Landscaping Blog

Mosquito Repelling Plants

Written on April 28, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Written by Green T

Summer is almost here, and we all are starting to enjoy our patios more and more. However, mosquitoes are already starting to be a little irritating. Did your know that is a natural way to help keep them away? There are variety of plants that you can plant in your garden that naturally repel mosquitoes.

Planting and growing mosquito repellent plants provides a great opportunity to get out in the garden and plant some plants which offer a perfect mix of beauty, fragrance and insect repellent functionality.

Lavendar -
 Mosquito Repellent

Lavender

There are several ways you can use lavender to naturally repel mosquitoes. The most effective of these is to simply grind its flowers and apply to the areas of your skin where mosquitoes like to bite, such as your ankles and arms. Additionally lavender naturally repels mosquitoes by simply growing. For the best results, plant lavender around outdoor seating areas, pathways and near doorways and windows.

Penny Royal -
 Mosquito Repellent

Penny Royal

Pennyroyal helps to repel mosquitoes, gnats, ticks and flea! If you crush pennyroyal leaves and rub them onto your skin, this acts as an effective natural mosquito repellent.Additionally, you can also crush the stems and put them in pockets, bags and hats. Pennyroyal is great in the garden, but is best utilized as a natural mosquito repellent applied to the skin.

Related: Our Top Five Favorite Annuals

Feverfew -
 Mosquito Repellent

Feverfew

Feverfew is great for repelling mosquitoes and other flying biting insects. It’s also great at revealing headaches and bloating. It is ideal for planting around outdoor seating areas, pathways and close to doorways and windows. To maximize the benefits, plant in conjuction with citronella grass and lavender and double up with these plants that repel mosquitoes.

Cintronella -
 Mosquito Repellent

Cintronella

Cintronella grass is one of the best mosquito repellent plants and it can be planted and used in a similar way as citronella candles, to keep flying insects away. Once the plant has matured, remove several of its leaves. Using your hands, rub the leaves together to crush them and release its essential oils. Rub these oils over your body. For added relief from these bothersome pests, sprinkle crushed citronella leaves around your outdoor seating area.


Request a quote or call us today (630) 717-0007!

Peppermint -
 Mosquito Repellent

Peppermint

Planting peppermint along outdoor seating areas, around windows or near doorways is an effective way to naturally repel mosquitoes and other bugs. To enhance the mosquito-repelling effectiveness of peppermint, pick several mature leaves from the plant. Mince the leaves into tiny pieces and scatter across your entire outdoor sitting area. You can also try rubbing a little of the minced leaves across areas of your skin where mosquitoes like to bite.

Marigolds -
 Mosquito Repellent

Marigolds

Marigolds are best used as a ‘companion plant” to help protect other plants. However, marigolds do also have some natural mosquito repellent properties, so it’s a bet of an all-rounder.Marigolds contain a chemical compound called thiopenes in the roots. This plant repels aphids, cabbage maggots, white flies and many other pests. Marigolds are particularly good at protecting tomato plants.

There are many other mosquito repelling plants too, all you have to do is look!. Many of these plants are beautiful and deserve a place in your garden. The fact they also act as a natural, safe and effective mosquito and other insect repellent properties, makes adding them to your garden an easy decision.

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Our Top Five Favorite Annuals

Written on April 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Written by Green T

Now is the time to start thinking about what annuals you want to plant in your garden. Annuals are designated as “cool-season” or “warm-season,” based on their hardiness and ability to grow in cool soils.

Cool-season annuals grow best in the cool soils and mild temperatures of spring and fall. Most withstand fairly heavy frosts. When the weather turns hot, they set seed and deteriorate. If your live in a cold-winter area, plant these annuals in very early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. To bloom vigorously, they must develop roots and foliage during cool weather.

Warm-season annuals grow and flower best in the warm months of late spring, summer, and early fall; they’re cold tender and may perish in a late frost if planted too early in spring. In cold-winter climates, set out warm-season annuals after the danger of frost has passed. In warm-winter areas, plant them in mid-spring.

1 Million Bells

Million bells or trailing petunia, is a tender plant that produces a mound of foliage, growing only 3 to 9 inches tall, along trailing stems and flowers in shades of violet, blue, pink, red, magenta, yellow, bronze and white. Growing these flowers are easy, they prefer to be grown in moist well drained, organically rich soil in full sun. Million Bells are also low maintenance. The soil should be kept fairly moist but not soggy especially in full sun areas as they may succumb to the intense heat of summer. Container plants require more watering.


Looking for help with what annuals to plant in your garden?

Request a quote or call us today (630) 717-0007!


