Friday, 16 January 2015 09:09

What Materials Make Up Landscaping Stones?

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3315 101413 gs3315If you have never used landscaping stones, you should definitely consider incorporating them into your yard or garden. Not only are they an aesthetically appealing option for decorating walkways, driveways, and relaxation areas, but they can also serve other purposes, such as solving drainage issues.

Kurtz Bros in Columbus, OH offers high quality landscaping stones, also known as landscaping aggregates, for any situation or need. Here is a brief overview of the materials that make up landscaping stones:

Decomposed Granite

This refers to a granitic rock that has been broken into small pieces as a result of weathering. Granite originally comes in a reddish-tan color but fades into a lighter tan over time. This material is ideal for rustic patios and pathways, and it is also a great option for topdressing around semi-arid and arid plants. The advantage of decomposed granite is that it is readily available and relatively inexpensive.

Pea Gravel

This is another common material that makes up landscaping stones. It is generally small in size and round in shape. The name pea gravel comes from the fact that the rocks are almost the size of a pea. Pea gravel comes in a variety of sizes including 0.25 inch, 0.5 inch and 0.625 inches. The typical colors offered are white, tan, and brown. For the best results, use this material in pathways, patio areas, and to fill spaces in between rocks.

River Rock

This type of rock is almost one inch in size and has a larger diameter compared to pea gravel. River rock can be used to direct drainage or to create dry creek beds.

Mexican Beach Pebbles

Mexican beach pebbles are small rocks that are round in shape and smooth in texture. They have a beautiful, uniform, grayish-black color. Mexican beach pebbles offer an elegant and sophisticated look; they work best when they are used for topdressing container plants that line patio borders.

Your budget, your needs, and your own personal preferences will determine the materials that will make up your new landscaping stones. Contact Kurtz Bros today to decide which materials will work best for you.

Friday, 09 January 2015 09:06

Household Trash That Can Be Added to Your Compost

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3068146 recycle bins 040214 2341Before throwing your kitchen and garden waste in the dumpster, consider adding it to your compost instead. Many people are surprised at just how many different items can be repurposed and used for composting. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but you will also benefit from healthy, rich compost that goes right back into your own garden.

Kitchen Waste

All fruit and vegetable scraps are 100% compost-safe and they provide a good source of nitrogen. Instead of throwing your banana peel into the garbage, try adding it to your compost instead; the same goes for the old fruits and vegetables that have gone bad before you had a chance to eat them.

Egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, and oatmeal are also safe to add to compost. It is recommended that you break down the foods as much as possible if you wish to accelerate the composting process. Napkins and paper towels that are not overly dirty can also be added.

Meat and dairy products should never be added to compost, and this includes bones, grease, fats, or oils. Not only will they cause bad smells, but they will attract maggots, flies, rodents, and other unwanted pests.

Garden Waste

Rather than stuffing your garden waste bin before trash day, add them to your compost where they will balance out the nitrogen from the fruits and vegetables by adding carbon. Garden waste includes flowers, cuttings, leaves—green or brown, and best shredded—grass clippings, garden plants, and weeds that haven’t gone to seed.

House Waste

Outside of the kitchen and garden, there is plenty more house waste that can be added to your compost before throwing it out in the garbage. Paper and cardboard trash—including toiler paper rolls, paper towel rolls, and cardboard boxes—can also be shredded and added to the pile. Newspapers are excellent as well; however, you should not add glossy paper or paper covered in a lot of ink since it has ink and dye that can be made with harsh chemicals.

Hair, dryer sheets, cotton/wool rags, and vacuum cleaner bags are also acceptable. If you raise farm animals and feed them a healthy diet, their waste can also be added to the compost. Hair and waste from house pets, such as dogs and cats, should not be added since they harbor microorganisms that can be harmful.

Before throwing waste out, first decide if it can be added to your compost. You can be a friend to the environment and witness the benefits of compost in your own garden.

6359 101413 gs6359Landscaping stones, also known as aggregates, are a wonderful way to spruce up any walkway, driveway, or relaxation area. Not only do they provide a clean and stylish appearance, but they can also help with drainage issues and are used for a variety of other applications, as well.

Sometimes aggregates are used in a decorative way, and other times they play a less visible, more supporting role. Aggregates generally serve as key components in concrete mixes, bituminous mixes, landscaping mulch and bed dressing, pervious surface pavements, pavement base courses, drainage courses, and construction backfill because of the stability they provide. They also mitigate the movement caused by freeze and thaw cycles and facilitate drainage beneath the pavement.

Because aggregates are highly durable and relatively inexpensive, they are often used by many homeowners for a variety of different situations and needs. Kurtz Bros in Columbus, OH offers three different types of aggregates: Gravel, limestone, and sand. Here is a brief overview of these three options:


Gravel is a highly versatile aggregate with a variety of different benefits and uses.

Pea gravel is recommended both for walking paths and decorative purposes; cobbles are larger, rounded gravel – 4 to 8” in size – that are great for use in water features and landscaping around flower beds; #9 gravel is small –  1/8” in size – and recommended for use under pavers (paver patio stone); #58 gravel aggregate is round in shape and can be anywhere from ½” to 1”, offering the perfect material for backfill, drainage needs, and decorative landscape applications.


Limestone aggregates are made by crushing sedimentary limestone rocks that consist mainly of calcium carbonate. In natural form, they look slightly gray to white, providing natural beauty and a cozy feel. They provide a range of high-performance, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly attributes for a wide range of applications, including construction and landscaping. Limestone aggregates are extremely versatile and can be applied just about anywhere around the home for both interior and exterior flooring needs.


Sand is probably the finest aggregate material available. It’s composed of silica (or SiO2), a chemical compound that is an oxide of silicon. It is mainly used in concrete mixes, bituminous mixes, mortar mixes, and as a setting bed for unit pavers. Joint sand is also applied in the joints of flexible pavement systems to add stability without sacrificing drainage.

