Landscaping and Gardening: Is Your Lawn Right for a Home Garden?

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A beautiful garden can be one of the most notable and enjoyable features of your property. Aside from gardening being a fun and rewarding discipline, it can also add invaluable curb appeal to your home. But even if you feel ready to begin the process of starting a garden on your property, there are a few things you need to consider in order to save yourself from a frustrating (and pricey) failure. 

Here are some things you should consider to determine whether or not your lawn is right for a home garden.

Tree Placement 

If you haven’t conducted a tree inventory yet, you’ll want to do so before you think of putting in a garden. Conducting a survey like a tree inventory will give you an informed perspective on the status and location of other plant life on your property. 

In most cases, if you haven’t lived on your property for very long, chances are good that you didn’t plant your trees and that their level of health may be beyond your knowledge. If you have a large, sprawling property, it’s even possible that you don’t know about all the trees on your land. 

It is vital to have a keen awareness of all of the plant life that is already part of your landscape so that you know how that could interact with or interfere with a garden. 

In most cases, a tree or two won’t hinder the growth of a new garden, but it’s important to consider whether or not plants already on your property may attract pests that could harm a dainty crop like what is often planted in a home garden. 

Shade Coverage

In accordance with an awareness of trees on your property, be aware of the amount of shade they provide to certain areas of your landscape. If a set of trees offers too much shade in the area you wish to plant a garden, you may want to consider tree trimming or tree removal. Too much sun could blister vegetation that isn’t hardy, but too much shade could also stunt their growth. 

If there is a particular area you’ve dreamed of placing your garden, be sure that it isn’t overshadowed by other trees or structures. 

Drainage

As anyone with even the smallest amount of garden knowledge can tell you, watering plants is important. 

When you care for your lawn, you ensure to water it properly and to make sure that it doesn’t get flooded. The same is true for a home garden. Check with your landscape professional to see if the plants you’re seeking for your home garden require a similar level of water to that of your lawn. 

If you have an irrigation system that automatically waters your lawn, you could capitalize on this and use that same system to tend to a garden. However, if the lawn’s need for water and the garden’s need for water are not compatible, you will need to adjust accordingly. 

Garden Vision

Finally, it’s important to know what exactly you want in your garden. Growing a bed of flowers is drastically different from growing tomato plants or corn. There is a strong chance that a vegetable garden, especially one with a wide variety of produce, is going to require much more attention to detail than a lawn. In this case, you will want to seriously reconsider your irrigation options. It may not be practical to cluster together a number of different plants with vastly different needs. In this case, consider whether or not using planters or pots outdoors could help you achieve a similarly beautiful (or maybe even more beautiful!) look for your garden. 

Regardless of the route you take, it is vital that you speak with a professional to properly assess the unique needs of your property. Go to the knowledgeable arborists and landscape designers at The Parke Company to ensure that your property is in the best hands. 

Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Can You Plan Landscaping to Avoid Tree Damage to Your Home?

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Sprawling green lawns and trees that reach up toward the sky can be magnificent features of your home’s landscape design. However, with Nashville’s unpredictable weather, there is a chance you might experience a powerful storm from time to time. 

It’s important that your landscape design protects against major damage that can be done in the event that a tree falls during inclement weather. 

Here is what you need to know about protecting your house against tree damage through a carefully planned landscape. 

Strategic Planning

It goes without saying that where you plant your trees is important. If you have the option, never place trees so close to your home that a storm could send them through your house. 

In some situations, you may not have the capability of controlling where trees are planted. In this case, you would benefit tremendously from calling a certified professional to evaluate your trees. They will be particularly qualified to determine whether or not the locations of your trees are a potential issue.

Aside from location of trees, it is also important to consider what breed of tree is on your property. 

There are many types of trees like willows and sycamores that do not fare well in the wind. If you live in an area where high winds are an issue, avoid trees such as these in favor of a hardier breed like oaks or maples. 

