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Serving Central Minesota and the North Twin Cities Metro Area

Everything listed under: Ehlinger Lawn Service

  • Post Featured Image

    The Hidden Dangers of Shoveling Snow

    Shoveling snow may not seem like a dangerous activity, but surprisingly enough, it can be deadly.

    Cardiologists agree that individuals who have certain conditions may be putting themselves at an increased risk for a heart attack by shoveling snow during the winter months.

    Why Does this Happen?

    Colder temperatures increase the risk of blood clotting due to the narrowing of blood vessels which allows less oxygen to travel to the heart. This is especially problematic when paired with the rise in blood pressure and the physical strain to the body that happens during shoveling.

     

    Who Has the Highest Risk?

    Individuals who fit any of the following criteria may be at high risk for triggering a heart attack:

    • Cardiovascular disease
    • History of heart attacks
    • History of heart disease
    • Heart stent
    • Bypass surgery
    • Peripheral arterial disease
    • Sedentary Lifestyle
    • Smoking
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol

    If you qualify for any of these factors, please talk to your doctor before shoveling snow. Based on your doctor’s recommendations, consider asking a friend, relative, or neighbor to shovel for you. 

    You can also hire a shoveling service to take care of it for you – then you won’t have to think about it again all winter!

     

    How Can I Protect My Heart During Shoveling?

    If you do fit the above criteria and still choose to shovel, be aware of some of the following tips that might help reduce the stress to your heart. 

    Before you Begin Shoveling:

    • Discuss the activity with your doctor and determine if it is safe for you to shovel
    • Blood clots occur most often in the morning, therefore wait a few hours after you wake up before you begin shoveling
    • Avoid large meals before beginning to shovel as some blood will move toward the stomach
    • Walk briefly to warm up your muscles before beginning shoveling
    • Avoid drinking coffee or smoking for one hour before and after shoveling as these substances tend to increase heart rate and blood pressure

    During Snow Shoveling:

    • Choose a smaller shovel that will lighten the load of the snow and space out the strain on your body
    • Shovel slowly – don’t rush yourself and overexert your body
    • Take frequent 15 minute breaks to give your heart rate time to slow down
    • Drink extra water so that your body does not dehydrate
    • Wear layers so that your body does not get too cold or warm and to avoid hypothermia and overheating
    • Wear a hat and scarf to maintain body heat where it is most easily lost
    • Cover your mouth with your scarf to avoid breathing problems related to breathing cold air
    • If you exhibit any warning signs of a heart attack (including lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, or tight pains in your chest, neck, arms or back) stop shoveling immediately and rest. If you believe you are having a heart attack, call 911.


    Let Us Take Care of it For You

    Don’t put yourself at risk; contact us to do your snow removal for you. We visit your home each time there is a snowfall of 1 inch or more, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling an appointment. We also use snow blowers instead of plows, so our services won’t ruin your lawn!

    Visit our website to contact us or receive a free quote.

  • How To Avoid Lawn Damage from Kids, Pets and Parties


    Summertime is great for many reasons. You get to have family get-togethers, invite the neighbors over for grilling, your kids have the run of the yard to enjoy the nice weather, and your dog can burn off all his or her energy playing all day! 

    As fun as these activities are and as pleased we Minnesotans are to enjoy them, they can wreak havoc on your yard. You don’t have to skip the warm-weather fun, however; just take some precautions to minimize the damage to your lawn.

    • Mulch the area under swing sets to avoid bare spots.

    • When not in use, store corn hole boards, slip n’ slides, small pools and other yard games to prevent the grass underneath from turning brown.

    • Make sure your children know where it’s okay to dig and play and where it is not. It might be a good idea to add a sandbox to your yard if your kids are fans of digging and getting dirty.

    • If you have a flower bed or garden that your pets like to run through, add a decorative fence or edging to deter them from tearing it up. Bushes and shrubs work well, too.

    • Watch where your dog urinates. Rinse the space with a bucket of water or a hose. Male and female dogs mark their spaces differently; females tend to stick to one spot, while males like to mark the entire space. Learn more about dog spots in this article from heritagelawnskc.com.

