Independence Day is just around the corner, so it's time to get your patio ready for entertaining! When it's time to fire up the grill, these tips and tricks will "WOW" your guests.
Caring for a Stone Patio
If it's been a while, move your furniture and outdoor rugs around. Moisture can be trapped beneath them and mildew can grow. If you see signs of mildew or grime, use a mild household detergent. Don't be too rough; natural stone can flake! Lastly, if you're having problem with weeds popping up between stones (more on weeds below), consider adding polymeric sand. Both organic and non-organic varieties prevent weeds and bugs from getting between and below stone pavers. Plus - they last longer than plain sand!
Fighting Weeds and Insects
Smaller weeds can be treated in a variety of ways without harsh chemicals. One of the simplest solutions is using mulch that's about 2-inches deep. It keeps the soil moist for the plants you want and eliminates light needed for weeds to grow. I mixture of vinegar and dish soap can also be used on weeds - but be careful because it can kill other plants as well.
For insects, remember you want some friendly insects in your garden, like ladybugs and the praying mantis. You can deter ants and aphids by planting peppermint and spearmint plants throughout your yard. Natural pesticides like neem oil and pyrethrum will eliminate pests entirely. Remember, do your own research and ask your local nursery or hardware store for advice.
Is it too late to plant veggies?
No! Show off your green thumb with potted veggies! At this time of year in Minnesota, you can still plant cucumber, pepper, and tomato plants. And it's not even too late to start some vegetables from seed. Beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, and spinach can all be planted from seed through mid-July, and you'll still have a harvest before the first frost.
What are your patio plans for this summer? Comment below to share your ideas!