The region's premier landscape contractor & garden center
2389 S. Highway 33, Driggs, ID
Mon-Sat: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
11 Oct 2018

Tree Survival: An ounce of prevention

There is no doubt that trees are a valuable asset to our landscapes. Trees add beauty, privacy, wind protection and increase our property values. Most trees we sell are adapted to survive our harsh winters, but an additional measure of preventative care, especially with younger trees, will greatly increase survival over winter and into another successful growing season.
Protection from Animals:

Browsing mammals (moose, elk or deer):
If your trees are the most tender, greenest things on the block and other food sources are scarce, it is likely that these mammals will feed on your trees. Mature trees can withstand some browsing, but younger trees can be severely damaged or killed. Ultimately, a 7 to 8 foot fence surrounding your trees will provide the best protection. If fencing is not for you, commercially made repellents such as Plantskydd™ are very effective when applied correctly.
Voles:
Voles can girdle and kill a tree overwinter by chewing the bark around the base of the trunk. Apples and crabapples are especially vulnerable. A rigid plastic trunk guard can be placed around the trunk to protect it. Remove the trunk guard the following spring to allow for airflow.
plastic trunk guard keeps voles from girdling trees

Protection from Cold, Sun and Wind:
Believe it or not, our ample snow cover in the Teton region is a great insulator from extreme temperature swings. Severe cold injury can occur late fall when we have extreme cold but no snow cover. A two or three inch layer of bark mulch will help modify the ground temperature in this case. Mulch is also very useful to retain moisture and prevent weeds from germinating. Some deciduous trees like Maples are prone to having their bark crack over winter. Cracking is caused when the trunk heats up in the sun during the day and then cools off dramatically at night. The temperature difference cause vertical, spiraling cracks down the trunk. A light weight tree wrap will help protect the trunk. Wrap trunks late fall and remove the wrap in the spring.

Evergreen trees lose moisture as their needles transpire through the winter. New trees are not able to keep up with the rate of moisture loss because their root systems are not yet deep enough to uptake enough water over winter. This leads to sun burned needles. To help, ensure your evergreens go into winter WET! A thorough soaking each week will help your tree to fill up its reserves with water. Water evergreens until the snow is stuck on the ground or the ground remains frozen, usually though mid-November. An anti-desiccant like Wilt Pruf™ can be sprayed on the needles mid to late October. Wilt Pruf™ helps slow down transpiration and can make the difference between brown, crispy needles or lush green needles next spring.

Our greenhouse has a full line of tree care products to help your trees survive the winter.
Need some help? From spraying to fencing, our maintenance department can do this for you!
Contact us for a quote: get a quote

10 Sep 2018

Lawn Aeration

 

Does your lawn need a quick improvement? Aeration can elevate the health and appearance of your lawn. Aeration is the process where a machine (lawn aerator) penetrates the lawn surface and pulls out small plugs of soil. Aeration is often confused with power-raking or de-thatching, but it’s different. Hollow tines are equipped on the lawn aerator which removes soil plugs and leaves them on the surface of the lawn. These plugs are normally visible for a couple of weeks before they decompose. There are no benefits of removing the soil plugs outside of aesthetics.
Most lawns are compacted over time by foot traffic, play, and maintenance equipment. Aeration allows nutrients, oxygen and water to get down into the soil. It’s harder for oxygen, nutrients, and water to penetrate compacted soils. The plugs removed by aeration loosens compacted soils, cuts through the thatch layer and creates openings for nutrients, water and air flow. These are all key components for healthy green grass. The healthier the roots are below, the better the grass will look above.
Core aeration is one of the best things you can do for your lawn to keep it lush and green. In our area, Spring and Fall are the best times to aerate.
Lawn aerators can be rented locally from Valley Lumber in Victor and Grande Rental in Driggs.
If DIY isn’t your thing, we can do it for you. Click here to get a quote: https://mdlandscapinginc.com/get-a-quote/

29 Jun 2018

Water-Wise Irrigation Systems

Irrigation systems are a convenient and important landscape feature for a busy homeowner. An automated system allows for a lush, healthy and beautiful landscape. However, it can be easy to ‘set it forget it’ and not pay attention to the needs of your valuable plants. Overwatering and poor water management tend be the side effect to these great systems.

