Frequently Asked Questions
A large part of our service has always been educating our customers, from guidance on pool care to how much mulch is needed for your yard and so much more. We are happy to provide answers to your questions and to be your source of information. Please find our Frequently Asked Questions below. Should you have any further questions which are not listed below, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Do you offer soil testing?
Yes, we do offer free soil testing.
How much area does a yard of topsoil cover?
This will depend greatly on how much moisture there is in your topsoil. Here is an average to assist you:
A yard covers a 10′ by 12′ area, giving a depth of two inches. This comes to about a third of a yard per 120 square feet for every inch deep.
Length x width divided by 120 = the number of cubic yards you will need
Do you refill propane tanks at your location?
No, the Town of Babylon does not allow filling. However, we exchange your tank to provide you with a refill. All exchanged tanks are clean, painted and tested for safety, which is exactly why it is the best way to go. Note: When you come into our store, be sure to leave your propane tank outside for safety precautions.
How do I know how much propane is left in my tank?
The only way to tell how much propane is left in your tank is to either purchase a BBQ Tank level indicator digital scale or a Propane gauge – both of which are available in our store. It is always best to have a spare tank on hand though! This way you never have to worry about running out during a party or with food on the grill.
What size is your pallet of firewood?
A pallet is approximately 4x4x4, which is equal to approximately a ½ cord.
How do I know what chemicals I am going to need for my pond?
This depends on several things. First and foremost, you must have your water tested. We offer free water testing here at our store and have knowledgeable staff who can assist in determining what type of chemicals you will need.
Is Ice Melter safe for my pet?
Regular Ice Melter is not safe for pets. However, “Safe Pet – Ice Melter” is available here at our store. Avoid anything with rock salt or sodium as a main ingredient. You want calcium chloride, which will not affect your pets or masonry.
Doors and Window Screens
Do you come to my house to fix a window screen or door screen?
Yes, we do. However, you can bring it in and we will fix it here for you in a timely manner (which box stores and the internet will not). This is one of the many in-store services we are proud to provide to our loyal clients.
Barbecue Supplies & Accessories
How do I use barbecue smoke chips and why?
Smoke chips are used to enhance the flavor dimensions of your food with a smoky nature. Take a few handfuls of chips and soak in water for a minimum of 30 minutes. In a smoker-chip box, place your soaked chips inside and put on the grill. Once your chips begin smoking, begin grilling! Find a variety of flavors here at our store.
How do I clean my barbecue grill?
We recommend GrillPro products as we have found them to be the most effective and therefore stand by their products. They can be found here at our store.
When cleaning the outside surface of your grill, use GrillPro’s Stainless Steel Cleaner. Be sure to allow your grill to cool, then simply spray and wipe dry and polish with a soft cloth.
When cleaning the inside of your grill, use GrillPro’s Grill Cleaner. Be sure to allow your grill to cool and wear rubber gloves for your protection, as you are handling harsh chemicals. Apply spray to the soiled surfaces of your barbecue. Do not apply to outside paint or enamel finish. Allow to stand at least 20 to 30 minutes (preferably 2 to 3 hours). After the application, thoroughly rinse all components with water. For best results use grill cleaner at 59 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
For added ease we recommend that you utilize a grill brush, an assortment of which are available here in our store.
What determines a plant to be a perennial?
Perennials are plants that grow and flower for three years or more. Most perennials die back to the ground each fall, but the roots remain alive to produce new foliage in the spring. Most perennials are low maintenance, not no maintenance. They require little more than basic care which includes fertilizing, mulching and weeding.
Why should I use mulch and how often should I reapply?
The application of mulch serves several purposes. It helps hold in moisture, reduces weeds, aids in erosion control and keeps the soil cool. Some of this mulch will decompose and add nutrients to the soil. Reapplication is highly recommended every year to continually receive the benefits listed above. When mulch is applied, leave 2-3” of space at the base of the plants. Mulch placed too close to the crown can cause crown rot.
What is deadheading and why is it done?
This means to remove the faded flowers. Deadheading encourages the plant to produce more flowers therefore lengthening the bloom time. Also, it improves the appearance of the plant and the garden in general. Remove the flower stem as far below the leaves as possible without cutting off buds that may bloom in the future. However, remember certain types of hydrangea should never be touched when flowering.
Do my perennials need pruning?
Most perennials do not need pruning other than to remove dead leaves or stems on the plant and to continuously deadhead. Trailing perennials may be pruned back if they are crowding other plants.
Why should I be dividing and when is the best time?
Although some perennials can grow in the same location for many years, most need to be divided at some time. Spring and early fall are the best times to divide. You have at least 4 years before plants would need to be divided. Please call the office when you feel as though your plants are becoming overwhelming.
Why should I sign up for the tree and shrub care program?
We recommend a tree and shrub care program to all customers with new and existing plantings. As we do not intentionally choose plants with diseases, it is part of nature that they may encounter one during the years which could be detrimental to their health. That is why we ask our clients to be proactive in these situations.