Tips For How To Save On Your Landscaping Project

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Finding out how to save on landscaping is important for any homeowner, because landscaping costs are often high, especially for those who care about the curb appeal of their homes.

in New Braunfels, Lawn care and landscaping is important, not only because it looks good, but also because it adds to the value of your home and keeps your property safe and appealing. If you want to update and maintain the gardens, lawns, and other outdoor spaces at your house, consider these ways to cut down on costs but not on quality.

First, do as much of the work as you can on your own. Even if you do not have a lot of experience with trees, plants, lawncare, and design, you can play a big part in your own landscaping.

Dedicate weekends or a couple of hours every week to taking care of your yard and lawn. This could be something as simple as mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, trimming unsightly branches from trees, and watering your grass.

You can leave the complicated projects to an expert, but do not waste money paying someone to do the things that you can do yourself. Not only will you save yourself money, you will also become personally invested in the way your lawn looks.

Another idea is to recruit help. If you have a lot of trees and shrubs to plant, a retaining wall to build, or a path of pavers to lay, get a bunch of your friends, neighbors, and family members together.

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If you make it a social activity, people will be more than willing to help out. Give everyone a specific job and a garden tool, and let them get to work. Make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks available to keep them energized and show them how much you appreciate them spending time with you to landscape.

Work with what you have. Instead of completely overhauling your outdoor space and hiring an expensive landscape designer, figure out what you can do with the natural state of your yard and space.

Preserve the trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers that you already have on your property, and if they are failing, bring them back to health. Educate yourself about how to care for your lawn.

Take note of where the sun is strongest, and which areas of the yard tend to flood during heavy rains. Remember that you do not have to do everything at once. Break your landscaping plans into small, affordable goals and accomplish them one at a time.

Finally, know when to call in the experts. Do what you can on your own, but if there is a serious problem or a problem you do not understand, hire a landscaper. This will keep you from making a mistake that might be more costly than the professional’s fee.

Take your landscaping goals bit by bit, and let your friends and family help. Knowing how to save on landscaping ideas and projects will keep your yard looking good and your budget balanced.

Planting Grass Seed With Salty Water

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If you are watering your grass lawn with poor-quality water, this is a water which contains high quantities of soluble salt, you can be decreasing the potential growth and appeal of your grass. Water with high concentrations of salt boost osmotic pressure with the soil water and generates conditions that prevent the roots from soaking up water appropriately. Even though your lawn seems to have plenty of moisture, your grass may look drought distressed and may even commence to wilt since the roots really don’t absorb ample water to restore water lost from transpiration. If you’re planting grass seed or laying sod for a new lawn, you obviously need to pick out a grass that’s tolerant to salts plus apply a fantastic water quality management program. One or even more of the following methods below can be employed as part of your water quality management program and will be required to avoid problems which can produce aesthetically displeasing grass.

1. Provide ample drainage. If water movement is bound to move readily throughout the root zone, salt levels can build up in the growing zone within your grass and bring about salt toxicity.

2. Leach salts through soil. You should calculate your water leaching requirement, which can be extracted from the results of a water test, and tolerance levels for your specific grass. Leaching your soil is recommended in order to avoid build-up of salts to levels which can restrict the growth of your grass.

3. Maintain higher available water in soil. Do not let your soil become more than moderately dried out between waters. Keep an eye on salt levels with soil tests every one to two years. Development of salt issues inside your soil normally takes time and should your soil is consistently monitored, you can handle salt challenges before they get out of hand. Soil samples have to be taken from the top 1-2 feet of soil.

4. Put soluble calcium such as gypsum (calcium sulfate) to decrease the salt concentration in your soil. The results of gypsum won’t be seen over-night, when continuously used over time, the grade of your soil will increase. Dependent on your particular water quality condition, one, two, three, or possibly all practices have to be followed to effectively manage your water but grass seed or grass sod selection will be best protection. If your grass already features a natural tolerance for salty water and soil, your lawn will look more lush and green and be much simpler to handle. There are lots of salt tolerant grass seed types to pick from but a few examples are; bermuda grass, seashore paspalum, st. augustine grass, and salt grass.

