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Best Mailbox

The best mailbox is a matter of opinion and you have a lot of choices. Residential mailboxes come in a variety of styles. You can choose a plastic mailbox, metal mailbox, wooden mailbox, decorative mailboxes, wall mount mailbox or a locking mailbox.

I could easily list the top 10 best mailboxes and give a small review of each of them like every other website, but I want to go much further than that. I am going to tell you what I think is the best mailbox and post combo, but then show you exactly how I installed it.

Choosing a Mailbox

I did tons of research to ultimately decide which mailbox to get. Originally I was going to get a locking mailbox, but after thinking it over I really didn’t like the small mail slot size and I didn’t like having to worry about always taking a key with me just to get the mail.

Now of course if you live in an area where mail theft is a problem I would absolutely recommend getting a locking mailbox, they are pretty great. I ultimately decided to go with a traditional mailbox with post.

There are a lot to choose from so that took much further research but I eventually found the one for me. In my days of research (more like weeks) I discovered an amazing way to install the mailbox post without concrete.

What is the Best Mailbox and Post Combo?

In my opinion the best mailbox and post combo is:

The Salsbury mailbox is a heavy duty aluminum mailbox. It is nothing like the cheap plastic ones you find at the big box stores. This thing is sturdy and feels and looks very well made. It comes in a variety of colors. You can choose beige, black, green or white. I picked the black mailbox.

One feature I really like is the mailbox door has a strong magnet that holds the door shut. It is a really nice touch, no more mailbox doors hanging open. I also used large 3″ inch mailbox numbers, Hy-Ko Products MM-5N Self Adhesive Vinyl Numbers 3″ High. This is where I had only a slight issue with the mailbox.

I wanted to place the numbers on the side of the mailbox, the area on the side of the mailbox to place the numbers only had room for about 3″ inches. Two ridges run along the side of the mailbox, which limits space for the numbers.

I like the ridges because they make the mailbox look good and they give the mailbox added strength. I applied the numbers on each side of the mailbox, the numbers didn’t quite fit and overhung the space ever so slightly. This is purely cosmetic.

I could have left it but I decided to get some scissors and trim a very small amount at the top of each number to fit it into the roughly 3″ inch area. After I did that they fit perfectly.

Best Mailbox Post

I think this is a great mailbox, but with the mailbox you also need the best mailbox post to go with it. The Salsbury Industries Designer In-Ground Mounted Decorative Mailbox Post is the companion mailbox post for the mailbox. I think this is the best mailbox and post combo.

The mailbox post comes in three styles and several colors. The post is just as high quality and heavy duty as the mailbox. It is 81 inches tall and is made of aluminum. The inside of the post is hollow but do not try and put a 4×4 piece of wood inside the post when you install it.

The mailbox post is designed to be installed into the ground as is with nothing inside the post.

After doing extensive research I think this is the best mailbox and mailbox post combination you can find.

How to Install a Mailbox Post Without Concrete

For the mailbox installation I was originally going to take the traditional route. This involved sticking the mailbox post on top of a 6 inch deep bed of gravel and filling the hole with quick set concrete. I was all set to do this until I came across a unique product that I hadn’t seen before.

It is called Sika Fix Fence Post Mix, this is a foam used to install posts. When I first came across Sika Post Fix I scoffed at the idea of installing anything in foam, it seemed ridiculous that it could ever work. I thought to myself, I’ve used foam in a can plenty of times to fill holes so I am familiar with foam and how easily it breaks apart.

This of course is not the same foam you get in a can. Sika Post Fix is a high density foam which makes it very tough. Intrigued by this I decided to just try the foam. If it was terrible and didn’t work I could easily just rip the mailbox out of the foam and go get some gravel and concrete and do it the traditional way.

I also did it on a Saturday so if it was a complete disaster at least I would have Sunday to try and fix it and I wouldn’t have to worry about the mail carrier showing up trying to deliver mail and finding no mailbox.

Being extremely skeptical that this foam would actually work. I watched a lot of videos and read all of the instructions about how to properly use the foam. Eventually I felt pretty confident that I could at least apply it correctly.

I really wanted this to work, if it didn’t work it was going to be a real pain to have to start over and I really wasn’t very excited about having to lug bags of concrete and gravel around.

Using Sika Post Fix

Before you dig always make sure to call 811 to mark any possible utility lines in the area.

The Sika Post Fix instructions say the hole must be 8″ inches in diameter and 36″ inches deep for a 4 x 4 post. After ripping the old mailbox out I was left with a hole 9″ x 10″ inches in diameter and 33″ inches deep.

