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Serving Central Minesota and the North Twin Cities Metro Area

Everything listed under: Minnesota

  • How to Create Amazing Snow Sculptures On Your Own

    The last few Central Minnesota weeks have been uncommonly warm, melting almost all that is left of our snow. As we are just moving into March, however, you can bet that mother nature isn’t quite finished! And there isn’t a better way to celebrate the end of winter than creating an elaborate snow sculpture! 

    Snow sculptures are becoming more popular as people are tending to get as creative as possible with their works of art. Building a snowman is fun and all, but it’s easy work compared to making something that comes from the heart. If you’re a first-time snow sculptor, here are some easy tips to follow to start your masterpiece:

    Create a Plan for Your Sculpture

    If you have an idea, that’s the first step to success. Sketching out your idea is the second step. After that, know where you’re going to build your sculpture. Make sure to find the tools you need because you’re probably going to have to climb around a little bit. Common tools used in snow sculpting are spatulas, spoons, chisels and ice cream scoops. All of these tools are used to create unique shapes and can be found around the house. Especially if you are sculpting with kids, make sure to keep your sculpture away from the street, driveway, and sidewalk.

    Use the Right Snow

    Wet snow is always the best for sculpting. It sticks together better and it’s easier to work with. If you have to use powdery snow, fill a water bottle or spray bottle with warm water to wet it down enough to mold. 

    Work From the Top Down

    After you have a plan and make an outline, start from the top of your sculpture. When you carve from high to low, you can finish extra fragile elements first, then build up your foundation to keep everything supported.

    Add Some Life to Your Sculpture

    Most snow sculptures end up looking like the color of snow, which can be very boring. Why not add some food coloring? Dilute food coloring into water and then use a spray bottle or paint brush to apply it to the snow.

    Add a Layer of Water

    When all the details are worked out on your sculpture, spray a light layer of water on it. This will cause the snow to freeze and harden. That means your sculpture will last longer as the weather warms up.

    To get some inspiration, check out this buzzfeed collection of instagram sculptors. There are plenty of ideas to choose from if you can’t come up with your own.

    All snow sculpting takes is a little practice. If you follow these simple tips, your neighborhood could be talking about your skills for a long time.

    Ehlinger Lawn Service knows you don’t need much lawn help right now, but when the weather turns warmer, be sure to contact us at 1-320-250-9337. Spring will be here before you know it!





  • Spring Landscaping Preparation


    Although green grass and blooming flowers aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you look outside this time of year, now is the time to begin thinking about it. Sunshine is on the rise, the snow is melting, and if a certain groundhog from Pennsylvania is to be believed, we’re going to have an early spring.

    The first thing you should consider when planning out your spring landscaping projects is what your goals are. Are you looking to increase curb appeal, or do you have a more serious problem like poor drainage of rotting trees? Once you have evaluated your needs and determined goals it is time to get planning. Here are the top 5 steps to get you started:

    1. Map out the area: Mapping out your home and the area surrounding will give you a better idea of how much space really have. You will have to consider sidewalks, walking paths, patios, and planting space. Landscape plans use symbols to indicate plants, hardscape materials, trees and architectural features.
    2. Contrast with the exterior of your home: It is said that the color of your house is the backdrop for your garden. Before planning out the colors of your yard, you should take a look at your house and find colors that will compliment it well. Learn more about which landscape colors and flowers will look best with your house color before making your plans.
    3. Plan for maintenance: When deciding to add landscaping and gardens to your yard, it is important to remember that it will need constant maintenance to keep it looking good. These things will include pulling weeds, trimming, and watering. It is important when choosing plants that you consider plants that fit into your maintenance schedule.
    4. Get inspired! There are so many beautiful landscaping ideas on the internet. Take a look at our Pinterest page to get inspired.
    5. Do your research: Just like any home improvement project, it is important to do your research before you being so you can be fully prepared. DIY projects are sometimes much more complicated than they appear, and it is important to consider whether you will do this project yourself or if you would rather hire someone to help you with the project.

    If you are looking for more professional information about lawn care this spring, please contact the professionals at Ehlinger Lawn Care. We have tons of experience in all sorts of yards and we can help you maintain the yard of your dreams.


