Category Archives: Bladerunners Landscape

Landscaping In The Spring

Winter in Michigan is tricky; you never quite know when spring is around the corner.  We have seen snow in mid April.  Although uncommon it does happen.  We have been known to thaw and freeze again within the same week in March.  The weather is insane.  This is why Michigan landscapers prepare for spring by starting with cleaning up the landscape design and preparing gardens instead of jumping right in to planting.  Start your spring landscaping the way professionals do: start by cleaning up the existing landscape space.

The first step I take when preparing for spring is to cut back dead plants and shrubs while weeding out annuals from the previous season.  Also clean up weeds that have started to sprout.   Ornamental grasses can be cut down to around eight inches from the ground and trees and bushes should be trimmed back into their original shape.

This is a great time to turn the mulch.  Turning the mulch will help homeowners see where it is thinning and needs some freshening while also mixing the nutrients through.  Rotating the mulch allows some of the debris that has decomposed on the top layer to benefit the plants root system as well.  Spring time is great for adding mulch as well.  This gives the space a clean fresh feel when adding additional plants in late spring early summer.

Serious landscape design usually plans for an early burst of color amongst the green and brown tones left from the decay of fall leaves and plants. Adding in perennials does this for any homes landscape design.  Crocus, Iris, Daffodil and Tulip plants are terrific ways to accomplish this. When you start to see these pleasantries bloom you are also signaled that it is time to fertilize shrubs as well as bulbs.

Spring is also a great time for homeowners to test out their irrigation systems and once the last freeze has for sure occurred it is time to initiate turning the water back on to outdoor garden hooks ups and water features within the yard.

You have about a month before your garden senses start to tingle and you want to dive in to some outdoor work. Don’t get ahead of yourself.  Planting to early will prove to be a waste of money.  Remember to start with the theory of getting the canvas fresh during the spring and this will save you from early planting mistakes.

 

Tips On Hiring A Snow Removal Contractor

Brrr… If you are in any of the northeast states you realize that winter is upon us. With the cold weather comes snow fall. With snowfall comes slick ice and mounding snow.  Many people begin the snow season believing that they will continue to snow shovel every snow that falls however after about the eighth snow realize this is far to unrealistic and set out to find a company to handle the job for them.  Here are some last minute tips to help you in hiring a snow plowing contractor.

 

1)      Have several snow removal companies out to survey your situation. The estimates given will vary a great deal.  You will want to define the area to be cleared before they can accurately set the price. If you will require some hand shoveling above and beyond the driveway clearing this will need to be worked into the estimate.

 

2)      Make sure your expectations are in line with the contractor. How much snow warrants them to come out and plow.  Is it extra if the snow is more than a certain depth?  Contractors price out their services differently. Some offer a fixed price for the season while others use the depth of the snow to charge for their services.

 

3)      Another thing you will want to do is find out if the contractor uses salt or another chemical to melt the ice that accumulates.  Certain materials used on driveways can eat away at the cement or asphalt.  Be sure if you have a drive that is sensitive to salt that this is conveyed to the snow removal contractor that you hire.

 

4)      Ask for and call references.  You will want to make sure other clients have been and continue to be satisfied by the snow removal job that the contractor does.

 

5)      Finally ask for a written contractor.  Everything you discuss should be in writing.

 

Keep your expectations realistic. Remember if snow is abundant many snow contractors will begin with the business lots before they move to residential lots.

November Is Here: Tips To Prepare Yourself For The First Snow Fall

Snow removal is one of the most challenging aspects of cold weather climates.  Anyone who lives where snow is abundant knows the trials and tribulations that go along with large snow falls and efficiently removing the snow from walk ways and driveways.  If you are one of the lucky few you will have a professional at your beck and call to plow you out and ensure that you’re guaranteed accessibility to your home and main road ways.  However this is not always the case.  Some people prefer to save some money and go it themselves only resorting to a snowplowing service company for large snowfalls.  Here are some tips for those do it yourself types when shoveling snow.

1)      When snow shoveling be sure to only pick up a half scoop of snow each time.  This keeps you from burning out quickly and will allow you to stay injury free.

2)      When dealing with large chunks of snow and ice that are frozen together attempt to break the large piece into several pieces. Although this may be rough on your hands and arms it will save your back.

3)      Shovel the snow as it falls.  This will save you from the mass of snow that happens after the snow has fallen and become heavy through the night.  If it is allowed to become wet and harden it will be heavier to shovel.

