Time to Get Your Seeds Started!

Sunflower seedlings, just three days after ger...

Time to get those seedlings sprouting!

 

 

 

Spring is beginning to warm up, and it’s time to get your seeds started. Before you start, be sure to keep a record of what you’ve planted, and the progress they’ve made, this will help you next year to remember what works, and how long you will need for each seedling. Make sure to store your seeds in a cool dry place, in small plastic containers. To make sure that your seeds are still viable, take a few and soak them in cool water. If they sink, they’re still plantable, if they float, they’re technically “dead” and won’t sprout.

 

Use plastic containers instead of clay for planting, they will keep moisture better. You can recycle old yogurt containers or other plastic tubs, just make sure you poke holes in the bottoms of them for drainage. Make sure you don’t overcrowd your seeds, tamp them down to make sure that there is contact between your seeds and the moist soil or potting mix that you use, and cover them lightly with more soil.

 

You can maintain air and moisture quality in a few ways. Use a small fan to keep the air circulating, spread some finely ground stone or grit over the potting mix, and cover the containers with plastic. Check your containers daily, and use a spray bottle to add moisture when needed. Keep your seeds warm, between 65 and 75 degrees, by placing them near a heater or using a heating mat. Want to recycle even further? Ben’s dad makes his own heating pads for plants using old waterbed mattresses!

 

Once your seeds germinate, you can remove the plastic covering. Make sure to rotate your pots daily so that the stems grow uniformly, and gently brush them with your palm to encourage strong stems. Once the leaves begin to emerge, it will be time to feed your seedlings weekly with watered down fertilizer.

 

At this time you should also begin hardening your plants by placing them outside in the sunlight for a few hours in the morning, gradually adding more hours until your plants are acclimated enough to the outside temperatures to be planted.

 

Good luck, and if you need any assistance with your plants this spring, give Algiere’s a call!

 

 

 

Organic Grub Control Made Easy

Milky Spore Japanese beetle killer, Tukwila Go...

Milky Spore Japanese beetle killer, (Photo credit: photophonic)

The time has come once again to take on the grub population in your yard. In addition to methods like planting more shade trees and shade tolerant grasses, it’s also important to apply some form of grub control. There are a couple of great organic methods available.

Milky Spore is a disease which only affects white grubs. You can buy it as an organic grub control powder that will not pose a risk to animals, children, and beneficial insects in your lawn. It’s also safe to use around waterways.  After initial applications of three to four times a year for three years, it can last up to twenty years, and is guaranteed for ten. You apply Milky Spore in one teaspoon increments every four feet, a ten ounce box will treat 2500 sq feet, and a forty ounce box will treat 10,000 sq feet. It’s safe for the environment and less invasive, but will only kill one type of grub.

Another great organic option is the humble nematode. These mighty microscopic worms will feast on grubs, cut worms, and over 200 other soil dwelling and wood boring pests, without bothering you or your lawn. There are a few nematode products on the market now, including the Nemaglobe and Dr. Pye’s Scanmask, both available at Amazon.com and many local hardware stores. If you can’t find them in a store near you, be sure to ask!

Another benefit of grub control is you’re effectively taking away the food source of other pests, like moles, without having to apply stronger chemicals that might also harm your pets. The most important thing to remember, whatever you use, is to apply your grub control product now. Most grubs hatch in late August or September, and begin feasting on the roots of your lawn at that time, so it’s best to be applying your grub control product as soon as possible. Give Algiere’s Landscaping a call to set up an appointment today!

Meet Jeremy, Ben’s Right Hand Man!

Jeremy

As talented as Ben is, he can’t be everywhere at once. So here at Algiere’s we have a second in command for out in the field, Jeremy Bourbeau.

