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.

New 2013 Renovations

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 6:46 pm
Sep 18, 2013

After a VERY wet season, with record rains for the Philadelphia area, things have settled down a bit, and some of our clients have decided that it was time for some long overdue landscape renovations.

We removed most or all of the existing plantings, depending on condition, aesthetics, or new design. we then planted new trees and shrubs, based on discussions with the client. The end result is…

IMG_0084[1]IMG_0089IMG_0091There’s still plenty of time left in the season, and the nurseries have lots of beautiful plants to choose from. Isn’t it time to spruce up your landscape? Give us a call.

Emerald Ash Borer – What You Need To Know

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 12:43 pm
Mar 19, 2013

Some folks have heard of this major insect problem, but for those of you unfamiliar, the Emerald Ash Borer is a threat to all ash trees in this country. It has been moving progressively from state to state. It has no predators in this country. It arrived from Asia in packing material, first found in Michigan in 2002, and has since spread to many other states. Due to a number of EAB detections in Pennsylvania and adjacent counties in neighboring states, in April of 2011 the internal state quarantine restricting the movement of ash within Pennsylvania was rescinded.  THE FEDERAL QUARANTINE ON EAB AND EXTERNAL QUARANTINE ON FIREWOOD FROM OUTSIDE PENNSYLVANIA ARE STILL IN EFFECT.

While EAB infestation is deadly to ash trees, it is preventable. There are insecticide treatments available, and while these can be done by the homeowner, it is probably best to use a professional who is trained in the proper handling and use of the required pesticide. If you have ash trees on your property, the following informational bulletins, courtesy of the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, should be followed. Click on this link for a PowerPoint presentation.

Emerald Ash Borer

We can treat for this pest if requested. We would need to come to your property to evaluate the trees, and come up with a treatment course. Please contact us if interested. It is much cheaper to treat a tree preventatively, than to cut one down.

 

 

45 Years and Counting

Filed under: Uncategorized — eric @ 10:51 am
Feb 28, 2013

Normally, in the landscape business, ( and probably most others as well), one year tends to roll right into the next. And we don’t usually stop to take stock of milestones. But 2013 marks my 45th year in this business. What started out with my father being tired of mowing the lawn (“Eric, come here, I want to teach you something”…) turned out to be a career that has kept me in good shape, both physically and financially.

And the best part of it is, I still enjoy what I do! True, we all have ‘those’ days, but for the most part, I get up every morning, ready to get to it. It’s part of a work ethic that was instilled in me by my parents, children of the Great Depression, who knew the value of a dollar. And it’s something that I expect from my employees as well.

By being a client of Eden Landscaping Company,  folks who use our services are reaping the benefit of experience. There is certainly something to be said about having a company tough it out over a long-term economy’s ups and downs, and we are still here, while others are just a memory. Experience tells us what we need to do, how to do it, and how to best serve those who rely upon us.

A recent client survey we did showed just that. We asked existing clients why they used us, and the response we got from 90% of them was either ‘reliable’ or ‘dependable’, as well as being pleased with our work.  And that goes back to experience. Through experience, we know what our clients want, need, and expect. Our experience tells us how to do our tasks, and in the most productive, efficient, and cost-effective manner. This allows us to offer our services at prices that are competitive and affordable, while allowing us to remain in business in a tough economic time.

Are you ready for the Eden experience? Put our knowledge and abilities to work for you. And become another of our satisfied clients.

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