Hardscaping Areas That Won’t Grow Grass Easily

How to Design a Beautiful Yard for a Modern Home

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Design a Beautiful Yard for a Modern Home

Spoiler alert: A modern yard can include traditional elements such as grass and flowers. Contemporary style is characterized by the clean lines of geometry. There’s no reason you can’t use plant life, along with hardscaping, to create those lines. Design a beautiful modern yard that complements your contemporary home.

Sketch the Yard

When it comes to designing any yard, Home and Garden TV suggests starting with a sketch. You don’t have to draw to perfect scale, but try to keep within the general dimensions of your yard. Sketching out the yard is especially important for modern-style landscaping because of the adherence to geometry. For this design, plan a rectilinear layout, which is based on a grid. However, when planning your geometric shapes, keep them asymmetrical. If you plan perfectly symmetrical squares and rectangles, the overall effect will be traditional and formal—like historical European gardens.

Plan for Patterning

When it comes to modern design, repeating patterns are a hallmark. So while you want to keep the larger shapes asymmetrical, include areas of patterning. Here’s where sod comes in handy. You can create a grid of lawn and square pavers in the center of the yard. Alternatively, install a rectangular lawn intersected with circles of concrete. The circles can be your patio, planters, and raised flower beds. With sod, you can also plan out the shapes themselves in grass. So, say you have a pool and a patio with intersecting walkways. Use the sod to lay out geometric shapes between all the hardscaping. You can get sod from a company such as Metro Sod & Seeding Inc.

Choose Modern Materials

While almost any material can look modern with the right layout, some especially lend themselves to the style. Concrete is a natural, as is metal. This is especially true if you’re going for an industrial look. Wood is more traditional, but it can look beautiful in a modern Asian garden. When choosing your materials, stay away from anything too organic looking, such as natural-cut stones. Let your plants provide the touch of softness to your landscaping.

Add Modern Plants

In addition to your sodded lawn, you’ll want to add some plant life to your contemporary yard. Here is where the “less is more” philosophy comes into play. It’s better to have a few visually interesting plants than a profusion of flowers. Look for plants with their own architecture, such as allium. Ornamental grasses look at home in a modern landscape, as do succulents. When it comes to the color palette, consider a monochromatic scheme. All green lends a sophisticated air, but any monochromatic palette will suffice. Try to choose the paler hues, as they emphasize the simplicity in the clean lines of your design.

Utilize sod, hardscaping, and monochromatic plants to create a chic, modern yard.

How To Reseed Brown, Dead Patches In Your Lawn

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Reseed Brown, Dead Patches In Your Lawn

Are there brown, dead patches scattered across your lawn? Perhaps they’re there because you killed weeds in that area, or maybe they’re the result of drought. If you just let them go, weeds may grow there rather than grass. So it’s better to dig them up and re-plant grass seed in the area. Here’s how.

Step 1: Digging up the brown patches

Use a small trowel to trace an outline around the edge of the brown patch. Just push the trowel 4 or 6 inches down into the soil. Once you’ve made a ring, start peeling the top layer of soil off inside the circle. It should come up rather easily since this soil will be held together by the dead grass roots. If you come across any thicker root that you think belong to weeds, be sure to dig them out completely.

Step 2: Fill the area with topsoil.

Purchase some topsoil at your local home improvement store. Don’t just use dirt from a friend’s yard, as this is likely to contain weed seeds. Work a couple teaspoons of fertilizer pellets (a variety made for lawns) into the soil. Then pour the soil into the hole that was left behind after you removed the old, rooted soil, Pat the topsoil down to compact it.

Step 3: Scatter the grass seed.

This is a bit more complicated than it sounds because you have to ensure that you choose the right type of grass. If you live in the northern US or Canada, look for a cool season grass mixture. If you live in the south, a warm season grass mixture is the best option. Sprinkle a generous amount of grass seed over the compacted topsoil. Then sprinkle just a very light layer of topsoil over the grass seeds. You want to barely cover them. Too thick a layer may keep them from germinating properly. Pat this layer down gently.

