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Green Thumb

Gardening has been a lifelong passion for Wende and she’d like to share her passion with her readers. Follow her as she writes about her gardening adventures, lists tasks to do depending on the season, and gives easy to understand gardening advice.

Home Landscape Work – What Do You Do First?

safety, education, garden, home, landscape, perennial, plants, travel, spring

It’s Spring! You want to get out there and do some of those landscaping projects you didn’t get to last year.  A new flower bed would be nice, or you want to plant a tree, maybe create a retaining wall.  You have been thinking about what you want it to look like all winter.  Maybe you have already purchased materials for your project.  I’m sure you have also drawn a rough sketch of what you want to do.  It should be easy, right? You have a free weekend, let’s go!


But STOP!  Before you do ANY digging.  What should you do?   




Call 811 or (800) 242-8511, or (262) 432-7911.  In an emergency call (877) 500-9592.


Diggers Hotline is Wisconsin's one-call center. Anyone in the state who is digging, excavating or disturbing the soil is required by law to contact Diggers Hotline at least three working days before beginning work.


April is Safe Digging Month, and there are awareness events planned.  See their website for more information:  Warning:  Diggers Hotline does not locate private facilities such as propane lines or buried lines that you may have installed yourself such as outdoor landscape lights.  It is best to allow at least 4 working days before you plan to dig, just in case. You can file a request on-line also by filling out their locate request form. 


Once lines have been marked, any digging within 18 inches of a marking must be hand dug. This is because the locating process is not 100% precise, and there is also no way to know how deep the lines really are.


We’ve all seen the colored flags and spray paint. If you ever wondered what each color means:


Red – Electric power lines, conduit and cables

Yellow – Gas lines

Orange – Cable TV lines or conduit

Blue – Water lines

Green – Sewer and drain lines

Pink – Temporary survey markings

White – Proposed excavation


After Diggers Hotline gives you the OK to dig, go ahead and get your project started.  Once you are done, you will need to remove the flags yourself – they will not come back to remove them.  Happy digging!

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