What Is Hardscaping?

10/5/2018

For many people, buying a home is a huge life milestone. Owning a space to make your own for years or even generations is something that many people spend years working towards. That being said, maintaining a home can be a huge undertaking. There is a lot of time and money involved in home maintenance, especially when it comes to your backyard. When it comes to maintaining your backyard, you have to focus on two key things: hardscaping and softscaping. Softscaping refers to the living elements of your space; the trees, grass, and flowers in your space. Any maintenance involving plants or horticulture in your area can be categorized as softscaping. What is Hardscaping? Hardscaping, on the other hand, is the design of the hard parts around the outside of your home. This can include rocks, cement, mulch, wood, metal, the lay of the land that is man-made to stand the tests of time. Sidewalks, driveways, fencing, walls, and outdoor lighting are all parts of your hardscape. When you add features such as a patio, deck, pool or fire pit to your home, you are hardscaping. Statues, pergolas, terraces, outdoor stairs, and outdoor kitchens are also included in hardscaping. Hardscaping adds value and visual to your home and acts as a foundation for your landscape. What Are The Benefits of Hardscaping? Hardscaping comes with a wide variety of benefits. First and foremost, it acts as somewhat of an anchor to keep your softscaping in place. Hardscaping can be strategically placed to counteract the effects of erosion and elements such as wind and rain to keep your plants safe, steady, and in place. Hardscaping can also act as a deterrent for pests and can be built to keep animals away from any of your greenery. The materials used in hardscaping are carefully selected. For instance, if you want your space to soak up as much water as possible, you will hardscape with features made of non-porous material that will avoid taking any water from your plants. Utilizing hardscaping techniques may also give you better use of your space. You can create walkways, gazebos, porches, and patios to better enjoy your backyard. Hardscaping can help the overall organization and cohesiveness of your area. Another benefit of hardscaping is the time it...

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Tips for Upping Winter Curb Appeal

12/15/2017

It may seem difficult to keep your yard looking great when plants die and damp snow creates mud puddles. But, it is still possible to do some upkeep during the winter season. If you pride yourself on having impeccable throughout all four seasons of the year, these guidelines will help upkeep your winter curb appeal. Manage Snow and Ice It is essential to ensure that both guests and household members can make it to the front door without encountering any mishaps or suffering any injury.  Slips can be prevented by laying down salt and shoveling regularly to manage ice and snow and clear the walkways, driveway, and stairs of leaves and other debris. This also makes your home and yard look nice and well-kept. Keep the Lawn Tidy Even though the grass may have lost its vibrant color, the lawn can still be kept looking neat. Periodically raking and getting rid of leaves and other debris will ensure the lawn is much more aesthetically appealing. Spruce Up with a Fresh Coat of Paint Trees are typically bare during the cold months of winter, so the fall and winter seasons provide a clearer view of your property than during the spring and summer. This could more readily reveal chipped or faded paint. As such, giving the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in significantly enhancing your winter curb appeal. While painting is possible in the winter, make sure the temperature is above 35° and you choose the correct type of paint. Clean the Gutters During the fall, rain gutters are usually subjected to the accumulation of leaves. Therefore, it is important to clean out the gutters so they do not detract from the appeal of your property. This is a great opportunity to show that you are on top of exterior home maintenance.  Additionally, cleaning out the gutters will also ensure they function optimally. Winter Decorations Whether it is a strategically placed inflatable Santa Claus, elaborate nativity scene, or subtle wintry decorations, you can bring out the beauty of your landscape with some festive decor.  You could also hang a simple wreath on the front door, string small lights around the shrubbery, or neatly stack a pile of firewood against a wall....

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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...

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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...

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Landscape Tips To Maintain Healthy Grass All Year

9/28/2016

Healthy grass can be maintained all throughout the year; however, it will require some amount of effort. The best way to maintain a healthy lawn is to work from the bottom up. Below are some landscaping tips you can you to achieve healthy grass year round: Establish a Substantial Soil Foundation. Grass thrives well in soil that contain a neutral pH. It is also important that the soil has the right amounts of potassium salts, phosphorus and nitrogen for the region. If the soil is not right, there will be problems throughout the year. Additionally, you will be wasting money on soil amendments like fertilizers that will not work properly. This is because the soil is too alkaline or too acidic. Less is More. Start your lawn care in February or April, depending on where you live; in southern parts of the United States, February is ideal for starting lawn care. During these times, the temperature of the soil supports weed growth but the unwanted plants is yet to get a foothold. Begin a six-week schedule for applying lawn chemical. This should start with a fertilizer containing a pre-emergent herbicide. You can move on to using a straight fertilizer with a high content of nitrogen. Spot-spray on separate, selective weed as required. Invigorate Your Lawn. Correct mowing and edging are also great methods of maintaining healthy grass year round. An extremely dense lawn might require spring dethatching. This enables the soil to breathe and allows nitrogen exchange, which is a good place to get your lawn started. Buy or rent a power rake to avoid breaking your back with a manual rake. Clean up is very important. Blow or sweep away excess fertilizer from driveways and walkways on the grass. This will prevent the chemical from being washed into public...

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