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Posts by Mark Battalini

Professional Irrigation Installation can Save you Money

Irrigation systems have evolved significantly over the years and they’re no longer inconvenient arrangements that leave puddles or end up watering sidewalks and streets. Today’s irrigation systems are programmable, can be operated from a smartphone, and even have the ability to sense if it’s rained.

Irrigation is most effective when it’s performed in the late hours of the evening or early hours of the morning to prevent evaporation and ensure that lawns and plantings receive the full benefit of the moisture. Watering at other times is a waste of money. An irrigation system can be programmed to turn on and off at the appropriate times, ensuring the most efficient use of water and thereby saving money.

Watering by hand with a nozzle or using a sprinkler head is time-consuming, creates puddling and run-off, and doesn’t ensure every area receives the correct amount of moisture. Irrigation systems use sprinkler heads that are adjustable and directional. They’re capable of delivering varying amounts of water to different areas within the landscape to meet the needs of different plants. It eliminates run-off and puddling that wastes water and cash.

Old-fashioned irrigation systems delivered water on a pre-determined schedule, even if it was already raining. A state-of-the-art irrigation system is capable of sensing and monitoring the level of moisture in the ground. It only waters when the ground is dry enough to save on watering costs. The systems can also be programmed to deliver varying water amounts based on the time of year.

Perhaps one of the best water and money saving features available with the installation of an irrigation system is the ability to combine it with drip irrigation. It effectively and efficiently delivers moisture to the root systems of plants in flowerbeds or vegetable gardens. It utilizes far less water and results in minimal evaporation.

One of the biggest expenses associated with a well-maintained lawn is the cost of watering it. Installing an irrigation system eliminates puddling and run-off from overwatering. The systems ensure that each element of the landscape has the exact amount of water required, at just the right time. The result is a beautiful landscape with a significant reduction in water costs.

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

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Why Add Edging and Borders?

Edging is one of the most useful tools in a gardener’s arsenal. Edging comes in many forms, from plastic, steel and aluminum to wood, brick, concrete and stone. They all have one thing in common – they form a border to separate one area from another. Edging delineates the lines between flower beds, lawns, driveways, shrubs, and trees from surrounding areas. Landscape edging provides a wealth of benefits.

Adds Value

The crisp lines created by edging provide a manicured appearance that adds value to properties. It also increases curb appeal for those that are trying to sell their homes.

Inexpensive Update

Adding edging is one of the less expensive ways to update the appearance of any landscape. It’s also a project that individuals can perform themselves.

Keeps Materials in Place

Gravel, rock and even seashells have become popular for creating walkways and stylized areas within the landscape. Many landscapes also contain mulch. All of those materials have the potential to shift and move into lawn spaces without a barrier to keep them in place. Edging provides an effective impediment that prevents materials from migrating away from where they’re placed.

Less Work

Edging creates a border between areas where grass is wanted and where it’s not. Installing edging means less work to keep grass from growing over and into driveways and areas such as patios. Time spent trimming and edging is significantly reduced, while making mowing easier.

Weeds and Roots

Creating a border has two advantages. The first is that it prevents grass roots from growing into flowerbeds and gardens. The second is that, while it won’t eliminate every weed from growing, it will aid in substantially reducing the number of potential weeds that will take root and will also prevent flower roots from crossing over into the lawn.

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

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5 Palm Trees for a South Florida Landscape

There are dozens of palm tree species and one to suit every need. They have a diverse array of shapes and heights, enabling them to fit in any landscape. Palms also have a range of leaf colors to add interest.

Palms run the gamut from sun-loving to shade, with varieties that can be grown in containers around the pool to those that can soar to heights of 98 ft. Some are even able to tolerate temperatures slightly below freezing and are drought-hardy, while others prefer significant amounts of water.

Coconut Palms

Tall and stately, after the age of 6-10 years they begin to produce edible coconuts. The fruits should be removed to prevent them from falling and injuring people, pets, and causing damage to fences, buildings, and vehicles. Coconut palms can live up to 80 years, can grow 98 ft. tall, prefer full sun, and need well-drained soil.

