Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for September 1, 2017

GARDENING WITH THE MASTERS: September planting and harvesting tips


♦ Fall is a great time to plant and divide perennials and shrubs for next year’s garden. Plants planted in the fall do not endure the summer heat during establishment and will form sufficient root systems before winter dormancy.

♦ Many BB trees and shrubs are now sold wrapped in synthetic burlap that will not rot in the ground, resulting in a root-bound plant that doesn’t grow well if the burlap is left in place. Some of this material strongly resembles cotton burlap; if in doubt about the burlap’s makeup, cut it away from the root ball once the plant is in place.

♦ If you are not sure which end of the bulb is the top, plant it on its side. The stem will always grow upright.

♦ Plant peonies now, but make sure the crowns are buried only 1½ to 2 inches below ground level. Deeper planting keeps the plants from blooming. Look for varieties that perform well in the South.

♦ Divide, cut back and fertilize daylilies now to promote root growth for next year’s flowers.

Fruits and Vegetables

♦ During the fall, be sure to water vegetables adequately; crops such as corn, pepper, squash and tomato won’t mature correctly if stressed due to lack of water. Snap bean, tomato and pepper flowers may fail to develop fruit when daytime temperatures rise above 90°F.

Harvesting guidelines:

♦ Pears should be picked at the hard ripe stage and allowed to finish ripening off the tree in a paper bag. The base color of yellow pears should change from green to yellow as the fruit approaches maturity.

♦ Cucumber beetles, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles and European corn borers pass the winter in debris left in the garden. Remove dead plant material and compost it or till it under. This limits your pest population next year to the insects that migrate into the garden.

♦ To harvest sunflower seeds, wait until the seeds are fully grown and firm, then cut the head, leaving one foot of stem. Hang in a dry, airy spot to finish ripening. Do not store sunflowers on top of each other or they may rot.

♦ Winter-type pumpkins and squash, such as acorn, butternut, and spaghetti keep for several months in a cool, medium dry basement, garage or tool shed. Allow the fruit to ripen fully on the vine, and cure in the sun to form a hard rind. Harvest before frost, and leave a piece of stem on each when they are cut from the vine. If the floor is damp, elevate them to reduce the possibility of rot. The best storage temperature is about 60°F.

♦ Keep basil, parsley, garlic, mint and sage producing by pinching off the flowers. Herbs can be used fresh, frozen, or dried. When the dew dries, cut a few stems, tie a strong cord around this little bouquet, and hang in a cool, dry place until fully dry. Place in a jar for use during the winter.

♦ Don’t prune or fertilize fruits now; it may disturb bud formation.

♦ Do not store apples or pears with vegetables such as potatoes and squash. Fruits give off ethylene gas that speeds up the ripening process of vegetables and may cause them to develop “off” flavors.

Success! An email has been sent with a link to confirm list signup.

Error! There was an error processing your request.

♦ Beets, carrots, collards, mustard greens, onions, parsley, radishes, spinach and turnips seeds can be planted all month.

♦ Near the end of the growing season, pick off all tomato blossoms that won’t have time to bear fruit so that plant nutrients go into existing tomatoes.

♦ Hot peppers will keep best if stored after they are dry. Pull the plants and hang them up, or pick the peppers and thread on a string. Store in a cool, dry place. Wash your hands after handling them.


♦ Autumn is a good time for improving garden soil. Add manure, compost and leaves to increase the organic matter. Before adding lime, have soil tested to determine if your soil is acidic.

♦ Do not spray pesticides when it is windy or temperatures are over 85°Farenheit; and always follow the directions carefully.

♦ Washing clothes worn while applying pesticides is important. Use heavy duty detergent and hot water as soon as possible.

♦ Some pesticides are sold as dusts. Dusts cannot be applied as precisely as sprays and may drift to non-targeted areas.

♦ Ready porch and patio plants to bring inside before the first frost; check under the pots for sowbugs and pillbugs.

Article source:

No yard? no problem! apartment garden tips and tricks for city living …

Limited outdoor space? No place for those potted beauties? Space should not preclude anyone from experimenting with the stress-reducing pleasures of gardening.

From flowering plants to bonsai, from fruits and veggies to shrubs, an apartment garden can be intimate, manageable and absolutely beautiful. With some balcony gardening tips and tricks, you can transform your empty balcony into a stunning garden you will love.

