Grass doesn’t have to refer to a lawn. Ornamental grasses, those tall, graceful plants that ripple in a summer breeze, add texture and color to your gardens.
These grass plants grow under a range of conditions. Check each grass before planting, but many like sunny positions in moist soil.
Read on to discover 12 grasses that can improve your landscaping.
This soft grass plant forms mounds. It works well with bold plants like lavender or hydrangea.
Mix and match fountaingrass with tall, upright grass plants like switchgrass for interesting textures.
Allergic to bee stings? Choose grasses that don’t bloom since they won’t attract bees.
Maidengrass is a great option. Plant it around hardscaping areas to soften the effect. It’s great for adding interest to swimming pool edges.
3. Golden Sedge
Mix frothy, soft grasses with tidy hedges like boxwood. The combination of tight grasses and clipped hedges works well in knot gardens.
4. Blue Fescue
Not all grass plants give huge bouquets of grass. Smaller varieties, like blue fescue, make excellent border plants. Plant them close together in a line to edge a flower bed.
5. Purple Millet
Want something a little more structural? Purple Millet combines burgundy foliage with fuzzy purple spikes.
They’re great for attracting birds and they’re also very tough annual plants.
6. Feather Reedgrass
Do you have a vegetable garden? Add grasses that form clumps to add interest to your vegetables.
Feather reedgrass looks majestic against leafy plants like eggplants or kale.
Do you have a pond or stream in your garden? Cordgrass could be a good choice.
Native to North America, it loves moist and wet soils. It’s great for growing alongside water.
Want to cover a boring view? Tallgrass plants like bluestem make an ideal screen.
Just remember you need to cut grasses back in spring. You’ll lose your screen for a couple of months.
But they’ll look great in the fall with their seed heads and fall colors.
The fluffy plumes of switchgrass make this a great plant for sunny or partly shaded areas.
Plant the Dallas Blues variety for amazing fall shades of red and gold.
It’s native to North America so it’s also a good for wildlife.
10. Blue Oat Grass
This plant is perfect for smaller gardens. It grows in mounds, making it a good candidate for containers. Blue oat grass won’t take over the garden.
11. Japanese Forestgrass
Does your garden have shady corners that you want to brighten up? The bright foliage of Japanese Forestgrass might be a good choice.
It likes partial shade and its low height makes it the perfect option for edges and borders.
12. Ravenna Grass
Want a plant that grows fast and acts as a natural screen? The tall plumes of Ravenna grass might be the best option for you.
It can top 10 feet and looks beautiful in the fall.
These Grass Plants Can Boost the Beauty of Your Garden.
Check the growing conditions in your garden before you start adding new plants. You’ll enjoy them for longer if you plant them in a spot they’ll love.
Looking for help planting and maintaining these beautiful additions to your garden? Contact us to learn how Blue Landscaping and Blue Outdoor Solutions can help.
When trying to draw customers into a retail setting, we don’t often think of using our landscape as marketing. However, your outdoor environment can have a direct impact on luring potential customers and clients through your doors.
Sometimes it’s a subtle touch, while others may be a true outdoor experience. So long as you create an attractive environment, good landscaping (and hardscaping) can bring new customers to your brick and mortar location. Find out how below!
Create a Usable Environment
Often, we associate landscaping with aesthetic flowers, lush greenery, and other beautifying elements. Yet it’s so much more than that! In an age where convenience has made shopping online the go-to over purchasing in-store, you need to give people a reason to get out of the house and into your business.
Landscaping can be designed as an outdoor environment where a crowd can gather, socialize, participate in events, or enjoy a meal. By creating an attractive landscape with benches, tables, or a fountain where people can sit and enjoy the view, you make your storefront a place to go and gather.
“So what?” you may ask. “Just because they gather in front of my store doesn’t mean they’ll come inside.”
This is where a little bit of creative marketing goes a long way. From subtle invitations (such as opening your store doors) to using your outdoor environment for special events and promoting sales, you can really up your daily profit by engaging the crowd your landscape draws in.
