Preparing Your Lawn for Fall

The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air and it’s time to start thinking about prepping your lawn for fall. Proper lawn and garden care and maintenance is critical in the cooler months to ensure your grass and plants survive the coming winter. Use our handy tips to prep your yard for fall.

 

Rake Your Leaves

Don’t leave those leaves in your yard all fall. While some people believe leaves insulate your yard from snow during winter, this simply isn’t true. Leaves smother your lawn and block it from getting the essential water, nutrients, and sunlight it needs to stay healthy. Wet leaves can mildew or grow mold and become unhealthy to pets and kids. Rake and dispose of your leaves properly. 

 

Keep Cutting the Grass

Don’t think you can start putting away the mower just because the kids are in school again. Grass will continue to grow and need care until at least the first frost. For early fall, continue cutting to a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches. For the last few cuttings of the season, drop the blade to its lowest setting. Generally, the grass root depth is proportional to the grass height. Cut too short and you risk smaller roots that won’t withstand winter. Leave grass too long and it can mat and turn brown. 

 

Watch Your Watering

Grass still needs proper care and feeding into the wintertime. This fall, be sure to watch how much water your lawn is getting. On average, you want it to get an inch of water each week. Watch the weather and supplement only as needed. Mid-October is a good time to start thinking of winterizing your irrigation lines and other water features.

 

Fertilize

Along with watering, you need to feed your lawn enough nutrients to get it through a harsh winter. This includes fertilizing. The best time to start is in late fall when grass blades grow slowly but roots remain active and hungry. Feeding roots now will ensure they are healthy come springtime. 

 

Consider Aerating

Aerating your lawn has many benefits but only needs to be done every few years. If it’s past due to aerate your lawn, consider doing so this fall. Core aerators punch holes in your lawn to allow moisture, sun, and nutrients to reach the deeper soil. If you aerate, do so before fertilizing.

 

Seed Bare Spots

If your lawn has bare spots, now is the time to fill them in. Lay a quick-growing seed to get bald patches filled in. A full yard will resist weeds and look better after winter. Fall is the perfect time to seed because the days aren’t too hot, the nights are cool, there is plenty of moisture, and you’re already taking other steps to improve your lawn’s health. After you get bare or sparse areas filled in, be careful with your holiday decorating so you don’t undo your hard work by creating new bare spots.

 

Tidy Up

There’s still plenty of time left this fall to enjoy your grill, firepit, or garden, but eventually it will be time to start putting items away. Store lawn care and gardening equipment in its proper place. Put away patio cushions and umbrellas. Don’t forget to tidy up your flowerbeds of any weeds and debris. 

____

Whether you’re a homeowner or need commercial landscaping, if this list is intimidating to you, then call the experts at SAT Landscape. We can help beautify your fall landscape, winterize your garden, and take care of all your general landscape maintenance. Don’t neglect your lawn and garden this fall. Don’t hesitate to call SAT Landscape!

Summer has arrived and hot weather means a lot of stress on our lawns. So beat the heat by preparing your lawn with these six tips. These six tips will ensure your lawn stays lush, healthy, and beautiful throughout the remainder of summer. These tips should be followed roughly from mid-May to late-August

Keep Your Grass Long

If a lawn is cut too short, it reduces the plants ability to produce energy for growth. Keeping grass a little longer in the heat of summer helps the roots extend deeper into the earth, keeping weeds from coming up and competing for water. Since the turf is denser, it requires less water. A height of about 4 inches is often the rule of thumb during the summer months.


Water Your Lawn Thoroughly and Less Often

Most lawns require about an inch of water per week to stay healthy. An irrigation system is ideal for lawn hydration, but no matter how the lawn is watered the time of day makes a difference. Deep, infrequent watering during the morning hours allows moisture to be more efficiently absorbed by the root system.

Once you start to water, don’t stop! Less frequent, deeper waterings are better than frequent shallow ones. Watering for longer periods of time less often will promote deeper roots, greater drought tolerance, and less maintenance. To encourage deep and healthy root growth, you should water your lawn deeply once a week. To help you adapt to this schedule, install a sprinkler controller to take care of it for you.


