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Autumn landscape planning

Autumn landscape planning

As the summer season draws to a close, landscapers' minds turn to autumn planning. It's the season for trees – both planting new and clearing up leaf fall from the established. And cooler days, particularly the drier ones, can be ideal for hard landscaping projects too. To help you shift gear from summer to autumn, here we look at all the tools and materials you need for those essential autumn landscaping jobs.

Planting new trees

With summer often too hot to plant trees and frozen grounds in winter posing a different challenge, autumn's mild weather is the ideal season for tree planting. Planting saplings in the earlier part of the season allows their root systems to settle before the coldest weather arrives. At the beginning of every new season, a kit check will help make sure you've got everything you need for the challenges ahead. For tree-planting projects, make sure you've got:
  1. a supply of heavy-duty tree ties in 45cm and 60cm sizes that are quick to secure and come with a spacer
  2. spiral tree guards to protect vulnerable saplings. If you're working on a public or commercial landscaping project consider a 250 spiral tree guard multipack
  3. a multipack of good quality bamboo canes

Leaf clearance

Clearing up the fallen leaves from deciduous trees is perhaps the most extensive maintenance job of the season, so it pays to have decent tools to make it as efficient as possible. Whether you prefer a Bulldog Premier Plastic Leaf Rake or one of our Bulldog Springbok Rakes, both make light work of leaf clearance.

Composite decking

Composite decking, formed from wood-polymer composite, is gaining in popularity, thanks to its low-maintenance appeal. The demand is unsurprising given the decking’s convincing grooved pattern that mimics natural wood. It's also a practical choice for commercial projects. The stunning Millboard decking collection is one of our favourites as it offers the best wood replica and is available in a large range of colours and finishes. All colourways have matching trims to finish board ends and step treads neatly. Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high-quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you with your professional landscaping project on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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Keeping weeds away in the best way

Keeping weeds away in the best way

Weeds can be the bane of a landscape gardener’s life. Immaculately finished planting schemes can all too quickly be overtaken by unwelcome species blown in on the wind or established from hidden rhizomes. While 100% weed-free gardens are a pipe dream – primarily because there is little anyone can do about seeds blown-in on the wind – much can be done to ward off weed growth. Combining different methods of weed control can offer the best results. Forming a robust barrier with a specially designed weed control membrane is one of the longest-lasting solutions, especially when combined with the liberal use of herbicides before and a good layer of mulch after the geofabric is laid. At Landscapes Direct, we offer a range of professional geofabric membranes, each designed with a particular purpose or application in mind.

Keeping weeds away in garden borders

Weedtex is a standard-duty, spun-bond membrane. It’s the ideal weed control membrane to use if you want to promote cultivated plant life but suppress weed growth. The porous design of Weedtex allows liquid feed, fertilisers, water, and air into the soil. These features maintain nutrient levels and soil quality. It’s a flexible, easy-to-cut fabric, ideal for use under garden borders, flower beds, bark, or decking. Landscapes Direct supplies Weedtex in different lengths and widths to suit projects of all sizes.

Suppressing weeds under rockeries and scree gardens

While the flexibility of Weedtex makes it ideal for plant beds, it can tear under rockeries or scree gardens. Landtex is a tougher alternative, with extra thickness that can withstand sharper edges. Our longest roll of Landtex is 2m x 100m, suitable for weed control in large landscaping projects.

Stopping weeds emerging from patios and driveways

Hard landscaping schemes, such as patios and driveways, need protection from weeds too. But they require a tougher membrane to withstand sharp stones and heavy tiles. Groundtex’s tear-resistant properties make it ideal for use in areas that may be subjected to pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Its density also means that it doubles up as a stabilising base. Landscapes Direct supplies rolls of Groundtex in lengths of up to 100m, suitable for substantial hard landscaping projects. Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high-quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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Metal landscape edging – creating distinct definition in landscaping projects

Metal landscape edging – creating distinct definition in landscaping projects

Achieving a sharp and distinct finish between garden areas can help elevate a landscape design. Depending on the location you’re defining, there are different materials and approaches to consider. Here, we look at two of the most widely used professional options – steel landscape edging and aluminium landscape edging.

