Archive for the 'Garden & Yard' Category

What Are Some Holiday Lighting Solutions? 09Dec14

Creating the perfect holiday lighting display can be quite a chore, especially if you have a large area that you plan to decorate. The size of your display plays a key role in how the design is laid out, as well as how to properly light and protect these larger displays.



While it is possible for you to create your own lighting display for the holidays, you may want to opt for holiday lighting solutions.


Choosing a company that handles holiday lighting displays will allow you to create a larger, more intricate design, without having to worry about overloading breakers, leaving cords all over your lawn, and just creating a well balanced, aesthetic display.


Many organizations provide holiday lighting solutions to help you get the display you want. These organizations can not only help you create a dazzling display, they can also work with you to help your vision come to life. Once you have a design in mind, the providers will arrange all lighting and electricity to ensure proper placement. Some providers allow you to use your own lights and decorations, but others provide these for you.

The benefits of holiday lighting solutions is that you do not have to deal with the dangers associated with ladders and electrical cords. Additionally the ability to use their lights and decorations rather than your own can provide you with much more creative and dramatic displays that are laid out by a professional.


If you want to create an extreme display, holiday lighting solutions can help you create it. These organizations have access to the tools and machinery required to hang and move the display items, helping you to have a fully decorated lawn without moving a muscle. Take your holiday decorating to the next level and opt for the help of a professional.


Source:


http://www.prestigelawnsolutions.com/home/holiday-lighting

What Are The Best Tools to Have for Winter? 02Dec14

When it comes to winter weather, most of us would rather stay inside wrapped up in our warmest blanket, sitting in front of a roaring fire. However, until the day that humans are able to hibernate like the bears, we have to go outside. When winter snow and ice have you feeling pinned, the best tools for winter can help.


One of the most important tools to have for winter is a shovel . While no one relishes the back breaking use of a snow shovel, this tool comes in handy. A good quality shovel can help you clear out around your tires, and provide some added tread if you get stuck.


Another great tool for winter is a snow blower. These handy tools allow you to clean off the walking areas, driveways, and other areas that you need to have access to. However, as they are gas or electric powered, they are one of the easiest methods of removing snow.


Calcium chloride is another winter tool that you have to have. Often referred to as ice melt, calcium chloride is one of the most effective means of melting ice that has made sidewalks and other areas treacherous.


Waterproof gloves are also high on the list due to their ability to provide protection. When dealing with snow and ice, you need something that will keep your fingers warm and dry. Bare or wet fingers in frigid temperatures can result in frostbite, which can be quite dangerous.

You should also make sure that you have a battery charger available during the winter as well. This will allow you to start your car when cold temperatures zap your battery. Additionally, there are also battery chargers that use the sun ray’s to keep your battery charged when it is not in use.


Source:


http://www.trade-certificates.com/this-winters-best-snow-removal-tools/

How Do You Keep Loved Ones Safe in Your Yard? 30Sep14

While backyards are wonderful for gardening and relaxing after a long day of work, they are also great for spending quality time with children or grandchildren. Having a relaxing space for kids to unwind encourages play and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Of course, keeping little ones injury-free should take top priority, so consider taking the following steps to make your garden a safe haven.


Keep your lawn free of large rocks and remove old tree stumps to avoid tripping. Be sure to clear the grass of protruding roots and fallen branches as well.


Utilize solar lighting to ensure that the setting is properly illuminated to lessen the chance of children wandering out of your line or sight or falling. Taylor Gifts outdoor lights collection has plenty of attractive yard designs and solar holiday strings and displays.


Cover the floor of any playground area with a shock-absorbing material, like rubber or mulch, 9 to 12 inches below the play set. Kids love to jump off swing and slides, so avoid any broken bones with this simple precaution.


Young children will put just about anything in their mouths, so be aware of the plants growing in your yard. Don’t overlook potentially poisonous plants sprouting along the edges of your property.


Don’t use power tools or lawn mowers around young children. When finished, store tools in your shed or garage and always keep kids away from grills or fires.


Proper fencing is important, especially if you have kids and pets running around. A barrier around your pool may seem like an eyesore, but it will be more than worth it to protect your family from slips and spills. Fencing around your land can allow children and pets to run free, which also means fewer trips to the park!


Plant trees for shade in the warmer months and delight in watching them grow alongside your children. If you spray pesticides on your lawn, be sure to keep off for 48 hours.


Remove large bee hives and ant hills to avoid pesky bites and stings. Take the party inside before dusk or stay in a netted area for late-night gatherings.


Strategically position patio furniture so you can relax while keeping an eye on little ones. Purchase a set with a mosquito canopy for added protection from disease-carrying pests and an umbrella for sun defense. Patio umbrellas and tiki torches are excellent safe guards as well as add a fun, beachy vibe to your space!


