Anchorage Lawn Care and Maintenance
Anchorage, Alaska
Mon-Fri: 8AM - 6PM
25 Sep 2017

Do you sharpen your mower blade?

An important, often overlooked, aspect of your lawn mower maintenance, is the sharpening the blades. There is a misconception that mower blades need no sharpening or attendance because all they cuts is grass, when in fact a sharp blade will make a huge difference on how your mower operates. A well sharpened blade can help prevent the grass from just bending over. It also helps to prevent clogging and puts less stress on the machine. Imagine shaving with a new fresh razor versus a dull old one. One produces a better, cleaner shave.

How do I know if my blades need sharpening?

  • To start, you can tell by paying attention to how they are cutting. If you find yourself having to pass over the lawn multiple times because of strands of grass being left long or if the cuts aren’t even, then you probably need to sharpen your blades.
  • Secondly is by checking the blade itself when doing regular maintenance on the mower. If you feel or see the blade as dull, then you should sharpen it.
  • Lastly, you can gauge how often to sharpen your blades by keeping track of the hours you’ve mowed with it since its last sharpening. If you mow more than 15 minutes per week, you should probably be sharpening your blade more than once per year.

It is also a good idea to check for cracks or nicks in the blade, which could mean you might need to replace the blade entirely. These things can happen when mowing over rocks, roots or other items hidden in the grass.

Can I sharpen them myself?

Unless you feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can take your blades over to True Value, where they’ll sharpen your blade for a few dollars. If you decide to sharpen them at home, a bench grinder typically works best, but one could also use a hand grinder, remembering to exercise caution and to wear leather gloves when handling the blade. The blade does not need to be extremely sharp, but it is important to maintain the original angle of the cutting edge.

19 Jul 2017

The importance of fall fertilizer

Why fertilize in the fall:

It’s pretty common to fertilize your lawn in the spring and not the fall, but don’t let the cooler temperatures of autumn fool you. Though many assume that the coming of winter means the end of their lawns maintenance, fall fertilizing is definitely a last step to consider in yours lawns to-do list, and here’s why. After the summer’s heat and stress, grass regains its strength before winter with a good fall fertilizing. Professors from Colorado and Ohio State Universities stress that the application of nitrogen fertilizers in late fall produce lawns that are visibly greener the following summer. Imagine an earlier spring green-up while avoiding the excessive shoot growth of lawns fertilized in the spring. Fall fertilizing is not meant to stimulate growth in Autumn, but to prepare it for the harsh winter and give your lawn a good star the next year.

The best way to determine what nutrients are lacking in your lawn is a soil test. These tests measure the soil’s pH levels along with the Potassium, Nitrogen, and Phosphorous in it.

If your lawn has been properly fertilized in late summer and fall, your grass can start to store carbohydrate reserves in the stems. These reserves help grass resist winter disease and injury, and are a source of energy for shoot and root growth the following spring.

When should you fertilize? Proper timing is very important, if applied too early, while the grass is vigorously growing, it can invite snow mold and winter injury the next spring. You also do not want to wait until the ground is frozen, making autumn the time of year to do this.

How can GEM help? Glaciers Edge Maintenance offers fall fertilizing services, as well as a fall clean up services to help your lawn.  You can request an estimate here.

27 Jun 2017

Types of Trim Molding Materials

So you want to learn more about trim molding… Boy have you come to the right place! In this article we will cover the different types of materials used. In future articles we will cover how to stain, paint, and install them, as well as cover some of the different styles. Now hold on to your seats, because trim molding has never sounded so good!

 

Unfinished Solid Wood Trim – Made from pine or hardwood, wood trim proves the most common type of molding used today. It comes in a multitude of basic styles and as stain-grade or paint-grade molding. Stain-grade molding is the most expensive and comes from clear lumber without knots and other defects, allowing you to achieve an even finish without streaking or blotching. Paint-grade molding is more cost effective and uses short pieces of pine joined together, which makes it unsuitable for stain. It typically comes pre-primed for painting.

Unfinished Decorative Wood Trim – This hardwood molding is of a quality to accept staining, clear coating or painting. It also comes in a wide variety of elegant patterns and profiles.

Foam Molding – Made from a strong, lightweight foam, this type will not warp or shrink, both issues with wood molding. It easily installs with caulk instead of hammer and nails. No primer is required, and foam molding also comes in a variety of styles. Foam molding can be much easier to install overhead as crown molding.

