Category Archives: Landscape Design

Fun Citrus Facts

Arizona is one of only four states, including California, Texas and Florida, able to grow citrus in the United States.  Citrus trees are an important part of the Phoenix area sights and smells. Stroll around the neighborhood, especially in February and March, and enjoy the sweet scent of citrus blossoms in the air.

Fun Citrus Facts

  • The first citrus tree in Arizona was planted in 1889 by William J. Murphy to supply the miners in CA to combat scurvy.
  • Citrus production in Arizona peaked around 1970 with 80,000 acres in production
  • Due to urban development, only about 20,000 acres are now in production in Arizona
  • Citrus are considered Evergreens as they keep their green leaves year round
  • There is more fiber in an orange than in most other fruits and vegetables
  • One lemon contains a full day’s supply of vitamin C with 33% in the peel.
  • Grapefruit can help lower cholesterol.
  • A citrus tree blooms while also bearing fruit
  • Citrus fruits can be left on the tree without becoming over ripe. Fruit does not continue to ripen once picked. The longer citrus fruit ripens on the tree, the sweeter and less acidic it will be.
  • Most trees flower in February and March.
  • With proper care, a citrus tree is capable of producing fruit for over 50 years. Proper care includes good quality root stock selection, correct planting in the right location, proper water and fertilizer, and protection from diseases, pests and harsh weather.

Care of Citrus Trees

Planting:

Citrus trees can be planted year-round but the best months to plant are March, April and October.

Watering:

Citrus trees fare the best if they are heavily watered and then allowed to dry out between drenchings. Typically, trees will need to be watered every one to two weeks in summer and every three to four weeks in the winter. Try not to water trees a little bit every few days to avoid salt build up in the soil.

Fertilizing:

Citrus trees should be fertilized in March, June and September. Do not fertilize after October as it encourages tender new growth during winter when there is danger of frost.

Pruning:

Prune citrus trees to eliminate sprouts, remove weak, crossing or dead branches, or to allow more light in the tree canopy. February through April are the best months to prune citrus in the Phoenix area. Protect exposed wood from the sun using a citrus whitewash.

Contact Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance at (602) 861-1144 for your citrus care needs.

Facts provided with help from Greenfield Citrus, Arizona Cooperative Extension, and Arizona Experience.

Benefits of Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

You have made a significant investment in time and money keeping your home and landscape looking its best. Don’t let that hard work disappear from sight when the sun goes down. One of the most important elements of a landscape design, low voltage landscape lighting, makes a huge impact on the appearance and ambience of your yard. Installation of low voltage lighting is both beautiful and practical.

Here are just some of the benefits:

Safety

Outdoor lighting can add safety by illuminating walkways, patios, stairs, decks, gardens, pools and outdoor seating areas. It will also help to warn you of the presence of scorpions, snakes and javelinas. Your family and friends can enjoy your outdoor spaces at night and safely move through those spaces.

Security

A well-lit landscape gives a feeling of care and involvement, discouraging burglaries and trespassing.

Comfort

Your outdoor space is an extension of your living space. Create an inviting space to entertain family and friends by adding attractive lighting to enable use of your outdoor space at night.

Style

Make your yard a showplace by highlighting areas of your landscape with decorative lighting Installing lighting in areas such as flower gardens, trees and cactus, plantings, BBQ’s, pools, and fountains can add beautiful accents to your outdoor space.

Curb Appeal

Give your home a wow factor by installing low voltage landscape lighting. Your home will
appear warm and inviting, giving your neighbors the impression that you care about your property and enhancing the value of your property.

Today’s lighting comes in a huge variety of applications including up lighting, down lighting, wall washing, path and driveway lighting, twinkle lights, hanging tree lights, stair lighting, BBQ lighting and spot lighting to name just a few! Landscape lighting fixture selections are nearly endless, and in today’s marketplace you also get to choose from traditional, or energy saving, long lasting LED lighting.

If you would like to explore adding outdoor lighting to your home, call Goodman’s Landscape, LLC. at (602) 861-1144.

Why Should You Prune Your Roses in Winter?

roses-2011-02-01-lytle-rose-bush-cut-backsA rose bush that is not pruned will still continue to grow and bloom but its growth will not be as vigorous, stems will be shorter, and flowers smaller. The Arizona Rose Society recommends pruning back rose bushes by one third in September and by half in January. January pruning forces the rose bush into a short period of dormancy. This short period of dormancy stimulates new growth in spring and more flowers in summer.

