Pages Menu

Get Rid of Garden Pests

Most recent articles

Pros And Cons Of 2 Different HVAC Air Control Systems

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The purpose of an HVAC system is to push out cool or heated air to make your interior temperatures comfortable compared to the outside air. This simple definition becomes more complicated when you start looking at air conditioning models since there are a couple of key different air control systems available. Each system has its own pros and cons that can help you determine what type of heating and cooling system would best work in your home or building. Constant Volume Strategy A constant volume or constant air volume system operates at a consistent rate of airflow but varies the temperature of that air to achieve a comfortable temperature inside your home. The system doesn’t have a fan-only setting that can allow you to simply move existing air around your home. A constant volume system is either fully on or fully off. The air conditioning unit for a constant volume system is fairly simple, low cost, and low maintenance. But the unit can also prove impractical for larger buildings or homes due to its constant functionality, which can drive up utility costs. Multi-zone constant volume units can work in mid-sized buildings but will involve higher costs to properly setup the system to disperse air throughout the building. There are two main versions of the constant volume system: terminal reheat or mixed air. The terminal system ensures that your home reaches the maximum heating or minimum cooling temperature you indicated and then shuts the system off. The mixed air system runs both the hot air and cold air at the same time to mix and reach the optimal temperature before shutting off, which does a better job at achieving your desired temperature but doesn’t do wonders for controlling humidity. Variable Volume Strategy Home central air conditioners are usually variable volume systems, which vary the rate of the airflow while the temperature of that air stays at a constant. The variable volume system has several advantages including more precision in temperature controls, the ability to run in fan-only mode, and energy savings associated with both of those qualities. A constant volume system is better at controlling humidity and servicing various building sizes. The main disadvantages compared to a constant volume system are the higher initial price for the unit, the more complex parts and maintenance, and the fact that the system might be too expansive for smaller buildings with very simple heating and cooling needs. Contact a contractor, like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy, for more...

read more

How To Give Your Water Softener A Second Life

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If your water softener is no longer working, and you don’t want to shell out the money to purchase a new water softener right now, you may be able to refurbish your old water softener and get some additional life out of it.  Supplies You will need to purchase a bag of resin beads that is as large as the size of your resin tank. If you are not sure of the size of your resin tank, check your manual for your water softener. You will also need 90% waterproof silicone grease, a flat-headed screwdriver, and a water hose.  Turn Off The Water Supply To The Unit The first thing you need to do is turn off your water softener. You will need to turn the bypass valve or valves on your water softener to the off position; if you are not sure where the bypass valve(s) are located, consult your owner’s manual. To be extra safe, you can turn off the water to your house by turning the main handle for your water supply to the off position as well. Turn Off The Power Supply To The Unit Second, flip the breaker switch for the water softener on the power box to the off position. Then, unplug the unit.  Disconnect The Unit If your unit is still connected to any plumbing fixtures, you are going to want to disconnect it. This should involve unscrewing the pipe that connects the water softener to your water supply. Your owner’s manual should provide details on how to complete this step for your particular unit. After the unit is disconnected, move it out so that you can work on it. You are going to want to pull out the water reservoir assembly portion of the unit and take it outside; you may want assistance with lifting it. Drain The Water Once you have removed the water reservoir, take it outside. The area where the water is held should already be exposed; it should fill up one side of the reservoir Carefully lean the reservoir over and drain out the water. You’ll want to drain the water away far away from any plants or grass; the high concentration of salt inside of the reservoir will kill your grass and any nearby plants. Access The Resin Side Of The Reservoir There should be a lid on top of the other side of the reservoir where the resin beads are located. Once you have poured out the water you are going to need to remove this lid. You should be able to pry off the lid with the assistance of a flathead screwdriver; just gently put the flathead screwdriver under the edge of the lid and pry it open, working your way around the top until it pops off.  Once the lid is removed, you should encounter a screen. You should be able to easily remove the screen by hand or with the assistance of your flathead screwdriver. There should be a tube, called the riser tube, in the middle of the container that you will need to pull out.  Remove Water & Resin Beads Carefully tilt the reservoir on its side in order to drain the water from the resin side of it. When the water level starts to get low, and you see...

