Think 2018 Was Wet? Yep, It’s Official.

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 10:54 am
Feb 9, 2019

It was not anyone’s imagination. It just kept raining and raining last year. And now, it’s official.

The following article is a reprint from the Bucks County Courier Times from Thursday, February 7, 2019

reprint from Bucks County Courier Times, Feb. 7, 2019

We can only hope that this does not continue into the Spring of 2019, or we’ll all be building arks…

Goodbye 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 1:21 pm
Dec 28, 2018

This is our first blog in quite sometime. Funny how the time flies when you’re too busy to do anything other than concentrate on work.

2018 was a strange year. We saw our share of employment issues, which made getting our work done a challenge, pretty much all season. Really quite a lesson learned, the difference 1 person, or lack thereof, can make. It was difficult to find new help in a low unemployment environment. While unemployment nationally was under 4%, in this industry, it’s more like under 1%.

In my conversations with other employers, in a vast array of fields, it seems the concensus is :

1- Most 20 somethings either don’t want to work, end up “ghosting” you once hired, or decide that normal business hours don’t apply to them.

2- Most potential employees have an over-inflated view of what their lack of skills are worth.

3- Most of them will end up letting you down, or just stop showing up, without any notice

I am not saying that this is true of ALL 20 somethings, but there seems to be a trend. To say that the old-fashioned worth ethic seems to have vanished is NOT an overstatement.

And then, there was the rain. I was expecting to get job requests for ark building. It was surprising that we were able to maintain any semblance of a schedule for the second half of the season. And what work we could, or did, do was usually a muddy mess. Very difficult to maintain quality with conditions such as we had. As of this writing, 2018 is the 2nd wettest year on record for the Philadelphia area.

Looking Forward

I apologize if the above sounded like I was complaining. Just observations and opinions.

We are hoping for a better 2019. A bit drier, just as busy, and fully staffed. There is a good chance that we may have to do less, in hopes of keeping our existing client base happy. Maybe taking on a few less new jobs, and hoping for extra work for our old clients. (hint, hint).

Meanwhile, we hope that our wet weather pattern will change soon, so that we don’t run the risk of having to dig out from 2 feet of snow any time soon.

We wish you a great 2019, a pleasant and uneventful Winter, a Groundhog that doesn’t see his shadow, and look forward to seeing our clients come Spring!

What A Strange Season It’s Been…

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 4:18 pm
Jul 8, 2018

It has been a long while since I’ve had the time to add a post here. 2018 is just beginning its second half, July 4th has come and gone, and the madness we’ve had this landscape season is continuing.

We are not alone in this issue. Every other landscape company I know is experiencing the same issue, to one degree or another. Our season started 3 weeks late, thanks to foot deep snows, twice, in March. It wan’t until the first full week of April, a time when we normally start cutting lawns, that we were able to start our Spring cleanups and mulching.

And then came the rains. We managed to get our weekly lawn routes cut, much to our own amazement. But very little else. And now, having just endured a 7 day heat wave, albeit a dry period, we are still dealing with a 6 – 8 week work backlog. We’ve managed to get through almost all of our mulching work, and now turn our attention to shrub trimming, which we normally start in early June.

There is also a national labor shortage. There are more jobs than people to fill them. Most critically, the landscape industry is reeling from artificially low H2B visa quotas. Some local landscape and nursery businesses are on the verge of closing since they can’t find help. And no one wants these jobs, so they go begging. Same for most contractors in all fields.

So, this is where we are. I am not complaining, just stating facts. And along the same lines, I am asking for your patience, if you are one of our customers still waiting to have work done. Rest assured, we are doing everything in the order in which we received the work request. We WILL get there. And going elsewhere just puts you at the end of someone else’s line. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Another Low Snow Season? And the Upcoming Spring ’17

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 5:36 pm
Feb 3, 2017

Hello Eden followers. It’s Friday, Feb 3, 2017, and our furry weatherman, the groundhog, has predicted another 6 weeks of Winter. But currently, our Winter has been as feeble, snow-wise, as the 2015-16 season was. With less than 4 weeks left until the end of meteorologic Winter, we could get snow, but chances decrease weekly.

Of course, we could still get dumped on in March. It does happen. But chances are we could be faced with an early Spring. Oh, the horror!, say some of my snow loving friends. But for me, a landscaper going into his 49th season, Spring can never come too early.

So, start thinking about your landscape. February is a great time to plan for upcoming projects. Nurseries will be opening by about mid-March, and plants will be come available soon. Consider Spring cleanup, mulch, and maybe ripping out and replacing some of those older, overgrown and unsightly foundation plantings.

If your landscape is 30 years or older, it may be time to redesign and renovate. Call us now before we get busy. A perfect time to sit and discuss your landscape plans for 2017.

See you soon!

What Is That bug?… Fall 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 5:07 pm
Oct 11, 2016

Just discovered that there haven’t been any new posts here for quite sometime.
So let me give you something timely.

