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Archives for Residential Landscaping

Using Color to Design Your Landscape

Professional landscapers and designers utilize a color wheel when creating projects for their clients and you can do the same. It’s important to note that professionals also consider other principles encompassing scale, texture, form, proportion, and line in their creations. They visualize how the plants will appear during their yearly transitional phases for a complete sense of unity.

Interplay of Color

No landscape is a solid shade of color. The foliage of each tree, bush, vine, and flower has its own hue of green. It’s important to consider how each shade of green will appear next to each other to create contrast and unity.

The Color Wheel

The wheel is divided into four different color categories. They are the primary colors of red, yellow and blue; secondary colors of green, purple and orange; tertiary colors that are a blend of the first two categories; and neutral colors of white, gray and silver. Some categories of colors only appear at certain times of the year, depending upon the planting.

Warm and Cool Colors

Colors can be categorized into warm vs. cool colors. They can be used to influence the mood of a landscape. Blue, green, and purple are cool colors that are calming and relaxing. Warm colors are red, yellow and orange that are exciting, refreshing, and rejuvenating in nature. All the colors can be used in specific ways. Warm and cool color combinations can make a small yard appear larger, while combinations of warm colors will have the opposite effect.

Contrast or Unity

A single color group can be used throughout an area for unity. Colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel can create a unique form of unity of complementary pairing. Harshly contrasting colors can be jarring, but planting a transitional color between the two can help bridge the gap and make it less so.

Neutrals

Whites, creams, and grays are the neutrals and can be used in various ways. They can create a softening effect for warm colors or be utilized exclusively as part of a monochromatic color scheme. Gardens of white and cream are often called moon gardens and designed for nighttime viewing as they appear ethereal by moonlight.

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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Fertilizing Plants vs. Grass

Fertilizing isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Different types of plants each have their own nutrient requirements and should be fertilized at varying times, and in different quantities. Some fertilizers promote root growth, while others encourage flowering.

Additionally, standard recommendations for other parts of the U.S. are often inappropriate for South Florida’s unique climate. It’s one of the primary reasons that many homeowners prefer to hire a professional landscaper that has in-depth experience and knowledge of South Florida weather conditions and plant species.

It’s important to understand the composition of fertilizers. They will feature three numbers, such as 12-12-12, that indicates the primary nutrients and the quantity. The first number indicates the amount of nitrogen, the second is the amount of phosphate, and the third is the amount of potash/potassium. Fertilize is typically needed more during the warm, wet growing season and less in the cool, drier months.

Nitrogen promotes photosynthesis, rapid growth, lush foliage and fruit. Phosphate is required for respiration, energy, root growth, and strong, robust plants from seedling to maturity. Potash aids plants in absorbing moisture, utilizing a range of nutrients, boosting disease resistance and hardiness, and producing abundant blooms.

Bushes and Trees

In general, established bushes and trees do well with two or three applications of fertilizer each year. Typically it’s applied about February and October, with another during the summer if needed. Fertilizer for trees and shrubs should be applied at the drip line, not around the trunks or base.

Grass

Fertilizer should be applied to lawn grass in the spring, but only when it’s actively growing and creating new shoots. That typically happens about mid-April. Use a time-release formula before any fertilizer restrictions go into effect and applications should take place approximately every 6-8 weeks during the summer. It’s better to err on the side of caution when fertilizing the lawn and take into account the type of grass and its needs.

Flowers

Perennial flowers and bulbs can benefit from occasional fertilizing, but be careful when applying it near newly planted flowers. It can be a good idea to give them a little time after planting to acclimate and become established before fertilizing.

Native Plants

Native plants, grasses, and flowers have adapted to the prevailing conditions and generally require little fertilizer – if any. Fertilizing native species can actually do more harm than good.

 

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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Advantages of Mulch in Flower Beds

Mulch isn’t just a material to be placed around trees to protect their trunk or to create garden paths. Mulch has a wealth of applications that are practical in nature that will make less work for gardeners, enrich the soil, and aid in plant growth and development.

Individuals can choose from multiple types of mulch ranging from shredded bark and wood chips to landscape fabrics and stones. Some are more effective in specific locations than others and gardeners will need to weigh the aesthetic appeal of each against their individual preferences and whether they want organic or inorganic mulch.

One of the most important functions of mulch is that it helps retain moisture, which means less time watering for those that are doing so by hand. It’s also beneficial for those with an irrigation system. Flower beds will require less watering and that means savings on water bills.

Mulch is an effective means of minimizing weeds and keeping them at bay. That means a lot less weeding and nutrients go to the plants for more lush growth. It’s inevitable that an occasional weed will find its way into the bed and when it does, and it can easily be plucked out without any harm to the plants.

Some types of mulch break down over time, thereby enriching the soil. That means a healthier environment for the plants and it’s particularly beneficial for areas where soil composition is poor and fertility is low.

Mulch enhances the esthetic appeal of flower beds and aids in protecting them from trimmers and lawnmowers. Some types of mulch also have the ability to inhibit and even repel invasions by fleas, ticks and gnats into the landscape.

