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Category Archive: News

Lawns in residential and commercial locations should be mowed regularly, because properly trimmed grass provides many practical benefits. The process of maintaining a yard in order to take advantage of the benefits is easy since there are various landscaping service options in Ann Arbor Michigan.

 

Very Strong Grass

When new grass grows in neighborhoods in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the stalks aren’t very strong. In order to strengthen a lawn, a mower must be used on a regular basis. After grass is cut, the new stalks that begin to grow are always thicker and stronger, and every cluster stands out, because each grass strand has a bold, green color.

 

Enhanced Curb Appeal

In order to increase curb appeal on landscapes, all grass on a lawn must grow evenly. Regular mowing boosts curb appeal by keeping a lawn green; the grass blades hold their bold color, because proper water distribution happens while the stalks are cut. Throughout this process, absorption happens in an efficient manner, because the water reaches the roots by seeping into the soil.

 

These perks only happen after a lawn is cut evenly, because sunlight and water can’t access every spot on a landscape when the grass stalks have a different height and thickness. Consistency is the key to enhancing curb appeal, and the best way to maintain a professionally cut lawn is by working with landscapers.

 

Easier Mulching

Mulching is a vital task that benefits yards in Ann Arbor, as mulch protects a landscape by shielding important nutrients that are found in soil. Proper mulch that’s layered around a mowed yard can keep nutrients in the soil during:

  • Heavy rainstorms
  • Minor windstorms
  • Flooding

Quicker Maintenance

If the process of tackling lawn maintenance tasks seems like a hassle, regular mowing can simplify typical landscaping routines. Multiple things can impact a lawn, when the grass isn’t mowed, such as diseases, bugs, and weather conditions. These problems don’t affect properties that are trimmed with a lawn mower on a regular basis, because the nutrients in the stalks help an entire lawn recover when harmful elements impact the environment.

 

In order to maintain a tidy yard, the grass must be mowed strategically and efficiently throughout the rainy season. Many locals simplify landscaping tasks in Ann Arbor by seeking professional services whenever tall grass needed to be mowed. This approach keeps grass plush, thick, and grass until the cold weather arrives in Ann Arbor.

 

DrainageExtreme weather is nothing new to the residents of Ann Arbor, MI. Along with severe storms comes the excess water that needs a way to drain off so it does not result in flooding or standing water. Water concentration occurs wherever there is an impediment to drainage. Between the overgrowth or erosion of landscaping, the threat of flooding, and environmental concerns, the need for an effective stormwater management program is paramount in Ann Arbor. It is also paramount in other territories where extreme weather threatens both urban and non-urban areas.

 

Rain Falls on Everything

During rain storms, a percentage of precipitation is retained by plants and the earth which also helps replenish ground water levels. Urban areas have less open ground spaces, where water is normally absorbed. In both urban and non-urban areas, impervious surfaces such as rooftops, parking lots, streets and sidewalks, prevent absorption and encourage the water to flow to watersheds. Channels or pathways that drain runoff to streams, lakes, rivers or eventually the ocean, are watersheds. Storm drains are also watersheds.

Most people assume the job of managing storm runoff is handled by local governmental agencies or developers. While it is true that these interests are responsible for planning and implementing effective programs, the role of residents in the community cannot be underestimated. The actions of one individual affect the community just as the actions of a community affect downstream neighbors. As excess water from severe storms flows along, it picks up potential pollutants such as:

 

  • Machine oils and gasoline from leaking engines
  • Pesticides and fertilizers used in lawn and garden maintenance
  • Bacteria from both human and animal waste
  • Metals
  • Chlorinated pool water

 

The Importance of Storm Water Management Systems

Modern urbanization has covered much of our open, rural landscapes with concrete and asphalt. Water collection systems are engineered in the planning of communities to help channel and capture runoff. Where the remaining landscape has shifted or clogs have developed, the existing systems cannot perform at peak level. It is of the highest importance that whole neighborhoods with their streets, lawns and common areas, share in being prepared for extreme weather. Homeowners should make the effort to learn about their local watersheds, the upstream impact, and how they impact downstream neighbors. Contaminated runoff is everyone’s problem as it impacts the water supply. Water consumption for both humans and the local wildlife is at risk from pollution due to runoff. If the excess water from severe storms has no place to go or if the systems in place are not up to the challenge, then the system is effectively useless.

