“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Ben Franklin said it best, and we’d like to think he was referring to planning spring projects over the winter months.
We don’t blame you for putting your landscape on the back burner during a busy holiday season, where you certainly want your home looking great for those extra guests who will be stopping by. We encourage you to not forget your landscape, however, as this is your best opportunity to get a jump on next year. Here are just a few reasons one of the best kept secrets to landscaping success is as simple as and preparation.
Don’t wait until after the holidays
Early winter seems to fly by with the flurry of holidays and family gatherings. By the time you recover from the holidays and have everything cleaned up, spring may have already sprung. So now is the perfect time to jump in and start planning your landscaping projects for next season, as everyone else is caught up in the busy season as well.
It appears cool weather may finally be here to stay after a hot, dry summer and early fall. Along with fall maintenance tasks such as swapping your screens for storm windows, reversing your ceiling fan, and cleaning rain gutters, you should prepare your home’s landscape for what’s coming.
No one wants to start the spring by replacing one of our beloved trees or shrubs that didn’t make it through the harsh winter. Remember a blizzard named Jonas dumping a few feet of snow in South Central PA and Central MD earlier this year?
The good news is there’s plenty you can do to help your landscape survive the fall and winter and thrive in the spring. Simply follow these simple fall lawn care tips to be well on your way to a happy and healthy landscape in 2017 (and beyond)!
- Planting. If you’re planning on adding some new trees or shrubs to your yard, now is the perfect time to start planting for next year. Not only will you save some money as local nurseries discount their remaining material to minimize inventory, but your plant will receive the benefits of building root mass in the cool, moist soil without the stress of drought, high temperatures, or sun scorch.
Whether the local thermometers agree or not, fall is underway here in Pennsylvania. Summer 2016 was another scorcher, and while York, Lancaster and Adams counties aren’t currently in a declared drought, many of our neighboring counties are.
It may not be obvious yet, but the dry weather is wreaking havoc on our landscapes. For example, most trees will begin going dormant early and without much color, as the leaves will simply turn brown and begin to drop. We expect 75 to 80% of the leaves to be off trees before Thanksgiving arrives, which is 3 to 4 weeks earlier than recent years.
One of the often forgotten and generally underused secrets of a beautiful landscape is landscape lighting. Used properly, landscape lighting brings out a property’s beauty in a way that’s much different from the way in which natural lighting highlights that same beauty.
Because landscape lighting doesn’t reveal everything, your eye goes just to the parts of your landscape that you and your lighting expert choose to highlight. With 50 years of experience in beautifying landscapes, the team at Hively qualifies as experts, and our landscape design team has perfected the use of landscape lighting to bring out the beauty of your property after the sun goes down.
Summer is in full swing, and our recent travels around York, PA have revealed that this summer’s heat and lack of rain has taken a toll on local lawns and landscapes.
Many landscape owners believe that the problem is simply the inevitable result of this year’s extreme heat and irregular rain, but something else may be having an effect, and even with ideal temperatures and rainfall, that factor can prevent lawns and landscapes from being fully healthy and looking great.
Fortunately for these home and business owners, the team at Hively Landscapes has the ability to transform their lawns and landscapes from an eyesore into the lush green lawns and beautiful gardens you thought were only possible in commercials.
In celebration of Shark Week 2016 kicking off this Sunday (June 26), we wanted to draw attention to a real danger to humans here in Pennsylvania… mosquitoes! You may be surprised to learn that the deadliest animal in the world is also one of the smallest in size. Here in Pennsylvania, we most associate mosquitoes with the West Nile Virus, and in other parts of the world they also carry malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and the much talked about, Zika virus. Mosquitoes are hard to escape as they are found in every region of the world except for Antarctica, and in Alaska they’re so big and plentiful that they’re the unofficial state bird.
If you’re familiar with our blog you’ve likely read our previous article on the benefits of proactive lawn care maintenance. From maximizing your flowers and growth to early identification and treatment of problems, residents and businesses alike have found that by selecting a proactive landscape maintenance plan with Hively Landscapes they’re maximizing their landscape investment, while avoiding costly replacements, removals, and other landscape troubles.
If your landscape is like many, the most visible part of it is the grass. Grass, or turfgrass, is a source of pride and often frustration for many DIY homeowners. The team at Hively Landscapes would like to help alleviate some of that frustration by providing you with a few simple lawn care tips we’ve learned over the nearly 50 years we’ve been beautifying landscapes in Dover, PA.
If you’re interested in helping improve your lawn’s curb appeal, without pouring much more of your hard earned money into your landscape, we encourage you to follow these lawn care tips.
- Let it GROW! The ideal length for the most common grasses in our region (fescue and bluegrass blends) is between 3 and 4 ½ inches. Grass cut to this length is better able to withstand dry stretches and longer grass can help inhibit the growth of many common weeds.
- MULCH it! Most professionals prefer to mulch grass clippings generated by mowing and not to bag them. The truth is that grass clippings contain a high percentage of nitrogen, which returns to the soil when these clippings break down. Nitrogen also happens to be a key component of fertilizer and very beneficial to healthy grass.
Choosing the right landscaping company is easy, when you know what to look for.
With spring underway, it’s now time to dive headfirst into everyone’s favorite landscape maintenance tasks! If you enjoy this dirty, sweaty, and tiring chore as much as we do, you understand that this job comes with no finish line. As soon as you think you might be done, it’s time to start all over again. Lawn and landscape maintenance is a hobby that just keeps on giving! Day after day, week after week, year after year. Mowing, pruning, weeding, mulching, etc, etc, etc.
Ok, we realize it’s not quite as much fun for everyone as it is for us, and that’s why we offer proactive maintenance plans and other landscaping services for those people who just can’t find the time or the passion to do this kind of work.
So, if you don’t want to spend your wonderful spring, summer, fall, and even winter hours pushing a mower, digging out weeds, or pruning unruly trees and shrubs (and who can blame you?), how do you select a landscaping company that will do the job right? How do you know that company will treat your lawn and landscape with the same respect that you would, if you actually wanted to do all the work yourself?
Here are five things that you should look into before hiring any landscaping company:
While it may seem obvious, we still find it quite common that people will hire landscaping companies strictly on price, with no consideration of reputation or references. Don’t make this expensive mistake! There’s a reason why these companies charge $5 to trim a bush, and the next spring you find that your beautiful bush is barely alive. So check into what companies your neighbors are using. Then ask if these companies have solid references. If your neighborhood is like most others in Pennsylvania, you get bombarded in the spring and summer with flyers advertising grass mowing for a price that just seems too low to be true, such as $20.00. The truth is, these companies cannot maintain that price, and once the season kicks into high gear they’re nowhere to be found. We encourage you to check with friends and neighbors to see who their landscape contractor is, and if they’re happy with the work the company is doing for them.
Lawn care service and maintenance are much less costly than replacement, but many businesses and homeowners fail to realize just how much time and money they can save on their landscaping each year simply by planning ahead. Just like your car which goes into the shop regularly for oil changes, tire rotations, and tune-ups to avoid engine problems, worn out tires, or other hazardous issues, your home landscape can receive the same kind of preventative care to save you headaches from plant diseases or insects, overgrown and unruly plants, or even the loss of your favorite tree or shrub.
We want to help you enjoy your landscape investment for more than just the short term! Our blog today aims to detail a few of the benefits of choosing proactive lawn care services with an experienced team of landscape contractors like the one you’ll find at Hively Landscapes.