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Fall Projects to Get Your House Ready For Spring 10/12/2017

Your garden has worked hard over the past two seasons and the time is coming to put it to rest. Making the necessary preparation will give it what is required to enjoy a refreshing rest this winter and come back robust and resilient during the spring. Below are some fall projects for spring to help with the preparation:

Weed Control

Identifying and eradicating weeds should be an important part of your landscaping efforts this fall as it will save you a lot of time when spring comes around. Now is a great time for the application of herbicides to broad-leaf weeds. This is particularly true for dandelions and other perennials. The cold weather of winter does not kill these weeds once fall ends. During springtime next year, they will be back. Eradicating them now will make your experience better next year.

Planting

You can plant trees and shrubs during the fall. Fall is also the ideal time to plant spring bulbs if you want to enjoy the splendor they will add to your spring landscaping.

Irrigation

There is a common misconception that trees will get all their required irrigation during the long, cold winter months of winter via snowfall. However, there are areas in which soil freezes during the winter. Any water left in that soil becomes ice and is no longer available to plants. Even on a warm day when the snow melts, it may not get down to the roots of the trees. This creates an ‘icy desert’ that could subject your evergreen trees and other parts of the landscaping to winter damage.

For the porch and patio, you can extend their use into the fall and beyond by adding a fire table or fire pit. The décor can also be enhanced with accessories in the seasonal colors of the seasons.

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How to Decorate Your Front Porch for Fall 9/22/2017

OH Valley Fall Porch DecorationsA front porch is a perfect place for fall decorations. With a little creativity and some seasonal items, you can create a beautiful display to enhance your home’s curb appeal. Here are some tips on how to decorate exterior areas in the fall:

 

Use the Seasonal Harvest

The fall harvest brings a bounty of pumpkins, gourds, and the last of the fresh corn for the year. Tie up colorful dried out corn cobs and large corn stalks to the railings or posts of the porch. Bales of straw can be added to create varying heights and platforms for other decor items. A pile of pumpkins on top of a bale of hay is the perfect way to show off the fall harvest. With natural elements, you can easily display the rich colors and various textures of the season.

Add Colorful Flowers

Mums are the ideal fall flower, so take advantage of their short blooming season. Place mums of different colors in pots on the stairs or at the sides of the doorway. They add a bright pop of color, and come in colorful shades of yellow, orange, and even purple.

Don’t Forget the Lighting

Highlight your beautiful porch display with lighting. Add rustic lanterns to give off a glow. In the evenings, turn on the porch light to attract eyes to your decor. Add candles to the front windows to enhance the charming, rustic look of fall farmhouse. Even modern style homes can have a cozy, country feeling with the right fall decor features.

Fall decor is one of the best ways to add rich colors and textures to your home’s front porch. Take advantage of the bounty of pumpkins, gourds, and colorful mums by creating a charming display for the autumn season. You can easily transition the decor for Halloween and throughout the month of November.

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How to Maintain Landscaping During Hot Days and Cold Nights 8/15/2017

Keeping landscaping great during weather changesTemperature fluctuations can be hard on plants. Hot days followed by cold nights can cause injury to trees that have thin, smooth barks. In addition, fluctuation in temperature could trigger flowering in certain plants and impact how long the flowers last. Fluctuations in temperature and increased moisture level caused by cold nights could also impact the taste of certain fruits and vegetables. As such, it is important to find ways to maintain landscaping during hot days and cold nights.

Below are some tips that can be used to maintain your landscape:

• Select plants that are compatible to the climate and growing conditions of your location. Typically, native plants are well-adapted to the local conditions and can withstand the rigors of temperature fluctuations. In addition, you should choose trees with strong wood or structure to lessen the impact that fluctuation can have on them.
• It is important to keep plants healthy. This is especially because healthy plants have a greater capacity to handle different types of stress.
• Perennials should be mulched and young trees wrapped to safeguard them against the fluctuating temperatures.
• Make sure that an even moisture level is maintained. Water and mulch as required and improve the soil to assist with the retention of moisture.
• If you are located in an area with extremely windy conditions, planting a windbreak might be something you want to think about.
These are some of the methods that can be used in maintaining landscaping during hot days and cold nights. Of course, you have the option of hiring a landscaping professional to help in minimizing the effects of temperature fluctuations.

Remember that regardless of how well-executed your plan is, Mother Nature is still in charge. However, it is important to be aware of weather conditions and do your best to safeguard your landscape.

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The Importance of Irrigation Planning 7/18/2017

The Importance Of Irrigation Planning Ohio Valley Group July 2017One of the most important aspects of landscape design for homeowners to consider is irrigation planning. From choosing the right equipment and sprinklers to setting the amount of water, proper irrigation is essential. If you’re taking the time to do beautiful landscaping on your property, you need to make sure that it’s well watered.

Sprinkler location

The placement of sprinklers has to be carefully considered. Some areas will require more moisture than others, but all plants will need water to thrive. This is especially true during the hot summer months. It’s also important that areas of the lawn don’t receive too much water. Over-watering can turn your lawn and garden into a mud pit. Proper placement of the irrigation system will ensure that landscaping receives the right amount of moisture each day.

