Everything Begins With a Plan

With the promise of spring quickly approaching many of our customers are ready to embark on landscape design and outdoor living projects. Not only does a well-planned landscape or outdoor living space provide value to a home, it also connects our customers to nature and the great outdoors. Understanding the fundamentals of landscape planning can help homeowners select designs, plants, and features that are best suited for their needs, use of space, and personal style. Using the following tips to properly plan for a project is a sure-fire way to see the project through to completion.

 

Site Analysis

The first step in planning a design is to complete a thorough site analysis. The site analysis provides critical property information that will dictate final location, design, and plant selection. The analysis includes 2 basic components that are used to create a blue print of the property and final project.

  1.  Property Assessment: The property assessment provides insight into pre-project preparation and blue print accuracy. This step includes: walking around the property to understand site-lines and views, taking note of topography and hydrozones (where water pools and flows), identifying pre-existing features (trees, fencing, sidewalks, patios, etc), and confirming property dimensions. Part of this process also involves contacting local utilities to identify locations of underground utility lines.
  2. Plant Assessment: The plant assessment helps guide plant selection beyond aesthetic. Since different plants grow better in different conditions identification of soil type, shade/sun ratios, and local Plant Zones will inform which plants are best suited for the project.

 

Personalized and Informed Design

Information from the site analysis should help guide final design and plant selection. Always start with a big vision! The landscaping team can help turn that vision into a reality. The team and homeowner collaborate to sort out wants versus needs, intended use of the space, and identify stylized touches to ensure the finished project feels like an extension of the home.  Projects can be designed at any scale, and completed in phases, to allow the homeowner’s full vision to be realized. The landscaping team will continue to guide the homeowner step-by-step through the final design process. Once the details are teased out, and the finalized design is drawn into the blue print, the materials are acquired and the yard can be prepped for installation. The project has officially moved from planning to implementation!

 

Country Club Landscaping is committed to the planning process in order to help customer’s create their dream outdoor space. Our experienced team can complete the site analysis, provide project recommendations, draw up project designs, and complete the installation.  From conception to completion we are with you every step of the way!

 

Down and Out: Ensuring Proper Downspout Drainage

 

Our last blog post discussed the importance of creating an effective drainage system to avoid water damage and costly home repairs. This time we more closely examine the cornerstone of any home drainage system, downspouts. Improperly placed and installed downspouts result in seeping and pooling at the home’s foundation. This can ultimately cause soil erosion, plant death, basement and lower level flooding, and foundation and structural damage.  Considering downspout locations and quantities, proper installation, and supplemental extension systems are all ways to ensure downspout efficiency.

 

Location and Quantity

Home size, layout, and landscape are important factors in determining location and number of downspouts. Downspouts should be installed for every 20’ of guttering. Gutters should slope approximately ½” every 10’ to maximize water flow from the gutter into the downspout system. Downspouts should be installed in inconspicuous places as much as possible. This will help to maintain a home’s curbside appeal. Further, it is recommended downspouts are installed in unobstructed areas where the water can easily be diverted away from the home. Meters, sidewalks, and landscape consisting of plants/trees with deep root systems create barriers to water diversion and expulsion.

 

The Parts

Downspouts typically consist of the following: an outlet connecting the gutter and downspout, elbows at the top and bottom to curve into the home’s outer wall and expel water at the bottom, union sleeves connecting the elbows to the downspout, the downspout itself, and brackets for mounting. The parts are easily fitted through a slip joint system; where a smaller end is slipped inside a larger one and then fastened by screws. The successive pieces should always be fitted so the upper section fits into the lower one to avoid leakage. Upon assembly, the downspout system should be set into the outlet and then brackets placed every 10’ down the home for secure attachment. It is recommended the water is discharged at least 2’-3’ from the home’s foundation. For many homeowners this makes extension systems a necessity.

