Not all plants can thrive in the shade of Seattle. As a gardener, knowing what plants fits where is the first step to cultivating a beautiful garden. So, if you’ve recently moved to Seattle or found it challenging to find plants that can thrive in the shady areas of your Seattle garden, this post is for you.

Top 5 Shade-Tolerant Plants For Your Seattle Garden

Whether a particular part of your garden is shaded for a couple of hours or does not get direct sunlight all day, these plants will bloom in the Seattle shade.

#1: Lenten Rose

The Lenten Rose is a low-growing perennial plant that blooms with beautiful tropical foliage. If you fancy a colorful garden, then you should definitely plant the Lenten rose. They come in various colors, and due to their dense nature, they can help control weed growth.

#2: Hostas

Hostas can thrive beautifully under shades. They even attract animals such as bumblebees, hummingbirds, and slugs. They can do well without much attention, but when in need of water, they start wilting. However, they don’t die quickly, and will regain their glow immediately they are watered.

#3: Bleeding Hearts

This plant thrives excellently in shades, and when summer comes, it goes dormant. Its flowers come majorly in three variations; white, red, and pink. Depending on your garden goals, the bleeding hearts can be a beautiful addition to your garden.

#4: Indian Plum

The Indian Plum is a deciduous plant. The female species have pendant-like white flowers that give off a faint fresh scent. During the fall, the leaves of the Indian Plum turn yellow. Having the Indian Plum means your property will be home to birds as they are attracted to the tiny plum fruits of this plant.

#5: Ferns

Unlike the previously discussed plants, ferns don’t have beautiful, colorful flowers. In fact, they have no flowers at all, and this can be discouraging for many gardeners. Nevertheless, ferns can be a great planting option for your shady garden as they are durable and can survive harsh weather conditions.

Need more suggestions or help planting beautiful plants in the shade of your Seattle garden? Contact us today at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping!

 

 

Many times, we’ve had people reach out to us asking what plants would thrive in the sunny and rainy Seattle climate. To put that question to a final rest, we’ve curated a list of some of the sun-loving plants for Seattle.

Top 5 Plants for Full Sun Gardens in Seattle

These plants will transform your yard into a beautiful garden with their colorful blooms radiating in the sunlight.

#1: Cranesbill

This is a blue-flowered geranium. It can thrive in partial or full sunlight. The great thing about the Cranesbill is that it is easy to grow and requires little to no maintenance.  It is also quite resistant to most pests and diseases.

#2: Rock Rose

This is not exactly a rose flower, but it has the same appeal as one. The Rock Rose colorful flowers can transform your landscape into a stunning space. Typically, its flowers come in shades of white, yellow, orange, and pink. The plant thrives better in full sunlight. At maturity, it grows to 15cm-30cm in height.

#3: Russian Sage

The Russian Sage is a tall flowering plant that grows up to 60-90cm in height. It thrives in both full and partial sunshine and produces violet-colored flowers. The flower is aromatic and, when bruised, produces a sweet-smelling lemony scent.

#4: Catmint

This is a favorite for many gardeners in Seattle. The plant can survive several harsh conditions ranging from drought to poor soil and pests. The Catmint love full sun, and at maturity, they grow up to 90-120cm

#5: Painted Daisies

The Painted Daisies plant bears breathtaking flowers, and they thrive in full or partial sunshine. The flowers can be as wide as 7cm with a large golden center that contrasts with the petals’ colors. Furthermore, they produce chemicals that repel insects, so having them in your garden helps prevent pest invasions. The Painted Daisies grow to 60-90cm at maturity.

Need more suggestions or help planting sun-loving plants in your Seattle garden? Contact us today at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping!

 

How well your garden thrives is highly dependent on your soil’s quality. Bad soil will lead to poor produce or little to no flowers, which is every gardener’s nightmare. Nevertheless, bad soil shouldn’t deter you from gardening.

4 Ways to Improve the Quality of Your Poor Garden Soil

Is bad soil preventing your garden from blooming? Bad soil can be improved, and here’s how:

1.     Get a Soil Test

To properly diagnose the problem with your soil, you have to run a few tests. A basic soil test will reveal your soil chemistry, providing information about your soil’s pH, organic matter level, and nutrient content. This will enable you to determine and improve what’s in shortage or excess.  Click here to find out how to turn your bad soil into a super soil.

2.    Use More Organic Matter

Adding organic matter to your soil works wonders for the overall health of your soil. It can improve the water retention or draining ability of your soil. What’s more, it’s really easy to source. You can decompose common household materials to create compost manure for your garden.

