web analytics

Archive | Home and Garden

Five tips to remove the pain from painting

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Family Features

If painting is on your list of home upgrades to tackle this year, you may find yourself procrastinating to avoid a painful process. However, with the right tools and a little preparation, you can achieve the new look you want and a finished product that makes you proud.

Before you get started, take inventory of your painting supplies and ensure you have plenty of brushes (including extras, if you’ll have help), paint trays, masking tape, clean-up rags and drop cloths to protect your floor or furniture. Make a list of any items you need to purchase, and before you head to the store, measure your space one last time to ensure you know how much paint you need to buy.

Follow these additional tips for a painting project that delivers a big home improvement gain without the pain:

  1. Lights on, lights off. Think about lighting when choosing your paint. It is easy to pick a color solely based on a photo or swatch, but it is important to think about your specific room and how the lighting may affect the color’s appearance. What is the natural light like? Will you still like the color once the sun goes down?
  2. Timing is everything. Prime painting season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. One important reason is that when the weather is nice, you can open up the windows and get some circulation running through the room for faster drying times and better air quality.
  3. Prepare for everything. Before you begin painting, protect surfaces and ensure sharp lines by masking off your painting area. Pull off a better paint job with new ScotchBlue Platinum Painter’s Tape, which tears by hand at a straight, 90-degree angle for fast cornering. The tape is made from advanced poly material that helps prevent paint seepage and removes in one piece without tearing or slivering.
  4. Make it fun. Get the whole family involved in the project. Having kids take part will help give them a sense of ownership and responsibility for the family home, and make the end result more personal.
  5. Revel in the results. Putting in the legwork in advance will pay off when you get the freshly painted look you want, and you’ll want to celebrate the accomplishment. Make sure to take before and after photos to show off your hard work.

Find more tips to pull off a better paint job at scotchblue.com.

Posted in Spring Spruce UpComments Off on Five tips to remove the pain from painting

Spring cleanups start soon

 

By Judy Reed

As the weather warms up and residents begin to spring clean, some municipalities are offering drop off sites to help get rid of the clutter. Check out the list below to see when it’s offered in your area.

Algoma Township: Spring cleanup days are Thursday, May 5, through Saturday, May 7. Dumpsters will be available at the township hall at 10531 Algoma Ave. Hours will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30  p.m. No liquids, no hazardous waste (no paint, oil, fuel, gasoline etc.) No brush or yard waste, no cement.

All tires must be cut in half for free disposal. Whole tires will be charged $10 each. Propane and fuel oil tanks must be cut in half. Fencing must be folded or rolled up. Barrels must have one end open or be full of holes. Mattress and box springs $15 per item.

Will also collect E-Waste at the same location. PCs, Laptops, Servers, Printers, Copiers, Scanners, LCD Screens, Plasma, LED & Flat Screens, Network/Telecom Equipment, other misc. electronics (wires, keyboards, mice, AV). Items not accepted include Items with refrigerant or batteries. CR-TVs and Monitors will NOT be collected. However, Kent County does collect these items for a fee.  Visit www.accesskent.com/Departments/DPW/north_kent.htm for more information.

Call the township for more info 866-1583.

City of Cedar Springs: The annual brush pickup already took place on Monday, April 4. There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date. Check with your waste hauler for pickup.

Courtland Township: Spring cleanup dates are May 20 and 21.

Dumpsters will be available for Spring cleanup on May 20 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and May 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Courtland Twp. Hall, 7450 14-Mile Rd,  Rockford.

Items accepted include: batteries, mattresses, tires if cut up into 3 or more pieces, paint (only if solidified). Appliances must have freon removed.

Contact the Township hall for additional information. Public must be able to unload; questionable large items are subject to rejection. Call the Township hall at 866-0622.

Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5th and Cherry Streets, near the water tower in Sand Lake. Identification required. Please present a tax bill or voter’s registration card and driver’s license. We accept appliances, sheet metal, auto parts and engines (liquid drained), aluminum and copper wire, fencing (flattened and folded), mattresses, furniture, carpeting, clothing, glass, etc. No garbage please. No hazardous or toxic waste. No yard clippings or brush. No shovel offs of shingles and drywall. Also will collect e-waste items such as computers, phones, tools, small appliances, and most anything with a cord or that runs on batteries. Comprenew no longer takes TVs or Computer monitors free of charge. Prices range from $7 or $8 for a 14 or 15 inch, up to $50 for a 42 inch, including projection. Checks only, made out to Comprenew. For more information on what is permitted, or for pricing on e-waste, contact the township at 636-5332 or check their winter/spring 2015  newsletter at www.nelsontownship.org.

