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Table of Contents:

Maintaining Installed Plants

Watering:

  •    Water newly installed plants deeply immediately after planting to help settle the soil and establish roots.
  •     Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during the first few weeks after planting.
  •     Check the moisture level regularly, especially during hot or dry periods, and adjust watering frequency as needed.

Mulching:

  •     Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of newly installed plants to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
  •    Keep the mulch a few inches away from the plant stems to prevent rot and disease.

Pruning:

  •    Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased foliage or branches from newly installed plants to promote healthy growth.
  •    Avoid heavy pruning immediately after planting to minimize stress on the plants.

Fertilizing:

  •     Wait until the plants are established before applying fertilizer, typically after the first growing season.
  •     Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer according to the specific needs of the plants and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Monitoring:

  •    Monitor newly installed plants regularly for signs of stress, such as wilting, yellowing leaves, or pest infestations.
  •     Address any issues promptly to prevent them from affecting the overall health of the plants.

Protection:

  •     Protect newly installed plants from extreme weather conditions, such as frost, strong winds, or excessive heat, using temporary covers or shelters if necessary.
  •     Keep pets and wildlife away from newly planted areas to prevent damage to the plants.

 

By following these instructions and providing proper care and maintenance, you can help newly installed plants establish strong root systems and thrive in their new environment.

Maintaining Installed Hardscape

Cleaning:

  • Regularly sweep or blow debris, leaves, and dirt off hardscape surfaces such as patios, walkways, and decks to prevent staining and buildup.
  • Remove any organic material or weeds that may grow between pavers or stones to maintain a clean and uniform appearance.

Sealing:

  • Consider applying a sealant to certain hardscape materials, such as pavers or natural stone, to enhance their durability, protect against stains, and preserve their color.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for the appropriate type of sealant and application method based on the specific hardscape material used.
  • Make sure to consider the recurring work of applying sealant; most products we use don’t require sealing.

Inspecting:

  • Periodically inspect hardscape areas for signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or shifting of stones or pavers.
  • Address any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening and compromising the integrity of the hardscape structure.

Weed Control:

  • Use weed barriers or polymeric sand between pavers to prevent weed growth and maintain the integrity of the hardscape surface.
  • Apply herbicides or manually remove weeds as needed to keep hardscape areas free from unwanted vegetation.

Snow and Ice Removal:

  • Use caution when removing snow and ice from hardscape surfaces to avoid damage.
  • Avoid using metal shovels or sharp tools that could scratch or chip the surface, and opt for plastic shovels or snow blowers instead.
  • Use ice melt products sparingly and choose ones that are safe for use on hardscape materials to prevent damage.

Protecting:

  • Protect hardscape areas from heavy equipment or machinery during construction or landscaping projects to prevent damage.
  • Consider using furniture pads or coasters under heavy outdoor furniture to prevent scratching or denting hardscape surfaces.

 

By following these maintenance instructions and providing proper care, you can ensure that your newly installed hardscape areas remain beautiful, functional, and in good condition for years to come.

DIY How to’s….

Tree Installation

Site Selection:

  • Choose an appropriate location for the tree based on its mature size, sunlight requirements, soil conditions, and proximity to structures or utilities.
  • Consider factors such as drainage, wind exposure, and existing vegetation when selecting the site.

Digging the Hole:

  • Dig a hole that is approximately two to three times wider than the root ball of the tree and slightly shallower than its depth.
  • Loosen the soil around the edges of the hole to encourage root penetration and growth.
  • Make sure the bottom of the hole is not too deep; the root flare should be at or above the turf line.
  • The bottom of the hole should also be undisturbed or compacted soil to keep the tree from sinking.

Preparing the Root Ball:

  • Remove the tree from its container or burlap wrapping, if applicable, taking care not to damage the roots.
  • Gently tease out any circling or compacted roots and prune any damaged or overly long roots to encourage healthy growth.

Placing the Tree:

  • Carefully lower the tree into the center of the planting hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with or slightly above the surrounding soil surface.
  • Position the tree to ensure its best side faces the desired viewing angle.

Backfilling:

  • Fill in the hole with the original soil, using a mixture of native soil and organic matter if necessary to improve soil structure and fertility.
  • Tamp down the soil gently as you backfill to remove air pockets and ensure good root-to-soil contact.

Watering and Mulching:

  • Water the newly planted tree thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots and provide initial hydration.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, leaving a few inches of space between the mulch and the trunk to prevent rot.

Staking and Support:

  • Evaluate whether the tree requires staking for support, particularly in windy or unstable conditions.
  • If staking is necessary, use flexible ties to secure the tree to sturdy stakes, taking care not to constrict growth or damage the trunk.

