Posts by Mark Battalini

Justin White, Landscaping Lessons | Landscaping trends growing into 2022

Roll Out the Green Carpet: A Guide to Preparing Your Lawn for Special Events

Hosting a special event in your outdoor space can be a magical experience, but it requires careful planning to ensure your lawn is ready to impress. In this guide, we’ll take you through the essential steps to prepare your lawn for special occasions like parties, weddings, or outdoor gatherings. From timing considerations to decoration ideas and temporary landscaping enhancements, let’s transform your lawn into the perfect venue for your celebration.

  1. Timing is Key:

Start your preparations well in advance to allow your lawn to reach its full potential. Consider the following timeline:

Several Weeks Before: Assess the condition of your lawn and address any issues like weeds, bare patches, or uneven terrain.

Two Weeks Before: Perform necessary lawn treatments, such as fertilization, aeration, and overseeding, to promote lush, healthy grass.

One Week Before: Mow the lawn to an appropriate height for the event, and water it adequately to ensure vibrancy.


  1. Temporary Landscaping Enhancements:
  2. Turf Paint: For an instant boost of color, consider using turf paint to create vibrant patterns or define specific areas.
  3. Temporary Pathways: If you anticipate heavy foot traffic, install temporary pathways using materials like stepping stones or decorative walkway tiles to protect your grass.
  4. Event-Specific Planters: Incorporate temporary planters filled with seasonal flowers or greenery to enhance the overall aesthetic.


  1. Decoration Ideas:
  • String Lights and Lanterns: Create a magical atmosphere by stringing fairy lights or lanterns across your lawn. This not only provides ambient lighting but also adds a touch of enchantment to the setting.
  • Decorative Centerpieces: Place eye-catching centerpieces on tables or scattered across the lawn. Consider items like floral arrangements, candles, or themed decorations that complement the event’s style.
  • Customized Signage: Guide your guests and add a personal touch with customized signage. Whether it’s directional signs, welcome boards, or event-specific messages, signage can enhance the overall experience.


  1. Lawn Maintenance on Event Day:
  • Last-Minute Mowing: Give your lawn a final, fresh mow on the day of the event to ensure a neat and polished appearance.
  • Watering Schedule: Water the lawn early in the day to allow sufficient time for drying, preventing soggy conditions during the event.


  1. Weather Contingency Plan:

Keep an eye on the weather forecast and have a contingency plan in case of rain or adverse conditions. Consider renting tents or canopies to provide shelter, and have umbrellas or ponchos available for guests.


  1. Post-Event Lawn Care:

After the celebration, attend to your lawn promptly:

Remove Temporary Enhancements: Take down any temporary landscaping elements or decorations.

Perform Post-Event Maintenance: Address any foot traffic damage, such as compacted soil or flattened grass, by aerating and overseeding as needed.


With careful planning and attention to detail, your lawn can become the perfect backdrop for a memorable special event. From the initial preparations weeks in advance to the finishing touches on the day of the celebration, following this guide will ensure that your lawn is not only event-ready but also a source of pride and joy for you and your guests. Cheers to creating lasting memories in your outdoor oasis!


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Landscaping for Sustainable Living: Nurturing Nature in Your Outdoor Space

As our awareness of environmental impact grows, so does the desire to incorporate sustainable practices into various aspects of our lives, including landscaping. In this blog, we’ll delve into eco-friendly landscaping practices that not only enhance the beauty of your outdoor space but also contribute to a more sustainable and nature-friendly lifestyle. From using native plants to implementing rain gardens and sustainable irrigation systems, let’s explore the path to landscaping for sustainable living.

  1. Harnessing the Power of Native Plants:

One of the fundamental principles of sustainable landscaping is the use of native plants. Native plants are naturally adapted to the local climate, soil conditions, and wildlife, requiring less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. They play a crucial role in supporting local ecosystems and promoting biodiversity. Choose native species for your garden beds, creating a habitat that attracts local pollinators and birds.

  1. Rain Gardens:

A rain garden is a beautiful and sustainable solution to manage stormwater runoff. By strategically placing plants that thrive in both wet and dry conditions, rain gardens help filter and absorb rainwater, preventing soil erosion and reducing the risk of water pollution. Incorporate native grasses, flowers, and shrubs in your rain garden for an aesthetically pleasing and environmentally beneficial landscape.