Use Proper Mowing Rules


This may be the most important aspect of a green lawn once we get into the heat of summer. Mowing damage can scorch your lawn beyond recovery, leaving burnt streaks in the pattern of your mowing passes. Whether you use a self-propelled lawn mower or riding lawn mower any other type, it is important to keep it properly maintained by ensuring your mowing blades are kept sharp, unlike blunt blades that tear the grass.

The time of day you mow is also very important. Mornings are the best to mow, and never in the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest. The combination of the hot motor and the heat from the sun can burn your lawn. Mowing damage can scorch your lawn beyond recovery, leaving burnt streaks. 


Fertilizing / Insect & Disease Monitoring

During summer months, the lawn still requires a food source to keep healthy levels of growth. Applying a slow-release fertilizer gives the plant nutrient source while safeguarding against the summer heat and disease problems. If you have splotches or brown spots that do not go away with proper watering, there may be an insect/disease problem. Many insects are active during the hot and dry months, and if they become a problem it’s best to contact a technician to help manage this issue. 

 

Compost Your Kitchen and Garden Waste for Greener Grass.


Composting your grass clippings is a great way to reduce waste and help your garden and lawn grow. Additionally, you can compost other waste from the garden and even from your kitchen. Adding compost to your soil is one of the best ways to green up your grass and all your garden plants. 


Preparing your grass for summer will take discipline, but the reward will be worth it when having a healthy lawn on the block that will make your neighbors green with envy. Give us a call if you’re having any trouble and would like us to help you out!

Easy Summer Cookout Recipes for the Grill

It’s July, so you know what that means. Backyard grilling! The smell of cooking coming in through the open windows. Is there anything more relaxing? We don’t think so. If you’re got a backyard and a grill, you might as well take full advantage of it during these warm months. We’ve prepared some easy summer cookout recipes for your backyard grilling this season.

Whether you’re looking for basic hamburgers on the grill or if you want to get a little fancier with shrimp skewers, we’ve got some easy recipes for you below to help you out this summer during your backyard cookout season. 

 

Hamburgers 

If you’re looking to keep it classic with your cookouts this summer, then check out the ideas below for some great, simple hamburgers you can throw on the grill. 

 

Grilled Chicken 

Whether you don’t eat red meat or you’re just looking to switch things up, be sure to check out these yummy grilled chicken marinade ideas below.

 

Hot Dogs

If you’re a kid at heart, grilling for your family, or just in the mood for a hot dog on the grill, take a look at these hot dog ideas below that are sure to enhance any simple frank!

 

Shrimp

So, it’s time to grill but you aren’t in the mood for beef or chicken. We’ve got a solution for you! Try out some of these shrimp recipes that are sure to fill your seafood craving.  

 

Veggies & Sides 

Now that you’ve got ideas for your main meal, it’s time to move on to your side dishes. See below for some delicious side dishes that you can easily make on the grill. 

Now that you’ve got a lot of cookout ideas for your next backyard outing, be sure to keep an eye on your backyard while you’re out there. If you notice anything out of the ordinary or have anything you would prefer someone else to take care of, give S.A.T. Landscape Services a call!

Grilling Safety in the Backyard

When it comes to summer, there’s nothing better than a gathering of family and friends in the backyard with some good old-fashioned BBQ. Before you even light up the grill, you need to think about the safety of grilling in your backyard. July is the peak month for grill fires and causes over $37 million in home damages every year. Everything from placement to protective equipment can affect the safety of your home and garden from your backyard grill.

Always think about placement first. Whether you wheel it out for each use or it’s a permanent fixture on your patio, the grill should always be placed at least 10 feet from your home or other structures such as fences, garden sheds, and garages. A brick or paver patio is a safe surface for grills, whereas wood decks or grass can pose an increased risk of fire.

Plants, shrubs, and trees should not surround or overhang the grill. Keep your lawn cut and trees and shrubs trimmed back as part of your summer lawn maintenance. One of the safest places for a grill is built-in to an outdoor kitchen and entertaining space. Whether you want a fire ring, pizza oven, or grill surround, SAT Landscape can help create your dream outdoor kitchen and grilling space.

