Category Archives: Landscape Improvements

Wind Sculpture = All-Season Kinetic Art for your Special Outdoor Space!

Being a bit of a mechanical enthusiast myself,  I was very happy to hear from one of our valued clients recently who asked if we could help install a “Wind Sculpture” they had ordered from a New Mexico art dealer.

At first, I had no idea what a Wind Sculpture was, but after a quick review of the artist supplied installation instructions and a brief internet search, I was ready to help anyway possible!

Wind Sculptures by Lyman Whitaker = Beautiful, interesting……… the perfect enhancement for your special outdoor space!

So fast forward a month or so, the hand-made Wind Sculpture was shipped directly to our client’s door and was ready for installation.  The client picked the perfect garden location and just a few days later, we returned to complete the install.

The perfect year-round accessory to enjoy and take your garden space to the next level!

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or service requests you may have.  We stand ready and able to be of assistance.  Thank you for taking the time to visit our site, we greatly appreciate it!

Please follow and like us:

LIRIOPE…….. Can you please GET THAT PLANT OUT OF HERE!

When walking through shady areas, mainly on older, more mature landscapes, I occasionally notice a very special low-growing perennial that has a tendency to sneak it’s way around a plant bed, even spreading well into adjacent lawn areas.

The persistent perennial I speak of is called liriope (aka Monkey Grass, Lilyturf or Border Grass).

What makes liriope so special is even though it is very small in size, it is very difficult to completely remove and has a tendency to spread (variety dependent).  Complete physical removal usually takes multiple tries, over several years.  Even non-selective liquid herbicides like glyphosate may only be partially effective due to the plants tuberous root system.

 

IT IS VERY COMMON TO FIND LIRIOPE GROWING IN NEW LAWN AREAS THAT WERE ONCE PLANT BEDS!

The moral of my story is this, start removing liriope early.  Begin digging out your unwanted liriope plants now to eventually reclaim precious planting bed space or to clear the way for a new lawn.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions you may have or if we can be of service to you.  Thank’s for visiting our site and have a great day!

 

Please follow and like us:

String-Trimmer Contact vs Delicate Exterior Surfaces

As of late, I have been having more and more conversations with both new and existing clients in regard to the possibility of surface damage caused by routine string-trimmer use at their properties.  When mowing a lawn, it is often the case, that any grass found growing on-site, not accessible by a conventional lawn mower will be cut using a mechanical string-trimmer (aka weed-wacker, line trimmer, weed eater, etc).

Unless improved landscape design or protective strategies are employed (targeted wood mulch placement, expanded plant bed areas, use of sacrificial contact materials, simple grass removal, etc.), contact damage is very likely.

When placed/installed directly atop growing grass or are left in very close proximity to a regularly maintained lawn, the following items or structures are commonly exposed to accidental string-trimmer related damage.

 

  • Wood Stairs, Fencing and Gates
  • Deck, Fence and Mail Box Posts
  • Tree Bark/Exposed Roots
  • Wooden or Plastic Children Playground Sets
  • Low-Voltage Light Fixtures
  • Exposed Utility Cables
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Vinyl, Wood or Aluminum Siding
  • Air Conditioner Condensers
  • Low-Growing Annual and/or Perennial Foliage
  • Aluminum Downspout Extensions

Please be sure to let us know if you have any questions or if our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. can be of help in the creation of a beautiful, maintenance-friendly landscape at your property.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

Enjoy Professional Lawn and Landscape Care this 2020 Growing Season!

We can truly help!

It is our complete pleasure to share our multi-decade industry knowledge and experience with you to ensure the very best possible outcome for your lawn and overall landscape setting.

Here are just a few areas of expertise we would love to share with you.

  • Property Clean Up:  General debris removal, lawn raking, leaf disposal, paved area sweeping, etc.
  • Mechanical Lawn Improvement:  Core aeration, power raking/dethatching, slit-seeding.
  • Routine Seasonal Services:  Lawn mowing, plant bed detail, fallen leaf removal, drainage system cleaning and service, wood mulch installation, etc..
  • Vegetation Feeding and Control:  Lawn fertilization, lawn broadleaf/grassy/grass-like weed control, noxious weed control, poison ivy control, pavement weed control, insect control, etc.
  • Deciduous and Evergreen Care:  Bush trimming, select pruning, shrub and hedgerow rejuvenation (partial or complete).
  • New Plant Material Installation:  Perennials, annuals, shrubs, ground cover, bushes, trees and new lawns from seed.
  • Drainage Solutions:  Buried extended down spout drains, debris filtered drain inlets, surface and sub-surface water capture and conveyance, buried sump pump outlet relocation, etc.
  • Residential Soil Grade Modifications: Perimeter slope adjustments along foundation, problematic plant relocation/elevation/complete removal, strategic soil berm placement, lawn replacement, etc.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn or landscape related questions you may have.  We stand ready to assist and look forward to being of service any way possible.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

We Raise Sunken Air Conditioner Condenser Base Pads!!

