All About Mulch-Do I Need It?

First, what is mulch? Generally speaking, most would answer that question as a ground or shredded wood product. However, it could be a covering of crushed stone, pine bark nuggets, straw, or even shredded rubber. Some of these products will work well in certain situations such as crushed stone in a utilitarian area, like the area behind the garage or an area in the landscape where there is a lot of water movement. For most homeowners, when we talk about mulch we are using mulch in a planting bed in the residential landscape. For this purpose, the wood mulch would always be your best option.

Why do you need mulch? Here are the positive benefits of using much in you landscape.
1. Mulch will add beauty to any residential or commercial landscape.
2. Mulch will help retain water at the surface. So shrubs, trees, and flowers will benefit and you could save money by not needing to water as often.
3. Mulch will help to suppress weeds in your planting beds.
4. As the natural wood mulch breaks down, it adds nutrients to the soil.
5. Mulch will also provide benefits to your landscape in the colder winter months, acting as a insulator for the roots of the trees and shrubs.

How much mulch to buy? This is a great question because the answer is not always the same. What? Let’s start with what is the proper amount of mulch to use in planting beds. You should establish 2-3 inches spread uniformly over the surface. Some homeowners and even some landscape contractors spread mulch every year. I believe, for the most part, this is not necessary.

There is some loss of mulch in the leaf clean up season; however, if you start with 2-3 inches of mulch, you should only need to top dress or add a little on top of the existing mulch layer every other year. The goal is to maintain the 2-3 inch layer and only add when needed not just because.

IMPORTANT NOTE - This is critical to your success.
DO NOT pile mulch up against trees and shrubs. Taper the level of the mulch as you get close to the plants. Shrubs and trees do not want mulch piled up against their bark. Please don’t do it!

Lastly, I would like to say that the color of the mulch has nothing to do with how the mulch performs. Some mulch is dyed. This is usually the jet black and bright red muches. Personally, I am not a fan. Dyed mulch can stain surfaces such as concrete walks and foundations. In my opinion, it does not look as nice as natural mulch. At Keep It Green Landscaping, we use natural mulch. Hardwood mulch is a rich brown, cedar mulch is a golden brown, and hemlock mulch is a reddish brown. All natural all beautiful additions to your residential or commercial landscaping. Properly pruned trees and shrubs in correctly mulched planting beds, along with a healthy lawn, is what will set your landscape apart from others.

At Keep It Green Landscaping, we strive to do our best so that your property will look its best. There are a lot of folks out there from which to chose and it may seem like they are all the same. Landscape maintenance and lawn care are based in horticultural science and we at Keep It Green Landscaping understand this and put it into practice. We welcome the opportunity to help you with your residential or commercial landscape maintenance.

For more information about our Landscape Maintenance services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

It's Time to Think Spring

Is it time to think spring? We just turned the clocks forward, spring ahead. There is no snow forecast in the upcoming five day forecast. The average temperature is rising. Looks like it might be time to think about spring.

Prepping your lawn and garden in spring is a must. The to do list is extensive. First a thorough spring leaf clean up is necessary. For a homeowner this might mean cleaning leaves and possibly the first lawn mowing of the year. To landscape contractors who are required to show better results, or why would you hire us, spring clean up is more likely thought of as a time of year to really prepare a home’s lawn and garden for a full year of success. So for landscape contractors, in addition to spring leaf cleaning, there is re-establishing bed edges, mulching flower beds, and tending to perennials. Spring lawn care might also include a pH test. Even for landscape professional, keeping the pH levels correct is a challenge. Lawn treatments to control weeds, especially crabgrass, are necessary and best performed in spring.

Spring can also be a time to do power raking. De-thatching (power raking) can be vital. However, some contractors provide this service every spring “just because.” I personally do not believe every lawn requires de-thatching every single year. De-thatching, when necessary, as opposed to “just because,” might save you money that could be better use elsewhere, such as annual flowers or perennials to provide color for a your enjoyment and a better presentation of your home. Who doesn’t like colorful flowers? They always add beauty to any home. For landscape contractors the list can go on and on.

