Category Archives: News

Best Time to Water Lawn

Lawn Watering Tips - Green Earth Solutions, Inc - Lawn Care in  Jacksonville, Florida

Like all living things, your lawn needs sunlight, food, and water in order to survive. While factors such as climate and soil conditions may cause variations with regards to the frequency and amount of water that is needed, the best time of day to water your lawn remains the same. Here are some helpful tips to keep your lawn looking its best.

What is the Best Time to Water Your Lawn?

While it is important to provide your lawn with adequate amounts of water, it is equally as important to water at the right time of day to maximize absorption and reduce the likelihood of disease or infestation. For best results, water your lawn in the early part of the day before temperatures or the wind start to pick up. Opt to have your watering completed by 10 a.m. to allow time for the water to penetrate the soil before evaporation can occur.

If you must water later in the day, choose a time between four and six p.m. to allow time for the grass to dry before nightfall, when the absence of sunlight and lower temperatures can result in a lawn that is wet for 12 to 15 hours, contributing to fungal or bacterial diseases.

How Long Should You Water Your Lawn?

Aim for an average of one inch of water per week, divided among two to three watering sessions during hotter weather. Under normal conditions, it takes approximately 30 minutes to deliver one-half inch of water. Slow and steady delivery allows the water to soak deep into the root system, while allowing for proper airflow and drainage.

Watering Requirements for Different Lawn Types

The best time to water lawn varieties depends on a number of factors including which zone you reside in, the season, and the type of grass. Use these guidelines for best results:

Warm-Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses thrive in climates where temperatures are between 80 and 95 degrees and include varieties such as Zoysia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine. Continue to actively water as long as the grass is growing and requires regular mowing, keeping in mind that warm-season grasses may require less water than their counterparts.

Cool-Season Grasses

Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass are ideally found in northern climates with active growth well into the fall season. While evaporation rates may slow in cooler weather, continue to provide between one and one-and-a-half inches of water each week up until the first frost.

Lawn Watering Tips

Don’t overwater. Allow the lawn to dry out in between watering to establish a strong root system, which will kill the weeds and fungi.

Raise your mower height. Cut higher during periods of excessive heat or drought to provide a shade canopy to protect the base of the grass.

Make exceptions. Pay close attention to moisture levels around large trees where the water requirements may be higher, and water sloped areas more slowly to allow time for proper absorption.

Check the soil. Use a screwdriver to check the soil during your first watering to determine how long it takes for the water to reach a depth of six inches, and set your sprinkler system accordingly.

How Long to Water Your Lawn (2021) - This Old House

NEW VISTA PRO PACK SIMPLIFIES LANDSCAPE LIGHTING INSTALLATIONS

Landscape Lighting in Newington, CT | Birch Hill Landscape & Design

With so many options available, selecting the right landscape lighting fixtures and accessories for new installations can be challenging. Vista Professional Outdoor Lighting is making the process easier by introducing the new Vista Pro Pack, a complete landscape lighting kit that contractors can use as the base for new installations, then customize by adding additional fixtures to those systems if necessary.

“The Pro Pack not only makes it easier to start a landscape lighting installation, but it also offers contractors and their customers an excellent value,” said Cruz Pérez, vice president of sales and marketing for Vista Professional Outdoor Lighting. “By bundling these fixtures into a kit, we’re able to sell the kit to contractors for a lower cost than if they purchased each fixture separately.”

The Vista Pro Pack features six uplights, four path lights and one transformer with timer. Because all 10 included fixtures can be powered by just 37W, 113W from the 150W transformer remains available, making it possible for outdoor lighting contractors to easily expand Pro Pack systems with additional fixtures as customer needs and budgets allow without having to purchase an additional or larger transformer.

Vista Pro Pack fixtures are available in black, bronze and dark bronze finishes. The kit and all included products are manufactured at Vista’s facility in Simi Valley, California and sold through a network of distributors throughout the United States.

“Our new Vista Pro Pack gives landscape lighting contractors exactly what they need for a new installation,” said Pérez. “We’ve chosen some of our most popular and proven products for this kit, making it simple for any contractor to provide customers with a basic outdoor lighting system at an affordable price. And, they can expand the system with additional Vista fixtures as needed for a truly customized installation.”

