Liquid Limestone And Exposed Aggregate

It required more planning as well as prep work than the standard concrete. Installers need to mix the concrete in order to get the right consistency with the use of more water than normal. Also, care must be taken into great considerations if you are choosing the aggregate. Although they will act as filler in order to give concrete its strength, they are primarily chosen for its excellent aesthetic appeal in terms of exposed finishes. Installers must inspect the stone of texture, color, and size so as to get the desired outcome.

Experts highly emphasized that such kind of finish is suitable for low-traffic applications. They are the best solution for walkways, patios, and even in concrete porches. Also, they might be appropriate for some driveways but are not being used on road due to the fact that they cannot carry heavy traffic loads.

First, a fresh concrete base will be poured. It will be troweled smooth with the use of a wooden trowel or float.

Second, the mixture will be poured over the concrete. Using a broom or rake, it must be spread. There are some installers making use of a piece of lumber or perhaps a concrete float in order to press the stones into the top of the wet concrete with an aim of embedding them in place.

Lastly, a lawn roller will be used to smooth out the surface and get rid of unwanted bumps or lumps.

During the installation process, sealing is very important. Be aware that when unsealed, they can easily become dirty and might even wear away over time because of heavy foot traffic. Also, they will become very susceptible to moisture and other outdoor elements. Installers can actually choose between two basic types of sealers

Benefits of Using Turf Rolls

Soil erosion

Turf rolls are great for stabilizing dust and preventing soil erosion. Regular wind and rainfall can cause serious issues with the erosion of soil. But, this is easily stabilized by applying a layer of turf grass to the lawn. Once the turf is established and roots penetrate the soil, they will help to hold the soil together and avoid future movement. Plus, a turf layer that is highly dense can help to avoid issues with soil and dust particles.

Rain absorption

Turf grass is helpful for its ability to minimize rainwater runoff and captures more water to benefit the ground water supplies. By slowing the movement of rainwater it is possible to penetrate the soil more efficiently and provide better growth in the garden. A well-maintained lawn at about 8,000 square feet has the potential to soak up nearly 5500 gallons after a heavy downfall of rain.

Minimize noise and glare

The turf is great at softening the glare from sunlight because it is able to provide a surface that is non-reflective. Planting a varied mixture of plants, shrubs, and trees can also help with absorbing a significant amount of noise. Gardens that are mostly hard surface like stone or concrete are more likely to reflect sound. Adding plants and lawn to the garden can help to cut the level of noise by about 25-30 percent.

Air cleanser

Turf grass can act as a natural air cleaner and soak up carbon dioxide, which is broken down to form carbon and oxygen. A decent sized lawn (50×50 feet) in the yard is enough to produce the oxygen needed to breath while at home. Also, the grass is able to absorb other gases such as sulfur dioxide. Without grass and plant life to absorb the pollutants, there would be a build up of haze over time that could block sunlight by nearly 15 percent.

Growing Tomato Plants In Pots

As you know, there are several varieties of plants you may wish to grow in pots, but being the most popular amongst homeowners are tomatoes. Why tomatoes? This is because tomatoes are basically easy to grow and maintain. There’s no need for fancy and expensive gardening tools required. Knowing the right soil, location, application of organic fertilizers of choice, and love of work is all that it entails.

The Tomato Checklist

  • Size does matter – when it comes to growing tomatoes in a container or pot, always remember that bigger is better. The essence is the soil capacity – a bigger container means the more soil it can hold. Growing tomatoes requires the roots to have more space to promote optimum growth. A typical tomato plant can grow for up 6-8 feet tall depending on the soil, maintenance, and fertilizers you use.
  • Soil – with regard to the soil composition, many non-organic-farming professionals argue that it is better to use a potting mix because it significantly yields favorable results. However, others also pointed out that using natural potting soil promotes better growth and is a safer method. Either way, it all ends up to the decision of the gardener. Note that potting mix is obviously expensive but as they say, and probably will always say, it is worth the money.
  • Fertilizers – if you use fertilizers, you need to understand first that not all fertilizers are the same. Considering that you are growing tomatoes in pots, you want to use fertilizers that provide a well proportionate and balanced fertilizer that has higher nitrogen content, especially when your tomatoes are young; you need more leaves and foliage growth.

