Posted on Mar 28, 2018

Starting vegetable and flower seeds indoors is easy if these steps are followed.

The first step is seed selection. Make sure they are high-quality (purchased from a reputable seed dealer) and free from weed seeds. Hybrid seeds generally cost more than non-hybrid cultivars but may have increased vigor, better uniformity, larger yields, resistance to some diseases and other desirable qualities. If seeds from previous years are used, the germination percentage decreases. How much depends on how they were stored. If stored in a cool, dry location, many seeds will germinate to acceptable percentages for a couple years.

Sow seeds in any container, as long as it has proper drainage and does not contain toxic substances. Previously used containers need to be cleaned thoroughly with a disinfectant or soapy water. Use seed-starting kits or fill plastic, clay or peat containers with growing media. Desirable media is loose, fine in texture and drains well. Purchase commercial container/starter mixes or buy materials and mix yourself.

Sow seeds according to package directions; some may need to be covered with a thin layer of soil. The use of plastic over the top of the planting container retains moisture and humidity needed for germination. Keep seeds out of direct sunlight until they germinate. Days to germination varies with plant species. Time seeding of warm-season transplants to synchronize with when seedlings can be moved outdoors following the last frost.

After seeds emerge, remove plastic cover and place near a bright window or under energy efficient grow lights. Keep the light as low to the seedlings as possible, to prevent stretching. Seedlings in soilless mixes need regular fertilization. Apply a water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength a week after seedlings germinate. Then fertilize every two weeks at full strength.

Transplant seedlings after they develop at least one set of true leaves (the leaves above the cotyledons or “seed leaves”). Transplant into individual pots or thin within the flat. Remove seedlings carefully to preserve as many roots as possible. Seedlings are fragile so avoid picking them up by the stem.

Approximately two weeks before planting outdoors, begin hardening off the fragile seedlings to increase their chance of survival. Place them outdoors where they will receive direct gradual sunlight. Start with a couple of hours of sun, then gradually increase and expose to some wind for a few hours each day for a week. Gradually lengthen the amount of time outside each day. Move the plants inside at night if temperatures drop to near freezing. Keep them watered and once the plants are hardened, transplant into the garden and enjoy the summer’s bounty!

Starting seeds indoors is a simple and inexpensive way to enjoy many plant varieties not commonly found in garden centers. Seeds can be started in containers found around the household – plastic trays or cups, egg cartons, and the like – or in seed starting trays or peat pots from the garden center. Regardless of what container is used be sure it has holes for drainage.

A commercially available seed starting mix or fine textured potting mix will provide a sterile, weed-free medium in which to start the seeds. Plant seeds according to package directions. It is generally recommended that most seeds be started four to eight weeks prior to the last killing frost.

After planting the seeds, water them in with a fine mist hand sprayer and cover lightly with a layer of plastic. Until the seeds germinate, keep them in a warm location away from bright sunlight. Most seeds prefer temperatures between 70-75°F to germinate. Seeds in the Solanaceae or nightshade family germinate better if soil temperatures are close to 80°F. As the seedlings emerge, remove the plastic and move the container closer to a bright window or light.

For proper growth, seedlings require adequate light. If a bright window location is unavailable, suspend a fluorescent light fixture three to four inches above the new plants. A combination of one cool white fluorescent tube and one warm white tube will provide the broad spectrum of light needed. For best growth, keep the lights on 12 to 16 hours daily.

After seedlings grow and develop true leaves, fertilize with a quarter-to half-strength water-soluble fertilizer to stimulate healthy, even growth. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, carefully transplant seedlings into their own small pots to provide them room to grow.

Take care not to expose seeds and seedlings to cold drafts or allow them to wilt. Watch for signs of disease. Too much moisture, high temperatures, and poor light weaken the plants and make them susceptible to the damping off fungus.

About two weeks before transplanting into the garden, start the hardening off process.

Posted on Feb 26, 2018

Drip, or micro-irrigation, the technology uses a network of plastic pipes to carry a low flow of water under low pressure to plants. Water is applied much more slowly than with sprinkler irrigation.

