Adding a Mango Tree to your South Florida Yard

If you love mangos and want to grow your own, you’re not alone. South Florida residents are adding the trees to their landscape and as part of home orchards and gardens. Mangos typically grow in tropical locales and South Florida’s climate provides an environment in which the trees can flourish.

The mango is actually a member of the cashew family. It’s one of the most widely cultivated and highly desired trees by home gardeners. Through a U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative of the past, a mango seedling program was created in South Florida. It was spearheaded by David Fairchild, founder of the USDA’s Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction program. Several mango varieties were developed as a result.

Height

The average mango tree grows to about 100 feet in height with a canopy of approximately 35 feet wide. With proper trimming, trees can be kept to a smaller, more manageable height of about 15 feet. You can also choose dwarf mango varieties, along with those that can even be grown in containers, though fruit production may be less than a tree planted in the ground.

Disease Control

Mango trees have dense canopies. Pruning them to achieve an open canopy reduces the risk of insect pests, bacterial and fungal diseases, and provides easier access should disease control measures need to be applied. After they’re established, the trees require little if any irrigation. Watering them can actually promote disease and insect infestations. Fertilize lightly and mulch.

Production and Harvest

Keeping mangos small in stature ensures a greater yield and easier harvesting. More of the tree’s energy will be channeled into bloom production rather than upward growth. Pruning also aids in larger fruits. If your mango tree sets a lot of blooms, you could easily find yourself with fruits that are too heavy and break branches.

Thinning the unripened fruit will preserve branch health and improve fruit production. You’ll have higher quality fruit to give away to friends or family – or sell at a local farm market for extra cash. Mango trees are self-pollinating and one tree is sufficient to produce fruit.

However, it’s advantageous to have other flowering plants nearby to entice honey bees and beneficial pollinating insects. There are a number of mango varieties developed that grow well in South Florida and are ready for harvest at different times of the year. The only problem will be deciding which one to grow.

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.

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Don’t Skimp on your Irrigation System

An irrigation system will keep your lawn and other plantings healthy throughout the year. It’s a smart investment that will save you a considerable amount of time, effort and money on your water bills. However, irrigation systems can be expensive and many people are tempted to do the work themselves or skimp on materials. It’s a decision that could come back to haunt you.

Water for All

Trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers all need water, but they need them in different amounts. Watering them all in the same way will result in some plants getting too much, while others are water-starved. Installing irrigation heads in the right number and calibrating the output is essential.

Different Methods

A properly installed irrigation system typically incorporates sprinkler heads for lawns, along with a drip system for flower beds and similar areas. Trusting in lawn sprinkler heads to water delicate flowers can beat smaller plants down with the force of the precipitation.

Output and Boundaries

Sprinkler heads should be adjusted to operate at different output levels for varying amounts of time, depending upon the area being watered. Without proper calibration, you can also have overspray in which the precipitation is dispersing water over your boundaries and into your driveway, sidewalk, and roadway.

Coverage Area

Each type of sprinkler head has a maximum distance over which it disperses water. Putting in fewer sprinkler heads than necessary will result in dry areas where the moisture doesn’t reach. You’ll be plagued with dry areas where plantings don’t receive sufficient water.

No Rain Shut Off

Florida receives a substantial amount of rain that feeds the moisture needs of plants. Every irrigation system should include a rain shutoff setting that senses the amount of moisture in the soil. It ensures the sprinkler system only activates when necessary for plant health and water savings for you.

Technology and Professionals

It’s well worth the money to hire irrigation professionals. They have knowledge of, and access to, the latest technological advances. They know how to calculate coverage area, adjust sprinkler heads for appropriate output, and install systems that ensure every planting receives moisture according to its own needs.

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

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Adding Some Holiday Accents to your Landscape

South Florida residents are as enthusiastic in their holiday decorating as people in any other state. Adding accents and decorations can take unique directions due to the differences in vegetation and climate that are at the same time unusual and extremely beautiful. The following are just some of the ways individuals can add holiday accents to their Christmas decorating plans.

Plants

The holiday wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of traditional holiday plants. Poinsettias can be arranged around the front door to welcome visitors and wreaths of pine and holly berries are always a festive touch for entryways. Trees can be decorated with lights on the lawn and for a snowy appearance, there are non-toxic aerosol sprays that can be applied.

