Winter Landscape and Gardening Tips

Winter Landscaping & Gardening Tips

2019 is almost here. It’s time to reflect on the year gone by, as well as plan for the one ahead. There are plenty of things we can do in the Winter to keep up progress in our outdoor spaces. Here are some ideas for your consideration.

Winter Landscaping & Gardening Tips:

1) Pruning: After deciduous trees and shrubs drop their leaves we can shape them easier. A couple of dry, mild days and some clean, sharp tools is all you need to tighten up shapes in your landscape.

Why Late Winter is the Best Time to Prune

2) Hardscape: Patios, walkways, and outdoor lighting can all be done well into the Winter with some careful consideration. A fire pit or other fire accents can add to family gatherings and holiday memories.

Preparing Your Patio for Winter

3) Planting: Winter is still a great time to add trees and bling like roses to your property. That way they’ll be ready right from the start for Spring 2019. Often times there are fantastic discounts on landscape material at this time of year.

4 Benefits of Planting ‘Winter Interest’ Plants

Most of all enjoy time with your family and the satisfaction of your hard garden work in 2018. Have a Happy New Year friends!

HOW TO WINTERIZE PONDS AND OTHER WATER FEATURES

Winter Gardening Tips – Sunday Gardener

“The advice to clear snow from shrubs is good, sound, practical advice. In earlier years I have ignored it, thinking this advice was over complicating things when you could just stay indoors in the warm, but snow really does cause damages to the garden, especially shrubs.”


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can help get your landscape ready to face the winter months ahead. Give us a call today! 302-764-0408

Preparing Your Patio for Window

Preparing Your Patio for Winter

IS YOUR LANDSCAPE READY FOR WINTER?

Properly preparing your hard outdoor surfaces serves to protect and extend their life span, saving you money and time. With that in mind, check out our suggested tip on preparing your patio for winter.

5 Tips for Preparing your Patio for Winter:

  1. Sweep and wash off debris and leaves to prevent stains on your patios and walkways (
  2. Fill any gaps in the joints with cement or polysand
  3. Seal all masonry patios, driveways and walkways to prevent the ice and salt from damaging them
  4. Ensure that the edges of your patio are backfilled (no soil erosion) to prevent water from pooling and freezing up to and under the patio causing the stone or pavers to lift
  5. Ensure all gutters and downspouts are clear, properly sealed and directed away from masonry surfaces in order to avoid freeze or chip from the ice

Ultimately, spending the time and effort to keep your patio and other masonry surfaces looking their best will keep you from early replacement and will help to maintain your home’s future resale value.

HOW TO WINTERIZE PONDS AND OTHER WATER FEATURES


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can help get your landscape ready to face the winter months ahead. Give us a call today! 302-764-0408

preparing your landscaping for the cold winter

Using Anti-Desiccants To Protect Broadleaf Evergreens During Winter Months

The colors of fall are all around us this year and thanks to the continuous rainfall our area has received these last few months, the contrast is AMAZING! Now that Halloween is a distant memory and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, it is time to talk about preparing your landscaping for the cold winter months ahead.

Winter can be harsh on trees and shrubs that do not drop their leaves
Rhododendron bud with leaves trapped in ice

Winter can be harsh on trees and shrubs that do not drop their leaves, such as broadleaf evergreens and conifers. These varieties of landscape plantings often suffer winter damage through desiccation. Desiccation in layman’s terms means drying out.

Broadleaf evergreens, such as azalea, rhododendron, holly and boxwood, in addition to Conifers, such as arborvitae, juniper, pine, cedar and cypress are the most susceptible to desiccation. So are tender stems, such as rose canes and hydrangea stems.

As the ground starts to freeze, a plant’s roots effort to take up water from the ground are thwarted. The plant will begin to use up all the water stored in their leaves and stems and they begin to dry out. That is why landscaping professionals suggest strategic application of anti-desiccants.

Anti-desiccants are sprays that provide a protective coating to evergreen foliage that reduces the amount of water that escapes from evergreen trees and shrubs to help hold in moisture through the winter. However, if applied too early in the season, anti-desiccants can cause injury.

