By Rusty, Thu, 06/10/2021 - 18:45

Coreopsis may be just what you need if you’re looking for lasting summer color after most perennial flowers fade from the garden. It is easy to learn how to care for coreopsis flowers, commonly called tickseed or pot of gold. When you’ve learned how to grow coreopsis, you’ll appreciate their sunny blooms throughout the gardening season. Coreopsis flowers may be annual or perennial and come in a variety of heights. A member of the Asteraceae family, blooms of growing coreopsis are similar to those of the daisy. Colors of petals include red, pink, white, and yellow, many with dark brown or maroon centers, which makes an interesting contrast to the petals.

Coreopsis are sun-loving, low-maintenance perennials with daisy-like flowers. They are drought-tolerant, long-blooming, and happy to grow in poor, sandy, or rocky soil.

New coreopsis plants need regular water to keep the soil evenly moist (but not soggy) until they are established. After their first year, these plants have good drought tolerance, but they'll bloom most prolifically with regular watering. Water deeply whenever the soil is dry about an inch down.

Regardless of the type you're growing, coreopsis need full sun, so plant them where they will receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Coreopsis grows best in well-drained, moderately moist soils. These are not good plants for a poorly drained, low spot in the yard.

These colorful flowers attract butterflies, beneficial insects, and birds IF you let plants form for the seeds. The only problems are, that by doing so, you’ll get fewer flowers and they may self-sow throughout your garden where you don’t want them. One compromise is to keep them cut back during the season, for more flowers, but let them go to seed in the fall for the birds. You may, then, have to easily weed out some seedlings next spring if they self-sow.

If you’re looking to add this Gainesville Landscape Plant into your yard, please fill out the form above or contact us at (352) 378-5296.

By Rusty, Thu, 05/20/2021 - 18:44

This year's outdoor living trends are all about making your lawn, backyard, or porch, a regular part of everyday life. Building on last year's momentum, homeowners began to bring indoor conveniences outdoors with smart technology, multipurpose add-ons, and structures that allow us to be outside longer and more often throughout the year. Whether it's a spot to grow herbs for homemade meals, a private patio, or a place to do the cooking, the popularity of outdoor living spaces continue to grow in 2021.

Below you’ll find 5 popular outdoor living trends focusing on creating simple and elegant spaces to live, relax, and entertain outdoors.

1. Pool Remodels with Pavers and Coping
You can choose from so many colors, patterns, and textures, you can give your pool deck a look you really want. Homeowners can show off their pool deck designs year-round, not just during pool time. Pool decks are an excellent way to extend a home for outdoor entertainment. By simply adding tables and chairs, homeowners transform their pool deck into a patio-like area.
Below is a link to a project we have worked on to achieve the ultimate makeover:
Project Spotlight: Landscape, Front Patio, and Pool Remodel Project

2. Propane or Natural Gas Fire Pits:
Fire is a natural design choice for outdoor entertaining and family enjoyment. It creates a warm, cozy atmosphere, enticing friends and family to stay and hang out, especially on chilly nights. Gas fire pits offer a contemporary look and appeal to homeowners who prefer the ease of gas. They are always ready to light with a push of a button, no wood or ash to worry about and no smoke.
Project Spotlight: Mid Century Modern Landscape and Hardscape Project

3. Patio Remodels with Pavers:
Exterior design is seeing a trend to create patios with multiple rooms to provide ample space for entertaining guests, and act as backyard getaways. Paver patios are a high-quality, customizable outdoor patio option that offers homeowners a luxurious patio setup with minimal maintenance requirements. The entertainment options are endless with a paver patio. Hosting parties on it is sure to create lasting memories for friends and family.
Below is a link to a project we have worked on to achieve the ultimate makeover:
Project Spotlight: Patio Renovation

4. Raised garden beds:
Millions of people started growing their own vegetables, fruits, and herbs in 2020, and that trend will definitely continue.  Homeowners invested in a variety of container gardens, raised garden beds and potted herb gardens, embracing the therapeutic side of growing their own food while eliminating trips to the grocery store.  Not only do raised beds provide benefits like ample garden space, they also offer versatility for those with a larger area to fill. Raised beds help for easy access gardening right on your back patio!
Below is a link to a project we have worked on to achieve the ultimate makeover that included a raised herb bed:
Project Spotlight: Backyard Outdoor Living Renovation

