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Landscape Tips for January

Landscape Tips for JanuaryHappy 2015!

It’s January, start of a New Year! We don’t know about you, but we’re happy to leave 2014 behind. We’ve got a lot of great plans for 2015. So, keep your eyes out for notifications from us! We look forward to sharing this great year with you!

This weather is definitely throwing everything for a loop. With the warmer temperatures we’ve got Spring Fever! If the weather stays warmer everything will start blooming early, which works for us!

We have had a few days that we’re pretty sure the ocean turned upside down and emptied itself on us. So, with that, keep an eye on washouts and what they have uncovered including bulbs!

Landscape Tips for January

  • Watch for field mice damage on lower trunks of trees and shrubs. Eliminate hiding places by removing weeds. Use traps and approved baits as necessary.
  • Check the soil moisture around boxwood and holly, water if needed.
  • Snow can be used as mulch on perennials and areas where bulbs were planted last fall. (not that we have any snow)
  • Don’t walk on lawns until frost has melted.
  • Make sure our recent deluges have not left bulbs and tree roots bare.

What things do you work on outside at this time of the year? Do you have an Landscape Tips for January that you’d like to share with us?

Pond Tips for October

pond tips for OctoberHere are some pond tips for October we would like to share.

Discontinue bacteria treatments when the water temperature reaches 50 to 55 degrees.  When the temperatures are  35 to 50 degrees, you can use the cold water bacteria.  The main reason for using bacteria is to help increase the good bacteria count so the pond will stay in balance.

What do I do with my plants?

Cut back the marginals to just below the water level and cut the lilies to 3 inches above the rhizone. Throw the summer tropicals, such as Hyacinth, into your compost pile. Clean up debris as much as you can from the bottom of the pond.  Remove as many of the leaves as you can by using a small rake.

Netting the Pond?

In the fall, it is recommended that you use pond netting if you have leaves or pine needles that will fall into the pond.  If you do not net the pond, then any material that falls into the pond will have to decompose and as it decomposes, it will produce harmful gasses throughout the winter.  Check out the pond tips for October below

  • Add beneficial bacteria. Remember beneficial bacteria removes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and organic debris such as dead leaves, uneaten fish food, fish waste etc., that cause water clarity problems.
  • Maintain salt level between 2.0 – 2.5 ppt.
  • Back flush filter media weekly.
  • 10% water change every other week.
  • Feed fish once or twice a day.
  • Consider covering your pond with leaf net.
  • Check chemical levels.

Pond Tips for September

pond tips for septemberLooking for some pond tips for September? We’ve got some to share with you. Your pond is an outdoor living ecosystem and unless you live in a part of the country where old man winter doesn’t pay you an annual visit, you will have to prepare for changes in late fall and going into winter. So, add that to your “to do” list for next month. We will talk more about winterizing your water feature and pond in October. In the mean time:

  • Add beneficial bacteria. Remember beneficial bacteria removes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and organic debris such as dead leaves, uneaten fish food, fish waste etc., that cause water clarity problems.
  • Maintain salt level between 2.5 – 3.0 ppt.
  • Back flush filter media weekly.
  • Minimum 10% weekly water change.
  • Consider covering your pond with leaf net.
  • Check chemical levels.

Pond Tips for August

august pond tips 2013Looking for pond tips for August? We’ve got just the right tips to help you maintain your pond, keep the water crystal clear and maintain a healthy environment, whether you have fish or not.

Many people enjoy seeing fish in their ponds, but they do not mix well with other wildlife. If you want a good wildlife pond, which includes frogs and newts, avoid fish. Don’t transfer fish, plants and frog spawn between ponds as this can introduce disease and problem plants.

  • Add beneficial bacteria. Remember beneficial bacteria removes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and organic debris such as dead leaves, uneaten fish food, fish waste etc., that cause water clarity problems.
  • Maintain salt level between 2.5 – 3.0 ppt.
  • Back flush filter media weekly.
  • Minimum 10% weekly water change.
  • Check chemical levels.

