Protecting plants from late spring frost

Frost Warning for the Boston AreaTonight – Tips from Mahoney’s Nurseries: The weather forecast is calling for overnight temperatures in the low 30’s (possibly upper 20’s) and the probability of frost for many Massachusetts towns. If you have purchased and planted any tender plants, you’ll want to protect your investment by moving them inside if at all possible, or covering them if they’re already planted. It’s always best to move plants inside (especially tender plants…

Gardener’s Journal for May

Gardening, done well, is at least 50% preparation. Once you realize what you should have done, it’s probably too late for this year. So, having a garden journal is invaluable to for successful planning for next year. Here are a few things to look out for this spring, and steps to make next year even better: A Blank Slate – By fall when the bulb catalogues arrive, it’s easy to forget where you planted what. Take…

7 steps to a beautiful spring garden clean-up

Two-plus months in to the year, how are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? Luckily, the gardening year in the Boston area is just starting, so you have a chance to start off on the right foot with your outdoor plans. Doing a thorough and careful spring clean up lays the groundwork (no pun intended!) for a year of trouble-free gardening: Prune dead and broken branches from ornamental trees and shrubs, repairing any snow…

7 Steps for Dazzling Holiday Lighting

Whether you want a festive display of holiday lights at home, or to boost the curb appeal of your business for shoppers, you’ll want the finished product to be safe, energy-efficient, and beautiful.  Outdoor Perspectives, a national outdoor lighting chain, has 7 simple steps for DIY Christmas lighting: SHINE ON. Here’s our summary: Sketch: Develop a plan on paper before you begin. Together with “after” photos, this will simplify your work next year! Hang: Give…

Seed, sod, or lawn alternative?

Each spring and fall we get calls to “fix my lawn!” Customers often have an idea of what they want: sod (I want it now) or seed (I want low cost). As horticultural professionals who want to provide the most sustainable solution and the best value over time, here are our “CUES” when recommending seed, sod, our something else entirely: Cost – While it’s true that seed is less expensive than sod, keep in mind…

Preventing Winter Moth Damage

Are your crabapple and maple trees looking like Swiss cheese? Tiny green winter moth caterpillars are the likely culprit. Winter moth caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants, but their favorites include maples (including Japanese maples), oaks, blueberries, apples, linden, ash, and horse chestnut. They also feed on roses and some perennials.  If you have had damage on trees in recent years, it’s important to treat early to prevent weakening the trees. Another benefit…

The Skinny on “Miracle Grass”

Today’s piece on the “New Uber-Grass” on WBUR made me pause at this busy time of year to weigh in on these branded grass blends that promise great results with minimal maintenance: I was tickled to hear this story on a day when we were reviewing lawn installation with our crews!  Having designed, installed and maintained many organic and sustainable landscapes using this and other products, I’d say that like many other high quality, weed-free…

Winter protection for home & garden

We’ve had a few good days of thawing, but February is usually Boston’s snowiest month, so it’s not too late for a snow post. The good news: Snow is a great insulator for plants.  We see a lot more winter kill in cold, dry winters than in heavy snow years.  Hopefully, hydrangea macrophylla, container plants, and marginally hardy perennials will give a good showing in spring. The bad news: the weight of snow can damage…

Winter Protection

We’re doing fall clean-ups and saying our goodbyes to many of you for the year, but please remember that the work of protecting your landscape investment is not done!  Now is the time for: Getting those last bulbs in so you have early spring color Wrapping or spraying anti-dessicant on evergreens (esp. rhododendrons, boxwoods, yews) Protecting marginally hardy perennials and shrubs with extra mulch of pine needles, salt marsh hay, etc. Deer protection, if needed…

Assessing Tree Hazards

This fall, as you’re scuffing through the leaves, make sure to look up!  Heavy snow loads on branches make winter the most dangerous time of year for trees. Luckily, it’s also a great time to do tree work without damaging tender perennials and lawns. We’re happy to walk your property with you to evaluate potential hazards, but here are a few tips to get you started. Visually inspect the whole tree, including roots, root flare,…