57January 26, 2011


I would guess that it would come as no surprise if I told you we have had some icy conditions on our walkways and driveways. Many people worry about using conventional ice melting products because of the potential for damage to lawn and any concrete surfaces. Many people are also concerned that the conventional ice melting products can cause burning on the feet of their pets. There are pet-friendly ice melt products but they can be hard to find. Many of you will put sand on the ice. I know from experience that the sand doesn’t always stick. If you get a little bit of melting of the ice, the sand becomes ineffective.

Last fall, I was at a trade show and there was a company from Canada that had a new product called EcoTraction. The product is a mineral that when sprinkled on the ice, actually grips onto the ice. The effect is like having sandpaper granules on the ice. Even if the ice melts a bit, the product still remains effective. The product doesn’t melt the ice. It makes it easier to walk on the ice and for your vehicle to get traction on the ice. You use only a small amount to do the job. One cup of the EcoTraction will cover a 12 ft. by 12 ft. area. It is safe for pets. If you get it onto the lawn it will benefit the lawn. We have used the product at the store and I have been amazed at how well it works. We have it at the store. It comes in 10 and 44 lb. sizes.

Many people get bored at this time of the year. If you want to get your green thumb in gear, now would be a good time to re-pot any of your houseplants that have outgrown their pot. At this time of the year, houseplants are still semi-dormant. They will begin a period of new growth during the middle to late March. By re-potting the plants now, the plants will have a chance to get a new root system out into the soil. Once the plants are ready for a new season of growth, the new root system will allow them to get off to a new start.

Over the last 2 weeks, we have had many people come into the store needing help at controlling insects on their houseplants. If you have houseplants, you should take some time and look at the plants for signs of insects. If you can catch an infestation of insects early on, it is much easier to control them. Take some time and check your houseplants for signs of insects.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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