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Archives for October 24, 2017

If you love and appreciate design and architecture, you’ll love and appreciate DesignBuildCincy

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Curated event is Oct. 29-30 at Music Hall

DesignBuildCincy returns to Music Hall this month.

CINCINNATI — Whether you’re looking for a local contractor, searching for the latest home trends or hoping to meet like-minded people with a passion for design, then you won’t want to miss the return of DesignBuildCincy.

This curated event will highlight the work of local architects, contractors, artisans and fabricators, giving those who love and appreciate design a weekend to anticipate.

Taking place Oct. 29-30, DesignBuildCincy will once again be housed in Music Hall. After two successful events in 2014 and 2015, the event’s founder, Doug Hart, is excited to bring this design-centric show back to Over-the-Rhine for the third time.

The name Doug Hart might sound familiar. That’s because Hart is well-known for the production of one of Cincinnati’s biggest events, The Home Garden Show. Hart is recognized within the event-planning industry as not only a business development leader but also an innovator and branding professional. So when he had the idea to produce a show that is centered around local designers, his experience and connections made it possible.

Hart said he always felt there was a need for an event that focused on design in the Tri-State.

“There needed to be an event that showcases the people who make this city and its spaces beautiful. As design crosses all borders and has become more popular over the last decade, the idea of producing a show that focuses on all aspects of design became a reality,” Hart said.

The design-centered show will feature over 100 different exhibitions ranging from small local design firms to interior and industrial designers and contractors.

Suited for all ages, those who attend DesignBuildCincy will also have the chance to partake in several other events the same weekend in Over-the-Rhine.

New this year, design enthusiasts will be afforded the opportunity to visit neighboring Memorial Hall for a variety of talks led by industry professionals. The series of design-focused presentations, dubbed the Cincinnati Design Experience, will include recognizable speakers such as HGTV’s Chip Wade as well as world-renowned kitchen designer Doug Durbin.

Attendees can also take advantage of the free Doors Open OTR self-guided architectural tour. Presented by the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati, the tour will give a behind-the-scenes peek at over 25 establishments and venues throughout the vibrant streets of OTR. Hart said, “What we’re really doing is creating a design weekend here in Cincinnati, as well as giving those who love and appreciate design a place to gather.”

Additionally, those who partake in the event will find pop-up activities throughout the weekend and might wish to relax in one of three fully furnished “social hubs” within Music Hall.

Each distinctly-themed “hub” will include furnishings provided by local designers, showcasing the works of the great designers we have right here in the city.

“Having a show like this really helps our community leverage the design resources we have,” Hart added. “Many of the artists and designers participating in the show went through DAAP (University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning) or have local design businesses.”

A variety of businesses will participate in this year’s design-focused event. Here are nine of them:

The process of a kitchen remodel by Arya Design Partners. (Photo provided by

1. Arya Design Partners

This East Side Cincinnati-based design company offers a broad range of innovative architectural products for both interiors and exteriors. The company’s portfolio comprises everything from countertops and fire pits to furniture design and custom tile work.

Each product created by the team at Arya Design Partners is made specifically for the client and tailored to suit distinct residential, commercial, hospitality and retail environments.

A custom piece of furniture created by CVG Made. (Photo provided by CVG Made)

2. CVG Made

CVG Made is a small design and fabrication shop located in Covington, Kentucky. Most pieces created there are custom-designed by founder Steven Sander, whose distinct style mixes his love for early-American furniture techniques with more modern and experimental design aesthetics.

As a multi-talented business owner, Sander also offers a host of other services through his business, including repairing and finishing hardwood floors, creating storefront and interior signage and other custom wood pieces.

Urban Blooms is proud to call Cincinnati City Hall home to their unique Living Wall Installation. Designed and created by Urban Blooms, it was made with over seven different species of living plants. (Photo provided by JMiles Wolf |

3. Urban Blooms

Urban Blooms is a Cincinnati-based social enterprise creating beautiful, sustainable and environmentally conscious communities. The nonprofit accomplishes its mission through projects that uplift communities aesthetically while empowering members of those communities with education on sustainability.