Naturally occurring sand may not be a good choice for driveways or walkways since it is easily displaced by traffic, wind, and weather and it often clings to shoes and tires; however, specially-prepared sand that is well suited for many landscape applications is available.

Friday, 26 December 2014 08:59

Earth Blend Leaf Compost vs. Comtil Plus Compost

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beautiful house 1113tm pic 1535Many people are starting to realize the benefits of home gardening—it’s good for the environment and for the overall health of all families. Whether you plan to grow fruit-bearing plants and trees or flowering varieties, choosing the right compost is an essential first step.

Kurtz Bros of Central Ohio in Columbus, OH offers two high-quality compost products: Earth Blend Leaf Compost and Comtil Plus Compost. While both of these products will enrich your soil while adding much needed nutrients, they each have specific benefits to offer and should be considered individually before making a final decision.

Earth Blend Leaf Compost

Earth Blend Leaf Compost offered by Kurtz Bros is made up of decomposed leaf matter. This compost works as a natural fertilizer; it can be used as mulch or as a nutrient rich soil conditioner. Both planting beds and vegetable gardens will benefit from this multipurpose compost. At $24.49/cubic yard, Earth Blend Leaf Compost offers a quality option at an affordable price.

Comtil Plus Compost

Similar to the Earth Blend Leaf Compost, Comtil Plus Compost helps break down clay soil and can be used as mulch and soil conditioner. It is highly recommended for treating poor, underperforming soil; its quality blend is made from the City of Columbus’ residual bio-solids wastewater treatment plants, wood chips, and yard waste.

Comtil Plus Compost also helps the soil to retain moisture and promotes plant root growth as it creates more air space between the soil grains. Other benefits of using Comtil Plus Compost include preventing weeds from growing, protecting plant roots from extreme temperature changes, providing macro and micronutrients to the soil, and the rich, nutty color of the compost makes it an attractive landscaping background. At $29.99/cubic yard, it is a slightly more expensive option but it is worth every penny and should be especially considered when growing fruits and vegetables.

5550-112013-dsc 9185Just because most cities are getting urbanized and concrete jungles are proliferating everywhere, does not mean that people cannot garden anymore. Some people love gardening; and in case you are in a location where planting soil is hard to come by, rooftops are the prime locations to plant.
Before you can start on your rooftop garden, you might need a few tips on what kind of plant is best suited for such a place.

Rooftop Plant Guidelines

First things first, it’s good to keep in mind that with the proper container, you can plant almost any kind plant for your rooftop garden.
However, there are a few things that you need to consider. Rooftops can get very hot. Therefore, you might want to go for plants that are drought-resistant. Hardiness zone and sun exposure are both factors that are important.
Rooftops are able to hold heat, which in turn creates a micro climate. It's best that you choose plants that can handle the micro climates around your roof. Also, since your plants are in a container, they’re not as cold-tolerant as plants that are in the ground.
There is no hard list when it comes to enumerating the best rooftop garden plants. It all boils down to trial and error and what works on your specific rooftop.
As a start, you can try plants that have limited root systems, like herbs and vegetables. Also, small-sized and mid-sized perennials work great in the right setting.

A Few Examples of Great Rooftop Plants

  • Kousa Dogwood
  • Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
  • Blue Star Juniper
  • Dwarf Hinoki Cypress
  • Fanal Astilbe
  • Big Daddy Hosta
  • Ajuga
  • Lavender
  • Day Lily
  • Lamb’s-Ears


Rooftops are a great spot for cultivating that green thumb of yours despite living in a concrete jungle. Picking the best plant for your rooftop garden might be tricky, as rooftops create their own micro climates. You will have to do a few trial and errors. As a start, you can try the enumerated list of plants above.If bringing in an expert is something you want to do, call Kurtz Brothers in Columbus.

Thursday, 11 December 2014 19:00

What is the Difference between Mulch and Topsoil?

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axstj-lanscape04-1013-3648Healthy soil is the foundation of any productive garden. Without it, roots cannot efficiently pull the water and nutrients they need. As a result, it is very important that you know the difference between topsoil and mulch.


Mulch is usually applied to the soil surface to discourage weeds, offer shade and reduce the loss of moisture through evaporation. In most cases, items such as wood chips, bark and shredded waste can be used as mulch. However, if the material is not manufactured by a state approved composting facility, the end product will not be considered as compost. This is because un-composted organic material can contain untreated pet waste, weed seeds and lawn chemicals. A well-managed composting process ensures that all pollutants are broken down. It does this by killing all the weed seeds and pathogens present in the compost.

Materials such as fresh wood mulches can sometimes compete with different plants for nutrients. However, compost still makes excellent mulch for retaining moisture and shading roots during the summer time. In addition, any unwanted airborne pollutants that usually take residence in a planting bed can be easily removed during a routine maintenance in cases where mulch is used. Using mulch also allows earthworms to till the compost deep into the soil. This in turn helps to rebuild the topsoil with no additional effort on the part of the gardener.


Topsoil is the partially decomposed organic matter found between the surface and subsoil. However, it is not compost. Some people refer to is as humus. If the topsoil of your garden is poor or non-existent, its productivity levels will become very low. You can build them up with lighter and more frequent compost applications. However, you should keep in mind that compost and topsoil are not interchangeable. Even though compost can be used to improve or make topsoil, it is still the wrong product for a variety of applications that require the use of topsoil.

Call Kurtz Brothers in Columbus for expert advice!

Thursday, 04 December 2014 19:00

How Does Composting Benefit the Garden?

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2467-101413-gs2467Composting provides a very rich organic matter that helps to improve the quality of your garden soil. It doesn’t really matter whether you sprinkle compost on the top soil, or dig deep into it, your garden plants will still grow healthier and much stronger thanks to the addition.

