When Should I Plant Grass Seed in My Yard?

Few things beat the feeling of cool grass underneath our bare feet. When it comes to starting a lawn from scratch, though, the best time to plant grass seeds in Ohio is late summer to early fall – mid-August to early October.

In this issue, the landscaping experts with Hidden Creek Landscaping will talk more about the process of planting grass seed, how to select the right type and how long it will take for your grass seeds to grow.

Why Should I Wait Until Late Summer to Plant My Grass Seeds?

It’s best to wait until mid-August at the earliest because of seed germination – when the seed begins to grow.

Late summer provides the ideal time for grass seed germination as the warm soil and the autumn rains combine to create the perfect environment for it. 

By waiting until late summer, you’re far more likely to enjoy a grass lawn that’s thicker, dense and strong. 

How Long Will It Take for My Grass Seeds to Grow?

While it depends on the variety of grass seed you plant, the germination period usually takes anywhere between 5-30 days.

Keep in mind that all grass seeds will need some sun in order to grow. If your soil is too cold, it could take longer for your grass seeds to germinate.

Which Type of Grass Seed Should I Plant?

Before deciding on which type of lawn you want, consider the differences between cool-season and warm-season grasses.

While warm-season grasses will flourish in the warmer months of spring and summer when the temperatures are between 80-95, a cool-season grass will thrive more in when the temps hover between 65 and 75 degrees. 

Keep that information and the realization of Ohio winters in mind when you’re making your grass seed selection.

Here’s a sample of some of the more popular grass seeds planted in Ohio.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass. If you’re wanting a lawn that has a smooth and fine-textured appearance, this one is probably for you. Used in more than two-thirds of Ohio lawns, Kentucky Bluegrass is a cool-season grass that’s versatile, resistant to high traffic and disease. While it grows best in direct sunlight, your Kentucky Bluegrass should take 1-3 months to establish itself.

To keep your Kentucky Bluegrass looking its best, you should keep it trimmed to about 2 ½ inches.

  • Fine Fescues. Another sturdy cool-season grass, Fine Fescues has a more narrow-leafed grass with a touch of red. The germination process is usually a bit faster than with Kentucky Bluegrass, and it blends well when mixed with other grasses. Also, Fine Fescues are more tolerant of shade, and require very little maintenance.

Your Fine Fescues grass should be kept at a height of about 3 inches. This species doesn’t require as much water like most others – but you should water it enough to prevent any drought.

  • Bermuda Grass. With fine-bladed leaves, this warm-season species is an aggressive type of grass. Because of that, it’s a popular choice for both homeowners and commercial business owners. Resistant to high traffic, heat, and drought, Bermuda Grass provides you with a lush and hardy lawn. The only downside to Bermuda Grass is that it doesn’t do well in cold temperatures, so keep the Ohio winters in mind when making your selection.

If you go with Bermuda Grass, you should keep it trimmed at about 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches.

  • Perennial Ryegrass. Another cool-season choice, Perennial Ryegrass does very well here in Ohio. This species of grass can easily handle heavy traffic and cold weather, which is why it’s a popular selection for sports and play lawn settings. 

You’ll need to keep your Perennial Ryegrass trimmed to 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches.

How Should I Care for My Grass?

In addition to the mowing instructions listed with each species above, t

here are some proactive steps you can take throughout the year to keep your lawn looking its best.

This includes:

  • Applying fertilizer at the recommended timeframes for your species of grass
  • Thatching at least twice per year to make sure your grass is receiving the nutrients it needs at the root level
  • Never “sheering” your lawn or cutting it too close (if you do, you’re eliminating your grass’s ability to protect itself from the beating sun and its capability of retaining moisture).

An especially effective way to maintain the health of your lawn is to set up a regular lawn maintenance program. Here at Hidden Creek Landscaping, we can set you up with a schedule to take care of:

  • Complete landscaping maintenance
  • Spring and Fall cleanups
  • Planter rotations
  • Fertilization schedules
  • Seasonal displays

The Bottom Line

For more answers to your questions about growing grass seeds in Ohio, get in touch with us here at Hidden Creek Landscaping. We’ll listen to what you need and match you with the grass seed that works best for you. You can also give us a call at (614) 779-0846 or get in touch via email

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The Best Flowers to Plant in Ohio 

The ideal time for planting flowers in Ohio is from late May to mid-October. So, if you’re ready to add a splash of color to your landscaping and a sweet aroma to the air, we’re about to enter the proverbial calendar year sweet spot for planting flowers in the Buckeye State.

In this blog, the flower planting experts with Ohio Hidden Creek Landscaping will talk about the best flowers to plant in Ohio and give you pro tips for how to get started and what you’ll need.

What Flowers Should I Plant in Ohio?

