Summer Yard Management Tips

Care for your summer yard to keep it healthy!

Summer is a great time to use your backyard for barbecues, sports with the kids, pool parties, and lazy days reading on the patio. However, summer is also an important season for yard maintenance. The experts here at Giovine Landscaping have compiled six summer yard maintenance tips that all homeowners should know. 

Water Your Plants Strategically 

You probably understand that the plants in your yard, like all life on this blue planet of ours, need water to survive, especially during the hot summer months. However, it is not enough to simply water your plants. You have to do so strategically. For instance, you should water your plants during the early morning. By midday, it is too hot; the water will simply evaporate without helping your parched plants. Your lawn  needs about one inch of water a day–from either rain or human intervention–in order to stay green and beautiful. 

Homeowners also need to understand the needs demanded by their specific soil types and plants. For instance, some hearty native plants may require less water than imported species and grass lawns. Plants in containers like hanging baskets also require more water than ground plants–sometimes even two waterings a day, depending on the weather and species. You should also consider installing a drip irrigation system or soaker hose to supply water directly to the roots of your plants to save water. If you have questions about your watering strategy, call the experts at Giovine Landscaping.

Let Your Grass Grow Taller

It is tempting to cut your grass as short as possible to reduce the frequency of mowing sessions, but this is a mistake. In the summer, lawns that are cut too short are susceptible to drought. Cutting your lawn too short can cause yellowish-brown dead patches of grass to appear, blighting the green beauty of your yard. The proper height to keep your grass varies based on local microclimate. According to Rutgers University, the ideal height of lawn grass in New Jersey is within the 2½ to 3 inches range, so your grass should be left at least at this height. Cutting your grass higher reduces the stress placed on your lawn during mowing and reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides that can be environmentally harmful. Taller grass also shades the soil, cooling vulnerable grassroots, preserving soil moisture, and shading out ugly weeds. It is also a good idea to leave grass clippings on your lawn so they can biodegrade and naturally fertilize your yard. 

Mulch And Fertilize Your Yard

Mulch is essential because it helps keep soil cool during hot summer days. You should cover bare soil with mulch to slow down evaporation, suppress weed growth, and to help maintain the aesthetics of your yard or garden. In areas of bare soil between your plants, add two to three inches of mulch in order to protect your plants. Make sure not to let the mulch actually touch the stems and trunks of your plants, though, because this could cause moisture buildup and rot. 

To create mulch, you can use compost, stones, dried leaves, or even old newspaper. It is also important to use the appropriate fertilizer in your yard during the summer months. During summer the best fertilizer option is a slow-release formulation with a lower nitrogen content, but you also need to keep in mind your specific plants and soil conditions. 

Giovine Landscaping Can Help You Manage Your Summer Yard

Your summer yard can thrive with the proper care. For all of your landscaping needs in every season, reach out to the experts of Giovine Landscaping. Call today for a free quote!

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!

4 Easy DIY Spring Landscaping Design Ideas

With spring officially underway, you’re probably starting to think about your landscaping. You may even be looking for some spring landscaping design ideas. There are so many ways you can enhance the look of your property through landscaping, and some of them are easy enough to do on your own! Whether you want to spend as little time and effort as possible on this project or you’re willing to go all in, we have a range of ideas for you to choose from. And if you don’t see something on this list that speaks to you, we have even more ways you can beautify your landscaping if you give us a call!

If you’re looking for some simple spring landscaping design ideas that pack a punch, check out this list!

1. Incorporate Color

Spring blooms come in all sorts of colors and shades! No matter your favorite color, you will likely find a flower or plant that fits the bill. Planting flowers in a particular color or mix of colors is an easy way to bring life and brightness to your landscaping. You can even use the colors in your plants to bring out or highlight colors on your house or in other areas of your landscaping. Some ideas of colorful spring flowers include tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths.

2. Add Interest with Texture

Plants don’t only come in different colors–they also have textural differences that can add some interest and sophistication to your property. Maybe you want to go for a monochromatic look using plants in the same color but with different shapes and feels to them, including bristly shrubs, feathery plants, soft-petaled flowers, and more. Groom your shrubs and other greenery into different sizes and shapes to enhance that interest even further and create a clean, well-designed look.

3. Include a Rock Garden

Don’t underestimate the beauty of rocks! You can find hints of a whole range of colors within the stony color of rocks, and they come in all different shades, shapes, and sizes. Some rocks even glimmer when sunlight hits them. They can be artfully arranged in an area or two of your yard to achieve an intricate, modern design, a rustic style, a desert vibe, a quaint and country look, or even glam! Rock gardens and features can be versatile in style, so take the plunge and go for it!

4. Build Your Own Fire Pit

Firepits make great gathering areas for family and friends to chat and relax in the warmer weather. You can certainly purchase an already-built fire pit and add it to a patio or other seating area, or you can build your own! It’s not as complicated as you might think. There are many tutorials online you can follow, and the materials can be easily found in any home supplies store.

We Can Help You with Your Spring Landscaping Design Ideas!


No matter what vibe you are trying to achieve with your landscaping, we can help you bring it to fruition! Whether you go the DIY route or want to hire someone to do it for you, the experts at Giovine Landscaping will bring to life all your spring landscaping design ideas! Reach out to us whenever you are ready to start!

2023 New Year’s Resolutions For An Exceptional Backyard

New Year's resolutions

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

Composting Is Important 

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

Brighten Things Up

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

Water-Efficient Landscaping 

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

Weed Pulling 

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

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

Making Your Lawn Beautiful…All Year Long!

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

Winter 

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

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

Spring 

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

Summer 

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

Fall 

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

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

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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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Top 5 End of Summer Landscaping Tips

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

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

1. Harvest Your Vegetables

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

2. Deadhead and Cut Flowers

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

3. Repair Your Lawn

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

4. Prepare for Fall Planting

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

5. Prevent Weed Growth

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

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

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!