Summer Gardening Series: Growing Green Beans

Last week we outlined Twin Pines’ advice for growing delicious summer Zucchini. This week, we’ll walk you through the When, Where, and Care for Growing Green Beans in your summer garden!

Don’t forget: Check back weekly for gardening tips, guides, and even some favorite summer veggie recipes from the Twin Pines Team!


Green Beans – 

Green Beans are a delicious summer vegetable, and a fun summer plant to garden! There are a variety of types of Green Beans, including Pole Beans, Bush Beans, Runner Beans, Yardlong Beans, and more! In this article, we will focus on the two most popular variations: Pole Beans and Bush Beans.

When To Plant:

Green Beans of any type should be planted after soil has warmed up during the late spring months. There should be full sun available to the plants for many hours of the day, making post-summer solstice timing ideal.

Where To Plant:

These delicious veggies should be planted in fertile soil that is rich in nutrients. If you can find a way to include compost into the garden beds you plant them in, they will also thrive.

Growing Pole Beans:

Green Beans that are grown on a vertical pole are a popular option, as they not only grow into delicious vegetables, but save a lot of space in a garden as they grow towards the sun.

Before you begin, you must first build a tipi or trellis for the plant to grow around. Once this structure has been built, for the best results be sure to plant pole beans about 6-10 inches apart so they have plenty of distance to grow.

Keep in mind that these plants will climb upwards over time on a vine that may reach up to 15 feet tall. For that reason we recommend creating a structure that extends as far and that can last through the season, as Pole Beans also tend to produce over and over again through the first frost of fall. This is one of the biggest benefits of choosing Pole Beans over Bush Beans, which do not produce as continuously.

Growing Bush Beans

Unlike Pole Beans, Bush Beans grow horizontally on their own bushes rather than up towards the sky. The shorter height of these plants, which typically does not exceed two feet,  is often more conducive to a generic garden’s shape and size.

To grow these Bush Beans, plant seeds 3-6 inches apart with a 1-2 feet of space between the rows in soil that is drained but has a great exposure to sun. These plants should produce a crop in about two weeks, and will also continue to grow throughout the season. That being said, in order to grow the largest amount possible, replant a couple weeks apart for the best results.

Post-Planting Care

Although drained soil is ideal for planting purposes, it is incredibly important to keep soil moist during flowering and fruiting. For that reason, experts recommend using mulch along the base of plants to help lock in the moisture and keep the soil cool during hot months.

Gardeners should also be sure to water the beds evenly until the seedlings begin emerging from the ground, with about 1-1.5 inches of water per week. Green Beans will thrive best with a drip irrigation system as opposed to overhead or garden hose watering.

Harvesting The Green Beans

Unlike some other vegetable varieties, Green Beans should be harvested at an immature stage, before the seeds have fully developed.

To physically harvest the plant, locate a single pod that looks to be about mature in size and snap or cut it off from the vine without tearing the plant. If a bean is fresh and ready to be picked, it should snap off the vine without difficulty.

In order to keep the harvest going all summer long, its is recommended to sow beans every two or so weeks.

*Bonus: Twin Pines’ Favorite Green Bean Recipes*

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Green Beans with Bacon and Pecans via “Savory Sweet Life”
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Beer Battered Green Beans via “Lady Behind the Curtain”
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Asian Garlic Green Beans via “The Garden Grazer”
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Smothered Green Beans via “Plain Chicken”
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Roasted Green Beans with Pancetta, Red Onions, and Garlic via “Creative Culinary”
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5 Must-Have Items Every New Englander Needs in Winter

New Englanders love their four seasons, but winter is often the one that causes the most heartache for homeowners, especially when they’re left unprepared. Browse through Twin Pines’ list of must-have items for your winter tool kit, and stock up before the next storm hits!


1. Snow Blower/Shovel

Man Operating Snow Blower

Perhaps the most obvious item to have in your winter tool kit is one which can help you manage the snow on your property. Whether you prefer to shovel or snow blow, having a sturdy, up-to-date piece of equipment is vital when the powder begins to pile up.

A Twin Pines Tip: Get to know your machinery beforehand! Snow blowers especially need a lot of prep–including ensuring they are gassed up and ready to go for the first snowfall. But even familiarizing yourself with the weight, capacity, and functions of your shovel can help make the task of actually shoveling a lot more manageable.

