Philadelphia Flower Show

It’s that time of year again and we are excited to be helping out Flowers By David at the Philadelphia Flower Show. This is the second year Cedar Run Landscapes has assisted with the water elements of their display. This year is the first time we will be using our Aquasurge variable speed pump in a formal display. The variable speed allows us to adjust the amount of water running through the system until it is flowing perfectly.  Below are a few pictures of our Project Manager, Bill Stewart, working on the water portion of the display.

While getting a behind the scene look at the displays throughout the showroom we were excited to see E.P. Henry’s product lines being showcased in several displays. Its a sight you are not going to want to miss so head down to the Philadelphia Flower show and check it out.

 

 

Winter Lawn Damage

As the weather starts to warm up many are beginning the ritual of spring yard work. One area that may need some attention is lawn damage that has occurred over the winter. Chemical damage from deicing products and mechanical damage from plows and other snow removal equipment can do major damage to a once great looking lawn.

Severe lawn damage due to plowing

Mechanically damaged areas can be repaired simply by removing any dead pieces of turfgrass, filling areas with soil where needed and seeding the area with the appropriate seed mix. It is important to choose a seed mix that is similar to your existing turfgrass so it will blend in once grown. Work the seed into the soil a little to make sure there is good contact between seed and soil or the seed may not germinate.

Damage due to deicing products often occurs near sidewalks or roads where high concentrations of salts and other products are used.  These products run off of walkways, driveways and roads and burn grass and any other plant material in its path. To repair these areas it is important to flush the salts and other chemicals out that may still be lingering in the soil. Run a sprinkler over the area until thoroughly saturated.

Salt damage along walkway

Treating the area with a pelletized gypsum soil conditioner is also a good treatment for salt-damaged lawns. Gypsum (Calcium sulfate) replaces salt with calcium and sulfur. This will help heal the grass and encourage new growth, also it helps soil retain moisture. Apply a thin layer of gypsum over the effected area and water well.

Once this is done seed the area.  A starter fertilizer is recommended at the time of seeding as it will ensure optimum growth and establishment. Avoid using any pre-emergent weed controls in these areas as they will prevent your seeds from germinating.

To prevent lawn damage during the winter months here are a few tips:

  • Minimize the amount of salt you use on your property
  • Use a calcium magnesium acetate deicer product instead of those that have salt or fertilizer
  • Mark driveways and sidewalks with stakes or other visible markings once the snow has fallen if these areas are being plowed.
  • Place barriers between landscape area and the driveway/walkway

Tool Maintenance

Store tools in a dry and protected place

Winter is a great time for garden enthusiasts to take stock of their equipment and to practice basic tool maintenance. Most tools require some type of maintenance to keep them in working order. Here are a few tips that you can do over the winter season to prepare for the spring.

 Make sure tools are properly stored during the winter. It is recommended that they are hung to keep them out of the way when not in use. Also keeping them off the ground will protect them from moisture.

Remove unwanted rust with a wire brush

 Survey tools for rust. If there is a small amount, apply a little machine oil to the surface and scrub the area with a wire brush. If a tool has a serious rust problem then its time to use a rust dissolver. Follow the directions on the bottle of the rust dissolver. If there is any reminding rust after using the dissolver a wire brush should do the trick. Coating your tools with oil when storing them over the winter will stop the oxidation process, preventing rust.

Rub wooden handles down with linseed oil

 Any wooden handled tool should be sanded down with sandpaper. Apply linseed oil with a rag to help seal the wood and keep the handle splinter free.

 Sharpen any digging or cutting tool by filing the edge. These are often the fastest tools to be worn down. A sharpened tool makes gardening life easier and prolongs the life of the tool. To maintain a sharp edge throughout the season use a medium-grit sharpening stone. Make sure to take care not to injure yourself while performing these tasks. Wear the proper protective equipment such as gloves and eye wear.

