2023 New Year’s Resolutions For An Exceptional Backyard

New Year's resolutions

The year is coming to an end, and now is the time to consider new home improvements! With a fresh start, comes a fresh and exceptional yard. There are many attainable goals that homeowners can set to upgrade their lawn and refine their landscape aesthetic. To achieve this, we will highlight several methods that can spark your creativity and get you working on your outdoor space. Check out these landscaping New Year’s resolutions for an exceptional backyard! 

Composting Is Important 

If you do not already have a compost bin, now is the time for it! If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to recycle more, composting is for you! Compost allows you to reduce waste and incorporate nutrient rich scraps into your soil. It is a simple process that ultimately improves the moisture and health of your lawn while reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers. There are many benefits to composting, so consider adding it to your New Year’s resolutions

Brighten Things Up

For the new year, consider adding light fixtures to your backyard. It will lighten up your space and brighten your mood during these dark winter months. Light fixtures allow you and your guests to enjoy the beauty of your space at all times of the day. There are several options for implementing lights into your backyard. Whether they’re lined up on your patio or in your pool— the possibilities are endless! For this landscaping New Year’s resolution, let your inspiration guide you to create a magical backyard. 

Water-Efficient Landscaping 

This practice uses technology and techniques that reduce water usage to conserve and vitalize your backyard habitat. The design incorporates a combination of any of the following elements: sheet mulching to reduce lawn size, water-saving irrigation and opting for artificial grass. By utilizing these methods, you will come closer to completing your New Year’s resolutions. These are sustainable options that will cause your backyard to thrive throughout the new year. 

Weed Pulling 

Extracting weeds is certainly one of the most tedious tasks for any person! Although it can be a dreadful activity, pulling weeds will significantly improve your backyard. To make the task easier it is important that you use the correct technique and proper tools. This will prevent future weed growth after removing them. When considering the health of your beautiful space, this New Year’s resolution can spruce up your yard for years to come! Don’t hesitate to get started now on weed pulling activities! 

All in all, landscaping should be about making your backyard dreams come true! It’s a fun activity that entails hard work and constant attention, but the payoff is immeasurable. It is key to remember that landscaping professionals are always at your disposal. If you need assistance with creating your dream backyard, Giovine Landscaping is here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758 or visit our website today!

Making Your Lawn Beautiful…All Year Long!

A beautifully maintained lawn can not only add to your home’s curb appeal, but it can also add to your family’s quality of life outdoors. Outdoor activities like sports, cook-outs or simply relaxing outside on a beautifully maintained lawn can add so much joy to your life! By making your outdoor area beautiful, it can add appreciation and love for your home. With each passing season there are many challenges to keeping your grass healthy, but taking some simple steps throughout the year can help keep your lawn beautiful all year long! Giovine Landscaping will use their professional skills to help you and your family make the most out of your outdoor space. 

Winter 

Although there’s not much to maintain during the colder months, there are steps to achieve your healthy lawn goals! By preventing your grass from becoming dry and drab, it will keep your lawn beautiful for the spring months.

Make sure you cut your grass as short as possible before the snowy season begins. Also make an effort to remove any abundance of dead leaves before winter hits. Aerating is also crucial for healthy lawn maintenance before the first frost occurs. Aerating is when holes are created in your grass to relieve compaction and allow oxygen in. It also allows for roots to receive nutrients and water, so they don’t die and stay green!

Spring 

In the spring, it is important to mow on a regular schedule to keep your yard healthy. Make sure your lawn is receiving regular water, whether through a sprinkler system or manual water care. Applying a slow-release fertilizer will allow your yard to “spring” back from the cold winter months! Check out our website for an opportunity to see what we offer our clients. We will always listen to what your goals are and help you achieve them in a timely and cost-effective manner. 

Summer 

During the hottest months of the year, watering your grass is crucial. Doing so during the coolest times of the day will be most beneficial to your lawn. Either early in the morning, before sunrise, or later in the evening will work best to avoid evaporation. It is crucial to regularly apply fertilizer and keep up with mowing and maintaining your beautiful lawn! 

