How short is too short for my lawn

How short is too short for my lawn

How short is too short for my lawn?

A few tips when you are mowing your lawn yourself or hiring a lawn mowing service.  Aztech Landscaping does NOT offer mowing although there are many local small businesses that can provide that service so we recommend to ask your family, friends and neighbors who they would recommend.

Mowing your lawn may seem like a straightforward task, but the WAY you mow makes a big difference to your lawn’s overall health. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you mow: Don’t mow too short! Most growth happens in the top 2 inches of a blade of grass because that’s where photosynthesis (converting of sunlight to energy for growth) takes place. If you scalp your lawn, you take off all the growing parts. New growth then has to come from the crown, which robs energy from the roots.

How often to mow? Ideal mowing frequency is closely tied to the growth rate. Spring and fall generally are times of faster growth, and you may need to mow more than once per week. Just never remove more than 1/3 of the total blade height in a single mowing.

Alternate Directions It’s a good idea to vary your pattern from mowing to mowing to avoid the grass being mashed down the same way each time. Mowing at a right angle to the previous mowing’s pattern works well to keep your lawn “standing tall.”

Stay Sharp Sharpen your lawn mower blades often to avoid your mowed grass having a “chewed” or ripped appearance.

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© 2023 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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Selecting the Right Trees

TREES ARE A WONDERFUL INVESTMENT IN A LANDSCAPE. Some trees serve functional purposes like providing shade from the sun or obstructing views of unsightly areas while other trees are important purely for the aesthetic value they offer. Selecting the right tree is no small feat but there are a few things to consider that can help narrow down your options. Our landscape designer will help with your design which can includes helping you make choices that will fit your lifestyle and beautify your yard. Learn more about types of trees at

Selecting the Right Tree for Your Landscape Project

Trees often serve as a focal point of a mature landscape because of their imposing height and sometimes their far-reaching branches. They also define spaces, act as barriers, provide color and texture, and much more. Trees play a lot of roles and accordingly, it’s important to understand what you want from your trees before adding them to your landscape. Most trees can be grouped into four categories: shade trees, flowering trees, ornamental trees, and evergreen trees.

Shade Trees
When you think of large trees, you may likely think of shade trees. Their graceful, arching canopies cast shade over yards, streets, and homes below. A shade tree is an excellent addition to the home landscape because the canopy provides summer shade, but when the leaves drop in winter more of that ever-important sunlight reaches the home. Some of the options to consider for large shade trees include pine oaks, silver maples, English oaks, tulip trees, white ash, and American sycamores.

Flowering Trees
Flowering trees can range in size from a large shrub, like a serviceberry, to large and dramatic, like a weeping cherry tree. One flowering tree can provide a focal point while in bloom. Multiple flowering trees can have greater visual impact if planted in groups or lining a driveway or path. Just be sure to consider the size and the sun or shade needs for your flowering tree before planting. Most flowering trees only bloom for a few weeks out of the year, so the tree needs to be right for your landscape all year long. Beautiful flowering trees to consider include Eastern redbuds, flowering dogwoods, forsythia, crape myrtles, and magnolias. While traditional shade trees offer broad home or yard coverage, many flowering trees offer direct shade to a specific area. These trees are perfect for sitting beneath and getting lost in a book or enjoying a backyard picnic.

Ornamental trees
There are many specimen trees that are planted and enjoyed just for their visual appeal. These can include Japanese maples, any number of conifers, and even Sago palms or pygmy date palms. These trees are often slower growing and more expensive, but their beauty earns them a place of distinction in the landscape.

Evergreen trees
Evergreen trees come in all shapes and sizes, and as a result they have different uses in the landscape. Large, dense evergreens like many pines and spruces are effective windbreaks and can also provide screening on larger properties. Small, narrow evergreens like arborvitae and some cedars and cypress can form excellent privacy screens without taking up too much real estate. Evergreen trees can also come in a wide range of colors, from light to dark green, blue, and even gold, so personal preferences can usually be met.