If you’re having a party, keep guests—especially kids and pets—away from the grilling area. Have safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher or water source available in case of emergencies. Inspect your grill before use and keep the grill clean and maintained. Don’t leave the grill unattended while in use.

Good landscape design will help keep your grilling area safe. Whether it’s on a brick or paver patio or built-in to a stone entertaining space, your grill is your summer hotspot. Let SAT Landscape create a design plan for your grill and backyard oasis today!

One for the Birds

Birdwatchers may travel far and wide to catch glimpses of rare bird species in their natural habitat. It can be fascinating and relaxing to watch them gathering food, singing a song, playing in the water, building a nest, and raising their young. With the right landscaping, you can observe all this in your own back yard. The plants below can help transform your yard into a wildlife oasis for the birds and your family.

 

Mulberries

Mulberries provide fruit in the summer that can attract robins, waxwings, cardinals and other songbirds. Mulberry trees can grow from 30 to 60 feet high—plenty of room for birds to build a nest and make themselves at home. Landscape design is very important with fruit trees. We recommend planting mulberries away from sidewalks or driveways to avoid a mess from any fallen fruit.

 

Flowering Dogwood

Dogwood trees are popular for their attractive flowers in spring and can be the star of any yard. They also provide bright red berries in fall. This fruit can attach robins, bluebirds, thrushes, catbirds, cardinals, tanagers, grosbeaks, and more. Dogwood trees can grow up to 40 feet high and are also great candidates for bird nests.

 

Wild Grape

Wild grape provides fall fruit that is a highly attractive food to more than 50 species of birds, including robins, bluebirds, thrushes, catbirds, cardinals, orioles, wild turkey, woodpeckers, and mockingbirds. These climbing vines provide dense greenery that can provide cover, nest materials, or an excellent site for nests. A stone or wood wall could be the perfect place for wild grape vines, or try hedgerows.

 

Crabapples

Crabapples are medium-sized trees that provide attractive blossoms in spring, with fruit in the fall that persists into winter. These trees can attract robins, bluebirds, thrushes, catbirds, cardinals, waxwings, pine grosbeaks, finches and others who feast on the flower buds, flowers, fruit and seeds. These trees provide cover against predators and make great nesting sites.

 

Flowers

Different varieties of flowers may also help in attracting birds and butterflies. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to bee balm, columbine, gladiolus, hibiscus, butterfly weed, nasturtium, trumpet vine, zinnia, and more. Other birds may occasionally feed on the nectar. The seeds of certain flowers such as columbine, marigolds, bell flower, and cosmos may attract mourning doves, cardinals, brown thrashers, and song sparrows.

 

Water Features

It isn’t just the plants that can attract birds to your yard. Add a water feature to attract birds looking for an oasis from the summer heat. Bird baths, fountains, and ponds are great bird attractants.

 

If you think deciding on the perfect trees and plants is for the birds, let us help. From landscape design to maintenance, SAT Landscape has you covered. Calls us today at 614.457.8257 to discuss how we can transform your yard into the perfect wildlife oasis.

Beautiful young woman and her cute son planting seedlings in bed in the domestic garden at summer day. Garden tools, gloves and watering can outdoors. Gardening activity with little kid and family
Beautiful young woman and her cute son planting seedlings in bed in the domestic garden at summer day. Garden tools, gloves and watering can outdoors. Gardening activity with little kid and family

Gardening Basics for the Black Thumb Gardener

Whether you’re trying to make an entire garden flourish or you just want to grow one stinkin’ cactus, if you have a black thumb, you probably find gardening difficult or near impossible. For those of us who just can’t seem to keep a plant alive, there is hope. Use these tips and tricks to turn your black thumb green.

  1. Plant Choice

It all starts with the plants. If you already struggle with gardening, why fight Mother Nature? Certain plants and even specific varieties of plants are easier to take care of than others. Start by exploring a UDA Hardiness Zone Map. These handy guides will show you your “zone” (Ohio spans zones 5 and 6) which tells you the type of plants that can grow easily in the temperatures and conditions of your area.