As temperatures begin to drop in the fall, a plant prepares for dormancy by sending water from its foliage to its roots. Anti-desiccants applied before a plant goes dormant will trap water in the leaves which will freeze and cause cellular rupturing.

spraying broadleaf with anti-desiccant
spraying broadleaf with anti-desiccant

That is why it is important to pick an appropriate time to spray. Most landscapers suggest waiting until December and picking a day when temperatures are between 40-50 degrees F with no immediate rainfall in the forecast. The plant’s foliage needs to be dry before application and given enough time to dry after spraying with the anti-desiccant.

In addition, be sure to spray the plants thoroughly, even the underside of the foliage. Just to reiterate the most common types of landscape plants that should be treated are broadleaf evergreens, conifers and tender stems, such as hydrangea.

Landscaping trees and shrubbery is a big investment. Properly maintaining and protecting your plants can ensure that they look healthy and green for the next growing season. If you have problems with cold damage in your garden, you may want to try anti-desiccants this winter.


To learn more about protecting your landscape this winter, check out these articles:

HOW TO PROTECT TREES & SHRUBS FROM WINTER DAMAGE

WHY LATE WINTER IS THE BEST TIME TO PRUNE

IS YOUR LANDSCAPE READY FOR WINTER?

PROTECT YOUR TREES AND SHRUBS THIS WINTER

4 BENEFITS OF PLANTING WINTER INTEREST PLANTS


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can help get your landscape ready to face the winter months ahead. Give us a call today! 302-764-0408

DRAINAGE FIXES TO PROTECT YOUR HOME & LANDSCAPING

Drainage Fixes to Protect Your Home and Landscaping

Two Thousand and Eighteen has been a record year for rainfall in the Delaware Valley Region. With average rainfall typically at 45 inches, we are currently nearing 80 inches plus this year alone! This crushes the previous record since the initiation of rainfall records back to 1895.

Due to the excessive rainfall you may have noticed your sump pumps running more, soft spots in lawns that were not there before, or water problems in the yard that have gotten worse with the record rainfall. DiSabatino Landscaping specializes in finding the appropriate drainage solution for your home.

Instead of guessing and doing the bare minimum to remediate the symptom we take the time to actually assess and correct these issues for both your basement and landscaping. During our consultation, we weigh not only the history of the area but also what you, as the homeowner, have experienced during your time in the home.

Got Drainage? Proper Drainage Benefits Your Landscaping and Your Home’s Foundation

Whether you just built your home or your home has been in the family for generations; we have seen it all! All of our designers are equipped with state of the art leveling devices so we can find the correct solution for your home’s specific situation.

DiSabatino Landscaping will always try to assess your personal property and find the best solution to fix your drainage problems

What Landscaping Challenges to Expect From This Past Year's Volatile Weather

Drainage Fixes to Protect Your Home and Landscaping:

1. Surface Flow:

This is the most cost effective solution for many homes. With this solution your landscape needs to have a minimum of a 2% grade to have the water properly flow over your lawn to the appropriate storm water management location. This type of work is typically done in swale creation.

2. Down Spouts:

This is one of the most common culprits to having water sitting at the foundation of your home. By taking the downspouts out a minimum of 10’ from your home this can alleviate the rainwater load at the foundation of your house by almost 80%. We always run your downspouts with SCH 40 PVC pipe to ensure no sediment will be caught, crushing of the pipe will not occur from typical lawn traffic and we install the pipes with an easy cleanout system if you have leaves in your gutters.

3. Dry River Beds:

This is a more extreme case of surface flow drainage solutions. Typically, a dry riverbed solution is used in areas where grass will not easily grow. By creating the same surface flow solution as previously mentioned; however, we would install decorative or ballast stone that will allow the water to drain directly through the area to the appropriate storm water management location.

4. Catch Basins:

Here we begin to get more in depth with your landscape. Catch basins/drain boxes are typically used when a low point in one point of your lawn does not drain properly and a surface flow or down spout solution is not the correct way to move the water away from your home. Here we install the appropriate sized catch basin to support the intake volume of water and move said water through the appropriately sized PVC SCH 40 pipe.

5. Flow Wells:

This solution is used when water cannot be moved away from where the water is pooling. Typically used in smaller areas to move water from the surface into the soil column this solution begins to get into the more complex drainage solutions.

