Erosion Control | Reclamation | Hydroseeding
Civil & Commercial Lanscaping Experts
P.O. Box 70098 L.P.O. Edmonton, AB T5C3R6
19 Jan 2017

Landscaping Edmonton – Gardening

Landscaping Edmonton – Gardening

Landscaping Edmonton yes landscaping with winter being over half done for the season, it is time to start thinking about your yard and what you would like to have or need to do to prepare for the spring and summer season?

You have many options when it comes to landscaping in Edmonton.  You may want a swimming pool, a beautiful garden for you to enjoy during the day or evening or maybe a new deck or fire pit.  Maybe your family is getting older and no longer uses the play gym set.  This is it time to look at renewing your landscaping incorporating the atmosphere you have always longed for?  Perhaps you are considering gardening with the cost of vegetables and fruits it maybe something you want to incorporate into your landscape design.   Whatever you are thinking there are many options available to meet your requirements.  This time of year is the perfect time to consider your options and what you would like.

Covering all your option in one blog would require a very long blog so I am going to break up some idea to give you some idea and options.  To start lets discuss gardening potential.

The first thing to think about is how much space do you have?

Lots of space perhaps you are in an older area with large lots you can look at a tradition garden in a larger area.  But if you have limited space there are many new gardening techniques such as square foot gardening where you plant with the minimal space and where you can you plant in a 4 foot by 4 foot area raised garden and use various methods to grow plant vertically and close together rather than having pathways you access the full area from all sides.  Another option is to plant in containers many vegetables will do well in containers even potatoes are easily grown in containers.

Adding fruit trees into your landscaping will provide you with an abundance of fruits, there are several fruit trees that will thrive in the Edmonton when selecting the type you will want varieties that are edible and recommended for zone 3.  Keep in mind many trees will need to cross pollinate if you have room for one tree and none of your neighbors have fruit trees you may want to look for a variety that self-pollinates.

09 Nov 2016

Landscaping Edmonton Companies

Edmonton LandscapeLandscaping Edmonton: An In-depth Look

Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, Canada is surrounded by the central district. It is the second largest city in the province of Alberta and the fifth largest municipality in Canada. This metropolitan city is known as the “Gateway to the North” due to its large-scale projects in oil and diamond mining. The development sector of landscaping Edmonton provides its residents, include various environmental-friendly design ideas.

The land surrounding the city is flat with slightly rolling hills, ravines, creeks, and river valleys. This city has the longest stretch of attached urban parks in North America. The neighborhood of Edmonton consists of urban municipalities, suburban sectors with large residential areas. There are a number of ongoing developments in the commercial districts as well as residential communities including low, medium, high rise apartments, and townhouses.

 

 About Landscaping

Landscaping helps improve the aesthetic value of a piece of land through modifications of the land features such as the addition of plants, alterations in the terrain, and construction designs among many others. It involves planning, layout, and building structures to enhance the overall appearance of a land area.

Vision for a Sustainable Community

It takes a lot to build a successful and thriving community. One of the sectors that provide maintenance and support to the overall appearance of the city is implemented through the urban planning division. Edmonton is a vibrant and dynamic city with a vision of becoming a sustainable city. In order to achieve this goal, the city has defined a set of design guidelines to help grow and build a better community.

These guidelines include the physical structures in urban municipalities to encourage communities to develop innovative concept and designs. These are used by developers, planners, builders, consultants, and residents. As part of Edmonton’s sustainable plan, an eco-friendly landscape design aims to minimize the use of wasteful resources in the residential community.

Eco-friendly Landscaping Edmonton

In support of this plight, commercial and residential owners are conserving their water supply, preserving their greenery, and cultivating their soil. Some prefer to use recycled materials including reclaimed metal, damaged concrete, and solar powered supplies. A sustainable landscape design is good for the environment, requires less maintenance, and can help save you money especially on utility bills.

An eco-friendly landscaping is not limited when it comes to design, planning, and development. In fact, contrary to that, there are many options and possibilities we can develop to improve the condition of your building or home without using harmful chemicals that only damage the environment. By using sustainable resources, we can help reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and lessen your water consumption.

naturalized vs manicuredThe Future of Landscaping Edmonton

 The City of Edmonton is considering different techniques on how to encourage residents to use natural and sustainable ways to design their landscape. A natural approach is specifically geared towards using native plants in order to maximize its strength as opposed to a high maintenance of manicured lawns. Researchers are now studying the benefits of natural vegetation and how it can improve the landscaping Edmonton standards.

There have been discussions on the dry climate and weather of Edmonton and if landscape designers should study its effect on the current landscaping guidelines. It is also mentioned how property owners can be encouraged to transform and naturalize their lawns. Naturalization should be considered by property owners.

Native plants are more suitable and can adapt better to the local weather, climate, and soil. They are able to thrive and survive with lesser maintenance. Some examples of naturalized landscapes include the Whitemud Freeway and Rundle Park.

Some residents have been practicing this method in certain areas in the city. However, there is a need to push this concept further to increase the awareness of naturalization in other areas. Naturalization provides numerous benefits that directly affect our economy and environment as well. Plus, it lowers the maintenance costs.

The naturalization approach to landscaping Edmonton states that your grass should be able to grow naturally without having to regularly upkeep your lawn. Native Alberta trees can help create a diverse ecosystem where many of these local plantations also bear fruits. There is also a variety of local vegetation in Alberta. Since the coverage of landscaping Edmonton contains a combination of grasslands, wetlands, and forests, there are a lot of native plants you can use on your land property.

Zoning Bylaws in City of Edmonton

The Zoning Bylaw in the City of Edmonton states that residential owners are required to landscape properties that are visible from the road including front and side yards. New homes are given a year a half from occupancy to finish the project. All property owners are obliged to follow a common set of standard rules and regulations in landscaping. These guidelines help maintain the high standard of Edmonton to ensure that the city is safe and abundant for the residents to live in.

Zoning Regulations

The Zoning Bylaw strictly allows specific materials to be used for landscaping.

  • Sod or grass seed
  • Shale or washed gravel
  • Plants, trees, and shrubs
  • Flower beds or cultured gardens
  • Decorative bricks or stones
  • Walls or fences
  • Sculptures
  • Outdoor furniture

 

Permits

The landscaping guidelines are mainly applied to the front and side yards while backyards can be converted to patios, decks, fire pits, hot tubs, and basketball courts. There are usually no mandatory permits necessary but you will be asked to apply for one if you are constructing a fence, gazebo, deck, or water system.

