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Landscaping Spring Cleanup: Advice From The Experts

a hat, gardening shears and gloves to get started with spring landscaping cleanup

As the temperature starts to warm up and the first signs of spring appear, homeowners quickly turn their attention to their yards, as many grasses and plants go dormant during the cooler months of the year. When considering your landscaping, spring cleanup can consist of:

  • Clearing all debris, including dead leaves, fallen branches, pet waste and other clutter.
  • Planning your mowing, fertilizing and watering schedule, or signing up for a lawn service to take over these regular tasks for you.
  • Dethatching any dead roots or leaves in your lawn that may prevent your newly growing plants from getting the nutrients they need.
  • Pruning trees and shrubs to encourage healthy growth.
  • Take a blower to patios and decks to get all dust and other particles off of your commonly used spaces
  • Giving your lawn and landscaping some breathing room by planning to aerate.
  • Re-edging your flower beds.
  • Beginning a regular watering and weeding routine to encourage new growth of … Read Full Post »

How Often Should I Mow My Lawn?

Someone mowing their lawn

When caring for your outdoor spaces, one of the first considerations is how often you should mow your lawn. A number of factors will dictate the frequency of your mowing schedule, including the type of grass you have in your yard and the climate in your geographical region. As a general rule of thumb, during the colder portions of the year, when most varieties of grass go into their dormant phase, you shouldn’t have to mow your lawn often, if at all.

During the warmer seasons, however, you’ll need to mow regularly. For most yards, that means mowing once a week, or at least two to three times a month. The most important consideration when it comes to cutting your grass is how tall a healthy sprout is. Three of the most common grasses throughout the warmer regions of the United States are zoysia, St. Augustine and Bermuda grass and each … Read Full Post »

Florida Carpenter Ants: Controlling An Infestation

Florida carpenter ant on damaged wood

You’ve found what looks like tiny sawdust piles along your baseboards or in your attic crawl space. Then, you spot an ant. After hearing horror stories about the damage these ants can do, you begin to worry that you may have a carpenter ant problem. First, you’ll need to confirm that what you have is actually a Florida carpenter ant and not something else.

Florida carpenter ants have a brown to rusty orange-colored head and thorax with the bottom half of their bodies being black. This ant grows a circular ring of golden hairs around its abdomen. Antennae are bullet-shaped and segmented into 12 parts. Workers measure in at about a quarter of an inch to a half of an inch in length, while winged swarmers and the queen can reach up to three-quarters of an inch long.

If the ants you have seen on your property fit this description, you’ll need … Read Full Post »

Who Fixes Garbage Disposals?

Kitchen sink with a garbage disposal

Doing the dishes is already a tedious chore for many homeowners. When you’re standing at the sink with the water running and scrub brush in hand, you expect everything to work. That’s why it can be such a disappointment when you rinse food off your dishes into the sink and hit the switch to activate your garbage disposal, only to hear an odd noise, detect a terrible smell or worse—to hear nothing at all. In any of those scenarios, the question will instantly pop into your mind: Who fixes garbage disposals? Should you call an appliance repair person, a plumber or someone else entirely?

The short answer to that question is that both appliance repair technicians and plumbers can address issues with garbage disposals. Do keep in mind, though, that choosing the right person to call when your garbage disposal breaks can depend on the type and extent of the particular … Read Full Post »

The Ultimate Guide To St. Augustine Grass Care

St augustine grass care

Homeowners who want a thick, lush lawn that is less vulnerable to weed growth, easy on your bare feet and common in residential areas often choose St. Augustine grass. However, the benefits of this versatile variety are offset by the fact that St. Augustine isn’t low maintenance. If you want to keep your lawn green from spring to fall, experts recommend that your St. Augustine grass care focus on three main areas: mowing, fertilizing and watering.

Mowing

Homeowners are sometimes surprised to learn that cutting your grass is not just about aesthetics, but also helps keep plants healthy. At the beginning of spring, when soil temperatures grow warmer and plants emerge from dormancy, it’s time to start mowing. To encourage the optimal growth of St. Augustine grass, we recommend setting your lawnmower to a height of between two and a half to four inches. As long as you don’t let your grass … Read Full Post »

¿Cómo Eliminar Chinches De Cama?

