Know Some Benefits Of Adding A Fence To Your Backyard

Yards are extremely versatile. Your landscaping will help it look its best but fencing will not only add style but security. While open yards are beautiful, there’s a lack of security and sense of useable space that’s all your own.

While some homeowners choose to leave their yard unfenced, others choose to install a fence for style and security, keeping intruders and other unwelcome guests out. An unfenced yard can leave you defenseless. Here are the benefits of adding a fence to your yard.

There are numerous benefits when you add a fence to your yard. If you’re ready to start your fence installation, contact a fencing pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Backyard Fencing Installation Costs

Like any home improvement project, there is an initial investment needed. If you don’t already have a fence for your yard, you’ll need to install a new fence. Of course, prices can vary greatly depending on what material you choose and how much of it you’ll need. The average cost to install a fence is $2,401 with most homeowners spending between $1,773 to $260.

You’ll also want to carefully plan for your new fence installation. Some areas have regulations that may restrict the height or types of materials you can use. Research what your area requires before beginning any new fencing project.

1. Increase Property Value

Adding a fence to you home can increase your property value, meaning you’ll see a good ROI when it comes time to sell. Of course, this depends on the type of fence you choose to install. A wood privacy fence or picket fence will increase salability as opposed to a standard chain link fence.

2. Deter Unwelcome Guests

While a fence can add style, it also aids in protection. While there is some debate among experts if privacy fences are enough to keep burglars out, there are anti-climbing measures you can take to ensure your home’s safety and your backyard’s privacy.

Additionally, fencing can help keep pests out of your yard. Wooden panel fencing is a great way to keep larger rodents out of your garden and backyard.

3. Keep Pets & Children Nearby

It’s important for the entire family to be able to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of your own backyard; this includes children and pets. A fence ensures their safety and peace-of-mind for you. While you should always keep an eye on your children and pets when they are outside, you can take comfort in knowing they won’t stray out of sight.

For pets, knowing the type of fence to get is important. Smaller dogs can easily get through holes in or under fencing. To ensure security, make sure the fence is in good condition.

4. Maintain Privacy

If your backyard is your oasis, keep it that way with a privacy fence. Many homeowners are turning to privacy fences for a sense of peace and calm in their yard. The average cost to install a privacy fence is between $3 and $13 per linear foot, excluding the cost of materials, which could vary greatly depending on what you choose.

However, homeowners don’t need a tall fence to maintain a sense of privacy in their yard. A small wood fence could provide the feeling of privacy without making your neighborhood completely out of view. This is also a great option for those on a budget as well.

5. Decrease Sound

For those who live near a busy street or even noisy neighbors, a solid fence can be a great barrier to block out sounds and create a more peaceful yard. Certain styles of fence have sound-absorbing insulation that is effective in blocking out area noise from your yard.

6. Additional Style

There’s no doubt that fencing adds a unique style to any yard. A white picket fence can turn ugly landscaping into something lovely. A rustic wood fence can give any home the vintage look. With so many fence styles available, the options are endless.

Because chain link fences are the cheaper option, many homeowners turn to this when they’re looking to install their fence. However, they are not initially a beautiful addition. There are plenty of DIY ways you can dress up your chain link fence for style. Planting a vine or spreading shrub, such as wisteria, will add natural greenery to your fence. Reed screens are another way to make a chain link fence, and increase privacy, while still on a budget. Get creative!

Fence Maintenance

Of course, with all these benefits, one of the biggest hesitations homeowners have is the maintenance and care a fence will require. The worry of repairs tops the list. The good news is that prices are reasonable, the average cost to repair a fence is $446, with most homeowners spending between $306 and $484.

For wood fencing, staining is necessary to keep it looking great. You’ll need to inspect a wood fence more often than other types of fencing to see if any nails need to be replaced or moisture has not taken a toll on your fenceposts.

Know More About Wood Fencing

Elegance and style, that’s what a wood fence brings to your yard. Many times, it’s associated with the ideal home. And for a good reason, a wood fence is a long-lasting option for your landscaping.

However, before you begin your wood fence installation, there are a few things you should know. While there are many benefits to this style, there of course, are some drawbacks. Here is all you need to know about wood fencing and how to care for it.

One of the best ways to ensure proper installation of your new wood fence is with the help of a pro. Contact a fencing contractor today for up to four quotes from pros in your area for free.

