Is Your Grounds Management Provider Reliable?

Is Your Grounds Management Provider Reliable?

When searching for a commercial grounds management team for your property, you want to find a professional and reliable company. Anyone can say that they will complete the job to your satisfaction, but very few can actually deliver on those promises. If you doubt your current team’s reliability, make sure to ask a few questions. With these tips, you can find the right commercial management team for your space.

How Long Have They Been in Business?

In today’s world, many people can start a business with little to no experience. While they might deliver outstanding results, you should stick with experience for your property. Landscaping and lawn care are too important to leave to an amateur team, especially if an accident can lead to a lawsuit. You want to make sure your grounds management team can maintain your space and resolve any issues with your property.

Are They Accomplishing All Their Tasks?

The grounds maintenance field can cover a very broad range of services. Many companies try too hard to provide several services or cover too many industries. As a result, these companies might take the contract and give a lackluster effort to your commercial jobs. The best companies understand their limitations and will be upfront with you. If your grounds maintenance team is promising the world but failing to meet your standards, they might not be the right company for you. Great companies understand their strengths and weaknesses. You want to choose a company that will strive to meet your property’s needs.

How Are You Treated?

You understand that there are other customers, but you should get high-quality service. If you have a service request, comment, or complaint, you want your company to respond in a timely manner. Many companies have 24/7 services that allow them to address those issues around the clock. The best companies have a plan to take care of every problem, especially those that need immediate assistance. If your company is avoiding your calls, that is a sign they are unreliable. It might be time to move on to another professional.

Do They Follow Up?

If any problems or concerns are not resolved, that can leave you feeling frustrated. You want to hire a company that reaches out to you and ensures that everything is up to your satisfaction. You should never feel like you are paying for service but receiving poor results. All issues need to be resolved in a timely manner. At the end of the day, you should feel that your grounds management team is living up to your standards. There are plenty of problems that can arise during the year. You want to ensure that your landscaping management company is committed to the job, your professional relationship, and the property’s success.

Strive for Reliability and Professionalism

Many commercial property owners have bad experiences with landscaping management companies. First, you want to choose a company with exceptional communication skills. You also want to find someone who is reliable and consistent. A great professional relationship is built through regular communication. That relationship does not stop when the contract is signed. From the start to the finish of a contract, many great companies have a process in place that shows a commitment to their clients. If your landscaping management team has followed this communication process, you know that they’re a reliable company for your property.

The Process of Hiring a Reliable Contractor

If you haven’t hired a landscaping management team, these few tips can make the process easier for you. There are a few ways to know if you are hiring a reliable landscaping company. When you meet the landscaping management team, you want to see if they are a good fit for your property. The main objective is to establish your goals and budget for the expected service. Along with that, this meeting can help you find solutions that match your needs.

After the introduction meeting, you can get a better feel for the company. When addressing your commercial property needs, you want feedback on how they plan to accomplish the task. At this time, you will know whether the landscaping management team understands your requirements and standards for service.

When you receive a proposal, your grounds maintenance team addresses any concerns and makes any necessary changes to your plans. These in-person or phone meetings allow both parties to ensure they are on the same page before a contract is signed for services. For the signing of the agreement, most ground management companies meet in person. You want to review the start date, project scope, legal language, and site map during this time. After you have signed the agreement, you often have a meeting to introduce the team that will take care of your property.

Most companies want you to get familiar with their landscaping management team as well. You can find the person to contact if there are any issues or questions with your services. Once the contract has been signed, a reliable property management team continues communication with you. Follow-up calls are important as they can note your satisfaction with their service and work quality. A reliable company prioritizes your satisfaction by offering professional services, responsive communication, and comprehensive solutions.

Your Grounds Management Team Should Understand Commercial Landscaping

In short, you want to hire a landscaper who understands your property. A reliable company will specialize in commercial landscaping management. This type of landscaping is different from those residential jobs. You want someone who has the resources to provide you with exceptional services.

You can find out the answers to these questions by looking through their portfolio or checking out those online reviews. These little steps can ensure that you find the right management team for your commercial space. At Charlestown Landscaping LLC, we have the expertise to meet all your commercial property needs. You can count on our reliability and professionalism on the job. If you want to schedule a consultation for your property, make sure to give us a call at (610) 608-3965.

Important Questions To Ask When Hiring an HOA Landscape Contractor

Important Questions To Ask When Hiring an HOA Landscape Contractor

For those HOA owners, you want to find the right commercial lawn care contractor for your outdoor spaces. Many HOAs sign a contract based on the price and convenience of the services. However, not all landscaping companies are created equal, and some are not qualified to tackle those big jobs. In turn, you could be stuck with a contractor who doesn’t have the right experience and can’t deliver on those landscaping promises. Before that happens to your community, here are a few questions that you want to ask any potential commercial landscaping contractor.

Making Big Decisions

If you are an HOA manager or board member, you must make decisions for your community. It is your responsibility to find a commercial landscaper who can deliver excellent results for your outdoor spaces. After all, your HOA needs help with irrigation management, lawn care maintenance, landscape installation, and tree care. You don’t want to trust those jobs to just anyone. Make sure to ask these questions before you sign on the dotted line.

Are You a Full-Service Contractor?

What is a full-service landscape contractor? Some HOA landscapers offer full services for your outdoor spaces, but they often cannot fulfill those promises. You want to find a company that can provide a multitude of services that extend beyond primary lawn care and landscaping. It is important to choose a company that can clarify what services will be provided for your community.

