17 Aug 2017

Mulch: Soil & Plant Health

As I stated in a previous post; for healthy plants, start at the soil!  Mulch’s #1 contributing factor to sustainability, is the organic matter it gives back to the earth. Mulch is rich in carbon that feeds beneficial microbes and organisms found in soil.  A healthy soil composition has good water infiltration, aeration, and a nice healthy ecosystem of beneficial microbes, and organisms.  Healthy soils have all the essential elements that plants need to thrive with easy access to water, air, and nutrients.  When the soil ecosystem is improved, you have healthier plants that also tend to be more resistant to disease and pests. That means you’ll probably be spending less time and money on “medicine” and/or replacement of failing plants!

Basically, mulch is the ultimate vitamin for soil and plants throughout your property.  Use it as a tool to improve the overall health of your landscape; avoid the future corrective maintenance bills, and lower the amount of chemical use!

Valerie,

Natural Solutions

Valerie@mulchinstalled.com

17 Aug 2017

Brown, Bark, Bagged or Bulk?

By selecting materials thoughtfully and applying them correctly, the annual maintenance is likely to decrease. There tons of different mulches you can choose for your SE Wisconsin property, but to get more sustainable value from this material it’s important to consider how these different types of mulch are harvested and processed. For example, while still retaining moisture, hardwood mulch is fibrous and knits together well which is why it’s often used to inhibit soil erosion and weed germination.  Dyed mulch is not recommended for sustainable landscapes, though it often appeals to property owners because of its rich color. (But remember, appearance is a side benefit—not its main purpose). The content of dyed mulches can actually harm plant and soil health, and seep into water run-off; therefore, negatively impacting the environment.  The most cost effective and most commonly used mulch in Wisconsin is shredded hardwood mulch.

As for the way mulch is processed, it’s best to stick with bulk mulch.  Plastic waste is a bi-product of the bagged variety sold in retail stores and sometimes even offered by landscape companies. Reducing that unnecessary plastic, you’re actually increasing the sustainable value of your mulch, and decreasing waste!

Valerie,

Natural Solutions

Valerie@mulchinstalled.com

17 Aug 2017

Mulch, A Sustainable Practice

Benefits and Beyond

When we talk about sustainable practices in the green industry, we tend to think of rain gardens, green roofs, and composting. You’re right, these types of projects do, in fact promote sustainability, but the reality is, making a big impact on our residential and commercial properties isn’t just about the installation of a feature, but the maintenance as well! As we rethink the way we approach basic landscape practices like mulching, even standard maintenance can be a significant step toward improving the sustainable development of your landscape.
Applying mulch is far from being solely for cosmetics purposes, or weed suppression.  Using the appropriate material and application techniques will save you time and money in the long run. Best of all, natural mulch products provide plant health care contributing to sustainability.

We do our best to educate property owners and grounds maintenance staff to think beyond aesthetics and consider how maintaining mulched areas can actually “do things” that you and your landscape will benefit from. Mulch definitely makes a great example of how to approach a much-needed spring service with sustainability!
Most know by now, that the benefits of mulch do not stop at curb appeal and healthy plants. There’s a lot more to it than that. If you want healthy plants, start at the soil. Mulch decomposes in time, adding nutrients and beneficial bacteria and microbes back into the soil, and attracts earthworms! It protects from extreme cold, retains moisture, and helps prevent erosion as well. These are the main benefits to your landscape, but let’s get into how these mulch benefits contribute to the big picture of a more environmentally balanced property.

Valerie,

Natural Solutions, LLC

Valerie@mulchinstalled.com

04 Mar 2017
the benefits of mulching

Spring ahead with mulch

The benefits of mulching in the spring…

Now that spring is almost here you may start looking at your yard and wondering what your next step is to create a beautiful yard. The best time to get your garden ready for the summer is in spring, early March to be precise, depending on location. Now you may or may or not have removed your leaves from your plant beds and borders, either way, that’s okay. Some people swear by leaving the leaves there to provide a protective shield for your soil throughout the damp winter months and others say it’s okay either way. Lets start with the basics…

Basic spring clean-up:

  • Start by removing all the leaves from you landscaped area. Even if you did this in the fall, more have probably blown your way.
  • Cut off the old foliage on your plant life that is above ground.
  • Dig out all the weeds you can see.
  • Cut back vines that are where you don’t want them.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses, including liriope, and the dead stems of flowers if you left them up for the winter to a few inches high.
  • Use a cultivator or gloved hand to loosen the mulch, acorns and other dried plant matter covering the ground around your shrubs and flowers. This allows water and air to easily penetrate the roots.