Wood Fence Cost

Despite what some might think, a wood fence can be an affordable option for your yard. The costs of a wood fence generally depend on the size of the yard. Without pro installation, the average cost of a wood picket fence are between $3 and $75 per linear foot. Higher wood fences for privacy can range anywhere from $25 to $100 per panel.

Wood Fence Styles

When you think of a wood fence, what comes to mind? Often people think of the white picket look around the outside of a house. But the truth is, wood fencing comes in many different styles beyond that. Here are a few styles to consider when looking at wood fence options:

  • Board On Board Fencing: Used mostly in a wood privacy fence. No spaces between boards allows for your own outdoor oasis.
  • Spaced Picket Fencing: Picket boards spaced evenly. Does not allow for privacy but is a great decorative element
  • Convex Wood Fencing: Like solid board fencing but has a curved top.
  • Shadowbox Wood Fence: Unlike certain types of wood fencing, this style looks the same on both sides.
  • Wood Fence Rail: For a rustic look, this fencing option simply faces two or three boards horizontally between posts, leaving a wide gap between.

Wood Fence Panels

The type of wood you choose can help determine the maintenance and style of your new fence. Wood fence panels come in many varieties. Depending on your budget and the look you desire, here are some options to explore:

  • Whitewood
  • Southern Yellow Pine
  • Cypress
  • Western Red Cedar
  • Redwood
  • Eastern Red Cedar

Wood Privacy Fence

If you truly want your yard to be a personal outdoor oasis, a wood privacy fence might be the best choice for your yard. Wood fences are generally 6’ high. However, depending on your town and neighborhood association, there may be other regulations that you must follow. Unless you have extensive experience, privacy fencing should be installed by a pro. The average cost of a wood privacy fence is between $3-$75 per square foot. Much of this cost comes from the wood type and materials.

Wood privacy fences come in a variety of styles. For a traditional look, stick with a straight or dog ear cut at the top. To add a little bit of style to your wood privacy fence, consider a lattice top fence. All are great choices to add a long-lasting look to your yard while getting the backyard privacy that’s desired.

Wood Fence Installation

When you’ve chosen your wood fence materials and worked out the details of length and height, it’s time to install. To get the job done correctly, we don’t advise a wood fence installation as a DIY project. A contractor will ensure your wood fence is installed correctly and up to any codes that are specific for your area. The average cost to install a wood fence is $2,401, with most homeowners spending between $1,733 and $2,680.

The size of your yard and the area you want fenced will determine the time it takes. Most wood fence installations take about a week to complete, but this can vary based on size.

Wood Fence Care & Maintenance

Once your wood fence is installed, it’s time to enjoy!  You now have an outdoor space for you and your family to play games, relax and entertain. However, wood fencing does require some maintenance to keep it looking great. You’ll want to check your fence about every six to nine months to ensure all the nails and boards are secure, with no cracks or damage. Through routine inspections of your fence, you’ll be able to repair any damages before they become a larger problem. The average cost to repair a fence is $446, with most homeowners spending between $306 and $484.

Over time, you may also notice that the paint or stain has weathered. Wood fencing requires you to repaint or re-stain every few years. This is a project you certainly can DIY in a weekend or two, depending on how large your fence is.

Learn More About Backyard Safety For Your Pets

While you may love the look of your yard, chances are, your pets might not feel the same. Your backyard should be a safe environment for all, including your furry family members.

Take the time to create a secure and safe environment for your beloved pets. For many, backyard safety for pets applies to their dogs, while those with outdoor cats should be aware of the potential dangers in their yard. If you’re ready to create a safer yard for all, see a few helpful backyard safety tips.

One of the first steps to creating a backyard your pets will love is with a secure fence. Contact a fencing contractor today for up to four quotes from pros in your area for free.

Backyard Fence

One of the first things any pet owner should do is install a fence in your backyard. There are many instances of families losing their beloved dog or cat, simply because they ran away. You can avoid this by installing a fence that keeps them inside the yard at all times. While any fence will do, be sure your pet can’t climb up and over, like with a chain link fence. A wood privacy fence is your best bet for a pet safe yard. The average cost to install a privacy fenceis between $3/sf and $13/sf.

If you already have a fence, be sure to check it regularly for any holes, gaps or weak areas where your pet may be able to slip away. For small dogs and cats especially, a small hole is an easy escape for them. If you find any issues with your current fencing, get them repaired immediately.

