To get rid of grass between patio stones, you’ll have to apply a bit of elbow grease. During the spring and summer, it’s practically impossible and downright frustrating to keep weeds and grass from sprouting-up between patio stones. Because we are in a subtropical climate and there’s plenty of rain during the spring and particularly during the summer, grass grows at an impressive and infuriating rate. Mowing quickly becomes once a week chore and all the while, grass is growing around and between your patio stones.
Because there’ no real room to work, you can dig down and pull it out by the root. An alternative is to pull up the entire hardscape feature, spray the area with a grass killing herbicide, and, then covering the whole area with landscape fabric, only to reset the patio stones. That’s simply too much effort for such a trivial aesthetic annoyance, but, there are other ways you can make your patio a grass-free zone. (more…)
Killing off tough lawn weeds is, well, tough. Weeds are a bane many homeowners suffer from in their landscapes. These problematic plants pop-up from the ground time and again. You pull them out, spray them, and do whatever you can to rid your lawn, garden, and landscape at-large from them, yet, they continue to creep up from the soil, ruining all your hard work. What’s even more frustrating is that it’s an ongoing battle that drains your energy but you still persist because you are committed to having a great outdoor space.
The truth is, there are many effective ways to control weeds–notice the phrasing doesn’t include a “forever” verb or adjective–but some work better than others. That’s because killing off tough lawn weeds is an ongoing fight. You can only control weeds in so many ways, and, if you do it right, you won’t inflict harm on the rest of your lawn. Remember, there’s no perfect solution and some of the remedies you’ve found will not only kill weeds, but the plants you want to protect. (more…)
You took the time and effort, not to mention, incurred the cost, of putting a wonderful and beautiful landscape feature into your backyard. It’s an eye-catching water feature that is home to fish. You do what you can to keep them healthy, which includes keeping the water feature in its best condition and feed them regularly.
One day, you notice something that’s a bit odd, and, it’s also unnerving. You go out to throw in a bit of food and it occurs to you that there are fewer fish in your pond. At first, you think just perhaps, a few expired, but then you can’t find them anywhere. Slowly, it begins to become quite apparent that you’re dealing with a problem.
Something is poaching your pond fish and you have to deal with it. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that can be done about pond predators, but that’s certainly to not say that you’re helpless. Pond predators not only eat fish, they also do other harm to your water feature. Needless to say, you’ve first got to identify the source of the problems and then take action. The good news is, that you have a few options to exercise to keep your fish safe and to keep your water feature in its best condition. (more…)
The rain barrel, an ancient and efficient way of temporarily storing water for those not-so-rainy days or dry spells. Used for irrigating plants and lawns, vegetable and flower gardens, even for washing clothes. They’re also used for drinking water when properly distilled. So, these devices are a great way of cutting down costs and conserving water.
Generally, homeowners install rain barrels under a drain spout connected to a gutter system on their houses. When it rains, the gutters channel the rainwater down through the spout and into the barrel. For areas like ours, where rain is a common occurrence, especially in the summer, these simple collection devices are a smart way to harness the power of nature’s wet nourishment.
Like with most things in life and landscaping, there’s some trade-off for free future irrigation and these particular problems come in two forms: stale, dirty water and disease carrying mosquitoes. When a rain barrel is full, the water begins to stagnate, slowly creating a stench; and, any standing water is quite attractive to the local mosquito population. (more…)
A stump is a surprisingly stubborn object. It can take months or years to see the decay begin to set-in, and, that’s just the beginning of a very long decomposition process. It will take a lot more time for a stump to fall apart and for the root system to no longer hold it firmly in-place. Because of the problems stumps present: tripping hazards, lawn mower obstacles. And, being unsightly, you’ll want to deal with it right away instead of letting nature take it’s very slow course.
