Category Archives: Landscape Maintenance

Lily of the Valley………… sometimes a little bit, is too much!!

Lily of the Valley, along with Liriope and Bishop’s Weed, is another one of those fast spreading invasive perennial plants that seem to constantly overstep their original plant bed boundaries.

Lily of the Valley is a perennial groundcover forming plant we find in more mature landscapes (rarely planted on purpose in modern day gardens) and is known to tolerate extreme environmental conditions (drought, clay soil, etc.).

Lily of the Valley GROWS, and GROWS, and GROWS!!

Lily of the Valley seems to withstand full sun once established, but grows very well in deep shade.

Please be sure to contact our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. if you need professional help removing unwanted Lily of the Valley plants or any other stubborn vegetation found overtaking your garden.  Thank you very much for visiting our site and have a great day!

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Weed of the Month – COMMON BURDOCK (Wild Rhubarb)

If there is one weed that seems to appear in some of the strangest places (along with poison ivy) is common burdock, also known as wild rhubarb.

We see this big and bold, large-leaved biennial weed growing within deciduous hedge rows, along edges of lawns, sides of buildings and even under large evergreen trees.   Anywhere the plant can avoid routine mowing or soil cultivation, but still receive modest sunlight exposure, the plant will flourish.

Common Burdock (also known as wild rhubarb):  Burdock is a biennial plant (2 year life cycle) that reproduces by seed.  Plant produces spiny cockleburs (seed heads) which cling to clothing, shoe laces and even animal fur for easy relocation.  Plant has a large fleshy taproot and massive dark green colored leaves with a hairy textured leaf underside.

Remove common burdock by digging out plant when small or by applying a systemic herbicide directly to actively growing foliage (surrounding environment dependent) for best long term results.

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any vegetation control questions you may have.  We stand ready to help any way we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

 

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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!

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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!

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Poison Ivy in ALL the wrong places…………………………….

Poison Ivy found growing up a brick wall
Poison Ivy growing up a utility pole

Over the years we have been very fortunate to provide lawn and landscape related services at thousands of area properties.  Based on routine and somewhat unexpected customer demand, we have become a local source frequently called upon to properly identify and recommend effective poison ivy removal strategies (short and long term).

Poison Ivy found growing up a tree located near residential front entry
Poison Ivy growing through walls and exiting roof of a back yard shed

Besides being found just about everywhere in a landscape setting, we find that poison ivy is very comfortable growing vertically.  Very comfortable!!  In fact, if left alone over time, poison ivy loves growing directly up mature trees, wooden utility poles, fences and even walls of houses (usually intertwined with other desirable climbing vines – in particular).

Poison Ivy found growing through a wood fence

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any poison ivy related concern you may have.  We stand ready and able to help any way we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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How to Identify an Oak Tree

The first step to begin identification of an oak tree is to determine whether the tree is from the white or red oak family of trees.  You can identify which group your oak tree belongs to by looking at it’s leaves, acorns and it’s bark.

Red Oak Group Characteristics:

  • Leaves have pointed tips
  • Acorns are round in shape and have a flattened overlapping/scaled cap
  • Bark is fairly dark in color and often appears as ridged/furrowed
  • Fast growing
  • Members of the red oak group of trees include – Northern red oak, Black oak, Pin oak, Shingle oak, Red oak, etc.
Red Oak Tree Leaves and Acorns
Red Oak Tree Bark
Red Oak Tree Acorns

White Oak Group Characteristics:

  • Leaves are rounded at tip of each lobe
  • Acorns are oval/elongated and have a bumpy faced cap that is usually 1/3 or so it’s overall length
  • Bark often appears to be light colored and scaly in appearance
  • Slow growing
  • Members of the white oak group of trees include – Bur oak, Post oak, Swamp White oak, Eastern White oak, etc.
White Oak Tree Leaves and Acorns
White Oak Tree Bark
White Oak Tree Acorns

Oak trees are fantastic hardwood trees that can live for hundreds of years and provide awesome shade for all to enjoy.  Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any comments, questions or service requests you may have.  We greatly appreciate your visit to our site and look forward to being of service to you.  Have a great day!

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Natures Oddity…………. Slime Mold!

Slime mold can be found growing atop organic decaying material (wood mulch in particular) when hot and humid weather is the norm (June – August).

Slime mold can be white, light cream, brown or even yellow in color.

When found growing atop wood mulch, slime mold can be easily removed by just scooping it up and throwing it away.

 

 

Try not to dispose of slime mold in your compost bin to avoid further possible on-site spread.  Normal routine cultivation of wood mulch will keep slime mold growth at bay.  Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn, landscape or snow management related questions you may have.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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MUSHROOMS are growing in my lawn ………. why my yard??

