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Create a Year-Round Landscape: Enjoy Your Yard All Year Long

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Fri, Oct, 03, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

Author: Professional Landcare Network

People who live in cooler climates can take a page from our warm-weather friends who use their yards year-round. Just because it gets colder for part of the year, doesn’t mean we should put away the lawn furniture after Labor Day and lock the back door until spring.

fall winter landscapes on Corona Tools

Enjoy Your Yard Year-Round

There are a variety of ways you can extend the use of your yard into late fall and even winter. Many patios, decks, and outdoor living spaces have fire features, such as fire pits, chimineas, and stone or brick fireplaces that come in all price ranges and are great focal points for outdoor entertaining in the fall and even into the winter. Add a grill or outdoor kitchen and you have a great space for fall-themed entertaining, dinner alfresco, or s’mores and hot cocoa party. Adding pergolas, gazebos, or covered patios creates a feeling of shelter and warmth in the winter, in addition to providing shade in the summer.

Plant for Seasonal Color and Texture

Planning for a year-round landscape extends to the plants themselves. Most of us are probably guilty of choosing plants, trees, and shrubs for our yards with spring and summer in mind. If you begin to use your landscape in fall and winter, you will start to think about how you can incorporate plants and trees that add pops of color and texture in the fall and winter. It is easy to create gorgeous fall color in your yard with maple trees, birch and oak trees and Japanese maples, but it is sometimes harder to envision your landscape in winter.

Think Bark and Berries

One way to think about fall and winter landscapes is in terms of “bark and berries.” Add color to winter landscapes by using plants with berries like holly trees, viburnums, and beauty berries. Birds are attracted to berries, so these plants may attract winter wildlife. Trees with lighter colored or papery bark such as river birch trees, crape myrtles, dogwood trees, and Japanese maple trees add texture and interest. There are also a variety of evergreen trees that come in different shades that can add visual interest.

Using, designing for, and appreciating your yard year-round can extend your entertaining options, help you connect with nature, get you outdoors for fresh air and help you create memories with friends and family.

Get more great ideas, tips and information on PLANET's new website, LoveYourLandscape.com

Tags: landscape, PLANET, winter, fall

April is National Lawn Care Month with PLANET and Corona Tools

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Tue, Apr, 22, 2014 @ 15:04 PM

National Lawn Care MonthCome Celebrate National Lawn Care Month

Did you know that the lawn care industry recognizes April as National Lawn Care Month? A time for vigorous growth of fescue and bluegrass, and the Spring-time awakening for dormant warm-season turf such as Zoysia, Bermuda and St. Augustine.  Why wouldn't there be a month to celebrate that?  And it's this week's topic on on #landscapechat.

You're Invited to Tweet 

Join @CoronaTools and #landscapechat partner @PLANET2005 Lisa Schaumann, director of public relations for PLANET for this week's topic: National Lawn Care Month (#NLCM).  The live chat about NLCM begins Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 11 a.m. PDT / 2 p.m. EDT, where we come together with green industry experts and fellow landscaping peeps each week to discuss all things related to landscape, since 2011.  

Discussion Overview

What is National Lawn Care Month? - Discover what it's all about and why there is a whole month dedicated to lawn care and to loving your lawn.

How PLANET celebrates National Lawn Care Month - Learn how PLANET helps landscape contractors with information and resources for their customers, lawn care certification and discounts throughout the month.

What homeowners should know about lawn care - PLANET shares fun facts, myths and resources to help you have the greenest sustainable lawn on the block.

Great lawn factoids that most people don't know - PLANET uncovers some incredible facts about your lawn, what it does for you, your family and the environment that every homeowner and professional should know.

Events going on during Lawn Care Month - Hear about some amazing events going on throughout the month and ways that you can pitch in give back to your community.

Join the Conversation

Corona Tools LandscapechatDon't miss out on this exciting topic as we welcome PLANET to #Landscapechat! Just sign in to Twitter and search for #landscapechat and tweet using the hashtag. You're tweets will appear in the live tweet stream and you will be part of the conversation.