Accidents can happen anywhere, so safety must be a top priority in and around your home to protect your loved ones. Your yard should be an oasis where your family can let loose and really have fun. The most important and least costly precaution you can take in your yard is to provide active supervision and to just be present. Many accidents are preventable by simply having an extra set of eyes around. Taking preventative measures will ensure you and your family can enjoy the outdoors in comfort year round.

How Do You Prevent Ants and Bugs at Picnics? 29Jul14

When planning a picnic, you probably have a vision of you and your loved ones
sitting by a refreshing stream underneath a large willow tree laughing the day away. What you don’t think about is the swarm of bugs headed your way once you pull the grapes and cheese out of the cooler. Preparing for nature’s pests is an essential part of packing for picnics.

Put It Away Now

Insects love anything sugary or sweet-smelling; this includes soft drinks, fruit and scented lotions or sprays. If your picnic is a lunch date, you may want to spray on a nice perfume or cologne, but this will only attract pests. It’s difficult to envision a picnic without fruit, but this is also like a welcome sign to bugs. If you do plan on bringing fruit, keep it in a closed container until you are ready to eat. This also goes for any food you eat outside—stow snacks in sealed packages in an insulated cooler and your perishables will neither spoil nor invite animals. Our outdoor accessories include plenty of coolers, baskets totes that come with a lid.


Smelly Stuff

Deter pests by incorporating smells that they find unsavory. Mint, garlic and lemon will keep most bugs at bay and there are several creative ways to include these items into your picnic. Add garlic to your dishes and drink lemon and mint sparkling water out of a closed cup with a straw. (Clear cups are best—if a wasp flies into your drink, you’ll want to shoo him away before you unknowingly take a sip!)


You may also put sprigs of mint and a few marigold flowers on the serving table to discourage bees from making a pit stop on your plate. To keep mosquitoes at bay, light a citronella candle for ambiance and added protection, or if you are planning a kid’s outing, put flameless citronella candles around your picnic setting.


Don’t Cross the Line

Simply sprinkling talcum powder or corn starch around your tablecloth will prevent ants from joining the party. This is especially helpful for picnics spread out on a cloth. Ants hate the feeling of powder and will be very discouraged to ruin your food. Be sure to complete this step before you lay out the sumptuous spread. You don’t want the wind to blow powder in your food while you are lining the area.


Remember that many flying insects feed from brightly-colored flowers, so donning vivid, summery clothing is not going to help you avoid them. Blend into the other part of the countryside and instead opt for crisp neutrals. Neutral clothing will also keep you cool in the sun, because you shouldn’t be sitting under a tree or by a pool of water, anyway; this will only attract mosquitoes to you. Those pests love damp shade and will be waiting for you under that beautiful, sprawling tree. Instead, choose an open patch of grass to set up camp in. Ultimately, the best al fresco outing is a well-thought out one. Spontaneity is wonderful, but bug bites aren’t!


For additional products that will keep unwanted visitors away from your outdoor meals, check out our outdoor pest control products.


3 Must Have Gardening Tools 24Jun14

You know spring has arrived when all you can do is think about getting out into your garden. Your hands itch to till the soil and manipulate the plants as
you create the landscape you dream of. Building your ideal garden is easier said than done, but with these three must have gardening tools, you’re sure to
be off to the best start possible:


Gloves.
The most pleasant and productive gardening stints begin with the proper hand covering. You must protect your hands from the items in your yard that can
cause damage to your skin, and you also want to protect them from the sun. WomansWork.com has a pair of gardening gloves that not only allow you to move your hands as much as you need to, but they also help keep your hands dry from the sweat of your labor.



Shovel.
Every experienced gardener knows you must have a strong and sharp shovel for the heavier digging that comes along with gardening projects. If you want to
move plants around or dig out ones that need to be thrown out, a shovel is your tool of choice. Make sure the blade is sharp every spring so it’s ready for
whatever jobs you throw it into. Also look for handles made of ash, which is a durable wood that can withstand many elements and pressures.

Hoe.
No matter how diligent you are, there are bound to be weeds lurking around your garden waiting to spring out and make their presence known. A hoe is the tool you’ll need to remove these weeds. You also want to use it for breaking down the soil in your garden and clear out areas for planting seeds.

With these three tools, you’ll be ready for whatever your garden brings you each spring season. The masterpiece garden you’ve always dreamed about can
become a reality in your landscape. If you find that you need more than these three tools, check out our Lawn and Garden section.


Sources:



http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/gardening/outdoor/garden-tools-00100000101174/page2.html

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/tools/top-tools-for-garden-maintenance/

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/garden-tools-and-equipment?page=0,1

What Are Some Good Gardening Tips? 29Apr14

If you want your family to eat healthy without heading to the grocery store three or four times a week, consider keeping organically grown produce on their plates with foods that you have grown yourself. Homegrown, organic produce is more delicious and nutritious than the produce you can find at the store. In order to get the most from your garden, you may wish to implement positive and creative gardening tips.


