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Growing and Using Herbs

In The Garden

Herbs need a well drained, fertile soil to do their best. Prepare the soil as you would for a vegetable garden. Remove weeds, cultivate, and add organic material or fertilizer to your garden. Most herbs need a sunny location – If you do not have a bright spot, try planting them into patio pots – an advantage to this is that the pots can be brought inside in the fall. You can also place them close to your door for easy access while cooking your favourite dishes. Don’t plant your herbs outside until all the risk of frost has past. Dig a hole slightly bigger then the pot and scratch the root ball to loosen the roots. Place the plant in the hole and water thoroughly with a transplant fertilizer, as this promotes good root growth.

Harvest and Storage 

Herbs can be harvested at any time through the summer months as long as you leave at least one third of the growth behind. When cooking with herbs – the general rule is to use twice as much fresh as dried. If storing herbs for winter, the best time to harvest them is just before they flower – This is when their oil content is highest and peak flavour is reached.
Although there are some perennial herbs, many of the herbs that grow here must be treated as annuals. Some of the herbs can be brought indoors in the fall. Dig up the herb and plant in a pot. Use soil-less planting mix and spray for insects. Once inside, place the herbs where they can get six hours of light each day. Fertilize with each watering and only water once the soil is dry.

Drying Herbs

The traditional way to preserve herbs is to cut their stems and hang them in bunches to dry upside down, here are some other ways that your herbs can be dried:

  1. Wash lightly and hang upside down in a brown paper bag (save your wine bottle bags!) – hanging upside down causes the essential oils to flow from the stems to the leaves where you want them
  2. Wash lightly, place on a cookie sheet (not more then 1″ deep) and dry in 180 degree oven for 2-4 hours
  3. Wash lightly, place on paper towels or a paper plate and microwave for 1-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds
  4. Wash lightly, blot dry, then place in a shallow pan of non-oxidized salt – this will take 2-3 weeks
  5. Wash lightly, place on a cookie sheet and dry in the sun for a week or so
    When the herbs are dry store them in an air tight container. It is best to dry the herbs whole and then crush when using for the maximum flavour

Freezing Herbs

  1. Chop the herbs and place them into ice cube trays, fill with water or olive oil/canola oil and freeze. Put those frozen cubes into freezer bags and they are ready to go when your cooking!
  2. Another way is to place the whole leaves and stems in freezer bags – this way will result in freezer burn faster then if they were in oil or water

Our Favourite Herbs

Parsley
There are three types of parsley: Curled, Plain and Italian. Parsley is easy to grow and can be grown indoors or out. Use the leaves as fresh or dried in all cooking.

Dill
No garden is truly complete without dill. Leaves and flower heads are used in pickles, but also tastes great with new potatoes or carrots, in salads or on fish.

Chives
Chives are also easy to grow. It is easiest to harvest by cutting with scissors. Chives add flavour to soups, salad, egg and cheese dishes.

Thyme
Cooking thyme is best treated as an annual. Thyme needs a lot of sun, and is very easy to dry. Used best in meat dishes or teas.

Mint
There are many different kinds of mint, each having a different flavour. Curled – mild mint with attractive light green curled leaves. Spearmint – Best cooking mint. Excellent with carrots, peas, potatoes, and in mint sauces. Peppermint – Favourite for teas

Oregano
This herb is very attractive when flowering. Used best in tomato sauces and other Italian recipies.

Sage
Most often used in stuffing.

Cilantro
Fresh leaves are essential in Chinese and Mexican dishes. Seeds are used to flavour soups, chili and sauces.

Rosemary
Rosemary is a very popular herb that can be used in various ways. Fresh leaves are appealing in biscuits, dumplings, and poultry stuffing. It can also be used in making shampoos and facial rinses.

Marjoram
Flowers of marjoram attract honey bees and is popularly used to treat upset stomach and headaches.

Basil
Sweet basil is the most popular herb, its used in flavouring most foods.

