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Paver Patios – A Landscape Extension with Flair

The outdoor space that you enjoy is an addition to the space you live within. The most common way to augment it and develop the beauty and usable space is with a paver patio installation. Paver patio systems ensure easy upkeep, and in addition, they pose incomparable resilience to endure the freeze/thaw that the Midwest seems to experience. Weoffer skilled and precise landscape designs, as well as install of the product to code, and the care of several patio pavers, natural stone, and walkways to name a few.   Patios can be comprised of a variety of different materials, but we are certain that our pavers products are the finest offered.  

There is a considerable amount of benefit that paver patios offer to the homeowner.  First and foremost, they create a clean, usable space that gives your outdoor space a timeless, finished look for enjoyment and entertaining.  Paver patios, unlike concrete patios, do not suffer from freeze/thaw effects that we experience in the area.  They also do not call for staining to uphold the exquisiteness or efficiency of the design.  Due to the way they are “sealed”, paver patios rarely need to be weeded, as the joints are mortared together with a special sand product.  Once the sand sets, it becomes very firm and locks between the paver joints while still retaining flexibility and providing a long lasting, durable material.  From different shapes and sizes to changing up colors and materials, the options with paver patios and design are nearly endless.  To inquire how All American can estimate to install a paver patio for you as a homeowner, call our office at 402-408-0000.

Plant Spotlight – Weeping White Spruce

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The Weeping White Spruce is a unique conifer with a fun, dangling branching habit.  This tree is known to be stately, with a very straight trunk and pendulous branches.  It is perfect for tight spaces.  The needles are green with a blue cast and prefer part shade to full sun.  Weeping White Spruce thrives best in well drained soils and does well in zones 2 – 7.  It typically grows to a height of 20-25 feet in 25 years with a mature spread of 4-5 feet.

This evergreen makes a superb accent specimen or does well planted in groups as a windbreak or for a screening effect.  It should be watered regularly in extreme heat for best performance but will require less water once established.

To inquire further about how All American can incorporate this beautiful specimen into your landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Grubs in the Residential Lawn

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If you are experiencing brown patches in the residential lawn, areas that never turned green once spring arrived, white grubs might be the culprit!  To verify if it is grub damage, the affected area of turf will pull back like a roll of carpet and will have little to no root system.  Newly affected turfgrass will appear as oddly shaped dead areas, whether irrigated or not, in late summer or early fall.  An indicator that you may have a grub problem is that your turf has become spongy. Often one can notice this phenomenon before widespread brown patches appear. In a well-irrigated turf, sponginess may be the first indication that there is a grub problem.

It is best to treat the immature grubs because the insect is most susceptible to pesticides while young.  This requires applying necessary chemicals while newly hatched grubs are feeding on the turf root systems, which is mid-late summer.

Upon inspection of the soil in your residential lawn, it is important to understand that some grubs are okay.  Examine your turf to verify that white grubs are, indeed, present and establish the degree of the grub numbers.  A healthy residential lawn can effortlessly sustain a population of zero to five white grubs —and potentially numbers as high as nine per square foot.  While inspecting and the turf grass is elevated, pluck any of the white creatures that you can and drop them in to a bucket of warm, soapy water.  Always be sure to water the turf grass after replacing it so that it can root.  To inquire further about how All American combats white grubs in the residential lawn, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Bagworms in the Residential Landscape

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Coniferous, or evergreen, plant material in the residential landscape are often renowned for attracting bagworms to their needles or stems.  While evergreen species are popular choices for these unattractive insects, bagworms are showing to be less and less picky, attaching themselves to deciduous species of all kinds, including Honeylocust trees, Crabapples, ornamental shrubs, perennial flowers, etc.  Regardless, the insect can be destructive and if not properly managed can be fatal to the infected plant.

