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North Windy Ridge Landscaping Team Gets Their Hands Dirty for a Good Cause

Excerpt from Weaverville Tribune

North Windy Ridge Landscaping Team Gets Their Hands Dirty for a Good Cause

Parents at North Windy Ridge Intermediate (NWRIS) are dedicated to helping maintain a beautiful school- inside and out. Ryan Houston, parent of a 6th grader at NWRIS and owner of Lawn-N-Order,  recently led a crew in a major landscaping job. With the help of other volunteers, in just two days flower beds were spruced-up, trees and shrubs were trimmed, and the iconic campus water fountain was rebuilt. Not only is the fountain back to its original beauty (including a newly constructed cascade water feature), but it’s now a larger habitat for the koi and goldfish that call it home.

Parents will continue to collaborate with school teachers and staff for other beautification efforts. The art teacher and students will create plant identification markers around campus. School custodians will keep diligently trimming the many shrubs and bushes around the campus. And the school’s garden club will turn the flowerbed by the school sign into a showcase for their gardening skills!

“We are so lucky to have this inspiring water feature for our students and visitors to enjoy as they pass through the walkway to enter our building,” says GeGe Sinclair, PTO Member. “Future project ideas will focus on the beautification of the school’s entrance area; we’ll plant additional trees, install flagstone, and construct benches or sitting stones. We also want to install plants that will attract butterflies and birds.”

Parents will continue to collaborate with school teachers and staff for other beautification efforts. The art teacher and students will create plant identification markers around campus. School custodians will keep diligently trimming the many shrubs and bushes around the campus. And the school’s garden club will turn the flowerbed by the school sign into a showcase for their gardening skills!

“I hope to contribute by creating a landscaping notebook that will help future PTO volunteers with a maintenance plan of action,” said Ms. Sinclair. “We hope to establish ourselves as a nonprofit and, therefore, be able to accept donations to help fund the ongoing beautification and maintenance efforts across our extensive campus! We will work on the best way to accomplish this goal of raising funds for our landscaping wishlist.”

The school’s PTO seeks any input, suggestions, or comments from the community and school stakeholders. This ongoing collaboration aims to create the best possible outdoor landscape for the staff, students, and visitors at North Windy Ridge, who will enjoy the campus and learn more about its connection with the natural world. Parent volunteers say they plan to work together to make NWRIS the most beautiful and serene campus for students for generations to come.

The school’s PTO has started a GoFundMe Page that can be found via THIS LINK.

 

 

We thank you for your interest and support for our community – LNO Team

 

How To Make A Safe Homemade Insecticide

It’s spring time, and that means it’s time to start thinking about the overall health and safety of your plants and shrubs. One of the biggest challenges to maintaining lively looking plants, bushes and shrubs involves controlling harmful bugs and insects. It’s an especially painstaking process when you are trying to do it without using harmful sprays and insecticides. Well, no worries friends, there is a solution. Today, we’re showing you how to make a your own homemade insecticide that is both non-toxic and safe. It also works great for keeping the insects away and the landscaping bills down.

The recipe for making this is extremely cost effective and easy to follow. By using a combination of common household items, you can create a powerful safe homemade insecticide. Simply combine Dawn dish soap, water, vegetable oil, and epsom salt to concoct an environmentally friendly, insect repellent and mineral rich spray. Also, the good news is you will not be harming helpful insects such as bees and other pollinating insects, but you will simply be repelling them as opposed to killing them. Combine all of the ingredients listed on our chart in an empty spray bottle. Make sure you’re using a spray bottle that you can easily use adjust to create a mist spray as to not damage the leaves and stems of your plants. Don’t worry about the order in which you combine the ingredients, but you might want to add your water first to avoid heavy bubbles from the Dawn dish soap.

Once you have finished combining your ingredients, you’re ready to rid your valued plants, flowers and shrubs of those pesky chewing and destructive insects. Start by lightly spraying all of your plants, flowers and bushes around their leaves, stems and base with this homemade insecticide. Doing this one to two times per month will organically help keep harmful pests away.

Using this environmentally safe, inexpensive, homemade insecticide is incredibly effective in controlling unwanted plant, flower, and bush eating insects. You can apply this homemade insecticide to kill and control invasive insects including:

  • aphids
  • mites
  • scales
  • beetles

It’s likely that you have already spent enough money and time finding and hiring a landscaping company to build your mulch bed, plant your shrubs, and maintain your property’s plants and overall landscaping features. Prevent from having call your landscaper or plant expert, once again, to eradicate insects using harmful chemical filled insecticides by using our recipe for a simple and easy to make homemade insecticide.

Steep Slope Erosion Control Options

Steep slope erosion control can be a challenge and is a continual source of irritation to newcomers to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Welcome to gardening on steep slopes! The following are some ideas to make the chore not such a dilemma and easier to manage. While it might seem like a challenge, we’ll give some ideas on how to make the most of your hilly gardening venue, so you don’t ever want to move back to the flat land again.

Terracing for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Terracing can be an option to steep slope erosion control. Building retaining walls not only gives more room for gardening but also slows down the water to prevent runoff. The rainwater can be captured, and erosion is kept to a minimum or eliminated. Depending on the height of the slope and grade, will determine the use of terracing.

steep-slope-erosion-control-conifers-hillside gardening

Placing boulders in the bank as outcroppings can also add to erosion control and add native objects to the landscape.

If terracing isn’t an option or your grade is slighter than most, then other options come into play. Plant selection and certain mulches will retain the soil in place to prevent steep slope erosion. Placing boulders in the bank as outcroppings can also add to erosion control and add native objects to the landscape.

Plants for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Select plants for steep slope erosion control that are drought tolerant since the water will be draining off fairly quickly. This selection should include plants with deep root systems to hold in the soil and add to its drought tolerance. Select trees, small and medium shrubbery, grasses and perennials used will be good coverage to the steep slope turning it into a lush garden.

Mulches for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Mulches that hold together, are coarser and shredded will knit together better than solid chips. Double ground hardwood bark is a favorite since it is from maples and oaks. It is heavy; thus, it doesn’t blow or wash away as easy. It’s staying power is ideal for sloped beds and gardens. A depth of 2-3 inches is recommended to retain moisture and a top dressing for the beds and slopes. Pine straw can be used as well because the needles know together and don’t slide or move on a slope. Some would argue that it’s harder to blow out leaves in the fall so keep this in mind when selecting for erosion control.

If you need some advice on your steep slope, then call a professional to get the job done and keep your precious soil in place and not running out from under you!