Professional installation

Once the placement of the sprinklers is decided upon, they must be professionally installed. This will ensure they function correctly. Irrigation specialists will know where and how to place the piping and sprinklers for your property to look healthy and attractive all year.

Quality equipment

The quality of the irrigation equipment that you install and use is almost as important as the placement. Each landscaping project requires specific types of pipes and sprinklers. An expert design-build team will know which types are ideal for your property and your specific needs. Don’t trust cheap, low quality equipment to function properly. You can maintain the look of your landscaping for years to come with high quality sprinklers.

 
An experienced and knowledgeable design-build firm will be able to come up with the irrigation plan that’s ideal for your property. You’ve invested in the landscaping to beautify your home, so be sure to invest in the proper irrigation system. Maintain the look of your lawn and gardens throughout the seasons with the right equipment placed in the right areas. Ohio Valley Group can help.

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Summer Design Trends 6/22/2017

Summer is the ideal time for enjoying your outdoor spaces with friends and family. The summer trends in landscaping for 2017 are keeping design build contractors busy with backyard styles like the ones highlighted below:

Natural Materials

Landscaping designers have been noticing the minimalist design, which has been dominating furniture, décor and hardscaping materials for years, is no longer in high demand. Instead, homeowners are gravitating towards more natural materials.

Requests for clean, geometric and modern designs are dwindling. More and more clients want a more old-fashioned, do-it-yourself look in their outdoor space. Natural materials incorporated in backyard landscaping designs often feature railway ties. These can be used to make free-form decks, swing seating and smaller outdoor furniture.

Active All-Age Play Spaces

An increasing number of family members are playing together in the backyard to keep active and create deeper bonds. This is evident in the increased request for play spaces for adults, children and even pets. The requests include basketball courts, tennis and Bocce courts. In addition to being great spaces to play, these areas help to prevent weeds.

Old and New Mash-Up

Many homeowners are no longer choosing one design style and sticking to it relentlessly; a number of outdoor lovers are mixing old and new. This popular trend in architecture and interiors is making its arrival in many backyards. Mixing styles was once a big taboo, however, it is now one of the popular summer trends of 2017. No longer is it about modern or traditional design but combining the two in a compelling manner. This can be done by incorporating modern elements in a traditional landscape or putting traditional elements in a modern backyard.

These are just a few of the summer trends that have been making their way into backyards everywhere this year. Contact Ohio Valley Group to create your ideal outdoor living space.

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What Should I Look for When Hiring a Landscape Designer? 5/16/2017

What Should I Look for When Hiring a Landscape Designer?

More and more people are enjoying outdoor living by choosing landscape designers to create functional spaces with multiple purposes, such as relaxation and entertainment. As a homeowner, selecting a landscape designer is a big decision. The right designer will have the knowledge, skills and experience to create beautiful, enjoyable spaces that increase your property value.

At Ohio Valley Group, we know choosing the right landscaping designer typically involves some amount of research. This is an essential part of the process, as it can help in saving you both time and money. Below are some tips on the traits to consider when selecting a landscape designer:

Knowledge and Experience

Spending time reviewing the portfolios of contractors you’re considering will give you an idea about their skills and abilities. Many landscapers have websites that showcase their creations. You also have the option of directly consulting with the designers and reviewing their portfolios. Learn about their reputation and how long they have been in business. The landscape design process is complex and relevant experience is required to successfully complete a project.

Follow-up/Maintenance Service Options

Choose a landscaping designer whose portfolio goes beyond the basics is necessary. Services like landscape lighting and overall maintenance are often requested. Not all landscaping professionals provide the same services, therefore, you should consider the availability of short-term or long-term maintenance contracts.

Local Climate Considerations

Weather conditions play a major role in landscaping design. As such, your chosen designer should have in-depth knowledge of your local climate. This includes being educated on local plants, trees, shrubs and flowers. He or she should also be aware of rain fall, snow fall and the intensity of sunlight.

Do not speed through the process of hiring a landscape designer, wasting time and money. The success of your yard renovation is dependent upon your selection. Get in touch with our design-build experts to explore your options.

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3 Helpful Irrigation System Maintenance Tips 4/21/2017

A well-maintained landscape can enhance beauty and add value to your property.  An irrigation system plays an immense role in keeping your landscape and outdoor space in tip-top shape.  If an irrigation system is incorporated into the layout of your property, it is vital that you ensure it is functioning properly.  Below are 3 useful tips to assist you in maintaining your system:
Sprinkler Head
The sprinkler head is the part of the underground irrigation system you can actually see. This is the best place to start. Visually inspect each sprinkler head to check for impediments like clogs. After affirming nothing is preventing the sprinkler heads from flowing, you can move on to see if they are faced towards the right direction.
Examine Your Water Pressure
Your irrigation system could perform below par if your water pressure is not functioning optimally.  If it is too high, the desired area will not be properly covered by your sprinklers. Signs of this include rapidly misting or rotating sprinkler heads.
Additionally, low water pressure could result in your system under-performing.  If there are dry areas or the sprinkler heads are improperly rising or rotating, a low-pressure problem could be to blame. To resolve water pressure issues, contact an irrigation professional and schedule an inspection.
Check for Leaks
Detecting leaks can be challenging. Though uncommon, leaks can occur in the pipes of your system.  Leak indicators include overgrown areas, patches of grass that are greener than others and unexplained damp spots. If waterlogged areas are around the heads, though, this is not an automatic indication of a leak. Standing water around sprinkler heads could signal misalignment or damage to the sprinkler head.
As you see from these tips, irrigation system maintenance does not have to be complicated.  Basic care can keep the water flowing and keep your landscaping looking immaculate and beautiful.
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Spring is the Perfect Time to Start Your Maintenance Projects 3/29/2017

