Does Landscaping Increase Property Value?

landscaped lawn and garden

If you’re looking to put your home on the market, you may have heard that you can raise its property value through landscaping. But is that true? How does landscaping increase property value, and what can you do on your own as opposed to through a professional landscaping company? At Grasshoppers, we believe every yard has the potential for great beauty. It all comes down to cost, creativity, and choice of contractor – three qualities that can turn your yard into something special. Let’s go through each factor and see how we can help!

Cost

We won’t pretend that every household in the Greater Orlando Area has the resources to pursue elaborate landscaping. You can still make moves with your home’s curb appeal in mind. Curb appeal describes that crucial first impression your property gives to anyone walking or driving by. And, while a completely redesigned yard would definitely improve your curb appeal, so would trimming any overgrown greenery. You could take care of missing shingles or other visible forms of damage, or even install basic landscape lighting in the area. These are all things that’ll add value to your home, and they all cost little to no money to implement.

At the same time, though, those with the ability would greatly benefit from professional landscaping. All it takes is some insight and innovative thinking.

Creativity

There is no exact rate in which landscaping improves your home’s property value. It all depends on your geographic location, but The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association estimates that landscaping can increase your home’s value by up to 14%. Even small forms of landscape design and renovation will amount to an appealing selling point for potential buyers. When paired with new windows for the house itself, you can get the most out of your listing on the market.

Choice of Contractor

We mentioned before, there is work you can do on your own to increase your home’s property value. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind what is too complicated to do on your own. A poorly designed landscape will only detract from your home’s curb appeal, and if you attempt certain projects without a professional you will likely wind up with costly repairs to pay for. It saves massive amounts of time and trouble to trust an expert team of contractors like the ones at Grasshoppers. We provide comprehensive landscaping services in the Orlando FL area. We can help bring more beauty to your home. To learn more, contact us today!

Ways to Conserve Water With Your Irrigation System

Image of conserving water with your irrigation system in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers Landscaping

It takes a lot of water to keep your landscaping looking lush and green all summer long, which can become a challenge as we enter the dry season here in Florida. Using a lot of water during the dry season not only increases your utility bills, but it can also lead to water shortages – especially during a drought.

Reducing the amount of water you use to maintain your garden can help your wallet and your community. And, thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice your beautiful greenery if you want to cut down on your water consumption! There are a few methods you can use to keep your grass green while conserving water:

Adjust Your Irrigation Settings Seasonally

Perhaps the easiest and most effective way to conserve water year-round is to adjust your irrigation settings each season. Doing so will ensure that you aren’t using more water than is necessary. If you aren’t sure how to optimize your irrigation system for the season, a local expert can help you configure the settings properly to set you up for success.

Use Weather and Moisture Sensors

Many new irrigation systems have special features that are designed to decrease your water consumption while keeping your landscape happy and healthy. Two excellent features to look for are weather and moisture sensors, which will automatically adjust the irrigation settings based on how much water is in the environment. It will increase water flow on very hot and dry days and decrease it when it’s more humid or rainy out.

Use Landscape-Based Controllers

From the types of plants and soil that you have to the amount of sun your space gets, there are many factors that impact how much water your landscape needs to thrive. It can be challenging to take all of these factors into consideration when creating your watering schedule, especially during the dry season when it’s harder to calculate just how much water your plants need. That’s where landscape-based controllers can come in handy. These advanced irrigation devices will analyze every aspect of your landscape and choose the optimal way to water it.

Contact the Experts at Grasshoppers

It can be challenging to keep your lawn green and lush, even without the added challenge of water conservation. If you want to keep your grass looking great while cutting back on your water usage, turn to your local experts at Grasshoppers! Our team has proudly served the Orlando FL area for over 19 years, so we have plenty of experience navigating the weather patterns and landscaping needs of this area. To get started, give us a call today!