Pet Safe Weed Killers

Every year, new weeds tend to sprout up in the yard. Of course, you’ll want to do whatever it takes to get rid of them. However, you must consider your pet when choosing a weed control solution. Weed killers can have negative effects on your pets such as vomiting or even long-term damages if infested. If you’re concerned about choosing the right pet safe solution for your cat or dog, it’s best to contact a landscaping pro who can help, especially for stubborn weeds.

Of course, if you’re looking to get rid of a few pesky weeds, there are some natural DIY solutions you can try that won’t harm your pet. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pour boiling water over the weed.
  • Use salt in pavement and cracks where weeds grow.
  • Spray the weed with vinegar. This may take a few applications

Create A Shady Spot

In the hot summer weather, humans stay much cooler than their furry counterparts. Always be conscious of the weather before playing or walking your animal outside. In hot and humid temperatures, opt to play with them in the air conditioning.

However, pets might still want a place to cool off, even in nicer weather. Be sure they have a shady spot to relax and hide from the sunshine. If you have a dog, a small pool could be a fun playtime option for the summer where they can keep cool and have fun in the yard.

Remove Poisonous Plants

You may not realize it, but some plants are poisonous to pets if touched or ingested. For kittens and puppies that spend time outdoors, they are likely to want to chew anything they see. Check your yard for plants that could be toxic for your pets, such as:

  • Azaleas
  • Lilies
  • Tulips
  • Daffodil
  • Holly
  • Foxglove
  • English Ivy
  • Morning Glory
  • Nightshade

In addition, it’s a good idea to keep pets out of the garden as much as possible, for the safety of your animal and growing produce. Here’s a list of vegetable garden plants that are poisonous to pets.

  • Potato
  • Onion
  • Radishes
  • Chives
  • Peppermint
  • Tomatoes

Repel Fleas & Ticks

Fleas and ticks are a problem for both pet and owner. It can become an unwelcome infestation for your home. With pets rolling around in the grass, there is always a chance they can attract fleas or ticks to their skin. Of course, the first step to repelling fleas and ticks is prevention. Check with your veterinarian to see what flea and tick treatment might be best for your pet, based on breed and size.

In addition, there are ways you can prevent fleas and ticks from becoming a problem in your yard. A few home remedies you can do is keeping a freshly cut and dry yard, as moisture attracts fleas to an area. Secondly, put cedar chips down in shady areas of your yard. Fleas thrive in darker, cooler areas but can’t stand the smell of cedar. This is a great preventive measure to take.

If you find yourself with a flea or tick infestation, it’s best to contact a pest control contractor. They can get rid of the problem quickly and safely. The average cost to hire an insect control service is $211, with most homeowners spending between $134 and $198.

Keep Garbage Cans Out Of Reach

As much as you love your pets, you might not love the mischief they get into. A safe yard for them means keeping your garbage cans and trash out of reach. Dogs will tear through the trash to find all your food scraps that could potentially be poisonous and make a mess in your yard. Avoid all these issues by keeping your trash cans elsewhere.

Keep Pets Off Of Grass After Fertilizing

While fertilizing your grass is a necessary and routine treatment, it can often be dangerous if it gets on your pet’s skin or ingested. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rash, excessive urination and in the worst cases, death. The safest thing you can do for your pet is keep him or her off the grass for 72 hours after fertilizer application, giving it enough time to soak into the ground

Let’s Learn About Growing and Using Coreopsis in the Flower Garden

Overview and Description

Coreopsis are native American prairie and woodland plants. Their ruggedness and profuse blooms have made them popular with plant breeders and there are over 100 different species available, although not all are perennial plants. Low maintenance, drought tolerant and long blooming, Coreopsis are workhorses in a sunny flower border. Their common name, “tickseed,” is supposedly for the seeds’ resemblance to ticks. That doesn’t stop the birds from devouring them if you leave the seed heads on during the winter. Goldfinches, in particular, enjoy Coreopsis seeds.

Most Coreopsis ​are clump forming, holding their daisy-like flowers on tall stems, above the foliage. There the similarity ends. There is a good amount of variety among Coreopsis species. C. grandiflora has bright yellow flowers on tall stems that bloom all summer. C. rosea has finely textured leaves with pink daisy-like flowers with yellow centers. The increasingly popular C. verticillata is called the thread leaf coreopsis because of its extremely fine and ferny leaves. The flowers are also delicate and profuse. A red C. verticillata has recently been introduced.

