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Carpenter Costin Blog

Renovate Your Lawn For Optimal Health


Lawn renovation is important to keep your lawn strong, healthy and lush. The healthier your lawn the easier it is to keep weeds from growing. In this post we will go over two of the main cultural practices; core aeration and over seeding and when you should have them done.

Core Aeration Process and Results


Core Aeration is the process in which a machine pulls out plugs of soil. The result is small holes which allow air, water and nutrients to reach the turf roots. The soil plugs are left on the lawn which then break down naturally. When the turf roots receive more air, water and nutrients they are able to produce a much more vigorous lawn.

The main reason to aerate your lawn is to reduce soil compaction. Soil compaction is a form of soil degradation. When the soil is compacted it compresses the soil and limits the amount of air and water available to the roots of the turf.

When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

When to aerate your lawn is the big question. Should you do it in the spring? Summer? or Fall? The answer is anytime during the growing season. This is because during the growing season you will allow the turf roots to expand into growth spaces created during the core aeration process. All lawns need yearly aeration. No aeration can cause compaction issues and a struggling lawn in the future.

Over Seeding


Over seeding is the application of seed over existing lawns to improve the density. Although it seems simple, there is some specifications that you'll want to know when deciding when to over seed.

When Should You Over Seed?

The ideal time to over seed your lawn is in the fall. The reason is that in the fall the soil is still warm but the air is cooler. When the air is cooler and soil is just warm there are fewer weeds for the new grass to compete with.

Signs your lawn needs overseeding:

  • Brown spots spreading across your lawn.
  • You haven't overseeded in the past few years.
  • Your lawn has thin spots or bare areas

It is far more cost effective and efficient to over seed than to remove the existing turf and install a new lawn from seed or sod.

Our lawn care experts can advise you on these cultural practices, and provide the necessary services to improve the health and beauty of your lawn. Please inquire for a free consultation with one of our lawn care pros, and get your lawn looking healthy, lush and strong!

Consult With A Turf Pro

Contact us at 877-308-8733 or

Maintenance Tips For Your Spring Landscape

With temperatures skimming 50 all week I think it's safe to say that winter is behind us. It's time to focus on spring! This is the perfect time to plan your spring landscape so you can enjoy your yard through spring, summer, and fall.

Essential Steps For Your Spring Landscape:

Early Spring (April – Early May)

1.       Inspect trees and shrubs for damaged or hazardous branches

2.       Fertilize trees and shrubs to promote growth and improve vigor

3.       Begin fungicide treatments to Dogwoods, Crabapples, and Hawthornes

4.       Dethatch and core aerate lawn to allow water, soil, and nutrient flow.

5.       Slice seed thin areas in lawn

6.       Fertilize lawn and apply crabgrass control

7.       Apply Horticultural Oil to Hemlocks to control Hemlock Woolly Adelgid


Mid-to-Late Spring (Late April – Mid May)

1.       Treat Austrian and Red Pines for Diplodia Tip Blight fungus disease

2.       Mulch trees and shrubs to retain soil moisture

3.       Treat Birches for leafminer

4.       Treat plants for Winter Moth and Canker Worms

Contact us for a free landscape consultation.

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Cover Shrubs with Burlap for Winter Protection

Don't get burned by cold winter wind - Protect your shrubs with burlap.

Despite the mildness of this fall; the cold, whipping winds of winter will be here before you know it. Without proper protection, your shrubs can be severly damaged by cold winter wind. One method of defense is to use anti-transpirants; however, in areas with excessive wind, a burlap cover or wind screen may be your best bet.

Burlapping shrubs protects them from the wind, but still allows air to circulate through the small mesh holes, promoting good plant health throughout the winter. In addition to protecting from harsh winter winds, burlap also helps regulate the shrubs temperature. In 2011, there burlap for shrub coverwas so much snow that our shrubs were actually insulated by snow (much like an igloo). However, in winters with little snow fall, yet extremely cold temperatures, burlapping can be the difference between preserving your existing shrubs, and needing to plant new ones come spring.

Although we offer burlapping services, it is actually very easy to do yourself. Start with quite a bit of burlap and wrap it around a shrub a couple of times. To secure the burlap, it is best to use twine. Wrap the twine over the burlap tight enough that it will not come loose during periods of high winds; however, not too tight that you may compromise the shrub's integrity. An alternative to wrapping the entire shrub would be to create a wind screen. This works exceptionally well with immature shrubs. A wind screen is constructed using wooden stakes and burlap. Put the stakes in the ground on the windward side of the shrubs about three feet apart, for as long as you need to to cover them. Then lay the burlap along the stakes and staple it to the stakes

Protecting your shrubs with burlap will help you get off on the right foot come spring time. Simply unwrap the burlap, or remove your wind screen, and you should find that your shrubs have not been dried or damaged by the winter wind.