Tarragon
It’s flavour is suggestive of anise or licorice. It can be added to various dishes including omelettes, poultry, and hollandaise sauce.

Hot Peppers
Used in many Mexican or Chinese foods to give that punch of flavour. Some varieties include Hungarian wax, Jalapeno and Cayenne.

Garlic
Plant this bulb in fall or very early spring. Garlic can be used to flavour a variety of foods and is commonly used in Mexican, Chinese and Greek dishes.

Oakridge Spring and Summer Trends 2017


In conjunction with New York Fashion Week, the PANTONE Fashion Color Report provides a comprehensive overview of fashion designers’ use of color in their spring 2017 collections. This Spring and Summer season has us seeing colours inspired by nature, our top three colour picks for Spring/Summer 2017 (that you will be SURE to see here at Oakridge) include:

 

Niagara 17-4123
A soft blue hue that is very reminiscent of the ever popular this season light denim wash. This colour has cropped up for us in many of the collections we carry – anywhere from the fabulous line of Dex denim pants – to the wonderfully soft Tencel blouse from French Dressing. This shade pairs with almost any colour combination, which makes it on the very top of our Spring/Summer want list!

Pale Dogwood 13-0107
An obvious choice for spring is in the soft pastel hues. This shade of pale pink is unobtrusively subtle – without being overtly “bubblegum” –  it is an easy wear for any lady. Anywhere from accessories (like this beaded necklace from the beautiful Island Import jewelry line) to Soya Concept’s knit sweater that makes perfect transition to spring by pairing with a flowy skirt or white French Dressing capri. This is a colour that we are sure to see many place for all the seasons this 2017.

Kale 18-0107
Typically reserved for fall palettes the army green is going strong this year and is by far one of the standout colours of the spring/summer season. This colour can be treated as a neutral – easily pairs with many colour combinations and when paired with a pastel like Pale Dogwood – can instantly tone down your look. The pale pink and army green is a major combo this season – like our Dex flowy army short and Mystree lace trim tank.

All in the Details
In this Spring/Summer season we have seen a surge in the focus on the details. Whether it is subtle detail like a lace trim or hanging tassel or the more ornate like crochet tops or off the shoulder ruffles – even a plain tank top or t-shirt is dressed up by a peak of lace or a peplum hem.

Denim is IT
Denim is everywhere this Spring and Summer – denim tops, shorts, vests and jackets – denim is the IT piece in your 2017 wardrobe. The focus has been on the lighter side of the denim scale – with jeans leaning towards the softer distressed shades. The undone denim look has become very popular as of late – hems that are let out, distressed washes and of course the ripped look – there is a denim look for everyone!

This season has brought about the massively popular Tencel fabric in many of the styles that we carry here at Oakridge. Described as more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen; Tencel is an eco-friendly, man made fiber from the cellulose of wood pulp. This material is economical in its use of energy and natural resources, and is fully biodegradable – for those of us who are conscious of the contents of our clothing. It is touted as more absorbent then cotton, in turn making it anti-bacterial and excellent for those with sensitive skin.

Growing the Perfect Orchid

Orchids are a beautiful, rewarding exotic flower to have in your home.

There are many types of Orchids – up to 20 different species!

The most common being Phalaenopsis, known as Moth Orchids – due to their shape resembling a moth in flight. If you have a Phalaenopsis Orchid and it starts sprouting leaves instead of a flowers at the end of its spike – You have a very special orchid!  Your orchid is growing a baby and once that baby has 2 or 3 roots and those roots are 3 to 4 inches you can cut it from the stalk and plant it to create a new orchid

Phalaenopsis Orchid

The Brassia Orchid blooms have elongated petals which gives them a spidery appearance. They are typically yellow or green with brown or maroon striping or spots.

Brassia Orchid

And the Paphiopedilum Orchids are a genus of the subfamily Cypripedioideae, commonly referred to as the Lady’s or Venus’ Slipper Orchids, named for the unusual shape of the pouch of the flower, said to resemble a lady’s slipper.

The first point to know about growing Orchids is – it’s EASY!

