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Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Four Plants That Tolerate The Frost

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 ideas.

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Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Win The War Against Dandelions

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 area.

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Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

3 Tips For Purchasing The Right Sewing Machine For Your Needs

In today’s tough economy, many consumers are looking to tighten the purse strings in inventive ways. One of the best ways to do this is by making and repairing your own clothes. With that being said, the person doing the sewing is only as good as the sewing machine they use. Below you will find a few tips for finding the best new sewing machine to meet your every need.

Always Buy from the Dealer

While it may be tempting to head out to the first chain store you can find, your best bet is to buy your sewing machine straight from the dealership. The reason for this is that the employees at a chain store are there to sell a product, nine times out of ten they are going to have no idea how to thread the machine much less answer your questions.

When you buy from the dealer, you are getting service as well, most dealers will offer repairs, and a warranty on your new machine should something happen. When searching for a new sewing machine, make sure to ask if the dealer has a trade-in or trade-up policy so that you can move up when needed.

Try it on for Size

As with anything else you buy today, it’s a good idea to sit down at the sewing machine and give it a whirl before making a concrete decision. When you go to find a sewing machine, take swatches or samples of your own to test the machine out on. Some things you should look for when testing the machine are:

  • How smoothly it runs
  • Whether it makes a lot of noise when in operation
  • Whether the feed dogs have plenty of control
  • If it has enough tension
  • That the quality of the stitches is excellent

There are many other things that you need to consider when you are looking to purchase a sewing machine; however, these should be topmost in your mind.

Don’t Skimp on the Quality

While it is tempting to go for the most inexpensive machine on the market, remember you get what you pay for. While you don’t have to have a machine with all the bells and whistles, you do want one that is made well and built to last. If you don’t look for the cheapest car when you are in the market for a new one, then you shouldn’t look for the cheapest sewing machine.

A quality sewing machine can do a lot for a household in these tough economic times. From not skimping on quality to trying the machine on for size, following these tips will have you sewing along happily in no time at all. 

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Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Plumbing Concerns You Might Benefit From Having Addressed

A plumbing issue can be a source of panic for many homeowners that are not familiar with the steps needed to manage some of the more common plumbing problems that may arise. Knowing how to address some routine plumbing problems that can arise in your home will make you a much more capable homeowner when it comes to avoiding disruptions and damages due to plumbing failures. 

How Can You Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

As time passes, your garbage disposal can accumulate vast amounts of food and other particulate matter in it. These accumulations can cause foul odors to come out of the your sink, and they may also lead to clogs and slow draining. Fortunately, you can easily clean the garbage disposal.

To do this, you should pour at least a cup of baking soda down the garbage disposal followed by a cup of vinegar. The fizzing action created by these two substances will help to loosen any stuck food or grease. Once the fizzing has subsided, you should pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to rinse away any materials that are still around the garbage disposal. 

Are There Any Warning Signs That Your Sewer Line Has Developed A Leak?

A damaged sewer line can be a critical form of damage that your home can sustain. This type of damage can result in vast quantities of water spilling, and this may contaminate the soil in the area. Sadly, these lines are difficult to determine if they are damaged because they are buried, but there are still a couple of warning signs that may alert you to this damage. 

If you notice the floor of your basement suddenly developing cracks or becoming uneven, this may indicate that the sewer line below the floor has ruptured. When this problem develops with the sewer line below the soil in your yard, you may notice that the grass starts to brown, the soil seems to sink lower than the surrounding area or standing water in the area. Once these issues have been observed, you should contact a plumber as soon as possible to have the sewer line inspected to verify if this is the source of the damage. 

Plumbing issues can cause you to experience a tremendous amount of stress for a variety of reasons. In particular, you may not know how to handle some routine maintenance and repairs that your system will need. Considering these answers for questions about cleaning your garbage disposal and how to tell if a sewer line has ruptured will make preventative major plumbing complications much easier. 

For professional plumbing services, contact a company such as Hilmans Plumbing.

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Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Decorating Your New Basement Egress Window For Fire Safety

If you’re planning to turn your basement into usable living space, an emergency egress window is likely to be part of your plans. These are large windows designed to be set into the wall of the basement and used as a means of escape in the event of a fire. It’s a great idea, but it does change the look of your house. It’s important that any new landscaping or decor doesn’t interfere with the window’s function.

Here are some things that you need to think about when landscaping or decorating around your new basement egress window.

Disguise it, but don’t block it.

From the inside of the basement, that big new window looks like a blank canvas. From the outside, it looks like a big hole with a window in it. Your first instinct may be to fill it with plants.

The well around an egress window is a good place for small planters, but keep in mind that someone trying to escape from the basement needs to be able to scramble out of the window well. Use small planters, so that they can easily be moved out of the way. Ceramic pots can shatter and cause injury. You can also use plastic planters. They won’t detract from the appearance of your plantings since a person standing at ground level won’t see the actual container.

Decorate the opening, but don’t impair its function.

Planters that sit directly on the floor of the window well must not interfere with the escape function. Test this by putting the empty pots in their new locations, then using the exit window. Does the window still open all the way? Is it easy to get past the planter and up the side of the exit? Everyone who uses the basement needs to be able to get out this way, so take age, size, and physical ability into consideration.

Family members need to get out, but firefighters need to get in.

An exit window isn’t just for people trying to get out. If someone is trapped in the basement, or if the main entrances to the upstairs are engulfed in flames, it may be the only way for firefighters to get in. Make their job easier and safer by following these tips.

  • Don’t hide the window with tall shrubs — first responders often work in dark, smoky circumstances. You want them to be able to help your family right away.
  • If the window is separated from a walkway by a fence or other barrier, make sure that there is a clear area next to it so that a rescuer has a place to stand.
  • Keep the floor under the window free of furniture and other obstacles. If a child or other family member needs to climb on something to use the exit, place a low, sturdy table at one side of the window. This allows egress without creating a hazard for rescuers.

For more information on how to add an egress window to your basement, consider contacting a professional like those at Property Service Agency LLC.

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