More communities these days are working to incorporate drainage systems that are more natural. In addition, runoff is reduced when water infiltration is increased on site. This is also the best method for improving the quality of the water retained, and it all starts with the individual homeowner.

 

Landscape maintenance contracts provide residents and businesses with knowledgeable people who have the experience and resources to establish, construct, and maintain the ideal storm water management systems needed to prevent flooding and other perils related to water concentration. It is less costly to manage prevention than it is to pay for the cleanup.

 

The benefits of planting fruiting and flowering trees may seem obvious. Flowering trees, whose flowers may turn into fruit at the end of the season, are beautiful. Some, like cherry trees, have a lovely fragrance. Fruiting trees provide delicious food, and cut down on grocery bills. However, there are many more benefits to planting and caring for these trees though. Among them are:

1. Reduced Levels of Carbon Dioxide

Trees

  • Take carbon dioxide from the air..
  • Add oxygen to the air.

 

2. Prevention of Storm Runoff

One of the dangers of torrential rains and floods is that soil can be washed away. The roots of trees and plants keep the soil stable, and hills that are devoid of plants can even collapse.

 

3. Reduction of Energy Costs

A fruit tree or an ornamental tree planted in the right place can shade a home and keep it cooler in the summer. Scientists believe that one tree has the cooling power of 10 room air conditioners running 20 hours a day. In the winter, the tree’s bare limbs allow sunlight to come into the home and warm it. This helps to cut down on energy bills.

 

4. Benefit of Locally Grown Fruit

A lot of the fruit that’s sold in the supermarket has to be shipped in from hundreds of miles away. Some have lost some of their nutritional value or their taste during the journey. Others are picked when they’re a little unripe and may be treated with methane gas to help them ripen by the time they get to the store. Some of these fruits never properly ripen but simply start to rot once they’re bought. Others are waxed to preserve their freshness. But nothing beats the taste and freshness of fruit from a homeowner’s own tree.

5. Extra Income

A person who has a small orchard can sell the fruit, either at the above mentioned Farmers’ Market or at a fruit stand at the roadside. They can also just give surplus fruit away.

 

6. The Joy of Community Gardening

Community gardens with fruit trees teach their members how to plant and take care of these trees and experience the pleasure of a good harvest at the end of the season. It also encourages social bonds among garden members of all ages.

 

7. The Birds and the Bees

Ornamental and fruiting trees attract birds, bees, butterflies and other animals. Indeed, some fruit trees need bees and other pollinators in order to set fruit. Birds nest in mature trees, and eat the insects that would otherwise eat the leaves and the flowers.

8. Hiding Unattractive Views

An ornamental tree placed in front of the compost pile can hide it nicely when it’s in full bloom or full leaf. Ornamentals soften the look of a property’s hardscaping.

 

9. Curb Appeal and Resell Value

The sight of flowering trees in a yard is aesthetically pleasing and can even raise the home’s resale value.

 

Conclusion

Beyond their beauty and the fruit they produce, fruiting trees and trees that burst into bloom are good for the environment, attract benevolent animals, encourage social bonds, and enhance the value of a property. They are trees homeowners should consider.

 

Your backyard and garden are excellent places for your pet to enjoy the fresh air, play with their favorite toy, and relax. Making your backyard a pet-friendly, safe, and comfortable environment will give you peace of mind the next time your pet is out in the yard by themselves. Your goal is to create a safe environment for your pet, and at the same time, an attractive space for the people. This can be accomplished easily by following a couple of steps to make a safe haven for your pet.