 

Extension Systems

Splash blocks and underground downspout diverters are the most common extension systems. Both can be combined with a French Drain, or be used as a stand-alone feature, depending on the property’s slope and pre-disposition to pooling and flooding. Splash blocks are the simpler of the two. They come in a variety of functional and decorative designs that easily add additional length needed to divert water flow. They are placed directly beneath the opening of the lower elbow to usher water away from the home.

Underground downspout diverters connect directly to the lower elbow opening and send the water through a PVC pipe system buried a foot or two below the ground. These systems should run about 10’ away from the home. They can empty into a French Drain, or can be fitted with a bubble pot allowing water to evenly disperse in the yard.

 

Properly installed downspouts are the first line of defense in preventing water damage to your home and landscape. If you are concerned your gutter and downspouts are not up to par, or unsure if your current system can effectively manage Ohio’s rainfall, Country Club Landscaping is happy to provide assessment. Protect your landscape. Protect your home. We are here to help!

Fight the Flood: Building an Effective Drainage System

Spring rain showers are a welcome relief from the dreary days of winter. However, much like their winter counterparts’ snow and sleet, these showers can wreak havoc on homes and landscapes. Pooling rainwater from ineffective draining systems can lead to flooded plant beds, wet basements, cracked foundation, and mosquitoes (yuck!). A proper drainage system is the best way to manage mosquito population, protect your home, and preserve your landscape from costly repairs associated with standing water. An effective system is comprised of two components: one that collects and moves water away from the home’s foundation and plant beds, and a second that drains the water to prevent pooling.

 

Gutters and Downspouts

All homes are built with the foundation for an organized drainage system. Gutters and downspouts are used to collect rainwater from the roof and begin the process of diverting it. The rainwater is caught by the gutter and transferred through vertical downspouts to be expelled a safe distance from the house. All too often, this system is rendered ineffective by improperly sloped gutters and shortened downspouts.

 

Checking gutters and downspouts is the first step to creating an effective drainage system. Gutters should be sloped to prevent sagging and pooling. On average, they should slope .5” for every 10’ of roof leading towards a downspout. Downspouts should run the length of the home and extend at least 2’ to 3’ past the foundation to guide the water into the second part of the drainage system. Downspout extensions can be comprised of underground drain lines, or splash blocks to meet the 2’-3’ minimum requirement. Extensions may actually need to be longer if the yard is sloped towards the home. Once the rainwater has been moved through the gutters and downspouts a drain is used to prevent further accumulation.

 

French Drains

Although there are a lot of options on the market, the French Drain is one of the most common drainage systems. It is a simple and versatile way to divert water and prevent pooling. Essentially, the French Drain is a trench that can be lined with a variety of materials channeling water into an underground pipe system. Whereas gutters and downspouts manage precipitation from the roof, French Drains manage the water at the ground level. With a slope of no less than 1%, water enters the drain field (or high end) and runs to the exit point (or low end) where it is expelled at a safe distance from the home. This system helps to prevent pooling, seepage, and soil erosion all of which attract mosquitoes and threaten plant health and the home’s structural integrity.

 

By addressing drainage from top to bottom, homeowners are working to stave off foundation damage, basement leaks, and ensuring an attractive and enjoyable outdoor space free from drowned plant beds and mosquitoes. In our commitment to plant health and landscape integrity, Country Club Landscaping is pleased to offer drainage assessment and installation. Our team of trained professionals will analyze your current drainage system to determine overall effectiveness, provide recommendations, and install downspout extensions and French Drains. Drainage inspection and installation is just one of the many services we offer to meet customer’s needs and enhance their quality of outdoor living.

Wintertime is the Ideal Time: Dormant Pruning

hand tree grass branch winter plant sky sunlight leaf flower wind mast blue electricity garden cut gardening bud workers hedge gardener pruning individually pruning shears grass family outdoor structure hedge trimmer cut hedges branches cut

Dormancy refers to the suspended, or slowed down state, plants enter during the winter months. Much like hibernation in animals, dormancy conserves energy which helps the plants survive freezing temperatures and a reduction in natural resources. Although your plants and trees may be in a suspended state they still require care and maintenance. Dormant pruning is a proven and effective means to sustaining a healthy landscape during the winter months. It is vital to damage prevention, disease prevention, improved plant health, and lush greenery in the spring.