    • Every so often, move your lawn furniture around to prevent killing the grass.

    • Prep your lawn for a party by planning your watering schedule, mowing schedule, and cleaning any debris a few days before the party. Learn more at Thegreenstufflawn.com

    These simple tips will ensure your lawn is healthy and happy all throughout summer and fall. As for lawn maintenance, leave the rest to us! For a FREE quote, visit our website. 


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    How To Throw The Ultimate Backyard Party

    Although the 4th is over, there is still plenty of nice weather yet to come, and lots of opportunities to throw a fantastic backyard bash. Make it an event to remember - and maybe repeat - with some new ideas. These tips and tricks will keep your guests smiling and satisfied.


    Build a S’mores Bar

    You can’t throw a backyard party without s’mores! Get your pokers ready and set aside a tray of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. Substitute your favorite chocolate candies like peanut butter cups for a new twist. If you really want to get creative, toss out the graham crackers and use bacon weaves instead; bacon is always a guaranteed hit!


    Light Up Your Trees

    One of the easiest ways to make your backyard party even better is to buy some string lights and wrap them around your trees. It won’t take long to set up and it will keep your backyard shining all night long. 



    Serve Sliders

    You can’t go wrong with sliders for your outdoor party. Not only are they easy to make, but everyone will be reaching for the last one. Whether you make cheeseburger, Philly cheese steak, chicken, or pulled pork sliders, we can guarantee that they’re always a hit for outdoor parties.


    Snack On Your Centerpiece

    Use clear jars or bowls and add some snacks and create centerpieces that double as munchies. It’s a cheap and easy way to add that extra pizzazz to your table. 


    Create Some Sweet Sippers

    Don’t forget about these sweet summer sippers that are to die for. Not only are they easy to make, but your guests will be begging for more. 


    Set up Some Backyard Games

    Nothing makes a barbecue like a good variety of backyard games. Summer staples include cornhole, ladder golf, lawn darts, and bocce ball. To really add to the fun, try a new or DIY yard game. There are a ton of options and ideas available on Pinterest

    Summer is winding down, but there is still plenty of time to host the best backyard summer bash. If you’re looking for help getting the perfect landscaping done beforehand, contact Ehlinger Lawn Care

  • The Real Cost of Professional Lawn Care

    Many people think the cost of professional lawn care for their home is out of reach. However, it might be surprising when you consider the real cost-benefit analysis. Hiring out your lawn care can make a lot of sense and actually save you money depending on your situation.

     

    Location Dependent 

    If you are the owner of a property far away from where you live such as a cabin, summer home, rental property, or business property, hiring your lawn care to a professional will undoubtedly be cheaper than doing it yourself. The cost of gas and oil to maintain your mower and drive your vehicle to the lawn's location adds up. The headache you can escape by leaving the lawn to the professionals is priceless.

     

    Equipment Costs

    Maintaining equipment for your lawn is expensive. A healthy lawn includes de-thatching, aerating, mowing, and fertilizing. All of these processes require different tools which you need to pay to maintain, sharpening blades and such, as well as store. The initial costs of purchasing a mower can even be intimidating, with most costing upwards of $1000. Also, that mower likely will not be as high-performing as a professional grade riding lawn mower a service would use. 

     

    Time Savings

    For most people, time is a valuable commodity. If you lead a busy lifestyle, there is no way you are giving your lawn the attention or time it needs to be lush and healthy. Consider the cost per hour of time your lawn service spends maintaining your lawn. Now consider the cost per hour you make at your job. If the amount you make per hour at your job is higher, the lawn service is a better value. If you would rather be spending your time elsewhere, hire the professional for your lawn. 

     

    When taking into account time savings, equipment costs, and the location of your lawn, professional lawn care is more cost-effective than you thought. After a cost-benefit analysis, it is clear that the real cost of a lawn care service is a great value.

  • 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!

     

     

     

     


  • Winter Home Maintenance Tips

    Although we at Ehlinger love taking care of what’s outside your home—lawn service and snow removal is our livelihood—we want the inside of your home to be safe, cozy, and well cared for this winter. As we settle into our Minnesota winter, now is a good time to give thought to some of the important winter home maintenance tasks that you may have forgotten.


    Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Heating Equipment

    According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires started by home heating equipment and carbon monoxide poisoning both increase during the winter months. Vehicles and generators running in an attached garage can cause dangerous levels of CO, and you should always make sure there is ample ventilation. If you’re going to start your car to let it warm up, back it out of the driveway so the fumes don’t build up in your garage and seep into your home.

    Never use your oven to heat your home, and be sure to turn off portable space heaters when you leave the room. (That includes the one you have hidden under your desk at work.)

    Stock up on Winter Supplies

    Stock up your home and your car with winter-ready supplies. For your home, make sure you have a good snow shovel, snow blower, and salt to rid your walkways of dangerous ice. Or, try one of these tips for keeping your walkways free of ice. If you have no desire to repair or purchase a snow-blower, let us do the snow removal for you. (We offer one price for the whole season, so you’re covered automatically, no matter how many times it snows!)

    For the car, think about what you might need in the event of a sudden winter storm in your path or being stranded on the side of the road. Blankets, flares, water, salt, and a small shovel can be incredibly handy in the right moment. Having a spare battery for your phone is another good idea. 


    Chimney Tips

    We all love a roaring fire, especially in these temps. But there are several to-dos surrounding that blaze to keep your home safe. First, get a fire screen that is well-reviewed if you have pets or children in the house or as guests. Many a tiny hand has been burned on fireplace glass! Hearth guards are also available to cushion those dangerous edges.

    To upkeep your fireplace, remove ashes regularly, and get your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year by professionals.


    Protect Your Pipes

    Often on the exterior walls of a home, pipes are susceptible to freezing in cold temperatures. If you’re leaving town, don’t turn your heat off completely because the pipes (and water within) may freeze and cause damage. When the temperature gets extremely cold, let the water drip a bit through the night to keep something flowing through the pipes. Pipe insulation is available at hardware stores and can give you pipe peace of mind.


    Watch for Ice Dams

    Melting and refreezing water on your roof can cause ice dams, meaning big problems forming under your shingles, in your gutters, and in drainpipes, blocking water from draining off your roof. The problem actually begins in your attic, with heat seeping through the roof and melting ice and snow, only to refreeze in an ice dam. Contact a professional to investigate and address this issue.

    If we take a moment to step outside your house to meet winter face-to-face, Ehlinger Lawn Service will be there to help you safely and effortlessly tackle snowfalls. Gain tips on how to shovel safely and find out more about our snow removal program, which provides snow blowing off your driveway whenever snow reaches more than 1 inch.

    So enjoy this winter, be safe, and stay warm!   



  • Post Featured Image

    The Many Benefits of Using a Snow Removal Service

    Winter is Coming. To much of the country, that’s a quote from a popular HBO series or a cute reference to a book they may have read years ago. Here in Minnesota, though, we know differently; winter is always just around the corner. Winter is coming, and that means we must once again engage in the practice of snow removal.


    In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to deal with snow removal. You’d wake up on a bright new day, fully refreshed after a full 8 hours of blissful sleep, and go about your morning routine. The snow that accumulated over the course of the night was seemingly removed by angels, or perhaps some sort of faerie folk.

    We can help you get at least a bit closer to that perfect world.

    It’s remarkably affordable to contract out the task of snow removal to a friendly, professional service from Ehlinger. With the rising cost of pretty much every good or service in our economy, you’d almost be crazy not to consider it.

    Let’s just break down a bit of the cost of doing it yourself, vs our full-season contract, and you can decide for yourself:

    Photo by Onno Kluyt via Flickr

    Photo by Onno Kluyt via Flickr

    Snow Blowers

    Most decent snow blowers up to the task of handling a Minnesota winter are going to run you anywhere from $700 to $1,000 or more. That estimate isn’t even factoring in additional costs like maintenance or gas, which can easily add up to more than our service over the course of the season.