Don’t Let Your Landscape Hide Your Business
One of the biggest mistakes retail fronts make is installing a landscape design and then letting it grow out of proportion, hiding their business from those driving by. If it’s been awhile since you’ve invested in your landscape, take a step outside and view your business from the street or parking lot.
Is your sign visible?
Do your trees overtake your storefront?
Can people see who you are and that you exist as they’re passing by?
If you find your landscape is working against you, contact a company like Blue Landscaping to help you modify your current installation or create a new one that draws attention to your business—not away from it. When selecting trees, aim for those with skinny trunks that aren’t prone to outgrowing their designated area. Your landscape should compliment your location, not overtake it!
Exotic plants are surprisingly effective when drawing in foot traffic. Especially in Florida where tourists and snowbirds are seeking that “tropical experience.” Make your storefront an attractive place to be, and curiosity will draw people in.
Also, don’t be afraid to get into the holiday spirit. Decorate for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other festive holidays, and plan sales and events along with it. You’d be surprised how effective it can be!
Blue Landscaping and Blue Outdoor Solutions is a landscaping and hardscaping company located in Southwest Florida. Their service areas include Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Estero. To learn more about their services, call 239-566-BLUE.
We aren’t the only ones who love coffee. As it turns out, your plants and trees can also benefit from this miraculous bean! If you’re looking to find a use for that can of coffee grounds that has been lying untouched inside your kitchen, fear not! In this blog we’ll teach you how to fertilize your plants with coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds offer a rich and natural source of fatty acids and nutrients that, when mixed into your soil, help your plants thrive! They can also help deter pests that are detrimental to your vegetation’s health, including squirrels and rabbits.
However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a blanket solution for all greenery. Coffee grounds are most beneficial to certain types of plants and shrubs, and depending on what you’re applying the grounds to will determine how they are best used.
Know Which Plants Like Coffee Grounds
Some of the plants that can benefit from coffee grounds are:
While this list can be heavily expanded, you want to make sure that you’re also educated in plants that do not like coffee grounds. Mixing this natural soil enricher with the wrong plants can inhibit seed germination and even keep your plant from growing. These plants include white clover, inch plants, asparagus ferns, geraniums, Chinese mustard, and alfalfa. Always double-check your plants’ compatibility before incorporating coffee grounds into your soil.
How to Use Coffee Grounds in Landscaping and Gardening
You can use coffee grounds either as a form of mulch or compost! If you intend to use your coffee grounds as a form of mulch, make sure that you measure the ratio properly. Too much coffee grounds can block the aeration of your soil and its water absorption. To prevent this, make sure you use no more than a half inch of coffee grounds topped with another form of organic mulch. Wood chips are an excellent choice.
Compost is another popular option and is an excellent source of nutrients for your plants and shrubs. Combine coffee grounds with grass clippings and raked leaves. The ratio of coffee grounds should be anywhere between 10 to 20 percent for the best results.
Coffee Grounds and Fruit Trees
You can also apply coffee grounds to the base of your fruit tree during its growing season. You just want to make sure you avoid direct contact with the bark. If wet coffee grounds come in contact with the trunk, it can make it more vulnerable to various pests.
Instead, spread about a half-inch layer of old grounds around the base of the tree and mix them into the soil using a sturdy garden rank. The grounds will gradually decompose, releasing beneficial compounds while attracting earthworms and other creatures that will pull the grounds under the soil, promoting aeration and drainage. The odor will also help detract root maggots.
Hire a Professional Team to Help Your Landscape Thrive!
Looking for help gaining and maintaining a healthy, lush, green landscape? Perhaps you’re looking to bring some life to your home or business with a bit of hardscaping? Blue Landscaping and Blue Outdoor Solutions are here to help! Located in Southwest Florida, we currently service Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Estero. Simply give us a call at 239-566-BLUE to learn more!
