Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Weeds Growing in-between Stepping Stones

Removing the weeds that grow in-between the stepping stones has been my  garden project this week.  Know that I started this task by using a hand tool to dig out the roots but soon realized that to complete the 40 foot paths that I would need to work several days.  A hand pull on a project this large would be really hard on the body.

Here are a few photographs of my many garden paths.  All needed to be weeded last week.
Stepping stone with pea gravel and edge stone

Dry set flagstone walkway with pea gravel
Pea gravel path with stepping stones
Cement capstone garden path 

First I thought I would use the lawn trimmer as a quick fix to my problem.  It looks good until it rained two days ago and now the weeds have grown back and the stepping stone path looks awful.

My husband suggested that I use roundup to kill the weeds and I refused to do the chemical compound being harmful to the wildlife.  I realized that I needed something strong to take care of my obnoxious weed problem so I inquired about a formula at my garden club and they gave me a mixture that consisted of plain dawn dish soap, Epsom salt and water.

I followed the instructions given; mix well spray on the weed liberally on a sunny day and it should start to die off within a few hours.  Well I waited two days and the weeds did not die off.   

I went back to digging the weeds out by the roots, and had accomplished several feet when my husband tells me to mix 2 gallons of white vinegar with 2 tablespoons of Dawn ultra (original Dawn the one that is blue color) mix the formula and spray on the weeds on a sunny day.

Husband  said the vinegar is an acid and it is what kills the weeds, the soap is what keeps the vinegar on the the weeds.  I followed his instruction and mixed 8 gallons of vinegar with the dawn ultra dish soap, sprayed on the weeds in-between the stepping stones and within 2 hours they were turning brown.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gardening Today with Husband

Well the rain has finally stopped and today it is sunny so have been gardening with my husband. This morning we had our coffee on the patio and discussed the garden jobs that we would like to accomplish for the day.

The first thing on our list was to use the grass trimmer around the paver edging and the patios. Husband bought me a ryobi 18V lithium  battery operated trimmer which I like BUT the battery does not give me enough power so I have the option to also plug it into the electric outlet and this is what I do for the tough jobs.  So I worked on trimming and edging around the gardens and husband trimmed the over growth branches on the trees and also trimmed the flowering shrubs after they bloomed.

Many dead branches were removed.  The Earthwise chainsaw on the pole came in handy when husband had to go on the roof to cut back the mimosa branches that were growing too close to the house..

I enjoyed working in the yard today with my husband because we got a lot of work accomplished.  At dusk after we put away all of the yard and garden tools we sat on the patio and drank a cold beer.  Looking out at the yard, know that it is starting to look manicured.

Here are a few photographs of my yard and gardens:

Tomorrow is another day and I intend to tackle the backside of my checklist.  Trim and edge the path in the meadow.  For that job I will have to dress for snakes, ticks, spiders and other garden pests.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Self Propelled All-Wheel Drive Lawn Mower Cuts Lawn FAST

My husband has been working a lot, long hours and on his day off so I thought I would help him out by cutting the lawn with his NEW Husquvarna self propelled all-wheel drive lawn mower.

I called him at work to see if this was okay with him because his particular about his things. When I asked him he laughed and said ”are you sure you want to use my self propelled lawn mower?” I replied “yes” and my husband laughed. Then he told me to hold the bar down lift up the front tires and pull the cord.

So I got dressed and put on my sneakers because I figured cutting the lawn would be a workout. Little did I know that I would be holding on and running behind the lawn mower.

The product summary stated that this self propelled lawn mower was outstanding, dependable with smooth operation, which sounds good.  What I did not read and my husband omitted from telling me that there was a speed control, Yes I learned the hard way that cutting the lawn was comfortable only when you adjust the speed.

Let me tell you, it was set at 4 mph and I was running around the lawn and holding onto the lawn mower. I was certain if I left go that the mower would go off on it's own and crash into a tree or the side of the house. Cutting the lawn was certainly a workout and I am glad I wore my running sneakers.  The lawn was cut in a matter of minutes, this lawn mower is FAST.