Vinyl Molding – This durable molding uses polystyrene and comes in a selection of different wood grain patterns and finishes, including white. It will not warp or shrink, and it also proves less expensive and easier to install than wood molding.

Metal/Aluminum Molding – The look of metal and aluminum molding suits industrial settings and exteriors for the most part, though it could fit into the architectural style of an ultra-modern home. They typically are finished at the factory with a baked-on protective coating, and can be painted.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different materials used in trim molding, you might still want help deciding on the style and material. Your professional handyman has the knowledge and experience required to guide you in these important design decisions and will steer you away from decorative moldings and trim that don’t complement the existing architecture of your home or that won’t suit the environment it will be installed in.

Your professional handyman also can provide the installation required to make the most of these decorative pieces. Where they go and how neatly they get installed makes all the difference not only in your enjoyment of your home but also the resale value of the property. Utilize our expertise for the best possible results, and GEM will be there with you each step of the way.

 

Home trim
Various trim materials
13 Apr 2017

CITYWIDE CLEANUP DAY!!!

CITYWIDE CLEANUP WEEK
April 29, 2017 – May 6th, 2017

It’s about that time!!! Are YOU ready to cleanup? Anchorage Citywide Cleanup Week is approaching and were excited!!! Citywide Cleanup Week throughout the Municipality of Anchorage includes: Girdwood, Bird Creek, Indian, Chugiak, Eagle River, Birchwood, and Eklutna.

Here are some quick FAQ’s that will help you get started.

Where can I pick up orange bags?

-Bags can be retrieved at any Fred Meyers location in Anchorage & Eagle River

Where can I dispose of my bags when I’m done cleaning?
-You can dispose your trash to one of the following stations: Central Transfer Station, Anchorage Regional Landfill, or the Girdwood Transfer Station.

Will Solid Waste Services charge me when I deliver my orange bags during the week?
-Trash in official orange trash bags will be accepted for free disposal at Solid Waste Services facilities.

Is commercial waste accepted at this time?
-Only residential waste is accepted at this time for no fee during the Free Dump Days. All loads must be secured or covered to prevent littering in transit
and must not exceed 1,000 pounds. Uncovered loads will be subject to fines.

Are we responsible for disposing trash?
-All participants in the Citywide Cleanup Program are responsible for transporting their collected trash in orange bags to the proper waste, landfills and
stations.

Can we dump industrial/commercial debris?

-No, there will be no industrial, commercial, construction, demolition debris, including remodeling waste, fence panels, decks, or sheds will be allowed.

Can I be fined for uncovered trash?
-Yes, uncovered loads will be subject to fines.

Can my children participate?
-Yes, but, children under the age of 14 must remain in the vehicle while at dump stations.

How do I make a payment or pay a fine I received?
-Payments may only be made with cash or local checks (with a valid driver’s license), debit or credit cards are not accepted.

Can I dump my fridge/freezer?
-Yes, there is a $20.00 charge for appliances containing Freon such as refrigerators and/or freezers.

Can we dump hazardous waste?
-Yes, you can dump residential household hazardous wastes, up to 40 lbs. per day. They will be accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility located
at the Central Transfer Station and at the Hazardous Waste Facility located at the Anchorage Regional Landfill.

We’re extremely excited that you participated in this year’s cleanup. Thank you for doing your part in helping keep our city clean!!!

For more information regarding where you can go to get orange bags, please visit:
www.fredmeyer.com or anchoragechamber.org/events/citywide-cleanup/rules-bag-pick-up-locations

For more information about Central Transfer Stations, Anchorage Regional Landfill, or the Girdwood Transfer Station:
Please visit www.muni.org/sws

03 Apr 2017

April Is National Lawn & Garden Month

Well that was a pretty interesting week!!! Didn’t expect all that snow to fall, but hey, we’re in Alaska so what else can we expect. Despite the unexpected blizzard we had…..DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS MONTH IS: National Lawn & Garden Month???

This month’s blog will help guide you on 1 thing daily you can do to help make the world, as well as your lawn, a greener & healthier environment.

April 1: Organize or take part in a town beautification day.

April 2: Visit your local farmers’ market.