When it comes to anything over three inches of snow and you have not been able to keep up as it has come down the best option is to look into your snow plowing options.  This is especially true when looking at longer driveway surfaces and private side streets.

Snow and Ice Removal Services Throughout Livingston County

Like it or now old man winter is right around the corner.  The leaves are falling and the air is getting crispy.  Every year before the season begins business and residential clients start asking about snow removal and snow plowing services that are offered throughout Livingston County.

For us here at Bladerunners we like our new and returning customers to know and understand the way we look at snow and ice throughout the winter. From the first snow fall to the last we are dedicated to ensuring the safety of your family or clients as we do our own.  Melting snow leads to ice quickly. This is why Bladerunners team of experts work quickly and throughout the night and day to offer initial services and then ice and snow removal and maintenance.

During the season we use a combination of tools and procedures to provide the best snow plowing at the time of need.  We use heavy duty trucks and skidsteers to clear parking lots.  We also provide services that allow us to clear walkways and courtyards.  Everyone knows that the snow melts and leads to ice buildup. At Bladerunners we use preventative measures as well as time effective ones to melt the snow and ice and prevent a refreeze from happening.  All of the chemicals that we use are safe for pets and are non-corrosive.

As a storm passes and lots are initially cleared our team will do a post-storm evaluation on your property to continue making sure your environment is free of residual hazards. We offer a variety of packages at all price levels.  Give us a call today and ensure Bladrunners will be able to service your needs this winter – (810) 923-5111.

Tending To Your Lawn In The Fall

When the air starts to cool down and you start to enjoy hot tea instead of ice tea you know it is time to start thinking about fall lawn care.  Fall lawn maintenance is important to keep your lawn growing healthy year round. When you properly mow, fertilize, water and seed in the fall your lawn will be a glowing indication in the spring when the air transitions from crisp back to balmy. This article will give you fall lawn care tips to take you through the season and prepare your lawn for the fall and winter seasons.

Mowing is essential to keeping the exterior of your home looking its best.  The curb appeal of your home is what sets your home apart from the rest of the homes in the area.  You want people to drive by and be inspired and in awe.  A healthy fall lawn needs to continue to be cut.  Just because the weather is chilly does not mean that you stop mowing the lawn.  You will however need to adjust the length in which you cut the lawn.

When the temperatures are hot we tend to leave our lawns a bit longer to avoid burning the grass and root with the heat of the sun’s rays.  Once summer comes to an end and the rays of the sun are farther away and less intense it is time to start mowing the lawn to about two inches.  Don’t go any shorter than this as you will run the risk of killing the grass.

The grass in the fall naturally stays greener in the fall then the summer even without constant water.  This however does not eliminate the need for watering your lawn throughout the fall season.  Normally the water levels are naturally higher when the weather turns colder.  If however the rainfall is less than an inch a week you will want to go back to watering your lawn with the sprinkler. Water is needed to keep your fall lawn lush and full.

The next area we will look at is fertilizing the lawn.  This process should be done in late fall perhaps the perfect time would be the end of September through the middle of October.  When you fertilize your lawn it is better suited to handle the harsh winter weather and become a healthy lawn quicker in the spring.  Fertilizer gives the lawn a high nitrogen content that will help achieve all of this for your lawn.

You will want to fill in any areas of grass that have thinned throughout the summer by adding seed that will help to fill in bare spots and make the lawn more lush in the spring.  The temperatures and rain fall levels in fall are usually ideal for the seeds to germinate.  There are two schools of thought with fall planting.  One is to plant the seed in September so that it is able to germinate for this year the other is to plant it in mid October when it will stay dormant and establish itself when the spring season comes around.  In late fall birds and seed eating critters are less likely to steal the seed allowing a greater chance for more seeds to become viable.

Fall lawn care involves a lot less maintenance than summer lawn care but is such a key element in keeping your landscape design fresh and appealing.  It is important when using products on your lawn that are new to you that you read all labels and don’t abuse products like fertilizer.  More fertilizer will not give you a healthier lawn. In fact the opposite affect can happen rather quickly if fertilization of your lawn is not done properly.  Contact local lawn care professionals who are available for hire to care for your lawn year round.

 

Some Things Are Better Left To The Professionals

It is one of the most daunting tasks homeowners must do to keep the homes aesthetic value as well as dollar value up.  Landscaping tends to leave many homeowners overwhelmed as it is often difficult to keep up with the growing list of ways to improve your home landscape.  It is so overwhelming that most of us hire professional landscape design companies to come in mow the lawn, prune the bushes, plant flowers and clean up yard waste.  Having a company handle your lawn care does not mean you can have total hands off approach.  Here are some tips to help guide you when you are out in your yard.