Still Time for Fall Clean Ups on the North Shore

This mild November has lengthened the landscape maintenance season. Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and prep your landscape for winter.

Unless you're a diehard winter person, or perhaps a frequent skier or snowboarder, this extended warm fall has been a blessing. With temperatures comfortably in the 50s, and even in the 60s in some areas, winter seems a ways away; however, I can assure you it will be here at some point. Utilize the remaining few days that don't require you wear a winter hat and gloves, and care for your landscape.fall clean ups

In addition to extending outdoor activities, this warm weather has also extended our growing season! It seems crazy, but we've actually seen some blooming happening - most notably in pussy willows in our area. One of our Certified Arborists even claims his crabapple still has quite a bit of foliage on it.

Our maintenance crews have been busy doing fall clean ups for the past few weeks, and it looks like they will continue to be able to service residential properties through December since the weather has been so nice. If you haven't cleaned up your yard yet, we suggest you consider our fall clean up services. Our clean ups include leaf removal, flower bed cleaning, and even gutter cleaning. To request your fall clean up, give us a call at 877-308-8733 or click the button below. Enjoy this warm weather while it lasts!

Don't Forget to Clean Those Gutters

As we approach winter, ensure your gutters are free of leaves and debris.

Clearing the fallen leaves and twigs from your lawn and flower beds is absolutely essential in maintaining a great landscape; however, that is the simple part of the fall clean up. Cleaning your gutters of the same fallen foliage and debris is even more essential to ensuring your house and property are safe and in great shape. Gutters clogged with leaves cannot properly dispense the water that runs off your roof, resulting in severe backup and a potentially dangerous situation. The added weight of wet leaves is enough to strain a gutter, but as the temperatures drop, the threat of ice developing in the gutters is something that should not be taken lightly.

I'm lucky enough to sit in a corner office (cubicle) at the Carpenter Costin headquarters, and as I look out the window, I am noticing an increase of fallen leaves thickly scattered across the street, sidewalks, and adjacent properties. There is no doubt in my mind that it is time to start the fall clean up process, and ensure that your gutters are free of all leaves and debris.

Our crews can easily and safely clean gutters during our fall clean ups. The equipment we utilize, coupled with a crew that is not afraid of heights, make gutter clearing a breeze. As you think about your fall clean up, please consider the importance of gutter cleaning, and please proceed with caution if you decide to clear your own gutters. Request your fall clean up and gutter clearing today.

Time For Fall Clean Ups

Carpenter Costin's experienced landscape maintenance crews provide efficient, and effective fall clean up services.

It's hard to believe, but with this morning's chill, I can safely say that winter is on its way. The frost on my windshield made it tough to see the leaves scattered across the lawns in my neighborhood, but as the defroster started to gain on its first real test of the year, I could start to make out the reds, yellows, and browns scattered across many lawns. It is time to start thinking about your fall clean up for the year.fall clean up

The fall clean up is an often-dreaded removal of leaves, twigs, and other debris that has littered your property over the course of the summer and fall. It is a labor intensive activity for home owners, that requires extensive raking, pick up, and bagging of leaves and more. Then, depending on where you live, you may have to bring the bags to a compost center, or consider alternative means of disposal, such as building your own compost pile. The worst part about doing fall clean ups on your own is that it often takes up one of the remaining "nice" days of the fall that can be spent much more appropriately by going for a hike, or long walk, or doing another enjoyable activity, rather than raking.

Let Carpenter Costin do your fall clean up for you. Our clean ups include complete leaf removal, flower bed and lawn clean up, and much more. We will still experience some defoliation of trees, as the abundance of rain seems to have lengthened the season a bit, but as we enter the month of November, it is time to get your property cleaned up. Click the button below and request your fall clean up.

Storm Damage In Eastern Massachusetts

Though her punch was not as mighty as it could have been, Hurricane Irene brought some high winds, heavy rain, and big surf to our region. Many trees and limbs are scattered across our yards, storm-damaged-treestreets, and parks.

Cleaning up after a storm like Irene is never a fun experience. The powerful storm dropped limbs and trees, and scattered leaves throughout our yards, making it look like the late fall. Hopefully, your homes, garages, sheds, and cars remained safe throughout the storm and were not hit with falling trees and branches.