  • Safely Removing Ice From Your Sidewalk


    Protecting our family and friends from slips and falls in the winter can be a daunting task, especially in this area of the country. Clearing the ice from the sidewalk becomes more important with elderly family members, children, or pets walking on it often.  There are many ice-melting products that you can find in the market these days, but these products often contain chemicals which can be harmful to the environment - and especially your pets. Here are a couple ideas:

    Table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt

    Chemically, using household salt in place of rock salt will be safer for the environment and for your pets,  but large quantities can still be harmful to pets as well as your soil. The Sodium Chloride in salt keeps water in its liquid form, preventing it from forming into a solid ice, so it works well as an ice-preventer, but large quantities of sodium chloride can contaminate your ground soil and become irritable on your pet's paws.

    Sugar Beet Juice

    You might be thinking, “Beet juice?... Seriously?” The secret to beet juice is that it lowers the freezing temperature of liquids. You can use beet juice before the snow and ice arrive, or it can be used after a snowstorm because it gradually melts ice into liquid. What’s really great is that it is completely harmless to humans, animals, plants, cars, fabrics, and water systems. You can also dilute salt solutions with beet juice, making the salt more effective in lower quantities.

    Alfalfa Meal

    Alfalfa Meal is 100% natural and is typically used for fertilizer.  The rough and grainy texture of Alfalfa Meal helps to provide traction from slipping and falling on the ice and the nitrogen helps to melt ice. Other forms of fertilizer can be used, but usually contain higher concentrations of nitrogen that can be harmful to nearby plants or contaminate nearby water sources.

    Gravel, Sand or Kitty Litter

    Using these substitutes won’t melt the ice, but they will give extra traction to your sidewalk. Best of all, they won’t cause any harm to your yard or your pets.

    Shovel Early, Shovel Often

    To prevent ice and snow buildup, shovel early after (or during) a snowstorm to prevent the ice and snow from packing and solidifying. After a few people have walked on freshly fallen snow, it becomes much more difficult to remove.

    Whichever of these techniques you chose, be ready with a shovel to clear the melted ice and snow to prevent it from freezing again. If you’d like to quickly clear your driveway of snow, contact us - we’ll do it for you all winter long. Do you have any natural ice removing techniques? Share them with us!


  • Fun in the Snow

    One truth about Minnesota winters you may have noticed is that they are dusted with beautiful snowy days. Whether you would prefer to spend your winter days inside sipping hot chocolate, or outside slipping down a snowy hill, Minnesotans will always find fun activities for the snowier months.

    For the Outdoors

    Sledding: Sledding is one of the most inexpensive, traditional snow day activities. All you need is snow, a sled (or something similar to a sled), a hill, and yourself. The whole family can dress in snow gear and enjoy a sledding trip.

    Snow Sculptures/ Forts: Creating snow sculptures gives you a chance to express your creativity. This can be a fun and challenging winter activity for the whole family to create something amazing. Some of the more traditional ideas are forts, igloos, and snowmen, or you can get extra creative.


    Snowmobiling: Snowmobiling is the root of a lot of winter family vacations. Bundle up and hit the snow trails during the day, and enjoy a warm fire by night. There are 230,000 miles of marked snowmobile trails in the United States and Canada. Click here to find all the snow trails in Minnesota.

    Ice Skating: Whether you’re a beginner or trying out for the next winter Olympics, Ice skating is a fun way to get outdoors and get some exercise in the winter. There are plenty of rinks in Minnesota, or just find your nearest frozen lake or pond and lace up your skates!

    For the Indoors

    Indoor Sports: Athletes can get especially gloomy in the winter months. Minnesota isn’t the best state to promote year-round basketball, baseball, volleyball, climbing, or hiking. Luckily, you can usually find a winter league filled with other fanatics of your favorite summer sports pretty easily. If you don’t have the time to join a winter league, find a local sports arena or rec center (such as the Whitney Recreation Center in St. Cloud) and gather a group on the weekend.

    Sitting by a Fire: If you would rather stay warm and cozy this winter, bundle up by a warm fireplace with a blanket and some good company. A fireplace can offer a simple “getaway” as you watch the snowflakes fall outside your window. Grab a few wintery puzzles, learn a new card game or board game, or snuggle up to a good book while enjoying the glowing embers of a warm fire.


    Hot Chocolate: Well, first of all, it’s hot and warms you up on a cold day. Plus, the smooth taste and feel of drinking hot chocolate that then warms your whole body is great on a cold winter day. There are tons of variations and recipes you can tinker with (for kids and adults) besides traditional coca. It’s a silky, rich, treat that everyone looks forward to in the winter.

