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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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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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Toxic Plants

Despite their beauty, there are many popular garden plants that no one should cultivate if there’s any way that children or pets may come into contact with them. Some can cause a painful or itchy skin rash if touched, while others can result in death if the leaves, flowers or seeds are ingested. Some of the most deadly include the following.

Larkspur is a member of the genus delphinium and they provide a bright splash of color in gardens. The entire plant is deadly, especially young leaves and mature seeds. Nausea, vomiting and burning of the mouth is almost immediate when ingested. The plants can be lethal in six hours or less.

One of the harbingers of spring, lily-of-the-valley is a sweet-smelling ground cover. The entire plant is toxic, especially the leaves, and affects the heart. A single bite can cause symptoms ranging from hot flashes and hallucinations to clammy skin before coma and death occur.

Hydrangeas were popular funerary arrangements at one time. They have large, showy flowers and while the entire plant is toxic, the flower buds are especially so. Ingesting any part of the plant is like consuming cyanide.

Known as poet’s daffodil, this variety of narcissus is smaller than others and is a cheery sight in the spring. They won’t attract deer, rabbits or rodents and all parts of the plant are toxic, especially the bulbs. Even the scent from a bouquet of narcissus in a room can cause a severe headache.

Rhododendrons produce showy displays of brilliant color in the garden, but the entire plant can be deadly. Swallowing any part of the plant will cause drooling, violent vomiting, low blood pressure, and seizures and coma before death occurs.

Dozens of common garden plants enhance landscapes and few know the dangers of death that they present. Individuals should thoroughly research any plant they’re considering adding to their property to avert a deadly disaster to their own children and pets, along with others in the neighborhood.

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 pest control

Keeping Pests at Bay

There are any number of unwelcome pests that can wreak havoc on lawns, flowers, hedges and trees. From chemicals to organic measures, there are numerous ways to discourage pests from lunching on plants and hedges in the landscape.

Chemicals are typically the first solution that people consider. If not applied correctly, they can damage the very plants that are trying to be saved. Using chemicals is best left to the professionals, especially if children or pets may come in contact with the treated areas. Chemicals are a response to a pest problem that’s already occurred.

For those that prefer a proactive approach that utilizes natural methods, there are a number of plants that can be cultivated that will repel insects and rodents. Peppermint, spearmint and pennyroyal are deterrents for ants and aphids. Garlic, alliums, oregano, daffodils, lavender and savory are helpful in masking the aroma of plants insects and rodents want to eat or will repel them entirely.

Pheromone traps are highly effective and will only lure the type of insect or rodent that’s invading the environment. The traps are easily disposed of and can aid in monitoring the scope of the problem. Insect-killing soaps made from natural ingredients are also available to control aphids, spider mites and similar pests, but isn’t effective once it dries.

Another way to address an insect problem is by attracting beneficial insects to the environment that also prey upon the undesirable bugs. It’s an option that really needs the input from a professional to determine what the insect problem is first.

A tidy yard is the best way to keep insects and rodents from invading the landscape in the first place. Dispose of leaves, brush piles, and other plant debris where the pests can live. Overwatering and insufficient air flow among plants is an invitation to insects. Wood piles should be moved from time to time so rodents don’t become comfortable.

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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How Landscaping Can Help Sell Your House

People trying to sell their home hear a lot about curb appeal and landscaping is an essential element for anyone that wants to make their property more attractive to buyers. There’s a myriad of effective and inexpensive ways to make a home look more appealing when viewed from the road.

Plant Flowers

A few well-placed bursts of color will create a warm and welcoming appearance that brightens up any property. Drought-resistant plants that also have attractive blooms are a bonus. They don’t require as much care or water so they save on watering costs and are particularly popular with eco-friendly buyers.

Mulch is a Friend

Mulch has a multitude of benefits and works to present a sophisticated appearance. The use of mulch will aid in suppressing weed growth, help retain moisture for plants, and enhance soil quality.

