BackyardPatioLife Just another WordPress site Thu, 08 Dec 2022 02:59:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 21 Backyard Plants that Repel Mosquitoes Naturally Tue, 29 Nov 2022 14:44:42 +0000 There are various types of plants that repel mosquitoes naturally. Despite their size, mosquitoes are not just annoying, they also carry fatal diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, encephalitis, and more. Mosquitoes love hot seasons, particularly summer. So, if you are a person who would love to spend outside during summer, a mosquito bite […]

The post 21 Backyard Plants that Repel Mosquitoes Naturally appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.

There are various types of plants that repel mosquitoes naturally. Despite their size, mosquitoes are not just annoying, they also carry fatal diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, encephalitis, and more. Mosquitoes love hot seasons, particularly summer. So, if you are a person who would love to spend outside during summer, a mosquito bite is one problem you will face. 

Sometimes, we are pushed to go to great lengths just to fend them off and enjoy backyard peace. However, even this method is not always effective. Not a fan of chemical repellants? Consider growing plants with insect-repelling properties. In this blog, you will learn about different plants that can serve as natural mosquito control. You will also learn how to amp their natural power.



21 Backyard Plants that Repel Mosquitoes


1. Lavender





Lavender is one of the best natural mosquito controllers. Growers find fondness in the plant’s purple flowers and fancy foliage. But as much as humans love lavenders, mosquitoes despise them. In fact, the sweet, soapy fragrance of lavender effectively scares off mosquitoes. Research shows that lavender aroma deters most species for up to six to eight hours. Hang fresh or dry flowers around the house, put them in with your clothing, or rub the plants on your skin to repel mosquitoes.

Along with mosquitoes, lavender also repels other bugs such as moths, flies, and fleas. But it doesn’t stop there. Lavender is known to attract helpful pollinators like bumblebees and honeybees to create a profusion of purple flowers. Plant your lavender 2 to 3 feet apart to have space to grow, and absorb sunlight freely. Depending on the soil’s dryness, you can water the plants once or twice per week. 


2. Catmint

Catmint or catnip is a type of mint plant that grows as a weed or propagated as a commercial plant. It is very easy to nurse, can be found almost anywhere, and may even have invaded some parts of your garden. This plant has a natural mosquito-repellant substance called nepetalactone. According to a study, nepetalactone is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical used in most insect repellants. 

Catnip can be taken orally, with leaves edible for both humans and pets. Fresh catnip leaves can be rubbed between your hands and onto your skin. Unfortunately, topical application can have a lesser insect-repelling effect compared to sprays. Try spreading some clippings around the pool deck and courtyard to grow plants that repel mosquitoes. The Walker’s Low cultivar is perfect for warm seasons since it mostly blooms from late spring to mid-summer and can tolerate dry soils. 


3. Lemongrass





The Cymbopogon citratus, often called lemongrass, is not only a staple ingredient in culinary cuisine. The citronella oil within the lemongrass leaves gives off a distinct lemon-like fragrance, proven to have a potent mosquito-repelling ability. No wonder why it is a common ingredient not only in pest repellants but in perfumes, air purifiers, and patio candles as well. Even so, lab trials show that since oil evaporates quickly, topical citronella products can only last for about two hours at best.

For this reason, planting lemongrass around your yard is a nice assurance of bite-free peace. Lemongrass is a perennial plant that loves to be watered frequently and prefers direct sunlight in frost-free areas. Though low-maintenance, it can only thrive in places with winter below zone 9 in a container culture with well-drained soil. 

If you want to plant directly into the ground, better do it in spring when the thick snow has passed. Coarsely chop the strappy leaves and strew them roughly 24 inches apart. It’s important because lemongrass can reach up to six feet tall and six feet wide in full maturity. Or, keep your lemongrass in pots so you could easily move them inside when the temperature drops. 


4. Marigold




When talking about plants that repel mosquitoes, marigolds may not be the first that comes to our minds. Still, in reality, marigolds unique, pungent odor that releases pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is a substance found in most organic pesticides. It is effective in holding off common pests such as nematodes, aphids, thrips, and whiteflies. The scent also keeps bugs at bay, including Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms. More importantly, marigold’s insecticidal properties repel all sorts of mosquitoes.

Marigolds are relatively low-maintenance and produce beautiful, colorful flowers. They grow from seed and make a handsome addition to the flower garden. And since they don’t take up much space, you can grow marigolds in pots and place them near the doorway or hang them on your patio. Moreso, marigolds can be an addition to vegetable gardens, where they can potentially repel other insects besides mosquitoes.


5. Basil





If you’re looking for an insect-repelling plant that can be a delicious addition to your pestos and salads, then basil is your best bet. Basil is another culinary herb in this list with natural mosquito control properties. Its scent is strong enough to be smelled, even if the leaves are not crushed. This odor is repugnant to most insects, like flies and mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, basil leaves aroma has compounds that can eradicate mosquito eggs before they hatch. 

Of course, not all basil types are created equal when it comes to repelling mosquitoes. Feel free to explore and find the right types of basil to mix into your garden. As such, all basil plants need full sunlight and warm growing temperatures, along with good drainage. Basils can be planted in containers or in garden beds, alone or with vegetables and other flowers, as long as plants meet the same requirements. They are the easiest herbs to grow in the summer, so remember basil in your next gardening. 


6. Rosemary





Our next plant is one familiar herb—rosemary. Rosemary is also among the delectable and versatile herbs containing oils effective as insect repellants. For ages, people have used rosemary as natural mosquito control. Its woody and piny scent are what keeps mosquitoes and other bugs like cabbage moths and carrot flies away. Rosemary smoke in a grill is more effective at driving mosquitoes away. 

The plant is easy to grow and is popular with landscapers, home growers, and gardeners. Rosemary does best in hot and dry climates and prefers to dry out between waterings. It can thrive in containers or even window boxes. Having a rosemary plant around keeps pests away while enjoying the herb’s scent when it comes time to season your dish.


7. Mint





Mint is yet another fragrant herb and a natural mosquito control plant. It is an excellent safety option for keeping mosquitoes, flies, mites, and even ants away. The more pungent the smell is, the fewer bugs you’ll have. Menthol is the active biocidal compound of mints for fighting various pests. All types of mint plants repel mosquitoes, and there are more varieties than you could imagine. Explore the subtle differences between each mint variety, such as spearmint, peppermint, and even chocolate mint. 

You can dry mint leaves and use them as natural pest control at home. It is ideal to grow mints in pots to prevent them from growing and spreading like weeds. Potted mints are also easier to harvest since they are easier to harvest if you want to drop a leaf or two in your afternoon tea. 


8. Floss Flower





Floss flower or ageratum is an attractive annual plant great for bedding and containers. It contains a lethal chemical known as coumarin, which repels mosquitoes and is potentially toxic if ingested. Planting ageratum on pots and spreading them across your balcony will help discourage mosquitoes from visiting your deck. Floss flowers were once chiefly used as low bedding plants. But now, there are some cultivated varieties such as the Blue Horizon which can grow to over two feet tall. This gives you an additional option when planting them in your backyard. 


9. Bee Balm





The Bee Balm or monarda is a perennial plant famous for alluring pollinating insects like butterflies and bees. Surprisingly, bee balm also does well in repelling pesky mosquitoes. To get the best out of it, simply crush a few leaves to extract its fragrant oils. Together with its natural mosquito control ability, you’ll get to enjoy bee balm’s beautiful foliage with flowers tinted in white, red, pink, and purple. 


10. Allium





As a member of the perennial bulb family, Allium releases a strong odor that many insects despise, especially mosquitoes. Its scent mimics those of its kind—table onions, garlic, and chives—no wonder why it is sometimes called an ornamental onion. Aside from being one of the best plants that repel mosquitoes naturally, alliums enhance your garden beds with clusters of exotics, whimsical, globe-shaped bulbs on top of slender stems. Be careful, however, as ornamental onions are mildly toxic for pets.


11. Sage





Salvia officinalis or sage is a semi-shrubby perennial herb. Sage has a pleasant smell, yet is pungent for mosquitoes. Having a nearby sage plant is handy when you are rallying around a fire pit in your backyard. Take some of the plant’s leaves and toss them into the flames to ward off mosquitoes for hours. You can also use sage’s dried leaves to make a homemade bug spray. Trim plants every few years to prevent them from becoming sparse and woody.


12. American BeautyBerry





The American Beautyberry is a popular oriental remedy. It’s a small shrubby plant that has a natural mosquito control power. Beautyberry plants are members of the Lamiaceae family, just like most mints. Though the beautyberry’s tiny flowers aren’t much to look at alone, they would still stand out in clusters with vibrant magenta berry hues. Crushed the plant’s leaves to extract the callicarpenol, a chemical that, according to lab trials, can repel biting insects such as ticks, ants, and mosquitoes. The plant’s berries attract backyard birds and small mammals in winter.


13. Lantana Camara





Lantana Camara or lantana, in short, is an erect shrub, which grows widely in the tropics, and exhibits insecticidal properties. It is so easy to grow in warm sunny locales and attract common butterflies. Both flowers and leaves of lantana have a potent effect against mosquitoes and other several types of insects. A study suggests that lantana can be an alternative pest control due to its rich bioactive molecules. According to the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, “lantana flower mixed with coconut oil provided 94.5 percent protection from adult mosquito bites for two hours long. 


14. Lemon Eucalyptus





Lemon Eucalyptus (not to be confused with the common eucalyptus) is a lemon-scented gum tree native to Australia. Its leaves are rich in citronellal compounds, effective in repelling bugs. Distilled eucalyptus also makes a compound called para-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD). It is the only plant-based repellent that the CDC recommends in places that have rampant mosquito-borne diseases. Lemon eucalyptus oils have also been tested against common mosquitoes in the US. The results found that lemon eucalyptus products provide protection similar to repellents with 15%-20% DEET. 

Due to the tree potentially reaching nearly 60 feet tall, it is ideal to grow the plant in pots. Eucalyptus plants prefer rich soil and warm climates, so it’s great to start planting in spring. Although lemon eucalyptus is considered an evergreen plant, it can’t survive in a hard freeze. 


15. Scented Geraniums





Scented geraniums are also a famous organic mosquito-repelling plant. This includes varieties of garden geranium, cultivated for their pungent, lime-like scent capable of keeping several types of pests away. Most botanical research facilities favored lemon-scented plants like scented geraniums to be effective mosquito-repellant alternatives. Perennial plants like geraniums prefer warmer, hot, and dry climates. But they can still thrive in cold areas, especially if potted and pruned constantly. 


16. Pennyroyal





Pennyroyal is a weed-like plant closely related to spearmint. Its scent is extremely potent, similar to most mints. To mosquitoes, the smell is so pungent that they cannot take it. That’s why pennyroyal is sometimes referred to as the mosquito plant. Mosquito plants are not eye candy to be garden plants, and could even be toxic if too when applied too much. But with proper caring, it can be an effective natural mosquito control alternative. In fact, it is one of the best ground-covering plants that can repel mosquitoes naturally.


17. Fennel





Fennel is one versatile plant. It carries various uses and benefits, including treatment for digestive issues, headaches, and acne problems. No surprise that there is a load of fennel products in the market, whether in the form of oil, dried, or cosmetics. Fennel can grow about 50cm in height with feathery leave, white flowers, and fruit with a single seed. It has a sweet, strong aroma that can be a natural pesticide. The herb is used to decrease the population of slugs, aphids, and dengue-carrying mosquitos. 

The chopped leaves are edible and can be deliciously used in salads and soups. Fennel also attracts swallowtail butterfly caterpillars in the garden. Bronze fennel is charming and can produce a handsome colony by itself for the following season. However, due to its characteristics, many times, fennel is mistaken for star anise, a different plant with distinct properties. 


