How to Level a Yard Full of Holes

To avoid breaking an ankle while strolling through your yard, holes must be filled in — particularly several ones. Whether they are caused by animals or settling, the remedy would be exactly the same; filling the hole with quality soil to encourage the growth of new grass roots for a healthy lawn.

Dig under the grass in long bob with the spade and set the sod aside; this is reused after the hole is filled, if the grass seems to be healthy.

Mix the potting soil with compost or sand in equal parts in the bucket or wheelbarrow with the trowel.

Put spadefuls of the soil mix to the hole. To fight settling, bring the soil mix about an inch over the surrounding soil.

Put the removed sod back above the filled hole and then pat it in place. Water the sod extensively to establish root growth in the new soil.

Fertilize the lawn to encourage healthy root growth. Natural fertilizers — like compost or grass clippings — may provide the ideal combination of potassium or nitrogen to the soil without needing a soil test. Simply sprinkle it on the sod or new grass seedling to provide nutrients.

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Bringing in an Potted Arborvitae

Although typically grown in rows to form a hedge, arborvitaes (Thuja occidentalis) can also be grown separately in containers. When grown in pots, compact varieties like “Golden Globe,” “Sunkist” and “Woodwardii” make attractive patio plants or function as focal points in the backyard. Because containers provide little insulation into a plant’s root system, cold winter weather can harm or kill the plant. Bringing your container-grown arborvitae inside or finding other methods to protect its roots will assist the shrub endure the winter.

Making the Go

You should prepare your arborvitae because of its indoor home in late autumn. A sudden change from the bright exterior to a dark garage will confuse the plant and also weaken its increase. Aim to expose your shrub to two to three hours of sun every day by moving it into a shady spot in the backyard or sheltering it under the eave. Once the plant has been in complete shade for a week, it’s prepared to move indoors. During the arborvitae’s transition time, check and treat it for any insects. Before bringing your arborvitae indoors, add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch into the ground.

Indoor Conditions

The purpose of bringing in your arborvitae inside is to keep the roots from freezing, not to give it a room that is heated. Arborvitae stay semi-dormant during the winter and exposing them to warm temperatures will stir them from this dormancy. The perfect home for your arborvitae is at an unheated garage where it can receive indirect lighting. You do not need to provide direct sunlight, but should avoid placing the plant in total darkness. Water the plant well once you have it indoors. Next, you should only need to water the plant when the soil gets dry to a depth of 2-3 inches. As it’s mostly dormant, the plant will not need much water and watering it too much will encourage dangerous fungal growth.

Returning Outdoors

Just because you did when bringing the plant indoors, gradually get your arborvitae acclimated into the outside world. Once the threat of frost has passed and nighttime temperatures stay above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can start the process of hardening from the shrub. This simply means gradually exposing your plant to outdoor conditions. Throughout the afternoon, take your plant out to a secure and shady location for two to three hours. Over the following two weeks, increase the total amount of time your arborvitae is outside until it’s outside full time. During this transition, gradually increase the amount of sunlight your arborvitae receives and how much wind it’s exposed to.

Overwintering Options

If your arborvitae’s container is too large to transfer easily or if you don’t have indoor space for it, you will find other techniques to defend the roots during the winter. 1 option is to transplant the shrub into the ground in late autumn or to bury the container using the plant in it. In either circumstance, the surrounding garden soil provides a natural insulation for the arborvitae’s roots. If your area receives only a few days of freezing weather, then it may not be worth the attempt to bury the plant. Rather, when you learn cold weather will hit, move the pot to a protected area and surround the pot with wax or blankets. Irrespective of how you overwinter your own arborvitae, keep the shrub in partly shady conditions and reduce watering to keep the roots from rotting.