The following are some of the other ways that your garden can benefit from the use of compost materials:

Improving Soil Structure

Organic particles such as soil, clay and silt, combined with decayed organic materials like humus and compost, help to improve the soil structure of your garden. This unique mixture enables the soil to provide plenty of room for air, nutrients and water to move freely.

Increases Nutrient Content

When any type of organic material is broken down in a compost pile, the decomposition process produces some of the best fertilizing material that you will ever find. They introduce vital nutrients to your garden soil such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous and other micro-nutrients like copper, iron and zinc.

Allows You to Use less Water

Improving the soil structure and nutrient content of your garden involves a whole lot more than producing healthy plants. With the addition of compost materials, heavy soils have a better chance of retaining more water. This in turn helps to reduce any sort of erosion and runoff. The truth is that fertile soils have a far greater moisture retention rate, which allows you to use less water.

Suppresses Pests and Soil-Borne Diseases

According to various research studies, soil treated with compost material tends to produce plants with fewer pests issues. It helps to control insects and diseases that would otherwise overrun a more sterile type of soil that lacks natural checks against their spread. In fact, leaf based compost has shown great potential when it comes to suppressing nematodes. Most homeowners and experts like the crew at Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, also agree that applying compost material helps to suppress different kinds of fungal diseases.

Thursday, 27 November 2014 19:00

Graveling Your Landscape: Explore the Options

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5553-112013-dsc 9189Gravel is an attractive and versatile landscaping tool that can be used to improve the appearance and overall function of your landscape. Besides lending a textural appeal to the landscape, gravel can also be used to solve drainage issues. However, it is vital to know the types of landscaping gravel are available before finalizing your plans and purchasing the necessary landscaping materials. Kurtz Bros in Columbus, OH stocks many options so you will find what you need with ease.

Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a small rock which has been smoothened. They come in a wide variety of colors and their attractive finish makes them suitable for various landscaping applications. Pea gravel is quite small in size and it can be washed away by weather elements such as wind and water. Therefore, borders should be used to keep the rocks in place.

Here are some advantages of using pea gravel:

  • Pea gravel adds a decorative touch to areas that are too small for the larger rocks.
  • You can use pea gravel as base for other landscaping projects.

River Rock

River rocks are smaller than boulders but larger than pea gravel and they are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes. They are commonly used to direct drainage through property or to create dry creek beds.

Tips for using river rock:

  • They can be used to hold down weeds especially in areas where they are a problem.
  • River rock can also be used a ground covering for your yard.

Lava Rock

Lava rock is generally reddish or completely black in color and is quite versatile because it is available in a variety of sizes.

Advantages of lava rock as a landscaping material:

  • You can use crushed lava rock as ground cover or walkways or the entire yard. Besides creating an attractive yard, when lava rock covers the entire yard it minimizes the need for watering.

Flag Stone

Flag stone is a flat piece of rock that is commonly used for various functional and decorative purposes. For instance, flag stones can be used to create a walkway or patio. Before putting the flag stone into the ground, it is advisable to use base materials like paving sand or crushed granite in order to prevent shifting or sliding.


You can use boulders as visual anchor points in the overall design of your landscape. For instance, boulders can be surrounded by smaller pebbles or ornamental grasses to give the yard a natural feel.

In summary, there are various types of gravel available in different colors and forms and there is no limit to the number of ways you can incorporate them in your overall landscape design plan.

Thursday, 20 November 2014 19:00

Why Refined Mulches Are the Best for Your Landscape

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4064-101413-gs4064Mulching is one of the best things you can do to your garden. Nowadays, there are a number of different materials, types, colors and brands. Kurtz Broz in Columbus is one of the best mulch manufacturers in Ohio with over 20 years of experience. We have the latest technology to create very fine mulch that can transform your landscape. All our mulches are processed to the finest stages after which we enhance them with color to cover your landscape and the entire exterior. Currently, we are producing Double and Triple Refined Mulch. The double refined mulch is a hybrid combination of dual processed mulch materials and is available in red, black and brown colors. Triple-processed mulch is available in brown and black colors.

We are the premier source of refined mulch which comes with a lot of benefits, in order to assist our clients in maintaining their garden. Below is a highlight of the benefits of using refined mulches.

The Ultimate Weed Controller

One of the key things that have pushed us to manufacture refined mulch is its ability to limit the growth of weeds in the garden. They have more capacity to block weed growth compared to standard mulches that act single handedly.

Maximum Protection

One of the most outstanding benefits of refined mulches is that they offer your garden maximum protection against animals. We have manufactured them in a good texture that allows minimum sunlight penetration. This enhances their moisture retention capabilities so that your plants stay moist and healthy.

No More Soil Erosion

Many Ohio residents have been complaining of soil erosion but a long term solution is available. Refined mulches are made with a texture that resists rain water from penetrating through that in turn limits the rate at which rain erodes the soil.

110224 0016-26-800-650-80Growing healthy plants is not just a matter of placing them in the ground or container and watering them. It all begins with understanding and choosing the right soil. What most people don't understand is that there is a significant difference between garden soil and potting soil. Kurtz Bros in Westerville, Groveport, Dublin, and Alexandria Ohio stock several varieties to provide what you need. Knowing how they work is the key in using the correct type for your plants.

Gardening Soil Defined

Gardening soil, also known as topsoil, is a natural soil. It is found in the ground and can be mixed with other ingredients to promote healthy plant growth. Common mixtures to topsoil include manure and compost. These mixtures are meant to be "conditioners" to the topsoil because topsoil in and of itself is typically not quite sufficient in making plants grow. It is generally for outdoor plant use due to its natural properties that enable healthy roots and ultimately,enable healthy plants.

