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.

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!