Bellinger’s Bark Blowing Service
Does mulch attract termites and carpenter ants?
Here’s what Dr. Rex Bastian, Ph.D., The Care of Trees, has to say about mulch in regards to pests. In the upper Midwest, termites are seldom found living outside of structures because most winters are too cold for termites to survive except when associated with heated structures. For this reason, it is highly unlikely that termites would infest any type of wood mulching material used in the landscape. Carpenter ants do not eat wood. They use decaying or solid wood as a base to build their tunnels in. A pile of wood chips does not have the structure necessary for carpenter ants to build a tunnel in.
Do I need to be home when you do the job?
No, you do not need to be home. We will get instructions prior to arrival as to which areas you want mulched. You may also leave us a note in the door with specific instructions. Payment will need to be arranged before the work begin if you are not planning on being home at the time of service. Payment is expected before we leave the site.
How long does it take?
This depends on the amount of mulch you have ordered. 7-10 cubic yards can take about two hours.
How much notice do I need to get on your schedule?
March through June is our busy season and we can easily be booked 2-3 weeks out. Later in the summer months, one week notice is sufficient. We always try our best to accommodate for unexpected occasions.
How much bark do I need?
When your landscape was initially installed a 3” layer was most likely put down. Every year 1” of mulch will break down into soil. Giving your beds at least 1”/year is sufficient, however, if you have skipped a year or two, you may need a 2-3” layer. See our “How to Estimate” page for instructions on measuring.
What kind of bark mulch is best for my landscape?
All of our products are good for your landscape plants. Any mulch is better than no mulch, so choosing the texture and color that you feel accents your landscape the best is entirely up to you. The mulch should not be the focal point of your landscape.
What can I do about my mulch fading to gray half way through the season?
All natural hardwood mulch will look good when first installed and stay nice for about 3-4 months. However, sunlight will eventually fade it to a dull gray color. Restoring the rich color requires stirring or fluffing the beds periodically when they fade Color-enhanced mulches will hold their color for 6-8 months. Bellinger’s Select is a blend of hardwood and recycled material which is enhanced with a chocolate brown dye and will hold its color for the entire season.
Do you deliver to homes as well as large commercial businesses?
Yes. In fact, we do more residential jobs than we do commercial. On an average, most homes require more than our 7 cubic yard minimum.
How far will your hose reach?
We carry 300’ of hose on board our truck and can bring along another 50’ if necessary. Most residential jobs will only require 200’. Let us know if you are an exception.
Do I need to do any preparation before the bark?
Pulling or spraying existing weeds, clean your beds of leaves and dead plants, prune shrubs, remove spent flowers and perennials, mechanically, chemically or hand edge the areas adjacent to the turf to create a sharp border are all things that will enhance the finished product. Bellinger’s can do all of these services prior to blowing in your mulch. Ask us for a quote.
How long does the bark last?
Depending on the type of mulch you have chosen and how much we put down initially, bark can last about two years. Most of our customers like a fresh layer put down every year to give their landscape a fresh appearance.
Are their chemicals in the bark that will hurt my plants or pets?
Our Eco hardwood has no chemicals. Our Bellinger’s Select and the color – enhanced mulches have a non-toxic dye which will not harm your plants or your pets.
Will bark blowing hurt my plants?
No. Our installers are careful not to blow directly on the plants that are delicate. Getting an early start in the Spring is helpful in getting the mulch put down before perennials emerge and annuals are planted.
Does blowing the bark make a mess?
Our highly trained staff cleans up the entire areas that we are mulching with blowers and brooms if there is any over spray. We blow off all window ledges, air conditioners, sidewalks, and driveways before leaving the site. Wet areas from irrigation or rain can make some of the dust stick to surfaces, however we do our best to blow these areas off. You may choose to wash some areas off with a hose.
Do I need to rake out the bark when you are finished?
No. Our finished job will be much nicer than can be done with a rake. We even get mulch in areas and under shrubs that you would never consider doing by hand.
Should I put down weed barrier fabric or plastic under the bark?
No. All bark mulches are organic in nature and will eventually break down into soil negating any effects of plastic or weed fabric. A 3” layer of mulch will provide as much weed control without the additional effort and expense.
