You could plant the best flowers and shrubs in your garden, but if your soil quality is low, these plants will hardly thrive. Therefore, you need to amend your soil before you grow your plants. Soil amendment is vital as it balances the soil pH, improves soil nutrient and structure, as well as encourages beneficial microbes. All of these are important factors for the growth of your plants.

Although the benefits of soil amendment can never be overemphasized, it’s often quite expensive. Thankfully, some household materials can be beneficial in soil amendments. While these materials may not fix your soil quality completely, they’ll amend your poor soil to a large extent.

Outlined below are five common household materials which are ideal for soil amendments.

  1. Coffee Grounds: Composted coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen for your soil. If you don’t make your own coffee, you may want to consider getting coffee grounds from your local cafe to add to your compost pile.
  2. Eggshells: You may hardly go a week without breaking one or more eggs in your kitchen. Gather the shells, crush them and add them to your garden to improve your soil calcium content.
  3. Epsom Salt: This offers the right amount of sulfate and magnesium to your soil. Gardeners who like to amend their soil organically often go for Epsom salt.
  4. Bananas: Just like you like bananas, your garden soil craves the peels. When you toss banana peels into your garden, they help your shrubs and flowers grow healthier and fight against aphids and some other pests.
  5. White Vinegar: When mixed into water, white vinegar serves great acidic purposes. It works best when your soil pH is too high or basic. A tablespoon of vinegar mixed in a gallon of water works well.

You don’t have to break the bank to improve your soil quality. Try these common household items to achieve a better soil structure, texture, and nutrient that is perfect for your plants. If you need more help with garden problems, you can reach out to us at Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping today!

If you have only a small plot available for gardening in your pacific northwest home, you can still garden all year round. Succession planting is a style of planting that enables you to make use of the small plot judiciously. It entails growing various plants in the same space sequentially, in the same planting season. It could also involve the planting of the same type of crops in different portions of your garden at different intervals.

Unlike crop rotation, succession planting allows for continuous harvest. It also allows the planting of the same crops in the same land portions for at least three years. However, when practicing succession planting, you should avoid planting crops of the same botanical family in same land portions, successively.

A good approach to succession planting in the Pacific Northwest is to know which crop to plant, when to plant, and how to space them. Basically, when it comes to succession planting, it’s better to think of crops and their windows, and not just an individual crop. An example of how you can practice succession cropping in the Pacific Northwest is explained below.

Cool weather crops such as early beets, beet greens, early cabbage, etc. can be planted early on in the planting season. Then, warm-weather crops such as beans, eggplant, pepper, or tomatoes can be planted after the cool weather crops.

Afterward, cool-weather crops that mature during autumn, such as chard, Chinese cabbage, kale, lettuce, and mustards can be planted after the warm weather crops have been harvested. In order to gain more time, later crops can be planted among the first crops to be harvested at a later time. This process is known as interplanting or intercropping.

Step-By-Step Process For Succession Planting In The Pacific Northwest

  • Compile a list of all the crops you want to grow.
  • Have the basic knowledge of days in the growing season. This will help you make better planting decisions.
  • Know the number of days it will take you to harvest the crops you plan to grow.
  • Decide on whether you will extend the growing season during spring and autumn.
  • Sketch the growing space for the beginning, middle, and end of the growing season.
  • Be flexible, and make provision for unforeseen events during the growing season.

With succession planting, growing different plants in the same space simultaneously, no matter how little, can be very successful. If you have a small plot for gardening in the Pacific Northwest, you can contact us at Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping to help you get the best of your small garden, with succession planting.

perennial garden pacific northwest levy's lawns and landscape

The weather is a natural phenomenon you can’t control, which can affect your Pacific Northwest garden. However, with a couple of perennial flowers, you can make your garden stand out and withstand weather effects. There is a vast array of blooming perennials that you can grow in your garden. But then, you wouldn’t want to pick up any plant to grow in your garden – be choosy!

