According to the Wall Street Journal, over 100,000 new small businesses are opened every year. Many workers are growing tired of toiling day after day to make someone else’s dreams come true. With independent contractors and freelancers taking over the world of commerce, it might be time to think about starting your own private enterprise.
Landscaping businesses can be as lucrative as they are rewarding. With busy schedules, there is a growing demand for companies to come in and take care of people’s property. Give your creative green thumb an outlet to thrive while creating and maintaining some beautiful landscapes.
From a simple mowing business to a more complex landscape design, the choice is yours. Take advantage of the tools of your trade including creative landscape design software to help you make your clients’ dreams come true.
As with any new venture, it’s always best to start with a plan. Opening your own business can be a challenge, so having a picture of what you want to accomplish and how you will do it is the best place to start.
Make A Business Plan
If you have no experience running your own business, you will need to start by doing your homework. To bring in interest for financing, you will need to create a comprehensive business plan to present to lenders. There are many online tools that can help you with a business plan template to get you prepared.
It’s a good idea to consult with an accountant to get advice about setting up your bookkeeping system and taxes before you get started.
Set Your Pricing
The best place to start when deciding what your fees will be is to investigate your direct competition. You may be able to cut some corners when you are just starting out, as your overhead will be slightly lower than the more established companies. Consider your time invested, cost of materials, labor, equipment, and tools, and your overhead costs before calculating your best price.
Every state will have different licensing requirements. In a landscaping business, you may need to obtain special certification to use chemicals and fertilizers. You should also check your local bylaws regarding waste management and local irrigation.
You will be required to sit for the Landscape Architect Registration Exam before you will be issued an official business license. The exam will cover the basics of land management, maintenance, and safety. You can write the exam for a one-time cost of $150.
Consult your accountant about setting up an EIN (Employer Identification Number) that will connect you to the IRS. Visit the IRS website and fill out the standard SS-4 forms to receive your State Tax I.D. number.
Start by advertising locally and pick up a few of your first clients by offering services to your neighbors and family. Take advantage of the incredible reach that social media can offer by establishing a company website and a dedicated page on Facebook or an Instagram account.
Create a portfolio of your past work as you gain more experience. Being able to display examples of your work directly to your clients can show them that you have a great experience as well as talent.
With a small landscaping business you may start out as an independent contractor, but with luck, you may soon have to hire extra staff to keep up with the demand. You should always have a rigid interviewing and hiring process to protect your business. Check references and past experience before making any hasty decisions. You should expect to provide training for all of your new employees. You can also use a lawn care time tracking app to ensure employee accountability.
Growing a Garden That Birds Will Love to Visit
Bird species are dwindling across the globe, with forests in the US and Canada alone having lost one billion birds and nearly three billion in total since 1970—as found in a Cornell University study. Common birds—those you may have seen in your yard in your youth—are the most affected, since over 90% of losses arise from common birds like sparrows, warblers, and blackbirds. If you want to ensure the survival of common birds species in your area, optimal garden design can help you achieve your aim. Read on to discover a few small changes that can make a big difference.
Planting Native Species
Native plants enable wildlife such as birds to thrive, thanks to their nectar, acorns and nuts, seeds, fleshy fruits, and insects. In order to work out the optimal combination of plants for your yard, it is vital to research the different wild birds that are native to your area. Study the different species and take note of the preferences of any endangered bird species you wish to help proliferate. Sparrows, for instance, are attracted to blackberries and wild grasses, finches take to pines, spruces, hemlocks, coyote bush spruces, and composite flowers, while warblers are known to favor maples, oaks, American elderberries, and serviceberries. Some of these trees are chosen for nesting, others for their fruit, so try to create a garden that combines both types of plants or trees.
Sticking to Organic Growing Principles
Birds are vulnerable to the immense harm that pesticides can cause. Birds can either swallow pesticides directly, drink tainted water, or absorb toxins to the skin. This can have an array of effects, including deformed embryos, lack of appetite and weight loss, suppressed immunity, greater vulnerability to predators, and the inability to orientate correctly for migration. Organic, gentler alternatives to pesticides include companion planting (which can keep specific pests at bay) and soft chemicals (like rhubarbs, stinging nettles, and soap). For a small yard, try plant oils like rosemary, geranium, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass, and lavender. You can also consult gardening specialists about parasites that may be useful for targeting specific host insects. Finally, some predators can help reduce pest populations. These include frogs and lacewings. As your yard begins to fill with birds, you will find that they, too, help reduce the presence of pests.
Adding Active Water Features to Your Garden
Once again, it is important to study the specific needs of native birds. Warblers, for instance, are attracted to running water, so adding a fountain to your garden may increase their presence (and that of many other beautiful birds). You can additionally set up a birdbath where birds can enjoy a bath on a hot summer’s day. When choosing your bath, remember that although smaller baths are easier to clean, the larger the bath, the more birds you are likely to attract. You should also prioritize height since high baths enable birds to frolic while still keeping an eye out for predators. Your chosen fountains and baths should be made in materials that will withstand challenging weather. If you live in a cold zone, avoid resin baths, which can crack in the winter.
Many bird species are in danger because they don’t have enough green spaces. Designing a bird-friendly garden will take time and a small investment, as you will need to cater your landscaping features to the need of specific birds. In addition to planting suitable plants and trees, remember to give water features the importance they deserve.
The Plant Guide for Southern California
One of the best things about SoCal life is that a lush Mediterranean dream can always come true, which is why it’s easy to find a list of the best outdoor potted plants for Southern California.
It just seems to be quite the statement to have patio plants to pair with the serene setup of your home, and we have just a few helpful tips for you if you’re already ready to expand your green thumb’s capabilities for a much bigger space.
1. Bask in the Light
You may already know that not all plants love the sun. There are some who prefer breathing under a shade. Before you decide to buy plants for your patio, plan out where you want to place them.
Plants that thrive in full sunlight are those that enjoy a good six to eight hours of basking. On the other hand, those that love being under the shade need only an hour to two of direct sunlight.
It will be good for both visual appeal and ecology that you have a balance of plants that require full sunlight and some that thrive in full shade. This way, you have space to sit down and relax on the patio, as this avoids cramping all of your plants to a single area or side.
2. Make Room for Growth
Compared to growing plants indoors, a patio space is a win.
Work well with the space as you consider not just how many or how much more you can add to your growing nursery, but more so, that you still need space for your own furniture and also for the plants’ growth.
Because a patio gives you not just floor space or possible shelves but also the space to work with hanging plants, you can maximize this to create an aesthetic flora and fauna in the confines of your own home.
However, also remember that hanging plants can create or add more shadows to your patio. Ensure that plants that require full sunlight will still be able to access their healthy dose.
Additionally, because of the bigger room that you can have on a patio, you can check out a more comprehensive array of pots and containers that you can choose from for the plants you’ll be having.
3. Be in the Zone
Another great thing about SoCal is that the entire state has its own planting zones. California is known as a state for growing both food and plants all year round, and SoCal’s specific planting zones are 5A to11A.
Knowing which one is nearest to your home will help you plan ahead and learn which specific plants thrive during particular seasons. These are also where you can purchase new plants.
Planting zones study the changes of temperature and weather within the state itself and thus, be able to predict the specific plants that are strongly suggested for when you make your plan come into fruition.
This is also a great learning tool for you if you want to keep developing your green thumb, as these zones do not only discuss plants for your home but also flowers and all forms of vegetation.
4. Consider Flowers and Vegetation
Since a patio gives you the ability to plant outdoors, you can diversify your plants by also looking into growing your own flowers or even fruits and vegetables.
This part is exciting as you get to practice a micro-scale of agri-farming by enabling you to grow your own food. You also get to learn more about farm-to-table practices while you’re doing this.
Growing your own flowers also reminds you about the importance of other life forms outside of you and your plant. You get to interact with the bees that help your plants grow with you.
Suppose you’re conscious about your carbon footprint. In that case, this upgrade to your nursery elevates that consciousness to a much bigger scale by allowing you to participate firsthand in how the rest of the planet grows, even within the small space of your own patio.
5. Reconnect With the Space
Your patio becomes an entirely different space to your home when it has new life within it. It no longer becomes just another room for you, but it becomes a space for reconnecting.
With plants in your patio, you get to be in touch again, not just with our environment, but the plants in your deck will exude breathing room for you to have a clear mind.
If you live alone, this is not just a space to take a break, but the commitment itself to take care of plants will also allow you to join a growing community of plant lovers.
How to Start a Landscaping Business
If you’ve got a talent for reshaping gardens, then you might be tempted to start a career as a landscaper. It’s something that there’s considerable demand for – given that gardens have a natural tendency to become overgrown and to generally fall into disrepair.
But to succeed as a landscaper, you’ll need the skills to achieve respectable results. Moreover, you’ll need to be able to market yourself and liaise effectively with clients and sub-contractors. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need a few basic business skills.
Let’s take a look at a few steps you’ll want to take before getting your landscaping business off the ground.
People who start profitable landscaping businesses tend to have experience in the industry, to begin with. But this isn’t necessarily a requirement. If you’re willing to pick up the skills by working in your own garden, and working at first for friends and family, you can gradually pick up the skills you need.
To keep yourself covered, you’ll need to be qualified for all of the services you’re going to offer. You’ll need to be aware of any risks posed by equipment and materials like pesticides. You’ll need to appraise your customers of these risks and take precautions in the form of protective clothing.