Botanical Name

Coreopsis

Common Name(s)

Tickseed

Hardiness Zone

Hardiness will vary with species and cultivar and not all Coreopsis varieties are perennial plants. Many of the newer varieties are still be tested for hardiness and their ratings may change.

But in general, most of the perennial coreopsis are hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9.

Mature Size

Plant size will vary with species, age, and growing conditions, but most correopsis grow somewhere between 10–18 inches tall with a spread of about 12–24 inches. They tend to grow in clumps, but many varieties will self-sow throughout your garden.

Coreopsis will bloom best in full sun, but it can also be successfully grown in partial shade. The plants may get a bit lankier in partial shade, but they will adapt. In areas with intense dry, heat, coreopsis may even prefer some afternoon shade.

Bloom Period

Most varieties will start blooming in early summer and repeat bloom periodically through to fall. Deadheading the spent flowers will encourage more blooms.

Suggested Varieties:

  • C. grandiflora ‘Early Sunrise’ – Large, semi-double bright yellow flowers starting in early summer (12–24″)
  • C. grandiflora ‘Golden Showers’ – profuse cheery yellow blooms on long stems. (18–36″)
  • C. verticillata ‘Moonbeam – buttery yellow flowers, extremely airy. (12–18″)
  • C. verticillata ‘Zagreb’ – Golden yellow flowers. Dependable (12–18″‘)
  • C. rosea ‘Nana’ – Mauve-pink, dwarf variety that spreads nicely (8″)

Design Tips:

Coreopsis work well in any type of border. Because of their long bloom time, they make great fillers. Coreopsis grandiflora has a strong tendency to self-seed and makes a great choice for​ cottage type gardens. They pair well with other prairie flowers, like coneflowers and Gaillardia. They also make excellent cut flowers.

The thread-leaf varieties soften both bold leaved plants and hard edges and add airy movement to gardens, but they tend to be short-lived. The yellows blend beautifully with the purples and blues of iris, liatris and salvia ‘Victoria’.

Growing Tips:

Most coreopsis varieties are very easy to grow and are not particular about soil quality or soil pH. Many can be grown from seed, either started indoors, 4-6 weeks before your last expected frost, or direct seeded outdoors. As mentioned, many will seed themselves; however, the hybrid varieties do not grow true to seed.

Maintenance

Coreopsis will need regular water when first planted until they are established. After that, they are quite drought tolerant.

Deadheading will keep the plants blooming throughout the summer. Some of the smaller flowered varieties are difficult to deadhead and you may prefer to shear the plants, once the first flush of flowers fade. They will fill in quickly.

Most coreopsis plants will form tidy clumps, but some of the taller species may require staking to look attractive, especially if grown in partial shade.

Although they are rugged plants, they don’t tend to live more than 3 to 5 years. A decrease in flowering is a signal it is time to divide the plants or plant some new ones from seed.

Pests and Problems:

For the most part, coreopsis grow problem free. In damp seasons they many fall prey to snails and slugs and fungal diseases can affect them. To avoid these problems as much as possible, give them plenty of air circulation and plant them in full sun.

Learn More About Green Thumb

With all the effort you put into your garden, have you noticed that your plants are looking less than their best? Maybe you’ve changed your watering routine or added fertilizer, but nothing seems to be working. The solution may be found in a simple soil test.

A soil test can tell you what the ground may need for your plants to truly thrive. Most times, this is overlooked by new homeowners. However, it’s the best way to better understand the soil your working with and what plants will bloom best. If you’ve lost your green thumb recently, here’s why you should consider soil testing and what methods work best.

To learn the most about the soil, you’ll want an expert opinion. Contact a landscaping pro for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Why Test Your Soil

If you’re an avid gardener or investing in your landscaping, soil testing is not a step you’ll want to miss. There are many types of soil testing you can do to determine what’s in your ground. Even larger projects such as an inground pool installation or a home addition, a soil test can determine if there are any contaminates that can impact your new installation.

Soil Testing Costs

The costs of soil testing can vary greatly if you decide to make this a DIY project or if you contact a pro. While DIY tests are easy and save money, you may not find out all you’d like to know about what’s in your ground. The average cost to test soil is $1,142 with most homeowners spending between $947 and $1,550.

Types Of Soil Tests

Not all soil tests are the same. There are simple tests that can help you determine how acidic your soil is which impacts plants of all kinds, or other more in-depth tests that can give you more information about what minerals are in your soil. While some tests you can do yourself, others should always be done by a contractor. Here are a few common soil tests:

Soil Density Test

If you’re looking to add an addition to your home or build a foundation, you’ll want to understand your soil’s density.  This means you’ll know how your soil changes with or without moisture.

