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10 tips on properly watering your yard this year!

Hose attachement watering new landscapeOwning property with a customized landscape can be a lot of work to maintain by yourself.  Out of all the chores to be done, we can’t stress enough the biggest and most basic one of all – watering.  Check out these 10 watering tips that will help your landscape thrive this year.

1. Newly installed plants need more frequent watering than established ones.

Persistence is vital in those early stages. Follow these general rules to make sure you are supporting the proper root growth of your new plant installations.

1 Gallon plant = 2 to 3 gallons of water
3 Gal. plant = 5 gallons
Tree = 15 Gallons
Generally speaking, your water spigot will put out 5 gallons per minute.
How often should I water my plants?

Water daily during the first week (14 days for sod and seed).
Every 2 to 3 days for another 3 weeks.
Every 3 to 4 days for the rest of the year.

2. Water evenly and thoroughly.

Make sure that you are providing enough water so that the soil isn’t dry an hour or two after you are finished. On the other hand, if it’s super soggy, then you are over saturating the soil, which can be just a bad. While your watering, make sure you are hitting the entire surface, 360 degrees around the plant. This promotes even and stronger root growth.

Just remember – deep and consistent watering sessions promote healthier root systems. In this case, less is not always more!

3. Choose the right tools for your property and schedule.

If you can’t get outside to water when it’s needed, invest in an automatic irrigation system or, at the least, a manual sprinkler set up. If you are able to get out there yourself, find the right attachments that works best for you and your yard. We recommend something like this to help soak the base of the plants, but getting a sprinkler system for larger grassy lawns. Take it easy and make watering enjoyable for you.

4. Let the soil lightly dry out in between each water.

If your plant has water, it doesn’t need to be watered again – let it have time to breathe.  If you continuously over water, you run the risk of drowning the plant, which means it isn’t able to the get oxygen it needs. Creating this cycle will help promote the roots to absorb nutrients, water, and oxygen so that the plant stays healthy.

Outdoor living area on patio in western north carolina.5. Utilize mulch and check it seasonally.

Mulch on the surface helps reduce evaporation and retain in the soil. This alone is great when working on increasing your water efficiency and root development. Did you know it can also also slow down weed growth and reduce diseases? At the same time, mulch is an easy way to make your yard look clean and inviting.

There a lot of ‘wins’ when mulching correctly. That being said, it isn’t a simple solution.  Overloading the mulch near the base of the plant can actually increase your chances of diseases, while not using enough on your yard can decrease those benefits. Be aware of what your doing with mulch and listen to what your plants – and soil – are telling you.

6. Watch your water efficiency.

We really can’t tell when we are going to get a drought – it just happens. At the same time, we don’t need to be wasting water and our resources even when we do have a rainy year. Being efficient with your water saves the environment, as well as your pocket.

A simple way to not waste water is to be aware of where it’s going. If it’s puddling, it’s not being used efficiently. If your sprinkler or irrigation system is spending more time watering your pavement than your yard – adjust it. Be mindful of how much water you are using, while at the same time making sure all your plants are getting exactly what they need.

7. Containers are different than the ground.

Be aware of the soil in your container gardens or potted plants. The soil in them may be on a different cycle then the rest of your yard, so it’s best to treat them separately.

8. Not sure about your soil? Stick your hand in it!

It’s simple – get down and dirty with your soil. The more you understand about how your soil responds to watering, the quicker you’ll know how to serve each plant in your yard. Higher clay content in your soil (ahem…western North Carolina) means it can’t absorb water quickly, however it does retain water longer than sandier soil. The more you know, the more efficient you can be.

Remember, always check one to two inches below the surface when checking soil moisture!

9. Know your plants and where they are.Landscape at the front of the house

Become more educated in the needs of your plants, as well as their current placement on the property. Most likely, you have shady plants in the shade, and plants that need more sunlight in open areas. That being said, you will want to water accordingly to their specific needs. It may not be necessary to water equally throughout your yard, especially in shady areas that don’t see much sunlight.

10. Really watch the rain.

Summers in the Asheville often have quick afternoon showers. At the time, these showers may seem like they’re helping your landscape, but they may not be getting water deep into the soil. Pay attention to how much it rained, not just the fact that it did. If you aren’t sure, go outside and check your soil. Often times you’ll find that the soil is still dry and hour later!

Just remember, the more you know and are involved in your yard, the more it will provide you a beautiful outdoor environment for years to come.

Looking for more information on what to do with your new landscape? Check our beginner’s guide page!

