Full-Service Landscape Design
8 Pineview Ave, Berlin, NJ 08009
ph: (856) 753.1944
Mon-Fri: 7:00am - 5:00pm
01 Jun 2022

Audible Landscape: How to Incorporate Sound Into Your Outdoor Entertainment Space

Summer is here, and soon those barren wastelands of patios and decks will be alive with activity again. Grills will be fired up, furniture cushions placed, and portable stereos plugged in.  Time out… “Portable stereos?” It’s time to retire that Boom Box you’ve had since high school, purge those mounted “lunch box” style outdoor speakers, and take advantage of today’s technology. How about introducing symphony quality sound to your outdoor entertainment space? Innovative designs are gaining popularity with easy installation and control.

Top technology

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are two words most people are familiar with and use daily. Permanent outdoor sound systems have the same capabilities to be controlled by either of these platforms using a smartphone app. Whether the streamer for the system is a simple Bluetooth connection or more advanced Wi-Fi, such as Sonos, they both can be installed on a home’s exterior. In conjunction with an amplifier, your entire audio system can remain within the vicinity of the outdoor space without any costly interior wiring or renovations. A GFI electrical receptacle is all that is needed to get this outdoor powerhouse control center up and running.

Sound quality is undoubtedly the most critical product of a well-designed system, but speaker type and placement are key. They should be in the landscape surrounding the space to create an absolute sensation of immersion. Directional speakers will deliver sound to specified areas while being considerate to neighbors’ ears. Combination 3-way speakers are also available, which provide subwoofer, woofer, and tweeter all in the same unit. Speaker durability and longevity should be considered as well. We live in a region where temperature extremes and shore salt exposure can wreak havoc on outdoor electrical devices, so speaker housing materials are very important. Coastal Source is one of the leading manufacturers of these turnkey plug and play systems and has designed them to fit any application.

Sound in an outdoor environment can enhance any experience and influence the dynamic. Installing a properly planned sound system can foster relaxing alone time or a-rockin’ party. In addition, imagine being able to control the whole vibe and tone of the space without even leaving your seat.

“Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence” – Robert Fripp.

01 May 2022
Paver walk

Written in Stone

The explosion of outdoor living spaces has brought upon many new (and old) innovative materials to create these environments. Patio and wall materials have transformed to simulate natural stone and even wood products accurately. The combination of concrete, porcelain, and natural stone has blended seamlessly and added unique standout elements to these outdoor entertainment areas.

Concrete pavers

The lure of the once highly sought-after octagonal concrete pavers of 25+ years ago has long diminished and has now been replaced multiple times over. The trends in concrete pavers and other patio materials are the larger “slab” style pavers. These pavers are readily available from many well-known manufacturers throughout our area and come in various sizes ranging from 12″ x12″ to 30″ x30″. They can either resemble natural stone with ridges and valleys (clefts) or have a very contemporary streamlined, smooth appearance. One main advantage of these manufactured concrete slabs is that they are available in numerous color blends to complement any home or business’s existing palette façade.

Pavers

Porcelain pavers

The relatively new kid on the block is outdoor porcelain pavers. The thought of porcelain immediately raises the question of how durable these materials can possibly be compared to their fine China and figurine relatives collecting dust in a curio cabinet somewhere. Interestingly, they are the most durable, with a psi of 38,000. This is almost five times stronger than a standard concrete paver and even more so than most natural stone. They resemble the appearance of travertine, marble, granite, and even wood planking. At only ¾” thick, they make the perfect choice for overlay applications on existing concrete bases. These incredibly strong pavers are even suitable for vehicular applications such as driveways.

Natural stone

Created under extreme earth pressures and processes, natural stones used today have been around for millions of years. These ancient materials are what manufacturers have been striving to emulate and capture their natural beauty. Bluestone, limestone, travertine, and granite are materials that can be seen readily used in landscape projects because of their timeless beauty and enduring nature. Natural stone makes a great choice as step treads, wall caps, and countertop accents, in addition to also using one of the other options mentioned above. Each individual stone is unique in its own way, and this will never be able to be duplicated in the manufacturing process.

Stonemasons have constructed many “Wonders of the World” throughout history, which have taken lifetimes to complete. However, today’s available hardscape materials and their ease of installation will only take a fraction of the time and allow you to create a similar “Wonder of the Neighborhood” right in your own backyard!

If you want to learn more about hardscaping materials and how we can design a beautiful outdoor space to complement your home, give us a call today at (856) 753.1944, or check out the various projects we’ve created and installed for our customers here.