Conduct a Tree Inventory

A tree inventory might not seem necessary on a private property, but it could mean the difference between a fallen tree on your house and a safe, healthy landscape. 

Tree inventories are careful evaluations of your landscape that pay close attention to the locations of your tree. Perhaps two trees have begun growing too close to one another and risk causing damage to your home if you don’t conduct proper tree trimming or tree removal.

Tree inventories are also a great way to check up on the health of your trees. Far too often, we don’t consider whether or not our trees are healthy until branches are decaying or fruit stops growing. 

At that point, it may be too late and you could be running a high risk of your house suffering damage in the event of an unexpected storm. 

By conducting a tree inventory, you can strategize about how to handle trees that may be sickly either through improving their health or hiring a certified arborist to remove them from your property. 

Care for Roots

What many people might not consider is that the roots can be the determining factor for whether a tree stays in the ground or not during a storm. While branches may be ripped off a tree singularly during a storm, the real damage occurs when trees are uprooted and strike a home. 

Be sure to plan your tree planting to ensure that your trees’ roots will have the proper room to grow and that root-health is a top priority of your landscape maintenance practices. 

Ultimately, trees are a massive feature of your home and they deserve massive care. This isn’t a job for guess work and mediocrity. The best way to keep your home and family safe is through contacting the experienced professionals at The Parke Company to see how they can care for your landscape’s specific needs. 
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Home Irrigation and Water Conservation– Can You Do Both?

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If you’ve got a green thumb, there’s no doubt that you care a lot about your property. It stands to reason that, as someone who values your land, you’re likely committed to caring for the environment as a whole. 

As more of the world focuses on green alternatives to everyday practices, lawn services and landscape maintenance practitioners are no exception. While many of us are taking shorter showers and riding bikes to work, property owners are also taking measures to ensure that the way they tend to their landscape is also eco-friendly. With as much water as it takes to maintain a landscape, water conservation may be the perfect place to start. 

It may seem like you have to choose: either you have a lush lawn and use excess water, or you can conserve water, but have a dull and lifeless lawn. 

While this may seem like a catch-22, you have other options! Here is what you need to know about conserving water while using a home irrigation system. 

Irrigation System Maintenance 

Making greener choices doesn’t always mean completely eliminating your daily activities that take a toll on the environment. When everyone does a little, it goes a long way to improving the state of the planet. 

One way to conserve water while still incorporating an irrigation system into your landscape maintenance is by making sure that your irrigation system is fully functioning. 

Aside from the fact that leaky sprinklers can jack up your water bill, malfunctioning irrigation systems can also waste precious water and lead to greater environmental impact. 

Regular maintenance of your irrigation system can keep you from wasting water. Check out this article for signs that your irrigation system needs to be repaired. 

Energy-Efficient Irrigation Systems

Another way to solve your lawn problems without harming the environment is to switch to a more efficient type of irrigation system. 

Using a system with time-controlled functions that can be easily adjusted as you experience rainfall can be helpful for conserving water. You can also set your system to water early in the morning, so that evaporation is reduced. 

The most efficient irrigation systems will also incorporate a rain sensor. Rain sensors are devices that can track how much rainfall an area of your property has received and can actually shut down any scheduled watering to prevent overwatering of the landscape. This way, you don’t waste water or damage your lawn. 

Holistically, you’ll also want to consider what kind of irrigation system is most appropriate for the area of land you’re watering. In-ground sprinklers are convenient, but they may be excessive for a small garden space and use more water than needed. Efficient irrigation begins with installation. 

Natural Irrigation 

The most eco-friendly irrigation system may not require excess water at all! 

Rainfall is obviously the most natural way for your landscape to maintain itself, but natural water may be of more use than you think. 

Rather than just letting water run off after a storm and losing valuable rainwater, consider containing extra rainwater and using it during dry spells. 

There are some sophisticated systems that can help you to maximize each rainfall. These systems will collect rainwater so you can lower your water bill and keep your lawn looking great without taxing the environment. 