One trailer/truck load per residence, no shovel-offs. Loose items must be boxed/bagged.

Sand Lake: See Nelson Township (above) for regular spring cleanup.

Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, May 7 and May 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 15185 Algoma. One 5×8 trailer with 48-inch sides or one pickup box per household. All items should be boxed or bagged, 45 pounds maximum. Tires must be cut in four pieces, car or light truck only, limit four. Appliances such as washers, dryers, etc. will be accepted, but not appliances that used Freon or other toxic chemicals. Call township for more info at 696-1718.

Spencer Township: Spring cleanup is Saturday, June 25, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dumpsters will be available at the township fire department, at the corner of Meddler and 18 Mile Road. Residents will be required to show proof residency. Tax bill, voter registration, or Spencer Township address on driver’s license. No shovel offs or loose trash accepted. Bag it, barrel it, or don’t bring it! All tires must be cut in half, propane and fuel oil tanks must be cut in half. Fencing must be folded or rolled up. Barrels must have one end open or be full of holes. Will accept freezers, air conditioners, washers dish washers, refrigerators, humidifiers, dryers, batteries at no charge. Mattresses and box springs accepted at $15 each.

No liquids, no hazardous waste (no paint, oil, fuel, gasoline etc.) No brush or yard waste, no cement, no shingles.

Recyclables must be taken to a recycle station at either Kent County Landfill on 10 Mile Rd, Rockford, or Pierson Landfill.

Call township for info at 984-0035.

Posted in Spring Spruce UpComments Off on Spring cleanups start soon

Extend the garden season with spring planted bulbs

Calla lilies, like ‘Night Cap’ with its black flowers and the white blooms of ‘Crystal Clear,’ are spring planted bulbs that thrive in full sun or part shade and can be cut to create an elegant display indoors. Photo credit: Longfield Gardens

Calla lilies, like ‘Night Cap’ with its black flowers and the white blooms of ‘Crystal Clear,’ are spring planted bulbs that thrive in full sun or part shade and can be cut to create an elegant display indoors. Photo credit: Longfield Gardens

By Melinda Myers

Keeping your garden looking its best throughout the growing season and into fall is possible with the help of low maintenance spring planted bulbs.  Plant them in spring among other annuals or perennials and watch as these bulbs brighten the garden, adding new life to your late season gardens.

Whether your gardens and containers are in full sun or shade you’ll enjoy the attractive foliage and pop of color that dahlias, cannas, calla lilies, caladiums and elephant ears will add to the landscape.

These easy care plants reward you with loads of beauty. Just plant, water and enjoy. Quality online retailers like Longfield Gardens (longfield-gardens.com) offer the greatest variety of color, shapes and sizes as well as planting and care instructions.

Grow dahlias in sunny areas with at least six hours of sunlight for the best floral display. Simply plant the tuberous roots four to six inches deep with the stem facing up after the danger of frost has passed.

Use dahlias in a cutting garden or as an attractive screen along fences and property lines. Use the shorter more compact border dahlias, like “Gallery Pablo” in containers on your patio, balcony or deck where you and the hummingbirds will enjoy their blooms.

Wait until the danger of frost has passed to plant cannas in a full sun to partially shaded locations. Plant the canna rhizomes horizontally two to three inches deep with the growing point facing up. Take advantage of their bold foliage and use cannas as a backdrop in the flower border or screen in the landscape. Use as a vertical accent in a large container or select dwarf varieties for smaller pots. 

Calla lilies are another spring planted bulb that thrives in full sun or part shade. The speckled foliage adds color to the garden all season long. Include these one- to two- feet-tall plants in the front or middle of the flower garden or as a vertical accent or filler in a pot. And don’t forget to cut a few flowers to enjoy indoors.  The black flowers of “Night Cap” teamed with the white blooms of “Crystal Clear” create an elegant display.

Like the other bulbs, wait for the danger of frost to pass before planting them outdoors. Plant the knobby rhizomes two to four inches deep with the growing point facing up.

Add some color and plenty of wow factor to shaded areas with the foliage of caladiums and elephant ears. These tropical beauties thrive when soil and air temperatures are warm. Wait for the danger of frost to pass and the soil to warm, 65 to 70 degrees, before planting them in the garden.