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Good Companion Plants for Bird of Paradise

Amazing orange and blue-violet blossoms evoking visions of soaring cranes growth from bird of paradise plants’ (Strelitzia reginae) broad, blue-green leaves. These 3- to 5-foot, clumping perennials anchor innumerable tropical and Mediterranean gardens out of their native South African habitat. Blooming intermittently through the year, birds of heaven bask in sunlight or partial shade across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Proper companion plants enhance their color and kind, and share similar growing conditions.

Growng Requirements

Bird of heaven works best in well-drained, organically rich soil, but is not fussy about soil type. Its moderate salt tolerance makes it a fantastic choice for protected coastal locations. Full-sun plants have shorter stalks and smaller blooms than those grown in partial shade. Most bird of paradise flowers open on the outer lawns. For the strongest visual effect, allow lots of room between the plants and their companions.

Color Compatibility

Choose Business plants with colours which dramatize the bird of paradise plant orange and blue-violet colors. Organic opposites, orange and blue play off each other on the plants themselves and about their companions. Analogous, warm yellows, pinks and browns or cool purples, greens and blues teeming with each other and with all the bird of heaven. Selecting companions that bloom in different seasons always refreshes your garden’s look.

Spring Bloomers

Combining background vines, shrubs or perennials taller than the bird of heaven with lower foreground plants unifies the lawn. For an eye-catching spring display, consider 12- to 15-inch Baby Pete (Agapanthus orientalis “Benfran” P.P. #21,705) for the foreground. A backdrop trellis or fence draped in yellow-flowering, semi-evergreen Carolina jessamine vine — suitable for USDA zones 7 though 9 — highlights the agapanthus’ clusters of clear-blue, tubular blooms. Baby Pete, hardy to USDA zones 8 through 11, retains its mounds of arching, strap-like green foliage all year.

Summer Bloomers

“Orange King” bougainvillea vine (Bougainvillea x buttiana “Orange King”) enhances bird of heaven displays in USDA zoned 10 and 11 using its heavy masses of bronze-tinged, orange blooms. Highlight its flowers’ papery texture using a foreground planting of “Blue Hobbit” dwarf sea holly (Eryngium planum “Blue Hobbit”). Just 1 foot high, this perennial’s silver-blue stems bear blue, conical flowers enclosed in stiff, lance-like blue bracts. Drought-tolerant such as the bougainvillea, “Blue Hobbit” thrives in sunlight and coastal conditions. It’s hardy in USDA zones 4 through 11.

Repeat Bloomers

Insert haunting apricot fragrance to your bird-of-paradise bed using “Conger Yellow” sweet olive (Osmanthus fragrans “Conger Yellow”). This evergreen, 10- to 15-foot shrub, suitable for a privacy screen or ornamental background hedge, has delicate spring and drop clusters of star-shaped, buttery-yellow blooms against deep-green foliage. For a festive touch, combine the sun-loving tree using foreground plantings of grassy-leaved, brilliant-orange torch-flowering “Mango Popsicle” dwarf poker (Kniphofia “Mango Popsicle” P.P.A.F.) intermingled with mounding, royal-purple-flowered Anouska Princess Lilies (Alstroemeria x “Zaprinous” P.P.# 15987). Both perennials flower from spring to fall. The sweet olive oil and 12- to 15-inch alstroemeria grow in USDA zones 8 through 11, and the dwarf poker at USDA zones 5 through 9.

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How to Install a Poly Water Line for an Icemaker

Poly water lines for built-in or modular icemakers are an alternative to traditional copper tubing lines. Poly water lines come in icemaker kits which you find at home centres and many appliance accessory stores. The kits include the poly tubing, threaded fittings along with a saddle valve for kitchens which don’t have a separate water valve to get an icemaker. A do-it-yourself enthusiast can easily put in a poly water in a brief time.

Saddle Valve

Shut off the cold water supply valve under the sink. Loosen and remove the nut at one end of the saddle valve bracket having an open-end rhythm. Swivel the bracket to one side.