     

    Chiropractic Bills

    Even if you have a snowblower, you still need to get out in the cold, dark morning before work and push that thing around, which can be really tough on the knees and back. According to Cost Helper Health, you’re looking at around $65 per adjustment if you go to even a less-than-reputable chiropractor, like one in the back of a failing mall in an office with a sign on their door that has “chiroprocter” misspelled.


    Personal Costs

    You also need to factor in the human cost to your own continued sanity and well-being. Getting up before the sun to go trudging out into the bitter cold to push snow around can expose you to the harshest cold temperatures of the year, which can lead to frostbite, sickness, and an acute feeling of resentment toward your neighbors who are still warm and toasty in their beds, because they hired someone else to do the work for them. Don’t let that happen to you.

    Contract Ehlinger Lawn Services, and we’ll come out and plow your driveway anytime there’s snowfall greater than 1” day or night. Plans start as low as $350, and routes fill up quickly, so get moving so we can get to you before Old Man Winter does.

  • Low Maintenance Fall Projects from Ehlinger Lawn Service

     

    As summer winds down and the weather begins to get brisk and cool, not too many people will want to spend weekends doing labor-intensive yard work when they could be out and about at the football game or pumpkin patch. If this feeling sounds familiar to you, check out some of our simple and low maintenance lawn ideas below:


    Prepare Your Lawn

    Prevent your yard from dying this winter by taking preventative steps now. Add a winter fertilizer and grass seed to promote healthy growth and protect your yard from frigid temps this winter. Mow and rake regularly to keep your yard in tip-top shape. For more tips, check out our Fall lawn care tips blogs - part one and part two


    Add Stepping Stones

    To add a beautiful pop of personality to your garden or walkway, place stepping stones to personalize your yard. Make creative shapes like leaves or grab your kids for a fun weekend painting session. Get creative with stones, gravel, moss, and more natural elements.


    Decorate Your Front Porch

    Whether you want to repaint for some extra shine or add a simple but elegant wreath of dried flowers and pinecones, small changes to your front porch can make a big impact. Plan a small project that will add some curbside appeal to your home. Decorate pumpkins, gather corn stalks or create a fun Fall scarecrow. For weekend projects, check out this article from midwestliving.com. While you are decorating for the fall season, make sure to check your porch lights and screen doors for damage. Fix them now to prevent problems and future maintenance in the winter. 


    Get a New Fire Pit

    For all those late night post-game bonfires, create a fire pit that you can be proud of. This project can be relatively inexpensive, and it can create a wonderful atmosphere for cozy Fall bonfires. You can purchase one from a home improvement store, or build your own with surfacing blocks, large rocks, and a variety of other methods. Head over to Pinterest to find a ton of DIY fire pit ideas!


    Start Composting 

    With your old compost pile most likely depleted from the summer’s work, start a new compost pile to use for next season’s plants. If you don’t have a composting bin, you can use a bare-ground compost pile. Lay plastic sheeting on the ground to prevent tree roots, weeds, and other undesirable plants from disrupting it. On top of the plastic, lay a few inches of straw, corn stalks, or dry leaves. Continue adding compost to the pile throughout the year. You can add kitchen waste, like veggie peels, eggshells, and table scraps to the pile, but did you know that grass clippings, wood ash, and dryer lint make great additions as well? Check out eartheasy.com to find more compost-friendly materials. 


    Weatherproof your home

    To protect your house from the elements, you can start inspecting your home. Check the weatherstripping around your windows and doors, HVAC system, attic, and basement to make sure your home stays warm and safe throughout the winter. Don’t forget to change air filters and flip your fans to spin in the opposite direction to promote healthy airflow during the cooler months.

     

    Working on smaller, low maintenance fall projects can make a big impact on your home without draining you of energy or taking up too much of your weekend. For more resources on lawn care, or to get a jumpstart on your winter maintenance, visit Ehlinger Lawn Service


  • Creative Ways to Enjoy Your Lawn

    With a month left of summer, how are you spending the last few days of blissful sunshine and summer warmth? Here are some creative ways to enjoy your lawn before fall starts:

    Start A Movie Night
    Instead of spending an arm and a leg at the theater, bring the theater to you! Set up an outdoor screen and movie projector to view some of your favorite movies with friends and family from the comfort of your own home. Lay out some throw pillows, blankets, and citronella candles to keep the mosquitos at bay. If you are feeling especially fancy, set up a snack bar so friends can grab their own popcorn, candy mixes, and drinks.