Flower fragrance and appearance vary from species to species, so if you’ve got specific preferences, we’ll, of course, be happy to talk with you about the flowers that will suit your individual needs.

Here, though, is a brief listing of beautiful easy-to-plant flowers that do very well here in Ohio.

  1. Coneflowers. With coneflowers, flower-gardening doesn’t get much easier. Available in a host of colors (pink, purple, red, white), coneflowers look like daisies with a raised center. Butterflies and bees are wildly attracted to them and gorge on their nectar, so you’ll certainly be doing your part to keep the ecosystem going by planning coneflowers.
  2. Daylilies. If you want color, this is your plant. Each bloom of a daylily lasts for only about a day, but the blooming season lasts throughout the summer. If you’re concerned about the soil in your yard, a daylily would probably work well for you – it can thrive practically anywhere.
  3. Russian sage. A member of the mint family, Russian sage has flowers with thin lavender shades. Because it can grow to lengths of five feet or more, it goes well with other tall flowers and shrubs. A good amount of sun and well-drained soil are all a Russian sage need in order to thrive.
  4. Blanket flower. Featuring fiery red-orange blooms that will last deep into the fall, blanket flowers are native to the plains area of Ohio. They, too, merely need a lot of sun in order to really take off. Because their blooms will stretch into late fall, their colors will coincide perfectly with the change in seasons.
  5. Peony. Known for their sweet scent and large double-blooms, peonies are what you’re looking for if petal abundance is your thing. They, too, are sun lovers and need well-drained soil. As they grow, you’ll notice shoots and leaves, but the can’t-miss show is when the flowers begin to bloom in late spring.
  6. Virginia bluebells. You may know these flowers for another name – Virginia cowslip. These flowers are fun to watch. They’ll start off in the spring with a vibrant pink bud that transform into a blue bell-shaped flower. Its pointy leaves will keep their bluish-green shade throughout the growing season.

Make sure you follow the panting directions for any flower you select. If you have questions, just give us a call here at Hidden Creek Landscaping (614) 779-0846 or get in touch via email

What Steps Do I Need to Take Before Planting Flowers?

Location is everything when it comes to success with planting flowers. Keep in mind you don’t need a lot of space for flowers. A small window box or a raised garden bed can be just as effective as a large plot of land.

The key thing to keep in mind is that the more sun your flowers get, the more blooms you’ll see. 

  • Tools you’ll need. To get your plants into the ground easily, nothing beats a trowel. A hoe is a good idea for weed removal. It’s also a good idea to get a watering can with a nozzle and a set of hand pruners.
  • Look for soil with good drainage. The ideal drainage rate is two inches per hour. Here’s a quick DIY solution for testing the drainage of your soil.
    • Dig a hole, fill it with water and let it sit overnight.
    • The next day, refill the hole with water. Then, measure it by laying a stick across the top and using a tape measure to measure the vertical distance between the stick and the water.
    • Measure the drainage every hour
  • Remove any weeds from the area. Weeds allowed to grow in the same area will literally rob your flowers of the nutrients, water, and energy they need to survive.
  • Arrange your flowers. Whether you start with a packet of seeds or seedlings, give a bit of forethought as to which will grow taller and more vibrant. Plant the one that will grow taller in the back. 

The Key Takeaway

If you’re ready to plant flowers, this is the ideal time to do it. The Ohio soil and climate is more than enough to provide you with beautiful blooms and healthy flowers throughout the season.

For ideas about flower gardens and varieties, get in touch with Hidden Creek Landscaping by visiting our online Dream Builder site. 

You can also reach us by calling (614) 779-0846 or via email

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How Do You Remove Mold from an Outdoor Fountain?

stone fountainWith the gentle, relaxing sound of cascading water, your outdoor water feature provides you with a natural sanctuary from the everyday stresses of the world. There’s no denying the fact that most living creatures have a natural response to the sounds and look of moving water.

 

Now that we’re in the warmer months and temperatures are beginning to rise, the threat of mold growing inside and on your outdoor water fountain is very real. 

 

That’s because mold naturally grows faster and easier in areas that are constantly moist and warm. Since outdoor water fountains typically get more than their fair share of direct sunlight, it’s often the perfect breeding ground for mold and algae. 

 

If that happens, the sense of awe you experienced when the fountain was first installed could be replaced with a feeling of disgust.

 

How can mold grow on an outdoor fountain?


It’s true that mold and algae will grow faster in water that’s standing still. However, both can still grow in the bowl, base, and filtration system of your fountain. If left untreated, the algae and mold can literally take over your fountain and turn it into a big, slimy, and smelly mess.

 

What’s the difference between mold and algae?


While the two terms are often thought to mean the same thing, they are entirely different. 

 

Algae is a naturally growing plant that appears “mossy.” While it looks repellent, algae will not eat away at your fountain or cause you harm.