Rose bushes pruned in January will have improved plant vigor, growth of new canes and higher quality, larger blooms. Pruning also helps to maintain the plant within the allocated space with enough space between bushes.

The most desirable bush form is a V or U with canes growing from the bud union or ground, rose-pink-tipupward and outward with a slightly open center.  Proper pruning includes removing all foliage on each bush, cutting out all spindly or crossing branches, and removal of dead wood to open the center of the bush so the sun reaches bud onions.

January is a good time to plant new rose bushes. Roses should also be fertilized this month. Give Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance a call at (602) 861-1144 and we can help with pruning and new rose bush installation.

Don’t worry! Pruning in January will result in roses blooming at the end of March into April and May.  The roses will come back lush and more beautiful than ever!

Goodman’s Landscape Volunteer Work at Copperwood Elementary

As a small landscaping company that was founded in Arizona in1984, we take pride in our local communities. Whenever possible, our employees enjoy giving a helping hand to those that need it both with our time and expertise.

Goodman's Landscape volunteers

A Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance crew member teaches volunteers the basics on how to install irrigation drip lines to the plants for the school’s habitat.

This project came into our office as a pro bono opportunity to help out a local school as well as teach the basics of landscape installation techniques. The job called for a tortoise habitat to be constructed in a corner of the playground of Copperwood Elementary School in Phoenix.

The design for this project was supplied by an employee of the school. Services such as labor and coordination were supplied both by volunteers and by Goodman’s Landscape.

Once on the jobsite, the first step in the project was for the landscape team to remove all grass from within the designed project area. The next task was to lay down trenching for irrigation and all other needed utilities such as electrical wiring. The trenches were cut with a Groundhog trencher.

Following the trenching came the boring for fence posts surrounding the project area. Plant material was then installed along with the tortoise habitat and features of the habitat.

Many techniques were employed, and many tools were used in this project besides the Groundhog trencher. These included a Bobcat loader, jackhammers, which were utilized mostly for compacted digging, and a plate compactor for foundation compacting surrounding the newly installed habitat.

Landscape renovation half way point

You can see the midway point in the development of the tortoise habitat. Included is a perimeter boarder which will keep tortoises from escaping and also will deter unwanted guests. A small water feature doubled as a water source as well as a place for the tortoises to escape the heat.

Plant material was supplied by local nurseries and irrigation supplies were donated by Horizon Distributors. Hurley Trucking provided the container to house all building supplies throughout the project build. ABC sand and gravel was donated by Granite Express. Lafarge pavers were supplied by Phoenix Pavers. Supplies such as wheelbarrows, shovels, picks, rakes and dig bars were all provided by city of Glendale, Ariz.

Once all the plant material had been installed, we were left with a few tasks. First we needed to bore holes that would act as the post housings for the surrounding chain link fence. Secondly, the crew had to lay down a nice layer of 1/4” minus Madison Gold that will keep the dust down and looks a little bit better than the ground that was exposed after the existing sod was removed.

All in all, this was an amazing opportunity and display of coordination by the volunteers that helped make this possible. All of us at Goodman’s are grateful for the opportunity to provide Copperwood Elementary School with our landscape renovation services.

If you have a project or sponsorship opportunity that you are looking for support from a local landscaping small business, please submit your information through the contact form.

Install Artificial Grass in Your Phoenix, AZ Home’s Yard

Artificial turf was first used in the sporting world in order to help reduce the costs related to constantly maintaining natural grass. Not to mention that artificial grass is able to withstand the heavy use that sports routinely require. As you can imagine, homeowners across the nation began to become savvy of the time and cost savings that artificial grass and turf can provide. If maintaining yard and lawn were easy, we wouldn’t have been in business for the last 30 years!

Artificial grass has come a long way since the Astrodome fifty-years ago. Modern “third generation turf” now offers infill that are mixtures of sand and recycled rubber while the first generation turf was short-pile fibers without infill. Long story short, the first generation turf didn’t look or feel as good as modern artificial grass today.