read more

Load Covering Options For Landscapers

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As a garden maintenance and landscape business owner, chances are you spend a lot of time hauling yard debris, wood chips, and other loose items. An uncovered load is a dangerous load, and in some states it is even illegal. The following can help you determine the best method for securing your load. “Blue” tarps The traditional blue tarp is inexpensive and readily available in many sizes. Although it is often thought of as a blue tarp, it is also available in other colors, including green and brown. The main drawback to this method is that the tarps can be difficult to work with. They aren’t well-fitted, so creative use of tie downs and grommets is required to keep them from flapping in the wind. Although UV resistant, repeated use does make them eventually become brittle. Holes are also common except for in the thickest tarps. Truck tarps Trucks tarps come in a range of options. The beauty of these is that they are fitted to the size of your truck’s bed or your utility trailer so that they can actually wrap around the sides and fit snugly. Tie-downs, which are heavily reinforced, are also placed to fit your vehicle more closely. You can even purchase completely custom tarp systems. These include a tie-down kit that is fitted to your vehicle so that securing the tarp is literally a snap. As an added benefit, you have more options that can work better with landscaping-specific needs. For example, traditional tarps can become prone to mildew when they are constantly covering plant debris loads on hot days. This is because moisture becomes trapped beneath the tarp. A mesh or breathable truck tarp can solve this problem. Cord system Cord systems are primarily useful if you need to tie down an awkward load that doesn’t need full coverage, such as a stack of landscaping timbers. They aren’t for loose loads, like bark mulch. The simplest system uses just ropes and the tie downs built into your cargo space. If you haul large or awkward items regularly, you should consider having a custom tie down kit installed. These tie downs are installed inside the bed or on the deck of the trailer. They are designed to be used with a ratcheting strap system, so they are sure to be secure. As an added benefit, you can combine them with the tie downs used for a custom tarp system so that you get dual use from your investment. Contact a tarp or cargo covering specialist in your area for more...

read more

Light Control For Blinds: FAQs

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

There are plenty of reasons to buy new blinds for your home. Aesthetic concerns, attempts to make your home more modern, and controlling the lighting situation in your home are all noble reasons to change up your window blinds situation. When it comes to controlling the lighting situation in your home, there might be a number of questions you have about this phenomenon. This brief guide will serve to answer just a few of those questions. Why Should You Use Blinds For Light Control? Perhaps the primary reason you should invest in blinds as a form of light control is just that: it is an investment. Utilizing blinds as a form of light control is energy-efficient. Not only are you helping the environment by curtailing your use of electricity as a form of lighting source, but you’re also cutting down on your monthly utility bills. One of the most efficient types of using blinds as a source of light control is referred to as “daylight harvesting.” This process revolves around how and when you will employ the use of your blinds to bring in the optimal amount of light that you prefer into your home. Where You Should You Locate The Blinds? The answer to this question depends largely on the contingencies of your home and what sort of lighting configuration is even possible. For example, apartments in a densely-populated urban area that have south-facing light sources aren’t able to harvest the amount of light that an open ranch house is able to. For those houses with an optimal lighting situation, like the aforementioned ranch house, it is recommended that you keep blinds on both the easterly and westerly windows to block the sun when it rises, and you can raise the blinds accordingly through the day; or, if you wish, simply open them first thing in the morning to allow the maximal amount of light enter your home. Should You Use Filters Or Black Out Light? Black-out light blinds work by simply blocking as much light as they possibly can when they are pulled down. Sometimes, an attachable dark fabric can be placed onto blinds in order to give them a black out effect. Blinds that filter lights, on the other hand, are much less stringent about the amount of light they allow into your home when pulled. With some light-filter blinds, you can adjust them to allow the amount of light you desire into your home. Check out the site for more...

