Nothing neatens a yard more effectively than an attractive mulch spread on the bare soil under all trees and shrubs. In fact, using mulch is a good landscaping habit! Some of the benefits, however, make it worth the effort. A really good job of mulching your garden usually offers these benefits:

  • Inhibits weed germination and growth. (Weeds are not only unsightly, but they also steal resources from desirable garden plants!).
  • Holds in soil moisture, protecting your plants from drying out quickly.
  • Moderates soil-temperature fluctuations (This benefit is especially valuable during that turbulent-weather period in spring when you don’t want your plants to be stressed.)
  • In cold-winter areas, protects plant roots from winter cold and helps prevent frost-heaving, in which plants are literally pushed out of the ground by the natural expansion and contraction of the soil as it cools off and heats up.
  • In hot-summer areas, helps keep plant roots cooler
  • Depending on what you use, adds a bit of welcome nutrition to your garden as it breaks down.

The “right” or “best” mulch to use depends on your climate, the part of the country you’re in, and the part of the yard you’re using it in. Your yard is the first thing prospective buyers see when they approach your home. If you welcome them with a neat, attractive landscape you are likely to sell your home more quickly at the price you want. Experience has shown that this positive first impression, this “curb appeal”, will encourage potential buyers to appreciate the other features of your home.

Call Paradise Landscape & Hardscape today for more information on how to beautify your yard with mulch!

As a homeowner, it can be difficult to discern why you might want to hire a landscape professional. Furthermore, it might be even more confusing as to whether or not the one you’re hiring has all the right qualifications, licensing, insurance, etc. Paradise Landscape and Hardscape has both the professional credentials, design creativity mixed with years of experience to help you create a perfect oasis outdoor living space as well as help you do the maintenance and dirty work! There are a few reasons why we think you should hire us to be your Landscape Company.

An attractive and well-maintained commercial facility makes a clear statement about the quality of your business. It makes a favorable impression on each visitor, client, vendor or prospective employee from the moment they step foot on your property. It also boosts employee morale. Imagine the positive impact that a well-landscaped outdoor eating area would have on your staff. Providing a place to rest and recharge for a few minutes, outdoors, can also enhance productivity and reduce stress levels.

A hotel that adds a water feature, a retail store that adds a brick paver entrance with colorful planters, or a restaurant that screens the parking lot with tasteful plantings all position themselves to retain current customers as well as attract new clients. They also distinguish themselves from their competition.

We live in an fast paced age, often with significant stress. At the end of a long day wouldn’t it be nice to come home to an inviting, relaxing special residence… a place that gives you a sense of peace and comfort? A well-designed landscape can be the key to making your home a place where you like to spend time. With the significant growth in interest in outdoor living, we find that customers are not only looking for beautiful garden areas, but also functional outdoor spaces that add usable area to the home. Outdoor kitchens, bars, fireplaces and dining areas add beauty and real value to your property.

A landscape professional knows:

  • The climate and which plants will thrive in all seasons
  • Which trees and plants are best suited for a particular type of soil
  • Where to plant on your property based on light and other factors
  • The correct season and techniques for pruning trees and plants
  • The details of how to keep a lawn healthy, beyond mowing and trimming
  • The proper and safe application of fertilizers and pesticides
  • The materials, the cost and the time needed to complete a project

Beyond planting, trimming and mowing, a professional can:

  • Design and build hardscapes such as patios, pathways, water features, outdoor kitchens, etc.
  • Provide the necessary tools and manpower to finish a project on time
  • Dig and divide emerging perennials
  • Remove leaves from the bottom of ponds or other water features
  • Clean gutters to prevent water from drowning plants below
  • Free up your time so that you can spend it doing other things

Professional landscaping not only beautifies your home, it is also a wise investment because:

  • It can add between 7% and 15% to the value of a home. (Source: The Gallup Organization)
  • It can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50 percent, by shading the windows and walls of a home. (Source: American Public Power Association)
  • Landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100 to 200 percent at selling time. Kitchen remodeling brings a 75 to 125 percent recovery rate, bathroom remodeling a 20 to 120 percent recovery rate, and addition of a swimming pool a 20 to 50 percent recovery rate. (Source: Money Magazine)

Our landscape professionals at Paradise Landscape and Hardscape are licensed by the state of Maryland and trained in various areas of expertise. You can be assured that your landscape project is in the best of hands. We are local, family owned and take pride in absolutely everything we do! Whether you are considering enhancing a commercial or a residential property, it is important to remember that everything doesn’t have to happen at once. Our design team is exceptionally skilled at “phasing” landscape projects over a period of months or years. You can add features from your custom landscape plan as your budget allows, knowing that you will still be progressing seamlessly toward a complete landscape that will truly suit your taste and needs.