Even if you are hiring on a temporary basis, you still want a professional team to trust for future projects. You also want to see if your HOA landscape contractor uses in-house workers for all projects. Some additional services can include concrete installation, water conversion, drip irrigation, and architectural design. In some cases, these companies use subcontractors to outsource those jobs. If they use subcontractors, make sure these workers have the proper experience, insurance, licenses, and credentials to perform the job.

What Safety Practices Do You Use?

Many HOAs want to find a contractor who understands and uses safe landscape practices. You want to keep your spaces green and healthy. It is vital for your residents to choose a company that is concerned about the community’s health and safety. Children and pets often play in green spaces. You don’t want to hire a service that will spray dangerous chemicals on the ground. If they need to treat an area, these professionals should be ready to provide sufficient notice to the community. A professional company is also concerned about your landscape’s sustainability, and they may incorporate native plants and trees into your space. Along with that, these experts can give tips to help with water management, create a plan to use eco-friendly products, and reduce carbon emissions around your spaces.

What Are Your Contract Options?

While you want to improve your landscape’s look, you also might want to save a few dollars on your bottom line. Many contractors often give discounts for those services that are bundled together. For example, you can bundle your summer lawn care services with wintertime snow removal. In some cases, you will save money when you sign long-term contracts. If you use a time and material contract, you might also be able to apply discounts to specific services. Many companies are willing to work with you, and they will offer their best deals for your property. For even more savings, make sure to sign with one contractor. Not only will you save money, but you can also save time and resources with a single contractor. One commercial lawn care service can streamline your maintenance needs.

Do You Have a License or Certification for the Job?

Anyone can claim to have the experience, but you want to know that they have the proper designations, certifications, and licenses for the job. With these credentials, you can guarantee the right training and professionalism are in place for your landscaping maintenance. Certifications are a great way to see that the company cares about its employees’ professional training. Along with that, certificates and licenses also ensure that your community’s landscaping meets professional standards in service, value, and quality.

Will You Strive for Quality Control?

Many commercial lawn care services claim to have a quality control process in place for HOAs. These processes can help to measure the quality of your landscaping maintenance. However, there are many ways to monitor your landscaping services’ quality. You want to ensure that the company will keep the same work level from the start of the contract to the end. Without these measures in place, you might see some areas unattended in your community. An excellent company continually monitors your landscape to find solutions to problems and maintain the space’s appearance.

How Will You Communicate With Me?

As you can tell, communication is key to any business, especially landscaping. If there are any issues, will they contact you or reach out to another person? You should find out if you will receive a report at the end of the day. Many companies send an email or leave a written report of the day’s progress. You also need to understand the process for reporting a problem. If an emergency occurs, like a broken irrigation system or tree branch, who is the company’s contact? With the answers to your questions, you can avoid any hassle when you need to reach out to the company for service.

Let Us Help With Your HOA

It can be hard to choose the right HOA commercial lawn care service for your community. However, with a few questions, you can find a company that will meet all your needs and provides you with the best service in the area.

At Charlestown Landscaping LLC, we excel at commercial landscaping work at HOAs. We strive to create a beautiful space for you and your residents. When you sign up with us, we can help with tree care, irrigation, lawn mowing, and snow removal. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at (610) 608-3965.

How to Prepare Commercial Landscape for Spring

How to Prepare Commercial Landscape for Spring

Spring is the time for renewal throughout your landscape. While it might be cloudy and dreary outside, this downtime during the winter is the perfect time to get your commercial landscape ready for the growing season. Some of these tips you can accomplish by yourself, but others you may want the help of a commercial lawn care service. Here are a few things you can do to get your commercial landscape ready for the spring season.

Check Your Tools

During the winter, you might want to go over your gardening tools. You should sharpen blades and oil those hinges. Along with that, make sure that all your equipment is in proper working order. If you have rusty blades, you can use a mill file to sharpen those dull edges. Penetrating oil is an excellent option to remove any corrosion. When you need to cut or dig, the task will be easier with the right equipment. You can get many things accomplished while the weather outside is still cold and gray. When spring comes around, you can spend more time working on your commercial property’s landscape. Even if you hire a professional service, make sure you have some supplies on hand to help with their job.

Clear Out Debris, Mulch, and Weeds

Winter can leave a mess in your landscape. Remove all weeds, mulch, and waste from the bare soil. With that dead organic matter, make sure to place it in the compost pile. Any well-composted mulch can stay on the ground, but your fresh mulch needs to be raked to expose the soil. You should also rake dead branches and old leaves out of your landscape. With a little cover, weeds can quickly take over your space during spring. Any weeds should be completely removed from the soil. You never want to leave any weeds in your garden beds, or you will see them compete with your plants and flowers for water and nutrients.

Repair Any Damage from Snow Plows

Winter can be brutal, especially for a commercial property. When snow is removed from your space, the snow truck can do a little bit of damage. In some cases, the walkways and parking lots are cracked by the snowplows. You will want to repair any damage. Not only is the damage unsightly, but it can be a safety hazard for pedestrians, tenants, employees, or visitors.

Inspect Irrigation Systems

Many property owners or managers understand the importance of a great irrigation system. These systems can help keep your grass and plants green throughout the year. However, winter cold temperatures can cause the pipes to freeze and break. Commercial lawn care services have experts who test out your system and ensure it is in good order. You might have to wait for warmer temperatures, but they will check each sprinkler and monitor your space for leaky pipes. If there is an issue, they will fix it before you need water in the spring or summer.

Repair Damaged Grass

After months of snow on the grass, there is bound to be damage to your turf. As the snow piles melt, you might notice bare spots around your property. You can fix these issues with some extra soil and seeds. If you have severe damage, you might need to replace those areas with sod.

