Preventing Weeds from Growing Through Landscape Rocks
You have your landscaping project all planned out. You have a great idea for using landscape rocks on this one part of your yard. As with many landscaping projects, however, you need to keep maintenance in mind. One reason for that is weeds. Those nasty buggers will pop up anywhere, even in your landscape rocks. When they do pop up in your landscape rocks, in particular, they can be even more difficult to remove.
In this post, we are going to talk about different ways to prevent and treat weeds that grow in your landscaping rocks.
Remove Weeds Before Putting Down Rocks
When you decide upon the piece of ground that is perfect for your rock landscaping, you'll want to make sure it is weed-free before you begin. Take a close look at the area and single out any current or potential problems that could come from weeds. If you find some trouble spots, you have a few options for weed removal. If you are not in a real hurry to get the rocks on the ground, you can cover the area with plastic and let it cook under the hot sun for about six weeks. This will certainly kill any weeds under the plastic. You can also get in the dirt and dig the weeds out from the roots. Be sure to throw those dug up weeds away, though; you don't want any of them seeding in the area you just cleared;or any other part of the lawn, for that matter. Finally, you can try a premixed, post-emergent, non-selective herbicide that you simply spray on the existing weeds.
The basic reality of weeds is that, no matter what steps you take to prevent them, you are still likely to see a few pop up. If this happens to you, pull those weeds the second you see them emerge. Also, and this is really important: don't leave the plucked plant there. If you can, move the rocks away from the weed so that you can get right down to the root of the weed when you are pulling it. There are also small handheld weeding tools that can help you reach down to those pesky weed roots situated between rocks.
Advanced Weed Removal Techniques
If you are unable to get the weeds out from the roots, you are almost guaranteed to see even more weeds popping up between the rocks. There are other means to getting rid of those weeds and regaining the upper hand.
Have you heard of a weed flamer? Well, it's a thing. And it works very well in an application like this, because your landscape rocks are not flammable and they can withstand a tremendous amount of heat. It's as simple as blasting the weeds with the heat from the flamer. It's worth mentioning here that you want to keep the flamer away from any flammable materials, such as wood mulch or, you know, your house. If flammable materials are nearby, you can try using boiling water on the weeds. The heat can have the same effect, though, admittedly, this method doesn't have as much "wow" factor as the weed flamer. If you'd rather forego any methods that involve heat, you can always apply a premixed herbicide, such as glyphosate, right on the weeds.
Weeds have been the enemy of landscaping since time immemorial. This is certainly true with regards to their willingness to disrupt your perfectly laid landscaping rocks. Knowing what to do before you lay that rock, as well as after, can give you an advantage against weeds and keep your landscaping looking picture perfect.
If weeds are making your life miserable, don't fret. At E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply, we offer residential weed control services to help you have the lawn and landscaping you love. To learn more, contact us online or call us at (517) 990-0110 today!
Trees and Power Lines
Trees are one of the best investments you can make in your home and landscaping. Unlike many other investments in your home that lose value over time, trees actually add value as they mature. Deciding on the right tree(s) for your yard is the first step in adding more trees. One factor you will want to keep in mind, however, is the location of your new trees with relation to existing power lines.
In this post, we are going to be discussing how far you should plant certain trees from power lines to prevent problems as the trees mature.
Considerations for Tree Selection
Beyond finding trees that are suitable to your environment and taste, you'll also want to ask yourself these questions:
Types of Trees
As you have probably inferred, the taller a tree becomes, the further it will need to be planted from existing power lines. As a cheat sheet, we have provided some of the most common types of trees, along with their heights and recommendations for distances from power lines.
These are trees that can grow to less than 20 feet at full maturity and are suitable to be planted within 15 feet of power lines.
These are trees that can grow from 25-50 feet at full maturity and should be planted 20+ feet from overhead power lines.
These are trees that can grow to 40+ feet at full maturity and should be planted 50+ feet from overhead power lines.
Trees Unsuitable To Be Near Power Lines
Finally, there are some trees that just simply do not belong anywhere near power lines. If you have power lines nearby, scratch these trees off your list.
One of the best ways to accentuate any landscape design, as well as add value to your home, is to plant a tree or two. That said, you need to give serious thought to the type of tree you want and where you are able to plant it. Trees growing to heights that can interfere with power lines are sure to be a headache in years to come. As with <i>any</i> landscaping decisions, a little planning goes a long way.
If you are ready to add trees to your landscaping, E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply can help. We offer full tree and shrub planting services for a variety of different environments. To learn more, contact us online or give us a call at (517) 990-0110 today.