The answer for some people is to rent a stump grinder. These big, powerful machines seem to be a quick ticket to ridding the ground of a stump. However, looks can be fooling, because it requires a lot of experience and labor to use a stump grinder. It won’t magically disintegrate the stump in one fell swoop, it takes a whole bunch of effort and is a dangerous machine to use for those without experience. The good news is, there are two ways to remove a tree stump without a grinder. (more…)
Here in the Sunshine State and across Sarasota, we see these puffy protrusions poking up from the soil amidst green grass. These are quite common growths, especially during the rainy season, which, we are presently experiencing. Large varieties are referred to as “lawn mushrooms,” while small growths are considered to be toadstools. Regardless of the name or size, these are unsightly nuisances, and, can be quite harmful.
Lawn mushrooms are the result of fungus growing in the ground. Essentially, these are fruits of growth, which are fueled by moisture. Because we live in such a humid, subtropical climate, these growths thrive. All that’s needed is there in droves: soil, moisture, plenty of sunlight, and room to rise. This growth is remarkably rapid, seemingly sprouting overnight, and, when pulled, grow back with vigor.
Constant combat is a worry for homeowners, especially those with vegetable and flower gardens. It’s not just how ugly these growths are, but also, what the possible dangers may unfold as lawn mushrooms push up through the soil and tower just above the grass. Mow over them, and sure enough, they sprout again, or, pull them and the same thing happens. (more…)
With summer in full-effect, there’s no time for an unworking sprinkler system. Lawn irrigation is key to keeping the grass healthy and helping to make the landscape look its best. So, when the sprinklers don’t function, it could easily hurt your lawn.
Brown spots might develop and spread across from one side to another, leaving an unsightly presence. So, you need to take action right away to get that irrigation system up and running again.
Don’t worry, with just a few common tools, a bit of trial and effort, and some keys observations, you can troubleshoot and fix your lawn sprinkler system. And, you’ll probably discover one or two unknown problems along the way. The best part of this is, you don’t need to be an experienced technician, just some strategic elbow grease ought to be enough.
Common Sprinkler System Problems
Over the course of our mild Sarasota “winter,” there’s little to no need to water your lawn. The temperatures are typically mild and grass is dormant as precipitation levels fall greatly. As the spring months roll around, you lawn might need a little assistance and that’s where your irrigation system will come-in handy. It’s best to spread fertilizer when it will do the most good, which is just before the break of dawn. (more…)
Summer is here in Sarasota, a preview of the annual season already occurred. If you think you’re dealing with a lot of stress and dread heat and humidity, just think about your yard. It can’t escape the sun and you compound its problematic existence by walking all over it. Hours of high heat, with little reprieve overnight, made worse by strong summer storms all spell trouble for your yard. That’s why it’s important to know how to keep a yard health during summer. (more…)
It’s the time of year when every week or two, you have to put on an old tee shirt, step into a pair of comfortable worn out pants, and make your way to retrieve lawn mower, line trimmer, lawn bags, and a leaf blower.
What many people make the mistake of believing is if they buy a blower or blower-vacuum combination, they’ll never have to do anything else again. What’s more, the amount of time needed to cleanup lawn trimmings and leaves will be dramatically reduced. While it’s true that leaf blowers/vacs are great tools to making cleanup more efficient, they do not have a miracle button to press that magically does the job.
It’s also true that these landscaping tools will help to put the finishing touch on your lawn work, be that cleaning up fallen leaves, to blowing away grass clippings after mowing your lawn. The bigger the machine is, the more power and features it will have, generally speaking, which means that it will be a more versatile tool which will lend a helping hand in more ways than one. The key is to use your leaf blower in the way it was intended to get the most out of it. (more…)
Now the weather has heated-up here in beautiful Sarasota, it not only means more days to spend on the white sand beaches and barbecuing on the grill, it means it’s time for an effective yard mosquito control system.
Why Mosquito Control is Necessary
There are several common problem pests for infestations around the house, but, one that’s most troublesome, and sometimes dangerous, is the mosquito. These annoying insects prey on people and pets alike, leaving itchy bite marks on the skin. The good news is, you don’t have to suffer again through the summer because there are effective DIY yard mosquito control options at your disposal.