How to Identify Yellow Jackets and Protect from Being Stung

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

Summertime is here and I can’t keep shoes on the kids…

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

…or clothes for that matter.

Honeybee vs. Yellow Jacket | Pretty Handy Girl

I think my kids inherited it from me. I have fond memories of running around our backyard as a child barely clothed. I also have a not so fond memory of stumbling upon a yellow jacket nest. I ran until my little legs gave out and I hit the ground face first as those little devils stung my backside several times. Nothing puts a damper on summer fun like a bunch of yellow jacket stings on your hiney. Two years ago, my oldest son had the unfortunate experience of stumbling upon a nest in our yard. If I could have taken the stings for him, I would have. Lucky for us, he didn’t experience an allergic reaction on top of the stings. But, allergic or not, yellow jackets are not welcome in my yard!

That summer that I got stung, I learned to tell the difference between yellow jackets and honeybees. Do you know how to tell the difference? It’s important to stop and take a moment to identify which you are dealing with. Did you know that honeybees and yellow jackets are very different in appearance? Once you know what to look for, you can easily identify them: [Read more...]

How to Compost – Magnificent Garden Soil

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you compost? Oh my gosh, if you don’t, why not?!!! It is easy, it’s great for the environment and it will result in amazing nutrient rich soil that surpasses anything you can buy from a store! Some of the additional benefits are that you will reduce the amount of trash you produce and keep things out of the landfill.

Now, I totally understand if you are living in the big city in an apartment and really don’t have space for compost let alone potted plants. But, if you have a yard, you really should be composting! It’s easy, it takes very little time and my little gardening BFFs (aka worms) do all the work for you.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

That’s right, they eat up all your kitchen and yard waste and turn it into beautiful black soil. How do they do it? Well, if I tell you, you have to promise that you won’t get grossed out. They poop it out. LOL. Yup, compost is decomposition and worm castings (a nicer word for worm poop.) Please don’t run away, find out how easy it is to create this magnificent garden soil.

Here’s the basics for how to compost and get top quality soil for your garden and landscaping for FREE! [Read more...]

3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Container gardening is easy and great for instant color gratification. But, it’s especially fun to find “unconventional” objects to use as a planter. You may have noticed my little red wagon planter in the Landscaping 101 post. My 3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter is sure to bring color to your landscaping while also providing some fun and whimsy. Plus, it’s easily rolled to a new spot if you want to change your view. But, the best part is, you can make this planter in 3 steps!

Materials:

  • Drill
  • Large drill bit
  • Little wagon or other container
  • Rocks
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Hand trowel

Instructions: [Read more...]

Beach Themed Succulent Garden

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

You like the beach right? Who doesn’t?! Come December I long for the feeling of burying my toes in the warm sand. Bring back those memories by having a Beach-Themed Desktop Succulent Garden nearby. The idea for this garden came as I sat looking at all the shells I’ve collected that were hidden away in the attic. I chose a big conch shell that had few holes and decided it would make a great little planter.

Material:

  • Succulents
  • Conch shell
  • Smaller shells, beach glass or colored glass filler
  • Play sand
  • Potting soil
  • Plant tray

Optional: Hot glue gun, hot glue sticks, felt pads

Instructions: [Read more...]

Desktop Terrarium {a Lowes Creator Idea}

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Hey all you black thumb peeps! I have a gardening tutorial for you. This desktop succulent terrarium is hard to kill. It requires very little water and loves to be neglected. Best of all, you can put it together in less than 20 minutes!

Succulent_garden_in_bell_terrarium

Ready, set, go…..

Materials:

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[Read more...]

How to install landscape bed black edging

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Jaime here from That’s My Letter to share an easy project that will make your landscaping look clean and neat.

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We just moved into a new home with tons of landscaping, it’s full and lush and mature AND lacks definition from the grassy yard.

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With help from the folks at True Temper® I installed landscape edging using the round point shovel and black plastic edging to create that defining line between grass and plantings: [Read more...]

How to Grow an Incredible Crop of Tomatoes

How to grow Happy Tomatoes

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Last spring we completed my raised bed stack stone garden.  It served as an incredible place for me to try my hand at growing vegetables.  I planted green peppers, strawberries, onions, basil, oregano, jalapeños, and 9 tomato plants. Yup, you read that right N-I-N-E tomato plants in three different varieties.  To be fair, most of the plants looked very sad and I really thought half of them would die.  Much to my surprise they not only lived but they thrived to insane proportions and produced over 2 bushel, which is equivalent to over 100 lbs of tomatoes.  That’s a whole lot more than I expected!  I was knee deep in tomatoes and quickly taught myself how to can tomato sauce.

Last year I chose to stake the tomatoes using 5′ plastic garden stakes and garden support tape.  It worked great for a little while but when the tomatoes got to a certain size, the stakes started to bend from the weight of the plants.

This year I am doing things differently to make sure my plants get the full support they need for their growing bodies ;-).

Planting and Staking Your Tomatoes [Read more...]