Month: January 2020

Yard Plants for a Beach Look

Yard Plants for a Beach Look

Beach plants tend to develop low and scrubby within their native environment. Don’t expect them to behave in this way when implanted in your garden, however. Without the pressures of the beach environment, like salt spray and winds, their growth habit may be quite different. When creating a beach-themed lawn, choose native plants and you can not go wrong.


A common groundcover you’ll find on beaches is a type of Ceanothus (C. thyrsiflorus repens), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8a through 10. Tolerant of a wide array of temperatures and soil conditions, it provides delicate blue blooms to your beach-themed garden. Another attractive flowering groundcover to think about is the seaside daisy (Ergeron glaucus). Seaside daisy is tolerant of full sun in cooler areas as well as partial shade where summers get warm. On top of that, it attracts butterflies.


Beach grasses are component of any vision of wind-swept sand dunes. Whether you choose to produce grasses that the dominant plant on your beach-themed garden or use them as accent pieces, then you’ll realize that they add the last thematic touch to your garden. Look for seashore bluegrass (Poa macrantha), or any bentgrass, reedgrass or oatgrass to give authenticity to your beach-themed garden.


The baby bear manzanita (Arctostaphylos densiflora x bakeri “Baby Bear”), hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10, is a small rounded shrub, ideal wherever you want a pop of color. It also works well when planted in groups, to form a hedge. Baby bear produces pink blossom clusters and becomes a small hummingbird magnet while in bloom. For a little place to fill, the coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis), growing in USDA zones 5 through 11, is one of the plants that succumbs to the ecological pressures of life in the beach and remains low-growing. In the garden, however, it may grow taller and require pruning to keep it into the size you desire.


For a touch of the tropical, consider trees. Many palm species do well in colder climates. Think about the California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera), the exact same tree that adorns the Hollywood strip. Hardy in USDA zones 8b through 11, this palm is frost tolerant, requiring little water and hardly any upkeep. It does tend to be somewhat pricey, however. Less expensive, and not quite as tall is that the saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), which enjoys full sun and grows slowly within USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11.

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Lime Green Grasses for Landscaping

Lime Green Grasses for Landscaping

Ornamental grasses are available in hundreds of varieties, with various heights, increase habits, hardiness and leaf color, making them extremely versatile plants that have many uses in a house landscape. Some grass types possess leaf in interesting colours, including several cultivars with leaves at a mild, yellowish-green that looks like the color of fresh limes. All these make excellent additions to borders and beds, especially when mixed with deep-green grasses or vibrant flowering plants.

Japanese Forest Grass

Golden-yellow Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra “Aureola”) is an ornamental grass that reaches a height of 1 to 1 1/2 feet and also an equal spread, forming dense, spreading clumps with gracefully arching, narrow-bladed leaves. The leaves are a yellowish-green with a dark green central vein and green borders. The plants do well in either sun or shade, but the lime-green color of their leaves is accentuated when they are grown in colour. In summertime, the grass produces loose clumps of tiny, yellow-green flowers at the ends of long stems. The variety is reliably hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 5 and over.

Autumn Moor Grass

Autumn moor grass (Sesleria autumnalis) is just a drought-tolerant grass that is flexible to all ground types and prefers cool temperatures and low humidity. It reaches a height of 8 to 12 inches at maturity and has especially narrow lime-green-colored leaves. Its narrow flower stalks are also lime-green and appear in late summer and early fall. Due to its relatively low height, autumn moor grass is a good choice as a ground cover and especially attractive when grown as a mass planting under trees. It’s reliably hardy in USDA zone 5 and over.

Palm Sedge

Palm sedge grass (Carex muskingumensis) is also an easy-to-grow plant indigenous to western North America. It forms dense clumps of erect, 20-inch-tall stems capped by 8-inch-long grass blades at a mild lime-green; its leaves are reminiscent of palm fronds, giving the plant its name. Palm sedge grass spreads slowly by rhizomes and also self-seeds readily. It prefers sun to partial shade and needs moist dirt, also growing nicely in shallow water that is 3 or 4 inches deep. The plant is hardy in zone 4 and above, and is an exceptional selection for stream beds or near other water features.

