Importance and Benefits of Pre-Emergent Treatment

Importance and Benefits of Pre-Emergent Treatment

Spring is just around the corner, so it is time to start thinking about pre-emergent treatment in the landscape beds.

In the case of weeds and diseases we aim to flatten the curve, and pre-emergent is the start. Applying pre-emergent while the ornamental plants are dormant is the best and first step for seasonal weed prevention.

Controlling weeds once they and the ornamentals have appeared is difficult and tedious work. Pre-emergent can be applied in one visit so timing is critical for weed control. Pre-emergent herbicide does not move once applied to the soil; precision is essential. Noxious weeds that emerge from seed can be controlled with the treatment.

Among the services performed, the pre-emergent treatment is very important. Pre-emergent does exactly what it sounds like. It kills weeds prior to their emergence. Now, it’s a bit more complicated than that so we’d like to share, why pre-emergent is so important and describe the benefits.

How Pre-Emergents Work

The herbicides that are contained in a pre-emergent treatment application create, in essence, a barrier of vapor that destroys weeds before they are germinated. Pre-emergents used in residential mixtures often come in granular form and are mixed with fertilizer.

The timing of your pre-emergent application is vital to their effectiveness. Strategic timing is needed so your weeds can be controlled prior to their emergence from the soil.

Tips for Successful Treatment

Though it may seem counterintuitive, pre-emergent treatments are not effective against existing weeds, only weeds that have yet to be germinated. To control existing weeds, we recommend a few things such as pulling the weeds, application of weed killer, or hiring a lawn service such as Aztech Landscaping to treat and eradicate your weeds.

The ratio of fertilizer to herbicide must be precise, and the spread of the solution must be as even as possible. It really needs to be like a blanket to smother the weeds.

Weed Free Planting Beds

Aside from normal weed treatments, a pre-emergent treatment is the most basic and earliest form of weed prevention. It doesn’t matter if you do all you can pulling weeds if you’re not controlling them before germination. 

It’s important that either you or a professional such as Aztech Landscaping perform a pre-emergent treatment each year toward the end of February or at the beginning of March for optimum results.

 

Contact us today to schedule your pre-emergent application!

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Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Health of Our Environment

Health of Our Environment

DID YOU KNOW?

Our landscapes play a vital role in the health of our environment, our communities, and our families!

Living landscapes, including lawns and yards, gardens, managed landscapes around commercial and municipal buildings and other green space provide many benefits including AND not just a means to make our yards and greenspaces “look pretty”.

  • Providing recreational spaces for people and pets
  • Creating necessary habitat for birds, insects and animals
  • Producing oxygen and sequestering carbon
  • Capturing and filtering rainwater, as well as storm-water run-off
  • Capturing dust & particulate matter
  • Reducing heat and the heat island effect
  • Acting as a natural firebreak
  • Controlling soil erosion

Contact us if you would like to discuss the future of your landscape. 

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Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Learn About Windbreaks

Learn About Windbreaks

Living in Illinois has the perk of seeing all four seasons in all their own glory. That also means we get to brave the blustery cold days of winter.  Believe it or not there are things that can be done to protect you from winter months within your landscape.  We are talking about windbreaks. A windbreak is a row of trees that will offer shelter and protection from the wind.

What should we plant in our windbreak? There are several options to decide from when designing your windbreak.

  • Douglas Fir- perfect for the protection from snow and ice
  • Colorado Blue Spruce – very low maintenance once established with a beautiful color
  • Eastern White Pine – as it matures it can add 3’ of height a year
  • Norway Spruce – very low maintenance once established, fast growing, and strong
  • Green Giant Arborvitae – pyramidal in shape and fast growing

Now that we know what to plant, it is time to decide where and how. In Illinois we receive our brutal winter winds from the northwest. So, on the north and western sides of our property we need to plan our breaks. The best windbreak will be planted between 50 to 100 feet away from our buildings. The length of your break should be 8 to 10 times the size of your tallest trees. Best circumstances call for 3 rows of trees, with the center row alternating with the trees in the outer rows. Each row should be 15 to 18 feet apart, with the trees planted 15 to 18 feet on center. Other, lower shelter plants can be included for wildlife as well.

What does the windbreak really do? The windbreak is beneficial to us in many ways! A mature break can block the wind from our homes which will actually reduce heating costs in our homes by up to 40%! The effects of the wind will be lessened which means less snow drifts for us to plow through, and a more bearable environment to be outside in. Not to mention the aesthetic of the break! Evergreen trees offer us color in the grey and dreary months with loads of privacy.