5. Artificial Turf:
When you are working with a small space that needs to serve multiple purposes, you need that space to be useable as much as possible and to be easy to maintain and keep clean. This is why so many homeowners with small backyards are choosing artificial turf installation. Synthetic turf is easy to clean, requires little maintenance, does not require storing large equipment like lawnmowers, and can be used right after a rainstorm with no worries about tracking in mud or slipping on wet blades of grass. Artificial Turf is versatile to fit any sort of purpose or need, whether that may be landscape, playground or pet turf. All products are non-toxic and environmentally friendly by reducing the need for pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, and mowing, making it the perfect choice to install.
Below is a link to a project we have worked on to achieve the ultimate makeover:
Project Spotlight: Backyard Renovation

If you’re dreaming of transforming your outdoor living space for entertaining a crowd or just relaxing with a good book, we hope these design trends will help you get an idea of what your space can do for you.

If you want help with transforming outdoor living space using these design trends this year, give our team a call or text at (352) 378-5296. We're local and have been serving Gainesville for over 15 years. We look forward to working with you!

By Rusty, Wed, 07/17/2019 - 12:23

Pet owners have discovered that having Gainesville artificial turf for dogs comes with many benefits and can make pet ownership more enjoyable. Artificial grass has eco-friendly pet options which reduces the time you spend cleaning your furry friend and repairing your yard from its use.

Those who own pups love artificial turf for dogs because:

  • There are less fleas and ticks on their pets because they can not thrive and multiply on 'astroturf.'
  • You don’t have to bathe your dog after they play outside from the dirt, mud, and grass.
  • There are no more holes in the lawn to fill in or resod from pet traffic and digging. 
  • There is cleaner home and back patio because no dirt is brought in  from your pet.

One thing pet owners like about artificial turf is that the grass does not stain or die back where you dog uses the restroom. It is also easier to find pet waste and clean it off without creating a mudpit. Spots, even urine areas, are easier to spot because of the uniform grass (this way you don’t have to constantly watch your dog). Feces can easily be picked up with a pooper-scooper and then the area can be sprayed down. If there is a stain on your artificial turf for dogs, you can clean it with some mild soap and water.

The second thing pet owners love about artificial turf for dogs is the fact there are no more fleas, ants, or ticks on their pets. Artificial turf for dogs eliminates food for bugs, so they migrate elsewhere. For pet owners, this means you will no longer need to use insecticides on your yard for any of these pests.

The most important aspect of choosing an artificial turf for dogs is proper drainage. A good backing will go a long way to reduce odors and direct water away from your yard. Not only is the backing important, but so is the base. Look for a dependable base material when you consider artificial turf for dogs. The base separates artificial grass backing from the ground and this material, usually a crushed stone, have tunnels built into this area to help drain water out of your yard. This is how Master's assures the longevity of your astroturf installation - proper foundation and drainage. 

Pets can use the lawn with artificial turf just as it would natural grass. Using the right infill will also make your pet more comfortable in the yard. While there are several types of infill, we recommend Envirofill. This creates a soft sand-like texture in the artificial truf that removes the harsh feel of the firm foundation. Cheaper companies instaling artificial turf around Gainesville, Florida may skip this important step for your pets and/or children. 

Envirofill is a coated sand. It is extremely safe for children and pets because it is non-toxic. It is also great at reducing odor. It is more expensive than other infills, but is highly durable and provides much-needed softness for your lawn.

Stay away from crumbled rubber as an infill for an artificial turf for dogs. While it is highly durable, it also absorbs heat and that can heat up your yard quickly in the sun and soaks up dog waste creating a odor issues. We don't do that to our clients.

Gainesville Artificial turf for dogs is becoming a solid option for homeowners with pets because of its safety, easy care, and durability. With good drainage and no fleas, your pet will thank you for a happier, healthier life and your home will thank you for the same. 

By Rusty, Fri, 04/05/2019 - 08:46

Maybe you have a landscape, artificial turf, or paver patio project that's bigger than you can handle, and you want to contact a professional. But, how do you know who to call - do you need a Landscape Architect? or a Landscape Designer? and, what is the difference between landscape architects and landscape designers? Apparently, more than you may realize.

Landscape Architects

To legally call yourself a landscape architect, you must have a bachelor's and/or master's degree in landscape architecture from a university and be licensed by the state of Florida in order to design and work on landscape projects. A good and reputable landscape architect has experience or has the training to work with challenging issues in both commercial and large residential sites, including:

  • Steep slopes
  • Large Retaining walls
  • Expansive Irrigation and drainage systems
  • Designing outdoor structures
  • Solving elevation problems
  • Designing or giving advice on where to place service lines, entries, driveways, and parking areas.