-Team Snow Creek

Questions to ask when choosing plants.

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Choosing plants that need less support over time create a wonderful look.

 

We have all been there, 20 minutes deep into deciding between two plants – neither of which you have any experience with. Seeing any outdoor or indoor plant flourish in your care is a great accomplishment. The flip side, however, is when you realize your lack of knowledge left it silently screaming for the right caretaker. It’s okay. It happens. Follow these simple guidelines and let’s see if choosing plants can become a little easier and more successful.

 

Some of our selected plants for projects getting ready in the nursery at Snow Creek Landscaping

After choosing plants, they wait for their home at the Snow Creek Landscaping nursery.

 

Location, Location, Location!

The location of any plant is incredibly important for multiple reasons. If it aesthetically looks great positioned next to the open and sunny walkway, but it is a plant that survives only in shady areas – it isn’t going to last or reach it’s full potential. Let’s break it down into three areas of location.

Geographical location:

While indoor plants have the capability to live in the environment you create for them, outdoor plants often are stuck with what mother nature provides them. Tropical plants inside? Yes. Tropical plants at your lake house on the border of Canada? Not so much. We can learn from our mistakes, but some things just aren’t meant to be!

Choosing plants for your home or office must be based on whether or not you can provide the right habitat that they were meant to live in. For us, the winters and climate of Asheville, NC aren’t habitable to many plants that people associate with the south.  Get native, get results.

Property placement:

You found it, the perfect bush that both attracts your eye AND thrives in your area. These days, we relatively can alter the soil and environment that will welcome the success of specific plant species.  If changing your environment isn’t an option, however, you must take into account the needs of the plant.

Learn the environmental needs of a plant and compare them to what your space can offer. Will it be able to breathe or does it need direct sunlight? If your backyard is heavily clay based, will you need to add additional soil and nutrients to allow it to flourish? Is it accessible to your cat who ultimately loves to break potted plants? Hey – it’s a thing!

Ask yourself these questions to help find the perfect environment within your home.

Aesthetics:

This is a big deal for both the look and feel of either your home or place of business. Though, at the end of the day this is ultimately your decision. In your environment, you are the decision maker.

Note: you still can’t change the biological needs of a plant.

Take time researching the thousands upon thousands of examples on the internet. Get a feel for what makes you feel good at the time, but also what will grow into it’s environment. Most importantly, have fun with it!

Choosing plants based on your commitment.

Maintaining happy plants means working with their needs. There is no simple way around that.

Personal Commitment

If you want your office to be tropical oasis, but you have historically never watered your plants – start small. Learn to create systems that will help you remember to take care of your new green friends, then progressively add additional ones as you become comfortable. Set reminders, create visuals, or download an app. Yes, it is a thing.

Don’t put yourself in a situation where you invest in greening up your environment, then see it wither away. Write down a list of your previous strengths and struggles as a plant or yard owner, and start there. It all starts with what you can provide.

Additional support

We have helped many clients in the Asheville area create the perfect landscape to emphasize their surroundings. Hand selected plant species are tailored to work with their specific location. For many, they already know that they cannot provide the maintenance to keep it thriving and looking great. Others can upkeep the occasional needs, but may need a larger upkeep during the year.

 

If you are in the greater Asheville, Western North Carolina area and looking to expand your yard into a personalized oasis, reach out to our team and see how we can assist your needs. We have a staff of highly qualified naturalists, arborists, botanists, and horticulturists on our natural resource management (NRM) team to work with our designers and clients.

 

 

Building a Patio: For You and Your Home.

Summer is the time of barbecues, star gazing and socializing outside with your friends. Building a patio allows home owners to transcend the walls of their home and extend the comforts into an outdoor environment. Many outdoor living areas become the birthplace of memories that last a lifetime. Who doesn’t love a good backyard party?

Building a patio before and after picture with additional space, outdoor kitchen, and finished landscaping.

Building a patio before and after.

All of us can use more fresh air, sunlight, and getting away from the confines of your home or work. For majority of us, we just feel good being outside.

Building a patio means added home value.

Increasing the look and accessibility of your backyard is automatically going to add value to your home. Spending the money now, could potentially benefit the owner if selling the home ever becomes an option.

Introduce the outdoors as an extension of your home.

One of the great aspects of a patio is the ability to be on the same level as the rest of your house and yard. By creating an accessible transition from your outdoor living room to the grassy backyard, you are increasing that connection between nature and your home.