The Wonders of Potting Soil

On the other hand, there is potting soil. This soil, as the name suggests, is generally used with potted plants in indoor settings. Because potted plants lack natural nutrients found in topsoil and due to the plant growth environment; potting soil is required to be different from topsoil in terms of composition. Unlike topsoil, potting soil may have little to no natural soil content because it is manufactured from natural and man-created elements. Often, it is made out of different ingredients such as moss, sphagnum, bark, coconut husks, vermiculite, and coir.

These ingredients are used in the soil in order to allow enough air to the roots, while still keeping a soil-like texture that promotes moisture retention and adequate drainage as needed in potted plants. Potting soil is sterilized, which helps in eliminating any growth of harmful substances to the plant such as weeds and fungus. For potted plants, this is critical for they are in a moist environment and hence quite vulnerable to harmful substances.

Thursday, 06 November 2014 19:00

Planting for Your Zone

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6-121013-bkst-1166Many people take gardening as a project for only the summer and the spring. One may be tempted to tend his attention elsewhere and reluctantly allow his beloved flower beds and plots to sleep, waiting for the ground to warm up again. There are many things you can do during the winter and fall to prepare for the next season and continue planting. Here are some tips for planting for your zone.

Know Your Zone

It is the first step to ensuring you have cold and hot season gardening projects. Knowing your zone helps you approximate the expected date of frost or high temperatures in your area. There are many sources that you may use to know your zone.


Mulching makes your garden look nice and blocks weeds from growing. It keeps the soil moist and warm which is useful for keeping the decomposing organic matter, perennials and annuals from going dormant or drying. Healthy mulch goes a long way in preventing bulbs and roots from accumulating frost during the fall. Mulch is effective throughout the year since it prevents water loss during the hot and cold seasons.

Cold Hardy Plants

Cool-season and landscaping species tolerate intense cold in North America. They can survive the winter in more frigid areas such as zones 1 and 2 which are coldest zones in the United States.

Cold Hardy Perennials: Darkest Of All is cold hardy to zone 2. It is perennial and  suitable for borders. It blooms between July and August, growing to over 24 inches.

  •   Hollyhock Cultivar Nigra: It grows to 8 feet and survives the winter in zone 2.
  •   Hardy Jasmine: It is also called January jasmine and blooms through the winter. It needs cold freezing temperatures to thrive fully. 

Heat Tolerant Plants

The hot summer days can easily make your garden more gorgeous when plants are chosen properly. It is important to know their cold limit and determine whether they are perennial or annual to prevent turning your garden into a mess. There is a wide selection of plants which are perennial and adapted to thrive in hot summers. They include Cosmos, Chinese Wisteria, Bougainvillea,Lantana, and the Mexican sunflower.

Thursday, 23 October 2014 20:00

How to Make Pave Stones for Your Walkway

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1783091-wooden-walkway-to-beach-040214-599A walkway designed with stone pavers is an excellent way to save your exterior from being compacted and trampled by foot traffic. In fact, it’s an easy and convenient one day project for DIY enthusiasts. The hardest part in this process is mixing the wet stone dust, which acts as the pavers’ base. You will also have to carefully lift and move the stone. Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, OH has what you need to get this accomplished. Here is how to create lovely paving stones for that future walkway of yours.

Making the Perfect Walkway

Your walkway needs to be wide enough to easily accommodate at least two people at the same time. You should include some curves, and plan your walkway around some trees or other objects. This will make it look more visually appealing. It’s important to lay out the specific dimensions with a standard garden hose. In case the grade’s too steep, you should take a more meandering route.

When you dig out your walkway, you should check the grade at different intervals. This will make sure the surface area is level. It’s perfect to use a slope of around 1/8 inch per foot. You should dig about 8 inches deep, and leave some extra room on both sides to work with. The area should be able to accommodate a 4 inch layer of gravel and a 2 inch layer of sand. This will define the overall thickness of paver stones. If you plan on having a raised walkway, it can eliminate most of your excavation work.

It’s important to install crushed gravel or base layer. You should use a rake to carefully spread out the material evenly. You also need to use a plate compactor to compress it. Do the same with paver sand. When you use matching paver and stone combinations, you can even create a walkway with almost any kind of pattern.

If you want a cleaner edge, you should mark and cut the paver stones with a high quality masonry saw. Last but not the least; you need to use a broom to brush the paver sand into the crevices and cracks. This will bind the paver stones in place.

Thursday, 16 October 2014 20:00

Types of Concrete and Their Uses

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textures-concrete-and-stone-69There are many different types of concrete, and each type is designed for a certain application. Given the world’s continuously growing needs, new concrete formulas are being created on a regular basis. Below is a brief overview of the most common types of concrete and their uses: 

Regular Concrete 

Regular concrete involves the classic mix of sand and other aggregates, as instructed on the commercially available packets of cement. It can withstand a pressure that ranges between 1450 psi and 5800 psi, and it is designed for light duty applications. This type is typically what you would find your driveway is made of. 

Stamped Concrete

This is a rather advanced architectural concrete, and what makes the stamped concrete stand out from the crowd is that it has a very attractive and textured finish, and can be made to resemble real stone, brick, tile, or even wood. Stamped concrete is very popular amongst landscape architects and it is widely used for outdoor remodeling projects.

High Performance Concrete

High performance concrete, or HPC, is a very strong type of concrete that is easy to use. It allows compaction without segregation, has a very early age strength, is highly permeable, very dense, and it can maintain its mechanical properties in the long run. Besides this, high performance concrete is specifically designed for severe environments and harsh weather conditions. 

Concrete is important for many applications, such as driveways and garden paths. It can also have other uses for garden and landscape design. The professionals at Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, Ohio, can assist you with all your landscaping needs.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 20:00

Exciting Stone Design Ideas for Your Landscape

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5452-101413-gs5452Stone designs are a great addition to any outdoor landscape. There are many design ideas that one can explore and then select from. By looking at different design ideas you will find the size and shape of the stones that will look the best in your yard.