If you are interested in learning more about the lawn mower then know that it is the Husqvarna Self-Propelled All-Wheel Drive 3-in-1 and husband bought it at and then picked it up at the store.  Husband said his lawn mower has a Honda engine.  So I think that this is a quality mower, that will last many years and has the capabilities to provide you with a great workout and cut your grass FAST.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Armadillos Dug Up Rose Garden

I learned about armadillo when a mother decided to bring her babies into my yard and dig up my lawn and rose gardens. They were foraging in grubs and other soil insects in my yard and gardens. Know that after she and the kids had a field day with my rose bushes my mind was made up and armadillos were not welcomed into my yard.

Here is a card I found at zazzle that will show you what an armadillo looks like.  I would share with you a photo but I did not get a good capture. 

I knew squat about how to get rid of them so I contacted animal control and they directed me to the conversations office. There they had me take a class on trapping armadillos and said they would assist me on relocating the armadillos after they were trapped.

What I learned is that they have bad eyesight and that I would need to herd them into the trap with boards. Know that I was fearful of doing this because it was a mother and naturally she would want to protect her babies. The last thing I wanted to do was provoke her because a bite would mean not only rabies shots but also treatment for leprosy which consists of antibiotic treatment for up to 3 years.

To remedy my problem with the armadillos husband said he would put up a fence so I could wave goodbye to the armadillos.  If you have this lawn and garden pest in your yard, trapping is one way to get rid of them, but a fence is easy way to keep them out. Know that my brother did trap armadillos is his yard, he said that three of his buddies helped him.

If you want to get rid of the armadillo by trapping then buy a live animal trap to catch and release.  I found some reasonably priced traps  at or or you can contact your cities animal control and they may have an animal trap that you can borrow.  

Here is a video that will show you how to set up a trap for an armadillo, using the boards.  Know that my brother and his buddies did herd the pest into the trapping area. He told me that the armadillo tends to go where it wants.  

Other pest control posts by Sgolis

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

When It Rains I Create Garden Sets at Polyvore

Last week I was productive in the garden and was able to get the yard and gardens manicured after a month of rain.  Everyday I went out to work in my gardens for minimum of six our daily.  I was getting so many projects accomplished.  Then  two days ago the clouds turned dark and it started to rain again.  

Our forecast for this week is rain every single day.  Know that the ground is saturated and the run off is pulling my mulch away from the plants stems.  Plus there are large mud puddles forming in area that I thought was well drained.

Needless to say I will not be gardening this week so I have taken the opportunity to create garden and outdoor living space designs for a few of my clients.  

I find the design tool at polyvore to be quite useful.  Basically I start with a blank canvas and then clip images that I need. I add these images by overlapping them and I create a collage that is eye appealing.

These garden and outdoor space sets help me with my resume and also I use them to show clients.  So it is safe to say that I am always working on new ideas for outdoor living spaces,  and gardens even when it rains.

View a few of my yard and garden designs that I created at polyvore.

Here is a design that I did for a clients covered deck. I really like the way this space turned out because it has good ambiance; warm and inviting.

Blue Theme Outdoor Decor and

Blue Theme Outdoor Decor and Furniture by sgolis featuring outdoor patio chairs

This set features a garden space and path for outdoor gathering. This garden set would be great for a large yard. I like the way the seating area is away from the garden path and flowerbed.

Pink Theme Garden Party

Pink Theme Garden Party by sgolis featuring Tiffany Lamp; Co.

Many people do not have a yard where they can enjoy an outdoor space. So I recommend that they utilize this space that they have. In this set I showed one of my clients how to create a warm and inviting space with container gardens for their front porch.

Red Patriotic Front Porch Decor

Red Patriotic Front Porch Decor by sgolis featuring red area rugs

This set I created to show a client what I wear when I garden.  Know that I really like these zazzle flower print cotton t-shirts because I can add my information for my business on the back. Also the shirt is soft and very comfortable.  Know that the photo of the garden in the background is of my personal daylily garden by my stepping stone path.

Tiger Lily Garden

Tiger Lily Garden by sgolis featuring terracotta planters