Contact us today for a consultation on the best windbreak solution for your yard.

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© 2021 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Winter is a good time to critically assess your landscape

Winter is a good time to critically assess your landscape

Winter is a good time to critically assess your landscape, figuring out where it’s missing focal points. The solution to enhancing your winter landscaping might not be a plant at all. Winter is the best time to consider hardscape.

If you have the space, a patio is a great winter hardscaping project, and come spring it can serve as the centerpiece of the entire landscape.

Fire pits are also another great hardscaping project to consider for the winter. Like many other hardscaping projects fire pits also come in various styles and materials.

Of course, all outside projects are weather dependent although it’s great to plan and be prepared for when “Mother Nature” cooperates for working on outdoor projects.

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© 2021 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Winter is the best time to plan your landscaping projects

Winter is the best time to plan your landscaping projects

Winter is the best time to plan your landscaping projects

Winter is a great time to consult with our landscape designer about the upcoming spring projects! During the winter season when everything is dormant, and our workload is somewhat reduced and is a great time to discuss your ideas!

Megan, our professional landscape designer may see solutions you never dreamed of and help you avoid costly mistakes. We can assess your property’s strengths and weaknesses, think about the ways you envision using your yard, and understand the steps involved in the landscape design process.

NOW is a perfect opportunity to think about your landscaping projects for the spring and jumpstart the process! Give us a call at 815-786-7647 

Complete the below form to request more information: 

Client Questionnaire:

 

We provide the perfect combination creativity and professionalism to master the outdoor setup that customers envision. We happily work side by side with clients to learn exactly what they are looking for. While also adding our professional expertise we are able to make a successful project each and every time.  Contact us.

How did you hear about us?

What area do you want us to focus on?

What type of garden are you interested in?

What level of Maintenance are you looking to have?

Are you interested in hardscaping?

Are you interested in Landscape Lighting?

Do you have pets?

Do you have any utilities you are looking to hide?

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© 2021 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Cookie Cutter Birdseed Ornaments

Cookie Cutter Birdseed Ornaments

Remember our feathered friends during the winter months – great project to share with your kids!

When the chill of winter sets in on your yard, you may begin to worry about the birds struggling to survive the cold. 

It’s important to make your yard an inviting place for birds in the spring, summer, and during the winter months.

Cookie Cutter Birdseed Ornaments

Materials for Homemade Birdseed Ornaments;

Cold water

Boiling water

2 packets of gelatin

Corn syrup

Birdseed (about 2 1/2 cups)

Cookie Cutters (in any shape you’d like)

Straws cut in 2” pieces

Parchment paper

Twine or other kind of string

 

Directions for Homemade Birdseed Ornaments

  1. Mix 2 packets of gelatin with 1/2 cup cold water until dissolved.
  2. Add a 1/2 cup of boiling water to the bowl, stir slowly until dissolved.
  3. Next, add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup. Stir until dissolved. (Quick tip, spray the tablespoon with a little non-stick spray and the corn syrup will slide right off!)
  4. Mix in the bird seed. Keep mixing until the gelatin/ corn syrup mixture evenly coats each seed. Let this rest for a couple minutes if the mixture seems watery.
  5. Spoon the seed mixture into the cookie cutters. Fill the cookie cutters about half way and use a small piece of parchment paper to press the seeds firmly into the mold. Then fill the cookie cutter to the top and press again.
  6. Press the straw into the birdseed filled ornament, making a hole. Be sure to leave plenty of room between the straw and the edge. Press around the straw to ensure the seeds will hold shape around the hole. (This is where you’ll eventually thread your twine through the ornament.)
  7. Place the cookie cutters in the refrigerator to set overnight.
  8. Once set, remove the cookie cutters by gently pushing at the edges until they fall off, leaving just the birdseed ornament.

The bird feeder is ready to hang outside!  Make sure you hang it near other branches so the birds have a place to rest while eating. Enjoy watching your backyard birds come visit!

  1. Push the straws out & thread the twine through the hole.

 

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Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Chrysanthemums 101

Chrysanthemums 101

Mums can give you color till the cold comes. 

Chrysanthemums nicknamed “mums,” are one of fall’s quintessential flowers. They’re usually the last plant to bloom before frost, ushering your garden into the big sleep of winter with a last bang of color.
There are many species of mums, hundreds of varieties, and thousands of hybrids, with blooms that can be as frilly as a cheerleading pompom or as dainty as a daisy. Mums come in a rich range of colors including white, yellow, orange, lavender, purple, red and bicolor. They’re easy-to-grow and can be used in beds, borders, and containers. They attract butterflies in the fall and make great cut flowers, lasting up to two weeks in a bouquet.

