Posts by Mark Battalini

Residential Landscaping Companies Near Me

Basics of Maintaining your new Landscape

When the work is done, a newly installed landscape is a wonder to behold. Maintaining that beautiful environment isn’t as easy. It will take effort and work on your part, along with an understanding of the plants in your care. If you travel frequently or don’t have the time to devote to the task, your best solution is to hire a professional landscaping company.

Lawns

A manicured lawn requires regular mowing, but be sure not to remove more than one-third of the height of the grass. Cutting too frequently or too short stresses the grass and makes it more susceptible to drought, heat, sunburn, insects and weeds. Always make sure lawn mower blades are sharp so they cut cleanly.

Weeds

A weed is a nutrient thief, often deceptively disguised as a flowering plant. Weeds rob the soil of nutrients that desirable plants need to thrive and they find their way into your landscape through multiple means. Remove weed blossoms so more don’t sprout and eliminate the entire plant if it’s possible to do so without causing too much disturbance to lawn or flower beds.

Fertilizer

Different plants have their own unique fertilizer needs. Native plants will require less fertilizer as they’ve evolved to local soil and climate conditions. Non-native plants may need certain combinations of nutrients to keep them healthy. Established plants will have different needs than those that are newly planted.

Pruning and Deadheading

Trees and bushes are pruned to remove damaged branches and stimulate growth. Pruning during the dormant season is essential before new spring growth appears. Trees and shrubs that are actively growing require more water and over-pruning deprive them of their natural ability to shade themselves against the sun. For flowers, deadheading may be required to keep them looking attractive and prevent them from propagating themselves throughout the garden.

Water

Moisture is essential, even in South Florida’s humid climate, and all plants don’t have the same water requirements. Too much or too little moisture is equally damaging. If you’re watering by hand or with sprinklers attached to the garden hose, be sure to water late at night or before dawn to minimize evaporation.

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

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yardwork essentials

Yardwork Essentials

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of working the soil to help plants grow. There are also a number of maintenance tasks that will need to be performed in the landscape such as cutting back vines and bushes, or trimming and pruning trees to keep them healthy and attractive. Before jumping into any outdoor tasks, it’s important for individuals to have the right tools for the job.

Protective Clothing

Protective clothing encompasses a variety of items for performing yard work. Canvas work pants or jeans protect legs against flying grass when mowing or weed eating. Long-sleeved shirts provide the same protections for arms.

For those that will be digging in the soil, using compost or applying manure, or mulching, gloves are critical. They protect against injuries ranging from splinters to thorns, but there’s an even more serious reason for gloves. Soil can contain a variety of naturally occurring bacteria, fungi and viruses that can make people very ill.

Helmets

From tree pruning to cleaning the gutters, the potential always exists for a fall. Those accidents result in thousands of instances of injuries, disability and even fatalities across the nation each year. There are different types of protective helmets available that are specially developed for protection while performing specific tasks.

Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are more than a convenience, they protect your hearing from permanent damage through exposure to the high decibel levels of lawnmowers, weed whackers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, and chippers. The best solution is a set of specially designed headphones, but even plastic, foam or silicone earplugs are preferable to no protection at all.

Goggles

Any type of electric or motorized garden tool has the ability to sling debris into the eyes of the user and anyone else nearby. A good pair of safety goggles is an essential pre-emptive tool for preventing injuries to the eyes. Safety eyeglasses are also available, but don’t provide the same level of protection as goggles.

Other Tools

Yard work can encompass a great many tasks and no one should be without hand tools. They can include a rake, hoe, shears, and small hand tools such a trowel and a long-handled tool for harvesting fruit from home orchards. A small sprayer makes the application of liquid fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides much easier. Don’t forget to include a wheelbarrow for transporting anything around the yard.

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

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cactus

Will Cactus Grow in Florida?

“You can’t grow cactus in Florida” is a fallacy that many newly minted gardeners will hear. Experienced growers know that there are many types of cacti that grow quite well in the state. While cacti are primarily considered a plant of dry, arid landscapes, they can also flourish in Florida. There are even native cactus species.

