Friday, April 25, 2014

Shopped Online for Garden Replacement Plants

Now that my garden has grown in I am aware of the plants and flowering shrubs  that did not survive the bitter cold winter.   Today I made a list of what I needed and shopped online for the replacement flowers for my gardens.

I needed to replace my daisy gardens and bought at a mixture of Green Envy coneflower, Black-Eyed Susans, Every blooming purple coneflower and crazy Shasta daisies. These flowers will be planted in my wildflower garden back by my serviceberry shrubs. 
Daisy garden with coneflowers

Also from I was able to replace the bee balm.  I bought 12 plants that were on sale.  The bee balm will bloom in early summer and continue to bloom until fall.  This plant is fast growing, perfect for borders that are close to dog kennel. The entire plant; leaves and flowers have potent mint fragrance plus it grows to 3 feet with similar spread. 

As for shrubs the oak leaf hydrangea was replaced with an elderberry black lace sambucus. This shrub will produce pretty flower blooms in the spring followed by edible fruit in the late summer. I am glad I was able to find the plants at as they were exactly what I was looking for as all will attract wildlife to my yard

Now all I need is some red cardinal flowers for the moist soil around the pond where nothing else will grow. 
Cottage Garden

I am looking forward to my replacement plant deliveries and look forward to spedign time in the garden.  I am so happy the winter season is over and I am  looking forward to an enjoyable summer season.

Note:  I was able to buy many plants with a coupon that I had gotten from Michigan Bulb and thus saved greatly.  Had I shopped locally I would have paid more.  When I receive the  plants I will post again to let you know the quality of plants and will share photographs.

Attribution: Cottage garden with bench:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Greenworks Mower Comparison: 24-volt battery verses 40-volt Lithium-Ion

I don’t like emissions, fumes and the smell of gas makes me sick; headaches and upset stomach.  So I told my husband that this year we were going to buy an earth friendly lawn mower and searched online at and  

I narrowed down my search to two Greenworks cordless battery operated lawn mowers.  Prices were comparable at both online store, however you could pick the mower up at your local Sears or have it shipped, that was extra. offered free shipping on these greenworks lawn mowers.  


Greenworks model 25222 24-volts cordless 20 inch Lawn Mower

Greenworks 25302 40-volt  G-max cordless Lithium-Ion 20 inch 
two in one twin force lawn mower

  1. One has a 40 Volt lithium-ion battery which is desirable but this 50 pound mower is not self propelled and I don’t like the idea of walking behind and pushing it up the slopes in my yard.  The other greenworks mower is cordless self propelled with a 24 volt sealed acid battery.  
  2. Both lawn mowers have the dual blade that not only cuts the grass but also mulches and feeds into an attached bag. I like this feature because it saves time and energy; I no longer after to rake to remove the cut grass from the lawn, instead I can remove the bag and then add the clippings to the compost.
  3. Both lawn mowers are good for the environment because there is no gas emission, fumes, potential hazard of gas spillage into the soil, and no noise; you cut the grass in peace and quiet.
  4. The 40 volt has lithium-Ion battery and the other has a sealed lead-acid battery.
  5. The 24 volt model offers self propelled allows you to cut the grass without becoming exhausted
  6. Battery life differs but if you have a small to medium sized yard you will be able to get it cut with one battery charge.
  7. I am certain that when I present my cordless battery charged lawn mowers to my husband that he will agree that the self propelled is the right mower with extra battery is the right choice for us.

Other lawn Care Articles by Sgolis

Learn more about cutting your lawn with battery electric mowers by

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Aerated: Late Spring Lawn Care

Normally the lawn is my husband’s job but this year it has become my job.  Today when I look out at the lawn I viewed a few green patches, but other than that the lawn looks like there is a lot of thatch build up around the roots.   I decided to aerate the lawn to punch holes into the soil so that oxygen, hydration and fertilizer can get to the grass roots.

There are a couple ways to aerate your lawn, for small yards you can wear aerator sandals and walk across your lawn in the same way in which you would mow your lawn. 

I personally like the lawn aerator rake because it gets rid of the excess thatch and also loosens the soil around the grass roots.

 For larger yards you may want to look into buying Agri-Fab spike aerator push.  This aerator looks like a push mower however the blades will loosen the soil up to 2.5 inches.  Then there are self-propelled units that you can hook up behind your lawn tractor.  These aerating attachments are great especially for the homeowner with large lawns.

Clean up after you aerate your lawn with a rake, then plant grass seed or fertilize your lawn.

Other Lawn Care Posts by Sgolis

Learn more about thatching and aerating your lawn by viewing this video:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Protecting Plants From Late Spring Snow

When I looked out my window this morning I could not believe my eyes, because snow was falling onto my newly green lawn and my flower gardens.
Tulips in snow

White powder from the sky is covering the newly opened tulips, lilacs, redbud blooms, irises with buds, and this morning I noticed the hostas had broke the soil surface.  

My entire yard and garden is flourishing because of the warm spring like weather.  This April Snow will destroy my plants because of the hard frost advisory.

Normally I cover my plants with blanket frost protection and I will use the row covers for my crops in raised vegetable garden; however I cannot cover the entire yard and all of the gardens.

I am hoping for the best, that the wintry mix moves far enough away from my area to prevent the temperatures from dropping into the low 20’s.   

Related Garden Posts by Sgolis

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Testing Soil to Determine Right Grass Seed for Lawn

Before you can grow a lush green lawn I recommend that you know what type of soil you have.  Grass seed is formulated to grow in specific soil types and if you want a lawn that will be admired by all then test your soil.  

combination lawn; sun and shade
Choose grass seed blend for combination lawn; sun and shade

I would recommend that you buy a soil test kit to check the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium pH levels.  I you can buy and inexpensive kit at, or any garden center; Lowes and Home Depot also sell soil test kits.  

Know that if your soils pH is 6.0 to 7.0 then you are in good shape because you have the perfect soil for growing a lush green lawn.    When you know your pH level you will be able to shop for the right grass seed for your lawn. 


View this video to learn how to test your soil pH

Attribution: Lawn with sun and shade:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yard Sale Find Creates an Inexpensive Garden Path

While shopping at our neighborhood yard sale I found some capstone at a yard sale and then my brother gave me some cypress mulch.  I knew immediately that I had the makings of a practical and inexpensive garden path.
Garden path

When it comes to creating garden paths in my yard I tend to design paths that are practical and cost effective.  I do not have a lot of money to invest in garden hardscapes so I tend to make best with what I have or buy inexpensive materials from yard sale finds.
Stepping stone path with mulch

Path Location
The capstone path would be located adjacent to my side steps and then would wind around my black-eyed Susan flowers, ornamental grasses and herb garden beds, thus providing me with easy access to gardens without walking on the grass.  It would also put an end to dirty shoes tracking mud or dirt indoors.

Garden Path Installation
When planning a garden project I prefer to design by drawing the path out and then work with my husband in the preparation and installation. 

Husbands to do list:

  1. Remove the grass with lawn trimmer
  2. Level the soil
  3. Lay out the stones for easy stepping
  4. Remove the dirt so he can set the stone into the space so that it is even with the soil.

When husband completed the layout for the stepping stone path I then filled in around the stones with cypress mulch. 

The finished recyled capstone and cypress mulch path looks wonderful, even my neighbor likes the mulch surrounding the stepping stones.  You do not have to use the stone steps, you can create an easy garden path with using the mulch only. 

Total out of pocked expense was $10.00: 14 capstones for $10.00 plus cypress mulch was given to me.   

View other landscape post by Sgolis here