  1. Sustainable Irrigation Systems:

Water conservation is a key aspect of sustainable landscaping. Opt for irrigation systems that prioritize efficiency and minimize water waste. Drip irrigation, for example, delivers water directly to the base of plants, reducing evaporation and ensuring targeted hydration. Smart irrigation controllers equipped with weather sensors can adjust watering schedules based on real-time weather conditions, optimizing water usage.

  1. Permeable Hardscapes:

Replace traditional impermeable surfaces like concrete with permeable hardscapes, such as permeable pavers or gravel pathways. These surfaces allow rainwater to infiltrate the soil, reducing runoff and replenishing groundwater. Permeable hardscapes also help mitigate flooding and erosion while promoting healthy soil.

  1. Composting and Mulching:

Integrate composting into your landscaping routine to recycle organic waste and enrich the soil naturally. Compost provides essential nutrients to plants, improves soil structure, and enhances water retention. Mulching around plants helps suppress weeds, retain soil moisture, and regulate soil temperature, reducing the need for additional water and maintenance.

  1. Butterfly and Bee-friendly Gardens:

Create a haven for pollinators by planting flowers that attract butterflies and bees. Choose a diverse range of flowering plants with different blooming periods to provide a continuous food source for pollinators throughout the seasons. These gardens not only support biodiversity but also contribute to the pollination of local plants.

Landscaping for sustainable living goes beyond aesthetics; it’s about creating a harmonious relationship with nature. By incorporating native plants, rain gardens, sustainable irrigation systems, permeable hardscapes, composting, and pollinator-friendly gardens, you contribute to the health of the environment while enjoying a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space. Let your landscaping journey be a testament to the positive impact we can have on the planet by making conscious choices in our daily lives.


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Work Around The Base

Unleash Your Creativity: Inspiring Landscaping Designs for Your Home

A well-designed landscape is like a work of art, transforming your outdoor space into a haven of beauty and tranquility. If you’re looking to elevate your front or backyard with unique and creative landscaping ideas, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll showcase a collection of stunning designs that homeowners can consider, complete with images and detailed descriptions to ignite your imagination.

  1. Enchanting Garden Pathways:

Create a magical atmosphere by incorporating winding garden pathways lined with lush plants and flowers. Use materials like natural stone or gravel for a charming rustic feel. Consider adding soft lighting along the path to enhance the enchanting ambiance during the evening hours.

  1. Vertical Gardens for Urban Oases:

For those with limited space, vertical gardens provide a stylish solution. Install vertical planters on walls or fences to cultivate a variety of plants, flowers, and even herbs. Not only does this add a touch of greenery, but it also maximizes space in urban settings.

  1. Water Features with a Twist:

Elevate your landscape with a unique water feature that goes beyond the ordinary. Consider a modern fountain, a cascading waterfall, or even a reflective pond with strategically placed stepping stones. The soothing sound of water will enhance the overall ambiance of your outdoor space.

  1. Whimsical Tree Swing Lounge:

Turn a mature tree into a charming focal point by adding a whimsical tree swing. Hang a comfortable seat from a sturdy branch, surrounded by vibrant flowers and soft ground cover. This creates a perfect spot for relaxation and daydreaming.

  1. Fire Pit Gathering Spot:

Extend your outdoor living space by incorporating a stylish fire pit. Choose from various designs, such as a sunken fire pit surrounded by seating or a modern bowl-style fire feature. This creates a cozy gathering spot for family and friends on cool evenings.

  1. Artistic Planting Patterns:

Ditch traditional planting layouts and experiment with artistic patterns. Create geometric shapes, swirls, or even a mosaic of colors using different plants and flowers. This adds visual interest and a touch of artistic flair to your landscape.

  1. Outdoor Room Retreat:

Transform your backyard into an outdoor living room with comfortable furniture, an overhead pergola, and soft lighting. This creates a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, providing a cozy retreat for relaxation and entertainment.

  1. Moonlit Garden with Glow-in-the-Dark Elements:

Add a touch of magic to your landscape by incorporating plants and decorations that glow in the dark. Strategically place glow-in-the-dark stepping stones, planters, or sculptures to create a captivating moonlit garden that comes alive at night.