2. Ice Melt & Scoop

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Photo Credit: www.walmart.com

Ice melt is another New England must-have during winter. When the temperature fluctuates between freezing and warm one week to the next, water that gathers on the ground can freeze, unfreeze, and refreeze in succession, creating slippery and dangerous walking and driving conditions. Sprinkle ice melt on stairs, walkways, driveways, and more to help break down the ice.

A Twin Pines Tip: Don’t forget to invest in a scoop to help distribute the ice melt. Anything from a metal shovel to a plastic cup will work, but you want to avoid letting the ice melt touch your skin, especially when dealing with a brand made with calcium or magnesium chloride.

3. Pantyhose

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Photo Credit: champaignrose.com

This may seem like a strange item to have in your tool kit, but its not one you’re going to want to forget about. Experts use pantyhose filled with calcium chloride to help break down ice and snow on the roof, as the permeable nylon material allows the chemical to secrete through the fabric without touching the roof directly and causing any damage.  For more on the Pantyhose Method, check out this post from Twin Pines.

4. Roof Rake

Snow Roof Rake

Roof rakes are another incredibly beneficial item to have in your winter toolkit. Rather than using a damaging shovel to try to scrape excess snow, homeowners with pitched roofs should use these tools to clear 2-3 inches off. You can find roof rakes at your local hardware store.

5. Kitty Litter

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The main use of kitty litter in your winter tool kit does not in fact have anything to do with your pets. Instead, this crumbly product can be used to create traction on snowy and icy surfaces in winter, creating safer walking and driving spaces for you and your family.

A Twin Pines Tip: Keep a bag of kitty litter in the trunk of your car during winter for extra precaution. It can be spread out beneath your tires if you ever get stuck in an icy or snowy spot and can’t seem to get the grip you need to drive away!


Follow Twin Pines on Facebook and check back here on our blog for more winter tips from Twin Pines!

15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Yard This Spring

Adding a hardscape feature in your yard can go a long way! So, this season, why not try one that’s both fun and functional? Fire Pits offer the perfect blend of style and practicality, and make for a great outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy! Browse through these 15 Fabulous Fire Pits below and find the perfect one for your home this spring!

FIRE PIT 2

1. This copper fire pit that’s basically a Moscow Mule glass for your yard.

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The “Red Ember Eden Copper Wood Burning Fire Pit” comes with the bowl and stand, a spark screen, a grate, and a poker! Get it from Hayneedle for $279.98.

2. A multi-angled, stand alone fire pit with its very own smoke stack.

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The “Cavo Custom Octo-Pit” is created to resemble an Archimedean Solid, and the attached smoke stack allows smoke to filter up and out of the way instead of back at you! Get it from Woodland Direct for $741.00.

3. This stylish square pit perfect for any sized patio. 

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The “Trent Steel Fire Pit” includes a slate ledge around the bowl for a buffer from the fire, and a pyramid-shaped guard to prevent sparks from flying! Get it from Wayfair for $378.99.

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Twitter Poll-Snow Storm Edition

At the end of last week, the Snow Removal Specialists at Twin Pines posed a question for our followers on Twitter, asking which of a handful of items would be most beneficial in protecting your home during snow . After the poll was cast out and our followers had time to choose which option they thought was right, these were the results:

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The majority of our voters chose “Hairdryer” as the ideal household item for dealing with snow. Unfortunately, this is not the correct answer; there are a lot of dangerous downsides to this option. Most importantly, you should not use a hairdryer to melt snow because it has the potential to electrocute you.  This is a caution that comes whenever electric machines mix with water-based substances, but there are also many other complications to keep in mind. Melting snow into water this quickly on metal, like cars, can cause rust. It can also allow snow to melt too quickly in one specific area, causing breakage and the falling of large chunks of ice or snow, especially if used on a high surface like the top of a car or a roof. This can be very dangerous!

Instead, the best household item for snow removal was actually answer D: “Tights/Pantyhose.” This is a trick that all great Snow Removal Experts stand by, and is especially useful for preventing ice dams on roofs!