Vista ProPack

How to Protect Trees from Deer

How to manage deer damage on trees and other plants | UMN Extension

Deer are infamous for damaging trees and shrubs. Hungry animals may browse on leaves, pine needles, buds, or bark. But deer don’t just eat your landscape; territorial bucks can also kill trees by scraping them with their antlers. Young and recently planted landscapes are the most susceptible to these animal antics, so take steps now to protect your trees from deer.

Physical Barriers Provide the Best Protection

You have probably heard all kinds of ideas for how to protect trees from deer. Deterrents range from mothballs and heavily scented soaps to garlic and decaying fish heads. All repellants work to some degree, but deer can acclimate, or the scents can lose their potency following rainfall or irrigation.

One surefire way to keep deer from eating your pine trees and evergreen shrubs is to install a physical barrier. You have a few options, depending on the size of your property and your aesthetic preferences. Here are the top suggestions:

Install nylon netting over low-lying shrubs: Cover the plants with a nylon mesh screen, pinning down the corners with twine or zip-ties attached to tent stakes.

Wrap shrubs in burlap: Deer are a big threat to young shrubs in the wintertime. Encasing plants in burlap sacks doesn’t just cover up the tempting foliage; it also helps prevent the branches from bending out of shape during wet, heavy snowfall.

Surround plants with wire metal cages: The cages should stand at least six feet tall. Position them a few feet out from young trees or shrubs and support the cages with stakes. Even though deer can leap over a six-foot fence, they are reluctant to enter a small space, such as a fenced-in bed of rhododendrons or yews. Have a small plant you want to protect? Surround it with an old tomato cage, wire-hanging basket, or milk crate anchored with tent stakes.

Wrap trunks with tree wrap: Paper or plastic tree wrap protects young and thin-barked trees from buck rubs. Replace the wrap every few months to prevent moisture buildup or insect infestation.

Install a deer-proof fence around your entire yard: Conventional residential fencing can keep deer out as long as it’s at least eight feet tall. Other options include exclusion fencing, snow fencing, slanted outrigger fencing, and binder twine fencing. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has more information about constructing different kinds of fences.

Build a Simple Fence to Protect Fruit Trees From Deer - Hobby Farms

Other Ways to Protect Trees from Deer

In addition to installing a physical barrier, here are other methods that have proven effective against hungry and territorial deer:

Remove plants from your landscape that deer are known to love, such as cedar, yew, rhododendron, maples, and roses.

Choose plants that deer dislike, such as those with fern-like foliage, fuzzy leaves, spines, or strong odors.

Spray vulnerable trees and shrubs with smelly, bitter-tasting deer repellent.

Remove food sources from your yard, including bird feeders and pet food dishes.

Install motion-detector sprinklers to scare deer away.

2021 Outdoor Living Trends Forecast

By Outdoor Living By Belgard

Looking ahead into 2021, we see some new outdoor living trends emerging. Much of this movement has been influenced by the rapid cultural shifts in lifestyle caused by the pandemic. As more homeowners begin to think of their outdoor living spaces as an extension of their interior spaces (and not just a place to barbecue or watch the kids play), interior design trends continue to have a major impact on look and functionality. Here’s how Belgard predicts outdoor living to further evolve in 2021.

Large Scale Outdoor Living Projects are the New Norm

Over recent years, there has been a shift to creating outdoor areas with multiple rooms for family and friends to enjoy. This school of thought exploded in 2020 and will continue to expand moving forward. A recent HIRI survey confirms that outdoor areas have been the focus on much remodeling activity with strong growth in landscaping, decks and outdoor living rooms. Additionally, Thomas James Homes revealed that individuals are requesting multiple rooms within the outdoor space. Anticipating this increase in demand, Belgard began developing a new program in 2020 that will simplify design of cohesive multi-room outdoor spaces that coordinate with the specific architectural style of a home. Stay tuned for our big announcement in 2021!

The Shift from Entertaining to Daily Outdoor Living

With the increase in at-home living, more areas of the home are being regularly utilized than ever before. Nearly 4 in 5 homeowners report they were thinking about changes that could help them enjoy their homes more, with outdoor projects at the top of the wish list (35%). Outdoor spaces are no longer just a place to hang out during downtime. They have become a space of productivity as more people are working and learning remotely.

