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Entries in compost (4)

Friday
Oct172014

Winter Garden Preparation 


An application of anti-transpirant being made.

"Old Man Winter" is right around the corner and its time to prepare your planting beds for the harsh environment that is about to come.  As soon as we have a good hard frost it will be time to put your garden to bed for the winter.

How do we do that?  The first step in preparing your garden is cleanup and removal.  Cut back dry perennial stems down to the ground and remove any debris like leaves and branches.  Also, remove any summer annuals that are soon to be past their peak and fading fast.

Next, you want to put down a good natural insulating layer in the beds.  Shredded bark mulch is perfect for this.  This mulch layer will protect plants and soil over the winter months. Another good resource for your planting beds is to use the leaves that fall from your trees.  Grind the leaves up and distribute around the garden beds.

If you planted bulbs in your garden, it might be good idea to protect them too.  Using sod staples, pin down evergreen boughs over the bulb planting area to protect the soil from shifting and heaving due to frigid winter weather. The boughs also provide greenery in a mostly barren bed during the winter months and keep the squirrels at bay.

Once the leaves have fallen from the trees, it is a great time to prune your deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs.  During this dormant time, it is easy to identify the natural form of the tree or shrub and prune accordingly. Pruning during the winter season helps the tree or shrub conserve its energy for the roots where it is well needed for survival.

Winter mulch is applied around the root system of a tree or shrub to help keep the ground from heaving in the frigid weather and also to provide nutrients in the spring.Many people think since there is snow on the ground that their plants are getting water. This is not true. With the ground frozen and lack of percolation and absorption, your plants struggle to survive during the winter. To protect your evergreen trees and shrubs from transpiration (losing moisture through the leaves), use an anti-desiccant (anti-transpirant) spray on the evergreen foliage.  This helps retain much needed water in the plant during the cold dry winter.

Finally, as the snow starts to fall, keep an eye out on evergreen trees and shrubs, the weight of the snow can snap the branches off.  After a large snow fall, knock the snow off the branches starting with the lower ones first.  If you start with the upper branches first, you add more weight to the lower ones and this may cause them to break off.

There are many other methods to protecting your valuable landscape plantings during the winter months. Let Goldberg and Rodler's team of professionals devise a plan that works best for your property to keep your landscape healthy. Call us now and plan ahead.

Written by Rich Lambert

Friday
Oct172014

Fall & Winter Services

As we put our yards and garden to sleep for the colder months, we should consider measures to protect our landscapes just as we do in the growing season. Plants slowly become dormant when temperatures drop. They still need vitals such as light, water, nutrients and pruning. Goldberg and Rodler can tailor a program for these specific needs.

Pansies give us an extended season of color in fall.

Early fall we still want to maintain our plants and gardens. Goldberg and Rodler can plant annuals for a last burst of color using Chrysanthemums, Cabbage, Kale and Pansies. Pansies do well in the cool months right through Thanksgiving. In late fall, cut down the perennials and remove all annuals. This is done after the first frost.  It is also the time to plant a variety spring bulbs. You’ll be glad this was done once the first sign of spring appears.

Fall is a good the time to core aerate the lawn and seed. This will get your spring lawn off to a good start. Keep your lawn clear of leaves since the lawn is still growing and needs the light for root development and color. Remember that a dry fall can be detrimental for broadleaf plants such as Rhododendron and Skip Laurel. Late season watering may be needed because the roots are still alive.

Winter preparation is a crucial part of your property which is sometimes put on the back burner. Cold harsh winds, frozen ground and snow have all damaged our properties in the past. We recommend an anti-desiccant applied to all broadleaf evergreens in November with a second application in January. This works as a waxy blanket film to decrease the evaporation of water from the leaves and the drying effect of winter winds. Winter mulch applied in December is composted manure with peat moss and should be applied around the base of the plants. This helps keep the plants from heaving in the winter and slowly releases organic nutrients for the plants to absorb when the ground thaws. Winter pruning is an ideal time to get your trees in shape. This not only helps with light and air circulation during the growing season but helps prevent wind blown branches and snow load damage. We have seen both in recent years. Be more proactive in the pruning care of your trees.

Please contact Goldberg and Rodler to discuss our fall and winter services.

 

Written by Rick Schneider

 

Wednesday
Nov202013

Benefits of Winter Mulch: From the Desk of Sal Masullo

It has been said many times and it is true, "Timing is everything."

