Monthly Archives: December 2016

Some Mistakes While Preparing The Yard

Congratulations! You’ve just moved into your first home. Many possibilities await you to add your own personal touch. However, many responsibilities follow. Lawn care and maintenance is one of them that can sometimes be overlooked by a first-time homeowner.

If you moved into your home in the late fall or early winter, you may not have given the home’s landscaping much thought. However, as the weather starts to change, you can see changes in your yard that you may not have expected. Learning how to take care of your landscaping can be a challenge for any new homeowner. All new homeowners are bound to make mistakes, but here are few landscaping tips to help you avoid common errors.

Are you a new homeowner who’s looking for some guidance when it comes to your yard? Contact a landscaping pro for up to four quotes from contractors near you, for free.

Mistake #1: Not Hiring A Lawn Care Service

Many homeowners who are eager to DIY will see their lawn care as another project. But the fact is, you need some expertise to get rid of stubborn weeds that reoccur. While store-bought treatments may work in the short-term, it’s likely to not solve the issue. A lawn care service can help provide the professional treatments you need to get rid of weeds that ruin your lawn. The average cost to hire a lawn care serviceis $226, with most homeowners spending between $127 and $237.

Plant According To DirectionsMistake #2: Removing Plants That You Can’t Identify

While the blooms of spring are exciting, it’s also time for other plants to begin emerging from the ground. Sprouts don’t always look the best and can cause confusion for what their true identity. As they grow, you may be able to identify what plants they are. Never remove a plant before you know what it is. It could be the perfect addition to your yard. Need help identifying mystery plant? Contact a pro who can help.

Mistake #3: Planting Vegetables & Flowers At The Wrong Time

A new garden brings so many possibilities. You can grow vegetables, herbs, flowers and more. Some homeowners prefer to start with seeds, especially when it comes to growing fruits and vegetables. But, you must plant them appropriately. Planting your garden at the wrong time may cause the seed to not grow appropriately. While most seed packets have instruction on them, find your planting zone to ensure you know when to get your garden ready.

Mistake #4: Transplanting Flowers Without Watering

If you have flowers that are already potted, you may consider moving them to a different part of your yard or to a different pot or container. While transplanting flowers seems simple, you must remember to water them right away and regularly, especially for the first few weeks so they can really thrive.

Also, consider the sunlight needed for your transplanted flowers. While they may look better in your backyard, they may not get the appropriate amount of sun in your front yard. That’s why it’s extremely important to be able to identify your plants and what they need, before you transplant them.

Dont Mow Too LowMistake #5: Cutting The Grass At The Wrong Length

Cutting your grass isn’t just about appearance, but rather helping it to grow lush and full. Many new homeowners are surprised to learn that cutting grass too short can result in damaged turf. It is recommended that most grasses are cut between 2″ to 4″ high.  To maintain this height, you’ll likely be mowing the lawn at least once a week during the spring and into the early fall, especially right after a lot of rainfall.

Of course, you could entrust this chore to a professional. They will ensure that your lawn is kept up with regularly and the correct height every time. The average cost of mowing services is $61, depending on the size of your lawn.

Mistake #6: Planting Too Close Together

Many homeowners have a vision of a lush and thick garden, but unfortunately, few newer homeowners realize that it takes time to get there. For both plants starting from seeds or transplants, it’s important to give the roots space to grow and sunshine to thrive. If you’re starting from seeds or seedlings, always follow the instructions on the packet regarding spacing. This is also important if you’re starting a container garden, where nutrients may be more limited than when in the ground. Don’t overcrowd pots or containers

If you’re transplanting a shrub or flower to a different part of your yard, it helps to do a little research first. A plant that will spread, such as a perennial groundcover, should be given plenty of space to do so. While a shrub may not take up as much space, the roots may go deeper than flowers and steal nutrients away.

Mistake #7: Not Watering Your Lawn & Garden Regularly

Once your flowers and plants have been placed in your garden, step back and admire your work! However, the job isn’t over. Many new homeowners might neglect their yards and gardens within the first year by failing to create a watering schedule. Even seasoned homeowners fall into this as well. Create a schedule at the beginning of the season and stick to it.

Know More About Solar Landscape Lighting

Your outdoor décor doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Outdoor lighting can improve the elegance and sophistication of your home, not to mention the safety benefits it has.

One way you can save money and improve your ROI is with solar landscape lighting. Not only does solar landscape lighting save you money, but it’s also eco-friendly. From solar path lights to solar spot lights, you can find a landscape lighting option for your budget. See a few ideas you can use to boost your curb appeal with outdoor solar lights.

Are you ready to improve your landscaping with outdoor solar lighting? Some complex systems may need an expert to install. Contact an solar pro today for up to four quotes from contractors near you for free.

Why Choose Solar Power?

The latest innovations in solar power make it possible for you to add lighting virtually anywhere indoors and out, without increasing your electrical bill. Many homeowners are turning to solar power for their landscape lighting needs, as they are typically easy to install and the best way to harness the sun’s rays. Solar power lighting has a high ROI that will be good for your wallet now and when it’s time to sell.

Solar power not only helps your wallet but it also helps the earth. By choosing to use solar power, you are significantly reducing your carbon footprint and helping to conserve resources. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry projects have doubled in 2016 and expected to triple by 2022.  With the popularity of green homebuilding, outdoor solar lights might be just what you need to get your home up-to-date.

Solar Spot Lights

Of all the solar landscape lighting choices, spot lights will bring the most light and attention to a particular landscaping feature in your yard. Solar spot lights can also help deter intruders and be either placed into the ground with a stake or simply sit on top of the grass, with the light pointing at the feature you’d like to highlight.

