New Year New Lawn: 3 Basic Lawn Needs

The ultimate goal of every homeowner who takes pride in their landscape is to have a thick, green, and lush lawn to enjoy. The easiest way to have that is to make sure it has the right amount of irrigation, a healthy dose of sunlight, and the proper lawn fertilization program. With those 3 things in-tact, your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Too much shade is often the culprit for an unsightly dirt patch in a lawn.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone tell me they think all they need to do is install a pallet of sod and their lawn will be fine. What actually happens is the sod looks great for a few months, but over time begins to fade and, six months later, their unsightly dirt patch is back. They're treating the symptom of the problem (the dead sod) rather than the actual problem (the amount of shade on that area of the lawn).

The bottom line is that St. Augustine and Zoysia need about 4-6 hours of sunlight...

4 Types of Fire Pits Perfect for Fall

Lighting up the fire pit is a great way to initiate an intimate gathering with family and friends. The hosting possibilities that come along with owning a fire pit are virtually limitless and only bound by your imagination.

Fire pits have become one of the hottest home accessories on the market and it is clear why. There are many fire features that you can have in your backyard. There are basic as well as upscale designs. You will even be able to increase the value of your property with the right fire pit and the right backyard landscape design.

How many types of fire pits are there? Well, fire pits come in numerous alterations but they can generally be grouped into four categories depending on the kind of fuel each pit uses. Below we will take a look at 4 different styles of fire pits.

1. Simple Custom wood burning
A natural replica of a campfire, but limited to a contained space, these pits provide an authentic experience...

5 Reasons Why Fall is the Best Season for Landscaping in Florida

Many people think of spring as the best time for planting, but our preferred season in Gainesville is actually right now! The cooler temperatures and fall rains help the plant’s roots become well-established and the soil is still warm enough to allow roots to grow before the risk of freezing temperatures set in. It’s also a great time to get out in the yard and enjoy your investment! Below you will see our top 5 reasons for why we love Floria Fall landscapes!

1. Color
Here in Gainesville, we don’t get to experience the same dramatic color changes that some of our friends further north enjoy. The flip side of that is that we also don’t have to deal with the colder winters either! Still, it’s nice to see some changes at the turning of the season, and while we won’t be as showy as some other areas, here are a few Gainesville landscape additions that I would highly recommend for our...

Plant of the Month: ‘Black Diamond’ Crape Myrtle

Black Diamonds are a revolutionary new series of crape myrtles that provide unique beauty to your landscape and instant yard envy for your neighbors. Flawless black foliage emerges in early spring followed by masses of brilliant jewel-toned blooms that last until the first frost.

How Fast do Black Diamond Crape Myrtles Grow?

A Black Diamond Crape Myrtle tree can grow 2 to 4 feet in a single year. Once they get to mature height the trunks and branches grow thicker, but the trees stay around 12 feet tall.

How to care for Black...

Gainesville Landscape Plant of the month: Dwarf Ruellia

Dwarf Ruellia' is an improved variety and able to bloom beautiful pink or purple flowers almost all year long. We like this dwarf variety because they feature low, spreading mounds of narrow, dark green foliage. The combination of the flowers, grass-like texture, and green foliage make it a perfect filler to add color and interest to barren, dry areas in the yard. We also like to plant them in borders or on a sunny slope. Thanks to their compact form, these Ruellias are an excellent choice for use as a groundcover in tighter, narrower spaces and they also look great when planted in pots or planters!

Dwarf Ruellia is a low water use plant and is drought tolerant with little to moderate watering needs once established. This Ruellia variety thrives in full sun or partial shade exposures and is durable and easy to care for plants. These are a favorite for anyone that does not have a green thumb and still wants to have a thriving, colorful plant in their yard! They have a...

Gainesville Landscape Plant of the month: 'Mystic Spires' Salvia

Well-branched and very free-flowering, 'Mystic Spires' produces masses of sturdy, colorful flower stalks that are of great aesthetic appeal in beds, borders or containers and attract scores of butterflies, hummingbirds, and beneficial insects

This plant produces masses of colorful flowers that mix nicely with other annuals and perennials, is tolerant of heat and humidity (low and high), and is not bothered by pests or diseases or deer!

Exposure: full sun

Planting Time: spring to summer from containers

Soil type: adapts to most soils, but needs good drainage

This low-maintenance plant is perfect for Florida’s hot summers and keeps on blooming when other flowering plants have begun to decline.

How to Care for your Salvia:
Be sure to water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from a container, then, once plants have...

VLOG: Landscaping in Builder's Sand - Using Quality Soil for Plants' Rooting

When installing plants in a new construction home, one of the important things to consider (and something we talk about often) is the soil quality. Typically in the north central Florida area, new homes are constructed in "archer fill dirt" or builder's sand. It provides almost no nutrients, has a very high pH, and also has no water retention capacity.

This leaves the new landscape plants and sod starving for nutrients and water, and completely reliant on extra irrigation and added fertilization to maintain it's curb appeal. Also, due to the high pH and poor water retention, it leaves the landscape more susceptible to pests and disease.

This is where the "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" comes in.

The best way to avoid this is to have the landscaping installed with an organic soil (compost, potting soil, or garden soil) surrounding the new plant's hole to allow it's roots to spread into healthy soil. We do recommend to mix together some of the...

Gainesville Landscape Plant of the Month: Sunpatiens

Sunpatiens are a hybrid breed of the ever-famous shade-tolerant Impatiens, that are so popular in Gainesville landscaping. The blend is a careful combination of wild “traditional” impatiens with the larger, sun-loving Impatiens hawkeri, native to New Guinea. The result is a variety of impatiens that thrives in full sun and hot, humid weather and blooms that last from spring to autumn. It’s an excellent container and bedding flower for long lasting color to brighten your Gainesville, Florida yard.

Growing sunpatiens is very easy and low maintenance in florida lawns. The plants prefer well-draining soil that’s rich in organic material. They grow very well in both containers and garden beds, and they like sun or partial shade. I have found our Florida summers' heat may be too much without a little afternoon shade though, so avoid 12-14 hours of sunlight. For the first week or two after planting, they should be watered every day to get them established. After that, they need...

Is Your Gainesville Lawn Struggling in the Shade?

You need three things for a healthy lawn. Sun, water, and food (fertilizer.) If your lawn has all of that in the correct amount, gyour Gainesville lawn will grow and eventually thrive in 98% of scenarios. If you don’t have the three components in the proper amount, it doesn’t matter how much time, effort, or money you throw at the problem, you’re not going to be able to grow dense grass.

That’s a hard pill to swallow for many of our customers who have a lot of shade in their Gainesville yard. But if you consider how much sun you need in Gainesville, Florida lawns for our most common grasses you can...