An Update on My Bearded Buddy Bob and Getting Ready For a Spring Lawn

So my bearded buddy Bob was back at the beginning of Spring to get some tips on how to get his lawn ready. This is an important time of year for guys who like a good lawn, and I was happy to get the chance to share some tips with him.

The last time we had spoken, Bob had some problems with dandelions, and keeping them from turning his green lawn into a yellow mess. We wanted to get a head start on this problem, as well as ensure that his lawn would look great for the summer. If you neglect this, you are going to be paying a hefty price all the way to the Fall.

  1. The first step, I explained to Bob, was to rake the lawn. This controls thatch and helps to aerate the soil so that fresh nutrients will penetrate. By removing thatch and undoing any matting done by snow deeply, you are setting the stage for a beautiful lawn.
  2. If during the raking you notice signs of compacted soil and moss, you may need to take the extra step and actually aerate those areas professionally. This is most common on parts of your lawn where there is heavy traffic. You can also apply lime if there is an excessive amount of moss in your lawn during the Spring.
  3. For those bare spots, I explained to Bob that he would have to plant seeds and then five weeks later apply a quick release nitrogen fertilizer. This helps to ensure that your lawn is lush by the time you are stoking your first barbecue.
  4. I recommend that you follow a schedule of fertilizing your entire lawn with one of the top selling lawn care products. These are usually sold according to season, making it easier for a novice like Bob to know what to do.
  5. For Bob, since we already knew his lawn has a penchant for dandelions, we also took the extra step of adding pre-emergent herbicides. This actually takes care of the problem before it becomes a problem. A shield is formed that does not allow seeds to penetrate the lawn, so it is important that you aerate and seed before applying these products. It is also important that this be done in the spring, since this is the time when crabgrass seeds are most abundant.

de-thatching1Once we had Bob all set up for the Spring, he gave me some of his own trimming advice for his beard. Seems like the secret is in the beard balm that he uses, so my next mission is to read some beard balm review sites to see what’s up.


Building a Custom Sauna Room in Your Own Backyard

It used to be that at an at-home sauna symbolized luxury in a home, but now with the introduction of portable infrared saunas, it is a snap to turn your backyard into your own luxury spa. These have the ability to help you relax and unwind after a hard day of taking care of the lawn, without the bother of a gym membership.

Getting Started on Your Outdoor Sauna

The first thing you are going to need to do is pick out the right portable infrared sauna for your home. They come in a variety of sizes, with some being able to fit up to six people at a time. If you are having a hard time choosing, find a review site for portable infrared saunas and see what real users have to say. You will find the information on these types of sites very useful.

Once you have the size picked out, you can go ahead and find the spot on your beautiful lawn that you are going to dig up. We did ours with a two foot perimeter around it so that the wife could have some more flowerbeds. We also planned extra space in front for a table and some chairs to give us more room for outdoor entertaining.

What Do You Need for the Portable Infrared Sauna?

The beauty of an infrared sauna is that you don’t need to worry about a water source. Instead, you can simply run an electric line from your home’s fuse box right to the spot where your infrared sauna is going to be. Although they don’t take that much juice, it is a good idea to hardwire the portable infrared sauna rather than having it share a fuse with other objects or lights.

saunaOnce your yard has been dug up, and a foundation laid in place, you are ready to install the sauna. Most come very easy to build, pretty much just unfolding into place. As soon as it is set up, give the interior walls a good wipe down and then go ahead and plug her in. Within minutes you are going to feel the calming effect that an infrared sauna has.

Now that it is in place, your wife can go ahead and plant her flowers, and you can sit back and enjoy your new view of the lawn you worked so hard for. If we can’t take advantage of luxuries like this, really what’s the point in keeping up with it.

Setting Up an Archery Range That Won’t Hurt Your Lawn

Archery is a wonderful and tranquil sport that can be taken on the road to a professional range, or with little effort, be enjoyed in the pleasure of your own backyard. Of course if you are obsessed with how your lawn looks, you can create a space to shoot that fits right in, and does not deter from your bright green blades of grass.