Basically, your choice of perennials should be one that is quite drought tolerant as the summer months are characterized by little or no rain. And, the plants should be fungi-resistant and able to grow under regular winter rain falls. Outlined below are some of the best perennials that are ideal for your Pacific North-West garden.

  1. Shasta Daisy – This blooming flower with crisp white petals and a yellow center is ideal for creating charm in your garden.
  2. Dahlia – This flower comes in various colors and texture. But all are quite beautiful, and you’ll have much more difficulty choosing one than growing it.
  3. Solomon’s Seal – This charming plant flaunts bell-shape flowers, and easily forms colonies. It will recreate your landscape beautifully.
  4. Sword Fern – This plant, with its rich, evergreen color and sword-shaped fronds is ideal for a low-maintenance garden.
  5. Wild Ginger – This plant, which is native to the Pacific Northwest, has a ginger smelling root and shiny flowers that will add color to your garden.

Several other perennials abound, which can give your garden in the Pacific Northwest the best look. You can contact us at Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping for more suggestions, or if you need help planting a beautiful Pacific Northwest garden landscape.

planting edible gardens in the pacific northwest

According to some of the top landscaping companies in the country today, you should spend a maximum of 10% of your home’s value on landscaping. This means that whether you decide to install a fountain or put up a pergola, your landscaping option should remain within the 10% limit. However, not many people can simply set aside 10% of their home’s value for landscaping. Well, the good news is that almost anyone at all can have a beautiful and visually appealing garden without exactly spending a fortune.

Top 4 Budget Landscaping Ideas for Your Home

If you are looking to improve the landscape of your home, outlined below are four great landscaping ideas that are not only inexpensive but aesthetically pleasing as well.

1.     Edible Garden

One of the easiest and inexpensive ways to add life to your home’s outdoor is by turning it into an edible landscape. Beside being inexpensive, an edible garden can prove to be beneficial for your entire household. All that is required is that you plant seeds, which do not cost much at all. However, you can also choose to plant seedlings if you do not want the stress of tending to planted seeds. An edible garden will help beautify your home while saving you a lot of money at the market from harvested produce.

2.     Trees

Trees are another option you can use for your home when on a budget. In fact, it is one of the least expensive landscaping projects anyone can use. When you have a tree planted in your home, you save money from the cost of electricity in the long run, as you can easily sit under it on an 80˚ day, rather than turn on the air conditioner. To get started, you will need a couple of digging tools, some mulch or its alternatives and the tree itself. The Sun Valley and Pink Oak Tree are examples of trees you can use to landscape.

3.     Vertical Gardening

If you do not have a lot of money to landscape your home, another idea you can use is vertical gardening. Vertical gardening is any landscaping practice which utilizes vertical spaces to grow plants, and it can help you save a lot of money, as well as space. Although vertical gardening is mostly used indoors in lobbies and offices, more people are beginning to use it for their home’s exterior due to the amazing transformation it provides.

4.    Grass

Lastly, you can decide to landscape your home with grass. Using grass to landscape is a great idea because it is natural, very easy to grow, has a welcoming color and most likely already existing in your landscape. However, to get the most out of grass, it will have to be incorporated heavily into your garden or front yard and also be groomed regularly to prevent overgrowing. You can even choose to take it a notch by adding stepping stones to create an interesting pattern on the grass. 

Without spending a lot of money, you too can have the landscape of your choice. All you have to do is pick any one of these great budget ideas and watch your home come to life. They are guaranteed to add some jazzy style to your home within your budget. If you need help landscaping your lawn or yard on a budget, you can contact us at Levy’s Lawns & Landscaping today!

Mount Shuksan Red Farm Builiding Yellow Daffodils Flowers Snow Mountain Skagit Valley Washington State Pacific Northwest

Often, the style or design used in a garden is generally dependent on the surroundings. For instance, the condition in the Pacific Northwest is temperate with a varied landscape, which makes it one of the best places in the Pacific to grow and tend to a garden. Here, there is an endless possibility of beautiful gardens you can grow, ranging from drought-resistant dry gardens to Japanese gardens.

