Preventive steps can be taken to help eliminate mosquitoes

Preventive steps can be taken to help eliminate mosquitoes

DID YOU KNOW? Preventive steps can be taken to help eliminate mosquitoes in gardens and outdoor space around your home. Mosquitoes are most likely to bite during the hours immediately before and after dawn and dusk. Plan your gardening to avoid the times when mosquitoes are most active. 

Efforts should be focused on preventing adult mosquitoes from breeding. During warm weather, mosquito eggs can develop into larvae and then into adult mosquitoes in water that has been left standing for seven to ten days.

Beginning in April until the first hard frost, weekly check your property, garden, alley, home exterior, and garage for any standing water or debris that might hold even the slightest amount of water. Household items might include cans, rain barrels, tires, buckets, garden tools, wheelbarrows, plant pot saucers, and children’s toys. The following precautions can also prevent the breeding cycle:

  • Repair outdoor leaky faucets to prevent small pools of water from forming.
  • Seal any hollowed areas of tree stumps.
  • Empty outdoor pet water bowls daily.
  • Repair torn screens or loose windows.
  • Clean gutters of all debris so rainwater never pools.
  • Check flat roofs for low spots that retain water.
  • Empty wading pools once a week. Store indoors when not in use.
  • Cover all larger pools if you are away for more than a week. Make sure pool covers do not accumulate water.
  • Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Install small pumps in ponds, aquatic gardens, or fountains to aerate water, or add larvae-eating fish. 
  • Empty outdoor fountains if you will be away for more than a week.
  • Check sewer drains, septic tanks, and downspouts for any pooling water.
  • Cover rain barrels with tight-fitting lids or 16-mesh screening.
  • Wear Protective Clothing
  • Wear socks and shoes, long pants, and long-sleeved, light-colored shirts when outside. Protect children and babies with proper clothing and mosquito netting.

Plan Your Gardening

Mosquitoes are most likely to bite during the hours immediately before and after dawn and dusk. Plan your gardening to avoid the times when mosquitoes are most active. If virus-infected mosquitoes have been reported in your area, consider staying indoors during their peak biting hours. Mosquitoes favor shady, moist areas of a yard and rest in dense shrubbery; they are active from spring to the first hard frost in the fall.

 

  • Above is for informational purposes only and provide by: source 

 

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How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Many of us are fascinated with the beauty and aerobatics of hummingbirds and many of the plants that attract hummingbirds also attract butterflies

Here’s a list of flowering plants that may attract hummingbirds. Choose varieties in red and orange shades.

Common Name:

  • Beard tongue   
  • Bee balm            
  • Butterfly bush  
  • Catmint
  • Clove pink          
  • Columbine         
  • Coral bells          
  • Daylily  
  • Larkspur              
  • Desert candle   
  • Iris                
  • Foxglove             
  • Lily         
  • Lupine 
  • Pentas 
  • Petunia
  • Pincushion flower
  • Red-hot poker  
  • Scarlet sage       
  • Scarlet trumpet honeysuckle     
  • Soapwort           
  • Summer phlox  
  • Verbena             
  • Weigela               

Here are some fun facts about these little birds:

  • The key to attracting hummingbirds to your yard is to plant lots of flowers and provide the habitat that will give them shade, shelter, food, water, and security. 
  • Herbs, flowering shrubs, dwarf trees, and vines can all be used to create an ideal tiered habitat from ground level to 10 feet or more.
  • Provide lots of space between plants to give hummingbirds enough room to hover and navigate from flower to flower.
  • Hummingbirds love water, especially if it’s moving. A gentle, continuous spray from a nozzle or a sprinkler hose is perfect for a bath on the fly.
  • Hummingbirds do not have a keen sense of smell and rely on bright colors to find their food.
  • They are particularly fond of red and are often observed investigating feeders with red parts, red plant labels, red thermometers, and even red clothes on a gardener. Note: Do not use red dye in a hummingbird feeder; there is concern that it may harm the birds. Instead, use plain, clear sugar water (1 part white sugar mixed with 4 parts water). The birds love it! If your feeder does not have red on it, attach a red label or other item to attract them.
  • Brightly colored flowers that are tubular hold the most nectar, and are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. These include perennials such as bee balms, columbines, daylilies, and lupines; biennials such as foxgloves and hollyhocks; and many annuals, including cleomes, impatiens, and petunias.
  • Hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 beats per second, producing a buzz audible to human ears
  • Bee hummingbirds are the tiniest of all birds, weighing less than an ounce and measuring only 2 inches long.
  • Their brightly-colored, iridescent feathers and quick movements make them appear as living sun catchers—hence their nickname, flying jewels.
  • Hummingbirds have the unique ability to fly in any direction, even backward, with their wings beating up to a blurring 80 beats per second. Plus, they can hover in midair when sipping nectar from brightly colored flowers with their long, slender beaks.
  • While whizzing about the garden, hummingbirds expend so much energy that they must eat at least half their body weight each day to replace the calories that they burn up. This means eating almost constantly—from sunrise to sunset—and visiting over a thousand flowers every day.