Some Common Mistakes in growing Tomatoes in Pots

  • The use of small containers – the roots of tomatoes need more space so be sure to use bigger containers.
  • No Stakes – even determined tomatoes still do need some proper staking. It is not that complicated though. You can use metal rods, sticks, or basically anything sturdy for growth support.
  • Too much water – don’t binge on watering because too much watering will result to Blossom End Rot, split tomatoes and stressed plants. But make sure that your tomatoes are also not deprived of water. The key is to have a working drip irrigation system of basically watering them sparingly.
  • Know when to stop and change – stop the use of fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen upon maturity and opt for using fertilizers that are low in nitrogen, high in phosphorous and potassium. Never use fertilizers rich in nitrogen once your tomatoes are flowering.

Few Things to Plant This Fall

Turfgrass

Other than late summer, early autumn is the best time to plant new seed. Reseeding in the fall will lower the amount of weeds the seed has to compete with. The cooler weather also means the soil is not too wet for the seedbed. Reseeding in the fall also means the plant seed will grow slowly due to the cooler temperatures. But though it is cooler above the surface, there is actually a lot of growth going on beneath the surface.

Fall is also a great time to fix small areas that have grown bare. When filling in patches, make sure the seed has plenty of contact with the soil so it can fully germinate and mature. Aerating the soil before planting seed, with use of an aerator, can ensure the seed have enough soil contact.

One thing to keep in mind when planting new seed in the fall is that because there isn’t a lot of growth going on, the bugs are going to be looking for fresh turf to munch on. The types and amount of bugs you will see depend on where you live. Be sure to check your freshly planted turf seeds to watch for bugs and monitor turf growth.

Shrubs and Trees

Come fall, you will probably see a lot of greenery at great sale prices. And most of the shrubs and trees you see on discounts are ready to be planted and will do rather well in the cooler weather.

Many people are not aware that the cooler temperatures of fall can protect the roots of the newly planted shrubs and trees and keep them from drying out. The roots will be able to stretch and grow deep down into the soil so that when spring rolls in the roots of your shrubs and trees are firm and healthy.

When planting late in the season, there are a few things to consider that will better the health of the trees and shrubs you are planting.

  • Try not to bother the plant. Just like newborn babies don’t like to be disturbed, freshly planted trees and shrubs don’t either. Be careful not to damage the roots while planting and once planted, avoid damage to the plant by avoiding any pruning. If you choose to use an aerator in the fall to help your turfgrass in areas around your planted shrubs and trees, be careful not to add stress to the roots you just planted.
  • Don’t over stimulate it. Try not to be too aggressive with the soil surrounding the plant. A small amount of compost can help enrich the soil, but try to avoid fertilizers until the weather warms up.
  • New plants are thirsty. To keep the roots from drying out in the cooler temperatures, be sure to regularly water the shrubs and trees recently planted.
  • Protect the plant from freezing. One way to protect the plants from too much exposure to the cold is to apply a layer of mulch to the surface. This acts as an insulator and protects the roots and plant from damage caused by freezing.

Spring Blooming Bulbs

Annuals and perennials can be planted early fall, before the first frost. Beating the frost is important because it gives the roots enough time to develop so the plant can mature properly. Sometimes bulbs don’t sprout, to ensure you have bulbs that pop up plant several bulbs. After the bulbs are planted, apply a little mulch to trap in moisture, protect against cold temperatures, and to keep weed growth to a minimum. Be sure to water after planting to ensure the bulbs have enough moisture to develop.

Vegetables for Cooler Seasons

Depending on the area in which you live, you can plant cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, radish, and other cool-season vegetables. Most of these vegetable plants can endure shorter periods of frost. To ensure the vegetable plants have enough time to mature before temperatures are too cold, it is best to plant them no later than early fall.

Before Hiring an Irrigation Contractor

Remember to be very clear as to what you want. Don’t tell the contractor how to do a certain thing, just tell him the result that you expect. You may not know the technicalities of it. If they follow what you say and the result is a disaster, they will end up blaming you for it. So leave that bit up to them, and tell them ‘what’ not ‘how’ you want it done.

Be sure you understand of all the terms the contractor uses. If you don’t understand any, then ask him/her. If you come across a contractor who constantly uses these vague terms then you need to keep looking. Especially terms like ‘full coverage’ and ‘no dry spots’ are often thrown at potential clients. Sometimes what it means could be straightforward, but the implication that it has could be another story altogether. Therefore, watch out for jargon.