read more

Potentially Fatal Tree Diseases for Your Tuliptree

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The tuliptree has contrasting small, tulip-like flowers that grow on a massive, furrowed tree. Glossy leaves that highlight the flowers turn bright golden in fall, which makes the tuliptree a beautiful addition to any property regardless of season. Proper tuliptree care requires monitoring the tree for potentially hazardous tree diseases and calling in a tree care service for help. Verticillium Wilt Verticillium wilt symptoms begin in late fall and resemble rapid dieback throughout the tree. The leaves can look scorched around the edges before browning and falling from the tree. Branches can also wither and die off. If left untreated, the fungus behind the wilt disease can cause the tree to have slower regrowth during the next spring season. Severe wilt will continue to spread throughout the tree, systematically killing off leaves and branches. Eventually, the tree’s regrowth in the spring will stall and the tree will no longer be salvageable. You would have to call in a tree removal service, such as is offered at http://brownstormservice.net/, to ensure that the tree and any trace of disease are fully removed. Call in a tree care service early in the wilt infection for the best chance of saving the tree. The tree care service can use a soil fumigant around the tree to prevent the fungus from thriving there and spreading up into the tree. Make sure the tree remains properly fertilized and hydrated. This combination approach can help the tree fight off the wilt. Canker Disease Canker disease actually refers to several types of fungal or bacterial infections that can strike a tuliptree with similar symptoms. The defining feature is deep, open wounds in the bark that resemble a canker sore on a human. The center of the canker is typically far darker than the rest of the bark and can start to ooze a smelly, sap-like substance. The canker diseases tend to be worst on trees that have prior damage or are unhealthy due to poor watering or fertilization. If the cankers are restricted to certain branches, a tree trimming service can cut away the affected branches and potentially stop the spread. In some cases, a fungicide can be used to help control the canker disease. Make sure you call in a tree care service for proper diagnosis rather than trying to treat the problem yourself. Different types of canker can look extremely similar but have vastly different origins and treatment requirements. For example, treating a bacterial canker with fungicide isn’t going to get you very far towards saving your tree. Cankers that have greatly infected the trunk can prove fatal to the tree as the heartwood continues to deteriorate. A tree removal service will need to remove the tree to prevent the disease from spreading to other trees on your...

read more

Removing Pesky Rust Stains From Concrete

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Rust is a common occurrence when you’re dealing with things like tools, vehicles, and lawn equipment getting wet. Over time, this rust can stain and even penetrate concrete surfaces such as the floor of your garage, driveway, and sidewalks. It might appear as if the rust is here to stay, but there are some things you can do to remove it and return your property back to its original glory.    Prep The Surface An integral step to removing rust is to loosen as much of it as you can before you clean. Use a metal-bristled brush to scrub away as much rust as you can. The rust particles should loosen and you can sweep or vacuum them away. This will make the cleaning process a lot easier. You should also rake or sweep away any leaves and debris before you clean. Make sure the area is clear and dry before you begin the cleaning process. Natural Options If you prefer not to use store-bought chemicals specially designed to combat rust, there are some all natural alternatives you can try. Depending on the severity of the rust stain, these solutions do a good job of getting the surface clean. Try applying pure lemon juice or vinegar directly to the stain. These items are highly acidic and will help dissolve the rust away. Let it sit on the stain for a few minutes and then scrub it away. Rinse the surface with cold water, and you should now have a rust-free surface. Pay close attention to nearby plants so you don’t expose them to the lemon juice or vinegar since it can be harmful to plant life. Chemical Cleaners If the rust stain on your concrete is especially large or stubborn, you may need to resort to a more powerful cleaning solution. These types of cleaners contain a solution called oxalic acid, which can help loosen and remove the rust quite effectively. When using a chemical-based cleaner, be sure to wear heavy duty gloves and face protection so you don’t breathe in the fumes that this type of material produces. Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area and keep children and pets away while you work. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully so that you can be sure the rust will be removed properly. No matter which method of cleaning your concrete you choose, with a bit of effort and some elbow grease, you can return your concrete surfaces to their original condition.  For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those...

