734-213-6911 | 4100 S. Maple Road Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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  1. During the spring months, many homeowners take a closer look at their yard and garden areas, and they make an effort to revamp the space in a number of ways. For example, you may aerate the lawn and add fertilizer with the hopes of re-invigorating it and restoring its lushness and greenness after a long, hard winter season. You may not realize it, but one of the best steps that you can take in some yards is to add a trench to your property.

    What Is a Trench?IMG_5750
    A trench is a long, narrow feature that is installed for drainage purposes. Trench drainage is important in Ann Arbor MI homes because it can get very wet during the spring season for a number of reasons. For example, the snow melt can create a flooding situation in some yards, or heavy spring rain showers can cause flooding as well. A trench is designed to channel some of the water into different areas of the yard or even off of the yard. Keep in mind that a trench is often a covered feature for safety, and the cover will prevent pets, kids or others from getting hurt around the hole in the yard.

    How a Trench Helps Your Yard
    You may be wondering how trench drainage in Ann Arbor MI would help your yard. After all, rain water and snow melt will eventually evaporate from the yard. However, the evaporation process can take several days or longer in some cases, and it can take much longer if it continues to rain during this period of time. When the ground is too soggy and damp, issues related to root rot and more can develop. Trench drainage essentially is a way to keep the soil relatively dry even during the most moist times of the year.

    Where to Place a Trench
    If you have decided that you want to take advantage of a trench on your property, you may be wondering where to place one. There are different strategies that you can employ for this process. For example, some will place a trench at the base of a rolling hill in the yard, and others may place a trench around the base of the house to catch runoff from the roof. These are both options that you can consider, and a smart idea is to seek professional advice from a trained landscaping consultant before installing a trench in your yard. The consultant can provide you with more information regarding the need for a trench and where to best place it for the maximum results.

    Installing a trench for draining purposes is ideal on some yards, and many with a slope or that are plagued with puddles and standing water at certain times of the year will benefit from this feature being installed on the property. This is a feature that ideally will be professionally installed for the best results before the spring months arrive, and you can contact a landscaping professional for further assistance today.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  2. While it might seem a bit chilly for outdoor work, late winter is a great time to get the patio set for the summer. Once things have warmed, everyone wants to enjoy the patio, and maintenance jobs at this point are only going to get in the way. Also, this is the time to head trouble off at the pass. The type of patio maintenance to perform depends on what the patio’s made of. Here’s a list of typical patio materials.

    *Poured Concrete
    *Natural Stone
    *Manufactured Pavers

    Preventing Problems

    Here are some cool pavers.
    With the ground just thawed, late winter and early spring present an ideal period in the Ann Arbor MI region to both prepare the patio for the rest of the year and take care of any disrepair that’s accumulated in the meantime. The following are the five patio maintenance jobs best suited for the season.

    *Weed removal
    *Repairing damage and misalignment
    *Surface cleaning
    *Fill spaces between bricks or pavers

    Weed Removal
    If allowed to flourish, weed roots can get large enough to shove pavers out of the way. Any weeds that have escaped last year’s herbicide applications should be removed with a knife or similar tool that’ll clean out the entire exposed plant.

    Damage and Misalignment Repair
    It’s easy to replace individual bricks or pavers that are damaged by winter weather, but the patio itself can get pushed out of alignment from both the swelling of the frozen ground and the act of people walking over it during the previous year. This is often the case if there’s no retaining border, so now is a good time to install one or straighten an existing one. It basically consists of stakes driven at intervals to hold wooden planks against the perimeter that are flush with the surface. If winter heaving is serious, it could indicate poor drainage, and this repair work is best left to professional landscapers.

    Surface CleaningPolymeric-Sand_large
    All types of surfaces can benefit from a good scrubbing with push broom using a dish soap solution and followed by a thorough hosing off. Moss and stains can be tackled with a diluted bleach solution. Really tough stains require muriatic acid-based cleaner that’s best handled by a professional landscaper.

    Filling the Gaps
    After brick, stone, or paver patios have been washed and cleared of weeds, filling the spaces in between with a permanent bonding material will keep weeds from coming back. Creating a solid surface also denies ants and other insects living quarters that lead into the house. Polymeric joint sand works best since it adheres to the pavers while remaining pliable.

