How Much Wood Pellets Will I Need?

If you're considering using wood pellets or you have just installed a pellet stove you may be asking yourself this question. Of course there is no one easy answer, because you have to account for the size and shape of the house, how well insulated it is, and the efficiency of your pellet stove, but we did some research and found a few numbers to help you out. Generally, 1 ton of wood pellets = 120 gallons of heating oil = 170 gallons of propane This is based on 80% efficiency of both, the oil heater and the pellet stove. On average, people use 4-5 [...]

By | 2013-02-11T12:21:28+00:00 October 24th, 2012|Winter Tips, Wood Pellets|0 Comments

Winter Care for Fountains, Birdbaths, Planters and Statuary

Cast Stone Cast Stone, or concrete, is a porous absorbent material. Unfortunately that makes it especially vulnerable to freeze/thaw cycles. The highest risk pieces are cast stone fountains and birdbaths because they are meant to hold large amounts of water, so when the water freezes and expands the pieces may develop cracks. Sometimes they are large noticeable cracks, but most commonly they are hairline cracks that won’t be seen but will weaken the piece and shorten its lifetime. To avoid this from happening you must ensure that none of the pieces are holding water before the first frost comes. That means either draining water fountains [...]

By | 2012-09-14T13:04:18+00:00 September 14th, 2012|DIY tips, Fountains and Statuary, Winter Tips|0 Comments

Getting Rid of Artillery Fungus

Here is what the spores look like on the vinyl siding:   Here is a photo of what the actual fungus that produces the black spores: The artillery fungus, or shotgun fungus, is a wood-decay fungus that likes to live on moist landscape mulch. The worst thing about this fungus is that it shoots spores up to 20 feet, which often land on siding, cars and anything else that surrounds the mulch. It seems to have become a serious problem this year for many homeowners here in Western Massachusetts. This year we've had a lot of customers come in with this problem and ask for [...]

By | 2013-10-03T10:54:59+00:00 May 25th, 2012|DIY tips, Mulch|0 Comments

Mulch and Termites

It’s springtime, and here at Haluch’s we have mulch on our minds. Not only mulch this time, but also termites. We find that there are a lot of myths and fears relating to the subject of termites in mulch and we’d like clear things up to the best of our ability. Moist, uncompressed soil is the perfect habitat for termites. Unfortunately those are the exact conditions that are ideal for plants, and mulch is used to achieve them. It doesn’t matter what type of mulch you use in your garden bed – if it keeps moisture in the soil and provides shelter, then termites can [...]

By | 2012-05-25T15:51:31+00:00 February 26th, 2012|Termites|0 Comments

Choosing Mulch – Stone or Bark?

Mulch is important for maintaining a neat garden bed around your house. It prevents weed growth, provides drainage yet keeps in the moisture. Both, stone and bark mulches will provide the same service in that regard. However, each has its own pros and cons that we will go over: Bark Mulch’s best attribute is that it’s organic and will dec ompose, providing the soil with nutrients. Some types of aromatic mulches, such as cedar and hemlock have insect repelling qualities and will help to keep ant hills out of your lawn. The downfall of using organic mulches, such as bark mulch, is that [...]

By | 2012-05-25T17:13:16+00:00 February 26th, 2012|Bark, Stone|0 Comments