Test Soil pH

The pH levels of soil can highly impact the success of a plant to grow. Plants will often include certain guidelines of what pH level they can take in the soil. A pH level below 5.0 is toxic for plants and greens. If you notice your plants dying in your yard, test for this and know that you can change the levels with the right care.

Fertilization Testing

If you’d like to know more about what plants will thrive in your soil, a soil fertility test might be the best choice. This will give you the most information about what minerals, chemicals and nutrients are found in your soil. Then, you can determine what fertilizers may need to be added to improve your soil quality.

Soil Test Pro

To understand the complete chemical makeup of your soil and seek professional advice, it’s a good idea to contact a soil testing contractor who can help you understand what’s actually in the ground. It’s a good idea to contact a professional when you’re starting new construction, adding a pool or installing a new landscaping project. They can identify all the elements in your ground as well as provide with solutions you need to improve your soil. This is the best way to find out all there is to know so you can successfully complete your outdoor project.

Soil Testing Kit

For those looking to test their soil themselves, many local home and garden stores sell soil testing kits. While these kits are not as extensive as most, you can find out the basic things you need to know about your soil to determine if there are any issues. Soil testing kits range from $5 on the low end to $60 for a more extensive test. Some include all the materials you need to test your soil on the spot for pH levels, nitrogen, phosphorus and more by mixing your soil with as simple solution and measuring the color with a reader. Others require you to send your results to a lab, where they will return your data to you within a few weeks.

For simple gardening, a DIY soil test kit could be all you need to tell if your soil is healthy enough to grow fruits, vegetable or flowers. For new homeowners, this is a great place to start to get to know your new backyard a little better.

Simple Soil Test

For those who truly want to DIY, there are a few ways to test soil with ingredients you have at home. While they may not always give you the accuracy you desire for the solutions needed, you can get an idea of the pH levels in your soil. Because everything is all natural, it’s also a fun project you can do with your children as a fun science lesson!

You’ll need baking soda, vinegar, distilled water and soil samples in two cups. To start, add vinegar to one of the cups of soil. If the reaction is fizzy, that means the soil is mostly alkaline. Next, add the distilled water to the other soil sample with and a few spoonfuls of baking soda. If the soil reacts, your soil is mostly acidic. If neither sample reacts, your soil is neutral. From there, you can choose what plants will thrive on the type of soil you have.

Beautifull Ornamental Grasses For Your Yard

Landscaping can be one of the most challenging projects for homeowners. It can seem never-ending and if you don’t have a green thumb, it might have increased difficulty. While flowers and vegetable gardens are nice, for the homeowner without much time on their hands, to truly make their yard look great, there’s another option.

Ornamental grasses and plants are extremely versatile and hardy. While they do need some upkeep and care, they require much less than other garden plants. Create a beautiful yard with these ornamental grass and plant ideas.

As we mentioned, landscaping is a big project. If you think you could use some help maintaining your yard this year, contact a landscaping contractorfor up to four quotes from pros in your area for free.

Landscaping Costs

Planting ornamental grasses and plants are a budget friendly option for any home. Generally, the style you choose for your plant will determine the costs, but you can expect to pay between $10 and $20 per plant. These can be transplanted in your yard and continue growing. Some homeowners prefer to start their plants from seed, which can be between $5 and $10 per seed packet. However, full growth of these plants will take longer and you may not get them in the exact location you desire. Regardless of how you start your ornamental grasses, be sure to plant based on the sunlight requirement recommended for the species.

While ornamental grasses and plants are fairly low maintenance, they will need some upkeep, including proper watering. If you live in a drier climate or you often forget to water, you may want to invest in a sprinkler system. These can be extremely beneficial in keeping your ornamental grasses, plants and other landscaping healthy. The average cost to install a sprinkler is $2,317, with most homeowners spending between $2,014 and $2,682.

Ornamental Pepper Plants

If you’re looking to add a little color to your yard, an ornamental pepper plant is right for you. If you’ve had bad luck with vegetables before, don’t fear. Generally, these plants don’t provide the kind of peppers you would use to cook with, as they are purely decorative. This is an annual plant that changes color as the peppers mature. They also make a great addition to your container garden, as they require very little maintenance besides regular watering.