Drip irrigation exceeds 90 percent efficiency whereas sprinkler systems are 50 to 70 percent efficient. It is so efficient that many water utilities exempt landscapes irrigated with drip from restrictions during drought. Note that any irrigation system is only as effective as the watering schedule used. If systems are set to water excessively, any system including drip can waste water.

Low volume application of water to plant roots maintains a desirable balance of air and water in the soil. Plants grow better with this favorable air-water balance and even soil moisture. Water is applied frequently at low flow rates with the goal of applying only the water plants need. Sprinkler irrigation results in a greater wet-to-dry fluctuation in the soil and may not produce optimal growth results.

Micro-irrigation systems are more widely available and better designed for use in home gardens than ever before. Traditionally used for growing commercial vegetables, orchards, windbreaks, greenhouse and nursery plants, micro-irrigation systems are well-adapted for home use. Use them in landscapes, vegetable and flower gardens and for small fruits. They are well-suited to irrigate container plants as well. When combined with a controller, drip irrigation systems can be managed with ease.

Micro-irrigation is ideal for berm plantings. Slopes are inefficient to irrigate because gravity pulls water downhill, causing runoff and water waste. The slow rate of water applied through drip irrigation is more likely to soak in before it runs off.


Drip irrigation delivers water slowly immediately above, on or below the surface of the soil. This minimizes water loss due to runoff, wind, and evaporation. Drip irrigation can be operated during the windy periods frequently seen in Colorado.

The mold spots on house siding and the staining and deterioration of wood privacy fences experienced with overspray from sprinkler irrigation is eliminated with the use of drip. Because water doesn’t leave the landscape with drip irrigation, pavement deterioration associated with sprinkler irrigation runoff is eliminated.

Properties with old, galvanized steel water service lines where corrosion has resulted in a narrowed diameter may benefit from a retrofit to drip irrigation. The low volume requirements of drip irrigation are a good match with restricted supply lines.

Drip systems can be managed with an AC or battery powered controller. Automated landscape irrigation is an advantage to many people with busy lifestyles.

Adaptable and changeable over time, drip systems can be easily expanded to irrigate additional plants if water is available. Emitters can be simply exchanged or removed and emitter lines eliminated or repositioned. When plants are removed or die, drip lines should be plugged.


If emitters are poorly placed, too far apart or too few in number, root development may be restricted by the limited soil area wetted. Water seeping at ground level is hard to see and makes it difficult to know if the system is working properly. An indicator device that raises and lowers a flag to show when water is flowing is available to overcome this issue.

Regular maintenance inspections are needed to maintain system effectiveness – the same as with high-pressure sprinkler systems. Clogs are much less likely with filtered water and proper pressure regulation used in combination with self-cleaning emitters.

Drip tubing can be a trip hazard especially for dogs and children but is less problematic if covered with mulch and fastened with wire anchor pins every 2 to 3 feet. Drip lines can also be easily cut while undertaking other landscape maintenance activities.

Where to Drip: Placing Emitters

Drip irrigation emitters must be placed so that water reaches the roots of plants. Roots will grow where conditions are favorable, primarily where there is the right balance of water and air in the soil.

Design the drip system around the irrigation needs of the plant. For new plantings, make sure emitters are placed over the root ball. Initial placement on perennials is often permanent, unlike trees and shrubs that require emitters to be moved away from the trunk and others added as plants grow. Generally, larger plants have larger and more extensive root systems. A greater number of emitters is needed with larger plants and higher water-using plants. Fewer emitters of lower flow are needed with lower water-using plants or plants that will receive only occasional water following establishment.

Drip emitter placement is also related to whether the soil is sand or clay. To compensate for variations in lateral movement of water in the soil, locate emitters 12 inches apart in the sand, 18 inches apart in loam, and 24 inches apart in clay. If one to two emitters are recommended for a plant in a clay soil, two or three may be required in a sandy soil to wet a sufficiently wide soil area.



Posted on Jan 29, 2018

Believe it or not, keeping the green of Spring in your life year-round, is easier than you think. While it is great fun to get outside when the weather breaks, and start planting that landscaping project, many people keep the outdoor freshness in their life, all year long, by starting indoor container gardens.

