"Mom, I'm bored!!!" Ah, the sweet sounds of summer; right, parents?

Are your kids content to sit on the couch, face-first into the tablet/phone/TV? We have some great suggestions for you to really engage your kiddos in what nature gives us outside. You don't need a big budget-- heck, you don't even have to leave your yard!

The long days and great weather provide a great opportunity to ditch the typical time-wasters and get outside for some family-friendly activities from toddlers to teens that not only bring you together, but also provide beauty and bounty all summer long!

Bringing In The Harvest

It's no secret that raising your own food in a garden is rewarding for a number of reasons, but bringing your kids in the loop will help them appreciate the labor it takes to farm, and you'll see their pride when they are able to harvest their own vegetables!

You don't need a lot of space to have a good garden. What is key is using an area appropriate for the plants you want raise-- proper light exposure, good soil and regular watering. You can start with a small plot, or even just set a tomato plant in a pot on the porch! You can pick up raised garden kits from most home improvement stores, and there are a variety of options to create an easy-to-maintain garden space. 

It's important to find high-interest plants that the kids will be able to see develop, as well as have an interest in eating the fruits of their labor. Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries are all fun to watch develop from plant to bloom to fruit.

Share in the labor! Teach your children how to properly set the plants, and when and how much to water them. Be sure to show them how to properly use and store the garden tools, too.

Your garden doesn't have to be all about the food, either; flower gardens are a fun way to bring some color and energy to your living space. If you have room, set up a wildflower plot and create a natural space that attracts butterflies and pollinators. It's fun to watch them enjoy your creation! For more tips on teaching kids to garden, click here.

Repurpose and Recycle

With summer sports, vacation plans, increased daycare costs and everything else that's going on, summer can tap your budget, but you can create wonderful things from items you already have around the house.

Remember when the kids were little and played in that little turtle sandbox? Now it's just sitting in the yard, yearning for toddlers while your pre-teens are off doing other things. Let's repurpose that cute turtle for a small herb garden, flower bed or edible garden! Have the kids make signs, designating what plants are what, and before you know it, that little turtle will feel the joy of your kids' attention once more.

Save several milk jugs and you can use them to create an herb garden. It's a great way to reuse plastics and create a space for some fresh summer herbs that go great with your favorite recipes! Check out this blog at Grillo Designs for the how-to.

Create An Alien Landscape

Small succulents, cacti and carnivorous plants create a "whoa, cool" factor with kids and adults. Their unique coloration, growth patterns and structures make for an other-wordly look that can really dress up a space, indoor and out. 

The popularity of these unique plants has risen over the last several years, too, and so it is easier to find growers with a wide variety. Check out your local farmer's markets as well as gardening stores for some smaller, unique plants. Let the kids pick them out, and then use a larger planter to create a landscape full of plants, stones, characters and pretty much anything you want! The plants are easy to care for, but make sure you follow the directions for lighting and watering. Before you know it, you will all create new micro-worlds for everyone to enjoy!

Do It For The Insects

We talked briefly about a wildflower garden for butterflies and bees; check with your local conservation department for tips and tricks on what works best in your area. Chances are, they even have some seeds to help you get started!

Beyond the wildflowers, however, there are other projects you can create to attract beneficial insects to your yard. One super-cute idea comes from HGTV, and that is a ladybug hotel! Click here for the how-to.

There really is a limitless supply of ideas out there to engage with your kids and enjoy the outdoors this summer. You take pride in your home, yard and garden, right? Share that love with your children, and pretty soon you'll see that pride reflected in them as well. So much to do; now get out there and have an adventure!

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One key element to any beautiful lawn and landscape is proper irrigation, and if you want to do it right, it’s so much more than a spray from a hose. An irrigation system customized to your lawn helps with more than saving time and labor, but also provides the peace of mind in knowing that your lawn gets that consistent watering it needs to look gorgeous.

We can come up with a plan customized to your needs to provide optimum irrigation while maintaining an efficient system. Of course, you can count on Stork Landscaping for the service after the sale and installation, too. We completely service your irrigation system from tip to tail, spring start up to winterization. You’re in good hands here!

While you can learn more about our irrigation systems here, today we wanted to talk to you about the next generation of irrigation control systems, the Rain Bird LNK wifi module. Rain Bird has been on the cutting edge of water system technology for over 80 years, and this latest innovation is, well, science fiction brought to life.

So, what is this space-age technology going to do for you? How about automatic seasonal adjustments? How about setting multiple start times and unique durations for each zone? How about adjustments for weather changes? And you can do it all FROM YOUR PHONE.