Step 4: Water and maintain.

Water the newly-seeded area to moisten the grass seeds. Then apply a layer of straw or mulch to the area. This will help trap in moisture and heat to encourage the grass to germinate. Water the grass daily. As soon as you see little blades of grass poking out, you can remove the mulch or straw to allow the grass to see some sunlight.

Re-planting brown patches is pretty simple once you get used to it, and doing so will keep your lawn looking green and flawless. For more information, contact Vista Landscape and Maintenance, Inc. or a similar company.

Your Lawn: Preparing for Winter

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Lawn: Preparing for Winter

Cooler weather is coming, although it may not seem like it right now. Before the cool weather arrives, you need to take care of a number of tasks, many of them indoors, including some involving your heating system and your windows. Don’t forget to handle the outdoor tasks as well. If you live in a colder climate, you need to complete basic tasks to winterize your lawn.

Sprinklers

Draining your sprinkler system is important because the water pooled inside the pipes can easily freeze, causing your system to spring leaks that may require extensive repair. Experts advise that you turn off the water supply to your sprinkler system. Then, if you have a manual drain system, you should find the valves located near the bottom of each sprinkler branch. Open those drains and leave them open for several days. Then open the drains at the top of the system. Leave them open for a day or two. Next, gently jiggle the sprinkler heads to shake out any water to protect things from freezing. When you are finished, close each valve once more. Experts also suggest insulating your sprinkler’s connection to the water supply. In some cases, you may want to use compressed air to blow out the water in your sprinkler. 

Lawn Care

Fall is the time to prepare your soil for next year’s grass growth. You should spread new grass seed and plant your flower bulbs during this period. In addition, experts recommend aerating your soil. You can do this manually, but many people prefer to rent an aerator. These machines punch holes in the soil so that it is not compacted, and this allows the grass seed to more easily to take root. Fall is also the time to fertilize your lawn and, surprisingly, water it after your labors. After that, continue to water enough to keep the grass moist but not wet. Although some of these actions may seem more like spring-friendly activities, completing them during the fall can make a drastic improvement in your lawn next spring. 

Winter means getting many things inside prepared for the cold weather, but do not short-change your yard. Your sprinkler system needs attention, as does your grass. Working hard this fall will pay off in the spring. You’ll end up with a lawn that’s ready to thrive with the help of your well-maintained sprinkler system. Then you can sit back and enjoy the spring weather.

Tips To Keep Your Hardscape Cool In The Summer

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Keep Your Hardscape Cool In The Summer

If you plan to place a hardscape in your backyard soon, it’s important that you keep the area cool in the summer. Although hardscapes can be beautiful additions to your home, they can become hot from the sun’s summer heat. If you have small children, pets or older individuals living in your home, you want to keep your hardscape as comfortable as possible for them. Here are some things you can do to make your hardscape enjoyable during the summer months.

Choose Interlocking Paving Stones For Your Hardscape

One of the most important things to consider is the type of paving stones you want to use for your hardscape. If you choose to use natural stone, make sure that use interlocking paving stones instead of whole stones. Natural stones can absorb heat over time. If your hardscape will sit near your kitchen or another frequently visited room in the home, the heat can transfer to it. 

Interlocking pavements made with light-colored travertine or shell stones may be good for your hardscape. The stones don’t absorb as much heat as concrete, flagstone and a number of materials, which can become uncomfortably hot from the sun’s heat. In addition, interlocking stones allow you to be creative with your landscaping project. You can create a host of designs, including diamonds, circles and everything in between.

If you’re still unsure about the best paving material to use for your hardscape, consult with a landscaper for help.

Place Trees and Plants Around Your Hardscape

The next step to keeping your hardscape cool is to plant trees in the area. You don’t have to plant seeds and wait for them to grow to accomplish your goals. You can strategically plant young trees around your backyard instead. However, you want to avoid planting fast-growing trees, as they can cause some issues with your hardscape and property. Instead, select trees that mature at a good rate, such as Japanese Maple and Crape Myrtle.