These creative landscaping ideas are just the beginning of the endless possibilities for transforming your outdoor space. Whether you choose a whimsical tree swing, a modern water feature, or an enchanting garden pathway, let your imagination run wild. With careful planning and execution, your front or backyard can become a unique and personalized sanctuary that reflects your style and enhances the overall beauty of your home.


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types of grass

Choosing the Right Grass for Your Region: A Comprehensive Guide to a Lush Lawn

A beautiful, lush lawn is the pride of any homeowner, but achieving that perfect green carpet requires careful consideration of the grass type that suits your region. Selecting the right grass for your climate, sunlight conditions, soil type, and water availability is crucial for a healthy and vibrant lawn. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the factors that influence your choice and provide valuable insights to help you make informed decisions.


  1. Understanding Your Climate:

Different grass species thrive in specific climate zones. Identify your region’s climate type – whether it’s cool-season, warm-season, or transitional – to determine the best grass varieties. For instance:

Cool-Season Grasses: Ideal for northern regions with cold winters and warm summers. Examples include Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, and Ryegrass.

Warm-Season Grasses: Thrive in hotter climates with mild winters. Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass, and St. Augustine grass are popular warm-season choices.

Transitional Grasses: Suited for areas experiencing both warm and cool seasons. Fine Fescue and Tall Fescue are examples of transitional grasses.


  1. Sunlight Requirements:

Consider the amount of sunlight your lawn receives daily. Different grass types have varying sunlight preferences:

Full Sun: Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass are sun-loving varieties that thrive in areas with ample sunlight.

Partial Sun/Partial Shade: Fescue and St. Augustine grass can tolerate a mix of sun and shade, making them suitable for lawns with partial sunlight exposure.

Shade-Tolerant: Fine Fescue is an excellent choice for areas with limited sunlight, such as under trees or near buildings.


  1. Soil Type and Quality:

Understanding your soil composition is essential for optimal grass growth. Test your soil to determine factors like pH, drainage, and nutrient levels:

Clay Soil: Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass handle compacted clay soil well, while Kentucky Bluegrass prefers well-draining soils.

Sandy Soil: St. Augustine grass thrives in sandy soils, while Ryegrass and Fine Fescue adapt well to various soil types.


  1. Water Requirements:

Efficient water usage is vital for maintaining a healthy lawn. Consider your region’s water availability and choose grass varieties accordingly:

Drought-Tolerant Grasses: Bermuda grass and Buffalo grass are known for their ability to withstand periods of drought.

Moderate Water Needs: Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue require regular watering but are not as water-intensive as some warm-season varieties.


Choosing the right grass for your region involves a thoughtful analysis of climate, sunlight, soil type, and water requirements. By considering these factors, you can create an environment where your chosen grass variety will thrive, resulting in a vibrant and resilient lawn that enhances the beauty of your home. Remember to regularly maintain your lawn, providing the necessary nutrients and care for optimal growth and longevity. With the right grass selection and proper care, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a picturesque and healthy lawn year-round.

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Rugby St project earns major landscaping award

How Often Should I Mow My Lawn?

On average, a lawn in South Florida will need mowing once a week if it’s getting enough water
and nutrients for proper growth. However, that schedule may not be the healthiest option for
your lawn if there’s been a significant length of time with no rain or you don’t have irrigation.
Mowing frequency will also depend on the type of grass that’s planted in the lawn.
South Florida is known for its generous rainfall totals. You may need to mow twice a week if
rainfall has been plentiful. Conversely, mowing every 2 weeks during a dry spell could be
sufficient. The seasons also play an important role in mowing. You’ll mow more often during
the spring and summer months. Your mowing frequency will be radically reduced, or
eliminated, during the autumn and winter months when grass goes dormant.
Much will depend on the species of grass that’s planted. The University of Florida recommends
the following as the optimal grass heights:
 Bahia grass – 3 to 4 in.
 Bermuda grass – 5 to 5.5 in.
 Carpet grass – 1.5 to 2 in.
 Centipede grass – 1.5 to 2 in.
 St. Augustine grass – 2.5 to 4 in.
 Zoysia grass – 1 to 3 in.
Dwarf varieties of St. Augustine grass, Seville, Jade, and Palmetto (Delmar) are the only cultivars
that should be mowed at less than 3 inches.
To keep grass healthy and looking attractive, make sure lawn mower blades are sharp. Dull
blades don’t cut – they tear. Dull blades are detrimental to your lawn – signs of dull blades can
 Grass looks ragged
 White tips on grass
 A brownish hue
Mowing with dull blades makes grass more susceptible to disease. Blades should be replaced –
or at least sharpened – once a year, and more frequently if you notice tearing rather than a
smooth cut. Use caution over uneven terrain. It’s easy to scalp high spots.