The Rain Bird app (for iPhone or Android) gives you total control over your landscape from anywhere in the world. Take control of your irrigation system, and maximize savings on your water usage, too.  Wanna see how it works? Check out the video below:

From Stork’s perspective, upgrading to the Rain Bird LNK is a fairly easy installation, especially as we are opening your irrigation system for the spring start up (yes, it’s nearly that time of year again!), but they can be installed at any time thoughout the year. You’ll need a fairly new irrigation system for the Rain Bird LNK to be compatible, like a Rain Bird ESP-Me or ESP-TM2.

For more info on the Rain Bird LNK wifi module, visit their website here. If you have been thinking of updating your system, this is a great time to do it with this new tech available!

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As you look out at your lawn today, do you see bare spots, weeds and brown patches? Are you worried about what kind of shape it'll be in when it's time to mow again in a couple of months? Don't fret, friend:


Why Invest In A Yearly Fertilization Program?

Beautiful lawns are planned and created. In Southeast Missouri, there is no perfect grass. A high quality, customized lawn fertilization program is an essential part of every great looking lawn, and we are ready to create your perfect program!

Grass needs nutrients to thrive, and most lawns in Southeast Missouri are malnourished. Bare spots, weeds, and brown patches are all signs of a struggling, nutrient starved lawn. For soil to be as rich as possible, it must have three key elements:  Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Using just the right amounts of each of these at just the right time is an essential ingredient to achieving that healthy, green lawn that will cause some major yard envy from your neighbors.

Why Stork Landscaping?

Anyone can do basic lawn care, but only the expertly trained, state-certified technicians at Stork Landscaping can provide you with the healthy, green lawn you've been dreaming of. We'll customize a 5-Step fertilization plan specifically for your lawn that gives it the right amount of nutrients on the right schedule.  We are locally owned and operated, serving Southeast Missouri for 20 years.

Environment Friendly

Stork Landscaping cares about our environment. All our products are approved by the EPA. We are also happy to offer a 100% organic lawn care program that has a big impact on your landscape while being gentle on the environment.

Custom Treatment Plan

No two lawns are created equal. Here at Stork Landscaping, we take the time to do a soil test and assess the current state of your lawn to recommend the best treatment plan. Our technicians are trained to identify problems in your lawn, crafting a customized solution. Our team will work closely with you throughout the process to ensure you understand your specific growing environment as well as the proper expectations for your results.

Our Guarantee

All our fertilization treatments come with a satisfaction guarantee. If you're not 100% satisfied, we'll make it right. It's that simple!

Ready for Yard Envy? Check this out.

Are you ready for your yard to be the envy of the neighborhood? Sign up for our 5-Step fertilization program before March 8, 2019 and receive your first application free. Fill out our quick interest form, and we'll be in touch with more details!

Contact us today to learn more about our lawn fertilization services or to book a free quote. 573.803.0046

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Looking Ahead

Happy New Year! If you’re like most people living on planet Earth, the new year makes you reflect on moments from the previous year as well as look forward in anticipation of the year ahead. In your life, you focus on the current “season” you’re in, working to persevere through the tough times, and, hopefully, learn to better appreciate the good times while you’re still in them.

In the same spirit of thinking ahead, your lawn needs preparation for the coming weather seasons, too. Spring will be here before you know it, and good spring landscaping will set the tone for the rest of the year.

Good landscaping involves big picture thinking.

So where do you start when planning for the future? By looking at the now! Does your home currently have a deck, patio, children’s play area or even a water feature?

If not, which do you want the most? For now, let’s say your priority is to add beautiful landscaping around your deck.

Here are some questions you might ask yourself:

1. Do I want formal or informal style?
2. What are my favorite colors?
3. Will I want to maintain the landscaping myself?
4. What do I like most about my yard/deck area that I can build on?

No matter which project comes first in your mind, making a list like this will help you to better strategize your approach, as well as spark creativity around your main ideas. Getting your project in scope is just the start to planning a new landscaping feature. It might seem like a lot of work, but don’t worry.

One thing that won't change with each new year is that we are always here to help!

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

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Ugliest Sweater Wins

Spoiler alert: Christmas is almost here! 

While we have been celebrating the season in one way or another since finishing our last bite of Thanksgiving dinner (yes, we believe in waiting to celebrate until the proper time) there is one newer tradition we decided to embrace for the first time this year. That’s right we’re rocking our UgLy Christmas Sweaters. 

The tradition of wearing an Ugly Christmas Sweater has been around for over 10 years and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down so we decided to fully embrace the festive fun. 

Here are a few of our favorite ugly "beauties":


We already can't wait to see next year's sweaters!

