Archives for September 2021

wildlife

Be Aware of Wildlife When Gardening

South Florida is home to extensive diversity of wildlife that individuals may encounter in their garden. Some are poisonous, others deliver a painful bite, while some are just scary looking. They seek shelter in gardens and want to be left alone, but they will defend themselves against what they perceive as an attack.

The best solution when gardening is wearing pants, long sleeves, socks and shoes – not sandals – look carefully where hands and feet are placed or if movement is detected. Individuals may also want to contact a professional should an infestation become apparent.

Spiders

Spiders are the most common type of wildlife that individuals will encounter. The two most dangerous are the southern black widow and the brown recluse. Humans typically won’t encounter a brown recluse, but it’s important to be aware. While it’s not poisonous, it’s dangerous in the effect it has. The venom injected by a bite result in liquification of the flesh around the bite site.

Southern black widows don’t have the distinguishing red hourglass markings of their northern counterparts. They’re venomous, but their bite typically won’t result in death. The bite can cause pain, burning, swelling, redness, nausea and severe pain. The venom affects the nervous system. Some people are relatively unaffected, while others may have a severe reaction.

Snakes

Between breeders and owners releasing exotic snakes into the wild and hurricanes that send snakes seeking higher ground, there are many different types of snakes in South Florida that people may encounter. Only six species are truly dangerous with bites that can harm people, but no snake should be trifled with, just to be safe.

Dangerous species include the Canebrake rattlesnake, copperhead, coral snake, cottonmouth/water moccasin, diamondback rattlesnake and pigmy rattlesnake. While most people won’t encounter the pythons or any of the other constrictors, they can appear. Snakes typically enter gardens in search of food such as moles, voles and mice, along with gophers, chipmunks and other rodents.

Fire Ants

Gardeners may encounter several species of fire ants that inhabit Florida. The red fire ant is the biggest problem. The species is native to South America and found a favorable environment in Florida. The imported species is aggressive and attacks anything that disturbs them. They come out of their mounds en masse and each ant can sting numerous times. The most common reaction is pain, itching and swelling. While the sting is painful to most, it can result in a life-threatening reaction for some.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more
Maintaining Roses

Successfully Maintaining Roses in South Florida

There’s something inherently desirable about roses. They’ve been written and sung about since ancient times. Rose fossils have been found dating to 35 million years ago and there are currently more than 150 species in the Northern Hemisphere. They were so highly prized in the 15th century that the plants and rose water was an accepted form of currency.

Individuals can grow roses in virtually every color of the rainbow in single or double flower forms, many of which are highly fragrant. Each type of rose variety also has height variations – an important fact to know when selecting a favorite. Those that want roses in the environment can choose from multiple types.

  • Miniatures are typically grown as houseplants.
  • Polyanthas roses range in height from 18 to 24 inches.
  • Floribunda roses grow from 1.5 to 2.5 feet in height.
  • Grandiflora roses are the result of modern breeding programs and grow from 3 to 5 feet tall.
  • Hybrid tea roses range from 3 to 8 feet in height.
  • Climbing roses, sometimes referred to as rambling roses, can attain heights of 20 feet.

Growing roses in South Florida is entirely possible, providing gardeners pay attention to their needs. Roses need 6 to 8 hours of morning sun each day – midday sun is too hot – and soil that’s rich in organic matter. They’re heavy feeders and don’t do well near plants competing for nutrients. Monthly feedings will do wonders for keeping them healthy and happy. Roses can also be grown in containers.

A drip irrigation system is best for in-ground roses as it doesn’t get water on the leaves or blooms that can make them vulnerable to disease. There are some varieties that do better than others in the Florida environment. They include Don Juan, Gold Medal, Christian Dior, Belinda’s Dream and Perfume Delight.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more

Need Landscaping Ideas? Take a Drive

Those that are at a loss with what to do with their landscape have only to take a drive to see dozens of ideas that can easily fit their current environment, along with those that can be scaled up or down to accommodate larger or smaller properties.

Individuals will find original options by professional designers, along with those of non-professionals that have an eye for design. Ideas are available for individuals that have extensive time to spend on landscaping and low-maintenance landscaping options that required little work to maintain.

Artificial Turf

For those that like a flawless green lawn but don’t want to spend every weekend mowing, try artificial grass. It can be obtained in varying gradations of green and multiple heights to accommodate any preference.

Less Lawn

The less lawn that an environment has, the less tending and mowing there will be. That means patios and other elements that only requires an occasional sweeping to keep them looking great. Pavers and custom designed stonework provide an excellent gathering place for family and friends. Hardscapes such as falls and fountains have the ability to provide a relaxing environment.

Perennials

Consider planting perennials for a gift of blossoms that returns each year. There are dozens of species that provide the bright colors of annuals, without the fuss of planting them anew each year. Individuals can also select easy care ground covers to eliminate weeds on hills and slopes.

Native plants that are adapted to the South Florida climate are more resistant to the depredations of insects, weeds and wildlife. Consider mulching with small stones and gravel to control weeds and provide a point of interest. When planning a landscape, less is more and there’s no reason to cram plants together in a small space. A few strategically placed plants make a powerful impact.

Trees

There’s an endless variety of trees and shrubs that can be planted to provide shade and beautiful blossoms. Be careful when making selections, as some can litter the ground with faded flowers and dropped fruit. Another consideration is the mature height and spread that has the potential to interfere with foundations and utility lines above and below ground.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more

Consider Disease When Choosing Plants

Plants get diseases just like humans and animals. Before deciding to add a plant to the landscape, it’s a good idea to consider the potential for disease. Some plant diseases are easily transmissible among different species and can spread throughout an entire neighborhood.

Plants that are placed in locations contrary to their natural preferences will become stressed, fail to flourish, and are more vulnerable to attack from diseases, along with a variety of insect pests. When individuals see a plant they want to add to the landscape, do some research to ascertain if it’s prone to diseases ranging from mildew and root rot to blight and canker.

Soil, Sun and Water

The soil composition in the landscape is important. Some plants require alkaline soil while others prefer soil that’s acidic. Plants that need soil with excellent drainage will develop root rot in wet and soggy conditions. The spores of fungal infection can spread among different plants and be transmitted by insects. Heat and humidity provide a breeding ground for mold, bacterial, and fungal infection. Light requirements can vary widely and shade plants will quickly wither in full sun.

Proximity

Some very disparate plants can spread disease simply by being in close proximity to each other. There are plant diseases that require two hosts to complete its life cycle. An example is cedar-apple rust. The fungal spores infect eastern red cedars and are released in the spring where they infect the leaves of apple and crabapple trees. The disease matures over the summer and mature spores are released in the autumn to infect the cedars. The same type of co-infection affects junipers and quince.

Choosing Plants

It’s critical to purchase plants that are healthy and show no signs of disease. There are dozens of plants native to the South Florida environment, while others have been introduced to the area from locations with similar growing conditions and can thrive.

White pine is a species that’s not a native, but grows well in the state. However, it doesn’t tolerate salt and shouldn’t be planted where they’re exposed to saltwater. Some plants within the same family that are introduced from abroad have increased hardiness and resistance to disease in the Florida environment.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more