Driveway and Walkway

The driveway and walkway must be covered with concrete or asphalt and must lead straight to your front door. The measurement of the driveway is determined by the number of parking slots in the garage. The standard size must be at least 3.1 meters wide with a maximum of 3.1 meters per parking slot.

Native Plants

Pick a selection of plants and greenery that can grow well in the local climate and condition that you can use for landscaping Edmonton designs.

Trees

A well-positioned line of evergreens can provide shelter and protection from a windy weather and a sunny climate. Plus, it looks visually appealing to the eye as well.

Lawns

In order to maintain a manicured lawn, property owners are required to water their lawns with 2.5 centimeters of water per week. This produces a beautiful and green grass area.

Soil and Compost

Make sure that the soil you use on your land has a good quality and contains organic matter including compost. A compost basket can be used to create a natural fertilizer made from household leftovers.

Mulching or a protective covering is usually made from an organic material including leaves, straws, and plants. It helps prevent the development of weeds and evaporation of moisture. Property owners should allow a minimum of 15 centimeters of soil for lawns and 30 to 45 centimeters for shrubs.

Irrigation and Rainwater

We recommend using automatic shut-off devices and equipment. Check if the irrigation systems have low volume nozzles. Gather rainwater in a container and use it to irrigate your garden or lawn.

slider1Benefits of Landscaping

Picture having a lush green environment surrounded with blossoming flowers and canopy of trees. What a beautiful image right? A superb landscape may be pleasing to the eyes but more than its aesthetic appeal, it provides numerous benefits for both people and the environment.

A healthy landscape serves as a good foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle. It is also good for the neighborhood and community. Overall, it helps improve our quality of life.

Plants and Trees

  • An environment surrounded by nature directly affects people’s lives, mental and physical health. Studies show that it helps improve your memory and attention, reduces signs of stress and blood pressure.
  • According to a research conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, neighborhood areas with trees in their properties have lower crime rates.
  • Tree canopies helps minimize noise pollution over hard surfaces such as concrete and pavement.

Landscapes and Greenery

  • It increases the value of your property and makes it more appealing to prospective buyers. People are willing to pay more for properties located in a green environment with plants, trees, and gardens.
  • Based on surveys, consumers prefer visiting places with a lush green landscape and garden. They spend more time in such places and exert more effort to travel to it.
  • Another study suggests that commercial spaces with high-quality and well-maintained landscapes have more expensive rental costs.
  • It allows more privacy for commercial and residential owners.

Environment

  • Grass acts as a natural coolant. It is cooler than a having a bare soil and asphalt. It helps clean the air especially since it harbors dust, smoke, and other pollutants. Plus it absorbs carbon dioxide and converts it into oxygen.
  • Lawns absorb excess water which prevents puddles of water from forming. It protects water sources from unhealthy runoffs.
  • Trees provide shades in your homes and significantly minimizes the heat and temperature that directly affects your roof and attic. It controls the temperature making it cooler during summer and warmer during winter.
  • It prevents outdoor pests and insects from spreading diseases, bacteria, and virus to people and pets. We suggest using pest control for protection and maintenance. 

Basic Elements of Landscaping

The basic elements of landscaping Edmonton design includes several factors:

  1. Color – It is one of the most important elements in landscaping. Color livens up the entire lawn or garden. You can add a splash of color by using flowers, plants, and trees to create a dynamic and vibrant look. You can also use hard materials such as fences, bricks, and stones to build contrast and depth.

Some properties follow a color scheme to tie-up all the visual elements into a cohesive design. Color helps draw attention to a structure or a focal point. It also helps attract wildlife such as birds and butterflies among many others.

The color you pick sets the tone and mood of your place. A playful color scheme embodies high-energy and a creative vibe. The naked eye is more drawn to warm colors rather than cool tones.

Warm colors should be placed in a certain arrangement such as red to orange to bronze to yellow. Always use complementing colors throughout the lawn.

  1. Texture – A texture creates variety in any landscape. You can use plants with different features such as lightness, thickness, coarseness, and smoothness of the leaves, branch or bark and mix them up together. Another option is to build hard materials such as pavements to accent your greenery.

When creating a texture, you must learn to balance the landscape elements. The weight should be equal to the other side for a smooth transition. Your design should not be too heavy on one side.

  1. Line – Lines act as the structure to your landscape such as the edge of your path, walkway or the surrounding of your deck. Vertical lines tend to create an illusion of a bigger space such as trees. A horizontal line can also make the space look bigger by lining and accenting the walkways or garden walls.

A linear design helps create a focal point in your landscape design. Straight lines create a more formal appearance while angular lines serve as the framework of your design. Curved lines represent a more dramatic, casual approach, and are more visually pleasing.

  1. Form – A form refers to the natural shape of an object or a plant. It can also create various shape, sizes, and patterns in your landscape. There are certain plants that grow and spread vertically while some horizontally.

Some shrubs can be used as a hedge in between two structures. You can also create a silhouette using hanging plants to soften and add accent to the lines. A formal garden should have more tailored and structured forms while a casual garden can have a more natural and flowing form.

  1. Scale – Your overall design should reflect a balance within the structure or greenery surrounding your landscape. The design should maintain a good proportion in terms of the size and how it affects the entire layout. It requires using measurement and dimensions on your land area.

To determine if your scale is appropriate, you need to identify if the sizes of your materials and objects are appropriate in your setting. Always consider the size of your house or building as well as your lawn or yard.

  1. Focal point – A highlight or focal point in your landscape design can be in the form of a structure or a fountain, a sculpture, tree, or a cluster of plants. Your focal point should draw the interest of your visitors. It should be strategically placed in a location where the eye will automatically go directly to it. Trees, plants, fountains or structures should be positioned in the center within eye level. 

You can also add supporting elements to highlight your focal point. It can help tie-in together the entire concept of your design. However, they should provide less impact than the focal point so they won’t clash together.

  1. Sequence – A sequence creates a pleasing visual movement and flow in your landscape design. It could be done using a combination of plants to form a certain pattern. You need to properly select the type of plants and materials you are going to use.