European Fan Palm

A palm that grows 8-15 ft. tall, it has a spread of 6-10 ft. and its hardy nature has made it a favorite in South Florida. It’s equally at home at poolside, as an accent piece in the landscape, and can even be grown in containers. Fronds range from light green to sliver and the palm produces small clusters of yellow flowers with insignificant fruits. The palm grows in clumps rather than single trunks and it’s able to withstand temperatures of up to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Montgomery Palm

An ideal tree for planting near pools, it has stiff fronds of feathery emerald green that form a fan shape. It’s a jaunty looking palm with a somewhat furry/fuzzy appearance that’s able to fit in small spaces with an average height of 25-35 ft. It’s equally at home in residential and commercial settings. They require full sun, plenty of moisture, and require little maintenance.

Red Sealing Wax Palms

The stems of these palms are the color of red sealing wax. They produce feathery green leaves and prefer locations that are shady and receive significant amounts of water. Highly ornamental, they’re slow growing, have the potential to reach 50 ft. in height, and have fronds that can grow five ft. long. They produce fruits that ripen to a bluish-black color, can grow in shady areas, and are resistant to major diseases and pests.

Pygmy Date Palm

This is an excellent palm for multiple environments where a smaller tree is desired. It grows 6-10 ft. in height with fronds of up to 6 ft. in length. It produces small, yellow flowers followed by tiny dates that are purple. It can be planted in containers, within landscapes, and around pools. It does require significant moisture and can need occasional pruning to remove foliage that’s old or has sustained damage from pests or disease.

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

Warm Weather Perennials

One of the best things about perennials is that they’re planted once and they come back year after year. They deserve a special place in every landscape and depending on the selection, they’re equally appropriate as specimen plants, in beds, and as groundcovers. They can even be planted by bloom times to create a continuous cascade of flowers.

South Florida’s climate provides gardeners with a wide variety of perennial selections from which to choose. There are literally dozens of perennials that offer bountiful blossoms and a rainbow of colors. Many also act as magnets to honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Begonias

The darlings of gardeners everywhere, in South Florida they provide interest year-round. They’re bountiful bloomers in shades of red, white, yellow, orange, and pink. Begonias can be used as hanging plants or in containers, trailing types can be trained to climb, and they can be planted directly into beds. They’re offered in single and double flowering types.

Crossandra

The plant can grow up to 3 ft. tall with flowers that can range from peach and apricot to vivid orange. It’s a prolific bloomer with some species that prefers partial shade, while others do best with full sun. They’re highly attractive to butterflies.

Egyptian Star Flower

The flowers appear in clusters of red, blue, pink and lavender. They’re heat tolerant, prolific bloomers, and will need 4-6 hours of full sun each day. Growing 18-22 inches in height, they’re also disease resistant and are particularly attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Shrimp Plant

Shrimp plant is available in pink to salmon colored varieties, along with golden shrimp plant that has bright, yellow flower bracts and white blossoms. It prefers full sun, but can withstand partial shade. Depending on the variety, it can range in height from 18-48 inches. Butterflies find the golden variety especially attractive.

Flowers for Every Need

There are dozens of perennial flower varieties that will thrive in South Florida’s climate and offer months of beautiful blossoms. Many also have the benefit of providing a valuable food source for hummingbirds and pollinators that include bees and butterflies. Gardeners are really only limited to what their imaginations can envision.

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

Landscaping for Privacy

Obtaining a degree of privacy is becoming an increasingly difficult proposition for people, even in their own yards. The good news is that homeowners have access to multiple landscaping techniques and strategies to obtain the privacy they crave that also beautifies their property. Anyone can have an immediate privacy solution with the innovative options now available.

Fabric

One of the newer trends in privacy barriers is fabric curtains of waterproof materials placed in strategic areas. They require a framework that must be erected and depending on how they’re installed, can also provide protection from sun and wind.

Fencing

People have been using fences for centuries to protect property, possessions, and privacy. Fencing is available in wood, metal, vinyl, concrete, stone, brick, and a variety of innovative materials that can even withstand hurricane force winds.

Hedges

One of the most commonly used methods of carving out some privacy, a hedge provides a living, eco-friendly barrier that also offers cover and hiding spots for birds. Hedges can be created from a wide range of traditional bushes, bamboo, and evergreens to accommodate multiple needs and preferences.

Latticework and Trellises

Latticework and trellises can provide a screen, but won’t offer the same degree of privacy as a fence or hedge. A latticework barrier or trellis also provides a frame against which flowering vines can be planted for additional coverage and beautification options.

Raised Beds

Raised beds provide additional height, allowing homeowners to plant smaller, low-maintenance, and dwarf species. It’s particularly beneficial for smaller yards, spaces where full-size plant varieties aren’t an appropriate fit.