Ornamental Cabbage Plants

Similarly to ornamental pepper plants, ornamental cabbage plants add color to your yard in a unique way. Additionally, there’s no need to worry about growing this for culinary purposes. Ornamental cabbage plants are annuals that grow low to the ground and have a flower-like appearance. Most come in dual color varieties of green, purple, pink, red and white.

Ornamental Grasses For Shade

Is there a place in your yard that’s too shady for most flowers? There are plenty of ornamental grasses for shade that will thrive in that environment. They come in all styles and colors that will fit in with your landscaping style. Here are a few ideas:

  • Fall Blooming Reed Grass
  • Creeping Lylyturf
  • Greater Wood Rush
  • Sweet Flag
  • Hobb Grass

Tall Ornamental Grasses

Not only can ornamental grass be a low-maintenance decorative element in your yard, but it can also be a solution for privacy. Tall ornamental grasses and plants block noise and eyesight from your backyard. It can also be cheaper than adding a privacy fence. Here are some tall ornamental grass ideas for your yard:

  • Morning Light Maiden Grass
  • Fireworks Grass
  • Zebra Grass
  • Frost Grass
  • Northwind Switch Grass
  • Feather Reed Grass

Low Growing Ornamental Grass

If you’re looking to accent a certain part of your yard, low growing ornamental grasses will help your landscaping feature stand out. Since ornamental grasses are extremely versatile, they can be planted alongside trees, plants and landscaping features easily. They can be just what your feature needs to stand out or add a pop of color. Here are a few low-growing ornamental grass ideas:

  • Copper Fringe
  • Acorus
  • Scotch Moss
  • Blue Festuca
  • Dwarf Fountain Grass
  • Monkey Grass

Annual Or Perennial Ornamental Grass

Regardless of your gardening project, you must consider if you want annual or perennial plants in your yard. This is true for your ornamental grasses. Annuals need to be planted once a year and are great for anyone looking to change the variety in their yard. Some homeowners choose to change their ornamental grasses seasonally for spring, summer and fall foliage colors.

Perennial plants are perfect for the low-maintenance landscaper. Perennial ornamental grass grows back yearly for two to four years. Perennial ornamental grass comes in many varieties and is likely to retain its color longer.

When To Trim Ornamental Grass

Though they are low maintenance, your ornamental grass and plants may need care. Over time, especially with perennial ornamental grass, you may need to trim the plant so it stays healthy and contained. The best time to trim your ornamental grasses is when they turn brown for the season. This allows them to grow back healthy and full. Using trimmers, cut them down 4” to 5” and allow them to grow back naturally.

Know How Much to Plant Per Person in the Vegetable

How much of each vegetable should you plant to feed a family of 4 for the growing season and beyond? The answer to that will depend on a number of factors such as, which vegetables you like to eat and whether you’ll be using your vegetable garden to grow for fresh eating or for preserving.

How much of each vegetable to plant also depends on the size and layout of your garden. You generally get more yield in a small space if you garden in wide rows.

Knowing how much of each vegetable to plant is a bit trickier. That depends on how well things grow, which vegetables you prefer and how often you’ll be eating it. In truth, you won’t really know how many vegetables to plant for your family until you’ve got a few years experience under your belt.

 Even then, tastes change.

Some plants simply take up more space. Artichokes, asparagus and rhubarb are perennial plants that need to sit in the garden all season. Vining crops, like squash, cucumbers and melons will need room to spread out or up. On the other hand, many crops can be planted in succession, planting only a few feet of a row every 2-3 weeks so that a new crops is continually coming in.

If you have limited space, you can extend your harvest season by planting different types of the same vegetable: early, mid and late maturing varieties.

Use the chart on the following page as general guidelines of how much to plant, for a family of 4, for the most commonly grown vegetables.

The chart below is meant to give you some general guidelines for the most commonly grown vegetables. Of course, if you love peppers but hate cabbage, you can always adjust.

