1. Fertilize your lawn NOW!


    The weather has cooled off, and we have had plenty of rain. Of all the things you can do for your lawn throughout the year fertilizing your lawn in the autumn is the most important and effective thing you can do.

    In the autumn, your lawn prepares for the harsh winter months. The preparation for winter that your lawn does with your help is what makes for a beautiful, healthy lawn in the spring and all year long.

    Right now your lawn is busy growing roots and storing nutrients. Fertilizing is more important than ever. If you hire an expert in lawn and plant care in the fall, you will see your best return on investment.

  2. Comment

    Core Aerating

    Call Plant Solution for a lawn evaluation

    Homeowners often overlook problems associated with soil compaction. Insects, diseases, nematodes, improper watering and a lack of fertilizer are often blamed for a lawns decline when the real culprit is compaction. The problem starts when the top 4 inches of the soil become compressed, impeding the movement of air, water and nutrients to the grass roots. This stresses the grass plants, making them less able to compete with weeds and slow to recuperate from injury. In time a compacted lawn needs renovation.

    Compacted soil contributes to the accumulation of thatch because restricted oxygen levels in highly compacted soils impair the activity of earthworms and other thatch-decomposing organisms. Left unmanaged, thatch can lead to serious maintenance and pest problems. Thatch accumulates faster on compacted soils and heavy clay soils than on well-aerified soils. Therefore, some lawns may require frequent aerification to aid in thatch control.

    If soil is compacted, the solution is straightforward: aerify. The practice of physically removing cores of soil and leaving holes or cavities in the lawn is defined as core aeration or aerification.

    Benefits of Core Aeration

    • Loosens compacted soil and increases the availability of water and nutrients.
    • Enhances oxygen levels in the soil, stimulating root growth and enhancing the activity of thatch-decomposing organisms.
    • While removing cores of soil, the spoons or tines also sever roots, rhizomes and stolons. Grass plants are stimulated to produce new shoots and roots that “fill up” the holes in the lawn and increase the density of the turf.
    • Reduces water runoff.
    • Increases the lawn’s drought tolerance and improves its overall health.


    The type of grass will determine whether to aerify in the fall or in the summer. Lawns composed of cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue are best aerified in the fall, when there is less heat stress and danger of invasion by weedy annuals. Allow at least four weeks of good growing weather to help the plants recover. Warm-season grasses such as zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, carpetgrass, St. Augustinegrass and bermudagrass, on the other hand, are best aerified in late spring and summer, when they are actively growing. With either type of grass, choose a day when temperatures are mild and soil is moderately moist, which makes the soil easier to penetrate. Avoid aerifying a wet soil, as it is messy and leads to further compaction of the soil as well. If the soil sticks to your shoes or if the core sample you take sticks to your probe, you should wait until it dries out some before starting the job.

    Aerification of home lawns corrects soil problems but generally is not a routine practice. The best answer to the question, “How often should I aerify?” is, “As often as needed.” One way to determine if aeration is needed is by scouting the lawn. Take a screwdriver and probe the soil. If the screwdriver penetrates the soil with little resistance, then you probably don’t need to aerify. If it is difficult to penetrate the soil with the screwdriver, then you may need to aerify. Make sure the soil is moist when testing the areas since dry soil can also be more difficult to penetrate.

    Turfgrass in high traffic areas may need aerification more often than the rest of the lawn. Turfgrasses with low traffic tolerance such as centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass may need aerifying more often than turfgrasses with good traffic tolerance, such as bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. These high traffic areas can usually be done by “hand” as described in the next section.

  3. Climate Change = Super Poison Ivy!


    Climate change isn’t just increasing outdoor temperatures and warming up the oceans. It may also greatly increase your chances of getting a really bad case of poison ivy.

    As the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, it’s boosting the growth of poison ivy plants, two recent studies show. These elevated carbon dioxide levels are creating bigger, stronger poison ivy plants that produce more urushiol, the oil that causes the allergic reaction and miserable poison ivy rash. The urushiol isn’t just more plentiful; it might also be more potent.

    Plant Solutions can help to kill any poison ivy on your property and help to reduce the the chances of getting bitten by a tick.

    Can you ID poison ivy

  4. Lawn Watering Restrictions Underway in Randolph


    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.

    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.

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    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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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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  7. We Install Sod – The quickest way to a new lawn.


    If you are in a hurry to have a beautiful lawn, you may want to consider sod. Here at Plant Solutions we can seed or repair a lawn or we can install sod, and you can have a lawn quickly.

    Sod installed by Plant Solutions NJ

    Sod Installation in Short Hills, New Jersey


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    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

  8. Could be worse than Lyme disease


    Powassan virus, spread by ticks, could be worse than Lyme disease

    Powassan virus, spread by ticks.
    Let Plant Solutions help with tick control.

    NEW YORK — It spreads like Lyme disease, but doctors say it’s even worse. Ticks in parts of the northeastern U.S. and around the Great Lakes have been found to carry a rare and potentially life-threatening virus.
    CBS2 New York reports, doctors warn that the Powassan virus can come on with very sudden, severe symptoms. There is no known treatment or cure.

    “The doctor just has to support you during the acute illness and hope that you survive,” Dr. Daniel Cameron explained.

    Cameron is president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. He said that if bitten by a Powassan-infected tick, you can get the virus within a matter of minutes, and while the symptoms are similar to Lyme disease, they are more severe.

    “You can get seizures, high fevers, stiff neck. It comes on so suddenly that it’s the kind of thing people go to the emergency room for,” he explained.

    Researchers with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said the Powassan virus is starting to show up in Bridgeport and Branford. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has also been seen around the Great Lakes, primarily in late spring, early summer, and mid-fall, when ticks are most active.

    Only about 50 cases of Powassan have been reported in the U.S. in the last 10 years.

    “I couldn’t imagine having something worse than this. It sounds really awful,” Lyme disease patient Jennifer Cirigliano said.

    Cirigliano was diagnosed with Lyme disease 2 years ago. The 15-year-old said it’s been a long road of recovery.

    “I was getting scared that there could be seriously something wrong,” she said.

    Now, with this emerging tick-borne illness, doctors say there’s even more reason to be on the lookout throughout the spring and summer.

    “Be more vigilant about checking. I can’t stay indoors. Summer is the time to be outside,” one woman said.

    There are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Experts suggest using bug spray, wearing long pants and long sleeves outdoors, avoiding wooded areas, and checking yourself for ticks after you’ve spent time outside.
    Read more at CBSNews.com

  9. The bad news about spring lawn care!


    First the bad news: if you neglect spring lawn care (and related concerns pertaining to your mower), you could end up paying for it the rest of the year. Now the good news: Plant Solutions can take care of everything for you.

    Here is an article called Spring Lawn Care 10 Tasks to Consider Before the Mowing Season on About.com. In this article, you will read about all the work that you will need to do this spring to have a nice lawn all summer. Don’t do any of it!  just call us 908-548-0716, and you could have a lawn that looks like this.

    Contact Plant Solutions for a beautiful lawn and garden

  10. Does your lawn look like this?


    Plant Solutions can help you get ready for summer!

    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

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