Deuce Cities Henhouse

Hello all you wonderful people! In case you haven’t noticed it, it’s totally spring now! That means there is lots of work to do to get your yard in tip-top shape. Are you feeling hungry to get out in the yard on these warm spring days? Take advantage of that ambition and use it your benefit before the dog days set in and drinking in your backyard outweighs any desire to mow, mulch or edge your yard.

The key to having a green, manicured and tyte lawn is to prep your yard in the spring and fall and spend a bit of time here and there throughout the summer maintaining it. It only takes part of a weekend to do spring lawn and garden bed maintenance, but is crucial if you want your neighbz to be jealous all summer long. It’s no big secret, but here are a few easy things you can do right now to get your lawn and gardens looking like a hot-babe-of-a-yard!

Remove Thatch

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

Lawn thatch is the layer of dead turfgrass tissue between the green vegetation and the soil surface that must be removed (a process known as “dethatching”) to maintain lawn health. It consists of stems, leaves, stolons, rhizomes and roots.

You guys ever notice that dead grass hanging out under your green grass in your yard? That stuff is called “thatch” and it can be exactly why your lawn isn’t looking super sweet. Thatch suppresses the grass from growing and can even kill it. Lucky for you it’s easy to get rid of. Just grab a garden rake and give your thatch-y areas a good deep raking, making a solid effort to remove as much thatch as possible. If your yard suffers from thatch it might take a good amount of work to get rid of it all, but I promise that every season from now on it will get easier to maintain.

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

Lawn Soil

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep
Now that you’ve raked your yard, you might notice that you have some bare spots. This is where re-seeding your lawn comes in. You could just go ahead and throw some seed on the ground, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You will have much better results if you use top soil, compost or a mixed starter soil with fertilizer. Spread the soil into the bare spot and then top off with some grass seed. Make sure to rake the seed into the soil (ha, ha, that’s what she said).

Re-seeding your yard every year is inevitable, folks. Don’t plan on seeding one season and having your yard be lush every year after. Although that would be amazing, it’s just not gonna happen. There are always going to be patches of grass that just don’t make it through the winter.

Fall and spring are the perfect times of year to plant grass seed; the air is cool enough and the seeds will grow easily. Until the grass is established enough to be mowed (usually around 4″) you will want to make sure to keep the soil moist. This means you might have to water up to two times a day, and set up booby traps to keep the kids off it.

What type of grass seed you should get depends on your yard. Make sure to pay attention to the amount of light your yard gets before you purchase seed. They even make special formulated seed for high-traffic areas and sun and shade mixes, wow.

Adjust Mower Blade

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

MULCH·ING LAWN MOW·ER (məlCH-ing lôn moh-er)
In the case of mulching lawn mowers, the mulch consists of grass clippings from the mowed turfgrass. The clippings are cut into fine pieces that fall easily to the soil surface. There, they can be rapidly broken down by soil microorganisms, which release nutrients from the mulched plant material back into the soil.

Okay, I’m going to take a sec here to gush over my electric lawn mower. We got it three summers ago and it is totally the BEST – electric is the way to go and this Toro mower does an amazing job. You wanna know if it’s powerful and if the battery holds a charge well, right? The answer is YES. It’s super powerful, never hesitates even when mowing through the longest of grass, and YES the battery has a long-lasting charge — it could mow our city lot twice over before it runs low. It’s kinda weird guys, but I love mowing so much that I mow my neighbor’s front lawn as well, and I do it all without recharging the battery. I just plug the mower in between seshes so it’s all powered up for the next use. Our mower doesn’t do anything fancy; it’s just a standard push mower. But thankfully we don’t have any hills or anything, and I don’t mind the exercise. If you are thinking about going electric, I highly recommend the Toro e-Cycler. One last thing; it folds up for easy storage in the winter too.

Sorry that you had to just see me make out with my lawn mower. I bet you are ready to hear about actual tips that you could apply to mowing yer own lawn now? Did you guys know that you want to set your mower blade high? Adjusting the blade to a high setting allows the grass roots to stay shaded in the summer time, thus making your lawn super healthy and happy. Strong grass roots means fewer weeds too; the roots block new weed seeds from growing, cool huh? The downside of course is that you have to mow more often, but if you’re like me, you’ll think that is fun.