Vertical Grids

These are finding favor with urban dwellers and involve support structures installed in such a way that enables vertical growing of multi-level flowers, herbs, vines, and vegetables. Vertical growing is typically used to create an alcove of privacy in smaller yards.

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

Landscape on a Budget

There are a variety of ways to add interest to residential landscapes that are inexpensive. Most people automatically think of plants in regard to landscapes, but landscaping also encompasses pathways, fountains, ponds, statuary, and even mulching can make a significant change in the appearance and care of landscapes. With a little imagination, anyone can create innovative, one-of-a-kind solutions on a budget.

Firepit

A firepit is a great place to gather with family and friends to spend leisure time. Consider purchasing concrete retaining wall blocks or cinder blocks to create a DIY firepit. Even rocks can be used to build a homemade firepit. The materials can be fashioned into any shape or height to accommodate individual space requirements. It doesn’t have to be big to be effective.

Lighting

LED string lights emit more illumination than traditional bulbs so individuals can use fewer of them and they’re much cheaper to operate. One advantage is that they can be strung horizontally, vertically, placed in trees, and around flower beds. Rope lighting is another low-cost option.

Mulching

Adding mulch around plants, bushes and trees will give landscapes an updated appearance, aid in reducing weed growth, and save money on watering costs. Mulch is available in multiple forms encompassing wood and cocoa chips, stone, specially processed rubber, and lava rock.

Planters

A planter can add warmth and provide a focal point. Inexpensive planters of wood, plastic and pottery can be found at yard sales and second hand stores. Ordinary items such as rubber tires and almost any type of jars or bottles can be painted and repurposed into a planter. Even old wooden pallets and ladders can be transformed into tiered, vertical planters rather than horizontal options.

Seating

A wide variety of gently used furniture can be found at yard sales and thrift shops for outdoor seating. Sealants can be used to waterproof wood and similar materials. Waterproof cushions can be added for additional comfort.

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

What it Takes to Maintain Your new Landscape

Once your new landscape is completed, there are things you’ll need to do to maintain it and you have two choices – do it yourself or hire a professional. You may want to know when to fertilize, prune, take the stakes off young trees, or how often to mow.

Fertilizing

Your landscaper will have applied fertilizer when he/she installed the plantings. The best time for fertilizing lawns and other plantings is in the spring when they’ll be gathering nutrients to produce new leaves or buds. Check to see if there are any restrictions in your area in regard to fertilizing.

Mowing

If sod was laid in your new landscape, the first mowing can take place about 14 days later. The optimal height for lawn grass is approximately 2 ½ inches. At each mowing, you should never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade to ensure continued good growth.

Pruning

Chances are your new trees, bushes or hedges won’t need trimming for quite some time. Avoid heavy pruning whenever possible and always trim during the winter season. Pruning and trimming stimulates new growth, which also means your plants will need more moisture.

Tree Stakes

There are no hard and fast rules about removing tree stakes. Trees typically anchor themselves sufficiently in 6-12 months. Keeping a tree staked too long will hinder and stunt its growth. One of the ways trees develop strong trunks is by moving freely in the breeze.

Water

A new landscape will require water and unless you’ve installed a programmable irrigation system, you’ll have to take care of the task yourself. Always water during the coolest parts of the day – it allows moisture to go into the ground and minimize evaporation in the heat.

Weed Control

Weeds are especially bad for flower beds. They rob the soil of nutrients needed by any new plantings. If the beds were installed by a landscaper, chances are an under layer of plastic was laid and mulch was applied. Both work to prevent weeds, but homeowners should be vigilant. Many weeds have very small seeds that can easily gain a footing.

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

Landscaping for Dry Areas

Gardening and landscaping in dry areas can present special challenges. Traditional plantings can be cultivated, but it will be extremely expensive to fight the climate and require a considerable investment of time. The best solution is to compromise with Mother Nature to arrive at some spectacular results. Low-water gardens and landscapes have rapidly gained in popularity across the nation.

They require less maintenance and offer considerable savings in water costs. Even in humid conditions that prevail in Florida, many individuals discover that they have areas within their landscape that are drier than others. For those that don’t have irrigation systems, there are solutions that can save money and transform dry areas into an oasis. The following are just a few ideas for landscaping in dry areas.

Artificial Grass

Lawns require a lot of water and maintenance. By installing artificial grass, individuals won’t be using water to maintain the lawn and there’s no fertilizing or mowing necessary.

