Below you will find a just a few pictures of a recent Illinois landscape design and Installation job we have recently completed. This landscape is complete with Black Trap Rock, Stacked Weathered Field-stone Boulders, and various grasses, perennials, shrubs and a breathtaking Japanese Lace Leaf Maple! 

Japanese Lace Leaf Maple! 

Stacking Boulders bring character to ANY Landscape!

Butterfly Bushes, Grasses and so much MORE! 

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End of Season Landscape Sale !

On October 25, 2011, in Services, by Admin
Starting Today, October 25, until November 11, we are having a “Make An Offer Inventory Sale”! Come in and make an offer on any Trees, Shrubs, or Perennials left in stock and SAVE BIG!!

 

No Reasonable Offer Will be Refused! Fall is a great time to plant, so why not take advantage of this HUGE offer and save some money while your at it!

Some of our “Make An Offer Inventory Sale” products include:

  • Daub’s Frosted Juniper on Stick
  • Koster’s False Cypress
  • Weigelas
  • Altheas
  • Grasses
  • Knockout Roses
  • Azaleas
  • Lilac Trees
  • Weeping Cherry Trees
  • Magnolias
  • Golden Curls Willow Trees
  • Ruby Tears Crabapple Trees
AND MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

 

 

Fall Lawn & Landscape Care

On September 26, 2011, in Services, by Admin

 

 

Believe it or not but Autumn is finally upon us. As we gear up for the fall season, there are several tings to keep in mind to prepare your lawn for the winter months. After reviewing our fall lawn & landscape care checklist, contact us or call our offices at (217)347-7500 for a free onsite consultation and estimate!

Fall Lawn Care Checklist:

Fall Landscape Care Checklist:

  • Cut down & trim perennials
  • Blowout debris for landscape beds
  • Topdress Landscape rock
  • Trim Trees
  • Leaf Removal
  • Replace any dead or dying perennials
  • Start thinking about Irrigation Winterization

 

Nearly every homeowner is aware of the importance of applying lime to the home lawn. However, few probably have a complete understanding of why liming can be an important aspect of the home lawn care program, how to determine if liming is needed.

Lime is applied to the soil of home lawns to increase the soil pH, a measure of the soil’s acidity or alkalinity, can directly influence the vigor and quality of the home lawn. When the pH is below 7.0, the soil is said to be acidic; when above 7.0, it is alkaline.

Several factors cause the formation of acidic soil conditions. One primary cause is the leaching of base nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium form the soil. This occurs more frequently in areas of heavy rainfall or on heavily-irrigated turf. A second cause is the use of acidifying nitrogen fertilizers. Most of the fertilizers applied to lawns have the potential to cause acidic conditions. However, the extent to which fertilizer application will affect soil pH is dependent on a number of factors, including: type of nitrogen applied, amount applied, types of other nutrients present in the fertilizer, soil type and irrigation frequency. Other factors which may act to reduce soil pH are decomposition of soil organic matter and irrigation with acidic water.

A highly Acidic Lawn

When the soil pH drops below 6.0, a number of nutrients necessary for proper growth become less available for use by turfgrass plant. These include: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, magnesium and molybdenum. As these nutrients become less available, the lawn’s color, vigor and ability to resist (or recover from) heart, drought or traffic stress will be reduced. Applications of enough lime to raise the soil pH above 6.0 can increase the availability of these nutrients, thus making it easier to maintain the quality and vigor of the lawn.

An excessively high (alkaline) soil pH (greater than 8.0) is just as undesirable as a low pH. When the pH exceeds 8.0, such nutrients as nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, manganese, boron, copper and zinc become less available for use by the turfgrass plants in the lawn. The result may be a less vigorous, unhealthy lawn.

 

Give us a call at (217) 347 – 7500 or Contact Us Today for a soil test!!

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Hosta House!

On July 28, 2011, in Garden Facility, Services, by Admin

Stop by our Retail Garden Center and check out our Hosta House!!! As you will hear in the video clip, the Hosta House has been a project of ours for the past 3 – 5 years and continues to grow every year! If you have any questions or would like to see if your favorite Hosta is on hand please contact us or give us a call at 217-347-7500.

 

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Benefits of Lawn Aeration

On May 13, 2011, in Lawn Issues, Services, by Admin

Aeration:

  • Increases water intake
  • Reduces water runoff and puddling
  • Stimulates root development
  • Reduces soil compaction
  • Increases the tolerance to heat
  • Enhanced thatch breakdown

 

Aeration is the natural exchange of soil and air.  The process is mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil form the lawn to improve soil aeration. This process not only helps heavily used lawns but also lawns growing on compacted soil.  Having you lawn aerated will improve the depth and extent of grass rooting which will allow better water uptake, enhanced fertilizer use & thatch breakdown.