These steps are:

1. Use Pet-Friendly Edging

An edge separates the grass from the shrub or the flowerbeds. Steel is the most commonly used material for an edge. It has a sharp edge that can cut your pet’s paw once he/she steps on it. To avoid such injuries, it is advisable to use edges with a more rounded edge. You can also switch to brick or concrete blocks since they are more paw friendly.

2. Use Comfy Mulch

When choosing the material to use as mulch, you need to put in some consideration. First, you do not want to use materials that will stick on your pet’s coat. You also should stay away from materials with jagged edges such as granite as it can cut your pet’s paw. Instead, you should think of materials such as river rock mulch (since they are rounded they will not injure your pet’s little feet). You can also opt for cider chips. You should avoid using cocoa mulch as it contains theobromine, which is an ingredient used to make chocolate and could be poisonous to dogs.

3. Be Selective with Your Yard Features

To make the backyard more fun for your pet, you can incorporate some features such as a backyard pond or a sand box (especially, if you have a dog). It can be great for him/her to cool down in the hot summer weather or dig and bury his/her bones. However, if your dog is small or not a swimmer, be sure to block off any access to the pond for their safety. When it comes to a sand box, the installation is relatively easy, but it needs some maintenance. Keep a shovel close by to clean up and cover any waste and holes.

4. Choose Plants Wisely

While plants and flowers can make your backyard look beautiful, some plants are toxic to your pet. The toxicity levels will vary from plant to plant, and they may cause different reactions. Find out from your veterinary physician which plants you should avoid and which to plant. It is better to be safe than sorry. Use plant species that are known to reduce fleas such as rosemary, mint, and lavender. Also select urine resistant plants such as Euonymus Japonica. If you notice some brown or yellow spots on your lawn from urine, do not freak out, reseeding is quite easy.

5. Be Cautious when Using Fertilizers, Herbicides, and Insecticides

Always read the instructions on the bottle before use. This will reduce the chances of using chemicals that can be harmful to your pet. It is advisable to use organic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers on your lawn and on the plants as well.

Knowing exactly what to do and what to change in your backyard to make it pet-friendly can be a challenge for most pet owners. The best option is to contact a landscape professional to advise you on the mulch, the plants to use, and the insecticides to avoid among other things. Feel free to contact us for further information.

 

We all dream of spending a relaxing evening in a perfectly manicured backyard. Unfortunately, the cost required to landscape a yard can sometimes make that dream seem out of reach. But getting the perfect yard doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. With a little bit of effort and a little elbow grease, you can get a fantastic yard for a fraction of what other people pay. Here are some tips to help you get the yard of your dreams, on a less-than-dreamy budget.

 

Get a Free Landscape Design

It can be difficult to know where to start when you want to design your yard. Instead of wasting money on trial and error, get a free landscape plan from a local nursery. Take them a rough outline of your lot, and get some professional help coming up with a design plan. Decide where you’ll add flower beds, where you’ll put hardscape, as well as get recommendations for what types of plants grow best in your area. Most people develop their landscaping a little at a time, whenever they have the money. Starting with a plan helps make sure that you only buy plants that fit nicely in your long-term design plan, minimizing waste and costly mistakes.

 

Shop Springtime Sales

Springtime is always a fantastic time to find good sales at nurseries and big box stores. Many stores offer significantly decreased prices on mulch, plants, seeds, as well as soil amendments. Do yourself a favor and wait until the sales start before you buy anything for your yard. Gather together ads that come in the mail and identify which stores have your desired items for the cheapest price. This will help make sure you’re always getting the biggest bang for your budget.

 

Divide Your Plants

Instead of spending a lot of money on expensive new plants, divide your existing plants. There are countless videos on YouTube on how to divide a plant. Put your green thumb to use and make the most of the greenery you already have. Dividing your plants not only saves you money in your budget, it helps keep your existing plants from growing too large and cumbersome.

