Got a question about your landscaping? We are experts in just about every area. Look here for answers to our most frequently asked questions, or email us at a.jerke@jamesvalleylandscape.com

1. How much rock do I need?

You will need to do the following calculations:

Step 1: Measure the square footage of the landscape bed area (length x width)

Step 2: Determine your depth of rock (generally .2’ deep is used)

Step 3: Calculate as follows:  Square footage x .2 = cubic feet of rock

Step 4: Cubic feet/27= cubic yards needed

2. How much soil do I need?

You will need to do the following calculations:

Step 1: Determine the square footage of area (length x width)

Step 2: Determine the average depth of area to be covered in feet

Step 3: Calculate as follows: Square footage X depth in feet = cubic feet

Step 4: Cubic feet/27= cubic yards needed

Step 5: Cubic yards x 1.5 = cubic yards needed after compaction

3. What do I do if the leaves on my deciduous trees are starting to turn yellow?

If your tree is not overly wet or dry then the answer many times is lack of iron, especially in maples, birch and red oaks. If the tree is small and the deficiency has just started, there are topical soil treatments available in the James Valley Garden Center. If the issue is advanced, an injection may be needed and is best done by one of our professionals.

4. What type of weed barrier should I use under my rock or mulch?

There are two basic types of weed barrier: Poly (use 6 ml black poly for best results) and Fabric (use 5 oz. woven fabric similar to Dewitt Pro 5).

The advantages of poly are cost, its ability to control growth in the short-term and easy installation. The disadvantages are that very little oxygen movement is allowed into the soil and thus into the plant roots. Also, over time the poly can tear and have holes causing weed growth, and chemicals cannot be used to control weeds without the risk of chemical run-off into surrounding plant materials.

The advantages of fabric are that it lets oxygen and water through its surface, chemicals can be carefully used to control weeds, and it is more resistant to punctures and tears.

5. What can I prune and when?

 You can prune any plant when it is not in its growth stage. Try to not take more than a third of a plant in one year with the exception of plants that die to the ground in the winter. A few tips

*Do not prune evergreens past where it is currently green, generally it will not regrow.

*If you prune early spring flowering plants such as lilac, forsythia and magnolia in late fall or early spring you will cut the flower buds off. It is not damaging to the plant but you will miss the flower stage.

6. My tomatoes have end rot, what can I do?

This is caused by a calcium deficiency. If this has happened in the past, calcium can be added when planting as a soil amendment. During the season we have topical sprays available.

7. What plant should I plant?

Take note of light conditions, water conditions, size constraints, seasonal interest and other plants near the site and either bring in a picture and ask our staff or see our plant finder on the garden center page.

8. What height should I mow my lawn?

Generally mow short once early in the spring and the last mowing in the fall to clean up, after first mowing mow at a minimum of 3” to help with weed control and lawn health. Mulching mowers are recommended, but to be effective you must mow often, taking less than half of the plant blade.

9. My lawn needs to be dethatched, how should I do this?

Generally lawns in our area do not need to be dethatched, thatch is a very thick layer of decomposing matter. When you walk on the lawn it will feel as if you are walking on a sponge if thatch is the issue. Generally dethatching is used to clean up lawns in the spring. Using a spring rake and a bagger mower will clean up your lawn without causing the root damage of a power rake used for dethatching.