Thursday, November 6, 2008

Looking Up?

Jay and I went to a lunch with an organization called BNI, a business networking group. It was interesting, fun and we so want to do this!! One draw back, the cost of joining. It really is a great deal and the cost an investment, however, with things so tight right now, we aren't able to come up with the entrance cost. We are really disappointed too! Ah well, as in all things, we go by the grace of God.

God keep you till next time

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Touching Base

As for all of you, times here in the land of Saving You The Green have been rough. But, we thank God every day for each and every job He sends our way. No job is too small as every penny counts. We pray every day and look forward to those calls and requests for estimates. We love what we do!
We are wrapping up a small job this week, anticipating some leaf removals and have 3 estimates to get out, one includes a total installation! Wooohooo!! Looking forward to designing that and praying we are blessed with an exceptance!
Winter is fast approaching. We are expecting snow tonight, I can't believe it and the cold is in the air! Hope to get all the loose ends on jobs tied up this week!
Well, it's getting late and 5am comes early. God keep you and bless you!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just a Note

We are doing some work, finally...thank God, and hopefully, will have some pics for you to check out soon!
Things have been a bit slow, ok, VERY slow, and well, as you all know, times are rough. We just haven't had anything to post about but, we are looking forward to a fall season and praying things pick up.

Till next time...
God Bless!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

