Full-Service Landscape Design
8 Pineview Ave, Berlin, NJ 08009
ph: (856) 753.1944
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01 Aug 2021
Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer: How is Your Landscape Weathering the Heat?

School’s out, beaches are crowded, and that giant fireball high in the sky is baking your landscapes. The golf course-esque front lawn and lush landscape plantings you enjoyed throughout the spring may be showing signs of stress due to higher temperatures. Just how we become uncomfortable on a 95-degree day scorching in the sun, our lawns and landscapes are no different. So let’s touch on three aspects that, if addressed, will keep your lawn and plantings growing beautifully into the fall.

Fungus

The silent, creeping killer of lawns and shrub material which is most prevalent July-August. It thrives in hot and humid conditions overtaking the turf of suburbia. Fungus usually shows up as patches of brown, yellow, or white in the lawn seemingly overnight, and most homeowners are inclined to crank up their irrigation systems to bring back that beloved emerald green color. Unfortunately, water only adds fuel to the fire and causes the fungus to spread more rapidly. Once the onset of a fungal infection is identified in a lawn or plant, an appropriate fungicide should be applied. Treating it will halt the continued spread and allow for the regrowth of lawn blades and new leaves.

It also might be necessary to reseed the affected lawn areas if the fungus was there for an extended period as the root system may have also been compromised.

Weeds

Considered by most to be public enemy #1 in the fight to maintain a manicured property. When lawns and landscape plants start to stress in the heat of the summer, it’s a weed’s time to shine. They will overtake any thin or bare areas of an untreated lawn or light mulch covering in landscape beds. The first defense to these unwanted guests is keeping healthy, lush grounds and properly mulched beds. Mulch layers should be a minimum of 2-3″ and bare lawn spots quickly patched with seed. If it’s too late and they have already set up residence, post-emergent selective herbicides will aid in the fight. As with all herbicides, read directions thoroughly and follow manufactures recommendations as there are many limitations to application.

The best practice is not to even give weeds the chance to germinate. Pre-emergents for turf and landscape beds are generally applied in the spring as they last for multiple months throughout the season.

Irrigation

Water is the essence of all life, and plants drink a lot of it, especially in the summer. Unfortunately, drought is commonplace in our area, where there could be little rain for weeks and temps 85 and above. Plants are trained to conserve water in times when lacking, but only to an extent. That is when we need to step in and provide that much-needed supplemental watering either with an excellent old-fashioned hose and watering pale or an automated irrigation system.

Irrigation systems can be programmed to provide water at different frequencies in spring, summer, and fall and gauge the amount of rainfall received to what is needed. In addition, wifi-capable control modules are becoming more commonplace, allowing complete control from the palm of your hand and communicating with local weather forecasts.

Summer is generally the time of family vacations, relaxing by the pool, and enjoying everything outside Mother Nature offers. And, a well-thought-out plan that addresses these necessary maintenance practices will allow more time to appreciate your landscape and not have to overwork at it.

You can also hire a professional! Give our award-winning team a call today at 856-753-1944.

01 Jun 2021
Shade Structures

Great Ways to Incorporate Shade Structures

As summer approaches and the sun continually gets higher in the sky day by day, patio spaces will begin to heat up and bake. Higher temps can make for an uncomfortable experience at any outdoor party or BBQ. There is no need to sweat it, though, because there are many ways to include shade elements within your space to beat the heat. Shade sails, pergolas, or even pavilion-style roof structures can all be custom-designed to fit your needs.

Shade Sails

Shade sails first became popular at resort destinations and hotels but made their way into residential landscapes more and more every year. The design concept is based on having at least 3-4 fixed anchor points either on a home’s façade or posts. These connections are usually a galvanized or stainless steel eye anchor bolts. The sail itself is made from decorative, UV resistant, tensioned fabric available in an array of vibrant colors. Multiple sails can be combined and layered to create an architectural parabolic focal point. There are numerous online manufacturers that will design complete kits that even the novice handyman would install.

Pergolas

Pergolas are another way to achieve filtered shade and be constructed from wood, vinyl, composite, or aluminum materials. Three essential elements compose a pergola- vertical posts/columns, support cross-beams/rafters, and ornate purlins. These structures not only provide shade but can be home for flowering woody vines such as wisteria, honeysuckle, trumpet vine, to name a few. Retractable canopy systems are also available for individuals who want the look of a pergola with the option to have complete shade. Sunbrella fabrics are used on sliding tracks mounted between the rafters and can either be operated manually or remotely. These pergolas are the best solutions to appease both the sun worshipper and shade lover alike.

Pavillions

Open-air, pavilion-style, solid roof structures are the ultimate way to create an outdoor shaded room that can be utilized in any weather. As with a pergola, pavilions have vertical posts/columns and can be tied into a home façade or built freestanding. The framed solid roof allows for the incorporation of recessed lighting, fans, audio-visual, not to mention a force field from those burning UV rays. Shade is not the only way these roof structures can provide refuge from the sun. Misters can even be integrated into the soffit overhang to offer added relief. Many construction codes and township setback requirements apply to these, so some pre-design research is recommended.

Your yard can provide sanctuary from the sun with more architectural ways than just the typical patio umbrella. On the next bright day, sit in your space and evaluate sun patterns throughout the day. Make a wish list of your needs for how you would like to increase the use of the area and decide which solution works best.

Stay cool this summer!

31 Oct 2017

The Accredited Landscaper

Choosing the right landscape professional for your project. Have you ever wondered of all if those titles and abbreviations after someone’s name actually make them more credible? They do. The landscape industry is no different than any other facet of corporate America in accrediting individuals based upon education, knowledge and experience. It is these select few who have invested in themselves and their companies to be better suited to service their clientele and provide the highest quality product. The following are three certifications commonly seen in the landscape realm which should be considered by any homeowner anticipating having a landscape/hardscape project completed.

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02 Mar 2017

Audible Landscape

Incorporating sound into your outdoor entertainment space. Spring officially begins March 20 and soon those barren wastelands of patios and decks will once again be alive with activity. Grills will be fired up, furniture cushions placed and portable stereos plugged in. Time out. … Portable stereos?
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15 May 2016

What’s Your Plan?

Developing a comprehensive landscape design. Every great plan begins with just an idea: An idea of that outdoor entertainment space, complete with fireplace and bar top, or just how to arrange landscape plantings to complement the style of your home. It’s the next steps which are so important in transforming this idea into a reality. Site evaluations, conceptual drawings and final site plans/3D imagery all compose the path leading your ultimate “staycation.” Before jumping into this process, the undoubtedly most important aspect is determining a budget. This mystical number will help guide the direction of the plans and how they are composed.

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20 Feb 2016

Striving for Straight F’s

Achieving the Ultimate in Outdoor Entertainment. Ever since I can remember, it has always been engrained in school to study hard, pay attention, try your best and straight A’s will come your way. This couldn’t have proved to be truer, with one exception, the designing and implementation of an outdoor entertainment area. I now personally strive for straight F’s when developing architectural plans for these spaces. Food, Fire and Fluidity have become the main elements, when brought together, which deliver the ultimate staycation of any homeowners dreams.

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