Call us today for a free estimate and start enjoying the benefits of professional landscaping!

Many communities in Annapolis, MD, have lush lawns with healthy grass. When it’s grooming time, all property owners in Annapolis must follow a strict lawn care schedule in order to keep their yard neat and tidy. If you don’t know how to care for a lawn, the team at Paradise Landscape and Hardscape can help. Team Paradise consists of highly trained landscape technicians, so if you need help mowing your lawn before winter, you’ll benefit using our lawn care services. In this blog post, you’ll learn how to prepare for a fall routine, practical lawn care strategies, when to stop cutting grass, and more.

Preparing for the Last Routine

Before your final mowing routine, fill your mower with plenty of gas. Then, check the oil level; if it’s low, the mower will run sluggishly as its blade slices through the grass. You shouldn’t mow your lawn incorrectly during the last routine because inconsistencies will create an environment for fungus. After the grass is properly trimmed, add fertilizer because it produces the best results in the spring when it’s sprinkled on a lawn in early fall.

The last trim won’t always happen on a certain day each year since the weather patterns always influence a lawn’s growth cycle. If your neighborhood is very warm outside in the fall, the grass will continue to sprout. This is why you must monitor the weekly weather forecast in your area carefully for inconsistencies. If the temperature drops 50 degrees F and rises again, you shouldn’t put your mower away because the grass will gradually grow on the hotter days. Instead, delay your final trim until the temperature outdoors falls below 50 degrees F and stays there.

Throughout the winter, your grass should be around two inches tall, so adjust your mower’s blade correctly. At this height, snow mold won’t be an issue, and arctic conditions will never stress out the grass.

One Cut After the Last Leaves Fall

When all of the leaves drop on your lawn, you may want to use your mower one more time before the cold weather arrives to make mulch. For this job, you’ll need to scout your property in advance to determine the best way to shred every leaf. Then, while you’re cutting the lawn, other steps must be taken to protect your mower.

Scouting is the only way to make the process of cutting leaves easier and less time-consuming. You should always wait until your lawn is totally covered with leaves before scouting because it gives you an opportunity to develop a practical strategy for raking. While raking, spread the leaves out so that the mower can cut everything evenly.

Before starting your mower, check the blade’s height. There should be proper clearance between the blade and the ground. If the blade is too low, some leaves may stick to the bottom of the mower.

While you’re cutting the leaves with the mower, take your time because the blade may have to spin several times to shred thick bundles. If you push the mower too quickly, it won’t produce a fine cut that transforms leaves into mulch.

Strategies for Cutting Grass Around Outdoor Living Spaces

You must cut the grass around outdoor living spaces correctly in the fall to avoid time-consuming maintenance and cleanup routines in the spring. The following strategies will make this job easier:

  • Cut strategically: When grass is trimmed by an outdoor living area, some trimmings will fly everywhere. If you point your mower’s flap away from a patio or deck while trimming the lawn, pieces for grass won’t land on furniture and appliances. You won’t have to direct a flap away from an outdoor living area if you operate a mower that has a bag for trimmings.
  • Target weed roots: In the spring and summer, weed roots will linger underneath the ground by a deck or patio. If you target and destroy these roots in the fall, you won’t have to constantly mow down weeds in the spring.

Tips for Grass Cutting During the Next Seasons

When winter is over, you shouldn’t crank your mower immediately after the grass grows tall. Instead, you should follow a few easy steps to properly prepare for the next mowing seasons.

Usually, after a mower is operated frequently throughout the previous seasons, its parts will develop some wear and tear. To protect your mower until the final job of the year, always service it in the spring.

Benefits of Using Our Lawn Maintenance Services

Our grass cutting team gives homeowners in Annapolis peace of mind because we always cut grass at the right time before winter arrives. We make lawns look great in the fall by focusing on the following things during lawn maintenance jobs:

  • Height: Although grass no longer grows in the fall and winter, it still needs volume in order to give a property curb appeal. This is why we trim lawns strategically to keep the grass lush throughout the colder months. There are many grass species in Annapolis, and some types appear fuller and richer when they’re a certain height. If you let us trim your lawn, we’ll examine it and trim every stalk correctly.
  • Patterns: After a lawn is mowed, its grass usually tilts in the direction where a blade made the cuts. Because this happens, we always cut grass in a pattern. For example, if we cut your grass diagonally, we’ll cut it in a straight line after it grows back before fall.

Contact us today. Team Paradise has equipment for large and small lawns in many neighborhoods in Annapolis. If a job just seems too challenging, we can tackle it. We offer:

    • Trimming and edging services
    • Lawn mowing services for residential communities and traditional grass
    • Lawn mowing services for commercial properties that might have taller grasses

Because we offer lawn maintenance services, you won’t have to do anything before fall to prepare your lawn for cold weather. Our lawn care team will cut your grass, remove weeds, provide nutrients, and more. If you want a beautiful lawn that will impress your neighbors until spring, contact us today, and schedule an appointment for our professional lawn care services.

