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    Bzak Landscaping Blog

    Got Mulch? Why Mulching is so Important.

    by Administrator 9. July 2018 11:50

    To mulch or not to mulch? That is the question. And it’s a great question at that. We hear it all of the time and are hoping that this question will be answered. Mulch, in general, is always a good idea. But why? Read on the see the full picture.

    Mulch helps with temperature control

    Mulch can actually help to insulate the soil in your garden and flower beds. It serves as a buffer from hot and cold temperatures. It keeps roots consistently cool in the hot summer months and warmer in the early cool months. Without mulch plants can sometimes be exposed to extreme temperatures which is never good thing for delicate plants.

    Mulch regulates water

    Mulch is a great retainer of water which can help keep the roots moist. In fact, mulch can actually retain up to 70% more water in soil than a bed that is un-mulched. Because mulch creates a shield from the sun it can prevent evaporation. It can also help reduce water run-offs during rainy days or during water.

    Mulch promotes overall soil health

    Natural mulch vastly boosts biological activity in the soil by providing organisms and worms with food while stopping nutrients from leaching out of the soil. It can also help to bind sandier soils and open up hard clay soils. Erosion can sometimes be a problem from foot traffic on pathways and play areas and mulch helps prevent this.

    It looks great!

    At the end of the day mulch just looks great! Mulch helps to give your lawn and garden areas a clean and polished look. And because there are so many types and colors of mulch you can customize the mulched areas to your exact design style and preference!

    Learn more about mulch

    We have a bunch of useful tools on our site that can help you get your lawns mulched in no time. Tools like our bulk material calculator, the types of mulches we carry, tutorials on the best ways to mulch and even info on how much your vehicle will be able to carry. Plus, more information to get you going. You can also call us directly for more information about anything related to mulch. 

    Tags:

    lawn care | mulch

    No Sun? No Problem! Here are 10 Flowers that Grow in Full Shade or Part Shade

    by Administrator 15. May 2018 11:43

    You may be under the assumption that all flowers need as much sunlight as possible in order to survive and thrive. While this is true for the majority of flowering plants that doesn’t mean there aren’t plants that prefer shadier environments over constant sunlight. These flowers are perfect for the parts of your home that receive little to zero sunlight throughout the day. Let’s take a look at the flowers that prefer darkness over sunlight, below.

    What Is Considered Full Shade And Part Shade?

    The definition of what is considered full shade or part shade has a lot of wiggle room in that everyone’s measurements can vary a little bit. But for the most part everyone can agree loosely on the hours below:

    Full Sun: 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day.

    Part Shade: 3-6 hours of sun exposure per day.

    Full Shade: Less than 3 hours of direct sun light per day.

     

    Flowers That Grow Well In Part Shade

     

    Bigleaf Hydrangeas

    Commonly regarded for its large flowers and dense foliage the Bigleaf Hydrangea performs well with early morning sun and then shade in the afternoon hours.


                                                                                                                                                    

    Violets

    Violets are native to the Northern Hemisphere where the climate is more temperate so they are perfect for slightly shaded areas around the home.


                                                                                                                                                   

    Fuchsia

    These beautiful flowering shrubs are typically seen in hanging baskets. This makes Fuchsia great for back patios and decks.


                                                                                                                                                   

    Anemone

    There are many types of Anemone that can grow blue, pink, or white daisy-esque flowers.


                                                                                                                                                   


    Cardinal Flower

    Named for the vivid red coloring of a Roman Catholic cardinal’s robe gives this tall spiky flower an intense blossom.


    Flowers That Grow Well In Full Shade

    Impatiens

    One of the most common and readily available full shade plants, the Impatiens always put on an impressive and visual floral display. They are also relatively inexpensive.


    White Bleeding Hearts

    With a flower that sounds exactly like it’s name these heart shaped flowers are marvelous to look at and because they’re perennial you can expect to see them every Spring.


    Forget-Me-Nots

    Coming in shades of blue, pink, and white Forget-Me-Nots perform well in moist woodland areas.


    Tuberous Begonias

    It’s hard to go wrong with tuberous begonias when working in a shady garden area. They’re big and lush and have continuous rose-like flowers blooming from mis-summer all the way to frost.


    Wishbone Flower

    This small bushy annual is prime for shady conditions. It blooms lilac-blue flowers and has deep purples and yellows.

