Revitalize Your Lawn for Spring

March 24th, 2015
Bring your lawn back to life!

Bring your lawn back to life!

The winter months can be exceptionally hard on your lawn. The freezing temperatures combined with the weeks of being covered by snowy patches has probably destroyed your once beautiful yard. What was once an inviting, green blanket has become a brown wasteland, so now it’s time to bring it back to life. After all, Spring is the time of rebirth, right? Read the rest of this entry »

Annual Flowers and You

March 18th, 2015
Annuals make beautiful additions to any garden

Annuals make beautiful additions to any garden

 

Though the weather outside is pretty frightful, spring will soon be here. Thus, the time has come to start thinking about the kinds of flowers you might want to introduce into your gardens and landscapes. There are lots of different kinds of flowers to choose from, but the ones we’re going to discuss today are called “annuals.” These types of flowers typically last one growing season, therefore need to be replanted every year. However, annual flowers are known for their beautiful foliage and long-lasting blooms. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Getting Close to Time For Spring Cleanup

March 10th, 2015

spring cleanupWe’re only ten days away from the official start of spring, and in Maryland we’ve gone from freezing temperatures and 6 inches of snow to rain and mild temperatures. The snow’s melted for the most part, robins are out and about and starting to sing, and it’s time for you to start considering spring cleanup for your landscaping. Pruning, fertilizing, mulching, and deadheading are all important for keeping your lawn looking happy and healthy. Remember, a well manicured lawn adds to your home’s curb appeal and can boost your home’s value. Read the rest of this entry »

The Benefits of Landscape Design From Rhine Landscaping

March 4th, 2015

3d designRhine Landscaping provides award winning landscape design for homes in the fair state of Maryland. To ensure that you have the landscape of your dreams we first use a professional contract to guarantee our service, use a team of skilled landscape designers and architects that put your vision on paper, use an iterative process to make sure it’s just right, and stay with you until the job is done. At Rhine Landscaping we guarantee you the landscaping design of your dreams.

Professional Contract

Rhine Landscaping is a professional firm that takes our work, and your vision of your home seriously. Read the rest of this entry »

Consider the French Drain

February 24th, 2015

soil solarizationWhen you buy a home you are making a very large investment. So, to protect the future of your home, waterproofing options are available to you. Why not invest in a French drain? They’re simple, cost effective, and can be installed quickly.

What is a French drain?

A French drain is a system that will help to keep your basement and the sides of your home from sustaining water damage. Specifically, a French drain utilizes either a downhill slope or a sump pump to keep water from collecting in your basement or in the ground around your home. A trench is dug into your yard and is then lined with gravel and, most likely, covered with sand. This allows for the water to trickle into the little drain system and prevents it from forming a puddle. A pipe is often placed to help streamline the excess water. With a French drain you can also move water from your home and send it to your garden, but only if your garden is on a lower elevation. Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Maintenance for Hardscaping

February 18th, 2015

Winter Maintenance for Hardscaping“Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail,” is an proverb from Montenegro that certainly proves true this year. But just because the air is cold, and the wind bites, don’t let your winter maintenance for hardscaping fall behind. Winter maintenance for your hardscaping is important to increase the longevity of your hardscaping, and keep it beautiful year round.

Keep Your Hardscaping Clear

On the morning after a good snow take a picture of the pristine snow on your patio and hardscaping, because as pretty as it is you don’t want to leave it that way.Keeping your hardscaping clear of debris, snow, and ice during the winter is important for more then just safety reasons. Debris, like leaves and dirt, can stain your hardscaping if left on the surface and is damp over the winter. By keeping your hardscaping clear of debris you save yourself the trouble of having to do more serious cleaning in the spring.

Snow and ice are important to clear from your hardscaping because the cycle of freezing and thawing in Maryland’s temperate winter can cause damage to hardscaping. When snow or ice thaw the water seeps into cracks, holes, and pores of your hardscaping. When temperatures get below freezing again the water freezes and expands. The expanding can cause cracks and chips to form. With repeated freezing and thawing cracks and pores are expanded, as with each thaw more water can fill the space before freezing.

When you clear your hardscaping of snow and ice, it’s important that you don’t use a metal shovel. A metal shovel blade can chip or scratch your hardscaping surface. Use a plastic or rubber edged blade instead. Also, you should be careful of the de-icing chemicals you use on ice. Salt and other chemicals can react with concrete and certain types of stone. Make sure you consult with you consult the landscaping professional who installed your hardscaping to find out what’s safe to use on your hardscaping.

Repair, Replace, and Seal

Winter is an ideal time to repair, replace and seal your hardscaping. Finding the cracks in your pavers and between your pavers, and filling them with sandlock can prevent ice and snow from causing your pavers more damage. If a paver is already damaged beyond repair, then replacing it can help prevent damage to your other pavers. Finally, sealing your hardscaping at the regularly recommended intervals helps prevents moisture from penetrating your hardscaping and damaging in the winter. Sealing is a must for keeping you hardscaping strong and looking good.

