Learn More About Horticulture

It’s almost time for spring annuals!

February 2020

Time to plan for spring annuals!

As hard as it is to believe, it’s already time to start planning for spring annuals! With spring rapidly approaching it won’t be long before it’s time to start planting annuals. If you are looking for a professional landscaping company like Brentwood Landscapes, it is best to get your orders in now!

Flower garden by Brentwood Landscapes

Annuals are seasonal flowers that add color and beauty to entrance ways, walking paths, flower pots, and so on. The possibilities for spring annuals abound, limited only by the imagination of the client and our professional designers!

Tennessee’s wide range of climates means you are able to choose from a wide variety of flowers for your outdoor living area. Now is the time to contact Brentwood Landscapes if you want a splash of color this summer.

Summer garden plans

Ring in summer by using Brentwood Landscapes for another complementary variety of flower gardening ideas and designs. If your preference is for flower blooms that last beyond a season, try one of our long-flowering color garden plans. We can give you a beautiful collection of plants that will withstand the hottest days of the upcoming Tennessee summer. Some clients prefer a flower garden plan based on just a few perennials and one particular annual to add texture and color to your landscape during the summer. The best flower garden plans are those that transition naturally from spring to summer and then into fall.

Enjoy beautiful plants beyond fall

Instead of kissing your flowers goodbye this fall, give Brentwood Landscapes a chance to design season-to-season flower gardens for you. We will include perennials and other plants that shine at the height of their beauty just before winter.

The Value of Landscaping

January 2020

Here we discuss the real, practical, tangible value of landscaping.

How does quality lawn care and landscaping create value? There are many ways; a few are listed here. Is there really a significant value of landscaping? The answer is a resounding yes!

Enhancing Our Environment:

Plants protect water quality.

Plants and grass reduce surface water runoff, keeping phosphorus and other pollutants out of our waterways.

Proper landscaping reduces soil erosion.

A dense cover of plants and mulch holds soil in place, keeping sediment out of lakes, streams, storm drains, and roads.

Plants improve air quality.

One tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions. Landscape plants, including shrubs and turf, remove smoke, dust, and other pollutants from the air. One study showed that one acre of trees has the ability to remove 13 tons of particles from the air annually.

Landscaping lowers summer air temperatures.

According to the EPA, urban forests reduce urban air temperatures significantly by shading heat sinks such as buildings and concrete, and returning humidity to the air through evaporative cooling. Trees shading homes can reduce attic temperatures as much as 40 degrees.

Landscaping conserves natural resources.

Properly placed deciduous trees reduce house temperatures in the summer, allowing air conditioning units to run 2 to 4 percent more efficiently, but allow the sun to warm the house in the winter. Homes sheltered by evergreen windbreaks can reduce winter heat loss and are generally warmer than homes without such protection. By using trees to modify temperatures and protect against wind, the amount of fossil fuels used for cooling and heating is reduced.

Landscaping screens busy streets.

Well-placed plantings offer privacy  from neighbors and provide a sense of additional tranquility by screening out unsightly views.

Promoting Economic Development:

Landscaping increases property market value.

A 1991 study estimates that an attractive landscape increases the value of a home by an average of 7.5 percent, and reduces the time on the market by five to six weeks. The Wall Street Journal reported that landscape investments are recovered fully, and sometimes doubled, by the increased home value.

Good landscaping increases community appeal.

Parks and street trees have been found to be second only to education in residents’ perceived value of municipal services offered. Psychologist Rachel Kaplan found trees, well-landscaped grounds, and places for taking walks to be among the most important factors considered when individuals chose a place to live.

Landscaping reduces crime.

In a California study, landscaped areas were relatively graffiti-free, while open, non-landscaped areas were graffiti targets. Well planned and maintained landscapes are seen as safer than unmaintained plantings.

Plants increase tourism revenues.

Interior landscaping at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, is credited for an unusually high (85 percent) occupancy rate. Guests willingly pay an extra $30 per night for rooms overlooking the jungle-like display, netting $7 million a year in additional room revenues. The city of Virginia Beach attributes, in part, their $52 million in convention revenue in 1994 to the landscaping efforts of recent years.

