As you probably know there has been a worldwide slow down and shortage of building materials in general during the last couple years due to Covid. Therefore we have seen a large increase in landscaping supply costs including lumber, stone, turf and many other products. Landscapers in Calgary have also seen an increase in labour costs due to the waiting times for materials throughout the city of Calgary. At Chinook landscaping we strive to keep our costs competitive with the top landscaping companies in Calgary. We expect there will be increase in landscaping costs in Calgary for the 2022 season. It is tempting for some landscaping companies to take short cuts with materials and labour in order to save money. We will never compromise quality in order to save money. You can be sure of still getting the same great build quality that Chinook Landscaping is known for.
When it comes to weeds and what to do with weeds landscaping fabric can be useful. But does landscaping fabric really work? Landscaping fabric is often used in shrub or tree beds to prevent weeds from growing. Landscaping fabric is popular in xeriscaping and we talk about that in how to xeriscape your garden. There are many landscaping fabric options on the market but many of them are practically useless when it comes from preventing weed growth. Landscaping fabric does reduce weeds substantially but it will not totally eliminate your weeds.
Remove weeds and roots before applying landscaping fabric
It is very important to completely remove weeds and their root systems before you apply a landscaping fabric. Tearing off the top of the weeds will not be sufficient if you want to totally stop the particular weed from growing. Roots and spores lurk below the surface of the soil somethings they can be as deep or deeper than one foot. If you don’t remove these weeds many of them will find their way through the fabric. The most evasive and persistent weed is quack grass. It can poke through even the tightest weaved landscaping fabric and spread to other areas of your garden beds.
Persistent unwanted perennials can be a problem
Perennials can be a fantastic addition to your garden bed but if you don’t want them there anymore they can be very difficult to totally eliminate. Landscaping fabric will help slow down your perennials but if you don’t fully remove the perennial and the root system you may see them return to your garden. Many homeowners or landscapers in Calgary assume that simply removing perennials from the surface of the soil will get rid of them for good. Perennials often have extensive root systems, root spores and tubers that will continue germinating and coming back again and again. The best way to insure your perennials won’t return is to remove all the soil to a depth of 12″ and replace the soil with a high quality, clean garden mix.
Herbicides greatly reduce weed regrowth
If you are not opposed to using herbicides then this can be a very effective way to eliminate your weeds. Round up used to be know as a safe product that did not have any health effects on humans. Now, there seems to be conflicting studies and reports that it may be a carcinogen. If you plan to use Round up or a herbicide that is similar be sure to only spray it on a wind free day. Any drift will kill your surrounding shrubs and grass. Also, follow safety precautions and wear protective clothing. Make sure none of the herbicide contacts your skin and keep children and pets away from the sprayed areas for several weeks,. Products like Round up are a systemic herbicide. When you spray it on the leaves the plant takes the herbicide in as it grows and the herbicide will totally kill the weed or perennial within 1-2 weeks. If you need to eliminate weeds and perennials then spray Round up a few weeks before you plant your new garden, The weeds and perennials will fully die and you can remove them and their roots from the soil.
Choose the highest quality fabric
It is very important to choose highest quality fabric for your garden beds. Big box stores typically sell very low end fabric that you can tear with your hand. This will not work at all to stop or slow down weeds. Don’t waste your money on this fabric. Instead purchase a high grade fabric that is as thick as possible. This thick fabric will help stop and slow down weed growth. Many professional garden centres and landscape suppliers sell this high quality landscaping fabric. IT is well worth spending the extra money for good fabric if you want to reduce weed growth in your garden beds.
Don’t expect 100% weed reduction
Once you apply a landscaping fabric you may assume that your garden will be zero maintenance and there will be no need for weeding in the future. Unfortunately this is not true. If you have installed your landscaping fabric around trees or shrubs then you there will always be a some bare soil around the base of your plantings, Weeds will germinate and grow in these areas so you will need to hand pull the weeds that arise here. Also, weed seeds from grass cuttings, neighbouring properties or parks often blow in to your property and the weed can actually germinate on to of the fabric. Especially if there is a wood mulch over the landscaping fabric. The weed roots will then make their way through the fabric and get moisture and nutrients from the soil. If you have properly removed weeds and roots from the soil before applying the landscaping fabric then you will likely see about a 75% reduction in weeds. This is significant but it still means hand weeding will be a necessity. So, the answer to does landscaping fabric really work? is Yes but it does have its limitations.
