Tag Archives: Arlington Heights

Poison Ivy……….. here, there and everywhere!!

Here are just a few locations where we have found poison ivy happily growing over the last few months.  Some areas fairly normal, others, not so much.

Poison Ivy found growing between a set of patio chairs!

 

Poison Ivy growing up a mature Maple tree!

 

Poison Ivy extending it’s reach into a neighbor’s property through a chain link fence!

 

Poison Ivy making it’s way up a shed wall and roof!

 

Poison Ivy quickly growing up a brick garage wall!

 

Poison Ivy sneaking up behind a barbecue grill!

 

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for help identifying and removing poison ivy found growing on your northwest suburban Chicago area property.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Keep leaves out of your buried downspout drain pipe with one of these……………..

We are very fortunate to be in a line of work that permits us to see and inspect hundreds of unique buried residential drainage systems per year.  While I am certain that every buried drain was originally installed to solve a water related problem, sometimes the so-called “drainage improvement” only makes matters worse.

The issue we find is when leaves and debris find their way into a buried drain pipe.  The longer the buried drain pipe, the bigger the clogging problem can be!

Cut-Off Buried Downspout Drain Pipe Almost Completely Clogged With Debris From Unprotected Gutters Above

Once debris enters your aluminum downspouts (via unprotected rain gutters above) and flows freely into your direct-connected buried PVC or corrugated drain pipe, unless cleaned regularly, will result in a clogged pipe (partial or complete).

So if you have no plans to install leaf gutter guards or to completely remodel your existing clog-prone buried drain system, try installing one of these simple grated downspout cleanouts (installed between your aluminum downspout outlet and buried 4″ PVC pipe inlet) to help solve your problem.

This inexpensive drain pipe modification will do a great job of keeping leaves and large debris out while also providing a removable/accessible service point of entry to use high powered air blowers or a pressure washer to clean any/all remaining sediment from buried drain pipe (as routine maintenance plan requires).

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any residential drainage challenge you may be experiencing.  We will do our very best to help any way we can.

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

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Bagged or Bulk Salt?

Whenever our company considers servicing a new property for snow and ice management, we first determine what type of ice melt material will be required to properly service the site.  To be more precise, will the ice melt material needed be packaged in 50 pound bags or will it be in bulk form.

Generally speaking, larger paved parking lot areas will be serviced using bulk material whenever possible.  Bulk ice melt material requires suitable dry storage (short/long term, on/off-site, etc.),  dedicated wheeled bucket loader and specialized truck mounted bulk material spreader powered by either hydraulic pump, gas engine or electric motor.  There is no doubt that bulk salt requires a large investment in material handling equipment and proper storage, but once setup, bulk salt can be efficiently spread over large areas to quickly achieve the final outcome desired.

Sidewalks, driveways, small parking areas, etc. are generally serviced by spreading a suitable non-clumping bagged ice melt material using small pickup truck mounted tailgate spreaders,  walk behind rotary or drop spreaders (manually pushed or propelled by gas engine power) or even spread by hand in glove, pulled directly out of a 5 gallon bucket, to complete the targeted application required.

BULK ICE MELT MATERIAL

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Pros
  • Pound-for-pound, the price of delivered bulk material is less expensive than it’s bagged material equivalent.
  • Available in large semi-truck quantities (20-22 tons per delivered load).
  • Can apply over large open areas quickly and efficiently.
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Cons
  • Requires expensive equipment to move and load material.
  • Requires storage in a large dry dedicated bin or steel container to prevent material loss/run-off.
  • Prone to bulk salt material shortages (limited or non-existent local area supply) during on-going heavy winter weather seasons.
  • Price-per-ton of bulk salt increases rapidly (25% > 75%+/-) when material shortages are anticipated or finally realized.

BAGGED ICE MELT MATERIAL

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Pros
  • Available to purchase in very small quantities (50 pound bag).
  • Plastic bag packaging keeps material dry and clump-free.
  • Bags delivered neatly stacked on a wood pallet (49-55 bags per pallet) and wrapped in plastic.
  • Less prone to material clumping or hardening if plastic bag packaging remains sealed.
  • Even during times of bulk salt shortages, bagged ice melt material generally remains available for purchase albeit at a higher price.
  • Amount of ice melt material used can be accurately quantified on a job-by-job basis.
  • Material remains dry until bags are opened to fill spreader at time of application.
  • Can stack and store pallets of bagged material indefinitely and without loss as long as material remains dry.

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Cons
  • More expensive than bulk material equivalent.
  • Additional labor required to repeatedly lift, open and pour sealed bags into spreading equipment.
  • Need to dispose of discarded plastic bag packaging and wood shipping pallets.

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to discuss snow and ice management services needed at your local Chicagoland area property.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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What it means to be a snow removal contractor after 25 years ……………….

From time to time, I just stop, look around at my winter surroundings, and consider myself very fortunate to be involved in an industry that is so challenging (on both the body and mind) yet rewarding all the same.

Over the last 25 plus years I have learned much, had the opportunity to service great clients and work with super-talented people in extreme winter conditions that most people try to avoid.  Through it all, I remain humble and ready to serve those that count on us to clear their properties of snow and ice.  Since “Old Man Winter” is normally in control as to when our services are needed, we just do what we can to follow as closely behind as possible 🙂 .

A way of life for sure, but I would have it no other way!!

Please consider Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to service your long term snow and ice removal needs.  We would love to help any way we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and we wish you nothing but the best for this 2018-19 winter season and beyond!

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Outdoor Drainage Improvements Needed? ……. Pacocha Landscaping Can Help!

Whether the goal is to eliminate standing water in your yard, redirect an existing downspout or to bury an unsightly sump pump drain pipe, Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. can help!

  • Site Assessment
  • Downspout Drains
  • Buried Drain Pipe Clean Out
  • Sump Pump Drains
  • Gravel-Free French Drain Systems
  • Regrading Services
  • Dry Wells
  • Custom Aluminum Downspout Modifications
  • Lawn and Landscape Restoration

Please contact us to arrange an on-site meeting so we can learn more about your water related challenge.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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Ready for Accumulating Snow on November 1st!

It seems that accumulating snow is happening earlier and earlier in the fall season here in the northern Illinois Chicago area.  Over the last 20 years, we were considered “lucky” (from a plow contractor’s perspective 🙂 ) to get accumulating snow as early as mid-to-late December, but the last few winters have proven otherwise.

From our company’s point of view, accumulating snow in November is now to be expected.  Even though snow and ice service planning, operational improvement and efficient route creation never stops and truly happens year round, being fully operational and ready to successfully service our clients properties on November 1st.  is now the rule, not the exception.

Please contact our company, Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc., for more information on our snow and ice management service offering and to receive a professional and fully detailed seasonal winter service agreement custom created specifically for your property.

Thank you for visiting our site and have a great winter season!

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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!

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