14 Winter Prep Tips for your lawn

You might think getting your lawn and garden ready for winter is as simple as Robert Frost's line to his apple trees: "Good-by, and keep cold." But not if you want them to be their healthiest come spring. In many parts of the country, now -- that is, before it gets too chilly -- is prime time to tend to your landscape so it will shine the rest of the year.
Here's what the experts advise to make your plants the envy of the neighborhood:
1. Feed that lawn! "Right now, it's key to work on your lawn," says Jim Welshans, regional turfgrass educator at Penn State University. In fact, despite what many people might think, autumn, not spring, is perhaps the most vital time in many parts of the country. Welshans explains: "In Pennsylvania we grow cool-season grasses, and during the summer they're not very active." Come autumn, however, they revive.
Lawns with these cool-weather grasses -- Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, perennial ryegrass -- should be fertilized in two waves, say Welshans and others. The first application, from mid to late September in places like Pennsylvania, should be a fertilizer that's high in nitrogen. The second application, roughly about Thanksgiving but before the ground is frozen, should be a fertilizer that's high in phosphorus, which will prepare that plant for next year, says Welshans. (Exact timing for all the advice in this story will vary depending on where you live. A good way to determine if you're giving your lawn what it needs is to get a soil test. It will give you information like soil pH and nutrient levels, and provide recommendations for fertilizer amounts.)
Bob Mugaas, a regional extension educator in horticulture who's affiliated with the University of Minnesota, recommends modest application of nitrogen during the first couple of weeks in September, and a repeat application around Halloween in the Twin Cities area. If you missed the first window, don't fret, says Mugaas, but simply make the second application around Halloween. Why not squeeze in two doses in quick succession? "You don't want to stimulate the tender, succulent growth" as the grass girds for winter, he explains; the late-season application is more for the root system. Another tip: Homeowners can drive over leaves with a lawn mower to create a fine mulch as long as the results don't blanket the lawn.
But … Exceptions to the "fertilize!" rule are the desert Southwest and the Deep South -- places like Georgia, Alabama and south Texas -- where lawns generally have Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine and centipede grasses. These largely go dormant in winter and don't need fertilizer, says Dave Han, associate professor at Auburn University and state extension specialist for turfgrass. "I cut off fertilizing in this part of the world about Oct. 1," Han says. Fertilizing can be extended along the warmer Gulf Coast, however, and you can feed grass year-round in south Florida and coastal Texas, he adds.
2. Repair summer's damage. Now is a great time to repair a damaged lawn and reseed. If you're racing the cold, Welshans recommends putting down a perennial ryegrass, which germinates quickly (just four to seven days, versus two to three weeks for bluegrass). Help the seeds take root by top-dressing them with up to one-quarter-inch compost or soil, he says.
3. Don't put away the hose. Though places such as the Pacific Northwest may begin to get rain with autumn's onset, in most areas watering shouldn't end with Labor Day. Generally speaking, says Mugaas, a lawn should get an inch of water every 14 to 21 days. The ground should be moist as it heads toward winter, but not soggy, which could encourage mold.
4. Go easy on the pruning. "Probably the most common thing I see people doing is pruning," says Ginger Pryor, coordinator of the Pennsylvania Master Gardener program, citing a common mistake. As a general rule, give your loppers and shears the autumn off. Why? Pruning promotes growth, and you don't want to encourage growth when plants are preparing to go dormant for winter. There are some exceptions, so call your local cooperative extension service if you have doubts about a particular tree.
Now is a good time to cut off dead wood, however, so insects have no place to hide.
5. Don't tuck in the vegetable garden yet. "There are some great fall vegetables you can plant and still get a harvest," says Pryor. Many vegetables aren't affected by a light evening frost, so long as the days still warm up nicely. Greens like lettuce and spinach often can be harvested within 30 days of planting. Got even more time before Jack Frost really settles in? Think about carrots, broccoli or Swiss chard.
6. Cover that plot. To prep your garden for winter, plant a nitrogen-rich cover crop like clover that you can simply turn under come spring, suggests Elaine Anderson, program coordinator for the Washington State University/King County Extension Master Gardener Program. Or, "a lot of people just cover the beds in burlap -- keeps the weeds down. That's fine."
7. Transplant away! The experts agree: Autumn is a great time to transplant trees and shrubs. "By planting trees in the fall in the South we have a much longer season for the tree roots to get established" while they don't have "those other stresses" such as heat, explains Shane Harris, a regional extension agent in east-central Alabama who is affiliated with Auburn and Alabama A&M universities. In short, says Harris, the tree benefits because it's "putting all of its energy into root growth."
The same is true in other parts of the country. For example, as a general rule of thumb, evergreens should be transplanted in the first half of September in Minnesota's Twin Cities area, Mugaas advises. "Obviously you can be earlier if you're a little more north, or later if you're a little bit to the south," he says. "Deciduous trees have a little bigger window."
8. Mulch, Part 1. "We often say the mulch around the tree should look like a doughnut, not a volcano," says Pryor. Pulling the mulch away from the trunk a bit makes it less of a home and meal for voles, chipmunks and mice during the winter, she says.
9. Making the (flower) beds. Flower beds don't need a ton of work, but there are some things you can do. "One thing we do recommend for fall is cleaning out perennials -- things that have a lot of dieback on them," says Pryor. In Pennsylvania, for example, there's a lot of rain in early spring and any dead growth can keep a lot of moisture in the soil, promoting rot in plants like peonies that have heavy root systems. (Other experts disagree about the importance of cleaning up but say it doesn't hurt, and at least can make a flower bed look tidier.) Pryor recommends leaving ornamental grasses in place because they look beautiful in the winter.
10. Mulch, Part 2. Harris suggests renewing the mulch in flower beds, especially the top two or three inches of plants' root crowns, because that protects a marginal plant from hard freezes. "That's where all of your new growth is going to come back," Harris explains of the crown.
Up north, some homeowners put down hay, which "makes a very good mulch," says Mugaas. Ask at your garden center for "clean mulching hay" -- often made of oat straw or wheat straw -- but don't assume that the name alone guarantees it's weed-free. Examine the hay for seed heads and other impurities, says Mugaas. Also, hay should be applied only when the ground has gotten very cold.
11. Clean the pond. Ponds, fountains and other water features are hugely popular today -- and they, too, need care to survive the winter. Late September is a good time to clean out the pond -- in particular, netting out the abundant leaves that, upon decay, build up the nutrients and cause spikes in ammonia levels that are harmful to fish, says Brett Fogle, president and owner of Florida's MacArthur Water Gardens. If it's a small pond, you might consider tossing a cover over it from late fall through the winter. Consider using a bacterial additive in the water -- microbes that speed the decomposition of leaf scum, fish waste, etc., says Fogle. Also, he says, it's a good idea to drain your pond by 25%-50% for the winter months.
12. Put your fish on a diet. "The biggest mistake people make is they keep feeding their fish handfuls and handfuls of food" even as their metabolisms are slowing down with the onset of cold weather, says Fogle. That can make them ill, and even kill them. As the temperature hits about 60 degrees, consider switching to a lower-protein, wheat germ food that digests easier, Fogle says. When temps hit 50-55 degrees, you can stop feeding the fish entirely. Don't worry about them going hungry -- their metabolism slows enough so that they don't need to eat when the water gets that cold or colder, he says. Yet koi and other pond fish will keep eating when they shouldn't and that can hurt them, Fogle says.
13. Check pond equipment. Autumn is a good time to change out your pond gear. In warmer months, pumps are often used to circulate the water. "It's actually better for the fish not to run the pump all winter long," explains Fogle. That's because the pump disrupts the thermal layers in the water that the fish exploit to keep warm during the winter months, when they settle near the bottom in a hibernationlike state.
Shut down the pumps and filter and bring the pump inside for the winter, if possible, Fogle recommends. Loosen the fitting on what's left outdoors, so things won't crack in the cold -- especially on UV sterilizers, the units that pond owners often have installed to kill algae. Consider, too, a de-icer -- basically a floating unit that turns on at the freezing point -- or an air bubbler that keeps the top of the pond from freezing. Find more good information about pond care here.
14. Think spring. Now is the time to plant bulbs for spring. They're not very expensive, and they give you something to look forward to. "In our part of the world, our smaller bulbs need to go in now, and the larger bulbs can go in later" -- perhaps mid-October or so in Minnesota's Twin Cities area, says Mugaas. Smaller bulbs include crocus and grape hyacinth. Larger bulbs include tulips and daffodils.
Another tip: "It seems sort of counterintuitive to go shopping for plants right now," says Anderson, of the King County Master Gardener program. But she suggests buying perennials that are in bloom now, so you know what they'll look like later. In the Pacific Northwest, that could mean hardy perennials like yarrow and asters. Check the USDA's Plant Hardiness Zone Map to see what will thrive in your area.
Finally, "It's also a good time to take stock of what did well and what didn't," says Mugaas. Gardeners are inveterate tinkerers. "We never have enough time, and we never have enough room."
by Christopher Solomon
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