01 Mar 2022
How Can You Choose the Right Landscaper for Your Next Project?

How Can You Choose the Right Landscaper for Your Next Project?

Have you ever wondered if all of those titles and abbreviations after someone’s name actually make them more credible? They can. And the landscape industry is no different than any other facet of corporate America in accrediting individuals based upon education, knowledge, and experience. As a result, a select few have invested in themselves and their companies to provide better services and the highest quality products.

The following are three certifications commonly seen in the landscape realm that homeowners should consider before hiring a landscape professional.

CNLP: Certified Nursery Landscape Professionals must initially demonstrate a required body of knowledge about the nursery and landscape businesses. This education could be a degree or certification in horticulture and/or working or managing in industries such as landscape, nursery, or garden centers.

A CNLP prep course is offered to strengthen knowledge of plants (biology and management), landscaping (design and management), garden centers (sales and operations), and plant identification. The exam consists of 100-120 multiple choice questions and 25 plant identifications. Upon passing the exam, recertification is necessary every two years to obtain 24 continuing education credits within the same time frame.

APLD: The Association of Professional Landscape Designers bases its certification on experience and completed projects rather than educational curriculum or exams. An applicant must be practicing for at least two years and submit drawings, plant lists, photographs, and design objectives from three completed projects for evaluation.

APLD certified members need to go through a recertification process every three years and receive 30 continuing education credits. Founded in 1989, this is the only international certification program for landscape designers.

Landscape Architect– This is a multi-year degree Landscape Architecture program at an accredited university/college. By definition, “Landscape architecture is a multi-disciplinary field, incorporating aspects of botany, horticulture, the fine arts, industrial design, geography, and ecology.”

Landscape architects practice in various professions from designs of private residences/estates, public parks, civil infrastructure, and ecological restoration. Depending on the state where they practice, they are regulated with either a certification or licensure exam followed by yearly continuing education credits. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the primary organization these professionals are members of.

As you can see from this list, there are several certifications that can help verify the knowledge and skills that landscaping contractors have mastered. In addition, industry training and credentials can make a big difference in the quality and outcome of your next landscape project. So, before you hire a landscape professional for your next outdoor endeavor, be sure to investigate their credentials and experience. A contractor committed to achieving the highest level of safety, efficiency, and productivity will undoubtedly provide you with the best service.

01 Feb 2022
How Can Your Love of Roses Complement Your Landscape?

How Can Your Love of Roses Complement Your Landscape?

February is undoubtedly the month of love, and the beautiful rose has come to symbolize and strengthen this representation for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the high demand for this coveted flower during Valentine’s Day can easily triple in cost compared to the summer months. People across the country can be seen rushing around last minute on February 14th, spending a lot just to pick these beauties in an array of colors for their loved ones. Then in a week, they will wither, die, and find their way into the garbage. Not a good investment if you ask me!

So, if you’re an admirer of this flower, then why not include rose bushes within your landscape to enjoy throughout the entire season? Many varieties are readily available at local garden centers which require little maintenance, have extended bloom cycles, and grow different sizes to fit any space.

Wild (Species) Roses

These are the untouched ancestors of the roses most identified with today. They have remained unaltered without any cross-breeding or genetic modification. The Species Rose’s is exceptionally hardy to temperature fluctuations and requires little to no maintenance. Though they produce smaller flowers than their modern-day counterparts, and only once a season, they have many other valuable attributes. Vibrant hips (fruit) appear in fall, providing added seasonal color, not to mention attracting wildlife to the garden. Their tall arching branches make them an excellent selection for perimeter buffer plantings and screens. The thorns along their branches are also very profuse, making an excellent deterrent for unwanted company or deer.

Climbing Roses

Self-described, climbing roses develop very long canes (branches), which are flexible and easily trained through an arbor or trellis. Unlike actual vines, they do not possess clinging or climbing properties themselves and must be positioned intentionally. Some can even grow to lengths of 25’+, making them an excellent choice for a pergola or other large overhead structure. Walking by a grouping of roses in full bloom can be breathtaking but strolling under a mass of climbing roses is amazing. “Eden,” “New Dawn,” and “Joseph’s Coat” are some of the best climbers in the landscape.

