How to Water Plants When It’s Hot

When it’s hot, dry and muggy, the only cure is a cold drink. Well, your plants think so, too.

The trick to keeping your garden hydrated during the hottest days is not to water more. It’s to water smarter. We’ll teach you how to conserve water and keep your garden and lawn looking good with these tips. garden tips

How to Smartly Shower Flowers and Lawns:

  1. Morning Glory. Water before 9 a.m. in summer. As the day heats up, water can evaporate before your plants have a chance to soak it up.
  2. Water Deeply. Deep watering is most effective since it goes right to the roots. Plan on deeply watering your garden frequently with a nice soak. Hold the hose on each plant and count to 20. 30 minutes after watering, ensure the soil is moist 8”
  3. Prep to Step. Step in the lawn before watering. If you leave footprints behind, water. Properly watered grass springs right back up.
  4. Precise Advice. Generally, plants, flowers and lawns need 1” of water a week. Use a rain gauge to make sure you’re not over or under watering. Check the gauge after it rains.
  5. Cool Tools. Add a soaker hose or automated drip irrigation system to save you tons of time and wasted water. Installing them is a project, but one that will pay off for many years to come!
  6. Clean Green. When watering, get right to the roots. Wetting plant leaves just goes to waste. Plus, wet leaves provide the perfect environment for mold and disease to thrive.
  7. Thank You Very Mulch! A garden with 2-3” of mulch can reduce water consumption by 25-50 percent. Since organic mulch decomposes, consistently add more mulch.

Nice! You’re saving water, and keeping your garden blooming! Treat yourself by hopping in the pool or sipping an ice-cold drink in the shade. You’ve earned it!

Keep Your Pet Safe During Hot Summer Days

Summertime means the fun doesn’t stop! From barbecues and homegrown veggies to beach trips and sunshine, we bet you’ve got a lot planned for the next few weeks.

Pets would like to follow us wherever we go. And we love traveling with our dogs, whether it’s to the mountains for a getaway or just to the garden center.

Are you (and your pet) taking a road-trip this summer? Keep the good times rollin’ by keeping pets safe in the hot weather.

During the summer months, never leave your pet alone in the car. Even with the windows cracked, your car’s temperature can rise 19°F in 7 minutes. Let’s avoid those types of hot dogs!summer pet safety

Here are hot weather traveling tips from the ASPCA:

  • Keep a bowl of water outside in the shade, and pack water and a bowl for dogs when traveling. Pets need lots of fresh, cool water in hot weather.
  • Exercise your pet during the coolest parts of the day (dawn and dusk), and never immediately following a meal.
  • Hot asphalt and tar can burn sensitive paw pads. Walk your pet on grass or dirt when possible.
  • Provide shade when your pet is outside on a hot day.
  • Get a veterinary checkup before traveling and make sure you have the necessary vaccination certificates for the area you will be visiting, as well as flea and tick treatments.

Another way to keep your dog cool is to avoid giving them a buzz cut! Get this — keeping your dog’s long hair groomed actually helps circulate air and better regulate body temperature.

Unsure if your dog is over-heating? Go inside, give ‘em water and check for heat stroke. Look for redness around the eyes or excessive panting. Cool them with a refreshing bath. If you’re still concerned, call the vet.

Another way you can keep pets happy and healthy this summer is to make sure the lawn is pet safe.

Did you know most lawn fertilizers contain harmful chemicals that can lead to canine cancer? Most people simply don’t know! Use only organic lawn fertilizers to keep your pets cancer-free this summer and for years to come.

See how we’re keeping dogs safe through Safe Paws — and how you can help.

Share this post to help keep more pets safe this summer!  

Love Your Pet with Safe Paws

SafePaws_Wht_Frame_FNLKeep Pet Paws Safe with Espoma’s Safe Paws Program

It’s hard to match our level of excitement for summer, but there’s somebody who always does!

Our pets!

Dogs love to sprint across green lawns — with tails wagging and eyes set on a prize! Cats are known to bask in the summer sun all day long, too. Our furry friends love lounging on the lawn just as much as we do — which is why pet proofing is so important.