6. French Drains and Percolation Drains:

Used in extreme solutions when water cannot be moved away from the location of pooling water in your yard; these solutions can hold and/or move the water underground to be dispersed into the soil column.

7. Retention/Detention Ponds:

This is one of the more costly installations of drainage solutions typically used on new homes or new hardscaping project needs. These ponds are designed to take excessive amounts of water from the surface and drain or collect them as needed by the county/township.

Vincze After_Newark, DE 19713 - DiSabatino

Please note that this is not a full list of solutions that DiSabatino Landscaping uses to alleviate poor drainage areas. However, if you have a wet spot in your lawn or an area you are worried about please give us a call and one of our designers will find the right solution for you!

If you’re interested in talking with one our drainage experts regarding a custom assessment of your landscaping drainage system, call us at 302-764-0408 – email us at reception@disabatinoinc.com or fill out the form on our grading & drainage page.

Custom Basement Renovations - Bar Area (Chahalis)3

Fall in Love With Our Custom Basement Renovations

Are you looking to add a new room to your home? If so, have you utilized the entire square footage of you home? Why pay for expensive additions when you could make the best use of space that already exists?

Many homeowners who determine they need more space to create entertainment centers, gyms, game rooms or a home office fail to consider their basements as a viable option. Most homeowners use their sizable basements for little more than a junk room or storage area.

Sure basements tend to be more damp and darker than other areas of the home. That should not deter you from considering customizing your basement to add value and livability to your home.

While basement renovations require some specific tactics to avoid mold and mildew from growing, if you work with an experienced professional design expert you could actually improve your home’s energy efficiency!

Unfinished basements are an energy drain because they lack the proper insulation and often siphon off the heat or air conditioning from the living areas of the home. Once properly renovated, a basement can help maintain moderate temperatures in your home by reducing leaks.

The fantastic acoustics of underground space makes a basement a great space for an entertainment center. Many homeowners choose to combine a number of options when committing to a basement renovation.

At DiSabatino Landscaping & Design, we have taken our outdoor design expertise indoors to expertly finish and utilize every inch of basement space in order to create inviting and unique custom basement renovations for our happy clientele.

Custom Basement Renovations - Game Room (Chahalis)2

Check out the beautiful brickwork, inventive ceiling with dark ceiling tiles with inset lighting and gorgeous wood flooring. Make note of the flow of space from the custom bar to the game room to the entertainment center.

Imagine how your guests will be at ease and duly impressed when you invite them over for happy hour, game night or to watch a sports event in your state-of-the-art theater room.  A fully customized basement renovation can make entertaining easy peasy!

Whether it is a home office, game room, entertainment center or home gym, we can create a comfortable living area where your family will love spending time!

Transform your unfinished or previously finished basement into a healthier, comfortable living area in no time!

Check out our finished basement pictures for great examples and basement remodeling ideas! And when you’re ready, contact us for a free basement finishing consultation and quote.

If you’re interested in talking with one our design experts regarding a custom basement renovation, call us at 302-764-0408 – email us at reception@disabatinoinc.com or fill out the form on our architectural design page.

How to Maintain Your Hardscaping & Masonry

Generally concrete is low maintenance, but here are a few things you can do to keep your hardscaping looking its best. At least once a year, you should scrub down surfaces with a mild bleach cleanser. We don’t recommend power washing because it can cause permanent damage and can void your warranty.

Any moss, mold, mildew or algae stains can be removed with a solution like ‘Wet & Forget’. Never use metal shovels or tools to remove snow or ice. If you’re using a snow blower, make sure you use rubber blades. Never use deicers of any kind. They can cause permanent damage from pitting to cracking.

Patio Care Tips From DiSabatino Landscaping

Quality hardscaping and masonry will include a durable sealer, but staining can occur from rusting metal, flower pots, grease from grills, food and drink or oil and gas. Keep gutters, down spots and drains clear because water can cause sediment and erosion voiding your warranty.

So as you can see hardscaping and masonry don’t require a lot of maintenance. Just a little bit of effort keeps it looking good for a long time.

