Since the days of Adam and Eve, homeowners have been battling pests and weeds in the garden and in the home. But the benefits of growing plants far outweigh the challenges. I thought I would share with you some tips that can help keep your plants happy, indoors and out! For an environmentally safe insecticide boil five or six chopped garlic cloves in a gallon of water until soft. Add one tablespoon of biodegradable detergent and let sit for a day before spraying on plants. A spray bottle of two parts vinegar and one part water is good for getting rid of slugs on your garden plants. For indoor and outdoor plants clay pots are better than plastic. Clay pots allow the plants to breathe and are cooler for the plant roots. When you change the water in your aquarium save it to use on your houseplants. They will love it! A paste of baking soda and water will remove most stains from your plastic garden furniture. When planting flowers, first scrape a bar of soap across your fingernails to keep them from getting soil stained. Sprinkling pepper in the garden will repel cats and other critters from digging or […]
Read More
When the temperature outside begins to fall, our heating bills quickly start to rise. For many homeowners, keeping their house warm in the winter means paying a hefty heating bill. Luckily, there are some ways to help reduce those costs and keep a little extra cash in your pocket for a rainy (and warmer) day. Don’t Be Shade-y Even though it may be cold outside, the sun still tries to peak through on occasion. When it does, make sure to open your curtains and/or blinds in order to welcome the sun’s heat into your home. This will help to add a touch of warmth to help keep your heating costs down. After all, the time for seeking shade from the sunlight is in the summer. Cool It Did you know that the settings on your water heater could be affecting your heating bill? It’s true. Check your owner’s manual or ask a local expert about the ideal settings for your water heater which, if turned down, may still be able to heat your water adequately while reducing your heating bill. Insulation Information Insulation is used to maintain your home’s temperature. Some houses, especially older ones, may require additional insulation to […]
Read More
If you want a house to smell clean, you clean it. But what can you do to add a special touch that makes your house smell one step beyond clean? Use some common “scents,” a little knowhow and a lot of creativity to make your house smell fantastic. Use Your Good Scents Many homeowners choose to use scented candles in their home. As the candle burns, the oils melt and create a wonderful smell throughout the entire room. Not only do these smell great, but certain scents can also be relaxing. Lavender, for instance, is commonly used in aromatherapy and is believed to be a calming scent. Vanilla, strawberry, cinnamon and even chocolate are also popular among homeowners who want to add a special touch to their home. Good Enough To Eat If you really want to make your home smell terrific, add a bowl of fresh fruit to the dining room table. Oranges, tangerines and apples will provide a colorful centerpiece and a scent that’s simply yummy. If you like to bake, there’s nothing better than the smell of freshly baked cookies fresh out of the oven. Of course, if you don’t feel up to baking every day, you […]
Read More
When it comes to watering your lawn, the who, what, when, where and why rule applies. If you want to make the most out of your landscape, you have to know who is responsible for the maintenance, what needs to be done in order to make your lawn thrive, when it’s time to water, where to find help and why your lawn will love you for it. Who As a homeowner, it’s up to you to water your lawn. If you’re on the go a lot or simply don’t have a knack for lawn maintenance, you can hire a professional to help with the little details. Either way, it’s up to you to love your lawn. What What is one of the single most important things that you give to your lawn? In a word, water. Most experts agree that thoroughly watering your lawn once each week is preferred above a light splashing of water every other day. When Many homeowners wonder when is the right time to water their lawn. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. If possible, water your lawn in the morning. Otherwise, watering in the evening will also work nicely. In the afternoon, when the […]
Read More
A water feature can make a major change in your yard, and there are plenty of different ways to go about adding one. From a simple and small fountain to a koi pond or waterfall, you can use water to create a peaceful sense of a real escape from life in your yard. Small Water Features For small yards or for those looking to add something simple, a basic fountain is easy to add. They come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes and can fit into any landscaping. Your fountain can be a centerpiece for the yard or can be placed near the patio. You can even get a small tabletop fountain for the patio table. Most fountains are easy enough to install by yourself. They use a pump system that circulates the water and keeps the fountain running. Follow all of the instructions for set-up, use, and care that come with the fountain and you can enjoy the sound of trickling water for many years to come. Adding A Pond A pond is a really eye-catching and special addition to any yard. You will need some space for it, but even smaller yards can manage one. Koi […]
Read More
A fireplace is a great feature in any home, and can create that warm, homey feeling on a cold winter evening that every homeowner dreams of. Whether you have a gas fireplace or a wood-burning fireplace, there are a few important precautions you should take and safety measures to follow every time you use your fireplace. Keep The Fire Contained Especially if you have an older home, you should verify that the fireplace and hearth are up to code. The hearth is required to be a certain size to prevent sparks or embers from the fire hitting the carpet or wood floors and starting a fire. You should also ensure that you have appropriate metal doors or a mesh curtain that will keep the fire and any sparks inside the fireplace itself. Keep anything flammable away from the fireplace, including paper, blankets, furniture, or anything else that could easily catch fire. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, keep the wood in a spot where a stray spark or ember won’t reach it. The same goes for kindling or anything you use to start the fire. Maintaining The Fireplace And Chimney In a wood-burning fireplace, a substance known as creosote can […]
Read More