The old mailbox post was stuck into the ground without any concrete over 20 years ago. We have heavy clay soil and since it was almost three feet deep it certainly seemed like it was installed with concrete. It was extremely difficult to remove from the ground.

Mailbox Rules

The Salsbury mailbox post is a 4 x 4 post and is roughly 62.5″ inches from the floor of the mailbox to the end of the post. I could not install the mailbox post 36″ inches deep per the instructions since it would sit far too low and not meet USPS specifications.

Here are the USPS requirements https://www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm

Post office specifications state the mailbox should be between 41″ to 45″ inches from the road surface to the bottom of the mailbox or mailbox entry point. The mailbox also needs to be 6″ to 8″ inches back from the curb.

I decided to back fill the 33″ inch deep hole up to about 19″ inches deep. I tamped it down using part of the old mailbox post I broke off when I removed the old post. At 19″ inches this made the floor of the mailbox sit at about 43″ inches high which complied with the mailbox rules.

Pouring Sika Post Fix

After following all directions on the bag I placed the mailbox post into the hole. I made sure everything was nice and level and braced it with IRWIN Tools QUICK-GRIP Clamp Set and pieces of wood I found lying around. I made sure everything was level using the IRWIN Tools Magnetic Post Level.

I then poured the foam liquid around the post. The instructions say to actually pour the liquid onto the post not just into the hole. Making contact with the post allows for a better bond with the post and also helps protect the post from rot if you are using a wooden post.

Despite the fact that my hole diameter was larger than 8″ inches and the depth was only 19″ inches I felt confident the foam would fill the hole just fine. After pouring the foam it quickly started to rise and after a couple of minutes it began to overflow the top of the hole.

After the foam stopped flowing it easily filled the entire hole and came up and out of the hole quite a bit as well. Everything worked nicely, the instructions say to wait 2 hours before doing anything to let it fully cure.

Mailbox Installation Results

After waiting a little over 2 hours I checked the results. Everything looked good, I pushed on the post a little bit to see how well it was holding.

I was pleasantly surprised that it seemed to be working quite well. Satisfied with my little quality control test I proceeded to take a hand saw and a small knife and cut off the excess foam that had overflowed out of the hole.

This turned out to be more difficult than I thought, the foam is pretty strong and it took some effort to cut it back. I even cut down a little into the hole so that I could place soil on top to hide the foam.

I then attached the mailbox and made sure everything was still sitting level and checked my measurements one more time. Everything looked good. So far it seems to be working very well. Of course time will tell how long this will last.

I have read that utility companies use foam to install telephone poles so that gives me confidence that this will work just fine.

The other benefit I see is if for some reason I ever need to remove the mailbox post it should be much easier to remove the mailbox post secured in foam rather than secured in heavy concrete. That benefit alone makes it worthwhile for me to use the foam.

Mailbox with Post

Mailbox with Post

I think this is the best mailbox and post combo. It is a great looking setup and the foam made installation very simple. If I was going to do it all over again I would do it exactly the same way.

So that is a great way on how to install a mailbox post without concrete. Make sure to take a look at the Best Weed Eater reviews so you have something to trim the grass that will grow around your new mailbox post.

Best Mailbox2019-06-22T01:20:11-05:00

Herbs List

herbs shelf

A good herbs list is important as more and more people switch their focus in the kitchen to using natural ingredients, and creating very flavorful dishes without the use of salt and processed flavorings, there is a coinciding increase in the amount of fresh herbs purchased and used in cooking.

With this comes a trend of home gardeners growing their own herbs in garden spaces or kitchen windowsills.

Herbs Names

Here are some great herbs names that make a fantastic addition to any garden.

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Herbs List

Here is a more detailed look at the herbs list.

Basil

herbs list - basil leaf

Perhaps one of the most popular and widely used culinary herbs, basil is found in many herb gardens. Basil recipes are known for their spicy taste and odor. Basil pizza is great. Basil leaf is grown as an annual, with plants reaching 12-18” in height. It grows well in containers, preferring a sunny location and to be well-watered.

Cilantro

cilantro herb

Cilantro recipes are a staple in Mexican and Asian dishes, cilantro is another herb commonly planted in herb gardens. Cilantro growing is best done in full sun and well-drained soil but Cilantro has the tendency to go to seed (bolt). Cilantro plants will grow to 12-24” tall but do best when the plant is harvested when around 6” tall. To minimize bolting and to insure a constant supply of fresh leaves for harvest, plant successive sowings of cilantro every 3-4 weeks.