 

The first tip I give to anyone attempting a project on their own without the professionals is to purchase all the materials for the project at hand upfront.  This is something professional landscapers do also.  There is nothing worse than finding out you are missing a crucial part of the project mid way through.  Planning can also save you money as you tend to get better pricing from larger stores.  When you are missing something you tend to run to the local hardware where the markup is double.

 

As you work through each section and phase you purchase the goods needed to complete that section.  This can prove to also benefit you because you may find after the completion of one section that the yard is complete and not want to move on to another project within the original design.  For example, if you are planning for a rock garden with a natural pond flowing into and notice once the pond is complete that the rock garden would be overkill that you have not wasted time or resources on the second, unneeded phase.  It saves from the hassle of retuning extra supplies or worse cluttering your shed with leftover unused materials.

 

Landscaping with a water element is always appealing and a crowd pleaser.  These are not easy to manipulate on your own and often need the care of a professional to help with this landscape design arena.  If you are tempted to try and install a water feature within your own landscape start small.  Smaller pools, pumps and fountains are easier to handle and maneuver if mistakes are made in the original design.  It will be a smaller mistake to correct with smaller items.  Using water plants around the small pond space can make it appear larger and will allow for easier maintenance.

 

If you are attempting to add in plants, shrubs, flowers, trees or berries it is best to ask the professional that has worked within your space.  These options are often difficult to sustain if not properly planted and cared for.  It is a waste of money for you to add a plant into your landscape without knowing if the soil, sun and water requirements will be met.

 

Landscaping is not something all people are born to do or are even good at.  Some people enjoy tinkering about in the yard.  The curb appeal of your home is one of the most important aspects when it comes to the resale of your home.  Make sure your home is appealing.  Hire a professional landscape company to come in if not every week for regular lawn care than at least twice a year to help prepare the landscape for the summer and winter seasons.  Fall landscape maintenance and spring yard clean up are the most important times of the year for your yard.  Do everything you can to protect your investment going into the harsh winters and hot summers Mother Nature brings the North.

Tips On Creating A First Class Landscape

Having a landscape that speaks to visitors about who you are is important.  It is important that the landscape is in sync with the home’s exterior.  If you are an avid health nut and love the natural taste of foods think about adding a space to garden fresh vegetables.  However if flowers are more your style choose a space in the yard to set up a seating nook with native wild flowers flooding the space.  Landscaping is all about making the space personal, functional, maintainable and yours.

I love the idea of adding a garden to a home’s landscape.  It is a great way to produce your own source of foods and gives families a sense of pride.  Harvesting vegetables from your yard instead of running to the grocery store is a terrific moment.  I love running out to the yard and grabbing a ripe tomato when guests are filling our home.  Nothing makes a salad fresher than adding fresh veggies from your very own space.

When designing your homes landscaping another option to consider is the use of deciduous shrubs, vines and trees that don’t start peaking until the fall.  They transform the garden with the bright reds, glowing yellows and fiery oranges they bring to the landscape. The reason these plants will change colors is that they will stop producing chlorophyll in colder weather, and thus the pigments within the leaves begin to change. Ensure your plants receive plenty of sunshine to increase the display of fall colors. Boston ivy, burning bush, maple, chestnut and barberry are popular choices for those who want to enjoy a spectacular fall bloom.

Another reason to take care of your landscape is the return it brings on your investment.  It is hard to believe but the more trees and landscaping dollars that are present wisely in a space the more the value of the home rises to potential buyers.  If possible purchase plants and shrubs when they are small and inexpensive.  As they grow you will be amazed at how the landscape matures and the aesthetic beauty that comes with it.

To keep the landscape and gardens growing well and quickly use a fertilizer designed for your location.  Many brands of fertilizer come custom and give you detailed plans on when and what fertilizers need to be applied during the season.  It is amazing but fertilizer is something that can be used year round and will increase the appeal of your landscape.

You can add some color in the spring and summer with annuals however this can turn costly if care is not sought. They do fill the gaps between shrubs and perennials.  Using a variety of annuals that range in height, color and style will add variety just be sure to use your resources wisely.  It really does not increase the value of your home in any manner so purchase wisely.

