All posts by Garrett Matthews

Free Termite Inspection

You need to make sure your home is protected.  Let us help you with a FREE termite inspection of your home.  We will inspect for any active termite activity and make suggestions and recommendations if anything is seen.  Most people are surprised to find out that termite damage is not covered under your homeowners insurance.  The cost of repairs can cost up to 10 times the cost of getting a treatment.  Knowing that why wouldn’t not want to be proactive and keep your home protected!

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Leaf Removal vs Mulching

Your grass may not be growing but you still need to keep your lawn clean!  If you have trees anywhere near your yard then there no doubt by now that you have seen a ton of leaves.  Depending on the types of trees will depend on the size of leaves, amount and the time they fall. In the start of Fall, using your mower to mulch them up will sometimes be enough.  As you get further into the year however, you will usually have to pick up and remove the leaves at least 1-4 times. When you mow over them with a mower it turns them into mulch like it does cutting grass.  The issues start when there are too many leaves. You will end up contributing to the thatch layer that sits above the root system in the lawn. Some thatch is an ok thing, too much is harmful to the grass. The issues however are going to be delayed and you won’t see the negatives for some time like when the grass is struggling to grow thick next summer.  Another issue is when too many leaves start to form a sort of mat on top of the grass. Over time this mat will stay wet and keep the grass wet. This will then lead to rotting of the grass and other possible fungus issues. Just remember to not let the leaves build up too much on your lawn and unless your mower can make them disappear, there are to many and they need to be picked up and removed.  Hope this helps!



GFI Plugs vs Christmas Lights

Here’s a pretty relevant tip going into the weekend. If you have Christmas lights installed and they turn off and won’t come back on, chances are you have a tripped GFI plug. Have you ever noticed the random plugs around your house with the button on them? They are usually in your garage and bathroom. These are called GFI plugs and are a safety against water and electricity. It’s not uncommon during heavy rains for these to get tripped and need to be reset. Hope this helps!

Knockout Roses and Winter Time

A common mistake we see this time of the year is Knockout Roses getting trimmed. Sometimes, inexperienced homeowners and lawn care guys will cut the Knockouts and Drift Roses back during their fall cleanups. The proper time for their next trim is not going to be until February or early March depending on the temperatures outside. Trimming them know could lead to new growth which would make the plant vulnerable to injury and disease during the cold winter. They don’t look their best right now because they just finished a bloom cycle and are full of dead blooms. Be patient though and you will have more on the way! Hope this helps!


Mistletoe and Kisses


Have you ever wondered why or how Mistletoe became a Christmas tradition? Most everyone knows about stealing a kiss under the mistletoe but why? It all started in ancient Greece. The plant was thought to have links to fertility since it is able to grow during the winter, it must be strong and able to live. People would make tea out of it but the issue there is it can be fatal. The tradition of kissing that we know today is thought to have started in England. Whenever someone is caught under some hanging, you can steal a kill on the cheek. It’s even said that if a woman denies the kiss she wont get proposed to for the entire year. After taking you kiss your suppose to remove one of the berries. After all the berries are gone the kissing stops. So there you have it! There are some other versions out there on how it got started but this is the one most people agree with!

What even is Mistletoe??? It’s actually a parasite that grows on tree mostly. It gets there from bird poo. When the parasite starts to grow it wraps around the tree limbs and sucks all the nutrients and water out of the limb. Hope this helps!

Christmas Light Clips

Now that it’s time to hang your Christmas lights let’s talk about a few options for making sure they give you that crisp professional look.  Other than the obvious of using commercial grade bulbs, the next important piece of material used in the clip that holds the light. There are 4 basic types that are used for installs.  The best in our opinion is the shingle tab. This allows the plastic tabs to slide under the shingle and hold the lights in line. Another option if you have gutters is the gutter clip or all in one clip.  These simply grab the gutter and hold the light in place. Surface mount clips can be used to line walls, fences and other places where you want lights on a flat surface. Another one that most people do know exist is the magnetic lights.  These have an actual magnet in the base of the socket and can attach to anything metal. All of these clips have their own specific use and serve a different purpose. Hope this helps!


Covering Your Plants

A popular question this time of year…”Should I cover my plants in the cold?”  Depending on who you ask you will get several answers.  Not all are wrong so let us explain out position.  Generally speaking, we don’t get cold enough long enough for this to be a big issue.  To properly cover your plants takes a lot of work and the effort isn’t going to be worth the results.  Granted we are talking about you normal everyday landscape plants.  There are some instances where this information is not going to apply but they are rare.  One of the biggest issues comes from ice and that’s not something we see much of.  In order for covering plants to work you need to understand some basics.  First it’s not the cover that protects the plant.  The cover helps keep the air around the plant warm and the air is what protects it.  Because of this you need to make sure the cover goes all the way to the ground and is sealed off.  You can also consider putting stakes in the ground to keep the cover off of the plants.  With plastic covers, if they touch the plant then you start to loose how effective it works.  Some people will use a cloth cover but these can get heavy in the rain and smash the plants.  Another tip we have seen used is people putting a light under the cover to help create heat.  One example where covering could possibly have some benefits would be with sago palms.  If there were going to be some ice or snow you could cover the plant, not to keep it warm but to keep the ice from building up on the plant.  Hope this helps!

sago palms

Cold Snaps vs Your Plants

It’s going to get into the 30’s the next few days and several people are worried about their plants.  One plant everyone stresses about are palms. Generally speaking, you only need to worry about these when there is ice and snow covering them.  In the event we get into the low 20’s so long periods of time you can expect some damage as well. All that said with the upcoming weather you will be ok.  You can however expect to see some damage to your summer time annual flowers. This isn’t a huge issue though because it is time for them to die off anyway.  Depending on if we get a frost as well you may also expect to see some damage to your tropical plants as well. Again, this time of year we expect them to die back and require maintenance.  There is also no need to worry about your sprinkler system right now either. Frankly, it isn’t going to be cold enough long enough for there to be any freezing issues. Hope this helps!   

Don’t Touch ShiShis

These are ShiShi buds.  In a matter of weeks or even days all of these buds will turn into flowers.  It is super important to remember this while doing your fall cleanups. When you trim the plant now, before it blooms, you will be cutting and removing the buds which create the flower.  Wait until the January time frame when the plants have completely gone through their bloom cycle. This is when you want to trim and feed them. The plant is not meant to be a manicured one so in a lot of cases they will just need a light trim to get any limbs that have outgrown others.  Hope this helps!

Where to Stack Firewood

It’s time to get firewood for the winter so let’s talk about a few things.  The biggest is where to stack it!  A big mistake we often see is people stacking their wood against the house or too close.  You may have pest control and feel like this does not apply to you but think again.  Pest “CONTROL” is just that, control.  Stacking wood next to the house is asking for issues.  Aside from termites, the dirty wood is a haven for other bugs.  The best place is far away from the house and under a cover if you can help it.  Also, try and get the wood off of the ground on a rake if possible.  Hope this helps!