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Stormwater Retention Ideas as Part of Your Landscape Design

Stormwater Retention for your home is a great way to be water wise.

Living in southern California there are often droughts and water shortages. This makes rain water a scarce resource that we should use more often. Many people have at some point considered catching the rain water but aren’t sure where to start. Afterall when it rains, it’s free water that your plants enjoy and is free. 

Unfortunately much of the rain water that isn’t absorbed by soil often evaporates and doesn’t get used. Amending your soil with compost or mulch can help it to retain more water but there is only so much before the soil becomes completely saturated. Today we’ll go over some suggestions and design elements on how to collect stormwater, save a bit of money and make use of this natural resource.

What is Stormwater Retention?

There is a myth that in southern California it was illegal to catch rainwater, but this can’t be further from the truth. Anyone can have stormwater retention on their property so long as the water you are collecting comes from your roof, no permit is required.

Areas such as Long Beach tend to get about 15 inches of rain on average every year. Much of the rainwater that lands on roofs or driveways results in runoff. Runoff water can collect pollutants that enter the city’s storm drain system which leads to larger bodies of water until it eventually reaches the ocean. Stormwater retention is a great way to conserve water, save money, and keep your plants looking vibrant. It may seem like installing a stormwater retention system is a drop in the bucket due to the infrequent rain we get, but it all adds up.

Designing a Stormwater Retention System

Stormwater retention typically begins with the gutter system that collects rainfall from your roof. Rain gutters are already a good investment as they protect your home’s walls and foundation from water erosion as it directs run off water to either a drain or the street. But why not collect this rainfall in a vessel like a barrel?

A simple solution to collecting stormwater from your roof is to simply put a barrel where your gutters drain. That’s all you really need to collect rainwater, however many people will agree that a large plastic barrel on the side of your home can not only be unsightly but take up quite a bit of space. 

On a 1,000 square foot roof, an inch or rain can give you about 600 gallons of water. Design choices to consider for collecting water from your roof include using seamless gutters which give a clean sleek look to the system and helps prevent leaks due to having less failure points. A leaf filter and a downspout fist flush filter should also be installed to prevent debris from being collected. Afterwards it’s a matter of hiding the plumbing that goes to your water collection vessel of choice.

You could then use this water to give your landscape a splash during the dryer days, and avoid any local water ordinances you may be subjected to in the future.

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece or creating the backyard of your dreams we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request for landscape to fit your aesthetic today. Feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.

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Items to Consider When Selecting a Garden Hose

Watering is an important part of maintaining your landscape design and a garden hose is a common way to get to those spots your irrigation system may be missing. Although in Southern California being water conscious is important, it’s equally important to keep your yard looking as good as possible. There are a few items to consider when choosing the correct garden hose for your property. It’s not as obvious as grabbing an expensive hose off the shelf at your local garden center. Many homeowners are unsure as to what to look for when buying a garden hose. Depending on the type of hose you use, it can make watering your garden feel like a relaxing hobby or a troublesome chore.

Many elements of a garden hose go ignored by homeowners, we’ll go over a few items to pay attention to when buying your next garden hose.

Durability and Material

With a few exceptions, garden hoses are made of rubber, vinyl or polyurethane. Though the most hoses used  in homes is made from rubber, as this material typically is more durable and less likely to kink. Vinyl hoses cost and weigh less, but they’re typically not as durable as the rubber counterpart. Rubber hoses are heavier and can cost more, but are often more durable and less likely to kink. Hoses made of a combination of vinyl and rubber tend to be a good midrange solution. They’re usually more affordable than rubber hoses and more durable than vinyl hoses.

When shopping for a garden hose, you’ll often come across labels such as light duty, medium dusty, heavy duty, super duty. You may be inclined to purchase a super duty hose expecting it to be the best, however when it comes to garden hoses its best practice buy only what you need. If your needs require a short distance over grass, there is no need to carry around a super duty hose as it will weigh more and do the same job as a light or medium duty hose while not requiring the durability of the super duty hose. Though if you need to drag the hose over gravel and rougher terrain, or if the hose is going to be under the blistering sun, then a heavy or super duty hose should be preferred.

Storage

The sun can cause rubber in hoses to degrade over time. To increase the longevity of your hose, consider storing your hose in a container or a shady side of your home. There are many decorative storage solutions as well. Reel’s can be installed either on the side of the home near the hose bib. These are commonly used due to their affordability and simplicity though there is a market for decorative reels that can accent your landscape design, or hidden reels to avoid seeing it at all. A popular choice is to hide it in a decorative hose pot.

