Irrigation Project Plan: The Key Decisions to Consider to Plan Your Irrigation Project

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What does it take to ensure you have a truly perfect yard, a yard that’s inevitably the envy of the block? It can often start with the perfect irrigation plan. The Parke Company can help you plan, install, test, and maintain an irrigation system that will ensure your plants flourish for years to come. Here are some important aspects to consider as you plan your ideal irrigation project.

Irrigation Project Planning and Design

Before any planning can start, it is critical to measure and draw your property lines, examining the property carefully, and making a map that can be referred to as key decisions are made. During the irrigation system planning and designing process any and all obstacles must be considered –  driveways, walkways, trees, shrubs, decks, etc.

The next crucial step is to identify the different areas of your property (lawn, vegetable garden, flower beds, groves, etc.) and designate watering zones based on the needs of each area. Different watering zones will require different sprinkler heads. An analysis of the watering needs for each area should happen before any key decisions are made. Watering zones should be determined based on the characteristics of the soil, amount of natural light, and the water needs of the plants within that zone. Different plants will, of course, have different watering needs, and shaded areas have different water requirements than those exposed to lots of sun. A well-designed irrigation system will have one type of sprinkler head per watering zone. Each zone will thus use the same type of sprinkler head and have its own valve and appropriate sized pipe to serve those sprinklers. Your irrigation system design should ensure that sprinklers are spaced evenly and spray patterns overlap for complete coverage that makes certain there are no dry patches in your plan.

Key Components For Your Irrigation Project

The key components needed to implement an irrigation system are proper irrigation pipes, sprinkler heads, and valves (preferably with timers). Before you make key decisions around what types of components are needed to implement your irrigation plan, you’ll need to determine the water flow of the entire system. This will inform decisions around what size pipes you will need, how many sprinkler heads you will need, and what type of valves are best suited for your specific needs. Your water source’s GPM (gallons per minute) will also need to be measured in order to design and implement an irrigation plan that best suits your property.

When it comes to irrigation pipes, the pipe length, the number of sprinkler heads the pipe serves, and the water flow (or GPM) for each pipe will determine what size pipe belongs where in your irrigation system. Each watering zone will also require appropriate sized sprinkler heads. Lawn maintenance, for example, will require large sprinklers while flower beds benefit from smaller sprinklers. It is vital that you choose a sprinkler that thoroughly covers the watering zone. Other considerations include whether the area would benefit more from a rotating (rotor) sprinkler head or a fixed spray head. Once you’ve decided what type of sprinkler heads go where, ensure that you have the correct number of sprinkler heads to adequately water the area. Once the layout of water lines and sprinkler heads has been decided, it is important to establish the best placement for the system’s main shut-off valve, which will be connected to the sprinkler valve manifolds. A backflow prevention device valve will also be a vital part of your system in order to prevent unwanted materials from backflowing into your main water supply. Timers are also great assets to include in a quality irrigation system.

Further Considerations to Keep in Mind as You Plan Your Irrigation System

Water conservation should be a primary consideration as you plan your irrigation system. Conserving water is not only vital for the environment, it also prevents excessive water runoff that can cause damage to your lawn. Moreover, water conservation saves you money as it often results in lower utility costs. There are a variety of ways to ensure your system uses optimal water conservation techniques. For starters, you’ll want to set up the system to ensure you are only watering areas that need it while avoiding pavement or other areas that don’t need to be watered. The system should only water at night and in the early morning to prevent evaporation. Timers should be used as efficiently as possible and it is often a good idea to install a rain sensor so the system shuts off during rainfall. You’ll want to choose the smallest sprinkler heads required to cover each watering zone and keep in mind that short bursts of watering are often better than extended periods.

Additional information to consider when making decisions around your irrigation system include potential winterizing strategies, recommendations around what type of underground piping you should use in your area, and even whether or not your area requires permits or has any regulations around irrigation systems.

