Landscape Remedies

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American_FlagToday we honor and remember the brave men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

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As the kids start back to school, we come to an end of a very hot Summer. We are still going to have some hot days, but not as hot for as many days in a row. Keep in mind a couple of things as we work towards fall.
Don’t turn the irrigation system off. One of the most common misconceptions is that when the dog days of summer are over, you can turn off the sprinklers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your turf and shrubs still need water even when the temperature starts to give us some relief. You will want to cut the frequency and duration back but dont stop it completely.

The other big problem when you don’t run your irrigation for an extended time is that the valves get sticky and begin to either stay on when you want it off or not come on when you need it. This problem is increased in areas that use reclaimed water. You will want to run your system regularly all year long and keep the system exercised to avoid repairs come spring.

The cooler temps are when it is a good time to work on getting rid of the tough weeds in your yard. You can hit them in fall with an herbacide and then follow up in spring with another application. Another thing to check is your soil PH. There are test kits available in most garden centers or the county extension agent can do it. Be sure to get about a coffee can sized amount from a couple spots in your yard. The results will tell you what your yard needs. That will give you a jump on the weeds come next spring.

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It has been a great few weeks for Landscape Remedies. We have moved into a new location in Orange Park. We are located now at 192-B Industrial Loop Dr, Orange Park Fl. Our new home gives us more storage along with paved parking and shop space for repairs and maintenance. We can still be reached using our same number 904-215-0069 or via E-mail at info@landscaperemedies.com.

With the new space we have been able to put in place ways for us to better keep up with tracking equipment and repairs, organize materials in storage and put some changes paperwork changes that makes payroll easier for our team.

We have also been busy with a back yard project that included a beautiful paver walkway, two matching stepped down retaining walls, LED landscape lighting, irrigaiton, new plantings of plants, drainage issues fixed, and a dry streambed. It took a a couple weeks on and off because of some rain, but it turned out very nice.

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Drainage issues in the landscape can be challenging to fix. During heavy rains, the ground becomes saturated and the water can not be absorbed into the ground and starts pooling. This can cause root rot on your shrubs, fungus in your turf, and seeping water into your home’s foundation. What are some of the ways to handle this?

First on the list of fixes is to re grade the area to drain the water off to where you want it. This is simply making the water travel down and slight grade to a lower spot where you want the water to end up. Only a small amount of slope is needed to move the water then allow gravity to work.

Another option is the french drain. To do this, you dig a trench about a foot deep where you have your water pooling. Next, put some septic cloth in the bottom of the trench, followed by an inch or two or small rock. The next part is to put a piece of 4? perforated, corrugated pipe in the trench, and cover it up with another couple inches of rock followed by the septic cloth on top. Finally, cover the trench with your top covering, either mulch, rock, more dirt and sod etc. This will allow the water to percolate through the soil into the rock and pipe allowing the ground above to dry out. The optimum way to go then is to run the pipe end out to a natural area of perhaps a retention pond.

The next option is a dry well. This is basically a large hole in the ground where your wet area is. You dig a hole and size it to the volume of water you will need to drain off. We use typically two types. The first is a small box style drain with a grate on top, usually in the 12 to 16 inch square size. The other is an approx. 35 gallon drum sized container which we put holes in. This is then done similar to a french drain in that you line the hole with septic cloth, put some rock in the bottom. Then put in the drum filling around it with rock followed by the lid and more rock and septic cloth. Finally you cover with your ground cover.

Both of the ones above can be used together also to direct water from and area to the drum to allow it to collect or drain off in another area.

Getting water away from your home’s foundation is important. If you have gutters, instead of just hooking on pipes to the end and laying them in the shrubs, you can use the same corrugated pipe without the holes, that you used in the french drain to run the extra rain water to a retention pond or dry-well or even better, hook up a rain barrel to the end of it and collect it for reuse.

