May 17th, 2013
With some areas of the country reporting record-low spring temperatures, other areas experienced a mild winter. While a mild winter may have been pleasant, the after effects can include a mosquito infestation. This is especially true of spring and summertime rains, which causes mosquito breeding.
Helpful mosquito control tips include the following:
• Birdbaths – While birdbaths make a beautiful adornment to most yards, helping provide much needed water for thirsty birds, they are mosquito magnets. If someone wants to keep a birdbath, it is highly recommended that the water be replaced often, as frequently as every couple days. Mosquitoes require stagnant water for breeding, which is why it’s always good to change and refill water.
• Rain Gutters – Whenever summer rain falls, mosquitoes frequently abound. Summer climates that are warm also breed mosquitoes. Gutters frequently catch debris, making them a holding pond for stagnant rainwater. Gutters should be cleaned a few times each year to help ensure that no stagnant water remains.
• Container Gardening – If standing water accumulates in plant containers, this too can be a breeding ground for bugs and mosquitoes.
• Plastic Covers and Tarps – Often these items are stored outdoors to protect items, but they can also attract mosquitoes with pools of stagnant rainwater. If this is not prevented, this can create a breeding cesspool for mosquitoes, which can frequently multiply. Puddles are also shelters for mosquitoes, so it’s important to keep any areas that create standing water to a minimum.
• Recycling and Trash Containers – Often recycling and trash containers that are left outdoors can accumulate standing water, creating insect breeding areas.
• Trash – Cleaning trash and remove it from around the home will help prevent any unintentional puddles from attracting mosquitoes.
There are a number of good mosquito repellants on the market, including:
• Mosquito Coils – These are inexpensive but often time’s people complain of overwhelming smoke.
• Electric Machines – These are efficient, but only if used on a regular basis.
• Aerosol Sprays – These can be sprayed on occasions when mosquitoes are heavy, but they should be sprayed in a room before occupying the space so the aerosols are not heavily ingested in the lungs.
• Creams and Lotions – These are safe for human use and designed to be easy on the skin, helping prevent irritation.
• Mosquito Bats – These are battery operated and can be manually operated.
• Mosquito Nets – These help protect people from mosquitoes while sleeping, allowing for easy bed encasement. The nets should be sealed over the bed to help ensure mosquitoes will not enter. Screens over windows and open doors will also help keep mosquitoes at bay during evening hours.
All States Landscaping offers comprehensive yard maintenance, including Salt Lake City landscaping. Whether a homeowner is looking for Utah shrubs or a Utah waterfall water feature, they strive to create an outdoor sanctuary for homeowners.
May 10th, 2013
For areas that are sensitive to summertime drought, there are a number of ways people can be frugal and conserve water usage. If yards are not prepared for a water shortage, it can have negative effects, not simply aesthetic but those that are long-lasting, which can result in plant damage and death.
Some excellent ideas for drought-tolerant yards that still look fabulous in the summertime, include:
• Drought Tolerant Plants – Planting an assortment of drought tolerant plants, which includes ornamental grasses and succulents will help reduce overall necessary watering. These types of plants are extremely hardy and are not susceptible to hot temperature fluctuations.
• Native Plants – Native plants and flowers acclimate to local climate trends over thousands of years, making them perfect for their native climates. In high-drought areas, these native plants have adopted their root systems to accommodate less water and more infrequent watering periods, making them excellent for summertime conditions.
• Water Trays – Simply adding a tray of water under a potted plant allows the roots to soak up much needed water and keeps the roots hydrated while not detracting from the plant’s overall appearance.
• Schedules – Keeping plants on a watering schedule will help plant owners determine how landscaping will react if faced with a drought schedule. By training plants to focus their deep roots on water, plants will have well-developed root systems that will remain hydrated even when it’s dry and hot outside.
• Hardscape – Adding hardscaping to high-traffic areas will help preserve greenery and reduce plant damage.
• Mulching – Keeping the area directly surrounding trees, up against the tree’s trunk, mulched is helpful. If possible, mulch up to the tree’s drip line, as this will help provide much needed water within the soil.
• New Plants – Try not to plant any new plants or trees during drought season. This is counterproductive, as plants will have a difficult time establishing a healthy root system. Planting in wetter months, such as spring, fall and winter, helps dormant plans focus on new root growth.
