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Efficient Watering

efficient watering

Efficient Watering Water is a precious resource which needs to be used wisely to be effective and efficient. Some tips for using irrigation water more efficiently are: 1) Install rain sensors on your sprinkler systems. There is no need for your irrigation system to run when it is raining or going to rain. 2) Adjust irrigation timers according to seasonal needs. Irrigation should not be running mid afternoon or during the night. Timers can be set based on seasonal time. 3) Detect and repair all leaks in the irrigation systems. 4) Water trees and shrubs,

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ATTRACTING BUTTERFLIES

ATTRACTING BUTTERFLIES To attract the greatest number of butterflies and have them as residents in your yard you will need to have plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the butterfly. They need a place to lay eggs, food plants for the larva (caterpillar), a place to form a chrysalis and nectar sources for the adults. Most adult butterflies live 10 to 20 days but some live no longer than 3 to 4 days. The overwintering monarchs may live 6 months. Over 700 species of butterflies are found in North America. Butterfly

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WHY GROW NATIVE PLANTS?

WHY GROW NATIVE PLANTS? A native plant is one that naturally occurs on a site and has not been introduced from another distant place. Native plants provide the best diversity of habitat elements for wildlife. Wildlife in your area have evolved to use native plants as food, cover, places to raise their young and sometimes even for water. Native plants will thrive in their natural site because they are best suited to the conditions of that site. Plants native to the soils and climate of your specific area provide the best overall food sources for

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The Organic Way to Fertilize your Garden

organic way to fertilize your garden

Is there any Organic Way to Fertilize your Garden? Building a healthy soil is the basis of healthy plants whether they are flowers, vegetables or herbs. All plants need nutrients and they get their nutrients from the soil they are planted in. Nutrients in the soil thus need to be replenished. This replenishment is called fertilizing. Organic fertilizers for your garden Manures: provides nitrogen content, trace elements and organic matter to build a healthy soil ecosystem. Fresh animal manure can burn plants and so should always be composted. Composted manures are weed seed free also.

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Attracting Wildlife to your Garden

It is nearing the end of winter—what are your plans for your garden this spring? This spring why don’t you figure your wild neighbours into your outdoor plans and create a wildlife garden? Eight tips to make your gardens more wildlife-friendly: 1) Plant lots of colourful and scented flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds 2) Ensure to include areas of shrubbery and low bushes to make homes for birds and small animals. Some varieties will provide berries attracting songbirds like cardinals and finches. 3) Install a pond or water feature to attract animals and birds

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Mulching

mulching

Mulching is applying a ground cover to planted areas as part of ongoing maintenance and conservation management. Mulch is a gardener’s best friend. There is no other gardening task that provides as much payback as mulching. Objectives of Mulching are: 1) Insulate soil from extreme temperature (hot and cold) changes thus maintaining uniform soil temperatures 2) To protect the soil from structural damage that results from winter freezing 3) Conserving soil moisture by reducing losses thru evaporation 4) Keeps soil moist therefore making nutrients more available to plants 5) Reduces soil compaction 6) Prevents crusting

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Lawn Fertilization

lawn fertilizer

Fertilization is the addition of necessary nutritional elements to keep your lawn’s soil healthy. The soil itself needs to replenish its nutrients so it can continue to keep your lawn healthy. All fertilizers provide three main nutrients for the grass which are listed by percentage weight on fertilizer packages. These are nitrogen(N) which is necessary for grass stem and leaf growth; phosphorous(P) which promotes grass root, fruit and flower growth; and potassium(K) which assists other nutrients to function well within the plant. The ratio of nutrients are always listed in the order of N first

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Why is turf (lawns and sod) so important in the landscape?

turf

Why is turf (lawns and sod) so important in the landscape?  With recent problems of grub infestations in the Ottawa area many have chosen to get rid of their turf. But turf is very important within the landscape as there are many benefits of turf. Turf grass is North America’s largest agricultural crop. Turf grass is an integral part of our serene and beautiful outdoor living space. Benefits of turf grass (lawns and sod): 1) Business and Economic Improvement: lawns increase the value of our property by 15 to 20 per cent. They improve curb

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Top Dressing Your Lawn

top dressing your lawn

Top dressing is the process of applying compost, top dressing soil, garden soil, topsoil or composted top dressing pellets over the surface of your lawn. Top dressing restores balance to your lawn, builds good soil and increases your soil flora. The benefits of top dressing are immense and now that we readily have available an all natural screened composted top dressing in pellet form, which can be applied via a fertilizer spreader for a very reasonable price to build good soil and improve your lawn, we recommend the application of these pellets every spring and

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Five Budget Friendly Tips to Harmonize your Outdoor Space

Harmonize Your Outdoor Space

Five Budget Friendly Tips to Harmonize your Outdoor Space An outdoor living space can add instant charm to your home and extend your living space into the great outdoors. Many outdoor projects can get costly but there are a few budget friendly tips to make your space lush, beautiful and livable with just a bit of time and money. Plants and Flowers: No outdoor space is complete without the right plants and flowers. Giving your space a green makeover is more budget-friendly than you would think. City of Ottawa offers free trees for you to

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Over-seeding

over-seeding

Over-seeding (sowing grass seeds on an established lawn) is one way to ensure your lawn stays dense from one season to the next. Thick grass will crowd out weeds. In the spring one should check for dying grass and repair it with over-seeding and possibly top dressing. Weed seeds are very opportunistic and will establish themselves wherever bare soil exists. It is not necessary to cover grass seeds with soil unless there are bare areas, then one needs top dressing to be done too. Over-seeding is done with a broadcast spreader to evenly apply the

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Core Aeration

Core Aeration

Core aeration is the process of removing plugs of soil from the lawn to: 1) increase oxygen flow around the root zone of the grass 2) stimulate microbial activity 3) to improve soil structure 4) to improve water flow 5) to decrease compaction 6) bring soil nutrients to surface Aeration is best done when the ground is moist in the spring and the fall. Spring core aeration should not take place until the ground has firmed up after the winter to avoid damage to new shoots of grass and further the compaction of the soil.

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De-Thatching

de-thatching

De-thatching is a process that removes thatch from the lawn. Thatch is a layer of dead and decaying organic matter located where the grass emerges from the ground. Thatch results when organic material collects faster than it decomposes. If thatch becomes too thick, it will not breakdown and forms a dense layer that tends to be impermeable to water, prevents light and nutrients from reaching the grass. Thatch is the perfect hiding place for insects like chinch bugs. Thus it is important that the lawn be assessed annually for thatch buildup and if there is

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Pruning

Pruning is a very important part of plant, shrub and tree care that is performed for both aesthetic reasons and for plant health. Pruning is the cutting away of unwanted parts of a plant for more fruitful growth and shaping. You should prune a plant or shrub to remove crossed, damaged or diseased branches which will stress the plant. Pruning also improves air flow through the plant and can encourage better branch distribution which results in a healthier, more vigorous plant that is more disease tolerant. Post-bloom pruning maximizes the blooms for the following season.

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How to Maintain a Healthy Lawn in Seven Simple Steps

healthy lawn in seven simple steps

How to Maintain a Healthy Lawn in Seven Simple Steps Step 1: De-thatching and Core Aeration -use a de-thatching machine or contact Harmony Gardens Landscaping to de-thatch your lawns. -ensure to rake up the removed thatch from de-thatching and dispose of -thatch can harbor insects and disease -thatch prevents water and nutrients from reaching grass roots -healthy lawns have 1cm or less of thatch – more is not healthy -core aerate lawns after de-thatching in the spring and the fall and before top dressing, fertilizing and over-seeding -core aerators should have the weights on to

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