Winter weather is upon us here in Massachusetts with temperatures in the 20s one week and 50s the next. Mother Nature is so fickle in New England. When the snow strikes again and you're faced with the daunting task of shoveling snow, remember to use caution and call for help if it's too overwhelming. According to WebMD, shoveling sends on average more than 11,000 adults and children to the hospital every year! Who knew?! Snow shoveling can sometimes lead to bad backs, broken bones, head injuries and even heart problems. (Read more on this here if you're curious like we were!)
Whether you're hoping to avoid injury, or would just rather save your time and energy, snow plowing is a simple solution to clear your property of snow quickly and thoroughly. Give us a call for residential snow plowing at 774-284-1171. We offer snow plowing in the following communities: Abington, East Bridgewater, Brockton, Easton, Sharon, and Avon.
It's Thanksgiving week, and we have so much to be thankful for - especially our customers! You guys rely on us to make and keep your landscape beautiful. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to do what we love and exceed your expectations. Thank you for your business and continuous positive reviews and referrals!
The end of November is also a busy time for us, as most folks like to have a professional fall cleanup of their property around this time. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless leaves and debris that are blanketing your lawn and yard, don't fret. We have availability for fall cleanups throughout the south shore now through December.
Most landscape contractors typically have a crew of professional landscapers and high-quality, commercial equipment to get the job done quickly and hassle-free. What might take you a full day or two of work, takes our team just a few hours, and we remove every, single leaf. Fall cleanups include
Get your preferred fall cleanup date by calling us at 774-284-1171.
Fall is the best time to plant bulbs for bountiful spring blooms. Sometimes just the fall cleanup of up your property seems like a lot, but if your outside anyway (or if you hired a professional landscaper to do the difficult work), you might consider planting bulbs - it's fairly easy. Whether you’re an advanced gardener, or just starting to get your hands dirty, bulbs tend to be foolproof. This allows you to put more focus into the design of your garden rather than the actual work.
Here are a few tips that might help you this fall in both planting and designing your spring flower garden:
Most importantly, have fun with your fall gardening. An autumn weekend or two in the soil will help your garden or yard look beautiful next spring. If you’d like someone else to do your fall cleanup, so you can focus on planting, give Gardenin’ Angels a call at 774-284-1171. We service nearly all towns throughout the south shore, and our fall cleanup includes removal of leaves, removal of brush/debris, weeding, thatch removal, watering of plants/trees and a thorough garden bed clean-out.
Grass grows fastest and strongest when your planting season aligns with the seeds' natural periods of active growth. Just as with other kinds of plants in your landscape, lawn grasses vary in their growth cycles and regional climate preferences.
Cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass and tall fescue, grow most vigorously during the cool temperatures of late summer and early fall. These grasses flourish across cooler northern climates like New England.
Several distinct advantages make fall the best time to plant cool-season grass seed. In early autumn, the soil is still warm from months of summer sun. This combination of warm soil, moderate day temperatures and cool evenings encourages fast germination and establishment of newly sown cool-season grass seed.
Cool-season grass seed germinates best when soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees F. This roughly corresponds to daytime air temperatures in the 60 F to 75 F range. As a general rule, plant cool-season grass seed at least 45 days before the estimated date of your first fall frost, before soil and air temperatures drop to less favorable levels. Your grasses will enjoy a full fall season, plus a second cool, growing season come spring.
Newly planted seed needs consistent soil moisture, and fall planting offers benefits on that front, too. Fall typically brings more rain, which lessens the chance that cool-season seeds may dry out, and reduces the need for extra watering on your part.
If you opt to install or repair your lawn using hydroseed or sod, fall is still the optimal time, as hydroseed and sod will also have better success in germinating and establishing root in fall conditions.
Whether you're starting a new lawn from scratch or fixing up some patchy areas, growing grass successfully is an investment of time, effort and money. At Gardenin' Angels, we can help you achieve a lush, green lawn. Give us a call at 774-284-1171.
While it's true that many of our lawns are looking pretty dismal and dry by the end of August, it's not too late to give up on lawn maintenance. Lawn care and maintenance in in Massachusetts in late August through September should focus on:
•Dethatching and aerating with a core aerator.
Ground soil should be soft for aerating to break up any areas where soil may be getting compacted from heavy summer foot traffic. Now that the majority of summer activity is winding down (cookouts, soccer games, excessive sun and drought), it's a good idea to remove thatch that may have built up and aerate compacted areas of your grass.
•Fertilizing and seeding.
Apply a slow-release, organic fertilizer to the outer edges of your lawn, followed by the middle. Because you're feeding nutrients to your grass via fertilizer at a time of rapid growth, you may have to mow more frequently afterward. This is also a good time to over-seed your lawn.