2 Sweet Potato Vines

A sweet potato vine is a vigorous grower that you can count on to make a big splash in your garden. It’s colorful foliage, in shades of chartreuse or purple, accents just about any other plant. Sweet potato vines do best during the warm days of summer and prefer moist, well-drained soil. They will thrive in sun or shade. Sweet potato vine can be a vigorous grower, especially old-fashioned varieties that can grow quite large. Don’t be afraid to prune or clip back the plant whenever it seems to get out of control.

3 Elephant Ears

No were not talking about food, were talking about those big leaf plants. Elephant ears can be planted in sun or shade. If your put them in a hot, sunny location, make sure they get a little shade during the middle of the day. Elephant ears are planted in spring after any danger of frost has passed. The tubers will not grow until the soil is warm, so don’t plant the tubers until the soil temperature is 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Elephant ears are a perfect solution for shady porches, decks and other places around your home that are not in full sun. Their huge, heart-shaped leaves add a tropical feel to pools, spas and water gardens.

Related: Flowers and Other Plants for your Garden that Resist Rabbits

4 New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea impatiens flowers can tolerate up to half a day of sun in most parts of the country. These colorful blooms come in bright shades from lavender to orange, spanning the rainbow with a choice of bedding colors. Caring for New Guinea impatiens is no more difficult than any other flower, as long as you keep the plants well-watered throughout the hottest parts of the year. Each plant will grow into a rounded mound, and if planted 18 inches apart, they’ll grow to fill in the entire space in a matter of weeks. Keep the plants in the front of the bed 12 inches away from the edging to keep the front branches from growing onto the lawn or sidewalk.

Related: Getting the Most out of your Garden this Spring

5 Geraniums

Geraniums require moist, well-draining soil similar to that of indoor potting soil with equal amounts of soil, peat and perlite. Locate your geraniums in an area with a least six to eight hours of sunlight. Since these plants must be protected from cold, wait until the threat of frost has passed before planting. Space plants about 8 to 12 inches apart and around the same depth as their original planting pots. Mulching the plants is also recommended to help retain moisture.

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Your Standing Water Issues Solved!

Written on April 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Written by Green T

Keeping your lawn and landscaping in top form is always a priority that should be greatly considered. By keeping up on potential drainage issues, you can help prevent costly damages;to your home and property.

Now that it’s April, and “April showers bring May flowers” is becoming a very accurate statement this season; were getting a lot of a calls about standing water and water drainage problems.

Standing water in yards can be come unsightly as well as affect the integrity and health of your lawn. If this is the case with your lawn, installing drain tiles to help with water movement of standing water.

Drain tiles act as a drain with a subsurface piper system, the pipes then carry (what would be standing water) away from the problem area and finally to the correct drainage zone. The implementation of drain tiles can also enhance the atheistic appeal of your yard as well as finally correct your drainage issues.

Signs of a Drainage Problem

There are many important signs that you may notice or are already noticing with the copious amount we have received that your yard is having drainage problems:

    • A soggy or wet yard
    • Puddles that take a long time to evaporate
    • Basement is leaking
    • Foundation is damaged or cracked
    • Soil Erosion
    • Flooding in yard during rainstorms

Already know you have standing water issues? Call us today we can help (630)-717-0007!

Common Drainage Solutions

A French Drain is a time proven system for diverting excess water. Specialized drain tiles are designed with perforations or holes to admit water. To prevent clogging of the pipe,gravel is often placed around the perimeter of the perforated drain pipe to give water a path to the drain tile as well as filter soil.

Benefits of a French drain is you to get to choose where you want the water to go, as long as it is at a lower level than where the water is falling. French drains can lead to downhill slope or to dry wells or rain gardens where the extra water is held and absorbed by plants. The French drain route to obtaining a dry basement is also an affordable one.

They are also commonly used behind retaining walls to relieve ground water pressure.Now you may be thinking that French drain may be an eye sore in your yard when talking about putting gravel on top. But in really it can be quite decorative. See pictures to the right.

Burrying Down Spouts

One of the best solutions out there to help save your foundation and prevent soil erosion, is burying your downspout. even better of a choice than putting a tail on your down spouts, which can tend to cause tripping hazards. When you bury your downspout, you have the ability re-purpose the water in other areas of your home, sort of like a French drain. You can direct the water to empty saving you both time and money since you will not have to run your own water.


Contact us today to set up an estimate!

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Spring Cleaning and New Retaining Wall in Naperville

Written on March 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Written by Green T
Green T Landscaping offers spring cleanup services for your lawn, including debris and leaf removal, edging, mulching, pruning and trimming.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the inside of the home. Your home exterior and landscaping benefit from a good clean up to remove the months of debris that accumulate during the cold winter months.

You don’t have to stop with just a simple cleaning though. With our hardscaping and softscaping services, we can transform your property.

We just recently built this new bench retaining wall around the patio of a local Naperville resident.