When it comes to maintaining yards, gardens or orchards, pruning always pops up in our minds. Though done when required, the timing of the practice usually matters a lot. Some have opted to prune as early as spring after snow has cleared while other have waited for mid-fall. Regardless of the window you might take chance of, it will solely depend on the type of plant, be it a tree or a shrub, and whether they blossom in spring or summer.
Nonetheless,pruning is importantbecause of obvious reasons like it enables rejuvenation of plants and aids in weeding out affected, unwanted and unproductive parts, thus increasing the potentiality of the plant.
With that in mind, occasional yard clean-up, care and maintenance is crucial but what is the best time to prune trees and shrubs in Calgary? Fear not as we will reasonably discuss the times to do this at home.
Best times to prune in Calgary
In Calgary, plants behave differently in seasons with the exception of evergreens. There are those that are active during spring and become dormant when winter comes. The ideal time to prune those trees would then be within that period of dormancy. Why? Because the plant, as the name suggest, is dormant; shutting down for ‘renovation’.
After the leaves have all fallen and signs of hibernation are existent, sharpen your tools and cut what is not needed. This period is advantageous because the plants experience no stress and there is minimal chance for them to get infection or fungus after mid-October.
In the case of pruning your shrubs and trees during mid-spring, you will also be able to notice branches with buds and those that don’t have. Thus, it will be easy to select the unproductive parts and do away with them. If you have ornamental grasses as part of your landscaping it is best to leave the growth on over winter time. These grasses are as attractive in winter as they are in spring. Learn about pruning Karl forester feather reed grass
Check out this page If you are interested in learning more about specific ornamental grasses ideal for Canadian climates
For evergreen shrubs and treesof course, they can be pruned anytime of the year. They usually require little to no pruning. For flowering shrubs, try pruning them during early spring and avoid pruning them when winter approaches, around late September. This way, you will avoid making them vulnerable to winter frost conditions as their wounds wouldn’t have recuperated or hardened by then.
In Calgary, mid-fall has been the perfect time to trim perennial trees such as birch and maple simply because they reproduce during winter, among other reasons. But other trees like spruce, junipers, crabapple and popular are well suited for pruning during winter. So why should you clip and trim your trees and shrubs during mid-fall towards winter?
- Fungal diseases, infections and pests are usually dormant making it easy for their eradication.
- The plant will face no stress and sap loss will be curbed.
- At this point, plants are not budding so no new life will be lost when trimming
- The structure of the plant is visible enough after leaves have fallen thus making it easy to identify what can be cut off and what can’t.
- When pruning at this period, few branches will be left, enabling the roots to reserve more food and energy for new growth and life in the coming season.
Remember it is important to take care of your trees and shrubs
by giving them fertilizer and watering. Fall watering is very important and can make all the difference in the health of your trees and shrubs come spring time,
If you look forward to trimming down overgrown shrubs and trees that might be costly in the event of storms in Calgary, or just want to increase the aesthetics of your yard with well-shaped and well-kept hedges, shrubs and trees, sharpen your tools and start pruning your plants at the right time. When difficulty arises, as it always does especially where powerlines are near the home area, consults your landscaping Calgary specialistsi.
Chinook Landscaping and Design is proud to announce they have been award Best Landscaping Company In Calgary by Build Magazine. Chinook Landscaping works very hard to make sure all of their clients are completely satisfied with their landscaping. It is a great honour to be recognized by the industry for this prestigious award. Have a look at other rewards Chinook Landscaping has won. Landscaping Calgary Awards
We are now inviting clients to get on our spring estimate contact list. Be at the top of the list for your free estimate and consultation by filling out our Spring 2019 Estimate Request Form We will contact you in mid February -early March of 2019 to arrange for your landscaping estimate.
Your free landscaping estimate and consultation will include:
An on-site walkthrough of your property.
Recommendations as to whether your project would benefit from a landscape design
Introduction to our landscape designer if necessary.
Explanation of our services
Discussion about various landscaping components that would work best for your property.
Free detailed estimate.
Click here to complete your Spring 2019 Estimate Request Form
Fall is a great time for Landscaping in Calgary! Did you know that trees, shrubs and sod do much better when planted in the cooler fall months than they do when planted during our hot summers? Trees, shrubs and sod start to go dormant in fall and therefore they are far less likely to go into shock when they are planted. Summer is in the middle of their peak growing season so it is very hard on plantings and sod, especially with our hot, dry summers. The cooler fall weather combined with the plant dormancy cycle means you can don’t have to worry about planting trees or shrubs or laying sod. Chinook Landscaping and Design typically installs plantings, paving stones, retaining walls and all other landscape components right up to and beyond Halloween. Visit our website at landscapingcalgary.org for more or Call us at 403-452-8552 for your no cost estimate.
