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HOME LAWN & Garden

PROVIDED BY ANGOLA and EDEN-NORTH COLLINS PENNYSAVERS


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HOME LAWN & Garden

Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 3

Plate Glass • Mirrors • Shower Doors Store Fronts • Window Tinting

HAMBURG GLASS & WINDOW FILM Commerical / Residential Office: 648-3456 Fax: 648-3468

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Gardening tips for beginners

5

Using Bold Paint Colors

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Cost-effective fencing options

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The benefits of pruning trees and shrubs

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Landscape fabrics used to prevent weed growth

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How to prevent soil erosion

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Shopping for a fire pit

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Benefits to hiring a landscaping service

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Caring for a freshly sodded lawn

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How to repair unslightly bald spots in your lawn

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Prepare a deck or patio for entertaining

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These professionals can help maintain your home

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5 signs your roof might be wearing down

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5 tips for a beautiful, low-maintenance lawn

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4 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

Gardening tips for beginners Gardening is a rewarding hobby that many enthusiasts credit with helping them to peacefully escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Though gardening can be both relaxing and rewarding, it’s not as easy as it may seem, and the more time and effort a person devotes to his or her garden the more likely it is to be successful. Gardening can be a little daunting for beginners who have little or no experience planting flowers or vegetables. But gardening need not be so intimidating, especially for those beginners who adhere to the following tips aimed at helping novice gardeners start their gardens off on the right foot. Determine what you should plant. Where you live will go a long way toward determining what you should plant. While you can plant anything you can get your hands on, the United States Department of Agriculture as well as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have determined specific plant hardiness zones that indicate which plants are most likely to thrive in given locations. Maps of these zones can be found at www. usda.gov and www.agr.gc.ca. By adhering to the maps, gardeners can significantly increase their chances of

growing successful gardens. When in doubt about what to plant, consult a local gardening center or seek advice from a professional landscaper. Think location when beginning your garden. Beginners with large yards have the luxury of choosing the right location on their properties to start planting. When choosing a spot, consider how much sunlight a location gets on a daily basis and the spot’s proximity to a water supply. If planting flowers, try to avoid planting in areas with heavy foot traffic so the flowers are less likely to be stomped. If you’re planting flowers to accent walkways, then consider erecting a barrier around the flower bed to safeguard the flowers from foot traffic. Get started before you plant. Preparing the soil a few weeks before you start planting can help the plants thrive down the road. Add some organic material, such as compost or fertilizer, to the soil roughly three weeks before planting. This helps the soil retain water and nutrients, which will help your garden thrive. Time your planting. When you plant is sometimes as important as what you plant. Some climates allow for year-round planting, but many do not. When buying seeds, the packaging

might suggest what time of year to plant the seeds. Adhere to these suggestions or your garden might not grow much at all. In addition, keep in mind that many seedlings need significant light throughout the day in order to grow, so choose a time of year with ample daylight. Don’t forget to mulch. Mulch can be as aesthetically appealing as it is effective. Mulch retains soil, helping roots to grow stronger, while deterring bugs and preventing weed growth. And many gardeners find mulch adds visual appeal their garden, and does so in a very inexpensive way.

Clean your tools. Beginners rarely recognize the importance of cleaning gardening tools before putting them away. At the end of each gardening session, clean your tools thoroughly, as soil left on your garden tools can play host to potentially harmful microbes that might kill your plants. Gardening can be a labor-intensive yet gratifying hobby. By sticking to a few simple rules, beginners can develop a thriving garden to reward all of that hard work.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 5

Using bold paint colors Paint is one of the least expensive and most versatile means to changing the look of a room. According to the experts from “This Old House,” 60 percent of the colors of a home that visitors perceive come from the paint on the walls. Choosing a color scheme can be challenging, which is why so many people stick with neutrals like beige and white. For those who are ready to add a spark of color, there are a few guidelines to consider. Color theory is a science and there are rules of using color that are taught as early as a child’s first foray into art class. We know there are primary, secondary and complementary colors on the color wheel. Even novice home decorators can do well with color if they use the color wheel as their guideline. According to HGTV, color should flow throughout a house. Every room need not be painted the same color. However, colors should be complementary enough that they flow into one another. Don’t paint one room in child’s basic primary colors, while painting other rooms in jewel tones and pastels. Stick with one theme and carry it through the house. Once you have decided to use a bold color, first find your color inspiration. Color combinations that appear in nature are more readily accepted by people, so look for an item in nature,

such as a seashell or a flowering plant that you can base your color choices on. Others pull inspiration from a particular design item. For instance, maybe an area rug strikes your fancy. Use colors that appear in the rug in the room. Keep in mind that using bold color doesn’t mean you have to paint every wall from ceiling to floor in that color. Rather, if you’re just starting out with bold colors, select one wall to serve as an accent wall. Use that wall as your bold canvas and paint it with your chosen hue. Some people like to experiment with a more flashy color in a smaller space. If you’re nervous about beginning in the living room or kitchen, how about trying out bold color in a smaller space, such as a powder room? A more intimate space might seem less overwhelming when painted in a bold color. Go for a deep purple or another jeweled tone. However, try to avoid greens in the bathroom, as they may reflect off of the mirror and cast a hue onto your face that makes you look unwell. Pinks and peaches will shed a rosy glow. If you will be incorporating complementary colors into the room, use the paint color swatch as your guide. Most paint manufacturers use three or four different shades on one sample card. When selecting a