Steel landscape edging

A firm favourite among professional landscapers, steel landscape edging offers flexibility to create straight lines or curves yet is strong enough to use in heavy-traffic landscaping projects. It’s quick and easy to install by sliding heavy-duty Steel Fixing Stakes into position. Joins are minimised thanks to generous two metres lengths of edging. Where there are joins, the design makes them almost indistinguishable. Professionals often opt for steel landscaping edging when defining lawns, paths and driveways. Steel landscaping edging is a discrete option, creating a sharp line without dominating a landscaping scheme. Choose the best colour to blend with the landscape design, including Borderline Brown Steel, Borderline Galvanised Steel, or Borderline Weathering Steel. If you’re just working on a small area, Landscapes Direct don’t insist on a minimum order nor impose high delivery charges.

Aluminium landscape edging

Aluminium edging is lighter than steel, and very easy to cut and handle. What’s more, recycled aluminium alloy is rust-resistant and creates a desirable high-end finish. At Landscapes Direct, we offer commercial-grade AluExcel aluminium edging in various depths and colours to suit different projects. There’s a choice of either flexible or rigid edging lengths within our range, depending on whether you’re creating curves or a poker-straight finish. Aluminium edging is an excellent choice when edging artificial grass, asphalt, blocks and pavers, concrete, resin-bound and loose gravel, and creating definition on playground surfaces. Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high-quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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5 common pain points experienced by landscaping professionals

5 common pain points experienced by landscaping professionals

The life of a landscaping professional is rarely smooth. Whether it’s a ‘fluid’ client brief giving you headaches, unseasonable weather putting a spanner in the works, or stumbling upon unforeseen obstacles in a project (Japanese Knotweed, anyone?), the strength of a landscape gardener is their ability to embrace a challenge. Here, we look at other pain points experienced by landscape gardeners and landscapers, with some easy tips to overcome them.
  1. Late deliveries When you’ve got a jam-packed landscaping season, not having all the equipment you need to get on with the job can pose a real problem. If there’s something you need urgently, whether landscape edging and membranes or tools and equipment, then chances are you’ll need it quickly. You can’t afford to hang around for late deliveries. When you order with Landscapes Direct, you can do so quickly and easily online, plus we offer a reliable fast delivery service to minimise delays and help you get on with the job at hand.
  2. Sub-standard materials Accurately quoting jobs can be a pain point for landscaping professionals, who’d rather create new outdoor spaces than pore over a spreadsheet. But misquoting, then trying to recoup through sourcing cheap products, is never wise. At Landscapes Direct, everything from our jointing compounds to our grass seed are professional-grade yet competitively priced, giving you peace of mind that inferior quality products won’t mar your hard work.
  3. Poor supplier advice Using cowboy landscaping suppliers with too-good-to-be-true prices and unfounded words of wisdom is likely to be a mistake you’ll only make once. After all, taking poor advice on inferior products is something that you’ll ultimately pay for. When it comes to landscaping equipment, using an established and expert supplier not only gives you access to commercial-grade equipment, but you’ll also get sound advice that’s based on years of specialist landscaping knowledge and experience.
  4. Hidden costs If you’re shopping around for professional landscaping supplies, price counts for a lot. But too often, attractive prices are offset by extortionate carriage charges or minimum order restrictions. At Landscapes Direct, our products are always competitively priced, and we never overcharge for delivery. In fact, on orders over £75, delivery is free.
  5. Juggling multiple suppliers When you’re dealing with multiple suppliers who supply you with different materials, you’ll often find yourself paying multiple delivery costs. Finding a landscaping supplier that can help with all your requirements, from site essentials and ground stabilisation to geofabrics and tools and equipment, will save you time and money – leaving you to get on with what you do best.
Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high-quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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NEW Herbicide Sprayers: Your latest landscaping must-have

NEW Herbicide Sprayers: Your latest landscaping must-have

Professional herbicides are part of a landscape gardener’s essential kit. A firm favourite is ProShield, a long-lasting weedkiller that protects your hard-earned work against future weed growth for up to six months. The best way to apply this herbicide safely, evenly, and effectively is by spraying.

New herbicide sprayers

Landscapes Direct now offers a range of professional herbicide sprayers from leading manufacturers Berthoud and Cooper Pegler to complement its range of herbicides. From the handheld, six-litre Berthould 8 Pro Sprayer to the latest Berthoud Electric Vermorel 3000, capable of six hours of uninterrupted application, we’ve got sprayers for all applications. Some landscape gardeners rely on the original knapsack sprayer, the Cooper Pegler CP15 Classic. First launched in the 1960s, its robust design has meant its longevity is legendary and can last over 50 years. Over recent times, Cooper Pegler has extended their offering, including sprayers with piston pumps for better efficiency, such as the CP15 Series 2000, a 15-litre sprayer. If you need advice on choosing a sprayer, you can contact us.