Start by displaying low plants in your foreground and place the taller plants in the background. This way you are forming a sequence and pattern in doing the layout of your plants.

  1. Grouping – Once you determine the proper sequence in your layout design, you should be able to form a grouping of plants to create harmony. When grouping the plants together, you should also consider the scaling of your landscape. You can divide the group by color, texture, and form. 

Grouping your plants or shrubs together in 3’s or 5’s can produce a more attractive symmetry in your overall look. You should place together plants that more or less have the same requirements and maintenance need. There are some plants that are not recommended to sit together.

  1. Variety – Adding variety to your design will create a more appealing and interesting look. It spices up the appearance and feel of your landscape. A variety of colors, textures, lines, and forms can help you achieve a beautiful and creative design. 

Just be careful when combining your plants and materials. Avoid overplanting and over-decorating your garden.

  1. Balance – It can either be in the form of symmetrical or asymmetrical lines. In using symmetrical lines, the mass and weight of the plants or objects should equally balance the other side. The lines should be similar and the edges should be defined.

Asymmetrical lines, on the other hand, allows irregular placement of plants and objects but should still project a balance on both sides. The use of curved lines and shapes provide an asymmetrical balance in your design.

Landscaping Design Ideas

Residential

If you are looking for ideas and designs for landscaping Edmonton houses, here are some great concepts that will spark your creativity. A strong design concept will significantly improve the overall look and feel of your house. There are a number of ways to create an inviting atmosphere in your home.

You can add color, texture, accents and construct a functional outdoor living space that you and your gusts can enjoy. We crafted some ideas and suggestions on how to build an attractive residential landscape.

  1. Flowers and Vines – Planting flowers in your front yard, walkway, and entrance is a great way to welcome and greet your visitors. Create an assortment using different types of flowers with various colors. You can line your fence with flowers to make your façade more attractive looking.

Small and fragrant flowers deserve a prime spot in your home. They provide a warm and inviting feel to your house. We recommend using Peruvian Lilies, Forget-Me-Not, Lavender, and Daisies.

You can let vines crawl on the fence, shrubs, and perennials. We suggest you use Clematis as it blooms into shades of blue, red, white, pink or purple. It is one of the most popular and attractive flower vines. The best time to plant Clematis is during spring or fall season when the weather is cool.

  1. Baskets and Planters – Add some layers and dimensions in your front yard using hanging baskets, elevated planters, and flowerpots. An inverted planter grows plants and flowers upside down and is watered from the top. Create a spiller where plants can hang over the edges such as begonias and mix it with eye-catching flowers in the center. This adds variety to your overall look.
  1. Camouflage unattractive areas – Some workspaces such as sheds and garages may be an eye sore but learning how to camouflage it with the background will do wonders. We suggest adding planks to the entrance create a shelf where you can put flowerpots. Another recommendation is to hide the unattractive parts of your house with planters and flowers.
  1. Create a sanctuary – You can design and build a small sanctuary in your backyard where you can retreat to for relaxation. A garden with a small fountain or waterway will definitely help ease your mind. Make this sanctuary a place where you can sit down and chill with your family and friends.
  1. Decorate your Driveway – Pick the right materials to dress-up your driveway. We suggest you shape and line up your driveway with flowers and perennials from the start of your driveway to your front door. This will give your house a curb appeal.

Commercial

Landscaping Edmonton commercial properties do not have to be expensive. A simple building with a beautiful landscape will definitely attract and add warmth to the environment. Some property owners tend to underestimate how landscaping affects and impacts their employees and customers’ experience. A nice and attractive workplace promotes a better working environment for the employees.

Here are some ideas to get you started on improving the appearance of a commercial building or establishment without breaking the bank.

  1. Highlight the entrance to the building – A well-thought of commercial landscape design should draw attention to the main entrance of the building. This way people can immediately recognize your establishment with one look. The entrance should look and feel warm and inviting where visitors will feel welcomed. Pick a color that will highlight and enhance the entrance or line the pathway with plants and flowers.
  1. Create a focal point – A focal point in your landscape will draw attention to your building or structure. The highlight can be your entrance to the establishment, a statue or signage. A splash of vibrant color can do the job.

A cleaner and more polished landscape generate a more positive feedback from your visitors. The upkeep of your facility directly reflects your company. After all, first impressions last.

  1. Make sure your elements complement each other – Your landscape should enhance the building’s architecture. Don’t combine too many elements or it will look too confusing. The structure’s shape, color, size, and dimension should act as your basis and foundation when creating an idea.
  1. Pick low maintenance designs – When creating a landscaping design, you should plan ahead with your landscaping Edmonton designer and identify the steps you need to take in order to maintain it. Don’t choose high upkeep because it will only eat up your time, energy, and money in the long run. Always plan and envision how you can carry out your landscape during all seasons. By laying out a maintenance plan, you will be able to avoid unforeseen problems and expenses that may come along the way.
  1. Use sustainable materials – Sustainable materials significantly reduce the need for excess water supply to save more energy and maintenance costs. We recommend using rain barrels so you can reuse water for your garden and lawn. This way you are also saving money.

 

You can also use native plants in your landscape design so that it has better chances of surviving in your city’s climate and condition. This requires less maintenance compared to other plants and flowers.

Seasonal Landscaping Edmonton Services

Spring

As the season of spring blooms, it is also time for a spring clean-up in your lawn. A healthy lawn can be achieved through proper maintenance and care. Since the previous winter season has probably left the soil compacted, you need to clean, cut, and fertilize your lawn to make way for a brand new season.

During spring, the weather may be warm but not hot. You can expect many debris left lying around from the snow. As the days go by, you will notice how your grass grows greener each day.

It is also time for you to check on any damages the snow may have incurred in your lawn. Some shrubs may not survive during the cold winter nights. You should also start pruning your shrubs

Remove mulch so the flowers can breathe fresh air and add compost minimize the weeds in your garden.

Summer

During summertime, your lawn needs proper care and maintenance. This includes trimming and laying new sod and cultivating the dense soil and grass. The hot weather produces a high temperature, moisture, and pests which creeps on the root system of the grass.

Check your trees for dead branches to avoid accidents from happening. Cut down any signs of hanging limbs. Trim the grass and bushes that within close proximity to your house. Untrimmed bushes can be a breeding ground for pests and insects.