Look for species and varieties with extra hardiness and low care requirements. Cacti, bamboo, ZZ plants (a succulent that looks more like a fern), aloe vera, and shamrocks are some of the easiest plants to grow. Chives, mint, parsley, and basil are great for the first-time herb gardener. Carrots, radishes, and lettuce are some of the easiest veggies. Ask your local gardening store for help or call in a professional team for landscape design to set yourself up for success.

  • Location

Plants can only thrive when they are in the right place. This means several things. Certain plants are more suited to indoor living and need steady temperatures and low humidity to thrive. These plants also tend to be air purifiers which makes them the perfect addition to your home. Outdoor plants are subjected to the seasons and many will die off in the winter and bloom again in the spring.

Putting plants in the right location also means knowing how much sunlight they will get. Start by viewing your backyard during different times of day and drawing out a basic map of which areas get the most sun and during which hours. Do the same for the sunlight coming into your home through your windows. Now pay careful attention to the plant care instructions. Some plants prefer shade and will wilt in the sun, others need as much sunlight as they can get. A professional landscape designer can help with this task.

  • Water & Food

Humans need nourishment in the form of water and food to survive. Plants are the same way. How much to water has to do with the care instructions for each plant and the weather patterns in your area. Keep the tag that comes with the plant. This usually explains how to judge the right amount of watering.

Plants also need nutrients to continue growing. Nutrients from regular soil are often not sufficient for full bloom which is why fertilizers and specialty soils are recommended. This is particularly true of potted plants which have limited soil that they quickly drain the nutrients from. Consider starting a compost pile to add to your garden for nourishment.

  • Hardscaping

Of course, if you just can’t seem to turn that black thumb to green, you could consider getting rid of the situation altogether. Hardscaping a backyard is a great way to avoid the hassle of filling the space with flowers or grass. Paver patios coupled with interesting water features, fire pits, and more can turn your backyard into an oasis—free from the maintenance of plants.

The truth is, the amazing gardener you know probably has a long list of dead plants from the past haunting them. If you have a black thumb, there is hope yet! Keep trying, and call SAT Landscape for all your landscaping needs.

A country house with a beautiful backyard behind the house, landscape design
A country house with a beautiful backyard behind the house, landscape design

Unique Landscapes to Suit Any Home Style

Your home is your sanctuary. From Craftsman to Victorian to Colonial and beyond, every home has a unique style and feel. If you want to try something new to set your house apart, consider these unique landscaping options sure to complement any home style.

 

Water Features

Many people focus on the plants when it comes to landscaping, but an added water feature can create a whole new atmosphere for your yard or garden. Ponds and fountains are popular options and come in a variety of options to suit any architectural style. For a truly special design, forget the greenery entirely. Create an oasis with a waterfall leading to a series of cascading pools spanning the entire backyard. Or impress the neighbors and add a pleasant sound and sight to the front of your property with a large fountain. The possibilities are endless.

 

Exotic Plants

When it comes to plant choices, it’s important first to choose ones that are adaptable to your particular climate. But that doesn’t mean they have to be native to your area. Exotic plants from matching climates across the globe can make a big impact on your garden. Try a Canna Tropicanna for a bold punch of color. Or opt for winter-hardy bamboo or banana trees. All of these will grow in the Columbus, Ohio climate.

 

Hedge Maze

While this may seem like a feature reserved for elaborate castle gardens or sprawling acreages, a scaled-down version could be just what your home needs. Create a pathway or maze in the backyard leading to a secret sitting area. Use hedges and trees in the front to create privacy. You can even sculpt them into interesting shapes to match your tastes, the seasons, or your home style.

 

Sculpture Garden

Speaking of sculpting things, why not add a few sculptures to your garden? Beautiful art can make a major impact. Modern and contemporary houses are the perfect backdrop for abstract and unique pieces. Traditional homes can opt for subtler statues and designs. Try small statues flanking the walkway or front door. Or sprinkle art throughout a sprawling garden for an eye-catching surprise for visitors.