Pet proofing everything from patios and porches to lawns and gardens keeps pets safe and your yard damage-free. Plus, June is National Pet Safety Month, so the timing couldn’t be better!

First thing’s first: the lawn! Pets run through the lawn, roll in it and often eat it. As you well know, any trouble pets can get into, they do.

But, many lawn products contain harmful chemicals, so they’re not safe to use around pets, children or anyone for that matter. Since pets lick their paws when cleaning, they ingest those dangerous herbicides, which can make them sick.

Cancer affects 1 out of every 3 dogs, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Cancer is not as common in cats, but tends to be more aggressive.

Let’s reduce that statistic — together.

Keep pets safe this season by using only organic lawn and garden products like those made by Espoma. We believe the safest, most effective way to reduce canine cancer and help pets live long, healthy lives is to avoid harmful chemicals altogether.

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Here are 7 tips for pet proofing your yard that can be done today:

  1. Out of Paws Reach. Store hazardous products such as insecticides, paint, car parts and gasoline on upper shelves.
  2. A close cut. Since fleas and ticks lurk in tall grasses, keep your lawns mowed at 3 – 3.5”.
  3. Begin with the Bin. Food and garden waste make excellent additions to garden soil. But you should compost in closed containers or keep pets out of the compost pile as rotting waste may make your pet sick if eaten.
  4. Go Bare. Using an organic lawn food, as well as organic mulch will eliminate the hazards that chemical fertilizers, pesticides and synthetic mulches present.
  5. Use your Eyes. Look around the patio and yard. Standing water, exposed wires or objects in the ground may cause a hazard. Change or remove them immediately.
  6. Paw-Approved Plants. We’ve found that pets love munching on new things in the yard, especially plants and grasses. Before buying new plants, check if they’re nontoxic.
  7. The Great Escape. Ensure there are no gaps in the fence that your pet could escape through.

Get the full scoop on how our Safe Paws initiative is keeping pets safe.

Now go play! Share a picture of you and your pet enjoying the summer weather on our Facebook page!

Prep the Yard + Garden for Memorial Day!

The spring season is just flying by and Memorial Day is already here.  Everyone is excited to have the day off, enjoy the outdoors and chow down on BBQ.

Memorial Day may mark the start of the summer vacation season, but let’s remember what the holiday is really about.

This federal holiday, observed the last Monday of May, is to honor and remember the people who died serving in our country’s armed forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, the holiday originated after the Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war.

flowers-258415_640To celebrate “decoration day,” bring out your red, white and blue and get ready for the summer season. You’ll want to make sure your lawn and garden is ready, too, by following our tips to prep your outdoor space.

First, get your yard and garden ready for the summer by evaluating your landscape. Make note of any problem areas that simply look messy, empty or that need color.

If your front door entrance looks dull, add containers full of colorful flowers!

Welcome guests by creating an entry way that really pops. Creating colorful, dramatic flower containers is super easy. And, to make it even more festive, use red, white and blue flowers.

Have an awkward, empty spot in the garden bed? If it’s a smaller space, plant a couple more annual or perennial flowers. To fill a large, gaping hole in the garden bed, plant a flowering shrub for a beautiful fix or fill with a container of flowering plants.

Next, refresh your whole yard with new mulch. All your garden beds will look instantly refined. Plus, mulch reduces water and weeds. Add 2-3” of mulch if you haven’t already.

For any unkempt areas in the garden, pick up any debris on the ground. Then, lightly trim any plants that are overstepping their boundary.

Ok, your yard is almost ready. Time for the wow factors! Add decorative lighting along the pathway, hang your American flags and dazzle with festive garland.

How are you celebrating Memorial Day this year? Share your pictures with us on our Facebook page!

Safe Paws for Pets Everywhere

Have you heard about our Safe Paws initiative and April’s Safe Paws Challenge?

