We love painting the interior of houses, and we’re good at it too.  If you’re looking for interior house painting services in greater Burlington, Vermont, Chittenden or Addison County, give Penny a call today at 1-802-343-6378.

We have extensive experience, excellent references, we’re neat freaks, happy people, and we love what we do.  Our schedule gets very busy as Spring clean up nears (Yes, regardless of the weather outside, Spring really is around the corner!), so call us now if you’re even thinking about an interior painting project for your home.

We’ll stop by your home so you can meet us, and we’ll give you a free painting estimate while we’re there.

Don’t procrastinate!  If you’re tired of your home – consider a “make over” with some of the new, fresh eco-friendly paint colors available.  It will save you a lot of money over buying a new house (grin), and might just be what you need to brighten your days and gain new perspective.  Don’t laugh – it can make a huge difference!

Call the best interior house painters in Vermont:)   Call 1-802-343-6378.

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vt-property-maintenance-rakingIt’s officially that time of year in Vermont, right before winter, when our lawns need some late-fall lawn care.  If you are in Addison or Chittenden Counties, here are some lawn maintenance tips we recommend.

Don’t Cut Your Lawn Too Short

If you’re planning to fertilize for the winter, it’s important that you not cut your lawn too short before it freezes.   Three inches is a good rule of thumb.  If your lawn is too long it can lead to matting with the winter snows.  Cutting the lawn too short requires the grass to put energy into repairing the tips of the grass – and those are resources that would normally be reserved for spring.  So keep your lawn around three inches, and you’ll give it the best preparation for winter.

Rake Leaves and Remove Debris

When mulched, leaves can provide a great source of nutrients for a lawn.  However, considering the plethura of trees in most Vermont yards, it’s not advisable to mulch a large amount!  Raking the leaves is advisable, especially through early to mid-November.  After that, if you subscribe to mowing your lawn once in November, and if there are only a few leaves on your lawn, let the lawnmower help with mulching them!

Remember to remove garden hoses  and other debris hanging out on your lawn.  It’s important for the lawn to get unobstructed sunlight – when the sun shines, that is.  (grin.)  Also, if you don’t want to risk having the water hose freeze, or worse yet, burst, remember to turn your outside water spouts off completely,  drain your garden hose, and store it for the winter.

Life is busy and often it’s hard to find the time to take care of these things.  If you don’t have some healthy teenagers hanging around in your home that can help with fall cleanup work, give us a call.

We’re experts at getting properties ready for the long Vermont winters.   Call 802-343-6378

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Among gardeners who like to stay natural and environment friendly, a no-till policy is not uncommon.

Plowing into the soil loosening and breaking it up only helps with soil erosion, helping the rain and the wind blow off topsoil, and of course helping the rain drain off pesticides into the ground. But over the last couple of years, it has become increasingly difficult to keep this commitment. They’ve called in the tilling machines to rip up the soil, and to mix in herbicides. They’ve had enough of terribly stubborn weeds that seem tosuffocate every other garden plant around. They are the new scourge of the gardening enthusiast, the gardening problem to end all gardening problems – they are the superweeds – yes even here in Vermont.

It’s the same thing that has happened with people and bacteria. People have been recklessly popping pills for decades now and bacteria and other organisms have just become used to them; health documentaries on the Discovery Channel can’t stop trumpeting how the future will just about be all about battling tenacious super germs that will just laugh at all standard drugs you could throw at them.  In the same way, gardeners across the country are beginning to battle gardening problems that come from super weeds – with the use of super toxic herbicides. When they can, they’ll try to rip the weeds out by hand – but it often just takes too much time and effort.

One of the best ways to stay ahead of the game is indeed to keep your gardens and beds free of weeds from the very beginning.   Many of these  new weeds – horseweed and ragweed – have spread from the large-scale farms to our backyards, to our gardens – for supersize industrial scale gardening problems for all of us.

Most people simply are not willing to keep up with the work required to do this by hand. If you are organically minded, or at least lean toward being environmentally friendly, you might be surprised at just how reasonable it can be to hire someone to take care of weeding for you.

Purple and Sage is a locally owned company, and we pride ourselves on both our quality and reasonable prices.  Call us – we’ll give you a free estimate on your project whether it’s a one-time job or a continuous maintenance project.

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Often our clients tell us that one of the most confusing aspects of lawn care is whether or not to water their lawn – and WHEN!   Should you water your lawn or not?  Is it best to water in the morning, mid-day or evening?  It seems that everyone has their own opinion.

Here’s what we believe is best, based on our research.

Water your lawn early in the day, if at all possible.  It’s best to water in the morning, when lawns are normally wet from dew.  Avoid midday watering because most of the water will simply evaporate rather than provide enough moisture for the lawn.

The theory with night watering is that the potential chance of some diseases gaining a foothold in your lawn is increased. The exception to this is when the weather is extremely hot, and nighttime temps don’t go below 68 degrees. In this scenario, it’s actually better to water in the late afternoon or early evening.

To recap, early or late in the day reduces the amount of evaporation that takes place during the very hot day, allowing more water to reach the root zone.

It’s not to allow a lawn to become somewhat dormant due to dryer conditions, however, if your lawn begins to turn brown or dry out excessively, it makes perfect sense to water it as noted above.

Be careful not to over-water your lawn.  The roots will not grow deeply and your lawn then becomes more susceptible to crab grass and other weeds.

As with most things, balance is good!  =)

If you need help with your lawn, call us for a free consultation.  Cell: 802-343-6378

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One of the most common problems faced by gardeners in Vermont and other states is slugs and snails.

