As Americans, our hearts and prayers go out to all those whose lives have been touched by this invisible COVID -19 beast! We would like you to know that our entire organization has taken every possible precaution to ensure that our staff continues to perform for you in a safe, but productive fashion.
Our business model is well suited to maintain the social distancing policy and continue to perform a high quality and standard of service. We truly feel blessed that as part of the agricultural industry and licensed pest control operators, we can continue to be of service to you. We sincerely appreciate your business as we all battle through these trying times. We are hopeful that we can all get back to life as we’ve all known it, very soon. Until then, we wish you and your family a fun filled, healthy and Coronavirus free Summer!
We hope you enjoy our
2020 Green Pages Newsletter
Your Freedom Lawns Team 

Why not elevate the color and interest in your landscape this summer by incorporating some "vertical growing plants" into your landscape! Most landscapes are designed with shrubs flowering plants that may only reach a height of 3-4 feet. Flowering vines will add that element of height and are generally easy to grow. You can also utilize vines to add color and interest to mailbox posts, fences, arbors, pergolas and trellises. Flowering vines can also be used to conceal the less attractive areas of your grounds such as an old shed, rusty fence post, or to create privacy around your patio or porch!
There are many outstanding options when it comes to choosing flowering vines for your landscape. Many of these vines will grow with little or no care, while others may require occasional fertilization to produce more vibrant flowers and healthier plants. The blossoms of flowering vines are available in an array of colors, sizes, shapes, fragrances and blooming periods.
When purchasing your flowering plants, you should always read the label for specific requirements of the plant. The label will help you determine if that particular plant will perform well in the location that you have in mind. The label will also advise you of that plants preferred location (full sun, shade, and partial shade) soil, moisture, and fertilization preferences, blooming periods, gardening zone adaptation and cold weather tolerance. The label will also indicate if the plant is an annual or a perennial. Many of the flowering vines available in our local nurseries are perennial plants and will continue to bring you enjoyment year after year. Many folks are attracted to plants with brilliantly colored blooms, only to discover that the plant may not make a repeat performance the next year as it requires a more tropical climate. This can be a disappointing and expensive experience! Planting annual flowering vines, however, will add some colorful accents in your landscape or outdoor entertainment areas for the summer and fall seasons.
Here are a few favorite climbing beauties that are sure to add that special touch of height and color to your landscape:
Clematis is a perennial, and is among the most versatile flowering vines available for the Carolinas. Although most cultivars are deciduous (will lose their foliage during winter) they will make up for it with spectacular coloring during the growing season. One of the attractions of Clematis is the vast assortment of varieties available to choose from. Each variety produces a different type bloom of various colors and growth habits. Color sections range from white, blue, pink, red, dark purple and even some multi-colored. Depending upon soil temperature and growing conditions, most of the Clematis varieties bloom in the Spring during late March or April and extend through the first frost.
Be patient with your Clematis as they tend to get bigger and better with each passing year. As specific varieties will bloom at different times of the year, a light pruning after your particular variety has bloomed will help produce healthier new growth.
The most severe problems of Clematis are Fungal Stem Rot and Clematis Wilt as there is no chemical or other means of control for these diseases. Generally wilt diseases will occur on younger plants and varieties that produce larger flowers. Aphids and slugs can be a problem on your Clematis as well, but these two pests are easy to control. Insecticidal soap will help with the Aphid problem and slug bait containing Iron Phosphate will take care of those nasty slugs. Your Clematis will require 4-6 hours of sun for best bloom production and will be thankful for a little protection from the hot afternoon sun. Another suggestion would be to refrain from planting your Clematis in or near a wooded setting or next to a larger tree.
I have found that the Clematis will not establish well in soils where there is extensive root mass from trees.
Mandevilla is one of the most striking and showy flowering vines available for growing up trellises, in a hanging basket, or growing up a mailbox post. As this plant is an annual in our region, the Mandevilla can be dug up and kept in a warm location during the winter months to provide beauty the next year. Above all, keep in mind that peak flower production will occur when your plant is planted in full sun and moist but well drained soil. Mandevilla will also benefit from a light monthly fertilization during the peak growing season. One of the most common varieties of Mandevilla is "Alice Dupont" which has medium pink flowers about 4 inches wide. Other varieties offer colors of various pinks, reds, and whites. The red and white varieties, although attractive, seem to be less resistant to insect and disease problems.