Attachments

Though you can definitely water your plants without any attachment, we’ve all put our thumb at the end of a hose to shower our gardens. Having an attachment for your hose is incredibly useful. Nozzles and water wands are the most useful when watering due to their versatility in watering options. Sprinkler heads can be used when you don’t have the time to focus on your yard and garden.

The attachment point from the hose bib to the hose is also important. Quality hoses often have a plastic or rubber “collar” extending perhaps four to six inches up the hose from the main connection point. This reduces the odds of a kink or split near the spigot, where they commonly occur.

Kink Control

Sadly there is no such thing as a kink free hose. Many may be advertised as being  kinkfree but even they will occasionally kink. Many times the best way to control the kink is to buy the appropriate hose. Thicker, heavier duty hoses may kink more often due to being more rigid. If hose kinks are your main concern, lighter duty hoses often make it easier to remove the kink by tugging on it.

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece or creating the backyard of your dreams we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request for landscape to fit your aesthetic today. Feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.

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Fall Tips to Keep Your Landscaping Looking Great in Long Beach

Summer has ended and with it, it took the long warm days that many plants need to grow. Fall can still be a great time to enjoy your landscape as you can sit back and watch the leaves change color to reds and oranges. 

Just because plants tend to grow less during autumn, it doesn’t mean there is no work to be done. Today we’ll go through a few tips you should follow in order to keep your landscape looking beautiful even with the changing seasons.

Last Cut of the Year

Lawns tend to be one of the largest elements of any landscaping project, you should mow your lawn until it stops growing. During fall many drought tolerant lawns begin to go into dormancy and turn brown. If this is your first year experiencing this do not be frightened, this is normal. Cut your lawn short to prevent it from matting and being damaged by pests or diseases. 

If your lawn continues to grow throughout the year, consider keeping the grass a minimum of 3 inches tall so that it can better absorb sunlight.

Amend your Soil

Fall is the best time to amend your soil, as microfauna begin to break down your soil in both fall and winter. This organic matter then becomes available as a nutrient for plants to thrive in during spring. If you miss this opportunity, you can still amend your soil in spring though it’s best done during the fall.

Aerating your soil is season dependent. If your soil is compacted, fall is the best time to have it aerated professionally. This will allow hard soil to more easily absorb rain water, compost and other fertilizers you may be amending your soil with. 

If you are unsure with what to amend your soil, fall is a great time to get your soil tested. This test can determine what specific nutrients you need to grow your plants.

Check on your Mulch

During autumn, mulch will provide insulation and warmth to plant roots. Mulch allows for microorganisms to stay active longer in the colder seasons, and retains water better. This can allow your soil to retain its nutrients for longer.

For garden and flower beds that already have mulch, simply turning the mulch should be enough to provide its benefits during the fall. It will also give your garden and flower beds a fresh look without adding more mulch. Though you should replenish mulch every 3 to 5 years or whenever the layer of mulch is less than 2 inches thick.

Maintain your Hardscape

Pathways, fountains, rock and stones are best maintained during the fall. In the fall temperatures are more consistent throughout the day. Using sealant to fill in cracks and gaps may take a little bit longer to cure during cooler days, but you are less likely to see a failure point compared to summer days. 

Don’t forget that during the fall, your hardscape becomes more visible as leaves begin to pile on the ground. Keep up appearances by raking leaves from your landscape, fallen leaves can be unsightly. When wet, leaves can be incredibly slippery and cause an accident that can result in injury.

For the Bird Lovers

If you’re a lover of birds, autumn is the best season to set up bird feeders. Many migratory birds will migrate to Southern California during the colder seasons. With some luck you may spot some rare birds in your own backyard.

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece or creating the backyard of your dreams we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request for landscape to fit your aesthetic today. Feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.

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How Your Sprinkler Design is Critical to Supporting Your Landscaping Vision

Sprinkler systems range from smart to timer based.

When designing your landscape, the sprinkler system is going to be what makes sure your plants get the required water as efficiently as possible. Although in the past yards would be designed with a few sprinkler heads that spray water in an area for a few minutes, now we know there are better ways of doing things.

Today we’ll go through a number of things to keep in mind when designing the sprinkler system to support your landscaping vision for years to come.

Zones

When you speak with our designers, they will mention landscape zones. This is a term used to separate portions of the landscape such as your lawn, garden or potted plants. Zones are used to determine specific areas and how they are supposed to be irrigated. 

For example your lawn will require a different volume of water compared to a vegetable garden. If you were to use the same amount of water for both you could over water and drown plants in one zone while a different zone remains too dry. By separating your landscape through different zones you can use an irrigation controller to make sure each zone gets the perfect amount of water. This will help your lawn and plants to thrive while conserving water.

