Want a Great Looking Fence?

Lattice fence

If you want a great looking fence for your yard that also gives you some privacy, Building your own cedar lattice fence is an awesome project that any DIYer can do.

Cedar is a great wood to use for outdoor projects, as it naturally prevents decay and insect infestation. Cedar is very stable, it does not warp, shrink, or splinter much (most pressure treated pine will eventually).

Using Pressure treated post and cedar boards and lattice will make your fence the envy of your neighborhood. To save some money and make your fence look a little more rustic you can use #2 cedar instead of clear cedar.

Here is a list of materials you will need for each 8′ section of fence.

 

Cut List

Panel
This cut list is for one 36-by-51-inch panel. Repeat for each panel, and customize the size of your panels as necessary to avoid partial panels in your run of fence. For the lattice panel stops, you can safely rip up to three from each 1×6 common cedar board. However, if you rip only two strips out of a 1×6, you’ll have enough width left over for the narrow sleeve parts. For our panels, we left 43 inches of post exposed above ground.

2×4 frame top and bottom: 2 @ 51 inches
2×4 frame side: 2 @ 33 inches
¾-inch stops: 4 @ 31½ inches (1x material ripped to ¾ inches wide to create a ¾-by-¾-inch square dowel)

¾-inch stops: 4 @ 48 inches (1x material ripped to ¾ inches wide to create a ¾-by-¾-inch square dowel)

Lattice: 1 @ 32⅞ by 47⅞ inches (to fit comfortably in a frame with internal dimensions of 33 by 48 inches)

Cap rail: 1 @ 49½ inches (Ripped to 5⅛ inches wide)

Post and sleeve
Make the visible front and back full-length sleeve pieces from clear cedar and the stops and blocks from less-expensive common cedar. To determine the number of sleeve pieces needed for each post configuration, refer to the list below.

Full-length sleeve pieces: 43 inches (Ripped to 5⅛ inches wide)

Bottom block sleeve pieces: 4 inches (ripped to 3⅝ inches wide)

Top block sleeve pieces: 3 inches (ripped to 3⅝ inches wide)

Middle post
1 full-length front piece 5⅛ inches wide
1 full-length back piece 5⅛ inches wide
2 top block 3⅝ inches wide
2 bottom block 3⅝ inches wide

End post
1 full-length front piece 5⅛ inches wide
1 full-length back piece 5⅛ inches wide
1 full-length side piece 3⅝ inches wide
1 top block 3⅝ inches wide
1 bottom block 3⅝ inches wide

Cornerpost
1 full-length front piece 5⅛ inches wide
1 full-length side piece 4⅜ inches wide
1 top block 4⅜ inches wide
1 bottom block 4⅜ inches wide
1 top block 3⅝ inches wide
1 bottom block 3⅝ inches wide

Click Here for a great video from This Old House, with step by step instructions for building your own cedar fence.

 

Vertical Gardening

You love to garden, and you want the flavor of fresh off the vine vegetables, but you just don’t have enough space for a traditional garden. Try going vertical, you can DIY some simply gardens that take little space and will give you the wonderful feeling of growing your own fresh food.

Vertical gardening is also easier on your back and knees as your plants are up off the ground and easy to reach and you have less issues with bugs and rotting from lying on the ground.

Here is a great video from simplyeasydiy.com to get you started building your first vertical garden.

We hope you enjoyed the video, Click Here for more great DIY projects.

 

Want To Build Your Own Vertical Planter?

Building a vertical planter for your yard can look great while saving precious space. Your own vertical planters are fun to build and you can make them in all different sizes and shapes to fit the space you have.

Tools you will need:

Miter or circular saw
Cordless drill and 1/8-inch drill bit
Staple gun and a pack of electrical cord staples
Hammer
Tape Measure
Gloves
Safety goggles
Pencil
Materials:
If you place this project outside where it could come in contact with water, use pressure-treated, cedar, or redwood boards.

Three 8-foot 2x10s
Four 8-foot 2x4s
Sixteen 8-foot 1x4s
1 roll of wire mesh with half-inch gap
1 roll or weed barrier
1 box of 1 1/2-inch screws

 

Here is a great video from The Home Depot with a tutorial on how to Get It Done!

