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.

How to prevent dog urine burns on grass

dog urine floridaWhile we love our dogs like family members, no one is a fan of brown “burn” spots our dog’s urine leaves on the lawn. Urine burns leave the yard unsightly and seem nearly impossible to prevent or eliminate.  In families with multiple dogs, a dead lawn can occur quicker than you may realize. There is hope, however, and here, we will explore some solutions:

First, understanding why our dog’s urine burns the grass is important. Denise Petryk, DVM, Trupanion’s Director of Veterinary Services explains, “The lawn turns brown primarily because of the nitrogen content in a dog’s urine.” According to Dr. Petryk, “The safest approach to stopping those brown spots, is to focus on the lawn and give it all the TLC it needs to be resistant to the urine. Focus on the soil pH levels, a watering schedule, aeration, fertilizers, and the type of grass you have.” Dr. Petryk also suggests that you:

  • Use a leash to control where your dog urinates
  • Water the lawn right after your dog urinates to dilute the nitrogen on the grass
  • Dilute your dog’s urine by encouraging them to drink more water. You can use ice cubes, very dilute juices, diluted coconut water, or watered down food. However, the more your dog drinks, the more it will have to urinate, so beware of accidents in the house!
  • Try a different high-quality dog food. Sometimes this helps, as it might alter the pH or nitrogen content of the dog’s urine. Talk to your veterinarian about which diet could be best for your dog.
  • As far as removing the unsightly brown spots from your lawn goes, it is best to wait until the grass grows back on it’s own while avoiding letting your dog go in the same place. Trying to use  fertilizer to get your grass to grow back actually makes it worse since fertilizer contains, even more, nitrogen.
  • One idea is to train your dog to urinate somewhere else.  You can create a patch of an area with gravel or mulch in your backyard that serves as a spot to train your dog to go on. This prevents any future dog spot issues in the lawn. 
  • There are products available on the market that go into your dog’s water bowl, contain no chemicals and prevent urine burns. Carina Evans, CEO of Dog Rocks, explains how this naturally occurring rock works

Originally discovered by an Aboriginal gardener, Dog Rocks®are 100 percent natural rocks mined from a deep Australian quarry. To use this one-of-a-kind product, just drop a few rocks in your dog’s drinking bowl, and it filters out impurities such as nitrates, which is the cause of lawn burns. Laboratory testing proves this product is safe for dogs. While Dog Rocks can’t reverse the damage already done to the lawn, one bag will safely prevent new urine burn patches from appearing for two months.

What do I need to do to prep my Florida lawn this spring?

florida lawnsIf you’ve prepped your lawn properly in autumn, getting it ready for spring should be simple. Fall is when most of the work should be done. However, there are few things to keep in mind during springtime for a gorgeous lawn.

You’ll want to remove any debris that has accumulated. This is a perfect time to also rake up any matted areas of the lawn. Check to see if there are any fungus spots and treat those areas. 

Centipede and St. Augustine lawns, two of our most popular breeds of grass, are very susceptible to large patch fungus disease. Avoid excess nitrogen fertilizer and water early in the day to avoid long periods of leaf wetness. Apply fungicides if you’ve had repeated problems with this disease. 

Note: St. Augustine lawns shouldn’t be mowed more than one-third of the height. For example, if your grass is three inches tall, the maximum you should cut is one inch.

Test for Soil Acidity

Most home improvement stores and garden centers sell do-it-yourself soil pH tests. These tests are a valuable tool as you prepare your lawn for the summer. Harsh, long winters can cause the pH levels in your soil to become very acidic, which makes it difficult for most grasses to thrive.

If you find that your soil has a high acid level, you can spread a thin layer of lime over your lawn. The lime neutralizes the acid and makes the soil better able to support new grass growth.

Fertilizing 

You probably don’t need to fertilize if you included that when you prepared your lawn in the fall. Cool season grasses, in particular, are good at holding on to fertilizer from autumn and using it all winter.

There is a good chance that your cool season grass is still utilizing the fertilizer from the fall throughout the spring and into the summer. Warm season grasses may need a fresh layer of fertilizer during the spring because they begin to soak up the nutrients as soon as the weather gets warmer.

Weeds

When selecting a post-emergence herbicide, make sure you follow label directions and that the product is approved for your particular grass type. Otherwise, you may injure or kill it. If you know that your lawn is prone to weeds, early spring can be a good time to apply herbicides to prevent weeds from developing. It’s easier to get rid of persistent weeds before they have a chance to form than to deal with them once they have fully matured. Getting rid of weeds is another aspect of lawn care that is more efficient if it is done in the fall.

Winter weeds are evident in dormant warm-season turf now. Apply spot applications of post-emergence herbicides or hand pull to control. 

 

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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 highly recommend Mansfield Landscaping if you expect 100+% satisfaction in a timely manner with no hassles. We recently engaged them to make additions and improvements to our current landscaping. We were able to quickly schedule a meeting and have the project completed in a very short time frame. They understood exactly what we were looking for - in fact the results more than met our expectations at which time we requested additional work which was also completed within a few days! They are very professional and an absolute delight with which to do business.

Pat Borror-Stier (The Villages)

We went out and checked out their nursery recently. We found that not only did they have the best prices of any of the nurseries in the area, but also that their plants were in the best shape of any of the other nurseries. When we begin our spring landscaping in a couple of weeks (we like to do most of our landscaping ourselves), we will be buying all of our plants/trees from Mansfield.

Cappyjon431 (www.talkofthevillages.com)

I just had my yard landscaped by Mansfield Landscaping. Wow what a landscape it is! Met with Steve for about two hours. Road around his nursery and tagged the trees we wanted. Steve made recommendations and came up with a fabulous design for our yard. His landscape team came out the next day and began work promptly. The men were very professional and knowledgeable (and courteous too). They cleaned up before they left and returned promptly on day 2. They made sure we were happy with the location of all plants and trees before they placed them in the ground. When they finished up our yard was completely transformed. No money up front...payment is not expected until job is complete and you are satisfied with the outcome. I highly recommend Steve and his team. Give Steve a call (352) 324-2640 if you are going to landscape your yard. Stop by our house and see for yourself!

Anonymous (The Villages)

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)

Mansfield Landscaping LLC sets the benchmark for professional landscaping and exemplary service. Having received horticultural awards for my self-designed/created gardens and hardscape in Pennsylvania, I met my match with Steve Mansfield. I conveyed my ideas, wants, and needs for my Floridian garden/landscaping project. It encompassed a very large challenging space (front and rear of home). Steve took the task at hand adding enhancements and making it more than what I thought it could be. The attention we and this project received from Steve, Ron, the foremen, crew and Lynn (customer service rep) was outstanding. Their expertise, service, and dedication to this project was beyond what was expected. Steve's work ethics and professional attention are commendable. Once you meet Steve, you'll have no reason to look elsewhere. His word is 'gold'. We invite you to our home to see our beautiful lanai setting (garden and patios) and front landscape.

Regis and Vera Painley (The Villages)

We are delighted with the beautiful landscaping work at our home. The workers were enjoyable to have at our home and the result is even better than we had hoped for. Now we see a gorgeous palm tree and other plantings. It is wonderful to walk in the front door and have our new view. It is a lovely walk through a garden. We couldn’t be happier.

Lee and Judy Jacobs

We highly recommend Mansfield Landscaping. Working with Steve was most enjoyable and educational. They are a professional group that knows how to design a project. Their large selection of quality plant varieties allows for combinations that create a good layout. The workers arrive on time, work diligently, and clean up when done. The result is that they totally live up to their reputation for customer satisfaction.

Bob & Kaarina H. (The Villages)