complementary shade, be sure to pick from the same tone on the card. That means if you’re choosing the darkest of color #1 from a card, you’ll want to choose the darkest from color #2. Another idea is to leave walls neutral and use bold color on design accents. For example, designers at marthastewart.com recommend painting the inside of niches, shelves or cabinets with glass doors in bright tones and the outside white to create an eye-catching space without going overboard. Put a bold color on moulding or use an appliance or a fixture in a bright color as your splash of boldness. Remember to have balance. If you will be painting an entire room in a bold color, think about having the other decor items in neutral colors. Sofas and rugs should be neutral

colors, or consider toning down a vibrant color with the use of white molding or baseboards. All it may take is a little inspiration to get started on fun, inviting color schemes in the home. Furniture store Raymour & Flanigan offers a handy design tool for incorporating different colors into a space.

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6 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

Cost-effective fencing options

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Fencing serves many purposes. Some homeowners erect a fence for privacy, while others do so to contain pets and children. Because fencing can be expensive, some homeowners look for ways to cut costs, which can be relatively easy, especially for those homeowners willing to consider various materials when erecting their fence. Traditional fences are available in materials ranging from wood to vinyl to metal. Homeowners have other options at their disposal if they prefer a more natural fence. Different shrubs, trees or grasses can be planted to create a barrier between properties or within the property. When choosing a fencing material, consider that even a less expensive material may prove more expensive in the long run if it needs significant maintenance or has to be replaced in just a few years. Therefore, the most cost-effective fencing material may not necessarily be the least expensive one at the store. Here are some materials homeowners can consider. Found material: Re-purposed wood or metal can be crafted into a rustic, one-of-a-kind fence. Materials can be found that are no cost, requiring only the cost of labor. Should you build it yourself, this can be next to nothing. Sometimes existing fences on another property can be disassembled and rebuilt on your own property for little to no cost as well. Chain-link/chain-wire: Chain-link fencing is one of the most economical types of boundary fencing. The fencing comes in a variety of diamond sizes and is fixed to galvanized pipes spaced across the perimeter of the property. Although it is some of the least expensive fencing, it does not offer much privacy on its own. But if you are looking at fencing simply as

a barrier, chain-link could be the way to go. Picket fencing: A wooden picket fence is another inexpensive fencing material. The pickets can be purchased in various heights, and this fence may be used as garden border fencing or to mark a property line between homes. Spacing the pickets widely apart may cut down on the number that need to be purchased, further keeping the cost down. Bamboo: Bamboo is a rapidly growing grass that produces a hard wood-like material that is used in many building applications. Bamboo wood can be used to build a fence, but the natural plant also can be planted to form a living fence for privacy. Stockade fencing: A stockade fence is one of the more basic wood fencing options. Wooden slats are placed alongside one another to form an effective and affordable privacy fence. Stockade fencing can be stained or painted to preserve it. Many home improvement retailers sell panels of stockade fencing so that you can make fence installation a do-ityourself project. Vinyl fencing: Although vinyl fencing is one of the more expensive fencing materials at the outset (it costs about twice the price of a wood fence), it does pay for itself rather quickly thanks to minimal maintenance. Unlike some other materials, vinyl will not rot or discolor. You also won’t have to purchase stain, paint and expensive cleaners for a vinyl fence. That means once you make the investment, you will have years upon years of maintenance-free enjoyment. There are many different fencing materials that can coordinate with a variety of budgets.


Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 7

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8 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

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The benefits of pruning trees and shrubs Pruning trees and shrubs is necessary to ensure they maintain their health and vigor. Trees and shrubs should be inspected annually to determine if they need to be pruned. Mature trees typically do not need to be pruned as frequently as young trees, which need pruning to establish branch structure. Trees and shrubs that go years without pruning can become overgrown and weak. In addition to promoting tree and shrub health, pruning pays a host of other dividends. Pruning removes dead or diseased branches. Pruning helps a tree or shrub maintain its shape and vigor by removing broken, dead or diseased branches that can be unsightly and make it more difficult for the tree or shrub to stay healthy. When broken, dead or diseased branches are removed, trees or shrubs look healthier and add aesthetic appeal to a property. Pruning trees and shrubs promotes growth of other plants. Trees and shrubs that go years without being pruned become overgrown, making it difficult for plants underneath or adjacent to them to grow in healthy. For example, grass beneath an overgrown tree might not get adequate sunlight, which it needs to establish strong roots so it can grow in lush and healthy. Pruning allows plants beneath the tree and shrub and even those next to the tree and shrub to grow in nicely. Pruning can sometimes bring plants back to life. Shrubs that have gone years without being pruned can sometimes still be salvaged. In some instances, pruning such shrubs can restore natural and healthy growth. Pruning reduces risk of accidents. Overgrown trees can interfere with power lines, increasing the risk of accidents and power outages. In addition, overgrown trees tend to have larger, weaker limbs, which can prove hazardous and cause property damage during storms. Pruning overgrown trees reduces the risk of such accidents. Pruning can save money. Over time, overgrown trees might require professional assistance in order to be removed or pruned from a property. Homeowners who prune their trees as needed can save themselves the cost of a potentially pricey tree service. Pruning adds curb appeal. A property littered with overgrown trees and shrubs hurts a home’s curb appeal, giving prospective buyers the impression that homeowners might have been careless with regard to maintaining the whole house and not just the lawn. But trees and shrubs that are pruned and wellmaintained can add to a home’s curb appeal, something that goes a long way toward impressing prospective buyers.