Fit the saddle valve onto the cold water supply line for the sink. Rank the valve so the handle is accessible as opposed to difficult to reach. Swivel the bracket into place and reattach the end at the bottom of the valve by tightening the nut.

Turn the handle of the saddle valve clockwise until the tap to the internal end of the handle contacts that the cold water supply line. Do not tighten the handle and tap into the sully line till the poly water is set up and attached.

Poly Water Line

Unplug the icemaker or the refrigerator-freezer having an icemaker. Move the unit, as necessary, so that you can access the threaded inlet-nozzle to your icemaker water line at the back.

Slide one of the provided female fittings onto one end of the poly water-line tube using all the open end of the matching toward the end of the line. Slide among the compression washers onto the end of the line.

Insert the end of the poly tube completely onto the threaded inlet nozzle until it stops. Slide the washer and matching to the nozzle and then screw to the matching by hand. Tighten the matching having an open-end wrench. Fit the portion of the tubing near the nozzle into the water-line bracket on the back of the unit. Tighten the bracket-screw with a screwdriver.

Establish a power or cordless drill with a 1/2-inch drill bit. Drill a hole through the side of the sink cabinet which teeming with the saddle valve. Insert the unattached end of the poly tube through the hole. Reach within the sink cabinet and pull on the tube into the cabinet Skip this step if a water valve to get your icemaker is installed.

Cut off the excess part of the poly tubing within the sink cabinet or at the water valve to your icemaker with a knife. Make certain there is enough therefore that the tubing has some flexibility and isn’t pulled tightly in the back of the icemaker inlet nozzle.

Slide the remaining feminine matching and compression washer onto the end of the tubing. Insert the end fully into the threaded port to the saddle valve or icemaker valve. Slide the washer and matching to the end of the port, then screw the matching on and then tighten it with the wrench.

Tighten the handle to the saddle valve clockwise to tap into the cold water supply line. Turn on the cold water supply valve under the sink. If the water line connects to a icemaker valve, turn on the valve. Move the icemaker or refrigerator-freezer back into place.

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What Can You Spray in Your Yard to Get Rid of Spiders?

Spiders scare some people. All these eight-legged terrors are valuable predators which are typically harmless and naturally control unwanted insects infesting your yard. Despite their advantages, you might consider spiders undesirable, and wish to work with sprays to eliminate them in your yard.

Chemicals and Spiders

Chemical control is difficult and will even kill other predatory insects that feed on the very same bugs as spiders. This can cause an increase in the insects which predators used to dominate. Some commercial products are intended to keep burglars from entering your home. These products are called barrier sprays and — when applied around your house’s foundation — avoid spiders from crossing the residue left behind from the chemical. University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Program notes which controlling spiders using pesticides is difficult since the chemical must come in contact with the chemical and spider deposits does not supply a durable effect.

Chemical Control

Michigan State University Extension implies that if you have to use substances, use insecticides containing diazinon to control spiders outdoors. Pyrethrin, allethrin and resmethrin are a few other active ingredients in insecticides which may kill spiders both indoors and outside. Tese products generally must be sprayed directly on the spider to destroy it. University of Minnesota Extension suggests spraying a broad-spectrum insecticide on the outside of buildings — including in cracks, crevices and under siding — as a last resort.

Cultural Control

To assist drive spiders out of your yard, remove any things where spiders could construct a internet. Some species of spiders will create a home on dense vegetation, debris or leaf litter. By removing those things and maintaining plant development close to the home neat and trim, you will discourage them from remaining. Move outdoor lighting away from doorways and windows since the lights bring the delicious insects spiders feed. Instead, replace white light bulbs with yellow bulbs which are made not to attract bugs. Regularly removing spiderwebs from outside structures — like garage and house siding — will help encourage burglars to leave the area.

