Safe Deck Stairs Solution

Posted by: on April 19th, 2012 | Make A Comment
Above view of deck stairs

Image via scottkillen


All of that fun relaxing and entertaining outside on your deck doesn’t come without its dangers. Going up and down deck stairs can often be a treacherous activity. Even when perfectly dry, those stairs can be slippery. And if they get wet in the rain – watch out! So what’s an outdoor-loving, deck-having homeowner to do? Well that was Home Depot Community member Canyongirl’s very question to The Home Depot Forums. Read on … you may be surprised by the quick and easy fix offered up by Forum associate Designingwoman.

Canyongirl:  What do you suggest I put on my deck stairs to give my old dogs more traction as they go up and down?

Designingwoman:  Hello canyongirl! I have used 3M Step and Ladder Tread Tape that is available in our paint department to add traction to my stair steps. It is a black tape rated for indoor and outdoor use – and it resists UV rays and sunlight. I have used the product and know that it is long lasting under heavy traffic – the tape really sticks!

3M Step and Ladder Tread Tape

Tread tape is a simple way to prevent dangerous slip and falls.


Be sure to apply as recommended (between 50-70oF) on a painted wood or concrete surface. You can cut the tape to size with regular scissors to fit the stairs. The surface gives traction as needed but should not harm the dogs’ paws. (PS – it works great for humans too!)

Best wishes and please keep us posted on your progress.

Designing Woman

That’s pretty easy, right? This simple solution to a very serious issue can also be applied to other areas of your home in the form of stair tread runners and non-slip mats and treads. And of course you can contact Designingwoman, or any of our other expert associates, for all of your questions about other tricky DIY issues.

Want more advice from our experts? Join the conversation. Visit the Forums for DIY tips and tricks from our store associates. From the Forums Friday is our weekly column highlighting expert advice.

Earth Day Activities: Kid-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Mother Earth

Posted by: on April 18th, 2012 | 30 Comments
Child's hands tending to green sprout

Image via D Sharon Pruitt


You know that irritating thing kids do at dinnertime?

The thing where you slave in the kitchen for hours, making them something you just know they are going to love?

But when you call them to dinner, you’re met with a charming chorus of “ewwwww” and gagging noises.

So you try a different approach the next time. You let them help to make the ravioli and this time you call it “Pirate Squares” or something. Now that’s a different story, folks. Suddenly they are wolfing it down, begging for seconds and announcing that it’s their favorite food ever.

Ever times a hundred!

Make Earth Day Fun

Well, teaching your kids about the environment – specifically Earth Day – can feel a little like that.

Preaching to them about ozone layers and global warming is a sure way to set eyes rolling and attention wandering. But when you get their little hands dirty…that’s when Earth Day really starts to matter to them. That’s when you start them off on a lifetime of true environmental awareness.

But how do you do that?  How do you make Earth Day real (and real fun) to them?  Below, we’ve listed just a few Earth Day activities that should make learning about the environment child’s play.

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Using Drought Tolerant Perennials in Your Container Herb Garden

Posted by: on April 18th, 2012 | 4 Comments

Drought tolerant perennials in a window box


Here’s a DIY container herb garden project that will set you up with a fairly low maintenance little garden that should come back each spring, and last for years to come. Plus, it will use less water than other herb gardens, which is great for water conservation.

The key is using drought tolerant perennials.

In the window box shown above, I used lavender, rosemary and sage (from left to right); these three herbs always play nice together because they all like well-drained soil and full sun.

To get started, you’ll need:

1 window box with a coco liner
1 lavender plant
1 rosemary plant
2 small sage plants (or 1 large sage plant)
potting soil
Shake ‘n Feed (optional)

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Fresh Table Setting Ideas from Katie of Modern Eve

Posted by: on April 17th, 2012 | 4 Comments

Outdoor Table Setting Ideas with Katie of Modern Eve

The Apron Blog is thrilled to introduce a new series, Style Challenge, featuring some of our favorite bloggers from around the web. We challenge our guest bloggers to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using a single Home Depot product as a starting point.  

To kick off spring, Katie Anderson of Modern Eve shares her ideas  for preparing a gorgeous outdoor table setting using the Thomasville Palmetto Estates 7-Piece Patio Dining Set as her foundation. 

Colorful table setting with the Thomasville Palmetto Estates Dining Set

Longer days and rising temperatures remind me to get outside and enjoy my patio. I love dining alfresco, whether for a Saturday brunch, a quick weeknight dinner, or Friday night steaks on the grill. When we landscaped our backyard a couple of years ago, it was important for me to plan a space for outdoor entertaining, including a well-defined dining space. We poured large concrete pavers (which will soon be filled in with green moss) and have been looking for the perfect dining set to complete our space. We were very excited to receive our new patio table and chairs, the Thomasville Palmetto Estates 7-Piece Patio Dining Set, from The Home Depot. It’s modern and neutral, which allows me to dress it up depending on the occasion.

Today I’m sharing an outdoor brunch table setting idea, inspired by my favorite colors of the season, coral and mint. The color palette is refreshing, like a cold glass of lemonade, but also warm and inviting. I started with a mint colored pitcher and bread basket, which I already had, along with a glass pitcher and summer drink glasses. I paired these with some coral placemats and accent plates. My talented friend Angie from Posh Floral put together three gorgeous floral arrangements which included peonies, pincushions, and succulents. I have to say, I love how it turned out.

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Water and Drought Tips

Posted by: on April 17th, 2012 | Make A Comment

Nothing protects your lawn from the blazing sun during the warm months like encouraging the growth of deep, drought-resistant roots now. It’s only through proper watering techniques that your grass and garden stands a chance to beat the heat and remain healthy all season long.

