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How To Keep Your Lawn Healthy In The Summer Heat

How To Keep Your Lawn Healthy In Summer Heat

The summer months are the time when people want their lawns to look their best. However, it is also the time when the lawn will face the most stress, due to factors such as drought and hot temperatures. The increased traffic from pets and children will also cause more wear and tear than usual. Plus, the warm weather attracts insects and other disease issues. So, with all these factors at play, it can leave once-green lawns looking brown and dry. Therefore, here are some steps you can take to keep your lawn green and healthy even during the hottest days of the summer. 

Be Aware Of Watering Habits

One of the most important things that will keep your lawn healthy is proper watering. If done incorrectly, your turf will suffer under hot temperatures and lose its healthy look. There are many different practices that will ensure it gets the moisture it needs. For example, soaking the grass during dry spells. As most people know, the summer has breaks between rainfalls that could last for weeks. During these periods, the grass will become more dormant to conserve energy and appear dry and brown/tan in color. So, regular watering helps to prevent dormancy, helping to train the turf to develop deep roots that can endure the heat of the summer. For best results, you should try to water in a way that mimics the pattern of rainfall which means soaking the grass at infrequent intervals. 

Keep Your Grass Longer

By mowing your grass on a higher setting, the longer grass will allow for the establishment of longer roots which will reach more moisture in the soil. Longer grass will also prevent it from drying out too quickly, ensuring that the roots are protected by the longer blades. You want to avoid mowing the grass too short as it can cause damage and even leave the lawn scorched to the point where your grass might not recover. However, if you do choose to mow your grass short, keep in mind that you will have to water it more often and more lightly.

Take Care Of Weeds

You should also be diligent with removing weeds from your lawn with the best approach being to take care of them early and often. Some people will wait to apply weed killer to the entire lawn at once, but sometimes, it might be too late by that point. So, instead, you can pull the weeds manually or use a weeding fork to get at them early. If you are treating a larger area, you can apply weed killer by “painting” it onto the affected area.

These are a few tips that will help you maintain a healthy lawn during the hot summer months. For more information or further assistance in summer lawn maintenance, give Giovine Landscaping a call at (973) 325-1758!

Flowers That Can Attract More Bees

Flowers That Can Attract More Bees

When homeowners are planning and planting their flower beds, their focus is usually on things like the easiest flowers to grow, and the color palette of the annuals that will compliment their home’s exterior paint color. However, one topic that is often overlooked and shouldn’t be is how to create a bee-friendly space. Not only are bees crucial to the health of mankind, but they also pollinate plants like fruit trees, vegetables, along with other ornamental plants. Honeybees pollinate an estimated 75 to 85 percent of all food crops. Therefore, it is certainly in every homeowner’s best interest to create bee destinations around their homes with flowering plants and healthy nectar to eat. Let’s take a look at the different flowers you can plant to attract more bees.

Goldenrod

While it is often confused with the allergy-inducing ragweed, goldenrods actually have many health benefits like the reduction of pain and inflammation. Bees love to flock to its golden blooms.

Bee Balm

Also known as wild bergamot, bee balm has fragrant foliage that will surely attract more pollinators to your garden. Try to plant these in a sunny spot for the summer blooms.

Black-Eyed Susan

This yellow flowering plant is related to sunflowers and is a native wildflower. As they are sun-loving and drought-tolerant, the summer is their chance to bloom and continues into the fall months.

Chive Flowers

These violet pom-pom shaped flowers are usually seen popping up in chive patches in the early spring months. You will want to plant these in a pot as opposed to directly in the ground and this is because they grow fast and can easily overtake your garden.

Mint

Mints are a great garden herb, and this lavender flower appears sometime between June and September. Similar to chives, these are quick spreaders and can choke out nearby plants, so it would be best to plant them in a pot. 

Sunflowers

When sunflower heads open, it reveals a plethora of tiny pollen and nectar-rich flowers making them another ideal bee destination for your yard. You can look to plant tall varieties in the back of a garden or you can try interpersing shorter ones throughout the garden bed.

Flowering Thyme

Thyme is another ideal addition to an herb garden as they can serve multiple purposes. Not only will bees buzz around the flagrant blossoms, you can even pick them for your cooking whether it’s in a salad as a garnish, or sprinkled on some avocado toast.

These are just a few of the many flowers you can plant in your garden to make it a more friendly bee destination. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758.