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to harvest rainwater, it can be as simple as setting out some large empty barrels (especially near drainage pipes and gutter downspouts) and using the water in between rainfall. 

For property owners who want to care for the environment as much as they care for their own properties, expertise is key. The team at The Park Company has the exact skills necessary to tend to your property with eco-friendly practices that don’t sacrifice the beauty of your landscape design. 
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

How to Protect the Beauty of Your Home Landscaping in Tennessee’s Unpredictable Climate

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If you’re not too careful, you may make the mistake of assuming that Tennessee’s climate can be lumped in with other nearby states. By slapping the label “southern” on an area, you may assume that Tennessee’s yearly climate consists of dreadful summers, nonexistent  winters, and year-round warmth. 

While Tennessee could certainly be considered a southern state, its greatest diversity may not be how much it differs from surrounding states, but by how diverse the climates are within the state itself. 

Tennessee has a generally temperate climate, fostering somewhat pleasant weather year round, but its varied topography leads to a variety of climatic conditions that can be observed in the state.  

Given its wide range of topography, Tennessee is divided into six topographical regions: the Unaka Mountains, the Great Valley of East Tennessee, the Cumberland Plateau, the Highland Rim, the Central Basin, and the Gulf Coastal Plain.

The differences between mountains, plains, and valleys are vast and can make for some terribly unpredictable weather, regardless of where you’re located. 

Keeping the variety of Tennessee’s topographical features in mind, there is no one-size-fits-all method for caring for your landscape design. Here are some techniques to incorporate to your landscape maintenance throughout the year to combat a finicky climate. 

Irrigation Systems

As much as we may like to, none of us can control rainfall. It’s obviously incredibly important that your home landscaping receives the appropriate amount of water year round, regardless of the rainfall that occurs naturally. 

A simple solution to this is to install an irrigation system. By doing this, you can easily water your landscape and adjust quickly to changes in the weather. Rather than digging out your sprinkler from the back shed after you thought you were finished for the season, an irrigation system ensures that all areas of your property get the water they need to flourish all year long. 

This also includes factoring in drainage systems. The appropriate drainage system will help you deal with any unexpected rainfall or flooding, and it could be the saving grace to ensure that your landscape doesn’t drown in unpredictable weather. 

Plant with a Purpose

Proper lawn care and landscape maintenance begins before trimming and watering processes. The best landscapes are carefully designed with variable climates in mind. 

While your options for what to plant are somewhat regionally determined, there are a number of flowers and trees known to withstand a variety of climates. If you’re looking for a low maintenance addition to your landscape, one of these plants may be a wise idea if you’re looking for something that can withstand unexpected frost. 

According to Cassy Aoyagi, president of Form LA Landscaping, planting species that are native to your region is also a great way to proactively combat tenuous weather. Plants that have grown in your area for a while have had time to adapt to any common changes in the climate and the soil. These plants will be more resistant to disease and will self-adjust to many of the changes in climate.  

Proactive Maintenance

You’d be surprised at just how essential a routine cleanup job is to your property. An unpredictable climate can mean unusual growth and death that clutters your landscape. 

When trees suddenly shed leaves and branches, being unprepared for this change can pose a threat to the health of your property. Perhaps your trees drop a large number of leaves in the summer season before your planned leaf removal. Being out of season is no excuse for leaving this issue unresolved. 

If lots of leaves and branches stay on the ground, you risk leaves rotting and stifling the growth of grass and tree roots. Protecting the beauty of your landscape in unpredictable climates means being proactive and observant, quickly tending to issues when they arise and not waiting until the next season to tackle the problem. 

Swings in weather can also lead to growth of mold and fungus. If left untouched, these invaders can infect your property with disease and lead to the death of trees, shrubs, and other vital elements of your landscape. 

To avoid resorting to tree removal, be sure to incorporate proper tree maintenance and inspect your plants closely when there are unexpected shifts in the weather. 