Start your planting early and end it late in the season. Using tunnels and cold frames will allow you to stretch the growing season in your area. You can start your spring planting season earlier, and use row covers in the fall to protect late crops from deer and frost.


Growing high-value crops means planting the produce that would cost you the most to purchase at the produce stand. Mother Earth News states that value can also refer to flavor temptations, which can mean making room for your favorite herbs and tomatoes. Consider, too, other foods that you didn’t grow last year, and see if you can save money by growing them at home this year.


Choosing the crops that have grown well for you year after year just makes good sense. Repeat the successes you have had in the past. If they are not favorites with your family, trade for foods that someone else grows that your family does like. If you have better luck with carrots than with beets, for example, keep your beet planting small and plant as many carrots as your family will eat. If your neighbors are also growers, arrange to trade veggies so that everyone will have what they like.


Growing crops that you can freeze or store makes good sense for your year-round, healthy diet. Early raspberries and strawberries that are ready in June can be stashed in the freezer, and ready for snacking or meals, while you turn your attention to veggies. Plant the foods that grow most easily, so that you can supply your family table year round.


Source:


http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/gardening-tips-zm0z11zsto.aspx


Top 10 Flowers to Plant in Springtime 15Apr14

Spring is the season in which nature starts to “warm up” for summer’s big act, teasing us in the meantime with cherry blossoms, friendly breezes and fresh buds on the trees. Of course, we all become wildly excited for the end of winter; suddenly, people are out and about on the sidewalks and smiles are plentiful.


Welcome spring with open arms and a readied garden. Playing around in the dirt is a gratifying way of spending a weekend afternoon. Taylor Gifts’ garden accessories and hoses will make the process both easier and more fruitful. Plus, you’ll light up as you see flowers poke through the soil. To learn what plants to nurture this time of the year, consider the following:


1. Peruvian Lily. These flowers only require a little amount of care and are absolutely beautiful. Originating in South America, they are perennials that feature uniquely speckled insides.


2. Dianthus. These old-fashioned favorite flowers provide bright colors along with a noteworthy, pleasant fragrance. This purple-pinkish bloom is accompanied by lusciously green leaves, adding a gorgeous contrast to your garden. There are various plants that fall into the category of “dianthus”; some breeds will last years, while others have a lesser life span.


3. Gardenia. If you are looking for an elegant, perfect flower to plant in your garden with an incredible scent that anyone will be able to enjoy, gardenia’s may be the best addition to your garden. Though the plant often resembles a small shrub more than a traditional flower, it has plenty of white blooms to enchant those passing by your garden.


4. Nicotiana. These are also very elegant flowers and are absolutely gorgeous to admire. They are best when planted outside your bedroom window, as their scent is stronger throughout the night and can naturally provide your home with a calming aroma. Yes, it is associated with cigarettes, but the plant itself does not threaten your health to plant it inside your garden your home.


5. Phlox. This type of flower grows in full clusters of candy-colored shades and can fluctuate in heights; some species climb to be four feet tall! They can come in a wide variety of hues like baby blue, lilac, blush and reds. The phox’s incredible scent is most evident on a warm, sunny day.


6. Roses. Of course, roses are one of the best plants to plant in the springtime because they tend to be deemed America’s favorite flower. Their colors range from pure white to deep red and the scent is intoxicating. A perennial, a healthy form of this plant can live for years. Be aware that they often have prickles on the stem that may jab young children who may reach for the bloom.


7. Sweet pea. Sweet peas are known as one of the most pleasant smelling flowers of all time. Their vines can grow between four to six feet tall, and it comes in a myriad of rich pigments. It responds well to sunlight and, if properly cared for, can last you a lifetime.


8. Lily-of-the-valley. This plant is perhaps one of the easier ones to take care of and, conveniently, it need minimal light. The lily-of-the-valley can spread aggressively (especially in moist conditions), so consider positioning it near physical barriers like pavement. Be mindful that this white or pink bulb can be poisonous to small animals that might be inclined to take a mouthful.


9. Lilac. The lilac flowers are favored among millions of people around the world because of their vivacious scent and easy upkeep. As long as they are not completely in the shade, they will never disappoint you; they’re durable and require little attention, though be careful of excessive powdery mildew damaging the appearance. An added bonus is that lilacs attract butterflies!


10. Lavender. Lavender flowers are not only known for their beautiful appearance, they are known for their scrumptious scent. Many aromatherapy products even harness its aroma for its relaxing properties. Made up of dozens of different subspecies, lavender can be cultivated in both gardens and flower beds.


This list is plenty to take your yard and turn it into a flower heaven that you can enjoy day in and day out! Soon, you can take out your patio furniture and enjoy nature’s wonder as your precious blooms surround you.


