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.

SAT Landscaping
SAT Landscaping

How to decorate your landscape for Halloween (without ruining your yard)

How to decorate your landscape for Halloween (Without ruining your yard)

Halloween is the official start of the holiday decorating season and with so many great options, it’s difficult to decide what to decorate with. Should you just put out some pumpkins? Throw up a few giant inflatables? Go all out and make an entire haunted graveyard? Whatever your plans are, it’s a good idea to think about how your holiday decorating might affect your landscaping. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to decorate for Halloween without impacting your lawn and garden.

Lighting

Lights can be bright and cheery, or they can be creepy and haunted. Hang string lights in purple and orange to create a Halloween ambiance. Specialty lights, like giant spider webs, are available commercially as well. Use up-lighting on the exterior of your home to project silhouettes of creepy monsters and ghosts. Not only does hanging lights keep decorations out of your yard but also, as you take them down, you can come right along behind and hang your December holiday lights.

Natural Black Accents

Black is the primary color of Halloween and is featured in everything from costume makeup to holiday treats to decorations. Add some natural black accents to your exterior decorating with naturally black plants. Black pansies, petunias, roses, and mondo grass are all good choices for hanging baskets, flower beds, and planters.

Walkways

If you’re trying to decorate without disturbing your yard, then using your walkway instead is a great idea. Not only does it keep decorations off the grass, but it can also help guide trick-or-treaters to your door, so kids aren’t trampling across your lawn. Light the way with carved pumpkins or cut-out paper sacks filled with battery-operated candles.

Lawn Ornaments

If you want to put decorations up in the yard, make sure they don’t stay in one place too long. Large inflatables, though filled with air, are heavy and will smother grass from sun and rain. Eventually, these will leave brown spots underneath. The same goes for straw bales, fake graves, or anything else that stays put too long. Either wait until closer to Halloween to put up decorations or move them around occasionally to avoid lawn damage.

Trees

If you have trees in your yard, then you have the perfect place to decorate. Hanging ghostly shapes from the branches or wrapping the tree in fake cobwebs can make for a fun decoration that doesn’t even touch your grass. Avoid using paper products that can deteriorate and litter your yard if it rains or they are blown off.

Flower Beds

Right now, your flower beds are probably dormant. Instead of poking holes in your yard to put up a scary scarecrow, stake down into your mulch and dirt instead. If you’ve planted bulbs for spring, this may not be the idea for you, but it’s still a good spot to place objects on the ground where they won’t smother and cause brown spots in your grass.

Porch/Driveway

Just like your walkway, there is plenty of space on your porch or in your driveway to set up decorations. Add bales of hay or straw to create a seating area for parents out trick-or-treating with their kids on Halloween night. Set up a haunted graveyard that must be navigated to reach the candy at the front door. Whatever you decide to decorate with, it will be well away from damaging your lawn.

Halloween is a great time of year that just screams “decorate!” But if you want to protect your lawn and garden this season, be smart with your holiday embellishments. Use your home, porch, driveway, flower beds, and trees as alternatives to your lawn.

 

SAT Landscaping
SAT Landscaping

How to Enhance Your Landscaping In the Fall

It’s fall and for many people, this means ignoring their landscaping until spring comes around again. But there are plenty of things you can do to your landscaping in fall to enhance both aesthetics and functionality.

Leaves

Fall leaves are a majestic sight to behold…while they’re on the trees. Fallen leaves only become a nuisance to rake and bag. But this is a necessary step to fall lawn care that shouldn’t be skipped. Leaves left on the lawn over winter will rot, killing your lawn and inviting pests. Rake your leaves weekly to keep your yard beautiful and functional throughout the fall season.

Grass

Your grass will continue to grow in the fall, meaning you need to keep that mower running a little longer. Never mow before raking leaves as they could be hiding sticks, rocks, or toys that could damage the mower or cause you injury.

Trim & Prep

Don’t let plants grow unchecked during the fall. Trim back shrubs, pull out weeds, and prepare flower beds for the winter. Now is also the time to plant spring bulbs. While this may not add color or excitement to your landscape, it will add a sense of order and tidiness that will benefit you come spring.

Potted Plants

A great way to enhance your fall landscape when your flowerbeds are dormant is to add potted plants and window boxes to your home. Mums are a popular fall flower that comes in every color imaginable. Opt for hardier varieties that can withstand an unexpected frost or two.

Holiday & Seasonal Décor

Don’t stop with just the regular fall landscaping. Take things up a notch with seasonal and holiday decorations. For October, try pumpkins, hay bales, and scary decorations. For November, add gourds, Indian corn, and cornucopias. Even a new doormat can add to the cheerfulness of the season.

Fire Pit

As the temperatures cool down, you may find yourself spending less and less time outdoors enjoying your yard. Add a decorative fire pit to your patio or yard and surround with hay bales or lawn chairs. Not only does it add function for those cool Ohio nights, but it also creates a beautiful featured gathering space in your backyard.

Lights

Just as the cold may be keeping you from enjoying your landscaping in the fall, so too might the lack of sunlight. With the sun setting sooner, a great way to enhance your fall landscape is to add outdoor lighting. Outdoor wiring differs significantly from indoor, so call a professional for design and installation of any permanent lighting features. You can also use hanging lights, lanterns, and even holiday lights to add brightness to your fall landscape.

Furniture

Fall is the time to score great deals on outdoor furniture and accessories. Take advantage of the season and invest in new patio furniture. Add a fun element to your yard by opting for a porch swing. Or brighten your landscape with a flashy new pattern for your cushions.

There are hundreds of things you can do to enhance your landscaping in the fall. From lights to holiday decorations to a fresh mow, take care of your yard this fall to ensure a full season of fun and enjoyment.