New T's!

Well, our new T-Shirts arrived this weekend, along with some other advertising materials. Wooohooo!! It was like Christmas in July! We ordered from and got some great deals and freebies!!
The T-Shirts arrived just in time for the scortching hot, humid weather AND for the guys to cut the sleeves off! Brand new T-shirts whacked! LOL Maybe I should get muscle shirts next time is what I am thinking. As you can see from the pic, he was none too happy about me taking it. LOL


We have been busy with passing out fliers, and doing 3 estimates. One of those seems like it might be a go and we are so excited as that job would contain a little of everything and be great for the portfolio. We are just waiting to hear back from the customer.
Well, I have office work to catch up on while the guys are out doing maintenances so, will meet you again here next time...till then, God Bless and Keep you!

Annette out

Monday, July 7, 2008

A great beginner rose

Apricot Nectar
Introduced: 1966, Boerner, USA
Class: Floribunda
Zones: 4-9 (not partial to cool overcast climates)
Parentage: Seedling x 'Spartan'
Flowers: Apricot, double, 35-40 petals
Size: 4 feet x 4 feet
Fragrance: Good
Strengths: Unusual, soft apricot blooms.
Disease resistant glossy foliage.

Description: 'Apricot Nectar' bears flowers of gentle beauty. With her color somewhat of a challenge to describe, a soft 'apricot/gold' is perhaps a worthy effort. While the flowers may seem lost during the hard light of mid-day, they are truly breath-taking in the soft light of early morning or at dusk.
While her flowers' color allow her to blend beautifully with perennials, due to her rather upright growth, Apricot Nectar is best suited for the middle or back of the border. Disease resistance and cold hardiness are good, and flowers are put forth upon single stems and in sprays. Blooms hold up well on the shrub and as cut flowers.

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Top 10!

Love the sultry-sweet scent of a great rose? Have you ever wanted to know which ones smell the most delicious? Well, here are your top ten most fragrant roses according to the American Rose Society!

