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Thursday
May082014

Summer Plant Protection

Gazania blooms best in hot, sunny areas. Can't wait for summer to see these beauties!

It's still hard to believe summer is finally here to stay. So after a plant friendly and cool spring it is time to get ready for the hot weather. Our lawns and plants fared well so far and now it is time for all of us, plants and people, to make that seasonal adjustment.

Water is a plant's best friend during the high heat of summer under the blazing hot sun. Right now  your irrigation system should be set on a summer schedule. Maybe it is time to evaluate what type of system you have. Is it as efficient as it could be? In spring you don't need a lot of supplemental irrigation but when the temperatures begin to climb and rain isn't on the horizon, that system will be getting a lot more use. It is better to water less frequently and more deeply than every day for only a few minutes. You want to make sure the water penetrates through the mulch layer and can reach the roots. A drip system lays under the mulch/soil and uses less water than a traditional mist or rotary heads.

Early in the day is the best time to irrigate. If you water in the middle of the day, most of the water will evaporate before it has a chance to penetrate through the soil. If you water late in the day fungus will develop, especially in your lawn. Avoid letting water collect on leaves in the middle of the day; like ants under a magnifying glass, the leaves will fry. Leave your lawn 3-3.5" high in the hottest months. This will help keep the roots cooler by providing some shade. Cutting too short can contribute to browning out. When mowing your lawn, remove no more than 1/3 of the lawn's height at one time. 

Healthy, vibrant lawn. No weeds, well irrigated and maintained.

A few organic choices for the garden that will help your plants thrive include mulch, compost and pruning. Incorporating compost into your soil adds organic matter and will give your plants a boost in nutrients, minimizing the need for synthetic fertilizers. Mulching around your plants keeps the soil cooler in summer and helps with moisture retention. Also, you can mitigate potential damage from poor air circulation or low light penetration with proper pruning.

When it gets hot and humid, there are certain pests and diseases that thrive. Scale, Black Spot, Powdery Mildew and Fungus Gnats are several  to watch out for. Call us if you see small, fuzzy white things that jump on and off of your plants or if you see black spots or a white film on any leaves.  If you see clouds of tiny flying insects, most likely around a wet area, it could be fungus gnats. While they are harmless to humans (they only feed on rotting organic matter) this could indicate you have a standing water issue, which will attract a much worse insect: the mosquito. Our sister company, Tree Care Long Island, has several treatments including horticultural pruning, beneficial insects and liquid and granular applications (including organic options), to treat these issues.

More insects to watch out during the summer include Aphids and Leafhoppers, Grubs, and Spider Mites. Aphids and Leafhoppers can spread scale and powdery mildew between your plants. Grubs eat the roots of your lawn, creating bare patches and holes in your lawn from predators like crows and raccoons digging for dinner. Spider Mites suck the juices out of a plant's leaves and/or needles and cause the plants to defoliate and die.

Is your landscape ready for the heat of summer? If you see any of these conditions, or would like our advice, just contact us and we will be happy to help.

Click here for a Newsletter version of this post.

Thursday
May012014

Earth Day at Long Island Jewish Hospital, and Cohen Children's Medical Center

Click image above to view video page

Earth Day is a very important day in our calendar that should inspire everyone to work together to improve our environment.  It marks a day of environmental awareness across the nation and people come together to reduce, reuse and recycle.  When spring is in the air and the weather is warm, people get eager to get outside and start cleaning up, not just for themselves but for everyone else in their local community.  Goldberg and Rodler is no exception, and this year for Earth Day, we collaborated with Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Cohen Children's Medical Center to plant and dedicate two trees in the name of healing.

North-Shore LIJ has developed a new Green Initiative to bring the North-Shore medical system up to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards by reducing water use in buildings, increased recycling and clean up programs, and improving the landscape.  Together, the LIJ’s Green Initiative team and Goldberg and Rodler hosted a ceremonious event to dedicate two trees to the environmental improvements at the hospital.