Apply Fertilizer and Mulch

If you don’t have mulch, then late winter is a good time to apply a thick layer. Mulch can keep weeds from establishing in your garden beds. Those pesky weeds will flourish in your landscaping without a layer of mulch on your soil. When the ground thaws, you need to fertilize those plants and grasses. Fertilizer provides the right nutrients for your landscape to reach its full potential.

Prune Trees and Plants

Many trees and plants could use a good pruning during this time of year. Cutting is necessary for trees that bloom on new wood. Late winter and early spring are great times to cut back old wood. When you prune, you can increase your plants’ fruitfulness and growth. This time also allows you to check out any branches damaged by the ice and snow. You can also shape the plant before the buds come out of dormancy. By clearing and trimming those branches, you can enhance your commercial property’s look.

Apply Pest Control Measure

If you want to stop pests in their tracks, you need to start early. At the beginning of spring, you will want to start treatments to eliminate any insects in your lawn. When you do this, you can prevent pests from infesting your landscape.

Prepare Your Soil

Once the frost has lifted, you need to prepare your garden beds. Over the winter season, the soil can become compacted. You can loosen it up by turning or tilting the soil. Any well-composted mulch can be mixed into the ground. After that, you want to add those amendments to the compost. A simple soil test allows you to see if you need to adjust the pH or nutrient levels. If there are problems, you can add some amendments to improve the soil’s texture and nutrient content. Rake the soil and water the ground. Doing these steps gives the ground time to settle and release air pockets.

Groom Your Entrance

Winter can leave behind plenty of dirt and grime, especially near the front of your commercial property’s entrance. You might want to have the walkway power washed for a cleaner appearance. When the weather warms up, you can add potted plants for color near the front door as you make the entrance more attractive for your employees and customers.

We Can Take Care of Those Winter and Spring Tasks

A professional commercial lawn care service can help you tackle these late winter and early spring projects. You can leave all the hard work to the professionals. At Charlestown Landscaping LLC, we can take care of your commercial landscape for the spring season. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at (610) 608-3965.

How To Prepare Your Commercial Landscape For Fall and Winter

How To Prepare Your Commercial Landscape For Fall and Winter

During the summer, you don’t want to think about those fall and winter chores. However, before you know it, fall and winter will arrive in your town. Now is the time to prepare your landscape for these seasons. Here are some simple ways that you can prepare your commercial property for the fall and winter.

Turn Over the Mulch

If your commercial space uses mulch around your property, then you may want to use the cooler fall weather to give it a refresh. During the summer, the harsh sun and heavy rains can start to deteriorate your mulch. While it might be a good idea to add more mulch to your spaces, there are other ways to refresh your landscape. You can extend the mulch’s life by turning over the current layer. With a garden rake or shovel, fluff up the mulch for a healthier landscape.

In some cases, the old mulch will need to be replaced, but there are dangers of over-mulching. If you have too much new mulch on your landscape, you could be inviting pests or exposing your trees and plants to disease. Certain mulches can even raise the levels of your lawn’s pH. Turning over your mulch is a healthier alternative for a commercial landscape.

Dethatch Your Lawn

In the fall, you should dethatch your landscape. Thatch consists of dead grass roots and stems. While these elements naturally buildup in your lawn, you want to remove them from your landscape. Over time, thatch can lead to more debris in your yard that can harm the health of your landscape. You also want to remove thatch since it makes your commercial property look unruly. Thatch will also create the perfect nesting spot for insects and rodents. You can remove thatch by lowering your lawnmower’s height. Aerating your lawn will also help to break up thatch.

Aerate Your Grass

If you want your lawn to weather the worst of the winter weather, then you need to aerate your turf while it is green. Aeration will give your yard a little breathing room as it starts to move into the colder months. These methods break up any compacted soil to allow the nutrients and water to reach the roots. During those dry winter months, you might want to water the lawn by hand to help it turn green. This process can help your lawn look greener during the first stages of spring.

Protect Those Vulnerable Shrubs and Trees

For those property owners with new shrubs or trees, you might want to wrap them up before the temperatures start to drop. This process should be done before the first frost of the season hits the area. When you shelter your trunks with a specialized wrapping material or burlap, it will work like a wind barrier to keep out freezing temperatures and reduce salt damage from de-icing products.

Plan Your Tree Trimming

During the winter, it is an ideal time to remove those overgrown or damaged branches. For many trees and shrubs, they are dormant and will not waste energy to recover from trimming. When you prune in the dormant season, you can also prevent diseases from destroying your trees. Those overgrown spruce trees and evergreens will also benefit from a healthy pruning in the winter months. If you want to have expert help with pruning, you should contact a professional landscaping company. They will help you find the best times to prune your specific tree species so that you will not harm it.

Remove Those Fall Annuals and Protect the Perennials

For those properties with seasonal fall annuals, you will want to remove them after they have finished flowering for the year. If you leave them on the property, your commercial space will look deary and bare. For those perennials, you should cut the stems to within an inch from the ground. Many people will add pine needles, straw, or hay to protect the plants during the cold winter. This layer helps the perennials survive a damaging freeze.

You might also want to think about adding winter vegetation to your outdoor spaces. With a few new elements, your area will have some life throughout those cold winter months. Holly and other seasonal details can add a pop of color to your spaces.

Start Seeding for Fall

If you want to have lush green grass in the spring, start seeding during the autumn season. Fall aeration and overseeding can help to fill in those bare spots so that you have a thick turf in the spring. By introducing other grass species, you can make your grass less susceptible to diseases.