Overwatering is caused by running the sprinklers too long. It’s easy to let them run for an extra 10 minutes… just to make sure they are doing a good job. Most times the excess water will run off or puddle. The process of correct watering can be perfected on a trial and error basis. Run your sprinklers less and less every week and see when your lawn starts to yellow or stress. Once you have found this spot, increase the irrigation time to find your lawn’s happy place. There is a spot on most irrigation controls called seasonal adjustments. This is where you can increase the watering time in the summer and lower the watering in the spring and fall. Most irrigation controllers also offer a spot to plug in a rain sensor. This efficient feature automatically shuts down the sprinklers when it’s raining, allowing Mother Nature to water for you. If you notice that water is running down your sidewalk, driveway, or curbs you know you are watering too much. Soils can only hold so much water before the excess is puddling or running off.

Different areas of your landscape will require different amounts of water depending on sun and wind exposure. It’s important to know where these areas are in reference to the zones on your sprinkler system. Running your sprinklers is best done in the evening hours… dusk to dawn. If sprinklers run during the day or when the sun is out, a portion of that water will be lost to evaporation. Avoid water waste and set your controller to late PM or early AM. Walk through and check on your landscaping regularly and take note of dry or wet areas. This is a good indication that your sprinkler heads are not working properly. Over time, heads will fall out of adjustment or have plants grow in front of their spray coverage. A few simple corrections to the sprinkler heads will keep your system running at peak efficiency.

Winterizing your system at the end of the summer is important otherwise water lines and sprinkler heads will freeze and crack. A powerful compressor is used to blow all the water out of the irrigation system, which protects it for the winter. Late September and early October is the best time to winterize your system.
Sprinkler systems are great for saving time and can be a very efficient way to deliver water to your valuable landscape. Be sure to check your system regularly throughout the summer and make adjustments as needed.

More Water-Wise Tips:
• Water early in the morning or in the evening. This reduces water loss to evaporation.
• If you are limited to how much water is available, prioritize water needs. Vegetable gardens and newly planted trees and shrubs require the most water. Turf grasses can be allowed to go dormant (brown) with less water. These grasses will green up once again when cooler weather returns.
• Cut back perennials that are done blooming. This redirects a plant’s energy to its roots instead of seed production.
• Water deeply, less often. A thorough soaking will promote deep rooting. Frequent light watering leads to shallow, drought-prone roots.
• Move planters and hanging baskets into the shade.
• Recognize drought-stress: Wilting is the most obvious sign. Brown or crispy tips or edges of leaves are another.
• Pay special attention to newly planted evergreens. These thirsty trees may not show signs of stress until months later, when it’s too late. Check your irrigation and probe down into the soil to ensure water is reaching the root zone.
• Mulch is your friend. Applying a three inch layer around trees, shrubs and perennial flowers will help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.

06 Jun 2018

Flower Bed Maintenance

You’ve just purchased hundreds of dollars’ worth of plants, sweated and toiled to plant everything and now you get to sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor, right? Well yes, but to get the most out of your plants, some maintenance is key.
There is more to bed maintenance than just weeding:
Pre-Emergent:
Pre-Emergent herbicides prevent seeds from germinating. Applied early summer, pre-emergents can save you a lot of time weeding. Organic and synthetic pre-emergents are available. It’s important to note that they don’t kill existing weeds.
Always read the label and apply the product as directed!
Fertilizer:
Fertilizing your plants will boost the health and appearance of your plants. Granular fertilizers can be applied once or twice a season. Liquid fertilizers can be applied throughout the growing season and are quickly absorbed to provide and immediate boost to your plants. We carry a wide variety of natural and synthetic fertilizers.
Always read the label and apply the product as directed!
Mulch:
Mulch helps retain soil moisture, keeps weeds from germinating and helps regulate soil temperature. Most mulches we stock are forestry by-products like shredded and chipped bark. Rock or gravel can also be used as mulch, depending on the look you are trying to achieve.
Landscape Fabric:
Landscape Fabric is not a guarantee to keep weeds under control, but will help. Fabric must be completely covered with mulch for best results. Fabric around flowers, small plantings, and in small spaces can be more trouble than it’s worth. In this case, it’s better to use a thick layer of mulch without fabric. Come stop by our Nursery to see which type of landscape fabric would work best for you.
Pruning & Shaping:
Pruning and shaping trees and shrubs within your beds can be a great way to promote health in your plants. This practice also defines spaces between plants making your beds more attractive. As a general rule, prune anything dead, diseased or broken at any time. For blooming plants such as lilacs, prune after they bloom. Taking no more than one third off any plant at one time is the best practice. Always use clean, sharp tools and disinfect blades with a bleach solution or Lysol between cuts to prevent the spread of disease.

