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Yard Ferns

How to Remove Urine Smell in Yard Ferns

Animals can be a joy, but their deposits left on yard plants and bushes can leave a bitter smell that lasts for days. The smell of urine on yard ferns is easily remedied by a quick solution available in most home and garden centers and department stores. Getting rid of urine smell on yard ferns is a simple process that does not require specialized skills.

Gently turn the yard fern over on its side on a grassy area.

Use your garden hose to rinse the urine from the yard fern. Focus the spray directly onto the plant, avoiding the soil, as you do not want too much water seeping into the soil.

Sit the fern upright and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Fill an empty and clean spray bottle with 1 cup room temperature water.

Add 1/2 tsp. of tea tree oil to the spray bottle. Shake well.

Spray the tea tree solution from a distance of 6 inches, at the base of the fern. Spray all the way around the fern so the scent of tea tree is absorbed into the soil. Tea tree is a natural herb that has a strong aromatic odor to mask the urine smell, and will naturally detract animals from further urination on your yard ferns.

Leave to dry, do not rinse off. Repeat as often as necessary for all of the yard ferns in your lawn.

How to Grow Lady Fern

Select an area that is in partial shade and with soil that is both well draining and slightly acidic. Add humus to your soil before planting to help with drainage and improve acidity.

Plant in the spring, after the last frost. Dig a hole that is just as deep as the container, but twice as wide. If transplanting rhizomes (the plant's bulb-like root), dig a hole that is just deep enough for the rhizome but wide enough to fan out its roots.

Space multiple plants at least 2 feet apart. Since there are several varieties of lady ferns, follow label instructions. You will most likely thin out the plants in later years, so the closer together you plant them, the sooner you will need to thin them out.

Keep the soil moist throughout the spring and summer months. Some lady ferns can tolerate dry soil, so read the label for watering instructions specifically for your plant.

How to Locate Spores on Ferns

The Most Common Fern Plants in Washington State

fern in the forest image by ana malin from

Washington State has a variety of ferns commonly found growing throughout the state, according to the Washington Native Plant Society. Ferns such as maidenhair, lady, oak and western sword ferns grow in moist, forested areas within the state’s confines. American parsley, irregular polypody and Shasta ferns are common in dry, rocky areas within the state.

Rare and Exotic Ferns

How to Care for Wood Ferns

Plant wood ferns in a shady, moist spot in rich, well-drained soil that has been cultivated with a hoe or shovel. If the soil is poor or doesn't drain well, amend it by incorporating 2 to 4 inches of compost or well-rotted cow manure into the top 10 inches of the soil.

Keep the soil moist. Give ferns an inch of water every week that it doesn't rain, and more in hot, dry weather.

Fertilize wood ferns after new growth appears in spring. Use a time-release fertilizer applied strictly according to the directions, as wood ferns can be damaged by too much fertilizer.

Apply 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch such as straw, leaves or pine needles around wood ferns to protect the ferns during the winter months.

How to Cook Fiddlehead Ferns

Brush off the fiddlehead ferns to remove any dirt or external debris. Trim the “tail” of the fern so that it's the same length as the coil.

Immerse the fiddlehead ferns in a large bowl filled with cold water. Swirl the water with your hands and rub the ferns gently to remove the papery brown scales from the outside.

Remove the fiddleheads from the bowl. Rinse well under cool, running water and set them aside on paper towels or a clean cotton cloth.

Fill a saucepan about halfway full with water, add a dash of salt and bring to a rolling boil. Add the fiddlehead ferns to the water and boil steadily over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, just until tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and strain by pouring the contents of the pan through a fine-mesh strainer. Serve the fiddlehead ferns immediately or refrigerate for up to two days.


Use a saucepan proportionate to the number of ferns you're preparing. If you're unsure, it's always better to use too large a pan rather than one that's too small.

Serve fiddlehead ferns with hot melted butter, olive oil or lemon juice. They may also be chilled and served with a vinegar-based salad dressing, if desired.


Do not harvest fiddlehead ferns from the wild unless you are accompanied by an experienced professional. Only the fiddleheads of the ostrich fern are safe to eat. Other fiddlehead ferns may cause illness. Do not eat fiddleheads raw, as they are slightly bitter until cooked and may cause an upset stomach if too many are eaten raw.

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