     

    Your local nursery or garden center usually carries multiple verities of flowers that can perform admirably in shady areas of your home or apartment. Simply ask an employee what they have and/or would recommend for your shady areas and they can point you in the right direction. At Bzak’s Garden Center we’re often referred to as “the usual place to find the unusual”. And as the largest garden supply store in Cincinnati you can guarantee that we’ll have everything you’d need for your garden, making us a one stop solution for all of your gardening needs. Find the location that is closest to you.

    You can also find a list of 7 more plants and flowers that grow well in the shade that we wrote about way back in 2013.

    Tags:

    flowers | gardening

    5 Things You Can Do In Early Spring To Prepare Your Garden For Summer

    by Administrator 26. March 2018 14:39

     

    Spring has finally sprung here in Cincinnati! While the weather may not feel very Spring-like yet you can rest assured that warmer temperatures are on the horizon. It’s our favorite time of the year in fact! Garden season! A common misconception about Winter time and early Spring is that there isn’t much that you can do to prepare your garden for the Summer months. Not so! There are quite a number of things that you can be doing to get a head start this Spring. Here are five things that you can start doing right now to prepare you garden for Summer.

     

    1. Pull out and prepare your garden tools

     

    Now is the perfect time to get your tools in order. Find everything that you are going to need for the Summer and get them ready for when the time comes.

     

    • Terra cotta pots: These have probably been sitting for quite some time, and maybe even with soil still in them. Find a large container and soak these in a vinegar and water solution for about 30 minutes. This will help loosen any residue that may be lining the inside of the pot. Then you can wash them with soap and water to get any remaining grime.

     

    • Shovels and hoes: Inspect these thoroughly for rust. You can clean metal portions of the tools using linseed oil and a wire brush. If any wood handles have cracks or are splintered use sandpaper to smooth out and then finish with linseed oil to prevent further deterioration. 

     

    • Pruners and Shears: Use castile soap (soap made with olive oil and sodium hydroxide) and water with a where brush to clean the metal portion of the shears. It is now also a great time to sharpen these tools. Sharpening will help prevent crushing plants stems which can cause disease. 

     

    2. Create a composting area

     

    Composts are great for many reasons. For one, composts provide you with fertilizer that is much more economically feasible than having to buy it from the store. Simply throw you food scraps into the compost, let nature do its thing and when you need it it’ll be ready for you. Composted items provide extremely nutrient rich and organic fertilizer when used in your garden. Another benefit of compost fertilizer is that soil requires much less water to feed the plants than it would with soil that doesn’t have composted fertilizer. Another bill saver. If you don’t have a compost area yet watch this short video on how to get started, "How To Build A Compost Pile".

    3. Clear up garden beds

     

    Now that your compost is all set up you can start clearing out the old gunk from last year. Hunt down those early weeds that may be popping up. Be sure to go down as far as the root goes to insure that these weeds won’t crop back up later on in the season. You can also start to clear out dead plant matter from the previous year. Some plants leave more remnants than others. As you are clearing out this debris make sure you are tossing everything into your compost that you just made so you can use it as fertilizer later on in the year.

     

    4. Start eliminating garden pests

     

    If you’ve ever done any amount of gardening in your lifetime then you know that pests are one of the biggest concerns of any healthy garden. It’s never too early to take some action against these pesky critters. You must remember however that not all pests are bad for your garden. If you are interested in seeing which pests are good and which are bad, as well as some great organic and inorganic remedies you can read about that here.

     

    5. Start prepping your soil

     

    Prepping your soil is a great way to stay ahead of the game. You want to get that soil as prepared as possible for when the time comes to start planting. If you already had a compost going during the winter you can start to toss in some of that during the Spring temperatures. Or you can also use your synthetic fertilizers as well as grass clippings. Another thing that you can do is to lay a layer of mulch over your beds. Mulch can be made with a variety of organic products that can help inject even more nutrients into the soil below it.

     

    Bonus Tip: Start planting indoors first

     

    Some types of vegetables can actually be started planting indoors first before moving them outdoors. This requires some planning and predictions. It is recommended to start the plants indoors about two weeks before the predicted last frost. Things like broccoli, some lettuces, onions, and tomatoes can all be started indoors before moving them outside.

     

    Get your garden even more prepared for Summer

     

    While these are just a few things that you can start now to prepare yourself for the Summer they certainly aren’t the only things that can help you get a jump start on your garden. Our website has countless resources for any situation or question you may have. Of course, our staff is very experienced and educated in any type of gardening related issue that you may be having and are always ready at any of our locations to help out. Drop us a line or visit us for any questions you may have! Happy gardening!

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    The 5 Rules of Snow Removal in Cincinnati

    by Administrator 27. January 2017 13:23

    The only predictable part of Cincinnati weather is its unpredictability.

    Winter is the prime example of this. Snow can appear overnight during the colder months, leaving a blanket of crunchy, slick, and potentially dangerous ice on the ground, surrounding your home or business. Snow knows no bounds and it can easily overtake your car, roof, walkways, driveway, or any of the curvy, hilly roads in our city.

    While the image of a pristine blanket of snow covering the city may make for pleasant fantasy, there are – more often than not – times when snow is just a downright nuisance. Don’t get stuck at home. Snow is not only inconvenient for when you need to drive to work or when you need to run to the grocery store, it can also be extremely dangerous.

    Regain control over unpredictable winters. Here are the 5 rules of snow removal from your experts here at Bzak.

    1. Be Prepared

    Dress accordingly. Protect yourself from the freezing temperatures by layering up and wearing the proper protective coats, gloves, and books.

    Have the proper equipment. You will need reliable snow shovels and an adequate amount of salt for the sidewalks in front of your property. Of course, these need to be purchased in advance of an emergency. After all, you won’t be able to go to the store if snow has trapped you indoors or if roads are too dangerous to drive on.

    2. Be Thorough

    Shovel early and often. It’s best to shovel in intervals versus several inches of snow at once. It might seem lightweight as it floats to the ground, but the accumulation of snow builds quickly and can be a strain on your back.

    3. Be Safe

    Avoid extreme cold and ice. Safety needs to be your number one priority at all times – no exceptions. If you’re wearing multiple layers of protective clothing and feel like you’re out in the cold in nothing but a t-shirt, you need to go inside. And, of course, you need to watch for ice at all times in order to avoid any slips or potential injuries.

    Pace yourself. Even if you consider yourself to be in good shape, keep in mind that extreme cold and the demands of manual labor are two types of stress that our bodies don’t experience at any other time in the year. If these two factors didn’t already make snow shoveling a dangerous activity, it’s easy to overestimate your ability to do the work. Make sure to pace yourself and avoid pushing yourself unnecessarily. If you feel exhausted, take a break and resume shoveling after some time has passed.

    4. Be Mindful

    And while we’ve made it clear up to this point that your safety needs to be a priority at all times, Cincinnati homeowners must balance this with responsibilities put forth by local laws.

    According to Hamilton County snow laws, it’s a homeowner’s duty to keep abutting public sidewalks clear of snow and ice. In other words, if someone incurs an injury due to the snow and/or ice on your sidewalk, you are legally liable for their injury. Of course, while being a good citizen is a virtue in itself, keeping your sidewalks clear and safe will save both you and your neighbor a lot of stress.

    5. Be Smart

    Taking your time and staying safe will keep everyone safe in the long run, but sometimes we don’t have all the time in the world. You shouldn’t have to worry about constantly going out to clear off your sidewalk, driveway or parking lot. You have other, more important things to do, including working hard at your job, taking care of your family, running errands for day-to-day needs, spending time with your friends, networking to build your career, going to school – the list is endless! Be smart and take the worry out of winter. Let us handle all of your heavy shoveling for you.

    Bzak Landscaping: Your Snow Removal Experts

    Bzak Landscaping provides Cincinnati snow removal services for both residential and commercial customers. When there’s a Cincinnati snow emergency, we can be at your location to shovel, plow, salt, and spread calcium chloride as needed. Don’t let snow and ice keep you stuck in your home or falling behind at work. Most of all, don’t risk potential injury and an expensive trip to the emergency room for your you or your neighbor. Call Bzak at (513) 831-0907 or contact your closest Bzak location. We have the people and the equipment to remove this stress from your life!

    snow-removal-shovel

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    Summer Watering: Plants, Shrubs and Trees

    by Administrator 25. July 2016 13:38

    Now that we are definitely into the heat of summer, our most important landscape chore is making sure plants are getting enough water. As a general rule, most trees, shrubs, and perennials need about an inch of water a week the whole first season (until the ground freezes) after they are planted.  If we don’t get at least an inch of rain a week, we need to water. Even established plantings need to be watered during dry spells. Annuals planted in containers need even more water and may need to be watered every day.

    Water bags are a great way to irrigate trees.  We carry tall bags as well as the “donuts” that can be used for evergreens and other low-branched trees.

    Current research indicates that newly planted trees and shrubs should not be fertilized with granular fertilizer, but root stimulator is a great liquid product that contains a hormone that aids in the development of stronger root structure and promotes vigorous growth. Keep annuals thriving by adding Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster to your watering can once a week.