• Trimming – Never have trees pruned in the summertime, as this can make them more susceptible to disease.
All States Landscaping specializes in Salt Lake City landscaping, including year round services such as Salt Lake City snow removal. As a premiere Utah landscaping company, they help homeowners complete maintenance and upkeep, which is necessary for a healthy yard. All States Landscaping specializes in water features, custom putting greens, sprinklers, rock retaining walls, pavers, decorative walk, decorative concrete patios, decks and gazebos.
May 3rd, 2013
As summertime approaches, many people find themselves faced with pest issues. In a desire to eliminate these pests and make homes more family-friendly, people turn to do-it-yourself pest control methods.
Whether someone is facing bed bug control, termite issues, ants, carpenter bees, bugs, animals or rodents, this article serves to help people facing infestations. When people undertake their own pest control measures, it can help them save a lot of money. Many professional pest control exterminators and companies use the same do-it-yourself solutions, charging a substantial amount. Ranging from simple measures to ones that are slightly more involved and complicated, there are a number of methods to help reduce insect and rodent damage.
• Insect Growth Regulators – Otherwise known as IGRs, these are relatively non-toxic to mammals, simply aiding in stopping their growth and development. These are specifically designed for insects, especially fleas and roaches. They are odorless and simply serve to stop the growth cycle process.
• Baits – These are relatively effective in low environment impact areas, helping eliminate and reduce roaches and ants.
• Glue Boards – Non-toxic and easy to use, these boards are ideal for catching insects and small rodents, including ants, rats and mice. Glue boards simply trap the insects in tacky glue, preventing them from further entering a home. Glue boards should be placed in higher-traffic areas and along walls to ensure that they match the insect and rodent traffic pattern.
• Insecticides – Professional strength insecticides include Phantom, Termidor, Optigard Flex and Dominoin 2L. These are especially good for pest and terminate control, proving highly effective for treating terminate and ant infestations.
• Long Lasting – Some insecticides boast long-acting benefits, including Cyper WP and Cyonara 9.7.
• Rodent Control – Traps are still a safe and secure meals of trapping live animals, including opossums, squirrels, rats, mice and even raccoons.
Using safe and effective insect and rodent control will help keep yards looking healthy and well maintained. If people can keep their yards pest-free, there is a great chance pests will not make their beds in houses, which can cause a further infestation problem.
All States Landscaping can help the pest-ridden consumer that is in need of a detailed landscaping plan to help improve their yard and further boost curb appeal. As a premiere Salt Lake City landscaping company they offer a variety of services, ranging from landscape design, water features, landscaping rocks in Utah, property maintenance and low-maintenance landscape design.
April 25th, 2013
“It’s time to start defying gravity”, one song goes.
This may be something you can do to your house on the hill, with the help of your Utah landscaping company. But rather than floating, you can also try defying gravity by preventing things from breaking apart, especially with slopes and uneven areas. These can pose a serious problem if you want to create beautiful landscapes. This is where Utah retaining walls can come in.
Retaining walls hold up an area of your landscape that would fall victim to erosion or prevent certain plants from flourishing. Retaining walls can also add points of interest to your landscape by defining multiple levels or terraces in a flat area. These can also provide much needed support to level areas – such as your driveway or patio.
If you are thinking about hiring a professional Salt Lake City landscaping company, it will also be helpful that you understand the concept behind the construction of retaining walls:
- Drainage. Water flows downwards in slopes and it will always find a way to do this. You need to understand how to direct the flow of the water. Heavy rains can collect behind the retaining walls (since the walls prevent the water from passing through) and compromise their stability. This may cause the walls to have cracks and bulges, as may come tumbling down. There should be a means for the water to flow efficiently through drainage systems. This can be done by filling the area behind the walls with gravel. Next, drainage pipes and perforations (weep holes) on the retaining walls may be installed. There should also be a way to prevent the water from staying at the base of the retaining wall.
- Earth pressure. Depending on the type of soil, the amount of moisture it holds and the slope of the soil, the earth will provide pressure on the retaining wall. The landscaper’s job is to ensure that the wall is designed so as to withstand (and even harness) the earth pressure. This can be done by providing enough weight to the wall (if the wall is short in height) or reinforcing the wall with steel bars or by sheet piling.
