When it comes to using natural elements for garden décor, most people think of landscaping with rocks. But, did you know that tree branches can be used to improve your garden decor? Yes, those hanging or fallen tree branches all over your garden can do much more than serving as fuel for your fire pit. In this post, you’ll find ideas for easy garden decors with tree branches.

3 Ways To Use Tree Branches To Decorate Your Garden

Stop letting those tree branches in your garden go to waste. Here are three ways you can repurpose them to decorate your garden.

1.     Build a Garden Arbor or Chair

You can build a simple garden harbor or lounge chair with tree branches and twigs if you love DIY projects. You don’t have to make it elaborate for it to be a beautiful addition to your garden. Just punch in some holes and nail the branches together to build the chair or arbor, and the rustic look will add charm to your garden.

2.    Provide Support for Plants

If you’re trying container gardening in the Pacific Northwest, you can construct a potholder for your pots or containers instead of just placing them on the ground. This will give it an elevated garden look. You can also construct a tree branch ladder to serve as a trellis for climbing flowers to twine around.

3.     Create Borders & Boundaries

You can use tree branches to build a picket fence to give your garden a rustic look. They can also be used to create boundaries around different parts of your garden and borders to protect specific plants. Furthermore, you can strip a couple of inches of the side of small branches to make a decorative plant marker. You can write creative names for your plants on the markers to add a personal touch to your garden.

Need more creative ways to decorate your garden? Contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping today!

 organic or non-organic?


Although most people will argue that organic potting soil is better than inorganic potting soil, the truth is neither of the two is perfect

Are you thinking of starting a container garden or potting your vegetables before transplanting them to your garden, but can’t decide on the type of soil to use? You’ve heard that you can’t just use your yard or garden soil for potting your plant. But, which potting soil is better: organic or non-organic? Continue reading to find out.

What is Potting Soil?

Potting soil is soil that is specifically made for growing plants in containers or pots. Unlike garden soil, which gets easily compacted in pots and prevents roots from growing easily, potting soil is fluffy. It also lacks contaminants like weed seeds and debris that may be in your garden soil.  

Organic Potting Soil

First, you should know that organic potting soil is not free from chemical compounds. They are referred to as organic because they are made from decaying natural organic materials such as seaweed, bone and fish meal and worm casting, and are rich in nutrients and microbes. These materials enable adequate aeration and hydration, and promote nutrient retention.

Inorganic Potting Soil

As the name implies, inorganic potting soil is made of materials that are not organic. Also known as potting mixtures, it is often made from three essential components: peat moss, perlite and bark. These essential components don’t contain “harmful chemicals” and give the soil a neutral PH. However, the mixture isn’t nutritious, so synthetic fertilizers are added to provide nutrients to the plant.

Organic Vs. Inorganic: Which Is Better?

Although most people will argue that organic potting soil is better than inorganic potting soil, the truth is neither of the two is perfect, depending on the plant type and needs. For example, organic potting soil is best and safer for vegetables, as you won’t have to worry about chemicals from fertilizer seeping into a crop you intend to consume. On the other hand, plants like succulents will do well in inorganic potting soil.

Another factor to consider is cost. Non-organic potting soil is cheaper than organic potting soil. You can also opt for already made potting blends for the specific plant you want to cultivate. The bottom line is that good quality potting soil, whether organic or inorganic, will help your plant grow better than just using just any soil.

 

Can Discarded Furniture Be Used To Plant Flowers In The Garden?

When you have furniture to discard, you probably think of your local thrift shop. Or, you come up with reasons to keep that old sofa and find ways to can still use it. If the question, “can discarded furniture be used to plant flowers?” ever crossed your mind, then the answer is absolutely! Yes, you can use discarded furniture to plant flowers in your garden. Continue reading to learn how.

How To Use Furniture To Plant Flowers

No matter the type of furniture you want to discard, you can repurpose it into a planter for flowers in your garden. Here’s how some discarded furniture can be used to plant flowers in the garden.

Desks and Dressers

Desks and dressers have drawers that can serve as containers for planting flowers. First, line the inside of the drawers with plastic garbage bags, and drill a couple of holes through the bags and drawer bottoms. This will enable sufficient drainage of water and prevent the wood from decaying quickly. Next, fill the drawers with potting soil and plant your flowers. Then, open some drawers a little and others entirely to create a layered effect.