 

Get Free Plants from Local Neighbors

The internet is a fantastic tool for getting free plants, especially form your local neighbors. It’s not uncommon to find a neighbor who is trying to get rid of a specific tree or plant in their yard. Oftentimes they’ll let you have the plant for free if you are willing to remove it yourself. Always check local community websites or yard sale websites and see what your neighbors are trying to get rid of before you spend money on new plants. Not only will it help get you beautiful plants at a great price, it will also reduce waste.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have thousands of dollars to throw at your landscaping job. Get a landscaping plan, and shop smart. Make sure everything you buy has a purpose, and do as much labor as you can yourself. Follow these tips and in a little while, your dream yard will be a reality.

Landscaping can make any outdoor space come alive. Well chosen plantings along with pavers can take any ordinary area and make it a delight. Any kind of design should make it easy to see all areas of the space all year round. This is why so many people have turned to the creation of a paved walkway. Using paving can be helpful because it offers:

An easier pathway through the property

  • A unified look
  • An element of safety

 

A Pathway

 

Creating a pathway from the door to the garage or across the front of the yard can be beautiful and elegant. This is where paving is very helpful. A paved walkway creates a clear walk for people to follow from the front of the yard to the front door as well as through the rest of the yard. The walkway can be structured to help highlight many features on the property that people want to see closely such an elegant old oak tree or a lovely view from the top of a hill or even a beautiful front door.

 

Unified Space

 

Another advantage of using a paved walkway is that it helps create a truly unified look to all areas of the property including the backyard. Any buyer can choose pavers that tie into all of the materials that have used in the home. For example, buyers can pick a walkway made from brick or stone. This will help make the entire landscape look like a carefully thought whole and thus add a pleasing sense of unity. Adding slightly different materials can also help create a sense of contrast that stands out and helps set off the property from the surrounding landscape and makes it look wonderful from every single vista.

 

A Useful Element of Safety

Using pavers also helps make the space feel safer. The pavers can bring people along a safe path rather than up a route that might otherwise be too steep or subject to fierce rains. Parents can use the path to help their children learn what areas on the property are safer and what areas might be otherwise off limits without their close supervision. The pathway can also be used to help provide a walkway that makes it easier to haul materials from one part of the area to another. Carrying heavy items can be dangerous. A pathway means that the walker always has a safe area where they can place their feet without worry. This allows them to transport items in a wheelbarrow or other cart along a path that is smooth and will not have unexpected tree branches or other potential obstacles in their way.

 

Careful attention to detail at every turn is the key to creating wonderful landscaping for all to enjoy.

When you are spring cleaning the exterior of your home, restaurant, retail store or commercial business, you want to ensure that the deck work is as sparkling clean as the rest of your property. Despite this, it can be labor-intensive to scrub a composite deck and get rid of all of the grit or algae that is growing in the cracks of the wood. To get a better idea of how you can make sure your deck is ready for spring (if it is made from composite wood), keep reading.

 

Composite wood is the easiest to clean

When you are in the process of buying composite wood for the deck, part of the advantage is the convenience. For example, on many of the websites that sell composite wood, they give advice about how it should be cleaned, and they count this as an advantage to buying their product. Truthfully, composite wood is one of the easiest types of outdoor building materials to clean, but it does require specific types of equipment.

 

The best way to clean composite wood

When composite wood is purchased to be used in the outdoors, it is often touted as being affordable and also, easy-to-clean with pressure washing. Nonetheless, the settings on your pressure washer will need to be fine-tuned, or else you could end up damaging the surface of your composite wood. For example, many composite woods have a coating that keeps them from losing their luster due to sun exposure or weather. Obviously, if the pressure washer is set too high, it can remove this finish or damage it. This inevitably means that your composite wood will start to deteriorate at a faster rate and also, may lose some of its capabilities to look new.

 

Using chemicals to remove stains and microorganisms

When you have a serious stain on your composite wood deck, you will need professional help to remove it. Outside of the usual staining culprits such as tannins from old decayed leaves, paints or red clay mud, another issue is build up from certain types of mold, algae, lichens or other microorganisms. Despite being plant-like, these microorganisms can stain composite wood. Removing stains involves degreasers and other types of chemical solvents that require using special techniques.