Use caladiums to brighten containers, dress up window boxes or edge a shady pathway. The colorful leaves stand out amongst the greens of shade gardens. Team variegated varieties with complimentary colored begonias, coleus or impatiens.

Include elephant ears in the garden or containers. Their large heart shaped leaves give a tropical feel to the patio, deck or pool area. Consider planting one, two or more to create an impressive welcome for guests or a bold statement in the landscape. They pair nicely with caladiums, coleus and other shade loving plants.

Make this the best season yet with the help of spring flowering bulbs. You’ll enjoy the variety and late season color these easy care plants provide.
Melinda Myers has over 30 years of gardening experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Longfield Gardens for her expertise to write this article.  

Posted in Home and Garden, Spring Spruce UpComments Off on Extend the garden season with spring planted bulbs

Harvest moon total eclipse

AWE-Dark-Sky-park-eclipse

Dark Sky Parks offer ideal viewing

from the Michigan DNR

Something about the night sky simply inspires awe. As the stars begin to appear after sunset, we can go outdoors and see the vastness of space, and perhaps realize that our day-to-day stresses are not so big after all. Michiganders are fortunate to have access to several ideal locations for stargazing, including three state parks with dark sky preserves: Port Crescent State Park (Huron County), Lake Hudson Recreation Area (Lenawee County) and Wilderness State Park (Emmet County).

On the night of September 27-28, there will be even more reason to visit these parks due to the Super Harvest Moon Total Eclipse. The Harvest moon will be a spectacle to see, and Michigan state parks and state forest campgrounds are ideal viewing locations. The eclipse begins at 9:07, but the best views will be from about 10:10 to 11:30 p.m., from anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains.

Here are a few tips for viewing this natural nighttime show:

  • Show up to your stargazing destination while it’s still light out to allow your eyes to adjust slowly as the light disappears. This also allows you to see where you’re going as you choose the perfect viewing spot.
  • Don’t use artificial light sources such as flashlights and cell phone displays. The first tip above should allow you to see enough to get around without damaging your night vision. If you need to use light, try placing red tape over a flashlight, since red light is less damaging to night vision ability.
  • Make sure you have any necessary parking passes, such as the Recreation Passport, which grants access to any Michigan state park, state forest campground or state boat launch. Please note that Michigan state park day use areas are closed after 10 p.m. For late-night viewing opportunities, be sure to book a campsite and watch the skies from the campground.
  • Bring chairs, blankets, water and snacks to make your night comfortable. You may be there for a couple hours, so don’t let hunger or discomfort ruin this spectacular evening!
  • Know what to look for: visit a site like www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/sky-at-a-glance/ to see what will be in the sky during your visit. Stargazing is even more fun when you can point out constellations, planets and other celestial elements.

For more information about the eclipse, including diagrams and a full explanation, visit http://earthsky.org/?p=51212.

To find a nearby state park or state forest campground, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationsearch.

To check camping availability and make a reservation at www.midnrreservations.com or by calling 1-800-44PARKS (1-800-447-2757).

Posted in Awesome Autumn, FeaturedComments Off on Harvest moon total eclipse

Fall home and garden clean-up project tips

Get ready for colder weather with quick and simple outdoor clean-up tasks.

Get ready for colder weather with quick and simple outdoor clean-up tasks.

(StatePoint) Fall is the ideal season to tick items off your home exterior to-do list. The weather is finally cooler, making the work more enjoyable; and a thorough fall clean-up will give you peace of mind all winter.

Your MVP during home maintenance season can be the pressure washer. Up to 75 times more powerful than a garden hose, a pressure washer is a versatile tool that offers an efficient way to get a variety of cleaning tasks done.

Deck

Once you’re ready to stash away outdoor furniture for the season, remember to wash it down first for a deeper clean than a garden hose can provide. Before moving these items into storage, first let them dry completely.

Ensure your deck is free of mold and debris. A thorough clean will also serve to prep your deck for weatherproofing with a stain or sealant (another useful task to include on your fall checklist.)

Outdoor Surfaces

Rejuvenate driveways, patios, sidewalks and other large flat surfaces quickly and with no streaking using accessories like the Briggs & Stratton Surface Cleaner that works on a 14-inch diameter in one stroke. It features a dome shape to control overspray to protect walls and flower beds.