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Landscaping Tips for Water Restricted Areas

Many cities throughout the U.S. have water restrictions. They’re designed to make the most
efficient use of the natural resource within the landscape. The South Florida Water
Management District has set forth specific days and times for watering, leading many
individuals to wonder about their landscaping. Residents can have a beautiful landscape, even
with watering restrictions.
Know the Rules
There may be exceptions for edible gardens or newly installed landscapes. Residents need to
read and understand the watering rules that apply to them.
Prioritize what gets watered. Plants that are drought sensitive should be watered first, along
with those that are high maintenance. Lawns will necessarily be a low priority.
Drought Resistant Plants
Consider planting species that require less water – or replacing existing plantings. That can
include grass, vines, bushes and trees. It will help conserve water and will cost far less to keep
the landscape hydrated. Native plants tend to require less water.
Virtually any planting will benefit from mulch. It keeps soil cooler and helps in retaining
moisture. Mulch also aids in weed control
Irrigation Systems
Turn off automatic irrigation systems and only water plants when they really need it. Look for
signs of drooping leaves or leaf color changes to help determine when the plant requires water.
Many types of plants will survive droughts and low moisture if they were healthy and
established before water restrictions are in place.
Consider a drip irrigation system that uses far less water than traditional irrigation systems and
offers savings on water bills. Micro-irrigation systems may be allowed with no restrictions.
Water Reclamation
People across the nation use an estimated 7 billion gallons of clean drinking water every day for
watering plants. Consider collecting rainwater for use during a drought or having a water
reclamation system installed.

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How to Protect Your Business Landscaping from Storm Damage

Landscaping represents a considerable monetary investment for any business. Plantings
provide a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing entry to the property for customers. Trees,
bushes and flowers add value and interest to any property. In South Florida, storms can develop
at any time, creating chaos and damage to landscaping. The good news is that there are some
precautions you can take to minimize the potential for damage before it occurs.
Create Some Distance
Trees play an integral role in any landscaping project. They provide welcome shade that can
assist in reducing cooling costs, but they need to occupy the correct locations in the landscape.
Trees are one of the primary sources of damage during a storm. Keep large species away from
buildings to minimize damage from falling trees, breaking limbs and lightning strikes. Always
consider the size of the tree when it matures. Plant bushes and smaller trees near structures.
Wind Resistance
Some tree species are more prone to disease, breakage and limb loss. You’re going to want
trees in your landscape that are resistant to wind, less likely to blow over in a storm, and lose
limbs. It helps to plant trees in groups of at least 5 to maximize wind resistance. Each tree helps
protect the others.
Trees need regular maintenance and pruning is part of that. When young, shrubs and trees
should be pruned for optimal growth, shaping and strength. New trees should be cabled and
braced to ensure they’re growing straight and establishing a strong root system. As they
mature, weak limbs should be removed, along with any that may have become damaged. If a
tree becomes diseased, its better to remove it for safety’s sake.
Be sure your property has proper drainage. Trees can easily topple when soil becomes
saturated. Remedy any areas of the landscape where puddling or ponding are evident.

