DIY Tips for a Gorgeous Florida Lawn

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If you own a home in the Orlando area, you are undoubtedly concerned about the appearance of your lawn. The overall maintenance, look and feel of your yard can speak volumes about the pride and joy that you take in your home – and in your community in general.

With that said, lawn care does not come easily to everyone – for every person out there with a green thumb, there is another person who really struggles to keep his or her lawn looking lush, full and verdant year round. In order to help our readers ensure that their lawns look fantastic 365 days a year, here is a handy list of DIY Florida lawn care tips guaranteed to help anyone maintain a top notch yard.

  1. Take stock of your yard– This tip is probably the most simple; you need to survey your lawn and examine it closely. What problems can you identify? What positives would you like to expand upon? What areas are giving you the most trouble? Make a list of the areas that are overgrown with weeds, are barren or are growing unevenly. Once you are armed with this information, you can begin to clearly craft your lawn care plan.
  2. Never try to landscape a soggy yard – Recent rainfall? Heavy foot traffic? These factors will make your lawn soggy at its root level, and you can potentially heavily damage your grass if you attempt to clean, rake or plant at this point. If you notice your yard is always a bit soggy, you may need to install a drainage solution.
  3. Clean up – Once your yard is dry and stable, it’s now time to use some elbow grease and get cleaning. Using a rake, gently rake the entirety of your yard. You may not think it is messy or filled with debris, but a quick raking will show you just how much detritus is lurking amidst the blades. This step alone will do wonders for the look and feel of your lawn.
  4. Dethatch your grass – After your light raking, its time for the more intensive process of dethatching. Thatch is the term for the build up of dead grass in your lawn, and no matter what type of grass you have you will have some thatch. This is a problem – it can build up and prevent oxygen and nutrients from reaching the root systems. You will need to use a thatching rake to remove excess thatch.
  5. Aeration – Now that your lawn is free from thatch and debris, it is time to poke down into the dirt in order to allow space for nutrients to reach the roots. You should aerate your lawn at twice per year, in the spring and fall.

While DIY lawn care is a noble pursuit, there is no shame in admitting that you do not have the time, energy or skills to landscape your own yard. If this is the case, consider bringing in an expert Orlando Lawn Company in order to help you turn your lawn into the paradise it deserves to be.

The Importance of Landscape Lighting for Your Home

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You have spent tons of money, time and energy ensuring that your home and your yard reflect your personal style and look its very best – so why ignore your landscape lighting? This one simple addition to your yard and home can completely change not only the way your house looks from the outside, but also the pride and enjoyment that you take from your property. 

The importance of lighting

If you are interested in your home’s appearance, by now you have heard about the importance of lighting in interior design. The way that you light your home can dramatically change your space; it can give the appearance of addition space, add warmth and coziness, and highlight (or hide) certain aspects of a room that you are proud of – or want to deflect from.

Once you recognize that lighting is integral when it comes to making your interiors look their best, it becomes clear that expertly lighting your exteriors is just as important. You can use landscape lighting in order to draw attention to a luscious lawn, stunning flowerbeds or a decorative gazebo or water feature. 

Why let all of your hard work sit in the dark?

Once you have your home and yard looking like a million dollars – or more – you certainly do not want all of your hard work languishing in the dark. The vast majority of your entertaining and hosting is sure to take place during the evening and night time hours, and so why hide your home when they arrive?

By choosing to add lighting to your yard and home exteriors you can create a stunning landscape that will impress your friends, family and colleagues. Consider under lighting your favorite trees, adding accent lighting to your façade or even creating a relaxing and atmospheric post-sunset glow all around your home and gardens.

The security benefits of exterior lighting

Exterior lighting adds drama and style, and it can also add valuable security benefits to your domicile that can keep your family safe. A burglar or nighttime intruder is far more likely to target a home that it set back in a pitch black yard than a home that is bathed in light. Your choice to incorporate lighting into your home and yard will not only keep your home looking its best, it will keep you out of harm’s way.

Don’t skimp on the lighting – create a stunning atmosphere 

Once you have decided to add lighting to your home exterior and yard, you need to consult with local Orlando landscaping companies. Ensure that you look for a well-reviewed, experienced landscaper who has a myriad of exterior lighting examples to show you so that you can choose exactly what effect you want to go for – you want an Orlando Landscape Light Company who knows how to get the job done right.

Watering 101 – Proven Tips for a Lush Lawn

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Nothing shows that you care about your surroundings more than a lush, rich green lawn – it is often the first thing that a guest will notice as they approach your home. That said, maintaining healthy green grass in Orlando, Florida is not always easy – sometimes you need a helping hand to get you on the right path towards a picture perfect front yard.