Palm trees are iconic in Florida. Various species grow in abundance across the state, accentuating Florida’s reputation as a tropical paradise. However, there are several challenges these trees can face. Below, Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group delves into some of the most common problems palm trees face in Florida, and how to resolve them so your palm trees can thrive.
The Most Common Palm Tree Problems
There are several common problems landscapers encounter with palm trees, all of which can vary in severity depending on the tree’s health, environmental difficulties, and the level of progression of its problem.
This disease is fatal to palms, and can spread from tree to tree if it isn’t eliminated quickly. Spread by insects known as leafhoppers, symptoms include premature dropping of the tree’s nuts, blackening of the inflorescence, and the palm’s fronds yellowing and dying from the bottom, up. Thankfully, you can slow the progression of this disease and prevent its spread through antibiotics, if the disease is detected early.
Palm fronds are essential to the tree’s overall health. If you remove them before they are fully brown, you can be stealing precious nutrition and energy from the tree itself. You want to be frugal in removing fronds and avoid pruning more than 15 percent of them. Exceeding that limit can cause the tree to go into shock.
Over-Watering or Mixed Irrigation Zones
Florida is already wet and humid. If you plant your palms in an irrigation area that is above or below its water requirements, you are more than likely going to set the tree up for failure. Pay attention to each species’ unique needs and place and water them appropriately.
Like its namesake, sooty mold appears as an ash-colored or black mold that grows on the palm’s fronds. This mold isn’t detrimental to the tree’s health, but it does look bad. You can eliminate it by eliminating insects that leave behind waste with the excess sugar byproducts this mold thrives upon.
Leafhoppers, whitefly, caterpillars, borers, scales, mites, and aphids are all detrimental to your palm’s health. The trouble is you may not notice them until the infestation is well underway thanks to the height of a palm’s fronds. There are sprays available that can help treat these infestations, particularly for the smaller species such as ornamental palms. However, the taller species will require a systemic insecticide in order to tackle this issue due to its sheer height.
As much as we love Florida’s warm, moist climate, it is the perfect condition for fungus to grow. You can spot a fungus problem through symptoms such as rotting trunks, slow growth, and uncharacteristic wilting. The danger of fungal infections is that they spread extremely quickly. The only way to protect the surrounding trees is by removing the infected one. Also, to prevent fungal infections you should always use sterilized tools when pruning the fronds.
Leave Your Palms in Good Hands: Contact Us for Landscaping Services!
Located in Southwest Florida, Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group and Blue Outdoor Solutions is dedicated to assisting with the installation and maintenance of both residential and commercial landscapes. Let us help you install and care for the palms that make Florida so beautiful. To inquire about our services, simply pick up the phone and call us at 239-566-2583.
Installing a new landscape is an exciting outdoor renovation for your home! However, planting it and maintaining it are two different things. It’s extremely important after receiving a new landscape design to care for it both in the short-term and the long. In this month’s blog, Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group covers the 3 stages of landscaping care after a new design is installed.
Stage One: Acclimating Your New Landscape
Ever moved to a new place and felt an overwhelming sense of shock as you try to settle in to your new environment? New trees and plants aren’t so different from us in that respect. After a new landscape is installed, the new grass, flowers, shrubs, and trees will all need an extra bit of TLC in order to help them adapt to their new surroundings.
The acclimation process extends beyond the first few days or even weeks of installation. It could take months for your new landscape to settle in. The main thing to focus on during this crucial period is your water management. Don’t starve or drown your newly planted landscape!
Instead, monitor it carefully to make sure that they’re thriving. Consider it part of your after-work ritual to walk through your new landscape, checking each plant to make sure it’s properly watered and adjusting accordingly. This can be a relaxing way to unwind and gives you a chance to enjoy your new installation as well.
Stage Two: Establishment of Your Landscape
The establishment period can vary between the first year of installation to the first three years. It’s the stage that requires the highest maintenance effort. The more time you invest, the higher your odds of success. Each tree or plant will require its own time frame based on its maturity and what it is.
