Diamond Certified Blog

Tag Archives: Landscaping

Video: Proper Tree Pruning

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on tree care, including irrigation, disease prevention and maintenance. One of the aspects mentioned was pruning, a crucial maintenance measure that, unfortunately, is often performed improperly. To gain some insight into correct pruning procedure, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Laural Roaldson, owner of Laural Landscapes, Inc.

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Tip Sheet: Five Guidelines for Gardening

Spring is coming – are you ready to grow? Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2017)

Following the heavy (and much needed) rainfall of the past winter, gardening enthusiasts in the Bay Area can look forward to a bounty of opportunities come spring. In addition to the finer points involved in planting flowers and crops, here are some basic guidelines to consider for optimizing your gardening experience.

Plan for all seasons. While many assume gardening is only for the spring and summer, if you plan correctly, you can keep yours looking beautiful through the fall and winter seasons as well.

Remember, plants grow. A common mistake gardeners make is installing plants that don’t fit within the schemes of their gardens. Don’t be a victim of “cute in a gallon can” syndrome—just because a particular plant looks good at the nursery, that doesn’t mean it’ll be right for your garden. Continue reading “Tip Sheet: Five Guidelines for Gardening” »

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Industry Organization Spotlight: California Landscape Contractors Association

CLCA-LogoThe California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) is a nonprofit trade organization dedicated to promoting the statewide landscaping industry and its associated causes. In addition to licensed landscape and landscape-related contractors, the organization’s 3,200 members include public officials, educators and students.

CLCA’s stated mission is “to serve and protect the interests of its members, promote professionalism, and advance public awareness of the landscape industry.” Continue reading “Industry Organization Spotlight: California Landscape Contractors Association” »

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Tip Sheet: 5 Things to Consider When Designing a Landscape

When redesigning your landscape, it's important to consider practical as well as aesthetic aspects. Photo: Jerry Allison Landscaping, Inc.

When redesigning your landscape, it’s important to consider both practical and aesthetic aspects. Photo: Jerry Allison Landscaping, Inc. (2016)

Redesigning your landscape is a great way to enhance both the beauty of your home and the enjoyment of your outdoor living space. However, according to Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Jerry Allison, to ensure a good result, you’ll need to take several practical considerations into account, including the following: Continue reading “Tip Sheet: 5 Things to Consider When Designing a Landscape” »

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Diamond Certified Experts: Crucial Aspects of Landscape Maintenance

Indoor home maintenance is crucial, but it’s also important to maintain your exterior property. Photo: Dana Lund Landscaping (2015)

Indoor home maintenance is crucial, but it’s also important to maintain your exterior property. Photo: Dana Lund Landscaping (2015)

While it’s smart to be proactive about indoor home maintenance, keeping up with your exterior property is equally important. We asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in on aspects of landscaping where maintenance matters most.

Seasonal garden preparation: Michael Moore of Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc.

To keep your garden looking its best all year long, swap out the previous season’s plants for current varietals. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2015)

To keep your garden looking its best all year long, swap out the previous season’s plants for current varietals. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2015)

A crucial part of garden maintenance is swapping out annual plant varieties in conjunction with the changing seasons, which can be done in a few simple steps. First, remove the outgoing annuals and prepare the bed for incoming plants by adding fertilizer and new soil to provide fresh nutrients. Next, install your plants. Remember to arrange them with the tallest in back and shortest in front to optimize sunlight exposure. When planting fall annuals, it’s also a good time to pre-plant spring bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocus, as they take several months to germinate. Once all the plants are situated, give the entire bed a light soaking. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Crucial Aspects of Landscape Maintenance” »

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Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2014

There were a lot of great Diamond Certified Tips in 2014, but the following six are particularly noteworthy for the practical information they provide for Bay Area consumers. Visit www.facebook.com/diamondcertified for many more helpful tips in 2015!