    Since brick, stone, and concrete pavers are meant to be low-maintenance, sealing is aimed mostly at concrete slabs. This is particularly true for colored or stamped concrete. Once daytime temperatures stay above 55 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours in the Ann Arbor MI area, an acrylic sealer can be applied that blocks water and UV rays that fade stains and colors.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  3. Lawn Irrigation SystemA home irrigation system could be one of your favorite features about your Ann Arbor MI home. After all, with a sprinkler system installed, you will not have to worry about hauling a sprinkler around to all corners of your yard several times per week to keep the lawn and other vegetation healthy and vibrant. Instead, you only need to program your sprinkler system to turn on regularly, and the work is done for you. If you are ready to start enjoying these benefits, you may be focused on installing a watering system that will not clog up or develop other issues during the colder months of the year when temperatures drop below freezing. These design tips can help you to install the best home watering system on your property.

    Deeper Pipes
    Pipes most commonly clog during the winter months because of ice inside the pipes. This ice develops when water inside the pipes freeze during very cold weather conditions. The soil around the pipes acts as a natural insulator for your home’s irrigation system, and the depth of the pipes will be critical in how well the soil insulates the pipes. Consider, for example, that pipes that are placed shallow in the ground during installation will freeze more quickly than those that are placed even a foot deeper. The depth of your sprinkler system pipes is critical to minimizing the risk of pipes freezing and rupturing.

    Insulated Pipes
    Some landscaping firms will use insulated pipes or pipes that are less likely to freeze than others. When you are searching for a landscaping company to use for the installation of your system, inquire about the different materials options and about which options may be best for reducing the risk of a freeze. By being proactive in this area, you can ensure that you install the right system for your local climate.

    Annual Winterization Service
    If you have experienced winter in Ann Arbor MI for more than a few years, you understand how downright brutal the weather can be during the height of the winter season. Even the best precautions to install deep and more well-insulated pipes may not be enough to fully protect the pipes in your home’s sprinkler system. Winterization service is a special service provided by your landscaping company, and it essentially removes the water in the pipes and prevents new water from flowing into the pipes. Pipes rupture when the water freezes and expense, so this is a great step to prevent a rupture. This service ideally should be completed at the beginning of the cold weather season before the first freeze, and the spring start-up service to reverse winterization can be completed after the last threat of a freeze has passed.

    A home irrigation system is a true benefit that you can enjoy throughout much of the year, but the design and how well you maintain it will impact its overall condition over the years. If you are thinking about installing a new system on your property, keep these tips in mind, and discuss them with your landscaping company.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  4. Deck patio

    The winter season is different than every other season of the year. While every season has its unique characteristics, the winter season is by far the most unique. The cold weather that typically comes with the winter season is the most well known characteristics of the winter season. The cold weather that embraces the winter season is interesting because some people enjoy the cold weather. However, a significant number of people dislike cold weather.

    Winter Season And Deck Surfaces

    Winter is a time of the year that affects things differently. One particular area where winter presents unique challenges is maintaining deck surfaces. Conditions such as snow, ice, cold temperatures, and sleet can have a negative affect on deck surfaces. While many people typically use wood products to build decks, there has been a shift by some people over the past few decades to use other products for building decks.

    Composite Deck Products

    One of the most popular products other than wood to build decks is called composite. In general composite is a decking material that is comprised of plastic and wood particles glued together. The vast majority of the materials are recycled materials.

    The use of composite products for building decks has become very popular, especially over the past decade. The main reason for the popularity is due to the enhancements that have been made to composite products. The products quality, performance, looks, and feel have improved tremendously over the past decade. In addition, the composite products’ appearance is moving closer and closer to a wood appearance.

    Reasons Why Composite Products Handle Winter Better Than Wood Products

    During the winter season, deck surfaces are affected by winter conditions. Composite deck products tend to fair better than wood during the winter season for a variety of reasons. Some of the main reasons why composite products handle winter conditions better than traditional wood include:

    1. Composite products do not require as much maintenance as natural wood products.
    2. Composite products are made primarily with recycled plastic materials, which make the product more durable.
    3. Composite products have built in slip resistance.
    4. Composite products do not split or splinter.
    5. Composite products can be heated and bent into circular patterns.