  1. Choose the right orchid for you, place it in a well lit environment – but not in direct sunlight.
  2. Watering your plant is important, do make sure not to over water or to let it stand in water. Adding a few (2 or 3) ice cubes once a week works really well – but a good thorough watering twice a month and fertilizing once a month will give your plant the added nutrients it craves! Most Orchids are planted in a well draining medium so water will run out the bottom. The best way that you can give your plant a thorough watering is to place the pot (with drainage) or take the plastic liner out of a decorative pot – and put it in the sink, watering until it drains out the bottom. Let the Orchid drain out until no water is running out the drainage holes and return it to its spot! A sure sign to know if your watering correctly is to look for the Orchid’s air roots, if these are dry and shriveling – it needs more water – if they look plump and healthy – then your doing it right!
  3. Many people don’t know what they are supposed to do after an Orchid finishes blooming. There are two steps to take * Find a triangular node under the lowest flower bloom and trim 1″ above that node. This will cause your Orchid to send off a new shoot and bloom again in about 6 months. OR * If your spike is brown and/or yellow trim the spike back to the base of the plant. Your orchid will have to now grow back a new healthy green spike. This could take up to 8-12 months. REMEMBER: Your Orchid goes through a resting period after blooming and an Orchid will only bloom once a year.
  4. Only transplant your orchid if you think that it has out grown it’s pot. Orchids have air roots – which usually look like regular roots escaping the pot – this is NORMAL! If you do transplant, make sure to use an Orchid medium. We at Oakridge can help you to choose the right medium for your plant.

These are a few easy tips to growing a beautiful healthy Orchid!
If you have any questions, feel free to stop by Oakridge and we would love to help you with your Orchid or Tropical Houseplant related issues!

Attracting Birds to Your Yard

Why would someone want to promote bird activity in their backyard? Birds are apart of the local ecosystem of your yard – and can provide a great many benefit to you as a home owner! (For example : Pest Control, Flower Pollination, Weed Control, Wildlife Conservation and even Stress Relief – they are so fun to watch!)

Attracting birds to your yard or garden is easy! All you need to provide is the basic necessities to meet their needs and keep them interested and returning.

FOOD: By supplying a variety of bird feed you will attract birds with different food preferences.

In early to mid May we expect the migration of the beautiful Baltimore Orioles through Manitoba – these birds are a wonderful addition to your common yearly bird but will only be a short visitor, so they are usually a popular one to try and attract. For hummingbirds and Orioles you will need nectar, which can be purchased ready-made or prepared at home.

  • Hummingbird Nectar – One part sugar – Four parts water
  • Oriole Nectar – One part sugar – Six parts water
  • Boil both mixtures to become a syrup (do not use food colouring or honey, which can be harmful to birds)

You can pick up the specific feeders here at Oakridge both for Orioles, which has a perch (just like the one pictured), and Hummingbirds. Besides the feeders many annuals and perennials, especially those with tubular flowers will attract Hummingbirds as well (ask us for suggestions).

For other backyard feeding options, Sunflower seed is great for Chickadees, Finches and Jays.
Nyjer seed is loved by Goldfinches, Pine Siskins and Purple Finches. Buy a good feeder that doesn’t waste seed as it is expensive.

Suet is a winter treat for Chickadees and Woodpeckers. Even though it is used mostly through the winter months, you should make sure that suet is available in very early spring. The babies need suet as their stomachs can’t yet digest seed.

Feed your birds through all the seasons of the year. Birds need food all summer as well as winter. Spring and Fall snow storms may stop birds from getting their natural food sources. If you don’t feed them they may parish.

Plan to have proper shelter for your birds as well! Plant shrubs and trees that will give them the shelter that they need and also some of the food sources to fatten up. Here is a list of trees and shrubs that can give your birds what they need.
Nanking cherry, Elder, Saskatoon, Mountain Ash, Sandcherry, Cranberry, Nannyberry, Flowering Crabapples

WATER: Provide a bird bath, fountain or fish pond for your birds. Be sure to always be refreshing the water to ensure that you don’t unintentionally breed the dreaded “Manitoba Mosquito” – which lay eggs in standing bodies of water.