It is imperative to check your landscape plants throughout the growing season for bagworm infestation.  Adult bagworms are tiny, one to two inches in length, with brown bags made from dead plant material covering their bodies as they attach securely to the stem of the host plant.  If the bagworm is already present in the bag on the host plant and numbers are realistic to remove mechanically, picking them off the plant and dropping them in water and soap solution is the easiest form of control.  For chemical control, the only successful means to manage the insect is to target the young larvae in mid to late June.  The adult insects tend to feast on plant materials through the summer, which slows in August, so chemical control after the June time frame is less effective.

Chemicals such as Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), commonly known as Dipel or Thuricide, is available at most garden centers for chemical application to control bagworms in the landscape.  The affected plant material should be drenched in the insecticidal chemical in June to ensure that the insect consumes the product while they are feeding.  As always, thoroughly read and abide by all chemical label directions.  To inquire further about how All American handles bagworms in the landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Flowering Perennials

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A well-designed landscape space offers fascination from early spring through late autumn, and after if you choose plants with winter interest. For the chief growing period, much of that benefit stems from flowering and foliage plant varieties. Homeowners who wish for a lesser maintenance landscape would be sensible to search out perennials that are both easy-to-grow and propose a lengthy blooming time. Many perennials bloom for two to four weeks, however, the lengthiest flowering perennials, like coneflowers and salvia, gauge their flowering time in months, not weeks.

When designing a landscape space with perennials that have flower longevity, the same essential guidelines of design pertain; select a blend of early, mid-season, and late-flowering specimens. You can also alter both the bloom period and duration of the flowering cycle with pruning methods; pinching, deadheading, and shearing.

It is not easy to find a long-blooming perennial for shady spaces, but Luxuriant Bleeding Heart does the job.  Extending up to knee-high, this resilient variety generates clusters of reddish-pink flowers throughout late spring and summer. Establish this shade-tolerant perennial in a woodland garden or shady border. Removing spent blooms will guarantee months of color.

Full Moon Coreopsis is a striking plant and among the longest flowering perennials with a season that extends from early summer to early autumn. Coreopsis has outstanding drought tolerance and is popular with the pollinators. With most Coreopsis cultivars, deadhead blooms as they are spent to promote new color.

Goldsturm Black-eyed Susan is extensively thought to be among the best perennials of all time. Goldsturm strikes the late summer landscape with weeks and weeks of audacious color that continues into October. The drought-tolerant plants cultivate to about two-feet tall and present the best visual effect when cultivated in masses. Deadhead blooms as they are spent to promote new color.

Fertilizing Landscape Plants

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Ah, the exciting topic of plant fertilization!  However, we do need to address the questions of what kind and how much?  There are three critical elements that all plants need: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—or N-P-K, the quantities of which are identified as numbers on the package. For example, a general-purpose fertilizer branded 20-20-20 signifies that each chemical element—N, P, and K—offers 20 percent by weight to the total. The element percentages are presented in differing proportions to suit various fertil­izer needs. If you are considering an increase in flower production, you want a mix ratio around 15-30-15, which is high in flower-forming phosphorus. Be sure to examine the label for the N-P-K ratio, as you may be able to apply a general fertilizer with close to the same nutrient percentages but at a more cost effective price.

In addition to N-P-K, fertilizers generally include traces of other elements essential to plant health. Some trace elements are more vital than others, but each nourishes a plant in its own way. The most important trace elements in fertilizers are calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, boron, and sulfur. If any of these elements are deficient, a plant may indicate characteristic deficiency indicators. An iron deficiency, for instance, causes chlorosis, or yellow leaves with green veins, which is simply remedied with a dose of chelated iron.

There are two types of fertilizers accessible to a homeowner: granular and water soluble. Each form has advantages and disadvantages. Granular fertilizers provide food to a plant gradually but have the benefit of longevity. Since they must be broken down by water before a plant can use them, granular fertilizers do not leach out of the soil as promptly as water-soluble types. Water-soluble fertilizers are quicker acting but more fleeting, which means they must be used more often than the granular type.

To have your landscape plants fertilized by a landscape professional or to schedule your spring clean-up, call the All American office today at 402-408-0000.