The team at Urban Blooms also specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of Living Wall gardens that add new life to both exterior and interior walls. These lush green works of art can be found all over the city. They can be found adorning the walls of local restaurants and shops, at events such as TedX and even in the mayor’s office.

This photo captures the unique design style of a kitchen renovated in Loveland by ESM Architects. (Photo provided by

4. ESM Architects

Known for outstanding custom architectural design, the small team at ESM Architects provides renovations, custom interior and exterior projects along with an array of other services.

The Mason-based company also works with clients on custom home designs.

One of Foundry no. 201’s most recent material palettes for a master bathroom remodel, complete with the original blueprints of the home. (Photo provided by Foundry no. 201)

5. Foundry no. 201

Co-founders Allison Gottlieb and Brittany Holden believe good design transcends project type. By combining fundamental design principles with extensive design experience, Foundry no. 201 tackles projects ranging from event invitations to design installations. Focusing on the three Cs of design –creativity, collaboration and connection — Gottlieb and Holden provide a discerning process to their clients allowing for positive experiences and functional solutions.

A kitchen design completed by Auer Kitchens (Photo provided by Auer Kitchens)

6. Auer Kitchens

With over 40 years experience, and more than 2,000 projects later, Auer Kitchens knows what it takes to transform a kitchen into the favorite room of the house. Founded by Ronald Auer Sr. in 1968, this local company now leads a team of more than 20 employees and offers customers the opportunity to view the type of work it performs with a showroom located off of Ronald Reagan Highway.

Brush Factory worked with City Studios Architecture to select fixtures and finishes for the three-story office space that houses People’s Liberty. Brush Factory built over 45 pieces total for office and gallery space. (Photo provided by Ryan Kurz | Brush Factory)

7. Brush Factory

Rosie Kovacs and Hayes Shanesy turned their passion for design into the Brush Factory in 2009.

Brush Factory adheres to traditional joinery and solid wood construction in building modern furniture and case goods. This Cincinnati-based workshop has created custom furniture for some of the trendiest restaurants, boutiques and office spaces sprinkled throughout Over-the-Rhine and other parts of the city.

Kovacs and Shanesy believe that their honest design sensibilities and passion for well-made products have the power to inspire and connect people with their surroundings.

This is a kitchen in an Indian Hill ranch-style home remodeled by The English Contractor. (Photo provided by The English Contractor)

8. The English Contractor

Craftsman Richard Applin has quite the resume. Having worked throughout Europe on restoration projects in chateaus and castles, Applin has the experience and eye for fine woodworking, classic carpentry and joinery.

Applin’s award-winning local contracting and remodeling company offers assistance with all phases of projects to help bring renovation dreams to fruition.

Such + Such was founded in 2010 by fellow DAAP Industrial Design graduates Alex Aeschbury and Zach Darmanian-Harris. (Photo provided by Such + Such)

9. Such + Such

This Over-the-Rhine-based company was founded in 2010 by two DAAP Industrial Design graduates. Alex Aeschbury and Zach Darmanain-Harris have worked with clients nationwide and are known for their expertise in building custom furniture, their interior design skills and sign designs.

Reflecting on the participating businesses, Hart noted, “This city truly does have an eye for style and a wealth of resources!”

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Inside the Design of Knox Street’s Garrett Leight California Optical

Fifteen years ago, I begrudgingly stepped into an eyewear store to begin my four-eyed journey. The dimly-lit eyewear store wasn’t helping me feel any better. It felt cold, like the optometrist’s office I had just left. I’d like to think it was these factors, and not my poor taste, that led me to walk out with a pair of oval frames that likened me to a certain famous boy wizard.

Now, thankfully, my Harry Potter glasses are long gone, and sleek optical studios (and equally interesting eyewear) such as Garrett Leight’s are in.

Leight (who comes to the optics business honestly as the son of Oliver Peoples’ founder Larry Leight) teamed up with architecture and design studio West of West in 2013 to design his first eponymous shop along Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard in 2013. For the brand’s fifth brick and mortar and it’s first location outside of California or New York, the firm brought a little SoCal cool to Texas with a modern light-filled space that felt nothing like my childhood eyewear chain. “When the store closes for the night, it will look like a light show,” says Leight.