The Espoma Company is equipping pet owners with tips to keep pets safe outdoors by avoiding the dangers of common lawn hazards.Safe Paws Espoma Puppies

During the month of April, we used our Facebook page to raise awareness and made a $700 donation to the National Canine Cancer Foundation.

In addition to providing healthy and safe lawn care tips on Facebook and Twitter, we brought our Safe Paws campaign to three garden centers in the Mid-Atlantic.

Primex Garden Center, Homestead Gardens and Bucks Country Gardens welcomed us with open paws for our Safe Paws launch. Our events included on-site adoptions, local vet Q&A’s, a Safe Paws photo booth, treats and more from local pet vendors.

What great events! We had perfect weather and great turnouts. Most importantly, we heard from every pet parent that a healthy lifestyle for their pets in their #1 priority.

We listened to pet parents tell their tales and we heard their concerns. Some of you never considered the damage harsh chemicals could be doing to your animals! But many of you told us stories about your sick pets, and how you’ve stopped using chemicals on your lawn to protect them.

Lawn chemicals are potentially harmful to both cats and dogs that run and play in yards, neighborhoods and parks, and may be a contributing factor in the increase of cancer in pets. According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, an alarming one out of every three dogs is diagnosed with cancer.

With knowledge, there is power. So we’re working to make sure every home is aware of the benefits of an organic lawn.

Our new Safe Paws guide, which we unveiled at the events, showed guests that

It’s surprisingly easy to do our job when surrounded by puppies!

Baxter Safe Paws

Five tips for keeping paws safe:

  1. Inspect your yard for hazards. Dogs and cats are curious. Keep dangerous chemicals such as fertilizers, insecticides, paint and gasoline out of reach.
  2. Switch to an organic lawn food. Harmful lawn chemicals can easily be ingested or tracked into homes, keep them off of lawns to begin with. Espoma’s annual feeding program features products that provide 2.5x more slow release nitrogen than the leading conventional program. And you don’t have to worry about your kids or pets rolling around in chemicals on the lawn.
  3. Encourage pets to stay away from certain areas in the yard by creating borders using soft materials like cedar mulch.
  4. Provide shade and shelter for pets while they’re hanging out on the lawn. Consider adding a dog house and provide plenty of water.
  5. Fleas and ticks hide in longer grass. Mow your lawn to the proper height to keep fleas and ticks at bay.

Share a photo of your favorite pet on our Facebook page! And let us know where you’d like us to have Safe Paws events next year!

30 Tips in 30 Days to Celebrate Lawn Care Month!

Hello April! In addition to rain, spring blooms and warmer temps, this month is great for growing healthier lawns with Espoma’s 30 days of tips!

Starting today, we’re sharing daily lawn care tips to kick off National Lawn Care month and help people make the switch to organic lawns and create “Safe Paws” environments. Follow along on Facebook or Twitter to learn how to create a lush, green and organic lawn in 30 days.

To show our commitment to chemical free lawns that are safe for pets, we are also hosting a #SafePawsChallenge and donating $500 to the National Canine Cancer Foundation for every 5,000 new likes during the month of April. The foundation funds research and raises awareness to fight cancers that affect dogs.

Creating an organic lawn keeps your family and pets safe. But did you know an organic lawn can save you money and time, too?

According to Environmental Grassroots Education, you’ll save money making the switch to organic lawns in the long-term. Specifically, you can save more than 25% by using organic lawn products. How’s that possible?

With conventional, chemical lawn programs, you spend money every year on products engineered to be short-term solutions. And you leave your lawn craving more.

Organic lawn care is different. 

From all-natural soil amendments to organic lawn fertilizer, they all improve your soil’s health and structure over time. As natural lawn foods break down, your soil becomes stronger on its own and needs less help.

As an added bonus, organic lawns need less watering, fertilizing and mowing all summer long. Yes — that means you get to spend more time enjoying your beautiful lawn and less time caring for it!

Saving money and time are big advantages of organic lawn care. But we haven’t even got to the most important one yet!

Every time you opt for organic lawn care products, you’re creating a safer environment for your pets and family. Plus, you’re taking care of the planet.

