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Landscape Articles

The 4 Best Organic Weed Control Tips Gardeners Love

Everyone loves having a healthy yard that is capable of growing many types of interesting, vibrant shrubs and trees. Unfortunately, the presence of unsightly weeds is one of the drawbacks of having a yard that can sustain plant life.


A lot of homeowners feel that their otherwise-attractive yards are ruined by stringy, snaking weeds that tend to pop up this time of year. In some cases, weeds can actually be harmful for your yard, draining it of valuable nutrients that could be going to the plants you actually want to grow.


But most of the time, weeds are a relatively minor issue. Following these four tips will help you free your landscape of weeds:

Why Won't My Garden Grow? 3 Mistakes According to Mary

Now that we’re into June and the summer solstice is only a few weeks away, it’s time for the Earth to show us its natural beauty in the form of colorful, vibrant shrubs and trees.

Yet we’ve found that this is also a time of year when many homeowners in the greater Boston area are most frustrated with their yard. They expect a lush garden and get disappointed when plants don’t grow the way they want.

Luckily, most of the mistakes we see being made in yards around Massachusetts are relatively easy to fix. Here are the top three reasons we see plants failing to grow, and some quick tips to correct them:

The Top 3 Summer Flowers to Beautify Your Landscape

After battling the forces of winter into the early part of May, it appears to finally be time for consistent warm weather here in Massachusetts! We’ve been dealing with the cold longer than normal this year, which can make it challenging to get your garden ready before the bloom season hits full swing.

The Monsanto Lawsuit - Is Roundup (glyphosate) Safe to Use in Your Yard?

Using organic methods to take care of your lawn isn’t just better for the environment - it may also be safer for human health. This past summer, a terminally ill former groundskeeper in San Francisco was awarded a $250 million settlement from Monsanto, the company that produces the Roundup brand of weed control products.


These lawn treatments use glyphosate, a chemical herbicide that has been linked to cancer by multiple studies, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. Dewayne Johnson said he was instructed to use Roundup 20 to 30 times a day working as a school groundskeeper in a San Francisco suburb. He blames the weed killer for the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he was diagnosed with in 2014, which has made him terminally ill and left lesions on 80% of his body.


Let’s look at some of the data on glyphosate and the latest developments in the Johnson vs. Monsanto case.

Choosing Hardy Biennials for Your Yard in Massachusetts

As the name suggests, biennials are plants that take at least two years to go through their entire lifecycle. With multicolor bloom phases and interesting shapes, these plants make an ideal addition to any yard. Some of the best biennials in Massachusetts are hardy, growing best when they can set roots early in more mild fall or winter seasons.


Below are some of our favorite biennials suitable for the New England climate. Remember that some plants classified as biennials can last longer than two years.

Redoing Your Lawn for Fall in Massachusetts

In the fall, changing leaves bring the year’s last few splashes of color as flowers, shrubs, and other plants start to become dormant for winter. Even though spring and summer are the main bloom times, there are many maintenance tasks to do in your yard during the fall. The cooler weather in Massachusetts provides great opportunity to work on the foundation of your lawn.

Planting Grasses in the Fall for Year-Round Interest

One of our favorite things about landscape design is the amount of personal expression it allows. Most people associate landscape with flowers and shrubs, but there are many different styles of plants that can thrive in your garden, depending on your tastes.


People sometimes forget about ornamental grasses. They often don’t take as central of a role in your garden as flowers and vegetables, but these grasses can still add a nice touch to your yard. Grasses are also great because many of them bloom in colder weather, which can help your yard look attractive even in the offseason.


Here’s what you need to know about planting ornamental grasses in the fall.

3 Vegetable Garden Tips for Fall in Massachusetts

Growing vegetables and other edible plants is one of the most rewarding forms of gardening. You get to enjoy the fruits of your labor - literally - with fresh food, spices, and herbs that can be used in delicious meals.


As the calendar gets closer to the cool fall season, it is time to harvest many popular fruits and vegetables. But harvesting isn’t the only fall activity you should be doing to maximize your garden’s return and ensure it is a healthy, vibrant part of your yard all year.


Here are three lesser-known yet important tips to improve your vegetable garden as the weather cools down:

Extending Your Fall Bloom Time for An Attractive Yard - Even in Cold Weather

Now is the time of year when cold weather approaches and spring blooms are mostly gone. But just because it’s not the beginning of the season doesn’t mean you have no interest in your yard to look forward to. With some thoughtful planning and selection of the right plants, you can maintain a vibrant garden with great aesthetics all year.

3 Tips for Fall Season Planting in Massachusetts

With Labor Day now behind us, it’s time to wrap up summer and start preparing for autumn. Though the hot weather is still hanging around right now, before you know it the temperatures will drop and you’ll need a jacket to go outside.


Many homeowners and even some landscape professionals believe that once the warm weather is over, life in your yard will cease until the next bloom season. While it’s true that your yard probably won’t be as active in the fall as it is in the spring and summer, that doesn’t mean it will be completely desolate of plant and insect life. There are still ways you can maintain a healthy, vibrant yard well into October and November.

Reducing Waste and Harm to the Environment Part 2

In our previous blog post, we touched on methods to choose, arrange, and support healthy shrubs and trees in your yard. For this post, we will be talking about ways to maintain your yard over the long run. We’ll also address how you can use vegetation to make your home more energy efficient, thereby reducing your overall environmental footprint.