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Thankful for Thank Yous

The month of November is always a great time to look back at the first ten months of the year and reflect on what you are thankful for. After all, there is an entire holiday dedicated to it.

We at Stork Landscaping have so much to be thankful for year-round, including our employees, community and of course, our wonderful clients!

Good thing for us, the feeling is mutual. Here are a few reviews we are proud to have received over the past few years.

I love what Stork Landscaping created for the front of our home. They sent out a whole crew that hit the ground running & all worked together like a fine tuned machine. We are super happy & hope soon to have them back out to do our backyard. I would highly recommend Stork Landscaping, they are a top quality business & you definitely will not be disappointed.”-Susan T

Very professional, full service outfit that provides services from conceptual design, to install and maintenance of soft/hard scales and irrigation. Stork landscaping provides customers with cost conscious designs/installs that meet or exceed customer expectations. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a simple landscape facelift all the way to a full design and install of a custom dreamscape.”-Jaris H

Amazingly fast turnaround on small residential projects, 10/10 would recommend!”-Jenny M

I did a complete renovation on my landscape and Stork Landscaping was amazing. From the design to the construction phase, the customer service and quality of work, the experience was outstanding. I highly recommend Stork Landscaping!!!”-Cindy G

For us, these notes aren't limited to kind words written in a card. They translate to years of enjoying your landscaping and to us hoping it becomes the backdrop of many happy memories. How could we not be thankful to be a part of that? ;)

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As the leaves begin changing colors and falling off the trees at a rapid pace, it can be hard to imagine adding new plants to your yard or garden. However, autumn is actually the best time of year to show off your golden thumb.

Why Autumn?

There are quite a few benefits to planting during this season. Check out our top 4 list below!

1. Warm Soil

The temperature of the soil in your yard is probably not something you think about often (if ever). However, if you are considering planting, it is very important. Why? Because temperature helps regulate seed germination/growth and ensures that available nutrients get to your plants, causing them to sprout successfully.

2. Active Roots

While the Earth’s soil is still warm, roots can actively grow up until the ground starts to freeze for the next season. Getting an early start on planting also means your wildflowers will bloom earlier, and first-season perennials can actually show their flowers. When this happens, the Jones’ will want to start keeping up with you. ;)

Example: If you plant in the month of October, your plants have a substantial 7 to 8 months to grow and dig their roots deep into the ground. On the other hand, waiting until April or May would leave you will only 2 months before that Missouri summer heat hits us all.

3. Increased Moisture

Increased moisture is an amazing benefit to planting during autumn because it means less upkeep for you. The cooler weather eliminates evaporation, requiring less water than if they were planted in the spring. The shorter days also mean that photosynthesis slows down.

4. Get a Jump Start to Spring Growth

We hit on this a little bit already in point two, but spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils actually need to be planted in the fall and require an overwintering time to provide spring blooms.

Other Autumn Advantages

In addition to the scientific reasons you should plant before the autumn season ends, here is a list of other benefits to consider:

-Autumn’s cooler temperatures eliminate that need to take a second shower after a full day of planting in the summer heat.

-Late season is usually bargain time at garden centers that are trying to sell the last of their inventory before winter

-Plants love the fall, too. Their leaves aren’t stressed by the scorching sun like they are in summer, and cooler temps lessen the demand for water from the roots.

Winter will be here before you know it, so get planting!

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Curb Appeal-Fall Update

A few months back, we talked about some general, year-round ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Now, a little over one week after the first official day of fall, we have a seasonal update and the tips are as easy as pie!

1. Rake Your Leaves

See how painless these tips are going to be? Raking the leaves in your yard helps it to look more maintained and helps keep your grass greener, longer, when you remove the leaves and give it some room to breathe.

2. Give Your Front Door a Fresh Coat of Paint

Whether you’re refreshing the current color or picking a bold new one, painting your front door is a quick, easy and (inexpensive) way to add to your curb appeal. Just get it done before it gets too cold outside!

3. Don’t Keep Your Pumpkins Too Long

We know you or your kids worked really hard on those pumpkins, and they were masterpieces, really. Healthy pumpkins can add a lot to your curb appeal and make your front porch feel “homey.” On the other hand, rotten pumpkins are the opposite of appealing. Don’t forget to dispose of your pumpkins in a reasonable amount of time. Experts say Jack-O-Lanterns last 5 to 10 days and healthy uncarved pumpkins can last 8 to 12 weeks.

4. Hide Your Hose

Did you know that just like your summer clothes, you can pack away your hose for the winter? Garden hose pots like this one are specifically designed to keep your hose hidden and clean from dust and dirt. With the weather slowly but surely getting cooler, you won’t be needing to use your garden hose to water your plants and grass as much.