Just a word to the wise, before you set up anything in your yard where you are using the number one rated recurve bow to shoot pointed arrows, check with your towns local ordinances. Worst case scenario is that they are going to tell you no-go stick to the public range, or they will have nothing at all on the books. Even if that is the case, you will still need to exercise caution when choosing a spot to shoot your arrows at.

What makes an archery range so appealing to me is that you really only need one small area where the grass will be trampled. The target will be raised, so will not have anything to do with the terrain at all. What you should consider however is setting it up in front of your shed, gazebo, or other large structure that will block the path of the arrow if it decides to meander past the target. You don’t want an upset neighbor with one of your arrows sticking out from their behind.

You can choose the classic colored round target for your range, but I like the newer 3-D animal targets that are coming out. This add a natural feel to your yard and a realistic feel to your shooting efforts.

Once you have your target in place, create a pathway using stone from the target area to where you will be standing with your recurve bow. Here you should create a platform, using flat stones that match your landscaping. With the platform and pathway in place, there is never any reason to walk on your lawn while shooting your recurve bow and arrows. You can even make your shooting platform big enough to be a hangout spot, placing chairs and tables for you and your friends.

Flat stones work best because you are able to mow over them without fear of hurting the blades of your lawnmower. This ensures that your archery range will not mean more for you and your lawn in terms of maintenance.

I love a good sport, and envy the guy that puts a golf hole in his yard, but there is too much at stake for the lawn for me. An archery range is a happy outdoor medium, where I can enjoy the tranquil sport at home, but not risk ruining the hard work I have put into my lawn.

My Bearded Buddy Bob and His Dandelion Ridden Lawn

If you think about, there are a lot of weeds that are uglier than a dandelion, but no lawn lover ever wants to see that bright yellow head poking through the green. Even worse is when they turn white, and dandelion seeds are spread everywhere.

That’s the problem with dandelions. One or two may not seem like a big deal, but left to their own devices they proliferate rapidly. And with a root system that is considerably more extensive than your grass roots, they will soon drown out your lawn.

I recently met up with an old friend – Bob – who upon hearing about my business asked me to see about his lawn problems. So I took a ride out to his house and found a lawn on the brink of destruction by an overwhelming amount of dandelions.

In some cases, a home owner in this spot will simply trash the whole lawn and start from scratch. But when I threw this idea out to Bob, he scratched his very nicely trimmed beard for a minute, and then explained that he simply could not afford that. I made a mental tip to get some beard trimming tips (guy looks slick, gotta admit) from him when the job was complete, and got to work on killing the dandelions.

DANDELIONSRidding this lawn was going to take a few weeks, starting with the dandelions that were visible. These need to be sprayed one by one with a weed killer from the top to the bottom. Avoid pulling out the plant. Dandelion roots can go as far as 3 feet deep into the ground. If you don’t get the whole thing, you’ll just end up with more yellow flowers.

2 weeks later and went back to check on the progress. Most of the weeds were gone, and I did one more spray on the rest to get them out of the way too. I explained to Bob that if he did see the white flower, that he should pluck it off as carefully as possible and discard it before the seeds spread. We then talked about tips on getting his lawn back in shape, and how if he mowed at a higher setting, a thick green lawn would help to stop dandelions from being able to seed in the first place.

The roots will survive the coldest of winters, so it is important that dandelion prevention be kept up well into the fall.

Bob was incredibly happy with the new look of his lawn, especially the new patches of green that were taking over. I did not forget to get my own advice on that perfect beard. He told me that the secret was finding a great beard trimmer. Not much different than shopping for lawn mowers I suppose.

Can Essential Oils Work in Your Yard and Lawn?

Essential oils have been making a big buzz in recent years for the incredible health benefits they offer. People even soak small pads with their favorite scent and wear it all day in an essential oil diffuser necklace. But now there is reason to believe that these oils are also good at keeping your grass and gardens growing.

antEssential oils are a derivative of natural plant life. All plants emit certain oils, and some of these contain vital elements that benefit humans. They also have an almost toxic effect on certain bugs that plague our yards.

If you are experiencing pest problems in your lawn or gardens, these essential oils can be sprayed on the ground and the plant to chase those pesky bugs away. Completely natural, there is no need to worry about adding harmful chemicals to the ground around your home or the vegetables you may be growing in your garden.