5 Great Tips for Preparing Your Patio for Winter


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can design an outdoor living environment that will add quality to your life and value to your home. Give us a call today! 302-764-0480

HERE ARE 5TIPS FOR CREATING AN OUTDOOR OASIS IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD

How to Create an Outdoor Oasis in Your Own Backyard

Outdoor rooms that extend the living area of your home have become all the rage. Full kitchens, fire pits or fireplace with plenty of comfortable seating are perfect for evening garden parties or fun-filled family nights.

Modern day living has evolved since the turn of the century. Many homeowners are looking to express their styles through creating outdoor living spaces that fit their lifestyle and extend their square footage of usable space.

Imagine the kids lounging outside enjoying nature instead of cooped up in the basement or separate bedrooms playing video games. No matter what climate you live in, there are ways to make a comfortable and inviting outdoor living space to suit your family’s needs.

Creating outdoor rooms into living areas, recreation areas, and more are a great way to bridge the interior and exterior of the home. There should be some real thought as to how to create a space that will work within your parameters and flow properly.

HERE ARE 5 TIPS FOR CREATING AN OUTDOOR OASIS IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD:

1) Create a Master Plan

One thing to avoid is haphazardly creating outdoor spaces casually without a real master plan. You’ll want to concentrate on functionality, as well as style. Look at the big picture and create goals and a plan for accomplishing those goals.

One way to ensure success for the space and still maintain good design is by breaking the area into smaller rooms. Do not forget to take into account the effect of outdoor elements, since the climate will have a big role in how inviting your outdoor space turns out to be. Observe how the sun looks at different times of day and how the wind blows in different areas of the space to get a feel for your optimal arrangement of the space.

Which Material is Best for Your Perfect Patio?

2) Consider Your Entertainment Needs or Aspirations

The whole point of an outdoor space is to make it inviting and functional to your personal style of entertaining. For one, consider the distance from the cooking to the eating area when planning for a dining pavilion, porch or pergola. You don’t want to end up with a beautiful entertaining space that’s rarely used. Also consider the flow from the indoor to the outdoor area. Make access easy and seamless

3) Put a lot of Thought into the Outdoor Kitchen Design

Look at an outdoor kitchen the same way you would an indoor kitchen to make sure you create a workable space. Consider what kind cooking appliances and refrigeration units you will need. Determine how often you will be entertaining and typical size of your events. Think through the function and style of your cooking area. 

4) Do not Skimp on the Details

Take into consideration all the details such as landscaping, lighting, and materials. Lighting and landscaping are an excellent way to enhance a great pool or barbecue. While these are not expensive upgrades, they enhance an outdoor space and extend the value into the evening hours.

Transform Your Old Tired Pool into an Oasis

5) Sit Back and Enjoy

Above all, hire a local design professional with a great reputation to create the space you really want. Even if it cost a little more, your outdoor space can be your stay-cation spot that is relaxing and rejuvenating – ALL in your own backyard.

How to Create an Outdoor Oasis in Your Own Backyard

 

Want to extend your living area by creating an ideal outdoor spaces to meet your recreation and entertainment needs? Get in touch with DiSabatino Landscaping.


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can design an outdoor living environment that will add quality to your life and value to your home. Give us a call today! 302-764-0480

What Landscaping Challenges to Expect From This Past Year's Volatile Weather

What Landscaping Challenges to Expect From This Past Year’s Volatile Weather

Wild Weather Ride Recap

Every landscaper experiences landscaping challenges — fighting the good fight can help us to conquer and surpass these tests from mother nature.

What a crazy spring and summer we’ve had! From snowstorms in the end of March to the sixth coldest April in 100 years, we experienced May rain for 15 out of 30 days followed by a mild June with major downpours of more than two inches of rain causing drainage problems.  When we finally got a chance to enjoy the summer weather, temps rose to high 90 degree heat waves in July. Luckily, we did have some breaks of low humidity and pleasant summer days in the 70’s.

What Landscaping Challenges to Expect From This Past Year's Volatile Weather

What does this volatile weather mean to our clients in the landscaping world?  A lot of challenges, both good and bad.

The good news is that up until the last month or so, you didn’t have to run your irrigation system or do any hand watering on your property. Unfortunately, our plants and lawns have been experiencing fungus and disease from getting too much water followed by high temperatures.

Mother Nature isn’t always kind.

