Page 1

home appeal merchandiseredition

Spring 2014

home / garden / renovation

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www.engleonline.com

this issue: plant a SELF-SUSTAINING GARDEN PROTECT your GARDEN from HUNGRY ANIMALS LANDSCAPING MISTAKES TO AVOID PLANTING for ALL SEASONS Published by Engle Printing & Publishing Co., Inc.


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plant a

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Gardening is a rewarding hobby with scores of devotees. Backyard gardens provide beauty and aesthetic appeal to a landscape, and they can be a source of homegrown food and a natural habitat for outdoor wildlife. A self-sufficient garden is a garden that sustains itself through proper planning and execution. Such gardens can almost take care of themselves so long as the soil is healthy, the seeds are reused and organic material is produced. Self-sustaining gardens also represent a lifestyle where individuals are responsible for producing their own foods, thus sustaining themselves without the need to shop for extensive produce elsewhere. When planting your own selfsustaining garden, consider the following tips: Start with soil. Healthy soil is essential to a thriving garden. The soil must be full of nutrients and have the right pH, correct texture and ideal composition. Very often the native soil in yards is not adequate to keep a garden thriving. In such instances, the soil needs to be improved. Adding compost – which can be produced in the yard as well – will enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Maintain proper soil consistency. Soil that is the right consistency, meaning the optimum balance of sand, clay and actual soil, is another necessity for a selfsustaining garden. The ideal ratio should be 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt and 20 percent clay. Having the right balance of soil can secure root formation and promote

proper drainage. Test the pH. Certain plants need a specific pH in order to grow. A neutral pH range is typically ideal for growing vegetables. A pH tester can be purchased from a gardening center. Amend the soil accordingly to get the soil back to its correct level. Know the growing season. Vegetables should be planted during the season in which they will thrive. Peas, beets and cabbage, for example, are cold-temperature vegetables, while cucumbers, squash and melons thrive in warm climates. Plant accordingly so that the vegetables will have the best chances for success. Purchase quality seeds. Use fresh seeds, particularly ones that have been harvested from your own garden the year before, to have the best chances for germination. You can also buy seeds from a reputable source, like a garden center or an online retailer that specializes in the desired type of seeds. Start seedlings indoors. You may want to work with seedlings indoors so that you can monitor growth and care for them more easily. You can then transplant the seedlings outside when they are stable enough for the elements. Keep in mind that all gardens, no matter how well planned, do require some maintenance and dedication. Attention to preparation and details, however, will help individuals create a topnotch produce or flower patch.

• •

home appeal [4] Spring 2014


EXPERT SLATE ROOFING SERVICES

B

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Landscaping AVOID Mistakes to

home appeal [6] Spring 2014


When designing their landscapes, homeowners may envision grandiose gardens and lush lawns that are the envy of the neighborhood. But such designs can be difficult to maintain, and homeowners often find they are not worth the time or money. Avoiding such costly mistakes allows homeowners to enjoy their lawns fully. The following are a few landscaping mistakes homeowners may want to avoid so they can spend more time enjoying their landscapes and less time working around the yard.

E Planting the wrong trees and shrubs: When planting new trees and shrubs around your

property, choose varieties that will not overwhelm the property by growing too large. Such trees and shrubs can mask other elements of a landscape, and they can also take a substantial amount of effort to maintain. Avoid spending too much time pruning trees and shrubs by opting for those that only grow to a particular size.

E

Choosing non-native plants: It is always best to choose plants that are native to a particular region. Native plants have already adapted to the local climate, meaning they can withstand the worst weather that climate has to offer without homeowners having to put in as much effort as they would with non-native plants. For example, if you live in an area where drought is common, avoid planting grass, trees, shrubs, or flowers that need ample amounts of water. Instead, opt for those varieties that can survive without significant amounts of water. Exotic plants might add aesthetic appeal to a property, but that appeal is often shortlived or costly to maintain when a plant is not in its native climate.

