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Taking Care of Your Lawn - 4 Step Program

care, fertilize, grass, lawn, weed, yard

The early Spring has done wonders for our lawns and I see most everyone in my neighborhood has already mowed at least once.  We've applied crabgrass preventer and fertilizer a little earlier than usual (it should be done by the end of April in a "normal" year). 

I've been asked about skipping the crabgrass/fertilizer step and go right to the weed 'n feed step (which usually should be done by Memorial Day).  Dandelions are starting to bloom already!  Although skipping the April step may seem like a good idea this year, I think homeowners will get better results if they don't skip it. After all, the key to a great lawn is healthy grass.  Healthy grass doesn't leave room for weeds to grow. And the weed control part of step 2 doesn't really work well until the weeds are actively growing.  They may be growing now, but in a few weeks they will really be active.  That's the time to hit them with the weed control.

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Castle Doctrine Law

 I've been considering writing this blog for quite some time.  I hesitate because I realize it is a hot topic and I'm not an expert on it.  I do have opinions on it and appreciate hearing the opinions of others.

I have attempted to look at the shooting of the young man in Slinger from both sides.  The homeowner who shot and killed the young man was concerned for the safety of his family.  I do not know nor do I remember reading that the homeowner  "warned" the "intruder" that was on the enclosed porch that he (the homeowner) had a gun.  I would have.  However, the homeowner did not know if the young man had a weapon either.  

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"IN LIEU OF FLOWERS"

No, this is not part of an obituary -- this is the title of West Allis Players' spring show! "In Lieu of Flowers" opens April 27.

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Spring Cleaning Feels Good

There is something about spring that motivates me. Things are warming up, color is returning, and the hibernation sluggishness begins to wane. The increasing energy makes me look around and take notice of all of the things that accumulate and fill various nooks and crannies around the house, garage and yard. Piles of unread magazines, paperwork and mail need to be dealt with; unnecessary boxes clutter up the garage; faulty Christmas decorations and a broken bird feeder need to be repaired or thrown out; and fallen branches and litter caught in the bushes need to be cleaned up. Sure, it takes some effort, but it sure feels good to eliminate them from my to-do list, and things just shine and sparkle a bit more!
 
Trees, too, require a spring cleaning. They naturally accumulate clutter from years of growth and hardship. Insects attack, weaken and kill branches. Fungal diseases kill some limbs and internal decay fungi weaken many more, leaving them vulnerable. Storms cause some branches to split or crack, providing even more opportunities for fungi and insects. Growth within the tree is often crowded or misdirected, causing weakness and vulnerability. Too much shade from nearby canopies causes branches to die. Dead branches attract insects, and the resulting decay will spread fungi deeper into the tree.
 
Our Certified Arborists expertly employ the ANSI A300 pruning standard for this kind of clean up. It is called Crown Cleaning and is aptly named. We recognize and clean out the branches that have various fungal canker diseases starting, while we watch for and remove damaging insects. Understanding tree structure and biology enables us to make good decisions about which branches detract from structure or health. Storm damage is detected and removed. Intensity of pruning corresponds with specifications for each tree, based on the dimensions and health of each branch.
 
Trees improve so much from the cleaning! Pruning diseased, damaged or inferior branches leaves the tree healthier, safer, and more beautiful. Stress is reduced, and value and appearance are enhanced. Future growth is off to a better start and tree energy is reallocated to optimum growth and defense. Your tree can now yield all the benefits of shade and property enhancement for years to come.
 
Spring-cleaning is a necessary ritual that uplifts our spirits and improves our environment. It is a good time to assess our trees and get out the clutter that bogs them down. Our properties can then shine with pride!

BBB Hosts Free Document Shredding Event This Weekend

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BBB Helps Consumers Thwart ID Theft by Hosting
Free Document Shredding Event

ID Theft is Nation’s #1 Complaint to FTC, Grew 8 percent in Wisconsin last year

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Poundage

 

CONFESSION: I’ve gained approximately 10 plus pounds. I included the plus because after I added 10, I stopped visiting the scale on a daily basis. Let’s just say that I’m still able to fit into my skinny jeans.