Cactus gardening and landscaping has become a trend in the state. The prickly pear cactus is one of the most common types of cactus that individuals will find. It sports yellow blossoms in spring, red fruit in the autumn, can grow up to three feet tall, and spreads readily. It shouldn’t be planted where children or pets will be. However, that’s not the only type of cactus that will grow in the humid environment.

Christmas Cactus

Typically thought of as a short-lived hothouse plant for northern climates, the Christmas cactus is an anomaly that prefers more moisture than desert varieties, along with rich, moist soil. It blooms between February and November and to bloom it requires 13 hours of darkness and cool nights. It’s best grown as a patio plant that can be moved inside if the temperature drops.

Dragon Fruit Cactus

Classified as a member of the cactus family, the most common is Hylocereus Costaricensis. It grows as a vine and will need support. The flowers are one of the largest in the world, extremely fragrant, and bloom for a single night. Moths and bees will be the primary pollinators. It’s best to have two plants for pollination if fruit is desired or hand pollination will be required.

The blossoms give way to bright red, sweet fruits that have a taste described as a cross between a pear and a kiwi. They grow rapidly during the summer months, but rest during the remainder of the year, blooming from July to October.

Night Blooming Cereus

The cactus is unique in that it has no spines and displays a vine-like growth habit. A single plant can grow up to 20 feet in length. The flowers are fragrant, large, and only bloom for a single night.

Triangle Cactus

The Triangle cactus is known by names ranging from barbed wire cactus to sword pear. It has large, white blooms that bloom at night and are attractive to moths and hummingbirds. It features an upright growth habit and can attain a height of 23 feet if left alone. It will also tolerate temperatures of up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

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Starting a Backyard Compost

Composting is still a popular endeavor and has a variety of benefits. It enriches the soil and reduces the need to apply chemical fertilizers. It also has benefits for the overall environment. Composting reduces the amount of yard and food waste in landfills where they decompose and emit the greenhouse gas methane.

Starting a backyard compost “pile” doesn’t mean leaving all those food scraps and grass clippings in the backyard to become a smelly eyesore. Self-contained, premade containers are available on the market in varying sizes. A properly managed compost pile won’t attract rodents or insect pests. Successful composting requires three ingredients in the right amounts.

Those ingredients are characterized as greens, browns and water. Green materials are those that include items such as vegetable and fruit waste, coffee grounds and grass clippings. The browns are composed of dead leaves, twigs and branches. Moisture is also required for the proper breakdown of the components. Organic materials should be layered, but a composting receptacle that allows for easy turning and mixing of the materials is an easy and convenient alternative.

There are a great many materials that can be composted. They include coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, nutshells, and fruit and vegetable wastes. Also on the list of compostable items are hay, straw, leaves, sawdust, grass clippings and houseplants. Cardboard can also be added, along with pet hair and fireplace ashes.

There are some limitations that should never be added to a compost pile, such as scraps from meat or fish, charcoal ash, dairy products, or pet waste. Black walnut shells release substances that can be harmful to other plants, so omit them.

Compost piles should be located in a dry, shady spot and materials moistened as they’re added. Depending upon the mix of composting materials, individuals can have dark, rich compost ready to use in as little as two weeks, with the average being about two years. For those that lack outdoor space, small mini-units can be purchased for indoor composting that will produce ready-to-use organic material in 2-5 weeks.

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

How your HOA can Ruin your Landscape Plan

If you’re like most homeowners, you dream of creating a landscape that provides the privacy and beauty you crave. You may want to erect a fence, plant flowers, install a mini orchard, or raise a garden. All of your landscaping dreams can easily be ruined if you live in a community governed by a homeowners association (HOA).

An HOA closely regulates every aspect of landscaping from the types of plantings you can have to the materials, style and height of your fencing. You won’t even get a break during the holidays – HOA rules extend to the way you can decorate, when your holiday lights can be on, and the noise level if you synch your lights to music.