File cutting edges to keep tool sharp

To keep your tools in good working order throughout the season remember to remove any dirt or other debris from the tool once you are finished working with it. Doing this will also prevent the spread of plant diseases. Use a wire or nylon brush to remove any caked on mud that can not be hosed off. Let your tool completely dry before storing it away. A stored wet tool will most likely end up with a rust issue.

Follow theses simple steps and you will be a happy gardener come spring.

Winterizing Your Pond

Preparing your pond for the winter does not have to be a difficult job. Just follow these few steps and your pond will be ready come spring time.

Fall Leaves and Debris:

Placing a pond net over your feature before the leaves begin falling is an easy way to minimize debris in the pond. Once the majority of leaves have fallen, simply remove the netting, disregard the leaves and store the netting away for the next time you need it.

If you did not get a chance to get that net up this season you most likely have a buildup of leaves and debris at the bottom of your pond. Using a long handled pond net, you can easily scoop out the majority of this debris. If you for spring just remember that the decomposing debris will certainly create a bigger mess next year.

It is also a good idea to trim and remove any dying or dead plant material around the pond and in the marginal areas as they too will decompose over winter leaving a mess next spring. Submerged hardy plants like lilies should be cut back above the base of the plant.

Cold Water Bacteria:

Add a cold water bacteria solution to help keep your pond water clean and clear. This beneficial bacteria solution is adapted to work in temperatures lower than 50° F to help reduce organic material and reduce ammonia, nitrite and other excess nutrients. Regular use of this bacteria solution throughout the cold months will help maintain water quality and reduce spring maintenance.

Healthy Fish:

As it gets cooler and the water temperatures begin dipping into the lower 70°F, your fish will have a more difficult time digesting their usual food. Switching to a wheat germ base fish food will keep them happy and full of the nutrients they need to bulk up for the winter months while being easily digestible. Be careful not to overfeed. You can feed 2-3 times a day what they’ll eat in 5 minutes or less, then remove any excess food. When the water temperatures fall below 50°F, it is time to stop feeding.


Keep Your Feature Running:

Ice formations on one of our display pond with basalt columns.

Running your feature year round can provide ever-changing and strikingly beautiful ice formations that create a wonderful addition to your winter landscape. If this is the route for you, make sure to top off your feature periodically throughout the winter as evaporation is still happening. Also inspect streams and channels for ice formations that may dam up the water flow and lead to unnecessary water loss.

Shutting Down Your Pond:

If you decide to shut down your pond for the winter months, here are tips on what you’ll need to do:

- Remove the pump from the pond, storing it in a warm place.

- Drain water from any pond plumbing as the freeze thaw cycle can cause pipe cracking within the system

- Remove and clean any filter media used in your system and store them in a warm place along with your pump.

- As the pump is no longer running, oxygenating the water is important. Place a small re-circulating aeration pump on the top shelf of your pond. This will help keep a hole in your iced over pond to allow harmful gasses to escape and oxygen to get into the water.

- In areas where the aeration pump will not be enough to keep a hole in the forming ice, consider adding a pond heater. This product will prevent a portion of your pond from freezing over and allow for the necessary gasses to transfer in and out of the water.

Birds migrate to fresh water sources during the cold winter months.

Taking these steps to prepare your pond for winter will help your fish survive hibernation while also making your spring maintenance easier. If you need any help in preparing this winter, contact Cedar Run Landscapes.

What To Do With All Those Leaves

Why not compost them. Leaves are a natural energy source and provide high levels of nutrients to your garden plants once composted. Even if you were to just pile shredded leaves up and let them sit over winter, a layer of compost at the bottom of the pile would greet you come spring. Here are some tips to help you on your way to creating a rich organic compost to feed your garden next spring.