Contact Aztech Landscaping to learn more about adding trees within your landscape.

*All content is for information purposes 

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Tips for Hot Summer Weather

Tips for Hot Summer Weather

One of the biggest challenges you can face when maintaining your landscape is creating a design which can withstand a long, hot summer. Hot weather is the sworn enemy of many of the traditional landscaping elements used on residential properties. We wanted to offer some tips to help maintain your outdoor living space that you and your family and friends can enjoy throughout the summer months and beyond. 

#1 – Find Some Shade

It is difficult for some plants to ensure direct sunlight all day long. By putting some of your sensitive plants in portable pots, you can move them into shaded areas during the heat of the day for protection. If you can’t move some of your plants, try erecting temporary shade such as a fabric umbrella which can give the plants a break while the temperatures soar.

#2 – Water Early in the Day

This just might be the most important tip you can receive for landscaping during the summer. If possible, get out and water your property early in the morning. By getting an early start on your watering, you will be able to avoid the issue of having the water evaporate before it has a chance to soak into the soil. Also, you need to avoid leaving your plants soggy overnight, as this is bad for their health. By watering early in the day, the water will have evaporated by the time night rolls around, and you will be ready to repeat the process tomorrow. Of course, if you don’t have time in the morning to water manually, you can consider setting up an automatic sprinkler system to do the work for you.

#3 – Use Plenty of Mulch

Mulch is one of your greatest allies in the battle against summer heat. With at least a couple inches of mulch in your beds, you will be able to keep the temperature down under the surface, and the moisture level will stay higher as well. In addition to the functional benefits, mulch also looks great.

#4 – Keep the Grass Long

Cutting your grass short is asking for trouble in hot weather. Even if you like the look of short grass, let it grow to at least three inches in the summer to avoid the risk of burning up the blades. Short grass will have nowhere to hide under the sun, and you may scorch the roots as a result. Get into the habit of cutting the lawn long during the summer months and move back shorter (if you wish) as autumn arrives.

#5 – When You Water, Go Deep

Instead of frequently applying just a bit of water to your lawn, try watering less often but adding more water when you do. By watering deeply, you will reach the roots, which is the entire point of watering the lawn in the first place. If watering by hand, it will take a bit of time to add enough water to get down to the root level – but your patience will be rewarded with a beautiful lawn.

 

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Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

Office Hours:

M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

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© 2023 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)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions

 

How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Many of us are fascinated with the beauty and aerobatics of hummingbirds and many of the plants that attract hummingbirds also attract butterflies

Here’s a list of flowering plants that may attract hummingbirds. Choose varieties in red and orange shades.

Common Name:

  • Beard tongue   
  • Bee balm            
  • Butterfly bush  
  • Catmint
  • Clove pink          
  • Columbine         
  • Coral bells          
  • Daylily  
  • Larkspur              
  • Desert candle   
  • Iris                
  • Foxglove             
  • Lily         
  • Lupine 
  • Pentas 
  • Petunia
  • Pincushion flower
  • Red-hot poker  
  • Scarlet sage       
  • Scarlet trumpet honeysuckle     
  • Soapwort           
  • Summer phlox  
  • Verbena             
  • Weigela               

Here are some fun facts about these little birds:

