Thursday, April 27, 2017

Popular Mulch Choices for Delivery This Year!

Mulch is mulch, is it not? Not exactly. Mulch is a basic term for the subset of organic products used to adorn and protect the ground in your garden; mulch helps to keep plants’ roots warm and nourished while improving the condition of the soil and reducing overall water consumption. Hardwood bark mulch is a common choice among Gainesville VA homeowners, but there are other options to consider when planning your spring garden and beds.
Shredded hardwood mulch
Shredded hardwood mulch lends a seamlessly natural look to landscaped garden beds and wooded scenes; JK Enterprise Landscape Supply often recommends the use of shredded hardwood for creating paths and trails. Choose shredded hardwood for steep slopes and areas likely to flood, too, because this mulch isn’t all about aesthetics — providing a solid layer of protection against unwanted moisture.
Hardwood Mulch
Cedar mulch
Cedar mulch smells so good. As the wood’s natural oils break down, the air is filled with a pleasant odor, and what’s more: insects be gone! Cedar mulch is a great choice for Gainesville VA homeowners who struggle with termites and other infestation. You might choose to line delicate garden beds with cedar mulch, for its fine texture will never overwhelm your prize perennials.
Colored mulch
Usually made of hardwood and shredded, dyed mulch comes in red, black, or dark brown and is delivered bagged or bulk. Colored mulch really makes a statement.  Dyed and naturally colored wood mulch are equal in performance property.
Order online today!  You’ll be just in time to get your yard ready for Easter and then the hot summer (it’s coming!).

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Chimney Fires – Don’t Let it Happen to You

It's that time of year! All of your neighbors are calling and placing orders online for firewood delivery in northern Virginia. Of course we’re happy to send you the perfectly seasoned, neatly stacked firewood you expect.
But you have to be safe with it.
The first chimney fire in northern Virginia of the season was reported last week, and every year we see them happen to families across the area. What’s such a shame is that these fires are often preventable!
Chimney fires don’t need to happen.
There are some simple steps you can take to make sure your fireplace and chimney are safe to use in your home.
Our friends over at the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association have put together some guidelines for making sure your fireplace is safe to use and will avoid the danger of chimney fires.  You can get the entire fire safety report here.
Here are the highlights:
  • Have the chimney inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a professional chimney sweep to ensure it’s clear of obstructions and
    creosote.
  • Have a cap installed at the top of the chimney to avoid the possibility that debris or animals can block the chimney.
  • Install both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. (Make sure the batteries work.)
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of furniture, books, newspapers and other potentially flammable materials. (Two feet away is the minimum.)
Although LumberJake.com sells firewood online, natural wood burning fireplaces are not the only place danger may lurk this time of year. Gas fireplaces are also very common in houses across the area.
As with wood burning fireplaces, there are some precautions you should take with gas fed fireplaces too. When a service tech comes out to service your gas fireplace, here are the things they should inspect and adjust as needed:
  • Adjust millivolt output
  • Clean and adjust the glowing embers and logs for best appearance.
  • Clean the fan and related air circulation passages.
  • Clean the glass.
  • Check the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector.
  • Ensure the vents are unobstructed and able to do their job.
These common sense precautions will help avoid tragedy and make your winter season happy and warm!
Don’t forget to stock up on wood now – supplies will run low before long. Get a half cord of wood delivered so you have it for Christmas (Santa likes a nice warm fire, chimney climbing notwithstanding.)

Protect Your Garden When Winter Comes to Gainesville

Have you heard? HA. Right. Have you stepped outside? Brr! We’ve got that pesky polar vortex to thank for wind chills in the teens and an ice storm that threatens to disrupt holiday travel plans from Virginia to Maine. After a hot, hot summer and a warmer than average fall Gainesville VA homeowners are stunned with the early and sudden arrival of winter.
But perhaps no one, nothing is caught more unaware by winter’s first icing than the plants in your garden. Go on and bundle up; in advance of this weekend’s forecast extreme weather, take a few minutes to take special care of your landscape.

Keep your plants well hydrated.

Dry, winter conditions aren’t kind to human skin, nor to Christmas trees, shrubs, and other evergreen plants. As these plants continue to lose moisture through their leaves, less is available in the air — and so need watering more often. Well-hydrated plans are hardier and more likely to survive a hard freeze or ice.

Cover and protect your most fragile plants.

There are plants that will easily withstand whatever Mother Nature has in store, but others need a bit of added protection. Cover your flowerbeds with a healthy layer of hardwood mulch from JK Enterprise Landscape Supply, which helps trap moisture in the ground and keeps plants’ roots warm. Keep falling snow, ice, and sleet from penetrating the surface of the ground with a windscreen; this can be achieved with two stakes and a surface of burlap. Woven burlap allows air to pass, simultaneously trapping the warm air inside and allowing for proper oxygen flow unlike plastic tarping.