How to Garden in Florida With Allergies

Gardening with allergies in Florida - Grasshoppers Landscaping - Orlando FL

Gardening with allergies in Florida - Grasshoppers Landscaping - Orlando FLItchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion can quickly turn a day in the yard into a miserable venture. Gardening when you have allergies can be a real challenge, particularly here in the sunny state of Florida. Fortunately, however, there may be some solutions! By following a few simple steps, you can enjoy time in your garden without worrying about an uncomfortable reaction. Here are our tips for gardening in Florida when you have allergies:

 

Avoid Known Allergens

It goes without saying that you should avoid anything that you know you are allergic to. If possible, remove any allergy-inducing plants from your property, or consider hiring help for those specific areas of the garden. That said, many of us don’t know what exactly we are allergic to, which is where the other tips can come in handy.

 

Plan Ahead With a Pollen Map

Pollen maps monitor the daily pollen count in a given area. A pollen count is the number of grains of pollen in a cubic meter of air, and you can use this number to determine which days are best for gardening. On dry and sunny days with a high pollen count, it may be best to stay indoors and plan your yard work for another time.

 

Wear Protective Gear

Gloves aren’t just there to protect you from slivers or thorns; they can also help shield your skin from coming into contact with allergens. Consider wearing long sleeves, long pants, gloves, a painter’s mask, or some protective glasses. While that may seem like overkill – especially on a hot day – it can protect you from anything that would trigger a reaction. Also, avoid touching your face or eyes while gardening.

 

Pick Allergy-Friendly Plants

Some plants produce more pollen than others. With a little bit of planning, you can fill your garden with plants that are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. To find allergy-friendly plants, you can ask your local experts or follow these tips:

  • Pick female dioecious plants: With dioecious plants, the sex is separated. That means female dioecious plants do not come with pollen-producing male flowers, so they are less likely to aggravate your allergies.
  • Pick perfect-flowered plants: Perfect-flowered plants have both male and female components in the same flower. Because the pollen does not need to travel in the wind to reach the female part of the plant, the pollination is fairly contained.
  • Look at the OPALS rating: The Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS) is an allergy rating system that measures a plant’s potential to cause allergic reactions. This scale considers everything from pollen allergies to contact allergies and can be a good reference point for individuals looking for allergy-safe plants.

 

Avoid Mold Spores

You may not think that you have mold in the garden, but mold spores can hide anywhere – particularly in mulch, compost, and potted plants. Avoiding mulch and compost can prevent you from coming into contact with mold, which could help you avert a reaction. If you still want to mulch or compost in your garden, consider hiring help.

 

Shower Immediately After Gardening

Showering and changing your clothes can help you avoid a reaction after the gardening is over. If you can’t shower right after gardening, at least change your clothes and wash your face and hands to wash away any allergens that could cause irritation later.

 

Consider Taking Allergy Medications

If your allergies are severe, consider consulting your doctor about allergy medications. A non-drowsy antihistamine can prevent allergic reactions, which may make gardening a more pleasant task.

If you have taken all of these steps and still struggle with allergies while gardening, it may be best to limit your exposure to the outdoors. To keep your yard looking great while avoiding allergens, call the landscaping experts at Grasshoppers today! We have proudly served homeowners throughout the greater Orlando FL area for over 19 years, and we are prepared to meet all of your gardening needs. Call us today to get your quote!

Winter Tips for Your Florida Landscape

How to prepare your landscape for winter in Orlando Florida - Grasshoppers

How to prepare your Florida landscape for winter - Grasshoppers landscaping service in Orlando FLWinter Tips For Your Florida Landscape

Since Florida winters get mild temperatures instead of piles of snow, it may seem unnecessary to prepare your landscape for winter. However, many of our tropical plants thrive in high temperatures, which means they may struggle in the colder winter months. Thankfully, with a little bit of preparation, you can keep your property in great shape through the cold season. Here are our top winter tips for your Florida landscape:

 

Put Down Mulch

Mulch is an incredibly effective way to protect your landscape from cold weather. Not only can mulch help sustain soil moisture and inhibit weeds, but it can also insulate heat to keep your plants from freezing. By layering your garden beds with 3-4 inches of mulch or pine straw, you can keep your plants healthy through the winter.

