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.”

 

Poor soil is never suitable for planting anything. Even weeds don’t love to grow in poor soil. So, whether you’re thinking of planting some flowers or vegetables, you need to turn your poor soil into super soil.

So, What Is A Super Soil?

Simply put, super soil is a soil that’s rich in all the components that are needed for a plant to grow. That is, it contains a more than sufficient amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK).  This soil is usually fortified with organic elements instead of chemical fertilizer, and help enhance the quality of whatever you plant in it.

How To Turn Your Poor Soil Into Super Soil

Turning poor soil into super soil involves composting to add organic matter to the soil and make it rich in necessary plant nutrients. Here are the basic steps to follow.

Step#1: Collect food scraps or wastes from your kitchen, such as leftover vegetables, watermelon, banana, and potato peelings, etc. in a container. These wastes are broken down into beneficial organic matter.

Step #2: Dig several holes in your yard, a foot or two deep. Then each time you collect sufficient waste, you dump it in each hole. These spots are where you’ll do your planting after your poor soil is turned into super soil.

Step #3: Fetch some humus soil with worms and add it to the waste in the hole to jumpstart the breakdown process. Then cover everything with some soil. After a couple of months, all the materials would have been broken down and add rich nutrients to your soil.

Bonus Tip:

If you don’t have enough kitchen waste, you can purchase and add some organic matter rich in NPK to the poor soil. These include bone meal, worm castings, bat guano, rock phosphate and kelp powder.

If you need any more help with cultivating a beautiful garden that will transform your home’s landscape, you contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape today!

 

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

 

 

Allium flowers for spring color seattle

Do you want a beautiful spring garden bursting with beautiful colors? Well, don’t wait until spring is almost here to get started. There are so many flowers you can plant in the fall to get a colorful early spring garden. Here’s a list:

1.     Dwarf Iris

Also known as Iris reticulata, this plant is an absolute favorite! Its rich blue flowers start to bloom in early spring, giving your garden a boisterous royal look. Plant them now with full exposure to sunlight for a colorful spring bloom.

2.    Allium

These plants stand out in your garden like the beauty queens that they are. They have long stems with bright-colored flowers that appear in a ball shape. Like the Dwarf Iris, growing Allium in the full glow of the sun helps them bloom beautifully.

3.    Daffodils

Nothing announces the arrival of spring like Daffodils. The beautiful thing about Daffodils is that they cater to whatever needs you to want them to, from size to scent. You can get tall, scented species if you fancy those or unscented species with your preferred height.

4.   Bleeding Heart

If you consider yourself an old soul, the Bleeding Heart will make a great addition to your spring garden. The plant produces heart-shaped white or pink flowers with arching stems that will truly add beauty to your landscape.

5.    Scilla

Scilla plants look weak, but in truth, they are tough and can thrive in rock gardens. They come in various colors, including pink, violet, white, and blue. If you need a mix of different beautiful colors for your garden, come spring, you should consider planting a Scilla this fall.

6.   Salvia

What is a garden without brightly-colored butterflies? To attract butterflies that serve as pollinators, you should add this plant to your spring garden. Salvia blooms are not only beautifully colored but also attractive to butterflies.

For more ideas on what to plant in fall for a colorful spring, or need help planting, you can contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape today!

 

It might seem weird, but grass landscapes are arguably one of the most beautiful landscapes. While the first thing that comes to mind when you hear grass is the unwanted weed that livestock feed ons, arguably, there is more than one type of grass. And, when it comes to landscaping, ornamental grasses are as great as any other landscaping elements. Here are a some top reasons why you should consider landscaping your property with grass: 

·       Flexibility

Grasses can be used in small or big spaces. Due to this flexible nature, they can fit perfectly in your small yard (link to landscaping for small yard article) or balcony spaces. They are also durable and will survive as container plants or plants in pots.

·       Beautification

The beautiful thing about ornamental grasses is how using several combinations with other elements can change the appearance of your home. You can use it to decorate your lawn, backyard, or the building itself. The grasses will provide a lot of natural green background, fresh air, and ambiance.

