South Florida Lawn Fertilization

One of the secrets to a beautiful and healthy lawn is fertilizer. However, fertilizing at the wrong time or using too much will produce the opposite effect. Weather conditions and the type of lawn grass will determine when the lawn is fertilized and how often.

St. Augustine grass is one of the most popular and frequently selected choices for South Florida lawns. It’s a dense grower, has attractive blue-green blades, and it’s easy to grow even in shady locations – though it doesn’t like deep shade. It’s also one of the most versatile and easily able to tolerate heat, humidity and salt. It’s not picky about the type of soil in which it grows.

Individuals should be aware that fertilization should only take place when grass is actively growing. While it’s true that the grass will grow year-round in South Florida, it’s most active from March-April through Sept.-Oct. The best solution for lawns is a fertilizer that contains slow-release nitrogen to feed the lawn throughout the season. Depending on the type of soil, additional applications may be needed.

Be aware that fertilizer will have three numbers on the package, such as 16-4-8. It’s the amount of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash it contains, respectively. The amount of fertilizer that’s applied is equally important as when it’s placed on lawns. Applying too much will burn the roots, kill the grass, and negatively impact the environment. Individuals will need to be cognizant of laws regarding fertilizers.

Proper application will also rely on knowing how many square feet the lawn encompasses for accuracy. Once that number has been determined, the county’s local Extension office can assist in calculating how much fertilizer to apply and when. An alternative is hiring a professional lawn service that will know the exact requirements of the grass depending on multiple variables.

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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The Popularity of Raised Gardens

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh vegetables or the fragrance of a newly picked bouquet of flowers. Millions of people are discovering a new hobby, a healthier lifestyle, and even making extra money through the use of raised gardens.

Rather than placing plants directly in the ground, an increasing number of people are having raised beds constructed, building the containers themselves, or purchasing pre-made kits. Raised beds can be created from a wide variety of materials ranging from wood to stone. Some creative gardeners are even repurposing items such as claw-footed bathtubs to add a decorative look while growing flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

A raised bed can be as plain or elaborate as desired and one of the most welcome features is that they can be created at any desired height to make gardening less stressful and painful on the back. Most people favor beds that are 6-12 inches in height and placed directly on the ground, many individuals are choosing to support their beds on legs so they don’t have to bend over at all.

Raised beds mitigate the tedious and time-consuming task of weeding. They’re ideal for areas where drainage is a problem or the soil is poor and won’t support plants well. Gardeners have the ability to control the type of soil in a raised bed, allowing them to provide optimal conditions for any type or plant they want to grow.

With the addition of a well-supported net, trellis or other structure, individuals can even grow vining and climbing varieties such as morning glories, pole beans, and sugar snap peas. Vertical gardening can easily be combined with raised beds to add additional growing space. It also reduced damage from insects and disease, while facilitating harvesting.

There’s really no limit to what individuals can grow in a raised garden bed, up to and including raspberry canes. Just be sure to select a variety without thorns for ease of harvesting. Fragrant herbs are another choice. When selecting plants, keep in mind that some can be aggressive growers and become invasive if not carefully monitored and controlled.

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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Can you Cut your Grass too Short?

If you’re experiencing brown outs and bare spots in your lawn, you may be cutting the grass too short. Like any plant, grass requires a certain amount of available green growth to remain healthy. Shorter isn’t always best when it comes to lawns. You should only be removing about 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow, which makes the optimal grass height for mowing about 3 2/3 inches.

When you cut your grass too often and leave it too short, you’re setting the stage for a myriad of problems to develop and they only grow worse over time. If the damage is severe and has been going on for a while, you may have to reseed the lawn.

Many people mistakenly believe that fertilizing the lawn will alleviate the problem. Instead, it can burn the lawn. If the damage isn’t too severe, fertilizing will make it grow lusher and lead to a vicious cycle of additional growth and mowing, while failing to address the original problem.

Lawns that are too short are ripe for the invasion of weeds and damage from heat. Grass that’s too short doesn’t have the necessary energy reserves from the roots for growth. The blades of grass will weaken and can even lead to its demise with no hope of coming back.

