

Bee Balm can attract hummingbirds to your garden, and it is resistant to deer and rabbits. Its colorful flowers are red, pink, lavender and purple.

Sea Holly can add texture to your garden with its clusters of blue flowers and jagged leaves. This plant is also resistant to deer and rabbits.

Purple Coneflower attracts birds and butterflies to your garden with its colorful flowers. It needs a lot of sun to grow and comes in colors like red, burgundy and pink.

Coreopsis is a flowering plant perfect for covering the ground. It loves the sun and blooms in the summer.

As evidenced above by all these types of plants, clay soil is not death sentence to your garden. Plant a few of these top plants that thrive in clay and watch them grow into a medley of colorful plants!
Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. They service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Their fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

Best Landscaping Ideas for a Small Yard

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There are all sorts of conflicting information about how you can make your small lawn look bigger. However, one thing is for sure: what’s most important is that you can enjoy your yard as much as possible. Fortunately, you can make your lawn a hospitable retreat while at the same time creating the illusion of a larger space by creating a destination and focal point in your landscaping. Not sure where to start? Here is some of the best landscaping for small backyards to inspire you.

Channel the Coast

Even if you don’t have an expansive seaside estate, you can incorporate elements of the sea into your landscaping. Tall sea grasses such as sedge not only have a coastal feel, when they blow in the wind they create an almost wave-like texture. Boardwalk paths and a fire pit reminiscent of oceanside bonfires add to the beachy feel. Add in some low maintenance, low water plants, like succulents and palm varieties, around your grass to provide variation in color and texture, and one or more water or sand features to round out your coastal getaway. This is just one of many ways landscaping for small backyards can act as a way to transport you to a different location.

Oasis for Edibles

Landscaping for small backyards can act as an outdoor dining room while also providing a space to foster edible plants. Place an outdoor dining set in your yard, but keep proportion in mind. You don’t want a table that is so large that it will overwhelm the space. Whether it’s a full dining table or a breakfast table, make sure your table is the right size for your yard. Built in or extendable tables are a great way to get extra space with minimal use of space. You can also install a fold-down, murphy bar or build a bar out of cinder blocks for a space efficient drink serving station. For variety in vegetation, herbs planted in tiered planters and vertical wall gardens can maximize space without giving up precious turf space, and draw the eye up, creating the illusion of a larger lawn. Tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and figs are larger, but still space efficient edible options, which thrive in the Los Angeles climate.

Relaxing Retreat

Landscaping for small backyards can transform any space into a relaxing oasis. Outdoor beds, hammocks, loungers, and other seating and reclining options can provide a place to stretch out, while canopies or trees can create shade overhead. Outdoor grade throw pillows and blankets can provide an extra dimension of coziness. Don’t forget citronella candles and lamps to get bugs at bay and give off light for night time relaxation. Electrical string lights can top of your lighting needs while also adding to the cozy mood. Finally, border your lawn with tall vegetation, vertical planters, or decorative fencing to block out any unsightly views and close in the soothing and comfortable ambiance that you’ve created.

Warm Welcome

Take advantage of small front lawns by using them to create a beautiful and welcoming first impression for your home. Make sure views of the front door aren’t obstructed to draw the eye towards the entrance to your home, but use boldly colored or textured plants to line your driveway and pathways and to frame your front door. Put accents along the front fence or just along the front property line to enhance the appearance of depth and emphasize the full width of your lot. However, avoid large accent vegetation away from the edges of the lawn, which can create visual divisions and disruptions, to ensure that your yard maintains a feeling of openness.

Hire a Professional Lawn Care Service

It may seem like a smaller lawn is easier to take care of, but the reality is it just comes with its own set of problems. For example, damage from disease, drought, and more are far more likely to kill your entire turf, making it harder for you to recover your lawn than if you had a similarly sized damaged patch in a larger lawn. It is for these reasons why landscaping for small backyards isn’t always a breeze. Fortunately, a professional lawn care service like Lawnscape Systems, Inc. can help you keep your lawn healthy and gorgeous no matter how large it is, so that you and your family can get as much enjoyment out of it as possible. Whether you want to use one of our two lawn care plans to wash your hands of most or all of your lawn care, or just want our lawn care specialist to provide a few of our other additional services, Lawnscape can help. Contact Lawnscape Systems today to make sure that your lawn is taken care of.