Tag Archives: Pacocha Landscaping Services

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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5 tips to ensure a trouble-free buried gutter downspout drain system

Whenever planning to install new or modify an existing buried downspout drain, you need to be very aware of solid debris that can easily enter your buried drainage system and cause future problems.  Whether it’s leaves, small branches, tree acorns/seed, asphalt roof shingle granules or any other debris that can enter your downspout by way of unprotected/uncovered gutters, a buried downspout drain system will eventually fail unless certain precautions are taken.

Here are 5 tips to ensure a trouble-free buried gutter downspout drain system.

1). Create an air-gap below your downspout (between downspout outlet and catch basin inlet).  It is always a good idea to leave a bit of space (1″ to 4″+/-) between the end of your downspout and entry point of buried drain system to allow water to escape downspout if in the event your buried drain system becomes inoperable.  We have seen many poorly designed buried downspout drains over the years that were direct connected (no air-gap) and eventually became clogged due to a lack of regular maintenance or by having no debris protection (atop roof gutters and/or atop buried drain inlet).

2). Reduce entry of large debris into buried drainage system by installing a grate covered catch basin at inlet point (ground level).  Not only will most large sized debris get stopped from entering buried drain system via catch basins grate cover, but smaller sized debris that manages to pass through will settle to bottom of catch basin (instead of inside pipe) where it can be easily removed at some point in the future.

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

3). Add a catch basin filter for extra protection against unwanted small granular sized debris from entering into buried drain pipe.

4). Clean sump base of catch basin (and optional filter) annually to ensure long term buried drain system success.  Most downspout catch basins can be easily cleaned out by simply unscrewing the top grate cover and shoveling out or vacuuming any/all settled debris that has accumulated in sump of catch basin.

5). Occasionally inspect top of catch basin (once per month recommended) to ensure the grate cover is free and clear of debris.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any exterior residential drainage improvement needed at your Chicagoland area property.  Thank you for visiting our site and we look forward to being of service to you!

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Make it stay with biodegradable stakes!!

Whenever installing seed germination blanket, weed control fabric or other landscape related materials requiring temporary attachment to the underlying soil, consider using a biodegradable stake in lieu of the industry standard steel staple.

4″ Steel Staple

Here are a few benefits to using a biodegradable stake over a conventional steel staple.

4″ Biodegradable Stake
  • Greater holding power
  • Will hold to soil for up to 18 months before completely disappearing in soil
  • Can penetrate the hardest soil
  • Safer than steel staples for people, pets and machinery
  • Approved by DOT’s, engineers and conservation bodies
  • Plastic free and biodegradeable
  • Can store indefinitely in dry warehouse conditions

Purchase biodegradable stakes here: https://amzn.to/2NplhAH

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn, landscape or snow related service needed at your local area property.  We are happy to help any way we can and at any time.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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Bagworms = Arborvitaes worst nightmare!

When unsuspecting arborvitaes are invaded by bagworms, it is often times a total loss for the individual evergreen under assault.

Bagworm caterpillars feed on specific types of evergreen foliage (arborvitae, juniper, cedar, spruce, cypress, etc.) and may partially stress or completely kill the host evergreen in relatively short order if left unchecked.

Once a suitable host is found, bagworm caterpillars get busy building protective hanging sacks out of needles and other nearby plant material to cover themselves, coming out to feed.  The sacks hang from branches and are usually brown in color (look like small pine cones once the plant material used dries out).  Female bagworms mature as small caterpillars and never leave their individual nest sack, while adult male’s eventually fly-away as moths (August/September).  Both the mature male and female die shortly after mating at the female’s sack.  A mature female bagworm caterpillar can fertilize up to 1,000 eggs before dying within her cocoon.  Bagworm eggs overwinter in the female sack and hatch in May.  Larvae exit the cocoon by lowering themselves down/out via a self-generated thin silk thread.

BAGWORMS very survival hang’s by a thread!

Only a single generation of bagworm eggs are produced each year.  Bagworm feeding can be quite devastating to the host plant if left unchecked.  Manual removal of any/all bagworm sacks is recommended whenever possible.  If manual sack removal is not an option then a properly timed insecticide application (late June/early July) by a trained and qualified professional is highly recommended to control the overall bagworm larvae population in the effected evergreen trees.

Thank you for visiting our site and please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any service requests or questions you may have.  We greatly appreciate the opportunity and look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.  Have a great day!

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Bishop’s Weed……………….. friend or foe???

Bishop’s weed (aka goutweed, snow-on-the-mountain, ground elder, etc.) can take over your garden if you are not careful.  While the perennial plant itself looks fairly attractive, the challenge lies in it’s invasive growing nature.

The plant will quickly spread into just about any open soil area not bound by pavement on all four sides!!  This ground cover plant will spread, and spread, and spread………..

Bishop’s weed is nearly unstoppable!!

 

Bishop’s weed is considered a noxious weed in many states.  Just something to consider when deciding whether or not to offer a few of your Bishop’s weed plant’s to a neighbor or family member.  A non-selective herbicide (glyphosate) may be used to control the plant, but multiple targeted applications over several growing seasons may be required.

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions you may have or to discuss your next landscape improvement project.  We greatly appreciate the opportunity and look forward to helping any way we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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