It’s also important to keep mower blades sharp to create a clean cut and prevent grass blades from being torn and shredded. The frayed ends of grass will turn brown and leaves the lawn vulnerable to a variety of diseases that can be expensive to address. Grass that’s growing in shaded areas can benefit from being left at a slightly longer height when mowing.

Cutting your grass too short will deplete root resources. If the brown spots in your lawn are the result of cutting too short, they can grow back if they’re only a few inches across but the process will be slow.

The best solution is to increase the blade height of your mower, even if it means mowing more frequently. Alternately, you can hire a professional lawn care service that has a deep understanding of lawn grass and can establish an appropriate lawn mowing schedule.

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 a Waterfall to your Landscape

The sound of water has a biological connection to the human body and the brain itself. The sound of water, or even the sight of water without sound, causes the brain to release neurochemicals that have a calming effect. Adding a waterfall to your landscape beautifies the environment and has a wealth of health-related benefits.

There are multiple styles of waterfalls from which to choose and the water feature doesn’t have to be large or elaborate to enhance the landscape. A waterfall can be freestanding design, lodged against a wall, or added to a corner of a swimming pool. A waterfall can also be designed as part of an in-ground reflection pool.

One of the best reasons to add a waterfall to your landscape is that it’s a great way to melt away stress. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the sound of water promotes wellness by lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and inducing relaxation.

Waterfalls make wonderful focal points within the landscape where you can gather with family and friends. They can be customized in a wide variety of ways to reflect personal tastes and style preferences. Lighting can be incorporated for a unique appearance and they provide texture within the landscape.

A waterfall is a feature that can be adapted to fit into virtually any area, even awkward spaces that you don’t normally use, making the area more functional and adding visual interest. They’re economical to operate and won’t increase your water bill since the water is continually recirculated.

The water feature will be an enhancement to the natural ecosystem. If you’re a fan of wildlife, you’ll find that a waterfall will attract a variety of bird species and dragonflies that eat undesirable insects that include mosquitoes.

Waterfalls are beautiful, add interest and texture to any landscape, and the sound of water calms the mind, body and spirit. The sight and sound of a waterfall has a profound effect on the environment and the human body that’s healthy and restful.

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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commercial landscaper company boca raton Florida

Commercial Landscape Mistakes

Commercial landscapes provide aesthetically pleasing environments that are attractive to clients. It’s also beneficial for employees and has been proven to increase productivity. A well planned and designed landscape can be a distinguishing and identifying feature for a business. The following are some of the most common commercial landscape mistakes.

Unqualified Professional

It’s imperative that business owners hire a landscaping company with the experience and extensive knowledge required to install a landscape. Unqualified professionals leave companies vulnerable to safety and security issues, along with potential lawsuits. The company should have years of experience in commercial landscapes, be licensed and bonded, and have all the appropriate certifications for the work that will be performed. The company’s professionals should be someone that actually listens to what you want.

Traffic Flow

Depending upon the type of commercial enterprise, there will be employee vehicles, clients, deliveries, and even heavy trucks entering and exiting. The landscape must be able to provide convenient access to all those types of traffic and room to maneuver. The exits and entrances must be placed in a way that doesn’t interfere with the flow of surrounding roadway traffic.

Drainage

Landscapes will need irrigation and they’ll also be subjected to potentially heavy rains. Proper drainage ensures there won’t be ponding, puddling or flooding. It will also prevent areas from becoming mud pits. Even more important, without proper drainage, water can build up that will damage structures.

Lighting

Illumination is required to promote safety and security. That doesn’t mean just installing lighting that shines on the building. Landscape illumination mitigates the potential for injuries throughout the landscape and can be artfully placed. Don’t install lighting at angles that create glare.

Plantings

Flowers, trees, shrubs, and ornamental grass are all plantings that can be used in commercial landscapes for year-round interest. The same plants that are ideal for residential areas won’t necessarily work in commercial landscapes. The mature size of trees and bushes must be considered, along with their root systems. Planted too close to structures, curbs and walkways, they may cause pavement to break and heave. Plantings must also be kept clear of utility lines, transformers, and HVAC units.

Pavement Materials

Whether it’s a parking lot or walkway, non-slip surfaces are essential and areas must be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sloped areas should be kept to a minimum whenever possible around buildings.