President Tom Rodler plants a new tree, with the help of Cohen Children's Medical Center patientsThe event kicked off at 11:00am just outside Cohen Children's Medical Center.  Goldberg and Rodler donated a double flowering Kwanzan Cherry tree centrally located within view from the hospital entrance, parking lot and street.  Two children, who were patients at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, came out and helped Goldberg and Rodler plant the new tree, which resulted in an emotional and extremely rewarding experience for everybody.  Together, with the help of the children, we mixed compost and fertilizer into the soil.  Everyone had a hand in filling the tree pit with rich organic soil.  Then it was time to add the earthworms.  This was a highlight for a lot of people there, because it was also a learning experience on the proper way to treat soil for a newly planted tree.  The act of touching and working with soil and plants is proven to be very therapeutic and served as a healing experience for everyone involved.  The last step was to add mulch and water thoroughly.  LIJ has acquired a new truck with an attached hose and water compressor, to optimize watering throughout the hospital campus.  Last it was time to name the tree, and the children were given the honor to name their very own tree.  Today on April 24th, “Pinky” the Cherry Tree was brought into our lives, and Goldberg & Rodler couldn’t be happier.

After a quick photo op, we moved to another location by the Emergency Room to plant our second tree, a Japanese Zelkova.  We utilized the same procedures to properly plant the tree to ensure its survival.  Goldberg & Rodler decided upon a Zelkova for this area because it will provide shade and an interesting vase shaped canopy over time.  Groups of administrators and doctors arrived at our second location to witness the final planting.  Everyone was excited to be a part of the process, get their hands a little dirty, and break up the monotony of their demanding jobs.  The group named this tree “The Healing Tree” in honor of the Green Initiative mission of healing the environment and the community at LIJ.

The Green Team at Cohen Children's Medical Center and all of the helpers around their new tree "Pinky"Earth Day at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Cohen Children's Medical Center was an extremely successful and inspiring event for Goldberg & Rodler.  We are honored to donate to such a beneficial and healing cause for patients, employees and the environment.  Goldberg and Rodler promotes sustainability and community involved design, and looks forward to continuing to serve our community by volunteering in the future. 

Written by Nick Onesto

Friday
Mar212014

Free Property Evaluation - Winter Damage

A dynamic landscape composition of trees, perennials, boulder wall, waterfall, and annuals.We were hit hard this winter with near record snow totals combined with colder than normal temperatures, which had many of our plants covered in a frozen snow load. Ice storms and extended sub-freezing temperatures added to the stress on our plants as well as record amounts of road salt used this season.

In April, once the weather warms up and the plants break dormancy, you will be surprised to see the damage our properties suffered this winter. Broken, leaning or damaged branches on trees and shrubs. Browning or loss of leaves will appear due to a dry fall and cold winter winds which dry out broadleaf evergreen shrubs. Plants like Rhododendron, Skip and Cherry Laurel, Japanese Holly, and Leyland Cypress will either drop their leaves or have extreme browning of foliage. We can diagnose a treatment and pruning for these plantings to help them rebound from this difficult winter.

Let’s not forget the increasing population and migration of deer and the damage they are causing to our landscape. They will be looking for food from now through early spring and they won't be picky. Alternative plantings that are deer resistant may need to be incorporated into your garden to help deter them away from your property. Another option is a deer fence which we can work into a property with minimal visual exposure to help protect your landscape investment.

Not only were our plantings hit hard but also our hardscape elements such as patios, decks, pool areas and driveways. I have already seen cracking, heaving and uneven settling of these materials. Repairs will be needed or it's time to consider replacing some of these elements.

April is a good time for a property evaluation and to reassess your goals for the upcoming season. A Goldberg and Rodler designer is available to meet with you for a free property evaluation and determine the extent of the winter damage and practical solutions. Now is the time to plan for the year. Call (631) 271-6460 or email us to arrange your spring consultation and evaluation now.