I caught up with West of West co-founder Jai Kumaran to get a better picture.

Every GLCO location is a little bit different. What’s unique about the Dallas store? 

With every new store, we create new custom features, such as the peg wall system, the optical lab, furniture, and cactus gardens. In the Dallas store’s case, light is the defining feature in the form of an evocative, immersive light installation. We were very conscious about creating a space that would be memorable not only for people walking by, but also visible to those driving by on Knox Street, whether day or night. The light installation is designed to make the store stand out after dark.


The ceiling details are stunning. Can you tell me a little bit about the architectural design behind that? 

We were inspired by the work of James Turrell and the relaxed, yet ephemeral light created by long summer sunsets. The design of the space captures that feeling through the use of a custom, color-changing light installation and a ceiling “cloud” that floats overhead, transforming the space into an immersive atmosphere.

by Bruno

What do you want the shop to feel like?

The store is bright, easy, and relaxed, with a youthful contemporary edge. It is also dynamic and a place for the brand to evolve over time.





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Snapshots: Garden club to feature herbal essences topic

Fall leaves 

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Experts want your ideas on the future of US 1 in north county

Want a say on the future of U.S. 1 through north county?

Here’s your chance.

Public meetings with state and local transportation officials are planned Tuesday and Wednesday in Juno Beach and Jupiter. The meetings are an opportunity to give opinions of the roadway that was established in 1926 from Miami north to Maine.

“U.S. 1 runs through the heart of the county’s downtowns. Reviving U.S. 1 will reinvigorate the communities,” said Nick Uhren, executive director at Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization, the meeting’s sponsor.

Transportation officials want discussion on the U.S. 1 corridor from Camino Real in Boca Raton to Indiantown Road in Jupiter. The project corridor runs about 42 miles north-south along and through 14 local municipalities.

Residential, commercial and mass transportation changes are already happening.

Townhouses and mixed-use projects are going up in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. Bicycle lanes, landscaping and narrowing U.S. 1 from six to four lanes in Tequesta is planned later this year.

Sprucing up U.S. 1 will cost money. Who pays?

Communities plan to tap into the $2.7 billion in expected sales tax revenue from the one-cent county tax increase during the next 10 years.

Crystal Tree Plaza, a 35-year-old shopping center in North Palm Beach, is getting a redo. Charleston Laboratories is opening in Jupiter. So are condos starting at about $700,000 a on the Intracoastal Waterway and the Jupiter River.

A recent public workshop drew about 60 residents to Lake Park town hall. The plan calls for zoning changes to give developers more alternatives. After more public workshops, the plan goes to the town commission in January, said Town Manager John D’Agostino.

“Lake Park desperately need to diversify and increase our property tax base. It is becoming tougher for the town to supply basic services like street maintenance,” D’Agostino said.

Other cities in the county already have plans in the works:

– Delray Beach in 2015 completed a transformation of U.S. 1 from three to two lanes in each direction between Southeast 10th Street and George Bush Boulevard, creating a slower and safer road, officials said.

– In West Palm Beach, city officials are considering narrowing a stretch of U.S. 1 between Okeechobee Boulevard and Albemarle Road, as well as a section called Broadway between 25th and 42nd Streets.

– Road improvements in Lake Worth between Sixth Avenue South and 10th Avenue North on U.S. 1 are planned along with also narrowing the street.

– North Palm Beach officials are also considering plans for a sprucing up U.S. 1. The roadway could be reduced from six to four lanes from the Parker Bridge south to the Lake Park border. Rezoning to allow mixed-use buildings could happen.

U.S. 1 public workshops

– Oct. 24, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at Juno Beach Town Hall Chambers, 340 Ocean Dr. Open Studio/Charrette.

– Oct. 25, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. at Jupiter Community Center Meeting Room C, 200 Military Trail, Jupiter. Open Studio/Charrette

For information, go to

U.S. 1 public workshops

– Oct. 24, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at Juno Beach Town Hall Chambers, 340 Ocean Dr. Open Studio/Charrette.

