Summer Landscaping Guide

Think you missed the seasonal boat for sprucing up your garden? Think again! By following our best practices for summer landscaping, you’ll be able to feast your eyes upon new blooms in just a few weeks’ time. For all your landscape fabric and nursery cover needs, Commercial Bag & Supply can help your summer garden with nearly any custom order.

Summer Landscaping


 

Summer Landscaping Tips

  • Focus on planting hot-season vegetables rather than cool-season ones. This includes tasty treats like sweet potatoes, cowpeas, okra, eggplant, yardlong beans, and cowpeas. In addition to hot-season veggies, tropical bulbs are also ideal for summer gardens. Caladiums, cannas, gingers, and elephant ears will actually grow faster in the heat.
  • Try to be water-conscious. Don’t water your plants unless it’s necessary. This step can be helped by creating a drought-tolerant garden. Now, that doesn’t mean you can just forget about your plants entirely, but it does mean a low-maintenance garden. Make sure your soil remains moist until your plants have taken off.
  • That being said, make sure you’re watering your garden at the right time of day. That means morning time. By watering in the early hours, your roots will have a better opportunity of absorbing the moisture.
  • Don’t forget about the wellness of your grass. High summer temps can be particularly damaging to your lawn. Pick up some fertilizer from your local garden store, but avoid fertilizing on days that reach 90 degrees or higher.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget the weeding. You can let the weeds grow for a little while, but make sure you’ve pulled them before they bloom and go to seed. We suggest using a hook or mattock for established weeds and a hoe or cultivator for new weeds in looser soil.

Top 5 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

1. Fail to Fertilize 

You can fail fertilizing in two ways: too much or not at all. Right in between is the way to go! Ask the expert at your local landscaping shop for the right kind of fertilizer for your yard, given weather conditions and what you’re planning to plant. It’s best to fertilize twice per year, in Spring and again come Fall. Always water your lawn afterwards, and don’t fertilize when the sun is very bright.

2. Don’t Overwater

Your lawn only needs about an inch of water per week, but also keep in mind the conditions of your lawn. What’s the weather like? It’s best to water during the morning hours so your yard and plants have plenty of time to dry.

3. Can’t Forget the Maintenance

You might get carried away with the planning and purchasing of plants, but don’t think the work is done once the planting is over. Most gardens need to be weeded once or twice a month. Part of planning your garden should be considering how much time you’ll have throughout the year to maintain it.

4. 360 Degree View, Night or Day

When you’re planning your new landscape, you might be standing in the middle of your yard, mid-day, imagining all the flowers blooming in their beautiful colors. But what about sitting at the kitchen table, looking out the windows? What about when the sun sets? The best gardens look great from every angle – even inside your home! And looking into lighting for your new landscape isn’t such a bad idea either. Who doesn’t want to admire their garden over a candlelit dinner?

5. Functional Beauty 

In the haze of planting beautiful flowers, don’t forget that you’ll still want to be able to use your lawn. What about dinner parties? Children running wild?  In the early planning stages, you’ll want to be sure your landscaping is just as functional as it is easy on the eyes.

Landscape Mistakes to Avoid

Buy Wholesale Landscape Fabric – Woven Polypropylene vs Burlap

landscape fabricAn easy way to control weeds without chemicals or sprays is by using landscape fabric. It’s usually made with burlap or woven polypropylene. With two choices, how do you know which material to use?

Woven polypropylene is a synthetic material that does not easily decompose. It’s the perfect material for long-term use under mulch. Its tight weave allows for moisture to penetrate. Unlike burlap, are stronger and rot-resistant over time.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, burlap is the way to go. Burlap is a natural fiber made from Jute. The material is strong and biodegradable, so chemicals do not seep into soil. Burlap is typically more resistant to UV deterioration but less so moisture than the woven polypropylene.

Landscape fabric is also used to prevent erosion, walkways, flowerbeds, paths, planting, and landscaping. It’s great to protect your seeds from pesky animals and birds.

At Commercial Bag & Supply, we are able to cut the fabric to any shape or size to meet your needs.  Since we import bulk quantities of both woven polypropylene and burlap, we can supply any commercial or industrial use you might have.  Our cutting room can process quantities from 10 – 10,000; just let us know what you need!

Burlap: Protect Your Plants

You already know that plants will die if they can’t withstand the cold temperatures that come with winter. Uncovered plants can suffer from “winter burn,” which occurs with a combination of winter sunlight and depleted soil moisture. Some people use plastic to wrap their plants, but this actually constricts the airflow of your foliage. Instead, you should use burlap to protect your plants during winter months as it allows the plants to breathe, air can circulate, and heat is not trapped.

What plants need to be covered?

If you live somewhere with mild winter temperatures, you might be able to get away with a thin layer of mulch protecting your plants. Perennials often last, but need protection if they’re planted in poorly drained, soggy soil.

Newly planted trees and shrubs need covering for the first three winters.