There’s a wealth of choices when it comes to mulch and each comes with its own price point. Gardeners will want to examine selections carefully to determine the best type if they’re doing the work themselves. For extensive flower beds, it’s often more convenient to hire a landscaping service that can assist in choosing the best mulch to accommodate aesthetic preferences, soil needs, and budget.

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 Tree Trimming is Important Before Hurricane Season

Floridians are well-aware of the dangers that hurricane season brings from June through November of each year. Having trees trimmed in anticipation of the hurricane season will aid in preventing damage from limbs that can become damaging and even deadly projectiles during tropical storms.

A strong, healthy, and well-rooted tree may manage to withstand the sustained winds of a hurricane without toppling, but there may still be weakened or diseased branches and limbs. They’re often not immediately obvious to the untrained eye.

During the violent storms, limbs can be ripped from trees and blown long distances through the air. Those limbs can cause damage to an individual’s home, business, or that of a neighbor. Once on the ground, limbs also have the potential to block roads and prevent police or medical professionals from responding in the emergency.

While there’s no way to hurricane-proof a landscape against every type of damage the storms can leverage, having a professional examine trees and remove any weak, sick, or damaged limbs is a critical step to minimize property damage. Some types of trees are better at withstanding the wind forces that accompany a hurricane and there are some that are at more risk than others.

Trees with a dense canopy, those that are dead or dying, have suffered insect damage, have double trunks, young trees, and new plantings are at increased risk and should be examined by a professional tree trimmer. If individuals are in any doubt about their trees, they can also seek the services of an arborist.

Yearly maintenance and trimming is essential for the health of any tree and will ensure they’re better able to withstand the ravages of a hurricane. Trees that have been well cared for and trimmed appropriately are more resilient to insect pests and breakage during a hurricane.

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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Landscaping a Small Yard

Landscaping a small yard can present an extreme challenge, especially if homeowners are looking for ways to make it appear larger. Many homeowners deprive themselves of plantings and other features in the mistaken belief that keeping the environment open makes it appear larger. Also, remember that fences narrow the perception of the space.

The single most important step is pre-planning. Homeowners need to define the predominate use of the space – a private retreat or an area for entertaining. Some may choose to create an edible garden. No matter what the primary usage, it’s important to plan the layout for maximum effect.

A good start is by removing unnecessary objects such as trash cans that take up space and contribute to a cluttered and undesirable appearance. The goal is to create a destination space in which people want to spend time. That can involve adding a small fire pit, compact yet comfortable seating, or a grill. A small patio set can be more effective in small settings than oversized furnishings.

When selecting trees for a small yard, it’s essential to choose trees that grow up rather than out. Some trees have a more compact and columnar growth habit, such as evergreens and dwarf varieties. They provide important shade and ambiance without the spread of oaks and maples, for example. Consider the strategic use of shrubs for a lush appearance that uses less space than a tree.

Perhaps one of the best ways to make small yards appear larger is through vertical plantings. That can include the use of hanging baskets or vines. Flower pots and pouches can be mounted to walls and fences. With a little creativity and a strong infrastructure, 2-3 pots can even be strung together on chains. Individuals can also create a dedicated “wall” of wire netting to increase the available space in their backyard.

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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4 Uses for Vines

Vines are an often overlooked landscaping tool that brings beauty to environments and can provide a food source to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Many people are reluctant to plant vines, particularly in South Florida, due to the tendency of some to grow wildly. The plants encompass a wide variety of species, can be used in multiple ways within any landscape, and many are quite well-behaved.

Fencing

One of the most popular uses of vines is to camouflage and beautify fencing. They’re equally well-suited grown over lattice to hide items such as electrical boxes, generators, and trash receptacles.

Privacy

Vines can work extremely well as a privacy screen. They can be grown to cover and grow over fences, decks, patios and porches.

Accents

An arbor, trellis or pergola can be a focal point in any garden, but think how much more attractive either would be covered in a flowering vine as an accent to the landscape. Seasonal vines such as morning glories are also popular for dressing up a mailbox.

Ground Cover

Most people think of vines as upward growing plants, but some can be used creatively as a ground cover for areas that are prone to erosion, are difficult to reach with a mower, and where grass may not grow easily.

Vertical Gardening

For those that want to combine the use of vines with an edible garden, there are a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that grow on vines and can be easily cultivated in the landscape. Certain varieties of beans, peas, tomatoes, kiwis, and strawberries grow on vines that can be trained where individuals want them to grow and are ideal for vertical gardening.

The vines of seasonal fruits and vegetables will typically need to be removed after harvesting, but others such as grapes will endure for many years. It’s essential that individuals do their research before planting. Some fruits and vegetables, such as melons, squash and cucumbers, can be heavy and the vines won’t be able to carry their weight.