Fencing

One of the goals of HOAs is the uninterrupted view of expansive lawns. Fences interfere with that. You can be required to alter the fence or take it down and be subject to fines. Those rules can also deprive your children of a safe place to play unimpeded. If your landscaping plans include a pool, that restrictive fence rule will come into play since pools are required to have a fence around them.

Plantings

One area in which HOAs excel is in regulating plantings. They have regulations about the length of your grass, hedge trimming, where plants can be located on the property, and even the species of plants that you can place in your yard. The organizations also have instructions about the type of lawn grass you can have, the annuals you plant, and perennials usually won’t be tolerated.

A fruit tree or even two may not raise eyebrows as long as they conform to height requirements, but trying to cultivate even a small garden or herb patch won’t be appreciated. You may even encounter specific guidelines on the color of flowers you can plant.

If you favor drooping tree species, you’re going to be disappointed. HOAs typically have canopy rules that require the bottom branches of trees to remain at least 8 ft. above the ground. Many people are letting dandelions grow as a food source for bees and butterflies – a definite no-no for an HOA. Dandelions and native plants are often considered weeds and you’ll have to eradicate them.

Know The Rules

For some, HOAs provide an ideal environment where conformity is the keyword. If you have visions of pools, fences, or specific trees, bushes and flowers – an HOA can ruin all your landscaping plans. Read the HOA rules thoroughly before you buy since they can vary widely from place to place. It will save trouble and regret later on.

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
residential landscaping boca raton florida

Why your Landscaping Should not Touch your House

Creating a beautiful environment can be accomplished through a professional landscaping company, but many people prefer a do-it-yourself approach. There are numerous articles about the importance of planting bushes close to homes to discourage would-be intruders or creating flower beds against homes to improve curb appeal. However, plantings of any type should never touch your home and there are very good reasons for that.

Rodents and Insects

Bushes leaning against the home and flower beds that touch are an open invitation to rodents and a myriad of insects from ants and termites to spiders and mosquitoes. Close plantings also attract wildlife that feed on those pests.

Mold

Bushes and flower beds create a somewhat shaded and moist environment in which multiple types of mold will flourish. Mold spores travel into the home no matter how careful you are and most of the time it’s not a problem. Elevated levels are a health consideration for those with allergies and respiratory conditions, along with those undergoing cancer treatments or who have a comprised immune system.

Siding and Exteriors

When plantings brush or rub against structure exteriors, it increases the wear and tear on those areas. Over time, the areas of contact appear older and are more susceptible to damage from storms. One planting that’s especially detrimental to homes is ivy. As it clings and climbs, it can break through paint, push through and penetrate siding, and crumble brick. It creates an environment where mold can grow and pockets where insect pests can nest.

Fire Hazard

In areas prone to forest fires, plantings that are very close to homes and buildings present a fire hazard. Even if you don’t live in a fire-prone area, if a fire occurs at your home, plantings against your house and other structures make it easier for flames to spread to surrounding homes.

Appearance

The goal of landscaping is to create a beautiful environment around your home and property. Plantings that are too close to structures or leaning against them detract from curb appeal and gives the perception of a home that’s not cared for or well-maintained.

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
commercial landscaper boca raton florida

Commercial Landscaping Service for Public Spaces

Whether you are a small business owner or an established real estate developer, good commercial landscaping is critical to making a profit. You want your site to look as good as possible, and it must function for your tenants and customers. No matter what kind of business you have, you need to consider all landscaping options before deciding on what types of plants and flowers you will use. Here is how to get it just right.

Hiring a landscaper to manage your commercial landscaping is one of the most common ways to approach the issue. A good landscaper should be able to work with you to ensure that your plants grow in the areas you specified, that they thrive, and that they look great throughout your property’s ambiance. Be sure to ask questions about their knowledge of local laws and requirements regarding plants. It is also a good idea to find out if they have any training in erosion control or watering issues.

Landscapers are used to maintaining yards and spaces for businesses. Your outdoor areas such as driveways, sidewalks, alleys, parking lots, and more should be well-tended and maintained throughout all seasons. If you are planning to hire a professional landscaper to handle your commercial landscaping, make sure you work with someone who has previous experience working with all kinds of landscapes and outdoor spaces. They should have worked with properties located throughout your neighborhood and are familiar with the challenges involved with working in such a varied and unique environment.