Licensed landscape architects plan and design public outdoor spaces, such as parks, campuses, gardens, cemeteries, commercial centers, resorts, transportation facilities, and waterfront developments. They also design and plan the restoration of natural places disturbed by humans such as wetlands, stream corridors, mined areas, and forested land. An education in and respect for historic landscapes and cultural resources allows landscape architects to work on preservation planning projects for national, state, and local historic outdoor sites and areas.

Although not always the case, Landscape Architects generally work on projects with $25k budgets or more, because their costs quickly get above 15% of the project and higher below that amount, so the math doesn't add up. For example, you wouldn't pay a Landscape Architect $2k to design a project where the budget is only $10k, especially if a Landscape Designer at the Landscape Contractor's firm can work up the design at no extra charge in the proposal if they complete the project. In that case, instead of only having $8k left to spend on the project, the homeowner still has the full budget to invest in the project. 

Landscape Designers

The primary distinction between landscape architects and landscape designers is that designers usually work on smaller projects, whereas architects usually work on larger ones. While some landscape designers may have training equivalent to a landscape architect―especially if they have an undergraduate-or-higher degree in landscape design ―they do not have the state license, which is a requirement. They typically actually have more landscape plant and horticulutre knowledge than an architect, due to their work in the field. 

Some landscape designers are self-taught, but most have taken courses at a college, university, through an extension or certificate program, or online. In other words, you can't suddenly wake up one day and just decide to call yourself a landscape designer.

Most Gainesville landscape designers work with primarily the soft stuff―plants, sod, mulch. Many landscape or garden designers may have experience with hardscape - such as paver patios, walkways, and firepits. Also, many of the area's landscape designers work as the chief designer for the landscape contracting company they are employed by or own.

When you consult a landscape designer, you will have a discussion or interview about the project. Usually, the designer will show up at your home, look at the yard, take photos, and ask about preferences in plants, maintenance, budget, etc. The designer will then create a plan view drawing and plant list. Depending on how the designer works, he/she might visit make suggestions or help you shop for materials and furnishings, and do actual plant placement. From there, he/she will make suggestions for scheduling the project in the correct season. 

The group, the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA), is the agency that has the most local Landscape Architects and Designers for the State of Florida as members. Also, there is the Natioanl Association of Landscape Professionals. These groups encourage that members adhere to a code of professional standards, actively participate in continuing education, and stay current with state-of-the-art developments and trends in the landscape industry. A certification program is offered to members and is based on built or completed projects that provide professional recognition to designers who can pass a peer review program. Through its website, the FNGLA offers you access to local landscape and nursery professionals. The NALP website does the same.

national association of landscape professionals logo
Florida nursery, growers and landscape associate logo
beautiful front yard landscape with green grass and flowers
By Rusty, Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:23

5. Mulch up your grass clippings

Skip bagging your grass clippings. Instead, mulch them into your lawn, where they'll decompose, adding nutrients into the soil. This will save you work and make your lawn more healthy!

Word to the wise: If your lawn is full of weeds, then your clippings will most likely be full of weed seeds. If you don't want to sprout new weeds, stick to bagging your clippings until you get your weed problem under control with a Gainesville weed control company.

4. Aerate your Lawn

Of course, grass needs sun and water to thrive, but turfgrass also needs air. That’s why it’s important to aerate your lawn if you notice that the soil has become compacted. Aerating your lawn, either with a push aerator or a gas-powered aerator will allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate to the roots of your turfgrass, helping it to flourish. Renting an aerator is usually more expensive than hiring a company to do it for most average-sized lawns, so this is something that you may want to check pricing on before going the DIY route.

3. Water Deeply and Less Often

Unless it's new sod or landscape plants, frequent shallow watering encourages shallow roots and ultimately weakens your lawn and plants. The best thing to do is to water your Gainesville landscape deeply and less frequently. Occasional watering prompts the roots to grow deeper, giving your grass the strength it needs to weather hot conditions. We recommend 2x a week with about 60 minutes for rotor zones and 20 minutes for sprays (in full sun). Here is a tutorial on adjusting your irrigation timer.

2. Test Your Soil through UF-IFAS

Testing your soil every year will arm you with information about its pH, macronutrients, and micronutrients. For a lawn to grow healthy, it usually needs a pH level of  approximately 7. If your soil is too alkaline—if it has a pH level greater than 7—we recommend aeration and milorganite to help bring the pH down (this is common on newer homes built on builder's sand); if it’s too acidic, add lime to reduce the acidity and bring it into balance. These actions will need to be repeated every couple years as your soil will want to return to it's natural pH level. This is why we recommend annual testing and also why we include the initial test in our annual lawn health program. 