Let The Parke Company Help Plan the Perfect Irrigation System for You

The Parke Company’s irrigation services include the installation of new systems, re-energizing existing systems, additions and repairs to existing systems, backflow testing, and winterization and spring start up of systems. Our expert irrigators not only ensure excellence in design, installation techniques, and equipment used, but they are also specialists in water and resource conservation. Using pressure-regulated sprays and proper scheduling can make a substantial environmental impact. We’ll make sure you get the best advice when planning your irrigation project to ensure you create the perfect system to fit your needs. Whether you are looking for a new installation or seasonal tune-up, see why an irrigation system is a vital part of your landscaping investment.

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. Our certified team of Nashville arborists and irrigation professionals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, and professional and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way. To inquire further about The Parke Company’s top-notch lawn services, please feel free to give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Better Planning for Longer Term Value in Your Next Chipping or Mulching Project

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When it comes to quality chipping or mulching projects, planning to ensure long-term value is key. Natural mulch – that dense mat of slowly decaying leaves, branches, seeds, and needles that has existed among our Tennessee forests for 460 million years and counting – is a key component of the natural nutrient recycling process. As long as smart planning is involved, the benefits, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness provided by mulching and chipping projects can greatly enhance any landscaping project.

The specific cosmetic quality of a well-manicured landscape that we’ve grown accustomed to causes us to continuously mow our lawns and get rid of the clippings; rake leaves, bag them, and discard them; pick up fallen sticks and branches and move them off-site; and even grind and remove stumps of trees. All of these processes help to maintain an immaculate landscape, but they also break the natural nutrient recycling process. Though fertilizer is often used as a replacement, mulch made from plant materials can provide a more natural replacement for the removed nutrients. Furthermore, mulch has a wide variety of additional important benefits that could positively impact the beauty and vitality of your lawn, beds, gardens, and property.

Mulch can often be more aesthetically appealing than raw soil, or even grass. It can be used to shape your beds, add emphasis to your trees, create an appealing color contrast between lawn and garden, outline and soften your paths and walkways, and more. In addition to beautifying any landscape and improving soil conditions, mulching has the added benefit of saving you money. As mulch decays and breaks down over time, it adds much needed nutrients back into the soil, thus reducing or eliminating the need for (and therefore the cost of) additional fertilizer.

Plan on Chipping or Creating Mulch Onsite to Gain Ultimate Value for Your Mulching Project

When planning for long-term value, ensure that you create mulch onsite whenever possible. Wood chippers can turn unwanted trees, saplings, and shrubs into wood chip mulch. This practice eliminates the costs associated with the removal of this wood and the purchasing of mulch. Planning ahead and turning your old trees, leaves, and debris into life-giving fertilizer is a fantastic way to take advantage of amazing resources that already exist on your property. This natural mulch is an ideal sustainable and affordable alternative to bringing in synthetic fertilizers. Your landscaping will thank you for the nourishing nutrients and moisture-retaining layers natural mulch provides.

Here at The Parke Company, we boast experience and expertise in the mulching of brush, stumps, landscape debris, and fallen trees with our superior chipping and grinding services. We can help you achieve your specific landscaping vision while using all of the resources at hand, transforming unwanted trees and debris into something beautiful and beneficial.

Plan on Mulching Over Areas Susceptible to Weeds

Mulch reduces weeds by placing a lightproof barrier between the sun and the top of the soil. Without sunlight, the weed seeds that have found their way into your mulch will be much less likely to germinate or to take root if they do germinate. With proper planning, you can use mulch as a decorative nutrient provider, as well as a weed control by placing it in areas susceptible to unwanted weeds. Using mulch to prevent weeds minimizes weeding costs.