 

Mold, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. If you or your guests ingest the water from your mold-infected fountain, you could experience a host of health problems, from an irritated throat and eyes, to asthma attacks and breathing problems.

 

How can I clean and maintain my outdoor water fountain?


There are several relatively easy ways to maintain your outdoor water fountain. The key is to make it part of your regular home maintenance schedule.

 

To clean your fountain of mold, you can mix together a mold-busting concoction made from several everyday items. This is not as difficult as you may think. 

 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • One large sponge
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • A scrub brush, similar to what you would use on metal pots and pans
  • Bleach
  • A small container
  • A large bucket
  • A hose

 

Step 1: In the small container, mix warm water with a couple of drops of the dishwashing detergent. You should see suds gather in the water.

 

Step 2: Dip the scrub brush into the cleaning solution you just made, and scrub away all visible signs of the mold. Then, rinse the entire fountain with the hose.

 

Step 3: Pour a gallon of water into the large bucket with one (1) cup of bleach. Put on your rubber gloves and goggles, and add the sponge to the water-bleach mixture.

 

Step 4: After the sponge has been saturated, wipe down the whole water fountain structure. Then, let the bleach solution stay on the fountain for five (5) minutes so that all the remaining mold spores can be killed. 

 

Step 5: Use the hose to rinse the fountain. Take your time with this step to ensure that all of the bleach solution is removed. 

 

Step 6: Fill your fountain with fresh or even distilled water to work on the filtration system. Distilled water can be especially helpful as the impurities have already been removed. 

 

How often should I clean my outdoor fountain?


This procedure should be repeated at least once every six (6) months to make sure mold and algae don’t gain a foothold on your fountain. 

 

Does the installation impact the health of the fountain?


It sure does. Because the base of the fountain must have a tight seal, it’s recommended you hire a professional to do the job. One tiny, little crevice is more than enough room to let mold spores and algae in.

 

Today, most fountains are made with a sealant. However, this sealant tends to wear off over the course of time. If you have a stone fountain, you’ll probably need to replace the sealant once every 2-3 years. In most cases, a sealant rated for outdoor use will do the trick. Simply use a brush to apply the sealant over the entire fountain.

 

The key to doing this is to apply a thin layer with wide back-and-forth movements.

 

To learn more about water fountains and other water features, our team of creative landscaping professionals at Hidden Creek Landscaping are here to answer your questions. Please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. 

 

If you’d like for us to go ahead and begin gathering information about your needs, check out our online Dream Builder page.

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What Are the Benefits of a Saltwater Pool?

Pool stepsIf you’re looking to add a bit of fun and luxury to your home, a swimming pool can easily fit the bill. Beyond the obvious need for taking a cool dip as the temperatures steadily creep up, a swimming pool provides you with a host of benefits. 

From adding real value to your home, instilling a sense of calm, and giving you instant access to one of the best forms of physical exercise, hardly anything else comes close to touching the positive impact made by a pool.

While you have a variety of choices in terms of the physical layout of your pool, let’s talk about what goes into the pool. In other words, do you want a saltwater pool or a chlorinated pool? 

 

What are the advantages of a saltwater pool?


Many people immediately associate a saltwater pool with swimming in the ocean. However, saltwater pools have about a tenth of the salinity as water in the ocean. There really is no comparison between the two. 

 

Another commonly held misconception is that there’s no chlorine in a saltwater pool. Actually, your saltwater pool will make its own chlorine through electrolysis. The amount of chlorine is significantly lower than a traditional chlorinated pool because it’s produced at a slower, steadier pace.

 

Here are some of the benefits associated with saltwater pools:

 

  • They’re low maintenance. One of the most popular sayings among owners of chlorinated pools is they are the last person who gets to enjoy it because of all the maintenance. Owning a saltwater pool is a completely different experience altogether. While you’ll need to keep an eye on the chlorine levels, most saltwater pools can go weeks at a time without maintenance.

 

  • Saltwater doesn’t irritate your skin or eyes. Since the chlorine levels in saltwater pools are significantly lower, you and your guests will experience far fewer irritations. For example, with a saltwater pool, there’ll be no more itchy skin and red eyes. In fact, the sensation from saltwater pools is similar to that of water softeners; your skin will feel silky and smooth, not abrasive, as it would after a dip in a chlorinated pool.

 

  • In the long run, you’ll save money. While the saltwater generator can make the installation costs seem a bit higher, a saltwater pool is actually far more cost-effective since you’ll be using fewer pool chemicals each week.

 

What are the disadvantages of a saltwater pool?


As with just about everything in life, there are some disadvantages to installing a saltwater pool.

