"Your Landscape, Our Passion"
PO Box 620 Norway, ME 04268
Mon-Fri: 07:00 - 5:00
08 Mar 2017

Shrub & Tree Care

Shrub & Tree Care

Now that you have planned your landscape project, picked out and planted your shrubs or trees and they are established. Next you will want to take care of them and this will require knowing some of the basics and learning some insider tips will help your shrub or tree reach its full potential.
While both shrubs and trees add texture, color and structure to your landscape. They are an essential component to your landscape, as they create focal points for your landscape and the good news is that taking care of your shrubs or trees is relatively an easy task. Hopefully, you either kept the tags or wrote down the care instructions for your shrub or tree. Whether your plant was container grown or bare root grown, each will have different care requirements and routine maintenance of your shrubs and trees are a key factor for healthy growth. Part of that maintenance includes pruning, but what do you prune and when? Another part of that maintenance is feeding or fertilizing your shrubs or trees to insure that the soil has the proper nutrients it needs. Also a watering program will be needed, along with mulching are just some of the basics. Due to the vast amount and variations of shrubs and trees, we will add more blogs covering various pruning tips, fertilizing and soil care, watering, along with which tools to use for each pruning project.

16 Jan 2017

Equipment Maintenance

Often times maintaining our equipment gets put on hold when things get busy and forgotten once everything calms down again. But we need to stay constant with our scheduled maintenance programs or we’ll soon pay the price for neglecting these services.
We suggest referring to your equipment manuals for the service schedule for each piece of equipment you own, where you will find a detailed item list for oil changes, fuel/oil filters, greasing, air pressures, air filters, plugs, along with other information and hour intervals. If neglected, you will start to notice performance problems with your equipment, along with potential breakdowns.
We have setup a maintenance program here at Durgin’s Lawn & Landscape LLC for all of our lawn care, landscaping and snow removal equipment in order to keep everything running as smoothly as possible at our Norway Maine shop. Service records are kept for each piece of equipment with each being service specific for each piece of equipment, whether it be a mower, trimmer, blower, tamper, chainsaw, or snow plow. We believe, if you take care of you equipment, it will take care of you.

09 Jan 2017

Spring Projects

Sitting in the office on this bitter cold winter morning and thinking about this years spring projects, while searching the various plant selections, landscaping trends, other various products and equipment and thinking about the coming Home & Garden Shows as we head into the 2017 landscaping season.
There are so many plants, shrubs and variations of each, one could spend hours/ days searching and dreaming about which ones plants or shrubs to choose and the possibility adding veggies and creating a edible garden. Will your new garden have a live natural edge, a stone border, border plants (whether annuals or perennials) or possibly a raised box garden, one could even add a decorative concrete border.
Will there be children/ pets to consider when planning your new gardens or landscape projects. Their are so many ideas to rummage through and factors to consider during the planning process, one could be easily overwhelmed with all the information out there. But, don’t worry, we have plenty of time still to search and sift thru the many plants/ shrubs and stone choices during planning process before spring.
We would encourage everyone to get out to the Home & Garden Shows, talk to your local nurseries and garden clubbers for ideas and answers to any questions you may have.

04 Apr 2016

Pollinator Friendly Gardening

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Are your gardens pollinator friendly? We like to use native plants that yield high pollen counts in our garden designs and plantings to help support bees, butterflies, birds.

There are a few thing you should consider when planning a pollinator garden like:

Choosing plants that provide high nectar and pollen counts
A sunny spot, with a water source
Use native non-invasive plants
Use of plants that bloom throughout the season
Eliminate pesticide use

By planting a pollinator friendly garden, you will be playing a role in reversing the declining pollinator populations. Some native nectar and pollen plants are:

Bee Balm, Black Eyed Susan, Lavender, Lamb’s Ear, Catnip, Rosemary, Aster, Coneflower, Blazing Star, Primrose, Sage, Verbena, Goldenrod and Sunflowers.

29 Nov 2015

Using Natural Stone

Ever think of adding natural stone to your landscape, whether a walkway, patio, firepit or retaining wall. The use of natural stone will add character to any landscape, below is a natural stone walkway we put in on this property.

This project consisted of removing the old walkway, which went to an old entry off to the left and creating a new walkway to the new entryway. As we made the cut for the walkway, removing all roots, rocks and other barriers, we tamped the existing base and added a fabric barrier prior to putting in the new base. We then added a layer of stone dust, laid out our stones, setting and leveling them as we went and then swept in stone dust into the joints to form a locking joint.

Tips:

Be sure to compact the materials

Apply a fabric material between base materials (original base and main base.)

Do a dry run with your stone layout

Be sure to wet the project each time after sweeping the stone dust into the joints.

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11 Nov 2015

Fall Lawn Mower Maintenance

mower maintenaceWe all know that if we take care of our lawn care equipment, that it will do a number of things. One, it will not only extend the life of our equipment, but it will also preform better as well.

Here in Norway Maine fall is a great time to get your mower and gas powered hand tools ready for the winter months ahead and in this blog post we will go over prepping your mower for the winter season, so that it will be ready to go next spring.

Clean and Lubricate

First, you will want to clean off your lawn mower by using compressed air or you can use a blower (be sure to wear eye and hearing protection) to remove any debris from in and around the frame, tires, seat, engine area and deck area both top and bottom. Water can be used, but would recommend using air in order to prevent any rusting or getting any water into electrical components.

