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Making Your Outside Living Space More Serene

Making Your Outside Living Space More Serene

Most people live with pretty high stress levels day in and day out. Lots of people want to learn new ways to reduce those stress levels so that they can live happier and healthier lives. One way that you can reduce stress levels is to spend more time outside. When people spend time outdoors, they increase their oxygen levels, get more exercise and get more exposure to necessary vitamin D found in natural sunlight. Getting outside more may not be enjoyable, however, if you are not happy with the condition of your outdoor living spaces. Here are a few ways that you can improve your outdoor living space and create a more serene, relaxing outdoor environment for you and your family.

Clean Out Debris

One of the biggest obstacles to creating a serene outdoor environment is allowing debris to pile up. This can easily happen over time, especially if work or family obligations cut into the time you can spend on chores around the house. Yard debris should especially be cleaned out during fall and the onset of winter. Allowing leaves and other debris to collect through the winter months can affect the growth of your grass in a negative way. Cleaning out this debris or hiring someone to clean out this debris will free your lawn up for new growth in the spring time, as well as give you a great starting point for creating your new, relaxing outdoor environment.

Pinpoint Your Goals

Before you embark on a landscaping project or before you hire a landscaping company, it is good to have in mind exactly what it is you want. The best way to make sure that you achieve your goals is to set clear goals for yourself. There are many different ways to achieve a relaxing outdoor environment. If you simply want a nice clean yard, where you can sit on a bench swing and watch the birds, then you will only need some simple landscaping done, and possibly a few bird feeders installed. There is much to be said for simple landscaping. Maintenance is much easier, and in most cases more cost effective when there are not many different plant elements to attend to. However, if you want your out door area to be really magnificent, then there are many landscaping options.

Fountains

Many people find that installing outdoor fountains can add but beauty and calm to their out door living area. Out door fountains are fun and relaxing. Even simple fountains can make a huge statement. Most simple fountains are easily installed and easily maintained. A landscaping service can advise you as to what types or sizes of fountains might be appropriate for your yard.

Walkways

Including decorative walkways are another way you can turn your yard into a tiny relaxation oasis. Designated pathways or walkways give the yard or garden a sense of order and many people find order very calming. When the walkways are strategically placed around lovely flower beds, or small ponds, the effect is intensified. Even a very small area can be turned into a quiet mediation garden.

Sitting Areas

In order to really enjoy your outdoor area you will definitely need sitting areas, so that you can sit down, relax and enjoy your surroundings. There are many options for sitting areas. Bench swings have always been a popular outdoor sitting option. The gentle sway of the swing is relaxing and fun. Bench swings can be free standing or hung from a sturdy tree limb. Benches are also a great option as they can give the outdoor area the true feeling of a stylish garden or park. If you have room, including an outdoor conversational set is also a lovely way to make room not only for yourself but for friends or family who may want to enjoy your serene outdoor environment too.

Ponds

A small outdoor pond may seem like an extravagant landscaping element, but ponds are actually very simple and can really add a sense of serenity to any outdoor area. Adding water flora to your pond, such as lily pads, also bring another layer of beauty. Many people find that adding goldfish to their ponds can provide hours of relaxing entertainment right in their own back yard.

If just the idea transforming your yard into a serene outdoor living area stresses you out, then you should consider hiring a landscaping company to make your lawn dreams come true. The money you have invested in your yard will not only improve the value of your home, but also improve the quality of your life, when you have a lovely outdoor place to relax, meditate and unwind.

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Six Simple Steps To Prepare Your Lawn For Winter

Six Simple Steps To Prepare Your Lawn For Winter

Most homeowners will say that their lawn is extremely important to them. A home’s yard is what gives its curb appeal. The nicer the yard looks, the nicer the property looks from the street. A home’s yard is also a place to gather. It is where the children go outside and play, and where homeowners host back yard barbeques. Because your home’s lawn is so important, it is important to take care of it all year long.

Many people think that the only time of year that the lawn needs care is in the spring and during the summer, when the grass is growing and the weather is warm. This is not true. Taking care of your lawn in the fall to prepare for winter is equally as important. When you prepare your lawn for the winter, you will have a more beautiful lawn in the spring.