You’ll also need professional indemnity insurance, to cover yourself against potential mishaps. The equipment you’ve invested in will also need to be covered.
You can and should promote your business via multiple avenues. Look into print advertising that can be posted through local front doors. Think also about word of mouth, which may be your most powerful means of spreading a message. Most of your customers are going to be local, so be sure to promote your business as such.
On the Job
While you’re on the job, you’ll need to do a whole range of different tasks. It’s partly for this reason that the job is so satisfying. You may need to occasionally work from plans laid out by designers and landscape architects. You might need to install paving and water features, prepare the ground and prune trees and shrubs. But you’ll also need to be able to direct and instruct your workers to do the same thing, both verbally and via posters and other messaging, which can be used to promote safe practice. Make sure that you have a robust supply chain in place. If you can’t work because of a lack of basic materials and equipment, then you’ll end up losing money in the long term.
As your business grows, and you gain experience as a manager and a landscaper, you’ll be able to secure larger and more lucrative contracts. This can sometimes throw up legal difficulties. You’ll need to pay closer attention to your health and safety responsibilities, and possibly hire a dedicated solicitor to address them.
Corded vs Cordless Hedge Trimmers: What You Need to Know
Thanks to the marvels of lithium-ion battery technology, power tools have gotten a great deal more mobile over the past decade or so. This advantage is particularly noticeable if you’re using your tools outdoors, where there isn’t always easy access to a power outlet.
If you’re in the market for a hedge trimmer, then you might wonder whether it’s worth investing in something cordless – or whether it’s better to go for a traditional corded one, instead.
For gardeners, a hedge-trimmer is a fairly indispensable piece of equipment. You want yours to be easy to use – that way, you can be sure that you’ll stay on top of the task of keeping your hedge in good condition.
But is a cordless hedge trimmer worth it? Let’s take a look.
Why Go Corded?
Corded trimmers tend to offer more power than their battery-powered equivalents. This means that you’ll be able to get the job done faster, often using less power overall. You also won’t have to worry about the environmental cost of creating the batteries in the first place.
Since you won’t need to charge a battery, corded trimmers can also be much more convenient. You just pick up the device, plug it in, and get going. What could be simpler?
Why Go Cordless?
Going cordless can be incredibly liberating. You’re no longer tethered to the power outlet, and you don’t have to invest in another extension cord. Just remember to keep your battery charged, and to keep a spare one so that you can rotate and work uninterrupted.
Then there’s the problem of the cord itself, which can be a trip hazard. If you manage to cut through a cord, then you face a costly fix – and, naturally, you put yourself in danger. Given that the tool in question features a set of reciprocating teeth, this is an issue.
On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries tend to lose their ability to dispense power and hold a charge over time, which means that your hedge trimmer won’t ever be as powerful as it was on the day that you bought it.
While you can buy replacement batteries later, and most batteries are compatible with those of the same manufacturer, this is a little bit of an inconvenience. If you do shop for replacement batteries, make sure that you match the voltage, the amperage, and the polarity.
10 Best Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Landscape Designer
Want to make your home a tremendous place of living? It is a pain with no assistance from a professional landscape engineer! Read further on how to find only the best one.
In case you’re considering collaboration with a landscape designer, revealing the perfect fit (plus preventing the unexpected midway through the project) strongly depends on your knowledge regarding which questions to ask at the initial stage of your potential partnership. Meet 10 best queries you should ask before you delegate your home to a landscape engineer.
Seeking the greatest hiring places to initiate the search process of a landscape designer? It would be ideal to evaluate landscape design companies at Engre. Landscape engineers at B2B engineering marketplaces can do everything, starting from the support in choosing the right color of the flowers in a garden to constructing a terrace leading to the garden.
Can You Depict the Process in Details?
Begin the interview by asking a landscape designer regarding the whole development procedure from start to finish. It is vital to know the phases, from scheduling to installation. Discover the number of in-person appointments to expect. Ask whether certain consultations can be held via phone calls.
In case you want a guaranteed service to interact throughout the design process, ask a landscape designer the ideal method and period to communicate queries and challenges.
Can You Demo Samples of Your Former Solutions?
For example, in case you want a contemporary, sustainable city garden, ask whether they have designed any before.
As an option, if a specialist’s portfolio has nothing connected with the particular style you expect, monitor their credentials for proof of the education/training to bring the vision of your project to life.
Who Will Join in the Process?
A landscape designer’s process is based on the services they deliver. Getting to know who else will take part in the process to control each stage from the beginning is crucial for you to understand what to expect once the solution is finished. In case you are lucky to have a team of 2-4 landscape design specialists, ask who the key person is to negotiate modifications to the project or other significant cases.
How About My Solution’s Budget?
Frank communication about the estimated landscape project cost is a must. Ask a landscape designer for detailed pricing specifics for the development and the installation. The majority of installation estimates are created by landscape specialists depending on the cost per square foot of a designed area
Is My Project Vision Clear to You?
Find time to discuss with a potential landscape designer what your dream yard looks like and the scale of yard maintenance you are ready to undertake.
Check Pinterest or other resources to share samples of landscape projects you love. This will help you to explain what is in your mind. With this data, a landscape designer will prepare a 3D rendering of what your novel landscape will look like.
Ask then to explain the rendering to you to ensure both of you are in sync.
Where Do You Purchase Trees, Flowers, Etc.?
Though you don’t obligatory have to order local species, ensure that a landscape designer applies plants grown in your city. What for?
- Local plants usually cost less while plants from abroad can cost you a fortune;
- Such plants have more chances to survive as they don’t have to adapt to novel growing conditions. Moreover, they will be more resistant to pests and diseases;
- Local plants need less maintenance (they don’t require additional watering and care from your landscape services team).
What Deadlines You Need to Estimate the Solution?
Similar to any other home optimization solution, bad weather, and other unexpected issues can happen. So, you should be ready that the release dates for landscaping solutions can be complicated to determine. Don’t forget to let a landscape designer know whether you possess any deadlines (for instance, a planned party in the yard).
However, always remember about schedule-changing events that nobody can predict. Anyway, have a detailed communication with a landscape designer regarding all those things.
What Will Be a Typical Day for a Landscape Team on My Yard?
Planning conflicts frequently happen. However, you should ask the leader of the landscape team for a general idea regarding the timing to expect the landscape team to come and leave daily.
What Can You Recommend to Save My Budget?
Decks or patios are traditionally more costly compared to planted garden locations. That is why the higher percentage of hardscape you have in the 3D rendering, the more it will cost to install. Furthermore, the materials implemented for hardscape greatly vary in terms of installation specifics.
It is perfect to discuss the approaches to minimize the project cost to stay on budget with a landscape designer during the initial plan.
What Is a Must to Perform at the Moment and Later?
Ask a landscape designer what can be realized immediately to optimize your project and what is better to finalize at a later date. You will get a better idea of what aspects you should put in priority this season and what to start during the next one.
Helpful Tips to Clean Up Your Lawn and Garden
Your yard is the perfect place to spend time with family and friends, relax, and enjoy life. However, to truly enjoy your space, you must have a clean and tidy outside space. If your lawn and garden need some attention and clean-up, there are a few tips that will help you along the way.
If it has been a while since you spent time cleaning up your yard, now is a good time to play catch up. Take some time to clear any leaves and debris, remove dead plants, and get rid of anything you no longer want or use. It may be a good time to rent a dumpster for all the items you are getting rid of, which will make the clean-up process faster and easier. Use this dumpster rental guide to know what size and type of bin to choose.
Focus on Your Lawn
Once you have cleared away leaves, branches, and debris, it’s time to turn your focus to the lawn. It’s necessary to trim it regularly to keep it healthy. For the best results, you should know the right grass care methods.
A helpful tip is to make sure you never cut your grass over one-third of the existing height. It’s also a good idea to set the mower deck higher and spread out how often you mow as the weather gets drier and hotter. The final mowing for the season should occur when the temperature has dropped and stayed under 50 degrees.
If your mulch seems thin, old, or dull, now is time to add more. While you don’t have to do this all the time, adding a new layer of mulch can help your yard look fresh and revived immediately. Remember that mulch can be beneficial for more than just tree patches and flowerbeds. Consider adding a layer around the front garden areas and your mailbox. This can add quite a bit of curb appeal to your outside area.
Fix Any Broken Structures
If you have a shed, fence, hardscape patio, or deck, you need to check it for cosmetic and safety issues each year. Be sure your lawn is dry and that the snow and rain have passed. This gives your yard ample time to settle, giving you time to plan what fixes you need to make.
Trim Your Shrubs and Bushes
Some yard excerpts recommend that you trim your shrubs before they start to bloom in the spring to easily see the dead parts of the plant. Others state you need to wait until they have grown and bloomed for the season, which allows you to trim and shape them. In either case, it depends on your yard and needs.
Regrow the Patches in Your Lawn
Your lawn can take a beating through the year, and some patches may appear. It doesn’t matter if you have a small area to replace or a larger area, remove any leaves or other debris first.
The most important aspect of ongoing lawn care to remember is that grass is a plant and grows best in the right conditions and healthy soil. It’s a good idea to overseed, which will help thicken up your lawn.
Improving Your Lawn and Garden
A few tips can help you improve the look and health of your lawn and garden. Keep the tips above in mind for the best possible results.
