Archive for the ‘Landscape’ Category

The Lawn Care Services Your Absolutely Need

Posted on March 6th, 2014

March6

Of course, Westland Landscape  recommends you to sign up for a complete lawn care program that can deliver season-long nutrition for your lawn. However, if you need to cut your lawn care budget by removing some services, make sure that these are not the one’s you get rid of:

  • Crabgrass Preventer – One of the hardest weeds to get rid of in Cleveland and Columbus is crabgrass. This awful weed is present in our soil and germinates when the soil temperatures are right. Typically, crabgrass does not germinate before May, often right before the month of June. It’s important that you prevent crabgrass with a pre-emergent fertilizer treatment in mid to late April. This will give your lawn season long protection from crabgrass.
  • Grub Control/Preventer – Grubs in your lawn are not a guarantee, however it is not worth the 50/50 gamble. If your lawn does get grubs, they spread quickly, and ruin your lawn before you even know it. Grub damage, unlike other lawn disease, is irreversible, and new grass must be planted. So think twice before skipping this application.
  • Early Summer Fertilizer – It’s important that when reviewing your lawn care service options you keep an early summer fertilizer in your plans. This application is important to restore lost nutrients in your turf’s soil and prepare it for a stressful summer.
  • Late Fall Fertilizer – Easily the most dropped application is also one of the most important. Late fall fertilizing prepares your lawn for winter by allowing the turf plant to build carbohydrates in the blade, protecting it from all that snow and cold it’s about to face. Slow release blends also allow for a quicker “green-up” in the following spring, making your lawn the envy of the neighborhood in April.

3 Ways to Get the Best Lawn Service Prices

  1. Pre-Measure Your Lawn – One of the oldest tricks in the lawn care company book is to overcharge customers for fertilizer by estimating their lawns at a larger measurement. Thanks to Google Earth and other programs, you now can use your computer to measure your property getting an exact measurement before calling the lawn care company.
  2. Take Advantage of Prepay Discounts – Most lawn care companies offer some sort of a pre-pay discount when paying for the season up front. This allows you to enjoy a savings off your total price that for some companies is significant.
  3. Customer Referrals – In today’s golden age of advertising, companies still rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing to help get the word out about their services. This is why most offer  a referral discount to help encourage you to speak up about them.
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Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Decorative Outdoor Lighting

Posted on March 6th, 2014

March6

There are several reason to invest in outdoor lighting, and they range from adding to the beauty of your home to adding to the safety of your home. Since spring will be here in less than a month, it’s important to start thinking not only about getting your lawn irrigation system in order, but how you can best complement your home’s natural beauty with patio lighting for those late night dinner parties.

Take a look at these 10 reasons you should invest in decorative outdoor lighting for your home or business.

1. It’s Beautiful

The first and best reason is because it will add beauty to your home. If done correctly, proper lighting will enhance the look of your home, thus increasing its resale value and curb appeal. Imagine how you will feel when you arrive home at night and see your home lit up to greet you. Lighting will also add a bright, welcoming feeling to anyone who visits after dark.

2. Add to Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Having an aesthetically pleasing outdoor lighting design will give your neighbors a new appreciation for the look of your home as well. Outdoor lighting at night makes your home stand out among the other darkened homes on your block and adds an extra component of charm to your home.

3. Increases the Value of Your Home

Homes with outdoor lighting generally sell for more than homes without. The appearance, safety and overall ambiance of your house will make a difference when you are ready to sell it. However, poorly installed or placed lighting will not increase the value of your home as much so be sure to hire a professional, well respected company to do the work.

4. Complements Your Landscaping

Installing outdoor lights, especially if you have them designed and located properly, will increase your enjoyment of your current landscaping design. Installing accent lights to highlight a particular area of your landscaping helps its visibility and gives you more value for your landscaping efforts.

5. Decreases Chances of a Break In

Outdoor lighting will decrease the chances a burglar will choose your home to break into. Thieves usually choose an easy target, and a house that is well lit will not be attractive to them. Dark pathways and side yards just give thieves an invitation to lurk and wait for you to leave.

6. Decreases Chances of Trips and Falls

Having outdoor lighting will decease the chances you or a guest will trip or fall on an outdoor walkway. Lighting the way is a safety issue that you should consider, especially if you often have guests over at nighttime. A homeowner is liable for accidents that occur on his/her property, so doing everything you can to avoid any mishaps helps you in the long run and will be worth the investment. If you own a business, lighting the way is an added welcoming touch for clients who visit your office or home in the evening hours.

7. Increases Usability of Your Outdoor Spaces

If you like to grill outdoors or have an outdoor patio, outdoor lighting is essential. You will use your patio more often if it is well it and you can relax in the safety being able to see what you are doing. Lighting a pool area or deck will also improve on how often you use them as well as

8. May Help to Comply with Local Laws

In some areas, it is required by law to have outdoor lighting installed. Look up the rules in your area and use a reputable lighting company to be sure you are following the applicable laws.

9. Simple Home Improvement

Installing outdoor lighting is an easy way to spruce up the exterior of your home. If your exterior paint is intact but you are looking for ways to update the look of your outdoor areas, outdoor lighting is a great option.

10. Helps You Decorate for the Holidays

Outdoor lighting can be used to add to your holiday décor, especially if you entertain often. Installing colored lights adds to the aesthetic effect of your outdoor lighting and will enhance a feeling of festivity during holiday seasons.