3.     Plant More Cover Crops

Cover crops, like winter peas, clovers and buckwheat, are a great planting option when dealing with bad soil. They can help improve soil quality by adding nutrients, aerating, and attracting beneficial organisms to the soil. Also, during the winter, cover crops can act as mulch, protecting the soil from the extreme temperatures.

4.    Avoid Tilling

On a large farm, tilling can help break and aerate the soil. However, in your small garden, tilling can be quite harmful. To loosen the soil in your small garden, use a digging fork instead.  A digging fork would achieve the same effects as tilling without destroying beneficial soil organisms and exposing your soil to erosion.

If you want your soil to yield better produce or flowers, you can improve your soil using these tips. Need more help improving your bad soil? Contact us today at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping!

 

pruning basics by levy's lawns and landscaping washington

So, the trees in your yard look like they’ve seen better days, and you’re considering pruning them. It’s a great idea. Pruning will help restore their structure and improve their health. It’ll also manage the direction of their growth and reduce the risk of causing damage to people or property. But where should you focus your pruning efforts? Read on to find out.

How To Decide Where To Focus Pruning Efforts

Two major factors determine how much you should prune your tree:  the age and the health status of the tree.

  • Is the tree matured or young? You should prune a matured tree lightly, as its growth rate has slowed down. On the other hand, a young tree can withstand heavier pruning, as it will grow back its branches rapidly.
  • Is the tree healthy or diseased? If a tree is suffering from a severe disease, you’re likely to do more pruning than you would from a healthy tree. Branches that won’t be removed from a healthy tree would have to be cut because they are diseased.

Parts of The Tree To Prune

Sometimes, all you need to focus on is removing some twigs and overgrown branches. Other times, you would need to remove more. In any case, here are the several tree parts to focus your pruning efforts.

  • Diseased, dying or dead branches
  • Twigs sprouting at the trunk’s base
  • Branches growing across the tree’s center
  • Branches that cross and rub together or may rub in the future
  • Vertical branches that may grow into additional or secondary trunks
  • Overgrown foliage and branches affecting buildings, power lines or visibility.

How To Prune Your Tree

When pruning, you should cut back to a bud, twig or branch to encourage healthy new growth. However, you have to do it carefully, so you don’t cut into the trunk and remove or expose live tissues, as this will create an entry for insect pests and diseases that may damage the tree. You can avoid this by cutting branches just before the points where they spring from the trunk (i.e., the collar). You can find a more in-depth pruning guide here, or reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn and Landscaping for professional help.

 

 

Aerating steel roller on the green grass battling lawn moss

 

RECLAIM YOUR LAWN

BATTLING LAWN MOSS

We hate to say this, but if you’re currently battling lawn moss, the situation is going to get worse unless you take steps to rectify this situation. All the grasses on your lawn will soon be forced out, and you’ll have little or none left. Fortunately, we also have some good news – you can reclaim your lawn from the moss “mafia,” prevent re-infestation, and enjoy thick, green grass again with the expert lawn moss control tips in this post.

First, Why Is Lawn Moss Control Difficult?

Well, the simple answer is that mosses aren’t like other weeds. Thus, regular weed killers don’t have any effect on them. They only require moisture or water to thrive and can grow on little nutrients and light. So, they grow really fast and spread quickly to outcompete your lawn grass for nutrients.

How To Control Lawn Moss

Your lawn becomes prone to moss infestation when soil conditions don’t enable grass to thrive. Conditions such as poor drainage, acidic soil, and heavy foot traffic are significant culprits that support moss infestation.  Here are some lawn moss control tips to help get rid of moss and prevent re-infestation.

1.     Improve Lawn Condition

You can prevent lawn moss infestation by correcting soil conditions that support their growth. Test your lawn soil acidity and lime if necessary, and improve areas with poor drainage. Also, prune trees with thick foliage to allow more light to reach your lawn grass, and aerate compacted soil.

2.    Scarify Your Lawn

Scarifying your lawn involves using a dethatcher to rake over the affected areas to cut through the soil and remove moss and dead grass. The process also helps loosen and aerates the soil, thereby improving the overall health of the lawn.

3.    Use Iron-Based Lawn Products

As mentioned earlier, regular weed control products can’t kill lawn moss. You need iron-based lawn moss products, such as those containing ferrous sulfate, to virtually eliminate lawn moss. These products cause mosses to dry up and die by sucking the moisture in them. 

Depending on the severity of the moss infestation, you may need to combine all three tips above. If the infestation is mild, you only need to scarify your lawn and carry out regular maintenance. Otherwise, you should use an effective moss control product and then scarify to remove the dead mosses and improve lawn conditions. If you don’t want to go through the hassle, you can contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape for professional help.