Listen to this: Americans spread 90 million pounds of pesticides on their lawns every year according to the EPA.

All those chemicals and pesticides are potentially harmful to kiddos playing barefoot and pets running in the grass.

With organic lawn care products, there’s no need to worry about harmful effects on your family or the planet.

So, spend this spring and summer fully enjoying your outdoor sanctuary.

The first step is to follow Espoma on Facebook. Next, watch for our daily tips using the hashtag #LawnCareMonth. You’ll learn how to create a plush, healthy and organic lawn within 30 days. We’re covering everything from using an organic lawn fertilizer to eliminating weeds and perfecting your soil’s pH levels.

What questions do you have about organically caring for your lawn? Let us know below, and we’ll answer!

Gypsum Can Remedy Lawn Damage

As grass emerges after winter, your lawn may not look quite as perfect as you remember!

During cold, snowy winters, lawns take a beating. All that snow, ice and sleet does damage — especially if you live in a colder region where salt is spread to melt ice.

And, pets don’t like the cold winter either! Often, they go to the bathroom in the same spot, so they can dash back inside as quickly as possible.

Both winter salt and pet urine cause ugly, patchy spots in the lawn.

But don’t despair. All your lawn needs to recover is a little help from its friend, Espoma’s Garden Gypsum.

How do you know if gypsum is right for your lawn and garden?

If you see unsightly yellow or brown spots in the lawn, that’s a burn spot that gypsum can restore.

Take a close look at the grass around walkways, sidewalks, roads and driveways. These areas are most likely where you or your county applied winter salt to melt ice. Salt draws moisture from grass roots causing it to turn brown.

Also, check areas where your pets frequently go to the bathroom for damage.

Then, transform those ugly brown spots into lush, green lawn by amending the soil with gypsum.

Gypsum works to replace the salt, heal the grass and encourage new growth. Add all-natural gypsum now and as needed as lawn burns appear throughout the season.

Simply use a drop or broadcast spreader to apply to damage spots in your lawn or garden. No need to work it into the soil.

In the garden, add compost to help with drainage problems, too.

Finally, lightly water. As the pellets dissolve, your soil improves!

Lawn burns are an annoyance, but easily fixed. What’s your biggest pet peeve in the lawn? 

Show the Love for Pets This February

Even the furriest of companions deserve extra love this month. The Espoma Company helps show four-legged friends love this Valentine’s Day, National Love Your Pet Day and every day.

One in five Americans will take their pets into consideration when purchasing gifts this Valentine’s Day, according to a study by the National Retail Federation. Animal lovers can show pets some extra affection this month by also celebrating National Love Your Pet Day Friday, February 20.

During the month of love and every day, make sure pets are healthy, happy and secure. Appreciate pets for their loyalty with these top five ways to #LoveYourPet this February:

Keep them safe: Pets can play with things that are harmful if swallowed. It’s the duty of the pet owner to make sure that pets have an environment that is safe to play in. Remove dangerous materials such as string, ribbon, rubber bands and small children’s toys to pet proof a house.

Chemicals on lawns can pose a risk to lovable pets, too. Use an organic, pet-friendly lawn food, like the Espoma Organic annual feeding program, to ensure lawns look beautiful and pets’ paws stay safe.

Take pets for a walk: On average, dog owners walk their dogs 300 minutes per week according to the SPCA. Help pets to build confidence and trust, lose weight and reduce problem behaviors by taking them for a walk today. Exercise provides numerous health benefits for both pets and their owners.

Give them something to play with: Toys help fight boredom, burn off energy and prove comforting for dogs and cats left alone. They can even help prevent pets from developing certain problem behaviors. Take 10 extra minutes to play tug-a-war or surprise pets with a new toy.

Teach them a new trick: Teaching pets a new trick and rewarding them with praise and affection is a great way to express love. Teach pups how to give a high-five or cats how to fetch.

A simple belly rub: The easiest way to show affection is with a simple pat or cuddle. Scratch behind their ears and snuggle up together.

Show pets extra love this month and they’ll return the favor the entire year!