Shrub Roses

Also known as landscape roses for their continued growing use in residential and commercial landscape projects, they’ve been cross-bred to create ultimate bloomers. Color variation, repeating bloom cycle, scent, and growth habits have been emphasized in these biogenetically engineered masters of the flower world. “Knock-Out” roses are most commonly known for their extended bloom from May through October, in addition to a high pest and disease tolerance. Carpet and Drift roses offer similar attributes but in a very low mounding and spreading variety, usually only growing 2’-4′ in height. Finally, miniature roses are well suited for container gardening, with most types only getting 1’-2′ tall. With so many choices available, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs.

The most requested item, hands down, in creating an aesthetically pleasing landscape is COLOR. Including rose varieties of different hues in your landscape is a guaranteed way to provide that WOW factor. Plant in masses with complementing colors, and you too will find yourself enjoying beautiful roses over multiple seasons throughout the year.

And wouldn’t that be so much better than only a week every mid-February?

 

 

 

 

01 Jan 2022
How and Why Should You Update Your Landscape Technology in the New Year?

How and Why Should You Update Your Landscape Technology in the New Year?

Technology and landscape are terms that sometimes evoke more of a feeling of conflict than complement when used together. However, the truth is they can be integrated seamlessly. Smartphones and tablets are taking control of our daily lives with apps and features to manipulate just about everything. Home automation from these applications has become commonplace in new construction and renovations, so why not extend that same ease of WIFI use outdoors.

LED landscape lighting, irrigation systems, and outdoor audio can all be controlled with just a simple swipe of the hand.  These functions make operation a breeze and are environmentally friendly by optimizing water usage and energy consumption.

LED Landscape Lighting

LED landscape lighting technology has come a long way since its inception.  The initial cold, bluish led lamps are now warm and inviting with the added option of an array of vibrant colors.  WIFI-driven transformers can group light fixtures throughout separate outdoor spaces and adjust light intensities as chosen through a phone or tablet.  Presets can also be programmed into the smart device so lighting will automatically turn on or dim when it detects the device within that space.

The ability to change colors on individual fixtures right from the palm of your hand I find the most versatile in creating the mood.  The overall appearance of an outdoor space can be changed multiple times throughout the evening (or season), captivating your audience intriguing them to wonder what’s next.

Irrigation Systems

The constant question of- “When should I water and how much?” has finally been answered.  WIFI-enabled irrigation control units are linked to your device and web-based weather forecasting systems.  Variables such as sun exposure, plant species, and lawn types are first accounted for throughout individual zones on the property.  Watering schedules are then adjusted and set based on forecasted temperature, rainfall, humidity, and wind speeds. These systems even can detect a change in water flow due to a break or obstruction in the piping.  An alert is immediately sent to the smart device, and you can schedule a repair promptly to avoid costly water loss. This smart technology leads to water savings and a beautiful, healthy landscape.

Outdoor Audio

Nothing completes the outdoor experience than some good tunes from a well-balanced speaker system. The most recent trend in outdoor audio is incorporating satellite speakers and subwoofers hidden within the landscape to create an immersive experience.  WIFI-based units, such as Sonos, provide similar capabilities to their indoor counterparts. The smart device communicates with the WIFI driver and transmits the signal to an amplifier and speakers. Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and many others can easily be streamed right from the comfort of your patio seat and surround you with digital music. Individual speaker levels can also be adjusted to provide sound where needed most and gentle listening for more intimate spaces. Multiple users can play DJ and select their favorite jams from their phones for an entertaining evening.

Most of us are connected to our smart devices 24/7, so why not put them to use for a practical and unique outdoor experience. What better way to coax the whole family away from the TV and Facebook than to get them outside with beautiful lighting and great music?

This year, get them back to the playroom we all had growing up – the great outdoors.

01 Dec 2021
What are the Best Ways to Bring Warmth to Your Outdoor Entertainment Space?

What are the Best Ways to Bring Warmth to Your Outdoor Entertainment Space?

As we’re preparing for the holidays and the cold weather to set in, it’s a great time to start thinking about your outdoor space again. Though the summer barbecues, family parties, and relaxing sunsets are now all just a fond memory, your outdoor entertainment area doesn’t have to be left vacant during the winter months. And we have some great ideas to help you with this. You may even want to add one to your holiday wish list.

As you turn up the thermostat inside with the plummeting temps, warmth can also be brought outside to make your patio enjoyable and functional with the use of FIRE.  It’s no secret that fire has been warming souls and bringing people together since the beginning of time. However, today’s applications and uses make this ancient element easy to add to any outdoor environment.