Zebra Grass

Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis “Zebrinus”) gets its name from its leaves, which contain horizontal bands of yellow alternating with mild green patches, giving the plant an overall lime-green color when seen from a slight distance. A tall plant, zebra grass may reach a height of 8 feet with a spread of 4 to 6 feet. It does well in sun or partial shade and tolerates heat and humidity. In fall, it produces floral clusters that may last through winter. The plant expands gradually in circumference but maintains a tight clump contour, making it a good choice as a portion of a screen planting or as a specimen plant. It’s hardy in zone 5 and over.

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How Far to Plant an Oak Tree In a Septic Drain Field?

How Far to Plant an Oak Tree In a Septic Drain Field?

Clogged septic systems cost homeowners thousands of dollars every year in replacement and repair. Tree roots are often found to be responsible for the congestion, a situation that may be avoided by planting specific types of trees a minimum safe distance from septic tanks and drainage fields. Oak trees are thought to be one of the safest trees to plant in these locations, since their origins systems aren’t as widespread and are far less invasive than those of other species.

Minimum Distance

Oak trees (Quercus spp.) Are one of the few trees that origins are classified as not posing much of a threat to septic systems, drainage fields along with other underground pipes. Still, the evidence detailing oak tree root growth contradicts this theory, as the origins of a mature oak tree may fan out as much as 90 or more feet from its base. Recommended planting distances of 15 feet are geared toward young trees whose origins systems are still developing but do not consider the way in which oak tree roots develop, which would imply a minimal planting distance equal to the tree’s height at maturity. This translates to a distance equal to or greater than 70 feet from a tree that’s 70 feet tall, and this disregards the frequent thinking that a pine tree’s root system normally does not stretch much farther underground than its highest branch width.

Oak Root Development

Oak trees spread by way of acorns that fall from the trees in early autumn in most regions. Under the right conditions, acorns become quickly established in which they drop, sending down a root often within days of coming into contact with the dirt. This original root, or tap root, can travel vertically into the ground to as much as 5 feet prior to the tree’s first leaves begin to develop. The seedling’s energy then shifts to the areas of the plant above the ground, along with the tap root starts sending out side, or posterior, roots that grow horizontally away from the plant. Lateral roots keep growing in this way in search of water and nutrients and are naturally attracted to the sort of very fertile nutrient-rich, dirt normally found near septic tanks and leach fields. Even if a pine tree is supposed to be located a safe distance from a drainage area, there’s absolutely no guarantee that its origins won’t search out its effluents, especially if it is growing in an area that sees little yearly rainfall.

Oak Tree Placement

Oak trees, including bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), white oak (Quercus alba), and northern red oak (Quercus rubra) are also regarded as low risks to septic systems by some establishments, such as the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. Though other types of trees such as willows are natural water seekers and shouldn’t be implanted in the neighborhood of a septic system in any way, trees such as oaks might be considered risks due their increased drought tolerance. Planting oaks at least 50 feet off — or more, if the tree is going to develop into a significant one — in the farthest point of a drain area provides a relatively wide buffer zone, especially in regions that experience adequate rainfall.


Oak tree roots should not be trusted to remain in their own planned boundaries even if they are implanted what is thought to be a secure distance from septic systems. Additionally, oak trees can easily be threatened by any kind of root disturbance that includes building too near or above them, moving the dirt over or near them, or attempting to trim any that are protruding through the soil’s surface. Along with being a potential threat to sewage systems, a pine tree’s vulnerability to any kind of disturbance reinforces the need to plan where it goes well in advance of the actual planting, since it will be too late to make any changes once the tree is created other than to cut it down. In short, find oak trees in regions where there is the least likelihood that they will become problematic.

