Ask the Expert: Raccoons, Rhododendrons and Readying for Winter

Fall brings out a unique beauty in your yard, but also some unique questions about how to deal with visiting critters, what do do about the coming winter and even the best way to make sure you’ll have beautiful blooms in spring. We turned to Hamptons East Landscaping for some answers.

The Question: Raccoons are tearing up  my lawn. What can I do and why does this happen every September?

The Answer from Hamptons East Landscaping: Raccoons are tearing up the lawn because there are grubs under your lawn that raccoons can smell up to 50 ft away. Grubs eat the roots of your grass and make them weak. When September comes the raccoons dig the lawn up to get at these grubs. The solution is to take the raccoons’ food source away by doing a grub treatment in June and September, if necessary. If you haven’t done one yet, use the granular type and water it heavy.

The Question: What can I do to protect my rhododendrons for the coming Winter?

Before the first frost, all rhododendrons should be sprayed with a a product called Wilt Proof. What this does is put a protective coating over the leaf so the leaf does not fold up when temps dip below 25 degrees. The reason why the leaf folds up is because the cold temperature pulls the moisture out of the leaf and causes it to fold.

The Question: When is the best time to plant bulbs in my garden?

The best time to plant bulbs is before first frost. The reason is you want to give the bulb the chance to push roots over the next few months, so when Spring comes the bulb is already ahead of the game. They should be planted 4-6 inches below grade, and I recommend planting in lots of 3 or 6. It makes a nicer presentation when they bloom.

Have your own questions about plantings or getting your yard ready for fall and winter? You can contact Hamptons East Landscaping at (631) 885-2627 or at You might even see your questions answered here at Ask the Expert. 



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