The Bougainvillea is an extremely hardy plant with vibrant blooms in Spring, early Summer and Fall. Although utilized as a perennial in many gardens and in Florida and other more southern locations, this tropical plant will not overwinter outdoors in our region. The Bougainvillea is frost sensitive, but can be brought indoors during the winter months as an attractive house plant with no blooms but great foliage. During summer months, Bougainvillea can be used to cascade from a hanging basket or on a trellis or porch post along our beach areas as it has a high salt tolerance. The branches of Bougainvillea are thorny, produce heart shaped green or variegated leaves and comes in a large variety of flower options including bright pink, purple, white, rose and cream. Your Bougainvillea will require at least 5 full hours of sun daily with southern exposure being best. Plant it in a loose well drained soil to avoid root rot. Bougainvillea plants require monthly fertilization with a 6-8-10 or a comparable fertilizer analysis.
There is nothing like the sweet, pleasing fragrance of white or Confederate Jasmine blooming during May and June! Jasmine is a perennial flowering vine in our area with several varieties to choose from. Carolina or Winter Jasmine is a welcome sight, as it is the first to bloom in early Spring and will produce spectacular yellow flowers. The drawback of this variety is its lack of strong fragrance and a relatively short bloom period in the Spring. Confederate or Star Jasmine is the most fragrant of all the Jasmine varieties and are a perfect option for growing on larger arbors, pergola's, fences, archways leading to your gardens and trellises.To enjoy the magnificent fragrance, be sure to plant your Jasmine near your house. Most Jasmine varieties are pest free and will grow 24 inches or so each year. If pruning is necessary to keep the size of your plant under control, prune after the blooming period is completed. During extremely cold Winter weather some of the leaves may lose their luster, turn burgundy or brown and may defoliate a little. Jasmine, however, will generally come back strong throughout the summer once our growing season begins. Generally speaking, Jasmine will perform well with little or no fertilization.
Honeysuckle, also known as Trumpet Honeysuckle or False Jasmine, is a perennial climber and an excellent choice for their beautiful orange with yellow centered flowers it will produce in May and June. As an added feature, Honeysuckle will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators. Like most of the flowering vines, this low maintenance plant prefers full sun for peak performance. The Honeysuckle will grow in a partial shade environment, however, the more shade your plant receives the less flower blooms you will enjoy. Honeysuckle will cling, climb, and twine itself to practically any surface -wood, stone, brick, or plastic.
Aside from a few minor insect pests, Honeysuckle grown in an ideal location, can grow to a height of 30-50 feet. As a happy Honeysuckle plant can get aggressive and become an invasive plant, occasional pruning may be required. Prune after the blooming period to prevent this plant from getting too aggressive and venturing into unwanted areas of your yard. Honeysuckle will tolerate a wide variety of soils, and requires very little, if any, fertilization and is a perfect choice for the gardener with little time to care for their plants.
One of the most exotic and eye catching flowering vines you will find, the Passion Flower is actually a sub-tropical native to the United States, growing wild in many fields throughout areas of the south. These climbers will reach a maximum height of 15-30 feet, but will go dormant and die back during the late Fall. Growing and flowering best with at least 4-5 hours of direct sunlight, the beautiful purple Passion Flower will live for only a day or two. The Passion Flower will bloom from the middle to the late summer period. Fertilize in late Spring with a high phosphorous (higher middle number) fertilizer to enhance the blooms. With a hard frost in late fall, the Passion Flower will die back into the ground. To insure a repeat performance for the next year, cover the base and roots of the plant with mulch. In ares of the south that experience weather that is more conducive for a longer growing season the Passion Flower will produce an edible fruit.
The Purple Hyacinth vine is a vigorous annual vine that will display an awesome pinkish-purple blossom and reddish seed pod. This interesting plant will flower continually from late Spring through the first frost of late Fall. This is a very showy, beautiful vine that will accent any trellis, arbor, or fence. Although the Hyacinth Bean plant is an annual in our region, the reddish purple bean is a viable seed for the next year. Harvest the seeds from the pods right before the first frost and you will get to enjoy this fabulous flowering vine for your landscape next year! Your Hyacinth Bean vine will require little care. Keep the soil moist and incorporate some good organic compost or composted manure around the base of your plant after it have sprouted in late Spring. The purple Hyacinth is a great plant to grow with your children or grandchildren, as they can learn how quickly this amazing plant can germinate, grow and flower from seed!
One of the sure signs that Spring has arrived is the beautiful purple and blue flower of the wild Chinese Wisteria that graces our woodlands here in the Southeast during April and early May. The fragrance of Wisteria is unmistakable as is it's ability to get out of control if not properly pruned and trained! Look for the American Wisteria variety rather than the Asian variety. The American cultivar is less invasive and if fertilized monthly, will bloom sporadically during the summer months, if grown in sunny areas. Wisteria will grow best in rich, moist soil so be sure to amend your native soil with good, high organic soil and compost.