Variety in the Stones Available for Your Garden:

  • Color-accent stones
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Texture

Creating Balance

When you are designing a garden path, not every stone has to be the same size or shape. Once you have decided on the most suitable design and color, selecting the size and shape is a simple task. Random sizes can bring great character to a full and natural, uncut garden. However, repeating more or less the exact same distances between each stone in your garden is important for balancing your design. Larger stones are usually a good choice for gardens that hold abundant blooms because they will not look overwhelmed or out of place. Your garden path design could be matched up with the design, color and style of your garden patio. The very same stones can be use throughout, even for the deck.

Ideas for Large Landscapes

If you have a large landscape area that extends across farmlands, you could create a variety of interesting stone pathways of many different colors, shapes and designs. You can choose stones of a color that is exciting and creates contrast, or you can choose stone colors that are in harmony with the existing landscape.

If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and looking for assistance with your landscaping needs, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, Ohio, who would be happy to help!

Thursday, 02 October 2014 20:00

Difference between Concrete and Mortar

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wash 755-1113vv-nvHome is one place that we all take a rest from the hassles of the day. Home remains one place where one can continually invest no matter the kind of job you're doing. Improving the value of your home is the best thing one can do because after everything, all people retire to their homes. Landscaping is very important when it comes to owning that beautiful outdoor look. It usually involves more than just planting and maintaining grass in your home as most people think. Whenever they seek landscaping supplies, they have to decide on the material that will be used.

The path leading to your home is an essential part that should never be omitted when doing landscaping. Here, homeowners have to choose between concrete and mortar. But in most cases, not everyone understands the differences between these two construction materials. Landscaping suppliers like Kurtz Bros in Central Ohio advise clients on the best materials to use help you get what you need. Aside from that, what is the difference between concrete and mortar?

  • They are both used in construction and most people assume the difference comes from how each is used.
  • Each one is specialized for particular uses, but both actually have different properties to them.

About Mortar

Mortar basically consists of a mixture of sand, water and cement. It is a holding material that is used to hold bricks together when building. It is also used to make pave stones or stepping stones. The water is basically used to hydrate the cement and activate it to act as an adhesive or as a solid material when it settles. Mortal is ideal for structural joints as it can last for 20 to 25 years. It lacks the gravel component that is found in concrete, but does work well as stepping stones or decorative landscape borders.

About Concrete

This is a mixture of sand, water and cement but unlike mortar; there is the addition of gravel and rock. Concrete is best used for structural projects as it can form a firm support above the soil. It can be used to form the architectural portion of a home or building.


Before you start working on any project in your home, it is essential to know the best material to use. Both mortar and concrete are available in many versions, such as sand mix, high strength, multi-purpose, etc. Kurtz Bros in Central Ohio can be trusted to help you choose the right landscaping materials and get the right level of appeal for your home.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 20:00

Comparing Regular Mulch to Playground Mulch

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22-1013-P0022Regular mulch is made from organic material like trees and yard or domestic waste. It is used mainly in gardens to curtail weed growth and to control the rate of water loss. It also enhances vibrant growth with yard or garden plants. Playground mulch, on the other hand, is made from various materials like rubber or natural wood chips. It is used in gardening but mostly for playground applications. Kurtz Bros in Columbus, Ohio carries both standard mulch and playground mulch.

Regular Mulch

Regular mulch meant for yard and gardening purposes needs to be made following a natural process that involves subjection to heat of more than 130 degrees for about three weeks. This helps ensure they are free from plant pathogens, weed seeds and harmful pests. Any other process that ensures the same things can be used as well. Regular mulch has the following qualities:

  • Ensures effective weed control
  • Degenerates into soil nutrients and enhanced soil fertility
  • Are softer with a more shredded texture

Playground Mulch

Playground mulch, especially the kind made of recycled rubber, may sound as aesthetic as a synthetic Christmas tree. However, the truth is it has pretty decent upsides. It eliminates the need to mulch annually and is heavy enough to resist erosion by the elements. Playground mulch is however more flammable than regular mulch. Kurtz Bros carries the refined wood version of playground mulch.

Put head to head, both regular mulch and playground mulch provide good results as far as weed control is concerned. Regular mulch releases organic material into the soil whereas playground mulch does not. Regular mulch is also more suitable for diverse purposes, play fields included, because it contains no additives and chemicals that may prove toxic. Playground mulch may leach into the soil and may also contain nylon and mini pieces of steel that makes it not entirely suitable for use in playgrounds despite the name. It does however weather gracefully and does not easily float off.

Thursday, 11 September 2014 20:00

Top Tips to Decorate your Garden

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4997-101413-gs4997Many people are fond of outdoor activities. Therefore, this gives way to the popularity of gardening, decks, and patios, just to name a few. Decorating your outdoor area with beautiful plants, flowers, and amazing landscaping will make your yard inviting and appealing to guests and neighbors. Though there are many ways to enhance your lawn, here are the best and easiest tips that can help you get started in turning your plain old lawn into an enchanting garden:

Plant It Up

The first tip that you can consider is to plant new flowers in your garden. A home with a vibrant and colorful yard will look warm & inviting. However, it is advisable to plant perennial flowers in order to do away with planting new plants after every season. You will be amazed by how simply adding some beautiful flowers to your yard can make such a difference. Beautiful bushes, plants, and small trees are also an option when creating a unique outdoor space. However, keep in mind that bushes and trees require pruning and trimming, otherwise they can look unkempt.

All of the Lights

Another tip to enhance your garden is placing decorative lighting that will make your garden look beautiful, especially at night. Choose lights of different colors in order to make your yard more attractive & appealing. Your local market has wide varieties of bulbs that you can choose from. In addition, you can create a romantic environment outside your house for your loved one by placing candles with jars in your patio.