18. Garlic





Effective for fighting off bloodsuckers. Garlic is part of the Allium family and obviously works similarly to ornamental allium. Sulfur-rich garlic extract has been shown to be effective against mosquitoes for weeks. The only efficient way to use garlic against bug bites, however, is by rubbing the cloves onto the skin. This may end up repelling not only mosquitoes but other people as well. It is easy to plant garlic around your garden. Still, like most allium, garlic is toxic to animals. So, make sure to keep your pets away from gnawing the herbs, flowers, or bulbs of garlic plants.


19. Thyme





Thymus citriodorus, lemon thyme, or just thyme is another citrus-scented herb used as natural mosquito control. Flowers, leaves, and oil are also used to flavor foods and as alternative medicine. Thyme contains chemicals that might help fight common infections. The plants can grow approximately six to twelve inches tall depending on the variety. Most gardeners usually plant thyme between garden stones in ways to crush leaves and extract mosquito-repelling oils easily. Grilling or burning thyme is also effective in shooing away mosquitoes from an area.


20. Lemon Balm





Like thyme, lemon balm releases a distinct scent offensive to bugs and mosquitoes. Apply crushed leaves topically, especially on parts of the skin most exposed and prone to bug bites—namely arms, hands, and ankles. Grow the plants near your backdoor or in your garden, where you can quickly harvest leaves when you need them. Take note, though, lemon balm is in the mint family, so when planting, confine it to a pot to prevent it from spreading like wildfire!


21. Nasturtium





Tropaeolum, another name for Nasturtium, is a vine plant with edible flowers and colorful petals. It has attractive cascading circular leaves, perfect as a hanging plant. Nasturtium operates differently in repelling mosquitoes compared to other plants in this list. In fact, this plant attracts bugs away from you. The plant releases an exceptionally sweet nectar that bugs and even mosquitoes can’t resist. So, instead of going for you, bugs and mosquitoes would divert their attention to the plant’s nectar. This method is very helpful for protecting vegetable gardens where distractive bugs like aphids, beetles and flies prey.  

Nasturtiums can trail throughout open spaces in your backyard, so be sure to plant them at least 10 to 12 inches apart. They love areas where they can get long and direct sunlight. They can quickly bloom gorgeous flowers that are totally edible which can give your salad an aesthetic and flavorful upgrade.


Natural Mosquito Control Alternatives

In addition to the plants that repel mosquitoes, having good mosquito control practices can prevent the bugs from getting out of hand. One way to do this is by preventing stagnant water from accumulating. Mosquitoes easily breed excessively. Even a spoonful of standing water is enough to hold hundreds of mosquito larvae. Other ways of controlling the mosquito population and avoiding getting bitten include:

  • Sweat attracts mosquitoes, so washing off any sweat and taking more showers more often, especially if it gets too hot, is important.
  • Cover your skin by wearing loose, light-colored pants and long-sleeved cotton shirts. In truly infested places, wear a head net.
  • Reduce the mosquito population in your yard by eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Also invite natural mosquito predators such as birds, bats, dragonflies, and damselflies.
  • When camping, use mosquito netting around the bedding. Spraying the netting with insect repellent will also double the protection.

Products like mosquito rings, citronella torches, incense, sprays, and some patio candles contain a naturally occurring bacterium that kills or wards off mosquitoes.


Natural Mosquito Control Bite Remedies

Throughout the years, mosquitoes remain to be the deadliest animal on earth. Even today, over a million individuals die per year due to mosquito-borne diseases. Not to mention the record of the recent West Nile and Zika viruses. They are even to blame for heartworm in dogs. So, treating an itchy bite is vital to decrease the chance of infection. The best ways to relieve mosquito bites are as follows:

  • Icing the bite area will constrict the veins near the skin’s surface and reduce swelling. 
  • Scratching the bite with make things worse. Rub topical creams on the itching skin instead. 
  • Speaking of creams, avoid caladryl and calamine lotions; better to apply low-potency hydrocortisone.
  • White vinegar, baking soda, and even oatmeal can also provide itching relief.
  • Consult your doctor if you experience an intense mosquito bite reaction.


The Oils of the Plants that Repel Mosquitoes

Extracting the essential oils within a plant’s leaves is the key to creating a potent insect repellant. These oils are responsible for the effectiveness of a plant’s insect-repelling power. Burning or crushing are the practical ways to release their oils’ scents.

Be wary of itch! Some skins are allergic to plant oils, and similarly, some oils can cause skin irritations. It is wise to try a small portion on the arm to see if there’s any reaction before applying thoroughly. Also, take note that even though plants on this list may indeed repel bugs, using them might not be as effective as some commercial insect repellents. The bottom line is, using plants that repel mosquitoes can provide enough protection for a decent amount of time. 


Related Question

Do Mosquito-Repelling Plants Actually Work?

Since blood-sucking insects like ticks and mosquitoes depend on their senses to locate warm blood, the strong smell of garden plants is enough to hide the scents of their victims. However, in most cases, using a more concentrated form of the plant’s scent is crucial.

Read More


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10 Ways to Enjoy Outdoor Living Space in Winter Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:01:55 +0000 Winter is near! Low levels of temperature, as well as blistering snow, can make staying outside unideal. But don’t let this stop you from enjoying outdoor living space in winter.  We all know how spending recreational activities outside affects our well-being. There is a handful of things to do to enjoy your outdoor living space, […]

The post 10 Ways to Enjoy Outdoor Living Space in Winter appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.

Winter is near! Low levels of temperature, as well as blistering snow, can make staying outside unideal. But don’t let this stop you from enjoying outdoor living space in winter. 

We all know how spending recreational activities outside affects our well-being. There is a handful of things to do to enjoy your outdoor living space, such as yoga, morning coffees, and even parties. To carry on with these outdoor space activities even winter long, you have to take some extra steps. Here are some backyard winter ideas for you. 



10 Ways to Enjoy Outdoor Living Space in Winter


The key to enjoying your outdoor space in winter is modification—recreating your backyard, deck, patio, or balcony winter-ready. It also includes adding some extra fixtures appropriate for the cold weather. Here are 10 practical steps for keeping your outdoor space cozy in winter. 


#1 Invest in Heaters





If you want to enjoy outdoor living space in winter, you should first be able to stay outdoors in the cold. Investing in a source of heat will enable you to do this. A heat source will keep you warm even in a chilly environment. 

As we all know, fire is vital for providing warmth. It has been an ancient practice to use fire in order to fight the cold. As such, fire is essential to enjoy outdoor living space all winter. 

An outdoor heater (portable or permanent), a firepit, an oven, or anything with clean-burning fuel is great for warm outdoor gatherings during winter. Even a grilling station would do. Many people enjoy grilling food outdoors in the cold season. 

But try to stick with recipes you know for cooking times during freezing temperatures tend to be longer. Then, serve the fresh cuisine on the deck, patio, or in any outdoor space you prefer.



#2 Outdoor living space winter Lighting


Since not all outdoor space activities in winter happen in daylight, consider setting up outdoor lighting. Set up lights and lanterns for tall fences, posts, or other structures. Or crisscross string lights across your yard to illuminate a cozy canopy effect. Your outdoor lighting can be LEDs or solar. Other different options include:

  • Garden lights
  • Spotlights
  • Path markers
  • Patio String lights

Lights with timers can be readjusted as it’s early to get dark in winter. Proper lighting can quickly change the mood of your guest assembled in your outdoor living space in winter. 

Speaking of setting up the mood, outdoor candles will surely spruce up your patio, especially during days of less daylight, like winter. There’s nothing more like the glow of a candle for creating a cheerful atmosphere in the cold, plus you’ll have more time for enjoying candlelight outdoors.



#3 Enjoy outdoor living space winter Jacuzzi





Soaking in a hot tub can make you feel soothed and relaxed after a long, tiring day. It also increases your body’s temperature. This serves you best during cold temperatures. Besides what was mentioned, soaking in a hot tub can improve metabolism and the cardiovascular system. Whether you enjoy it alone or with friends, hot tubs will always be cozy outdoor leisure in winter.



#4 Winter-proof Furniture


Transform your outdoor living space into winter-proof to enjoy your outdoor living space in winter. Consider what furniture you will use in your outdoor living space. Winter-resistant furniture made from teak, powder-coated steel, and polyresin wicker is built to last even in winter. 

Well, aside from ensuring winter-proof materials, covering your furniture, cushions, and pillows is also excellent protection from snow. There are many alternatives available in the market today. A lot of these synthetics have cozy textures that mimic the feeling of warmth boucle, chenille, velvet, wool, and even fur. 



#5 Add Comfort





We’ve talked about adding a source of heat and light, as well as winter-proofing furniture. Now let us hyphen the mood by elevating coziness. To do so, add some comfort, pillows, and throw blankets to share with family and friends. 

Wrapping yourself in a throw blanket during winter is one of the best ways to retreat from the cold. Classic cold-weather blankets can help you enjoy outside without worrying about the low levels of temperatures. There are various types of blankets you can add to your collection. 

Example: Boiled wool blankets are great for holding heat well and are easy to wash. Try to drape them over the back of your outdoor couch and chairs. Or, offer them to your guests as an extra layer when seeping hot beverages or while looking at the stars at night. 

For easy access, keep blankets in a box near the entryway of your house and outdoor space. This way, you quickly grab a blanket for yourself or for others. Additionally, blankets and cushions with warm colors will also invite a warm sensation. Use summery colors like shades of cranberry, paprika, hunter green, or pumpkin to create a warming effect. Budget-wise, buy one set of cushions with a neutral color and use it for the whole year. Then, simply change for hues right for a particular season.



#6 Decorate Outdoor Living Space in Winter


Include your backyard when decorating for the holiday season. Let the transition between your indoors and outdoors be aesthetically consistent. In simple terms, make your indoors and outdoors identical. Add elements like lighting, and curtains manifesting the holiday theme. In case to basis, you can place small, simple, weatherproof, non-breakable decorations in your backyard. Make sure that your decor isn’t just cute, but functional as well. Remember that it’s all about adding function and embracing winter while staying warm.



#7 Add Enclosure





Adding some type of enclosure to your outdoor living space is beneficial in both practical and aesthetic ways. Enclosing your patio is a great way to enjoy your outdoor living space all winter long. An enclosure can be anything that can serve as a wall or ceiling. There is a variety of patio enclosures available in the market. This can include prefabricated tents, curtains, and rolling shades. Compared to regular walls, enclosures can be installed in the winter and can be removed during other seasons. 

Curtains can give your outdoor space a room-like experience, as well as an intimate and warm feeling. They can also provide protection for your open porches from uncomfortable weather. 

Rolling shades are a modern option for the enclosure of your deck. You can install them on a vertical beam or on the overhead pergola of your patio. Unlike regular curtains, rolling shades can be remotely controlled to open or close individually or at once. Some remote-controlled rolling shades will permit you to control how far you want the screens to go down. 

To take it up a notch, depending on how big your outdoor space is, you can put up a tent to enjoy your outdoor living space despite the weather. The most common tent for an outdoor space is a canvas yurt and styled tent.


#8 Dress as Winter-Ready


Embrace the winter months with a winter-ready mindset. And this starts with having the right winter clothing. Investing in winter clothes and dressing appropriately will help you stay outside and enjoy your outdoor space in winter. Winter clothes are thick outerwear like coats, jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves. This also includes earmuffs, warm underwear, union suits, and socks.



#9 Winter Gardening





Though most flowers stay dormant during the cold, there are some seasonal plants that you can care for during winter. Growing these plants will allow you to enjoy outdoor living space in winter. Winter gardening will make you accommodated outside, making you feel like it’s just a normal season. After you’re done, you can then relax and enjoy the coziness of your deck.



#10 Plan an Outdoor Activity


For adults, sitting around a warm fire drinking something, and conversing is enough, but it won’t hurt to spice things up a little. With proper planning, you can come up with endless possibilities. So why not plan an exciting outdoor activity for winter? Invite your friends and family to come over to have a game, party, or watch a movie in your backyard. 

