A perfect landscape is the beginning of a warm welcome to your Central Pennsylvania Home or Business property. Replace your ordinary lawn that is being destroyed by hungry grubs and pesky moles with a lush grassy carpet perfectly manicured around Burning Bush Hedges, White Rhododendrons or aromatic Joseph Coat Roses surrounded by garden mulch that will maintain your plants moisture, keep weeds out and keep dirt from splashing onto your flowers, shrubs or walkways.
While visiting our website you will learn more about landscaping such as the difference in softscaping and hardscaping, watering your plants, how to beautifying your property with various types of stones such as pavers, flagstones or granite, understanding the use of color, form, line, scale and texture when planning your landscape, how to battle weeds, snow removal, the measurement of a cord of wood and several types of construction projects we do including decks, patios and retaining walls.
Imagine pulling into your driveway after a long day at Hershey Medical Center or M&M Mars. Your eyes meet the flowing decorative grasses whisking along side your stone paver stairway curving up to your front door. What a Welcome Home!
After taking a moment to shake off the day’s stresses you can begin to relax in front of a cozy fire with a variety of wood that has been cut, split and delivered.. While getting wood for the night you wander over to the babbling waterfall flowing into the shimmering pond where Kio and beautiful water lilies abound.
You will never have to worry about mowing, edging or raking autumn leaves again as we can maintain your entire home or business property leaving you more time to spend with your family floating on the Susquehanna River, golfing with your friends at Silver Springs or sipping tea alone at the Lavender Patch.
Since we also do snow removal you can put on your coat and boots to build a snowman or go snow boarding at Ski Roundtop. No need to worry about plowing, shoveling or chiseling any longer so enjoy a steamy cup of Hershey’s Cocoa after your day of fun and play.
Take comfort in knowing that Jeff as well as his crew are fully insured and will take care of all your landscaping needs winter, spring, summer and fall. You can always count on us to improve and maintain your outdoor surroundings in Pennsylvania cities such as Harrisburg, Lancaster, Elizabethtown, York and all around.
“We Specialize in Retaining Walls and Patio Creations”
Free Estimates ~ Fully Insured
Once you’ve seen our landscaping work and gaze upon one of their finished masterpieces you realize it takes a whole lot more than a piece of paper to complete a job. The certificates below are rarely asked for and in some cases not even required however Jeff has taken the time to know his product as well as the product requirements. Many of us walk by a freshly laid concrete sidewalk itching with temptation to stick our hand print or two little initials in to that smooth finish to live on forever in that path. What few of us realize is the true art that cement laying requires. Taking raw cement,sand, gravel and water from a runny mess to a finished pathway or wall that will stand the time and weather of Central Pennsylvania is a true art form that requires a lot of skill and knowledge.
Our mowing service includes line trimming, edging and blowing. We trim or edge along foundation of your home or office, fence lines, trees, flower beds, sidewalks and curbs. Our powerful blowers add the finishing touch by removing debris from the hard surfaces around the landscape of your Central Pennsylvania home or business property.
Frequent mowing helps a lawn resist weeds, insects and disease. Infrequent mowing causes too much grass to be removed at one time. Infrequently mowed grass also produces a lawn that looks thin, spotty or burned. Mowed_Lawn_2.jpgAs a general rule, we never cut more than one-third of the length of your grass at a time.
Most cool season grass types such as fescue and bluegrass have a recommended cutting height between 2 and 3 inches. We generally cut grass at 3 inches because a lawn cut at this height will have a deeper root system and be more resistant to weeds and disease than shorter cut grass.
Mulching vs. Bagging
Mulching your clippings is an excellent way to return valuable nutrients to your lawn. Finely cut clippings contain approximately 80% water, 5% nitrogen, 1% phosphorous and 2% potassium. The nitrogen component of grass clippings can provide about one-third of the yearly nitrogen requirement of a lawn. On the other hand, bagging clippings eliminates these valuable nutrients from your lawn.
