Fall weather can be a wild card. Days go from mild and sunny to cold and gray literally overnight. Once the weather turns, the notion of yard work becomes less attractive. In spite of that, it pays to give your yard a thorough fall cleanup before winter sets in.
Typically, the biggest cleanup task at this time of year is leaf removal. Thick blankets of leaves left to lie can damage grass by blocking needed sunlight, thus weakening the turf’s viability. If left on the ground through the winter, fallen leaves can also render your lawn more susceptible to winter damage. Hively offers leaf removal as part of our fall cleanup service.
Fall Bed Cleanup
Cutting back perennials and removing dead or dying branches from trees and shrubs will help prepare both for go-time in the spring. Plant beds are also notorious for collecting dead leaves, debris, and trash during the fall. These messes only get worse over the course of the winter. By the time the warm, wet spring rolls around, you’ll find yourself with mucky beds full of slime. In addition to being unsightly, unkempt plant beds are also breeding grounds for pests and fungus.
Plan Now for Spring-Blooming Bulbs
Colorful blooms from bulbs will be a sight for sore eyes after another gray winter. Spring-flowering bulbs of all kinds are a major contributor to year-round color in any landscape. It’s important to remember that different bulbs have different blooming times. Bulbs look great in massive plantings of single types or in beds that combine many varieties. As a general rule, bulbs provide the best display when planted in groups of 15 or more.
Part of being a homeowner is the continuous process of updating and improving your home. The longer you live in one place, the more you know about what you like about it and what improvements could make it better. It doesn’t take most homeowners very long to realize that their outdoor spaces have amazing potential for improvement.
Outdoor living allows you to reinvent how you use your property as you increase its livability. When the weather invites you outside, comfortable outdoor living spaces help you to fully enjoy the outdoors. Patio spaces built of concrete, natural rock, or paver stone help to define an area that can be used for cooking, dining, entertaining, or simply soaking in a nice summer evening.
The fun part of planning outdoor spaces is that specifics are up to you. Every family has their own unique vision of the perfect outdoor setting. Some are seeking an elaborate kitchen space for family dining, while others prioritize open spaces that can accommodate a garden party. Whatever your preference, there are multitudes of designs and features to choose from.
If you’re ready to tap into your property’s potential, now is the time to let your imagination soar!
Trees and shrubs are a property’s most prominent features. Unfortunately, they sometimes need to be removed simply because they’ve been allowed to outgrow their designated space. Regular pruning eliminates the need for premature removal and allows you to enjoy trees and shrubs for many years to come.
One of the best times to prune trees and shrubs is the winter. When trees and shrubs aren’t actively growing, they respond well to pruning. When plants are dormant, their energy can be entirely focused toward healing wounds from pruning. The absence of leaves allows for a clutter-free work area where limbs and branches can be removed selectively. This makes for a quicker, more efficient job.
Proper pruning adds to shrub and tree longevity by addressing damage from severe weather. Decaying and diseased wood can be strategically removed so that sickness is unable to spread. Smart pruning helps control a plant’s size by removing branches that overlap and rub against each other. Excessive growth blocking driveways, walkways and windows can also be cut back.
Gorgeous, prominent trees and shrubs are your landscape’s biggest assets. Winter is an ideal time for professional pruning that will make your trees and shrubs look great in the coming spring and healthy for many years to come.
Could it be your landscape contractor? After all, this is not an easy job or you would do it yourself, right? Besides the shear physical labor involved (pun fully intended), it takes a huge amount of knowledge to properly maintain a mature landscape.
Literally Thousands of Plants
There are thousands of ornamental perennials, shrubs and trees, each with multiple cultivars and varieties that have specific environmental needs and are susceptible to unique pests and pathogens. Each of these unique plants needs to be cared for in unique ways to promote healthy, vibrant and lasting growth.
Mulch is Easy
Just as sure as daffodils and cherry blossoms, fresh mulch popping up on landscapes throughout your neighborhood are a certain sign that Spring is here! Mulch is a simple and cost effective way to give any landscape a fresh appearance and it really is beneficial, too. Check out this link for more info on these benefits https://www.hivelylandscapes.com/2015/05/choosing-the-right-mulch/
When Old Man Winter comes around, he brings plenty of challenges for your landscape along with him. Frost heave is an often overlooked but important one to be aware of because it is so easy to avoid.
WHAT IS FROST HEAVE?
When temperatures are cold enough to cause the ground to freeze, any water trapped in the soil freezes into “ice lenses” that push surrounding soil up as they expand. In south central PA and northern MD, the average winter frost depth is 18” but can be as deep as 28”. This means that depending on the extent of cold weather, any poorly drained soil in this 28” depth has the potential to freeze and cause heaving.
As winter looms closer, snow removal becomes a more immediate concern – specifically, snow removal for your commercial property! Commercial snow removal can be a big expense, especially if it’s a long, cold winter.
Pest Alert: Spotted Lanternfly
Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland are under a pest alert for the spotted lanternfly (lycorma delicatula). Native to China, Bangledesh, Vietnam and introduced to Japan and Korea where is has become a major pest of grapes. The invasive spotted lanternfly has the potential to greatly impact the grape, hops and logging industries in PA and beyond. Several counties in eastern PA, including Berks, Delaware and Lancaster counties, are under quarantine. The spotted lanternfly is moving steadily westward across the southern tier of the state.
If you live outside the current quarantine area in PA and find a spotted lanterfly in any life stage, report it!
Everyone at Hively would like to wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday and while our staff will be home with family, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare your landscape for a safe winter and successful spring.
Prepare for Hibernation
Even if you continue to enjoy your outdoor living spaces and fire features as the weather gets colder, now is a great time to begin covering your outdoor furniture, or if you have the space, move it into a covered storage area.
One of the most beneficial treatments you can provide for your lawn is aeration. Core aeration is the process of removing small plugs of soil from the lawn, which reduces the compaction of your soil and promotes root growth. This is the preferred method among landscape professionals like Hively; the alternative, spike aeration, simply pokes holes, which is much less effective and can actually cause further soil compaction.
In the fall, when your turf switches gears from top growth to root growth, aeration provides water and nutrients better access to these roots, which helps it grow thicker and healthier. If you overseed this time of year, aeration also helps maximize soil-to-seed contact, which means you’ll be seeing more of your freshly planted seed sprouting.