1. Window maintenance
If your property has hard water, be sure to aim lawn sprinklers away from your home’s windows. Over time, the constant barrage of hard water can cause windows to become permanently stained, requiring special chemicals for removal. As a proactive measure, routinely treat your windows with a silicone sealant—it’ll repel rain and other sources of water.

2. House painting
When choosing exterior house paint, avoid excessive use of dark colors—they’re more susceptible to fading, particularly in areas with lots of sunlight exposure. In contrast, by going with light or medium tones, your house’s paint is more likely to look fresh and vibrant for a longer period of time. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2014” »

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Turn, Turn, Turn: Commencing the Winter Wind-Down in Your Bay Area Garden

Most Bay Area residents enjoy the year-round temperate climate, but it’s gardening enthusiasts who reap some of the greatest benefits. In addition to having an exceptionally broad horticultural palette from which to draw, local gardeners have the advantage of an extended timeline in which to grow and harvest. Even when midwinter temperatures eventually put the freeze on the bulk of gardening activities, there are numerous ways for gardeners to stay productive. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your garden during the winter season:

Despite the cold temperatures, there are several ways for gardeners to stay productive throughout the winter. Photo: Hansen Landscape Contractor (2014)

Despite the cold temperatures, there are several ways for gardeners to stay productive throughout the winter. Photo: Hansen Landscape Contractor (2014)

Keep harvesting winter-friendly crops. While most crops go into dormancy once the cold weather settles in, there are several that continue to produce. This includes root vegetables like carrots, radishes, beets and onions; cole crops like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts; and leafy greens like lettuces, spinach and chard. Continue reading “Turn, Turn, Turn: Commencing the Winter Wind-Down in Your Bay Area Garden” »

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Spring Garden Maintenance

Everyone knows about “spring cleaning,” but not many people know that the term applies to gardens as well as houses. By taking a few preparatory measures, you can ensure your garden and its systems will be healthy and functioning properly all season long.

Take simple steps to prepare your garden for the spring. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2014)

Take simple steps to prepare your garden for the spring. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2014)

The first thing to do is inspect your irrigation systems. By the end of winter, your sprinkler and drip systems will have been inactive for several months, during which time debris may have accumulated in the apertures. Continue reading “Spring Garden Maintenance” »

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Assessing the Health of Trees Around Your Home

You might not realize it, but your home may be a target if it’s bordered by tall trees. Every year, falling trees account for millions of dollars of damages to homes in the United States. For this reason, if you’re unsure about the condition of a tree near your home, it’s a good idea to have its health evaluated. While a DIY examination is no substitute for the expertise of a licensed arborist, there are various signs and symptoms you can look for to assess the health of a tree.

To better ensure home safety, it’s important to assess the health of nearby trees. Photo: Ponderosa Tree Service (2013)

To better ensure home safety, it’s important to assess the health of nearby trees. Photo: Ponderosa Tree Service (2013)

First, look for visible indications of the tree’s overall health. Signs of good health include full growth; vibrant leaves; and strong, contiguous trunk bark. In contrast, signs such as sparse or stunted growth; discolored, withered or spotted leaves; and fragmented or peeling bark may be outward manifestations of ill health. Continue reading “Assessing the Health of Trees Around Your Home” »

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A Proven Erosion Control Technique

Many people don’t address the erosion problems on their properties. Either they don’t see them, or they don’t understand the process, according to Mark Soiland, President of Soiland Co., Inc., a Diamond certified company. “Erosion is simply water that picks up volume, and therefore velocity, in storm events. It can cause major property damage.” Adding rocks is a good solution for many situations. Rocks of different sizes can slow down the erosive nature of water, as it picks up both volume and velocity. The rocks will also help stabilize the ground underneath. “In order to prevent erosion, you have to stop the water at its starting point,” says Mr. Soiland. “It’s a function of channeling or dissipating the water and getting it to not cause any damage while it moves to where it needs to go to get into our streams.”

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