How To Spot And Fix Soil Erosion Problems On Your Commercial Property

Posted by Kim Riebel on Aug 28, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Soil erosion is a problem for a couple of big reasons. For one, water runoff that carries soil away (causing erosion) also wipes out soil’s valuable nutrients in the process.

So, plants that rely on this soil aren’t getting the energy they need to grow.

And, soil erosion can cause significant terrain shifts that trigger drainage issues on your commercial property, including flooding. Soil erosion weakens the structural integrity of your commercial landscape, making it more vulnerable during weather events.

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Topics: Lawn Care

The Cost of Tree and Shrub Care For Your Illinois Commercial Property

Posted by Kim Riebel on Aug 25, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Caring for trees and shrubs is an integral landscape maintenance task that commercial property owners can’t afford to ignore.

Pruning is important for aesthetic and plant health purposes. And, trees and shrubs might need protection to withstand the elements.

Trees and shrubs are a long-term investment you want to preserve by taking care of them—because replacing large specimens, especially, can be costly. Planting a new, larger tree that’s a 2- to 4.5-inch caliper size can cost $450 to $600 (with a warrantee). With regular maintenance, trees and shrubs can last for decades.

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Topics: Tree & Shrub Care

Are Permeable Pavers The Right Choice For Your Sustainable Landscape?

Posted by Kim Riebel on Aug 21, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Water runoff picks up all sorts of harmful substances from surfaces—gasoline, debris, salt, excess fertilizers—forming an unsavory mixture for the environment that’s carried into sewer systems, potentially impacting the health of our water supply.

Some run-off is important to keep water away from foundations and areas where water can cause damage. But it’s usually best if water can enter the earth at the point in which it falls. Then, it will soak into the ground rather than rolling down a surface and collecting pollution.

How can you reduce surface water run-off and still have attractive hardscape on your Chicago commercial property?

The answer is: permeable pavers.

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Topics: Sustainability

Rain Sensor Review: What’s The Best Type For Your Commercial Illinois Property?

Posted by Kim Riebel on Aug 19, 2015 5:00:00 AM

What type of rain sensor is best for your commercial property? If you’ve searched for options, you know there are a number of different rain sensors out there. What’s the difference?

For starters, it’s good to know that installing a new rain sensor on an existing irrigation system is not a big deal. Because of wireless technology and better signals (from controller to sensor) you can have a water-efficient irrigation system without a lot of fuss, and with no hardwiring.

But back to the question: What type of rain sensor will you choose for your commercial property? Is there a best choice?

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Topics: Irrigation

Sedum On Green Roofs: Is It A Bad Idea?

Posted by Kim Riebel on Jul 29, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Green roofs in Chicago are gradually changing the texture and color of the skyline, improving downtown’s aesthetic and delivering sustainable benefits that are measurable.

Green roofs can lower energy usage for heating and air-conditioning, and reduce rainwater run-off. They even extend the life of a roof by protecting it from the elements. And, green roofs can help offset the urban heat island effect in cities where man-made surfaces—roads, parking lots, buildings, sidewalks—take over the landscape and squelch natural habitats. (There’s nothing natural about a concrete jungle.)

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Topics: Sustainability

Low-Mow or No-Mow Grass—What’s The Difference?

Posted by Kim Riebel on Jul 23, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Does the thought of barely mowing a large area of your commercial property sound appealing?

What if we said you could get away with not mowing the grassy area at all?

The maintenance expenses you’d take on by mowing a huge stretch of commercial land would allow you to use the dollars elsewhere on the property. But is this type of turf a fit for your property?

And, what’s the difference between low- and no-mow grass, anyway?

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Topics: Lawn Care

How To Maintain Native Prairie And Sustainable Landscapes

Posted by Kim Riebel on Jul 20, 2015 5:00:00 AM

There’s no such thing as a no-maintenance landscape. As long as a living thing takes in nutrients and grows, there are some responsibilities required.

So, while native prairies and sustainable landscapes call for less frequent maintenance than a traditional landscape — which requires weekly mowing and weeding — you can’t just plant-it-and-forget-it.

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Topics: Native Prairies

Dealing With Water Runoff: Stormwater Management Strategies

Posted by Kim Riebel on Jun 26, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Construction can leave behind a wake of drainage issues, and after a hard rain it’s not unusual for property managers to notice standing water.

This is especially the case when land was recently developed. But sometimes water collecting on a site’s landscape is only discovered long after a building’s completion.

Many factors influence the way water runs off your Illinois property: land grade, impermeable surfaces, and even weather conditions.

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Topics: Sustainability

How to Control and Kill Chinch Bugs on Your Commercial Property

Posted by Kim Riebel on Jun 4, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Warm weather triggers all sorts of activity in the landscape.

While grubs are a key concern on Illinois commercial properties, chinch bugs can also become a problem.

Chinch bugs mate in late May, hatch in June and really become a problem in mid- to late-summer. Chinch bugs are tricky because their damage is often confused for drought stress or lack of fertilization.

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Topics: Pest, Disease & Weed Control

5 Reasons To Install A Rain Sensor On Your Irrigation System

Posted by Kim Riebel on May 28, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Rain sensors act like an environmental conscience for your irrigation system.

When it rains, a rain sensor shuts off the system so you don’t waste water on a property that’s being doused by Mother Nature’s irrigation.

We’ve all seen irrigation systems running full-force when it’s raining outside.

That results in an unnecessary expense—you’re driving up your water bill—and increased runoff because a lawn can only soak in so much moisture. When the turf is adequately soaked, residual water runs off into storm water sewers, potentially carrying contaminants into water sources.

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Topics: Irrigation