Inviting Beneficial Guests to Your Pacific Northwest Garden

Inviting Beneficial Guests to Your Pacific Northwest Garden - Greenwood HardwareDo you long for a beautiful, blooming garden filled with flowers and thriving vegetable plants? If your garden has been struggling, you may need a little outside help that can only come from beneficial guests. A variety of insects and bees can transform your dull, non-producing vegetable garden into one filled with blooms. To get those bees and insects to visit, you need to put out the welcome mat and send out some invitations in a variety of ways. Greenwood Hardware can help you get the insects you need to make your garden grow.

Honey Bees

Honey bees are lovely little creatures that buzz in, pollinate your flowers and vegetables and head back home. They are an asset to any garden. That clover you hate so much in your lawn—the bees love it! Flowers that are single petal and are blue, purple and yellow are especially attractive to honey bees. Consider having a variety of flowers and plants that bloom throughout the entire growing season to keep the bees coming back.

Bumble Bees

These big fat bees are excellent pollinators and will show up in early spring to help get your garden off to a great start. Rhododendrons and lamiums are perfect for the Pacific Northwest and are exactly what those bumble bees need. You may also attract some hummingbirds as well.

Butterflies

While they are not prolific pollinators like the bees, they are still a lovely addition to the garden. Marigolds, asters, butterfly bush, purple coneflowers, and daisies are just a few of the flowers that attract butterflies.

Ladybugs

Ladybugs are an excellent, chemical-free way to keep aphids out of your garden. They too love marigolds along with a variety of herbs that you can grow to attract the little red bugs and stock your kitchen. Things like dill, chives, and cilantro will have the ladybugs flocking to your garden.

Praying Mantis

These awesome creatures will dine on the harmful insects like grasshoppers and beetles that can decimate a garden in no time at all. Invite the praying mantis to your garden by planting a raspberry bush is one option. You get fruit and helpful guests. Hostas are great for the flower bed and provide shade and a nice hiding spot for the mantis to chill in.

If you are ready to take a more organic approach to your gardening and landscaping needs, try using nature to do your dirty work. You can find what you need to create a lovely place for these beneficial creatures at Greenwood Hardware. Stop on in, or contact us today!

How to Transform Your Boring Patio

How to Transform Your Boring Patio - Greenwood HardwareIs your back patio a little dull? It serves its purpose and provides a flat area for you to put some lawn furniture and your barbecue but other than that—it just is. If you want to jazz up that boring patio, you can do so in a single weekend! You will be proud of your new stylish backyard patio and be excited to show it off to guests. At Greenwood Hardware, you will find exactly what you need to transform your drab patio into one that is functional and pleasing to the eye.

  1. Have fun with contrasting colors. Your patio set doesn’t all have to match. If you are the kind of person who sees a rusty, paint-peeling lawn chair and table as a project, grab a can of spray paint and begin the transformation. Contrasting colors certainly add some pop, but you could also keep it traditional by using muted colors in similar shades.
  2. Make the patio furniture look new with new cushions and pillows. Again, you can go bold with a bright turquoise or orange cushion on a black or white chair to liven things up a bit.
  3. Create a pretty border on two sides of your patio with container plants. Use flowers in a variety of colors set along the edge. This helps define the space while creating an attractive border. You could also use medium size green shrubs or rose bushes on one side to add a feeling of privacy while creating a nice statement wall.
  4. Build some planter boxes and hang on the wall facing your patio. You can stick with a single one or have several in a ladder fashion adding lots of color to the space.
  5. Put down an outdoor rug under the table or chairs to add some color. If you are creative and have the time, painting a rug directly on the cement is also an option.
  6. If your home has a brick wall on the outside, you could always paint the area that faces the patio. Be careful here; you want to make sure you are enhancing the space and not creating an eyesore. The paint color should complement the rest of the exterior paint while setting the section the patio abuts apart from the rest of the patio.
  7. If your backyard fence lines the patio, get creative and paint a mural of sorts on the fence. This provides a focal point for the patio dwellers. It is unique and a great way to express your creativity.

If you are ready to make your patio pop, head into Greenwood Hardware and pick up the paint and other supplies you need today. Stop on in, or contact us!

How to Maintain your Barbecue Grill

How to Maintain your Grill - Greenwood HardwareWe’re in the thick of summer, and your grill has probably seen a great deal of use this season. The summer grilling season is a fantastic way to try out new marinades and recipes while impressing your friends and family (and delighting your taste buds!). Your barbecue grill takes a lot of punishment during the summer months and needs a little TLC to keep in tip-top shape. If you have a new grill or an old grill that could use a little help, these are a few tips to keep it in top form. Our team at Greenwood Hardware wants to make sure your next backyard barbecue is a success and has what you need to maintain your grill.