Cook fresh meals using your outdoor oven or grill. Grill a burger, hot dogs, kababs, and pizza, or cook a hot dish like porridge and fondue. You can also enjoy roasting marshmallows, drinking coffee, and seeping hot chocolate around a fire pit. 

Play games like board games, soda-pong, or other backyard snow games like building a snowman and snowball fight. What matter is how you execute your plan in creating the perfect space for your friends and family.



Why Involved your Guests


Cold temperatures can easily make your guests retreat home. For this reason, consider your guest when planning ways to enjoy your outdoor living space in winter. Keep your guests involved in all the activities and preparations. Cooking food as a group instead of doing it single-handedly makes it more fun and exciting. But food is not your last resort—think outside the box. Plan for the whole day. The important thing is involving your guests while keeping them warm.


How to Stay Safe While Enjoying Outdoor Living Space in Winter


While the goal is to create a warm backyard in winter, one should not neglect safety. Ensure that your outdoor living space is comfortable and relaxing without any potential hazards. Here are some pro tips for keeping your outdoor living space winter safe.

  1. Extinguish fire or any live flame before entering your house. 
  2. Unplug heaters after backyard parties.
  3. Keep flammable elements like fabric and oil away from the heater.
  4. Relocate furniture. Wooden and plastic furniture should be at least three feet away from the edge of the fire pit.
  5. Rugs, cushions, curtains, and blankets must be far from the fire pit.
  6. Comply with the local requirements if you’re planning to build a permanent fire pit.



Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors in the Winter


Spending time outdoors, even in winter months, comes with a lot of benefits for both mental and physical health. 


Though the sun is aloof in the cold season, we can still get calciferol or Vitamin D during the daytime. The Vitamin D we get is vital for protecting us against certain illnesses. In the cold season, our bodies burn calories faster the usual. So, while it can be hard to run on frozen roads, moving around outside in the wintertime is important. 


Spending time outdoors in the winter can also improve mental health! Lots of activities can be made to improve mood and avoid winter blues in the cold season. Winter blues, a seasonal condition in which people suffer from mood swings, is a common problem in the cold season. Also, a lot of people experience SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter months. Cheer up by doing some gardening and bird-watching in winter. These can help you get out and be happier. 




Enjoying your outdoor living space in winter depends on how to act according to your ideals. All it takes are 10 simple steps that include concrete planning, designing, craftsmanship, and a little investment. But whether you are planning to use a portion or the entire section of your outdoor space, remember to have fun and be safe.

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The Best Solar Pathway Lights For Your Home Sun, 20 Nov 2022 17:53:54 +0000 The best solar pathway lights improve safety for path users by preventing tripping accidents and collisions. They provide a gentle glow in a downward direction to avoid beaming distracting glare. Technically, solar walkway lights illuminate guides where you can navigate during the darkness even without electricity.    These sustainable lights offer a cost and effective […]

The post The Best Solar Pathway Lights For Your Home appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.

The best solar pathway lights improve safety for path users by preventing tripping accidents and collisions. They provide a gentle glow in a downward direction to avoid beaming distracting glare. Technically, solar walkway lights illuminate guides where you can navigate during the darkness even without electricity. 


These sustainable lights offer a cost and effective solution since they don’t add up to your electric bill—off-grid, as to speak. Besides keeping you away from costly utility bills, you’ll also be able to avoid complicated setups, like digging up your yard for underground electric wiring. 



How to Choose the Best Solar Lights for Walkways


There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting the best solar pathway lights. As mentioned, going solar is a smart choice. To help you choose the best solar lights for pathway lights, here are the important things you need to focus on: 


Installation purpose

It is also crucial to consider exactly why and where you want to install your lights before purchasing. Though the best solar pathway lights are quite useful, you have to have the main reason for buying. There are two main reasons why most people buy solar pathway lights—security and decoration. Yet, you can buy a single solar path light for catering to both purposes. There are a lot of solar pathway lights that can serve as security and decoration. This includes: 

  • Path Lights
  • Spotlights
  • Post Lights
  • Wall-Mounted Lights
  • String Lights



This points to the brightness or light output. According to Home Depot, the ideal lumen for path lighting is around 100-200 lumens. Decorative pathway lights can have fewer lumens and more for other outdoor purposes. For places not too close to your main house, choose brighter lights. Lights with higher lumen ratings will brightly light the area, even in a small number. To easily identify what lumens, suit your needs, convert lumens to watts. Here are some examples:

  • 5 lm = 0.8W
  • 15 lm = 0.25W
  • 30 lm = 0.50W
  • 50 lm = 0.80W


Color temperature

This describes the light temperature emitted by a certain light bulb. A balance between cool and warm light or 3,000K (Kelvin) is enough. LED is the best light bulb for solar path lights. LEDs are proven to optimize energy usage with less amount of heat dissipation. Meaning, most of the energy goes into the light rather than dispersing them into heat without return. This saves you money and allows you to enjoy the lighting for a longer time.


Charging time

Solar devices, such as solar pathway lights, charge via solar cells. These cells or panels are where sunlight is trapped and converted to electricity. Electricity is then stored in solar batteries and automatically runs at nighttime. Charging time would take about eight hours, typically from sunrise to sunset.


Solar battery runtime

Runtime is the amount of time a solar battery can last in use. This varies depending on the sunlight’s condition. Simply put, the more sunlight a solar device receives, the longer it’ll provide power at night.


Battery life

Since batteries are not forever, expect to change your solar pathway lights’ batteries after a year or so. Around this period, they can no longer perform a charge. Also, for this reason, select solar lights with batteries and bulbs that can be easily replaced. 



Make sure to pick solar pathway lights with durable and corrosion-resistant material. Look for products with an IP44 rating or higher. A higher Ingress Protection indicates that the product can stand various outdoor elements, as well as changing weather. ABS plastic and powder-coated metal are a few of the best picks.



The Best Solar Pathway Lights


To see if solar lights are worth a try, let’s examine over 10 solar walkway lights and decorative pathway lights perfect for garden beds. This includes some that emit super bright light, while others have a softer glow. Keep on reading to find out which lights on this list are suitable for your outdoor setting. 


1. Kousbar Solar Pathway Lights, Color Changing





Right off the bat, we have Kousbar solar pathway lights. Made from thickened, water-proof material, these solar lights can withstand prolonged exposure to changing weather. High-quality solar panels and batteries can store more sunlight, enabling them to give a longer, continuous glow than other solar garden lights. 


Kousbar solar pathway lights are uniquely designed. The high transmittance lampshade has 13 LED beads which cast vivid and colorful lights. Compared to ordinary, mono-colored garden lights, Kousbar’s solar walkway lights have binary lighting modes—color dynamic and warm white. Excellent for different outdoor occasions.


Convenient design, great for holiday decorations. Kousbar decorative pathway lights have an aesthetic black appearance and crystal-clear cover. Textures produce color-dynamic star-like patterns covering 360°. Its color-changing mode is perfect for making your house stand out amongst your neighborhood during holidays. 


Practicality is one reason why Kousbar solar patio lights are one of the best solar pathway lights. Fixtures include an external switch and some sets of hookups. Adjustable poles let you choose where to place them. So besides being pathway lights, Kousbar solar lights can also be mounted on outside walls and fences.


Dimensions: 4.72″L x 4.72″W x 16.4″H | Lumens: 80 | Charging Time: 10-12 | Operating Time: 8 hours | Material: ABS Plastic | IP67


  • Easy Installation
  • Multicolored
  • Adjustable


  • Lightweight



2. Kooper Solar Lily Flower Garden Lights





Next on our list are the towering solar garden lights with unique designs. Kooper solar lily flower garden light and the garden bed are a match made in heaven. These decorative pathway lights are designed to mimic lily flowers. Colors varying from white, pink, blue, and purple would create a romantic aura for your garden. 


Though they imitate delicate flowers, Kooper solar lily flower garden lights are tougher than they look. Processed from fine fabric materials, these decorative pathway lights can withstand harsh weather. Along with this are the leaves and stems made from high-end materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, and ABS plastic.


Adjust the stems and leaves to style the flower with the pose you love. Night sensors will enable the garden lights to light up at dusk. Large solar panels allow high and efficient photoelectric conversion but make sure to turn the switch ON before using, otherwise, it won’t be charged. Also, remove the transparent protective film on the panel, to receive more sunlight.


Buy them for someone as a gift or use them to enhance your garden beds, patios, and doorways. 


Dimensions: 0.35″L x 0.35″W x 29.5″H | Lumens: 8 | Operating Time: 8-10 hours | Material: ‎Aluminum, Stainless Steel, ABS Plastic | IP65


  • Great for decorations
  • Perfect as gift
  • Easy to install


  • Battery lifespan is short



3. Aulanto Solar Pathway Lights, 6 pack





Auto solar pathway lights radiate warm white as well as gradient flashing RGB lighting. But contrary to most color-changing lights, Aulanto solar pathway lights are equipped with color-locking features. You will have 8 colors to choose from and select one color to lock. This is great for people who don’t like flashing or color-changing lights. Color-locking will also help those with vision problems to see where and what they are stepping into clearly. When lit up, it can reflect a unique petal lighting effect that will add beauty to your yard.


Once assembled, stake the sturdy rods into soft soil—no extra tools are required. But before assembling, remember to turn each light on. Find a spot where the lights could easily access direct sunlight. This will make the charging time quicker. However, you need to install them somewhere where there are no obstructions or where they won’t become a stumbling block.


Bad weather? No worries. Aulanto decorative pathway lights have protective aluminum alloy shells for combating extreme outdoor conditions. Regarding its parts—the transparent glass, metal poles, and the head cover—all are proven to not be easy break even when exposed to different temperatures.


Dimensions: 7.17″L x 9.69″W x 14.25″H | Lumens: 40 | Color Temperature: 3000K | Charging Time: 6 to 8 hours | Operating Time: 5-8 hours | Material: ‎Aluminum, Glass, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene | IP65


  • Great Quality
  • Unique lighting effects
  • Easy to assemble
  • Heavy duty


  • A bit pricey



4. Umickoo Bright Solar Pathway Lights, decorative





With a height of 18.5 inches, Umickoo sets of bright solar pathway lights will impact your patios to a new level. They provide better light and higher brightness to secure a safe traverse of steps and ample navigation at night. A sunset-to-sunrise sensor automatically turns the light on and off. 


Built from rugged ABS plastic, Umickoo Bright Solar Pathway Lights are proven and tested to endure rain, snow, frost, or sleet. The hexagonal lattice glass of the lampshade projects exquisite light effects. Overall, the Umickoo Bright Solar Pathway Lights are impressive. They will surely add decorative charm to any outdoor landscape—from courtyards to sidewalks, and even driveways. An important thing to note: Possible confusion in operating settings. E.g., the “On” indicates warm white light, while the “Fade” switch is the command for multicolored lights.


Dimensions: 4.9″L x 4.9″W x 18.5″H | Lumens: 25 | Color Temperature 6500K | Charging Time: 6 to 8 hours | Operating Time: 8-10 hours | Material: ‎Aluminum, Glass, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene | IP65


  • Longer operating hours
  • Unique lighting patterns
  • Quick to install


  • Shorter battery lifespan



5. Nupostai Solar Pathway Lights, 8 pack





When Nupostai solar walkway lights are powered, each high-power LED lamp bead illuminates a bright, colorful sunflower pattern. This attractive pattern will not only enhance your ordinary walkway but will also assist visitors at night. Add great value to your yard and enjoy the light show every night. 


Nupostai Solar Pathway Lights have adjustable heights enabling them to be taller—at almost two feet tall—than conventional pathway lights. No drastic maintenance is needed. Just wipe the lights with a damp rag to make them look good and new again. The convenient switch along with the crystal-clear glass shade heads meets your different lighting and decoration needs. 


