Fall Remodeling Projects – Get your home ready for winter!

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 4:12pm
With incoming cold weather not too far away, you may feel rushed to get everything done and ready around your house for the winter. Whether your to-do list is long or short, we get it! It’s a good feeling to have everything in place while the weather is still nice.   But we also believe....
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The Bulbs are Here!

Bulbs are in the house! Planting bulbs in the fall is a superb way to get a jump on your garden next year. If you’ve long admired the cheery colors of spring and early summer blooming bulbs, why not get some into your own garden? Tuck them in between perennials and enjoy the spring show or start a new bed by digging a trench and dropping them in en masse. To give your bulbs the best start, add some high phosphorus amendment like bone meal at planting time and water them in but don’t keep them soggy.

Bulbs we love:

Allium – Alliums make a statement! Big or small, the pom-pom blooms are impossible to miss. Plant them now and enjoy them for years. Bonus! Allium is deer and pest resistant and attracts pollinators.

Fritillaria – These are some unique and underappreciated plants! The dangling, checkered flowers are a real conversation piece that add an elegant, unique touch to the spring garden.

Hyacinth – If you want fragrance, Hyacinths are it. The tightly packed clusters of flowers are bright and beautiful and usually undisturbed by critters. 

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The Fast and Furious Elm

Are you in a hurry for a big shade tree but you have a tough site? Consider an elm. Elms are one of the fastest growing trees we carry, and after a few years you will have a nice sized tree standing proudly in your landscape. Super tough and not picky about soil, elms are an excellent choice for difficult areas where establishing other trees presents a challenge.

Elms do well with fall planting, so now is a great time to get them in and enjoy the soft yellow fall color. Adding a ring of mulch 2-4” deep around your new tree will even further increase its vigor and protect the root zone over winter. As always, make sure mulch isn’t piled up against the bark- keeping it about 2 inches away from the trunk is ideal to avoid bark rot.      

What about Dutch Elm Disease? The varieties we carry all display high resistance to the disease, so you can feel confident in planting these classic trees! 

The fast-growing nature of elms is great, but it does mean that they need regular pruning in their youth to maintain good branch structure.  Prune elms annually in their dormancy, winter to early spring.

Tips on pruning:

Remove branches that are at an extremely acute angle

Remove spindly or weakly attached branches

Branches that are crossing or rubbing will become an issue, prune so that branches do not touch

Dense groups of branches should be thinned- pick one large healthy branch and remove the rest

Avoid cutting into the collar, the swollen ring at the base of each branch

As always, use a sterile, sharp cutting tool

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Don’t Forget the Grasses!

Flowers are so obvious. Huge blooms, flashy colors, sweet smells. But what about after the flowers have faded? Grasses, the unsung heroes of the landscaping world, step in to pick up the slack! Tough and low maintenance, grasses are excellent for providing texture and vertical interest even in the cold winter months.


This native grass displays gorgeous blue blades throughout the summer and puts on a vibrant burgundy color in fall that is maintained through the winter. Wait to cut plants back until spring when new growth emerges and let birds snack on the seeds all winter. Great for areas with poor soil, drought tolerant, and adaptable to many soil types, bluestem is an all-around superb choice for sunny sites.

Flame Grass

Handsome green blades easily attain 4 feet of height and are topped with shiny silver plumes in late summer. As the weather cools, Flame Grass earns its name with bright orange and red color that takes on burgundy tones as winter proceeds. This grass is eye-catching even from a distance! Plant it in a sunny spot and let clumps slowly expand for a lovely specimen or accent.


Northwind is an excellent choice for strong vertical accents and unlike some grasses, is right at home in a more formal landscape. This grass maintains a tidy narrow clump, reaches up to 5 feet, and displays clean green blades that turn a tan to yellow in the fall. Salt tolerant and adaptable to many soil types including moist areas and clay. Song birds use it for food and protection, making this an even more versatile choice.

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Get Ready for Fall Color!

Maples and Oaks are known for their superb fall foliage, but sometimes you need a pop of color with a smaller footprint. Good news! There are several handsome shrubs that will stun all season and then light up your fall landscape.

Here are some of our favorite shrubs for fall color:  

Chokeberry – Chokeberries (Aronia sp.) are an incredibly versatile and valuable landscape shrub. Tolerant of many conditions including part-shade, they come in several varieties and varying sizes from narrow and upright to low and rambling. Charming flowers in early summer are followed by shiny, edible berries that are often touted for their high antioxidant value. When fall comes around, chokeberries display excellent, rich fall color. What’s not to love?