Top tips for effective spraying

Whichever size or type of herbicide sprayer you opt for, there are some essential tips to keep in mind:
  • Choose your herbicide wisely, opting for one that can handle large droplets for optimum coverage or one that you can dilute to the ideal solution
  • Select the proper nozzle for the job. A single deflector nozzle is best for spraying nonselective herbicides, whereas a fan nozzle may be better for selective herbicides.
  • Wait for the dew to dry before application, yet allow a long enough drying window before dew forms in the evening.
  • Dry, overcast and calm days are optimum for effective spraying. If you’re working in windy conditions, choose an appropriate nozzle to reduce drift.
  • Avoid hot, sunny days for spraying, as plants will not efficiently absorb the herbicide.
  • Herbicides are chemicals, so always wear the right PPE to protect your eyes, mouth, hands, and body.
  • Keep the nozzle pointing down and close to ground level to avoid applying to unwanted areas.
  • Use a wide spray pattern for large areas, being cautious not to overspray.
  • Pouring excess solution down the drain is illegal as it can pollute groundwater and water supplies.
  • Calibrate, maintain and service your herbicide sprayer to ensure its longevity and continued performance.
Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high-quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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Getting the right landscaping tools for the job

Getting the right landscaping tools for the job

When you’re a landscape gardener, good quality tools are essential. If your kit is ready for an upgrade or you’re looking to add to your collection, here’s a quick guide to the right landscaping tools for the job.

Rakes

Whether you’re preparing a seedbed from clay soil, creating a sand or stone base, or putting the finishing touches to a gravel surface, choosing the right rake can save you a lot of time. The steel Chelwood Steel Landscape Rake, nicknamed ‘The Landscraper’, is an excellent all-rounder and is cleverly designed with a back edge for grading and levelling. The Land-X Aluminum Landscaper’s Rake is a strong but lightweight alternative, suitable for a range of raking tasks. Bulldog’s purpose-designed Asphalt Rake will be an essential piece of kit if you need a rake designed for levelling stone and asphalt. For thatching lawns or maintenance work such as leaf clearance in the autumn, the Chelwood 2-in-1 Lawn & Leaf Rake is designed to also work as a debris scoop. Alternatively, the Bulldog Premier Plastic Leaf Rake is oversized yet lightweight with an aluminium handle. It’s capable of collecting large volumes of leaves, making it the ideal companion come October.

Lutes

For levelling and grading tasks, a sturdy lute made from heavy gauge steel angle-iron will help achieve an immaculate finish that won’t scar contours on greens and lawns. Different sizes are designed for different jobs. Our smallest option, the Trulute 28, is a flip-over design for use on fine turf areas. The slightly larger Trulute 36 is ideal for spreading and levelling soil or removing stones and debris while top-dressing. The largest lute, the Trulute 48, is perfect for levelling work over more extensive areas, with a heavy-gauge steel box section that ensures rigidity.

Shovels, spades, and forks

Landscape gardeners tend to have personal preferences when it comes to stainless steel or solid steel tools. Bulldog’s excellent selection of shovels, spades and forks come in both options. A range of shovels and forks for different purposes are available, whether you need a new digging spade, edging iron, cable laying shovel or a shovel with tapered blades for breaking into aggregate.

Secateurs

Felco secateurs are professional quality tools with forged aluminium handles and rubber, shock-absorbing coatings. Landscapes Direct offers a range of sizes designed for different purposes, including the No.2 Original Secateurs - a firm favourite with landscape gardeners. Left-handed gardeners, so often forgotten when it comes to landscaping tools, are well served with Felco’s No.9 Left Handed Secateurs. Keep your secateurs securely and safely on your person for easy access with either Felco’s flat heavy-duty leather holster or the cone-shaped holster.

Pole saws

The superior design of Silky pole saws makes high-reach pruning a quick, easy and enjoyable task. Lightweight and incredibly sharp, they’re specifically designed for professional landscape gardeners, with a design that folds easily to fit into vehicles. The toughest choice is deciding which length to go for - the Silky Hayauchi 6300 Pole Saw is the longest pole option for the hardest-to-reach jobs. Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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Weed control fabric – which one do you need?

Weed control fabric – which one do you need?

Not all landscape fabrics are created equal. Professional-grade geofabric membranes for landscape gardeners are each designed with particular purpose and applications in mind. It is crucial to consider where you intend to use the membrane to make a well-informed choice about its suitability. Here, we help point you in the right direction by looking at the features of the professional landscaping weed control membranes stocked by Landscapes Direct.