With an ingress progression of 67+, these solar driveway lights can keep lighting up even with weeks of strong wind, rain, and snow. One of the brightest solar pathway lights on this list, having 80 Lumens, as well as the longest operating time of up to 13 hours. Installing them allows you to enjoy more time outdoors. Perfect supplementary accessories for your landscaping design. 


Dimensions: 4.9″L x 4.9″W x 16.43″H | Lumens: 80 | Charging Time: 4 to 8 hours | Operating Time: 9-13 hours | Material: Glass, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene | IP67


  • Quick charging hours
  • Higher IP
  • Longer operating time
  • Brighter lumens


  • Expensive in sets



6. Vosaro Solar Flower Lights, 3 pack





If you are looking for budget-friendly, durable, and unique solar pathway lights, then Vosaro Solar Flower Lights are for you. Standing at over two feet, these jellyfish-style solar lights are in a league of their own. They may look thin and fragile, but trust me, these things are sturdy. They are made from high-quality, durable plastic that can withstand changing elements. Built-in sensitive light sensors permit the lights to light at night and turn off during the day automatically. Since each light has its own solar panel, there’s no need to install wire connections. That being said, make sure to select a location where they can absorb full sunlight. 

These decorative pathway lights also feature RGB 7 color-changing lights. Vosaro Solar Flower Lights emit neon, bright light that stimulates a strong festive atmosphere. They are great decorations for making your outdoor space inviting, especially during the night. However, if you’re planning to light your whole backyard, this set may not be the best choice, as they are dimmer compared to other solar lights on this list.


Dimensions: 15″L x 15″W x 25.6″H | Lumens: 80 | Charging Time: 4 to 6 hours | Operating Time: 8-12 hours | Material: Optical Fiber, Aluminum tube | IP65 


  • Tall and sturdy
  • Budget-friendly
  • Longer operating time


  • A bit dimmer than others



7. Flickering Flame Solar Pathway Lights





For adjustable budgets, consider huge solar walkway lights. Towering at a whopping 8 feet tall (Heights can be adjusted to 23″, 39″, and 55″ depending on preferences) are the Flickering Flame Solar Pathway Lights. These are the giants among solar pathway lights, with torch flame-mimicking lights. The flickering lights look exactly similar to flames burned in oil or kerosene—minus the smoke and fumes. These are safe alternatives to torches and are suitable for different special occasions, such as parties, festivals, and weddings. Though they can also be set as home garden decorations. 


100% Heavy-duty stainless-steel stands won’t faze even under strong wind, rain, and snow. The metal design also enhances the stability of the structure, unlike other Flickering Flame Torch Lights that are made from plastic. Not to mention the battery longevity with 5-8 years of super long use time. 


Installation would only take up to two minutes and can be easily completed, even by children. The simple assembling method includes directly inserting the lamp head and tube. On the first use, remember to press the white switch under the lamp cover. Note, these lights are top-heavy, so ensure that they are firmly posted on the ground to avoid toppling in the storm.


Dimensions: 8″L x 8″W x 55″H | Lumens: 35 | Charging Time: 4 to 6 hours | Operating Time: 8 hours | Material: ‎Metal, Stainless Steel |


  • Tall and sturdy
  • Longer battery lifespan


  • People who are sensitive to flickering may not like it



8. XMCOSY+ Solar Pathway Lights – 4 Pack





XMCOSY+ Solar Pathway Lights offers a decent number of features despite being young compared with elite brands. This is a set of 4 solar lights with a classic vintage design. The 2.4 * 2.4 inches solar panels covered with monocrystalline silicon increase solar energy absorption and utilization. While the long strip of LED filament lighting with polyhedral transparent glass covers a 360° radial illumination. Additionally, XMCOSY+ Solar Pathway Lights offer a long battery life of up to 10 hours. 

In spite of being feature-rich and handy, you might find getting only 4 of these in a single pack an issue. Thankfully, XMCOSY+ LED lights offer a high brightness rating of 40 lumens to compensate. 


Dimensions: 5.5″L x 5.5″W x 19.5″H | Lumens: 40 | Color Temperature: 3000 Kelvin | Charging Time: 4 to 8 hours | Operating Time: 6-10 hours | Material:Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Glass, Copper


  • Wider light range
  • Longer battery lifespan
  • Easy to assemble


  • Longer charging time



9. Kaxiida Solar Garden Pathway Lights





Landscape spotlights! Yes, you heard it right. Kaxiida Solar Garden Pathway Lights are dual-purpose lights. Depending on your desired location, these solar lights’ two-in-one functions allow them to be wall-mounted or floor-fixed. This is great for lighting up your patio, fence, outside walls, and front doors.


Having numerous—56 overall plus 200 lumens—LED lights, these solar lights will brighten your backyard from all angles. Added to this are the 3 lighting modes, dim, bright, and highlight mode. They can be used for 14 hours, 10 hours, and 8 hours at full charge. The 90 degrees rotating solar light heads make them easier to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.


Dimensions: 5.12″L x 5.31″W x 12.2″H | Lumens: 200 | Color Temperature 6000 Kelvin | Charging Time: 4 to 8 hours | Operating Time: 12 hours | Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene


  • Brighter light
  • Quick charge
  • Easy to install


  • Not waterproof enough



10. Faishilan Purple Solar Torch Lights





Next, we have another solar torch light from FAISHILAN, an in-demand brand in the market that is well-known to offer budget-friendly products. Faishilan Purple Solar Torch Lights is a great deal since you’ll be getting a total of 12 solar tiki torch lights in this set. Looking at the design, each of the lights is made from durable ABS material. Thanks to the 96 LED lights, these solar walkway lights glow brighter than most tiki torch lights. Moreover, the purple glow resembles the essence of a ritual setting. 


Using all the extensions, the max length of this solar tiki light can reach over three feet. If you want a much lower height, just reduce the length of the extensions. They may not be as tall as the towering Flickering Flame Solar Pathway Lights, but you still don’t have to worry about the installation process. Another interesting feature of these lights is the one-of-a-kind fittings that come with them. In terms of battery life, each of the solar tiki torch lights has a 2200mAh built-in battery that can power for about 10 hours.


Dimensions: 8″L x 4″W x 12″H | Lumens: 40 | Color Temperature: 3000 Kelvin | Charging Time: 4 to 8 hours | Operating Time: 10 hours | Material: ‎Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene | IP65


  • Sturdy
  • Solid color
  • Quick to install


  • Shorter battery life



11. Rayolon Solar Ground Lights





For minimalists who avoid flashy and dashing solar pathway lights, meet the Rayolon Solar Ground Lights. Rayolon Solar Ground Lights are low-profiled but modernly designed solar walkway lights for your front doors, driveway, and pool deck. But despite their minimalist style, they’re waterproof and can keep on operating even under harsh weather. 


But having a minimalist style has a particular disadvantage. The small size makes them hard to see and are prone to stepping. Moreover, dirt and debris can easily cover the lights. To prevent the solar panels from having charging problems, occasionally clean them. And when installing, dig a shallow hole for the stake to prevent cracks. Also, be sure to allow a three-day charging before installing them so that they can reach their maximum output. 


Dimensions: ‎‎4.72″L x 4.92″W x 5.2″H | Charging Time: 8 hours | Operating Time: 6 to 10 hours | Material: ‎Stainless Steel, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene | IP65


  • Minimalist
  • Waterproof
  • No complex installation


  • Fragile



Tips for buying, using, and maintaining Solar Pathway Lights:


  • First and foremost. Before buying, check the return warranty policies, customer service ratings, reviews, and other additional product provider credentials.
  •  Understand the lumens count and their range before purchasing.
  • Charge batteries for at least three days before completely using them.
  • Take off the plastic screen protecting solar panels.
  • Gently press the lights into the ground to avoid breaking fragile materials. Softening the soil where you want to put your solar lights might help speed up the installation.
  • Adjust placements of solar lights to enable them to have quick access to sunlight and operate longer at night.
  • During winter, it is best to store your solar pathway lights for the meantime. This can make the solar lights’ lifespan longer.
  • Limit the brightness of your solar lights to enhance consistency and performance.
  • Replace batteries when needed.
  • Remove or prune nearby shrubs, trees, and anything that can block sunlight.
  • Occasionally, clean the glass and other fixtures.
  • Individually check lights for corrosion and damage.



Related Questions


Where is the best place to install solar walkway lights?

In general, the best places to install solar lights would be along pathways, walkways, front yards, and anywhere where people usually walk and hang out during nighttime. For decorative purposes, place lights on your garden bed, near your doorstep, or even on your pool deck.


What is the average lifespan of solar pathway lights?

Solar lights can last up to 2 years. A High-quality LED light bulb’s light span is around 25 to 30 years. 


What are the main reasons behind solar lights that are not working properly?


The following are the major reasons for common solar walkway light problems.

  1. A crucial fixture for lighting the bulb got removed or has been damaged.
  2. Parts and accessories are not properly installed.
  3. Solar pathway light did not receive enough solar light to fully operate.




Solar walkway lights are a must-have if you want to spend a longer time in your backyard at night. Ensure that you install them in places where you mostly walk around or where your visitors are idle. Whether you go for the complex looking, bright and colorful, or minimalist, simply choose any of the best solar path lights mentioned in this article to supply your needs

The post The Best Solar Pathway Lights For Your Home appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.

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Overwintering Plants: Protect your Plants in Winter Fri, 18 Nov 2022 19:16:12 +0000   By overwintering, you can keep your favorite plants alive for years. During winter, it’s a custom to stock plants indoors for safekeeping. This practice of overwintering is easy and cost-effective if done in the right way.  As winter approaches, consider what expert gardeners do to preserve plants successfully in the cold season. But before […]

The post Overwintering Plants: Protect your Plants in Winter appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.


By overwintering, you can keep your favorite plants alive for years. During winter, it’s a custom to stock plants indoors for safekeeping. This practice of overwintering is easy and cost-effective if done in the right way. 

As winter approaches, consider what expert gardeners do to preserve plants successfully in the cold season. But before that, let us take a deep dive first into what overwintering means. 



About Overwintering


What is overwintering? Overwintering is a way of conserving non-hardy plants from killing frost and freezing temperatures. Your storage for safekeeping may depend on how big and what type of cold-sensitive plant you have. Some can stay indoors to become houseplants, while others need cool, dark spaces like potting sheds and basements to undergo dormancy. 

Whatever the case, overwintering plants can save you the cost and the hassle of finding replacements for the plants that succumbed in winter. Identifying what plants to keep and what they need is the key to successful overwintering. 



Plants that need Overwintering


Surely you have one or more tropical plants lying on your garden bed and balcony. As you know, all tropical plants can take the heat, but not all can tolerate freezing temperatures. In fact, most of them are highly sensitive to cold weather. 

When planning to overwinter a tropical plant, there are two things you need to consider. (1) Plants that can be kept as houseplants, (2) Plants that need a dormant period. Here are some examples of plants for indoors:

  • Hibiscus
  • New Zealand flax
  • Plumeria
  • Begonias
  • Impatients
  • Geraniums
  • Cannas
  • Dahlias
  • Tarragon


Plants that undergo dormancy commonly have bulbs, tubers, or corns. Here are some examples of plants that can be overwintered to experience the dormancy period:

  • Sweet potato vine
  • Angel’s trumpet
  • Cannas
  • Dahlias
  • Lilies
  • Elephant ears
  • Four o’clocks
  • Banana plant
  • Pepper plants


Nearly all non-hardy plants can thrive in temperatures around 40 degrees. Some can survive frost for short periods. But most get damaged due to freezing temperatures. These plants do not have a winter resistance skill in their natural cycle, hence, many die during winter. Despite this, however, the cold season is perfect for overwintering and for promoting dormancy. 



How to Overwinter Plants


Reserve a Good Space



overwintering plants

Some plants should be brought indoors



To overwinter plants, place them in a cool, dark room with temperatures below 60°F. It will enable plants to detect winter even if not outside. Ideal choices for safekeeping include unheated or minimally heated rooms, basements, attic access, crawl spaces, garage, and outbuildings like root cellars and potting sheds. 