 

For more great projects you can build Click Here to check out Ted’s Woodworking secrets, where he revels over 16,000 wood working projects any DIYer can do!

 

Build These Better Tomato Cages

You know how hard it is to keep your tomato plants standing upright so they get more fruit that ripens nicely and does not get full of dirt and bugs. Well forget those flimsy short tomato cages you get at the garden store, they are such a hassle to keep standing even without plants in them. Here a few better ideas you can do yourself that will have your tomatoes thriving all summer long.

 

sturdyTomatoCagesInTheGarden

These Simple sturdy cages can be built with 2×2 lumber and a few screws, found on getbusygardening.com. You can make them any size you want and they will keep your plants growing up off the ground for a beautiful harvest.

 

 

Materials List

Six 1-by-3-inch wooden strips measuring 8 feet long
A 2-by-4-inch piece of scrap board measuring 8 inches long, for the top section that will serve as the pivot point where the two “ladders” hinge
Two 3-inch deck screws
About 30 1 1/2-inch galvanized deck screwsWoody's Tomato stands

1. Cut two of the 8-foot 1-by-3s to make the rungs of your tomato “ladder.” Cut the first two rungs to 21 1/2 inches long; the next two to 19 1/2 inches; then 17 1/2 inches. Also cut two 20-inch boards for the braces that will stabilize the sides of the ladder.

2. Next, lay out two of the 8-foot strips (for the legs of the ladders) on each side of the 8-inch 2-by-4 that is the top of the “ladder.” First, drill pilot holes into the legs, then connect the legs on each side with a 3-inch deck screw screwed into each end of the 2-by-4, creating the pivot point, so you can spread the legs out later.

3. Lay out the rungs, with the longest near the bottom. drilling pilot holes first, screw on the 21 1/2-inch board at 7 inches from the bottom on the outside of the uprights, then repeat with the 19 1/2-inch board at 12 inches from the first rung, then the 17 1/2-inch board at 15 inches from the second rung. This will make the base of the stand wider than the top, allowing the structure to stand.

4. Turn the “ladder” over and screw on the other rungs at the same distance as the other uprights. The rungs will extend slightly on each end of the braces.

5. Stand the legs up and spread them out, then screw on the 20-inch 1-by-3 braces to each side of the “ladder” at 27 inches from bottom with one screw on each side.

Thanks to motherearthnews.com for these great tomato cages.

 

tomatoes-in-stake-a-cage-300x260

The Stakes:

Materials Needed:

Wire Cutters, Hammer, A Chop Saw or Jig Saw

2×2 Lumber For Stakes

Fencing Nails (Sometimes referred to as U – Nails)

30″ High Welded Wire Galvanized Fence with 2″ x 4″ Mesh Grid  (You can buy a 25′ roll which makes enough for about 16 cages for tomatoes, or 25 for peppers)
There are a couple of options to make or buy your stakes.   If you are starting from scratch, the easiest option is to buy inexpensive 2x2x8 framing lumber at your local home improvement / lumber store (usually for around$1.25. each)  If you buy them in the standard 8′ pieces, you can simply cut in half to make 2 from each board.

After using up the grade stakes we had on hand, we made the remainder of our stakes from scrap 2×4’s and 2×6’s.  Running them through the table saw lengthwise to make 2×2’s and then cutting them into 4 foot pieces.

To make a sharp point on the stakes – we then used a chop saw (jig saw works great too) to cut angled points into the end of one side. If you angle all four sides – it makes for a sharper point to drive into the ground.

***One extra note here:  Since we use these in the garden and around our plants – we have always  used regular, untreated lumber.  Yes, it’s true that it will not last as long as treated lumber – but if you store them each winter – you should be able to use them for a good 5 years.  When they do start to go bad – you can simply remove the metal grid, and put on a new stake for the next 5 years!  The wire mesh is galvanized, so it will not rust and can be re-used over and over.