    Don’t be stuck spending your winter hours shoveling snow, let us clear it for you so you can spend more time with family this having fun and creating memories. Contact Ehlinger Lawn Care today for a quote.


  • Tips and Tricks for Safely Shoveling Snow


    As the weather gets colder, Minnesotans start to get excited about outdoor winter activities. With the promise of snowmobiling, snowmen, and skiing, it is easy to forget about the responsibilities that winter holds, like clearing the snow from driveways and sidewalks. We are here to remind you of some simple shoveling safety tips to remember as winter approaches.

    Technique is Key

    Shoveling snow can be hard on your lower back and arms. To reduce the strain on your body, remember to lift with your legs. Back problems in the winter are mainly caused from shoveling heavy snow. The main technique for preventing these back problems is to pivot and twist your shoulders in line with your hips, this requires less twisting of your spine.

    Move the Snow in Sections

    This winter is predicted to be full of snow that is extra wet and heavy. It is important to move the snow in smaller sections or layers to make it a little easier on your body. You don’t have to dig all the way to the sidewalk in one movement; take your time and work in smaller sections.

    Give Your Body a Break

    Shoveling snow is a strenuous activity that can be hard on your body. Shoveling snow increases your blood pressure and heart rate causing your body to react as if you were working out. This is why it is important to take breaks every 15 minutes. Also making sure to wait at least a half hour after you wake up allows your body to warm up and prepare for the strenuous work.

    Wear Layers

    Don’t let the cold weather get the best of you- wear layers and be sure to keep your mouth and nose covered to prevent you from breathing in the cold air. Be sure to keep your hands and head covered to prevent potential frostbite and windburn. Keep your feet warm with thick socks and slip-resistant boots.

    Listen to Your Body

    Lastly, listen to what your body is telling you. If you need to take a break, do it. The snow isn’t going anywhere, after all! If your muscles ache or your back begins to cramp up, take a longer break and head indoors to let your body recover.

    If the work becomes too much for your body to handle, or you’d just rather have someone else take care of it for you, be sure to contact Ehlinger Lawn Services and forget about snow removal for the rest of the season!

  • Choosing a Snow Removal Service

    Choosing a snow removal service is something that can’t be done overnight.  Once the snow starts falling the snow removal companies become extremely busy- so now is the best time to sign up.  Here are the top 7 steps to choosing what snow removal company will work best for your needs:

  • Assess Your Needs
    Before you decide to start looking for a snow removal company, it is important to first determine what your needs are.  Do you want your whole driveway cleared as well as your front steps and sidewalk? Do you need your driveway cleared off by a certain time of day so you can go to work/ school? To know what you are looking for, you must first know what you need.

  • Ask for Referrals
    Who do you trust more than your friends, family, and neighbors?  Ask them for a reliable source, who they use for their services or who they have used in the past. Another great way to find referrals is to check the company's website to see how previous customers liked their service.

  • Talk to Several Companies about Your Needs
    Contact 3 to 4 different companies that have either been referred to you by your friends, family, and neighbors or companies you have read good reviews about.  Tell them about your needs and see if they are able to fit your budget.

  • Ask Lots of Questions
    It important to ask lots of questions to each company you talk too.  Find out how long they have been doing snow removal, how often they will come out to clear the snow, how they determine their charge for their service, what type of equipment they use, and if you need to call or if they automatically come out for a certain amount of snow.  Be prepared with a list of questions before you contact a service.

  • Research the Company with the BBB
    Going online and searching for the Better Business Bureau office that services your area is a good way to get more information about any company.  This will tell you if the company has had any complaints against them and how reliable they are to their customers.

  • Don’t Choose a Snow Removal Service Based on Price Alone
    Prices vary based on the equipment used and the amount of time the service will take. As the saying rightly goes, you get what you pay for, so make sure you learn a bit about the company before you consider the price.

  • Read the Contract Thoroughly Before Signing
    It is important that before you sign the contract you have fully read and understand the services you will be receiving. Ask plenty of questions to clarify and issues or concerns you have.  Do not sign the bottom line if you are not completely confident about the content in the contract.
  • Ehlinger Lawn Service has been family owned and operated for over 15 years. Just check out our services. Once the cold weather comes, openings fill up fast, so get your snow removal set up before the first flake falls.