If you do miss the live chat, you can still access the complete Storify transcript, available 24/7 following the live chat.  It includes include all the information and links shared during the discussion.

If you've ever considered tearing out your lawn or want to know why some people are just plain fanatics about their lawns the this #Landscapechat will be an hour of information and tips that you won't want to miss!  Come and join us!

Tags: Corona Tools, #Landscapechat, landscape, PLANET, Lawn Care

National Landscape Architecture Month on #Landscapechat w CoronaTools

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Tue, Apr, 15, 2014 @ 14:04 PM

2014 National Landscape Architecture Month (NLAM) is celebrated by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) with the theme of Career Discovery and a focus on underrepresented minorities. The U.S. population will be much more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, according to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau. NLAM 2014 will spur a countrywide movement, teaching children, young adults, and even teachers just how artfully landscape architects design their world. From community parks to residential design, there’s a field out there for any ambitious student, regardless of their background. 

http://www.asla.org/uploadedFiles/CMS/Business_Quarterly/NLAMGW_Final.pdfYou're Invited to Tweet 

The live chat begins Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 11 a.m. PDT / 2 p.m. EDT, where we come together with green industry experts and fellow landscaping peeps each week to discuss all things related to landscape, since 2011.  

Join @CoronaTools and #landscapechat guest hosts, @landarchitects PR + Communications Coordinator, Phillip Stamper-Halpin, and @Land8 Director, Andrew Spiering for this week's topic: 2014 National Landscape Architecture Month.

Discussion Overview

There are seven take-aways from this week's #Landscapechat

  • Your Path - ASLA staff redesigned the Career Discovery website. On this beautifully designed, interactive webpage, future landscape architects can take a tour of the profession and watch as OLIN’s Columbus Circle project in New York City goes from design, to construction, to the beautiful public space it is today. 
  • Local Events - From Earth Day celebrations, to lecture series, to walking tours of the city, landscape architects from across the country are going out in their communities to raise awareness and excitement for landscape architecture. Find out what’s happening near you at asla.org/NLAMevents.aspx 
  • Social Media - ASLA has started an extensive social media campaign relating to NLAM, called “30 Days of NLAM” – each day features a new challenge for ASLA’s Facebook and Twitter followers to perform. Join the conversation and see what today’s challenge is by checking out our pages or #NLAM. 
  • Career Discovery Packets - To reinforce the theme of Career Discovery with an emphasis on underrepresented minorities, ASLA has redesigned their middle/high school Career Discovery packets. Focusing on sharp content with a visual design, these new handouts give a succinct overview of the profession while urging students to explore ASLA’s other resources. 
  • NLAM Pledge - Landscape architecture students and professionals alike are taking the NLAM pledge to hand-deliver these new Career Discovery packets into local middle and high schools and informing them about the profession before they get into college. 
  • NBM Programs - Celebrate NLAM at the National Building Museum in DC through two featured events. On April 6th, the World Premiere of Evan Mather’s film From Sea to Shining Sea took more than 100 of local residents on a cross-country tour of the American landscape. On April 23rd, NBM will host a lecture, Reed Hilderbrand and the Legacy of Dan Kiley as part of their Spotlight on Design series. 
  • Tools for Teachers - K-12 teachers seeking ways to bring landscape architecture into the classroom should check out ASLA’s new education hub, Tools for Teachers.  It is loaded with fun, free classroom activities that will inspire lesson plans and start classroom dialogues about landscape architecture. It includes links to all of ASLA’s educational resources. 

Join the Conversation

Don't miss out on this exciting topic as we welcome ASLA and Labd8 to #Landscapechat! Just sign in to Twitter and search for #landscapechat.  Just tweet with using the hashtag and you will be part of the conversation.

If you do miss the chat, you can still access the complete replay on Nurph or on our Storify transcript; both are available 24/7 following the Live Chat, which will include all the information and links shared during the discussion.

If you're considering a carreer in landscape architecture or never considered it but want to learn some great reasons why you should, this is the place to be to learn more and chat live on with the industry leaders on #Landscapechat!