01 Nov 2017

Last-Chance Late Fall Tasks

It’s not too late to sneak in a couple of late fall tasks. Take advantage of any nicer November days to cross a few jobs off this list and prepare your landscape for winter and spring.
• Plant bulbs: As long as the ground is still workable, fall bulbs can still be planted. All fall bulbs are now 50% off.
• Spread wildflower and grass seed: Late fall is ideal for seeding. Seeds lay dormant and germinate next spring as the soil temperatures rise.
• Mow, fertilize and protect your lawn: A shorter final cut will reduce the amount of raking next spring. Spread fall fertilizer (such as Scott’s™) and a granular rodent repellant like Molemax™ if voles are a problem in your area.
• Hang and fill bird feeders: We carry a variety of birdfeeders and seed to attract a range of wild birds. Feeders placed near trees and shrubs will encourage more visiting birds since they like the protection of nearby branches.
– Cover tree trunks with tree guards to protect from voles and other gnawing critters. This is especially important for fruit trees.

20 Sep 2017

Protecting your Landscape from Big Game Damage

Protecting your Landscape from Big Game Damage

Throughout our region we are fortunate enough to encounter all kinds of wildlife. They inhabited this area first and we over took their migration paths and feeding grounds. As majestic as they are, moose, elk, deer and even buffalo can wreak havoc on newly planted and established landscapes. Big game animals tend to be in our neighborhoods in the fall, winter and spring. As the snow melts, they return to higher elevations for the summer months.
There are a few strategies to deter wildlife from our landscapes. Use these strategies alone or in combination to protect your valuable landscape from big game damage.

Use Wildlife-Resistant Plants:
No plant is ‘wildlife-proof’. If animals are starving, they will eat anything available. However, some plants tend to be less palatable to wildlife. If your home is in an area frequented by wildlife, avoid disappointment by choosing these plants:
• Spruce
• Buffaloberry
• Cotoneaster
• Juniper
• Lilac
• Potentilla
• Serviceberry
• Spirea
• Viburnum
• Hawthorne

Apples, crabapples, birch, willow, roses and dogwood are best avoided as these are preferred by wildlife.
For a complete list, click here: http://dev.mdlandscapinginc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/GardeningAroundDeer.pdf

Repellents:
Commercially made repellants such as Plantskydd™ are effective when applied as directed. Apply repellants at intervals throughout season for best results.

Scare Tactics:
Wildlife don’t like unfamiliar sounds, lights or movement. Lights on motion sensors or a well-trained barking dog can be helpful.

Predator Urine:
This is a natural way of keeping wildlife out of your yard. A few drops in placed in strategic areas around your property can keep game out for 1-3 weeks. Animals eventually get used to the scent and other tactics need to be used at this point. Available from predatorpee.com.

Wildlife Fencing:
A physical barrier has proved time and time again to be the most reliable way to keep big game away from your plants. Fence off individual trees, groups of trees or entire properties.

Dealing with wildlife can be tricky.  On one hand you want to protect the investment of your landscape while being as respectful to nature as possible. Being flexible and ready to use multiple strategies is often the best approach to dealing with wildlife on your property.

14 Aug 2017

What Bugs Us? Spider Mites

Spider mites are common garden pests that feed on shrubs, trees, flowers, vegetables and even houseplants. These miniscule pests cause damage by bruising the plant’s tissues as they feed leading to mottled, brown foliage. Spider mites are difficult to see to the naked eye, but their presence can be detected by webbing on a plant and brown, mottled or dirty-looking foliage. To confirm the presence of spider mites, try holding a sheet of plain white paper below suspect plants.  Tap or flick the foliage above the paper. Using a magnifying glass or the naked eye, watch for any tiny specs that move. These are mites.  Outbreaks occur under hot, dry conditions and can seriously injure or kill a plant.  There are a few ways to control spider mites:

