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Weather-related Issues with your Lawn | Estate Landscaping 

Florida is a beautiful place to live. It offers bright sun-filled days, warm temperatures, and almost tropical weather conditions. The sand and the sun attract a lot of people. For the most part, Florida is a great place for lawns and vegetation that people love to plant around their homes. The only real draw-back for lawns in Florida is the problems that the -weather can create for your lawns and gardens. 

Cold weather issues 

Florida is a warm and bright state. That does not mean that the area never experiences cold temperatures that can be damaging to the vegetation you love. 

Freezing temperatures do reach the sunshine state and when they do those temperatures can wreak havoc on the palms, citrus trees, and grass in the area. You have to prepare your lawn and gardens in advance of a freeze so that when the freeze is over your plants will still be hardy and viable. 

Hurricane Conditions 

From the first of June until the first of November the residents of Florida are on the look-out for tropical storms and hurricanes. These storms are one of the drawbacks of living in paradise. 

Most people think about the devastation that a hurricane or tropical storm can bring to tall plant life and trees. The high winds that accompany these storms can knock trees down and even uproot them. 

These storms also bring huge storm surges that bring the seawater farther onto the land. Lawns and gardens are not fond of seawater and often get very sick after prolonged exposure. 

The storms bring a deluge of rain that can cause flooding across the state. Your grass likes water but it does not like to be covered in water for six hours or more. This influx of water causes lawn diseases, root rot, and bug conditions to escalate. 

Droughts 

On the reverse side of hurricanes and deluges of rain are the periods of time when your lawn gets no water from rain or natural sources. You are left trying to water your grass with a hose and sprinkler system. This would not be so bad if you were not also trying to conserve water for other uses like cooking, drinking, and cleaning in your home. 

Drought conditions can starve the vegetation of the moisture it needs. It can allow diseases to move in and parasitic bugs that will feast on your lawn and leave you with brown patches or worse. 

Fire 

Another weather issue that can destroy your lawn are fires that get started during drought conditions. These fires can quickly burn across many acres of property killing and damaging everything in their path. 

Protection and Prevention 

The only thing that you can do about weather-related issues is to prepare for them and respond to them as quickly as possible. 

Final Thoughts 

To fully understand the weather-related issues your lawn may face in your area call the experts at Estate Landscaping at (239) 498-1187. They can come to your property and assess your lawn type and help you understand what problems the weather in your area can present to the vegetation on your lawn. 

 

How to set your Irrigation Clocks in the summer

Your irrigation system has a timed controller that controls when the water is dispersed and the amount of water that is supplied to different areas around your property. The controller for these systems has the ultimate control over the hydration of your plants. 

You must also remember that you control the controller. You have the ultimate and final say concerning how much water is dispersed, when the water is dispersed, and the length of time it takes for that water to be provided to any area of your lawn. 

In order to conserve water and still provide your plants with the hydration they require, you need to set your irrigation clocks properly. These clocks tell the unit when to start watering and when to stop watering. 

Useful Terms for you to know 

There are only three basic terms that you need to understand in order to set your irrigation clocks. They are: 

  • Station is a reference to which water valve is being controlled 
  • Valve is the device that opens to release water and closes to stop water from coming out 
  • Zone is the place in your yard that a particular valve controls 
  • Runtime refers to the length of time the valve will be open in each zone 
  • Start time refers to the exact time the valve will be opened 

Getting Prepared 

Before you can set your clocks you must prepare yourself with the following information. 

  • The correct time of day 
  • The chosen days you want the system to water on (you have to know your plants and what their hydration requirements are in order to make the right selection here) 
  • What time of day you want the system to start the water (you need to know the areas of your yard and when the sun will be beating down on the plants each day) 
  • What time of day you want the system to stop watering (you need to calculate how much water each plant needs and how long your system will have to be supplying water at a specific flow rate in order to meet the hydration requirements) 

Setting the Timers 

The timer on your irrigation system has several programs for you to choose from. Each program on the controlled system will operate different stations or water valves. You set your timer programs according to the amount of water each section of your yard needs. 

Grass usually needs to be watered two to three times each week during the summer months. 