Broken Chairs

Yes, even a broken chair can be used to plant flowers in your garden. Just cut out the seat and hang a plastic container in it to plant your flowers. You can even grow climbing plants that will twine around the back of the chair.  

Bed Frame

You can literally put the bed in “flowerbed” by planting flowers in an old bed. After taking out the mattress, cut out some sections of the bottom wood of the bed frame. Then, fit in several planters or containers to plant your flowers.

The bottom line is that discarded furniture can be repurposed as planters. So, before you discard that old piece of furniture, first think about how you can use them to plant flowers. If you need more creative ideas to make your garden look even more fabulous, reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping today!

 

Partition Your Garden Using Boundaries, Borders, and Clever Planting


Partitioning your garden is a great way to improve your garden design, create a private area for socializing or relaxation, and even keep prying eyes out of your garden. Whatever your reason for deciding to partition your garden, you can use boundaries, borders and clever planting.

How To Partition Your Garden

Thinking of partitioning your small or spacious garden? Outlined below are some ideas for creating partitions in your garden with boundaries, borders, and clever planting.

1.     Climbing Plants

You can use climbing plants to create a boundary or border with an archway. Also, climbers that grow vigorously, such as clematis and jasmine, can be grown near a dividing wall or trellis to make a luscious green boundary.

2.    Bricks & Stones

Bricks can be used to build a low wall to partition a private relaxation nook.  Drape the wall with rambling plants like nasturtiums for a pop of color. You can use stones to create borders around different sections of your garden, as well as pathways between them.

3.     Trees & Branches

Deciduous trees like Shadwood and Birch trees can help provide boundaries at the edges of your garden. These trees have airy foliage that allows sunlight to still get through to your garden plants. Also, fallen tree branches can be used to create rustic short fences around different sections of your garden.  

4.    Hedging Plants

Plant evergreen hedges like Yew and Beech to use as green borders. You can even trim the hedges into attractive topiary shapes. Bright flower hedges like foxgloves can also be used to block outsiders from looking in, while giving your garden a pop of color.

5.     Pergola or Arbor

Building a pergola or arbor will create a section of your garden where you can relax with family or socialize with friends. You can border the area with a trellis made from tree branches, and decorate it with climbing plants.

Need help creating beautiful partitions in your garden or yard? Reach out to us at Levy’s Lawns & Landscaping today!

 

 

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!

 

 

Trying container gardening in the Pacific Northwest, and wondering what containers to use? There are different types of pots to use for plants in your container garden. We’ve put together a list of pots that will not only protect your plant from diseases and pesky pests, but also decorate your landscape.

5 Types of Pot Plant Containers for your Garden

If you are exploring container gardening, here are the different types of pots you can use for your planting:

1.     Terracotta Pots

These are sometimes referred to as clay pots as they are made from clay. They are usually very durable and can be affordable or expensive depending on your pocket’s weight. Given their colors and warm appearance, terra cotta pots can give your garden a classic look.

2.    Metal Pots

As the name implies, these are made from metal materials such as aluminum, tin, and steel. You can turn almost every metal container you no longer use into a planting pot. This way, you reduce waste and save money. Metals pots can serve your garden for years before they give into corrosion.

3.     Wooden Pots

These are favorites for many gardeners, and this is because wooden containers offer a kind of flexibility that other containers do not offer. You can construct your wooden containers yourself, which means you can make them to fit perfectly into a space in your garden. If properly maintained, wooden pots can serve your garden for years.

4.    Concrete Pots

Concrete pots are like clay pots, only heavier and made from concrete. They have a range of striking designs that can give your garden a classic or contemporary look. Concrete pots are long-lasting and can endure years of freezing and thawing without breaking down.

5.     Plastic Containers

Although technically not a pot, plastic containers can serve as pots to use for plants in your container garden. What’s more, you don’t have to buy them. You can repurpose some of your old gallon jugs and plastic bowls for planting.

These different types of pots will serve you, whether you’re short on yard space or new to gardening and want to start small. If you need any more help with planting a garden in your yard or corridor, reach out to us at Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping today!

 

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!

 

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