3 Easy Garden Designs for your Pacific Northwest Garden

In truth, some of these garden types are difficult to plant, because they require a lot of effort on your part to thrive. However, there are many types of gardens you can plant in the Pacific Northwest region, which are relatively easy to design and do not require much fuss. Take a look at these three easy garden designs you can plant within the Pacific Northwest region.

1.     Gracious, Eye-Catching Corner

This garden design idea, which sits at the corner where your sidewalk meets, is an easy-to-do one. Usually, this garden design is anchored by the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry and surrounded by the other plants, forming a triangular shape. You can use beautiful flowers with bright colors, such as Victoria Wild Lilac, Grey’s Senecio, Vancouver Gold, Tuscan Blue Rosemary, Hall’s Japanese Honeysuckle, and more. The Gracious, Eye-catching Corner garden design is of low maintenance and will be appreciated by neighbors and passersby.

2.     Beautified Blank Wall

This garden design is a great addition to the exterior walls of your home, as well as for areas with minimal space. Flowers which thrive during fall, as well as shrubs that look and remain fresh all year round, are perfect for this garden type. The Clematis Hybrid, Sunshine Grey’s Senecio, Newport Dwarf, Tuscan Blue rosemary and Flower Carpet White rose are some of the many plants you can use for this particular garden design. To design your garden with this Beautified Blank Wall designs, simply plant all of these flowers on the floor facing the wall, and vertically grow the Clematis Hybrid in two columns, with some space in between. Other plants for this garden design include Provence lavender, Hidcote English lavender, Moonbeam coreopsis, Trellis and Johnson’s Blue geranium.

3.     Postal Garden

You can landscape the area around your mailbox by growing a garden which is visible to neighbors, visitors, and passersby. Although the plants to be used in this garden should be heat tolerant and very tough, you can help them retain more moisture by adding mulch to the soil. Some of the flowers you can use to grow the Postal Garden, include; Golden Sword Yucca, Powis Castle Artemisia, Cherry Chief Autumn Sage, Goldsturm Coneflower, Appleblossom yarrow, Autumn Joy sedum, Stone edging, and Moss Phlox. Although not all of these plants thrive all year round, during summer, you can expect to see an astonishing display of flowers in pink, gold, red and blue. These are some of the easiest garden designs you can grow in the Pacific Northwest region. They are eye-catching and do not require any prior knowledge/expertise to grow them. Levy’s Lawns & Landscaping is an expert at creating breathtaking garden landscape designs. So, if you need help, you can contact us to guide you further on how to create a simple garden design, or to get it done for you.

The Pacific Northwest is popular for having a vast array of plants which grow all season. In fact, a lot of the plants which grow at specific seasons in most parts of the world such as Carnations and Iceland Poppies, will not only thrive all year round in the Pacific Northwest but do so graciously the following year. Such kinds of plants usually have certain characteristics which make them drought tolerant and able to survive the little to no rain of summer, as well as cope with the constant rainfall during winter. Outlined below are some of the plants which can grow all-season in the Pacific Northwest.

1.     Dahlia

The Dahlia plant is one of the commonest perennial plants that grow in the Pacific Northwest region. It is a low maintenance plant which comes in different species, color, and texture. Popular species of this plant are the ones that are colored yellow and burgundy. It is also known to grow to as tall as 6ft and almost 2 inches wide. If you are looking for a perennial plant that will create a sharp contrast in your landscaping, then the Dahlia is the right plant for you.

2.    Solomon’s Seal

This plant which is also called Polygonatum odoratum is characterized by arching bell-shaped flowers that appear to be very delicate. However, they are far from delicate because they provide the best sun shade. It is notorious for forming large colonies making it the best plant for providing shade. Solomon’s Seal grows best in moist and well-drained soil and can grow to 3ft tall and 1ft wide.

