What Type of Soil is Best for Your Project?

The success of any landscaping project that includes live plants most often depends on the soil used. Compare Top Soil, Bio Mix, and Flower Mix.

Know Your Soil – For Great Gardening Results

Experienced farmers and landscapers know one important thing about planting anything: the composition of the soil is paramount to success. Before you can determine the proper amount of moisture, the most compatible climate for plants or specific fertilizers, it’s essential to start with the study of your soil. There are several types of soils. Some are not ideal for gardens. With a little knowledge, it is possible to turn difficult soil situations into a productive soil medium.

Identify Your Soil

Three widely used soils are:

•            Topsoil, is a clean soil that has been sifted to remove rocks, twigs, and other debris.

•            Bio Mix, is most often used in retention ponds or ditches to filter the oils and other petroleum contaminants from streets and asphalt driveways so these contaminants do not reach the rivers and streams.

•            Flower Mix, normally utilize a composition of 50 percent top soil, 25 percent Nutra-Mulch, and another 25 percent granite sand to create a rich natural mix for your favorite flowers.

Each soil type is found in a variety of climates and growing zones. In the U.S. there are a dozen growing zones. Each zone has different composition due to regional climate. In order to determine the best soil for your project, you need to identify your growing zone.

What Type of Soil is best for planting a Young Fruit Tree?

When you purchase a young fruit tree from your local gardener, ask what type of soil is best to ensure the young fruit tree isn’t subjected to shock. Young fruit trees are already “balled” with soil needed for planting. You might need to add a top soil & peat mix to the bed where the tree will be planted.

What Type of Soil is best for planting a Flower Garden?

The type of soil best for planting a flower garden depends entirely on the species of flowers to be grown, but most do best in a flower mix. Azaleas and rhododendron, for example, prefer a more acidic soil. Roses do well in peaty soil. Discuss the soil you plan to use with an expert at the gardening center or an expert landscaper.

What Type of Soil is best for planting a Vegetable Garden?

As with a flower garden, the species of vegetables to be planted determine the type of soil. Potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes prefer slightly sandy soil. Asparagus, peppers, and squash do best in peaty soil.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Creating a Beautiful Dry Creek Bed for Drainage

If you are tired of watching a small lake form in your yard ever year, it may be time to invest in a drainage solution. One of the most cost effective and aesthetically pleasing options is a dry creek bed. Using natural stone, you can build a meandering creek bed in your yard to divert your excess moisture to a storm drain or pond. Here are some of the basics you need to know.

Start High

You want your creek bed to start where the highest point in your yard is or where you have an obvious source of water run-off. If there is a drainage pipe dumping water onto your yard that is where your creek should begin.

Plan Your Path

The beginning and the end of your creek bed should be predetermined by where the water is coming from and where it needs to go. In between, you have some creative say. A curving creek bed will look more natural than a straight line, so try to give your creek bed some curves.

Choose Your Stone

For the stones, you will want a variety of sizes to create a natural looking creek bed. For the bottom of the bed, you can use smaller river rock like river slicks or surge stone. You will want larger river stones to border your bed and boulders for curves and for hiding the drain pipe that may be the source.

A dry creek bed is a lovely way to add beauty and drainage to your landscaping. To get started creating your new creek bed, contact our local landscape supplier to find the right stones for your project.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

What to Look for When Buying Gardening Soil

Is your front yard drab compared to the rest of the neighborhood? A garden is a simple way to liven up your yard without those tacky tiki torches and plastic flamingos. 

When starting a garden you should do a little research or consult a professional on what flowers, fruits, or vegetables grow best in your climate. Once you have made your choices, finding the right soil to grow your soon-to-be-beauties is next. Some plants grow best in soil, some in mulch, and some in mixtures of various planting materials. 

Flowers grow differently than most fruits and vegetables so if you plan on doing both, keep in mind they probably have different soil requirements. It is important to find out what works best for your plants so they receive adequate nutrients and water. Planting materials range from mulch to sand and soil to gravel, and finding the right one for your gardening masterpiece can be difficult. Flowers require lots of nutrients so using a soil with added nutrients or nutrient-absorbing properties is ideal. As for fruits and veggies, if they grow well in your climate, then they probably will grow well in your topsoil, but this is not always the case. Of course if you want to see them thrive then putting them in a soil mixture might jumpstart their growth. 