Landscaping is a fun way to express yourself with the exterior elements of your home.  It is important to remind yourself that landscaping works best when it flows naturally with the home’s exterior.  Think about it this way if you have an incredibly modern home with lots of white clean lines you don’t want a jungle in the yard.  The same thing is true for the opposite.  If you have an incredibly eclectic exterior a boxy, planned exterior does not really flow.

Strategies For A Lush Lawn

The joys of summer are plenty. One benefit of the summer time is being able to enjoy the lush, green lawn. Have you been thinking inside the heat of the summer a lush lawn is expected? The steps below regarding lawn maintenance and care will assist you to get to be the envy of the neighborhood.

Lawn Maintenance – Watering

Normally lawn maintenance in Michigan requires some type of watering schedule. All depends upon the amount of precipitation containing fallen and the previous climate. Per week typically your lawn requires one to one and half inches of rain per week. You will need to watch out for grass that’s turning yellow-brown simply because this may mean you need to increase this.
Try watering your lawn each day preferably by ten o’clock every day. This will assist to relieve water evaporation allowing more water to soak in to the lawn. Avoid watering your lawn later in the day since the hazards of fungi and disease increase at night.

Lawn Care – Mowing

In the event the heat with the summer season is among us it’s always best to trim your lawn for a longer period than you normally wood during cooler months. Grass which is longer will assist you to shield the roots in the steaming sun’s rays. Many professional lawn care specialist would recommend a height between three and three and a half inches.

Avoid mowing your grass on days rich in heat indexes. This can causes it to become dry and turn colors. If you should cut it during a period of extreme heat focus on doing this within the cooler parts through the day and not smack dab in the center if the heat reaches its peak. Attempt to determine an excellent lawn mowing schedule which has you reducing your lawn once weekly, week . 5.

Lawn Fertilization – Feeding

Your grass will grow significantly better with a little bit of food in the form of fertilization. Homeowners can decide a chemical as granules or liquid. Fertilizer was designed to embark on in phases to create better results along with a healthier lawn. Follow the schedule laid out by the manufacturer when applying fertilizer. This is something you will need to begin early in the year season and continue to the fall.

Lawn Maintenance – Seed and Repair

Repairing and adding seed in your lawn is a common issue contained in lawn care. Local plumber of the season to achieve this influences spring or fall. If you are able to agree to regular watering in the lawn summer seeding could be okay. There are several kits open to patch the lawns that provide homeowners fantastic results. You’ll need to get caught up with watering and maintenance to have any new growth to have success.

Pay attention to the little details when caring for your lawn. A whole new landscape design can be as crucial that you your yard because grass itself. Homeowners must maintain a delicate balance to ensure their house to keep charm of the entrance. It won’t be easy but can be achieved. If gardening and lawn maintenance isn’t look you can contact a specialist lawn maintenance company. They will put your lawn on the schedule of fertilizing, watering, re-seeding and mowing that is perfect for your lawns exact needs.

Bladerunners Inc. located in Brighton, MI is an expert in lawn care and landscape desing. You can check them out online at today where you will find valuable information on

Tips On Maintaining A Healthy Lawn

When a home has a well maintained lawn if not only looks beautiful but also draws attention.  It becomes a place that your guests and family will gravitate toward.  You will find that instead of your kitchen be the one area in the home that is the center of activity that the area outside will be where your friends and family will want to be.  A lawn that is cared for lends itself to lounging, the stage for parties, games and a variety of other entertaining options.  A home on water or a home with a bonfire pit often becomes the home which is utilized for all the fun gatherings amongst friends.

 

In order to maintain a healthy lawn that looks and feels like a space people want to be it will take a lot of hard work.  Often people find they are so busy in the spring, summer and fall that hiring out the lawn maintenance chores is often a more practical and cost effective item to budget in.  Professional landscapers are not only available for landscape design and landscaping installation but can also be hired to maintain the lawn year round.  Let them spend the countless hours making your home’s lawn the envy of the neighborhood, your friends and family while you are able to reap the benefits a beautiful landscape offers.

 

If hiring a professional is not within your budget or if you prefer to work in the yard yourself the benefits to having a lush lawn are not the only ones you will be receiving.  Many professionals in the health field will advise that gardening helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It allows for time in nature which helps reduce stress and keep individuals moving and fit. The following tips may help your lawn to stay updated and desirable along with keeping you, the homeowner, happy, healthy and stress free.