How Much to Plant (for a Family of 4)

Asparagus 40 Plants Perennial
Beets 10′ Spring and Fall Crop
Broccoli 5 Plants Cool Season Crop
Brussels Sprouts 5 Plants Cool Season Crop
Beans, Bush 15′ Succession Plant
Beans, Pole 3 Poles Single Planting
Cabbage 5 Plants Spring and Fall Crop
Carrots 10′ Succession Plant
Cauliflower 5 Plants Spring and Fall Crop
Chard 5 Plants Re-Grows after Harvesting Outer Leaves
Corn 15′ Succession Plant and Multiple Varieties
Cucumbers 2 hills Single Planting
Greens 10′ Spring and Fall Crop
Kale 5 Plants Single Planting
Lettuce, Leaf 10′ Succession Plant
Onions 5′ Single Planting
Peas 10′ Succession, Spring and Fall
Peppers 3 Plants Single Planting
Radishes 5′ Succession Plant
Squash, Summer 2 Hills Single Planting, Multiple Varieties
Tomatos 5 Plants Single Planting, Multiple Varieties
Turnips 10′ Spring and Fall Crop

Tips To Caring for Ice Plants

 should be allowed to dry slightly and callus. Leave them out in the air for several hours or overnight. Then root in sandy soil, in containers. Keep the soil evenly moist, until the cutting root. You can tell they have rooted by gently tugging on them. If they offer resistance, they have rooted and can be potted up.

Maintenance:

Established plants are extremely drought tolerant, however, they do prefer regular weekly watering during the summer. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings in the winter, when they are somewhat dormant.

Flowering is more abundant if container grown plants are fed a balanced fertilizer, according to label directions. In -ground plants should be fed if the soil is poor or if blooming is sparse.

Plants can be divided or repotted in early spring.

Pests & Problems:

Weather is the biggest problem when growing Ice Plants. Few diseases have been reported, but mealy bug and scale can occasionally infest.

More Information About The Perfect Garden Path

Do you dream of a dreamy backyard? Are you looking for a clever way to access parts of your garden without stepping on any precious petals? If you haven’t considered it yet, a garden path may be right for you.

From mulch to stepping stones, there are many options when it comes to creating your perfect garden path. Even more, you have the opportunity to decorate with lawn ornaments and plants how you wish. A garden path is the perfect addition to any backyard. See a few garden path ideas to incorporate in your landscaping this year.

Ready to transform the look of your yard? Contact a landscaping pro todayfor up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Garden Path Costs

A garden path is a fairly low maintenance investment that can have a big impact on the look and function of your yard. It can improve accessibility to parts of your garden you may not otherwise be able to reach. Garden path costs vary based on the material chosen and if you decide to DIY. The average cost to install a pathway is $2,884, with most homeowners spending between $1,952 and $3,122.

 

Garden Path Materials

The cost of your garden path largely depends on the material you choose and if you choose to install it yourself.  You may even decide to use multiple materials. While you might want the help of a pro to get your cement path just right, stepping stones might be an easy DIY project. Here are a few materials you can use for your garden path:

Stepping Stone Garden Paths

Of all the options, a stepping stone garden path is the easiest to DIY. For a whimsical look, lay flat stones down on the ground. It helps level your ground first so the stones are even.

Mulch Garden Paths

If you’re ready to create a permanent path in your garden and help keep weeds from sprouting up, mulch is your answer. This is also a garden path option that many homeowners choose to DIY. You may need to dig the path into the ground to properly lay your mulch flush with the grass. The minimum costs of mulch is $200 and the maximum cost of mulch is $2,000. These costs depend on how much mulch needed and the type of mulch used.

Brick Garden Paths

A brick walkway will instantly transform the look of your garden path. A brick path is a look that will never go out of style and for good reason. Brick paths have a long lifespan and are very durable. But, this is not something you’ll want to DIY.  The cost of a brick walkway is between $8 and $18/sf.

Cement Garden Path

Similarly to the brick path, a cement path is a great, durable choice for your garden path. Cement paths can be styled to your taste and space you have available. We recommend to contact a pro who can help lay your cement garden path. The average cost of a cement path is between $6 and $12/sf.
Once your garden path is in place, there is some upkeep you need to do to keep it looking its best. First, know how to properly care for whatever material you’ve chosen to use. Mulch should be refreshed at least once a season, while brick may not need as much care for the first few years.

If you want a clean look for your garden path, consider a way to separate it from the rest of the yard by using other materials. Others, may want to include decorative plants along their path. Ornamental grasses are a great option and will come back year after year. Some homeowners choose to install lawn edging, which is simple to do on your own and keeps the grass off your path. Lawn edging is another technique to help create a clean and defined garden path. The average cost of lawn edging is between $2 and $400 depending on how much area you need to cover.