Landscape supply professionals can help point you in the right direction if you are unsure about your dirty decisions. It is also important to check if any of your plants require certain sunlight or shading and plant them accordingly. Landscaping and gardening professionals can help you pull everything together to make your garden the talk of the neighborhood!

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Choosing the Right Sand for Your Landscaping Project

For many landscaping projects, sand can be a useful and affordable filler that is safe and natural for all environments. Whether you are building a sandbox for your kids to play in or are mixing concrete for a larger project, you want to find high-quality sand to use.  There is a difference in the sand that is available for sale in landscape supply stores, so knowing which grade or type to buy can help improve the quality of your finished project. 

River or White Sand?

The two main types of sand that are of the highest quality are river or white sand. Both are natural alternative to manufactured sand that can be carcinogenic, making it unsafe for using around your home and children. Sand is used as a filler for paving stones, in mortar, as a landscape filler and is mixed in certain soils to create a drier soil for certain plants. 

River and white sand can be bought in bulk from quality landscape supply stores, a more affordable option to buying bagged sand from some retailers of garden supplies. River sand is generally used for concrete and mortar mixing, but also is great for sandboxes, soil applications and as landscape filler. White sand is a premium, fine sand that is preferred for sandboxes, yet is still affordable when bought in bulk. 

Before beginning any landscape project that will require sand, find a local supplier that offers quality, natural sand for bulk purchases. It will enhance the result of your project and ensure that you are not adding carcinogens to your property in the form of manufactured sand.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Why Use Polymers Instead Of Just Sand?

Sand has long been used as the go-to substances for holding paving stones or bricks in place in driveways, walkways and patios. Although it is often still used, sand made with polymers has entered the market and provides a better solution to interlocking pavers and bricks. The chemical make-up and design allows for better stability and weed deterrent than sand alone.

What Is Polymeric Sand?

Polymeric sand is essentially sand with polymers added to the mix. Most use quartz and/or crystalline silica polymers. Polymers give the sand a better weight and resistance, allowing it to fill in the gaps between paving stones or bricks without the issues that are involved with sand alone. With the use of polymers, the sand does not need to be sealed to harden and solidify between the joints.

Many landscape companies and contractors have moved to using polymeric sand for one simple reason; it lasts longer and works better than sand alone. Some of the benefits of using sand with polymers include:

–         Less washout. Sand often is displaced when heavy rains or storms hit. Polymeric sand stays in place and does not wash out like plain sand.

–         No sealer needed. Adding sealer costs more and takes more time, giving polymeric sand an economic edge over sand.

–         Great weed control. Sand with polymers gives excellent protection against weeds, some argue much better than sand alone.

–         Better paver protection. Polymeric sand can help improve the life of bricks and pavers by reducing the water seepage below them.

Most professionals will agree that when laying paving stones or bricks, that polymeric sand is the best option available.

Posted on behalf of Alliance Stone

Estimate the Cost of your Landscaping Work

Before getting started on your landscaping project, it’s important that you accurately estimate how much it is going to cost you from start to finish. If you are hiring a landscaping company to do the work for you, then you should expect them to come to your home, assess the site and work out the costs of all materials.

However if you have decided to tackle the job yourself, then the responsibility of estimating the costs and materials will fall on you. It is important that you make an accurate estimate to ensure that you don’t run out of funds half way through the project and leave your yard in a bigger mess than before you started. 

To begin with you need to take measurements of the yard or area that requires work so that you know how much materials are required. Then, using your landscape design, you need to source the materials that are going to be used. The cost of materials can vary between landscape materials suppliers and can vary widely in different regions depending in part on the distance the materials have to be shipped.    If you plan to use Tennessee fieldstone, the price you pay at your landscape supplier in Florida will be significantly higher than the cost at the quarry in Tennessee due to the shipping costs.  

Also, remember that quality materials may cost a little more but they will benefit you in the long run. In addition to hardscaping materials such as natural stone and cement don’t forget to include the softscaping materials such as soil, plants, shrubs, and trees. You need to have an idea of what plants, shrubs and trees you want as the prices of these items can vary dramatically. Again, native local plants and trees are generally less expensive and will grwo weel in your climate.