For dormant plants, light is not a factor. Although a lack of sunlight and humidity can sometimes pose an issue. You may need to take a few practical steps to stimulate sunlight and promote humidity indoors. It can involve setting up artificial lighting and spraying plants with a fine mist of tepid water. But, avoid placing plants near heat ducts to avoid withering.

For plants that are sensitive to moving, covering them with straws, or compost can protect them from the cold. Avoid using leaves as covering as they mostly get too heavy and will flatten perennials and other pants. 

Depending on the size of the plants, you can layer as much as 6 to 18 inches deep. Surround the covering with wire or other types of fencing and secure it to keep the materials in place. Wait until plants are fully dormant and before the ground freezes, typically early to mid-November. By this time, soil temperature has stabilized. Too soon may prevent plants from overwintering. 



Clean Up Clay Pots, Fabric Pots, and Containers


Since most of the plants’ lives are spent outdoors, it is expected for pots to accumulate salt deposits and bug eggs. To clean pots and containers, start by cutting dead plant parts and emptying the soil. Now you can set aside your plant or temporarily scatter it in your yard. 

Then, scrape and wipe the pots to make sure there are no residues left. After that, use a vinegar solution to soak the plants for a few hours. In this way, you can kill off bug eggs, and disease spores, as well as wash away soil salinity and algae.  Once you’re finished, rinse pots thoroughly and dunk them in clean water. Afterward, place pots in direct sunlight to dry. When dry, check any unwanted deposits and remove them. 

For fabric pots, the soil must be removed. Start by scooping out some of the soil, then simply dump the rest. Next, soak the bags in a bucket of water mixed with bleach detergent. Now rinse the fabric pots thoroughly and hang them to air dry.



Don’t Over-water Bulbs



overwintering plants



If you have plants that grow bulbous roots (sometimes referred to as corns and tubers), it indicates they’re dormant plants. A dormant plant can be overwintered easily. 

Start by cutting all the foliage and carefully digging the bulbs out of the soil. Let the bulbs dry out for several days. Then pack them in newspaper with peat moss, sawdust, or coco husk. Put them in boxes and store them in a dark, cool room until spring. They should be loose enough to allow ventilation and retain enough moisture to prevent getting bone dry.

Since fleshy bulbs hold moisture, they only need a small amount of supplemental water. You can let the boxes dry out the entire winter or dribble it with water a few times a week. But be careful to not overdo it, as can cause rot, mold, and fungal growth. If you noticed any rotting, soft, or dried-out bulbs, simply remove them. 



Prune Overwintering Plants


Trim back stalky plants that grew huge to move them indoors. However, you must do this before cold weather hits. Start trimming in the fall before the first frost—around early to mid-September.

Pruning helps boost flowering and make sure that shrubs and foliage don’t outgrow their space. Large plants, especially those that become trees, make indoor space limited and may not be ideal to grow as house plants.



Allow Overwintering Plants to Rest



overwintering plants



Most plants can stay dormant for a long period. You can control when the plants should start resting by moving them to a cool and dark room. Plants can be overwintered in a garage or basement. Then, in late winter, gradually move your plants into a sunny spot to prepare them for spring.



Avoid Drastic Changes in the Environment


Plants respond to sudden changes in temperatures by activating heat shock factors that will stop plants from resting. To avoid this, cover your plant’s old blanket or flannel sheet. Covering also helps regulate temperature and block light that might confuse the resting plants. Keeping the environment cool can make plants stay hibernate or dormant in winter. 



Keep in touch


Some perennials don’t need to stay indoors for long but only during the frost months. You might end up losing your overwintering plants if you forgot them for too long.

In late winter or a month or two before spring, you can repot your plants and let them until spring. Best to start with new soil each spring even though plants did not get a disease from the previous soil. Or, wait until after the last frost and replant them directly on your garden bed. 



Final thought

Overwintering plants can go either through success or failure. Remember that not all plants grow equally, and some ways can be better than others. So, for this reason, be prepared to lose a few plants in the process.



Read More

Pet Safe Bushes For Backyard

Bird Friendly Hedge Plants and Shrubs for Garden

Basics of Winter Bird Feeding and How to Attract more Species

What Plants You’d Recommend to Newbies

Right Plants for Your Backyard

Should you Fertilize Plants in the Fall?


The post Overwintering Plants: Protect your Plants in Winter appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.

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Basics of Winter Bird Feeding and How to Attract more Species Fri, 11 Nov 2022 12:49:52 +0000 Attracting and feeding birds in winter is easier now than ever. Every winter, almost 40 species of winter birds can be seen in American backyards. This means your chances of having a feathered visitor each year are high. And if fortunate enough, you might attract new species of winter birds! Of course, this all depends […]

The post Basics of Winter Bird Feeding and How to Attract more Species appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.

Attracting and feeding birds in winter is easier now than ever. Every winter, almost 40 species of winter birds can be seen in American backyards. This means your chances of having a feathered visitor each year are high. And if fortunate enough, you might attract new species of winter birds!

Of course, this all depends on many factors, such as how you manage your bird feeders and shelters. In this blog, you will learn effective ways to attract winter birds. But for starters, let me introduce you to some of the most common winter birds that love to visit our backyards.



Common Backyard Winter Birds


The geography and habitat around your home can affect the species of winter birds that would visit your feeders. In the US, there are bout 35 to 40 species of winter birds. Most of these are found in the forested countryside and few visits to built-up areas. 

Some winter birds can be regular backyard visitors, while others will only be present during winter. On the northeast coast of America, one suburban yard manages to attract over 20 species of snow birds during winter. This diversity is clearly a result of the ample trees and shrubs, as well as the number of heated birdbaths and feeders in the area. 

Still, irregularities can happen especially when there’s an irruption of a particular winter bird species. These are the common bird species that could pay your feeder a visit in the winter: 

  • Finches
  • Goldfinches
  • Robins
  • Chickadees
  • Waxwings
  • Redpolls
  • Hawks
  • Sparrow
  • Juncos
  • Starlings
  • Grosbeaks
  • Kinglets
  • Woodpeckers
  • Doves
  • Cardinals
  • Mockingbirds
  • Siskins
  • Nuthatches
  • Crossbills
  • Pigeons
  • Owls
  • Titmice
  • Warblers
  • Buntings
  • Longspurs

Feeding birds is great for brightening a dreary winter day. In the non-breeding season, birds are mostly less territorial and would tolerate sharing space with other species. If your backyard meets their needs, you’ll be able to enjoy their bustles, colors, and songs in the midst of a few flurries. 

Now it’s time to learn some tricks for attracting winter birds and enjoy bird-watching in winter.



Aim at Feeders


Although birds’ feathers puff up in winter, they still have to take in high-fat foods to keep their body heat. For this reason, feeders with fat-rich foods are beneficial. Since your focus is to attract different types of winter birds, consider having more than one type of feeder. 

Having different types of feeders increases the chance of attracting various types of winter birds. The ideal feeder is sturdy yet easy to assemble. This helps maintenance, such as cleaning, become convenient. For reference, check the three main types of feeders—house, tube, and platform feeders.






Hopper. Hoppers are house-shaped feeders with plexiglass sides serving as seed dispensers. Along with the side trays and perches where birds eat. Its see-through glass sides make it easier to tell when to add seeds. Although they’re good at protecting seeds against weather, they don’t do well against looting critters.






Tube feeder. A hanging cylindrical feeder that can either be glass or wire mesh. It has multiple feeding ports where birds peck seeds. The port size of glass feeders depends on what birds you want to feed. 

Tube feeders with regular-size ports attract medium-sized beaks while the ones with tiny ports attract smaller birds. Better have both options to attract both types of birds. Glass tube feeders also have perches where birds roost and wire mesh tubers allow birds to cling to the wires.

You can put a plastic dome above the feeder to protect seeds and feeding birds from the snow. Or attach a tray to the bottom to keep the seeds from falling onto the ground. 






Platform feeders. As the name implies, platform or tray feeders have flat, suspended bases. It usually has side pieces to prevent bird seeds from spilling over. Though some tray feeders are pole-anchored. 

Birds that naturally find food on the ground feed on this type of feeder. Platforms feeders are the most common and easy to make. But having a non-exclusive feeder comes with a disadvantage, such as not being weatherproof and the need for constant cleaning to remove bird droppings. Aside from these three, there are other types of feeders purposely designed for different bird foods like suet, thistle, peanuts, mealworms, and fruit.

In addition to finding the right types of feeders, selecting the right location for them will increase your chance of successful winter bird feeding. When selecting a site for establishing your bird feeders, consider the following: 

  1. Distance From Windows
  2. Feeder Pole
  3. Baffle
  4. Feeders High
  5. Shrubs

Feeders should be visible from inside the house. Placing feeders 10 feet from your window is ideal, along with protective covering such as trees and shrubs. Speaking of shrubs, they are vital for keeping birds safe from common predators like hawks and owls. Having a cover also helps attract regular feeder visitors since most birds don’t venture from things that can protect and rest them. 

Winter Bird Species Favored Feeder
American Goldfinch Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder, ground
Black-capped chickadee Almost all feeders
Blue jay Platform feeder
Brown-headed cowbird Platform feeder
Carolina wren Suet feeder
Common grackle Platform feeder, a tube feeder with a tray
Dark-eyed junco Ground, platform feeder
Downy and hairy woodpeckers Suet feeder, hanging feeder
European starling Suet feeder, platform feeder
House finch Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder, ground
House sparrow Platform feeder, a tube feeder with a tray
Mourning dove Ground, platform feeder
Northern cardinal Ground, platform feeder, a tube feeder with tray
Purple finch Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder
Red-bellied Woodpecker Suet feeder, hanging feeder
Red-breasted nuthatch Suet feeder, hanging feeder
Song sparrow Ground, platform feeder
Tufted titmouse Hanging feeder, suet feeder
White-breasted nuthatch Almost all feeders
White-throated sparrow Ground, platform feeder



Winter Bird Feeding—More Seeds


The seed you provide will affect the number of birds that will visit your feeder. Don’t settle for less. There are over 20 sorts of seeds to choose from. The most in-demand of all is the small black-oil sunflower seed. If you want to go for a single seed, then choose this one. It might be a bit pricier than others, but almost all kinds of birds eat black-oil sunflower seed. Plus, it’s easy to crack open and provides a high level of nutritious oil.

Another type of popular sunflower seed is the striped sunflower seed. However, since it is larger compared to black-oil sunflowers, smaller birds would struggle to crack it open.

Sunflower seeds might be essential, but there’s still a drawback. For birds to eat them, they need to crack the seeds open, leaving a mess of hulls under the feeder. If you want to avoid this, opt for the more expensive hulled sunflower seeds. These seeds are stripped from their coats, which would leave no mess.

To attract even more species, try providing an array of food besides sunflower seeds. White proso millet, nyger, and peanuts are other types of popular seeds you want to include in your feeder.

White proso millet is affordable and can attract most winter bird species. Nyger or thistle seeds are known to attract rare species of birds in winter. Due to their minute size, nyger seeds are mostly dispensed in feeders with tiny feeding ports. Peanuts, on the other hand, can be offered as shelled kernels or as peanut hearts. Peanut hearts allow smaller species of birds to eat easily. 

If you are still having a problem figuring out what seeds you should choose, why not have most of them? Many shops sell mixed bird seeds containing a variety of seeds in one pack. Yet, before you buy one, check the seed content. Some cheap mixes contain seeds and grains that will turn off winter birds. Among these are wheat, milo, hulled oats, rice, and rye. If your bird feeder encompasses these mixtures, then they’ll easily be leftovers. 



More Bird Food


Apart from the seeds, there are other foods you can include to level up your feeder. One vital food includes suet. Suet is a fatty substance made from oil or lard that is favored by birds in winter. You can buy suet from your local grocery store or at a nearby pet shop. Suet can be inserted on mesh wire or on specific suet feeders. There is also suet that is processed into cakes. These cakes are made to stay edible during warmer weather. They also contain a mix of fruits and seeds.

