How to Protect Your Home in Excessive Sun and Heat
This July and August are expected to bring high heat indexes and extreme sun to our area of the Brandywine Valley, which can cause stress to lawns, landscapes and trees. A few simple steps to take now will help keep your lawn green and flowers healthy all season long.
Make sure you water plants at the right time of day. The ideal time is early in the morning or late in the evening, to keep moisture from evaporating quickly. You don’t need to water more often, but when you do it’s best to use a healthy amount of water. Grass should receive an inch of water a week.
Use Appropriate Shade
Take advantage of the shaded areas or your property with low light plants and flowers such as impatiens, hostas, ferns, Japanese maples and rhododendrons. They often use less water and resources. For full sun areas, make sure you incorporate flowers that can take light all day long. These include black-eyed Susans, zinnias, begonias, Russian sage and lavender.
Incorporate Native Plantings
Consult with a landscape professional to ensure you’re planting the right kinds of shrubs, trees and plants that work with the area in which we live. The colder Northeast region isn’t equipped to nurture cactus or palm trees outdoors. Our area has high amount of limestone, which is generally fertile.
Many homeowners don’t realize that mowing their lawns short makes grass more susceptible to heat and stress, ending up needing more fertilizer to look healthy. Taller grasses shade out weeds, protect moisture in soil and keeps roots cooler. You can also use grass clippings as fertilizer.
Your plants may be looking worse for wear halfway through the summer months. Cut deadheads to preserve energy and thicker plants. Pruning is essential for healthy plantings. Cut out dead, dying or damaged wood, and check for any signs of disease or insect infestation.
Get Ready for Fall Seeding
Do a quick check now to ensure you have the right tools and supplies for fall seeding. It’s the ideal time to get your lawn ready for next spring. Aerating your lawn also helps with the root system during harsh winter months.
With all the artic weather that has hit our area these past few weeks, it may be hard to imagine that spring is upon the horizon. Just as the sun surely rises, so will the sunny warmer days of spring and summer be here soon.
That is why we thought a little talk about improving your landscaping this spring might be helpful for planning some improvements to enhance your home’s curb appeal.
10 Landscaping Improvements to Make this Spring:
1) Plan your landscape: Well before you break ground, it is important to plan your landscaping project. Are you going to hire a professional landscaper? Might as well get them involve from the beginning, as their knowledge and expertise will be a big help. Plan for the types of plants you would like to grow, the layout and what you need to complete the tasks. This will make your landscaping endeavor significantly easier in the end.
2) Know Your Options: The geographic location of your home should play a big part in landscaping decisions. Choosing plants according to the climate of your yard is crucial. If your yard is full of mature trees, you will want to select plants that thrive in shade. While a more open landscape will make those plants that thrive in sunny conditions a better option.
3) Give Plants Room to Grow: Most plants have an estimated maturity height and width. Consider a plant will grow over time in order to space it properly and place in best area for growth.
4) Know Your Pests: Familiarize yourself with the pests in your neighborhood so that you can plan for ways to protect your landscape from them. Insecticides, wire mesh or fencing can keep wildlife and insects from destroying your new plantings. Your local nursery or department store should be able to help you find the tools you need.Consider Soil Conditions: The quality of the soil used will play a big part of your landscaping efforts. Adding mulch to your plantings not only adds to aesthetics, it will also help maintain the soil.
5) Consider Maintenance Needs: If you are not planning on spending the time or hiring someone to maintain your plantings, select plants that are lower maintenance to keep your landscape looking nice. Consider placing flowers in planters to add color and texture to the landscape while cutting back on need to weed.
6) Style Your Landscape to Compliment Your Home: The specific style of your home needs considered when selecting plantings. A traditional style home with landscape that flourishes with sunlight is conducive to flowering plants and shrub, while a rustic or modern home might look better with cacti or ornamental grass.
7) Use Landscape Rocks: Rocks can provide a natural, textural element to any landscape and a great way to create focal points. Better yet, rocks are very easy to maintain.
8) Make a Blueprint: Once the types of plants are selected, map it out. Items such as walkways or decorative elements need to be added in order to see how the landscape project will work and the materials you need.
9) Timing is Everything: Since many plants respond better when planted during a particular time of year, you’ll want to plan for that to give them every chance of flourishing year over year.
10) Spy on Your Neighbors: Look around your neighborhood to see what is working for them as a guide to what might work well for your landscape, as well. Talk with a local nursery to get professional advice on what types of obstacles or what is native to your area.
DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can help build an outdoor living area that will have you enjoying the great outdoors in style! Give us a call today! 302-764-0408
Since early 2010, the Boxwood Blight has been slowly moving its way from the Carolina’s to the Delaware Valley region. During this period, our landscapers have noticed this issue at only a handful of our maintenance properties but we want to keep a sharp eye out for this Blight. Boxwood blight has been found in (18) states and is primarily on the East Coast. This Blight; if left unchallenged; in your yard will wipe out all of your Boxwoods!
Q: What is Boxwood Blight?
A: Boxwood Blight is a fungal disease that affects only Boxwoods. This fungus, Cylindrocladium buxicola, is found on the leaves, stems, base, and even the soil.
Q: Why is this an issue?
A: Boxwood Blight causes a blackening of the leaves and stems that will eventually lead to the death of the plant. This fungus, introduced by infected new plants, can spread quickly to older established landscapes. Once the disease has spread, there is no cure for the blight and the plant will quickly diminish.
Q: How is this spread?
A: Boxwood Blight is commonly spread during warm and humid temperatures. In the nursery, many growers have hundreds of Boxwoods growing near each other at a time; and this can cause an outbreak. DiSabatino has been ONLY purchasing Boxwoods from state certified growers in order to ensure this Blight does not come into your garden. These growers must follow stringent rules to become certified and during any inspection; typically multiple per season; if the blight is found all growing blocks are closed down and all infected Boxwoods are destroyed to ensure containment.
In the home landscape however Boxwood Blight is spread through multiple sources. The most common is planting infected materials from non-certified growers/sellers. Another is improperly cleaned pruning tools. When pruning Boxwoods all tools are to be cleaned with an alcohol based cleaner after every plant. Cloths being in contact with the fungus can even spread the Blight; it is always best to clean all cloths once finished in your garden.
Q: What can I do to save my infected Boxwoods?
A: Unfortunately, there is NO CURE for this Blight. The only way to remove this from your garden is to remove the plant entirely; including all soils around the plant and take it to an appropriate dumping site. DO NOT take this to a local dump that will shred the material. The infected plants MUST be burned to eradicate the fungus.
Q: Should I still plant Boxwoods?
A: Yes, Boxwoods are still an important plant in our area and as long as Disabatino Landscaping is taking care of or installing your Boxwoods, we are always vigilant to ensure this disease does not spread on our watch.
For further information, please go to:
Did you have a landscape overhaul last season?
Your new landscape may look spectacular for the first year, but it could revert to being lackluster shortly thereafter without pest control, plant feeding, and routine pruning.
A professional landscaping makeover can greatly enhance the value of any home. Keeping a freshly landscaped property well maintained is an art in itself. If you want your landscape to continue to flourish and look nice year after year, you will need to initiate a landscape maintenance plan.
The importance of maintaining your landscape plants and properly feeding, pruning and protected from extreme temperature and pests cannot be overstated. Now that you have invested in creating a beautiful outdoor environment, it is time to protect that investment.
Cheaper Isn’t Always Better
Is cheaper really better? When it comes to the investment you make in the landscape around your home, the answer is NO. At DiSabatino Landscaping, our design consultants take pride in creating plans that fit your vision, lifestyle and investment level, but keep in mind that what seems to be cheaper upfront, can be costly in the long run.
Our professional landscape team created this gorgeous outdoor living space for the DuHadaway property in Wilmington, Delaware. They removed the old slate patio, installed a new one, cleaned out stagnant pond, layered rocks to create sides & waterfall (with special features – such as LED lighting) to keep water oxygenated & fresh, built stone bridge with recessed LED lighting, mulched, planted perennials & bushes, etc ..
That’s what we are good at — reinventing dated and overgrown outdoor spaces.
The cold season has arrived and winter weather is on the horizon. You’ve spent a lot of money making your landscape beautiful. Now, be sure to protect that investment by making sure your property is ready for winter.
The cold temperatures, drying winds and snow cover of winter can all cause all kinds of problems to your landscape. Plants can get windburned or suffer broken branches from heavy snow loads, while patios and driveways may sustain damage from plows or corrosive deicing products. Replacing lost plantings is costly and time-consuming. Save yourself the time and trouble by winterizing your property now.
One of the most crucial steps you can make is to to ensure your plants are well protected from the harsh winter elements. Some trees and shrubs, such as broadleaf evergreens and arborvitaes, require special attention, while others are naturally equipped to survive harsh elements. It’s important to consult with a professional to see which plants or trees requires winter help and which ones are fine on their own.
One of our recent articles focused on the importance of using dormant oils and anti-desiccants to protect your woody plants. While this is important, there are a number of other ways you can make sure that your landscape is ready for the frigid months ahead.