Shatter your soil for a better lawn!

A great way to increase air, water and nutrient flow to your lawn’s root zone is by performing core aeration.  Core aeration is a mechanical lawn improvement process where motor driven cylinder-like spoons are plunged into and shatter the soil thereby relieving compaction and reducing thatch build up.  Half inch diameter or so plugs of thatch and soil are actually pulled from the ground during this process.  The soil cores are normally left atop the lawn to simply decompose over time and to return great organic material back into the soil.  It is very common to core aerate heavily trafficked lawn areas twice per growing season (spring and late summer/early fall are recommended).  Plan on aerating your lawn before over-seeding for improved grass seed to soil contact.  Promote deeper and healthier turf grass roots by incorporating core aeration into your seasonal lawn management program.

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Plant a fence!

Wood, metal and vinyl are all common materials to construct a new fence from but there are many limitations you should consider.  Many cities will specify a maximum fence height (3’-6’), limit the areas of your property where a fence can be installed and further limit the type of materials that your fence can be constructed of.  In case you are not aware of these city specific fence installation details, they will be explained to you when applying for a fence installation permit or easily accessible when researching the zoning regulations/municipal code for your area on the internet.

I understand that there are many times when a conventional hard material fence is the best choice.  A wood, metal or vinyl fence is best when you have young children to protect, pets to retain or even a swimming pool to secure.

However if your goal is to shield a nearby neglected adjacent property from view, create a formidable impassable barrier or to further enhance a line of sight view from a point on your property than consider planting a live screen instead of installing a fence.

Here are a few additional benefits and details to consider when planting a live screen on your property.

  • Live screen plant material can be trained, trimmed, pruned, supported, etc. to occupy precisely the right area in need of physical or visual shielding.
  • Depending on the budget and planting space available, a visually complete live plant screen may take several years to grow and fill in.
  • Choose multiple evergreen plants (foliage remains green year round), deciduous plants (loses foliage at end of growing season) or a combination of the two for best site specific results.
  • Be careful to choose the correct plant material that will not likley outgrow the limited space available (under low hanging power lines, near driveways, along sidewalks, close to neighbor’s property, etc.) for best long term results.
  • In most cases there are very few (if any) height, choice of plant material or planting location restrictions from local zoning/municipal authorities.
  • Be sure to remember that the larger the plant is at time of installation, the more expensive it will likely be (greater material, delivery and installation costs).
  • Neighborhood metal, wood or vinyl fences are easily duplicated and are very common.  A well thought out plant material screen is very unique and will increase in value as time passes and as plants have a chance to mature.
  • Maintenance on either a hard material fence or a live plant screen varies greatly (heavily dependent on environment, installation and selected site specific materials used) and should be scrutinized during the beginning planning stage to determine the right choice to satisfy your long term needs.
  • Visit a few reputable local nurseries to see the various types of screen plants available (upright arborvitae, spruce, upright juniper, privet, viburnum, cotoneaster, honeysuckle, etc.).

Hopefully this information will prove useful to you when determining your property specific screening or fencing options.

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Is it only snow plowing that I need?

There are many properties that require more than one form of snow removal to achieve the best results.  As many of us know, snow can be mechanically plowed, pushed, lifted, blown, hauled away or even instantly melted as conditions dictate.  It is very important to understand that each of these snow removal methods requires a degree of site specific knowledge and operational expertise to be effective at just the right time.

Here are just a few factors that help us determine the best method to clear snow at your residential, commercial or industrial property.

  • What is your tolerance for snow accumulation before clearing must begin?  Will snow need to be cleared instantly as it falls or only after a predetermined amount of snow accumulation has occurred (1”+)?  Is speed of snow clearing paramount to all other service factors?
  • Is there enough physical space on your property to retain cleared snow until natural melting has occurred?  If not, plans will have to be in place to relocate or elevate cleared snow higher to further maximize any space that remains.Commercial snow removal
  • Do you have a special paved surface that will be damaged if a standard steel edged snow removal machine is used?  It is very common that brick paved, stamped concrete, epoxy coated concrete or even regular asphalt paved surfaces will become scratched due to repeated passes from steel edged snow removal equipment.  One should strongly consider using a specialized piece of snow removal equipment(plow, blower, bucket, pusher, etc.) that has a rubber or polyurethane cutting edge to avoid this problem.
  • Is your site open for business 24 hours a day/7 days a week or only during select times during the week?  This site specific detail along with your tolerance for fallen snow accumulation will further determine the necessary equipment and snow clearing approach needed to meet or exceed your expectations.
  • Will snow piles have to be placed or relocated near existing storm sewers or drainage retention areas to safely carry away excess water as snow melting begins?  Often times specialized machines will be needed (loaders, skid steers, blowers, etc.) to relocate existing piles of snow to alternate on-site or off-site areas best suited for the excess drainage water that melting snow creates.
  • Will it be a problem if snow piles become just too large in size on your property?  Some of the reasons that existing piles of snow may need to be reduced in size are that they block the safe view of an adjacent road way, block the sight path of a critical sign, ongoing melting of snow may cause a reoccurring refreeze/ice situation atop adjacent pavement, take up needed parking spaces, etc.  Again, specialized snow relocation equipment may be needed to handle this task.

Please be sure to keep Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. in mind when evaluating your present and future snow and ice management needs.

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The damaging power of ice!

Many of us carefully travel atop slippery icy surfaces every winter with great care and awareness.  We do our very best to lower the possibility of a slip and fall or vehicle accident by applying various forms of ice melters to our roads, sidewalks and bridges to convert dangerous ice to manageable surface water.  However, we need to really consider the power of ice and the damage it can cause when water is allowed to freeze when becoming trapped or simply left to stagnate in non-temperature controlled areas like exterior sump drains, foundation mounted water supply lines, roof gutters, non-drained buried lawn irrigation lines, buried down spout drain lines, garden hoses left outside, rain barrels, etc.

What happens to water if it’s not allowed to expand when frozen?

Here are a few simple steps to avoid ice related property damage and it’s corresponding repair.

  • Clean out all leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts often to allow for proper draining.
  • Be sure to properly pitch exterior sump pump drain lines to allow water to flow out and not remain stagnate in pipe.
  • Blow out or vacuum all debris that may have become trapped in buried down spout extension drain lines.
  • Prepare your lawn’s sprinkler system for winter by removing all the water from the irrigation system and equipment by using pressurized air.
  • Drain water from all portable/stationary pumps and water holding tanks before freezing temperatures move in.

By taking these few simple winter related precautions will allow our drainage and water control systems to function as they were intended and with minimal additional expense.

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