A houseplant, usually native to tropical climates, is grown indoors for decorative purposes. Houseplants also provide a natural, and cost-effective way, to clean indoor air. According to the Dr. Wolverton NASA study, it is suggested that at least one potted plant, per 100 square feet, of home, or office space, is needed to be an effective air cleaner.

TOP 10 plants most effective in removing: Formaldehyde (found in almost all indoor environments), Benzene (more industrial), and Carbon Monoxide from the air

 * Bamboo Palm - Chamaedorea Seifritzii

 * Chinese Evergreen - Aglaonema Modestum

 * English Ivy - Hedera Helix

 * Gerbera Daisy - Gerbera Jamesonii

 * Janet Craig - Dracaena Janet Craig

 * Marginata - Dracaena Marginata

 * Mass cane/Corn Plant - Dracaena Massangeana

 * Mother-in-Law’s Tongue -  Sansevieria Laurentii

 * Pot Mum - Chrysantheium morifolium

 * Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum

 * Warneckii - Dracaena Warneckii

Of all the plants that are easiest to grow indoors, herbs are at the top of the list. Not only are they green, and decorative, they are also delicious and very aromatic. And when grown in the kitchen, they are just a step away, from the pot of spaghetti sauce, or the stew, that is cooking for dinner.

Get your houseplants from a good garden center, or a nursery that will have plenty of garden advice, to help you with your indoor garden. You will need some garden equipment, like a small digging garden tool, garden gloves, organic fertilizer, and some small gardening containers. You probably already have most of these garden supplies in your storage area.

The major factors to consider when growing, and caring for houseplants, are light, temperature, water, containers, and fertilizers. Most plants come with a description tag, that will guide you on how to care for that specific plant.

Although the kitchen is a desirable spot, your plants will do best, in a window that has at least, six hours of sunlight per day, to keep the growth cycle moving along. This could be an east or south window. West windows tend to have the hottest sun, which may not be good for tender young plants, especially in Spring or Summer. If the window area tends to be extremely cold during winter nights, you may want to put the plants down in a cupboard, or table until the sun comes back up.

Most indoor plants need good lighting. You can provide this, through natural lighting in the room of your choice, or there must be electric lighting. Darker colored plants usually do not need as much light as some others.

Here are a few varieties of plants, that require medium to low light, and are known to be suitable for indoor gardening:


Boston ferns

African violets


Creeping Figs

Most houseplants grow in a tropical climate, which ranges from 60 to 80 degrees. The majority of homes are kept around this temperature; therefore, houseplants can thrive inside the home very nicely. It is best, if night temperatures, are 10 degrees lower, to duplicate nature.

Be careful of your watering habits, since plants in pots, do not lose their water into the earth around them like they would in a garden. Water only when the soil is beginning to dry. But remember also, that your house, does not have the same humidity, as an outdoor garden, and in winter, particularly, indoor heating systems dry out the air. Mist your plants in winter, to keep the leaves from drying out, and to prevent the infestation of certain pests.

Keep the plant evenly moist, but there should not be standing water in the plant's saucer. This might require watering two to three times a week. Water the plant thoroughly, and after 15 minutes empty any water that is standing in the saucer. A common mistake most people make in indoor gardening, is they tend to overwater their plants, which may lead to rotting roots. Make sure to research the type of plant you have, because each kind of plant varies on their watering needs.

When picking a container, or pot for your houseplant, make sure it will drain properly. I know what you are thinking, many pots are sold without drainage holes! If you find one, that you are absolutely in love with, then drill a hole in the bottom of the container, otherwise, your plant will almost certainly die. Without a drainage hole, water collects in the pot and causes damage to the roots. If you are unable to drill the hole, you can double pot your plant.

Choose good quality and attractive containers for your indoor plants. Make sure that the pot is clean, before placing your new plant into it, to prevent infection, and to encourage healthy growth. Your container can be pretty much anything and is only limited by your imagination. For a formal garden choose a more traditional container. Regardless of your choice of container, make sure it is not too big, or too small, for the plants you have chosen.