Need Help with Winter Maintenance for Hardscaping

Call Rhine Landscaping. We’re an experienced hardscaping company that’s served Maryland for years. We know the ins and outs of winter maintenance for hardscaping and have the techniques and expertise at our disposal to make sure it’s done right and done affordably. We also install brand new patios and have done jobs ranging from simple walkways and patios to very elaborate terraced multi level patio systems. If you’re interested in a having an effortlessly beautiful paver patio, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today!

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The Benefits of Winter Pruning

February 11th, 2015

winter pruningWinter pruning is an important part of the annual care and maintenance of trees. Winter is the best time to do tree pruning for several reasons. It’s easier on you and the tree to prune during the winter. It allows you to easily identify and remove dangerous limbs that could prove a risk to your family and property. Finally, and most importantly, pruning during the winter is best for the trees health.

Easiest Time to Do the Work

The first benefit of winter pruning is that winter is the easiest time of the year to do the pruning work. Without leaves, the limbs you intend to prune are easier to access and to see. Don’t underestimate the benefits a clear line of sight gives you when pruning a tree. In the dense foliage of spring, summer, and fall it can be easy to lose sight of the limb you’re intending to cut, and cut the wrong one. You can also more easily identify damaged or disease limbs in the winter.

Remove Dangerous Limbs

With the tree’s clear of leaves, it becomes much easier to identify limbs that can be a potential danger to your family and property.  If you find hanging, broken, or diseased limbs remove them, as both are a risk to both the tree’s health and anyone who spends time beneath the tree. Sometimes a perfectly healthy limb may pose a risk as well, if it’s grown too far out snow and ice in the winter can put too much weight on it and snap it. An overly large limb may also act to imbalance a tree and put it at greater risk of falling during a heavy wind storm. You should also trim limbs that have grown out over your home, as they can prove to be a serious risk to your roof.

Improves Tree Health

The main reason that it’s best to prune during the winter is because it’s better for the trees health.  With the tree dormant the damage to it is minimal. The tree’s energy is largely stored in its roots as opposed to during the active seasons where the energy is flowing throughout the entire tree. When warm weather returns in the spring the pruning will serve to invigorate the tree. This is because the energy that was supposed to go to all of the trees limbs is now being concentrated on the limbs that need it, rather then the ones you cut. The limbs you didn’t cut will experience abundant growth and will be fuller and stronger.

Want your Trees Pruned this Winter?

Call Rhine Landscaping. We’re an experienced landscaping company that’s served Maryland for years. We know the ins and outs of landscaping and tree pruning. We have the techniques and expertise at our disposal to make sure it’s done right and done affordably. If you’re interested in a having an effortlessly beautiful lawn, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today!

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Winter Water Feature Maintenance Part 2: Ponds with Fish

February 4th, 2015

Preparing Pond for WinterRhine Landscaping brings you the conclusion to our two part series on winter maintenance for your water features, winter maintenance for water features containing fish.

In Advance of Winter

The preparation for winter starts in the fall.  As the weather gets colder you should stop fertilizing your plants, and start feeding your fish less. The plants and fish will both take this as a sign of the coming change of season, and they will both start using less nutrients and storing what they do get in their bodies for later use, and excess nutrients could cause algae blooms or chemical changes within the water.  You should also switch your fish to a low protein food when temperatures reach between 50-60 °F.  When temperatures are low enough the fish will stop coming to the surface to feed, and you should stop feeding them. The metabolism of goldfish and koi slows considerably in cold temperatures and they will be able to survive through the winter without feeding.

Cleaning the Pond

If it’s your first winter with the pond, or you do regular cleaning and maintenance then you might not need to clean. However, if your pond needs cleaning, you will have to move your fish into buckets, filled with your current pond water. Drain the pond as you would a pond without fish, and do the necessary cleaning. Remember to make sure the chemicals you use are safe for your fish and plants. Once the cleaning is done you can refill the pond and add the amount of chlorine remover recommended on the product label for your size pond. Do not add the chlorine remover all at once; instead add small doses in fifteen to twenty minute intervals. Check the chemical compositions of the water as you normally would and compare it to that of the water that the fish are currently, to ensure that it’s within the tolerable range for your fish.

Returning your Fish to the Pond

After you’ve finished cleaning, refilled the pond, and made sure the chemical balance is right, it is time to reintroduce the fish. To reintroduce the fish take the buckets with the fish float them in the pond water. This allows the fish to gradually acclimate to the change in temperature. Next mix some of the new pond water with the buckets contents, do this three or four times over the course of a couple hours to let the fish adjust. When done, you can remove the bucket and let the fish swim free.
Continuous Maintenance
Even though you’re not feeding your fish, and algae is not growing your pond still need regular care. Continue to check the chemical levels as you normally would, In addition, because the fish need air during the winter, you should consider a re-circulating pump, floating de-icer, or both to make sure the fish get the oxygen they need.  A re-circulating pump makes bubbles, that oxygenate the water and agitates it slightly so that it is harder for ice to form.  A floating de-icer has an internal thermostat that will turn on and heat the water if it gets to cold.  If you do decide to get a de-icer and the re-circulating pump, place them away from each other, as the flow of water caused by the re-circulating pump will cause the de-icer to be more active then it needs to be.

