What’s so Important About Raking Leaves?

October 21st, 2014

raking leavesWith fall upon us, most Maryland homeowners are doubtlessly faced with the tiresome chore of raking leaves. It’s not exactly a fun task and, because it’s required repeatedly, it can leave many wondering if this bit of landscaping is necessary at all or just for show?

Why Rake?

The answer’s as simple as breathing, your lawn’s breathing to be more precise. See, lawns actually need exposure to the open air to stay alive, as well as receive sunlight and water. A covering of leaves can smother your lawn and permanently kill grass, as well as foster the growth of aggressive molds and fungi.

But Wait There’s More!

That’s not the only reason that it’s important for Maryland homeowners to undertake the routine landscaping chore of raking leaves, there’s also the matter of preserving cool-season grasses. Cool-season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, are most active during cold fall weather, which is when they fortify their root systems for the upcoming year. Keeping them in exposed to fall sunlight, air, and fresh water is crucial to their continued growth.

But When Do I Rake?

The general rule of thumb is not to leave a layer of leaves on your lawn for more than 3 days. However this is only a basic landscaping guideline and the actual amount of time you can afford to wait may be much less or more given your Maryland home’s specific circumstances. Thicker, wet layers of leaves should be removed much sooner than thin, dry layers.

Yards with lots of deciduous trees will have more leaves and thus require more regular raking, starting earlier in the season. Homeowners with access to leaf blowers can probably also wait a little longer than those with traditional rakes.

Rhine Landscaping

If you don’t want to worry about the constant upkeep of raking and other fall landscaping chores, you should consider hiring an experienced Maryland landscaping company to take care of it for you. Forget about all the hassle and start enjoying a beautiful lawn today with Rhine Landscaping!

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 lawn without any work, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today!

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Why Should I Install a Fire Pit this Fall?

October 13th, 2014

fire pitThe leaves are changing, apple cider is brewing, and pumpkins are being carved. Fall is here, and what better way to enjoy the cooler weather than sitting around a cozy fire? A built-in fire pit makes a great addition to your patio, and now is the time to build it before it gets too cold. The benefits of a fire pit are endless; keep reading to check out a few of them:

  1. Aesthetics. Fire pits can add a little something to your patio. With a wide range of possible materials such as stone, clay, or fire-resistant brick, you can choose what looks best for your patio. It will most likely become to focal point of your backyard, so placement is key.
  2. Entertaining. Entertain guests this fall with an Oktoberfest party. As it gets chillier outside, people seem to be huddling together for warmth. With your fire pit, guests can gather around and keep warm while enjoying some pumpkin beer or hot cider.
  3. Family Time. Now that the kids are back in school, you don’t see them as often as you did in the summer. Catch up with your family and spend some quality time together around the fire. Roast marshmallows, make s’mores, and share stories from your day.
  4. Safety. With large amounts of people around fire, safety is key. A freestanding fire pit could easily become knocked over. Instead, install a fire pit into your patio so that there is no chance of this happening. A built-in fire pit also has walls that contain the fire, making the area safer for guests, small children, and pets. If you choose to install a gas fire pit, the fire can be easily controlled. 

With custom fire pits from Rhine Landscaping, you can design the perfect fire pit for your backyard. Whether you prefer wood burning, natural gas, or charcoal fire pits, at Rhine Landscaping we use only high-quality materials to emphasize the beauty of your home. We also want to make sure that safety plays an important role. We examine the area and make sure the fire pit is built in a safe spot at an appropriate distance away from your home. We also make sure to line it with fireproof mortar and brick to protect the stone of the fire pit, and to protect you!

To find out more about installing a fire pit in your backyard this fall, visit our website and contact Rhine Landscaping by calling 410-442-2445 or click here today! You can also follow us on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Source: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/advantages-of-a-patio-fire-pit

Killing Weeds Organically with Soil Solarization

October 6th, 2014

soil solarization

When caring for your Maryland, yard finding a balance between convenience and ecologically friendly landscaping practices can be a challenge and killing weeds is no exception. Even if you remove every weed in sight by hand, roots and all, there are still thousands of invisible weed seeds waiting to sprout. But what if you could kill pesky weeds, without chemicals, before they even start to sprout. Soil Solarization is a preventative, organic method of killing weeds. It’s not easy, and requires starting your yard over from a clean slate, but the benefits are huge.