Fireplaces

By far, the stateliest way to incorporate a warm glow is a fireplace. They are typically the main focal point of a home’s family/living area and bring that similar aesthetic value to an outdoor patio space.  These structures are available in kits for ease of installation or custom-designed to fit specific needs.  Natural stone, clay brick, or manufactured block and veneer are all available options for constructing these features.  Incorporating solid stone mantels and hearths (as of their interior counterparts) even adds to their beauty and functionality. Imagine pulling the patio chairs up close and enjoying a hot cup of coffee or your favorite cigar while enjoying your outdoor fireplace.

Firepit

The firepit is where it all began and has evolved from the metal bowls on legs (which usually rusted out after a few years) to the permanent works of art built directly into the patio itself.  They can be constructed from all the same materials/kits as mentioned above with the fireplaces.  Circles, squares, rectangles, and hexagons are amongst the geometric shapes these firepits can take.  A few advantages of a firepit vs. fireplace are a 360-degree viewing and warming angle, not to mention taking up far less space.  And the price tag is only about 20% of a fireplace!  Though they may not possess the grandeur of a fireplace, there is nothing better than gathering around a firepit with your children and grandchildren, roasting marshmallows, and telling stories.

Infrared Heaters

Now more than ever, businesses (restaurants, bars, event venues) are using infrared heaters outdoors to increase their space due to COVID challenges. There are now so many options available on a residential scale for homeowners.  Compact and engineered to fit into virtually any area, they provide warmth where it is needed most. This is key in today’s efforts to conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint. Although some of these heaters are typically mounted above, the heat originates below the floor zone and then rises.  Much the same way the infrared rays emitted by the sun work as they are reflected off of Earth’s surface.  It only seems right to heat your patio area the same way the sun has been doing it for the past 4.6 billion years.

Whether you choose wood-burning, natural gas, or propane to fuel your inferno, careful planning is a must before implementing any of these, as many construction codes and permits apply to their location and use. A licensed contractor with experience in their design and installation is essential.

If you’re interested in adding heat to your outdoor entertaining space, give us a call today at (856) 753.1944, or check out the various fireplace and firepit designs we’ve created and installed for our customers here.

01 Nov 2021
landscape design

How Can You Develop a Comprehensive Landscape Design Plan?

Every great plan begins with just an idea.  Maybe it’s a concept of an outdoor entertainment space, complete with fireplace and bar top, or a plan to arrange landscape plantings to complement the style of your home. However, it’s the next steps that are so important in transforming this idea into a reality.  Site evaluations, conceptual drawings, and final site plans/3D imagery all compose the path leading to your ultimate “staycation.” Before jumping into this process, the undoubtedly most crucial aspect is determining a BUDGET.  This mystical number will help guide the direction of the plans and how they are composed.

Site Evaluation

This initial step highlights any limiting factors present on your property to be considered in the plan.  Drainage (water flow) should be evaluated not to introduce any landscape/hardscape features that could impede flow or redirect water in an unapproved fashion.  Sun exposure will dictate if a roof or pergola structure may be a nice addition to beat the heat or simply the variety of plants that will thrive. Town building/zoning codes need to be researched to be aware of what is allowable within your municipality.  Most towns have lot coverage and setback codes which may limit the extent of your project.  Conduct a soil analysis to determine if there is a high clay or sand content present.  The soil will directly affect how certain hardscape features are constructed (footing depth, base material, etc.) and the type of plant material utilized.  Spend some time studying the dynamics of your property to lead you in the right direction.

Conceptual Designs

Exterior landscape/hardscape design is a very fluid, ever-evolving process that should not be rushed. Take your time and allow the spaces to be sketched out so that all “wish list” elements be accounted for and located.  This planning will help in deciding spatially what can be incorporated and what can’t. This step helps examine the possibilities.  An old-fashioned #2 pencil with a fat eraser, in conjunction with trace paper, is a great way to create overlays and optional features.   This stage is the time to be creative, so if one idea doesn’t work, erase it or sketch over and try again.

Final Site Plan/3D Imagery

This last step is typically reserved for certified/degreed landscape architects and accredited landscape designers; however, computer programs are available if you feel up to the task.  A home survey is a valuable document you most likely already have to develop the base map of existing structures.  The survey is a scaled drawing that is either enlarged by hand drafting or importing into a computer program.  The conceptual images are now drawn in at the exact dimensions of the proposed project.  This is the plan which will be used for construction, so precision is key.  All structures, hard surfaces, bed lines, plant material, etc., should be included in these plans.  For those who have trouble envisioning overhead site plans, 3D imagery is available to create a realistic representation of the project’s appearance before a shovel is put into the ground.  Specific vantage points can be manipulated and viewed through these images.