Cut the Grass Low

When you cut the grass to prepare the lawn for winter, it is important to cut it lower to the ground than you normally would. It is best to cut it down to between 1 and 1 ½ inches. If your grass is over three inches tall when you mow it, you should take it down an inch over a few mowings. If you try to cut too much at once, it can cause stress on the grass. This can cause problems when it comes time for the grass to grow in the spring.

Aerate the Lawn

To prepare your lawn for winter, it is important to aerate the lawn. This will allow essential vitamins, nutrients, and oxygen to get into the soil and to the grass’s roots. This will make the grass healthier when spring arrives. There are two ways that you can aerate your lawn. If you have a small enough yard, you can use a hand tool. To use this tool, you would walk around the yard, pushing the tool into the ground all around the yard. For larger yards, an aerating machine can be used. The best time to aerate the lawn is when the soil is moist, not soggy.

Top-Dress the Lawn

When you prepare your lawn for winter, it is important to walk around an inspect the lawn. If there are areas where the grass is sparse, you need to prepare it for seeding using compost. The compost that you use should be crumbly, dry, cured, and cool to the touch. If you use compost that smells bad, and is hot, it is likely harboring pathogens. It can also burn your lawn. To add the compost, put a large amount in a snow shovel. Hold the shovel in the crook of your arm,and use your free hand to throw the compost into the necessary areas.

Fertilize the Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn is very important when preparing the lawn for the winter. When spreading the fertilizer, it is best to use a spreader made for fertilizer. The best type of fertilizer is high in phosphorus fertilizer, because this type stimulates growth. If you are unsure about the fertilizer you need for your yard, you can do a soil test to determine what your lawn needs. When using the spreader, you want to keep too much fertilizer in one spot. To prevent this, open and close the hopper only when the spreader is moving.

Overseed the Lawn

Overseeding is very important when it comes to preparing your lawn for the winter. It is best to use a spreader for this process as well. Start by filling the spreader with seed. You should set it to 2/3 of the recommendation posted on the bag. This will account for areas where you overlap as you pass. You should only open and close the hopper when the spreader is in motion.

If you have a very large yard to seed, you should consider renting a power overseeder. This machine will slice the turf,and drop the seeds right in. Using this machine also eliminates the need to rake later.

Rake and Water the Lawn

In order to combine the seeds and the compost, you should use a leaf rake, with the tines facing up. This should be done in all of the areas where fertilizer and seeds were spread.

You should water your lawn for about five minutes a day, two to three times a day. You should do this until the seeds sprout. After they have sprouted, you should water one a day for between 15 and 30 minutes.

When the grass reaches three inches long, you should cut it again, and bag the clippings. Once all of the leaves have fallen off the trees, mow the lawn one more time to 1 to ½ inches. This will prepare it for its dormant time in the winter.

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How to Winterize an Outdoor Kitchen

How to Winterize an Outdoor Kitchen

Snow has finally hit here in Minneapolis, which means it’s time to prepare for the rigid cold and continuous snow for the upcoming months. Leaving your backyard landscape and outdoor kitchen exposed to the elements might be a big mistake. To protect the major investment in an outdoor kitchen, it is important to take the proper steps to prepare it for the winter. The “four C’s” of winterization steps for outdoor kitchens are Cleaning, Cut-off, Cover, and Care.

Cleaning

After you finish clearing the backyard from leaves and debris, it is always nice to make an annual event of giving an outdoor kitchen a thorough cleaning before retiring it for the winter as well. Nobody wants to open up an outdoor kitchen in spring and then immediately clean up a mess. Of course, the kitchen will need a spruce up to go back into operation, but in springtime it certainly should not have dirty stuff still remaining from last summer’s parties.

Be sure to use the appropriate cleaning materials as recommended by each manufacturer. For example, soft stainless steel polish is best to use for those surfaces. Never use abrasive scrubs on stainless steel. Harsh cleansers used on stainless steel leave it scratched and permanently damaged.