  1. Before you do anything, make sure you can identify any poisonous species like poison ivy, oak, and sumac. You’ll be getting knee-deep in the weeds, so knowing any dangerous plants is absolutely necessary before beginning soil solarization.
  2. Soil Solarization means starting over from scratch and getting down to the root of your problems so you’ll have to trim down any tall vegetation with shears or a power trimmer, and mow any additional grass and weeds down.
  3. Next, you’ll have to cut down any trees as flush to the ground as possible using an axe or chainsaw, removing the stumps before moving onto the next step. You can use a crowbar or mattock to get the stumps complete removed.
  4. The next step of soil solarization requires using a tiller and steel rake to till and rake your soil, completely removing all the weeds and roots from your yard. Follow up with a thorough blasting with a hose to moisten the disturbed earth.
  5. The next and perhaps most crucial step of soil solarization is where we actually get to killing weeds. Spread a clear polyethylene sheet over your yard and weight the edges down with cinder blocks. Keep the sheet tightly stretched over your yard for 4-6 weeks. During this time, the sun will penetrate your soil, heating all the weed seeds and killing them before they have a chance to sprout.
  6. After soil solarization has occurred, you can remove the plastic sheeting, lay down some landscape fabric, and get to replanting. Congratulations, you’ve essentially purified your lawn organically and without any chemicals.

While soil solarization is a wonderful and incredibly ecologically friendly way of killing weeds and “restarting” your lawn, it’s obviously a very labor-intensive one. If you’re looking for a Maryland company that can handle the task of soil solarization and subsequent replanting, then you should consider contacting Rhine Landscaping.

Rhine Landscaping

Rhine Landscaping has been serving the Maryland area with landscaping, hardscaping, and swimming pool design and installation for years. If you want to begin killing weeds with Soil Solarization, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today!

Source: About.com

What can a Water Feature do for your Maryland Home?

September 30th, 2014

water feature

From fountains to gently flowing rivers, there are a wide variety of available water features available for purchase. Maryland homes are especially well suited to these with natural flora and fauna, as well as plenty available for purchase, that can flourish when provided with a water source. Here are a few reasons why the next big addition to your Maryland home should be a water feature.

Increased Property Value

One of the most obvious benefits of the addition of a water feature is the immediate increase in home value. While a water feature can be somewhat costly to build, homeowners can see a return of as much as three times the investment cost. Structures that are visible from the road will also attract potential buyers and lend your property immediate charm that will help your home stand out.

Peaceful Relaxation

The gentle sight and sounds of rushing water, coupled with the sight of resplendent greenery can make the cares and struggles of the day disappear. Imagine being able to come home and unwind in a jungle paradise of your own design. It is not just an idle fantasy either, there’s actually a fair bit of science suggesting that the sound of running water has a definite impact on stress and anxiety levels.

Added Life

The effects of adding a water feature to your Maryland home aren’t just limited to the structure itself, a water feature can turn your backyard into the kind of ecosystem necessary to support a wide variety of plant and animal life. Instead of putting up bird feeders, elegant avian creatures will flock to the sound of running water, or bathe in a birdbath. Similarly, you can surround a waterfall with trees increasing not only your home’s visual appeal and value, but also helping keep the environment green and the air oxygenated.

Contact Rhine Landscaping

A water feature can make all the difference between a lifeless lawn and a verdant paradise, so if you’re interested in turning your home into a beautiful sanctuary that you can safely unwind in, consider calling Rhine landscaping. Rhine Landscaping offers flowing streambeds, fountains, bubblers, waterfalls, Koi ponds and pondless water features make a landscape come alive. We can also assist you with your landscaping, hardscaping, and swimming pools. Our designers and landscapers can turn your dreams into reality.

Call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today!