Types of Irrigation

In order for your landscape to look great and grow throughout the years you’ll need to water it. There are no exceptions. You can choose to do the watering yourself with a hose however, every zone may require different watering needs. Although watering a vegetable garden can be calming for some, many people don’t have the luxury of time to water their entire lawn. 

To solve watering issues there are a couple of popular options for irrigation that can be used in different zones to fulfill different watering needs.

Lawn Sprinkler System

This is the classic go to system many people use to water their lawns. Although it is no longer the most efficient form of irrigation, it’s still a great option when you need to water a large area such as a lawn. During hotter seasons it’s best to use sprinklers either early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down to reduce water loss to evaporation.

Drip Irrigation System

Less is more with drip irrigation systems. With drip irrigation water slowly drips through irrigation tubing allowing you to fine tune how much water plants will receive. Due to tubing often being shaded by the plant or mulch, there is little evaporation even during the hottest days.

Irrigation Controller

An irrigation controller is used to regulate how much water is being used for each zone of your landscape. Though there are a few options you have for controllers as well. 

Smart Controller

Smart controllers are relatively new to the market, but have shown that being able to be controlled by a smartphone or tablet is convenient and efficient. By allowing them to connect to the internet, they can access meteorological databases, have sensors built into the controller or both to ensure efficient watering of your property. 

Smart controllers like the Rachio 3 can be purchased with 4 -16 different zone counts to allow for flexible irrigation tailored to your yard. 

Standard Irrigation Controller

Simple, yet cost effective, standard controllers are typically used when installing basic sprinkler systems. These controllers can use local weather conditions to regulate the amount of water used when you turn on the sprinkler system. Or may have a setting for seasonal adjustments allowing you to increase watering during summer and reduce watering during winter.

Battery Operated Controller

With many of the same features as standard irrigation controllers, battery operated controllers give you the freedom of having the controller installed without the need of a power source. Many come with small solar panels to recharge the internal battery. While others can function without issues for up to 3 years with two AA batteries.

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece or creating the backyard of your dreams we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request for landscape to fit your aesthetic today. Feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.

When it Comes to Maintaining Your Landscaping, it Takes More than Mowing

Mowing is the most common lawn maintenance but there is more to that when it comes to landscaping maintenance.

Landscaping Maintenance

Maintaining beautiful landscaping takes much more than simply mowing the grass and blowing leaves. With summer temperatures rising, how about letting the professionals take care of your landscape. We can visit your residential or commercial property once or twice a month. Whether one of our designs or not we strive to not only maintain your landscape but to protect your investment.

Join me as we go into detail about our landscaping maintenance service and how we keep your landscape looking the best it can all year long. 

Mowing

Of course we still need to mow the lawn. But we don’t stop there, we care about every detail. Our mower’s blades are kept razor sharp to prevent ragged edges that make the lawn look grayish-brown. We’ll mow around the perimeter of any obstacles first before creating straight lines and angles in those areas.

Once the grass has been trimmed we begin to edge your lawn. Following the path of the driveway or walkway to improve the overall look, and keep paths clear.

Finally we work clean. We’ll make sure to clean up after mowing so you can go back to enjoying your day.

Weeding

Everyone hates seeing weeds growing in their landscape, most weeds are taller and grow faster than more pleasing plants. Weeds can make lawns and gardens less attractive and look like they’re not cared for.

Weeds can damage the health and beauty of your entire landscape, they use soil nutrients that are vital for the plants and grass you’re growing. Getting rid of weeds while they are still small increases the chance of your landscape to grow healthy and minimizes the amount of fertilizer you may need in the future.

We’ll get rid of any weeds we see when doing our maintenance to keep your landscape looking as good as it can.

Sprinkler Monitoring and Optimization

On every one of our visits we’ll turn on your irrigation system and check for accuracy and any leaks. The last thing you want to deal with is getting reported for having too much water run off due to bad hardware.

We’ll make sure all irrigation sources are releasing water uniformly to ensure no water is going to waste. If some areas are being overwatered this can affect the health of your plants. We’ll also make sure to water any and all potted plants, or plants not being irrigated.

Plant Care

Not just gardens and lawns are part of your landscape, therefore we also take care of other plants on the property like bushes, hedges, and trees. By pruning bushes and trees, it helps to stimulate new growth while getting rid of dead or diseased parts of the plant. Not only revitalizing them, but also helping them keep their shape and aesthetic.

Occasionally some features may need to be replenished such as mulch or bark. If we notice some of your plants aren’t healthy, we’ll fertilize and care for them. If the plant or tree is dying or was affected by disease we’ll remove and replace them as needed. 

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece, creating the backyard of your dreams or looking to maintain its beauty we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request today or feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.