As the hot and steamy Nebraska temperatures loom on the horizon, it’s time to turn your attention to the landscape at your home or business so you can enjoy lush green grass, bold, vibrant colors, fragrant aromas, and functional outdoor spaces this summer. The options abound for creating a healthy, beautiful landscape for you, your guests, and passers-by to enjoy, but extensive care and planting of your grass, flowers, trees, bushes, and landscape features is crucial to achieving the best results. From lawns to flora, decks, water features, canopies, parks, retaining walls, and other outdoor-living elements, you have the opportunity to create a masterpiece. Landscaping work isn’t for the faint of heart or the Monday morning quarterback, though. Getting it right requires substantial knowledge, creativity, and stamina to bring the visual extravaganzas in your mind to life.
Achieving a Luxury Landscape
If you’re looking for a company that can do it all when it comes to creating your masterpiece, give Luxury Landscape (luxurylandscape-llc.com) a call. They design and install beautiful and unique landscapes for home and business owners alike. So, even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can have a fabulous, colorful landscape. Just let the professionals make it happen for you!
“Our list of what we do is pretty lengthy,” said Co-owner Jackie Svoboda said. “It includes retaining walls, paver patios, walkways, unique water and fire features, pergolas, gazebos, arbors, privacy options, planting of trees, shrubs & flowers, designing and planting of standalone planters, and landscaping around swimming pools.”
Given all of the negatives we all heard and experienced in 2020, it’s a pleasure to think about brightening up our community with beauty that will flourish—and make us all feel a little more positive about our world: “We’re so excited to dust off our patio furniture!” Jackie said. “Spring is the perfect time to cut back all perennials and ornamental grasses, if it wasn’t completed in the fall. This should be done prior to any sign of new growth to allow the plant optimum potential to grow. Make sure all water feature pumps, tubing and cords are free of debris/dust from being stored, and in good working order.”
Besides their unique, creative designs, Luxury Landscape’s stellar customer communication helps set them apart. They take pride in returning emails, phone calls and texts within the same day, and they understand the excitement in taking the first step to beautifying your home or business because they love to share in that excitement! Among the hottest trends in landscaping in 2021 are outdoor living spaces—and Luxury Landscape can bring your visions for your outdoor spaces to life.
“When we meet with our customers, we listen to every want and need they have when it comes to their outdoor living space,” Jackie said. “We feel everyone deserves beautiful landscaping, big or small. Our customers want to be able to use every outdoor square inch possible, and whether it be entertaining spaces with water and fire features, a quiet and private oasis, or a large area for kids and dogs to run, we’ll make it happen. We love seeing our customers happy!”
Nothing Runs Like a Deere!
The very heart of a live landscape is establishment of a healthy lawn. No matter how much you invest in fancy plants and trees, they always look their best when they are adjacent to green, lush grounds. Regardless of the size of your yard or your landscaping project, AKRS Equipment (akrs.com) can provide an extensive array of John Deere equipment you need to get the job done right. AKRS offers John Deere turf, compact utility tractors, and compact construction equipment, plus a host of attachments, to accomplish any yard or acreage project. Preparing the ground in the spring is critical to bringing it all to fruition, though.
“Be sure to apply the first treatment of fertilizer and pre-emergent to your yard in the spring to stop early-season weeds and get the grass growing,” said AKRS Turf and Commercial Product Manager Travis Harrison. “Rake and remove any large clumps of dead grass or leaves to give the yard access to sunlight and room to grow. Start your sprinkler system and adjust to cover your entire yard with water. Get all your mower blades sharpened, fresh oil, and air filter, and all tires aired up, so you’ll be ready to cut the grass as it begins to grow.”
When it comes to choosing a mower or keeping up with lawn maintenance, AKRS is in your corner. The John Deere equipment they sell offers the lowest cost of ownership in the industry, and their mowers have, over the years, proven to operate longer with fewer repairs, and maintain their value better than any other product on the market. AKRS even has a service available to keep your equipment in top working order.