 

Seasonal Protection and Preparation

Ohio winters can be unpredictable with extreme weather, including: sub-zero temperatures, snow, sleet, and ice. This severe weather can wreak havoc on trees and plants causing damage and broken limbs. Dormant pruning helps minimize the extent of this damage by removing limbs that are already weak and/or are showing signs of injury. By proactively pruning these damaged limbs your plants and trees are better prepared to manage the winter weather.

 

Precise and Efficient

The barren landscape of winter is actually advantageous for dormant pruning. Since most trees and plants have lost their greenery, it allows for more precise and efficient cuts. Without leaves to obstruct a full view it is easier to identify weak and injured limbs and asses healthy branch structure. Further, pruning leafless plantings may actually reduce overall stress to the landscape. Limbs are easier to access, cut, and remove; diminishing injury risk to healthy limbs and encouraging robust, new growth come spring.

 

 Increased Health and Wellness

Dormant pruning benefits the overall health of your landscape by managing pests, disease, and increasing access to sunlight. Fresh cuts during winter months are less aromatic to pests carrying bacteria and fungi. As a result, pruned trees and plants are less likely to be infected by diseases spread from visiting insects. The dormant pruning process also helps open the entire landscape to much needed sunlight. Access to this vital resource will continue to feed and strengthen plants throughout the winter months when they are vulnerable to weather conditions. This combination of pest and disease prevention, coupled with access to sunlight, meets the winter healthcare needs of your landscape.

 

Dormant pruning is part of Country Club Landscaping’s comprehensive Plant Health Care Program because it is a critical component to year-round plant health care. It provides a foundation for healthy plant growth by reducing plant stress, pro-actively preventing damage and injury, and managing pests and disease. Dormant Pruning is just one of the many ways our Plant Health Care Program pro-actively cares for your landscape. To schedule a pruning, or to learn more about our Plant Health Care Program, contact us today!

True Plant Health Care You Can Live With

An Unique Approach

Your landscape is a continuous growing investment worth protecting. Country Club Landscaping’s new Plant Health Care program (PHC) has been designed to create the most beautiful, sustainable landscapes possible while protecting your family and our environment. This is NOT a traditional Tree and Shrub program that blankets your landscape in dangerous synthetic chemicals, but instead is a targeted holistic program that increases soil health, produces stronger plants, and promotes stunning blooms.

Don’t risk the health of your landscape plants through neglect and inadequate care. Our PHC program differs from that of other companies’ in its comprehensive approach. We add soil care, four season protections, and a stringent Integrated Pest Management (IPM) regime to protect the life in your soil, our pollinators, and most importantly your family.  We use safe natural and organic products to control destructive pest, damaging diseases, and to ensure we are at the leading edge of client care. The secret to the whole program is being pro-active. We have specifically timed the application of each step to work hand in hand with mother nature to solve problems, BEFORE they happen. Ultimately, saving you money and ensuring a breathtaking landscape.

 

The PHC Way

Healthy soil is alive with a network of organisms working together in a symbiotic relationship with plants. Many urban soils are often left barren, having been stripped, or depleted, of these important organisms through common, unsustainable horticulture practices. PHC takes a pro-active approach by utilizing regular, professional treatment services to prevent and reverse mineral depletion by (literally) getting to the root of the problem. Our integrated approach works with the natural law of return; returning removed nutrients in the same quantities they were taken away to maintain a balanced ecological state and fertile soil.

Healthy soil results in healthy plants that need protection from inclement weather and hungry pests. PHC protects your plants using protective Dormant Oil Sprays and Winter Anti-desiccants. Our Foliar Stress Reducing Nutrient Boost encourages strong roots and shoots giving you bigger longer lasting blooms. By controlling pests and disease with botanical oils, biological soil drenches, and our targeted injectables we eliminate unnecessary broad-spectrum blanketing of insecticides and fungicides that are toxic to people animals, and pollinators. The addition of deep root fertilization, mycorrhizae inoculation, and vertical mulching rounds out the program and allows your landscape to reach its fullest potential.

