Ask NJ Landscaping Pros About Converting Fallen Leaves to Plant Food

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Fall is coming soon. Sadly, this also means getting out and grabbing a rake. This year, however, experts suggest grabbing a lawnmower instead.


In an interview with CBS Minnesota, Turf grass specialist Sam Bauer of the University of Minnesota Extension says grinding fallen leaves is beneficial for the grass. Like chewing your food before you swallow, mowing the leaves breaks them down into mulch sizes, allowing the soil to absorb their nutrients faster. The result is healthier, greener grass come spring.


Normally, this is a job for a mulcher, which is powerful enough to grind down even the thickest blanket of fallen leaves. However, Bauer says a lawnmower will do as long as the leaves have been spread out evenly.


Inherited Properties


According to gardening expert and author Sydney Eddison, fallen leaves carry up to 80 percent of essential nutrients for plants. It would definitely be a waste if they’ll simply end up in sacks, as part of the garbage. Some leaves have unique properties that, when turned to mulch, can help nourish and protect plants and grasses. Maple leaves, for example, are known to prevent the growth of weeds.


Control the Amount


If you think there are too many leaves for the lawnmower, remember to rake the excess. A thick blanket of leaf mulch can prevent moisture from seeping, denying the lawn of much-needed nutrients. It can also trap excess moisture, providing a breeding ground for fungi. Leave enough leaves for the lawn mulch and dump the rest on a backyard compost pile.


The more plants you plan to add in your garden, the more mulch you’ll need. Contact NJ landscaping services like Scenic Landscaping for a site design consultation, especially with drainage. Considering the possible use of mulch, the design must allow the shedding of excess water so that the plants don’t get inundated.


Landscapers may recommend drains close to plant areas, but the soil will be the landscape’s primary drainage system. It’s imperative that the soil is neither too compact nor too lose for an ideal balance of water retention. According to the Cornell University Department of Horticulture, the ideal drain rate for soil is between 1 and 6 inches per hour.


Therefore, during the planning phase, take into account your mulching strategy. Don’t hesitate to ask an expert NJ landscaping company about what you can do when your yard gets covered in leaves. In fact, you can even ask them to take care of your lawn.


(Source: Good Question: Do We Need To Rake?, CBS Minnesota)

NJ Landscaping Experts Will Help Make Your Garden Worthy of a Party

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With clear skies still lingering, the time couldn’t be any more right for an outdoor gathering. Gardening expert and author Melinda Myers offers tips on how to spruce up your back or front yard for the occasion in an article for However, nothing can be more satisfying than a garden that’s party-ready all year round, and here are some tips that you may want to explore with noted NJ landscaping services like Scenic Landscaping LLC.

Anticipate Nature’s Moves

Perhaps the most worrisome issue with sprucing up your yard is the timing of the peak bloom. The time for flowers to open up may come too early or too late for your party, and scheduling to anticipate this may be next to impossible.

To ensure you have blooms year round, plant some annuals in your garden. Summer annuals, for example, germinate by spring and wither by winter, which means they’re likely to grace your garden in the summer when an outdoor party is most ideal. Biennials and perennials often take longer to bloom.

Anticipate Mosquitoes

Dengue may not be as prevalent in the U.S. as in the tropics, but the bites of mosquitoes alone are enough to annoy your guests. Mosquitoes can be deterred by playing on their sense of smell, which they rely on in seeking their targets.

There are various ways to do this. First, go for plants that emit strong odors like lemon balms and citronella; if you want something with color, consider marigolds. Another way is to have plants that attract insect-eating birds like the gray catbird and yellow-headed blackbird. Fruit-bearing trees are good choices because they provide birds with both food and shelter.

If you have a pet cat, or neighboring cats, or stray cats that could come and mess up your garden, avoid catnip. It may repel mosquitoes but not felines.

Redesign the Garden

Does your yard often play host to puddles as far as the eye can see? Are there hidden pits and potholes that can cause injury? Your garden may need a major makeover to make it not only beautiful but safe. Contact landscaping services like Scenic Landscaping to spruce up your garden, and update your NJ landscape design.

(Source: Garden-tainment Creates Lasting Memories for Guests, The Alternative Press, July 3, 2014)

NJ Landscaping Company: Choosing Native Flora for Sustainable Gardens

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To reflect this, the Seneca Nation of Indians’ (SNI) office at the Cattaraugus Reservation has recently implemented a native-only policy in landscaping options. This means that public buildings in Seneca reservations will only feature plants indigenous to the place, including balsam firs, white ash trees, and cinnamon ferns. In addition to preserving Native American culture, one other purpose for such a move is to promote a healthy diet of local nuts and vegetables.

Sustainable Landscaping

It is not only the Native Americans who are espousing the use of native plants in landscaping. Many horticulture and landscaping experts also encourage the practice as part of “sustainable landscaping”. As horticulturist Kim Eierman explains in an article that appeared on, plants from far-flung areas may not thrive well away from their native environment, resulting in landscaping failure.

“For example, “Buying red maples that were grown in Southeastern clay and then trying to plant them in thin, shallow soil in the Northeast could result in complete failure,” Eierman points out.”

Native to New Jersey

To identify native plants, Eierman mentions two conditions: first, a plant variety must have existed in the area prior to the Colonial Age; and second, its natural habitat must be within 100 miles of the spot where it is to be planted.

An established and reputable NJ landscaping company like Scenic Landscaping can help residents in identifying North American Native species appropriate for their locations. Homeowners may even have the option of selecting the right variety from the landscapers’ very own nursery.

However, the choice of tree and plant varieties to be included in one’s backyard or garden remains a personal choice. While the use of native plants have many benefits, it may not work as well as it should with a homeowner’s preferences, or the architecture of a home.

A seasoned NJ landscaping company will guide its clients in choosing the plant species that will not only work well aesthetically with a property, but will also be well-suited to their environment. Landscaping experts will also know the kind of care needed for a plant variety to thrive and flourish where it has taken root.

(Source: How To Gain a Competitive Edge with Native Trees, Green Industry Pros, July 8, 2014)