 Don’t cut your grass shorter than at least three and a half inches. A taller grass has longer roots which makes it strong enough to combat heat and drought. It also retains the moisture in the soil during especially during this hot season.

 If the weather is continuously dry and hasn’t rained for weeks, use a hose to water down your trees. Do this once a week until the net rainfall. It is important to water your plants regularly. 

Fall

Fall season requires you to trim, prune, replant, and weed out your lawn. A fall clean-up helps eliminate dead trees and plants to make way for the next season. Regularly rake and sweep-off falling leaves and patch-up brown spots in your lawn.

You can also start to plant shrubs in time for the season’s cool weather and moist soil. A decomposed layer of organic mulch will help keep new plantations warm and controls soil erosion. 

Winter

 Winter season requires sanding, snow removal and ice-melting services especially in driveways and sidewalks. A clean sidewalk prevents you from getting fines.

Evergreens are suitable during the winter season. They act as good focal point not just during winter but for all seasons. They come in hues of green, yellow, blues, and everything in between.

Another idea is to use a hardscape in your design idea. Winter season is a great time to build and enhance your landscape with sculptures, water features or outdoor furniture. It acts as an accent to your lawn.

Erosion Control

 Erosion control is the practice of preventing, limiting or controlling erosion caused by wind or water. This includes the sectors in agriculture, land development, construction, mining, oil and gas, coastal areas, and riverbanks. An efficient erosion control directly affects our environment and prevents water pollution, habitat loss, and soil damage.

Erosion control is widely used in urban areas and often involves planting vegetation, building rocks or creating barriers to absorb wind or water energy that causes the erosion. It also involves developing storm drains, basins, and fences.

Temporary and Permanent Measures

There are two kinds of categories: temporary and permanent. They both control erosion, however, the temporary method is often used during construction and is eventually removed after completion or is replaced by a permanent measure. A temporary method includes seeding, mulching, straw barriers, permeable barriers, slope texturing, silt fence, and coverings.

A permanent method, on the other hand, includes rock check, gabion cages, berm interceptor, sediment pond, and retaining walls.

How to Control Soil Erosion

Erosion takes place whenever the top layer of soil is stripped off. It makes it difficult to grow anything on the soil. It can turn a thriving land into a dull piece of soil which sometimes results in landslides.

It is possible to control soil erosion depending on the severity of the condition of the soil. Here are some principles you can follow:

  • Use the land based on its capability.
  • Protect the soil surface using a cover.
  • Control runoff before it becomes an erosive force.

The easiest way to prevent soil erosion is to grow some vegetation using temporary and permanent methods. Seeding is one of the most common ways to do vegetation. Another method is to use hydroseeding or hydro-mulching which involves mixing a slurry in a hydroseeder and a combination of seed, organic material, fertilizer, and water. This aids in the vegetation process.

Factors that Contribute to Soil Erosion

There are several factors that contribute to the cause of erosion. Becoming aware of these factors will help you identify the source so you can come up with a plan to control it.

Here are some factors that contribute to soil erosion:

  • Climate
  • Rainfall
  • Vegetation
  • Surface cover
  • Topography
  • Soil characteristics 

Signs of Soil Erosion

 Check your land regularly for any signs of soil erosion. Once you detect any indication, make sure you act on it accordingly before the situation worsens. Here are some warning signs of soil erosion: 

  • The best time to check the soil is right after a heavy rain or storm.
  • Check for areas that have been used by construction. It is usually found in areas near water pipes under a trail.
  • Look for areas that don’t produce any vegetation such as hillsides and you might see signs of soil buildup.
  • Notice the placement of exposed rocks or roots. If they seem to be getting bigger, the soil may be receding underneath.
  • Check for channels where water and wind may possibly cut into the soil. This should be addressed as soon as possible.
  • Dirty water often means that the soil may possibly be eroding.

 

hydroseedHydroseeding

Hydroseeding or also known as hydro-mulching used a slurry of mulch and seed. It is used for the control of soil erosion on construction sites. Hydroseeding is used as an alternative to sowing dry seed. Hydroseeding is becoming a popular choice among homeowners, commercial land owners, and landscaping designers because it is easy to use and efficient.

This method can be completed in a short period and can be used on hillsides or slopes. It usually costs less than using sod and can grow grass in as quick as one week. A fiber mulch increases the growth process by keeping the moisture in the seeds.

The right amount of mulch applied produces faster germination and insulation from extreme temperature to protect the soil from erosion. The hydroseeding slurry can be modified with different substances to aid in the growth of the seed.

CocoFlexFGM

Types of Hydroseeding Mulches

There are different types of hydroseeding mulches which usually comes in 40 to 50-pound bales. Most are in a compressed bale while some are manufactured through a special process. There are various hydroseeding applications which are differentiated by the mulch used.

Here are the different types of mulch included in a hydroseed slurry:

  1. Wood Mulch – This type of mulch is beneficial for the environment and is more economical especially since it is easily available, quick to apply and remove. You can use it as a compost or apply it directly to the soil.

Wood mulch helps retain moisture by covering the soil with 2 inches. It slows down the evaporation of moisture from the soil. Wood chips block the sun keeping the cool temperature of the soil. At the same time, since the wood chips are covering the soil, the weeds have a hard time growing underneath.

Wood chips allow water to infiltrate the soil. The decomposition comes at different rates which create a diverse soil environment. A wood bark is an effective type of mulch and is recommended for garden use. Make sure you place it away from trees to avoid rotting.

  1. Paper Mulch – Similar to organic mulches, a paper mulch is efficient in seed protection. By distributing the shredded paper over your flower bed can prevent the weeds from growing. It also controls soil temperature and improves fertilization.

A wet and shredded newspaper laid over the flower bed speeds up the decomposition and allows the water and fertilizer to reach the soil. A cardboard is another type of paper mulch that you can use. However, it is a more difficult to apply.

A straw can also be used as an alternative. Place a thick layer of newspaper under a bundle of straw. This can also prevent weeds from forming.

 SnowIce

Snow Control in Landscaping Edmonton

January is the coldest month of the winter season in Edmonton and the city experiences an average of 48.6 inches of snow every year. We offer ice and snow removal and clearing in walkways, sidewalks, roads, parking lots, and pedestrian streets.