One of the most common pests of Wisteria is the Kudzu bug, a close relative to the Stinkbug. This is a relatively new pesky little critter to our area, and favors legumes such as Kudzu and Soybeans. It could also, however, nibble away on your Wisteria vines as it too is a member of the legume family. Kudzu bugs can be found clinging on to other ornamental plants, but are typically harmless to all
non-legume plant species.
Bang Bang Shrimp
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp garlic powder
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fresh Cilantro

Bang Bang Sauce
2 tbs mayonnaise
2 tbs sweet chili sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. honey

Directions :
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, oil, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. In a separate small bowl whisk together eggs.
  5. Put flour in a third small bowl.
  6. Using tongs, dip shrimp first in flour, then egg, then panko mixture and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Continue until all shrimp is completely coated.
  7. Bake until shrimp are crispy and golden, about 13-15 minutes

Sauce Directions:
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together mayo, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, lime juice, honey and season with salt.
  2. Once shrimp is cooked drizzle sauce over shrimp and garnish with cilantro

Are you one of those folks that are reluctant to get the pruners, power shears, and loppers out? Do you start hacking away on your landscape plants and small tree only when plants are looking unruly, getting on the house, obstructing their view, or worst, get a nasty gram from your local HOA!

If so, you’re not alone! Whether it's fear of killing plants or simply a lack of time and knowledge, many homeowners dread the chore of pruning! Proper pruning,however, is an important component in maintaining a healthy, vibrant plant!
Here are a few tips that might make your pruning chores easier and more effective!

  • Always prune flowering plants soon after the blooming period. Pruning after plants have initiated flower blooms for the next season will result in a poor flower production
  • Late Winter during the dormant period, and early spring is an excellent time to prune many trees, evergreens and other shrubs.
  • Try not to prune too late in the season. Pruning stimulates growth. Pruning before the colder weather sets in could result in new succulent growth being damaged from cold temperatures.
  • Always prune off dead, decayed and damaged branches.
  • Plants such as Butterfly Bushes and Crape Myrtles flower on new growth so pruning in the winter during the dormant season is best
  • Roses such be pruned back aggressively during the early spring after the chance of a hard freeze. Be sure to remove old woody canes on your rosebush.
  • Avoid the continual use of power shears when pruning shrubs. Occasional hand pruning make take longer but is actually healthier for certain cherubs such as boxwood, privets and certain holly varieties.

  Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac grow in wooded or marshy areas throughout North America. The plants aren’t poisonous. They have a sticky, long-lasting oil called urushiol that causes an itchy, blistering rash after it touches your skin. Even slight contact, like brushing up against the leaves, can leave the oil behind. Poison ivy and poison oak grow as vines or shrubs. Poison sumac is a shrub or tree.

                             Identifying Poison Ivy
  • This woody weed can have an upright form up to 7 ft. tall or appear as a climbing vine, hanging on to trees or fences with dark aerial roots.
  • Poison ivy leaves vary in size and shape but there are always three.
  • The three leaflets, which are sometimes shiny, have a reddish cast and stem.
  • Leaves tend to be pointed and may have a toothed or smooth edge.
  • The illustration above shows how the leaves alternate along the stem.
  • Insignificant green-white flowers appear in late spring, followed by fruit that ripens about the same time the leaves turn red in fall

Many people mistake these harmless vines for poisonous plants:
Box Elder
Virginia Creeper
1.Talking or singing to plants is said to help them grow.
True or False

2.How much does the worlds largest pumpkin weigh?
A. 1123
B. 1689
C. 2000

3.What is Brazil named after?
A. A Flower
B. An Insect
C. A Tree

4.What kinds of trees are struck by lightning more than any other tree?
A. Pine
B. Oak
C. Weeping Willow