Plant for Spring

For those spring bulbs, fall is the best time to do some planting. With the crisp autumn air and warm soil, you will also want to plant new shrubs and trees. You should have these bulbs and plants in place by the middle of October. When you plant in the fall, your new shrubs and trees can adjust to their surroundings without enduring the harsh summer heat.

Prepare for the Holidays

In the fall, you can get ready for all those holiday decorations and lights. You don’t want to be outside in the cold weather as you make a clearing for your seasonal display. When winter rolls into town, you will be set to hang up your holiday decor as you welcome your customers or tenants.

Get Ready for Fall

Fall and winter are great seasons to do a little yard work throughout your commercial property. However, you might not want to deal with these hassles by yourself. At Charlestown Landscaping, we can help with all these commercial property needs. Our team will take care of all those fall and winter chores on your list. After preparing your property, we will even help with snow removal services. We will make your commercial property look great throughout the year. If you would like more information about Charlestown Landscaping’s services, please fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation.

The Right Irrigation System for Your Commercial Landscape  

The Right Irrigation System for Your Commercial Landscape

Irrigation systems can be beneficial to your commercial property. With these systems, you can help save on your water bills and keep up the appearance of your landscape. However, there are a few things that you need to consider for your property. By installing the right system, you can help your trees, plants, and flowers to grow healthy and strong throughout the year.

There are two types of irrigation systems used on commercial properties: spray irrigation and drip irrigation. In this guide, we will discuss the pros and cons of these methods to help you choose the best irrigation for your commercial property.

Spray Irrigation Systems

Spray irrigation systems will use a variety of valves and nozzles to spray out through sprinklers and tubes. The water will emit a fine spray that emulates water distribution like a natural rainfall. You can find this type of irrigation system in many commercial landscapes. This system is the most common form of irrigation.

There are many advantages when you use spray irrigation for your property. Many people choose this system because it is adjustable and customizable. With the fine mist, you might even see birds and other creatures cooling off in the refreshing spray. This type of system makes an excellent replacement for natural rain in areas that experience drought conditions.

You can adjust the spray patterns to meet the needs of your lawn or garden. If you need more water, it is a simple adjustment of the nozzle heads. This spray irrigation can also cover large surfaces to keep them well-watered throughout the year. Spray irrigation systems also incorporate smart technology to adjust the water distribution with a simple app. Finally, spray irrigation systems also make it easier for you to send water to stressed-out areas on your property.

While these systems have many advantages, there are some drawbacks to spray irrigation. These systems are popular and effective, but you need to have them installed and calibrated by a professional company. With the right installation, you can get the most benefits out of the system. Mature plants and trees can block the spray for other plants if the system is not correctly installed. On extremely windy days, you can experience a high level of water loss as the droplets are dispersed.

There is also a higher level of evaporation from these irrigation systems. You also have to watch out for the extra moisture that can be left on the plants’ leaves. When that happens, your plants will have a higher risk of sunscald or disease.

Drip Irrigation System

Drip irrigation systems are another type of water distribution for your commercial landscape. This system is a concentrated form of irrigation, and it is also called a micro-irrigation system. With the help of a few small tubes, the water is moved around your landscape. The water is controlled with regulators and valves so that you can regulate the amount of irrigation. Drip irrigation systems allow you to deliver the water right to the intended area as it drips into the soil surface. This system has a variation called subsurface drip irrigation. With this system, the tube is placed underground with a direct route to the roots.

Like spray irrigation, there are a few benefits of drip irrigation. These systems can help both new and well-established landscapes. It is also a more efficient system that offers less water waste and evaporation. Drip irrigation systems can help you to water those gardens with irregular shapes and hard-to-reach spots on your property. You will also notice an even water distribution with this system. Drip irrigation is an excellent choice for those who want less fertilizer run-off and soil erosion. Since the water does not make contact with the leaves, you can prevent disease in your plants. Drip irrigation will also avoid problems that could damage asphalt, siding, or windows with overspray.

However, there are some disadvantages to drip irrigation systems. If you live in an area with strong sunlight, your system’s tubing can be damaged if the components are above the ground. Without the proper filtration for your water, this irrigation has a higher chance of blockages in the system. For those with a large area of land to water, it can be difficult to irrigate with this system. Drip systems are also vulnerable to damages from pests, landscaping tools, and foot traffic. You also cannot use these types of systems for frost control, unlike a spray system. Finally, once you have installed the system, it can be challenging to check once your landscape starts to mature.

Choose the System for You

Before you select a system for your commercial property, you need to understand your landscaping needs. If you are looking for a more technically advanced system, you might want to check out the spray irrigation system. Those hard to water areas will benefit from the installation of drip irrigation. With the right irrigation system, you will see a difference in the quality of your landscape. These systems can help to reduce your water usage and lower those monthly water bills. There are many advantages and disadvantages to these systems. However, with a little research, you can find the one that will help you get the most out of your irrigation system.

If you still have questions about your irrigation choices, you should contact the team at Charlestown Landscaping. We can help you find the best system for your commercial property. Our horticultural experts understand the needs of your trees, shrubs, and plants. We know what will work best with them to keep your property well-hydrated throughout the year.

In addition to providing advice, we can help with all those commercial property landscaping tasks. Our team will take care of the mowing, pruning, trimming, and much more. We will even add those finishing touches, like mulch and lawn edging, for a more pleasing appearance to your outdoor space. If you would like to contact us about commercial landscaping services, make sure to fill out the contact form.