Our snow removal includes clearing, plowing, and hauling snow. We also apply sanding, and ice melters to control the ice. City of Edmonton requires you to comply with the bylaws for a safe environment.

We are committed to help the City of Edmonton become safe for its residents and vehicles. An efficient snow and ice control allows the city to continue its day to day function during the winter season.

How to Remove Snow

snow

Winter time also means shovel time in landscaping Edmonton. However, here are some tips on how to clean-up snow easier the safe way.

  • Snow Blower – When using the speed of your blower, it is important for you to find the right amount of speed. If it’s too slow or too fast, your blower will not work effectively. A bigger blower may also be more difficult to maneuver.

When clearing a certain area, make sure your stick to one particular property only. If you are clearing the driveway, don’t alternate it with another area. Otherwise, you might end up blowing snow on a clear path.

Do not direct your blower towards other objects. Turn it off when not in use. Always practice safety measures to prevent accidents from happening.

  • Shovel – This is a traditional way of removing snow using manual labor. You need to shovel every few inches of snow. This may be the easiest and simplest method of clearing snow.

You can start by pushing away the snow towards the edges then use the shovel to lift the snow and pile it on the edge. Pick a shovel that works for you best. Make sure you are using the right size and it is not too heavy for you to lift. It is better to start in the middle and work your way towards the sides.

Ice Control in Landscaping Edmonton

sprayerheaderThere are different types of ice control you can use. Here are some examples:

  • Sand or Rockchips – It helps prevent slips from occurring but it doesn’t control the buildup of ice.
  • Salt – This is probably the cheapest way to melt ice. However, it isn’t effective in cold temperatures. It is not good for the environment and tends to damage the grass and concrete pavements.
  • Ice Melt – There are several types of ice melting products available. Unlike salt, ice melts are more environmentally-friendly. They are sidewalk friendly and does not harm the vegetation.
  • Liquid Calicum Chloride – This is a newer method for ice control and is by far the best option available to control ice.

Just spread it evenly and thinly over the surface. An excess amount may destroy your pavement. Different brands produce various melting points.

Snow and Ice Control in Landscaping Edmonton

According to landscaping Edmonton bylaws, a resident must maintain the sidewalk adjacent to their property and keep it clear of snow and ice. They must also keep their roof free of snow and ice especially on the parts that extends over the road.

After a snowfall, citizens of Edmonton are required to clear the sidewalks adjacent to their home or building within 48 hours. The residents are held responsible for cleaning the area surrounding their property including their driveway, sidewalks, and even vacant lots beside their house.

Any remnants of snow and ice left on the sidewalk is dangerous for anyone who walks on it. It poses a threat to the safety of the citizens as it may cause accidents and injuries from falling or sliding.

How to Clear your Sidewalks

  • Plan – A proper planning should include a list of proper tools you need to upkeep your sidewalks. Make sure you stock up on supplies such as a sand, shovel, and ice chipper. This will help you get through the winter season.
  • Practice Safety Measures – Follow the necessary steps to keep yourself safe before clearing your walkway. Make sure you are properly fit to use a shovel. Don’t attempt to continue if you have back pains. Check with your doctor first before you proceed.

Dress accordingly for the weather. Wear warm clothes, boots, and gloves. Take a break every 10 to 15 minutes to avoid continuous strain on your back.

  • Shovel – Find the most appropriate shovel for you. Usually, the best kinds are those with small blades with a good handling grip. The trick is to push the snow while you shovel rather than lifting it.

Avoid filling up your shovel with too much snow. Instead, use a small shovel and push at least half of it. When shoveling always keep your back straight and bend your knees. This will lessen the stress on your spine.

If the snow is sticking to your shovel, try spreading the surface with cooking oil.  Always clear the snow as soon as the snowfall is done. It prevents from turning the snow into ice which will be harder for you to remove.

How to Clear Ice

  • Warm Weather – It is better to clear the ice during daytime when the weather is warm. The temperature makes the ice softer and easier to remove. You can use a shovel to take it out.
  • Pile snow in a safe location – Make sure you place it away from the sidewalk or any area that can be affected as soon as the snow and ice melts. In landscaping Edmonton regulations, dumping snow on public property is prohibited.
  • Spread sand over the icy surface – This will prevent people from sliding or falling over the ice when passing by the sidewalk. If you spread it before the snow forms into ice, it can make the ice easier to eradicate. Prior to spreading, you can also try heating it in the microwave to make it more effective.

How to Choose the Best Landscaping Edmonton Company

There are a number of elements you need to consider when it comes to picking the right landscaping company to work with. Although your main focus is probably on the idea and concept of the overall design, there are other aspects you need to factor in. Here are some of the following:

  • Vision – Your landscape designer should have a clear vision and should not fall short on creative ideas and concepts. Choose a company with an innovative approach.
  • Skills – Pick a company that is tried and tested in the industry. See to it that they can execute your vision and design successfully. 
  • Reliability – A good reputable company must be reliable. Check their portfolio and read their customer reviews. It can help you decide on whether the company’s working style will match your requirements.
  • Cost – It is understandable that you’d prefer a company that charges low-cost. However, a cheaper rate doesn’t always translate to good quality. Be transparent with your designer on what you can afford and work together so that you can both come up with a suitable design that will fit both your vision and your budget.

About Eco Groundworks

Our company started in 2001 and have been providing services to the citizens of Edmonton for more than a decade already. We are a mid-sized landscaping and construction company.

At Eco Groundworks, we specialize in Commercial/Civil Landscaping, Hydroseeding and Erosion, Reclamation and Clean Up, Snow and Ice Control, Earthworks, Fencing, and Wildfire. We also offer other professional services including Project and Construction Management, Surveying, and Environmental Consulting.

Since our employees have various backgrounds in construction and landscaping Edmonton, we are confident that we can meet and suit your needs through our vast knowledge and experience. We continuously find ways to come up with techniques in the most efficient, safe, and cost-effective way. We provide our customers with high-quality service using both traditional and innovative methods.

You may contact us for any of your landscaping requirements. Visit our website at www.ecogroundworks.ca or email us at info@ecogroundworks.ca. You can also contact us at 780-757-0644 for more information and details.

03 Nov 2016

Saving time and energy on your Snow removal

A few tips and tricks to help you out!

 

Are you using your Snow blower and shovel efficiently?