NESTING SITES: Provide bird houses, nesting ledges, and plenty of shrubs and mature trees to provide cover and nesting sites.

If you do this, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of birds, less insects and less weeds to pull in your yard – and who doesn’t love seeing all the different types of birds that we get here in Manitoba!

Fertilizer and Weed Control For Your Lawn

Have you looked over at your neighbour’s lawn and thought “Why is their grass so much greener and thicker”? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most of us want that beautiful, thick, green lawn and it isn’t as hard as you think to achieve it.

We all know that vegetables and trees require water and nutrients to survive and thrive. Grass is no different. Today I want to focus on the fertilizer and weed control. Look back at the mowing height blog and watering habits (coming at a later time).

Let’s start with weed control. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, how much weed control you put down, you need to come to terms with the fact that weeds will appear in your lawn at some point. What we are trying to do is limit how many weeds do emerge early in Spring so we can thicken up the lawn to choke them out. Since the provincial ban on pesticides has come into effect, there are very few pesticides allowed for use. Fiesta is one of those approved and in use by most companies. It is an iron based liquid and is applied directly to the weeds and not broadcast over the entire lawn. It is safe for pets and children which will give you peace of mind. While Fiesta is effective, for best results applying multiple times is required to ensure weeds are knocked out. Combining this with a good fertilizer program will help eliminate most weeds.

Now let’s discuss fertilizer. Just like people, lawns need energy. This is where fertilizers come in. There are many types of fertilizers and we are all familiar with the 3 numbers on the bag or bottle. We know these numbers are important but what do they mean?
Let’s start with the first number. This represents Nitrogen (N). Nitrogen is associated with growth. This will make your grass grow taller, thicker and greener. Generally, we choose a higher Nitrogen number in Spring and Summer but want it to be lower in Fall as we want the grass to stop growing before winter. The second number is Phosphorous (P). Phosphorous is generally associated with blooming. In grasses, we normally do not choose a fertilizer with any Phosphorous in it. The exception is when we are seeding to help promote root growth. The final number represents Potassium (K). Potassium is linked to disease resistance, cold tolerance and also aids in root development. Just as we choose a high Nitrogen number in Spring and Fall, we like to choose a higher Potassium number in Fall. This will help your lawn prepare for winter. So now we know what the numbers are but what are the actual numbers? These are percentages of each ingredient in the bag or bottle. A fertilizer that is 30-0-10 has 30% Nitrogen, 0% Phosphorous and 10% Potassium. (A great fertilizer for Spring and Summer by the way!) Wait a minute that only adds up to 40%? What the…
Don’t worry the rest of the bag is filled with a filler. In this case 60%. Filler can be a combination of other nutrients and/or products to help your lawn take up the nutrients better and more efficiently. Finally, fertilizers come in a quick release format or a slow release. Slow release has now become the normal procedure. These fertilizers are applied at longer intervals as the nutrients are released slowly and evenly over a long period of time. This helps give your lawn the nutrients and food it requires in small doses. Quick release fertilizers release almost all the nutrients at once. These fertilizers must be watered in to prevent burning your lawn. By feeding your lawn regularly, you are creating a thick, lush lawn. This lawn will increase its root growth as well. By increasing root growth, there is less room for weeds to develop.

Oakridge offers different types of fertilizer and weed control programs to meet your needs. Our goal is to provide you with that picturesque, lush, green lawn that will make your neighbours envious and they will be the ones asking the question.

Call us for a free estimate today!

Mikes Mowing Tips – For a Better Lawn

Today I want to talk about one of my favourite past times/chores to do at home. MOWING!!! I don’t know about you, but I find mowing to be so satisfying and enjoyable. Looking back at the finished product when you are done and seeing those lines in the grass and that beautiful cut with green grass is just a beautiful sight for me. I know, I’m a bit of a yard nerd. I would like to go over some important aspects of mowing including mowing heights and mowing techniques and best practices. This is an important part of obtaining and maintaining that beautiful lawn your neighbours will be envious of.

