1. Trees Produce Oxygen

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    Plant Solutions NJ tree and lawn care
    Let’s face it, we could not exist as we do if there were no trees. A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year. What many people don’t realize is the forest also acts as a giant filter that cleans the air we breath.

    Contact Plant Solutions

    We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly. Call us at (888) 742-8733 or email info@plantsolutionsnj.com

  2. What is a Bee lawn?

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    Bee on a flower clover against green background

    Bee on a flower clover against green background

    We are experts in turf grass but there is a growing demand for Bee Grass. Turf grass looks great and holds up well around houses but does not appeal to bees.
    “Bee lawns aren’t 100 percent flowers. They have some grass included,” said Mary Meyer, an extension horticulturist and professor with the University of Minnesota. “While bees don’t use grass, humans do. Most flowers, if you start walking on them, will die. Clover will tolerate a bit of foot traffic.”

    “The trend is urban meadows, where homeowners take out their lawns and replace them with diverse wildflowers that can get tall and rangy at the end of the season,” said, Mace Vaughan, pollinator program director for The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in Portland, Oregon. . “But a nicely mown border around the outside keeps them looking tidy. Add a sign and people know you’re doing it on purpose. Mow in the fall and the whole lawn is cleaned up nicely.”

    So you can dedicate just some of your lawn to broad leaf plants such as clover.

    Contact Plant Solutions to discuss your lawn options.

  3. What is Boxwood Blight?

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    Boxwood blight leaf lesions

    Boxwood blight leaf lesions. Photo: Richard Buckley, Rutgers PDL

    Boxwood Blight (also known as box blight), caused by the fungus
    Calonectria pseudonaviculata Is a serious fungal disease of boxwood that results in
    defoliation and decline of susceptible boxwood. Once introduced to a landscape,
    boxwood blight is very difficult and costly to control with fungicides. The
    major means of spread of this disease is by movement of contaminated plant
    material (e.g. container or field-grown boxwood, boxwood greenery used
    for holiday decoration), but boxwood blight spores can also be spread on
    pruning tools, clothing, equipment and anything that might have contacted
    infected plants.

    If you suspect Boxwood Blight contact us right away.

    Avoiding introduction of boxwood blight to a landscape
    Because the boxwood blight pathogen is not well
    adapted to long-distance spread by long-distance air
    currents, the most likely entry point for the disease
    in a home landscape is by accidental introduction of
    infected plant material and/or contaminated tools,
    equipment or other items. Home growers who have
    boxwood in the landscape should carefully adhere
    to the following recommendations to avoid inadvertent introduction of this devastating disease to their
    landscape:

  4. 6 June Ornamental Plant Tips

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    June Ornamental Plant Tips

    • Attract beneficial insects to your landscape by planting a wide variety of flowering annuals and perennials that will bloom over the entire growing season. Good choices are plants in the following families: daisy (marigolds, daises, asters, mums), carrot (dill, fennel, anise, yarrow, parsley) and mint (all mints and thymes).
    • Pinch out the flower buds of fall blooming asters, mums, goldenrod and other fall bloomers to keep plants bushy and prevent early flowering.
    • Cut Iris flower stalks down to the crown when they are finished blooming. Leave the foliage alone. If your iris are over-crowded, June, after flowering, is the recommended time to lift and divide them. Read more… [2]
    • Iris borer [3] larvae tunnel down and feed on the rhizomes. The leaves and flower stalks may wilt. The best control is prevention. To prevent borer attack do not mulch your irises, plant rhizomes high in the planting bed and select full sun sites. If you suspect borers, dig up the rhizomes after bloom, cut off rotted and infested portions and re-plant.
    • Thrips [4] feed on flower buds and opened flowers causing them to turn brown. They cause leaf undersides to appear dirty and silvery. They are slender, minute and appear yellow-brown in color and transparent. Thrips are especially bad on gladiolus and will prevent flowers from opening.
    • Brown, bulls-eye lesions on pachysandra are an indication of the fungal disease volutella [5]. Thin out plants to improve circulation.

    Contact Plant Solutions

    We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly. Call us at (888) 742-8733 or email info@plantsolutionsnj.com

  5. What are your trees asking for?

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    If your trees could talk, they would say, 
    “Feed me! and I’m thirsty!” 

    Plant Solutions can deliver thirst quenching nutrients to your trees and shrubs. Help them thrive this spring with Plant Solution’s specially formulated nutrients!

    ArborPlex
    Our specially formulated, organic blend deep root fertilizer replenishes essential micro and macro nutrients to help trees recover from winter damage and flourish during the growing season

    North Atlantic sea kelp treatment
    Our exclusive sea-kelp based biostimulant enhances root development and helps trees and shrubs tolerate environmental stress

     

  6. Ever Wonder what A Tree On A Turntable Sounds Like?

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    Music from trees

    Bartholomäus Traubeck created equipment that would translate tree rings into music by playing them on a turntable.

    Instead of a record player needle, a modified camera is analyzing the tree rings for their thickness, the space between rings and other factors.

    It sends that data over to Ableton Live audio production software, where it’s turned into the piano notes we hear.

    Traubeck’s algorithm gives certain types of trees different mixtures of scales, based on tree color and the overall texture of the wood. For instance, a fir tree grows quickly, therefore has larger gaps between the rings, which means the resulting music is more minimalistic (Traubeck chose the key of C minor for firs).

