Protecting the fruits of your labor of landscape love
If COVID did anything positive for Lincoln, it would probably all the beautiful yards and outdoor spaces that residents have had extra time to build and spruce up during quarantine times. Landscaping and related companies in the area have been swamped with work throughout the summer, too, and the results are palpable when you drive through local neighborhoods and commercial districts. Lincoln is definitely showcasing some of its best outdoor work ever.
With fall around the corner, it’s now time to start thinking about how best to preserve the fruits of all of that labor so you’re on the right track to enjoy it again next spring and summer. It might seem a little early to be talking about preparing for cold weather, but if you’ve been in Nebraska for any time at all, you know it can sneak up on you when you’re least expecting it. When it comes to maintenance of your lawn and outdoor spaces, it’s important to be proactive and make sure you’re ready for Old Man Winter before he shows up. We talked to a host of lawn and outdoor-space experts in Lincoln to see what you should have on your agenda for fall lawn and landscaping care. There’s no need to stress about it, either, because there are plenty of professionals available around here, both for residential and commercial fall landscaping chores. They’ll give you some tips to get you moving in the right direction sooner rather than later.
One popular—and beneficial—project that we’ve seen a lot of in Lincoln lately is brick work, especially for gardens and retailing walls. Established in 1881, Yankee Hill Brick products are specified on many award-winning projects in Nebraska, the United States, and around the world—all of which are created in their high-temperature firing kiln. The combination of quality, color, and pristine finish makes Yankee Hill an attractive choice for a full variety of projects. Their Capella wall-caps offer all of the enduring qualities of natural clan and its inherent durability and color integrity will provide years of maintenance-free service through Nebraska’s varying climatic conditions. They come in two attractive sizes and nine colors.
If you’re looking to create stunning outdoor spaces, Luxury Landscape provides the full spectrum of landscaping services you need—from designing and installing retaining walls to paver patios, water and fire features, pergolas, gazebos, landscape lighting, edging, rock, mulch, and planting of annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs. What’s more, they offer landscape maintenance for both residential and commercial clients. Owned by Ken Svoboda and Jackie Lienemann, Luxury Landscape takes the utmost pride in offering stellar customer service.
“We love all projects, big and small,” Jackie said, “and our communication with our customers is nonstop, from the first phone call to after the project is complete. We feel everyone deserves the outdoor space they desire, whether it’s a huge landscape renovation or just planting a few beautiful flowers.”
When it comes to winterizing your lawn and landscape, Jackie said they prefer leaving the late fall leaves in a landscape because it provides a blanket for young plants, but there are several other plants that need tending prior to winter’s arrival. If a client prefers to have all landscaped areas cleaned out in the fall, Luxury Landscape recommends and can provide a spreading of mulch to protect plants. When cold weather is imminent, there are a couple of key things to wrap up fall landscape efforts.
“It’s very important to heavily water all new trees and plants going into winter,” Jackie said. “It’s a roll of the dice as to when winter will hit, but it then is crucial to make sure all water features are drained and the pump is stored properly indoors before it freezes. This ensures the components won’t freeze, which can get pretty spendy to have to replace.”
If you want Luxury Landscape to help you winterize your landscape and outdoor spaces, contact them soon to be guaranteed a spot on their fall schedule. You won’t regret it when you see the care they take with your property and the superb results they achieve every time!
Passionate About Gardening
Earl May Seed & Nursery is another stellar landscaping company in Lincoln. They provide planting of trees, shrubs, and perennials, create flower beds and berms, and renovate existing flower beds and berms for newer homes, established landscapes, and commercial properties. Gardening is their passion, and they also love sharing that passion with clients.
“At Earl May, we are passionate about gardening and making the world more beautiful, one backyard at a time,” said Jessica Jasnoch, manager of Earl May’s South Lincoln Garden Center, 5555 S 48th St. “We will take the time to help with whatever garden project you are working on to make sure it is a success. We will also guide and educate anyone—new and experienced gardeners alike—to find the joy and love of working in the garden themselves.”
Jessica says fall is the best time to fertilize trees and shrubs to ensure that they have the energy to leaf out in the spring. It’s also the time to protect the bark on young trees from deer and rabbits, and it’s crucial that your lawn and landscape enter the winter season well-hydrated and mulched, with extra attention to any trees and shrubs that have been planted in the last three years.
“The cool nights and warm days help push plants to get their roots established before winter. Trees that have been planted in the last couple years should receive about 15 gallons of water every week, and you need to continue watering trees and newly planted shrubs and grasses into November. If plants go into winter without being properly hydrated they will suffer from winter burn that can kill the plant entirely or set it back by causing die-back of certain areas of the plant,” Jessica said. “Contact us any time if you need guidance on keeping the fruits of your labor safe throughout Nebraska’s cold winters.”
Every Day, All Year
If you’re looking for a reputable lawn care, landscape maintenance, and snow removal company for your commercial property or lawn treatments for residential properties, you have another fabulous choice in 1776 Grounds Maintenance. They have been in business for 19 years this month and are family-owned and -operated.