Simple Landscaping Tips to Increase Your Vacation Rental Property Value
If you’ve ever driven by a home and had to stop, get out of the car, and look around at the beauty of the landscape, this is what’s referred to as “curb appeal.” And this is one of the biggest selling points of any home on the market today.
When it comes to vacation rentals, curb appeal is one of the biggest attractors for potential customers who may want to rent your property. And landscaping is the key to creating this type of appeal.
Vacation rentals are supposed to be getaways for vacationers who simply want to leave their lives behind and indulge in nice, new scenery in a great location. And the more work you put into your landscape, the easier it will be to attract vacationers from all walks of life.
If you’re looking to get more value (and renters) out of your vacation property, the following will offer some helpful landscaping advice.
One of the best ways to sculpt the landscape and tie it into the property itself is to have pathways or pavers which lead to different areas of the property. And studies have shown that landscapes with walkways, pavers, or other stylized pathways, are much more valuable than those without.
When vacationers are on the hunt for vacation properties to rent, believe it or not, all of the little details are taken into consideration. And when you have a property that looks amazing on your online listing, this will make a potential customer stop and view your property.
Landscaping your property with pathways offers a means to walk the grounds and explore the landscape up close, without having to worry about walking on the grass or getting mud on your shoes. And this can also add great value to your vacation rental as well.
Adding a floral garden to your landscape is a great way to add color to the overall design of the property itself. And it also makes your property all the more inviting and beautiful.
The truth is, even planting smaller gardens is a great strategy to add appeal and value to your vacation property. And you can place these around the property in many different locations to add a bit of color to areas that might be otherwise dull or lifeless.
Gardens are also great for the soil and can be looked at as selling points to make your vacation rental listing much more attractive when a potential customer views it online.
Additionally, if you take your garden to the next level by adding expensive flowers, such as a rose garden, you’ll add even greater appeal, and your property will be much more fragrant as well.
Every home needs a gathering space or two. And having a deck or a nice inviting porch to welcome guests, friends, or family is a great addition to consider.
A deck or porch not only adds gathering space to your property, but it also adds a good bit of value. For example, if you were to spend 10,000 dollars on a deck or a porch, you could factor that amount into your overall property value. And though this will fluctuate over time, you’ll still be adding significant value.
Decks and porches should also be able to tie into the overall design of the property. Basically, you’ll want to have your deck or porch match the design of the home itself so that they don’t look out of place. And once you have a cohesive design, your curb appeal (and the appeal of your listing) will be much greater than before.
Landscaping is perhaps one of the most cost-effective methods for adding value to a property. And even simply adding grass seed and fertilizer can actually work wonders for your curb appeal. All it takes is a little bit at a time, and you’ll be easily able to add significant value to your property through landscaping design.
Lawn Care 101: Essentials for a Successful Landscaping Business
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, a love for the outdoors, and are crafty with your hands, diving into the landscaping industry can be a lucrative and fulfilling career path. Starting a landscaping business gives you the freedom of being your own boss while allowing you to connect with nature and provide a helpful service to your community. While getting your landscaping business up and running is a simple process, it is essential to lay a strong foundation for your company by investing in quality equipment.
So whether you are thinking about starting a landscaping business or just have questions about the best lawn care tools, here are the essentials you need to start a successful landscaping company today.
One of the most important things any successful landscaping business needs is a reliable work truck. Your truck will not only get you from job to job but carry your tools and your crew. However, it is important to note that your truck is also a representation of your business and yourself. Therefore, it is essential to keep your truck clean and maintained. Many landscapers drive around in beat-up dirty work trucks, so keeping yours sharp not only looks professional but helps you stand out among your competition.
Investing in brand new work trucks can be challenging, especially when you are trying to get your business up and running. Instead, consider renting your next company truck. Renting your work trucks allows you to keep up with the latest technologies and truck models without breaking the bank.
To run a successful landscaping business, you’ll also need at least two trailers. You’ll need a utility trailer to carry your heavy landscaping equipment and tools. In addition, investing in a dump trailer will help you haul materials like mulch and topsoil and take away debris like leaves and branches.
While powered lawn equipment can be quite an investment, they are essential for operating a successful landscaping business. Without breaking your budget, it is important to purchase the best quality power equipment you can find. Not only will quality equipment last long longer with fewer repairs, but it will allow you to do the best job possible. The higher quality your work is, the quicker you’ll see a return on your investment for the equipment.
No landscaping business is complete without a quality lawnmower. Consider investing in a ride-on zero turn mower for your large flat lawns and a commercial walk behind for the small properties with hills. However, if you are inexperienced with lawnmowers, it is essential to understand lawnmower safety to ensure the safety of you and your crew.
Aside from the lawnmower, a weed whacker is one of the most critical pieces of power equipment for your landscaping business. You’ll need a weed whacker to trim the permitter of each lawn, as well as spots the mower can’t reach, like tight corners and around the mailbox and flower beds.
While a leaf blower is essential for leaf clean-ups and lawn maintenance, you’ll need it for every kind of job, from plantings to mulch jobs and patio jobs. You never want to leave a client’s property messy. A gas-powered leaf blower will help you clear off lawns, driveways, sidewalks, decks, and more from leaves, spilled dirt, grass trimmings, and other debris.
Many customers who want their lawn taken care of will ask you to trim their bushes and small trees. A hedge trimmer helps you trim and shape hedges with ease.
Aside from power tools, every landscaper needs a solid arsenal of hand tools. The necessities consist of shovels, rakes, pruning sheers, wheelbarrows, tarps, and buckets. Just like power tools, it is crucial to invest in quality hand tools. Look for tools with strong wooden handles instead of tools made of plastic.
Investing in these tools will help you get your landscaping business up and running. As long as you invest in quality equipment, work hard, and stay committed, you’ll have a successful landscaping career.
The Pros and Cons of Getting an Artificial Lawn
Folks living in the arid area of the Southwest USA know full well how hard it is to grow a full, lush lawn in those conditions. It is difficult even when trying different drought-proof hybrids of grass. So difficult, in fact, that many people turn to install artificial turf.
Now that other parts of the country are seeing some difficulties, those people there are beginning to look into whether it makes sense for them too. In many cases, there is little downside to having one but it does pay to know what you’re getting into so you can make an informed decision if it is the best move for you.
In this article, we will go over the pros and cons so you can see if getting an artificial lawn is your best option.
Pros of an Artificial Lawn
People that haven’t heard much about artificial lawns likely still think of how it used to be back in the 60s and 70s when it was first being used in sporting arenas. These days it has come a long way and it is much different than it used to be. Once they realize that the turf of old is long gone and things are different now they will want to know what the benefits are.
First and foremost you’ll have an attractive lawn that requires very minimal maintenance. Since it is fake, it doesn’t dry out when it is hot. With more frequent heatwaves hitting the country and the water bans that follow, it is difficult to maintain a green lawn. Those days are over with artificial turf.
There is also no need to be using any pesticides or herbicides on the lawn. This makes it a much safer environment for pets and children. There are no pests that can burrow in the turf and cause problems both for your lawn and for your pets and children by having them around. And you won’t have pesky weeds that are difficult to eradicate when you want to avoid using an herbicide.
It doesn’t matter what type of environment or climate you live in. The lawn can handle direct sun as well as shade. If you live in an arid area it won’t dry out. And those that live in a spot with far too much water for a regular grass lawn to survive will also benefit.
Lastly, it takes a day to repair a bad lawn when you go with artificial grass. If you have a lawn that needs to be repaired it can take over a year for it to come back and look good. This includes if you buy sod to have it done quickly since it takes a while to look natural and not have the cut lines between the rolls visible.
Cons of an Artificial Lawn
There are hardly any downsides to installing an artificial lawn. However, that doesn’t mean that it is going to work for everybody. There may be a disadvantage that stands out to you and makes you have to reconsider.
The most obvious disadvantage to getting an artificial lawn is the upfront cost. It can cost upwards of $12 per square foot to install. A big lawn can cost a small fortune putting it out of reach of many Americans. There are few ongoing costs, except for one. Every few years you’ll need to buy some infill as an anti-shock layer as it compresses.
The next disadvantage is how hot the turf can get. Since it doesn’t have any water in it like a blade of grass, it heats up quickly and stays hot for a while. If the lawn is in the shade it stays cool, however.
What Is the Maintenance Like?
Luckily, maintaining a turf lawn is far easier than a real one. It takes cleaning it occasionally and brushing it up so it looks clean and natural. Raking it up in the high traffic areas will prevent it from matting and getting compressed.
Planting some trees around the lawn will provide shade and cool down the surrounding air so the lawn doesn’t heat up. After all, you do want to be able to walk around barefoot in the yard.
When you need to clean it off, it is as simple as rinsing it off with a hose. Food dropping on the lawn can cause a stain so it is important to wash it off, but at least it will be easier than if it fell into some long grass.
How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?
Trees are essential assets to properties, adding beauty and shade while stopping soil erosion. However, when a tree becomes a liability, it must be removed. When a tree is damaged, dead, leaning, or too near to your house, a tree removal service can dispose of it for you.
Whether it’s big or small, removing a tree is best left to the experts. But the question is, how much will it cost you? Tree removal services are usually priced based on the size and height of the tree.
But other factors impact the removal costs, as well.
For tree removal services, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $2,000. The prices largely depend on the size of the tree. The bigger the tree, the more expensive the tree removal service is.