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Work Around The Base

Tips to Prepare Your Landscape for Spring

Even though the weather may be warm in South Florida, many plantings take a break before
bursting forth for the spring season. You can help give your landscape a boost and prepare for
spring with a few simple actions. If you’re unable to perform the tasks or don’t feel comfortable
doing so, call a professional.
If you have an irrigation system, now is the time to have it inspected to ensure its in proper
working order, with no broken pipes or sprinkler heads. Part of the inspection should include
the timer to make sure the setting is accurate in terms of run times and duration. If you don’t
have an irrigation system, consider installing one if possible.
Apply mulch to the appropriate areas in the landscape. It will help retain moisture, aid in
minimizing weed growth, help cool the soil, and enrich the soil as it breaks down.
Trim and Prune
Now is the time to have hedges, bushes and trees trimmed and pruned to remove diseased,
damaged or weak limbs. Doing so will promote growth, minimize the potential for broken
limbs, and improve the appearance of the entire landscape. Trimming and pruning also aids in
maintaining the shape and controlling growth of plantings. Have any diseased trees or plantings
De-thatching and aerating a lawn isn’t something that must be done every year, but spring is the
proper time to do so if needed. It helps prevent disease, aids in creating strong root growth,
and allows nutrients to enter the soil for use by the grass. Lawns should be fertilized the second
week after new growth appears, generally in February or March.
Physically remove any weeds that may have taken root. It’s best to pull them up by hand. Doing
so also has the benefits of getting you some fresh air and exercise.


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Maintaining Sprinklers

How to Repair Drought-Damaged Lawns

While droughts don’t occur that often in Florida, they do happen. Weather records since 1900
shows that at least once in every decade, a severe drought develops somewhere within the
state. Even for those fortunate enough to have an irrigation system, it may not be enough to
keep lawns green as water use restrictions may go into effect.
It’s important to remember that a drought afflicted lawn isn’t necessarily a dead lawn. Grass
can survive a drought, recover, and return to its lush, green appearance. Individuals shouldn’t
be surprised if they notice an increase in weed growth.
Dead or Dormant
The first step is to look at the lawn and determine if grass is really dead or dormant. If the
entire grass blades are brown, including the tips, the grass is dead and you’ll need to start from
scratch to grow a new lawn.
Grass that easily pulls out of the ground is dead, not dormant. Grass blades that are whitish in
color where the roots and grass shoots meet or if green shoots are present, the lawn survived
the drought.
Be careful not to over water following a drought. Plying the lawn with too much moisture
results in shallow roots and encourages disease, insect and weed infestations. Water may not
soak into soil easily, leading to erosion. It’s better to underwater after a drought than to
over water.
It’s going to take some time for the grass to recover. When it’s eventually time to begin
mowing, set the mower to a higher setting. Once the lawn has fully recovered, individuals can
begin mowing at the usual height.
Aeration allows the soil to breathe and absorb more nutrients Moisture will be absorbed
deeper into the soil, encouraging deeper root growth.

Be careful not to over fertilize to avoid “burning” the grass and use a slow release type that will
last for several months. Nutrients are released over time to keep grass nourished. Those
nutrients will also fuel weed growth – pull weeds out by the roots.

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Plant Flowers That Bloom Year-Round

South Florida is an ideal location for flowers that bloom year-round, providing vibrant color and
interest when other areas won’t support blossoms. There are a number of flowering plants and
shrubs that gardeners can grow for enticing color and beauty year-round.
Available in red, yellow, orange, purple, pink and white, it’s offered as a fast-growing vine and
low-growing shrub that will bloom off and on throughout the year.
Dwarf Morning Glory
When grown in South Florida, the non-vining plant can bloom year-round with brilliant blue
blossoms. It’s drought tolerant, deer resistant, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and
works great in rock gardens.
Also known as blanket flower, it resembles a daisy. The brilliant red and yellow blossoms are a
cheerful addition to the landscape. Flowers are profuse and long-lasting. It can be a skin irritant
to some people.
The plant has tubular, unconventional looking blooms, purple stems, and dark green foliage
with leaves that can attain 8 inches in length. Blossoms attract multiple butterfly species and
hummingbirds. It can grow several feet tall.
Gerbera Daisy
Bright, cheerful and welcoming, the flowers are available in red, yellow, orange, purple, pink,
white, and bi-colors. The centers can be light brown or yellowish to black. They’re a staple in
the cut flower industry and can last up to 10 days.
Available in single and double blossoms, each flower blooms for a single day, but the shrub is a
profuse bloom producer. Colors run the gamut and includes red, yellow, pink, and multicolor,
with contrasting centers. They’re also offered in white and purple, but are less common.

Also known as West Indian Jasmine, it’s noted for its ability to bloom year-round. Its flower
clusters can last 6 to 8 weeks. The shrub’s blossoms are available in red, yellow, orange, pink
and white.
Highly diverse, the flowers are available in single and double blooms, in erect and cascading
varieties, and in an almost unlimited range of single and bi-color blossoms.


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