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15.4.15

A Housewife's Guide to Landscaping | Guest Post

This article is a guest post, courtesy of Alberta Arborists tree removal in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Nothing enhances the beauty of your home more than a well-kept lawn and garden, which can also increase your property’s value. You can hire a landscaper to keep your trees, shrubs and flowers in top shape, but it’s important to know the basics, as a lot of the work you can do yourself.  Here’s what you need to know.
  • Tree and Shrub Planting. The time to plant trees and shrubs is between October and April. One thing to consider when planning your landscaping is this: it’s important to visualise how the plants will appear when grown. For example, when choosing locations, be mindful of whether you are blocking windows. Also be aware that roots will grow considerably under the surface, so you wouldn’t want to plant a tree too close to your home or a walkway. First use a spade to loosen the soil, then remove the plant from the packaging and insert it into the hole. Make sure there is enough room for the roots to grow! Cover the roots with the soil, and keep the area moist. Follow the guidelines for the particular tree or shrub that you have chosen.
  • Pruning Shrubs, Trees and Flowers. Much of curb appeal depends on keeping plants tidy with regular trimming. The time to prune depends upon the plant: some should be done in early spring; others in the fall. This type of staggered schedule makes it less overwhelming and more likely that you can keep things under control. Pick up some pruning shears at the local home improvement or garden store. You might also want to invest in some gloves and a foam kneeling pad. Don’t forget to bring a large garbage bag and a rake to gather up your trimmings.
  • Trimming Trees. This task generally requires the assistance of a professional. When choosing a tree trimmer, make sure the estimate you are provided includes the cost of brush chipping (removing the downed limbs).
  • Fertilisation. Plants need more than water to thrive. They also require nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen helps plants grow, phosphorus makes them strong and potassium is important for proper hydration. Generally plants and flowers should be fertilised during the growing season, which starts in the spring and ends in August. The easiest way to fertilise your flowers is to purchase the ingredients as a powder and add it to your watering can, but fertiliser can also be applied to the soil and mixed with a spade. The lawn can be fertilised with the help of a rotary spreader, which can be wheeled back and forth up and down the length of your lawn. This is also a way to get some exercise!
  • Plant Diseases and Insects. Depending upon the particular plants that you choose to surround your home, various diseases, generally spread by insects, can destroy your garden. It’s important to recognize plant disease before it gets out of hand. If you wait too long, you won’t just be clipping a few leaves, but instead removing and discarding an entire plant! Study the signs of disease in each of your plants. Check them every month for unusual spots. The sooner you diagnose a problem, the sooner it can be remedied.
  • Hazard Assessment. Do you have a tree that is likely to fall on your house the next time a big storm comes through? How about a neighbor’s house? Better to find out now than later. The risk of being sued because of a fallen tree is not something that most people think about, but there are solicitors that actually specialise in this type of liability issue. Any tree that leans heavily or shows signs of disease should be assessed. Companies are available that can perform this service and save you a costly liability problem. When choosing a company, find out if it is available on a 24-hour basis to deal with emergencies that may come up.
  • Tree and Stump Removal. Tree removal is something that obviously must be done by a professional. It's best to get estimates from several companies. Make sure to get a quote that includes the entire job—not only cutting down the tree, but carting it away. Stump grinding and removal is something that is frequently not included in basic costs. You can pay extra to have the stump ground and removed, or you can rent a stump grinder and do it yourself. This, however, is a task that is often best left to a professional.
As a homeowner you have many options for maximizing your property’s value. Make sure to become familiar with the range of choices you have to enhance the beauty of the greenery and foliage that surrounds your home.