The Ins and Outs of Yard Landscaping

Posted on June 7, 2018 By

Your yard landscaping options are heavily dependent on a few factors. Where you live will determine what kinds of plants you can grow. The slope of your lawn and its soil type will determine how those plants should be watered. The size of the lot and your yard landscaping budget are also significant factors. Additionally, front yard landscaping is often different than backyard landscaping. Of course, these factors can be limiting at times, but with early planning and a little expert advice, it is often possible to create excellent landscaping no matter how big your yard or how demanding your climate.

Front Yard Landscaping: Ideas and Advice
A front yard is a window into the life of a property. If well-maintained and smartly organized, front yard landscaping is likely to raise your home’s curb appeal as well as positively effect the house’s over all value. The front yard should look as open and healthy as possible. Remember, this is how people enter the home; having to dodge too many plants on the way in can be off putting.

Just because front yard landscaping is not supposed to be cluttered doesn’t mean that you don’t still have


Garden Hoses

Posted on June 5, 2018 By

In some areas, an outdoor water hose is more than just a convenience; it’s a way of life. It keeps flowers healthy, kids happy, and vehicles show room sharp. Whether you want a green lawn or a clean car, a garden hose is an excellent tool to keep your property looking its best.

Types of Water Hoses

Some of us are all too familiar with the green plastic tangle that used to pass for an irrigation tool. Thankfully, today’s homeowner has a much better selection of garden hoses to meet their individual needs.

The first, most well known type of hose is the rubber (usually green) garden hose. Aside from the tangling issues, the biggest problem with these hoses is the wide range of both prices and quality. It is difficult to know if the rubber hose you purchase will be durable, flexible, or tough enough for the job you have in mind until you actually bring it home. Most water hose problems are caused by kinks, and a poor quality rubber model will get plenty of them. Those looking for a hose that will only be used once in a while, then put away


Do You Need to Hire a Gardener?

Posted on May 8, 2018 By

In these economically uncertain times, everyone is always looking for that really great deal. The ongoing hunt for the ideal gardener for landscape maintenance is no exception. The services offered by different gardeners vary greatly and the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best deal. Value and peace of mind, as well as price, are important factors to consider when selecting a gardener.

The value of a gardener is ultimately determined by the overall day-to-day appearance of the yard he maintains. When interviewing potential gardeners, ask what he will do for you each month (i.e.: mow, blow, prune, fertilize, etc.) Good communication is very important. Make sure you tell your gardener what services you expect to be done each month. Remember, it takes more time to provide full service than it does to just “mow and blow” each week, so expect to pay more for complete care.

Evaluate Your Garden

Before you meet with a gardener it’s important for you to evaluate your lawn and decide what you are looking for in a gardener. For instance, do you need just basic maintenance, lawn-mowing and pruning, for example? Or, do you need a gardener who has


Home Playground Equipment for Your Outdoor Playground

Posted on May 6, 2018 By

If you’re like most people, of the things that matter to you, your family and your home are probably right at the top of your list. Thus, you’re probably constantly looking for ways to improve your home environment. The best home improvement projects tend to double as family improvement projects, and installing an outdoor playground is a great way to accomplish both at the same time. From increasing your kid’s activity and fitness level to scoring popularity points in your neighborhood—including helping your kids make new friends—outdoor playgrounds simply outshine spending your money on lawn manicures or a new plasma TV.

Home Playground Equipment
There are many different types of home playground equipment available for your backyard playground. As you might have guessed, the biggest factor in determining the best equipment for your kids is their relative size, age, and the number of children you have. If you have a 5 year-old and a 12 year-old, you’re probably going to run into some unique challenges.

Swings: Besides their general popularity, swings are great for their flexibility. Different swing designs can allow for safe use amongst both younger and smaller children. Infant swings allow even the youngest


Steps to a Backyard Playground for Kids

Posted on April 17, 2018 By

A yard offers enough room for kids to explore and grow without being too far from supervision. Installing a home playground is one way to encourage children to exercise and have fun outdoors. As with anything, however, the best backyard playgrounds are those that have been properly planned out. When changing the landscape of your yard to be more kid-friendly, there are a few things to consider.

1. Don’t Skimp on Open Play Areas

One thing that some homeowners might forget when planning a home playground is to leave enough open space. A spacious, flat, grassy area that lends itself well to a wide range of sports and play activities is essential. You could also consider installing synthetic grass in the play area. It’s durable, designed to be realistic, and maintenance-free. Open play areas allow for a wide variety of games from badminton to tag. A few trees around the perimeter of the yard are also a plus. Besides offering some shade, trees can serve as bases, hiding places, and net supports.

2. Home Playground Containment

Fences are the most common solution for keeping children in one area and discouraging strangers from entering your


What Should I Do With My Shade Trees After a Storm?