Here are some examples of artificial grass and turf installations from the Phoenix, AZ area by Goodman’s Landscape.

artificial grass in backyard

Artificial Grass in Backyard

artificial putting green

Artificial Putting Green in Backyard

artificial turf in backyard

Artificial Grass Next to Pavers

phoenix, az artificial grass installation

Backyard Artificial Turf

putting green install phoenix, az

Desert Landscape with Artificial Grass and Turf

large artificial grass installation

Large Putting Green Installation

artificial grass and water feature

Artificial Putting Green with Water Feature

pet friendly artificial grass and turf

Pet Friendly Artificial Grass and Turf

Like anything else, there are both advantages and disadvantages to installing artificial turf over natural grass in Phoenix, AZ that every homeowner should consider before hiring a licensed, bonded, and insured artificial turf installer for their home.

Some pros of having artificial grass include: lower maintenance costs, saving time (no longer spend time mowing the lawn), pesticide-free, increased durability, and it saves water. Some cons of artificial grass in Phoenix, AZ include: the ground can get very hot because artificial turf absorbs heat, bacteria can breed, and once you install artificial grass it is hard to switch back to natural grass.

As always, we are here to help. Please contact us if you need a licensed, bonded, and insured landscaping company in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, and Glendale to help you install artificial grass in your front or backyard.

 

Enjoy the Phoenix, Arizona Summer with a Custom Outdoor Kitchen and BBQ!

It will be summer in Phoenix before we know it. In Arizona, summer is the time of the year where people gather in backyards for barbecues and pool parties. Adding a custom outdoor kitchen and BBQ to your backyard is a great way to increase your home’s value and enhance the experience of entertaining your friends and family. No matter what size your backyard is, small or large; we have the experience to build the perfect entertainment area for your home.

We have been building custom outdoor kitchens and barbecues for Phoenix, Arizona residents since 1984, so we have quite a few examples available to look at. Check out a few of them below, but remember that we can build anything that your imagination can think of, so just ask and we can provide you with an estimate for your dream outdoor kitchen and BBQ.

Outdoor BBQ with small refrigerator
Let your patio provide the shade for your BBQ.
Small outdoor barbecue

Outdoor barbecue with sunshade and light
You don’t need to put your BBQ underneath your patio.
outdoor bbq with umbrella

Natural stone BBQ with large fireplace
Heat up with an adjacent fireplace when it gets chilly at night.
stone bbq with fireplace

Patio BBQ with tall bar
Have your friends and family relax while you fire up your new backyard grill.
custom patio bbq with fridge

Stainless steal Barbeque with natural stone and refrigerator
Pavers and blue title make this BBQ really stand out.
natural stone custom barbecue

Outdoor kitchen with stools, bench, and sink
Turn your backyard into the ultimate entertainment center.
outdoor kitchen with high table

Outdoor kitchen with title and stone
Large outdoor kitchen with everything you need to prepare a gourmet meal.

custom outdoor kitchen with faucet

Free standing custom outdoor kitchen
Enough room to prepare everything you need for the perfect BBQ.
large custom outdoor bbq

Storage and side burner outdoor BBQ and Kitchen area
Do you really need anything else? Two mini refrigerators stocked with refreshments and food.
large custom outdoor kitchen and bbq

 

How to pick the right setup for your home’s backyard

When we talk to homeowners in Arizona, they tend to ask similar questions. One of those questions is, “How do we pick the right BBQ or outdoor kitchen for us?” Well, every person’s expectations and backyards are unique. To find out what would work best for a particular homeowner, we first need to understand what the homeowners want to get out of the area. Do they entertain people often or do they rarely go in their backyard? How often do they grill right now? Depending on what those answers are, we can usually get a good understanding of what would be best for them. Sometimes a BBQ or outdoor kitchen is what they thought they wanted, but end up going with a water feature/fountain or fire pit instead.

How to you reduce the cost of a custom BBQ or kitchen

Just like anything else, we could design and install the most expensive BBQ/kitchen you could dream of. The final cost of your BBQ or outdoor kitchen will depend on cost of materials and how much time it takes to build. If you are trying to save money (who isn’t?!), then we would suggest choosing cheaper alternatives than really expensive materials. The cost of the stainless BBQ alone can easily be in the thousands. Don’t worry if you aren’t a BBQ master yet, our team can help you pick the perfect BBQ for your level of expertise and budget.

Secondly, we wouldn’t suggest adding certain accessories unless you know that you are going to use them. Eliminating unnecessary accessories can help reduce costs, which makes your investment less expensive.