Fully Functional Microspaces

Microspaces are emerging as a dominant form of renovation in cities and neighborhoods where lot sizes are small. With more and more single-family homes lacking an abundant backyard, utilizing the space alongside a home or even on the front porches is becoming vital to the ability to add an outdoor living space. Homeowners are also beginning to annex sections of an outdoor living area to create microspaces for exercising and working from home (20% each).

Integrating Technology

Outdoor access to technology has become more vital than ever. It’s no longer just about piping in music or watching the big game. Technology integration is becoming necessary to carry out daily functions. This includes incorporating heating and lighting into an outdoor area, as well as WiFi and easily accessible electrical outlets to create a fully functional space that can support more activities throughout the year.

Technology brings new level of comfort to outdoor living

Modular and Geometric Patterns

Clean and simple lines continue to grow in popularity for pavers and landscape walls. These simplistic patterns allow for an uncluttered aesthetic that puts emphasis on furniture or features in the space, while also fostering easier installation and maximization of space. The newly emerging trend is to incorporate geometric shapes to add a visually interesting accent or to create a retro look.

Contact us today to plan your dream outdoor living space!

Pros and Cons of Stamped Concrete vs Pavers

When designing a patio, walkway or driveway, many homeowners have a difficult time choosing between stamped concrete and pavers. In short, concrete pavers are a much better choice for a variety of factors. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each factor.

COLOR DURABILITY

In most cases, the colors of a stamped concrete design are not integrated throughout the entire concrete slab. Instead, it is a layer or treatment added to the top of the slab. Because of this, the color can wear or chip off. Belgard pavers use sophisticated color blends that are integrated throughout each stone and are more resistant to wear and fading.

STRENGTH COMPARISON

Pavers are significantly stronger than stamped concrete and more resistant to the effects of freeze-thaw cycles. In fact, Belgard pavers are guaranteed to last the life of the home and are backed by a transferrable warranty. To help make stamped concrete more resistant to cracking, it must be constructed with control (or expansion) joints. But even with the joints, as like any concrete slab, it will eventually crack. Also, joints typically cut through the pattern, which detracts from the overall look. Pavers do not require expansion joints, and should a paver ever be damaged, a single paver can easily be replaced without having to replace an entire section.

DESIGN VERSATILITY

Pavers come in a much wider variety of styles, shapes, colors and textures. The ability to mix and match pavers and create intricate paver patterns is endless. Whereas, stamped concrete is limited to a handful of stone or brick textures. Intricate stamped concrete designs are very difficult and costly.

INSTALLATION CONSIDERATIONS

Compaction and base prep are key for both, but poured concrete can be radically impacted by daily weather conditions. Rain, heat, cold and humidity can all affect dry times, strength and finish in a big way. Pavers, on the other hand, since they are made in a controlled environment, don’t have to contend with those factors….and because of that, can be guaranteed. Stamped concrete slabs, on the other hand, can only be guaranteed to crack at some point.

MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS

Both stamped concrete and pavers should be sealed regularly to increase durability. However, stamped concrete may require sealant to be applied more frequently for comparable durability. Not only does this increase lifetime maintenance costs, sealant can affect the color of stamped concrete and can also make the surface slippery. In contrast, paver sealant does not affect the color and pavers retain their slip-resistance.

STAMPED CONCRETE VS PAVER COST COMPARISON

Is stamped concrete cheaper than pavers? Although it varies by market, the cost of a stamped concrete installation is actually very comparable to a paver installations in most cases. With all the negatives, why would someone risk choosing stamped concrete that offers fewer design options, potential slip hazards, additional maintenance, the likelihood of cracks, and a shorter overall life cycle? A stamped concrete patio will likely need patching or replacing at some point, however, a Belgard paver patio is warrantied to last the life of your home. So, even if you do save a couple of bucks on the front end (and not in every case), you’ll end up paying more in the long run.

Pruning Trees in the Winter

While each type of tree has unique requirements for optimal health and growth, most will benefit from tree care during the winter months, including pruning. Carrying out this practice during the dormancy period is commonly used to ensure vigorous growth in the spring, but regardless of whether you need to remove unhealthy or dead branches, encroaching limbs, or want a better harvest, pruning can help.