Our mission is to create your paradise with a dream backyard. We are always striving to improve the outdoor living space concept by using environmentally friendly materials to create a back yard solution with a huge impact, usually stemming from our highly creative designs! Outdoor living spaces create an extension of your home for entertaining, enjoying and realizing. We’ll give you a truly “magical makeover” to reflect that lifestyle that you deserve, by turning your backyard into an oasis to enjoy with your friends and family. Great outdoor living landscape designs typically include fireplaces, fire pits, kitchens and water features combined with the most suitable landscape plantings for the shade or sun. We’ll create a great design that integrates with your home to amplify and beautify your outdoor garden living space. A Paradise Landscape & Hardscape plant or flower bed blends seamlessly into both the natural surroundings and your home’s design features. Plants and flowers can be chosen to present a succession of blooms that start in the spring and bloom until the fall!

Drawing upon your home’s existing architecture and landscaping, our landscape designer will craft a plant or flower bed that will match your unique tastes and truly accentuate your home’s features.

  • Custom Plant & Flower Bed Design
  • Plant & Flower Selection
  • Plant & Flower Bed Installation
  • Native Plants & Wildflowers
  • Mulch Installation & Top Dressing
  • Plant & Flower Bed Maintenance
  • Annual Flower Planting
  • Seasonal Cleaning & Re-Edging
  • Insect & Disease Control
  • Seasonal Upkeep

If you are interested in installing a plant or flower bed, we invite you to contact our landscape design professionals at 443-458-­5588 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll perform an initial evaluation of the property and explain where and how a plants or flower bed can help make your landscape design dreams become a reality.

Lawns can become vulnerable to pests and diseases for many reasons, including restricted air movement, poor drainage, a lack or excess of nutrients, and incorrect soil pH. There are also some grass species that are more susceptible, and some weather conditions that are simply more favorable for attack. Prevention is better than cure, and with limited chemical treatments available to the amateur it is best to try to reduce the risk of pest and lawn diseases where possible. Call Team Paradise today! We can help with regular mowing to help keep your grass healthy and strong, while removing the clippings helps to prevent a build-up of fungal spores. Avoid high nitrogen feeds during the fall — this encourages long, lush growth that is more susceptible to snow mold, rust, and other fungal diseases.

1. Slime Mold
Commonly found in late summer and fall, slime molds don’t actually cause harm to the grass, although they are unsightly and unpleasant if sat on. There isn’t a cure for the problem, although regular aeration and scarifying reduce the risk of most fungi on the lawn. They can be removed immediately by spraying with a jet of water.

2. Red Thread
Probably the most common lawn disease, red thread causes patches of red-tinged grass, which turn brown and die back. It is often associated with nitrogen deficiency, so feed the lawn with ammonium sulfate as soon as symptoms are spotted; it is usually worst after wet summers and falls. Regularly aerate and scarify to improve air circulation.

3. Rust
This disease can spread rapidly through a lawn, creating yellow patches. Up close, rusty orange pustules can be seen on the grass blades. No chemical control is available, but regular mowing and the removal of clippings will prevent it from spreading. Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers in the fall. This can cause lank growth, which is more susceptible to disease.

4. Snow Mold (Fusarium patch)
Most commonly seen in the fall or after snow, this fungal disease appears as yellow or brownish patches on the lawn, occasionally with a layer of white or sometimes pink mold that looks similar to cobwebs. Patches can spread rapidly and destroy a lawn. Scarification can help reduce the risk, as can avoiding high nitrogen feeds in the fall.

5. Ant Nests
Ant hills look ugly on a lawn, and if they cannot be tolerated, consider using the nematode Steinernema feltiae as a biological control, which is available from mail order companies. The commercial ant powders and sprays available for controlling ants are usually for use in buildings and not effective outdoors where ant nests can be deep in the soil.

6. Chafer Grubs
These unattractive grubs are the larvae of the chafer beetle and cause problems not only because they feed on grass roots but also because creatures such as badgers and birds often tear the lawn up in order to eat them. Biological control involves watering in nematodes, which are available by mail order, although chemical controls are also available.

7. Fairy Rings
These often appear as irregular dead circles in the lawn or as a ring of toadstools. Effective chemical controls are only available to professionals, so the only possible solution, which is not always feasible, is to dig out the affected area to a depth of 12 inches (30 cm) and replace it with healthy topsoil before seeding or turfing the surface.

