Spring Cleaning your Landscape


Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung and many of us are beginning to think about enjoying our yards once again, which means spring cleaning! Unfortunately, your lawn and garden can suffer much damage due to winter weather.

Preparing your garden for spring and summer involves assessing that damage and coming up with a plan to take back your yard for enjoyment. If you want to enjoy your landscape as the temperatures climb, heed the following post-winter garden preparation tips.

Assessing the Damage

Start by assessing the damage. Even if winter was mild, your landscape might still have suffered some damage from snow removal, snow load on plants and local wildlife roaming though the area.

Check for debris in your garden beds and surrounding landscapes.  When we are providing spring cleaning services to clients, we remove fallen leaves, branches and even trash that blew about on windy winter day. Remove the old mulch from your garden beds and apply new fresh mulch. All of the sand and salt build up on your driveway and lawn should be removed to make room for new growth. If you had fall clean up as part of your lawn care routine and your leaves were thoroughly removed, you have decreased your chances of a fungal disease known as snow mold. If you do find that you have snow mold it may be necessary to reseed your lawn.

Treating your Lawn

Spring is the time to treat your lawn for pests and crabgrass. Pests may hibernate in the soil over the winter, and such unwelcome visitors can make it difficult for gardens to thrive come spring and summer. Spring is also the best time to fertilize your lawn, but timing is important. The Soil temperature should reach about 55 degrees. You will know when the soil is right because lilacs begin to bloom. UrbanYardology is proud to use Coast of Maine organic products for our fertilizers and composts.

Trees and Shrubs

Finally, your trees and shrubs can benefit from a bit of spring-cleaning too. Dead limbs and winter-kill on branches should be pruned off, but be careful, shrubs that bloom in the spring have to have their buds already in place on last year’s growth so that they are ready, if you prune those branches off you will lose the flowers. Shrubs that bloom later in the year grow on new wood so it is OK to trim those now.

spring clean up image

This can be overwhelming for some, that is why we provide spring clean-up and ongoing lawn care services in Portland Maine and surrounding areas. Once you landscape is ready to go for spring, beautify it with a new garden design altogether or a simple low maintenance landscape.

(Client’s) Garden design 

I couldn’t wait to get back to blogging after a hectic Christmas weekend. It’s good to be stationary after a travel filled few days, especially since the Northeast is in the middle of our first deep freeze of the season. It is -13 degrees outside with the wind chill and my furnace is having a hard time keeping up. With that being said, I’m hoping all of you had a memorable holiday, full of new memories and lasting impressions.

Okay let’s warm things up a little bit and talk about spring. A good problem for any landscaping/exterior company to have is a full upcoming schedule in the spring. It’s never too early to plan ahead to make your time as efficient as possible, because efficiency saves the client financially and puts money in your pocket. It’s important to have a plan of what jobs to start first because frankly every job is different. For example; Urban yardology has been hired to completely restore a front yard with all the bells and whistles. Another job requires us to add a new color palette to an already existing very large unorganized Island. Now in April, especially the beginning of April wouldn’t be the right time to start putting flowers into the ground (Frost) being that I operate in zones 4 and 5. So common sense tells me, the yard restoration would become priority number one.

Now let’s move forward to the garden design job scheduled for late April. Keep in mind, I’ve already had the walk through with the client and I know what their looking for as far as color, height, run, impression and maintenance difficulty. At this point I could easily go dormant and not communicate with that client any further until a few weeks leading up to the start date, but I don’t want to do that. It’s important that I get these flowers and this design right for the client, so what works for me may not work for them. Now I don’t want to bombard my client with emails overwhelming them, but I want them to feel like they are part of the process. So for example the first email will give me the foundation needed to move forward. Meaning they liked the theme I presented but might not have liked some of the color choices. Believe it or not, I’ve had some clients that love orange but just not that shade of Orange. This process usually happens two more times before I feel the client is satisfied with what will be the final result. Now I have the information in hand, so when the time comes all we need to do is go to the garden center and pick up the materials needed, saving me time which in the end saves the client’s money. What I’ve learned by doing this, it keeps the client involved, it makes them happy to know that there needs are being met and it also uplifts their spirits through this cold time of year, it gives us something to look forward to……. so it’s a win-win really.

I personally choose (Proven Winners) as my resource guide to the client. For example; when I do send floral suggestions it looks like the picture below showing a beautiful image along with the basic growing details.




Landscaping + advertising = (Caution)

As a small business owner, I know in order to succeed you need to advertise. Potential clients and leads don’t often just fall in your lap, unless you have a top notch website, knowledge of SEO, and know how to put it to work for you. Otherwise, you need to pound the pavement as they say.

The off-season most know is the best time to get your name out there and a lot of people turn to Craigslist to do so. Through experience I can say that it is not a bad route to take because it’s free, but there are some risks that everybody should be aware of.
I’m going to use my own experiences to hopefully shed light on how to successfully post a Craigslist ad without dealing with those shady people out there that just want to steal from you.
Now, when I say steal from you I mean that literally, they want to steal your time and they want to steal by actually taking money out of your pocket. Do I have your attention yet?