  • The key to attracting hummingbirds to your yard is to plant lots of flowers and provide the habitat that will give them shade, shelter, food, water, and security. 
  • Herbs, flowering shrubs, dwarf trees, and vines can all be used to create an ideal tiered habitat from ground level to 10 feet or more.
  • Provide lots of space between plants to give hummingbirds enough room to hover and navigate from flower to flower.
  • Hummingbirds love water, especially if it’s moving. A gentle, continuous spray from a nozzle or a sprinkler hose is perfect for a bath on the fly.
  • Hummingbirds do not have a keen sense of smell and rely on bright colors to find their food.
  • They are particularly fond of red and are often observed investigating feeders with red parts, red plant labels, red thermometers, and even red clothes on a gardener. Note: Do not use red dye in a hummingbird feeder; there is concern that it may harm the birds. Instead, use plain, clear sugar water (1 part white sugar mixed with 4 parts water). The birds love it! If your feeder does not have red on it, attach a red label or other item to attract them.
  • Brightly colored flowers that are tubular hold the most nectar, and are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. These include perennials such as bee balms, columbines, daylilies, and lupines; biennials such as foxgloves and hollyhocks; and many annuals, including cleomes, impatiens, and petunias.
  • Hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 beats per second, producing a buzz audible to human ears
  • Bee hummingbirds are the tiniest of all birds, weighing less than an ounce and measuring only 2 inches long.
  • Their brightly-colored, iridescent feathers and quick movements make them appear as living sun catchers—hence their nickname, flying jewels.
  • Hummingbirds have the unique ability to fly in any direction, even backward, with their wings beating up to a blurring 80 beats per second. Plus, they can hover in midair when sipping nectar from brightly colored flowers with their long, slender beaks.
  • While whizzing about the garden, hummingbirds expend so much energy that they must eat at least half their body weight each day to replace the calories that they burn up. This means eating almost constantly—from sunrise to sunset—and visiting over a thousand flowers every day.

 

The above is for informational purposes only 

Source  

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M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

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© 2023 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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Make Your Paver Project Special

Make Your Paver Project Special

When designing your outdoor space, special elements and individual touches can take your paving project from typical to something that is the envy of the street. Here are some tips to bring the “wow” factor to your outdoor hardscaping design.

1. Add ambience – Elevate your outdoor living spaces with the addition of a fireplace, firepit or a fire table for inviting warmth and comfort. Incorporate a wall fountain or other water feature, and enjoy the gentle sounds of nature in the background. Unilock has you covered with pre-built outdoor living elements that can be easily placed in your yard. Or engage a Unilock designer to help you custom-create your own outdoor project.

2. Put the accent on pavers – Resist the sea of sameness and play with pavers in different shapes, textures, sizes and colors. Start with a main paver and add complementing accents such as a border to define spaces, or a “paver rug” placed in the center of a circular driveway or at the front of a special feature like your barbeque or fireplace. Add visual interest and harmonious design to your outdoor project by taking the banding design used in paver flatwork and applying it to vertical elements like pillars, walls and grill islands.

3. Play in the sand – Rather than matching the jointing sand to the paver, choose a different color to dramatically change the look and feel of your paver surface. Consider matching the sand color to the siding of your home, your paver border or to vertical elements in your landscaping to help tie everything together.

4. Lighten the mood – Bring your paver projects to life with lighting features that are both mood-inducing and functional. Illuminate trees and other landscaping elements with soft lighting to enhance your outdoor settings, and strategically place lighting to guide visitors safely around the pool, over the steps and along walkways after the sun goes down.

5. Reach new heights – Pillars help to define spaces and provide vertical interest to your outdoor patio and pool areas. Turn an ordinary entrance into a grand entrance with pillars positioned at the end of your driveway, or used to corner the steps leading to your front door. Incorporate pillars along an extended half wall or paver fence to visually disrupt the line. Place lanterns or decorative planters on your pillars or incorporate a water feature for a truly elegant touch.

Looking for inspiration to make your outdoor spaces and paver project stand out? We can help.

Content brought to you by our friends at Unilock

 

Contact us today to learn more!

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Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

Office Hours:

M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

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© 2023 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)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions

 

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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885 Piper Way

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

Office Hours:

M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

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© 2023 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)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions

 

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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885 Piper Way

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

Office Hours:

M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

icpi logo

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© 2023 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)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions

 

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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885 Piper Way

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

Office Hours:

M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

icpi logo

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© 2023 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)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions

 

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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Aztech Transparent logo

885 Piper Way

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

Office Hours:

M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

icpi logo

unilock logo

 

© 2023 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)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions

 

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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Aztech Transparent logo

885 Piper Way

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

Office Hours:

M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

icpi logo

unilock logo

 

© 2023 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)

website design by Willow Marketing Solutions

 

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