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Warm Weather Watering Tips

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lawn during summer time, summer garden tips

You’ve worked hard on your garden all year, carefully planting the seeds and dutifully tending to them as they grow. When warm weather rolls around, you want to do everything you can to protect them from the heat. The best way to guard your garden from the hot weather is to water them the right way. There are certain Summer gardening tips and guidelines to follow so that your plants can thrive in the warm weather.

Watering Schedule

Put your plants on a watering schedule. Set reminders for yourself to water the plants or program your sprinklers to go off at a certain time to make sure that you don’t forget. The best times to water your garden is in the early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t out. If you water during the day, most of the water will end be being evaporated from the sun, which is why it’s best to water at other times.

Water Strategically

One of the most important Summer gardening tips is to make sure that enough water is going down to the root of the plant. This is critical because the water needs to get away from the hot surface and the water needs to encourage deeper rooting for the plants.

To make sure that water is going deep enough when using a sprinkler, there is a simple test you can do. Take a small cup or container and place it in your garden or around your plants. After the sprinklers have gone off, see how much water was collected in the cup. There needs to be at least an inch of water to ensure that the roots are getting enough moisture. If watering your plants by hand, make sure that the water absorbs into the soil and that you are not just water the leaves/vegetation. Use a nozzle that creates a gentle, rain-like watering for your plants.

It’s important that the water stay in the ground too, and not just evaporate. Organic mulch, like wheat straw, ground bark and pine needles, can help provide a barrier between the hot sun and the wet soil. Just spread a 2-3-inch layer out and around your plants. With the mulch, you may even find that you have to water less.

Indicator Plants

An indicator plant in your yard or garden is the plant that is the first to wilt. You can watch this plant closely to see if your plants need more water. In general, more leafy plants, like a squash or cucumber plant, will be good indicator plants for your garden. However, in the heat of the summer, these plants may always wilt in the middle of the day. They should return normal, though, in the cooler evening hours.

No Wet Leaves

Many plant diseases need 2 things to survive: moisture and heat. Since you can’t do anything about the hot weather, make sure that you keep the leaves and vegetation of plants as dry as possible. If you water the plants yourself, this will be easier. However, if you water your plants with a sprinkler, make sure to water in the early morning so the plants have time to dry off before the heat of the day.

Heat Tolerant Plants

To set your garden or yard up for success, it may be best to just plant things that grow well in the heat. Depending on where you live and what the climate is, these plants and vegetables should grow well in the heat of the summer:

• Beans
• Tomatoes
• Eggplant
• Peppers
• Cucumbers
• Summer squash and zucchini
• Melons
• Okra
• Swiss chard
• Watermelon
• Succulents
• Cacti

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn. For more lawn care information and Summer gardening tips, contact us today!

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Spotting and Removing Garden Mushrooms

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removing garden mushrooms

Imagine looking out at your beautiful garden or lawn in your backyard. The green grass, tall trees and colorful flowers or vegetable plants make for a pretty picture. You worked hard to make it look beautiful, and your plants are thriving. Then, however, you spot some unwelcome visitors that have cropped up: mushrooms!

Whether it be because mushrooms might be toxic to pets or they look visually displeasing, most people will want to remove these fungi. There are some easy ways of removing garden mushrooms in your yard, and can be done in just a few hours or less.

The Main Methods

1. Prevention: Ideal conditions for mushrooms to grow are damp, dark environments. If there is too much moisture and not enough sunlight, mushrooms can easily grow and invade your lawn or garden. To prevent this, make sure that your yard can get plenty of sunlight. To combat the moisture, make sure that your yard has an effective draining system and do not over water. Also, make sure there is no dead or decaying plant debris, as the mushrooms could be growing off of that.
2. Vinegar: Vinegar is a great option to use when making your own fungicide. In a spray bottle, add one part white vinegar to 4 parts water. Shake it up and spray directly on the mushrooms. Acetic acid is an active ingredient in vinegar and is very effective at removing garden mushrooms. However, be careful when using this method as this DIY fungicide can also kill your plants and grass. Make sure to only spray on mushrooms and avoid spraying on a windy day.
3. Fungicide: A ready-made fungicide could also work to kill off the mushrooms in your backyard, and they are available at most gardening and home improvement shops. Make sure to follow the directions carefully on the bottle.
4. Removing: Perhaps the easiest method, you can always just pick them with your hands or a tool to remove the mushrooms. If using your hands, make sure to use gardening gloves for your protection. Remember to remove the entire mushroom, including the root.

