Signature Landscapes Sweeps Top Awards At Nevada Landscape Association Gala

Local landscaper, Signature Landscapes, was the recipient of the most prestigious award for Northern Nevada landscapers; the President’s Award, for their work at the renowned Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex in Truckee, California. Receiving the award during the Nevada Landscape Association’s annual award gala, was Tim Laskowski, construction manager for the landscape contractor.

"It’s been an extremely busy year for Signature, and this award really goes out to our guys who put their blood, sweat and tears in this property," said Laskowski. "And to win for such an incredibly beautiful building, it makes it that much more satisfying."

Signature’s installation team was responsible for all aspects of hardscape (paver and stonework) around the entire complex including the pool area and the extensive labyrinth of pathways throughout the 7.4-acre clubhouse village. The complex includes a pool, hot springs bathing area, several restaurants, a sports shop, large fitness center and Schaffer’s Square, a community gathering spot.

The company’s work for the sports complex was also recognized for several other outstanding awards. Signature was awarded 1st Place for the Hardscape Installation category;  receiving a perfect 10 on the scoring chart – an achievement rarely seen in the award’s history.

The Schaffer’s Mill work also received the Environmental Award for acute awareness for building water efficient and environmentally balanced landscapes that do not sacrifice the quality of the design nor the quality of life for the project overall.

Finally, the company also took home the Large Commercial Installation for the project.

“We’ve never seen one of our projects sweep the top of the field like the Schaffer’s Mill project,” said Laskowski. “It’s a testament to every facet of our installation team, from our guys in the trenches to the managers running the big picture, they really stepped up and took this landscape to heart!”

Signature Landscapes was the recipient of several other awards at the event such as their first place work for Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, and a number of residential homes. The company was awarded the President’s Trophy last year for their work on the large Shakespeare Ranch property in Glenbrook, Tahoe.

 

2013 NEVADA LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION AWARDS for Signature Landscapes

  1. Presidents Award: Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  2. Environmental Award: Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  3. Large Commercial InstallationSchaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  4. 1st Place Hardscape Installation: (perfect 10) Schaffer’s  Mill Sports Complex
  5. Large Commercial Installation: Lyon County Detention Facility
  6. 1st Place Large Commercial Maintenance: Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center
  7. 1st Place Large Residential Installation: Enloe Residence – ALSO OUTDOOT LIFESTYLE AWARD WINNER for The 2013 BANNer Awards!
  8. 3rd Place Large Commercial Maintenance: Reno Corporate Center
  9. 2nd Place Medium Commercial Maintenance: Sandhill Business Center
  10. 1st Place Small Residential Installation: Lumsden Residence

Dan Osborn Earns Landscape Industry Certified Manager Designation

Dan_Mug_5x7Commercial Account Manager, Dan Osborn from Signature Landscapes has earned his Landscape Industry Certified Manager certification designation.

The certification, one of the nation’s most rigid for the landscape industry, is designed to showcase truly talented landscape contractors, business owners and managers who are committed to a higher standard of knowledge and execution of landscape principles.

The Signature Landscapes team is also proud to share the world that Mr. Osborn did extremely well on the exam overall, passing each module on the first try; something seldom seen in the LIC testing process.

Dan has been a professional in the field of landscape and facilities management for the past 25 years. Prior to Signature, Dan served the community as the Class A Superintendent for Northgate and Wildcreek Golf Courses. His expertise carries a thorough knowledge of Northern Nevada climates, especially turf care.

Congratulations and well done on your LIC manager certification designation, Dan!

Avoid ‘Brown Patch” on Turf this Summer

Spotting Brown Patch

Brown patch symptoms can vary depending on the grass variety, the soil as well as climate. Once it takes hold, the disease can spread quickly and begins to appear with 24 – 36 hours after infection. In the early morning on close cut turfgrasses, a dark smoky ring may appear at the periphery of the patch. This smoky ring transforms as the day progresses into a uniformly light brown or straw color.

Typically, brown patch causes rings or patches of blighted grass that measure from 5″ to more than 10′ in diameter. It also causes leaf spots and thin rings with brown borders around the diseased patches. Under close examination of the blades, irregular spots may be noticed that is bordered by a darker margin.

brown patch rottingAfter the leaves die in the blighted area, new leaves can emerge from the surviving crowns. On wide-bladed species, leaf lesions develop with tan centers and dark brown to black margins.

Brown patch favors high humidity and temperatures over 85 degrees during the day and not below 65 at night. On warm season grasses, this disease can be very active in the spring and fall. It also occurs in areas that receive more than 10 hours a day of wetness for consecutive days.

Brown patch infestation is more severe when the grass is cut to a height less than the optimum for the variety of grass.

Prevention

The best prevention for brown patch is to aerate often, reduce shade to effected areas, and follow a fertilization schedule to help prevent fertilization with excess amounts of nitrogen. Avoid irrigating late in the day. Do not over-fertilize.

