Homework: Easy landscaping projects for the DIYer in you
Having a midsummer's dream of better landscaping? Here are three easy projects to help realize your vision.
Mulch makeover: Fresh mulch will liven up your flower beds and areas around trees. Landscapers and garden centers sell mulch in bulk or by the bag. The most standard bag size is 2 cubic feet. Bulk mulch sells by the cubic yard, which is equal to 131⁄2 standard-size bags. Most landscapers say buying in bulk is cheaper in the long run, even with delivery fees of about $50. Many landscapers will also install it. If you're going to spread it yourself, have the load dumped onto a tarp for easier cleanup.
Cut corners (and curves): Edging a flower bed, tree or other landscaping element can boost its aesthetic appeal. Following the shape of the bed, cut into the surrounding lawn about six inches with a shovel or other sharp tool. The edge can stand alone, or you can fill it with brick, stone or other material, at a cost ranging from $4 to $15 per square foot. For a clean look, create some separation between the soil or mulch and the edging material. Or, keep a stand-alone edge sharp by going over it with a shovel or other tool every few months.
Green up your grass: For every inch of grass above the ground, say top-rated lawn pros, there's an inch of roots below. If you cut too close to the ground, roots may die. Set your mower height so your lawn is trimmed to a minimum of three inches. That will encourage thicker turf that resists crabgrass, among other benefits.
• A collection of household chemicals such as paints, motor oils and pesticides will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Boyce Park Ski Lodge parking area in Plum. Varnishes, cleaners and batteries also will be collected. There is a disposal fee of $2 per gallon, payable in cash only. For a complete list of items or more details, call 412-488-7452, or visit www.prc.org.
• Dispose of your unwanted electronics and household items from 8:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 9 at the Westmoreland Cleanways Recycling Center in Unity Township. Residents are invited to get rid of objects that cannot be put in the trash or cannot be collected by the municipal recycling program. Nominal fees apply for Freon appliances and tires. For details, call 724-879-4020, or visit www.westmorelandcleanways.org.
Add a tropical touch to your garden
When heat, humidity and dry days take a toll on your flowers in August, give your yard a fresh look with pots of tropical hibiscus and mandevilla.
Although they are not cold-hardy in much of the country, these plants add tropical touches to any summer decor.
Costa Farms, a major hibiscus and mandevilla grower, features these stunning, sun-loving bloomers at garden centers, including Home Depot, Lowe's and Walmart, from $19.99 to $35.99, depending on size and plant.
Send Homework items to Features in care of Sue Jones, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212; fax 412-320-7966; or email email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tarentum restaurant closes to repair brick damage
- Thousands attend Vandergrift Light-Up Night, Christmas parade
- In Steelers-Saints game, all eyes on Brown-Lewis matchup
- Mirai debut brings fuel cell future closer
- Hempfield Area High School senior Richason creates Before I Die wall in Greensburg
- Trib real estate writer Spatter ‘worked right to the end’
- Artists fill Valley home for one-day ‘Handmade Christmas’ sale
- Salvation Army in W.Pa. uses social media campaign
- Steelers notebook: Defense has a retro feel
- Sloppy Penguins fall to Hurricanes
- Bridge over Youghiogheny River coming into downtown Connellsville is renamed