Tags: Corona Tools, #Landscapechat, landscape, Landscaping, urban landscape, ASLA, National Landscape Architect Month, NLAM

Let's Tweetup at Landscape Irrigation Show 2014

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Thu, Jan, 23, 2014 @ 21:01 PM

Corona Tools Landscapechat LISIn the world of social media there is no shortage these days of hashtag this, tweet that, like it, pin it, +1, comment here, share it there...it's enough to make any green industry professional in sales and marketing a little loco!  Which ones should you be on or should you event incorporate them into your business strategy? This week on landscapechat we will LIVE at the Landscape Industry Show (LIS) for our 3rd annual tweetup! And we plan to raise the convention cater roof this year by chatting about the pros and cons for many of the popular networks for landscape businesses, contractors and suppliers!

You're Invited to Tweetup

Corona Tools LandscapechatJoin @CoronaTools and #landscapechat have teamed up with, David Silva, from @CLCAInside as we tweet live from the Tech Cafe on the main exhibit floor. We'll tweetup with other LIS exhibitors and attendees and chat about effective tips and how-tos for incorporating social media into your 2014 strategy.

The #landscapechat tweetup begins 1/29/14 at 11AM PST. Join us in the Tech Cafe to meet, tweet and greet your peers and follow the discussion on Twitter. This is where the green industry comes together each week with experts and fellow landscape tweeps to discuss all things related to landscape, since 2011!

Discussion Overview

Some of the key takeaways that will be covered during the live chat include;

The Popular Social Networks: Discover which of the popular social networks make the most sense for the green industry and how to use them to increase your leads and sales.

Company & Personal Blogs: Learn why blogs are one of the best social media tools to gain better traffic, leadership build influence online.

Up and Coming Networks: Hear about the social networks that cater to niche, special interests and which ones can boost your business.

Inbound Marketing: Use social networks to fuel your inbound marketing strategy and generate leads.

Measuring Your Social ROI: Discuss what metrics matter and some online tools that can help you measure your overall effectiveness

Let's Get Trendy

Corona Tools Landscapechat LISLeading up to the chat, @CoronaTools will be on hand in the Tech Cafe from 9-11AM tweeting,answering questions and getting the conversation started. If you're on Twitter, you can be seen in the tweet stream and generate some serious buzz around #LIS2014 and #landscapechat. The more you tweet, the more you are seen and the more you are likely to make those terms trend on Twitter. Just add the hashtags and you'll be seen! We'll also have a live Q&A session!

Join the Conversation

Don’t miss out on this exciting topic and tweetup from #LIS2014! Join us from the show floor or join the conversation via Twitter. Just sign into #landscapechat Nurph with your Twitter ID and you can follow the conversation and share with the community. It will automatically add the hastag to all your tweets too.

If you do miss the live event, you can still access the Storify recap, accessible 24/7 that will be posted following the live chat. The transcript includes all the information and links shared during the discussion. Nurph will also have a replay of the complete chat available 24/7!

Come tweetup with us and hear how top brands, businesses and agencies benefit from social media networks, live on #landscapechat!

Tags: Corona Tools, #Landscapechat, landscape

Planning Your Landscape Business 2014 Strategy

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Wed, Jan, 22, 2014 @ 08:01 AM

Corona Tools landscapechat PLANET logoIt's the middle of winter and much of the country is experiencing sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice storms. Unless you're in Southern California or Florida, these are aren't the ideal conditions for landscapers to be out working unless it's to shovel snow. During the winter months is a great time to ramp up your business strategies before it's time to get outside and the folks at PLANET have what you need to take your landscaping business to the next level.

Corona Tools LandscapechatJoin @CoronaTools and #landscapechat co-partner, Lisa Schaumann, director of public relations @PLANET2005 as we talk about upcoming events and resources that can help kick off the new year with some fresh insights for your business and benefit from all the great resources that PLANET has to offer.

The live #landscapechat begins 1/22/14 at 11AM PST via Twitter, where we come together with green industry experts and fellow landscape tweeps each week to discuss all things related to landscape, since 2011!

Discussion Overview

Some of the key takeaways that will be covered during the live chat include;

workshops 200x200Upcoming PLANET Events: Discover what national and regional events are coming up this winter that can help shape your 2014 strategies.