•Spreading weed-and-feed over your entire lawn or spot-spraying weeds.
Weed-and-feed products combine fertilizer and herbicides to do two jobs at once. You may run the risk of over fertilizing if you use excessive weed-and-feed and fertilize your entire lawn as well. If you have only a few weeds, try pulling them or spot spraying with an herbicide or lime juice and vinegar.
Hardscapes are the solid, built surfaces in an outdoor space like patios, pathways, fire pits, pool surrounds, decorative walls, even outdoor kitchens and living rooms. A hardscape can add immediate value in both the aesthetic and/or function of your home and also by increasing the actual property value of your home.
A few things to consider when your thinking of adding a hardscape to your property:
Take your landscape into account. You might want to hire a professional to help you with this step. While it seems simple to decide whether you want a patio here or a pathway there, factors like how much turf you’d like to keep (or add), what focal points you might like, where the sun rises and sets, whether and where you have a septic tank or other underground lines, traffic patterns and day-to-day functionality for your family should be considered.
Preserve greenery. Grass, plants, flowers and other vegetation provide a nice contrast to the stark, solid surface of a hardscape. Consider a stone wall with tall flowers or trees behind it, or a patio that abuts a grassy area. An area of turf provides a pleasant playing area for children and pets and also can be a cool relief on hot days.
Understand water and drainage patterns. Nothing can be more damaging to a hardscape than drainage problems. Especially in Massachusetts and other areas in the northeast where snow and ice can leave an impact, you must plan how drainage will be affected when you add your hardscape to your property. Even if you don't think there are any water drainage issues, it’s prudent to level out any surfaces where you might put a hardscape or have the grade as a decline away from your house.
Choose materials that work for you. Your home has a style that you’ll want to extend in your hardscape. You also have your own sense of style that you’ll want to incorporate. Consider these styles when looking at stones, bricks, pavers and other materials. Don’t feel limited to one color or one texture. Having a variety of two to three colors and textures tends to provide most homeowners with an overall look and feel they enjoy. The size of your property and the hardscape your considering should influence how many different materials you choose as well.
Hire help. Even if you typically do your own landscaping and gardening, it’s a good idea to call in the experts for a hardscape project. Professional landscape designers can offer suggestions for a hardscape design that works with your current property landscape, provide advice on appropriate materials, and help identify any issues that could cause trouble. They typically have the complete knowledge of the many steps involved in hardscape installation. When you're hiring a pro, ask for references and to see examples of their hardscape work.
Check out our photos to see some of the hardscape design and installation Gardenin’ Angels has done throughout the South Shore! Give us a call for a free estimate 774-284-1171.
This summer we're had some wacky weather with temperatures in the 60’s as well as the 80’s! It's typical for New England to have some drastic weather changes, but it's never easy for caring for a lawns and gardens.
In addition to the wild fluctuation in temperatures, we’ve also weeks with little rain followed by periods of excessive rain. Even with attentive care, many homeowners are having a difficult time keeping their lawns lush. If your turf isn’t quite where you want it to be at this time of year, don’t worry. Most of the lawns we have seen at Gardenin’ Angels are having difficulty adjusting after such inconsistent weather, but they will thrive. Hopefully, more moderate and consistent weather is in store for New England and our lawns will flourish. Here are a few tips to help your grass get there:
We've been asked about native plants and invasive plants by some of our customers and we've found the following article to be a helpful explanation. It's written by Judy Eisenburg from the Ecological Landscape Alliance.
Differences between Native & Invasive Plants
Native plants are plants that were already growing in North America before European colonies settled here. Many of these native woody plants such as Sugar Maples, Gray Birch, Serviceberry, and native herbaceous plants such as Lowbush Blueberry, Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), New England Aster, Solomon’s Seal, Foam Flower, Maidenhair Fern and Bearberry still grow today in New England. They have adapted to our climate’s heat, drought, excessive rain, cold, and snow and require minimal labor, fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Native plants have an interactive relationship with indigenous animals, birds, reptiles, butterflies, insects and many other organisms, and provide them with food and habitat. For further information on native plants, check out New England Wild Flower Society.
Some of New England’s woody and herbaceous ‘invasive’ plants were originally brought here from Europe for use as food crops when the Europeans first settled here. Non–native invasive plants were and still are imported from all over the world for food crops and for aesthetic horticultural reasons. These invasive alien plants do not provide proper nourishment for wildlife. They spread rapidly, develop self-sustaining populations, upset natures balance, and are displacing the native plants and the organisms depending on them. If you look in your own garden, or walk down the street, you may see invasive plants such as Norway Maples, Oriental Bittersweet, European Swallowwort, Japanese Knotweed, and Bishops Goutweed. For further information on invasive plants, go to the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England.