As mentioned, bigger trees cost more to remove since they require more powerful equipment. Plus, the process is riskier, and there is more stuff to dispose of. Even so, other things go into deciding the price of removing a tree.
Volume, height, and tree species are closely related when it comes to determining the price of tree removal. For example, pine trees and maple trees tend to grow up to 100 feet and can cost at least $2,000 to remove.
Another thing, oaks tend to grow twenty feet lower than pines and maples. As such, they’ll likely cost at least $800 to $1,500 to remove. Keep in mind that height is not the only deciding factor.
Mediterranean cypress can go up to 50 feet high. However, their shallow root systems, low volume, and thin trunks make them easier to remove. Sometimes, they can safely be pulled out and tipped over. The price of removing this type of tree is much lower, about $400.
In another example, palm tree removal costs are at the lower end of the scale because they lack volume even though they are tall.
An unstable or dead tree can be a safety hazard to your family, property, and other trees. Compromised trees may be less expensive to remove since they are easier to cut down. However, it could quickly become expensive if placed in a risky position and could cause harm if it falls.
To get a quote in this particular situation, make sure to arrange an inspection with a tree removal service such as Tree Triage’s tree removal services. What’s more, a fallen tree is more affordable to remove than a living tree as long as it has not caused an emergency.
Physical obstructions can make the most uncomplicated removal hard and challenging. The following are some hindrances that surcharge the cost of tree removal:
- Nearby trees
- Muddy or rocky soil
- Steep property
- Limited vehicle access
- Not enough space for the tree to fall on
- Poor tree condition
Emergency tree removal, as with other emergency services, will come at a hefty price. Generally, it will cost at least three times more than the regular price. Also, emergency tree removal is riskier because experts will have to be extra careful not to instigate more damage.
Prices will vary by the contractor and by the situation, although prices can quickly reach up to $5,000.
If a tree removal requires a crane, you may need to pay another $250 to $600 per day to the total price. Also, you will need to pay another $100 for the operator. Crane-assisted tree removal is the most difficult to do because of the following:
- Plumbing pipes
- Power lines
- Experts have to use rope and climbing equipment
- Time and grunt work involved in removing the tree
Once the tree is removed, the tree stump remains. Naturally, stumps will decompose on their own. However, it’s only possible after several years. Throughout this time, new buds and twigs might even develop from the tree stump.
With that said, removing the stump is important. The average cost of stump grinding is around $300 to $400.
Residing in a secluded area is great for peace and quiet. However, a tree removal service will usually charge for the travel. Of course, this differs widely. As such, it is quite impossible to give an idea of the price. If you are located in Oahu you can try Oahu Tree Removal.
If a street must be partially or entirely closed down, the cost of flaggers, corners, and traffic control will add to the total price of the removal service. On average, expect to pay at least $175 for a two-person flagging crew.
It’s safest to have trees removed by a qualified tree removal company, except for small trees wherein you don’t need to climb a ladder. For a tree removal service, expect to pay between $150 to $2,000. Make sure to hire a certified arborist to determine whether a tree should be maintained, treated, pruned, or removed.
The Top Benefits of Opting for a Sod Lawn in Your Garden
Many homeowners aspire for a beautifully manicured lawn. However, installing and maintaining a lawn is easier said than done. There are plenty of aesthetically pleasing alternatives to a lawn. From a zen garden to wooden decking or paving slabs, the choices are endless. For some, nothing comes close to the feel of grass beneath your bare feet. If you’ve ever looked over at a neighbor’s yard with envy and wondered how they manage to keep their lawn looking so good, you might find that sodding is the answer.
If you don’t know much about sodding, we’re here to provide you with some useful insights into the advantage of a sod lawn:
What Is a Sod Lawn?
Let’s begin with the basics. Sod can be described as grass and soil held together by a biodegradable root system or material. There are different options when it comes to having a sod lawn. From Bella bluegrass and bermudagrass and centipede grass, the list of choices you’ll have is endless. Sourcing a sod lawn and installing it won’t be easy, so it is best to speak to experts at The Sod Source for more information.
It’s an Instant Solution
The most obvious advantage of sod is that you’ll have yourself an instant lawn. With regular lawns, seeds take at least a year to grow and are fully established, and you’ll have to deal with unattractive yard space. Sodding, however, provides an immediate aesthetic change and will be fully established within a matter of weeks.
Less Soil Erosion
Unlike seeds, which take a while to establish themselves, sod is better able to control soil erosion because it is fully grown. For those with a garden that becomes muddy as soon as it rains, sod is a great option for eliminating the issue of soil erosion, since it acts as a barrier between rainfall and the soil.
You Won’t Need to Stress About Irrigation
A seeded lawn needs to be watered at least four times a day at the germination stage. This ensures that the ground will stay moist, but it will also take up a lot of your time. On the other hand, sod only really needs to be watered a few times a day for the first few weeks after it is installed, which makes it a less time-consuming option for the homeowner.
Sod Lawns Are a Professional Solution
Unlike a regular seeded lawn, which will require the homeowner to tend to by themselves, sod is grown by professionals. Sod farms grow their sod using the best quality seeds and use specialist machinery. Furthermore, sod farms harvest to order, so you can guarantee you receive a top-quality product.
Maintaining a lawn requires a lot of hard work and patience. A seeded lawn will take a fair amount of time to establish itself, and that is not to say you won’t experience teething issues along the way. Even if you have a green thumb, opting for a sod lawn will save you a lot of time and effort.
The Top 5 Best Approach in Lawncare
Keeping a nice lawn does not have to be difficult. It could be as easy as following a routine that will rapidly become your favorite part of the day.
Its maintenance may come with a little price, but it doesn’t always require a professional to have an immaculate-looking lawn. You don’t need to pay a fortune to have an envious lawn in the neighborhood. So allow us to tell you a piece of confidential information: lawn professionals are not doing anything to your turf that you can’t do alone. They know exactly what to use on your lawn and when and how it is used.
Indeed, help from professionals like Lakeland Lawncare can be great, and you can take notes from them. However, it will be therapeutic if you can take care of your own yard. The best tips to take care of your lawn in your ways and insert your modifications in your lawn care are just one read away. Take your cue from the following.
Eradication Of Weed, Thatch, And Moss
In some cases, these things don’t necessarily damage your lawn. However, they can steal nutrients and water supposedly meant to grow your green, luscious yard.
Weeds grow unabated in gardens, and there’s nothing we can do about it. They fight for nutrients and water with plants and lawn grasses, and they spread over the garden, making it less appealing.
There are precisely three methods to remove weeds: you pull it by hand, remove using a hoe, and in worse cases, you use a chemical product.
Take note that the best time for weed removal is when the soil is moist and damp because it’s easier to pull the weeds out by their roots. If you don’t, you risk leaving the roots behind since they’re caught in the dirt.
Thatch is a coating of organic debris made up of dead leaves, grass, and root stems that can accumulate between the leaves and the soil.
The buildup causes an obstruction, preventing vital moisture and nutrients from reaching the roots through the soil.
The ground will feel spongy, and the absence of nutrients will leave dull, lifeless spots on the grass, making these areas easier to spot. However, there is no need to worry. Scarification, which is the process of raking and removing mulch from the lawn, is the most outstanding technique for eradicating thatch.
Mosses are non-flowering plants that can take over your landscape and cause chaos. They flourish in regions with a lot of wetness, shade, and poor turf.
The level of moss will increase if left uncovered or untreated, decreasing the grasses’ ability to thrive. The cause of the moss must be recognized and reduced before you may remove the moss. It can then be fed and satisfied, and it can be watched and nurtured from there.
Upgrade Drainage System
Lawns with inadequate drainage systems carry lots of disadvantages. Ranging from issues such as being soaked for hours, even days, and to the extent of destroying your green grasses.
In upgrading your drainage system, you have to make sure that it is sufficient in giving enough water and nutrients throughout the whole lawn, and it will avoid problems such as drowning the grass. An improved damage system should fix these issues, not make them worse.
A drainage system expert will evaluate your property (slope, soil, etc.) and recommend what will work best for you. A professional will also be aware of any local restrictions on where you can direct your water. For example, directing the water into storm drains is unlawful in many places. In addition, there are regulations prohibiting water from being directed onto sidewalks or roadways that may freeze over during the winter.
Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration is essential for keeping a healthy lawn because it enables air and water to penetrate developed grass or turf mulch.
This technique permits more air and water to get to the grass’s root system, critical for the grass to get the nutrients it needs to flourish. It’s an excellent approach to deal with drought-stricken or water-logged lawns.
Aeration is accomplished by poking small holes in the soil at defined levels and thicknesses with a garden fork or mainly designed instruments and machines.
Aeration’s primary purpose is to alleviate soil compaction. Soil layers have an excessive amount of solid particles packed into a small amount of space, impeding proper air, water, and nutrient flow.
Much yard thatch and heavy organic compounds hiding beneath the grass surface could be depriving the roots of these essential nutrients.
By covering the entire area with massive amounts of seed combined with fertilizer, over-seeding rejuvenates old and worn-out lawns. This method improves the color and reduces the possibility of weed and moss incursions while filling in damaged and thinning areas.
The grass should be kept moist after seeding to aid germination, and a top dressing should be applied to preserve the seeds and offer nutrients.
This method should be done once a year to keep your lawn healthy.
Feeding And Watering
Most gardening supply stores have a variety of grass feeds and fertilizers. The type required will be determined by the soil and weather conditions in your area. The majority of these will come with application directions, so it’s best to stick to those.