Grill

Cleaning your grill is a breeze with a pressure washer. First disconnect the propane tank and move it away from the area. Disconnect any electrical lines. Prop up the hood and remove the grates. Treat the entire grill with a degreasing solution, working from the bottom of the cart up to the grill bed. Let the degreaser work for a few minutes. Be careful around gas hoses, connections, electrical components or heating elements.

Using a general medium-pressure spray pattern, flush detergent and rinse any residue, working from the top down. Let the grill dry thoroughly, then coat with nonstick oil to help reduce future build-up.

Safety

Operate a pressure washer only outside, far away from windows, doors and vents to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide gas from accumulating and potentially being drawn towards occupied spaces.

Always wear goggles and closed-toe footwear when operating a pressure washer. Don’t spray near children, pets, electrical wires, or power lines. After use, allow the unit to cool down before storing.

For more outdoor fall cleaning tips, and for resources on choosing a pressure washer right for your home’s needs, visit www.briggsandstratton.com.

Posted in Awesome AutumnComments Off on Fall home and garden clean-up project tips

Plant now for a beautiful garden now and in the future

Photo credit: Melinda Myers, LLC.    Plant daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs in the fall for extra color next spring.   

Photo credit: Melinda Myers, LLC.   
Plant daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs in the fall for extra color next spring.

By Melinda Myers

Don’t pack away that shovel and trowel. Fall is a great time to plant a few new additions in the landscape. Here are just a few ideas for adding immediate and long term beauty to your garden.

Add cool season annuals like pansies, snapdragons, ornamental kale and stocks to brighten the fall garden. Those in milder regions will enjoy them throughout the winter. Consider adding cold hardy pansies. They provide color in the fall garden, survive most winters, and are back blooming in the spring just as the snow melts.

Fall is also a good time to plant perennials, trees and shrubs. The soil is warm and the air cooler, so the plants are less stressed and establish more quickly. Select plants suited to the growing conditions and be sure to give them plenty of room to reach their mature size.

Plant trees so the root flare, the place where the roots curve away from the trunk, is even with the soil surface. Dig a hole, the same depth as the rootball, and two to five times wider. Roughen the sides of the hole and backfill with the existing soil. Water thoroughly and spread a two to three inch layer of mulch over the soil surface, keeping the mulch away from the tree trunk.

Follow a similar planting procedure for shrubs. Plant these so the crown, the place where the stems meet the roots, is even with the soil surface. And be sure to keep the mulch away from the stems.

Plant daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs in fall for extra color next spring. Set the bulbs at a depth of two to three times their height deep. Then cover them with soil and sprinkle on a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, like Milorganite (milorganite.com). This organic nitrogen fertilizer promotes rooting without stimulating fall growth subject to winter kill.

Start planting spring flowering bulbs after the nighttime temperatures hover between 40 and 50 degrees. Be patient; waiting until the soil cools reduces the risk of early sprouting that often occurs during a warm fall.

Those gardening in the far south and along the gulf coast can purchase pre-cooled bulbs to compensate for the warm winters. Or the chilling can be done at home by storing the bulbs in a 35 to 45 degree location for at least 14 weeks before planting.

Those tired of battling the animals may want to plant resistant bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths, Fritillaria, alliums, Camassia, glory-of-the snow, snow drops, squills, and grape hyacinths. You may find it is easier to avoid the problem than battle the animals with repellents and scare tactics.

Plant a few short season vegetables in your garden for fresh-from-the garden flavor this fall. Simply count the days from planting to the average first fall frost to determine how many growing days are left in your area. Select vegetables that will mature and can be harvested in that amount of time. Leaf lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, radishes and carrots are fast growing, cool weather tolerant vegetables that make great additions to the fall garden and your dinner plate.

Get these vegetables off to a good start with a side dressing of low nitrogen fertilizer. Incorporate it into the soil prior to planting or sprinkle a narrow band along the row of plants.  This organic nitrogen will provide needed nutrients without damaging the tender seedlings.

Extend the harvest season with the help of floating row covers. These fabrics allow air, light and water through while trapping the heat around the plants. No construction is needed; just loosely cover the plants with the fabric, secure the edges with pipes, boards or landscape staples and let the plants provide the support.

So be sure to get a jump on next spring’s garden season with a bit of fall planting now.

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ web site, www.melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos and tips.