Remove all items from refrigerators. Then gently remove all trays. Check with manufacturer’s specifications, but most are safe to put in the dishwasher on a non-heated rinse. Otherwise, give them a good cleaning by hand. Remove all ice from icemakers. Clean grills, ovens, and cook surfaces with appropriate cleaners. Wipe down all surfaces, and spray with disinfectant where appropriate.

outdoor kitchen preparation for winter

Cut-off

Make sure there is nothing left in the outdoor refrigerator/freezer by first taking all the things remaining outside and put them in the refrigerator/freezer in the house. Assuming there is no further planned use of any part of the outdoor kitchen, cut off the water supply, gas supply, and turn off the electricity on all the units individually or with the master electrical breaker switch if there is one.

Drain all remaining water from any unit that uses water. This includes refrigerators with on-door water taps, icemakers, and kegerators. Open water drain valves and disconnect water supply lines to each unit. Using compressed air, blow out water pipes that have exposure during winter. Dump out any moisture capture trays below appliances.

As a rule, water pipes below four feet of ground, with no part exposed, are safe from freezing during winter. Nevertheless, any water in any pipe or unit above the four-foot deep freezing line may cause damage as it expands when it freezes, so be certain to get rid of all the water that is in any place above ground.

Cover

Covering things up properly is not as straight forward as it may seem. Some appliances suffer damage from water trapped under covers. Because of this, it is important to consult with each manufacturer’s recommendation about the appropriate types of cover. There are specialized materials that do not hold moisture in, yet still protect appliances from winter snow. Other appliances, such as some outdoor grills, have a design that withstands winter weather and may not need any cover at all.

Refrigerators will fill with mold that is difficult to remove, when they are not operating and the inner compartment has no ventilation, so it may be best to leave a tiny open gap in the refrigerator door allowing some fresh air to enter. Normally, outdoor refrigerators and icemakers do not need a cover.

Each manufacturer has specific recommendations of how to cover their equipment, so be sure to check the recommendations and follow them. When covers are appropriate, make sure they fit snugly. Often there are custom covers available from the manufacturer, which are well worth the investment, since they fit the best.

Care

Sinks need special consideration. Some sink fixtures are removable then taken into the house for safekeeping during the winter. A frequently overlooked place, during the winterization process, is the trap under the sink. The trap holds a small amount of water even when the sink is empty. There are two methods to deal with this. The first is to remove the trap and therefore be able to pour out the water. The second method is to put a small amount of antifreeze into the sink. Perhaps a cupful is just enough so any residual water in the trap does not freeze during winter. Be sure to cover the sink basin so no debris or snow enters the sink or drain.

Countertops, especially those made from stone, benefit from having a coat of sealer applied to them before each winter. This is because stone countertops have tiny natural fissures in the material. Even a little amount of moisture that enters these tiny cracks in the surface is enough to cause damage when the water freezes.

Putting an outdoor kitchen into proper condition to take it out of service for the winter requires quite a bit of work. Nevertheless, this is ensures many years of worry-free use and not having big problems to deal with in spring. Remember, the best advice is professional advice.

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Front Yard Landscaping For A Great Spring Lawn

Front Yard Landscaping For A Great Spring Lawn

Your front yard says a lot about your style, personality and who you are to your friends, neighbors, and the whole world. Preparing your front yard for a Minneapolis winter can be a landscaping job that no one really wants to do. With such tumultuous weather in autumn, it can be hard to work up the motivation to do yard work. Many meteorologists are predicting a particularly cold winter this year, however, making it important that you get your lawn prepared if you want to have a healthy family of grass plants in the spring. Fortunately, most of the items on this list can be done in an afternoon; leaving you plenty of time to catch the football game.

Use Leaves For Mulching

Start by raking leaves out of the front yard. Better yet, have your kids rake the leaves. Cleaning up the leaves does more than keep your neighbors happy, it also prevents them from forming a blanket that can cut off the sunlight and oxygen to your front yard. Any leaves that are left on a yard through the winter will probably turn those areas into a dirt patch, since the sunlight starved grass will die instead of going dormant. If you don’t do anything else to care for your sod, make sure to rake up the leaves.

