How To Keep Bugs In Check In Your Seattle Yard

How To Keep Bugs In Check In Your Seattle Yard - Greenwood HardwareBugs are a bother to anybody who has spent any time outside. You have the bugs that are nuisances and feast on humans, and then you have bugs that feast on your plants, trees, flowers and destroy them. There are a few beneficial bugs, of course, but for the most part, you will want to keep the bug population in your Seattle yard in check. A bug infestation can spell disaster. If not caught early enough, you could be fighting a battle that you are unlikely to win without suffering some casualties i.e. flowers, trees, and even the lawn. Our team at Greenwood Hardware has some ideas to help you keep your yard bugs in check.

Natural Pesticides

Not all pesticides are made with harsh, potentially dangerous chemicals. There are plenty that use natural ingredients that are taken from various plants that are natural insect repellents. These natural pesticides are generally safe to use around the home and will not harm pets if they happen to walk across the lawn you just sprayed.

Soaps and Oils

There are a number of soaps and oils you can spray on your grass, trees and shrubs that will kill things like aphids, ants and other soft-bodies pests. You don’t want to go overboard with the soap or oil solution because it can damage your plants. A nice, fine layer will do the trick and kill the pests that are present and deter any other from showing up. You will need to repeat this application every couple of weeks or so.

Coffee Grounds

Spread coffee grounds around the perimeter of your garden or landscaping to keep ants and other little critters from crawling in and taking up residence. They are not fond of the aromatic smell of the used grounds. The grounds are a beautiful addition to the soil as well.

Organic Spray

You can mix up a spray that won’t harm your greenery, but it may stink so bad bugs and other critters will keep their distance. Common additives are garlic, cloves, mint or even hot pepper mixed with water. You can also use essential oils like peppermint or clove dabbed onto a cloth and hung around the yard, tied from tree branches or put on stakes around the yard. You will need to replace the cloths every couple of weeks.

Bugs are pesky and can ruin a perfect barbecue or picnic lunch on the patio. Don’t let them ruin your plans and give some of these solutions a try. You will find a variety of organic and natural products at Greenwood Hardware that are sure to take care of any of your bug problems. Come on in, or contact us today.

The Top 5 Must-Have Gardening Tools

The Top 5 Must-Have Gardening Tools - Greenwood HardwareIf you have ever walked browsed the aisles of the gardening section of any hardware store, you may have felt a little overwhelmed. There are so many tools, big and small and everywhere in between. What do you really need? Do you need every single tool made for the garden? Our team at Greenwood Hardware is here to help you narrow it all down. You don’t need every single garden tool on the shelves! You can save space in the garage or garden shed by buying tools that are multi-purpose and will work for just about any gardening situation.

  1. Gloves are going to be the most important tool you can ever have. You will want to protect your hands while pulling weeds and using other hand tools. Blisters and cuts can make everything else you do on a daily basis much more difficult. Have a good pair of gloves that fit snugly always at the ready.
  2. A shovel is a helpful tool in turning dirt, digging holes to put in new plants and to remove some of the most stubborn weeds with deep roots. You will also need your shovel to dislodge big rocks that are in the way as well. A shovel with a rounded (not square) head is best for digging in the dirt.
  3. A small hand rake or cultivator with a comfort grip will be very useful when planting seeds. It can be used for weeding in between rows without disrupting roots. The small rake can help loosen up the soil for new plant starts.
  4. A trowel for digging in the dirt makes it easy for you to plant new starts and larger plants in the ground without making too big a hole in the garden. The trowel is small enough to be used in your pots and containers as well. Choose one that has a comfortable grip.
  5. A garden hose with a sprayer attachment is ideal for watering flowers, shrubs and your veggies whether they are in the garden or in containers on your deck or patio. The sprayer allows you to deliver a soft spray of water over the plants to mist them or give a steadier stream to bushes and trees that need to have bugs removed. A stream of water is an effective pest removal system without using chemicals. Spraying your plants is a relaxing activity that gives you the chance to deliver a little or a lot of water to the plants based on their needs.

Every gardener will have their own ideas about what the most important tools are. These five things are at the top of almost every list. You can find a selection of garden tools at Greenwood Hardware to suit your needs. You may even find a few extra things you discover you need! Come on in, or contact us today.

Kid-Friendly Projects For Summertime Fun in Seattle

Kid-Friendly Projects For Summertime Fun in Seattle - Greenwood HardwareThe kids might still be out of school and if so, are likely a little bored. There are some things you can do around the house that will keep the kids entertained while teaching them a variety of skills. Using their hands to do projects that they can play with and be proud of is an excellent way to pass the time. It gives you a chance to bond with the kids and just have fun. Our team at Greenwood Hardware has some fun ideas for you to get the kids involved in. These are some great ways to spend some time with the kids while being productive.