Online PLANET Resources: Learn what resources are available on the PLANET website for members and non-menbers.

Provide Your Feedback: During the live session you will have the opportunity to share what matters to you and what resources you'd like to see from PLANET.

Join the Conversation

Don’t miss out on this exciting topic as we help motivate and inspire your business strategies! It's easy to join the conversation via Twitter just by signing in to the #landscapechat Nurph! You can follow the conversation and share with the community and Nurph will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets.

If you do miss the live event, you can still access the Storify recap, accessible 24/7 that will be posted following the live chat. The transcript includes all the information and links shared during the discussion. Nurph will also have a replay of the complete chat available 24/7!

Come share with us and energize your 2014 business strategy and spend your Polar Vortex down time learning createive ways to build your business live on #landscapechat!

Tags: Corona Tools, #Landscapechat, landscape, Landscaping

Corona Tools Welcomes Rodale Institute to Landscapechat

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Tue, Jan, 14, 2014 @ 14:01 PM

Rodale Institute Joins Landscapechat

CoronaTools landscapechat RodaleWhat do call it when you cross people who are passionate about organic principles and sustainability, with a 333-acre farm in Kutztown, PA? Why the Rodale Institute, of course!

For more than 60 years the Rodale Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture. Not only do they share their findings with farmers and scientists from around the world, they will share some of what they do, on this week’s #landscapechat community.

Chat LIVE on Twitter

Join @CoronaTools and #landscapechat co-partner, Aaron Kinsman, media relations specialist @RodaleInstitute as we introduce them to chat and how their research projects are working to provide organic and sustainable landscapes everywhere.

The live chat begins 1/15/14 at 11AM PST via Twitter, where we come together with green industry experts and fellow landscape tweeps each week to discuss all things related to landscape, since 2011!

Discussion Overview

Some of the key takeaways that will be covered during the live chat include;

CoronaTools landscapechatRodale Institute Overview: Understand the principles that the institute was founded on and why the organization was formed. 

Sharing Research Findings: Hear about some of the ways they share their extensive research finding with the world based on tried and true, organic and sustainable policies. 

Research Projects: Learn what projects are in the works and how they can be applied to the green industry. 

Excellence in Leadership: Rodale shares it’s insight on the team that helps make the institute an authority on organic and sustainable best-practices.

Join the Conversation

Don’t miss out on this exciting topic as we welcome the Rodale Institute to the #landscapechat community! It's easy to join the conversation via Twitter by searching for the #landscapechat hashtag.

If you do miss the chat, you can still access the Storify recap, accessible 24/7 that will be posted following the live chat. The transcript includes all the information and links shared during the discussion.

Come share with us on this great introduction and we look forward to chatting with you live on #landscapechat!

Tags: #Landscapechat, landscape, Landscaping, sustainability

5 Tips to Beat Summer Heat in Your Garden

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Wed, Jul, 03, 2013 @ 11:07 AM

As Americans prepare to celebrate the 4th of July this weekend, many of us will enjoy fireworks and cookouts in parks and backyards.  It also means that summer is here and temperatures are on the rise.  Folks out in the western states are hitting record highs so early in the season.  And excessive rains are causing severe flooding in the East.  Regardless of where you are, the summer heat and sun is sure to wreak havoc in your garden this season.

Here are a few things you can do to help keep your garden growing, even in the harshest summer conditions.

Corona tools mulchSpread a Layer of Mulch – a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch helps the soil retain moisture and helps reduce the rate of evaporation.  It also helps to suppresses weed growth which if allowed to grow, take up precious water and nutrients from your plants.  Natural mulches will also break down over time and provide nutients back into the soil.   DON'T FORGET: When it comes to your trees, avoid piling mulch up around the base of the tree and trunk.  I can damage your tree by inviting fungus or unwatned pests.  Better to mulch out than up!