Work with your environment, not against it. 

Creating an outdoor living area does not mean taking away from your yard. A well-planned site will minimize disruption to the natural terrain. Designing an outdoor living room should emphasize nature, while giving you a better place to relax.  A well designed backyard is more likely to increase your property value, than one that doesn’t flow with your house.

The added benefits for your health and social life.

Are you tired of being inside all day? Relaxing in a comfortable outdoor environment is often the best way to end a long day. Want to be the talk of the summer? Creating a comfortable and relaxed outdoor environment can increase your urge to invite your friends over!

Better focus.

In a study by University of Michigan, researchers concluded that being in nature can help give your brain break from the overstimulating aspects of one’s life. While you may not be able to go hiking or backpacking every weekend, you can certainly create your own natural environment at home.

Be the talk of your friends.

Wanting to have a great yard to host your friends is a justified reason to invest in a outdoor living room. Spending quality time with your social circle is something that can make a bad day seem not so bad.

If you are in the Western North Carolina/Aseville area and looking to create your dream backyard, reach out to and let us work with you in making that dream come true.

See some pictures of one of our recent projects we worked on.

Outdoor cooking area.

Work on your cooking skills outside this year.

Outdoor living area on patio in western north carolina.

Easy place to relax outside.

Outdoor living area on patio in western north carolina.

Bar area with comfortable landscaped area.



 

 

 

 

Fall Color in the Nursery

Even though most of the trees have dropped their leaves, we still are seeing some nice color around the Snow Creek office. Enjoy!

 
American Beautyberry in fall

American Beautyberry – Callicarpa americana

Amsonia hubrictii in fall

Bluestar – Amsonia hubrictii

Ilex verticiallate in fall

Winterberry Holly – Ilex verticillata

blueberry fall foliage

Blueberry – Vaccinium corybosum

witchhazel fall foliage

Witchhazel – Hammamelis orientalis

Panicum Northwind fall foliage

Switchgrass – Panicum ‘Northwind’

maple fall foliage

Maple – Acer sp.

10 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Outdoor Space

 

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1 Fire – A fire pit or outdoor fireplace changes everything in cool weather. Long after most people have retired to indoor living, you can gather around a fire to enjoy the beautiful weather of fall and even winter, on the milder days. With our mountain weather, a cozy fire is delightful on a cool summer evening. Who doesn’t love S’mores?

 

2 Water – For thousands of years, humans have found water essential to any garden, not only for the plants, but for enjoyment. The sound of a bubbling fountain is peaceful and relaxing. Running water attracts birds, especially during migration, and they will stop in for a drink and a bath if the fountain is shallow enough.

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3 Lighting – Most of us have glaring outdoor spotlights to light the way when we want to spend time in our yards after dark, but there’s a better solution. Some simple uplighting into trees, and pathway lights make the outdoors not only more attractive , but more accessible.

 

4 Patios – A patio built large enough to accommodate a group of people is a treasured feature of a home. Plenty of space for tables and chairs means you can set up areas to gather and entertain during the warm months.

 

5 Seating – Rocking chairs, gliders, hammocks, outdoor sofas, porch swings. All are classic pieces of furniture for outdoor comfort. Add some soft pillows and cushions, for color and comfort, and you’ve branched out from the big box store patio set.

 

6 Scent – Night flying insects, such as moths, need scents to guide their way in the dark. Plant some Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana sp.), Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum), and Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) which all release their fragrance come nightfall to attract their pollinators. Good thing for us, because this means we can enjoy their scent, too!

7 Destination – Give your landscape a destination. There’s something about following a trail into the woods or seeing a glimpse of a structure hidden in the trees, that draws humans along. Create a place to go to and you will find yourself using more of your property than before.

 

8 View – We are very lucky in the mountains to be able to glimpse beautiful views from our homes. Take a soft approach to clearing for a view – keep some trees in the foreground and open up the vegetation with a few selective cuts of branches so you having something to look through, framing the view.

 

9 Habitat – Planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that are native assures you will be able to enjoy the flora and fauna that make this region special. We live in one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world, so take the opportunity to grow plants that are specific to here, and that feed and house the butterflies and birds that depend on them.

 

10 Screening – Your house may be right beside your neighbors’, but that doesn’t mean you have to look at them every day. A well designed barrier of trees and shrubs can give your yard privacy without it looking like a solid green wall. A screen of trees can also shield your home from cold winter winds and hot summer sun, thereby decreasing your heating and cooling bills.