Here are some landscaper approved tips to help you ensure that your lawn is watered to perfection, yielding full, healthy blades of grass that are sure to flourish in Orlando’s climate.

Water is your friend – and your enemy

We all know that a certain amount of water is good for all flora – after all, without water our lawns would slowly turn brown, crispy and eventually wither away. Some otherwise attentive gardeners seem to forget the old adage “too much of a good thing…” when they water their grass, causing their lawns to become oversaturated, and leading to rot, insect infestation and disease – not to mention causing a huge waste of water. To avoid this, make sure that you have complete control over your sprinklers and don’t leave them running for extended periods of time without your constant attention.

The Six Inch Rule

Average grass varietals have roots that are three to six inches long, and you want the water to sink to the very tips. Therefore, you should always aim to water your grass for the amount of time that your grass dictates – check the soil every fifteen minutes after you water for the first time, and note when it reaches 6 inches on a ruler. Use this as a time guide for the future.

Assess your soil type

Every type of soil has its own watering needs – for instance, a sandy soil will accept and absorb water far more quickly than a hard packed clay. Assessing your soil type is critical when you are trying to decide how much water your lawn will need on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Unsure about your soil? Consult with an Orlando lawn care service expert to determine the best watering plan for your yard.

Time of day is key

If possible, always water during the cooler morning hours. This will allow the water to sink in before the heat of midday, when evaporation lessens its hydrating effects. 

How much water is necessary?

The University of Wisconsin’s Learning Store has stated that a healthy lawn needs, on average, 1 inch of water per week to maintain optimal health, texture and color. That means that if Orlando gets a quarter inch of of rain one week, it may not actually be the time to rest on your laurels and relax – your lawn still needs a little bit of extra hydration. Check the forecast (after all, if torrential rains are predicted, it may not be time to pull out the sprinkler), and then assess if you will need to top up.

Hire a professional

Despite your best efforts, sometimes it really just is time to call a professional to get the job done efficiency. Landscapers in the Orlando area are skilled at creating bespoke watering plans in order to make your lawn look its best.

Mulching Vs. Bagging: Your Most Common Questions Answered

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When it comes to mowing your lawn the perennial question of what to do with your grass clippings always arises. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cut and dry answer, but will depend upon your unique landscape needs.

In this post we answer your most common questions about how you can decide whether to bag or mulch your lawn clippings.

Is Bagging Grass Clippings Bad for the Environment?

Bagging all of your grass clippings is actually bad for the environment. Over 20% of landfill waste is from yard debris. By collecting your lawn clippings every week and sending them off to the landfill you’re actually taking up valuable landfill space.

Do Grass Clippings Contribute to Lawn Thatch?

Lawn thatch is a layer of both decomposed stems and roots that appears between the grass and the soil. Some people believe this layer is caused from grass clippings, however this isn’t true. Thatch is naturally occurring and mulching doesn’t add to this.

However, if you are having a problem with lawn thatch you can benefit from aerating your lawn each year.

Can Returning Your Clippings to the Lawn Make It Greener?

By returning your lawn clippings to your lawn you can actually make it greener over the long term. By mulching your lawn clippings you’ll end up retuning more nitrogen to the soil. If you’re already on a fertilizer program, then you’ll need to adjust based upon if you mulch or bag your clippings.

Are All Lawn Mowers Are the Same?

When it comes to the type of mower you’re using there’re going to be a few options for you to choose from.

The main types of discharge mowers are side-discharge and mulching mowers. Mulching mowers will chop up the grass clippings small with an added blade. While side discharge mowers will discharge your clippings to the side, and you’ll need to run over the pile multiple times to do your own mulching.

If you’re using a bagging mower, then you’ll need to bag and dump your yard clippings as you mow.

Can Leaving Clippings Across Your Lawn Damage It?

Yes they can. If you don’t mow often enough, or if you leave the clippings in large piles it can actually kill the grass underneath. To combat this you can mow your lawn more frequently during peak growing seasons, so you’re not trimming too much grass at any given time.

Are Grass Clippings Always Safe for Compost?

Depending upon when herbicides and other chemicals were applied to your lawn last, it might not be safe to compost. If you had a lawn care company apply herbicides for you then you’ll want to check with them to see if it’s safe to compost your grass clippings.

You want your compost to be safe and healthy for your lawn and garden, so it’s always better to be sure.

If you have any questions regarding lawn care, then reach out to our team of landscape professionals today.

5 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade To LED Landscape Lighting

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A high quality landscape lighting system will go a long way towards improving the outside appearance of your home and yard. Having a high quality landscape lighting setup will bring many benefits to your home, including increased home value and added safety.