    Yard Games are a Must
    Keep the party ball rolling, and keep a variety of yard games on hand for entertaining friends. Grab the classics like bocce ball, ladder golf, horseshoes, and bean bag toss. Larger outdoor versions of Jenga, Scrabble, and Connect-Four are trendy games to add to the mix as well.

    Upgrade your Backyard
    For some, the idea of renovating can be a chore, while for others, it’s the activity they have been looking forward to all summer. Redesign your entire backyard for a new aesthetic appeal by adding a full kitchen, new landscaping, or new patio furniture. Go simpler and add a small treehouse for the kids, switch up the patio pillows, or add a bench swing to the back patio for more relaxing evenings.

    Make it More Livable
    Your home and yard should be a welcoming and relaxing haven. Make it more inviting by creative seating; add comfortable patio seats, classic Adirondack chairs, a hammock, or porch swing. Add a cozy bench around the fire pit to enjoy the most comfortable bonfires. Creating an outdoor space that is as comfortable and livable as your living room will make your yard much more inviting.

    Get Creative with your Garden
    If you have an avid green thumb, experiment with different gardening ideas. Plant window flower boxes that you have always meant to set up. Get vertical and mount a wooden pallet to an exterior wall. Use it to grow herbs and succulents. Create your own hanging baskets to fill with your favorite flowers. Add a small vintage table and chair to create a cozy garden nook.

    For the last few weeks of the season, get creative with how you spend time in your backyard. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    When it comes time to begin Fall preparations for your yard, contact Ehlinger Lawn Care, or check out some of our older blogs for advice on preparing your yard for the fall.  

  • Starting Fresh: How to Reclaim a Beautiful Lawn


    During the hottest days of summer, homeowners can spend weeks trying to nourish their lawn, only for it to remain dry and dull. This can be quite bothersome for homeowners who worry their lawn won’t recover in time for the first frost, and that they will be greeted in Spring by a black, bare yard. Using the right tools and methods, you can reclaim your lawn and return it to its former glory. 

    Diagnose the Problem

    Is your lawn full of yellow patches, weeds, and bare spots? Are the problem areas limited to a small patch of your lawn, or more widespread? Test and correct the pH balance of your lawn to find the best soil for your turf. If over half of your lawn is dead, the easiest solution would be to remove the grass and start again with fresh seed.


    Starting Fresh

    If your lawn can’t be saved, start new. Shop for an herbicide containing glyphosate that will eliminate existing vegetation but still allows new turf to grow soon after. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly—wear gloves if necessary, follow the suggested timeline and application amounts, and keep pets off your lawn while the chemical does its job. Following a waiting period of a few weeks (and before seeding), mow your lawn as short as you can to set up the growing process. This step will prevent erosion and keep dead plants from shading your lawn.

    Raking and Composting

    Do some raking maintenance. Raking your yard will help protect new growth. Remove and compost most of the growth and lawn clippings, leaving about ¼ inch of thatch on the ground. You’ll know you have the correct balance when you see equal amounts of bare soil and dead grass stems. Spread compost over the soil in an even layer.

    Seeding and Reseeding

    Once your lawn is properly prepared, it’s time to plant seed. For best results, follow the instructions on the seed you purchase. To avoid bare spots and to make the seed more uniform, spread half the seed in an up and down motion and the other half of the seed in a right to left motion.

    Watering

    Now that your seed is germinating, make a habit of watering your new lawn. It might be tricky at first to find the perfect balance of moisture. After the initial planting, make sure the soil stays uniformly moist so that bare spots do not emerge.

    Feeding and Fertilizing

    Nourish your lawn. Once the grass seed grows to about an inch, apply a fertilizer to promote growth. Time this appropriately, because the fertilizer may burn your roots.