Summer Landscaping Ideas To Revamp Your Yard

Summer Landscaping Ideas To Revamp Your Yard

The weather is getting warmer, which means the summer season is right around the corner. This is the perfect time to start planning for a new and improved landscape. It can be difficult to know where to start or how to make the biggest impact on a budget, but summer landscaping does not have to take up too much time or cost a lot of money. There are many simple touches you can easily perform to add enjoyment and fun to your yard. Here are some landscaping ideas that will help you revamp your yard.

Incorporate Lighting

If you have spent a considerable amount of time on the artistry of your landscaping, you shouldn’t allow those efforts to be masked by darkness when the sun goes down. You can use clever landscape lighting to highlight your flower beds, gardens, walkways, porch, and more. Another idea is to use spotlights to direct people’s eyes to your favorite plants. You can even add decorative lanterns if you want a romantic touch.

Add Fragrance

Flowers are pleasing to the eye, but you can give your garden an extra dimension by adding plants that have an alluring scent. One of the best parts of the summer is a fragrant flower garden, so try adding some roses to stop and smell along your walkway. An overlooked flower to include are petunias, as they can be highly fragrant in the evening. Phlox is another great summer-blooming flower that is drought resistant and comes in a plethora of colors. 

Add More Structural Plants

You can also look to incorporate structural plants into your landscape, like boxwood hedges, which are beautiful year-round and make great foils for colorful plants. If you are not fond of the hedge look, you may want to consider small trees and shrubs that have unique shapes, like contorted white pines, or interesting bark, such as the amur cherry.

Add Your Own Personal Touch

One thing about community gardens is that they feature outdoor areas that are great for people to gather for a chat or a picnic. You can incorporate these kinds of areas in your yard on a smaller scale, like a small gazebo tucked in the corner of your landscape. Gazebos are a great place to eat with the family in the shade during the day or even gather under the stars at night. Patios, decks, and fire pits are other summer landscaping elements that encourage people to sit and make memories together.

There are many ways you can spruce up your yard this summer. If you are interested in taking the first step in summer landscaping but do not know where to start, be sure to call Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758!

Spring Tasks To Foster A Healthy Lawn

Spring Tasks To Foster A Healthy Lawn

The spring season is finally upon us which likely means it is a sign to prepare your lawn for the growing season. The timing of when you start preparing your lawn will depend on the climate of your region, however. For example, if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, you will want to start when you are confident that the snow season has ended. Either way, homeowners in most regions should look to perform these tasks in the spring to help foster a healthier lawn.

Rake Deeply

Raking will be the first thing you should do as you prep your lawn for new growth. Keep in mind that raking does much more than remove tree leaves, because even if you did the best job at raking leaves during the fall season, you may still have to deal with thatch. For those unfamiliar, thatch is the layer of dead turfgrass tissue that lies between the green vegetation of the grass above and the root system and soil below. If this layer becomes too thick, it can be bad for the health of the grass. This is why you still need to rake deeply in the spring. Another benefit to doing so is that you can find matted patches of lawn. If you look closely, you may notice the grass blades are all stuck together which is a lawn disease known as snow mold. This will make it difficult for new grass to penetrate these matted patches, so by raking, you can solve this issue.

Assess The Soil

Another task you will need to do is assess the soil. Moss coating, for example, can be a sign of acidic soil. You can measure your soil’s acidity and alkalinity using the pH scale where 7 reflects perfectly neutral soil. You will know that your soil is acidic if the pH level is below 7, and alkaline soils measure higher than a 7. New grass prefers a neutral pH, so if your soil is outside of that range, then it may not grow as it should and could even be subject to moss growth.

Overseeding

Over time, your lawn may be riddled with bare patches due to a variety of factors such as dog spots, heavy traffic, or even neglect. When this happens, it may require an application of grass seed to fill those patches. This process is referred to as overseeding where you are sowing seed over existing grass. It is possible that you may only need to apply seed to the visible bare patches, but it is not uncommon to overseed the entire lawn to ensure that it remains thick and healthy. 

These are just a few of the many spring tasks you should take on this season to keep your lawn healthy. If you have any further questions on additional things you can do to maintain your lawn, feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758.

