Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Retaining Wall Blocks: Cost-Effective and Attractive

Hardscaping is a tried and true way to add elegance, drama, and easy-maintenance, usable area to your yard. Our chosen suppliers are CST and Belgard, two large and reputable retaining wall and patio system manufacturers.

First, it has to be said, these supplies are not only higher quality, but more economical than the blocks you will get at a big box store. In addition to being made of higher-quality concrete, the quality of engineering is unmistakable. Retaining walls are self-draining, self locking, and require relatively little in the way of footings, reducing the cost of the project.

Planning Your Installation

If you are thinking of installing a patio system, retaining wall, raised planters, driveway entrance, accent wall, or any combination of these, take the time to think big. It is much easier to install and engineer everything at once than it is to add to it later, especially when you take into account the extra landscaping.

Check with your local building codes to see if there are any special requirements. Some larger projects require the supervision of an engineer, and others need to have the plans and work inspected.

If your design skills are not up to the task, there are various professionals to assist you, from landscape designers to architects. Come into our showroom at JK Enterprises and we can let you know what you need to get started, and get a feel for which types of stone, and which company’s products you will be using in your design.

Worth the Effort

A hardscape retaining wall or patio is a proven way to add value to your home, not to mention how much more enjoyable it becomes to live in, with the warm stone textures, the graceful curves, and the easy maintenance. Best of all, retaining wall stones and pavers can be integrated into any style and construction, from a sprawling ranch, an elegant antebellum or a quaint Cape Cod.

A patio can mean more al fresco dinners with family and friends, retaining walls can rescue portions of your property you were at a loss to maintain, and the look and feel of the rich warmth and texture will give your home an air of sophistication and old fashioned civility.

We’d be happen to show you around the showroom to give examples of what can be done. Let us know what you’re thinking; we love to make dreams a reality.

3 Things to Know Before You Buy Mulch

Few things are better for your garden or yard than an ample layer of mulch. Mulch shades roots from too much heat, prevents evaporation and erosion, and its decomposition feeds the microbes in the soil, keeping it rich and healthy.
But what should you know before you get out the wheelbarrow and the rake?


What do you know about the quality of mulches? It’s pretty tough to tell what exactly, is shredded up in there. So make sure you purchase mulch from reputable dealers or greenhouses. The mulch available at gas stations and the like might be construction debris, which can have numerous chemical additives.


There are hundreds of types of mulches, and like anything else, much depends on where and how you plan to use it. Vegetable gardens, for instance, had best have something fluffy and light, like straw. Not only will it discourage the weeds, but it helps keep the soil from compacting, which is bound to happen when you need to tromp back there every day to collect your harvest.
A good general landscaping mulch is shredded mulch, any type, from pine to cedar to hardwood. It’s particularly good with perennial beds, since it won’t pose too much of a problem when you need to dig in there occasionally. It’s also fine for use under trees, but, since smaller particles break down faster, they will need refreshing more often. If you want to save yourself some labor, you can put wood chips or nuggets under trees. But keep them away from anywhere you need to dig, because they are really no fun to dig through.


Mulch comes in 2 cu. foot bags or in truckloads by the yard. It is always cheaper in bulk, but there are a few reasons you might want it by the bag.
Bags are easy to handle. If the idea of shovelling the wheelbarrow full, hauling it to where you need it, and then emptying it carefully around your beautiful plants holds no allure for you, bags might be the way to go. Bags are also ideal if you have no place to dump a truck full of shredded bark, or if you live somewhere that delivery costs would be prohibitive. Finally, you might want it by the bag if you have just a small garden that only needs refreshing.
For almost any other circumstances, bulk is the way to go. At JK Enterprises, we have both bulk and bagged mulch, and we can help you figure out the best way to go. Just give us a call at 703-352-1858.