irrigation specialists

Common DIY Landscape Mistakes

Many homeowners prefer to take matters into their own hands when it comes to landscaping their property. While some projects can turn out fine, those that are contemplating intricate, complex and complicated designs should consult with a landscape design professional. They can provide valuable assistance in choosing the right plants and decorative elements for the space and ensure gas grills and patio fireplaces are installed properly.

Budgeting – Landscaping projects cost an average of 30 percent more than anticipated. Before anyone can create an accurate budget, they need to know what materials are needed, the quantity, and their cost.

Existing Landscape Problems – Areas with poor drainage to those that are erosion-prone need to be addressed and fixed before any landscaping projects can proceed.

Functional Design – A new design element can make environments more attractive, but they must also be functional and accommodate the way a family actually uses their leisure and entertainment space. Any element should make a smooth transition into the rest of the environment and not interrupt existing usages.

Irrigation – Plants need the appropriate amount of water at the right times. One of the most neglected facets of landscaping is an irrigation system that is capable of delivering the correct amount of moisture to different types of plants in multiple areas.

Lighting – Exterior lighting helps keep people and pets safe in the dark. It also deters trespassers and can be used to accent a specific feature. Don’t forget to install adequate lighting options.

Overcrowding – In an effort to work in everything that homeowners want, the yard can quickly become overcrowded. The effect is a cluttered appearance that isn’t conducive to peacefulness or entertainment. It also won’t leave enough room for plantings to grow well. The same overcrowding occurs when too many ornamental items are installed.

Patio Too Small – Most people don’t realize how much space a patio requires. After pools, plants and other features are added, there often isn’t enough space for a patio or it won’t be large enough to accommodate more than a couple of chairs. Patios shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Too Much Yard – One of the top mistakes homeowners make is trying to combine too many features into a yard that’s too small to contain it all. The problem is compounded if the end result requires more care and upkeep than the homeowner has time to perform.

Wildlife – Homeowners will have to consider if they want to attract wildlife into their yard or repel it. The landscape design and plants selected have the ability to accomplish either goal. Remember that wildlife encompasses everything from rodents and raccoons to birds, bees and butterflies.

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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Weed Control Options

No one wants weeds in their lawn, flowerbeds, drives or walkways. There are multiple ways to control the unwelcome visitors ranging from preventative to chemical and many are complementary. There’s no single method that works best in all conditions or environments and some are harmful to people, pets and plants. It’s best to get professional assistance to determine the best options for each individual situation.

Biological

These consist of bacteria, fungi, insects, and microscopic nematodes to control and destroy weeds. They’re effective, but can have unwanted and unintended effects if not utilized properly. They should only be employed by a professional.

Chemical

Weed-killing chemicals are available in multiple forms and they’re effective. They’re also harmful to kids, pets, and the people applying them. There’s a time and place for chemical options and a landscape professional should be consulted.

Edging

The physical barrier is a simple solution that’s also cost effective. It prevents weed roots from breaching the barrier and entering flower beds or overgrowing driveways and walkways.

Groundcover

A groundcover is great for areas that are difficult to reach with a mower and its dense growth helps choke out weeds. Groundcovers are available in varying heights, many of which are adorned with colorful blooms that attract bees and butterflies.

Landscape Fabric

This is the foundation of weed control before plants are installed in the ground. A layer of landscape fabric – with or without a layer of mulch – aids in preventing weeds from sprouting in the first place.

Mulch

An application of mulch helps prevent weed growth, keeps soil cooler, and aids in moisture retention.

Organic

These methods include everything from vinegar or salt water solutions, the application of specific minerals, rock salt, and even boiling water to kill weeds. The drawbacks are that they can affect desirable plants, erode and stain brick and concrete surfaces, and create areas where plants won’t grow at all for long periods.

Sunlight Deprivation

Every plant needs light to live, even weeds. Depriving them of the sun’s rays will eventually kill them. People used newspapers covered in mulch in the past to block the sun. A similar technique using modern materials will work just as well and is primarily used for flower beds.

Tilling

Whether you’re using a rototiller or a trowel, both methods break up and soil disrupt the root growth of weeds. It’s more time intensive, but it’s effective over time and also helps aerate the soil.