Container Gardening

For dry areas of the landscape, don’t overlook the opportunities available in container gardening. It’s easier to care for plants in containers, they require less maintenance, and water requirements are lower.

Ornamental Grass

There are dozens of ornamental grasses available in multiple heights that are ideal for dry areas. They add interest and can be helpful in areas where soil erosion is a concern.

Pick Perennials

For individuals that can’t do without some colorful blossoms, perennials require little care and can produce spectacular flowers. Many varieties are drought-resistant or drought-tolerant, making them ideal for dry areas.

Rock, Stone and Pavers

Consider creating pathways with pavers, mulching with stone, or creating rock pathways for a look that’s contemporary, requires no water, and is low-maintenance. It will also aid in reducing the size of the lawn that has to be mowed, watered, and fertilized.

Succulents

Plants classified as succulents run the gamut from low-level cacti to upright flowering species. They require little water, are low-maintenance, and come in a multitude of shapes, colors and textures. Succulents can produce lush foliage in multiple shades of green and can be an excellent choice for coastal areas.

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

Saving Money on Your Next Landscaping Project

Everyone likes to save money and that’s especially true with landscaping projects. It can be expensive to create the landscape of your dreams and many people don’t realize how many options they have or the extraordinary results that can be accomplished with a little imagination. The following are just some of the ways you can save on your next landscaping project.

Mixing, Matching and Sales

Fantastic, low cost elements for the landscape can be found at yard sales and end-of-season sales. It doesn’t matter whether you’re searching for lawn furniture, tools, plants, or unique decorative items, inexpensive additions can often be found in unexpected places.

Plant for the Climate

An English garden design in an arid landscape is going to cost a fortune in water and maintenance. Measures like companion planting and mulching will allow you to have some of what you envision while compromising with soil and climate.

Repurposing

Instead of ripping everything out and starting from scratch, consider repurposing some of the elements you may already have. Bricks, fencing, decorative features, and plantings ranging from flowers to trees can be moved and reused in the new design.

Slopes and Inclines

Leveling and moving soil around can be expensive. Rather than filling or removing soil, consider planting ground covers. They can produce beautiful flowers that provide food for bees and butterflies, while helping to arrest erosion.

Start Small

There’s joy to be found in starting your own plants and nurturing them until they’re large enough for the garden rather than purchasing full grown specimens. Instead of large urns by the front door, start with smaller flower pots or even consider using a couple of hanging plants instead.

Think of the Future

Landscapes aren’t static. They evolve and change over time. Envision how your landscape will appear even five years into the future, along with how much time, money, and maintenance it will require. Your circumstances may change and you’ll want a landscape you can continue to enjoy throughout various stages of your life. It may be tempting to plant all your favorites, but resist overplanting.

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

How to Choose a Landscape Designer

One of the most important steps any homeowner can make before engaging the services of a landscape designer is to know what they want. There’s a big difference between a landscape facelift and a complete makeover. Knowing what they want before hiring a landscape designer will help him/her create the desired features. Provide as much information to the designer as possible about available space, soil types, and existing plantings.

Research is Imperative

Having a solid idea of the available budget toward realizing a dream landscape is essential. Once individuals have a ballpark figure of how much they have to spend, add an additional one-third of that amount to the final cost.

Research is equally important about the designer. Narrow the search to a top three and don’t be afraid to ask for references from former customers. The designer should be licensed, bonded, insured, and have professional affiliations, education, and experience.

Style

Understanding the style of the proposed landscape is a critical concern. It will be governed by elements ranging from how the space will be used, how often, and the style of the surrounding architecture. Engage a design expert that specializes in the preferred style.

Collaborative Effort

It’s important that the project be a collaborative effort between the homeowner and the design expert. The landscape expert can offer creative suggestions about features, materials, plantings, and alternatives for space considerations. He/she should encourage questions and explain why each element is appropriate.

Understand the Process

A landscape designer should be able to explain in detail how long the process will take and provide a written estimate. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a landscape facelift or a complete makeover, understanding the process and the time required will make the wait easier as individuals watch their new outdoor space take shape.

Significant Investment

Making changes to the landscape is a major undertaking and represents a significant financial investment. Individuals shouldn’t sign a contract or commit to any work unless they’re completely satisfied with the design. Those that prefer environmentally-friendly solutions should search for a landscape designer that specializes in green practices.

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