Once the leaves are bagged or being composted in your yard, cut your grass. Lawn maintenance is extremely important. Although most people tend not to mow the grass when it isn’t growing much in the fall, having short grass will prevent dead and dried grass from “catching” in the blades and choking off the nutrient supply to the ground. If you leave the grass long, the dead pieces of grass will form a thatch in your front yard. This thatch is so tight that it can prevent water from getting into the soil. That means that the roots of your sod will be thirsty for the entire winter. This can cause the grass to take a much longer time to come back in the spring, or die completely. Ideally, cut the grass to 3/4” high by early November. If you can, gradually lower the amount that you cut by 1/4” every other week until your grass is 3/4” high.

Better yet, use wood chips or rock mulch to make your landscape look fantastic!

Front Yard Fertilizing is a Must

Finally, fertilize your front lawn. Most people assume that they only need to fertilize in spring, and skip winter fertilization under the mistaken belief that dormant grass doesn’t eat much. The truth is that your sod has been drawing nutrients out of your soil all summer, and now as it prepares to go dormant there is not a lot left. By the end of the winter, there will be virtually nothing for the new grass to feed on as it starts to sprout. By fertilizing now, you’ll be able to store nutrients in the soil that can be used by your grass in the spring.

Trimming + Preparing

After caring for your front yard’s sod, the next thing you’ll want to do is care for your ornamental plants. Unlike grass, these plants are rarely completely covered by snow, so it’s important to take steps to prevent frostbite. Take the time now to trim dead and dying branches from trees. If you wait until the dead of winter to do this, the extreme cold could kill the plant. Failing to trim anything could create a hazardous situation in which the weight of ice and snow can cause these branches to snap off and injure someone. Remember to trim branches below the fork. Don’t worry if this takes a healthy branch off as well as a dead or diseased one, they will come back in the spring. Trimming above the fork doesn’t encourage the tree to go dormant for the winter, but rather encourages it to start repairing and growing. Once the cold sets in, this will damage or even kill the tree.

Replace the mulch around shrubs. This will help to insulate and protect the roots of the plant. Most plants in Minneapolis will go dormant for the winter; there is no need to cover with blankets unless you have tropical plants.

Equipment Maintenance

Finally, make sure you take steps to prevent damage to your lawn care equipment. Drain your sprinkler system before the temperature goes below freezing. Frozen water in these pipes will expand and cause your pipes to burst. Look for a shut-off or “master” valve to open in order to drain the water. Depending on your sprinkler system, you may need to leave this valve open throughout the winter.

Also remember to care for your lawnmower, weed eater, and any other motorized lawn care equipment. Since you won’t be using these tools during the winter, make sure they are stored properly. Drain the gas and oil from your lawn mower and other equipment.

Preparing your front lawn for spring won’t take too long, and in the when the weather warms back up, you’ll be glad that you took the extra time to care for your sod and trees. You’ll notice that your grass will turn green fast, you’ll have fewer dead patches, and your tress and shrubs will bloom much faster. Most importantly, you’ll save a lot of time and money when you don’t have to replace plants and sod.

Find out more about spring landscaping in our guide: Everything You Need For The Perfect Spring Landscape!

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Minneapolis Fall Landscape Design Ideas

Minneapolis Fall Landscape Design Ideas

With every turn of the season, your lawn becomes uniquely different, yet equally beautiful from the last. Perhaps you have a favorite season to enjoy the outdoors and your yard, that makes you feel in touch with mother nature. For us Minneapolitans, fall is an especially beautiful time of year. This is a great time to enjoy the local trees’ leaves changing colors and beautiful sunsets. You can take advantage of the spectacular northern climate this fall without even leaving the comfort of your own back yard landscape.

Many home owners search for the perfect landscaping masterpieces to make their homes inviting and appealing. With people leading busy lives, it is quite challenging to find the time to do your own landscaping. Saturdays are precious times to catch up with family and run errands. Many are aware of how consuming landscaping is. Hire Green Services and trust to get the job professionally done to your satisfaction.