    Mowing New Growth

    Mow your new lawn. Once the grass has grown to be roughly three inches, mow it to eliminate weeds and promote growth. Be sure not to cut the grass too short — about ⅓ of the length will suffice. Always use a sharp blade to avoid tearing out your new grass and creating a patchy lawn.

    When it comes to salvaging a dying lawn, anything beyond a yellow patch can be intimidating to most people. If you feel less than confident about your own lawn repair skills, we can help determine the best treatment for your lawn with a free lawn quote. To get started, send us a message or call us at (320) 250-9337.  

  • Four Ways to Help Your Lawn Beat the Heat


    The hottest days of the summer are soon around the corner. Can your lawn stand the heat? Check out some of our tips on how to care for your lawn during the hottest days of the year.

     

    1) Alter your Watering Schedule 

    In order to stay healthy, most lawns require a minimum of an inch of water a week. During the summer, water during the morning to allow moisture to be efficiently absorbed by the root system - rapid water evaporation is the biggest issue when it comes to watering your lawn. When the weather gets especially hot and dry, increase your watering schedule to three or four times a week. Pay close attention to grassy patches that are on higher ground, close to buildings, or near reflective surfaces. 

     

    2) Keep the grass longer

    Many believe that you should cut down on mowing during the hotter months. You should keep mowing your grass frequently during the hotter times,  but remember that a longer grass blade can help your lawn retain moisture. This is because a thicker and denser lawn can better stay hydrated, and the root system of your lawn extends deeper in the earth, which keeps weeds at bay. Aim to maintain your lawn at around 3-4 inches during the hottest months. If your lawn becomes brown or brittle, reduce foot traffic when possible to reduce the stress on your lawn.

     

    3) Mulch properly

    If your lawn is well-cared for at the beginning of the summer, you can most likely skip the fertilizer, but remember to mulch properly. Use a mulching mower to allow cut grass to settle into your lawn to keep it hydrated and well-balanced.

     

    4) Maintain your mower 

    To ensure even cutting, sharpen your mower blades two to three times throughout the summer. This is key in preventing your grass from splintering or fraying at the end, which can cause brown spots to appear and can stress your lawn.

      

    For a beautiful and healthy lawn that can withstand dry conditions and hot temperatures, follow these tips. Find more information on lawn care tips and more at Ehlinger Lawn Service, and be sure to treat your lawn to some TLC this summer.

  • 3 Tips for Healthy Summer Lawns

    Summer is right around the corner and a big part of enjoying the outdoors during the warmer weather is having a lush, green lawn. Creating the perfect lawn doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work to have a yard your neighbors will envy. Starting early means beginning around March or April with a few early lawn care essentials, such as aeration, dethatching, and fertilization. Once you have the first steps down, the rest of the summer should be devoted to upkeep and prevention.

    In a previous blog, we’ve shown how watering, fertilization, and proper moving are important in maintaining a healthy summer lawn. We’re back in this installment with a few more tips to keep your lawn looking fresh and feeling soft and thick this summer:

    Treating and Preventing Weeds and Bugs

    Aeration in the Spring and early summer helps your lawn in many ways, but it also helps weeds begin to sprout. Stop these weeds by laying a pre-emergence lawn weed preventer. Once the weed preventer is watered, it will create a barrier to stop weeds from sprouting through the surface of the soil. Bugs can be another issue in your lawn, Early Summer is the time in which many bugs (Japanese Beetles, Chafers, June Bugs, etc.) are laying their eggs in your lawn. These eggs hatch into grubs around mid-late summer, so prepare some grub control around that time.

    Pets, Automobiles, and Litter - Oh, My!

    Sometimes it’s not bugs or weeds that kill your grass, sometimes it’s… you. Leaving large objects, such as automobiles, blow-up pools, lawn furniture, or other summertime gear can kill the underlying grass. Be sure to clean up after yourself and don’t leave large objects in one area of your lawn, unless you are prepared to lose the grass underneath.

    Pets can be another issue. Dogs, especially, can cause unsightly spots in your lawn. The best solution to this problem is simple - clean up after your pet! If your lawn becomes overrun with urine stains, flush the area with water to dilute the urine, and consider training your dog to relieve itself in certain areas outdoors.