Posted in Awesome Autumn, FeaturedComments Off on Plant now for a beautiful garden now and in the future

Living landscapes matter

Lawns and gardens are ecosystems that help us all

Lawns provide a safe place for families to gather and for children and pets to play. Grass is also brilliant at combating many environmental challenges.

Lawns provide a safe place for families to gather and for children and pets to play. Grass is also brilliant at combating many environmental challenges.

(NAPS)—While in some parts of our country, people are replacing their lawns with rocks, mulch, cacti and plastic grass—deadening the landscape in order to conserve water—you may not have to.

“Having a lawn and being a good environment steward are not mutually exclusive,” explains Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Grass is a vital part of our living landscapes that contribute to our communities, our families and our health.”

Lawns provide a safe place for families to gather and for children and pets to play. But grass is also brilliant at combating many environmental challenges. For example, a good lawn:

•Filters and Captures Runoff. When it rains, water “sheets off” hard surfaces, such as hardscapes, parking lots, driveways and roads, turning rainwater into fast-moving, storm water runoff. Grass, however, slows down and absorbs runoff, while also cleansing water of impurities and dust. The grass filtration system is so effective that rainwater filtered through a healthy lawn is often as much as 10 times less acidic than water running off a hard surface.

•Reduces Heat. Lawns can be outdoor air conditioners. Turfgrass dissipates the heat island effect caused from asphalt, concrete and other hardscapes. Remarkably, studies have shown that lawns can be 31 degrees cooler than asphalt and 20 degrees cooler than bare soil. That means lower energy bills for you and a nicer environment for everyone.

  • Improves Air Quality. Grass also plays a vital role in capturing dust, smoke particles and other pollutants. Without grass, these pollutants will remain in the air, resulting in more “code red” air quality days.
  • Absorbs Carbon Dioxide. The lawn is the largest carbon sink in the United States. Carbon sinks are natural systems that suck up and store greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The dense canopy and fibrous root system in a lawn sequesters carbon so well that it outweighs the carbon used for maintaining the lawn by as much as sevenfold.
  • Generates Oxygen. Lawns are incredible oxygen producers. A turf area 50 feet x 50 feet produces enough oxygen to meet the daily needs of a family of four.
  • Supports Biodiversity. Grass, trees, shrubs and other plants provide food and habitat for birds and small mammals. Insects, spiders and worms live among the grass blades and below the surface in the turf, so your lawn can support biodiversity and wildlife.
  • Controls Soil Erosion. Turfgrass controls erosion through its natural, dense and fibrous root system. Without grass, soil erodes into streams and lakes, muddying the waters and limiting how sunlight penetrates the water. The nutrients and chemicals carried with soil can cause algae blooms, which steal oxygen from the water and kill fish.

Lawn or no lawn is not the question

So how to maintain a living landscape—even under tough conditions like a drought?

First, choose the right turfgrass for the climate zone and lifestyle. Hundreds of varieties of turfgrass exist, and some of them—such as buffalo and Bermuda grass—are excellent for drought conditions. When established, these grasses require very little water and are hardy enough to survive foot traffic, children’s play and pets.

Secondly, know that too much water is actually bad for grass. Overwatering causes the grass roots to grow horizontally, rather than vertically. With less water, the grass has to work harder and will grow its roots deeper into the soil in search of moisture. This helps it do a better job of trapping carbon and releasing oxygen.

People also need to change the perception that lawns must remain green. It’s okay to let your grass go brown. Grass will grow in cycles, “turning on and off,” based on the resources it gets. As water becomes less available in an area, grass will slow down, go dormant and turn brown. Turfgrass is resilient. It will green up again when the rains return.

Lastly, incorporate native plants with adaptive plants and grasses suitable for the climate. Add pollinator plants that provide food and habitat for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other animals and insects.

For more information, go to www.opei.org/stewardship.

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, FeaturedComments Off on Living landscapes matter

Why you should aerate your lawn this fall

BLOOM-Aerate-your-lawn

(StatePoint) Fall is a great time to aerate the lawn. Whether you do it yourself or hire a lawn care professional to do it for you, aeration at least once per year provides a number of benefits to your lawn, say experts.

The main benefit is to relieve compaction and increase pore space, which promotes gas exchange and microbial activity in the soil and creates a better, more supportive environment for lawn health and vitality. Aeration also promotes better soil drainage, which helps keep disease at bay and allows more water to percolate into the soil from rain or irrigation, meaning less runoff and more water getting where it needs to go.