Weedtex

Standard-duty weed control fabric Weedtex is a spun bond membrane and is the ideal weed control membrane to use if you want to promote cultivated plant life. The porous design of the fabric allows liquid feed, fertilisers, water, and air into the soil to maintain nutrient levels and soil quality. However, weeds and their rhizomes are deprived of the light they need to thrive. If you need a flexible weed control fabric that's easy to manipulate and cut for use beneath garden borders, or under bark or decking, then Weedtex is an excellent option.

Landtex

Landtex is a tougher alternative to Weedtex. The extra thickness of Landtex weed control fabric makes it more robust and therefore an excellent choice for use under rockeries or scree gardens, as it's less likely to be torn by sharp stone edges. Yet, like Weedtex, it's also suitable for use under garden borders and bark too, making it an ideal all-rounder if you just want one weed control membrane in your kit.

Groundtex

Even tougher than Landtex is the heavy-duty woven weed control fabric Groundtex. Its superior, tear-resistant properties make it ideal for use under the sharpest angular or decorative stones, as well as under areas that may be subjected to pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Its density also means that it has excellent stabilisation properties, making it suitable for use beneath patios, serving a dual purpose as a weed control fabric and a stabilising base.

Non-woven fabrics

Non-woven fabrics are the strongest geotextile membranes. They are primarily designed for stabilising purposes. For use beneath increasingly popular artificial lawns we recommend Draintex or Drivetex, as the ideal fabrics for suppressing the establishment of undesirable weeds and providing a stabilising base. Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high-quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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Landscaping solutions – your summer project essentials

Landscaping solutions – your summer project essentials

The landscaping season is in full swing, and as spring rolls into summer, warmer days bring their own set of challenges to the professional landscaper and landscape gardener. Here we look at the summer landscaping equipment and landscaping tools that will help make lighter work of the tasks ahead and keep your hard work looking tiptop when the mercury rises.

Porous pipes

As all professional landscape gardeners know, keeping new shrubs and trees watered in hot weather is essential to promoting their initial growth and keeping them healthy as they establish themselves. Perhaps water-deprived while waiting for planting, newly situated shrubs and trees need a little extra TLC to replenish lost moisture. Porous pipes are ideal to ensure consistent watering. This clever system is easy to install above or below ground and allows on-demand watering making it simple for your client to take care of their new plant life. Water seeps out of the pipe at a rate of four litres per hour, per metre delivering the ideal amount of water to the plants. A range of connectors and valves makes it a versatile system that will easily reach all parts of newly landscaped areas.

Hoses and fittings

When the summer heat takes its toll on a garden a professional-grade hose with all the appropriate fittings is a must-have. On-site, a summer landscaping essential is an extra-long UV-stabilised hose that is crush-resistant to withstand the rigours of landscaping projects. Make sure you’ve got appropriate hose connectors and a versatile spray nozzle too.

Lutes

Levelling and grading work can be exhausting in the summer months. Ensuring that you have the right tools for the job can help make those tasks easier – a welcome benefit when working in the full summer heat. Having a range of different sized lutes at your disposal can save a considerable amount of time. The most significant levelling jobs demand the Trulute 48, ideal for creating perfectly flat lawns by removing the slightest undulations. Smaller sizes such as the Trulute 28 is perfect for general grading and levelling. Or consider medium-sized Trulute 36 to make easy work of spreading and levelling soil or sand.

Shovels, spades, and forks

Some landscape gardeners are fiercely protective of their favourite forks, spades and shovels. After all, they are the ultimate tools of the trade. A professional-grade spade by industry-leading Bulldog is forged from one piece of steel for maximum strength. Or consider strong, high-quality rust-resistant stainless steel options, such as the Bulldog Premier Digging Spade and Bulldog Premier Digging Fork. Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high-quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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Lawn care – let’s get the green growing!

Lawn care – let’s get the green growing!

With lush, green lawns firmly front of mind for many landscape gardeners’ clients, planning a lawn-care schedule and preparing for the maintenance tasks ahead will stand you in good stead.

De-thatching and aerating

First things first: removing the dead grass on top of the lawn soil, or the ‘thatch’, is an essential first step in springtime lawn care. Removing this mix of rhizomes, roots and stems, either by hand or by a vertical mower or core aerator, allows the lawn to breathe. In superficial cases, simply spiking the ground for aeration using a robust and all-metal fork will be all that’s necessary. Once clear, you’ll have a better view on the overall health of the lawn, allowing you to form a plan for weed-killing, re-seeding, feeding and general maintenance throughout the summer.

