Guide to Retaining Walls and Landscaping

Retaining Walls and Landscaping

Retaining walls and landscaping are often used in commercial and residential premises. Walls assist with great elevations and slopes to hold back soil and prevent erosion. In landscaping, retaining walls that are low can be used for planting beds and add to the curb appeal of land that was previously flat.

Employing services of landscape designers to layout a retaining wall and landscaping project is important.  Skill and keenness are needed to prevent the wall from leaning, bulging or cracking and becoming useless in the future. Keeping in mind the drainage, base, back fill, and height of the retaining wall is key before commencing construction.

Types of Retaining Walls

There are four major types of retaining walls. Putting them up will depend on the size to be erected, soil type and materials available.

1. Anchored Retaining WallAnchored retaining walls and landscaping

Anchors are mechanically directed into the soil attached by strips and cables to support an assortment of fronts of the retaining wall. Ends of anchors undergo expansion after pressurized concrete or other mechanical means are used to create this physical change. Anchored retaining walls are best for thinner walls.

2. Gravity Retaining Walls and Landscaping

Commonly used by landscapers, gravity retaining walls use mass and weight to keep the soil compact and prevent erosion. Materials used to erect these walls range from bricks, unmortared stone, pavers and dry-stacked stones. For shorter walls, reinforcement is done by digging a trench for the retaining wall to fit into.

3. Sheet Piling Retaining Wall

In areas with limited space, this wall is what you need. A very thin wall made of vinyl, wood or steel is driven in the soil at least 1/3 of the length. Additional reinforcement is done by erecting a corrugated structure vertically. This type of retaining wall is suitable for areas with softer and lighter soil. If you intend to put up a larger wall, strengthen the piling with an anchored retaining wall.

4. Cantilevered Retaining Wall

Usually taking an L-shape, cantilevered retaining walls have steel bars immersed in concrete or retaining walls from masonry attached to a slab foundation. The wall remains sturdy for a long time because the weight of the soil above exerts a lot of pressure on the slab.

Block retaining walls and landscaping are commonly used because the materials used during construction are easily available. The advantage of block retaining walls is their sturdy and durable aspect that makes it an investment. You can now seed your field and with time you will have a lawn growing on healthy conserved soil. This area of landscaping conserves the environment by preventing the occurrence of rills and gullies caused by running water.

How to Mulch – Proper Mulching Techniques in Landscaping

Proper Mulching Techniques

Mulching is one of the best techniques that homeowners and landscapers can use to maintain the health of their trees. This is because it’s known for its ability to make the growing environment more favorable.

However, over mulching can turn out to be one of the most severe landscaping mistakes that a homeowner or landscaper can make. It will lead to damage to saplings as well as other plants.

Therefore, you need to know how to calculate mulch. This is the main reason why using proper mulching techniques in landscaping is recommended.

Bear in mind that the proper mulching depth should range between 2 and 4 inches.

how to mulchIf applied appropriately, the mulch will assist in:

  • maintaining moisture in the soil
  • weed control
  • enhancing the structure of the soil
  • preventing certain types of plant diseases

Additionally, mulch plays a vital role in protecting plants from weed whacker damage and lawn mower blight.

Mulch also gives your planting bed a uniform and well cared for appearance. For this reason, every landscape care provider must know how to mulch.

However, excessive mulch can cause numerous complications for homeowners. For this reason, you need to determine how much mulch to buy when it comes to mulching landscape beds.

Complications resulting from excessive mulching include:mulching landscape

  • Too much moisture in the root region leading to tree stress and making the roots rot
  • Insects and tree illness issues
  • Micro-nutrient venomousness
  • A high rate of weed growth
  • Stinking planting beds that are caused by the sour mulch and anaerobic conditions
  • Creation of hiding place for rodents that eat the back and girdle of trees

Proper mulching

It’s evident that the type of mulch selected and the technique of application can be vital to the well being of your trees. Here are the tips to help you do the right thing when applying mulch.