  1. Use a grill brush or clean towel to wipe down the flame tamers that are directly over the burners. These can often be covered with grease and other debris. Keep them clean to ensure a nice even burn on the grill.
  2. Use a grill brush on a cold grill to scrape off hardened particles of food. This should be done after each use.
  3. Turn on your grill and allow it to heat up a few minutes. Cut a raw onion in half and use tongs or a spatula to rub the onion over the grates. This helps loosen up food particles that are particularly difficult to remove. It smells great and doesn’t require the use of any harsh chemicals!
  4. For gas grills, check your connections at least once a month to ensure there are no leaks. You can check hoses by rubbing soapy water over the hoses. Turn on the gas and look for any bubbles that indicate there is a tiny hole or crack in the hose. Replace any damaged hoses immediately.
  5. Clean the venturi tubes that run along the grill. These are the small pipes with holes that run under the grill grate that carry the air and gas to create your flames. Bees, spiders, and dust can block the airflow, creating a serious fire hazard.
  6. Give the outside of your grill a good rubdown with mild dish soap every month or so. This can help keep it shiny and looking new. When not in use, cover the grill with a tarp or grill cover to help keep out dirt and pests.

Your grill is likely one of those things you take great pride in. Spend a few minutes before and after each use to ensure it is clean and in good working order. If you are a frequent griller, give the grill a thorough cleaning at least once a month. This can help it last longer and ensure you are getting the best barbecue possible. You can find the grill cleaning materials at your local Greenwood Hardware. Stop on in, or contact us today!

Why Mulch Your Pacific Northwest Garden?

Why Mulch Your Pacific Northwest Garden - Greenwood HardwareAre you mulching? You have seen the bags at your local hardware store, but do you know why you should be buying the bags of mulch? If you haven’t been doing it, you should  consider mulching your flower beds, trees and other plants in your landscaping. Our folks at Greenwood Hardware have some helpful tips for using mulch along with a list of reasons why mulching is best.

What is Mulch?

Mulch is really anything that can be used as a ground cover. Ideally, you will want to use organic materials like bark, shredded leaves, straw or compost. Organic mulch will decompose and enrich the soil while feeding the plants that are in residence. Carbon and nitrogen, which make compost such a lovely addition to the garden, can also be found in decomposing organic mulch. There are inorganic mulching materials that include plastic sheeting or fabric that do a few of the things an organic mulch will do, without the benefit of feeding the soil.

Why Mulch?

Mulch, as was just mentioned above, serves multiple purposes with one of them being making your soil more fertile. Fertile soil is at the heart of any gorgeous flower bed, productive garden or healthy shrubs.

Some other reasons for mulching are as follows:

  • Helps soil retain moisture, which means you need to water less often.
  • Helps shade shallow root systems that can easily dry out in direct sun and can keep the soil a bit warmer in the early spring and late fall.
  • Acts as a weed barrier, making less work for you.
  • Keeps the nutrients already in your soil, in.
  • Mulch is a great way to protect young seedlings from being over-watered or in a heavy rainstorm. The mulch acts as a prop for the seedlings as well.
  • Mulch is a great catchment for fruits and veggies, keeping them off the ground and nice and clean.
  • It looks nice!

Mulching is easy and can be done as often or as little as your garden needs. Some things, like leaf waste, will decompose faster and need replenishing throughout the summer. You can make your own compost to use as mulch or head to Greenwood Hardware to pick up bags of mulch that compliment your garden while making your soil even healthier for your plants. Come on in, or contact us today.

 

How to Add Curb Appeal to Your Pacific Northwest Home

How to Add Curb Appeal to Your Pacific Northwest Home - Greenwood HardwareA picture can say a thousand words, so they say, but so can a first impression. When someone pulls up to your home or drives down the street in your neighborhood, the picture of your front yard will say a lot. It is called curb appeal. Homeowners love to put their best foot forward by making their front yards attractive. It is a source of pride that you can take a lot of joy in. If you need some ideas to spruce up your curb appeal, head into Greenwood Hardware.

The Lawn

A lush green lawn is important. Having the right balance of minerals and the perfect pH in your soil is going to mean the difference between a gorgeous lawn and a lawn that is patchy and struggling. Pick up a soil test kit and then find the products you need to restore your lawn. Adding more seed or fixing those little dead patches is a quick and easy job.

The Front Door

This is a big deal. Adding some pretty flowers in a few containers can transform a boring front door area into one of beauty.  A hanging basket filled with some bright trailing flowers is also a way to help add some color. Use pots that complement the color of your home. Add some personality by painting designs on the pots. Make sure your pots frame the area and don’t create tripping hazards.

The Driveway

It is something that is easily overlooked or ignored, but it is one of the first things people see. Using a power washer to clean the driveway now and again will make it look clean and tidy. Special soaps designed to clean up oil spills can help get rid of those unsightly dark splotches on a nice driveway. Use a weed killer to keep down any weeds that pop up in any cracks and along the sides of the driveway.

House Numbers

Replace the old numbers on your house with new ones that complement the home. These aren’t just about aesthetic appeal. You want emergency officials to be able to clearly identify your home. There are plenty of designs, colors and sizes of numbers you can choose from that will be a beautiful addition to the front exterior of your home.

Lighting

A dark front yard is not only unattractive; it can be dangerous. You can add a security light over your driveway area for starters. Adding some attractive lights on fence posts or pathways is also a great way to make your home look nicer and make it just a little safer for you and your guests.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to improve the curb appeal of your home. Little things go a long way to making it look better. Head into Greenwood Hardware today to pick up the tools you may need and choose from an assortment of pretty flowers to jazz up your front yard. Come on in, or contact us today.