I’ve been asked about this every year at this time… “What is that big mosquito-looking thing flying out of my lawn?” That, my friends, is the adult cranefly. While they may scare the bejeebers out of you, they are just a harmless lawn pest. They are busy mating and laying eggs in your lawn.
cranefly_adult

This is not a matter for concern, other than the annoyance factor. The larvae, or leatherheads, as they are called, do so little damage that you won’t notice. Until they mature and fly in your face again next year.

They’ll be gone soon. But at least they’re not sucking your blood.

Preventing A Repeat of the Spring of ’14

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 6:19 pm
Sep 26, 2015

9/26/15. This for all of my followers who have landscapes. You know, trees, shrubs, plantings around your property. It has been really dry lately. REALLY dry! Remember how many plants were dead coming out of last Winter? Dead evergreens, or really bad winter burn? Same thing can happen next Spring.
Why? Same pattern. We had a very dry Fall 2014, and then it was very cold. Now, I’m not saying this Winter will be as cold. I hope not. But it is just as dry now.
SO… the solution is very easy. WATER YOUR PLANTS. The water bill will be far lower than the cost of replanting next Spring.
You should be watering at least once a week. All of your trees. All of your shrubs. They will thank you for it. By being alive next year.

Fall 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 4:26 pm
Sep 27, 2014

Another Fall has arrived. As always, I would like to offer some observations and timely tips for our landscapes. Here in the Greater Philadelphia region, we have been a bit on the dry side. Until last week’s rain (9/25/14) we were about 2.5 inches below normal. While the rain has helped a bit, a lot of our lawns are still not recovered yet, and are looking a little on the brown side. You can tell by driving around who has been watering, and who has not.

 

WATERING

This is important for our lawns AND our landscape plantings. By allowing your landscape to dry out, it is putting stress on the plants at a time when they are storing nutrients for the Winter. Plants have not begun their process towards dormancy yet, so it is important to continue to water lawns and gardens. Your lawn should receive no less than 1 inch of water per week. Trees and shrubs vary on requirements, but a good, deep watering once a week will certainly help.

FERTILIZER

A late Fall fertilizer will prepare your lawn for NEXT season. The thicker your lawn, the less possibility for weeds to take hold. Weak, underfertilized lawns have more weed and disease problems than well kept lawns. Your trees and shrubs could use a feeding before dormancy as well. If an evergreen, use something like HollyTone, or MirAcid. For your deciduous plants (those that drop their leaves), a basic 10-10-10 plant food will suffice. Be sure to read the label.

LEAF CLEANUP

Make sure you clean up fall debris. leaf piles make the perfect place for over-wintering insects, not to mention some rodents. Also, if the fallen leaf is carrying some sort of plant disease, it remains around to reinfect the plantings next year. Besides being unsightly, leaves left on the lawn all winter will create dead spots that will most likely grow weeds if not addressed in the Spring.

Finally, the leaves in this region have not changed color yet, or started to drop for Fall. The leaf drop we are currently seeing is the result, in most cases, of trees shedding weak or damaged leaves as a defense mechanism, due to recent dry conditions. This is an attempt for the tree to maintain moisture reserves. You’ll probably also notice the lawn under these trees is much browner than the rest of the lawn, as the tree tries to take up as much water as possible. A deep watering is highly recommended, the sooner the better.

That’s all for now. Don’t want your heads to explode. Any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

A Few Landscape No-Nos

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 7:14 pm
Aug 12, 2014

 

Hard to believe its been the end of March since our last post. It has been a VERY busy year here at Eden Landscaping Co. In some cases, one for the record books. But that’s not what this post is about. We are going to discuss some of the mistakes, serious and not, that homeowners (and some landscapers, though not us) do on their properties. And a few pet peeves of mine as well.

1. Roundup – Where To Use it, And Not…

It amazes me that every year, after all the info I provide my clients, I still see people use Roundup to kill lawn weeds. NO, NO, NO!! Do you like big brown spots on your lawn? At least the weeds were green!

Roundup is a NON-selective herbicide. This means that it will kill anything green you spray it on. It does not discern grass from weeds. If you want to kill a dandelion, you use a broadleaf weed killer, a selective herbicide. (I’m sitting here shaking my head as I write).

PLEASE READ THE LABEL ON ANY HERBICIDE YOU USE! For a professional applicator such as us, it’s the law!

2. Mulch Volcanoes

We know that the trend is for those really nice looking tree bed mounds. But did you know that by piling mulch around a tree planted at grade (that’s level with the lawn for you homeowners), you are creating a potentially harmful condition for your trees? You are not only burying the root system, which inhibits the breathing of the roots (yes, roots breathe), but the bark of the trunk of the tree is NOT meant to be exposed to soil or mulch around it.