  1. Examine the plants and soil in the zone that you intend to mulch and find out if the drainage is adequate.
  2. Determine the depth of the mulch and never add mulch if there’s already an adequate layer. Check the existing mulch to segregate any entwined layers and refresh the appearance.
  3. In case the mulch is heaped around the stems and tree trunks, pull it back multiple inches to expose the base truck and root crown of the tree.

mulching landscape beds

Proper Mulching Techniques

In most cases, organic mulches are considered to be better than inorganic mulches since they have the required properties to improve the soil. In case you choose to use organic mulch, make sure it’s well aerated and composed. Never use sour-smelling mulch.

Composted wood pieces can form excellent mulch, particularly when they contain a variety of leaves, bark, and wood. Don’t use non composted wood pieces that are heaped deep without being exposed to oxygen.

Put a 2-4 inch layer of your mulch if your site has good drainage. If there are some drainage issues, try to use a thinner layer. Never put mulch against the trunks of trees. Following these recommendations for proper mulching techniques will lead to successful plant maintenance and growth.

Winter Update: Causes of Frost Heave Damage and How to do Frost Heave Repair

Frost Heave Repair

A groundhog sees his shadow and we’re told to wait for winter to pass us by yet again. However, the winter of 2017-2018 has been no picnic for many people. Several states saw extended record low freezing temperatures. The demand for frost heave repair will rise as a result.

Landscapers, contractors, outdoor property management companies, and municipalities will find themselves dealing with the cold hard facts; frost heave and cold weather damages are everywhere.

What Is Frost Heave?

Frost heave happens when the stones that are part of the walkway begin to heave (or shift) after freezing weather. This is a result of the joint sand underneath the stones settling unevenly after freezing and thawing out.

frost heave damage

What Kind Of Walkways Are Most Affected?

The most affected types of walkways are paver, concrete, and flagstone (natural stone) walkways. These types of walkways typically must be deiced during winter. Occasionally, due to severe conditions, frost heave repair is also required.

What Causes Frost Heave Damage?Brick Walkway Frost Heave Repair

Frost damage and heave are caused by the expansion of ice. To put it in simple terms, when water turns to ice, total volume increases. This can cause the following:

  • Paver and stone walkways could crack if they’re old or of poor quality.
  • Joint sand underneath walkways can settle unevenly.
  • If you use the wrong type of bulk salt to remove the ice, your slabs can be damaged.

The end results are: dangerous and ugly cracks in the concrete or flagstone. This will make your patio and/or driveway unsafe and unsightly. And, if these cracks aren’t taken care of right away, moisture will seep into them and make the concrete slabs vulnerable to heaving.

Frost Heave Repair

One solution to the loose flagstones and slabs is to simply remove them. You’ll also have to remove any old cement underneath them.

If you notice any long cracks running from one section of your patio or walkway to another section, then read on to learn more about paver patio repair. This is a clear indication that your foundation also has some serious cracking.

Paver Patio Repair

The best way to fix foundation damage in your patio or walkway is to do the following:

  1. Widen any crack in the foundation to about a full inch in width.
  2. The widened crack will then be filled with a masonry adhesive agent. This must be given enough time to setup.
  3. Bonding agent added to mortar mix will be used to fill the crack.
  4. You may also choose to add steel reinforcements along the crack area.

Conclusion

Flagstone walkways are generally less affected. They are well known for their immense durability. However, they can still get damaged during extremely cold weather, or if something heavy falls on them. Fortunately, removal of the damaged stone and replacement with a new one usually completes the repair.

Paver walkway repair is more time consuming and requires paver removal, subsurface layer repair, and replacement of pavers. In some cases new pavers are needed if frost heave has caused uneven wear or paver deterioration.

With less durable concrete walkways however, frost heave repair isn’t as simple. You should consult with an expert mason to examine your walkway and see if there’s any serious damage to the foundation.

Summer Plant Relocation: Essential Guidelines for Success

Summer Plant Relocation

Summer isn’t the best time to undertake plant relocation. The heat and sun angle are not plant friendly. However, there are times when the only option is to perform plant relocation during the summer. You can have success with plant relocation during any season by following these easy guidelines.