Clean it Up

Clutter on the outside of a home is just as bad as it is for the interior when trying to sell a property. Keep the lawn mowed and remove debris and any tree twigs. Make sure to rake any dead grass areas and under trees and bushes. For those with patios, walkways and paved drives, make sure paving and stones are moss free and no cracked concrete is visible. Clean-up also includes pruning dead branches and overgrown bushes for a tidy appearance.

Hire a Landscaper

Homeowners don’t have to contract for a full-scale renovation project. Professional landscapers can help with tree and hedge trimming, repairing damaged irrigation systems, sowing grass seed in bare spots, and mulching.

Make it Happy

A property that has been landscaped looks happy and commands a significantly higher price. Even little things can make a big difference to a buyer and the strategies don’t have to be costly to implement. Ideally, homeowners should begin their efforts approximately a month before the property goes on the market. For those that don’t have the time to perform the tasks themselves or are unable to do so, a professional landscaper is an ideal solution.

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

Top Mulch Options

The nature of modern mulch has changed radically over the years. While wood mulch is still the choice that’s most often used, many people aren’t even aware of the many options that are now available. A professional landscaper will know the composition of the soil and can choose the best mix. A professional will also know if a particular type is toxic to pets, such as mulch made from roasted cocoa bean shells.

Hardwood chips and shreds – The mulch is a byproduct created from paper and lumber industries. It’s a favorite in woodland settings and pathways, works well in areas that collect water, and on slopes. It can last up to three years before it needs to be reapplied, is inexpensive, and is lighter in color.

Cedar chips and shreds – Cedar mulch is darker in color and widely available. It gives landscaping a more manicured look. It’s not a good choice for soil with a low pH, but it’s good at repelling fungus, bacteria and insect pests.

Pine chips, shreds, needles and “straw” – In any form, it’s a good mulch for plants that like acidic soil. It’s a good choice for slopes and breaks down slowly compared to other mulches. Many people find the silvery color of aging pine mulch unattractive.

Lava Rock – It’s light, airy and has a pleasing color, but is best used around plants that are low maintenance. It lasts forever, but is difficult to remove if homeowners change their mind.

Stone – This can create an elegant and formal effect. When dark colored stones are used they absorb heat and speed up soil evaporation. Lighter colored stones don’t absorb as much heat. Stone is typically used in Southwestern type gardening environments.

Seaweed – It’s particularly beneficial in hot, dry locations but is more difficult to obtain. It acts as an organic fertilizer, doesn’t contain seeds, lightens soil, and repels insects, especially slugs.

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

How Often Should My Lawn be Fertilized?

As a local landscaper in Boca Raton, how often should I fertilize my lawn is one of the most frequently asked questions we get from property owners and there’s no easy answer. The need to fertilize a lawn relies on a variety of factors ranging from the soil and type of lawn grass used to weather conditions and time of the year. It’s easy to make a mistake that can result in damage that will be costly to repair, and you’ll have to live with an unsightly lawn until it regrows.

Lawns typically need to be fertilized once or twice a year, but it should be done when the grass is experiencing the greatest rate of growth. Applying fertilizer when it isn’t needed is a waste of money, doesn’t benefit the lawn, and is damaging to the environment.

It’s important to determine what type of grass is growing in your lawn. What’s known as cool-season grasses experience vigorous growth throughout winter months and need fertilizer in the autumn. Other types need fertilizer in the spring or early summer and the process can be performed again in the fall.

The time of day for applying fertilizer is equally important. The optimal time is following a hard rain. If you have an irrigation system, fertilize after a significant watering. Don’t fertilize ahead of a heavy rainstorm. The fertilizer may wash away and nutrients will leach out and run off in the rain rather than going into the soil where it will feed grassroots.

Each fertilizer label has three numbers that you need to know, for example, 12-12-12. The first number is the nitrogen content, the second refers to phosphate, and the third is the amount of potash it contains.

It’s essential that the right combination of nutrients be applied for the type of grass you have and the specific needs of the lawn according to the soil. It’s easy to “burn” a lawn by over fertilizing or using one that’s too potent.

If you’re unsure about any aspect of fertilizing your lawn, it’s best to call in the professionals. They have the in-depth knowledge and training required to assess your lawn, understand its unique needs, and identify any potential problems.

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