– Oct. 25, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. at Jupiter Community Center Meeting Room C, 200 Military Trail, Jupiter. Open Studio/Charrette

For information, go to

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Landscaping business wins Pitch It competition

Eleven entrepreneurs pitched their ideas for new businesses Saturday at Startup Jefferson City’s annual Pitch It Win It competition.

Now in its sixth year, the event was kickstarted by a group of small-business owners to reach other entrepreneurs in the community. First-, second- and third-place winners received a small amount of seed money and also got feedback and mentorship from judges, attendees and other presenters.

This year’s first-place winner was Justin Neihart, with United Landscape Design on Country Club Drive, who had the idea of putting in a horticulture classroom at the business. The first-place winner got $2,500 in seed funding.

“We would like to utilize resources we currently provide, which is consulting and design techniques,” he said. “We would like to present that in the form of a lab for families that want to know more about what’s going on in landscaping.”

Neihart said the classroom would be located at the business, and they hope it can be up and running by mid-spring.

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Second place went to Angela Whitman, owner of Flowers From Nowherelse. The second-place winner was awarded $1,500. Whitman hopes to continue to grow her business, which has been getting noticed across the country thanks to social media.

“I’ve been working for this moment for a long time,” she said. “I’m just following what I love. This event was awesome to allow someone like myself to come in and talk about my products. I didn’t come in here looking to win so I’m excited.”

The Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Startup Jefferson City initiative and Rural Missouri Inc. partnered to host the event in the Capital Event Center on Ohio Street.

Pitch It Win It began six years ago when local business leaders, including staff members at the chamber, looked for ways to find and connect the small pool of entrepreneurs in Jefferson City.

“What we were trying to do is first identify who these individuals are and lend them support up and above what was in place,” said Shaun Sappenfield, manager of existing businesses for the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce. “We put together a program to engage these entrepreneurs and support them.”

Ten to 15 people participate each year.

Each participant had 10 minutes to present an idea and then 10 minutes to answer questions from a panel of local business professionals.

Sappenfield acknowledged the sums are not life-changing but do help ideas get off the ground. The point of the event, he said, is to allow entrepreneurs to pitch business ideas to other small-business owners and to connect with other entrepreneurs in Mid-Missouri.

“It’s not about the money,” he said. “We want to provide the knowledge to get these people to either make a decision and move forward and help them with that decision through knowledge or to say ‘This doesn’t look like a good idea.'”

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Cape Coral leaders look at new ideas to boost business


Cape Coral leaders will be deciding whether to approve a new master plan that includes boosting businesses.

The mayor said cities strive to have 30 percent commercial properties and the Cape has just eight percent.

The new master plan says helping small- to medium-sized businesses is critical to long-term economic success.

The city is one of the fastest-growing places in the country.

“More development, more restaurants. I feel like every week I hear about a new place that’s opening,” said Salina Mclellan.

The City of Cape Coral wants to ensure businesses can keep up.

“If you give people things to do in a city, they’re going to be happier. People aren’t looking to stay in their houses; they’re looking to have fun in their lives and eat good food and enjoy themselves,” Mclellan said.

The Department of Labor said only 50 percent of businesses survive more than five years.

A report presented to the Cape city council outlines different ideas to create an environment of investment.

One proposal is creating another small business development center in the South Cape.

“Somewhere they could go to get resources, information to help them start up if they’re new to the area,” said Phil Brittan, general manager of Big Blue Brewing.

To create an incentive for small business, the plan also calls for property tax rebates, a cash incentive for a jobs program, a revolving loan fund, and refining an impact fee deferral program. 

“If there’s something the city can do to make that easier or make funds available to startup companies to help them get off the ground, it would probably encourage more people to follow their dreams,” Brittan said.

To encourage expansion, the city is rewriting land use development regulations to make it simpler to add things like extra parking or landscaping.

Businessmen like Brittan said they’re hopeful what these ideas could do for the economy.

“Invest more money into the business itself, hire more employees, which would then create more jobs which then would flow into the community,” he said.

