Keeping Your Landscaping Looking Beautiful...Even With Florida Summer Downpours

florida summer rainOftentimes, the primary difference between minimizing storm damage and sustaining a complete loss to landscape trees, gardens and flower beds comes down to how well your landscape is managed. 

During the Florida storm season, unpredictable summer downpours and even severe thunderstorms sometimes seemingly come out of nowhere. Maintaining a green thumb all year long on your landscape will profoundly enhance its chances of survival. Plants that are properly fertilized and pruned on a regular basis have the best rate of survival from high winds, rains, and even drought conditions.

A few key tips to keep in mind during this summer’s storm season are:

  1. Properly maintain and prune trees to enable them to withstand heavy gusts of wind.
  2. Prune low-hanging branches and remove weak or dead limbs.
  3. Inspect the base of the tree for fungal growth - which could be a sign that the tree has rot or decay, indicating severe weakness.
  4. Trees that are heavily weighted on one side more than the other need to be balanced, especially if the heavier side is opposite the prevalent winds.
  5. Remove any limbs that encroach upon a structure.
  6. When choosing plants and trees, remember to choose wind resistant breeds first. (these include conifers, palms and dicots like crape myrtles, live oaks, southern magnolias, bald cypress, some hollies and various sand live oaks).

Bee Friendly Landscaping Ideas

bee friendly landscapesUndoubtedly, you’ve heard about the recent drastic decline in honeybees and may want to find out if there is anything you can do to support maintaining and even increasing the local bee populations. Well, the excellent news is that there's a lot that you, as a homeowner can do to play your part in helping local bee populations thrive.

One thing you can do is use your landscape to feed local bee populations. Planting flowers that provide bees with nectar and pollen increase biodiversity for all bees, not just honeybees. If you have a lot of flowers, whether they are native or not, the flowers provide bees with vital nectar and pollen. Unfortunately, we are so often focused on a beautiful green lawn, free of flowers, which doesn’t contribute ecologically. A plain green lawn doesn't do anything for bees or other organisms.

So, what can you do to contribute to the survival of the bee population? A real kicker for improving your property to become bee friendly is maintaining an unbroken succession of blooms that last all season long. Include an assembly of plants on your landscape that bloom all spring and summer. Bees depend heavily on having a lot of blooms flowering in mid-summer which is the time of year that bees are producing the next year's queens. The real key here is to time your planting calendar to be sure something is always blooming on your property.

Keep notes of the times during the year that are naturally short on healthy flowering plants, and fill in those deficiencies. A good candidate for healthy flowering plants is the sunflower. Sunflowers are a mid-summer blooming flower. They can be planted at a time when there are not a lot of other things naturally blooming. Some sages are also midsummer blooms. Crepe myrtle is another midsummer bloom.

Some August Tips Tricks for Florida Landscapes

florida home palm treesSoil Solarization - In August, the hottest days of summer are well upon us. Temperatures reach the 90’s daily with heat indexes well above 100. In August, some often feel it’s too hot to work in the lawn and garden, but the climbing temperatures can be put to use to solarize your soil. Successful soil solarization takes about 4 to 6 weeks, so August is the time to get your garden ready for fall planting.

August Flower Garden Tips - Weekly deep watering -- from irrigation or rainfall -- is crucial for certain shrubs and trees, especially rhododendrons and azaleas, which are setting flower buds now for next year's blooms. The same goestrue for camellias. Plants that offer showy winter berries, such as hollies and firethorn, also appreciate consistent moisture now. If they get too dry, the immature berries may drop.

  • Roses Prepare everblooming roses for fall flowering by cutting plants back by about one-third. Also, prune any dead stems. Feed plants using a rose fertilizer and renew mulch. Water roses deeply once a week if the drought persists.
  • Impatiens Give leggy, lanky impatiens a haircut, trimming stems to half their length. After cutting, feed plants with a general water-soluble fertilizer, such as 20-20-20. You'll have bushy plants covered with blooms in time for autumn.

August Landscape Design Tips - Study the sun and wind patterns. You might want to place a patio on the west side of the house, but it will get lots of afternoon sun, which means dinner time in August won't be relaxing -- just hot. And wind whistling around a corner will quickly extinguish a fire pit. Those are common mistakes in landscape design for beginners - especially in August. Your plan should take into account what the sun and the wind do at different times of the day and year. 

 

Put the finishing touch on your landscape with rocks and boulders

landscape bouldersTraditional items like flowers and shrubs are typically first considered in landscaping. However, did you know that boulders and rocks are also a great choice? Landscaping experts suggest the idea of homeowners using rock gardens to give their yards a unique, relaxing feel. Finding boulders and rocks isn’t difficult and doesn’t cost as much as you may think.

Low Maintenance

One of the benefits of creating a rock garden with boulders and rocks is that you once it’s done, there’s not much to do to keep it up. Rock and boulder gardens are very low maintenance. Most of the time, these gardens look better when they have other greenery and moss growing on them. They’re created to be outside so that they can handle the elements. You can set your garden where you want and leave it to enjoy whenever you want.

Filling in Space

Not all homes are blessed with perfect soil. Sometimes, it can be  tough to get plants to grow. That’s where rocks boulders and rocks come in. Areas of your landscape that have a difficult time growing plants can quickly be covered with rocks and boulders. This gives your landscape some actual texture and saves you from staring at boring, open areas.

Rocks as Art

Did you know that rocks and boulders are aesthetically pleasing? That’s why so many home improvement experts recommend that they are used in landscaping. The best part is that you can enjoy the natural beauty of boulders and rocks without breaking the bank. Also, no two rocks or boulders are never the same, so there’s no concern about the rocks and boulders in your landscaping looking just like the rocks in your neighbor’s yard.