Other Alternatives

Diatomaceous earth isn’t a fluid spray but it can help control unwanted insects, like spiders, crawling in your yard. This soft, sedimentary rock contains the fossilized remains of phytoplankton, an aquatic organism. DE is crushed into a fine dust and sold as a nontoxic or organic alternative for pest control. As the spider crawls over the DE, the dust absorbs lipids from the spider’s exoskeleton, which causes dehydration and eventually death. DE isn’t harmful to people or animals but may also cause nose and throat irritation if you inhale the dust. It may be used both indoors and outside to control a range of insects including spiders, cockroaches and earwigs.

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Powerful all-natural Flea Pesticides to Use in a Yard

Fleas multiply rapidly and can live anywhere from a few weeks to a year. Fleas living outdoors might hitch a ride on you or your pets and infest the interior of your home. Keeping the amount of fleas in your lawn under control helps prevent infestations on your pet. Several all-natural pesticides control the outside flea population without poisonous chemicals and harsh residue.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural approach to control fleas and other annoying pests. DE is a sedimentary material containing fossilized diatoms. It is made up of sharply crystalline particles that cut the insect’s exoskeleton as they move through it. Diatomaceous earth causes dehydration and death in insects. This powder-like material is usually harmless to pets and people. However, inhaling diatomaceous earth can cause nose and throat irritation. To control fleas in your yard, either sprinkle the diatomaceous earth over the region or use a garden spreader to disperse it throughout the lawn. DE is also bad for honeybees so refrain from applying it close flowering plants. The diatomaceous earth used must be organic DE and not the kind employed in pools.


Depending on the species, nematodes are damaging pests or beneficial predators. The Steinerema genus of nematodes feed on immature cat fleas along with various other pests creeping around in your lawn. Nematodes are applied to the lawn by combining them with water and spraying the fluid above the ground. Because nematodes need moisture to survive, water the lawn within two-day intervals after the initial application. On the other hand, the University of Florida says that extensive research has not yet been conducted to determine the efficacy of Steinerema nematodes as a flea pesticide. It adds that dirt composition — clay, sand or loam — may affect the performance of nematodes to control pests.


Spinosad is a bacterium that naturally occurs in the dirt and kills insects that take it. The Safer Pest Control Project lists Spinosad as a safer alternative to toxic substances. Spinosad is the active ingredient in several flea control products, including prescriptions for pets and as a concentrated spray for lawns. Each brand of pesticide that has Spinosad has its own recommended application speed and also you should adhere to those directions for best results. Most manufacturers recommend applying the diluted spray early in the afternoon and thoroughly covering the lawn. A second application 7 to 14 days later will help control patients who have emerged from the larval phase. Spinosad is poisonous to bees so refrain from applying pesticides containing Spinosad to blooming, fruiting, or pollen- or even nectar-producing plants. What’s more, do not apply Spinosad to water, because it’s harmful to aquatic invertebrates and never remove the unused chemical down drains.


Flea larvae need moisture and cool temperatures to thrive. Together with natural sweeteners, keep the grass mowed regularly to a height of no taller than three inches and trim shrubs and trees. This will allow sunlight to flood the ground, which kills flea larvae. The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine recommends keeping the yard free of debris to help control unwanted pests, like fleas. What’s more, vacuum carpets, couches, pet beds and drapes consistently to help control fleas that could be hiding in your home.

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How to Improve Soil for Grass Growing

The perfect land for grass growing is well drained and fertile with a pH of between 6.5 and 6.8. Occasionally, soil has to be amended because it does not satisfy the perfect conditions to nurture grass development. Amendments can help the top 6 inches of dirt loosen and have a crumbly, loose texture with a neutral pH level. Amending can help dirt include about 5 percent organic matter and a balanced combination of sand, silt and clay.

Testing Soil

Grab a handful of dirt, and roll it into a ball. Press the ball of dirt into a ribbon-shaped strip between the fingers and thumb.

Hold the ribbon from the atmosphere. The soil is considered sandy if it won’t ribbon; the dirt is considered clayey if the ribbon stays together for 2 or more inches.

