Saturday, September 30, 2017

Transplanting with Success

Transplanting with Success

In many parts of the country, trees and shrubs can be transplanted all year, but no matter where you live, fall is the very best time. The cool air and warm soil temperatures are the perfect combination for root establishment. The cooler air is kind to plants and especially to ones that have just lost a major portion of their roots from being dug up. In addition, soil temperatures are still warm, creating an excellent environment for the production of new root growth. Another benefit to fall transplanting is that most plants and trees are entering a period of dormancy. Rather than continuing to transfer energy into new foliage and above ground growth, plants are now transferring energy into their roots and storing nutrients and resources for the cool months ahead.

When transplanting, make the planting hole two to three times wider than the current root ball but don’t make the hole any deeper than the plant was growing in its previous environment. The latest research-based data indicates that you should not amend the hole with additional organic material. Plants roots growing in amended soil rarely venture into the harder native soil. The roots become spoiled so to speak and tend to stay only within the modified area. The long-term affect is a smaller root system, reduced growth and a less hardy plant. Instead, simply break up the existing soil, remove the rocks and backfill. Studies show plant roots simply growing in the native soil actually do better at expanding beyond the original hole.
Place transplants in their new environment at or slightly above the surrounding soil level. Newly disturbed soil has a tendency to settle and plants growing below grade can easily succumb to root rot or disease. It is better to plant a tree or shrub slightly high and allow the area to drain than for a plant to sit in a bowl and collect excess water.

Next, lightly tamp or hand-pack the soil around the plant roots to ensure good soil to root contact. A critical step at this stage is to water well. Not only does it provide needed moisture, but the water helps eliminate air pockets that could otherwise result in dead roots or worse.

The final step is to mulch with 3-4 inches of organic matter such as shredded leaves, ground bark or straw. Mulch helps retain moisture and keeps soil temperatures moderate. Winter conditions can be very dry so water throughout the winter if soil conditions become dry. Roots are still growing and soil moisture is essential for proper establishment.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Preventing Warm Water Fish Injury

As a Certified Aquascape Contractor, we communicate daily with other contractors across the country to share information, tips, and tricks. Last season, a fellow CAC posted pictures of a warm water fish die off that was devastating to the client. 

Fish need oxygen to live and concentrations of dissolved oxygen are much lower in warm water. In the dog days of summer, cold water fish can have a hard time getting enough oxygen. In natural bodies of water, the temperature can have devastating results. Salmon, for example, become stressed at 68 degrees and stop migrating at 74. Koi deaths will begin when dissolved oxygen levels fall below 3ppm. 

It is important to address potential temperature issues when initially designing a pond. If the pond is in direct sunlight, consider a shade tree. Water lily pads will assist in shading the water and providing some habitat. The recommendation of 40-60% of the pond being covered in aquatic plants isn't just to balance nutrients, it is to buffer the temperature as well. If you are in a very hot climate, consider extra fish caves and dig a little deeper. Your beneficial bacteria need oxygen too. If you are in full sun, consider adding aeration during the hot summer months so your nitrogen levels don't get out of control.

Read on

Friday, June 30, 2017

Let's Face it, Mosquitoes Suck!

Now you can turn your backyard into a haven with the Haven Backyard Lighting & Mosquito Repellent System. It provides effective, convenient, season-long mosquito protection, with or without low voltage landscape lighting.

I live adjacent to a retention system and the mosquitoes get so bad during some times of the year, you simply can't go outside without drenching yourself in Deet. We tried everything from cedar oil, candles, torches and scented geraniums to foggers, propane systems, and lawn sprays. Some of them worked for a few minutes, but none of them worked for long. When picking up supplies at one of our vendors, I was introduced to the Haven system. I'm always a skeptic and decided I would give it a shot at my own house before making any promises to customers. I was not just impressed, I was AMAZED! I finally have my yard back! I added the system to an already existing low voltage lighting system. It was a simple task that took me less than 3 hours to install 8 units. I only turn the system on 15 minutes before we are going to be outside and there is not a mosquito to be found! You can tell how well the system works just by leaving the yard. After you get about 15 feet from my property line you are eaten alive in July and August. Now that this system is proven, we will offer it as an option on all landscape packages. You can watch the video here:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Making memories

Whether it's poolside, pondside or fireside, create your own place for your staycations.
Creating Outdoor Memories | Greenscapes | Madison, Wi -

Friday, June 9, 2017


We've come a long way from vellum paper!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

2016 Angie's List Super Service Award

Greenscapes has earned the home service industry's coveted Angie's List Super Service Award for the third year in a row, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the Madison services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.