When is the Best Time to Prune Trees?

The short answer to the question “Is it OK to prune in the winter?” is “yes”. In most situations, winter is the optimal time for pruning, after the tree has entered a state of dormancy and most of the leaves have fallen. Once the branches and limbs are exposed it is much easier to observe the structure of the tree and may help to identify areas of concern that may otherwise remain unseen.

Fruit trees and varieties including bald cypress, honey locust, juniper, poplar, and spruce trees all respond well to winter pruning, but sap-producing trees such as birch, elm, maple, and walnut are better left until late summer or early fall due to seepage.

How to Prune Trees in the Winter

You will need:

Gloves

Hand pruner

Handsaw

Loppers

Protective/warm clothing and eye wear

Shears

Which tools you use will depend on the diameter of the branches you wish to remove. Before you begin, examine the tree to determine a suitable course of action, taking note of any dead or dying limbs.

Begin pruning by removing smaller branches first in order to thin, shape, or reduce their numbers:

Take your hand pruners and make a clean, diagonal cut one-quarter of an inch above where a bud faces outwards from the plant.

Make cuts at a 45-degree angle to discourage disease or water damage.

Keep in mind pruning will encourage new growth in the direction of the cut.

To remove large branches or limbs:

Larger branches should be cut in stages to prevent injury to yourself or the tree.

Make a series of three separate cuts using your handsaw, beginning with a cut halfway through the underside of the limb, approximately 18 inches from the trunk of the tree.

Once complete, move to the top of the branch and begin cutting approximately one inch further out from the cut on the underside, sawing through to remove the limb.

Make your final cut at a 45-degree angle just outside of the branch’s collar, close to the trunk of the tree.

Benefits of Winter Tree Care:

Pruning trees in winter comes with a number of benefits, which include:

Avoid the spread of pests or diseases, which are more active during the spring and summer.

Free up valuable time in the spring to put towards other outdoor projects.

Less stress on trees, allowing time for pruning cuts to heal before warm weather insects and pathogens may be introduced.

Eliminate damage in the drop zone beneath the tree once the ground has frozen.

Corona Virus Update from WLM

To our Customers and Community,

During this period of great uncertainty and now a shut down, we will not be serving residences and businesses with lawn care, irrigation, or other landscape services. Like electricians, plumbers, exterminators, and other repair personnel, we are tradespeople and pride ourselves in helping maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of the properties we care for on a scheduled and ongoing basis.

Our industry may be considered an essential business, but at this time, it is still unclear. Other states on a mandatory shut down have ruled Green Industry Companies as essential and have allowed them to return back to work. We will keep ourselves updated and our valued clients.

Lawn, irrigation, and landscape services clearly maintain the quality of the property and of life around it. A well maintained landscape reduces erosion, provides cooler and softer playing surfaces for our youth, and reduces the presence of pests such as fleas, ticks, and even mosquitos. Properly maintained green spaces play a role in reducing the chance of injury.

As a lawn care, irrigation, and landscape provider we are participating in Best Management Practices as we deliver your services. We maintain social distancing and work outdoors, not entering the customer’s home or business. Our shops are not open to the public. We work with our teams routinely to emphasize proper hygiene practices while on the job and to limit their personal contact with the client.

We encourage our customers to call us with any questions or concerns. As an industry, we are all working to get through this incredible event together, and we deeply appreciate your support.

Thank you.

Joel E. Wihebrink

Warsaw, IN Trends in Brick Pavers and Retaining Walls

Brick Paver Patio with Fire Pit in Warsaw, IN

Most people agree that despite the old saying, things are not necessarily the same all over. Whether we are talking about clothes, food or interior design, what is popular in New York isn’t always as popular in Warsaw, IN or Syracuse, IN. Especially for landscaping and brick pavers and retaining wall products and projects. WLM, Inc. knows this better than any other landscape company in Warsaw, IN. Looking at the projects we have installed for our Warsaw, In and Syracuse, IN clients over the past 5 years provided us with some insights on which styles and colors are rising in popularity in different areas of our market. People that live on the water/lakes have different styles than homeowners who live in town Warsaw, IN.

