by Greg Greg

The Very Real Danger of Falling Icicles (and How to Handle Them)

falling icicles

Most people think of icicles as a beautiful sign that winter is here but don’t realize the dangers that they pose to anyone walking underneath. The truth is, falling icicles account for hundreds of injuries every year, and falling icicle deaths are a genuine threat.

So, how can you keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the dangers of icicles? In this article, we’ll tell you all about the risks that falling icicles pose and how to stay safe and secure.

What are the Biggest Icicle Risks?

While icicles can be very pretty to look at when the sun hits them and they twinkle in the light, the sun hitting them and warming temperatures are what make them dangerous. When the sun comes out and the weather gets warm enough to melt the ice, icicles can come crashing down with surprising force and speed. 

If you happen to be under one of these icy spikes, you can be badly cut and begin to bleed. If a heavy enough chunk of ice hits you on the head from a decent height, you can actually sustain a concussion. Some studies have shown an average of 15 people a year dying from one of these injuries in the United States.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

You want to avoid these injuries at all costs so you’ll need to take some precautions as you would for any other danger. First of all, remember to be aware of your surroundings when falling ice and snow are present whether it’s on the city streets or around your own home. 

Secondly, resist the urge to try and remove icicles from your house on your own. It is dangerous to try and remove them from the ground by knocking them down with a broom or other device as they can fall on you quickly. Using a ladder to remove them is also dangerous as the ground can be too slippery or unstable with the snow and ice. 

Professional Removal Is Worth It

The best thing to do is call a professional landscaper who is experienced in snow and ice removal. While some folks might think it makes sense financially to take care of ice removal themselves, the cost of professional snow and ice removal is worth it in the long run. Not only do you get the convenience of staying warm inside, but you also save on hospital bills in case of a serious injury.

Don’t Let Falling Icicles Injure You

As you can see, falling icicles can pose a significant threat to the health and wellbeing of you and your family. Being aware of your surroundings during the winter and hiring a professional to do the removal of snow and ice will keep you safe and sound so you can enjoy the season with some peace of mind. 

Are you ready to take winter safety seriously? Get a free quote from us today to find out how we can make the winter season easier on you affordably.

by Greg Greg

4 Ways to Protect Plants During the Winter

protect plants

If you love your garden, but you live through cold winters, you need to know how to protect your plants.

As we enter the harshest winter months, we start to shut-in and spend less and less time outdoors. Sadly, our plants don’t have that luxury and if you’re not careful, even the ones you expect to see sprout back up in the spring could be destroyed.

In this post, we’re going to tell you how to protect plants from the winter conditions so that they come back strong again in March, April, and May. If you love your plants, you have to give them the proper care, all year round.

1. Bring What You Can Inside

Seasoned gardeners know that you should always bring what you can indoors before the thick of winter hits. If you’ve got an area that you can turn into an indoor plant sanctuary, bring the plants that can’t bear snow and ice there for safekeeping.

When you do this, you’ll have to acclimatize your plants to indoor life over a period of a few weeks before winter strikes. Start by bringing them in overnight, then gradually add a few hours per day until you’re confident that they’ll survive indoors.

2. Lay Down Mulch

Mulch is often described as a warm blanket for your plants during the winter months. The freezing and thawing of winter weather can cause your soil to lift, which can leave plant roots exposed to icy conditions, which we know isn’t good.

The mulch, which can contain anything from dried leaves and straw to bark, pine needles, and grass clippings, helps the soil retain moisture and keep weeds at bay so that your plants maintain health during the off-season.

3. Snow and Ice Management

If you’ve got landscaping that you want well-kept throughout winter, then you may want to look at professional help. At DeCarlo Landscapes, we specialize in year-round commercial landscaping so that your plants look good and healthy even through the coldest temperatures.

Snow and ice management are a big part of keeping a garden going all year. The longer you leave thick snow atop your garden, the more likely it’s going to affect your plants in a negative way.

4. Continue Weeding

Make sure that you remove and dispose of the weeds in your garden. Not only is this a sign of poor soil health, but if you leave weeds to continue growing, they’ll compete with your plants for the resources in your soil.

If they have the chance to live on through spring, they can actually be harder to get rid of, which makes building a prosperous garden much more difficult. Get rid of the weeds and you’ll be working with a lot more come spring, both with your grass and your garden.

It’s Important to Protect Plants

Being able to protect plants in the worst conditions means that your garden will come back flourishing each year. Garden maintenance is a year-round endeavor that requires great care and attention to the smallest of details.

To make sure that you’re protecting your plants from winter weather, contact us at DeCarlo Landscapes for all of your snow removal and landscape design needs.

by Greg Greg

6 Beautiful Winter Landscaping Tips to Start the Season Right

landscaping tips

There’s no doubt about it: winter is coming! But is your yard ready to meet it?

It can be tempting to let lawn maintenance fall by the wayside in the winter months, but doing so could be devastating for your landscaping come springtime! Read on to learn our six favorite landscaping tips for the winter.