Dill

dill herb

The foliage of dill is used to flavor meat dishes such as fish and lamb; seeds are used in pickling recipes. Dill grows tall with feathery foliage. If growing dill is left unharvested it will produce large, flat topped yellow flowers with seed clusters. It prefers full sun and can be sown 1-2 weeks before the last frost.

Parsley

parsley herbs

Available in two types, curly and flat-leaf, parsley is the most common herb grown in gardens and parsley recipes are used for many culinary purposes. It is used as both a garnish and a flavoring. Parsley is a hardy biennial plant, but is typically grown as an annual plant. It fares extremely well when grown indoors and can be transplanted into the garden in the spring.

Oregano

herbs names - oregano herbs

Most commonly used in Italian dishes (pasta sauces, tomato dishes, oregano pizza), oregano is a perennial herb with a very intense flavor. Oregano does best when grown in full sun, and needs well drained soil for successful overwintering. It does best when brought indoors for the winter. If it is left outside, treat oregano as a tender plant and cover with a layer of straw or mulch after the ground is frozen to protect plants.

Rosemary

rosemary herbs

Another favorite garden herb, rosemary is a tender perennial that can grow up to 4-6’ tall. To grow rosemary it is best propagated as stem cuttings as seeds germinate slowly; plants grown from seed may take years to develop into usable plants. Harvest tender plant tips and foliage as needed throughout the growing season to flavor meat dishes; long, woody stems can be harvested and used as skewers for kabobs for extra flavoring.

Sage

sage herb

A shrubby, perennial plant that grow to 2-3’ tall, sage is used for culinary flavoring but also as ornamental plants in containers or a garden landscape. When growing sage it prefers a full-sun location that has been well amended with compost. It is best to propagate from cuttings since plants from seed can take several years to become ready for harvest. Harvest sage leaves as needed throughout the growing season cutting 6-8” long stems for drying.

Thyme

herbs names - thyme herb

Highly aromatic, thyme is a low-growing perennial with stiff, woody stems and small oval leaves. When growing thyme it prefers a sunny location, well-drained soils, and lots of compost to grow well. As thyme plants age they become woodier and benefit from being cut back severely every few years. Stems can be harvested for use at any time during the growing season but are most flavorful if cut just before the plant flowers, and then hung to dry.

Growing Herbs

Growing herbs in a garden is quite easy. Many varieties will do well in typical garden soil as long as the location receives plenty of sunlight and the soil has good drainage. Herbs can become stressed if exposed to too much wind or extreme conditions.

It is best to plant them along the foundations of buildings, or near walls or fences to give them some shelter. This also creates micro climates that will help protect plants throughout the winter, increasing the chances of overwintering.

People often opt to grow herbs in containers, making them easy to bring tender perennials indoors during the harsher winter months.

If you choose to grow herbs in containers it is better to fill pots with potting soil to keep the growing media from compacting (garden soil will compact severely in pots, making it hard for plants to develop good root systems). Pots will also need more frequent watering and fertilizer throughout the growing season.

Herbs List Conclusion

The herbs names mentioned here make a fantastic addition to any garden, adding unique foliage and exquisite fragrances to the planting area.

The list of herbs require little maintenance and do well when planted in-ground or in containers. The harvested foliage then makes a great culinary addition to the home’s kitchen.

Herbs List2019-06-30T16:05:13-05:00

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are great if you are looking to make a statement in your landscaping, or fill in some empty spaces that just need a little extra pizzazz. The below ornamental grasses are the perfect solution.

Ornamental grasses are a bold statement in your garden and landscape and add color, texture, and movement. With many varieties available for a range of growing zones it’s easy to find plants that suit your taste.

After the initial planting, ornamental grasses are usually easy to care for. They need watered when they are dry and cut back in late fall or early spring to promote new growth in the coming season.

Ornamental grasses work really well as border plants or edging. Their size and shape also lends them to filling in narrow spaces well.

If you’re looking to add some ornamental grasses to your garden or landscape here are 10 popular varieties:

Top 10 Types of Ornamental Grasses

  • Bamboo
  • Blue Fescue
  • Blue Oat Grass
  • Dwarf Pampas Grass
  • Feather Reed Grass
  • Japanese Forest Grass
  • Maiden Grass
  • Purple Fountain Grass
  • Rush Grass
  • Zebra Grass

Bamboo

Bamboo

Most people don’t consider bamboo when thinking about ornamental grasses, even though it is a member of the grass family.

It grows upright, and quickly, making it a great addition to new landscapes or gardens that warrant quick establishment.

Blue Fescue

Ornamental Grasses - Blue Fescue

A small ornamental grass, blue fescue is commonly used at the base of tall, leggy shrubs, as accents or edging, or as ground cover when planted in masses.