 

Garden Path Lights

If you’ll be using your garden path to move around your backyard, you might want to consider including lights to help see as it gets darker outside. Garden path lights are not just a safety feature, but they also enhance the look of your path. Solar lighting is a popular choice for path lights, as it takes no wiring to set up. Often, these will be affixed to stakes to simply stick in the ground, coming in a variety of styles. Lantern garden path lights are popular now and will add to the décor of your garden path. Stainless steel lights are another popular option to give your garden path a modern look.

 

Garden Path Lawn Ornaments

To really make a garden path stand out, you can add lawn ornaments around the path. I love the look of gazing globes in various spots near a path. There are also decorative garden path stakes you can include, that will look great and are sure to stay in place.

Don’t limit your garden path decorating to only the summer months. There are plenty of holiday light ideas you can add around your path to make it feel like you’re walking through a winter wonderland!

Dry Hydrangea Flowers

If you grow hydrangeas and have wished the beauty of their flowers would stick around long past when they are in bloom, you will be glad to hear how easy it is to dry and preserve the flowers. Hydrangeas are one of those flowers that almost dry themselves. Once dry, they can last and look beautiful for years. You can dry hydrangeas several ways, but I’ve found water drying hydrangea flowers, explained in this article, helps them retain their color and last longer.

The biggest challenge in drying hydrangeas is timing when to cut the blossoms. If you cut them in peak bloom, they have too much moisture and don’t dry quickly enough to retain their beauty. Too late, and they’ll just turn brown.

It can be hard to judge readiness with hydrangeas like ‘Annabelle’ that only go from bright white to pale green. The following steps should help you out, but in all honesty, some years it’s impossible to find flowers that are ready to cut that don’t have any spots of brown on them. If that’s the case, you can always remove the individual brown flowers, either before or after drying.

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When to Cut Hydrangeas for Drying
Pruning hydrangeas
Yann Avril/Getty Images
The ideal time to cut hydrangea blossoms for drying is toward the end of the season, August through October, when the larger petals, which are really sepals, are starting to fade or change color and the tiny flowers on top of the colorful sepals are just beginning to open. If you can’t really see the tiny flowers on your hydrangea variety, you can simply judge by the changing shades of color.

Don’t worry too much about being exact. Hydrangeas are very forgiving flowers. In fact, you can simply let them dry on the plant until the sepals feel papery. You might not get the best color and they won’t last as long as the water dried method explained in this article, but it sure is easy to do. The only time drying hydrangeas on the plant is a bad idea is during a rainy season. The flowers will turn brown before you get a chance to dry them.

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Prepping the Hydrangea Blossoms for Drying
Drying Hydrangeas – Trim Off All Leaves Before Drying Hydrangea Flowers
Drying Hydrangeas – Trim Off All Leaves Before Drying Hydrangea Flowers. Photo: © Marie Iannotti
The water drying methods helps hydrangeas retain their color while drying, and stay attractive for months. It sounds counter-intuitive to dry flowers with water, but allowing the hydrangea flowers to desiccate slowly helps them hold both their color and their shape. Even the stems seem sturdier when dried this way.

The first step is to cut each flower with a 12-18 inch stem attached. The length is for ease of handling, it’s not a science.

Then, remove all the leaves from the stems.

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The Water Drying Method for Hydrangeas
Hydrangea water drying method
Natalia Campbell of NC Photography/Getty Images
Place the freshly cut flowers in a vase with fresh water. Make sure the stems are at least half covered with water.

Move the vase to a cool spot, out of direct sunlight. The flowers will still look attractive, so go ahead and display them.

Don’t add more water as the water in the vase evaporates. It’s just there to allow your hydrangeas to dry naturally, rather than simply dry out. Once the water is totally evaporated, your hydrangeas should feel dry to the touch and be ready to use.

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Some Final Tips and Other Methods of Drying Hydrangeas
Hydrangea
Kevin Summers/Getty Images
If you prefer to air dry your flowers, you can simply hang your hydrangea blossoms upside down, by their stems. Because of their large size, this is best done with individual flowers, rather than bunching them together. Air dried hydrangeas tend to be a bit more brittle than water dried blossoms, but still beautiful.

You can also use other common flower drying techniques, like silica gel and microwaving.

While it’s not optimal, you can push the timing a bit and wait until your hydrangea blossoms have begun to pick up their autumn tones of burgundy, pink, green or blue. It’s not the ideal way to dry hydrangea flowers, but you’ll get interesting tones and they will keep for quite awhile.

However you dry your hydrangeas, expect the color to last for about 1 year. After that, it will start to fade out