If you need professional help with your lawn and garden, please feel free to contact us. We have been helping folks with their landscape needs and landscape problems for 38 years. We would love to help find solutions for you too. For more information about our Landscape Maintenance services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation. Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family.

Got Stumps?

Often times, people ask me what kind of work do you do in the winter? That response is easy, commercial snow and ice management. But, in years like this one, the lack of snow usually leads to a second question. What happens if it doesn’t snow? Well, I let them know that at Keep It Green Landscaping we do provide other landscape services that can be completed in the winter months like tree stump grinding and root grinding.

Stump removal can be successfully accomplished during the winter. Winter is also an excellent time to do shrub pruning or tree pruning, known as dormant pruning. We also provide firewood splitting during all four seasons.

You can go to our  Tree Care and Shrub Care page to print a coupon for 10% off stump grinding good until March 31, 2019 or for more information about our other services please see our Tree Care and Shrub Care page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

Ticks ... Ick

Now that it is fall, and the fall color is starting to appear, a lot of people like to go hiking through the woods or just in a local park. Getting back to nature and going for long walks is a great idea. Brisk fresh air and exercise with the bonus of seeing colorful trees in autumn. What could possibly ruin this beautiful day?

TICKS!! Adult ticks are very active in the fall months of October, November, and December. They are still looking for a blood meal. So what can you do? There are many tick repellents on the market that provide excellent tick control. Please make sure to read the label for the correct application procedure, as they are highly effective when used properly.

Another important aspect of reducing tick bites, when enjoying your nature walks is to avoid brushing up against branches and foliage. When walking, stay int he center of the path to avoid brushing up against tall grasses and foliage. Upon returning home, shower as soon as possible and do a thorough body check for ticks.

Hear is a most interesting fact. Despite the possibility of getting a tick bite while enjoying the woods for camping, hunting, and dirt biking, most tick bites occur on our own properties. Border areas with shrubs or woods are hot spots for ticks as mammals such as mice or deer deposit them as they fall off after feeding. Children and pets are at greater risk as they tend to run and play in hot spot areas. more so than adults. Fortunately, Keep It Green Landscaping can help. With the right measures tick control and prevention is achievable. If you or someone you know is having a problem with ticks please feel free to share this blog with them.

For more information about our Deer Control and Tick Control services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

What Happened to Fall?

You wouldn’t be able to tell by the temperatures. Not too long ago it was 80°F feeling like August, today starting out in the mid 30’s feeling like December. Somehow it seems we have skipped over the 60°F and 70°F normally associated with fall season.

Despite the finicky weather, there are still many fall chores that can be accomplished at this time of year. As frost and freeze warnings will soon become the norm, many sensitive plants will have to be taken inside or removed. If you still would like some fall color you can plant mums, cabbages, or kales.

Fertilizing lawns in the fall is extremely beneficial and I highly recommend it. If you have an ant or grub problem, those treatments may still be able to be made but are probably best left to a professional applicator. If you are going to do your own lawn treatments, no matter what the product is or the time of year, you must always read the label to make sure that you are making the application correctly. It may sound silly, but reading the label two or even three times is better than just once. You might be surprised what you get in the second or third read that you glanced over in the first. What’s that old carpenter’s adage? Measure twice, cut once.

Of course, fall leaf clean ups are going to be necessary. I highly recommend
that you do you fall leaf clean ups on a weekly basis. This may sound like a lot of work but there are some advantages to doing your fall leaf clean ups on a frequent basis as opposed to just when you find the energy.

Just like shoveling snow, cleaning leaves can be hard work. If you had a foot of snow, and shoveled it only at the end of the snow storm you would be lifting and pushing 12” of snow. if you went out twice, 6”, or 3 times only 4” of snow per shoveling. So if you are hand raking or even with modern equipment, there is still an advantage to frequent leaf cleaning.

Another important factor is that if leaves remain on the lawn area long enough, they reduce the grass plants ability to breathe. Leaves that remain on the lawn for very long periods of time can start to lower the pH of the soil which is not healthy for your lawn.