Blue fescue grows to be about 6-10” tall and about as wide.

It does well in a variety of zones but prefers full to partial sun and well drained soil. The bluish foliage looks best in early summer; trim seed heads off plants to keep them looking compact and neat.

Blue Oat Grass

The steel blue color of blue oat grass sets it apart from other ornamental grasses.

An easy to grow grass, blue oat grass has a mounded shape that gives it a unique look. Blue oat grass also won’t spread and take over your garden.

Dwarf Pampas Grass

Ornamental Grasses - Pampas Grass

A medium sized ornamental grass, dwarf pampas grass grows to about 4-5’ tall and produces beautiful, showy, white plumes in the late summer and fall.

Dwarf pampas grass is one of the showiest ornamental grasses, loves full sun, and is resistant to deer and rabbits.

Feather Reed Grass

Ornamental Grasses - Feather Reed Grass

One of the most popular ornamental grasses, feather reed-grass tolerates many different growing conditions. It grows to approximately 6-8’ in height, 2-3’ in width, and tends to grow upright and straight.

Many grasses arch outward so this erectness gives it an architectural advantage over some of the others. By midsummer seed-heads mature to a deep golden color and remain attractive well into the fall and winter.

Japanese Forest Grass

This graceful ground cover almost looks like a miniature version of bamboo: having bright yellow leaves with thin green stripes. As the weather cools in the fall the foliage takes on a tinge of pink.

Japanese forest grass is slow growing and is best suited for partially shaded locations. It grows to about 18-24” tall; the arching leaf blades gracefully re-touching the ground.

Maiden Grass

Growing 6-10’ tall and 3-5’ wide, these easy to grow, arching ornamental grasses are popular in landscapes.

Maiden Grass has narrow foliage that comes in a variety of colors – from green-and-white striped, to yellow striped, dark green or greenish white – and silvery plumage that catches the light.

Purple Fountain Grass

Ornamental Grasses - Purple Fountain Grass

The beautiful burgundy-red foliage of purple fountain grass makes it a favorite among gardeners. Its stunning color is present all season long and blooms in midsummer.

Plants grow to about 3’ tall and do best in full sun locations with well drained soil. It is a tender perennial and is often grown as an annual in cooler climates.

Rush Grass

Rush Grass

A perfect option for wet, poorly drained soils, rush thrives in damp conditions and produces richly colored, grass like foliage.

It does well in full sun and grows to a height of 18-24” tall.

Zebra Grass

Zebra Grass

If you’re looking for something that really stands out in your garden, zebra grass is a great option. Each blade features a series of bright yellow bands, giving it a striped appearance.

It is smaller in stature than some ornamental grasses (growing up to 5’ tall) and has an upright habit that makes it look great in borders.

It is also known as porcupine grass.

Benefits of Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses add an architectural element to garden and landscapes. Their movement, color and texture set them apart from other garden plants giving them a unique place in garden designs.

With many different colors and shapes available to choose from, it’s easy to find one that fits your garden style.

Ornamental Grasses2019-06-07T20:00:10-05:00

Indoor Garden

indoor garden

With more and more people taking it upon themselves to start an indoor garden and grow their own plants and vegetables, it’s no surprise that growing spaces are finding their place inside. At the same time people are becoming more cognizant of indoor air quality, and also designing living spaces that focus on tranquility.

This makes indoor gardening a great concept to implement: plants will recycle air through their natural processes, improving air quality and the green space they contribute to décor is attributed as being soothing and peaceful. Plus there’s the benefit of fresh produce available right in your home.

Planning an Indoor Garden

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning an indoor garden. Some of the biggest considerations to factor in are how much space is available to work with, will you be doing hydroponics, how much natural sunlight is available, and which plants you’d like to grow. Space is a severely limiting factor in indoor gardening; it’s not possible to move walls or snap your fingers and gain square footage inside the home.

We are constricted, literally and figuratively, by the walls around us. Sometimes designing an indoor garden means getting creative with the space available. If lighting is conducive, indoor containers can be placed on windowsills, on top of cabinets and the refrigerator, or placed on tiered racks to maximum vertical space.

When lights for indoor gardening aren’t optimal for plant growth it may necessitate buying specific lighting optimized for plant growth. Indoor garden lights come in many options: varying sizes and outputs, within a wide range of costs to meet almost every budget. The AeroGarden Ultra (LED) with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit will provide plants with the correct lighting and growing environment. This will keep plants healthy and vibrant without becoming spindly or leggy from lack of sunshine.