Lastly, if you find you do have an area that seems to always be wet, check to make sure you dont have an irrigation or water line leak. Sometimes a little leak can make an area seem soggy or spongy all the time but never really get wet with a puddle. The easiest way to check is to turn off all the water in your home and look at your meter to make sure its not moving. Most have a small wheel or dial that move rapidly even when a small amount of water is being used.

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It is nice to have some cool weather for a change. The lower temperatures seem to get you in the mood for the holidays coming up. There are several reminders about holiday decorating to keep in mind.

Be sure you trim all of your shrubs and trees before putting decorations on them. Just keep in mind that trimming encourages new growth and we don’t want new growth on plants when very cold winter temperatures are coming. So if you trim, do it soon. Also, make sure you check that all of your lights are working before you start putting them up and before you go up the ladder. Try to get needed decorations early, the stores seem to sell out fast. Also, try not to overload any one electrical outlet. If your circuit panel keeps tripping, try decreasing the load or get a professional in to fix the problem.

Be sure to ’foot’ your ladder. Make sure the feet are on level ground and secure. The best thing is to have someone push the ladder into the house while climbing to keep it from sliding out.

Last but not least, is to have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy family, friends and good food. Just remember moderation. All the festive foods can quickly pack on a few inches, making us all a little more jolly than we would like.

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If you have not done so yet, now is the time to apply winterizes for the turf and start getting your supplies together for covering plants during a hard freeze. Be sure to also water a day ahead of a coming freeze. Wait on cutting back anything like Crepe Myrtles or Red Ti plants until later on, usually we like to do this in January. Put down a light coat of fresh mulch now to freshen up your landscape and get it ready for friends and family that may be coming to celebrate the holidays with you. We would be glad to help with any projects you have.

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water'dIrrigation systems are very reliable and need little care for the most part. There are a few things that will help keep your system up and running.

The first thing is make sure you water on the correct days and times. Odd address homes water on Wednesday and Saturday, even address homes water on Thursday and Sunday. All watering is to be done before 10:00 and after 4:00. Check when your system is on that all the heads are working and spraying where they are supposed to. Heads that spray onto concrete driveways or sidewalks should be adjusted. Check that no spray is hitting your home also. Check to make sure that all the heads clear your turf and if not you may need to raise them. Some systems will be fairly easy. Just take a shovel around the head and carefully dig next to it and if it is on poly pipe, a black hose, you can usually just lift it up and repack the dirt. If yours is not on poly pipe, you will need to either get taller heads or add an extension to clear the turf.

Be sure to run your system. The valves especially can have trash get in the diaphragm area and gum it up or the valves get sticky and want to not come on or stay on and will not shut off. This seems to happen more with reclaimed water, but can happen to any system. Try to run each zone for a little bit every couple weeks just to keep things working.

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This time of year it’s hot and the flower choices are kind of limited. Some choices you can use are Salvia, Coleus, Pentas, Lantana, and Crotons. W e are kind of in a ‘no man’s land’ for flowers unit fall gets here. You can also use substitutes such as Lilies or Society Garlic or a multitude of perennials that will add color to you landscape. When you choose to go with the Coleus, keep and eye on them and it is OK to trim the tops when the seedheads start to pop up. The darker colored ones will usually grow faster and taller than the yellow will so you may have to prune to keep them at the same height.

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With the recent large amounts of rain and wind each afternoon, it is a good time to make sure any tree limbs are pruned off. High winds can cause a limb to become a projectile and possibly do damage. It is usually better to be proactive in this case to avoid the limb perhaps landing where you don’t want it to.

Tree trimming can be done on small limbs and trees but don’t try to tackle large ones yourself. There are too many cases of people trying to cut a large limb or tree and either hurting them or others or damaging property. Large limbs and trees can twist and turn in unexpected ways and many people have been killed doing what appeared to be a simple job.

Tree trimming is one thing you should consider hiring a professional tree surgeon for. Make sure you have them provide proof of current liability insurance. A reputable company should have no problem doing that as it will separate the Pro’s from the Joe’s.

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