734-213-6911 | 4100 S. Maple Road Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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  1. Garden Bed Retaining Wall

    Retaining walls can provide both practical and aesthetic value to an Ann Arbor MI home. Not only can they beautify and protect your landscaping, they are also able to increase your home’s value. However, in order for a homeowner to get these benefits, their retaining wall will have to be properly designed and installed. These walls are essential for properties located on hills and slopes. A homeowner who sees the need for a retaining wall will need to hire an experienced landscaping contractor to ensure that it is securely installed.

    Here are some of the ways that a retaining wall can be beneficial for a lawn in Ann Arbor MI:

    1. They Help to Create Flat Space
    If a part of your yard is elevated and you would like to turn it into a flat space, a retaining wall can help you to do this. They can be used in flat areas of your yard as well, but are most important effective for dealing with slopes and inclines where drainage is an issue. With a retaining wall in place, you will not have to be concerned about flooding or erosion in your garden or lawn.

    2. They Can Be Attractive
    It is well known that hardscapes can be extremely attractive features that add to a homeowner’s enjoyment of their property. Elements like patios, walkways and retaining walls fall into this category.

    3. They Can Help With the Management of Water Runoff
    A retaining wall can help to slow the speed and flow of rainwater as it runs off. This can help to protect your lawn and garden from being damaged by torrents of water. Retaining walls can help to control the flow of water by diverting it to the location that you desire.

    4. Multiple Design Options
    There are different design options for this kind of wall. The most common ones are:

    • Gravity Walls
    These are thicker at the base than at the top and lean back at the top. This kind of retaining wall leans back against the materials that it is retaining.

    • Cantilever Walls
    These single-layered walls are the same thickness throughout and have a base that is connected to a slab. Cantilever walls require steel reinforcement in both the base and slab. The steel extends from the base to the slab so that the wall works as a cohesive unit. In this design, the base is extremely important and must be designed in such a way that it allows the wall to resist the pressure of the earth.

    • Sheet Pile Walls
    These use planks that are pushed into the soil and that are supported by it on both sides. The planks may be made of different materials such as steel, wood or vinyl. In some cases, this type of wall will be anchored with a cable. Having a landscaping company handle the installation will ensure that a sheetpile wall is able to handle the pressure from the earth that it is retaining. Typically, this kind of retaining wall is used on softer soils.

    • Anchored Walls
    These walls use cables to enhance the strength of the wall, similar to sheet pile walls. The cables are used to connect the top and the base and have anchors attached to them. The anchors are expanded in the ground.

    • Counterfort (or Buttress) Walls
    This kind of wall has vertical concrete webs that are installed along the wall’s rear side. They tie the slab and the base together to lower shear forces and the bending movements caused by the soil.

    5. Maintenance is Easy
    Because of the materials used in its construction, a retaining wall requires relatively little maintenance. These walls are often made of stone or other natural mineral products. Aside from stone, other materials commonly used include wood that has been treated to resist moisture.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  2. Drainage Project

    Drainage issues are very common problems for exterior environments that are too flat or that may be comprised of dense non-porous earth and soil. A professionally designed trench drainage system can be essential for ensuring stormwater and runoff is able to be properly channeled. Essential drainage is essential when it comes to protecting your property and landscaping from the damages caused by soil erosion or standing water. Property owners in Ann Arbor MI would be wise to seek out the equipment installation options and other landscaping services that only an experienced professional can provide.

    Common Causes for Drainage Issues

    From homes built in flood-prone areas to outdoor landscaping that has been poorly designed, there are many common causes for drainage problems.

    • Landscaping and architecture design that fails to account for water flow and runoff.
    • Hardpan soil and non-porous surfaces that may leave standing water with nowhere to go.
    • High water table locations and lower elevations that may be inundated with off-site runoff.

    The installation of a drainage system can ensure that excessive water and moisture can be effectively channeled away from any areas where it has the potential to create problems.

    Perimeter Drainage Solutions for High-Traffic Areas

    Being unable to access areas of your yard or property due to standing water or excessive mud and damp soil can become a source of considerable inconvenience. Poor or insufficient drainage in high-traffic areas like outdoor footpaths, walkways and even parking areas can become an even greater inconvenience as it may restrict access to outdoor areas or limit your ability come and go with ease. Trench systems and other perimeter drainage equipment options and solutions can ensure that high-traffic areas can drain more quickly and efficiently, eliminating many of the issues and inconveniences associated with insufficient drainage.