- Approval and licensing. In some areas, the law requires you to get a permit or show a structural plan approved by a licensed engineer before you can build retaining walls higher than four feet. Another consideration would be your homeowner’s association and any restrictions it may place on houses in the area.
- Kinds of materials available. There are a number retaining wall materials you can use for your retaining walls:
- Wood. Wood can be used for low retaining walls. Since this is lighter than concrete, it usually needs a concrete footer to keep the wood in place. The wood should also be treated so that it can resist rotting and termite infestation.
- Railroad crossties. These make use of old railroad ties, which you can stack like wood. These are already treated against rot and are generally cheaper to build compared to blocks or bricks. You will need to reinforce the bottom and sides of the wall so that the ties don’t slide or fall over.
- Landscaping rocks in Utah. The natural beauty of the rocks and boulders is a big plus. There are a number of stones, rocks and boulders you can choose from – these can be man-made or natural. You can pile these rocks one on top of each other so long as the base and inner sides are properly supported. The great thing about this is that each rock is unique and the resulting retaining wall is one-of-a-kind. Boulders can also be used to make natural pathways and to add texture to the landscape.
- Concrete. Concrete need not be plain – with today’s innovations, you can actually create a concrete wall that has a natural or modern feel, depending on your preference. It is important that there is adequate support and the concrete is properly cured and sealed.
April 22nd, 2013
A Zen Garden is not only a delight to the eyes – it can also give a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Having a Zen garden is one way to calm your spirit and soothe it in the midst of the hustle and bustle of your busy life. And you can emerge from your space of tranquility renewed and ready to face the word!
If your budget, space and inclination cannot afford you a lush green garden, the stark beauty and elegance of rocks and sand may be a good alternative. Zen gardens don’t cost as much to create and are also relatively easy to maintain. They also don’t have to dominate your whole landscape; you can just choose a small section of your home, such as the area underneath the stairs, a corner of your living room, or just about anywhere.
Unlike the common notion, Zen gardens are not made up of just stone and sand, although these are some of the key components. The elements of a Zen garden include:
- Sand. The sand that is used in a typical Zen garden is white or beige in color, laid out at about 4-inch in depth. This layer of sand represents water. This sand should be routinely raked to form ripples and waves. If you are in an area with wet climate, though, sand may be hard to manage and maintain. Small stones or gravel can be excellent alternatives.
- Rocks and boulders. Landscaping rocks in Utah can be used to make formations and groupings. For instance, these rocks can take the form of a crane (for happiness) or a tortoise (for long life). Meanwhile, Utah pavers and boulders can represent islands or can used as stepping stones.
- Water. Utah waterfalls, ponds and streams add another tranquil element to the Zen garden. The sound of water lightly falling on the rocks can be very relaxing. You can also add koi fish to the ponds, as well as water plants – lilies and bamboos. There are also some who would rather have a water feature without the water – by imitating the flow of water on the surface of the rocks.
- Plants. Zen gardens do not require a lot of plants. You can let the moss to grow on the rocks. To hasten the process, you can put a fist-sized clump of the moss you want, and mix this with a cup of beer (yes, beer!) and half a teaspoon of sugar. Some also use equal measures (2 cups each) of buttermilk and water. Use a blender to mix the ingredients. Using a brush, apply the mixture on the rocks. It will take around 2 weeks to one month for the moss to richly cover the rocks. Other plants include ferns or a low-growing evergreen. To add color, you can also put in azaleas and cherry blossoms. However, keep plants at a minimum.
- Bamboo panels. To add to the effect, line the concrete walls facing the garden with bamboo panels. You can also use these to delineate the area you have assigned for your Zen garden.
- Bridges. If you have enough space, you can add a bridge over the sandy area. This way, you can go near the area without needing to step on the water and ruin the rippling effect that your rake creates. This bridge can be made using Utah boulders. You can also add wooden lanterns at focal points in the path.
- Chimes. Another element you can add would be the soft tinkling of wind chimes.
- Bench or sitting area. Of course, you need to provide a place for you to sit and relax as you enjoy your Zen garden. Place a wooden bench near a stroll path so that you can sit down with a good book or a hot cup of tea.
It can be tempting to cram all these in a small space. But remember, with a Zen garden, less is the way to go. Once everything is in place, use a rake to daily form the wave patterns and as you do, take time to meditate on the ripples and flowing lines for a truly relaxing and refreshing experience.