Just like watering, fertilizing depends on the type of plant. If you have managed to supply your indoor garden with the right amount of light, water, and humidity, fertilization may not need much attention. A good indoor fertilizer can be bought from most hardware stores. Orchids need the special fertilizer specially formulated for them.

Go to your local garden nursery center and look through the selections there. Choose plants that will harmonize with one another, and colors that will work together. Container Gardening is fun and easy, and a great way to show off your handiwork.

Posted on Dec 27, 2017

Every area of the country has its own type of winter and all types of snow. Heavy wet or light dry snow, whatever the location when you are getting into winter and you are in an area that is for sure going to get hit you need a plan, don’t wait, it could get serious and someone could get hurt or be stranded in an emergency situation. Having a snow removal contract for the season is the best suggestion, for many reasons but some are you will be guaranteed service and not have to wait because you called for a one-time service and you will be at the bottom of the list. And once some reliable companies are all booked up for the season you may get the not so reliable service you need.

In some districts, there is a limit beyond which you cannot pile up excess snow, or you may not pile it up next to homes. Ensure that the snow removal team is not blocking fire routes or neighbor parking areas in the process of clearing your designated areas.

The blanket of snow that the winter season brings is perhaps most awaited phenomenon of nature. But with beauty, it brings along a lot of other problems and may turn it into a dangerous sheet of ice for residents, drivers, and pedestrians as well. Continuous and heavy snowfall can cause severe disruptions to public infrastructure and services, slowing human activity even in regions which are constantly facing such weather.

If you are facing a similar problem in your area then it’s high time that you search for best snow removal service providers here and get your job done by professionals.

Professional snow removal companies are well equipped with all of the latest and necessary equipment required for snow removal. They have professionally trained teams that manage the ice without creating any problems in your area or damaging items there.

Before you end up paying any random company for this job, there are a few things that you must consider to get the best possible service and value for your money. This will also ensure that you get someone that's available during the winter rush.

Details are Important

Many commercial snow removal companies have designed attractive offers like an incentive or money-saving deal with different rates as per requirement.

Some companies have commercial snow removal packages which include everything from initial assessment, snow removal, ice removal and even salting or sand in the end.

Though all these packages will feel great to go with, you should make sure what's included in each package so that you can opt for only necessary services and reduce overall expenditure.

Enquire about the technology they use and if their staff is well trained to carry out the job.

Appropriate Placement of Snow

You and the snow removal company that you hire should be aware of any law or safety requirements for placing the excess snow in a particular area. In some districts, there is a limit beyond which you cannot pile up excess snow, or you may not pile it up next to homes. All necessary precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of public and property.

As a precaution, ensure that the snow removal team is not blocking fire routes or neighbor parking areas in the process of clearing your designated areas.

A note for those new to an area that is most definitely known for its accumulating snow, like in the high country, talk to your new neighbors and ask for some local advice and don’t stop there, do your homework. Whether it is a residence or a business you are seeking to be cared for with snow removal you need to find the right company that fits those particular needs.

Posted on Nov 26, 2017

Some people are unaware of the risks involved with snow shoveling and are unaware that there are companies that provide snow shoveling as part of their business package of snow removal.

Hiring a professional snow removal company to do all your hard work for you could save your life or save one from a severe injury and here is why:

Several investigations have been done as of late that demonstrate a solid correlation between increased hazard for heart attack and shoveling snow. For sources on this, essentially search the web, where a lot of studies are sketched out on trustworthy sites, for example. Other than heart attacks, many different wounds are correlated, for example, strokes, broken bones, harmed neck and back, pulled muscles and even strained ligaments.

What's the science behind these investigations? I mean really, how could snow shoveling lead to heart attacks? Indeed, it is usually done in severe temperatures, and for the individuals who are not presented to strenuous exercises on a regular basis, shoveling can be a real stun to the heart, much the same as any other exercise that you are unaccustomed to. Experiencing a strenuous exercise with the addition of icy temperatures is what leads to increased strokes and heart attacks.