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Source:

SelfGrowth.com

Grand View Landscape design

Creating Your Perfect Landscape Design with 3D Technology

September 25th, 2014

3D landscape designDesigning your own custom landscaping can be a challenge. You have to decide exactly what you want everything to look like without getting a complete visual of it. You like the idea, but will you still like it when the actual, physical landscaping is finished? It’s bound to look at least a little bit different than you envisioned in your mind – that’s where three dimensional design technologies come in. If you’ve ever wanted to see exactly what you’re getting before you go to all the hard work of actually creating it, you should find a residential landscaping contractor that uses 3D technology.

Benefits of 3D Technology for Landscaping

  • See everything before you build it – We mean everything. 3D landscaping technologies allow us to put every little detail down so you can see exactly what you’re getting before you get it. Imagine building a house and yard for the game, “The Sims.” It’s a lot like that, except even more detailed. You’re able to choose that types of plants that you would want as well as any hardscaping features.
  • Experiment with it – There are probably things that you’ve never considered doing with your landscaping for one reason or another. Either you don’t think it will look good in your yard or it’s something that you haven’t been introduced to yet. Being able to manipulate the area that you want to landscape on a computer will help you get a better idea of what can be done and what it will look like when it’s finished!
  • Make changes quickly and easily – Having a 3D view of the area that you want to landscape can help give you peace of mind in the decisions that you’ve made for your new landscaping. If you decide that you do want to make a change, though, you can easily change it right on the screen to see if you want to physically make that change. The great part about using computer technology is that you won’t have to start from scratch on the design – it’s simple to add or change things whenever you want to.

Hiring a Landscape Designer that Uses 3D Design Tools

When considering making large scale changes to your property it’s vital to consult a professional. Rhine Landscaping prides itself on providing clients with individualized service and attention to detail that is unsurpassed in the industry. With a strong team of experienced and qualified professionals, including architects, engineers and landscape designers, Rhine has a track record of taking the simplest to the most complex project from dream to reality. If you’re interested in professional landscaping or professional landscape maintenance, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today to talk to someone about your free estimate!

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Ways to Improve Your Home Value with Landscaping

September 17th, 2014

If you’re looking to improve your home value, but aren’t sure about the most cost-effective way to proceed, consider looking at professional landscaping. If done properly, professionally landscaping your home can instantly increase property value by as much as 20 percent. That’s not even including the immense jump in curb appeal. Half the battle of selling a house is simply getting passers by to stop and look, and landscaping is one of the most potent tools available to make that fight all the easier. Here are few elements of landscaping to keep in mind when trying to improve your home value.professional landscaping

Sophistication

According to research done by Virginia Tech horticulturalist Alex Niemiera, the most important factor in landscaping, when it comes to increasing property value, is the complexity of the design. A sophisticated landscape has a wide variety of plant masses, balances trees with plants, and incorporates vegetation that will provide color through all four seasons.

Maturity

Another crucial element of a beautiful landscape is plant size and fullness of growth. Plants are one of the few additions you can make to a house that will accrue value over time. Not only does more fully grown foliage look better, but it also lets potential buyers know that you’ve taken care of this property for a long time, and that your house has been lived in and cared for.

Small Additions

It’s worth considering adding a patio, potentially with a fire pit, onto your house if space allows. Patios extend the perceived available living space of a home, giving you an edge in terms of available square footage. Plus, they encourage people to go outside and fire pits can extend their availability into the colder months, allowing both you and future owners even more time of the year to appreciate the beautiful landscaping.

Intertested?

When considering making large scale changes to your property it’s vital to consult a professional. Rhine Landscaping prides itself on providing clients with individualized service and attention to detail that is unsurpassed in the industry. With a strong team of experienced and qualified professionals, including architects, engineers and landscape designers, Rhine has a track record of taking the simplest to the most complex project from dream to reality. If you’re interested in professional landscaping or professional landscape maintenance, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today to talk to someone about your free estimate!