In this post we’re going to illustrate why you should consider upgrading to LED landscape lighting, if you haven’t already.

LED Lights Are Longer Lasting

If you’re looking to invest into your landscape for the long-term it only makes sense to invest in lights that are going to work for a prolonged period of time. LED lights are more advanced than your standard landscape lights, and will account for over 75 percent of all lights by 2030.

LED light bulbs tend to last up to 25 times longer than traditional landscape lights.

LED Lights Can Save You Money

LED lights typically cost more to install initially. However, those costs can be recouped due to their longer lifespan, and overall electricity usage. For instance, LED bulbs tend to use around 80 percent less energy than other types of bulbs.

This will end up saving you a lot of money in the long-term, especially if you tend to use your landscape lighting setup very frequently.

LED Lights Can Improve Home Value

Beautiful and efficient lighting can go a long way towards improving the overall value of your home. If you’re looking to increase the value of your home before you put it on the market it can be very helpful to improve your outdoor landscape by installing outdoor LED lights.

LED Lights Run Much Cooler

Halogen and incandescent bulbs produce a lot of heat. If there are dry leaves or other combustible materials near your landscape lights, then this added heat can be dangerous and increase the fire risk around your home

People used to be wary about getting LED lights installed as they would give off a more bluish tint. However, newer LED bulbs have managed to correct this completely, and they can produce the same soft, white glow as any other bulb.

LED Lights Are Overall More Sustainable

If you’re looking to “go green”, then installing LED lights can be very effective. Becoming more sustainable can help to boost the sustainability rating for your property, which can increase your home’s value.

As more buyers choose to buy homes that are more sustainable, it can be beneficial to ensure you home is up to current standards by installing LED landscape lighting. LED lights are more sustainable because they use less energy, emit less heat, and require less overall maintenance and replacements.

If you’re looking to improve the value of your home, or just give your home landscape a much-needed makeover. It can be beneficial to invest in LED landscape lighting. However, it’s important you work with a landscape professional when choosing, designing, and installing your new lights.

Seeding a Spot in Your Lawn – A Guide to Having The Best Looking Lawn on the Block

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Everyone knows that guy on the block. The one with the lawn that looks great, aside from the patches every few feet that resemble a sand pit. These spots can be incredibly ugly, and can leave a negative taste in anyone’s mouth that sees your yard. Luckily, there’s an easier fix than hoping and praying at night that you’ll wake up in the morning and that brown spot will suddenly turn green. In this post, we’re going to teach you exactly how to fix those ugly spots, and how to care for your lawn so they never pop up ever again. After reading this guide, you’re going to have the best looking lawn on your block. We guarantee it.

Seeding a spot isn’t as simple as you’d think it’d be. You can’t just go to the store and pick up any random kind of grass seed. You need to get the right kind of seed, which is where we’ll begin. Go outside and look at the quality of your current grass. If you typically plant grass seed, and the surrounding grass is a certain seed you’ve used before, just buy that. If you don’t know what to buy, take a picture of the spot, and the surrounding grass, and go to your local hardware store or garden store and buy whatever resembles it the closest. If you have grass that’s a lighter shade of green, and you go the store and get the darkest color you can find, that spot isn’t going to look much better than it does right now.

Once you have a seed picked out, it’s time to begin the process that’s going to make your lawn look like the White House lawn. What you’re going to need is grass seed, grass fertilizer, lots of water, and patience. Let’s go over this in steps.

Step 1: Plant the Seed With Fertilizer

You can either get seed that has fertilizer built-in, or you can buy your own fertilizer. Just about any common kind of grass fertilizer will work for this. Make sure you go a little over the top when planting the seed and using the fertilizer. It won’t kill the grass, it’ll just make it grow quicker and easier. Never be afraid of using too much seed. As long as there isn’t a ridiculous amount, the grass will grow quickly and the seeds won’t have to fight over water to grow.

Step 2: Water

The biggest thing that’s going to keep your grass growing well is water. Every plant needs water, regardless of any circumstance. Seedlings will start developing as early as 1 week after planting, and you should see the grass growing to the length of your typical grass within a month or two. Make sure you keep watering the grass, and keep adding plant food every so often if it starts to look a bit week. Just make sure you don’t over-water too. When watering, just stop once a bunch of water starts running on top of the grass. Make sure the grass gets a good soaking every day when it’s first growing. After the seedlings start developing, you can plant less often.

Step 3: Take Care of Your Lawn

You have to take care of your lawn after planting the new seed! This means the whole lawn, and not just the patch. To avoid spots in the future, make sure your lawn gets plenty of water. This will ensure new spots don’t pop up.