Broadleaf evergreen shrubs like azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons all require covering.

Potted plants are extremely susceptible to cold and need several burlap layers to effectively protect the roots.

How to Protect Your Plants With Burlap

Supplies:
-Wooden stakes (3-4/plant)
-Heavy twine
-Burlap
-Scissors/utility knife

Using stakes on any plant wrapped for winter protection is necessary to prevent molding. If a plant is wrapped without stakes, the fluctuating temperatures can cause mold. Using the stake method will keep the burlap from smooshing against the needles, and will prevent you from having the replace the trees come Spring due to molding.

  1. Place the stakes so they’re submerged about 4-5 inches into the ground.
  2. Using twine, tie the stakes together with secure knots.
  3. Wrap enough burlap around the stakes to create a double layer around the tree, shrub, or other plant.
  4. Secure the burlap wrap around the top of the stakes by using more twine.
  5. Cut away the remaining fabric.
  6. Take one more piece of twine and wrap it around the secured burlap to keep it in place.
  7. Tie the last bit of twine around the base of one of your stakes to secure the protective mechanism.

Paving Cover Country

Our Midwestern streets see the destruction of winter weather every year. You’re bound to see a pothole or cracked pavement as you drive down Main Street. What could make those go away, and more importantly, stay away? Commercial Bag & Supply, located right in the heartland of “paving cover country,” has the answer.

paving cover burlapA paving cover is essential for the proper curing of concrete in the Midwest. Traditionally, a paving fabric is placed between layers of new pavement as it’s laid. This fabric, commonly made with burlap, functions as a barrier from water infiltration, and effectively reduces cracking of the new surface layer by absorbing stress.

Even the best flooring design plans can produce cracked concrete. When temperatures drop and precipitation occurs, that wetness is absorbed by the concrete or asphalt. When temperatures reach 18 degrees, concrete freezes. At 35 degrees, the concrete will begin to melt, which starts the process of cracking, pitting, crazing, scaling, and our least favorite – potholes.

Though it is an extra step in the repairing of roads, a paving cover saves cost and time whencustom-burlap-1-576x1024 considering the life-longevity of pavement. A typical pavement overlay may last up to 10 years, or twice that long with the use of a paving cover. Installation costs are just 10-20% of the cost to dig out cracked areas where paving fabrics were not previously used.

Our durable 10 ounce burlap jute fabric can be sewn to almost any length or size. Our talented and trained specialists stitch the burlap together using industrial strength sewing machines right here in our warehouse, so your custom paving cover order can be manufactured quickly and shipped out for near-immediate use.

Let us know how we can be of assistance in your next paving cover project.

 

It’s Time For the Fruit Harvest

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As summer winds down, the fruit you’ve been growing is most likely about to reach optimum maturity, which means it’s nearly time for harvesting. When you do begin to harvest your fruit, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure the fruit is mature and ready to be picked. If picked while ‘mature,’ your fruit will ripen after it’s harvested. ‘Optimum maturity’ is when a fruit has reached its best quality for harvest.
  • Start in the morning on a cool day. Picking the fruit while it’s cool and then continuing to cool it as soon as possible helps to ensure quality and shelf life. If the fruit is wet or moist, it will spoil more quickly.
  • Consider harvesting in stages. For example, plums can be picked as they ripen, whereas apple trees may need up to 3 different pickings.
  • Carefully pick the fruit from the tree. For most fruits, you’ll want to twist and lift up rather than pulling straight down from the branch. Also remember to hold the fruit gently in your palm with little to no finger pressure to avoid bruising, depending on the fruit.
  • Watch out for wasps! yes, they love our fruits, too. Wasps can create holes in the fruit from which to feed, so stay alert when reaching up into trees and bushes.
  • Delicately place in your harvesting container. Just as you’re careful in picking the fruit from the tree, you should also be careful in placing it. Dropping fruit into the container may cause bruising. When picking apples, use a large, soft bag.
  • Enjoy or store! Now that you’ve harvested your fruit, you’ll want to eat it as soon as possible, or preserve or freeze it, depending on what plans you have in mind for your crop.

When you’re ready for harvest, consider having Commercial Bag & Supply provide you with custom made fruit harvesting bags to make your fruit harvesting process even more simple.

Why A Nursery Cover?

 

When moving your plants from one location to another, nursery covers will help ensure that your plants are transported safely. At Commercial Bag & Supply, we have a wide selection of fabrics for your nursery and garden supply needs; our burlap nursery cover has always been one of our most popular items.

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Protecting your root balls is always important when you’re about to transport your plants. A root ball is the bunch of roots at the base of your tree or shrub. Wrap this part in burlap fabric, and then wrap wire around the fabric for secure transport. This covering keeps your plant’s roots protected from the field to its final planting location.