Has your air conditioner condenser shifted or become sunken over the years?  Is soil, mulch and other debris now infiltrating the base of your condenser?  Do you need to raise the soil level where your air conditioner condenser currently sits to improve on-site drainage?  If any of these or similar issues pertain to you, please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to schedule an on-site property evaluation, we can help!

Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. will stabilize/elevate your existing condenser pad or replace it all together with a new and improved model. **Please Note:  A qualified HVAC contractor will be needed to first disconnect your condenser’s electrical and coolant lines so we can improve the base pad area, then return later upon our completion to re-connect the unit (additional fees apply).**

Our on-site property evaluation will include the following:

  • Determine cause of original base pad failure (poor or nonexistent sub-base material previously used, negative drainage situation found, foundation settling occurred, old pad not structurally sound, etc.)
  • Assess surrounding landscape areas to determine best long term strategy for new condenser pad placement (away from mower and grass trimming equipment), adequate pad elevation (3″+/- above grade), determine any/all surrounding drainage improvements needed, etc.
  • Discuss new pad type and size, make note of who client will select to decommission the existing unit, timing of new pad installation and set date to have HVAC contractor return to reactivate applicable equipment.

Keep your air conditioning equipment in great condition and extend it’s lifespan by elevating it above soil grade and out of standing water prone areas.  Please be sure to contact Pacocha landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or service requests you may have.  We are very happy to help any way we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

Before and After – Back Yard Children’s Playground Area

We had the opportunity recently to assist a client of ours further improve their back yard by installing a multi-course treated wood timber surround for their new children’s playground set.

Since the site was situated on a slight incline and a generous layer of playground wood mulch was needed (under/around play set), we called for the use of a fairly substantial outlying edge material (6 x 6 wood timbers) to retain the special playground mulch and keep the area looking great for many years to come.

To begin, we cleared and leveled a portion of the sloping back yard area slated to receive the new play set (first site visit).  Shortly after the play set was installed (by an outside company), we returned to construct a two course 6 x 6 treated wood timber surround (size of area determined by client).  We first excavated, leveled and manually compacted the select path ways where wood timbers were to be installed.  The first timber course was secured to soil using 24″ long steel rebar rods.  We used 16′ long 6 x 6 wood timbers to eliminate as many short wood timber pieces (visible butt joints) as possible.  The second, final top wood timber course was secured to base course below using construction adhesive first and then 10″ long timber screws were used (spaced several feet apart) to properly bind the structure together.  Steel angle brackets, mending plate, etc. were also used (completely hidden from view) to further reinforce corners and joints between timbers.  Any/all cut timber’s were treated with a special end-grain sealer to further improve the structural integrity/life expectancy of our ground contacting wood timbers.  Lastly, landscape barrier/weed control fabric was attached to soil within enclosed play area (ensuring excellent soil-to-mulch separation) before a layer of playground mulch (Safe T Mat Certified Playground Mulch) was added to complete.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or project ideas you have.  We would love to help anyway we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

What happened to our boxwood’s this past winter?!?!??

As anyone with a watchful eye on area plants and trees can probably tell you, this past winter, with it’s extreme cold (Polar Vortex!!), really took it’s toll on many deciduous and evergreen bushes.  In particular, the beautiful broadleaf evergreen, the boxwood, has been decimated!!

So many mature boxwood’s, that managed to survive for so many years, so many weather extreme’s, just could not pull through the brutally cold winter of 2018-19.

Although we can’t bring back the majority of stressed boxwood’s found today, we can learn from the experience and improve our chances for successful long-term growing of new and/or existing boxwood’s that survived last winter.

A few points to consider when growing boxwood’s in your landscape.

  • Encourage deep root growth by watering deeply, less often.
  • Keep your boxwood’s (soil/root zone) watered very well going into winter, before ground freezes.
  • Maintain a 2″+/- layer of organic water absorbing mulch around the base of your boxwood’s to further assist in retaining moisture (refresh as needed).
  • Be critical of the area you are planting/growing boxwood’s.  If deicing material is routinely applied nearby, try to limit exposure whenever possible or simply plant further away from problematic areas.  Salt (sodium chloride) dissolved in water, if concentrations are high enough, will contaminate the soil in adjacent run-off areas over time.
  • Install physical winter barriers/screens around your boxwood’s and other sensitive plants to keep deicing salt out of soil and to reduce moisture-robbing winter wind exposure (winter foliage desiccation).
  • If boxwood’s prove to be too sensitive for a particular area, try a different plant.  Choose a plant that can tolerate the specific conditions of the site for best long term results.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions you may have or for further assistance.  We would love to help anyway we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

Yucca’s………the persistent perennial plant that will not leave without a fight!