    Try to take time to walk around your yard and enjoy your landscaping.  If you notice anything that looks unhealthy or unusual, please give the experts at Bzak a call.  There are usually some simple remedies if problems are caught soon enough. Bring in a sample if possible and definitely cell phone photos. We carry a complete line of products including organic solutions.

    Man Watering with Hose

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    Summer Weather! Remove Yard Waste and Landscape

    by Administrator 9. June 2016 09:00

    For a few weeks it looked like we skipped spring and went straight to summer!  A little bit of cool air hit the great Cincinnati area and it may have put your landscaping efforts at a halt (if you were ahead of the game and got started!)  Fortunately, it looks like the warmth has returned, so we wanted to follow up our seasonal clean up post from the fall, with our recommendations for spring and summer.

    Our Yard Waste Removal program is at the forefront of this.  Usually after the winter, a lot of debris can be laying throughout your yard.  This is especially true with the recent thunderstorms we’ve had, and those to come.  This can take away from the appeal of a yard, and make it more difficult to mow.  Not to mention, if there are sticks lying around your yard and you mow over them, this can really wear down the blade on your mower.  You can recycle your waste at our drop off sites in Clermont or Hamilton County.

    After your yard is cleared up and weeds have been pulled, you need to plant!  Pick up perennials, shrubs, trees and more at the Bzak garden center, and then top it off with mulch that is appealing and helpful to your plants.  We are certain we have one that you’ll love with over 10 different varieties!  Mulch can insulate and retain moisture, and therefore allow your plants to flourish.  It also breaks down to add organic material that will complete landscaping efforts.  Don’t forget to spread Preen (a pre-emergent herbicide) at the same time you put your mulch down to keep weed seeds from germinating.

    All of this sounds like a lot of work, right?  Some people love doing yard work and that’s great!  For those who dislike yard work or just don’t have the time, Bzak can handle the work for you.  If you’re thinking of doing anything in your yard, Bzak can likely do it.  If you want to find out, visit our main website!  You can also visit our newest location at 1213 US Highway 50.  We’re hopeful that Bzak can provide you with the products and services to make your yard as beautiful as ever this spring and summer.

    Blooming Tulips

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    Spring at the Garden Center

    by Administrator 29. March 2016 12:25

    Temperatures are rising, the snow is melting and Spring is approaching rapidly! Within our gardening center we offer an array of items that you won’t find at other garden stores.  To give you an idea of what we carry, here are a few of our gardening supplies, including some of the more common ones:

    • Shrubs
    • Vines
    • Perennials
    • House Plants
    • Deer Scram
    • Grass Seed
    • Pesticides and Herbicides
    • Bagged Mulch, Soil, Stones

    Being the largest garden supply store in Cincinnati we are known for “the usual place to have the unusual” and we’re proud of that!  We sell to residential and commercial customers, and can even deliver some items!  In part with our gardening supplies and products, we also offer gardening and landscaping services.  We offer maintenance programs for your beds or yard, we can design and build patios, driveways and walkways as well. There truly is no limit to our landscaping.

    For the winter, our garden center carries salt and calcium chloride and we even shovel or plow snow.  We all hope that the worst is over now, but you never know what will happen with the weather in Cincinnati!

    Whether you’re looking for supplies at our Garden Center to gear up for spring, landscaping services or snow removal, Bzak can be your all in one home or business maintenance company!  Before making any purchases be sure to explore our special offers! Find our contact information and locations, here.  Thank you for your interest in Bzak!

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    Early Spring Garden-Landscaping Preparation

    by Administrator 11. March 2016 16:19

    It looks like spring has arrived early this year in Cincinnati!  With temperatures steadily in the 60’s and even breaching the 70 degree mark, the ground is now thawed.  What does this mean from a landscaping and gardening company perspective?  It’s time to prepare!

    As soon as the ground thaws, we can begin preparing gardens for the growing season.  To start, old plants should be removed one of two ways. 

    1.       Pull them out and toss them on a compost pile.

    2.       Till them. 

    With or without old plants, garden soil must be turned over deeply in every plot.  It’s also important to add generous amounts of grass clippings and chopped leaves (hopefully you saved them from your yard clean-up last fall!  If not, we have some available.)  This may seem like a lot of work, but the weather gives us a chance to get outside, get some exercise and most importantly get a head start on gardening!