Convert Spray System to Drip – The key to proper watering is a slow and steady drip that has time to penetrate the soil.  Over head sprinkler system have come a long way in being more efficient but are still prone to evaporation and excess run off.  Converting a planter with a drip system can be quick and inexpensive.  You'll see the return on you investment in your monthly water bill too.  Less water and healthier plants, even in the hot summer months.  For more information, check out the EPA WaterSense website

corona tools wateringWater Early Mornings – a good long soak in the early morning hours allows more water to absorb in the soil and minimize water evaporation.  Avoid watering in the afternoon or hottest parts of the day as the majority will evaporate quickly and never penetrate the soil or reach the plant's roots. Another reason early mornings are best is the air is typically calm with less wind.  Spray from sprinklers is more likely to water your lawn instead of being carried off to your neighbor's! 

Set Lawn Mower to Highest Setting – If you have a lawn, keeping your grass taller is better for its overall health.  Taller grass will help it retain moisture in the soil during extreme temperature and heat.  Think of it as a thick blanket on top the lawn's root system.  It protects the soil from the hot mid-day sun, will require less water to keep it green and saves you some green in your utility bill too.

corona tools nativeUse Native Plants – Natives and adaptive plants can survive on less water or tolerate excessive rains and humidity.  And these days your choices are not limited to cacti or succulents either. Your local garden centers offer a wide selection of native plants.  Just look for lables that state low water or thrive in the local climate.  Your county extension can provide you with a list of natives for your area.  

There you have it, 5 easy ways to help beat the summer heat in your garden this summer.  What other things do you do to help plants survive in your garden when it's hot?  Share it with us in the comments below!

Tags: landscape, gardening, Landscaping, Summer

Biological Control: Nature’s Pest Solution for Gardens and Landscapes

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Thu, Jun, 06, 2013 @ 14:06 PM

corona tools treechatHow many times have you seen pests feeding on your trees, veggies or shrubs and think what’s the quickest way to deal with them?  Do you run to your local garden center for a magical pesticide that promises to help rid you of your new-found pest?

Well believe it or not, long before the invention of those solutions, nature had its own way of dealing with pest control in the form of the good old fashioned food chain.  Or a more technical term, biologic control (BC), where it’s survival of the fittest!

Practical Uses for Biological Control

Join @CoronaTools and our guest host, @BartlettTreeExperts, Don Booth Ph.D. and entomologist, for another great topic on #treechat.  Don will be stepping out of the research lab to share some practical uses and tips for managing pests in landscapes and gardens. The live chat begins 6/11/13 at 11AM PST via Twitter, where we come together with industry experts and fellow tree tweeps each week to discuss all things related to trees and tree care, since 2010!

Topic Discussion Overview

Some of the main discussion points that will be covered during the live chat include; 

Practical Uses - Discover how biological control can be an effective method for managing tree damaging pests

Planning and Integration - Learning how to identify & protect naturally occurring biological control species and releasing commercially available beneficial predators & parasites

Nature's Method - Exploring plant diversity & reduced use of pesticides to increase populations of naturally occurring biological control

Integrated Pest Management - Discussing how regular pest management visits on a property is a proven method of improving biological control

Participating on Treechat

bartlett logo

Have questions about practical uses for biological control? Ask Don before the live chat so he can provide you with the information and resources during the live chat. If you would like to submit a question before the chat, please leave it in the comments below or tweet it to @Coronatools prior the live chat. He will also be available to answer your questions during the live event are always encouraged.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about biological control in your gardens and landscapes and connect one-on-one with the experts.  We hope you will join us however if you do miss the chat, you can still access the #treechat Storify 24/7 that will be posted following the chat. The transcript includes all the information, links and resources shared during the discussion.

Come share with us on this great topic and look forward to sharing with you on the live chat! Have an opinion already about the topic?  Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Beetle feeding on gypsy moth photo courtesy of Bartlett Tree Experts

Tags: #treechat, tree care, Corona Tools, landscape

5 Easy Garden Projects for Memorial Day Weekend

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Thu, May, 23, 2013 @ 07:05 AM

Memorial Day weekend is time to raise the stars and stripes and to honor the American service men and women who gave their lives while defending our freedom. It’s also the first long holiday weekend in Spring and a time when many Americans take advantage of the extra day off to get projects done. We’ve put together a list of 5 garden and landscape projects that are easy to start and finish over the weekend.