Even experienced gardeners tear their collective hair out at the destruction these creatures can cause!  We’ve pulled together a few tried and tested tips to help you deal with them.  You may not get rid of them all together, but we think these tips will at least help you keep them under control.

To some degree, whether or not our tips work depends on just how bad the slug and snail problem is where you live.  Here’s a quick list.

Traps:

Beer traps – yes, we said Beer traps!  They can be very effective at dealing with both slugs and snails, and you can typically buy them at a garden center.

Place the trap, filled with cheap beer, in a hole with the top at soil level.  If you don’t have beer, you can also use out of date fruit juice, or even milk that’s just about to turn.

Another option if you can’t find the traps is to use grapefruit.  After eating half grapefruit, cut a small hole and place the skin upside down on the soil. Slugs love it and will congregate inside.  Each day you can collect them.

Collect all the slugs and snails you can find in the late evening, when they start to become active and drown them in a bucket of heavily salted water. Plain water will not work – they will simply swim to the surface and crawl out! Or, if you know where they hide out, you can gather them up during the day – try looking under logs or bricks, and shrubs, any dark, damp corner.

And what to do with the slugs you’ve collected? If you put live slugs or snails into your compost heap, they will probably stay there, as there is plenty of matter for them to feast on. You can also put the dead ones in there too, those in the beer traps including the beer – but scoop the dead slugs and snails out of the salty water first.

The next option is Barriers:

Barriers will be more effective against snails than slugs, as slugs live in the ground and can avoid the barriers.

On your garden borders, you can use barriers around plants, such as crushed eggshells, grit, bran, or wood-ash or soot. The theory is that slugs and snails are reluctant to cross these materials and will therefore wander off elsewhere to look for their next meal. Make sure you put plenty down without any gaps.

Scatter oat bran around your plants – slugs love it, but if they eat enough, they will actually expand and die.

Petroleum jelly smeared thickly around the rims of pots also has a similar deterrent effect.

You can purchase copper tape with an adhesive backing, which you can stick around the pot sides – this gives the snail a small electric shock as it tries to cross.

Last but not least, we’ll cover Predators:

For a biological control, you can use nematodes – microscopic parasites that kill the slugs above and below ground. Obtained from organic garden suppliers, you simply mix the powder with water and spray on to the soil using a watering can. This can be effective for around six weeks.

If you live in an area that allows it, and if you have the space, adopt some chickens or ducks – they just love eating slugs – and you can have some free eggs into the bargain.

If you would rather that Nature take it’s course, make your garden wildlife friendly, to encourage the natural predators of slugs and snails to come and visit.

Dig a pond to encourage frogs and toads; leave out food for hedgehogs; and put up bird feeders. This will not provide an ‘instant fix’ for the problem, but in the long term will give you a healthier garden with fewer pests.

Here’s to a snail and slug free (or hopefully at least controlled) Vermont yard and garden.

Penny and Julie

www.PurpleandSage.com

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The Seasons wreak havoc on a home’s exterior, especially in Vermont.  Our winters can be long and hard.

In fact, on average, Americans spend over $4.8 billion annually on maintenance services.

Spring is the ideal time for homeowners to schedule the repainting of their homes. The exterior of your home is the first impression you give the outside world and a good paint job is critical to your home’s appearance and longevity.

Following are some tips on painting the exterior of your home, with a few ideas tossed ion to make your (or our) job easier.

• First, thoroughly evaluate the condition of your house. Look for bare metal, wood, or masonry surfaces. This will be evidenced by worn paint, and you need a new coat.  Or, it’s possible that you have other problems such as moisture, that a professional painter can assess for you.

• Second, use a cleaning solution to remove dirt on siding. Scrub it well and rinse thoroughly.

• If you’re going to repaint your house, make sure it’s prepared well. Some loose paint is obvious, some is hard to find by just looking at it.  It pays to be thorough.

• Don’t scrimp here – buy the best paint possible for the exterior of a house! A high quality paint will withstand the harsh elements better than a cheaper brand.  In the long run, it may actually save you money. The same goes for brushes and rollers.

• If it’s a bright day, try to paint the shaded areas first. Painting in the sun can cause the paint to dry too fast and blister.  (That’s not typically something we have to worry about here in Vermont.  Heh Heh!)

• When painting, brush first, then roll, and finally, paint the trim last.

We hope this helps!  If it seems daunting, it doesn’t have to be.  Call Purple and Sage for a free estimate!

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Vermont Home Watch Service Video

May 13, 2010

If you need someone to watch your home while you’re away for the weekend, a week, or even an entire season, give us a call for a free Home Watch estimate.  We cover Addison and Chittenden Counties in Vermont (or anything along the border of these Counties). Here’s a video outlining our Home Watch services: [...]

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Part Two of Landscape Design Principles for Vermonters

May 11, 2010

Continuing with our article about Landscape Design for Vermonters (if you missed part one, you can read it here: Landscape Design Vermont) next we’ll cover Balance and Color. Balance in design is also about Equality. There are two basic types of balance in landscape design, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical. Symmetrical balance is, as you’ve probably guessed, [...]

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Basic Principles of Landscape Design in Vermont Part 1

May 7, 2010

Whether you plan on “borrowing ideas” or want to create your own landscaping design, having a basic understanding of the principles of landscape design can save you a lot of time down the road. This doesn’t mean that you have to apply every principle we talk about here into  your plan.  Yet having an understanding [...]

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Home Watch Services in Vermont – Chittenden and Addison Counties

May 5, 2010

How many times have you left for the weekend or on vacation and wondered… Did I turn that light off? Did I remember to unplug the small appliances? Did I remember to lock the windows and doors? Did the storm do damage to our property? Did I remember to… We’ve wondered this more times than [...]

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