Monday, September 23, 2019

Fall Landscaping and Decorating Ideas

Autumn seems to be a favorite season for most New Englanders, and it’s no wonder why! The changing colors, harvest d├ęcor, warm days and cool nights exude a sense of magic and whimsy that are simply infectious. New England is known for many of its autumn traditions, such as apple picking, pumpkin picking, hay rides, warm cider and fresh cider doughnuts. It’s also a wonderful time of the year to get creative with landscaping and outdoor decorations!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Shrub Blog Series - Part Six - Specimen Plants

Amongst your ground covers, borders, etc., you will undoubtedly want a solo planting that stands out. Specimen plants are your centerpieces; they are showy, bold, striking, and colorful. There are a large variety of trees which will serve the purpose of a focal point nicely, and there are a number of extraordinary flowering plants which will do the same. Narrowing down our top picks was quite difficult as there are so many great options. Ultimately you should decide based on your landscape vision and the amount of desired maintenance.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Shrub Blog Series - Part Five - Ground Cover Plantings

Ground cover plantings are a great solution to tricky areas in your yard such as slopes and shady spots. They are often low maintenance options that can contend with foot traffic, tough soil conditions, or provide a focal point without too much effort. Ground cover plants tend to creep or clump; they crowd out weeds and create an expanse of lush foliage. It is good to determine whether or not a particular species is considered invasive in your area as these types of plants can grow and spread quickly unless controlled by processes such as edging and deadheading. It is always recommended you work with your local nursery on selections to understand what maintenance may be required.

Monday, January 7, 2019

How Snowflakes Form

Love it or hate it, snow is a major part of New England winters. To make matters more exciting, no two storms seem to be alike. This is partially because of the consistency of snow, which is determined by a series of atmospheric factors such as temperature, wind, dew point, humidity, etc. This creates a wide range of probabilities that can be tricky to predict. The formation of a snowflake is caused by a chemical reaction known as crystallization. Did you know that snowflakes are actually classified as minerals? How cool is that?

Close up of snow crystals forming. Photographer: Alexey Kljatov.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Shrub Blog Series - Part Four - Border Plantings and Edging

Whether for appearance or functionality, there are a variety of beautiful plantings you can use to edge your beds. Border plantings not only distinguish the edges of your flower and/or mulch beds, but they can help to keep your beds from eroding away due to the elements, and keep specimen plantings from overgrowing their boundaries. There is definitely intersection between border plantings and foundation plantings, so we will focus on some of the more unique choices in part four of our shrub series. Oftentimes you will want to pair plantings to create a variegated look; a common pairing is that of herbs.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Fall Foliage: Why Do Leaves Change Color?

New England is known for its exquisite show of color during the autumn season. “Leaf peepers” come from all over the globe just to witness the phenomenon, and it’s no wonder as there are only five regions in the world to experience the changing of the leaves. We are still about 3-4 weeks out from forecasted peak foliage, but the extremities of trees are already beginning to turn shades of red, orange and gold. But what causes this beautiful display?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lawn Aeration

Lawn aeration is the process of perforating the soil with small holes to alleviate soil compaction. This in turn encourages air, water, and other vital nutrients into the root system to establish a healthier, thicker lawn. Compacted lawns are caused by a number of reasons including excessive thatch, heavy debris under the grass surface, clay-rich soils, poorly-drained soils, or lawns with heavy traffic from people and pets.

Lawns consisting of cool season grasses are best aerated in the fall. There are two types of aerators: a plug (core) aerator and a spike aerator. Spike aerators simply poke holes in the lawn, and are less effective than plug aerators as they can cause additional compaction. Plug aerators on the other hand remove a core of soil with each hole, allowing air and nutrients to penetrate the root system. These cores are left on the lawn to decompose naturally (usually about two to four weeks). Pro-Turf uses a plug aerator for maximum efficiency!

Before you aerate, it is recommended you water the lawn thoroughly a day or two before. Moist soil will improve the efficacy of the aerator and pull out cores more easily. Make sure you flag sprinkler heads and other objects which could be impacted by an aerator. Post-aeration is also a wonderful time to overseed! Overseeding is a great way to fill in bare spots, improve the density of your turf, and help establish your lawn’s cultivars and color—all without having to tear up your existing lawn. Pro-Turf does not offer overseeding services however, we do have a detailed document to help you through the overseeding process yourself.

Pro-Turf Landscaping aerates from September through October. A typical aeration service costs between $150 and $250. Contact the office for quotes and scheduling!