Water quality can also be improved by adding a water feature, such as a fountain, waterfall or spitter. One hundred percent of your pond volume should be at least circulated in one hour by your pond pump. Water features aid in circulation in an aesthetically pleasing way. Additionally, waterfalls provide surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and help harmful ammonia into harmless nitrates.

Don’t worry about mosquitoes and other insects that lay their eggs in ponds. Your fish will eat the larvae when they hatch. Ponds are wildlife-rich, so they are the perfect place to have a bench or seat so you can enjoy fish, dragonflies, frogs or any other wildlife that your water feature attracts.

Landscape Tips for August

august landscape tipsNeed some landscape tips for August? What a beautiful summer we’ve had so far. Before you know it the kids will be back in school, so enjoy the last few weeks of summer. Some of our hottest days are often in August, so don’t think summer is over yet!

You’re probably wrapping up vacations and starting your back-to-school shopping. With the busy-ness that comes with the month of

August, don’t forget to take care of your landscape. If there’s a project you just can’t get to, call us. We’d be happy to help! Landscape
Order fall bulbstips for August include …

  • Plant late-blooming perennials, mums, or pansies
  • Look out for spider mite and aphid activity
  • Need a new lawn? The optimal time for establishing a new lawn is August through Mid-September.
  • Use mulch to protect ornamentals and garden plants from hot weather damage. If needed, provide temporary shade, especially for recent plantings.
  • If a green lawn is desired, make sure lawn areas are receiving adequate water (approximately 0.5 to 1.5 inches per week from June through August). Deep watering less often is more effective than frequent shallow watering. Measure your water use by placing an empty tuna can where your irrigation water lands.sunset in august

Pond Tips for July

pond tips for julyNeed some pond tips for July? We’re having a beautiful summer and there are some things you need to do to make sure your pond stays clean & looking good.

One of the simplest way to keep your pond clean and healthy is to avoid overfeeding your fish. Give them only what they’ll eat immediately and don’t feed them while they’re hibernating in the winter. Otherwise, routine maintenance chores and pond tips for July include:

  • Add beneficial bacteria. Remember beneficial bacteria removes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and organic debris such as dead leaves, uneaten fish food, fish waste etc., that cause water clarity problems.
  • Maintain salt level between 2.5 – 3.0 ppt.
  • Back flush filter media weekly.
  • Minimum 10% weekly water change.
  • Check chemical levels.

If you don’t have a pond, do you want a pond? Why do you want a pond, water garden or water feature?  Although this may seem like a silly question many homeowners neglect to think about it. Water gardens and water features can be used to add curb appeal to the front yard, draw visitors to other parts of your garden or to suppress undesirable noise like expressway traffic and noisy neighbors.

Some other questions to ask yourself include:

  • Where are you intending to add your pond or water feature?
  • What are the current conditions of your site now and is electricity available?
  • What are you willing to spend?

Once you have gone through these major considerations you are ready for the fun part, designing your new pond, water garden or water feature.  Do as much research as you can. Talk to as many people with water features or ponds as you can to learn from their joys and mistakes. Many people who own ponds, water gardens or water features are excited to share what they have learned and what they would or would not do again.

When you’re ready to move forward, give us a call. We’ll help you create the pond, water garden or water feature of your dreams.

Landscape Tips for July

july landscape tipsIt’s July! 2013 is really flying by. What a great year it’s been so far. We’ve had some great seminars and a lot of fun with our pond contest. We’ve got our Annual Fundraiser: Beer and Wine Tasting event this month,  and to make it even more fun, we’ve added a car show this year.  You won’t want to miss this great event!

Since it’s summer and the weather is beautiful, we’re sure you’re scrambling to keep up with all the events. So, here’s a little reminder of some landscape tips for July.

