2. Hosta – These shade-tolerant plants survive in most soil types and through summer drought. Hostas are perennials that reach maturation in 3 to 6 years, bloom in the summer, and are great for groundcover and sloped areas of your garden.
3. Yarrow – A perennial plant that is strongly fragrant and low maintenance. They flower between May and June and keep pests away, while attracting good predatory ones like ladybugs.
4. Switchgrass – This perennial grass is often used for ground cover, erosion control, and ornamental grass. It can grow several feet tall and changes to a beautiful golden color in the fall.
5. Hardy geranium – Hardy geraniums are perennial flowers that grow in most climates, take shade, and produce beautiful flowers that bloom spring through fall. These flowers are pest and disease resistant and some varieties are cold tolerant.
6. Coreopsis – Coreopsis are tolerant of varying soil types, even dry soil, making them low maintenance. Many coreopsis plants have delicate yellow flowers, and tall species can grow 4 feet in height.
7. Coneflower – These lovely flowering perennials bloom mid-summer through fall and attract butterflies and songbirds. They require very little extra care and grow 2 to 4 feet tall.
8. Aromatic aster – This perennial plant has colorful blooms for about one to two months, and does well in sunshine and dry soil. Aromatic aster occurs naturally in northern Illinois and hilly areas of southern Illinois.
9. Little bluestem – Little bluestem gets its name from the blue color of its stem in the spring, but becomes a bright reddish color in the fall. It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil, but requires little care.
10. Veronica – These perennials are often used as groundcover and blossom in bright, long lasting colors. Veronica (speedwell) are drought resistant and attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Know Your ZoneChicago winters are cold! A friendly reminder of just how cold they can be, comes from the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. Most of Illinois falls into Zone 5B. This means, most species of roses need just a little bit of work from you to get them on the right track for spring.
WateringYou can still continue to water your roses through the fall. Watering your roses before the ground freezes gives them time to absorb the water, which in return acts as an insulator. It will make them hardier against the winter elements and this gives them the best chance of surviving the season.
WinterizingYou will want to stop using nitrogen fertilizers early in the fall. Nitrogen fertilizers encourage blade growth and this could cause an unexpected bloom before winter is even over. Fertilizers with phosphorus only are recommended because they promote root growth.
Pruning should be done in moderation before the first frost. Prune back the canes to about 30-36 inches. Do not do any major pruning as rose bushes tend to die from the top down. Cutting your roses too short makes them more susceptible to the damaging cold. Tie the tips of the long canes together. Doing this will reinforce the canes and will help prevent them from breaking in the wind. Don’t forget to remove any dead or diseased cane.
After your pruning, you’re going to want to remove any fallen leaves or debris from around and in the plant. Leaves and other debris, present an opportunity for disease and encourages pests to settle down, usually at the rose’s expense. Don’t forget to remove any invasive plants from the area. Before the temperatures reach below freezing, pull down the long canes of tea and climbing roses. Lay the canes flat on the ground and cover them with mulch or pine branches.
Now what to do with those low-growing roses? This is the most involved part of the process and will take a few extra things. Bringing in new soil, create a one foot high, one foot thick mound around the rose bush. Create a chicken wire or mesh wire barrier around the plant. Make sure there is a foot of clearance around the rose bush. Now you’re going to fill the cylinder you just created with chopped leaves, dry wood chips, pine needles or compost. Now, we have the most sensitive and non-hardy roses. This is where the you will have to use the Minnesota Tip method.
Until SpringWinterizing becomes easier as you become familiar with it. Knowing what type of roses you have, will also determine what has to go into winterizing them. As the winter continues, you’ll want to check your roses to make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be. If starting a garden of your own is on your mind, contact the experts at Green T Landscaping.
