1. When and how much do I water?
The ideal time to water is approximately 3am 4am. This time is best because
One of the first things to identify is the type of soil you have. There are two basic types here in North Central Texas: clay and sand. If you have clay, it holds water longer and requires less frequent watering. Over-watering is a larger cause of plant loss than under-watering. In sandy soil, the water percolates much faster; therefore, more frequent watering for shorter periods of time is needed.
Generally speaking, grass requires more water than shrubs and trees. Shrubs vary, and you should consult an expert for detailed advice if you are unsure. However, trees require deep, but less frequent, watering.
The ideal amount of time to water is based on the season, the weather conditions, and the soil type. A good place to start is one time per week for twenty minutes, in cooler weather. In the summer, two times per week for twenty minutes is usually enough. To ensure healthy plants, it is important to check the soil to avoid over- or under-watering.
2. How and when do I prune?
Many plants are lost due to poor pruning. Improper pruning can seriously alter the life expectancy of the plant. Each plant requires different pruning techniques. It is important to contact a professional if you have further questions.
See the Tips of the Month for the schedule of when to prune.
3. What is the cost of a landscape design?
Designs start at $300 and vary widely depending on the size of the area to be designed. An average lot runs approximately $800 for the front and back. The cost of a landscape design can not be applied to the cost of installation.
4. What is the process to receive a quote?
The property owner or manager meets with a James Landscaping, Inc. representative with a copy of their survey plot plan. It is then determined whether or not a computer-generated design is required. If a computer-generated design is not necessary, the proposal or quote is developed and returned to the customer within a few days. If a computer-generated design is necessary, the drawing is completed and an additional appointment is scheduled to discuss the approval or modification of the plan.
5. What is the length of time for a computer-generated design to be completed?
A computer-generated design typically takes one to six weeks, depending on the complexity of the design and the season.
6. What is the difference between a design and a proposal?
A proposal is an offer to perform specified tasks for a given amount. A design or a computer-generated design is a plan for a specified area, which would include scale, legend, and plant specifications.
7. What is the length of time to install the proposed work?
Most residential jobs are completed in two to three days per phase, depending on the type of work and the weather. Commercial projects will vary, depending on the size of the project.
8. Who will oversee the work?
A crew supervisor will oversee the crew on each job. This includes explaining to the crew the scope and requirements of the job, marking areas on which to work, approving materials. At the completion of each job, the customer's are consulted for final approval of the products and services.
9. What is low-maintenance landscaping?
Low-maintenance landscaping means that very little trimming and little, if any, fertilization are required. Pest problems are minimal. This type of landscaping is achieved through careful plant selection. It also has a more natural and less formal look. There are no “no-maintenance” landscapes. All landscapes have to be maintained to some degree.
10. What is xeriscape?
A xeriscape is a design with low-water-usage plants.
11. Why is it important to have a copy of my survey plot plan?
A survey plot plan is a copy of the footprint of your home on your plot. It is used to design the landscaping around your home, using exact measurements. The plan is the beginning piece of the design. It is necessary for accurate calculation of plant material, number of plants, size of patios and other structures. An accurate proposal (bid) and an asthetically pleasing design depend on proper scale.
12. What forms of payments do you accept?
We accept cash, check, MasterCard, and Visa.
13. Where do you get your workers?
We are very fortunate and have the same crew year after year. Most of our workers are hired through an H2B Visa program.
14. How are your designs created?
We develop our designs with computer-aided drafting software. This program allows us to adjust the designs to the customer’s request, provide multiple copies of the design, and create a visual plan for the final product and service. It is also easy to read and understand, with a color-coded legend.
Pond Related Questions:
15. Do you use bottom drains?
No, we do not use bottom drains. With rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond, bottom drains are unnecessary. Bacteria in the rocks and gravel will break down any debris that gets down to the bottom of the pond. Also, there is enough aeration coming from the BIOFALLS© and the waterfall to aerate the entire pond.
16. Do you use ultraviolet lights?
No, we do not use UV lights. We have found them to be unnecessary. If you follow the steps of the Aquascape Ecosystem and get the right balance of plants, rocks, gravel, fish, and bacteria, you will not need the UV light. We rarely ever have green water in ponds that we build. However, if we do, it clears up within a couple of weeks. UV lights will do nothing but get you into a cycle that works against nature instead of with nature.
17. Why do you put rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond?
We put rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond for a couple of reasons. The number one reason is for filtration of the pond. The rocks provide a huge amount of surface area for bacteria to colonize. The bacteria breaks down the fish waste and other organic debris that fall to the bottom. The second reason is to help lock the liner in place. The third main reason is aesthetic. Rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond are much more natural looking than having a black liner.
18. What is the recommended number of fish to put in the pond?
The maximum number of fish is one inch of fish for every square foot of pond surface area.
19. What is the recommended number of plants to put in the pond?
The goal in choosing the number of plants is to cover thirty to fifty percent of the surface. You want to have a good balance of plants. We recommend a combination of marginals, oxygenators, and lilies. You will want to have more marginals and oxygenators than lilies.
20. How quickly should the pump cycle the water through the pond?
You should try to turn the water over in the pond a minimum of once every two hours. Once every hour is the ideal turnover rate in smaller ponds. We calculate the optimum filtration rate for our clients.
21. How deep should the pond be?
An average size pond does not need to be more than two feet deep for fish and plants to thrive.
22. What do I do with fish in the winter?
You should leave them in the pond. If there is ice, make sure that there is something keeping a hole open in the ice, for air. Keep the water moving, and the fish will be unharmed.
23. Do you plant the plants in pots or directly into the gravel?
We plant all the plants except Lotus directly into the gravel. The plants grow much better in the gravel, because their roots will never get bound. This also helps the ecosystem, because the plants will be able to search out more nutrients by letting the root system travel through the gravel and rocks.
24. How often should I feed my fish?
We create balanced ecosystems. Fish feed off the algae in the pond. Fish can be fed for fun, but for correct balance of your pond this should be kept to once a day or less. Never feed them more than they can eat.
25. When should I start and stop feeding the fish?
Do not feed the fish when the water is cooler than 55 degrees. Cooler temperatures slow a fish’s metabolism, and the fish will not be able to process the food.
26. Where do I put the bacteria in the pond?
The bacteria should be sprinkled in front of the skimmer. This will make sure that the bacteria gets into the BIOFALLS© and the entire pond.
27. At what temperature should I start putting in the bacteria?
You should wait until the water temperature is above 50 degrees to start putting in the bacteria. Bacteria starts to really grow in temperatures above 65 degrees.
28. What is the difference between liquid and dry bacteria?
Dry bacteria is freeze-dried and concentrated. After three to four days in the water, it really starts to become active. Liquid bacteria is already alive and starts to work as soon as it is in the pond. It is not as concentrated, but it is faster-acting. Liquid bacteria is recommended for spring start-up and for combating green water. Dry bacteria is recommended for maintenance during the season.
29. Where should the water level be on the skimmer?
The water level should be three-quarters of an inch below the top of the skimmer opening. This is roughly at the second screw down from the top of the opening.
30. What happens to the plants in the wintertime?
Most hardy plants will die back and go dormant during the winter. The tropical plants need to be brought inside or treated as annuals.
31. How soon can I start putting fish in my pond?
We usually recommend waiting to put fish into the pond until three or four days after the pond is filled and running.
32. What kind of oil is in the Aquascape pump?
Nishiki white oil.