Part of the reason Ben is so talented and capable is because of Jeremy’s solid work ethic and initiative, which helps Algiere’s Landscaping keep up its professional image. For example, Jeremy is efficient and organized enough to expect what Ben will need next and has it ready and waiting for Ben, whether it’s cleaning up in time to wrap up the day or anticipating what tool to hand off.  Jeremy is constantly learning from Ben, and it has become a common joke between the two of them, “It’s amazing what you can fix with WD-40, baling wire and duct tape.”

Jeremy has worked part-time at UPS with Ben for over 7 years and part-time in a variety of jobs including landscaping. When not helping Ben with Algiere’s Landscaping, he can be found at Jett Fabrication wrenching on race cars or at the Waterford Speed Bowl driving.  This year, Jeremy is stepping up to the barber’s chair to shave off his beard to help with our annual fundraising event for UCFS.

So, when you see us out and about this spring, please give Jeremy a warm welcome as he too is an ambassador of Algiere’s Landscaping.

Mulch Madness!!!

Shredded wood used as mulch. This type of mulc...

Shredded wood used as mulch. This type of mulch is often dyed to improve its appearance in the landscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Despite the snow, we’ve seen signs of spring around Algiere’s, and the sprouting of snowdrops and trilling of robins outside our windows make us think of one thing. Mulch.

 

Mulch is vital to a healthy bed, because it keeps the weeds out and can also help with water retention and keeping roots cool. Wood, shell, stone, no matter what kind of mulch you choose to use, it’s important to purchase pretreated materials. You may save money up front by getting something from the dump or shredding your own wood, but in the long run you’re more at risk for pest infestation.

 

The varieties of wood mulch available ensure you’re doing the best for your garden while still being able to put on your own unique touch. Double shredded pine, cedar, or even cocoa shell, which can offer a nice aromatic for small beds around the house. Choose a dyed mulch to maintain color longer for a more uniform look.

 

Prefer something a little harder? Think stone or seashells. Especially here in the east coast, we have plenty of both, which don’t break down as fast and can prove a much more durable option, though typically with a higher price. Stone is especially high due to the fact that it’s more labor intensive to put in, plus it doesn’t have the lovely scent of wood, so we don’t prefer it in our own gardens. However, the choice, as always is up to you. As always, here at Algiere’s whatever the customer prefers, “we can do that!”

 

Whatever your mulching needs, we at Algiere’s can help! Call or email now for best availability.

 

Shave Ben’s Beard 2013

Time for a shave!

Time for a shave!

It’s almost that time again! Time to drive the birds away from where they’ve been nesting under Ben’s chin and give him a clean shave for the spring and summer seasons, while raising a little money for charity in the process!

On April 2nd Melissa Burkhart-Coleman of Norwich will do the deed, and we hope to raise at least 500 dollars for United Community and Family Services. Ben’s second in command Jeremy will also be stepping up to the barber’s chair and getting a clean shave as well. To donate, you can click on the Causes link at the bottom of this post and make your donation securely online. 25% of all donations will be matched by Algiere’s Landscaping.

Last year we were able to raise a little over 300 dollars, let’s dig deep this year and beat that number. UCFS has been helping provide affordable healthcare and community services to the residents of New London county for 130 years, including eldercare, women’s health, and dental care. Let’s help UCFS provide affordable health and human services to the residents of Southeastern Connecticut!

http://www.causes.com/actions/1731269-shave-bens-beard-for-united-commity-and-family-services

Happy New Year!

Champagne Mumm

Happy New Year from Algiere’s!  (Photo credit: e_calamar)

 

 

 

 

 

As 2012 comes to a close, we here at Algeire’s Landscaping would like to thank all of our loyal customers, suppliers, friends and family for making this past year our most successful to date. With the addition of a photographer, writer, robot and baby, we’ve grown to become a name to be trusted in our community, both for the quality of our landscaping services as well as our charitable contributions through such events as Ben’s Beard Shave and the ARK auction.

 

Looking forward to 2013, we’d like to remind everyone that while there’s snow on the ground, Ben is available for handyman services as well as consultations for spring planting. Give Michelle a call in the office today, and let’s keep the lawns and patios of eastern Connecticut green and flourishing!