    Protecting Your Landscape and Property

    Poor drainage may result in problems far more severe than than a muddy yard or swampy exterior area. Runoff that is not properly channeled can lead to extensive soil erosion which may damage outdoor landscaping, drown or uproot expensive plants or even lead to issues with your home’s foundation and structural integrity. For property owners in Ann Arbor Mi, trench drainage systems and installations can be an important asset, one that can help to ensure their home and property will be kept safe from the potential damages that be caused by runoff, standing water or the presence of constant moisture.

    Professional Solutions Ensure Superior Drainage

    Arranging for the installation of a trench drainage system through the wrong service provider could be a costly misstep. Landscaping service providers that lack the training, experience and tools needed to properly assess the drainage needs of an outdoor area and ensure that equipment choices and installation efforts are able to be as effective as possible may be little more than a liability. For home and property owners who are interested in ensuring superior results or getting the best value for their investment, it always pays to do business with the best.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  3. a cute bull dog on the grass toned with a warm filter effectWhen winter rolls around, you know that you will not be seeing your lawn for several months. While it is buried under the heavy snows, it is natural to worry about whether it will survive the harsh conditions. If you want it to come through will flying colors, there are some smart moves you can make. Here is a look at five steps you can take to keep your lawn’s turf viable during the winter.

    1. Fertilize Your Turf
    One of the most important steps you need to take to get your lawn ready for winter is to fertilize it. Add a fertilizer that contains nitrogen and potash. This will stimulate the growth of the turf and repair the damage caused over the summer. It will also harden the turf to help it survive the winter.

    2. Overseed Your Lawn

    Another smart move is to overseed your lawn in the fall. This will have a two-pronged effect. It will help to repair the damage done during the summer, and it will also ensure that the maximum amount of turf comes back in the spring.

    3. Take Control of the Thatch
    Thatch is one of the most harmful factors that can cause your lawn problems over the course of the winter. Thatch is a breeding ground for diseases and harmful pests, and it also causes the turf to have a higher growing point. Lawns with excess thatch will have a hard time surviving the winter. If you want to get rid of thatch, the best thing you can do is to aerate your lawn in the fall. When you aerate your lawn, the plugs that come up will contain microorganisms that will help to break down the thatch.

    4. Get Rid of Tree Leaves
    You need to get rid of the fallen tree leaves as soon as possible. If you leave leaves on the turf, your grass will not get the light it needs to survive. There are two ways that you can get rid of the leaves on your lawn. You can remove the leaves by raking them or using a leaf blower. However, you can also use a mulching mower with sharp blades to mulch the leaves. You can mulch a layer of leaves up to 15 centimeters deep without harming your turf.

    a bull dog rolling in the grass5. Mow as Low as You Can Go
    For the majority of the year, you are supposed to avoid mowing your lawn too short. Doing so can damage your lawn. However, the exception to the rule is when you make your final mow of the year. The last time you mow your lawn before the snow falls, you should set your lawnmower at its lowest
    setting possible. Doing this will keep prevent your lawn from getting damaged by snow and disease during the winter.

    If you follow these five tips, you lawn will come through the harsh Michigan winters with a minimum of damage. It takes some effort to get your lawn ready for winter, but it is well worth your time.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks.

    Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  4. Patio maintenance is one of the best ways to make a patio last longer and look great over the years. Preventative maintenance should be performed at least annually for best results. There are many harsh winters in Michigan that can damage patios that do not receive regular maintenance. This can result in cracks in the concrete or damage to the plants. A patio can provide a nice oasis of landscaping and relaxation for homeowners. It is important to treat this area with the importance that it deserves at a home. Here are several reasons that regular patio maintenance is a great value for a homeowner.

    Repair SavingsBroom Sweeping Sand Into Pavers

    When regular maintenance is performed on anything, the long term repair damage costs will be reduced. Regular maintenance can find problems early on in the process. This means that the repairs will take less time and cost less money. A patio is going to have issues over the long term without any regular maintenance checks. A good landscaping company should be able to provide these services for a low cost to its customers. Not only will this keep the patio looking great, but it will reduce the long term repair costs for the homeowner as well.