Annual aeration is beneficial for turf growing on heavy clay or subsoil’s.  Both Spring and Fall are ideal times to aerate your lawn.

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AllDown Organic Herbicide

On May 12, 2011, in Services, by Admin

SummerSet AllDown® Organic Herbicide

AllDown® has been protecting crops and proven to be an effective weed management tool for organic farmers and
producers since 1999.

Our first product AllDown Green Chemistry Herbicide has been tested against RoundUp® or Glyphosate and proven to be an effective means to control weeds.

AllDown Green Chemistry was one of the first organic herbicides that had been approved by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) in Eugene Oregon back in May 2002. Since other organic certifications have been attained by CCS (Custom Certification Services) in Dalton, NE and BCS Öko-Garantie GmbH, Nurmeberg, Germany in July 2009.

Today’s product are made with the same organic approved ingredients that were used in 1999. They have been engineered and formulated to attain better weed control and give the organic farmer and producer a herbicide that can be utilized and offer a broader spectrum of weed control.

Organic Agriculture

AllDown is a friend to both earth and farmer. Since its application and safety have been tested and approved by reputable organizations like OMRI, you can feel good about using this product near your organic crops.

How else can AllDown® be used?

Many of the organizations and individuals most concerned with a responsible approach to weed control are using AllDown for a wide range of applications such as on boulevards in cities, along streams, and in orchards and vineyards.

Specific Uses for AllDown Herbicide

  • In vegetable gardens and flowerbeds
  • Along fence lines and foundations
  • Around trees and shrubs
  • On patios, driveways and sidewalks
  • Safe to use around waterways, ponds, and lakes
  • Allowed for use in the production of certified organic food and fiber crops.

Here’s a partial list of satisfied AllDown users:

  • Cities & Municipalities
  • Park and Rec Boards
  • US Fish and Wildlife
  • Service Industries
  • Organic Orchards & Vineyards

AllDown has also proven to be PERFECT FOR FALL APPLICATIONS

{Click Here} For more information about AllDown & to order yours Today


 

Outdoor lighting has revolutionized the way people think about landscaping their home.  Not only do people consider the types of plants, edging, etc…but now they also have the option to envision what their landscape would look like after dusk.  With the ease of installation, lighting can be installed virtually anywhere on your property.  Whether its the front or back yard, walkway, patio, ornamental pond, or even your outdoor kitchen we have you covered.  Landscape lighting not only adds beauty and style to your property but also helps give peace-of-mind that your home is more secure.

Beauty & Style are key aspects that everyone is looking for in a landscape.  The trick is to customize the design to fit the personality of the resident.  With so much care and planning that goes into each design, why wouldn’t anyone want to enjoy their masterpiece all day long?

Security Benifits

Not only does lighting deter prowlers, it creates a feeling of comfort for guests as well. Dark pockets in a yard can present an undertone of fear, whereas a well lit landscape provides a more relaxing environment.  How you feel about a space can be just as important as how it looks.  Lighting can enhance security even after everyone has gone to bed.  Many lighting systems offer the option of an inexpensive timer that includes an override system operated by remote control.  A small remote can be kept by the bed stand so that if you hear a critter in your yard or someone walking across the lawn, you can turn on your landscape lights right from your bed.  Instant “on” lighting can send a prowler running for the hills. (source: landscapenetwork.com)

LED Landscape Lighting VS. Incandescent

LEDs are the beset choice for energy efficiency and ease of use without any of the downsides of other energy efficient lighting.  LEDs excite light emitting diodes in a glass bulb instead of a filament like an incandescent to create a more efficient light bulb.  Energy Star says that the LED bulb is 75 percent more efficient than the traditional incandescent bulb and lasts an impressive 15 times longer.  It also produces less heat than incandescent, which can make a significant difference in heating and cooling needs in the home.  While the cost of LEDs is prohibitive upfront, costing several times more than a comparable incandescent depending on brand, it can significantly lessen your electricity bill.  LEDs also work great in both hot and cold climates without a warm-up period or mercury like other energy efficient options.  The best part is no modification is needed to your lighting fixtures except replacing the bulb.