Did you know?

Landscape fabrics are used to prevent weed growth while still allowing air, oxygen and water to flow to and from the soil. Landscape fabrics are a chemical-free way to prevent weed growth, endearing them to ecofriendly homeowners. Landscape fabrics, once laid, also are a far less labor-intensive method to prevent weed growth, as they can be effective for several years, during which homeowners can expect to perform little or no maintenance. In addition, many homeowners prefer landscape fabrics because they can help the soil effectively maintain moisture during dry periods, when gardens might otherwise be highly susceptible to drought. Once put down, landscape fabric can be covered with mulch to add aesthetic appeal.


Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 9

How to prevent soil erosion

Installing runoff barriers made of brick, stone or other materials around plants and shrubs is one way to reduce soil erosion and runoff.

Homeowners who spend time tending to their landscape are increasingly looking eco-friendly ways to maintain their lawns and gardens. Homeowners who once relied on potentially harmful pesticides to craft a lush lawn now prefer ways that don’t leave such a significant carbon footprint. Preventing soil erosion is one way to incorporate conservation into lawn and garden care. Conservation is one of many environmental practices aimed at preserving the planet’s

natural resources, which include soil. Preventing soil erosion is easy and can be accomplished in a number of ways. Don’t overwater. Some may assume that keeping soil as damp as possible keeps it healthy. However, overwatering the soil can cause runoff that washes the soil away. In addition, overwatering the soil can degrade it and contribute to erosion. Instead of overwatering, keep the soil moist but don’t overdo it. If you’re having trouble keeping soil moist, consider laying down some mulch, which helps retain moisture and deliver nutrients to the soil that keep it healthy. Plant trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs are friends to soil, providing shelter while their roots keep the soil in place and prevent it from easily blowing away on a windy day. It also helps soil from washing away when warm weather arrives and the landscape must be watered on a daily basis. Create runoff barriers. Runoff barriers are edges that can be made of brick, stone or other materials that help reduce runoff. Many homeowners install runoff barriers along sidewalks and driveways to

ensure the soil does not spill out onto the pavement, but these also help the soil as much as they help to keep walkways and other areas free of soil and looking tidy.

Consider leaving some grass around the garden. Tillage is the process of preparing land to grow crops. While many homeowners don’t view their weekend gardening as growing crops, similar principles apply whether you’re growing crops on a farm or just a few vegetables in the backyard. One such principle is conservation tillage, which means leaving a portion of vegetation in the ground instead of stripping everything away before planting. For home gardeners, consider leaving a small amount of grass around the garden to keep the soil within the garden’s boundaries. It’s a principle similar to installing runoff barriers, and it can be just as effective at preventing soil erosion.


10 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

Shopping for a fire pit People have sat around an open fire outdoors for centuries. Not only does fire provide warmth and light, but also it offers a relaxing setting for conversation and socialization. The outdoor fire pit has transformed the concept of backyard entertaining. Homeowners understand how a fire pit can add value to a home and make their yard an inviting place to be on a summer evening or a chilly autumn night. Outdoor fire pits are a relatively new creation that continue to grow in popularity. Once available strictly through specialty retailers, fire pits can now be found on the shelves of many home improvement and big box stores as well as online. Fire pits can add a lot to a home’s exterior entertaining area. Some fire pit styles and materials will last longer than others. Homeowners should assess their needs and the space available before choosing a fire pit for their home. First, homeowners must decide if they want a permanent or portable fire pit. If you are ready to make an enduring change to your yard and landscape, then a permanent fire pit is the way to go. These can be made of stone or brick and are often very durable. Permanent fire pits can be incorporated into landscape designs to create a professional patio look. They’re also some of the safer types of fire pits because they cannot be knocked over and the bricks or retaining wall construction provide a barrier around the fire. Portable fire pits are freestanding units that can be moved around the yard on a whim. They also can be loaded into the car and taken to a neighbor’s house or even to the beach. Portable fire pits are less expensive than permanent models, and some homeowners prefer a trial run with a portable pit before deciding to install a permanent structure. Portable fire pits are made of metal and usually coated with a fireproof paint. Over time, exposure to the elements can cause the metal to rust or weaken, something homeowners should consider prior to purchase. Homeowners also must consider a fuel source. Wood is a common fuel source for fire pits. Wood can be inexpensive, especially when gathered from around the yard. However, a wood-burning fire will constantly have to be fed with new branches. If you want to have a roaring fire but don’t want to maintain it, then a gas-fueled fire pit is better. Natural gas fire pits can run off of a portable propane tank (think barbecue tank) or be directly connected to a home’s natural gas supply.