This achievement is particularly significant as Angie's List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie's List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

"Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers," said Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks. "Only a fraction of the Landscape Contractor companies in the Madison area markets were able to do it."

Angie's List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an "A" rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie's List, pass a background check and abide by Angie's List operational guidelines.

"Our team is always finding ways to improve our client experience. The Angie's List Super Service Award speaks to that effort and that's a great feeling," said Bob Wambach, Greenscapes Landscape Division Manager. "We want our customers to have the best landscape contracting experience ever!"

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie's List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie's List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

"The biggest change at Angie's List is that we are connecting, even more, consumers to high-quality service professionals," Hicks said. "And that's good for everyone."

Get the Party Started with our new Kitchen Packages

Start entertaining outside with beautiful outdoor kitchens or bars. Outdoor kitchens and bars are consistently rated as the most sought after improvements to residential landscapes. With new features such as warming drawers, outdoor refrigerators, and outdoor TVs, your outdoor kitchen can include all of the conveniences of your indoor kitchen. With our Outdoor Kitchen and Bar Packages, you can choose from functional and affordable options. Each component is precut including the granite countertop. It’s easy to expand in the future. Install the Supper Club today and add a Deli Island later! Grill surrounds, bars and BBQ stations can often be built on existing surfaces, or create an entirely new space with our package options such as:

          • The Deli Island
          • The SupperClub
          • The MicroBrew
          • The Happy Hour
          • The Smoke House
          • The Pizza House
          • The Prep House

Learn more at

Friday, April 28, 2017

How to Recycle Rainwater

At least 36 states expect to face water shortages within the next 5 years according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Capturing and reusing rainwater reduces the community’s demand on the municipal water supply, reduces the owner’s water bills and helps avoid
strict water schedules.

The RainXchange™ System by Aquascape is a revolutionary design that combines a recirculating decorative water feature with a sub-surface rainwater harvest storage system.

  • Clean, Filtered Water Storage – While you enjoy the benefits of a decorative water feature, the RainXchange™ System filters the stored water providing access to clean, clear, usable water.
  • The RainXchange™ System reveals only a beautiful water feature that integrates easily into existing landscapes.
  • Locating and storing water underground maintains the integrity and beauty of your home and landscape. 

Learn more at

Friday, March 31, 2017

Bring Vacation Home with our Pond Package Deals

Water Gardens provide the perfect place to unwind and relax. Now it is even easier to enjoy your own relaxing waterfall and majestic pond in your backyard. Choose from Madison’s premiere backyard pond installer's six water garden packages or two pondless waterfall packages and start living the pond lifestyle today!

Our new packages include upgrades and add-ons such as koi care, winter pond care, aquatic plants, LED lighting, surrounding landscape plantings, and more! The Lily Pond series is the number one choice of entry level consumers. When budget and space are a concern or you are just beginning to enjoy the water garden enthusiast lifestyle, the Lily Series is a perfect fit with ponds under $10,000. Great pond for Goldfish! If you like to think big, check out the Lotus Platinum Pond Package. The Lotus Platinum Pond provides the features of a custom designed system at a package price. If you are upgrading from a small pond, the Lotus Platinum 10,000 gallons of flow provides all the amenities a seasoned pond owner is looking for. The Lotus Platinum includes everything from the Lotus Preferred plus: two fish caves, upgrade to two 5PL pumps and a 6' stream and cascading waterfalls.

Visit our website to view our pond and pondless package deals.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Online Auction is Open

Bid on hundreds of green industry items and save money while supporting your local green industry and Make-A-Wish Wisconsin.

Bidding starts St. Patrick's Day and ends Aprils 1st.

Tons of items to bid on!


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