E

Having too much lawn: While a large and lush lawn appeals to many homeowners, a yard that is all grass can be difficult and expensive to maintain. Lawns without trees are susceptible to damage from the hot summer sun, and homeowners often respond to that threat by overwatering their lawns. Overwatering not only weakens root systems, but it also leads to higher water bills. Homeowners can downsize their lawns by planting more trees around the property, adding a garden in the backyard, or even adding landscape features to their property.

Tips when hiring a

landscape architect E

Find a professional who will work with you. Though you might not plan to personally undertake any work, that does not mean you will not have a vision of what you want. A landscape architect should be receptive to your ideas. Look for a professional with some experience. A professional should be willing to discuss his or her previous work experience. Ask to see photos of previous work or even inquire into local public addresses where work was done so you can see the finished product in person. Discuss subcontractors. Some landscape architects will handle the project entirely on their own, while others might subcontract part of the project. Determine who will be performing what and how subcontractors might affect costs. Discuss fees and get a fee schedule. Each contractor might have a different fee structure, so you will want the one that is best suited to you. If a series of payments will be made, get a payment schedule so there is no confusion. Get references. A professional landscape architect should have a list of references. When contacting references, be sure to ask how satisfied they are with the finished product and how the project went with regards to scheduling and fees. Also ask how amenable the landscaper was to involving the homeowner in the project. Make sure the contractor is licensed. In many communities, landscape architects must be licensed. This information is public, so always verify this prior to making any final decisions or signing a contract.

E E E E

E

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Planting without a plan: When planting new trees around a property, some homeowners plant without first considering the ideal locations for new trees. This can prove an expensive mistake. Planting too close to your house may eventually threaten your home’s foundation as roots grow deeper and deeper into the ground. Planting too close to a home also may prove a security threat down the road when the tree has grown to full height. Such trees may threaten the home during a storm, so consult a landscaping professional when planting new trees so the trees are located in a place that does not threaten the value of your home or the safety of its residents.


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Planting Planting and maintaining a garden takes dedication, and it can be disappointing to have all your plants bloom simultaneously. While your yard may look spectacular for a brief period, all too soon the colors will fade, and you may be faced with a dreary landscape. In addition, too much growth at once may stunt the health of plants or become visually overwhelming. When an expanse is untidy or excessively crowded, homeowners and guests may not be able to fully appreciate each plant’s appeal. To prevent an unbalanced yard, gardeners should carefully plot their landscape. Make an effort to choose complementary flower and plant varieties that not only

for

look attractive, but ensure a beautiful garden throughout the year. Intersperse your planting area with selections that flourish for different lengths of time or bloom during different seasons. Also, consider filling in some areas with attractive greenery or add in a decorative element, such as a rock garden or a bird bath, for yearround charm. Some flowers and plants blossom over several months, but planting with seasonal guidelines in mind should keep your landscape thriving. Here are some possibilities to consider:

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Winter

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E-mail: oaklanehomescapes@gmail.com HIC#PA104670 home appeal [11] Spring 2014

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Spring


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MON

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717-464-2600 home appeal [13] Spring 2014

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S835701

PA036065


NO Need Shutting ing Down Unwanted Plants Weeds in a lawn or garden can be an unsightly and potentially unhealthy nuisance. No gardener enjoys seeing weeds spring up throughout his or her carefully planted garden, as such uninvited guests can rob a yard of its aesthetic appeal. In addition, weeds can steal valuable water and nutrients from plants, prohibiting their growth. Homeowners who understand how harmful weeds can be can prevent them in a variety of ways. Where weed growth is insignificant, it might be possible to simply pull them out of the ground before they can do any substantial damage. In areas of heavy weed growth, however, a more concentrated

effort must be made. The following are a few ways homeowners can prevent weeds from growing throughout their lawns.