  • Early morning is the best time to water vegetable and flower gardens to reduce evaporation. Water the soil, rather than leaves to reduce disease. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage root growth.
  • Deadhead perennial blossoms to promote new growth.
  • Hanging baskets of flowers or vegetable plantings need careful attention to watering and feeding during extended periods of hot weather.
  • Cut back fall-blooming perennials by 1/3 to delay bloom.
  • Early morning is the best time to water vegetable and flower gardens to reduce evaporation. Water the soil, rather than leaves to reduce disease. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage root growth.
  • Hanging baskets of flowers or vegetable plantings need careful attention to watering and feeding during extended periods of hot weather.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!!

Pond Tips for June

pond tips for juneNeed some pond tips for June? We’ve got them. Summer has arrived and it is time to start changing some of the maintenance activities.

Having a Koi pond at your home is undoubtedly the quickest way to reduce stress and noise that you have to deal with on a regular basis. This peaceful and quiet place is essentially a man-made paradise. Apart from eliminating stress and tension from your mind, a Koi pond is a perfect way of adding beauty to your backyard or any outdoor space.  However, it requires some effort to keep it in its healthiest and most attractive condition.

Here are a few other pond tips? Look no further…

  • Do not start feeding your pond fish until the pond water is at least 50°F.
  • Add beneficial bacteria. Remember beneficial bacteria removes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and organic debris such as dead leaves, uneaten fish food, fish waste etc., that cause water clarity problems.
  • Maintain salt level between 2.5 – 3.0 ppt.
  • Switch to higher protein food 2-4 times daily.
  • Back flush filter media weekly.
  • Minimum 10% weekly water change.
  • Check chemical levels.

Whether you have a water garden, pondless water features, large koi pond, or two acre lake, Creative Visions Landscapes can help get what you want out of that body of water and enjoy your pond. We carry many different pond supplies including; pumps, filters, skimmers, liner/underlayment, UV supplies, water treatments, aquatic plants, koi and other fish and fish food. So, if you have a question about your pond, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Landscape Tips for June

landscape tips for juneSummer has arrived! With an early arrival to summer, you’re sure to want our landscape tips for June. By the way… What happened to the Rose Festival curse? We aren’t sure what to think, but we are loving this beautiful sunshine!

Now that summer is on us, things will start getting dry. Be sure your lawn is getting enough water. As a general rule, you want to get at least an inch of water per week to keep a good green and healthy lawn.

June is still early enough to prune some plants if needed, so you can clean up some plants or do full pruning if needed. Planting new plants can still be done, you may just have to water a little more to keep them bright and plenty healthy.

Just a reminder: We landscape all through the year, every month we are planting new plants, the only difference is during hot dry weather we have to water more. Need some landscaping help? Give us a call.

Here are a few landscape tips for June

  • Spray weeds
  • Allow bulb foliage to completely yellow and then cut back to the ground
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees
  • Make sure raised beds receive enough water for plants to avoid drought  stress
  • Monitor azaleas, primroses and other broadleaf ornamentals for adult  root weevils.

Landscape Tips for March

Landscape Tips for March 
It’s already March! But, like you know the weather in March in Portland is very unpredictable. Plants will start blooming, your grass will start growing and Spring will arrive! Here are a few landscape tips for March.

Landscape Tips – Planning

  • Plan the vegetable garden carefully for spring and summer vegetables. If you lack in- ground gardening space, plan an outdoor container garden.
  • Use a soil thermometer to help you know when to plant vegetables. Some cool season crops (onions, kale, lettuce, and spinach) can be planted when the soil is consistently at or above 40°F.

Maintenance and Clean Up

  • Lawn mowing: Set blade at 0.75 to 1 inch for bent grass lawns; 1.5 to 2.5 inches for bluegrasses, fine fescues, and ryegrasses.
  • Compost grass clippings and yard waste, except for clippings from lawns where weed-and-feed products  or herbicides (weed killers) have been used.
  • Spread compost over garden and landscape areas.
  • Cut back most plants.
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