Benefits of Recycling Your Leaves And Grass

Benefits of Recycling Your Leaves and Grass

If you are looking to make your lawn healthier and more attractive, then you will need to increase the organic matter of your lawn soil. The right amount of organic matter will increase the soil’s capacity to hold water and nutrients. According to the EPA, about fifty percent of total landfill waste consists of yard waste that most people can recycle and use as compost. Doing so not only feeds the soil, improving its quality, but it also is the more environmentally friendly approach. Yard grass and leaves are an essential component for soil rejuvenation that homeowners can utilize without even having to spend a penny. So, here are some of the benefits to recycling your leaves and yard grass.

Improves Quality of Soil

As mentioned previously, recycling your grass and leaves will greatly improve the quality of the soil as it will enhance its water holding capacity while reducing the chances of plant diseases. In addition, littering leaves and plant residues will encourage the production of good bacteria and fungi in the soil, creating humus which is a nitrogen-rich material in the soil.

Reduces The Use of Chemical Fertilizers

When you have leaves and dry grass littering all around your lawn or garden, you will not need chemical fertilizers as much to feed the soil which will in turn lower your carbon footprint while also saving you a few extra dollars over time. 

Creates A Garden Ecosystem

Aside from the friendly bacteria and fungi it creates, littered leaves and grass also invite many creatures like squirrels and other small animals that may see it as an inviting habitat. So, if you were looking to create a small wildlife garden in your backyard, recycling the plant residues is a great place to start making that happen.

Here are some of the most common ways to recycle your leaves:

Mowing – Mowing the lawn not only maintains the height of your grass, but also helps to recycle littered leaves. If the thickness of the residual leaves is less than an inch, then let them dry out. But once that is done, you will want to mow them with your lawnmower as it will allow the small leaf particles to decompose quickly without hurting the grassroots underneath.

Mulching – Mulching allows you to keep the soil cooler during the summer months which are approaching. It shields the soil while protecting it from loss of moisture. During the winter, mulches can act as insulators, reducing the effects of the fluctuating temperature. Mulching can also keep weeds at bay and suppress the spread of plant diseases.


There are other ways to recycle your plant residue to further benefit your lawn and garden. If you would like more ideas or need assistance in any of these tasks, feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758!

Lawn Care Hacks That Can Save You Money

Lawn Care Hacks That Can Save You Money

Typically, when you think about saving money around the house, you immediately think of things happening on the inside like utility usage or family meals. However, what most don’t realize is that your lawn care and gardening habits can also cost you a lot of money and can be an area to cut back on. In fact, according to “American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn,” Americans spend an estimated $40 billion caring for their lawns every due to water, fertilizer, lawn care services, gardening equipment, amongst other costs. That is a lot of money that you could be putting to use in other areas of your life. So, let’s take a look at some lawn care hacks that can help you cut down on those costs.

Start a Compost Bin

By starting a compost bin, you could create your own mulch for free. Composting is great in gardens, flower beds, and other landscaped areas and the mulch will help the ground retain its moisture and prevent weeds from spreading. Some of the items you will want to include in your compost bin are vegetable peels, grass clippings, eggshells, leaves, newspapers, and coffee grounds. Avoid adding meat or dairy products as they will rot and produce a bad odor that can attract flies, maggots, and other creatures. Also be sure to stir the compost occasionally, and you should start to see results within a few months.

Use Boiling Water On Your Weeds

Weed killers can be very expensive. A cost-effective substitution is pouring boiling water on any weeds in your lawn. The water won’t hurt any of the soil underneath and it shouldn’t take long before you start seeing less weeds in your yard. Now, if the boiling water trick does not work, you can also try distilled white vinegar, however, keep in mind that by using vinegar, you will likely change the pH balance if the soil. Finally, you could also let your grass grow longer so that it chokes the weds in the lawn. So, by cutting the grass to three or four inches, the grass will win with all the weeds dying. 

Plant Fruit Trees

Fruit trees can both save you money by providing shade for your home which can reduce your heat bills, but also provide a great source of free fruit if you maintain them. For example, according to the Master Gardener Manual for the Cooperative Extension of the College of Agriculture at the University of Arizona, a healthy semi-dwarf apple tree can produce 4 bushels (about 168 pounds) of apples per year. So, if apples are selling at two dollars per pound, this tree could save you about $336 worth of apples each year.

So, these are just a few tricks that you can implement to maintaining your lawn that will also save you money along the way. If you are looking to give one of these a try or would like some more information on how you can save money through your lawn care, feel free to reach out to Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758.