April 3: Compliment a neighbor on his or her garden.

April 4: Get together with neighbors to purchase compost and mulch in bulk quantities.

April 5: Green up your street or a local park by picking up trash.

April 6: Celebrate other important “green” holidays such as Earth Day (April 22) and National Arbor Day (April 26).

April 7: Start a neighborhood garden club.

April 8: Have fun doing a gardening project with a child.

April 9: Design and plant a bird-friendly garden.

April 10: Grow a “multicultural” garden.

April 11: Plant a garden to attract native butterflies.

April 12: Plant flowers that bloom at dusk, including moonflower, night-blooming phlox, and evening primrose.

April 13: Garden at your workplace.

April 14: Plant a garden that reflects your family’s or the region’s cultural heritage.

April 15: Just sit in your garden and quietly observe the activities of wildlife and insects for half an hour.

April 16: Learn about houseplants that clean the air, and introduce them to your home or workplace.

April 17: Delve into a gardening style or technique you’ve always wanted to try, such as topiary, bonsai, or water gardening.

April 18: Become an informed consumer by learning about invasive plants.

April 19: Go on a sniffing tour of your neighborhood when bloom is at its peak, and try to match an aroma in the air to a specific flower.

April 20: Take an armchair garden tour: Spend a few hours in the bookstore poring over gardening books.

April 21: Learn how to take stunning photos of your plants and gardens.

April 22: Earth Day! Vow to minimize pesticide use to protect wildlife, the water supply, and human health. A low-maintenance landscape needs little intervention.

April 23: Start an herb garden indoors.

April 24: Plant extra vegetables for freezing, canning, or storing.

April 25: Seek out and purchase locally grown foods.

April 26: Encourage local schools and restaurants to purchase locally grown produce.

April 27: Encourage beneficial insects by planting herbs and flowers throughout your gardens.

April 28: Start a compost pile.

April 29: Learn about water saving techniques and tools.

April 30: Clean your gardening tools; oil wooden handles, tighten heads, and sharpen blades. 

 

 

08 Mar 2017

Is Your Lawn Ready For Summer??

Summer Ready Lawn Preperation in Anchorage, Alaska.

Some tips to help you have the best lawn on the block.

 

Winter is almost over and the mowing season is about to begin! For those of you that are gearing up for the summer, Glaciers Edge Maintenance would like to make sure that you are properly prepared. Below, you will find a simple guideline to preparing and keeping a beautiful healthy lawn. Alaska is considered a cool zone so how we take care of our lawns is important. Alaska’s northern latitude and resulting cool temperatures can retard decomposition time of grass clippings. A layer of thatch can accumulate which can stifle new grass growth and increases susceptibility to disease and winter damage.
For more information on specific tasks or services, you can visit those pages by following the hyperlinked text
IMPORTANT GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING FOR YOUR LAWN:
• It is important to stay off your lawn during break up so it can root and develop turf. During breakup, the lawn is susceptible to rutting and compaction.
• Removing gravel is important because it removes the weight from the soil. If you don’t remove it, it will become pressed into the soil and forever change it’s     composition.
• Dethatching and/or Aerating once snow and ice have melted is also important.
               Aerating: It helps your lawn breathe as well as reduce thatch and water waste
               Dethatching: Helps to reduce roots, stems and other debris from your lawn
Mow your lawn to a nice even length to help remove any debris such as leaves, sticks, and wild seeds that may have fallen throughout the winter.
• Spring is also the best time for performing a Soil Analysis. Doing this will give you more time to correct any deficiencies such as: Improper PH Balance, Low Nitrogen, Phosphorous Potassium etc..
• Apply Lime according to the soil analysis recommendations. If the analysis was not performed, lime can be applied at 10lbs per 1000 sq. ft. annually.
• Apply fertilizer according to the soil analysis. If the analysis was not performed, follow the recommendations on the fertilizer.This will help build a thick root structure which will get your lawn looking great.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR WOULD LIKE US TO ASSIST YOU IN YOUR LAWN CARE NEEDS PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US AT: 907-223-4666

 

Anchroage Lawn Maintenance
GEM Alaska Lawn Care
10 Jan 2017

5 ways to make your bathroom feel bigger

Whether your bathroom is small and cramped, or it just feels like it, there are ways that you can make it feel larger. Here are five tips to get you started.