In general, you should fertilize your lawn twice a year, once during the springtime with a nitrogen-rich yard fertilizer and again in the fall with phosphorus and potassium-rich feed. All lawns require watering in addition to feeding. If a lawn isn’t given enough water, it will turn brown and lose its spring, causing the grass to stay flat when stepped on.
Top Benefits Of Installing Drip Irrigation For Your Home Garden
Drip irrigation is not just suitable for large farming areas, as it can provide your home garden with numerous benefits. Whether you are growing organic produce, a herb garden, or simply searching for ways to maintain your landscaping, drip line irrigation will offer you these excellent benefits.
Save On Water Usage
Regardless of how extensive or small your yard area is, of course, you want to reduce your water bill for numerous reasons. However, your plants and lawn need watering regularly, and an ordinary hose can waste a lot more water than you may be aware of. Installing an irrigation system will save you a small fortune each year on your water bill. These systems use between thirty and fifty percent less water than other traditional methods of watering the yard. Even using the ordinary sprinkler will have up to fifty percent of the water evaporating in hot weather conditions.
Providing your yard with smaller, more constant amounts of water will boost growth substantially. Therefore, irrigation systems improve the growing conditions for plants. It also prevents soil erosion, which can hinder growth significantly. A nutrient runoff will also no longer be a concern for your landscaping or vegetable garden as your plants will have an ongoing supply of water.
Discourage Weed Growth
Overspray from water sprinklers can cause weeds to germinate where you don’t want them to. This can also lead to your yard growing out of control as the build-up of surface water is not ideal. Installing irrigation will reduce the growth of weeds by delivering water straight to the roots of plants in your garden.
Reduce Fungal Diseases
Fungal diseases can become a problem when watering a yard the traditional way, as fungal diseases thrive in moist conditions. Wet foliage can burn with sunlight and spread disease quickly, so watering only where hydration and moisture are necessary is an excellent way to ensure the reduction of fungal diseases that can destroy everything growing in your garden.
It’s a lot easier to overwater a garden accidentally than most people realize. Forgetting you have left the sprinkler on can lead to a swamp pretty quickly, and this will damage everything in your yard. Irrigation systems prevent the possibility of overwatering as you can add a timer to your irrigation system and have your yard watered automatically.
Save Time And Effort
You won’t only be saving on your water consumption bill when installing an irrigation system, as you will also be saving substantially on time and effort. You won’t ever have to spend hours on end hosing your plants and lawn or waiting for the sprinkler to deliver enough water to each area of your garden. Installing an irrigation system with a timer means you won’t have to worry about watering your yard ever again. However, you will need to prioritize maintenance and potential repairs of the system to ensure it is always functioning at its best to benefit your garden and everything in it.
4 Ways to Drought-Proof Your Lawn This Summer
Summers are getting hotter and drier each year. In 2020, many northern states were subject to unprecedented droughts that exacerbated wildfires across the area. Droughts can take a harsh toll on your lawn. To prepare for the dry weather, you can take steps to make your lawn and landscaping more resistant to drought.
During a drought, you may not be able to add extra watering times to your lawn maintenance schedule. Many towns and cities have water usage mandates during the aridest parts of the year. When your lawn is parched, it can look dull, yellow, and scrubbish.
If you live in an area that experiences an annual drought, you will need to prepare your lawn in advance. Taking action prior to the dry season can help your lawn resist a harsh period of drought. In the spring as you prepare your lawnmowers, you can take these steps to help drought-proof your lawn.
During a drought, your lawn has to work harder to leech moisture out of the soil. In many cases of extreme drought, your lawn will go into a dormant period with minimal growth and some permanent loss. To prevent your lawn from drying out you can help it to access the moisture in your soil by aerating. The process of aerating will provide deeper pockets in your lawn where moisture can accumulate providing an extended water source for your lawn.
A lawn that is well-fed will have a better chance of surviving a drought. Prior to a period of drought, it is essential that you switch to a potassium-rich fertilizer and ditch the nitrogen formula. A potassium fertilizer will help to strengthen each blade of your lawn including the crown helping it to retain strength during periods of heat and dryness. During a drought, it is best to avoid using any pesticides or herbicides as they can leech the soil of excess moisture. To help retain moisture and provide extra nutrients during a drought you can spread a light coating of your clippings.
The key to helping your lawn survive a drought is to encourage longer root growth. By establishing the correct watering schedule you can promote the proper growth pattern in your grass that will help them cope with drought. Watering less often with more water is the best way to train your lawn for a drought. Watering less than once a week to the extent that there is minor pooling on your lawn will help your grass extend its roots and become more drought resistant.
Mowing your lawn too short or too often can put a strain on your grass. Following the one-third mowing rule is the best way to cultivate strong blades. Only cut off the top third of your grass routinely to keep the blades strong and avoid damaging the crown of the root. Keep your mowing to a minimum, no more than once a week.
If you want to help your lawn survive the summer drought, you will need to start your maintenance in advance. Before the dry heat hits, follow these tips to help your lawn become drought-resistant and stay looking great all season.
Does Landscaping Increase Property Value?
If you have been wondering, does landscaping increase property value, then you will find this article to be extremely insightful. The truth of the matter is that landscaping that is done in the right manner does indeed increase the value of your property. That is why we share in-depth some amazing ways that landscaping can increase the value of your property. We’ve written this article with the help of a landscaping company called RocDog, which says a lot of clients are property developers wishing to increase the price of their property.
1. Increase the value of a property by adding trees.
Though adding trees can seem like a simple landscaping feature, the reality is that trees are beautiful and do make a property look more interesting. They are perceived as increasing the value of a property. Thus, those properties that have trees tend to have a higher value than those properties that do not have trees. That is why properties that have trees can sell for as much as ten to fifteen percent more than the asking price in comparison to those properties that do not have trees.
2. Increase the value of your property with uniformity in style.
A sure way to add value to increase the value of your property is to apply an approach of uniformity pertaining to the style of your landscaping and home. In other words, your landscaping should conform to the style of your home. If there is a different style for the home and a different style for the landscaping, this would result in the clashing of the designs and would make the property much less appealing. This then causes the property to experience a decrease in its value. But when you are careful to apply landscaping that matches the style of your home, then this will surely increase the value of your property in a positive manner.
“One of the effects of COVID-19 was that people spent more time in their gardens as an extension of their home – arguably more so than ever before,” comments Ruban Selvanayagam of Property Solvers (Buyers).
3. Increase the value of your home when you add colorful flowers and plants.
When you take the time to invest in adding gorgeous and colorful flowers, plants that bloom as well as thick shrubs, you will be magnifying the curb appeal of your property instantly. This will portray the idea that your property is well landscaped and meticulously maintained. Moreover, when you also are careful to add flowers and plants that are aromatic, this will attract butterflies and birds to your property as a result of the lovely scents. This will also contribute to increasing the value of your property.
4. Increase the value of your property when you provide a definition with lawn edging.
If you are looking for an easy way to increase the value of your property, then you should consider providing definition via the usage of lawn edging. This will result in giving your property an appearance of being nicely manicured. This also gives the look that a property is more low maintenance, which can be a great selling point for those who want a nice-looking property that does not require a lot of fuss during the process of caring for it due to being busy. To achieve this look, there should be a neat separation that is noticeable in regard to the walkways, garden beds, and lawn. The addition of bricks, stones, or timber between the walkways, lawn, and garden beds can make the ideal type of lawn edging.
4 Landscaping Tips for a Beautiful Patio
Nothing is more relaxing than having a beautiful home with amenities to help you unwind after a tiresome day. Apart from offering additional relaxation space, an attractive patio enhances the value of your property. It can also minimize the hustles of lawn maintenance while providing extra multifunctional space in your home. A well-designed patio can make your home feel more inviting and cozy in many ways. In this piece, we will take a look at some landscaping tips you could use to make your patio a space of beauty.
1. Variety of Plants
Plants breathe life and a relaxing feeling into almost any space. Whether you are building a new patio or reviving an old one, think about how flora can help you construct a beautiful area. Introduce a diverse range of colorful plants that bloom at different seasons of the year. You can also use containers with different colors or designs to bring in the aspect of art. Moreover, they are portable and can easily be interchanged.
This will bring energy and a sense of life to your patio out of the varied ornamental leaves blooming throughout the year. For instance, some of the plants like the Rozanne geranium bloom from June to October. Planting a variety of plants will also ensure your patio retains its attractiveness.
2. Use of Bricks
Stone or brick are some of the materials you can use to add a unique feature to your yard patio. Bricks are long-lasting, and they bring out a natural feel, style, and class. You also have a variety of designs and colors to choose from. The colors range from traditional red to grey, brown, and even multi color options. You can assemble the bricks in your own unique design that best suits your preferences.
3. Fountain Patio
Designing a captivating patio can be a daunting task, but it becomes easier when you are guided and informed. Water fountains are a unique feature. It speaks elegance to your outdoor space. If you are looking into ways to enhance your patio, a fountain will deliver exemplary results. The sight and sound of the falling waters will bring a sense of calmness and relaxation aura. It’s soothing and fascinating to watch and hear the water trickling.
4. Covered Patios
Lately, covered patios seem to have acquired significant popularity. Many homeowners are embracing covered pergolas to create comfortable and inviting outdoor spaces. As seen on Malone’s Landscape website, the shaded outdoor units are multifunctional. They can be used for a wide range of outdoor social activities or occasions like barbeques, dinners, parties, and many more.