read more

3 Interesting Ways To Use Granite In The Kitchen

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When it comes to kitchens, granite is the go to choice. It is the most popular natural surface for countertops in kitchens across America. It’s sturdy, durable, and easy to maintain. Qualities which make it a great choice for busy kitchens. Granite is also a beautiful material that is available in a variety of colors and patterns. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, granite is also a very versatile material that can be used in many different ways.  Waterfall Granite For many, a granite countertop simply consists of a slab of granite that sits atop lower cabinets. However, there are many interesting design features that can be incorporated in the countertop’s design. One feature is a waterfall. A waterfall granite countertop is one where the granite is continued over the side of the counter on at least one side of the slab. This is a great way to show the beauty of the granite. Waterfall granite is a unique way to add a modern touch without sacrificing clean lines.  Honed Granite One complaint that some have about granite is it’s high shine. For those who want a matte finish, honed granite is the perfect choice. Honed granite differs from traditional granite in that the polishing process ends before buffing, which leaves this type of granite less shiny. The downside is that it does have to be resealed more often than fully polished and buff granite. The matte finish makes it ideal for casual or vintage style kitchens. Another benefit of honed granite is that it often lacks the speckled appearance of regular granite. The subtle shifts of color in honed granite are something that appeals to those who are looking for unique ways to use granite in the kitchen.  Play With Shape Another one of granite’s many benefits is that it can be shaped to fit nearly any space and purpose. Granite can work around uniquely shaped sinks and other kitchen features. Granite countertops can also end in curved edges. Granite can also be allowed to jut outwards from the underlying cabinets. This allows for more space directly underneath the countertop. The benefit of this is that an overhanging granite countertop can be used as a seating space. Simply placing stools or chairs underneath can create a wonderful area for friends and family to sit and gather. Granite is a very versatile material that will likely stay popular in kitchens for years to come. Those who are looking for interesting ways to use granite should consider a waterfall countertop, honed granite options, and even playing with the shape of the granite. Contact a company like GranBrazil Inc for more...

read more

Tips To Help You Get A Good Deal When Ordering Last Minute Flowers

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

With most things, you’ll tend to get the best deal when you plan in advance.  Flowers are no different, since you may find that they are priced substantially higher if you need them the same day.  However, there are a few things you can do to get last minute flowers that won’t break the bank.  Use this information to learn more about how to drive down the price of the flowers you need right away. Use The Power Of Group Buying One of the first places you should look when you need to get last minute flowers at an affordable price is with online websites that cater to groups.  These sites are able to obtain the best possible prices by harnessing the power of the group.  You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the deals for flowers are substantially cheaper than what you would have paid if you attempted to buy them on your own. You can find websites that cater to group spending by inputting a query such as “group buying websites” into a search engine.  Once the results have been generated, be sure to compare and contrast the various deals before making your purchase.  Also, be sure to check for any “deal of the day” bargains.  If it’s close to a holiday, these special deals may be for florists, and can often help you save big. Use Your Own Vase Using your own vase is another great way for you to get affordable flowers at the last minute.  Instead of paying for the vases that are offered by the florist, use a vase or container that you already have at your house. This is especially true if you’re planning to hand deliver the flowers.  You can request that the flowers simply be cut and ready for you to pick up.  No need for expensive packaging or boxes, and you’re able to save on courier fees. Keep in mind that if you don’t have any traditional vases in your home, you can create a makeshift vase that is beautiful and heartfelt.  Consider adorning a mason jar with ribbons and glitter, or even an old, plastic Chinese food container that you paint and write the recipient’s name on. Getting the flowers you need at the last minute doesn’t have to empty out your wallet.  When you need flowers in a hurry, use these tips so you can get them without spending so much of your cash. Contact a company, such as Charlotte County Flowers, for more information....

read more

Making Decorative Crosses For Your Home

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you would like to display more crosses around your home, there are a lot of different styles you can purchase. This allows you to fix things up a bit and have plenty of variety around your home. If you like the idea of adding a personal touch to some of those decorative crosses, then you can even make some of them yourself, This is also a nice way for you to do some craft projects with your kids if you choose. This article will provide you with instructions on how you can make a couple types of decorative crosses to display around your home and yard. Make a concrete mosaic cross If you would like to put a concrete mosaic cross in the yard, you can make one yourself with just a few supplies. These supplies include: A cross shaped cake pan A bag of fast drying cement Pieces of flat broken glass Water A stir stick A bucket Put some cement in the bucket and add a small amount of water at a time. Stir the mix with the stick until you end up with the consistency of cake batter. Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Once the mix comes up to the top of the pan, pick it up about an inch and let it go. This will flatten out the cement and make sure the bubbles are out. Take the pieces of glass and put them in place on the surface of the cement. You can make any design you want. When you put the pieces of glass in place, push down very lightly so they go into the mix without sinking too far down. Let the concrete dry for a few days before removing the cross. Once it’s done, you can display it where you want. Make a wood and lace cross A wood and lace cross would make a good addition to a feminine room in your home. To make this type of cross, you need the following supplies: A foot long piece of wood that’s two inches wide Two four inch long pieces of wood that are also two inches wide A glue gun Strings of lace in the design and colors of your choosing Scissors Glue the shorter pieces of wood onto the larger piece to create a cross shape. Cut the lace and glue it along the cross. You can make it full and fluffy or you can keep it simple with just a little bit of lace. Once it’s done, you can hang it in your...

