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!

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!

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!