The automatic irrigation installation business doesn’t require a lot of capital. There is always a possibility of the contractor running out of cash and ceasing all work. It doesn’t matter how experienced they are or how many days they have been doing the job. You need to be vigilant and aware of all the laws that govern these cases and what to do in such a situation. Don’t run into a loss because of someone else’s situation. As a general rule, do not pay more than 10% of the total cost before any works starts. When the material is brought over and work starts, you can pay another 40% of the cost. The remaining payment should be made only when the job is finished. Always have a signed lien release from the contractor before making 50% of the payment.

If you are hiring a small, unlicensed contractor then you may have to purchase all of the material on your own. Only undertake this if you are sure you understand the materials, measurements and pricing. If you’re willing to take the trouble, then you might save some cost.

The last thing to do is to educate yourself well about irrigation systems and sprinkler systems. The more you know, the more you can protect yourself should you hire an unscrupulous contractor. The most crucial job is yours!

Lake Weeds

Raking, Cutting & Pulling Weeds Is Not The Solution But A Serious Problem

This mechanical removal of aquatic weeds can result in the spread of lake weeds. This is because most lake weeds have the ability to reproduce by fragmentation. Even if you break off a piece of the plant, it will sink into the bottom and reproduce thousands of similar weeds in just a short span of time. Did you ever noticed, how many little pieces of weeds are floating around after you rake? If you do cut and rake it is crucial to get all of the fragmentation out of the area.

Are You Applying Herbicides on Your Own

If you are applying on your own, feel free to contact us for free advice and recommendations on mixing and application methods. You may use too less of it or too much of it. In both the scenarios, the problem persists and you may end up using more of herbicides. This can end up costing you more money or not producing the results you desire. You may also contact a fully trained licensed professional who has experience handling these herbicides.

So, the solution is to know how to apply the materials to ensure results that are cost effective or to hire someone to apply the materials for you. The proper use of these products will enhance the water quality and you can make the most of your recreational pond.

Making an Outdoor Fireplace

You can use concrete because it is easy to work with but to make it attractive you will have to tint or paint it. Another important thing to do is assemble all of the proper tools ahead of time. What tools you will need will depend on the type of fireplace you are building, including the shape and size. For a large fireplace you may need to rent a small excavator or power tamp while a small one may only require a pickaxe or shovel. If you have decided to use brick and lay it yourself you will need the equipment that is necessary for bricklaying. If you decide on concrete you will need a cement mixer and a trowel.

The next thing to consider is how you are going to power the fireplace. If you have decided to use gas you will have to have a professional to run a gas line from the fireplace to your home. This has to be done safely and correctly to help ensure the reliability of the outdoor fireplace and to make sure there is no gas leak that could cause it to explode or catch fire. If you are going to use a wood fire then you will need to dig a pit so the fire will be beneath the surface of the fireplace area and enclosed to help prevent spreading the fire and stray sparks. If you are unsure if you can complete the project call a professional to do it.

Big Landscape for Small Gardens

  1. Dining furniture – one of the best ways to spend your summer evening is to have dinner in the garden with your family or friends. You just have to choose the appropriate dining furniture. Do not buy large items that take a lot of space. You need furniture that can make the atmosphere more comfortable and intimate. Dinners in the garden have to become a special event for everyone.
  2. Fire pit – a feature like this always creates such a cozy atmosphere. Fire pits bring more warmth and light to the garden. You can choose just the right one for you, because they are sold in many and different shapes and sizes. Adding one fire pit is a great way to start designing your garden.
  3. Bamboo shelter – that is a very original and creative idea for small gardens. A rustic bamboo and metal frame shelter brings a little exotic feeling to the garden too, which is always nice. Also, a shelter guarantees enough shade in the hot summer days and protection when harsh winds occur. Modern and practical, isn’t it?
  4. Gravel – crushed brick or gravel is a wise paving option that can certainly improve the outlook of your garden. It is easy to maintain and much cheaper than bricks or flagstones. However, you should spread a layer of landscape fabric underneath the gravel. That way you will save your garden from any weeds.
  5. Walkway – another element that can refresh the garden. It is better to have a curved walkway because it gives guests the feeling of walking through a larger landscape. You only need to be sure that the walkway is wide enough for two people to walk side by side. Otherwise it may be a little uncomfortable.
  6. Pond – why not make a pond in your backyard? You do not need a lot of space to do that. In fact, the process is not very complicated either. What do you have to do? Well, just dig out the chosen area, add a pond liner and a pump, and you are ready to go. The biggest advantage of the pond is that it brings wildlife in your garden. Some tiny birds and colourful butterflies will surely make the atmosphere more pleasant and enjoying.