Our change of seasons have been extremely erratic. This past fall, we went from beautiful 70 degree weather one day to below freezing temperatures. These extreme temperature changes have dramatically affected plant materials such as crepe myrtles, skip cherry laurels, evergreen magnolias and holly’s, which cannot take these extremes. It’s very hard for these plants, which are prevalent in our area, to come back to life.

As for weeds….this season is epic for weed growth due to the weather extremes. Thistle, nut sedge and crab grass have been hard to keep up with. Weeds love hot temperatures and rain.

What can we do to fix this?

Patience and persistence are what is needed during this growing season. We have to continually work to clear weeds and overgrowth for landscapes to flourish. Take the time to stop to smell the roses, but make sure you stay on top of those beds because the weeds, especially thistle, can jump up inches overnight! These weeds aren’t in the mulch – they’re actually airborne – and require dedication to remove.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of these summer days. Let’s hope for more consistent weather this coming fall!

 

 

5 Watering Tips for Your New Plantings

5 Watering Tips for Your New Plantings

You just invested time, money and energy installing new plantings into your landscape, keeping them watered and hydrated is the most important aspect in helping them become established. While there is no universal rule of when and how much to water, the general rule of thumb is one inch of water per week.

Obviously, your watering amount and frequency will be determined by what Mother Nature offers up. On those hot and dry weeks of summer, there is a higher need to keep your new plantings hydrated.

5 Watering Tips for Your New Plantings:

Mulch is an excellent way to keep new plantings healthy 1) Mulch is an excellent way to keep new plantings healthy, as it keeps soil moisture and temperature more evenly regulated.

2) Spring plantings tend to need a more diligent watering routine versus fall plantings, as the root establishment may only be a few weeks. Fall plantings generally need less watering due to cooler temperature and increased rainfall and the roots will be more established that first summer.

3) It is better to water new plantings in the morning, as it is considered more effective. Daytime watering is less effective due to evaporation. Excess moisture that is not absorbed into the soil during the morning will evaporate, keeping plants from too wet during the day or into the night.

4 Steps to Optimal Plant Health for Your Landscaping

4) Fully analyze a drooping plant before assuming that it needs water. While this is a sign of dehydration, it could also be a sign of a plant being starved of oxygen. The cause could be that the plant has been overwatered and the soil is saturated.  Check the soil to see if it is really dry before watering.

5) Avoid oversaturating your new plantings. Puddling is a sign that the plant cannot absorb water at the rate it is being applied. Overwatering can cause root rot, foliar diseases and deprive the soil of oxygen.

The Side Effects of a Late Spring on Your Plantings

The Beauty of Mass Plantings

Why Less is More: The Beauty of Mass Plantings

Mass planting embodies simplicity because it reads as one large element instead of a wide variety of individual plants.

As a lover of plants I often become bogged down when trying to decide how many types of plants to use in a design. When I go to a nursery or garden center, I start thinking how many of each different plants I can get into my personal garden. Then I stop myself and wonder, “Do I really want to take care of all those different types of plants? Do I really need that many different types?”

Ornamental plants for landscaping.

Most of us have limited amount of time to spend on tending our gardens. That is why scaling beds back to a limited palette of long lasting, animated perennials that are low maintenance or grasses that offer a different look for each season makes for the easier way to go.

How to Create a Sustainable Garden that Helps Wildlife

Mass planting embodies simplicity because it reads as one large element instead of a wide variety of individual plants.

Mass planting embodies simplicity because it reads as one large element instead of a wide variety of individual plants

The first step is to decide on an overall look of your landscaping.  Do you want a variety of small shrubs, simple groupings of different grasses, or maybe you’d like an assortment of large herbs, small flaxes and shrubs?

Don’t forget to take into account colors. Are you looking for a bold and dramatic contrast of colors or do a variation of complimentary colors?

Finally, choose mass plantings suitable for your climate. This will mean a better look with less maintenance and budget-friendly.

NATIVE PLANT FINDER

Over the years my designer’s eye has come to appreciate simple, effective and minimal different types of plants in a garden. Planting in masses leads to a larger splashes of color & interest. No matter the size of the space I have found less varieties of plants actually compliments their surroundings more. Less is more!