Reduce Maintenance While Conserving Moisture

Mulch maintains soil temperature and improves moisture retention, thus reducing watering requirements. Mulch is an excellent way to reduce maintenance while conserving moisture. The barrier mulch creates improves the soil’s capacity to absorb rainwater, particularly during periods of torrential downpours. Soil left exposed to the sun typically dries and hardens, forming a thick and solid top layer that is less permeable. Mulch reduces this hardening effect. Furthermore, the mulch itself is absorbent and can deflect and retain strong rains, delaying the time that it takes to hit the soil, thus increasing absorption. Planning your mulching project with this benefit in mind is a great way to lower your water and energy bill.

Plan Your Mulching Projects Seasonally

Mulch acts like a blanket over your soil that helps to regulate soil temperature and provides your plant and tree roots with a more consistent environment. With proper planning and preparedness, you can take advantage of the benefits of mulch throughout the seasons. During the winter months, mulch helps the soil retain heat. Plan ahead and mulch during the winter in order to insulate your soil and prevent damage from dry winter winds. If you’ve planned ahead and stored leaves from your fall leaf pick up, now is the time to break them out and use them as winter mulch. Ultimately, you can use a variety of loose insulating material as winter mulch – from pine needles, to straw, to shredded bark – while keeping in mind that you will need to remove it in the spring. In warmer seasons, mulch detracts from direct exposure to the sun and keeps the soil cooler. Spring mulching is done to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and warm the soil.

Let The Parke Company Help Plan You Next Chipping or Mulching Project

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. Our certified team of Nashville arborists and landscaping professionals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, and professional, and for being leaders in their industries.

The Parke Company prides itself on its ability to incorporate mulch into your landscape. We offer numerous traditional types of mulch as well as creative alternatives like pine needle mulch. We plan ahead to ensure mulching can provide a tidy, well-manicured look while simultaneously controlling weeds, reducing soil erosion, and enriching your soil. We stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way.

To inquire further about The Parke Company’s top-notch lawn services please feel free to 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 Guide: Produce Striking Landscape Combinations with Professional Help

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Whether your home’s landscape is just getting started or it has been an integral part of your estate for generations, improvements can always be made. Your home and property is an extension of yourself and an outward expression of who you are and what you value. The very fact that you are thinking of making changes says that there is something about your landscape that is nagging at you or some way that you envision it being different.

In both cases, if you are developing a landscape that complements your home for the first time or just tweaking an existing landscape, it is incredibly important that you turn to someone who will take the time to consider your specific goals and the particulars of your location and geography before making recommendations. At The Parke Company, we pride ourselves on our approach to landscape development and maintenance. Our years of experience coupled with our long list of landscaping services enables us to provide you with the individualized professional help you and your landscape deserve.

First Steps in Landscape Development – Planning and Removal

When developing a new landscape or altering an existing one, the first step must be planning. The Parke Company has the experience to turn your landscaping dreams into a reality no matter what geological impediments stand in the way. We will work with you and with your landscape budget to develop a plan that complements your unique desires and situation.

While planning, it is important to know that one of the most crucial changes to your landscape may be the removal of existing landscape elements. To prepare your lawn or backyard for additions or alterations (or simply to open up space, allow for more light, or to maximize natural rainwater distribution) it is quite common to extract certain aspects before adding anything new.

Nashville’s Unique Landscape Options

The upside, or perhaps the downside, of landscape planning in Nashville is the vast array of options and possibilities. Depending on your budget and the unique characteristics of your property, almost anything you set your mind to can be achieved. On the one hand, homeowners should see this as an exciting perk to living in such a diverse and beautiful area. On the other hand, this may have a crippling impact on your ability to make decisions and prioritize changes to your landscape. All the more reason why you should look to a professional that knows the area and can help you make informed decisions that are right for you and your landscape, now and in the future.

Landscape Configurations and Combinations

A painting is much more than a bunch of individual brush strokes. A program code is much more than a list of 0s and 1s. Similarly, your landscape is much more than the features and plants that it contains. How each element of your landscape interacts with the others is incredibly important in developing the overall aesthetic and feeling you desire. Even with the best of intentions and a well developed, specific list of landscaping desires, if the configurations or combinations are wrong, the whole thing can fall flat. What looks beautiful or functionally efficient in your mind may not be so in reality. Even worse, if you have not thought long and hard about how the various aspects of your landscape will interact, the final product may lead to disastrous outcomes.

