Tag Archives: plant

Trumpet vine is a beautiful flowering vine that can quickly outgrow it’s surroundings. Gardeners beware!!

Pacocha - Trumpet vine over taking a screened in roomIt’s hard to believe that such a beautiful plant as trumpet vine can appear so non-threatening when first planted, but quickly become a nightmare in your landscape if you are not prepared.Trumpet vine utility pole If left unchecked, trumpet vine will attach to and overtake almost any nearby desirable plant or surface (both horizontally and vertically) within it’s reach.  If you are looking for a plant to cling to and conceal an unsightly structure, pole, fence, etc. on your property, than trumpet vine is the plant of choice.

Trumpet vine over taking a deck Just be careful not to plant trumpet vine too close to your house, deck, garage, power poles, desirable bushes, etc. or you will need to invest many hours pruning or even removing this amazing vine.

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Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for a healthy lawn and landscape!

Integrated Pest Management is the process of continually scouting for lawn and landscape related pests and injury.  Pests can be defined as a weed, disease, rodent or insect that can cause injury.  When managing the health of your lawn and landscape it is very important to understand the goals of Integrated Pest Management.  The two primary goals of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is to protect the environment and provide economical pest control up to the economic and aesthetic thresholds that you the property owner specifies.  It is very important to be able to identify what exactly a pest is, if the pest is susceptible (or non-susceptible) to control and if a pest is injurious to the desirable managed plant or not.  Pacocha - Grubs Found Just Below TurfThere are four primary control measures that are routinely used in IPM; Cultural, Mechanical, Biological and Chemical.  Cultural control involves growing the desired plant to be healthy through proper fertility, planting, plant selection (less susceptible plants), mulching and mowing.  Mechanical control is physically eliminating a pest by cultivating, pruning, hoeing and weed pulling, hand picking or burning and burying.  Biological control utilizes living organisms such as predators (lady beetles, spiders, insect-feeding birds), parasites (parasitic wasps, tachinid flies, etc.) and diseases (B.t. bacteria, Beauvaria fungus).  Lastly chemical control features the use of pesticides that are primarily quick, effective and short-term.  It is highly recommended to consider non-chemical methods first.  When applying pesticides you will need to consider any/all environmental impacts, proper timing and location of application.  Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc.Resistance can be experienced from continual use of same mode-of-action pesticide.  Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for professional lawn related care in the greater Chicago and surrounding northwest suburban area.  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and we look forward to being of service to you in the very near future!

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Chicago area underground flood control systems, sewer repairs, emergency utility work and the necessary landscape related repairs that follow!

The damage done to a mature lawn or landscape (in particular) after a major sewer repair, drainage improvements or new flood control system has been installed can be minimal or quite extreme.  Plant material, lawns, irrigation systems, retaining walls, pavement and low voltage lighting can be damaged or completely destroyed when underground construction takes place near by.  Other matters like extreme soil compaction and severed mature plant root systems are very common issues as well.  Flood control systemDepending on the initial soil excavation depth, size of equipment used, property location, type of underground repair performed and amount of construction spoils left behind will normally dictate the cost of landscape restoration services required.  One of the main cost drivers (besides labor and materials) of residential landscape restoration work (post sewer/flood control improvements) is the amount of excess stone/debris that is left behind.  When hiring an underground repair contractor it is always a good idea to be aware and to discuss who exactly will be responsible for the cost of removing excess fill/debris (off-site) if needed.  If the excess fill Pacocha - Elevated elongated mound post underground constructionmaterial that is left behind is somewhat desirable (soil or sand) and lacks large pieces of unwanted stone, bricks, concrete, etc. than it can be easily re-purposed/relocated on-site to reduce overall restoration costs.   Some examples of how to use these excess materials may be to elevate a low lying plant bed area, create a new raised planting bed or to fill-in multiple low/sunken lawn areas that are in need of repair.  In addition, please keep in mind that it is very likely that ground settling will occur after deep soil excavation work has been performed.  Pacocha - Elevated mound post underground constructionDepending on how well the underground contractor compacted the back-filled soil/stone will determine the amount of ground settling to be experienced in the future (1-3 years post landscape repair).  Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to assist in evaluating and providing the necessary lawn and landscape restoration services for your Chicago or surrounding northwest suburban residential property.  Pacocha - Low area ready for additional top soil and boxwood relocation

Thank you for your time and we look forward to being of assistance to you in the very near future.

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Poison Ivy………… Leaves of Three, Leave Them Be!

If you ever came in contact with poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac you know exactly the type of painful skin irritation one can experience.  It begins with severe itching of the skin.  Next the skin becomes inflamed and blistering occurs.  In extreme cases oozing sores develop.  Normally poison ivy rash can last anywhere from 1-3 weeks.  With awareness and the ability to properly identify these noxious plants you can avoid direct contact and thereby prevent the inevitable skin rash.  Poison ivy, oak and sumac are among the plants that produce a resin called urushiol which is the cause of the annoying allergic rash.  Direct plant contact is needed to release the urushiol oil.  Be sure to stay away from forest fires, direct burning, or anything else that can cause the oil to become airborne such as a lawnmower, trimmer, etc.  Urushiol oil can stay active on any surface, including dead plants, for up to 5 years.  Poison ivy is not contagious and will not spread if rashes are touched or rubbed.  However, since urushiol is sticky and resin-like it can be spread to other parts of your body or other people if left on your hands, clothing, gear, etc.  Poison ivy and oak have 3 leaves per cluster and poison sumac has 7-13 leaves on a branch.  Since poison ivy and it’s rash causing relatives commonly grow within other vegetation, it is very difficult to notice.

Often times it is only shortly after the rash has started on your skin that you realize recent contact was made.  Since poison ivy is a very persistent plant, it is difficult to completely eradicate.  Be sure to protect your skin with appropriate gloves, long sleeve shirt, pants, etc. when manually removing poison ivy, oak or sumac.  Pacocha - Poison Ivy Vine Attached to Wood Fence Growing Along BaseOne proven way to eliminate poison ivy is to apply a non-selective herbicide (Glyphosate) per labeled application rate to completely kill this unwanted plant.  As always, be sure to contact a professional to assist in plant identification and removal of poison ivy, oak or sumac by manual or chemical means.

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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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