According to the seventeen-year study, appearing in the January 2011 issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the most common injury diagnoses were soft tissue injuries (55 percent), lacerations (16 percent) and fractures (7 percent). The lower back was the most frequently injured region of the body (34 percent), followed by injuries to the arms and hands (16 percent), and head (15 percent). Acute musculoskeletal exertion (54 percent), slips or falls (20 percent) and being struck by a snow shovel (15 percent) were the most frequent mechanisms of snow shovel-related injuries.

While cardiac-related injuries accounted for only 7 percent of the total number of cases, they were the most serious, accounting for more than half of the hospitalizations and 100 percent of the 1,647 fatalities associated with shoveling snow. Patients 55 years of age and older were 4.25 times more likely than younger patients to experience cardiac-related symptoms while shoveling snow. Among patients 55 years of age or older, men were twice as likely as women to exhibit cardiac-related symptoms.

"The cardiovascular demands of snow shoveling are increased by the freezing temperatures that typically accompany snowfall. Not only is the heart's workload increased due to shoveling snow, but cold temperatures also add to the chances of a heart attack in at-risk individuals. We recommend talking to your doctor before you shovel snow, especially if you do not exercise regularly, have a medical condition or are in a high-risk group.

Experts also recommend that people consider alternatives to shoveling snow such as hiring someone else to do it.

Snow shoveling is a known trigger for heart attacks. Emergency rooms in the snow belt gear up for extra cases when enough of the white stuff has fallen to force folks out of their homes armed with shovels or snow blowers.

What’s the connection? Many people who shovel snow rarely exercise. Picking up a shovel and moving hundreds of pounds of snow, particularly after doing nothing physical for several months, can put a big strain on the heart. Pushing a heavy snow blower can do the same thing. Cold weather is another contributor because it can boost blood pressure, interrupt blood flow to part of the heart, and make blood more likely to form clots.

When a clot forms inside a coronary artery (a vessel that nourishes the heart), it can completely block blood flow to part of the heart. Cut off from their supply of life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients, heart muscle cells begin to shut down, and then die. This is what doctors call a myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome. The rest of us call it a heart attack.

The so-called classic signs of a heart attack are a squeezing pain in the chest, shortness of breath, pain that radiates up to the left shoulder and down the left arm, or a cold sweat. Other signs that are equally common include jaw pain, lower back pain, unexplained fatigue or nausea, and anxiety.




Posted on Oct 27, 2017


The snowplow manufacturing industry has made significant advances in construction and design of plows, and now, in general, the following plows, along with proper techniques, can help you make your operation more efficient:

Straight Plows When you have a straight plow, angle the blade away from the building as you make your first pass. Subsequent passes should be made away from the building and toward the outer perimeter. The general rule is to never angle your blade towards a building. The goal is to get the snow as far away from the buildings as possible.

V-Plows • Use a V-position to make an initial breakthrough. This position is also effective for hard packed snow, ice and deep drifts. • Set the blade in the straight position or angled position for general, wide path plowing or stacking. • Use the scoop position for clean-up and carrying snow with minimum spillage.

Pushers/Box/Containment Plows • When using a snow pusher, be sure it’s attached according to the manufacturer’s specifications. These specs are designed to provide the best performance, wear tolerance and safety. • A snow pusher on a loader, backhoe, skid-steer or compact utility tractor can quickly and efficiently move large volumes of snow. • Snow pushers contain snow and don’t create as much of a windrow, which eliminates the need for repeated plowing of the same area to clean up the spillage. • By utilizing the loader’s lifting capabilities, snow pushers can be used to stack huge piles of snow. And, by removing the snow pusher attachment you’re left with a loader capable of loading trucks in case the snow must be hauled away.