     

    The next step is giving the soil (and the gardener!) a short rest, allowing it to settle and level out.  After this, it’s prepared for the first seeds of the season!  We recommend starting with onions and potatoes. Over the next several weeks we can sow the seeds for carrots, kale, radishes, broccoli rapini, and peas.  Cauliflower, cabbage, spinach (and other hardy greens) will follow in April.

    The vast majority of seeds should be started 6 to 8 weeks before your region's last average frost date. For Cincinnati and most of the Midwest, this means starting seeds in March.  What we’re trying to say is that it’s time to get started on your garden!

    If you’re anxious to get started on a garden, then it’s likely you’re ready to get started on other yard projects as well.  Now is a great time to prune overgrown trees or shrubs with minimal damage, because the sap has retracted back to the safe part of the plant.  However, Lilacs and Rhododendrons should not be pruned until after they’ve bloomed, because you could trim the buds on accident.  While being outside and doing all of this, you may start thinking about summer.  If you’re like us, we like to see yards in pristine condition, with designated areas to relax and entertain.  Perhaps you were tilling the soil and realized that after all of the yardwork you do, there should be a place you can relax afterwards.  The talented group at Bzak can sit down with you to design, develop and install bonfire pits, waterfalls, patios and more!

    Regardless of your project, we want to help!  Visit our garden center or give us a call if you have any questions or would like to get started with your spring project.  Also, be sure to take a look at our current landscaping material coupons!  We look forward to talking with you, and thank you for considering Bzak!

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    Winter Landscaping Preparation-Damage Prevention

    by Administrator 1. December 2015 15:25

    Once the ground freezes, many assume that the landscape can be neglected. However, it is best to take advantage of the late Fall and Winter months in order to prepare for spring and prevent winter damage. During November, December and January, homeowners can apply animal control products, water and treat evergreen trees and shrubs.

    During the winter months, you may notice some animal damage. Deer eating foliage, rabbits girdling tree trunks, and voles eating the roots out from under shrubs and perennials all can be more damaging than any winter storm. We recommend wrapping the trunks of young trees and shrubs with tree guards (hard plastic mesh) to prevent animals from chewing scraping antlers on them. An alternative (or addition) to fencing is spraying vulnerable plants with one of the many scent and taste repellent sprays available at most garden centers.

    It is important the broad-leaf evergreens, such as cherry laurel, boxwood, rhododendron, azaleas, pragence viburnum and holly have adequate soil moisture during the winter months. Evergreens keep losing moisture through their leaves all winter, because they do not drop their leaves in the fall. Needled evergreens, such as spruce, fir and pine, also need moisture through the winter months, but not as much as broad-leaf evergreens.

    Don’t put away that hose too quickly! To add moisture back into the evergreen plants, take advantage of the warmer days and water your evergreen trees and shrubs. Bzak recommends spraying evergreens with anti-transpirants. These are resin, latex or wax sprays, such as Wilt-Pruf, that coat leaves and block their openings in an effort to slow winter moisture loss. Bzak Garden Center has Wilt-Pruf readily available for retail and wholesale customers.  We hope to see you there soon!

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    Seasonal (Fall) Clean Ups and Maintenance

    by Administrator 26. August 2015 10:19

    Fall is a beautiful time of the year here in Cincinnati, but it’s always sad to say goodbye to summer.  Unfortunately we will all have to say goodbye within the next month or so, as the temperatures begin to decline and the summer comes to an end.  What does this mean for Bzak and its customers?  It’s time for Seasonal clean ups!

    Keep your yard in tip-top shape by utilizing our fall cleanup services.  Proper fertilizer to prepare for the cold is applied, beds are edged by hand, debris is removed, and mulch is spread to make the fall color pop.

    An associated service is our yard waste removal program.  If there is any brush, tree branches or other items you’d like your yard to be free of before or after winter, we can get rid of it!  A perfect example of this is the sticks, or tall grasses in a yard.  If they are not dealt with before winter, they will accumulate and blow all over your yard throughout the winter.  Taking care of it now can save everyone both time and money.  If you like doing it yourself, you can see the drop off fees for Clermont and Hamilton county residents on our yard waste removal page.

    Regardless of what you need done with your yard, we can help you in all areas.  From designing it, to laying it down, to ongoing maintenance, we are your complete service.  What makes us different is that we supply the majority of our own products from our garden center, so you know exactly what you’re getting.  We’ve made thousands of clients happy in our 35+ years of business, and we’re excited to improve more lawns around the greater Cincinnati area.  Thanks for reading, and let us know in the comments if you have any ideas for landscaping or decorating this fall!


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