Landscape / Landscape Design
Why should I work with a landscape designer?
Because a landscape designer spends their life thinking about the subject, they come to your garden filled with knowledge, creative ideas and imagination to develop a custom design that is uniquely suited to your home, lifestyle and personal preferences.
Landscape design is challenging from an artistic, environmental, architectural, and horticultural viewpoint. Unlike other art forms, a garden is not a static creation, but a dynamic, evolving ecosystem that requires continued inputs and energy over time. Its creation requires careful thought on different levels; botanically (which plants to choose), spatially (where to put what), seasonally (how will it look year-round?) and temporally (what will it look like in ten years?). A landscape designer factors all these things in and then adds an element of style that provides the spirit of the garden.
By spending time with a landscape designer to work through the design details during the planning phase, you will save money and time as it is less costly to consider the alternatives and change your mind on paper than it is during installation or after completion. Landscape design consists of a process that culminates in the creation of a set of documents that become your blueprint and information source for the project. These documents will assist you in obtaining your landscaping projection implementation costs through a landscape contractor to fully develop your site either in a single project or in phases over time.
What is the difference between a landscape designer, a landscape architect and a landscape contractor?
Landscape designers provide design ideas, conceptual plans and planting plans, but do not provide any structural analyses or engineering specifications for how things are to be built. Those details are subject to design by civil engineers, landscape architects or landscape contractors. Designers will likely know plants well and be able to provide horticultural advice/information. Hardscapes, such as pavers, retaining walls, and water features are often included in their plans to enhance the aesthetic sense of the design plan.
Landscape architects have undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in Landscape Architecture, are licensed by the state and are trained in designing and engineering the exterior built environment. They are qualified to create construction-ready plans with construction details for complex retaining walls, decks, arbors and water features.
Landscape contractors implement the plans of landscape designers and architects, as well as their own plans if they offer design/build services. Some landscape contractors have a horticulture background and others do not. Some contractors lack the time to design their own projects so they work in association with landscape designers and architects.
What is the benefit of professionally landscaping my home?
Not only will you increase the enjoyment of your property, you will increase the value of your home! The March 2003 issue of Smart Money, The Wall Street Journal Magazine of Personal Business, reported you can increase your home’s resale value by 15% by revamping your landscape. Money Magazine, May 2003 issue, states “The six most important words in yard improvement: curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal”
How much does it cost to create a design?
Design fee estimates are calculated on a project by project basis after an initial meeting at your site. Fees are dependent upon the size of the property, the scope and complexity of the project and range from $350 to $1,000.
How long does it take to complete the landscape design process?
The design phase of the process normally takes 2-4 weeks, depending on the complexity of the project, my design backlog and how frequently we can meet.
How far in advance should I begin planning my landscape?
Based on experience, I recommend beginning the design process for your landscape at least 1 month before you want your landscape installed.
What if I don’t like something you suggest?
Ideally, the design process is collaborative so that we work together to create a place of beauty and personal meaning especially for you. I listen carefully to your ideas and vision for the property and obtain as much input as possible from you about your goals, lifestyle and likes/dislikes through our dialog and completion of my client questionnaire. The more information you give me upfront, the better, i.e. photos you have collected of favorite gardens, plants, furniture, containers, etc. I then work to create a garden setting that meets your goals, reflects your aesthetic tastes and complements your house architecture and site character.
What happens when the design is finished and ready to be installed?
Bellinger’s is a design / build company; we would be able to assist you in all installation aspects of the landscape design
What will it take to maintain the investment I have just made in my new garden?
Even if you have requested a “low maintenance” garden, every garden requires some tender loving care to help it grow in and achieve its intended beauty. This can usually be accomplished with a combination of regular weekly maintenance and specialty services provided as needed throughout the year.
Proper maintenance of your garden includes water management through the seasons by adjusting your sprinkler timeclock, monitoring your irrigation system for coverage and repairs/adjustments needed, pruning young trees and shrubs for structure, deadheading perennials, weeding, periodic fertilization and bed clean-up (especially in the spring and fall).
How much does a typical installation cost?
Depending on the scope of your job, the location of your job, the size, soil composition, unique attributes, and products selected affect the price. Each job is bid to the specific requirements of the client.
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How long do installations normally take?
