Contractor Jeff Goodman has built what he says is a better paver edging spike.
Goodman, who installs landscaping and hardscaping such as walks and patios, got tired of dealing with brick pavers that separated because the edging spikes moved in the ground. So he designed one with an angled tip that stays in place better.
The tip causes the Edgetite spike to be driven into the compacted base at an angle, so the head of the spike pushes against the edging and keeps the bricks in place. Freezing and thawing of the ground only forces the spike tighter against the edging rather than pushing it away.
The spikes can be ordered from suppliers listed at www.edgetite.com. One dealer, MCP Supply, sells them for $65 a box plus $30 shipping and also offers volume pricing.
On the shelf
A few embroidery stitches can turn a simple T-shirt or towel into something special. Artist and blogger Karin Holmberg shows how to use traditional Swedish stitches to elevate the ordinary in “Scandinavian Stitch Craft: Unique Projects and Patterns for Inspired Embroidery.”
Holmberg’s projects are inspired by Swedish folk textiles, but they have a fresh feel. She sometimes uses a single color of thread to produce a simple, updated look or applies her stitchery to such unexpected surfaces as hoodies, lampshades and even underwear.
Don’t know how to embroider? No problem. Illustrations in the back of the book teach the basics.
“Scandinavian Stitch Craft” is published by Running Press and sells for $19 in softcover.
Q: What is the best thing I can buy to kill poison oak and poison ivy?
A: A goat. I’m only half joking. Goats are sometimes used to control poison ivy and oak because they’ll eat the plants without suffering any ill effects.
OK, so that’s probably not a practical solution for you.
Kathy Smith, Ohio State University Extension program director in forestry, said what some people think is poison oak is really fragrant sumac, which doesn’t cause an allergic reaction.
Poison ivy, however, is another matter.
Unfortunately, there’s no product you can spray on poison ivy to make it go away quickly and easily. It’s a tough plant to eradicate.
The OSU fact sheet Poison Ivy Identification and Control says that for a small infestation, you can pull or dig the vines by hand. Be careful to cover your skin, wash your clothing and gloves immediately afterward and rinse the washing machine thoroughly after the clothes have been cleaned. If you’re prone to bad reactions from poison ivy, I wouldn’t try this.
The fact sheet says you can also use glyphosate or triclopyr to control poison ivy, but either of those herbicides needs to be applied repeatedly. Glyphosate is found in products such as Roundup. Triclopyr is found in products including Ortho Brush-B-Gon Poison Ivy Killer.
You can apply the herbicide to the leaves or cut the vine and apply it to the cut stems. If you use glyphosate, be careful not to let it touch any part of other plants, because it can kill whatever it touches.
Keep applying the herbicide to new shoots that emerge from the base of the old plant.
Never burn poison ivy or poison oak. Breathing in the smoke can cause a severe, even deadly, allergic reaction.