Fall is right around the corner which means cool weather will be settling in soon. Spring blooms and new plant growth seems centuries away. Some people may not know, but fall is actually the best time to plant many new landscape additions including shrubs and trees.
Due to cool temperatures and increased rainfall, roots have time to establish in warm soil before the ground freezes. And, moderate fall temperatures avoid the risk of shock from being transplanted in the heat of summer.
Heinen Landscape has a great online tool to help you with planning your fall plantings. In the past, Heinen Landscape’s Online Plant Catalog had password-only availability, but now everyone has easy access to the online tool that will help you create your plan. If you’re not familiar with the The Plant Catalog, it’s time to take a look. The catalog only features species of plants that will grow well in the Kansas City area. And the best part is you can sort through different plant categories – including annual & perennials; shade & sun; deciduous & evergreens; and also trees, vines, shrubs and more! Select a category (or two, or three) and the Heinen Online Plant Catalog automatically pulls ups pictures and descriptions of each plant in that category – all of which can be ordered and planted through Heinen Landscape.
Click here to visit our plant catalog at or, get a head start on fall plantings and book an appointment with a Heinen Landscape Pro to get your yard plan ready for the beautiful fall weather. Just call Debbie at 913-432-5011.
Just when we thought the rain was gone, it’s back and in full force with summer storms! What to do with all that excess water? A few tips on how to work with (and around) the water. Or, leave it to the experts at Heinen!
River of Rocks
You can turn drainage solutions into features that enhance your landscape—and protect natural waterways. Ditches can be landscaped as swales that look like creek beds or small meadows. Gutter water can flow into rain gardens that provide a habitat for butterflies and birds. And driveways, patios, and walkways can be constructed of pervious paving that never puddles because water seeps through. Since these measures allow storm water to sink into the soil gradually, they help reduce flooding. Plus, they allow pollution, including oily residue from cars, to filter out naturally, so it doesn’t wind up in lakes or streams. “You can cure your wet-basement problem and do something for the environment at the same time,” says This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook.
Swales are depressions that follow the contour around the base of a slope (natural or created), channeling storm water from one place to another. They filter runoff along the way by allowing it to sink into the soil. Plants on a swale’s gently sloping banks—and sometimes down the center of the channel itself—take up much of this water. Fast-draining soil is also key. The addition of a perforated pipe laid in gravel underneath can help handle heavy water flow.
A small swale might carry gutter water from a house to a dry well, while a more substantial one could run along the base of a hill above a low-lying house to divert water around it. Jan Johnsen, a landscape designer in Mount Kisco, New York, often landscapes swales by lining them with river rock. Along the sides, she uses evergreen ferns, sedges, winterberry, grasses, and Siberian and Louisiana irises that thrive in moist conditions. Rugged prairie plants or other natives that are at home in fast-draining soil are another option.
You can build a small swale yourself, but for a long, wide one you’ll want to hire a pro with earth-moving equipment. Consult a landscape contractor or a civil engineer if you live near a bluff, have a septic tank nearby, or are on a slope that drops more than 1 foot over a horizontal distance of 20 feet.
A swale should carry water to a place where it can be released safely, such as a garden bed with good drainage or a buried dry well; allowing it to be absorbed on-site, rather than flow into a storm drain, is important for protecting natural waterways. The sides of the swale should flare so they extend out three to four times more than they are tall, and the first 8 inches of soil should drain well. If your soil drains quickly (at least ½ inch per hour), it can just be loosened. If water sinks in half that fast, amend it with 40 percent compost. Where drainage is slower still, replace soil with 60 percent screened sand and 40 percent compost. If the swale itself can’t be made big enough to handle all the water, consider excavating another 6 to 8 inches, lining the trench with filter fabric, laying perforated pipe, then covering it with round ¾-inch gravel. Top the gravel with at least 8 inches of a compost-rich soil mix.
Shallow catch basins planted as flower beds, rain gardens allow water to pool during a downpour, then slowly percolate into the soil. Where a swale is mostly a travel route for water, a rain garden is a destination. A fast-draining soil mix encourages water to sink in and promotes lush plant growth. Runoff may flow into a rain garden from a swale or pipe, or may simply run in from a sloping yard.
Rain gardens are appropriate drainage spots for steeper slopes than swales can handle, but where the surface drops more than 3 feet over a 15-foot horizontal distance, you should get professional design help. Although a low spot in the yard might seem an ideal placement, if it stays soggy, it’s already saturated. Instead, pick an area that dries out quickly.
Designing a rain garden to handle all of the runoff from a roof or driveway entails careful calculations. But you can also learn by experimenting: Build one, watch what happens after a storm, and then enlarge it as needed. Locate a rain garden at least 10 feet from your house and at least four times that far from a septic system or steep slope.
Though you can excavate a small (say, 5-by-10-foot) rain garden yourself, a landscaper with an earth-moving machine will get it done faster. Make sure machinery stays along the edge of the bed so it doesn’t compact the soil as it digs a wide depression about 2 feet deep with gently sloping sides. Mix in compost and sand, as needed, using the same proportions as for a swale. The end result should be a shallow basin with about 6 inches of “ponding depth,” or space for water to pool while it drains through 1 to 2 feet of amended soil.