Fall 

Fall is the best time for fertilization and seeding. The cooler months will help develop a stronger root system. Pulling all the weeds and making sure leaves are removed promptly will allow the sunlight to reach your soil, keeping any greenery healthy.

Whenever you need help maintaining a beautiful lawn, we are here to help! At Giovine Landscaping we have experts ready to help answer any and all of your lawn care questions. Please feel free to contact us at 973.325.1758. We have been in business for more than 30 years, helping our clients and are more than happy to help YOU! 

Follow Us On Facebook For Updates! 

Winter Landscaping Guide For A Beautiful Home

Wintertime is synonymous with icy landscapes, snow-covered scenes, and beautiful imagery. This provides the perfect backdrop for your property and allows you the opportunity to ornament it with trees, shrubs, and hardscapes. When decorating your lawn with various plants or objects, there are important landscaping tips to keep in mind. Continue reading this winter landscaping guide so you can keep your garden picture perfect throughout the colder months.

Don’t Stop Watering

Many people think that just because the temperature is dropping that grass and shrubs no longer require regular watering— that is not the case! Not watering your plants, lawn, and hedges can result in several issues, including making them susceptible to disease. Every winter, come back to this landscaping guide and don’t forget to hydrate your greenery.

Cut Your Grass Short

The optimal grass length for the winter season is within the range of 2 to 2.5 inches. When outside of this range, your grass is at risk of contracting diseases such as snow mold. When keeping your lawn perfect, it is important to follow this landscaping guide and maintain your grass length during the colder months. Furry creatures such as mice like to hide and dig nests in the grass during these months. Although they are cute, they can provide damage to your lawn. 

Pick Out Winter-Blooming Flowers

Uncommon to popular belief, flowers will actually be in their prime during these months and are a perfect addition to your garden. There are a variety of options: violets, pansies, snowdrops, honey wort, and winter jasmine. The guide goes on (in fact, you can find an extensive one here to aid you in your selection). These flowers will be sure to brighten up any drabby lawn!  Each flower comes with their own set of care needs and blooming periods so make sure to read up before making any big purchases.

Incorporate Light Outside 

Your homescape can easily be elevated with outdoor lighting, which is especially nice given how early it gets dark during this season. Wall lights are great for your home’s exterior and spotlights are perfect to accentuate paving, decking, and steps. There is a slew of equipment to pick from, and the possibilities are endless. 

The cold season should not be a time for slowing down on backyard development— if anything, it should spark some more creativity! This winter landscaping guide should be just enough of a kickstart to get you working on your winter homescape. If at any point you seek assistance with any of your landscaping troubles, contact Giovine Landscaping! They are here to support you through any landscaping issue you have! Their professional team can also assist you in decorating your lawn for the perfect winter set-up! Call now at: 973-325-1758.

Follow Us On Facebook For Updates! 

What Animals Live In My Backyard (And What to Do About Them)?

            Your backyard and garden host a thriving ecosystem of creatures, this can be a small problem or can be larger than life. When we first come into the possession of a beautiful yard, it becomes easy to forget that it is not just our home. Due to them not always being visible, we can forget that wildlife exists in our backyard and surrounds our home. These animals can prove to be pests or be helpful to your garden. Being knowledgeable about what roams your shared space will allow you to stay safe and keep your garden healthy! Keep on reading if you’d like to answer the question, “What lives in my backyard?”

Foxes

            Foxes are sly animals commonly found in residential neighborhoods. They are often sighted near homes as they are attracted to sources such as garbage, pet food and other sustenance. These creatures can pose an issue if you own any pets. Typically, they will not engage with large, full-sized pets but can with smaller ones. In that case, loud noises tend to scare them off easily. Otherwise, they pose no threat to your backyard ecosystem.

