Fall Landscape Checklist

Fall is the last chance to get any serious landscaping done before the snow falls.  Taking care of this list of chores before winter hits will keep your yard clean and give it the advantage it needs to have a strong spring in the following year.  Read over this fall landscape checklist to organize your own autumn landscaping duties.

Mow The Lawn

As long as your lawn is still growing you should still be mowing it.  Failure to do so will allow it to get too long and stunt its growth now and next spring.  If long grass gets covered by snow it’ll also be more susceptible to molds and funguses. Make sure to get a mowing done before it’s too late.

Reseed The Lawn

If parts of your lawn have been damaged over the summer – it might have been overzealous young sportsters or similarly overzealous older barbecuers – you’ll want to reseed it in the fall.  This will ensure it comes in strong in the spring and starts your next season off with a good base.

Make Mulch

You can use your lawn clippings, fallen leaves or dead annuals to make a healthy mulch for your flower beds and tree bases.  Use your lawn mower to break down the pieces somewhat before spreading it around. This extra organic matter will help your soil weather the winter and be ready to come back to life quickly in the spring.

Turn The Mulch

Turning any mulch that you already have on your flower beds or around the bases of trees will ensure that molds, plant diseases or insects don’t get a chance to take hold.  Make sure mulch is less than three inches thick or you might end up drying out the ground.

Repair Concrete

If you have cracks in your sidewalks or driveways, now is the time to fill them.  Allowing them to sit over winter will result in larger cracks. Moisture will seep in, freeze, expand and break down the concrete even more.  Fill in the cracks and cover with sealant before it gets too cold.

3 Tips For Planting Sod In The Fall

laying sodLaying sod in the fall is an effective way of allowing it to take root with reduced temptation for children, pets or yourself to walk over it and ruin the installation.  Also, by laying down the sod before the real cold weather arrives you’ll ensure that the root systems will experience some warmth and have an ample chance of growth before slowing down during the winter.  In this article we’ll go over three tips for planting sod in the fall.

Prepare The Area

You’ll want to go over the area you’re planning to sod and clear it of any debris, large rocks and other foreign materials.  It’s best to do this before the sod arrives so you can get down to the business of laying it rather than having to walk around and clean up the area first.  If you have tree stumps or large boulders to contend with, it may take some time for their removal, so give yourself enough leeway to make this happen before you plan on laying the sod.

Level The Soil

You’ll want to ensure the area you’re planting the sod on is as level as possible.  If you have depressions in the land or slopes leading towards any buildings you may end up with runoff problems.  You don’t want water to be pooling in areas or draining into your basement. Depending on the size of the area you’re sodding you may be able to do the grading with hand tools.  If you’re working with a larger space, you might need to employ larger machinery.

Prepare The Soil

If you needed to add any soil to get rid of unwanted depressions in the landscape you may need to add more once it’s settled.  If you do add extra filler, give it a dose of water to help it settle properly before planting the sod. You’ll also want to make sure the pH of the soil is at a proper level to allow the rooting systems to grow.  Soil that’s too acidic or too basic will need to be treated to bring the pH closer to neutral. Although there are kits that allow you to measure and remediate this yourself, if the pH levels are extremely unbalanced you might want to look into hiring a professional to help.

Why Choose Interlocking Pavers?

paversWhen deciding to lay a new driveway or sidewalk, one of the first considerations is the type of material you’ll be using.  Something that’s been used since the time of the ancient Romans and has seen a comeback of late is the interlocking paver. There are several benefits to using these interlocking stones and this article will demonstrate their superiority over materials such as concrete or asphalt.

What Are Interlocking Pavers?

Interlocking paving stones are simply a series of stones that are set in paver jointing sand which locks the stones in place.  Friction caused by the sand between the joints allow the stones to disperse weight over a large area. This weight dispersal allows the pavers to withstand the heavy loads, such as vehicles, without cracking or breaking.  

Durability

With the spaces between the stones allowing for weight dispersal and the ability to shift slightly, interlocking pavers resist cracks and buckles which are so common with concrete and asphalt pads.  This property is especially useful in climates featuring temperature extremes or significant quantities of precipitation. Spaces between interlocking pavers allow them to withstand expansion and contraction caused by heavy moisture levels or freezing and heating which are typically damaging to concrete and asphalt.  

Easy Repair

In the rare event that a paving stone becomes cracked, chipped or otherwise damaged, it’s an easy process to remove the broken stone and replace it.  When concrete or asphalt becomes cracked and buckled, repairs are a labour intensive procedure and replacing the entire pad is often the only practical solution.  Interlocking paver stone repairs cost much less in time, money and labour compared to concrete or asphalt.