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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Use a Landscaper to Add Home Value

Landscaping is far more difficult than it appears. The professionals make it look easy due to their extensive experience. They also bring an enormous amount of technical knowledge to landscaping projects. A professional will know the composition of the soil and what plants will grow best in it. They can create and install irrigation systems tailored to a specific location.

A landscaper will know what plants to use, based on an individual’s preferences, such as low-maintenance, water saving, or one that’s attractive to butterflies. Landscapers know how to frame a property to make it stand out, while adhering to local standards. They’ll also be able to pull all the numerous permits required for a landscaping project.

Individuals will see some immediate benefits and value after a landscaping project is completed, but landscaping is also an endeavor that pays dividends over time. There’s only one opportunity to make a good first impression and that’s particularly important if a home owner anticipates selling a property in the future. A properly landscaped home provides enhanced curb appeal.

Most individuals cultivate plants they like or that catch their eye in the moment. It can lead to an overgrown, cluttered, disorganized, and incoherent appearance. A landscaping professional leaves nothing to chance. They preplan every aspect of the environment, down to the smallest detail, with a vision to how it will look in the future as the plants grow and evolve.

Landscapes require a certain amount of tending and maintenance, even those that are easy-care. The needs of homeowners change over the years, along with their ability and available time they can devote to tasks. A landscaper can take an individual’s vision for their ultimate landscape and pair it with specific needs to arrive at a solution that’s beautiful and functional.

A mature landscape is one that adds more value to a home than a newly completed project. It’s just one of the reasons that individuals should plan early in their property ownership for appropriate landscaping. When it’s time to sell, the landscape will provide buyers with an immediate impression of a property that’s been well-maintained and add significantly to the purchase price of any home.

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 Care Basics

Everyone wants a lush, green lawn. It provides a friendly place for playing and entertaining. Obtaining that elusive and highly desirable greenery requires forethought and some work on your part, but the results are well worth the effort.

Fertilizer

Fertilizer feeds a lawn, providing it with essential nutrients. Choose one that’s high in nitrogen and features a time release formula. It can be applied from spring through fall, but not during times of drought. It’s a good idea to water immediately following application.

Grass

All grass is not created equal. Some are heat tolerate, while others are not. St. Augustine grass has become the gold standard for South Florida lawns, but others such as Bahia, Bermuda, Buffalo, and Zoysia are also good choices. St. Augustine grass has the advantage of being able to flourish in the heat and humidity of Florida summers without requiring an exceptional amount of maintenance throughout the year.

Insects

Too little moisture or not enough can result in a pest infestation of epic proportions that can be time consuming and expensive to eradicate. Chinch bugs are a particular concern in South Florida. They can be controlled with a pesticide application.

Mowing

You may be keeping your lawn to short without knowing it. You’ll typically want to mow about three times per month during summer and twice a month during the winter months. A good rule of thumb is to only cut 1/3 of the total grass length on each mowing to keep lawns looking good and promote root growth.

Water

A properly designed and installed irrigation system is the best way to ensure lawns receive the correct amount of moisture – and at the right time. Water restrictions are in force during some times of the year and a programmable irrigation system enables lawns to flourish while enabling you to adhere to water restrictions.

Weeds

It’s easy for weeds to get a foothold and they steal the nutrients meant for your lawn. Herbicides can be applied to inhibit their growth. Select an herbicide that contains both a pre- and post-emergent formula. It will control weeds throughout the growth cycle and will mean less time spent on the task for you.

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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Controlling Weeds in Plant Beds

Weeds need no encouragement to take root and burst forth into seed bearing blooms determined to perpetuate their lifecycle. There are multiple steps that homeowners can take to minimize weed growth and they’re best used in combination for the greatest level of prevention.

Landscape Fabric

For new plant beds, installing a layer of landscape fabric is essential and will form the basis of any weed control program. It smothers weeds before they have a chance to grow and multiply. Landscape fabric can be installed in existing beds, but it’s much more difficult, isn’t as effective as applying it before planting, and can be frustrating if homeowners are doing it themselves.

Mulch

Mulching plant beds is another effective way to control weeds in existing beds and preserve moisture that plants need. Mulch will also keep the ground cooler. A sufficiently thick layer of mulch aids in preventing weeds from sprouting and mulch can be utilized effectively in existing beds.

Organic Remedies

An increasing number of people are opting to employ organic solutions to control weeds rather than using chemicals. That includes formulas of vinegar, salt or minerals. While those methods can work, homeowners also run the risk of damaging concrete and brick surfaces and killing the plants in the beds.

It can also create areas where plants won’t grow for extended periods of time. Individuals can use a hand tool to till the soil to disrupt weed growth, while deadheading buds to prevent them from flowering and spreading more seeds in the bed.

Hand Pulling

Weeds are easier to remove after a rain or following irrigation because the soil is wet. It can be a time consuming process if weeds have gained a substantial foothold.

Weed Killers

Chemical solutions are available that are effective, but they can also be harmful to the very plants that individuals are trying to protect. Chemical options are also dangerous to children and pets. If chemicals seem to be the best solution, they should only be applied by a professional.

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