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Choosing the Right Tree This Year

Posted on March 6th, 2014

March6

Deciding which trees and shrubs to plant to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional landscape can be daunting. Too often, we tire of the quest for something different and end up planting what’s popular and readily available. Don’t give up! A little mental effort applied to plant selection can make your landscape infinitely more interesting than one mindlessly planted with generics. Also, increasing diversity reduces the risk of disastrous losses from pest outbreaks.

Following is a short list of trees and shrubs commonly planted for various purposes with possible alternatives. The author’s prejudices are readily evident. The alternatives tend to be less tidy-looking than the old standbys, but with some features that I find interesting or attractive.

Flowering Tree

Cultivars of ornamental pear (Pyrus calleryana) are by far the most commonly planted flowering trees in Midwest landscapes. They are uniform in size and shape, spectacular in bloom and have beautiful glossy summer foliage. They are however, subject to fire blight and storm damage. They also produce viable seed, which is spread by birds to natural areas where seedlings shade out native species. There are many cultivars of crabapple that could be substituted for ornamental pear. While crabs are less symmetrical than the pears, they are equally as spectacular in bloom (and smell much better). Most produce attractive fruit, the seeds of which do not sprout in natural areas like those of Callery pears. Nearly all modern crab cultivars have excellent disease resistance. ‘Prairifire’ has a rounded form and grows to 20 feet with bright, pinkish-red flowers. ‘Adirondack’ is an upright cultivar, growing to 18 feet, with pure white flowers.

Shade Tree

Cultivars of red maple are commonly used as shade trees because they grow fast and have dependable red fall color. State Street™ (Acer miyabei ‘Morton’) is a fast growing, 40-foot, densely branched upright maple with a yellow fall color. It is heat tolerant and less subject to borer injury and problems due to high soil pH than red maple. If you think in the long term, consider our native swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor). While it might look a bit coarse for the first 10 years, this tree grows fairly fast, reaching 60 feet. It tolerates both wet soil and drought.

Colored Foliage

For some reason, many people are fascinated by plants with purple summer foliage. Purple leaf plum (Prunus cerasifera), is an old standby for summer purple. Unfortunately, it is short lived due to its susceptibility to winter injury, borers, tent caterpillars and many other problems. If you can switch to red, consider Red Rage™ blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica‘Haymanred’) as an alternative. New growth is bright red in spring and the fall color is an incredibly intense red. Blackgum grows much better in wet soils than purple leaf plum.

Hedge

Boxwood is usually the first plant that most people think of for an evergreen hedge. How about inkberry (Ilex glabra)? A dwarf cultivar like ‘Shamrock’ grows about 4 feet tall with glossy, dark green leaves, creating an interesting texture. While it is less formal looking than boxwood, it can be maintained as a hedge with less pruning. It is also not prone to the fungal canker diseases that often cause dieback of boxwoods.

Evergreen Tree

Blue spruce is popular as an evergreen tree because people tend to like its bluish foliage and the tidy form. However, fungal needle blight diseases have decimated blue spruces during the past several abnormally wet years. Although Black Hills spruce (Picea glauca ‘Densata’) is somewhat slower growing, less blue and less pyramidal than blue spruce, it is more adaptable to the extremes in moisture and temperature that we face in the Midwest and it is also less prone to fungal needle blights.

Specimen Tree

Weeping mulberries are commonly planted to create landscape interest. After a few years, they usually look like strange, shaggy mops. Fox Valley® birch (Betula nigra ‘Little King’) is a very dwarf (10 feet) river birch with a mounded form and stunning, exfoliating bark. This is a plant that will create interest in your landscape for many years with little maintenance.

Focal Point

With its tight, conical form and dense, deep green needles, Alberta spruce definitely catches the eye. If you want a different, but equally eye-catching look and have some room, consider weeping Nootka falsecypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’). This slow-growing evergreen eventually reaches 35 feet. It has rich, deep green foliage in flattened sprays that hang down gracefully from horizontal branches. It will grow in sun or part shade and is not plagued by mites as is Alberta spruce.

Flowering Shrub

With thousands of stunning plants to choose from, selecting flowering shrubs can be truly bewildering. Rose of Sharon is commonly planted because it is tough as nails and has large, profuse and cheery blooms in the heat of summer. Why not spread out seasonal interest by planting some viburnums. Cardinal Candy® (Viburnum dilatatum ‘Henneke’ ) is a good example of a shrub for all seasons. It has creamy, white flowers in spring, attractive summer foliage, fairly good wine fall color and brilliant red fruit persisting into early winter.

We all have our favorite plants. Some of the plants suggested here might seem strange or inappropriate, but I happen to like them. The point of this article is to encourage you to broaden your plant palette. Go to gardens, take notes on plants that strike your fancy and do some homework. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Some of your choices might not work, but you will learn a lot from trying them.

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Best Plantings for Mid-spring

Posted on April 30th, 2012

April30

Japanese Yew

Japanese Yew

It’s nearly May (mid-spring), and with warmer-than-normal weather moving through our Zone (Eastern Colorado, all across Kansas and Missouri), a number of our outdoor landscaping clients have been asking us about the types of plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees that can be planted at this time of year. So, before the heat of the summer hits us, we thought this would make for a great article to accompany the other articles at the Westland Landscape blog.

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Welcome to the Westland Blog

Posted on September 9th, 2011

September9

Westland LandscapeWestland Landscape is proud to bring to you our new blog. As we have continued to evolve over 20 years, so has our commitment to technology. Just as our new site has expanded the breadth of information we bring to you, our blog

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