However, the basic rule of thumb is the younger and more herbaceous the plant is, the quicker it will become established. Trees often take the longest time to reach establishment, but what does establishment mean exactly? Simply put, it’s the point where a plant recovers its roots and returns to its normal pace of growth.
Make sure you weed often, as these invasive plants will infiltrate the new roots, killing the plants you worked so hard to nurture.
Stage Three: Landscape Stewardship
Stewardship defines the long-term effort of maintaining your landscape. It includes general landscaping maintenance such as cutting the grass, pruning plants, and fertilizing when needed.
It also includes a keen eye that spots any problems that may arise before they escalate. This includes weeding, dealing with any infestations, etc.
Leaving It to the Experts
If you don’t have the knowledge or time to maintain your own landscape, that’s okay! Simply pass the task along to the professionals. You will save time while guaranteeing a thriving landscape for years to come!
Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group and Blue Outdoor Solutions handle installations and maintenance for various homes and businesses in Southwest Florida. To inquire about our services, call 239-566-2583.
Ahhh, home sweet home! There is nothing quite like the feeling of getting the keys to a new property after weeks of paperwork and negotiations. However, the work doesn’t end with the transaction! Often new homeowners have an entire checklist of things to do once the purchase is made. From repairs to renovations, these checklists often focus on the interior and exterior of the home itself. But what about your lawn? Below are a few “musts” for lawn care, especially after you’ve bought a new home!
Start by Testing Your Soil
Soil will tell you a lot about the health and unique needs for your lawn. Bad or infertile soil can lead to big problems in maintaining a quality landscape. Start by testing your soil to see how thick the topsoil is and whether it’s of good quality.
You want your soil to be rich with organic matter and nutrients. Your grass and plants feed off of it, after all! Ideally, your soil should be moist, but well-drained. Your soil shouldn’t be compact, either. If it is, consider aerating it. This will allow water, nutrients, and air to penetrate your soil and reach your grass’ roots so it can thrive.
Create a Landscaping Maintenance Plan
After you know the state of your lawn and the quality of soil supporting it, you’ll want to make sure you put a routine in place to take care of it. Good lawns don’t happen on their own! Start with addressing your landscape’s needs.
If your seeding was poorly done, or completed at the wrong time of the year, you may need to redo it. You want to aim for a rainy season, when it’s warm and moist, for the best results. Also, you’ll want to make sure the application is done after you’ve laid down the right blend of soil and fertilizer.
For new lawns or ones that are in desperate need of some TLC, expect results to take time. You’ll need to follow-up frequently on how your landscape is growing, and touch up any areas that may be patchy or growing poorly.
We highly recommend hiring a landscaping business to help you with the big jobs, as well as to maintain the pristine and aesthetic look of your yard! This can often save you both time and money, especially if you’re dealing with a new or neglected landscape.
For Southwest Florida residents, feel free to call on Blue Landscaping and Outdoor Solutions for any of your landscaping design and maintenance needs! Our number is 239-566-BLUE!
Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group and Blue Outdoor Solutions each have their own specialty. The former is landscaping, and the latter is hardscaping. But what does that mean exactly? The average customer doesn’t have a background in what we do. Because of this, the terminology can seem very foreign. Let us make clear the distinctions between these two skill sets.
Landscaping vs. Hardscaping
Most people are familiar with the term “landscaping.” It’s most commonly used to describe the outdoor design of our home or commercial property. However, it is actually more specific than that. Landscaping refers to services related to the vegetation and other living materials used to design your outdoor property. This can include (but isn’t limited to):
- Turf grass
- Sod grass
- Organic ground covering materials
- And more…
Hardscaping is essentially the opposite. It refers to the masonry or concrete additions to your landscape. It can use natural materials made out of things that were once living, but have now been formed into inanimate materials, such as wood planks.
Hardscaping includes your driveway, walkways, retaining walls, decks, drainage, and much more. Consider it the art of construction and masonry that is incorporated into your landscape.