It’s a good idea that you consult with a landscaper before deciding on your trees. You must select trees that grow well and thrive in your climate, as well as meet the requirements set by your city. In addition, you may want to ask a landscaper about adding native plants and perennial flowers to your hardscape. Many perennials require full sunlight and little maintenance on your part to thrive, which may help keep the area cool and relaxing for you. 

If you would like to learn more about keeping your future hardscape cool in the summer, contact a landscaper for additional info.

2 Critters That Can Take Over And Old Stump

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Critters That Can Take Over And Old Stump

If you had a tree that died and fell in your yard, you may be left with a stump in your yard. Some people think that they can just leave the stump and maybe landscape around it, put some flowers around it, or something similar. However, no matter how pretty you make the area around the stump, you aren’t going to make it less attractive to the animals and pests that like to live in stumps. 

Yellow Jackets/Wasps

Yellow jackets and wasps both like to find hollow places where they can build their hives. They will build their hives in any hole, including holes in the ground, so a hollow rotting stump can be perfect for them. Unlike honey bees, yellow jackets and wasps are aggressive and will attack in larger numbers if they feel that their hive is threatened.

There are some things that you can look for to tell if you have honey bees or yellow jackets. A yellow jacket has two distinct body segments, with a tiny little waist in between them. They also have yellow and black bands around their body. A honey bee has less defined body segments, and their stripes are usually black and brown. Another difference, but one you don’t want to find out about, is that yellow jackets are able to sting more than once without dying, but when a honey bee stings, it dies.

If you have honey bees, you can call a bee removal company to relocate the bees. If you have yellow jackets or wasps, call an exterminator. 

Rats

No one wants to think about having rats anywhere near their house, but the truth is, rats are everywhere. Rats are true survivors. You put them in just about any environment, and not only will they survive, they will thrive.

Rats like to live in places like stumps because they can chew a den inside that is big enough for them and their families. Rats also compulsively chew because their teeth are always growing and chewing keeps the teeth from getting too big. A stump is good for that. The stump is generally close enough to your house that the rats can get into your garbage and that of your neighbors so that they can find something to eat and bring back to their den in the stump. 

If you have an old stump in your yard, you may think it’s picturesque, but there are pests out there who are going to think it’s home. Be sure to call your local stump removal company to have it removed as soon as possible. 

Removing Apple Trees Infested With Nematodes To Replant An Orchard

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Removing Apple Trees Infested With Nematodes To Replant An Orchard

Nematodes are some of the most common and stubborn pests that can be found in an apple orchard. Not only do these tiny roundworms burrow into and damage the roots of your trees, but they also spread diseases that can stunt and reduce the quality of your fruit. Worse still, nematodes and the diseases they carry can remain active in the soil long after their original host trees are removed, which can make replanting on the same land a risky proposition. If you are removing trees infested with nematodes to start fresh in your apple orchard, follow these four tree removal tips for a successful replanting. 

Treating the Nematode Infestation

Before you remove your trees, you should do everything you can to eradicate the nematodes living within them. This may seem like a waste of time any money, but once the trees are gone, any surviving nematodes will quickly scatter into the soil and nearby plants. It is better to eliminate nematode colonies while they are still concentrated and then dispose of the infested trees. 

Removing the Roots of the Infested Trees

In most cases of tree removal, it is enough to chop down the tree and then pull out or burn the remaining stump. But this typically leaves behind a large chunk of the tree’s root system to decompose naturally, which can harbor nematodes for years. When you speak to your tree removal service, emphasize the importance of removing as much of each tree’s root system as possible to give lingering nematodes fewer places to regroup and build again. 

Planting Nematode-Resistant Ground Covers

Once your trees are gone, you may want to fumigate the soil again to wipe out any survivors. After this, you should leave the orchard unplanted for at least one growing season to give the soil time to recover and ensure the absence of disease. Typically, the longer you can wait, the better. During this time, sow ground covers that are known to suppress nematode populations, such as marigolds, sorghum, cowpeas, vetch or lupine. These plants spread quickly and may improve your soil quality, and they have the added advantage of not supporting nematode populations. 

