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Pull Weeds the Right Way

8/1/2016

Weed pulling is one of those jobs that no one especially enjoys, but it must be done for the health of your lawn and garden. Before you start, we recommend viewing this guide from the University of Minnesota Extension so you don't incorrectly identify something as a weed. Once you're sure about what you want to pull, gather a pair of gardening gloves and a spade or small shovel for the job. You will probably want to have a small bucket or trash bag handy as well.

Some Considerations Before You Get Started
It is important to know your own limitations and to stay safe while completing the task of pulling weeds. To avoid the pain of sunburn and the risk of skin cancer, make sure that you apply sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 15 to all uncovered skin. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with ultraviolet ray protection further insulate you from the damages of the sun.
 
Additionally, it's important to know if you're allergic to toxic plants or insect bites so you can take immediate action if you come in contact with either of these. Pulling weeds can be hard on the back, so be sure to take frequent breaks to avoid an injury. Placing a small pillow underneath your knees helps to make the task more comfortable as well.
 
Ready, Set, Pull
Your task will be much easier if you pull weeds after a good rain when the ground is still damp. With a gloved hand, grab the base of the weed as far down as possible. With a firm grip on the bottom of the weed, pull it sharply out of the ground. If the weed doesn't dislodge easily, loosen the soil around its base with a pointed garden tool. Once you have pulled the last weed, dispose of them promptly to prevent the seeds from being re-introduced to your lawn or garden.
 
Leave the Weed Pulling to The Lawnsmith
If you're not up to this task, no problem. We offer hand weeding as a one-time or ongoing service. Our crew also provides you with useful information to prevent the weeds from returning, such as recommending RoundUp or a similar product. Contact us today to let us know how we can help. 

 

Photo Credit: Jari Hindstrom / Getty Images

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Bugs and Mosquitos Ruining Your Summer? Try Growing These Plants

7/20/2016

You have dreamed about summer for months and it's finally here. It's time to sit in the backyard in the evenings and enjoy this all too brief season. Unfortunately, bugs and mosquitos are already threatening to send you back in the house. Before you let them take over your yard, consider growing some or all of the eight plants described below to repel them. According to the website Real Simple, growing these plants in your garden or a pot in the backyard will keep the pests at bay.

Plants That Do More Than Look Pretty
All plants make your yard more attractive, but these pull double duty by repelling bugs and mosquitos. They include:
 
  • Basil: Common flies and mosquitos dislike the taste of this plant. To keep them away, make sure your basil plant gets plenty of sun and moisture and clip its leaves regularly. This ensures the taste is unpleasant enough for the insects to leave you alone.
  • Citronella Grass: This potted grass has a strong odor that repels unwanted insects. Consider buying a small pot of citronella grass and placing it on a table when you want to eat outside.
  • Lavender: Insects also dislike the smell of lavender. You can keep them from annoying you by planting them in your garden in summer or rubbing lavender oil on your skin.
  • Lemongrass: Since this plant can grow up to five feet tall, you need a large pot for it if you don't plant it in your garden. The smell is what repels bugs and mosquitos since lemongrass is an edible plant.
  • Mint: This is a natural insect repellant, but can be difficult to remove from the garden if you ever want to. For best results, plant mint in a pot and remove dead leaves frequently.
  • Nasturtium: Not only does this plant repel many different types of insects, it also protects the other plants in your garden with an airborne chemical it releases. Nasturtium needs to be planted in the early spring and receive regular watering.
  • Petunias: The petunia plant keeps insects from bothering you in addition to keeping critters such as asparagus beetles and tomato hornworm from destroying your other plants. Transplanted petunias tend to be the most effective.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary grows well in the summer heat and release a fragrance that repels mosquitos and other annoying insects. It also makes an attractive centerpiece for your backyard landscaping.

We're Here to Help
Maybe you don't have the time to grow these plants or you're not sure which ones would look best with your outdoor décor. If so, no worries. Just give The Lawnsmith a call and we would be happy to come out and help you.

Photo Credit:  Michael Möller / EyeEm  - Getty Images
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