Building Beautiful Fall Landscapes in Minneapolis

Landscaping with gorgeous seasonal flowers will boost the curb appeal of your yard and home instantly. Building an autumn garden in your front yard your home, is an easy and relaxing way to get outside during the fall months and beautify your yard at the same time.

Creating illusions with flowers, bushes, plants and vines will make your yard look more spacious, farther away or close and cozy. To obtain this landscape design effect, you want to build “layers” of flowers, plants, or bushes, one behind the other. For example, if you’re building a garden in the front of your house, plant smaller Chrysanthemums at the front nearest the curb, plant taller Salvia flowers right behind, and plant even taller David Austin Rose bushes in the back nearest your house. (You can keep going for as long as you wish. Incorporating a color scheme strategy into your landscape is also a great idea. Layer different color flowers and bushes together to create a more vibrant landscape.)

As the season changes and winter comes to the Minneapolis, you need to prepare any fall landscaping you did this September and October for the cold snaps in November. Lawn care may not involve mowing the lawn, but you want to prepare your grass to stay healthy looking. Leaf removal will save your lawn and avoid dirt patches popping through your turf next season.

LANDSCAPERS TIP: Use some of the leaves that have fallen from your trees for flower beds and/or mulch. This not only gives your garden and lawn a great fall look, but it will also kill and deter pesky weeds. Also, remember that fertilizing your lawn in advance gives it the nutrients needed to get through it’s dormant state in winter.

fall landscaping tip

We know how beautiful snow looks as it falls. For about a day it is a beautiful sight to behold. Unfortunately thanks to the global weirding, you can expect a slushy and dirty mess forming into ice and making your yard look like the scene of a snowman massacre. As snow melts it becomes more dangerous. It has the potential to freeze overnight making walking unsafe for family and loved ones in the mornings on your way to school or work. Clear pathways will make coming and going much, much safer.

If you need help improving your fall landscaping and want to boost your curb appeal, Contact GT Design & Landscape today for your seasonal landscaping needs.

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7 Fall Landscaping Chores People Hate Doing

7 Fall Landscaping Chores People Hate Doing



Fall is a favorite time of year for many people. The kids are back in school; the holidays are looming and the trees begin their kaleidoscope of color. The only thing that is better than enjoying fall is getting someone else to do your landscaping maintenance chores for you. We all know what a headache fall landscaping can be, and how important it is to making sure your lawn stays healthy though its dormant winter, and stays green for next season.

Here are seven fall lawn care tasks that people hate, but landscapers love.

  1. Raking Leaves: Don’t let those fallen leaves lay on your lawn. They block the sunlight and cause the lawn to turn brown. To promote lawn health, have the leaves raked up and disposed of once or twice per week until the trees are done with their autumn shedding.
  2. Pruning Shrubs and Trees: Not all trees or shrubs should be pruned in the fall. However, some trees and shrubs bloom better if you trim them in the fall. Can you tell the difference between which trees and shrubs should be trimmed in the fall? If not, we can help you identify the best pruning times for all your greenery.
  3. Lawn Care: Now is a great time to re-seed your lawn using a cold tolerant grass seed. Dispute all of the different types of grass seed available there are two main groups. Grass that loves heat and grass that loves the cooler times of the year. A healthy lawn should be mixed with both. In the fall, we re-seed with cool loving grass and in the early summer we re-seed with warm, loving grass. Doing such allows the lawn to thrive for most of the year without growing thin in places. Fall is also a good time to fertilize and aerate your lawn. We offer a full-service team of lawn care experts.
  4. Weed abatement: Now that the weather is getting cooler, it is time to get rid of all of those weeds that have infiltrated the lawn, flower beds, and shrubs. Weeds rob your plants of water and fertilizer as they compete for a spot in your yard. A beautiful landscaped yard should be weed free. It is also a good idea to take care of weeds before they drop their seeds. Now is an outstanding time to clean up the weeds and get your yard in shape for the holidays.
  5. Winterization of Irrigation: Oh Snap! nobody wants to deal with broken pipes or broken sprinkler heads. Before the temperature dips to freezing winterize your irrigation system. Test all of the connections and sprinklers to see if they are working properly. If not, replace them as needed. If you have an automatic system, it is time to drain it so that the pipes survive the winter. If your system control box is located outside make sure, it is insulated against the weather. It is not uncommon to have valves, timers, and other parts that contain water to freeze and split. Winterizing your irrigation system helps to keep it in tip-top shape through the winter and early spring.
  6. Snow Removal: When the snow starts to fall, keep your driveway and sidewalks clear of the winter wonderland effect with snow removal services. By keeping snow under control, you have better access to your garage, walkways, and even your deck. Shoveling snow does not have to be a hard chore we are happy to do it for you. In Minneapolis, you never know when the snow will hit (in 2013, it was early October!), so prepare yourself ahead of time to make sure you can get to work or get your kids to school safely.
  7. Gutter Care: There are two main chores each fall, and the worst is cleaning out the gutters. If you are not fond of climbing ladders and crapping out the decaying, mucky mess in the gutters not a problem. We don’t mind doing that for you. Keeping your gutters in top shape helps to allow them to do their job. The last thing anyone wants is for your gutter to trap water that freezes and then forms an ice dam. A clogged gutter or downspout is the first step on the way to creating a leaking roof. Save your roof, prevent ice dams and get your gutters professionally cleaned.