Winter Bird Species Favored Food
American Goldfinch Niger, sunflower seeds
Black-capped chickadee Sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts
Blue jay Sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts
Brown-headed cowbird Millet
Carolina wren Peanut butter, suet
Common grackle Cracked corn, sunflower seeds
Dark-eyed junco Sunflower seeds, millet
Downy and hairy woodpeckers Suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts
European starling Peanut butter, suet, sunflower seeds
House finch Niger, sunflower seeds, millet
House sparrow Niger, sunflower seeds
Mourning dove Cracked corn, millet, sunflower seeds
Northern cardinal Sunflower seeds, seed mixes
Purple finch Niger, sunflower seeds, millet
Red-bellied Woodpecker Suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts
Red-breasted nuthatch Sunflower seeds, suet
Song sparrow Sunflower seeds, millet
Tufted titmouse Sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts
White-breasted nuthatch Sunflower seeds, suet
White-throated sparrow Sunflower seeds, millet



Winter Bird Feeding—Supplying Water


Along with feeders and food, supplying bird baths and drinking water will also attract winter birds. Water can even attract birds that don’t usually visit backyards. This is because cold temperatures cause natural water sources to freeze and become inconvenient. 





Regarding bird baths, you have a homemade birdbath or buy it at your local garden stores. Ideally, your birdbath should have a heater to keep the water from freezing. The high and the location of your bird bath can affect the species that will be attracted to it. Additionally, place your birdbath away from dense bushes to prevent predators from ambushing the bathing birds. 



Roosting Boxes and Shelters





Shelters like roosting boxes offer convenience not only during nesting season but also as roosting sites during harsh weather. These bird shelters provide warmer rooms compared to the cold outside. Cavities in trees and thickets of confiners are natural options for giving winter birds roosting refuge. 



Winter Bird Feeding—Why birds don’t visit your feeders


There can be a lot of factors as to why birds don’t visit your feeders. First, your feeders are placed in spots that make it hard for birds to find. Second, the seeds you supplied might not be attractive to birds. Third, the abundance of winter birds in your area could be lesser than usual. If one or more of these reasons is the cause of your problem, take time to do some additional research or contact a local wildlife official in your area.

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Feeding migratory birds in winter—What you should Know Wed, 09 Nov 2022 07:46:12 +0000 Feeding migratory birds in winter has been an old practice. Bird migration mostly happens twice a year — in fall and spring. In the fall, birds fly hundreds and thousands of kilometers south for winter. During this season, conditions for feeding sites can become unfavorable, especially for smaller birds. Their small body easily loses heat and […]

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Feeding migratory birds in winter has been an old practice. Bird migration mostly happens twice a year — in fall and spring. In the fall, birds fly hundreds and thousands of kilometers south for winter. During this season, conditions for feeding sites can become unfavorable, especially for smaller birds. Their small body easily loses heat and quickly needs to find food to replenish their lost energy. In winter, migratory birds’ digestive systems adjust so they can use most of their energy for flight. 

When they stop to eat, they eat less until reaching their destination, where they can normally eat again. However, thick snow and the limited hours of light make finding food difficult. Although migrating birds can cope with food shortages, it won’t hurt to give them a helping hand. 



What to Feed Migratory Birds in Winter


Migratory birds require protein-reach but low-fat foods. These foods help migratory birds recharge their strength and fulfill their long journey. The following are the best foods you can offer for feeding migratory birds and why they’re essential for bird health. 



Water-rich Fruits


Birds know that fruits high in water content also contain energy-boosting sugar. That is why many migratory birds like robins, waxwings, blackbirds, and thrushes love watery fruits. Slice an apple, pear, or plum into small bits so birds could easily eat it. You can also offer a piece of orange, cherry, or grape as a treat. Fruits can either be left on the bird feeder, hang on chicken wire, or leave on the ground. 

If you plan to feed migratory birds with raisins, soak them in warm water after chopping. This helps soften them up a bit. 



Birdseeds for feeding migratory birds in winter 





We all know that birds love seeds. That’s why they’re perfect for feeding migratory birds. Seeds help keep birds at a healthy weight in winter. The seeds also have essential vitamins and minerals vital for promoting a healthy beak. Here are some seeds you don’t want to want miss in your feeder. 


Sunflower seeds. These seeds have high levels of protein and unsaturated fats. Take black sunflower seeds, for example. Black sunflower is a favorite due to their high oil content. Some sunflower seeds are larger than others, indicating higher calory. No wonder why lots of migratory birds love sunflower seeds, including greenfinches, cardinals, tits, and others. 


Nyjer seeds. Sometimes known as thistle seeds, nyjer seeds are small elongated seeds rich in nutritious oil. They will provide birds with enough calories that will help store fat to keep them warm during winter. Nyger seeds also give the lasting energy that birds need to carry on their migration. Goldfinches, siskins, redpolls, California quail, and sparrows are among the birds that feed on nyger seeds.


Mixed seeds. Mixed seeds are a great option since it covers most seeds that birds need. However, most mixed seeds contain grains that lack the oil percentage vital for feeding migratory birds. For this reason, avoid mixed seeds that have cracked corn, oats, and milo in it. Instead, you can create your very own mixed seeds. Your mixed seeds can be a mixture of suet balls, popcorn, cranberry garland, and dried fruit.





Peanuts are one of the easiest foods for feeding migratory birds in winter. Any variety of peanut would do—whole, shelled, hearts, crushed, chips, and even peanut butter. Peanuts are rich in fat and protein essential for maintaining their body heat in the cold. Although ideal for birds, you should never offer any peanuts containing additives that could harm birds like salt, sugar, and spices. Only fresh and raw peanuts are safe for birds. Different migratory birds eat peanuts such as dunnocks, sparrows, greenfinches, nuthatches, wrens, and siskins.



Feed migratory birds in winter with kitchen leftovers


Kitchen leftovers can be used for feeding migratory birds in winter. Do you have some cooked pasta or uncooked rice? How about bread crumbs and grated cheese? Don’t throw them yet, for they can serve as food for birds during a harsh winter. Still, you have to be careful not to include oats and other cereals, for they can potentially stick and solidify around birds’ beaks.  








Although mealworms may not look like ideal food for feeding migratory birds in winter, birds undoubtedly love to gobble them up. They provide a blended balance of protein, fat, and fiber to promote healthy, vigorous migrating birds. Aside from their nutritious value, mealworms appeal to a bird’s natural instinct, since they are part of many birds’ natural diets. While birds like mealworms are alive, dried is easier to keep inside a bird feeder because they won’t crawl off. 



Seed-bearing flowers


Sometimes it’s easier to feed birds directly from your garden in winter. If you have seed-bearing plants like safflower, don’t cut them all off in winter. It’s best not to harvest the seeds, for some might fall on the ground and turn soggy and inedible due to wet weather. Safflower, like sunflower, serves as a natural feeder for birds during winter. The seeds of safflower are high in protein, fat, and fiber vital for keeping birds warm and lively even in cold weather.



Feeding migratory birds in winter with other fat-based foods


Fatty foods are enough for providing migratory birds with adequate protein, carbohydrates, and calories in winter. Fat-based foods come in different sizes and forms, such as a ball, bars, or cakes. You can have your own homemade version by melting suet or lard and pouring it onto a mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and cheese. Stir the mixture thoroughly and allow it to rest. The container of the mixture can be used as a bird feeder. 



Provide Water

Food is not the only thing scarce during winter, frozen lakes, ponds and other water sources make it hard for birds to find water. And since water is as important as food, access to a fresh supply of drinking water is also helpful for birds. Putting out a heated birdbath and placing a small plastic ball on the surface will prevent the water from freezing.



How to Care for Migratory Birds


Pay attention to your bird feeders


Ensure that your bird feeders are filled up daily. Better to fill them up when birds need the most energy or before they roost for the night. If birds notice empty feeders for a few days, they will quickly find a new place with available food.


Also, make sure to hang feeders in places you can easily see them. This will allow you to know when you need to refill them. Ideally, placing feeders in locations with moderate heights will secure birds from predators and looters.



Clean off the ice and snow


Obviously, in winter, snow and ice will cover almost everything in your backyard, including bird feeders. Clean off snow and ice that accumulated in your bird feeders to keep the food accessible for birds. Putting some heat light under your feeder will provide enough heat to keep snow and ice from developing.





One major problem of migratory birds is disease transmission. Cleaning all feeders and water containers weekly will help prevent further transmission. When cleaning, make sure to use products that are safe for birds. 


Alternation of places where you put feeders can also minimize the spreading of diseases. Even allowing the bushes in your garden to grow larger will provide necessary sustenance for birds in winter.





As discussed, winter months pose difficulties for our feathered friends. For cold weather limits the availability of bird foods, feeding migratory birds in winter will help.

Related Post:

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Protect Outdoor Furniture During All Seasons Tue, 25 Oct 2022 12:57:42 +0000 Protect your outdoor furniture during all seasons! Why? Outdoor furniture keeps us comfortable when we want to enjoy the outdoor space. This can be on many occasions, such as family BBQs or reading books. This is also clear in the amount US homeowners spend decorating their homes with outdoor furniture. According to statistics, we spent […]

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Protect your outdoor furniture during all seasons! Why?

Outdoor furniture keeps us comfortable when we want to enjoy the outdoor space. This can be on many occasions, such as family BBQs or reading books. This is also clear in the amount US homeowners spend decorating their homes with outdoor furniture. According to statistics, we spent around $15 billion in 2020 and will spend more by 2027. 

Considering all these, how can you protect your outdoor furniture each season and throughout the whole year of seasons? 

To protect your outdoor furniture now and during all seasons, you’ll have to anchor, cover, seal, shade, and maintain them. 

How to Protect Outdoor Furniture

Protecting your furniture is necessary since they are susceptible to various weather conditions. Here are tips and ideas experts gave on how to protect outdoor furniture against seasonal weather. 

Anchor in Place

Anchor outdoor furniture, especially if your place is prone to strong winds. Winds can rearrange your furniture arrangement or fly them away. For this reason, securing your furniture and holding them in place is necessary. Fasten, stack, or tie chairs, tables, and cushions. Closed or keep umbrellas inside when they are not in use.

Alternatively, consider storing your outdoor furniture in your garage or other out building. For tropical storm and hurricane areas, this proves to be the safest for the furniture and anything it might hit, too.



Use Furniture and Fabric Sunscreen and Water Repellent

Outdoor furniture is like our skin: damaged when exposed long to UV rays. Metal, plastic, and even wood furniture will show fading and discoloration in extreme heat. Rainfall and moisture will increase the chance of rust buildup. 

Although a good deal of furniture has sun-and-heat-water-resistant, some don’t. Applying a spray that acts like sunscreen and a water shield will help prevent rust and discoloration. Washing with mild soap and warm water is advisable before spraying.

Cover Outdoor Funiture

Covers protect your furniture and its fabric from all sorts of precipitation. When choosing covers, take the right size so that they’ll fit perfectly. Also, avoid covers that completely close the furniture to give way to air out and prevent molds. 

Apply Polyurethane to Wooden Furniture

Applying Polyurethane helps seal outdoor furniture. Make sure that you’ll use a polyurethane product with UV blockers. The coat will protect your furniture from the sun’s heat while bringing out its natural beauty. 

Paste Wax on Metal and Aluminum

Paste wax is proven effective in protecting metal and aluminum outdoor furniture. Like sunscreens that protect our skin, paste wax protects the outer surface of furniture. Scrap the rust, and repaint your furniture before applying primer coat and paste wax.



Use Protectant on Plastic Furniture

Extreme heat is the greatest enemy of plastic outdoor furniture. Prolonged exposure can severely discolor your plastic furniture. A protectant coat can prevent cracking and fading.

