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Company News

Do you have a knack for growing and caring for plants? Do you like helping people visualize what’s possible around their property and landscape? Is working outdoors a dream for you? Do you enjoy collaborating, creating and maintaining outdoor spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, socially impactful, and environmentally responsible? Here at Stephens Landscaping Professionals, we are always looking to grow our team of hardworking and talented individuals

Landscaping Year-Round

Working for a landscaping firm is so much more than going out on a sunny day to mow a lawn and trim some hedges. At Stephens Landscaping Professionals, we specialize in the design, permitting, construction, and maintenance of a number of exceptional residential and commercial landscapes in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and beyond.

This means we work with our clients from the very beginning to very end of their projects and are involved at every step. Clients come to us with their ideas, and work with our landscape architect and design team to put those ideas into a plan. Our staff gets the plans approved and permits pulled, and their dedicated project manager works with them through every construction phase.

We also work on projects like excavation and sitework, helping clients prepare properties for construction and major landscape renovations, or for the change of seasons. We’ve helped homeowners with septic work, carpentry projects, property maintenance, snow and ice management, property management, and of course, all kinds of landscaping including lawn, tree, shrub and flower planting and maintenance, outdoor living space installations, the building of lakeside beaches and docks and decks, and so much more.

What Does a Career Path at Stephens Landscaping Professionals Look Like?

We offer so many career options! If you don’t have much work experience, you can come to us with a high school education or GED and get trained on the job. Along the way, you’ll be able to get certifications for hardscaping, plant knowledge, or even to work with certain types of machinery, which will help you build a long-term career. You’ll have an opportunity to learn and advance depending on your interests across the variety of services we offer to our clients.

If you find landscaping to be your calling, you might want to consider furthering your education and pursuing a degree related to landscaping, such as horticulture, arboriculture, or landscape management, where you can use your degree to pursue jobs in project management, account management, or design.

Landscaping careers can include groundskeepers, account managers, landscape forepersons, carpenters, supervisors, architects, landscape designers, tree specialists, turf managers, and so much more. If you are interested in working outdoors, landscaping as a career is definitely worth checking out.

Why Work with Stephens Landscaping Professionals?

Stephens Landscaping Professionals was started in 2007 by brothers John and Mark Stephens. Now employing over 75 dedicated employees, Stephens Landscaping Professionals is one of the Lake Region’s most innovative and respected landscaping companies. We value each and every one of our employees, and we strive to maintain a work culture that is challenging, rewarding, and fun. In addition to competitive pay, we offer:

  • Company Paid Life Insurance
  • Paid Vacation + Sick Time
  • Company Paid Short Term Disability
  • Provided Uniform
  • Employee Development Opportunities
  • Boot Allowance
  • Health + Dental Insurance Programs
  • IRA Plan with Company Match

To find out more about our company culture, read what some team members have to say, and explore current job openings, please visit our Careers page.

Keeping it Green

Landscape Maintenance

We’re well into the hottest part of the summer now, and our lawns, plantings, and gardens are looking very lush and healthy. Unfortunately, August is when droughts usually occur in New Hampshire, so it can be a struggle to keep our lawns looking green and our gardens well-watered. But with a little care, a well-designed irrigation system, and a carefully thought-out watering schedule, your lawn, plantings, and garden will survive the heat of late summer and thrive even into the late fall months.

Water, Water Everywhere

There are a lot of things to consider when planning to install an irrigation system on your property, such as water pressure, water volume, positioning to prevent run off, etc., that’s best left to professionals, but in this blog, we’ll discuss some basics to help you make an informed choice when considering what’s right for you and your property.

There are two types of irrigation systems for landscapes, sprinkler irrigation and drip irrigation, and a well-designed irrigation system usually includes both kinds, as they serve different purposes. Both systems will have pipes buried under the lawn and garden to supply water to your lawn, garden, shrubbery, and trees.

Sprinkler irrigation systems are the watering systems we are most used to seeing in lawns and in gardens. They shoot out water to small or large areas of lawns or plantings. They pop up when needed, and retract when not in use, to be out of the way of lawn mowers and people, and to keep the property from looking unsightly.

  • Rotary sprinklers are high pressure heads that pop up and rotate to cover a large area when in use. They are adjustable and can cover arcs between 20 and 360 degrees.
  • Spray heads disperse a lower volume of water and are made to cover a smaller area of land. They spray water in a circle, but do not move. They work well if you want to water a specific area or planting.