 

Hanging Garden

Who says plants have to be on the ground? Not us! A hanging garden is the perfect unique feature to add to any style home. Use trellises and archways along with climbing plants like bougainvillea or wisteria to make a fairy tale entryway. Plant climbing ivy to cover one side of the house for a natural look. Hang baskets from pergolas and gazebos in the backyard. A hanging garden suits any style home.

 

Field of Flowers

Forget the lush green lawn and opt for a landscape filled with nothing but flowers. Extend flowerbeds to cover large areas and pack those flowerbeds with plants. Flowers, ferns, shrubs, and trees of every sort can be planted to match any home style. Whole-yard gardens create a landscape that changes with the seasons, matching your home to any occasion.

 

Whether you live in a ranch home, bungalow, modern, or Mediterranean home, there are plenty of options to create a unique landscape to suit any architectural style. Call SAT Landscape to create your home plan today!

 

Preparing your lawn for spring in Columbus

Spring is a great time to sell your home, but this often means a flood of houses hit the market each spring. To stand out from the crowd, you need to get your house ready for the spring market. Start with the big-picture items on your list and then move to the more detailed steps, such as cleaning. Here are five ways you can get your home ready for the spring market.

1)    Maintenance

You know that little leak that began during winter? Get it fixed. New homeowners want a turn-key home that doesn’t require any major or even minor renovations or repairs. This includes regular preventative maintenance necessary such as cleaning or replacing air filters and oiling garage door hinges. Even something as simple as cleaning out your gutters can have an impact on how buyers see your home. The more you can complete, the higher their bids may be.

2)    Inspections

Anything that you don’t maintain yourself should have a thorough inspection from a licensed professional. Pipes can sustain damage over the winter and should be inspected, cleaned, or fixed as necessary. HVAC units have been working hard in the cold. An inspection will reveal if anything needs fixed and even give estimates on the remaining life of a product (water heater, garage door, etc.). New homeowners will love to hear that the inspector expects the roof to last another 10-15 years without maintenance. This can certainly help sell your home.

3)    Curb Appeal

Spring is a time to remove the drab white and grey overcoat of winter and let your landscape shine with color once again. A brown, dead yard and bare flowerbeds will not inspire homeowners to see the beauty of your home. As soon as the weather is nice, get outdoors and start working on your curb appeal. Ensure your lawn is green and lush. Prep flowerbeds with new mulch and plant colorful flowers or bulbs. Trim trees and bushes that have grown untamed. First impressions are important, so make sure your curb appeal screams springtime.

4)    Decorating

There are plenty of easy ways to make an impact inside your home as well. Decorations and staging help potential buyers see themselves living there. A fresh coat of paint in a bright, spring color can do wonders for lightening a space and creating a cheery atmosphere. Simple swaps such as new couch pillows or floor coverings can give your space that extra pop home buyers are looking for.

5)    Cleaning

It wouldn’t be spring if there weren’t some cleaning involved. Potential homeowners will be looking at more than the floor and countertops. Take the time to complete a deep clean before you put your home on the market. Wipe down fans, moldings, doorjambs, shelves, and anywhere else dust might have settled. Give your windows a healthy shine and go the extra step by polishing floors and spit-shining fixtures. A clean home feels fresher and newer for potential buyers.

Spring is a great time to put your home on the market, but you shouldn’t just throw up a listing and be done with it. By performing maintenance, getting inspections, taking care of your curb appeal, and decorating and cleaning the inside, your home will increase in value to potential buyers and stand out amongst the other houses for sale.

Striking Plants for Winter Color

 

You might have guessed from the name, but this are you tired of a grey winter landscape? Do you want to wow your neighbors with the color sprouting from your winter garden? There are a lot of options for adding striking color to a stark winter yard. Try a variety of these winter and spring-flowering plants:

Japanese Quince

These delicate red flowers can make a major impact in your garden this winter. Japanese Quince is a deciduous, thorny shrub that blooms in winter and early spring.

Heather

Mix color and texture when you plant heather this winter. Perfect for pots and window boxes, flowers bloom in brilliant pinks, whites, and purples.

Pansies

You can’t go wrong choosing from the multitude of colors of winter-flowering pansies. Fill flower beds with blankets of color or plant in window boxes for a glimpse of color from indoor.

