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10 Best Warm Weather Plants that Thrive in the Summer

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The best part of gardening and growing your own plants is seeing the flowers bloom and plants thrive. When summer comes around though, some of your favorite plants may not be up to the warm weather.

We all know that cacti and succulents do amazingly well in the hot weather because of their makeup. However, there are more warm weather plants than just these to add to your garden. For some variety and color, try one of these warm weather plants and flowers:

1. Asters: These tough perennials are sure to brighten up your garden in the summer. They come in colors like lavender, pink and white, and they look like daisies. If you take care of them diligently, you should see them bloom throughout the summer into the fall. The best varieties are A. cordifolius “Cape Cod,” A. c. “Little Carlow” and A. novi-belgii “Melody.”

2. Dhalias: These flowers are beautiful and bloom in a range of colors. They grow from tuberous roots, and come in pink, coral, red, orange and yellow shades. Just make sure to give them light shade if you are in a particularly hot climate.

3. Gaura: G. lindheimeris, or commonly known as Guaras, are unique flowers to add a point of visual interest to your yard or garden. They form white flowers on top of tall spike-like stems and are between 2 ½ to 4 feet tall. Try the Siskiyou Pink version for a 2 foot tall stem with rosy pink flowers. Or try the Whirling Butterflies variety for a 3 foot stem with white flowers on top.

4. Purple Fountain Grass: This type of grass looks great in most yards and gardens, and it really stands up to the heat. It has feathery, rose colored plumes that fade into beige on the way down. They sit on clumps of reddish brown foliage. This grass is a nice way to break up your flowers and add a nice flow to your garden.

5. Penstemon: With lots of small, trumpet shaped flowers growing on a single, green stalk, this plant should make a great addition to your yard for the summer. They come in a variety of vibrant shades, like deep purple, scarlet, pink and white.

6. California Poppy: Scientifically known as Eschscholzia Californica, this plant is the official flower of California for good reason. First, it thrives in dry, non-rich soil. Second, it comes in a variety of beautiful colors: red, pink, orange, yellow, and cream. It grows between 6 and 15 inches tall, and is best when directly sown – it does not take to transplanting well. For coninious bloom, remove any dead flowers.

7. Lantana: This flower blooms annually during the summer and grows to be between 1 to 6 feet tall. It comes in many different colors: red, pink, orange, cream, lilac, purple, white and bi-colors. Two things to know about these flowers: they need to be planted in non-rich soil and in areas where temps stay above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Petunia: These bright and cheerful looking flowers do well in dry climates, with little rain or humidity. They grow in bright colors, and are between 6 and 24 inches tall. To get them to bloom all season, continuously remove any dead flowers.

9. Portulaca: Rose moss is a small flowering plant, clocking in at about 4-8 inches. It comes in red, magenta, pink, salmon, orange, yellow, and white. It loves dry heat, so it will not do well in humid climates.

10. Tagetes: These flowers are a variety of marigolds, and can grow anywhere between 6 inches and 4 feet tall. They come in warm, autumn colors like maroon, orange, yellow, and cream. For the best results, grow from a seed in non-rich soil and deadhead continuously.

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.

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How to Re-Mulch Your Yard the Right Way this Summer

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Wheelbarrow full of compost on green lawn in garden.

Keeping your garden in the best shape possible is hard, rewarding work. And there is one secret that most gardeners know to keep their garden in the best health: re-mulching. The benefits of learning how to re-mulch your yard periodically are huge, and can help keep your plants happy and thriving.

Why Re-Mulch

There are a few major benefits of re-mulching your garden:

• The biggest benefit is cleaning out the old mulch and bringing in fresh mulch. You want to make sure that the mulch in your garden is fresh, and this process helps clean out the dead pieces.
• Re-mulching also allows more air, moisture and nutrients to get to the plants and their roots. During the re-mulching process, you turn over the old mulch and remove the worn down pieces, which helps get more of the air, moisture and nutrients get distributed throughout your garden.

How to Re-Mulch Your Yard

Before you start re-mulching, make sure that there is less than 3 inches of mulch on your garden already – mulch that is over three inches deep is not effective and does more harm than good. You also should turn the old mulch using a pitchfork, metal rake or garden weasel. This will allow it to air out, and allow water and nutrients to reach the plants.

Once the existing mulch is mixed up, then lay a light top layer of fresh mulch on top. A light layer of one inch is all that is needed, and, again, never apply over three inches. You want to avoid covering perennials and leave between three-six inches between trees and shrubs and mulch. When you reach the edge of your lawn, make sure the level of mulch is same as the level of your lawn.

Do’s and don’ts of Mulching

When laying mulch down in your garden, you want to make sure to do it the right way so that you can reap all the benefits. Here are some dos and don’ts for mulching:

Do use it as a decorative element: While mulching can help create a healthy garden, it also has aesthetic value. Choose a color and texture that will fit well into the design of your garden.
Do look at your entire landscape: When designing your landscape, make sure that vegetation covers your entire space, and avoid a space with all the vegetation in one section. In other words, make sure there is a good balance of mulch and plants.
Do clean it: This is where re-mulching comes in. When you are re-mulching, make sure to remove and clean up any mulch that is too old, and replace it with new mulch.
Do try different types of mulch: Different types of mulch work better with different types of plants. Bark mulches are best for trees and shrubs, and grass clippings are great at suppressing weeds. If you think that the type of mulch you are using isn’t working well, don’t be afraid to mix it up.
Don’t forget bare soil: There are many environmental benefits to mulching. When there are exposed areas of soil in your garden or yard, erosion and sediment runoff will occur. Mulching can help combat this.
Don’t overdo it: When you use over three inches of mulch, the benefits disappear. Thick layers can suffocate plants, and moisture will not be able to penetrate down to the plants. Plants will die very slowly from over-mulching, meaning you might not catch your mistake in time to save them. To keep your plant healthy, use only a three-inch layer.
Don’t ignore the trees: Make sure to protect the trunk of the tree with mulch. This will create a protected area for the tree to grow better.

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.

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Warm Weather Watering Tips

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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.

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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.

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