Drip irrigation is used most often in vegetable gardens and amid plantings like shrubs, trees, and flower beds. This process involves soft hoses with have tiny holes, and water leeches out at a slow and steady pace. It’s a very efficient watering system, as it slowly feeds water directly to the roots of your plants, keeping moisture levels in the perfect range. As water is dripped below the soil’s surface, there is little chance for run off or evaporation, and the system is designed to run daily unless it rains.

Setting Up a Schedule

Here in NH, it’s recommended that watering is done between sunrise and 10 am, or 6pm and midnight, and watering is not needed if it has rained within the last 48 hours or if it’s scheduled to rain within the next 24 hours. By keeping to this schedule, no to minor adjustments should be needed if drought restrictions come into effect in your community.

Most lawns need to have about an inch of water or so a week, yours may need more or less depending on a variety of conditions. Call us at 603.707.0630 and we can work with you to help you come up with a good watering schedule based on what kind of grass and soil you have, and how long it takes your sprinkler to distribute an inch of water, so you can be sure your landscape is not over or under watered.

Controlling the Flow

While developing a schedule is crucial, life doesn’t always follow a plan, no matter how well that plan is thought out. Droughts happen, rainstorms happen, and schedules get pushed to the wayside. The best way to control any complication to your plan is to attach your irrigation system to a smart controller. A controller is as vital a part of your irrigation system as your sprinkler heads, so make sure to take the controller into consideration when choosing your system.

The controller should automatically adjust to weather conditions and cut down on any unnecessary water use. Be sure to choose a controller that connects to the Cloud, and that has an app so you can control and check up on your system by phone. And preferably one that has a forecast function, so it keeps itself aware of current weather conditions. A good controller is one that will control the different zones of your system differently, so your vegetable garden can be set up on a different schedule than your lawn and your shrubs, for example.

At Stephens Landscaping, keeping your property lush, green, and healthy is our goal. Our full-service irrigation division will manage your irrigation system from spring to fall.  This service includes starting your system in the spring, water management throughout the changing seasons, and shutting your system down at the end of the fall.  We also perform system repairs, system retrofits, and system upgrades to smart-watering technology. Call us at 603.707.0630 or reach out by email and we’ll be happy to chat with you about your ideas and specific needs.

Outwit Those Pesky Pests


Now that summer is well underway, your garden is probably looking pretty good by now. Your tomatoes are turning red, your cucumbers are beginning to proliferate, and your zucchini are almost big enough to harvest. You can see all the hard work you’ve put into your garden beginning to pay off. But so can the pests, who see a feast developing before them. How do you keep these nuisances away?

Cover It Up

If you’d like to protect your garden, a simple solution is to use a plant cover. Plant covers come in a variety of styles and shapes and will protect your gardens from pests and weather. Which you choose depends on what you want to protect, and what you want to protect it from:

  • Chicken wire protectors: These frame “houses” are built to protect multiple plants at once. They are easily lifted and used to protect berry bushes and plants like kale, lettuce, etc. from bunnies, deer, gophers, and other creatures that might want a nibble.
  • Row covers: These hoops are covered with some kind of fabric to protect plantings from insects and birds and can also be used with heavier material to protect plants from cold weather later in the year, if you wish to extend your growing season.
    • Thin fabric will allow for better light penetration, while heavier material will maintain a better temperature inside the hoops and protect your plants from cold weather; you can swap the material as the season progresses.
    • Insect mesh is a wonderful screen-like material that will keep insects from being able to munch on your veggies and stalks.
  • Shade cloth: This light-blocking, woven cloth is perfect to use in parts of your garden at this time of year. Many plants, like basil, lettuce, and even tomatoes will benefit from this cloth, which will provide shade so your plants don’t burn in the hot July sun. It’s strange to think of the sun as a “pest”, but sometimes your garden needs a break.

Consider a Natural Approach

If covers aren’t your thing, you might want to consider a more holistic approach to deterring pests in your garden. Options include companion gardening, organic and natural solutions, and even raiding your pantry!

Aphids and Slugs

These little creatures are the bane of every gardener’s existence. They are everywhere and eat everything. If you have a problem with aphids and slugs in your garden, you might want to try food grade diatomaceous earth, or DE for short. This off white, odor-free powder can be used in your garden on plants that show signs of damage (it will kill all insects with exoskeletons, even the good ones, so use only when needed. And since it’s a fine powder, it’s a good idea to wear a mask while applying, and reapply the DE after it rains.)

An old farmer’s tale for killing slugs involved burying an open can of beer three quarters of the way and letting the slugs crawl in and drown; there’s some validity to that, as slugs are attracted to the yeast in beer, but it seems a bit passive and inefficient. If you try it, let us know how it works!

Looper worms

These little inchworm-looking worms love to eat cole crops like cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, peas, and tomatoes. If you find them in your garden, you can get rid of them by mixing three teaspoons of cayenne pepper into one quart of water in a spray bottle. Apply to the leaves, stems, and the ground around each of your affected plants.

SL Garden Center-Moultonborough-Creative Resolutions for Your Garden in 2023-companion planting

Companion Planting

One tried and true method of keeping pests out of your garden is to plant companion plants, that is, planting plants near each other to benefit one plant or both. Common companion plantings include:

  • Planting petunias near potatoes and beans to keep potato beetles away.
  • Tansy, once an immensely popular New England flower, helps to keep aphids and ants at bay. Plant tansy near cucumbers and squash.
  • Catnip planted near zucchini and cucumbers will eliminate cucumber beetles and will make your garden a popular cat hangout!
  • Marigolds are a great addition to any garden and are great companion plants to any vegetable, most especially tomatoes. They repel the nematodes that attack tomato plant roots.
  • Chrysanthemums will keep out a variety of bugs and are a natural repellant of Japanese beetles and ticks.
  • Nasturtiums are a must in a garden, as aphids love them. Aphids will flock to nasturtiums and leave the other plants alone.
  • Zinnias are wonderful to plant in a vegetable garden, as they are favorites of ladybugs. Ladybugs love to eat pests like cabbage flies and aphids.
  • If you have fruit trees, it’s a good idea to plant alliums like onions or garlic around the base of it. This may prevent borers from drilling into the base of the tree, thereby destroying it.
  • Basil and tomatoes just don’t go together in a caprese salad. When planting next to each other in a garden, the basil will protect the tomato plant from whiteflies, aphids, and tomato hookworm. Basil will also help the flavor profile of tomatoes, and the tomato leaves help provide a great growing environment for basil by providing shade and moisture for its tender leaves. True companions for sure!

We’ve helped many gardeners keep their gardens healthy and thriving, and we’d love to help you with yours. Come visit us at our Garden Center, give us a call at at 603.707.0630 or email us and we’ll be happy to help you with garden issues or questions you may have.

Springtime Success

Landscape Maintenance

Now that the snow and ice are receding a bit, and we are beginning to get tiny glimpses of spring, it’s time to prepare our outdoor spaces for warmer weather. With a little bit of preparation, it won’t take much work to make your yard ready for use in the warmer months to come.

  1. Clean debris. The first thing to do is to walk around your yard and see what happened over the winter. You’ll likely notice debris and broken branches left over from the winter storms; leaves that fell after the snow started or that didn’t make it into the last fall clean up; long forgotten birds’ nests, paper, wrappers, and other miscellanea that blew in from the road. A quick raking will take care of all these issues and make your yard look cleaner in no time.
  2. Trimming. Next, you should trim bushes around your property that may be overgrown, or whose branches might have received damage from heavy snow. It’s also a good time to trim tree branches that may be dead; with no leaves on them, you can really get up close and inspect the branches thoroughly.
  3. Mulch. Late April or May is a generally good time to apply mulch around trees, shrubs, and other plantings. This is because weeds have not had a chance to grow yet, and the soil is beginning to warm up. Mulching in the spring will also lock in nutrients needed for your plantings and add to your yard’s aesthetic when the warm weather comes, and everything starts to grow and bloom.
  4. Fertilize the lawn. The grass is waking in the spring and needs to be fed, and late March/early April is the perfect time to start applying fertilizer. It’s also a great time to deal with crabgrass if you have patches of it on your lawn.
  5. Spreading the snow. If you have big piles of snow on your lawn, it’s a good idea to spread it around on your lawn more evenly, so some spots of the lawn aren’t overly wet while others remain dry. (Try to stay off the overly wet part until it dries out a bit to give the grass a chance to grow and not have that area become a muddy mess.)
  6. Reevaluate entertainment areas. Now is also a good time to consider how you’re using your outdoor spaces, and decide if you want to make any changes to add or expand on any entertainment areas like an addition of a pergola or pavilion, a built-in spa or hot tub, or designing an outdoor kitchen for example.

Garden Planning

After the black and white panoramas of winter, the thoughts of spring’s color fill many of us with cheerful anticipation. Many of us love the beginning of spring because it’s the signal that we can get our gardens going!

Spring is the perfect time to plan what you want to plant this year. Walk around your property and see if you’d like to make any changes to your landscape, like adding new flowers, shrubbery and trees, or maybe even a fruit or vegetable garden, for example. Spring is also the time to think about replacing what may have died or been irreparably damaged over the winter.