As long as you follow the three steps listed above, you should have no problem growing new grass in the rough patches on your lawn. Just make sure the grass gets plenty of fertilizer and water! After the patches fill in, keep taking care of your lawn, and you’ll have the best looking lawn on the block. All of your neighbors will be jealous!

7 Most Common Benefits Of Mulching

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Mulching is one of the best things you can do for your garden and landscape. However, it’s a simple process that most garden owners tend to overlook. Mulching is essentially placing a protective barrier around your plants.

Mulch is made out of a variety organic and inorganic materials, such as, wood chips, bark, pine needles, landscaping fabric, river rock, and other pebbles. The blend will depend upon the climate and the type of plants that populate your garden and landscape.

Below you’ll find the most common benefits that mulching will bring to your outdoor landscape.

1. Moisture Control

Retaining moisture during hot and dry seasons can do wonders for your garden. Mulch will help to cover your garden, which will eliminate any excess evaporation.

Organic mulches also help to absorb water that would usually end up as runoff.

2. Weed Control

If your garden has empty or barren spaces this can allow certain types of weeds to spring up. By applying mulch to these empty areas you’ll limit weed growth throughout your beautiful garden.

The mulch will act as a preventative barrier that will prevent the weeds from absorbing the necessary sunlight required to grow.

3. Controls Pests

Some styles of mulch will contain natural oils that will act as a repellent to certain breeds of insects. The most fragrant types of mulch will have the greatest effect on repelling insects.

You’ll want to consult with an expert if you’re purchasing mulch specifically for pest management reasons.

4. Prevents Erosion

Mulching can also help to keep heavy rains from washing away your soil. In areas that receive a heavy downfall of rain it can be useful to apply mulch to protect your plants, and keep your soil healthy.

The mulch will act as a barrier that will lessen the impact of the water on the soil.

5. Encourages Earthworms

Some types of bugs are actually really good for your garden, and will help to maintain its long-term health. Earthworms will help to improve the overall structure of your soil, and its nutrient cycling capabilities.

This will ensure your soil remains high quality, and will leave your plants healthy and flourishing.

6. Keeps Nutrients In The Soil

As we mentioned above mulch will help to keep soil nutrients from being washed away when it rains. But, it will also release nutrients into the soil if you end up using organic matter as the base for your mulch.

7. Finish Your Landscape

When you use mulch around your garden and landscape it can give the appearance of being finished. You can also use mulch to fill in empty spaces around your yard to truly complete the landscape.

Most gardens require a lot of extra work to maintain and keep their appearance. If you’re using other types of materials for ground cover, such as, grass and other fillers you’re going to add to your workload.

Organic and inorganic mulches require a lot less maintenance, and it will never increase the competition with your other plants.

If you’re interested in a professional landscape consultation, or a landscape maintenance plan, then get in touch with our team today.

5 Tips for The Perfect Landscape Lighting Setup

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You’re going to install landscape lighting for a variety of reasons. However, if you’re thinking about your very first landscape lighting setup you’re going to want to do it right the first time. You’d hate to waste your time having to tweak your current setup, of have a lighting setup that doesn’t work for your unique backyard needs.

Luckily for you we’re going to highlight five tips that will guarantee the best landscape lighting setup for your yard and home, even if you’re a complete beginner.

Layer Your Lighting

It’s important to have multiple lighting strategies in effect when planning your lighting setup. It’s important to use different layers and styles of lighting to give a certain amount of depth to your yard and surrounding landscape.

Use Guide Lights

Guide lights can not only direct your guests, but also give added safety to your home. Guide lights will help you and your guests travel safely after the sun goes down.

For a look that doesn’t take away from the rest of your setup consider choosing lights that are soft and don’t add any glare. Solar charging lights can be very useful.

Consider Motion Sensing

Motion sensing light can add extra security to your home without adding too much bright light that can be unpleasant to you and your guests. Place these around key elements of your landscape and home, such as, the garage and front doors, as well as side doors and other points of entry into your home.

Ambiance Lighting

There are certain styles of lighting that will add a warm and comfortable ambiance to your landscape and home. These include elements like, candlelight, string lights, lanterns and other types of subtle light.

Make sure to choose wisely between ambient lighting, and other features to truly get the most out of your setup.

Amplify Outside Elements

Some landscape setups have certain garden features and other elements that you’d like to draw extra attention to. This is where it can be useful to install spotlight setups, and other guiding lights that will illuminate features that otherwise might go unnoticed in the dark.

You can also use lighting to protect certain fragile features of your lawn and garden that might end up being accidentally trampled.