What To Do:

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Photo Credit: champaignrose.com
  1. Take an old pair of pantyhose or tights and cut the legs off
  2. Fill the inside with Calcium Chloride
  3. Tie off the open end
  4. Place the pantyhose on your roof so they are perpendicular to your gutter (Note: The end of the pantyhose should extend over the side of the gutter)
  5. Shift pantyhose into place with a long stick or broom handle
  6. Continue to monitor/check

How It Works: Basically, Calcium Chloride is a snow melting chemical, which, if you place it directly onto your roof, can cause corrosion. Instead, having a controlled barrier made up of pantyhose materials, allows the chemical to seep through and do its job of breaking down the ice/melt on top of your roof without causing any lasting damage.

Pro Tip: Be on the lookout for chunks of melted snow falling off of your roof due to ice dam removal tactics; Never stand directly beneath the ice dam and keep all cars/outside items away from beneath this area, as well. Dealing with snow removal can be dangerous, and we recommend taking all the appropriate cautions before moving forward.


A big thank you to everyone who voted as part of our first “Twin Pines Poll!” Please check back with us for more fun & interactive posts on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and here on our blog! Still looking for plowing, shoveling, salting, and more for this winter? Give us a call at (508) 358-4231 to find out if you are in our service area, then book a free, no obligation estimate with Twin Pines!

Creative Flower Displays For Fall

Whether we want to admit it yet or not, fall is on its way; The air is getting crisper, the leaves are starting to turn, and the sky is getting dark at 7:00pm. While that might mean saying goodbye to full days spent in your yard enjoying the outdoors, it doesn’t mean you should stop finding new ways to make your landscape unique.

Last year, we shared our expert guide to Fall Flowers (Part I. and Part II.), which outlined some of the most vibrant and season-appropriate flowers to feature in autumn. This year, we want to show you some exciting and innovative ways to arrange and display them outside your home!Petunia Flowers

One of the funnest ways we’ve come across of displaying fall flowers, is actually within the hollowed out trunks of old trees. The easiest way to create this unique arrangement is to locate a broken tree with a very thick trunk that is already living in your yard and prep it for the flowers. Hire a qualified tree specialist (like those at Twin Pines) to remove any excess branches or pieces of the tree that crowd the broken trunk and level out the surface. The specialist should also carve out the hole in the center of the trunk which the flowers will grow in.

Next, simply use the hole in the trunk as a flower pot! Spread nutrient-rich soil within it, plant the flowers, and watch them grow in this natural display!

climbing-hydrandra-creative-solution-to-hide-old-lamp-post-urell-1Another great way to highlight the fall florals in your yard is around a lamp post. The expert Landscape Design team at Twin Pines has years of experience with shrubs like these, which can grow upwards and out when cared for correctly. This tip is ideal if you happen to have outdated or mismatching posts; instead of investing in a full light post remodel, use pretty plants to spice up the look!

Lamp posts and tree trunks aren’t the only items in your yard that can act as a useful base for flower displays. Old wheelbarrows make great containers for featuring plants and Simply Swissflowers. While some feel that the more vintage the wheelbarrow the better, we’ve found that its all based in style. Wooden carts like the one featured in the photo here make for a more rustic look, where a more contemporary, painted one could give a modern-feel. Either way, this simple and pretty display choice can act as a great focal point for your landscape!

Another common household item often utilized in flower displays is a ladder. Trends lately have shown wooden ladders being used more as shelves than actual steps in homes across the country. Used as both an indoor or outdoor display case, each rung of the later can be transformed Harvest timeinto a multi-level shelving unit, maximizing display opportunities! What’s more, because ladders comes in a variety of colors and finishes, the ladder can be customized to compliment the look of your unique home!

Overall, the best advice the experts at Twin Pines can give for making your flower displays stand out this fall, is to add a little creativity into the mix! Combine types of flowers, mix and match colors, and find a fun and innovative way to arrange them! These simple steps will take your designs to the next level.

Keep mind, you don’t have to stick to these few ideas either; there are a plethora of options out there for you to play with. Switch out a flower pot for an old painted watering can or use an old barrel or basket to grow your plants in; try something new and innovative to help your landscape stand out!

Whatever display option you chose, make sure you have some fun with it! Your landscape is a great way to show off your personality, and adding statement pieces like these are a simple and fun way to do that! And if you need a little help along the way, feel free to reach out to our experts at Twin Pines! We would be happy to provide you with a consultation on your landscape this fall, and help make sure it reaches all of its potential. Give us a call today at (508) 358-4231, or email us at sales@twinpines.biz!