We sharpen the blades on our machines regularly so that your lawn receives the absolute cleanest cut possible. Dull mower blades will not only make your grass appear jagged and uneven they will also make your lawn more susceptible to disease. By sharpening our mower blades regularly we help prevent such things from happening. Clients with smaller properties will be pleased to know that all of our mowing crews are equipped with various sizes and types of state of the art machinery so that they can cater to the specific needs of each individual site.
We use the safest methods to protect your property, family, pets and the environment. The result is a healthy, beautiful lawn, which resists harmful diseases and insects. There are four facets to our Lawn Care Program. We have five fertilizer treatments throughout the growing season. These treatments supply all the necessary nutrients at the appropriate times needed to maintain a vigorous turf (nitrogen, phosphorus, & potassium). We also have treatments devoted to weed control. These treatments will control annual grassy weeds as well as all broadleaf weeds.
Weed management in landscape plantings is often difficult due to the complexity of the planting that’s another great reason to choose Interstate Design Landscaping. We can do all the work so you can spend more time with your family and friends. Our commercial lawn care will keep your clients visually pleased as they enter your business as well as maintaining a safe walkway and parking area. Usually more than one species is planted in the landscaped area and there is a mix of annual and perennial ornamentals. The great variety of ornamental species, soil types, slopes, and mulches creates the need for a variety of weed management options. When developing a weed management plan for an existing planting or after an installation is in place, consider the type of plants present (woody plants can tolerate herbicides that would injure an herbaceous plant) and the weeds present and their life cycles (annual, biennial, perennial). Weed control options in the landscape include hand weeding and cultivation, mowing, mulching, and chemical control. All of these methods are used at one time or another in landscape maintenance operations. After elimination by hand-pulling, cultivation, or a post-emergence herbicide application, the growth of annual weeds can be discouraged with mulches and/or preemergence herbicides.
Cultivation and Hand-Weeding
Cultivation (hoeing) and hand-weeding selectively remove weeds from ornamental plantings. These methods are time-consuming and expensive, and must be repeated frequently until the plantings become established. Cultivation can damage ornamentals with shallow roots, bring weed seeds to the soil surface, and propagate perennial weeds. When cultivating, avoid deep tilling, as this brings buried weed seeds to the soil surface, where they are more likely to germinate. Perennial weeds are often propagated by cultivation and should be controlled or removed by other methods. Frequent hand removal of weeds when they are small and have not yet set seed will rapidly reduce annual weeds. If weeds are scattered at a site, hand-weeding may be the preferred management method. Hand-weeding can be time-consuming and costly but should be included in all weed management programs to keep weeds from seeding. Young weeds also can be controlled with small flaming units. Propane burners are available to rapidly pass over young weeds to kill them. A quick pass over the plant is all that is necessary; do not burn the weed to the ground. Flaming is more effective on broadleaf weeds than grasses. Be careful not to flame over dry vegetation or dry woods chips.
Mowing can be used to prevent the formation and spread of weed seeds from many broadleaf weeds into cultivated areas by cutting off flower heads. However, weeds that flower lower than the mowing blade are not controlled. Repeated mowing tends to favor the establishment of grasses and low-growing perennial weeds. Mowing of some ground covers can rejuvenate them and make them more competitive against weeds.
