Green Thumbs Up! A Guide to Making the Most of Your Garden

With its variety of microclimates, unpredictable rains and presence of pests, the Bay Area can be a challenging place to grow a garden. Don’t have a green thumb? Read on to learn more about how you can still create a lush, vivid and environmentally sound landscape.

On this page...

Tip Sheet: 5 Things to Consider When Designing a Landscape

How to Manage Your Landscaping Budget

The New Paradigm of Landscape Irrigation

Assessing the Health of Trees Around Your Home

A Natural Way to Block Weeds

Design Your Landscape to Reduce Water Usage

Treating Fire Blight in Trees (video)

Prepping the Soil for Your Landscaping Project

How to Protect Your Garden from Local Wildlife

             

LANDSCAPING TIPS
Tip Sheet: 5 Things to Consider When Designing a Landscape

landscape garden home path flowering tree
Responsible planting means choosing plants that are appropriate for the environment in which you live. 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...
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BUDGETING
How to Manage Your Landscaping Budget

landscaping garden tulips
If your landscaping contractor is willing to complete a project in phases, you can spread out costs over time. Photo: Dinwoodie Landscape Services, 2016

Hiring a landscape company only to discover the design it has customized for your space will exceed your budget can be extremely disappointing. So how can you be sure you and your landscape designer are on the same page when it comes to design sensibilities and budget?
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IRRIGATION
The New Paradigm of Landscape Irrigation

by Jerry Allison, a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor and president of Jerry Allison Landscaping, Inc.

landscaping garden fountain
The ongoing drought conditions in California have prompted innovations in landscaping methods and irrigation technology. Photo: Jerry Allison Landscaping, Inc., 2016

While the ongoing lack of rain has taken a toll on the state’s landscape production and water supply, it’s had at least one positive side effect: by forcing us to adapt our irrigation and planting techniques, it’s given us a greater sense of responsibility when it comes to our water use...
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While the ongoing lack of rain has taken a toll on the state’s landscape production and water supply, it’s had at least one positive side effect: by forcing us to adapt our irrigation and planting techniques, it’s given us a greater sense of responsibility when it comes to our water use. - See more at: http://experts.diamondcertified.org/the-new-paradigm-of-landscape-irrigation/#sthash.PCimADzY.dpuf
TREES
Assessing the Health of Trees Around Your Home

landscaping trees dusk
A licensed arborist can determine if your trees are suffering from any health problems and offer solutions for future care. Photo: World Tree Service, Inc., 2016

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...
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Find a Diamond Certified Company to Help Tend Your Garden
IN THE WEEDS
A Natural Way to Block Weeds

by Laural Roaldson, a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor and owner of Laural Landscapes, Inc.

landscaping weeding natural
If you’re looking for a natural, chemical-free way to inhibit weed growth on your property, sheet mulching may be just the thing. Photo: Laural Landscapes, Inc., 2016

There are a few ways to inhibit weed growth in your garden, but just like other areas of landscape cultivation, the best methods are organic. One such method is called sheet mulching, which effectively blocks weeds without relying on chemicals or synthetic materials...
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WATER CONSERVATION
Design Your Landscape to Reduce Water Usage

lanscaping home front garden
Grouping plants into “hydrozones” will help your garden use water more efficiently. Photo: Landmark Landscapes, 2016

Like any industry that deals with design and aesthetics, landscaping has seen many changes over the years, and one of the most significant has to do with the increasing desire of homeowners to reduce their water consumption. Many people have started to realize that water is a precious resource in California and have turned to plants and landscapes that minimize water usage as a result...
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FIRE BLIGHT
Treating Fire Blight in Trees

SOIL
Prepping the Soil for Your Landscaping Project

landscaping garden chairs soil prep
Your landscaper should know what materials to add to the soil in your area to grow a successful garden. Photo: Samscaping, Inc., 2016

Essentially, every landscaper performs the same work in terms of planting flowers and foliage, but it’s how they handle irrigation, drainage and soil preparation that ultimately makes the difference. For one thing, the soil in the Bay Area tends to contain large amounts of clay, which means soil preparation is crucial if you want your garden to stay healthy for many years...
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PESTS
How to Protect Your Garden from Local Wildlife

by Alan Kostelnik, a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor and owner of Gardens of the Wine Country

landscaping garden daisies
A natural, nontoxic way to protect your plants from local wildlife is to spray them with a homemade solution of garlic and hot peppers. Photo: Gardens of the Wine Country, 2016

In addition to watering, one of the most important aspects of maintaining a garden is protecting it from the local wildlife. While this can be a challenging endeavor, there are several simple ways to deter harmful animals and keep your garden beautiful...
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