If you’re interested in a professional landscape lighting setup that you can guarantee will look good and perform even better, then reach out to our team today. We love answering any and all questions related to landscape lighting setups.

Benefits Of Installing Landscape Lighting

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Landscape LightingLandscape lighting can greatly improve the outdoor appearance of your home. However, beyond appearance landscape lighting can also make your outdoor landscape more safe, secure, beautiful, and comfortable.

Landscape lighting can help to highlight certain backyard features, or provide added ambiance to an outdoor patio. The lighting setup you install will determine the unique benefits your outdoor landscape will receive.

When choosing the right landscape lighting setup you’ll need to take into account how you’re going to use your setup and what features your yard will require. Below you’ll find some of the most common benefits homeowners receive when installing landscape lighting to their outdoor areas.

1. Increased Safety

When it’s dark and you want to spend time outside in your yard or on your patio, then outdoor lighting can make these spaces much safer. You can use different styles of lighting, such as zone lighting, to illuminate walkways, seating areas, and landscape features.

This will ensure you and your guests aren’t stumbling around in the dark, but instead have a safe space to relax and have fun.

2. Greater Comfort and Well-Being

If you have a large and beautifully landscaped outdoor space, why not use it once the sun goes down? You can extend your indoor living areas into your outdoor space with the proper lighting. If you have a deck or patio area, you can make these spaces more comfortable with the right kind of lighting setup.

Using the right combination of lights will help to create a comfortable and warm ambiance throughout your entire backyard.

3. Enhanced Aesthetics

By illuminating certain landscape features you can spruce up your backyard with decorative lighting. This is a great way to display your flowerbeds, and create a mood across your entire outdoor landscape.

By illuminating certain trees, flowers, and landscape features you can show how beautiful your yard and landscape is no matter the time of day.

As an added benefit a well-lit landscape can increase the curb appeal of your home. Your home will stand out from the rest of the dark properties on the street, with your outdoor lighting setup.

4. Better Security

When your yard and landscape is lit properly it will give you greater security and peace. When your landscape is well lit it shows that your home and yard is well cared for. This will help to prevent theft and trespassing.

For enhanced security you can install motion detector lights that will turn on if someone was through your yard. This will deter trespassers to even greater lengths.

If your yard or landscape doesn’t have a well-defined boundary you can use boundary lights to illuminate the end and edges of your property.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your outdoor lighting setup it can help to work with a professional. They’ll be able to understand the intricacies of your landscape and how to integrate lighting in a way that addresses your needs, without feeling intrusive.

Top 5 Summer Landscaping Trends

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Summertime is the season where you can really take your yard, landscaping, and gardening to the next level. Usually, the springtime is where you start to prep your lawn and garden for the coming months, but depending on the climate where you live you can continue to work on your landscape throughout the summer as well.

In this post we’re going to explore the top summer landscaping trends and how you can implement them into your lawn and garden.

1. Returning To Native Vegetation

By using native plants and vegetation your landscape will require much less maintenance than usual. Certain plants are built to thrive in certain climates, by only using this style of plant or vegetation across your landscape you’ll be in line with your local climate and weather patterns.

Some people think that native vegetation is boring, but with enough creativity and knowledge of native plants you can create a beautiful and colorful landscape.

2. Growing An Edible Landscape

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a hot and tasty trend. There’s something about growing a little bit of your own food that makes it taste so much better. Imagine walking out your backdoor and picking a tasty lemon or orange from your tree without having to make a trip to the grocery store.

3. Implementing Waste Reduction Strategies

The great thing about a landscape or backyard that minimizes waste is that it’s going to save you money, while helping your yard thrive. Common waste reduction strategies include having your own compost bin, and collecting rain water for irrigation (depending on local regulations).

The biomass generated from your garden and food scraps can actually help your garden and plants live longer and healthier.

4. Water Features For Ambiance

Water features such as fountains and bird baths will help to cultivate a nice ambiance for your backyard space. There’s something about running water that puts you into a nice state of relaxation.

You can even recycle water within these features, so your water expenses and usage won’t increase too drastically.

5. Catering To Birds and Insects

Elegant bird feeders and blooming flowers can truly make your landscape feel alive. For a fun weekend project you can even build your own bird feeders with your children out of materials you have lying around the house.

By having birds and insects present throughout your garden you’ll be able to nurture a more diverse and thriving ecosystem, which will help your garden and landscape become more resilient if the weather does take a turn.

Some of these projects you can tackle yourself, but it’s always wise to consult the advice of a landscape professional. They’ll be able to ensure your landscape looks beautiful, and is easier for you to maintain yourself.