 

Prune Your Trees and Bushes

Late fall or early winter is a great time to prune your trees, shrubs, and bushes. Doing so allows you to clear pathways while removing any dead or vulnerable branches. Winter weather means that your plants will have fewer resources to stay healthy, so selectively trimming your trees can help keep them strong through the cold.

 

Water Newly Planted Trees

Newly planted trees require plenty of water to develop strong and healthy roots. Even if the tree looks dormant in winter, it is still working to establish its root system. Since Florida doesn’t get much rain in the winter, we recommend watering newly planted trees to ensure they have the resources needed to develop sturdy roots.

 

Fertilize Your Lawn

In Florida, grass typically goes dormant during the winter months. While dormant, your lawn won’t grow as fast or take in as many nutrients. That’s why it’s crucial that your lawn is in good shape before cold weather hits. One way to give your lawn a boost for winter is to apply a lawn fertilizer treatment in early fall. Fertilizer is filled with nutrients that can help your grass withstand the winter chill.

 

Cover Less Hardy Plants with Fabric

Fabric can help insulate your vulnerable plants and protect them from harsh winter frosts. We recommend using fabric rather than other materials such as plastic, which may form condensation and freeze over. Fabric does not run the risk of collecting condensation, which means that it is more effective in protecting your plants from the cold.

 

Be Cautious with Holiday Decorations

If you plan to set up electric holiday decorations, don’t forget to keep your landscape safe! Things like hot light bulbs or loose electrical wires – especially laid out over lawns – can damage your plants and even become a safety hazard for anyone on your property. Be sure to carefully set up your holiday decorations, and if you work with a landscaping company, let them know where you’ve placed your decorations.

 

Experts in Winter Landscape Maintenance

If you want to keep your landscape looking immaculate throughout winter, turn to the professionals at Grasshoppers! Our landscaping specialists are highly skilled in preparing your property for colder weather, and they can help you build a personalized maintenance plan that will keep your yard looking great all year. No property is too big or too small – and we even provide services designed for HOA properties! If you want help winterizing your Florida landscape, call us today to schedule an appointment.

How to Protect Your Yard From a Hurricane

Pruning branches in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers talks about how to protect your yard from a hurricane.

How to Protect Your Yard From a Hurricane

Pruning branches in Orlando FL - Grasshoppers talks about  how to protect your yard from a hurricane.

Though the Florida weather is picture-perfect most of the year, it can take a turn for the worst during hurricane season. These severe tropical storms can cause major damage to your yard, especially if you haven’t taken the proper precautions. But, protecting your garden from a hurricane begins well before you receive a storm warning. Here are some ways you can prepare your yard for a hurricane:

Early Planning

The way you set up and maintain your yard plays a large role in how ready your yard will be for a hurricane. Some of the best ways to keep your garden storm-ready include:

  • Choose the right plants. Not all plants are equipped to handle strong winds or heavy rains. Choosing trees and shrubbery that are known to withstand hurricane conditions is the first step in preparing for these storms. Trees such as the yaupon, Southern magnolia, or cabbage palm are some popular choices. If you aren’t sure how to choose hardy plants, it may be useful to call a professional landscaper for help.
  • Regularly prune your trees and shrubs. Having a regular pruning schedule can help keep your plants strong and well-prepared for harsh weather. Pruning encourages an even shape and a dominant trunk, while also removing overly long branches or damaged areas. Additionally, air can travel through well-pruned trees and shrubs better.
  • Get rid of diseased or unstable plants. Trees or shrubs that aren’t strong enough to stay in the soil may become projectiles in heavy winds. Removing unstable plants can prevent them from flying around your yard when a hurricane hits.
  • Store potentially hazardous tools or chemicals indoors. If you have gardening tools or chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers lying around your yard, it’s a good idea to store those items inside. That way, you don’t run the risk of a spill or dangerous projectile.