Racoons

            Racoons are like foxes in their nocturnal hunt for food but have sticky fingers. These animals should usually be avoided due to the potential of carrying rabies or transmitting diseases through urine and fecal matter. They also will dig up any garbage or food that is left in your backyard. It’s best to avoid leaving food outside to stop this problem. Also, consider investing in humane repellents to make them flee without harming them.

Opossum

            Compared to their bad reputation, this marsupial is actually a lovely visitor! Though they may steal food that you leave out in your backyard, there is no risk of them digging up your garbage or garden. In fact, they are known for naturally promoting garden health as they consume insects and small rodents. They have also been known to eat snakes, which keeps your backyard safe.

Deer

            Deer are elegant creatures that you are guaranteed to spot when living near a wooded area. It is important to remember that they are wild animals and will not behave the same way your dog or cat would. They can be physically aggressive at times and often carry ticks. To keep them out of your garden, it is good to recognize the factors that are attracting them to your residence. For example, there are several trees, shrubs, and flowers that draw them into backyards. Additionally, water sources and the presence of lawn fungi will certainly make them gallop over to your place.

            To conclude, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the diverse set of critters that enter your natural abode. By answering the question, “What animals live in my backyard?” you will not only keep yourself secure but will preserve your backyard’s beauty. When it comes down to lawn care and landscaping services, it is best to contact a trained professional. With that being said, Giovine Landscaping is always happy to help. Feel free to reach us at 973-325-1758.

Do You Know These Common Landscaping Mistakes?

Decorating your yard is an exciting new feat in the home design process. The outdoor space surrounding your house is a completely blank canvas, and that can be overwhelming for both old and new homeowners. Most people aren’t taught the ins and outs of maintaining a garden, so many landscaping faux pas are committed (many of which go unnoticed). To have a beautiful, thriving outdoor ecosystem that will ornament your home wonderfully, it’s important to avoid these common landscaping mistakes.

Home and Plants Are Too Close Together

Plants need decent room to grow properly. Overgrown trees and shrubs located too close to the home might begin to disturb roofing and foundation material, damaging your property. In addition, the pests within these plants may be able to enter your home easier. 

Lawn Is Too Short

Another common landscaping mistake is keeping a nicely-trimmed lawn. Although it looks stunning and clean, it is actually extremely harmful to its health. If the grass of your lawn (keep in mind the various types of grass) is too short or you’re mowing it too often, it prevents the grass from performing photosynthesis adequately. Additionally, roots won’t grow properly, exposed soil will get damaged, and, your lawn will not be absorbing substantial nutrients. 

Overlooking the Seasons

People will often venture out to nursery or plant yards and buy what’s in season at the moment. Homeowners should keep in mind that various flowers bloom at different times throughout the year, so a proper selection must be made if year-round foliage is wanted. 

Fertilizing Wrong

Firstly, if you are not fertilizing at all, that is an issue. On the other hand, many homeowners fertilize too much or improperly. To avoid this common landscape mistake, one should fertilize twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. It should never be done in bright sun and always be followed by a good watering. Also, when planting new plants, fertilizer should be mixed in with the new soil. 

Planting Too Deeply

Many think that the more soil they can get around the base of the plant, the better off it will be. However, the root system needs air flow to it, otherwise this common landscaping mistake can choke the tree or shrub to death. Furthermore, planting too deeply may cause root rot. A good rule of thumb is to look at the main stem, the largest branch, and then where all the tentacles diverge from— the convergence point should be right at the surface. Otherwise, homeowners should plant their tree as deep as the pot it came in. 

Not Contacting Professional Landscapers

A plan for your yard can be hard to manage but trained experts will make the job so much easier. From lawn upkeep to keeping your plants properly fertilized, our team at Giovine Landscaping are the ones who will be able to assist you. They will be able to provide input on soil quality, pruning, and virtually everything you need to create and sustain a gorgeous outdoor space. With that being said, Giovine Landscaping provides all of the mentioned services at the utmost quality. Give them a call at (973) 325-1758 to avoid any of these common landscaping mistakes.