Aesthetics

Interlocking paver stones can be laid out in an endless variety of patterns and colours which can make your driveway or sidewalk look like a true piece of art.  Contrasted against monotone slabs of concrete or asphalt, if aesthetics play any role in your planning, interlocking paver stones are an easy choice. Rather than being limited to a uninteresting block of concrete or asphalt, paver stones allow your artistic side to shine.

 

5 Ways To Landscape With Stone

Working with stone in your landscaping not only creates solid, definitive lines, but it also creates a contrast with planted areas making them stand out and become noticeable.  Stone has a natural look that can’t be matched by materials such as concrete or asphalt.  The variable shapes of stones create a warmer feel than the uniform appearance given off by bricks.  Stone also doesn’t require maintenance the way that other hardscaping materials often do.  Keeping these advantages in mind, this article will go over five ways to landscape with stone.

Stone Steps

Building a set of terraced steps out of stone allows a mixing and matching of sizes and shapes that creates an interesting visual pattern with a mixture of textures and colours.  Mixed with a variety of surrounding plants and grasses, a stone stairway establishes a visual focus that can be softened by the vegetation.

Mortared Stones

Building a patio out of stones can create a striking look, but you’ll probably need to set the stones in mortar to prevent movement and tripping hazards.  However, mortar can be used to great effect by employing a contrasting colour.  Interesting patterns can result with the use of various sizes, shapes and types of stone.

Stone Planters

Stone works well as a construction material when making planters.  Using large stones can delineate the planting area, whereas smaller stones can be used to keep the dirt in place.  It’s easy to raise the planting beds by stacking rocks as well.  Using similar types of stones for planters throughout the property can tie things together quite nicely.

Drought Tolerance

By replacing your lawn with a bed of stones you’ll reduce the need for watering while still providing a natural base for water filtration and absorption of runoff.  Add in some native plant species and you’ll have an environmentally friendly yard that never needs mowing and still looks really good!

Gravel Pathways

Rather than installing a concrete or asphalt sidewalk, consider creating a pathway to your front door using gravel.  The large number of tiny stones gives the pathway a visual appeal that you wouldn’t get with a traditional sidewalk.  Add in the crunch of the gravel underfoot and you end up with with a functional addition that fashionably tickles several senses at once.

 

Today’s Top Backyard Landscaping Ideas

landscapingLandscaping your backyard can be an easy way to upgrade the look of your entire property.  Backyard landscaping doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive or completely overwhelming.  You can make simple changes with enormous results.  This article will over some of today’s top backyard landscaping ideas.

Include A Water Feature

Water features can be as simple as installing a mini fountain on the edge of your patio or deck.  Or it can be as all consuming as creating a stream that runs the length of your property and beyond.  A water feature can be especially helpful if you already have a problem with soil erosion caused by water runoff.  Turn lemons into lemonade by converting the water problem into a water feature.

Camouflage Unsightly Structures

If you have a raised patio or deck, there’s probably a large, gloomy space underneath it.  You can easily camouflage the space by adding plants and ornamental stones to hide the unsightly area.  Similarly, other structures that aren’t so nice to look at such as sheds, garages or storage spaces can be beautified with some creative landscaping.  The addition of some plants and appropriate weatherproof furniture can change the focal point and enhance the area.

Create A Multi-Layer Yard

If your backyard is all on one level, it may seem kind of bland and boring.  By adding a few layers, you can spice up its look and change its functionality.  You can use natural materials such as soil or rocks or you can add in decking for some elevation changes in different areas of the yard.  Adding a level or two to your backyard can result in a dramatic effect.

Create A New Entrance

The entrance to your backyard is the first impression visitors will get, so you might as well try and make it a good one.  By adding a decorative gate, flowering trellis or plant adorned arbor, you can add some pizzazz to what might currently be a simple opening between your house and the garage.  Create an inviting pathway linked to a nice landing area.  Separate them with a fancy gateway and your backyard is off to a great start.

The Best 2018 Landscape Design Trends

landscapeWhen creating an outdoor space, design inevitably plays a large role.  Landscaping is much more than just throwing down some dirt, adding some plants and letting nature do its thing.  Design, planning, and forethought are just as important in landscaping as they are in any other artistic endeavour.  This article will go over the best landscape design trends for 2018.

Mixed Colours

Past seasons have seen the use of monochrome colour schemes.  2018 is showing that adding a wide variety of colours can create a landscape that’s alluring and captivating to the eye.  Whether you use a variety of colours to contrast with or complement each other doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that the array of colours are used to create an effect of visual appeal and eye popping beauty.