 

Need help finding the perfect gift? We can do that!

christmas-gift

christmas-gift (Photo credit: top10things)

Thanksgiving is just a week away, and our thoughts are turned to turkey, mashed potatoes, football, and Black Friday! While making your list and checking it twice, you’ll probably find that one uncle you can never find anything for, your mom who insists she doesn’t need anything, and that sibling who hates everything you buy them. Stuck on ideas? Algiere’s can help!

 

Consider buying a gift certificate for landscaping services for that hard to shop for relative or friend. They can use it to purchase services like mowing, spring planting, and landscaping design services. Whatever they need, we at Algiere’s can do that!

As one of the premiere landscaping companies in Eastern Connecticut to offer organic lawn care options, our business is growing, and we’d love to have you grow along with us! So give us a call this holiday season, and get those difficult names crossed off your holiday shopping list in a jiffy! Call 860-376-2895 or email us at algiereslandscaping@gmail.com

 

 

How to Protect Your Lawn from Severe Weather

Hurricane Sandy & Marblehead [Front Street 9]

Don’t let the next big storm undo all the hard work you put into your yard! (Photo credit: Brian Birke)

 

 

Superstorm Sandy has hit Southeastern Connecticut harder than we’ve been struck in over fifty years. While we clean up the limbs and fallen trees, rake up the debris from our yards, and pray that our spring bulbs are ok under the ground, you may be wondering, “what can I do to prepare my property from the next storm?” Well, we at Algiere’s Landscaping are glad you asked!

 

The first thing is to look around your property and put away anything that might be blown around. Not just the obvious things like the grills and the lawn chairs. Really look at your yard; do you have a dog house? Swings? Birdhouses? Put it all away, anything you can lift and carry, a 75 mph wind can pick up and put through your window.

 

Next, take a walk and take stock of your trees. Are there any dead limbs that should be removed? Any trees that appear to be in questionable health? Even if they didn’t come down this time around, it doesn’t mean that Sandy didn’t weaken it to the point that it’s a risk for next hurricane season. Pay the most attention to those trees closest to your house, garage, and any outbuildings you might have.

 

If the forecast is for a particularly cold storm, like a blizzard, you might want to consider digging your spring bulbs back up, especially the dahlias and gladiolas. Either way, protect your delicate perennials with some extra mulch before the snow and ice cover them over.

 

Don’t have the time? Think you’ll be too busy standing in line for the last gallon of milk  at Stop and Shop before the next storm? Not a problem, call Algiere’s and we’ll take care of protecting your garden from the harsh weather for you. Remember, as Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

 

Fall Clean Up Time Is Here!

Leaf litter (including maple and oak) on a pon...

Leaf litter can suffocate your lawn, time to clean it up!(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apples are ripening, the neighborhood kids are charting out paths to the houses with the best loot, and the leaves are piling up on your lawn. No doubt about it, autumn is here, and with it your appointment with Algiere’s for a fall clean up!

It’s important to get those leaves up and off your grass. The shading caused by leaf litter can potentially damage and even kill your turf grass. Those leaves can do a lot more good in your compost heap, stuffed in your favorite flannel shirt to make a spooky scarecrow, or glued to some poster board as a school project with the kiddos.

And fall clean up isn’t just about raking leaves. A slow release fertilizer will give your plants the extra nutrients to make it through the long winter. Getting rid of weeds and other invasive plants now will slow them down when they try to make a comeback in the spring. Trimming back your bushes, relining your planting beds, and getting those spring bulbs planted now will mean a lot less hassle when the snow begins to melt.

Let Algiere’s  help you with your fall clean up. We offer the convenience of offsite disposal of your leaf litter to save you time and money. Call us up for an appointment today, so you can get back to all those Halloween parties and apple picking trips waiting for you this October and November.