You just have to decide which one of these six ideas would best suit your garden. After you make the choice, use all your inspiration and creativity to make some wonderful improvements. Do not forget very important factor: not everyone can be a landscape expert, and they really do not need to. If you have any trouble setting up the new garden design, call a landscape gardening company to take care of it for you.

Preparing Garden for Winter

Winter is an important time to maintain your garden’s health and assure yourself a good crop for next year. You may think that might take too long to prepare your garden, but the truth is that it takes less than one day to prepare your garden for the upcoming winter. When the nighttime temperatures drop to less than forty-five degrees Fahrenheit for more than four days in a row, or frost is forecast for your area (usually around late October or November) you know its time to begin preparing your garden. You should begin by evaluating your garden design, check which plants grew well in the past season, and which plants did not do well.

Fall is a good time to decide which plants will remain in you garden next year, and which ones should go. It is also a good time to decide which new plants you want to grow. To make your garden more colorful and healthy, be sure only to plant the more hardy plants during the fall so that they can withstand the winter.

Some plants that will do fine being planted in fall are: rudbeckia, Aster Novi-belgii, Anemone Japonica, panicle hyandea, endive, escarole, and Brussels sprouts. You can find all of these and more in gardening magazines or your local nursery. After you have finished this you should begin cleaning up your garden. Begin by pulling out weeds that may have cropped up, and raking fallen leaves. Weeds and rotten leaves can carry insects and diseases that might be harmful to your garden. You should also rid your garden of spent annual plants, and harvest your vegetables and other plants that cannot withstand the winter weather.

After fall has come and gone, the leaves will be off your trees and you can see the rotten branches. Trimming off the unwanted branches from your trees isn’t necessary to your gardens health, but may help later on by not dropping branches on your plants and not blocking too much of the sun. If you have younger trees you should consider wrapping them and supporting them with stakes to help them survive the winter wind and cold.

Putting mulch over your garden for the winter can be a helpful way to protect plants from sudden temperature changes and heavy snow. For mulch you can use about five inches of shredded bark, pine needles, or a variety of other materials. You have to be careful not to mulch too early, because some insects may still be alive and able to take shelter in it for the winter.

Once you are finished with your gardening tools you should clean them and make sure they are in a safe place where they won’t rust and you know where they’ll be for next year. Before winter comes you should always set out slug repellent, as slugs are one of the worst bugs to have in your garden. If you have a pool or fountain in your garden, be sure to take out any fish that you have in them and bring them inside. There’s nothing sadder than a fish frozen in a block of ice.

Reduce Regular Lawn Care Chores

  • Lessen the size of your lawn. Your turf requires sufficient supply of fertilizer and water to maintain their good condition and appearance. You also need to mow and weed your grass regularly, which will demand a lot of your time and effort. You can reduce the time you spend doing these gardening chores and your expenses in buying fertilizers and water bills by reducing the size of your yard. You can lessen the size of your lawn by replacing parts of the corner yards with grass with a border of low-maintenance shrubs and perennials. You can also reduce your lawn care chores by positioning plants closer together and mulching the areas in between to smother and keep out weeds.
  • Create an outdoor room or entertainment area. Aside from having a patio or gazebo built on or near your lawn, you can also place pieces of furniture on your outdoor space. Invest in water-resistant chairs and tables and have a fire pit constructed as well. These fixtures will help reduce the size of your lawn and related gardening tasks and you get additional space for family gatherings and entertaining guests.
  • Cultivate native plants. Grow native plants that are accustomed to the local soil conditions and climate since they are likely to survive without an abundance of fertilizer and water. You can easily find and buy native plants you can cultivate from local nurseries. Aside from native species, plant perennial shrubs and flowers as well so that you will have permanent flower beds without replanting each season.
  • Lastly, xeriscape your lawn. Xeriscaping means cultivating slow-growing and drought-tolerant plants to so that you can conserve water and establish a waste-efficient landscape. This is also another effective method of reducing the amount of grass and sensitive plants that you have to take care of. By xeriscaping your yard, you can lower your water consumption and reduce the time you spend on plant care.