A mulch is any material placed on the soil to cover and protect it. A mulch suppresses annual weeds by limiting light required for weed establishment. Many types of landscape mulches are available. The most common are bark and other wood products, and black plastic materials. Other products that are used include paper; yard compost; hulls from pecan, cocoa, or buckwheat; municipal compost; and stones. Organic mulches include wood chips, sawdust, yard waste (leaves, hardwood or softwood bark chips or nuggets. Bark chips have moderate particle size (1/5 to ½ inch) and moderate to good stability, while bark nuggets have larger particle sizes (1/2 to 2-1/2 inches) and excellent stability, over time. These materials can be used in landscape beds containing herbaceous or woody ornamentals. The thickness or depth of a mulch necessary to adequately suppress weed growth depends on the mulch type and the weed pressure. The larger the particle size of the mulch, the greater the depth required to exclude all light from the soil surface. Coarse-textured mulches can be applied up to 4 inches deep and provide long-term weed control. Fine-textured mulches pack more tightly and should only be applied to a depth of about 2 inches. If too decomposed, the mulch may serve better as a weed propagation medium than as a means of prevention. Plan to periodically replenish landscape mulches, regardless of particle size, because of decomposition, movement, or settling. If seedlings germinate in mulches, a light raking or hoeing will remove the young weeds. Inorganic mulches, which include both natural and synthetic products, are generally more expensive and less widely used in the landscape. Natural inorganic mulches are stable over time and include materials such as sand, gravel, or pebbles. Most of these products are used in public and commercial plantings. If using a rock mulch, consider placing a landscape fabric underneath it. The fabric creates a layer between the mulch and soil, preventing rock pieces from sinking into the soil. The fabric prevents soil from moving above the rock layer, which would bring weed seed to the surface. Black plastic (solid polyethylene) has been used underneath mulches to improve weed control. It provides excellent control of annual weeds and suppresses perennial weeds, but lacks porosity and restricts air and water movement. For this reason, black plastic may not be the preferred long-term weed control method in landscape beds.
Herbicides for Landscape Plantings
Herbicides have been effectively used in many landscape plantings and are most often integrated with the cultural practices discussed above. Generally home gardeners should not need to apply herbicides to existing landscape plantings. Hand-weeding and mulch should provide sufficient control and avoid hazards to desirable plants associated with herbicide use. Some herbicides like metolachlor (Pennant) do not absorb well to soil organic matter. If there are large-sized particles in the mulch, the herbicide may not get to the soil under them. Products like oxadiazon (Ronstar) and oxyfluorfen (Goal) that require a continuous surface layer must be placed on the soil surface under the mulch.
Avoiding Herbicide Injury
Because of the close proximity of many different species of plants in the landscape, herbicide injury may occur, resulting in visual plant damage. Granular formulations of preemergence herbicides are less likely to cause injury than sprayable formulations. Using a granular formulation reduces the potential for foliar uptake, but granules will injure plants if they collect in the base of leaves. Apply nonselective herbicides such as glyphosate with low pressure and large droplets on a calm day. Use shielded sprayers when making applications around ornamentals to avoid contact with nontarget plants. Herbicide injury to established plants from soil-applied chemicals is often temporary, but can cause serious growth inhibition to newly planted ornamentals. Injury may result when persistent herbicides are applied to surrounding areas for weed control in turf, agronomic crops, or complete vegetative control under pavement. Activated charcoal incorporated into the soil may absorb the herbicide and minimize injury. Usually it just takes time for the herbicide to completely degrade. To speed degradation, supplement the organic content of the soil and keep it moist but not wet during periods of warm weather. Herbicide injury symptoms vary according to plant species and the herbicide and can include yellowing (chlorosis) and/or bleaching, root stunting, distorted growth, and the death of leaves.
Pruning is the selective removal of parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots. Reasons to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping (by controlling or directing growth), improving or maintaining health, reducing risk from falling branches, preparing nursery specimens for transplanting, and both harvesting and increasing the yield or quality of flowers and fruits. The practice entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants.
Aeration is simply a method of punching holes into the turf to allow moisture, oxygen, and nutrients to penetrate the soil. Aeration reduces soil compaction, enhances thatch breakdown, improves water infiltration, improves the response to fertilizer, improves soil composition, maximizes turfgrass rooting, and most importantly makes a lawn less susceptible to damage from weeds, insects, drought and disease.
Aeration may be overlooked when trying to restore a lawn but is vital to bring it back to health. It improves drainage and reduces puddle formation.