Most Popular Commercial Lawn Mower Brands

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If you have been shopping for a commercial lawn mower, new or used, you have probably found there are at least 20-30 brands to investigate. It is important to shop carefully and thoroughly because prices of commercial mowers can be more than your car is worth.

If you have not read the How to Make Big Money Mowing Small Lawns book, I recommend doing so before you go lawn mower shopping. Don’t get ripped off.

I did a considerable number of online searches for the following phrases: “most popular”+”commercial lawn mower brands”, “commercial lawn mower brands”, “commercial lawn mowers”, “commercial mowers”+most popular, and “commercial mowers”.

When online searching did not give me all the information I wanted I went to my trusty phone book and looked up lawn care and lawn mowers. This search narrowed the number of mower brands in the running to 13. I am going to hazard a guess that if you can purchase a brand locally it is a more widely used brand than if you cannot buy it locally.

The phone book did not satisfy my curiosity completely either, so I put a note pad in the car and started writing down the brands of commercial mowers I saw while driving around the city. When I saw a brand more than once, I put a tick mark next to the brand name so I could easily keep count.

Between the online searches, the Yellow Pages, and keeping count whenever I saw a commercial lawn mower out on a job, the most popular brands of mowers seem to be:

Scag – manufactured by Scag Power Equipment, includes the very popular Turf Tiger, Tiger Cub, Saber Tooth Tiger and Wildcat models
John Deere – manufactured by Deere and Company, includes the Z-Trak models
EverRide – manufactured by Ariens Corporation (Auburn Operations), includes the Warrior, Hornet, YJ, Wasp HP, Scorpion FX, and Scorpion models
Toro – manufactured by The Toro Company, includes the Z-Master models
Exmark – manufactured by Exmark Manufacturing Company, Inc., includes the LazerZ models
Ferris – manufactured by Ferris Industries, includes the IS models and they highlight their suspension as superior to other brands
Cub Cadet – manufactured by Cub Cadet, includes the Z-Force, Enforcer and RZT models
Hustler – manufactured by Excel Hustler, includes the Super Mini Z, Fastrak, and Super Z models
Ariens – manufactured by Ariens Corporation and includes the ZOOM models, smaller than most commercial mowers and priced between $360 and $800 new
I took Grasshopper, Gravely, Echo and Reel out of the list. They are commercial mowers but they are targeted to types of mowing most small lawn care business owners do not do. Grasshopper and Gravely are made for really big mowing jobs like those for a city or county or keeping up Golf courses. Echo is more for brushcutting and would compete with the DR brand. Reel is for turf manicuring and these machines are used after the mowing to height is finished.

Grasshopper – manufactured by Moridge Manufacturing, models just have numbers, there are a large number of models and cut widths, and prices range from $6,000 to $19,000 new
Gravely – manufactured by Auburn Consolidated Industries Inc., owned by Ariens Corporation, include the ZT and XTZ models and are priced between $3200 and $18,000 new
Echo – manufactured by Allpower Industries Pty Ltd. of Australia, targeted at the brushcutting market
Reel – manufactured by Locke Turf Corporation, includes the CL models and are finishing mowers targeted at Golf courses, and baseball, football and soccer fields for manicuring turf

Other commercial brands I know of but are not available locally and I did not see around are:

  • Simplicity
  • Husqvarna
  • Walker
  • Encore
  • Yazoo
  • Jacobsen
  • Wheel Horse
  • World
  • Snapper commercial
  • Murray commercial
  • Lawn Boy commercial
  • Troy-Bilt commercial
  • Craftsman commercial (you can order one from Sears but they do not have any in the store here)

I also excluded the various mower attachments for John Deere and Kubota tractors. Those are available but are targeted more to farming equipment than lawn care businesses.