Now you can decide on the style. Gas fire pits will give you a greater number of design options, but there are still plenty of choices with wood fire pits. From bowl-shaped pits to rectangular-shaped pits to barrel-style pits to chimineas, there are designs to fit most preferences and size constraints. Once you have chosen a fire pit, safety should prevail. Here are some tips to consider. • Keep the fire pit away from the home and objects that can burn. Maintain a safe distance from the fire pit at all times. • The best place to have the fire pit is on hard stone, cement or tile. Portable fire pits can be placed on patio stones in the lawn. • Use a screen to keep embers and sparks from escaping during use. • Keep children a good distance away from the fire pit and always supervise when the pit is in use. • Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before going in for the night. • Do not use any accelerants to make the fire bigger or light faster. • Buy a vinyl cover to protect the fire pit from the elements when not in use.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 11

Benefits to hiring a landscaping service A professional lawn service can save homeowners time, money and mistakes. The desire to have a pristine, well-manicured landscape leads many homeowners to toil outdoors for hours every weekend. Hiring a professional landscaper can free up homeowners’ time and help them ensure their yards are cared for properly. One of the benefits of hiring a landscaper is the time savings. Landscapers typically have commercial-grade equipment that can dramatically reduce the time it takes to mow and perform other maintenance tasks around your property. Furthermore, some services have multiple employees working concurrently, enabling them to tackle several projects at the same time and complete them in a fraction of the time it would take a homeowner working on his or her own. Landscapers familiar with botany and landscape design understand how to properly care for plants and trees on your property, while novice green thumbers may be unaware about when to prune trees and shrubs, at what height to cut the lawn and which plants will thrive in particular locations. Such doit-yourself maintenance may even cost more money than leaving it to a professional. Hiring a professional landscaper is, in many instances, more economical. For a certain weekly or monthly fee, homeowners receive the benefit of

professional knowledge and execution. Also, homeowners will not have the expense of purchasing the various tools and equipment necessary for lawn and garden maintenance, tools and equipment that include lawnmowers, string weeders, edgers, fertilizer, grass seed, leaf blowers, and shovels. Another benefit is the lawn will continue to be mowed whether a homeowner is home or not. During the spring and summer vacation season, it’s easy for homeowners to overlook their lawn and garden in favor of recreation and leisure activities. Without proper watering and maintenance, lawns and gardens can brown or overgrowth can occur. But hiring a landscaping service allows homeowners to rest assured that their yards will be maintained whether they’re home or not. Hiring a local landscaping service will not only benefit homeowners, but also it will benefit the local economy. Residents can feel comfortable knowing their lawn service will be available for calls when needed and will be familiar with the community. Also, local contractors may go the extra mile to earn your business recommendation. Hiring a landscaping service can be advantageous to homeowners who want to free up time and still enjoy a wellmaintained landscape.

MIKE’S LANDSCAPING & LAWNCARE Locally Owned & Operated Since 1985

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12 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 13

Caring for a freshly sodded lawn Sod, sometimes called turf, can quickly turn a barren landscape into a rich, thick carpet of green. Homeowners hoping to revive their lawns commonly turn to sod as the quickest means to do just that. However, once the sod has been laid down, few homeowners may know how to keep it looking its best. Sod is real grass that is grown on special farms. It is generally grown locally to avoid long transport times that could dry out the product. Sod is typically sold in squares or rolls of grass that come with the roots and soil already attached. There may be some sort of thin backing material on the sod to keep the grass blades together. Many homeowners turn to sod when growing lawn from seed becomes problematic or too time-consuming. Seeds can be blown around in the wind or be eaten by birds and other animals before they have a chance to germinate.

Sodding a lawn is a major investment, costing as much as $1 per two-foot square. Depending on the size of your lawn, this can be a costly job even before adding the cost of additional supplies, such as soil, fertilizer and tilling equipment. Many homeowners who install sod want to ensure their investment lasts. Here unless the weather has been very are the main ways to care for and warm. After four weeks you can protect sod until it is fully established. generally go up to five days • Once the sod has been laid down, without watering as long as you transition slowly. The sod will the lawn should be thoroughly change colors if it is not getting soaked with water. Most experts enough water. Never let the lawn recommend soaking it to a depth turn yellow, otherwise you may of 6 inches. have to cut out dead spots • It is important to establish a watering schedule to keep the sod and re-sod. moist. Water the sod to a depth of • Wait two to four weeks before mowing the sod. Keep the lawn one inch every other day for the height to around two inches to first three weeks to enable the ensure that it won’t scald in the roots to securely establish sun. themselves in the soil. • After two months of established • Water the sod every other day sod growth, aerate the sod to

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keep the soil from being too compact and to enable oxygen and nutrients to get into the soil. • Keep children and pets off of the sod while it is establishing itself. • Fertilize the lawn every 50 to 60 days, beginning in March and ending in October. • Inspect the sod for pests, which may include insects or problems like fungi or weeds. Treat accordingly with products designed to remove pests. Using sod to establish a lush lawn is a fast, albeit more expensive option to sowing seeds. After a few weeks the lawn will be thick and secure.

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14 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

How to repair unsightly bald spots in your lawn Lawn care aficionados know how a single bald spot can make an otherwise luscious lawn look worn down and poorly maintained. A bald spot can stick out like a sore thumb, while several bald spots can compromise a home’s curb appeal. Treating bald spots typically depends on what is causing the bald spot. Bugs, dryness, pet waste and damage from mowers are some of the more common causes of bald spots. The following is a breakdown of these different causes and how best to address each situation so you can restore your lawn to its natural beauty.