Plants for an Indoor Garden

In terms of plants, some people choose to grow ornamental plants only; creating a lush, green space full of colorful blossoms and beautiful scents. Others mix ornamentals with herbs and vegetables. Some choose to focus solely on edible plants to reap extra benefits.

Those that are really ambitious put together indoor gardens consisting of a myriad of plants, sometimes mixing ornamentals, herbs, and veggies. With a range of plants to choose from, it’s easy to tailor an indoor garden to the specific desires of a homeowner. For someone with little to no previous gardening experience, an indoor herb garden can be a good, simple starting point.

They can be grown in small containers and require little maintenance; easy to fit on a windowsill and easy to reap the benefits. Those that are more adventurous can grow an indoor vegetable garden containing tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, beans, eggplant, broccoli, carrots, radishes, and peppers – all of these species are relatively easy to grow indoors. Squash, cucumbers and melons also grow well inside but the spreading vines will need more space than upright plants, and could easily take over a small area creating more of a jungle feel in your home than intended!

Growing an Indoor Garden

Once the types of plants (and quantity) are chosen the garden containers and potting soil can be purchased. Mix and match a variety of colors, sizes, and textures to create visual interest and compliment the home’s décor, or pick a single theme to create continuity and uniformity. The only limitation here is budget and imagination.

Use the biggest pot/pots possible to keep the soil from drying out as fast but keep in mind the larger pots will require more soil to fill them. Styrofoam can be cut into discs and placed into the bottom of pots to help fill some of the space, placing potting soil on top for the plants to grow in. Upcycling old items (wagons, wash tubs, barrels, etc.) for use as containers is a creative way to reduce supply costs and can add interest and whimsy to an indoor garden.

Make sure though, that any items upcycled for containers have drainage holes, yet will adequately hold soil. If necessary take newspapers and line the inside of containers to prevent soil from falling out.

indoor plantsWhen you begin planting, keep in mind proper plant spacing to encourage optimum growth and adequate air circulation. It’s tempting to plant seedlings/seeds closer together to maximize limited space but refrain. Giving plants the space they need will results in hardier, healthier plants and decrease the chance of diseases.

After plants are nestled securely into the potting soil, water the containers thoroughly, as often as moisture is needed. The goal is to keep the potting soil from drying out completely, stressing the plant, yet not allowing them to sit in waterlogged soil. Plants will require more frequent watering in warmer months and in dryer climates.

An indoor garden kit and self-watering systems can be purchased to help take the guesswork out of a watering schedule, and tend to plants when you are on vacation or out of town for a few days. In addition to ensuring your containers have enough sunlight and are properly watered it’s important to fertilize periodically to provide ample nutrients. Here are some tips on choosing the best fertilizer for gardens. Continuously watch for harmful pests (treating when necessary), and prune back tattered leaves and spent blooms to encourage new growth.

Being limited on outdoor space doesn’t mean having to forego gardening. With some ingenuity, it is possible to design a beautiful indoor garden space capable of purifying the air in your home, creating a serene, tranquil environment to enjoy and providing edible herbs and produce to savor.

Indoor Garden2019-06-30T16:07:50-05:00

Poppy Flower

Poppy Flower

The Poppy flower (Papaver) is a spring flower which can be either an annual flower or perennial flower. Whichever type you choose you will be sure to love. Whatever the kind, they will bring a very unique look to your garden.

Poppy Flower Types

Poppies

Poppies

There are a lot of different species of this flower. They have very large blossoms that grow from the foliage.

Perennial Poppies

Grow from seeds in the soil. They are very easy to grow and they reseed themselves so that they continue to grow again each year.

Corn Poppies

Grow in the spring. They are annuals that can be planted in fall or early spring.

Angels Choir

Is a double flower that can be a soft pink or white color.

Oriental Poppy

Is a very popular species. They can be a bright orange, red, purple, or white color. They are perennials and grow to be almost 4 feet tall.

Growing Poppy Flower

Poppy Flowers

Poppy Flower

Certain Poppies should be planted in a certain way. They all do not grow the same. If you are unsure about how to grow your plants, check out your local nursery to get directions on how to plant your flowers correctly.

Most species do however grow best in areas with full sun to light shade. Make sure you have them planted in well-drained soil. Also spread your seeds out. They do not grow well if they are too crowded.

Once the flowers begin to grow, they make a beautiful contribution to a vase of fresh cut flowers. They are very easy to cut, and once you have them in a vase, they look gorgeous. Poppies definitely bring a unique look to any garden. Whether you use them as accent flowers, or as the main focus of your garden, they will be sure to brighten up anyone’s yard or flowerbed.

Poppy Flower2019-04-26T12:24:08-05:00