1. Plan Ahead, Plant Ahead

Believe it or not, you actually start prepping your garden for the winter months the moment that you plant something in the ground. That’s why it’s important to know what hardiness zone you live in.

Once you know your hardiness zone, you can make informed decisions about what to put in your yard so that you don’t end up with plants that just can’t survive, no matter how hard you try.

2. Water in the Winter

As long as it’s above 40°, you should still be watering your plants, even in cold weather. Keeping your plants well hydrated will help protect them from damage or disease.

Watering your yard is especially important when there’s salt involved. Any greenery you have near a road may be exposed to road salts. While these salts are great at melting ice on the roads, they can wreak havoc on your landscaping by drying them out. 

3. Rake Now, Profit Later

Many people believe that raking only has aesthetic benefits. So, if you like the red, yellow, and browns of fallen leaves in your front yard, you may be tempted to leave them there. But in reality, this can cause some serious problems for your yard later on.

Raking is the easiest way to remove debris from your lawn. This will keep your grass from being smothered or damaged over the winter.

4. Landscaping Tips to Prepare for Spring

Believe it or not, it’s never too early to prepare for springtime. If you aerate and fertilize your yard before the first freeze, your greenery will have access to those nutrients when things start to fall out. So while this might not benefit your yard when all of your plants are dormant, it will certainly help accelerate the regrowth process when warm weather finally arrives.

5. Trim a Bit Shorter

While grass is usually trimmed to a length of about three inches, this sort of length can create the perfect environment for pests to build their homes in during the winter. So, the last time you cut your grass before winter, consider trimming it to about 2 inches instead to avoid dealing with pests in the warm weather.

6. Add Lights

It’s extremely common for landscaping to feel a bit drab or dull in the winter months. If you’re in need of some mid-winter landscape rejuvenation, try hanging some lights from your trees. This can really help brighten things up, literally!

Winter Landscape Ideas

When it comes to winter-proofing your yard, following the landscaping tips above is a great place to start. Even when things are dreary or covered in snow, you can still have faith that your landscaping will return in full force once the weather warms up!

Want to learn more about protecting your landscaping this winter? Contact us today!

by mike mike

Commercial Landscaping

Part of your overall business image is reflected on the outside of your brick and mortar location. It’s there that the customer first has experience with your brand. From the parking lot to the commercial landscaping, these seemingly minute things, are very important. Read more

by mike mike

Kid Friendly Landscaping

If you have young children, you might tend to think landscaping can wait until they’re older. However, you can still get the landscape design you need AND be kid-friendly with some easy additions. The first step in creating a kid-friendly backyard is figuring out what your family’s needs are. Are your children interested in tire swings, trampolines? Maybe basketball or soccer is more of their style. How about gardening, or tree houses? Including the things that will be utilized the most and for the longest time by your children is important when planning a design. Once you have these things figured you, you can really get started. Below are some kid-friendly backyard ideas. Read more

by mike mike

Cold Weather Landscaping

It feels like we’ve seen the last of our extended summer here in Northern New Jersey. This week the weather is colder, damper, and you can just smell fall in the air. Garden lovers have been hurrying to get all of their pruning, raking, bulb planting and yard work in before the first frost. We all know that winter is on the horizon as we look forward to November, and then garden lovers will be trying to figure out how to make their garden pop against all of that white snow that. Here are some tips for cold weather landscaping: Read more

by mike mike

Pruning in the Fall

Autumn is the ideal time of year to prune your plants and trees. With proper technique, and perfect timing you can prune and enhance the look and feel of your garden this fall. Of course, if you are not sure of yourself when pruning, call in a landscaping company to do the work for you. Experience and know-how are key to preserving the plants and shrubs and helping them to grow better next year. 

Pruning in the Fall:

  1. Tackle large bushes and trees first. Trim away what looks dead or diseased. Damaged limbs, twigs with no growth need to be cut back to the next closest junction of live wood. If trimming a topiary or something with groomed shape be careful and prune a small amount at a time to preserve shape.
  2. Cut back summer flowers that are finished blooming, just their flowers. Cutting back the new growth will stunt the number of blooms you have next year, so simply cut back dead stems and leaves. Late summer bloomers should be dead-headed as well.
  3. Autumn plants should not be cut back or pruned just yet! They turn beautiful colors in the autumn and may have not changed just yet. Leave things like ornamental grasses alone for now.
  4. Clean Up your trimmings. Some think that leaving the trimmings on the ground help for mulching, this isn’t always true. Pick up your trimmings and get rid of them. 

Would you prefer to have someone complete this task for you? That’s OK too! Call DeCarlo Landscaping Contractors and ask about our home maintenance services. We service year-round and pruning is naturally in our fall clean up!

 

by mike mike

Fall Garden Inspiration

One of the best parts of installing and maintaining commercial and residential landscaping for so many years is seeing our work flourish season to season. We love to see how our installed gardens move from season to season easily with our expert year-round maintenance. With respect to those with a green thumb who do it all on their own, we offer up some tips for maintaining your fall garden that only 30+ years of experience can offer. Read more