What It Takes to Be One of the Best Landscape Companies in DFW?

That is a question you should ask yourself before choosing your next landscaping company. Whether you are relocating to North Texas or you’ve lived here your whole life, your landscaping company should be an expert in local soil, irrigation, plant care, pests, and weed removal.

Anyone can mow a lawn. And most anyone can use a weed eater / edger. But to be the best landscape company in DFW, you have to combine comprehensive knowledge of DFW, Texas conditions, have a flair for stylish landscape design, and provide superior customer service. From answering questions to upholding a standard of perfection, the best landscape company in DFW should meet these standards.

As one of the best in the metroplex, Terra Firma has a solid commitment to delivering the look and feel you want for your property. Don’t settle for a mow and edge solution. Join the many proud property owners in the metroplex and give your community a facelift. It starts with one home, and the rest of the neighborhood will catch on. Get help today from one of the best in the business. Call Terra Firma today!

Why Does My Crape Myrtle Look Like it Was Set on Fire?

Here in North Texas, there is a pest called “Azalea Bark Scale.” It is a white insect that sucks the life right out of Crape Myrtles. The results will leave your Crape Myrtles looking like they are charred and black. This is a fungi called sooty mold that grows on the insects’ waste. This type of infestation can weaken the tree and open up the possibility for more fatal disease and insects.

The solution is a systematic pesticide and insect killer. Add some Terra Firma TLC, and we can get those Crape Myrtles looking beautiful again.

If you’re a do-it-your-self-er, you can buy these treatments at Home Depot; along with a soapy water solution you can wipe the black film off.

Most Builders Install Cheap Landscaping

Most homes in the Dallas Fort Worth area were probably built by a corporate builder. There are hundreds of them out there, but they all typically put in the same type of landscaping: cheap and fast growing. They will typically plant Bermuda grass (usually a cheaper variety). For bushes, builders will use hawthorns, nandinas or a burford holly and for the trees some type of maple, live oak and the popular bradford pear.

Why does it matter? Some of the above plants can look just hideous in flower beds. When they start to mature, they outgrow the beds and grow into each other. There might be different textures, but there is usually not a lot of color contrast.

The tree will usually be planted in the exact center of the front yard, eventually providing a lot of shade. That would be a great idea, except your Bermuda grass will die because it needs full sun to thrive. So the trees grow and your grass dies. Your flower beds look hideous and your wishing Terra Firma installed your landscaping.

These types of landscapes are inevitable when buying a new home. Landscaping is the last element installed on a new home or remodel. The building/remodel budget is almost always used up at that point, so they try to just break even. So the builder puts something in that will look good up front, but in the end will cost you more when you hire a new landscaper to undo the careless damage.

Easy Maintenance Plants: The Cast Iron Plant

Cast Iron Plant
This excellent perennial plant thrives in shaded areas.  It is a very strong plant, do not worry about giving it too much shade because it will still grow and look good.  Like Canna Lillies, their root systems spread to grow more plants.  They are and excellent plant to place near established trees in large flowerbeds.  They also give a good option to change up a typical flowerbed.

You Can’t Go Wrong with Fig Ivy

Fig Ivy
This appealing plant is often mistaken for Asian Jasmine.  It maintains a healthy green color year round and is very appealing to the eye.  An excellent place to install this is on fences and along brick homes (plant this as close to desired wall for immediate vertical growth).  It is typically grown from nurseries and is sold in stores in temporary pots with the ivy growing on a wooden stake.  Fig Ivy is so appealing because of the desired eye appeal it gives on almost any wall it grows on.

Unlike most other ivies, it grows snugly to the walls it grows on.  For instance, on any upscale brick home, it does not take away from the crevasses and details of the home itself.  For quicker cover on brick walls and fences, place Fig Ivy stakes closer together.  If time is not an issue, feel free to spread Fig Ivy further apart.

Any professional landscaper should be able to maintain and trim Fig Ivy in typical horticultural practices no matter how high it grows.

Asian Jasmine Looks Good Almost Anywhere

Asian Jasmine
This particular ground cover is a wonderful solution to almost any shaded area.  Not only is it a hearty cover which spreads easily, but it will give good definition to flowerbeds where vegetation options are minimal.  Once a flowerbed with Asian Jasmine has full filled in, the typical procedure for maintenance is simply taking  a weed trimmer or hedge trimmers to keep the Jasmine at a lower cover.

The tendency and err in the maintenance of Asian Jasmine is not properly trimming it down off of tress or houses.  It will spread, but when maintained properly, is a great addition to a well-shaded flowerbed.

What outdoor plants do you want to learn more about?

Getting to Know the Toro 21′ Commercial Mower

This mower is the “king” of mowers for landscapers today.  In my 10 years of professional landscaping, it has been the only option for me in mowing.  I have tried some other commercial mowers, but this one is my personal bread and butter.  These mowers are relatively easy to do basic maintenance on, fixing the small problems that come in every day landscaping.  It is also easy to get them serviced because almost every mower repair shop has Toro materials on hand.

Pricing does scare some people away because a brand new Commercial 21’ Toro Mower costs around $1200 dollars.  What a lot of people do not realize, though, is how durable these mowers actually are.  For example, if a typical home owner were to purchase one of these mowers, they would likely not have any problems mowing their property for 20+ years.

A quick warning to anyone purchasing a used Commercial 21’ Toro Mower:

There are number of good deals on used Toros, but be careful on buying any 2 cycle models (gas and oil mix).  The reasoning is that laws have changed over the recent years and all mowers today are either diesel or straight gas mowers for environmental reasons.  This also means that repairing these engines has gotten practically impossible because these parts aren’t manufactured anymore.

Hope this review helps. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments, or if you have a product you would like us to review.

The Encore Azalea: Queen of the Flower Bed

Encore Azaleas are one of my favorite bushes to plant. You can use them in many different ways in landscape concepts and designs they can be used as a colorful back drop or in front of a green back drop of bushes as a different level or as an accent at the corners of a flower bed.

Encore Azaleas have a nice evergreen leaf and look great even when they’re not blooming. When they do bloom in the spring, summer, and fall, they are gorgeous. Encore Azaleas come in about 20 different colors: mostly pinks, reds, oranges, purples and whites. My favorites are the Monarchs and Royalty.

Encore Azaleas are easy to care for. The key to healthy Encore Azaleas is proper soil, environment, watering and fertilizing. When I plant Encores I always use peat moss which retains water well and is ideal for the plant. Azaleas are also an acid loving plant, so they need the proper fertilizer. You can actually buy fertilizers made specifically for Azaleas.

Azaleas can withstand the North Texas heat, but I prefer to plant them in areas that get plenty of shade. They seem to thrive in shaded environments. Encores also need plenty of water, so always plant them in flowerbeds that have an adequate irrigation system*.

The Encore Azalea is definitely a great way to go when planting a new bed. Their vibrant, delicate blooms speak for themselves.

* for more information on how to plant and care for Encore Azaleas, visit Terra Firma Landscaping website.