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How To: Landscape « Brackman's Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC
Brackman's Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC

Archive for 'How To: Landscape'

Energy Efficient Landscaping 101

Energy Efficient Landscaping 101

Have you ever sat under a tree in the summer in order to escape the heat or stood behind a wall in the winter to avoid the chilling wind? While it maybe second nature for us to take advantage of landscape or hardscape to help control our body temperature, did you know you can do the same for your home? Your landscape can take advantage of these same benefits, making your home more energy efficient. Today we’re going to talk about some energy efficient landscaping facts and tips!

Energy Efficient Landscaping Facts

  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s efficiency studies show that shading under trees close to ground level can reduce surrounding air temperatures by 25 degrees compared to air temperatures above nearby blacktop paving.
  • A shade tree can save up to 25% of your home’s energy for cooling.
  • Landscaping that creates windbreaks can cut winter healing by up to 30%.
  • Computer models devised by the U.S. Department of Energy predict that the proper placement of only three trees will save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually.

Energy Efficient Landscaping Tips

  • Dense windbreaks such as evergreens can block wind speed by 85%. Plant them so that they block northeast winter winds.
  • Use hardscape and other plantings near your home to create dead air space, which can act as an insulator for your home.
  • Maximize summer shade with large trees, especially  in a way that provides shade to roofs, walls, and windows.
  • Add lattice with climbing vines to areas in direct summer sunlight.  These vines can help shade your home and allow cooling breezes.
  • Use hardscape such as patio made of stone or concrete – it will soak up summer heat and reflect it during the winter.

How energy efficient is your home? Have you ever thought about the benefits of landscaping for energy efficiency? Is your home naturally shaded by large trees or did you have to plant your oaks and evergreens?

If you would like the professionals at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC to help with any of your landscaping or gardening needs, give us a call today at 601-264-2886 or email us at thesteppingstone@live.com.

Posted in: Gardening Tips, Hardscape in Hattiesburg MS, Hardscape Installation Hattiesburg MS, How To: Hardscape, How To: Landscape, Irrigation in Hattiesburg MS, Landscape Design in Hattiesburg, Landscape Design Tips, Landscaping Tips

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5 Tips To Save Money On Your Landscape Design

5 Tips To Save Money On Your Landscape Design

Landscaping improves the overall look of your home and can provide hours of outdoor relaxation. How can you have the best looking landscaping in the neighborhood without breaking the piggy bank? If you love the outdoors, gardening, and working in you yard, but don’t have a huge budget for landscaping, we’re here to help. Today we’re going to look at 5 simple tips that can help you save money and still design beautiful landscaping.

1 ) Use Native Plants – Some foreign plants can be more expensive and may have a harder time flourishing. If you’re not sure which plants are native, ask a expert like your local garden center. Not only can they help, but shopping locally also supports your local economy.

2 ) Time Your Buying – You don’t have to purchase all of the plants, grass, and trees for your landscape at once. Plan your buying around your budget. Likewise, you can often save money by purchasing certain types of landscaping materials in their “off months.” Read more about fall landscaping for NEXT summer.

money saving landscaping tips3 ) Cheaper is Not Always Better – Many home improvement stores sometimes offer cheaper prices on common plants. However, they may not offer the same quality, selection, and service that you receive at local garden centers or specialty stores.

4 ) Team Up With Neighbors – Save money on that DIY project by sharing the expense with friends or neighbors. How? Plan a weekend where you both need to rent landscaping equipment and share the cost. Have a large landscaping project? It’s important to remember that, often times local landscaping professionals can actually save you money and time.

5 ) Use H2O Intelligently –  The EPA has done studies that show that 20% of total home water use is actually outdoor water. Choosing plants that don’t require as much water, as well as installing an irrigation can save water and save you money in the long run.

What money-saving landscaping tips do you have to share with us? Do you compost to save money on fertilizers? Use seeds and trimmings to grow new plants? Leave us a comment below and share your own tips!

If you would like the professionals at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC to help with your landscaping or gardening, give us a call today at 601-264-2886 or email us at thesteppingstone@live.com.