Standard Fence Nails work great to secure the mesh to the stake
Standard Fence Nails work great to secure the mesh to the stake

Once you have your stakes ready – the rest is a piece of cake!  Roll out the galvanized welded wire roll, and using wire cutters  – just snip off 18″ wide sections for tomatoes, or 12″ sections if you will be using them for peppers.

Center the wire grid on the stake with the bottom of the wire about 16″ from the bottom of the stake.  (This is to allow the stake to be driven in to that depth)  Then nail in 3 fencing nails, securing the wire to the stake.   You have your very own Stake-A-Cage!

Find these sweet little tomato stakes at oldworldgardenfarms.com.

We hope these help you have a better tomato crop than you have ever had, Happy Gardening!

 

 

Making a Raised Bed Garden

Have you been wanting a raised bed garden so you can grow your own wonderful herbs and vegetables? Now that the weather is warming up, it is a great time to start the garden you always wanted. Where to start a project like this is always a good question for a beginner.

First decide what you want to grow so you can figure out how much space you will need. Picking the correct location is important and based on what you are growing in your  garden, different plants want different amounts of sunshine and water.

Here is a wonderful video to help you get started, Happy Growing.

The Right Plants for Your Yard?

The Right Plants

Having the right plants in your yard is important. Different areas have different climates, soils and geography that all factor into the type of plants that will grow best with out extra watering or feeding. Putting plants together that require similar watering patterns make it easier to irrigate your garden.

Adding plants to your garden that are native to the area around you will make your yard look great and be easier to maintain. Check out the Native Plant guide, Click Here! 

Across the country, gardeners are already digging into the right plant, right place concept. From the EPA, you can find examples in the U.S. Northeast, Midwest, Southeast regions below.

NorthwestNorthwest
The garden pictured on the right in Olympia, Washington, includes plants that can tolerate drought and heavy rains. While the landscape can survive with little rain, it can also capture stormwater from roofs, driveways, and sidewalks. Plants in this garden include grosso lavender, red herbaceous peony, sunshine blue blueberries, creeping red thyme, and penstemon rondo.

 

MidwestMidwest
This garden in Ann Arbor, Michigan, includes native plants to help absorb stormwater runoff. Using a conduit installed in the curb, stormwater is diverted from the street and into the rain garden. Plants used in this garden include blue cardinal flowers, rose milkweed, trumpetweed, and boneset.

 

SoutheastSoutheast
The garden shown at right in Bristol, Tennessee, was formerly a turf grass lawn. In order to manage rain and runoff the area receives, native wildflowers and grasses were included to match to the site’s water conditions, reducing the need for irrigation. Plants in this garden include anise hyssop, serviceberry, sweetbay magnolia, wild bergamot, and summer phlox.

 

When you’re planning your garden this spring, use WaterSense’s What to Plant tool to help you choose plants that are right for your climate and require minimal watering.

Source: EPA

Properly Watering Your Lawn!

Front Lawn

Properly watering your lawn is crucial in assuring the water is getting where it is needed and not being wasted. Water used for lawn and garden irrigation can easily be wasted if it is misdirected at areas where it will just run off. Being aware of when and how much to water will save you a lot of money and save our precious water supply system.

Here are some helpful tips on watering your lawn from the US EPA!

Add Sprinkler Spruce-Up to Your Spring Cleaning List

Experts estimate that as much as half of the water we use outdoors is lost due to evaporation, wind or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems. Before you add water to your newly planted garden this spring, do a little “sprinkler spruce-up” to clean up on water savings outdoors. It just takes four simple steps: inspect, connect, direct, and select.

  • Inspect your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads.
  • Connect points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes and hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large soggy areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • Direct sprinklers away from your driveway, house or sidewalk in order to apply water only to your landscape.   

    lawn sprinkler
    Misdirected sprinkler
  • Select a seasonally appropriate watering schedule that meets your landscape’s minimum needs. Better yet, select a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller—which uses local weather data so your system waters only when necessary—to replace a traditional clock-timer scheduling system.

Source: US EPA

Stop Lawn Weeds Now!