3.    Shasta Daisy

Another plant that grows all season in the Pacific Northwest region is the Shasta Daisy. It is a bright flower that has a sunny core flanked by white, crisp petals and is a great addition to any garden. This flower also attracts butterflies to it during the summer, bringing some extra activity to your garden. The Shasta Daisy can grow up to 3ft tall and about 1ft wide, and it is the best plant to bring some charm to your garden.

4.    Primrose

This is another plant typical for growing all season in the Pacific Northwest region. The Primrose is one of the rarest plants which let you know the exact season in time because it presents different selections for the various seasons. Most times, the Primrose flower appears white; but can sometimes change to yellow or pink at different times during the day. In the evenings, however, this perennial plant is known to glow beautifully in the moonlight.

5.    Lupine

Lupine is an all season plant which is the perfect addition for an architecturally inspired garden. It comes in small and tall sizes, but they are all very showy, having upright spires of flowers. Lupine also comes in many great colors including yellow, pink, red, white, purple and orange making it the perfect plant for whatever garden type you have. It grows best in light and moderately fertile soil.

Not many plants can survive harsh weather conditions. However, the plants mentioned above do well in such weather conditions, making them the best plants to keep your garden alive all-year round. At Levy’s Lawns & Landscaping, we can help plant all-season plants in your Pacific Northwest garden to ensure your landscape is beautiful all year round. For more information Contact Us Today!

With spring just around the corner, it is time to put in some work, to get your garden bursting with life. In order to have a beautiful garden, there are a number of tasks/chores that require tending to; some of which can be quite overwhelming. To make it easier for you, be sure to check out and practice these April gardening tips we’ve put together, specifically suited for the Pacific Northwest.

Tip#1 – Fading Bulbs

Clip the flowering stems of bulbs as close to the ground as possible, when they begin to fade and die. Also, allow the leaves to die on their own gradually. In place of fading bulbs, use yellowing bulb foliage with perennials that produce beautiful flowers. Some examples of perennials you can use are daylilies, garden phlox, and so on.

Tip #2 – Containers

You can create your own garden show by using old containers and forced spring bulbs from either garden centers or the supermarket. A combination of columbine and wallflower between bulbs helps to prolong your pot’s bloom season. At the end of the season, when the flowers have faded, you can then gather the wallflower, perennial bulbs, and columbine into flower beds.

Tip #3 – Seeds

The best month to plant cool-season crops is April. Some of such crops include peas, carrots, radish, seed potatoes, onion sets and many more. A useful tip when planting seeds, is to grow lettuce and garden green seeds every week so that you can have a long salad harvest season.

Tip#4 – Seedlings & Herbs

Growing seedlings of peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants in April is not practical unless you plan to use a form of frost protection. However, you can grow seedlings of chives, mint, parsley, and oregano, as soon as you have a workable soil. Just ensure you purchase the right type of seeds.

Tip#5 – Weeds

An easy way to get rid of weed in your garden is by applying a pre-emergent weed killer to it. This weed killer interrupts seed germination and should not be applied where seeds are planted or areas where self-sowing flowers will grow. For best and long-lasting results, it should be applied early in April.

Tip #6 – Azaleas

April is a good time to plant Azaleas in the Pacific Northwest. Ensure that you cut off spent flower trusses, to neaten their appearance as well as encourage future blooms. Also, immediately after flowering, prune them if damaged branches diminish their post-bloom appearance.

Tip #7 – Houseplants & Tropical Plants

Houseplants and tropical plants should be moved outdoors and tucked in a shady spot when night temperatures rise above 50F. You can use all-purpose fertilizers to stimulate fresh growth or replace the top layer of soil with a layer of compost.

