Patching Your Pacific Northwest Lawn Before Summer

Patching Your Pacific Northwest Lawn Before Summer - Greenwood HardwareSpring is the perfect time to get your lawn back in tip top shape. Last year’s dry summer lead to a lot of dead spots in lawns all over the Pacific Northwest. For many homeowners, this is a big deal especially for those who take a great deal of pride in having a beautiful, lush lawn that makes you want to kick off your shoes and feel the grass between your toes. You can find what you need to take care of those dead spots at Greenwood Hardware.

Some of the problems you may run into with your lawn are listed below along with fixes to make them disappear.

Moss

If moss is present, apply lime. Moss is an indicator species of acid in the soil which is throwing off the pH a bit. Lawns will often recover naturally once the pH is corrected. One of the best cures for moss is prevention, which can be done by maintaining the right pH in the soil. Test your soil regularly to stop a problem before it happens.

Weedy Spots/Excessive Dandelions

For extremely weedy lawns either manually remove with a puller and/or use an iron chelate spray (FeHEDTA) to kill any broadleaf weeds or moss. This is a non-toxic grass-friendly weed killer. If spraying, apply the weed killer about a week before seeding. This allows the weeds to die down and makes room for the new grass.

Bare Spots

For thin areas mix grass seed with 1ft³ bag of compost for every 25 (for compacted or uneven soil) to 50 ft² of lawn you are seeding or reseeding. Cedar Grove is most commonly recommended for this because of its fine texture. Put shovelfuls of the mixture around the area you’re treating and rake out with a leaf rake. It will fall naturally between clumps of grasses and into the holes any weeds might have been occupying.

Using Compost in the Lawn

Compost adds organic material and some nutrients to the soil that will help your lawn be nice and healthy. It also helps fill low spots in the lawn. Compost hides the tiny grass seeds from birds who will often eat the seed before it has a chance to sprout. It also helps prevent germinated seeds from drying out, so you don’t have to water as often. We do not recommend peat moss as it acidifies soils and is not generally taken from renewable sources.

Don’t be embarrassed by dead spots in your lawn. Head into Greenwood Hardware and pick up the tools you need to get ready for another summer. Come on in, or contact us today.

How to Take Care of the Concrete Around Your Seattle House

How to Take Care of the Concrete Around Your Seattle House - Greenwood HardwareConcrete is a versatile and useful part of the landscaping around the home. We park our cars on a concrete slab, put our patio furniture on concrete and walk along paths of poured concrete. It is a common part of the outside of our home that we tend to ignore. We are always walking on it and don’t spend that much time looking down and checking out the condition of the concrete until it is cracked, filled with weeds and completely unsightly. At Greenwood Hardware, you will find some tools that will help you keep your concrete in good condition and looking as nice as the day it was poured.

Cleaning with a Hose

You will want to use a high-pressure nozzle or a pressure washer to spray the slab from time to time. This helps remove debris from the concrete, including oil and gas that may be seeping into the concrete. Clean the cement immediately after there has been a spill of some kind. There are concrete cleaners you can use to remove stains if necessary.

Seal the Concrete

Concrete sealants will protect the concrete from a lot of wear and tear. You will want to apply sealer every two years or so. If the weather has been particularly brutal, you may need to seal the slab on a yearly basis.

Avoid Chemical De-icer

In the winter, you don’t want to slip and fall, but putting chemical deicer products on the concrete strips the seal and can lead to splotchy patches and peeling in the spring and summer. If you can, use rock salt, which is less corrosive. Sand is another option. On a side note, the first year of a concrete slab leaves it very prone to chemicals. Avoid de-icer the first winter after the slab has been poured.

Follow Weight Limits

Your driveway was poured with the intention of an average car parking on it. Parking a heavy duty truck or moving van on the slab on a regular basis is going to lead to cracks. It wasn’t built to withstand anything that heavy. Your back patio may not be strong enough to support a heavy hot tub.

The concrete around your house can enhance the overall look or detract from it. Your cement is a functional part of the home and deserves to be taken care of. Head into Greenwood Hardware today to pick up what you need to clean and seal the concrete slabs around your house. Come on in, or contact us today.

Seattle Project: How to Make Your Own Terrarium

Seattle Project: How to Make Your Own TerrariumA terrarium is a beautiful addition to any room or office space. It is a tiny garden in a jar that is whimsical and will be a conversation piece. Terrariums are not always large habitats for reptiles and other critters. They can hold gorgeous flowers that will remind you of spring, especially on rainy days. You can find everything you need to make a terrarium at Greenwood Hardware.