    Decks have always been a popular home area. Decks provide a variety of uses for homeowners. The method used to build decks has changed significantly over the past few decades. Many people are now using products other than wood to build their decks. One of the most popular products is composite. The use of composite products provide advantages that wood cannot offer. In addition, some of these advantages are even more noticeable and beneficial during the winter season.

    The winter season is tough on deck surfaces; the winter conditions usually impact the surfaces in a variety of ways. However, composite products that largely contain plastic recycled materials tend to handle winter conditions better than wood products. People in Ann Arbor MI or the areas surrounding Ann Arbor MI who are interested in composite products can contact us for additional information.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  5. Newly Seeded Grass LawnIf your Ann Arbor MI lawn has seen better days, you may be interested in lawn rejuvenation services. Your dream lawn may be lush, thick and beautifully green grass that is well-manicured and that adds aesthetic appeal to your home’s exterior. However, your actual lawn may be thinning or even bare in some areas, and it may have brown patches or other issues that further make it less than gorgeous. Rejuvenation is a process that ultimately will improve the look and health of the yard, and it may include everything from fertilizing and re-seeding to aerating, de-thatching and more. A common question that local homeowners ask is when is the appropriate time to begin the rejuvenation process.

    When Your Yard Looks Its Worst
    In most cases, an Ann Arbor MI lawn will look its worst at the very end of winter and in early spring. The snow and ice that is common in winters in this area could have killed the grass entirely in some areas, and you may be waiting to see how much of the grass will be restored to a beautifully green appearance once spring kicks into high gear. Because this is a time when most yards look their worst, it also is a time when most homeowners want to begin a lawn rejuvenation project. You may be ready to get a jumpstart on rejuvenation so that you can have enviable curb appeal as early in the warm weather season as possible.

    When the Threat of a Freeze Has Passed
    Grass will lie dormant throughout the winter months, and it generally will turn brown and appear to be dead during this period of time. When the weather warms up, grass that remains alive will once again take on a green appearance and will start growing. It is impossible to determine what level of rejuvenation is needed before the spring arrives because you cannot tell if grass is dead or simply in a dormant state. Furthermore, grass will generally not grow until the threat of a freeze has passed, so any efforts to rejuvenate the lawn will be rather futile.

    What You Can Do to Rejuvenate the Lawn
    After the weather has warmed up and the threat of a freeze has passed, it is best to seek professional guidance from a landscaping company to determine what the best course of action is for your yard. Each yard will have its own unique challenges and issues, and the experts at a landscaping firm can provide you with a customized plan for lawn rejuvenation. This may include applying the right fertilizer mix to the yard, aerating it, de-thatching it or completing other services. In some cases, re-seeding or re-patching a smaller or larger area of the yard is needed, and the firm can help you to determine which type of grass seed or patch to use for this effort.

    If you are ready to see an improvement in your Ann Arbor MI lawn, now may be the right time to consult with a landscaping firm about rejuvenation. Contact your local landscaping firm for the knowledgeable insight you need.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  6. Replacing The Old Sump Pump In A BasementThe purpose of a sump pump in an Ann Arbor MI home is to capture the water that is in or around the home’s foundation and to carry it away from the home through a pipe system. It prevents basement flooding and other related issues associated with water in the lowest level of the home, including water damage and mold growth. The unfortunate reality is that sump pumps often fail during the winter months and require sump pump repair, and freezing weather conditions are to blame for this. With a closer look at why this is, you may be able to determine what action is needed to help you overcome this common problem.

    Why Sump Pumps Commonly Fail in the Winter
    The sump pump is connected to a drain pipe that carries water from around the foundation away from the home. Ideally, this drain pipe will carry water at least ten feet or more away from the base of the home, and this pipe is often exposed to the elements. The water in the pipe often moves at a trickle, and this means that it can easily develop an accumulation of ice that ultimately will block the flow of water from the home. When the pipe is fully closed off with ice, the water cannot drain out of the system and away from the home. Instead, it goes backward into the home to create a flooding issue.

    What You Can Do About This Problem
    If you are worried about the need for sump pump repair in your home this winter, you are not alone. This can be a costly issue to deal with, and you may understandably not want to contend with it in your Ann Arbor MI home. There are a few steps that you can take to minimize this issue from becoming problematic. First, you can bury or insulate the sump pump drain pipe. When you bury it, the ground acts as a natural insulating feature. Installing vegetation around it can also further insulate it. Insulation can minimize the chance that the water will freeze in the pipes.

