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May, 2011

Ready, Set, Prep For Summer

Your backyard is about to become center stage for your summer festivities. By taking small steps to prepare now, you'll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the warm months ahead.

Prepping Your Patio

An easy and affordable backyard update is to renew your concrete patio with a cement stain. Available in a variety of colors and patterns limited only by your imagination, this sparkling new surface will make your patio look like it was just poured yesterday. Before you stain, make sure to thoroughly clean your patio area.

Top off your patio project with a new way to shade yourself and guests. Hanging a shade sail can provide the most protection from the sun while adding vibrant color and patterns to your space.

Garden Tips and Tricks

This season, bring your veggie plants closer by creating a patio garden. Using hanging baskets, plant tomato, zucchini and pepper seeds along with your favorite herbs and spices.

Have limited deck space? Grab an old canvas shoe organizer and fill the compartments with soil and your favorite plants or seeds. Affix to a tree branch or fencepost and voila…you'll have a unique hanging garden in no time.

Remember to keep your garden soil healthy with plant fertilizer. Used coffee grounds are an environmentally friendly (and budget friendly) option. The Starbucks Grounds for your Garden program offers used coffee grounds to customers free of charge. Simply sprinkle the grounds on top of the soil to strengthen the health of your plants.

Compost tea is another great alternative to traditional chemical fertilizers. Harmless to pets, people and the environment, compost tea improves soil and reduces water stress.

Entertaining Environment

All set for summer guests, parties and of course, decorations? To add sparkle to your party, recycle your jelly jars to make candle holders.

Add personal flare to your party food by using your homegrown fruits and vegetables to whip up a truly fresh-tasting salsa, berry spreads or unique appetizers such as Crop's Warm Balsamic Popcorn that guests of all ages will enjoy.

Summer Splash

Are little ones coming to your backyard bash? Fill up the kiddy swimming pool in no time with Moen's hot/cold faucet. You can adjust the temperature so that the pool is instantly warm. Even the adults may want to dip their toes in. You can also keep indoor traffic to a minimum by using the hot/cold faucet for outdoor hand washing. A fun soap dispenser encourages hand washing, and can be attached to a number of different surfaces.

By incorporating outdoor touches, you are sure to create the perfect summer environment for outdoor fun.

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