Views of plants increase job satisfaction.

Employees with an outside view of plants experience less job pressure and greater job satisfaction than workers viewing man-made objects or having no outside view. They also report fewer headaches and other ailments than workers without the view.

Nature increases worker productivity.

Psychologists have found that plants and green spaces provide a sense of rest that allows workers with access to plants and nature to be more productive.

Landscaping renews business districts.

Greening of business districts increases community pride and positive perception of an area, drawing customers to the businesses.

Improving Human Health:

Gardening is excellent physical exercise.

Routine gardening tasks such as raking and shoveling can measure up to the exertion rates of jogging, bicycling, or aerobics. Studies have shown that one hour of weeding burns 300 calories, the same as walking or bicycling at a moderate pace.

Gardens produce healthy food.

Fresh food from the garden can have up to three times as many vitamins and minerals as canned or frozen food. Community garden plots have become a valuable means of providing food for the homeless.

Horticulture is therapeutic.

Horticultural therapy is a treatment for a variety of diagnoses. Working with and around plants improves quality of life through psychological and physical changes. Nurturing a plant into maturity from seed is rewarding and builds self-confidence. Various horticulture-related tasks such as carrying plants, planting trees, or arranging flowers are used to improve coordination and motor control of injured or disabled individuals.

Landscapes heal.

Restorative gardens offer an environment for people who are sick, injured, and under stress to recover and regain confidence in themselves. Such landscapes are also currently used by hospices in treatment of Alzheimer and AIDS patients. Roger Ulrich showed through a study of hospital patients that those whose rooms overlooked vegetation recovered faster and required less pain medication than did patients without a view of nature.

Aerating the lawn

August 2019

Brentwood Landscapes, Inc. offers high-quality lawn care services in the Nashville area. Lawn aeration is recommended for the fall in order to increase turf density the next year. Aeration is the process of plugging or coring the ground so that the grass roots can receive more oxygen, water, and nutrient uptake. This in turn leads to more vigorous turf growth.

Soil compaction

Problems associated with soil compaction are often overlooked in lawn care. Insects, diseases, improper watering, and a lack of fertilizer are often blamed for a lawn’s decline when the real culprit is compaction. The problem starts when the top 4 inches of the soil become compressed, impeding the movement of air, water, and nutrients to the grass roots. This stresses the grass plants, making them less able to compete with weeds and slow to recuperate from injury. In time a compacted lawn needs renovation.

Compacted soil contributes to the accumulation of thatch because restricted oxygen levels in highly compacted soils impair the activity of earthworms and other thatch-decomposing organisms. Left un-managed, thatch can lead to serious maintenance and pest problems. Thatch accumulates faster on compacted soils and heavy clay soils than on well-aerified soils. Therefore, some lawns may require frequent aerification to aid in thatch control.

Benefits of core aeration

  • Loosens compacted soil and increases the availability of water and nutrients to turf roots.
  • Enhances oxygen levels in the soil, stimulating root growth and enhancing the activity of thatch-decomposing organisms.
  • While removing cores of soil, the grass plants are stimulated to produce new shoots and roots that increases the density of the lawn.
  • Reduces water runoff.
  • Increases the lawn’s drought tolerance and improves its overall health.

Frequency of lawn aeration

Aeration of home lawns corrects soil problems, and it is generally required in Tennessee on a yearly basis. One way to determine if aeration is needed is by scouting the lawn. Take a screwdriver and probe the soil. If the screwdriver penetrates the soil with little resistance, then you probably don’t need to aerify. If it is difficult to penetrate the soil with the screwdriver, then you may need to aerify. Make sure the soil is moist when testing the areas since dry soil can also be more difficult to penetrate.

When to aerate your lawn

The type of grass will determine whether to aerify in the fall or in the summer. Lawns composed of cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue are best aerified in the fall, when there is less heat stress and danger of invasion by weedy annuals. Allow at least four weeks of good growing weather to help the plants recover.

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