Artificial turf is becoming more and more popular in Calgary. Especially for homeowners who are with busy lifestyles who don’t want to worry about making sure their lawns get enough water. Artificial turf has come a long way in the past several years. When it first came on the market it was available in limited styles and textures and most of the product on the market looked very fake or would look fake after a couple years of enduring our harsh Calgary winters. There has definitely been a huge improvement in artificial turf quality as well as options to choose from. You can find artificial turf in many different styles and textures. From light to very dark green these options do mimic the look of real grass quite well. For pet owners, there are multiple choices that resist absorbing pet odours if your pet chooses to use the turf as the place to go potty. The quality of artificial turf has greatly improved if you choose a high quality turf, it will withstand the Calgary winters and maintain its natural look for many years. If you are considering artificial turf you will need to consider the costs as it can be quite costly. Artificial turf requires the same compacted base as paving stones or concrete in order to resist frost heaves and maintain a level look over the years. Costs can vary depending on the style of artificial turf you choose but count on a minimum of 20.00/square foot for materials and professional installation. Chinook Landscaping can provide you with a no cost estimate for your artificial turf so contact us today to learn more.
Large established spruce trees are noticeable everywhere in Calgary front and back yards. These trees are typically Colorado Blue spruce and can grow to be 30-40 feet tall and take up the majority of your yard. We are constantly asked about ways to manage spruce trees and keep them as part of the landscape.
Firstly, it is never a good idea to have your lawn area compete with spruce trees. The spruce tree will always win. They are known to be very hard on lawns for several reasons.
– They drop needles and shed them constantly throughout spring, summer and fall. These needles can break down and change the quality of the soil.
– Spruce tree roots are very shallow and extend for a great distance to other areas of your yard. The roots draw moisture out of the soil and deprive your lawn of water and nutrients.
– The large spruce tree branches shade preven sunlight and water from reaching your lawn.
So, we can see that having lawn under or close to your spruce tree is probably not going to facilitate a lush healthy lawn. If you want to keep your lawn then we recommend pruning the branches up on the bottome 3-5 feet of the spruce tree. This will give your lawn more sunlight and moisture.
The best option when it comes to spruce trees is to create a defined border around the perimiter of the spruce trees drip line. The drip line is the tip of the longest spruce tree branches. Create this border by using a natural spade edge, mowing pavers, Vinyl edge or raised pre cast or natural stone. This border will mean your lawn and gardens will not have to compete with the spruce tree and you won’t have to mow around the branches. The messy needles and waste can be cleaned up without trying to rake them out of the lawn. You can place fabric and 40mm rock under the spruce tree and use a blower to blow out needles and waste each season. Keep in mind that over the long term, the roots may grow and lift some areas of your border. The border can be adjusted and levelled again by notching out a section of the root.
You have probably noticed pollen like you never have before this season. Yellowish mustard powder is everywhere this year in Calgary. Vehicles homes and streets are covered with pollen. Why is it so noticeable this year? In a typical season various trees and grass put out pollen at different times of the spring/summer This winter was anything but typical and winter stayed very late. So because of that all of the trees combined with the grass are putting out pollen at the same time. They don’t want to lose the opportunity to propagate. Its a survival thing. Calgary has not seen much rain this spring so that has compounded the issue. A few days of heavy rain would help to wash the pollen off trees and grass, streets, cars and homes. Allergies are through the roof of course because Calgarians are getting a mega dose of pollen all at once. There is not much you can do besides keeping windows and doors closed, rinse your walkways, patios and outdoor furniture. Make sure to take your allergy medicine if you have a major allergy to pollen. There are some positive aspects to all this pollen. We know if it is out there then the greenery around is continuing to thrive. Pollen is very high in nutrients so although it may be a real irritant for some, inhaling accidentally throughout the day may give you a dose of healthy nutrients!!
Chinook Landscaping was proud to contribute to the St. Boniface School Playground in Lake Bonavista Calgary. There were many sponsors who helped make this project such a great success and we are proud to be one of them. We provided all the labour and materials to help construct the paving stone feature area. The feature area included custom engraved paving stones that were provided by sponsors including local Lake Bonavista families, individuals and various Calgary corporations. We really enjoyed being part of the project and we are proud to be part of the Lake Bonavista Community. Enjoy your playground kids!!