Many modern lawn decorations are made of lightweight plastics and resins that easily fall over in heavy winds if not secured to the ground. Inflatable seasonal decor, such as giant snowmen or a witch's cauldron, absolutely require some form of tethering or anchoring; otherwise, you may find that your snowman can fly! The best way to secure any lawn decoration depends on its construction, but usually, it's a matter of adding weight inside or using some form of staking material or a combination of tethers and stakes.
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Fill Plastic Decorations That Are Hollow and Hard
Hollow plastic or resin elements, such as some larger garden gnomes or lightweight birdbaths, sometimes have a small hole that allows you to fill the item to weigh it down from the inside. If there isn't a hole, drill one about 1/2 inch wide in an inconspicuous area. Sand, water, and pea gravel are all possible filler materials that easily add weight. Read through the assembly instructions or the packaging that came with your yard decor for the manufacturer's recommended filling material and procedure.
If there are no instructions, look all over the decor piece for a hole or a plastic plug, which may require some prying to remove. Insert a funnel into the opening or use a sheet of paper rolled into a cone shape with a narrow opening at one end if you have no funnel. Pour the desired filler material into the yard decor until the item is full and then replace the plug if it had one. If not, feel free to use a piece of clear plastic tape. It's better not to permanently seal the hole if you filled the item with water in case mildew forms inside.
Use Garden Staples
U-shaped, sturdy wire pieces, also known as garden staples, make it easy to secure any yard decor items that already have a hole through the bottom area, as is the case with many resin birdbaths that stand on a ring-shaped base. These can't be used on concrete or hard surfaces but work well for items on a lawn or in a flower bed. Set the decor piece where you want it and then push one end of the staple through the hole near the bottom of the object. Tap in the staple with a rubber mallet so both prongs push into the ground evenly. Use two or more staples around the piece as needed for added stability.
If your item doesn't have such a hole in it but there's an ample place to put one, drill through with a 1/4-inch bit. Feel free to make your own garden staples by cutting a piece of coat hanger with tin snips and then carefully bending the wire into a U shape. Any stiff wire also works, and if it's painted or coated in plastic, that helps prevent rust.
Install Theft-Resistant Security Stakes
If you're concerned about theft just as much as you are about items falling over, sturdier security is the answer. Corkscrew-style stakes with hooks on the top, such as the type some people use to tether dogs outdoors, make it much harder to remove your lawn decorations. Simply twist the corkscrew device clockwise into the ground near your lawn decor and then run metal security cable through a hole in your decor piece and through the loop in the top of the corkscrew piece before adding a lock.
This option also works for several decor pieces in close proximity, as only one corkscrew stake is necessary Keep the decor as close to the stake as possible to make the locking cable less obvious or simply add wood mulch or decorative rocks over the cabling if it's in an area where the rocks are an option, such as a flower bed. Numerous versions of corkscrew-style security stakes are available, and some of them are much less visible than the old-school dog-tethering stakes.
Secure Large Inflatable Decor
Like outdoor trampolines or canopies, large inflatables absolutely must be tethered if you want them to stay in your yard. Your inflatables should have stakes and tethering straps in the initial packaging, but if they're lost or missing, replacements are available. Once your inflatable is in place, stretch out the tethers as far as they go and set one stake near each one. Loosely tap in one stake to hold one tether and then work your way around, tightening the next one a bit more and so on until all tethers are strapped down as tightly as possible.
For added security in high-wind areas, use at least one corkscrew-style stake instead of the simple hammer-in type. Even in extreme winds, the other stakes may come out, but the corkscrew won't.