read more

Four Plants That Tolerate The Frost

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you live in an area where the frost tends to linger on and you love having color in your flowerbeds, consider using these plants. While these plants can’t withstand the touch of winter itself, they can stand tall during early and late frosts. To view these flowers as long as possible, plant them where they will receive the most light during the reduced daylight of winter. You should also grow these plants out of the reach of harsh winds, as excessive winds will dry them out. Violets These small plants feature dark green, heart-shaped leaves and purple, yellow or white blooms. Violets need to be planted in moist, well-drained soil with steady access to the sun. Ideally planted near trees, violets are self-seeding and spread rapidly. If you would like to control where the violets seed, try to remove the seedpod before the seeds spread. Surrounding them with a garden barrier also helps to keep violets from spreading unchecked. Snapdragons Snapdragons are available in almost every color imaginable and are shaped like a dragon’s jaws. These plants enjoy full sun with well-drained soil. Snapdragon plants may require staking to remain upright. Snapdragons also benefit from pruning. Pruning will help them bush out instead of becoming tall and spindly. Remove dying blooms regularly to help preserve the health of the plant. You can prune snapdragons back after their first display of blooms to enjoy their flowers twice per year. Primrose Primroses are available in an amazing array of color combinations. They feature a rosette of green leaves and hold their flowers above the foliage. These flowers prefer lightly shaded locations with well-drained soil. You should regularly remove dead leaves and blooms to ensure the health of the plant. Placing mulch around the base of primrose plants can help them retain moisture and ensure their health. Primroses can be propagated using cuttings, though these plants spread relatively easily on their own. Nemesia Nemesia is similar to a ground cover and its blooms are reminiscent of orchids. It comes in blue, white and purple and does well as an edging or border plant. Nemesia prefers soil that is rich in organic material, so amending the soil with a little compost before planting is best. Add a layer of mulch around the base of the plants – this will insulate the plant’s roots and protect them from temperature fluctuations. If your nemesia stops blooming, just prune the plant back and the blooms will return in no time.  Contact a local landscape company, like Superior Lawn and Landscape, for more...

read more

Win The War Against Dandelions

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Dandelions have a tap root system and are considered perennials, making them hardy weeds that are difficult to get rid of altogether. If dandelions are taking over your lawn, the following tips will help you eliminate them. Spray Commercial Pesticides Apply a small amount of a commercial pesticide directly on the stem of each dandelion. If you are using a product that contains harsh chemicals, put on a pair of gloves before spraying the dandelions so that your skin is not exposed to them. Chemical weed killers can be harmful to other plants in your yard, so cover any other plants in the vicinity with plastic sheeting or a lightweight vinyl tarp before treating the weeds. The weed killer may take a couple days to kill the dandelions. Observe each one in order to determine when it is dead. When this occurs, they will be wilted and laying across your lawn. At this point, they will be easy to pull out of the ground. Simply grasp each one by the stem and pull it upwards. Smother Them Plants need sunlight and oxygen in order to grow. If you cover the dandelions, they will eventually die. Place a piece of cardboard or plastic sheeting over the dandelions. Weigh the covering down by placing a layer of mulch or grass clippings over it. The covered area will blend in better with the rest of your yard if you use a natural material such as one of these. Check the status of the dandelions in a couple days to ensure that they have died. While using this method, be careful not to cover healthy portions of your yard. If you do, the grass blades may be susceptible to damage. After all of the dandelions have been eliminated, water your lawn regularly to maintain its health. Improve The Soil Most weeds live in areas where the soil’s nutrient content is low. If you improve the quality of the soil in your yard, the conditions will not be favorable for the weeds. Mow your grass to kill dandelions that are already present. Apply a layer of composted material across your lawn. You can make your own compost by adding organic materials to a covered bin and stirring the contents on a regular basis. Some materials that work well to make compost are vegetable peels, fruit rinds, egg shells, coffee grounds, and wood chips. Once the material has decomposed and is a dark, rich color, it will be ready for use. This could take several weeks. If you don’t have extra time to make compost, purchase compost from a business that sells landscaping materials.  Once you have eliminated the dandelions, keep your property maintained so that it continues to look great and provide you with a pleasant area to spend time in. For more information, contact a weed control supplier in your...

read more
Page 1 of 3123