The Benefits of Sealcoating

The Benefits of Sealcoating

Every homeowner understands that at some point their pavement is likely to deteriorate unless you seal it with a protective layer. The final touch of this process is sealcoating which is an essential component of the asphalt paving process and can even make or break your paved surface. To put it simply, sealcoating is the protective layer that will be applied on top of your asphalt surface in order to ‘lock-in’ the oils and properties that are to keep your pavement surface healthy and keep it from crumbling apart. In other words, it ensures that your pavements and roads stay protected from things like dirt, cracks, and water penetration over time. Let’s take a look a some of the other benefits of sealcoating.

Protects Pavements From Elements

If you do not get your asphalt surface sealcoated, you are leaving it to sit unprotected from the elements all day and these elements can be punishing to the surface over time. This is particularly true if you live in an area that sees extreme seasonal weather. For example, in the summer months, you will have bright and sunny days that will bake the oil out of the asphalt surface, and then in the winter, the harsh conditions will leave your pavement surfaces to snow and salt. Sealcoating will protect your pavement from these issues and give you some peace of mind when it rains or snows.

Shields Surface From Spills And Vehicle Fluids

Depending on your area, you might have to deal with high volumes of traffic. The issue is that these vehicles all have fluids that can be a risk to the surfaces they travel on. Plus, due to the fact that most roads and pavements are asphalt, if they are not sealcoated, these fluids such as water, vehicle fluid, and oil spills from cars will eventually erode your asphalt surface. 

Improves Aesthetics

While a nicely paved asphalt surface looks good, adding sealcoating to your asphalt as a final touch will be much more visually appealing. It immediately enhances the surface by using a refined tar sealer solution to give your pavement a deep and rich color. So, if you are looking for a way to achieve further curb appeal, sealcoating might be the way to go.

Longevity

Sealcoating can also increase the lifespan of your asphalt surface. Doing so prevents your pavement from experiencing prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays and sun oxidation. It will also help you save a good amount of money from having to pay for regular resurfacing and repairs.

As you can see there are many benefits to consider sealcoating for your pavement. If you have any further questions or would like to learn more about Giovine Landscaping’s pavement services, give them a call at (973) 325-1758.

Landscaping Tips For The New Year

Landscaping Tips For The New Year

Working on your garden has been shown to help reduce stress. Now, it is important to note that gardening itself can be stressful as well. Luckily, there are many ways to deal with that stress and one of those ways is by trying new things. Especially with the new year approaching, now is the perfect time to look into new landscaping tips to implement and new projects to take one. So, with that said, let’s take a look at a few landscaping tips and techniques you might want to try out in the new year.

Compost Heaps and Composting

Do you currently have a compost bin or a compost heap? If not, you should know that there are a plethora of sizes when it comes to compost bins and methods for composting. For example, there are cold composting in a bin or heap, bokashi, wormery, hot composting, and a composting trench. Now, if you already have a compost bin, but it is not working right, keep in mind that at times it is necessary to turn your compost. The reason being that the material can become compacted within the bin, and thus it does not rot down properly.

Feed The Birds

Most gardeners know that garden birds can be your best friend as they will eat slugs, snails, and other soil-borne pests. By encouraging the birds in your garden, you will also improve the overall health of the habitat as the dynamics of the food chain apply to even the small domestic plots. So, if you happen to have a selection of bird feeders in various areas of your garden, you should take some time to check on them and make sure if they need to be replaced. You don’t want to have any moldy food at the base of a feeder as it is no good for the birds.

Plant A Tree

This time of year is actually the optimum time for planting bare root trees and shrubs, so that might be something you may want to look into for the new year. Keep in mind though that you can plant container grown plants at any time of the year if you choose to. Plus, there are so many options for you to do based on the parameters you are working with. For example, if you are short on space, you can plant a patio sized fruit tree in a pot. Or, if you do have a little more space to work with, you can try a tree with style like an Aser griseum.

So, these are some tips and techniques you might be interested in trying in the upcoming new year. For any further questions or additional information, please call Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758!

Tips To Care For Trees And Shrubs In The Winter

Tips To Care For Trees and Shrubs in the Winter

The winter season is rapidly approaching and with it comes storms, ice, and rapid temperature fluctuations above and below zero which take their toll on trees all across the country. Especially for species that are native to the closer regions, this can be a stressful time, particularly for exposed and isolated trees of the residential landscape. Now, unfortunately, some of the stress is unavoidable as the typical tree owner has no control of the climate. Luckily, there are ways to minimize the damage caused by the winter. So, here are some tips to care for your trees and shrubs during the winter season.

