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Blog - The Dirt

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Looking for more Business!!!

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (1961)

Eclipse Landscaping is accepting new clients! We have several openings for Lawn Mowing- please call soon - we expect the schedule to fill fast!

Right now we are making up for lost time -cold weather and late spring - and we are working at mulching, planting, cleanups, and lawn maintenance. We are starting to schedule Lawn Aerations, Dethatching, and Overseeding. Also scheduling other projects...

We look forward to hearing from you!



Posted on April 23, 2014 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (110)


The town wide tag sale in Pomfret is Saturday, May 3rd. You can buy a map for $1 at Christ Church on Rte 169 or at Pomfret Community School (corner of 101 and 169). Proceeds for the map this year are going to the fund to rebuild the Pomfret Congregational Church in Pomfret that was destroyed in a devastating fire last year. Both locations also have a tag sale going on.  Last year there were over 60 families/organizations participating!!!

Enjoy the day and come out and see Wonderful Pomfret!

We need Turf Grass!!!

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (15616)

A turf area just 50 feet by 50 feet absorbs carbon dioxide, ozone, hydrogen fluoride, and perosyacetyle nitrate and releases enough Oxygen to meet the needs of a family of four. The grass and trees along the US Interstate highway system release enough oxygen to support 22 million people.

Turfgrasses trap much of an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt released annually into the US atmosphere.

Turfgrasses help purify water entering underground aquafiers by its root mass and soil microbes acting as a filter to capture and break down many types of pollutants.

Recovery rates among hospitalized patients are often quicker when their rooms view a landscaped area than patients with non-landscaped views.

5 Garden Tips

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (1067)

Here are 5 Garden tips shared in the Woodstock Villager's Take the Hint column by Karen Trainor (there are more but these are my favorites)...

1. If you have leftover seeds, you can quickly and easily test their viability by dropping them in a container of water. The good seeds will sink to the bottom, while the bad ones will float.

2. Here's an old farmer's tip: If you plant your lettuce near tall growing vegetables, the big plants will give off shade, allowing the lettuce to keep its cool and prevent bitter leaves.

3. Did you know planting pennyroyal in the garden naturally deters mosquitos? When evening falls, simply break off some leaves and scatter them on the porch or ground where people sit.

4. Planting timetables: LILAC'S Bloom; When the lilacs have their first leaves it is the time to plant cool-weather crops such as peas, lettuce, and onions. When the lilac flowers are in full bloom, it is safe to plant tender crops such as tomatos, and corn.

5. Planting timetables: MOON Signs; Many natural gardeners plant successfully by the phases of the moon. Here's how: Between the new moon and the first quarter: sow or transplant leafy plants and those that bear seeds on the outside of the plant, such as strawberries. Between the first quarter and the full moon: plant crops whose seeds develop inside the fruit, such as tomatoes, peas, beans, and squash. From the full moon to the last quarter: plant root vegetables. Never plant from the last quarter to the new moon.


Don Shula

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (1)

I don't know any other way to lead but by example. - Don Shula

Success is not forever, and failure isn't fatal. (Don Shula's favorite saying)

10 Spring Tasks to Help Jump Start your Yard

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (477)

What are you doing to get your yard going this spring? As a professional contractor providing these services to a variety of different clients, I am often asked what I recommend. Here are the top 10 Spring Tasks to Help Jump Start your Yard:

1. Clean up all the winter debris that has accumulated in your yard. This includes, but is not limited to: trash, sticks and branches, leaves that have accumulated over the winter, and remove dead perenial leaves from your plants. Use or start a compost pile with the natural debris.

2. Remove any and all sand and rocks from your lawn area. Sand will quickly kill the lawn so try to remove it before the grass starts to grow. The best tool for this is a power paddle wheel. If you don't have one, or want to rent one, a good old fashioned rake and broom will do the trick, it's just more work!

3. Rake down your lawn area. This will help to remove smaller debris, and more importantly, loose thatch. If you have heavy thatch you may need to use a power de-thatcher or bring in a professional to do it. Raking also stirs up the ground - allowing more room for water and nutrients to reach turf roots and to encourage new growth.

4. Repair Plow Damage or make Spot Repairs to the Lawn. If the grass is just pushed back, you might be able to lay it back where it goes and tamp it down. Use Planting Soil or another good soil to fill in holes and cracks. Then sprinkle over the area with new grass seed. I usually tamp this down also, but check the directions on the seed as the process may be change for different varieties of seed. For spot repairs, the process is much the same except you will need more soil and seed. Either remove the damaged area and replace it, or fill in the open areas with new soil and seed. Don't forget to water regularly! I always buy the best soil and seed that I can. A little extra money up front can save a lot of headaches later.

5. Get your soil tested. This is very important to do before adding anything to the turf. You must know what is in your turf before you can know what to add....otherwise it is just a guess and may do more harm than good. Most communities have an extension program at a nearby college that will test the soil at a very low cost.

