4 Winter Landscaping Tips To Protect Your Lawn

winter landscaping tips

In last month’s blog, we discussed winter gardening tips that you should follow. As important as winter gardening is, it’s equally important to read up on some winter landscaping tips to make your lawn look healthy and complete this season. If you’re ready to maximize your lawn over the coming months, keep reading for some helpful information!

Fertilize, Fertilize, Fertilize!

When the temperature drops, your grass dries up and loses all the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and green. Thankfully, fertilizing your lawn provides your grass with everything it needs to prosper during the colder months. Fertilizing your lawn is the best way to simultaneously prolong your grass’s lifespan, protect it when it freezes over, and boost your curb appeal – there’s no reason not to enrich your lawn!

Don’t Stop Watering

We’ll probably sound like a broken record in due time, but we cannot stress enough that watering everything on your lawn is still necessary, even in the winter. Grass doesn’t require as much water during the winter months, but it still needs something. Watering just a few times per month, maybe once per week, is adequate. Neglecting your lawn is the last thing you want to do!

Stave Off Road Salt

We understand that salt is necessary to deice the roads and your walkways, but it can harm your lawn and other greenery, especially if you live in a high-traffic area. Accumulated road salt can stunt the growth of your grass by preventing absorption of vital nutrients. Cars and people walking to your front door can kick salt up onto your lawn, so you should always keep an eye out for it. 

Keep Raking

We all think raking is a fall-exclusive practice, but it’s actually beneficial to do in the winter, as well. Even though all the leaves are gone, there is still plant debris that can be left over, and it can yield detrimental results for your lawn. If this debris isn’t collected, it can mix with fallen snow and serve as a breeding ground for mold and fungus. Those are not things that you want growing on your lawn, and they definitely hurt your curb appeal, so we suggest you keep on raking.

Maintaining your lawn in the winter can prove quite challenging, so we hope that this series of winter landscaping tips was helpful. If you still don’t know where to start, or have further questions, feel free to get in touch with the experts at Giovine Landscaping today! We’re more than happy to help winterize your front lawn!

4 Winter Gardening Tips You Should Know

Just because it may be too cold to actively tend to your garden, that doesn’t mean you should neglect it! Looking after your garden is still essential in the winter, as ignoring it can bring rise to all sorts of problems in the warmer seasons. There are many ways you can care for your garden, but here are just a few winter gardening tips to consider:

Cover Your Plants

The best way to protect your plants from the forces of Mother Nature is to simply cover them! Covering your plants safeguards them from frosting and eventually freezing entirely. It also helps fight against soil erosion! There are several ways you can go about covering your delicate greenery, ranging from popup plant protectors, mobile greenhouses, or even bed sheets or comforters if you’re in a pinch. This is a simple tip, but possibly the most effective protective measure!

Deweed Your Garden

This may be one of the most basic, general gardening tips, but it’s still an important one. Weeds will fight your plants for precious real estate underground, so you’ll want to take care of that before the weeds stunt your plants’ growth. Removing invasive plants is just one of many imperative winter gardening tips to help maintain your garden for this season and those upcoming.

Add or Replace Mulch

Mulch is another great method to combat weeds in your garden, as they block off sunlight that weeds need to grow. Additionally, adding mulch can also reap several benefits for your soil. Mulch enhances the soil with nutrients, retains moisture, modulates soil temperature, and helps prevent soil erosion, among other things. Only the most careful gardeners use mulch to their advantage!

Do Not Forget To Water

Plants require consistent water consumption, just like we do! Whatever your concerns may be regarding watering your plants in frigid temperatures — throw them out the window. Even when the ground is frozen, you should still water your plants once a week, and new plants need to be watered even more. Do not overdo it, of course, as your plants do indeed require less water in the winter as opposed to other seasons. Just don’t forget to give your plants the sustenance they require!

We understand that tending to a garden yourself can be a massive undertaking. Whether you need some additional winter gardening tips or an expert landscaping team to do the work for you, be sure to contact the Giovine Landscaping team today!

10 Gardening and Lawn Care Tools You Need

lawn care tool

So you want to do some home gardening and landscaping. That’s fantastic! Every homeowner should know how to tend to their property. If you’re not sure where to start, though, you’ve come to the right place! We’re here to help you stock up on all the gardening and lawn care tools you’ll need. 