Plant the center of the area with species that tolerate wet conditions, such as native sedges and lady fern. Around these, put plants suited to occasional standing water, like redtwig dogwood. At the furthermost edges go plants that prefer drier soil, such as native evergreen and deciduous shrubs.
Paving materials that incorporate small gaps allow water to seep through into quick-draining gravel layers underneath. This keeps the top surface dry, eliminates runoff, and lets water in the gravel layers gradually sink into the soil. There are three basic types: concrete pavers with voids in between to be filled with gravel or sand (with or without grass); porous concrete or asphalt made with little or no sand so there are built-in air pockets; and plastic grids that keep a surface layer of gravel or sand (with or without grass) from compacting, so water drains through.
Contact Heinen today for expert help on any of the above projects. We’re happy to help!
Heinen Landscape is excited to now be a supplier and installer of Techo-Bloc products! As concrete pavers and masonry manufacturers, Techo-Bloc’s mission is to design and manufacture the finest quality hardscape and masonry products in the industry. Heinen Landscape professional designers have the experience to help design and create a detailed landscape plan with Techo-Bloc products. Three great reasons to consider Techo-Bloc products in your new hardscape installation:
1. Strength and durability of products begins at the core – and Techo-Bloc uses only the highest-grade ingredients throughout every stone.
2. Techo-Bloc products are engineered to overcome even the harshest climates and are almost 3 times stronger than poured concrete.
3. Techo-Bloc products are designed with style and substance. The Techo-Bloc team creates trendsetting products that push the boundaries of landscape design.
The skilled design professionals at Heinen specialize in enhancing outdoor living areas by integrating dramatic landscape and hardscape features – now featuring the unique and exciting look of Techo-Bloc. And once the design plan is complete, no Kansas City landscape company is better equipped to install this high-quality landscape stone than Heinen.
Heinen Landscape professionals take pride in creating unique environments suited to individual lifestyles. More than ever before, Techo-Bloc has raised the bar on what is possible in hardscaping – embracing color and form while uniting beauty and function.
If you’re ready for a new and exciting look in outdoor living, we’re ready to help your own vision of the great outdoors become a reality. Give Debbie at Heinen a call at (913) 432-5011 for a complimentary consultation.
Heinen Landscape recently took on a two-day project installing brand new pavers for a beautiful and relaxing new outdoor patio area at the entrance to Ball Conference Center. The Conference Center is a sister organization of KVC Health Systems – an Olathe, Kansas based not-for-profit organization. When an event is booked at Ball Conference Center, a portion of the proceeds goes to assist KVC Health Systems – a national leader in adoption and child welfare education. Ball Conference Center specializes in elegant wedding receptions and corporate business meetings.
Back in September 2015, the Heinen Landscape team spent an entire day transforming the KVC health systems headquarters. Heinen Landscape and many of our great vendor partners donated the labor and plant material for the $20,000 project at no cost to KVC – and completed that project in just one day!
As part of the 2015 landscape project, crushed granite gathering areas were created as central “meeting zones” for Ball guests to assemble outdoors for wedding photos and the like. The crushed granite looked beautiful and functioned well – unless it rained. A plan for the second phase of the project included replacing the crushed granite with solid, decorative-yet-functional patios built with decorative pavers.
This past week the Phase II pavers were installed, completing the original vision for a beautiful and functional entrance plaza for Ball. The new patio is perfect for outdoor wedding photos and is a great place to relax during meeting breaks and enjoy some fresh air.
Heinen Landscape owner Dave Heinen said, “We really believe in KVC’s mission of finding ‘forever homes’ for children that have come from challenging environments and we’re quite supportive of all the good things Ball Conference Center is able to contribute to the success of KVC. The Ball Conference Center entry-patio was the one missing element from the work we began a year or two ago with Ball. We were glad to be able to bring Ball Conference Center guests a nice, new entryway that fits in with the original landscape project. We’re very pleased with how it all came together – functionally and aesthetically.”
Michael Nicoski, Manager of Events and Operations at Ball said, “The patio project really completes the vision we had for an entry plaza that would be really useful for Ball Conference Center guests – especially those wanting to take wedding reception photos outdoors to commemorate their special day. Heinen Landscape did a great job!”
Take a look at the Photo Gallery below!
If you don’t have an irrigated lawn, don’t make Dad drag the hose around the yard all day in Kansas City’s summer heat! This Father’s Day, give Dad something that will keep him happy all summer long – a Rachio Wi-fi Smart Sprinkler Controller system, professionally installed by Heinen Landscape and Irrigation!
Dad can automatically set the system to water the lawn 2, 3 or 4 times a week – his choice, and he can even select on and off watering on a zone-by-zone basis – all controlled from an app on his smart-phone, tablet or laptop!