Chrysanthemums are an ancient flower, cultivated in China as far back as the 15th century. Flowers can be as small as a quarter or big as a dinner plate. They bloom in various shapes, according to variety. Mums can be flat flowers with a single or double layer of petals that look like daisies, or a mounded flower with long petals shaped like tubes or quills.
Growing Mums.  Chrysanthemums grow 1′ to 3′ tall and get 1′ to 2′ wide, depending on the type.

When and Where to Plant Mums
If you’re using a mum as a perennial, plant in early spring, or in the fall at least six weeks before the first killing frost. If you’re using chrysanthemums for a pop of fall color to boost your late season garden, plant them when they’re blooming in later summer or early fall and treat them as annuals.

Mums grow best in full sun. Give them too little sunlight, and you’ll get a weak plant that produces few flowers.
Mums are happiest in rich, well-drained soil. Add compost or other organic material to your soil when you plant to give your mum the best shot at being a strong, healthy plant.

Garden Design Suggestions

  • Mums are ideal for containers because of their shallow root systems.
  • Use those pots of blooming mums sold in the fall as annuals to replace summer annuals that are past their prime. Tuck the mums in beds, borders, or planters to keep the color coming until frost.
  • Plant them in beds or borders in the early spring or fall as perennials. They come back each fall with more flowers.
  • Plant chrysanthemums in swaths or clumps of the same color and flower type. Mass plantings are pleasing to the eye.
  • Pair them with other late-season bloomers like sedum, goldenrod, Russian sage and asters.
  • Use them in the middle of sunny borders, cutting gardens and butterfly gardens.
  • Mums contain substances that can be toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, so keep that in mind if you have pets that might munch on them.

 

 

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© 2021 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Trends for Outdoor Spaces

Trends for Outdoor Spaces

The outdoor season is never long enough, is it? Homeowners are always looking for ways to create outside spaces that are unique, comfortable and help them make the most of their sunny days and warm evenings. From outdoor kitchens and living rooms to retro-shape pavers making a comeback, to new environmentally conscious choices, check out trends that are making an impression outdoors.

Decked-out living spaces – Homeowners are extending the use of their outdoor space by moving indoor rooms outside. Al fresco kitchens are extensively equipped with appliances, preparation counters, pizza ovens and grill islands. The outdoor living room is complete with fireplace, cozy seating, area rug and big screen TV. A creative use of pavers such as different styles and colors, contrasting borders, and vertical elements like steps, low walls and pillars will help to define your inviting gathering spaces.

Mix and match – Play with an array of pavers in different shapes, textures, sizes and colors to add unique style and character to your outdoor patio. Mix and match them to create different patterns or a pixelated effect that are not only visually interesting, but also hide stains and marks.

Put a hex on it – Making a comeback everywhere in bathroom and kitchen backsplashes and in wallpaper patterns is the hexagon shape. Now the six-sided paver shape such as Granito (Unilock) can be found in outdoor patios and walkways. For an atypical look, honor the geometric pattern by leaving the pavers whole on the edges of your project.

Think permeable – Permeable pavers (Unilock) help to reduce the amount of water that flows into public drains, which can get overstressed in a major storm event. Water flows through the paver joints into a gravel base below where it is naturally absorbed back into the ecosystem. As more municipalities are limiting the amount of impervious surface space you are allowed to have on your property, permeable pavers make sense for a large patio, pool deck or driveway.

Take a seat on a wall – Low seat walls are a simple, stunning way to provide additional seating around a fire pit, water feature, small-space patio, flower bed or raised garden to make tending the garden easier and more comfortable. Build your own with a versatile system like the U-Cara Multi-Face Wall System (Unilock) for a seat wall that is not only functional, but also adds visual interest to your outdoor project.

What inspirational trends in pavers have you noticed? We can help you make it happen!  Complete the below form and request more information or give us a call at 815-786-9418.

 

Information provided by Unilock

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Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Adding a Walkway to your home

Adding a Walkway to your home

With the right materials, a walkway can completely transform a home’s curb appeal. Today’s walkways can feel both historic and modern.

If you own a home and have a yard, your outdoor space probably includes some sort of path — from front sidewalk to front door, around the side of the house, or out to the backyard. You can rely on a basic from-here-to-there walkway, or you can upgrade yours with ideas that are beautiful and practical.

