Home Zone: Free help to spruce up your ugly yard
Apr 04,2008 00:00 by Maggie_Reed

It's spring. Who doesn't want a nice, lush inviting yard and garden to enjoy?

Of course, we all do. However, for many, that's not what's happening when the blinds come off the window and you gaze outward.

UGLY YARD - If your yard is as ugly as this you can get help by calling the free Yard Smarts Hotline. CNS Photo courtesy of Briggs & Stratton. 
SMELLY WASHER - Non-toxic and environmentally-friendly, Smelly Washer will do away with fungus and mildew, bringing your washing machine back to a healthy state. CNS Photo courtesy of Smelly Washer. 

Wondering just what's up with those mysterious patches of dead grass? Those scraggly weeds? Or why your lawn mower won't start on the first pull?

Here's a place to find answers, win prizes and maybe even get a complete makeover.

Sponsored by Briggs & Stratton Corp., the Yard Smarts Hotline runs from April 15 through May 15 and will help guide you through your yard woes.

"We have yard care and equipment professionals who will offer answers and solutions to whatever questions, problems and yard care mysteries homeowners may have. The hotline can help them get off to a good start this growing season," said Anita Fisher, marketing director for Briggs & Stratton Corp.

Now in its third year, the hotline has helped thousands of homeowners with advice from the best of the best. Heading the list of experts is Briggs & Stratton's Yard Doctor, Trey Rogers, Ph.D., who has more than 20 years of experience.

Joining Rogers is a team of lawn and garden experts who will field any questions homeowners may have about their lawns, trees, flowers, weeds, pests or other concerns, including equipment queries.

Not only will you get answers, you may win prizes. Any caller whose question is selected as a "question of the week" and placed on the Yard Smarts Web site can contact Briggs & Stratton to win their choice of a new lawn mower, pressure washer or string trimmer. Anyone who stumps the experts will receive a Yard Smarts T-shirt.

Then there are the two really lucky winners.

Homeowners with ugly yards are invited to share their problems at www.myuglyyard.com from April 15 through June 30. Just submit a video pointing out your problems and why you need help. You can also nominate a neighbor or a family member whose yard is in desperate need of attention.

The top four ugly lawns will be featured on the Web site and America gets to vote.

Two yards will be chosen in July for a visit from the Yard Doctor who will diagnose problems, prescribe treatment and bring along a $1,000 check and new yard care equipment to jump-start some serious landscape efforts.

"There's no reason why your yard can't look great," said Rogers.

For your free hotline information and tips from yard care and equipment experts, call 866-YARD-TIPS (927-3847) or ask your questions via e-mail at www.yardsmarts.com. All questions will be answered personally within 48 hours.

To speak with an expert, call on Friday (April 18 and 25, May 2 and 9) from 3 to 7 p.m. EDT.

For complete rules and information on the contest, visit www.myuglyyard.com.


Hard to believe that a machine that is meant to keep you clean can harbor more fungi than any other place in the home. It's your washing machine. And just one tablespoon of Smelly Washer powder can bring a washer back to a healthy state.

The problem: Fungus spores often collect on residue left behind from detergents and fabric softeners, resulting in a moldy, mildew smell that is transferred to fabrics.

The solution: Smelly Washer, an inexpensive, non-toxic, environmentally friendly powder.

Smelly Washer not only cleans out your washer, it can also be used to remove mildew odor from towels and other clothing. It can also be used for multiple cleaning to continually remove odors, not just cover them up.

Paul Flynn, the inventor and president, is a veteran residential appliance repairman. For years he noticed that almost every washer he worked on had a scummy buildup of fungus covering the inside. Bleach, washing machine cleaners and other home remedies just didn't work.

He recalled a cleaner he learned to make in the Navy from organic ingredients, came up with his own concoction and Smelly Washer was born.

Smelly Washer sells for $16 and one order can last up to one year. For more information, call 952-465-6444 or visit www.smellywasher.com.

Maggie Reed can be reached by e-mail; at 619-718-5821; or P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112.

© Copley News Service