fall landscaping example

While fall is a fabulous time of year, all of the chores that go into maintaining your yard may not be all that fun. Between school and activities and sports, who has time to rake the lawn?

We do.

We offer outstanding yard and landscaping services. We can help you manage your yard chores on a one-time basis or as a prescheduled service that runs like clockwork. Plus, we are experts at our craft so we can help you with landscape design too. If you are considering outdoor lighting projects, rooms, patios or decks for better fall landscaping ambiance, we are the people to call. Get your fall landscaping in order and where it needs to be for the upcoming harsh winter to make sure you have a lawn to actually care for next season. GT Design & Landscape is here to assist you with any and all of your fall landscaping needs. Contact us today to get a free quote!

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Landscaping Tips to Prepare Your Yard for the Winter

Landscaping Tips to Prepare Your Yard for the Winter

Preparing Your Lawn For Winter in Minneapolis

When the last leaf falls, it is time to start thinking about preparing your yard for the winter. When you correctly get your yard for winter weather, it will help to keep it healthy all year round. Whether you have mild winters or blistery, below zero winters, taking the necessary in the fall will not only prepare your lawn for the cooler weather, but for the following spring as well. Here are some winter preparation tips to help you prepare your lawn this fall.

Rake the Leaves

Raking the leaves is one of the most important things to do when preparing your lawn for the winter. When leaves are left on the ground, they smother the grass, which will cause dead grass and dirt patches next spring. When raking the leaves, save some of them to put in the flowerbeds to help prevent early growth of weeds in the spring. Along with raking, you should also clean up the yard. Pick fruit up off of the ground and cut back perennials. This will help give your garden and yard a cleaner look and it may help to reduce the risk of pests wintering in the debris.

Don’t Forget About the Garden

landscape ready for winter

Remove annuals that won’t make it through next spring, but leave the roots, so they can decompose and provide nutrients for the soil. Clean all plant debris from the flower beds to prevent mold and mildew. Pull the leftover weeds. Fall is the perfect time to plant your spring-blooming flower bulbs, trees and shrubs. The excess moisture during the fall and winter months will help new plants get the nutrients they need to resume growth next spring.

Mow the Grass

If you live in an area where it starts to get cold after September, but the grass is still growing, it is recommended that you mow the grass twice in October and once in November. On the last mow, cut the grass short, especially in moist/wet climates. This will allow the moisture to seep into the ground and prevent the grass from dying at the beginning of next spring. Although you shouldn’t leave large piles of grass on the lawn, if you leave a moderate build-up it will help to hold the moisture in the ground during the winter.