·       Dual Functions

Aside from the apparent beauty of the ornamental grasses, they can serve other unique functions like fencing and borders. They are available in various sizes and shapes for different landscape purposes. If you want it to serve as a fence, then you should get tall ornamental grasses, and to design your walkway, you’d need the short ornamental grasses.

Now that you’ve learned why you should consider grasses for your landscaping, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Define Edges: You can design the edge of your walkways, staircases, and pavements with colorful grasses. Some excellent choices for this purpose includes sedges and fountain grasses.
  • Create Hedges: You can use tall grasses and shrubs to create hedges along and around your property. With this, you can effectively create privacy and block a view you don’t want people to see.
  • Create Visual Appeal: This is an excellent option if you live on a massive property with a large yard (link to landscaping for large yard article). You can adequately cover the mass of land by planting different grass species to take up the space.

At Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping, we can create beautiful landscape designs with grass that will also add charm to your yard. Call 360) 876-6567 or Contact Us Here Today!

 

Artful ways of using rocks in your garden


Rocks can be used as delightful materials to design your landscape. Given their nature, they provide hard, durable, easy-to-maintain landscaping options. You can use them to make your house outer wall more aesthetically pleasing, incorporate into your garden, or use them in hardscaping your yard. Here are our top picks of how you can landscape with rocks.

1.     Rock Gardens

If you live on a sloped property and have a garden, incorporating rocks into your garden is the way to go! Having a garden on a sloped property means you run the risk of your garden getting washed away by erosion. Big-sized rocks along your garden slope can prevent this from happening, as well as beautify your garden path.

2.    Stony Waterfalls

A stony waterfall would make your property look elegant while giving it the feel of nature’s paradise. When the pacific northwest weather gets hot, a stony waterfall will provide a natural calm with its coolness. To make your waterfall look more natural, you can follow these steps.

3.    Stone Staircases

When you do not have a uniformly leveled-yard, rocks are an excellent way to form staircases leading up to your home. You can use selected rock sizes and colors to create the staircase of your dreams.

4.   Rocky Fireplace

You can spruce up your outdoor fire pit by incorporating rugged designs. With a rocky fireplace, your home landscape would take on a classical look like something out of a fantasy movie. You should try it out!

5.    Stony Garden Walkways

Walking around the garden can be messy as your shoes can take up garden soil and become messy. Stony walkways in your garden can help prevent messy walks around your garden. For the walkway, rocky slabs are great! You can also use small stones on the walkway with larger ones as borders.

Interested in using rocks to landscape your yard? Contact us today at Levy’s Lawn and Landscape. We provide a wide range of landscaping with rocks options, and can help you install the perfect design for your home and personality.

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SMall Yard Magic

Do you have a small yard in front or at the back of your house? Or your apartment just as a terrace or balcony? It’s still a yard, and you can landscape it. You don’t necessarily need a large yard  to beautify your home. Here are some landscaping ideas for your small yard to get the most out of your outdoor space.

1.     Maximize Your Yard

You can make your small yard feel more spacious with proper organization and the right landscape features. Plant columnar evergreen trees like the Crimson Spire Oak along your fence line, as they grow up and don’t take much horizontal space. Also, you can plant a vertical garden and dwarf shrubs to make the space lush or install a sauna or hot tub to transform it into a grand space.

2.    Decorate Your Balcony

When your yard is just a small patio or terrace, you can landscape it by planting flowers in containers you can place by the corners or hang from the roof. Then make the space cozy, by putting in a comfy sofa with a couple of throw pillows, and hang some string lights to give it a magical look at night.

3.    Create a Combined Space

Even though your yard is small, you can create a space that can serve as a small garden, a dining space, and a relaxation spot. You can plant climbing flowers like the Bougainville by your fence or plant some flower beds around your deck, place a dining table with collapsible chairs in the yard, and install a hanging chair or hammock.

You may be unable to install a swimming pool or a sprawling outdoor lounge, but you can still landscape your small yard to make your home look beautiful. Whether you live in a townhouse with a small outdoor space or an apartment with only a balcony, you can contact us at Levy’s Lawn and Landscape to design your small yard.

Some garden tools in a small garden