 

  • The initial investment is larger. Again, this is mainly because of the need for the saltwater generator. While this preliminary requirement can lead to a bit of “sticker shock,” the money you’re saving by not having weekly chemical purchases makes up for it.
  • Experienced technicians are required when problems arise. Because they are more complex than a chlorinated pool, it’s best to have an experienced technician look after even minor issues.
  • You may be limited with accessories. Because salt can damage certain surfaces, a saltwater pool may limit your choices in terms of underwater lighting, pool lining, etc.

 

What are the advantages of a chlorinated pool?


A chlorinated pool is definitely an investment worthy of your consideration. It’s an easy and affordable way to enjoy the warmer months.

 

  • They’re initially less expensive to install. Because there’s no need for a saltwater generator, the initial costs of a chlorinated pool are usually significantly less than a saltwater version.

 

  • It’s easier to find technical help. Since chlorinated pools are so well understood, you should have very little difficulty in finding a qualified professional to correct any issues.

 

  • A chlorinated pool can be less corrosive. With a chlorinated pool, you should be able to add just about any pool accessory you want. This includes having far more selection with underwater lighting and pool lining materials. 

What are the disadvantages of a chlorinated pool?

Yes, there are some cons to owning a chlorinated pool. Here are a few:

 

  • Your money can literally disappear in the air. While you’ll save on the initial investment, the savings will be eaten away by weekly chemical purchases. With a chlorinated pool, you’ll most likely be required to test and adjust your pool’s chemical balance throughout the week, and definitely after every storm. Without the addition of a chlorine stabilizer, all of your expensive chemicals will simply evaporate. 
  • You’ll likely notice a strong odor. You know the smell of chlorine when it’s in the air. That smell is actually the result of the chlorine interacting with bacteria to produce chloramine. It also leads to itchy skin and eye irritation. 
  • You need to become accustomed to handling chlorine and other chemicals. We’re not saying you need a science degree to own a chlorinated swimming pool, but you need to realize the required chemicals are hazardous to store and handle. 

As you can see, if you’re in the market for a swimming pool, you’ve certainly got options. If you’d like more information about saltwater and chlorinated pools, we’d be happy to speak with you.

Visit our online Dream Builder page so that we can begin gathering information for you. 

You can also contact us at your earliest convenience. 

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Deck vs. Patio Paver?

deckThe decision for the right design for your outdoor living space can be a tricky one. Two worthy opponents vying for your attention are decks and patios. 

Both are good choices, but which will work best for you? How will either hold up in the often-harsh Ohio winters?

In this article, we’ll give you a deep dive into decks and paver patios so you’ll be armed with the right information to make the best decision for you.

What are the basic differences between a deck and a paver patio?

Let’s start first with patios. Level with the ground, a paver patio often serves as a connection between your yard and your living area. You can spruce it up by adding shrubbery, flower beds birdbaths, water or fire features, etc. 

Decks, though, are elevated from the ground. While they can be freestanding, most decks are attached to homes or other structures. Because of their height, some safety features may be necessary – like a railing or built-in bench. 

What are decks and paver patios made from?

Most decks are made of wood. While it gives your deck a more natural look, wood can also be difficult to maintain over the long run. Other materials that can make your deck more durable include aluminum, composites (resin and wood) and polymer (plastic).

Paver patios are typically made of stone, brick, tile or concrete. Especially attractive features of pavers include the wide variety of available colors and the ability to lay the individual tiles in striking patterns.  

patio paverWhich is easier to install?

If you’re wanting to extend your living area from a second floor or want it to serve as a balcony, decking is your obvious choice because it’s elevated. Likewise, if ground-level outdoor living is your jam, a paver patio is the right choice.

As for the installation process itself, most decks are installed in the following stages. Keep in mind that your deck can be customized to your specific needs, so the steps may vary.

  • We’ll first make sure there are no underground services (water and power lines) running across the deck area.
  • The outline of your deck is made with string.
  • Any necessary removal of sod is made.
  • Support posts are installed and held in place with cement, and beams and joists are installed.
  • Decking boards are nailed in place.
  • Finally, features including stairs, railing and staining are added. 

As for paver patios, the installation process includes:

  • Removing sod and plants from the designated area down to the level of undisturbed soil
  • Compacting the soil to avoid settling
  • Installing a treated fabric that will prevent freezing and thawing of the deep soil
  • Spreading a six-inch layer of gravel and sand that serves as the setting bed
  • Laying the pavers and sealing the final product. 

Which is easier to maintain?

Depending upon the material you select, your deck can take a real beating during the winter months. Wooden decks are highly vulnerable to the continual freezing and thawing of water we see during our Ohio winters. You’ll also need to regularly power-wash, stain and seal your wood deck.

As for paver patios, the necessary maintenance is not nearly as intense. Since pavers are extremely durable, all that’s really needed is sealing – and even though that’s recommended to deal with our cold winter months, it’s not entirely necessary.

What are the pros and cons of a deck?