The comprehensive landscape/hardscape design process is the necessary starting point to elaborate on that “million-dollar” (or maybe just a few thousand) ideas and provides piece of mind in your investment.  So, when you see those accreditations and abbreviations listed next to a designer’s name, know they come with the value and the ability to help professionally. So now that your design is complete, it’s time to start planning the best feature….  how you’re going to relax and enjoy your newfound outdoor space once construction is complete!

Need help planning your next landscape project. Our experienced, accredited team can help. Call us to schedule a consultation at (856) 753.1944.

01 Oct 2021
Fall is for Planting

Fall is for Planting

The dog days of summer are now behind us, days are shorter, and temperatures much more comfortable. This time of year, the fall, is the most ideal for adding vegetation to your landscape.  Plants are beginning to prepare for winter and going into a dormancy stage to conserve energy for the long, harsh cold. This reduced growth activity is precisely what allows their installation or transplantation with little or no stress to the plant itself. Also, now’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the array of vibrant colors the fall has to offer in making your selections. The following are my three fall favorites which capture both bold leaf and berry colors:

GRO-LOW FRAGRANT SUMAC:

Rhus aromatic ‘Gro-Low’ (Latin) is underutilized in the landscape primarily due to its name.  Sumac is not at all poisonous, and the actual species, which is, has no relation.  This fast-growing, low shrub gets about 2-3’ tall and 6-8’ wide.  They have a great scarlet fall color and create a stunning effect when planted in large sweeping masses. Gro-Low, like most sumacs, will tolerate poor soil conditions and prefer full sun to part shade. The leaves, when brushed against, emit a lemon-like fragrance.  It is also an excellent choice for attracting birds and wildlife.

SPICEBUSH:

Lindera Benzoin (Latin) grows 5-8’ in the landscape and prefers a location that offers part shade and moist soils.  As fall sets in, the leaves turn buttery yellow, accompanied by crimson red berries. The yellow then turns papery tan toward the end of fall and persists on the branches throughout the winter. The berries attract wildlife and are quickly eaten due to their high-fat content in preparation for winter. In addition, the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly larvae feed on the leaves and use them for protection before their chrysalis stage.

COMMON WITCH HAZEL:

Hamamelis virginiana (Latin) is another North American Native found in woodlands throughout the northeast. A fall-blooming deciduous shrub with twisted, ribbon-like yellow petals emerging along the entire length of branches. The leaves also display a vibrant golden hue which really will brighten up an understory planting.  Witch Hazel is a large growing shrub sometimes getting 15-20’ tall. It prefers full sun to part shade and moist, acidic soils high in organic matter.  It’s most notably known for its medicinal properties as a natural anti-inflammatory and antiviral astringent.

Fall is an encore performance of color display and the final bow for a great year in the growth cycle of many plants. Introducing them to your property at this perfect time of year ensures their survivability to thrive and flourish for many seasons to come. Visit a local garden center nursery on a brisk weekend morning and stroll the rows to see the colors that pique your interest!

01 Sep 2021
Fall Landscape

Don’t Let Your Landscape FALL Flat

Summer is winding down, vacations are ending, and those yellow school buses are making a comeback. Fall also brings changes to the temperatures and environment. This season makes it a great time to determine how your landscape faired over the warmer months and spruce things up as we head into the colder temperatures.

Extreme heat, lack of rain, and high humidity are all culprits that challenge lawn and landscape plantings. However, the most visibly affected area on most properties throughout the Delaware Valley is the turf.  So, what can be done to bring back that lush, green, golf course-like lawn you had back in April? And how can you also take advantage of the seasonal holidays to add some interest and color back to your landscape? We’re sharing some professional tips.

Lawn

Fungus was the quick spreading grass killer fueled by heat, humidity, and the over-watering suburban homeowner over the past few months. Fungus first appears as some yellowing areas which rapidly took over the lawn if not treated properly. The first inclination is to crank the irrigation up and even have it come on multiple times throughout the day. Unfortunately, more water adds to the problem making it much more difficult to correct with fungicides.

Don’t despair; in a few steps, you can bring your lawn back to its former beauty. Once this fungus (among us) is kept at bay, it’s on to the next step – Fall Lawn Renovation.

First, thatch your lawn to remove all built-up dead turf blades and debris. This can be done manually with a metal tined rake for those ready for a workout or by machine to be quick and efficient. Then, aerate your soil to remedy compaction and allow air, beneficial nutrients, and water to reach the root zone easily. Next, add a peat moss/soil mixture spread to any excessive bare spots throughout to provide the seed a stable germination medium. Lastly, apply grass seed along with a starter fertilizer for that extra boost. Ensure the new seed receives adequate water throughout its growing cycle to become a mature, hardened-off blade.

