Winter Landscaping Design Tips

Winter landscaping design is an overlooked but important part of building a beautiful yard. Giovine Landscaping is here to help with this guide.

Many backyards look dull, dead, and even downright ugly during winter despite looking beautiful during spring, summer, and fall. Unfortunately, the designs of many yards fail to stay aesthetically pleasing during the cold time of the year when most plants are dormant, but this failure is not inevitable. The landscape design experts here at Giovine Landscaping are sharing nine tips to build a beautiful winter landscape for your home.

Getting Started With Winter Landscaping Design

Every homeowner landscape design journey has to start with figuring out what exactly you want to change about your property and our first tip reflects that reality.

  1. Evaluate your current winter landscaping design: The first step to improving your winter landscape is to explore it in its current state. Go take a walk around your property and examine your plantings, hardscaping, wildlife presence, and other aspects of your yard. Take note of what aspects are already beautiful and what needs improvement. 
  2. Focus on your hardscapes: Winter is a good time of year to assess your hardscape (ie your patio, outdoor furniture, sculptures, and other non-plant-based landscape features). Look at your winter yard and decide if you need more or better hardscape features. Perhaps a new fire pit, barbecue area, path, or bench will really tie your yard together. Winter brings your yard back to basics so it is a good time to consider these questions.

Winter Landscaping Design Plant Selection

Plants are the backbone of any good backyard landscape design and this fact does not change during winter. Selecting plants that will keep your backyard beautiful even during the winter months is one of the most important aspects of designing a beautiful winter landscape.

  1. Consider adding evergreen trees and shrubs to your yard: Evergreen trees and shrubs do not lose their leaves during winter so utilizing these species in your yard is a great way to maintain color and texture in your winter landscaping design plan. Contrary to popular belief, evergreen trees and shrubs come in both needled and broadleaf varieties, giving homeowners more aesthetic choices in the plants they want to use.
  2. Utilize trees and shrubs with beautiful bark: While deciduous trees and shrubs lose their leaves in winter, they do not lose their bark, and landscape designers can use this to beautify winter landscapes. Tree and shrub species with particularly colorful or distinctive bark, like dogwood shrubs and birch trees, can be even more beautiful after they have lost their leaves. 
  3. Introduce plants that flower during winter: It may be surprising to learn that not all plants flower during the spring and summer, but it’s true some plants bloom during winter. Utilizing winter flowering plants, obviously makes any winter backyard more beautiful. Homeowners who do the proper planning and research can enjoy something in their yard that will bloom for most of the winter, since some plants bloom during early winter and others during late winter. Witch hazel is a particularly beautiful genus of winter-flowing plant with several species native to North America.
  4. Utilize winter berry and fruit-bearing plants: Incorporating plants that produce berries and other fruits during winter makes your yard more beautiful for two reasons. First of all these fruits provide a pop of bright color that will contrast with white snow, grey skies, and brown dormant plants that dominate winter landscapes. Secondly, these fruits provide food that attracts birds and other wildlife bringing beautiful and interesting life to your winter yard.

Winter Landscaping Design For Wildlife

Attracting wildlife to your yard is one of the best ways to maintain its beauty through winter. Wildlife-friendly yards allow us to stay connected with nature even when it is too cold to venture outside by allowing you and your family to watch birds and other wildlife through your windows. Building wildlife-friendly winter landscaping designs on your property also helps animals survive during the winter when food, water, and shelter are scarce, this is especially important in our current age of habitat loss and mass extinction. 