Speaking of weeds, if you want a nice lawn you guys gotta pull your weeds. When we moved in our front yard was crawling with dandelions –  thousands of them, I swear. We spent so much time popping every single last one of them. It sucked, but it paid off big. Most weeds are perennial, so they will continue to show up every year unless you remove them from your lawn. The good news is, after they are gone they will most likely stay away unless you have the misfortune of having a neighbor who’s yard is full of weeds. There should only be the occasional stray, but that’s nothing.

Back to mowing, don’t forget to make sure your mower blade is sharp. I’ve made it a habit to replace my blade every season. It’s easy to do, and usually only requires one or two nuts to be removed. Sharp blades makes for healthy grass. You can tell if your blade isn’t sharp if you see yellow jagged tips on blades of grass a day or two after mowing.

Most mowers come with mower bags, the bags make for easy clean up of lawn clippings, but consider removing the bag every-other mow to allow the clippings to fall into the yard and become mulch for the lawn.

Mulch Like You Mean It

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

a material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil.verb
treat or cover with mulch.

You guys know I’m a sucker for a good flower-bed-mulch-job. Not only does mulch help plant roots retain moisture, it also blocks weeds and can look really pretty. I love the way mulch defines my flower beds, and I can’t recommend it enough if you want to get a lot of garden bang for your buck. I wrote all about mulching last spring, there’s lots more info right over here.

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep
Holy Jeez, pals! I’ve been waiting to get to this part of the post. This is where I get to share with you my newest most favorite gardening toy, all thanks to my pals over at Ace. If only I had two working hands the entire block would be reaping the benefits of my brand new lawn edger!

Normally I edge my gardens and walkways by hand with a hand-edger tool. If you’ve ever done this you know that it is a major pain in the butt, and takes tons and tons of time, especially when it comes to pavers. Last year I removed each individual paver from my garden edging to get at the grass growing in between them. After, the pavers looked nice, tidy and clean in the end, but in no time the grass was growing in between the paver cracks, and the edging was looking nothing short of a hot mess. It was a super-frustrating losing battle.

Not anymore! Sorry crack-loving-grass, I win! In less than a few minutes my new Toro weedwacker (aka trimmer, aka lawn edger) can destroy all of that annoying grass. This trimmer is also multi-functional, not only can it edge your flower beds and lawn but with a quick 90º turn it can trim all those hard to get places that your mower can’t get at! This tool is going to take my lawn game to a whole new level.

This trimmer/edger/awesome-lawn-tool runs on a rechargeable 24v battery, and just like my mower, it’s powerful and runs for a long time. I even grabbed a back-up battery just in case this were to lose charge often, but I haven’t needed to use it yet.

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep

Tips for Spring Lawn & Garden Prep
Here is my new trimmer cleaning up around my gardens and stepping stones, my mower has a hard time getting all the grass in this section of my yard and I usually have to clean up using a hand trimmer.

Edge Like a Boss

a thing forming an edge or border.verb
the process of providing something with an edge or border.

Ace Hardware wants you to join in the lawn maintenance fun, aren’t they the best? Ace is seriously the place! Just follow the link below to enter to a win $100 Ace gift card.
I’m excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided me with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project! All opinions are my own. Thanks a biznillion, Ace!
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My April Garden

Bleeding Heart

Guys! My hand is still ruined, but I’m not going to stop it from sharing my April garden with you. I still can’t do anything unless I use my left hand only, which has been problematic for a lot of things; like putting your hair in a pony tail, driving, writing to-do lists, and buttering toast. However my left hand still does just fine at getting cocktails to my mouth, so I am learning how to survive. Today I get my cast and will find out how long my sentence in hand-jail will be.

Anyway, It’s April garden time and I’m sharing all the pics. The gardens looks super good and lush this year — super stoked about the early spring. I’m dying to mulch, but will have to wait until my husband can help, I will have to use all the willpower not to join in. Hopefully by the May-garden-post my hand will be getting to semi-functional status.

My left hand is getting tired of writing to you now, so I’m gonna wrap this up. I’ve appreciated all the comments and words of support that you guys have left in the last post, and I will reply to all of them over the coming week.






I’m so excited to see the peonies this year, last year a bunch of the tiny stalks got trampled during the fence installation and I didn’t get to see all these pretties. Plus, I planted two new peonies in my anniversary garden last spring, ‘Raspberry Charm’ and ‘Coral Charm’. They be real purty.