 

“You can reclaim your lawn from the moss “mafia,” prevent re-infestation, and enjoy thick, green grass again with the expert lawn moss control tips in this post.”

 

 

Planting Bare Root Stock


Bare rootstocks are young trees, shrubs, and flowers transplants with roots that aren’t contained in the soil. They are sold with their roots free of dirt and wrapped in plastic. 

 

When most people hear of bare rootstock, they wonder if such a stock will grow when transplanted.

Well, if you’re one of them, in this post, you’ll learn all you need to know about planting bare rootstock.

First of all, bare rootstocks grow into healthy plants faster than container stocks, as they don’t have to transition from container soil to local soil. They are also up to 50% more affordable and can be shipped from anywhere in the world. So you can easily buy trees native to other parts of the world.

Picking Bare Root Stock To Plant

When planting a bare root tree, you have to choose the right bare root stock carefully. First, ensure it has a straight trunk and that the branches are evenly distributed. Next, the roots shouldn’t be dry nor mushy, but moist and firm. If you’re ordering it online, buy from a reputable grower and examine the root packaging immediately it arrives – it should be moist.

How To Plant Your Bare Root Stock

Step #1 – Remove the bare rootstock from the packing for inspection. If you are not ready to plant the bare stock right away, repack the moist roots or cover it with damp wood chips. When you’re ready to plant, check the stock and cut off any dead, broken, frayed, or diseased root or branch.

Step #2 – Dig a tapered, shallow hole in moist soil that crumbles readily. The hole should be about three times the diameter of the root spread and resemble a shallow cone. Then, poke the inside of the hole with your shovel to give it a few twists that will make root penetration easy.

Step #3 – Create a mound to place the bare root stock by shoveling a little loose soil into the hole.  Then, spread the root on the mound and backfill the hole while using your hands to work the soil in-between the roots.

Step #4 – Check if the plant is standing straight, and backfill the hole completely. Then, spread some wood chips on the ground a few inches from the trunk to retain moisture. You can use a cylinder mesh hardware cloth to protect the plant and keep mulch away from the trunk to prevent rot.

Step #5 – Lastly, water the soil slowly, allowing the water to soak into the ground before adding more. Subsequently, water it at least once per week so the root doesn’t get dry. You may also stake the plant to give it more stability and strength against wind.

Need help planting bare rootstock?

Let Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping help you transplant bare rootstocks that will grow into healthy and beautiful plants.  Contact us today!

planting bare root roses levy's landscape washington

 

 

bare rootstock

 

 

 

 

 

Have a sloped yard? No problem! You can still make it pretty.


So you just love how your house is located on slightly elevated grounds. It doesn’t only showcase your home’s architecture to passersby, but you also have a great view. However, landscaping the sloped yard is difficult. Even when you manage to plant a garden, there’s the threat of erosion washing everything away. We understand the challenge and have put together some landscaping ideas for your sloped yard.

 

1.    Create Levels

You can use concrete or stone pavers to break your yard into several levels. This will help manage soil erosion and enable you to use different landscape design themes for each level. For instance, you can flatten and build the space close to your door into a terrace for relaxing. Then the next level can be a rocky garden, and another level a water feature.

2.   Build Stone Staircases

A staircase will not only make it easier for you and your guests to walk up to your house, but also add some beauty to your landscape. You can use large slabs of rocks or stones to create the stairs, so it looks natural. Then, landscape the rest of the yard with artificial grass designs and decorate the stairs with potted plants.

3.   Cultivate A Rock Garden

Gardening on a sloped yard can be challenging, particularly because the soil can be washed away by rainfall. However, you can plant a rocky garden, in which you place rocks and boulders in your yard to anchor and cultivate rock-loving plants like Aubretia, Candytuft and Yellow Alyssum. An added benefit of this type of garden is that it requires very low maintenance.

If your house is on a hill or you have a sloped yard, you can still landscape your yard with the right design. You can reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping for more landscaping ideas for your sloped yards in the Pacific Northwest.

A steep green slope with a trimmed lawn and trees leading from a modern building with large windows

 

 

landscaping on a slope

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planting Your Best Fall Garden 2020


Now that the summer season and its accompanying excitement are waning, how are you preparing for the fall season? As a gardener, this is a great time to start preparing your garden for the new season. However, before you dive into it, let’s take a look at how well your gardens fared in the fall of the previous year.

 

First Off, What Worked Last Year?