    When You Need Repair Work Completed
    During the winter months when temperatures in Ann Arbor MI are very cold, it is important to be vigilant to the condition of your sump pump and to contact a professional for sump pump repair when needed. There are different steps that can be taken to remove the ice from the system so that it continues to operate as desired for you. Prevention is often the best step to take, but repair work is also an option.

    Flooding is a concern in all local Ann Arbor homes that have a basement, and a sump pump is a great device that can minimize the risk of a flood. However, these devices are not infallible, and freezing weather is just one of the factors that can cause a problem for you. Contact your landscaping company for more information about how to proceed with your sump pump.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  7. Fertilizing LawnIf you are wondering whether you need to fertilize your Ann Arbor Mi lawn for the winter, the answer is yes. Lawn fertilization is a year-round endeavor that shouldn’t cease just because the temperatures dip and the snow starts falling.

    Winter Fertilizer Basics

    Head on out to your local store and pick up some winter fertilizer to maintain the health and aesthetics of your yard during the winter. Winter fertilizer is specially formulated to preserve your grass’s integrity during the cold months. Fertilizer contains a number of ingredients though three are prominently displayed on the front of the package. Take a look at winter fertilizer and you’ll see three numbers. They represent potassium (K), phosphorous (P) and nitrogen (N). Each ingredient plays a critical role in maintaining the health of your lawn throughout the harsh winter. In general, the typical formula of the average lawn fertilizer is 29-3-4. Winter fertilizer usually contains more potassium and nitrogen than the standard variety.

    Why Your Lawn Needs Winter Fertilizer

    Ask any lawn care expert and he will testify that winter lawn fertilizer is the most important fertilizer application of them all. This special blend helps the grass roots collect and hold nutrients as they grow until the ground reaches a freezing point. The nutrients are stored until they are needed either during the winter or after the cold temperatures have subsided.

    When to Apply Winter Fertilizer to Your Lawn

    Your Ann Arbor Mi lawn will require winter fertilizer about a month and a half after you apply the fall fertilizer. The best time to apply the winter blend is in October or November. At this point, new roots have formed and the ground will soon freeze. However, these roots are empty and require nourishment. The winter fertilizer is made with high levels of nitrogen to stimulate the collection and storage of important carbohydrates in advance of the soil’s freezing. The excess nitrogen supplied by the winter fertilizer is stored across the duration of the winter, helping your grass make it to the spring growing season. Winter fertilizer also contains extra potassium to bolster the grass roots so the blades can better tolerate the brutally cold winter weather.

    Preserve the Beauty and Fortitude of Your Grass With Winter Lawn Fertilization

    Winter fertilizer does much more than merely prepare the grass for the cold. It also serves as nourishment for the grass to keep it in solid shape throughout the winter. Grass that is fertilized for the cold months will emerge healthy and a lush shade of green once spring rolls around. Treat your lawn to winter fertilizer and it will also experience a more rapid “green-up” growth period in the first few weeks of spring.

    Winter Lawn Fertilizer is Worth the Money

    Now that you understand all of the benefits of winter lawn fertilization, you should not hesitate to fertilize your lawn for the winter. The little bit of money that winter fertilizer costs will pay off with in the form of gorgeous, strong blades of grass that withstand Mother Nature’s nasty winter wrath.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  8. During the winter months in Ann Arbor MI, a home’s patio could be covered with ice and snow. This is a way for patio damage to develop . Winter is the time of year when the most problems with a patio can occur. The variations of temperature and moisture create very bad conditions. When a patio owner performs the right maintenance, it possible for most winter damage to be avoided or repaired before it gets bad.

    Clean Patioist2_348151_shoveling_snow
    Prior to the arrival of winter, it’s important to give a patio a complete cleaning. Ground-in dirt and food stains can harm a patio’s appearance. It can also contribute to possible winter damage if left on the patio. If trees are located near a patio, their fallen leaves need to be removed along with any type of debris. The last step is to wash the patio with a hose and a high-powered nozzle. Use a bleach-free cleaning solution to make certain the surface is clear.