“We provide grounds care every day all year long,” said Founding Owner Roger Berte. “We provide honest insight and recommendations focused on each property’s specific needs.”
In Lincoln, Roger said, it is crucial to water your plants and trees properly in the fall and going into winter, so that your plants stay healthy through to spring. Lawn treatments are a crucial part of fall landscaping chores, as well.
“If you don’t have a dependable lawn-care professional scheduled, weeds can quickly get out of control,” Roger said. “If you need a residential lawn treatment, we suggest contacting us for a bid by October, and we start 2021 applications around November 1. If you need a bid for commercial snow removal, call as soon as possible, because we’ve already been scheduling those.”
1776 Grounds Maintenance also offers services specific to commercial properties. From weed control to snow removal, they have the equipment to do each job well. The 1776 team is known for being dependable and courteous. It’s always nice to work with people you can trust.
All About Prevention
Dependable lawn care is not just a preference. It’s a necessity if you want to see the return of your lush, green grass when spring rolls around. According to Larry Svoboda from Ray’s Lawn and Home Care, fall lawn care is all about prevention and being proactive.
“Fall is the time when weeds are in full food storage mode for winter survival, and weed control stops that process,” Larry said. “That’s why it’s important to spray in the fall so that the weeds cluttering your lawn don’t make it through the winter. At Ray’s, we take care to look at your lawn and can do spot treatments to the areas that need a little more care. Going above and beyond now will help your lawn flourish next season.”
One of the most important aspects of fall lawn care is timing. That’s why it can be difficult for the average homeowner to be able to keep a completely healthy lawn, especially in a place like Nebraska when winter can hit seemingly overnight.
“The trickiest part of lawn care in Nebraska is timing,” Larry said. “Taking the correct measures of applying what lawn treatments on what schedule can save you a lot of hassle. In terms of time and money, it’s far easier to prevent a lawn from becoming a problem than it is to fix a problem lawn. Ray’s provides a five-application treatment plan to keep your lawn healthy and green all year long. The plan includes grub control, weed control, plus pre-emergent, post-emergent, fertilizer, and insecticide treatments. Ray’s has been working on lawns since 1966, so we have the experience plus competitive pricing that keeps us busy every season. Make sure you set up your lawn maintenance plan early so you never have to set up a lawn revival plan.”
Keep These Ideas on Deck
A beautiful, well-built deck or outdoor space can most certainly improve the curb appeal of your home, and with so much more time to spend at home lately, they’re in high demand. Of course, if you’ve ever had to care for a wood deck, you know the maintenance requirements can be extensive with some materials if you want the deck to last and not become an eyesore. That’s not the case with an outdoor deck or space from Decks Unlimited, which uses only the highest-quality composite materials to build decks of all sizes and shapes, plus patios, screen rooms, fire-pits, and more.
“When it comes to building decks and staying in your home for the long haul, choosing quality products is an absolute must,” said Decks Unlimited Owner Dan Waters. “Using an off-brand composite can cost way more when you have to stain the wood every other year for the next 30 years. We also use quality railings—not wood—which is a huge benefit. I prefer using TimberTech railings for composite and Westbury aluminum railings for metal rails. With new developments in colors and products, the choices are endless.”
Decks Unlimited doesn’t just build your deck, either. They work with clients every step of the way, from choosing between wood types, including sandy birch or rustic elm, to explaining the different benefits of many lighting options from Westbury post cap lights, Timertech riser lights, dekor puck lighting, and more.
Besides constructing the exact look you want for your outdoor space, Decks Unlimited makes fall maintenance simple—as in basically unnecessary!
“A quality deck will not need any maintenance for years,” Dan said. “Decks Unlimited prides itself on using the highest-quality materials available on the market. TimberTech has a new line out this year called Reserve and offers an array of amazing new colors and quality like no other. Also on-trend are the Westbury Aluminum railings, which are extremely lightweight and durable, and also safe and easy to care for. Westbury’s railings are third-party tested to meet the American Architectural Manufacturing Association’s certification requirements and are made via an 11-step power-coating process, which allows them to offer a limited lifetime warranty against cracking peeling, fading, and rusting.”
So, fall maintenance on your deck? Maybe not—at least if you have the best quality materials in it.
Whether you’re looking for more storage, a garden shed to protect all those outdoor tools you’ve accumulated, or to create other unique home exterior or features, Knotwood Central is a superb option for outdoor structures that are made with the latest-and-greatest, easy-maintenance materials available anywhere. In case you’re wondering, Knotwood is not wood, but Knotwood Central Owner and Operator Shane Ligon explains this impressive aluminum material just might fool you into believing it is.
“Knotwood is a state-of-the-art product that genuinely looks like wood, but it’s actually aluminum,” Shane said. “A lot of people are surprised that it isn’t really wood because it has such a beautiful, natural look, and that’s just the beginning of what makes it a great product. It’s also eco-friendly, nonporous, non-warping, scratch-, corrosion-, stain-, freeze- and slip-resistant, lightweight, non-combustible, insect-proof, heat dissipating, and covered by a 15-year warranty. What more could you want from a building material?”