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

Source:
Herald Tribune
Boston.com

Pavers vs Stamped Concrete for Your Sykesville Patio

September 12th, 2014

benefits of paversWhen people are getting ready to build patios in Maryland, we hear the following question a lot: which is better, pavers or stamped concrete? While we’ll agree that there are pros and cons to both types of paver materials, we personally believe in pavers as the superior product. We prefer to use natural stone material or clay/brick pavers for our patio, walkway, and driveway projects. Let’s talk about why pavers are generally the better product to use for home improvement projects!

Advantages of Pavers

  • Safety – This is a big reason why we prefer pavers over stamped concrete. Concrete can be extremely dangerous when it’s wet or icy because it’s a continuous slab. It’s easy to slip and fall on concrete, which isn’t a very forgiving material. Concrete isn’t a great material in states like Maryland, where we tend to get a lot of precipitation year round. Pavers can be a tripping hazard, but if you take good care of them, they’re much safer than stamped concrete.
  • Durability – Pavers will last much longer than stamped concrete. Many times they even come with a lifetime warranty. It’s not a matter of if concrete is going to crack, it’s a matter of when. Concrete will always crack and need to be repaired. Repairs can get expensive after a while since concrete repairs are pretty involved. The nice thing about pavers is that if you have to replace them, you usually only have to replace one at a time. Concrete requires more work and effort.
  • Maintenance – Pavers don’t require a lot of your attention. You’ll have to hose them off once in a while and make sure that you sweep them, but that’s about it. Stamped concrete needs to be sealed and occasionally entirely resurfaced. When you’d rather have something that doesn’t require you to spend a lot of time working on your hardscaping, paver patios are the smart route to go.
  • Aesthetics – It’s true that you can also get decent aesthetics out of stamped concrete, but you have more options for pavers. They come in an array of different colors, shapes, sizes, and styles. They’re more flexible and much easier to use, even if the ground that you want to install them on isn’t completely even. Pavers work great for just about any outdoor hardscaping project that you have.

Professional Hardscaping Services

Your outdoor patio should be a reflection of your home and tastes. Make it as unique as you are by designing your own custom patio. Now is a great time to get started and we can help you every step of the way. Call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today to talk to someone about your new custom designed patio!

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

Source: Great Day Improvements

How Can Landscaping Help Increase Your Property Value?

September 3rd, 2014

landscaping property valueSome neighborhoods are more aesthetically appeasing than others. It’s a simple fact. If you’ve ever thought carefully about it, you may have noticed that one reason these homes are more pleasing to the eye is because of the landscaping. Good landscaping is meant to draw the eye and improve the overall look and feel of a home or business. In fact, pristine landscaping can actually improve the property value of your home. Potential homebuyers like to see that a home is well maintained and cared for. A knowledgeable landscaper will be able to take what you have and turn it into a work of art.

How Does Landscaping Increase the Property Value?

  • Immediately – When you first hire a professional landscaper, you will immediately add perceived value to your home. Perceived value can do wonders for the neighborhood you live in. For instance, if you and your neighbors all decide to have your homes professionally landscaped, the aesthetic of the neighborhood goes up. Perceived value eventually leads to real value when the demand for housing in your neighborhood increases.
  • Midterm – It’s good to have a long-term landscaping plan. The time period in the middle is sometimes a little tricky because you may not see increased property value for a while. Your new plants are maturing at this point and will need some TLC. The better you take care of them, the better they’ll mature. In the meantime, taking care of your landscaping and learning more about it can be a fun way to enjoy your home.
  • Long-term – Long-term landscaping plans are advisable for increasing your property value. People will be able to see at first glance that you have carefully maintained your property and that you care about your home. Potential homebuyers will be willing to pay more for a home that has clearly been loved. Landscaping may seem like a big investment right now, but you’re almost guaranteed to get that investment back when you prepare to sell your home.

Landscaping for Property Value

Next week, we’ll talk a little bit more about some tips for landscaping to increase your property value. Though simply maintaining your lawn is a great way to start, the subject can get pretty in depth. We’ll break it all down for you! In the meantime, if you’re interested in professional landscaping or professional landscape maintenance, call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today to talk to someone about your free estimate!