Posted in: Garden Center in Hattiesburg MS, Gardening in Hattiesburg MS, Gardening Tips, How To: Landscape, Irrigation in Hattiesburg MS, Landscape Design Tips, Landscaping Tips

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Halloween Landscaping Tips and Ideas

Halloween Landscaping Tips and Ideas

Does your family like to go all-out decorating for holidays? Do you enjoy creatively landscaping your yard? If so, we’re here to help. Today we’re going to provide a checklist of Halloween landscaping plants and provide a few ideas for bringing everything together. There are hundreds of ways to decorate for Halloween and all of them are not listed below, so please leave your favorite Halloween landscaping ideas in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

Halloween Landscaping Checklist

1 ) Mums – When it comes to Fall, mums are the most popular in bringing Fall and Halloween colors to your yard.

2 ) Pumpkins – Who doesn’t think of pumpkins when thinking about Halloween? Don’t forget to carve your favorite jack-o-lantern!

3 ) Grapevine – Create a Southern or even scary look on your porch or throughout your yard with grapevine. With a little creativity, you can also make some great looking Halloween wreaths from grapevine.

4 ) Gourds – In the video below, you will learn about making shadow boxes from gourds. Be sure to email us pictures of your shadow boxes!

 

5 ) Cornstalks – A great addition in a basket with your other Halloween decorations, or on top of your hay pedestal.

6 ) Pinestraw/Hay – Pinestraw and hay can be used to help craft a scarecrow,  or as a pedestal for your pumpkins, gourds, or other decorations.

7 ) Dead Flowers – When combined with a pile of dirt, dead flowers can make a “graveyard” area in your yard!

8 ) Lights, inflatables, and other retail merchandise – There are several local stores in which you can purchase additional Halloween decorations that will provide some flare or scary elements to your yard. If you decide to purchase these items, design around them in a way that can make them the focal point of your yard.

Remember that landscaping for Halloween can be a fun family activity that shouldn’t break your pocket books. Most of these decorations can be used for the entire Fall season. Be sure to re-use old supplies that you have in your garage or shed such as empty planters by filling them with some of the Halloween supplies listed above. Decorate your shrubs and tree limbs with spider-webs, lights, and hanging ornaments from your local garden center or party supply store.

Many of the items on our list can be picked up from Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC such as: gourds, pumpkins, mums, and straw just to name a few. If you need any help preparing your landscaping for Halloween, the professionals at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC are here to help with your landscaping or gardening needs. Give us a call today at 601-264-2886 or email us at thesteppingstone@live.com.

Posted in: Garden Center in Hattiesburg MS, Halloween Landscaping, How To: Landscape, Irrigation in Hattiesburg MS, Landscape Design Hattiesburg MS, Landscaping in Hattiesburg MS

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Fall Landscaping Tips & Ideas

Fall Landscaping Tips & Ideas

With the Fall months upon us and Summer officially over, how can you prepare you landscaping for the next season? Should you care for your lawn and garden any differently as the weather begins to cool and leaves begin to fall? We’ll answer these questions plus give you some ideas for landscaping your lawn for Fall!

1 ) Prepare for a freeze – While in South Mississippi the weather won’t start getting extremely cold for a few more months, a little early preparation sure couldn’t hurt anyone!

2 ) Overseed your lawn – Usually the word “over” in front of another word is not a good thing, but when it comes to your yard this time of year it can be a great thing. Overseeding your lawn is a method by which you simply sow seeds over your existing grass to help fill any bare patches.

3 ) Mulch your garden – Yes, even in the Fall you should mulch your garden – once all your plants and vegetables have been harvested or have died. Before mulching you should first remove any plant debris and take care of any weeds (they will come back in the Spring)!

4 ) Aerate the yard – Aerating your yard can create pockets for air, water, and nutrients to enter the soil and roots. For smaller yards, a yard fork will do the job perfectly well!

5 ) Trim your perennials – Working your flower beds this Fall will result in healthier beds this Spring! Remove dead annuals and anything that feeds on them such as slugs, which breed in the Fall. Trim your perennial foliage down to the ground which will send the energy to the roots, strengthening them for next season!

6 ) Plant new shrubs – Planting in the Fall?? Yes! Often times planting new shrubs in the fall will give them a jump-start establishing roots in the cooler weather.

Remember that the Fall is a great time to prepare your lawn and garden for the next growing season. A little work now will produce much bigger results next Spring, so pull up your sleeves one more time, crank that mower up a few more times, and prepare your landscaping for the Fall! If you need any help preparing your landscaping for this Fall, the professionals at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC are here to help with your landscaping or gardening needs. Give us a call today at 601-264-2886 or email us at thesteppingstone@live.com.

Do you have other Fall preparations for South Mississippi or other climates such as the Northeast? Tell us about your Fall preparation habits in the comments below!

