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Garden Tips

Garden Tips

  1. Fertilize your lawn and garden
  2. Add mulch or top soil to your garden bed
  3. Use corn gluten on lawn to reduce future weeds
  4. Aerate that lawn for air circulation in your grass
  5. Add coffee grinds to your rhododendrons, azalaes and pierres they love acid ph
  6. Remove all the weeds starting to pop up in your lawn
  7. When mowing throw out the bag and mulch your grass
  8. Divide any large perennials into smaller pots
  9. Sharpen and disinfect all your garden tools
  10. Most importantly have fun doing it

There are some simple rules that lead to a successful garden design. Whether you are an aspiring amateur or a seasoned veteran of this plantalicious world. Lets explore these rules together.


Look at your properties space in relation to your house. What colors can you draw from your house to your garden. What kind of garden would suit your style of house. Example would you put a Japanese garden in front of a British styled home?  Of course not!  This is the basic fundamental design which a lot of amateurs seem overlook.

Now start putting some garden bed curves into your design, add a few different pathways or get ambitious and put an arbor of point of interest into the design.

Go online and research the colour wheel and pick two colors you really like. Stick with them. In landscape less is more when it comes to colours.  Now figure out your soil, sun and water requirements.

Once you have this information, now is the fun part. Begin researching plants you have seen around your neighborhood that you like, see if they will fit into your design and thrive in your micro climates. Buy a book like Sunset Western Gardner to research plants grouped by full sun, shade, moist, dry etc.

By now you have a pretty good idea of the structure within your design and some plants to fill it with. Lets start playing around with some shapes, triangles, circles small and large, boxes and see where they fit on your page. Try using masses and uneven numbers 3, 7, 9 and 11.

Now that you have your shapes in there play around with them a little more. Does the triangle go with the circles, does it need to be larger or smaller

Now you have a good balance on shapes. Lets fill them in. Triangle would represent a tree or large shrub. Large Circle would be a large shrub or evergreen. Lots of little circles could be perennials or annuals. Put some grasses in there as vertical lines. The idea is to create contrast and harmony.

Stick to that color palette as much as possible. Remember this golden rule ” less is more”. Keep in mind most plants are green so you are really working with 3 colors not 2.

See if those plants you researched fit into the shapes you created on your design. If not, explore some more. Try to add big foliage against thin foliage for contrast. Integrate rocks into you theme for an anchored look that adds winter interest.

Most of all look at the big picture. Is your design complimenting your house? Does is have harmony? Flow?

If you this is too hard call Salt of the Earth Landscaping to do it for you!

  • Plan out your garden and give it a theme. Try themes like Deer Resistant,  Japanese, Western Desert, Cottage, Low maintenance, Modern, Rock garden etc.
  • Use rocks and evergreens as your backbone. They deliver all year interest and create stability in the garden.
  • Repetition – when planting, use three or more of the same plant—it will be more dramatic than just one plant.
  • Harmony – Try to stick to 2 – 3 colours. Cool colours are blues, purples, greys, and greens. Hot colours are reds, oranges, and yellows. Use 2 cool colours and contrast with the odd hot for effect.
  • Odd numbers – Always use odd numbers like 3, 5, 7, 13, etc. This allows the eye to rest.
  • Texture – Mix grasses or thin, shaped foliage with large textured foliage like hosta for effect and variation.
  • Ground covers – Add ground covers, statues, or beach wood to create that one-of-a-kind feel
  • Finally, don’t buy a plant at the nursery just because you like it. I find this is the home owners biggest mistake. Buying a plant that does not fit your garden. You end up with a hodge podge effect. Less is more!!
  • Proper mowing heights, mulching and fertilizing during the proper months. Many other factors go into a healthy lawn. Such as: de thatching, aerating, pre emergent weed suppressors. These are just a few examples of a good quality service. That being said, the technician must possess the knowledge of when to apply, how to apply and how much to apply. Every step is critical in making your lawn look the best it can be.  Which brings us to the question quality vs quantity? We make it our priority to lay down a specialized lawn program that suits your lawns needs. We make sure we have the time and knowledge to execute the service you expect to receive. We are able to do this by growing our business slowly.  We only take on projects and clients that we can guarantee our time to. We will give  you an honest date as to when each project can be started and finished. We never take on more then what we can handle. Otherwise your quality begins to suffer. At Salt of the Earth Landscaping we take great pride in our quality and reliability. These two pillars have kept us growing steadily the past few years. The third pillar that we base our business on is communication. We listen to your needs and give multiple options for you to make decisions on.
  • Short grass exposes the soil to more sunlight and airflow, resulting in evaporation –  both water loss and root growth is diminished dramatically.
  • Allow your lawn to grow to a height of 2.5 – 3 inches. This will promote thicker grass and a healthier root system. Taller grass also out competes those pesky weeds and smother moss.
  • Always mulch your lawn whenever possible. As your grass clippings are made up of 5% nitrogen and 95% water which feed your lawn keeping it healthy and vibrant.
  • It is important to cut the lawn frequently “once per week in peek season” to produce small grass clippings that will fall between the standing blades and decompose quickly.
  • Cut your grass in different directions each time you cut, so you do not get a rug styled grass.
  • Keep that mower blade super sharp, as dull blades rip grass and can create disease.
  • Corn gluten meal is natures weed & feed! It prevents weed seeds from germinating and benefits grasses by adding valuable nitrogen to the soil.
  • Increasing the organic matter in your lawn by as little as 5% will quadruple the soil’s ability to hold water. Grass clippings.
  • If possible, do not mow when the lawn is wet. The result will be a very uneven cut.
  • Use slow-release fertilizer to feed your lawn and the soil. These materials break down slowly, feeding your grass over a longer period of time.
  • Spread crocus throughout your lawn to add an early splash of color. By the time the grass needs to be cut, they will have died-back for the year.
  • Be persistent with dandelions. By repeatedly removing their leaves and flowers, you will keep seeds from spreading.
  • Most lawns need about 1-inch of water per week to thrive. Water in the morning to prevent disease.
  • Aerate your lawn every couple of years to eliminate thatch and to allow air, nutrients, and water to penetrate deep into the root zone.
    • Clover in the lawn is NOT all bad. It is drought tolerant, stays green, gives nitrogen to the grass and earthworms love it.
    • While some weed control is necessary, don’t “freak out” over a few weeds. Having a weed-free yard is pretty much impossible and not really desirable for a healthy lawn.
    • Thatch will not form from grass cuttings. Instead, the clippings will attract earthworms, which break down thatch, aerate the soil, and reduce compaction..
    • Does mulching cause thatch? The short answer is no. It is a common misconception that clippings left on the lawn will contribute to
      thatch buildup. Thatch is not made up of grass clippings. Thatch is created when you over-fertilize your lawn more then 3 times a year and do not aerate.
  • Not all deer all the same, just like humans their taste varies. So look around in your neighborhood and see what the deer are eating and what they are staying away from.
  • Deer have super sensitive smell, so planting herbs is a great way to deter them. Lavender, thyme, yarrow, sage, rosemary will disorientate them from your garden.
  • Deer don’t like ornamental grasses or furry textured pants like dusty miller or grey i senecio. They don’t touch ferns and stay away from poisonous plants like,  euphorbia, coreopsis and helleborus.
  • Most importantly do your research, hire a professional and do not have any plants that deer love in your garden.
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