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How to Repair a Patio or Walkway

Posted by Tom Rinehart

June 26, 2019 4:21:00 PM EDT

 

Time and Mother Nature are not always on our side. For many reasons, your patio or walkway may require repairs. Here are the steps that should be employed to repair your patio or walkway soundly:

  • Photograph all affected pavers before removing.
  • Carefully lift up affected pavers and stack on pallets in the same pattern that they have been laid on your patio or walkway.
  • Re-condition a new 4" base by installing additional polymer-infused crushed aggregate. 
  • Compress aggregate with a vibrating tamping machine.
  • Install 1/4” of fine stone screenings and smooth to level to complete the base for the pavers.
  • Re-install pavers exactly as they previously existed.
  • Apply premium polymeric joint sand in the gap between the pavers. 

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If you are not up to doing your own repairs then you need to take care in selecting the correct licensed installer. Licensed is important, as the State of New Jersey requires all home improvement contractors to carry substantial liability and workers compensation insurance to obtain a license. If someone is injured on your property, you want to know the contractor can take care of his employee so you avoid becoming liable yourself. When choosing a contractor, ask for proof of their H.I.C. License, pictures of their previous work and take the time to read customer reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp and Angie's List.

At the end of your due diligence, we are sure you will find Princeton Lawn & Landscapes is your best option. Take a look at our gallery to see our hardscaping work in Princeton, Skillman and surrounding areas!

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How to Find a Landscaper in Princeton, New Jersey 

Posted by Tom Rinehart

February 12, 2018 2:52:13 PM EST

Finding a landscaper in Princeton, NJ requires some initial research. Knowing what to do, what to ask and what to keep in mind will help find the best results.

1) Find a responsive landscaper...

You can learn a lot about a landscaping company from the way they communicate. If they take forever to return your calls, are difficult to talk to, or leave you confused, this isn't a good sign. If this is how you are treated while they are trying to win your business, imagine how it would be once you have already paid them. If you choose a landscaper who always responds promptly to your communications, then you might have a winner.

2) Read online reviews...

Online reviews detail other people's experiences with a business. After you've narrowed down your list of landscaping companies you are interested in, spend some time reading their reviews. Simply google the company's name, you will generally find several sites where they have reviews. Angie's List, Google and Yelp are good places to start. 

3) Hire a contractor licensed and certified by the State of New Jersey...

A licensed contractor has been thoroughly tested by the state to meet strict requirements. They must take over 20 hours of state-required courses. They must pass difficult exams which test their knowledge of landscaping and pesticide rules/regulations. The State also requires business licenses to be renewed annually and a contractor must carry general liability insurance as well as worker's compensation insurance. License numbers can be found on contractors' service vehicles.

4) Choose based on value, not solely price...

Instead of looking for the lowest price, look for the best value. You may end up paying a little more as high quality plants, seed, fertilizer and other products all cost more, but you will have to live with and see your landscaping every day. Remember, you are making an investment in your property. A quality landscaper will warranty their plants for an entire year.

5) Thoroughly review their website...

A quality contractor will build an informative website. You will be able to see some of their prior work. You can ascertain their level of expertise by reviewing their content and photos of their projects.

To find a landscaper in Princeton, NJ, contact us Princeton Lawn & Landscapes for any questions, anytime.

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December Gardening Tips in Princeton, NJ

Posted by Tom Rinehart

January 11, 2017 4:56:13 PM EST

The holidays are quickly approaching...

  • Christmas trees- Choose a fresh tree. You will know a fresh tree by its healthy green appearance with few browning needles. Needles should be flexible and not fall off the branches when you are handling the tree or if you run a branch through your hand. Another way to check is the stump- a fresh tree may have sticky sap on it.

  • Once you arrive home, cut two inches off the base of its stump. In the first 24 hours, an evergreen can go through a gallon of water so it is important to get it into water right away. Check the water level daily and be sure to keep it well above the base of the tree. If the base dries out, resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water.

    Locate the tree at least three feet away from any kind of heat source, like fireplaces, heat vents and even candles to prevent a house fire.

  • Poinsettias make a colorful and festive addition to your home during the holidays. They should be kept in room that do not get hotter than 70 °F and no colder than 65 °F. Water until the soil should is wet but not soggy.

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  • Continue to water outdoor evergreens when the temperature is above freezing.