Last-Minute Preparations

Even if you’ve perfectly planned out and maintained your yard, there are still a few things you should take care of once you receive a storm warning. Here’s a list of ways to prepare your yard once you know a storm is on its way:

  • Clear out your yard. Things like dead branches, children’s toys, and small tools can become hazardous in high winds. Removing these can keep your home and yard safe.
  • Reinforce trees and plants. You can reinforce your small trees and shrubs by tying them to a sturdy stick placed deep in the ground. Be sure to leave some wiggle room, though – the plants are likely to shake quite a bit with the high winds.
  • Bring potted plants indoors. Potted plants may topple or fly around in a hurricane, so it is best to bring them into your garage or shed until the storm passes.
  • Harvest any fruits or vegetables. The hurricane will likely strip your plants of all fruit or vegetables, so it may be a good idea to harvest anything you want to keep before the storm rolls in.
  • Shut off your water valves. It’s easier for trees and plants to uproot in wet soil. Turning off your water valves and irrigation system can help keep your plants in place.

Between careful planning, regular maintenance, and last-minute preparations, it can feel like a full-time job to protect your yard from a hurricane. Calling a landscaping professional, like those at Grasshoppers, can help you keep your home and garden safe from nasty storms.

With over 20 years of serving the Orlando FL area, our expert landscapers can help you at any stage in protecting your yard from a hurricane. We also provide hurricane cleanup services to keep your yard in great condition, even after a storm passes through. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation!

The Importance of Landscape Design

grasshopper landscape design

grasshopper landscape design

 

The Importance of Landscape Design

Your yard is more than just a place to play or unwind at the end of a long day, it’s also an ecosystem. Sunny areas, shaded areas, and slopes of the land all have different needs and should be taken into consideration before a landscape design is installed. 

Keep reading to learn more about the importance of landscape design. 

Curb Appeal

The right landscape design should complement your building’s exterior features and enhance the outdoor space. With a uniform and tidy landscape design, visitors will be impressed. 

Environmental Impact

A proper landscape design can help conserve water, reduce nutrient pollution in stormwater, and reduce chemical inputs. It should also have proper drainage solutions. 

Cost Savings

When a landscape design incorporates native plants that are suited for the soil type, rainfall, and other conditions, they will require less maintenance later. Efficient irrigation, appropriate fertilizing, and mulch can add to cost savings. 

Reduce Air Pollutants

Plants naturally absorb harmful chemicals and pollutants by purifying the air. Adding various amounts of plants and foliage into your landscape design allows you to embrace nature and improve your air quality. 

Landscape Design in Central Florida

If you run a business or HOA in Central Florida and are looking for a landscaping company that can provide you with a stunning landscape design, turn to Grasshoppers. Our landscaping contractors will plant the right flowers, grass, and trees for your property and help you care for them all year round. Contact us today to get started on your landscaping project! 

How to Prevent Plant Diseases in Winter

Powdery mildew on a cucumber plant. Grasshoppers talks about ways to prevent plant diseases this winter in Orlando FL.

Powdery mildew on a cucumber plant. Grasshoppers talks about ways to prevent plant diseases this winter in Orlando FL.

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can all cause diseases in your plants. These diseases aren’t much of a problem during cold winters, but if you live in a warm climate like Florida where you have mild winters, you’ll want to take action. Plant diseases can cause significant damage to your landscaping.

Common Plant Diseases

  • Armillaria Root Rot: Armillaria root rot also called mushroom root rot infects the root of a plant, causing it to wilt and eventually die. Armillaria root rot can continue to live in the soil, so if you’re going to replant in the same area, consider finding a plant that is resistant to the fungi. Armillaria root rot attacks:
    • Loquats
    • Azaleas
    • Ligustrum
    • Oak trees
    • Hickory trees
    • And more
  • Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is a serious fungal disease. It causes plants to become distorted and stunted. It can attack a variety of plants including:
    • Rose bushes
    • Sycamores
    • Crapemyrtles
    • Squash
  • Sabal Palm Disease: Sabal Palm Disease also called, lethal bronzing is transmitted by a tiny winged pest called the American palm cixiid. This disease causes a palm’s leaves to turn brown and eventually die. Sabal palm disease is often difficult to diagnose because it shares similar characteristics as a tree that’s been over-fertilized. If you believe your palm has this disease contact your local landscaper or arborist. They may be able to save it with oxytetracycline injections.