  • Shred your leaves, whole leaves prevent air and water from circulating throughout the pile. Use a chipper/shredder, leaf blower that has a reverse ‘vacuum’ options or a bagging lawn mower. Double shredding is even more helpful as the smaller pieces will decompose at a faster rate.
  • Adding nitrogen to your compost pile will help move along the process much faster. A ratio of 4 parts leaf waste to 1 part green waste provides you with an optimum decomposition rate. Non-meat kitchen waste, including tea bags, coffee grounds and eggshells help make up the green waste. Coffee grounds and lawn clippings are both great sources of nitrogen and they also add moisture to the mix. Be careful not to add lawn clippings that have been treated with herbicides as the resulting compost may potentially kill plants next spring.
  • The more chopped up everything is the faster your pile will transform into rich black compost. Also mixing and turning the pile will facilitate the process.
  • Adding a chimney in the middle of your compost pile will allow air and water to flow throughout the whole pile. Create a chimney by rolling flexible wire fencing into a tube, making sure it will be tall enough to extend above the top of your pile.

 

For additional information visit these websites:

Your Own Compost Pile

Composting 101

Building Your Compost Pile

What Happened to my Impatiens?

This season throughout the northeast many Impatiens walleriana (annual garden variety) have been destroyed by Downey Mildew. Reports of this disease have been occurring in U.S. production greenhouses since 2004, but it was not until last year that a regional outbreak was reported in Florida. Now the disease has quickly migrated up into the northeast through wind and storm currents.

Fuzzy White Growth on Bottom Leaf

Downy Mildew thrives in cool damp conditions, favoring temperatures in the range of 58-72 degrees and with above 85% humidity. An increase in outbreaks have been seen in irrigated garden beds where impatiens are exposed to high moisture levels. Yellowing and stunted growth are the first visible symptoms. The leaf undersides of infected impatiens will have fuzzy white growth while the upper leaves will often show small yellow spots. The yellowing leaves will eventually fall off leaving only the stems.

If your impatiens have been effected by Downy Mildew it is recommend to avoid planting them in the same areas next season as the disease will overwinter in the garden beds. You may want to use alternative plants next year. Resistant annuals include New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri), begonias and coleus.

Defoliated Impatiens

To control the spread of this disease, remove infected plants as soon as you notice signs of the disease by pulling them up by the roots. Place infected plants in a sealed trash bag and dispose of them. Do not compost infected plants as this can spread the disease. When planting impatiens allow enough space between individual plants to allow good air circulation. Also avoid overhead watering of the plants, particularly when it is cool out.

Check out these links to learn more about this disease:

Penn State Extension: What’s up with the impatiens this year?

Shade Alternative Annuals

Managing Downy Mildew of Impatiens

 

Making a Splash In the Landscape

This 2,700 gallon pond has thirty feet of stream and two pooling areas. Water trickling through the streams and flowing into the pools will provide our customer with a wonderful respite from the world for years to come.

Project Site Before Construction Began

Our innovative low maintenance filtration system contains a Skimming Wet-well and Constructed Wetland. The Skimming Wet-well traps large debris and prevents it from entering the pumping system before the water is sent to the Constructed Wetland.

The pond liner has been installed and the Skimming Wet-well is being constructed. Aquablox and Aquascapes inc. new Snorkel are in place and will be covered with field stone, filtering out any large debris.

Once the water is filtered through the Skimming Wet-well, it is pumped up through  the Constructed Wetland where the water is filtered  even more through stone aggregate. Aquatic plants fill the wetland area to help filter out excess nutrients in the water.

Aquablox line the base of the Constructed Wetland. Stone aggregate will cover the blocks, providing further filtration and a medium for aquatic plants to absorb nutrients from the water.

Not having a filter box system, which has messy filter pads and needs to be cleaned regularly, will give our customer more time enjoy the feature and less  maintaining it. They also  enjoy the diversity of plant material that can now thrive in their landscape. Over time this system well evolve into a complete ecosystem, supporting bog, marginal and submerged aquatic plants as well as attracting various types of wildlife such as dragonflies, frogs, and butterflies.

