Constructing a beautiful and durable landscape for a Hudson Valley, NY, home requires a combination of skilled craftsmanship and the use of high quality materials. Bulk products in particular, such as mulches, top soil, gravel, and sand, are the basic building blocks of any landscaping project. Skimping on the quality of these essentials can adversely affect the longevity of your landscape project.
Gravel is a popular material for all manner of landscape construction. Whether it’s for low maintenance walkways, gravel gardens, or for use as a base aggregate for hardscaping, gravel will always be a popular choice given its low cost and versatility in shape and color.
Having high quality gravel in the proper size is essential, especially if you are using it as a base aggregate. It prevents walkways, driveways, and patios from sinking under persistent loads by evenly distributing the pressure over the ground. Moreover, it plays an essential part in allowing water to assimilate into the ground. Compromising on the quality of gravel can drastically reduce the load bearing capacity of your hardscaping and compromise drainage, radically reducing a landscape’s longevity.
Much like gravel, sand is a staple of landscape construction. It is widely used in masonry, especially in the construction of driveways and walkways. Sand is an essential layer in the underlying structure which supports the weight of your pavers. Friction from sand also keeps the pavers locked in place. This makes it excellent as a joint filler after laying pavers, as it does an effective job of filling up miniscule spaces between pavers, thereby minimizing their movement. Given sand’s range of uses and its core role in construction, the right quality of sand can greatly improve the performance of driveways, walkways, and patios by providing essential support.
Soil and Compost
Having a lush lawn is the dream of every landscape owner. To make this dream a reality, having the right quality of topsoil is vital to enhance the lifetime of your client’s softscaping. The texture of the soil is a strong factor in its quality, as it should be firm enough to provide support to the plants, but still remain porous enough to prevent water from accumulating on the surface. Topsoil should also contain the right mix of nutrients to keep plants well-fed and healthy.
For landscapes with higher nutrient requirements, supplementing topsoil with fertilizer is essential. However, not all fertilizer is created equal. Fertilizer derived from toxic or chemical sources can damage plants and also allow toxins to seep into the groundwater, spelling disaster for the entire landscape. Properly matured organic compost such as mushroom compost is a good bet to keep your landscape healthy. Not only does it not contain any toxins, it also helps maintain the soil’s pH levels for optimal growth throughout the year.
Keeping topsoil nutrient rich, as well as disease and weed free, means using high quality, organic mulch. Not only does mulch prevent the growth of weeds, it also creates the necessary conditions to accelerate plant growth. Organic mulch has the added advantage of minimizing water loss from the soil without introducing toxins, all while keeping the nutrient content just right to keep plants happy.