Testing the Soil Before Planting New Saplings 

Before you take the plunge and purchase new saplings for planting, it is wise to have your soil tested for any remaining nematodes and their associated diseases. This can typically be done through a professional testing company or your local agricultural extension. By relying on a seasoned tree removal service and demonstrating patience, you can prevent your new trees from growing in stunted and disappointing and instead enjoy the fruits of your diligence. 

Want To Add Style To Your Side Yard? 3 Landscaping Ideas To Consider

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want To Add Style To Your Side Yard? 3 Landscaping Ideas To Consider

If the side of your home is empty and the landscaping hasn’t been done in this area, it’s a good idea to look into what kinds of projects you can tackle to improve this area of your property. Since the side of your yard is likely narrow and doesn’t receive much sunlight, you’ll need to keep these two qualities in mind when deciding what to do with your side yard. The following projects can all be handled by a landscaper and improve the way your yard looks substantially.

Get a Shade Garden Put In

A great way to take advantage of the square footage of your side yard is by putting in a shade garden. The shade garden can include everything from shrubs and flowers to edible plants such as lettuce and strawberries. Whatever you intend on growing in your side yard, you’ll need to make sure that the plants will do well in the shade and that the soil is treated first. Container gardening for planter beds can all be good ways to ensure that you’re able to control the quality of the soil and easily move the plants into the sunlight if needed.

Make Sure a Walkway is Installed

Another way to make use of the limited square footage of the side of your yard is through getting a walkway installed. The walkway can come in a variety of forms, ranging from brick paving to natural river rock. Even a gravel walkway can work on the side of your yard, but it’s important to consider the exterior of your home and the other landscaping features present so that the walkway can fit in once installed.

Include Eco-Friendly Features

Eco-friendly features are especially appealing to potential homebuyers, making it a good idea to incorporate a few features into your side yard. If you live in a climate that receives a lot of rain, a good way to repurpose rainwater into landscaping water is through setting up a rain barrel. Whether you build one on your own or purchase a prebuilt rain barrel, you can enjoy its benefits almost right away. Another eco-friendly option for using the space on the side of your yard is adding compost bins that allow you to throw out scraps of food to reuse as fertilizer.

With the various projects that you can do to improve the look and function of the side of your yard, you can be sure that your landscaping looks great and that every square foot of your yard is utilized.

4 Ways To Get Started With Designing Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen For Baking Pizza

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Get Started With Designing Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen For Baking Pizza

If your dreams of having your own backyard kitchen are mostly rooted in the idea of enjoying fresh baked pizza at home, there are a number of steps you’ll need to take towards getting your yard ready for the new addition. While some outdoor kitchens are designed with a BBQ grill or entertaining friends and family in mind, you’ll want to consider a few other factors that will help you get the final look and function you desire.

Make the Pizza Oven the Main Focal Point

Authentic pizza ovens can cost in the several thousand-dollar range, making it obvious that this key part of your outdoor kitchen should be made the highlight. While you may be tempted to devote a lot of your budget into the kitchen counters or the paving that will be underneath the kitchen, you want to do your best to make sure that the pizza oven isn’t skimped on. This means devoting a chunk of your budget towards the pizza oven and focusing on quality over saving money.

Include Plenty of Counter Space

While the pizza oven will be the main focal point of the kitchen, you also want to make sure that there is plenty of counter space. Not only do you need a large counter space to help prep everything before going in the oven, it’s also a good place to place everything before serving.

Consider Which Extra Features Are Ideal for You

When you begin exploring all of your options for creating an outdoor kitchen, you’ll quickly see just how many features are included. Everything from string lighting to landscaping rocks can make a big impact in the final look of your outdoor kitchen, making it a good idea to look into what will be best for your kitchen while still fitting into your budget.

Create a Theme for an Immersive Experience

All the above features can go a long way towards creating your dream outdoor kitchen, but the best thing to do is create a theme. A typical theme for outdoor kitchens and pizza ovens is an Italian, rustic style, but you’re free to try styles such as tropical or modern. Whatever theme you end up going with, you can expect a more cohesive look that ties together the space.