There are many ways to prevent drought and this video breaks them down for you. It gives a thorough rundown on watering tips that will help you stay one step ahead of those high temperatures. It’s important to consider things such as the amount of water your lawn needs, the best time to water it, tips on how to tell if it needs more water, and the consequences of allowing your grass to dry out. The video also offers helpful tips on how to properly take care of ornamental plants. For lawn and plant care supplies such as fertilizers and weed control, visit us at You can also get lawn care advice from our expert associates on the How-To Community Forum.

Check out more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

Turn Your Garden Problem Spots Into Rock Gardens

Posted by: on April 16th, 2012 | 17 Comments

Detail of a rock garden, via I Can Stop Tomorrow


Not all soil is ideal for all types of gardening. Trying to make a stubborn patch something it isn’t can be an exercise in frustration. If sections of your yard or garden aren’t living up to expectation, converting them into rock gardens may be just the solution you’ve been seeking. By planting with drainage in mind, you can transform the frustration of loose soil into gratification.

Start by building up the garden problem spots. The plan is to bring in plants that grow well in spaces where water disperses quickly, so you don’t want to plant them in depressions where water might pool. Studding it with bricks or rocks bolsters your garden against the occasional downpour. Judiciously employed, they can also add an attractive austerity to your garden, as in the picture above. (Check out the Tumblr I Can Stop Tomorrow for more ideas on how to beautify your rock garden with succulents.)

Once you’ve prepared the area, select tenacious plants that grow well without the benefits of rich soil. April is your opportunity to plant perennial herbs and flowers that thrive in a sandy or rocky base.

Pinks in bloom, via Linda N.


Try a dianthus, sometimes called a carnation or a pink, though their coloration varies. The Firewitch Garden Pink is a low-maintenance and attractive variety. These long-blooming flowers burst out in a vibrant purplish hue against silver-blue foliage. Their clustered tufts make them ideal for narrow spaces in direct sunlight, like the bare edges of your garden or walkway, and they blossom in a scented bloom that butterflies love. And because dianthus grows well with minimal care, your rock garden will mean less toil, moil, fuss and scurry for you.

For more ideas and advice on plants appropriate for a rock garden, check out the Garden Club, and be sure to take a look at The Home Depot’s online selection of perennials.

Places: A Tree House In The Backyard

Posted by: on April 16th, 2012 | One Comment
Image of Harads glass tree house

Image via Tham & Videgard Hansson Arkitekter

If you were lucky enough as a kid to have a tree house in the backyard, you probably spent hours there, pretending it was a fort, a magic castle, a spaceship, or anything else you wanted it to be. The magic of a tree house remains with us as adults. The very sight of a tree house that can instantly transport us back to childhood memories of long summers spent at play.

Well, it’s a good thing some of us never grow up, and haven’t stopped imagining all the different ways you could enjoy spending time in a tree house. Would you have ever dreamed up a glass tree house with a 360° view of surrounding woods? Didn’t think so – nor would we, but architects at the Swedish firm Tham & Videgård Arkitekter came up with the brilliant idea to build one that looks so spectacular it hardly seems real.

That tree house, seen above, looks nothing like one you’d might find in a typical backyard. It’s the Harad’s Tree Hotel in northern Sweden, close to the Arctic Circle. It’s suspended in air, supported primarily by a tree that is an integral part of it’s structure, and it requires minimal ground support. That meets our minimum definition for a proper tree house, plus it’s ridiculously cool.

Take a minute to think about what fun you could have in your own backyard tree house as you scroll through the rest of the images we found.

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Grill It: What is a Good Grill Made From?

Posted by: on April 14th, 2012 | Make A Comment

a grill with chicken and veggies cooking


A: You’ll find options like plastic, cast aluminum, cast iron, porcelain-coated and stainless steel out there. If you are looking for a grill that will stand up to the elements outdoors, stainless steel is the top choice. If you will bring the grill inside for storage, a lightweight plastic or aluminum model should work fine.

Among the stainless steel varieties, heavy grade steel and folded or reinforced edges are signs that the grill is well-constructed.

An important part of grill construction is stability—since a stable grill is a safe grill (safety first, people!). Give the grill a push from different angles before you make your purchase to make sure that it doesn’t wobble or sway.

Grilling Tips  is for all you grill fanatics out there. Whether you swear by propane, charcoal or gas, our BBQ tips have you covered. If you’re in need of an upgrade – shop Grills at 

Spring Garden Project: Vertical Garden

Posted by: on April 12th, 2012 | 57 Comments


Woman setting up a beautiful vertical garden


Vertical gardens are all the rage this year—from the creative use of shoe organizers as planters to our simple space-saving herb garden, propped up on lattice and great for the apartment dweller. The team at The Home Depot has put together a stunning vertical garden project that is perfect for the crafty DIYer who wants to create an outdoor showpiece that will get people talking. It’s a vertical garden that’s essentially a hanging flower box.

This project is broken down into four parts:

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Eliminate Thistle From Your Garden

Posted by: on April 12th, 2012 | 7 Comments
Thistle weed in garden

Image via sufw


Don’t let the white and purple flowers fool you. Thistles are actually a type of weed that grow very quickly and can be extremely difficult to control. Just ask our Home Depot Community member, Flower, who stumbled across thistle in her garden. After trying (and failing!) to eliminate this pesky weed on her own, she decided to take her problem to The Home Depot Forums, where Forums associate GardenGail offered much needed help:

Flower:  I have noticed that some thistle has sprung up in my planting beds where I have numerous day lilies and hydrangea. Is there some way to eliminate the thistle without killing the perennials?  I have tried a wide variety of homemade methods and they do not work. I know Roundup would kill the thistle weed, but it would also kill everything else. Does anyone who has ever had this problem know of a solution?

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