It’s that time of year sooner or later we will all have snow removal to do.  For some this mean your back will be aching after a long winter of shoveling or blowing snow, maybe you’re doing it wrong?

Here’s some advice that will make clearing snow a little easier and hopefully help you make it through Edmonton’s winter injury-free.

Using a snblowerow blower

 

Speed does matter. Why?

If you are going too slow your blower won’t throw the snow far enough, going too fast and the snow spills out the sides.

You will need to experiment to find the optimal speed for your blower.  Bigger and heavier snowblower doesn’t mean it will do a better job and may be harder to handle.

I personally like the Toro Power Clear (621 or 721), they are light easy to maneuver and the paddles are amazing for clearing down to the concrete without much effort. Additional bonus is they are also light and easy to transport if you need to.

When you are using your snowblower you would not use the same clearing method on two different properties.  You don’t want to throw snow on top of pavement you’ve already cleared and you don’t want to create a larger pile that you need to clear over and over a little planning can save a lot of time and energy.

Example a driveways with room on both sides to pile snow a good method would be to start in the middle and throw the snow toward one edge of the driveway. Make a U-turn then come back down the other side. Keep alternating until all the snow is gone.

If your driveway is up against a building you will find it easier to start on the side closest to the building. That way you can avoid blowing snow onto the area you have already cleared. Or you may have to blow/throw the snow either to the front or back if there is no area to pile the snow on the sides.
Snow blower safety. Never clear snows away with your hands or other items while the snow blower is running always turn it off. Be aware of your surroundings don’t blow snow towards people or vehicles.  Take frequent breaks to avoid overexertion. Dress properly to prevent frostbite and stay hydrated.

 

Snow Shovelinsnow-shovelg

 

Shoveling is basically manually moving the snow.  If possible you may want to clear the snow frequently when there is a larger snow fall by shoveling  after every few inches.  This is the easiest on your body but is not always practical if you wait until the storm ends try removing the snow in layers.  Remember to take frequent breaks and don’t lift more than you are comfortable with.

You can clear your driveway in two stages. Stage 1 push the snow to the edges with a pusher shovel, Stage 2 using a garden variety shovel with sides for heavier snow falls.  For smaller snow falls as you are pushing the snow you and lift is and pile on the edges.  Find shovels that work best for you.  Keep in mind as with using the Snow Blower shoveling the snow from the center to the sides when you have 2 sides is best and starting from the building when you have only one side to pile the snow.
Shoveling safety. Use the right size of shovel, take breaks, dress properly to avoid frostbite and stay hydrated.

.

Snow is cleared Now what do I do for Ice control?

 ice

Icemelt, Salt, Sand/Rockchips which is best.

 

Keep in mind there are many varieties of ice control products available with varying results for each.

 

Sand/Rockchips (In Edmonton you can typically find sandbox at your local community to aid in preventing slips)

Helps by providing a gritty surface to prevent slips but does nothing to control the buildup of ice.  When you use sand/rockchips only you will have to scrap and chip ice to remove.  Not an easy task adding a lot of time to snow/ice clearing.

  

Salt (rock salt)

Salt Is the cheapest version for melting ice.  A huge downfall is it does not work well in really cold temperatures and it is not sidewalk friendly damages concrete and grass.  Nor is it environmentally or pet friendly.

 

Ice Melt

There are several different ice melt products on the market and the cost varies substantially.  This type of product is typically tag as sidewalk friendly, pet friendly, and easy on vegetation.  The product is meant to be spread evenly and does not need to be a heavy coat a little goes a long way don’t dump piles onto the sidewalk as it may damage your concrete in high concentration.  The melting point varies depending on the brand use some work at extreme temperatures -30C while others (cheaper versions) work only to -5C.

 

 

06 Sep 2016

Your Landscape Can Protect Your Home

Planning a landscape so that it is safe for your people is important. There are a few ways in which you can make the landscape safe for pedestrians or the people who will be frequenting it.

Here’s how.

Timing

You can schedule landscaping tasks to make efficient use of time and resources, but if the timing is wrong, your landscape care won’t be effective. It’s important to water, prune, and mulch at the right times to take full advantage of environmental conditions, plant growth cycles, and the seasons. This not only makes sense from nature’s perspective, it maximizes the effectiveness of your landscape care and maintenance activities, saving you time, money, and resources in the long run.

Shortest and safest walkways

If you try to make people walk on a winding fancy walkway, still people are going to go for the shortest distance that gets them to point A from point B. That means if there are corners and curves adding length to their walk, they’ll cut across and end up wearing a new path. Hence, make sure that tenant circulation routes are designed to enable them to take the shortest, safest routes possible.

Utilize correct practices

Utilizing the correct practices and methods for commercial landscape maintenance is crucial. You need to use the right tools for the right plants and practices, for example pruning. Sharp, clean cutting tools are essential for proper pruning as well as for safety for both plants and personnel.

Edges

Edges are the most important part of any landscaped space. In fact, edges are the most active and transitional areas in nature for example, sun and shade, fields and woods, land and water. Humans navigate by edges like streets and sidewalks, defined walkways and grassy areas or plant beds. Well-maintained edges promote safety while poorly maintained edges improve the chance for injury, for example, a pile of leaves by a curb can hide the edge, causing people to trip and fall.

Appropriate lighting

If your landscape is properly illuminated at night with adequate lighting in the right places, it will help to prevent crime and accidents. Efficient lighting around travel areas will help boost pedestrian visibility and reduce hiding places for criminals. The right lighting improves direct and peripheral vision, minimizing the need for head-swiveling to make people feel safer and more at ease.

Consider the above factors when planning a landscape design that protects your home. Hire the services of a professional landscaping firm to help you get your landscape safety planned.

Image source: http://www.homeadvisor.com

06 Sep 2016
sun does your yard get

How Much Sun Does Your Yard Get

Without the sun, life cannot sustain itself. Plants need the right amount of sunlight without which, they will not grow properly.

So how do you measure the amount of sunlight that your garden gets?

Determining the amount of sunlight exposure to garden

When you start to estimate the amount of sunlight your yard gets, look at a specific area of your yard at one to two hour intervals, starting with when the sun has risen fully until dusk. Draw a sketch of your entire yard on a sheet of paper and number the sections. Write down the sunlight levels for each of these sections at the timed intervals. Numbering the sections will allow you to properly keep track of the sunlight levels in each section so you can plant trees and plan your yard accordingly.