Tip #8 – Planting

Plant bare-root trees, roses, and shrubs in the coldest areas of your garden, and container-grown nursery stock, in lower elevations and coastal zones. However, you can plant barefoot or container-grown fruits like grapes, kiwis, and more in either area of your garden.

Tip #9 – Pruning

The best time to prune your spring-blooming shrubs is after the flowers have faded. Ensure that you do not postpone pruning for too long so that you do not make the mistake of cutting into the following year’s bloom.

These tips are quite easy to implement and would help improve your gardening this April. However, if you need more help, you can contact us at Levy’s Lawns & Landscaping to help make your garden a beautiful landscape.

With just the right kind of care, flower bulbs can grow beautifully, without much effort or fuss. In fact, many people prefer bulbs to regular plants because they can store energy from one growing season to another. They are also very self-sufficient in that they do not have to rely on the perfect soil condition to thrive. However, it is still important to learn how to care for them properly, so that they can reach their full potential.

Caring for Spring-Bulbs and Summer-Bulbs

Bulbs are usually planted twice a year; during fall and spring. Bulbs planted during the fall season will bloom in the spring. While summer-blooming bulbs are planted in spring, just as the frost from winter begins to clear up. It is important to plant your bulbs at the right time and care for them during the growing and blooming phase, to ensure they look colorful throughout the spring and summer season.

How to Care for Spring Bulbs

Spring bulbs, such as hyacinths, tulips, crocus, daffodils, etc., bloom beautifully in spring, when planted in the fall. After spring their foliage begins to fade, and they go dormant midway into summer. When growing bulbs during this time of the year, it is important to allow the foliage to go yellow naturally, instead of cutting them off before they fade.

Also, the quality of care you show to your spring bulbs after they have flowered is just as important as when they begin to bloom. For instance, you should remove the flowers as soon as you notice them start to wither. Otherwise, the bulbs will produce more seeds rather than flowers in the next planting season.

Furthermore, if you have a soil that is rich enough, you do not necessarily have to add fertilizers to the soil for planting spring-bloomers. However, if you wish to feed them, do so just as you plant them or the period when they begin to emerge. Ensure that you follow the instructions on the package containing the bulb food for the right fertilizer ration to use.

How to Care for Summer Bulbs

Bulbs that bloom in summer, such as begonia, lily of the valley, etc., usually do not like freezing temperatures because they originate from warm weather areas. Therefore, if you want your bulbs to bloom during summer and you live in a cold climate, you should plant them in spring, when there’s no frost left from the winter season.

Many summer-blooming bulbs enjoy soils that are rich. Thus, if you have a poor soil, you should fortify it by applying a general-purpose garden fertilizer. Ensure that you follow the instructions on the fertilizer package, in order to avoid causing damage to your plants.

Just as you did with spring blooming bulbs, you can also cut off the bulbs’ flowers as they begin to fade. Cutting of fading flowers will encourage the plants to continue blooming. However, summer bulbs like lilies are an exception because they bloom only once in a year.

Bulbs are very easy to care for, especially if you know what they need. If you follow these easy and simple care tips, you are guaranteed to enjoy their colorful blooms in your garden throughout the spring and summer season. For professional help planting and caring for your spring and summer bulbs to add beautiful color to your garden, Contact Levys Lawn & Landscape Today!

Perinneals Pacific Northwest

With the sunny summer months gone, and September rolling in, several flowers in your garden will stop blooming and leave your garden looking dreary. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find beautiful plants that will bloom beautifully in the September weather of the Pacific Northwest? Well, we’ve put together a list of flowers and shrubs you can grow this September to keep your garden looking bright and colorful throughout the fall season.