 

Flexible and Affordable

Are you concerned about the high cost of other programs? With three levels of service, we can find a package to work within your budget. Each program is designed specifically to fit the needs of your landscape and not a general-purpose application. Our team of professionals have a passion for serving our customers and providing them with an everlasting positive experience that exceeds the competition.

Country Club Landscaping’s Plant Health Care program reflects our dedication to remaining an industry leader by approaching landscaping through sustainable and holistic practices. Our commitment to best practice is exemplified by using products reflective of our dedication to leading the way and changing the industry’s approach to landscaping. By creating and maintaining healthy soil, providing comprehensive plant care, and controlling damaging pests our PHC program is sure to enhance the beauty of your landscape……naturally.

Protecting Landscape in the Winter Months

Desiccation refers to the drying out of a living organism. In your landscape plants, winter desiccation injury occurs when plants lose moisture from the leaves and do not have the ability to absorb water from the frozen soil. This moisture loss may cause your plant’s leaves and stems to dry out, resulting in discoloration of leaves and even death to stems and branches. There are several steps you can take during the winter months to protect the investment of your outdoor living spaces.

 

Anti-Desiccant

Ohio can have drastic fluctuations in temperature and high winds during the winter; both of which can accelerate moisture loss in plants.  Anti-desiccant applications will help your plants hold moisture by providing protection against evaporation and slowing down moisture loss. It will also protect the foliage from accelerated moisture loss due to wind.  The spray will break down over time, so it’s a good idea to have trees and shrubs treated regularly to extend the longevity of the application.

Although, Anti-desiccants can be applied as early as November it is never to late to begin application. In areas that experience cold harsh winters, like Ohio, multiple treatments are recommended throughout the season to ensure the material is protecting trees and plants all winter long. These applications are ideal for broadleaf evergreens* (plants that keep their foliage all winter), and beneficial to plants exposed to wind and/or full sun since these lose moisture faster than those protected from the wind and in shade. Anti-desiccant applications can last 2-3 months at a time and will gradually wear off by springtime.

 

Burlap Covers

Another option for protecting plants is a burlap covering. This creates a “screen” or “windbreak” around the plant.  For small plants, the burlap can be wrapped over or around the plants and secured with twine.  For moderate to large plants, drive stakes into the ground around the plant and then secure the burlap to the stakes using staples. Burlap, stakes, and twine can be purchased from most garden centers, improvement stores, nurseries, and co-ops.

 

Tree Wraps

Finally, tree wrap can be purchased and used to protect the bark of smaller trees. This will help reduce splitting of the bark that can caused by temperature fluctuation during the winter. Split bark can cause damage or disease to the interior (cambium) of the tree, leading to permanent injury or death. Like burlap, tree wrap can be found at most garden centers, improvement stores, nurseries, and co-ops.

 

Call the Professionals

If you are unsure which methods make the most sense for you landscape, Country Club Landscaping can assist in creating a winter protection plan. This includes anti-desiccant applications and winterization of plants, trees, and foliage. We are happy to help ensure your outdoor living space makes it through the cold Ohio winter for a full bloom come spring.

 

*Not all plants should get anti-desiccant treatments. Do not spray an anti-desiccant on waxy-blue conifers such as blue spruce. Country Club Landscape can help assess your trees to determine appropriateness of application.

The Science of Snow and Ice Management

Nothing is quite as beautiful as waking up to freshly fallen snow. Unfortunately, with that beauty there are also serious safety hazards and the risk of property damage. Slips, falls, and damage due to accumulation can be adverted with the proper tools and a proactive strategy. The tips and tricks that follow are sure to save you time (and a strained back!) and help effectively manage snow and ice accumulation.