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Bush Bean Plants & Soil Deficiencies

Bush Bean Plants & Soil Deficiencies

Steamed, stir-fried, roasted or new, bush beans are a delicious addition to any summertime meal. Domesticated versions of South American plants, they have been selectively bred over time to add cultivars like apartment Italian green, French filet, purple-podded and yellow wax. Self-supporting, easy-to-grow bush beans can achieve about 2 feet in height and produce greatest in soils with the proper pH and sufficient nutrients.

Soil Test

Conduct a soil test in a new or untested garden to determine soil pH and the content of vital nutrients in your garden. While easy test kits are available at most garden centres, sending your soil samples to a professional laboratory gives you a more accurate and complete picture. To gather soil, scrape on the surface free of sticks, stones and other debris. Utilizing a stainless-steel trowel, dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep and have a soil scraping from the side of hole. Repeat this in at least six distinct spots on your garden, combining the trials together in a clean plastic bucket. Do this a few months before planting — it might take up to four weeks to receive your results back and you need enough time to work in any recommended amendments.

Adjusting pH

Although beans are not overly special about fertility, they don’t prefer a soil pH from the 6 to 6.8 range. This measurement of the soils’ level of acidity or alkalinity affects their wellbeing. If the pH is from the desired variety, plant growth goes down — the beans cannot uptake the nutrients and minerals they need from the soil. In this weakened condition, they are more susceptible to fungus and disease. Most soils in moist, wooded spaces tend toward the acidic variety and need a shot of agricultural lime worked into the soil to increase pH. Ideally, this slow-release soil amendment should be added a few months before planting time.

Nitrogen and Phosphorous

Nitrogen is a vital component in bean’s photosynthesis and leaf development. A deficiency causes yellowing leaves and an overall paleness. But like all beans, legumes possess the capability to make their own nitrogen. Unless your soil test indicates a serious nitrogen deficiency, then avoid adding any to your garden bed. Excess nitrogen ends in boisterous leaf growth at the expense of fruit production. Simply dusting your beans with a seed inoculant at planting time primes them to make as much nitrogen as they need. Phosphorous is just another basic nutrient. It is required for reproduction, cell growth and fruit production. Too little stunts plants and also an excess can add an unwanted bitter flavor. Adhere to the recommendations from your soil test results for any required phosphorous.


The all-around soil enhancer, compost needs to be a part of the soil improvement plan irrespective of your test results. Two to 3 inches worked to your own beds helps to protect against a soil crust that can inhibit the emergence of tender new bean plants. In addition, it helps to retain moisture, improve drainage and adds beneficial microorganisms. Furthermore, compost suppresses diseases and insects while promoting higher yields.

Growing Tips

This warm-season crop should not be implanted until soil temperatures have been at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant seeds 1 inch deep, 2 to 4 inches apart, keeping the soil moist but not soaked throughout the germination period. After plants have fully emerged, thin them to each 4 ins and mulch with straw, wood chips, grass clippings or leaves to keep moisture and moderate soil temperature. Overhead watering encourages leaf disease — use a soaker hose or water at soil level. Planting every 2 weeks extends you season. Pick often to encourage production and plant beans at a new spot each year to discourage any disease buildup.

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Self-Pollinating Plum Tree Varieties

Self-Pollinating Plum Tree Varieties

Maintaining a house orchard is an enjoyable and rewarding endeavor that may offer abundant, tree-ripened, home grown fruit. Plum trees (Prunus sp.) Are a natural easy-to-grow choice for an amateur grower, producing sweet, succulent fruits that are excellent for fresh eating and also make delicious jams, jellies, pies and sauces. Although many plum trees need cross-pollination, some varieties are self-fruitful, which makes it feasible to plant one tree and harvest plums.