Prevent Plant Diseases with Good Practices

Oftentimes people wait until their plants are already sick and/or dying when they decide to take action and by then it’s too late. The best way to cure a plant disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Below are some good practices to help keep your plant disease-free.

  • Remove leaves and debris from your lawn to prevent mold growth
  • Continue mowing your grass through the winter until it has stopped growing
  • Prune trees and shrubs during the dormant season. Pruning during the growing season causes sap to flow which attracts insects like bark beetles.
  • Winterize sensitive plants like roses and young trees with thin bark. Tender plants can be seriously damaged in the winter, putting them at risk for a secondary infection like canker fungi.
  • Keep an eye on stressed plants and water them to promote healthy root growth.

Keeping your lawn and plants well-fed, watered, and cared for is your best defense against plant diseases. When a plant is stressed, it is more vulnerable to diseases and is more likely to be affected by lawn pests.

At Grasshoppers, we understand these steps may be a lot which is why you may want to consider hiring a professional landscaper for your property. In addition to being knowledgeable about the plants native to Florida, we’re also familiar with plant diseases, including how to prevent them and treat them.

Keep Your Property Looking Perfect Through Winter

Palm trees with green lush lawn. Grasshoppers talks about ways to keep your Orlando FL commercial property looking perfect through winter.

Palm trees with green lush lawn. Grasshoppers talks about ways to keep your Orlando FL property looking perfect through winter.While winters in Florida are mild, plants and trees still go dormant. But this doesn’t mean you should ignore your landscaping. There are several things you can do to keep your property looking perfect this winter.

Prune

We recommend you have your trees, shrubs, and plants pruned in late winter or early spring. Because they’re dormant during this time of year, this will help prevent any stress to your plants and it doesn’t disrupt fruiting, flowering or the growing cycle.

Mulch

After pruning you should have your flower beds fertilized and re-mulched. This new layer of mulch not only improves the look of your property but it will also help maintain moisture and ensure the fertilizer stays put.

Plant

Depending on your location, you may experience colder winters. If you do, you’ll want to plant annuals that are tolerant to cold weather. This includes amaryllis, petunias, pansies, and snapdragons. Just make sure your flower beds have a good layer of mulch for temperature protection. Adding these winter-hardy flowers to your landscape design will keep it looking beautiful and vibrant year-round.

If you have palm trees on your property, keep in mind they can suffer damage in cold weather. This includes sudden drops of temperature and frost. If you notice dead branches or leaf tissue, have them treated.

Add Hardscaping

Adding hardscaping during the winter is a great way to rejuvenate a dull or stale area. Hardscaping includes rock formations, pavers, sidewalks, water fountains, and retainer walls. Hardscaping not only adds curb appeal but it also provides functionality — whether it’s providing entertainment space or creating a path for visitors.

A great looking lawn and landscape design adds curb appeal and helps make your business more inviting. Fortunately with Florida’s climate, you don’t have to stop enhancing your commercial landscaping. These tips will help keep your property looking vibrant and well-kept through winter.

4 Ways Hardscaping Can Improve Your Business

Beautiful paved walkway. Grasshoppers talks about the benefits of hardscaping for commercial properties in Orlando FL

Beautiful paved walkway. Grasshoppers talks about the benefits of hardscaping for commercial properties in Orlando FLYou have a lush green lawn and colorful flowers accentuating your property, but what about hardscaping? Hardscaping like paved walkways, retaining walls, and water features can add curb appeal and bring more clientele to your business. Read more to learn how hardscaping can benefit your business.