LED Lighting VS. Incandescent

 

Establishing a New Lawn

On May 6, 2011, in Seeding Lawns, Services, by Admin

A lawn does not happen over night it takes time and maintenance.  A newly seeded lawn will need to watered daily and may need as many as four light waterings in a single day if conditions are dry and windy.  The seed bed should be kept moist, but not saturated, to a depth of one to two inches until germination occurs.  Germination occurs when your new lawn has green cast and the seedlings are a quarter to one half inch tall.  At this early stage it is crucial that seedlings are not stressed to the point of wilt, continue to water one to four times a day with light applications of water, approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch of water per day.  As seedlings reach two inches gradually reduce the frequency of watering.  You should start watering 3 times a week but for a longer period of time in each area.  After the new lawn has been mowed two or three times, keep watering on the 3 times a week cycle until the grass has filled in.  Don’t let the grass turn brown, apply enough water to keep it green.  Water early in the day when lawns are normally wet from dew.  Avoid midday due to evaporation, and at night due to the increased potential of diseases.  Spread the water uniformly across the lawn.  Avoid flooding areas and missing spots.  Sprinklers vary in distribution patterns and require spray overlap for uniform coverage.  To ensure complete coverage, we recommend an automatic irrigation system.  A well-designed, properly installed and appropriately maintained irrigation system can be the most efficient way to keep your landscape and lawn healthy.  The benefits of having an automatic irrigation system include: reduced labor for watering, convenience, full landscape / lawn coverage, easy control over irrigation timing for waterings, added value to your property and an irrigation system that delivers exactly the right amount of water at the right time to the lawn, plants and trees is not only efficient but practical.

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Apples to Apples

First things first.  Visit the contractor’s retail garden center to see how well they maintain their facility.  If they can’t maintain their own facility how are you going to get a great looking landscape.

Our Retail Garden Center

We have taken the time to compile a list of information that we feel would be beneficial when choosing a landscape company.

  • Have you seen and checked the quality of plants going into your landscape design?
  • Have you seen the stone, brick or block going into your new landscape?
  • Have you sat down and reviewed the plans with the landscape company and understand what you are getting?
  • Are you signing a contract for your new landscape project? (this is for your protection also)
  • Are you getting a design when you sign the contract?
  • Are you getting a list of plants going into your landscape?
  • Are plant sizes listed out so you are not just getting the smallest plants available?
  • What grade of plants are you buying? Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3? (We use Grade 1)
  • Are the plants that are in your landscape plan recommended for your zone?
  • Are you getting a written guarantee on plants and material warranties? (View our Warranty)
  • Are you getting a written description of the work to be performed?
  • Are you getting thick commercial weed barrier or the cheap see through weed barrier? (some weed barrier will actually puncture if you walk on it, leaving holes for weeds to grow.  All landscaping should have a weed barrier fabric.  Absolutely no plastic, newspaper, or burlap should be used as weed barrier.)
  • How thick is the rock bed going to be in your new landscape?
  • How thick is the mulch bed going to be in your new landscape?
  • Do the people installing your landscape have experience doing the king of work you are wanting done?
  • Does the landscaper have experience or are they new to landscaping?
  • Find out it the Landscape Company is under new ownership or management.
  • Does the Landscape Company own or rent the equipment doing the job? Remember, if someone rents equipment they will be in a hurry to return the equipment, not allowing the time needed to perform the work properly.
  • Does the contractor have the proper insurance to perform the work that you are wanting done, if not you are liable if something goes wrong.
  • How many years have they been in business?  Sometimes experience and years are figured differently.  Example; Combined years with all employees or number of years in business. (Kiefer Landscaping 21 years in business or 264 years experience).

It is hard to do an Apples to Apples comparison not knowing the above information.  Quality work is also hard to put a price tag on. We guarantee all of the about and guarantees the highest level of quality and service that you will find.

Contractor Comparison

Below are a few key points that Kiefer Landscaping brings to the table.  Compare with other contractors to see what they may be leaving out.

  • Over 21 years in business with the original owner
  • $2 million dollar liability insurance policy
  • Proven Performance on Large Commercial and Residential Projects
  • Experienced and knowledgeable craftsmen with many years experience
  • New innovative designs

    Landscape Berm 2011 Season

  • Top Quality materials
  • High quality suppliers to aid in design and troubleshooting
  • Exclusive distributor on selective products
  • Responsive communication
  • Coordinated effort from design to install
  • Excellent Safety record
  • Full Time office staff
  • Regular bussiness hours
  • In house landscape designers
  • Value Engineering service for retaining walls
  • Environmentally Conscientious
  • Contract contains written warranties

    Another View

  • Stand behind ALL warranties
  • All crews carry cell phones for constant contact
  • Annual Service Plans
  • Drug Testing on Employees
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance
  • Licensed Plumber on staff (Irrigation Connections to main lines)

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