Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. – Commercial Snow Removal Services

 

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to learn more about our extremely reliable commercial snow and ice management services.  Thank you for visiting our site!

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Excellent Winter Weather and Snow Accumulation Forecasting Websites

Here are a few fantastic websites that provide very detailed winter weather forecast information so you can prepare well in advance for winter’s worst.

1). Weather Underground 

2). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

3). AccuWeather

4). The Weather Channel

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any snow or ice removal service request you may have for your greater Chicagoland property.

Thank you for visiting!

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A few tips to further improve your next treated wood timber landscape installation project

Even though concrete block seems to be the most commonly used construction material for raised beds and retaining walls in the residential landscape, I personally find wood (treated wood timbers in particular) to be superior in many ways.

For starters, not only is wood a completely renewable resource, but a properly installed treated wood structure (including adequate drainage) will easily last 20-25 years.  In my opinion, a beautifully designed and constructed wood timber planting box, retaining wall, etc. is far more natural in appearance and complementary to adjacent plant material than its concrete counterpart.  I realize that an argument can be made in that concrete block installations are more expensive because they are to be considered “forever” where wood will eventually deteriorate over time.  This point is absolutely correct in that the concrete block itself will likely outlast it’s owner!  Pacocha - Wood Preservative Freshly Applied to Cut Timber EndsHowever, it is my experience that even a professionally installed concrete block wall (with suitable drainage) will eventually shift from long term exposure to seasonal water freeze/thaw cycles, nearby expanding tree root growth, nearby excavation/digging, etc. making it’s segmented formal installation approach somewhat less desirable both visually and structurally when failure finally occurs.  Even though treated wood timbers do not easily lend themselves to curved type/designed landscape installations like segmental block units can, they still get my unabashed vote in the landscape design process whenever possible.

Here are a few tips to extend the life and improve the quality of your next wood timber installation project.

Pacocha - Soil Excavated - Ready for Stone Sub Base- Use properly treated wood timbers rated for direct soil contact according to the American Wood Protection Standard (UC4A – Ground Contact General Use)Pacocha - Ground Contact AWPA U1 UC4A Wood Timber Tag

– Use large dimensioned properly rated/treated wood timbers whenever possible.  By choosing a minimum sized 6″ x 6″ treated wood timber (in lieu of 3″ x 5″, 4″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″ timbers) will be less likely to warp and twist over time.

– Apply a suitable preservative to all end cuts made during the installation process.

– Prevent “always wet” soil conditions below/around wood timber structure by installing suitable drainage improvements wherever necessary.

Pacocha - Applying Wood Preservative to Cut Timber- Use a suitable stone sub-base below initial course of wood timbers to further improve water drainage and to strengthen the overall installation.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for assistance with your next wood timber installation project.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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Recommended Ice Melt Material……… Thunder Melt!

If you are responsible for winter maintenance (ice melting and plowing snow) at a northern Illinois commercial property, I highly recommend taking a look at this particular bulk ice melt material to properly service your property.

It is not very often that a material has a lasting impression on me (bulk deicing salt inPacocha - Stainless Steel V Box Salt Spreader Truck particular), but this this experience is different.  After many years of storing, grinding and even milling down frozen clump-prone untreated rock salt in preparation of spreading eventually, along comes a treated salt product that really surpasses all other bulk ice melt materials we have used to date.  It’s called Thunder Melt and is sold by Conserv FS.  It melts snow and ice very effectively and truly remains granular and machine spreadable no matter the sub-freezing temperature.

Material details for your review:

  • Cut application rate by 25%-30%
  • Safe surface faster and lasts longer with less product used
  • Resistant to wind and bounce
  • Non-caking and does not clump or clog application equipment
  • Delivered in semi truck loads of 22-24 tons (only)
  • More effective at lower temperatures than straight sodium chloride
  • Formulated with patented corrosion inhibitor
  • Sold and delivered by Conserv FS

Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc.Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for all your snow and ice management related needs.  Thank you for taking the time to visit our site.  Have a great day!

 

 

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Improved Snow Management Services: Provide unobstructed on-site areas to adequately accommodate snow plowed piles

Whenever visiting a new prospective snow and ice management property, one of the first things we quickly notice is if there are any plants, fences, sprinkler heads and/or any other obstructions located within anticipated plowed snow stacking areas.

Pacocha - Skid Steer Loader with Containment Plow

Plentiful OPEN and UNOBSTRUCTED snow piling areas usually translate into maximum snow clearing efficiency and reduced cost of overall service.

