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Food and fire; it’s a culinary duo as old as humankind itself. Perhaps that’s why we have such a deep-rooted, almost primitive kinship with our grilling equipment. There’s no question; roasting meat, veggies, and other delicacies over an open flame is a sure-fire way to please taste buds and fill bellies around the table.

The source of that flame? That’s a more modern discussion. Luckily, today’s gas and charcoal grills are designed to make anyone a BBQ hero. Before heading to your local Ace Hardware, consider the differences between gas and charcoal grills, and which suits your style best!

It’s entirely up to user preference and what you’re familiar with when picking out a gas grill over a charcoal one. Each has its advantages and drawbacks, which we’ll explore here:

Gas Grill

Purchase Price, Setup, & Operating Costs

Gas grills are generally going to be more expensive up front than charcoal grills. It makes sense, because they’re a bit more complex in how they operate. Usually, you’ll have an array of burners, a gas line, and an electric igniter. Charcoal grills are more simplistic. They’re essentially a vessel that holds charcoal briquettes, a grate, and a lid. This simplicity affects the purchase price.

Taking the complexity of the grill assembly into account, charcoal grills are generally more straightforward to set up (30 min), as opposed to a gas grill (1+ hours). Gas grills may also require a few more tools to mount the burner assembly and gas line.

Operationally, both briquettes and gas are going to cost money to replenish over time. If you’re not tapping into your home’s propane or natural gas line, you’ll first need a propane tank. A 20lb tank will range anywhere from $50-$100 EMPTY, based on the brand. Look for an Ace Hardware gas can to save! From there, it’ll be around $20 per propane refill each time it runs out. With briquettes, you’re looking in the range of $10 for an 8lb Bag, which you’ll get a couple grilling sessions out of. Overall, it’s a matter of your budget and preference is to keep the flame lit.

Ignition Time

The time it takes to ignite and allow the grill to get up to temperature may be a deciding factor in your search for gas or charcoal. Especially if you plan to grill on weeknights when life is hectic, it can be nice to have the instantaneous ignition that comes with a gas grill. Simply push the igniter, flick on a burner, and viola – you’re lit. With charcoal, the lighting takes a little more planning. Once you ignite the briquettes (whether using lighter fluid or a chimney tool), expect to wait about 30 minutes for them to get red hot and ready for action.

Charcoal Briquettes

Flavor

It’s all up to you and your guests’ taste buds. If you are looking for a smokier taste, then charcoal grills are the way to go! There are even briquettes on the market that enhance the flavor of your food. Any gas grill will produce equally mouth-watering dishes. And no – you won’t taste the propane or natural gas in your food.

Cleanup & Maintenance

After the food has hit the table, it’s important to clean and maintain your grill routinely. With charcoal grills, you’ll need to empty the ashes every 1-3 sessions, and scrape the grate with a wire brush after each use. Gas grills just need a scrape and brush after each session, but you’ll periodically need to check the gas line and burners to make sure they’re secure.

Grill Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, more than 19,700 grilling-related incidents occur per year in the United States. Structure fires, contact burns, and flare-ups are a real risk, but are drastically mitigated by taking the proper precautions. No matter the type of grill, make sure it has secure footing and is distanced from your home or overhanging obstructions.

If using a charcoal grill, avoid adding more lighter fluid after it has already been lit. Buying charcoal that has already been soaked in starter fuel can reduce the risk of injuries with charcoal grills. With gas grills, be mindful of leaving the gas on too long before pressing the ignition button to avoid flare ups. Make sure there are no leaks coming from the gas container or hoses before you start the grill.
For more on grill safety, ask the experts at Louie’s Ace for assistance.

Gas vs Charcoal Comparison Chart

So, Gas or Charcoal?

Charcoal grills are a classic, and there’s no substitute for the smell of briquettes and billowing smoke to tell your guests that it’s BBQ time. Not to mention, there’s something about operating a natural flame to flex some muscle and show everyone you’re the grill boss! On the other hand, there’s no comparing the convenience that comes with one-button ignition on a gas grill. You’ll be able to fling burgers all evening without missing a beat.

If it still seems like a tough call, contact Louie’s Ace Hardware Store or come in and ask one of our friendly staff members for advice. Additionally, browse this month’s ads to save on other items while you’re there! We are your friendly Dayton & Fallon hardware store, and are here to serve your grilling needs!

A bag of Gardenline fertilizer on a deck.

If you’re a newbie to lawn fertilizer, then the numbers listed on the bag may seem like a foreign language when heading down an aisle of gardening supplies.These three numbers are known as fertilizer ratios, and by understanding what each number means, you can improve the appearance and longevity of your lawn.

Fertilizer is great for helping strengthen roots and promote new growth year round. Taking care of your lawn is important because the grasses commonly used can purify air and improve overall air quality, in addition to the fact that a nicely manicured lawn is aesthetically pleasing. Grasses are great at absorbing rainfall, preventing erosion, and purifies water for aquifers in the area.