If you are a beginner in this, follow these apartment gardening tips to get started:

Grow plants as per your weather zone

In order to ensure that plants in your garden grow effortlessly, it is important to buy plants that are suited to your particular weather zone. Visit your local plant shop for that because he most probably will have only those plants that will survive in your weather conditions.

In addition to weather of your surroundings, it is also important to consider the weather of your balcony.

Is it shady or receives ample of sunlight? Which floor is your apartment located at? These factors will help you zero down the specific types of plants that will flourish in your apartment garden.

Opt for mixed species of plants

In case you don’t know, there are two kinds of plants; one that survives throughout the year and the ones that survive a season or two.

It is a good idea to have a balanced mix of both annual and perennial plants. That way you can have some greenery throughout the year while you can play with different species in remaining areas.

Containers – drainage is important

Appearance, material and drainage are the three most important factors to consider while choosing containers for your apartment garden. Select containers that look beautiful and also matches with the rest of the fittings and furniture of your balcony.

When it comes to drainage, pots made of porous material are considered a better bet than plastic containers that hold all the water inside the containers.

In case you want to buy plastic pots, make sure they have drainage holes in place to help excess water escape from the soil. Don’t forget to put sauces under drainage holes to prevent water from flowing onto your patio.

Soil based on plant type

Decide on the plant you will be growing and buy potting soil that is suited for the plant.

Usually, an all-purpose soil with some manure is good for most plants. However, some speciality plants may need a different mix.

When buying a plant, talk to the seller if it needs any special kind of soil or any other speciality treatment.

Utilising space

Varying the placement of pots and containers will provide you with more space in the limited gardening area you have.

Using a stand with shelves at multiple heights will not only give you more space to put plants but will also add multiple layers on the garden giving it an enriched look and feel.

Pots hanging from rails and cascading hanging plants from the ceiling will make your balcony garden look lively and fuller.

Automatic watering system

If you are someone who travels frequently, you will have to arrange for someone who can take care of the apartment garden and water the plants in your absence.

If you have a friendly neighbour, you might consider taking help from him/her.

In the absence of any external help, you might consider setting up an automatic watering mechanism for your apartment garden. Also, in this case, you should choose plants that need minimal or no care to grow and flourish.

Your own vegetable garden

It is possible to grow a mini vegetable garden on your balcony. It might not be big enough to meet all your vegetarian needs, but you can still have your organic and fresh herbs and harvest.

Green leafy vegetables are easy to grow and grow really fast. Few edibles like tomatoes, mint, peppers, chillies, parsley and eggplants grow well in an apartment garden.

Add some sand, stones, and affordable accessories, and your apartment garden will look chic and green no matter how small your balcony is.


This article is contributed by RoofandFloor, part of KSL Digital Ventures Pvt. Ltd., from The Hindu Group

Article source:

September gardening tips

courtesy photo


by James Sagmiller for the Valley Journal

We have had a very hot summer this year so watch for spider mites on your garden plants, especially those in hot, dry locations. If you have kept your house plants outside, inspect them carefully before you bring them into the house. Check for any sign of insects or diseases and if you find any, treat with organic pest controls. Watch for slugs and cultivate to expose and destroy grasshopper eggs. Also, watch for corn earworms.  

Another important pest in Western Montana gardens are voles. Wrap your fruit trees for winter with plastic tree guards so that these rodents will not strip the bark. An effective method to protect the root ball of trees from being dug into and eaten, is to plant them using wire baskets over the roots.  Voles cannot chew through hardware cloth or into the new vole wire cages. Caging is a safe-for-the–planet method that works for fruit trees, roses, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Be sure to cover the surface of the ground inside the basket edge so rodents cannot burrow down from the top. 

Harvest peas, beans and cucumbers consistently in September to keep them producing. Late in the month remove blossoms from eggplant, peppers, melons and squash in order to direct energy into to ripening remaining fruits. Cover sunflowers from birds and pinch tomato tips. Cultivate or hoe around cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips and celery. Keep late maturing cauliflower and broccoli well-watered. Plant garlic and shallots and over-wintering onion sets. You can still direct seed a few plants for fall/winter greens: arugula, lettuce, radishes, cress, corn salad, chervil and kale.  

If you plan to grow crops under tunnels or in a cold greenhouse over the winter, plant seed (early in the month) of crops for winter use: chervil, kale, spinach, lettuce, radishes, corn salad and winter cress.  Later in the month, from Sept. 20 to the first week of October, plant seeds of cabbage, cauliflower and other brassicas for transplanting out into tunnels in October. Have winter covers ready by Oct. 1.  