De-Icing and Anti-Icing Historically, snow and ice removal has been achieved with over-use of chemicals and the use of shovels, plows, and other equipment. In recent times, granular materials have become a popular and effective method for maintaining safe conditions during and after a storm. A quick review of current terminology provides a simple breakdown of the options that are currently available on the market: De-Icing: Deicing is the reactive application of ice control products to driving or walking surfaces, to melt existing snow and ice. Deicing is performed after snow removal operations to melt any remaining snow and ice. Anti-Icing: Anti-icing is the pro-active application of ice and snow melting products to driving or walking surfaces prior to a snow or ice storm. Anti-icing helps prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, allowing snow and ice to be cleared more easily. When used effectively, anti-icing can create some of the safest conditions in the winter, and be a cost-effective alternative to de-icing. Understanding the difference between anti-icing and de-icing can yield insight into the different approaches utilized by professional snow removal services. In general, materials used in de-icing and/or anti-icing include sand: Although sand can provide some amount of traction, it technically is not a de-icing material, since sand in no way melts snow or ice. A common misperception is that sand is the best alternative for snow and ice control due to its low cost and common use. Sand may also have environmental impacts related to drainage that must be considered. Salt: Sodium Chloride, or rock salt, is the most common de-icer in use today. Generally, this product is effective, though not at all conditions. In very cold conditions (typically less than 23 degrees F), salt begins to lose its effectiveness and is either not used or is overused in an attempt to make up for reduced performance. Sand/Salt Mix: Another common practice is to mix sand and salt together for de-icing. This method is effective in maintaining some traction, due to the sand, but it will reduce the amount of salt that can be applied to an area, so less de-icing occurs while environmental concerns and clean-up costs associated with the sand rise. There are many other products in use in today’s market, and each of these differs in effectiveness, cost, availability, and environmental impact. Talk to your in-house snow removal specialist or private contractor to determine your needs. These products include: • Calcium Chloride • Magnesium Chloride • Potassium Chloride • Urea • Calcium Magnesium Acetate • Potassium Acetate


Posted on Sep 27, 2017

Are you ready for this year’s Snowfest? We are not talking about the entertainment options but the logistic one. Is your business ready with proper snow removal services plan? Have you appointed some commercial snow removal company so that your office or workshop, or home driveway remains operational during the important Snowfest days?

There are certain essential services that cannot stop under any circumstances. For example, a hospital cannot close down because of a snow storm and a university cannot change its examination schedule for unusual snow deposits. In recent years, it has also caused flooding and severe weather condition creating havoc in people’s lives. So, if you do not have a plan to tackle snow deposits around your building you can find yourself to be cut off from the rest of the world. To stay away from all your worries, talk to a commercial snow removal service today and choose a plan that is the most appropriate one for your establishment. A good company provides snow removal services that are capable of snow and ice management.

They have experienced contractors who know how to handle the seasonal nature of the snow. Even if you have a large area to be cleaned you cannot have all the equipment’s needed for the job. In addition to that, you will have to assign the job to someone who must have a proven credential and experience in handling snow removal. Also, the job may have to be undertaken often at unpredictable hours. But, when you leave the job to the professionals, you can remain free of all these worries.

If you own a business, you definitely need to stay on top of snow removal. Your customers will be turned off by the fact that they can barely walk up to the door, especially if it is covered in frozen water. In fact, even if they want to access the door, they might not be able to due to the mountain of frozen powder piling up. Plus, this could become a safety hazard. If someone gets stuck in it or slips, or otherwise gets hurt, you could be required to pay the medical bills and any property damage. Your insurance should kick in, but your provider could drop you as a customer if it is obvious that the incident could have been avoided. Fortunately, you can probably prevent such an occurrence by just calling a professional company to do this job.

Residential driveways in the mountains always need to be dealt with, with the heavy snows and getting to work and kids off to school need not be an issue when you have a contract with a professional snow removal company.

There are clearly a few reasons to avoid procrastinating in the hopes that the issue will resolve itself before you have to do it on your own. Rather than facing the possibility of people getting hurt on your property, or being unable to get in or out, you should provide yourself with the peace of mind that a professional could give you when it comes to this job.

The biggest mistake with snow removal contracting is waiting to the last minute, its some’s nature, however, when you live in the mountains there’s little room for error when it comes to snow. So, if you're new to the area and know you are going to need assistance, call now, get quotes and seek your best choice now before it’s too late. Most companies have seasonal contracts and some even offer certain benefits to certain conditions, but again don’t wait till everyone is booked up and you have to wait stuck at home or a business.