The shade allows you to hide away from the hot rays of the sun while enjoying the soothing warm breeze. The cover makes it a cozy recreation area. It provides an ideal hideout for your family and friends during summer while enjoying your barbecue portions. You can even add extra entertainment like TV or sound system to make it more alluring.
Considering the countless benefits they offer, a patio could be just what you need in your home for times when you need to escape into the solace arena of nature. With the right tips, you can create an oasis of comfort and allurement in your yard. The above tips can help you design an eye-catching patio that your neighbors will probably get jealous of.
Landscaping Ideas for Small Gardens
A charming outdoor space is always invigorating to the mind and soul. However, designing this area of your home comes with several challenges, and space is one of them. If you have been wondering how you can create a stunning garden that will awe your guests and family at your abode, look no further. Below are some landscaping ideas you could use to give your small garden some life.
Use Potted Plants
Creating a lush, welcoming garden shouldn’t be complicated. Landscaping with pots can add extra space when gardening in a small backyard. You can grow a wide range of potted plants, including creepers, ornamentals, herbs, and much more. Some could even be hung or placed on the ground. Integrating pots into your landscaping is also cheaper. Doing this will also help you add more color to your yard. The best part of it is that pots are mobile. You can change them after some time to break up the monotonous look. Add some uniqueness by choosing pots with visual appeal. You can use metal buckets, barrels, teapots, or whatever suits your style.
Create a Secluded Nook
Every backyard needs a nook where you can relax from the turbulence of life. Consider setting some space aside in your small garden where you can relax alone and read a book, welcome guests, or nap in a chair or a hammock. You only need to select the right spot in your backyard with minimal noise, preferably one with a wall and a surrounded hedge. It should be placed for privacy away from the house. Add some seats with pillows and blankets to keep you warm and cozy at night. Ensure it is surrounded by some potted plants, especially creepers, herbs, and a few trees where possible.
Consider Illuminated Walkways
Walkway lights can go a long way in improving the visual appeal of your garden. Ensure you choose the ideal lighting for your yard to supplement the landscaping and the architectural hallmarks of your home. You can install geometrical structures or tall angled lights with more illumination coverage. The walkway lighting should give you a stunning view and set the right mood for your outdoor space. It should be relaxing as you enjoy the surroundings, the trees, flowers, and plants around.
Don’t Forget the Contours
A garden path connects distinct areas in the garden. The paths in your garden should be inviting and encourage an expedition. With the help of an expert landscaper, you can create subtle, curvy paths with a fun and interesting look. This helps enrich your landscaping design as the contours create curiosity about what’s lying around the corner. Complement the meandering paths with an attractive trail of beautiful blossoming plants. You can use pebble stones, bricks or gravel, or granite stepping stones on the walking surface.
Whether you are making a garden from scratch or modifying an old one, landscaping can be quite puzzling, especially in a small backyard. Despite the space limitations, you can transform your small garden space into a marvelous haven of greenery. Along with the few tips above, all you need is a little creativity and perhaps some professional help to create a lasting statement in your small garden space.
9 Benefits of a Backyard Pond
A backyard pond might look great on a magazine cover. But they require a lot of time and effort to create. So, are they worth it? To help you make up your mind, let’s look at some of the benefits a pond can provide.
1. Visually Stunning
One of the biggest reasons why you might want to purchase a pond is to create a stunning feature in the backyard. There are plenty of ways that you’ll be able to create a beautiful pond. For example, you might want to add some water-based plants. Things like lily pads and flowering plants can be a great choice, adding some color to the pool. Another great option is to add some fish. You might also want to put in a rock boundary. In some cases, you might want to put in a water feature. This can be something like a waterfall or fountain. The way you set-up your background pond can be as simple or elaborate as you like.
Another way to help your pond stand out is by adding lights. It’s best to get some that are run on solar power, so you won’t need to pay high electricity costs. There are many ways that you can use lights. For example, you might want to put them underwater to show the movement of the fish in the water. In other cases, you might want to put a spotlight on water features.
2. Environmental Benefits
While a pond can be great for humans, it can also be good for the planet. A pond can serve a few critical environmental features. First, you might be able to save money. Once a pond has been filled up, you’ll be able to rely on rainwater to top it up. This can be compared to the lawn or garden, which require consistent inputs of water to grow. A pond will also support the local ecosystem. For example, birds and frogs will often visit the pond. This can be a great tool for teaching young children about biodiversity and the ecosystem.
It’s important to look after your mental health. One of the best ways to do this is by taking the time to de-stress. A pond can be a great place to do this. You can sit back and watch the fishes swim. Or you can listen to the calming cascade of a waterfall. In some cases, you’ll be able to enjoy watching the birds playing in the water.
It’s easy to create a relaxing area around the pond. First, you’ll want to get some bench seating. Pick an outdoor furniture unit, so it will be able to withstand the wind and rain. Then, you’ll need to get some shade. This can be natural, placing the bench under a tree. In other cases, you might need to use an umbrella. If you want to go the extra mile, put in a sound system, so you can listen to your favorite music while watching the pond.
4. Mask Background Noise
No-one wants to sit in their backyard and listen to the traffic drive past. However, in some locations, you won’t have a choice. Thankfully, there is a way to stop this problem. You’ll need to install a waterfall in your pond. This will mask the noise coming from the street. It will also serve an important role, aerating the water so the fish will be able to use it. The good news is that there are plenty of water features for you to choose from.
5. Keep Cool
Another benefit of owning a pool is being able to stay cool during the warm summer months. On hot days, water will heat up. This results in evaporation. This process cools the surrounding air, similar to how the human body cools through sweating.
6. Create a New Hobby
Maintaining a backyard pond can be a lot of fun. For example, you’ll need to care for the fish and plants. This can be a relaxing task, helping you connect with nature. There’s also a sense of satisfaction that comes with watching the fish grow older, and the plants start to mature. In some cases, you might even be able to breed the fish, establishing future generations.
7. Break-up a Green Lawn
Some people want to put in a lawn to break up their yard. Looking out on a flat, featureless green lawn can be boring. Why not put in a pond to add some visual intrigue. As we mentioned, once installed, the pond will often be easier to maintain than a lawn.
8. Improve Property Values
When people are buying homes, one of the most important things they are looking for is an emotional connection. This creates strong memories, making them picture themselves living in your house. A pond can be a great way of forming an emotional connection. In this case, the buyer will imagine themselves relaxing by the pond, listening to the waterfall. Because of this, you’ll be able to get a higher price for the property. It’s also a good way of selling the home faster.
9. Create A Gathering Place
Finally, you’ll often find that a pond becomes a natural place of congregation for friends and family. It can be a place to go to a party for a more private conversation. At other times, you might want to sit down and relax by the water with your friends.
As we’ve seen, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to consider building a backyard pond. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be difficult. All you need is a few simple materials to get started, like pond liners. These will hold the water, stopping it from seeping into the soil. They’ll also be tough enough to withstand damage, so your pond will last for a long time. For more information and to find the right ones for you, check out this pond liners compilation. So, start work on building your dream pond today to experience the joys that it can provide.
5 Amazing Benefits of Hiring a Lawn Service
Everyone wants to have a lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood. The problem is that many people simply don’t have the time or the ability to keep their grass looking great all year long. With schedules getting busier every year, not everyone wants to spend their weekends mowing and fertilizing their lawns.
Having a great lawn takes more than just sticking to a regular mowing schedule. Every lawn is different and needs special attention to keep it looking its best. Proper watering, aerating, and feeding are essential to keeping your lawn healthy. Most people don’t have the knowledge or experience to know how to handle lawn problems when they come up.
Hiring a lawn service like lawn.com.au mowing may seem unnecessary, but the benefits can be worth the money and the convenience. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing benefits of hiring a lawn service.
Most homeowners are genuinely lost when it comes to keeping their lawn healthy and looking great. Factors like how often their lawn needs watering and proper fertilization are a mystery to most people. If you don’t have the proper knowledge or experience, you could do more damage than good by attempting to do it yourself.
When you hire a lawn service, you will have the advantage of working with professionals. Lawn care experts know what needs to be done to avoid damage.
Cutting the lawn is a manual labor chore that can be too much for a lot of homeowners. Many people end up with aches, pains or even injuries from cutting and maintaining the lawn.
Seniors are especially at risk for heat exhaustion or falling when left to manage their lawn. Anyone that struggles with mobility or health issues can benefit from bringing in a lawn service to take care of the labor.
You may wonder how dishing out cash to bring in a lawn service can save you money, but it’s true. When you add up the costs of mowing equipment, lawn fertilizers, seed, edgers, and your time every week, it becomes clear that you can save money by bringing in a lawn service. These professionals show up with all of their own equipment, chemicals and staff to take care of your lawn at no extra expense.
Even with the most careful maintenance, it’s inevitable for your lawn to have problem spots. The amount of time that needs to be invested in these areas can leave your grass looking less than perfect.
You can have the most unique and stylish home on the block, but without a well-maintained lawn, your property will struggle with curb appeal. A neat and lush lawn equals an attractive home. Impress your neighbors and bring up the value of your home with a great yard all year long.
Hiring a lawn service has more benefits than just relieving you of grass cutting duties on your precious weekends. If you want the best looking lawn in the neighborhood, give your property a neat and attractive appearance and consider a lawn service for your home today.