Written by Richard Schneider

Friday
Mar212014

Winter Damage Assessment - Tree Care Long Island

Our team follows safety protocol pruning dead trees and shrubs, keeping your home and family out of harms way.It’s been a rough winter. Many of our trees and shrubs were damaged: Leaning over, possibly breaking with heavy snow loads, filled with dead wood and hazardous to our landscape. Our children will be playing outside soon so you need to check for safety as well as the health of your trees and shrubs.

With our certified arborists, Tree Care Long Island can provide a thorough diagnosis and evaluation of your property before the growing season begins. You probably haven't been outside recently and walked around your property to see what winter damage there is, so it is important to have a professional help evaluate your property.

Shrubs as well as trees should be treated, pruned or removed if they are hazardous. From our observation, properties that were pruned before Hurricane Sandy suffered minimal damage to property and home. Many properties still need this type of maintenance oriented horticultural pruning. Is your landscape ready for the next major storm?

Winter and early spring are the ideal time to address winter damage and structural issues with pruning and removals. Fertilization and environmentally safe pest control are also recommended.

Protect your property and family. Start a free site evaluation with our certified arborist from Tree Care Long Island.  Call (631) 271-6460 or email us today.

Written by Richard Schneider

 

Tuesday
Mar182014

Spring Landscape Preparation

Snowdrops brighten the landscape in early spring. Photo cred. Sal MasulloWinter is retreating and the dormant landscape is thawing, ready to wake up and stretch out its limbs and leaves. Start your spring cleanup early by generating a check list for you landscape.

1. Walk around your property and assess snow/ice damage to gardens and hardscape. The heavy ice and snow builds up on top of plants and the branches will break under pressure. The ice also causes freeze-thaw which results in heaving and cracking in asphalt and pavers over time.

2. Identify potential drainage problems - As the ground thaws completely, settling may occur, resulting in new pooling and damp areas. Watch out for these now!

3. Lawn Care - Your lawn may seem flattened and weak in the early spring, so lightly rake your lawn to stimulate new growth to begin, but don’t rake too hard or you can damage your lawn and cause burn spots.

Pruning your shrubs and trees in late winter/early spring is a good way to promote new growth. Goldberg and Rodler Inc. has certified arborists and horticulturalists that can help you with analyzing the integrity and health of your trees and shrubs. Some damages aren’t recognizable to the average eye, but our experts can identify the signs of stress and teach you along the way. Removing dead wood in early spring will cause shrubs and trees to grow vigorously and increase the amount of flowers. Pruning can bring shape, light and air to your overgrown trees resulting in better overall health and protecting your landscape investment. Spring is the best time to plant slow-to-root trees such as Red Maple, Flowering Dogwood, Magnolias, and Oaks because they need a full growing season to establish their root systems. This is also a great time to apply a granular time released fertilizer to your planting beds.

As your spring bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinth show their colors you can start dividing your perennials and spread them out in your landscape. They will grow throughout the spring and summer giving you more color and texture in your garden and provide a great way to stretch your planting budget.

Spring is bursting with color, featuring sweeping Daffodils and Star MagnoliaFrost is still a concern in the first months of spring. Temperatures can spike in early spring but drop drastically at a moment’s notice, so if you planted tender annuals already, you will want to take precautionary measures such as covering the plants with containers or bringing potted plants indoors. It is a good idea to plant hardy annuals that can take the cold temperatures such as pansies, marigolds, and dusty miller, then transition with those plants to your summer plant pallet.

Check for insects and diseases affecting your plants. For example, you may notice little white scale eggs on your plants which are an infestation rather than a pathogen. These pests hatch and live off the bark of the tree. Plants that are frequently infested with scale eggs are Magnolia, fruiting trees and shrubs and many varieties of Euonymus. If you catch them early enough this spring, the plants can be protected by pruning the infected branches, or spraying with organic, environmentally safe horticultural oil.

Venture out and enjoy the comfortable warm temperature of spring and transition your life outdoors yet again. The amount of work to be done can be daunting so if you have any questions or require guidance, give Goldberg & Rodler a call and our friendly staff will work with you personally. 

Written by Nick Onesto