Hardscaping Areas That Won’t Grow Grass Easily

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. 

Three Ways To Protect Oak Trees In Areas Where Oak Wilt Is Common

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Protect Oak Trees In Areas Where Oak Wilt Is Common

Caused by a fungus, oak wilt is a deadly infection that affects all species of oak trees. There is no cure once a tree is infected, so it’s best to focus on preventing the disease – especially if you live in the eastern US where oak wilt is common. If you have an oak tree in an area where oak wilt is prevalent, follow these three tips to protect your oak tree.

Don’t bring other wood onto your property.

The fungus that causes oak wilt is spread from tree to tree by beetles. These beetles can hide out in firewood – and not just oak firewood. If you bring firewood onto your property, you risk bringing home these beetles and the fungus that they carry. If you must buy firewood for a wood burning stove or such, make sure you purchase it from a knowledgeable vendor who can guarantee that it came from an area that is oak wilt free or that it has been fumigated for pests.

Have between-tree root grafts broken.

When you have multiple oak trees in one area, their roots may become intertwined. If one tree becomes infected, it can easily spread the oak wilt fungus to another tree through these root adhesions. Breaking these root adhesions beforehand will help ensure that if one tree becomes infected with oak wilt, they don’t all immediately become infected. A tree care expert can sever these roof grafts for you. The process involves digging down into the soil a certain distance away from the trunk of the tree and slicing through (and sealing off) any roots that may travel to a nearby tree.

Don’t trim your trees in the spring.

The beetles that spread the oak wilt fungus happen to be most active during the spring. They are attracted to the exposed wood that occurs when you trim a tree. Thus, it is best to avoid trimming your trees during the spring so you do not attract the beetles. If your tree is in need of pruning, have your tree care service tackle the job in late fall or late winter when the beetles are still hibernating. By the time the beetles emerge and become active again, the tree will have healed its trimming “wounds.”

In addition to following the tips above, also make sure you keep an eye out for the main sign of oak wilt – which is browning, falling leaves in spring or summer. Contact an arborist if you believe your tree has oak wilt, as prompt action will help prevent its spread to other trees.

For more information, contact Arborcare Tree Service or a similar company.

Four Basic Tips For Pruning Fruit Trees

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Basic Tips For Pruning Fruit Trees

If you want your fruit trees to remain healthy and productive, it is important for you to prune them regularly. Unfortunately, a bad pruning job can be just as detrimental to a fruit tree as not pruning it at all. To ensure your pruning job is as helpful as possible, follow these four basic tips.

Only prune when the tree is dormant.

The best time to prune your fruit tree is in the late winter or early spring before buds have begun to appear. If you wait too long to prune the tree, it will waste all of its energy on this new growth, only to have it pruned away. Pruning a non-dormant tree also increases the risk of the cut edges becoming infected with fungus.

Remove older branches first.

When branches get too old, they stop producing fruit. Thus, it is these branches – not the new ones – that you want to eliminate first. To tell the difference between old and new branches, look at the color of the wood. Old branches are completely brown. If you can see any hint of green through the bark, that branch is rather new, and you should leave it on the tree, if possible. If you have removed a substantial number of older branches from a given area of the tree and it still seems too dense, then start removing some of the new branches – but do so sparingly.

Prune with the goal of exposing branches to sunlight.

The more sunlight a particular branch receives, the more productive it will be. Thus, your goal when pruning should be to trim away some growth at the top of the tree to allow sunlight to reach the deeper, lower branches. Try to visualize the tree with leaves on it. Look at each lower branch and ask yourself if it would receive sunlight, or if the branches above it would block all of the sun. If your answer is the latter, then prune away some upper branches to expose that lower branch more fully.

Make clean cuts.

Ensure that the shears you are using are sharp. If they are dull, they will make jagged cuts, which take longer for the tree to seal off and heal and are more susceptible to fungal infections. If your shears are feeling dull, many hardware stores offer sharpening services and will sharpen them for you.

Pruning a tree takes time and attention to detail. If you are not confident in your ability to prune a fruit tree by yourself, consider hiring a professional to do so for you. This way, you can be confident that your tree will enter the growing season in great shape. For more information or assistance, contact a landscaping company like Valentino Lawncare.

Adding A Fish Pond To Your Landscaping

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Adding A Fish Pond To Your Landscaping

There’s something quite peaceful about a pond no matter how big or small. They can be beautiful and relaxing, while adding visual appeal to your landscape. You can add fish to them for even more interest and appeal. Here is what you need to about designing a fishpond for your yard.

Decide Where You Want to Put the Pond

Choose an area with a lot of sunlight, which is essential for your fish. Also, make sure your pond site has stable soil to avoid issues with erosion. For a fishpond you have to make it at least 30 inches deep so that it doesn’t freeze in the winter and is big enough to hold fish. The bigger the fish, the bigger the pond needs to be.