Posted in: Fall Lanscaping Tips & Ideas, Garden Center in Hattiesburg MS, How To: Landscape, Irrigation in Hattiesburg MS, Landscape Design Hattiesburg MS, Landscaping in Hattiesburg MS

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10 Basic & Essential Gardening Tools

10 Basic & Essential Gardening Tools

 

While you can spend hundred or even thousands of dollars on the latest gas-powered super tools for your garden, these types of tools aren’t necessary to have a fruitful garden. Today we’re going to focus on the basics and look at 10 essential gardening tools. If you are new to gardening, it maybe best to start with these tools, learn how they work best in your garden, then move up to fancier and more expensive tools.

1 ) Scissors – A simple pair of scissors will be one of the most used gardening tools in your toolkit. From snipping herbs, harvesting small vegetables, opening a bag of potting soil or a seed packet, scissors will come in handy all the time!

2 ) Water Hose – You have all the plants and vegetables that you ever wanted to grow planted, now the most important thing is keeping them healthy by watering them regularly. While an irrigation system is more optimal, gardens are often added “after-the-fact” and a simple water hose will often times get the job of watering done.

3 ) Shovel – Before you are able to plant anything in your garden, you will first need to be able to dig a nice, deep hole for them! A small garden shovel will work best here, as most of your holes won’t need to be as big as a regular hole for larger plants and shrubs.

4 ) Rake – Just like shovels, some rakes work better than others. For gardening, a shrub rake will typically work the best as they are smaller and will fit into tighter spaces than larger rakes used for removing leaves from your lawn.

5 ) Gardening Hoe – A gardening hoe can not only remove roots from the top layers of your soil, they also serve the purpose of mixing compost or fertilizer in with the top layer of soil.

6 ) Sunscreen – Being out in the sun for hours at a time on a regular basis can help with a tan, but can also lead to skin cancer. To help prevent any skin damage from UV rays, applying sunscreen before gardening is essential to staying healthy!

7 ) Pruning Shears – Like scissors, pruning shears can serve many purposes from pruning woody perenials to pruning back flowers and fruit-bearing plants. Pruning will ensure you get a healthy yield from your garden.

8 ) Wheelbarrow – If you have a large yard, carrying top soil and other heavy garden accessories can put a wear on your back. Purchasing an inexpensive wheelbarrow can make your gardening experience easier on your body and more enjoyable!

9 ) Weeding Tool – Weeds, weeds, weeds…they always seem to pop-up in your garden and if not taken care of, can choke out the flowers and vegetables that you have been working so hard to grow. A weeding tool can make getting weed of weeds much less painful.

10 ) Gloves – Nothing hurts worse than a handful of blisters. Wearing gloves while gardening can protect your hands from blisters and thistles alike. We recommend buying a pair that fit comfortably, but snugly so that your hands can still be as nimble as possible.

 

Do you have a favorite gardening tool? Maybe a specific type or brand that you find works the best in your garden? Leave a comment below and let us know!

If you would like the professionals at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC to help with your landscaping or gardening, give us a call today at 601-264-2886 or email us at thesteppingstone@live.com.

Posted in: Garden Center in Hattiesburg MS, Gardening in Hattiesburg MS, How To: Landscape, Landscape Design Hattiesburg MS, Landscaping in Hattiesburg MS

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3 Steps to Repair Problem Spots In Your Lawn

3 Steps to Repair Problem Spots In Your Lawn

Does your lawn ever have that ONE problem spot that always seems to give you trouble? Maybe your lawn has lots of problem spots and you’re just not sure how to repair them. Today we’re going to tell you how you can repair the problem spots in your lawn in 3 steps!

brown spots in lawn careEquipment & Materials Needed:

  • seed
  • fertilizer
  • water
  • rake
  • shovel

1 ) Prepare the soil – Remove any dead grass and soften any hard soil in the problem spot.

2 ) Seed the problem spot – To ensure the seeds will grow properly, you can try an all-in-one mix of seed, fertilizer, and growing material. You should water the seeds twice each day until it has fully grown.

3 ) Fertilize properly – Start fertilizing the new grass approximately 6-8 weeks after seeding.

So in 3 simple steps we’ve fixed the problem areas in our lawn with relative ease. Remember: Prep, Seed, & Feed! Of course, you can find all the materials & equipment needed for this project and any other lawn project at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock & Garden Center LLC.