Set Up a Compost Pile

Corona Tools composterOne of the best things you can do for your garden is to save your brown and green wastes and make nutrient-rich and organic soil right in your backyard. Whether you use a readymade composter or put together a basic cage, your plants and vegetables will love it. It so simple to do and it’s always a good time to get started. Check out the Organic Gardening website for some great composting tips.

Check Sprinklers for Leaks

corona tools leakWhile you’re out in the yard this weekend, do a quick check for any leaking sprinkler heads. A leaky sprinkler is easy to spot, whether a gusher or that slow and steady leak that keeps the sidewalk wet, it’s an easy weekend fix. Sprinkler heads can wear out over time so it good to check them periodically and replace them when you detect a leak. It will save you some green on your monthly water bill and help to conserve water.

Mulching Planters

corona tool wheelbarrowAs summer months get hotter and drier plants need to maintain proper hydration. Many people think that means add longer watering cycles, however, spreading a layer of mulch is a much better option. Mulch will help keep moisture in the soil and prevents weed growth which means more moisture for your plants and less watering. Just think of what you can do with the time saved weeding and money saved watering!

Organizing Your Garden Tools

corona tools organizeHow many times have you headed out to the garden and realized you’ve misplaced the tool you need? You spend 30 minutes looking for it, give up and have to run to your local garden center to find a replacement. The long weekend is a great time to organize your tool shed to maximize your space, make it easy to find and store your tools, and easy to spot when something is missing which helps remind you to replace your tools when finished. There are many racks available in local hardware stores, a simple peg board and hooks or come up a creative way to organize them. And next time you head outside you will be so glad you did!

Green Up the Yard

corona tools epaDuring the long weekend it’s a great time to assess how efficient your garden and landscape is. If you are putting new plants in this season, look for native species that require less water. Ensure that your lawn mower is adjusted to its highest setting which helps to reduce the amount of water needed to keep it green. Or add a smart controller to your irrigation system to automatically turn off the system during rainy days. You’ll spend less in water while conserving this precious resource. And for more great ideas to green up your yard, spend some time this weekend on the EPA WaterSense website to learn how to make your landscape greener.

There you have it…Corona Tools' 5 easy projects to get your yard and tool shed into shape this weekend! All things that you can complete in a weekend, cost you a little time or a few pennies, and guaranteed to reward you all season long. These are just a few ideas, what kinds of garden projects are on your list?

Tags: landscape, gardening, sustainability, planting, tools, watering

Email Marketing for Tree Care & Landscape Pros on #treechat

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Mon, May, 20, 2013 @ 16:05 PM

corona tools newsletterToo often you hear people say email is so out dated. People don’t email or call these days…they communicate via text or on Facebook. So why waste time on boring old email? Well…in short, it’s where the money is! If you think email marketing is dead, then you can’t miss #SocialTuesday live on #treechat!

The live chat begins 5/21/13 at 11AM PST via Twitter with Corona as this week's host and moderator. Join @Coronatools and other industry experts each week discussing all things related to trees and tree care since 2010!

Key Topic Takeaways

  • Email is your golden ticket – a discussion on why email marketing is vital for businesses and organizations
  • Developing Your Strategy – understanding your goals, scheduling your content and setting your expectations
  • Getting Started – building and managing your email database to grow with your business and delivering targeted email campaigns your readers want
  • registerAchieving Email Nirvana – open rates are great but the call-to- action is what keeps your pocket lined with green
  • Email Formatting – email is never one size fits all, more readers are seeing your emails on mobile device and presentation matters

Email marketing is by far the single most important tool in your marketing tool shed so come join in the conversation on this great topic. Whether you are; a business owner, contractor, committee organizer, or community leader, email should have a place in your marketing strategy.

Don’t miss this special #SocialTuesday chat! If you can’t make the live chat you’ll find a recap of all the links and shares on Corona Tools Storify!  NOTE:  Storify did not register the final 25 mins of this chat...!  Here is a link to the complete chat from Twitter 

Tags: #treechat, tree care, Corona Tools, landscape, business