I believe this is some good general information about fall landscaping for your to do list. Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family. Of course if you feel you need some additional help we at Keep It Green Landscaping are here for you.

For more information about our Leaf Cleanups services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

Snow Is Getting Closer to Home

This past week, many locations in Bergen county hit or exceeded 80° in temperature. Today, temperatures will struggle to reach 60°. Tomorrow morning’s lows will be about 47°. The Catskills meteorologically speaking, are just a stone’s throw away, to our north, and will probably see wet snow tomorrow morning.

So why the weather report? Because, it is mid October and the weather only gets colder from this point forward. The first snow storm does not have to wait until December or January. The time to prepare for winter’s worst snow and ice events is now before they occur.

At Keep It Green Landscaping we are currently accepting snow and ice management contracts for the upcoming 2018-2019 snow plowing season. We specialize in commercial snow plowing, snow removal, and salting service. If you are located in Carlstadt, Moonachie, East Rutherford, Rutherford, Lyndhurst, Wood-Ridge, Wallington, Hasbrouck Heights, Teterboro, Little Ferry, South Hackensack, Secaucus or other Bergen county, Hudson county and Passaic county locations, please do not wait. Call us now to discuss how we can help you with your snow and ice management.

For more information about our Snow & Ice Management (Commercial Only) Snow Plowing / Snow Removal / Salting Service services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

Snow Today

Snow today, that is, if you live in Minnesota. Some people are waking up today to snow. It won’t be very long before Bergen county residents will be waking up to snow as well. Soon we will all be paying more attention to weather forecasts as the possibility of snowfall is not that far away.

Recent temperatures have been averaging 5-10°F above normal so far this fall season. This has allowed for most folks to leave the sweater behind. But don’t be fooled. Cooler weather will arrive as it always does. All it takes is temperatures of 32°F or lower which changes rain to snow.

Professional snow management contractors are and have been gearing up for the 2018-2019 snow removal season since the end of last snow season. For us, we are always thinking of snow plowing and salting operations year round. However, now is certainly the time for you to be thinking about snow and ice management for your commercial property.

For more information about our Snow & Ice Management (Commercial Only) Snow Plowing / Snow Removal / Salting Service services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

30 Inches of Snow. WHAT?!?

In the last few days we have had a little over 3 inches of rain. That would be about 30 inches of snow if the temperature was below freezing. 30 inches of snow. If you are a skier your eyes have just opened up wide to the possibilities of 30 inches of fresh powdery snowfall. BUT, if you are like most of us, the thought of 30 inches of snow might just be a bit scary.

With October just a few days from now, the snow season is not all that far off. Our area has seen snow in October. more than once. Even though you don’t want to think about snow and ice, now is exactly the time for commercial properties to be securing your snow plowing and salting contracts.

Snow and ice management professionals think about snow removal all year round. Really, we do. I would advise you not to wait to find your snow and ice management professional. When it comes to 30 inches of snow on you parking lot, you’ll find comfort in knowing that your needs are covered by a professional snow and ice management contractor.

For more information about our Snow & Ice Management (Commercial Only) Snow Plowing / Snow Removal / Salting Service services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

West Nile Virus Kills Two in Bergen County, NJ

On September 21, 2018, the news reported that a Lodi man died from West Nile virus. Today, another Bergen county resident is reported to have died from West Nile virus. This year’s hot and wet weather has produced the most cases of West Nile virus in New Jersey since 2012, with Bergen county currently recording the most cases.

Currently there is no vaccine for West Nile virus. If bitten by a mosquito infected with West Nile virus, humans have about a 20% chance of developing fever, headaches, body aches, rash, and fatigue. These symptoms can last weeks or even months.

Mosquito season runs through October or even into November if it is warm enough. Don’t let the cooler weather fool you. Mosquitoes are still active, especially at dawn or dusk. I have been blogging about mosquitoes all year and the dangers that they present. Now with two recent deaths in Bergen county, it is obvious how important it is to do your part to remove any standing water around your home to reduce the breeding sites for mosquitoes. At Keep It Green Landscaping, we have been doing our part helping our clients with our Mosquito Control Programs.