DRYNESS A lawn can go dry because of drought in the summertime or during the winter months when there is not much rain or snowfall. Homeowners cannot change the weather, but they can help their lawn avoid becoming the burned or yellowed turf that often results after extended periods of dryness. Fertilizing the lawn during the spring and summer is a good first step. This helps the lawn grow in healthy and thick. Once you have fertilized, don’t cut the grass too short. When grass is cut too short, the soil struggles to retain moisture, which can eventually lead to bald spots if weather conditions are dry. During especially dry periods in the summer, watering might be necessary. You won’t have to water frequently, but be sure to water deeply so the water can reach the roots of the grass.

PET WASTE Waste from pets can cause bald spots on a yard. This might surprise some homeowners, but pet waste contains a high level of concentrated nitrogen that, when applied to a lawn, can burn the grass and cause bald spots. Urine is most likely to cause bald spots, but fecal matter can as well. When addressing the problem of pet waste on your lawn, make sure no one else’s pets are the cause of the problem. Neighbors out walking their dogs should be discouraged from allowing their dogs to use your lawn as a restroom. If this does not work, then erect a fence or some type of structure that makes it difficult for other people’s pets to access your lawn. When it’s your own pet causing the damage, address the spots where your pet relieves itself as quickly as possible. Watering the area within eight hours can significantly reduce the risk of lawn damage by diluting the nitrogen levels. Another way to address the issue is to encourage the animal to use various spots in the yard, rather than continually using the same spot. Flush each area

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with water immediately after the pet is finished. If the damage is already considerable, remove the damaged grass and reseed the spot. MOWER DAMAGE Sometimes Mother Nature and man’s best friend are not the culprit with regard to bald spots on your lawn. Human error can cause bald spots, too. Dull mower blades or grass that is cut too low can cause bald spots. Fortunately, this is easily remedied. To avoid bald spots, make sure mower blades are sharpened at the beginning of each mowing season, as dull blades damage the grass, which is then forced to use valuable nutrients to treat torn grass, weakening the lawn over time. When mowing, make sure you’re not cutting too low so the soil can retain as much moisture as possible. This will necessitate more frequent mowing, but this, too, can prevent bald spots, as it ensures those parts of the grass that contain chlorophyll will not be removed. Bald spots can turn a pristine lawn into an eyesore. But treating bald spots can be easy and, when done effectively, the lawn can be restored quickly.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 15

Prepare a deck or patio for entertaining

Few things are better than having a functional and beautiful outdoor space to entertain guests. Having a great outdoor space enables a person to host parties or intimate gatherings all year long. Establishing an entertaining space and maintaining that space are essential when planning another year of fun in the sun. There are many things homeowners can do to ensure their entertaining space is safe and functional. As the season approaches, include some landscaping and decorating components to your preparatory plans to make the space as comfortable and aesthetically appealing as possible. Here are a few key tips for readying your yard for entertaining possibilities. Expand on these basics to customize an area for your unique needs. * Check the area for any needed repairs. Prior to your first entertaining session, look over the deck or patio

to take note of any flaws that may present safety hazards. Are there any loose railings? Are all screws and nails flush so they do not cause tripping? Are there any cracks in concrete or loose patio blocks? Be sure to remedy all of the repairs needed to ensure guests will be safe. If you are unsure of any structural deficits, consult with a contractor. * Hire a reputable contractor. If you are just laying the groundwork for a new patio or deck, it is important to get the necessary permits and then hire a person who has been properly vetted. Check qualifications and licensing before hiring a contractor and ask to view a portfolio of his or her previous work. Word-of-mouth recommendations from trusted friends and family members are good, and you can also doublecheck qualifications by contacting the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged or use a service such as Angie’s List to read

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reviews of his or her work. * Think about closing in a portion of a deck or patio. The use of a canopy, netting or even greenery to protect an entertaining space can help minimize weatherrelated damage to outdoor furniture. Netting will keep a good number of biting insects at bay when the weather is warm and humid. Having a bit of concealment also means you can create a private space that isn’t easily viewed by neighbors or passersby. * Plan well-defined areas. Just as rooms serve different purposes inside of the home, outdoor areas can be separated according to usage. Establish a sitting nook where guests can gather and talk. Have a bar or serving area where refreshments are made and served.

Make sure there is a shaded area for when the sun is too uncomfortable to make sitting outside enjoyable. Similarly, have a sunny area where people can soak up a few rays or dry off after a dip in the spa or pool. Don’t forget to establish a spot for the kids to converge with scaled-down amenities. * Invest in quality outdoor furniture. Today’s yards are extensions of a home’s interior. Guests no longer want to sit on uncomfortable metal or plastic furniture. There are many different outdoor sofas and chairs that are as stylish as they are comfortable. These pieces can be matched to the decor inside your home for a cohesive look.

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16 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

These professionals can help maintain your home H

ome repairs are inevitable. For the homeowner who also happens to be handy with a hammer, the occasional home repair is nothing to fear and something that many even enjoy. But there many homeowners who aren’t so adept at home repairs, and such men and women typically rely on trained professionals when something goes awry around the house. For those homeowners who either don’t have the time or the ability to fix issues that arise around the house, the following is a breakdown of three of the more commonly called on home service providers.

Electrician *Electrician: An electrician specializes in addressing a building’s or home’s electrical wiring issues, stationary machines and the equipment related to those machines. Electricians can fix existing issues, but many also can design and install new electrical components and systems. The dangers of working with electrical systems are many, so electricians typically must be certified and licensed before they can practice their trade. Such danger is one reason why even those who are adept at fixing problems around the house might want to hire an electrician should an electrical issue arise.