 

The above is for informational purposes only 

Source  

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Helping Grass Survive the Summer and HOT Temperatures TIPS

Helping Grass Survive the Summer and HOT Temperatures TIPS

Some types of grass do better in high temperatures, but all are likely to suffer as the thermometer rises during the hottest months of the year. Keeping the lawn healthy can be a challenge.
For those battling hot days, scorching sun and the occasional drought, HGTV offers suggestions for keeping the lawn healthy and green until cooler days return.

Keep Grass Longer – Keeping grass a little longer in the heat of summer helps, The roots extend deeper into the earth, keeping weeds from coming up and competing for water. And because the turf is denser, it requires less water.

Sharpen Mower Blades – A sharp blade is always important, but never more so than during hot summer months. Dull blades cause grass to fray. Frayed grass is far more likely to brown.

When to Mow – Mowing less frequently and cutting early in the day or holding out until the sun begins to go down. Freshly cut grass is more likely to sustain damage in the hot sun and keeping the lawn cool will cut down on those brown spots.

Mulch – Instead of bagging grass clippings, use a mulching mower. Allowing mulched grass to settle into the lawn will help trap moisture, keeping the lawn cooler and better hydrated. A mulching mower can be beneficial to the lawn all year long but is especially helpful for beating the summer heat.

Fertilizing – Depending on the type of grass, you can probably skip fertilizing during the summer. If your lawn is having trouble, before you get into fertilizers, have the soil tested first to see if there are deficiencies. If fertilizer makes sense, look at organic, time-release fertilizers to avoid burning your lawn.

When to Water – Most lawns require about an inch of water per week to stay healthy. An irrigation system is ideal for lawn hydration, but no matter how the lawn is watered, time of day makes a difference. Watering during the hottest part of the day will not damage grass, suggests some experts, but rapid evaporation can be an issue. Deep, infrequent watering during morning hours allows moisture to be more efficiently absorbed by the root system.

 

 

 

Information brought to you by HGTV article

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How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Who doesn’t LIKE butterflies?  Many butterflies live only a week or two, so help them make the most of their days. Plants with large, single daisy-type blossoms, such as black-eyed Susans and Mexican sunflowers, let butterflies gather nectar in one spot, which saves them time and energy.

Turn your backyard into a flying circus with annuals and perennials that butterflies can’t resist. Butterflies zero in on large beds. A hummingbird stops by for sugar water. Butterflies need liquid, too, so provide a shallow dish of wet sand where they can get salt and nutrients not found in nectar.

Keep an eye out for butterflies-to-be. Chrysalides (pupa stage, enclosed in a cocoon, before turning into a butterfly or moth) hide on outdoor structures, pots and chairs. And be prudent with pesticides. Many products kill all kinds of caterpillars, destructive or not.

Butterfly gardens attract the birds and bees, too.  Most gardeners have realized these winged beauties not only play an important role in pollinating other plants, but they are fun to watch and attract! It is also incredibly peaceful and enjoyable to sit in the garden and watch vibrantly colored butterflies flutter around.

These vibrant flowers and plants provide nectar for butterflies and create a bold border for your yard. (source).

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
Butterfly bushes (Buddleia or Buddleja) are large, fast-growing shrubs whose flowers are irresistible to butterflies. Buddleias are easy-care plants, but they’re invasive in some areas. Look for sterile cultivars which don’t set seed and therefore don’t run wild.

Phlox
Phlox is a low-growing, spreading plant that forms a blanket of blooms all summer. Perennial varieties are great for a year-round groundcover.
Coneflower (Echinacea)
Coneflower is one of the best flowers for attracting butterflies. It adds a flashy touch of color to the late summer landscape. Plant echinacea among a low growing perennial bed where showy flowers will stand above the rest.