6. Apply recommended additives to your soil. I strongly urge an Organic approach. There are readily available products, that are naturally based, to do the same if not better job than chemicals. they are much safer for everyone. Corn Gluten, for example, can be used as a pre-emergent for crabgrass control. There are many Organic programs available and many professionals are changing over to offer them. Turf is a living organism and an organic approach will often lead to a stronger and more tolerant lawn, if given the time to do so.

7. Aerate and Overseed the Lawn. Soil compacts with Rainfall, Watering, Mowing, Normal Foot Traffic, Etc.. Compacted soil may not contain enough oxygen to allow for healthy turf plant growth. Core aerating cuts finger sized plugs of soil and turf out of the lawn which allows oxygen, water, and fertilizer to reach the roots of the plant enabling the roots to grow deeper and produce a more vigorous lawn. Over-seeding your existing lawn with new seed is imperative to replace dying grass and to maintain the density of the turf.

8. Edge the garden beds. This is a great time to edge the garden beds. A straight shovel is all you need. Once you have an area started, simply overlap the shovel blade to keep a straight line. Marking where you want to go may help also. Edging helps the garden to look clean and defined and If mulching is needed it helps keep the mulch in the bed. Edging also reduces the amount of hand trimming needed when mowing the lawn! If you have extra material after edging, it is a great way to make repairs to the lawn at little to no cost.

9. Mulch the Beds! Mulching garden beds serves many purposes. First, it makes the yard look fresh and defined. It makes your gardens stand out because of the contrast in colors between the mulch and the plants. Another big reason to mulch is to reduce weed growth and all the hard labor that you would otherwise have to do to weed the bed! Mulch will also keep the soil moist, thus conserving water. The benefits are well worth the work to apply it.

10.  Plant Spring Annuals. Bright flowers will help perk you up every time you look at them. Annuals are easy to plant and there is a wide variety to choose from. They also tend to be a lower cost plant. Annuals can be changed out easily to match the season. Most people have a designated area for annuals, like a specific place in a bed, or around the mailbox. Annuals are also great in planters or hanging from a porch.

If you do some or all of this list - you will be well on your way to a great looking yard. It is easy to find out how to do all of these tasks and don't be afraid to ask a professional for advice....we love to help!

Good luck and Happy Spring!


Posted on March 26, 2014 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

SAVE THE DATE - Pomfret's 8th Annual Town Wide Tag Sale is Saturday, May 3, 2014. Registration is $10. Deadline to be on the map (sold for $1 starting at 7am at Pomfret Community School and Christ Church) is April 14. Registration and Map & Ad Sales to Benefit the First Congregational Church of Pomfret which was destroyed in an accidental fire at the end of last year. Please visit for more information!

Camp Quinebaug Fundraiser May 18, 2014 12-3

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (610)

SAVE THE DATE - Family Fun Day Sunday, May 18,2014 from 13 to 3. All proceeds to benefit Camp Quinebaug. Fun Day features Rick Caran & Jilli the Dog as seen on Animal Planet, Photo Booth, Basket Raffles, Bounce House, Clown, Face Painting, & more...located at Charleen's Portrait Studio 179 Hartford Pike Dayville,CT  for info...860-774-8585 or

Windham-Tolland 4H 5K Race/Walk & Kid Run Fundraiser

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (13)

SAVE THE DATE - On Saturday, April 26, 2014 is a fundraiser to benefit the Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp Jim Logee Campership Fund. Please check out for more details and registration. This fundraiser is "Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp Camper Scamper 5K Race/Walk and 1 Mile Kid Run" on Saturday, April 26. Registration begins at 8:00 am and the race begins at 10:00 am. Walkers will begin immediately after runners. Located at 4-H Camp Lodge at 326 Taft Pond Rd in Pomfret, CT. This is a worthy event and fundraiser for a great organization!!!

April is Clean Up and Beautification Month!

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (510)

April is one of my favorite months - it's when people start to go outdoors again. It is when people start working in their yards again. April is when we start to see and talk with our neighbors again. It has spring flowers coming up, warmer days start to arrive, and yards start to look great again!

Many towns across the communities we live in celebrate the arrival of spring with Clean-up Days. In Thompson, CT, for example, the town is sponsoring April - Clean-up and Beautification Month! They are asking residents to go for a walk and fill a bag with trash. In addition, on April 12, at 7:30 am at Valley Spring Sportsman's Club, residents are meeting to help Clean-up the French River. These events are co-sponsored by Thompson Together Inc. and The Last Green Valley (for information you can call 860-923-9052).

Does your town/city have a day like this? Some towns try to do this on or around Earth Day. If you do have an opportunity like this...please participate! If you don't....maybe you could gather a few friends and set an example. It is when we all work together on projects such as this that we see a noticable change. I tip my hat to Thompson residents and the surrounding towns that have similar programs. Please help them make these events successful!