Organic Mulch vs. Inorganic Mulch

Organic Mulch vs. Inorganic Mulch

For those who want a way to make your gardening more manageable, you should consider adding mulch to your outdoor spaces. Mulch is a great way to improve the look and health of your yard and gardens. These materials can help to produce healthier plants and flowers with less maintenance on your part. There are usually two types of materials used for mulches: inorganic and organic products. If you are wondering about the type of mulch to use in your yard, here are a few things that you will want to consider.

What Are Mulches?

Mulches can be made of organic or inorganic materials. These mulches have many benefits, including moisture retention, soil insulation, erosion control, weed reduction, and beautification. For those who want to reduce weeds in your yard, mulch will work to minimize the sunlight to these harmful plants. Once sunlight is limited, the weeds do not have a chance to grow. Weeds compete for water and nutrients with your plants. These weeds can even stunt the growth of trees. By reducing them, you can have a healthier garden and yard. However, different mulches offer different benefits to your yard.

Organic mulches are made from by-products of other industries, and these materials will decompose, such as grass clippings, straw, bark chips, compost, sawdust, and rice hulls. These materials are anything that you can find in a natural setting. On the other hand, inorganic mulches are made from man-made materials, including rocks, rubber chips, or plastic sheeting. While these materials are the opposite of each other, they are both used for aesthetic reasons and have their advantages.

Benefits of Organic Mulches

Organic mulches are known to deliver more benefits than inorganic mulches. These mulches consist of materials that would have been discarded. When these materials break down, they can provide nourishment into the soil. With an inorganic material, those mulches can look nice, but as they age, they will break down into non-recyclable pieces.

Those organic mulches will help nutrients reach down to the plant’s roots, and they can nurture beneficial worms, insects, and bacteria. These organisms control pests and harmful bacteria. Organic mulch provides insulation and keeps the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. These materials reduce erosion by absorbing rainwater and soil-borne diseases that can form by the splashing rain. Organic mulch is known to eliminate soil crusting, which is a condition that can make it difficult for rain to penetrate the ground.

Roots develop better when planted in organic mulches. In addition to that, you can purchase organic mulches at a lower cost than inorganic materials. While there are many benefits, there are some drawbacks to these materials. For example, since the materials are organic, they can create a habitable environment for pests near the base of trees or plants.

Inorganic Mulch Benefits

These mulches are made from materials that do not quickly decompose in your garden. These mulches are used for different purposes than organic mulches. You can use stone, landscape fabric, plastic film, or shredded rubber as an inorganic mulch. Inorganic mulches are not appropriate for all yards, and they tend to be more costly than organic products. Depending on the material, these mulches can be hard to install.

However, like organic mulches, there are many benefits to these materials. If you want to create a barrier for weeds, you should add inorganic mulches to your yard. While they do not add any nutritional benefits, inorganic mulches have a lower need for replacement and help retain moisture. These materials are also highly versatile and can be found in many commercial garden centers.

Choose the Right Mulch for Your Yard

When choosing the right mulch for your space, you need to see which one will align with your landscaping goals. Organic mulches will provide your yard with nutrient-rich soil that can help your trees and plants thrive. Inorganic mulches will last longer and help with preventing weeds from taking up residence in your yard. Organic mulches do provide more benefits with natural materials. Inorganic mulches are man-made but not considered harmful to your yard. Before you decide on your mulch, you should consider your maintenance goals, yard health, and aesthetics of your outdoor space. Once you have done that, you can decide which one will work best for you.

Select the Right Materials

With any choice, you want to know about the source of your mulch. You should choose a material that is free from contaminants or pesticides. Fine materials, like sawdust or clippings, can stick together and prevent water from penetrating the ground. Depending on your mulch, you need to make sure that all the mulch is free from weeds. Since organic mulches are natural materials, they are known to attract bugs, such as pill bugs and earwigs. With inorganic mulches, you want to choose materials that will not pose a safety risk in your yard.

When to Apply Mulch?

Whether you choose organic or inorganic mulch, you want to apply these materials at the start of the growing season. Many people choose to use mulch in the late spring or fall so that the soil can still retain moisture. However, you should know that mulches, especially organic materials, will settle down into the ground. If you are applying these materials for the first time, you need to add more layers throughout the season. With a new layer of mulch, you can ensure that your yard will have continuous weed control as you create an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Regular mulching will help your yard to reduce water usage with fewer weeds in your garden.

Charlestown Landscaping can give you a few ideas for your outdoor space if you still cannot decide on the right mulch for your yard. Our team can help you select the best materials for your garden. We will let you know which ones will work best for your landscaping needs. To schedule a consultation for your space, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

Restaurant Landscaping Ideas To Boost Your Traffic

Restaurant Landscaping Ideas To Boost Your Traffic

If you are a restaurant owner, you want to find new ways to attract customers. In addition to your food and drink specials, other factors will influence a person to choose your restaurant. You don’t just want to draw in those first-time customers, but you want to build that repeat business. When someone is looking for a place to dine, they want a clean and aesthetically pleasing site. By adding a boost to your outdoor landscaping, you can attract those customers and keep them coming back to your place. Here are some ideas that you will want to add to your dining establishment.

Greet Guests With Greenery

Every restaurant owner wants to make a great first impression. With an updated green space, you can create an inviting place for your customers. Your entrance probably has concrete near the front of the building, which can create a harsh appearance. You should add some shrubs, flowers, or greens to this open space. When you add some greenery, your business will feel more welcoming to diners.

A few simple planters can even boost the appeal of your entrance. If you need to add some more ideas, you should consider creating an entryway with some added colorful foliage or plants. For those popular dining spots, you might have a waiting list for your diners. You should place benches for those waiting customers. All these ideas can create a relaxing space for your customers.