Flowers

Now that your lawn is the envy of the PGA tour, some much-needed seasonal color should follow suit. Mums are the staple fall flower that, when planted in masses, can create a stunning effect, but don’t stop there. Kale, cabbage, asters, and sedum will all add that vibrancy back into your landscape once the petunias and impatiens have all lost their appeal. Some of these are even perennials which means they will re-emerge each year to brighten your landscape. I can’t stress enough that planting in masses will help you achieve that WOW factor.  Quantities of three are good, five even better, and more than seven is a knockout!

Décor

Halloween and Thanksgiving are close enough to one another that outdoor décor displays can cover both.  If ghouls and goblins aren’t your things, you can still be festive and arrange pumpkins, multi-colored gourds, straw bales, and corn stalks. These all evoke the feeling of the fall harvest and are an excellent addition to entryways and landscaped areas. As with flower plantings, more is better! If you typically only purchased two pumpkins in the past, this year, get 9 of various sizes and arrange them in multiple groupings throughout.  Corn stalks are a great accent to any vertical elements of your home and landscape, such as light poles, doors, and tree trunks. The best aspect about these items is that they are relatively inexpensive, so you can go all out without breaking the bank.

Fall is associated with the end of the growing season, but no need to sit back and watch things wilt and die.  Finish up strong in a blaze of oranges, yellows, purples, and burgundies.  “Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile”- William Cullen Bryants

01 Aug 2021
Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer: How is Your Landscape Weathering the Heat?

School’s out, beaches are crowded, and that giant fireball high in the sky is baking your landscapes. The golf course-esque front lawn and lush landscape plantings you enjoyed throughout the spring may be showing signs of stress due to higher temperatures. Just how we become uncomfortable on a 95-degree day scorching in the sun, our lawns and landscapes are no different. So let’s touch on three aspects that, if addressed, will keep your lawn and plantings growing beautifully into the fall.

Fungus

The silent, creeping killer of lawns and shrub material which is most prevalent July-August. It thrives in hot and humid conditions overtaking the turf of suburbia. Fungus usually shows up as patches of brown, yellow, or white in the lawn seemingly overnight, and most homeowners are inclined to crank up their irrigation systems to bring back that beloved emerald green color. Unfortunately, water only adds fuel to the fire and causes the fungus to spread more rapidly. Once the onset of a fungal infection is identified in a lawn or plant, an appropriate fungicide should be applied. Treating it will halt the continued spread and allow for the regrowth of lawn blades and new leaves.

It also might be necessary to reseed the affected lawn areas if the fungus was there for an extended period as the root system may have also been compromised.

Weeds

Considered by most to be public enemy #1 in the fight to maintain a manicured property. When lawns and landscape plants start to stress in the heat of the summer, it’s a weed’s time to shine. They will overtake any thin or bare areas of an untreated lawn or light mulch covering in landscape beds. The first defense to these unwanted guests is keeping healthy, lush grounds and properly mulched beds. Mulch layers should be a minimum of 2-3″ and bare lawn spots quickly patched with seed. If it’s too late and they have already set up residence, post-emergent selective herbicides will aid in the fight. As with all herbicides, read directions thoroughly and follow manufactures recommendations as there are many limitations to application.

The best practice is not to even give weeds the chance to germinate. Pre-emergents for turf and landscape beds are generally applied in the spring as they last for multiple months throughout the season.

Irrigation

Water is the essence of all life, and plants drink a lot of it, especially in the summer. Unfortunately, drought is commonplace in our area, where there could be little rain for weeks and temps 85 and above. Plants are trained to conserve water in times when lacking, but only to an extent. That is when we need to step in and provide that much-needed supplemental watering either with an excellent old-fashioned hose and watering pale or an automated irrigation system.

Irrigation systems can be programmed to provide water at different frequencies in spring, summer, and fall and gauge the amount of rainfall received to what is needed. In addition, wifi-capable control modules are becoming more commonplace, allowing complete control from the palm of your hand and communicating with local weather forecasts.

Summer is generally the time of family vacations, relaxing by the pool, and enjoying everything outside Mother Nature offers. And, a well-thought-out plan that addresses these necessary maintenance practices will allow more time to appreciate your landscape and not have to overwork at it.

You can also hire a professional! Give our award-winning team a call today at 856-753-1944.