Here’s where we get to the meat of the matter. As for decks, the pros include:

  • Decks are a better option for uneven terrain.
  • They’re customizable to your individual style and tastes.
  • Decks provide an immediate boost to your resale value if you’re looking to quickly sell your home.

Cons for decks include:

  • The costs of installing a deck are often higher than a paver patio.
  • They often have a shorter lifespan because of vulnerability to harsh weather, rot and termites.
  • More maintenance is required than with a paver patio.
  • There are weight restrictions, which can be a problem during heavy snows and added features like a hot tub or an outdoor kitchen.

What are the pros and cons of a paver patio?

The advantages of choosing a paver patio include:

  • Maintenance is substantially less than a deck.
  • More privacy is available through a paver patio because it is low to the ground.
  • They have a far longer lifespan – roughly 25 years or more of use is common.

Among the con sides of paver patios are:

  • They are not a good choice for uneven terrain.
  • They are vulnerable to cracking – although this is easily fixed by replacing the individually damaged tiles.
  • Pave tiles can be stained by mildew, mud and other natural occurrences. 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there’s plenty to like about paver patios and decks. We understand that choosing one over the other can be difficult. Our decades of experience, though, can be invaluable in guiding you towards the right choice. 

For ideas of how we can help, check out our online photo gallery of recent projects. 

Then, give us a call at (614) 779-0846 or get in touch via email

 

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Pergola vs. Sunshade?

pergolaIt may not feel like it, but by the end of March spring will have sprung – even for those of us here in the Buckeye State. With late-March and April highs projected to be in the mid-to-upper 60s, things will seem downright balmy.

With the arrival of the sunnier and warmer days of spring comes thoughts of outdoor living and entertaining. A vital part to enjoying your yard during the spring and summer months is providing yourself and your guests with shelter from the sun.  

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth and informative look at two of the most popular options for relief from the vertical rays: pergolas and sunshades.

What is a pergola?

While it can be connected to your house or freestanding, a pergola is an open structure with no walls, but is supported by several posts. Typically square or rectangular in shape, its roof is partially open with a lattice or trellis design that provides you and your guests with a bit of cover. This design makes it easy for air to circulate and for some sunlight to pass through.

The main purpose of a pergola is to establish the perimeters of an outdoor living area. 

How large are pergolas?

While some pergolas are large enough to provide shade for crowds of 30 or more, others can be intimate enough for just two. 

In other words, your pergola will be built to your specific needs.  

What are pergolas made of?

You have a variety of choices for your pergola materials. Popular choices include wood, steel, aluminum, and metal.

How long should my pergola last?

It depends on two things: the material you select and whether or not it’s properly maintained.

For a wood pergola, you should expect to enjoy 10 years or more from your investment. Metal, steel and aluminum pergolas will last even longer.

The trick is to avoid the DIY pergola kits you see in the big box stores. While their prices are appealing, you’ll be fortunate to get more than two years of use out of their products. 

patio paverWhat are the pros and cons of a pergola?

As with just about anything in life, there are pros and cons to installing a pergola.

Among the pros for a pergola are:

  • It will not obstruct the view from inside your home.
  • The necessity of relatively few materials
  • The versatility to add curtains or grow vines along the posts for privacy and decorative tastes and styles
  • Materials can be stained or painted to reflect the appearance of your home.

The cons sometimes associated with a pergola include:

  • Fading of the materials over time
  • The possibility of termites if your pergola is made of wood and proper treatments aren’t made

What is a sunshade?

Often referred to as shade sails, sunshades are another highly effective way to give you and your guests a bit of shade. Sunshades are typically made of specially treated fabric that’s mounted to steel posts and tightened to avoid flapping in high winds. 

How large are sunshades?

While they can be custom-made for your specific needs, sunshades are readily available in sizes as small as 10-feet to over 25-feet. You may need more than one sunshade to cover your outdoor living area.

Are sunshades waterproof?

Not entirely. While a light rain will roll off from the edges of your sunshade, a heavy downpour will likely result in some rainwater passing through.

Can I leave my sunshade up all year?

It’s not recommended. Most sunshades are not capable of supporting heavy snowfalls during the winter months or withstanding hurricane-force winds. 

How long should my sunshade last?

Much of the answer to that question depends on the installation of the sunshade. For example, while it’s not unusual to enjoy as much as 10 years of outdoor living with your sunshade, improper installation can cause it to become loose or even sag – which in turn leads to faster deterioration. 

What are the pros and cons of a sunshade?

While sunshades do provide great ventilation and are relatively easy to install, there are a few negatives to keep in mind.

Among the cons for a sunshade are:

  • They’re not built to withstand heavy weather
  • They present a legitimate fire hazard
  • Your investment can be damaged by birds, large branches and other obstacles. 