September is a good time to make new beds for growing mushrooms.  Well-rotted horse manure is excellent.  

Gather ripe seeds of any vegetables (or flowers) you want to save seed from.

Prepare beds for planting bulbs. Sow seeds of bulbous flowers collected in summer. Transplant peonies and lilies and dig dahlias after killing frost. Transplant pinks and carnations (with root ball intact) late in the month and plant out any other perennials and biennials where they are to bloom. Most perennials can be divided now and replanted where they are to bloom.

Gather ripe fruit from apples and pears. Remove diseased fruits and “mummies,” rake up leaves under fruit trees and destroy them (to prevent apple scab). Prepare equipment to make cider. Prepare beds for planting fruit trees, using well-rotted manure, digging down 18 inches. Keep strawberries free of weeds and the soil moist. If you plan to force strawberries in winter, now is the time to take them up and pot them. Cut a root ball out with a knife, trim off dead leaves and runners and pot into 7 or 8 inch pots. Place them in shade and water well.  Then plunge the pots in earth up to the rim.  Take them up and into frames or greenhouse before cold weather.

Protect ripening grapes from birds with netting or gauze; keep weeds away from plants. If wasps are a problem, hang containers of sugar water to catch them.  

Trim branches of evergreens and walnut trees, so wounds will heal before winter. Keep weeds cleaned out from nursery beds and plantings of young trees. Lay down grass turf this month or plant lawn seed.  

September is an excellent time to apply an organic form of potash to your garden plants to strengthen stems and roots in order to ripen them before winter. Kelp meal can be applied as a surface dressing and watered in or you can do a foliar spray of seaweed twice during the month of September. Do not apply nitrogen this month as it forces growth that will surely be winter killed.


Article source:

September and second planting season are upon us

The second season for Austin gardeners is here!

In the spring we plant in cool weather and the plants ripen in the early summer when the weather is hot. In the fall, we plant in hot weather, and the plants mature when the weather is cooling.

For many plants, fall is the better choice. With cooler temperatures, they have the luxury of ripening slowly and developing their full flavor without the stress of hotter and hotter temperatures. You also can plant both winter and summer plants in the fall garden, giving you lots more choices.

Usually, despite national magazines and fashion promotions that thrill with the “end of summer,” “nip in the air” and “cool-weather gear” proclamations, September is a summer month in Central Texas. You’ll want to do your gardening early in the morning or in the evening when the temperatures generally fall below boiling temperature. Once you get the plants or seeds in the ground, however, they will be happy to start growing for you.

The first thing you need to do if you had a spring garden is to clean it out. Get rid of exhausted plants, weeds and leftovers. Now is the time to feed your compost pile.

The process of pulling out plants and weeds will fluff up the soil and make it open to the organic material you add now. The spring plants have used up the nutrients you added before planting them, so you’ll need to add compost, manure, organic fertilizer and/or minerals to the soil.

If you are growing your garden in containers, that soil also needs refreshing with perhaps more soil if the level in the container dropped from watering. Add come compost to the pot along with any potting soil you use to top off the container. If you are starting with a new container, make sure it has rich soil, good drainage and a spot in the sun. Ideally, containers that can be moved will start in partial sun then move to full sun as the heat declines.

This is a good time of year to add new growing areas: raised beds, keyhole gardens, container gardens or to transform an area that was once ornamental border into a food fantasy. Remember, food grows on pretty plants and doesn’t need to be hidden in a corner of the backyard. Add an herb or a vegetable to the front or side flower bed, and it will grow happily among the mums and pansies.

Once your planting spot is prepared, the list of plants that can be put in during September is long. Our well-loved tomatoes should have gone in during late July and August, but you might be able to slip a large transplant in now and encourage quick growth with frequent foliar feeding with a mixture of seaweed, fish emulsion and other goodies available in a water-soluble blend where organic gardening supplies are sold.

Leafy green plants like Asian greens, Swiss chard, lettuce, kale and spinach can be planted now. Either seeds or transplants of these can be put into the garden. If you are planting seeds, it is a good idea to plant a few every week or two instead of planting them all at once. That will encourage continued maturity of the plants for a longer period.

Beets, turnips, radishes, carrots and kohlrabi prefer being started directly from seeds. These root plants will mature and sweeten as the weather cools and taste much better than ones planted in the spring. Consider planting a few heirlooms this fall to experience flavor at its best. You can find heirloom seeds at many local nurseries and online. These old treasures will grow happily and taste great.