We strive to complete most typical residential applications such as driveways, walkways, and patios in two to three days. Pools, retaining walls and other larger jobs can vary. Many factors can affect job timeliness including weather, material availability, job access and conditions.
How long after installation can I use my patio or driveway?
Immediately after all of the installation steps are completed, including compaction and the sweeping in of jointing sand.
Can weeds grow through my patio or driveway? How do I get rid of them?
Weeds can not grow up from below the pavers surface. The growth of weeds and grasses results from airborne seeds. A household weed killer can prevent this if necessary.
Can I replace individual pavers if something was to chip or damage them, or I need access beneath them?
A paver or group of pavers can be removed and replaced if needed with minimal disturbance to the rest of the surface. If you have pavers that need to be replaced or serviced, contact us and we’ll gladly help you.
Will the paver colors fade?
Pavers Express uses only top quality products from Unilock, and Belgard. Unlike some pavers that have a thin “topcoat” our pavers are colored throughout the entire paver. Because of the suns ultraviolet rays some mild overall fading may occur over time.
I have an existing concrete walkway that is in good shape. Can I lay pavers over it?
Pavers can be laid on top of existing concrete walkways although it is not the preferred method. This process will raise the grade by about two inches (this includes the screening sand plus the thickness of the paver itself). Doorways are a particular consideration using this method
Can Bellinger’s install pavers that I buy myself?
Depending on the characteristics product and the intended application, we may be able to install your pavers. Please keep in mind pavers available at hardware stores or home improvement retailers are typically thinner – 40mm rather the 60mm or 80mm ICPI standard and may not conform to other ASTM standards. Most store bought pavers are not recommended for high traffic and vehicular applications. We pass our contractor volume discounts on to the client and buy pavers at very good prices.
How do concrete pavers compare to stamped or patterned concrete?
Patterned and stamped concrete is merely poured concrete stamped topically with a pattern. It is susceptible to all of the cracking, durability and maintenance problems as is regular concrete or asphalt. Stamped concrete also requires expansion joints every ten feet or more. These expansion joints can be very distracting in various patterns. Concrete interlocking pavers create a more uniform, durable, and aesthetically pleasing surface.
Do your products come with a guarantee?
We only use the highest quality of interlocking brick pavers and retaining wall products in America that meet or exceed ASTM standards. We provide a life time guarantee on the strength and structural integrity of our products, and 5 year labor & workmanship.
What is efflorescence?
Efflorescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon that causes a white lime deposit on the face of any concrete product. It has to do with leaching of salts out of the concrete matrix and depositing on the surface when the water evaporates. It is not considered a defect of the material. It has no adverse effect on the physical structure of the product, and will normally wear away naturally within a few days or weeks. It can be cleaned off with a number of commercial cleaners. It should not be confused with hard water stains, although both may require the same weathering or cleaning to eliminate.
Should I seal concrete pavers?
Sealing is not essential in many applications but it offers some benefits like making spills and stains easier to remove. Liquid sealers are applied after the pavers are installed and are cleaned. We can recommend cleaners for concrete pavers. Once applied, the sealers soak into the concrete and into the joints. The sealers in the joints help keep the joint sand in place and prevent weeds and ants
What type of base is required for my retaining wall?
A compacted, crushed aggregate base is required for all segmental retaining walls. The thickness will vary depending on the height of the wall and size of the block. A minimum 6″ base is recommended.
How high can a retaining wall be built?
Height limitations for walls without geogrid (called gravity walls) will vary, depending on the ype of Interlock Retaining Wall system.
What is geogrid?
Typically made of polypropylene, geogrid stabilizes the soil mass behind the retaining wall and ties the wall face to the earth being retained. Height of the wall, soil conditions, and surcharges (i.e., slopes or traffic above the wall) will effect the type, length, and placement of the geogrid.
What is used to back fill behind the wall?
The first 10 to 12 inches of fill behind the wall should consist of a ¾” clean angular aggregate. This will help reduce water pressure that can build up behind the wall. It is also recommended that a perforated drain tile be placed directly behind the wall at grade level to drain excess water.
Can steps be created out of retaining wall?
Yes, Steps are achieved by using the wall block as the risers and the coping or caps as the treads.