residential-retaining-wall-olathe-ks

Do You Need a Retaining Wall?

Do You Need a Retaining Wall?

How do you know when it’s time to invest in larger landscaping projects? The prospect of building something bigger than a garden or seeding your lawn is one that can cause stress. There are budgets to consider, finding the right company to do the work, and considerations about how long you might stay in your current home. residential-retaining-wall-olathe-ks

A retaining wall is one of those larger projects that can take time to plan and execute. But it’s also a project that offers both practical and aesthetic advantages. Not only can you prevent serious issues like improper drainage and soil erosion with a retaining wall; you can also add a beautiful, unique architectural element to your outdoor space. 

If you’ve ever wondered if you might need a retaining wall, keep reading. We’re sharing a few things to consider before you start planning the project.  

Consider Your Yard’s Slope

If your home sits on land that isn’t level, a retaining wall might be necessary to create a flat surface. This will allow you to install additional landscaping features like a fireplace or a patio, or to plant a garden. 

Installing a retaining wall can also help prevent soil erosion, which can happen when water runs through sloped soil and causes the soil to move from one area to another. This runoff can be detrimental to your home’s foundation and is actually one of the primary reasons retaining walls are necessary. 

Track Your Water Drainage

Because improper drainage and soil erosion can lead to detrimental–and expensive–foundation damage, understanding the drainage in your yard and around your home is imperative. Knowing where water will pool can help you understand where adjustments should be made. Similarly, knowing how water runs after it rains can help you pinpoint soil erosion. All of this will help you plan how to mitigate the issues that might cause damage at some point.

Once you understand how your space operates without a retaining wall, you can talk with a landscape architect to determine where to place a retaining wall as well as what kind of wall you want. 

Consider How You Use Your Space

If your outdoor space is large enough to accommodate different activities, installing a retaining wall might be a great way to add a pleasing visual element to the space while also organizing it for those activities. 

Let’s say, for example, that you are an avid gardener and want to start composting. But you’re not crazy about the idea of looking at a compost pile every day. You could design a space that includes a shorter retaining wall that will block the unsightly–but highly beneficial–compost pile from your everyday view. 

Or you might want to separate an outdoor patio from your pool, or the pool from your children’s play area. There are countless reasons why a retaining wall might be the perfect addition to your outdoor space.

Going It Alone–or Without Help

Depending on the height and placement of your retaining wall, you may be able to do the project on your own. While that’s an option, we think it’s best to work with a professional landscaping company. We’ve built retaining walls for clients throughout the Olathe and Johnson County area, and would love to work with you on your next project. 

Common Summer Landscaping Challenges and How to Tackle Them

Common Summer Landscaping Challenges and How to Tackle Them

Common Summer Landscaping Challenges and How to Tackle ThemThe high temperatures of summer bring unique challenges to lawns and landscaping in the Olathe and general Johnson County area. How do you know if you’re doing everything you can to ensure that your yard and your outdoor spaces are healthy and look as good as possible?

We’re going to tackle a few of the biggest challenges you might encounter during these long summer days, along with a few suggestions of how to approach them. Remember, however, that even though there are lots of ways to DIY your lawn and landscape jobs, consulting with a professional is often the easiest and most cost effective way of making sure your space looks and performs exactly how you’d like.

Summer Landscaping Challenge #1: Unsightly Plants and Weeds

It never fails: you take great pains to plant the perfect flower bed or you work with your landscape architect to create a gorgeous water feature or outdoor environment, and everything is gorgeous. But then, they appear. Weeds! Nuisance plants, like ivy or thistle!

This happens so often in the summer months because the conditions are just right: you’ve prepped your soil. You are watering (or it’s raining) and applying the right fertilizers. Just as those conditions make for gorgeous plants that you want, they also make hospitable conditions for weeds and plants you didn’t intend to include in your outdoor space.

While it’s not possible to prevent all weeds and invasive plants from trying to lay claim to your lawn or landscape, it is possible to keep them to a minimum. This requires frequent weeding, which can be most enjoyable earlier or later in the day. Try to weed by the root, meaning pull the entire plant from the soil when possible. If you just weed-whack them flush with the ground, you’re leaving the root system intact, which means they’ll continue to grow.

Be sure, too, to properly dispose of those unwanted weeds and plants after you’ve pulled them. Bag them and either put out for pickup or take them to a compost facility. If you pull them and let them linger on your lawn or in your garden, they just might decide to stay!

Summer Landscaping Challenge #2: Getting the Moisture Levels Right

Summer can be fickle. Sometimes it’s too dry and you have to worry about dry soil and burnt plants. Other times, you have to worry about too much moisture, which can lead to unsightly mushroom growth and other issues.

One way to mitigate this issue is to install automatic irrigation systems that will water your lawn when it’s dry. Another factor to consider is proper drainage. Working with a landscape architect firm to create these systems before extreme weather hits is best; but it’s never the wrong time to start.

Summer Landscaping Challenge #3: Not Wanting to Be Outdoors

It’s okay to admit that sometimes it’s just too hot to spend much time outside. Whether that means that you’re not up for pulling weeds or mowing the lawn, or that you want to grill dinner but can’t stand to stand in the sun for that long, there are ways we can help.

One way is to hire us to do your maintenance so you don’t have to. This is a time when you really can have it all: a gorgeous lawn, no matter the season, without having to do the work to get it.

Another way is to let us help you create a space that feels good, even when it’s hot. Think of adding a swimming pool if you have the room or a koi pond or water feature if you prefer. You might also consider a covered deck or patio, so you can sit outside but still be in the shade. The truth is, we love working with clients to find creative yet practical ways to make their outdoor spaces perfect for them. We’d love to do the same for you!