Partial shade and partial sun

Do not confuse partial shade for partial sun and vice versa. Although they are used interchangeably at times, they are two different things. Partial shade refers to a sunny area that gets some shade, and is typically an area that gets morning shade and four to six hours of hot afternoon sun. Partial sun, on the other hand, refers to a shady location that gets a few hours of morning sun and four to six hours of shade.

Full sun or full shade

To determine full sun or full shade, look at the area in the morning and mid-morning and watch throughout the day until dusk. Most full sun areas have sunlight from at least 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., while most full shade locations will get a little bit of morning sun but be shielded from it for at least six full hours. Simply put, if your yard receives six hours or more of direct sunlight then you can say that your yard has full sun. Contrarily, if your yard receives six hours or more of shade then it is called full shade. Determining full shade or full sun is pretty easy. For full sun on your yard, you should have no tall trees on the south side or it is usually the south side of your home. The west side of your home may also receive full sun. On the other hand, full shade locations are typically on the north side of the home or have tall and full trees to the south.

If you have certain areas in your backyard where there is a lot of shade and you need sunlight in the exact same area, you could consider thinning out the branches of tall trees. Avoid planting trees on the south side of your house if you need sunlight.

It is easy to measure the amount of sunlight keeping in mind the above factors. Ample sunlight exposure to garden will help your plants and trees will facilitate their growth with ease. If you need any advice or help regarding your landscape, you can always contact Eco Groundworks.

Image source: shaglake.com

01 Sep 2016
sustainable backyard

Create A Sustainable Backyard

Creating a sustainable backyard or garden is extremely necessary in today’s day. With the rate trees are being cut down, forests are being cleared a natural ecosystem existing in everyone’s backyard will only help Mother Nature in countless ways. Of course, it is not going to act as a substitute but it will surely help.

Here’s our perspective of a few ideas you could use to create a self sustaining landscape in your own yard.

Plant trees

This is the most obvious of them all. To begin sustainable landscaping, you need to start planting trees in your backyard or garden. Planting trees helps to store carbon from the atmosphere into the soil. Trees can also cool your home in summer and let in the winter sun.

Compost

Avoid throwing away dried leaves or any other type of natural waste. Green garden waste and food scraps should go into the soil and not the landfills where waste is dumped. Live by the motto ‘The less green garden waste and food scraps going into landfill, the better’. This way, you get to use the compost in your sustainable garden.

Be responsible

Think very carefully before you reach for that bug spray or synthetic fertilizer! So many good, sustainable alternatives exist — use your compost to help feed your plants, and get worms and insects working for you. The objective of self sustaining landscape can only work when you encourage nature to work the way it does.

Plant native trees/plants

Plants that are indigenous to your region are called natives. These plants take less work, usually require less water, and thrive better than other perennials because they are already suited to your climate, rainfall, and soil types. Plants native to your region grow faster because they are accustomed to the climate, soil and all such factors that are important for the growth of vegetation. Additionally, native plant species provide food and shelter for the native insect and bird populations.

Choose carefully what you plant

Planting trees is necessary but along with that, you need to be aware of the amount of water plants are going to need for proper growth. Having a less thirsty garden is an important element of sustainability, especially in areas where water is scarce and restricted. Xeriscaping, the method of gardening and landscaping that reduces the need for watering, incorporates a wide variety of attractive drought-tolerant shrubs and perennials. To collect water from Mother Nature, install a rain barrel at the base of one or more downspouts.

Developing a self sustaining landscape takes a lot of hardwork but the end result is worth all the time spent. Gather all the information (regarding the different types of gardens) you need to plan a sustainable garden, and go about it smartly. If you need to, hire the services of a professional.

Image source: http://www.neighborhoodnotes.com/

01 Sep 2016
garden watering system

Which Is The Best Garden Watering System For You

With frequent weather changes in today’s world, it is important to take care of your plants with an attention-to-detail approach. Many of us will experience weeks or even months in which sparse rainfall won’t keep pace with the sun’s hot rays.

Subjected to such conditions, it is important to setup your garden watering system according to the plants in your garden, soil, the usual weather and such factors. Here are a few types of garden irrigation systems for your knowledge.

Mulching and weeding

The requirement of a necessary evil cannot be denied ;). You need a certain amount of mulch and weed to ensure that water is retained by the soil and that it doesn’t dry up immediately. A combination of good weed control and adequate mulch can conserve up to 1 inch of water per week during really hot summer months.

Drip irrigation

One way to allow your garden to water itself is to install a drip irrigation system. It can save you time, money, minimize erosion, reduce the amount of water needed to soak plants, and so much more. The downside to drip irrigation is that it can be relatively expensive to set up. But thanks to Lifehacker for this brilliant information, with the help of which you can install drip irrigation on the cheap.

Upside down hanging irrigation

This system has 4 hanging planters and one water supply. Just under the planters there is a horizontal hose. You have to gather materials for planter and reservoir and also, some other materials are required to complete the system.

Soaker hoses

Soaker hoses weep water evenly along their length as though they were sweating. Soaker hoses work especially well for closely spaced crops and intensively planted beds. You can make your own soaker hoses by collecting old or leaky garden hoses from your friends and drilling small holes into them every few inches. Just cap or clamp off the male end of the hose.

Be smart about your landscape. Plan it prior and accordingly plant your trees. Even with regular rainfall, crops that require a relatively large amount of water to thrive, such as beans and sweet corn, will almost always need supplemental irrigation. If you need to get drip irrigation for your yard, contact a professional landscaping agency who will help you with the whole arrangement or guide you in your task.

Image source: http://buil.doinjustfine.com/

24 Aug 2016
retaining walls

X Things to Know About Retaining Walls

When building a retaining wall, you need to have a structure in mind. Without a plan in mind, you may incur more costs due to mistakes and an unorganized way of going about it.

So when you want a retaining wall built, the basics of a retaining wall need to be clear in your mind.

Choose From a Variety of Materials

Stone, brick, timber, and concrete are some materials which are used commonly when building a retaining wall. Usually, stone is preferred since it offers a rustic look but it will cost a bit more compared to other materials. For a formal and dignified look, using brick material in construction is the best choice. Building a timber retaining wall is cheap and is easy to handle compared to retaining walls of other materials. Choose wisely.

