Here are the ones that top the list ...
Many moons ago, I read an article written by the amazing Dear Abby where she spoke about being asked the same question by readers on a regular basis. Who knew that so many people cared about which way to toilet paper roll goes on the holder! Now that I’ve been on the radio and writing for a few years, I’m beginning to understand what she was referring to. In her honour, I am going to post the answers to the top 3 questions that I always get asked as well in hopes that this will solve some of your own outdoor challenges
How do I eliminate grass and weeds growing between the patio stones? We now know that most weeds have roots that are at least 4-6 inches long. To prevent weeds from growing between the patio stones, you have to make sure that the gravel base beneath the patio is at least 8 inches. This works for grass and dandelions if you are installing a new patio, but what about an existing one? Nutrients like decomposing leaves can build up over time in the joints, allowing for some weeds to take root. Remove the sand and roots with a high-powered pressure washer. Once the patio has been blasted, give it a scrub with white vinegar that is 10% acidic. Next, use polymeric sand, which is available at most box stores, to refill the gaps. Lightly spray the sand with water to moisten it that activates the binding agents, creating a tight seal between the stones that the weeds can’t penetrate.
What is a low-maintenance plant for my yard? I hate this term when it comes to plants because everyone has a different definition of what low-maintenance actually means. Every plant, tree, or shrub needs some form of care. Obviously the levels of work are going to vary based on the plant itself. If you really want an easy way to have a big show without having to learn how to care for a lot of different plants, just pick one and plant lots of it! Landscapers have been using this technique for years. Mass plantings are a simple way to fill a big space without having to learn several different sets of care instructions.
My grass always goes brown in July and August. How do I keep it green? I’m going to let you in on a little secret, for years we’ve been planting Kentucky Blue Grass, which goes dormant in the summer. When the grass goes dormant, its totally fine but its doesn’t look so great. This also happens to be the same time that sprinklers and fertilizers all seem to go on sale. This year, spend your money on top dressing the lawn with grass seed that contains fescue in the mix (the higher the percentage the better). Fescue does very well in our climate, and doesn’t go brown in the summer!
Make sure to save this article so that you will always have the answers to these questions because, like Dear Abby, I am only moving forward from here. (wink wink)