Here are a few important details that if implemented, will further improve the quality of snow and ice management services currently performed at your property.

  • Prepare a formal plan with your snow removal service provider that indicates acceptable on-site locations where any/all plowed snow can be staged.
  • Avoid (or relocate) delicate ornamental fencing and non-critical signage located adjacent to plowed drives, roads, parking lot and sidewalk areas (if possible).Pacocha - Entry Snow Drift Removal
  • Ensure irrigation system components (heads, risers, etc.) are installed properly below the soil surface to avoid shovel, snow blower or snow plow contact/damage.
  • If plants must be installed within the 4′ wide (or less) areas surrounding snow plowed or ice melt treated surfaces, be sure to choose salt tolerant/hardy/sturdy plant varieties that can tolerate winter related stress.
  • Be sure to install snow marker stakes (at least 2′-4′ tall) along the edges of inconspicuous parking lot and sidewalk areas targeted for snow removal.
  • If possible, place mobile garbage containers/dumpsters in an area that will not interfere with planned snow piling, stacking or staging areas.
  • If property has limited parking spaces available (overall), be sure to use traffic cones or other temporary markers to ensure no vehicles park within specified parking stall spaces needed for snow staging/piling.

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Please remember that when hiring a qualified contractor to clear snow and ice from your site, it is very beneficial (for the property owner and contractor alike) if adequate open space is made readily available for shoveled, pushed or plowed snow.

Please contact our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for any snow and ice removal services needed at your northwest suburban Chicago area property.

Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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A fruit bearing perennial TOXIC WEED that has many unique uses dating back hundreds of years!!

One day a client asked if I would stop by his property to look at a few small projects he needed taken care of.  So during my property visit I noticed a very striking plant.  The client indicated that he did not plant it and asked me if I knew what it was.  I just shook my head and said I could not identify the plant off hand.  The plant had grown quite nicely in a small bed space just behind his house to a height of about 5′ tall, had beautiful deep red-purple colored stems and awesome long strands of berries.  I took a few pictures and performed a Google Image search later that evening.  It turned out that the mysterious plant was called Pokeweed and has a very long detailed history.

Pacocha - Pokeweed 3

I was amazed that this perennial “weed” had grown to be such a beautiful mature plant.

What really interested me besides the very unique color and berries produced by Pokeweed was that all parts of the plant itself are considered toxic and not recommended for human, pet and/or livestock consumption.  However, pokeweed berries and it’s dried roots have been used in herbal remedies, for red food coloring and even to make ink and dye.

Pokeweed Facts and Folklore:

  •  The common name ‘pokeweed’ originates from the Native American word for ‘blood’, referring to the red dye that can be made from the fruit (however, the color is difficult to fix). Some of the other common names, such as ‘inkberry’ and ‘inkweed’, refer to this use.Pacocha - Pokeweed 1
  • Juice from pokeweed berries was once used to ‘improve’ the color of cheap red wine.
  • Supporters of President James Polk wore pokeweed twigs instead of campaign buttons during the 1845 campaign.
  • Medical researchers have isolated a protein (pokeweed antiviral protein or PAP) from pokeweed that is being used to try to inhibit the replication of the HIV virus in human cells.
  • Roots, leaves and berries of common pokeweed were used medicinally by Native Americans and early settlers to treat a variety of conditions from hemorrhoids to headaches.
  • The young shoots and leaves of pokeweed have been eaten as greens (‘poke sallet’), boiled with the water changed several times prior to consumption. The taste is described as similar to that of asparagus or spinach. Berries have been used to make pie. However, ingestion of any part of common pokeweed cannot be recommended
  • Pacocha - Pokeweed 2

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions, comments or ideas on how we can be of further assistance to you.  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and have a great day!

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Just a few locations we have found and eliminated the problematic POISON IVY vine

Poison Ivy growing along the base of a back yard chain link fence.