Landscaper *Landscaper: Homeowners have increasingly looked to professional landscapers to maintain their home’s exterior and subsequently ensure their property value remains high. A typical landscaper offers his client an array of services, from cutting the grass to raking leaves to more complicated tasks that gravitate toward landscape architecture. A home’s curb appeal has been shown to vastly improve a prospective buyer’s impression of the house, and as a result many homeowners rely on a landscaper to take care of their property. Many landscapers an extensive knowledge of the science involved in tending to a lawn and how to help it weather the seasons without losing its appeal.

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Plumber *Plumber: A plumber is a professional whose area of expertise is in installing and maintaining systems for drinking water, drainage and sewage. Though not all jurisdictions require a plumber be licensed before he or she can practice, many do, and it can take years of training and experience to master the skill of plumbing. Many people call a plumber when a toilet or sink backs up, but plumbers must have far more extensive skills as well. Plumbers must be skilled in a number of areas, including having an ability to read and understand a home’s blueprints, detect faults in a plumbing system if the homeowner cannot install and repair fixtures and systems, and be aware of any legal requirements to ensure a home is safe.


5 signs your roof might be wearing down Replacing a roof is a costly venture few homeowners look forward to. Such costs make it no small wonder that many homeowners fear the dreaded diagnosis that their home needs a new roof. While there’s little homeowners can do to reduce the cost of a roof replacement, there are warning signs homeowners can look for that might indicate a roof replacement is on the horizon. Recognition of these signs can help homeowners be more financially prepared should the day come when the roof needs to be replaced. 1. The presence of algae If the roof has lots of dark streaks and stains clinging to it, that is likely algae, which can grow on the roof for quite

Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 17

awhile. Algae does not necessarily do any damage to a roof, but it does do some damage to a home’s physical appearance, as algae on the roof is not very pleasing to the eye. Algae is most often found on the roofs of homes located in climates that have warm, humid summers. If algae is a problem on your roof, spray washing with a mixture of water and bleach can effectively remove it. 2. Buckling shingles Like algae, buckling shingles are another unsightly problem on a roof. But buckling shingles are more than just an eyesore, they actually might indicate significant problems. When shingles buckle, that’s typically because hot air from the attic is forcing

the shingles away from the home. Buckling shingles also indicate that the roof is poorly ventilated, which can take years off the roof’s life expectancy while driving up home cooling costs along the way. 3. Granule loss Granule loss is typically a byproduct of normal shingle wear and tear that results from inclement weather, such as hail. Older roofs might experience granule loss, but granule loss can also occur on a new roof if a defective roofing product was used. Any granule loss, even if slight, should be addressed, as the side effects of granule loss include a weakened roof and leaking. If granule loss is not addressed, the consequences could be severe the next time a storm occurs. 4. Mold Unlike the warning signs already discussed, mold is not visible on the outside of the home. Instead, homeowners should look in the attic of a home to see if there is any mold growth. If there is, the roof is likely leaking, and the health risks of mold growth in a home are substantial.

Mold is not necessarily easy to detect, so a professional inspection might be in order if mold growth is suspected. If a professional determines mold is, in fact, present, then the mold will need to be removed and all options, including a roof replacement, must be considered to keep mold from coming back. 5. Roof rot Perhaps the most discouraging sign a homeowner can see on his or her roof is roof rot. Roof rot appears when a roof is in considerable decay and, if not addressed, its consequences can stretch far beyond the roof, damaging other parts of the home thanks in large part to water getting through the roof. If roof rot is either not noticed or just ignored, it won’t take long for water to get through the roof and blaze a destructive path through the rest of the home. Homeowners might fear a full roof replacement because of the cost associated with such a project. But if ignored, problems with a roof could eventually prove far more costly than the price of replacing the roof.


18 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

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5 tips for a beautiful, low-maintenance lawn Homeowners aspire toward a beautiful lawn. It is often the centerpiece of a completed landscape, and can serve as a beautiful focal point in a home’s overall curb appeal. Typically lawn maintenance is time-consuming and can take a lot of effort on the part of a homeowner. However, by employing a few tips it can be much easier to establish and help a beautiful lawn to endure. 1. Start with the right type of grass. Not all grasses are alike nor compatible with specific climates. Some are drought-tolerant and others are more akin to wet weather situations. There is a particular type of grass that is very low maintenance no matter the climate -- zoysia grass. “Zoysia grass is a great choice for anyone who loves the look of a lush, healthy lawn but doesn’t want to be a slave to their lawn,” said John Ridgway of Zoysia Farm Nurseries. “Zoysia grass is a warm season grass that thrives in summer heat and needs far less water during the growing season. It also needs less mowing than most other types of grasses, so it’s much less labor intensive.” Unlike other grasses, zoysia is sold as individual plant “plugs,” which can be integrated right into an existing lawn. They will eventually spread and take over. Early fall is a great time to start a lawn provided it is done 30 days or so before the first hard frost in the area. This establishes the grass before winter and it will get a head start on the next spring/summer growing season. 2. Install an irrigation system. A lawn needs a steady dose of water and ample sunlight to thrive. Some homeowners water too little or water inadvertently pools on the surface of the lawn without reaching the roots. Irrigation systems, particularly drip irrigation systems put water at the roots of landscape plants where they need it most. This helps conserve water by preventing it from evaporating in the sun or watering