Purple Plums

Plum trees create small to medium fruits with skin in different colors, depending on the number. The most common color is purple, from reddish purple into your real, dark, bluish-purple shade. Among self-fruitful trees using purple-skinned fruit, the number “Stanley” is a trusted grower, with mid-season fruit with skin that is an extremely dark purple. Its fruits are ideal for canning or drying. “Brooks” is just another tree which reliably produces abundant purple plums, a bit larger than those of “Stanley.” All these are best suited for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9.

Red Plums

A number of plum varieties have fruit with red or yellow-to-red skin. These plums are usually a bit larger than many purple plums plus they often get thinner skin. The number “Santa Rosa” is a good choice, producing tangy-flavored fruits which are excellent for fresh eating and also make good pies and other desserts. The number “Methley” is a particularly fast-growing tree which produces aromatic blossoms followed by sweet succulent plums with red skins and crimson-colored flesh. “Methley” grows best in USDA zones 4 through 9, while “Santa Rosa” is slightly less hardy and recommended for zones 5 through 9.

Cherry Plums

Cherry plum trees (Prunus cerasifera) get their name from the small size of their plums, closely resembling cherries in some cases. These hard trees are self-fertile and need little pruning or extra maintenance. The number “Atropurpurea” has purple leaves and pink flowers, followed by little sweet red fruits about 1 inch in diameter. “Thundercloud” is also purple-leafed with fragrant spring flowers, but is also a dependable fruit producer than “Atropurpurea.” Cherry plums attract birds, squirrels and other small mammals, which means you might have to cover the tree using mesh in early summer to crop undamaged fruit. Both varieties are best-suited to USDA zones 5 through 8.


All of plum trees are usually compact trees, blooming in late winter or early spring. They are not fussy about soil, growing well in many forms, providing they are not subject to excessive moisture and also enjoy most fruit trees, they prefer full sunlight. Plum trees generally reach 10 to 20 feet high with a similar spread, depending on the range. They need an annual application of fertilizer to maintain growth; utilize a balanced 10-10-10 formula in early spring, applying 8 ounces of fertilizer for every year of the tree’s era.

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How to Generate a Backyard Pond

How to Generate a Backyard Pond

Ponds add value when making an aesthetically pleasing gathering place for your friends and family. Water features attract birds and other wildlife, creating a setting to sit back and observe. Installing your own pond allows you to have complete control over the design, dimensions, materials and place. The process is rather labor intensive and also a few steps require exactness to ensure that the pond is level and leak-free, but the final result will offer many hours of enjoyment.

Decide on a place on your pond in full sunlight which is not under trees that are big. This will promote healthy growth of plants and decrease debris. Call your neighborhood utility companies and inform them of your grinding before beginning your project; wait to come to your house, find and mark power cables, telephone lines, water pipes or sewage lines and transparent you.

Remove all plants in the pond website. Rake the ground to eliminate stones, twigs, leaves or debris. Discard the removed material in a trash bin or put it onto a pile.

Lay a garden hose positioning it in the shape of the pond. Till it marks the outline of the pond adjust the hose as needed. Spray the ground just outside of the home with spray paint to mark the perimeter. Remove.

Excavate the area inside the spray painted line with a shovel to a depth of 18 to 24 inches. Remove any stones. Gently the base of the pit. Place a plank on the base of the hole. Set in addition to the plank. Whilst watching the level check to ensure that the bottom of the hole is level by sliding the plank over soil.

Dig a 10-inch-deep from hole in the middle base of the pit. This hole is going to be the place of the pump. Level the base of the hole.

Pour of dirt around the bigger hole’s border. Smooth the dirt ridge so it slopes gradually downward away from your pond to ensure that rain falling outside of the pond will drain away from it instead of into it. Tamp the soil down firmly to fasten it in position. Lay the plank. Place the level on the plank and check to ensure the sides are in height. Insert or eliminate dirt if needed to correct the height of these edges.