Adding A Rustic Finish To Your Outdoor Furniture
The rustic look has become extremely popular for interior and exterior home styles. Whether your entire look is completed using a historical flair or you have one or two central pieces that you want to show off, you can now apply a safe weather resistant finish to your outdoor furniture.
The techniques that are used by many DIY decorators involve stripping and distressing the wood using oxalic acid wood bleach, but sometimes they don’t hold up to the elements. This has limited many people to keep their rustic pieces indoors only. But, not anymore.
Now, with the introduction of a protective additive, you can finish your benches, tables and other garden accents with ease. You won’t have to worry about damage from rain, UV rays or wind when you protect your rustic finished items properly.
Let’s take a look at this great new feature in creative paints and get you started.
When you have worked so hard on a piece to create that perfect rustic worn look, the last thing that you want to do is have it ruined by the weather. If you love to use natural mediums like milk paint to decorate and style your pieces, you can now protect them all in one step. The outdoor additive is added directly to your mixed paint and not put on after. It is not meant to be used as a top coat to an already painted item.
Simply mix your paint with the additive solution and apply like you would normally. The additive has a borax base that helps protect your wood items from the elements and prevents your paint from prematurely aging and ruining the rustic effect. There is no lacquer needed when you use your milk paint with an additive included.
When you are looking to complete an antique piece with a period appropriate finish, you can’t go wrong by choosing a non-toxic product like milk paint. That being said, milk paint is not known to be durable when exposed to the elements. By adding this adapted borax compound you can now protect your wood and your finish from outdoor deterioration.
Although the outdoor additive has a borax compound complex, it still remains one of the most environmentally friendly finish options.
The outdoor additive acts as a powerful stain blocker. When you are using soft or sappy woods like cedar or pine, the outdoor additive will help to block tannins from bleeding through your rustic finish.
The borax based additive works as an excellent antibacterial agent and mold inhibitor. With unprotected items you may soon start to see spore buildup in areas that have absorbed too much moisture from being outdoors.
The outdoor additive will turn your pieces into flame retardant items. Although, being constructed of older wood in many cases, any item that is treated with milk paint with an outdoor additive will be resistant to heat and flame.
When you put your wood furniture outdoors the paint can quickly start to fade or peel from sun exposure. With the outdoor additive used with milk paint, you will get superior UV protection, keeping all of your outdoor projects looking great for many years.
A Complete Guide to Garden Design
Spring graces us every year with blue skies, long days, green trees and flowers blooming everywhere. With these positive changes, many of us feel drawn to nature and awaits warm nights that will be perfect for a bonfire or a grill in the wild. It’s also the perfect time to bring your dreamy garden to life as well. Are you going to add up the trees to the design or are you more of a flowers type of person? Will you focus on many species or you’d rather have the harmony and uniformity? Read our guide to see what can you do to make the design outstanding and enchanting. You don’t have to be a professional to make the dream come true. Are you ready?
A well-kept base
When you see the painting, you don’t only look at the focus area but at the background as well. The same rule applies to your garden. The most magnificent flowers and trees, the gorgeous design will look poorly if the loan won’t be kept in its best shape. A lawn that’s well taken care of is the garden’s exceptional decoration. A green, carpet-like base is the perfect base for any vegetation. But why the lawn doesn’t always look so perfect?
It all depends on how you take care of it. When seeding the lawn in the spring, you should make sure that you do it evenly at every part of the garden. If you have a large parcel, instead of spreading seeds manually, invest better in a spreader that will do it for you. With this device, you will also spread a fertilizer that will help your young grass to root and grow. It’s not necessary, but it sure will make your life easier. If you need help or can’t justify buying a professional spreader, contact those regularly recommended landscape gardeners from Edinburgh.
In the beginning, you have to water your lawn even twice a week. Later, when the grass start rooting, you can cool down the watering to 2 times a week. The best time for this is in the morning. Avoid using water in the warmest time of the day, as it damages the grass. Evening watering is not the best idea because of long-lasting moisture — this can lead to fungal diseases.
Keep the harmony
Full of colours, shapes and scents but easy to maintain. It does sound like a dream! If you’re new to the gardening, you should know that maintaining the grass is easier and faster than taking care of the flowers. Maybe you’re able to focus on your garden and spend the time necessary to keep it at order at all times, you can get loads of flowers and little trees. If you can’t do that, make the flower space smaller.
When planning a garden, leave places where you can plant flowers. Pay attention to whether these are shaded or sunlit areas — it depends on what species of plants you can plant there, to bloom nicely. Separate the flowers from the lawn with a special ribbon, barriers or rocks.
Find the right area for your flowers
It’s no secret that some flowers like to be in the sun all the time, while some fancy shadowy corners. Before you plant them, teach yourself on the preferred placement in the garden. Most of the flowers like the sunny areas, so if it’s your first time in your own garden, choose those that are easy to plant. If you have a lot of shadows caused by the high-rise fence or old trees, go for azalea that is evergreen or David’s harp, that grows fast and doesn’t really need any additional time. Choose the flower placement wisely to get the most blooming effect possible. If you follow the direction, the flora will pay you back with an enchanting look.
Designing a Brand-New Garden – Five Tips That Will Help Ensure Your Design is a Success
When improving the exterior of your home, gardens, and landscaping are an excellent way to add color, personality, character, and uniqueness to a home. But for many people, a garden is about more than just the aesthetics, it’s also a hobby that they are passionate about and take pride in cultivating. The “perfect” garden isn’t typically one that is thrown together without thought or planning, rather there is a real design behind it. That design needs to take into consideration a number of factors in order for it to thrive and be as lovely as you have envisioned.
To help ensure that your new garden is a success, here are five tips you can use during the design process.
Give the Garden Space
When you first plant your flowers and shrubs, it’s hard to imagine just how big they will get, but this is essential to factor in your design. You always want to allow enough room for growth over the coming years, so that means keeping your garden or the plantings back from patio edges, fences, walkways, and more. If you don’t give everything enough space to truly thrive, the garden will end up looking crowded and growth can be stunted.
This goes hand-in-hand with the abovementioned tip. Be careful not to over-plant and over-fill your brand-new space. Sure, the garden is going to look a little sparse for that first year or two, but with patience and proper garden maintenance, it will flourish and fill in.
Understand Your Soil and Light Conditions
When it comes to choosing what to plant, picking items you think look “pretty” just won’t cut it. You need to be well aware of your soil and light conditions.
Choose a Mix of Perennials and Annuals
Another tip is to mix up what you’re planting and pick a variety of perennials and annuals. Perennials will come back each year, typically getting bigger and fuller each year that passes.
Annuals are a great way to add that bright pop of color to your garden each year. You can change up the flowers you pick, the height, the fullness, the placement, and even the color scheme.
As for choosing flower colors for your annuals, KG Landscape suggests using the color wheel for inspiration and using color schemes. Some of the most common color schemes are white on white, warm colors, bright colors, cool colors, and pastels. Monochromatic color schemes can also be quite striking.
Prepare the Soil
Now before you go ahead and pop all your plants and flowers in the ground, you also want to prepare the soil. A proper air supply is essential so they may require fresh soil, compost, and even mulch.
All of these tips will help you to design the ultimate garden for your home.
Tips on Using a Strimmer Effectively
Not only are these great for border edges, but they are also perfect for cutting unruly grass and weeds in those difficult to reach areas of your garden, thus making them a must-have for many garden enthusiasts.
On the face of it, a strimmer is very different from a lawnmower despite the similarities of the 2 garden pieces. A strimmer has a rapidly rotating head, with a hard trimming line in the end; this makes quick work of weeds and long grasses without too much effort.
However, with any piece of equipment, if used inappropriately, you can create more work and risk damaging your new strimmer without getting much use out of it.
Here are some top tips on how to use your garden strimmer effectively.
- Protect yourself; as with any piece of garden equipment, you must ensure you take safety seriously when operating it. Though that piece of nylon line may not look like much, though put it too close to the skin or feet and you may end up needing a trip to your emergency department! Ensure you wear eye and head protection to eliminate injury from flying debris. Make sure you are wearing a sturdy pair of shoes, gloves, and regardless of the weather, always wear full-length trousers. Avoid loose-fitting clothes and to protect your ears from the inevitable noise, wear a pair of ear defenders or earplugs.
- Watch out for the cable; if you are using a mains powered strimmer, one key risk is that you may trip over the wire. Similarly, ensure you keep the cutting end away from any wires too; you really don’t want to have to replace a damaged cable!
- Flying debris; though we touched on this earlier, the context is different. Even if your garden is worthy of winning the Best Kept Garden Award from the RHS, there is always the potential that when using a strimmer, you may hit something seemingly benign, like a stone, and inadvertently turn it into a projectile. This is bad news if there are other unprotected people in the vicinity and can be very bad for your windows! To avoid this, check all areas you will be strimming for such objects and remove them from a safe distance. This will also avoid damage to the strimmer.
- Take a break; if you have a large area to strim, you will need to schedule in breaks- not just to give yourself a rest but also to prevent your strimmer from becoming overheated, which can cause damage in the long run. Keep your posture straight and if your body begins to ache, stop and leave it for another time; if you are exhausted, you risk dropping your strimmer, damaging it and yourself.
