Archives for Residential Landscaping

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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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

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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

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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

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

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.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more

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

561-779-9760

Read more

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

Read more