Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Read Our Newsletter!

The Metro GreenScape Newsletter can now be viewed online!

If you would like to sign up for our email newsletter list, get coupons, and valuable outdoor living tips please send us an email at heather@metrogreenscape.com.

Thomas Kinkade’s Painting comes to Life at southern Spring & Garden Show

Last year, Charlotte outdoor living design + build company Metro-GreenScape brought home two of the three awards presented to winning gardens at the Southern Spring and Garden Show. This year they knew they had to do something really spectacular.

Inspired by Thomas Kinkade’s “Mountain Paradise,” the talented crew from Metro-GreenScape will transform exhibit space 2140, G-5B into a magical living work of art, filled with beautiful flowers, trees, and waterfall. You will be transported to this idyllic land come alive at the hands of skilled outdoor living specialists. Heather from Metro-GreenScape, Inc says, "I didn't think we could top last year’s display, but I think we achieved that! Come see our very creative twist of this painting. There will be nothing else like this display at the show."

The 49th annual Southern Spring Home & Garden Show will be at The Park (formally the Charlotte Merchandise Mart) March 4th – March 8th. The Show will host beautiful landscapes created by 26 top professionals, inspiring designer rooms from the Interior Design Society, exquisite displays of bonsai, Ikebana, and orchids, and over 300 companies with the best and latest in building and home improvement, outdoor living, kitchen and bath, decorative arts and crafts, green building, and interior d├ęcor.

Darin Brockelbank, owner of Metro-GreenScape, Inc says, "2009 is going to be an amazing year for outdoor living. With families interested in green solutions and ‘staycations’ what a great opportunity to come out and see how you can make your outside space an oasis with our creative inspirations."

The Metro GreenScape landscape design team invites you down to The Park to come see the Kinkade reproduction and become inspired to jump into your Spring Landscape projects!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We Just Launched a New Fall Maintenance Division!

It’s going to be another beautiful fall in the Carolinas! We are writing you to thank you for your past business and introduce you to some new services we are now offering.

Based primarily on existing customer requests, we are now offering special Fall maintenance and seasonal preparation services, including:

· Leaf Removal
· Weed Maintenance, Edging and Organic Fertilization for Flower Beds
· Fall/Spring Mulching
· Seasonal Color & Bush/Tree Pruning
· Drainage & Grading
· Outdoor Lighting & Irrigation
· Annual Lawn Maintenance Contracts including Fertilization
· Storage Shed Construction
· Wooden Deck Construction
· Playground Setup
· Disease and Fungus Control
· General Labor for Household Maintenance, Repair & Odd Jobs

The same care and professionalism that we displayed on the Outdoor Living & Landscaping project at your home will be available to you for all of these new services!

Please call me at 704-504-0980 for special discounts and pricing on our new line of Fall and seasonal services! We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you again soon!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Earth Friendly Tips: Get your landscape off chemicals

Many homeowners wish to have lush green lawns all year long even in the heat of the summer. We use high concentrate chemicals packed with nitrogen to make grass green and grow at a fast rate. The more chemicals that are used, the more the nutrients from the soil are depleted. The high salt amounts draw moisture out of the soil and grass and causes the grass to burn. We think by adding more fertilizer to the grass that we will correct the issue. There are better ways to correct these problems and the following will give you a step by step program to revitalize your grass.

First, take a soil test. The soil test will give you the ph level of the soil and tell you what nutrients and too high or too low. This will give you a good guide so that you know where to begin with the revitalization. You can then add the correct nutrients and minerals to the soil to correct the issues. Make sure that you are adding organic matter to your soil. Another way to revitalize your soil, take up some of the grass and add native plantings. Plant shrubbery and trees that attract birds and bees that will pollinate plants and control insects. Try to avoid exotic plantings that will crowd out native plantings and destroy current ecosystems.

You will use less fertilizers and your lawn will be healthier if you mow less often. Let the grass grow between 2.5 to 3.5 inches before mowing. Also, the grass clippings are good for the soil. The grass that is being cut away is full of nutrients and once the clippings fall back down to the soil level, it will decompose adding that nutrients back to the soil.

When it comes to weed control, use natural products such as vinegar and water. Try to avoid using chemical products such as Round Up to remove the weeds. Some areas may be better to remove the weeds by hand versus a spray. Also, if you are going to use a weed barrier, find something that will be biodegradable instead of vinyl or plastic which will only cause problems in the future.