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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The Best Shade Trees for South Florida Yards

Shade trees beautify properties, help keep environments cool, and clean the air while providing oxygen. Their limbs and branches also provide shelter and nesting spaces for a variety of wild bird species and help save on cooling costs. Each tree species has its own growth and space requirements of which individuals should be aware before planting. The following are some of the best shade trees for South Florida yards, in no particular order.

Bald Cypress

This is a good tree for low spots as it likes a lot of water, though it will tolerate a mild drought. It’s a unique conifer with needles that turn a rusty red color and fall in the autumn. It grows about 50 ft. high, with a canopy diameter of about half that size. It has far reaching roots and should be planted at least 15 feet away from buildings and walkways.

Florida Maple

The Florida Maple grows to 40 ft. in height and leaves turn a bright reddish-bronze in the fall. They’re fairly fast growing and good for medium sized yards. The tree will tolerate some flooding and will grow in full sun or partial shade. As it matures, the roots tend to breach the ground surface. Mulching around the tree will minimize mowing problems.

Live Oak

This is a tree that can live for centuries. It’s very resilient and can act as a windbreak against winds. It’s deeply rooted and can tolerate some flooding. The trees can grow 65 ft. high have large canopies and far reaching branches making them a good choice for large landscapes. The disadvantage to the tree is that the blooms can be messy in the spring. It does produce acorns that squirrels like and will require trimming when young.

Mahogany

Known primarily for the value of its wood, the leaf texture can add interest to the landscape. It’s an evergreen, but will drop its leaves for a short time each year. It’s on Florida’s endangered species list and planting one will aid in maintaining the species. They’re drought and salt tolerant, but do have aggressive roots. The tree shouldn’t be planted closer than a minimum of 20 feet from structures and no closer than 6 ft. from walkways and curbs. Mahogany can live up to 350 years, grow up to 60 ft. tall, and have a 50-ft. canopy spread.

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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Fragrant Plants for your South Florida Yard

People design their yards for a variety of purposes. Some are eco-friendly for water efficiency and others are planted to attract birds, butterflies, and honey bees. One of the most popular trends is the fragrant garden, planted to celebrate the many plants with pleasing scents.

Living in South Florida, you’re fortunate in that you have options not readily available to other locations within the nation that include trees, vines, and bushes. The following are some of the more fragrant plants you may want to plant in your yard.

Banana Shrub

Foodies will love this bush with flowers that smell like ripe bananas. It can grow large, but it’s easy to keep trimmed and within bounds. It’s very hardy and has one-inch flowers that resemble magnolia blossoms edged with crimson.

Gardenia

These are best situated in smaller beds, but they also thrive as a container plant where they can be treated to the nutrient-rich soil they crave. The large white blossoms are famous for their use in perfumes.

Jasmine

Angel wing and star jasmine have delicate white blossoms that attract bees. The former can be trained to climb, be grown in a hanging basket, or as a container plant. The latter is a vine that’s prized for its aromatic star-shaped blooms.

Magnolia

The tree is known for its enormous white blossoms that can be as large as a saucer when fully open. Highly fragrant, both evergreen and deciduous varieties are available. Magnolia fossils have been found dating to 100 million years ago.

YLang Ylang Tree

If you have plenty of room and want a shade tree that will emit the scent of Chanel No. 5, this is the tree for you. It’s the basis for the perfume and can grow up to 50 ft. in height. The aroma is said to be an aphrodisiac.

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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Pros of Adding Rock to Plant Beds

Rock is quickly becoming a go-to in South Florida gardens. The material has a higher initial cost, but is highly durable. Rocks offer a multitude of design options and they’re available in a wide range of colors, sizes, shapes, and types. Highly versatile, they can be used as mulch or edging. It’s best to use smaller stones since heavier stones can begin to sink into the ground over time.

Adds Minerals

Many soils are lacking in essential minerals that plants can’t manufacture on their own. While rocks in and of themselves won’t help mineralize soil, powdered rock can be added to plant beds.

Curb Appeal

No matter what type is chosen – rocks, stones or pebbles – the material offers clean lines and a lighter appearance that adds to curb appeal.

Doesn’t Decompose

Rock doesn’t decay, so it doesn’t need to be replaced like traditional wood-based mulch, which begins to decompose when exposed to moisture. A small amount of rock may need to be added after its initial settling and rock is so durable that it can even outlast the lifetime of the garden.