For whatever type of outdoor BBQ or kitchen you are looking for, we can help you out. We would love to learn more about what you are looking to do with your backyard. We proudly provide landscape design in Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, and more. Please contact us today to see if your home is within our landscape design service area! We look forward to earning your business.

December Plant and Critter of the Month

Plant of the Month – Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessil)

Christmas Cactus bloomingThis tropical hybrid traces it’s heritage back to the coastal regions of Brazil, where it’s parent’s are found growing between large tree limbs or in steep rock crevices that have collected debris.

Available in a wide variety of colors they come in red, purple, orange, pink, fuschia, cream as well as other colors.

Christmas Cactus FlowerThis plant requires indirect light (direct light will harm the plant), well drained soil and humidity to thrive. For the best results, place it where it will receive indirect light, but no light during the night (not even artificial light). Select a spot that meets its needs, and it will reward you for years to come!

planter bucketProper potting is similar to Orchids. The inner basket should be a type that allows the soil to absorb water from all sides (as pictured to the left) and allow for excellent drainage. The outer pot should be water tight, and allow some space around the inner pot. Put about 1 inch or more gravel or rock at the bottom of the outer pot so that the inner basket is not sitting directly on the bottom of the outer pot. To generate humidity, add water to about 1/2 the depth of the rock in the outer pot periodically. Use your finger to guage your watering schedule. If the top 1 inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water again. Do not water from the top, remove the inner pot and soak the plant so water absorbs evenly through soil.

In the right environment this tropical beauty can flower several times a year, but the key to getting it to bloom during the holiday season is to water less frequently. Also make sure it gets at least 12 hours of darkness (that means no natural or artificial light), and locate it in coolest spot in your home, but not near entry doors or where vents blow directly on it.

Christmas CactiAfter the holidays let it rest for about 30 days. Keep it in cooler temperatures, limit its water and make sure it gets its dark time. It is ok if it appears weak and loses a few leaves or joints during this period. Do not pinch back or shape until March or early April. Repot every 2 to 3 years in Feb, March or April, like it’s parents, this plant does the best growing in a confined space with good drainage. With proper care, this plant is long lived and can be handed down from generation to generation.

Critter of the Month – Northern Cardinal

Male Cardinalfemale cardinalThese birds do not migrate, and the female cardinal is one of the few female North American birds who actually vocalize in song. Most female North American birds do not sing. Their main food source is seeds and fruit, however they do supplement their diet with insects. The male is extremely territorial, but never more so then during mating time. He will even fight his reflection in a window for hours on end! The most common sound Cardinals are identified by is a metallic sounding “chip”. However, if you listen, you may also be privileged to hear clear, slurred whistled phrases of several phrase types which male and female combine into different songs.

Happy Holidays and Charity Promotion

Happy Holidays Phoenix

One of the real joys for the holiday season is the opportunity to tell you how much we appreciate your business, to convey our heartfelt thanks and to wish you and your family the very best in the coming new year!

With gratitude from the entire Goodman’s team, Season’s greetings and Happy New Year!

December Charity Discount and Donation

Purchase any service from Goodman’s this month with a subtotal of $300 or more and we’ll deduct and donate 10%* of your subtotal to the charity of your choice, or one of the top 10 ranked charities.

Top 10 Ranking info obtained from Charity Navigator at http://www.charitynavigator.org. You must be in our service area. Coupon value up to $500. May not be combined with other coupons. Expires 1/31/14

Happy Thanksgiving – Irrigation Part and Plant of the Month

Happy ThanksgivingWith sincere thanks and deeply felt gratitude to all of our customers, everyone at Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance join in sending you and your family our wishes for a bountiful and very Happy Thanksgiving!

We are grateful for all of the amazing work that everyone does here at Goodman’s and to our customers. We wouldn’t be here without your continued support!

Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)

Other names include: Mescal Bean, Texas Mescalbean, Frijolito, and Frijolillo. This evergreen shrub or small tree grows to about 12 feet high, it has smooth bark, and its dark green oval leaflets are 1-2 inches long. It blooms from February to April, and it produces Wisteria-like lavender-blue flowers in 4 to 8 inch clusters. The silvery gray 1 to 8 inch seed pods open when ripe exposing red seeds. These small tree often times produce multiple trunks. Keep them in full sun or light shade. They tolerate Arizona alkaline well-drained soils. When moving a Texas Mountain Laurel, make sure to not disturb the root ball.