Treatment

The most common fungicides used on Brown Patch are: benomyl, and chlorothalonil. The brown patch fungus will survive in thatch and turf debris between periods of activity. Chemical controls are available, but should only be applied by licensed applicators. Contact your local lawn care provider for additional information.

Lawn Diseases are Easier to Prevent than to Cure

Here are a few ways we can work together to keep some lawn diseases out of your lawn:

  • Signature Landscapes’ lawn fertilization program controls unhealthy bursts of turf growth that can attract disease.
  • Regular core aeration helps nutrients and water reach roots and breaks up thatch, which is one place diseases like to breed.
  • Deep, infrequent watering in the early morning, keeps moisture from remaining on the grass surface too long, which attracts disease.
  • Mowing frequently, at a high height and with a sharp mower blade, further helps to keep disease out.
  • Overseeding with disease-resistant grasses is another option you can consider.

bunnybrown

If you suspect your lawn has any type of lawn disease, contact the Signature Landscapes team about treatment services immediately. Quick action can make a big difference to save your lawn.

To learn more from the pros… you can visit these links:

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has a great brochure about your turf. It’s not always a disease! It’s worth the time to download and read!
Click to view PDF

What Can Landscape Managers Do to Help Honey Bees?

Most people have heard about the decline in honey bees during the last several years. Are there things that landscape professionals or home gardeners can do to help?

Better Nutrition, Fewer Pesticides

beepollen3

(c) Kathy Keatley Garvey

The actual cause of the honey bee decline is still uncertain. What is known is that a number of factors are probably involved. For instance, honey bees are in their most robust condition and able to best contend with stresses when they are well fed. In addition to water, honey bees require nectar sources for carbohydrates and a varied mix of pollens to provide proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals, sterols, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Pesticides can also be involved in bee decline, especially when applied to plants when they are in bloom and bees are foraging. Many insecticides are highly toxic to bees including virtually all organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroid materials.Drought, flooding, and conversion of former foraging grounds into large agricultural monocultures, highways, airports, developments, and so forth have led to honey bee malnutrition in many locations. Also, in the last 20 years beekeepers have been encountering a series of previously exotic pests that invade the hive and kill bees, such as the varroa mite; new honey bee diseases, including Nosema ceranae; and many RNA viruses.

If not killed in the field, pollen-foraging bees can collect residue-contaminated pollens and bring them back to the hive for immediate consumption or long-term storage. There are serious concerns over the chronic, sublethal effects of these residues on the physiology of immature and adult bees.

beepollen2

(c) Kathy Keatley Garvey

A newer class of insecticides, the nicotinoids, which include imidacloprid, clothianidin, and dinotefuran, also pose hazards for honey bees. These products are systemic materials that move through the plant and will be included in nectar and pollen of flowers when they bloom. Although the neonicotinoid residues may not kill bees immediately, they may have sublethal effects, such as the suppression of immune and detoxification systems, that cause bees to be more sensitive to other stresses.

Use Plants and Pesticides Wisely

There are several ways landscape managers can help protect bees. When designing
or replanting a landscape, consider honey bees and other pollinators in your plan. Include plants honey bees prefer, and try to ensure that several bee-friendly plants will be blooming throughout the year.

Also, avoid applying highly toxic insecticides, especially when plants are in bloom. Be aware that neonicotinoids tend to be stable compounds that can remain in the soil and in plants for months and still be present when the plants bloom.

Even when plants aren’t in bloom, use nonchemical management methods or pesticides with little or low toxicity to bees whenever possible, as pesticides may leave toxic residues or there may be flowering weeds or other blooms nearby.

For information about relative toxicity of pesticides to bees, consult How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PDF/PMG/pnw591.pdf. Toxicity of many landscape and garden pesticides to bees is also listed in the UC IPM landscape and garden pesticide active ingredient database at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/menu.pesticides.php.

 

Many thanks to the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources for this wonderful article. Specifically, 

—Eric Mussen, Entomology,
UC Davis, ecmussen@ucdavis.edu

Special thanks to Kathy Keatley Garvey for the beautiful photos in this article. Kathy works at the University of California, Davis, with Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist in the Department of Entomology and Nematology

Tips for a Pet-Friendly yard

It will be easier to keep your dog out of the proverbial dog house if you do what it takes to make your yard pet-friendly.
Here are a few pet-wise accommodations to give your pet a safer place outdoors.

Deal with puddles that lead to muddy paw prints. Dogs don’t walk around puddles and sporting breeds instinctively dig when they see water. So if puddles are your problem, fill in low areas that collect water. If poor drainage is the cause, address the bigger issue. Quick and simple fixes are to place rocks, gravel or bricks in depressions to keep paws out of the mud.

Need help? Schedule a FREE Consultation with the pros in our Landscape Design Center to learn how to create a yard that both you and your pet enjoy. Simply call (775) 857-4333 or visit our only service request page to start today.


Wipe out well-worn paths across the yard. Dogs often have a favorite path across the yard that stamps out the lawn or the ground cover in beds. It’s unlikely you’ll get your dog to change its route, so place pave stones where he walks across the lawn or in the flower bed. This deals with the unsightliness, helps with mud and lets your pet to stay on its critical path.