Finding Synergy Between the Two
You’ll often find that landscaping and hardscaping go hand-in-hand. They’re used together to bring synergy, life, and ambiance to an outdoor area, while also giving it functionality. It takes a trained and artistic eye to find the right design, which is what Blue does on a daily basis.
Hardscaping and landscaping have a balance, and the approach to finding that balance is different with every design. Professionals like ourselves take in the natural layout, bringing out its most aesthetic features while aligning it with the proper aesthetics and functional elements.
Keep in mind that there is more to consider than just what looks good, too. Because we work with living elements as well as constructed ones, it is crucial that the living selection is suited to thrive within the environment it’s planted in. The climate, amount of natural sunlight, and soil are all deciding factors into what is planted and how.
If you or your Southwest Florida business is in need of landscaping or hardscaping services, give Blue at call at 239-566-BLUE. We’re here to serve you!
We pick up landscaping tips everywhere. From the Internet to our neighbor next door, everyone seems to have their own tidbits of advice, but how much of it is actually true? Too often, individuals for myths that have been circulating for many years.
Below you’ll find some of the most frequent landscaping myths that we encounter today. Don’t feel bad if you fell for one (or more) of these misconceptions. After all, they’re pretty common!
If you cut your grass shorter, you can maintain it less.
While you may buy yourself a couple of extra days between mows, the truth is that trimming your grass too short is actually detrimental to its health. Short grass allows weeds to thrive and dries out your soil, especially in hot climates like Florida.
Instead, make sure you’re mowing at the proper grass height based on your growing conditions, grass type, and the current season. This will keep your grass thick and healthy while reducing the amount of weeds that sprout up.
It’s bad to leave grass clippings on your lawn.
Someone blow the whistle! This idea is one hundred percent false. Your grass clippings may not leave your lawn looking pristine, but it does provide it with nutrients by recycling those left in the clippings back into your lawn. This includes nitrogen, which is essential to your grass health!
These clippings won’t linger for too long, either. They’re made primarily of water and decompose fairly quickly while serving as cheap fertilizer for you. So go ahead, leave them lying around. Your lawn will thank you in the long run!
Lots of water leads to luscious grass.
Frequent watering, even when it’s light, can create many long-term negative effects. These include poor growth, weak roots, and lawn diseases. Instead, focus on watering two to three times a week instead of daily.
Avoid doing so at the peak of the day, too. Instead, focus on the morning hours when the heat is less intense. Watering at night may help you dodge the afternoon heat, but it also promotes the growth of mildew and fungus while attracting pests.
Keep an eye on your grass to avoid standing water or soggy soil. Aim for an even distribution for a rich, consistent green.
Looking for a Landscaping Business in Florida?
Blue has you covered. We services both Lee and Collier County cities, including Naples, Marco Island, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, and Estero. If you’re looking for excellent landscaping service, design, and/or maintenance, we’ll be happy to provide you with a quote. Simply give us a call at 239-566-BLUE or fill out our contact form.
Every successful business cares about first impressions. Meticulous attention is spent designing and marketing a brand that will elevate your impressions and sales in the marketplace. You design your office to reflect the kind of reputation you want your clients or customers to take with them. Shouldn’t your landscape tell the same story? That answer should be “yes.” Here’s an overview of some of the biggest reasons why your business needs commercial landscaping.
A Good Landscape will Impress Clients and Improve Employee Morale
Plenty of research has been conducted regarding the impact of our work environment on general happiness and productivity. That environment isn’t limited to the interior of your office either. Simply a pleasant window view can make a huge difference in how your employees feel as they’re working.
Researchers have discovered that people who interact with nature or are able to view it through a window feel less stressed than those who do not. They even become more productive when plant-life is present. This alone makes nature’s physical and psychological effects are worth your company’s investment.
An attractive landscape also lures the eye, and that eye can belong to your next big client. Hiring a professional team of landscapers like Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group or Blue Outdoor Solutions can transform the exterior of your business.