Aquatic Gardens Big and Small

In the 2012 August edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine, Melissa Ozawa brings to light the different ways you can bring an aquatic garden to your outdoor living space with the article ‘The Garden Aquatic’. Martha and John Mark Courtney, one of Cedar Run Landscapes aquatic plant suppliers, discuss the benefits of introducing an aquatic garden to your landscape and provide helpful tips on how to create that little water oasis. To see Martha and John in action check out this video where they discuss the variety of plant material you can use.

Patio container gardens are great for small spaces

Throughout our display gardens here at Cedar Run Landscapes we provide numerous opportunities, big and small, to create an aquatic garden. We’ve got everything from large ponds with bogs, marshy edges, and varying shelves heights to small container gardens which both can incorporate many types of plants.

Adding a pond to your landscape creates many different opportunities to add a variety of plant material

 

Lawn Weeds

It’s a continuous battle to keep pesky and unwanted weeds out of our lawns. The best way to effectively control many of these weeds is for the turf to be dense and healthy. This can be achieved by regular and proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing, and reducing shade when possible. If a lawn becomes neglected and unchecked, weeds will swiftly creep into the lawn and compete for valuable resources, choking out the desired turf grass.  Below are several common weed species that are often found in our prized yards.

Dandelion

Type: Broadleaf Perennial
Size: 12” tall, 6-16” wide
Grows: Sun to shade in landscape beds and lawns
ID Features:  Dark green deeply notched serrated leaves with bright yellow flowers that mature to puffballs, seeds are dispersed by wind. Plant has a long and strong taproot
Control: Pulling by hand is most effective; making sure entire taproot is removed. Mulch to prevent plant growth in garden bed areas. Use a post-emergent herbicide in lawns.

 

Oxalis

Type: Broadleaf Perennial
Size: up to 20” Tall
Grows: Sun to shade in landscape beds and lawns
ID Features: Light green triple heart shaped leaflets, often confused with clover. It has small cup shaped flowers the bloom in summer and fall. Leaves are edible in small quantities; flavor is a sharp sour taste.
Control:  Pulling by hand, mulch garden bed areas, spray with post-emergent herbicide

 

Crabgrass

Type: Grassy Annual
Size: 18” tall, 20” wide
Grows: Sun to shade in landscape beds and lawns
ID Features: Leaf blades are much wider than lawn grasses, with a fold line down its center; roots will develop wherever stems contact soil.
Control: Mulch garden beds to prevent germination. In spring time use a preemergent herbicide in lawn areas. In summer and fall pull weeds by hand or spot spray with non-selective post-emergence herbicide.

 

White Clover

Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 8-10” tall, 12” wide
Grows: Sun to part shade in landscape beds and lawns
ID Features: Three-lobe leaves often with a light green or cream colored water mark on upper surface of leaves.
Control: Mulch garden beds, use post-emergence herbicide or hand pull in lawns

 

 

Nutsedge

Type: Grassy perennial
Size: 2’tall, 1’ wide
Grows: Sun to part shade preferring moist soils in landscape beds and lawns
ID Features: Shiny yellow green grassy leaves, nutlike tubers on root system. Annual new growth occurs in spring and summer from vigorous scaly rhizomes and nutlets which grow underground.
Control: It is best to prevent the establishment of nutsedge as it is difficult to control. Limiting the production of tubers by removing young plants, having less than 5-6 leaves, is the best way to manage this weed. After more than 5-6 leaves develop, tubers form in the root system which will then produce more nutsedge. Tubers can sprout over three times before energy reserves are depleted. Continually remove shoots by hand or use a hand hoe, making sure to dig down at least 8 inches to remove entire plant. Only a few herbicides are effective at controlling nutsedge. Those that do work are also only effective during part of the plants life cycle, such as sedgehammer and roundup which are effective at controlling young plants. To learn more about how to control Nutsedge click here.