Create shade. Female dogs in particular like to dig nests in the cool spaces next to foundations. In wet weather, these holes fill with water, make muddy paws and can lead to foundation problems. If there are no shade trees, make sure the dog has access to the patio or the north and east sides of the house. A dog will duck into the shade of the trampoline or other structures if you make the area accessible.

Don’t deck your dog! We love time out on the deck, but it’s not a safe place for dogs. Wood decks often have splinters if not sanded regularly. Dark woods absorb heat and can create conditions leading to heat stroke. If you’re building a deck, look at the lighter recycled products that are cooler and splinter free. They are also less maintenance for you and sustainable. Unless your deck is well shaded, put the dog under it rather than on it.

 

Irrigation – a Nozzle for Every Need

Selecting the correct nozzle is one of the most crucial, yet overlooked, elements in irrigation system design.


Choosing the correct nozzle, whether it’s for a spray head or a rotor, is easy if you take the time to study the nozzle charts in a manufacturer’s product catalog and select one that best suits your needs; irrigation equipment manufacturers have put a tremendous amount of effort into developing nozzles to fit almost every application:

  • For slopes and compacted soils, select a nozzle with a lower precipitation rate.
  • For windy areas, select a nozzle with a low nozzle outlet trajectory.
  • To achieve even water distribution without having to separate part-circle from full-circle sprinklers, select a nozzle set that features a matched precipitation rate.
  • Another way to ensure uniform watering, if you’re working with spray heads, is to select nozzles that have an undercut nozzle. These nozzles have an second, undercut orifice for watering closer to the head.
  • For flexibility with spray heads, select a nozzle with an adjustable or variable arc.

Because nozzles are designed to work within a wide range of pressures, it is important to ensure you have the correct pressure at the base of the nozzle. Too much pressure, as is commonly the situation with spray heads, will result in misting. Misting creates a reduction in the radius of throw and you may experience uneven coverage, and cause wet and dry spots. To correct this, several manufacturers offer devices that can be installed at the nozzle or are integrated in the sprinkler, such as the Rain Bird PRS Series.

If you’re working primarily with rotors, keep in mind that too much pressure can cause the rotor to rotate too quickly. The nozzle stream of a fast moving rotor will “horsetail” and cause a severe reduction in the radius of coverage. Too little pressure will also result in a reduction in the radius of throw and uneven water distribution.

For more information on proper nozzle selection, contact Signature Landscapes Landscape Industry Certified irrigation pros (775) 857-4333. We’re here to help your landscape grow!

 

Renovating A Bland Yard Will Energize Your Outdoor Living

Backyard living spaces have seen increased popularity in the Truckee Meadows. Did you know we’ve been bringing imaginative outdoor rooms to locals like you for decades?

Our hands-on approach will help to identify the indoor functions you’d like to extend outdoors such as a fireplace, seating area, spa, living room or even the kitchen. We’ll develop a sense of your design priorities as ideas emerge for these outdoor options.

We suggest you consider the following:

  • Gathering areas for kids, pets and visitors
  • Health and relaxation objectives
  • Recreation and entertainment opportunities

As you prioritize your functions and separate “nice to do” from “must do” you’ll quickly establish a surprisingly comfortable outdoor room your entire family will enjoy for decades. Why not let us turn your design and budget into an beautiful opportunity to enhance your Reno lifestyle?

BACKYARD BASICS: WHAT’S HOT TODAY?

The projects coming across our drafting tables are excellent indicators of what’s on the minds of your neighbors~specific to backyard renovations. When it comes right down to it, there are some pretty basic “must haves” when prioritizing a backyard landscape:
1. make it livable
2. keep it green

So we wanted to give you some food for thought on the top two issues as you consider your yard makeover this summer.

LAWN RENOVATION

What is lawn renovation?
Lawn renovation involves killing existing turf and replacing it with new grass without tilling or changing the grade which is normally done during the establishment of a new lawn. Locals with older homes are finding they love grass, just not their old tired turf installed when the home was new.

Why renovate a lawn?
The lawn species/variety is frequently attacked by disease or insects causing the lawn to thin.
Your yard has become increasingly shady over time & the original lawn is thin and unhealthy.
The lawn was severely injured or totally killed by disease, insects, drought, or hit by winter.
You want to completely convert from one turf species to another.

(re) INSTALL SPRINKLERS

If you are going to install a sprinkler system, the best time to do it is before installing your new turf. It will be easier to install and be in place to help your new plants grow. This service goes hand in hand with service on the left. With our semi-arid climate, an efficient system has several benefits.

An efficient sprinkler system will:

  • Save more water than you might expect

  • Make it easier to water at the best times

  • Adjust flows with temperature and humidity

Typical issues in local households

  • Pop-up spray heads, impact sprinkler or rotor
  • sprinkler nozzles or sprinkler bodies are broken.
  • Sprinkler head above or below grade.
  • Spacing of sprinklers inappropriate for the head.
Page 2 of 3 123