No gardener wants to deal with invasive pests that may inhabit their yard. This is especially true with garden pests in Central Florida, as we certainly have our fair share. No matter how big or how small, pests can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy lawn and/or garden. In an effort to help you keep your garden free of any unwanted critters, today we take a look at the best way to get rid of some of the most common pests.
Just look at this little guy...how cute is he? Well, cuteness factor aside, he can do some major damage to your lawn. If you notice small mounds of soil dotting your yard, chances are you have a mole. The mounds are created when moles dig up dirt in search of grubs and insects. Most moles can be driven away by saturating the holes they make with a castor oil mixture. Simply mix four tablespoons of a vegetable-based detergent with twelve ounces of castor oil, put the mixture in a spray bottle, and spray liberally where the creatures are digging. This method won't do any permanent damage to your furry friends, only cause them to get an upset tummy and seek a more desirable location.
The Chinch Bug
Now on to the not so cute critters. Did you know that the various Augustine grasses are the most popular in Florida? As it turns out, in addition to being popular with Floridians, they are also popular with chinch bugs. If you've got Augustine grass in your yard, you need to be on the lookout for chinch bugs. These pests can leave ugly, dry, brown spots on your otherwise beautiful lawn. Chinch bugs can be kept at bay by properly aerating your lawn. If it's too late for preventative maintenance and you notice an infestation however, you will need a lawn care professional to get rid of them for good.
The Japanese Beetle
The Japanese Beetle, aka Popillia japonica is about as attractive as a bug can get. With a combo green/gold shell, they are easy to spot after they have infested your garden. Adult Japanese Beetles feast on both the fruit and the leaves of various plants. They do so in swarms which means that damage to your garden can happen very quickly and be very severe. Japanese Beetle grubs can eat the roots of your grass and cause brown spots to appear.
The easiest way to get rid of adult Japanese Beetles is simply to pick them off of your plants by hand and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. I highly recommend using a pair of thick gardening gloves when doing so if you're at all skittish about touching them. For grubs, the solution is a bit trickier. A useful product for getting rid of grubs is milky spore. This is a natural bacteria that kills grubs and causes them to decompose. After decomposition, the leftover material creates new spores in the ground which in turn kill additional grubs. That's what I call a win-win!
If you need help getting rid of any of the pests mentioned above, give Aventura Nursery & Landscaping a call today at (352) 799-3200. We are ready and waiting to help you keep your lawn and/or garden pest free!
Maybe it's because you care about your neighbors and your neighborhood. Maybe you got roped into it because no one else would volunteer. Whatever the reason may be, if you find yourself in charge of your neighborhood's HOA you will have your work cut out for you. Dealing with city and/or county officials, neighbor disputes, and vendors will all be necessary in your role. While we can't provide guidance on dealing with bureaucracy or feuding neighbors, we can provide you with a few tips on hiring the best HOA landscape contractor you can. Let's take a look at some of the methods you can use to keep costs down and appearances up.
The most common complaints that HOA facility managers have about their landscape vendors are that they do not communicate well or provide proactive advice for their clients. A landscaping company in Central Florida may "mow and blow" reliably but not do anything else to provide value to the client. Before hiring a vendor for your landscaping needs, ask them about their communication methods. Do they check on their clients periodically? Do they make suggestions about what types of plants and flowers would look and do the best in the area?
It is also a must for any landscaping company to have an enhanced hiring process in place. This will ensure a stable and reliable workforce that can really get to know what your HOA's landscaping needs are and the challenges you may face. A good crew will provide frequent advice on how service and appearance can be improved.
Asked and Answered
Ask any potential landscaping company for your HOA what "value added" services they provide. Will the company be able to provide tree removal services or fixes to the HOA's irrigation systems should the need arise? The last thing you want to do is get involved with a myriad of different companies for your various landscaping needs.
It is also a good idea to ask any company you are considering for referrals. Take the time to call and speak with these referrals and ask them what they think about the company. How is the company's customer service? How do they handle disputes and/or disagreements? Are there any areas that they need to improve in? These are all important questions to ask before you make your final decision to hire.
The Time Has Come
You've asked the right questions and received the right answers. You've found a landscaping company that can perform the work you need at a reasonable price. Before you sign any kind of contract, make your requirements and expectations known. Tell them if you expect correspondence and with what frequency. Tell them that you expect their employees to provide suggestions on how they can improve your HOA's landscape. Making your demands clear in the beginning is the best way to avoid conflict and hassle down the road.
We here at Aventura Nursery & Landscaping can work with you to provide the best possible service at the best possible price for your HOA's landscaping needs. Give us a call today at (352) 799-3200 and give us the opportunity to make your HOA look its best!
Every homeowner wants to get the most money they can get for their property when it's time to sell. As a result, potential sellers are likely to spend tens if not hundreds of thousand dollars on various upgrades when preparing to put their house on the market. A question we often hear is: "Will landscaping increase my home's value?" The answer to this question is a resounding YES! As it turns out, spending a little extra on your home's yard can yield big results when selling. Today we take a look at why this is and what you can do to maximize profits with your landscaping.
You're probably very familiar with the phrase curb appeal. As it turns out, curb appeal is a very real phenomenon. First impressions are also important. It's a simple fact that one of the first things a potential buyer is going to see when they pull up to your house is your yard and the state it is in. Having quality landscaping on your property lets any potential buyer know that your house has been well cared for and well maintained. A well landscaped yard will add instant value to your home. Keeping it well maintained over the years will also pay off more than most interior upgrades will due to the fact that landscape designs will not go out of style in the same way a bathroom or kitchen remodel will. Spending a little bit on your yard now could bring big profits when selling.
How Much Are We Talking?
According to this article in the San Francisco Gate:
"A well-landscaped home has a significant price advantage over a home with no landscaping. This advantage ranges from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent depending on the type of landscaping and the home's original value. That translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home. There's more to landscaping than sticking some flowers and a couple shrubs in the ground, however. The number-one thing that buyers are looking for in landscaping is a manicured design. Close behind is plant size and maturity. A lesser factor, but one still worth considering, is the diversity of plant life within the landscaping design."
If there's one advantage to landscaping in Central Florida, it is certainly diversity of plant life!
A Plan of Action
Every project worth doing needs a plan. The number one mistake a homeowner can make is not having a comprehensive plan before beginning to upgrade their landscaping. An owner may decide to add a shrub here, a tree there, and maybe sod a few years later. The result is a yard that looks disorganized at best and, ugly at worst. Why not hire a professional landscape designer to do the job for you?
If you're ready to add serious value to your home by upgrading your existing landscaping, give Aventura Nursery & Landscaping a call at 352-799-3200. Our team of experts will be happy to assist you with designing a plan for your yard and putting that plan into action. We look forward to making your yard the absolute best that it can be.
Come Grow With Us!