American Rose Society List of Ten Most Fragrant Roses:
(Listed in alphabetical order)
1. Aida - Medium Red
2. Captain Harry Stebbings - Deep Pink
3. Dublin - Medium Red
4. Folklore - Orange Blend
5. Fragrant Cloud - Orange Red
6. Limelight - Light Yellow
7. Miss All-American Beauty - Deep Pink
8. Mr. Lincoln - Dark Red
9. Royal Highness - Light Pink
10. Tiffany - Pink Blend

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Watering Tips

Efficient watering and common sense saves this precious resource.Experts estimate that Americans use nearly 408 billion gallons of water per day. On average, 50 to 70% of home water is used outdoors for watering lawns and gardens.
That’s why the Irrigation Association has named July Smart Irrigation Month. The organization’s goal is to raise awareness of the importance of water conservation in the lawn and garden. According to IA, most homeowners are sending their watering dollars down the drain.
Technological advances in home watering systems are making it easier than ever to preserve this resource and save money at the same time. “Smart” watering systems, from computer-assisted programmers to inexpensive drip watering kits, are now available to homeowners.
Here are Toro’s top ten things you can do to conserve water right in your own backyard:
Put a layer of mulch around your plants. Mulching helps to retain moisture and prevents evaporation. A generous amount of 3- to 5-inches is best.
Install a drip irrigation system around your shrubs, hanging baskets, flower and vegetable gardens. Drip irrigation systems use 50% less water than conventional sprinklers. And, they’re more efficient because they deliver the water slowly and directly to the plant’s root system.
Install a home irrigation system with a rain sensor. Many states and local water districts now require rain sensors. Homeowners who have irrigation systems use less water on their lawns and gardens than those who don’t. Watering efficiently, and only when your plants and lawn need it can save a great deal of water. Rain sensors interrupt the watering program if it rains, saving even more water.
If you already have a home irrigation system, make sure you’re getting the most out of your timer. New technology makes it easier than ever to program and monitor your watering needs. Consider upgrading your timer. Automatic, programmable timers save more water than mechanical models.
Don’t fertilize during hot, dry weather. Applying fertilizer can actually enhance drought problems. When you do feed your lawn and garden use a slow release fertilizer.
Raise the blade on your lawn mower. Closely cropped grass requires more water.
Recycle your grass clippings back into your lawn by using a mulching mower. You’ll not only conserve water, you’ll save time while mowing.
Cut back on routine pruning. Pruning stimulates new growth, and new growth requires more water. Only prune your plants when it wilts or leaves die out.
If you use a hose and portable sprinkler, buy a hose end timer to regulate your watering time.
Sweep your sidewalks and driveway rather than hosing them down.

