May 2013 Newsletter

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May 2013 LAI Pros Newsletter

Ideas for a Small Space

Often when we think of gardening, we envision large spaces full of pathways and greenery. While these gardens are beautiful, they are often unrealistic for those individuals with small yards or even no green space at all.

If you’re working in a small space, you do have an advantage over the larger areas. Small spaces are often less expensive to work in and you will be able to complete your tasks quickly – giving you more time to enjoy your space. Ideas to consider in your small space might include any of the following:

A Fire Feature – Fire features including a fire pit, a chimera or a full scale fireplace can make your space feel cozy and give it function as well. Arrange your fire feature in a place where you won’t be obstructed by trees or other fire hazards. Then prepare seating around your fire pit to enjoy in all seasons.

Edible Garden – In your small space, you can easily grow plenty of your own vegetables and herbs. Use a combination of containers, window boxes and small planting beds in the spaces that you do have available. Raised garden beds are an easy way to bring in planting space as well.

Garden Retreat – If you’re working with only a bit of space in the backyard, make that space very cozy by planting tall shrubs around your garden to block out a lot of the view outside of your space. Surround the center of your space with plantings and leave the center available for seating or a small stone patio.

Break Up the Space – Another simple trick to making a small space look larger is to split the space visually by using planting beds. Giving small areas of the yard specific purposes makes the whole yard look larger and server greater functions as well.

Container Gardening

If space is a serious consideration or if you’re looking to spruce up your patio, a container garden offers you tremendous possibilities without the need for large expanses of land. In a container garden, you’ll be planting in any number of pots and containers that are easily arranged for space limitations and aesthetics.

Planting in a Container Garden

You can plant just about anything in a container garden so long as your plants don’t outgrow their containers. Many containers are home to flowering annuals, evergreen perennials and, of course, several varieties of vegetables and some fruits. A container garden is the perfect place to grow herbs and kitchen vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and peppers.

Where to Create Your Garden

Provided it gets enough sunlight, a small patio can be an idea spot for a container garden. The containers are easy to reach for care and maintenance. Position your sun-loving plants like herbs and most annuals where they can receive at least six hours of sunlight every day – this may mean moving a bit outside of a covered patio. Shade tolerant plants will be easier to house near the walls of your home.

Caring For a Container Garden

Container gardens are easy to set up – pots of various size are all you need for your plants. But the care of those plants will ultimately make or break the success of the garden. As the weather grows warmer, containers lose moisture much faster than the ground. This means that a container garden may need watering every day to maintain optimum growth and beauty.

Landscape Tip of the Month: Core Aeration

May is the perfect month to schedule one of the most beneficial things you can do for your lawn –   core aeration. Core aeration improves rooting, enhances fertizlier and water uptake, accelerates thatch breakdown and improves the rooting of your grass. This is something you can do yourself if you wish to rent the equipment. Why bother? Call LAI to schedule that beneficial Core Aeration today. It’s truly landscaper’s secret to a beautiful lawn.

Pest of the Month – Bees

The word ‘bees’ brings to mind two distinct images. There are the lazy bumbling bumble bees that meander through your garden spreading pollen and love around your flowers and then there are the smaller bees that can appear in swarms and act aggressively. It’s an easy assumption that nobody really minds big honey bees – they aren’t particularly dangerous and they can do excellent things for your garden.

It is often other sorts of bees that can cause mischief in your garden and make it difficult to enjoy your outdoor spaces this summer. If you find yourself swarming with too many bees, be aware that in general there are no real “bad” bees. All bees help to pollinate and do important work for our environment. That being said, you might want to encourage them to go pollinate somewhere else – especially if you are allergic to bee stings.

When attempting to remove bees of any kind, try to remove them without harming or killing the bees. Bees are diminishing in number around the world, and this isn’t a good thing for agriculture. To remove bees from your garden, you can try a few different things to help them move on.

Move Garbage Cans – Bees enjoy the sweet smell of rotting food. If your garbage cans are close to your garden or patio, move them far away to draw off the bees. Be sure to check for spills and other sweet smells that may draw bees to your area.

Lure Bees Away – If you simply want the bees to get away from your patio or favorite sitting spot, try luring them away with fruit. Place sliced fruit in a paper bag. The smell of the fruit will attract bees. Every day move the fruit farther away to draw the bees away from their original location.

Remove the Nest – If you can locate the nest for the bees in your yard, you may have better luck getting them out of the way. Many bees nest in the ground, so covering your garden beds with mulch will help to drive out ground-nesting bees. Bees can be very dangerous, however, so it generally best to call in a professional to help exterminate or remove the bees to a safer location for both you and their colony.


Strawberry-Glazed Fruit Salad Recipe

Strawberry-Glazed Fruit Salad

1 qt. fresh strawberries, halved

1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained

4 firm bananas

1 jar or pouch (16 oz.) strawberry glaze

In a large bowl, gently toss the strawberries, pineapple and bananas. Fold in glaze. Chill for at least 1 hour. Serves 6-8.


Landscape Associates, Inc.

Serving Alabama, Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta and Northwest Georgia