The real science behind snow and ice removal is staying ahead of the accumulation as much as possible. Instead of waiting for the snow to completely pass; periodically clear any walkways, porches, and driveways. Removing the snow every few inches will mean less physical stress on the body due to the reduced overall weight of accumulation. Further, taking a proactive stance means the snow and ice is easier to remove because it has not been packed down by footfalls, traffic, and additional snowfall.

While clearing snow it is important to “work smarter, not harder” and to be prepared for frigid temperatures and physical labor. Wearing breathable layers of cotton, silk, or wicking materials reduces risk of overheating in the cold and are easy to pull on and off as needed. Ensure your own safety with a pair of waterproof and slip resistance boots. When shoveling, a pushing method is recommended over lifting and dumping since it causes less strain and helps conserve energy. This is a must if you will be clearing snow every few hours.

Having the right equipment can also help reduce strain and decrease time outdoors. Avoiding wide-blade shovels and opting for a smaller scoop with a d-shaped grip allows for better control and less lower back strain. Shovels are also available with a second auxiliary grip or wheels to help literally push the snow away. Snow throwers are another excellent option for snow removal. They are the smaller, less expensive cousin to the snow blower. Snow throwers are the least labor intensive option and are available in both gas and electric models.

Once the snow is cleared, reduce freezing and increase traction with an ice melter. There are many traditional and green options on the market. The most effective ice melters contain magnesium chloride or calcium chloride which will continue to melt at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Rock salt is slightly cheaper and can manage melting up to 20 degrees. Pet owners and animal lovers may prefer something “greener” due to research showing sodium, calcium, and magnesium chloride can cause sores on paw pads and are toxic if ingested. Green options are usually salt free without sodium and magnesium chloride. These products are more effective at offering traction than actually melting ice or snow. Look for items marked “pet friendly” to ensure they will be safe around animals. Sand and kitty litter are also traction only options that are 100% pet safe.

Of course, you could stay warm indoors and hire a professional to manage the snow and ice for you! This is a great option for someone with previous, or current, back injuries or cardiac concerns, physical impairments that would prevent safe snow removal, or if it is just too dang cold!! Country Club Landscaping offers residential and commercial snow and ice management. Available packages include snow removal from drive and walkaways, salting services, and ice damage inspection (commercial package only). Our services are offered in convenient and affordable packages to save you time and prevent worry all winter long.

Whether your choose the DIY or professional route, this guide to snow and ice removal and management is sure to reduce stress, maintain a safer homestead, and allow more time to enjoy the winter weather as you see fit!

Resources
www.BobVilla.com
www.des.nh.gov/divisions/water/wmb/salt-reduction-initative/impact.htm
www.SIMA.org

Update: The Mosquito and the Zika Virus

Update: The Mosquito and the Zika Virus

The arrival of warm humid days signal the impending arrival of the mosquito and perhaps the Zika virus to our region. The Zika Virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.

Here’s the latest information –

As mentioned in our February post, The National Institutes of Health estimated that 200 million Americans reside in areas that might be conducive to the spread of the Zika virus during the warmer months. Areas including the East & West Coast and much of the Midwest. Another 22.7 million people live in subtropical parts of the country that might support the spread of Zika all year around – including Florida and southern Texas.

In April, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated this information by increasing the range of affected US States from 12 to 30.

CDC Chart of the Week - Zika Range Update

Please Note: The Greater Dayton, Montgomery & Greene Counties are included in the combined reach zone for both Aedes type mosquitoes.

“Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control. The range of the Aedes mosquito species is far larger than we previously thought and the disease’s effects are more damaging than initial medical studies suggested. The virus is linked to a broader set of complications in pregnancy.

The Zika virus usually results in mild symptoms including, fever, rash, fatigue, joint pain and red eyes. But new research points to a possible connection to higher rates of Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults, a condition in which the immune system attacks nerves following an infection, causing muscle weakness and paralysis. In pregnant women, the virus can cause birth defects, including microcephaly — an abnormally small head and brain size.

Currently, there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika although researchers are working on it.

So what can we do about these deadly creatures?