Let’s start with mowing heights. This is actually one of the most important parts of proper lawn mowing if not the most important. A properly mowed lawn at the proper height will promote a thick, lush lawn. It will help to discourage weed development and encourage lawn thickening. Ideally you are cutting off one third of the grass height. “Now what is the correct grass height?” you might be asking. We all want that golf course green look. Unfortunately, this is not the correct mowing height for the type of grasses found in lawns. Golf course greens use a type of grass called bent grass. This type of grass flourishes at very low heights and can handle being mowed every day or every other day. Now I may enjoy cutting grass at home but I sure don’t want to be out there every day. Typically, in lawns you will find a combination of Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Rye Grass and a Fescue Grass. These grasses do very well at a height of somewhere between 2 ½ inches to 3 inches. This is our target height. Now remember, we only want to take off about 1/3 of the plant. When the height gets to around 4 inches, we can cut it back to that 3-inch mark. This may mean in Spring time when grass is very actively growing, you may have to mow more than once per week. In late fall, we can start to lower our mowing heights and will be cutting much less frequently. I like to lower the height to around 2 inches but I do not go lower. I have found that this helps to shut down the grass and get it ready for the winter season. (Don’t forget to apply that Fall Fertilizer!!)

Now let’s discuss some techniques that I like to use. This part will help you achieve a thicker lawn and will give you a lawn that will look a little like a golf course. What I mean by this is that when we think of a golf course we always see those beautiful light and dark lines left in the grass. These lines are achieved because we are pushing the grasses in a certain direction with the mower. When we come back the opposite way we push the grass down in the opposite direction. This gives us the light and dark lines we see. OK – so we have the line thing mastered. So what happens if I just keeping cutting the grass in the same way? Well the grass is basically being trained to only grow in that direction. This will not help to thicken the lawn. We need to change our patterns. This is why I like to do 4 patterns. Start with the criss-cross and follow that up with the diagonals.
The criss-cross pattern is cutting the grass towards the house one week and following up the next week with the exact opposite direction. This will give a checker board appearance. Week 3 we will cut on a diagonal and the 4
th week we will do the opposite angle. (I usually like to choose a nice 45-degree angle. Picture a square and cut from corner to corner.) This will help your grass to grow in all directions and will help to promote a thick lush lawn. If you want to really make your mowing look good, try making all your passes back and forth first and do what I like to call a cleanup cut around the perimeter at the end. This cleans up all the turn marks left from the mower. (why I call it a cleanup cut)

Finally, some best practices when it comes to mowing. The obvious one is to keep your mower maintained. We don’t want a mower that is leaking oil or fuel and we want that motor to be at optimal working condition so the mower blade is spinning at a good speed. This will help ensure the grass is cut properly. Part of maintenance is also keeping our blades sharp. We want to cut the grass clean not tear at it. If we tear at the grass, we are damaging the plant. The grass will be busy repairing itself and not growing. (Plants can only do one thing at a time) Once a month should be sufficient for sharpening blades. I like to have a second blade handy that way I can quickly change the blades and continue mowing. To bag the clippings, or not to bag. In Spring and during growing seasons, I recommend bagging your clippings. During the slower months (usually the hot months of August when grass tends to slow down because of the heat) you can go to a mulching system and switch back to bagging when the temperatures cool down and the grass begins to grow again.

Well I could honestly go on and on about mowing and about lawns but I think I have talked enough. I’m pretty sure your lawn needs you right now so happy mowing.

And if you need a hand or just want someone else to take care of your lawn for you, give me (MIKE) a call at Oakridge. I can give you a free estimate on your yard maintenance needs.

Dealing With SNOW MOLD!