Cold Stress

Now, cold stresses can take on a plethora of forms with the first being the effect on mature trees with the rapid change between daytime heat and nighttime freezing. These temperature variations can lead to stresses within the tree between the outer bark and inner wood. This leads to cracks that are known as frost cracking. Unfortunately, in most situations, there is little that can be done to prevent frost cracking. The tree is actually able to repair itself even though the cracked area will remain vulnerable to subsequent cracking at the same place causing further major damage. Now, you may want to consider wrapping the bark with tree blankets to help this cause. 

Winter Drought

Another issue during the winter, especially for evergreens is drying out. This occurs when a tree loses more water than it can absorb from the frozen ground. Windy conditions can also worsen this issue. To handle this situation, you can try to lay down a thick layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree in the late fall before the winter officially sets in. This mulch will help to slow down the moisture loss and runoff while also acting as a temperature buffer for the roots.

Branch Breakage

Branches are also very vulnerable to breakage during the cold winter. Especially with deciduous trees, the wood will harden and become more brittle, susceptible to wind damage. There is also the issue of ice and snow accumulation which can affect both deciduous trees and evergreens alike. Now, in order to minimize branch breakage, you should look to continue with your fall maintenance, especially pruning. By pruning the weak and vulnerable branches and then removing one limb of a pair to share a deep “v” crotch, you will make the entire tree less susceptible. Another solution for small trees and shrubs is to cover the entire tree with a sturdy tent-like housing. Finally, for the larger evergreens, try using a rope to tie up and reinforce branches.

These are just a few tips that you can use to keep your lawn healthy during the winter months. If you have any further questions or are in need of professional assistance, please feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758!

Tips For Effective Weed Control

Tips for Effective Weed Control

Every gardener recognizes what a hassle weeding can be. In the beginning, tearing up these intruders can be somewhat satisfying, but, after a while, that feeling wears off and it becomes a chore that no one wants to do. Now, keep in mind that weeds are nature’s healing remedy for sites that are in a plantless state, however, weeds and gardeners have different ideas for whats makes a good recovery. On the bright side, there are ways to make this much more manageable. So, here are some tips for effective weed control.

Let Sleeping Weeds Lie

You should know that every square inch of your garden will likely contain weed seeds, however, only the ones in the top inch or two of soil will get enough light to trigger germination. Digging and cultivating in your garden will bring the hidden weeds to the surface, so every time you open a patch of ground, it is best to assume that there are weed seeds ready to erupt. Therefore, try digging only when you need to and then immediately salve that disturbed spot with plants or mulch. In lawns, you can also minimize soil disturbance by using a sharp knife with a narrow blade that can slice through the roots of lawn weeds to sever their feed source instead of digging them out. A good thing to note is that weed seeds can remain dormant for a long time. 

Use Mulch

As mentioned earlier, mulch can be your best friend when it comes to weed control. They benefit plants by keeping the soil cool and moist while depriving weeds of light. In fact, organic mulches can host crickets and carabid beetles which are great for seeking out and devouring thousands of weed seeds. It is also important to replenish the mulch as much as necessary in order to keep it about two inches deep, If you go more than three inches deep, you might deprive the soil of oxygen.

Weed When The Weeding’s Good

There’s an old saying that goes “pull when wet; hoe when dry” and it is wise advice when facing down weeds. After heavy rain, you can prep yourself for a rewarding weeding session by equipping yourself with gloves, a sitting pad, along with a trug or tarp to collect the corpses. When dealing with dry conditions, weeds sliced off just below the soil line will promptly shrivel up and die, especially if you have a hoe with a sharp edge.

Lop Off Their Heads

Sometimes, when you are unable to remove weeds, your next best option is to simply chop off their heads. When it comes to annual weeds, deadheading can buy you a few weeks of time before the weed “seed rain” begins. By cutting back the tops of perennial weeds, you will reduce reseeding which forces them to use up food reserves and in the process exhaust their supply of root buds, thus limiting their spread. There are a few ways of achieving this, but know that no matter what method you go with, chopping down weeds before they can go into seeding will keep them from spreading.

So, these are just a few tips that will help you prevent the spread of weeds in your garden. If you have any additional questions or would like professional assistance, be sure to contact Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!