Owning a thriving garden in the fall isn’t a feat many people have mastered. For the few who have, they have used various tips and trips to achieve this. Here are some of the tips that worked wonders for gardeners in the fall of 2019:

  • Applying Mulch: To keep your plants away from the destruction that losing excess water or being exposed to frost causes, gardeners used layers of mulches to protect their plants. This trick has worked for years and remains relevant today.
  • Using Fabric Covering: To protect plants from frost and pests, gardeners have resorted to fabric covers. In previous years, many gardeners kept harvesting some of their favorite vegetables such as kales and lettuces, way past the fall season, thanks to fabric covering.
  • Applying Organic Fertilizers: In place of synthetic fertilizers, gardeners used organic matter for fertilizing their gardens in the fall. They did this by letting weeds and debris decay in their fall gardens.

What Shouldn’t You Repeat This Year?

If you are new on the fall gardening scene or the previous year was an epic fail, here are some mistakes you shouldn’t repeat this year:

  • Pruning your plants too early.
  • Leaving your flower or vegetable beds untidy.
  • Forgetting to water your plants before a hard freeze.
  • Leaving dead leaves liter instead of raking them up.
  • Planting spring bulbs late into the fall season.

How to Assess the Success or Failure of Your Garden?

What does a successful garden mean to you? Before you set out to grow a fall garden, be clear on your goals and the perimeters you would use for measuring its success. You can get garden evaluation tools online or reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape to help track your progress.

don't prune too early

 

 

pruning your garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Garden Cleanup


Many gardeners do not know the proper way to clean a fall garden, so they just overhaul the entire garden. But, here’s the thing: overhauling is a whole lot of work! Fortunately, we’ve figured out where to begin a fall garden clean up without having to take down everything. Keep reading to find out what we know.

Step #1 – Clear Out the Layers of Leaves

When you take one quick look at your garden, you most likely will see a bunch of leaf litter all over the place. This makes clearing out leaf litter the perfect place to start your fall garden cleanup. Of course, leaf debris can be beneficial for pollinators, but you do not want to have thick layers of leaves in your garden, as they tend to block out sunlight and trap too much water.

Step #2 – Remove Thatch Buildup

All things die, grasses too. After a while, your lush green grasses will begin to die, and this could be marked by the sharp change in color from green to yellow and, finally, brown. These dying grasses are known as thatch and must be removed to allow nutrients to reach growing plants/grasses’ roots.

Step #3 – Rid Your Garden of Weeds

For your plants to thrive, they need all the nutrients they can get. When weeds compete for these nutrients with them, the plants you want to keep may not survive the competition. So you do not spend resources on plants you do not have use for, get rid of them!

Step #4 – Make Your Waste Valuable

All the waste you’ve gathered in the form of leave litter, thatch, weed, and other organic matter can be deployed into making composts. When they decompose, they can serve as a rich nutrients source for your plants.

Need help cleaning up your fall garden and making your landscape beautiful? Reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape today!

fall garden cleanup in the pacific northwest seattle wa

 

 

ornamental cabbage in seattle garden

Landscaping for Large Yards

Fall is just around the corner, and we all can feel it.

Given the mild temperatures and reduced hours of sunshine associated with the fall season, you can have a beautiful fall garden that services your kitchen’s vegetable needs. One of the essential factors determining how successful your garden will be in the fall is what you plant. You don’t want to cultivate plants that wouldn’t thrive in the season, and choosing the right plants can be quite a challenge.

Below we’ve compiled a list of plants that would thrive in the Pacific Northwest region during this fall season:

·       Cabbage

This crop thrives best in cooler seasons as high temperatures tend to kill them. When planted in the fall, your cabbage will become mature enough for harvest during the winter.

·       Kale

This is a sturdy plant, so it can thrive in many seasons, even winter. If you want a personal garden with kale for the fall season, it’s best your plant your seeds six weeks before the frost begins.

·       Brussel Sprouts

The Pacific Northwest in the fall is one of the best places you can cultivate Brussel sprouts. For best results, this plant can be planted in middle to late summer and harvested at maturity during the fall season.

·       Broccoli

Broccolis cultivated to maturity in the fall usually tastes better than those grown in other seasons. With the unpredictability of the spring season, the fall is the best season for growing Broccolis.

·       Lettuce

This is a suitable plant for the fall seasons. All kinds of lettuce can thrive during the season. Head lettuces ideally should be planted in July and its leafy counterpart through July to mid-August. But, you can still plant them now in September to grow throughout the fall season.

If you need more help preparing your garden for the fall season or cultivating a beautiful fall garden, you can reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape today!