  1. Provide a food source for wildlife: Wild animals often struggle to find food during the lean months of winter. Creating food sources in your yard will both help wildlife and bring beauty to your yard through the presence of that wildlife. The exact sort of food sources you should add to your yard depends on the type of animals you wish to attract, but birdfeeders and fruit/berry-bearing plants are the best way to feed wildlife. If you do install a birdfeeder, be sure to clean it weekly to prevent the spread of diseases. You should also avoid hand-feeding wild animals because this can lead them to associate humans with food which can put both wildlife and people at risk. Let your landscape do the feeding.
  2. Provide a water source for wildlife: Water, like food, is harder for wildlife to find during winter so providing water sources for wildlife in your yard will attract animals. Water sources like bird baths, ponds, and fountains can also double as beautifying water features in their own right. Water sources do not need to be that complicated to attract wildlife through a shallow bucket, plate saucer, or even a trash can lid can also be good winter water sources for backyard wildlife. 
  3. Provide shelter for wildlife: Wild animals need shelter from the cold weather just like people so providing shelter is a great way to attract them to your property. Different types of shelter will benefit/attract different types of animals. Some bird species will happily move into nestboxes while other species may need specific plants or brush piles. Research the types of birds and animals you want to see on your property so you can create the right types of winter shelter for those species. 

Giovine Landscaping Can Help

Giovine Landscaping can help you design a yard that will be beautiful during winter and all year round. Call us today so we can help redesign your yard!

Winter Yard Maintenance Tips

Soon your backyard will be covered with snow like this one. Thankfully, Giovine Landscaping has compiled this guide of winter yard maintenance tips to help homeowners maintain their property this winter.

Winter has finally arrived. Many people tend to forget about their yard maintenance duties during the winter months, but there are still important steps homeowners should take to maintain their landscapes during this season. Giovine Landscaping has compiled this guide of winter yard maintenance tips to help homeowners maintain their property this winter.

Preparing Your Lawn For Winter

Protecting your lawn is important all year round, but winter presents unique challenges. Here are a few tips that every homeowner should know so that they can get their lawn ready for the frosty conditions of winter:

  1. Rake leaves and remove garden debris from your lawn. Leaving leaves, branches, and other debris on your lawn over the winter can smother your grass, stunting its growth, or even killing it. It is important to remove any debris from your lawn before the first snowfall of the season.
  2. Aerate your lawn before the first frost. You should give your grassroots extra air over the winter by aerating your lawn before the first frost. You can use a spade to take out spikes of soil across your yard or you can rent a larger manual or motorized aerator.
  3. Fertilize your lawn with winter fertilizer. The idea that your lawn should not be fertilized during winter is a misconception. There are specific formulations of fertilizer designed to help strengthen your lawn during fall and winter. You should also be sure to apply some fertilizer before the first frost.
  4. Cut your grass shorter and stop cutting it once the temperature drops below 50°F. Lawns should be cut between 3 inches to 3.5 inches during the growing season. However, for your last final lawn mowing session, you should cut your grass to between 2 inches to 2.5 inches. It is important to keep grass short during winter to protect new growth. You should do your last grass-cutting of the year before the temperature in your area consistently drops below 50°F.

Managing Trees and Shrubs

Winter presents unique challenges for protecting your trees and shrubs, but it also offers unique management opportunities. Here are some tips for managing your trees and shrubs over the winter:

  1. Place mulch around your trees shrubs, and other woody plants. Ideally, you should mulch your plants before the first frost of the season but it is better late than never. A two-inch application of mulch provides an extra layer of protection for your plants allowing for better management of root system temperature and moisture. It is also important to not apply mulch directly to your plane’s truck or step because this can promote rot and pests.
  2. Prepare the branches of your trees for snow. Heavy snow can damage the branches of your trees. Falling branches weighed down by snow or ice can even cause injuries if they fall and hit cars or people. You should consider removing vulnerable tree limbs ahead of major snow storms as a precaution. You should also tie vulnerable tree branches together to increase their strength.
  3. Apply wire mesh to the base of small and young trees. Winter is a lean time for animals like deer. The winter-browsing of these animals can harm small trees but wire mesh can protect against the teeth of hungry winter herbivores. 
  4. Apply anti-transpirants to the leaves of shrubs and trees. It is important to help your plants maintain their water levels during winter. This is especially important for evergreen trees and shrubs that do not lose their leaves. Alternatively, burlap- wrapping can also be used to protect your plants and help them hold in their moisture. 
  5. Late winter is the best time to prune your trees and shrubs. It is best to prune most trees and plants during winter while they are dormant. Specifically, you should prune most tree and shrub species during late winter, so the wounds will only be exposed to the elements for a short time before new growth begins.