Onions, both bulbing and multiplying types, can be started from young transplants or divisions. They can be harvested as green onions and used for months or left to mature into bigger bulbs and used later in the season.

Relatives of onions like shallots, leeks, chives and garlic can also be planted now. They are very hardy in cold weather. You can start using the chives as soon as there are enough leaves to cut. Garlic will grow throughout the winter, and the tender young leaves can be used for seasoning before the flower buds (scapes) and mature bulbs are ready in the spring.

Other favorites are best planted as young transplants. You’ll find them showing up soon in local nurseries. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage will all flourish in your fall garden. These tasty and vitamin-packed veggies can be planted throughout September and October and will continue to produce goodies during much of what we loosely refer to as winter.

There are many favorite herbs that can and should be added to the garden in the fall. Rosemary, thyme, mint, lavender, sage, oregano and other perennials and biennials are best planted now. Annuals like cilantro, dill, fennel and biennial parsley all prefer cool weather and provide wonderful freshness for your table all winter long.

You can grow your herbs directly in the ground or in containers, but if you choose containers be sure you pick one large enough to give the plants room to grow. Herbs are vigorous plants that like to spread and sprawl and need root space to support themselves. Give them plenty of sunlight, too.

Herbs are not dainty, delicate plants. They are tough old treasures that add flavor to your kitchen creations. You don’t need a dedicated “herb garden.” Stick herb plants in anywhere you find a spot. They grow well with other plants and look great during the winter when many others are dormant.

Whether you are planting a little or a lot, take advantage of the coming nice weather to enjoy the outdoors and improve your diet and your mood by starting a second-season garden.


Austin designers helping hurricane relief efforts

Liz James Designs jewelry is donating half of all of its sales from the Sam necklace, E.V. earring and bangles to the American Red Cross. Find them in her store at 4407 Bee Caves Road or online at

May Designs is giving back 100 percent of the proceeds from its Texas collection notebooks to relief efforts. The $15 notebooks have the shape of Texas on them, #TexasForever or I (heart) Texas. You can personalize them and choose what your inside pages will look like.

Fashion X holding show to raise money

Fashion X, that’s the folks behind our fashion week here, is putting together a fashion show to benefit people affected by Hurricane Harvey. The show will feature the designs of Samantha Plasencia, This is Sloane,
Daniel Esquivel and Kyra. It all starts at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at the JW Marriott, 110 E. Second St. Tickets are your choice of $50 to $500. All of it will be donated to Houston Texans player JJ Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund, which has already raised more than $6 million by midday Wednesday.

Photographer auctioning Beyoncé photos for Red Cross

Fashion photographer Markus Klinko and Austin’s Modern Rocks Gallery are auctioning off three 16-inch-by-20-inch signed photos he took of Houstonian Beyoncé for her 2003 photo shoot for the cover of the album “Dangerously in Love.”

The auction is online now through 2 p.m. Sept. 9 at Starting bids are $2,500. All the money will be donated to the Red Cross.


Janet St. Paul opens new studio Sept. 21

Janet St. Paul is opening her new hair salon with a benefit for Texas CASA and CASA of Travis County. The Vibrations Françaises event will feature local French-inspired food and drinks on the rooftop of the Northshore building as well as a peek at the new salon at 110 San Antonio St. The salon will be the U.S. flagship salon and education center for Phyto Paris haircare line, a plant-based line. Tickets to the 6:30-10:30 p.m. Sept. 21 event are $150.


Trash becomes stylish at Trash Makeover Challenge

Can you really turn your trash into haute couture? Texas Campaign for the Environment is challenging Texas fashion designers to try to do just that at its seventh Trash Makeover Challenge. It all benefits the campaign. See what the designers come up with and enjoy a giant dance party. $50. 6 p.m. Sept. 16, Rio Austin, 601 Rio Grande St.

Article source:

10 Hacks for an Easy Garden

Time seems to stand still when the stressed voices repeat themselves in my head, but not in the garden; an unplugged afternoon seems to melt away like a fading sun. Gardening is my escape from a hyper connected world of facebook, inbox and scolling instagram posts.  It becomes my inspiration when spending too much time writing behind this screen.  A good garden is coffee time with your thoughts, watching a sunrise, the majesty of a butterfly, or the buzzing of hummingbirds.