N-P-K and Lawn Care

Each of the three numbers listed on the front of the bag of fertilizer represents nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Together they are known as NPK ratios, and are indicated using their element symbols that you may remember from chemistry class. All three are essential elements in gardening products for growing a beautiful lawn.

 Each one serves a different purpose in ensuring your grass grows green.

Which Ratio To Choose

NPK ratios apply to all types of fertilizer, but there are certain specifications to follow for lawns and all of the different conditions the lawn may be in.

A man mowing the lawn

 

Louie’s ACE Products for Lawn Care and Their Benefits

Our gardening experts suggest fertilizer should be put on your lawn two through four times a year.  Resistance from pests, protection for the soil, and preventing pesky weeds are just some of the perks when taking care of your lawn with fertilizer from ACE HardwareThe fertilization process is cost-effective, simple, and environmentally friendly. Because of how low-maintenance lawn care can be, you can spend more time doing plenty of other fun outdoor activities this summer!  

Here’s some of our ACE Hardware team’s top fertilizer recommendations:

Scotts Turf Builder Crabgrass Preventer Lawn Fertilizer For Multiple Grass Types

https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lawn-and-garden/lawn-care/lawn-fertilizers/7232325

This fertilizer is one of our best selling options because it stops crabgrass at its roots and is safe for use on Bermuda grass. It’s a great fertilizer to use in post-winter lawn care routines, and is a trusted formula no matter what climate you live in.

Milorganite Slow Release Nitrogen Lawn Fertilizer for all Grasses:

https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lawn-and-garden/lawn-care/lawn-fertilizers/70555

Milorganite is produced from the nation’s oldest and largest recycling efforts. It’s fortified with iron for a longer lasting green. The slow-release formula can be used on trees, shrubs, or flowers as well.

Pennington Ultragreen All-Purpose Lawn Fertilizer: 

https://www.acehardware.com/departments/lawn-and-garden/lawn-care/lawn-fertilizers/7002870

A quick greening, long lasting lawn is possible with Pennington and its premium blended fertilizer. With fast acting nitrogen for quick greening in addition to slow release nitrogen at 10.5% for extended feeding up to three months, the blend of fertilizer includes a boost of 5% iron.

Find the Best Gardening Products at Louie’s ACE Home Center

At ACE Hardware, you can be assured that our hardware and garden supplies are top notch and in stock. With plenty of fertilizer choices for every budget, lawn, and gardening style, you can’t go wrong with keeping your lawn healthy and happy.

Be sure to visit Louie’s ACE Home Center for all your lawn care questions and gardening supplies!

Spring is finally here which means we’re about to experience warm weather and a lot of sunlight. This is the time when flowers and plants are coming into full bloom and life is starting anew. However, it does take a bit of work to get your garden going again after a long, cold winter and it’s not too late to plant a beautiful garden you can enjoy. All you need are your gardening products, a good area to plant, and some tender loving care. 

Make this spring and summer beautiful with an array of different plants and greenery that are easy to care for when you get help from Louie’s ACE Hardware store! Take a look below at some of the gardening supplies you’ll need to keep your lawn and garden in tip-top shape.  

garden products

Must-Have Gardening Products 

Having quality gardening supplies will make caring for your yard much easier and more effective. If you have the right materials you will be able to go much further in your hobby. Some of the basic tools and products you might need include a spade, rake, garden knife, pruners, and shovel. These are just a few of the basic essentials you’ll need but you might consider purchasing other gardening products to make life even easier. Some of the additional tools or gardening products you may want to include in your collection are:

Padded Kneeler 

Padded kneelers are used to provide protection for your knees when working on the ground. There are a few options regarding these products such as a kneeler that turns into a little bench you can sit at or memory foam mats. 

3-Way Meter

The 3-way meter will become your saving grace when it comes to diagnosing problems within your garden. This invention tells you exactly everything you need to know about your plants and allows you to quickly fix anything that might be bad for your garden. You’ll get feedback on PH levels, light intensity, and soil moisture. 

Drip Kit 

A garden drip kit is crucial for the busy or forgetful homeowner who doesn’t always stay current with the watering schedule. If you don’t feel like going out every day to water your plants or don’t always have the time, having a drip kit is for you. 

Chemical-Free Weeder

Sometimes it is easier not to get down and dirty, which is where this invention comes in handy. With a chemical-free weeder, all you have to do is spike the ground where the weed is and pull it out. Not only is this better for you and the environment, but it’s super simple and quick. 

