Installing & Maintaining Sustainable Landscapes

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a permit to rip-rap?

Shoreline Restoration/Rip Rap »

2. How Close can a Firepit/Patio/Path be installed to the lake?

In Polk County WI where most of our design build projects are installed, the " only structures" allowed within 75' of ordinary high watermark "OHWM" are

  1. a 5' wide pedestrian walking path or steps for access to the waterfront.
  2. a 14' x26' boathouse wiht open sided handrail on top.

Any other structures like retaining walls, patios, decks or driveways are generally not permitted UNLESS you are replacing an existing structure in same footprint. In our experience, a simple fire pit, or fire ring that does NOT have a hard surface surrounding it(patio), is generally not an issue with zoning. The more permanent the structure is.... the more difficult it will be to get acceptance from Polk County. There are a few exceptions to the above rules, however they are site specific and have constraints that a acompany them. We would be happ to share our experiences with you if we think you may be eligible.

3. Do I need a permit to "Landscape" on my waterfront property?

In Polk County, WI, Most of our design/ build projects that are within 300' of navigatable water require us to get a "LUP", Land Use Permit. In general we always explain to clients that we need to check with local municipalities to see what permits and inspections we may need to get both prior to starting and possibly during construction. Most people are shocked that the same body of water may have several different municipalities governing it. Balsam Lake is a great example. The Village of Balsam Lake has about 30-40% of shoreland zoning and Polk County governs the rest.... and they are VERY DIFFERENT!! We often suggest clients who are shopping for new additions to their property set up a meeting with local zoning administrations so they can get information first hand from those that issue the permits. (See Also #2)

4. Will Pro-Lawn Warranty my new lawn/seed?

Our name says it all ....."Pro-Lawn", However we are no match for mother nature and unforseen events. We budget for 2-3 return trips to repair newly installed lawns that may have the following conditions: washout, unwanted weeds, sparce germination, or damage from humans and animals. Usually these conditions are NOT caused by something we did or did not do. Rather they are events that are just part of life. We understand we have the tools, materials and knowledge to get things back in order and repaired. New lawns started from seed take time, water, food and regular maintenance to flurish. Most sod farms grew seed for several seasons before it is ready for harvest and resale. We will help guide the client through the steps required to get the lawn you always wished you had.

5. How much will "x" cost and what if I change my mind or add on items?

One of the most frequently asked questions and one of the most difficult to answer with certainty. Our team has developed and intense bid package that takes many factors into account:

  • access
  • new construction/remodel
  • location, travel time
  • erosion control
  • supervisor and design consultations

The above factors plus hundreds of other are gathered and imported into software thta adds equipment and man hours based on previous projects we have completed. No 2 jobs are exactly alike, that is why we do not use square foot or lineal foot pricing.

If Changes are required either before or during the project, we can provide you with a change order describing the change in scope of the work and cost involved. This likely wil not happen directly on site as we will need the information described earlier to get the client accounts costs and timelines.

6. Can you cut my grass shorter?

Pro-Lawn will mow lawns at 3 1/4"-4". The general rule for mowing is to never cut more than 1/3 of the blade(leaf) of grass. If the lawn is cut too short it will expose the crowns to excess sun and heat (possibley damaging them), make moisture evaporate quickly, give weeds a better chance to establish. Anytime the blades are cut, it opens the plants up to be more vulnerable to disease and pests. With less blade length it reduces the plants ability to photosynthesize and heal itself. How much water (irrigated, received/forecasted rain) is getting to the turf, temperature/heat index, and fertilizer/weed control applications are some of the variables we take in account when determining cut height.

7. How can i get my grass to grow better?

Amount of water, nutrients, and sun exposure are important variables to keep healthy, beautiful turf.

  • Turf grass needs the right amoun to water to be healthy. Too little water will cause shallow root growth, and too much will create an ideal environment for pests and disease Irrigation is a solution but not a cure all.
  • Nutrients ar vital for lush healthy lawns. Most soils do not contain the essential nutrients to achieve such results. A fertility/weed control program will help supply the nutrients that your turf needs and also suppress the weeds before they have a chance to establish themselves.
  • Sun exposure is very important for lush and beautiful turf. Shaded turf areas will grow with indirect sunlight, but won't be as efficient ( not as much sun to use for photosynthesis). A simple solution (not a popular one) is to thin out the tree canopy to let light into shaded areas.

8. How do I figure out how much mulch or rock I will need for my project?

Click Here »

We provide service to Polk and surrounding counties.
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