Top 5 End of Summer Landscaping Tips

End of summer landscaping tips will keep your lawn looking great!

It may still be scorching hot out, but in the next few weeks, that heat will begin to cool. As summer starts to wind down, you may be wondering how best to take care of your landscaping to prepare for the change in weather. No worries – we’ve got you covered. There are a number of easy things you can do to keep your yard healthy and prepare it for when the weather gets colder. Check out our favorite end of summer landscaping tips!

1. Harvest Your Vegetables

If you have a vegetable garden, you likely already have some crops growing, and you may have more come the fall. In order to make space and keep your plants healthy, make sure you harvest whatever vegetables have already grown. This will help new vegetables grow and receive a nice amount of nutrients. You can then add your harvested veggies into a delicious end-of-summer salad!

2. Deadhead and Cut Flowers

Believe it or not, it’s actually healthy for certain flower plants, like peonies, when you cut off the blooms, especially as they start to shrivel. This is called deadheading your plants. Deadheading is important both for the appearance of the plant and to encourage more buds to grow and bloom. The best part is you can then gather up your cut flowers and display them in your home!

3. Repair Your Lawn

If you have had a baby pool out all summer or any other kind of water play structure, you’ll notice that the grass underneath is probably not in the best condition—and is possibly even dead. The end of summer is a great time to reseed your lawn so that any bare patches or dead areas can have a chance to grow again.

4. Prepare for Fall Planting

Fall is a great time to plant bulbs that will bloom after the winter, and the end of summer is when you can start thinking about which bulbs to buy! There are also some seedlings that do well in the fall and that can be seeded towards the end of summer. Speak to your local gardening professional to get advice on which bulbs and seeds are best prepared this time of year.

5. Prevent Weed Growth

Weeds like to shoot up in your lawn during the fall months, and the best way to prevent weeds is to be proactive. Speak to your landscaper or do your own research on ways to treat your lawn to prevent weeds from growing. Depending on the kind of grass you have and your own personal preferences about chemicals, there are a variety of herbicide treatments you can choose from that will be effective in keeping weeds at bay.

If you keep these end of summer landscaping tips in mind, your property will stay healthy and looking its best! But you don’t have to do it alone. At Giovine Landscaping, our experts can prepare your landscaping to help you stay ahead of the game and keep your lawn healthy and beautiful throughout the fall. We’ll clean up any dead branches or blooms, seed grass where necessary, and treat your lawn to keep it in good shape.  No matter what your landscaping needs and goals are, we will work with you to care for your greenery every season!

Lawn Care: A Guide to Different Kinds of Grass

Kinds of grass

You may not think much about the grass growing on your lawn, but did you know that there are different grasses with different characteristics and care needs? The grass you have also affects what else grows on your lawn. The more you know about your grass, the better you’ll be able to understand and care for the greenery on your property. Here are just a few descriptions of the most common kinds of grass in the Northeast United States so you can get an idea of what kind of grass you have.

1. Kentucky Bluegrass

No, this grass is not technically from Kentucky, though Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State! Bluegrass is actually believed to have been brought to the United States from European and Asian countries back in the early days of settlers. The grass blades are not blue, either, but the buds are a bluish color, giving this grass its name. Bluegrass is considered a cool-season grass, which means it thrives in the cooler seasons of spring and fall but doesn’t do as well in the Dog Days of summer. It is one the most popular grass varieties throughout the country.

2.  Fescue

Fescue is another cool-season grass but it also does well in warm weather. This hardy grass is low-maintenance, and its long roots do an efficient job on their own of soaking up nutrients, meaning it doesn’t need much fertilizer provided by outside sources (like from you or your landscaper). Fescue is prone to growing weeds in the summer, but looks full and perfect all winter!

3. Zoysia

Zoysia grass is less common but can still be found in the Northeast United States. It is a warm-season grass and looks its best during the hot summer months. It is considered hardy and low maintenance, but also turns brown or yellow for ¾ of the year when the weather is cooler. It is also an aggressive grass variety, and can encroach into your neighbors’ yards, or into your garden bed. That said, it typically remains thick and lush all year long, even if it doesn’t stay green!