City Council will look over the economic development plan at Monday’s council meeting.

© Copyright 2017 WBBH/WZVN (Waterman Broadcasting). All rights reserved.

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Garden clubs hold joint meeting





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Key to Success in Rain Garden & Native Landscape Design for Cities

Key to Success in Rain Garden Native Landscape Design for Cities

The Key to Success in Rain Garden and Native Landscape Design for Cities

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 23, 2017)

Southfield, MI – Many communities are embracing the idea of using natural, native landscaping as a way to both beautiful their public spaces and to help reduce storm water related issues such as flooding.

But what is the one thing they get wrong?

Amy Murdick of Tetra Tech is a landscape architect and expert in water retention engineering.  She spoke Friday at the 2017 Regional Stormwater Summit at Lawrence Technological University hosted by Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash and his nonprofit Pure Oakland Water.

The answer is that there is often a disconnect between the projects and the public.  “Public acceptance is the key to success,” she said.

“A lot of communities are embracing these practices, but are not accustomed to designing them,” Murdick said.  “What we run into is that how they function is not the only key to success.”

The appearance is crucial, she said, because if the public doesn’t like it, they aren’t going to be supportive of keeping it.

She recommended being mindful of traditional landscaping practices and incorporating those into native landscaping and bio-retentive areas like rain gardens to make it clear to the public that the area has been planted intentionally and aesthetically.  Maintenance was also an issue. Keeping landscaping looking attractive depends on those maintaining it knowing the difference between what is supposed to be there and the weeds.

Some suggestions for a successful project include:

-Using ground covers or plants with large leaves to shade out the ground and discourage weed growth

-Plant with a restricted palate, using large masses of the same kind of plant instead of a hodge-podge approach

-Or plant in rows so that plants are clear and distinguished from weeds

-Make sure that it all looks intentional

-Use walls and edges to define the landscaped area

-Plant tall plants in back of shorter ones

-Use traditional landscape patterns, such as alternating groups with 3 or 5 plants per group, if you don’t stick to large sections or rows

-Plant in big blocks of color for a stunning visual effect

One common problem is when planning and outcome do not match up.  Considering how a project will look, especially the first year that it is planted, is crucial in public acceptance.  It may make sense to mix some non-native plants in to the landscape to help the public get through the visual transition.  Tulips and Irises, for example, are not invasive and they are an easily recognizable plant for the public.  Murdick also recommended easily identifiable native plants such as black eyed Susan and coneflower.

“People like familiarity,” she said.

The other key to public acceptance is getting community input. “Find out what the community already knows,” Murdick said.  “Most people don’t know about native plants, so ask and go from there.”

She cautioned against using renderings and the best photos out there on the internet.  “Renderings and Google pictures may look pretty but they can be a little misleading and create disappointment,” she said.  “When I look up plants on Google I look for the one that looks the worst. What’s the ugliest picture of this plant, and can I live with that.

Another suggestion was to show pictures in isolation when talking to groups. This means people can think on a case by case basis of the elements of design without being turned off – or overly excited – by a composite concept. For example, show a brick edging by itself, show a statue by itself, show a mass of purple flowers by themselves.  She also said she puts in things she knows people will dislike and things she knows they will love, to help get the conversations going and open people up to expressing themselves.

Tetra Tech works worldwide on environmental and infrastructure solutions for communities.  Learn more at

For more on native landscaping and rain gardens see:


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Fall garden tours are good places to harvest ideas

If you go

Fall Garden Tour

What: Self-guided tour of at least 12 community, school and residential gardens.

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 28. 

Where: East side, Rita Ranch and Vail.

Admission: $7, $3 for 12 years and younger. Tickets are available before tour day at and on tour day at Ace Hardware, 7451 S. Houghton Road.

Information: 591-2255,[591-2255,]

Homescape Harvest Tour

What: Self-guided tour of 22 eco-friendly systems that harvest water, electricity and food.

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 28.

Where: Throughout Tucson.

Admission: $15; $10 for bicyclists, riders in a carpool and public transportation riders, free for 14 years and younger. Advance tickets are available at or on tour day at Watershed Management Group, 1137 N. Dodge Blvd. 