Safety
Safety is often the first consideration for any walkway material, especially when your new walkway will need to withstand an abundance of rain, snow, and ice.

Style
Another characteristic to look for is a style that complements your home. Each home is unique and deserves a walkway that enhances its look.

Durability
Over the long run, concrete pavers significantly outlast poured concrete or asphalt. The challenge with poured concrete or asphalt is that they’re solid surfaces, which are very heavy. They must be supported by an adequate base that won’t shift under load, or because of the natural movement of soil. Any shifting will cause cracking or heaving, which means the entire walkway will have to be reinstalled. Paver walkways do allow for slight movement, which prevents cracking or heaving, and should a paver be damaged, you can just have that one paver replaced.

Whether you’re looking for a new design for your front entry, a solution for your side yard or you’re wanting to add walkway to enhance your landscape, give our designer a call to provide you options by calling Aztech Landscaping at 815-786-7647 or complete the below request for a free consultation.

 

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Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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Fun Facts About Pumpkins

Fun Facts About Pumpkins

Nothing says autumn more than a beautiful, orange pumpkin, but this most beloved symbol of fall is hiding some fun little secrets. Think you know everything there is to know about these great big gourds? We wanted to SHARE some fun facts about pumpkins!

Pumpkins are fruits, not vegetables

Fruits are considered to be the part of the plant that has seeds on the inside. By this definition, a pumpkin is definitely a fruit. They’re a member of the gourd family, which includes other fruits like watermelon and winter squash.

Pumpkin pie wasn’t served at the pilgrims’ Thanksgiving

Despite our modern-day obsession with pumpkin pie this time of year, it was nowhere to be found at the original Thanksgiving feast of 1621. Pilgrims wouldn’t have had butter or flour for making pie crust, let alone an oven for baking. Some historians speculate that the Pilgrims may have hollowed out pumpkins to fill with milk, spices, and honey for a custard-like dessert, but even this has never been proved.

The first jack-o’-lanterns

Early jack-o’-lanterns were made by carving turnips or potatoes — not pumpkins. The Irish and Scottish used them as part of their pagan Celtic celebrations, while the English did the same thing, just with beets instead. In fact, the tradition of the jack-o’-lantern stems from the Irish legend of a man named Stingy Jack who was known as somewhat of an unpleasant trickster. Immigrants brought their carving traditions to America but found that pumpkins were a much easier alternative.

Pumpkins grow (almost) everywhere

Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica. They even grow in Alaska.

More than 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin are produced in the U.S.

And 80 percent of this crop are picked within one single month of the year — October. The top-producing pumpkin states are Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. In fact, Morton, Ill., is the self-proclaimed “pumpkin capital” of the world because it’s home to the Libby’s corporation.

Pumpkin seeds as snacks
The average-size pumpkin contains about 1 cup of seeds.

To roast seeds: Separate seeds from the stringy pulp and run them under cold water (a colander works well here). Then carefully blot dry. Preheat oven to 250ºF. Make a seasoning mix with butter or oil and your favorite dry seasonings. Try Cajun, taco, simple salt and pepper or whatever you’re feeling. Bake for about 45 minutes, then increase the temperature to 325ºF and bake for another 20 minutes or longer — until seeds are crispy. Stir a few times during baking.

SAVE THOSE SEEDS:

How do you store pumpkin seeds for next season?
Once your seeds are thoroughly dry, place them in an envelope or brown paper bag. Label it with the date and details about the pumpkin. Store your seed envelope in a cool, dry place until planting time. Some people keep them in the refrigerator if they don’t have another suitable place.
Your jack-o’-lantern won’t make a good pie
Those oversized pumpkins you pick up at the roadside stand are bred for size, not flavor. Farmers know that most people buy pumpkins that they can carve, so they don’t worry about their tastiness. If you plan on using fresh pumpkin to cook, pick up a Cinderella, Pink Banana Squash or Sugar Pie pumpkin variety. A 5-pound pumpkin should yield two pies.

World’s largest pumpkin pie

The largest pumpkin pie ever made was 20 feet in diameter and weighed 3,699 pounds. It was made in September 2010 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers (USA) at the New Bremen Pumpkinfest in New Bremen, Ohio.

National Pumpkin Day is celebrated every Oct. 26

National Pumpkin Day is an unofficial holiday that is celebrated annually on Oct. 26. The holiday serves as a day to give thanks for the squash that have been such an integral part of North American heritage. It’s also a convenient day to carve a pumpkin since most pumpkins will hold up a few days before Halloween on Oct. 31.

source

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Sandwich, IL 60548

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© 2021 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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