Hire Professional for Design

A retaining wall is not a merely a fence wall. You need to hire a professional to design the structure of your retaining wall.

Maintain the Right Level

You should check each block of your retaining wall for alignment and level. This will help avoid shimming the blocks to make incremental alterations. It’s advisable to start with a level foundation as it will help you perform the task smoothly.

Gravel Base

In case you are building a retaining wall to hold back the soil which slopes down to it, it is wiser to install a gravel base. You can do it with a filter fabric and pipe. This will help you direct the water to your preferred route.

Size Matters

When walls are smaller in size it is easy to design them and plan them without a structure. For this, the wall needs to be shorter than 4 feet. Larger walls above that height may need an engineer’s touch. Also be sure to check with local codes before buildingstarting one more than four feet tall.

Create a Solid Base

The base sets up the tone for the entire wall so it is important that you spend a lot of time in preparing this component. Dig out your base several inches below grade and tamp/compact it to level. Add any filler, such as gravel, before adding your first stones or blocks.

Hire the services of a professional landscaping agency in Edmonton to help you build a retaining wall. As mentioned earlier, a professional landscaper will be able to help you out with everything you need.

Image source: http://www.anchorblock.com/

24 Aug 2016
muddy backyard

5 Tips to Deal With a Muddy Backyard

Is your backyard really muddy? There are a few simple things that you can check and fix to solve the problem. But beyond that you may need to hire the services of a professional to fix your yard.

Here are a few landscaping tips that we would like to share.

Check for Underground Pipe Leaks

Try to figure out if you have a leaking drainage pipe or any other pipes which run below the surface of the yard. Often such a leak will result in water rising to the surface and disperse the soil where it shouldn’t be and additionally create problems. It is important to locate the leak with the help of professionals and get this issue addressed immediately.

Solutions With Pavers

Simply traversing muddy land can be difficult. You should try creating paver stone walkways. This landscaping tip gives you an opportunity to do something new with your yard. A walkway presents an entirely new canvas, on which you can plan and build up a gorgeous landscape. Accordingly, you can plant trees around it so that the soil holds and the yard doesn’t seem bumpy.

A French Drain

You can install French drains, drain tiles and similar features alongside structures, where it is possible to capture water that runs off from the roof or downspouts or into low spots in the backyard. If there are just a few low spots, a subsurface drain to direct water to an outlet may provide adequate relief.

Dethatching and Aerating

Even with proper care, a lawn can eventually develop thick thatch — the brownish layer of living and dead grass stems, roots and other debris between the soil surface and the bottom of the green grass blades. If thatch thicker than 1/2 inch accumulates, it can keep water from easily penetrating the turf. Where soil is compacted, pore space is limited and the amount of water an area can absorb and hold is decreased. Dethatching a lawn, which is also known as vertical mowing, and aerating, are regular lawn maintenance tasks you should perform at least once per year when grass is actively growing. These steps encourage turf health by allowing air and moisture to penetrate the soil surface in a better manner.

Drastic Measures

When simple measures do not work effectively, the quality of the soil and the overall grade of the yard may need to be checked. Steps to correct severe yard drainage issues include removing turf and other small vegetation, planting around existing trees and shrubs, tilling the soil deeply to break up the top 8 to 12 inches, working 6 inches of an organic-matter soil amendment uniformly into the soil, and shaping the soil surface so the ground slopes away from any structures at a rate of at least 1 percent toward an outlet. Seems like a lot of work? Call a landscaping professional who will assist you.

Sometimes simple adjustments or corrective measures can reduce muddy soil and excessive yard moisture. In other cases, it may warrant for more drastic efforts that involve greater labor or cost. Hire the services of a professional landscaping agency which will be able to solve your problems.

Image source: http://www.geograph.org.uk

20 Aug 2016
Micro Clover

4 Alternatives to Mowing Your Lawn

Having a lush green lawn right outside your door to take an evening stroll in is the most relaxing thing in the world. The only price you pay is tough lawn maintenance. Maintaining the lawn takes up most of your weekends and consumes a lot of water, fertilizers, and effort on mowing and maintenance. What if you could still enjoy that evening stroll in the lap of nature without putting in those long hours of work? Here are 4 low maintenance lawns which will are great alternatives to grass.

Micro Clover

The Clover seed has benefited regular grass for years as it fertilizes the soil by absorbing nitrogen from it and giving out healthier and greener grass. A new variant of the Clover plant, the Micro Clover is an ideal grass substitute as it is low growing and does not flower as often. It also keeps weeds away by crowding them out and is unaffected by pet urine. It can do well with occasional mowing and is perfect for low maintenance lawns.

Fescue Grass

While Fescue is technically a grass, it is far better than its traditional yard grass counterparts. This is because it does not require mowing at all and is great if you are looking for lawn mower alternatives or alternatives to grass, well, regular grass anyway. With growth, the Fescue grass doubles over its blades creating a gorgeous green sea which ripples in the wind. If you prefer shorter grass, you can mow it once a month to get the desired lawn grass size. Fescue is shade and drought tolerant and remains green throughout the year. How many more reasons could you possibly need for switching over to one of the best lawn mower alternatives?

Fescue Grass

Creeping Thyme

This wonderfully scented herb does not have to be limited to the kitchen. You can grow popular varieties of this herb to brighten your residential landscaping and make it smell wonderful too. Spicy orange thyme and creeping lemon thyme are great alternatives to grass as neither usually exceeds four inches in height. Both varieties produce pink blossoms which emit a delightful fragrant smell when crushed underfoot and wooly thyme provides a rich, smooth texture for bare feet. Perfect for those evening strolls!

Creeping Thyme

Corsican Mint

This is the lowest growing of all mints and grows well in medium to full sun exposure and low to a medium moist soil. This mint does not require mowing and is suitable for alternatives to grass and can create the perfect low maintenance lawns. It also tolerates foot traffic well and when trampled gives off a pleasant minty fresh aroma.

Corsican Mint

These are some superb plants that can serve as lawn mower alternatives and still allow you to enjoy a green natural yard. Plant these alternatives to grass and create your own relaxing yet low maintenance lawns.

All images sourced from www.bobvila.com


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