Create a Fun Outdoor Space

For many diners, they love the opportunity to dine outside on a beautiful day. Patios are an excellent place for people to kick back and relax. With an outdoor restaurant patio, you have an endless supply of landscaping ideas to boost your space. You can use trees and plants to provide extra shade in place of umbrellas. Small shrubs and flower baskets can give your area a little boost of color and add a border to your patio. If you are looking for privacy, you might want to consider climbing vines or plants for an intimate atmosphere.

For those restaurants that experience colder weather, a fire pit or fireplace will give your guests a cozier feel during the spring or autumn nights. Before you start adding plants and flowers to your space, you should do some research. For example, you don’t want to place plants that attract bees near the dining areas since that can create a negative experience. Diners don’t want to “shoo” away bees as they try to enjoy their meal.

Grow a Chef’s Garden

Many diners are fascinated by the restaurant experience, especially learning about the growing process of the meal’s ingredients. By growing your own herbs and vegetables, you can help entertain your customers. Some restaurants are even adding more complicated systems, such as aquaculture or hydroponic growing spaces. These unique features can separate you from the other restaurants in the area.

Many people want a “farm-to-table” experience with freshly picked herbs, fruits, and vegetables. If you’re going to go for something simpler, a vertical growing system will allow you to grow your own strawberries or greens. Your kitchen staff can harvest these ingredients and incorporate them into seasonal dishes.

Change With the Seasons

As a restaurant owner, you know that new ideas will keep your diners coming back to your spot. By swapping out a few elements, you can add those changes to your outdoor landscape. When you update your landscape design, you can give your diners a new look for every season. These improvements can provide some charm to your space as your patrons will appreciate your restaurant’s beautiful and fresh look. You can easily change out plants and flowers with the seasons by adding new textures and colors to your space.

Many people know about transitioning the landscape from the summer to fall seasons. However, you can keep up with those seasonal changes throughout the year. Winter is a great time to add dark green shrubs with a pop of color. Once spring rolls around, you might want to add some color to break away from the drab winter days. Not only will you keep your regular customers coming back, but these changes can help attract new diners with a fresh and updated look.

Water Creates a Soothing Environment

The sound of falling water can give your space a soothing atmosphere for your diners. While you might think that this feature is expensive and complicated, it is easy to add a water feature to your restaurant. You can purchase small waterfalls to place around the lobby or dining area. For some restaurants, a large fountain is a centerpiece to an outdoor patio. If you want to think about a bigger impression, you should consider a koi pond or a babbling brook to your restaurant. With any water feature, you will need to maintain it to keep your staff and customers safe.

Add a Trellis

For those restaurants with a patio or outdoor space, you should think about adding a trellis. This element gives you an excellent opportunity to add some more greenery to both your indoor or outdoor areas. Outdoor spaces are a great place for your restaurant to host events. The trellis can serve as the main focal point for a speaker, band, or wedding. If you have a trellis over a door, your guests can be greeted with a touch of fresh greenery and flowers. With any greens, you will want to keep them maintained so that they don’t give your space an unruly appearance.

Attract Those Customers

All these features can help you attract and keep customers coming to your restaurant. If you want an impressive patio feature or just add a touch of color, Charlestown Landscaping can handle the job. Our experienced team will help you design the landscape around your business. With some updated features, your restaurant will stand out and bring in more diners. If you are ready to upgrade your restaurant’s appearance, make sure to fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation.

What's The Difference Between A Landscape Architect and A Landscape Designer?

What’s The Difference Between A Landscape Architect and A Landscape Designer?

For those homeowners who want to tackle a big project, you might consider hiring a professional for the job. You have probably heard the terms “landscape architect” or a “landscape designer,” but is there a difference between them? These professionals handle separate areas of your project. Before you hire someone, here are some facts that you should know about landscape designing and architecture.

What Is a Landscape Architect?

A landscape architect will develop the land for your use with a practical placement of structures, walkways, and plantings. These professionals must know how to work with steep slopes, outdoor construction, irrigation systems, and varied elevations. A landscape architect will analyze, plan, design, and manage the entire project. You can see the handy work of a landscape architect in the design of a campus, commercial center, or waterfront if you walk through your local community. If you are looking to add a permanent outdoor feature to your outdoor space, you should consider hiring a landscape architect.

If you want to hire a landscape architect, they must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in landscape architecture. Many of the college programs are accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). A landscape architect also must pass an exam that is licensed by the state. This profession is one of a few that must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.

An experienced and reputable landscape architect will have the experience to work in the most challenging environments for both residential and commercial sites. Steep slopes and elevation problems are common issues for landscape architects, and your professional will know how to incorporate them into your design. In addition to that, a landscape architect will understand the right spots to place essential elements, such as driveways, entries, and parking areas.

Licensed landscape architects are used primarily for the planning and design of outdoor spaces. However, they play a vital role in the design and restoration of natural areas that have been disturbed by humans, including mined areas, stream corridors, wetlands, and forested lands. For many landscape architects, they have a respect for cultural resources and historic landscapes, and you will see them working on preservation projects for local, state, and national outdoor sites and spaces. You can find a landscape architect employed with public, academic, and private organizations.

What Is a Landscape Designer?

As you can tell, a landscape architect requires a lot of education to become licensed to work in your state. Landscape designers do not require the same level of education, and they primarily work on small residential projects. Some landscape designers will have an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture, but they lack the state license required to be called a landscape architect.