We would just like to remind our followers, that we are here to help with storm damage clean up. Our crews have been working tirelessly, helping to clean up fallen branches and trees, and restoring landscapes back to their pre-storm form. Our efficient equipment and experienced crews can clean up your yard in not time.

If you'd like to have Carpenter Costin come out to clean up any storm damage you may have, request a consultation with an Arborist, or call 877-308-8733. Our Certified Arborist can come out and inspect any damage and have a crew out for a timely clean up.



Spring Landscape Maintenance Tips

Follow these essential steps to ensure a healthy landscape this spring!

Old Man Winter seemed to stick around longer this year, but spring is now here, and you must get out in your yard and ensure these spring landscape essentials have been completed so you can enjoy a healthy lawn and landscape this year. Use the following “Spring Garden Calendar” as a guideline to achieve a beautiful and healthy lawn and landscape:

Early Spring (April – Early May)

1.       Inspect trees and shrubs for damaged or hazardous branches

2.       Fertilize trees and shrubs to promote growth and improve vigor

3.       Begin fungicide treatments to Dogwoods, Crabapples, and Hawthornes

4.       Dethatch and core aerate lawn to allow water, soil, and nutrient flow.

5.       Slice seed thin areas in lawn

6.       Fertilize lawn and apply crabgrass control

7.       Apply Horticultural Oil to Hemlocks to control Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Mid-to-Late Spring (Late April – Mid May)

1.       Treat Austrian and Red Pines for Diplodia Tip Blight fungus disease

2.       Mulch trees and shrubs to retain soil moisture

3.       Treat Birches for leafminer

4.       Treat plants for Winter Moth and Canker Worms

These spring landscape tips will help promote a healthy and enjoyable landscape year-round. To learn more about these tactics, request a consultation with a professional or call 877.308.8733.

Look Out for Red Thread, Pink Patch, and Other Fungus Diseases

After an extended period of low sunlight, fungal diseases like Red Thread and Pink Patch will start to severely infect your lawns.

The dismal weather that we have had over the past few weeks has certainly lowered the spirits of those who love the spring. Thankfully, the forecast is looking brighter; however, the extended period of wet weather, low sunlight, and cooler temperatures is sure to have a negative effect on your thread on lawn

Red Thread and Pink Patch are two fungus diseases that damage your lawns after periods of weather like we have just had, with Red Thread being the more severe disease. These diseases appear in small, almost-circular areas in your lawn, and take a pink, red, or tan hue. Often, damaged grass will be mixed in with healthy, green grass, making it difficult to catch at first. Grass infested with Red Thread will develop a thread-like outcropping called sclerotia, which is capable of being spread by equipment, thatch, wind, and water.

Tips to control the spread of Red Thread and Pink Patch include:

  • Avoid frequent, light waterings as this can spread the disease
  • Collect thatch to prevent spread of sclerotia
  • Use sharp mower blades to limit grass blade damage
  • Prune trees and shrubs to increase sunlight to lawn

The best way to treat Red Thread and Pink Patch is with an effective fungicide; however, we recommend consulting with a professional before treatment, as the wrong fungicide can severely damage your lawn. To find out more about Red Thread and Pink Patch treatment click the button below or call 877-308-8733.



Don't Smother Your Trees with Mulch

Over-mulching can kill your trees!

I love the look and smell of fresh mulch. One of my favorite parts of spring is when people begin to mulch their yards. It’s an unofficial beginning of spring – people are out in their yards looking to beautify them for the upcoming growing season. However, many people don’t realize that they can kill their trees with mulch.

Tree roots and root flares (the trunk spread at the base of tree) exchange air. When a tree is mulched too heavily or a new tree is planted too deeply, the roots of the plants are deprived of oxygen, effectively smothering them. A tree with limited air access to its roots may show signs of stress within a few weeks or even die within several years. Not only are the roots deprived of air, but noxious gas and toxins build up, further damaging the tree. Sugar Maple, Beech, Dogwood, Oak, Tulip, Spruce, and Pine trees are most easily damaged by excessive mulch or grade changes.

Never add significant amounts of soil or mulch around tree trunks. The rule of thumb is to keep mulch and soil below the area of the trunk flare. If your trees are now over-mulched, help them ‘breathe’ by lowering the depth of the mulch below the root flare.

Deepening on the size of your yard, mulching can be a very rewarding experience. Have a few yards of mulched dropped off, grab a wheel barrel and some shovels, and commence the mulching. It is an easy, and relatively inexpensive way to spruce up your landscape. If you have any questions about mulching, or any other landscape beautification methods, please feel free to ask one of our landscape professionals.

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