Provides a Professional Appearance

The exterior of your building can be the determining factor whether a potential customer decides to walk in or not. So, make a good first impression with a welcoming hardscaping design. A well-groomed property inside and out will also leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.

Increases Safety

Adding hardscape features like retaining walls and paved walkways to your commercial property add beauty and provide a function. Walkways, for example, level the ground, reducing the risk of people tripping. They also help direct traffic. Retaining walls can help protect areas from unauthorized people– which helps show a company’s commitment to defining boundaries from employees and customers.

Provides Landscape Management

If you don’t have a professional landscaping company taking care of your property, you may find that parts of your current landscape are not cooperating as well as others, whether it be from sunlight or vegetation. Adding hardscape features to your property can help. They help eliminate soil erosion, they’re naturally low maintenance, and they complement your organic landscaping perfectly.

Helps Increase Property Value

Whether you plan on staying at your current property or are relocating in the near future, adding hardscaping to your property will help improve your property value and the surrounding area as well.

Whether you’re adding to your existing landscaping or have a new property, there are a variety of hardscaping features to choose from including water fountains, patios, walkways, boulder features, and retaining walls.

In order to make your new hardscaping feature seamless, it’s important to work with a licensed professional, like Grasshoppers. Most landscaping contractors will look at your existing property, provide you with some ideas, and install your new hardscaping making it beautiful and functional.

Lawn-Damaging Insects in Florida

Patches of brown on lawn. Grasshoppers talks about common lawn-damaging insects in the Orlando, Fl area.

Patches of brown on lawn. Grasshoppers talks about common lawn-damaging insects in the Orlando, Fl area.Does your lawn have dead patches despite all the care you provide it? You may have insects calling your lawn, “home.” In this blog, we’ll talk about lawn-damaging insects and the signs you may have them.

Insects That Damage Your Lawn

Billbugs

Billbugs have become more of a problem in recent years for Floridians with the most damage occurring during the spring and fall seasons. Billbugs lay their eggs in lawns during spring. Then when their grubs hatch, they’ll feed on your grass, hollowing out the stems. They might also eat the grass roots. It is often difficult for a homeowner to determine whether or not they have a billbug problem. Grubs are extremely small and live deep in the thatch layer of your lawn.

Southern Chinch Bug

These tiny pests live in the thatch layer of your lawn. Chinch Bugs feed in groups and will suck fluids from your grass’ stolons, stems, and crowns creating widespread damage to your lawn. People in Florida often see damage from Chinch Bugs anywhere from March to November.

Fall Armyworms and Cutworms

These pests are big caterpillars that love to feed on blades of grass. They are not typically a big problem unless you have a high population of them. This is because they feed at the same location at the same time. These pests are most common during the spring, summer, and fall. You’ll be able to determine if you have these insects if you have dead, circular spots of grass or depressed spots on your lawn.

Tropical Sod Webworm

When larvae, these pests will come out at night and feed on your lawn. While these pests are highly destructive during the warm, summer months, their damage is often not noticed until winter, when the grass is dormant.

White Grubs

White Grubs are the larvae of scarab beetles. These pests lay their eggs in the spring and when they hatch, the larvae feed on grass roots through the rest of fall. Their feeding cuts off the ability for your grass to soak up water from the soil, so it eventually dies. You’ll be able to determine if you have these insects if your lawn has brown patches or pulls up easily like a rug.

Other common insects in Florida lawns include Fire Ants, Grasshoppers, Ground Pearls, Mole Crickets, and Spittlebugs.

Hire a Professional for Lawn Pests Control

You work hard to keep your lawn lush and green, don’t let a small insect ruin all that hard work. Your first instinct may be to apply a pesticide on your lawn, but that will just kill it. So if you have an insect infestation on your property, you may want to contact a professional landscaping company. They have contractors who are knowledgable about all things “lawn care.” They’ll be able to identify which type of insect problem you have and properly take care of it without ruining your grass.