The Bottom Line

The decision to go with a pergola or sun shade is obviously your choice. We’re fans of both options, but can help you understand the pros and cons of each as they relate to your situation. That way, you don’t have any buyer’s remorse down the road. 

To find out more about how we can help you, and to get the ball rolling, visit our online Dream Builder page so that we have an idea of what you’ve got in mind. 

You can also give us a call at (614) 779-0846 or get in touch via email

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Can You Lay Pavers in Cold Weather?

paversFew people associate winter weather with doing landscaping projects. To be honest though, that’s often the best time for finding bargains. Because many remodeling and home-focused businesses often experience a slowdown in business during the winter months, shorter waits for installation are also the norm.

That’s certainly the case with pavers. 

Available in a wide variety of shapes and colors, pavers are an especially effective way to create an environment specific to your tastes and style. However, should you have pavers installed during cold weather?

We’ll talk about it in this article.

Can Pavers Be Installed During The Winter?

As long as the ground is not frozen, we should be able to install your pavers. Another factor to keep in mind is the amount of moisture in the ground. Because pavers require a stable sub-base to keep them anchored and secured, the ground needs to be firm enough to hold the sub-base.

How Does Winter Weather Affect Pavers?

The constant cycle of freezing and thawing water during the winter months can take a toll on even the sturdiest of hardscape features, including pavers.

The ground underneath your pavers will expand during the freeze-thaw cycles, then contract during warmer temperatures. Although natural and unavoidable, the continually expanding and contracting of the ground can actually lead to your pavers shifting out of place.

While this is happening beneath the surface, the condition will often express itself through “frost heave” – an actual swelling of the soil that pushed upwards and breaches the surface. Beyond looking unappealing, frost heave can structurally damage the integrity of the surrounding pavement and even the foundation of your home.

How Can I Prevent the Shifting of Pavers?

Several preventative steps can prevent your pavers from shifting.

The main thing is to insist upon a proper installation process. Because accuracy and professionalism are vitally important to the installation of pavers, it’s definitely not a DIY project. At a minimum, there should be a gravel base and a layer of bedding sand at the proper depths beneath your pavers. 

Because it’s important for water to be routed away from pavers, there should be a slope leading away from the center of the foundation.

Afterwards, the soil needs to be compacted properly so that there’s no settling once the project is complete.

paversWhat Can I Do to Protect My Pavers During The Winter?

Many have found that an especially attractive feature of pavers is the fact that you only have to replace individual tiles as they are damaged, rather than replacing the entire surface.

Here are a couple of proactive steps you can take to make sure your pavers last for years of enjoyment.

  • Seal your pavers. A protective layer shields your pavers from the harshness of winter. This layer prevents scrapes, chips, and erosion normally associated with the cold months. Sealers for pavers can be either topical or penetrating. We recommend the penetrating sealer because it’s actually absorbed by the paver and gives you the most amount of protection.
  • Don’t salt your pavers. It’s typical to salt our driveways during freezing conditions, but that’s not recommended on your pavers. Interestingly, when it meets rainwater, the salt can seep into the pavers and freeze. The resulting expanding can then lead to the winter heave effect we talked about earlier. 

What Other Landscaping Services Does Hidden Creek Offer During Winter Months?

Hidden Creek Landscaping is a full-service landscape provider. As such, we’re proud to offer a variety of landscaping services throughout the year – including the often-severe Ohio winters. 

  • Yard aeration: This process is vital to the health of your lawn. By breaking up the soil and dirt, oxygen and water are allowed easier passageways. 
  • Winter fertilization: Because your lawn uses up most of its required nutrients during the spring and summer months, it needs a bit of help during the winter. With fertilization, you reverse any damage that may have been done to the root system just beneath the surface. The payoff for this step comes during the warmer months when your landscape is able to experience a full bloom. 
  • Winterizing your sprinkler system: Often overlooked by homeowners, making sure your sprinkler system is ready for the winter can prevent damage to the pipe seals and valves. 

If you have a redesign or remodeling project in mind, we can certainly help with that as well – even in winter. We’ll make the time to listen to your ideas and get to work on a solution. 

To give us an idea of what you have in mind, complete our Dream Builder form to get the ball rolling. For design inspiration, look at our online design center for examples of our work with previous and current clients. 

To find out more, call Hidden Creek Landscaping at (614) 779-0846. You can also reach us via email

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Patio Building Materials to Withstand Cold

patio materialsFrom snowstorms generated by Lake Erie to the moderate cold of the central lowlands, winter weather in Ohio can be like living in different regions, depending on where you live. Here in our neck of the woods, the winter months are typically marked by freezing temperatures and gusting winds.

If you’ve been blessed with a patio or are thinking of having one installed, it’s vital that you select materials that can withstand what Mother Nature can throw your way. 