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Crime Prevention Tips For Your Home

-Lock doors and windows when leaving your residence.  Always lock and close your garage door.  Don't leave an open invitation to a burglar or would-be thief.  
-Most residential burglaries occur during the daytime. 
-Know who is at your door BEFORE opening it. If you do not have a window in your door, consider getting a wide-angle door viewer.
-When not home, leave lamps on timers and consider leaving a radio or television on.  Make your home appear and sound occupied at all times.  If on vacation, have a trusted neighbor, friend or relative check your home while you are away.
-Consider leaving porch lights on at night or get the motion detector lights installed.
  Lighting is one of the most INEXPENSIVE crime deterrents.  
-Never leave your garage door opener in your car if your car is parked outside.
-Be aware of your surroundings before opening your garage door to park your car, especially at night.
-Report all suspicious activity to the police department.  Don't wait for the person or persons to leave - call right away.
-Check the identification of all solicitors, meter readers, repair and delivery persons prior to permitting entry into your home.
-Be sure to re-key your locks when moving into a new home.
-Sliding glass doors should be secured with auxiliary locks or pinned.  Screws can be installed in the tracks to prevent the removal of sliding glass doors.

I hope these are helpful. 

My Insight to Steve Jobs' Rules

Evergreen Disorder: Needlecasts

Conifers continue to stay in the news. Spruce had been the most noticeably affected by drought stress and disease agents up to now, but recently both Pines and Spruces are showing browning needles that affect their beauty and health. The culprit is a group of fungi collectively known as needlecasts.
 
This browning can develop slowly, over several years, or very rapidly, as has been the case this spring. These fungi attack the needles as they are emerging. Their spores are in the air in spring and land on the soft needles. If the needles are moistened often enough from rains or heavy dews, the spores are able to germinate and then attack the vulnerable tissue. In years when the frequency of moistening events is greater, there is more and faster browning from needlecasts. Drier springs reduce the amount of browning from needlecasts.
 
 This spring has provided several rain events. Many Pines and Spruce have rapidly browned as a result, and many more will show progressive browning over the course of ‘08. Their weakened state from previous years of drought stress has lowered their resistance to fungal attack and spread, further speeding the browning. Individual trees vary in their ability to resist disease, (as we do as well); therefore, the amount of browning will vary from tree to tree of the same species. Site conditions that favor fungal development such as shade, crowding, reduced air movement, etc., will have an effect also.
 
Infected needles show spotting or banding of discoloration, but then begin to brown, usually at the tip at first, but eventually spreading along the needle. When the needle dies, it is shed (“cast” off the tree). In Austrian and other Pines, the fungus is usually Dothistroma. In Spruces, the needlecast is usually Rhizosphaera.
 
Needlecasts are controlled through protective fungicide spray programs. Timing and materials can vary with the species of needlecast. In the case of evergreens, patience is needed for both control and the return of aesthetics. Spraying protects the new growth that comes on in spring. Since evergreens carry at least 5 years of needles, when these become infected, it takes at least 3 consecutive years of the spray program to collect 3 years of protected and retained needles to have beauty return.
 
Many evergreens are needlessly removed by saddened homeowners or ignorant tree cutters who don’t realize that they can be saved. Don’t let this happen to you! Call your Wachtel Certified Arborist for the accurate diagnosis. Also, share this newsletter with your neighbors who may be thinking of cutting down their evergreens. Especially where these are providing needed screening between yards or obstructing unwanted views, this could be tragic.

Moving Sale

Moving Sale (My place)

Sunday, 04/28/2011

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Happy Mothers Day

Regardless of my circumstances, I am going to do my best to write from the heart. The same heart which is being glued back together, piece by piece. 

I’m going to give it to you straight. Not just from personal experience but from the tears, heartache and hours of conversations I’ve had with women around the world.

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If you bet Southwest, YOU WIN!

Free market, Las Vegas, Local news, My-Sugar-Na, New York, Vacation


Southwest Airlines has won the battle for Milwaukee.

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