Information: 396-3266,

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IN THE GARDEN: Clever Tips for Houseplants, Combating Ant Invasion

Making mashed potatoes tonight? When you finish boiling those potatoes and you are about to drain them, be sure to save that water. Let the water cool then give your houseplants a drink. It’s loaded with nutrients that will let your plants grow.

Bill Luedecke and his daughter, Martelle, offer gardening advice for the Highland Lakes.

For another drink, when you change the water in your fish aquarium, use it for watering your houseplants. That water has an abundance of ammonia, fish waste, algae, and beneficial bacteria. Your plants will thank you profusely.


As the trees turn, gather the leaves as they fall for your composting activities. Keep in mind there are things other than kitchen scraps (vegetables, etc. — no animal products). Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Add the grounds and leftover tea bags (minus the staples) to your composting. Bananas are great source of potassium and should be added as well.


If you have young children or grandchildren or you just leave food around, chances are you’re a prime target for an ant invasion. First of all, remove the food source then clean the surface with either apple cider vinegar or orange oil or a combination. Now that you have mixed the two ingredients, spray baseboards and remember the outside of the house and doorways. Once you are outside, a dusting around the foundation of your house with diatomaceous earth is an excellent idea. You can also spray around your home with 20 percent vinegar.


Getting ready for company this fall for the holiday gatherings? Here is how to remove weeds from your walkways, driveways, patios, and garden paths. There are several products that will kill those weeds and clean up the look of the areas infested.

The least expensive thing you can do is, on a hot sunny day (since we seem to have hot and cold alternating, just wait a day or two), take vegetable oil and water in a 50-50 mixture, shake well, and spray on the weeds. The sun will help fry the weeds using the oil as a magnifying glass. The oil also blocks how the plant is able to breathe, and it is friendly to the environment.

The next product you can use is 20 percent white vinegar. Use it carefully at full strength; it will kill any plant it touches. This product can be purchased at feed stores and garden and nursery centers. Or, you can use Gardenville Weed Killer. It is an even more powerful product. It can be purchased at any good organic garden center or nursery.

The solutions are more effective if you cut the weeds just before you spray, eradicating the weed inside and out. It will still work without cutting; it is just more effective with cutting.


Here are some uses for eggshells:

  • Soaking them in water overnight makes a great liquid fertilizer.
  • Drying and crushing the shells and adding them to your planter boxes or raised beds supercharges the soil.
  • Add them to your compost pile.
  • Sweeten up acidic soil by adding crushed eggshells to it.
  • Place crushed eggshells around your plants that are being eaten by caterpillars or hornworms.


Here is the No. 1 formula for a safe remedy (for you and the environment). This is a remedy from Malcom Beck:

  • Mix equal parts of orange oil, liquid humate (compost tea), and molasses (livestock molasses will work).
  • Add 6 ounces of this mixture to 1 gallon of water.
  • Pour liberally on each of your fire ant beds and really soak them.

Park keepers have used this formula very successfully.

Another formula is one from John Renfro (the “Bee Man”). It is a mixture of equal parts 20 Mule Team borax and sugar. Sprinkle the mixture on the mounds. This is particularly effective if your neighbors do it at the same time. This is a bait, not a wash.

If you don’t like formulas and want products that you buy and apply, here are two that we have used: Auntie Fuego and Results. Both of these are available at local nurseries and some feed stores.

If any of you have successful formulas and remedies, email us. We would all like to know more ways.

Greenlight’s product Fire Ant Control with conserve is Organic Materials Review Institute-approved for organic production. According to the manufacturer, one container is good for 22 mounds and 10,000 square feet of area. This is a bait-type application and does not have to be watered into the ground. You just shake it on the fire ant mound. If you first stir up the mound with a LONG stick, this will increase chances that all the bait is taken under ground. Even though it is OMRI-approved, it still says “keep out of reach of children and wash after using.” So be very careful when using it. The directions are on the container.

Contact Bill Luedecke at The Luedecke Group Realtors at (512) 577-1463 or email Contact Martelle Luedecke at (512) 769-3179 or

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