How to Help Your Landscape Transition to Fall

While we still have plenty of weeks of warm weather ahead of us, it isn’t too early to start thinking about how you can help your landscape transition to the fall season. Follow these tips to make sure your landscape is prepared for fall and will come back even stronger in the spring.

Divide Large Plants

If you time things correctly, you can divide and replant large growths when the plant is still going strong and able to adjust to its new environment. Summer weather can be stressful on plants, but once things cool down, divided plants will continue to create strong roots.

Apply Compost

Adding compost will provide your soil with plenty of food and nutrients so that it can support your landscape. Bacteria, fungi, worms, and other helpful insects will also turn the compost into fertilizer and provide essential minerals. Over the winter, insects will continue to incorporate the compost into the soil so that your landscape will have a solid nutritional foundation in the spring. 

Hold off on Pruning

As plant growth begins to slow, it can be tempting to cut everything back. While it is a good idea to remove any dead or diseased plant materials, waiting till the spring for thorough trimming will help many plants survive the winter.  

Plant Your Fall Crops

There are plenty of great cool weather crops that you can add to your fall vegetable garden. Use the end of summer to remove your summer plants and start cultivating fall crops that you will be able to enjoy in the coming months.

A little preparation throughout the years as the season’s change can help you continue to strengthen your landscape. Some simple tasks can help your plants transition to the fall, survive the winter, and come back strong in the spring. For help with all your landscaping needs, contact JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care today.

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What Flowers Should be Blooming in May in North Carolina?

Budding trees and emerging flowers are a welcome sign of spring. More hardy plants can start showing as early as February and withstand frosts and a few potential snowfalls. By May, your spring garden will be close to full bloom. If you’ve been worried that some blooms haven’t flowered, here is what you can expect in May.


Tulips and daffodils are usually the first sign of spring, but once they begin to fade, it is peonies’ time to shine. If you want to nurture these perennials, be sure to plant them in the fall and remove deadheads throughout the season. Peonies are also susceptible to botrytis, which is a fungus that will attack the leaves of the plant. Keep an eye out for any signs of this disease and remove any leaves that may appear affected.

Garden Roses

Not only are there different colors of roses there are also different types. The standard rose, probably the type you think of in bouquets, has leaves that end in a point. Meanwhile, the garden rose has a tight, rounded bloom. They also vary from your typical rose because they can climb and grow into a more bush-like shape. Garden roses provide an expanse of green foliage punctuated by colorful flowers that all come into focus in May.


Poppies are also an annual and a bright sign of spring. These May flowers are great because you can cut them and bring them inside for wonderful displays. While flowers will only bloom and last a few days, new flowers will continually be generated all summer long, so you can enjoy their beautiful colors for many months. 


These tend to be a favorite for their fragrant flowers that are a beautiful white color.  They are also a great option if you are looking for something fuller that can take up more space in your garden. These shrubs are considered evergreens and do well in full or partial sun. Gardenias aren’t very tolerant of the cold, which makes North Carolina a perfect home for them. At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to give them some protection during the winter months to ensure that they come back strong and beautiful in the spring.

If you need help preparing your landscape and gardens for spring, call the experts at JT’s Landscaping and Lawncare. We can help you create a more beautiful space that takes full advantage of all that the North Carolina climate has to offer when it comes to plants and flowers. 


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5 Plants That Grow in Shade

Landscaping your yard can be challenging, especially when you have different areas of sun and shade. Not all plants will do well in low-light environments. Fortunately, there are some great shade plants that will thrive in North Carolina and the Triangle area.


The hydrangea is a hardy plant that will do well in both full sun and shade. They grow in large clusters with dense foliage and large flowers that bloom late in the summer. In fact, their flowers will grow even larger the more aggressively you prune them in the late winter or spring. This plant provides a great mixture of color and texture that will enhance any shady garden bed.

Pagoda Dogwood

Dogwood trees are another common sight around North Carolina. The Pagoda version of this tree grows in horizontal layers and provides beautiful flowers that eventually turn into blue-colored berries by later summer. They can grow about 15-25 feet tall, which classifies them as small trees that will create a beautiful focal point in your landscape. 


This is another hardy shrub that produces beautiful flowers that have a distinct funnel shape. It has glossy leaves and the flowers are known for releasing a strong and pleasant scent. Rhododendron can withstand extreme cold and come in all sorts of colors.   