Top Tips for Landscape Design on a Sloped Yard

People with sloped yards often feel like they are unable to get a yard to look as good as a more level outdoor space. This isn’t the case - while a sloped yard does require some specific care and may not be best for all types of plants, there’s still a lot that you can do to create a relaxing environment.


Here’s what to know to design a peaceful, inspiring outdoor space - even if your yard is at an angle.  

Best Fall Colors in New England

Before the wind and early snow take away the rest of our fall foliage, make some time to appreciate the variety of color New England has this time of year. Plants that have phenomenal fall foliage colors are important to consider when designing landscapes. A few of our favorite fall beauties are: Diane Witch Hazel Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane', Little Henry Virginia Sweetspire Itea virginica 'Sprich' and Paperbark Maple Acer griseum.

Reducing Waste and Harm to the Environment from Landscaping in Massachusetts (part 1)

In recent years, there’s been a large push to educate homeowners and commercial landscapers on how to conserve the environment. More and more home and business owners are realizing that poor landscaping practices will not only hurt their plant life, but also negatively impact the greater environment.


In this blog series, we will discuss everything you can do to mitigate harm to the environment through your landscaping practices. The first installment will cover how to choose, arrange, and take care of plants in a way that reduces negative effects on the natural world.

How To: Gardening Tips- Garden Advice For Everyone!

3 Tips for Conserving Water in Your Home Landscape Design

In a July 2018 meeting, the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force declared that the state of Massachusetts was free of drought conditions. This is a sigh of relief for residents of the state who remember the lengthy drought between March 2015 and May of 2017.


Even though we may not be currently facing a drought, the task force did mention that water and precipitation levels have gotten worse since earlier this year. This fact, combined with lower-than-normal precipitation expected for the rest of 2018, means people still need to be aware of their water consumption.


If you are looking for ways to reduce your impact on the environment, using less water is an excellent start. Below are three tips for conserving water that you can incorporate into your current gardening and landscape practices.

How and Why to Minimize Your Lawn in Massachusetts

A short, neatly-edged expanse of sprawling green grass is the ultimate idea of the American lawn. Unfortunately, the “perfect” lawn is more reminiscent of a chemically-treated golf course than a healthy yard that supports the environment around it.


Without large amounts of watering, pesticide and herbicide use, and constant application of fertilizer, those pristine green lawns are impossible to maintain. These lawns are not environmentally-friendly, nor are they a healthy place for children or dogs to play on. Follow the advice below to create an organic lawn that is both safe for your family and good to the natural world.

How to Create a Sitting Area in a Small Backyard

How to use a small yard for a sitting area? Simple!

Seasonal Planting for Year-Round Beauty and Environmental Support

Homeowners often place lots of emphasis on creating a garden with beautiful flowers and shrubs that bloom majestically in the spring season. Unfortunately, focusing on beauty for a single season can leave your yard lacking during the rest of the year.


With some careful planning and a bit of creativity, you can create a garden that will keep your yard in color and wonderful smells for all four seasons, even during the warm months. Use the pointers below to create a garden that will delight your senses all year.

A Creative Low Maintenance Native Garden Idea

Native ornamental grass will give your garden four seasons of interest and a low-maintenance option for garden design. Creating a unique garden to fit your needs can be a challenging task, but with the help of native plants and especially ornamental grasses, it becomes enjoyable.

5 Organic Mosquito Control Methods for Massachusetts

Summer is about getting together with friends and family in a fun celebration of the season. Unfortunately, this is a tradition that is often interrupted by uninvited pests like mosquitoes. These insects can make happy guests itchy and miserable and leave them wanting to stay inside instead of enjoying the outdoors.


A mosquito problem is certainly an issue that needs to be solved before the season of summer parties comes into full swing. Don’t rely on Roundup or other chemicals to rid your yard of pests, as pesticides can be harmful to you and your family and contaminate the local water supply. Here are five organic methods to use to keep mosquitoes away from your summer gatherings:

Getting Ready for Spring- Tips for Your Garden and Yard

Spring Is On Its Way! 

Here are few suggestions for getting your garden and yard ready for the warm weather and green grass.

 

How to Get Your Massachusetts Yard Ready for Outdoor Gatherings

There’s nothing like hosting a summer get-together in your backyard to celebrate the season. Spending quality time with friends in your outdoor space is the epitome of summer, and it’s time to prepare for upcoming BBQs and yard parties. Get your yard ready by updating patio furniture, adding new fixtures, and taking preventative measures against annoying insects. Follow the steps below to guarantee fun and successful gatherings in your outdoor space throughout the summer.

The Top 6 Organic Pest Control Methods for Massachusetts Landscaping

Every yard will eventually face pest problems. Caterpillars stripping leaves in your new vegetable garden and fungus that causes root rot in flowers and shrubs are only a couple of examples of the extensive damage that pests can cause. It can be tempting to use a chemical approach like Roundup to rid your yard and garden of pests, but organic methods can work just as efficiently, without the harm that chemicals present to your family and the environment.

Benefits of Using Native Plants of the Northeast

Throughout the past few years it has become a very popular trend for designers to create a native plant garden design, and for good reason.  The benefits of using native plants in your home garden can be extensive.  Some of them are:

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