Use our blog as a resource of information pertaining to landscaping, hardscaping, and other topics pertinent to the care and aesthetics of your property.
The ticks are back and they’re bad! Wisconsin is considered to be at high risk statewide for Lyme disease! This month especially has been known to be an exceptionally bad time all across the country for ticks. Luckily for you there are steps to take to ward off ticks and their hosts.
Here are some options to make your property less attractive to ticks and their hosts:
Here are some links for more information on Ticks and Lyme disease:
Tree pruning is recommended for all ornamental/shade trees that are cultivated for landscape purposes every 3-7 years, depending on the species. Of course if there is damage from a storm, disease, or other situation, then we recommend pruning to remove the damaged/dead wood immediately so the tree can properly recover.
The reason why trees in a landscape setting should be pruned on a routine basis is to ensure the health of the tree. It is far easier to remove a problem when the branch affected is small then wait until the problem spreads to a larger part of the tree, or the branch continues to grow and the later removal results in a misshapen tree that is no longer nice to look at.
Proper pruning can help take care of the following issues with branches:
The removal of these problems allows for the tree to continue growing in a manner that is sustainable…therefore living a longer and healthier life.
To say that a tree that is regularly cared for/pruned will have no problems is as unreasonable as saying a person who goes to a doctor for an annual exam will never become ill. However, similarly to seeing a doctor regularly, proper maintenance of your trees by a professional arborist can help to keep your trees healthy.
The primary reason why pruning is recommended for trees is to maintain and improve its health, or address a known issue. Though it is not the primary reason when done...
This spring my wife and I started to convert the expanse of lawn around our newly purchased ranch house into gardens. While we focus on renovating the insides of the house, the focus for our garden is its infrastructure and bones. To that end, we’ve been smothering several hundred square feet of lawn under cardboard, newspapers, and compost; planting young shrubs to create screens; carefully carving specimens out of overgrown trees; and generally preparing the soil for future garden spaces. Last week we installed several hundred perennials and grasses on the side of our house. During that planting, I remembered the best planting advice I’ve ever received.
To gain the reputation within our community as the leading environmentally conscious landcare company.
To nurture lasting relationships with each client and provide exceptional property management while supporting environmental principles, thereby allowing our clients to ‘appreciate’ their property in more ways than one.
1. Choose a rain barrel made with food-grade plastic that holds at least 55 gallons of water. Locate it uphill from the area you’d like to irrigate, near a downspout, and on a hard, flat surface. You can increase the water pressure coming from your rain barrel by elevating it on cinder blocks. To create a cinder-block base, place three 8-by-8-by-16-inch cinderblocks lengthwise (flat surface down, holes pointed out) and arrange them so they form a triangle. Check to make sure the blocks are level and then center the rain barrel on top of the base.
2. Select a front side for your barrel and attach a 3/4-inch spigot about 2 inches from the bottom using a bulkhead fitting. Reach down into the barrel to determine the lowest spot you can position the fitting, and drill a hole in the outside of the barrel.Thread the spigot into the fitting (using a reducer, or bushing, if necessary) so you get a tight, leak-free fit. “Use a spigot with a 3/4-inch male inlet, rather than a 1/2-inch one, because it allows more water to flow through, which is especially important if you plan to hook a soaker hose up to the barrel,” says Lenny Librizzi, who has installed 40 rainwater-harvesting systems for community gardens (including a couple as part of the Organic Gardening WaterWorks project) in his work for the Council on the Environment in New York City.
3. Prevent your rain barrel from overflowing by installing a downspout diverter, such...
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness Zone: 3b
Group/Class: P.J.M. Series
A pretty broad-leaf evergreen shrub with showy purple-pink flowers in spring and a compact upright habit, very hardy, interesting fall coloration; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil, use plenty of peat moss when planting
P.J.M. Rhododendron is covered in stunning clusters of lightly-scented lavender trumpet-shaped flowers with rose overtones at the ends of the branches in mid spring, which emerge from distinctive fuchsia flower buds. It has green foliage. The narrow leaves turn an outstanding purple in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The smooth gray bark is not particularly outstanding.
P.J.M. Rhododendron is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.
P.J.M. Rhododendron is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Do you have any plants in your home? Typically, the indoor air quality is significantly worse than it is outside. There are several steps you can take to greatly improve the indoor air quality in your home. One way this can be done, is by having several indoor plants that clean the air and reduce toxins.
Several years ago NASA studied houseplants and their ability to purify the air in indoor spaces. They found that certain plants were better at filtering the air and removing volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) than others.
Not only are indoor plants beneficial for increasing oxygen levels in our homes, they have also been found to reduce the toxins in the air we are breathing.
The air in our homes has been shown to contain harmful toxins which ultimately end up in our bodies. Whether the toxins are from building materials, paint, out-gassing carpets, dust, or flame retardants, the levels of these toxins in the air can be reduced.
These plants can reduce many air pollutants including formaldehyde, microbial pathogens, benzene and microbial pathogens.
According to NASA it is recommended that you have about 15 to 18 of these plants in your home (this was recommended for a 1800 sq foot home). Remember to also place at least one plant in your bedroom, preferably more.
Even if you don’t have a green...
Hiring a Landscape Certified Contractor: An Olympic-style achievement.
What it actually means to be Landscape Industry Certified- Did you know that 3 of our employees are certified already? And 2 more on their way!!
Many people enjoy seeing birds in the winter. It seems to bring LIFE to the otherwise barren landscape. Attracting birds is not difficult, and in fact can be easier to do in the winter than any other time of year when there are many food choices readily available. Birds, like humans, have three basic needs to survive the winter: water, food, and shelter. You can provide these needs through wise choices with your landscaping or with supplemental baths, feeders, and shelters.
Frigid temperatures, blustery storms and limited food supplies make winter the harshest season for wild birds. Bird mortality is actually quite high throughout the long winter season. Homeowners who supply the basic needs for birds are quickly rewarded with visual delight as they can observe a diverse flock of nature’s finest feathered friends. For best results, I advise you to start early in the autumn to prepare your yard for winter so birds can learn it is a safe place long before they are in desperate need.
Birds require water to survive; while they are capable of melting snow and ice, this requires an immense amount of energy. Furthermore, when we have no snow or ice on the ground, birds need to fly greater distances, sometimes exposing themselves to severe cold and subjecting themselves to other threats. Supply fresh water and you will readily attract many birds in the winter. To...
Who should have aeration done on their home lawns?
You are probably wondering to yourself, “Do I need to have lawn aeration performed on my lawn?”. As a general rule, I recommend aeration to all of my customers whose lawns I manage. Some lawns are in greater need of aeration than others, but it will be beneficial for all lawns. I feel it is part of a complete lawn management program and should be done on an annual basis for most lawns.
For people that do not know what lawn aeration is, I always mention golf course greens. If you have ever played golf in the fall on most golf courses, you might see all the half-inch diameter holes in the green. These holes are from an aerator, where they have removed the plug of turf and soil from the green. On a golf course these cores need to be picked up because obviously putting would be impossible if the cores were left on the green. Here is an example of what the aerator and the cores look like.
Aeration is basically the process of removing plugs of soil and turf from the lawn. An aerator operates much like a walk behind mower. It travels across the surface of the lawn with 3-4” long hollow tines spaced a few inches apart that pull the soil core out of the ground. Those cores are left on the surface of the lawn to naturally break down. Unlike on a golf green, picking up the cores is not necessary in a home lawn and we actually want the cores to break down and fall back into the...
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