4. Perennial Ryegrass

Ryegrass is a cool-season grass that grows quickly, making it perfect for filling in empty patches on your lawn, or for turf grass. It does need to be mowed frequently because of its quick growth. Ryegrass is excellent for public parks or other frequently-used lawns because it can withstand heavy foot traffic well and is not easily susceptible to disease or infestations.


If you are putting in new grass, it’s important to consider what grass grow best in your area and on your specific property. The amount of sun or shade that your property gets coupled with your area’s climate will help determine which grass is best for your lawn. If you already have grass on your lawn, it’s a good idea to identify which grass you have so you can know how to best care for it. The experts at Giovine Landscaping can help you decide which grass variety to put in, and we know how to cater lawn care to your specific kind of grass.

Which Plants Grow Best in the Summer? [A List for Beginner Gardeners]

Summer garden

Summer is here, and that means you are likely spending more time outdoors and in your garden. Though spring is generally thought of as the season for blooming flowers, there is some greenery that loves the hot months of summer! From flowers to vegetables, you can enjoy the bounty of a full garden in the months of June, July, and August. Read on to learn about a few of our favorite plants to go for when planning a summer garden!

Flowers

1. Black-Eyed Susans

These cheerful yellow flowers grow happily throughout the entire summer and add pops of sunny color to your garden. They also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, making them a healthy addition to your yard. Black-eyed susans love basking in the sun, just like summer beachgoers, so they are perfect summer plants!

2. Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera Daisies come in a variety of vibrant colors that compliment the summer season perfectly. Like Black-eyed susans, these flowers love full sunlight, and they also do well when it gets a little shady. Not only are they low-maintenance in the summer months, but they exude the aesthetic of the season and would look excellent in a summer bouquet.

3. Sunflowers

As you may be able to tell by their name, sunflowers love the sun! When in full bloom, they actually resemble the look of the sun, and their buds tend to follow wherever the light of the sun is shining. Sunflowers are easy to care for and can manage just fine in drought weather, making them perfect flowers for the heat of the summer.

4. Zinnias

Zinnias can be planted as early as February, and they bloom throughout the summer and fall! They are easy to care for and grow under a variety of conditions, so they are excellent flowers for beginner gardeners. Zinnias also attract many different pollinators, making them beneficial for keeping pollinators healthy and populated. Considering there is a shortage of pollinators out there, zinnias are important to have around!

Vegetables

1. Tomatoes

There’s nothing like eating a fresh, warm tomato straight from the vine! Tomatoes are hardy plants that thrive in the summer and are an excellent addition to your vegetable garden. They do best if you plant them early in the spring season, as they take some time to grow. Once they do, however, you can enjoy them in your salad or on their own–delicious!

2. Summer Squash

Squash vegetables are not just for fall! Several varieties of squash grow in the summer, like zucchini and delicata. They look beautiful and taste scrumptious, and grow well among other plants like cucumbers. Squash needs lots of sun, deep watering, and regular harvesting, but the reward is worth the work!

3. Peas

Peas do well in the sun and can tolerate some shade, as well. They do not like the cold weather, so make sure not to plant them until you are sure the last frost has passed. They are a bit picky about growing in moist soil, so make sure to water them regularly, especially if you are experiencing a summer drought. That said, peas improve the quality of their soil and are excellent additions to your summer menu!

4. Amaranth

You can start planting amaranth indoors from a seed packet and then transfer these beautiful plants outdoors in the spring and even summer months. They tolerate the heat well and don’t require much maintenance. These plants attract pollinators like birds, bees, and butterflies, and they are healthy for people to eat, too! Grains from the amaranth plant are gluten free and filled with nutrients like protein, fiber, and vitamin B6!


There are so many plants that thrive during the summer, whether you want flowers, vegetables, or both! At Giovine Landscaping, our experts can help you plan your garden so you can see the maximum amount of success based on how the sun hits your yard and what other plants you have growing there. As always, we are here for any of your landscaping needs!