Buy the Materials

There are several things you will need to design a successful fishpond. If this is the first fishpond you are creating, you might want to buy a kit. They come with everything you need. If not, here is what you will need to create one yourself.

  • Pond liner
  • Filter or skimmer
  • Water feature (optional)
  • Lights (optional)

Install a Water Feature

After completing the basics of installing the actual pond, you can now install extras such as a water feature. You can use a water fountain or a waterfall to make sure the water is moving, which will add oxygen to your pond. This is essential for the fish, and the moving water will keep algae and mosquitoes from infesting your pond. Not to mention the fact that it adds beauty to your pond as well as a relaxing sound.

Add Other Extras

Use other extras for your pond such as pond lighting or plants. You can use plastic plants, but nothing is better than the real thing such as water lilies. This will also make a more natural environment for your fish while providing shade for them.

Introduce Your Fish

Whether you are making a goldfish pond or a koi pond, the procedure to introduce your fish to the pond is the same as introducing fish to an aquarium. Place the fish in the pond, while still keeping them in the closed bag for about a half an hour. Check your water levels to make sure they are safe for fish and then slowly allow water into the bag while making sure the water in the bag doesn’t leak out. At this point, you can remove the fish from the bag with a net and allow them to swim freely in the pond.

For more information about landscaping, contact Design Scapes of Manasota Inc or a similar company.

Three Things To Know When Hiring A Snow Removal Company

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things To Know When Hiring A Snow Removal Company

When you own a business in an area that is prone to snow during the winter, it is best to make plans ahead of time. You do not want to wait to hire a snow removal company until the last minute because that could cause you to rush and choose the wrong company. The following guide walks you through the process of hiring a snow removal company to clean your business’ parking lot this winter.

Choose a Local Snow Removal Company

You want to be sure that the snow removal company you choose works locally. The truck that clears your parking lot will have to travel to your location, and the less distance between the two means the sooner the driver can get the job done.

Sign up for a Seasonal Contract

Many snow removal companies offer you the ability to sign a seasonal contract that allows you to have your parking lot cleaned for a set price every time it snows during the winter or the ability to schedule each cleaning individually. Businesses that sign up for the seasonal agreements will often have their lots cleaned first because they will be considered a priority.

Provide an Outline of Your Parking Lot

When you hire a snow removal company, you need to provide an outline of your parking lot to the company so that they can know where the parking stops are located at the edges of the parking spaces and where the islands are located in the lot so that they do not cause damage to them with the snow plow. Also, you may want to indicate where you want the mounds to be created when the snow is removed from the lot. In a corner of the lot is often best because it will be out of the way until it melts.

Hiring a snow removal company ensures that customers can get to your business with ease after inclement weather has hit. The snow removal takes a very short amount of time to accomplish and is worth the investment if you consider that many businesses will not be able to open because they did not take the time to plan ahead. The customers that might have gone to another business will now be able to come to your business instead. It is important to note that the company will have many clients so be patient on snow days because your lot may not be the first lot that is plowed. For more information about snow removal services, contact a company like LP Stewart & Sons Inc.

4 Tips For Safely Operating A Rented Wood Chipper For The First Time

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Safely Operating A Rented Wood Chipper For The First Time

Now that fall has arrived, it is time to trim your trees and chip their wood to put in your compost pile for next spring’s garden. While you may be unsure about operating such a dangerous and powerful machine for the first time, you can safely use a wood chipper as long as you take care to follow some simple guidelines. Follow these tips to ensure your safety while using a wood chipper for the first time:

Outfit Yourself for Safety

Before starting your wood chipping project, make sure that you are properly outfitted in clothing for the job. Since there are many moving parts in a wood chipper, you should not wear any loose-fitting clothing or jewelry when operating one.

To stay safe while feeding branches into the rented wood chipper machine, wear the following:

  • leather gloves
  • eye protection
  • hearing protection
  • long-sleeve shirt
  • jeans
  • work boots

Since there will be a lot of sawdust in the air, you should wear goggles for eye protection, and you may want to wear a mask to keep from breathing the sawdust into your lungs.

Chock Your Trailer Wheels

When you rent a wood chipper, it will be on a small trailer that allows you to easily bring it to your home using only a trailer hitch. However, the trailer’s wheels present a hazard because they can roll when you run the wood chipper and are feeding tree branches into it. To prevent movement of the trailer, make sure that you chock both sides of the wheels with cement blocks or large pieces of split firewood. You should never operate the wood chipper without the wheels securely chocked.