    Landscaping Projects

    If you plan on starting any new design projects in your yard this summer, start off by cleaning existing landscaping and gardens. This can be done by replacing cracked or missing stones, closing tunnels made from garden pests, cleaning out birdhouses, touching up mulch, planting news seeds, and replacing flowers. Once these tasks are done, you can begin planning for new landscaping projects and mapping out your yard. Remember to pay attention to coordinating colors throughout your landscaping to really make your yard stand out!

    It is important to begin these lawn maintenance services now to have your perfect lawn all summer. Learn more about our services and how Ehlinger Lawn Care can make having a beautiful lawn easier and less time-consuming this season.


  • Quality Lawn Care Begins in the Spring

    If you would like to have a healthy, gorgeous lawn year round, it is important to start caring for your lawn in the spring as soon as the snow disappears. As winter comes to an end, many homeowners become anxious as they begin planning for the spring. From cleaning to mowing and seeding, proper spring lawn care covers a range of responsibilities. Taking care of your lawn in the spring will help to limit the additional work throughout the summer, giving you less work and more time to enjoy your lush, thick carpet of green grass.

    Here are some ideas to get you started:

    Dethatching: Thatch is a combination of dead grass, grass clippings, and leaves. This thatch creates a layer over your grass preventing the growth of new grass seeds. The process of dethatching your lawn is going over it with a rake or a special dethatching rake to pick up all the dead debris to make it easier for new grass to grow.

     

    Fertilizing: Chances are, your lawn is still holding onto fertilizer from last fall. Too much fertilizer in the spring can cause weed problems, which is why it is important to create a specialized plan for fertilizing your lawn's needs.

    Aeration: Aerating your lawn in the spring is critical to helping your grass grow. The freezing temps and compacting snow make it hard for nutrients to penetrate the ground. Aerating allows your soil temperature to rise and lets air and water get to the roots.

    Seeding: The winter snow can cause your lawn to be left with bare brown patches or areas that didn't receive enough nutrients from your fall fertilizer. The best solution to fix the bare spots is to fill it in with grass seed. Applying a fertilizer to the bare spots after you lay the seeds will give your grass more of an opportunity to grow back before summer arrives.

    As part of our lawn care at Ehlinger Lawn Service, we help maintain the health of your lawn. If your schedule doesn't allow you time to complete your spring lawn care, please contact us and see how we can help make your lawn lush and thick this summer.



  • 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.


  • Fall Lawn Care Tips: Part 2

    Fall can be the most crucial time of the year to care for your lawn. It is important to provide your lawn with the nutrients to last the cold winter months ahead. Now is the perfect time to follow these 4 lawn care tips to assure that when spring comes around you will have a lawn that will be the envy of all your neighbors. 

     

    Fertilizing your Lawn
    As fall rolls in and winter approaches, it is a smart idea to think about laying some fertilizer on your lawn. When the weather begins to get colder, we notice that grass begins to grow slower; However, the roots are continually growing. It is important to make sure you fertilize your lawn to give the roots the nutrients they need to last over the winter months and grow back healthier in the spring.

    Seeding and Sodding your lawn
    Although it’s not until spring comes when people realize they need to seed or sod their lawn, fall is actually the best time to do it. Seeding and sodding have shown to be the most successful when done anywhere from late-August to mid-September. During this time, the weather is not too hot, nor too cold, making the perfect growing weather. Once you have seeded or sodded your lawn, the fertilizer will take over to provide the new grass with nutrients to grow back thick and full in the spring.

    Broadleaf Weed Control
    Fall is a good time to evaluate your yard for broadleaf weeds like dandelions, plantain, and creeping charlie. Just like the grass roots are storing up nutrients for the winter months, so are weeds. The best solution for getting rid of weeds is to do a spot treatment with herbicide. The weeds will absorb the herbicide, and when spring returns they will be gone. Be careful when you choose to add herbicide; most need time to do their work before the weather gets too cold.

    Recycling your Leaves
    It is really important to remember to clean up your leaves in the fall to prevent the leaves from collecting the morning dew and matting down your lawn. Some smart recycling tips for your leaves include using them as mulch, adding them to a compost pile, or shredding them and letting them decompose back into the grass.