Invite nature into your landscape. Install a birdbath or birdhouse. Bats are very good to have around because they eat insects. Installing a bat house will attract them to your landscape area. Bats will help keep insects in control instead of using insecticides which are not healthy for the environment. Also, don’t waste precious natural resources. Compost leaves and fruit and vegetable peelings. These natural resources will break down over time, creating a very nutrient rich compost soil that can be added to planting beds. Capture water off gutters in a rain barrel and use the water to irrigate plantings. Creating nutrient rich soil will also reduce the amount of water that is needed on turf and landscaping because the soil will retain more water instead of the salt content in fertilizers which draw water out and dry the soil.

If you would like to learn more about green living, you may think about joining The Green Life. Check out our website, www.metrogreenscape.com, to read more about The Green Life, our E-newsletter, meetings, and much more.

(c) 2009 Metro GreenScape

Thursday, February 19, 2009

How and When to Water Your Lawn

Proper use of irrigation water to fill the gaps between rainfalls is critical to a healthy lawn. Efficient use of this important natural resource will keep water bills lower.

How

There are two basic of sprinkler systems; automatic underground and portable hose sprinklers.

* Automatic lawn irrigation - The most efficient method of irrigating a lawn is through an underground lawn sprinkler system. It is a good investment in your lawn as well as the value of your home. A professionally installed system should be designed for complete and even distribution, have battery back-up for any timing devices, and a rain sensor to stop the system when rain occurs.

* Portable hose sprinklers - Sprinkler systems are less expensive than underground systems. Sprinklers may be either “portable surface” (the most common) requiring moving the sprinkler to each area of the lawn or “traveling sprinkler”, that follows the hose or a cable around the lawn. Both types of sprinklers need frequent observation to avoid mis-application and water waste.

How Much

As a general rule, keeping your lawn healthy requires 1 to 2 inches of water weekly- including rainfall. Water once every 2 to 3 days in dry weather (about ½ inch at each application). Heavy clay soils will require less water and less frequent applications than sandier soils. Water as deeply as possible without causing run-off.

To determine how much water you are applying, ask for our free SuperSod rain gauge. Place gauge midway between the sprinkler and the end of the coverage and check after a planned length of time- approximately ½ hour. Then calculate the total time needed to apply ½ inch.

When

Follow local irrigation ordinances or restrictions when watering your lawn. Drought tolerant lawn grasses will revive once rainfall occurs or irrigation restrictions are lifted. To be most efficient when watering your lawn, irrigate your lawn:

-->When the air is calm
-->In the early morning hours
-->When the lawn is showing signs of dry wilt-turns off color- usually a gray-green color

Remember…

When watering:

Water deeply and infrequently. Proper use of sprinkler water will result in a healthier and attractive lawn.

Consider spot watering localized dry spots instead of the entire lawn.

Avoid irrigating until water runs off the lawn surface and on to walks and roads.

Tree shaded areas may require more water to support both trees and turf grasses.

When landscaping:


Select drought tolerant varieties like zoysia, centipede and bermuda grasses.
Reduce steep slopes in lawns so that water does not run off rapidly.
Consider letting the lawn go dormant in drought conditions-zoysia, centipede and Bermuda grass lawns will regenerate once water is more available.
Remove thatch so that the water easily reaches the soil around turf plants.

When fertilizing:

Fertilize lawn at proper rate for your location and turf selection.
Aerate heavy soils to promote better fertilizer and water penetration to lawn roots.

When mowing:

Mow lawn only when needed and avoid scalping.
Always use a sharp blade.
Mow as infrequently as possible.
In drought conditions, mow at a higher cutting height with a sharp blade.

Watering your lawn is the most important part of a successful lawn care program.

Closely trimmed grass has served mankind for centuries. Evidence suggests that lawns were present in China more than 5,000 years ago and that the Mayans and Aztecs had lawns in the New World.

Healthy lawns produce benefits such as:


* Increased property values A well-kept lawn gives a pleasing appearance to residential and commercial properties. Lawns make sports fields and play areas safer.

* Cleaner air Lawns trap more than 23 million tons of dirt and dust annually. Lawns absorb global warming gases. A 50 foot by 50 foot turf are absorbs carbon dioxide; hydrogen fluoride gases and releases enough oxygen to meet the needs of a family of four.

* Cooler air around us The average front lawn provides more than twice the cooling effect if the normal whole house air conditioner fro the same house.

* Prevention of rainfall loss Healthy lawns guard against loss from water runoff and can help control erosion.

(c) 2009 Metro GreenScape