Lawn Definition

Posted on March 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

A Lawn, by simple definition, is an area of short grass. For some of us, though, it's much more. Whether we use the turf as a place to play with our children, entertain our friends, frame our gardens, encourage or discourage wildlife, or privately lounge with a book and a beer, our lawns often have a great deal to say about who we are.

taken from The Organic Lawn Care Manual by Paul Tukey

10 Plants to help BEEs

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (1216)

One of the best ways to help Bees and other beneficial bugs thrive is to give them a place to eat.If you are considering planting flowers please consider these...

1. Salvia - just about any kind of salvia works well, although some bees prefer the "indigo spires" varieties

2. Texas Sage - These silver foilage beauties bloom in response to barometric pressure. When they bloom, they bloom gangbusters!

3. Aster - Fall blooming Asters provide a food source when many other plants have finished blooming.

4. Caryopteris (blue beard) - this late summer bloomer can help feed bees during the heat of summer.

5. Esparanza (tecoma stans) - Bees especially like the large tubular flowers.

6. Lavender - All lavenders are good plants for bees.

7. Oregano - Allow some of your oregano to flower and it will be covered with happy bees.

8. Scabiosa - This perennial is practically a non-stop bloomer, which makes it a reliable food source for bees.

9. Mahonia - The small yellow blooms produced by this shade loving shrub are popular with the bees.

10. Ceanothus - One of the prettiest blue flowering shrubs - the bees think so too!

From Lawn & Landscape Magazine November 2013


Posted on March 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Did you know...

STRESSED SPELLED BACKWARDS IS DESSERTS - no wonder I have such a sweet tooth lol

Fortune Cookie

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

My daughter got this in a fortune cookie....


Palmer Arboretum Celebrates 100 Years!

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (1004)

On May 4, Family Day in the Arboretum (10am to 3pm) starts a two year celebration- celebrating 100 years! The celebration will include a scavenger hunt, tree identification, a picnic lunch, possibly music, and much more. We encourage the community to go see a local treasure of nature. There has been a ton of work done up there on the Hill and it is beautiful! If you are not familiar with the Palmer Arboretum -  it is located up on Woodstock Hill on Route 169 just down the road from Woodstock Farms, Roseland Cottage and Woodstock Academy. The property was donated by Minnie Palmer Dean in 1915. At the time, it was 5 acres and was intended to be a walkway to Roseland, but the walkway was never made. The property was neglected in the 70's and 80's and was fererred to as a jungle...but it has been lovingly restored by many of the local citizens and volunteers! Please stop by and see it....:D

Tractors2Trimmers Open House 2014

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Just saw an ad for Tractors2Trimmers 4th Annual Open House in Woodstock on April 12 & 13. They are combining their open house with a NEPS Fundraiser and some really cool must sees...Blacksmithing (Hillside Forge & Welding), Chain Saw Carving (Eric "The Fun Guy") and Butts' Famous Roast Beef. If you haven't seen their business yet - and especially if you have- you should check it out! I am definately going! Good Luck Tractors2Trimmers! Have a great Open House

Poison Ivy

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I haven't tried this but saw it in the Woodstock Villager on Friday, August 3, 2012 and saved it:

"Tis the season of poison ivy! If you find some of the pesky plant in your yard, here's an enviormentally safe way to stop the poisonous plant in its tracks. Mix together three pounds of regular table salt with a gallon of soapy water. Spray the solution directly on the plants leaves and stems. It works for mere pennies a treatment"

Interesting....if you try it please let us know how it works for you... ;)

Investment in lawns & landscaping

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (4564)

A Gallup Survey reported 62% of all US Homeowners felt investment in lawns and landscaping was as good or better than other home improvements. The investment recovery rate is 100-200% for landscape improvement, compared to a deck or patio that will recover 40-70%. Proper and well maintained landscaping adds 15% to a homes value according to buyers.

Lawn Trivia - Did you know?

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (132)

*Before 1830, lawns were trimmed-unevenly at best-with the same tool used to harvest grain.

*Fine golf course putting greens are routinely mowed 1/8 to 1/4 inch high.

*The higher you mow, the deeper the roots.

*Roots of tall fescue clipped at 3 1/2 inches grow up to 4 feet deep. The same plants clipped at 2 inches result in roots typically only 18 inches deep.

*With an estimated 1,128,349 acres of residential lawns, Texas is the most turfed - and mowed - state in the union. First runner-up is Georgia (860,888 acres); second runner-up is Michigan (856,823 acres).

^^From: Scotts LAWNS Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard^^

The history of Fertilizer - Trivia

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (16)

Justus von Liebig, a German chemistry professor in the early 1800's, supposedly was the inventor of of a more scientific fertilizer.