Consider This Before Removing Garden Mushrooms

Before getting rid of these fungi, know that they could be beneficial. If your lawn or garden has an excess amount of dead plant matter and debris, mushrooms could be cropping up to help clear that stuff out. They are especially good at degrading the dead plant matter in your garden, and can even be a warning sign that your lawn or garden has too much debris. They also distribute your lawn with nutrients in their process of breaking down the debris.

Different Types of Mushrooms

There are a few different types of mushrooms you could be seeing in your lawn. Some are harmless, and some are toxic:

Horse mushrooms: The caps of the mushrooms are white with a yellow tinge to it. They grow to be about 12 cm high and 3 cm wide. These mushrooms are not toxic.
Meadow Mushroom: The caps of these fungi are also white, but the gill, the inner side of the cap, is a dark brown color. These are also not toxic to you or your pets.
Death Angel: As the name suggests, these mushrooms are toxic. The caps and the gills are both white, so watch out for these ones.

Whatever your reason is for removing mushrooms from your lawn and garden, know that it can easily be done in a few hours or less with these simple tips. Remember to regularly check your yard for decaying plant matter or debris and make sure your yard gets plenty of sunlight to prevent fungi from invading your lawn.

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

Creative Ideas for Shade in the Backyard

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With summer right around the corner, we will definitely be spending more time outdoors. Your backyard is fair game for get-togethers, barbecues, pool parties and relaxing with your family. However, nothing ruins the outdoors quite like too much sun, so having shade in the backyard is a must.

If you don’t already have shade in your backyard, it’s easy to shield areas from the sun. Creating shade in your backyard can completely change the look and feel of your yard, and make it a better place to entertain guests and spend your time. Consider these creative ways to add shade in the backyard.

Fabric and Tarps

By draping fabric or tarps you can create a restful, aesthetically pleasing space. Depending on what type of structures you have in place already in your backyard, you will have to get creative with how you drape the fabric. If you have a pergola or slatted ceiling, for example, it could be as simple as laying a tarp across the structure. If you have a deck, you can anchor the fabric to the deck railings to create a canopy. Make sure you choose a fade resistant and water resistant fabric or tarp specifically made for the outdoors.

Umbrellas

Perhaps the easiest way to create shade, a patio umbrella can make a great addition to your yard. They are available at most hardware and home decor stores, and you can match them to patio furniture to help keep dining outdoors cooler and more enjoyable. Drinks and appetizers in your backyard never sounded better!

Umbrellas are also mobile, meaning that they can move with you wherever you go. Whether you’re hanging out by the pool or tending to your backyard garden, an umbrella has you covered.

Pergola

A pergola is another great way to help create shade in the backyyard. It can help filter out sunlight and provide an architectural point of interest in your yard. There a ton of options depending on your style and budget and are available at most home décor stores. There are even DIY tutorials so that you can make your own.

Since a pergola doesn’t provide a completely shaded area, you can always use a tarp or fabric draped across the top to completely cover your space, as mentioned above. A pergola gives you more freedom when it comes to creating shade, allowing partial sun to warm you up on cooler days and the option to create total shade to cool you down on warmer days.

Natural Shade

This vine has a mythical look that can make a beautiful addition to your backyard. You can train the vine to grow and cover a free standing structure or a pergola to create an oasis of shade. Wisteria is a high climbing vine that droops in clusters of lilac flowers. It blooms in the spring, but the vines and leaves can provide shade year-round. It needs to be planted in fertile soil with full access to sunlight and can be trained to grow along a structure. Because wisteria can grow quickly, it is best to plant it in an area without other plants as it may overtake their area.

Trees are another great source of shade for your backyard. They are naturally cooling, and can provide a nice focal point if your yard is bare. You should choose a fast-growing tree that is suited for your area. Since trees can last a long time, you want to make sure you choose the right kind for your climate and one that fits your style. Rather than just going to a nursery to pick out a tree on the spot, take some time and research different kinds of trees that will do well in your yard.

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