Fertilize

Late fall, typically one month before it usually freezes is the optimum time to fertilize your lawn. Fertilizing in the fall will help strengthen the turf for the winter and provide the nutrients it needs to be healthy next spring. Make sure to use the type of fertilization that is right for your region and the type of grass you have. If you aren’t sure about what type of fertilizer to use, it may be best to have a local landscaper do the fertilizing for you.

Reseed the Lawn

If there are bare spots in the lawn, fall is the perfect time to reseed. To ensure you have a lush lawn in the spring; first aerate the turf to make sure the seeds have sufficient room to root, spread a nutrient enriched compost and work the compost into the ground. Use a seeder to evenly spread the grass seed, cover the seed lightly with straw to prevent birds from dining on it and keep the seed watered until the grass is well established. Avoid mowing the grass until the new growth is about 2 to 3 inches in height.

Herbicides and Pesticides

The primary weeds you will need to worry about are perennial weeds, such as ground ivy and dandelions. To reduce growth next spring, spot treat with a broadleaf herbicide and avoid the use of weed killers that are intended for use only after the weeds have sprouted. If you use a pesticide, make sure that it is safe for lawns that will experience a freeze. The best way to use pesticides in the fall is by spraying around the perimeter of your house. This will help to reduce the pests that will migrate into the lawn.

Protecting Trees and Shrubs

Use paper tree wrap to help protect thin-barked trees from sunscald during the winter. Sunscald occurs when warmed sap is quickly frozen during the night, which causes the tree bark to split. Beds that have shrubs and/or flowers should have a protective layer of mulch put down before the first freeze. The mulch will help keep the soil at an even temperature and prevent the soil from heaving and forcing plants out of the ground.

After all of the winter preparations are completed for the lawn and the garden, turn off the lawn sprinklers, drain the sprinkler lines and turn the outside water off at the main line. Clean and sharpen the garden tools before storing them for the winter and remember to wipe down and store your outdoor furniture.

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Fall Landscaping Ideas

Fall Landscaping Ideas

Just because fall ushers in the turn of your yard’s leaves and the eventual hibernation of your plants does not mean you are unable to take advantage of the time of year. This is a great time to improve your yard and really spruce up the landscaping. While you probably are not going to start planting flowers throughout the yard, you can still take advantage of some of these ideas to add interest and depth to your landscaping.

Plant Evergreens

Evergreens planted around the edges of your yard are going to add exceptional beauty. Not only do these trees help give your yard privacy and shade, but the trees look beautiful against the changing leaves of all the other trees. Plus, when all of the leaves have fallen to the ground, at least you still have some green to look at when peering out your back window.

Weed and Plant

Fall is a nice time to remove weeds and other growths around the house in order to prevent everything from sticking around for next year. It is also a great time to replace these patches of weeds with some ground covers. A beautiful cranberry plant is going to burst with beautiful reds that not only look beautiful in the fall, but when the snow comes, the mix of bright red with snow capped white is unlike anything you have in your yard. Plus, this added color is going to help add interest to your garden come next year, so you have something to look forward to as well.

fall landscape minneapolis

Install a Structure

Landscaping is more than just planting your bushes, trees and flowers. You also need to incorporate a structure into your yard, ranging anywhere from a fence to retaining wall, arbor or pergola. Go with a material that is going to complement the overall look and style of your yard, all while fitting into your budget. A material such as stone is beautiful as it ages exceptionally well and comes in all sorts of shapes and colors. On top of it, you can mix stone styles to increase the overall appeal and you do not really need to wash the stone or do anything with it, so there is less work than brick or wood.

To learn more fall landscaping ideas, contact GT Design & Landscape for all your landscape design needs!

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Fertilization: Keeping Lawns Healthy Through the Winter

grass preparing for winter

After a warm summer of sun and outdoor gatherings, the lawn needs special attention. Even with the weather cooling and rain showers in the forecast, taking time to prepare lawns for the coming cold and snow will pay off in the late spring.

Fall means leaves changing colors and falling until the trees stand bare. Keeping leaves, twigs and other debris out of the lawn stops fungus growth during the early spring thaw and the nitrites that accompany decomposition stay out of surface water. Mowing over fallen leaves acts as a mulch that feeds the grass when spread sparingly over the grass. Special lawn mower attachments cut lawn debris into small pieces for a nice mulch.