This improved the look of their patio area while adding functional seating for outdoor cookouts this summer.

We also power washed their patio, trimmed the bushes, removed some unwanted evergreens, and laid down new mulch.

Related: Why you need a brick patio

The side of the home is looking freshened up and is ready for new plantings this spring.

Once the spring flowers are planted, the curb appeal of this home is going to be even better!

Related: Top 10 Low Maintenance Plants for Illinois Landscaping


Let Green T do the spring cleaning for you!

Call 630-231-0007

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Will the Late Snow Kill My Flowers

Written on March 13, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Written by Green T
It’s times like these you are reminded that you live in Northern Illinois.

One weekend you are enjoying sixty degree temperatures and the next you’re worried that your flowers are going to be killed by a snowstorm.

It is the joy of midwest living.

The early warm weather sure was great you know you’re going to pay for it later. Once the tulips and daffodils have mature leaves and shoots, you’re excited for spring.

Then the snow comes.

How will the snow affect my flowers?

The good news is that most flowering plants are very hearty. Most of them can survive a snowstorm no problem.

The biggest danger is not actually snow but an extended cold snap after the flowers have their flowering buds.

Related: Flowers and Other Plants for Your Garden that Resist Rabbits

Tulips in the snow

Tulips can handle short cold snaps of cold and snow without much of a problem. The biggest danger to tulips is extended below freezing temperatures after the flower buds have formed.

Usually, they will survive, but when the buds are about to bloom, the flowers are at their most delicate moment. Extreme cold could harm the flower. They may cause a few browns spots on the flower or leaves.

The good news is that even if the flower is damaged, the bulbs will be fine and will come back again next year.

Daffodils in the snow

Daffodils, being one of the earliest blooming flowers, are very well adapted to cold weather.

I saw proof of this myself last year. We spent a lot of time planting bulbs in late fall and then in March we had a snowstorm as all the flowers were starting to bloom. A yard full of daffodils with snow on them.

But they survived! Daffodils my not have a real long bloom cycle but the snow did not kill them. And they all came back next year.

Hyacinths in the snow

We’ve seen freezing temperatures and snow have different results on hyacinths. Often they seem to do quite well. People have reported snow causing their hyacinths shock though, causing the flowers to wilt. Most of the time they should be okay.

Magnolias

Flowers on magnolia trees are unfortunately susceptible to snow and cold. If flower buds are already present, they will be threatened by the cold. If they are damaged, the flowers may not bloom and you will unfortunately, have to wait until next spring to see them.

Would you like professional help with your landscaping?
Save yourself time this summer and find out how affordable landscaping services can be.

Call (630) 717-0007

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Getting the Most out of your Garden this Spring

Written on March 6, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Written by Green T

Spring is almost here and we have that Spring fever. Everyone is itching to be outside, the spring clean ups have started and your looking to do more with your landscape this year. Well we have some tips for planning the spring garden you always wanted.

Give your soil a little more thought

Amend your soil with as much organic matter as possible. You can consider starting your own compost pile or by adding bags of composted manure. Adding organic matter helps give your soil texture and a little more fertility.

Are you remembering that last year your soil always held a little extra moisture? Try growing plants that can tolerate the extra moisture, or install a French drain to get rid of the excess water. Check out this article “Plant Watering Tips” to help control the moisture build up!

Understand the Light

Image result for sunlight images

It’s important to know how your garden receives sunlight, which areas get most and which have the least. Too much sun can burn the plant, whereas too little sun will leave it lanky and weak.

Once you know how your garden receives light, you can choose plants that can that will grow well under those conditions. Partly sunny to fully shaded areas are best for your perennials and small trees. Whereas vegetables and most flowers will flourish in full sunlight.

Plant for all four seasons

Planting for all the season help to keep your garden lively all year not just in the springtime. Summer blooms include cone flowers, and Black-eyed Susan’s. For a little fun in the winter, look to evergreens or trees with interesting branch patterns.

 

Need a little extra help with your spring design? Give Green T a call today and let us get the garden you’ve dreamed about.

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Spring Cleanup for Your Lawn

Written on February 24, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Written by Green T

Schedule Your Spring Lawn Cleanup

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the inside of your home. Our spring lawn cleanup services will give your landscape the shine and polish to make it sparkle throughout the upcoming season.

Spring Cleanup Services Include:

Spring Lawn Cleanup Mulching Pruning and Trimming

1 Clearing & Leaf Removal

Clearing the lawn of any debris including leaves rocks, twigs, and branches. This frees your lawn and plant beds of dead leaves, plant matter, annual removal, and other debris for the upcoming growing season.

2 Edging

Edging to clean up plant beds, borders, walk ways, and patios. A distinct edge helps to highlight certain features of your landscape and keep grass clippings out of the planting beds.