“Ideal aeration timing depends on turf type and geography,” says Lloyd Von Scheliha of Exmark Manufacturing, a manufacturer of turf care equipment. “But annual aeration provides valuable agronomic benefits to virtually any turfgrass.”

With that in mind, here are some tips from the experts at Exmark to get the most benefits from aeration:

  • Timing: Ideally, aeration should take place during times of active growth to help with recovery. Avoid aeration during times of heat stress or times preceding dormancy. It’s typically best to aerate cool season grasses in the spring or fall, while with warm season grasses, it’s best to aerate in late spring or early fall.
  • Proper equipment: Use gear that meets the needs of your lawn. For example, Exmark offers a 30-inch Stand-On aerator that makes quick work of even large properties with the ability to easily maneuver around landscape features.
  • Follow-up: After aeration, it’s a good idea to water the lawn, as well as a good time to apply fertilizer or overseed if needed. Be careful not to apply a pre-emergent if you plan to overseed, however, as it will prevent the new seed from growing.

Don’t let this important, but often overlooked lawn care task escape your attention this season. At the ideal time for your lawn, either take it upon yourself or hire a professional to give your grass a better chance at thriving.

Posted in Bloomin' SummerComments Off on Why you should aerate your lawn this fall

Outwit the squirrels 

To keep squirrels out of your bird feeder, remove debris and spilled seed from the ground around the feeder that could be attracting them.

To keep squirrels out of your bird feeder, remove debris and spilled seed from the ground around the feeder that could be attracting them.

(NAPS)—Bird feeding can be a fulfilling hobby, if you know how to outsmart a clever squirrel who’s eating your birdseed. These tips can help:

Baffles: Install baffles, at least 15 inches wide and sloped, between the top of the feeder and its hanger on a hanging feeder or between the ground and the feeder for feeders on posts.

Spinners: String spinners on a horizontal line.

Location: Mount bird feeders on a smooth metal pole at least six feet high and prune any branches within a 12-foot radius.

Feeders: 

  • Metal Feeders help minimize the damage from hungry squirrels.
  • Wire Cages placed around a bird feeder will keep squirrels out and allow smaller birds to continue feeding but prevent larger birds from accessing the feeder.
  • Slammer Feeders designed with doors triggered by a large bird’s or squirrel’s weight close and hamper access to seed.
  • Interactive Bird Feeders such as the Squirrel Boss Bird Feeder. This humane and effective squirrel-proof bird feeder has a remote control operated by you from inside your home that gives the squirrel a harmless static shock correction that tingles but doesn’t hurt the squirrel in any way. For more information, visit www.squirrelboss.com or call (888) 476-9499.

Seed: Squirrels are less enticed by nyger, millet, safflower, canary and canola seeds. Adding capsaicin to birdseed can also deter squirrels.

Posted in Bloomin' SummerComments Off on Outwit the squirrels 

Join the Arbor Day Foundation in September 

BLOOM-Arbor-Day-HowToPlant

Receive 10 free trees for planting in Michigan

Everyone from Michigan who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in September will receive 10 free trees as part of the Foundation’s Trees for America program.

Through Trees for America, everyone is encouraged to plant trees, which benefits the environment and improves quality of life. With nearly 1 million members and supporters, the Arbor Day Foundation is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees.

Everyone joining in September will receive an eastern redbud, white pine, sugar maple, white flowering dogwood, pin oak, red maple, river birch, silver maple, northern red oak, and Colorado blue spruce.

“This group of trees was carefully selected to yield year-round benefits in Michigan, including beautiful spring flowers, cool summer shade, spectacular autumn colors, winter berries, and nesting sites for songbirds,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

“These trees will also add to the proud heritage of Michigan’s 119 Tree City USA communities,” Harris continued. “For the past 39 years, Tree City USA has supported effective urban forestry management across Michigan, and planting these trees will enhance the state’s tree-planting tradition.”

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting between October 15 and December 10. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Easy-to-follow planting instructions are enclosed with each shipment of trees.

New members of the Arbor Day Foundation will also receive The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care.

To receive the 10 free trees, send a $10 membership contribution to Ten Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, by September 30, 2015, or join online atarborday.org/september.

Posted in Bloomin' SummerComments Off on Join the Arbor Day Foundation in September