 

What to expect from full-service outdoor composite wood spring cleaning

Before the warm weather hits, it pays to have your composite wood deck completely cleaned to remove all of the gunk that fall and winter weather bring. For example, you will need to have all of the old leaves and mud removed from the deck. After it is scrubbed, deck brighteners might be applied to get rid of mineral buildup from snow or ice removal salts. The next step is to work on any oil or grease stains that might need to be removed from the composite wood. The final stages involve removing all the remaining stains with careful pressure washing.

 

If you need professionals to help you preserve the beauty of your composite wood deck, we are here to help. We are available to residential, retail, and commercial property owners in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. To get started, please give us a call today.

 

The latest trend in home building around the Ann Arbor Michigan area has focused on larger homes and smaller yards. When you are looking to make your yard a beautiful part of your home, but you don’t have very much square footage to work with, then you need to get creative. Here is a fun list of the many innovative and creative ways to make the most out of a small backyard.

1. Plant a vertical garden

A new trend in gardening has been moving up in the small backyards all over Ann Arbor Michigan. Vertical gardening focuses on the space above the ground, not below. By building a ladder type system where you can hang pots, you will find that there is much more room to grow flowers, herbs, and vegetables. This can also be a fun way to get creative with the design of your vertical garden, and match it to your own unique style.

 

2. Create a center point

When you don’t have a ton of room to work with in your yard area, you can put the focus on one beautiful feature. Whether you are planning on having a beautiful sculpture, a unique water feature or a magnificent plant, your whole yard design can focus on bringing attention to this main center point.

 

3. Make the most out of your small backyard

Your small yard space has a lot of potential. When you start thinking of the possibilities for your smaller yard, you can see all of the great things that can be done in this amount of space. A spa is a perfect example of an addition to your small yard that would allow you to host small parties in this space. You may even be able to fit in a small outdoor dining table that would accommodate many of your friends and family members.

 

4. Get creative about your storage

In most yards, you will see a large shed for all of the gardening equipment. When you have a smaller space, you will have to get more creative about where all of your lawn care items will be stored. There are many furniture items that will give you ample storage space. For example, there are benches made for smaller yards that will convert into storage chests. There are also decks that have floor storage built into them.

 

5. Give your yard personality

While you may not have a huge amount of space to work with, you will be able to slam a lot of your own personality and style into your small yard. If you are a skater, think of building a small halfpipe that would take up a big area of your back yard. If you love the beach, have some sand shipped to your yard for that beach feeling. Decorating can get fun when you put your own unique spin on things. Your friends and family will be much more likely to enjoy themselves at gatherings when they can see your own personal spin on your yard.
When you take a look at smaller yards, there are a lot of options for this amount of space. If you take a creative approach to designing your smaller yard, you can add your own unique style into this space that will match the overall feel of your home.

Each year when the last winter frost has melted, many homeowners in Ann Arbor Michigan turn their attention to the exterior of the homes. The lawn may be starting to turn a brilliant shade of green, the leaves are returning to the trees, and spring flowers may be in bloom. With the beauty of nature all around you, you may be enticed to update your yard in various ways. While some projects, such as planting annuals in the flower beds, have short-term appeal, you may be looking for projects that have long-lasting benefits for your home. The good news is that there are some excellent projects that you can do right now that will add value and charm to your home for years to come.

 

1. Plant New Trees

This is the ideal time to plant new trees in your yard. The next few months will be warm, providing the ideal environment for the roots of new trees to take hold in the soil. Consider planting trees farther away from the home so that they do not affect your home’s foundation. Plant them around a detached patio area to provide you with shade and to block the wind as they mature.

