TIP OF THE WEEK

How to avoid overwatering grass

Overwatering the lawn is a big problem. Not only does it waste water, but it can harm grass. However, many homeowners make this error without even knowing it.

According to Grass Seed USA, a simple trick to determine whether your lawn needs watering is to stick a screwdriver into the ground. If it enters the soil easily, your lawn has plenty of water already. If you have trouble getting the screwdriver into the ground, it’s time to give the grass a drink.

When it’s time to water, do so in the early morning or evening hours to avoid water evaporation. Keep in mind, a thorough watering once or twice a week is preferable to lightly misting every day.

— Brandpoint

DECORATING

DIY flip-flop wreath

Want to add a dash of personality to your front door? For a bit of summer flare that welcomes guests with a pop of color, try your hand at flip-flop wreaths.

This is an easy, affordable DIY project anyone can do. The experts at CraftyMorning.com provide two different ways to make this adorable wreath:

Horizontal welcome sign

Glue seven brightly colored flip-flops together, overlapping each other, and spell out “Welcome” with letters on each shoe. To manage the weight, add a piece of thin wood or cardboard as the backing. Finish with a ribbon and hang.

Circular flower power wreath

Glue flip-flops in a circular pattern with the heels creating the center of the wreath. Add fake flowers or a pinwheel in the center or on edges if desired. If weight is a concern, add cardboard backing. Tie with a ribbon and hang.

— Brandpoint

GARDENING

Perennials for shade that add color

Trying to add some color to the shady spots in your yard? Sheltered corners are instantly energized with shade-loving perennials that come back year after year. Better Homes & Gardens recommends:

Toad lily: This easy-to-grow perennial offers unique flowers that are often compared to orchids. Many are spotted with shades of purple or blue.

Bleeding heart: In late spring and early summer enjoy pink or white heart-shaped flowers that hang from elegant, arching stems. (Recommended zones 3-9)

Lungwort: The variegated foliage with small purple flowers looks great all season long, plus is a nice accent to other shade plants. (Recommended zones 4-8)

Yellow corydalis: These clusters of yellow flowers bloom from late spring to frost. The gray-green leaves are a nice contrast to the flowers (Recommended zones 5-8)

Astilbe: Feathery blooms in shades of burgundy, red, pink, lavender and white. It blooms in early summer. (Recommended zones 4-8)

— Brandpoint

WATER USAGE

Water being wasted by leaks

A recent survey by Grundfos for the Who Runs the Water that Runs America Initiative finds 50 percent of Americans believe they’re paying a fair price for water, and only 2 percent report they should be paying more when comparing their water use to their bill. Those in the utility sector tell a different story, however, with 70 percent reporting they aren’t generating enough revenue to cover their costs and fund infrastructure improvements.

America’s water infrastructure is aging, and each year more than 240,000 water mains break at a total repair cost of more than $1 trillion, Who Runs the Water reported. These breaks and/or leaks in the water mains account for 12 percent of the nation’s water being wasted each year. And as the infrastructure system continues to age, that number is expected to grow.

— Brandpoint