Mountain Witch Alder

Not only does the Mountain Witch Alder produce flowers in the spring, but it also shows off spectacular colors in the fall. During the summer, you will enjoy its bluish-green foliage, making it a great shade-loving plant that you can enjoy throughout the year.

Carolina Allspice

The Carolina Allspice is famous for the fruity fragrance of the flowers. It is a deciduous shrub that produces red flowers that turn into urn-shaped berries that can be seen throughout the fall and winter. During the fall, the foliage will turn golden-yellow for some added color. Perhaps best of all, it is resistant to disease, insects, and hot temperatures.

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Why Should I Worry About Lawn Care

If you have never thought of yourself as having a green thumb, you might not worry too much about landscaping and lawn care. However, taking care of your lawn is about a lot more than trying to outdo your neighbors. There are some real advantages to putting a little thought and effort into your lawn care routine. Here are just a few reasons why you should worry about lawn care:

Less Erosion

Wind, water, and all sorts of weather can cause erosion. Your nutrient-rich topsoil could end up being washed away, which will leave you with a dirt yard that makes it difficult to grow just about anything. A lawn is a simple way to stabilize your landscape and protect important nutrients.

Flood Control

Severe weather is becoming a more common occurrence across the country and in some regions that can mean significant rain and flooding. This can cause water to pool in and around your home and attack your foundation. A healthy lawn can help improve flood control efforts and disperse water more effectively.

Curb Appeal

Even if you don’t have strong feelings about having a lush and healthy lawn, it will be an important factor when you go to sell your home. First impressions are important and adding some green and curb appeal can help you sell faster and for a better price. 

Noise Reduction

If you live on a busy street with lots of car and foot traffic, having a lawn can actually help dampen the sounds and help you enjoy a more peaceful home. 

Cooler Temperatures

North Carolina summers can be brutal. A shaded yard with some healthy grass can provide some much welcomed relief and lower temperatures by 7-14 degrees. Not only will you and your family be more comfortable, you could save on air conditioning costs.

The benefits of having a lawn continue throughout the year and make it well worth a little effort. If you still don’t want to have to deal with lawn care and maintenance, you can always call the professionals at JT’s Landscaping. We can do all the dirty work so that you can enjoy a lush and beautiful lawn. 


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How to Get a Sprinkler System Installed at Your Raleigh Home

Raleigh is known for hot and humid summers. Many native plants have adapted to be able to handle these conditions, but they may still be susceptible to drought. Installing a sprinkler system is a simple way to protect your landscape investment and make sure that you can enjoy a beautiful and healthy yard throughout the year. With that in mind, here is what you need to know about installing a sprinkler system at your Raleigh home.

Hire a Professional

Installing a sprinkler system is best left up to the professionals. From installing electronic components to making sure that certain plants receive the right amount of water, installation can get complicated. This isn’t necessarily a weekend DIY project. If you are going to spend money on a sprinkler system it is best to make sure it gets done right and that the system is in compliance with all local regulations. In addition, a company will be able to provide repair, maintenance, and winterization services.

Do Your Research

There are a lot of landscaping and sprinkler installation companies in Raleigh, but they are not all created the same. As you research your options, make sure that candidates are fully licensed, insured, and bonded. Next, you will want to take a look at customer reviews. Read what previous customers have to say about their experience with the company. You will also want to look for companies that provide a free quote or consultation. This will give you an opportunity to get to know the company a little better and understand the costs involved with having your sprinkler system installed.

Ask Questions

Before you speak with sprinkler installation companies, take the time to come up with a list of questions. For example, you may want to ask how long the project will take, what sort of warranties and guarantees they provide, and whether the system will be efficient and eco-friendly. A reputable company will be more than happy to answer all your questions. 

JT’s Landscaping and Lawncare has been offering expert sprinkler installation services to Raleigh area homes for years. We can help you design and install a system that will support your entire landscape. Call today to learn more.    


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Seasonal Lawn Care Calendar for North Carolina


While January is one of the coldest months in North Carolina, your lawn’s roots may still be active and require nutrients and water. If there is an especially dry period, you will want to water your lawn about every 14 days.


February is prime pruning time for your ornamental plants. Trees like Crepe Myrtles, roses, and other perennials should be cut back to encourage spring growth.


Around this time, you should notice new lawn and plant growth. You can begin pruning new plants. If you mow the lawn, be sure to keep the mower blade height high.