5. Plant the Perfect Fall Flowers to Enjoy Now

As a landscaping company, we are pro any improvement to, well, your landscaping. Mums, Marigolds, Petunias and Hollyhocks are all flowers that you can both plant and enjoy during the fall season. These flowers come in a variety of colors, and better yet, go perfectly with pumpkins.

And just like that, without a lot of work, your yard has the best curb appeal in the neighborhood!
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Fire Pits for Fall

Do you know at least a few people who are obsessed with all things fall? You know; the ones that decorate their house with fake leaves, burlap and pumpkins everywhere. Speaking of pumpkins, there’s a huge chance the folks you have in mind are also addicted to pumpkin spice flavored or scented anything. You get the picture. 

What about you? Just because you may not reach the same level of obsession doesn’t mean you don’t also enjoy the season of crisp air and changing leaves. As we enter Autumn, we just so happen to have a major way you can enjoy the season even more: a fire pit!

Along with being a centerpiece to your outdoor living space, fire pits create an instant, comfortable atmosphere for friends and family to make memories while enjoying each other’s company. The first official day of fall is September 22, so now is as good a time as any to start picking out the right fire pit to fit your needs and personal taste.

Before you make any decisions about the material or design, you must choose where the pit will be located in your yard. It really can become a centerpiece, so give consideration to seating and any additional hardscaping or landscaping you want to include in the area, or existing structures like patios and walkways. 

Safety tip: An open area away from the house is highly recommended. Give consideration to items like vinyl siding, buried cables and overhanging plants and trees. 

Once you’ve chosen your perfect location, it’s time to consider design and decor. Are you looking for a more traditional in-ground pit, or do you prefer a more modern approach? Maybe stacked stone or paver-style blocks fit the bill. Whichever route you choose, we have loads of different ideas floating around, and can offer suggestions based on the surrounding area of your yard.

Materials used are important, as you want to create a fire pit that will give you years of beauty and functionality. Natural stone can be stacked and sealed to create a more rustic feel, while bricks and pavers can help create a fire fortress you can be proud of. You’re truly only limited by your imagination (and fire safety) when it comes to the design and materials.

While many traditional fire pits are manually fueled by wood, more and more spaces choose a natural gas or propane solution for the flames. This allows maximum fire and heat control, allowing you the beauty and comfort of a fire pit without the inevitable “chair scooting” that comes with the unpredictability of a wood-fired pit. Setups can include wood-emulating cast centers that can handle the heat while portraying that organic, natural beauty that a wood fire gives.

There are plenty of options to consider with your fire pit, but the most important thing is to make it your own. Let Stork Landscaping help you plan your outdoor hardscapes, including your fire pit, to give you the beauty and charm you value while taking in to account all of these options and safety considerations. We’re ready to help you kick fall off in comfy, outdoorsy style!
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The world offers hybrid cars to conserve gas and energy efficient light bulbs to help conserve electricity, but what about water conservation?

As a landscaping company we value the very crucial role water plays in nurturing green spaces and delivering environmental benefits. Because water plays such a large role in our lives and makes a bigger impact than most of us realize, it’s important to use it sparingly when possible.

Get Smart

There are many ways you and your family can choose to use water wisely, not only saving water, but saving money in the process. One of the easiest ways is to simply start planting! Believe it or not, small changes to your landscaping and gardening routines are the perfect first step to conserving water.

Here are a few ways planting can make a difference from the Irrigation Association®:

1. Landscape to suit your lot. Choose grass or plants that have low water requirements and will thrive in your local climate. Consider your lot’s exact features, including sun and shade, dry and damp areas, plant size, and how you plan to use each section of your yard.

2. Keep soil healthy.
Aerating your lawn, especially around trees, at least once a year helps improve water penetration. When planting, turn and cultivate the soil and add compost or fertilizer to improve moisture retention and grow healthier plants that need less water to stay strong.

3. 'Hydro-zone”
your yard. Grouping plants with similar moisture needs in the same area makes it easier to make sure they get the water they need without overwatering. Separate plants from grassy areas, which have different water requirements.

Invest in a Long Term Solution

This next option for conservation is a bit more complex, and for the most successful results, should include a professional consultation.

What is this long term solution? Installing an irrigation system in your yard. Irrigation systems control the application of water for agricultural purposes through an underground sprinkler system. They are also specifically calibrated for climate and equipped with preset timers as well as rain and humidity sensors that help deliver the precise amount of water at the exact time required.

This means no more dragging the hose around the yard or remembering to turn the sprinkler off. The irrigation system takes care of everything for you!

For even more on irrigation systems, maintenance and the services Stork offers visit the Irrigation page of our website.


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