    Upgrade Opportunities

    There are many new features that are available for patios that were not there just a couple of years ago. One of the best of these features is water resistant film that can be painted over a patio. This can help prevent long term water damage around a patio for homeowners. Water damage is difficult to protect against for many people. Anyone that is wanting to make their patio last longer can have this protective film painted over their patio. Another important upgrade that is available is a non slip finish that can be applied to the top of a patio. There are times during the harsh winters in Ann Arbor MI that the patio will become slick. By painting on this non slip finish, the odds of falling on the patio and sustaining an injury are greatly reduced.

    Choosing a Company

    There are many companies in Ann Arbor MI that have the tools and knowledge to perform regular maintenance on a patio. However, it is important as a homeowner to spend some time deciding on which company to use for your services. Here are several features that a good landscaping company will have.

    • Customer Service
    • Reviews From Past Customers
    • Punctuality
    • Advice on Patio Needs

    When looking for a quality company to use, always be sure to double check that they have these features. A good landscaping company can go a long way in adding value to a home over the long term. Patios will last much longer with regular maintenance, especially if it from a reputable company that is able to provide the latest upgrades in technology in this field. Schedule an appointment today for patio maintenance.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  5. Preparing Your Lawn for Fall

    Gardening JobsOne of the last things you may think about in the fall is your lawn. As the leaves begin to change in Ann Arbor MI, you may be thinking about preparing for winter. However, seasonal cleanup is a must if you want a great looking lawn in the spring. The following are a few things you can do to prepare your lawn for fall:

    Mowing the Lawn
    Many people in Ann Arbor MI stop mowing their lawns in the fall much sooner than they should. Mowing should continue through the fall until you see that it has slowed in growth. The last time it is mowed, the mower should be set on the lowest setting possible. This allows the crown of the grass to get some sun before snow falls, which will mean less brown grass to deal with in the spring.

    Aerate the LawnLawn aeration
    If the soil on your lawn is filled with clay or you have heavy foot traffic on your lawn, you may need to aerate the soil. Another sign of your lawn needing aeration is water doesn’t penetrate the soil very well. If it needs aeration, fall is the best time for it. If you don’t have an aerator, a professional landscaping company is your best bet to make sure it is done properly and at the right time.

    Remove Leaves and Debris
    An important part of your seasonal cleanup is removing the leaves and debris from your lawn before snow flies. Homeowners who fail to do this step are going to find that spring will be quite harsh on their lawn. The leaves will get frozen onto the lawn in the middle of snow and ice and prevent the sun from getting to the lawn equally. Your lawn will come in patchy and fail to thrive in the spring. The leaves will also promote the growth of fungal diseases.

    Fertilize the Lawn
    It is highly recommended that lawns get fertilized just one time a year and fall is the best time. The leaves of the grass may not be growing in the fall, but the roots are preparing themselves for cold months and can use the extra nutrients the most at this time. Fertilizing in the fall will give your lawn a much better start in the spring.

    Reseed the Lawn
    If your lawn has patchy areas, fall is also the perfect time to reseed it. As stated above, this is the time of year that the roots are working hard to prepare for winter and it is the perfect time to start new grass growth. The key is to get it done as early as possible in the fall to allow the roots to get a good start before the first snow storm.

    The seasonal cleanup of your lawn may not be your top priority, but come spring time, you will wish that it had been on your list. Whether you do the maintenance yourself or you hire a professional landscaper, when spring breaks and you see the lusciousness of your lawn, you will be happy you did.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  6. drainage - does your yard look like thisContinual rainstorms, melting snow and even backed up storm water systems can cause standing water to build up in yards. However, there are many negative side effects of excessive yard water. Your local landscaping company in Ann Arbor MI presents the following five ways that stagnant water can damage your yard.

    Lawn Damage
    According to the U.S. Forest Service, flood like conditions have devastating effects on soils and plants. For example, poor soil aeration means that plants do not have access to the oxygen that they need to thrive. This results in stunted plant growth. Excessive water increase acid soils and buildup of decomposed matter that is full of methane and carbon dioxide. As a result, plants, flowers and shrubs will slowly die.