Spread your salt, but do it carefully.

Salt is an effective way to prepare steps and walkways before a winter storm, but it’s important to note that when spread too far and too wide, it can negatively affect the life of your plants and trees. Salt dehydrates. Minimize the risk by using a more environmentally friendly alternative like calcium magnesium acetate. CMA is both biodegradable and non-corrosive, and poses little to no risk to animals, plants, and the rust-prone metal underneath your vehicles.

Bring potted plants indoors.

This is necessary and should happen any time temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Perennials, shrubs, and trees that have spread roots underground find warmth from ground cover and wind barriers, but potted plants are far more vulnerable to damage from wind and ice. Bring them inside to bloom another day.

To learn more about protecting your garden when winter comes to Gainesville, and how premium hardwood mulch can help, contact JK Enterprise Landscape Supply at (703) 810-3654.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BENEFITS OF MULCH DELIVERY

There are few things that spruce up a property so quickly as a thick layer of mulch spread neatly around foundation plantings, perennials and trees. You can even add it in side yards and along pathways where grass can be thin and weedy.
In fact, once you start thinking about the places you can use mulch, you’ll realize that the little bags you’re buying just aren’t going to cut it. A large bag of mulch will only cover an area 3’x4’. That’s about the area under one dwarf tree.
Luckily, there is an alternative to hauling dozens of wet, dirty plastic bags in the trunk of your car– bulk mulch delivery.
The Benefits of Having Mulch Delivered
Mulch delivery is beneficial in many ways. First of all, there’s no tedious lifting and loading (then unloading) your car, and no multiple trips.
There are no wasteful plastic bags to dispose of, and we can deliver your mulch as close to the worksite as the dump truck can get. Trust us, you’ll appreciate it after the tenth wheelbarrow full.
There is a minimum order for bulk mulch delivery. It’s 10 cubic yards. It’s hard to visualize how much that is, but ten yards is enough to cover an area 30 ft by 36 ft, three inches deep. That might still seem like a tremendous amount, but when you’re outside, measurements seem very different.
Let’s do the math: say you own a ranch-style house with four-foot-wide foundation plantings on three sides (the fourth side is the driveway). The house measures 60 feet x30 feet.
(60×4)+(60×4)+(30×4)=240 + 240 +120 = 600 square feet, at three inches thick = 150 cubic feet or about 5.5 cubic yards. Don’t worry, we have a handy calculator for you to use, I’m just showing you the process.
That’s over half your truck load right there. If you have any trees or plantings in your yard, it won’t take too long to use up the rest, and you can always split a load with your neighbor. And if you have room to reserve a small pile, you won’t have to buy the bags to refresh your mulch next year.
It’s far more efficient, environmentally aware and just plain easier to have us drop off a truckload at your home. Call us today to schedule a delivery of the finest mulch money can buy! You won’t know how your home did without it.

TIPS FOR BUYING FIREWOOD

The nights, and even the days, are getting distinctly nippy, and even if you have a gas furnace, it’s cozy to have a fire going as the nights get chillier.
Luckily firewood is in great abundance locally. However, with the number of people selling firewood out of the back of their truck–literally– you can also get stuck with a bad batch if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
What to Look For in Firewood
You want two things in firewood, especially firewood you will be burning indoors: it must be seasoned (dry), and it must be hardwood.
The wood must be dry because when wood is freshly cut, it is up to 50% water by weight. Water, of course, does not burn, but must be heated up until it steams off to allow the wood itself to burn. Not only does this waste a tremendous amount of energy producing little heat, but it is very hard to do. Fires made with green firewood quickly smother themselves.
Additionally, because green firewood cannot burn very hot (having wasted so much energy steaming off the moisture) it causes a harmful chemical side-effect called creosote. Creosote is condensed volatile chemicals which are not fully burned off in a cooler fire. It forms in the inside of chimneys and stoves, and causes a fire hazard due to its flammability.
Creosote is also the reason for the second stipulation in firewood: Hardwood. Hardwood is wood from a deciduous tree; oak, elm, walnut, etc. Pine, on the other hand, is softwood, and softwood does not burn as hot as hardwood does, again, contributing to the formation of creosote.
How to Ensure Your Firewood is Seasoned
Unless you have amply storage space for wood, you will likely want to purchase only seasoned wood in order to be able to burn it this winter. If you do have ample storage space, though, it is often cheaper to buy green wood and dry it yourself.
Seasoned wood is not always easy to tell from green wood, but there are a few tell-tale signs. The first is weathering. At least some of the pieces will be a faded grey with the bark falling off.
There will also be deep cracks in the wood, called checking. Checking happens as the water evaporates off. Finally, when you clap two pieces of dried wood together, you should hear a hollow tchok, not a thud.
With this quick primer, your firewood buying should be simple and headache-free this winter.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Garden Care: Winterizing Vegetable, Annual and Perennial Beds