Gloves

When you’re dealing with the elements and sharp objects, you’re going to want to protect your hands! A nice, sturdy pair of gardening gloves will keep your hands clean and guarded from any possible hazards! You may also want to invest in other safety equipment like eye and ear protection, as well as long sleeve shirts and pants.

Hand Trowel

This is your most basic of lawn care tools. Versatile and reliable, hand trowels are the best tool to use for digging small holes and smoothing out gardening material. If you’re looking to start a small home garden, a trusty hand trowel will take you a long way!

Rakes

We recommend picking up two types of rakes: leaf and steel rakes. Leaf rakes are for your typical fallen leaf and debris collection, while steel rakes are for more stubborn gardening components like soil and mulch. Both types are very useful for lawn maintenance and upkeep.

Shovels

When you have to dig up some holes or move some dirt around, a dependable shovel is your best friend! A traditional, curved-edge shovel is designed for transporting loose material, while a flat-edge spade is great for digging. Both types of shovels are imperative additions to your arsenal!

Hoe

If you intend to plant some seeds, you’re going to want a gardening hoe. Weeds are more than likely to form, but a hoe will quickly eliminate them. Any serious gardener will have this tool in their kit!

Buckets

You don’t have to carry everything by hand! Whether you’re transporting soil or organizing your smaller tools, you’re going to want a few buckets.

Wheelbarrow

If you’re going to tackle a larger gardening project, you may want a wheelbarrow. It’s a fantastic mode of transporting an immense amount of soil, mulch, compost, and/or gravel. You won’t want to make a thousand trips back and forth moving all of that material!

Pruning Shears

Want to do some work on your bushes and shrubs? A sharp pair of shears will help you prune your shrubbery down to exactly how you want it to look. Be sure to call an expert before you do so though, as improper pruning can damage your bushes.

Lawn Mower

Your grass won’t cut itself! Investing in a top-quality lawn mower will make your life infinitely easier if you’re looking to maintain your lawn yourself. If you purchase a higher end mower, please do not hesitate to ask someone for advice on how to use it!

Leaf Blower

If you don’t want to manually rake up all those fallen leaves, a leaf blower is a fantastic alternative! It’s far and away the most efficient leaf-collecting practice, and it’ll save you the headache of expending all your energy raking them.

There are many more lawn care tools to possibly add to your set, but hopefully this is a good enough start to get you prepared for tending to your garden and lawn! If you have any questions about these tools and how to use them, or you want a group of professionals to do all the work for you, call Giovine Landscaping today at (937) 325-1758!

How To Keep Dogs From Pooping On Your Lawn

Keeping your lawn in pristine condition can sometimes prove to be more difficult than usual when it comes to neighborhood dogs who are known for pooping on lawns. This can result in damage to your otherwise healthy grass. If you are someone who is experiencing this issue, here are some tips to help you keep dogs from pooping on your lawn.

Installing Motion Sensing Lawn Sprinklers 

Installing a motion-sensing lawn sprinkler can be one of the best ways to repel dogs and other animals from pooping on your lawn. Keep in mind that while this may not work 100% of the time, it will certainly go a long way toward keeping your lawn safe and in good condition. Plus, it can be effective in driving away animals without harming them. Many of these sprinklers can even reach distances of up to forty feet away and produce a noise that is designed to startle critters. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other solutions.

Utilize Repellents

There are a variety of dog repellents you can get on the market that are used to dissuade dogs from pooping on your lawn. You can use either a spray or sprinkle a variant of the dog repellent available. Be aware that these options may get washed away quickly due to rain. Plus, if you want to maintain the effectiveness of these repellents, you should look to reapply them frequently. Make sure you also try to avoid dog repellents that are actually harmful to dogs.

Communicate With Your Neighbors

While this may seem like a simple solution, sometimes the most effective approach is the simplest one. So, try speaking with your neighbors about their dogs. This approach works, however, only if you know who owns the dog that did the deed. Obviously, out of all the options, this is clearly the least expensive and the results can be immediate.