3 Mulching

Raking existing mulch to loosen it and break up the clumps. Applying new mulch around trees, shrubs, and planting beds to maintain proper depth and to help retain moisture and warmth. Learn more about mulching.

4 Pruning and Trimming

We also include trimming and pruning for your trees, shrubs, perennials. Proper pruning and trimming rejuvenates growth and promotes plant health. Learn more about pruning.

Additional cleanup services are available. Contact us today to discuss your spring cleanup needs and for a free estimate.

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Why you NEED a Brick Patio!

Written on February 8, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Written by Green T
 
Your home is a reflection of your personality, so why not let that show on a new patio? Brick is one material that has a constant and continual appeal. And it will continue to provide style to your home for years to come. Whether your looking for a classic or elegant style, a brick patio will help you get it.

Design Options

Using brick to build your new patio opens up a large variety of design options. And that fact that it is extremely low maintenance doesn’t hurt its aesthetic appeal. Brick can be arranged in a variety of different ways to make you patio even more unique. Designs can be square, rectangular, circular, or curved.

Long Lasting

One of the best characteristics of brick is that it is long lasting. The color stays consistent, taking away the worry that it’ll fade. It’s also long lasting in the durable sense, meaning it can withstand the harsh weather conditions of the Mid-west. Even durable enough to with stand heavy patio furniture.

Color Choices

Brick has so many different color choices, not just the standard red associated with the word, brick. You can get pink, grey, brown, or venture into the world of multi-colored.  With brick you can even combine different shades of brick to a design to enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Affordability

Brick is affordable, costing less than stones. If damage does occur, it’s also easy to replace, as the brick can simply be taken out and a new one can be put in its place. No worrying about the replaced brick standing out since the rich color on the surrounding bricks won’t be faded. Considering using brick for you next patio design? Contact us today and schedule your free estimate!
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What you can do for your garden now!

Written on January 26, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Written by Green T

It’s already that time again to start thinking about your landscape and gardens. But if you have a that wonderful green thumb chances are you haven’t stopped thinking about new ideas for your gardens and ways to make them better. With February, right around the corner here are some ideas that you can do to help make it the best year yet for your landscape and garden.
  • Start ordering your perennial plants and bulbs. Look for good locations to plant flowers, and shrubs, and finalize your garden plans on paper. This way if you are having a professional landscaper install them, it limits confusion and helps make the project run smoother.

Need help coming up with ideas? Contact us we can help!

  • Planting a garden? Make sure you finish ordering your seeds and that your seed starting containers are ready too. You can wash and sterilize them in 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
  • Your house plants need re-plotting, now is a great time to get it done. Getting it done ensure that you have the time and energy to complete the task, before spending all your time outdoors taking care of that amazing garden. Remember to fertilize them after you see signs of growth.
  • You can also start growing your fresh herbs, like parsley and cilantro, in your windows. Not only is an herb garden a fun craft décor project but it also makes your house smell good.
  • Now you can start pruning fruit trees if you have them, and make sure to fertilize them after the last frost.

Thinking your landscape project might be too ambitious for you to handle all by yourself? Contact us today and see if we can help.

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Tips for Melting Ice That Won’t Harm Your Plants.

Written on December 12, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Written by Green T
Frozen buds

Frozen buds

We hope this bout of freezing rain doesn’t catch you unprepared, but just in case it does, here are a few tips:
1. Do not step outside quickly in the morning. Black ice is hard to see, and if you start to slide, your only hope is to pull your arms to your sides and try and protect your wrists and your head.
2. The best way to make your walkway safe is to pre-treat it, preferably with a plant and lawn safe ice-melt product. Calcium chloride is the best choice because it melts ice at very low temperatures and is probably the safest chemical choice for lawns and landscapes. To pre-treat, spread a very small amount on your walkways before the ice or freezing rain begins. Pre-treatment requires only a quarter of the amount it would take to melt ice after the fact.
3. Other good ice-melt choices are potassium chloride and magnesium chloride.
4. If all you have is rock salt (NACL), which is damaging to lawns and landscaping, use it as a pre-treatment before the freezing rain. A small amount will make the walkway safe. Try and keep it away from the edges of your lawn and landscape plants. Buy some calcium chloride or play sand for the next round of solid water.
5. If you wake up to dangerous surfaces, use whatever you have on hand, but be prepared to wait about a half hour to allow it to melt the ice and provide some traction.
6. Some of the best after-the-storm choices are play sand (like you’d buy for a child’s sandbox) and kitty litter. Both will provide good traction without any possible harm to your landscape plants. And you don’t have to wait.
Source: http://wtop.com/garden-plot-living/2016/12/garden-plot-plant-safe-ice-melting-tips/ Source image: http://wtop.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/341107.jpg
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