Meridian Industrial


5/1/2024 | KEITH O'CONNOR


Attractive landscaping that is well maintained can not only make your property more attractive, but increase the value of your home anywhere from 10% to 25%.

It is not everyone who has a green thumb, however, or who likes to get their hands dirty.

If that is the case, the best thing to do is to find a professional landscaper and hire them to do the job for you.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then you better roll up your sleeves and get to work now or find the right landscaper to do the job for you, because starting your spring yard cleanup best begins from March to late April.

Still, it is never too late to spruce up your home for the hopefully warm summer ahead, noted Sandro Meccia of Mec’s Landscaping located in East Longmeadow. In business since 1992, Mec’s Landscaping was started by Meccia.

“I’ve been doing landscaping since the age of 7, I’m 57 now. My godfather owned a landscaping business and I learned the trade from him while helping after school,” Meccia said.

Eventually, he would go on to Western New England College — now University — in Springfield to earn a degree in business administration, later working for Budweiser and Hamilton Standard while continuing to help his godfather on weekends. When Hamilton Standard went through a layoff, Meccia turned his attention back to landscaping fulltime tending to the needs of both homeowners and commercial clients.

“My godfather is retired now, but he works for me two days a week,” Meccia said.

Among the many services offered by Mec’s Landscaping are spring and fall cleanups, lawn maintenance, seeding and installing sod lawns, mulch and stone installation, shrub trimming and pruning, shrub design and planting, overseeding and aerating.

In the winter, they offer commercial snowplowing and sanding, the delivery of firewood, as well as a junk removal service that involves cleaning out a garage or basement that Meccia said, “keeps them busy during the cold weather months.”

“Right now, we are busy with spring cleanup, getting ready for the growing season by clearing debris that has fallen in yards before dethatching lawns, as well as cleaning out garden beds from pine cones, acorns, sticks and other debris. Our cleanup includes not only the lawn and beds, but patios and walkways so everything is clean and ready to go for spring,” Meccia said.

“We are also weeding and edging garden beds at the moment and preparing to put down mulch. Some people, however, don’t like mulch and instead we place fabric down and then install stone over it. We also clean up the edges and if we are working with stone, then we add nice vinyl or aluminum edging around the garden bed,” he added.

If you are thinking of adding some trees to your property for aesthetics, the benefits are many. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, trees increase your home’s value up to 15% in what is termed “curb appeal.” Environmentally, trees fight climate change, clean the air and help you breathe, prevent soil erosion and rainwater runoff, and theyconserve energy in summer and winter by providing shade from the hot summer sun and shelter from cold winter winds resulting in spending less on your energy bills. Trees also provide nesting sites, food and shelter for birds and homes for squirrels, and they are even good for your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.

“We’ve been planting quite a number of trees over the past few years for customers … Everything from sugar maples to red maples to Japanese maples, as well as flowering dogwood, magnolia trees, crabapple trees, and Green Giant arborvitae. If you are looking for shade, maple and oak trees are a good size for that purpose,” Meccia said.

If you simply want to spruce up your front yard appearance and add to your home’s curb appeal, Mec’s Landscaping can help.

“Oftentimes the problem is an overgrowth of plants or shrubs that are hiding the house. They may just need a good pruning along with some weeding, or pulling them out altogether and replacing them with smaller plants giving the area a whole new look,” Meccia said.

“There are a lot of new plants and shrubbery we can help our customers to select, then plant for them such as hydrangea shrubs, spirea bushes, holly bushes, lilac bushes, azalea plants, a lot of perennial flowers and different grasses as well,” he added.

The professional landscaper offered some tips on fertilizing and seeding for do-it-yourselfers who love working in the outdoors.

Meccia noted you will need to fertilize a number of times throughout the year beginning with a pre-emergent herbicide and fertilizer in April to prevent the growth of weed, then in late May or early June with a slow-release fertilizer for grub control. In mid-summer, around the last two weeks of July and the first weeks of August, you need to fertilize again to help keep your lawn green, then in late August to early September use a slow-release fertilizer for growth and repair. When late September and early October comes around, you will need to use a slow-release fertilizer to get your lawn ready for the winter. "Be sure to get your pre-emergent fertilizer down in the spring as quickly as possible because it puts down a weed barrier to slow their growth. But, be sure not to do thatching of any kind afterward which will ruin the weed barrier,” Meccia said.

When it comes to seeding, he suggests using a sun and shade seed.

“We have been using a sun and shade seed mixture for about 18 years for our customers. It contains some Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and also has some fescue grass and it works very well. But every situation is different and there are many seed types to choose from including newer drought tolerant seeds,” Meccia said.

“It’s best to talk with an expert at your local garden center or nursery about what seeds might work best for you, as well as getting help on selecting the right fertilizer,” he added.

There is also overseeding to consider, which differs from reseeding when you pull up the grass and begin to plant an entire new lawn from scratch. Overseeding is the process of spreading grass seed over the top of an existing lawn without tearing up the turf or soil, as a way to thicken it and fill in bare spots, as well as to crowd out undesirable weeds.

Overseeding is a complex process, which Mec’s Landscaping offers as one of their many services. However, if you plan to overseed your lawn on your own, the LawnStarter blog ( recommends: 1.) Dethatch and aerate the lawn for a more successful seed germination. 2). Mow the lawn short. 3.) Rake and remove debris. 4.) Add enriched topsoil. 5.) Put down the grass seed using a spreader. 6.) Fertilize the new grass. 7.) Water your lawn generously. 8.) Avoid mowing or heavy traffic in the overseeded areas.

“You can overseed or reseed your lawn anytime, but the best results are between the last two weeks of August and the first couple of weeks of September,” Meccia said.

Of course, if you plan on doing some of your own landscaping, then you will need the proper tools to get the job done, Meccia noted.

“I’m a tool man. If it does the job, then I want it,” he said.

At the very least, he recommends shovels, rakes and pruning shears and advises against going the cheap route; instead purchasing good tools that will last you longer and make it easier to get the job done.

“You’ll also want to invest in a good lawnmower, something that is easy and comfortable for you to work with, whether a riding or a push lawnmower,” Meccia said.

Mec’s Landscaping also has their own “big” tools — a Bobcat skid steer and tractor which they can use for clearing brush, regrading, lifting and towing heavy loads, digging, and even mowing lawns and other special work.

And with summer right around the corner, Meccia added a final tip.

“If you are able, I would suggest investing in an automated sprinkler system to do the work for you. You should water your lawn two to three times a week, depending on how hot and dry it is or how much it has been raining. You want your lawn to receive an inch to an inch-and-a-half of water per week,” he said.

CALLING 413-525-3564.

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