Overseeding - Power Seeding & Sodding
Overseeding lawns is just what it sounds like. Namely, you’re sowing seed over existing grass, in order to fill in the bare patches or to thicken your existing grass. Therefore, overseeding lawns makes sense only if the existing grass is healthy enough and abundant enough to be worth keeping. If you currently have only 50% coverage, it would be best to have us tear up the old lawn and start a new lawn from seed.a lawn but is vital to bring it back to health. It improves drainage and reduces puddle formation.
Power seeding is the process of cutting rows into the soil and planting our high quality grass seed in the rows. Power seeding is an extremely effective method of filling in bare areas or making a spotty lawn more lush. We recommend power seeding for those lawns that appear thin or spotty.
Sodding is the process of applying strips of turfgrass to prepared soil, to create an “instant” mature lawn. Sodding can be done at anytime of the year however we do not recommend the dead of Pennsylvania Winter. This is an excellent way to instantly transform the appearance of your landscape. Interstate Design Landscaping uses only the best quality sod available. Beware of cheap sod! Poor quality sod may have poor root systems and be full of noxious weeds that will do more harm than good in the long run.
Pennsylvania’s Autumn leaves are beautiful to look at but they’re not so pretty when they are piled up on your lawn. Excess leaves can restrict sunlight, nutrients and water from reaching your lawn. As a result your lawn can suffer from disease, insects and overall stress.
Stop spending countless hours of your free time raking leaves. Let us take care of those pesky leaves for you. Not only will we remove the leaves from your lawn and landscape areas we’ll also take the leaves with us when we are finished.
Soil Testing & Analysis
To achieve a fertile soil you must first determine what nutrients are in short supply or are out of balance. The soil pH must be examined to make sure it is within a desirable range which is between 6.3 to 7.0 for most plants. The organic matter content must also be checked. Soil testing is the only effective method to determine the condition of your soil and achieve a fertile living soil that will be able to provide the best environment for your landscape and garden.
There are two basic methods of soil testing. The first is to do it yourself by purchasing a soil test kit from a local nursery, hardware store, or mail order garden catalog. Kits test for the three major nutrients used by plants (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) as well as pH. The directions are simple and included with the kit. Making your own recommendations is not so easy. The second way would be to send your soil off to a lab which still leaves you with the quandry of what to do once you have the results.
To make your life easier and your lawn and garden healthier the best solution is to just call us from the start. We will test your soil, make recommendations and upon your approval we will formulate a custom fertilizer blend that will maintain the health of the soil in your lawn and garden to yield a soil with abundant beneficial organisms that are capable of growing healthy, pest resistant plants..
A soil fertility program should feed the soil not the plant. By creating a fertile soil you will grow healthy, pest resistant plants. As a result the need for costly pest control services is reduced. Specialty fertilizers such as lawn food, rose/flower food and vegetable food) are designed to only feed the plant and ignore soil fertility.
A successful landscape or garden maintenance program strives to create a fertile soil. The goal of a sustainable fertility program is to create a favorable environment for plants and millions of beneficial organisms. These microscopic organisms assist plants in obtaining moisture and nutrients. Many of these creatures help resist drought and fight off a variety of pests including weeds, diseases and harmful insects.
Disease & Insect Control
If you even think there might be a disease or invasive insect call us right away. Diseases and insects can devistate a landscape quickly
For both insects and diseases, regular scouting and monitoring of the landscape is important. The landscape manager should check plants regularly for disease symptoms such as wilting, stunting, galls and abnormal growths, foliar spots, lesions, chlorosis, etc. Insect infestations will also show symptoms such as chewing, leaf mining and signs of the pest including residues such as honeydew, webbing and feces, etc. Unfortunately, symptoms of insect damage are sometimes similar to those of disease as well as those associated with poor cultural practices such as over watering, environmental factors such as pollution, and damage by human activity such as damage to tree bark caused by mechanical means (mowers, trimmers).
