Boca Raton landscape design

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

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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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residential lanscaping boca raton

Plan Your Landscaping with a Professional

If you’re contemplating any type of landscaping change, hire a professional. It will be more expensive than a DIY project, but you’ll be glad you did. Professional landscapers have the experience and knowledge to ensure every element works in harmony and you’ll have an environment that will make you happy for years to come.

Landscapers do far more than plant greenery in the soil. They have comprehensive knowledge of all types of plants and their requirements. They can help you choose plants for your environment that provide unique visual interest, complement each other, and won’t overgrow their space.

Qualifications

There are many professional organizations with which professional landscapers may hold memberships. Some landscaping companies offer a variety of services, while others specialize in one area. Hire a professional that has expertise and experience in the type of work you want to be done.

Ideas

Your landscaper can help you choose materials and create a cohesive design. They’ll be knowledgeable about drainage features, architecture, irrigation, soil composition, and plants of all types. They can help you achieve the oasis of your dreams while remaining within budgetary requirements.

Pitfalls

A major advantage of hiring a landscaper is that they will know how to avoid common mistakes. Many people invest time and money doing their own landscaping, only to discover what they want to accomplish won’t work in their particular location.

Permits

A wide array of permits and permissions will be required. A professional will know what permits are needed according to prevailing safety laws and local regulations. Without the proper permits, you could easily find that your new plants or patio must be removed after it’s already installed.

Multiple Services

Your landscaper will be able to provide landscape architecture and installation of features ranging from fire pits, fireplaces and kitchens to pools, spas, landscape lighting, and fountains. They’ll be able to install irrigation systems, build custom decks and patios, and ensure every plant is right for its environment.

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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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

Read more

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

Read more

Beautiful Palm Trees

A number of palm tree species grow in Florida and they’re highly prized. There are actually 2,500 different species of palm trees from around the world, all of which will grow and flourish in the state’s tropical environment. While all of them aren’t cultivated, there’s a palm species to please practically anyone.

Palms vary widely. There are those known as “mini” palms, such as the Pygmy Date Palm that typically grows from 6-12 feet in height and the Arikury Palm that grows to 6 ft. tall. The Areca Palm remains small and is popular as a houseplant in cold climates. The most commonly grown palms in Florida range in size from the modest 15-foot height of the Christmas Palm to the stately 80-ft. height of the Coconut Palm and Royal Palm.

Some grow very slowly and make great specimen trees, while others are quick growing and require a significant amount of room. There are palms that are ideal for around the pool and those that are best grown in a formal garden setting. The long, weeping fronds of the Piccabeen Palm enables it to tolerate high winds and there’s also the Sabal Palm, the state tree of Florida.

Aside from choosing the right size palm tree for the available space, another concern will be fronds and fruit that can cause injuries to people and pets or damage to property when they fall. Those that shed dead fronds on their own are called self-cleaning palms. It’s essential that professionals be called to remove fronds and fruits from these trees.

Palm trees have varying types of foliage depending on the species that can range from bright green outstretched fronds to beautiful silver-green fans. Some grow as majestic single trunked trees, but others are multi-stemmed varieties. The appearance of the trunks also has considerable variation. Some palm trunks are relatively smooth or resemble bottles, while others have trunks covered in spines.

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

Pros and Cons of Adding a Bougainvillea

A bougainvillea is among one of the most popular vines and you may want to add it to your landscape. Beautiful blossoms are just one of the most attractive features of the vine. There are many reasons to plant one in your own yard, but there are also some drawbacks about which you may not be aware. The following are some of the pros and cons of adding a bougainvillea vine to your landscape.

Pros

The vines have become popular for planting around homes and along fences as a security feature and intruder deterrent due to their very sharp thorns.

They’re fast growing.

A bougainvillea will produce a profusion of showy blooms over the course of three to five weeks, depending on the health of the vine.

It’s drought resistant and adapts to a wide variety of soil conditions.

Bougainvillea can be grown in containers on the patio, which will assist in keeping it under control, but it will still require a trellis or other type of support. It’s never a good idea to cultivate them indoors due to the thorns.

Cons

Bougainvillea’s sharp thorns are able to piece clothing and deliver a nasty wound to bare skin. They’re not recommended in homes with children, the elderly, or pets.

The vine’s sap is toxic and if ingested in sufficient amounts, people and pets can become very ill.

If pricked by one of the thorns, you may develop an allergic response similar to that of poison ivy or poison oak. It may produce symptoms that include blisters, swelling, pain, or itching and stinging.

It blooms best when water stressed. That can be a problem for homes with automatic irrigation systems. That can be remedied by planting it in specific locations or adjusting the irrigation system to deliver less moisture to the area where the vine is planted.

Bougainvillea has the potential to become invasive due to its fast growing nature and adaptability if it’s not managed and maintained properly.

It needs to be planted a minimum of four feet from walkways and similar locations to prevent injuries to people and pets. To ensure it doesn’t disturb other landscape plants, it should be grown at least six to nine feet from any other plant.

The vine will require support. Make sure arbors and trellises are strong enough to support it.

Bougainvillea requires regular pruning to promote a proper form and prevent it from running rampant.

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