Here, we’ll talk about patio building materials that are best equipped to withstand Ohio winters so that you can enjoy outdoor living year-round.

Do You Want a Deck or a Patio?

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re quite different.

Often attached to a house, a patio is very versatile. The designs are varied and the materials are as well. For example, good materials for patios include concrete, stone pavers, tile and brick.

Decks, on the other hand, are usually made from wood or utilize a wood composite. While they too are often attached to a house or other structure, it’s also not unusual for a deck to be freestanding to take advantage of certain views.

What Patio Materials Are Best for Cold Climates?

Again, you have quite a few choices for materials for your patio. Knowing which one will do a better job of withstanding the elements while needing the least amount of maintenance can save you a lot of money and headache. 

Cement: Say goodbye to the days when concrete patios were simply gray slabs. With advancements in coloring methods and stamping techniques, a concrete patio can be formed into practically any shape and hue.

While concrete can withstand a lot of things, it doesn’t always perform as well in extremely cold conditions. One of the main reasons is that concrete is porous – meaning it has small holes through which air and water may pass. That’s not a good thing when water lays on top of it and freezes. The added stress to the surface can easily lead cracks and other structural damage. 

Concrete sealing can be an effective preventative action. The sealing coats the surface and repels water – all while strengthening the bonds within the concrete. 

Pavers: Available in brick, concrete, stone and other materials, many homeowners prefer using pavers to add a touch of elegance and texture to their patios.

Unlike cement, pavers are individual tiles installed in the pattern you wish. This essentially lets you expand your personal and architectural tastes outside of your home.  

patio materialsThe advantage to this approach is that if you do notice bits of a tile falling away from the effects of the continuing freeze-thaw cycle, you merely have to replace the affected tiles rather than the whole patio.

Slate, travertine (made from limestone), porcelain and terracotta pavers are especially effective at withstanding frigid weather. 

Brick: We humans have been using brick for our homes and shelters for thousands of years. Like other materials, there have been tremendous advancements in brick to produce various combinations of shapes, colors and textures.

While brick has proven to be effective in standing up against just about a weather onslaught, freezing temps and water are often too much. As water is absorbed into the brick and then freezes, it can shatter its internal structure.

As for maintenance, brick is relatively easy to keep up. Regular cleaning, and spot checks for damage caused by water and freezing should keep you in good shape. As with concrete, sealing your brick patio can be especially effective against the cold elements. 

How Do I Decide Which Patio Material is Best For Me?

We understand it’s a lot of information to take in and process. That’s why we sit down to talk with you one-on-one about your patio needs and wishes. Our process is one that’s entirely collaborative. 

Getting started on your new patio is easy. Simply complete our Dream Builder form to get the ball rolling. 

Here’s how our process works.

  • During our initial consultation, we’ll discuss budget and design options. 
  • Then, we present our schematics and have a preliminary budget review to discuss materials and amenities. 
  • Together we review the final plan to lock down the details, so that everyone is on the same page. 
  • We’ll then schedule a visit to your home to assess any potential obstacles and talk about them with you before proceeding to the completion.
  • Once your patio project is complete, you will have a walk-through to make sure everything has been done to your satisfaction. 

As for the design of your patio, we invite you to check out our online design center for examples of work we’ve completed for previous and current clients. 

Our mission is to design and install the patio of your dreams, while making sure it can withstand the harsh Ohio winters.

To find out more, call Hidden Creek Landscaping at (614) 779-0846. You can also reach us via email.

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Planning Your Commercial Projects for the New Year

The new year is almost here, have you started thinking about your resolutions? One of the things that shouldn’t be overlooked with the new year and season are your commercial landscaping goals for 2019. Here are some steps for planning your commercial landscaping projects for the new year:

Plan

The best way to start a commercial landscaping project, or any project at all, is to know what your end goal is. Realistically, you want a landscape that is pleasing to bystanders and ups the curb appeal of your business or space. Aside from the basics, what else do you want? Do you want a space to entertain clients outside, with a sitting area or gazebo? Do you want a water feature to give your project a feel of elegance? The more ideas you have about your space, the more we can help you make your dreams into a reality. You can check out our online galleries, or pull photos from other projects that you have seen to give us a better idea of what you are thinking. The more info you give us, the better off we will be to start designing!

Design

We structure our commercial landscaping projects into three distinct parts. First, we help you design a plan. At Hidden Creek Landscaping, we have over two decades of combined experience with designing and implementing commercial spaces. We make innovative plans and carefully craft each project to fit your space, preferences, and requirements. We factor in everything from topography, vegetation, draining, water, and climate conditions to make sure that everything is accounted for. Some of the design services that we offer include master planning, consultations, green roofs, irrigation designs, hardscape element planning, construction documents, illustrating and 3D renderings and planting design ideas. After our design phase, you will have a comprehensive and detailed plan of exactly what your project will look like upon completion and just how much it will cost. From start to finish, we will help you plan every meticulous detail of your commercial landscape.