Multi Purpose Plantings

Certain plants can achieve a variety of uses while still being visually appealing.  Consider plantings that are drought resistant yet feature colourful blooms that attract pollinating insects.  There are plenty of food bearing plants, like potatoes, that can add large swaths of greenery to your landscape while providing you with edible food at the end of the season.  You might also consider large trees not only for their good looks, but for their ability to provide privacy and protection from the wind. Multi purpose plants can give you the best of both fashion and function.

Responsible Land Use

With the world’s growing concern over the environment, your landscaping decisions can play a large role in responsible land use.  By capturing and reusing rainwater you can cut down on the water coming from your garden hose while keeping your property nice and green.  Consider rain barrels under your downspouts to capture runoff from your house. Cutting back on the amount of concrete and asphalt used will also allow water to be captured by the greenery and reduce the amount of runoff reaching the storm sewers.  Responsible land use will cut down on the amount of energy needed to maintain your landscaping projects and make better use of plants that are native to your area.

Five Advantages of Sod Replacement

sodMany North Americans take great pride in their expanses of green lawn.  However, what happens when you’re starting anew and have no lawn to begin with?  You can either grow a lawn from scratch using seed or you can install sod – which are precut sections of dirt that already have grass growing on them.  This article will go over five advantages of using sod when starting a new lawn.

Instant Results

Because the grass is already healthily growing on strips of sod, once they’re installed you’ll have what appears to be a fully functioning lawn.  You’ll need to be careful about walking on the lawn until the sod digs its roots into the soil, but as opposed to growing from seed, you won’t be staring at a bald patch of dirt for months before a lawn finally begins to appear.

Cost

The fact is that installing a sod lawn costs less than trying to grow from seed.  The initial costs may seem like sod costs more, but the nurturing needed to grow a lawn from seed will ultimately increase its prices.  The time and money spent weeding, watering, fertilizing and reseeding a lawn grown from seed will be much greater than the installation costs of sod.

Grass Health

When installing a sod lawn, you’ll know that the grass has been grown professional and under optimal conditions.  Sod will be grown in top quality soil while being carefully watered and fertilized to create a healthy foundation for your lawn.  Compared to the variable conditions of the dirt patch surrounding your house, the controlled conditions of a sod farm will produce higher quality grass almost every time.

No Need To Reseed

Sod will have already been grown to an optimal density before it gets laid out around your yard.  As opposed to growing from seed, this means you won’t need to reseed the bald patches every year until you finally get a decent looking lawn.  Not only that, but a sod lawn will start off weed free. In the case of a lawn grown from seed you’ll need to spend significant time and energy making sure the weeds don’t outcompete your grass.

Erosion Prevention

While waiting for your lawn to grow from seed, there’s always the possibility that a rainstorm could strip your yard of its valuable topsoil.  This could be devastating to your lawn growing hopes. Installing a sod lawn immediately protects the topsoil and ensures it doesn’t get washed away in the rain.

4 Eco-Friendly Landscaping Trends

4 eco-friendly landscaping trendsGardening and being eco-friendly should go hand in hand. That’s why eco-friendly landscaping trends are popping up more and more. Read on to see how you can make your garden a better place for the environment.

Use native plants

There are so many different types of plants and flowers that choosing the right ones can be overwhelming. We often go with flowers that we think look pretty, rather than ones that will thrive in a specific climate. Too often a flower is planted only to then realize that it needs quite a bit of water to survive.

To combat this, look for plants that are native to your area. This is especially important if you live in a drier climate. These plants will be used to the amount of natural rain water and therefore won’t need as much additional watering as other species.

To go one step further, look for plants that are drought-resistant. Plants like succulents need far less water than other species. As a result, you can conserve water and still have a nice-looking garden.

Collect Water

Further on the topic of water, it’s always best to try to catch water than simply turn on the hose. You can invest in special rain catchers that are basically large buckets with a wide lip that catches the most amount of rain possible. If you don’t want to purchase these, regular buckets will suffice. Simply remember to put out buckets when it rains. Then, use that water for your garden to capitalize on one of the most efficient landscaping trends.

Another way to reuse water is from inside the house. Plants are fine if there is a bit of soap in the water. In fact, this can actually help with small bug infestations. Before you drain the sink or bathtub, collect that water to use in the garden.

Be friendly to bees

If you’ve followed the news, you’ll be aware that there is a large threat to bees. What exactly is causing it still remains unknown, though many are pointing the blame at pesticides. You can do your part by both not using pesticides and also providing a nurturing place for bees to thrive. Plant bright-colored flowers that will attract bees.

You can go a step further and even purchase your own bee home or even a large-scale bee hive. Bees have an unfair reputation of harming people. But the truth is, as long as they are left alone, they will leave you alone. Be friendly to bees; after all, if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have any yummy produce.