Trending Styles

When looking at which styles of pavers are trending, we looked back at the landscaping projects we have installed for our Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN clients. We looked at colors, textures, and shapes to determine which brick pavers were the most popular for our clients. The trend leans towards smooth-faced pavers in large formats or sizes. Rectangular shaped pavers with a mixture of grey and tan colors are the predominant color blends for brick paver patios installed by WLM, Inc. in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN. Of course, there are some projects that had varying products installed and varying style attributes.

Brick Paver Patio with Fire Pit in Warsaw, IN

Trending Landscape Retaining Wall Styles in Warsaw, IN

Looking back at the projects installed in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse we decided to divide the retaining wall block materials into two categories. Texture and Pattern. The trends we discovered in our Warsaw, In landscaping market are a contemporary modular pattern in color tones that compliment the brick pavers. The texture varies widely by where the project is installed throughout the county. For years, the trend in Warsaw, In retaining wall block was the rough faced split stone but now WLM, Inc. is seeing a more tailored chiseled stone look becoming popular with our clients.

How Will Cold Temps Effect Your Landscape Plants in Warsaw, IN?

Winter will have an effect on your landscape plants in Warsaw, IN.

Winter has arrived in full force in Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN this late January and the temperatures have dropped to near zero in the past few days. The weather in Warsaw, IN so far this winter has been pretty mild and we haven’t had alot of snow in the area, but that has changed in the past few days.

The forecast is predicting some of the coldest temperatures in recent memory for the Warsaw, IN area and we don’t have much, if any, snow cover to help insulate the ground and our landscaping plants.

What is winter dormancy and how does it affect my landscape plants in Warsaw, IN? Winter dormancy is a way of the landscape plantings coping with conditions too cold for growth. With the onset of cold temperatures and shorter nights, plants begin to do dormant. Deciduous trees will drop their leaves and evergreens may drop some needles but not all of them. Perennials will die back to the ground and survive under ground until warmer temperatures show back up in Warsaw, IN.

With winter in Warsaw, IN, dormancy has two stages. The first is a period when a dormant plant is incapable of growth even in temperatures warm up. With this stage of dormancy, a plant waits for a particular signal that says its OK to begin growing.

Usually this signal is triggered by a cold period of varying length, depending on where you live. The purpose is to prevent the plant from starting growth during an unseasonable period only to be killed when temperatures suddenly drop back to normal. Once the cold period requirement is satisfied, the plant is likely out of danger from a serious refreeze and becomes ecto-dormant.

These extremely cold temperatures that we are experiencing now and in the near forecast will have an effect on the health of your landscape plantings because of the lack of snow cover. Don’t be surprised if some of your more delicate plants struggle in the upcoming season or even don’t make it to the spring flush of growth. The extremely cold temperatures and lack of insulating snow will be the cause.

Plant Your Bulbs NOW for Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN Springtime Color

Tulip Bulbs For Spring Color in Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN

Who doesn’t want color in their landscaping beds just after winter releases it’s grip of winter if you live in Warsaw, Syracuse, Columbia City, Winona Lake, Ft. Wayne or Leesburg?  Of course you do!

How do you get beautiful early season color in your landscape?  Plant tulip bulbs!  Bulbs of all sizes, colors, and bloom periods are available now and need to be planted this fall in order to get the most out of your landscape next season.  Landscaping in Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN doesn’t have to be enjoyed only in the summer months.  Your Warsaw, IN landscaping can be enjoyed alot sooner than your neighbors if you plant bulbs this fall.

How Do You Get Them?  Wihebrink Landscape Management, Inc. can help with that as well.  We can plant any color of bulb you would like into your landscaping for you this fall while we are cleaning up the debris from fall. Last season we planted thousands of bulbs in our clients landscaping and they got to enjoy beautiful late winter/early spring color before all their neighbors.

Tulip Bulbs For Spring Color in Warsaw

How Much Does It Cost?  Pricing can vary, but in general, it will cost homeowners in Warsaw, In and Syracuse, In about $100 per 100 bulbs installed in your landscaping.  That is not a bad price considering that WLM takes care of all the work.  We order the bulbs and install them in your landscaping.  The more you order, the lower the cost per 100.

What’s Next?  Call our office to get scheduled.  Paul can stop out and show you the different options for your Warsaw landscaping and how the bulbs will create interest and color that your neighbors won’t have.