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When To Water Outdoor Plants

   Many plants wilt during the hottest part of the day, even if the soil is moist. So how do you know when to water? Examine your plants first thing in the morning when it's cooler. If they're wilted, water. The vast majority of plants like sun and well-drained soil. So remember, always over hydrate yourself by drinking lots of water when you are outside gardening, but don't overhydrate your plants.

Correct Way to Plant Trees & Shrubs

   Most people think you have to dig a hole much deeper than needed to plant a tree or shrub. The key is to dig the hole three times as wide. The depth should be no deeper than the root-ball of the tree. Use the soil you dig up to fill in around the roots and water thoroughly.

Easiest Roses to Grow

   The easiest roses to grow are disease resistant and produce an abundance of flowers. Plus these roses don't need to be dead-headed like other varieties do to keep blooming. Here are our top ten picks:

  • Knock Out Rose
  • Little Mischief Rose
  • Flower Carpet Scarlet Rose
  • Rainbow Knock Out Rose
  • Snowdrift Rose
  • Paint the Town Rose
  • Home Run Rose
  • All the Range Rose
  • Grandma's Blessing Rose
  • Super Hero Rose

Easiest Perennials to Grow

Perennials are great -plant them once and they come back every year!

  • Hosta
  • Peony
  • Garden Phlox
  • Daylily
  • Hellebore
  • Bearded Iris
  • Yarrow
  • Baptisia
  • Bee Balm
  • Salvia

Grow What You Love to Eat

   Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and zucchini all grow fast and easy here in our great hot summer climate - but if you plant veggies that you won't eat - what's the point. The love of vegetable gardening comes from the great taste and value of garden to table. So plant the veggies you love to eat!


Why Compost?

   Well, free fertilizer, of course! Composting is a great way that you can enrich your garden and help lessen the impact of methane gas from being released back into the atmosphere from landfills. 

How Do I Compost?

   It's easier than you think! Just get a small airtight plastic container to keep in your kitchen to put food scraps in. When this gets full, transfer the contents to a bigger bin outside. You can set up a store-bought compost bin or build one yourself out of inexpensive materials, such as wood pallets chicken wire or an old trash bin.

What Food Scraps Can Go In the Compost Bin?

Here's what you CAN put in your kitchen bin:

  • Fruit & Vegetable Peels
  • Rinsed Out Egg Shells
  • Tea Bags (Remove Staples)
  • Used Coffee Filter & Coffee Grounds
  • Greasy Pizza Boxes (Torn into pieces)
  • Napkins, Paper Towels and Paper Bags

And here's what you CANNOT put in:

  • Produce PLU Stickers (take them off!)
  • Human or Pet Waste
  • Meat, Bones, and Fish
  • Weeds with Roots 
  • Anything Plastic

Now What?

   Green and brown are nature's colors, as well as the perfect plan for your compost pile. You need to layer "green" and "brown" materials. Greens are your kitchen scraps from your kitchen bin, along with plant clippings. These green items contain high levels of nitrogen. The browns are carbon-rich materials such as leaves, sticks, wood shavings and hay - along with most types of paper and cardboard. Remember its a 3:1 ratio - 3 part browns for every 1 part green. Add some water. The best compost pile will have about the same amount of moisture as a wrung-out sponge.

   Use a pitchfork or shovel to turn over the compost regularly to oxygenate the pile. This helps naturally present bacteria, fungi or mold break down the food scraps without creating any odor.

Is It Ready Yet?

   Okay, here's the bad part - you have to wait about 6 months for the compost to break down. You will know its ready when it looks like soil or coffee grounds. Then use the compost to fertilize your garden. Be careful - once you see the results of your fertilized garden - composting becomes addictive!


How Low Should You Mow?

   It may seem tempting to mow your lawn on the lowest setting your mower has, after all the lower you mow, the longer you can go between mowing. But taking the easy way out isn't the best for your lawn. Mowing on too low of a setting can expose roots to sunrays, causing your lawn to turn brown. (Barry calls this "scalping" your lawn.) Ensuring your the blade cuts to the proper height provides the right amount of shade to the roots. Rule of thumb: never cut off more than a third at a time.  Tall grass forms deeper roots that are more drought tolerant and better able to fight off insects and disease. And, most of all make sure to keep your mower blades sharpened for the best cut.

What About The Leaves?

   Don't rake up the fallen tree leaves on your lawn! Run them over with a mulching mower. The ground up particles will filter down to the soil, enrich it, and attract earthworms.

Take Care of Your Mower!

Grass and debris build up in your lawn mower's undercarriage and can cause rust as well as clog the discharge chute, leaving clumps on your lawn. Routine cleaning can help prevent future problems and keep your lawn mower running great longer. Disconnect the spark plug and remove the blade before dislodging debris with a putty knife and wire brush. Use a hose to spray away any remaining clippings. And don't forget to get those blades sharpened. (P.S. if this sounds intimidating, we can do this for you for a nominal fee.)

Boost Curb Appeal in a Day!

  • Replace faded or rusty house numbers, entry door lock sets and handles
  • Update front porch with a new light fixture that looks great even when its not on
  • Dress up the front door with a new coat of paint
  • Place potted plants on porch in a staggered, asymmetrical setting
  • Get a new mailbox and surround it with plants
  • Clean the gutters (you know we had to sneak this one in, but messy gutters definitely take away from curb appeal and give the impression that the house hasn't been well maintained
  • Add outdoor art such as a birdbath, metal cutouts, sculptures, wind chimes, fountains

   Remember, even if you aren't selling your home, your front yard and entryway are the first impression to visitors of who you are!


   We get a lot of requests from customers asking us to remove the old mulch that is faded and broken down before we put down new mulch for them. Not Necessary! The best plan of action is to leave the old mulch alone and just add on the new layer of mulch. Removing the old much could accidentally pull out plant roots and damage the plant. As your old mulch deteriorates, it turns into compost and its nutrients continue to nourish the plants and protect them from diseases and pests. The best time to add new mulch is when the plants have started budding. Add enough mulch to make it about 3 inches deep. If the area gets weedy. add a few more inches.


   Whether you have us come out and do it for you or not, it is very important to clean your gutters regularly. For some houses around here, that can mean twice a year. (darn those pine trees) Most homes need the gutters cleaned just once a year and those that don't have any trees nearby can usually go for a few years. It's not just leaves and pine needles that clog your gutters, animals build nests in them and the silt from the roof shingles wears off and runs down into the gutters.

Standing water in your gutters breeds mosquitos. (I just heard you say "Aha"!) But when the gutters are so full that the water runs over them, the water will cause damage to your roof, foundation, facia board and exterior walls causing thousands of dollars in damage.


   Although we don't provide these services, here are a few more exterior things that you should remember to take care to protect your home:

  • Chimneys need to be cleaned. If you make a lot of fires in the fireplace, then have the chimney cleaned every 5 years. If you don't use your fireplace, then every 10 - 12 years is a good estimate to make sure that there aren't any uninvited guests making themselves at home
  • Siding is washable, just take it easy. Pressure washing is sometimes too powerful and water can get under the siding into the house causing water damage and mold. Use your own hose, pointing the nozzle downward like rain. Pointing it directly at the siding will also get water under the siding.

What our customers are saying

We had to move out of state and leave our house empty while it was listed. Barry was the only thing that saved our sanity and the sale. Barry went above and beyond for us and I highly recommend him!

Quin H - Seller

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