Upcycle

While plants, trees, and shrubs make up a large part of any garden, it’s the little touches that make it truly personal. Things like birdfeeders or signs are cute additions to any garden. When finding these items, try to upcycle. That is, take older items and repurpose them. Build a birdhouse out of found wood pieces. Find used plant pots and give them a good cleaning. Instead of buying new, get used and make it your own to be a part of all the landscaping trends.

The Fall Landscaping Checklist

the fall landscaping checklistFall is an important season for yard care. It’s the last chance to prepare your yard for future use before the cold season of winter hits. It might be tempting to leave a lot of fall landscaping for the spring, but the more fall landscaping you do, the easier it will be to get your garden up and running in the spring.

Reseed grass

Grass seed needs a lot of water to germinate, which is why fall is an ideal time to reseed your lawn. Put down grass seed over any bare patches or any parts of the lawn that didn’t survive the harsh sun of summer. There should be enough rain to get the seed started, but make sure to check the weather forecast. If it’s nothing but sunny skies, be sure the water once a day for the first week, and then alternate days for the next two weeks. This will ensure that the grass seed has the opportunity to take hold.

Plant flowers

While you won’t see the benefits of planting flowers until the spring, Fall is actually a good time for planting. Bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, are best when planted in the fall. Likewise, a number of perennials can be planted. These will lay dormant over winter, but in spring and summer, they will come to life. It’s important to get plants and bulbs in before the first frost of the season. This varies across regions, but generally, you want to be done planting by October 31st.

As a bonus for planting perennials, many plant stores offer special deals in the fall. Take advantage of these low prices and stock up on flowers.

Prune trees and shrubs

This may seem like a spring activity, but it’s actually a really good idea to prune trees and shrubs as part of fall landscaping. This will help prepare for winter. Do be careful about pruning, though, because some bushes should wait for the spring. This included anything that blooms early in the spring like hydrangeas and lilacs. It can be tempting to start chopping away on your own, but to be sure, it’s always good to hire an expert who knows what to do.

Pack up supplies

Nobody wants to have dig through snow to find a forgotten tool. Make sure that all of your tools and equipment have been cleaned and stored before winter hits. Do a thorough walk-through of your yard to see if anything has been missed. Proper tool maintenance will lead to a longer life.

If your city has a yard waste pick up, check to see if it runs over winter. A lot of times cities don’t offer this surface from December to March, so be sure to put all grass clippings and tree branches in before the last pickup, or else you’ll be stuck with them all winter long.

4 Simple Landscaping Tasks that Can Make a Big Difference

landscaping in the Brampton Are you looking to improve your garden, but worried about the time and expense it takes to do so? Making the most of your outdoor space doesn’t have to require a huge investment and total redesign. In fact, you can make a big impact simply by adding little touches here and there. Read on to find out which ones you should use if you’re landscaping in Brampton.

Easy Landscaping Solutions Everyone Can Use

Here are 4 easy projects that could transform your yard into a completely different space with minimal effort.

  • A Tree – A tree will start out as a small addition, but over time, it will grow into a lasting legacy that could completely change the look of your property. It’s a long-term change, but if you don’t pay enough attention to it, it won’t last that long. That’s why you should take special care of a sapling for the first two years to make sure it’s on track. Before you commit to planting, make sure you consider the size of the area, any hardscaping that it could obstruct, and shading. Of course, there’s colouring to consider too.
  • Pavers and Ground Cover – A combination of paving stones and ground cover is often used in Brampton landscaping because it’s an easy way to beautify your outdoor space. They don’t take long to install, but if you use concrete pavers and maintain the area regularly, your display will last for years to come. Whether you prefer geometric shapes, a mish-mash of odd pavers or a mosaic style, you can create something that suits you. Planting moss or a similar plant between them will fill the gaps with a flash of green all year round. If not, try using gravel. Just make sure you prepare the ground so that the pavers sit flush, and that there is enough slope for drainage when it rains.
  • Planters – Adding planters to your garden is nice and easy. All you need to do is pick out something from a store and place it wherever you like. You don’t have to go for a standard, uniform look, though. Create texture and layers with different types, like terracotta pots, wooden crates, and tires.
  • Mulch – Mulch is incredible simple and may not look like much, but it actually has several important functions for your garden. It maintains moisture, channels water to plants, keeps soil cool, and keeps weeds at bay. It also provides an easy way to fill ground space. Use wood chippings, straw, leaves, compost or grass clippings. You can add stones, too. The type of mulch you should use will depend on the overall aesthetic that you’re trying to create.

Do You Need Landscaping in Brampton?

Pyramid Contracting has been offering landscaping in the Brampton area for over 30 years, specializing in providing quality designs at an affordable price. Whether you need to completely redesign your garden or just make some small adjustments, we can help.