Information from

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Basic Lawncare Tips

Few things in the home landscape generate as much pride as a healthy lawn and for some, it can generate fear and loathing. Having a lush green turf can be challenging, but true lawn American Lawn lovers enjoy the small tasks required for a great looking lawn. For those that fear the challenge, it most likely is because they don't understand the basic principles involved in maintaining a healthy lawn. Some people feel that lawns are worthless and that the entire country would be better without the green expanse of lawns that surround our homes. They forget that grass is a natural element of our environment, whether that plant was here when the pilgrims landed or not, doesn't mean a thing. When the pilgrims landed, we didn't have large farms that could feed the entire world either, does that mean we should go back to the way things were 300 years ago? Of course not. Turf grasses are ideal for what we require Grass is an ideal plant that is readily available and provides an environment for multiple uses around the home. If it didn't provide this comfortable environment, then we wouldn't be growing grass, we'd be growing something else. It is part of our American culture to strive for excellence in all that we do. That's part of what makes America so different from the rest of the countries in the world. It is in our nature, our basic genes so to speak, that causes us to be the best and it is in this drive for perfection that has created the American Lawn we have today. The American Lawn is almost an institution. Because we are so driven to excel that we sometimes get into trouble by trying to grow certain grasses in geographic areas that shouldn't be growing there. In these situations growing grass becomes an indulgence that perhaps should be criticized. Trying to grow Kentucky Bluegrass in the southwest is not only futile, but extravagant. Trying to grow a grass not suited for a region, means that an artificial climate must be created for it. This is extremely wasteful. In the north and northeast, the climate their is ideally suited for Kentucky Bluegrass. It doesn't require vast amount of irrigation to thrive. The soils are such that it doesn't require vast amounts of fertilization to thrive. The same holds for the south. Turf grasses grown there are ideally suited for these weather extremes. Select turf grasses suited to your climate So the basic idea behind turf care is to grow grasses that are best suited for your climate. Don't try to change the climate, but change the plant to fit the climate you have. Once you have selected a plant type that will thrive, then preparation and maintenance are keys to success. Remember to choose and apply fertilizers wisely and to follow label directions carefully. In the case of lawn care, more is not better. Use pesticides wisely and only when absolutely necessary. Knowing the correct product to apply at the proper time is the key to a perfect lawn. Preparation and maintenance are the keys to turf grass success Here are a few basics to help get you over the minor challenges that growing turf grasses can present after you've selected a grass type suited to your climate. Clean the Lawn Clean the lawn. Before beginning regular lawn maintenance in the spring, rake up accumulated leaves. Remove fallen leaves as soon as possible in the fall. Look for other forms of debris, and remove from the area. Accumulated debris on the lawn whether it's from tree leaves or other items, block the sunlight and will cause the grass to fail. Because grass grows best when it is regularly cut (grass is one of the few plants in the world that actually thrive from being cut) mowing the lawn should be looked at carefully. Ideally, lawns should be somewhat level for ideal mowing. That doesn't mean you have to live on a completely flat property, it does mean that your lawn should be as even as possible to avoid having the mower jump up and down as you push it. This up and down motion often results in scalping the lawn which causes many problems for the health of the grass. If your yard has high or low spots in the lawn try doing the following: Fill holes with topsoil and over-seed with a similar grass as what is already growing in your lawn. Only grow grasses suited for your climate. Whether you are repairing a bare spot, seeding a new lawn or reseeding an existing one, grow the right kind of grass for your growing zone. Follow the fertilizing and irrigation schedule that applies to your turfgrass variety and follow a regularly scheduled maintenance program. Remove bumps by cutting an X in the raised area with a shovel. Carefully peel back the sod and remove as much soil as necessary. Place the sod back in place and water. Inspect for damage regularly Inspect for disease, insects and weeds on a regular basis. Mowing is a great time to keep an eye out for these problems. Learn to recognize and treat problems quickly and appropriately before they become big problems. Check Your Soil Soil tests are the best Do a soil test. Follow the recommendations that accompany soil test results. When applying fertilizer, follow directions carefully. Only add necessary amendments recommended by the test results. This will tell you if your soil needs additional elements to successfully grow grass. The test might show that it's pH levels are out of whack and you might need to add lime periodically. The soil test will tell you if there's enough phosphorus in the soil, and if there's plenty, then you can use a phosphorus-free fertilizer. The soil test will also tell you how healthy the soil is, that is, if your soil has lots of microbe activity or is it a sterile piece of dirt. If there's a lot of microbe activity, that's good, if it's sterile, then you'll want to add additional organic material. Compacted soils Check for soil compaction. Compacted soils do not create an environment good for root development and for microbe activity. Aerating compacted soils regularly helps to loosen up the soil and provide additional opportunities for root development and increased microbe development. Aeration also helps to keep thatch layers in check. Early spring and summer are the best times to aerate your lawn. Compacted soils prevent water and air from reaching the roots and also causes runoff. Areas that repeatedly have standing water after heavy rains are likely to be compacted. Excess thatch build up could be a problem Check for excess thatch and remove. A thatch layer that's too thick (over 1/2") promotes a shallow root system that can't survive dry weather. This is best done in the fall and before fertilizing. Remove the debris caused by dethatching. Good Maintenance Tips Good maintenance of your lawn helps keep your lawn healthy and in better shape visually Watering On occasions, Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate in providing enough water at the right time throughout the growing season. At times when the rains don't fall you may want to consider additional water. If this is the case, to get the best results, water deeply in the early morning. Deep watering reaches the roots, where healthy grass comes from. Infrequent and shallow watering does more harm than good. It would be better not to water your lawn at all than to follow this schedule. That being said, don't over-water. Your lawn only need about 1/2" of water a week to survive. Providing more than 1/2" of water through irrigation not only is wasteful, but it may cause problems for the lawn. Don't water the street, sidewalk, or driveway! Don't water just after fertilizing. Mowing Mow grass to the proper height with a mower with a sharp blade. Never cut off more than 1/3 of the blade when mowing. Grass needs the surface area of the blade to sustain itself. Removing too much of the blade creates an environment ripe for disease. Don't blow grass clippings into the street. They end up in the storm sewer and only add additional nutrients to already nutrient laden streams and rivers. Improve light penetration Prune trees and shrubs to let sun and air circulate. This helps promotes growth and discourages disease. Maintain equipment with periodic checkups Take care of lawn equipment, both before and after the growing season. This insures that your lawn mower will work as it's supposed to, but will do an excellent job of cutting the grass in a way that doesn't damage the turfgrass in the process.
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