  1. Make a chalkboard table or wall. You can do a little thrift shopping and pick up a small end table or build one from scratch if you have some woodworking skills. Pick up a can of chalk paint and cover the top of the table. The kids can draw on the table for hours, erasing and starting over. The paint can also be used on a wall in the bedroom or playroom. This is the one place it is okay for the kids to color on the walls.
  2. Building a birdhouse with the kids is a tradition that has been passed down for several generations. You can buy kits that have everything you need to put the birdhouse together or buy the materials you need and use your own design. Let the kids practice their gluing and hammering skills before they paint their birdhouse. They will love adding their own creative style to the birdhouse.
  3. Paint a starry night sky on the ceiling of the kids’ bedrooms with glow in the dark paint. You can use stencils to create a variety of stars, the moon, and planets if the kids choose. Each night when the kids go to bed, they will remember nights spent under the stars during the warm summer months.
  4. Make a fairy garden. The kids will be able to keep their fairy garden going all year. Picking the plants and flowers for the garden will teach them about gardening. They can make new accessories for their garden to match the seasons. It is a project that will keep them busy, even on the cold, rainy days.

These are just a few of the ideas you can put to work in your house. Head into Greenwood Hardware with the kids and browse the aisles. Let the kids’ imaginations run wild and they will likely come up with their own unique project. Come on in, or contact us today.

Are You Prepared For The Next Seattle Power Outage? How To Plan Ahead

Are You Prepared For The Next Seattle Power Outage? How To Plan Ahead - Greenwood HardwareMother Nature can get a little wild sometimes. Summer is the perfect setting for a violent thunderstorm that can knock out the power for several hours or even days. Living without electricity is fun for about the first five minutes. And then it gets really old. You can’t watch television; your laptop battery dies, and the internet will generally go out as well. You can help lessen the impact of a power outage by taking some time to prepare. Our team at Greenwood Hardware can help you get ready so life can  continue on in a somewhat normal fashion.

Set aside a drawer or use a small plastic tote to store your power outage supplies in. Keep the tote somewhere you can get to it in a hurry!

Flashlights

This is probably a given, and we all have a flashlight laying around, but does it work? You need to put at least one flashlight to the side that is off limits and only to be used for power outages. Don’t store it with the batteries in it. Store extra batteries with the flashlight. Choose LED flashlights since they are brighter, last longer and use less battery power. A battery-powered lantern is also a nice option.

Emergency Numbers

Keep the emergency numbers for the power company, hospital, the kids’ school and any other number you may need in your kit. You can, of course, use your smartphone to look the numbers up, but it is nice to have a backup just in case your cell battery is dead and you have a landline.

Cards/Games

We are all very dependent on technology and electricity. When it is all gone, life can be very boring. It would be wise to have things like a deck of cards, some board games or books to keep you and your family entertained while you wait for the power to come back on.

Candles

Emergency candles are an option, but only use them if it is your last option. The last thing you need is a candle tipping over and starting a fire! If you are going to use candles, have a nice, sturdy candle holder to put your candle in. Using a Mason jar is another option. Drop a little of the melted candle wax into the bottom of the jar and then place the candle in the wax to keep it upright. The reflection on the glass can also make the room appear brighter than with a single flame.

Surprisingly, a power outage can be a good time to bond with your family or simply unplug. Embrace the power outage and enjoy the peace that always accompanies a powerless world. No humming, buzzing or televisions in the background. Head into Greenwood Hardware and pick up the few things you need to get ready for the next power outage. Come on in, or contact us today.

Six Helpful Ways to Keep the Bees Away in Seattle

Six Helpful Ways to Keep the Bees Away in Seattle - Greenwood HardwareBees are mostly a blessing but every once in a while, they can wear out their welcome in your yard. They are an essential part of the food chain, and they do serve a valuable purpose, even those really irritating guys like wasps and yellow jackets. Bees have a knack for ruining a picnic by invading your space and trying to enjoy your food. They can break up a good time simply by showing up. At Greenwood Hardware, we know how important it is for you to enjoy the beautiful weather in the Pacific Northwest without the hassle of uninvited and often violent guests. We have some tips to help you keep the bees at bay while you enjoy your picnic or barbecue with friends and family.

  1. If you are going to be out on your deck or patio, you can help repel the bees by making any landing areas undesirable. A spray bottle filled with soapy water can be used to spray down deck rails, furniture, and table tops. The bees will not appreciate the smell of the soap or the stickiness the soap residue leaves behind. They will avoid the area. Add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil to help repel them altogether.
  2. Collect some old pantyhose and make small bags by tying a knot at one end. Add a couple of moth balls and tie a knot at the other end to create a sachet. Hang the little bags around your eating area to deter the bees.
  3. Fake the bees out by making them think there are other bees in the area. Brown paper lunch bags are the perfect substitute for a fake hive. Blow up a few bags, tie them off and hang them around the eating area.
  4. Fill pretty pots with bright marigolds all around your eating area. Marigolds are natural insect and bee repellents and add summer cheer.
  5. Toilet bowl cleaner discs that are in the plastic cases are perfect for repelling bees. Open a couple and place on your picnic table or off the deck railing. The bees do not like the smell and will stay away.
  6. Open a plastic bottle and cut off the top third. Invert the top so the small opening you drink through is facing the bottom of the bottle. Add some soda and put the bee traps around the perimeter of where you will be dining. The bees will be attracted to the sugary substance, fly in and not be able to get out.

Bees have their place in nature, but nobody really wants to dine with bees and risk their wrath for not sharing. Our friendly staff at Greenwood Hardware hope you can use one or all of these methods to help make your outdoor dining experience a little more enjoyable. If you would rather just take care of business and rid yourself of a few nests, you will find what you need in our store. Come on in, or contact us today.