5 Things to consider when picking out palm trees

pick palm treesThere are five factors that you should consider when picking out palm trees. These factors are soil, size, temperature, sunlight, and water.

  1. The soil is by far the most important factor for growing healthy palm trees. When purchasing palm trees, ask how much nutrients and water the specific palm tree needs to receive to stay healthy. This determines what type of soil these particular palm trees will grow in best. Proper fertilization is an important component of proper palm tree care. Various types of palm trees require specially formulated fertilizers that address specific conditions. If your soil is not properly nutrient, organic or inorganic fertilizers can strengthen it.
  2. Size at maturity is the second factor. Keep in mind that what began as a little palm for sale at your local nursery may reach a height of 50 feet or more as an adult tree. This increase results in the overpowering over trees on your property and interferes with overhead lines and underground conduits. Be sure that the size of your specific palm at maturity lines up with your needs and overall landscape design.
  3. The next factor is temperature. Most palm trees won’t tolerate freezing weather and even a short bout of frost weakens some trees and leave them vulnerable to insects and disease. Check with your tree expert for specific advice if you're unsure about the growing conditions in your area.
  4. The fourth factor is sunlight. Not all types of palm tree are equally tolerant to the sun. In fact, some varieties of palms prefer shady conditions over full sun exposure. Keep these facts in mind when considering the kind of palm tree that would suit your needs best.
  5. The final factor is water. Although Palm trees have long been associated with tropical or desert conditions, in the wild, they areactually only found near abundant and continuous water supplies. If you are choosing a palm tree for your property, make sure that it will receive adequate water. Be prepared to water your newly transplanted palm tree frequently while it acclimatizes.

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We offer estimates at your home or in our landscape nursery & hardscape showroom. Please setup an appointment and come down to our nursery with pictures of your landscaping and a copy of your plot plan. If you receive an estimate at our landscape nursery & hardscape showroom and it is necessary to visit your home to confirm estimate details, you still are eligible to receive and discounts & special offers as long as at home estimate confirmation is done the same day or the following day.
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What Your Neighbors Are Saying About Mansfield Landscaping

We would like to thank you and the crew of Mansfield Landscaping for the fine work done at our home. As with the previous work you have done for us, we were extremely pleased. It is unfortunate that it is so difficult to find people these days who take pride and ownership in their work and can be relied upon to do a job well. The Mansfield Landscaping crew was professional, dependable and timely. The hard work you and your crew gave to the project is commendable. The trees, plants and design you suggested have added beauty to our home.

If you ever need recommendations, feel free to use us as a reference.

Steve and Brandee Sullivan (Orlando)

I just had my entire landscape done by Steve Mansfield of Mansfield Landscaping. He did an excellent job, they had a huge job in front on them, because I have styled my scape closer to "up north" look because of the style of my house. Lots of plants, trees and loads of color flowers. This requires constant maintenance, on my part, which I love but not in the heat we had this summer. Consequently, it was overgrown, weedy, and not pretty. Steve and his crew came in, redid each bed, added more rock and/or mulch, and put in a few new colored plants for me. He also trimmed existing trees and shrubs and I'm very picky on what I like, and they did exactly as I requested. This is the 2nd time I've used Steve and I would HIGHLY recommend him.

KathieI (www.talkofthevillages.com)

If you want to see an absolutely FANTASTIC job done by Steve Mansfield and his crew... come by my house tomorrow and you will be amazed.

Steve's been advising me for years to change what I had originally developed into something a little more stylish, but being the hard-headed Italian I am, I kept refusing until this year. I'm sick of our cold winters that kill all my pretty flowers so I let him convince me to change it all to a completely new look. I love to work with Steve, he sure knows his landscaping stuff and he may come off with a gruff exterior, but down deep, the man is a teddy bear and very easy to work with.

Oh Boy, I can't tell you how excited I am. The transformation is unbelievable. Steve and his guys were on the job for 2 days and through their creative talents came up with a wall/bed design utilizing many of my existing trees, unlike anything I have seen in the past.

KathieI (www.talkofthevillages.com)

Mansfield did our landscaping in the last 3 weeks and we couldn't be any happier. The did a phenomonal job in a short amount of time and we are ecstatic. Please feel free to come by and see ours on Evinston Court.

Oren Miller (www.talkofthevillages.com)

We made our decision to go with Mansfield Landscaping after seeing beautifully landscaped homes. First of all, we were very pleased with how easy it was to get in touch with them and to schedule an appointment in a short amount of time. Steve was very thorough with information about everything we needed to know on the phone, and our meeting with Ron was very pleasant. He listened to our ideas and came up with just what we were looking for within our budget. The work crew were very courteous and the job was completed in the time agreed upon with no payment until everything was finished to our satisfaction. We have received many compliments about our landscaping already. We especially love looking at the gorgeous triple Sylvester palm as we sit in our lanai.

Thank you for a job well done!

Dave and Amy Hibbs (The Villages)

Being in one of the new neighborhoods we were seeing a large number of landscape companies doing work in the area. After talking with several people Mansfield was clearly the company that offered the best combination of quality, price and service. In meeting with Steve he not only offered excellent ideas for a design, but personally walked us through the nursery, pointing out plants and trees that would be good for our project, even to the point of allowing us to select the exact trees to be planted. We especially like Mansfield's practice of bringing a large number and variety of smaller plants to our house so that we could see how they looked with existing plants. The workers were very patient and moved plants around where ever we asked and pointed out ones that would be good or not good together. The finished product far exceeded our expectation and we would highly recommend Mansfield Landscaping.

Tom McCulloch (The Villages)

We could not believe Steve told us if we did not like the job, he would take it out with no extra cost to us. How could we go wrong? Our landscaping has added tremendous value to our home. You owe it to your yard to call Steve.

The Griffins (The Villages, Mallory Square)