What Are Some April Flowers & Veggies to Plant? 10Apr14

There are numerous flowers and vegetables that are best planted in April. At least two types of flowers will bloom well when planted in cool weather.


Roses may be transplanted when you can work the ground, in the early days of April. If you purchase bare-root roses, they will do best if you plant them as soon as you get them home.


Pansies are hardy and can overcome late spring frost. They like cool weather and seem to thrive better in cool weather than they do when it becomes much warmer.


Vegetables including peas, lettuce and cabbage grow well in cooler temperatures. Onions need a long season for growing, so they are also often planted early in the spring.


Radishes are a cooler season crop, as well. They can be planted as soon as the ground may be broken. High temperatures will lead to flowering, and the roots may become soft.


Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli do well in cool seasons. Iowa State University says that they will grow best in mild temperatures between 60F and 70F. Mid-April is a good time to plant cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli in many areas.


Kale, spinach and lettuce do not do well in hot weather, so they prosper when planted in the cool temperatures of early April.


Onion plants, sets and seeds are usually planted as soon as you can work the ground in late March or early in April.


Snap, snow and garden peas are also best planted as soon as you can work the ground. The crops will mature in 60 or 70 days.


You can sow carrots from the early spring days until early August. Sowing the seeds in early or mid-April will give you an early crop.


Potatoes, as long as they have been certified to be disease free, may be planted when the ground is workable in April.


Taking advantage of the early spring days gives you a head start on your planting. Early planting may bring out hungry critters, so be sure you have the proper equipment to keep them at bay.


Source:


http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2003/3-21-2003/earlyplant.html

What Are Some New Outdoor Tools and Equipment for Spring and Even Summer? 25Mar14

As the cold grip of winter releases its hold on the country, you’ll enjoy spending more time outdoors. Warmer weather beckons you outdoors, and tending a garden is a perfect reason to spend time outside.


A garden beautifies the area around your home and gives it more curb appeal. It gives you a stress-free place to relax and let the troubles of the day fade away. If you want your garden to prosper, there are some spring and summer tools and equipment that will help.


A wheelbarrow is helpful for transporting soil and plants with less effort. You can find them in light-duty to heavy-duty models, depending on how much hauling you do in your garden area.


Shovels are essential for all gardeners. They allow you to dig up weeds, plant or relocate plants and turn soil.
Kneepads are helpful if you tend your garden kneeling down. Dense foam relieves any discomfort. If you have trouble kneeling for long periods of time, you can use a gardening seat, instead.


You can cultivate, shape and trim many plants with hand pruners. If you have larger plants, you can select pruners of greater size. Hand trowels are a lot like shovels, except that they are sized to fit the hand. They help you dig in small areas of soil like container gardens and flowerpots. If you need a small hole for planting flowers or bulbs, a hand trowel is the tool of choice.


Garden hoses are essential if your garden isn’t getting enough rain. It makes things a lot easier for gardeners who have large expanses of gardens or landscaping. A sprayer attachment will allow you to change the amount of water you’re using. A battery powered sprayer will let you get to places your hose might not be able to reach.


If you have young plants, hosing them to water them may be too hard on the new plants. For these, it’s helpful to use a watering can. In this way, the water won’t hit the tender leaves and buds as hard.


What Are Some End of Winter Tips to Bring Your Home & Yard Back to Life? 18Mar14

This winter has been extreme in almost all areas. All of the freezing temperatures, along with wind, snow and sleet take their toll on your house, garage and yard or acreage. Using simple maintenance tips, you will be able to return your home to proper condition, so it will look better this spring.


It’s hard this winter to believe that spring is on its way. As the weather finally begins to warm up and the ice and snow start to thaw, there are things you can to do help your home and yard recover from the winter past.


Use a shovel to make paths so that water can run off your property and into a storm drain or the street. This will make it easier to walk to your door on those late season cold nights when water in your driveway freezes back up.


Once it’s fairly safe to assume that the snow and ice are gone for the season, clean up excess salt or kitty litter on your sidewalks and driveway. If the freezing and thawing of the ground has left your driveway with potholes such as those found on many roads, patch them before someone trips in them.


Check your roof for loose shingles. Strong winds and heavy snow are quite capable of damaging shingles. When it is safe to go up on your roof, check for missing or damaged shingles. If you don’t feel comfortable checking your roof yourself, contact an inspector who will identify and correct any problem areas.


Cleaning up the lawn after a rough winter will be easier if you thoroughly raked your leaves in the fall. Otherwise, your grass may be suffering from “snow mold”. You’ll want to rake your lawn in the spring anyway, to remove any build-up of thatch. This will allow your lawn to green up sooner, and frame your spring-cleaned house nicely. If your lawn needs a little extra help, throwing down some grass seed will help.