Once your mower is all cleaned up, be sure to go over your mower and lubricate/ grease all fittings. Also, a great time to remove the belts and turn the bearing and listen for any grinding or sharp noises, while checking to see it the bearings are tight.

If your not sure where any fittings are located, check your owners manual.

Change the Oil

Be sure to change your engines oil and filter prior to putting your lawn mower away for the winter. This eliminates any contaminates in the old oil to remain in the engine over the winter. Once the oil and filter have been changed, be sure to run the engine for about five minutes to allow the new oil to flow thru the system.

Air Filter

Check, blow out and or replace the air filter if needed. Most often this isn’t checked or cleaned and debris will build up in the filter housing, making a nice nesting area for mice.

Fuel Maintenance

Drain and run out any remaining fuel. If you won’t be draining your fuel tank this fall, be sure to add a fuel stabilizer and run the engine to get the fuel stabilizer circulated thru the system.

Mower Blades

Be sure to remove and inspect the mower blades for nicks or any damage and check the spindles while the blades are off for any play. Also, take the time to sharpen and balance the mower blades while the mower blades are off.

Belt Inspection

Now that your lawn mower is all clean and blown down, check and replace any belts with any fraying, cuts or other damage.

Battery Storage

If you will be storing your lawn mower outside be sure to remove your battery and store it in an area that is generally around 50-70 degrees. If you will be storing your mower inside, be sure to disconnect the battery cables.

Storing your mower

If you will be storing your mower outside this winter, be sure to cover it with a tarp to prevent any rain, snow or ice from getting into your mower. Moisture can cause many issues from rust to corrosion.

Again, if your storing you mower inside, be sure it is clean to prevent any mice from nesting in any old debris left on your mower.

As listed above, these tips will help to extend the life of your lawn care equipment and its performance for years to come. If you aren’t able to do these things, be sure to take your mower to your local dealer for service.

09 Nov 2015

Fall Cleanups

Fall cleanups are part of our lawn care services and are in full swing here in Norway Maine and we are working to complete as many as we can before the snow flies.

Do you do fall cleanups, garden cleanups, fertilize or aerate your lawn before the winter months? Removing the leaves from your lawn, along with cutting back any perennials and removing any debris can prove to be beneficial to both your lawn and garden, keeping the potential of disease and fungus from developing. Fall is also a great time to aerate any compacted areas in your lawn, over seed your lawn as well as making any soil amendments that are needed.

 

05 Apr 2015

Planting Trees & Shrubs

  

Planting Trees and Shrubs

Whether you recently purchased a new home or are simply looking to do a landscape remodel to your existing landscape, we have a few thoughts for you to consider as you go through the planning process.

Before you get started, we suggest that you do a little research before purchasing and planting your trees or shrubs to see which would work best in your landscape, like which tree or shrub is best suited for soil, lighting and space.

A few things to consider:

1.) Draw a sketch of your landscape, including any existing perennial beds, trees, shrubs, along with any borders.

2.) Lighting is very important. Which direction is your home facing? East, means early morning sun and shade in the afternoon. If your home is facing the north, then you’ll need to choose something hardy, as the north is the coldest, while the south and west are the warmest.

3.) Water Management, you’ll need a plan for water and drainage.

4.) Planting & Maturity. Remember to always read the tag on the tree or shrub that you’re looking purchase.

Check for size at maturity

Sun exposure and hardiness

Also allow for enough space at maturity and don’t plant trees close to power lines, underground pipes, foundations, walkways or other trees.

5.) Right tree/ shrub right place, remember to choose only those trees or shrubs best suited for your landscapes space and lighting. Some trees/ shrubs like full sun, while other like partial shade.

6.) Maintenance: Planting, watering and mulch are only the first steps in caring for your new tree or shrub. Your new planting will require at least one inch of rainfall on a weekly basis for the first few growing seasons.

If you take precautions during the first three years, this will lessen the long term maintenance. Simply adding tree ring and applying bark mulch will help prevent weed growth, while preserving soil moisture and prevent any bark damage from lawn mowers.

When adding mulch, use 2-3″ at least the width of the drip line and pulling back any mulch that is at the base of the plant, so that it doesn’t encourage any rotting or diseases.

04 Apr 2015

Investing in the soil

“Healthy soil is the foundation of a sustainable landscape.”

Investing in the soil is an integral part of the lawn and gardens ecosystem. A healthy soil provides the plants the oxygen, nutrients and water that’s needed to contribute to a healthy plant. There are a couple of ways that everyone can invest in the soil.

 First, by applying an organic matter, such as compost (approx. ½” coating) to your lawn and raking or watering it down in, to insure that the microorganisms and nutrients get to the soil surface. As the compost is watered in the soil, releasing microorganisms along with a small amount of nutrients into the soil.

The second way is to cover the soil surface with an organic mulch. As microorganisms near the soil surface and break it down, nutrients are released into the soil. The applied mulch will also regulate soil temperature, protecting the plant roots from stress from extreme heat and cold. The mulch will also reduce wind and water erosion and help preserve the soil’s organic matter. Mulch, also helps with water management by reducing the landscape’s need for water by slowing evaporation from the soil surface and decreasing water-hogging weed populations. Organic mulches provide shelter and food for beneficials like ground beetles and toads.

Note: If your soil is compacted, we would encourage you to do a core aeration before adding compost or an organic compost/ mulch mix. Also, you can use loam and we would suggest if you decide to go this route, to use a loam with a 20% compost mix (approx. ½” coating.)