Tool Belt

Do you struggle to carry all of your garden supplies while working in the yard? You’re not alone, which is why there’s the tool belt. Easily tote around your gardening tools with a tool belt you can simply clip around your waist. 

gardening products

Fertilizer, Soil, and Weed Control

Some of the most important gardening products you’ll need are fertilizer, soil, and weed control. Having the proper gardening tools to prepare the earth for new life is important, but so is the environment in which they live. Fertilizer is used to provide nourishment and nutrients to your plants while gardening soil is used to ensure your plants have a fresh bed to lay in. And weed control will prevent encroaching and unwanted plants from taking over the garden area.  

Tips For Starting a Garden 

Now that you know what type of gardening products you’ll need, here are a few tips to get you on your way. To start, you’ll want to stop by the ACE hardware store to pick up all of the tools and materials you need. Then, plan the layout of your garden along with the plants you want to include. Here’s how you can start your garden this spring:

Step 1

First, find the perfect location to set up your garden. Decide if you want a regular yard garden or if you want a raised bed garden. This is important because there are different soils for each type. Also, make sure that the site you decide on gets plenty of sun and water. Just like us, plants need these things to survive and grow beautifully. 

Step 2

You’ll also want to make sure you understand what plants will work for the climate you are living in. Better to not waste your time and energy on a plant that won’t grow where you live. The USDA provides a plant hardiness zone map that will help you determine which plants are most likely to grow and thrive in your area. 

Step 3

Now that you have your gardening tools, have chosen the plants you want to feature in your garden, and have a layout of what the area is going to look like, you’re ready to build the garden bed. You’ll need proper soil and some mulch to complete this. Many consider using raised garden beds because they offer a wide variety of benefits that lowered beds do not. 

Step 4

Plant your seeds or seedlings very carefully as they can be quite delicate. After your seeds have been planted, you’re ready to start caring for your new garden. Be sure to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Plants love water, but even too much of a good thing can have poor results. 

Step 5 

Use your gardening tools and products to maintain your garden throughout the spring and summer! Gardening requires a lot of work and a lot of love, so be sure to tend to your garden as needed! 

gardening products

Stop By Your Local ACE Hardware Store

We hope these gardening tips were helpful for you! If you’re in need of any gardening products, be sure to check out Louie's ACE Hardware store for more tools and supplies. We also offer ACE hardware rentals for your lawn care needs such as batchers, aerators, high-weed mowers, and weed whackers. Give us a call today for some of our expert spring gardening tips or to learn more about the gardening products we offer!

Why Canning?

Canning has been a long tradition for families and has seen a resurgence in popularity alongside the growing admiration for mason jars. Food that has been canned can last for years, extending the life of your food and preventing waste, and now even more so than ever, there are great ways to add personal touches to your canned food making them great gifts for friends and family.

canned food in Mason Jars available at Louie's Ace HardwareMethods of Canning

There are two methods of canning, each corresponding to the type of food you are looking to can.  It is important that you choose the correct method for what you want to can. This can be crucial in ensuring your food isn’t susceptible to bacteria.

Water Bath Canning: This method is used for foods and vegetables with acidic content. This is what you use for jams and jellies as well as for pickles. The process of water bath canning is fairly easy, and is a great starting point for beginner canners.
Pressure Canning: Using the pressure canning method is for foods with low acidic content including vegetables, meats and poultry, and seafood. This particular method requires a lot of attention because if the process is done incorrectly, this food can spoil very easily.

Protect your Canned Goods

While there are two different methods depending on what you’re planning to can, there are things to keep in mind with both methods that are important to making sure your food is properly canned, thus making sure your food is optimally protected.

For both methods, be sure to select your favorite recipe and follow those instructions carefully. It is important to reduce the entry points for bacteria before the food is placed within the jars. When done correctly, food is edible for one to five years depending on what you’ve canned.

Personal Touch filled Ace hardware canning jars

With the Mason jar trend at a peak, there are more options than ever to add a personal touch to your canned foods. Lots of DIY elements including chalkboard paint on the lids or die-cut labels are great ways to add a personal touch, especially when gifting things such as jams to friends and family.

One thing we have here at our ACE Hardware store is that we love the purple heritage jars; they resemble desert glass and are special edition, which means as soon as they sell out, they’re gone. Visit Louie’s ACE today to see all of our food canning supplies!

If you’re a newbie to lawn fertilizer, then the numbers listed on the bag may seem like a foreign language. These Good fertilizer. three numbers are known as fertilizer ratios, and by understanding what each number means, you can improve the appearance and longevity of your lawn.

N-P-K

Each of the three numbers listed on the front of the bag of fertilizer represents nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. These are essential elements in growing a beautiful lawn. Together they are known as NPK ratios, and are indicated using their element symbols that you may remember from chemistry class. Each one serves a different purpose in ensuring your grass grows green.

Which Ratio To Choose

NPK ratios apply to all types of fertilizer, but there are certain specifications to follow for lawns and all of the different conditions the lawn may be in.

Be sure to visit Louie’s ACE Home Center for all your lawn fertilizer questions and needs!

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