Plant Spotlight – Taylor Juniper

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The Taylor Juniper is a Nebraska Statewide Arboretum introduction, making it ideal for any landscape bed, screen or accent plant.  With its semi-soft blue-green foliage and columnar habit, this tree is fantastic for tight spaces, as an entryway accent or to add a vertical element to any landscape space.  Taylor Juniper is a moderate growing tree that reaches 30 feet tall and 3 feet wide and performs best in a full sun landscape.  This juniper is hardy in zones 3-9 and does not require much water once established.

Taylor Juniper is a bird friendly specimen that is easy to care for and offers year-round interest.  To inquire further about how All American can incorporate this trendy specimen into your landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Benefits of Mulching Landscape Beds

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Mulch not only enhances landscape beds with an eye-catching cover of material on barren soil, it has several benefits, such as making bed upkeep simpler while bettering the health of landscape plants.  All American offers professional mulch installation in a variety of colors to suit preference and aesthetics.

Most vegetation requires frequent moisture for appropriate development. A mulch layer in landscape beds retains soil moisture longer than bare soil.  Mulch also works as a protective cover for the soil, so its temperature shifts more gradually. Mulch that is laid in the spring or initial summer months keeps the ground cooler for extended periods of time.  As temperatures decline in autumn and winter months, the mulch layer permits the ground to hold heat.  Mulch also serves as a weed barrier.  Although vigorous plant growth can reduce some weed development, a layer of mulch stifles even more undesirable weed growth in the landscape beds. Mulch inhibits sunlight from getting to germinating weeds, so they do not grow.  Organic mulch, such as wood chips, decompose over time. The decomposing mulch contributes nutrient-rich organic matter to the soil, enriching the soil for enhanced plant growth.

To further inquire about how All American can benefit your landscape beds by adding or updating your landscape bed mulch content, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Plant Spotlight – Kodiak Black Bush Honeysuckle

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Kodiak Black Bush Honeysuckle With Its Yellow Blooms!

The Kodiak Black Bush Honeysuckle is a shrub that is deer-resistant, drought tolerant and colorful!  Seriously?  Unlike some other shrubs, this versatile plant has year-round interest with spring blooms, dramatic, black purple foliage, and vibrant fall color.  The honeysuckle is a fairly petite shrub, growing 3-4’ tall with a 3-4‘ spread and a mounding growth habit.  Honeysuckle is never without clusters of yellow flowers in the summer months.  Kodiak Black Bush Honeysuckle thrives is full sun to full shade and does well in zones 5 – 7.  Kodiak Black has proven to be adaptable to most soils, including dry ones.  Though it is often called “Bush Honeysuckle”, this plant is not invasive.

This native shrub, often used in mass plantings in a landscape bed or as a specimen, is one of the best shade tolerant shrubs, however, its color is more intense in full sun to part shade.  To inquire further about how All American can incorporate this versatile specimen into your landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Winter Interest in the Landscape

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It is not a secret that the Nebraska winters can be lengthy and bitter.  The landscape garden can help alleviate some of the winter blues by showcasing winter interest through textures, colors and fruits, all which can be showy in the cold when selecting the right plants to do the job!  Here are some examples of how to incorporate plants with winter interest into the landscape as well as some varieties to make it happen.

Attractive bark is an important element in the winter landscape.  Once leaves have fallen and the bark’s surface is exposed, it can be seen in all its wonder.  Some bark is fissured, and some bark is unique for its peeling effect, regardless, bark can offer texture and color to the landscape beds during the winter months.  A few favorite varieties known for their attribute of outstanding bark in the landscape would include the paperbark maple, river birch, and the seven-son flower shrub.

Another key component of winter interest in the landscape beds includes color.  Several plant varieties offer color during the summer with their intense blooms, but it is important to incorporate the plants that offer powerful color during the winter months as well.  Whether it be through stem color or brightly colored persistent fruit, year-round color brightens the landscape beds.  The redosier dogwood, scarlet curls curly willow, beautyberry, holly, and snowberry shrubs all offer either brightly colored stems or a collage of colorful berries for landscape winter interest.

To inquire further about how to incorporate some winter interest into your landscape, contact the All American office at 402-408-0000.

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