Milwaukee Landscaping Tips

Landscaping Tips and Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Top Milwaukee Landscapers

Brennan Landscaping provides expert landscaping services for both homeowners and businesses throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Our landscaping contractors bring years of experience and unmatched creativity to every landscaping job. From expertly installed irrigation systems to masterfully crafted masonry walls and outdoor structures, we do it all. We hope you'll find the answer to your question here, but feel free to contact us if you don't.

Contact the Milwaukee landscaping contractors at Brennan Landscaping for more information on landscape design and maintenance services available throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Should I wrap my shrubs in burlap to protect them over the winter?

It depends on the type of shrub. Deciduous shrubs (ones that shed their leaves in the fall) don’t need to be wrapped because they go dormant in winter. Evergreen shrubs, on the other hand, don't go dormant over the winter, so they're more susceptible to damage.

Reasons to wrap an evergreen shrub:

  • Wrapping will keep deer from eating your shrubs (assuming they’re shrubs deer like to eat)
  • Wrapping will protect branches from breaking from an ice storm—upright evergreens with vertically growing branches benefit the most from wrapping
  • Wrapping will protect shrubs and evergreens planted near a busy road from being damaged by road salt
  • Wrapping protects plants from winter burn, caused by exposure to the winter sun and the plant’s inability to take in moisture through frozen soil

There are now “shrub jackets” made of breathable nylon, but the traditional use of burlap is just fine. Burlap is a far better choice than plastic sheeting because it allows air to circulate—so the plant won’t ice over in a freeze-thaw cycle.

To wrap a shrub, drive 3 or 4 stakes around the outermost part of your shrub. A few inches between the stakes and your plant is good. Then start wrapping from the bottom of the stakes to the top of your shrub/tree. Use a staplegun to secure the burlap to the stakes and to secure the last wrap of the burlap.

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Does walking on a snow-covered lawn harm the grass underneath?

If it’s just an occasional trek across the yard, it’s unlikely to cause any serious damage. However, it’s a good idea to avoid repeatedly walking on snow-covered grass because it compacts the snow, which ends up keeping it colder when the soil begins to warm in the spring. This smothers the grass and promotes the growth of snow mold.

Walking on the same snow-covered part of your lawn can also lead to a pathway of browned out grass when spring comes around. Same thing for snowmen. The weight of a snowman puts a lot of pressure on the grass underneath and will damage it to the point where it won’t green up come spring.

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What can I do about all the brown spots in my lawn where our dog went potty?

Unfortunately, the high levels of nitrogen in dog urine usually destroys grass beyond repair. If you’re diligent enough to carry around a squirt bottle filled with water, you can dilute the area where your dog urinates immediately afterward. This may be enough to encourage the grass to come back. In most cases, however, your only recourse is to scoop out the dead grass with a shovel (go about 1.5 inches deep) and either resod and reseed or put down a piece of sod you’ve pinched from a less obvious place in your yard.

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Do I need to be home when work is being done?

Typically not. The availability of water from your outdoor faucet and outdoor electrical outlets is usually necessary, but there's no need for you to stay home (unless you want to watch us work).

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Can you install a large patio?

Yes! We build many large patios using both brick and stone. It's easy to overestimate how much patio space you need, and just as easy to underestimate. Because it's often difficult to determine how large your patio should be, we recommend placing the chairs, tables and grill you plan to use on your patio in the space where your patio will be. Mark off the area with some string secured by stakes or long nails. Walk around to get a feel for the space and relocate the string delineating your future patio if you need it to be smaller or larger. 

The most common factors determing patio size are the size of your lot, how you plan to use your patio, and how much you have budgeted for patio construction. If you entertain often, you may want a larger patio than someone who only plans to use the patio with family members and friends. We always design to the unique circumstances of each location, with consideration as to how the landscape will be used. Since we're also landscapers, we can advise you on the types of plants that work well for privacy screening around a patio--and we can put them in, too.

Learn more in this article on things to consider when having a patio installed.

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How long will the landscape project take?

The amount of time necessary to complete a landscape project depends upon the scope of the project. Time lines will be provided once the size of the project has been determined.

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How do we get started?

Your initial contact with Brennan Landscaping will get the proverbial ball rolling. Simply call, email, or phone us and we will schedule a time to meet with you at your property.

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"The owner truly cared about creating an authentic plan for my yard. I utilize the patio more than I ever expected to. The job took an extra week to finish, but the quality of the work and materials were worth it. Meticulous work."

– Cindy, Green Bay

You did a great job, Tim, we could not be happier. We also enjoyed working with such a nice and professional person.

– Michael, Fox Point

Thank you for the beautiful landscaping job! So many people have commented on how nice it looks.”

– Marie, Wauwatosa

Thank you for all your hard work on our project. We are thrilled with our patio and are very excited to complete the backyard landscaping this spring.”

– Jay, Fox Point