Walls and floors – keep them soft and lightChugiak Bathroom remodel

The color of its walls and flooring can have a big impact on how you perceive your bathroom. Colors will not only affect the ‘mood’ that your bathroom conveys, but they will also affect how you see your bathroom size-wise. Ditch the contrasting colors and crazy wallpaper and replace them with a simple, light-colored theme and a soft wall pattern, if any. If your bathroom is too ‘busy’ or has starkly contrasting colors, this tends to make it look smaller.

Bring in the lights

Lighting isn’t just good for the eyes; illumination can also help to make your bathroom seem larger than it really is. If you can, incorporate natural lighting, such as a skylight or through large windows. If those options are not available to you because of budget, space, or privacy reasons, adding more light to your bathroom, specifically in low-light areas, can help open things up, especially when used with lighter colors in your bathroom.

Use mirrors to your advantage

The mirror in Snow White has magic, now let your mirrors work theirs. A larger mirror can really brighten up the space.  If possible, place a mirror opposite an outside window, or place mirrors opposite each other to improve your bathroom’s perceptual space. If you’re an abstract thinker type with a knack for the scientific side of life, you can even use your mirrors creatively to bounce light off from each other to further brighten the space.

Replace your low-setting, wide cabinets with tall, skinny cabinets

Just like vertical lines on your clothing will make you look taller and slimmer, opting for tall, skinny cabinets vs. clunky, wide-based cabinets will give your bathroom the perception of being taller than it really is.

Remove the knick-knacks and doodads

While decorating your bathroom to make it feel more ‘homey’ may appeal to you, too many decorations, ornaments, floor mats, wall-hung candles, and pictures will actually clutter your room, making it feel more restricted. Allow people to see the room by removing some of the knick-knacks.

Regardless of budget, these small and simple remodeling project ideas can make a big impact on how your space is viewed. Use these tips to help stage your house when selling too.

 

22 Nov 2016

GEM helps Anchorage South Rotary with Little Free Libraries

This fall, Anchorage South Rotary’s admirable project, “Little Free Libraries”, was a great success!  With Chris Gray, owner of Glacier’s Edge Maintenance, providing his personal assistance and expertise, as well as the equipment to install the “Little Free Libraries”!  Rotary clubs have installed  28, “Little Free Libraries” located across the Anchorage area, easily identifiable; we used Alaskan State Flag colors, gold stars on blue.  Take a peek at them IN THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO.

This wonderful project is for the benefit of our children and the surrounding neighborhoods.  These “Little Free Libraries” are just that, FREE!  Neighborhood children can leave a book, take a book or trade a book!   Essentially, a free book exchange-it costs nothing.  Absolutely Nothing!

“Little Free Libraries” are teaching our children to share with others what they enjoyed reading and to have the joy of reading more!  Or, just to have a giving heart.  Not every child has the luxury or means of going to the extents of attaining a library membership or to purchase books.  It is fact, children who read more and at an early age, tend to succeed academically in all aspects of their education.  Reading boosts concentration, increases focus, improves memory, helps build a stronger analytical mind, and the list goes on, as to the benefits of reading.  So, parents if you see one of our “Little Free Libraries” show your children and encourage them to take advantage of this wonderful, FREE program.  It can build lasting friendships and even book clubs!

Anchorage South Rotary strives on giving back to the community, and do this for our most valuable asset, our Children.   Together we can lead our children by example. Giving, sharing and respecting our neighbors-and that together, we can make our home and neighborhoods a better place.

 

anchorage post hole digging
GEM digging holes for Libraries
04 Nov 2016

Salt Rock Versus Liquid De-icer?

Solid Rock Salt versus Liquid De-Icers: Which is better for you?