Cold weather grass

Some lawns perk up in the cooling temperatures and need regular mowing until the first hard freeze. Cool weather grasses including, Fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, like the cool weather and will come to life at the beginning of the season.

Even with occasional rain showers in the area, cool weather grasses need deep watering to keep their root systems strong. An important part of fall lawn care, aerating, allows airflow and nutrients a direct route to the roots.

Fertilize in the fall for a beautiful spring lawn

In mid-fall and late-fall, fertilize with a potassium and nitrogen rich mix, which will saturate the roots and prepare them for the winter freeze.

Fall also marks the season for fertilizing summer grass and reseeding. The wear and tear of summer activity can leave bald spots that need reseeded. Ryegrass, a tough perennial grass will begin growing in a week or less. When planted with mulch or soil covering, at least an inch deep, will sprout beautifully in the early spring.

Mowing and watering

Grasses like Bermuda and St. Augustine, grown mostly in warmer climates, go dormant in the late fall. Fertilizing these types of lawns can stimulate growth, which will deplete its energy stores and produce a lack-luster lawn in the spring. Avoid feeding and mowing these types of grass once they have changed color.

For cool weather lawns, lawn mower blades should be adjusted an inch higher. The extra length rejuvenates malnourished roots and allows them to store energy through the winter.

The final mowing of the season will leave the grass a half-inch shorter than the recommended summer height. This helps protect the grass from diseases and the coldest winter nights and when the snow hits.

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Planning Ahead for Winter: Safety and Convenience

Minnesota Winter Snowman in Residential Yard

If you have spent anytime living in our wonderful state, you know both the joys and agonies of our winter snows. While enjoying a beautiful snow fall is a treat, it quickly becomes a major inconvenience, and some of our heavier snowfalls create multiple dangers. We receive than 45.3 inches of snow a year, and we can count on more than an inch of snow cover for an average of 100 days annually. This reality makes it essential to take time to plan for timely snow removal services in Minneapolis.

The Importance of Planning for Winter

Most long-term residents understand the importance of taking care of new snowfalls quickly. The snow that accumulates creates a number of hazards and potential costs, including:

  • Slips and falls from ice forming under the snow
  • Major damage to roofs and other structures
  • Lack of access to vital exterior areas
  • Blockage of walks and driveways
  • Dangers from ice and debris falling from roofs
  • Potential hazards from overexertion

While some residents tackle residential snow plowing/removal in Minneapolis on a DIY basis, many have come to appreciate the use of a professional snow removal service. At GT Design & Landscapes we have the latest in snow removal equipment and a professionally trained staff.

Our team monitors the weather closely and we respond promptly to customers who retain us to keep their commercial and residential properties safe and accessible. We offer a service agreement that allows us to plan ahead and ensure we are on the job to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Instead of allowing snow to accumulate over several snowfalls, or achieving only a little headway on your way to access your vehicle, we provide complete residential snow plowing services in Minneapolis. Very importantly, we also remove the snow and prevent it from becoming a problem that lasts continually through the winter.

Snow: A Matter of Health and Safety

The failure to adequately remove the heavy snow we receive presents the potential for a number of dangers for you, your family, and visitors. As we listed above, these are known dangers in our area. Choosing to ignore these dangers increases the contingent liabilities when someone slips and falls or is otherwise injured.

One other factor is very important for consideration by many homeowners. The American Heart Association states that for many people, the act of shoveling snow isn’t a problem. On the other hand, the combination of cold temperatures and heavy physical exertion increases the risk of cardiac problems for many. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Suregeons, more than 34,200 people were treated in emergency rooms and other medical offices from injuries sustained during snow removal. An additional 8,000 were injured using snow blowers.

Wouldn’t you rather stand at your picture window with a hot cup of cocoa in your hands and watch us quickly and efficiently remove that freshly fallen snow? Call us today to discuss a snow removal services contracts and other seasonal services to keep you and your family comfy and safe.

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