    Be sure to read our first blog about fall lawn care to learn more. For all your fall lawn care needs, Ehlinger Lawn Care Services is here to help. We are honored to have the opportunity to provide you with exceptional lawn care.

     

     

     


  • How To Select A Lawn Care Service

    As it is known to happen, summer is nearly over again in Minnesota. You probably don’t want to spend the last few precious summer weekends maintaining your lawn. It would be nice to hire someone else to do it for you, but how do you decide on a lawn care service provider? Think about a few of these deciding factors:


    What Services do you Need?

    If all your lawn needs is a quick trim, you might be able to get away with hiring a relative or neighborhood kid to do it, but what if your lawn requires a bit more care? Not only does hiring a lawn care service take care of mowing and trimming, but also sidewalk and driveway edging, landscaping, aeration, tree and shrub maintenance, irrigation repair and more. You also might need help with fall clean up, weed control, and fertilizing regimens. (Fall is a good time to fertilize before winter hits.) Keep in mind the services your need (or don’t need) before hiring a company.

    Are Their Services Guaranteed?

    Run their references! It can be reassuring to hear a company promise low prices without seeing your lawn and determining the amount of work to be completed, but does the company stand behind their work? How do you know if they are licensed or not? With Ehlinger Lawn Service, you can be sure that your satisfaction is guaranteed and our technicians are thoroughly trained. See our team in action in our lawn care video.

    What Kind of Pricing are We Talking About?

    Different lawn care providers have many different pricing options, depending on their services. When you are looking for a provider, look for someone with free service checks to determine your needs and approximate cost. You can contact Ehlinger Lawn Service for pricing information or complete a free quick quote online based on your address.

    Ask Around!

    The grass is alway greener across the street, right? Well, ask your friends and neighbors about their lawn care provider. If they don’t use a provider, ask other customers that have used lawn care services about their experience. Gathering case studies is a great way to gauge the results from any service.

    ent

    When it comes to leaving the care of your lawn in the hands of someone else, it is important to make sure they are the best. Do your homework to find the best service provider before you pick a lawn care team. Enjoy the rest of your summer, because before you know it, you’re going to be thinking about snow removal instead of lawn care!



  • Where Are All the Honeybees? How You Can Help Support Them

    “You can't replace bees with a microrobot or an iPod or an app or anything. We are completely dependent on bugs to retain the human race.”
    - Sam Droege, USGS honeybee expert

    The reason honeybees are missing is still unknown to us. Many scientists hypothesize different causes, but any way you strike it, it’s bad news for us. Honeybees aren’t responsible for just making honey- they are also pollinators, which allow many of our agricultural foods to grow.

    Just this past year, the U.S. Government is now taking action to ensure the future of the honeybees. In 2014, the government created the Pollinator Health Task Force, not only established to protect honeybees but other pollinator insects like butterflies.

    You don’t have to be the Commander and Chief of the United States to save the honeybees. Here are a couple of easy ways you can help from your own home, without the bugs becoming a huge nuisance around your yard:

    Plant Flowers
    The easiest answer to helping honeybees is to plant pollinator-friendly plants. Many different flowers like sunflowers, roses and snowdrops are great choices. Bees tend to prefer single-petal plants, like foxglove or calla lilies, though you may want to research these plants first. Calla Lilies, for instance, are poisonous to cats, while foxglove tends to attract bumble bees- a nuisance if you happen to be allergic.  Even garden plants like blackberries, strawberries and squash can attract honeybees. Find out which pollinator-friendly plants are perfect for your ecoregion.

    Provide A Backyard Water Source
    Even honey bees need water, just like your pets. Fountains and birdbaths can provide a sufficient source of water for honeybees. It can even be as simple as placing a bowl of water and stones near your garden.

    Even though we don’t know what is causing America’s diminishing bee population, we do know a few tricks to replenish it. Simple changes in your yard can help to repopulate your region’s bee population. While you may think that you need to build your own beehive to help the bee population, just a few minor adjustments to your yard can make a difference.