Lots of people have their lawns and their trees, and aside from raking in the fall and maybe winterizing their lawns [link] there isn’t too much yardwork, even in the fall. But if you like to garden, plant, prune, harvest and weed, there’s a lot of work to be done in the fall before you oil your tools and put them away for the winter.

Let’s look at the most common gardener’s chores

Putting the Vegetable Garden to Bed

The last of summer’s bounty has been eaten or stored away. But what do you do with the desiccated stems and leaves that bore your crop of squashes, potatoes, and corn? Likely, you already have a compost pile. But don’t add them to it right away! If you have any compost that’s ready to go, you’ll want to take it out first so that you can top-dress your beds. Then you can add all the leftover plant matter from your garden. Don’t leave it there, or you can harbor disease in your soil.

Once you’ve cleared the plant material away, and added the compost, you may want to check the pH of your soil. If it’s too acidic, add lime. If too alkaline, add sulphur. You will want to do this in the fall because it will take several months to take effect. The spring will be too late!

Some people do not till in the autumn, since some experts say excessive tilling damages the structure of the soil, hastening erosion. However, you need to turn the compost (and lime or sulphur) under, and I would suggest that planting a winter cover crop like annual clover will build the soil and prevent erosion. The benefits of putting in a cover crop in the winter far outweigh the damage of the tilling.

Cleaning out Perennial Beds

Perennial beds are the ultimate in easy care. Simply clean out the dead plant matter, and lay down mulch. There is one argument against this; if you want to encourage the overwintering of certain insects, it’s best to leave the spent plants standing, as many types of insects hibernate in the hollow stems or amongst the leaf litter.

If this is the case, do not mulch, either. Simply leave the plant material as it is. It will form its own makeshift mulch and you can remove it in the spring and mulch it then.

Cleaning out Annual Beds

Annual beds are everblooming, ever cheerful. Luckily, Virginia’s winters are often mild enough that some annuals even survive the winter. Autumn chrysanthemums can last into January, and it doesn’t seem like anything can kill the hardy pansy!
However, annual beds do need some care. Since the constant rotation of blooms wears out the soil, be sure to compost generously, or even add a slow-release fertilizer if you like. Cleaning up any debris and adding a nice layer of mulch will help your little flowers shake off the cold and snow.

These autumn chores will keep you busy during the gorgeous fall weekends, but that’s just what a gardener loves, isn’t it? A good excuse to be out in the garden.

Green Landscaping Tips

With all the talk about the environment, it can be daunting to think that you could have any effect on such a large problem. But as our grandparents used to say in the Depression-era, “Take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.” There are many simple steps you can take right in your own backyard to do your part for nature.

Think Hard About Your Lawn

Although a lush green lawn has been the pride of homeowners for many years, it evolved as a sign of conspicuous consumption (to own land that wasn’t grazed or cultivated) and remains so today. Of course, you don’t need to raise chickens on it! But your lawn likely costs you a lot: you probably water it, fertilize it, and mow it weekly with a gas-powered mower. You might even spray weed-killer or pesticides on it. That’s a lot of time, money, and energy put into one little plot of land.

Instead, consider alternative solutions. There is xeriscaping, a type of landscaping that involves putting down rocks and gravel and a few plants that require little water. You can turn your lawn into a garden or orchard to feed your family and share with your neighbors. Or, you can simply plant it with low-maintenance perennials, trees and shrubs so that you spend the minimal time on yard work. Lawns, attractive as they are, are one of the most high-maintenance yard installations.

Be Water-Conscious

Though we get a lot of rain in Virginia, most people see it as a nuisance. You likely water your plants fairly regularly, but in most cases, plants could be self-maintaining. The trick is to get the water to stick around.

Most homes make sure water slopes away from them, and for good reason. But with a rain garden, you can capture much of that precious rain before it pours into the storm drains. The rain garden will create a reservoir of water in your soil that your whole yard will benefit from.

You can also set up rain barrels to capture the runoff from your gutter. If you install drip irrigation hoses from them you can ensure that you water with the deep soaking that is best for plants.


“Green” landscaping is not difficult or expensive. In fact, many of these solutions are “install and forget it” fixes. Try it for yourself and see!