Knowing your lawn type

Not everyone who enjoys gardening and lawn maintenance is an expert.  This is why before you begin taking on all the lawn cores you need to get to know your lawn and landscape.  There are a variety of grasses that can be chosen to be the base within your landscape.  The right grass seed will give the lawn a whole new look and feel.  The type of grass you pick will allow you to properly maintain your lawn and allow you to make the future arrangements, such as fertilizing and proper watering, to maintain the lawn and keep it beautiful.  Just remember with the variety of lawn seeds comes a variety of prices.  It is important for homeowners to create a budget, set preferences for feel and color and take in to account the time and temperature needed to grow the seeds verse the time and temperature of your area.  Before you purchase anything consider the above and you are guaranteed a choice that the results will leave you pleased.

Starting with a healthy base

The lawns soil is critical to the success of your lawn.  Without a solid foundation for your seed you are wasting time and effort as well as funds.  You will want to start with a healthy base soil that has the texture, essential nutrients and acidity balance needed for perfect soil.  Determine the quality of soil you currently have with a basic soil test.  From here you can improve the quality of your soil using organic compost, manure and grass and leave clippings.

Creating balance with fertilization

 

In order to keep the nutrients needed for a healthy lawn it is important to provide fertilization to your grass.  There is a balance that needs to be created.  Over fertilization can lead to issues and over fertilization can too. The key ingredients to healthy soil, thus a healthy lawn, are the right balance of phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium.  It is best to seek advice from professionals if you are having issues or want clarity when it comes to the nutrients needed in your soil.  This is true for landscaping plants and bushes that enhance a lawn as well.

 

These few basic tips should have you well on your way to a terrific base product for entertaining your family and friends.  Lawn maintenance and upkeep is not overly difficult if the right balance of time and energy is given to the task at hand.  Once you have a base lawn the landscape design will fall into place.  Your lawn will become the outer layer you desired as a base on the canvas of your home.

 

Landscape Design Combining Elements

Landscaping the yard is one of the things my husband has expressed very little interest in.  He just does not understand why we dump money into making the yard something other than what it already is.  With a river behind our home he feels it is our duty to let nature take over and protect itself.  Let the land lie as it will is his yard maintenance motto.

I however, do not feel the same way.  As he tackled the inside of our home when we moved in I went to work on the outside.  The first thing I did was remove the ant infested railroad tie border that was a make shift flower bed and pull everything that was planted out.  The people before us had tiny “gardens” all over the yard.  It was easy for me to remove them.  I knew it needed an updated badly and I was the girl for the job.

The river bank was full of overgrown seedling trees and nastiness. In cleaning the area up by the river bank my main goal was to utilize what existed as much as we could.  I wanted to keep the larger scale trees and new tree growth in place.  A natural environment is one that will protect the bank area from eroding better than any man made wall plus it look one hundred percent better.  In managing the erosion that will naturally take place we began taking boulders that were about the yard and placing them on the edge of the river.  In doing this they are molding the ground around them and holding it in place.

The house had a lot of areas of blandness.  The garage lacked any sort of bushes or shrubs to balance and hide the brick that formed the foundation.  In order to create spaces that are visually interesting and had balance I choose to plant alternating green and purple flowering bushes.  They really made the garage blend into the house and not look so separate.

Now that the garage and river banks were taken care of we had to think about the front and back yard landscaping.  I was sure I wanted items in the garden that were irregular and not formed in shape.  I like a bit of the fantasy, flowing look when it comes to plants and shrubs.  I immediately gravitated towards a border that incorporated multi-leveled logs standing vertically.  This really ties into the natural element of the river. I then choose some large landscape boulders and place them in various places within the bed to tie in with the river side of the house.  Shrubs were planted that were free forming and daisies were added for color and ground cover for filler and the garden was completed.

The back yard was simple.  I took the rock element and carried it into a fire pit arena.  It turned out beautifully and allowed us to do away with the three flower beds that basically eliminated any space for the kids to play within the boundaries of the yard.  I added several benches made from wood around by the river and fire pit as accents.  It is a very cozy landscaped space.

To add some fun and flair to the landscaping I place tiki torches around the deck area in the summer and solar ground lights in the path to the fire pit.  It adds a bit of metal into the landscape design breaking up the green around us.  It has grown on my husband as the summer’s progress and he has even taken to a bit of landscaping on his own with the installation of a boat ramp that blends naturally into the river.  That is truly is only contribution as I still find myself mowing and weeding the yard every weekend as he tends a fire and jumps in the boat for some river time.