With a beautifully landscaped garden, your yard will become a relaxing part of your property. Let the professional as Kurtz Bros. in Columbus, Ohio help you with your landscaping needs.

Thursday, 04 September 2014 20:00

How To: Plant Maintenance

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liteicon plus 24Maintaining healthy plants is a very complicated task. Each one requires a certain amount of daily care to keep it in optimum condition. Plants that grow in an outside garden are prone to a number of issues, including insect invasions, weeds, brown leaves, droughts, and more. Nevertheless, there are a few practical tips on plant maintenance that will keep those outdoor plants in tip top shape.

Watering Your Plants

An important part of plant maintenance is proper watering. Don't assume that all the plants in the garden require the same amount of water. Different plants have different requirements. Investigate each one’s particular requirements and group like plants together. Remember to water on a regular schedule. A few more helpful watering tips include:

  • Invest in a soak hose to water plants efficiently.
  • Never wet the leaves in direct sunlight because it might cause damage.
  • Avoid over watering the plants because it might cause root rot.

Providing Proper Lighting

Another part of regular plant maintenance involves making sure that the plants receive proper lighting. Choose plants to fit the amount of sun that your garden receives. For example, one may require full sunlight during the day and should be planted in a garden or yard that receives at least six hours of bright sunlight. Additional tips include the following:

  • ‘Shade’ loving plants only require about 2 hours of partial light per day.
  • ‘Partial sun’ loving plants generally prefer 3 to 4 hours of bright light per day.

Know the Soil Requirements

Another couple key thoughts with plant maintenance includesknowing what type of soil characteristics each plant requires and making sure that the soil is rich with organic material to keep the plant healthy and growing strong. Some plants require easily drained soil, while others love to soak. Regardless of drainage requirements, the best soil includes a generous amount of compost and peat to help promote proper growth. Replace garden soil on a regular basis to make sure that plants receive the proper nutrients. Other tips to use are the following:

  • Replace the soil in garden containers every year to keep plants healthy.
  • Level the soil to properly feed all the plants in the garden or a container.
  • Use small stones or rocks to make soil drain better if plant requires well drained soil.

In using these great tips, you will have a beautiful garden to enhance your home. If you are in need of any plants, Kurtz Bros in Columbus, OH has what you need to make that beautiful landscape stand out and look beautiful.

iStock 000018810800LargeThere are manydifferent types of weeds, and they can cause damage to your precious plants. Weeds can be classified into two main categories:grass weeds and wide leaf weeds. They take nutrients away from the other plants nearby, and steal space in your yard or garden. Weeds can quickly take over andnegatively affect your garden. It is vital that you eradicate them efficiently, so they don't regrow to cause damage to your plants. There are a few effective ways to reduce or eliminate weeds:


There are many chemical that are effective at eliminating the weeds from the garden, known as herbicides.Herbicides can kill the weeds in germination period and they are also able to destroy pre-existing weeds that are mature. Be careful not to overspray these products, as they can sometime be harmful to your other plants.

Hand Pulling

Hand pulling is the quickest way of removing weeds, as it removes them immediately, and is often still required after using herbicides. While it does take a bit more physical effort, the garden will be free from weeds.


Covering the ground with mulch can restrict weed growth. By placing a layer of mulch in your garden you are reducing the development of weeds that are unwanted in your garden. 

These are a few of the strategies which can help you eliminate weeds from your garden. It's vital that you recognize how you can't remove them permanently; they willreappear over time. Nevertheless, you can take effectively seize control so they do not take over your whole garden. Kurtz Bros in Dublin, Ohio would be happy to assist you with your landscaping and lawn care supplies.

Thursday, 03 July 2014 20:00

Amazing Ideas for Your Exterior

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268-101413-gs0268If you want to bring about a difference in your home exterior, there are many things you can do, ranging from very complicated ones, such as landscaping, to simple ones that do not require a lot of expertise. Your home exterior is just as important as your interior and it deserves just as much care. When people drive by your home they will not see the inside but the outside, and that is the impression that they will have of your house. You should therefore make sure that your home is pleasing to look at and that you like what you see.

Applying Fresh Paint

The walls of your house may have peeling paint and need to be repainted. Choose paint that will bring out the architectural features and design of your home to give your house a new look. When you get the right paint and finish, you will be impressed by what you see. Painting your house properly will have a wonderful effect on the appearance of your home, and you will be very proud of it.

Flowers and Shrubs

We all love nature and are impressed when we take walks in parks and other areas where there is a lot of green plants. You can also do the same thing to your home to make it more appealing by adding flowers and shrubs in there to give it that touch of nature. You can choose different types of flowers for your home so that the garden and yards teems with life.

As for the shrubs and trees, never forget to take good care of them. When you let the shrubs and trees overgrow they will have a negative effect on the appearance of your home. No one wants to see overgrown branches and twigs since it is a very unpleasant sight.

There are a lot of things to consider when you’re trying to refresh the exterior of your house. For a professional opinion and supplies, check with an experienced team like Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, Ohio. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014 20:00

Recycling Your Yard

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6214-101413-gs6214Every gardener knows that his garden is the perfect center for recycling almost any organic waste. Here, you will find the secret of turning your garden trash into tools. To do so, you can start with collecting handy-looking objects. That way, you will find many junk items to recycle in less than an hour’s time.

When we talk about recycling the yard, what kind of trash do you think you should collect? If you are doing it for the first time, you will need a lot of time to decide your favorite ones, and those who already have a few favorites must be aware of the potential uses of those objects. In short, anything that you think can be recycled and used for any other purpose is a good candidate to pick from the trash you just collected. Here are a few tips for yard waste recycling to give you a better insight.