    Throw a slice of ash tree (with rings very close together) on the player  and the music is more compressed and complex.

    Traubeck told the public radio program Living On Earth that he was inspired by a 1977 album by rock band Jethro Tull, titled “Songs From The Wood.”  On the back jacket, a record player tonearm is pictured on top of a tree stump.

    Traubeck talked about each “performance” of his music being a little different:

    “It’s sort of a poetic translation into music. Every time you put the record on, even though it’s the same slab of tree, it will be slightly different, because I would have to start at the exact millimeter point of the record every time, which I can’t. If I would have to say what part of the music is coming from me and my decisions and what part is coming from the tree, then I would have to say, I guess 50/50.”

    Interested in hearing more of Traubeck’s piece, titled “Years”?  You can listen to and download his recordings of spruce, ash, oak and other trees here:

    – See more at: http://www.cpr.org/classical/blog/turntable-plays-tree-rings-instead-vinyl-grooves-how-did-he-do#sthash.ouZB29yf.dpuf

     

  7. Lawn Watering Restrictions Underway in Randolph

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    This summer looks like it is going to be tough on your lawn. If the drought conditions continue any lawn that is not healthy to begin with this spring will be in trouble. Soil testing and proper nutrients are essential.

    RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP
    May 14, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    RANDOLPH ,NJ- In the summer months, Randolph experiences extremely high levels of water consumption, much of which can be attributed to the inefficient and at times wasteful overwatering of lawns.

    In an effort to conserve water, the township council adopted new lawn watering regulations in May of 2007, for properties which receive water provided by the Township of Randolph and the Town of Dover.

    These regulations impose restrictions on residential lawn watering during the summer months and supplement Chapter 50, Water and Sewers, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph.

  8. Keep your pets safe around your lawn

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    In the warm weather your pets and family will spend a lot of time on your lawn. Talk to us about a pet safe lawn.

    Please keep this in mind for your pet’s safety and well being:

    These are the ten most toxic human foods and should never be given to your pets.

    • Caffeine
    • Chocolate
    • Avacado
    • Pitted Fruits
    • Grapes
    • Raisins
    • Tomatoes
    • Cherries
    • Spicy Foods
    • Macadamia Nuts
    • Chewing Gum
    • Mushrooms (If you can’t have them, neither can your pets)
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Chicken, turkey or fish bones

    Here is a list of healthy human foods your pets can have:

    • Apples (no seeds)
    • Blueberries
    • Strawberries
    • Green Beans
    • Carrots
    • Seedless Watermelon
    • Bananas
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Squash

     

  9. Comment

    Bob Vila si still out there helping homeowners take care of their property. Here Bob gives seven helpful hints. As always Plant Solutions is here to help you take care of your lawn, call us today for a free estimate at 908-548-0716.

    Great Lawn

    1. DETHATCHING

    Dead grass and lawn clippings accumulate and get matted down into thatch, which not only prevents the germination of new grass seed, but also promotes fungus growth and pest infestation. Dethatch the lawn by giving it a good once-over, using either a lawn rake with stiff tines or a special dethatching rake.

    2. TESTING

    To grow grass successfully, you need the right soil. Most varieties thrive in conditions that are neither acidic nor alkaline. Methods exist to raise or lower soil pH, but you’ve got to know what you’re dealing with. Purchase a soil test kit for around $10 from your neighborhood garden store, or send a soil sample to your local extension office.

    3. CLEANUP

    Part of spring lawn care involves clearing away the ravages of winter. Equipped with your rake and pruning shears, take an exploratory stroll around the property. Look closely for any plants that didn’t survive. Prune damaged or dead branches from trees and bushes, and remove twigs or leaves you find lingering on the grass.

    4. AERATION

    In high-traffic areas, the soil beneath grass gradually becomes compacted and inhospitable to grass roots. Manual or mechanical aeration reverses the damage done. Here, wine cork-size plugs are drawn out of the lawn surface, giving roots room to spread and allowing air, nutrients, and moisture to penetrate the soil.

    5. WEED TREATMENT

    Weed control ranks high among spring lawn-care priorities: If you don’t act against weeds now, before they emerge, you’ll spend the summer battling them—and it’s not a fight you’re liable to win. Prevent weeds from even sprouting by applying a pre-emergent herbicide. For an alternative treatment free of harmful chemicals, try cornmeal.

    6. SEEDING

    On any bare patches of ground, skip the herbicide and opt instead for grass seed. Be aware, however, that if you’re planting grass in the spring, it’s going to need lots of TLC during the hot summer months—that is, consistent watering and regular weeding—and you’ll most likely have to seed again in the fall.

    7. EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE

    Before the lawn season gets into full swing, inspect all your outdoor tools, including the mower. If necessary, take the machine in for service or give it a tune-up yourself: change the oil, install new spark plugs, and replace the air filter. Also, make sure to have fuel on hand in preparation for the first grass-cutting of the year.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: The old adage applies as directly to spring lawn care as it does to so many other pursuits. Indeed, setting off on the right course in spring can help ensure that your grass thrives right through to fall, bolstering that curb appeal you count on it to provide.

     

    Read more at http://www.bobvila.com/articles/spring-lawn-care/#.VUurwhdIhBC

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