Monitoring and Maintenance:

  • Monitor the newly planted tree regularly for signs of stress, such as wilting, yellowing leaves, or pest infestations.
  • Provide supplemental watering as needed, especially during hot or dry periods, to promote root establishment.
  • Avoid excessive pruning or fertilization during the first year after planting to minimize stress on the tree.

 

By following these steps and providing proper care and maintenance, you can ensure that your newly installed tree establishes well and thrives in its new environment.

Installing a Paver Patio

Planning and Design:

  • Measure and mark the area for the patio, considering factors such as size, shape, slope, and drainage.
  • Create a detailed plan and layout, including the type of pavers, pattern, and any additional features such as borders or edging.

Excavation:

  • Excavate the area to a depth of approximately 6 to 8 inches, ensuring a uniform depth across the entire patio area.
  • Remove any vegetation, rocks, or debris, and compact the soil to create a stable base.

Base Preparation:

  • Spread a layer of crushed gravel or stone dust over the excavated area, compacting it with a plate compactor to create a firm and level base.
  • Add additional layers of base material as needed to achieve the desired thickness and compaction.

Edge Restraints:

  • Install edge restraints, such as plastic or metal paver edging, along the perimeter of the patio to contain the pavers and prevent shifting or spreading over time.
  • Secure the edge restraints with stakes or anchors, ensuring they are level and firmly in place.

Sand, Flume or Small Stone Bedding:

  • Spread a layer of coarse sand evenly over the compacted base material, using screed rails or a straightedge to achieve a uniform thickness.
  • Smooth and level the sand bed, ensuring it is slightly sloped away from structures to promote drainage.

Paver Installation:

  • Begin laying the pavers in the desired pattern, starting from one corner and working outward.
  • Place each paver individually, tapping it into place with a rubber mallet to ensure a tight fit and uniform height.
  • Leave small gaps between the pavers for jointing sand, typically around 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

Cutting and Shaping:

  • Use a concrete saw or paver splitter to cut pavers as needed to fit around obstacles, curves, or edges.
  • Take care to maintain a consistent joint width and pattern throughout the patio.

Jointing and Compaction:

  • Sweep jointing sand into the gaps between the pavers, using a broom to ensure it fills the joints completely.
  • Compact the entire patio surface with a plate compactor, vibrating the pavers into place and settling the jointing sand.

Final Touches:

  • Sweep any excess sand off the surface of the patio, ensuring all joints are filled and compacted.
  • Install any additional features such as seating walls, fire pits, or lighting fixtures as desired.
  • Apply a sealant to the pavers to enhance their color, protect against stains, and prevent weed growth between the joints.

 

By following these steps and using proper techniques and materials, you can achieve a professionally installed paver patio that enhances the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space for years to come.

French Drain Installation

Site Assessment:

  • Identify the areas of your property prone to water accumulation or poor drainage, such as low spots, soggy areas, or locations near foundations.
  • Determine the direction of water flow and the optimal placement of the French drain to redirect water away from problem areas.

Excavation:

  • Mark the path of the French drain using stakes and string, ensuring a gradual slope away from the problem area.
  • Excavate a trench along the marked path, typically 12 to 18 inches wide and deep enough to accommodate the drain pipe and gravel bed.

Perforated Pipe Placement:

  • Lay a perforated drain pipe along the bottom of the trench, ensuring it follows the slope of the trench and has a slight downward gradient.
  • Position the pipe with the perforations facing downward to allow water to enter while preventing soil or debris from clogging the pipe.

Filter Fabric Installation:

  • Line the trench with filter fabric or landscape fabric to prevent soil and sediment from clogging the drain pipe.
  • Extend the fabric along the entire length of the trench and fold it over the top of the pipe before backfilling.

Gravel Bedding:

  • Fill the trench with a layer of coarse gravel or drainage aggregate, covering the drain pipe and ensuring a minimum depth of 6 inches above the pipe.
  • Compact the gravel evenly along the length of the trench to create a stable and permeable base for the drain system.

Covering:

  • Fold the excess filter fabric over the top of the gravel bed to prevent soil and debris from entering the drain pipe.
  • Cover the gravel bed with a layer of soil or sod to conceal the French drain and restore the landscaping to its original appearance.

Outlet Installation:

  • Direct the outlet end of the drain pipe to a suitable discharge point, such as a storm drain, dry well, or vegetated area.
  • Install a discharge grate or pop-up emitter at the outlet to prevent debris from entering the drain pipe and allow for easy access for maintenance.

Backfill and Finish:

  • Fill any remaining gaps in the trench with soil or landscaping material, ensuring a smooth transition between the French drain and surrounding landscape.
  • Compact the backfilled soil gently to prevent settling and ensure proper drainage away from the problem area.

 

By following these steps and adhering to best practices, you can professionally install a French drain to effectively manage water drainage and prevent water-related issues on your property.

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