September 28th, 2015

When Artificial Grass Is The Best Option


In 1966 the Astros and Dodgers played the first baseball game on an artificial surface, officially named AstroTurf, the first incarnation of artificial grass. Since then its use has moved from sports grounds to gardens worldwide, seen as a way of having long lasting, low maintenance green grass in any climate. Here are two of the most popular uses of artificial grass over the past decade:

1. Areas of Drought

California has been facing the longest drought in its history – 4 years with no rain in some parts, forcing residents to water their gardens weekly just to keep the grass in their gardens alive, and with the average patch of American grass requiring 45,000 litres of water a year, this has led to water restrictions across California and penalties for misuse.

So what’s the solution to a garden full of dead grass?

Native plants

Some have suggested gardens should be covered by native plants that are accustomed to the landscape and require very little water to survive – namely cactus. The main advantage for this landscape is no water and no maintenance.

Unfortunately native plants have their downsides – if you want to play football with your kids, let your dog roam around or even just lay down in your own garden you will struggle with a garden covered in desert plants, particularly cactus.

Artificial Grass

Whilst not native to the landscape but boasting the same advantages, artificial grass is the best alternative for many in California. For a start well-made artificial grass is perfectly safe for kids, dogs and other pets.

Artificial grass also doesn’t need water or fertiliser which means celebrities in LA can avoid the PR shame of having their extensive gardens seen hogging water, whilst non celebs can cut back on the hiking water costs and maintain an element of the American dream – green grass.

2. For Those Without The Time, Effort Or Ability To Care To Their Lawns

A beautiful lawn needs to be carefully nurtured. In the summer lawns need to be regularly mowed and watered with fertilizing in spring and autumn – that requires time, effort and ability that many don’t have. Caring for your grass also requires tools including a lawnmower, strimmer, fertiliser and a hose just so the grass stays alive.

For those of us who don’t have the time, the effort or the ability to maintain grass there is a solution – artificial grass. Modern artificial grass looks and feels more natural than ever before and importantly this near perfect look takes decades to change – no mowing, no watering and no fertilizing as artificial grass maintenance is quick and easy in only a few steps.

If you have any questions or would like any more information about artificial grass, head over to and we’ll be happy to help.


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September 22nd, 2015

The time to plant or replant perennials

TheGardenLady received this question about planting and transplanting perennials, in particular hostas:

I live in southern Alberta. Can I move perennial plants now (sept 18)? I would also like to move some hostas.

The Fall is the best time to plant or transplant many perennials. You can plant or transplant plants up to 6 weeks before the first killing frost is expected in your area. Generally the Fall is the best time to transplant trees, shrubs and perennials and you have the added bonus of being able to buy plants on sale at this time of year. A Fall planting guide for Canada is this.

Hostas are forgiving plants and can be planted any time of the year when the ground is not frozen. Most books say that the best time to plant or replant Hostas is in the spring as soon as the soil is workable. This spring planting is for your benefit. Hostas like moisture, so if you plant or transplant them in the spring you have nature doing the watering for you. However, that being said, in Alberta, Canada you can plant Hostas now if the ground is still workable and if you are not getting a frost for 6 weeks – Hostas and other perennials need that time for the roots to get established. Just be sure that you plant your hostas in well draining soil where there is a lot of moisture so that the roots do not dry out.

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September 18th, 2015

VIDEO: 19 Beautiful Barn Photos To Celebrate Fall

One of our favorite fall activities? Meandering through the countryside on a lazy Sunday to take in the beauty of all the changing leaves. To celebrate the arrival of autumn, we’ve compiled a virtual tour of some stunning country barns and fall leave

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September 18th, 2015

VIDEO: 7 Things Pro Landscapers Do To Their Yards Every Fall

Just because winter is coming, doesn’t mean the yard work’s done.

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September 11th, 2015

VIDEO: How to make supermarket flowers look like a professional arrangement

Taylor Patterson, founder of flower design studio Fox fodder Farm, shows how to build a gorgeous bouquet out of supermarket flowers.

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September 4th, 2015

Avocado Tree Problems

TheGardenLady received this question from Larry about his avocado tree:

My tree is 7 years old and is now bearing fruit. There are many avocados that are turning black and are falling off. We’re in California near the coast in Arroyo Grande. I water my tree twice a week. Most of the fruit looks great, but I’m concerned about the black ones that are dying?

Fruit trees in general often have problems that may be beyond a home owner’s ability to manage.  Often fruit trees need to be sprayed and some of the sprays are toxic.  One horticulturist I know does not believe home owners should even waste their time raising fruit trees in the home garden and should leave this job to the professionals. That being said and not seeing your avocado problem, I am guessing that your tree has a fungus. I am not saying this because I know for certain, but “Fungus is the most serious avocado disease in California.” Here is a chart of some of the problems avocados can get.  Since that is my educated guess, it is still a guess so I would not want to diagnose any problem without seeing your tree or its fruit. Read this:

“Fungus thrives in excess soil moisture. Over‐irrigation and poor drainage can by your problem because you are growing the plant in a pot. The fungus may attack trees of any size or age. Your plant may have an absence of feeder roots that prevents moisture uptake so soil under diseased trees stays wet.”

What I suggest is that you go online or call the California Avocado Comm or (949) 341-1955 from the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m to see if they will diagnose the problem and recommend how to treat your tree.

Or take a good sized sample of your avocado fruit to your local Master Gardener office and ask them for their diagnosis and recommended treatment. Each California county has a Master Gardener office.  One such county has this site. Visits to these sites are usually free.

September 3rd, 2015

VIDEO: Three Trillion Trees in the World, Says New Report

There are just over three trillion trees in the world—more than previously thought—according to a census of global forestation.

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September 3rd, 2015

VIDEO: Make dipped pots with this colorful DIY

Whether you’re planting herbs, succulents or flowers, bring your plants to life with this easy DIY project for pots.

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August 31st, 2015

VIDEO: How to make and use compost in your garden

How does your garden grow? A lot better if the soil is enriched with compost from your own compost pile. Scott Meyer, editor of Organic Gardening magazine, shows how to make and use compost.

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August 31st, 2015

VIDEO: How Astronauts Grow Plants In Space – DNews

Recently, astronauts were able to grow and eat lettuce in space! How was this possible?

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