Whether you are working with a landscaper to manage your commercial landscaping or to do the work themselves, it is important to ask questions and understand the cost/benefits of ongoing maintenance. Some landscaping maintenance tasks, such as weeding, may not be necessary. Other tasks, such as mowing, trimming, and mulching, may not be cost-effective with some types of plants. If the purpose of these maintenance tasks is to beautify the outdoor space, it is important to consider the long term effects of the activities and whether they will be worth the investment.

The success of your landscape plan and your commercial landscaping project will depend on your ability to match your landscape and materials appropriately with your target market and your property value. In most cases, a well-designed landscape project that adds value to your home will improve the property’s overall appearance and increase its desirability. Your landscaping design should make the best use of the area it is on and accentuate the unique characteristics of your home, especially the assets that enhance your landscape design. It is important to research your design options so you know what you want to accomplish and the materials you will need. Having a landscape design firm focus on important factors such as your property value, aesthetics, and functionality will help you make the best decisions.

Landscaping companies have many years of experience and are skilled at transforming spaces. They work with different kinds of property and landscaping projects to help companies maximize the areas in which they are able to perform landscaping services. Commercial landscape companies can provide options for commercial spaces such as sports facilities, office complexes, shopping malls, industrial parks, and schools. Many commercial landscaping companies also work on residential properties and landscape design projects to create beautiful outdoor spaces that will complement the property and add value to the building.

Because landscaping is a specialized trade, commercial landscaping companies should hire qualified staff with appropriate training to perform all necessary maintenance tasks. Professional commercial landscape designers, maintenance personnel, and contractors will have to perform pest and weed control, aeration, mulching, and any number of other maintenance tasks. When these professionals are able to perform their job duties proficiently, they can reduce maintenance costs and increase property value. Some of the maintenance tasks included in landscape maintenance include cutting, trimming, and edging, and removing unwanted vegetation and weeds.

Even though most people choose to landscape their yards, few people realize that yards also need to be maintained. Many times, spaces that are created through landscaping become inaccessible or difficult to use due to the prevalence of unwanted plants and other forms of plant life. Landscaping companies can provide a complete landscaping service that includes removing unwanted plants, grass, trees, and shrubs to make spaces easier to use and beautiful. The services that a commercial landscape design company can provide improve the functionality of spaces and increase property value because beautiful outdoor spaces are attractive to all who pass by.

 

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

Ways to Protect Plants in a Florida Cold Snap

It doesn’t happen often, but it does occur – a spell of unseasonably cold weather that can damage plants. There’s typically one cold snap in Florida each year and climate change has made weather conditions much less predictable. Even if temperatures don’t reach the freezing mark, winds can make it feel colder and plants can suffer.

Below freezing temperatures aren’t beyond the realm of possibility. In 1899, Tallahassee saw temperatures of 2 degrees below zero. Miami National Airport recorded 30 degrees in Dec. 1989 and again in Jan. 1985. Fortunately, there are measures that can be employed to lessen the potential for damage.

Location Matters

South and east sides of buildings hold heat longer than other locations, which means there will be more heat radiated back to plants. A fence on the north side of a property provides a level of protection against cold and winds. Flowers planted under and next to cold-hearty bushes or shrubs helps shield them from the cold.

Preventative Care

Plants within landscapes that have been well cared for are better equipped to survive a cold period. That includes fertilizing at the right time, regular watering, weed control, and managing insect pests and rodents.

Mulching

Applying mulch helps preserve moisture for healthier plants, can discourage insects, and provides an insulating layer. If the forecast calls for below-normal temperatures, it can be helpful to water mulch early in the morning ahead of the front. The mulch will absorb the moisture, be warmed by the sun, and aid in protecting roots.