If you are planning a vegetable or flower garden, you will need to start your plants early indoors or in a greenhouse if you are not buying your seedlings from a commercial grower; traditionally, the seedlings are planted outside in New Hampshire after Memorial Day because that’s the last date we can be sure of avoiding a killing frost.

However, you can prepare your outdoor garden soil now by cleaning up any debris, including any old mulch and dead leaves in your proposed garden space. You’ll need to pull any weeds or annuals that may have wintered over in your garden, and loosen the soil with a tiller as the weight of the snow may have compacted it a bit; you can add compost at this point as well, to make sure the soil is well fertilized.

With a little thought and advanced preparation, your landscape, gardens, and entertainment spaces will be ready for spring. We’ll be happy to help with all of this, including creating a master plan for spring success and making the most of your outdoor spaces for increased property value and enjoyment. Please call us at 603.707.0630 or email us to get started.

Water and Your Landscaping

Landscape Maintenance

In this month’s blog, we’ll discuss how to deal with the water conditions of your property: having not enough and having too much.

Dealing with Drought

If it hasn’t rained for a while, look for signs that your landscaping is experiencing water stress—plants with stunted growth or brown or yellow leaves, trees dropping leaves and have some dead branches, plants in the garden may not have flowers or start to seed early, and your lawn may start to show footprints or can’t “bounce back” after you walk on it or may even begin to show brown spots in some areas.

If a drought is coming, there are steps you can take immediately to minimize the damage:

  • Add mulch to garden areas and bare spots. Mulch keeps areas cool and traps moisture.
  • Don’t add any new plants; instead, focus your watering efforts to your existing landscape.
  • Don’t fertilize your plants or lawn. If you must fertilize, cut the amount of fertilization by half. Your lawn and plants are trying to survive, not grow. Fertilization is not needed at this time.
  • Pruning is not necessary, but remove dead branches and leaves, stalks, etc.
  • If plants look like they are going to die, remove them. Try not to waste water on something that will not make it through the drought.
  • Pull weeds. Eliminating weeds will cut down on unnecessary water usage, and your landscaping will look better.

When mowing your lawn, don’t mow too short. Keeping the blades long will shade the soil, reduce evaporation, and minimize any heat damage that may happen during the drought. Consider leaving the clippings on the lawn to help protect it and return nutrients to the soil.

If the drought is really bad and it looks like it will continue, consider letting your lawn go dormant; most grass is drought resistant and will recover when a steady supply of rain returns.

If you have ornamental plants around your yard, consider how long is left in the season. If it’s an annual, is it worth keeping them alive? If the season is almost over, it might be easier to let them die. If you’ve planted shrubs and trees in the past one or two years, they are more susceptible to being lost. Focus your watering efforts on new plantings, those plantings that are expensive to replace, or anything that you’ve planted that has sentimental value.

How to Water During a Drought

Once a drought is firmly established, soil will begin to harden and get impacted. Add water slowly so it gets absorbed instead of running off. A good way to make sure water gets absorbed well is to use soaker hoses. After running for an hour check that water has penetrated down about an inch; if not, run the water longer.

It’s best to water on a schedule, and to water in the early morning. This will stop the water from evaporating and allow time to soak in the soil. Do not water at night; wet grass overnight can cause fungus to grow.

If you have an irrigation system, it’s best to use a timer. Some irrigation systems can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi to monitor weather conditions. These systems control when and how you water your property and respond to water, weather, and soil conditions to deliver the right amount of water at the right time.

Water, Water Everywhere

What if we’re having a rainy summer and we’re experiencing the opposite problem? If you have noted areas of your lawn or garden where water pools, there are things you can do to avoid erosion and have your plants or lawn die from too much water.

One thing you can do is aerate your lawn to assure water is penetrating the dirt’s surface. By doing so, you’ll direct water to the roots of your grass, which will make it stronger and more lush when the rain stops. And it’ll make the soil less compact, allowing it to drain easier.

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean, so the runoff doesn’t create erosion around the foundation of your home, garage, or other outdoor structures and buildings.

When planning your landscaping, be sure to properly grade your lawn, garden, and flower beds. And choose plants that love water—ask us if you’re unsure.

For existing landscapes, add soil and grade the surface away from your home. Consider adding terraces to your landscape to help water run down slopes. Prune your landscaping to allow sunlight to dry areas.

For areas that always seem wet or are susceptible to pooling, you might have to install a drain, or consider changing the layout to a hardscape. You can add a permanent water feature and incorporate that area, like a pond, water garden or even a meandering stream with a bridge to your yard.

At Stephens Landscaping, we have a lot of experience helping homeowners come up with a plan for drought and overwatering. Let us help you and your landscape; call us at 603.707.0630 or contact us today.