As you begin exploring all of your options for creating an outdoor kitchen, you’ll quickly see just how personal it could be. By making their main focus the pizza oven, you can begin enjoying baking your own pizzas at home once the kitchen has been finished.

A Guide To Buying Retaining Walls

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Guide To Buying Retaining Walls

When you want your home to exist with efficiency and durability, it’s all about the little fixture that you install to aid you in this. When it comes to your property, you should be just as mindful of the exterior as you are the interior. This means taking great care of your landscape to the best of your ability. With this in mind, one of the best things you can do is invest in a set of retaining walls. Take advantage of these points so that you can understand the benefits of buying retaining walls, follow some key tips to getting it installed and understand the cost. From here, you can reach out to a landscaper who can handle the work for you. 

What are the main advantages of retaining walls?

There are a number of ways that a retaining wall will be well worth the investment. These walls are excellent for your soil by keeping it sturdy and in place and helping you to avoid developing sink holes. These walls are excellent flood prevention tools as well and will help you to avoid dealing with erosion throughout your landscape. Further, they are beautiful fixtures that will improve the way that your landscape looks overall. 

How can I make the most of my retaining walls?

When you get your retaining walls installed, there are a number of things you should keep in mind to make the most of it. For one, be sure that it becomes part of your lifestyle and not just a structure. For instance, you can set up the flow of your yard around it and use the wall to plant an assortment of crops. You can work with a landscaper on the quality of design and should select the best materials for the wall, including stones and blocks that are manufactured. 

What is the cost of a retaining wall?

In order to get the help and service of a retaining wall contractor, you will need to get a clear idea of how much this work will cost. Much of this cost will depend on the type of material that you use. For instance, concrete block walls will cost anywhere between $15 per square foot and $30 per square foot. Wood walls will cost between $20 per square foot and $25 per square foot. Stone walls will cost between $25 per square foot and $40 per square foot. Poured concrete walls will cost between $30 per square foot and $40 per square foot. 

Keep these ideas in mind and reach out to a landscape contractor that can help you further. To learn more, contact a company like K & R Lawn and Landscaping

The Benefits Of Lake Fountain Aeration

Posted by on Dec 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Benefits Of Lake Fountain Aeration

Adding a pond or lake to your personal or commercial property can increase the beauty and value of your land. Maintaining that lake does take some effort. Fortunately, installing a fountain in your lake can take care of multiple issues for you by providing aeration, a necessity for a healthy body of water. In addition, they simply add beauty to your home or business. 

Water Quality

The aeration provided by a lake fountain improves the quality of the water. Sediments, gasses, and metals are released from the bottom of the lake or pond. When the right aeration is used, these substances are released into the air at the surface. Aeration also removes carbon dioxide while limiting alkalinity and encouraging proper pH levels. You will get less pond algae as well due to the spores being drawn into areas where they do not get enough sunlight to thrive. Your lake can easily become an eyesore if it doesn’t have the proper aeration.

Insects

Your lake or pond will attract more than compliments. Insects adore water and will swarm to your property. Without taking preventative steps, you will see bees, wasps, and other potentially dangerous insects in addition to gnats and flies. When you add a fountain, bugs are repelled by the movement of the water. They find it difficult to drink and reproduce there. You are then able to enjoy your body of water instead of having to avoid it. 

Fish

If you have fish in your lake or pond, a good aeration system will help them grow fat and healthy. When there is enough oxygen in the water, the good plant life at the bottom of the water will thrive, ensuring a plentiful food source for your fish. In particular, warm water fish will benefit because they are more dependent on higher “dissolved” oxygen levels. Lake fountains can provide enough aeration to allow your fish to multiply. 

A lake fountain is more than mere decoration, although it certainly adds value to your landscape. A fountain provides the right level of aeration, improving the quality of the water as well as discouraging insects. A properly aerated pond also allows your fish and “good” plant life to thrive. Adding a pond or lake to your property improves the aesthetics and usually increases the value of your land. You can maintain this asset by installing a visually striking lake fountain to your pond or lake.