What Trees Do For UsThere are so many ways trees are valuable to physical, mental and community health. Scientist Geoffrey Donovan has studies that have shown trees are beneficial to our heart and lungs (fewer respiratory related deaths with more trees) and resulted in fewer cases of low birth weight babies. Trees are responsible for a good mood, according to a study by researchers from the University of Exeter. In addition, trees are responsible for lower stress. Researchers in Holland found that those who live in tree-covered areas are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
Trees and CrimeWhen it comes to our local community, trees are incredibly valuable. Another Donovan study found that in Portland more trees and larger yards equated decreased crime. While urban planners previously thought trees provided criminals cover, they are slowly overcoming that unfounded bias. In a study out of Chicago focusing on public housing, residents who were surrounded by and had views of trees (as opposed to asphalt and concrete) had less internal conflict and used more constructive methods to solve issues. Trees also add value to homes. Houses with mature landscape are appraised higher and sell for money. Trees also reduce energy costs and reduce the need for air conditioning and heating, especially when planted on the west side of a home. Green T Landscaping experts are here to help you make your lawn and yard the best it can be. We’re experts with more than 22,000 satisfied customers all over Illinois! Contact us today at (630) 717-0007.
HardscapeWhat is hardscaping? Hardscaping refers to the creation of inanimate elements in landscaping. It is the literal bricks and mortar of the landscaping industry. Hardscape is an important aspect of landscaping because it helps to prevent the absorption of water. Hardscaping is implemented early in the landscaping process to outline the area and set a foundation for the desired shape of the design as well as making room for the softscape to integrate nicely as a whole. Hardscaping can also create a nice and visual boundary for your property line as well as help slow soil erosion.
SoftscapeWhat is softscaping? Softscaping refers to the live, horticultural element of landscaping. Softscaping can be permanent with plants such as evergreen trees and shrubs. For more customization you can add temporary, seasonal plants. Planning and arrangement of these plants and elements is the pinnacle of effective landscaping and the overall look of the project.
Green T LandscapingHere at Green T Landscaping we have trained professionals that will meet your every landscaping need. We serve the Chicagoland area. Green T Landscaping provides vision and implementation on completely customizable scapes designed to fit your personality and style. Contact Green T Landscaping for an estimate to see how we can improve your yard or call us at (630) 717-0007. Take a look at our portfolio gallery to see some examples of hard and softscape in harmony.
What Is Volcano Mulching?Volcano mulching is the practice of piling on the mulch all around a tree and up against the trunk until the mulch looks like a volcano. I’m sure you have seen the tree with so much mulch around it, it looks like Mt. Vesuvius with a giant trunk sticking out of the top. Perhaps you have even done it yourself, having copied a neighbor or friend. Well, while mulch is great, you can have too much of a good thing.
Why Is Volcano Mulching Bad For Trees?While you might feel like using all that mulch is great and it’s providing a nice, strong barrier against the elements, it is actually hurting your tree. When you put that much mulch up against the trunk, you are creating an environment of moisture and warmth that can cause the bark to rot. The bark is crucial because it is your tree’s protection. It is what keeps pests, insects, climate conditions, and diseases OUT. Trees may also start growing small roots in the mulch, which will sap away much-needed strength and energy. Worst case scenario, those errant roots can encircle the tree and prevent water and nutrients from flowing up and the tree can die.
So, What To Do?When you mulch, spread it all out and rake it flat, Keep it around 2 to 4 inches. Make sure water is absorbed by the mulch instead of being run off. Spread the mulch from the base of the tree to the point where the branches end (the drip line). When you apply it properly, mulch is wonderful for trees and provides much needed nutrients and prevents evaporation. So mulch your trees, just don’t suffocate them!
Green T LandscapingGreen T Landscaping experts are here to help you make your lawn and yard the best it can be. We’re experts with more than 22,000 satisfied customers all over Illinois! Contact us today at 630-231-0007 for a free estimate so we can schedule an appointment for your lawn care program.
- 1 cup of regular cane sugar
- 4 cups of water
- Heat the water until it boils
- Turn the heat off and add the sugar
- Stir the solution until the sugar is completely dissolved