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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Irrigation During the Dry Season

Keeping landscapes sufficiently watered during the dry season in Florida can be tricky without an automated irrigation system. Watering by hand or with a sprinkler and hose system can create far more problems than insufficient moisture in the ground. Irrigation during the drier, winter months is dependent on soil composition, type of grass planted, and the presence of shade trees.

More abundant rainfall during the summer months may have prompted homeowners to turn their irrigation systems off, while others are trying to control their irrigation systems manually. Without an irrigation system that can correct for rainfall and other variables, watering the landscape becomes a paramount concern. The University of Florida Extension Service recommends watering two days per week. That can be adjusted to tailor moisture to different areas.

Exact location is also a factor in watering and the type of plants within the landscape. If grass is walked on and the footprints don’t readily dissipate, the lawn needs moisture. Another sign is if the blades of grass are folding or the color is off. When those signs are present, ¾ inch of water should be applied. Make sure that all areas are being watered equally.

A good way to determine how long sprinklers should be run involves placing shallow cans or containers in various places around the yard. Run the sprinklers for 30 minutes and see how much water has accumulated in the containers. If they have ¾ inch, 30 minutes of watering is sufficient. If there’s ½ an inch, water for 40 minutes or 50 minutes if there’s only ¼ inch in the cans.

Watering should be performed early in the morning whenever possible at any time of the year to minimize evaporation. Following a measured water regiment for landscapes will keep them healthy throughout the winter months and save money on water bills.

 

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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Waterlogged: How to Prevent Fungus From Growing and Spreading

Excessive rain, overwatering, and poor drainage can result in fungal growth in lawns. It can appear as a white looking dust or brown spots. A fungal lawn infection may also display as patches of gray, black, yellow, orange, red or purple areas. When wet, it may have a greasy or slimy appearance.

Preventing and treating fungal lawn infections is a multi-step process and while the average homeowner can address some problem on their own, it’s always best to call in a professional. There are multiple types of fungus and additional problems may need to be remedied.

One of the first steps is identifying if thatching has occurred. It’s a combination of dead and/or built up grass, stems and roots that are produced faster than they can decompose. It heats and dries out quickly, robbing grass of the moisture it needs. Thatch can also provide a breeding ground for fungus and insects.

Thatching can happen after extensive rains, improper watering habits, and in hot and humid climates. The wrong fertilizer, compacted ground, the wrong grass for the soil, and mowing grass too short can all lead to fungal diseases.

It’s important for lawns to be properly aerated by loosening the soil and it’s a task that should be done every 1-2 years. Motorized and non-motorized lawn equipment is available to do the job. Aeration allows water, fertilizer and air to penetrate below the surface, reach the roots, and nourish the lawn. Individuals that are doing it themselves should thoroughly water the lawn 1-2 days before aerating.

If fungus is detected in the lawn, folk remedies range from baking soda and neem oil to compost tea for small patches, but they can also damage the lawn. A lawn or landscaping service is experienced in treating the fungi that affects lawns and can apply the correct fungicide based on the severity, type and soil condition.

Lawn fungus can happen anytime, in any weather conditions, and to lawns that are well-cared for. There are numerous types of fungal infections that can damage lawns and the best solution is to consult with a specialist. They will have the experience needed to diagnose and treat the fungus effectively.

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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Adding Rock: A Simple Way to Upgrade Your Look

The tasteful addition of rocks is an easy way to update the entire appearance of residential or commercial properties. There are dozens of types of rocks in multiple sizes that can be used to provide color, contrast, and texture. Rocks also make a long-lasting, low or no-maintenance groundcover or mulch.

Choosing the right rock

It’s important to choose the right rocks for the job since they’ll last for many years. Rocks and stones can lighten or darken an area. Some complement specific types of landscapes, but aren’t appropriate for formal gardens and grounds. The materials can also be utilized to highlight a specimen plant, create a centerpiece, start a rock garden, or border a backyard pond.