For example, there are certain landscaping elements whose placement must be considered first. Fire pits, swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are a few examples of such elements. For fire pits, or any type of outside heating source (such as grills, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, etc.), it is extremely important to take into consideration the surrounding landscape. Overhanging trees are of course a no-no as heat, sparks, or flames could ignite them leading to considerable, if not devastating, damage to your property and home. Less thought of are the types of plants growing near a heating source, but they are also important. Grasses, bushes, or shrubs that wither and die or shed leaves during colder months should not be placed near heating sources as the dead plant matter can easily ignite and quickly spread to an uncontainable fire.

Large sources of water must also be considered. Pools or fountains with cement walls can attract unwanted wandering roots that can crack or damage their foundations. Any water source that is not contained or leaks slightly can provide an overabundance of moisture for plants that prefer drier soils. Additionally, if placed in close proximity to a water source, plants that shed their leaves during the offseason can be a nuisance and, due to the increased need for leaf removal, can make pool, fountain, or pond maintenance increasingly difficult and expensive.

Just as there are configurations and combinations to avoid, there are also those that should be embraced. While some pairings are aesthetic, others focus on what is best for the plant species. Dark stone situated near green grass or brightly colored flowers can create a much desired visual contrast. Similarly, the look of manicured elements (such as topiaries) within a more wild or natural backdrop can create a yin and yang atmosphere. In such cases, it is also important to take into consideration the long-term costs associated with pruning. Placing edible plants near other flowers can help with cross-pollination leading to a greater likelihood of fruits and a decreased need for maintenance. However, in this specific case, it is also important to not place either of them too close to patios or outdoor sitting areas, especially if you are allergic to bee or wasp stings, as the location of their flowers will increase the presence of these insects. In some cases, combinations can have both aesthetic and mutually beneficial results. For example, integration of various mulch types or rain gardens can be beautiful, but can also have the added benefit of increasing soil nutrients and moisture levels and retention.

Why The Parke Company is Nashville’s Go-To for Landscaping Combination Services

From moisture levels to shading to slope, every single landscape is different. What looks beautiful on your neighbor’s lawn or at your friend’s winter residence in Florida may not work in your backyard. Nashville’s unique climate offers many challenges, but also many rewards. When it comes to selecting the landscape configurations and combinations that are specifically right for you, it is important to turn to professionals who know the area well, can help you avoid common landscaping mistakes, and can provide you with open and honest feedback, guidance, and support.

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. Our certified team of Nashville local arborists and landscapers has a reputation for being clean, consistent, and professional and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way. Please feel free to give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Landscape Renovation in Nashville

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Landscape renovation is just one of the services that Nashville’s premier landscaping service, the Parke Company, provides to its many clients. Renovating your landscape is a great way to improve the appearance of your home and add significant value to it as well.

Your landscape renovation can be extensive, as found on old estate properties or a backyard that has seen better days. In this instance, size doesn’t matter, the Parke Company can help rejuvenate a landscape large or small. A renovation eliminates the need for an all-new installation. We can do an entire lawn or focus on a specific area like flower beds. Sometimes, adding a single hardscape feature can change the entire character of a lawn.

If your landscape is outdated, in bad shape, or if you just want a fresh look, you should consider a renovation as the solution. Whatever the renovation task, the professional arborists and ground crews of the Parke Company are ready to take it on.

Why a Landscape Renovation Makes Sense

The short answer is a renovation can cost significantly less than a complete overhaul and new installation. It’s less expensive because we can use what you already have and just enhance it. You get the fresh look at a reduced price without sacrificing any of the planning or services that you would expect from a new installation. We will work with you to create the exact landscape you have in mind.