For more information about our Mosquito Control and Gnat Control services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

Rain and Mosquitoes, Perfect Together

We should all be quite thankful that this summer season has had plentiful rainfall. However, after each rain event, you need to be diligent about dumping and emptying anything that can hold water. These are the breeding places for mosquitoes. Mosquito season is not over and runs through October. It is still warm enough for mosquitoes to lay their eggs successfully in small amounts of water.

Late summer and early fall are great times to be outside in your backyard. Our organic insect controls can target mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks. The days may be getting a little shorter as we move further into fall, but outdoor fun is still on the schedule with our organic insect control programs.

For more information about our Mosquito Control and Gnat Control services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

It's Hot and I Am Thirsty

The heat is on! It is extremely important that you water your lawn and shrubs. Lack of proper watering leads to problems. In lawns, drought stress increases the possibility of diseases attacking the stressed grass plant and also die back of the root system.

In shrubs and other plant material, lack of water causes stress which causes plants to drop leaves vital to survival. Weakened plants also attract more insects and in a weakened state, insect feeding places even more stress on your shrubs and plants and possible death can occur.

Remember, you don’t have to have an irrigation system to have a nice lawn. THE
GOAL IS TO SUPPLY WATER. If you have limited time, make sure that at least the sunny areas receive water. Please remember to always remove the hose from the lawn as the sun will heat the water in the hose to a high temperature and cause the lawn under the hose to die.

I recommend EARLY MORNING watering only, Do Not water in the afternoon or evening. This has the potential to create problems and increase the possibility of disease organisms attacking your lawn and shrubs. Hydrated lawns and shrubs are the best way for you to help keep your property looking nice and healthy.

For more information about our Landscape Maintenance   and Tree Care and Shrub Care services please see our pages or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation. 

 

Mosquitoes and Gnats and Ticks, Oh My!!!

We all remember Dorothy walking through the forest in Oz. Fear overcame her when she realized the dark woods might contain lions, tigers, and bears. She skipped and chanted lions and tigers and bears, oh my, becoming more and more fearful. Don't let your fear of mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks ruin your summer fun. Mosquitoes and ticks transmit diseases and gnats are just just a royal nuisance.

Here are some helpful tips. Mow your lawn weekly. I suggest a mowing height of three inches. If your lawn is overgrown it will make a better hiding spot for mosquitoes. Dethatching your lawn periodically will help with the gnats. Boarder areas between lawns and woods are zones where ticks can easily be found. So try to stay out of these area.

Remember, at Keep It Green Landscaping, our spray programs  provide you protection from mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks. Your summer should be filled with fun and memories. Our organic mosquito, gnat, and tick controls are a safe and effective way to keep your backyard from becoming the dark forest.

For more information about our Deer Control and Tick Control  and Mosquito Control and Gnat Control services please see our pages or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation. 

Oh Deer - Stories from the Field

The other day we were spraying deer control in Montvale on one of our customer's properties and upon finishing the treatment and loading up to leave, I happened to look at the neighbor's front yard. So what did I see? Two deer laying quietly in the front foundation bed about four feet from the front door. I think the neighbor probably needs our Deer Spraying Program too. 

Ok, that's a nice story, but let's think about it a little bit more seriously. Deer are known to carry ticks and ticks are known to carry and transmit diseases like Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a very serious problem for many people have contracted it. Deer and deer ticks, YIKES! Those deer on your lawn and in your garden may not really look quite  so cute the next time your see them. 

For more information about our Deer Control and Tick Control services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation. Our deer control and tick spraying programs are helping to keep homeowner's plants and flowers intact and their yards a safer environment in which to live and for their children to play.

There's A New Tick in Town

Well maybe not your town yet, the Longhorned tick has been found in New Jersey. The Longhorned tick was first found on sheep in Hunterdon county, and more recently in Union country. The Longhorned tick is native to Asia. But has become an major invasive pest problem for Australia and New Zealand, and now it is here, in the United States.

Good news is that no Longhorned tick have been found in Bergen county yet. Bad news is these ticks do spread disease. But is has not been determined if the Longhorned tick will spread Lyme disease like the common Deer tick found in Bergen county. More bad news, like the Deer tick, they are very small and hard to find on pets. Sadly, these ticks have the ability to overwinter (survive through the cold of winter). Maybe the best news is our tick spraying program at Keep It Green Landscaping is an all natural organic tick control measure that can help you manage your tick problems. 

For more information about our Deer Control and Tick Control services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

Mosquitoes, Mosquitoes, Mosquitoes

Bergen county received a lot of rainfall this spring. A little more than fourteen inches or about two inches more than normal. Cool and wet has turned into warm and wet. Now that summer is here, so are the mosquitoes. Lots and lots of puddles and places for the buzzing pest, the mosquito, to breed and multiply.

In 2017, we all heard a lot about the dangers of mosquitoes and the Zika virus and the problems associated with it. However, a greater problem for us in Bergen county and New Jersey, as a whole, is the West Nile virus, which is also carried by the mosquito. There were eight reported cases in New Jersey in 2017 which sadly resulted in two deaths, as reported by the Center for Disease Control. 

The good news is mosquitoes can be managed and the state of New Jersey does a great job. You have to do your part too. Check your home for sources of standing water to help reduce the mosquito threat in your own backyard.  Go to our Mosquito Control and Gnat Control page to see some of the common sources of mosquitoes around the home. 

Do your best and remember that Keep It Green Landscaping is here to help you too. With our 100% organic mosquito and organic gnat control programs, we kill mosquitoes and gnats and leave a pleasant scent behind. At Keep It Green Landscaping, we are waging war on your behalf. We have helped lots of people, since 1981, and we would like to help you too.

Mosquito season is here but itchy bites and bug filled nights don't have to be.  A simple call can help you rediscover how much fun you can have in your own backyard this summer.  For more information about our Mosquito Control and Gnat Control services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

Gnats Got You Biting Mad?

Well  if you have a gnat problem there are some things you can do to reduce gnats. First you need to know that gnats are looking for something that is decomposing. So, to start, look for those areas and clean them up, Excessive thatch build up in lawns should be removed, dirty garbage cans should be cleaned and rotting wood should be removed. A huge problem is leaving dog piles on your lawn. removing dog piles daily is removing a problem daily. 

So do your best to reduce the places where gnats live and breed. However gnat problems can go beyond your ability to control them yourself by reducing attractants. At Keep It Green Landscaping, we receive a lot of calls requesting gnat control in the Ridgewood, Midland Park, and Wyckoff area, but fungus gnats and wood gnats are common to all of Bergen county. 

If you are experiencing a gnat problem, we can help. We employ gnat control strategies using 100% organic gnat controls that will allow you to enjoy your outdoor parties and backyards. At Keep It Green Landscaping, our safe and effective gnat control programs will have the kids  and adults alike, outside, playing and having fun.

Mosquito control and gnat control would make a great Father's Day or birthday gift too!

 For more information about our Mosquito Control and Gnat Control services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.

Mosquitoes Bugging You?

Mosquito season has started.  The 2018 mosquito season is shaping up to be a bad one. The frequency of rain this spring has created an abundance of breeding sites for mosquitoes this year.  So the question is, will mosquitoes be bugging you?

With mosquito season comes those nasty itchy mosquito bites. There is no reason to bring the backyard party inside early. Our organic mosquito spraying is extremely effectively in controlling those nasty biting bugs. Our technicians are professionals. Our technicians find and target the places where mosquitoes go to hide in your yard. We offer affordable season long protection against mosquitoes. Let the kids out to play, sit down and read a book, and barbecue all day long.

So you don't have to pack up and run, you can call Keep It Green Landscaping.  We offer season long mosquito protection programs.  For more information about our Mosquito Control and Gnat Control services please see our page or give us a call at 201-445-4646 to set up a free consultation.