Every growing season, especially after heavy ground saturating rains, mushrooms start to appear in select lawn and wood mulched landscape bed areas.  Wherever dead buried organic material exists you will eventually find some type of mushroom growing near by.

Pacocha - Multiple Mushrooms Growing in Lawn

Mushrooms are simply the visible top growths extending from buried fungi in the soil below.

Pacocha - Mushroom Growing in Lawn

One way to possibly stop (or slow) new mushroom’s from growing is to remove it’s buried food source.Pacocha - Clusters of Mushrooms Growing in Lawn

Here are just a few of the organic food sources that will eventually lead to new mushroom growth: dead buried roots, buried wood, thick layers of wood mulch, under wood piles, old tree stump areas, etc.

Pacocha - Mushrooms Growing in Mulch Covered Bed                  Pacocha - Single Upright Mushroom Growing in Lawn                Pacocha - Red Colored Mushrooms Growing in Plant Bed

Please be sure to let our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. know if we can be of additional help or answer any questions you may have.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

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Proper Routine Mechanical Lawn Maintenance = A Happy Lawn!!

One way or another, if you are the proud owner of property that happens to include a lawn, you need to understand that it will require a certain level of on-going mechanical care in order for it to be healthy and survive for the long term.Pacocha - Dense Lawn

We are asked many times a year from new potential clients (in particular) whether or not our company provides bi-weekly lawn mowing service (once every two weeks), and the answer is simply NO.  Your lawn needs to be maintained/mowed/cleared of debris at least once a week when it’s actively growing for best results.  If you wait too long (2 weeks or more) you will likely end up cutting away too much of the new top growth (well beyond 1/3 of grass plant – recommended limit per mowing) which translates into the plant placing all of it’s remaining energy into top side leaf recovery and not critical root development.Pacocha Turfgrass Root Zone  Just by looking at a lawn from the curb, I can tell whether or not it is being properly mechanically maintained on a routine basis.  A lawn THAT IS NOT MAINTAINED ON A ROUTINE BASIS is usually light green in color, has heavy broadleaf weed populations (dandelion, clover and creeping charlie especially – sometimes even thistle), they are thin and contain multiple bare spots from past injuries and/or stress.When a lawn has a shallow/inadequate root mass it suffers in so many ways.  The grass plant needs to develop a substantial root zone in order for it to survive the occasional challenge from extended periods of drought, weed seed competition for any/all bare soil, compacted soil from foot traffic, disease, insect invasion, cutting too short, fallen leaves left atop/smothering lawn, etc.Pacocha - Lawn Repair by Seed 5-22-14

The bottom line is maintain your lawn properly all season long for a great, healthy stand of turfgrass that you can be proud of.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions you may have or if we can help in any way.  Thank you and have a great day!Pacocha Landscaping Services Logo

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Mulberry Tree ……….. the UNINVITED one!!

There is one type of problematic fruit bearing deciduous tree that grows wild, grows fast and often within inaccessible areas surrounding our Chicago area properties…… the mulberry tree!Pacocha - Mulberry Growing Within Low Growing Arborvitaes

The mulberry tree is rarely purposely planted by man in our area.  It tends to grow in any location where the soil is left undisturbed and is frequented by birds and animals that eat the tree’s fleshy fruit and “deposit” its remaining seed to the soil below.  The problem we landscape professionals face is when a mulberry tree happens to grow directly within evergreen bushes, deciduous hedges, inches away from foundations, along retaining walls or even within chain link fences they become very difficult to remove.  An unchallenged mulberry tree will eventually dominate the area it’s growing within and take on the appearance of an unruly out of control 20’+ tall tree-like weed.  However, once a property owner finally decides to remove the uninvited mulberry tree (and it’s stump), even at the cost of likely damaging the adjacent obstacle (plant, fence, retaining wall, etc.), the tree will certainly lose and will become all but a distant memory.Pacocha - Mulberry Growing Along Base of Chainlink Fence

As you can imagine, we highly recommend the complete removal of any/all wild growing mulberry trees located on your property while they are still relatively small in size and easy to physically remove.  This early visual identification (physical removal) strategy will help limit possible future property damage, instantly improve the overall appearance of your landscape and eliminate the need for non-selective herbicide applications to eradicate the problematic tree.

Pacocha - Mulberry Growing Within Arborvitae    Pacocha - Mulberry Growing Under Spruce Tree

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or comments you may have in regard to the information listed above.  Once again, thank you for visiting and have a great day!

 

 

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