Artificial Turf Has Come of Age for the Home

(It’s not just a rubber-filled ‘grass’ soccer field anymore)

If you have kids who play sports, or play sports yourself, you’re familiar with the artificial turf playing surfaces used for sports fields. Almost all professional, and most college, football and soccer games are played on artificial turf. These turf fields are embedded (or ‘infilled’) with granulated rubber, which gives the grass blades support and cushioning.

Turf cut in around a Bluestone walk-Schlick Design Group

Turf cut in around a Bluestone walk

However, it’s easy to tell, even at a distance, that the ‘grass’ isn’t real and wouldn’t be very appealing around the home. You’d be surprised to learn, then, that there are more models of ‘turf’ than of sports cars. And with the models used for the home and urban environments, the ‘grass’ looks pretty darned real.

A residential sports field-Schlick Design Group

A residential sports field

For one, the individual blades are thinner than those used for athletic fields, giving the ‘grass’ a more refined look. For another, most models have brown ‘thatch’ fibers woven in to imitate natural lawn thatch. That thatch gives the turf a realistic appearance. And last, the infill that’s used isn’t rubber at all, but inert non-toxic silica sand that’s almost completely hidden by the turf.

Which is the natural turf? - Schlick Design Group

Which is the natural turf? (Hint – it’s on the left)

Where can artificial turf be used? How about dog runs, rooftops, bocci courts, playground surfaces and shady areas of your yard where nothing but mud and moss will grow. Around the pool? Artificial turf is much cooler and more economical to install than just about any other kind of paved surface. Adding patio furniture is no problem. For sunbathing, just lay down a towel. Don’t worry – the sand infill won’t stick to your clothing or skin. Want to see how artificial turf might work for you? Give us a call!

September is the perfect time to reseed your lawn
Fall is almost here. The days are getting shorter and temperatures are moderating. But the ground still quite warm and most weed seeds won’t germinate. Now is the perfect time to renovate and reseed your lawn.

Call us now for a complimentary evaluation! 631-261-6668

When to Prune Hydrangeas

Whether or not to prune your Hydrangeas — and how to prune them — is one of the most common questions our service department receives. We’ll try to simplify the answer for you below.

Old wood or New wood?

Hydrangeas can be grouped into two categories—those that produce flowers from old wood (branches that form the previous season), and those that will flower from new wood (branches that form the same year). Easy, right? Not so easy if you’re not a horticulturist. So we’ll simplify things a little. Fortunately, nearly all of the hydrangeas that produce white or whitish flowers fall into the new wood category, and those that are pink-to-red or purple-to-blue (depending on how acidic or lime-based your soil is) flower on old wood. Not to confuse the issue, but the hot new variety on the market, ‘Endless Summer’, blooms on both old and new wood and comes in both white and pink. We’ll lean towards the ‘New wood’ category on that one.

New Wood (white flowers)

You can cut them down to the ground each spring and they’ll give you great flowers the same year. If they happen to grow like a tree, then cutting them back hard without losing their tree-like characteristics will work just fine.

Old Wood (pink-red to purple-blue flowers)

Thin them out in early spring by removing the obviously dead stalks. You can reduce their overall height if desired by cutting off the top 12” or so of the remaining stalks, making sure some live buds remain along the sides of the stalks. Note: after a severe winter, all buds might be killed, despite your best efforts. In this case, you won’t see any flowers at all that growing season.

Fall Color Ideas for the Garden

Fall Color Ideas

Fall Container Planting

Fall is not just for mums anymore.  Your choices for Autumn and Winter color are far more varied than just a few years ago.  Try combining mums with new varieties of Ornamental Kale and Cabbage, Millet (a red-leafed, wheat-like flowering grass), the more compact varieties of Maiden Grass, and Algerian Ivy to really brighten up your pot and bed arrangements.

Fall Front Entry PlantingAnd once Thanksgiving comes, pop out the spent mums and add a mix of white Birch stems and Red-Stem Dogwood branches for height.  Use layers of evergreen boughs like Spruce and Pine as a cover for the soil.  If this winter is anything like the last three years, you’ll have color right up through New Year’s Day.

Fall Gardening Tips

Fall Gardening Tips

Garden Design with a Gazebo designed by Schlick Design Group

Around September 30th:  Shut down irrigation clock and run manually only when needed

September 20th through October 10th:  Time to plant fall Mums

September 20th through Thanksgiving:  Time to plant Ornamental Kale and Cabbage

October 1st through Christmas: Time to plant spring bulbs.

November 15th through December 1st: Time to apply your last lawn fertilization.

November 15th through December 1st:  Time to replace spent mums with Holiday color.