Gardener is a label proudly worn, but there are some unpleasent task that can be eliminated.  Weeds are my nemesis, watering is a bane, and chemicals avoided for a life lived well. Simplify is my moto in the garden.  Do something right the first time, so not to repeat.  Quality over quantity are motos above my monitor before writing any garden advice. 

Below are personal garden tips that make local gardening easier.  I know some of the tips are common sense, and some seem like more work in the short term, but together they make for more beauty with less work. 

Feed the Soil – Start with great soil and you’ll grow great plants. Many gardeners only view mulch as decoration. Composted mulch does make a garden look more attractive, but it also keeps the soil and plant roots cool, retains moisture so you can water less often, prevents weeds from sprouting and feeds the soil. Right there you’ve cut down on watering, weeding and fertilizer time.

Many of you are gardening in dead soil and don’t even realize.  The little top soil that was on you property was scaped away by the home builder to make room for footers, driveways and patios.  No living organizims, worms or beneficial fungi remain in the soil.  You will need to rebuild the soil.  

Choose Lower Maintenance Perennials – Make perennial flowers the backbone of your garden that  take care of themselves. Plants like red Salvia, blue Russian sage, agave, yucca and sedums look good all season and don’t need deadheading, pinching or staking. Here are even more low maintenance perennials.

Raised Beds ContainersIt’s much easier to control your garden with definite boundaries. You control the soil, water, exposure and even limit the growth of the plants in containers. Raised beds separate the garden beds from their surroundings. Ideally, lift the beds up by 12 inches or more. You’ll have the benefits of controlling your borders and you’ll be saving your back from some bending.

Insider Container Tip – fill containers with Watters Potting Soil.  This local soil recipe was created with mountain plants in mind.  Plants love the flavor and root deep into the soil without becoming soggy wet.  

Group plants by their needs – I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Right plant for the right spot.”  Put sun lovers in the sun and ground covers where they can roam. But consider how efficient it would be if you put all your water hogs together so you turn on the sprinklers on in one area and done. The same for plants that require a lot of deadheading or vegetables that need a daily harvest. You can still mix in different bloom times and variations in color, form and texture. It’s just the heavy maintenance chores should be consolidated.

Aqua Boost Drip Irrigation – This is one of those suggestions that sounds like it’s going to cost a fortune and require a professional to install, but it doesn’t have to. Here at the garden center we reduced drip irrigation to a tinker toy level. There is an initial cost, although nowhere near what you might think, and you need some measurements. Drip irrigation is far more efficient than any other type of watering. It pushes water deep into the root level. Add an inexpensive timer and think of all the time you’ve saved yourself.

 Aqua Boost Crystal cuts the number of times you need to water in half.  These Watters created crystals absorb 200 times their weight in water that hold moisture at the root leave.  Beneficial mycorrhizal fungi are used in this formula to revitalize garden soil and stimulate additional root formation. A must for raised beds and container gardening.  

Watters All Purpose Food – natural garden foods break down slowly and allow better update for young plants.  Watters All Purpose Food 7-4-4 was created with mountain plants in mind.  It feeds landscape plants better, and less likely to pollute your well and the local water souces.  Because of the slow breakdown of this food plants have time to take up and use all the food, unlike sythetic fertilizers.  Use three time a year, spring, summer and fall.  

Stop using synthetic fertilizers like Miracle Grow and Scotts turf builder products.  These nationally branded fertilizers actually destroy beneficial organisms and organic matter within soil and only provide a short fix. It’s like turning your garden into a drug addict. Once started, you gardens need more doses to get the same effect.  Very labor intensive.

Prevent Weeds – PreEmergants prevent seed from ever germinating, but timing is everything.  I use Hi-Yield Weed Grass Preventer twice and year and rarely have weed outbreaks.  Apply now as the monsoon rains begin and again just after the New Year.  This winter/summer application greatly reduce the work needed weeding. Once bag cover a very large garden plot.  

New Tools – Good tools make the difference.  A lot of gardening is repetitive motion and can be stressful on the joints, especially the wrists and back. Tool companies have created better tools that work with the body.  There’s nothing better than using a new, sharp tool in the garden.  

Photo by Neslihan-Gunaydin,

Garden Carts – How long have you put off moving that cement bird bath, and how many plants are still sitting in pots on your driveway because you didn’t want to make one more trip. Get yourself at least one good garden cart, wheelbarrow, or hand dolly.  They just make everything around the house easier.  If you have a very large plot, consider something mororized. 