unnecessary parts of the landscape, such as driveways and sidewalks. There are even kits that install on home downspouts that use rainwater for extra irrigation. 3. Fertilize less frequently. Fertilizer provides the extra nutrients to keep grass green and to encourage the grass to send out rhizomes (underground creeping rootstalks) and stolons (above-ground sprouts), both of which make the grass thicker and more healthy. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and don’t use too much. A good rule of thumb is to limit fertilizer use to a month before the growing season starts in your area. 4. Mow conservatively. Lawns needn’t be scalped, otherwise known as cutting the lawn too short. When the weather has been hot or dry, it may not even need to be cut every week. Thin, closely cut lawns can lead to dying out grass, shallow root systems and eventually a poorlooking lawn. Zoysia grass needs less mowing, so if this is your choice, you may be able to skip some of the most labor-intensive part of lawn maintenance. 5. Enjoy the lawn. Some homeowners want a grass showpiece and fail to ever step foot on the lawn. But with the right type of grass that is thoroughly established and hardy, the lawn will remain durable to kids playing, pets frolicking and simply spending time out in the yard.


Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 19

Discover the ways to fireproof a home

house fire can engulf and A destroy a home in a matter of

minutes. Even with the fastacting response of firefighters, a home that has caught fire may be irreparably damaged by flames, soot and water. Fire is no laughing matter, and it behooves homeowners to take precautions to fireproof their homes as much as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that although death and injuries caused by residential fires have declined gradually during the past several decades, fire-related deaths continue to pose a significant health hazard. In 2010, it is estimated that someone died in a fire every 169 minutes in the United States alone. A person was injured by fire every 30 minutes, according to the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Analysis and Research Division. The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs estimates an average of 375 people die every year from fires in Canada, mostly from smoke inhalation. Most fires are largely preventable. The following are a few fireproofing measures for safety-conscious homeowners. * Install smoke detectors and check the batteries regularly. Smoke inhalation

causes many fire-related deaths. A smoke detector should be installed outside of every bedroom and on every level of the house. Don’t install a smoke detector near a window, door or forced-air register, where drafts could interfere with the detector’s operation. Be sure to routinely check that every smoke detector is working properly. * Have a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location. Ideally, there should be a fire extinguisher in every room of the home, but at the least keep one wherever fire is used regularly, such as a kitchen or by a fireplace. Ensure the fire extinguisher is charged and that you understand how to operate it. * Remove combustible materials from around the house. Do not allow old clothing, rags, newspapers, or cardboard boxes to accumulate around the house. Discard newspapers and magazines as quickly as possible and be careful to avoid storing anything too close to heaters, furnaces or electrical equipment. * Adhere to the recommended wattage in lamps and lighting fixtures. Do not exceed the recommended bulb wattage for lights around the house. There may be overheating or

shorting that can lead to fire. * Look for fireproof interior decor items. Nowadays, carpeting and furniture can be coated with fireproof chemicals. The added investment may be worth it in the long run. * Do not leave candles unattended. Many people like the look and aroma that candles provide. Candles also provide emergency illumination in the event of a power outage. Candles can be easily knocked over and start a fire. In fact, candles are one of the top causes of house fires. Never leave a candle unattended, even for a short amount of time. And certainly never go to sleep without extinguishing a candle. * Keep the chimney clean. Inspect the chimney flue regularly and have it cleaned to prevent an abundance of residual burnt material from accumulating. This creosote can catch fire itself. * Use a fire-resistant roofing material. A roof should be made from metal, clay or asphalt tiles. Trim any overhanging branches or vegetation to reduce the amount of combustible material nearby. * Have a fire-safe wall behind wood heaters. A brick wall or another fireproof

material should be used on any walls that house a wood- or gas-burning appliance for added safety. * Verify electrical safety. Extension cords and power strips should be kept to a minimum, and the outlets should not be overloaded. Replace fuses properly and don’t be afraid to call a certified electrician to verify you are correctly set up. By making a few tweaks in and around the house, a homeowner can decrease the likelihood of a fire.

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20 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

Preventing weed growth a priority for homeowners 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 rob a well-tended garden of its aesthetic appeal. In

areas of heavy weed growth, however, a more concentrated effort must be made to prevent further weed growth once the weeds have been removed. The following are a few ways homeowners can prevent weeds from growing throughout their lawns.