 

Does your yard have one spot that drives you crazy? Maybe your yard is the opposite and has one green spot? If you have any questions or would like to join the conversation leave a comment below or post on our Facebook wall.

If you would like the professionals at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC to help with your landscaping or gardening, give us a call today at 601-264-2886 or email us at thesteppingstone@live.com.

Posted in: Garden Center in Hattiesburg MS, Gardening in Hattiesburg MS, How To: Landscape, Landscape Design Hattiesburg MS, Landscaping in Hattiesburg MS

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5 Steps to a Successful Garden

Are you new to gardening? Maybe you’ve been gardening for a few months without much success – and that’s OK. The old saying “practice makes perfect” definitely relates to gardening as well. If you’re looking to start a new garden, or improve your current garden, follow these 5 simple steps  to a successful garden!

1 ) Crawl Before You Walk – One sure-fire way to not enjoy gardening is to over-burden yourself with an oversized and overcomplicated garden. Start out with a small garden (maybe 80sq ft) with a limited number of plants.

Gardening in Hattiesburg MS2 ) Mulch, Mulch, Mulch – Do yourself a huge favor and use mulch over your entire garden. One simple and cost effective form of mulch is a using a compost pile. If you can’t create a compost pile, use wood chips, leaves, or another type of organic matter.

3 ) Keep Your Soil Healthy – Using compost is a great start to maintaining healthy soil. Organic matter like compost provides structure to sandy soils and softens harder soils. Also try to limit the use of pesticides, avoid walking on the soil in established gardens, and try not to work the soil when it’s too wet.

4 ) Water Deeply – Instead of watering your garden for a few minutes each day, deeply soak your garden each time you water. These “deep soaks” are best during the morning,  allowing leaves to dry out during the day.

How successful were you when you first began gardening? Did you watch gardening shows, read books, or just go for it? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your first gardening experiences!

If you would like the professionals at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC to help with your landscaping or gardening, give us a call today at 601-264-2886 or email us at thesteppingstone@live.com.

Posted in: Garden Center in Hattiesburg MS, Gardening in Hattiesburg MS, How To: Landscape, Irrigation in Hattiesburg MS, Landscape Design Hattiesburg MS, Landscaping in Hattiesburg MS

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5 Steps to Build a Simple Stone Walkway

Would you like to improve the look of your yard while adding a practical walkway? Using stone and other hardscape is a great, inexpensive way to add a little “something extra” to your garden or yard. Today we are going to talk about 5 steps to build a simple stone walkway.

1 ) Design the walkway – The first step is mapping out the walkway with spray paint or strings. This step should also include clearing the walkway itself-which can mean pulling up sod, weed eating, or removing pine straw.

stone walkway - The Stepping Stone Hattiesburg, MS2 ) Lay Stones – Assuming that you have already ordered your stones from Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC, the next step will be laying the stones along the walkway that you have cleared. This works best if you first apply 4 inches of limestone as a base with a little sand on top to help with leveling (see Step 3). The limestone base is essential to help keep the flagstone/pavers from shifting or cracking. Your Stones should be laid about 6-8 inches apart.

3 ) Level the Stones – I realize that not everyone will be this particular, but leveling your stones can be important if they are placed closely to your house. Leaving a slight slope away from your house will allow water to flow away-out from the house.

4 ) *Optional: Install a Weed Barrier & Gravel – Installing a weed barrier will help keep weeds from over-taking your new stone walkway and will significantly reduce the maintenance involved after building your walkway. If you decide to install gravel, I would recommend using a color that is complementary, yet contrasting. This will provide a nice clean look, while avoiding you and your guests from straining to see the walkway in dim light.

5 ) Add Edging – Whether you decide to install gavel, mulch, or pine straw, installing edging will help to keep it in place. For the edging itself, you can use stone pavers, black metal/plastic stripping, or any type of edging that you desire. To avoid tripping over the edging, you can place the edging itself in a small trench, leaving it about 1 inch over your gravel or other filler.

Do you prefer gravel, straw, or mulch? What type of edging do you like? Tell us about your experience building a own stone walkway by leaving a comment below.

If you would like the professionals at Brackman’s Stepping Stone Rock and Garden Center, LLC to help with your hardscape installation, give us a call today at 601- or email us at thesteppingstone@live.com.

Posted in: Hardscape Installation Hattiesburg MS, How To: Hardscape, How To: Landscape, Landscape Design Hattiesburg MS, Stone Walkway

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