  • Hosing: A strong jet of water can destroy webbing and knock down spider mites populations.
  • Beneficial Insects: Ladybugs, sold commercially, can be released underneath mite-infested plants to feed on mites.
  • Neem Oil and Pyrethrins:  These are typically combined in a multipurpose spray such as Safer™ brand 3 in 1 Garden Spray. Always follow the directions on the label.
  • Horticultural Oil: This is possibly the best control available for the home gardener. The oil suffocates the eggs and the adults. Always follow the directions on the label.
  • Avoiding strong insecticides containing imidacloprid that kill mite’s natural enemies will help avoid mite infestations by keeping the beneficial insect population higher.

Maintaining healthy plants will also help avoid mite infestations. Plants stressed by drought, crowding or lack of nutrients are prone to insect problems.

21 Jul 2017

Deep Root Tree Fertilization: What is it?

 

Just like lawns and flowers, trees thrive when fertilized. Fertilizing helps maintain healthy growth, important for disease and pest resistance plus resilience in a challenging environment.

Deep-root fertilizing is the process of using an injector (a pogo stick-like device) to deliver liquid fertilizer directly underground into the root zone.  This allows the tree to uptake nutrients quickly for an immediate boost. Skilled tree care technicians follow a recipe in preparing fertilizer for deep root application. In addition to balanced tree fertilizer, mycorrhizae (beneficial fungi) are injected for optimal root growth.  Deep-root fertilizing is done either in the spring, fall or both if a tree is showing signs of poor health.

Noticeable improvements in tree growth and overall health are expected after just a few years of treatment.   Whether you have deciduous or evergreen trees, this service will help protect your landscape investment.  Contact us for pricing or to schedule a consultation. info@mdalndscapinginc.com

 

05 Jun 2017

Flower Care 101

The days are warmer, our greenhouse is full of flowering annuals and it’s time to take some new plants home. Follow these simple steps for beautiful blooms all summer long:

  • Gradually expose newly purchased plants to the outdoors on a covered porch or in a shady spot out of the wind. This is called hardening off.
  • Watch the weather. A few annuals, such as pansies will tolerate freezing temperatures, but most will need to be covered or moved inside if a frost is predicted.
  • Plant in high quality potting mix. If the plants are to be planted in last year’s container, remove all former plant material and refresh with new soil. Adding granular fertilizer to the soil prior to planting will promote continual blooming and healthy root formation.
  • Water often. The soil should never be allowed to dry out. Depending on sun and wind exposure, annuals may need water up to twice a day.
  • Routine removal of spent flowers will encourage more blooming. This is called deadheading. Be sure to remove the entire flower and stem.
  • Additional liquid fertilizer (such as Fertilome™ brand Blooming & Rooting) beginning midsummer will maintain lush foliage and continuous blooming.
31 May 2017

5 Reasons to Use Mulch

 

Mulch is a product that covers the soil surface around trees, shrubs or flowers. Gravel, lava rock and bark mulches can be used, but bark is the most popular. There are many known benefits to using mulch in your flower beds and around trees and shrubs.  It’s not absolutely necessary to have mulch, but the benefits far outweigh the cost.

1-      Fewer Weeds

Mulch creates a layer between the soil and sunlight.  This dramatically reduces the amount of germinating weed seeds, leaving you with less weeds to pull or spray.

2-      Improved Soil

As bark mulch decomposes, nutrients are returned to the soil.

3-      Cooler Soil

During the warmer months, mulch keeps soil conditions cooler so plants are less stressed by the heat.

4-      Insulation

During the colder months, mulch keeps soil conditions slightly higher.  Mulch acts like an insulated barrier.  It prevents frost heaving, where plants are literally pushed out of the ground.

5-      Retains Moisture

Mulch helps reduce evaporation and retain moisture to keep the roots and soil from drying out.

Apply at least 1-2 inches of mulch for best results. Be sure not to ‘volcano’ or pile mulch up tree trunks, but pull it away from trunks a bit to ensure proper oxygen flow below the soil.  Every few years it’s nice to refresh the mulch in your beds.  Turning over mulch can buy you another year or two, but with new mulch, your shrubs, trees and flowers stand out.  There are many options of colors, textures, types, and blends that can help make your beds look new again.  Visit us today to see what type of mulch will work for you.