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

Source: Home Guides

 

Backyard Patio Design Ideas

August 29th, 2014

unique patio designFall may be right around the corner, but there isn’t any better time to have a patio built. The busy season is winding down for many contractors and it’s a great time to start designing your backyard patio. Extending your living space will give you a way to get some fresh air when the days and nights start to cool down. There’s no reason to abandon fresh air just because the weather is getting cooler. With some of our patio design tips, you can stay warm on your patio all winter long, while enjoying the crisp Maryland air!

Patio Design Tips

  • Add a fire pit. Sure, you could build a bonfire in your backyard (depending on where you live and lots of different restrictions). Alternatively, you could add a built in fire pit to your patio. You can get really creative with fire pits these days. There are options for glass pit and even fire pits that run the perimeter of your patio to create a warm bubble for your Maryland backyard patio.
  • Built in seating. It’s a good idea to get big plushy chairs to help make your patio more comfortable, but built in patio seating. You can always do perimeter seating with stone benches around the area. Having free standing chairs built out of the same material as your patio can help bring the whole patio together. Swap out cushions for each season and voila! You’ve got comfortable built in seating.
  • Try out a patchwork patio. Instead of going the traditional route, try mixing and matching your patio pavers. You’ll get a unique patchwork look that is guaranteed to be a conversation starter. This is a great way to get an individualized look for your backyard if you have more eclectic tastes. Pair your patio with a boho design and you’ll have a cool, funky outdoor space.
  • Add a pergola. Pergolas can be used for lots of different things. You could grow an ivy around it to help your patio blend with nature. Another option is to have a retractable cover installed over it to extend your outdoor space even through rain and snow. A pergola adds interest to your patio and is a great starter point for decorating.

Custom Patio Installation

Your outdoor patio should be a reflection of your home and tastes. Make it as unique as you are by designing your own custom patio. Now is a great time to get started and we can help you every step of the way. Call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today to talk to someone about your new custom designed patio!

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

Sources: Sunset, Houzz

Winterizing your In-Ground Maryland Pool

August 21st, 2014

pool closing baltimoreLabor day is just around the corner. Many people choose to leave their Maryland pools open a little longer than that, but some people prefer to get them closed early in the season, when most public pools are closing. Pool closing can be complicated and requires a specific skill set. If you haven’t done it before, it’s best to ask a professional to show you the ropes or just to bring a pool maintenance company in to handle it altogether. If you’re planning on closing your own pool this year (even if you’ve done it before), you should look into a refresher to make sure that you don’t miss any steps. That’s why we’ve gathered some step by step information to get you started with closing your Maryland pool this fall!

Tips for Winterization

  • Balance your water chemistry – This may not seem overly important since you’re closing the pool, but you want to make sure that it doesn’t freeze over the winter. You’ll also want it to be clean for opening by next summer and balancing will help with that.
  • Purchase a winterization kit – This chemical kit will ensure that your water is blue and gorgeous next season when you’re ready to open your pool again. Follow the instructions on the kit very carefully.
  • Protect from freeze damage – This is the most important thing that you can do. You don’t want the water in your pool to freeze because it can cause cracking and other damage to the pool itself. Make sure that you leave some water in the bottom of the pool, but keep the pH levels balanced and insulate it.
  • Blow the water out of your plumbing – You can do this using a shop vac or by renting special equipment. You need to make sure that all of the water is out of your plumbing lines to avoid freezing and bursting of pipes. After this, you’ll need to seal the skimmer and the pool itself.
  • Drain EVERYTHING – Make sure that you drain the filter equipment to prepare everything for winter. Make sure that after you drain the filtration system, you keep track of anything that you remove so that you know you have it for next spring.

In-ground Pool Design from Rhine

Closing a pool can be complicated, but if you’ve talked to an expert and brushed up on your knowledge, you should be okay. In-ground pools are a great asset to your home and your lifestyle. If you don’t have an in-ground pool yet, we only have one question: why not? Contact Rhine Landscaping or Rhine Pools to start working on your custom pool design. Fall is when concrete sets best, so don’t think that we can’t get started ASAP! Call us at (410)-442-2445 or fill out our online contact form today to talk to someone about your new in-ground pool!

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Source:  About.com

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