Keep your Outdoor Furniture Clean



Even if your outdoor furniture is coated and covered, it will still accumulate dirt that could cause rot and rust. Cleaning once in a while will prevent the buildup of these detriments. 

Use a sponge soaked in warm water mixed with mild soap to clean your furniture. Then hose away any residue. Let it dry before replacing the cushions and placing them back. A pressure washer is perfect for cleaning sturdy, rugged furniture. But be careful, though; too much pressure can damage your furniture.

Provide Shade

Providing some shade offers the best way to protect outdoor furniture from damage. Various elements like rain, wind, snow, and hail can speed up wear and tear. Full sun can cause damage, like darkening and permanent discoloration.

Protect Outdoor Furniture

Waterproof Covers Protect Outdoor Furniture Year–Round


Outdoor Furniture Winter Storage


Exposing your furniture outside during winter is a bad idea. That is why winter care for your furniture is essential. Molds can actively grow during the winter months due to left moisture and dirt. Constant water changes can also leave your furniture in bad shape.





Is Your Furniture Protected From All Weather Conditions?

Seasonal wheatears are unpredictable. So, when you know bad weather is coming, don’t forget the tips above. Anchor your furniture when there’s a strong wind possibility. Cover your furniture if a hot climate or rainy day is expected. And hide your furniture during winter. Applying all these can help you protect outdoor furniture during all seasons. 

Read More


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Rake Leaves Or Leave Them Fri, 14 Oct 2022 15:47:34 +0000 The post Rake Leaves Or Leave Them appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.


To Rake Leaves Or Keep Them

In autumn or fall months, it’s common for people to rake leaves. It’s when the foliage of deciduous plants and trees change colors or sheds. Yet some decide to leave them where they are. This is why some yards look organized while others appear messy. Is it worth it to gather fallen leaves and get rid of them later or let them stay where they are? As it turns out, there are several reasons why going for either is helpful. So, before you clean your garden, consider the pros and cons of taking out and leaving leaves first.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the benefits you could in clearing dead leaves and if you don’t rake leaves. Also, we’ll check the disadvantages of both perspectives. Still, included are pointers to develop a genius way to rake leaves and how to use fallen or dried foliage. Hence, keep reading to learn more about leaf raking.

If You Don’t Rake Leaves

A lot of people don’t bother to know the best way to rake leaves because they leave them in their yards. Many believe that doing so contributes to having a healthier garden. Also, people say that retaining dried foliage helps improve the environment somehow. Either way, a detached leaf or a bunch of them decompose. When that happens, they release carbon dioxide back into the air. Because of their number, they often scatter and make a land look unkempt. It’s appealing to some people but isn’t great for everyone. So you have some benefits and drawbacks if you don’t collect fallen autumn foliage.
Leaf litters also attract a lot of insects and even microorganisms. These eat the dead leaves and, as a result of that, return nutrients to the ground. Detritivores or arthropods feed on dead matter prefer and look for them. It’s the same with the bacterial and fungal decomposers of nature. After these creatures and microorganisms eat, they release nutrients back. To be specific, they release essential nutrients such as carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen. These help plants thrive. We can say that not picking up dead leaves can be a natural way to keep the surroundings well. So it doesn’t always apply to know a genius way to rake leaves.

If You Rake Leaves

Contrary to what others do, many folks search for the best way to rake leaves. One of the main reasons why gardeners collect leaf litter is to make their yards clear. In many ways, having a cleaner garden is better. Without dead leaves, several plants and even grass can “breathe” better. It avoids overfeeding or overwatering greenery that causes plant suffocation. When small plants and large shrubs can function well, it also means that they are more beneficial. Taking out dead fall foliage aids in having a neat yard, fresh air, and healthy vegetation. So it’s typical for many gardeners to use a genius way to rake leaves when fall months arrive.
Doing this is a cleaner approach to gardening than if you don’t rake leaves. Plus, it allows movement on the part of the gardener. Leaf raking makes people exercise and it’s a healthy activity. Also, it helps remove organic matter that may cause diseases to surface in plants. Still, getting rid of fallen leaves may make some plants and even grass grow better. After all, it eliminates debris that can obstruct sunlight from reaching vegetation. Without leaf litter, a garden would have better nutrient and moisture control. Hence, as part of their routine gardening tasks, people collect dead foliage. This often occurs before wintertime, but there’s also raking during spring and summer.

Benefits If You Don’t Rake Leaves

The best way to rake leaves doesn’t matter to some people and that’s fine somehow. It’s only because dead foliage contributes to a healthy garden too. As described, it can serve as a component of mulch and fertilizer. Keeping them where they fell allows them to decompose and fertilize the ground. Take note that foliage of herbs, shrubs, and trees contains a lot of beneficial minerals. Hence, they can enhance the soil condition of gardens. As mulch, dried leaves can also feed the soil and even the creatures like earthworms there. Still, their presence helps keep soil compact and prevents or addresses weed invasion.
In the long run, not raking leaves can help with biomass emissions and other problems. Leaving them in the ground aids in reducing the number of foliage gathered in landfills. Bear in mind that having too many piles increases methane production. This gas is flammable and reduces the oxygen in the air. Not gathering leaf litter also discourages burning leaves that pollutes the air. Burn foliage releases fine dust, ash, and microscopic particles that can harm humans. Thus it’s sensible why so many don’t rake leaves at home.

Advantages Of Leaf Raking

You’re doing good when you rake leaves too. In that way, you declutter your yard. It’s not only messy but also dangerous when you leave your garden in disarray. With scattered debris, seeing plants becomes difficult. You may also step on sharp objects when you have poor yard visibility. Hence, there is no doubt that cleaning your garden by removing the fallen leaves is a sensible thing to do too.
Dried foliage on the ground can carry lots of plant pathogens. Small creatures that eat dead organic matter are after these things too. This is why people find a genius way to rake leaves. It’s to keep their yard healthy, productive, and free of unwanted objects. Doing so improves self-confidence since it’s great to see a maintained property. Still, gathering dead leaves makes it possible to build mulch or fertilizer. So you won’t have to buy compost and have things for your potting mix when you collect leaf litter.

Do This Instead of Raking Dead Foliage

If you wish to let the dried leaves from your small, medium, and large plants and trees stay in your yard, be strategic. Since they can indeed accumulate germs plus particles, and attract pests, chop them up. Cutting the leaves makes them easier to decay and get used by the soil. To get them sliced, using a lawn mower can help. Trimmed autumn leaves make free and excellent mulch and fertilizer, after all. So it’s why leaving dead foliage also appeals to some expert gardeners.
To make them manageable, you could try to spread them out. This also helps make garden surfaces even. At least, with this approach, you can also leave the dried foliage to the bugs and animal critters that need them. That is to say, doing this can help preserve the natural ecosystem of your garden. This method can also help you keep the moisture underneath the leaves almost even. That would be for the plants beneath the dead foliage. It’s also sometimes best to ignore scattered leaf litter due to the mushrooms that appear. These fungi break down organic matter and give soil more nutrients. Thus the best way to rake leaves isn’t always necessary for some gardeners.

Have A Genius Way To Rake Leaves

There are different styles that you can use to rake leaves. In most cases, folks use a tool that can sweep the ground to get rid of the dispersed clumps of leaf litter. In modern times, homeowners and even professionals use electronic leaf blowers too. Because it gets the job of getting leaves removed faster, using both things makes a lot of sense. We can even say that it’s the best way to rake leaves. With them, you can gather leaves and level the ground. That is while accessing difficult-to-reach areas and finding fine cuttings. So going for manual raking and leaf blowing is quite ideal.
Another genius way to rake leaves is to follow the wind’s direction. Be efficient and welcome all the help you can get. Instead of putting everything in a plastic bag or wheelbarrow for disposal, use a tarp. Sweep the dried leaves there and stomp on them so the wind won’t scatter them once more. On the tarp, it would be easier to put them in one pile. Yet make sure that you have a secured spot to gather the fallen autumn foliage. Schedule raking your lawn if you have to and try to divide your yard into different sections too. It’s to avoid ending up being too exhausted. If needed, also shred the leaf litter. Dead leaves are easier to sweep when they are lighter. Thus be practical and you’ll be able to get things right.

To Sum Up

As a gardener, you have the option to rake leaves or otherwise. Depending on your lawn, either activity can help you with home improvement. Also, there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches anyway. Hence, going for either is a sound decision. The former is usually laborious and challenging yet gets a lawn clean and tidy. The latter can appear messy but brings benefits to a garden environment. So it’s a matter of trying something and seeing if it works. Every situation is different.
We hope that you learned a lot from reading our post about leaving fallen leaves alone and getting rid of them. What’s your take on the matter? Let us know your opinion in the comments section below. For now, thanks for checking this and we wish to see you in our next entry.

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Bird Feeder Camera: Netvue Smart Review Fri, 14 Oct 2022 15:23:24 +0000 Love watching birds in your yard and want to know about different species of colorful birds? Get the Netvue smart bird feeder camera that can auto-detect thousands of bird species.   Smart AI bird feeder cameras are a hot new trend. After all, we love getting close and seeing our feathered friends. That said, there […]

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Love watching birds in your yard and want to know about different species of colorful birds? Get the Netvue smart bird feeder camera that can auto-detect thousands of bird species.


Smart AI bird feeder cameras are a hot new trend. After all, we love getting close and seeing our feathered friends. That said, there are numerous brands that have introduced bird feeder cameras for backyard owners and birdwatchers to enjoy these colorful visitors.

I have been a backyard birdwatcher for almost 15 years, and about five years ago, I learned about smart AI bird feeder cameras. Since these bird feeder cameras can auto-detect and recognize, they are excellent for knowing about different bird species and their feeding behaviors. Today, I have installed these cameras throughout my backyard to enjoy watching them at the feeder, birdhouses, etc.

As a birdwatcher, I got a Netvue smart feeder with a camera and thought of writing a comprehensive review about it. Since I’m very affectionate with these devices, I’m more than happy to do so. However, before starting my review, keep in mind that this will be an independent, unbiased, and fair review, and I haven’t received any compensation for reviewing this device.

So, let’s get started!




About the Brand


Established in 2010, Netvue is a renowned smart home and solution company. The company’s primary goal is to focus on AI technology and design products that assist people in all aspects of home life. Netvue, in particular, is known for providing mobile internet-connected innovative hardware.

Moreover, Netvue strives to create high-quality, smart devices that should be user-friendly and make peoples’ lives easier and more convenient. The company began designing security cameras in 2008. Since then, they have perfected their craft while extending their passion to other smart devices, such as doorbell cameras, baby monitors, and smart bird feeder cameras. Today, the company serves globally and has more than 500,000 satisfied users worldwide.



Netvue Smart Bird Feeder with Camera


Designed and launched by Netvue, this smart bird feeder with the camera is touted as “the first bird camera.” In addition to a bird feeding station, it is a fascinating innovation armed with an auto-detect and recognizes AI smart camera.


Moreover, Netvue smart bird feeder camera can auto-detect and identify over 6,000 species of birds. Its built-in wireless camera lets you get up close and personal with feathered friends that visit your backyard. Furthermore, this bird feeder camera can detect the types of birds in your yard.


Specs and Dimensions of Netvue Smart Bird Feeder Camera


Brand:                   Netvue Colors:                  Birdfy + Solar + Bond
Weight:                                5.19 pounds Target Species: Birds
Rating:                  4.4/5 Dimensions (LxWxH)): 10.23 x 9.64 x 11.22 inches
Resolution:         1920x1080p Live Video: Smartphone, Tablet, Desktop
Motion Detection: Real-time                           Alerts,   Detection, Zone/ Time Setting 2-Way Audio: Hand Free
Night Vision Distance: 20m Alexa: No
Bird Detection: Lifetime Free Micro SD Card: Not included


What’s In the Box?