The snow has melted, the weather is starting to warm up and we are getting excited because we can get outside and start working on our lawn again. We go outside and as we walk on to the lawn we see our grass has these round white and yellow patches everywhere. What is that?! Oh no! It’s SNOW MOLD!!! Ewwwwww! Don’t fret. I am here to tell you it isn’t as big a deal as you might think. There are some practices to help tackle this issue right now and to make it better in the future.

What is Snow Mold? Snow Mold is a common fungal disease that affects most types of grasses. The 2 most common types are gray snow mold and pink snow mold. They will appear as patchy spots on your grass that is matted down and web-like. The spores will often remain dormant during the season and then become active under a blanket of snow in Spring as the snow is melting. The more snow cover there is, the more chances of snow mold conditions. One of the most common ways to deal with Snow Mold, if you have it, is to rake it out in Spring then follow that up with a Spring Fertilizer to promote new grass growth. If the patches are larger and leave a dead spot on your lawn, you can throw down some soil and seed to help grow in the patch. Now that you have removed the problem, the next steps are to develop a strong lawn that will not be as susceptible to Snow Molds.

The main keys are to:

Water our lawns at least weekly (1 inch a week),
Mow at the proper height (2 ½ inches to 3 inches is perfect),
And fertilize throughout the growing season.

I recommend starting with a Spring fertilizer in May (I like to use a quicker release to promote growth right away). Follow that up with a Summer fertilizer in June (a slow release is great). Another Summer fertilizer again in late July (use the same one as in June) and put down a Fall fertilizer in September. The Fall fertilizer will help to create a strong root system and be more disease tolerant.

Finally, as the season is winding down, begin to lower your mowing height. Just one notch per week sometime in September (depends on the season and temperatures). Do not go lower than 2 inches though. The last step that will help to prevent Snow Molds is to rake up leaves on the grass before the snow flies. If the leaves were left on the grass, they create another layer for moisture to get trapped and this can create an ideal situation for Snow Molds.

There you have it. See? I told you it wasn’t so bad. Just some good lawn practices and you should be able to keep the snow molds to a minimum. With our winters and the amount of snow we can receive, it is hard to never have Snow Molds but we can limit it and deal with it properly in the Spring and Summer.

We offer many services here at Oakridge to help you achieve and maintain a healthy lawn. Call us now to book your Spring Cleanup and Lawn care packages for Fertilizer and Weed Control. We also offer weekly mowing programs.

Call now for your free estimate.

Spring Pruning Guide

Pruning is a fun and necessary gardening task but to most of us it can feel quite daunting. Don’t fret! Pick up those secateurs and let’s tackle this together!!

The main reasons we prune:

  • Improve health and vigour
  • Encourage fruit and flower production
  • Modify the shape or direct growth
  • Safety reasons

Bad reason to prune:

  • To control the size or height of a plant – if the tree is too tall, it shouldn’t have been planted in the first place!

The first step when preparing to prune a tree is to know the 4 D’s.

  1. Dead
  2. Diseased
  3. Dying
  4. Damaged

Always remove any of the above concerns on a tree or shrub. These cuts can be made at any time of the year. The four D’s, if left on the plant, are actually causing more damage and stress then if they were removed with a proper pruning cut.

Timing
The best time to prune most trees or shrubs is in the dormant (winter) season, before the plant has started to bud out. Trees that are dormant have an abundance of energy stored up. This allows them to repair any cuts made quickly when they come out of their dormant stage. They also spend lots of energy leafing out. This is why it is not recommended to do pruning in late Summer or Fall. If you remove too many of the leaves, the tree cannot produce enough food (energy) to repair itself. A tree can only do one thing at a time. This means it can grow, or repair itself from damage but not both at the same time.

How much to remove
A good rule is to never remove more than 20% of the tree. If you remove more than this, you will leave the tree without the means to produce enough food to repair itself or to prepare for its dormant season. Another good rule is any branch less than 2 inches in diameter is fine to remove. 2 inches to 4 inches should be carefully thought out before removing and if a branch is over 4 inches should only be removed for safety reasons. Trees will spend lots of energy to repair the pruning cuts. Remember, a tree can only do one thing at a time.