Spread a 1-inch coating of sand in the base of the two holes with a rake. Tamp the sand down firmly. Examine the sand surface together with the plank and level to ensure it is even.

Cover the sand with a layer of paper to add extra cushioning. Line the sides of the hole with paper.

Lay a rubber liner that’s wider and 5 feet longer than the pond hole on the ground. Fold the liner in half lengthwise. Place the liner down one side of the pit, positioning its folded edge down the hole center. Unfold the pond liner bringing half up and over the half of the pit. Take off your shoes and step down from the pit. Walk around in the hole, pushing the liner in position with your feet until it is full contact with the ground.

Place landscape stone in the base of the hole. If wanted, pile numerous layers of stone up across the sides of the pond. Place a ring of stone around the edge of the pond, covering the edges of the liner.

Place a stone in the middle of the smaller hole. Place the pond pump. Stretch air hose and the pump’s cord across up one of those sides and then the base of the pond. Leave enough slack in either the hose and cable so they lay round the pond’s base. Position the nozzle so that the top is above the water level and also rests among stones on the side of the pond. Flex the hose’s end so that it points down toward the water. Cover with additional landscape stone to hold them and hide them. Don’t block the end of the hose.

Fill the pond with water from a garden hose. Once the water level is 2 to 3 inches below the surface of the hole stop the stream of water. Insert a bucketful of water in a river or canal to incorporate valuable microorganisms .

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How to Retrofit a Corner Cabinet Carousel in a Kitchen

How to Retrofit a Corner Cabinet Carousel in a Kitchen

Corner cabinets in a kitchen frequently result in useless space since the items stored there are difficult to see, much less reach, when they’re wanted. Retrofitting a corner cabinet with a carousel allows for simpler access and provides more usable storage space. There are two choices for retrofitting the corner cabinet to incorporate a new carousel. Select the option that fits your budget and your ability to use power tools and crawl into a little space.

Retrofit With Current Shelves

Assess the width of the corner cabinet across the wall to the interior. This measurement will help determine how large of a carousel it is possible to install.

Assess the opening of the cabinet. You will need the width and length. This measurement is the second deciding factor in the magnitude of the carousel.

Select a carousel that will fit through the opening of the cabinet. Make sure the carousel is approximately 5 inches smaller than the interior of the cabinet so you can lay it flat after it is inside.

Remove any adjustable shelves. Set them apart; you’re going to reinstall them after your carousel is set up.

Place a carousel on the bottom of your cabinet. Turn the carousel to make certain that it doesn’t rub against the sides of the cabinet. Make sure the cabinet door may shut all of the way.

Put the first shelf in addition to the underside carousel. Do not install the shelf.

Place the next carousel in addition to the shelf. Continue this process for the remaining shelves or until you’ve got the desired variety of carousel units in the cabinet.

Raise the initial shelf into place and replace the hardware that holds it. You will lose a small quantity of vertical space, which means you might need to correct the original positioning of the shelf.

Continue to lift and replace hardware to get the remaining shelves.

Retrofit Without Using Existing Shelves

Eliminate the closet door with a drill or screwdriver. Put the hardware and cabinet door aside.

Remove any present shelves with a hammer or crowbar. Be careful to not damage the structure of the cabinet.

Clean any debris from the cabinet. Check that there are no exposed nails or screws that may damage your carousel.

Assess the width of the cabinet along the wall within the cabinet. Assess the length and width of the cabinet opening. Use these measurements to choose a carousel that will fit through the opening and lay flat once within the cabinet.

Assemble the carousel after the manufacturer’s directions. You will likely need to assemble the carousel within the cabinet.

Place the assembled carousel in order that it may rotate freely and enable the door to shut.

Mark the screw holes for the top of the carousel with a permanent mark.

Move the unit apart and drill one pilot hole. Place the unit back in place.

Secure the unit by screwing one screw through the pilot hole previously drilled. The screw only has to be finger tight.