During April, you can begin to lower the mower height to help mulch leaves that were left behind over the winter. Now is also a good time to give your trees and shrubs some fertilizer.


Once the temperatures start to rise, adequate moisture becomes even more important. Your lawn will need about one inch of water a week. Now is also the perfect time to aerate your lawn to fight soil compaction.


Continue to water your lawn and add fertilizer including recycled clippers to provide essential nutrients.


Heat and humidity can be tough on your lawn, so continue to keep a close eye on the health of your grass. Be on the lookout for any discoloration.


Drought will continue to be a threat during August. Stick to a weekly watering schedule and monitor your lawn for signs of stress.


If you are looking to expand and enhance your landscape, September is the perfect time to plant additional trees and shrubs. 


Now is the time to prepare your lawn for winter and spring. Aerating, seeding, and fertilizing the lawn will ensure that it comes back thicker and healthier than ever once growth resumes in the spring.


Growth will continue well into November. Keep mowing as long there is new growth. You can remove leaves, but it is a good idea to simply mow them and mulch them back into the soil. This is an easy way to provide organic nutrients. 


You won’t have much lawn work to do during December. Just be sure to avoid walking on frozen grass. This can cause damage to the blades. 

For additional lawn care tips and professional lawn care services, contact JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Services.   

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The Best Free Landscape Design Apps

Landscape design is one of those areas where even the most experienced DIY homeowner can feel overwhelmed. You have to consider both landscape and hardscape elements and make sure to install plants that will thrive in your soil, sun, and water conditions. There is a lot to consider, but free landscape apps are taking some of the guesswork out and allowing homeowners to try their hand at design. Here are some of the best free landscape design apps worth trying out. 


With this free app, all you have to do is take a picture of your landscape and you can use the app to design directly onto the photo. It is designed to be user-friendly and allows novices and DIY homeowners to envision what would work in their yard. With the virtual pen, you can insert hardscape objects, garden beds, and try out all sorts of other landscape ideas before committing to a design.


While this app is more commonly known for its interior design features, it also comes with robust exterior decorating features. You can search through millions of photos for design inspiration and use the app to find local contractors to help with your projects. 

PRO Landscape Home

This app also works by allowing you to take photos of your own landscape and then add images of trees, flowers, shrubs, and other elements. It helps you get a feel for how the final product will look and you can easily move items around and resize them as you experiment with different looks.

VR Gardens – 3D Design Planner

With this app, you can actually take a virtual reality tour of your garden once you have finished designing it. VR Gardens is a great way for beginners to try their hand at landscape design.

There are also plenty of more advanced apps that come with a small price tag, but these are often made for professional designers and won’t be quite as user-friendly. The free versions offer plenty of features without becoming too complicated. For additional help with landscape design and installation, be sure to call the experts at JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care.

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How to Hang Christmas Lights On Brick

Hanging Christmas lights on your home’s brick exterior can present some challenges. The good news is that some products and techniques will allow you to safely hang lights without damaging the brick. Learn more about your options and how you can enjoy a festive home without the hassle.

Hot Glue Gun

Perhaps the easiest way to temporarily add Christmas lights to your brick is with a hot glue gun. Before you begin, make sure you have enough lights to cover the target and an extension cord for the glue gun so that it can reach as far as you need it to. Once you are ready to install the lights, simply place a dab of hot glue on the base of the light and press it against the brick for 10 to 20 seconds. This will provide enough time for the glue to cool and harden.

When it is time to remove your Christmas lights, the hot glue easily peels off both the lights and the brick. If you do have any trouble spots, you can use rubbing alcohol to loosen stubborn glue.

Brick Clips

In some cases, you may be able to use brick clips to hang lights. These metal clips fit over the face of the brick and provide hooks where you can hang lights. As long as the brick and mortar aren’t completely flush with one another, there will be a lip where a brick clip can be placed. Clips come in different sizes, so be sure to measure the height of your bricks for a secure fit. 

Installing brick clips is easy. Start placing the top of the clip on the top of the brick. Next press down until the springs on the bottom of the clip snaps into place along the bottom of the brick. You can then hang your lights along the hooks for a secure solution. Removing the clips is just as easy and won’t cause any damage.

Outdoor Mounting Tape

Another option is to go with outdoor mounting tape, which comes in both permanent and temporary versions. It provides an effective way to hang lights on brick, but it isn’t always as easy to remove. You will have to use rubbing alcohol to get rid of all the adhesive. If your bricks are painted, you may have to touch up some spots where the paint has been damaged.