Texas Mountain Laurel

All parts of the Texas Mountain Laurel are toxic, however it’s the seeds that pack the highest concentration. If ingested, among other symptoms, you can expect to see profuse salivation, weakness, impaired vision and a slow heart rate.

Why is it in our landscapes?

It’s small size, Wisteria-like blooms, grape Kool-Aid / grape bubblegum scent and overall ornamental appeal make it a popular plant for small spaces. Avoid planting in areas where children or pets spend unsupervised time.

Irrigation Valve Solenoid – Irrigation Part of the Month

A solenoid is a component of a solenoid valve. Its basic function is converting electrical energy to mechanical energy. A small electrical current is sent to the solenoid spring, causing the spring inside to essentially become a tiny magnet. Coiling tighter as a result of the magnetic field it pulls a tiny piston backward, sealing off the hole that allows air into the chamber. With the release of air pressure, a diaphragm is pushed aside by incoming water which passes through the valve to feed the irrigation lines. When the programmed amount of time ends, the electrical feed is halted and the process reverses. You can usually tell a solenoid is malfunctioning because it’ll make a distinct “click” and hum or vibrate when it is activated.irrigation valve solenoid

How to change a broken irrigation valve solenoid:

  1. Disconnect both wires connected to the solenoid.
  2. Turn solenoid counter-clockwise until free of the valve.
  3. Screw in new solenoid by turning clockwise, hand tighten only, be careful not to over-tighten.
  4. Connect both wires to new solenoid using waterproof wire caps.

Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance has full-time irrigation repair and installation crews that are ready to help you with your next project. Contact us to learn more about our irrigation services in your local Phoenix and Scottsdale area.

Top 3 Reasons to Purchase a “To Scale” Landscape Plan

to scale landscape design plan
What is a “To Scale” Landscape Design Plan?
Some landscape design contractors will provide an attractive landscape drawing for you to look at, however, when everything isn’t to scale, looks can be deceiving. For example, lets say that they provide a design that has 3 larger trees, 2 bushes, and a fountain. It may sound perfect, until everything is installed in your yard. Depending on how large your yard is, it could look too busy or it could look empty. Proportions are very important to understand when you are trying to visualize what your future landscape could look like. Another example is the amount of rock or grass to be used. In a drawing that isn’t to scale, you really have no idea how much rock or grass is actually going to be used. The contractor could potentially reduce the cost on his end by not providing you with the amount of rock you thought your yard was going to have.

Reason #1:
A “To Scale” landscape plan ensures that your vision and your landscape designer’s interpretation of your vision are congruent. If you have strong preferences about the look of your landscape (which I am sure most of you do), you want to provide your designer website and magazine pictures showing examples of what you want. Another good idea is to provide the designer with actual material samples. This will ensure that the preliminary design drawing is as close to the finished design drawing as possible. Most companies have a limit as to how many revisions are included in the price of landscape plan drawing. If you exceed that amount, there may be an extra charge for additional revisions, so it is best to clearly describe what you are looking for the first time the best that you can.

Reason #2:
When you have a to scale landscape plan you will be able to obtain apples to apples competitive pricing for the work. This is VERY important. If you don’t have a plan that spec’s out all the details, you may get lower pricing from some contractors, but that pricing will not be for the same amount of work or materials. It is best practice to get no more than three bids after you have done your research on the three companies by checking BBB statuses, licensing, reviews, and references.

Reason #3:
If you don’t have the budget to have all of the work completed at the same time, a landscape plan allows you to have the work done in stages. This will better allow you to maintain a cohesive look throughout the various stages. Make sure you have the work done in stages that make sense. For instance, you wouldn’t want to have all of the paver work done before the irrigation goes in. Experienced landscape contractors will be able to suggest possible stages and why they make sense. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and really understand why parts of the landscape need to be on hold while others are finished up. It is best to have all of the materials purchased in quantities needed to complete the entire project. You want to make sure that the materials used in the 1st stage are from the same batch, and are available at the 2nd or 3rd stage of the project. Otherwise, there could be noticeable differences in the materials or the supplier could run out, leaving your yard undone until they are able to get another shipment in.  Buying the materials in bulk also allows you take advantage of sales or volume discounts.

Have Goodman’s Landscape provide you with “to scale” landscape design plan for your backyard and receive $25.00 off. Save an additional $15.00 if you get the front yard landscape plan at the same time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultationThis offer can’t be combined with other offers and expires 12/31/2013.