1. Fertilize Your Lawn

Usually, your soil is not able to provide all the nutrients your turfgrass needs throughout the entire growing season. That’s why it’s important to fertilize when needed, based upon your IFAS recommendations from your soil test of missing nutrients in the soil. When you should fertilize is determined by the weather as some years it warms up in late February and others it isn't warm until late March. This year, it is the perfect time to fertilize within the next 3 weeks as this last cold front passes through and your turf starts to awaken for spring. 

We hope these 5 tips can help you fall in love with your lawn again this spring! If we can help you with any of the above steps, please don't hesitate to call or text us at (352) 378-5296 or fill out the form above! 

By Rusty, Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:52

Many small flowering trees help brighten our landscapes from late winter through the spring season. One of the more beautiful of our early spring-flowering trees is the Japanese magnolia.

The Japanese magnolia, or saucer magnolia, opens its fat, furry flower buds in February or March before the foliage emerges. Unlike the native Southern magnolia Magnolia grandiflora, it is deciduous and drops its leaves in winter. The flowers blooming on leafless branches are particularly noticeable.

The flowers are large and showy and come in a variety of colors, such as white, lavender-pink, rose-purple, dark reddish purple and light yellow. The brightest color is on the outside of the petals, while the inner surface tends to be creamy white. The flowers range in size from about 4 to 6 inches across, sometimes larger. The Japanese magnolias generally grow to be about 15 to 25 feet tall with a spread of 10 to 15 feet.

When the flowers are young, the petals are held fairly upright, giving the flowers a distinctively tulip-like appearance. As the flowers age, the petals tend to open more and lay down, creating a more saucer-shaped flower. The flowers have a spicy to musky fragrance.

The Latin name for the Japanese magnolia is Magnolia x soulangiana. The “x” in the middle of the name indicates that this is a hybrid rather than a true species. The Japanese magnolias we grow in our landscapes are the result of a cross between two species, Magnolia liliiflora (lily magnolia) and Magnolia denudata (white saucer or Yulan magnolia).

Now is a great time to plant Japanese magnolias if you would like to add one to your landscape. The weather is still cool and the hot weather of summer is still months away. That means it is possible to select a blooming tree at the nursery. This is important because a number of varieties are available with different flower colors and shapes.

Japanese Magnolias - Gainesville landscape trees that are showing off!
By Rusty, Mon, 01/28/2019 - 16:02

January is a tough month for many of us. The weather is chilly, the return to routine after the holidays, trying to keep up with our new resolutions. And on top of that our landscaping is mostly dormant and waiting for the return of warmer weather. If you find yourself longing for spring it could be a great time to plan your landscaping projects

1. Envision your dream yard.
This is what I call the “fun stage” of planning. The sky is the limit here as you think through all of the things you’d like to see and accomplish with your landscaping changes. Is expanding your outdoor living a priority? Is landscape lighting high on your list of needs? Do you want to see lots of color attract butterflies to your yard? Are you envisioning a relaxing tropical oasis secluding you from the outside world? At this point we are not worried about practicality or other constraints; this is where I really encourage you to dream big!

2. Reality check.
A successful landscape is going to be beautiful and practical so we need to think about what really makes sense for your Gainesville yard. Things to consider in this stage of planning include climate and maintenance. A traditional English garden might be my dream, but how well suited is it to our climate and am I prepared to handle the amount of upkeep a project like that is going to need. It's also important to consider any irrigation changes that may need to be made.

3. Evaluate your space.
When planning your landscaping it’s especially important to keep in mind the full size of plants of trees later down the road. Will those plants that look just right now still look right when they have grown in? Is the number of shrubs and the distance going to be sufficient to create a beautiful hedge? And don’t forget to take into account the final size of any trees you include in your landscaping. Too many times I’ve met with a client who has had to take down beautiful trees simply because they were planted too close to existing structures.

4. Consider your budget.
Outlining a budget helps to prioritize landscaping projects and make sure that your most important goals are handled first. This can help you break your project down into manageable parts and maybe plan one project for spring and a second project later in the year.

With a little extra effort you will be well on your way to achieving the yard of your dreams. If you would like The Master’s Lawn Care to assist you with creating the yard you’ve been dreaming of we would love to meet with you for a landscaping consultation. Just give us a call at 352-378-5296 to schedule a time or submit your request online.