Japanese Maple


Rose Bush

Look! Do you see ‘em?


Crab Apple Tree


Peony Bud




Crab Apple Tree




Jacob’s Ladder

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Funny Story

Hey doodz, guess what? I am dictating this post to you from my computer because it just so happens that my right hand is broken and has four large puncture wounds in it, and when shit like that happens to your hand it doesn’t really work very well.

So how did this happen? Well pals, I learned the hard way that you should just keep your hands inside the fence. I was attempting to put my neighbors dog at ease – I was out in the backyard putzing around, the dog was barking, so I gave him a friendly pet – something I’ve done lots of times in the past. Turns out a friendly pet wasn’t taken as a friendly gesture from my 150lb neighbor dog. The dog is typically a very good dog, and I have a great relationship with my neighbor, so I’m not really worried about it happening again. Between my neighbor guy and I, we will make a plan and ensure the kids are safe.

If you read this blog, you know this injury has to be torturing me, because right now is the time of year where all I want to do is be in the yard; be diggin’ in the dirt, planting flowers, mulching flowerbeds and obsessing over everything green. It’s killing me.

So what does this mean for the blog? Well, as of this moment in time I’m unable to push the shutter button on my camera let alone do a DIY project and type of post. I literally need help taking my pants on and off when I use the bathroom. I am really hopeful that in the next week or so I’ll be able to do a lot more with my hand, and I’ve got a lot of good friends out there who I know will step in and help me out so I can get some of these projects done. I really have a lot that I want share with you guys including an Ace post & giveaway, an Aptil garden recap, a one-year-later review on the fence, and progress on the basement. Anyway I’ll share when I can wether it be a little or a lot and I hope to be back really soon.

Today’s lessons: keep your hands to your damn self & if you’re taking pain killers Jackass is the best show to watch.

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Time for a Hammock?

+++ sources +++
design sponge | tapiture

Yo Bros. Just dreaming about spring over here and wondering how you guys feel about hammocks? I feel very good about them, and am very much considering adding one to my backyard-garden-vibes. What do you think? I think it could probably make a totally great mother’s day present for a super cool mom (such as myself) who likes to chill in hammocks. Hint to the fam.

I don’t have any good hammock trees though, so I’m thinking about getting one of those wood arc stands. My husband guy thinks the wood stands looks like pirate slave ships, but I think they look cool and modern and have a bit more character than one of those generic green metal stands. Any of you cool dudes have experience with hammock stands?

I’m also still liking those white Nicaraguan hammocks. I’ve had my sights set on one of the puppies since last spring. I think the crocheted edges add so much hammock magic to the standard woven hammock.

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Spring To Do List

Hey Guys. What can I say? It’s currently snowing on my bleeding hearts and I am taking care of arguably the sickest three-year-old in Minneapolis. Things are moving slow the last few days and it’s driving me nuts because I have the unstoppable urge to do all of the things at once. What does one do in times like this? Make a list and tell the internet about it? Okay, sure, I’ll do that.

I have so many different things I want to do this spring/summer and I can’t wait to get started on them all. Besides trying to get this basement project underway, I want to do a lot in the yard and in the porch. There’s tiny bits of landscaping that need to be done, seeds that need to be planted, planter boxes that need to built, garage doors that need to be painted, concrete slabs that need to be stained, patio furniture that needs to maintained, lawns that need to be seeded and cleaned up, stairs that need to be built, fences that need to be stained, trees that need to be pruned, ceiling fans that need to be installed, and I might have accidentally broken the wall shelves in the music room. Point is, there’s lots of stuff to do and I am currently not taking on any of it.

For now I’ll scheme and plan and share some inspiration as I go.


Spring To-Do List!

▼ Wash the Exterior of the House
▼ Get Seeds in the Ground
▼ Edge and Seed the Lawn
▼ Clean out the Basement
▼ Replace Front Stairs of House
▼ Add Ceiling Fans to the Porch
▼ Install Blinds to the North Side of the Porch
▼ Clean up & Edit the Foundation Garden
▼ Plant a Birch Tree?
▼ Finish Staining the Fence
▼ Prune the Trees
▼ Fix Shelves in Music Room
▼ Paint the Big Garage Door
▼ Build New Garden Flower Boxes
▼ Exterior Light Replaced

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