April 18, 2008 // Franchising.com // - Spring is here, and it's time to clean up the property, plant some grass, attack the weeds in the yard and flower bed, and to finish off the effort by spreading mulch. Assess the overall look of the property as a landscape professional might. Does the property provide a good first impression? Well kept flower gardens and shrubs are a good start, but mulch adds the finishing touch. The beauty of a home and its landscape can be enhanced by spreading mulch in landscape beds and around trees and shrubs.
Not only does mulch enhance the beauty of a home and landscape, but it also provides many other valuable benefits for shrubs and trees. Mulching around plants, shrubs, trees, and landscape focal points such as sculptures and seating areas, is a great way to reduce landscape maintenance and to keep plants healthy. Live plants benefit from mulch as it conserves moisture by providing as much as a 25 percent reduction in soil moisture loss from evaporation. Mulch also keeps soil aerated by reducing soil compaction that often results from raindrops hitting the soil. And mulch keeps working as it reduces water runoff along with the accompanying soil erosion.
Although mulch provides all those benefits mentioned above, it can be the source of serious problems. Too much mulch can lead to retention of too much moisture which can lead to root rot. Too much mulch can also create a haven for insects and tree or shrub disease. Mulch should be applied and spread so that the result is a total of a 2"-4" inch layer. Mulch piled too high against the trunk of a tree can be detrimental too. The tree trunk and the root crowns should be exposed, and the mulch extended to the edges of the branches where the tree roots search out water and nutrients.
One more caution on the use of mulch – mulch should never cover the landscape lighting fixtures or their heat vents. All lights, indoor or outdoor, produce heat. An outdoor light that is covered in mulch has no means for the heat to escape. If the heat cannot escape the mulch may start to smolder from the extreme temperature build-up. In doing so, the heat can melt the PVC composite of the light, burn the insulation off the cable and eventually short out the lighting system. In essence, the lighting system will require several new lights, new cable and a repair bill that could have easily been avoided. So, no matter who spreads the mulch or what time of year the work gets done, caution should be used not to cover lighting fixtures or their heat vents.
If a contractor performs this service, they need to be advised that there is a landscape lighting system on the property. Marking all the lights with flags will alert the contractor to use caution when spreading the mulch.
Professionally installed landscape lighting by NiteLites enhances the overall attractiveness of properties and their landscaping. Well groomed and mulched landscaping beds not only create that positive first impression, but also add tremendous beauty to a property while providing many benefits for its living plants. Landscape lighting and mulch is a perfect landscape pair when properly used, but, mulch spread carelessly and without caution on and around lights may lead to problems for the homeowner.
NiteLites is an industry leader in the low voltage outdoor landscape lighting field, and was recognized as one of the best up and coming home based franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine (www.entrepreneur.com). NiteLites was also recently named as one of the top 50 franchise organizations in the under 50 class (fewer than 50 franchises) by Franchise Business Review (www.fbr50.com), and was recognized by the Franchise Times as one of the fastest growing franchise organizations. The Franchise Times "Fast 55", produced for 5 consecutive years, lists the 55 fastest growing franchise organizations using two criteria. The first is that only brands that have been franchising for five years or less are considered; the second is that the brands must show positive unit growth each year.
NiteLites is an industry leader in the low voltage outdoor architecture and landscape lighting field, and specializes in both residential and commercial installations. Each outdoor lighting project is custom designed to showcase the property at its best. NiteLites installs only high quality, energy efficient, specification grade low voltage fixtures and transformers which are manufactured to exact specifications.
For more information about NiteLites Outdoor Lighting of St. Louis, visit their website at www.nitelites.com/St_Louis_Outdoor_Lights or call them at 314-993-8155 or 1-866-NiteLites.
Vice President of Franchise Sales and Development, Mr. Carl Frederick, at NiteLites said that franchise opportunities are available for those who are motivated to control their own future. "If you possess the drive and desire to create and deliver world class service to your clients, you may be the type of individual we're looking for." He also said that the growth of the architectural and landscape lighting industry in general, and the growth of NiteLites in particular, has been rapid.
NiteLites architectural and landscape lighting franchises are available in many major cities, including Austin 78664, Boston 02107, Cleveland 44060, Dallas 75115, Fort Worth 76051, Phoenix 85308, San Antonio 78299, Memphis, New Orleans 70161, Miami 33109, Albuquerque 87544, Salt Lake City 84133, Louisville 40299, Pittsburgh 15237, Orlando 32825, Las Vegas 89074, Milwaukee 53217, Seattle 98154, Hartford 06156, Tampa 33647, Tucson 85750, Denver 80015, Lexington 40515 and San Jose 95125, Stamford CT 06903, Greenwich 06831, Boston, MA 02110 , Albany, NY 12212, Buffalo, NY 14231, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, San Francisco, CA 94111, Los Angeles, CA 90067, Minneapolis, MN 55440, Kansas City, KS 66115, Oklahoma City, OK 73154, Colorado Springs, CO 80942, Philadelphia, PA 19118, Allentown, PA 18101, Wilmington, NC 28406, Savannah, GA 31411, Birmingham, AL 35223, Greensboro, NC 27420, Winston, NC 27113, Salem, NC 27113, Pensacola, FL 32581, Knoxville, TN 37929, Des Moines, IA 50305, Omaha, NE 68118, Portland, OR 97291, Richmond, VA 23219, Virginia Beach, VA 23450, Orange County, CA 92616, Sacramento, CA 95853, Fresno, CA 93778, Daytona Beach, FL 32115, and Stuart, FL 34996. For more information on a NiteLites outdoor lighting home based, home services franchise, please call Mr. Frederick at 1-877-821-4148 or submit a request for more information at www.nitelites.com/outdoor_lighting_franchise .