Enjoying Your Fire Pit to the Fullest
As summer is starting to wind down and the back-to-school commercials are on full blast, it can be a reminder that fire pit season is really kicking into high gear. Sure, sitting by the fire is something normally thought of for holiday weekends in the summer and other random summer getaways. If you have your own fire pit, though, late-summer through fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy it! As the temps start to cool and it gets darker a little sooner, the warm glow of a fire is the perfect way to spend an evening.
It's not too late in the season to get a fire pit added to your yard or patio. In this post, we are going to look at a few considerations for new fire pit construction that will help you enjoy your fire pit to the fullest.
Think About the View
If you think your property has a pleasant view, consider placing your fire pit at the edge of the property. This ensures that, while you are enjoying time around your fire pit, you also have the best view of your property along for the ride, making it a really picturesque experience.
Sight Lines from Your Home
In tandem with placing your fire pit for a good view of the property, or instead of doing so, consider placing the fire pit where it can be seen from inside your living room or other entertainment space. This ensures the fire can be seen both inside and out, which is ideal when there is traffic going in and out of the house for whatever reason. This also ensures, for safety reasons, that you can step away from the fire for a moment, if need be, but still keep an eye on it.
Consider Built-In Seating
Yes, you can absolutely pull up some lawn or patio furniture to put around the fire pit. People have been doing it forever. A fire pit with built-in seating, however, means you don't have to move furniture around and that you will always have extra seating for guests. Built-in seating can also help block winds that may cause fires to flare and/or blow smoke in people's faces.
You'll want to place your fire pit a minimum of 10 feet from any structures or other potentially-flammable items on your property. You may also want to consider placing it even further from your home, fences, or shed/garage. Fires can get get hot enough to melt vinyl siding, plastic, and other common construction materials. And even if melting doesn't happen, discoloration can also be a concern.
You'll also want to keep an eye on your trees, which are notoriously flammable. Keep an eye on the tree canopy and hanging branches, which could pose a fire risk. If need be, trim back any branches that could even remotely be considered a hazard.
When it comes to landscape elements, fire pits are relatively low maintenance and offer a certain charm that nothing else can match. There are a number of different design options available, so you can be sure to single out one that perfectly matches your style and budget.
If you are looking to add a beautiful new fire pit to your landscaping, E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply offers professional landscaping services in the Jackson, MI area. Feel free to contact us online or call us today at (517) 990-0110.
So you've taken the plunge and invested in a new patio space. You may have even included an outdoor kitchen for entertaining and/or just enjoying more time outdoors. Along with the beauty of the outdoors can come a host of different creepy crawlies, including ants. In this post, we are going to discuss some preventive measures you can take to keep ants away from your patio pavers and outdoor kitchen spaces.
Cleanup is Key
The number one step you can take to prevent ants from gathering is, by far, wiping everything down. Cooking surfaces are the most obvious place to start, but anywhere you are serving food and drinks (e.g., patio tables, side tables, etc.) should also be address. Ants are smart and if they learn where they can find sugar, they will keep coming back to that location. For that reason, wiping down any surfaces where food and drinks are prepared or served can help prevent ants from discovering those surfaces in the first place. Don't forget the vertical surfaces, too, such as cabinet doors and kick plates; those are common spots for missed spills.
Most times, surfaces can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water. To be sure, though, you'll want to refer to your manufacturer's recommendation.
Next, empty any trashes that you keep in your patio or outdoor kitchen space. If you have cabinets that house trash bins, be sure to tie up the trash bag until it is ready for disposal. As with other surfaces, be sure to wipe down the surfaces of those cabinets.
To kill ants that have started appearing, a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water works well. Further, the solution is safe for any food preparation areas. That said, do <i>not</i> spray or otherwise apply ant killer products to any surfaces where food will prepared or served. Instead, opt for baited ant traps that work when ants take the poison from the traps back to the colony where it is then distributed among all of the ants in the colony. To be safe, use kitchen-and-food safe ant baits. Continue to use them solutions until the ants stop visiting.
Pro Tip: If you are experiencing extended periods of rain, you will want to keep adding/replacing ant deterrent solutions.
Mind the Gaps
Ants often come up in the gaps between patio pavers. You'll be able to tell if ants are developing a colony under your patio, because there will be little ant hills along the gaps between pavers and/or around the perimeter of your patio.
If you see points of entry between patio pavers, you can easily treat them with pest powder. Simply apply the powder and sweep it around the patio surface to ensure even coverage in all the gaps between pavers. Keep in mind that this won't likely be a one-and done solution, as ants are resilient little buggers. You'll have to repeat this application process in accordance with the directions on the package. You should also expect it to take several rounds of this kind of treatment before the offending ant colony (or colonies) are eliminated.
Note: Depending upon the nature of your ant problem, it's possible that joint sand in the paver construction can become displaced. Over time, this could compromise the integrity of your patio. If you think this has happened, contact your landscaper regarding joint repair and possibly even the application of insecticide to prevent the problem from reoccurring in the future.
When creating an outdoor space where food is prepared and/or stored, you should anticipate that ants will want to join the party and take steps to prevent their arrival. If/when they do arrive, however, there are several options to remove them while also ensuring that your food preparation and serving areas still remain safe and usable.
If you are considering a new patio or outdoor kitchen (or both!), we'd love to talk to you. With years of experience and a long list of satisfied customers, the landscapers at E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply are your patio professionals in Jackson.
Learn more about our professional landscaping design and installation services when you contact us online or at (517) 990-0110.
From pulling off a total lawn reset to giving some attention to overlooked spaced in your landscape, grass seeding is an option that most people can pull off on their own. Compared to installing sod, seeding is a breeze. In this post, we are going to take you step-by-step through a simple grass seeding project.
You'll want to start by clearing out any existing vegetation from the desired area. Sometimes, brown patches in your lawn will still harbor ground cover plants in the soil. A non-selective weed killer will do a good job at killing any weeds that are present, but it will also kill any grass present, as well. So, exercise caution when applying herbicide. It's best to don protective clothing and apply the herbicide only to the selected area. Some brands of weed killer can take longer than others to kill the vegetation, but two weeks should be plenty of time for just about any weed killer to do the job.
When you have the area clear and ready, follow these steps.
There are a number of factors that can influence the overall health of your lawn, including new seed. Some of these factors include exposure to direct sunlight and foot traffic. In such cases, you'll want to give extra attention to those areas to keep that grass lush and healthy.
Keeping your lawn looking great year after year takes work. Now and again, you may have to re-seed certain areas. With the steps listed above, though, you should be well on your way.
For all of your commercial lawn maintenance needs, feel free to contact E.P.M. online or call us at 517.990.0110 today!