Child in the Garden –   Lisa and I have raised four children here at the garden center.  The kids, especially the boys, spent untold hours filling coffee cans with worms found under nursery pots,then released them into the home gardens.  Youthful delight is found in the magic of insects, a vegetable harvest, flowers emerging from the ground, or feeding fish in a pond.  Kids like to be outdoors, they just need a mature gardener to lead the way. Show your children and grandchildrens how exciting gardening is.


Until next week, I’ll see you here at Watters Garden Center.  

Garden Classes

September 2, 2017: The Edible Landscape

September 9, 2017: Gardening for Newcomers

September 16, 2017: Wildlife Bug Prevention

September 23, 2017: Western Natives the Water-wise Landscape

September 30, 2017: Easy-to-Grow Mountain Plants
October 7, 2017: Top 10 Trees and How to Plant Them

October 14, 2017: Autumn Colors Enjoyed at Home

Photo by Cecile Vedemil,

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at or .

Article source:

Irresistible associations: Alan Titchmarsh’s tips on planting hydrangeas

My acquaintance with it began as a child when it was about the only ornamental thing that grew in our back garden, apart from a clump of golden rod and a weedy patch of white daisies.

Passing the cabbages and Brussels sprouts, we’d career around the garden on our tricycles and mum would shout from the back door: “Mind the lone ranger.” Hydrangeas have been lone rangers ever since.

Then, when our girls were small, we would spend the August Bank Holiday weekend with friends in Sussex. Rounding the corner as we neared the end of our trip, the house next door would hove into view first, flanked by borders stuffed with hydrangeas.

It was holiday time at the seaside and the hydrangeas were our first taste of brightness. My memories of the plants are happy ones.

Article source:

Impact Landscape, Impact Design offers landscape, home services

8/31/2017 – West Side Leader

By Maria Lindsay

Impact Landscape Maintenance can improve outdoor living spaces by creating patios such as the one shown above.

BOSTON HEIGHTS — One local business helps customers with improvements to their landscapes, as well as inside their homes.

Impact Landscape Maintenance and Impact Design Remodeling provides full indoor and outdoor construction and remodeling work to customers all over Northeast Ohio. The 18-year-old family business is owned by Joe Chiera and his wife, Kristen, and is located at 6291 Chittenden Road.

Joe Chiera said the business was started as a mowing company in 1998, evolved to include landscaping work, and in the past three years, it has also been doing remodels and renovations.

“We have 50 trained members on each of the teams that can help design, install and maintain anything related to your home or your landscape,” said Chiera.

He added Impact’s landscaping work includes mowing, mostly for commercial businesses, as well as hardscapes work such as the design and construction of residential projects that include stone patios with fireplaces, decks, waterfalls, planting beds and retaining walls. The business also does landscape renovations. He added the business has worked on landscaping projects at Canal Place in Downtown Akron and all Applebee’s Grill and Bar restaurants in the area.

“Our work adds value to a home or business,” he said. “Outdoor entertaining is huge for those who want to enjoy the outdoors or anyone interested in selling their home in the future.”

The business’ remodeling work includes additions such as sunrooms and garages, redoing kitchens and bathrooms and finishing basements.

“We do remodels that improve homes and bring them up to date, make them more comfortable to live in and easier to sell,” said Chiera. “We are up on all the trends — which include lighter and brighter kitchens that make them feel bigger and makes working in them more pleasant. Bathroom redos are also very much in demand.”

He said as fall approaches, demand on landscape work slows and savings are available for many projects, both inside and out. He added now is also the time to start inside work to get it done before the holidays, as well as finish basements to add living or entertainment space for use during the winter months when everyone is inside more.

Chiera stated all projects start with an initial consultation with customers to discuss ideas and needs before creating designs, along with price quotes. He added the company offers zero percent financing and term loans.

For more information about the company, visit To set up an appointment to discuss a project, call 330-848-0036.

Impact Design Remodeling builds additions, finishes basements and remodels rooms such as this kitchen pictured above.
Photos courtesy of Impact Landscape Maintenance and Impact Design Remodeling


Editor’s note: Advertiser features appearing in the West Side Leader are provided as a service to the advertiser and our readers. They do not serve as an endorsement of any company, person, product or service. All information contained in these features comes directly from interviews with company owners or their representatives and from additional materials provided by them.