With newer technologies and methods, de-icing properties has come to a new level. Liquid de-icers are a fantastic alternative to traditional rock salt for many reasons, and here’s what you need to know about them.
Liquid de-icers and rock salt are designed to do the same thing–melt ice and snow. Rock salt is typically the solid form of the chemicals found in liquid de-icers. When applied, rock salt slowly dissolves. But at 10 degrees and lower it nearly becomes useless–rock salt needs some amount of moisture to activate the melting process and most people would not think to add liquid to rock salt. Keep in mind, rock salt is a corrosive agent, it can stain and even damage any material they come in contact with. It also leaves an unsightly trail of residue and oil. Which, is not very attractive, leaving your entrance looking like a giant snail inched through.
Liquid de-icers, work immediately upon contact of ice and snow. The melting attributes are not affected by much colder temperatures. They create a thin protective layer between the frozen ground and the snow or ice, preventing it from sticking and freezing. From here it is easy to remove any build up using simple methods such as snow shoveling or sweeping. Liquid de-icers are often composed of non-toxic ingredients and have minimal adverse effects to the surrounding environment-definetly a higher performance product. When applied, it is virtually invisible and it may look as though the area is impermeable to cold. So that your property looks near impeccable regardless of the elements.
So all in all, both do the job they are designed to do. One takes time and can get messy, the other is more efficient and cleaner. You can also pretreat hazardous areas with liquid de-icer prior to applying the solid rock salt, this is a great way make your costs go further! It can reduce your rock salt usage by 30%! This simple trick will save you both time and money!
If your goal is to maintain the beauty of your business, liquid is the way to go. If your goal is to maintain utmost safety for your high traffic areas, solid is the way to go. Or Both!

At Glacier’s Edge we understand the importance of safety and  the landscape appearance for business and homeowners.  Contact us anytime!

31 Oct 2016

DIY! DO IT YOURSELF? Or let the professionals do it?

So winter has fallen upon us now and all your outdoor projects will have to be placed on hold for another 6 months, now is the time to tackle indoor repairs and/or upgrades to your home. You may find yourself thinking that you can save on some of the costs by doing those projects yourself. First of all, asses the scope of the project and inform yourself, how knowledgeable and skilled are you for that project? Do you have the proper tools? Most of all, do you have the time to complete the project, leaving projects unfinished may lead you to frustration and more out of pocket costs down the road. Here are some most common projects most homeowners are faced with, whether to DIY or call us.

1. Walls–DIY: If you are looking to brighten up existing walls with a new coat of paint, make sure you have the basics, ladder, brushes, rolls, painters tape, drop cloths, etc. Don’t forget to spackle any holes and/or chips prior to painting. GOOD PREP is key to a successful DIY paint job. When to call GEM— If your drywall is extensively damaged, or needs to be replaced., if your framing and molding is damaged, or if you just don’t have the time to prep, paint and clean up, we can help.
2. Floors–DIY: The average homeowner can glue down vinyl flooring and for wood flooring, a brown crayon can easily fill scratches, both are a quick easy fix. Flooring can be tricky and messy dependent on the type being repaired, replaced or installed. Call GEM for installing hardwood flooring and ceramic flooring repairs, those require special cutting tools and masonry supplies.
3. Masonry–DIY: Not many homeowners are skilled at this, unless you do it for a living, it is easy busting out brick and stone- but mixing mortar and aligning material is not for the “weekend warrior, do it yourself-ers”, as it requires time, skill, and muscle, to properly administer masonry material. Calling GEM will be the easiest and safest way to accomplish your vision to remodel your stone pathway or garden partitions.
4. Electrical Upgrades—DIY: Another subject suited for GEM, for safety reasons, homeowners should not attempt rewiring, adding outlets, or installing large heavy fixtures-unless, it is their profession. We strongly suggest, just giving GEM a call.
5. Plumbing–DIY: Always turn water supply off prior to any plumbing project. Most homeowners can unclog a toilet, replace a flapper or a leaky faucet. We can deal with the simple plumbing projects you do not want to deal with, on top of replacing toilets, faucets and shower heads. Call GEM.
6. Tile–DIY: Not much DIY here, most can clean or replace old grout and maybe replacing a cracked tile or two. Even adding a backsplash is simple. But if you want to replace or upgrade your tiled area, that requires cutting tile, accurate alignment and spacing of tiles, and usually requires a significant time commitment for novices. If you want to achieve that professional look, give GEM a call.
7. Countertops–DIY: Dependent on the type of countertop, DIY here is limited to caulking, cleaning, gluing, and sealing existing tops. Minimum 2 man crew is needed for this type of DIY. GEM has the manpower and skill to properly install, replace and repair all types of countertops, if you decide not to tackle it yourself. Do not risk damage and improper measurements that can lead to higher cost and extended remodel time.
If you would like to get a quote or consultation with GEM, you can request on HERE