Some of your shrubberies needs to be watered once in a period of 7 to 14 days. Some desert-adapted trees and shrubs do not need water any more often than once every two to three weeks. 

Final Thoughts 

To make sure that you have your irrigation clocks set properly you can call the experts at Estate Landscaping at (239) 498-1187. They can give you advice and walk you through the procedure you need to follow, or come out to your home and help you set the clocks properly. 

 

What to Expect with the Blackout Law

The blackout law pertaining to the application of certain fertilizers is intended to improve the quality of the local water supplies. Almost everyone has heard of the law, but not everyone understands the law, or regulations associated with it.

The blackout law will go into effect on Monday, June 1st, 2020. The law will stay in effect until October. During the period of time between June 1st and October 1st, you are prohibited from applying any fertilizer that contains nitrogen or phosphorus to your lawn or gardens whenever the weather forecast calls for heavy rains to happen in the next 24 hours. For the sake of argument, the weather forecast being referred to is the one made by the National Weather Service.

During the other months of the year, you must remember that the fertilizer you choose to use cannot contain phosphorous unless you have had a soil test that shows a deficiency. The nitrogen content can be no greater than four pounds for every 1,000 square feet. If you are using a nitrogen fertilizer it must contain 50% slow-release nitrogen.

You also need to be aware of the following recommendations or guidelines when you are using fertilizer.

  • Use a deflector shield when you are broadcasting fertilizer
  • Fertilizer should never be applied within ten feet of a wetland, marsh, pond, or body of water
  • You should not apply nitrogen to any plant that has been newly planted in the last thirty days
  • You can use reclaimed water instead of a fertilizer that contains nitrogen because reclaimed water contains nitrogen
  • Grass clippings and fertilizer particles that get on sidewalks, walkways, driveways, or streets must be swept up and either returned to the property they came from or disposed of properly
  • Lawn and landscape personnel from Manatee County have to have a certificate showing they passed the Best Management Practices test

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All of these regulations have been proposed so that chemicals are not washed from our lawns down the storm drains and into the water that we rely on to drink, bathe, and perform household cleaning jobs. The chemicals in fertilizer can be detrimental to the health of humans and animals so it is critical that they are kept out of the water supply.

Those same chemicals also poison water life like fish. If the chemicals from fertilizer get into the ponds and streams the fish will be eradicated and a change in the dynamics of the waterways surrounding us could happen. In other words, if we kill off the fish with poisons then everything that relies on the fish will be affected, and ultimately we will be affected.

Do your part to keep the water around us safe to drink by following the guidelines of the fertilizer blackout. You can also further protect the water by:

  • Keeping all grass clippings off of the street
  • Keep household chemicals from being washed down the drive and into the storm drain
  • Pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly so it does not get washed down the storm drain
  • Take fallen leaves and use them as mulch around other plants or dispose of them in your trash so they do not wash into the storm drain

Every effort you make will increase the purity of the water we all share.

If you would like to know more about safety and fertilization, or the regulations of the Blackout law, call the experts at Estate Landscaping and they will answer all of your questions.

Things to do now to prepare your Property for the Florida Summer

If you have a home in Florida that you occupy during the winter months, then before you leave to return to your other home in the summer you need to prepare your Florida property. If you are a year-round Florida resident then there are also things you should do around your property before full summer arrives.

Check the Outdoor Faucets

You want to check all of your outdoor water faucets and make certain that they are functioning properly. Leaks can cost you a lot of money, and faucets with handles that arte sticking, or that have broken can cause you to be unable to water your plants, or access water when you need it.

Mulch

Your flowers are about to be subjected to high temperatures and full sun that can pull the moisture away from them. Now is the time to make certain that you have a good layer of mulch around your flowers, trees, and shrubs.
When you water plants that have no mulch around them part of the water is drawn out of the soil by the sun. Your plants get very little of the moisture. Then the sun heats the soil and can burn the plants, especially the ones that have low moisture content in the soil.

Mulch provides protection from the sun, and it helps to hold the moisture in place. The sun can dry the top layer of mulch, but down close to the ground the mulch stays moist and your ground does to.