Cover them Up

Covering a plant is an effective way to protect it from cold temperatures. There are a number of materials available that are inexpensive, lightweight, and reusable. Whenever possible, don’t place heavy materials on plants that will compress foliage or bend branches. Don’t wrap them too tightly, make sure the cover reaches the ground, anchor the bottom to prevent it from blowing off. When the temperature warms, remove the coverings. Avoid plastic as it doesn’t allow plants to breathe. 

Plan the Landscape

The best protection against times of cold weather is a well-planned landscape that employs features that protect plants, along with plantings that are able to withstand the occasional cold snap.

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 have 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

Protecting your Landscape from Pests

There are dozens of pests that can arrive in your landscape uninvited. Insects are the No. 1 problem that individuals experience. The first order of business if you observe a problem is hire a professional. There are also beneficial insects that live in your landscape and a professional has the experience and knowledge to tell the difference.

Don’t immediately assume that complete and total annihilation is the only option for dealing with pests. There are measures that every property owner can employ to aid in making the landscape less attractive to insect pests.

Pest-Repelling Plants

Some plants are repulsive to certain types of insects. They’re attractive and add character to the landscape. Pest-repelling plants can be used in companion plantings to discourage bugs within the landscape. In addition to some herbs and flowers such as chrysanthemums, don’t overlook carnivorous plants that feed on insects.

Maintaining Distance

Bushes, vines, trees and even flower beds established near structures are an invitation to insects that can enter homes and commercial properties. It’s a good idea to maintain a distance of about six feet between buildings and plants. When mature, trees shouldn’t overhang structures. Keep trees pruned and inspect them regularly to prevent infestations before they occur. Dense plantings are also an invitation to mice and rats.

Clean up Debris

Leaving leaf piles, decaying wood, grass clippings, and mulch are all capable of calling insects to homes. If you don’t have a bagger on the mower, be sure and rake up grass clippings. Keep debris cleaned up.

Avoid Wood

Using wood chips are often viewed as an eco-friendly way to mulch or reduce mowing areas, and decrease the time spent on landscape maintenance. However, a great many insects, not to mention mice and rats, find wood chips and woodpiles a safe haven. Synthetic alternatives or pebbles offer a highly attractive option that won’t invite pests.

Professional Services

There are definitely times when professional services should be sought. The experts can address any current infestations and make the landscape less attractive to insects and rodents. They have a variety of methods that can be employed to keep your landscape healthy, which will significantly reduce the potential for pests to take up residence.

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 have 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

Shopping Tips when Visiting a Nursery

A nursery can be a wondrous place full of familiar favorites and exotic finds. The typical gardener will arrive home with far more plants than they planned for and some that they absolutely should have avoided. The following are some tips to use when visiting a nursery.

Shop Local Nurseries

Big box stores and similar outlets typically offer more plants, but they often lack the knowledge to guide consumers on their choices beyond what’s written on the included tag. Local nurseries are more likely to have varieties that will thrive and flourish in the South Florida landscape and personnel are far better equipped to answer any questions.

Plan the Plants

Gardeners should have some idea of what they’re seeking before visiting the nursery. That will require some research on the part of individuals. Just because a tree or plant looks good in someone else’s landscape doesn’t mean it’s right in every yard. It could grow too large, produce a large amount of debris from leaves or blossoms, develop thorns as it matures, or be toxic to children and pets.

Shop on Weekdays

Shopping will be a much less stressful outing during the week. Large crowds are normal on weekends. Workers will also have more time to answer questions.

Look First

Make it a point of wandering through the entire nursery before making a decision to purchase anything. Read the tags and observe where plants are placed – sun or shade. Annuals may not present a problem with overgrowing their area, but they could self-seed and be invasive. Perennials may stay in their allotted space better and bloom more freely once established. Don’t buy in haste.

Buds and Roots

When plants are transplanted to the landscape, they’ll need to undergo a period of recovery. Choose plants with more buds than open blooms. The plant will experience less shock. Blossoms often wither and die, while buds will usually recover.

It’s not a good idea to purchase a plant that’s completely root-bound. The roots will be so tightly bound that it will be difficult for the plant to absorb the nutrients it needs from the soil. A root-bound plant needs to have its roots loosened before planting and watered well until it becomes established.

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 have 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