Eliminate possible breeding sites.
Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one inch of standing water. Remove empty containers like tires, planters, buckets and toys that can collect water. Clean out your gutters and if a pet dish must be left outdoors – be sure to change the water daily. A full evaluation of all the little hiding places is the first step to control.

Remove a comfortable resting place.
Keeping your grass mowed and shrubs trimmed eliminates hideouts for Mosquitoes during the day.

One thing you cannot control are the neighbors. Here’s where a professional, like Country Club Landscaping can help –

  • Our programs provide protection beginning in May and ending in September with (7) Applications.
  • Beginning with a full site inspection and recommendations for how to best protect your property.
  • Mosquito Program 1: Synthetic – An FDA approved application that’s safe for people and pets. Keep application area clear of people & pets for 2 hrs following application. Please note: Times of heavy sustained rainfall may require additional applications to maintain an effective barrier.
  • Mosquito Program 2: Organic – An all organic application that’s environmentally safe for people and pets; using a combination of Peppermint, Cedar oil and natural mosquito deterrents. Please note: Times of heavy sustained rainfall may require additional applications to maintain an effective barrier.
  • Our professional team will treat ALL areas of your property including the tree lines, shrubs and even under decks.  Not just the perimeter like some of our competitors.
  • One simple contract can protect your family and friends from mosquitoes all season long.
  • Special Event & Party Treatments are available.

Have our professional staff perform an inspection of your property and develop a safe and effective protection plan – contact us at 937.433.5915 or complete our web form by clicking here.

 

Kris McKee
Owner
Country Club Landscaping

 

See more updates about the Zika Virus and Mosquitoes at the following links –

Mosquitoes with Zika Virus Could Hit US in Next Month (Wall Street Journal) 

Health Officials Press for More Money to Contain to Zika (US News & World Report)

Ohio Dept of Health now testing for Zika virus in its lab (Columbus Dispatch) 

NASA and NCAR map Zika’s potential spread in the U.S. (CNN)

 

Turf Care for a Beautiful, Green, Weed-Free Lawn

Green Grass Mowed-smFor a lovely, green and weed-free lawn, you need to provide Turf Care.

A healthy lawn needs fertilizer and weed control at the proper intervals. It requires ample water and aeration annually to relieve compaction and provide air. Lastly, it should be mowed regularly at the proper height with sharp blades for a clean cut.

Sounds easy, right? All your lawn needs is food, water, air, preventative medicine and a regular hair cut. The catch is it needs the right kind of food and preventative medicine at the right time of year to keep it healthy.

Let’s learn a little about the grass itself. In Ohio, the primary varieties of turf grasses include – Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Fine Fescue and Tall Fescue. Here are some considerations for each type –

Kentucky BluegrassKentucky-Bluegrass

A deep green grass with a velvety fine texture.

  • Spreads & heals damaged areas without reseeding.
  • Performs best in full sun.
  • Tolerant to both cold and drought.
  • Newer varieties have a higher resistance to disease.

Perennial RyegrassPerennial-Ryegrass

A bright green fast growing fine texture grass.

  • Quick germination period.
  • Good drought tolerance.
  • High wear tolerance
  • High insect and disease resistance.

Fine FescuesFine-Fescues

The finest leaves that stay green all year.

  • Good drought tolerance
  • High shade tolerance
  • Low moisture requirements
  • Varieties include Creeping Red, Hard and Chewings

Tall FescueTall Fescue

A flexible and durable rich green grass.

  • Heat tolerant.
  • Drought tolerant.
  • High wear tolerance.
  • Disease resistant.

These Cool Season grasses grow best in the spring and fall. While they may show signs of heat stress in the summer, they will remain green throughout most of the winter season. So what do these grasses need to perform at their best?