We make our custom nursery coverings for root balls, plant coverings, and landscaping fabric out of durable, biodegradable burlap fabric. Since we purchase our burlap in bulk, every order is custom made in our Des Moines warehouse to your exact specifications.

In addition to custom nursery covers, you can also find sturdy tarps and coverings for your plant beds, fabrics for bundling your trees and shrubs, and fabric that can be used as a moisture barrier.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our wholesale nursery covers and other garden supplies, you can always get in contact with one of our trained specialists, or you can request a quote if you’ve already done your research.

The Perfect Bag For Your Seeds

For years sustainable gardeners have saved seeds and reproduced the plants the following harvest season. Commercial Bag and Supply is happy to provide our gardeners and farmers with the necessary accessories they need for a successful year of saving, planting, and harvesting.

When you to plan to save seeds and use them in the following season’s harvest, you’ll need to follow a few steps.

First, collect the seeds. The seeds you’re looking for need to be reliable for growth, otherwise they may not germinate. Parent seeds are likely candidates for germination whereas hybrids are less reliable and will often times disappoint with no growth at all.

Once you’ve collected the seeds, dry them. You can do this one of two ways. Keep the seed pod or dried flower head in an open paper bag and wait. Once you think the seeds might be dry, shake the bag, and they should come loose. Rinse them, and place on a paper towel to dry. You can also place the seeds on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven. If you choose this option, make sure the heat does not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. With either process, the drier your seeds are the better; optimum seed storage occurs with less than 8% moisture.

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After you’ve dried the seeds, keep them in a closed container. Here’s where we can help. We offer customizable cotton seed storage bags that provide your seeds with a dry, but breathable environment while you’re waiting to plant. Seed storage bags are ideal for extending the shelf life of your product by limiting rot or mold growth, and offer easy transportation by being both durable and lightweight. Just send us a request for more information.

 

If you prefer to store your seeds in a sealed jar keep a cheesecloth bag of dry powdered milk at the bottom of the jar, and store the jars in a cool place. Change the powdered milk every six months.

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Most seeds will keep for at least a year, but there are some that will keep longer or shorter than others. If you’re planting corn, onion, parsley, parsnip, or pepper, use these seeds quicker than the others. Crops like asparagus, beans, broccoli, carrots, celery, leeks, peas, and spinach have the potential to keep for up to 3-4 years.

To Mesh Or Not To Mesh?

Mesh is similar to a web or net, and is most popularly manufactured from connected strands of metal, fiber, and other flexible materials. The three main types and primary uses of mesh include plastic, metal, and clothing. For plastic, polypropylene, polyethylene, nylon, and PVC are most commonly used. Metal mesh is popularly made from steel or other metals and is used in straining, such as in making tea, or draining pastas. In clothing, mesh is considered a loosely woven or knitted fabric that offers a number of closely spaced holes and is frequently used for athletic jerseys and other clothing.

Mesh’s multi-material manufacturing and woven quality allows the fabric to provide many purposes to the average and specified user. We’ve listed just a few of those purposes below:

  • Metal and nylon wire filters for filtration of unwanted items
  • Wire mesh can be used in creating waste baskets, park benches, and other forms of baskets
  • Wire screens as those on windows and mosquito netting
  • Wire mesh can be used to create guarding and protection for secured areas
  • Woven mesh is a necessary material to the screen printing industry
  • Fencing for poultry and livestock
  • Surgical mesh
  • Humane domestic animal trapping

If you think mesh may be of use to you or your company, read more about our specifications and manufacturing process.

Burlap In The Garden

As gardening season comes around, you may be interested in what materials can help enhance your gardening experience. An inexpensive and cost-conscious material, burlap is one textile that provides multi-purpose services in your garden pre, during, and post planting season.

From seed to blossom, this biodegradable and permeable fabric is the perfect gardening companion. Below you’ll find a list of the various ways burlap can help make your gardening season more cost and time effective.

Before planting

Alternative Mulch: Burlap’s durable yet permeable nature creates an excellent mulching fabric for your flower or vegetable gardens. In the harvesting areas, you can lay down strips of burlap to help limit the erosion of your soil and to assist with moisture retention.

While planting 

Direct seeding in mid-Summer: Using burlap for direct seeding helps improve germination rates. Laying strips of burlap down over newly sown seeds will help keep seeds from being washed away during rain storms, and it will also prevent evaporation. Once the seeds have begun to germinate, be sure to remove the burlap.

After planting

During the colder months, you can use burlap to help protect some plants like hydrangeas, boxwood, and figs. By taking strips of burlap and wrapping them around your plants, you can provide an extra measure of protection against brutal winter winds and weather conditions.

In addition to weather conditions,wrapping strips of burlap around the trunks of your plants will add an extra layer of protection against pesky nibbling creatures that also take refuge in your garden.

For vegetable gardeners, burlap provides an excellent material for food storage after harvest. Thanks to fabric’s porous quality, burlap bags are an ideal way to store onions and potatoes.

Happy gardening!