Landscaping Ideas for Small Yards
Some might say your yard is small. You might prefer the term "fun size." Regardless of what you call it, a small yard can pose some unique landscaping challenges. It's those very challenges, though, that open the door to some very creative ideas. In this post, we are going to take a look at innovative ways to landscape a small yard.
Room for a View
When you coordinate several pieces together, they can form a view or attraction that can make a small yard feel bigger. Traditionally, arbors and pergolas have been used as an attractive way to frame a view. Still, there are some great ways to do it with some small trees, shrubs, or even well-chosen garden art.
Get in the Zone
It might seem counter-intuitive, but if you segment a small yard into different zones, and landscape accordingly, you can make the yard feel much larger. For instance, you could have a section for some outdoor seating, maybe another section highlights a fountain or other water feature, and one is a wildflower garden. If you connect them with paths, which also acts as a great segmenting device, you can create a real experience in your yard.
Color, Texture, and Foliage
Colors can be a great way to change perception. Try placing landscaping elements that feature bright, bold colors right where they will be the first things you notice. These types of colors naturally catch our attention. In doing this, the remainder of your small yard landscaping will seem layered behind it, giving the whole yard a sense of depth.
You can take this one step further. Large tropical plants, which are usually very brightly colored also, can help to create a lush, luxurious feel, particularly in a small yard. The large leaves of tropical plants change the perspective of a small yard and make it seem larger than in it is. Even though tropical plants will need to be replaced, their uniqueness can be pretty attention-getting.
Change Your Perspective
Color is one way to influence perspective. Lines are another way. Long, straight lines can make you think a small yard is bigger than it actually is. You can combine this technique with the framing idea in the first tip by lightly bringing in the ends of your lines to a focal point. You could use a fence as a starting point and introduce rows of flowers that end at a fountain or pergola.
Mix It Up
One way to accommodate space limitations is by introducing unexpected elements to your landscaping. These unexpected items then become the point of focus, rather than the size of the yard being the focal point. For instance, you could use a combination of different paving materials, plants, hardscape elements, and well-trimmed lawn in a way that is so attention-getting that you don't even notice the size of the yard.
If you don't have a lot of horizontal space in your yard, consider going vertical. One great option is Espalier, which actually looks more difficult to execute than it actually is. You can use this technique to decorate walls on your house, garage, or shed to gain more landscaping space.
Another way to go vertical is to consider the way different trees and shrubs grow, and then choose the ones that grow "up" rather than "out." Take a look at dwarf varieties. You should also consider columnar conifers, which will also look fantastic in winter!
Borrow from a Neighbor
If your neighbors aren't all that into gardening or landscaping, use of some of their nearby spaces to your advantage. For example, open views through fences can give the illusion of space.
Your Final Destination
A gathering place somewhere in the yard is another way to change perspective. A simple way to do this would be setting up a fire pit with seating set up off the patio / deck (if you have one). By having to go away from the house to the destination, it can make your yard feel more spacious than it actually is.
This is going to sound like a radical idea to many, but hear us out. If you have limited space, you love plants, and don't really feel like you need a lawn, why not just skip the grass completely? Work with plants that are arranged in some sort of order, such as colors, heights, etc., then use a paver path to connect them. This also allows you to get to each section for watering, weeding, pruning, and such. If you are stuck on the idea that a yard needs grass, just remember that our yards should be a reflection of what we like, not what we feel like we should have in place just because it's always been done that way before.
Plant Beds and Boxes
This is another way to use vertical space. Simply use plant beds or boxes to get your plants off the ground and up one-to-three feet. Load them with plants you love. Maybe try an herb garden, too, so that it satisfies both form and function. By lifting plants off the ground, you can change where the eye's attention goes. If the focus is on the raised beds/boxes, it is not on the relative smallness of the yard.
Keep it Clean
Clutter will make a small yard look even smaller; therefore, reducing clutter and simplifying your landscaping will make a small yard seem more spacious. It will also make it seem more calm and relaxing. With the clutter removed, you can place all of your focus on just a few elements, such as a few plants that are used repeatedly or one color that serves as a theme. What about a paver path lined by boxwoods and hydrangeas, which leads to your fire pit area? An idea like this incorporates several of the tips we've discussed.
When it comes to landscaping, the size of your yard isn't nearly as important as the depth of your creativity. When you consider the elements of a yard that you really love, you can almost always figure out a way to make great landscaping happen regardless of the size of the yard. To get the most out of your landscaping, E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply offers professional landscaping services in the Jackson, MI area. Feel free to contact us online or call us today at (517) 990-0110.