Earth Day Tips for Your Garden, and More!
On this Earth Day, our thoughts turn to increasing our ecological consciousness and practices, as we decrease our environmental footprint. Sparkleyard Outdoor Maids is committed to using natural products whenever possible. Whether it's gardening or grill cleaning or pressure washing, we strive to be eco-friendly (in addition to being just plain friendly!)
This is our go to cleaner for wood, vinyl, plastic and metal. Even smells good!
Here are a few tips we'd like to share with you that can help keep the spirit of Earth Day, all year round.
We love mulch. In addition to being attractive, it suppresses weeds and conserves moisture in your garden. Whether it's bark mulch, gravel, or just a layer of compost, it can be both functional and attractive, giving your garden that finished look and making your plants "pop."
Part of the gardening services we provide includes helping our clients choose whether to use a large or small bark, whether to lay a weed barrier underneath their gravel, and warning them away from mulch that is treated with petroleum products...maybe you've seen the colored mulch in black, green, red and brown? We admit this mulch looks cool, but that's where our admiration ends.
Natural bark mulch breaks down over time, feeding the soil and thus the plants. Treated bark doesn't break down well, and adds chemicals to the soil...yuck! For gravel mulch, we LOVE the wide selection at Bourget Brothers. From pea size to larger rocks, and in a variety of colors, you can let your creativity shine when working on your garden design.
Here's an eco-friendly recipe for making your own insect killer. It works great for controlling thrips, aphids, grasshoppers, and other chewing and sucking insects without harming bees and other beneficial insects.
Garlic, Peppers & Onion Insecticide
2 hot peppers
1 large onion
1 whole bulb of garlic
1/4 cup water
Put in food processor, add water, blend until a mash is made.
Cover mash with 1 gallon hot (not boiling) water and let stand 24 hours. Strain.
Spray on roses, azaleas, and vegetables to kill bug infestations.
Bury leftover mash in ground where bugs are heaviest.
When we first started offering grill cleaning services, we searched and searched to find an eco-friendly grill cleaner that actually works. When we clean grill interiors, we first scrape off excess bits, then spray every surface with a cleaning solution, and let it sit for a half hour or so. Then we scrape again, wipe off the grime, and do a final pass with steel wool and a wet rag to remove any excess product. If you don't feel like cleaning your own grill (and who does?) let us do it for you!
Grill cleaning is an important part of our outdoor maid service, allowing our valued clients to relax and enjoy their yards.