Lantana
Lantana produces profuse color, showing off clusters of tiny, eye-catching blooms in a variety of hues. Typically grown as an annual, it’s an excellent low hedge or accent shrub that you can also train as a standard. It attracts butterflies and tolerates heat.

Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii)
Blue star is a perennial that can reach two to three feet in height. It gets its name after its blue, star-shaped blooms that open up in spring.Use in masses or as a specimen plant, or in a mixed perennial border in the middle to back of the border or in a rock garden. Blue star performs best in partial shade in a moist, loamy, well-drained soil, and also tolerates full sun if provided with enough moisture.

Pot Marigolds
Pot marigolds’ blooms last up to eight weeks in the summer and are a quick-to-grow plan

Black-Eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan is one of the great wildflowers of North America and was one of the first to become a domesticated garden flower. Its showy golden yellow flower head with black centers are a visual delight.

Blazing Star Flowers (Liatris spicata)
The blazing star is an interesting perennial which produces 1 to 3 foot-tall spikes of bright purplish-pink or white flowers in late June to early fall. It is an ideal plant to grow in a butterfly garden.

Heliotrope
Heliotrope has a sweet, pungent scent that some liken to the smell of cherry pie. ‘Dwarf Marine’ features a royal purple color. It is large flowered yet compact and has attractive, dark green foliage and a bushy habit.

Lavender
Lavender is a perennial favorite for gardeners and butterflies alike, producing tall, fragrant spikes of purple blooms. Hailing from the Mediterranean, it’s drought-resistant and can take the heat.

Swamp Milkweed
The only food source of Monarch caterpillars and a preferred source of nectar for many butterfly species, including the adult Monarch, there are over 100 varieties of milkweeds in North America. Hardy Swamp Milkweed, shown here, is a good choice for Zones 3-8 but prefers moist conditions till well established.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
A type of milkweed, drought-tolerant butterfly weed isn’t picky about growing conditions. Give it a sunny spot, and you’ll be on your way to a flowery summer. Butterflies, bees and other pollinators can’t resist these bright orange blooms. This perennial pushes through soil in late spring, well after other plants are up and at ‘em. It’s a good idea to mark clumps with a stake to avoid early season digging in that spot. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Flossflower (Ageratum)
Flossflower is an annual that is a member of the aster family. The plants grow easily from seed and with enough water and a little shade, will bloom from midsummer to frost.

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus)
This delightful cosmos boasts dark maroon flowers that—as you might guess—are chocolate-scented.

Agapanthus
Agapanthus comes to life in late summer. It features large, elegant, deep blue bell-shaped blooms that are clustered together on tall, sturdy stems. These showy flower heads stand well above the plant’s foliage.

Aster
Aster is an herbaceous perennial that comes in a wide variety of colors. Its daisy-like flowers bloom in late summer and autumn in a sunny site.

Salvia
Salvia produces fragrant foliage and tall spikes of flowers, usually in shades of purple or white. Its nectar attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Sea Holly (Eryngium tripartitum)
Sea holly has blue green stems with masses of small, metallic blue flower heads on tall, 4-foot stems. Sea holly is a delight to butterflies a tough plant that is very tolerant of drought.

Hollyhocks
Hollyhocks a favorite for cottage gardens because of their loose, carefree look and beautiful, large blooms that attract bees and butterflies.

Sunflowers
Cheerful, colorful sunflowers attract both bees and butterflies to the garden.

Sedum
Sedum has thick, succulent leaves that withstand drought and rainy weather. The flower buds form early and remain attractive well into winter. Low-growing types are perfect for rock gardens, while taller varieties thrive in perennial borders.

Goldenrod
Goldenrod is a perennial with bright yellow flowers that add color to a late summer garden.

Local Spots to find Butterfly Gardens:

Butterfly Garden:  E 9th St & S Washington St, Lockport, IL 60441

Peck Butterfly House – 4038 Kaneville Rd, Geneva, IL 60134

The NENA Butterfly Garden – 166 Ann St, Elgin, IL 60120

Chicago Botanic Garden – 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022

Lyman Woods Nature Center – 901 31st Street Downers Grove, IL 60515

North Park Village Nature Center – 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago, IL 60646

Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

Powderhorn Marsh and Prairie – Burnham, IL 60633

Montrose Point – Lincoln Park

Rainbow Beach – 3111 East 77th St. Chicago, IL 60649

 

Sources: 

https://www.midwestliving.com/garden/ideas/how-to-attract-butterflies-to-your-garden/

https://news.wttw.com/2019/06/11/10-prime-spots-see-butterflies-chicago

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815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

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© 2021 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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How To Find And Hire The Right Landscaper

How To Find And Hire The Right Landscaper

The outside of your home is just as important as the interior. Not only is your outdoor area a relaxing place to spend time with family and friends, a well landscaped yard can also boost the resale value of your home. To have the yard you’ve always dreamed of, it’s important that you find the right landscaping professional like Aztech Landscaping. Give us a call at 815-786-7647 to schedule appointment to discuss your landscaping needs. 