Weeding and feeding

Fertilising a lawn is an essential step in ensuring the grass is well fed and thrives. Set a fertiliser schedule from around May to begin feeding the grass. Then continue throughout the summer, perhaps with a dual-purpose fertiliser that will also help keep weeds at bay. Developed as a general-purpose fertiliser, Landscaper Pro Universtar Balance slowly releases an optimum balance of nutrients and helps prevent fertiliser burning issues on lawns. Understanding the issues your clients face will help inform the best choice of fertiliser. For example, what weeds are particularly troublesome? Would a lawn fertiliser that kills moss be the best option? Do they need a solution that kills Lyme-disease carrying ticks?

Seeding, watering and mowing

Whether seeding a new area, repairing thinning patches on an existing lawn or simply overseeding to rejuvenate, select grass seed carefully. Take into account shadiness and whether the new grass will be under trees, opting for a shade-tolerant grass seed variety with a low nutrient requirement if necessary. While irrigation systems are not typically used domestically in the UK, watering a lawn consistently is essential to keep the lawn green and resilient during summertime dry spells. Communicate the optimum schedule to your client to ensure they maintain the lawn in your absence. While professional landscapers and gardeners know better than mowing a lawn when it’s wet, it is worth ensuring the client knows that doing so can introduce disease to a lawn. Decide on a mowing schedule with the client to maintain the grass well throughout the summer. Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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Renovating or laying a patio? Here's what every landscaper needs to know

Renovating or laying a patio? Here’s what every landscaper needs to know

Installing or restoring patios often comes high on homeowners’ landscaping wishlists, in a bid to create desirable al fresco dining spots and outdoor entertaining areas. The decision to renovate a patio rather than rip it up and start again is ultimately the client's. Informing them of the soundness of their existing patio will help in the decision-making process. If they're happy with the patio's overall aesthetic, size and condition, renovation is an excellent option.

Cleaning and restoring old patios

Patios can get extremely dirty and some marks are notoriously hard to get rid of. Power washing can be a good start, stripping off most of the dirt. But a suitable product is required to remove the deepest stains and to rejuvenate the slabs. Landscapes Direct's Paving Cleaner helps remove oil, grease and rubber – considered the most challenging stains to remove. For particularly troublesome black spots and algae, a specialist product, such as Pavecare Black Spot & Algae Remover, will deeply clean natural stone, concrete and porcelain paving of black spot, lichen and moss without pressure washing. Treating patio slabs properly once they’re clean will also help resist grime and algae from re-establishing. For black limestone and dark paving, Pavecare Restorer is a water-based sealant with a dark pigment that brings a new lease of life to faded limestone, slate, and concrete.

Laying a new patio

Whether laying a patio in a new area, replacing an old patio in poor condition or updating the style, there's a range of patio installation equipment that every landscaper needs. Aside from the pavers themselves, make sure you have:
  • Jointing compounds  Choose a quick and easy compound to fill the joints between paving slabs that can be laid in all-weathers. Consult your client on the colour, then select a paving joint compound for natural stone and concrete or a high-performance paving grout for porcelain slabs.
  • Sealers Porous natural stone and concrete slabs must be sealed after fitting. Opt for a professional-grade solution to achieve the best results. PRO-410 Paving Sealer is breathable and enhances the stones while it protects. Vitally, it's UV stable and helps resist dirt and grime for a low-maintenance finish.
  • Blades Inevitably, some paving slabs need cutting to fit the design and contours of a patio. A diamond blade is the best tool to ensure a clean and effortless cut when cutting paving slabs. An essential bit of masonry kit, these multi-purpose blades are also handy tools for the landscape gardener to have on hand for other hard landscaping jobs.
  • Spirit levels It goes without saying that a patio should be precisely level. Ensure there's a heavy-duty spirit level in your kit at all times.
  • Trowels and jointers A decent trowel and jointer help to achieve a clean finish on grouting and jointing. A high-quality brick trowel and bucket trowel should be at hand, along with a decent brick jointer, for a professional finish.
  • Squeegees and brooms For a quick and controlled application of jointing compounds and grout, a good quality squeegee with a flexible rubber blade is essential. Some landscapers prefer a full-length squeegee, but it's a personal choice. Finally, a hardy broom completes the kit.
Landscapes Direct is an established supplier of high-quality landscaping and gardening products to the landscape gardening trade. We pride ourselves on the high levels of support we provide for our clients. Find out more about how we can help you on 0800 731 6534 or sales@ld-uk.com.
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