Lights

An age-old tradition, lights are available in every color to accommodate personal preferences, coordinate with existing features, or to create a theme. They can be used to adorn fences, pools and houses. Wrapping the trunks of palm trees with LED lights will make the fronds seem to glow.

The availability of outdoor LED lights means individuals can save money on their electric costs and even add more lights if they want. LEDs shine brighter than traditional bulbs, so it takes fewer to create the desired effect. Multiple types of LED trees are offered for outdoor use. Structures can be decorated with icicle lights and for a unique appearance, “meteor” lights provide a glittering, twinkling and cascading effect that will mesmerize all that view them.

Inflatables

There are dozens of inflatables available to decorate lawns ranging from snowmen, Christmas trees and snow globes to Nativity scenes, Santa and his sleigh, and polar bears. A number of inflatables are also offered for those that have an appreciation for TV and movie characters. The Grinch and baby Yoda are among the top 12 favorites for 2020. They all feature lights making them popular for nighttime displays.

Animatronics

The decorations feature lights and motion, making them particularly appealing. Individuals can select from reindeer, a Jack-in-the-Box, and Santa, along with rocking horses, soldiers and nutcrackers inspired by The Nutcracker ballet.

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

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What is Plant Dormancy?

With Southern Florida’s tropical climate, many people assume that plants grow and bloom year-round without a break and never experience a dormant period. Most deciduous plants require a dormant period in which they prepare for a time of less water, fewer nutrients, less sunlight, and lower temperatures. Dormancy is when plants go into survival mode.

Dormancy periods are a little different in South Florida. Lawn grass, for instance, experiences a form of dormancy. It remains green and grows at a much slower rate, but doesn’t completely “sleep.” Unless there are extreme or unusual fluctuations in weather conditions, lawn grass won’t experience the same type of dormancy as those in northern locales.

The South Florida climate is the primary reason that some plants don’t grow well. They don’t have an adequate dormancy period. Perennial plants have a type of “memory” triggered by hormones that tell them when it’s time to resume growing based on temperature and increased light.

Succulents are popular in Florida and they also undergo a period of dormancy during which they don’t grow as quickly as they do at other times of the year. Succulents tend to be opportunistic growers and will flourish as long as their desired growing conditions are being met.

The South Florida climate doesn’t offer enough of a chilly period for some trees and plants to succeed. Tree leaves may or may not turn colors and fall in the autumn. Some plants will do well at first, then die out without enough of a dormancy cycle. Others may adapt by dropping their leaves and entering into a short period of self-induced dormancy.

Florida does have a dormancy period, but it’s not like that of even other areas of the state. A wide variety of native species have dormancy periods that align with the specific climate. Others engage in a near dormant state that lasts for a very short time – instead of months as in northern states – and enables them to marshal their resources for another round of growth.

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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When to Add Fresh Soil to Plant Beds

There will come a time when individuals will need to add fresh soil to their plant beds. Every plant bed can benefit from the addition of fresh soil, particularly in the form of compost. A mixture of 10 percent potting soil, 30 percent compost and 60 percent topsoil can be purchased and is equally beneficial. The exception to that mix is plants such as succulents that require specialized soil mediums.

One way to identify if it’s time to amend the soil in beds is to observe the condition of the previous year’s plants. If they were underperforming in regard to blooms, appeared weak, or had roots showing its time to add some soil. It’s a good idea to add fresh soil every couple of years.

A certain amount of soil will be displaced, such as when plants are removed at the end of their productive season, and will need to be replaced. Soil will also be compacted through rain, watering and other factors.

The nutrients in soil become depleted over time and simply adding fertilizer won’t work forever. Whether individuals are raising their plants in raised beds or directly in the ground, the addition of new soil provides a fresh infusion of nutrients and enriches the soil for lusher growth, better blooms, and a greater yield for vegetable plants.

The best time to incorporate fresh soil in an empty bed is during the spring before any plants are placed in the ground or in the autumn in preparation for the following planting season. For those that have existing beds of perennials, the plants can be dug up and the fresh dirt worked into the soil before quickly interring the plants again. The plants will require a period of adjustment as they reset their roots.