Little Quick Fire Hydrangea – Hydrangeas need no introduction, but it’s not often that they are celebrated for their fall color. The compact Little Quick Fire Hydrangea is a massive exception to this rule. A riot of orange, red, and purplish fall leaves make this a great shower in the fall landscape. Not to mention, the multitude of red panicle blooms in summer make Little Quick Fire an excellent performer all season!

Blueberries – Delicious, healthy fruit is only one of the fantastic things about blueberries. Pollinators feast upon their white flowers in spring; they’re not difficult to grow as long as soil pH is right and hydration is consistent; and when the harvest has passed and temperatures start to cool, blueberries become a feast of fiery fall color. Edible and ornamental!

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Is it ok to plant now? Tips for fall planting.

Is it ok to plant now? Tips for fall planting.

As the season winds down, we are often asked if it’s still ok to plant trees. We have good news! It is an excellent time to plant! The cooler weather is gentler on new plantings and makes it easier to keep up with watering. The end of the season signals to plants that it’s time to put energy into roots rather than shoots, which is great when establishing new trees and shrubs.

Tips for fall planting:


Mulch is always a great idea, but it is especially important when planting in cooler weather. Mulch protects the root zone from temperature fluctuations and helps retain the moisture that is essential for winter survival. 3-4” of wood mulch is great for trees and shrubs. Perennials planted late in the season also benefit from wood mulch or a layer of fallen leaves. Just be sure to pull the leaves back when new growth emerges in spring.


Your plants won’t use as much water as the weather cools down, but don’t neglect them! Make sure to continue watering until the ground is frozen. Good hydration is key to insulating the roots and minimizing winter burn. Follow our handy watering guide and you’ll be sure to have happy plants in spring.

Don’t cut back perennials

Many perennials do very well with late planting, but you can add some extra insurance by leaving the top growth on your new plants. Along with mulch and hydration, leaving the foliage on top helps protect the crowns and get them through winter happily. Cut back the dead foliage in spring when new growth starts showing.

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There’s a Whole Lot of Rubbing Going On. Protect Your Trees!

It’s that time of year again. The whitetail bucks are out rubbing their antlers on your trees! Young trees, from 1”-6” in diameter, need to be protected with white plastic tree wrap to a height of 4 feet. It’s essential to use white tree wraps that reflect the harsh winter sunlight; using something like black drain tile causes temperature fluctuations that can lead to bark damage or death and premature breaking of dormancy. Tree wraps also protect your trees from sun scald and critter damage throughout winter, so leave them on until spring. Protected trees are happy trees!

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The Beautiful Blueberry

Gardeners know a special feeling. The certain, singular contentment of picking fresh fruit, harvest basket in hand and the sun on your shoulders, is incomparable to nearly any other human experience. And it makes sense, gathering food is as old as humankind.

Gardening is a labor of love. Time, money, sweat; there is investment every year that we hope will be rewarded with abundant fresh food and mental clarity by the end of the season. Imagine, though, planting once and simply gathering thereafter. Think of it whimsically— this ancient, primal activity, harkening back to our ancestors. Think of it practically— prepare the planting site once and sit back and relax. Edible landscaping.

Consider the beautiful blueberry. These tiny fruits are a special treat from the market, worth every penny when they’re in season but flavorless and still expensive when they’re not. It’s time to forget store-bought blueberries! We Northern gardeners are lucky because we can grow a huge variety of these nutrient rich berries and reap the harvest for years. As if the fruit weren’t enough, pollinator friendly flowers and perfect fall color make them a beautiful landscape plant. The red fall color alone surely attracted our ancestors to these amazing plants.

Blueberries are not a terribly demanding shrub. Like many gardening endeavors, choosing an appropriate site, proper preparation, and good cultural care ensures longevity. Working peat moss and compost into the soil and watering consistently lays the foundation for fruit. Patience, gentle pruning, and acidifying the soil if needed is the maintenance. Collecting the fruit, engaging in one of the most human activities there is, is the sweetest reward.

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Categories: Businesses

Navigating Empathetic Marketing

Brand Yourself Consulting - Tami Enfield - Wed, 05/06/2020 - 5:23pm

Welcome to our new normal. Every single day, we are bombarded with updates, statistics, and stay-at-home orders. Emotions are running high, and everyone is feeling a little stuck. This adjustment has been nothing short of difficult, and it’s especially tricky...

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Wed, 12/31/1969 - 7:00pm
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