Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hardscaping, Softscaping, and Landscaping, Oh My!

Softscaping and Hardscaping are common terms used by us to describe your landscape design project. Sometimes clients ask us to explain the difference, and often we need to remind clients that it is the combination of the two that gives you a beautiful, balanced final project.

Hardscape refers to the heavier elements, such as stones, rocks, patios, and driveways. Softscape refers to everything else, such as soil, plants, flowers and color schemes.

Think of Hardscaping as the structure of your landscaping design. Without features like retaining walls, pavers, pool, fire pit, rocks and other hardscaping the yard will feel disorganized in the same way that a lack of softscaping will make your yard feel hard, empty and void of color. Softscape elements soften the edges and change with the season; they invite you to move through your hardscape.

Hardscape plays a vital role in your landscape architecture; it levels the soil, limits erosion, and defines various spaces for all your outdoor activities.
Here are the most popular hardscape features:
Swimming pools
Stone benches
Heavy materials like stone, flagstone, and rock

Softscape refers to the softer side and color of your backyard landscaping. This is what makes softscaping so much fun, as it’s always changing to fit the season and vision of the homeowner.
Examples of softscape features include:
Vegetable gardens

No landscape is complete without elements from both categories. Retaining walls are ideal for incorporating raised plant beds, planters can be placed on steps, or along the top of low walls. This blending will achieve a cohesive feel to your space. It can also soften the hard lines of paved or built-up areas to give them a more natural and inviting appearance.

Our goal is a yard that looks lovely and is practical and comfortable for your family to enjoy. So now that you know about the two most important features of landscaping, let RRR Lawn & Landscape help you create the yard of your dreams. Contact us today, 616-893-5765 to learn more about our Landscaping Services!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Preparing Your Landscape for Garden Mulch


You can add 7 percent to 14 percent to your home’s value with a well-designed landscape. Adding mulch is an inexpensive, yet efficient way to spruce up your flower beds and walkways. But before you put down mulch in your yard, there are some tasks that need to be completed.

9 steps to prepare your landscape and flower beds for mulch.

1. Kill weeds in your landscape
Before adding mulch and embarking on your garden landscaping ideas, it's important to eliminate all unwanted plants and weed growth. Pulling up and removing unwanted plants is a simple and efficient natural weed killer. Another method for how to kill weeds is to spray them with an herbicide one to two weeks prior to mulching. This will allow the weeds to completely die.

2. Trim trees and bushes in your yard
It is best to trim nearby trees and bushes before mulching, and clean beneath them, because of the debris they create.

3. Clean out your garden beds
Use a rake to remove dead leaves, weeds, and trimmings.

4. Cultivate your landscaping beds
After your beds have been cleaned, cultivate any compacted soil or mulch. A rototiller or hand cultivator will do the job. Cultivating allows moisture and air to pass through the soil more easily.

5. Edge landscape beds before adding garden mulch
Creating a clean edge really enhances your landscape and gives it a professional look. An edging shovel or power edger can be used to create your edge.

6. Before you mulch your landscape, rake the area smooth
Using a stiff rake, such as a mud rake, smooth out all the surfaces to be mulched. Otherwise, your mulched flower beds or may look lumpy. This also allows the mulch an even depth, 2" is generally advised for moisture retention.

7. Apply a pre-emergent to prevent weeds
Apply a pre-emergent, such as Preen, to prevent germination of weed seeds.

8. It’s time to mulch your landscape and flower beds
Using your hands or a rake, apply new mulch over the existing cultivated mulch or soil. RRR Lawn & Landscape suggests a layer of mulch 2 inches (but no more than 3) thick.  Moisturize mulch and help it settle into place with water when you are finished.

9. Mulch maintenance
Once a month or so, check your mulch for compaction. If compacted, use a garden claw, rake or cultivator to loosen it. This will allow water and air to pass, which helps prevent the growth of fungus and restores its appearance.

If this all sounds like a bigger DIY project than you wish, give us a call today and schedule a Free Consultation, 616-893-5765 or complete our Contact Form.