Interested in going native in your garden? Check out the 15 Top Native Plants of the Northeast!
The spring daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths were beautiful, but the've all faded now. Plan your summer garden landscape and start planting those bulbs that will bloom in July and August. There are many options for summer beauties that require little maintenance and can be easily incorporated into your existing garden beds. Planting these spring bulbs for summer blooms will give you a full, fragrant, and colorful garden all summer long.
When and how to plant spring bulbs
Summer-blooming bulbs are most often planted in the spring, as soon as the danger of frost has passed.
While planting spring bulbs is fairly simply, but there are some guidelines you should follow when planting.
Some of our favorite summer-blooming bulbs:
Oriental lilies: The large, fragrant blooms of Oriental lilies are total show-stoppers in the garden. With scores of varieties available, there’s a broad range of colors and heights to choose from. Space Oriental lily bulbs about a foot apart, and be sure to stake the stems as they grow; their blossoms are heavy, and they’ll need the extra support.
Dahlias: Dahlias are colorful spiky flowers which generally bloom from midsummer all the way to the first frost, when many other plants are past their best. While technically, these are tubers rather then bulbs, they work the same way as a bulb does. Just be sure to plant them with the "eyes" facing up. Dahlias come in a rainbow of colors and even range in size, from 2" to the giant 10" “dinnerplate” variety. Most grow 4 to 5 feet tall.
Crocosmia: Reaching about three feet in height, the sword-like foliage is bright green. In mid-summer, stalks of arching flowers extend above the leaves. Common flower colors are red, orange, and yellow, depending on the variety. Crocosmia prefers full sun, and hummingbirds are frequently found dining on its nectar.
Asiatic Lilies: Asiatic lilies differ greatly from their Oriental cousins mentioned above. They are earlier blooming, fragrance-free, and brighter colored. Their flowers aren’t typically as large as Oriental lilies and their stems are sturdier, so they don’t require extra support.
Chinese ground orchids (Bletilla): If you’re looking for a summer-blooming bulb that prefers the shade, the Chinese ground orchid is for you. Though it officially grows from a bulbous rhizome, this plant is generally categorized as a summer-blooming bulb. The Chinese ground orchid reaches eighteen inches in height. The distinctive, Cattleya-like flowers come in white, purple, or lavender, and over time, the plants will spread and create a nice colony.
Gladioulus: Glads are perennial favorites for their beautiful, showy flowers. Its flowers grow on tall spikes and are often found in cutting gardens or in the back along the border (because they are tall). Gladioli have many different colored flowers, and grow between 2 to 6 feet in height, so it's best to support them with stakes. The plant is also great for cut flowers.
A lawn without weeds is a dream some homeowners fantasize about. In all honesty, it is close to impossible to avoid weed growth 100%. But by cultivating a lush, healthy lawn you may help prevent giving weeds an inch to take root. When lawns are thin, weeds invade.
Use a pre-emergent herbicide to halt weed seed germination of annual weeds, like crabgrass, annual bluegrass or henbit. Follow package directions carefully, some are better applied after rain, while others need watering in for best results. Post-emergent herbicides that kill weeds via leaf contact require wet foliage so the herbicide adheres to weed leaves.
To get rid of weeds and avoid reproducing, hand pulling is a sure-way to remove them. Pull out weeds by hand, being sure to get the entire root of each weed. This is often easier when soil is wet, so plant to weed after rain, or consider running a sprinkler first if there's no rain in the forecast. Weeding by hand can be back-breaking work, but there are special tools that might make the work easier. Fish tail weeding tools can be inexpensive and helpful. When pulling weeds with a tap-root, like dandelions, you want to get as much of the root as possible. Pull 2 inches or more of root to ensure it won’t re-sprout. Having the soil moist will help in loosening those deep roots.
When targeting a smaller amount of individual weeds, a handheld spray herbicide can work well too. If you have quite a few weeds in a particular area, you can use a pressurized sprayer to accomplish the larger area with less work. Be sure toIt’s keep a separate, clearly-labeled sprayer just for herbicide. To avoid damaging your healthy plants and shrubs, never spray herbicide on a windy day, as the herbicide can drift. If you accidentally get herbicide on desirable plants, wash its leaves right away, or clip the affected parts immediately and wash the plant thoroughly with water.
While there is no guarantee you'll have a permanently weed-free lawn, the best way to avoid weeds is to maintain the healthiest turf you can. Fertilize and water your lawn as needed, mow grass at the proper height, aerate and dethatch when necessary, add a layer of compost annually to help amend and nourish soil. Healthy, lush grass is your best bet to keep weeds at bay.
Give us a call at Gardenin' Angels if you need help controlling your weeds or have other lawn or garden concerns:
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