Posted on April 15, 2018 By

Storm damaged trees are something many homeowners will have to deal with at some point. Since storm damaged trees are often an accident waiting to happen, calling for tree damage repair is not something you want to put off once a problem is noticed. Visually inspecting the trees on your property after a storm is a great way to spot problems early and avoid further damage to person or property; though some might view tree damage repair as an expense they’d rather forgo, ignoring storm damaged trees is likely to lead to larger, more expensive repair costs down the road.

Arborists: The Experts on Storm Damaged Trees
Arboriculture is the science of tree care. The International Society of Arboriculture is a worldwide organization dedicated to the care and preservation of trees. They stake their reputation on their certification program which confers the title of Certified Arborist on experienced and properly trained tree experts. A Certified Arborist must have a minimum of three years experience in tree care and he or she must pass an exam developed by an international panel of experts.

Some tree companies are own by certified arborists while other companies may have one


Why Lawn Aeration is Important

Posted on April 9, 2018 By

Why Lawn Aeration is ImportantYour lawn needs to breathe. Every time you step on your lawn, mow your grass, or allow your children to play in the yard, your lawn soil becomes a little more compacted. Minimal use usually isn’t a significant problem. Seasonal freezing and thawing can help keep your soil loose, as well as the occasional earthworm working his way through your lawn. For most homeowners, though, annual or bi-annual lawn aeration is important to keep a lawn healthy and disease-free.

Your lawn needs loose soil for several reasons. Vital nutrients, water, fertilizer, and pesticides will more easily move into loose soil. Plus, grass roots will more easily extend into the soil to extract these nutrients. An aerated lawn will also promote a healthy population of microorganisms that breakdown lawn thatch. Left unchecked, a spongy layer of thatch can block water and nutrients from reaching your lawn and will leave it more susceptible to disease.

Aerating Your Lawn

So how does it work? A lawn aerator removes soil plugs from your lawn allowing compacted soil to


Soil Engineers Perform Soil Testing

Posted on April 8, 2018 By

A soil engineer is someone who conducts soil testing and advises on preventive solutions for problems that may arise from expansive soil, saving the homeowner future difficulties.

A soil engineer can be contracted through the architect or builder, or you can contact the engineer directly. It’s important to make sure you hire a soil engineer who is registered and professionally licensed through the state.

What Is a Soil Engineer?
Soil engineers possess a thorough knowledge of soil-structure interaction. They investigate areas proposed for development, analyze site and subsurface conditions and make recommendations for septic systems, grading, earth support, drainage, foundation design, concrete slab on grade construction, and site remediation.

Soil engineers are often hired to perform soil testing on existing structures and sites and investigate any problems caused by the soil conditions, as well as identifying the specific cause and recommending the best repair or mitigation methods.

The most significant hazards are caused by earthquake activity, water, landslides, and compressible and expansive soils. Expansive soils cause millions of dollars in damage annually and many people have literally lost their homes due to extensive damage and the high costs of repair. Expansive soils will “swell”


Healing Powers of Outdoor Living

Posted on March 21, 2018 By

Healing Powers of Outdoor LivingThe idea that a natural setting is good for the body isn’t a new one. To quote a WebMD article, “A landmark study by Roger S. Ulrich, published in the April 27, 1984, issue of Science magazine, found strong evidence that nature helps heal. Ulrich, a pioneer in the field of therapeutic environments at Texas A&M University, found that patients recovering from gallbladder surgery who looked out at a view of trees had significantly shorter hospital stays, fewer complaints, and took less pain medication, than those who looked out at a brick wall.”

Since then, other studies by scientists worldwide have bolstered the theory that scenes of nature and being outdoors has a positive effect on our health. However, not every American has the time or means to hit the wilderness whenever he or she wants. For most of us, getting our recommended intake of nature needs to occur much closer to home.

Get your Nature any Way you Can
One of the best things about the healing power of nature is that you don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere


Synthetic Grass Turf

Posted on March 18, 2018 By

While something can be said for thinking green, we can’t ignore the fact that some synthetic alternatives are simply superior to the natural products they replace. A good example is synthetic grass turf. Synthetic grass can be used in play areas, pool surrounds, dog runs, deck covers, patios, and many other areas. For maintenance, beauty, utility, and the environment, synthetic grass turf is, for many reasons, a better way to go.

Synthetic Lawn Turf: Beautiful and Hassle-Free
While some would surely balk at the idea of a “fake” grass lawn, the fact is: Synthetic grass turf is full of benefits that a natural lawn simply cannot match. Of course, the most obvious benefit of synthetic lawn turf is reduced maintenance. No more dragging the lawn mower out of the garage every week working yourself ragged after you’ve already spent a full week at the job. No more hiring a landscape company to treat your lawn twice a year to make sure the grass doesn’t die. No more summers moving the sprinkler around the lawn to save the dry, yellow grass. No more worrying about the dog or the kids tearing up the lawn or treading clumps of