 

2. Invest in a Fire Pit

A fire pit is a great idea for homeowners to consider. Spring, fall, and even summer days and nights may be chilly at times, but a fire pit gives you and your loved ones a way to enjoy time outdoors throughout the year. You may even venture outdoors in the winter, when the weather is nicer, to enjoy sitting be they fire. You and your loved ones can drink hot cocoa, roast marshmallows, and enjoy time together outdoors bHardscapey the fire.

 

3. Update the Deck

A deck is an excellent addition to your home, because it can provide you with an exceptional place to relax outdoors. It can be used for entertaining guests or for relaxing on your own. If you already have a deck constructed, consider if it needs to be sanded and stained, so it can continue to provide you with value and functionality in the years to come.

 

4. Add Garden-Style Pathways

If you have pets and kids, there is a good chance that there are some pathways created in your grass that turn into a muddy mess when it rains. You can update your yard by adding garden-style pathways with pea gravel, stepping stones or other natural features. This will add charm to your space and eliminate the muddy paths that develop when it rains.

You may spend ample time outdoors for many months of the year. If this is the case, then you want your yard to look fabulous. You also may be interested in making improvements that add real value to your home. Each of these thoughtful ideas are excellent spring projects that any homeowner can consider. They each have functional benefits in your yard that can improve your experience for years to come, and they also have the ability to add value to your home. Take time to analyze your current space to explore the possibilities for your yard.

Even the most strictly ornamental landscape has its share of edible plants. Crabapple and Serviceberry trees are great examples in the Ann Arbor Michigan region. Of course, sunflowers of all sizes have delicious seeds to offer. As the list below demonstrates, attractive edibles can accommodate any garden niche, and some stand out as especially striking.

 

*Trees and Shrubs

*Fruiting Vegetables

*Leafy Vegetables

*Herbs

*Vines

 

Trees and Shrubs

This category can include everything from towering walnut and pecan trees to small blueberry shrubs. Classic additions like apples, cherries, pears, peaches, and plums can be counted on to provide a wonderful spring show. Blueberries, perfectly suited to the acidic soil of the Ann Arbor Michigan area, even, keep looking good in fall with brilliant scarlet leaves. Keep in mind that large fruit and nut trees will be dropping some of their bounty on the ground, and this limits where they can be planted.

Fruiting Vegetables

In recent years, more homeowners have been adding ornamental peppers to their garden displays. Fruit colors run the gamut from white to yellow to orange to red to purple-black. Leaves can be variegated with purple. Even the plants themselves range from several feet down to virtual ground covers. With equally variegated leaves and purple and white streaked fruit, eggplants are an alternative to look into.

Leafy Vegetables

Many vegetables can add a nice touch to the landscape, but the two big players are chard and kale. Decorative kale features smooth or extra curly center leaves in such colors as white, purple, and lavender paired with outer green leaves. With a little care, the display can continue into winter, while the leaves provide an exceptionally nutritious meal. Chard offers a vertical form of deep green or dark purple leaves highlighted with stems and veins of white, red, and yellow. Similar to chard, beets feature green leaves permeated with red veins.

 

Herbs

It’s impossible to name all the eye-catching plants in this category. Easily-grown perennial chives bear spherical purple blooms on their roughly foot tall stems. Silver thyme derives its name from variegated leaves of green with white edging. It’s also topped with light purple flowers. Pineapple sage is a container-grown herb sporting elongated red flowers that are also edible.

Vines

With large leaves, many varieties of grape vines supply an attractive privacy screen that becomes more appealing as the grapes ripen into purple clusters. Hardy Kiwi Vines are another perennial option with masses of white spring flowers and sometimes, variegated leaves. Unlike kiwi fruits found in stores, these are smaller, sweeter, and have edible skins. Beware that Hardy Kiwi Vines can put on 20 feet of growth a year and can be invasive.

 

Historically, edible plants were part of any decorative landscape. This practice lapsed only since the latter half of the 19th century. A new sense of practicality has brought it back to its rightful place, and with spring’s arrival, it might be a good time for you to bring it back to your home.