Get an Evaluation 

Ultimately, there will be changes in the climate that you can’t prepare for. As the environment suffers more and more unusual swings in climate behavior, there is a chance that your property will endure unprecedented shifts in weather that take a toll on your landscape. 

The best way to protect the beauty of your landscape is by hiring a professional to evaluate your property’s needs and treat it accordingly. 

A certified arborist or lawn care specialist has the skills and know-how to critically assess your landscape’s unique needs. The Parke Company is staffed by specialists who are ready to help ensure that your property stays beautiful, regardless of nasty weather. 
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

5 Ways You Can Improve the Health and Life of Your Trees (Without Tree Removal)

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A well-maintained tree (or a number of trees) is an integral feature of every great landscape design. Trees can create natural barriers on your property, provide shade, and tremendously benefit the overall aesthetics of your property.

For a number or reasons, proper tree care is a must. Not only are sickly trees unsightly, but they can also pose a genuine threat to the safety of your property.

In the worst-case scenario, an unhealthy tree could fall in a storm. A good way to prevent that would be to cut down a tree in poor health. An even savvier way to deal with this issue is to ensure that your trees never get to that level of unhealth.

To circumvent the costs of dying trees, here are five ways you can improve their health and life without removing them.

1. Plant Strategically

If you haven’t yet, the best time to conduct a tree inventory is now.

By conducting a tree inventory, not only will you have an assessment of the health of your existing trees and be more informed as to what steps need to be taken, you will also have a detailed report as to the location of your current trees.

Preventing issues with tree health starts with planting trees strategically. When you plant trees with intention, you can ensure that competing species are not planted too close to one another, that they won’t grow into power lines, and that their placement won’t conflict with anything else in your current landscape design.

2. Start with Great Soil

Vital to planting trees strategically is starting with great soil. Just like any plant, trees need quality soul to grow well.

There are a number of different factors that make soil quality important. Not only does soil serve as a reservoir for vital nutrients and water, but it also contains the microorganisms that encourage beneficial decomposition, acting as an anchor for plant roots.

Maintaining healthy trees (as well as planting new ones) begins with assessing for quality soil to ensure that your trees have a hospitable environment in which they can grow.

If you’re not comfortable testing the soil yourself, seek out a landscape maintenance professional to do the complex work for you. These professionals will evaluate the soil for qualities like texture, drainage, chemical properties, and more.   

3. Tree Trimming

As previously mentioned, trees are plants and, as such, require similar care.

Just as you would prune dead leaves from a basil plant, or cut back dead parts of a grape vine, it’s important to incorporate regular tree trimming into your tree care.

By trimming trees regularly, you can identify diseased branches and trim them before any more sickness spreads. You can also ensure that trees don’t get overgrown if they are near any other feature of your landscape that may compromise the tree’s health.

Tree trimming has a vast array of benefits from maintaining the health of trees and increasing sun exposure, to protecting against branch weakness and improving the life of fruits and flowers.

4. Pest Maintenance

The neighborhood squirrels and raccoons may be cute, but they might not be the best for maintaining the health of your trees. In some cases, an animal that choose to make a home in or near your trees could be what compromises the health and safety of the trees on your property.

Especially with young trees that are growing, and sickly trees you’re treating, a physical barrier or other repellant can keep pests from munching at your tree’s bark or building a home where they may not belong.

5. Ask the Experts

When it comes down to it, it isn’t enough to simply ensure that you maintain the health of your trees; it must be done well for them to flourish to their potential.

If you’re not confident that you can perform all of the necessary tasks to support the growth of your trees, you’ve got a few options: you could spend hours researching how to best serve the trees on your property, or you could call a certified arborist to do the tough work for you.

By trusting the landscape professionals at The Parke Company, you call rest easily knowing that your trees will be evaluated and cared for by experts who will tailor their work to the unique needs of your property.
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you