These designers will focus on outdoor spaces for your home or business by taking into account hardscape and softscape elements, maintenance, and seasonal changes. Since a higher education degree is not a requirement for the job, many landscape designers learn the profession on the job or enroll in local courses for landscape design or horticulture. While you might not think they have the experience of a landscape architect, these professionals still must work hard to be called a landscape designer.

Landscape designers are not licensed through the state, but there are professional groups for these designers. The most well-known is called the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). All the members must adhere to a code of professional standards as they actively continue their education and stay current with the latest landscape design trends. For many members, there is a certification program that is based on their completed projects. These jobs must pass a peer review program for the designer to be certified. You can search for a designer through their website if you are looking for a member of the APLD.

When you work with a landscape designer, there will be a consultation about the project. Your designer should take photos of the yard, and you will be asked about your preferences for garden maintenance and plants. Once the designer has your information, they will create a design with a drawing and plant list. Your designer might even accompany you to the local nurseries to make suggestions for your yard or help shop for furnishings and materials. The main component of a landscape designer’s job is plant placement. Your designer will often work with a contractor to excavate an existing garden or hardscape element, build decks or patios, or install plants.

Who Should You Choose?

Many landscape designers will work with smaller projects at your home, such as the placement of plants. These designers have the experience to help with hardscape elements, especially if they are located in areas with drought-prone regions. If you are looking for a more intense project that involves wall building, electrical work, or earth-moving construction, you should consider hiring a landscape architect for the job.

In general, there are a few differences between landscape architects and landscape designers. Architects have to adhere to strict licensing requirements, but designers also must meet the standards in their professional organization. You will find landscape architects working on larger, public projects throughout your town. Landscape designers will handle those smaller, residential projects. If you are looking to hire a professional for your job, you should choose one based on whether you have a simple or more complex project.

Charlestown Landscaping Can Design Your Outdoor Space

If you want an updated look to your outdoor space, you should choose the professional team at Charlestown Landscaping. We will handle all aspects of your project, including master planning and planting. Our team can take care of the design and installation phase as you focus on choosing the right features and materials to customize your space. Charlestown Landscaping wants to give you an outdoor space that you can enjoy for many years. In addition to design, we will care for your entire yard with our lawn care and landscape maintenance services. If you are ready to create a personalized space for you, make sure to fill out the contact form

Should I Fertilize or Kill Weeds First?

Should I Fertilize or Kill Weeds First?

Many people want to have that professionally manicured look for their yards. All those lush and green lawns do need a little help with the use of fertilizers and weed control products. An essential part of the process is the exact time you choose to apply these products, along with selecting the right formula for your grass. If you are still confused about using these products, please take a few minutes to read up on fertilizers and weed control.

Treat Those Weeds First

If you want to improve your lawn’s appearance, then you will need a weed control product and fertilizer. However, you need to apply these products in a specific order. The first course of action should be to use a safe herbicide to get rid of those weeds. Not only are weeds unsightly, but they can steal nutrients and water from your grass. The roots of the weeds will also compete for space in the first few inches of your soil, and they can effectively “choke” the grass and plant roots. As you can tell, it is vital to get rid of those weeds in your first step.

For those bare spots in your yard, you will want to till those spaces to help bring any weed seeds to the surface. A preemergent herbicide can be applied to the soil. Before you start adding fertilizer to your grass, you should wait at least a week. This period will give your grass a chance to absorb the weed control product. After a week, you can reseed your lawn with the appropriate grass species. In many cases, those palm-sized bare spots will fill in naturally. If there are still weeds poking through after a herbicide application, you might want to choose a glyphosate product to prevent further weeds in your yard.

When to Apply Grass Fertilization

When to Apply Grass Fertilization

Once you have sprayed the weeds with a herbicide, it is time to add fertilizer to your yard. In most cases, you need to apply fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season. Many people choose May or June to implement their first application of the fertilizer. You should think about adding another application of fertilizer in the early fall. When you are ready to apply fertilizer, your lawn should not be under any stress, such as scorching heat or heavy frosts. However, there are some exceptions to the rule with different grass species and climates.

Fertilizers are essential to your yard’s health, and it needs to be fed even in the fall and winter seasons. Many professionals suggest that you fertilize at least four times a year with two-month intervals. In some cases, fertilization can be skipped in the summer if your area experiences a substantial rain. That extra water can wash away the fertilizer, and those chemicals can end up in your drinking supply.

Weeds can affect the health of your grass and plants. You will want to get rid of them before adding fertilizers to your yard. While fertilizers are created to boost the nutrients of your grass, these products can be harsh. When weeds are already stressing out the lawn, you don’t want to add a product that can cause additional problems for the health of your grass.

Check Your Soil Health

If you are having a constant problem with weeds, you might want to look at its source. Weed control products are great for occasional use, but you should not rely on them to maintain your lawn. You want to have a thick and healthy lawn to create a barrier to stop weed seeds from germination. The grass blades should be at least two inches tall to help reduce the amount of sunlight that can accelerate weed growth. Soil pH is another essential factor for a healthy yard. You should think about keeping a pH meter to test your soil. For the best growing environment, you want the soil to stay at a pH level of 7.0.

Weed and Feed

In any garden center, you will find a wide variety of “weed and feed” products. However, many of these products are not designed to kill those established weeds. These products use a preemergent herbicide formula to stop weed germination. If you have an established weed problem in your yard, you will want to avoid these weed and feed formulas. You should focus on the spot control strategy to target those weeds. When you use herbicides and fertilizers separately, you can apply them in a specific manner for better control of your lawn care.