8. Leatherjackets
These are the larval stage of crane flies, or daddy longlegs, and cause yellow or brown patches on the lawn surface as they eat through the roots below. To make it worse, birds may tear up the lawn as they attempt to dig down and feed on the larvae. To control, cover the lawn with plastic to draw the larvae to the surface, and then allow the birds to feed on them.

9. Moles
The underground tunneling of moles as they search for worms and grubs leads to the creation of mole hills when the soil is deposited on the surface of the lawn. This makes mowing difficult, creates bare soil for weeds to germinate in, and destabilizes the lawn. Placing mole traps in the tunnels is the only effective method of control.

10. Worm Casts
The casts left by worms on the lawn surface are an unsightly mess. They should be brushed off when dry or otherwise they will be smeared during mowing, and this kills the grass underneath them, leaving bare soil for weeds to germinate in. Don’t overwater a lawn since worms love moist conditions. Use a switch regularly to remove excess moisture.

Source: HGTV

Occasionally a plant will die in the garden. Sometimes the reason is readily apparent, such as an attack by pests or diseases. Or maybe the plant had been set in unsuitable conditions — like a sun-loving plant in shade. Or perhaps the plant wasn’t hardy in that zone.

Yet in most cases, the cause can be traced to a lack of water, and that can be the problem even if you have an automatic irrigation system. Because as good as these systems are, they aren’t perfect. For example, one of the lines might break, and you might not notice the problem until it’s too late. Or, the lines may be in good shape and the emitters work perfectly, but the water coverage is inadequate. Or, a plant may have grown to the point where it’s blocking the spray of water from the emitter. As a result, the surrounding plants are getting plenty of water, but certain plants never do.

The lesson to be learned here is simple: Don’t expect automatic irrigation systems to automatically solve your plants’ irrigation needs. Inspect your system routinely for changes in water pressure due to damaged lines or faulty valves. Examine heads and emitters, which can become clogged by debris. Take the time to actually watch the system at work. Avoid Watering Problems with Irrigation and call us today!

A thriving lawn makes a wonderful foil for flower borders and creates an emerald focal point in winter when color is in short supply. There are different types of turf for different situations but all lawns benefit from regular mowing, and care and attention in the spring and autumn. Paradise Landscape & Hardscape can help take the dirty work out of your routine so you have time to enjoy your life a little more. We can go maintenance lawn care plan with you to help create a yard that you’re neighbors are sure to be eyeing! Call us today to learn more and we can help you with a tailored program that fits your needs!

A healthy tailored lawn program may include:

• Lawn Analysis to help tailor a plan to meet your lawn’s needs
• Proactive services during key stages throughout the year
• Fertilization
• Weed control
• Protection against lawn damaging insects or fungus

TIPS FOR A HEALTHY YARD:

Mowing – All Lawns Benefit from Regular Mowing:
Mow grass whenever it is growing, provided the ground isn’t too wet or icy to walk on. In spring, mow once a week with the blades at their highest setting, and gradually lower them as growth accelerates. Use a box to collect the clippings, which can be composted, or use a “mulching mower” which doesn’t remove the grass but chops it into fine pieces, returning nutrients to the lawn. Rake off thick patches of clippings, which will damage the turf. In summer, a high-quality lawn may need cutting three times a week, but in autumn, as growth slows, once or twice a week should suffice.

Watering – Water in Morning
In dry periods, water newly laid turf, freshly sown areas, and high-quality lawns. Leave established lawns unwatered, but stop mowing because longer grass helps protect the roots. The grass may turn brown, but will recover once it rains. Water a new lawn every week in dry spells, until it is established. You can tell when fine lawns need watering because they lose their spring when walked on. Reduce water evaporation by using sprinklers early in the morning or at night. Move seep hoses by 8 inches every half hour.

Feeding – Divide the lawn into a grid of yard squares using stakes.
The amount of fertilizer you need to maintain lush green grass depends on how rich the underlying soil is, and if you occasionally leave the clippings on the lawn, which help top up the soil nutrients. Apply granular or liquid lawn fertilizer at least once a year. Spring and early summer feeds are high in nitrogen to boost leaf growth; products for use in early autumn are low in nitrogen but high in potassium to aid grass roots in winter. Do not overfeed because it can result in weak growth and fungal problems. Divide the lawn into a grid of yard squares using stakes. Apply fertilizer at the rate according to the package. Rent a calibrated spreader for large lawns, and water if it doesn’t rain within three days after feeding.

Weeding Options – Apply a lawn weedkiller in spring or summer.
Acidic lawns are prone to moss and weed growth. Check soil pH in winter, and raise it by applying ground chalk or limestone at a rate of 2 ounces per 10 square foot. Apply a lawn weedkiller in spring or summer, and repeat in early autumn. Organic gardeners can grub out creeping buttercups, daisies, and tap-rooted weeds, like dandelions, using an old knife.