Be proactive. Proper and routine lawn maintenance might be all it takes to prevent weeds from infesting your property. Add quality topsoil to your lawn or garden to produce a healthier surface that makes it more difficult for weeds to grow. As the season progresses, continue to maintain your lawn by mowing and watering.

Aerate the soil at the onset of the season. Aerating your lawn at the dawn of the mowing season helps break up any soil that grew compacted over the winter. Once aerated, the soil can disperse nutrients, oxygen and water more effectively, allowing healthier roots to grow and reducing the risk of weed growth.

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Exterior Doors in Fiberglass or Wood

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home appeal [14] Spring 2014

(717)665-2078 Fax: (717)664-2247

PA Lic. #044666 S827660


Weeds: For

growth of

weeds. While fertilizer does not necessarily guarantee that weeds won’t grow, it does go a long way toward helping a lawn grow in, and a healthy lawn is often a weed’s worst enemy. Some fertilizers on the market are a combination of fertilizer and weed preventer, and such produc ts m i g h t be ideal for homeowners who are especially concerned about weed growth. The lifespan of weed preventers varies, so keep in mind that you might need to reapply to continue to get results. Fertilizing is typically done twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall.

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is another alternative that can prevent weed growth for several years. Before laying down landscape fabric, which is perhaps most commonly used in flower beds, remove all weeds and other vegetation you do not wish to grow. You will likely need to cut the fabric to the area you want it to cover and cut an opening for plants and flowers. The fabric is then typically covered with mulch, which keeps the fabric in place. Landscape fabric is effective because it blocks the sun from reaching any area that it’s covering while still allowing air, water and nutrients to penetrate and reach the soil. Weeds need sun to thrive, so landscape fabric can be highly effective at preventing unwanted growth.

Removing unsightly weeds

When removing weeds, it’s best to remove the weeds with their roots. Smaller weeds with shallow roots can typically be removed with a gentle pull, as the roots will come right out. Larger weeds with deeper roots can be a little tougher to remove, and they might damage surrounding plants if you pull too hard. In such instances, you can dig around the stem with a small hoe to loosen the soil and then firmly pull the weed out of the ground. If that does not work, dig a little deeper and try again. When there are simply too many weeds to pull out of the ground, a garden hoe is effective for shallow-rooted weeds. Where deep-rooted weeds are present, a garden hoe is less effective because it does not usually reach the roots. A winged weeder, though more time-consuming than a hoe, goes deeper into the soil to pull the roots. Chemical weed-killers are another option, though they are not very eco-friendly, and chemical products must be sprayed on the entire weed to kill it completely.

home appeal [15] Spring 2014


protect your garden from  Homes full of garden beds with blooming flowers and foliage can seem warm and inviting. Planting flowers is one of the easiest ways to transform the appearance of a home with minimal effort and expense. Too often homeowners plant annuals and perennials only to find their hard work has been damaged by hungry animals such as deer, rabbits, and underground pests. There are ways to keep animals away from plants – many of which are humane and environmentally safe. Keeping furry marauders away from the garden is something individuals who live in rural or suburban areas have to consider when planting. Many communities are growing and encroaching on the natural habitats of wild animals. With some of their natural food sources diminishing, animals may decide to partake of the easy pickings that come from residential home gardens. If you understand how these animals feed, you can take precautions to restrict access to planting beds. Rabbits tend to munch on vegetables and ornamental plants. Small in stature and not able to scale fences very easily, rabbits might be deterred by a low fence surrounding plants. Consider digging some chicken wire below the fence a few inches to discourage digging under the fence.