To prolong your strimmer lifespan, keep it in a cool, dry shed or garage; if you are worried about anything, get it checked by a gardening tools expert.
6 Budget-Friendly Landscaping Ideas for Homeowners
Landscaping in a particular area gives you more than a pleasant sight as it also relieves stress. A simple house with a beautiful landscape looks elegant. You don’t need a professional gardener or a massive budget to achieve a beautiful landscape. You can make your beautiful backyard without spending too much.
All you need are the following tips:
1. Determine the space and topography of the area for landscaping
The space and topography for landscaping should be considered first. It’ll give you a hint of how many and what type of plants to select, arrange and grow in your backyard. It will also serve as a basis for your layout. When you have a small yard, you can include flowering plants or potted plants in your layout to optimize the space.
If you have a wide yard, you can plant large fruit-bearing trees. If you have trees and you need to decorate it, use scaffolding. Check this link for cheap scaffolding.
2. Make a simple layout or landscaping plan
Aside from visualizing how your yard would look beforehand, making a layout will save you a lot of time, effort and money at the end of the day. Planning and putting everything you have in mind on a piece of paper can create a good outcome.
It helps you determine the available plants in your area and the kind of plants that best grow in your target site. Moreover, you’ll know what tools to buy instead of buying every tool.
3. Recycle used containers
Bottles whether plastic or glass could save you from pot needs. Today, a lot of home-gardeners create a sophisticated arrangement of containers blending well with the plants. For instance, big plastic bottles can be carefully cut into an artistic feature and could serve as pots for small plants or those with shallow roots. Aside from keeping you a lot from spending, you are helping the environment, too.
5. Choose low maintenance shrubs and perennials
Since landscaping is intended for a long-term plant arrangement, shrubs or perennials are ideal for it. Some plants look good for just a few months and eventually wither and die. Some plants need to be watered most of the time and require the right amount of fertilizers to grow well. To save energy, time and even money, choose plants that can live for more than a year while growing beautifully as they age. When you have perennials, you can save so much from buying plants again and again.
If you’re a homeowner, you can create a beautiful sight right in the backyard without following all the conventional and expensive landscaping models. Your creativity, determination, and action are the best capital for a low-cost yet elegant landscape. Remember that the key to successful landscaping is utilizing most of the available resources with careful planning with the right implementation. As long as you’re happy and satisfied with the outcome, nobody can question the quality of your landscape.
Why Tree Lopping Should Be Avoided
Trees are an essential component to any outdoor area, as they provide essential shading and screening, not to mention a healthy dose of greenery that gives the garden texture and depth. Most Australian homeowners are familiar with the term “tree lopping” and while you might think that lopping is something to be carried out at certain times of a tree’s life, research suggests that this practice is actually harmful to the tree.
Definition of the Term “Lopping”
For many people, tree lopping can mean any of the following:
- Tree Pruning
- Branch Trimming
- Tree Shaping
According to the Tree Protection Act of 2005, it is illegal to lop a tree, and their definition of lopping is to make cuts at the fork of a tree between the branch unions, while the correct practice, pruning, is to cut branches after the union, which allows the tree to develop in a healthy way. Lopping a tree is likely to cause severe xylem dysfunction and decay in the major branches of the tree and this will result in the tree forming a layer of new wood around a decaying core, which can be very dangerous.
Mature Trees and Lopping
If a mature tree actually survives the lopping process, it will require very careful management as the tree develops, with extra weight being added by the new growth, while the dysfunctional inner core is not able to hold this extra weight. Rather than cutting off a main branch, the branches that run off the main bough can be trimmed back to a point just after the branch union and this achieves the objective, yet does not harm the core sections of the tree.
Eco-Friendly Tree Care
If you think your garden trees need some attention, source an eco-friendly arborist and one that understands that tree lopping is not advisable under any circumstances. If the tree is in a bad condition, perhaps removal is the best solution and with stump grinding, all remnants will be removed and you can use that patch of ground for something else. While there might be many companies offering tree lopping in Perth, look for one that complies with the Tree Protection Act and therefore does not practice tree lopping – which is also known as tree topping.
Tree Pruning & Shaping
A qualified arborist will employ pruning techniques to reshape a tree or remove dead branches, which is not harmful, in fact, correct pruning promotes healthy growth. An arborist would know how a tree can be cut back without causing damage and always has the tree’s best interests at heart. Shaping can be carried out in such a way that the removed branches will not hinder healthy growth and rather than simply taking away branches to achieve the desire shape and size, the arborist will only remove what he can without harming the tree.
There are cases when tree removal is not the best solution and if the tree is old, then lopping is a manageable way to help the tree finish its lifecycle. The lopping would be a precursor to removal, which might be scheduled a few years from now, yet the instances when tree lopping is suitable are rare indeed.
Large trees can weigh anything up to 50 tonnes and lopping such a tree could very easily put people and property at serious risk. There would be no outer signs of a problem, as the core timber is decaying slowly, and with so much weight to support, some species simply crack under the strain, sending a bough of a few tonnes crashing to the ground.
Once you have managed to locate a qualified arborist, it is advisable to let him schedule any tree work that needs to be done. He would know the best time of the year to prune back and would ensure a balance of natural beauty and good health.
3 Essential Steps to Keep Your Lawn in Great Condition
Creating and maintaining a beautiful garden takes hard work and dedication, but the results are certainly worth it. Great gardens come in all shapes and sizes, and contain a number of elements, but at their heart is always one thing of especial importance: the lawn. Your garden lawn should always be the centerpiece of your garden, so if it looks damaged or out of shape, the garden as a whole won’t be seen at its best. Don’t worry, we’ve come up with this handy three-point guide that will help you get a lawn you’ll be proud of all year round.
We all know that lawns need watering, especially during the hot, dry months of summer, but just how much should you water them and exactly how should you water your lawn? The first thing to note is that the soil type will determine just how much watering it needs, with sandy clay soils needing less watering per session than heavy clay soils, but as it holds less water it will need watering more frequently. Generally speaking, your lawn will need at least an inch of water per week during cooler months and an inch and a half per week at the height of summer. It’s also best to water your lawn in the early morning hours, particularly during the summer when hot temperatures can cause water evaporation before it sinks into the clay beneath the grass.
Aerating your lawn is a simple process, but when done correctly the results can be spectacular. Put simply, aeration is the act of punching holes in your lawn, and this is especially important if your lawn sees heavy usage. Over time, a lawn’s soil becomes increasingly compact, making it difficult for water to drain away and for it to receive the air and nutrients it needs to thrive. By making holes of approximately three inches in depth, the soil has room to move and breathe, and this leads to a much healthier and vibrant lawn. Aeration can be done by hand or via a special aerating machine, and it should be done at least once a year to soil that’s relatively dry.
Use Organic Fertilizers
It’s important to fertilize your lawn if you want it to stay looking great throughout the seasons, but some fertilizers contain harsh chemicals which can be harmful to you and your family, wildlife, and plants. That’s why we recommend the use of natural, organic fertilizers, and as an added bonus a recent study into the effectiveness of lawn fertilizers by the prestigious Texas A&M University found that organic materials worked better than synthetic ones.
When your lawn looks good, you’ll enjoy spending time there even more, and it will also be a great place to meet and greet house guests. Lawn care and maintenance can be as simple as watering it correctly, using organic fertilizer and aerating it on an annual basis.
A Guide to End of Summer Garden Maintenance
The British summer can be unpredictable at the best of times and this year we seem to be enjoying an ongoing heatwave of epic proportions and as the summer draws to an end, it is time to think about some pre-winter gardening. It is natural for all plants and fauna to sleep during the colder months and there are some important jobs to get out of the way before autumn sets in, which will help your flowers, trees and shrubs better deal with the onset of winter.
- Heavy Dose of Watering – In the heat of the summer, your lawn and border plants will require a healthy regular dose of water, especially the lawn and this helps to prepare for the winter. This should begin when the temperature starts to climb and should be ongoing, right up until the sun loses its power and the light evenings recede. If your water sprinkler system and hose have seen better days, it might be time for a replacement and with online garden suppliers, you can order from the comfort of your own home.
- End of Summer Pruning – When all of the flowering varieties have finished blooming, you should prune back a little and not too radical, especially for younger plants and shrubs. Remove all dead branches and the pruning will add some shape to the bushes and shrubs and help them to prepare for the winter shutdown. Trees should also be pruned at this time and if you are not confident working at heights, it might be an idea to call in your local landscape gardener, who is fully equipped to safely prune and trim even large trees.
- Halt Fertilization – It is never a good idea to fertilize past the end of August, as this will stimulate new growth at a time when the plants should be doing the opposite. While fertilization is important in the spring and summer, it should be ceased before the cold weather sets in.
- Spike the Lawn – This can be done effectively with a garden fork, if you don’t have a separate tool and this will ensure that the grass receives the right amount of nourishment. This is especially important if your lawn has bad drainage and don’t forget a liberal watering once the spiking has been completed.
- Cut the Lawn Higher than Normal – As the warm weather recedes, you should raise the lawnmower cutters a notch or two, as the extra grass length will aid the lawn to deal with the impending frost.
If you are lacking in gardening tools, there are online suppliers of all things horticultural and they typically have end of summer sales, so purchasing tools and other essentials at this time is a god idea. The harsh UK climate does mean your plants, trees and shrubs are well equipped to deal with the winter and by including all of the above as the summer draws to an end, you are helping your garden to prepare for the cold season.