For your specific product, you will want to follow the instructions of the weed killer and fertilizers. When applying the weed killer, you should lightly water the lawn for a better application. Fertilizers required you to apply them on sunny days with no chance of rain. You want the chemicals to soak into the ground and not wash away.

Natural Weed Killers and Fertilizers

If you want to reduce your impact on the environment, you might want to use an organic product to protect pets, children, and local wildlife. Many people choose to use a spray instead of pellets to reduce the chance that a person or animal picks up the herbicide or fertilizer and ingests it. In many garden centers, you can find environmentally-friendly products that will treat your lawn and keep your family safe.

Treat Your Outdoor Space

Weed control products and fertilizers are useful tools to keep your grass looking thick and green. However, you need to treat those weeds before moving on to the fertilization stage. With this combination, you can keep your outdoor spaces looking well-maintained throughout the year.

If you don’t want to deal with the hassles of weed control and fertilization, you should hire a professional crew. At Charlestown Landscaping, we have the experience to handle all your lawn care needs, including weed control and fertilization. We can find the right solutions to give you a beautiful lawn without any of the hard work. Make sure to fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation with us.

Best Mulch Material for Commercial Property

Best Mulch Material for Commercial Property

Mulching does more than improve the look of your property. It can help protect your landscape from weeds and soil erosion. Mulch is your first line of defense against extreme temperatures and soil diseases. If you want to have a great-looking property, you need to add mulch to your outdoor spaces. Before you start, here are some materials that will work best for your commercial property.

The Benefits of Mulch

It is important to understand the benefits of mulch. In general, all mulches will reduce your watering needs and improve moisture retention in your soil. Depending on the mulch type, these materials will decompose naturally for added nutrients into the ground. Mulch will keep down the growth of weeds, and if one does appear in your yard, you can easily remove it. These materials can also help guard roots against extreme temperature fluctuations and compacting soil. Finally, mulches add an aesthetic appeal to your yard as it breathes new life into your landscape.

The Different Types of Mulch

If you are ready to add mulch to your yard, it can be a little overwhelming to choose the right materials. There are many options that you will want to take into consideration for your yard. All these mulches have some benefits and disadvantages. With this information, you can choose the right material for your commercial space.

Pine

This type of mulch is available as pine straw, shredded bark, or nuggets. Pine straw will break down slowly in your yard. It gives your landscape a much softer and unique appearance when compared to other mulches. In addition to that, pine straw will increase the acidity level of your soil, and it is an excellent choice for areas with conifers, azaleas, and rhododendrons. Many people choose this type of mulch to add a layer of protection around new ornamentals.

Shredded pine bark provides moisture retention for your plants, and it can be easily spread around your property. Pine bark will break down quickly as it allows the nutrients to enter the soil. Nuggets are another option for those who want to use pine in their yards. You can buy these nuggets in a small or large size. With this type of mulch, the nuggets will last longer than straw or shredded bark. However, it is a looser mulch that tends to become dislodged during heavy rainfall. Nuggets also perform poorly for those who want a mulch that can help with water retention.

Hardwoods

Hardwoods are a popular type of mulch. You can get this mulch in the form of shredded bark or wood chips. Shredded bark is one of the most affordable types of mulch. Many people love it because the bark compacts closely to each other. You can use it on slopes without worrying about it washing away in a rainstorm. Shredded bark is a by-product of the lumber industry, and it is known for being easy to spread around the yard. This mulch also slowly breaks down into the ground, and it is an excellent choice for those who want a natural-looking landscape. While it does provide many benefits, hardwood mulches will increase the alkaline in your soil. You may have to add fertilizer to some areas of your landscape if you have acidic-loving plants.

Wood chips are a more durable type of hardwood mulch. You will see this type of mulch near walkways, paths, and playgrounds. When it starts to decompose, wood chips can create a high carbon to nitrogen ratio in your soil. If that happens, you could end up with nitrogen deficiencies in the ground.

Cypress Mulch

If you are looking for mulch with a golden color, you might want to turn to cypress. This type of mulch will naturally repel insects and fungus. In addition to that, the color of the mulch will reflect the sunlight so that your space will stay cooler in the summer. Due to its matting capabilities, cypress is also known to prevent soil erosion.

Cedar Mulch

Cedar mulch is known for its woodsy scent. While this mulch is more expensive than other varieties, it does last longer in your landscape due to its resistance to decay. The oils in the wood will naturally repel insects. Since it is a long-lasting material, it will not add any nutritional benefits to the soil. Depending on the color of the mulch, the lighter colors will reflect the sunlight, and the darker colors will absorb all that sunshine.

Rubber Mulch

All the other varieties are known as organic mulches. If you want an inorganic material, then rubber mulch might be the choice for you. These muscles are usually found on playgrounds, and they make for a soft surface. Rubber can be used around plants and trees, and it does a great job of preventing weeds and deterring pests. However, this permanent mulch does not break down, and it will not help improve soil quality. The rubber mulch cost is expensive, but you can find it in a wide range of colors.

Dyed Mulches

For those who want a specific color for their landscape, you might want to consider dyed mulch. These materials come in a large selection of colors, including brown, black, and red. The color is made from a water-based dye, and it is safe for pets and people. These dyed mulches will retain their color for a longer period of time than non-dyed varieties. Most dyed mulches are easy to spread and provide a more vibrant appearance to your landscape.

Need Help With Your Mulch?

You can count on the team at Charlestown Landscaping to help choose the right mulch for your commercial space. We have the experience to find the right materials that will work best with your yard. Our team can install and maintain it throughout the year. In addition to that, we can also assist with landscape care and other commercial services. To learn more about the services at Charlestown Landscaping, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.