Drainage

For those that are employing raised beds, pea gravel and similar stones provide additional drainage so plant roots don’t become water logged. Pebbles and rocks are equally beneficial for plant beds that suffer with drainage issues.

Low Maintenance

Rocks aren’t easily disturbed by rain, wind, people, or pets and require very little maintenance. They retain their color and appearance for years; though they may need an occasional hosing down to remove dust.

Minimizes Weeds

While no type of mulch will completely eliminate weeds in the flower bed, rocks will significantly limit their growth. Any undesirable growth can easily be plucked out.

Reduces Erosion

Wind and rain can gradually move soil around. Stones reduce that movement making them ideal for preserving soil, even in heavy rains.

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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lawn pest control

Common Yard Pests that can Destroy your Landscape

A great range of insect pests live and thrive in South Florida’s tropics-like climate and an infestation can decimate the landscape. Some will attack lawns, while others will gravitate directly to the foliage or flowers of specific plants. A well-cared for landscape can be irresistible to insect pests.

Aphids

Often referred to as plant lice, they can be red, green, black, brown or purple. They multiple readily and typically feed on leaves and stems. They’re indiscriminate eaters, sucking the sap from any type of plant growth. Aphids secrete a sugary liquid called honeydew that provides an ideal environment for the growth of a fungus called sooty mold.

Armyworms

They’re the larval form of a moth, primarily attacking blades of grass, but they’ll also settle for vegetables. The striped worms are voracious and can defoliate a lawn within a matter of days.

Coconut Mealybugs

Like aphids, they suck the juices from plants and leave excrement upon which sooty mold grows.

Japanese Beetles

One of the most voracious and destructive insects to ever invade the U.S., Japanese beetles are not picky eaters and will destroy landscapes in short order. The grubs thrive in moist soil and are very active in warm temperatures that prevail in South Florida.

Mole Crickets

Some species eat plant materials, while others will feed on a combination of greenery and other insects. The primary cause of damage caused by mole crickets is through their burrowing habits that disturb roots.

Spider Mites

Very small and sometimes difficult to see, species come in different colors. They typically leave fine strands of silk-like webbing on plants they infest. They feed on foliage and suck sap from plants.

Slugs and Snails

Both types of pests prefer young, tender growth for their meals, but are equally able to derive sustenance from decomposing plant matter. They’re indiscriminate feeders.

White Grubs

Commonly known as white grubs – a generic term – these pests are the larvae of scarab beetle species. They feed on the roots of a wide range of lawn grasses and it can be difficult to diagnose which species of larvae is in residence without professional expertise.

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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Unique Landscapes: Bamboo

The bamboo plant is one of the most often overlooked options for the landscape. Its appearance enables individuals to create unique environments. Bamboo has advantages and drawbacks. For individuals that are attempting a DIY project, it’s critical to understand the growth habits of the two types of bamboo and what the planting will be designed to accomplish.

Bamboo is a fast grower and can gain 2-3 feet in height each day, attaining its full height in four years. Some varieties throw out underground runners and spend more of their energy growing outward rather than upward. Running bamboo seldom stays where it’s planted and can be extremely invasive.  Clumping bamboos typically only grow a few inches in width each year.

Individuals need to be aware that even clumping bamboo is capable of damaging foundations, driveways, walkways, fountains, pools, and similar items over time. There are also plants that resemble bamboo in appearance and gardeners should make sure that they actually have bamboo and not an invasive plant that they’ll regret planting.

The growth habit of clumping bamboo makes it appropriate for use as privacy screens and sound barriers. Bamboo is often used against chain link to hide the fence from view. Bamboo provides a pleasingly contrasting texture and color to the landscape, along with an exotic feel.

The plant is a member of the grass family and the canes will get larger in diameter each year. With clumping bamboo, it’s easy to create a graceful oasis in any corner of the yard. Bamboo isn’t always a uniform green hue, either. There are species featuring stem banding in shades of blue, black, purple, brown, pink and yellow.

It’s a good idea to consult with a landscaping professional who is knowledgeable about the various types of bamboo and the growth habits of each. While most bamboo prefers a sunny location, there are also species that grow best in shaded areas. No matter what color is preferred, bamboo is sure to add interest within any landscape.

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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