Article source:

Networx: Kitchen remodel ideas: Myth vs. Fact

My next-door neighbor and I had our first disagreement last night. The subject: Kitchen Remodel: To Do or Not to Do? We live side by side, each in a condo with an identical very, very 90s kitchen design. I would love to upgrade mine; he firmly believes that acquiring a taste for renovation is dangerous, making you crave a new kitchen remodel every five years.

This got me thinking. Seems homeowners believe a lot of kitchen remodel myths, ideas about kitchen remodeling that dont necessarily make sense. In the interest of objectivity, read on as we answer popular myths with the facts.

MYTH: A kitchen remodel isnt worth the bother. Itll just go out of style in five years, anyway.
FACT: Your kitchen remodel is not only about looks: a well-planned kitchen design will make this essential room more efficient, easier to clean, and a welcoming place to gather with your family and friends.

Do be sure to select materials in attractive neutral colors and classic styles for a kitchen remodel thatll look fresh and appealing for years to come.

MYTH: The most convenient time for a kitchen renovation is right after you close on a house, before moving in.
FACT: Buying a house is expensive (probably the priciest purchase youll ever make), and brings you lots of related costs like furniture, landscaping, and so on. It makes sound financial sense to wait a few years until you can afford the kitchen remodel you want.

Whats more, once youve lived in your home for a while, youll be much better equipped to plan a kitchen design that optimizes the available space, and suits your familys traffic patterns and routines.

MYTH: Go big or go home. You must do a lavish, floor-to-ceiling kitchen remodel to get the best return on investment when youre about to sell your house.
FACT: Potential buyers tend to be more interested in your homes state of repair than whether you have the latest and greatest kitchen decor. And a small kitchen remodel will usually reap a better ROI than a big one (80.2 compared to 65.3 percent, on average), says Remodeling Magazines Cost Vs Value report.

MYTH: You will need to remodel everything or the older parts will look shabby.
FACT: An expert remodeler can help you plan a small kitchen remodel that will skillfully integrate new elements with old for example, replacement flooring that is color coordinated with your existing kitchen cabinet doors and wall paint.

MYTH: Quartz countertops are better than granite. OR: Granite countertops are better than quartz.
FACT: Both quartz and granite are top-quality, high-performance materials for your countertops. Each has pros and cons. Do your research into granite vs. quartz countertops and decide which one you personally prefer.

MYTH: The only solution for drab, dreary kitchen cabinets is (expensive) replacement.
FACT: Kitchen cabinets in good shape can be refreshed in any of these time- and money-saving ways:
Repaint with latex or chalk paint.
Refinishing. Gel stain requires only minimal sanding and is simple to apply.
Refacing (replacing only your kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts).
MYTH: Fancy features for kitchen cabinets like pot and pan organizers or pullout corner fittings are just frills AKA a waste of money.
FACT: Installing kitchen design features that save you time and hassle means money well spent. Thats the conclusion of the Research Institute for Cooking Kitchen Intelligence, whose survey found that homeowners biggest kitchen remodel regret was failing to include more organizational aids.

MYTH: Theres no such thing as an eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
FACT: You can easily green your kitchen remodel using these tips:
Replace outdated appliances with efficient Energy Star certified models to reduce electricity consumption. Then recycle the old appliances for parts or scrap metal.

Once kitchen cabinets are removed from the wall, reuse them to organize your basement or garage storage. Or donate them to Habitat for Humanity.

Choose responsibly sourced, sustainable materials for a green kitchen remodel. For instance, wood for kitchen cabinets should be FSC approved. Also, avoid toxic substances, like high-VOC adhesives, paint, and stain.

Laura Firszt writes for

Article source:

Determining your client’s preferred landscape style

Meeting with a new client is always an exciting time because it means new creative opportunities and additional revenue.

However, sometimes your new customers may know they want a new landscape, but they don’t exactly know what they want that space to look like. Or they have a hodge-podge of ideas they saved on a Pinterest board.

While Pinterest isn’t a bad thing, and the photos there can serve as a springboard, sometimes it’s up to you to hone in on your customer’s style in order to create the design they’ll truly love.

The best way to determine the homeowner’s style is to talk to them and ask detailed questions. Do they entertain a lot? What do they like or dislike about their current landscape? What is their color palette?

Make notes of their desires and wishes, instead of trusting your memory. As you meet with the client, explore the space and imagine yourself in their shoes. Good observation skills can also give you hints as to the customer’s preferences. A person’s interior design, as well as the way they dress and speak can help you understand their sense of style.