Plant Relocation Guidelines

  1. Water the plants to be dug and relocated at least a day before you plan to move them. This will make certain that hydration will reach all areas of the plant prior to the start of relocation.
  2. Dig and relocate only during cloudy days or in the evening when it is cooler.
  3. Prior to digging or removing the plant from its current location, be sure to water the base liberally. This will ensure that the soil will stay with the roots when it is removed from its current location.
  4. Do not expose the roots during plant relocation to wind, heat or sun. If relocating multiple plants, only work with one plant at a time. Do not remove multiple plants from their current location at the same time.Summer Plant Relocation Watering
  5. Water the intended plant relocation hole before moving.
  6. Put the relocated plant into the hole and pour water in until reaching half way point of the hole. The water will merge the root soil and the hole soil. After soak, finish filling hole with soil.
  7. Once the plant relocation is complete, you can tamp the soil but do so lightly.
  8. After the plant relocation is in place, water the entire plant again including the leaves.
  9. Keep the plant shielded from direct sunlight. A floating row cover or leaning a board between the plant and the direction of sun will work nicely. Do this step for 3-6 days.

Be sure to check on the plant relocation site every day for 2 weeks. Relocated plants will need watering at least once every day. If the plant is wilting give it water. Keep water the plant once or twice each day until it becomes established. If the plant has less roots than top growth or is very large, it will need more water.

This may seem to be an inordinate amount of attention, but the disturbance of being relocated is stressful to plants at any season. During the summer, taking extra caution is important to allow for the transition of your relocated plants.

How Brilliant Landscaping will Increase Your Property Value Right Away

Landscape Property Value - Country Springs Wholesale NurseryIncrease Your Landscape Property Value Without Breaking a Sweat

Does landscaping increase property value? If horticultural studies are anything to go by, there can be as much as a 12% increase in property value from landscaping alone.

The value in a pleasing landscape is obvious. People want a weed-free lawn and attractive flower beds. When they host a family barbecue, they want to be proud and not embarrassed.

How to use Landscaping to Attract Buyers

The first thing that buyers will see is the outside of your house, so it must look as good as possible. Remember, a home that has a well maintained yard signals to buyers that the inside of the home is well maintained too.

To increase landscape property value and attract buyers, it is crucial to have a good landscaping plan in place before you do any actual landscaping. If you make landscaping decisions without looking at and knowing the big picture, the landscape will likely appear disorganized in the end, which will turn off prospective buyers.

A professional landscaper can provide you with clever designs that are suitable for your yard and climate.

If you don’t want to hire a professional, at least start by drawing up a master plan for the landscaping project and commit to small chunks each season. Even if you are an amateur, you can create a professional landscape for around $500 – $3000. Price factors include which landscaping company you choose as well as the plants and materials for the project.

Benefits of Landscape Property ValueLandscape Property Value Options - Country Springs Wholesale Nursery

Speaking of plants, natural plants are worth the effort of planting. Native plants usually grow better than foreign, exotic plants. Healthy plants don’t need replacing as much, so you can save a lot of money as plants can be expensive.

The higher price you pay for plants is reasonable because landscaping will increase property value right away, and it is truly one of the few improvements that can do this. And the value will also increase over time; interior design and decor can go out of style, mechanical systems can wear out, but plants will grow and improve each year.

Finally, in case you aren’t experienced with gardening, gardening is fun and relaxing. It has been shown in studies to be a stress reliever. Therefore you will gain in health as well as increase your landscape property value.

Tips for Maintaining Plants

  • Do not let nature take its course. Do proper maintenance on the plants – they will be healthier and prettier.
  • The longevity of plants is a result of their health. Their roots must be healthy and unconfined. If there is a problem with the roots the plants will eventually show it.
  • When a shrub gets too big and bushy on the outside, the inside of the plant suffers, so make sure to keep them pruned.