“AKRS Equipment offers a Ready to Mow Service in the Omaha and Lincoln communities, where we will come to your home or business and perform routine maintenance on-site and ensure that your equipment always performs well,” Travis said. “For larger repairs, we offer pickup and delivery to one of our AKRS locations.”
For commercial mowing, one of the hottest trends in mowers is the John Deere QuikTrak Stand-on Mower, which AKRS offers. These stand-behind movers serve up advanced maneuverability and speed to allow you to mow more and feel less fatigued at the end of the day. On the residential side, the John Deere line of Lawn Tractors provides mowing with a variety of attachments to make landscaping chores simple and easy.
“Customers can stop in at their convenience and learn what equipment best fits their needs,” Travis said. “The earlier they pay us a visit, the sooner we can get them up and running with the guidance and equipment they need to maintain the best lawn in the neighborhood. Come see us and take a test drive on any John Deere product. After all, Nothing Runs Like a Deere!”
Healthy Lawn Practices
In establishing a healthy lawn as the base of your landscape, TDK Lawn Care (www.tdkinc.com) Owner Lee Schumacher taught us some of the most important steps to take in spring: “Spring is an important time if you want your grass to build up the strength to survive a potentially blistering summer,” he said. “One of the biggest mistakes I see people make it cutting their lawn too short. Mowing at a proper height is the best way to keep your lawn healthy. I personally keep my mower set at 3.25 inches year-round, but keeping it anywhere between 2.75 and 3.75 inches is fine, too.”
Taller grass chokes out weeds and helps your lawn retain moisture, which will help it prosper during hot summer days in Nebraska. Watering correctly and delivering proper lawn nutrition are crucial, as well. Water levels depend on the type of grass and its environment, but a good rule of thumb is adding one inch a week, depending on the weather. Aerating is also important. Lawns can be finicky, so if you want one that’s always thriving, call the professionals at TDK Lawn Care. They can give your lawn all the nutrients, water, and services that it requires, while also training it to become more efficient and hardier.
If you have an irrigation system, preparing it for the upcoming growing season is crucial, and Hunt Irrigation (huntirrigation.com) can make sure it’s ready to go. That includes checking for backflow device for damage, opening the water slowly to avoid damaging your mainline or valves, inspecting each zone and fixed nozzle for possible wear and tear, obstructions, and other damage, and check to see where each nozzle is spraying and make sure not to waste money by spraying sidewalks or driveways. The next thing to do is to program the controller so that the water-flow rate does not exceed the soil’s absorption capability.
“The soil in Lincoln and surrounding communities is mostly clay,” Owner Jeremy Hunt said. “This means the water absorbs slowly and evaporates quickly. Therefore, when programming your controller, it is best to program shorter run times and multiple start times. Most controllers are capable of handling three start times. A good start-time schedule would be 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 5 a.m. Scheduling a two-hour break or rest between operations will allow the water enough time to absorb into the ground and reduce runoff.”
Plants and Perennials
Making your landscaping both hearty and stunning means including native plants and perennials at the base of your plan—then add a variety of colorful annuals fit for the climate to fill your plant boxes and planters and mix in and around your perennials for added punch and personality! Especially when it comes to perennials, it’s crucial that you use local plants. As noted in research by entomologist Dough Tallamy, native oak trees support more than 500 species of caterpillars, whereas ginkgo bilobas, a common alternative native to Asia, host only five species. If you want beautiful butterflies and moths to visit your lawn, you must provide the native plants for them to interact with.
Using a variety of flowers helps make your yard look unique, and Earl May Garden Center (earlmay.com/locations/lincoln-south) can help you bring it all together. They are a full-service, one-stop nursery and garden-center shopping experience. They carry an eclectic variety of flowers, shrubs, herbs, and trees, in addition to lawn-care, landscaping, and patio products that will enhance your outdoor living space. At the start of springtime, beating weeds to the punch is crucial to keeping them from taking over all of your hard work come summer.