Bonus Winter Yard Maintenance Tips

Finally, here are a few more miscellaneous yard maintenance tips to protect all of your backyard plants:

  1. Take in potted plants that are vulnerable to cold weather. Not all plant species have adaptions for dealing with cold weather. If you have any potted plants that are members of non-cold tolerant species and you want them to live through winter you should move these plants indoors.
  2. Be mindful of backyard traffic. When the first blizzard of the year arrives it can be easy for people to forge paths through the snow without thinking much about the ground they are trampling. Be mindful of where people are walking in your yard and avoid trampling flowerbeds, gardens, and vulnerable sections of your lawn. A heavily trampled path will compact the soil and be slower to regrow in the spring.
  3. Avoid salt damage. Road salt is important for preventing slip-and-fall accidents on your pathways during frosty conditions, but this same salt can damage your plants by drawing water away from their roots. Utilize salt sparingly and remove extra salt by flushing out your soil with lots of water.

Giovine Landscaping Can Help

The most important thing to remember out of all our winter yard maintenance tips is that Giovine Landscaping offers lawn care and landscape design services during winter and all year long. If you are in need of lawn care or landscape design assistance please contact us.

Choosing the Right Plants For Your Yard

It can be hard choosing the right plants for your yard but it can be easier with this guide.

Whether you are beginning the task of landscaping your property from scratch, or are modifying an already landscaped property, choosing the right plants for your yard can be daunting. Many considerations need to be taken into account, in plant selection, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the decision-making process. Thankfully, our Giovine Landscaping design experts are here to explain everything, and they will always help you select the best plants for your property. 

Choosing the Right Plants For Your Property’s Conditions

First, you need to consider the unique conditions of your property, to help you figure out what plant species will grow best in your yard. You should then consider the yard size, soil type, geographic orientation, micro-climate, balance of shade and sun, water availability, USDA plant hardiness zone, wind exposure, pests, local wildlife, and other conditions to which your plants will be exposed. 

Some of these factors are more easily ascertained than others, but all of them are necessary in deciding which plants will thrive in your yard. Considering the type of soil to use on your property can be confusing, for example. There are numerous types of garden soil with different physical compositions, chemical makeups, and levels of nutrients. Tulips grow very well in sandy soils while rhododendrons grow best in peaty soils. You should figure out which type of soil is present on your property so that you will be able to more effectively choose the plants that will thrive in that soil. Knowing all of the other conditions of your property’s chemical and physical makeup will also be very helpful in choosing what will work best for planning out any new landscaping project.   

Plant Selection Mistakes

If a mistake is made and a particular plant does not thrive on your property, it can always be replaced, with the exception of large trees. Large trees grow slowly and can even present a danger to your property if they are weakened. Planting a large tree in the wrong environment can present a potentially dangerous situation for you and your home, so it is important to work with a professional in choosing the right place for a large tree. The tree experts at Giovine Landscaping are available to help you make the right and the BEST decisions when it comes to selecting the right landscaping for your particular environment.

Reflect On Your Needs and Aesthetic Preferences

Once you have determined the conditions of your property, you should consider the types of plants you want and need on your property. Yard plants can be split into six groups: trees, garden shrubs, vines, ground covers, perennials (flowers that come back on their own every year), and annuals (flowers that need to be replaced every year).

As a property owner, you need to figure out what you need and want from each of these categories, so that you can select the proper plants. How much maintenance will your new landscaping require? What will your yard be used for most of the time? Perhaps you have children, and you would like to utilize a turf lawn for your primary ground cover, to give them a place to play sports.  Lifestyle needs vary from person to person and family to family. Knowing what your options are, will help make your final decisions in designing your outdoor spaces.

There are many possible considerations for each of these categories. You may also have a landscape design aesthetic in mind, that involves utilizing many different plant species. If you love bright colors, you can obtain colorful annuals and flowering shrubs, or if you want more of a traditional green look, you can choose plain green varieties. If you have any family pets that will be spending time outdoors on your property,  it is essential to avoid using any plants that are poisonous to animals, to avoid any tragic accidents. 

Find Native Plants

Finally, when selecting plants for your yard, it is important to consider utilizing native species. Native species are plants that occur naturally and have evolved in a specific ecosystem over a long time. These plants have adapted to the climate, soil conditions, and wildlife in a specific environment and have helped them acclimate based on all of these factors. Native plants provide many ecological benefits. Earth is currently in the midst of an extinction crisis, so utilizing native plants can help provide resources to local species and prevent the expansion of invasive foreign species that are hurting local ecosystems. Native plants are also often easier to maintain and often require less fertilizer, pesticides, and water than foreign plant species. If you choose native plants for your property, you can save money AND the environment at the same time. 

 In order to gain the benefits of hosting native plants on your property, you first have to identify what species are native to your area and find out where you can purchase them. It is not always easy to find native plants, but you can do some research and you can try using the Homegrown National Park’s native plant finder.  This is a great resource to assist you in your search.

Giovine Landscaping

If you require assistance choosing the right plants for your property, designing your landscape, or installing your landscape design, do not hesitate to reach out to Giovine Landscaping. We can handle all of your landscape design, installation, and maintenance needs. Call today!

Best Flowers To Grow On The East Coast

Do you love seeing birds and butterflies in your garden? Want to help wildlife and the natural environment? Wondering how to grow beautiful plants that cost less time and money to maintain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider adding native flowers to your yard! 

What Is A Native Plant?

When a plant is “native” to New Jersey or the United States that means its species evolved and adapted to our local ecosystem and environment. Native species evolved over millions of years to the specific weather conditions of our area.

Many common garden plants are “aliens” imported from Asia and Europe. These foreign plants may look pretty but they are often useless and sometimes require more watering and fertilizer than native species. Sometimes these foreign plants spread into the wild and outcompete native plants. Unfortunately, this can harm wildlife and upset the ecological balance; these plants are called “invasive species.”  

Luckily, you can reduce the spread of invasive species by talking to one of our experts at Giovine Landscaping. They will help you design your backyard landscape while incorporating native New Jersey species. By growing native species, you increase the lifespan of your plants, while helping other plants grow naturally around them. Here are the best flowers to grow in New Jersey! 

Amazing Plants For Your Garden

  • Butterfly Weed: This plant gets its name from the fact that butterflies love it! This flower is useful for pollinating your garden, aiding in fertilizing surrounding greenery. It is best to plant it in late spring, with loads of sunlight, while the soil is warm. It prospers in sandy dry-soil and can survive drought-like conditions! This flower is bright and colorful and very low maintenance, meaning it can be a wonderful addition for your garden! 
  • Wood Anemone: Wild wood anemones bloom in woodlands on the edge of New Jersey forests from April to June. The species survives best in gardens that are partly, if not fully shaded. They also thrive in damp, rich, mucky soil. The wood anemone is a delicate plant with a stalked white or pink flower.
  • Great Blue Lobelia: The deep blue flowers of this plant grow on an upright spike. This native plant blooms in late summer to early fall. The great blue lobelia thrives in moist soil and can live in full sun or partial shade. The plant can grow 1 to 4 feet tall, and you should plant each one about 1 foot apart. The plant attracts pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds! 
  • Northern Red Oak: The northern red oak is a native east coast tree that can grow up to 80 feet tall! It thrives in full sun and in partial shade environments. It thrives in normal or moist soils, in early to mid fall. This species is unusually tolerant of polluted environments, making it a hardy tree that can be a welcome addition to any yard. It also attracts birds and mammals such as squirrels and deer.
  • Black-Eyed Susan: This flower blooms bright yellow, with a black center “eye”. It can grow 1 to 2 feet tall and blooms best from June to October. They thrive in an environment with tons of sun and well-draining soil. This flower also attracts multiple insects and pollinators due to its sweet nectar.
  • Northern Bayberry: This is a tough shrub that thrives in all types of soil. However, it prefers partial shade in your garden. It can grow 5 to 8 feet tall and grows very rapidly. Due to its toughness the northern bayberry is greatly beneficial to winter birds and butterflies. It blooms from March to June and can benefit your yard!  
  • Purple Coneflower: This vibrant purple flower blooms for two months in mid to late summer. It prefers partial to full sun exposure and is the perfect resource for wildlife. Its pale purple or pink flowers attract a variety of animals ranging from insects to Goldfinches and Hummingbirds! Growing up to three feet tall, this beautiful flower is easy to maintain and is beneficial for your garden.  

Update Your Garden Today! 

For all of your landscaping and plant needs, please contact Giovine Landscaping. Our professional team can help build and maintain the yard or garden of your dreams! Whether you want to remove ticks, fertilize plants or control unruly weeds, Giovine Landscaping is here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact us at (973) 325-1758 for some help in designing your perfect backyard! 

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Popular Flowers to Plant This Mother’s Day

Pansies are one of the more popular flowers to plant this Mother’s Day.

Spring is officially here, and the weather is finally starting to warm up. Early spring can still be chilly, which means we may not have seen the last frost yet. In the New Jersey and New York areas, Mother’s Day is traditionally considered a good time to start planting for the season, as the last frost is usually safely behind us by then. The danger of planting before the last frost is that the soil can get too cold for your flowers to grow. As Mother’s Day is not that far away, now is a great time to start talking about popular flowers to plant this Mother’s Day.

Of course, your location will determine which flowers will thrive best and when you experience your last frost. If you are planting perennial flowers, you’ll also want to pay attention to which plant  hardiness zone your area belongs in to know which flowers will thrive best. New Jersey ranges between plant zones 6 and 7, so be sure to check your own area so you make the best growing choices for your garden.

1. Petunias

Petunias come in a variety of vibrant purples, pinks, and blues, and they stay beautiful for several months. In fact, in some climates they can even come back the following year. If you are looking for an easy flower to plant that will brighten up your landscaping, petunias are a safe bet. You can also plant petunias in containers if you have a deck or other hardscaping that you want to bring some natural color to. Additionally, petunias have a pleasing fragrance.

2. Pansies

Pansies are one of the most popular flowers to plant in the early spring because of their hardiness. They can withstand colder temperatures as well as the warmth, so they will do great as one of the first flowers you plant this season. You can find pansies in reds, yellows, purples, pinks, whites, and several other colors, so they’ll truly bring color and life to your garden.

3. Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas grow on a bush and the large clusters of blooms make a statement on your property. This flower is easy to care for and will come back year to year, so it’s a great investment for your garden. If you want to bring soft blues and purples into your landscaping, hydrangeas are a perfect choice. They add ethereal beauty in the way their blooms group together, so it’s no wonder they’re a common choice for wedding bouquets!

4. Sunflowers

You may think of sunflowers as a summer bloom, but they actually need to be planted in the spring. Sunflowers need more space to grow than some of the other flowers mentioned here, so make sure you give them enough room when you plant. Come mid-summer, you’ll be rewarded with some sunny, bright sunflowers!

We Can Help You With Popular Flowers to Plant This Mother’s Day

No matter what kind of garden you’re imagining this spring, the experts at Giovine Landscaping can help make it a reality. We’ll work with you to help you choose the most appropriate plants so your garden will thrive. Be sure to reach out to us with all of your gardening needs!

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! 

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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.

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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!