  • Fertilization feeds the grass making it strong, green and healthy. These feedings should be formulated for your soil conditions in either liquid or granular form and applied throughout the year.
  • Weed Control needs to begin early in the season and it requires ongoing attention all year long. Temperature, stage of growth and humidity can all impact the effectiveness of weed control.
  • Crabgrass Control requires both pre-emergent and post-emergent care. Again treatment must begin early before germination occurs.
  • Disease Control is a remedy for damage that has occurred and promotes recovery.
  • Mowing at the right time and right height with sharp blades.
  • Core Aeration reduces soil compaction and allows air to reach the grass roots so water and fertilizer can be taken up by the plant. The loosened soil allows the grass roots to spread for deeper root penetration and healthier lawn.
  • Overseeding introduces new grass seed that thickens the existing turf and fill-ins thin areas. In conjunction with core aeration, germination is enhanced since the holes provide a protective place for the seeds. As the new grass grows, weeds will be reduced since the space is no longer desirable for their purposes.

If you had a lovely lawn and for some reason – it changed? Your lawn may need a course of treatment to restore its beauty. We call that turf renovation. The first step is to accurately diagnose the problem. For example, drought, excessive shade, tree root competition, poor drainage, soil compaction, inadequate fertilizer, acid soils, weed or insect infestation, lawn disease, and other things may be contributing to the issue. Most of these problems are correctable with renovation and improved maintenance practices. If you think your lawn may need renovation – please contact us so we can help you develop a plan to cure your ailing lawn.

Lastly, if you have a new home and need to establish a new lawn? You can either seed or sod it. Regardless of your choice, soil preparation is important. A soil test should be taken so, the necessary amendments can be prepared and added to the soil. The area should be graded and if needed, an initial application of herbicide should be used to kill off existing weeds before the seed or sod are applied. Here are some considerations for both approaches –

Seeding

  • A larger selection of species are available for varying management practices such as, sun versus shade, disease resistance and soil type.
  • The grass will grow in the environment where it will live.
  • Lower initial cost than sodding.
  • Timing is critical – it’s best to seed in the fall. Early spring is a possibility also but weed seeds germinate in the spring as well.
  • Watering is critical.
  • It will take longer to achieve a dense lawn.

Sodding

  • Instant Lawn and basically weed free.
  • May be walked on shortly after planting.
  • Dust, mud and erosion are reduced quickly.
  • Can be planted anytime during the growing season with adequate watering.
  • Higher initial cost.
  • Limited species of grass available.
  • Large volume of water will be needed initially.
  • Speed of rooting time varies with season. Spring and fall are best.

If you have any questions about the information provided here – please do not hesitate to contact us.

The lawn of your dreams is possible. For professional assistance with your turf care needs – contact us today at 937.433.5915.

 

 

Kris McKee
Owner
Country Club Landscaping

 

To learn more check out this link – National Association of Landscape Professionals

 

 

2016 Landscaping & Outdoor Design Trends

Trends Header Image-Small

The landscape and outdoor design trends for 2016 reflect the lifestyle trends that are taking place all around us. A longing for a softer, more romantic time and a sense of home are driving these trends as we move into a new season.

Growers are offering many new varieties that have changed the color palette, reimagined the outdoor space, and taken homeowners back to a time when life seemed a little slower. Getting in touch with our environment and making choices that lessen our impact on the earth continue and grow, as does our desire to bring a little less dependency on commercial products.

Our desire to connect with others and expand our social circles has taken hold in a big way in our outdoor spaces. It is going to be an exciting year in our industry and we cannot wait to help it unfold.

Trend 1: Grow • Share • Feed

It happens every year. You plant your backyard garden, planning to down size and keep it small for just your family and yet, you still have way more food than you can eat. Great gardens produce a bounty of delicious and nutritious goodies well beyond what your family can consume.
You are not alone!

Thanks to today’s technology age, the world is smaller and your “neighbors” have multiplied. Avid gardeners and hobbyists alike have been turning to sites like AmpleHarvest.org and Nextdoor.com to spread the wealth. These types of sites have taken the community garden concept to the next level – creating fun interactions, new friendships, and great food! Many are finding new and exciting ways to help one another, share what they have learned, and truly enjoy all that the earth gives us.

