Subscribe to our Blogs

Entries in deer (3)

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

Monday
Nov112013

Dear Deer, Please Stay Away From My Garden

These WERE hostas until the deer ate all of the leaves!

Deer ate all of the leaves off of these sedums. Deer may remind you of an iconic childhood cartoon, Bambi, but a real life herd will see your garden as a feast of delicious plants and flowers. If your beautiful garden is decimated by a herd of white tailed deer, you might jump on the computer and research how to deer proof your landscape. The number one thing to realize is that there is no such thing as a deer proof landscape. If deer are hungry enough they will eat anything but they prefer narrow leaf evergreens and fleshy, water filled plants like Hostas, Daylilies and Hydrangeas. Deer don’t usually eat thorny shrubs like roses or barberry, but they are known to nibble the new growth because it’s still soft and palatable. Deer routinely browse vegetation 5-6 feet off of the ground and are mostly nocturnal feeders. Bucks can weigh 250-300 pounds and consume about 4-10 pounds of food, per day, on their vegetarian diet. They typically have their offspring in May-August so you can expect the population to rise in the summer. In the winter deer become desperate for food and they will turn to plants they typically leave alone earlier in the year. The only options for defense are planting strategies, installation of fencing (8’ minimum suggested), and commercial deer repellents (taste and odor based).

Spreading Boxwood (along fence on left)Installing deer resistant landscape plants is the best way to manage browsing damage on your property. Deer are very particular when it comes to what plants they like to eat and implementing a specific planting strategy can direct them elsewhere in search of food. Deer tend to stay away from trees such as American Holly, Birch, Corkscrew Willow, Pitch Pine and Red Pine. Some deer resistant shrubs include Boxwood, Caryopteris, Japanese Plum Yew, Microbiota, Heather, and Osmanthus. You can bring color to your garden without sacrificing flowers to hungry deer. Deer find perennials such as Ligularia, Bleeding Hearts, Catmint, Astilbe and Russian Sage unappetizing. Ornamental grasses are usually left alone because deer don’t like the texture. Some good specimens for your deer resistant garden are Big/Little Blue Stem, Hakonechloa, and Fountain Grass.

Hakonechloa and Ligularia (Photo by Sue Sotera)

Deer fencing can be expensive but is probably the only option for large tracts of land. The fence must be installed with proper footings and should be cleared of debris around the immediate area. This prevents the deer from jumping over and digging underneath the fence. It is recommended that the fence be at least 8 feet high, which could be considered unsightly in some settings.

Commercial deer repellents are plentiful and selecting an adequate product can be confusing because of all the different ingredients and mixtures. An untreated garden can become a buffet for this woodland pest. Deer are deterred by strong fragrances and what they consider to be foul tastes. Repellents can be costly and should be applied directly to the plants every few weeks to ensure effectiveness. Some irrigation companies even offer an inline system that will distribute a repellent during watering. It is important to know what smells and tastes deer hate most to get the most bang for your buck. Look for natural repellents with ingredients that include putrid eggs, fish oil, garlic, hot pepper or some combination thereof. Bitrex is the common name for Denatonium Benzoate which is the most bitter chemical compound known to exist and is mixed with these commercial repellents. You can shop online for a brand that fits your budget, but you might need to try several to find out what works best for the deer on your property. 

With an arsenal packed full of planting strategies, deer fencing and deer repellents, your landscape may stand a chance against deer browsing and cause them to look elsewhere for their sustenance. 

 

Written by Nick Onesto

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