5.During the 1600’s in Holland what type of flower was worth more than gold?
A. Rose
B. Peony
C. Tulip

6.What percentage of plant life is found in the ocean?
A. 85%
B. 70%
C. 90%

7.How much does the worlds largest sweet potato weigh?
A. 24 lbs
B. 15 lbs
C. 30 lbs

8.What is the most popular lawn decoration sold?
A. Garden Gnome
B. Pink Flamingos
C. Stepping Stone

9.Nearly ____ people are injured by lawnmowers each year
A. 70,000
B. 60,000
C. 55,000

10.Over _____ types of grass exist
A. 10,000
B. 8,000

*Answers at bottom of newsletter*
If you haven’t already started working in your yard, sooner or later this will probably be the case for you and for most Americans. In some cases you might even need a wheelbarrow to accomplish the jobs you set out to do. With the right wheelbarrow you can accomplish the tasks you wish to do with more ease and without much strain. Luckily, we have compiled a list of the Top 5 Rated Wheelbarrows that are cost effective and durable.

The first of these is the Marathon DualWheel Yard Rover which retails for $63 and is 25% lighter than your typical wheelbarrow. The tray of the wheelbarrow is made of a rust resistant poly material which makes it so light and compact. Since the wheelbarrow is smaller than ones you would typically find, it is much easier to handle and maneuver when loaded. This DualWheel Yard Rover has a max capacity of 300 pounds and has 4 stars on Amazon making it a well-rounded wheelbarrow.

Secondly, we have the Mac Sports WTC-124 which retails for $72 and is collapsible. This roomy utility wagon unfolds into a spacious carrying capacity of 35.5" x 20" x 22.5" It also allows you to carry up to 150 lbs worth of material due to its steel frame. It folds up in seconds and even comes with its very own carrying case. If you are a person that is on the go then this is the wheelbarrow for you.

The third wheelbarrow to be considered best rated and affordable is the Jackson M6T22 and is retailed for $133 at places like Walmart. This wheelbarrow is the best choice for lawncare professionals as it is made out of a heay steel material and is one of the most dependable wheelbarrows on the list. This model was designed with contractors in mind, which means it was engineered to be robust, durable, and sturdy. It has specially patented leg stabilizers, which make the wheelbarrow 40% more tip resistant. The heavy duty steel tray is seamless to prevent buckling and is supported by an "H" brace.

On our list as the fourth wheelbarrow is the Ames True Temper which retails for $136 and is said to last a lifetime. This Wheelbarrow is composed of durable steel as well as extra strength steel rails around a tire that is flat tire free. This is a great option for heavy duty yard work as it has a maximum holding capacity of 400 pounds. It also has comfortable hand grips and is 27 inches high making it even a decent choice for a tall person.

Last, but certainly not least, is the fancy WORX Aerocart which retails at $169. While this wheelbarrow may be more on the expensive side it instantly converts from a wheelbarrow to a dolly and more. It is equipped with 2 flat free tires and fold out extension arms. It boasts the ability to do the work of eight different carts while remaining tool-free. Use it as a dolly, hand truck, or cylinder holder as well as a normal wheelbarrow. The extension arms can handle loads of up to 80lbs each, which means you can move small trees and other landscaping items with ease. Overall it can carry up to 300 pounds of material.
Dual Wheel
Yard Rover
Mac Sports
Jackson M6T22
Ames True Temper
WORX Aerocart
This newsletter we will spotlight our Marketing Coordinator, Anna Thompson.
Thompson is from Raleigh, North Carolina where she lived for 25 years until moving to Wilmington, North Carolina in 2015. She has an older brother named Shane who turned 35 in April and manages 2 food trucks in Durham, North Carolina. Her mother, Donna, is retired after teaching second grade for 40 years and her father, Andy, is also retired from working as the Purchasing Officer for the RDU Airport. Thompson graduated from William Peace University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a focus on Broadcast Media. In her spare time, you can find Thompson at her local gym, playing the guitar or piano and crafting with her roommate Michelle. Her favorite food by far is mint chocolate chip ice cream, even though she is lactose intolerant. You will also find she frequents her favorite restaurant Shaka Taco on Topsail Island. According to Thompson, her favorite thing about working for Freedom Lawns is the fact that she gets to inform the franchise owners as to how important social media is to grow their business as well as working hand in hand with them to help tackle any issues they may be facing. Her biggest goal in life is to help others and impact them in a positive way.
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