Conversely, soil can be amended in stages. Each time a new plant goes in the ground, add a handful of new soil or compost to the hole that’s been prepared. If plants have already been placed in the ground, a top dressing can be applied by spreading the new soil over the top of existing dirt, being careful not to “bury” the plants or cover their leaves.

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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Need a Commercial Landscape Overhaul?

Whether a full or partial landscape overhaul is required for a commercial property, the first step is to hire a professional with experience in that particular arena. There are issues and considerations specific to commercial landscapes that can arise that will need the expertise of a professional landscaper.

A landscape overhaul will improve the appearance of any business and make it more attractive to potential clients and customers. It’s an excellent way to boost curb appeal for owners that may be considering selling a property. The great part about a landscape overhaul is that it doesn’t have to include replacing every element.

Make a Plan

The experts will create a plan to accommodate the needs of the client while taking a multitude of variables into consideration. As professionals, they’re knowledgeable about what plants grow well within individual situations, along with what the landscaping will look like when plantings attain maturity. Trees and bushes may be deep or shallow-rooted and can destroy sidewalks and foundations if planted too closely.

Removal and Installations

The experts will remove any unhealthy trees or shrubs that have overgrown their bounds. They’ll be able to remove, expand, or modify any existing flower beds or plant entirely new beds. The installation of an irrigation system is essential. Professional landscapers will be able to create a custom irrigation solution for optimal plant health. They’ll also mulch appropriately, which will provide savings on water bills.

Special Features

The owners of commercial properties are only limited by their imagination when it comes to hard landscaping, which includes any non-living element. Depending upon the type of property, owners may want to install fencing, a swimming pool, fountain, pathways, or playground equipment. Professional landscapers are able to create and execute plans for the inclusion of any attractive or functional feature desired.

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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Gardening with Kids

Florida is a fortunate place to live for gardeners. Unlike colder climates where gardening depends on the whims of the weather and seasons, people in Florida can garden even during the winter. It’s also an ideal time to introduce kids to the joys of gardening and growing their own food.

Make a Plan

Decide what you want to plant, preferably vegetables that kids actually enjoy eating. Plants will need to be located in an area in which they receive at least six hours of light each day. Since watering will be part of the gardening process, make sure the garden is near a ready source of water that doesn’t have to be carried a significant distance.

You can use raised beds or create an in-ground bed. For success, pay attention to optimal planting dates as there is variation depending upon which part of the state you live. You can purchase seedlings for some plants, while some seeds can be planted directly in the ground – a task that’s easy for even young children.

Winter Vegetables

There’s an abundance of cold-weather vegetables that can be cultivated in Florida. They include carrots, radishes and cabbage to arugula, Swiss chard, and multiple types of lettuce. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kohlrabi are other good choices.

You may be surprised to learn that it’s possible to grow garlic, onions, celery, beans, and English peas during the winter months. You and your child can also cultivate multiple types of herbs. An additional benefit of gardening in the winter is that there will be fewer insect pests to worry about.

Learning Opportunities

There’s nothing quite like the wonder on a child’s face when they harvest the first produce to eat that they’ve grown themselves. Planting a variety of vegetables gives children the opportunity to observe the growing habits of different plant types. Peas and beans also provide an opportunity for your child to learn about vertical gardening.

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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South Florida Winter Lawn Care

Residents of South Florida are fortunate in that they still have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities even in the winter while their counterparts in northern climates are buried under a blanket of snow. A green lawn in winter begins with proper preparation. The following are some tips to help keep lawns healthy and green.

Fertilizing

Stop fertilizing in September or October. Grass growth will naturally slow during the winter months. Fertilizing during that time will undo all the care taken during the summer and if the grass doesn’t die, it can be severely damaged.

Seeding

Overseed the lawn with grass that grows well in the winter to maintain a green yard in the winter. The winter grass will die off and disappear by the time summer grass begins to grow again. Be sure to mow the lawn before seeding. Remove any weeds and debris and attend to any fungal concerns. Ryegrass is an inexpensive winter option that has a good germination rate and it’s a fast grower.

Watering

Individuals will want to alter their watering or irrigation patterns for winter and it’s a good time to have irrigation systems checked. There’s less evaporation occurring during the winter. The same watering habits utilized in the summer will result in standing water and can lead to disease and fungal infections in the lawn.

A good way to identify when to water is to observe the grass blades. If they’re folding in half longways or footprints remain visible in the grass after walking on it, it’s time to water.