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 soil that grew compacted over the winter. Removing Unsightly Weeds Once aerated, the soil can disperse When removing weeds, it’s best to remove the weeds with their roots. nutrients, oxygen and water more Smaller weeds with shallow roots can typically be removed with a effectively, allowing healthier roots gentle pull and the roots will come right out with the weed. to grow and reducing the risk of Larger weeds with deeper roots can be a little tougher to remove, and weed growth as a result. they might damage surrounding plants if you pull too hard. In such instances, dig around the stem with a small hoe to loosen the soil and Fertilize the lawn. Fertilizer helps then firmly pull the weed out of the ground. If that does not work, dig a grass grow in thick and dense, which leaves little to no room for little deeper and try again. When there are simply too many weeds to pull out of the ground, a the growth of weeds. While fertilizer garden hoe is effective for shallow-rooted weeds. Where deep-rooted does not necessarily guarantee weeds are present, a garden hoe is less effective because it does that weeds won’t grow, it does go not usually reach the roots. A winged weeder, though more time- a long way toward helping a lawn grow in healthy, and a healthy lawn consuming than a hoe, goes deeper into the soil to pull the roots. Chemical weed-killers are another option, though they are not very is often a weed’s worst enemy. eco-friendly and chemical products must be sprayed on the entire Some fertilizers on the market weed to kill it completely. are a combination of fertilizer and weed preventer, and such products addition, weeds can steal valuable water Be proactive. Preventing weed growth is might be ideal for homeowners who and nutrients from plants, prohibiting their a proactive job, so homeowners want to are especially concerned about growth as a result. be proactive to keep weeds from infesting weed growth. The lifespan of weed Homeowners who understand how their property. Proper and routine lawn preventers varies, so keep in mind harmful weeds can be can prevent them maintenance might be all it takes. Add that you might need to reapply a in a variety of ways. Where weed growth quality topsoil to your lawn or garden to weed preventer in a few months is insignificant, it might be possible to produce a healthier surface that makes to keep getting the same results. simply pull them out of the ground before it more difficult for weeds to grow. As the Fertilizing is typically done twice a they can do any substantial damage. In season progresses, continue to maintain year, once in the spring and again AL

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in the fall. Lay down landscape fabric. Landscape fabric is another weed prevention 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 grow, so landscape fabric can be highly effective at preventing weed growth. Weeds are an unsightly nuisance that homeowners would prefer to do without. Preventing weed growth is relatively easy, and, in many cases, your efforts can bear fruit through the entire season.

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Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers • April 21, 2013 HOME LAWN & Garden 21

Did you know? When people think of outdoor storage, they generally envision garden sheds to house their lawn and garden equipment and tools. However, if space doesn’t allow for a large shed, there is no need to fret because there are other storage possibilities. Consider a garden ottoman or bench, for example. This structure can be built from wood and then painted or covered in padded fabric. Store small items inside the ottoman, which can also serve as a table or additional seating. In addition to an ottoman, a garden tool that can keep shovels and rakes organized. Homeowners with a deck can construct lidded deck boxes to store patio cushions or any other outdoor equipment. Utilizing the space under the deck is another idea. Cover the perimeter of the bottom of the deck with lattice and install one piece on a hinge to serve as a door. Store equipment underneath and out of sight. It also will be protected from the elements.

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22 HOME LAWN & Garden April 21, 2013 • Angola and Eden-North Collins Pennysavers

Various materials can be used to pave a driveway

When renovating a home, many homeowners look to increase the home’s curb appeal. “Curb appeal” is a term used to describe how the home’s exterior appears to buyers the moment they pull up to the curb. A home that impresses prospective buyers before they even go inside is said to have a strong curb appeal, and that curb appeal can add significant value to a home. Homeowners looking to improve the curb appeal of their home can do so in a variety of ways. One often overlooked yet effective way to make a home’s exterior more appealing is to revamp the driveway. Driveways may not be high on a homeowner’s renovation totem pole, but a cracked or unsightly driveway can give prospective buyers the impression that a home has not been properly taken care of. When addressing a driveway, homeowners have a host of paving materials at their disposal. Asphalt Asphalt is an affordable paving material, which likely plays a role in its popularity among homeowners. Asphalt is also easy to install and requires little maintenance, two additional benefits to homeowners who don’t have much time to install or look after their driveway. Asphalt is made from a combination of concrete, gravel and tar, and though it’s easy and affordable to install, asphalt,

as any kid can tell you, can get awfully hot under the summer sun. Asphalt can also crack rather easily, so homeowners must weigh its immediate affordability against the likelihood that perhaps it will need to be replaced sooner than other materials. Brick Brick is among the more expensive paving materials, as brick is a labor-intensive material to install. But brick allows homeowners to create distinctive patterns that can add quite a bit to a home’s curb appeal. Once installed, brick driveways don’t require much maintenance, though cracked bricks will need to be replaced. Cobblestone Cobblestone can be very pleasing to the eye, but that aesthetic appeal won’t come cheap. Among the more expensive paving materials, cobblestone can also be a handful to maintain, as weeds can penetrate the cobblestones rather easily. Loose or missing stones can be unsightly and will need to be replaced. Many homeowners who love the look of cobblestone choose to use it along walkways or on their patios, as these areas won’t require as much materials, saving both money and the time it takes to maintain the cobblestones.

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Concrete Concrete is perhaps the ideal paving material for the homeowner who wants to express his or her individuality. That’s because concrete driveways can be laid in a variety of colors and designs, adding a touch of personality in a place many homeowners likely thought such expression was impossible. Though affordable, concrete can fall victim to the elements, as extremely cold temperatures can cause the concrete to shift and ultimately crack. Concrete pavers can remedy this problem, though that will add to the overall cost of the project. Gravel A gravel driveway can give a home a historical look that few of today’s homes can boast. Gravel is an affordable material that requires little maintenance, though weeds can grow through gravel and must be removed to maintain the driveway’s appeal. Washout is a concern for some who want a gravel driveway, but edging the driveway with a material like timber or bluestone can prevent the gravel from washing away should heavy rains fall.

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