Twin Pines is on Thumbtack!

Much like with Home Advisor, Twin Pines Family of Companies is split into two profiles on Thumbtack to properly represent our licensed divisions, and the services we provide! Please feel free to browse through our Profiles by clicking on the Company Names below:

Twin Pines Landscaping

FitzCo Construction & Electric

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Twin Pines is on Home Advisor!

Twin Pines Family of Companies includes an array of home improvement professionals with various licenses and qualifications that set us apart from our competitors. In order to properly represent ourselves and the employees that hold the Twin Pines name, we have created three separate Home Advisor accounts to reflect three of our most diverse divisions. Feel free to check out the Company Profiles through Home Advisor by clicking on the names below:

FitzCo Construction & Electric

Twin Pines Landscaping

 R&M Plumbing and Heating

Twin Pines’ Customer Satisfaction Goals

Twin Pines has always been dedicated to providing our customers with a positive experience. We find that feedback of any kind, whether it is positive or negative, can help influence changes and improvements within the company.

For that reason, Twin Pines has created a simple survey that we send to our customers after we finish working on their property. The survey, while short, raises the most important question for our customers to answer: How Likely Are You To Recommend Twin Pines?  This one question provides us with the kind of feedback we need to reflect on where we are with our customers, and in turn, learn more about how we can do better.

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The Dangers of Tree Removal: Why It’s Important To Leave It To Professionals

All the unpredictable weather of the last few weeks has left many homeowners with some cleanup to do around their properties. One of the most significant aspects of this cleanup has been tree removal. Violent winds, heavy snow, and pounding rain are all known to cause trees to snap, branches to break off, and to leave, in short, less than safe conditions for people to live or work in. Tree Removal1

Yet, as tempting as it may be for homeowners to handle tree work themselves, it’s important that Tree Removal Professionals are called in to handle this type of cleanup.

Between the vital knowledge of tree physics and biology, experience with dangerous tools, and the understanding of advanced cutting techniques, these Tree Removal Professionals are the only people equipped to properly handle this difficult and potentially life-threatening work.

One of the most dangerous aspects of tree removal, is the power tools needed to remove the trees themselves. Chainsaws, wood chippers, and other power or hand tools are all incredibly dangerous to use, especially for those who are untrained. Tree Removal Experts have extensive training and experience with these tools, which makes them much more qualified to utilize them in a high-stakes situation like this.

The location of the trees in question also makes removal a dangerous task. If the tree were to be located near power lines, for example, workers would need to take extra precautions. Even Tree Removal Experts must act as if all power lines are live when working near or around them, as any accidental touch by a tool, tree, or person has the potential to result in electrocution.

Another dangerous aspect of tree removal is the fact that gravity is completely unpredictable. If a homeowner were take the necessary precautions and attempt to remove the tree themselves, there is no way of guaranteeing that the tree will fall where they want it to. Tree Work_2When an unqualified person attempts to handle the removal of trees without the help of an expert, it can result in damage to homes, vehicles, other trees and, most significantly, the people themselves. There are 200 tree-related fatal injuries on average per year in America, according to the US
Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is not worth being one of them.

Professional Tree Removers have not only extensive training in the physics of tree removal (which works to prevent such injuries or damages), but also in the proper safety equipment necessary to complete this kind of work. Professionals are required by law to be covered from head to toe in protective gear prior to handling any kind of tree removal work. The OSHA standards require Tree Removal Professionals to wear helmets/face shields, gloves, chainsaw-protective clothing, goggles or safety glasses, earmuffs or plugs, and proper work shoes when completing this work.

If you are looking to have trees removed from your property, please take the necessary precautions. Hire a Tree Removal Expert to handle the work for you, and avoid the life-threatening risks of attempting to do a job you may not be prepared to do.

Twin Pines Landscaping offers Tree Removal Services from a team of highly qualified and licensed specialists. You can also contract these specialists for a tree consultation, in which they can come out to your property and evaluate your trees for any potential dangers or specific cutting instructions. For more information on these services from Twin Pines, you can reach out to our office at (508) 358-4231. Other Tree Removal Specialists can be found by a simple Google Search for the type of work and your town or district. However you choose to contract this work, remember that when it comes to trees, safety should be the number one concern.