Netvue Birdfy Feeder Cam Charging Cable
Drilling Template Solar Panel
Quick Guide Power Adapter
Mounting Bracket Screws and Anchors




Design and Features

Here are the top features of the Netvue smart bird feeder camera:


·         Innovative Design


As the first Ai auto-recognition bird feeder camera, Netvue is an excellent device to enjoy birdwatching in your yard. The birdfy camera comes fully assembled, and all you need to do is to snap on the cover and attach the stand to the seed tray.


Netvue smart bird feeder camera is made of white plastic and features a clear plastic window around its 1080p wireless camera. This clear plastic window is basically the front of the seed container. On the other hand, the back of the bird feeder is equipped with a wireless camera’s Wi-Fi antenna as well as a USB-C charging port. While you can use this port to charge the camera, it can also be used to attach a solar panel for recharging the camera.


·         AI Auto-Recognition


Whether you are a backyard birdwatcher or an ornithologist, Netvue smart bird feeder camera is something birdwatchers will love to have in their yard. If birdwatching and knowing about different species of birds is one of your hobbies, the smart Ai bird feeder camera is equipped with a state-of-the-art AI algorithm that can recognize more than 6,000 species of birds.


Whenever your feeder detects a bird, it will instantly auto-detect and show you the type and name of the bird. Moreover, you can look for an introduction and get further details through the Netvue app. In addition to birds, one of the best things that I really loved about this bird feeder camera is that it will detect squirrels and let you know.


·         1080p Color Night Vision


The high-resolution 1080p camera is one of the most significant features that make the Netvue smart bird feeder camera popular among birdwatchers. With its 1080p high-resolution camera results, you will be able to get the best shots of video and images even during the night.


Since it also has night vision capabilities, you will not only be able to see night birds in colors in a selfie-like mode, but you can also get close-up details of birds through its 8x magnifier. In addition to its 1080p night vision camera mode, Netvue birdfy feeder also features a 5dBi antenna, allowing the camera to connect to a 2.4gHz Wi-Fi network. It means you don’t have to worry about losing Wi-Fi signals and missing


a pleasurable moment when your favorite birds visit the feeder.


·         Patent, Bird-Friendly Design


Another thing that I really loved about Netvue smart bird feeder camera is its simple and innovative design. The bird feeder camera is bird-friendly and designed as a lovely home for your backyard feathered friends. Moreover, it also features an IP65 weatherproof and solid stand that keeps the feeder stable.


Furthermore, Netvue smart bird feeder camera also comes equipped with a spacious 1.5L capacity food container to store enough food and seeds for starving birds. Having a large and spacious food container also means you don’t have to refill it more frequently.


·         Store and Share Bird Photos and Videos


Since you can operate the Netvue smart bird feeder camera on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone, it is easy to instantly share photos and videos of birds with your friends and family. All thanks to its AI algorithm and auto-recognition feature, the camera will auto-detect the bird’s movement, capture a photo or video, and then store it in the Netvue Cloud for up to 7 days.


Moreover, you can either use an SD card for storage or buy the Netvue Cloud subscription if you want to extend the limit. Since Netvue smart bird feeder camera support tablets, smartphones, and computers, you can create a fascinating album of different bird species that visits your yard and gift it to your family or friends.



·         Weatherproof Bird Feeder Camera


Netvue smart bird feeder camera features IP65 weatherproof design. It means the camera can work efficiently regardless of weather conditions and wherever you want it to install. It will always be there for you to enjoy your birdwatching time, whether it’s summer or winter, sunshine or snow.


·         Squirrel-Proof Netvue Bird Feeder Camera


In addition to auto-detecting birds and getting instant notifications through its app, the Netvue feeder camera AI algorithm can detect squirrels and let you know. This feature is an excellent addition as it will be easy for you to keep squirrels away from your feeder.

Moreover, aside from getting notifications, the 2-way audio feature is captivating as you can yell “go away” siren or use the white light to scare squirrels away.



·         Ultra Strong Battery


Last but not least, an ultra-strong Netvue smart feeder camera battery is another notable point that will keep you connected with nature and feathered friends all year. The camera is armed with a strong battery that runs twice as compared to the existing market.


All you need is to install it and gain peace of mind. Moreover, you can also connect your Netvue feeder camera with a solar lite solar panel and get non-stop battery power. However, keep in mind that a solar lite solar panel is not included in the package, so you will have to purchase it separately.




Pros and Cons


So, these were some significant features of the Netvue smart bird camera. Aside from having an innovative, bird-friendly design and plenty of smart features, Netvue smart bird feeder camera still needs some improvement.



  • It features a bird-friendly design.
  • The bird feeder camera features a spacious food container that is easy to fill.
  • It is an all-weather camera.
  • Flashlights and sirens are an excellent addition to protecting your feeder from squirrels.
  • It has a Netvue mobile app and supports tablets, mobiles, and laptops.
  • 2-way audio lets you hear what your feathered friends are singing.
  • It also features night vision 1080p color mode.


  • AI algorithm for auto-detection needs serious improvement.
  • The bird feeder is relatively expensive.
  • Squirrel-proof siren and light also need some improvement.



Should You Invest in the Netvue Camera?


As a birdfy smart camera, Netvue is a birdfy camera and a digicam. In addition to its beautiful design, the bird camera also boasts the most significant battery life of any bird feeder or security camera I have reviewed. As a backyard birdwatcher, it allows you to get up close and personal with different species of birds that visit your yards. However, I still think that the AI recognition of the Netvue smart bird feeder camera needs a lot of improvement. Except that it is a great smart device that birdwatchers will love to have in their backyards.


You Might Also Like:

Bird Feeders for the Winter Months

Bird Friendly Hedge Plants and Shrubs for Garden

How to Attract Birds to Your Garden


Best Types of Wild Bird Feeders



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10 Tips for Lawn Care in the Fall Fri, 14 Oct 2022 14:23:28 +0000 The post 10 Tips for Lawn Care in the Fall appeared first on BackyardPatioLife.



Lawn care in the fall might not be ideal. During this season, the atmosphere can cause the grass to dormant in winter. Yet for most lawn care experts, fall is a perfect time to ensure a rich and green lawn in the spring. So, what makes lawn care in fall special?

Fall lawn care will help secure abundant growth next spring. The weather during fall encourages grassroots to develop way better than the other seasons. 

Here are 10 great ways to take advantage of the season and do fall lawn care properly. 

10 Lawn Care Tips for Fall


Tip #1 Remove Leaves

Fall lawn care includes dealing with leaves. You see, leaves that fall in autumn can greatly affect your lawn. If you let them stay for too long, you are endangering grass blades. Obviously, grass blades, especially those that are still growing, need as much sunlight as they can get. 

With leaves blocking the sunlight, the grass won’t have enough nutrients to store in its roots. Much worse, you encourage diseases and fungi to spread on your lawn. If this happens, your grass may not even make it to winter. 

Do a weekly schedule to remove pile-up debris on your lawn. Traditional rake is proven effective compared to leaf blowers in removing thatch. Start as soon as leaves start falling and don’t wait until they build up. Even when there are no leaves left to fall, keep raking to keep the light passages open. 

Never rake the lawn when it’s wet. Rainfalls will chock-full the soil with water. When the soil is too wet, there’s a possibility that you’ll risk pulling grassroots while raking. Also, avoid stepping on the lawn to prevent compacting of the soil. 

NOTE: Alternatively

Many find that leaving leaves on the ground actually provides a good base of natural fertilizer and protects the ground. Some use a mulching mower which shreds them for easier composting directly into your lawn.

A trade-off for leaving the leaves comes when you have a thick blanket of them on the ground. They might not compost down as well and can actually damage your lawn.


lawn care in the fall

Tip #2 Fertilize

Lawn care experts recommend the fall season, around October to November, as a time to fertilize lawns. Fertilizing will give adequate nutrients to help your grass survive winter and grow healthy in spring. Avoid waiting till grass blades show discoloration due to cold air before applying fertilizers

Store plant foods at the grassroots will help strengthen and promote grass blade development. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are best in early fall, and use phosphorus-rich fertilizers in late fall. To know what works best, ask a nearby lawn care professional for the right fertilizer timing in your area. 

Tip #3 Deal with Weeds and Pests

Get ready for perennial weeds invasion in early fall. Weeds like dandelion and henbit are active during the cool season. To prevent them from mass spreading, use pre-emergent herbicide when treating your lawn. Treating is more effective if done before the temperature rise. This prevents dropped weed seeds from growing and multiplying until spring. 

Pests are also a cause of serious problems. Insects are notorious for damaging grass that grows after winter. Minimize the damage by applying a solution right after you notice pest problems in your lawn. Use pesticides to eliminate common lawn pets like grubs and armyworms. 

Tip #4 Lawn Care Overseeding

Overseeding can keep your lawn green and thick. This can also add lawn grass varieties to your old lawn, making it vibrant and pest-resistant. Ryegrass or seeds having 50% ryegrass is advisable. You can choose between annual ryegrass that dies in summer or perennial ryegrass that keeps on growing. 

But before you choose, consider first where you are comfortable: having a dormant lawn or doing mowing chores every month. The best time to overseed is in early September till Thanksgiving.

Tip #5 Repairing Bare and Burned Patches

In summer, many lawn patches would be bare and burned because of drought. Reseeding these areas can quickly solve the problem. Remember, though, there are areas that are hard to cover, especially those where seeds can’t reach the soil. If this is your case, you might what to rent or contact services that offer power seeding machines. 

Once seeds are appropriately sewn into the ground, new it can sink roots deep into the ground and grow quickly. To ensure this, don’t forget to water the newly seeded areas.

lawn care in the fall

Tip #6 Cover with Turf pieces

One way to repair old lawns is by laying turf pieces or sods. But don’t forget to remove patchy grass before laying sods. And, also, make sure that you finish this 4 weeks before winter. This will give enough time for growth before the long winter arrives.

Tip #7 Lawn Care Aeration

Speaking of summer heat problems, it is also during summer when lawns suffer soil compaction. Soil compaction is caused by pressed soil, resulting in compacted soil pores. And this problem can lead to browning and thinning of grass. 

Aeration is the solution to freeing up compacted soil passageways so that nutrients can reach the grassroots. Successful aeration is achievable through professional machinery. Some lawnmowers have an aerator attached. If your lawnmower doesn’t have an aerator, try calling for help. Or if you have a small lawn, you can manually pull small plugs of soil from your lawn. 

It is best to aerate the grass before it enters its growing phase. Aerated lawns need around four weeks to recover. You can apply fertilizers after aerating your lawn. This ensures a faster recovery.

Tip #8 Irrigation

Rains during the fall season cause less evaporation and provide enough moisture for the grass. Still, keep monitoring how much water your grass is absorbing. Review your watering schedule, especially when you have an automated watering system.  

In late fall and winter, grass doesn’t need water. In this period, lean grass stays green, so cutting irrigation can help conserve water and save money. Just continue it until the grass starts growing back.

Tip #9 Alter Mower’s Height

Don’t over-cut grass as winter nears. Raising the mower for about half an inch in the fall will help increase grass leaves. Grass leaves are essential for capturing and storing nutrients from the sunlight. So, the more grass leaves your lawn has, the more food in the grassroots. A dense lawn can also prevent weeds from multiplying throughout the dormant season. 

When winter arrives, you can lower your mow before the snow drops. This time, you can now cut the grass short to prevent snow molds from developing. Cut the grass to as low as 1 inch and remove debris such as leaves and weed pods. 

Tip #10 Follow Strict Lawn Care Routine

Follow these lawn care routines strictly! Remember that grass only stops growing when it frosts over in winter. Continue mowing, fertilizing, repairing, aerating, and watering your lawn. Ensure that you conduct the procedures according to their best timing to be more effective. 


Is Your Lawn Ready for the Fall and Winter?

We hope you enjoyed these tips for fall lawn care! Fall is the perfect time to take care of your lawn so it can look its best next spring. Be sure to follow these tips to ensure a healthy lawn all season long. Do you have any other tips for maintaining a beautiful lawn? Please leave us a comment and let us know what works for you!

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