    Tree Damage
    Research shows that trees that are saturated with water will experience poor oxygen aeration and the negative effects of anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria form in flooded soils and are very inefficient at decomposition. The result is that organic matter, such as roots and bark, become slimy. Trees in stagnant water will experience inhibited growth and even root loss. This is because photosynthesis slows down as the tree slowly begins to die. As a result, the roots may become unstable and cause the tree to lean or even fall over.

    Cement Foundation Damage
    Excessive water that collects near your home’s foundation can actually result in costly damages. This is because concrete is porous and water will gradually seep in and begin breaking down the concrete. As a result, the foundation will start to crack, which can eventually cause the foundations to shift and even the house to become unsettled. Ceiling cracks or splits in the inside wall may indicate the foundation is shifting. On the other hand, during the winter, stagnant water that has seeped into the concrete can actually freeze. As the water in the concrete freezes, it will expand and push the concrete out. This will cause seams in the walls and ceilings.

    Contaminated Water
    Stagnant water is often full of chemicals, waste and other debris that can contaminate and harm grass and plants. For example, ground water is often contaminated through run-off pesticides from farms, landfills and other backyards. Industrial chemicals from businesses, lead from plumbing systems and petrochemicals from underground storage tanks are sometimes present. Trace amounts of sewage containing microbial pathogens may be present in the ground water. Any of these toxic chemicals may be present in stagnant water and will contaminate and harm your yard.

    The primary source of mosquito larvae is stagnant water. Mosquito eggs, larvae and pupa all require water to reproduce. Most homeowners don’t know, but mosquitoes easily reproduce in clogged gutters, downspouts and even children’s play sandboxes. Stagnant water with temperatures consistently above 50 degrees is a recipe for a mosquito disaster.

    To sum up, standing water is harmful in many ways. Stagnant water will result in lawn, tree and foundation damage. It will also contain harmful chemicals and result in mosquitoes. Your local landscaping company in Ann Arbor MI reminds you to seek professional help for major stagnant water problems in your yard.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  7. Planting Trees

    Planting trees, regardless of their size, is an art combined with science. Scooping out a hole and booting the tree in is not the way to handle the most important part of this tree’s new life with you.

    beautiful crabapple tree in a residential yard with vivid hot pink flowers.

    The planting depth of the tree in its new location is very important. Trees planted too deep or too shallow shorten the tree’s life expectancy. Trees have roots that grow horizontally, and 80 percent of the tree’s roots are in the top 18-24 inches of soil. That’s a big, fat pancake just below the surface. Some trees have tap roots and others have some deep anchoring roots, but most are almost kissing the soil surface. Roots can grow far beyond the dripline, which is the length of the branches. When planted too shallow, or above grade, the roots that are supposed to grow horizontally have nowhere to go. They either stop at the edge of the planting hole or they grow into the mulch which does not hold moisture or nutrients well for the tree. If the tree is planted 6 inches above the surrounding terrain, that means one-third to one-fourth of its roots have nowhere to go. This is like tying up the front leg of your Kentucky Derby prospect and expecting the horse to place first when the starting gate opens.

    One of the important functions of the roots closest to the surface is to take in air, use the carbon dioxide and make oxygen. This is called respiration. Since roots grow horizontally, respiration for the tree naturally happens. When the tree is planted too deep, or below grade, the roots still grow horizontally, not upwards. Most of the roots stay well below the place they should be and do not get enough air to perform normally.

    One simple check can indicate if an existing tree has been planted too deep. When viewing the lower trunk, it goes into the ground like a fence post goes into a hole. There is virtually no change in diameter where the trunk and soil meet. As trees age, many develop a trunk spread at ground level where the big supporting buttress roots flare away from the trunk. When in doubt, dig with your fingers close to the trunk. You are looking for large roots in the top 1-2 inches of soil. If all that is visible are small roots and no trunk flare, normal respiration cannot occur. The tree declines earlier and sometimes more dramatically that it should. There may be slowed growth or early loss of leaves in the fall. This also happens for trees planted above grade. The tree is not healthy and droughts and severe winters take more of a toll on the tree.

    If the tree was planted above grade and you want to correct it, rake the mulch away from under the tree. Use the same garden soil as what is in the area and slope the soil gently away from the trunk in all directions. Soil goes on the sides, not the top. Rake gently to loosen the soil that is already there, then mulch your much larger planting mound.

    If the soil is too wet and this is the reason the tree is perched on a soil pillow, the best choice is to find somewhere else to install the tree. Only a few trees can grow in wet soils and it may not be the one you chose.


    SOURCE:  MSU Extension

  8. Fall is known for its beautiful colors and welcomed cooler temperatures, and it is also a perfect time to spruce up your flower garden. With the weather cooling down in Ann Arbor MI, heading out to spend time in the yard is an excellent way to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

    PansiesViolas or Pansies
    A wonderful way to add color and texture to your flower beds in the fall is to plant pansies. These delicate but hardy flowers come in an array of colors and varieties. Since Ann Arbor MI is in Hardiness Zone 6a, the earlier you plant pansies the better. Giving the pansies time to establish good, strong roots will help the pansies weather the sub-freezing temperatures of winter months. Varieties that have thrived in the fall and winter seasons in Zones 4-6 are the Delta, Sky, Accord, and Bingo series. A type of viola called Icicle Pansies have stood the test of frigid winters in Zone 4, as well as pansies in the series of Maxim and Crystal Bowl.

    Flowering kale is a beautiful compliment to pansies in your fall gardening. It provides lovely color and vibrancy to any flowerbed. Providing full sun to partial shade is best for this biannual plant. Also, flowering kale can easily withstand the fall months, but with heavy snow and frost it will collapse.

    Another flowering plant which offers spectacular color is Diascia. A periennial in the South, the Diascia is a wonderful annual to add to your flower bed or outdoor flower pots. The colors vary from soft pastels, bright oranges, deep reds, and vibrant plums.

    Once you have planted annuals in your fall flower beds, now you can use this time to plan ahead for your spring collection of flowers. Planting bulbs in the fall allows for a course of cold dormancy for optimum blooming in the spring months. You will ensure a beautiful spring display of color by planning ahead and planting spring bulbs in the fall. The optimum planting time is from September 15-November. Since Ann Arbor MI is in plant hardiness zone 6a, the range of spring flowering bulbs to plant is vast. From wild tulips to any narcissus (daffodil) to the lovely scented hyacinth to the ever-vibrant gladiolus, you will not be lacking in options while shopping for bulbs. Because the fall can be somewhat dry in Ann Arbor, making sure to water the bulbs after planting will help establish a strong root system for the bulbs.

    TreesRed Leaves Of The Red Maple Tree
    Planting trees adds much character to your home, and the fall is the best time to plant. Some of the most vibrant trees in the fall are Red Maples, Sugar Maples, and Japanese Maples. Also, a few trees which put on a flowering display in the spring are Cherry, Redbud, and Saucer Magnolia. Each of these trees are perfect to plant in Ann Arbor, as they can withstand the hard winter months. This time of year is great to plant because the temperatures are cooler and the winter weather forthcoming helps keep the trees well-watered.

    Fall is the beginning of wonderful traditions such as the beginning of school, football games, and fall parties with hay rides. This year, make fall annual gardening, spring blub and tree planting your new fall tradition.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  9. Young Girls Working In Vegetable GardenThe weather changes quickly in Ann Arbor MI, and it does not give much warning to the purveyors who love gardening and farming when it is going to change. Therefore, it is necessary to keep an eye on the progress of a garden throughout the season so that the vegetables and fruits are being harvested at their peak ripeness. The following tips and tricks will help you when harvesting your garden’s crops at the perfect time this fall.

    Why does it matter when I pick my crops?
    Harvesting crops at their peak of ripeness will deliver the best flavor and the most nutrients possible from the foods that you work so hard to grow. Picking foods that are under ripe or over ripe may result in a waste of food.

    What are the signs that I need to pick my crops?
    As the season progresses in Ann Arbor MI, many types of produce can be harvested. Look for the signs listed below for picking produce at it’s best when you are gardening.

    • Beans-Snap and Lima-Pick beans before full maturity when they are still young. Remove old pods to encourage new growth during the season.
    • Beets-Harvest these when the tops are adequate for cooking or when the beet is the desired size (between an inch and two inches)
    • Broccoli-Trim when head is five to eight inches across but still in a tight bud.
    • Cabbage-Cut when heads are firm, before splitting.
    • Carrots-This vegetable can be harvested at any time during the growing season.
    • Cauliflower-Tie up the leaves of this vegetable when the heads are young, and harvest when the heads are the desired size.
    • Swiss Chard-Continually cut leaves off of the outer portion of this plant for continual harvesting throughout the season and up until the frost.
    • Cucumbers-Picking old fruit off of the vine is essential to continual growth of cucumbers. Harvest when the fruit has reached the desired size, but before they begin to turn from dark green to a lighter shade.
    • Kale-This green can be harvested by the leaf or by the bunch. Harvesting after frost may help to cut back on the bitterness of this green.
    • Kohlrabi-Harvest when the stem becomes the diameter of two to three inches.
    • Leeks-At the end of the season, leeks need to have the soil mounded around the plants to bleach them. This vegetable is to be harvested in the fall or the following spring.
    • Muskmelon-This ripe fruit will tell you when it is ready to be harvested. Fully ripened fruit will naturally fall from the vine when it is mature.
    • Parsnip-This root vegetable is to be left in the ground and harvested as needed over the wintering months.
    • Peas-Pick peas before their peak size potential. They can be harvested from early to late stages of growth.
    • Radish-This garnishment can be harvested throughout the season.
    • Spinach-This deep green leafy vegetable can be harvested from the first few leaves until before the development of seed stalks.
    • Squash-Pick this vegetable as it becomes ripe. Keep all dead and old squash off of the vine for plant health.

    Knowing when to harvest a garden is sometimes a hit or miss situation. When doing your gardening in Ann Arbor MI, it is important to know when to save your produce from the throws of winter. Following these simple tips will ensure that you have a healthy and hearty harvest from your garden this year.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  10. English bulldogs and a pumpkinAs a transitional period, the fall season offers a complex patchwork of jobs for the gardener. Some plants need to be prepared for their spring debut, the soil needs to be readied for next year, and some plants still have a few miles to go before they call it a day. With the first frost in the Ann Arbor MI area expected around the middle of October, the end of August is just the time to get started on fall preparation.

    Taking Root
    Many plants have their best chances at being transplanted or rejuvenated in the fall when the air cools while the ground is still warm. The colder temperatures reduce heat stress, and the warmth of the soil allows new root growth to occur. It’s commonly known that spring-flowering bulbs should be planted or divided at this time, but early September is also ideal for planting garlic bulbs in the vegetable garden. This is also the time to dig up and separate the roots on other perennials such as the following.

    *Bearded Iris

    While spring is considered a better time for adding new tree saplings, early fall has the advantage of heavily discounted trees available at many gardening centers and nurseries. After they’ve finished blooming, tender flower bulbs need to come out of the ground and be stored indoors for the winter. The following are among the more popular plants in this category.

    *Tuberous Begonias

    Ground WorkAutumn Fruit
    When annual flowers and vegetables reach their end in the fall, they should be removed and added to the compost pile if they’re free of disease. Otherwise, they should go in the garbage. As the ground is cleared in the garden, it can be prepared for next spring by applying fertilizer. An alternative is working compost into the soil and seeding it with a winter cover crop like red clover that holds the top soil in place and fixes nitrogen.

    Cool Eating
    Most vegetables in the garden are finished when the first frost hits, but some handle it in stride. Summer fixtures like kale can continue well into winter. Other quick-growing items can actually be planted in early September in the Ann Arbor MI area to provide some gardening enjoyment even when the snow flies. Here’s a list of root crops that mature in two months and can stay in the ground until it freezes.

    Some of these plants, like turnips and parsnips, actually become sweeter when exposed to some frost.

    Hardware Check
    Tools and chemicals are also part of gardening. After all the work of spring and summer, bladed implements like hoes and pruning shears are going to need resharpening in the fall. In addition, it helps if they’re given a coating of oil to protect against rust. Also, a lot of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides may have expired in the meantime. Fall is a good time to properly get rid of them.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.