Prune Branches from Trees

You live in Florida so you know that hurricane season is fast approaching and even the winds from a mild tropical storm can cause limbs to be broken out of the trees. Now is the time for you to assess each of your trees and determine if any of their branches could possibly break during high winds. Make certain that any branches that could fall and damage your home or automobile are trimmed away.

Check around the bases of your trees and look for signs of ant or termite activity, and possible loose bark. The presence of these things is indicators that the tree might be in poor health or might be compromised. A sick tree or a compromised tree is more likely to fall in the event of severe weather.

Check Sprinkler Systems

You will want to check your sprinkler system and make sure it is working properly. You do not want to be caught in the middle of summer with no sprinklers to maintain your yard and garden. You should also check water hoses for cracks or leaks.

Check for Bugs

You can check the proper for patches of brown or dying grass. These brown spots are indicators of possible bug damage and the bugs need to be dealt with now. You also want to check for ant hills so you can make sure that fire ants are not the death of your garden party this summer.

Final Thought

It is a good idea to call landscape professionals like Estate Landscaping and let them come and do a property assessment. They can tell you where you might have problems this summer, and they can help you decide how to prepare now to prevent those problems from occurring.

 Top Trends for Flowers on your Commercial Property

Spring has arrived and it is time to get outside and dress up your property. One of the most colorful ways to breathe new life to your lawn and garden is by planting annuals.

In Florida a lot of people get discouraged by annuals because the flowers do well at first, and then they begin to wilt, or get stagnate. You can avoid that problem by planting flowers that love full sun and are heat tolerant.

Coleus

The Coleus is part of the mint family. They are tropical plants that can be planted in areas with full sun, areas that have shade, and every combination of sun and shade.

The foliage of these plants is as pretty as the blooms. The leaves may be ruffled on the edges, and they co9me in a host of beautiful color combinations.

The entire plant only grows to be a few inches tall so it can be used to fill in bare spots in your flower beds, or planted as ground cover, or in the front of the bed.

To make the plant grow into a fuller, bushier plant you simply prune the flower blooms off before they open up.

SunPatients

SunPatiens are beautiful flowers that need almost no special maintenance. The plants can be grown in full sun, partial shade, or total shade. To get the most blooms you want to plant them in full sun.

You only need to water these plants when the soil feels dry to the touch. Give them a slow release fertilizer when you plant them, and remember that they do poorly when they are exposed to frost.

Marigolds and Sunpatiens do well planted in the same bed. Salvia and Sunpatiens also do very well together.

Salvia's

These beautiful plants will grow to heights between 1 and 5 feet. They make an excellent plant for the back of the flower bed, or to use in a bed alone. 

They start to bloom late in spring and they continue until the fall. They like areas where they receive a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day. Some varieties can tolerate a little shade, but mostly you want them to be in full sun.

Salvia is an excellent choice for pet owners because the plant is not poisonous to cats and dogs, horses or other common household pets.

Dwarf Alamanda

This plant blooms a buttery yellow flower, and the bush stays small. It is ideal for small spaces where you want an astonishing flower.

They grow to heights ranging between 2 and 2 ½ feet. They love sunshine so plant them in full sun when possible.

They are cold sensitive plants so they need the warm climate of Florida. They are however moderately drought tolerant.

You can use them in a container to decorate a patio or deck, and they thrive when you plant them in the ground. They can be planted as a border, a background plant, or as an eye catching showpiece.

Crossandra

This magnificent tropical flower can grow from one to three feet in height. They usually only reach three feet when they are planted outdoors, in pots they stay smaller.

They like the sun but do best when you plant them in a place that gets partial shade. They are very tolerant of low light situations. They love loamy soil with a pH that is acidic and runs between; 5.8 to 6.5

They bloom in a variety of colors and provide you with an amazing flowering display. They do like high humidity and they like water.

Final Thoughts

The number of annuals that you can find to plant in the Florida area is enormous. Professional lawn and garden services like Estate Landscaping are the best source of information concerning which plants grow well in your region, and they can tell you where in your garden to plant the different varieties.

 

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