Did you know that reflected light has proven to be highly effective in keeping plant-eating insects away, including aphids? Also, some plants enjoy improved productivity when they get additional reflected sunlight. So what are the things that you can use from your yard trash to get all these benefits? Let’s find out below:

Take those shiny metal-lids from food cans and use them as reflectors by placing them on the ground right under the foliage of sunlight-loving plants. You will get bigger and better plants without any trouble of insects.

How about using those big squares of aluminum foil around small garden rocks? You can use them to distribute strawberry beds to hasten the ripening of berries even in cooler areas. The garden rocks can absorb and hold heat during day and release the same during cool nights that will help the strawberries grow well during ripening period.

These shiny stones have another important use, too. The foil used for wrapping will bounce the sunlight to the undersides of leaves. As a result, insects that hide there will no longer be able to harm the plant.

For more ideas on how to recycle your yard waste, check with the professional landscaping providers at Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, Ohio.

Thursday, 12 June 2014 20:00

Let Your Mulch Manage Your Garden

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2332-112013-dsc0874The Magic of Mulch

By adding mulch to your flowers and gardens, you are enhancing its health and adding to the superb appearance of your landscaping.

Covering your flower beds with a single layer of mulch helps with keeping weeds at bay along with reducing the need for constant watering.

The dark soil surfaces that exist after applying mulch also help prevent annual pesky weeds from sprouting ruining your flowers’ health and appearance.

Mulches come in various types. They differ in composition, appearance, and texture, each having influence on the way you will use them. If you need help choosing the right mulch in the Columbus, Ohio area, check with professional landscape suppliers like Kurtz Brothers.

To get the most from your mulch, here are some mulching tips:

Variations in Appearance

If you are hoping for an appealing natural look to your garden, your best choice is darker-colored mulch. If you can find organic mulch from compost or bark, go with this option.

For a garden that shines with a brilliant sparkle, go with a bright gravel mulch. Straw is an excellent choice for vegetable and fruits.

Always avoid using beauty bark or mulch made with colors as dyes can be harmful to your plants.

Improving Your Garden Soil

You want to strive to improve your soil year after year. In order for this to take place, organic mulch that will break down into fresh, organic matter to your soil is your best option.

Using Texture Where it Matters

To achieve the maximum effect for a texture from one thin layer, shop for a fine-textured mulch, such as:

  • Compost
  • Cocoa hulls
  • Twice-shred bar
  • Mulching Tips of the trade

If you are seeking an airy-type mulch, consider bark chunks or straw which adds coarse textures.

Using generous amounts of straw or hay when your ground has its first frost will help keep your ground frozen until the end of harsh winter. At this point removing and replacing the mulch will be necessary.

A layering of newspaper with or without a layer of mulch will kill any unwanted weeds or sod. Not only does this cut off the sunlight to the unwanted plants the paper will decay adding compost to your garden.

By adding compost or mulch to your gardens, you are allowing mother nature's products to be recycled time and time again. Nothing gets wasted, and your garden is healthy and greener with each year.

Thursday, 05 June 2014 20:00

Materials for your Patio

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2122370-gazebo-and-villa-040214-2147Your patio floor is exposed to the elements and more traffic than an indoor floor is. That is why it is important to choose a good material for patio flooring that is able to withstand these various negative effects while still looking good. The three main types of patio flooring materials are concrete, decking, and landscaping stones or paver blocks. Let us take a closer look at each of them.

Concrete: Probably the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning concrete is a cold material. However, concrete is neither dull nor cold. Concrete patios can now be made from a wide variety of colors and can be tinted or stamped. One can choose from a wide range of colors, designs, textures, and patterns. There is even the possibility to opt for stamped concrete that looks like wood, brick, or stone. Concrete patios can be made from interlocking pavers or tiles. The options are endless, and apart from all these advantages from an aesthetic point of view, you can still appreciate the fact that the material is going to be durable and resistant for a long time to come.

Decking: Deck patios are another common choice. They give a subtle beauty and elegance to your patio as they are made from wood materials. Cedar and redwood are the most commonly used materials. There are also more affordable options such as composite deck components and vinyl. These are more environmentally friendly and are thus gaining popularity. They are also much easier to maintain than traditional wood options.

Paver blocks: Patios made from paver blocks are also quite common. The paver blocks can come in a wide range of colors, so one will be able to choose the tone that he prefers the most. They are a durable option, and there is also the advantage that such blocks can be used in other constructions, such as for the patio walls and pillars, thus complementing the whole area nicely.

If you’re looking for great landscaping ideas, supplies, or landscaping stones for your patio in the Columbus, Ohio area, look no further than Kurtz Brothers.

Thursday, 22 May 2014 20:00

Which Landscaping Stones Are Right For You?

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It is important to carry out a thorough study of your land and put the results on paper before you begin looking for the right materials for your landscaping project. When those materials include stones, they have a great impact on the success of your project. The process of choosing the best materials may be tricky because they are very many brands in the market that have different features. So, which landscaping stones are right for you? This is dependent on several factors as outlined below.

Application of the stone: It should be the first feature to consider when choosing the right landscaping stones. It takes into account where the stone will go, the number of stones you will require, the elements it will be exposed to and the force it will have to endure. It is advisable to consider the application because different landscaping stones are used in different areas that include:

    • Creating outdoor living rooms
    • Facing retaining wall and edging garden beds
    • Facing outdoor fireplace, a house front
    • Lining patios and walkways
    • Framing ponds

Texture: It reflects the nature of the stones in terms of durability and strength. It can also help distinguish real stones from brick and cement products that may have similar features. Landscaping stones are available in various natural forms that include boulders, flagstones, pebbles, limestone, sandstone, and granite.