Build

The next part of the commercial design process, after you have your comprehensive plan and design, is to build. Our company has produced countless showcase designs and we have an overwhelming amount of commercial landscape experience. We use computer-aided design software to help create fast and accurate price estimates with our construction projects. Some of our construction services include paving installation, masonry, irrigation installation, water features, lighting, shade structures, green roof installs, softscapes, seasonal displays, retaining walls, swimming pool and more. Best of all, if you are interested in a service not currently listed on our site, contact us today and we will explore your project to see if we can accommodate your needs!

Maintain

Once your project is planned and executed to perfection, it is time to think about long-term maintenance requirements. Before we even begin the process of designing, we will ask you about your long-term goals and expectations. We know that your property is unique and will have its own set of maintenance requirements. We will work with you to make a long-term plan to keep the health and appearance of your space healthy and beautiful. We offer maintenance services that will help keep your new project thriving all year around. Whether its snow removal, lawn fertilization, fall cleanups, or seasonal displays, we’ve got you covered.  Our crew is experienced with ground maintenance and committed to upholding the highest standards in the industry. We take a proactive approach to maintaining your space.

Why should you choose Hidden Creek for your commercial projects?

When it comes to your commercial project, you don’t want to put your renovation in the hands of just anybody. At Hidden Creek, our reputation speaks for itself. We have a 97.5% client retention rate over the last decade. We are locally owned and operated and our work consistently outperforms that of our competitors. We use the most modern and up-to-date technology in the industry and are committed to creating and maintaining the perfect space for you.

If you are interested in planning a commercial renovation project in the new year, contact us today. You can also check out reviews and photos of our past projects on our online gallery. When you choose to work with Hidden Creek Landscaping, you are putting your project in the hands of experts that are committed to excellent service every step of the way. Don’t wait, start your 2019 commercial landscape projects today!

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Caring For Your Landscape In Winter

Winter landscaping can seem a tad challenging. In fact, you probably haven’t given much thought to your landscaping in the winter months. Taking care of your yard now can set you up for success in the future. Here are some of our top tips for caring for your yard and garden this winter:

Break out the Fertilizer

Fertilizing your lawn before the weather gets too cold is a great way to set it up for success during the springtime. Summer can deplete a lot of the nutrients from your grass, so fertilizing can reverse this damage and help replenish the roots of your plants. Your lawn will be in full bloom when the weather gets warm again if you decide to fertilize.  

Aerate Your Yard

Aerating your lawn is the process of breaking up soil and dirt to allow oxygen and water to get into it. Aerating your lawn will keep it healthy and thriving. It helps the roots of your plants to grow deep into the lawn, which leads to healthier grass and foliage. The soil in your yard will naturally get compact over time, making it hard for air and water to seep down into the roots of your plants. Aeration will help break this up and reverse it. This will make sure that your plants are well nourished, even during winter.

Clear it Out

Although this tip may seem like common sense, it is important to keep your yard free in the winter time. If you leave things like furniture and toys on your grass during the cold season, it can lead to dead patches when the weather gets warm again. Make sure that your yard is cleaned up and cleared out, especially before the snowy weather begins.

Do Some Last Minute Raking

If you still have leaves in your yard from the fall, break out the rake and get them cleaned up before the first snowfall. Not only will this help you clear out your yard, as mentioned above, but it will also help open up your root system. This is a good way to prepare your yard for seeding and to help with the aeration efforts of your soil.

Don’t Step on the Grass!

Although you are probably used to strolling through your yard at your leisure, stepping on the grass during the winter can be incredibly damaging. When people tread through the snow, they tend to take the same path each time. As you walk through your yard, the snow will become continuously compacted. While one walk through the yard won’t do too much damage, continuing to tread the same paths can make it hard for grass in that area to grow.

Make Sure Your Lawn is Mowed

Speaking of grass, it is incredibly important to keep up with your mowing schedule all the way up until the first snowfall of the winter. Leaving tall grass for winter weather can have devastating effects on your yard. Longer grass will trap in moisture and will stay wet throughout the season.

Evaluate Your Hardscape

While your yard will not be as visually pleasing in the winter time because of the lack of foliage, you can still up your curb appeal by adding and updating hardscaping features to your space. Benches, gazebos, walkways, and other features will still be visible in the winter months and can give your landscape a welcoming vibe. Winter is the perfect time to take on these projects because you will be putting less maintenance into your grass and garden. 

Taking good care of your lawn in winter is half the battle to keeping a successful landscape all year long. Practice these maintenance tips, and contact the experts at Hidden Creek Landscaping for all of your winter landscaping needs. Together, we will make sure that your yard is beautiful and healthy for the new year.

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