Take 1 tablespoon of dried dirt from six to eight areas. Put the soil in a bowl and mix it until it’s well combined. Add a few drops of vinegar. Notice that the soil pH is above 7.5 if the dirt fizzes.

Take 1 tablespoon of moist soil from six to eight areas. Put the soil in a bowl, and mix it until it’s well combined. Add a pinch of baking soda. If it fizzes, note that the soil has a pH less than 5.0.

Applying Amendments

Till 12 cubic yards of topsoil and 12 cubic yards of organic matter each 1,000 square feet to the upper 4 to 6 inches of sandy soil. Till 12 cubic yards of organic matter each 1,000 square feet in to the very best 4 to 6 inches of clay soil.

Spread 20 pounds of dolomitic lime per 1,000 square feet in a crisscross application pattern for soil with a pH lower than 4.9. Apply 50 pounds of iron sulfate per 1,000 square feet in a crisscross application pattern for soil with a pH higher than 7.5.

Till the amendments to the top 6 inches of the soil.

Mix four parts cottonseed meal, 1 component phosphate, one-half part lime, two parts greensand and one component gypsum. Implement 3 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet. Till the fertilizer to a thickness of 4 to 6 inches.

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Varieties of Strawberries That Are Good for Organic Production

As fast fruit manufacturers requiring minimum room, strawberries are excellent for home gardens. This berry favorite has many culinary uses and a high vitamin C content. Studies by John Reganold of Washington State University have discovered that organically grown strawberries offer you several advantages, such as fewer pesticides used, much healthier land, 10 percent more vitamin C and greater antioxidant levels and, in some instances, better taste compared to chemically grown strawberries. Variety selection is vital to successful organic strawberry production.

Disease-Free Certification

When selecting strawberry varieties to grow organically, the first step is to be certain you plant certified disease-free stock. This certification helps to ensure that young strawberry crops are free of any potentially threatening insect or disease pests and confirms their cultivar. By planting certified disease-free strawberries, threat of future pest problems is reduced. When purchasing disease-free varieties, gardeners should request that sellers offer certification tags for evidence of authenticity.

Disease Resistant

Like many fruit and vegetable crops, strawberries can suffer from plant diseases and other pest infestations, which in traditional non-organic agriculture have been prevented and treated using manufactured chemical solutions. Growing disease-resistant strawberries lessens the risk of the difficulties in your natural strawberry patch. As an instance, that the “Sequioa” strawberry, known for its large fruit and excellent flavor, is immune to the typical Verticillium wilt, as are “Earliglow,” “Guardian,” “Surecrop” and “Tribute.” Red stele is just another serious fungal problem that afflicts strawberries and immune varieties include “Midway,” “Redchief,” “Delite” and “Lateglow.” A few leaf spot and leaf scorch resistant varieties are “Albritten,” “Allstar,” “Atlas,” “Hood” and “Jewel.”


Organic growers shouldn’t miss strawberry varieties also renowned for their great flavor. The “Douglas” cultivar produces large tasty fruit, as does the “Pajaro” variety. The medium-sized “Irvine” and bigger “Camarosa” varieties both have received excellent ratings due to their taste. “Chandler” is the conventional amount grown in California — America’s largest strawberry producer — and produces incredibly well-flavored fruit. The “Honeoye” variety has a distinctive flavor, which a few strawberry enthusiasts love but others find less enjoyable. Other cultivars receiving high marks for taste include “Earliglow” and “Jewel.”


Selecting local strawberry varieties that are either native or adapted for cultivation in your area is important for growing your own organic produce. These varieties will already have a level of resistance to diseases common in your area, which decreases the need for pesticide use and typically makes strawberry crops easier to take care of. To ascertain the strawberry varieties best adapted for your individual area, consult experts in the local nursery or extension workplace to get their recommendations.

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