Lawn Weeds

The best time to stop lawn weeds is now, before they even start. Being offensive in controlling weeds in your lawn is a lot less back-breaking and less time consuming than trying to get rid of them once they get a foothold in your lawn. Using a pre-emergent weed control product will be cheaper and better for the environment than weed killer for full grown weeds.

Controlling weeds in other areas of your property besides your lawn such as driveways, sidewalks and shrubbery will also help keep them from spreading to your lawn.

Weeds grow in different conditions than grasses, which is why you will notice them thriving in the heat of the summer when your grass is struggling. Keeping your lawn watered regularly will also help prevent weeds.

Here are some tips on other ways to control weeds without the use of chemicals.

Effective Lawn Weed Control

Here’s how to keep weeds at bay, before they invade your yard:

1. Repair bare or weakened areas.Weeds take hold in bare spots in your lawn, or in areas where the turf is weakened. Make sure you fill in bald spots in your yard in the early spring by sprinkling with grass seed and lightly raking (make sure you also water). If the lawn is thin in spots, add fertilizer to strengthen the grass.

2. Reduce soil compaction. Heavy foot traffic areas are prone to weed growth as the soil gets compacted and grass has trouble growing. If you must, add a pathway (with mulch or gravel) to prevent weeds from growing in place of grass–and spreading to other parts of your lawn.

Source: http://www.allaboutlawns.com

Your lawn needs to be watered, but please be wise on how you go about watering your lawn. Click Here for some great tips on accomplishing this.

Spring Maintenance, Remember Your Lawn.

Your Lawn

Now that the weather has turned nice and temperatures are rising, it is time to get outdoors and spruce up your home with a little spring maintenance. There are many projects to accomplish, but don’t forget to take care of the lawn so it turns thick and green for everyone to enjoy all summer long.

Even though you cleaned up all the leaves and debris in the fall, there’s still work to be done now that spring is here. Before you break out the rake to clean up the leaves, old clippings, evergreen needles, and whatever else has accumulated over the winter, be sure the soil is well dried.  Foot traffic and heavy raking a lawn that is still soggy can compact the soil and damage tender, new grass shoots.

Now that you have your lawn cleaned and raked, there are more things to do to help your grass grow and thrive. Here are some great tips from todayshomeowner.com

Seeding and Planting
In the spring, gardeners have to choose between weed control and lawn seeding. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent grass seed from sprouting too, so you can’t do both – the herbicide will be active for up to 12 weeks, which means you’ll miss the spring planting season.

If your focus this spring is on filling in bare spots or establishing a new lawn, time your activities according to the type of grass:

Cool-season grasses can be planted as soon as the air temperatures get into the 60’s and soil temperatures are in the 50’s. Plant as soon as temperatures allow to give the seedlings a chance to get established before hot weather hits. Fall is a better time to plant cool-season grasses, so use spring planting for patching bare spots, and be prepared to keep your lawn well-watered during the summer.
Warm-season grasses can be planted when air temperatures are in the 70’s, soil temperatures are in the 60’s, and all danger of frost has passed. Late spring is the best time to plant warm-season grasses.

Controlling Weeds
Spring is the best time to prevent weeds by using pre-emergent weed control, which works by preventing weed seeds from germinating. Your first application of a pre-emergent herbicide should occur just as the forsythia bushes finish blooming in spring – that should stop crabgrass and other weeds before they have a chance to grow.

Both cool-season and warm-season lawns benefit from weed prevention in the spring. Pre-emergent herbicides work for about three months, so plan on a second application during the summer.

Fertilizing
The type of grass you have also influences when and how you should fertilize your lawn:

Cool-season grasses: Resist the urge to heavily fertilize your lawn in the spring. Spring feeding encourages rapid tender growth that will struggle to survive the heat of summer, particularly in drought-prone areas. If your lawn is in bad shape, fertilize lightly in spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Save the heavier feedings for fall, when cool-season grasses are at their peak growing season.
Warm-season grasses: Fertilize in late spring as soon as the lawn “greens up” and begins actively growing. This is usually in April or May, after the last frost.

Article Source: todayshomeowner.com

If you notice large brown patches in your lawn you may have an insect problem that will need to be dealt with fairly quickly to keep them from destroying the whole yard.