How Do You Know When To Start Planting Your Garden?

How do you know when to start planting your garden?

As soon as the weather starts to warm up, those with a passion for gardening itch to get started. But the temperature can fluctuate vastly during the spring months, and you don’t want to risk planting too early. Your garden can freeze if you plant it while there is still a cold snap at night. So how do you know when you’ve reached a safe zone for planting a garden that will survive and thrive? How do you know when to start planting your garden?

1. Wait For Your Frost Date to Pass

Depending on where you live, there is actually a specific date on which the last frost is supposed to occur. You can find your location’s gardening zone on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Knowing your zone will help you know when is the best time to start planting! It’s a good idea to wait about two weeks after your last frost date so you’re on the safe side and can be sure your seeds and seedlings won’t be faced with a sudden freeze.

2. Check Your Soil

You want your soil to be the right consistency to be able to plant effectively. Right after the winter, the soil is usually too wet and soft from melting snow. If you till your soil too early, it will clump and harden, making it too difficult to plant into. It’s important to pay attention to your soil and wait for it to dry enough that it can be easily worked. 

You also want to pay attention to soil temperature. A good soil temperature for planting many kinds of seeds is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Some plants do well in colder temperatures, so it’s important to do your research when choosing what to plant!

3. Measure Sunlight Hours

Some kinds of plants require a certain amount of sunlight hours per day or per week. If you pay attention to the growing number of sunlight hours as early spring progresses to late spring and then summer, you’ll know when is the most appropriate time to start planting those particular plants. This is why you need to make sure to research all your plants and seedlings!

4. Your Seedlings Will Tell You

Some seedlings are best started indoors. If you do have indoor seedlings that you started earlier in the spring, wait for them to tell you when they’re ready to be moved outdoors. When you see two sets of leaves on your sprouted plants, that usually means they’re ready for outdoor planting.

Our Experts Can Help You Know When To Start Planting Your Garden

Planting a garden is rewarding, but it takes planning and know-how in order to accomplish successfully. At Giovine Landscaping, we can help advise you on when to start planting your garden, and we can help nurture your landscaping to make it garden-ready.

How To Choose A Landscaper

choose a landscaper

Spring is all about showing off your beautiful front lawn to passersby. Reaching that point requires an expert landscaper to whip your yard into shape; you don’t want to trust just anyone to do the work. You need a landscaper who is experienced and has an eye for detail, without being too pushy. If you’re stumped in your decision to choose a landscaper, here are a couple things to keep in mind.

Know What You Want

There are lots of landscapers who will try to sell all sorts of services you might not need. Even worse, some might try to upcharge you for way more than any service warrants. That’s why you should do your research before even reaching out to any prospective contractor. Only contact someone once you know what you want to do with your lawn and have a general idea of what everything should cost. Don’t let them sell you services you do not want or need!

Hire Someone Experienced

When you choose a landscaper to work on your property, you obviously want to select someone who has lots of experience under their belt. That goes without saying. What you’ll want to pay extra attention to is the landscaper’s input. We already told you to not let them oversell you for unnecessary services, but you should still honor their input. Oftentimes, they’ll know what kind of plants to add, where to plant bushes, etc. They are the experts, after all!

Seek Recommendations

You’re far from the only homeowner in your area who needs work on their front yard. Ask around the neighborhood! Polling nearby residents about who they let handle their lawn is probably the best way to know who to choose for your own property. Ask each person what went into their decision to choose a landscaper. You can also try looking up different businesses online and read their reviews. A decision like this can seem burdensome, but it’s actually never been easier!

Don’t Choose A Landscaper Willy-Nilly

More and more people are spending money on landscapers, so do not act hastily when making your decision. You’re entrusting a team with the integrity of your front lawn, and you won’t want to flush it all away. If you want to choose a team of experienced landscapers to beautify your lawn with care, call Giovine Landscaping today to get started!