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home appeal [16] Spring 2014

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The fence should be 18 inches high, and you should keep the openings no more than one inch wide because rabbits can squeeze through small openings. In terms of gophers, moles, voles, and other burrowing animals, the key is preventing underground access. Chicken wire or another abrasive material put under the garden soil can help keep underground animals from burrowing under and then up into the heart of the garden. Deer are another story altogether. They are tall animals capable of rising up on hind legs to stretch out and reach branches of trees and bushes. Therefore, taller fences may be needed to protect the garden. Choose a fence that camouflages the garden well and completely encloses the area to be protected, as deer can be wary about scaling a divider when they cannot see what is on the other side. In some cases, however, tall fences can be unsightly, especially in a front yard. Therefore, look for natural barriers that can keep them out. Deer may be deterred by thorny bushes or plants. Daisies, narcissus, rudbeckia, achillea, agastache, aster, lupine, coreopsis, verbascum, centaurea, and echinacea are available in many varieties and are not attractive to deer or rabbits.


Gardeners who use a combination of methods to keep animals out of their yards and gardens may have a higher success rate at deterring unwelcome visitors.



Here are some additional strategies that you can try: Create narrow pathways between raised beds. Rabbits will feel like they are in prime locations for predators to get at them in this type of situation and may be less likely to venture in. Deer may not be able to navigate narrow paths. Use mulch. In addition to benefiting the plants, keeping soil moist, and fertilizing the areas, mulch also deters many animals. Interplant different species of plants. Some animals do not want to bother picking tasty plants out from among other varieties they do not like. In an effort to deter munchers, mix any appetizing plants with ones that animals find unpleasant. Planting strong-tasting herbs such as chives, eucalyptus, garlic, mint, thyme, and wintergreen may help keep your garden pest free. Use other natural deterrents. Animals may be kept away by scents of their predators. Urine from coyote, foxes, dogs, and cats may help. You can also try human hair, cat litter, blood meal, hot pepper, sulfur, eggs, and soap flakes. Create an animal-friendly area elsewhere. Feed the deer and rabbits the foods they love somewhere away from your garden. They may fill up with favorites and stay away from your flowers and vegetables.

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Bats

Bats have a bad reputation, as people unnecessarily fear bats because they believe them to be carriers of disease. But many bats feed off of insects or fruits and will not harm humans. The average brown bat can eat 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour, so it is easy to see why bats are good to have around. Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance, but they also harbor potentially dangerous diseases. Bats may eat certain rodents as well, which can cut down on the number of animals burrowing in a yard.

Frogs

Frogs and toads will prey on insects and make the local insect population more manageable. Toads eat mainly slugs, which feed on the leaves and fruits of many plants. Frogs and toads are attracted to water, so including a pond or another water feature in the garden will provide them with a habitat they like.

Birds

While it is true that some birds can damage crops, many birds are content to feed on insects attracted to the garden, which helps to keep insect numbers in check. Chickadees, for example, will dine on aphid eggs, while larger birds may prey on mice or other rodents or simply scare them out of the garden. Jays and mockingbirds are known to be feisty and can even deter dogs and cats from a yard. Hummingbirds will sip on the nectar of flowers and help pollinate plants.

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In an effort to rid a garden of unwanted pests, gardeners may unwittingly scare away animals and insects that might just protect the garden from more ill-intentioned animals. Not every creature that scurries is out to get prized petunias or to devour tomatoes. In fact, many can prove beneficial to gardens.

Snakes in a garden can be disconcerting to some people, but snakes are ideal predators who feed on insects and rodents several times their size. Snakes are the right size and shape to invade the burrows of pest animals.

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Butterflies and bees are responsible for pollinating the vast majority of plants. Avoid using pesticides that may diminish butterfly or bee populations. A beehive right next to a garden may not be practical, but do not make attempts to destroy it. Consult with a professional beekeeper to see what can be done to move the beehive without destroying it. Many animals and insects can be detrimental to the health of a garden. However, several animals are handy to have around and should be welcomed to the landscape.

home appeal [17] Spring 2014


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Command Hooks

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Flex Air Hose

Spring Fertilizer

(with Crabgrass Preventer)

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S835482

[Contact info]

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home appeal [20] Spring 2014

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Home Appeal Spring 2014  

Home Appeal Home Garden Renovation

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