Change Your Fertilizer To Something Less Appealing

You may not have realized, but some fertilizers contain ingredients that naturally attract dogs, which can lead to poop showing up on your lawn. In fact, some dogs will even ingest the fertilizer if it is tasty enough, which can lead to even more trouble. Try swapping out your current fertilizer to a completely plant-based fertilizer as these lack many of the common ingredients that dogs are attracted to, keeping everyone and your lawn safe.

Be aware that these methods are some of the most effective ways to stop dogs from pooping on your lawn, but they may not work 100% of the time. This is why you should look to other solutions that might work best for you and your lawn. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758.

Fall Landscaping Mistakes To Know & Avoid

Fall Landscaping Mistakes To Know & Avoid

When it comes to keeping up with your landscaping, timing is everything. For example, while the fall season is great for planting trees, it is not the best for pruning certain shrubs. The last thing you want is to wait until the spring season of next year only to find out that the maintenance performed in the fall (if any was performed at all) did more harm than good to your lawn. So, with that said, let’s take a look at a few fall landscaping maintenance mistakes you should know about and how you can avoid them.

Letting The Leaves Pile Up

Raking your leaves is just for the clean, aesthetic look. In addition, you shouldn’t assume that because no one rakes the forest floor and there are no issues with those trees that your lawn will fare just as well. A pile-up of leaves left on your lawn can suffocate the grass and negatively impact the airflow. Plus, it could lead to snow mold which is a lawn fungal infection that forms beneath the fallen leaves and can leave to dead areas.

Pruning Yews, Boxwood, and Spring-Flowering Shrubs

While yews and boxwood shrubs typically take pruning well, you shouldn’t be doing so after late August. The reason being that pruning too late will stimulate new growth that will not have the chance to harden off before the deep freeze of winter arrives. Now, while this will not totally kill the shrub, it will give you plenty of winter injury to remove when the spring season arrives. A rule of thumb is that shrubs that typically flower in the spring should be pruned immediately after they stop flowering.

Storing Tools Without Proper Cleanup

Gardening tools are what make the hard work a little bit easier which is why you should treat them with a little bit more love before storing them away for the winter. Proper maintenance of your tools will help them work more efficiently and become more durable, saving you the expense of having to replace them. First, be sure to clean them; you can use a wire brush to get the hard to remove bits of mud and debris. For rust spots, you would wanna use steel wool or fine sandpaper and then a file to restore the edge on shovels, lawn-mower blades, and pruners.

Cutting The Entire Garden

During the fall, it can be very tempting to go all in and cut your entire garden as the clean canvas can seem so appealing. However, keep in mind that there are many different creatures that need to survive the winter by staying within the hollow stems, and other nooks and crannies of your garden. So, try and leave them a little bit of sanctuary to ride out during the cold season. In addition, it’s important to know that native bees, butterflies, and others benefit from the “dead” gardens of the winter.

With the fall season right around the corner, be sure to familiarize yourself with these and other common maintenance mistakes and try to avoid them as best as possible. For additional questions on fall lawn maintenance, be sure to contact Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!

How To Keep Your Lawn Healthy In The Summer Heat

How To Keep Your Lawn Healthy In Summer Heat

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

Be Aware Of Watering Habits

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

Keep Your Grass Longer

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

Take Care Of Weeds

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

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

Flowers That Can Attract More Bees

Flowers That Can Attract More Bees

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

Goldenrod

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

Bee Balm

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

Black-Eyed Susan

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

Chive Flowers

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

Mint

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

Sunflowers

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

Flowering Thyme

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

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

Summer Landscaping Ideas To Revamp Your Yard

Summer Landscaping Ideas To Revamp Your Yard

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

Incorporate Lighting

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

Add Fragrance

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

Add More Structural Plants

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

Add Your Own Personal Touch

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

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

Spring Tasks To Foster A Healthy Lawn

Spring Tasks To Foster A Healthy Lawn

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

Rake Deeply

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

Assess The Soil

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

Overseeding

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

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

Benefits of Recycling Your Leaves And Grass

Benefits of Recycling Your Leaves and Grass

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

Improves Quality of Soil

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

Reduces The Use of Chemical Fertilizers

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

Creates A Garden Ecosystem

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

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

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

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


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