Hiring a Landscaping Company is Economic
Make a lasting impression with lush trees, attractive installments and even outdoor areas that are perfect for meetings and functions. You’ll never have to worry about maintaining them either when you leave it to the professionals. After all, you’re busy enough managing the company itself.
If that isn’t enough to sell you on commercial landscaping, consider this: the US Department of Energy states that landscaping can influence the micro-climate surrounding your office building by up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. In Florida, that matters! Beyond providing a nice reprieve for employees and clients, it’ll save you money on your energy bill each month. That’s money that stays in your pocket each month!
Are You Looking for Commercial Landscaping?
If you’re a business within our service area, reach out to Blue today. There’s a reason why Southwest Florida trusts us to get the bigs jobs done. We take great pride in our attention to detail and final products. For our team, the job isn’t done until our faithful clients are satisfied!
Give us a call at 239-566-BLUE and let’s talk about what Blue can do for you.
We all enjoy a fresh, thriving landscape. Lush grass between our toes and a pure blanket of green certainly does wonders for aesthetics and relaxation. But how do you get your grass to be that healthy? It isn’t always an easy task. Even if a professional landscaper provides you with a stunning lawn, you have to maintain it; a job that is easier for some than others. Below are a few fertilizing tips to keep in mind as you nurture your turf.
Not All Spreaders are Created Equal
When it comes to fertilizing your grass, there are many different types of spreaders. Each type of spreader serves a different purpose. Knowing what that purpose is will help you choose the best spreader for the job. Below is a quick explanation of the most common types of fertilizer spreaders and what they are used for:
- Rotary Spreader: A rotary spreader is great for large lawns and landscapes. For the best results, start by applying the fertilizer on the perimeter and then work your way inward through back and forth rows. A slight overlap of your rows will ensure an even spread.
- Handheld Broadcast Spreader: A more manual method of spreading fertilizer, the handheld broadcast spreader is great for small lawns. Simply walk evenly and slowly in back-and-forth rows while distributing the fertilizer in front of you. Make sure you overlap your rows for an even spread.
- Drop Spreader: This spreader is good for medium-sized or suburban lawns. It is also made for control. Simply follow the same method of application as the rotary spreader.
- Handheld Battery-Powered Spreader: While more expensive, the battery-powered spreader makes fertilization faster and easier. We recommend it if you have a small lawn or if your landscape is hard to maneuver using a spreader on wheels. Simply flip the switch and start walking. Again, for the best results you should start at the perimeter and work your way inward in slightly overlapping rows.
Water and Fertilizer
Water is an important player in the success of your fertilizer. For positive results, make sure you water your lawn well a day or two before you apply the fertilizer. Once applied, follow up with a light watering once more to help sink the fertilizer into the soil. Avoid fertilizing before a large rainstorm or during a dry spell. Too much water can wash away your fertilizer while two little can lead to withering.
Recycle Your Grass Clippings
It may not look perfect, but grass clippings are free fertilizer for your lawn. Let your clippings sit and decompose on your lawn for free nitrogen that will help your grass thrive. Why does this work? Nitrogen is the key ingredient in fertilizer that helps your grass stay healthy and it’s already within the grass you cut.
Feed Your Grass Compost
Compost is great for both your grass and the soil it grows in. Rich with micronutrients and microorganisms, it bolsters the soil, resulting in greener, lusher grass. Make sure when you spread your compost, you apply a thin layer. If you put it on too thick, you could end up smothering the grass. Aerating your soil will help the compost settle in, too, making the most of your application. The best time to apply compost is during the spring.
If You Don’t Put in the Work, Hire Someone Who Will
Okay, so maybe you don’t have time to maintain your lawn. That’s okay! Just make sure you hire a professional landscaper to do the work for you. Maintenance is an important part of keeping your landscape beautiful and healthy, so it should never be neglected.
If you live in Southwest Florida, give Blue Landscaping a call. We’ll be happy to provide you with a quote on regular lawn maintenance or other landscaping services. You can reach our friendly staff at 239-566-BLUE or fill out our contact form.