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • Clear container, can be an old pickle jar, a Mason jar or fish bowl
  • Sand or aquarium gravel
  • Activated charcoal
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Potting soil
  • Cactus plants or other succulents
  • Decorations

To make your terrarium, go through the following steps.

  1. Clean your chosen jar. Add a layer of sand or aquarium gravel.
  2. Add a layer of activated charcoal. If you are not going to have a lid on your terrarium, you can skip the charcoal layer.
  3. Add a layer of moss. You could use a section of window screen if you wanted. Basically, you want to prevent the next layer of potting soil from falling to the sand or gravel layer and soaking in.
  4. Add potting soil.
  5. Place your plants in the soil.  Any plant that grows well in a desert or arid climate is your best option.
  6. Add decorations like pretty gems, fairy figurines or rocks.

Water your terrarium thoroughly. You will want to allow the soil to dry completely between watering. You may also want to add a fertilizer designed for cacti from time to time. You can add new decorations to match the seasons or to keep the terrarium looking fresh and new.

Watch your terrarium plants bloom and thrive in their new environment. This is a great project to do with the kids on a rainy weekend inside. Head into Greenwood Hardware today and pick up what you need to make your own terrarium. Come on in, or contact us today.

Six Ways Greenwood Hardware, Your Local Hardware Store, is Going Green

Six Ways Greenwood Hardware, Your Local Hardware Store, is Going GreenIt feels great to do something good for the people around you in your community. Maybe you like to volunteer at the local soup kitchen or donate food to the food bank. Cleaning up trash around the block is another way to make your little corner of the world a little brighter and more beautiful. The businesses in your community are also doing what they can to make it a better place. Our team at Greenwood Hardware has been working hard to make our community a little greener as well.

How are we doing that, you wonder? It is with the help and support of our amazing community that we have managed to put up some pretty impressive recycling numbers. Check them out!

Fluorescent bulbs recycling

Pickup is now paid for through the fees collected at the time of sale of all fluorescent bulbs in Washington. This means no fee is charged to our customers when they drop off bulbs. We can take up to 10 bulbs per person per day. Some statistics on the number of bulbs recycled thus far; before 2015 – 31,114 fluorescent bulbs recycled. Since 2015 – 854 lbs. recycled. Fees for 3,358 bulbs have been charged so far. Many people don’t know this, but it is illegal to throw these bulbs into the trash. Over time, they break down and release mercury into the air, soil and water.

Solar Power

Since solar was installed at Greenwood Hardware, we have used a total of 71,298 kWh of electricity and created 24,187 kWh of electricity. This is equal to 33.9% of our electrical usage! Solar was installed during our remodel and was fully online around March of 2013. It was sized to provide 15% of our energy needs, but with other improvements and last year’s better than average sun, we have been able to double our expected projections.

Call2Recycle

Small electronic and rechargeable batteries are deposited into the Call2Recycle box located in our store and shipped back to them. This program is free to us. So far, 860 lbs of rechargeable batteries have been recycled along with 139 cell phone batteries. As part of the All Battery Sales initiative, we offer alkaline/primary cell battery recycling as well (Greenwood Hardware pays per pound of pickup). There is no charge to our customers. In total, we have recycled 1229.1 lbs. of batteries. Batteries will leak chemicals into the ground over time. They should always be properly disposed of in a recycling bin where they will be handled appropriately.

Earth Corps

We hosted an electronics recycling box at the front of the store for Earth Corps. Earth Corps provides youth programs and education in environmental stewardship and leadership.  Four large boxes worth of electronics were picked up for reuse/recycle by volunteers with Earth Corps. Electronics should never be placed into the trash. They can leak harmful toxins and chemicals into the environment, which could pollute ground water and the very air we breathe.

Northwest Center

We host a donation bin for Northwest Center. It accepts primarily clothing, but also other durable goods. Northwest Center is a “non-profit organization that expands the skills, independence and opportunities of children and adults with disabilities.” Since putting the donation bin up, we have collected over 100 bags of donations in just the past three months.

Water Heater Recycling

Greenwood Hardware installs over 700 water heaters every year. We always include both installation and tank removal with our services. So far, we have sent 700 water heaters to a metal recycling facility, which keeps them out of our landfills.

You don’t have to try and save the world, but you can make a difference by changing the way you get rid of things that are broken or no longer usable. Keeping potentially dangerous items out of the landfills is a huge step in the right direction to leaving our earth a little greener and safer for future generations. If you have old batteries, head into Greenwood Hardware and drop them off in the appropriate bin. Come on in, or contact us to learn more about our recycling programs today.