Starting this process now will help your plant life when they are in full bloom.  If you have spring-blooming bulbs or flowers that start emerging early in your borders, they could be trampled on if this clean-up is done after they’ve already emerged. Or worse, if you wait til your garden has started producing masses of new growth, you won’t be able to see those weeds and out-of-control vines. If you weed now it will reduce your weeding burden throughout the full season.

Mulching 

Applying mulch on top of your garden is the single most important thing you can do for your plant life each year. Mulching prevents weeds, regulates soil temperature, and retains moisture. Plus, as it decomposes over the course of the season and is carried underground by earthworms and other creatures of the soil, it improves soil structure, which means better drainage and better use of nutrients.  A one-inch application of mulch will usually suffice as a fertilizer for most gardens.  When it comes to mulches, nothing’s better than good old leafmold mulch because it decomposes over the course of one season, which is a good thing because it improves your soil. The more attractive mulches like bark and hardwood chips aren’t as helpful because they last a long time, which is a bad thing. Like weeding and leaf removal, mulching is a job that’s easier to do before new bulbs have emerged, especially if they’ve just popped up and are hard to see.

 

23 Aug 2016

Our number one priority, children’s safety

Natural Solutions values all of its relationships with its clients and its no different when it comes to making sure children are kept safe.  As our company continues to grow, one of our most valuable service offerings to the public sector is Certified Woodchip Blowing.

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04 Jul 2016

Playground material for a local school

Keep the kids safe! Thanks to a wonderful client in Wauwatosa we had the opportunity to resurface their newly installed playground that was elevated and up on a terrace. Feel free to reach out and contact us in regards to our Certified Playground Safety Surfacing Material or Mulch Blowing Applications.

Natural Solutions has been the premiere service installer of mulch and soil applications throughout the US. Due to unique, licensed and patented technologies, Natural Solutions has been a valuable resource by creating innovative and cost effective solutions for its clients. With traditional cost savings of nearly 30 – 40% there isn’t a better option than choosing Natural Solutions for all your service needs. At Natural Solutions, we believe that our value comes down to providing superior service while working with decision makers in any industry.

Our business model affords us to work with projects in a number of different phases including: conception, development and maintenance in both direct hire and subcontract capacities. Whether you are a real estate developer or a landscape company, our services are intended on assisting your project. We provide different varieties of Mulch Installations including: oak, hemlock, pine, cedar, dyed mulch: brown enviro mulch, red dyed mulch, black dyed mulch, and Certified Playground Safety Surfacing Material for playgrounds. We provide soil installations, topdressing services, green roof media installations, playground chip installations, and granular installations.

05 Jan 2016

A letter from Natural Solutions Owner

At the beginning of the 2015 season, we had one goal: GROW.  After closing our books and reviewing our financials from this past year, I am beyond grateful to say that not only have we grown, but we have quadrupled our revenue.  Looking back it is none other than our employees, vendors and great clients that have allowed us to get to where we are.  With the acquisition of a local competitor, equipment investments that exceeded $500,000.00, the extension of a working season to a 12 month period and the willingness to expand our operations into 11 new markets we were fortunate enough to exceed our expectations.

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20 Oct 2015
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Job: Fulltime (+50 hours per week) Landscapers

Are you a top producer who is looking to show your landscaping skills to us and be fairly rewarded? Are you able to manage job sites and read landscape drawings? At The Landscaper we offerFull Time, Year Round employment, Shared benefit package, Excellent work environment…

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20 Oct 2015
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Leaves Should Be Shredded Before Used as Mulch

A reader said he had heard of the practice of shredding leaves prior to using them as mulch but wondered about the reason behind it. Was it just to make it easier to dispose of the leaves, since, once shredded, the load would be more compact? Or was there some other benefit?

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20 Oct 2015
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Ask Jennifer: Your Gardening Questions Answered

I would like to grow some “barometer plants” to use as an early warning system for my garden. What plants are first to respond to frost, first to bolt and first to wilt? Is this a waste of time? It’s not a waste of time, but I’m not sure you’d have to invest in any particular variety. I would use half-hardy annuals that are sensitive to frost, such as cosmos lobelia

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