“Pre-emergence is the most important thing to think about in spring,” said Jessica Jasnoch, manager of Earl May’s South Lincoln Garden Center, 5555 S 48th St. “Preventing weeds before you see them will save your time, energy, and money. Use pre-emergent in lawns and in landscape beds in spring, in addition to aerating your lawn. It’s always a good idea to add a soil conditioner to the lawn after aeration, too, to keep the ground from re-compacting over the summer months. Taking care of our pollinators has become more popular, too, with the increased awareness of the declining honey-bee populations. People are planting more natives and blooming plants to attract the bees and butterflies and are being more mindful of what and when they spray for pests in the landscape.”
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, stop in at Earl May anytime, and their team members will be able to answer your questions and get you started on your gardening projects. If you want to meet with their landscape designer, stop in or give them a call to set up an appointment. You won’t be disappointed!
Fence Me In!
Fencing is a crucial part of your landscape—commercial and residential alike—and if it isn’t done as professionally as your landscape and home are, it can bring down your entire aesthetics. That’s where Empire Netting and Fence (empire-fence.com) comes in. They provide safety and security to your home or business, and they create your fencing with materials that match your style and budget. Empire Netting and Fence also specializes in netting and construction of sports fields and sports complexes.
“From timeless classics to trendy new styles, we have what you’re looking for,” said Marketing Manager Rachel Kroese. “Your fence is an investment in your home, and we love to be involved with projects that will help better the lives of the people in our community.”
Upon spring’s arrival, there are a few tasks to carry out to keep existing fencing working for you—things like doing a walk-around to make sure that any fallen or broken tree branches above the fence are properly trimmed and maintained. You should also clear debris that may have fallen on rails, and trim any shrubs and greenery that may have grown up on your fence. Take a serious look at your fencing to see if it improves your landscape or takes away from it. If it’s time to upgrade, Empire should be your go-to provider. They build fence year-round, but now is a great time to get started if you want to enjoy it this summer.
“We build fence all year long,” Rachel said. “If you are planning to build a new fence, start planning immediately, as the process can take several weeks. The best way to get started is to visit our website and click on our ‘Instant Online Quote’ button. Using our online estimating tool, you will be able to draw the layout for the fence and choose what style you would like. When you finish, you will get an email with a printable layout including total linear footage, and budget for that specific fence. We will contact you with more questions regarding your project and set up a time to meet onsite to verify measurements and get a good feel about what you want to achieve with your fencing.”
Empire Netting and Fence is a longtime member of the American Fence Association and adheres to the highest level of professionalism and ethics. They pride themselves on using manufacturers and suppliers that are held to the same standards.
Some of the hottest trends in fencing in 2021 are a FenceTrac system, which include a steel rail frame with the ability to use any type of infill, such as cedar, vinyl, or composite. Another popular option is using a PostMaster Style posts, which is a steel post that can be hidden on both sides and can withstand 73 mph winds—perfect for Nebraska weather!
Paving the Way
Yankee Hill Brick (yankeehillbrick.com) is the perfect place to start when you’re looking for clay bricks for your landscape. For more than 120 years, Pacific Clay has led the way in clay brick manufacturing and innovation, and Yankee Hill is helping continue their historic tradition of paving new roads in the brick industry—from pavers to bullnose to mini-brick. Brick is a timeless, classic building material. Invented in antiquity, brick remains the one exterior building material with a human scale, rich variegated colors, and flexibility of use.
Custom blending of colors is one of the things that Yankee Hill Brick is best known for. Their color-blending capability is unsurpassed in the industry, so you can get the exact brick colors that you see in your mind’s eye. You can choose as few as 10% of one type of brick, blended seamlessly with as many as four others, giving brick landscaping features a choice of colors far beyond the ordinary!
Spring brings with it plenty of landscaping tasks that are crucial to getting right if you want your lawn, shrubs, trees, flowers, and other plants to thrive. We recommend getting in touch with these professionals to make sure you start on the right foot!