If controlling an irrigation system from an app sounds like more trouble to Dad than it’s worth, or the whole family is going on vacation for a few weeks, the irrigation experts at Heinen can handle all the watering and scheduling – direct from the office of Heinen Landscape & Irrigation! Heinen can add details such as plant and soil types, sun exposure and more to set up customized zones for your yard. The experts at Heinen can calculate watering cycles to deliver just the right amount of water – all while minimizing runoff. And if the weather turns while your family is on vacation, Heinen can increase or decrease your watering schedule remotely in an instant.
Dad won’t even have to sweat the risk of a high water bill when sprinklers turn on when it’s been raining. Irrigation professionals at Heinen can program your Rachio controller to sync up with the nearest National Weather Reporting station. The system will automatically adjust your home’s watering schedule based on real-time local precipitation conditions – saving time, water, and money!
Already have an irrigation system? More good news – Heinen can retrofit your existing system with the Rachio Sprinkler Controller! Retrofit or new install, an irrigation system with a Rachio controller is a Father’s Day gift that will give Dad back what he wants most for years to come – Free Time! Give Debbie at Heinen a call at (913) 432-5011 and get more information and a no-obligation estimate on the gift Dad really wants this Father’s Day: Never having to worry about the yard again!
Heinen customer Barb T. switched from a basic lawn mowing service to Heinen Landscape over fifteen years ago – and now she relies on Dave and the team for all her outdoor needs. “They’ve touched almost every part of our lawn and we get compliments all the time from people just walking by our home!” Barb said recently. Over the years, Heinen has helped Barb with dozens of projects – everything from mowing, fertilizing, and weeding to landscaping, irrigation, and fence installation!
When asked how she decided on Heinen for her lawn care and landscaping needs, Barb said, “They started by just redoing our front flower bed and they did such a good job, it’s just grown from there!”
Barb loves that she can take her outdoor living problems to Heinen and trusts that they’ll come up with a solution that fits her needs. Earlier this year Barb was having some drainage issues on the side of her yard and Heinen came up with a quick solution to keep her yard from flooding. The team also recently installed some bushes by her driveway to hide trash cans from view. “They’re always coming up with great ideas and I am constantly recommending Heinen to my friends,” said Barb.
One of Barb’s favorite things about Dave Heinen and the team is, “They always try to use plants that are natural and indigenous to the area so you’re not struggling with a high-maintenance plant that’s just going to die during the winter. It’s so much easier to care for and makes maintenance better and easier.”
When asked about future plans for her yard, Barb said she had a couple flower beds she wanted to revamp and freshen up a little. She has Heinen out for yard maintenance regularly and she loves that they always make things right. According to Barb, “They’re all so nice and easy to work with. It’s such a wonderful feeling to come home and see how great they did with the yard. There’s definitely a sense of pride in their work.”
Here are a few photos of the beautiful work Heinen did for Barb’s yard!
Heinen Landscape recently celebrated Earth Day at the Hen House in Corinth Square! Along with handing out free tree saplings to hundreds of customers, Dave Heinen also spoke with Jasper Mirabile and Kimberly Winter Stern live on KCMO Talk Radio 710am! Click below to hear Dave Heinen talk about Earth Day and native trees in Kansas City!
Heinen Landscape and Irrigation recently celebrated Earth Day by handing out free native tree saplings at the Hen House in Corinth Square! On Saturday, April 22nd, hundreds of customers enjoyed complimentary refreshments and doughnuts as they chose their very own tree sapling to take home and plant.
The Black Oak seedlings came ready to plant along with instructions – perfect for teaching kids how to grow and care for a native tree! The kids were so excited to plant them in their own yard and watch them grow – one happy little boy exclaimed, “This is a dream come true!”
The Earth Day giveaway was such a hit that Heinen decided to donate 200 additional saplings to the students at Prairie Elementary School. Heinen Landscape & Irrigation is proud to have been part of Earth Day 2017!
If your lawn needs some sprucing up this spring, our professionals at Heinen are experts in landscaping, irrigation, and drainage! And, if you’re finally ready to build that outdoor living space you’ve been dreaming of, give Debbie at Heinen a call at 913-432-5011. She’ll send over of our landscape experts for a no-obligation quote!
- Fall Planting Pro Tip – Heinen’s Online Plant CatalogSeptember 27, 2018 - 1:39 pm
Each autumn in Kansas City Heinen landscape crews spend a fair amount of time planting thousands of bulbs municipilites businesses and even some homeowneers. Although nothing announces spring more vividly than gorgeous tulips in myriad shades proudly blooming up and down Kansas City’s finest streets and boulevards, fall is actually a great time to get […]
- AquaBlox – The Invisible Yard Drainage SolutionAugust 30, 2018 - 10:50 am
In the past, Kansas City homeowners dealt with excess rainwater issues – like yard flooding and wet basements – by installing French drains, dry creek beds or by grading one’s yard to redirect rainwater away from the home. Sometimes those solutions are not practical as there is just no place for heavy rain to runoff […]
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Kansas City, KS 66103