Trend 2: White Makes It Right

This year’s hot “color” – White! It’s classic, cool, and it’s elegant. From a stark, bright white to an old English “dirty” white, nursery buyers cannot get enough. As many homeowners look to settle in and plan to stay where they are, they are turning to white to create relaxing, harmonious spaces to relax and entertain. There has been a trend in interior paint colors towards white and that is making its way into our outdoor spaces. Clean, crisp, and fresh, white is white hot!

Trend 3: Retro Is Cool Again

Life is cyclical – so is your landscape. There has been a major drive in the floral market towards locally grown products incorporating edibles and old-fashioned flowers mixed with romantic florals. Begonias, peonies, Hostas, and even Pachysandra are moving fast and furious out of the garden center as people look to soften the feel of their outdoor spaces and take it back to a more romantic, elegant feel.

Trend 4: Light It Up

The landscape lighting industry is evolving at the speed of light. The days of old inefficient, maintenance intensive outdoor lighting system are gone. Today’s systems not only offer a lower light bill but also the ability to expand your outdoor space by expanding your system and best of all, there is an app for that! Many of today’s best companies offer the ability to adjust and control your lighting system from your cell phone giving you complete control of your outdoor environment in the palm of your hand.

The array of fixtures, lighting tones, and customizable features allow you to create a custom outdoor space that will change the way you experience your outdoor space. The best part, though the initial upfront cost may be a bit higher, you do get the lower energy cost and most importantly, a lot less maintenance and hassle! Upgrading your old system is easy and expanding to highlight specimen plants and unique structures brings a new feel to an old layout.

Trend 5: Going Big by Going Small

Many consumers are using Pinterest and other social media sites to find great ways to make a big impact in a small space. The use of pots, containers, and small space gardens can make any space your own private retreat. Creative use of annuals, edibles, and dwarf varieties of boxwoods, ninebark, and Weigela are bringing the big garden feel into easy to manage small spaces. Keep your eye towards new and more compact shrub roses and hydrangeas as this trends catches fire.

Trend 6: Gather Round the Fire

Speaking of catching fire – Fire pits! The hottest trend in the industry is truly hot. As people rethink their outdoor spaces, the fire pit is all the rage. Fire pits, fire tables, fire pots, all create great places for kids to entertain their friends in the safety of their homes and for parents to spend some great family time outside. Simple designs are affordable and functional, while elaborate pieces create a living statement that can truly alter the feel of your relaxing hideaway.

Trend 7: Plants to Watch

We consulted the local experts to make sure that the recommendations provided would perform well right here in the Dayton area.

Mark Houston of Natorp Landscape Supply & Natorp’s Nursery
The tried and true plants such as, Sedum, Coreopsis, Heuchera and Dianthus are in high demand with new colors coming out every year. Grass-like plants like Hakonechloa (good for the shade) and Sedges (lower growing) have become more popular for homeowners who find it difficult to grow grass in some areas. Physocarpus (Ninebark) are plants that have interest in the winter (peeling bark) and during the growing season with a multiple choice of colorful leaves and sizes.

Anne Fisk of Studebaker Nurseries
We are growing a new Hydrangea called Bloomstruck. Very similar to Endless Summer but is has reddish stems.  I watched it grow in the pots last year and I really liked it.

Sarah Albrecht, our resident Garden Designer suggests
Shady Pot Combinations that Pop: The amazing Whopper Begonia, Rex Begonias, and Maiden Hair Ferns.

  • Rex Begonias offer striking foliage. There are many eye-catching varieties that play nicely with other flowers and foliage.
  • Maiden Hair Ferns offer softness and whimsy.
  • Creeping Jenny does well in full sun and shade. It adds brightness and offers contrast within a texturally diverse combination pot.

It’s going to be an exciting season and you can be a part of it.  Let our experts help you find the trend-setting advantage – contact us today at 937.433.5915.

Trends-Base ImageIMG_0983

 

Kris McKee
Owner
Country Club Landscaping

 

To learn more about :