Sal Masullo, working hard to protect his clients' investments.NOW is the time to consider winter mulching. Winter mulch is a little different from regular shredded bark mulch. Winter mulch is an organic compost based mulch that provides many benefits for both new and established plantings. Considering the very dry fall we experienced this year, winter mulch makes even more sense as a simple, inexpensive way to protect the investment you have in your landscape. The root systems of your trees, shrubs and perennials have been under tremendous stress. Winter mulch will protect these roots through the cold days ahead.

 

Just like people, plants require supplementary nutrients. Healthy plants are better equipped to fight off pests, disease and extreme temperatures. The benefits of winter mulch:

          Insulates soil and minimizes the impact of extreme cold temperature on plants and their root system

          Minimizes root disruption from the freeze/thaw cycle by stabilizing soil temperature

          Feeds plants slowly, consistently and organically as it decomposes

          Reduces moisture evaporation from the soil (a key benefit this season)

In short, winter mulch is preventative medicine for your plants. If you would like more information regarding winter mulch or other helpful winter protection for your garden, contact our office and one of our landscape professionals will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Written by Sal Masullo

Thursday
Sep272012

Goldberg & Rodler Wins National Maintenance Award!

Goldberg & Rodler has won a national PLANET award for maintenance. Goldberg & Rodler has recently expanded our services in the past few years (the original G&R Gardeners would be proud) and now offers a multitude of property maintenance services. Read on to find out more!

Woodland PatioOur client loves living in the woods but she wants a woodland feel without a woodland mess. She is the CEO of a large corporation and has a demanding workload. When she comes home to her 2-acre estate, she wants to spend time with her family and enjoy her property. She prefers a natural look and feel, (everything is hand-pruned) and she wants ease of access to her entire property keeping it a safe environment for her children and grandchildren to explore. 

Woodland PathOn a weekly basis we mow the lawn, pick up the pet-waste, weed the beds and play area, police the property for deer and mole problems, and check on the drains, gutters, downspouts and drainage paths.  The plants are inspected for damage from disease, insects or water issues. Our crew maintains a service access path on the side of the property to get to the rear yard. This prevents us from damaging the lawn, plants, and patios with repetitive traffic. We make sure the 2-story tall evergreen screening is maintained, pruning throughout the seasons after plants flower. We avoid a massive seasonal pruning job by pruning a little each visit, keeping the maintenance costs down for our client and adding to the natural look of the property. Bed edging is kept to a minimum to balance neatness with the woodland aesthetic throughout the property.

Summer ColorEvery spring we power wash all paving, the roof and walls of the house, and the furniture and pots that we wrapped and stored for the winter. We plant the evergreen shrubs from the pots in the landscape. We start up the irrigation system and inspect pool equipment. We install annuals and tropical plants for the summer months, concentrating a huge display of color in the pool area.  Our client looks forward to seeing something different and unique each year. She has no window treatments in the residence to maintain open views of her property.

Annual PotWe install fall annuals such as kale and mums around entryways. Our crews divide and transplant perennials and make sure all the light fixtures are clear and working during a nighttime test. Before winter starts we apply organic compost around the major trees and shrubs to prevent soil heaving and apply an anti-transpirant to the broadleaf evergreens to guard against moisture loss and desiccation of the foliage. We pre-treat the pavements before snowstorms and plow and shovel during and after the snow falls. Our client has knee problems so we take extra care to ensure those surfaces are as clean and dry as possible. After a heavy storm two years ago we even went up on the roof and removed the snow deposits to make certain that ice dams would not form and cause leaks.

Summer ColorWe maintain a gravel strip along the road with a short decorative iron fence to delineate the property in a neighborhood without curbs.  This also prevents the neighborhood dogs from using it as a bathroom. In the back of the property, a section of woods remains untouched. If a tree fails in the wooded area we take it down and leave it to decompose naturally and provide wildlife habitats away from the main living areas.

Spa & PoolAfter redoing the pool a few years ago, we rototilled the lawn area and added compost and topsoil. However, after failing to get a thriving lawn even with the amendments, during a maintenance visit we took a shovel and dug a test pit. We discovered that the pool company had backfilled with very poor soil and a 3-foot layer of clay was preventing the water from draining. Using a backhoe, we broke through the compacted clay layer and got the drainage flowing properly. Thanks to our weekly visits we were able to nip the issue in the bud and avoid replacing the lawn every year.

Graduation PartyThe homeowner likes to entertain at her residence and we organize the events for her from planning and setup to post-party cleanup. She likes having a garden theme and we create seasonal cut flower arrangements. We add tropical foliage plants and after the party take them to her corporate office to decorate the lobby. We also do the maintenance at her office building as it is very important to her that her employees enjoy their work atmosphere. The office building and grounds has a more manicured look to offer a pleasant but corporate feel to the property.

 

Photos by Susan Sotera