Color and Design: The design of the stones should match with the architectural design of your home. The color should also match for the landscape to be attractive. Your personal style and preferences can go a long way in deciding the color and design of the stones you want to use.

It is obvious that you want quality landscaping stones that last for a longer time and provide a good look with a feel of modern garden or home design. Keep the above factors in mind and consult with Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, Ohio, and you will get landscaping stones that suit all your needs. 

Different mulches are known to have different uses and functions, from water preservation to the protection of roots from extreme and fluctuating temperatures to anything in between. Unbeknownst to many though are other creative uses for mulch aside from gardens. Because it’s not all mulches that have other alternative uses, it’s important to identify those that can be used for such activities. They include but are not limited to the following:

    • Pebble Mulch
    • Rock Mulch
    • Pumice Rock Mulch
    • Wood Chips, Sawdust and Shredded Bark
    • Mulches as Pathways and Driveways

The use of pebble mulch on driveways and pathways is quite common. They are popular for this purpose because they allow water to easily drain through them. This is one major advantage these mulches have over common materials used for pathways and driveways such as asphalt and cement. They are also relatively cheaper and easy to maintain. When using pebble mulch it is advisable to use medium-sized pebbles or gravel, if they are too small they will be pushed out of their intended area. The best arrangement, though; is to have them confined within a structure that’s trenched.

Mulches as Markings

Pumice rock or general rock mulches can be used to mark your outdoor area and give some glitter and glamour to the place. They can be used to divide areas such as a vegetable patch from a grassy area, and relatively large rock mulches can also be used to either hide or block areas such as unfinished fences or newly planted areas.

When using rock mulches for marking purposes, it is advisable to take into consideration the color of the house and that of the stones. If you want a more spacious image then go for complimentary colors. Alternatively, you can use stones with similar colors as your house to promote the illusion that the stones are part of your home.

When using the above mentioned mulches, it is important to take into consideration the surface texture of the stones, this is especially so when you have them in pathways and around swimming pools. This is important so as to avoid instances of slipping or falling.

Consulting with the professionals at Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, Ohio, can ensure you get the product you want at the quality you expect.

Thursday, 08 May 2014 20:00

Mulch Delivery

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The demand for mulch delivery services among landscape professionals and homeowners has hit the ground running in the recent times. Perhaps this is because of the desire to have awesome landscapes that will draw people to like moths to flames. This is exactly what mulch delivery services offered by Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, Ohio epitomize. Here is a sneak peak of a few tips and tricks of reaping maximum benefits from these services.

Tips for successful mulch delivery services at Kurtz Bros.

Go through the content on the site and identify the right premium bulk options that fit your décor and budget. It is important to listen to your heart at this time, remember there is never a second chance to give a good first impression. This is because there is something for everyone, including Everblack® and Everbrown® Triple Processed Mulch, Amerimulch® Black and Amerimulch® Brown Double Processed Mulch or Playground Mulch.

You can collect the materials of your choice at any of our convenient locations (Westerville, Dublin, Groveport and Alexandria (Brookside)) and have them delivered to your home or business. However, it is important to give at least 24-hour notice to make processing of the mulch delivery request easy. It is also important to choose a good drop off point and to make it suitable for dropping, depending on whether the delivery will be done using a single axle dump truck or six-axle dump truck.

In case of doubt, contact us or call us on the number 614-524-0495. For instance, if you are planning for delivery of premium bulk mulches of your choice, call us so that we can help you in going through the details of making such a delivery possible. You can be sure to get professional assistance at all times.

Select a durable mulch option. Durability is an important landscaping consideration because since maintaining a good look for a long time is the dream of every homeowner or landscaping professional. In this light, it is important to choose triple-processed mulch that has color enhancements to enhance its durability.

In a nutshell, passion in mulch delivery services has its place at Kurtz Bros. For this reason, if you are looking for customized mulch delivery services, the search is over. Indeed, customer satisfaction is at the heart of each Kurtz Bros employee and clients can be sure of quality and friendly service.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 20:00

Types of Mulch and Their Uses

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Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of an area of soil. This layer is applied to conserve moisture, improve fertility of the soil, reduce growth of weed and enhance visual appeal of the area.

There are two different categories of mulch: organic & inorganic. Organic mulches are substances produced by the plant world and decompose with time. As the mulch decomposes, they give your soil nutrients. Organic mulches include bark, leaf mold, garden compost, grass clippings, hay, and bark chips.

Inorganic mulch protects the top layer of the soil and adds beauty to your garden. Such inorganic materials can be used while landscaping your garden. While this type is long-lasting, once it’s laid, it restricts access to soil, making it very difficult to add more matter to it.

Types of Organic-Mulch


They are very popular and also freely available. When the trees shed their leaves, you can gather them, then cut them using a shredder or a lawnmower. After they decompose, they give your soil an absorbent, porous structure.

Bark Chips

Bark chips and composed bark is a mulch that provides a very beautiful finish to your garden. This type of mulch takes much longer to decompose compared to grass or leaves. There are different types of chip sizes available today, and smaller chips are usually easier to work with. They are best used around shrubs, trees, and perennial gardens.

Grass Clippings

Grass clippings or lawn clipping can be collected once you mow your own lawn. They can be used in the vegetable garden. Some people mix them with tree leaves or some rough compost to protect them from being compressed into mat. They work best when spread around even tiny plants because they have a fine texture.

Straw or Salt Hay

Field hay, straw, and salt hay all have very similar properties; they are untidy, lightweight and make a great winter covering. They are in most cases sold in bales and can be used in gardens where finesse isn't a concern.

Peat Moss

This is a great option because it’s long-lasting and very convenient. This type also lowers PH level of soil and is therefore used for acid-loving plants like blueberries and rhododendrons.

When determining which type of mulch is best suited to your landscaping project, a professional landscaping supplier like Kurtz Brothers in Columbus, Ohio, can help.