If you look at a properly planted tree, it flairs out where the trunk meets the ground. It does not look like a lollypop stick shoved into the ground. The bark of the flair is different from the bark on the trunk, as it can tolerate soil against it. Soil, or mulch, against the trunk will cause rot of the bark, and allow insects and diseases to penetrate the now-rotting bark.  So, DON’T pile the mulch against the trunk of any tree.

And finally…

3. Roundup Is NOT Killing The Bees, and Other Misconceptions

I was recently in a discussion on Facebook, and someone chimed in that Roundup was responsible for bee colony collapse. WHAT? I can understand other pesticides, especially improperly used insecticides causing this problem, but Roundup? I explained to this poor misguided creature that Roundup is probably one of the safest herbicides out there. It’s toxicity level is very low. And chances are that you’re not spraying it on flowers that bees are attracted to anyway. There are far many more chemicals to worry about than Roundup. And, if used PROPERLY (again, read the label), it does its job, and goes away. There is no soil activity, and whatever Roundup does get into the soil is quickly consumed by microbes.

It will not …kill all the bees, the neighbor’s dog, affect someone with hypersensitivity to pesticides (no smell), render your soil (or you) sterile, and a whole other slew of things. Roundup is great for your lawn IF, and only IF, you want to start over! More weeds than grass? Or bad grass that you can’t get rid of? Then THIS is the time to use Roundup on your lawn. Once you have killed it all off, you’re ready to reseed. Why? NO SOIL ACTIVITY! Strip off the dead grass, and sow your seeds!

Thanks for allowing me to vent. This stuff bothers me sometimes. And you all need to know this. Any questions? Please feel free to ask , or submit your comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Is Here (?)

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 2:21 pm
Mar 30, 2014

Hello all! The calendar says it’s Spring, but Mother Nature seems to have other plans. Recently, our weeks start out cold, and then warm by the weekend. Then, back to square one. Fortunately, it looks like the weather is moderating a bit. Bulbs are popping up, buds are opening on some trees, and I’ve noticed just a touch of green coming back to some lawns.

So, if you haven’t already cleaned up the storm damage from this past horrible Winter, it’s time! Time to pick up fallen branches, clean up last seasons’ fallen leaves, and get your beds ready. Put down a pre-emergent weed control prior to mulching, and freshen up the mulch. Don’t put down too much!

In the old “if a little is good, then more must be better” category, this is NOT the case with mulch. There should not be 6 inches of mulch in your beds. This actually has the opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish. The mulch is there to help hold moisture in the soil, but if there is too much, water will just run off, and not get down into the root zone where it is needed.  We normally only add about 1 inch of new mulch on top of existing mulch cover, for color. The mulch on the bottom will decompose, and become organically rich soil.

Which leads us to the next issue…putting down a landscape fabric prior to mulching. It seems logical, put down fabric before mulch, and no weeds, right? Not really. Remember, the bottom of the mulch layer will become soil. The soil is where weeds seeds grow. And now where is this soil? On TOP of the fabric! Now this nice, rich, new soil can’t get mixed in with the old soil, because it’s sitting on top of the fabric.

If you are trying to prevent weeds from growing, you need to stop the seed from being in contact with soil. Failing that, you need to control or prohibit the seed’s growth once it germinates. This can be accomplished by using a pre-emergent weed control, which sets up a barrier in the soil. This barrier will burn that first little root when the seed sprouts. After that, use Roundup for any escapes. This is a process we have been using for years with great success.

Finally, after it’s all cleaned up, and pretty, don’t forget your lawn. Time for a crabgrass pre-emergent treatment, and some fertilizer. You’ll have that lawn nice and green in no time.

Fall 2013 Is Here – Are You Ready?

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 7:29 pm
Oct 31, 2013

November is upon us. The leaves are falling, lawn mowing is almost done, and you’re ready to put the garden tools away. NOT SO FAST!!

Those innocuous leaves laying on your lawn may look pretty, but what are they doing to your landscape? Leaves left lying on the lawn block the sun from the turf, which will kill the grass if left lying long enough. You’ll end up with brown spots, and you’ll need to reseed come Spring. And those  leaves that have collected under your shrubs, and up against the house? Guess what? Prime hiding spots for over-wintering adult insects, and mice! Make sure your leaves are picked up when they’re all done falling.

Have you given your lawn that final cutting? Or have you just shrugged your shoulders, figuring, what harm will it do? Tsk, tsk. Another bad move.

Lawns that are left long, and then snow covered, can get snow mold. Yes, there is a fungus that will live and multiply under snow cover. It favors long, packed down blades of grass. You know, the ones you decided to leave long, rather than get that one last cut in. It looks like a melted out, flat area, which you will see when the snow melts. Time to get out the grass seed.

And, on top of that, field mice can use the long grass as cover, to move under the snow. It creates a small buffer between the snow pack, and the soil, and they will create runs or tunnels to get around under the blades of grass. You can see these also when the snow melts. But by then, they’re probably in your house.

So, clean up the leaves, and cut the lawn short. Your property will thank you. The mice, not so much.

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