Verify the unit is flat by putting a flat together with the stick of the unit and adjust it as needed. If the unit isn’t level the carousel will not rotate properly.

Mark the screw holes for the bottom of the unit. Unscrew the single screw and move the whole unit aside.

Drill pilot holes for the remaining screws. Wash any sawdust in the bottom of the cabinet.

Put the unit in place and drill the screws into place.

Replace the cabinet door.

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When Power Seeding for a Yard Do You Need to Kill what's There?

When Power Seeding for a Yard Do You Need to Kill what's There?

Homeowners confronted with a damaged yard that has suffered from drought, insects, disease or heavy wear might wonder how they could restore their turf to its former glory. Power seeding, also known as slit seeding, can be an effective way to revive thin, tired lawns without having to kill the existing grass. Late summer through early autumn is the best time for renovating a yard by power seeding.

Candidate Yard

Your yard is a candidate for renovation with electricity seeding in case it still contains 50 percent or more of healthy turf grass coverage intermixed with the thin locations. In such a circumstance, you do not need to kill present bud. But if your lawn is mainly weeds and weedy grasses, with hardly any desirable turf grass, renovation with electricity seeding will not help. With a rather bad, weedy yard, your best bet is to kill the existing vegetation with a non-persistent herbicide, till up the soil, fertilize and re-seed with new grass.

How Seeders Work

Power-seeding machines are readily available for lease in most towns and cities. Power Damp drives grass seed into the soil at the right thickness for optimum germination. A power-seeding machine employs a string of engine-driven, rotating, vertical, knife-like blades to cut superficial parallel grooves in the soil. The grooves normally are involving 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch deep and typically spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart, although some manufacturers use a broader groove spacing. Then the machine drops grass seed from an on-board hopper to the grooves as it goes forward. This increases the seed-to-soil contact needed for a good germination rate and reduces seed reduction from hungry birds or heavy rainfall.

Employing the Machine

Mow the yard close to the ground before electricity seeding. Power seeders measure out fishing in a steady speed. The seeding rate is user-adjustable for distinct lawn grass species. The seeder manufacturer’s seeding rate recommendations typically are attached to the bud seed hopper. Manufacturers of these machines generally advise that you create two passes on the yard at a 45-degree angle to each other, together with the seeding speed set at half the recommended speed for your grass type. After seeding, examine the turf with a lawn roller to shut the open slits.

Watering and Mowing

Lightly water the newly renovated lawn when possible. Maintain the top 1/2 inch of soil consistently moist but not soaking wet for the first three weeks after seeding. As a result, you apply 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water every day. Once the bud is well-established, it is possible to water deeply once or twice per week. Start mowing when the grass reaches 4 inches high. Set the mower height to 3 inches.

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How to Wash Pans With Cream of Tartar and Vinegar

How to Wash Pans With Cream of Tartar and Vinegar

Eliminate burned-on gunk from metal pots and pans as well as ceramic or glass cookware without resorting to dangerous, expensive chemical cleaners. You can even clean crusty spills from your stove’s burner pans with vinegar and cream of tartar.

Process for Use

Cream of tartar is the powdered form of crystals of potassium bitartrate that occur naturally within wine barrels and vats. To scrub and bleach away baked-on food and stains, mix equal parts of cream of tartar using vinegar to make a paste and apply it using a cloth to metal, glass, ceramic or nonstick pans. If the whole bottom of a pan is covered using scorched food remnants, mix 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar per quart of water, and boil the solution in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Prepare enough solution to completely cover the scorched place. Scrub the pan once the solution has cooled, and repeat if necessary. Increase the boiling time for heavy buildup.

The Way It Works

Both cream of tartar and vinegar are acids which soften and loosen the food particles in the surface of the pan. In a paste, partially dissolved cream of tartar crystals can act as a mild scouring and polishing representative to rate cleaning and to shine the surface. Cream of tartar also has light bleaching properties.

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