You’ll notice right away that Knotwood is truly stunning. It is the new look of modern architecture that really pops. What’s more, Knotwood Central carries this groundbreaking material in more than 30 wood colors and more than 50 custom colors to fit your exact desires. Knotwood cladding is great for creating decks, pergola, feature walls, trellises, gates, and more, and it will stand the elements and the test of time, all the while showcasing your style and design. It just might be one of the most versatile outdoor material you’ll ever find.
Save the Planet, Plant a Tree
Fall is also the perfect time to plant a tree, fruit-bearing or otherwise. Eagle Nursery Owner Tom Scharfen told us all about why planting a tree is a beautiful and rewarding task for fall landscaping.
“An advantage to installing trees, particularly larger trees, into your landscape is that you have instant curb appeal, plus shade,” Tom said. “Other projects can take years to add the same value that a single large maple or oak for example can add overnight. Fall is the perfect times to take on those large projects—particularly when it comes to ‘spaded trees,’ or transplanting larger trees that are already well-established.”
According to research conducted by the USDA Forest Service, trees create about three times more economic advantage than their cost due to how much they can raise property value. Each large tree adds about 1% to the value of a house. Plus, they produce energy savings, storm-water runoff reduction, and cleaner air.
When choosing which kind of tree to plant, it can be extremely helpful to work with an Eagle Nursery expert. They will help you choose a tree that will not only survive but thrive in Nebraska’s turbulent weather. Experts at Eagle Nursery have extensive knowledge about native Nebraska species of plants and trees that will help you build a flourishing ecosystem in your landscape. Eagle has 70 acres of trees in production, in addition to five greenhouses for perennials and shrubs, so you’ll absolutely find the ones that will work best with your vision.
Going Out on a Limb
Of course, while trees do have an abundance of pros, they come with some challenges, too. Trees do require a fair amount of maintenance to keep them healthy, beautiful, and not a liability. Tree-care service is a vital part of not only beautifying your property but also protecting your property, loved ones, and the history they have created. Oftentimes, the trees on your property are an outward expression of your inner growth, and caring for that means trimming, pruning, and beautifying the pieces of your life that grow each year. Thankfully, Blue Ox Tree Service in Lincoln has a team of skilled professionals that are ready and qualified to help you with all your tree-related grounds-keeping needs, including removal of trees or pieces that are overgrown or might have pests invading them. Eddie Lankas, owner of Blue Ox, told us a little bit about his business and how he helps people keep their trees majestic versus messy.
“Tree pruning and trimming is essential if you want to maintain the beauty of your home while protecting you and your loved ones from damage or injury. Trimming improves the health of the tree while preventing property damage and insect infestation. Trees easily become staples of peoples’ homes and are often filled with memories and nostalgia. It’s a terrible feeling to have to remove a beloved tree just because it wasn’t properly taken care of and has become a safety hazard. Hiring a professional tree service company can ensure your trees stay strong for decades to come.”
Timely, Dedicated, and Knowledgeable
OK, so during quarantine, you spent more time than ever fixing up your home and yard—from planting new gardens to greening up the lawn, buying new outdoor furniture, adding water features or fire pits, or other projects. No matter how much you invest in those things, though, your yard won’t be at its best come spring without a strong, fertile foundation.
“If you want to give your lawn a boost before winter, you should definitely consider aerating your lawn before the end of September,” Lee Schumacher with TDK Lawn Care, Inc. told us. “Aerating is the process of making many finger-sized holes into your lawn and then depositing the removed material on the surface to break down. This process loosens compacted soil and allows fertilizer, water, and oxygen to reach the roots more easily. Aerating, when performed properly and at the correct time, reinforces roots and creates healthier grass overall.”
In Nebraska, most lawns are composed of a clay soil, which makes aerating especially beneficial. Along with aeration, purposefully over-seeding of your lawn at this time of year can be highly beneficial.
“Over-seeding while aerating is a tried-and-true lawn-care practice,” Lee said. “It’s an easy, inexpensive way to reintroduce new grass seed to your lawn. The seeds fall into the holes created during aeration and mix in with the broken down soil deposits on the surface. This process helps fill the bare spots in your lawn while also improving turf density and lawn color. Many people choose to over-seed their lawns rather than buying and laying expensive new sod.”
TDK Lawn Care is dedicated to helping their customers develop individualized lawn care at competitive rates to produce amazing results. Their name says it all, as TDK stands for Timely, Dedicated, and Knowledgeable Lawn Care. Lee gave us one last piece of advice to help you avoid lawn disasters:
“While aerating can be highly beneficial, it can also negatively impact your lawn if done incorrectly or for no reason. If the timing is off, it can yield disastrous results. We always recommend having professionals come check the health of your lawn in terms of nutrients, water need, and soil density before aerating, especially if you want to do it near the end of fall.”
With a tremendous increase in landscape improvements during COVID restrictions, Lincoln couldn’t look better than it has this summer, but it takes a lot of work and TLC to maintain the progress you’ve made next spring. The good news is that Lincoln is rife with reputable lawn, landscape, and outdoor-area experts who can help you make sure you enjoy the fruits of your labors. Whatever you need help with outdoors, they can help you make it happen!