Sometimes humans cause initial damage through carelessness that can invite secondary invaders such as insects and diseases. The first step to solving any problem is proper monitoring and assessment of the problem and cause. Correct and timely identification will not only save the plant material, but also save time, money and the otherwise unnecessary use of pesticides.
Tree & Shrub Care
We provide tree and shrub care to homeowners as well as commercial, institutional, government and historic properties in Central Pennsylvania. We have expertise in tree and shrub care and are ready to help you maintain a healthy, safe and beautiful landscape. Services include pruning, fertilizer, disease diagnosis, insect and mite treatment, restorative tree care, removal and more.
Now is the time to contact a tree care professional that can help get your trees, shrubs and lawn looking their best. We can inspect the condition of your landscape and make tree care recommendations to preserve the curb appeal and value of your trees and shrubs. You can make sure trees and plantings are beautiful, healthy and safe all season long.
Fencing & Retaining Walls
When it comes to fences, whether for privacy, security, children or pets, we can make it happen. Gates that are designed for your equipment to pass through and should be considerate during the planning stages, before it’s too late. What ever type of fence it needs to add to your landscape in addition to accomplishing your practical needs.
Retaining walls are an ideal way to alter topography and manage water drainage. There are many types of retaining walls to consider including type of construction, materials to be used and esthetic value that will be added to your home, business or organizational property. The primary consideration should be the type of footing for the terrain and height. The specific uses are unlimited. In the case here the retaining wall served a variety of purposes such as pulling excess rainwater away from the home by adding drainage pipes under the retaining wall that exists, without being seen, on the outer end to the right of the wall. It also created an area so the pool and patio are now level with the home as well as producing a fenced in area for additional safety and beauty.
Dry Stack Walls
Dry Stack Walls are a fantastic contrast to the planted or softscape aspect of your flower garden, pathway edge or around trees. Dry Stack Walls provide an outstanding background or define specific elements of your overall landscape. There is a lot to think about to make the choice of rock that will be used on your project. First you must decide how large you want your wall to be to make the right stone selection. If you are looking for a tall dry stack wall you may want to consider flagstone (offers a variety of colors), lichen sand stone (also offers several color choices) or block rock (usually tans and browns) as they are generally flatter and easier to chisel. If you prefer river rock (mostly shades of grays) which is typically rounder you may want to consider using them in situations where little retention is needed and where ground cover plants can take root in the larger joints.
Water is one of the most interesting and dramatic elements to include in a garden. A trickling stream or a tranquil pond bring forth all that can be enjoyed each and every day when placed within your sight. It takes a lot of effort and skilled oversight to create water features that are truly inspirational. To imitate natural waterfalls and pools we select stone with realistic proportions and attractive form and patina and position them in credible rhythm with the environment.
So that our clients can enjoy their water features in all seasons, we take care to use stable, frost-free foundations of steel-reinforced concrete in most cases, securing the stones so they will not dislodge during the natural Central Pennsylvania winter frost.
Decks and Patios
A well constructed deck or patio can add more room to your home while adding to its beauty and value. A summer Barbeque is so much more fun when you can enjoy it out back on your newly constructed deck. We know how critical it is to build decks correctly for the safety of you, your family and your guests. Incorrect construction can cause rot to the deck or connected structure, or collapse under heavy or uneven loads. Joist hangers used on a fix structure, such as the house is the best solution. However, a freestanding deck will not cause leaks on the structure it’s attached to.
Remember, connecting the deck to columns or posts, and the floor joists correctly are critical. Also, the spacing of the vertical uprights for the hand rails must be small enough so toddlers can’t fall through or get their heads stuck between them. To lay out a patio properly it is very important to maintain a level working area so that the pavers, bricks or stones last through the years without coming apart or becoming un-level. There is no need to worry about any of that once Jeff is on the job. From beginning to end we take special care to maintain your new decks or patios beauty, versatility and safety so it will last a lifetime!