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Category Blogs I Follow

November Tips and Tasks for Your Garden

Thanks to the University of Maryland / Maryland Grows this informative article about your garden.

Tree island
  • Prune dormant shade trees that need to be pruned. Begin by removing all dead, diseased branches, and making any necessary cosmetic cuts. Do not cut branches flush with the trunk. Leave the branch collar (swollen area on the trunk of a tree or a larger branch) but do not leave a stub. 

improperly pruned tree
Incorrect pruning and over mulching

  • Topping (photo above) is the not the correct pruning technique to help control the size of a tree. Crown reduction, pruning entire branches at their point of origin, is recommended if a tree must be reduced in size. 

several rows of brown eggs on a tree trunk
Spotted lanternfly eggs. Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

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An organized home office

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros with a blog about an organized home office.

An organized home office is important to make sure you get your work done.

Working at home

Many Baltimoreans have been working at home for over six months now. How do you keep your home office organized? It’s not always easy, especially if other people might be using that same area of the house.

At least once a week (daily is even better) you need to declutter your workspace. A clear desk gives you less distractions to keep you from accomplishing your work goals.

Organize

Keep pens somewhere other than the top of your desk unless you have a jar or other container to hold them. A pen cup can also hold a pair of scissors, small ruler, markers or other items you want to keep handy...

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Fireplace Safety 101

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about fireplace safety.

Whether your home has had a fireplace for decades or you just purchased a home with a brand new fireplace tucked inside, knowing how to safely use it is essential. Fireplaces, when used and maintained properly, are very safe. However, when you don’t maintain them or pay close attention, they can lead to serious hazards and even house fires.

The Basics of Fireplace Safety

  1. Cleaning and Maintenance: Have your fireplace professionally cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. If you don’t have a chimney sweep come to complete a cleaning, there could be dangerous creosote build-up. In addition, animal nests and yard debris may be found on the inside of your chimney...
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The Benefits of a Chimney Cap

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about chimney caps.

There are many benefits to having a chimney cap on your home's chimney.

If you’re a homeowner, there is a good chance that you have heard how valuable a chimney cap is. It is vital to the short-term and long-term integrity of your chimney. Even though your chimney might seem strong and able to endure years of harsh weather and wildlife activity, installing a chimney cap can fortify it even more.

Chimney Cap 101

Chimney caps are installed at the very top of your chimney above the crown. They help to stop rain, snow and animals from being able to enter the chimney. Without a chimney cap, your flue carries smoke out and also allows rain and animals in. When moisture enters your chimney, it can cause internal structural damage by degrading the bricks and mortar...

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Fire Museum of Maryland Annual Motor Muster

There haven’t been many events to post lately because of Covid-19, but there are some events that are happening on a limited basis. Thanks to the Fire Museum of Maryland for this guest blog about their annual Motor Muster.

Fire Museum of Maryland Annual Motor Muster

Fire Museum of Maryland’s Annual Motor Muster

Summer has drawn to a close and the Museum has now returned to our winter schedule.
 Open every Saturday
10 am –  4 pm.
Our annual
 Honoring our Heroes Motor Muster
 is coming up on
Saturday, September 12,
from 10 am – 3 pm.
The Muster is outdoors in our front parking lot.
Although it will be a bit smaller than usual, visitors will still see our mighty motorized apparatus, and thrill to the sight of water shooting high in the air.
Keep scrolling down for a preview look at the exciting new addition
to our Muster lineup this ye...
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organizing the kitchen

Organizing the kitchen while social distancing

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros with a blog about organizing the kitchen.

Since we started quarantining and social distancing in March, Americans have been spending more money on food, cooking more homemade meals and spending a lot more time in the kitchen. So, organizing the kitchen is more important now.

The pantry

Go through your pantry and organize the food. Start by looking for expired items and toss them. If things are going to expire soon, you might want to plan some meals around these foods.

There are websites like Recipeland or Yummly where you can enter what you have on hand to get recipes that use those foods. That way you can use up the items expiring soon.

When you organize the pantry, put the most popular item...

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What’s humming in your garden?

Thanks to the University of Maryland / Maryland Grows this informative article about hummingbirds.

The summer is here, and one of the big pluses of it is that it brings a bunch of new visitors to our region. Some visitors are the whimsical and hungry hummingbirds! In today’s post we’ll talk about these lovely birds, why they eat so much, and what we can do to help them while they visit our region.

Hummingbirds, you say?

Hummingbirds are a group of birds that are specialized in feeding exclusively on nectar. They also supplement their diets with some insects they may find in the flowers they visit. Globally, hummingbirds are restricted to the Americas. They can only be found in the Western hemisphere (lucky us, Marylanders!)...

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4 Common Gutter Installation Issues That Arise During a Home Sale

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about gutter installation issues.

Gutter installation issues can be a problem during a home sale.

Gutters might not be the most glamorous part of the home that you are selling. However, they play a critical role in the structural stability of the home over time. Small issues during the installation process can snowball to basement leaks and foundation cracks.

During the home inspection before your client sells their home, you might encounter some problems. These issues require the assistance of a skilled gutter cleaning, installation and replacement company like Clean Sweep Maryland.

4 Gutter Installation Mistakes

  1. Improper Placement: The placement of downspouts at your home seller’s home is critical to how well the entire gutter system works...
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These Wasps Are Not Social Distancing!

Thanks to the University of Maryland / Maryland Grows this informative article about wasps.

These wasps are not socially distancing themselves
Yellowjackets. Photo: Arlette/Flickr

Wasps are considered bad

Wasps are some of the most highly disliked insects and are often all linked together with bees as being “bad.” When my co-workers and I led a group of elementary school children on a bee lesson, our very first question for the group was: how do you feel about bees? Give us a thumbs up, thumbs down, or tilt your thumb to the side if you aren’t sure.

Many times students gave us a thumbs down or to the side with a sad story about being stung or a family member being stung. After letting the children talk, we found that the majority of the time, people were being stung by wasps and not bees.

Social wasps are listed in th...

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Home sweet home

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros with a blog about ways to declutter while socially distancing.

declutte while socially distancing

Declutter while socially distancing

Since we are all stuck at home for the majority of our day, it’s time to sit back and think about our homes and how to make them more comfortable. A great way to start is by getting organized.

Declutter and destress

Being more organized can help reduce your stress levels in a time where you are already filled with anxiety. Take some time each day to work on yourself and your home. Doing this can be productive and ease those anxious feelings.

Laundry

As you do regular household chores like laundry, consider the closets, dressers and shelves that house everything...

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