Last Summer, I got a text message asking if I work on fences. I took time out of my day to reply, yes I can rebuild or replace a fence. Soon, I get a reply back from this potential customer who then gave me the address of the potential job location. The next phase of the conversation is where the red flags started flapping in the wind . He goes on to tell me that he just purchased this property and will not be able to be there due to illness and was wondering if he could wire the money to my business account .
Hmmmmmmm…… keep in mind I already knew this person was wasting my time and had a criminal agenda. How do I know…… because I already looked up the address he gave me. (Thanks to Google) The address existed and yes, the house was on the market. So……I contacted the realtor, again wasting my time to find out that there was no pending sale. So you see there are people out there who have nothing better to do then prey on business owners or anybody else for that matter who do not take the time to investigate.

Now do I know exactly how this would have played out and where or how I would have lost money…. kinda, but the bottom line is I didn’t allow it to get to that point. Now, this wasn’t the only scenario, but it’s a prime example of what can happen if you post to Craigslist and leave a contact number for people to reach you. If you  have a website put that on your Craigslist ad, link them to your website, many websites, such as  mine has an info page for customers to fill out what they’re looking to accomplish on their property. Now if you don’t have a website just be vigilant and Be prepared for scams!

Check this link out scams

Things I look out for:

  1. Broken English
  2. Misspelled words
  3. Aggressive
  4. Wont meet in person
  5. Doesn’t reply to all your questions

The buzzzzz about (Bees)

There is nothing like looking throughout a garden’s landscape to see these little remarkable machines at work. Their attention to detail and work ethic are unmatched, but sadly their under attack.

According to the USDA, pesticides play a key roll in their demise, as do the Varroa mite, bad weather and starvation. The good news is statistics are showing progress in the right direction. Key factors to this positive news is education. By collaborating with farmers and educated them when to use pesticides has helped bee colonies become less stressed which studies show gives the bees a Fighting Chance.

The Varroa mite, which is a blood sucking parasite that can wipe out a colony in weeks has been a thorn in beekeepers side for decades now. Positive steps have been made in figuring out ways to defeat this little monster, and it starts at the hives entrance. Check link below to see how this process is being accomplished.

http://beecare.bayer.com/media-center/videos/detail/a-new-solution-for-healthy-honey-bee-hives
Bees play a huge role in the economic development of not only our country but the worlds. Farmers across the globe rely on these little workhorses to pollinate crops to ensure a successful bounty at the end of the growing season.

It is my hope that after you read this, you understand the importance that bees play in our ecosystem and that you stop and appreciate them a little more the next time you look through your garden. I end with a resource of trees, plants and shrubs you can incorporate into your landscape to ensure a healthy bee population.

Home exterior Preparations  (Winter)

A home’s exterior if not managed properly can have costly effects throughout the winter months. Ice dams, fallen tree limbs, chimney fires, frozen pipes are just a few costly and potentially dangerous events that can occur during the cold season. Urbanyardology recognizes that all our clients homes are generally the largest investment they’ll ever make. So naturally, we as a company want to make sure you protect that investment. We came up with a list of costly problems that could potentially add to those winter Blues. Remember as a homeowner the works never done.

Gutters– Remove any debris that could prevent water from flowing. This is one step to ensure ice dams don’t occur.

Now if this is out of your comfort zone please hire a professional to do this gutter job for you. Urbanyardology maybe?  😉

Fireplace -be sure to to have it cleaned annually. Built up creosote can lead to fire in your chimney which could easily spread. Many critters can see an opportunity to nest in your chimney which may also have catastrophic results.

Chimney cleaning service

Frozen pipes- make sure to have lawn irrigation blown out before the water in the lines freeze. If you have an unfinished basement without a heat source make sure all pipes are rapped. Be sure to shut off outdoor water spicket from inside basement, then turn on from the outside to rid any excess.

Irrigation Services

Trees-  look up!! Do you see any potential trouble spots like dead limbs over any structure on your property. Stinky snow load and winter winds can bring these down without warning. Protect yourself and your home by having them removed by someone with the right equipment.

Tree Services central Maine

Tree Services southern Maine

Homeowners…keep ahead of potential problems and continue to GROW your home.

Preparing for Fall and Winter

With summer wrapping up, now is the time to start planning for fall.

Some areas to keep in mind for this fall:

Aerating your lawn and feeding it will help the water and nutrients reach the soil for a healthy lawn come spring.

It is also a good time to plant new shrubs and cut back the perennials. Planting shrubs in early fall gives the plants a head start at establishing roots in the season’s cool, moist soil.

Don’t forget your walkways and patio’s!
The fall is an important time to fill in cracks and ensure that your walkway will hold up through Maine’s harsh winter.

UrbanYardology will prepare your yard for fall and winter. We also do seasonal garden design. Weather you want a fall theme or holiday decorations, if it is outside, we do it all!

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