Best practices for winter flowers

flowersNow that winter is here you may be wondering, like many, just how you can take care of your winter flowers. Here are five simple steps you can take to make sure your flowers are healthy and bright during the spring and summer.

Water Is Essential

It’s important to water your plants as usual up until the first frost. This will make sure the roots will have plenty of moisture to make it through the winter. Mid to late August is also the time for one last fertilizing, but only with a half-strength mixture.

Break Out The Pots

Geraniums, Calendulas, and other tender plants should be placed in pots and moved inside. Make sure to place them in a safeguarded area and water then until they can recover from the shock of transplanting. Once you’re ready to take them inside, give them a temporary home in the brightest window you can to acclimate them. It’s best to do this at least a week before you turn the heat on in your home.

A Little Trim Is In Order

Your perennials will inevitably experience some wilting, so after the first frost, trim away the weaker stems. Once your perennials die back and become dormant, you should trim these down to the ground leaving only an inch or so.

Winterize With Winter Mulch

Your perennials will thrive in the warmer months with just a little pampering during the winter. Gather a 2-3 inch mixture composed of garden soil and compost. This should be added around the base of your plants after the first freeze. this should keep them safe during the winter.

Wrap your shrubs, like peonies and roses, with burlap or paper — especially the younger and more tender shrubs. Wrapping them will help protect your shrubs from the blistering winter winds.

Indoor gardening in the winter

Indoor gardening Winter can take its toll – the long nights, cool temperatures, and hours spent inside can make a few months feel like an eternity. When it’s too chilly to step outside, bring nature to you with creative container gardening that’s sure to lift even the darkest of winter spirits.

One of the hardest parts about staying indoors is missing out on fresh air. Even with regular cleaning, stale air can become hazardous to your health and make those winter blues even worse. Luckily, bringing in just a few of these colorful houseplants can help to improve your air quality almost effortlessly. Aloe and Spider Plants are easy to care for and filter out formaldehyde and other dangerous by-products of paints and chemical cleaners. Affordable and low maintenance, houseplants are one of the best ways to ensure your air quality is at its best all year long.

If you’re looking for a trendy way to invite nature into your home, experiment with creating your own succulent pot or terrarium. With hundreds of plants to choose from, you can create attractive indoor gardens that fit any budget and space. Whether you want to nurture orchids or admire bonsai, delicate terrariums bring life and color into your home.

Sick of all that cold and gray? Chase winter away with beautiful blooming houseplants in every color imaginable. These diverse blossoms have all the vibrancy of an outdoor garden but in a convenient indoor package. Horticultural experts at Ace of Grey can help you choose plants best suited to your lifestyle, to ensure your plants are always thriving.

This winter, avoid the blues by bringing nature to you. Colorful houseplants and container gardening help keep your air clean and your home bright, and keep nature beside you all year long

Easy DIY Projects for Your Home

Are you beginning to go stir crazy with the cold weather? Has cabin fever set in? What you need are some DIY projects for the New Year and Ace of Gray has the tools and building materials to help.

Handyman tips and tricksYour first project could be those cedar lined drawers your wife has been after you to make. All it takes are some cedar boards, sandpaper, wood glue, and wood screws. You’ll also need a chop saw and cordless drill. Don’t have those? Don’t worry, Ace of Gray has got you covered.

Ready to look forward to Summer and those backyard cookouts? Why not turn your attentions toward building a cooler cart? Remember the old adage: measure twice, cut once. There’s nothing worse than finishing a project like this one, only to realize that your cooler won’t fit!

Maybe you’ve never had to be the one doing it all before. That’s okay too. Here is a list of 5 home improvement skills that everyone should have.

1. How to hang a picture – You’re no longer hanging posters in your dorm room. You’re in the big leagues now and sticky tack just won’t cut it.

2. How to install a hanging shelf – Make sure that you locate the studs so that your shelf and its contents stay put.

3. How to stain wood – Even the greatest project can stumble at the finish line if it isn’t stained and finished properly.

4. How to reseal a window – A faulty seal on a window can mean higher heating and cooling costs, not to mention water damage to your sills.

5. How to replace a shower head – This one really couldn’t be easier. Just buy a new shower head, unscrew the old one, and replace the Teflon tape before screwing on the new shower head.

Get Organized After the Holidays with Ace of Gray

Get rid of clutter in the New Year!

Thanks to a little teamwork (which means that as the clock counted down to zero and the guests descended on your home, everyone was running around like mad cleaning areas that hadn’t been cleaned in months) your house is now clean. Why not take advantage of this and start organizing as you put away those holiday decorations? Whether you need totes and shelves or whole storage sheds, Ace of Gray has got you covered.

If those cardboard boxes the Christmas ornaments have been stored in all these years have seen better days, why not get some storage totes from Ace of Gray to put them in? Once they are packed neatly away in your sturdy totes you can decide where they go. There are wall shelf kits that can help you carve out a little storage space in a closet, or if you need something a bit more substantial you could use some freestanding shelves to set in your garage or utility room.

When you begin to bring everything back out that you had packed away during the holidays, you can start evaluating just what needs to stay and what needs to go. Your kids are teenagers now, do you really need the toy box out? Get rid of things that you can stand to say goodbye to. This includes some of those decorations that are looking a bit tired or simply no longer work. As you’re taking the lights out of the window, it’s the perfect time to check for crumbling caulk. Ace of Gray has the supplies you need to repair it.

Live up to this New Year’s Resolution. Don’t let all your hard work be in vain. Use some of Ace of Gray’s home accessories, organization materials, and renovation supplies to create your own unique home storage.

Guide to Hiking in Georgia

There’s nothing more refreshing than a quick getaway to the natural world, and the Peach State has some beautiful hiking destinations. Here are three great locations for a weekend hike in Georgia.

Constitution Lakes Park

This is a family-friendly trail, rated Easy on a scale of difficulty. The first half-mile of the Doll’s Head Trail is ideal for young families and folks with less experience. The entire trail is 2.25 miles–a great way to spend an hour or two.

Cloudland Canyon State Park

The hikes along West Rim Loop Trail are considered Moderate, mostly due to the steep path along Cherokee Falls. (The view is worth it!) Campgrounds are available at this park, including rentals of cottages and yurts.

This is an ideal place to camp out for a weekend–so take inventory of your gear before you arrive. Be sure you’re prepared for rain, mosquitoes, campfire cooking, and more!
hiking boots

Vogel State Park

Note that this is hike is rated Strenuous. If you do not consider yourself an experienced trail runner, consider if this is a safe option for you and your group. Even if you are at the right experience level, high quality hiking gear will be of the utmost importance on these trails. Your shoes will need good grip, as there are miles of ridges and vertical climbs. Make sure your shoes are broken in, yet well-fitting, and paired with the proper socks for outdoor recreation. The views from the Coosa Backcountry Trail are spectacular, so make sure to invest in your own comfort and safety with the proper hiking gear.

Ready to hit those Georgia trails? Make sure you’re prepared with a quick stop at Ace of Gray.