There are many different landscape styles out there, but here are some of the common ones that your client might fall under.

For those that love to entertain and are a fan of the exotic, a tropical landscape often goes well with a pool. Golden Japanese forest grass, canna lilies and hibiscus are some of the plants found in this style landscape. This space would also have a large lounge area and possibly and outdoor kitchen or fire pit.

Customers that prefer things neat and orderly will enjoy a space that has manicured hedges, straight lines and symmetrical patterns. Boxwoods are often used in these landscapes.

Often clients’ homes are a good indicator of their preferred style so those with a house that is sleek and contemporary probably lean toward the modern style of landscaping that has a strong emphasis on structural elements. Clean lines and unusual materials are often used, and the space is generally designed to be low-maintenance with its simplicity.

People who prefer things to be more relaxed and less formal have several different design options depending on how wild they want things to look. The cottage garden style has lots of perennials, roses and flowering plants while a woodland style landscape has a very natural appearance of how plants would grow in wooded areas.

Often you won’t design a landscape that’s strictly one style, as you will often be blending the needs and styles of several people living at the property. This is just one way to narrow down their many ideas they have about their dream landscape

Article source:

Village Nurseries Partners with Kellogg Garden Products to Launch …

ORANGE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Village Nurseries Wholesale, a specialty grower for landscape
professionals, is launching a new, multi-episode series of videos on its YouTube
. It complements last year’s inaugural 10-part educational
video series that showcased low-water-use plants and shrubs for
designing beautiful and dramatic environments.

The new video series is produced in partnership with Kellogg Garden
Products (KGP) and is titled “Building Life in the Soil: Kellogg Garden
Products and Village Nurseries.”

Featuring Gisele Schoniger, organic gardening educator for KGP, and
Nicholas Staddon, Village Nurseries’ Plantsman, the series educates
viewers about the best Kellogg soils and mulch to use for their
landscapes. It also showcases some of Village Nurseries’ patented and
exclusive plants.

The first video, available at,
is titled “Two Multitasker Planting Mixes for the Landscape Garden.”
It demonstrates two foundational products for landscapes and gardens:
Gardner Bloome Organics Harvest Supreme and Kellogg Garden Organics

Future videos in the series will cover topics such as filling and
revitalizing raised beds, feeding acid loving plants, cactus, citrus,
and succulents, selecting the right mulch for the landscape, building
soil for native plants in low-water landscapes, planting containers, and
breaking through tough soils.

David House, president and CEO of Village Nurseries, stated: “This new
video series represents a continuation of our ongoing commitment to
educating landscape architects and designers about the latest trends and
issues in the industry. We are even more pleased that we could partner
with Kellogg, one of the most respected companies in the entire
landscape community.”

Ms. Schoniger has been the organic gardening educator for Kellogg Garden
Products for the past 17 years providing ideas and solutions for
building healthy soils and successful gardens. In her 34 years in the
garden industry, she has accumulated a wide range of experience and
knowledge: owned an interiorscape company, worked for the State
Department of Agriculture, practiced as a horticultural therapist with
senior citizens and launched an outstanding sales career by helping
establish top-selling organic gardening products. She earned her degree
in ornamental horticulture from California Polytechnic University in San
Luis Obispo.

Before joining Village Nurseries, Mr. Staddon spent more than 25 years
as director of new plants and as national spokesperson for Monrovia
Growers. Working with professional plant breeders, hybridizers, and
explorers, he scoured the globe for new discoveries in the plant world.
He has long been a sought out resource and guest for television and
radio gardening shows across the U.S., and has worked closely with
professional garden communicators, providing information on plants both
old and new.

About Kellogg Garden Products

Since 1925, Kellogg
Garden Products
has been a major force behind Southern California
agriculture, gardening, and landscaping industries. They have expanded
from their original base of operations in Los Angeles County and now
produce and sell organic soils and fertilizers in the western,
midwestern and southeastern regions of the United States. Their products
can be found in home centers and independent garden centers — as well as
in the gardens and lawns of their customers — across these regions.

About Village Nurseries

Founded in 1976, Village Nurseries operates major wholesale sales
offices in Orange and Sacramento, California, with more than 900 acres
under cultivation in growing facilities strategically located throughout
northern and southern California. The company serves markets throughout
the western United States while maintaining four
specialty locations
to serve landscape professionals. For more
information, visit

Article source: