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Landscape Articles

What's the difference between organic and conventional landscaping?

We live in a time when humans have a tremendous impact on the environment with agriculture and industry. This is especially true in developed countries – according to research by the University of Michigan, we would need 5 planets to support the Earth’s current population if everyone had the environmental footprint of the average American citizen.

At Moodscapes, we believe in designing the landscapes we install and maintain to emulate the processes of nature instead of interfering with them. We refer to this as organic and sustainable gardening. The creation and nurturing of an outdoor space that fits seamlessly with nature will enhance the environment around your home as well as your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Our approach to organic gardening relies on a few guiding principles:

How to Prune Plants so They Thrive

Pruning is one of those gardening techniques that many people overcomplicate. While pruning does help a plant grow strong, healthy, and in the proper direction, that doesn’t mean it has to be a complex undertaking that requires a lot of skill and years spent gardening. With that said, pruning mature plants and trees effectively and consistently does require skills developed over time.

 

The most important thing you need to prune successfully is an understanding of the natural form of the plants you’re working on. Below is our advice on how to learn enough to be able to prune your garden so that the plants in it grow as healthy as possible.

Expert Advice for Creating an Easy & Enjoyable Landscape

A common misconception we see among homeowners is that it takes tons of time and effort to build and then maintain a yard that provides enjoyment. Many people mistakenly believe that they don’t have enough spare time to make their landscape into a relaxing sanctuary.

 

While it will take some effort to create and then keep up this kind of natural landscape, it’s not as challenging as you might think. With the following tips, you can make your yard a low-maintenance space to unwind around nature and keep it in great condition all year.

5 Super Easy Ways to Fix a Bad Home Builder Landscape Job

A skilled builder can add features like decks, hardscaping, and other attractive structures that make your home better both aesthetically and functionally. Ideally, you want your home’s construction features to complement a healthy, natural garden. However, there may be times when the work of a builder or contractor interferes with your yard.


Poor landscaping techniques can have a negative effect, but landscapers will often unintentionally damage the health of your yard as well. Here are five simple steps to overcome the problem:

Common Pruning Mistakes & How to Fix Them

With the warmer weather of summer now here to stay in Massachusetts, homeowners will soon start seeing sprouts and seedlings from their early season plantings, if they haven’t already. As your yard grows, it’s important to maintain it properly so that plants can stay healthy and provide beautiful blooms for as long as possible.

 

Pruning, or trimming certain parts of a plant, can help make it last longer and increase its blooms. But we see some good-intentioned gardeners making pruning mistakes that can actually damage the health of the yard.

 

Here are some of the most common mistakes we see homeowners making when pruning their yards, and how to overcome them:

The 4 Best Organic Weed Control Tips Gardeners Love

Everyone loves having a healthy yard that is capable of growing many types of interesting, vibrant shrubs and trees. Unfortunately, the presence of unsightly weeds is one of the drawbacks of having a yard that can sustain plant life.


A lot of homeowners feel that their otherwise-attractive yards are ruined by stringy, snaking weeds that tend to pop up this time of year. In some cases, weeds can actually be harmful for your yard, draining it of valuable nutrients that could be going to the plants you actually want to grow.


But most of the time, weeds are a relatively minor issue. Following these four tips will help you free your landscape of weeds:

Why Won't My Garden Grow? 3 Mistakes According to Mary

Now that we’re into June and the summer solstice is only a few weeks away, it’s time for the Earth to show us its natural beauty in the form of colorful, vibrant shrubs and trees.

Yet we’ve found that this is also a time of year when many homeowners in the greater Boston area are most frustrated with their yard. They expect a lush garden and get disappointed when plants don’t grow the way they want.

Luckily, most of the mistakes we see being made in yards around Massachusetts are relatively easy to fix. Here are the top three reasons we see plants failing to grow, and some quick tips to correct them:

The Top 3 Summer Flowers to Beautify Your Landscape

After battling the forces of winter into the early part of May, it appears to finally be time for consistent warm weather here in Massachusetts! We’ve been dealing with the cold longer than normal this year, which can make it challenging to get your garden ready before the bloom season hits full swing.

The Monsanto Lawsuit - Is Roundup (glyphosate) Safe to Use in Your Yard?

Using organic methods to take care of your lawn isn’t just better for the environment - it may also be safer for human health. This past summer, a terminally ill former groundskeeper in San Francisco was awarded a $250 million settlement from Monsanto, the company that produces the Roundup brand of weed control products.


These lawn treatments use glyphosate, a chemical herbicide that has been linked to cancer by multiple studies, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. Dewayne Johnson said he was instructed to use Roundup 20 to 30 times a day working as a school groundskeeper in a San Francisco suburb. He blames the weed killer for the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he was diagnosed with in 2014, which has made him terminally ill and left lesions on 80% of his body.


Let’s look at some of the data on glyphosate and the latest developments in the Johnson vs. Monsanto case.

Redoing Your Lawn for Fall in Massachusetts

In the fall, changing leaves bring the year’s last few splashes of color as flowers, shrubs, and other plants start to become dormant for winter. Even though spring and summer are the main bloom times, there are many maintenance tasks to do in your yard during the fall. The cooler weather in Massachusetts provides great opportunity to work on the foundation of your lawn.

3 Vegetable Garden Tips for Fall in Massachusetts

Growing vegetables and other edible plants is one of the most rewarding forms of gardening. You get to enjoy the fruits of your labor - literally - with fresh food, spices, and herbs that can be used in delicious meals.


As the calendar gets closer to the cool fall season, it is time to harvest many popular fruits and vegetables. But harvesting isn’t the only fall activity you should be doing to maximize your garden’s return and ensure it is a healthy, vibrant part of your yard all year.


Here are three lesser-known yet important tips to improve your vegetable garden as the weather cools down:

Extending Your Fall Bloom Time for An Attractive Yard - Even in Cold Weather

Now is the time of year when cold weather approaches and spring blooms are mostly gone. But just because it’s not the beginning of the season doesn’t mean you have no interest in your yard to look forward to. With some thoughtful planning and selection of the right plants, you can maintain a vibrant garden with great aesthetics all year.

3 Tips for Fall Season Planting in Massachusetts

With Labor Day now behind us, it’s time to wrap up summer and start preparing for autumn. Though the hot weather is still hanging around right now, before you know it the temperatures will drop and you’ll need a jacket to go outside.


Many homeowners and even some landscape professionals believe that once the warm weather is over, life in your yard will cease until the next bloom season. While it’s true that your yard probably won’t be as active in the fall as it is in the spring and summer, that doesn’t mean it will be completely desolate of plant and insect life. There are still ways you can maintain a healthy, vibrant yard well into October and November.

Reducing Waste and Harm to the Environment Part 2

In our previous blog post, we touched on methods to choose, arrange, and support healthy shrubs and trees in your yard. For this post, we will be talking about ways to maintain your yard over the long run. We’ll also address how you can use vegetation to make your home more energy efficient, thereby reducing your overall environmental footprint.

3 Tips for Conserving Water in Your Home Landscape Design

In a July 2018 meeting, the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force declared that the state of Massachusetts was free of drought conditions. This is a sigh of relief for residents of the state who remember the lengthy drought between March 2015 and May of 2017.


Even though we may not be currently facing a drought, the task force did mention that water and precipitation levels have gotten worse since earlier this year. This fact, combined with lower-than-normal precipitation expected for the rest of 2018, means people still need to be aware of their water consumption.


If you are looking for ways to reduce your impact on the environment, using less water is an excellent start. Below are three tips for conserving water that you can incorporate into your current gardening and landscape practices.

The Top 6 Organic Pest Control Methods for Massachusetts Landscaping

Every yard will eventually face pest problems. Caterpillars stripping leaves in your new vegetable garden and fungus that causes root rot in flowers and shrubs are only a couple of examples of the extensive damage that pests can cause. It can be tempting to use a chemical approach like Roundup to rid your yard and garden of pests, but organic methods can work just as efficiently, without the harm that chemicals present to your family and the environment.

The Organic Gardening Guide to Summer Yard Maintenance

Once summer hits and you’ve finished all of the work you had planned for spring, it can be tempting to spend your free time enjoying the sun and letting your yard do its own thing. While your yard doesn’t need as much upkeep in the summer, you do need to handle some maintenance tasks that will help maintain it for the season.


Here are a few tasks for your yard this summer to keep up that healthy springtime glow until the fall:

Choosing and Caring For Organic Gardening Tools

Soil, seeds, and sunlight may be the foundation for a healthy and fruitful garden, but without proper care and attention, you won’t be able to grow the beautiful shrubs and flowers you want. With the right tools for taking care of your garden, you’ll be much more likely to find success with landscaping.


But just because tools for your garden are important doesn’t mean choosing them needs to be a complex matter. Picking the right type of supplies from the right vendor will not only give you a healthier yard, it will make your own gardening efforts much easier.


Here’s what you need to know about selecting and taking care of gardening tools:

Top 5 Landscape Maintenance Tips

Landscapes that have been properly and professionally designed, installed, and maintained have a pleasing and consistent appearance. Of course the visual will change with the seasons, but it will always be inviting, regardless of the season.

Eastern Massachusetts homeowners that have invested in organic, sustainable landscapes with native plants appropriate to the area do well to employ professionals to take care of their landscape maintenance so as to protect their investment. However it is still important for the homeowner to be engaged with what is going on. Let's take a look at some top landscape maintenance tips:

A Beginner's Guide to a Massachusetts Vegetable Garden

Growing your own food is healthy, reduces your environmental footprint, and can even reduce stress and improve your mood. But before you jump into buying supplies for a vegetable garden, you’ll want to do some planning. Not only will you have to decide what you want to grow, you’ll need to plot your garden, acquire the right tools and supplies, and protect your seedlings.


Here’s a quick primer to help you start planning your garden for the warm growing season:

Spring is Coming: 4 Tips for the Beginning of Gardening Season

The arrival of March means we are just weeks away from consistently warm weather here in the Massachusetts area. While we’ll certainly see some colder days, it’s also time to start preparing for the spring season. Beginning in mid to late April, homeowners in the region can get back into a consistent routine for gardening and landscaping.

Below are four tips you should follow to ensure that you transition smoothly into the warmer season and set up your garden and yard for a fruitful growing season.

4 Tips to Prepare Your Yard for Warmer Weather (While It's Still Cold)

4 Tips to Prepare Your Garden for Warmer Weather


Think you can’t garden just because it’s cold outside? Think again! While you may not be able to put in the long, peaceful afternoons in the yard like you can in the summer, there are still plenty of things to be done to prepare yourself and your garden for the coming warmth.


Here are four steps to help you get ready for spring before it gets here:

Soil Guide for Organic Gardening: How to Ensure Your Soil is Ready for Growth

Soil is the foundation for a great yard. Without the right soil, you’ll never be able to create a thriving outdoor environment that gives you relaxation, attracts beautiful wildlife, and supports the local habitat. Yet too many people neglect the process of evaluating their soil before looking to create or modify their plan for an organic garden.


Here’s what you need to know to ensure your soil is ready for an organic garden, and a few steps you can take to help it get that way if necessary:

What is Ecological Gardening? 3 Simple Ways to Create Environmentally Friendly Landscaping

If you’re in the process of creating a new landscaping plan and want a garden that is not only beautiful but good for the environment, you may be thinking about organic methods. There’s an entire movement focused on these principles, known as ecological gardening. This type of landscaping is based on organic methods and designed to not just avoid harming the ecosystem but actually improve it. This guide will help you understand the differences between organic and ecological gardening, the advantages of the latter, and how to get started.

4 Most Valuable Tips for Installing Drip Irrigation System

Water conservation is important: it helps preserve limited natural resources, conserves energy, and saves you money. A properly engineered drip irrigation system can give your plants the exact amount of water that they need to thrive. With a lot of products available on the market, purchasing a new system can feel daunting. These four tips will help you know where to start.

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