Christmas Rose

Blooming in midwinter, these flowers offer white, dark red, and even green petals. Search for Hellebores Orientalis as they are the most robust in colder climates.

Mahonia

Make a large and sunny impact when you plant Mahonia in your garden. These evergreen shrubs, also known as barberry, are topped by cones of yellow flowers.

Snowdrop

These delicate white flowers have been gracing winter gardens for centuries. Often the first flower to bloom in the new year, they grow well even under shrubs and trees.

Winter Jasmine

Create waterfalls of yellow flowers when you plant winter jasmine over your trellis, gate, archway, or portico. Called Yingchun, “the flower that welcomes spring,” the blossoms open right after winter ends.

Daffodils

If you want to have the first daffodils in your neighborhood, choose the Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ variety. This award-winning flower blooms best in January. Follow it with a second blooming of ‘February Gold’ bulbs.

Glory-of-the-Snow

by flower pushes through the ground and snow to grace your garden with color. White centers radiate into blue, purple, and pink petal tips.

English Primrose

Good things come to those who wait… for their English primroses, that is. Solid or multi-colored, these spring and summer flowering plants provide a blast of color to your yard.

Holly Bushes

A symbol of winter and Christmas, the holly plant is a species of flowering evergreen that can hedge your garden in bright green and red. They flower all winter and grow best in temperate zones.

Preparing and planting during winter and spring can be difficult. From landscape maintenance to landscape design, SAT Landscape has your needs covered. Call us today at 614.457.8257 to discuss your winter and spring garden needs.

Ultimate Guide to Holiday Landscape Illumination

The holidays are upon us and nothing screams “Tis the Season” like an elaborate light display covering your house and yard. Whether you’re looking to have the brightest house on the block or you’re just putting up a few lights, this is the way to do it.

The key to illuminating your landscape like a pro is to make a plan. Start by envisioning your design. Try choosing a focal point to concentrate your lighting scheme around. You can hang lights anywhere—rooflines, eaves, bushes, trees, pillars, railings, windows, doors, pathways, window boxes, and more.

If you have some lights already, bring these out and test them to see what works and what you need to replace. Be wary of mixing new and older lights as color and distance between bulbs can vary by brand and throw off the continuity of your design.

Next, measure your windows, doors, roof eaves, tree branches, and anywhere else you plan on hanging lights. For trees, 100 to 200 lights per 1.5 feet of tree branch will result in a medium to heavy lighting design. Dense trees, such as evergreens, require more lights or larger lights to create a similar impact.

Don’t forget to mark where your outlets are compared to your intended lighting zone. You may need battery-operated lights or additional extension cords to make your design work. Also, note the different surfaces you’ll need hangers for—wood door jams, plastic gutters, brick exterior, etc. Knowing what you need ahead of time can streamline the landscape lighting process.

Now, you’re ready to purchase your lights and accessories. Pay attention to whether the lights were designed for indoor or outdoor use. Using them incorrectly will create a fire hazard or result in damage and light failure. LED lights are initially a bit more expensive than conventional lights, but they burn cooler, use less electricity, and last much longer, making them worth the investment. Use of an automatic timer will also help conserve energy and lower your electricity bill.

Mixing various styles of lights can create a dramatic impact. Large bulbs (C5, C7, and C9) give a lot of light and a slightly retro feel. Animated lights have pre-set or customizable color-changing patterns to add visual interest to your design. Net lights come pre-assembled and are perfect for lining roofs or tossing over bushes for full coverage. Icicle lights are a classic holiday shape and can create an eye-catching feature. Rope lights are beneficial for lining walkways, windows, and doors or creating your own shapes. Projection spotlights are becoming increasingly popular with their ease of installation.

No matter what you choose to use, setting up your wintery wonderland can be a tricky business and should only be attempted during daylight hours and good weather. Ice, snow, and cold temperatures can make climbing ladders dangerous. You should never hang lights or use a ladder alone. Work slowly and purposefully and don’t get impatient or overreach.

It’s easy to create eye-catching illuminations in your landscape when you make a plan, buy the right lights, and spend a day putting it all together.