 

Creeping Charlie

Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 4” tall, several feet wide
Grows: Shady moist lawns and garden beds; invades sunny areas of lawn if turf is thin.
ID Features: square creeping stems, scalloped leaves, resembling the common geranium, and clusters of purple glowers in late spring. Roots form at nodes which forms a thick mat along the ground.
Control: If caught early hand pulling may be used, if left to grow thick it may be too difficult and a dethatching rake may be used. A post-emergence broadleaf herbicide containing 2, 4-d and MCPP can be used in spring or fall. Click here for more information.

 

Broadleaved Plantain

Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 8” tall, 12” wide
Grows: Sun to shade in moist lawns and garden beds
ID Features: Broad smooth or slightly hairy spoon shaped leaves often with a glossy appearance. Leaves surround a low rosette. Seed heads grow up above leaves up to 10 inches
Control: Has a thick tap root making removal by hand difficult with well established plant. When pulling the weed, make sure entire root has been removed. To prevent seeding remove seed heads as they contain more than 15,000 seeds. Post-emergent broadleaf herbicides an be used in lawns.

 

Canada Thistle

Type: Broadleaf perennial
Size: 6’ tall, 3’ wide
Grows: Sunny lawns and garden beds
ID Features: Spiny, irregularly lobed, oblong gray-green leaves and purple flowers. Reproduces through vegetative buds in root system along with seed.
Control:  With an extensive root system along with resistance to stress and its ability to store nutrients, eradicating this weed is difficult. Use a post emergent systemic broadleaf herbicide, an herbicide that move within plant from point of application to other plant parts including the roots. More than application will need to be applied in order to kill weed.

 

Henbit

Type: Broadleaf annual
Size: 1’ tall and wide
Grows: Sun to shade in cool wet areas of lawn and landscape beds
ID Features: Low creeping plant with square stems, circular to heart shaped leaves with scalloped-edge and purple flowers
Control: Increasing drainage in area and allow more sun exposure to discourage growth, hand weeding can be done or treat lawn with a broadleaf, post emergence herbicide.

 

We hope this information will help you eliminate those unwelcome weeds. Please remember that it is important to read all labels and to follow directions when using any type of chemical herbicide. If you prefer not to use herbicides on your lawn, a combination of proper feeding, mowing to 3-4″, pH management, along with fall dethatching and aerating will help keep the lawn healthy and thick, reducing your chances of a weed infestation.

Fire Pits in the Landscape

Including the element of fire to your outdoor landscape can extend the enjoyment you will get out of your back yard. They provide, warmth, light, a cooking source, and ambiance, making them a natural gathering spot for socializing, entertaining, and relaxing. A fire pit can also serve as an important focal point in your landscape design.

Built in sitting walls provide a great space for people to sit and enjoy the fire, the wide ledge surrounding the fire pit also allows for a place to put up for feet or set down a drink.

Weather it be a built-in or portable, the options are limitless when choosing a fire pit. There are many options when it comes to size, shape, and style of your fire pit. Even a small space can accommodate a fire-friendly container.

A portable fire pit can be much less expensive than a built in and allows you to change where you would like to enjoy the flames.

For those DIY homeowners out there here are a few tips on creating a perfect place for a fire pit:

Location:

• When choosing a space for your fire pit make sure that the flames and sparks will not reach any structure, plant material, or any other combustible material.

• Fire pits are natural gathering places, so try locating yours near other social areas such as an outdoor kitchen, patio, or pool.

• Look into your local code ordinances as they will often times dictate where you may locate a fire pit, as well as what type of fuel you can burn.

Sizing

• Use marking paint, chalk, or a hose to mark the position and size of the pit in your yard, and then move the chairs into place to see how it feels.

• Providing at least 7 feet of space around the edge of the fire pit will ensure plenty of room for furniture and traffic.

• If you’re installing an above ground fire pit, height is an important consideration. Raising the pit to 12-14 inches off the ground will make the fire just below most standard patio furniture. If you want to be able to sit right next to the fire, a height of 18-20 inches would be most comfortable.

Create a focal point within your patio area for people to together around