  • Salvia Patens If you’re looking for a way to turn your garden into a scenic blue space this fall, then this plant is the solution. Also known as Gentian Sage, this elegant plant flaunts the deepest blue colored flowers with erect tubes that keeps shining throughout the fall season.
  • Monarda Also known as Bee Balm, this brightly-colored flower gives off an eye-catching display when planted massively. It consists of tubular flowers rooted in globular ends, and it can grow up to a height of about 30cm -120cm. It also has an enticing scent that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, which can help with pollination.
  • Japanese Maple Tree – This plant is available in a variety of species that gives your garden landscape a whole new look. With vibrant leaf colors ranging from blood red and crimson to pink and golden yellow, the Japanese maple tree is one shrub you can’t fail to plant this September.
  • Red Valerian This well-branched plant is also known as Centranthus Ruber, and is often grown for its fragrance and ornamental features. It attracts butterflies and is somewhat pest-free. Red Valerian is easy to grow and blooms right from early summer to the fall season.
  • Helenium Also called Sneezeweed; this plant is one of the best flowers to consider this September. When other perennials start to fade, Helenium springs up and splashes its brilliant yellow, mahogany, and brown colors to brighten your garden for many weeks.

These elegant plants are some of the best choices of many gardeners in the Pacific Northwest, especially in Seattle and Washington, and you should consider planting them this September. If you would like these flowers and shrubs professionally planted or need more choices to grow this September in the Pacific Northwest, Contact Levys Lawn & Landscape Today!

Landscaping your home with well-tended lawns is a great choice which you can use to beautify your home. A beautiful lawn takes a considerable amount of time and effort to pull off effectively. It involves countless hours of cutting, watering, fertilizing and removing stubborn weed from the grass, which may not necessarily result in a perfect looking lawn. But what if you don’t want a lawn? Maybe you want something simpler, that takes less time and expense to maintain.

Why not try landscaping without grass?

Top 5 Landscaping Ideas without Grass

To save you from the time and labor involved in tending to grass, you can ditch the lawn and make use of other equally eye-catchy landscaping options. Ditching your beloved grass does not mean giving up on the space left in its wake. In fact, there are some well-designed and spectacular yards which do not have a single blade of grass in them. Some of these grass-free landscaping ideas are outlined below.

  1. Potted Garden

Trade in your lawn for a cute little garden with potted plants. This is a great way to do away with grasses while still retaining some form of foliage. Potted plants are much easier to care for than grasses, and you also have an array of planting options. You can decide to arrange the planters in clusters, rows or columns, or even have some suspended throughout your patio.

  1. Tropical Canopy

Another landscaping idea which does not involve grass is planting a tropical canopy. Transform your flat landscape into a vertical oasis using trees which can beautify your home as well as provide shade and privacy. Consider using fully grown dwarf varieties of evergreens or palms, as many trees take several years to mature to their full height.

  1. Lay with Mulch

Organic mulches such as pine bark or cedar is another landscaping option you can try out if you don’t want the stress involved with grass. Mulches are a stress-free but beautiful alternative to grass, which can give your home a rustic ground cover. It is important to first lay landscaping cloth on the bare soil before laying the mulch down, to prevent weeds from growing to the surface.

  1. Put a Patio

Your lawn can be transformed into an elegant hardscape when you add a lovely patio to it. Natural stones, stamped concrete or patio pavers can be used to create a functional and stunning space which can be used to entertain visitors. You can even decide to brighten up the patio space by furnishing it with strategically placed containers brimming with welcoming greenery like colorful flowers and ornamental plants. You will hardly even notice that your lawn is no longer there.

  1. Rock Out

To achieve a spectacular display of textures and color, create a rock garden using stones and rocks. The rugged simplicity of stones and rocks contrasts nicely with certain vibrant blooms around your home which help to create a one-of-a-kind landscape design. Also, during winter when flowers die and fade off, you still get to enjoy the scattered boulders throughout your yard.

There you have it! If you can’t find the time or it’s difficult to mow your lawn because of the landscape, you can get rid of the grass totally and still have a beautiful yard with these landscape ideas. For professional help with any of these ideas, Contact Levys Lawn & Landscape Today!