    Clearing Snow and Ice
    An important aspect of maintaining a patio during the winter is making certain it’s clear of ice and snow. This may not seem important, but doing it can save a patio from being damaged during the winter. Many patios are brick, stone or concrete. Snow and ice have the ability to crack boulders. It’s easy to understand what they can do to a patio. The damage is caused by a cycle of freezing and thawing. Expansion of ice will cause even the smallest cracks in a patio to grow. Removing snow from a patio during the winter can help avoid this problem.

    Clearing Tools
    When clearing off a patio in Ann Arbor MI, shovels with a metal edged blade should not be used. They could easily scrape or chip a patio. It is important to use a plastic snow shovel or a metal shovel with a rubber edge. Check with a professional about patio maintenance before using salt or any kind of chemical de-icer. It may not work well with certain patio compositions. Salt and chemical de-icers can damage concrete and many different kinds of stone. If it’s not possible to use these items, cat litter or sand can be put down to provide traction when walking on the patio.

    In many cases, sealing a patio may not be necessary. Doing this does provide a layer of protection from the snow and ice during winter months. There are professionals who recommend sealing and others who do not. It’s important to speak with them first and find out their advice about patio maintenance. This is something that needs to be done in the fall. Sealing a patio could help prevent winter issues from developing.

    Patio Checkup
    After the ice and snow are removed from a patio, it will be easy to notice any changes in its condition. It’s important to check and make certain a patio is still level and does not have spots that are cracked or broken. Winter freezing and thawing will also impact the ground beneath and around a patio. It may cause the earth to shift. This is a slow and gradual process. When something small is detected in the winter, and immediately fixed, a lot of future problems can be avoided.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  9. Soil erosion is not just a menace during warm weather. As temperatures dip, snowstorms can blow away unprotected soil. After spending time and money tilling your garden, the last thing you want is all that to be eroded by harsh winter weather. Soil loss compromises gardens making them susceptible to further damage. To combat these adverse in effects in Ann Arbor MI, you can be proactive by planting grasses. Here are some of the cool season grasses that can help beat winter erosion.

    Rye Grass

    Professional landscapers recommend rye grass (Lolium multiflorum) for soil stabilization. Rye is an annual grass that is also very hardy. It can be used to spruce up other plants that go dormant during winter. It grows fast and will rapidly and firmly anchor the soil, therefore preserving the integrity of the garden.

    Cereal Grains

    Cereal grains include annual cereal rye, oats and barley. These are good plants for soil stabilization. You can choose to plant any of them on their own, or plant them alongside legumes and other grains. Cereal rye (Secale cereale) is also known as winter rye. It ranks among the best grains to use as a winter annual cover crop. It is popular because it is able to germinate under lower soil temperatures, unlike most grains and grasses. Cereal rye should be planted in September through to October in northern climates. For southern climates it can be planted in late October.

    Ornamental GrassesHiding Underground Power Line Boxes With Giant Ornamental Grasse

    Ornamental grasses are clump-forming grasses that help to hold the soil in place during harsh weather. Their seed heads and foliage have a texture that is useful in preventing erosion. In winter months, these grasses go dormant. However, their strong fibrous root systems work to hold the soil in place preventing harsh winter erosion. They can be planted alongside other crops in your garden. To get the best out of these grasses, go for the native species. These include, blue switch grass (“heavy metal”) and northern sea oats. Sea oats are good because they self-seed freely. This provides a natural swath for areas that experience heavy winter erosion.

    Ground Covers

    Ground covers include grasses and other ground-creeping crops. Ground covers can be planted just before winter. They help to control erosion while at the same time adding nutrients into the soil. A common example is the crimson clover. This cover crop can be planted during fall. Its advantage is that it grows quickly and forms a mat that acts as good soil stabilization crop. The cowpea (vigns unguiculata), is another hardy cover crop. It is grown in areas that experience harsh erosion. These two cover crops are legumes and they also add nitrogen to the soil.

    When you decide to get a cover crop, consider other secondary needs such as adding nutrients to the soil or even aesthetics. If you can find a crop that serves other purposes beyond soil erosion, this would be a better choice. Winter erosion prevention in Ann Arbor MI, preserves the integrity of the soil and saves you from having to buy fertilizers to boost the soil’s nutrients.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.