This is a good place to start when it comes to pruning. There is obviously much more to pruning depending on plant variety and proper pruning cut techniques. Oakridge Garden Centre has its own licensed arborist that can assist with any pruning concerns that may arise for you.

If you would like a free estimate on a pruning job, please contact us at 204-326-1015 to book.

All About The Coffee We Serve (and Love!)

All of our coffee comes from a micro roaster called Fratello Coffee Roasters, based in Calgary, Alberta. We order our coffee from our Winnipeg distributor two weeks in advance and Fratello roasts it – sends it to our distributor and they deliver it directly to us! This way we get coffee that is freshly roasted with amazing flavour and aroma. Fratello focus is on the ideal of “Direct Trade”, referring to “purchasing practices of coffee roasters who choose to form direct relationships with the farmers they buy from.” Buy doing this it allows them to be very specific about the coffee that they are buying, also allows them to see the direct impact that buying from that particular grower has on the
communities that they want to influence.

We carry three different kinds of drip coffees a Dark Roast, a Medium-Light roast, and a Decaf roast as well as an Espresso and a Decaf Espresso.

Our Dark Roast is called Dixie Voodoo. It has a dark spiced aroma with a deep earthy flavor and a long smoky finish. It’s a staff favorite for sure and a must try for the ultimate coffee lover

The Light-Medium Roast is called Outlaw. Mild citrus and tobacco aromas complement a syrup body with white chocolate flavors and a clean finish.

Our Decaf coffee is called Colombia; it has a nutty aroma with a dark chocolate taste, a heavy body that finishes very clean. A natural decaffeinated coffee used to create a smooth alternative to our caffeinated options.

The Espresso that we use is called Godfather. It has thick caramel aromas, with milk chocolate and sweet flavors. Well balanced body with a lingering caramel aftertaste. Our Decaf Espresso is called Calypso it is also naturally decaffeinated and it is a full bodied decaf with hints of dark chocolate. With a Very smooth finish.

One of the greatest things to note about Fratello coffee is that it’s grown with the Rainforest Alliance seal. The Rainforest Alliance is a growing network of people who are inspired and committed to working together with farmers across 70 different countries to achieve their mission of conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. They maintain mandatory regulations for their workers to make it a safe work environment, as well as environmental standards to ensure farm land can be used for future generations. They aim to re-balance the planet by building strong forests and healthy communities around the world.

Spring Lawn Clean Up!

Ahhhh. Spring is in the air. Ok ok. Ignore the recent storm we had. Trust me. Spring will happen and happen fast.

For most of us, Spring is a time of new things. The air is fresher, we have more sunlight and it is a time to start cleaning up. I’m here to tell you that after you open the windows and clean the walls and floor, it is time to take that cleaning attitude outside to your yard.

Every year, your lawn will accumulate a dead layer of grass and organisms. This layer is called thatch. Typically, you want thatch but only to a certain thickness. This is generally ¼ inch to ½ inch. A good rule for me has always been that if it feels like your lawn feels spongy and like a trampoline, you have too much thatch. The best possible way to remove this thatch is with Power raking. Power raking allows for water and fertilizers to penetrate to the roots, giving you a thicker healthier lawn.

Another good spring yard cleanup chore to do is lawn aeration. Over the course of the year our lawns can become very compacted. A compacted lawn does not allow for air and moisture to move through the soil properly. Core aeration will physically remove a core plug of soil from your lawn and deposit it on top of your lawn. This relieves the compaction in the soil and allows for all those essential water and nutrients to penetrate into the soil. “So what about those ugly core plugs left on my lawn?” is what most of you are asking. Just leave them where they are. They will decompose over a few days to a week at the most and will also bring some great nutrients back into the soil. Just leave them where they are.

Oakridge offers full yard maintenance services including Spring Cleanup and Core Aeration.   Check out our services page or call us at (204)326-1015 if you are interested in a free quote. Now dust off those rakes and get that mower ready for the season. Or call me, Mike, and I’ll do it for you!