Never Reach Into an Operating Wood Chipper

A common wood chipper injury occurs when their operators reach into the chipper to move or retrieve a stuck branch. If you reach into the chipper, a branch can free itself and easily pull your hand and arm into the chipper’s rotating blades. Since getting your hand caught inside of the chopper will result in major injuries, never reach onto an operating machine. Instead, turn off the power, use a lockout system, and then unjam the wood chipper.

Use a Lockout System When Unjamming the Wood Chipper

Finally, when you rent a wood chipper, ensure that it comes with a lockout key. The lockout key is a simple plastic key that fits into a circuit and prevents the machine from being able to start. This is a necessary second layer of safety to protect you from someone accidentally turning on the machine when your hand is near one of the blades.

If your yard needs a tree removed or trimmed, visit Corner Landscaping & Tree Service.

Increasing The Appearance Of A Small Yard

Posted by on Oct 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Increasing The Appearance Of A Small Yard

If your yard is rather small and you wish to make it look like it is larger than it is in actuality, there are a few tricks you can do with simple landscape methods. Tricking the brain into thinking a space is larger can be done by drawing the eyes to certain areas of the yard. Here are a few illusions you can create in your own yard to make people believe you have more acreage than you really do.

Break Up Flat Space

Instead of accentuating a small lawn by keeping it flat and trim, add a sidewalk, cobblestone path, or some stepping-stones through the land to help distract people from noticing a small space. This walkway will work even better if it is not placed in a straight path. Have it curve through the land or place it with a few jagged turns to help draw eyes back and forth when walking through the area.

Add Some Distractions

When space is flat, the eyes will glaze over the area quickly and alert the brain that a small area is being viewed. Drawing the eyes into other directions because there are several things to see will make the land seem larger because of its busyness. Place a decorative statue in the middle of a small parcel of land to give people something pleasurable to view. Place a birdbath, a fountain or a bench in the yard to divert attention away from the size of the land.

Use Color To Brighten

To help give your yard more appeal, add several plants and colorful flowers throughout the space to give the area character. Warm colors like yellow, orange and red give a happy glow to an otherwise sad plot of land. Place larger blooms in festive flower pots to increase the warmth of the space. Add a few garden signs or painted rocks to give people something to view as they walk through the yard as well.

Draw Eyes Upward

Place a few items at higher levels in your yard so people need to look upward to appreciate them. This will give the impression of a larger space, because the eyes will need to look up and back down to see everything in the area. Do not stop with one tier of height, but place items at different heights to make the space look even bigger. A flagpole or carved tree would gain a lot of attention for the highest level. A medium level attraction could be a bird feeder or bird house on a pole, and lower-level diversions could be flowerpots on top of cinder blocks or large rocks. A retaining wall would also break up the space while drawing eyes upward.

You may want to ask a professional such as JK Landscape Construction for more advice.

Designing Tree Placement In A Small Yard

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Designing Tree Placement In A Small Yard

If you’ve got a small backyard but want to plant trees, the design or layout you choose should focus on similarities between the trees — and these aren’t always cosmetic. It takes good planning, but you can eventually have a small yard with well-chosen, healthy trees if you follow some guidelines. Here’s what to consider when choosing and placing trees for your yard.

Common Factors

Chances are the trees you have will be planted in some sort of pattern or group. Even if you have only two trees, one in each far corner of your yard, there needs to be a unifying factor such as shape, size, or even type — two fruit trees of similar height could work, for example, or two trees with similar flower colors. While there’s nothing wrong with an asymmetrical design, even those aren’t created randomly, and you can still detect patterns and similarities between the different components.

Nutrient Requirements

For ease of care, planting trees with similar nutritional requirements is usually a good idea. However, be sure that your soil can support the trees. For example, if you have trees that need a lot of water and a lot of nitrogen, more so than other trees, you must be willing to add adequate nitrogen to the soil if it doesn’t have a lot of its own. If you’re hoping the trees will just make do with what’s in the soil, you won’t have the trees for very long. If you don’t feel that you can provide the fertilizer, water, and other needs for all of the trees in that part of the yard, you can also contract with a landscaping company.

Pollination Protection

Many trees need another tree from their species, or a closely related species, in order to set fruit. However, some trees are too good at setting fruit when fertilized by whatever pollen comes along, resulting in cross-pollination that affects the fruit the tree eventually bears. If you’re planning a mini-orchard, you have to get the spacing right so that you end up with the types of fruits that you want.

If planning all of this on your own doesn’t sound like something you want to tackle, contact a landscaping company, such as Maddox Garden Center & Landscaping, Inc., that has experience with small yards. The workers will know which trees go well in which groupings, as well as how to care for the trees. You can have a tree-filled backyard, and landscapers could be key in finding the right design for your property.