While not very popular these days, yucca’s were a very common perennial found all over the Chicagoland area 20 plus years ago.  These plants are durable!!  They spread by rhizome and develop a deep tap root which makes them resilient to weather extremes, but very difficult to remove when the time comes for a change.  Because of their rather extreme deep growing tap root (sometimes over 15 feet into the ground!!) and vast network of spreading fiberous roots, they cannot be easily eradicated.

Talk about survival of the fittest……. Yucca’s have the physiology to endure and live seemingly forever!!

Even after the initial plant removal (digging out) has been completed, you can count on new plant regrowth 90% of the time.  When new yucca plants eventually sprout from the ground they can be pulled by hand, dug out as they appear or a non-selective systemic herbicide may be applied to eliminate the unwanted plants and their comprehensive underground root structure.

So, if you have these hardy perennials growing in your garden and want them removed, please plan on much digging and several growing seasons to finally achieve success.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn maintenance, landscape renovation or snow removal service you need completed.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

When growing grass, soil preparation is EVERYTHING!

Whenever repairing or installing a new lawn from seed or sod, one very important aspect of the planting process is soil preparation.  Besides using premium fresh site-specific grass seed or sod, avoiding the hot and dry season (if possible) and ensuring routine irrigation, the better the initial soil preparation is, the better the outcome will most certainly be.

Here are a few soil preparation tips that will ensure success when planting grass from seed and/or sod.

GRASS SEED

Before planting grass seed over an existing weakened stand of grass, be sure to core aerate first to open the existing soil, relieve compaction and allow for improved seed-to-soil contact.  Better yet, mechanically power rake the lawn first (spring or fall preferred) to scarify the soil surface and to remove debris and excess thatch.  Once dethatched, core aerate (single or multiple passes ok) then spread grass seed over prepared surface by walk behind drop/broadcast spreader or plant seed directly into soil via mechanical slit-seeder.

If planting grass seed across bare ground be sure to cultivate/roto-till the existing soil first.  Before adding any/all amendments, starter fertilizer or additional top soil, for large open widespread areas, use a front or rear tine tiller to cultivate the soil to a depth of 2″-4″ first.  For small spot-repair areas use a steel rake, cultivator or even a Garden Weasel to cultivate the soil manually.  Once all bare soil areas have been cultivated and soil compaction has been broken, rake loosened soil to level and grade adequately across site to ensure proper drainage, etc..

Add pulverized top soil (as/if needed) to further improve/elevate areas targeted for eventual seed planting to complete.

SOD

Assuming that we are starting with a bare ground situation where all existing unwanted grass has either been manually, mechanically or chemically removed prior to new sod installation, bare compacted soil needs to be adequately cultivated before new sod can be successfully grown.  Again, just like when planting grass seed across large open areas, roto-tilling is the preferred method of soil preparation.

Once all bare soil areas have been roto-tilled/cultivated (depth of 2″-4″ ideal), add amendments, fertilizer or additional pulverized top soil to prepare the site for new sod installation.

Take your time, be thorough in your soil preparation and you will have a beautiful new lawn in no time!

Please be sure to consider Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for your next grass planting project.  We are happy to answer any questions you may have and help any way we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

Take a look at that Forsythia over there, it’s trying to tell you something………..

Spring is finally here!!

A sure sign that spring has finally arrived is when the forsythia bushes bloom and take on an awesome yellow color.  Even though the forsythia’s great vibrant yellow color only lasts a few short weeks, here are a few lawn and landscape related special events that it’s bloom usually signifies.

  • Soil temperatures are beginning to warm above 50 degrees+
  • Cool season turf grasses are finally beginning to grow.
  • Perennial broadleaf weeds, especially dandelions, are coming out of dormancy and are springing back to life!
  • Crabgrass seed will begin germinating in open, bare soil areas in the very near future.  Try to apply a grassy weed preventer at this time.
  • The odds of accumulating snow and/or sub-freezing temperatures are becoming less likely to occur from this point forward.  Winter is over!!
  • Lawn and landscape clean-ups, dethatching and core aeration should be well underway.
  • Irrigation systems are being opened/turned-on for the season.
  • Even though turf grass seed should be ideally planted in the late summer/early fall for best results, if planting in the spring, now would be the time to do so (next 4 weeks +/-).

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn or landscape related improvement project you would like completed.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great spring and summer season!

Please follow and like us: