Tips To Improve Landscape Water Drainage

Tips To Improve Landscape Water Drainage

Throughout the year, your yard will get a lot of water from the rain. Especially during the spring and late summer. These past few weeks, we have been experiencing a lot of storms with heavy rain. With all this in mind, it is important to find ways to get rid of all this excess water. Drainage issues in the yard can cause not just standing water damage to your grass and plants, but it can also be a health hazard. Standing water can hold mosquito larvae along with other undesirable pests. So, let’s take a look at ways that you can improve the drainage in your yard.

Keep The Landscape Drainage Routes Running Freely

You should look to avoid obstructing the run-ff drainage paths that come with raised gardens, planters, or berms. A great tip is for your yard to have a gentle slope that drains the water to a given route. However, if these routes are blocked, it will caused a flooded lawn. Ground runoff is responsible for a lot of surface drainage even in areas where you have installed other types of in-ground drainage systems. You should be inspecting the natural ridges in your lawn where water flows and make sure to remove any obstructions that could impede the flow of water.

Consider An Inlet Basin or a Channel Drain

If you are unaware, an inlet basin or detention basin is a place that rapidly collects water and then releases it slowly to reduce any impact it may have on the surrounding area. This can be installed just below the surface of your landscape and you can have several installed across the yard to catch any large amounts of water that may come from a storm. These are very essential especially if you have a property that sits at the top of the landscape. This is because any large amount of water collected by the downspouts can find its way onto the ground if a drainage pipe is blocked and this can damage the yard if it is left to flow as runoff down the landscape. Be sure to place the inlet basins on the upper part of the landscape so it can collect as much water as possible before it makes its way downhill.

Harvest The Water Wherever Possible

You may also want to harvest the ground runoff water by installing a storage well or a water barrel below the grade. Then, the collected runoff can be used to water your lawn. This is a great option that doesn’t require you to have proper systems to drain away the water at the lower end of your garden or if you are looking to conserve water for drier seasons. Keep in mind that when you are building a water harvesting system, you will need to take steps to ensure that the soil and other debris does not get into the well. Any accumulation of silt will reduce the amount of water the storage can hold.

These are just a few tips that you can use to improve the water drainage on your lawn. For further questions or assistance on the matter, please feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!

Tips To Remember When Mowing Your Lawn

Tips To Remember When Mowing Your Lawn

There are few things better than a lush and green lawn during the summer. Not only does it feel good to have, but it also adds a lot of curb appeal. Now, while mowing the lawn may not be at the top of your priority list, it is still an important part of proper landscaping maintenance. Plus, there are little tips you can implement to make the job quicker which would make your life more comfortable and possibly even help you enjoy doing it. So, let’s take a look at some key tips to remember when you get to mowing your lawn.

Keep Your Mower Height High

If you cut your grass too short, you will risk exposing the soil and that can make your lawn unhealthy. Shorter grass also allows weed seedlings to flourish on your lawn which will make your yard susceptible to drought or extreme temperatures which would then undo any work that you might have done up to that point. So, you will want to keep the blades on your mower at the highest or second-highest setting, especially early in the summer season. As the season goes on and you begin getting into the fall, you may elect to go shorter if you prefer.

Change Your Patterns

You might be quite amazed to learn that how you mow your lawn can affect the growth and health of your grass. Most people think it is as simple as running the lawnmower over the green to get the job done. However, the way you run it over the grass can affect what it will look like the next time you need to mow it. So, it might be worth remembering to change up the pattern that you mow it each time. The grass is actually an intelligent plant and can develop a grain growth going in whatever direction you mow. This causes it to lean to one side and grow disjointedly and that can make it harder to mow it. So, by changing your mowing pattern on a regular basis, it will cause the grass to grow upright and allow more even growth across the yard, making your life easier for the next time you decide to mow the lawn.

Sharpen The Mower’s Blades Regularly

When you have sharp blades, you will have a more clean cut. However, if the blades on your lawnmower become dull, then they will rip into the grass unevenly which could create openings for any pests and other problems. Additionally, if you cut over stones or stray branches, it can ruin the blades over time. So, it would be a good idea to remove and sharpen the blades or even replace them at the beginning of the season if you want it to perform at its best. You might also want to keep a spare blade stowed away in the event you do not have time to sharpen.

Consider Grass-Cycling

This unique technique involves occasionally leaving some of your grass clippings on the lawn so that they can serve as a natural fertilizer. This is also pretty easy to do if your grass is a bit shorter in height. These clippings will help to feed the grass below and prevent any exposure to weeds or potential drought.

Mowing the lawn may not be everyone’s favorite chore, however, it is integral to maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn. Hopefully, these tips will help make things easier for you this summer. For more information or additional tips on mowing the lawn, please call Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!

Tips To Bring Your Lawn Back To Life

Tips To Bring Your Lawn Back To Life

Have you ever taken a look at your lawn and it looked dead or like it was dying? Was it filled with brown grass instead of green grass? If so, you shouldn’t give up hope just yet as there is a chance that there is still life in that “dead lawn.” It will just take a little TLC to restore it back to life. So, let’s take a look at a few tips that can help you bring your lawn back to life. 

Understand The Issue

The first thing you will need to do is fully understand what you are dealing with. Looks can be deceiving, so it may not be as bad as you think. For example, for those who live in warmer climates where the lawn turns brown during the winter, it may be that you have warm-season grass that naturally goes dormant during the winter season. So, this should become green again by late spring into early summer. On the flip side, cool-season grass may turn brown and look dead during the summer if they are forced into dormancy due to the excessive heat and drought. Now, if your lawn is neither of these, then you will need to give it a little care if it starts looking a little dead.

Prepare Your Lawn

When it comes to bringing your lawn back to life, you will want to start by getting rid of any weeds that may have crept in while it was stressed and brown. These weeds compete for water, lights, and nutrients, so make sure you are not ignoring them. You should also plan ahead if you plan on using weed killers because they can inhibit new grass along with the weeds. So, be sure to allow at least three weeks in between weed treatments and lawn boosting.

Apply Lawn Booster

An all-in-one lawn booster will combine everything you would need to bring your dead lawn back to life. It includes premium seed, fertilizer, and soil enhancer. The only thing you will need to apply it is a normal lawn spreader similar to what you would use for seed or fertilizer. Make sure, the one you are using works best for you and spread it evenly over your entire lawn. Even the spots that are not brown will benefit from the boost. This will help your grass grow quicker, thicker, and greener.

Water Consistently

Watering your lawn consistently will also be crucial in turning brown, lifeless grass into a vibrant green. The grass seeds must have constant moisture in order to germinate and establish healthy roots, so you cannot skip this step. Make sure you are watering your lawn daily so that the soil will stay consistently moist. You may even water twice a day if it is necessary. You will want to continue doing so until the new grass sprouts and grows tall enough for its first mowing which would be about 3 to 4 inches in height. At that point, you can gradually transition into just regular lawn maintenance which would include 1 inch of water per week.

So, these are just some tips to help you bring some life back to your lawn if it starts looking brown and dead. You will want to make sure to keep up regular lawn maintenance even after following these tips to keep it looking its best. For further information on proper lawn maintenance, feel free to call Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!

Fast-Growing Shade Trees That Can Help With The Electric Bill

Fast Growing Shade Trees That Can Help With The Electric Bill

The sun provides us with free solar energy that keeps us warm, brings light into our homes, grows our food, and can generate renewable electricity. However, once the weather heats up, the sun can cause us to use even more energy as we need to run our air conditioners and fans to cool us down. Keeping the sun off of our homes and windows during the summer, which is rapidly approaching, can help you save both money and energy. One of the best ways to do just that is by planting shade trees right in the location of your home so that they can block the sun from streaming through the windows. There are so many options to choose from as well, but you can also find options that can grow fast. So, here are some of the popular fast-growing trees that can add shade to your property.

Hybrid Polar

One of the most popular fast-growing shade trees is the hybrid polar. These trees can grow up to 8 feet per year and even mature at about 40 to 50 feet high. There are many different types of hybrid polars like the Populus deltoides x Populus nigra variety, which is also known as the “cottonless hybrid” and it is a little less messy in the yard than some of the other varieties. 

Nuttall Oak

Nuttall Oak is another fast-growing shade that is also known as red oak or pin oak. These are also the fastest-growing variety of oak and they provide not just a leafy canopy, but also a consistent supply of acorns each year.

Red Maple

Red Maples are also good for more than just casting shade as they also add a burst of color in the fall as the leaves turn a vibrant red before they drop. Red Maple’s growth rate comes to about 3 to 5 feet per year and tops out at about 40 feet high which helps to rapidly create privacy and shade for the home and the yard. 

Paper Birch

Paper birches, while also being a fast-growing shade can also feature white bark which can add to the look of any yard, especially during the winter once the leaves have dropped. These can also be tapped for their sap and be made into birch sap. Keep in mind that you might need a few of these trees if you want to make it work your while. 

American Sycamore

The American Sycamore, also referred to as the American planetree is another fast-growing shade tree that also has a whitish mottled bark and is capable of growing to be quite large. Now, these are typically found near rivers and ponds, but they can also be grown in an urban yard and grow as much as 6 feet per year reaching heights of 70 feet and more.

 Now, be mindful that not all of these shade trees will be the best fit for your yard. There will be many variables that you must take into consideration such as the length of the growing season, the frost dates, the temperatures, annual rainfall, and the type of soil in your yard. So, if you have any questions about which fast-growing shade tree will be best for your specific region, feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!

Spring Landscaping Maintenance Tips

Spring season is upon us and while we are currently quarantined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still get out to your garden or backyard and tend to the lawn. 

As this is the perfect opportunity to spruce up your landscaping, there are a variety of ways to improve your spring landscaping. Whether it is decorative new plantings or budding new flowerbeds, homeowners can find ways to refresh the current template of their yards. So, let’s take a look at a few ideas you can use to revitalize your spring landscaping.

Inspect And Spruce Up The Trees And Shrubs

When it comes to great spring landscaping, it all begins with the staple of yards which include trees and shrubs. These are sometimes overlooked, however, they can draw eyes to particular spots on your lawn, enhance any hard and soft landscaping features and also, provide a complete and finished feel to your outdoor space. So, due to this, it is imperative that you inspect the health of your trees and shrubs after the wear and tear of the winter season. For example, you will want to remove any dead or diseased branches because they can be liabilities for your home and property during any strong winds and storms.

Fertilize The Lawn

Next, you are going to want to work on your lawn. Due to the rain during the winter along with the saturation of snow both combined with the compositional changes of the frequently frozen ground, your spring lawn will be in dire need of fresh fertilizer. So, the first step in the fertilization process is to determine the soil’s nutrients through a soil test. This will allow you to understand the exact nutritional makeup of your lawn’s soil and whether it lacks in any specific compounds or becomes too saturated in others.Next, you will need to choose your fertilization method. Keep in mind that not all applications are equal and you need to ensure you choose the best one for your lawn. You also need to know exactly how much fertilizer you need.

Prepare Your Mower

Your spring landscaping isn’t complete just because the lawn, trees, and landscape beds look good. You also need to prep and maintain the equipment that will take care of the plants. Lawnmower maintenance is another important aspect for the health and vitality of your grass. If you have overgrown lawns, it can lead to many issues like vulnerability to the weeds, pests and diseases, and even fire susceptibility. By implementing proper maintenance of your mower, it will keep the appliance efficient, cost-effective and long-lasting. In fact, a functioning lawn mower can give you 15 to 20 years of life.

Add Mulch

Adding mulch is a great way to improve any landscaped area. Whether it is surrounding the base of a patio or preventing problematic areas of weed growth, it can be a welcoming part of your spring landscaping project. Due to its range of colors and chip types, mulch can be a simple but effective way to freshen up the landscaping look.

These are just some of the ways you can revitalize your landscaping for the spring season and with the current quarantine, there is much more time available to get some of these projects done. If you have any further questions or would like some more spring landscaping ideas, feel free to call Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!

How Landscaping Can Increase Your Home’s Value

How Landscaping Can Increase Your Home's Value

Landscaping is one of the most effective methods that can help increase the value of your home. Not only that, but it is also great for the environment and has been shown to improve your health as well. So, regardless of what you intend to do with your home in the future, a quality landscaping design can boost your curb appeal while increasing the property value. So, let’s take a look at some ways that you can increase your home’s value with a landscaping design.

Design The Landscape With A Strategy In Mind

If you are looking to increase your home’s value with a landscaping project, you will need to implement a specific strategy. For example, you wouldn’t want to just fill your yard with various plantings and landscape design elements for the sake of adding them to the yard. You might want to work with a professional who can help you achieve a uniform look with the right amount to keep things interesting, but not so little that it comes off plain and boring.

Add Trees To The Yard

While this might seem like a simple strategy, adding a few trees to your landscape can make a huge difference in the value of your home. In fact, in one study by the Wall Street Journal, including trees helped homes sell for 10-15% more than their asking prices. There are many reasons for this, some of them include: trees can remove carbon dioxide and pollution from the air; trees are viewed as an environmentally-friendly option; the shade that trees produce also keeps yards cooler and more inviting; and finally, plants, including trees, bring a relaxing and calming feeling to your space.

Have A Uniform Style Between Your Home And Landscape

Another great way to increase your home’s overall value is to create a singular style and sticking with that style. For example, if you have a modern style home with a Mediterranean-style landscape design, it can create too many opportunities for design clashing and it would take away from the home’s appeal. So, your best option would be to create a versatile landscape that you can adapt to any style home, in the event your taste changes or you decide to sell your house.

Add Color

Having a garden with full, leafy plants and vibrant flora will add color, texture, and dimension to your landscape. These beautiful flowers and blooming plants will create an instant curb appeal to your home and give your landscape a well-maintained appearance. You may also want to include aromatic plants and flowers as those will invite birds and butterflies to your yard. 

These are just a few ways you can use landscaping to add more value to your home. For more information or if you are looking for professionals to assist you in your landscaping project, give Giovine Landscaping a call at (973) 325-1758 today!

Essential Gardening Tools You Must Have

Essential Gardening Tools You Must Have

As the weather begins to slowly get warmer, it is important to begin thinking about the improvements you can make to your garden this coming spring. In order to make some of these changes, you are going to need the right tools for certain jobs. So, in this article, we are going to look at some of the most essential gardening tools everyone should have for landscaping

Weeder

If you are looking to tackle weeds, your best option will be to get simple weeder, rather than polluting the garden with any harmful chemicals. These small hand tools have a forked end which makes them ideal for digging individual weeds and removing them by the root. Plus, if you use your weeder correctly, you should be able to remove all of the offending plants so that it does not return. This will require some hard work though as removing weeds one at a time can be a time-consuming process.

Garden Scissors

Garden scissors are an essential but sometimes overlooked tool for gardeners. The reason for this is that they are extremely versatile and you can use them to a lot of simple chores. For example, you can use them for opening seed packets, performing delicate pruning jobs of small flowers, and you can also use them to dig out weeds if you have nothing else available. You will just need to be sure to clean them thoroughly afterwards. As a gardener, you need to be ready to improvise when the right tool is not at hand, and with a tool as versatile as garden scissors, you can do just that. 

Curved Blade Digging Shovel

Having a full-length curved blade digging shovel is a staple gardening tool and for good reason. You can use your shovel for a lot of the heavy-duty digging jobs such as planting trees and large shrubs. Shovels are also great when you are working over a lot of soil over a short amount of time. You can use it to loosen up the soil and get it ready for planting before you use a rake to break down any lumps and get the soil into a smooth finish that is ready for planting.

Gardening Gloves

Many people enjoy the feeling of dirt in their hands, but despite that, you still need a good pair of gardening gloves. They will definitely help you avoid any unwanted blisters from handing digging. Make sure you get a versatile pair that can help with weeding, planting, landscaping, picking fruit and vegetables to name a few.

Wheelbarrow

When it comes to digging out new gardens or taking care of a weed infestation, you’re bound to develop a lot of waste material. This is where having a wheelbarrow can be extremely useful because even if you have a backyard compost, you can use the wheelbarrow to carry the waste there. It will help save you a lot of time and effort, but make sure that the tires are properly inflated before you get to work.

These are just some of the essential gardening tools you should have and there are plenty more. For more information on this or any other landscaping needs, be sure to call Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!

Upcycling Ideas For Your Garden

Upcycling Ideas For Your Garden

Garden waste is a very common problem and to reduce the amount that we produce, households have been urged to upcycle items rather than throwing them away. The great thing about this is that you can upcycle just about anything and place it into your garden. Doing so, not only will help you save money along with the environment, but it can also be a unique project that can show your personality for others to see. Plus, you don’t have to be a green-fingered garden pro or a DIY expert to do this. Take a look at some easy upcycling tips that anyone can try.

Plant Pots

Almost anything can be turned into a plant pot. You can use a wheelbarrow which is no longer working or even old boots that you planned on throwing out. Simply fill them with soil and then plant seeds or flowers straight into them and it will help give your garden personality while also reducing waste.

Pallets

An easy way to create your own organized and healthy garden is by making your wooden pallet. Now, you can purchase these at any garden center, but making them on your own is just as easy and will be much more useful moving forward. The best part is that the rows created by the wooden slots will make sure weeds do not grow amongst your flowers and plants. Also, if you want to get creative, you can use these pallets for a variety of other purposes. For example, you can use them for benches, storage boxes, and even outside tables.

Jam Jars

Are you unsure what to do with your empty jam jars? All you have to do is give it a rinse with hot water to sterilize it and remove the labels. Then, you can get creative and paint the jar and place it outside as a nice outdoor decoration. If you want something simpler, you can use them at home and place freshly-cut flowers inside them.

Tiles

Do you have any spare tiles lying around your house? They would be perfect to create garden labels. All you need is to use pens to write or draw what you are planting in the soil, stick the tiles to lollipop sticks and then you can put them into the soil. You can also do this with any slate or even old cutlery.

Tires

A very common challenge comes in figuring out what to do with tires from old cars. A great suggestion would be to stack them to create a deep plant pot, cut them in half and then place them amongst the soil to create a unique adventure playground for your children. You can also use them as a break between grass and borders. 


These are just a few simple ways you can use everyday items around the house to spruce up your yard. For more landscaping needs, feel free to call Giovine Landscaping at (973)-325-1758!

5 Winter Landscaping Tips

Winter Landscaping Tips

If you own a garden in a snowy region, you probably have a plethora of reasons to get cold feet about the winter. For example, while your plants are at rest, their bright colors dissipate and leave a palette of white and gray. So, with nothing to plant, most might think that there are very few landscaping tips for this season. However, by focusing on a few areas during the winter, you can keep a beautiful landscape that shines even through the restful season. So, here are five winter landscaping tips to help your yard.

Focus On Bark

Most transient trees lose their leaves in the wintertime which leaves their branches and trunks in focus. However, that can actually be a good thing. According to Barbara Pierson who is a nursery manager at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut, “if you have any interesting ornamental trees that have really visually distinctive bark, they will end up adding winter interest.” A majority of those trees and shrubs are smaller, so they are easier to find spots for in the winter landscape. 

Include Berries

There are many trees and shrubs that have berries and hold onto them during the fall and winter seasons. This can provide food for any birds who are spending the winter in your area. Pierson mentions that crabapples, specifically hold onto their little fruit which makes them a great addition to the winter landscape.

Remember Evergreens

There are many reasons as to why evergreens are great for a winter landscape. First is their color. Evergreens do not just come in green; they are available in yellow, blue, and all colors in between. They also make good design sense and not only are they important for the winter landscape but they are good focal points for all year-round. Barabara Pierson says if you are planting a new bed, you will want to have at least one evergreen.

Enhance Your Summertime Containers

Hanging baskets, window boxes and winter-hardy containers are all indispensable for winter landscaping. A few options that are perfect for the winter include miniature dwarf Alberta spruce and broadleaf evergreens like Japanese Andromeda, holly and rhododendron. The only caveat is that they need to be watered during the dry periods. According to Pierson, “fill your containers with evergreen boughs of different textures and colors and interesting twigs, anything with color in it.”  

Stick With Four-Season Perennials

Certain perennials have evergreen foliage such as ornamental grasses, hellebores, and even dianthus with its low-creeping foliage which makes them great for winter landscaping. Be sure to read the plant label to ensure that the plant has foliage in the winter so that you can see it all year-round.

Conclusion

By implementing some of these simple tips, you will be able to add texture, color, and beauty to your yard even during the winter months. These tips can also keep your yard in tip-top shape throughout the year, helping you stay ahead of the curve. And as always, for any landscaping needs, especially during the winter, be sure to give Giovine Landscaping a call at (973) 325-1758.