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Friday, April 12, 2013

MYCITIZENSNEWS.COM

13

Managing difficult yard situations Many homeowners aim for a picture perfect lawn complete with rolling acres of soft, green grass. But Mother Nature may have other things in mind, providing homeowners with less-than-stellar growing conditions for their lawns, plants and other foliage. Frustration can mount when a yard is muddy, is especially shady or has soil that doesn’t seem to grow a thing. In such instances, homeowners may have

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to go the extra mile to get the yard they desire. Irrigation issues Improper drainage or low-lying areas in a yard may contribute to a muddy mess. Soil that is inhospitable for grass also may end up causing muddy patches because the grass simply does not grow. In some cases, remedying a muddy yard is easy and inexpensive. Some homeowners find that tilling the soil and amending it with a fiber mulch helps to absorb extra water and make the conditions better for lawn seeds to sprout. This also helps to aerate compacted soil that can hinder grass growth. Adding soil fill also may help to level low-lying areas that can be puddling. Some homeowners find that they need to do a little more work and

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spend some more money to fix irrigation issues. Installing a draining system or having the property sloped to draw water away can sometimes be done by a homeowner but is often best left to a professional. You may need to dig trenches, and the property may need to be regraded to make a difference. Sandy soil Grass and other plants may not grow well with sandy or clay soil. Again, amending the soil is one way to remedy the problem. Although it will take some work at the outset, amending the soil can improve conditions and reduce how much maintenance the lawn needs. Digging down several inches and adding nutrient-rich filler soil will help create conditions that are better for growing. Those who are interested in planting vegetables could opt for raised garden beds above the challenging soil. Shade Sometimes a yard is problematic because of the amount of sunshine it

receives. Too much sunshine can scald certain grasses, while inadequate sunshine may result in bare patches where grass won’t grow. If cost is no object, removing or planting trees to establish better growing conditions could be an option. However, today there are many grass blends that are tailored toward specific sunlight scenarios. Homeowners may find that low-light blends will grow better in shady areas. For those who are finding no luck with grass blends, it may just be necessary to think creatively. Plant shade-loving plants, such as ferns or ground cover, where the grass won’t take. Design the landscape so it looks intentional. Flagstone and slate placed in certain areas also may mask temperamental growing areas. There are different options for managing various situations in the yard that can make growing lawn or other plants challenging. If projects are difficult, it could be smart to call in a professional.


CITIZEN’S NEWS

14

Friday, April 12, 2013

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www.newsusa.com - As the ritual of spring cleaning nears with every slightly warmer and longer day, many homeowners will look to home organizational trends to kick start their list of projects. No matter which trends homeowners choose to take charge of their houses, it’s important to ensure that any home care initiatives include http://www.pestworld.org/ practices. Spring is a particularly crucial time to take proactive measures to pest-proof as the season’s warmer weather serves as a wake-up call to a myriad of homeinvading pests. Some of the most common pests emerging in the spring are termites, ants (especially odorous house ants, pavement ants and carpenter ants), springtails, cockroaches and spiders. According to Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), what homeowners can expect to see this season depends largely on where they live and local weather conditions. “People who experienced milder winters are likely to see an early arrival of spring pests, since last year was one of the warmest winters on record and pests across the country emerged weeks, and even months, early,” said Henriksen. “Those who experienced wet winters may have lingering moisture that may be creating

pest-friendly environments within their homes.” In addition to minimizing clutter and organizing pantry shelves this spring, the NPMA suggests these important steps to prevent pests from feeling welcome in your home. Remove shelter: • Maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of a building. • Keep mulch at least 15 inches from your home’s foundation. • Seal cracks along the bottom of the structure. • Keep tree branches and plants trimmed back from the house. • Screen windows and doors. Remove food: • Keep trash containers clean and sealed. • Don’t allow dirty dishes to accumulate in the sink. • Wipe counters and vacuum floors regularly. • Remove remaining food after your pet is done eating. Remove water: • Check under sinks for puddles, and fix any leaks or drips. • Use a dehumidifier for damp basements and crawl spaces. For other pest-proofing ideas to protect your home and property, visit www.pestworld.org/


Friday, April 12, 2013

MYCITIZENSNEWS.COM

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