  • Ants: These little guys can do a lot of damage to a garden, yet the scent of peppermint totally turns them off. Add a line of peppermint around the base of your plants and you built an ant fortress.
  • Aphids: Aphids are not happy with peppermint either, or white fir and sandalwood. Whip up a concoction of all three and you have a potent aphid killing potion.
  • Beetles: Thyme is the enemy for beetles of all shapes and sizes. Mixed with peppermint and applied to your lawn, you will create a bug free environment that smells fresh too.
  • Chiggers: Chiggers scurry far away from the smell of lavender. Thyme and lemongrass are also not their favorite scent. If you put these together and spray, you will be able to keep chigger colonies at bay.
  • Cutworm: this nasty garden beast has no time to wreak havoc when you apply thyme to your plants. Get in as close to the root as possible to ensure no sneak attacks from below ground.
  • Flies: Strong, clean scents are a flies worst enemy. If your compost is attracting flies, add equal portions of the essential oils clove, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and rosemary. That will make them fly off looking for new prey.
  • Gnats: These tiny little pests can ruin an outside party fast. Place patchouli essential oil inside of a diffuser and they’ll run for cover fast.
  • Mosquitoes: Are you being eaten up alive by mosquitoes? It may be to your benefit to fill your essential oil diffuser necklace with a blend of lavender and lemongrass. The mosquitoes will look for new blood, and you’ll better enjoy your summer.
  • Moths: Another insect that hates peppermint you can use essential oil infused candles to make them flutter to the house next door.
  • Plant Lice: The same goes for plant lice. Sprayed directly on your shrubs and trees, peppermint will chase plant lice away pronto.
  • Slugs: These disgusting creatures crawl back in the dirt if they get a whiff of white fir.
  • Snails: Not cute like you may think, snails can destroy your plants unless you douse them with a mixture of patchouli and white fir.
  • Spiders: Push spiders to build their webs elsewhere with peppermint.
  • Ticks: The smell of thyme, lemongrass and lavender will keep tick colonies out of your lawn. You can even make a bath mixture from these essential oils to protect your dogs and cats.
  • Weevils: the essential oils sandal wood and patchouli are great defenders against the weevil warriors.

Essential oils offer a natural way to keep your entire yard organic. If bug infestations are a problem in your yard, identify them and then use the right essential oil to keep them moving on to other yards.

Why Should You Care So Much About Your Lawn?

Believe it or not, there are some parts of the world where a dirt front yard is the norm. No one has ever heard of a lawn mower, and a patch of dandelions is considered a pretty flower patch. I have had the opportunity to live in both the lawn obsessed world and in a world where the grass only green where the cows graze, and to be honest, what I have found is that it is better where the grass is greener.


Let’s start with simple aesthetics. A house just looks better when it has a full green lawn in front of it. Now some may argue that I only say that because it is what I am used to, but I disagree. I got used to a dirt yard too, but it never inspired me to kick off my flip flops and run around like a kid. Look at this way, we have all seen the must have wedding photos of the bride leaving the house for the church. I challenge even the best Calgary wedding photographer to make those shots look appealing in dirt. Unless the wedding photographer just shoots from the waist up like they might do for your engagement shots, there is no gown on the racks that is going to look beautiful sitting on top of raw turf.

So it looks better, and frankly it feels better on bare feet. But have you ever realized that a lawn is actually serving a purpose in protecting your home and health. Open the windows for a day in both types of environment and then run your finger across the furniture. There is actually sand in a house when there is no grass in front of it to hold it down! This is true. Every time the wind blows, even just a bit, actual sand enters the house. And then it takes up residence. On the furniture, in the carpet and in your HVAC system. Which continues to blow it around as you breathe it in.


So a house with a green, lush lawn is actually cleaner.

Are There Any Plusses?

Well you don’t have to mow grass obviously, which could give you more time to enjoy the weekend. But if you have landscapers you don’t have to mow grass either. The cost may be lower since you don’t have any lawn maintenance stuff to buy, but you will end up paying for a lot more cleaning supplies for the inside of the house. So no, I really can’t think of a single plausible plus.

The bottom line is maintain your lawn like you maintain your home. You may complain every once in a while, but I have lived the alternative, and you will find much more to complain about there.