If you are considering selling your home, an attractive, eye-catching landscape instantly improves curb appeal. A well-maintained landscape “announces” that the home will be of equal quality and gives the potential homebuyer a positive mindset before they even set foot in the house. A landscape renovation can result in a higher sale price and less time on the market.

What Areas of Your Landscape Would Benefit from a Renovation?

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. You know your lawn could use some updating, but you don’t know what exactly that “updating” should be. Here’s a quick list that our pros will take a look at with an eye towards renovation or addition:

  •        Repair/replace worn or bald patches of grass/sod
  •        Upgrade or add a firepit
  •        Tree removal of badly damaged or diseased trees
  •        Upgrade flower beds
  •        Upgrade/replace shrubbery
  •        Repair hardscape features like fountains, retaining walls, etc.
  •        Install/repair paver walkways
  •        Repair/replace outdoor landscape lighting
  •        Relocate/transplant existing shrubs and trees 

An investment in a landscape renovation isn’t just “fixing up the yard,” it’s an investment in your home. The exterior of your property is just as important to its value as the condition of your roof, exterior paint, or kitchen and bath upgrades.

While the Parke Company is principally recognized for its tree trimming, tree removal, and other tree services, we have the qualified designers, ground crews, and equipment to tackle your landscape needs, large or small. If it’s time to freshen up the look of your lawn, give us a call. We will be happy to sit down with you and plan out a renovation that will make your dream landscape a reality.

Benefits to Buying Larger Maintenance Packages

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parke-company-emergency-services-tree-landscape-irrigation-maintenance-blog-Benefits-to-Buying-Larger-Maintenance-Packages-tree-workMany of our customers ask us how they can get more bang for their buck when they schedule tree care or landscape services. And we understand the importance of a good deal! Our arborists and landscape crew work hard to ensure that we stay within our customers’ budgets all the while making sure landscapes look phenomenal and their trees are well-taken care of. With that said, one of our biggest recommendations for customers who are looking to score deals is to consider becoming one of Parke’s maintenance customers. This ensures you’ll save more money in the long run with a larger package of services that is consistently maintained. Though it might be somewhat of an investment on the front end, it will surely reward you long-term.

Here are a few great reasons why you should consider a Parke maintenance package:

Fewer visits
Though you might enjoy having us stop by to care for your landscape, we understand that you’re a busy person. Signing up for the maintenance package requires fewer visits because we will be able to work within your schedule and complete projects efficiently. Obviously, things come up and some issues may require more frequent services, but becoming a Parke maintenance customer allows us to evaluate and plan as best as possible to make sure we’re serving you in the best ways.

Easy payment
Like we’ve already said, larger packages actually save you money in the long run, but we understand that many may not have the payment all ready up-front (especially with Metro kids going back to school soon)! We offer auto payment plans and credit card payments online, making it much easier to fit in your monthly budget. The Parke Company also offers discounts on the overall cost if it can be paid upfront.

No overlap
One of the biggest benefits to purchasing comprehensive tree care or landscape packages is avoiding overlap. This happens when choosing to complete smaller projects over a longer period of time. You end up receiving tree care or landscape services that you don’t necessarily need at the time. And while it might seem appealing to try to save some money, it can end up being a waste.

Our team of arborists and landscape crew know that customer satisfaction is key. Have questions? We are always available to answer any questions you might have about your trees, branches, landscape and even upcoming fall decorations. We want to fit in your schedule and your budget while doing our jobs effectively and efficiently. It’s the best way to make sure you’re happy, and ensure that your trees and landscape prosper.

We might be getting closer to the fall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get started with any landscape or tree care services. Already one of our clients? Call an arborist today to see how you might be able to consolidate your services and become one of the many Parke maintenance customers. We’ve got all your tree care or landscape services you’ll need to show off your yard in the coming year. From irrigation systems to emergency tree services, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for more information.