Landscaping Services:

Landscapers provide a wide range of services, including general garden maintenance, spring and fall yard clean up, and help designing a new flower garden. The cost will vary depending on the size and scope of the job.

Types of Landscaping Professionals:

Many landscapers focus on a service and specialty. Based on the scope of your project, here’s a breakdown of the different types of landscape professionals:

Residential contractors:

You can hire a residential landscaper on short notice for small yard projects such as lawn care and garden maintenance.

Commercial landscapers:

With higher rates than a residential contractor, a commercial landscaper can help with larger yard projects. They have both the expertise and equipment to tackle those landscaping jobs that require more extensive planning and design.

Landscape architect:

Architects have been trained in design, land grading and drainage, and engineering. With an hourly rate of up to $150 per hour, landscape architects can help you plan your entire residential yard design.

Landscape designer

A designer will help you decide on the best plant choices to bring balance and beauty to your yard. Charging an hourly rate up to $150 per hour, landscape designers have the expertise to plan the layout and design of your garden and make the most of your outdoor space.

Tips to Find the Right Landscaping Contractor

Once you’ve decided to hire a landscaper, finding the right one for the job takes a bit of research.

Start by asking these questions:

  1. What landscaping services do you provide?
  2. Are you insured and licensed?
  3. Are you able to handle the scope of the project?
  4. Can you provide me with a written estimate of the cost and expected duration to complete the job?
  5. Will you do the entire job yourself or hire other contractors?
  6. Do you have any ideas and recommendations?
  7. Can I save money with a maintenance package and bundling services?

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Healthy Grass Tips

Healthy Grass Tips

Healthy Grass Cleans the Air: Grass makes our environment greener in many ways. One of the most important is the job it does as an air filter, trapping dirt and removing smoke and other air pollutants to improve air quality and minimize the negative health impact from smog and dust.

Grass is an effective dust trap: If you’ve ever walked through a construction site or a similar dry, unplanted area on a windy day, you have some idea of what life might be like without grass. Clouds of windblown dust make for difficult breathing, irritated eyes, and reduced visibility. But grass helps trap dirt and dust. In fact, every year grass traps millions of tons of dirt and dust that would otherwise be blowing around unhindered.

Air Pollution Remover: Air pollutants such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide continue to be a major concern worldwide. Maintaining a healthy lawn will help remove some of these contaminants from the atmosphere.

REPUTABLE AND HONEST

Since 1998, Aztech Landscaping has been a trusted partner of homeowners and businesses in Northern Illinois. We provide cost-effective residential and commercial landscaping solutions.  With our complete services, our landscaping professionals will ensure that your hardscape and landscaping stays looking its best.

LICENSED AND BONDED

We are licensed and bonded and maintain general liability and workman's compensation insurance.  We are also listed at Lake Holiday under contractor services.  

EXPERIENCED

We provide the perfect combination creativity and professionalism to master the outdoor setup that customers envision. We happily work side by side with clients to learn exactly what they are looking for. While also adding our professional expertise we are able to make a successful project each and every time.

OUR SERVICE AREA

Aztech Landscaping's main office is in Sandwich, IL  with a typical service area of 30 miles from the office. Click here to see areas included but are not limited to. 

Did You Know ?

  • Professional landscaping can add up to 15% to the value of your home
  • A well placed shade or evergreen tree will provide shade in summer and protection from cold winter winds, thus effectively cutting your energy costs. 
  • Winter is a season too!  Use evergreens to provide color and substance, then add deciduous plants with interesting bark or colorful berries to liven up the landscape through the snowy months. The berries will also attract birds into your yard. 

Aztech Transparent logo

885 Piper Way

Sandwich, IL 60548

815.786.7647 Office

815.786.6654 Fax

Office Hours:

M-F 8 am - 4 pm

Sat 8 am - 1 pm

 

 

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© 2021 Aztech Landscaping of Sandwich, IL provides landscaping services and decorative stone patios.
Popular service areas include: Lake Holiday, Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville. (see more areas)

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