Cómo Eliminar Chinches De Cama

Las chinches de cama son insectos diminutos de forma plana y ovalada que a pesar de ser minúsculos pueden detectarse a simple vista, y que se alimentan de la sangre de seres humanos y animales. En caso de haber detectado la presencia de estos insectos en su propiedad, hay varias medidas que usted puede tomar para intentar deshacerse de ellos. Los tratamientos posibles incluyen el uso de calor, frío, vapor o incluso la secadora de ropa, pero dada la naturaleza insidiosa de estos insectos es muy difícil obtener resultados definitivos sin solicitar los servicios de un especialista.

El color de una chinche de cama (también llamada ácaro) varía según la etapa del ciclo de vida en la que se encuentren, haciéndose más oscuro a medida que los insectos maduran. Los huevos son de color amarillo claro, y los insectos adultos son de color marrón rojizo.

Señales Físicas De Chinches De Cama

Antes de … Read Full Post »

Cómo Destapar El Inodoro

Como Destapar El Inodoro

Ir al baño, hacer funcionar la descarga del inodoro, y encontrarnos con que el agua no corre y el inodoro está tapado es una de las situaciones que la gran mayoría de nosotros hemos tenido que enfrentar en algún momento. Las causas de esta obstrucción pueden ser diversas (como un desagüe viejo o ineficaz, niños pequeños que han tirado juguetes, exceso de papel higiénico, por ejemplo) pero el resultado es siempre el mismo, y nunca es agradable.

Se puede intentar destapar un inodoro aumentando el volúmen de agua que circula, o utilizar una sopapa, una serpiente de drenaje, o productos apropiados. Pero la mayoría de los propietarios que se enfrentan a este problema eligen evitarse las molestias y contactar rápidamente a un plomero que solucione el inconveniente sin arruinar el inodoro ni ninguna de sus partes y sin causar problemas mayores.

A continuación le explicamos en detalle varias soluciones caseras para intentar … Read Full Post »

Are Termites Harmful To Humans? Your Questions Answered

Are termites harmful to humans

Yes, termites are harmful to humans, but perhaps not in the way you might immediately think. These creatures aren’t often responsible for serious physical harm, as they do not pose the same health risks as many other insect and animal pests that can bite or sting you or transmit disease. However, the destructive impact of termites on the structure of a home makes these pests extremely dangerous.

Only in rare cases have soldier termites bitten people while defending their colonies. While in the most severe infestation scenarios, occupants can experience contact dermatitis, asthma attacks and lung irritation, these instances of direct ill effects are relatively rare. However, left untreated, this insect can completely break down all the wooden structures in a wood-built house (including the furniture) within three years. Within five years, termites can render a home unfit for human habitation and cause it to be condemned. In short, termites are … Read Full Post »

Pruning Salvias: How To Care For These Ornamentals

When it comes to pruning, salvias known as scarlet sage don't require too much work

Salvias are popular ornamental plants that provide a pop of color in your yard and can withstand extreme temperatures. There are over nine hundred different species of salvias, each with different flowers and smells. Salvias thrive in warm climates and don’t need much water, making them a relatively low maintenance plant in Texas and other southern states. Pruning salvias can enhance their appearance and help these plants stay healthy throughout the year. There are three main categories of salvias, and each should be pruned slightly differently.

Deciduous Herbaceous Salvias

Deciduous herbaceous salvias are shrub-like and have soft stems. These salvias include:

  • Pineapple sage, also known as tangerine sage
  • Mexican Bush sage
  • Waverly sage
  • Bog sage
  • Gentian sage

These types of sage are relatively easy to prune. In the winter, older, soft stems will die off or freeze, so you’ll want to wait until the spring to do your pruning. Any old growth that is left on the plant … Read Full Post »

How To Unclog A Dishwasher With Standing Water

How to unclog a dishwasher with standing water

While cleaning up after dinner, you notice that a significant amount of water has accumulated in the bottom of your dishwasher. You know that a little water is normal, but this seems excessive. Before you tackle another load of dishes sitting in the sink, you may realize you don’t know how to unclog a dishwasher with standing water. You’re probably also wondering why this happened in the first place and how can you prevent it from happening again.

The most likely reason water is pooling in your dishwasher is that you have filters that have been become blocked because of food debris that has built up over time. Most newer models have manual-clean filters, unlike the self-cleaning filters that were more common in these units a decade ago. Clogged filters can prevent water from rising or draining, and can even make your dishes smell. Thankfully, cleaning your manual filters is relatively … Read Full Post »