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Entries in spring (10)

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

Monday
Mar172014

Landscape Trends 2014

Play a relaxing game of bocce in your own backyard!Revitalize your spring landscape with a few new landscape ideas for 2014.

After this winter, aren't we are all ready for spring? Winter has had a tight grip on us this year. Let's shake it off and THINK SPRING!

Sustainability: Start your compost pile now. No meat byproducts, only "green" kitchen scraps (veggies/fruits). Grow your own vegetables and herbs. Collect rainwater to irrigate planters and vegetable gardens. Plant lower maintenance, eco-friendly trees and shrubs.

Lawn Games: A hit for outdoor parties or family time with the kids. Try games like Can Jam, Bocce, Volleyball or Badminton.

Garden Art: Always in and always a welcome addition. It can be as simple as a bird bath or gazing ball or as imaginative as a custom commissioned piece of sculpture.

Outdoor Furniture and Accessories: The options grow each year. Pillows, carpets, oversized umbrellas, canopies, hammocks, tiki bars and more can be integrated into your outdoor spaces.

Planting Trees: A sign of recovery from Sandy and from a sluggish economy. They're also great for increasing air quality and providing welcome shade in the summer months.

Fire pits, fountains and outdoor rooms are recent trends that are still growing in demand. These are just a few ideas to get your mind moving on improvements for your landscape and motif and gardening habits. How do YOU get ready for spring? We would love to know what you do to get ready. Email us at SalM@goldbergandrodler.net. How do WE get ready for spring? There are a few ideas in our Spring Cleanup and Startup entry. Also check out our Cabin Fever article for planning tips.

Written by Sal Masullo

Thursday
Mar132014

Spring Cleanup and Startup

Spring is here.

The following are 20 things you should know about spring.

Who's ready for tulips, pansies and Dwarf Fothergilla flowers?

1. March 20th is the first day of spring. Before long the first day of summer (June 20th) will be here!

2. Assess winter damage to plants and the landscape. 

3. Apply pre-emergent to lawns and beds before the forsythia finish blooming.

4. Prune back hydrangeas and roses now. However, other plants are just waking up, so don't do any heavy pruning on other trees and shrubs. Have a certified arborist evaluate your fruit trees.

5. Cut back liriope and perennials. Now is a good time to divide perennials.

6. Watch for settlement from freeze/thaw cycles around new pools and drywells.

7. Review photos from last year's vegetable and annual plantings.

8. Add organic amendments like compost to the soil in early spring.

9. Rotate crops, especially vegetables. Organically add nitrogen back to the soil by planting soy beans or peas.

Contrast bulb flower colors for the biggest bang in the landscape!10. Mulch NOW while the beds are open so you don't have to dance around emerging perennials. Pull back winter compost from tree and shrub root crowns. Avoid mulch volcanoes!

 

11. Plant summer annuals after May 15th (wait for danger of frost to pass). Having a summer party? Plan your annuals now for robust color and lush beds. Get your tubers ready. Dahlias and Canna Lilies are ready to go in soon!

 

12. Monitor your irrigation system. DO NOT overwater. Adjust the watering schedule as summer approaches.

 

13. Experiment with alternatives to impatiens. DO NOT plant Impatiens walleriana! They have a problem with downy mildew all across the United States and they WILL disappoint you. Try something new!

 

 

14. Bring in your bird feeders. Birds have plenty of food now. Clean and store them for next winter.

15. Spray horticultural oil to smother insect egg cases. Check your lawn for divots. Does it look like a really poor golfer has been there? Those holes are from squirrels, raccoons and birds looking for food.

16. Watch for frosty nights and protect newly planted and tender annuals and vegetables.

17. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. They're popping up all over. If you have a small piece of property or too much shade, this is a great way to contribute to a cooperative garden and reap the benefits in fruits, vegetables and friendships.

18. Test your lawn's pH. Let the soil and our trained horticultural experts tell you what it needs.

19. Check the garden shed for old and outdated fertilizers and chemicals. Dispose of them properly.

20. Last, but certainly not least, consult with your favorite landscape designer. Now is a great time to contact us. Call to set up an appointment with one of our talented landscape designers at (631) 271-6460 to discuss your ideas.

Soon pansy faces will great us from pots and daffodil manes from the beds.

Written by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa and Sal Masullo

 

Tuesday
Mar122013

Spring Start Up & Cleanup

Fast forward to three months from now. Maybe you're sipping a margarita by a pool, possibly in your own backyard, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and - Wait a minute, how can that happen if you don't start now? It's warming up and boy is there a lot to do in the garden, but you can't do anything without cleaning up first. There's vegetable gardens to plan, pools to open, patios to design, furniture to get out of storage, powerwashing, fertilization and pruning to be done.

Where to start?

Think of spring as the time to take inventory of your outside spaces. If you're unsure how to go about it, take advantage of our Free Property Analysis. We will professionally assess your property to determine if any damage has occurred over the winter, such as salt and wind burn. We can evaluate and determine if your turf needs remediation or if your plants need fertilization. What about pruning? Our certified arborists can study the health of your trees and shrubs and make recommendations. Maybe your trees were damaged in Hurricane Sandy or from all the heavy snow we had this winter. Proper pruning can help reduce the risk of damage next time we have a major storm event.

Goldberg & Rodler offers many garden care and landscape maintenance services to take care of your property throughout the growing season. We're here to answer any questions you may have. Don't delay getting outdoors, that nice weather is just around the corner, and don't we all want to be relaxing by the pool in our beautiful backyard gardens?

Tuesday
Mar052013

Spring is Almost Here!

I had a bad dream last night. I dreamt that I had to put on a wedding in my backyard and it needed massive pruning. I woke up and my hand was sore from clenching dream pruners! I think this is my subconscious reminding me that it's time to get out and cleanup the garden! Now is the time to cut back any remaining perennials and grasses such as liriope and carex. However, acorus only needs a good combing with a leaf rake.

Spring also means time to apply a pre-emergent to your lawn to prevent broadleaf weeds like crab grass or dandelions. This must be done before the forsythia finish blooming. Our expert arborist, Gary Carbocci, says to lime your lawn to raise the pH as our soil on Long Island is very acidic. Also see our article on how to use vinegar as an organic herbicide.

It’s also the best time to weed! Get those garden nuisances before they get established and add a fresh layer of mulch to beds, remembering to keep the root flare clear (see Mulch Volcano article here). Prune damaged branches on trees and shrubs. Trim yellow leaves on broadleaf evergreens. Any other pruning should wait until after the plant flowers so the buds aren't removed.

Wow, looks like I have a lot to do, but it will all be worth it once I can see my bulbs popping up. Bulbs are my spring alarm clock and I can't wait for it to ring.

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