While there are DIY solutions for hanging Christmas lights on your brick home, the best option is to call in the professionals. At JT’s Landscaping, we provide professional lighting services that will save you time and stress while also protecting your home. Call today to learn more about our holiday lighting design, installation, maintenance, removal, and storage services.

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How To Hang Christmas Lights Outside

Christmas lights really add to the festive feel of the holidays, but hanging them can be a real chore and a potentially dangerous one if you are climbing ladders in cold and icy conditions. Fortunately, with the right plan and tools, you can easily hang your lights outdoors and spread the holiday cheer with a beautiful display. Follow this guide to learn how to hang Christmas lights outside properly.

Start with a Plan

Before you even visit the store, plan out your display. As you decide where to place lights, choose a few focal points to help anchor your design. Doors, columns, and eaves offer architectural interest that can be highlighted with lights.

Next, measure out the area that will be covered with lights so that you can buy enough. Don’t forget to take into account the amount of length it will take to reach your power source.  

Visit the Store

As you pick out lights, be sure that they are rated for outdoor use. Incandescent lights offer a warmer glow while LED lights tend to come in more styles and are more energy-efficient. Also, pay attention to the connection strand limits to make sure that you won’t be connecting too many and creating a potential fire hazard. Finally, double-check your measurements and make sure that you are purchasing enough lights so you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store.

Preparing Lights

If you have lights from previous years that you will be using, take a moment to test each strand before you start hanging. This will save you time and frustration. Next, plug in the first strand to your power source to make sure that everything will reach correctly.

Hanging Lights

Make sure that you have a sturdy ladder that will allow you to safely reach eaves and other high places. For roof lights, plastic clips and hooks provide an easy way to hang and remove lights at the end of the season. Most hooks and clips are universal help to create a cleaner and more professional look with straight lines.  

You can also use a staple gun to secure strands. Just be careful not to staple the wire and be prepared to pull out the staples when it is time for the lights to come down. 

If all that still sounds like more work than you want to tackle, you can always call the experts at JT’s Landscaping. We’ve partnered with Brite Creations to provide holiday lighting services that include design, installation, maintenance removal, and storage. You can enjoy all the benefits of a beautiful holiday lighting display without any of the hassle. Call today to learn more and get started.


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Unique Landscape Ideas that Use Rocks 

If you have been working on landscaping your yard, but something still seems to be missing, the answer may not be to add more plants, flowers and trees. Instead, you should consider incorporating landscape rocks, which provide a great way to add color, texture and interest to any landscape project. This versatile decorating tool comes in so many different shapes, sizes and styles that you can truly get creative and use them in all sorts of unique ways. Here are just a few ideas to help get you started on creating a unique landscape design with rocks on your property.

Yard Pathway

Using rocks to add a pathway to your garden will help guide guests through the garden area and complement all your plantings. You can choose from distinct bluestone pavers that offer a more organic look or brick pavers for a more formal and organized final product. Loose stones and gravel are also a great option. The available stone choices are practically limitless and the right addition to your yard pathway all comes down to the look and feel you want to create.

Garden Beds

For those who are up for a more ambitious landscaping project, rocks, pavers and stones can be used to create leveled garden beds. This is the perfect solution for sloping yards as it provides more surface area to plant your favorite flowers and shrubs. Layering plants in elevated beds can also be used to create a natural privacy fence. The stone walls will only add to the overall effect and improve your landscape.

Planter Borders

If your plants seem to keep creeping into the lawn or you are having trouble maintaining ground coverage plants to fill in gaps in your beds, landscape rocks can help. Place an array of different size rocks along the border of your planters to create a distinct border and help complete garden beds that may have some empty spots.

Water Features

No backyard water feature is complete without decorative rocks to help round out the look. You can choose from large boulders and river rocks to adjust the flow of water and achieve a natural aesthetic. With the right design and placement, it will look like the water feature was always there and your garden simply sprung up around it.

Looking to a unique landscape idea to take your lawn to the next level and incorporate rock features? JT’s Landscaping can provide you with expert guidance and ideas. From there, we can work with you to install and maintain rock features that make your landscape the envy of all your neighbors. With years of experience serving homeowners throughout the Raleigh area, we can help you turn your vision into reality. Contact us today.

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