  • Try to avoid walking on too much frozen grass before it has snowed. The less pressure applied to a frozen yard during the winter, the better it will look in the spring. Foot traffic can break grass blades, unless they are covered with snow.

  • Cover bare soil in vegetable and annual planting beds. You can use straw, pine needles, chopped leaves or some other organic material.

  • Remember to add mulch to your garden (up to three inches, total) if you did not in November.

  • Gardening can be done indoors too! Force bulbs indoors like narcissus, hyacinths and amaryllis if you did not in November. Leave the bulb shoulders protruding above soil; planting too deeply can rot the bulb. Water when soil is dry. You'll have beautiful, fresh blooms to brigten winter gloom.

    DECEMBER 21 IS WINTER SOLSTICE


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November Gardening Tips in Princeton, NJ

Posted by Tom Rinehart

January 11, 2017 3:55:32 PM EST

November gardening tips:

  • It's your last chance to plant spring flowering-bulbs like tulips and daffodils. If the ground is not frozen, go right ahead.

  • Remember to water any newly-planted trees and shrubs until the ground freezes. Evergreens continue to lose moisture from their leaves or needles all winter long. Without adequate water in the ground before a hard freeze, extra stress is put on evergreens through the winter. Whenever the temperature is above freezing, water your evergreens.
  • Continue composting gardening debris, fallen leaves, grass clippings, old plant and vegetable parts and dead foliage. If left on the ground, diseased spores will live in the debris over the winter and will resurface next year.

  • Cut your lawn to a height of 2 1/2 inches to prepare for winter. 

  • Open sprinkler valves and drain water from sprinkler systems to prevent freezing. Drain and store hoses. Drain gas from lawnmowers, edgers and other gas powered equipment prior to storage.

  • Add mulch (up to three inches, total) around trees, shrubs, and perennials after the ground is frozen. Adding mulch after the ground freezes keeps the temperature from fluctuating, helping to prevent heaving- an upwards swelling of soil caused by the ice. A freeze-thaw cycle can push plants out of the soil. If roots are not deeply set before the soil freezes, the soil can heave.

  • As days get shorter and we have less light, give houseplants as much light as possible. You can increase the time between watering but do not the amount of water. Force bulbs indoors like narcissus, hyacinths and amaryllis for color early in the new year.


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October Gardening Tips in Princeton, NJ

Posted by Tom Rinehart

January 9, 2017 3:10:17 PM EST

It's brisk and crisp in October! Winter is on its way and there are still things to do in your garden. In fact, October is an ideal time to plant in New Jersey. Check out these planting and gardening tips...

  • There is still time left to plant perennials and bulbs. Receive a bounty of bloom in your garden next year by planting spring-flowering bulbs after the fifteenth. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and other early-bird bloomers can be bunched in beds on their own or tucked in between established perennials and shrubs. Tulips can be planted up until early November. Planting bulbs is easier than you think: Dig individual holes (8 inches deep for large bulbs like daffodils, 4 inches deep for smaller bulbs such as crocus), drop the bulb in and cover with soil. Alternatively, dig one large hole and toss in a dozen or more bulbs. Planted this way, they will burst in one striking flow of color.

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  • Take in houseplants and be certain to check for any hitchhiking pests!

  • Compost debris, fallen leaves, grass clippings and old plant and vegetable parts.

  • Weed, weed, weed. Any weed elimination this fall will result in a significant difference of weed seeds spreading and sprouting next spring. Weeds such as crabgrass develop seed heads in the late summer and fall.

  • Complete planting and transplanting evergreens.

  • Keep an eye on the temperatures. A cold, clear, windless night usually means a killing frost... Even placing an old bed sheet on your plants on frosty nights could mean adding a month or more of bloom time. Read more on protecting your garden from a frost.

  • Mulching fall planted perennials will keep the soil warmer longer, allowing root development to continue. Spread a thin layer of mulch after fall planting and then add a thicker layer once the ground has frozen. You can add chopped leaves or bark to the mulch. 

  • Enjoy fresh vegetables into the winter months by covering cool-season vegetables with a grow cloth or cloche. Crops such as spinach, lettuce, arugula, Swiss chard, carrots and beets will continue to grow if they are protected from freezing temperatures.

  • Drain and coil hoses before they freeze. Best to be stored in a garden shed, garage or basement. If you must store outdoors, remove the nozzle heads. Close shut off valves for exterior faucets. Clean your gutters and downspouts for fallen leaves and debris.


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