November 15th through December 15th: Time to remulch perennial beds.

Thanksgiving through March 15th:  Time for winter pruning of all trees and shrubs

Fall is for Planting

Early fall, from early September through late October, is a great time to put plants in the garden. The shorter days and cooler air temperatures reduce the demand for water and keep plants from producing an abundance of new leaves, while the still-warm soil promotes root growth. Thus plants have plenty of time to build a healthy root system and get established before the onset of winter.

Late August through mid-September is also an ideal time to divide and replant those perennials that have become overgrown. Irises, Hostas, Daylilies, Coreopsis, Black-eyed Susan, summer Phlox, and Astilbe are just some of the perennials that can be divided at this time.

Crape Myrtles on Long Island — not just for the South

Crape Myrtles are not just for the South

Crape MyrtleLooking for a small tree or shrub that blooms for over two months in late summer, has leaves which turn a beautiful fall color, and in winter displays a most handsome, peeling bark?  Then perhaps Crape Myrtle, long a mainstay of Southern gardens, is the answer.  In the last 15 years many new varieties have been bred to withstand our Long Island winters.

Tree-form varieties will mature to a height of 15 to 20 feet, while shrub-form varieties can be as small as 1 to 2 feet tall.  Flower colors range from white to lavender, soft pink to a vibrant hot pink and red.Crape Myrtle bark

The winter appeal of Crape Myrtle with its rich cinnamon-colored  peeling bark and graceful branch architecture

Reinvigorating Your Summer Flowers

Now that it’s August, your summer flowers may require a little additional care to keep them attractive and blooming all summer long. Following the guidelines below will ensure a continuous flower display.

Grooming

Some annuals require a little grooming now and then in order to look and perform their best. Grooming includes removing spent flowers before they begin to form seeds, called ‘Dead-heading’.

Annuals that benefit most from deadheading — which promotes continuous flower production— are Dahlias, Zinnias, Snapdragons, Salvias, Geraniums, and larger-flowering Marigolds.

Pruning off leggy and overly-long branches of many plants promotes renewed flowering and plant compactness. Don’t worry about removing too much; even a severe haircut will become unnoticeable after a week or so.

Petunias, Verbenas, Scaevola, Calibrachoa, Bidens and Ivy Geraniums benefit from this, as do trailing foliage plants.

Watering

Watering during hot, dry months is critical, especially for plants in containers. Do not let your plants dry out! Excessive dryness causes leaves to become stunted and yellow, and reduces flower production. When you water your pots, wet the soil thoroughly until water runs out the drainage holes at the bottom. Repeat until thoroughly soaked. Check pots daily, as high summer temperatures and windy days will dry out your containers more quickly.

Summer and Fall Gardening Tips

August 1st: Last day for heavy summer pruning of rhododendrons, azaleas, forsythia and other spring-flowering shrubs. Also time to reapply slow-release dry fertilizer to your pots of annuals.

August 15th through September 15th: Time to divide and replant overgrown clumps of perennials.

August 15th through October 1st: Ideal time for re-seeding an old lawn or seeding a new lawn.

September 1st: Last day for trimming of hedges

October 1st through Thanksgiving: Time to plant spring bulbs.

November 15th through December 1st: Time to apply your last lawn fertilization.

November 15th through December 1st: Time to remulch perennial beds.

Schlick Design Group 2011 Silver Award Winner

Schlick Design Group is the Winner of over 50 Awards for Residential Landscape Design!

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Amazingly, this secluded paradise is just steps away from busy Jericho Turnpike. Soothing waterfalls mask the sound of traffic rushing by, while an informal stone wall and flowering crape myrtle trees overhead create a warm cozy space to relax on a warm summer day!

Schlick Design Group Award Winner

Schlick Design Group Award Winner

Schlick Design Group Award Winner

‘Landscapes for Living’ since 1957

We can Help Your Landscape Evolve

As well-planned as a landscape may be, it will need to be renovated periodically. Please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation.

Celebrating Our 54th Year!

Schlick Design Group

Designs for Outdoor Living

With today’s rising cost of travel, many of our clients have asked us to create innovative, economical ways to escape right at home. A perfect backyard vacation destination is a garden pavilion. Equipped with a television, a kitchen/bar area, a place to change and shower, and maybe an indoor/outdoor billiards or ping pong table, it becomes a destination for the whole family.Outdoor Living Pavilion designed by Schlick Design Group

Designs range from open pavilions to full-service mini guest quarters/home offices complete with heating and air conditioning. Regardless of the size of your property or the size of the pavilion, an undeniably richer dimension can be added to your life without ever leaving home.