Colorants

Individuals also have the option of lawn colorants that provide the appearance of a lush, green lawn during months in which maintaining the desired coloration can be a problem. It’s the same technique employed on sports fields and golf courses, but coloration should only be performed by a lawn care specialist. Using a colorant is a short-term solution and a regular lawn care regimen will still need to be 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 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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Shrubs or Fence for Privacy

There are basically two options for establishing privacy – shrubs or fencing. There’s a myriad of elements to consider when choosing which is best for any given location and circumstance. Before making a decision, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. The following are some pros and cons of each type.

Shrubs

Shrubs provide a natural living fence that offer a friendlier and less regimented look than an artificial barrier. It’s important to understand that the appearance of a live fence will depend on the shrubs selected. A formal, manicured hedge will require more time and effort to maintain. Some shrubs look best when left to grow naturally. There are also flowering and non-flowering shrubs.

The plants are eco-friendly and provide an environment in which wildlife can shelter. Depending on the size of the selected shrubs, it may take some time for the plants to provide the desired level of privacy. However, a living privacy fence isn’t the best option for homes that are very close together as the plants can encroach on a neighbor’s property.

Shrubs aid in buffering noise and dirt, while providing a good windbreak. It’s usually necessary for individuals to obtain a permit before any planting can begin. The cost of installing shrubs will be less than that of erecting a traditional fence.

Fencing

A traditional fence of wood or manmade materials has the ability to provide immediate privacy without the wait. There are new fencing materials that can be recycled and that aid in muting sound and dust from the outside. Those same materials can mimic the appearance and texture of wood and stone. Some are able to withstand winds of up to 110 mph., are resistant to UV rays, and are almost maintenance free.

Traditional fences enhance a property’s value and are a good choice when homes are very close together as they require less space to erect. Individuals will definitely need a permit before construction of the fence can commence. The installation and associated costs of installing a traditional fence will be substantially more expensive than the alternative.

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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Different Tree Shapes to Accent your Yard

Trees have a wide variety of growth habits and that diversity can add special interest to any landscape. Knowing the shape of a tree is an important facet when choosing a new tree to plant in the landscape.

Classifying tree shapes doesn’t always depend on a tree’s silhouette, but on the manner in which the branches grow. The trick is matching the shape and growth habit with the landscape environment. Different varieties within the same species can also demonstrate varying shapes. Those are just some of the reasons why it pays to consult with a landscaping expert for guidance.

Columnar

These grow in same shape as the name implies. Columnar trees present a formal appearance and are tidy with uniform branch lengths. Examples are arborvitae, Lombardy poplar, Italian cypress, some junipers, and Japanese holly. There are also specially developed columnar fruit trees.

Fastigiate

The branches in this group of trees appear to grow vertically or almost horizontally to the trunk. They tend to be tall, narrow and erect in growth. Some junipers and yews are in this grouping, along with thujas of the cypress family.

Globe/Round

Regular, rounded tops are the earmarks of these trees. When planted in rows along a drive they provide a stately appearance. A good example is the Black maple and some flowering dogwoods fit the classification.

Horizontal

These trees tend to be massive in size and often have a blocky appearance. The branches are horizontal along the entire trunk and can overwhelm small environments. Red and White oaks and Red cedars are some examples.

Open-Headed/Irregular

The trees in this group often have no exact or definable shape. A good example is the honey mesquite.

Oval

Trees with oval shaped heads are often lumped into the same category as those with rounded heads. Examples include green mountain ash, Bradford pear, and Norway maples.

Pyramidal/Cone

This is a very large grouping that includes conifers and deciduous trees. They can create a dramatic effect in the landscape. The Dawn redwood, Colorado blue spruce, some cedars and cypresses.

Umbrella

An umbrella-shaped tree is exactly like it sounds and resembles an open umbrella. Acacias, Japanese maples, and palo verdes are in this category.

Vase

These trees are small at the bottom and open up gracefully like a vase at the top. They provide shade without inhibiting the headroom of those walking beneath them. Crape myrtles, redbuds, and American elms are good examples.

Weeping

Willows are the most expressive example of this category, though there are also a variety of other species that exhibit the weeping growth habit that includes some birches, cherries, hemlock, and weeping white pine.

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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