Solar Fairy Lights

One of the latest trends in outdoor lighting is solar fairy lights. These little lights resemble string lights but are on a thin, flexible wire and don’t hang like other outdoor lights. They are perfect to wrap around trees, decking posts or pots. Most solar fairy lights are LED lights, so they have a long lifespan. When looking for outdoor solar fairy light, you’ll want to be sure they are waterproof so they won’t get damaged by the rain.

Outdoor Solar String Lights

For your deck or patio, outdoor solar string lights will help the party last into the evening. Globe and Edison style string lights are especially popular right now in backyard entertaining. Because solar string lights don’t need to be plugged into an electrical source, they can be hung almost anywhere in your yard. From decking to tree decor, you can get creative with your string outdoor solar lights.

Solar Path Lights

One of the most popular choices in solar landscape lighting is path lights. Not only are these a perfect addition to your pathway, but they increase the safety of your yard at night. There are many different varieties of solar path lights you can choose from. Most have a stake at the bottom so you can insert them directly into the ground, no wires needed. Here are a few popular styles of solar path lights:

  • Lantern Path Lights: Light with solar panels that hang from a small hook.
  • Pagoda Path Lights: The lights sit upon a steak with tiers of material around the source to illuminate evenly.
  • Block Path Lights: The light is in the body of the fixture. Great for a stylish touch near driveways or steps.
  • Mushroom Path Lights: The light is at the top of the steak with a shield over the top to help illuminate farther.
  • Faux Rock Path Lights: These lights are designed with the faux rock around the bulb

Some Simple Tree Maintenance Tips

From old to new, the trees in your yard need proper care to thrive and look their best. Trees can be beneficial to any yard. Not only do they help the environment by reducing pollution, they also improve the value of your home and cut utility costs.

The benefits of trees in your yard are truly endless, but an unhealthy tree can cause problems for you that cost you money and curb appeal. See seven tree maintenance tips that will help keep the trees in your yard healthy and happy.

Could you use some help with tree maintenance this season? Contact a landscaping pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

1. Regular Tree Maintenance

Regular tree maintenance can mean a variety of things. From tree trimming to regular watering, entrusting your trees to a pro can mean a longer and healthier life for them. It also has the benefit of taking that landscaping project off your plate. The average cost of tree maintenance is $425, with most homeowners spending between $247 and $470.

2. Tree Trimming

Much like we all need a haircut every few weeks, trees need to be trimmed to maintain their beautiful, healthy appearance. Tree trimming is a task you can do yourself or with the help of a landscaping pro. Regular tree trimming is important to remove dead branches and leaves so new ones can grow. You may also find that your tree needs some trimming if it’s getting a bit too close to the house. High winds, storms and loose branches can cause serious damage to your home, if not taken care of properly.

3. Soil Testing

If you’re finding that your trees are looking less than their best, soil may be the culprit. This is especially important if your tree is a seedling or you’ve recently replanted a tree. Soil testing can help you determine the pH levels and minerals already in your soil, and how you can improve it to see your trees truly thrive.

The average cost of soil testing is $1,142, with most homeowners paying between $947 and $1,515. Keep in mind, this is the cost for professional services. There are plenty of DIY services available at your local home garden store, however, they may not reveal all the details about your soil that could be important to tree growth.

4. Watering

For new trees, watering is extremely important. The general rule is 10 gallons of water per inch of the trunk’s diameter. This will help it grow and not dry out. As the roots get deeper and the tree gets larger, the tree is able to draw up water from other areas of the grow. A large tree can obtain up to 100 gallons of water through its deep roots in a day. While older and larger trees need less maintenance, newer or replanted trees need more regular watering to stay healthy.

5. Mulch

More than just a decorative element to your yard, mulch provides many benefits to your trees. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, it helps insulate the ground around the tree from drastic change in temperatures and retains water. This can be particularly helpful for trees that have been replanted.

The amount of mulch you’ll need depends on the size of the tree itself. Most tree bases need between 3’ to 10’ of mulch around the tree. The average cost of mulch is between $200 and $2,000, but this will depend on the area and how many trees you plan on mulching.

6. Watch For Pests & Diseases

Even with plenty of care, there are two enemies of a healthy tree. Pests and disease could ruin many efforts. To prevent this, carefully monitor your tree to see signs of abnormal change such as spots on leaves, fungi, or changes in plant structure. Any of these could mean that pests and disease are impacting your tree.

Tree Pest Removal

When it comes to pest control for your tree, there are plenty of critters that can infest your tree, causing damage to it and other trees around it. There are many insect control formulas available if you find an infestation. However, if you feel like you need a stronger solution, contact a landscaping pro who can help identify the problem and treat it appropriately.

Tree Disease Treatment

Rot and fungi are among the most common diseases in trees. Fungi is often the first sign of tree decay and rot and should be treated immediately. Similarly to pests, there are many fungicides at your local home and garden store that can help eliminate the fungus and stop the growth.

If the tree disease has become untreatable, it’s best to remove the tree. A tree that has rot can become a safety hazard to you and your home. The average cost to remove a tree is $630, with most homeowners spending between $419 and $697.

7. Prepare Your Tree For Winter

At the end of the season, before the first frost, you’ll want to prepare your tree for the winter. For smaller trees, transplants and fruit trees, you’ll want to protect them from the harsh cold. If you’re able, cover your tree with a tarp or sheet to protect from the frost. Also, put a layer of fertilizer down around the tree so it doesn’t lose the nutrients it needs.

For any tree, be sure to prune the branches one last time so they’re able to grow even more in the spring, once the warm weather returns.