Basic Mowing Techniques

LawnBunnyA lot of us think that mowing a lawn is a chore, but at least it’s a simple one. All you have to do is turn on the mower, then walk around your lawn for a little while. This may not seem overly complicated, but there is actually more to mowing a lawn than this if you want to have a healthy, great looking lawn. Things like how much to cut, when to cut, and how to cut it all must be considered in order to have the best looking lawn. If you are interested in have the best lawn possible, you need to have good mowing techniques. Below are some of the basics to help get you started.

How Much To Mow:

How much you should mow your lawn depends upon the time of year. Obviously you probably won’t need to mow your lawn as much in the Winter as you would the Summer. Below is a rough guide for how much you should be cutting off of  your lawn.

Winter: A little over an inch
Spring: An inch, once per week.
Fall: Half an inch, once or twice per week
Summer: Less than an inch, once a week

This schedule will not work for everyone, but it is a good place to start if you are unsure how much you should be cutting.

Mowing Patterns:

One simple tip to remember is that it is better to cut off a little bit of grass often, versus a large amount of grass sparingly. When you are mowing, start with the outside edges, then work your way inwards. You should also try to alternate the way you cut your lawn each time in order to get healthier grass. If you go left to right one week, try going right to left the following week. Another thing to try is cutting the lawn diagonally. This will give your lawn a unique cut, and will keep the lawn healthier.

Types of Cut:

There are basically two types of lawn motors: Cylindrical and Rotary. It doesn’t matter which type you use, as long as you make sure the blades are always sharp. Rotary lawns are typically quicker and easier to use. Cylinder lawn mowers give a finer cut, and are normally used on things like formal lawns. Decide which is best for you and stick with it.


Lastly, be sure you are getting rid of your clippings properly. There is going to be a lot of them, and you don’t want to leave them sitting on the lawn. Deposit them in a compost heap, or at a local recycling center.

Hopefully these few tips will lead you to a better looking lawn. There is a lot that goes into it, and it’s more than we could cover here. If you are itnerested in learning more about proper mowing techniques, there are plenty of resources online that can help you out. Good luck with your lawn, and feel free to browse our website for more helpful information on lawn care!



Lawn Care Tips

LawnFlowerWe all want to have a perfect green lawn. Unfortunately, this can take a lot of effort, and if you don’t know what you are doing, it can be quite difficult. There is a lot that goes into maintaining a great lawn, but with a little patience it can be achieved. If your lawn could use some work, and you don’t know how to get started, we are here to help. Below are some useful tips to help get you going on having a great looking lawn.

1. Use Fertilizer – Applying fertilizer will help your lawn grow strong and fast. You need to apply the fertilizer at the correct time however, and this differs for everyone. When you should apply fertilizer will depend on where you live, what time of year it is, and how much sunlight your lawn is getting. If you are unsure about applying fertilizer, consult with an expert in your area before laying any down. They will be able to tell you the best time to lay down fertilizer in order to get the best results.

2. Use Proper Mowing Techniques - There is a lot more to mowing your lawn than simply turning on the mower and running it over the grass. Some things you should consider are how much of the grass you are cutting, how sharp the motor blades are, and the direction you are mowing the lawn in. This may seem like a lot of effort for something so simple, but if you want the best lawn possible, you will have to think about these things. One tip we can share is to not cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade. Cutting more than this will stress out the grass and make it harder for it to grow.

3. Proper Watering – Again, there is more to watering your lawn than just turning on a sprinkler. While making sure the lawn gets water is good, if you are not giving it the proper amount of water, it won’t be as great as it could be. Look into the best times to water a lawn, and figure out how much water your lawn should be getting. Each lawn is different, and it will depend on the amount of shade, and the type of grass you have growing.

4. Test Your Irrigation System – If you have an irrigation system running, it doesn’t hurt to check it every once in a while. Make sure that it is running properly, and that it is delivering the correct amount of water in all areas. You shouldn’t need to check these things too often, but every once in a while is a good idea.

Hopefully these few tips were able to give you a head start on having a great lawn. As we are sure you can tell, there is a lot to think about when taking care of your lawn. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed though. Just take it step by step, and make sure you keep on top of everything. If you can do that, you should have no problem growing a great looking lawn.