Have a Question about Water Feature Maintenance or Interested in Water Feature installation?

If you’ve had a water feature installed by Rhine Landscaping and have a questions about its maintenance, or are interested in installing one call us at (410)-442-2445 and one of our experienced professionals will assist you with the information you need.

Rhine Landscaping has been serving the Maryland area with landscaping, hardscaping, and swimming pool design and installation for years. If you’re interested in a having a beautiful water feature, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today!

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Winter Water Feature Maintenance: Fountains and Fishless Ponds

January 28th, 2015

Water features can give your landscape a sense of natural whimsy, and offer an excellent place to relax and read or observe nature. Of course, your water feature requires regular maintenance during the spring, summer, and fall to keep its serene beauty. This is especially true, for the month of winter, when improper care of your water feature can cause it serious damage. That’s why Rhine Landscaping has prepared this helpful guide to inform those who have water features, and those considering installing them, on the proper over winter maintenance of your water features.winter-pond-cleaning

Plant Care First

First remove any plants you might have. Tropical plants will have to be potted in buckets of water inside to keep warm over the winter. Hardy plants can be kept in the water feature if you keep it filled, but should be potted at the deepest spot in the pond. If the plants do not survive, repot in the spring.

Pump Maintenance

After removing plants you can unplug your pump and drain your fountain, waterfall, or pond. When you remove the pump from the pond clean the exterior and interior of the pump thoroughly you a hand towel. Store the pump in a bucket of warm water indoors to keep the seals from drying and the pump from freezing.

The Pond Itself

Next you can drain your water feature with an external pump. After draining, the pond, clean the bottom using a wet vacuum, or by hand, making sure to get all the debris.  If you have algae build up you can apply Green Clean, a contact algaecide, which is activated by water. Make sure to follow the directions printed on the bottle.

If you have a fountain keep it drained for the full winter season, ponds set into the ground should be refilled.  If water is kept in fountains, the expansion from freezing can damage them. If ponds are not refilled the uneven freezing can cause them to be misshapen. If you’re keeping plants in the pond, consider getting a floating de-icer to keep near the plants. If you’re keeping a waterfall running, check daily to make sure an ice dam does not form and cause the water to spill over.

Have a Question about Water Feature Maintenance or Interested in Water Feature installation?

If you have had a water feature installed by Rhine Landscaping and have a questions about its maintenance, or are interested in installing one call us at (410)-442-2445 and one of our experienced professionals will assist you with the information you need.

Rhine Landscaping has been serving the Maryland area with landscaping, hardscaping, and swimming pool design and installation for years. If you’re interested in a having a beautiful water feature, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today!

Find us on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Bad Smelling Plants to Avoid

January 26th, 2015

RagweedThe phrase bad smelling plants can seem like a bit of an oxymoron. However, they do exist and when you’re thinking about landscaping, especially with spring coming soon, you may want to think about what will appeal to you both visually and when it comes to your more delicate senses, such as your sense of smell. Fortunately, we have pulled together a list of some of the worst offenders that we tend to come across in this area, and you can decide whether the plant is right for you.

  1. Crown Imperial:  These orange blossoms make a strong statement in any garden, but they also are known for having a slightly skunk-like scent. While they are sturdy plants for those of us in mid-Atlantic and Northern climates, you have to decide whether their beauty outweighs their scent. One selling point is that they often ward off garden pests with their scent – so it can be a win-win!
  2.  Yellow Alyssum: These yellow perennials are known for blooming in late spring and sprucing up stone walls or making for wonderful ground cover, but unlike their white counterparts, also have a notorious scent that is far less pleasant.
  3. Candytuft: These white blossoms tend to bloom in mid-spring to late-spring. Like the yellow alyssum, they make for wonderful ground cover – and like the yellow alyssum, they’re not the best smelling plant out there. While their scent might be a little less noticeable, if you stick your face into it, you might discover they’re not as much to your liking.
  4. Bradford Pear Trees: these trees are not only unappealing to your olfactory senses, but they also are brittle, making them prone to snapping. For areas where the slightest breeze may blow, the Bradford pear tree may not be the best option for your landscaping.
  5. Hawthorn Trees: While these trees are full of berries and can make a lovely addition to your garden, they also have the unfortunate experience of being unpleasant to smell and poisonous dogs.
  6. Mountain Ash Tree: The mountain ash tree is pretty low maintenance, can withstand all four seasons, and is known for its beautiful fall foliage as well as its berries. What it’s not as well known for? Its pungent smell.
  7. Trillium: This bad smelling plant fares best in woodland gardens, as it is found in the wild more often than a nursery. The trillium plant is a lover of shade, which means its scent might be far less offensive than those that crave the sun and are closer to your home.
  8. Butterfly bush: Named for their ability to attract butterflies, the butterfly bush has the poor misfortune of being both a bad smelling plant and an invasive species.

All of these plants can be found in the Mid-Atlantic region and can be considered in your landscaping plans. If you’d like to learn more about bad smelling plants, as well as some of the more favorable options, give us a call today at 410-442-2445.

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