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Report from Soil Biology School

One of the things I love about winter is that I get to meet with scientists, professors, and researchers and learn more about the ever-changing landscaping world. To use the tools, the microscopes, etc. that they…read more
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The Difference Between Pavers and Concrete

The look of concrete and pavers may be comparable, but the difference becomes clear when measuring costs, durability and maintenance.

If you have begun a landscaping project, you may now be wondering how you are going to deal with the walkway. Which is better concrete or pavers? What is the difference? What is the best situation or set-up for each? The main differences are going to be in cost, upkeep, durability and installation. Of course, the overall aesthetic will factor into the design of a garden or backyard, but it is possible order beautiful concrete or pavers. Focus first on what will work best in your budget as well as what will be most functional in your space. Things like good drainage or permanence make affect your decision making process more than a stamped design or complimentary color.

Installation for concrete slabs is quite a bit easier, but the material does take longer to set and dry. This process will include elements like evacuating the designated area and leveling it out. Then, the foundation and setting forms must be done before pouring the concrete. Be sure to pay special attention to the grading before laying anything. A shoddy job may result in major and costly repairs later. Conversely, paving stones is much more labor intensive. It includes all the preparation steps of concrete and more. However, the stones are ready for immediate use after being laid.

Concrete is also easier to maintain when compared to pavers. It can retain stains from things like motor oil, but with regular pressure washing, this will not likely be a huge issue. Plus, slabs can be coated with a protective sealant, which will prevent stains and lessen the need to pressure wash. Unfortunately, cracks may happen as the Earth naturally shifts, which may mean high long-term costs. Pavers require little care, but the stone joints and grooves must be weeded and cleaned. When the ground beneath moves, individual pavers can be reworked or replaced more easily than a concrete slab repair.

When looking at the cost differences between concrete and pavers, look holistically. Include maintenance and installation in your budget. Overtime, concrete will need to be resealed, washed and fixed when cracked. Pavers will also need weeding, cleaning and occasional replacing. Concrete firms may have a minimum size work order limitation, which can result in pavers being the cheaper alternative. However, typically pavers will be more costly because it is more labor intensive. Keep in mind that stamped concrete will likely be comparable in price to pavers and a traditional concrete slab will have greater long-term costs. To learn more about pavers in Morgan Hill, please visit this website.

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Sandy Soil

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Soil can be composed of a range of material such as sand and clay. Sand typically has a high concentration of quartz and sandy soil is hospitable to certain crops like peaches and peanuts.

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What Exactly is Sand?

Sand can be composed of many minerals, but quartz is the most common. Many industries and homeowners use sand to accomplish a variety of tasks.

Sand is generally defined as being coarser than silt and finer than gravel. Silt is the sediment found in certain bodies of water and is often smooth to the touch. When dry, it may resemble flour and it is slippery when found wet. Gravel is composed of many small pebbles and rocks. Sand on the other hand lies between these two extremes. It can be coarse or fine depending on preference or location. The material naturally occurs all over the world, though it is closely associated with desserts and beaches.

The exact composition of naturally occurring sands will vary from location to location. Generally, quartz will make up the bulk of sand’s minerals. Quartz is found in most rocks and is extremely weather resistant. This allows it to survive the extreme conditions of dunes, bedrocks and beaches more successfully than other minerals. Beaches and dunes tend to have the highest quartz concentrations while the bedrock will usually have more variety and a high percentage of angular grains. However, particles tend to be anywhere from 0.0625 millimeters to 2.05 millimeters in diameter.

When people think of a pristine beach, they probably see nearly white beaches and aquamarine waters. That particular type of sand has high concentrations of limestone, which gives it that chalky look. Conversely, the white sands of New Mexico have gypsum instead, though they are also famous for a stark white hue. The pink sands found in the tropics have small pieces of coral and shell fragments, which why they give off that soft cherry color. Magnetite sands are dark or almost black, while green beaches derive from a chlorite-glauconitic based composition.

Sand has many uses around the world. Industrialized nations use various types of the material for agriculture and building materials. Certain crops such as peaches, peanuts and watermelons do very well in sandy soils. Dairy farmers also enjoy the optimal drainage benefits of sand-based earth. Additionally, construction firms use large volumes of sand for concrete, mortar and brick. Each of these products has a heavy sand composition. In fact, it is a critical ingredient for these common building materials. Glass is also made almost entirely out of heated grains.

Many homes use sand for landscaping or gardening purposes. Sand gardens can be beautiful and tranquil additions to a backyard. Sand-based soil can do well in some home gardens, though many parents use the relatively soft material to fill sandboxes or designated children’s areas. Homeowners may use the material to clean or polish the house via sandblasting. To learn more about sand in Gilroy, please visit this website.

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Creative Landscaping

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Landscaping materials can be used in the most creative ways you can imagine. You can easily build a walkway or lovely feature walls for small gardening nooks.

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Landscaping Ideas To Suit Your Outdoor Theme

When landscaping your yard or patio, consider adding some stonework, color, and a focal point to the space. These three elements, when made to match the project’s theme, can create a cohesive aesthetic.

One of the best ways to make the most of your yard is to landscape it in such a way that it is inviting. If you are looking to begin an improvement project in your yard, you may be wondering where to start. Whether you are looking to design an outdoor leisure paradise, a dining patio or other landscaping project, be sure to take the time and get the project done right. Three ideas that may be helpful to keep in mind when landscaping and improving your yard are stonework, color, and focal points. These features can be made to fit any outdoor theme that you might have in mind.

Quality stonework never goes out of style, and is also quite long lasting. Adding a patio area, stone retaining wall or even just stepping stones throughout the lawn can be an attractive touch to your new yard. When arranged into a path, the stones can also serve to invite people to explore the yard or garden, enjoying the rest of the landscaping and natural beauty in the process. Stonework can come in a number of different cuts and colors, which means that you can pick and choose the look that best suits the yard’s overall aesthetic.

A touch of color can brighten up any yard and make it visually appealing. There are several ways that you can add color to your landscaping project. It could take the form of vibrant flowers or sculptures, or even a fish pond. For a more romantically-themed yard, rosebushes can be especially appropriate.

Finally, a focal point can bring the entire project together, and moreover allows you to capitalize on your outdoor theme. Visual diversity can draw the eye in an effective way, so be sure to consider including a subtle mix of colors and shapes, whether in the stonework, landscaping or otherwise. Contrast keeps your outdoor space form being dull, and can also serve to emphasize a given feature of the design, such as a gazebo or dinette set.

In the end, landscaping your dream yard, garden or patio comes down to forming a cohesive theme and aesthetic. Be sure to keep in mind these three key landscaping ideas when planning your project, because they can make a great deal of difference for the finished product. High quality stonework, a touch of color, and a focal point can serve to make your project a complete success, leaving you to sit back, relax and enjoy your transformed outdoor space.

For more information about landscaping materials in San Jose, to spruce up your yard, visit this website.

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Plowed Clay Soil Ready for Winter

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Clay soil is favorable for the cultivation of certain plants, especially given the fact that it can retain moisture and nutrients so effectively. Clay drains water slowly, making it ideal for plants that do well with prolonged exposure to moisture.