As the weather starts to warm up, the conditions are ideal for getting started on lawn maintenance and spring landscaping. To ensure that your property looks great in the months ahead, you’ll need to prepare your grass, gardens and patios as soon as the final frost is over. Here are a few reasons why now is the best time to begin your spring projects:

Favorable conditions. The cool days of early spring are perfect for prepping your property and planning out your big projects. While rain showers may keep you from starting anything too ambitious, you can still design your landscaping and hardscaping plans and purchase materials. Get the tools that you’ll need, start seeds for a vegetable garden, and get your hose hooked up outside. Once the long, hot days of summer set in, you’ll have missed the chance to enjoy the more pleasant weather conditions that spring offers.

Getting acclimated. Planting in the spring after the last cold front of winter gives your plants the opportunity to acclimate to the environment. Once you get them in the ground, it will take some time and care to help them thrive. Follow the care guidelines closely, as each plant has it’s own requirements in terms of water and sunlight needed.

Plenty of options. Local nurseries and hardware stores with garden centers will start to get seasonal plants in stock. It’s the perfect time to browse the options that are best suited for your region. Take a trip to the nursery to get a better idea of what you’d like to plant in your garden this year.

If you’re interested in a complete landscape makeover, contact The Ohio Valley Group to get a free estimate.

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Home Landscaping Design Tips 2/27/2017

Spring is the perfect season to start preparing your property for a beautiful landscape design. With some thought and consideration for what you want and the space that you have to work with, you can come up with an ideal plan. Here are some landscaping tips that homeowners can use in the design and planning process:

Plan ahead. Before you go shopping for plants, mulch, and garden decor, create a plan. Take measurements so you know exactly how much space you have to work with. Think about the placement for the various plants that you buy. Select the best spots for shrubs, bushes, and flowers, and don’t forget to take the shade and sunlit areas into consideration. Different plants will have different requirements for the amount of sunlight and shade that they need in order to grow and thrive.

Add color. When choosing plants, make sure that you add vibrant colors to really make your property pop. Each season brings different conditions for various flowers, so try to plant a variety of types. Plant flowers along the front of your house to greet guests with cheerful annuals and perennials.

Create focal points. Make a few areas that will serve as focal points from different angles and views. It should be something that’s visually appealing and draws the eye in, such a colorful flowering shrub, a tree, or even a decorative feature like a lawn ornament or statue. Other features to consider for focal points include a fountain, birdbath, or even a walkway lined with attractive plants.

Opt for low maintenance. Since you probably won’t want to spend all of your free time outdoors tending to your landscaping, opt for a low maintenance design. Don’t use too many different types of plants, and choose types that are easy to trim and maintain. With a beautiful and simple design, you’ll be able to enjoy the look of your property all year long.

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Tree and Stump Removal Winter Safety Tips 1/13/2017

shutterstock_212265283The winter season can be accompanied by heavy snowfall and high winds. This could cause branches to snap from the weight of snow or ice. Even more dangerously, big trees could be brought down causing immense danger to lives and properties. As such, there are safety measures that should be exercised before and after winter storms to maximize safety. Below are some safety tips for tree removal:

Remove Hazardous Limbs and Dead Wood Before a Winter Storm. Trees are typically considered hazardous based on the compliance code of each state. When deemed unsafe, they should be removed as they could cause injuries or property damage. Keeping your property safe should be an ongoing project. This can be done by scheduling property maintenance with a professional company that specializes in tree services. Not only will this enhance the health of the trees, it will boost the safety and value of your property.

Use Professional Services. Tree removal is an extremely dangerous job. Therefore, homeowners should always use the services of professionals to eliminate the risk of becoming seriously injured or worse. Tree removal experts take out many trees and stumps all through the year. They use various precautions and safety measures to safeguard themselves against becoming injured from falling limbs and other dangers. However, even with their training and level of expertise, some of these professionals still become injured when carrying out their jobs.

Tool Safety is Essential. Tree removal tools like wood chippers and chainsaws can be dangerous, if used incorrectly. In a split second, the smallest distraction could cause an ax or chainsaw to inflict severe damage. Therefore, it is best to leave the task of removing trees and stumps to the professionals with the right clothing and expertise.

Following these winter safety tips could go a far way in keeping your loved ones and property safe.

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