For those with container gardens, rocks provide a solid and colorful base upon which to place urns and other planters. Rocks offer an adaptive way to address drainage problems or areas in which water restrictions are in effect. Rocks and stones are one of the most versatile tools in a landscaper’s repertoire.

Decorative Options

Property owners can choose from decorative options that includes river rock, pea gravel, decomposed or crushed granite, and lava rock with its bold and brilliant colors. Marble, basalt and quartz chips are also available, along with polished pebbles in multiple colors and sizes.

The spectrum of stones and rocks offered for today’s landscaping needs run the gamut, from pure white and black, to shades of pink, gray, warm golden brown, and multi-colored assortments. For a little added fun, consider adding a few faux rocks that glow in the dark and recharge with the sun’s rays.

Rocks in landscaping have a wide variety of decorative and practical purposes. It’s easy to paint your landscape with rocks in multiple colors and shades that will enhance and beautify any outdoor 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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Common Irrigation Problems

When to Call in the Pros

Irrigation systems are a wonderful convenience that saves water, energy and eliminates the need for tedious watering tasks. However, problems with landscape irrigation systems can arise. The trick for homeowners is identifying when a simple fix is available and when to call in the professionals.

Ideally, homeowners should be inspecting their irrigation systems each month for broken heads, especially after mowing. Soil settles and even small changes can expose a sprinkler head to clipping by a mower. A broken sprinkler head wastes a tremendous amount of water and that translates into dollars on monthly water bills. It’s a problem that needs a professional.

Misting is also a common problem that’s usually the result of too much water pressure. Inexpensive pressure reducers can be purchased and installed by homeowners that will maintain the optimal 30 psi.

Few things are more frustrating than finding the irrigation system working while it’s raining. It’s a problem that’s easily remedied with a wireless rain sensor. Models are available that can be installed by the homeowner.

Modern irrigation systems include a controller that can be programmed to deliver water to landscapes on a regular basis. Depending upon soil composition, runoff can be a problem if water is applied to fast. Just engage the cycle and soak feature. Older irrigation controllers don’t have many of the abilities of modern systems, in which case it’s a good idea to call in a professional landscaper to upgrade the system.

Many individuals are eschewing conventional irrigation and calling in professionals to install drip irrigation systems. They can use up to 50 percent less water, save on water bills, eliminate runoff, and prevent soil erosion. They include all the modern conveniences available with state-of-the-art irrigation systems. They’re eco-friendly and are beneficial for aiding in the control of fungal diseases that can be especially prevalent in hot, humid climates.

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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Watering in the Dry Season

Despite a tropical-leaning climate, many Florida residents discover that their lawns begin to dry out and may even suffer from the dreaded brown out syndrome. For those that want a lush, green lawn but don’t have the time or patience for hand-watering, irrigation is the optimal solution.

Quantity

A lawn requires at least 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week to maintain health, even during the winter months. Daily watering doesn’t supply enough water and it’s time-consuming to do it by hand. Deep watering 2-3 times per week provides the best results, but it should be done as early in the morning as possible for grass to take full advantage of the moisture.

A good rule of thumb is that if a six-inch screwdriver can’t be pushed into the lawn, it’s too dry. Homeowners will need to know how much water they’re placing on the lawn to know how long to water. RCH Landscaping company in Boca Raton are lawn experts with 20 years of experience in keeping Florida lawns in top condition and maintaining a pleasing appearance with convenient and cost-effective irrigation systems.

Frequency

The amount and frequency of watering depends on multiple factors ranging from the soil type and grass species to the presence of trees and bushes. Early indicators of insufficient water include grass blades that fold in an effort to conserve moisture and lawns that have a blueish-green appearance. Footprints that don’t disappear in the grass is another sign that the lawn isn’t adequately hydrated.

Irrigation systems

The high-tech irrigation systems that are now available can be programmed to deliver a specific amount of water, during specified times, and for a set period. Irrigation specialists have the knowledge and expertise for the complicated and complex calculations required to install and set up an automatic watering system.

The advantages of an irrigation system are many. They save owners time, effort and add value to properties. They’re also environmentally friendly since they operate at the optimal time of day and conserve water by only delivering what’s necessary, thereby providing savings on water bills.

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