Poison Ivy growing along the base of a back yard chain link fence

Poison Ivy growing within a stone covered bed space just off driveway edge

Poison Ivy growing within a stone covered bed space just off driveway edge

Poison Ivy growing along the edge of a wooded residential area facing a roadway

Poison Ivy growing along the edge of a wooded residential property facing a roadway

Poison Ivy growing within a perennial bed just behind a house

Poison Ivy growing within a perennial bed just behind house

Poison Ivy growing within ground cover located across front of house

Poison Ivy growing within ground cover located across front of house

Poison Ivy growing within AND through a back yard shed (1 of 4)

Poison Ivy growing within AND through the front side of a back yard shed (1 of 4)

Poison Ivy growing within AND through the rear corner of a back yard shed

Poison Ivy growing within AND through the rear corner of a back yard shed (2 of 4)

Poison Ivy growing atop the roof of a back yard shed (3 of 4)

Poison Ivy growing atop the roof of a back yard shed (3 of 4)

Poison Ivy growing within AND through a back yard shed has now grown into a neighbors yard through a wood fence (4 of 4)

Poison Ivy growing within AND through a back yard shed has now extended into a neighbors yard through a wood fence (4 of 4)

Poison Ivy growing along the base of a residential air conditioning unit

Poison Ivy growing through a residential wood fence from neighbors property

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for assistance identifying and removing poison ivy from your northern Illinois property.  Thank you for visiting!

 

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Three basic types of turfgrass weeds

The basic definition of a weed is any plant growing in a place that it is not wanted.

The three basic types of weeds found in managed stands of turfgrass are grassy weeds, grass-like weeds and broadleaf weeds.

1). Grassy Weed (Creeping Bentgrass, Quack Grass, Orchard Grass, Crab Grass, Nimblewill, etc.): Similar growth habit as desirable turfgrass. Grassy weeds are monocots, meaning they produce leaves one at a time.  Leaves are usually narrow and veins within the leaves run parallel to one another.

2). Grasslike weed (Yellow Nutsedge and Wild Garlic): Are not true grasses, but belong to the sedge and garlic families. From afar look similar to grasses, however sedges have triangular stems and develop from nutlets.  Wild garlic leaves are hollow.

3). Broadleaf weed (Dandelion, Plantain, Clover, Thistle, Spurge, Violet, Creeping Charlie, etc.): Have net-veined leaves that are normally wider than grass leaves.  Broadleaf weeds are dicots, meaning they produce leaves in pairs.  Usually color and flowers make broadleaf weeds very easy to identify.

Only after unwanted weeds have been properly identified can a suitable control plan be implemented.  Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any weed identification challenge or control requests you may have.

Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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5 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Control Methods

The goal of any successful lawn and landscape management program is to optimize (not maximize) pest control over time.  A pest is any insect, mite, nematode, rodent, fungus, weed, or other organism that is problematic to humans, structures, plants or animals.  Integrated pest management often combines non-chemical and chemical control methods to reduce economic and aesthetic losses from pests.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Control Methods.

Cultural ControlThe continual improvement of plant health so it can successfully compete against pests (soil preparation, fertility, proper planting, plant selection, mulching and mowing).

Mechanical ControlThe physical elimination of a pest (cultivating, pruning, hoeing, weed removal, mowing and hand picking).

Biological ControlThe use of living organisms to lower pest populations (predators, parasites and pest diseases).

Preventative ControlThe act of preventing the initial entry and spread of pests (quarantines, inspections and certified seed).

Chemical ControlThe application of a pesticide to reduce a pest threat (to be used only after proper scouting has confirmed pest populations to be large enough to warrant chemical control).

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn and/or landscape related pest concern you may have.  Thank you for your time!

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When planting cool season grass seed…………. timing is key!

When planting grass seed it is not enough to properly prepare the soil, fertilize, choose a premium site specific grass seed, cover large seedbed areas to protect/retain moisture and routinely water.  In addition to each of the critical steps mentioned above, grass seed must be planted when soil temperatures are expected to reach/remain at 50 degrees or above to successfully germinate.

Pacocha - Lawn Repair by Seed 4-26-14

Ideally, grass seed should be planted in late summer/early fall (late August thru September) for best results. Late summer/early fall is a great time of the year for planting grass seed (non-shade areas in particular) due to cooler air temperatures, lawns are coming out of dormancy, soil temperatures remain warm and there is very little chance of frost or prolonged freezing temperatures.  In addition, rainfall becomes more routine and we experience less weed seed proliferation/competition for open exposed soil areas at this time.Pacocha - Lawn Repair by Seed 5-22-14

Spring grass seed planting (late March through mid-May) is great for shade tree covered lawn areas (below large and dense deciduous trees in particular).  It is only at this time of the year that you can really enhance the seed germination/root development process by taking advantage of additional sun exposure that happens to make it’s way through the early spring leafless tree canopies above.

Regardless of the season you decide to plant grass seed, you will need at least 4 hours of sunlight per day, soil temperature of at least 50 degrees and routine irrigation to successfully grow turfgrass from seed.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for all of your grass seed planting and lawn care related needs.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

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