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News and Articles

Welcome to the Pickel Landscape Group Blog!

It is here that I am going to provide general punditry and thoughts on landscape design and maintenance.  Hopefully you fine readers find some of this information interesting and helpful.  As always if you have any suggestions for topics or new information for us to add to the posts please let me know!

Thanks so much for reading!  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Creating and Working with the Microclimates in the Garden

Creating and Working with the Microclimates in the Garden

A microclimate is an area that continually has a different climate than the greater regional climate. On a grand scale, this phenomenon is exemplified by the urban heat island effect. The urban heat island effect is caused by the excess pavement absorbing, reflecting, and releasing heat energy making urban areas hotter than the surrounding countryside. Microclimates can be on a smaller scale as well. In your garden microclimates can be created by walls, trees, and pavement.Building a small...

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Amending Your Soil

Amending Your Soil

First, you must determine the composition of your soil before you amend it. The best way to determine what to add to your soil is to have it analyzed by an expert. Pennsylvania State University has an Agricultural Research and Extension Center in most counties. They can recommend amendments based on the results of the test.Slightly acidic soil around 6.5 pH, is best for most plants, though there are exceptions. Adding decaying organic matter raises the acidity of your soil, and because of this...

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The Pickel Landscape Annual Primer

The Pickel Landscape Annual Primer

Annuals are plants that grow, flower, produce seeds, and die in one growing season. They are inexpensive, easy to grow and provide a great, big, splash of color. Most annuals provide a longer-lasting flowering display than perennials or bulbs. A wonderful variety can be purchased from any Lowe’s, Home Depot, or local garden shop. Annuals are usually sold in “flats” consisting of about 12 plants. When purchasing avoid plants that are already in full bloom. Plants in full bloom will take longer...

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Winterizing Your Garden and Landscape; A To-Do List

Winterizing Your Garden and Landscape; A To-Do List

When the long, cold winter begins approaching in October it is a good idea to start your winter projects. I have heard many gardening enthusiasts lamenting the fact that they never give themselves enough time to complete their projects before the long snowy seasons hits. So here is a list (in no way is this comprehensive!) of projects and things to think about before the snow hits. It is a good idea to add 2”-3” of mulch around your trees and shrubs to protect their roots from the temperature...

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What’s All This Rain Good For?

What’s All This Rain Good For?

With the record-setting amounts of rain, we’ve had in the past few weeks keeping lawns cut has been challenging. But with all this rain there are many benefits, soft soil being one. September and October are the prime months to core aerate and oversee your lawn. Core aeration and overseeding provide visible benefits to your lawn above ground and stimulate root growth below the soil. By aerating the lawn, you are breaking up compaction in the soil which allows water and air to move about,...

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Rose Tips and Tricks

Rose Tips and Tricks

By far, roses are some of the most difficult and rewarding flowering shrubs to grow. Rose colors can range from white, yellow, orange, pink, and red. Some of the most popular rose types are:Bush Roses: these roses tend to grow quickly and abundantly. Many, are more disease resistant than the hybrid teas, floribunda, and Grandiflora varieties. Creeping Roses: these tend to grow fairly quickly and lay closer to the ground.Climbing Roses: These roses climb like a vine and include the Georgia...

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Mulching

Mulching

I posted this blog earlier this year but I have been getting a lot of questions about mulch and what we recommend lately so here is the re-post. Check out mulch options on Delaware Hardscape Supply's website. Mulch is generally sold by the cubic yard. A cubic yard is about one bucket of a loader. In order to make sure that you have enough, I recommend adding 20%-35%, more to the total cubic yards you require.(x)(y/12)=z/27=Cubic Yardsx= the square footage to covery= the depth of the mulch in...

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All About Bulbs

All About Bulbs

Bulbs are a great addition to any garden. They provide long-lasting color from early spring to late fall. In addition, they easily adapt themselves to many varied habitats. Bulbs grow well in any average soil and full sun. Bulbs can flourish in numerous habitats lending themselves to being used informally (planted randomly), planted in clumps to create astonishing displays of color, or planted in cracks and nooks in a rock garden. The actual bulb of a plant is used as food during its dormant...

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Landscape Lighting Basics

Landscape Lighting Basics

Lighting is a very important element to consider when designing a garden or landscape. There are two basic considerations when applying lighting: Safety, and enhancing aesthetic appeal of plants and architectural elements. In more public landscape designs lighting a path or space with more (and brighter) lighting is necessary for safety, but too much lighting in the residential landscape will detract from its appeal. In private garden I use lights to play with the effects of light and dark,...

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Water Features

Water Features

Water is one of the most desirable elements in the garden and because of this, it is the most important element in the design. When designing with water, it is important to think about its inherent characteristics: it runs downhill and collects in low spots. Try to respect and design within these characteristics in mind. For example, even the most well-designed pool will look silly perched on the top of a hill in the middle of a garden. It is also very important to consider the scale of the...

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